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Old 11-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default advice for next step?

Hi folks,

I am really having troubles here at home with my teen - 13 1/2. She has been acting crazy...lot of rage, extreme blame. I have been working hard at staying cool...so I can see what I am bringing to the mix. Overall I've been doing a pretty good job. (can't say its always the case).

She used to be THE most rational, articulate person I've ever met...almost. Amazing, straightforward mind. Now, the lies she tries to pass off are - outrageous, pathetic, desperate (trying to pass off hw from day before so she could go online...she knew I had just looked at the previous homework 3 hours previous).

She used to be very focused...now could not sit still to do her hw...so distracted...for hours. Then she went into a rage I wouldn't let her online...I'm so controlling (normal), but then went to "I'm not going to do anything until you let me!" - was unusual...she slammed into her bedroom and when I went to say its lights out time...she was sitting there in a mutinous rage. She should know by now that won't get my goat...SHE has the hw goals... SHE wanted the advanced math class...she is only sabatoging herself.

She is blowing up like this almost every day.

The natural solution is a great psychologist. But she is so closed down...its not like I'm not willing to force it...its just that twice I have forced her to continue seeing two professionals...months past any helping point...and now she is rageful, disdainful, completely disrespectful of any psychologist. She threatens if I force her she will refuse to speak - because she has been forced - age old issues. (I suspect sometimes she has oppositional defiant disorder, plus some really bad luck with all the custody orders)

On and on...

We have an interview today with the custody evaluator!!! First appt she has with him...I will hang out a little so he can see our interaction (oh great), and then interview her solo, primarily about her dad but general interview.

Folks, I am tempted to go ahead and email him ( his request for additional concerns or any information not in our interview)...I already know he won't be psycho. testing her...thats not in his role (and he is $300 hour) but he is in the field...his other job is doing clinical psych. at Kaiser with families and teens. My thought was put it out there are some behaviors I am concerned...can he include in his recommendation a referral for assesment...perhaps someone not as expensive for this...and include it, or not...in the custody evaluation.

I am holding off. Perhaps I should talk with my attorney, def. my sponser, a great close friend very intune with both of us...get their feedback.

What would you guys do?

---------- Post added at 10:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:46 AM ----------

Another idea I had, without doing a lot of research yet...is to propose to dad that we pay out of pocket for insurance for her to go to Kaiser. The only reason being I know they have intensive programs for teens, families, etc.

It would be expensive (at least $400 a month), which I truly cannot afford...but if somehow when we are back in court...if I could get this evaluator to agree, and recommend it, perhaps we could delete most of the coparent counseling....in child support court...delete the over $1200 a month taken out of child support so dad is paying for reunification counseling, coparent counseling, sup visits, his own psychologist. Most of these things haven't even been happening for at least many months anyway...that money (which he claims to not have)...could be going for direct family/teen treatment.

Just an idea...daughter will revolt against any court ordered therapy for herself...there is no way around that one...but it will be a tiny easier to at least force her to show up via a court order...also, maybe she needs medication (although trust me, not my first choice).
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: advice for next step?

I'm not sure why no one replied. Is my post too long, too much? Anyone think I'm just nuts? I'd really like to know.

A series of events has happened since last time I posted. I am realizing I need to bring these parenting - teenager acting out - difficulties to the custody evaluator. It just keeps going on.

Any suggestions...basically I want her assessed for a possible learning disability or mental illness. I am hoping somewhere during this eval - as that is not specifically part of the court ordered evaluation...that I can get dad/ex to agree to incorporate this in...even if its a referral out to another psychologist for testing...so that can be included in the cust. eval results. To NOT do so...I am anticipating excess litigation after this eval has his formal recommendations out - could be suprised...but potentials more months of daughter living in ****. Every book I am reading, and some folks am talking to...IF she needs help, she needs help NOW...can save a lot of trauma.

I've been afraid to address these issues for obvious reasons...fears...cost, ex will totally vilify me as a parent, etc. But thats neglect of my kid.

Its scary though...this whole pic of daughter doing better with me has become a lie. She did do better - a LOT better the first year or so in my full custody...now she is seriously backsliding. Could be 'normal' teenage stuff, but I am concerned so so much for looking like the functional family...need to let that one go.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: advice for next step?

