ANA Discussion Forum

Post-Treatment => Cognitive/Emotional Issues => Topic started by: mimoore on January 15, 2010, 07:50:46 pm

Title: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: mimoore on January 15, 2010, 07:50:46 pm
Has anyone experienced this?
My 13 year old daughter is angry at me all the time and I think I have figured out why and it has to do with my tumour. I have older daughters so know teenage girls and mothers have their issues but I felt this was different. We have always been close and slowly she has pushed me away.
I feel she is angry at me because I got sick and that there was a risk of me dying. At the time of my surgery the doctors did not know what type of tumour I had and they said there was a risk because of where my tumour was located and the size of it. We choose to be upfront with her and our other children. I did not want to say I wasn't going to die when we weren't sure. I did say that there was a huge chance I would lose my hearing and a little chance I would die. I did not want to lie to her and then had I died she would never have forgiven me.
Anyway, I confronted her and asked her if this is true and she said 'yes' and a tear rolled down her cheek. I am crushed, I told her I am not going to die from this tumour and she said I was a liar. I told her I would show her this site and some research I have. I asked her how we could make this better and she said she doesn't know and asked me to leave her alone.
I am sooo sad right now. I still need to be the mother I am (make her clean her room, not be on the computer too long, clean up after herself, blah blah blah) and I cannot parent from guilt.
I sense therapy when she is an adult.... my mother got sick and I hate her for it...she ruined my life...

Michelle  :'(
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: saralynn143 on January 15, 2010, 09:06:46 pm
Hi Michelle. I'm so sorry this has come between you and your daughter. It sounds like you have the channels of communication open, though, and I'm praying that her emotions are resolved for the better very soon.

Take care, Michelle.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: leapyrtwins on January 15, 2010, 09:18:49 pm
Michelle -

I have a 13 year old daughter and a 13 year old son, but thankfully I haven't had this issue with either one of them.  They were 11 1/2 at the time of my AN surgery and although I was very upfront with them, I never told them that I could die from my AN or my AN surgery because I myself didn't believe I would.   

If it were one of my kids with this issue, I'd seek therapy for her/him now, not wait and let the resentment build.  IMO, it would be wise to address your daughter's concerns head on; issues like this can linger and fester.  Maybe joint therapy or family therapy would be a good option.

Just my take on the situation and my two cents worth.  I fully expect that a lot of others will disagree with me. 


Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Kaybo on January 15, 2010, 10:22:14 pm
I have not experienced this exactly as my girls were not born yet when I had the AN surgery.  HOWEVER, I have had many other surgeries and permanent facial paralysis.  My middle daughter was having some problems so we took her to a counselor and HE figured out that she is very worried that I will get ANOTHER brain tumor and die (we never realized this b/c WE know that it was a long time ago and I am OK now, but every time she looks at my face, she worries).  Apparently, she worries about things and that is where her troubles stem - we thought she had an anger problem but I think now that she is very anxious and bottles everything up & then blows (right now she is obsessive about tornadoes).  All that to say that this does effect our kids in many ways that we don't even think about!  I would also say that I think some sort of counseling would help her to understand better and get her feelings out.

K   ;D
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: lawmama on January 16, 2010, 06:36:55 am

I am a mother and my heart aches for you!  My kids are little, so I will let other more experienced moms give you advice, but I just wanted you to know that things with your daughter will be ok.  If you have been a loving mother, which it sounds like you have, she is probably just pushing you away because she is so afraid of losing you. I hope she can work through her feelings and realize that pushing you away is not the answer. 

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Cheryl R on January 16, 2010, 08:36:49 am
Michelle,   Your daughter is also at the the age where the hormones are kicking in big time and can bring lots of ups and downs  to their thoughts.      I agree with the worry one that Kaybo mentioned as my youngest daughter is a worrier type and inherited it from me.     My daughters were in their early twenties to thirty  by the time I have had my surgeries so able to handle it probably better than if they were younger.                    Some of her thoughts might even be something she doesn't really know how to explain.         Life with a teenager can be very hard even with nothing going on in your life.          I hope this can work out in time and make life easier for both of you.                        Cheryl R 
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: mimoore on January 16, 2010, 11:00:58 am
Thank you everyone for your kind words.

This June I will be two years post op. My older daughters were - 23 and 25 at the time so they understood the situation better. We had a family meeting when I was diagnosed so they could ask questions, and we could discuss things openly. We didn't want to hide anything and now it has backfired. I thought we were making the best decision at the time.  Had I known my tumour was an AN it might have been better. Then after surgery I had complications that probably didn't help.

