Agh! Fuming!

(56 Posts)
Lilka Sun 10-Nov-13 13:29:29

She's really pulled one off this time

This week has been confrontational. She is controlling, oppositional and just nasty sometimes.

On Friday she got out the wrong side of bed and started calling me "cunt". As in, "What's for breakfast, cunt?" She knows what's for breakfast, she has the same damn breakfast every single morning. She just needed an opportunity to call me names. First I tried "I'm not answering your questions unless you call me something polite" so she started yelling and throwing things. She came home from college, and started the same thing again. So I decided to change tactics and refused to answer to anything except 'cunt'. She said "hey fuckwit" and I ignored her and when she repeated it I informed her that since my new name was cunt, she must address me as 'cunt' before I talk to her. This momentarily stunned her and then she started tantrumming again. I kept it up all evening. DD1 came round alone for dinner as a mini break from parenting, and I bribed her into joining in, which she thought was very funny. "Hey, cunt, can you pass me the salt please?" etc. Hasten to add, DS was round a friends house for dinner, so he didn't hear this. DD2 was so angry that her attempt at being mean backfired badly that eventually she just yelled at DD1 "oh my god, stop calling her cunt, muuuummmm she's being rude to you". And then stomped off. I privately savoured the victory. I should have known she'd do something else

Yesterday she stood and watched me brush my teeth and wash my face. She literally stared at me. It was unnerving

She did the same thing this morning

A couple of hour ago, DS ran downstairs to inform me that he'd just seen DD2 dunking and rubbing my toothbrush in the toilet. FFS.

I stopped being creative and yelled at her. While she screamed that she didnt do it. Even though my toothbrush was wet so it was kind of obvious.

Then I went in to talk to her and she made it very obvious (while attempting to deny all knowledge) that she did it on Friday evening as revenge for me raining on her swearing parade and watched me brushing my teeth yesterday and today to savour the victory

I am so fucking angry. And disgusted.

She has lost her pocket money and savings from her piggy bank. I took her to the supermarket with me and her money and she watched me spend it on a new toothbrush

Then i spent 15 minutes brushing my teeth again with my nice new toothbrush. Which is now locked in the medicine cabinet.

She is STILL mad. Now she is angry that she has lost her pocket money because her horrible evil mother is mean to her for no reason hmm I feel like she is building up to a mega tantrum/rage and until she gets that out her system she is not going to calm down. This is a bit scary.

The main point of this is - I had toilet water in my mouth and I am SO PISSED OFF ABOUT IT.

Rant end angry

Lilka Sun 17-Nov-13 12:06:59

Thanks for your post Festive Please don't feel you aren't welcome to post here, we welcome pretty much everyone, except the obvious shit stirrers, goaders, trolls and people who won't listen to reason etc. Please do feel free to post if you feel you have anything to add anytime

I definitely agree with you that my daughter doesn't feel the same emotional range. Her empathy is definitely way lower than the normal range of empathy, I think she has developed a little over time, but it's maybe level 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-10, and NT people are all at least on level 5/6.

When it comes to love and attachment to me, I do believe she has formed an (insecure) attachment to me, and she feels love. For instance, when she was admitted to hospital in June, she started shrieking 'mum, mum, mum, mum, I want mum' over and over and she meant me. Not that she was actually calmed much by my presence but that's classic ambivalent attachment. I've seen a couple of children who are truly unattached and have reactive attachment disorder, and if they were in DD's place, they wouldn't have cared in the slightest that their parents weren't there. Also I think the times she has demonstrated some trust in me and desire for close contact, hugs, rocking, show her attachment.

