17 Year Old Still Acting the Same Way (Nothing Has Improved)....She's Stuck Mentally

Modomains - posted on 11/24/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Okay, where do I begin? My 17 year old daughter is stressing me out! I'm a single Mom and had to home school in the 7th grade because she went through a bunch of stuff at middle school. It seemed like she was friends with the bad girls or the girls who weren't very smart (held back a grade). One girl was a habitual thief. Another girl was a trouble maker. The other girls just didn't like my daughter. She then started talking and blurting out in the classroom. I had a meeting with all of her teachers about the fact that she was making F's, not turning in homework, lying, etc. I connected her with her 1/2 brother and 1/2 sister (from her father) and she started texting them about how bad of a mother I was to her (when I wasn't.) This was the first time that I was doing the best as far as stabilizing our lives, I bought her a poodle, we went to Disney, bought her new clothes, she got her own bedroom...not spoiling her but we were living a good quality life which is what we all deserve after going to college, right? Then, she started going into the principals office to get candy but then just kept going until she went into the principals cabinet and stole the entire bag. CPS was called on me during that time by the principal but I don't know exactly why. They had no proof of any wrongdoing but as I look back on it, I think it was mainly to do with my daughter's behavior because she didn't look like she had those issues so it was always a surprise to see her acting like this. She even went to a friend's house that year for halloween to spend the night but they brought her back home the same night because they found her standing up the block on the corner, in the middle of the night on her cellphone for no reason whatsoever. Next, she stole this girls hair flattener iron and then lied about it until I found it.

As a result, because instead of getting support or help by the community, I was getting ripped apart and everyone was pointing the finger at me, I pulled her out of school and started to home school. After CPS gets into your life, you stop trusting everyone. So it was agonizing for me to send her to school and feel that she wouldn't come back home. Her father has never really paid child support and he was jealous that I was living in a gated community. He is the type of father that will put the mother down for always being there but he's never around for anything whatsoever. And come to think of it, he was heavily involved with CPS although he lived in a different town. I had never put his name down on anything so they had no way of contacting him but somehow he was in the thick of things.

So I home schooled. I lost everything and we lived in the worst of conditions. We moved from a gated community in the burbs all the way to the hood with a true slum lord, mice, roaches and the worst smell that a house could smell like.

In the 7th grade, she started running away, not following any rules, we could have a conversation about what's going on in her life and think about strategies where she seemed to get it, but then would go and keep acting and behaving as if we never talked about it. She ran away at least 3 times. She also would just do downright stupid stuff like be at her jazz band club and instead of telling anyone she was leaving or instead of leaving with other kids to go get something eat, she'd take off by herself and even leave her cell phone at the place.
One time she ran away because I told her to get on her homeschool work and she just bolted out of the house wearing a sports bra and bare foot. At this point, we lived in a one bedroom apt that we shared and was starting to get back on our feet but she took off. Instead of coming back home or realizing that I was worried, she stayed out. The police was of no help and so I looked for her from 9 that night until about 6 the next morning and found her dumb@ss near a motel. The police showed up and I was standing outside while she was inside getting questioned. They asked if she was on drugs or if she was meeting someone from the internet. At the time I didn't remember that she bolted out of the house with no shirt on because it happened so fast.
So then I finally saw her and I felt like something inside of me died. She was sitting there behind a desk looking about as silly as she wants to look acting like she was mad and that what she looked like and what she was doing made perfect sense.

As a result of her running off one time, she tore her ACL in the 8th grade and had to have surgery and 9months of rehab in the 10th grade. Keep in mind how it feels that when people ask, "what sport does she play?" I have to answer, "Well we were told that ACL tears are common for girls even when they play the piano like she does."

She has exhibited odd behavior sometimes where we could be driving to an event and the minute she walks into the room, she acts completely different. She acts like she doesn't have any common sense. She will drop to her knees and start picking up things on the floor. If we are at the mall, she once picked up an M&M off the ground and put it in her mouth. Do you know how embarrassing it is and how much of a buzz kill that is to have your 16 year old daughter act like she is mentally disturbed?

She also went into a situation where she started pulling up her dress. Yes, as a 16 year old. We went to our neighbors birthday party at a hotel. And my daughter went to the pool with my neighbor's daughter and their female cousins. When she came back to the room she started talking out loud "Mom, they were on their phones talking to their boyfriends. And I told them that I don't shave my armpits." Okay, the reason she doesn't shave regularly is that she is extremely allergic to nickel which is what razors are made from. Then she slightly pulled up her dress while talking about something and I tried to protect her and whispered "don't pull up your dress" while you are talking. This may sound like an excuse but I feel that she communicates with her hands. So the next thing I know, my neighbor blurted out that the girls were talking about the fact that my daughter was downstairs at the pool and just started pulling up her dress! It was embarrassing to say the least. Now mind you, these teenage girls were half dressed with short shorts on. But mine was pulling up her dress. I know that it was true because over the month before that, she started doing that while we were out walking.

