Rachel: Looking for Answers

Posted September 20, 2011

I’m not sure I’m even in the right spot, and I hope there isn’t a character limit in this box because this is a long story. I will try to keep it as short as possible, but I really don’t know where to turn at this point.

My now 13-year-old daughter lost her grandfather (very close) when she was 2 1/2, her father when she was 3 1/2 and her grandmother when she was 4. I have always filed a lot of our situations into “because of the grief” file and moved on but that’s become impossible these days. She has always had trouble controlling her emotions and her temper, following the rules, etc., but didn’t seem to have any major problems until she reached the age of 10 or so.

She has a history of depressions, lethargy, cutting, audible and visual delusions, insubordination, lying, stealing, etc. She has lied to me about everything under the sun and then some, to the point that I don’t believe anything she says. There have been at least 3 instances where she went, I don’t even know the word for it, so I will say psychotic, yelling and screaming and pulling her hair saying there was something inside her and she couldn’t control it, the voices were screaming at her, she couldn’t take it anymore. This resulted in a 3 day stay at a juvenile psychiatric ward where we were told she showed symptoms of bipolar tendencies but not actually diagnosed with anything. She was placed on 3 different medications which she eventually refused to take because she said she didn’t need them.

In April of this year, after a major fight between her and I where she made threats to “make my life hell” if I didn’t let her do what she wanted,” I got a call from DFS, she had told a teacher that her step father and I physically abused her and that her step grandfather had sexually abused her. Let me just point out right now that my child has NEVER been abused by myself or my husband and do not believe the allegations against my father-in-law for a second.

Our entire family was brought in for questioning (I have 3 other children). The allegations against my husband and myself were found to be unfounded right then (I’m not sure if she recanted part of her story or what), but there was never any investigation on that end. DFS had to continue with the investigation against my father-in-law because he is listed as a previous sex offender (a charge from 20 or 30 years ago brought against him by his now ex-wife), and he was out of town and could not be questioned that day.

I was given the option to sign some kind of “keep safe” plan or place her in temporary care until we could get things sorted through. I made the decision to put her in temporary care until we could get things sorted out. Her behaviors seemed to be escalating, and I was fearful for her future as well as the impact the situation was having on my younger children. In addition, although I didn’t believe the allegations against my father-in-law, I felt I had to give her the benefit of the doubt and keep her safe until things got worked out and didn’t feel I would be making her feel safe at home (my father-in-law lives right next door).

The investigation against my father-in-law came back unsubstantiated as well. She is still in care and we are doing family counseling twice a month and she has individual counseling weekly. During counseling, I hear so much about defiant/oppositional children, but I am really scared that we are dealing with more than that and don’t know how to go about getting the right answers.

She is taking an antidepressant (prescribed BEFORE she even starting counseling) and that’s it. I’ve read about practically every disorder imaginable and she doesn’t seem to fit into any of them. Could all this simply be the “teenage” years, ODD, or something more? And something I’ve always wondered about… when my daughter lies about something, it’s almost like she doesn’t seem to think she’s lying, like she actually thinks it’s the truth. I get so confused. I really feel like I have failed her as a parent. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

1 Comment

  1. Look she has a mental illness and you are not at fault for her behavior she can’t control her self continue to work with psychiatrist to get her diagnosed and don’t stop loving her. My stepdaughter is going thru the similar thing she is being seen by a psychiatrist that has diagnosed her bipolar disorder. A lot of what you say I have experienced first hand with my step daughter, with the mood stabilizer Lithium it has subsided a little but not completely gone she still has her moments which is not as bad as before. One thing I will share with you is that she can’t be in a large family setting in which is what I have with 3 other siblings, large crowds i.e. party’s, family gatherings etc from her anxiety which when it manifests is like she is having a mental break down pulling of the hair screaming and saying no one cares about her and so on. my point is that there is help but you have to dig thru all the bs to find it hospitalization is the best wway to get her stable so the y can find out about what she needs.

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