It's great that your daughter has been able to do so well with your guidance smile I am hopeful that DD2 can learn more social skills and be able to fake things better. I don't expect her to be able to 'heal' emotionally from what's happened to her, nor will her FASD ever change. But I hope we can still see progress on some level. You are totally right Festive that expectations can make a big big difference. If I had been expecting her to be able to feel real guilt, remorse by now etc, I would be desperately sad and worried and feel like a failure. I think adjusting your mindset, expectations and hopes etc for your child is a really really hard thing to come to terms with if you find your child has special needs, whether it's ASD, FASD, RAD or anything else, that you didn't know about when you adopted them or gave birth to them. To some extent it's been a bit different with DD2 because I went in choosing a special needs child and had a certain mindset and different set of expectations because I was actively choosing a child with emotional issues, but I've still been required on MANY occasions to come to terms with unexpected, new things which are really hard

I think I went of on a tangent there and waffled again

Anyway, thank you Festive, please keep posting if you have anything else to say smile

Moomoomie Sun 17-Nov-13 10:15:04

Thank you so much for that post, FestiveEdition.
Please, don't think you can't post on an adoption thread because you have not adopted.
Dd3 sounds very much like your dd. it is reassuring to hear of positive futures.
Hels20..... Sorry for your loss

Hels20 Sun 17-Nov-13 08:39:32

What an elegant post, Festive Edition. My sister who would now be mid 30s had ASD I think (she died a few years back) and I wish I had understood her problems more growing up and had read something like this post in my teenage years when her inability to empathise really pushed the whole family to its limits. Thank you.

FestiveEdition Sun 17-Nov-13 07:58:57

<notes, this is picking up on the emotional connection issues raised mid-thread, not relevant to the toothbrush!!>

I feel very much an intruder onto this thread ( stumbled on by accident, looking for something else !) but have been so moved by reading the personal details expressed about defining/feeling emotions, that I could not simply read and run.

Firstly, and most importantly, I am not an adoptive parent. However I am the mother of an adult DD with ASD which was not diagnosed until adulthood (when she was at school, Aspergers wasn't even on the diagnostic register!).
We walked towards her diagnosis hand in hand, researched together in-depth, and I have been blessed that she is both intelligent and articulate enough for us to explore the real issues and mechanics of lack of emotions and emotional connection
I am going somewhere with this, I promise

While I in no way compare the effects of trauma, FAS, etc directly with Aspergers, the issue of failure to comprehend emotions is remarkably similar from the details you have given here. I have no idea if it is of benefit to share what I have learned from my DD but I really hope so, and if not ..... I guess this can be ignored without harm smile

DD tells me that she cannot process what we know as 'guilt' because her inability to empathise means she does not see that her actions cause someone else to feel something she does not - and can never - feel herself. (DD likens it to explaining the colour blue to a blind person)
If the issue is pushed, because she is actually incapable of feeling guilt, the default emotion engendered is anger. That is always the default when processing fails.
She grew up with boundaries and guidance, so acquired saying sorry as essentially a diversion tactic. "I say sorry = people quit pushing me".
I have had to learn that this is enough. However much I would like her to realise that her actions cause real pain for others, she simply cannot process this through her wiring. It is not a choice issue for her. However, she functions adequately in an adult world by 'faking it'.

We have both come to believe that teaching 'faking it' has been the key to her surviving as an independent adult, with a full life of friends, partner etc etc. It has transformed her life, over the past 8 years (she is now 36)

For us, the best step forward came when we worked out that trying to teach her how to feel was never going to work. What worked was teaching her to use the "right" tools and approach on a learned basis ( very much the way that Maryz daughter has learned to give a hug to someone because they like it ....my DD now hugs people according to their place in her scale of 'belonging', because it is a nice thing to do for them. We wrote the list of appropriate people to hug, together!!)
It has been so very weird, explaining things such as : say two sentences, and then shut up and let the next person speak (social exchanges much improved) but that shift in my headset to explaining how (and why) to fake it, as opposed to trying to explain why she should actually feel something (which she can't feel) has been life changing.
The culmination will probably be that she won't grieve for me when I finally kick the bucket (not in her emotional range) but will miss her problem solver and will fake it pretty well at the funeral because "people expect it".

