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Avatar universal

Can anyone relate?

My 10 year old self harms (doesn't cut), she manipulates and is a compulsive liar. For almost 3 years we've DSS in our lives in and out of our home, and 4 different reports made by the school. 2 years ago she went to school and told them that myself and wife were abusing her. They did an emergency removal and were going to place her in foster care until I begged them to place her with my Mom. We fought for a year and half to get her home. Took parenting classes in our home every week and allowed the case in our home to visit all 4 of our girls, also allowed them to visit our children at school. December of 2018 we finally got her home. Everything was ok for a few days and then went back to the way it was before she removed. Since then it has been a daily struggle. She has told the school on 2 different occasions that just myself has beaten her and this time (this last past week) she told the school that she took 2 extra pills of her morning medication. Our case worker is even at lost. We are scared that soon we will lose her and will not be able to see her again. I have her seeing a new counselor Tuesday (the 7th) and I am also seeing mine again. This is mentally draining and we help answers. Has anyone gone through this or going through this? Please help.  
9 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
Oh my goodness, this sounds very difficult to manage.  Is your wife her biological mother?  Just asking for details.  She's 10.  Has she had some sot of trauma when she was younger?  Have you not just had her with a counselor but a psychiatrist?  She's willing to do damage to herself and let me just say, taking too much medication is terrifying.  I personally would consider in house treatment for that (mental health treatment). This is likely to make her even more angry.  Speaking of angry, why is she full of rage toward your wife and you? Or do you think this is more for attention like Munchhausen syndrome (similar to that in that she is willing to do damage to herself in order to gain the attention and drama like someone with Munchhausen's is willing to harm their loved one for that attention)?  I sincerely think this is more than something a regular counselor should be handling.  She's a danger to herself at this point.

Losing her out of your house is the least of your concerns.  She could accidentally kill herself or do irreparable harm.  By the way, how was she when living with your mother?  Any of this behavior going on?  Are the other three girls full sisters, half sisters or step sisters?  I'm just wondering about all the dynamics.

I really feel for you and fear for her!  This is difficult but more serious than just wanting things to be peaceful at home. This is truly a mental health situation that needs addressed! (in my opinion)
1 Comments
She’s my biological daughter, and the behavior is more serious with me when my wife is not around. Mornings are the worst! I fear that she’s going to take harming herself to a whole new level.  As far as trauma, she claimed that her father hurt her sexually. I took all the actions I should have and then she turned around and said he didn’t.  A lot of things that she does and says I do think it is for any type of the attention, whether it is negative or positive. When she lived with my mom it took a few months before that she started the behavior but afterwords my mother did see what I was saying it wasn’t as extreme but it was there. She does see a psychologist as well. He is at a loss on what to do, we thought at one time it was bipolar,  but none of the medications that he put her on IV that worked.  Two of her other girls are her stepsister’s and the youngest is her biological sister.  My wife and I don’t know why her anger and rage is more directed towards me then her (  my wife ).   I have had her placed in mental hospitals in the past they don’t keep her any longer than a month don’t see the behavior and send her home where it starts all over again if not 100 times worse.  At times she does lash out at the other children in the home as well. It has gotten to the point where our youngest doesn’t even want her in the home anymore.  We have been fighting for years to get a medical diagnosis and no one seems to know what’s wrong. We have thrown out a doctors autism bipolar  and another one I can’t think of it off the top of my head at the moment. I’m reaching out to anybody that can help or knows anyone that has been through something similar to what we are going through now.
134578 tn?1546634665
When you say, "she claimed that her father hurt her sexually. I took all the actions I should have and then she turned around and said he didn’t." But you say she is your biological child. So when you were talking about "her father" and "he," were you talking about yourself? Or are you the Erin of the avatar name you use, in other words, a female?

4 Comments
I’m Erin... he as in her father.
OK, so, she and one sibling are your biological children, with the woman you are married to or with another woman? And then there are two step siblings from a first marriage of your wife? I assume they are older than your 10-year old and then her younger sibling is younger than herself? How does she get along with the other kids?
The younger two are mine from my marriage with my ex husband. And hers from her past relationship with her kids father.  I met her thru my ex actually. Our kids are 15,14,10&8. How she gets along with them varies on how her day has been. But she can be quite mean towards all of them at times.
So, you and the mom of the other two kids have left heterosexual relationships and moved in together as a couple?

