Tuesday, October 06, 2015

And so it begins...

My daughter has a mood disorder. She can be delightful and funny and that is how she's been for most of the summer and into the start of the school year. She can also be rude, disrespectful and ANGRY and it can happen in a blink - for no reason. It can last an hour or it can last an entire winter like it did last year. I don't want a repeat of 2014/15 and I fear it could be happening. It starts with the texts from school. "Mom, I don't feel good." "Mom, can you just come get me?" "I know you're ignoring me, but I'm not kidding I'm sick!" "Why don't you care about me?!" "If you don't answer, I'm just going to leave!!!!!" This will go on until finally the school nurse will call. She'll state the symptoms, give her opinion and I'll ask my daughter to take a pill, tough it out, blah blah blah....Last week I fell for it, she did have a cold.... I took her home and she had a miraculous recovery. Yesterday it was NOT happening. The girl hates the word NO, so me telling her that I wasn't coming to pick her up completely unhinged her. Obscenities fly, all the while I pretend to hear nothing. Static....

What about driver's ed, the play?.... What is wrong? More obscenities and click.

An hour later a text... "I'm just really stressed out, sorry."

The girl wants to go to driver's ed.

Later, after school, she is home with her boyfriend. She acts as though nothing has happened, has a snack and leaves. She comes home for dinner and is annoyed that it's taking so long to cook... checks the pan and says "That looks F$%$-ing disgusting!". When I mention how rude, she exclaims that she's not talking to me and storms out, returns with just enough time to eat and go to her class. After class she ignores my calls to do her homework and shower and heads to the boyfriend's house. Just when I'm about to go over and get her she texts that she is coming home. Lots of door slamming... Meh.

I'm really at a loss. It makes no sense. This is mental illness. Everything you expect from a teen multiplied by ten.

What I can control is how I react and what I do... I always looked to therapists and doctors for answers, but there are none. There is no right way to deal with someone like my teen. I just have to do what I feel works the best and causes the least harm. I have to practice self care - exercise, eat well, breathe deep. Mediation is something I have tried and lately I think I need to try it again. I need to bring my mind to a stillness so I can focus on my day and sleep at night. I can't live my life in chaos alongside my daughter... I have to teach my daughter to overcome her challenges and figure out what will work for her, so that she can live a rich, meaningful life.

I am tired - didn't sleep. I couldn't go to BP because I had to take my DH's car to the airport so he can go straight to work this morning. My mom picked me up. Today will be busy too - repairman coming to fix the fridge, other daughter has an ortho appointment, horse lessons and the teen meets with her therapist tonight. I've at least got to get in my steps, and I'd really like to get a weights workout at the gym. I don't know if I'll have the energy. I hope I have the energy...

I really hate the winter and this first blast of cold has made it clear that it is coming. All I can do is figure out a way to cope and not let the past repeat itself.


Wendy said...

Wow, this sounds tough. My heart goes out to you and to your daughter. I have to agree with you about trusting your own instincts, and definitely about self-care, but don't you think self-care can also include setting boundaries, like making it just unacceptable to insult your cooking? I hear you that she seems to have mental illness, and would never argue that - you know best! But do all her actions toward you fall under that? Do you feel you can't set boundaries at what behavior and language towards you is acceptable or not?
To me your reaction of "mentioning" it was rude - is perfectly legitimate, if not much milder than I imagine myself reacting to my own SD if she spoke to me that way. I would go way beyond just "mentioning" it but then, she is not ill, so I don't know what I'd do if she were.
Best to you. What a path to walk; you seem like you are doing a great, loving job.

Lynne said...

The issue is about escalation. What would work for a "normal" teen - consequences for bad behavior - you stayed out after curfew, you don't go out tomorrow - you are rude, you get your phone taken away - .... would end up with my kid telling me to f-off and leaving, breaking something and then leaving, or... Whatever is the expected/anticipated reaction is multiplied by 10. After 8 years, I have learned to remain calm and not feed off her emotion. I don't react to her - I hear static when she swears at me, my other daughter says nothing to her and goes for a walk... anything to just diffuse the situation. I'm not saying it's easy or right, but it works in our situation. Once the teen can "get over the speed bump" and process a situation she can usually reach a decent outcome. The awful thing is that her illness is something that comes in waves. She can turn on a dime and situations that she could work through last week turn into mountains she refuses to climb. DBT is our therapy of choice and I do see some changes in her, but there is no magic cure.