I've Become My Mother!
A mom trying to figure it out...
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I'm Boring.... She Definitely Is Not!
Somewhere in the past few months I made myself a victim instead of a loving mother. After several tough years - I decided that I just wanted to give up and throw in the towel. I began counting the days till she turned 18 and thought to myself - I would no longer be responsible for her.... If she can't be nice and respectful - there's the door.... During all these battles - I did not realize that I was responsible as well. I did not realize that when I did things for her throughout her life (so she would not fail) - I did not allow her to feel the victory of accomplishment.... I thought I was protecting her from heartache and disappointment. I helped to create a child.. a teenager... an almost adult who believed that she was self entitled to whatever she wanted... whenever she wanted.... As a parent - I did not teach her how to overcome her failures.. I did not allow her to figure out conclusions... I was right there doing it all - being a "good" parent - not realizing at the time - I was not being "good" for her.... I needed to support her during her challenges.. Not take them away....
I have learned a lot about mental illness in the past two years... I have learned that most therapists don't agree. I have learned that different treatment centers - treat differently. I have learned no one is on the same page... I've heard so many diagnoses that it makes my head spin... I can only imagine how this affects my daughter... Bi-polar - severe anxiety disorder - paranoid - severe depression - post traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder - aspergers's. And the diagnoses keep going on and on and on. Try Abilify so you can get major tremors.... Okay try Lamictal so you can get a life threatening rash... Oops - okay Wellbutrin will work... it's the happy skinny pill - this one brought my kid to the ER on her first suicide attempt - Psych Ward 101. More drugs - high dose Prozac and Abilify - so much that my daughter could not hold a cup without spilling the drink everywhere... Back to ER to take her off the high doses... One psychiatrist would not let go of the Abilify.. Over the summer - more experts came in and Abilify went away and another took it's place... During the day she felt good at night she had major night terrors... Back to the drawing board.. Today - we are at Latuda, Lexipro, and Prazosin.. I heard some noises about possible change to Lithium....
My husband and I are somewhat straight laced boring people.. Our daughter is the polar opposite.. She loves her music - Screamo - Bands with titles like - Five Finger Death Punch.. Bullet For My Valentine - A bunch more that I never heard of.. She loves tattoos and can't wait to get as many as she can... She loves punk hair - shaved - blue - purple.. doesn't matter as long as it's different. She finds death interesting.. The occult interesting.. She is mad at God.. She afraid of the future.. She doesn't know where she belongs.. She doesn't want to be alive.. but she doesn't want to be dead... She wants to feel but then will take pills to not feel... She says she hates me but then comforts me when I break down....
We have started a newer treatment center a few weeks ago.. I have seen better results in some ways. The last center did not promote the clients to talk outside of group.. The leaders did not manage the kids and my girl would run away - one time it was so bad that she climbed to the top of their 4 story building planning to jump.. Which led to her 3rd time at the Psych hospital.. This of course was after several months of residential treatment and Outdoor therapeutic Camp... I'm going off topic. We are now at a newer treatment center. There is a lot going on - a lot required... Our daughter goes Monday - Friday - noon to 5. Then on Tuesday night there are meetings for the kids and the parents separately. Thursday night 6-9:30 PM is family group and on top of this - the kids have to go to three 12 step meetings a week and the parents as well to Al-Anon... This center encourages the kids to mingle. It encourages them to go to AA/NA meetings together.. They have sleepovers as longs as the therapist approves and there are no "newbies" together but long time recovery mentors and newbies.... My kid now has a sponsor she speaks with nightly... She has walked to two 12 step meeting on her own....
I have learned that I am not alone as a parent of a challenging kid... I have learned that I need to stop making her decisions for her... I have to have strong boundaries and expectations. I have learned it's okay if she has to sleep outside in a tent because she stole money and used... (No, I have not done this and hope not to) but I have that option. I don't have to be the victim... I choose to lose that role I have given myself.... I have realized that although I'm ultra conservative and boring - my kid is not.... I have learned that if she wants to shave her head so be it... If it makes her happy then I am happy... I need to let go of what others think and let me just accept and love the true gifts that my daughter does bring.... As I write this post - she has been happy and non-confrontational for two (2) days.. that's good.. This is a streak that I would love to continue...
Last night - She took a couple of "selfies" with my cell phone and posted them to my Facebook. At first I'm like Oh MY GOD.... When she posted the pictures - she said "Isn't my daughter beautiful?" In my mind - I'm thinking of course she is beautiful... but what would others think.. She thought it was a joke until over 30 likes and comments agreed that YES - she is beautiful... YES she's not boring and conservative like me.. But she's Nikki and she is Beautiful and most definitely NOT Boring!
Posted by Kelly L at 11:14 AM No comments:
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
A Fist Full Of Sleeping Pills and A Bottle of Benadryl
"You won't have to worry about me soon enough." cryptic words uttered by my eldest Sunday morning... Soon after several notebook pages were left face up in the trash - obviously left there for our inspection.... This is what we found....