At our last rental home, which was the nastiest that we had ever endured, she started peeing on the floor. Her bedroom smelled like urine. She denied it and blamed it on the cat. But the cat's urine does not smell like human urine and I know it was her because there were times that her underwear were sopping wet. Yes, she was 17 years old doing this.

I finally just bought my first home ever because I did what I had to do to improve my credit and income. And we moved in and she started peeing her pants again. I about lost my mind because I be damned that she starts that nastiness in my home.

She was invited to attend a 4 week, all expense paid, prestigious musical camp this summer. By the 3rd week, she disappeared one morning. They called me and me and my best friend kept trying to call my daughter's phone but no answer. I snuck out of work and went down to the place to find her. Every parent's nightmare is your child being kidnapped or murdered and knowing how she acts, I was concerned that something bad happened to her because the camp was in the downtown area. Considering she wasn't answering her phone was very disturbing. When I arrived, we discovered that she had been in the bathroom for over an hour. That night wehn I picked her up, the security guards had to escort her out like a teacher at a pre-school will do when you pick up your kids. I was furious. We talked about the good and bad of this and she seemed to understand but then two days later, she did something similar where the security guards found her wandering around in a different part of the music arena that was off limits to the camp participants. She had the nerve to say that when she got there, some man offered to put her food in a refrigerator and so she walked over there to get her food when she got caught. It doesn't make sense because she didn't have anything that needed to be refrigerated. They were to the point of kicking her out. She never bonded with any of the kids except for the girl who seemed to be the one who struggled the most. And she didn't even write her own song.
So then this fall, I put her in the community college to give myself a break! She's a senior and like always, I try to come up with ways to encourage her towards success. But I get a call and then a note written on a business card by the Vice President of the college about her behavior in that she was conning the vending machines by saying that her money got stuck and then going to the cafeteria to get money to use in the machines. I also believe she has been stealing food because she was coming home with big bottles of pop, candy bars, and talking about how she bought hamburgers or chick filet sandwiches from the college's food court.

I tried to give her an allowance and she was blowing through $20 which should have lasted a couple of weeks in a day, eating the food she packed to take with her, and still stealing from the vending machines. This is why the Vice Principal was talking to her.

Well, after getting his note, I cracked down. And yes, I exploded! After all of these years of the same crap, I'm fed up! And she's a month from being 18 years old! Her mentality doesn't seem to have improved and as a result, she's not in school and I feel like I am caring for 10 kids when I only have 1! I slapped her because I am over it! I kept her from school for two days that week. I threatened her. I unfortunately exploded verbally. But I thought she would get it.

So then a week later, I went through her bag and found some more candybars and soda. I asked her about them and she had the nerve to say the school gave them away free. Yeah, right! I told her that I didn't care what they were doing that she was grounded from the cafeteria, the vending machine area, and to stay away from the tables where they give things away. (in my mind, I'm thinking, "what school gives away free candy?" This is a community college with mostly working adults, and a sprinkling of home school students. They don't give away free stuff!

So I flipped a gasket again. I gave her the consequence that she will not be going back to the college and that she will not have a Christmas.

Once again, she acted like she understood so I took her on Sunday to the computer lab at school so she could get her work done for a class. I check my bank of america card this morning and find that she spent $15 of my money in a vending machine!

So I took two of her gifts that I had alrady put under the tree, opened them up and I put them on my own feet. I told her that there will not be any Christmas!

I could see her blink like "wow, that's what you got me." But she didn't cry or show any emotion. IN fact, she hides most of her emotions.

What do I do? If you say counseling, I tried that and wanted her to get tested. But the stupid psychiatrists said "So are you having suicidal thoughts?" My daughter wasn't thinking about suicide until this woman said it and then all of a sudden, she started researching suicide!!!!

Also, I know I am scared for people telling me that I did something wrong. I don't drink, don't smoke, don't date, work hard, college educated, homeschooled my daughter, made sure that she had access to everything that she needed...including me....she wanted for nothing as I always took care of her. When I get a manicure, she gets a manicure. When hair needs to be done, she gets hers done first.

The kicker of all of this is that if you just look at her, she doesn't look as if there is something wrong with her. I don't know how much of this is "normal" teenager stuff (given that there's no such thing as normal) and how much is something else.

I'm thankful she's not sleeping around or doing drugs nor drinking. But when a child has police in their life so many times, what's the future going to hold?

She has an opporutnity to go far musically. This summer, she won $15000 in scholarships for various lessons and camps. But she sabatoges it. I don't trust her. I don't feel like I can drop her off at a camp because of her behavior.

Help me please.

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Brittany - posted on 11/25/2014

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I am sorry that you are in this position. I can only imagine your frustration with the situation. I don't have any advice except to find another counselor or psychiatrist to go to. I realize you said the other one you saw didn't help, but there are a lot of other ones out there that can be helpful. I know of a place you can call with free licensed counselors if you are interested, let me know. Have you talked to her primary care doctor to see if anything is going on health wise?

Live, Laugh, and Cantor on

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