MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers - Part 2 here's to a peaceful 2013(811 Posts)
This is a continuation of this thread which I set up as a safe space for struggling parents of challenging teenagers.
This is meant to be a welcoming thread, where everyone can come and moan, whinge, bash ideas off each other and support each other as we face a new year and new challenges
Newbies in particular - come and join in. When ds1 started going off the rails I felt very lonely as there was no-one in real life I could talk to. Being able to be open and honest on here has helped me cope over the last few years.
Many of us have extremely challenging teenagers, some are involved in alcohol and drugs, some are violent, some are struggling with depression, anxiety and various SN. This thread isn't here to judge people and tell them how to parent or to simplify and minimise their difficulties.
So if you think we should simply tell them to come home and night, and take their phones away if they don't, you are probably in the wrong place. Also if you think a few joints or a couple of pills are harmless, go and start a thread about it somewhere else.
The mantra of this thread is - don't look back, guilt is a wasted emotion. You are where you are now, carry on from here. You may not be able to change them, but you can change how you react to their behaviour, so pick your battles, take a step back and try not be too emotionally involved, and FFS, be nice to yourself.
So here goes: here's to a calm, peaceful and positive 2013.
Feeling really low today . Ds 17 has his bac exam tomorrow. he was in a foul mood this morning, I know it's because he's run out of dope. he hitched off to town and came home stoned and full of smiles.
I don't know why I care so much about his zero revision as he has said he's quitting school anyway...he has 1 year to go. I got a letter from the school saying he'll have to repeat the year as he's tried so little. I haven't even told him yet as I fear it will stop him even turning up for his exams.
I have been trying to sort out alternative courses but not having much luck. I can't bear the thought of him being at home with nothing to do.
I hate what drugs have done to him. I hate that he refuses to admit he's an addict. I hate that he's my son and I can't give up on him. Living with him over the past 2 years has got me really depressed.
I have tried so hard to detach , to stay in the present, to keep calm when he's on a comedown and being out of control. Today I am so sick of it. I can't bear the thought of living with him much longer but if I throw him out hell go live with his friends who I know take ketamine and smoke crack
Brighter, I haven't got much to say I haven't said before, so HUG.
17 was a really bad year with my DS. The worst. It got better... It almost certainly will with your DS too. And if it doesn't, throwing him out at 18 is much
better less bad than 17, since he is legally an adult and can get work, sign a tenancy, claim benefits, etc... You 'just' need to find a way to get through the next 12 months (or maybe less) - to make the intolerable, tolerable.
The more I learn, of other people's experiences as well as my own, the more I come to believe the key is to focus on yourself, not them. You need to find a sliver of happiness for yourself in all the grimness.
What do you love, Brighter? What makes you laugh and brings you joy? DO some/more of it. You will survive.
Thanks * flow* I really appreciate your kind words
18 is only 6 months off and I hadn't considered how that could change things so that's a little light at the end of the tunnel.
For those of us with kids over or approaching 18, here's a website with some interesting stuff. havenlady posted it on another thread. It's sometimes a bit black-and-white, and its authors haven't worked out some of the really crucial things we have worked out here - seriously! - they don't know about the vital importance of detachment and looking after yourself ... But it still makes useful reading.
Hi just found this thread and it's comforting to hear from other parents in similar situations.
I have 4 children, two little ones with my partner and 2 teens from my exh.
One teen in a psych unit and one who refuses to go into lessons at school. One diagnosed with asd (probably personality disorder too but can't diagnose at 16) and the other being investigated for asd.
All I want is for them to be happy and I really worry for their future. My daughter especially is just so emotionally vulnerable but also can also be very manipulative and exhausting.
Just had a full on physical fight with daughter. She's split my lip. I've called the police.
Absolutely nothing. I told them exactly what happened nd that jaws scared for my safety . They said they'd get back to me. That was about 11 am. I've heard nothing.
