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Holding on to the end of the rope; life in the bunker with the Po Ts, where parenting a teen is having an adverse effect on our mental health

(998 Posts)
Pegsinarow Mon 13-May-19 08:31:14

With thanks to Billybagpuss for inspiration for the title and to Ticklingcheese and many other parents of teens who are emerging from the worst, or currently going through it, this is a support thread for parents who are being driven to despair by their teens. It is a continuation of this previous thread where many of us clubbed together to exchange experiences, possible strategies and understanding of what can be a very draining, isolating and distressing time for all!

Tin hats on everybody for round two! smile

Pegsinarow Mon 07-Oct-19 11:03:31


Hi PoTs!

<Thought cacti were appropriate because of their spikes grin>

This thread is very nearly at 1,000 posts so I have set up a new one

Thank you to all the contributors to this thread who have been open about their problems with their teens, and who have offered advice etc. It's great we can help each other at what can be a very emotionally draining time.

And huge thanks to McMen for keeping the ball rolling while I went AWOL over the summer! flowers

See you all on the new thread!


Slowchirp Mon 07-Oct-19 10:12:01

SeasidePebbles sounds as though you have a lot to deal with there flowers but equally your daughter sounds fab and I am sure she will come to appreciate your steady parenting more and more as she matures!

Couldn't agree more that there are huge similarities between toddlers and teens (with the exhaustion of nurturing a newborn thrown in for good measure)!

SeaSidePebbles Mon 07-Oct-19 06:54:35

This period (teenage years) reminds me of when they were newborns and all they wanted was everything and nothing but they screamed constantly. Do you remember the sheer mental and physical exhaustion of those times? There was nothing rational about it. Combined with toddle years when they would get themselves into all sorts of trouble and we had to be vigilant at all times, every second of the day. Combined with early school years when it was all too much for homework after school.
Basically, all the worst things from all their developmental years.
In my soup, there’s also a disney irresponsible dad who says yes to everything I say no to.
I get glimpses of what I nurtured into her all these years, the morality, the thought processing techniques I instilled in her over the years, the self assurance, the capacity to speak up, the self love, the wisdom, the feminism, etc.
But mainly is absolute sheer exhausting madness.

She threw an almighty tantrum last night and packed her bags to go to her dads. Off you f**k, my love, but the fleeting in between houses as and when it suits you stops here. Just then her dad texted me she doesn’t want her there, she’s too much.
It broke my heart for my child, but I’m glad he finally stopped the whole: oh, come to daddy, isn’t your mum a bitch, I’ll give you whatever you want, don’t listen to mummy, she’s crazy.
I hope he goes back into his own arse for the foreseeable and lets me get on with things, it’s hard as it is.

Hugs to everyone, here’s to a drama free Monday!

Aramox Mon 07-Oct-19 05:39:13

Lovely wisdom there @Pegsinarow- and good to hear things are better. I’m struggling with ds’s perpetual rudeness and meanness to me , but outside the house I see signs of more maturity so there is hope. Onwards!

Pegsinarow Sun 06-Oct-19 22:50:05

And aye, 2 steps forward and 2000 steps backwards sounds exactly right. Same here.

Pegsinarow Sun 06-Oct-19 22:45:07

[Waves to McMen!] Aw, breakfast in bed sounds like a lovely touch after such a stressful night! Top mothering points there! grin

Pegsinarow Sun 06-Oct-19 22:42:12

Btw - thank you - but I don't feel very wise. I feel split down the middle most of the time to be totally honest. The rational half of me can type out all of these explanations and internalise the advice on here and try and implement it. But when dd is being particularly vile "challenging" all reasoning goes out of the window, and the instinctive/maternal side of me still feels incredibly hurt, bewildered, demoralised and crap, despite knowing all of the theories. It does get a bit easier as time goes on as you get used to it, but equally, it wears you down emotionally too.

mcmen05 Sun 06-Oct-19 22:28:30

Welcome back to the thread @Pegsinarow.
Glad to hear things are going a bit better for you and dd.
I seem to take 2 steps forward and 2000 steps backwards.
I had a child - child blow out last night and went and collected her at 8 in instead off 11 because I didn't know who she was hanging out with.
We made up then and In brought her breakfast in bed this morning because I have to admit I was in the wrong she is 16 and I need to start letting go and giving her privacy and freedom to grow up.
Welcome all new posters you are not alone but we need to step back and allow them grow and make mistakes and not fight them for our own sanity.