I think therapy of some sort would be beneficial, I will call my family doctor to refer us to someone. I know this anger is a big shield to protect herself. This is a sad time as I have always had a very close relationship with all of my children.

My 13 yr old is going to spend the weekend with her sisters(they have a very loving relationship) and they are going to try to talk to her. Hopefully this will help a bit.

Michelle   :'(
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: sgerrard on January 16, 2010, 11:58:58 am

I have a good friend who lost her mother at the age of 14. It caused a lot of problems in her life for years after. I wish she could have gotten good therapy at the time, I'm sure it would have helped enormously. Do whatever you can.

Although this won't make logical sense, there is truth in it when it is a matter of the heart: she wouldn't hate you if she didn't love you. She has learned too early that her mother will not always be there for her. Though we all learn it eventually, it is difficult when it is thrust upon you at a young age. Whether it be divorce or death or medical issue, it is too much grown up information for a kid.

I'm betting that if you stick with her, it will work out in time.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: moe on January 16, 2010, 12:20:14 pm
My heart goes out to you. Your daughter is at a crucial hormonal stage of ups and downs, so also her imagination may be getting the best of her.
No, you didn't die, but in her mind- who knows, you still may die. The subconscious brain is very powerful....(Even though you have told her you will NOTdie)
Kind of a protective mechanism- she is maybe angry or turning away in case you DO die so she can cope.  ??? ???
Therapy is definitely a must for you and her now. Now how to get both of you there without having to drag her.......
Good luck, you both are in my prayers.
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: yardtick on January 16, 2010, 01:31:48 pm

I have four sons.  At the time of my surgery and recovery my third son Anthony's dear friend Amanda was fighting for her life.  She had cancer as a young toddler and as a result of treatment she developed a secondary cancer that took her life after a valiant 18 month battle.  He was with her when she passed, two days before his 18Th birthday.  I myself was battling crippling headaches and severe facial pain.  I was working full time, coming home to the couch or my bed.  I was having a very difficult time coping because of the pain. 

Being a mother is challenging and very rewarding as you know.  The night of Amanda's passing, Anthony climbed into my bed between my husband and I.  He cried himself to sleep in my arms.  During the viewing and funeral he was stuck to me like glue.  It took its toll on me and I thought I hid my own pain from him, but I didn't.  A few days afterwards when I was in bed with a brain wreck of a headache, he got so angry with me.  He yelled, ranted and raved.  I knew it was his grieving over loosing Amanda, but I also knew he was very angry I was sick.  He might of been afraid of loosing me. 

His anger lasted for several months.  It was my cousin who saw and heard him one day and she cornered him.  She told Anthony that no one wants to take to their bed at 2:00 in the afternoon on a gorgeous summer day.  She told him I was not feeling sorry for myself.  She asked him to remember what I was like before the surgery, to remember our house was always the house where everyone gathered.  Than she ask him if he was afraid I was going to die.  At that moment he crumbled in her arms.  Once his fear was verbalized it was easier for me to understand his anger.  He saw the family doctor a few times, which was very beneficial.

Today he is two months shy of his 20Th birthday and he is my loveable, kind, considerate son again.  Hang in there Michele, she is still a baby.  Older sisters are wonderful.  Try not to take it personally and let her know she can come to you or her sisters anytime.

You need a kiss to the forehead  :-*
Anne Marie

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Jim Scott on January 16, 2010, 03:20:24 pm
Michelle ~

I was predictably dismayed to read about the situation with your 13-year-old daughter; her fear and now, her anger that has come between you.  I've never pretended to understand the minds of young females and although I'm a parent, we had a son (now 30) who was a good boy and grew to be a fine young man, although of course, we had our issues during his adolescence.  By the time I received my AN diagnosis, he was 27 and because I wasn't panicky (my wife wasn't quite so sanguine) he took my cue and treated the entire process; numerous doctor visits, multiple pre-op tests, the 9-hour surgery, 5-day hospitalization and - fortunately - a rapid recovery, with remarkable equanimity.  I can't imagine how he would have reacted at 13 and if we'd had a pubescent young daughter, well, all bets would be off.  That said, I offer you my sympathy - but no substantive advice.  It's unfortunate that your daughter believes you could die from your AN, which, as we know, is  technically true - but the chances of that happening are truly infinitesimal.  However, I doubt statistics would carry much weight when a girl is convinced her mother could die - and leave her - because of a small, benign, partially excised skull-based tumor.  It appears as if your daughter is struggling with her fear of losing you - and that fear has to be respected, even when it's practically baseless.  Just as we sensitively deal with non-existent 'monsters under the bed' when our children are toddlers, we have to treat these fears of a 13-year-old girl about her mom dying as both real and somewhat serious.