As I said, I have no idea of this is of any useful input, and could probably be reported and removed as mis-posted in inappropriate place, if I have somehow overstepped a boundary.
Its just that my heart broke hearing mothers post about screwed emotional wiring, and it really didn't seem to matter much if I was talking to adoptive mums or any other kind of mum.

fasparent Wed 13-Nov-13 12:44:49

Maryz think with us was down too chance had a school who were up too the challenge they has a small SEN Unit attached, was very much a school and parent partnership. Even when he was excluded for good in his last year, home tutored, too much of a distraction for other pupils, they helped his continued education , he just went in for exams.
This is the system we used with school still best there is www.fasdoutreach.ca.

fasparent Wed 13-Nov-13 12:22:25

DS was diagnosed FASD, came came home from school crying " In trouble again (age 12) why can't anyone help me , don't mean too upset
or hurt other's" CAMHS were next too useless, school exclusion's around 3 a term. School were great he did 11 GCSE's., Was a matter of using a large DIY Kit, lots of research, and praying . Is now an Adult with own family , Still has brain damage but has learn control.
Our Kids despite their horrendous start in life can survive with love and understanding of their conditions, and become responsible Adult's.

Thumbwitch Wed 13-Nov-13 11:48:55

I may be well out of place suggesting anything here as I have no knowledge of the daily struggles you have with your children, but since a couple of you have mentioned PTSD I wondered if there was any benefit to be had from talking to a group called Talking 2 Minds. Although they were started by and for ex-service people, they do also deal with civilian cases and they might be able to offer something to your children? If they can't themselves, they might know of another similar organisation who could.

I know some of you are very self-deprecating but I think you're wonderful for looking after these damaged children and doing your utmost to help them, despite everything they throw at you. thanks and wine to you all.

Maryz Wed 13-Nov-13 11:25:38

Yes, I'd like to take ds1's head apart, reattach a few of the screws that are loose <said tongue in cheek before anyone jumps on me hmm) and put it all back together properly.

I'm sure it's all there, it's just wired up wrong. It would be a particularly satisfactory jigsaw project.

I do hope you are right fas. I'm really struggling with ds atm. He just can't seem to get himself together at all out in the real world. School was awful, since he left it only seems to get more awful sad

fasparent Wed 13-Nov-13 10:42:47

DS was diagnosed FASD, came came home from school crying " In trouble again (age 12) why can't anyone help me , don't mean too upset
or hurt other's" CAMHS were next too useless, school exclusion's around 3 a term. School were great he did 11 GCSE's., Was a matter of using a large DIY Kit, lots of research, and praying . Is now an Adult with own family , Still has brain damage but has learn control.
Our Kids despite their horrendous start in life can survive with love and understanding of their conditions, and become responsible Adult's.

Moomoomie Wed 13-Nov-13 10:10:08

Exactly Maryz, it is all neurological so there are no definitive answers.
I think we are all trying to do our best for our children, we learn by our mistakes.
Sometimes I would love to remove dd3 brain ( just for a short time!!) and really analyse it to find the answers.

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:52:58

I'd agree with that totally

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 22:51:47

It's all a spectrum of behaviour isn't it?

I think a lot of these things sort of interact, and are all to do with wonky brain wiring, caused by various experiences and various things lacking at important developmental stages.

So it can be alcohol in pregnancy, lack of attention as a baby, whatever. The cause, and the diagnosis can be pretty irrelevant to the behaviour sad

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:47:28

I don't believe my DD has RAD by the way. The whole 'control issues, empathy issues, revenge issues' can sound a bit like RAD because I've had several people mention that to me already, but no, she does have attachment issues, and was assessed as having an ambivalent style, but I think it's a combination of attachment, PTSD and brain damage from alcohol which definitely affects this kind of thing

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:45:39

Oh Maryz

What can you say to that? It's logically relatively sound. Just like i can't say 'actually, sorry IS a feeling' to DD because feelings are subjective and it's genuinely not a feeling to her. I can only frame it in terms of 'other people feel like this' which is tricky because of the empathy issue

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 22:40:57

Oh, God, Kosmo, don't use mine. Mine all went badly tits-up hmm

I realised ds had a big problem when he was about 6 and I had to teach him what to do in the playground.