Pegsinarow Sun 06-Oct-19 22:28:11

Great to hear that Aramox!

Pegsinarow Sun 06-Oct-19 22:27:19

Wowzers sorry, meant to say, you haven't done anything to make them hate you except give birth to them smile. Trust me, I felt exactly the same as you. Please don't take it personally even though it feels intensely personal. If it wasn't autistic traits, it would be something else. (In my case my sin was being a sahm most of the time which in dd's eyes was worthy of utter contempt. While at the same time my WOHM friends say their teens hate them for not being at home enough!)

And in a way it is necessary for your dds to be as hurtful to you as possible (hard though this is!) because it is painful for them to cleave themselves away from you, precisely because they do love you so much.

I still feel pretty useless and a parenting failure most days if I am honest, but I am finding it a bit easier ( thanks to this thread) now I don't follow dd so closely down the rabbit hole of misery ifyswim... . Instead of chasing down there after her, it's more a case of me sitting outside at the top of the hole and waiting patiently while she finds her way back through the gloom! [And yes I probably have had one glass of wine too many this evening grin ]

Aramox Sun 06-Oct-19 22:17:07

Lovely wisdom there @Pegsinarow- and good to hear things are better. I’m struggling with ds’s perpetual rudeness and meanness to me , but outside the house I see signs of more maturity so there is hope. Onwards!

Pegsinarow Sun 06-Oct-19 22:10:52

Hi PoTs, op here! Hope you are doing ok!

So sorry to have been awol from the thread again. Have loads going on currently but I will be starting a new thread shortly as we are approaching 1,000 posts on this one.

A warm welcome to all lurkers and newcomers, Mumsnet virgins included! grin It's great to have you with us on, although sorry that teen antics have driven you here.

Retrievers (forgive me if you have already mentioned this but I haven't caught up with thread yet) is your dd able to access any support outside of the immediate family at all? I remember reading somewhere on Mumsnet that one is only as happy as one's unhappiest child so this must be especially tough on you flowers

Kassy it is overwhelming and soul-destroying so it's totally understandable that you are feeling very up and down too. Tbh, I started this thread because I felt very very beaten down by a combination of my dd's behaviour and the menopause etc and various life events. And I felt that it had all become a bit of a vicious circle. Like Sandwiches despite the odd glimmer of light, I really couldn't see an end to it. But all I can say that having got away this summer, and dd having grown up a bit, despite the odd meltdown here and there, things have improved a fair bit, even though I really thought it wouldn't. So please hang in there. flowers

MamaBraddaz sorry things are so tough all round for you currently flowers Hats off to you too for dealing with teen angst when ill yourself and with your dad being ill too. In one of the many books I have read about teen behaviour (can't remember which one) it says that those teens who are most attached to their parent(s) are those who sometimes find the process of evolving in to an independent adult (which after all is what teen-hood is all about) the hardest and most difficult, and so it's often those teens who project their internal struggle on to us in the most, shall we say, emphatic manner possible!! So, confusingly, it could be because he is so close to you that he is being so scornful ifyswim. I know that doesn't help much in a way, but on the other hand, it is kind of comforting too ... .

It's kind of like when married guys start being horrible to their perfectly nice wives all of a sudden, because they want to leave the relationship for someone else. And in order to do that and justify it to themselves, they have to cast the wife in the role of villain (if that makes any sense at all!).

Beholder flowers

Sorry, must go to bed but will be back tomorrow to set up third thread! G'night all!

Most important of all, hang in there PoTs. As has been said many times on this thread, people don't talk about their tortuous times with their teens because of shame, weariness, bewilderment and fear of being misunderstood or judged, but trust me, you are NOT alone!

Retrieversarefluffy Sun 06-Oct-19 22:04:05

I am finding it hard to see my way through it. Whilst everyone I know in real life seems to have lovely teenagers, mine has just told me tonight that she wouldn't care if me or her dad died. Like you Wowzers I wonder why she hates us so much. I don't know how to make things better.

Wowzersindeed Sun 06-Oct-19 21:54:59

I’m a bit of a lurker, too - only posted for the first time the other day, but I read this thread often. There are days when I don’t recognise my two girls, or understand what I’ve done to make them hate me this much. They seem to need to be as hurtful as possible e.g. tonight’s gem; ‘You’re **ing autistic - you’re crap at communicating, so don’t even try’ (I was diagnosed as ‘on the autistic spectrum’ a while back and thought it might be honest/helpful to let my daughters know... I wish I hadn’t!). We are all so flipping miserable at the moment. I do appreciate that it’s not easy being a teenager (I remember it vividly 😞) but I have to admit, there have been days when I just cry and cry because I feel so useless. I read this thread to feel a bit less alone, and a bit more hopeful - the posts from people who have been through it and been kind enough to say that it does get better, eventually, are priceless to me at the moment.

