2 years of hell

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Casual scribe

2 years of hell

Our daughter has diagnoses of general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, ocd and depression. This has all been brought on by 8 years of bullying. She has always been different we call her unique but she has never been into clothes, make up boys and has a very sciencey mind. She has a collection of over 400 animal skulls and has been on springwatch. Recently she has been into trail cameras and watching deer and wildlife. She wants a career in conservation. This has not been met by other kids as normal and she is bullied because of her passion for nature. She has been off school for nearly 2 years because of all this. She is under camhs and a psychiatrist and is on 3 lots of drugs. We as parents are struggling with all of this and try to get things right but obviously we aren't perfect! I'm. a disabled mum with Psoriatic and osteo arthritis and fibromyalgia plus other things. My husband is my carer. This situation of us being all at home is like living in a vacuum. I feel desperate at times and just cry over every little thing. She has talked about the very terrifying s word and feels like it would be the best thing at times. We are working towards her going to college in September but I'm not convinced at the moment that this will happen. I'm sorry for the ramble but I do need help at times.
Frequent scribe

Re: 2 years of hell

Your daughter sounds like she has a beautiful caring soul. It also sounds like she knows what she would like to do career wise, not many people do.

I think its wonderful that she is into conservation. With out people like your daughter alot more animals would be extinct.
Such a shame other kids do not see the value of her interests.

My daughter loves dogs and wants to help as many of them as she can. Unfortunately like your daughter she was bullied, this lead to her dropping out of school. We managed to get to complete a program that tafe offered called g.a.t.e. i can't remember what it stands for but through the course ahe was able to apply to do a certificate 2 in animal studies. Unfortunately due to the anxiety and mutism brought on by the bullying she wasn't able to complete the course as she couldn't cope with being team leader and' ordering people around'(giving them jobs to do, talking to a group of people ) and dealing with the owners of the dogs that came into the doggy daycare that was being run as part of the training. For us it wasn't so much if she passed or failed but the social side of it. Iur daughter is 19 this year and has no friends her own age, never leaves the house unless it is with a family member. We tried cahms and headspace but all we got was a script for pills and told that we have a great family with lots of support. She now refuses to take her pills or see her doctor i keep encouraging her to try differant things ( no luck yet)

I hope one day your daughter achieves her dream of working in conservation.

There is nothing wrong with having a good cry. I do it when i become fustrated because of feeling as if there is no where left to turn as if i am constantly banging my head against the wall no matter how many different things we try.

Are there any wildlife rescue centres close by where maybe she could volunteer and gain different skills/ experiences? Maybe she would see there are like minded people about. Our daughter is even refusing to volunteer at an dog shelter at the moment as it means talking to people that she isn't comfortable with ( i keep pushing the idea and encouraging every little interest she has in the hopes something will 'click' with her)
Mod

Re: 2 years of hell

Hey there @Alfiepup_17- as with @Alaya your Daughter sounds incredibly intelligent and gifted, and most definitely will be a great asset to the world with her interests and skills. Sometimes as a young person we just don't fit in within the context of our environment, i.e. High School where sports/looks etc is more the focus. Do you think there's a chance at college, when she pursues interests with like minds, that things will turn around for her a bit? I know you mentioned she has OCD and GAD which is incredibly hard but no doubt her current environment with the bullying peers is fuelling those symptoms.

This must be very challenging for you and your husband, would the three of you consider family therapy as well? We're here to listen as you need Heart I am hearing you have a lot of love for your daughter, this is so beautiful. We are an Australian site (I am assuming by the mention of College you are in the USA or Canada?) so I cannot provide you referrals for her suicidal ideation but there may be 24/7 helplines available to you depending on your state. Heart

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Mod

Re: 2 years of hell

Hey @Alfiepup_17-, it sounds like there is a lot of care for your daughter. I can tell that you are doing the best job that you can given everything that you have going on for you. It must be really difficult to manage everything but it is great that you have some goals ahead. You are right in saying that you need help too and this is important to remember. How do you deal with everything that is going on as it sounds like it can be quite distressing?

 

Just going to tag some other members here for support, @sunflowermom @hippychick @softballmum  @taokat@Orbit64

Star contributor

Re: 2 years of hell

Hi Alfie,
I feel for you and your family. My heart goes out to you. It so frightening when our kids talk about suicide. Sometimes you don't know where to turn. I totally agree with Alaya, you need a good cry and you must take care of yourself mentally in order to be there for your daughter. I have found books and therapy helpful for myself. I also agree with Alaya that maybe a wildlife rescue can be great for your daughter to get out into the world. My 15 yr old daughter has anxiety, depression PTSD and now diagnosed Boarderline Personality. She had not been to school this year due to this, also lots of meds. She just started fostering kittens for the local shelter. It has been huge in a mood boost for her. Gives her a reason to get out of bed. Hugs and good thoughts to You! Glad you found us!
Contributor

Re: 2 years of hell

Firstly, apologies everyone for not contributing online for so long and I do hope everyone is going ok with their individual situations.

