Troubled teen daughter

Laurice - posted on 12/10/2015 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hi. I'm a mom at her wits end. I have 6 children and 4 step children....all of whom have lived with us except my husbands youngest who lives with her mom. But we are down To the three youngest still at home. My youngest 2 are adopted from Ethiopia. They were 3 and 6. The adopted daughter who was 6 when we got her was a fairly easy kid. Super happy, beautiful, friendly and athletic. But since she hit puberty, it's been a NIGHTMARE. She is 14 now,and picks trouble-maker friends, has been caught ditching school, smoking, with boys, has run away several times, steels iPods and phones so she can text boyfriends, etc. When she is caught or brought back by police she always says she is neglected or abused or not loved and wants to kill herself. We and her therapist don't believe she's suicidal but rather compulsive and manipulative. Although...she does carry emotional demons from being abandoned. Her recent stunt was taking ecstasy that she got from friends at school and overdosing. I found her in an incoherent very scary state and she was taken by ambulance to a hospital due to her rapid heart rate and dilated eyes. She then had a seizure and was incoherent for 2 days. She is now fine medically...thank God! But...tells the psychologist she will try to kill herself if she goes home. We are going to put her in a residential treatment facility for girls. I have such a myriad of emotions. I was obviously panic stricken and sad. But now I'm mostly ANGRY! How could she be so selfish and ungrateful?! She is loved by so many and well taken care of, has been in soccer, basketball, choir, etc., and is completely affecting the whole family because she seems to feel picked on. What's weird is, she is happy at home, laughs and messes around, goes to Zumba with me, tells me about her day, but had this alternate life...where she is a thug. When she is caught, she turns it all around on US. She has even said "I don't love any of you. I just say it cuz it's what you want to hear". Then I feel guilty for being angry, and resentful. My time and energy is spread so thin between work and church duties, and kids and their activities, and my husband works out of the state a lot. And I'm always dealing with drama caused by her. Some days I want to just quit. Not get out of bed. I am always stressed to the max and forget things easily. And now...to top it all off the medical bills are gonna kill us!!! And then there's the shame of "my daughter overdosed". It's not the same as some other medical emergency. It has a stigma and rumors fly. Anyway....I'm just hoping to find some support here. I don't have many I want to talk to about this. :-(((

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Raye - posted on 12/11/2015

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If she's threatening suicide, and has OD'd once already (even accidentally), then she really needs professional help. The residential treatment might be the thing to help her. And sometimes distance can help put things into perspective. Just keep showing her that you believe in her and you love her, as much as you can. It is hard when they don't know all the sacrifices you make for them, and are ungrateful. You have to take comfort that you're doing the best you can, and she may realize it when she's older.

Laurice - posted on 12/11/2015

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Thank you. Yes...I realize her need for love. I have told her almost those exact words many times. That's part of why I'm struggling with the residential treatment idea. She will be away from her family and thus it will be harder to show her love and build relationships for a while. And...I don't take my anger out on the kids. But I am sort of distant because of the stress and busy-ness! Which I hate.

Raye - posted on 12/11/2015

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The more she fights you, the more she needs love. Love still means discipline, but also she needs emotional and physical love. Hug her. Keep telling her you love her. After the OD and all the other bad behavior, hug her and tell her you will love her no matter what. Tell her you really don't like how she's treating you. Tell her you don't like the choices she makes. But her... the person behind all that... you will always love. You adopted her because you wanted her, no matter what else had happened; no matter that someone else wasn't able to give that to her. You want her and you love her.

Again, she still needs discipline and that is a form of love too. It's teaching her the realities of the world... the bigger picture that most kids her age can't see. You are strong enough. It's ok to be angry, but don't take it out on the kids. Find productive ways to reduce your anger and stress.

Laurice - posted on 12/10/2015

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Thank you. Yes it is. But honestly, I feel she IS my own. I truly don't see her as any different. But her attachment issues I believe prevent her from FEELING and accepting the love we show her.

Aron - posted on 12/10/2015

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I am praying for you and your family. I wish I had some better advice but my oldest step daughter is 11 and just showing the beginning signs of puberty. It's so hard to raise kids that aren't your own.

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