Hey Meg...so sorry you're going through so much anguish! I wish I knew what to say to give you some direction and some soothing too in all this but I son't know what to say. I'm soooo tired from being back to work and all the driving and single parenting and taking flack from kids and bf and friends cause I no longer seem to be there for them...my head is in a spin ad I fear I don't trust myself to give any advice to others. The best I can come up with is caring for you through it all...and that is very sincere girl! I've not gone through the courts in my own journey as I am not legally divorced yet...the papers are being prepared and it is supposed to be just a technicality as ex and I drew up our own arrangements and are getting respective legal representation for the final document to be written and passed through legally. So I'm really not well placed here to give you any advice on the legal stuff. I can see your worries about your daughter though as anything that touches upon our kids can get us panicked as nothing else can. Since you seem to feel there is need to act quickly, can you get some counselling for yourself to help you navigate through this difficult time and thus indirectly get help for your doughter through YOU getting counsel on how to deal with her? That way it doesn't require getting HER to cooperate wich she seems little inclined to do...to put it mildly. I'm so sorry I can't be of help! I feel for you...I truly do! I hope that all works out for you both...my prayors are with you!
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: advice for next step?

Sorry, I missed this earlier.

Meg, I have 13.5 year old male.... he is in the start of puberty.... hormones are way out of whack.
Counseling can help, but also education. I have taken Parenting classes with different theorys about dealing with kids. I know from training dogs that our actions and reactions effect how kids act and react.
There is no clear cut answers. Try counseling, classes, therapy if one does not work another might. I think it takes more than one thing to deal with the hormonal teens.
She maybe in a form of crisis, where she does not know what is bugging her and she does know how to cope yet.

Take some time for yourself to just think, Pray, read, have some calm time.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: advice for next step?

I haven't been on......... I think there is a mixture of things at play. She is hormonal. And the rationality goes out the window at this age. But this little girl has been under extreme amounts of anxiety and stress for years now related to her father and court custody case.

She needs counseling. There is no way around this one. Do you involve the custody evaluator -- I think you do. I think there is something to be said for how mixed up she is and the role that dad has played. However, I am not sure it is his role for recommendations.

Does she have calm, rational moments when you can speak into her life and ask her what is going on? Can you get together a list of therapists who specialize in these things and allow HER to choose one? Put her in the driver seat in one of those rational moments?
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: advice for next step?

How is she in her extra activities...
Has she changed friends???
Did she start her monthly?

Has she stated what she thinks her outburst are from ?

sorry, Spammers seems to be in full swing lately, and taking a lot of my attentions allocated for SFV.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: advice for next step?

IDK- Im having a lot of troubles with my 14yr old.
If you figure it out...please let me know. !!
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: advice for next step?

Thanks ladies. Sorry to fuss...insecure lately and also know I post tmi perhaps...sometimes...I think its called overwhelm?

Maybe everyone is busy right now...that is part of my issue here. I am finally doing my internship at a community health clinic a LOT more than I had anticipated - although its great and I am enjoying it...it is a lot of work plus extra school work.

Plus the custody eval takes time, and my arm pain issues getting worse (although taking all steps towards surgery - yeah!!!! so am needing to nap daily...and not handle heavy stuff again...)

I tried to 'coach' daughter for past few months for when things got busy again...start working full time, lots of other commitments...need her cooperation! I've had to accept at the time I've needed her the most...she has her own stuff going on and now I'm trying to incorporate that as a major focus....

To answer several questions in one post...yeah...she got her monthly...so this time LOT of rage prior to that. She also slacked off, in general, on everything...violin, chores, school work...everything. Out of school 5 days...4 with very low grade fever, yesterday "severe cramps so could only sleep two hours"...too tired for school.

I've since talked with the principal (she is awesome, but will sit down with her today at school to help her get back on track), her doctor (another appt today...talk about self-care, periods, etc), been open with the father, and the custody evaluator. The evaluator, after all my assorted fears got worked out to open up to him...brushed it all off and said he can't engage in any assessments...he can only stick strickly to this eval., and said something about maybe he can make a referral at the end...to bring this stuff up at our last one hour session.

The father is flipping...as usual no help - not open to having her evaluated/mental health assessment...so that is on the back burner for now. Keeps insisting on her going back to see the family counselor...he is ONLY open to that...period.

LSM - yes, she does have some rational moments...yet when they are over she flips at the slightest things...and gets very irrational. I wholeheartedly agree about the therapy thing...thats one of my few requests in this evaluation, that i be given sole legal over her counseling...as if I can ever get her back into a therapists office...she has had significant imput into it. Her dad simply does not allow for that...and I am so hoping I can convince the eval. that is it crucial that I have the freedom to work with finding a therapist as a process SHE is involved in...more than anyone else. Right now, my hands are tied.