 

The last few months have been a rollercoaster for my son and self. There have been slight improvements however they are merely baby steps. My son has commenced a new mainstream school and although its early days, states he likes it. That is actually a  positive as he wasn't going to school at all at one stage.

 

The main problem I have is coping with his behaviours at home which all seem to be triggered by his extreme anxiety. He lashes out at me swearing and yelling really loud and I find this really stressful. Its been ongoing and medication helps his behaviours only a little. He is currently on a waiting list to see another psychologist and sees a psychiatrist for his medication.

 

I have come to realise that my son might always have this debilitating anxiety and so I've now accepted and surrended to his condition and am able to talk about it more openly to a select few. This is another positive as I kept his condition to myself for so long. What I was wondering was whether any other person out there has any techniques that they could recommend to assist with screaming and swearing and unreasonable demands put on them by their teenager?

 

My current ways of dealing with these behaviours as a solo parent (and the best I have found so far) is to have total compassion for my son and realise that he is truly suffering to say and do all these dreadful things...all directed at myself, the person who loves him above all others. I no longer yell back and I try and transform my own anger into compassion. Although it is against my parenting beliefs to NOT put consequences in place, this (in the past) has always added fire to the situation. So instead of getting angry for my son for getting his own way, I don't say or do anything when he becomes angry and has his outbursts. This seems to work the best and my son settles down a lot quicker than if I were to retaliate. 

 

But if anyone else has any suggestions, that would be great.

 

I do totally empathise with the "2 years of hell" post however, please know that a lot of us are going through similar (although different) situations and this forum is a wonderful opportunity to connect with others. I am very grateful.

 

Thank you.

Star contributor

Re: 2 years of hell

Hi @Sister

I'm sorry you are going through such a struggle with your son and his anger outbursts.  I understand what you mean how it feels going against your parenting not to give consequences.  I think you are doing the right thing by not engaging or fighting back.  I struggle with my daughter in the same way but hers is mostly hysterical crying spells that last for hours.  I just don't know what to do for her and I don't know how to "fix" her.  My heart breaks and its so hard not to take it personal when she lashes out. In some ways I see progress, less self harm, and a little more social interaction but like you they feel like baby steps.  I have been grieving a lot lately realizing this may be long term or perhaps life long.  Its definitely not what I envisioned for her future.  And its certainly sucking the life out of our family emotionally.

Sister, Can you and your son agree on a game plan for what to do if he has an outburst.  Like- can he be alone so he doesn't lash out at you so bad?  I'm trying to come up with a plan for when my daughter has her episodes. Like get her to a safe place, give her some meds and her dog tell her I am here but I am going to be in the other room if she needs me.

You are so right- we may have different stories but we are all sort of in the same place with the same broken hearts and pain.  Hugs.

Mod

Re: 2 years of hell

Hey everyone, glad to see some helpful support and suggestions here. No need to apologise @Sister, thanks for coming on. I agree with @sunflowermom, it might be useful to ask him what he will find most helpful in that situation. I think it really is important to not take it personally as you have both mentioned, as it is about what they are going through and most likely has nothing to do with you.

Sometimes baby steps is all we can ask for as progress can be slow. It could be worth appreciating this with your children by acknowledging the progress they have made so far. It sounds like you are all doing your best and an amazing job at that.
Contributor

Re: 2 years of hell

Thank you @sunflowermom and @Taylor-RO for your support and suggestions regarding managing my sons behaviours. I will try finding an appropriate time again to talk with my son about what works best for him although at this stage I feel not giving the negative behaviours any obvious attention seems to work best for us both.

 

Safety of course is paramount and if his outbursts get too bad I just need to leave the house. An awful way to live! Prevention however is important too and I have really been working hard on my own reactions and responses to his behaviours by not retaliating and like you mentioned @Taylor-RO, not taking his attacks personally. This is a real test because I find being sworn at and spoken to really disrespectively very demeaning.

However, I don't lose hope that one day my son shall realise his disrespect and develop into the beautiful soul I know he is capable of being.

 

Due to his extreme anxiety (for whatever the reasons and there are probably several) I know in my heart he doesn't mean these dreadful things so if I continue to stay calm, not take his words personally and not lose sight of compassion, love and understanding then things shall improve. This is all unconditional of course and I need to give myself breaks along the way because I am also learning all about self care which is so important for all of us particularly when living in these situations.

 

I have just done a lovely walk in the sunshine and am giving myself some "time out" by being on this forum. Nurturing myself by finding enjoyment in the simple things in life. Nature, writing and reading are gifts to myself. Also talking to select others over a cup of coffee/tea about my sons behaviours when they occur. These are basic things but for me they work. If I am calm and happy, hopefully one day my son shall be too! This is the plan.

 

@sunflowermom....what you are going through with your daughters behaviours takes patience, love and compassion too. But please give yourself some time out and pampering. You deserve the gift of self kindness and nurturing. Listening to your daughter screaming can be really hard to deal with as you know. What about putting some head phones on and listening to some relaxation music when she begins screaming? That way you are still on the peripherary but not giving the behaviour undue attention. Possibly your daughter could try this technique too although she may have done already.

 

Look after yourself @sunflowermom as I shall be too.