Daughter has been bak home, packed a bag and has left. I don't know where she's gone. She can't go to her boyfriend s as his mum won let her in the house. She wouldn't have gone to her dads as she hasn't spoken to him spence Feb
She has been in and out of my house a couple of times over the last half hour, not spoken though. She's now sitting outside in her boyfriends car.
I really don't want her back. I can't stand the verbal and physical abuse.
*Doin, if you mean that, lock the door. Call the police again if you need to. The next couple of hours might be truly awful, and the next few days will be very difficult, but if you have had enough now, you need to draw the line.
Hi Flow . I thought we'd cracked it as she had been behaving but it's all kicked off again starting with her cheating in an exam. Ill lock the door.
I've been to the school and we've been referred to Family Solutions.
Locking the door is the right thing to do, if you really do want to keep her out now. I'm afraid I'm very tired and already falling asleep doin, so won't be able to stay and give you moral support. Stay safe.
Thanks Flow I did lock the door but stayed awake in case she came home because if she couldn't open the door then she would kick it in. I would call the police if this had happened but I really really can't afford a new front door.
I'm sick and tired of being abused and having to worry about my property being damaged.
Anyway she didn't come home and I finally went to bed at 4.30
Still no contact from the police
Glad you're ok. What are you thinking you'll do now?
I really don't know. I went through so many scenarios in my head last night , most of which consisted of beating the hell out of her . I can't help,it , it's how I feel.
I feel numb this morning. Ill let the school know tomorrow. The pastoral manager I speak to there is the child protection officer. I want it taken out of my hands.
It's grim, Doin. I can remember fantasising about someone beating up my DS1, too. It's an understandable expression of anger and frustration - the fact you feel furious and powerless. Just so long as it stays fantasy...
The trouble is tho, it isn't going to be taken out of your hands, doin.
I really, really understand the wish. And it's incredibly hard, and in many ways unfair, because when you have a difficult teen this age, you have most of the responsibility but very little of the power. Even if social services step in - and it's a very big, unlikely 'if' I'm afraid - they will expect you to stay involved and work towards having her back.
You will have to make a very clear decision that you will not have her back to live with you, and you will have to be very strong to stick to that decision.
Or, you will have to have her back, and focus on the survival tactics you've seen elsewhere on this thread, and detach, set your bottom line, take all the support you can find, and look after yourself.
Anything else - anything - will mean more confusion and misery.
Sorry to lay it out so starkly. It took me more than a year to work that out, but I do now believe it's true.
I don't know if this bit will make sense, but I'll try... So far, this situation has been all about her... Somehow, you need to make it more about you. There are 3 reasons (at least) for this:
- You can't control her behaviour, but you can control yours. If you focus on you, you can actually make some changes.
- You need to look after yourself because no-one else is. You need some good, pleasant, fun things in your life to deal effectively with the bad stuff.
- You need to give your DD and yourself a clear message that you are worth treating well and respecting. At the moment, sadly, I'm not sure that either of you believe that.
Start now, doin, if you possibly can. Go and do something nice today - even if it's just a walk in the sunshine. Don't sit around waiting and worrying, please. Be good to yourself.
I understand the detach thing flow but that practically means not speaking to her at all. I asked if she wanted a cuppa the other day and she flew at me.
I'm scared of situations like yesterday when she had me trapped outside in the garden without a phone. As soon as I stood up and tried to speak she was pushing and shoving me. So I sat down and said nothing which then meant I got my face pinched. What do I do then?
You call 999 Doin. Immediately. If/when ever she hits you, shoves you, pushes you out of your house, or threatens you.
You have a right to feel safe and be safe in your own home, Doin.
Carry your phone in your pocket - don't be caught without it.
Call the police as many times as you need to. Don't worry about sounding coherent or about explaining - just ask for help. Say something very simple and clear like "I need help now. She's hurting me".
Call the police if you think you might lose your temper and hurt her, too. Say something like "I need help now. I'm afraid she'll hurt me or I might hurt her if you don't come".
