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Tired of this

(17 Posts)
3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 10:40:38

DD17 has always been 'difficult'. Temper tantrums when little, has now turned into a mixture of unpredictable bouts of anger, nastiness (usually aimed at me, but the rest of the house too), rudeness, entitlement, and general unpleasantness.
The atmosphere in the house is very often tense when she's around.
She can also be delightful, funny and sweet.

I'm just so tired of walking on eggshells, trying to detach and ignore. It makes me feel like I'm weak and condoning her behaviour.

She has regular 'alternative' therapy (massage, cupping, acupuncture, etc to relax and relieve stress) and is taking B6, primrose oil, and multi-vits, all of which I have to make her do.

Her diet is terrible (all beige food, no fruit & veg, although the house is full of good food; the rest of us eat healthily), she won't exercise and her sleep pattern is bad.

This is obviously contributing to her behaviour. She has always had a problem with texture of food, and has some strong sensory issues (sounds, touch, smell, etc). We've been to the GP who recommends a good diet of meat, fish and plenty of fruit & veg! (no shit, Sherlock!) which is really going to convince an immature teen with an aversion to all things healthy! Any advice appreciated.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 19:19:32

No one with any words of wisdom?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Mon 08-Jun-15 19:24:43

She's a teenager. It sounds about normal to me I'm afraid. I have two like that (though they are lovely underneath!)

eyebags63 Mon 08-Jun-15 19:35:05

Life long temper tantrums and sensory issue, could it be a wider problem (aspie?).

Not really sure you should be 'making' a 17 year old take alternative therapy, it should really be her responsibility at that age.

What are her future plans? Technically you could kick her out in less than a year so she needs to buck up her ideas.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 20:09:01

eyebags63 - are you my age?wink
I've mentioned Aspergers to a couple of GPs in the recent past, along with a list of 'symptoms' - I got a head-tilt on both occasions, with one of them suggesting it was "perhaps Mum's problem", and that lots of teens go through phases of eating badly, and have funny ways!!

The alternative therapy is something that she wants and really enjoys - I worded that badly - I meant I chuck the vitamins at her as she always forgets!!
As for throwing her out, tempting as it is, I don't see that it would achieve much. We don't have relatives close by, we're quite rural and she would have nowhere to go, and can't afford much with a very part-time job. Throwing her out would make her homeless.

She's in upper 6th at the moment, hoping to start an Art Foundation course in Sept (she'll be 18 by then and will still be at home)
Next year off to Uni.
She's incredibly immature and finds it impossible to temper her anger.
Sweetness and light to everyone else, teachers. etc. though!
Luckily, we have a delightful DS16 who never gives us a moments trouble (and puts up with his sisters nastiness) hmm

BreadmakerFan Mon 08-Jun-15 20:12:02

Given she's sweetness and light she CAN temper her anger when she knows she needs to.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 20:12:42

This is the list I took to the GPs a couple of years ago - it's still valid!

Dislikes change of routine/ not spontaneous .
Dislikes physical affection.
Reacts negatively when 'put on the spot'.
Lack of empathy.
Finds communication with others difficult.
Doesn't like to follow the social norm.
Prone to outbursts of temper.
Strong aversion to certain foods.
Problems with feel/ texture of clothing.
Great attention to detail and need for perfection in certain tasks.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 20:15:35

Yes she can, Breadmaker! but I've had to collect her from college a couple of times recently in the midst of a panic, saying she's 'irritated and annoyed' by everyone and needs to be on her own.

Kleinzeit Mon 08-Jun-15 21:02:03

Yes, she sounds a bit Aspie to me too. Food issues, temper, tension, social problems… It can be difficult to get recognition though. The trouble is that professionals usually need the behaviour to occur in more than one setting to take it seriously while a lot of Aspie kids - and especially girls – tend to “mask” their difficulties outside the house and then let rip at home where they feel safe. As the outside world gets more demanding, so they feel more stressed and ratty and have fewer reserves and blow up more at home. But what the professionals see is “child/teen only misbehaves at home/with parents”.

The fact that your DD is needs to get away from college as well may turn out to be a good thing in the long run because it may get her issues taken more seriously. And if she’s calling you to collect her it also means she trusts you. Rather than accepting the GP’s head tilt, could you move to “well you may be right but we’d still like an assessment because this has been going on for a very long time now and it isn’t getting any better”? Mind you at her age your DD will have to want the assessment herself.

For her temper outburst have you taken a look at Explosive Child? It doesn’t depend on a specific diagnosis but lot of us MN parents whose kids/teens are on the autism spectrum find it helpful.


Tryingtokeepalidonit Mon 08-Jun-15 21:21:35

I thought it all sounded a little as if she was on the spectrum but then you mentioned "delightful DS" which combined with the comment that it is aimed mainly at you made me think it might be based in attention seeking. If she perceives her brother as 'mummy's little soldier' she might be acting up. She is still young. Perhaps family counselling would help.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 21:41:54

Kleinzeit - thanks. I think deep down, she does trust and still need me. I'll take a look at Explosive Child!

Trying - we very much play down the fact that DS is so easy. She just finds him an annoying younger brother!

The last GP she saw gave her Propanalol for when she's feeling anxious or angry. She forgets to take them on a daily basis, but they're there if she needs them. They also referred her to a counsellor, but she's heard nothing yet. She knows her outbursts are wrong, but she says she can't help it.
I just want her to be happy and have done harmony at home.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 21:42:39

some - not done!

Sandsnake Mon 08-Jun-15 21:50:41

3Cats you're describing my little sis here in an almost spooky way. Tantrums as a kid, anger outbursts, routines, lack of empathy - even down to the issues with food texture and hatred of fruit and veg. She was always a very different personality type to me and our younger brother pretty much from birth - very much a nature rather than nurture thing.

Our mum (a teacher with experience with SN) is convinced she has a mild form of Aspergers. She was still very difficult at your DD's age but she is now in her mid 20s and much better. She still has her moments but seems happier now, which I am so happy about. After a fairly difficult relationship as kids we get on well and I love her to bits.

I wish I could offer some useful advice but I don't have much. Just that you should ignore the people who presume it's your fault and continue to love and support your DD. And I can appreciate how bloody difficult and frustrating it is for you.

3catsandcounting Mon 08-Jun-15 22:04:05

Sandsnake - thank you for such a lovely post - you've given me hope!

eyebags63 Tue 09-Jun-15 07:29:49

The list of things you present is quite telling.

The problem is GPs do not have a special training on ASD as a rule... and even for experts it isn't always easy to diagnose. The GP will probably be thinking of severely autistic children in their mind and then look at your DD and thinking "what is this woman on? there is clearly nothing wrong with her DD".

ASD can also present very differently in girls than in boys as girls can be better at 'masking' the social difficulties.

It could be something else entirely of course but it does sound like there is some underlying mitigating factor in her behavior.

eyebags63 Tue 09-Jun-15 07:30:15

Does she have many friends?

3catsandcounting Tue 09-Jun-15 09:30:51

I agree, Eyebags; the GPs just don't see her as a problem. Also, now she's 17, the GP will listen only to her, and my presence in the room is tolerated, but not particularly welcomed. What I really want to say to them is "this is affecting not only her, our family is slowly getting torn apart by her behaviour"!

She has plenty of friends; all of whom know her funny ways, but ignore them. She went through a period of isolating herself from them, but seems pretty settled now. She also has a lovely boyfriend, who she quite often treats in the same way as us. He's very soft, and clearly adores her, but how long he'll put up with her, I don't know! Unlike us, his feelings for her are not unconditional. sad

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