6 pages with the word DEATH -
2 pages Death is Happiness
6 pages Death a thing to Beauty
My Second Chance
A Thing of Beauty
This is my second chance
Not a plea for attention
only a cry for mercy
on this wretched soul
One way to find out
of leaving your body
A Doorway to
The other side
Heaven won't have me
and Hell is full
I think I've fount it
I just have to shake hands with
Monday was a good day for my eldest - she had fun with friends at school... She came home and watched an episode of one of her favorite shows... Consumed one of her favorite dinners... Went to her karate class and enjoyed herself.... Went out for a yogurt after class... All in all a good day... So I was surprised when she asked to speak with me privately...
My eldest walked into my room with a fist full of sleeping pills that she stole from me - about 20 pills and a full bottle of Benadryl pills.. She advised me that she planned on taking the pills after school today but decided against it. She said that she wanted to sleep forever but did not want to know what comes after death.... I did not know what to say - this was not our first thoughts of suicide dance... The next day I called her counselor - who was very concerned - he had recently lost a patient to suicide.. In my heart of hearts I did not and still do not believe my kid had any intention of killing herself... I believe that she takes things to the highest level not taking into consideration the ramifications of her words and/or actions...
I may have believed she wanted to die if she wasn't constantly laughing at TV shows... or if she wasn't constantly eating crap... or if her reasons for death didn't change every two minutes... One minute it's because she's sad and wants to leave this Earth... The next minute she just wants to know what it feels like... Her and her friends genre is death - it's a popular way of life/liking... I have several friends that like the dark side - it interests them - it doesn't mean that they want to die.... My kid's immaturity can't find a filter on how far to take things.... so she goes too far...
After the counselor spoke with my daughter - he believed she most likely was being dramatic for attention - but to be on the safe side he called a Centralized Assessment Team (CAT) to assess the situation. My husband spoke with the team and after a very detailed discussion they too believed that my kid was not at risk due to her current behavior - the lack of consistency and many other things...
For most of this entire year - I have felt like my daughter's mental illness was my fault.. Some how I did a really crappy job raising her... I must have done something so horrendous... She wasn't getting better... She acted out whenever she did not get her way or she was caught in the act of something wrong... I think the biggest eye opener for me was last May when she was put on restriction - so she went up to her room and found a razor blade and cut about 20 shallow cuts into her arm - deep enough to make blood run down her arms and then she came downstairs to get something to eat out of the kitchen - with the full intent of showing me what "I" made her do.... She knows now that her cutting doesn't "get to me" any longer so she stopped... Now it's the talk of death.... If she doesn't get what she wants or gets caught doing something wrong (ie: stealing) - she talks about death and implies that she will take her life....
There are many reasons I have been writing about my experience in this blog - I realized that I can't be the only mother going through this and from the responses I have received from many of my readers - I know that I am not alone. I have read some very wonderful emails and comments from other parents who have gone thru the same thing and now their kid's life is good.... It doesn't have to end badly.. I also use this blog as my outlet... Because honestly at this point in this journey - I am exhausted... I have to let it out somehow and it's better here in writing then going bonkers at my family...
If you are a prayer warrior - Please pray for my kid... thanks
Posted by Kelly L at 10:52 AM 3 comments:
Labels: bipolar, depression, teen suicide
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The Chocolate Cake Lunatic
If the average stranger looked at my family - my home - our life style they would most likely think that we have a great life. We are one of the lucky ones..... I would have agreed a little over a year ago but today - No, I would say looks can be deceiving... On the outside - I have a beautiful home.... I have two beautiful daughters... I have a respected and successful husband and a great dog and cat.... But this is only the surface.... This is only a beautiful book cover to a family wrecked by death, mental illness, sickness, martial struggles, and loss of hope at times.....
As a mother - wife - sister - daughter - follower of Christ - I have completely and utterly lost my way... I no longer believe that I can make things better - I don't believe that I can "fix" it! I have a very hard time believing that God is even paying attention to me.... my family... It's seems to me that all I have been getting is more bad news on top of more bad news.... Last week I was told that I have to let go and let God take control of my daughter who suffers from bi-polar and has succeeded in creating a constant battle ground at our home..... The lies - the stealing - the constant tempers - the intense hatred of a father that loves her. Our entire family walks on eggshells to avoid her wrath.... I keep this mantra going in my mind that she will be 18 soon and she can go.... But in reality could I just abandon my daughter? Could I really set her on her own with nothing to fall back on?
