06-03-2021 08:28 PM - last edited on 06-07-2021 12:23 PM by Janine-RO
So after a very long roller-coaster marriage full of ups and downs, with a man who has narcissistic traits, liked to control the household, had been verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusing my children (son now 15 1/2 and daughter 14) and myself, I finally left the marriage.
We have been through hell and back and we are now living at my parents house with very little space and struggling while while my ex is living in our beautiful 5 bedroom house with our dog.
It's a real crappy situation and I am really mad at him. I miss my home and my dog but not him.
For a couple of years my daughter has progressively become quite defiant and challenging and now that we have left (not quite left, he threw us out), I am dealing with her escalated behaviour. She does not listen to a single word I say, doesn't have any respect for my rules, refuses to help around the house and is extremely mean and rude to me and her brother. We have to share a bedroom, she hates the living arrangements and constantly wants to be out with her friends, even on school nights which I don't allow, but she goes anyway and if she doesn't go, she throws a full on tantrum. I'm at my wits end with her and just don't know what to do. We constantly argue and I try really had to stay calm but she pushes me so hard and so often, I ended up yelling. I have a lot of stress already and she just makes my life a living nightmare on top of my stress. She shows no empathy and I worry so much for her. I constantly try to talk to her but she has no interest in talking to me and dismisses me, unless she wants something, then she's super nice. She is totally addicted to her phone and it's glued to it 24hrs a day. When I try to confiscate it, she actually gets physical with me and refuses to give it to me.
She sees the school counsellor, she's booked in to see a psychologist next month which has been an ordeal, as everyone is booked out long term.
I'm really worried for her and our relationship. I never dreamt I would have this type of relationship with my daughter and it breaks my heart. I dont want to lose her and spend lots of my time crying cause I feel like I'm stuck in a rutt and feel all alone.
If anyone has any advice or has been through a similar situation, I would greatly appreciate it.
06-03-2021 10:51 PM
Hi @Mama-S, thank you so much for sharing. It sounds as though your marriage with your husband was very challenging and abusive for you and your children. It must have been really difficult for you to make that decision to leave. I can really empathise with the significant impact that this would have had on your family.
Your daughter is entering teenagehood which can be a very difficult time for families to navigate. There could be a lot under the surface that is going on, especially with the departure of her dad. This unfortunately leaves you as the only disciplinary figure in her life which can impact your relationship. What is her relationship like with your parents? It is also really great to hear that she has got some support lined up - hopefully she is able to work through some of what is going on to address her behaviour at home.
I can really hear that your relationship with your daughter is having a significant impact on you. I am sorry that you are feeling so lost, alone and devastated. Honestly, I take my hat off to you because being a single mum is no walk in the park. I am wondering if you have thought of talking to a psychologist yourself? You could use this as a space to talk about strategies for managing your daughter's behaviour or your own stress. If you are looking for support, there is a service called Parent Line which is a telephone line for parents to get professional counselling. There is also Parents Beyond Breakup which is a support service for parents experiencing trauma related to family breakdown and separation.
Just so you know, I have sent you through an email
06-07-2021 02:36 AM
06-07-2021 04:18 PM
Hi @charliebear ,
It's so lovely to have you on the forums, welcome! Really appreciate your generosity in sharing your experiences, it can help so much for other parents to know they're not alone. I'm also a mum, and like you I find online communities really helpful, especially if they're non-judgmental, safe spaces.
I've found in my 12 years as a parent that you can often have judgment on basically every decision you make as a parent, and sometimes that can be so unhelpful! Especially when you may just want to feel like someone is listening, and hearing you- holding space for people to share their story is such a powerful thing to do.
I'd love to hear how you were able to let go of your anger? I was also a sole parent for many years, and I experienced such a huge range of emotions... but ultimately, I found that pure anger could become toxic. I needed to feel whatever emotion I was feeling, sit with those feelings, and then ultimately move on. It's a hard thing to do sometimes though, isn't it. I'm so glad that you found reaching out to other people who've walked similar paths to be helpful and we are glad you've found our community here
This quote has always resonated with me. We're not supposed to parent in isolation, and sometimes our "village" can be online.
06-08-2021 08:33 AM
06-08-2021 04:48 PM
This is such an incredibly rough situation you and your family are in and I am really feeling for you and how tough this is. It is understandable to cry and feel upset about everything that is going on and to feel worried often, but I assure you that you are not alone
That is very frustrating that the wait times are so long to see a psychologist, good on you for booking in to see one, I understand it must feel like a long wait to be trudging through in the meantime. It could be worth suggesting to your daughter that she have a look at our youth forum? Similar to this parent forum, we also run a moderated mental health forum for young people to connect with each other and give peer support. Another option for the meantime for her could be some online support services like eheadspace or kidshelpline - these are both supports she can access autonomously online.
Has she spoken to you before about self-harming? Let us know if you want to talk more about this, we have some great content on self-harm as well if you want to check it out.
I hope your headache went away and that you felt better as your day went on! Here for you @Mama-S
06-11-2021 10:02 AM
I have experienced all of this with my daughter . I'm so glad you have been able to share this here because we need to be able to unload. I can tell you about our experience with this if its helps. Since lockdown 2020 our daughter has not attended school, been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and is now on a mild anti-depressant. Also taking melatonin at night to help with sleep. She has a psychiatrist but we don't see him all that often. She has days of dark depressive episodes and has self harmed. She has run away but luckily we have always been able to find her and it is never for more than an hour at most.
The one thing we do constantly is tell her how much we love her. How our lives would be bereft without her. At first we were just angry and frustrated but after realising how serious the problem was we began to listen to her more And let her stay in bed. And praise her for small steps. Her shool has also been very supportive. She has no friends because she is not at school and she has trust issues from being bullied. But the one constant she knows she has is us. Read as much as you can about teenage mental health and also remember that you are not alone. Although I know it feels like it. Is your work aware and helpful? Mine was when I worked - they were very understanding when I had to suddenly leave because of a crisis. Some workplaces offer counselling to their employees so maybe see if this is an option for you. I feel your pain and your sadness. You are doing everything you can so please don't be too hard on yourself. It's easy to blame ourselves but think of all the people who tell you not to when you do. I have to remind myself of that too! Sometimes even writing about it helps. And in fact, I keep a diary of my daughter's days so we can see a pattern or share particular episodes with her psychiatrist if necessary. I also record the steps forward and the small wins. My best wishes to you.
06-11-2021 11:16 PM
Hey @Hopesprings123, they sound like really important tips which a lot of other parents may not know about. It is definitely important to make sure your child feels validated and heard when they are feeling low and it sounds like you are doing exactly that! I love how you encourage her to take small steps and have replaced frustration with kindness and love. I know it can be easier said than done when you are feeling fed up and exhausted, so it was really heart warming to read that. Also really glad to hear that you had the support of your school and workplace. It can make a world of difference. Thanks again for sharing It is posts like yours that really make parents feel less alone!
06-12-2021 10:16 AM