And the 10-year-old, does she have a bad relationship with her biological dad, or a good one? Has her biological dad any kind of record of abuse of any sort?

How long ago did the two of you move in together with all four kids? Did your 10-year-old acting up begin then? Or was it when you were still with her father?
Avatar universal
Has she been sexually abused? If she is developing a personality disorder, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD), of which I am intimately familiar with, then there is likelihood she was sexually abused. BPD manifests as self-harm, a fear of abandonment, emptiness, and fluctuating moods throughout the day, subject to volatility. I recommend a diagnosis to get to the root of the issue and then cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialetical behavioral therapy (DBT). We all need healthy coping skills and unfortunately so many of us are not taught this and so parents are not equipped to practice these skills themselves, let alone pass it on. Sounds like everyone in the family needs to work on healthy coping skills and perhaps any issues internally.
1 Comments
She said her father had but then said he didn’t. But somethings that she does shows she has been.
134578 tn?1546634665
If I had to guess, I would say that if her acting out is mostly related to being at home, something about the situation at home is extremely distressing to her. If the two of you women left your husbands and moved all four kids and yourselves in together, that is a lot of change. Especially with that many kids, and the feeling of powerlessness and not having a voice. Only if their dads were horrible would any kid see this kind of change as a good thing. Maybe your daughter just doesn't want to say this to you, but she is angry at the change from just you, her sister, and her dad, to this bigger family, and less traditional to boot. Or, one of the kids could be being mean to her. Or, as she said, her dad had been but she feels it is in her survival interest not to say so. Can she go back to your mother? It sounds like it was better for her there.
1 Comments
I left my ex almost 6 years ago because it was an unhealthy relationship. He was very abusive. Not psychically but mentally and emotionally, still is to this day.  My wife’s ex was never around.  My mom can’t take her back, her health isn’t good. All the girls want for nothing. They have all they need and want, they have rules to follow and  consequences for wrong actions. The other girls aren’t mean to her. They get  frustrated when she’s misbehaving and being mean to them but they walk away from the situation.
973741 tn?1342346373
Claiming her father molested her and then withdrawing the claim is very indicative of deep rooted and long standing emotional issues.  That probably doesn't have anything to do with your leaving the relationship in my opinion and quite likely is organic in nature.  She's been to a psychiatrist?  However, you also seem unsure if you should still believe what she initially said or not.  A therapist has not been helpful in helping to uncover that?  Sometimes even a doctors visit can substantiate claims depending on what she says happened.  

I don't think this is as simple as family dynamics at all.  Many and I mean MANY kids are thrust into living arrangements, have their lives upended and they do not threaten to or actually do harm themselves, scare others around them and make devastating claims that lead to their removal from the home. She has either had something very traumatic happen to her or she has some dynamic of mental health issues happening.  

It's unfortunate that they don't keep her in psych units long enough to be productive.  But all you can do is keep trying.  I do think this is the best route for her.  

Again, is she calm and peaceful at your mothers?  If so, that's the best place for her. I agree with the idea of whole family counseling as well.  If you find it benefits her the most, I'd also consider leaving your relationship with your wife for now.  Your first priority is to figure out what is going on with your daughter and stabilize her.  She's in crisis and in all seriousness, what she is doing could lead to great tragedy for her and for you.  There are diagnosis to look into such as ODD and "Disruptive Mood Disorder". https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/disruptive-mood-dysregulation-disorder-dmdd/disruptive-mood-dysregulation-disorder.shtml.  And this may have been mentioned to you but please read about Attachment Disorder.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/reactive-attachment-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20352939.  Typically that happens from neglect in infancy or early childhood but not always.  I am in no way implying that this is the case with you as you seem like a mom sincerely wanting nothing more than to help your child.  

But these are just some suggestions to look into.  hugs
1 Comments
Yes she did this with my mom too. She’s been diagnosed as adhd and odd. But I feel there is obviously more there.
707563 tn?1553635552
I came across this article not long ago, and please keep in mind that I am not saying you aren't incredible supportive, but it discusses reasons why children recant after accusing someone of sexual abuse:

https://childsworldamerica.org/why-kids-reporting-abuse-often-recant/ Maybe you believed her, but someone else important to her didn't.

