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I'm struggling and scared(6 Posts)
I'm struggling. I have two children from a previous relationship, two children with my husband. They all live with us. DS (14) has Aspergers. He's been hard work his whole life but is pretty settled and doing well now. He is hard to reach, emotionally, and can be cruel and grumpy to his siblings (execpt the littlest one - a toddler). DD (16) has recently been diagnosed with anxiety and OCD. Last year she took an overdose of paracetamol. My primary school aged DS is a very sensitive boy, prone to dark and sad thoughts - these are enhanced since the overdose. All the younger siblings were in the house when DD took the overdose, my 14yo DS has to call my husband to get him to race back from work as the ambulance came. She was pshyically fine, no lasting physical damage. She was petulant with the doctors, if anything, and this confused me. She is having regular therapy. Anxiety and OCD and related issues are all she talks about. I guess this is normal, as it feels like a huge part of her, but I worry that she's defining herself through this, and becoming Anxiety Girl (she talks about it endlessly with her friends) when there is a lot more to her than this.
Can I be honest? There is a part of me that is angry for the effect her actions had, the dark cloud it's put over her brother. I'm frustrated that every time one issue is improved with the help of therapy, another emerges. I'm scared for my DD, scared that this defines her, scared that she will do it again. I'm also very scared for my sensitive little boy (9). DD (as the eldest) had to adjust to her brother's aspergers. We've all had to make changes and the middle boy (9) has often born the brunt of his cruelty. DD feels that 14yo DS with Asperger's condition is seen as more important. It isn't, but it is one that will be with him his whole life, whereas she can overcome anxiety. It feels like she doesn't want to, on some level. I'm not writing this out very well, it sounds like I don't believe her and I do. My husband is still angry at the effect her suicide attempt had on the other kids. He thinks it's a cry for attention, it's a busy house. There are a lot of really fucking big plates to keep spinning, and I'm worried they're all going to smash. I'm so scared.
This sounds really hard for all of you. You sound like you've a lot on your plate. Is there any way you can spend some time just with your DD, e.g. Do something regular/fun just the 2 of you at the weekend? It sounds like she wants some more attention right now.
OP you DO have a lot going on, I understand their needs are great, 2 with diagnosis’s, agree you probably could do with some time out. Do u get it? Has it been half term? Tough?
I Feel for you, and bet you do great most of the time. Take a bit of time for yourself,
All your kids/family need you and you them, they all bring their own quirks... keep accepting and supporting in ways they need. Yr DD is getting help and teens are tough... 😀
Just noticed older 2 not DH, agree, give dd extra support, is other positive family/friends available to help support dd/ds and/or you?
Young ds needs support too, ask for help if it’s around. School may help also, or family support.
Op you sound so scared for your dd, I hope that her emotional and mental health improve soon. Are you able to get family or friends support? School, teen mental health groups, counselling for you also?
Hi OP I don’t really have any useful advice but I do empathise. I have 3 DC very close in age (13,12 and 10) and DC1 and DC3 both have anxiety and OCD issues.
It is so hard to balance the needs of all of them and my aging mother and DH. To be honest when we have a bad day I feel pulled in so many directions that my mind tends to shut down.
Both DC have had a short bout of therapy which helped us with some strategies but now flying alone again I often am at a loss with the best thing to do or say. It is exhausting. Constantly dealing with their insecurities. Trying to not let DC2 feel left out and impacted (which he does). Trying to get DH to understand and not make things worse. Dealing with my own feelings of inadequacy and guilt.
Part of DC1s OCD is a need to constantly talk about it. I think this sounds quite ‘normal’ in terms of your daughter. He is also a monopoliser of attention. It isn’t deliberate as far as I can tell it is his way of coping. We are very very slowly working on him trying to cope more on his own but this is a long way off.
Your situation sounds even harder. We haven’t had to deal with a suicide attempt although both get to points where they can’t see a way forward and they say some really scary things.
Everyone says make sure you look after yourself but practically this is so difficult. I guess I have found talking to a friend with similar issues helpful. And trying to accept that the issues are part of their personalities and that it has upsides (!)- their conscientiousness and empathy are so much more developed than DC2s!
Sorry not to have more advice but sometimes just hearing that others understand can help.
Happy to chat,
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