I so agree with the comments about helping myself. I am meeting a therapist who works with teens in a few days, to run some of this by...what is really a red flag, and what is 'typical' (as the principal pointed out in our conversation...there are not 'normal' teens in her experience). I have been seeing a counselor, but honestly its not helped at all...so I have stopped seeing him. When a lot of my projects are over this Dec. I am going to find someone to see weekly. I did take a parenting your teen class...I think some of daughters behaviors shifted so much the past few weeks, became more extreme...that I thought she had ALREADY changed alot....it just threw me off. So again, I am going to keep talking to lots of diff. people to find out whats normal, whats not...and try to get people involved she trusts to do some 'coaching' with her on her terms...around self-care and around school work (or tutoring)
and wait for this eval to complete...hopefully he will recommend an assessment for her (or I was going to start following through on setting that up today until got ex's email saying no), and I pray he will give me sole legal.

Thanks for listening...I am so tired, burnt out...have lots of 'follow up calls to make' , my one 'down' day until 2...then mega appts.

I care about you folks...thanks for being there.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: advice for next step?

Dear Meganut,
I'm so sorry I didn't see this post before today. I tend to go on and off, depending on my childcare/work schedule. I totally hear your pain and frustration and worry over your daughter. !! Oh boy, my sweetheart girls are so young, you parents of tweens/teens are paving the way.

i agree that part of it is plain old developmental issues--the raging hormones I liken to having your kids be on drugs. i mean, they kind of lose their brains at this age. i know it's way easier said than done--just keep doing what you're doing, being consistent. it's all about pushing boundaries at this age...and they're so much smarter and 'bigger' at this age to be doing the pushing!! *sigh*. pick your battles and remain firm around issues of safety and health and the self sabotage, i would also be worried and frustrated!

it sounds like you've made all the right moves--checking in with the professionals. she does have a lot of anger--think of all that she's been through (and you, too!!!!! ) and this will take a lot of patience and time and energy to work through.

i think if the CE has good referrals that would be good. do you know anyone else you can trust? i also agree with trying to help her get in the driver's seat, i.e. that she is in on the decision making process of which therapist to try, although i also understand her BIG resistance to therapy at all.

i think you will get a lot out of therapy yourself--part of it is getting the space to grapple with these issues with a professional who will have perspectives and experience outside of the "trenches" that you're (we're) all in and will be able to provide help/suggestions/thoughts/referrals, too.

you are not alone!!!!!! hang in there, because you are doing everything right!!!

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Old 11-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: advice for next step?

Thanks,

I DO need to get back in therapy. My schedule got so packed, I canceled all my sessions with therapist...could only see every two weeks...and I was addressing wanting a new therapist...he's been great...but just not skilled or experienced or helpful in what I am going through...
I need to find someone every week...

Things turned out so unexpectedly than I had thought via choosing to open up to custody evaluator and my ex (mandatory coparenting stuff) about how things are really going here. The evaluator...as I mentioned in my last post...brushed it off...he can't go there in this evaluation. My ex is emailing...just answered 3 separate emails. Always a sense of dread...what is he demanding this time?

He is only open to daughter going back to dysfunctional family therapist and is berating me. He says absolute NO to any counseling for daughter (outside of above family therapist) OR to any assessments. SO perhaps that will help make my case a bit stronger for the evaluator, I don't know.

The other emails...wants me to have daughter available for a "surprise xmas present on the 19th...can I have her with no schedule that day?".....??? more information please? (she can't even handle seeing him for supervised visits...)

another berating me for cancelling a coparent counseling session 2 weeks ago...I guess this is all an emergency now for him...I don't know why he always needs a 3rd party to give power to perhaps coerce me into making a decision his way.

And yet another prompting me for report card (even though I have consistantly informed him that I mail stuff to him as soon as I get it...)

He really pushes my buttons...lot of old stuff...glad daughter at her godmothers tonight.

Thanks for thinking of me...I keep reading...more and more science is showing how the teen brain has so many parallels to the young childs brain in terms of growth...mixed messages going on all over the place. I did have a big sit down with her last night...she wants more computer privaledges so I had leverage to really lay it all on the line what I need to see happen and why. Time will tell...but she's got her motivation now and one NEED I have is basic kindness and respectful behavior. She got that.

Bless you for writing back...
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