Here's another more through explanation - https://www.sunjournal.com/2017/04/09/recanting-a-disclosure-of-sexual-assault-taking-back-a-lie-or-something-else-entirely/

She may or may not be lying about the abuse, and for sure it will be difficult to prosecute at this point, given her history, but it may be something to talk to her psychiatrist about.

Just a theory, and maybe a starting place.
1 Comments
Thank you
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi Erin,  you stated, "She’s been diagnosed as adhd and odd. But I feel there is obviously more there."  I wonder how much you know about adhd and what it can do to a child...and how you can deal with it along with medication.   I am also the CL for the adhd forum (https://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175)  and a lot of what you are talking about shows up on that forum.   The main thing I have found over the years is that the normal discipline does not work with a child with adhd.  You said, "they have rules to follow and  consequences for wrong actions."   If she is expected to follow their rules with the same consequences...I can see why mornings, etc are a problem.    I have a ton of resources on effective discipline for kids with adhd if you are interested.

You also mentioned the lying.  Lying is very typical.  Here is a great article on why kids with adhd lie and ways to deal with it....https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/add-adhd/adhd-and-lying-what-you-need-to-know
    And another good one with a bit of a more scientific explanation.
https://www.additudemag.com/why-lie-adhd-fight-flight-freeze/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=treatment_august_2018&utm_content=082318

It sounds like your doctors have tried a variety of things which can be kind of scary.   One problem with adhd meds (if that is what she is taking) is that they are trial and error.   And if your doctor does not communicate very well, the med could be over or under dosed leading to a variety of problems.   If you don't mind me asking....what dose and medication is she on now?    And how long has she been on this med.  For that matter how long has she had the adhd diagnosis?

Finally, I have a ton of resources on adhd.  If you have any specific requests, please ask.   The final link I am giving is one on adhd and discipline.  I have several good ones, but this one is pretty encompassing.  The link is...  https://www.additudemag.com/behavior-punishment-parenting-child-with-adhd/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=parent_july_2018&utm_content=070718

   Oh, all of the sites I shared have lots of great resources at the top of their pages.

Best wishes.  I hope this helps.
7 Comments
Thank you for your help, I’ll have to get on my laptop to open these links that you and others have sent me. She on focalin (dexmethylphenidate) 25mg in the morning and 10mg in the afternoon, and trazodone 50mg at night, otherwise she doesn’t sleep
She was in kindergarten when diagnosed . Been her meds for just about 3 years .
So she was diagnosed about the time you left your husband? Was she like this before that as well?
I have seen some very erratic behavior with kids battling adhd and ODD.  Does she have a psychiatrist you work with to manage medication? It's a long battle but you are wise to get this sorted out.  We have a good friend who's son has both ADHD and ODD and has been on medication but things change over the years.  He was just expelled from his school for setting a fire in the bathroom.  He's a very young teen.  It can be very scary and I feel for you.
What time does she take her 10mg dose in the afternoon?  
Has her dosage changed in the last two or so years?
probably about a year or so before I left him. She does see a  psychologist . 10mg pull taken at 3pm when she gets home from school.
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
By the way, a good nights sleep is very important to how she will do later in the day.   And a good high protein breakfast will help her during the school day.
2 Comments
Were the abuse reports made before she started her meds or perhaps before the meds were working?
No, she was on them when it happened and had been for some time.
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
Here are two good links on sleep and getting going in the morning.  The links are..
         https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/cant-sleep-cycle-of-exhaustion/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=parent_class_may_2019&utm_content=051119&goal=0_d9446392d6-3ea03e9000-288363009
          https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/easy-morning-routines-for-adhd-kids/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=parent_class_may_2019&utm_content=051119&goal=0_d9446392d6-3ea03e9000-288363009

Speaking of sleep, the meds she is taking should work for a minimum of 12 hours (8 + 4).  Anything much less then that would indicate she is underdosed.  You might want to talk to your doc about finding a med that will work for say about 10 hours.  Perhaps that way she can get home, do homework and not have to take the second dose.  Thus, she could have dinner after the med out of her system.   This might also help her sleep better at night.   As the following chart shows, there are a ton of meds out there to choose from.  Of course, just upping her dose slightly might also do the same thing.    The chart is.....
        https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-medications-list-chart-stimulants-nonstimulants/

Hope this helps.
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