He had to learn off by heart "What do you do if you knock someone down?" "I stop. I say 'are you ok?' I don't run off until they get up again."

I had to teach it to him.

And the day that I asked him why he hugged my mum (he hasn't hugged me since I think he was about 2, and hasn't let me hug him either) and he replied "because I've learned that she likes it".

[baffled]

ds loved the dog. And I think he loved ds2 when he was little. But that's about it. I don't think he knows what love is. And he certainly doesn't do remorse. As he said once, when he was quite small "I don't have to say sorry? Either something is an accident in which case I shouldn't have to say sorry, or I did it on purpose in which case I won't say sorry, because I meant to do it".

I should write a book about him, really [sigh]

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:30:41

It's so odd to talk to someone who genuinely has no instinctive idea of what the fuck you mean

Yes!!

She can appear normal sometimes...i mean, imagine I hadn't asked her "Why are you sorry?" and you just read the conversation up until that point..she would appear normal, because over the years I (and various therapists and teachers) have managed to teach her some appropriate reactions eg. when to say sorry. But that just disguises the fact that the feelings aren't there

DD1 has a very good relationship with me now, but she used to seriously struggle and definite attachment issues. It was clear to me that the actions were faked, but other people just found her to be a normal friendly girl.

One day she came home and said her friend was talking about how she loved her mum so much and DD1 said, "but I don't know what she's talking about" sad

KosmoKramer Tue 12-Nov-13 22:21:10

And I have poached all of your teenage parenting tips to use on my own ASD teen.

KosmoKramer Tue 12-Nov-13 22:20:21

God, you lot are brilliant.

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 22:14:19

That's the type of conversation I used to have with ds back in the dim dark past when he actually talked to me sad

It's so odd to talk to someone who genuinely has no instinctive idea of what the fuck you mean.

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:13:04

ps. Kew you are awesome. Sit on your throne of awesomness and we will all bask in the halo of light grin

pps. I am bloody exhausted. Bed, bed, bed, bed, bed, bed...

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:11:35

Totally true though Kew

and sympathies with the disgustingness are welcome grin

My lovely new toothbrush is NOT ever going to be outside the medical cabinet unattended until DD has left home...which isn't anytime soon

She blew this morning, big time. There's a new hole in her door. She didn't go to college. It lasted, ooh, two and a half hours?

The good news is, it's over now and she's not anywhere as oppsitional now. In fact, she's relative calm and we managed to pick up furniture together, tidy up together and she even let me touch her and brush her hair. And earlier this evening we managed another hair brush while talking a little bit about feelings

The highlight of our feelings conversations went mostly like this (she was sitting at my feet while I brushed):
She stamped her hand down on my foot

"Ouch"
"huh?..."
"You hit my foot with your hand, and it hurt"
"Oh...sorry"
"That's okay...why are you sorry?"
"I said sorry because i hit your hand"
"Right, that's how you use the word sorry, well done. How do you feel inside when you say sorry"
........silence
"DD?"
"Uh...."
"Do you think that people feel something when they say sorry?"
"Umm...sorry isn't a feeling, is it? You say it when people get upset with you"

Its nice to get confirmation of what I really knew anyway, which was that she knows how to use sorry in theory, but doesn't feel the emotions. I don't believe she really feels remorse about anything.

But how do I work on that? I have no idea. Maybe it's too late and unfixable sad

Kewcumber Tue 12-Nov-13 20:48:56

RandomMess - can I just saying ignore Maryz - she is not wonderful by her own admission. I however am bloody marvellous.

Kewcumber Tue 12-Nov-13 20:47:51

Lilka - no advice, except "Eeeeuuuw"

Hope that helps.

Lilka, you are fantastic. I just wanted to tell you that.

Andro Mon 11-Nov-13 14:23:44

Lilka - you're doing great!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now