I'm sorry the police gave you a poor response this time. That's such a disappointment. But I really think they are your best bet, if you let them know you are serious.
I think you are locked in to a very bad pattern with you DD, Doin - a very vicious circle. You need to break it; you need to react differently. But you are so worn-down by it all that you can't see what you can do - or even that you can do anything at all.
If you think you can't get your DD out of the house, then seriously consider getting out yourself, even if it's just for a few days. You really badly need to give yourself some safe space and time to think...
doin so sorry to hear what a hard time you are having with DD. It sounds like you are emotionally at the end of your tether. I'm sending you virtual hug. Try to be kind to yourself.
I have this cd in my car, I've had it for years but keep coming back to it when I need a self confidence boost. It always helps me feel a bit more empowered! www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHRuPXYHs_o
Well first time ive typed on here..here it goes..My father in law was diagnosed with cancer 4 weeks ago and passed away a week saturday.Since them ds (understandably) has has a chip on his shoulder,grumpy,swearing at computer etc.Today reached boiling pint..i had arranged for my sons friends mum to drop them home after his friends parents evening as i was at my younger childrens sports day..told him this,said i may be a bit late at the meeting point(another local school) and all was fine.He had a new hair cut over the weekend too ,which he was anxious about regarding teasing at school.Anyway,i received a text at 2 saying 'where are you?????' i txt saying'its only two' .He then txt 'school finished at five past two' and became quite rude like"get me now!!" i said i cant as i was at sports day..went on like this for a bit and in the end he hung up on me and his friends mum ended up dropping him home as arranged about three.I rushed back to let him in(missing the end of sports day)and he was all grumpy and shouty ..drove back and picked the children up and he was stood by the front door all shouty saying i fking nearly fell off the fking ladder,and was stuck at fking school etc etc.(he had tried to climb the ladder into upstairs window!) i was like calm down i was only five minutes..he stomped upstairs crying and slamed the door.I went up about five mins ago and hes still stressing /aggressive thumping his wall saying he got teased cause of stupid hair cut,was stuck at school and had tooth ache(news to me) and to get out his fking room.I tried to give him a hug but having non of it.He is now thumping about and swearing on fifa and im sat feeling anxious downstairs(now a small holein his wall)Im in tears,funeral Wed,and im at a loss at what to do..shall i just leave him up there with all the banging?sounds like hes banging the wall and wants me to go up for a fight.
Poor you! What a week and what a day! Yes, just leave him, sfek. You have all had a bad week or so, and he's had a particularly bad day, and he's not dealing well with difficult emotions. If you were stronger yourself, you could support him to find more constructive ways of dealing with his grief, anger and frustration... But you are bereaved too, and must be feeling sad (and possibly disappointed and/or angry) by the way he's behaving... And it could so easily go horribly wrong.
When emotions are a bit more settled, you can try talking to him about how you're both feeling... And ways he could deal with his, without dumping them on you.
Meanwhile, just remember it's not personal... And be extra-kind to yourself.
Thankyou Flow4,he did calm down in the end,but have found that he has broken the gate lock in his temper :/ The younger girls were upset by it too.He was sheepish last night,but has come down this morining abit more demanding eg.wheres my tie..no please etc,but a demanding tone.I have let it go over my head,as like you said it is an emotional time.He just cannot seem to handle his emotions in general,even before this recent upset.It just builds up until boiling point every 4-6months and he lashes out nastily.I am thinking of banning fifa too or limiting it as he gets so stressed at it and thumps the wall for some reason.I tell him not to play on it if it winds him up that much.He does end up in tears when he ' loses it' and i think he cant handle frustration.He has always been like this,but he is getting bigger now ,so his out bursts become worse.He is immature i feel for a 14year old.On the plus when he is calm/good days ,he does open up about school,relationships etc..so i suppose i am lucky in that sense.I just hate the feeling of having to tread on egg shells when hes like this ,and we really cant face handling it right now either.
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