I sound like a broken recording - this is something I say so so often... "All I want from you is for you to do your best, love your family, be kind, and show respect. - that's all that you need to do to stay home and we will pay for your education and all this is needed to succeed.... Continue to steal from us - scream at us - destroy our home - There won't be a choice - You will leave." My daughter's therapist advised me that my kid does know what I expect.... She knows... So I can stop saying my little spiel and just let her live her life.... Praise her when she does good and briefly acknowledge the bad behavior and move on.... don't grab onto it and run it into the ground.... I'm Irish and that's a very difficult thing for me not to do.... but in all honestly I've been trying - and sometimes I fail..
I most definitely failed when I tossed her new baked chocolate cake into the sink after I watched her continually lick her fingers and smooth the frosting - all over the friggin cake!!! I was gagging..... No flipping way was anyone eating that drool infected cake... I asked her to stop putting her licked fingers in the cake and she denied she was doing it and freaked out on me - at that moment I wished I had a camera - the atomic bomb went off on me so I proceeded to toss the cake.... I digressed into a cake drowning in the sink lunatic....there is only so much drool a person can watch landing on a cake before enough enough!
Lately my youngest daughter has been depressed... With so much attention going towards #1 daughter I can understand... I like to think that #2 and I spend a lot of quality time together.. She is my snuggle bunny and I adore her... Don't get me wrong she is a 15 year old girl and with that comes the typical 15 year old obstacles but over the most part - she is my best friend.. Sometimes I feel that she and I have been in the trenches together this past year... I believe this year has been very tough on her - she lost her best friend/sister to a mental illness that she cannot control.... There was a time when those two girls were each others confident.. protector... This is no longer true.... When my oldest came back from Wilderness Camp in September of this year- the girls hugged and kissed and cried... So thankful to be together again... Many promises were made.... Within a month those hopes and dreams disappeared like so many other promises....
My husband's dad Darrell is dying.... Last January he was given 6-9 months to live if he underwent chemotherapy - which he did - now we are in November and cancer has definitely showed up.. I am thankful that from January to beginning of October Darrell was doing great! He went clamming with his sons and beautiful wife... He played cards with friends - Made some great meals and had a great appetite. The chemo is over - the radiation battered his body and today he is doing the best he can to stay positive and optimistic.. Not only is this really hard on my husband Dusty - it's terrifying for both my girls... Their "poppa" has been a huge part of their life and see this strong happy joyful man decline before their eyes - it's definitely a reason for depression and sadness...
I'm not sure what is next... I know we have to ride out this storm and hope for the best.... I know that I have to support my oldest and help her if she will let me but not push it and hope and pray that she will realize that I am on her side... I want my baby to lose this depression and to not be overwhelmed and know that she is so important and loved and valued... I need to pay attention to my words and actions much better..... I need to be strong for him in the coming days.... I need a break..... I need God but wonder how to find Him again......
I Need to stop Worrying and just let it Go!
Posted by Kelly L at 9:36 AM 2 comments:
Monday, September 30, 2013
They Will Become Human at 25? Are You Sure??
A while back there was a cruise commercial where this family was having a great time... However, their teenage daughter did not want to admit to this great time so whenever the parents attempted to take a picture the daughter would frown and snarl.... until the fun was too much and they finally caught their teen smiling.... This commercial I believe represents many homes that have teenage girls (possibly boys)...
I have heard many parents complain about their teenage child's moods.. I have heard many times that the teen will become human again around the age 25 and all will be great... From this side - it's very hard to imagine.....
Posted by Kelly L at 11:07 AM 3 comments:
Friday, September 27, 2013
I Can Say 'No" and The World Won't Stop Revolving!
I took it upon myself to make sure that they didn't miss a thing... By accommodating to their every mishap - I prevented them from growing up responsible..... I prevented them from feeling the sense of accomplishment. I was too busy following up behind them to make sure nothing was forgotten - homework was done - they studied for their test - they brushed their teeth. ... The list is endless....
When our oldest was in the Wilderness Camp - she was expected to take care of herself. She learned to be self reliant and if she didn't do what she was suppose to do - she paid the consequence. A great example she told me was this... One night they were setting up camp - the counselors advised that there was a chance that it might rain that night and to be sure to use their rain tarp.... Well, my kid was just too tired and thought the counselors were being overly cautious.... She did not roll out the rain tarp because it was too much work and she just hiked 5 miles. At 3:00 in the morning the flood gates of Heaven opened up and she was soaked to the bone. She had to get up - get the rain tarp and gear and cover herself in the poring rain. The result was her sleeping bag, clothes, and other belongings got drenched. If she had prepared for the rain she would have slept through the night warm - dry - and toasty.... Having learned this lesson - I'm pretty sure it would not happen again..
It seems to me that I learned a lot during the several weeks my girl was away... By helping her too much - I didn't give her the chance to screw up and then learn from it... I am trying really hard to review what is a need and what is a want... I have discovered that a "want" is not a "need" many times... And giving into the "want" may be not be the right thing to do - because they just may need me to say No...
Posted by Kelly L at 11:36 AM 2 comments:
Labels: parenting, say no, Wilderness Camp
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