Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Out of Tricks, Out of Energy, Out of Confidence

I'm officially at my wit's end with H. I'm mentally, physically, emotionally drained almost daily after arguing, asking, pleading, threatening, negotiating ad nauseum over homework, room cleaning, and her habit of speaking to Hubby and I disrespectfully, talking back, and sometimes, downright lying to our faces. We've had a couple notes from teachers regarding bad academic habit/work practices (which she has covered up at home). Almost daily she forgets something she needs for school (her planner, her math binder, her special thing she needed for science class), and then she calls at 8:00, as I'm on my way out the door with one of the other kids (and then to my office to actually work for the day), and she genuinely expects me to a) go find the lost thing and b) bring it to her at school, which is all the way across town.

I love my children--each of them--more than life itself. Raising them is the biggest joy of my life, and I thank God for having blessed me with three healthy, happy daughters. But, I feel like I'm drowning when it comes to H. I feel like nothing I do is right, no matter how many books I read, no matter how many coping strategies I try to implement (for her *or* for me). When I have to take two Valium just to cope with the frustration, anxiety, and stress of helping her with her homework, there is clearly a problem. When I make myself a bloody mary to help me calm down after the hour and a half long battle (and that is truly what it feels like), there's clearly a problem. I feel like a parenting failure. I feel like nothing I do with her is--or will ever be--good enough. Like I'll never be the mother she expects me to be no matter what I do.

Today, the thought actually crossed my mind: Is is possible she'd be better off living with her natural father? She seems to respect everyone else in our family except Hubby and me. Doctors have explained that this is natural because she sees us as the ones who will never give up on her, who will love her no matter what. But sisn't sending her to live with her natural father doing just that: giving up? -+But I'm out of ideas, and I'm out of energy. I feel like so much of my time and energy is spent dealing with the challenges that she faces, that I end up shortchanging my other two children, as well as my husband, and I won't even begin to consider myself. Utlimately, I sometimes I feel like I'm losing my damn mind and that's it's all my fault.

I feel like I have no support system, no human resources for dealing with these issues. Furthermore, I feel like I don't have the time it takes to do everything: teach, work on my research and writing, pursue the job market, spend quality time with my family, *and* figure out how to create a healthy, strong, trusting relationship with a daughter who is faced with a variety of ADHD problems (in addition to going through puberty). I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of professional, personal, familial, and emotional needs, and there is no life raft to be found.

Part of me wants to believe that things would be better if we were in the States, but I can't be sure of that. I just know that something has to change soon because I can't hang on much longer.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't presume to advise you because I don't know what you're going through. I do know that growing up with a mentally ill brother was harder than anyone on the outside could have understood. My parents got lots of criticism for making him leave home at 18 but it was the only sane thing they could do at that point. you have to do what you think is best for her and for the rest of your family, whatever anyone else says.

And I am truly sorry that you have to deal with this. And sorry for her because I'm sure it's hard on her end, too.

M said...

I second Anastasia's comments above.

I know you well enough to know that you're not a failure. You're doing your best. The fact that you're willing to consider sending her to her father to make things better for her tells me a lot. I know how heartbreaking that would be for you, but it shows me that you're putting H first.

I know you talked about therapy before. Is she in therapy now? That may or may not help, but it is an idea. Also, can you hire a tutor to help her with her homework? This could be really helpful, as it will take you and Hubby out of the equation. H may resent that her time with you is always focused on her schoolwork, and someone who isn't emotionally connected to her will be able to deal with her more objectively.

And I also want to say this. Just as you recently offered to talk to me, I want to extend that offer to you. I'm in the process of setting up a Skype account and I'll send you the info when it's set up.

Lisa said...

Sorry things are rough going right now- I'll be sending good wishes your way.

Intlxpatr said...

I am so sorry for your dilemma. I don't have any magic to give you; I wish I did. Would Hannah's father really be better for Hannah than you? Would she be welcome? Would she feel blackballed from your family for being difficult?

I have a friend who raised an ADHD child. My friend is a saint, local, who had to advocate for her son every step of the way, with a school system that made no provisions for ADHD