Retrieversarefluffy Sun 06-Oct-19 21:27:11

Long term lurker. Really struggling at mo with 16 year old daughter. She's miserable, we're all miserable. Any way forward we suggest she flatly refuses to even consider. I feel so lost.

Kassy40 Sun 06-Oct-19 20:24:45

Can I join?? I've read the previous posts over the past 3 months which has helped me. Thank you all!

Even though I know I’m not alone, life is hard. I cry most days and it’s effecting my marriage. My 13 year old daughter has just been referred to CAMHS after writing a letter at school about how she feels. She wrote about giving up on life and that no body understands her. What I’m experiencing as her mother is so overwhelming and soul destroying. As in the previous posts someone wrote about little parts of you die - I understand this is me too. I’m finding it hard to be emotional stable with her and everybody around me.
We’re still waiting for help from CAMHS.

MamaBraddaz Sun 06-Oct-19 20:11:52

Hi comrades, this is my Mumsnet cherry getting popped.
I'm 48 and have MS, can't work anymore, on my own as we lost my son's Dad to illness when he was v young. We've always been very close but in last 6 months he's just gone from me. I feel so alone in all the issues mentioned on here, lying, home late, so much scorn when he talks to me. On top of that my Dad has advanced Parkinson's So pleased to have found this forum, think, I'll be on here often!

MamaBraddaz Sun 06-Oct-19 20:02:52

Mumsnet Virgin
Single parent of a 15 yr old boy
What does NOS mean?

sandwiches77 Sun 06-Oct-19 08:47:41

Whoops75 - I know how you feel. Although DD not 18 until next year, she is also stuck at 15,very immature. Tbh, I can't see an end to it... Yep, drama after drama

Dontcallmedarling I have teeny tiny glimmers of light and feeling very much that it won't pass. Spend endless amount of time worrying as no one in RL that I can talk to. Thank you to all that post flowers

DontCallMeDarling Wed 02-Oct-19 19:00:35

My dd2 is getting help and I'm doing a lot of research into future choices for her (as she has a hobby she wants to become her career) so she can understand what is happening now isn't forever. As they say "this too shall pass". There are some glimmers of light which I am grateful for. Breathe and love to all those who like me spend too much time worrying.

Whoops75 Wed 02-Oct-19 09:30:37

My son has gotten so much help and support we’re not seeing results yet!
He’s 18 soon but emotionally he’s stuck at 15. Drama after drama all borne out of his bad decisions.

I’ve bern taking it one day at a time since he was 12, and breathe x

SeaSidePebbles Wed 02-Oct-19 07:23:36

Sorry, fell off the thread for a bit there!
Mine can be really vile, and the latest is she takes herself off to her dad’s for a week at a time. Because daddy leaves her be (ie at the skate park/park/town) for as long as she wants, she can be on her phone the whole night, not wash, not go to school. So last week she only went 2 days. She came back on Sunday with clothes smelling like she’s been homeless all this time.
I said I have nothing against her staying at her dad’s, but the rules are: she needs to eat properly, to wash, to go to school. She laughed in my face: your rules do not apply at my dad’s!!!
I contacted the school letting them know what’s been going on, I heard nothing back.
And breathe!

sandwiches77 Wed 02-Oct-19 06:58:39

Sympathies from me too. My DD can be vile....

Aramox Wed 02-Oct-19 06:43:25

Sympathies from me. Mine loses it every day and says the most revolting things to us. I think (I try to !) it reflects: fear of how others see them, anxiety, the hateful words used on social media, and a frantic or playful attempt to work out who they are. Their horribleness to us and close family comes from this. That said, I try to have consequences for sustained foulness.

mcmen05 Tue 01-Oct-19 19:20:44

@steppemum welcome to the thread
We are all in the same boat on this thread have some kind of trouble with our teenagers.
The more we try to involve ourselves in their life like school or friends the less they want us so I just try to take a step back and count to 10 ( or 1000) to calm down.
I have dd1 16 ( wild child) dd2 14 (angle child for now) and ds 11 bit cheeky an odd time.
Every week my dd1 is up to something either at school or socialising tell lies

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