I can't imagine your daughter growing up to be maladjusted over her misunderstanding the risks of her mother having an acoustic neuroma and subsequent removal surgery, back when she was 13 years old.  However, I'm well aware that some children may carry the fallout of such incidents with them and later develop unhealthy attitudes because the issue was never properly addressed.  Still, I'm 'old school 'and so, don't automatically fall back on 'therapy' and 'counseling' for every traumatic incident in my child's life, although I have no problem with these disciplines that help many.  My son always had a good relationship with his mother and me.  We talked.  I was careful to treat him age-appropriately, that is, I didn't 'talk down' to him but I didn't expect him, at, say 13, to have the discernment of an adult, either.  He went through some struggles during his adolescence and did see a doctor at one point (to determine if he had any physical problems) but for the most part, we muddled through and he did just fine.  Today, we have a very strong bond.

I know that offering advice on child-raising issues is risky and fraught with too many opportunities to make enemies so I have absolutely no desire to give advice on a subject that I have only my own parenting experience to draw on, which is hardly impressive, I know.  I have no expertise in this sort of thing so I'll simply mention that your daughter may well get past this on her own - or with her big sisters help - but I wouldn't make myself despondent and fearful of dire consequences to your daughter's psyche because you 'got sick' when she was 13 years old and unable to deal with her fears of 'losing' her mom.  If professional counseling is called for, by all means, pursue that option.  Whatever it takes.  I can only hope and believe that your daughter will be O.K., in time.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: mimoore on January 16, 2010, 03:39:43 pm
Wow, you are all wonderful. :-*
I got all teary reading your posts. It is great to see things from all perspectives.
I knew you would all understand, thank you for being there for me again and again.
We will make it through this our bond is strong. It is just very sad that another thing has happened as a result of my AN.
Michelle  :(
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: another NY postie on January 18, 2010, 07:20:05 am
Dear Michelle,
I, too, am living with a 13 year old and I feel your pain! :D  Seriously, she is not angry with me for my surgery but seems to always be on a rollercoaster of emotions, dragging her mama right along with her.  I was honest, too, about my surgery, but did leave the "might die" out just because, although I knew it was a risk, I don't think I really thought I would.  I used the caringbridge site and they got to see lots of "head" shots of me while I was out in CA and when I came home, they seemed fine.  But I don't think we can ever understand the workings of our individual minds and there are definitely those, myself included, who suffer from anxiety.  Anxiety is not something that is easily controlled and it does seem to be random.  The most important thing, which you are doing, is acknowledging her feelings, whether they are rational or not.  The anger/hate is just masking the fear.

My 10 year old seems to have my tendency towards anxiety and while she has been fine all through my recovery, she started having nightmares when I returned to work 2 weeks ago.  She doesn't suffer from these typically, but she is now so gripped with fear of someone breaking in that she is sleeping in her sister's room on the floor. I know that it is related to my returning to work but can't exactly bridge the two thoughts.  She meets me at the door everyday with this huge, long hug and while it is extremely sweet, there is an air of desperation or fear around her.  I am trying to work this through with her and it also could be the fear of me dying.   She also doesn't seem to be able to walk home from school by herself because of fear.  (there is a small portion of the walk where she is alone but there are many kids walking all over the place).  I don't know at what point that one seeks therapy for their child.  I think if it starts interfering with their normal activiites or if one feels that they need guidance in working through an issue.

Good luck with your daughter...I am sure you will find a happy place with her and this will be a distant memory someday.  Parenting is such a hard task and when we throw in ANs and surgeries and recoveries, it does seem to affect all aspects of our lives.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: stoneaxe on January 18, 2010, 10:02:20 am
This too shall pass.

She's 13..its what some 13 year olds do. My youngest daughter hated me from the time she was 10 until she was 20. She hated me because I was her father and she didn't like that I had rules for her to follow. She's 25 now and we're very therapy necessary. I'd avoid therapy like a plague. Most of the kids that I know whose parents sent them to therapy are even more screwed up today as adults.
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Kaybo on January 18, 2010, 11:11:28 am
My middle child is seeing someone - which was a VERY hard thing for me.  I am not opposed to therapy but have NEVER had to go for myself or needed any medication.  I think that if you asked ANYONE around, they would say that we are very good parents and not "screwed up" in any way - even though we are certainly NOT super parents, or people.  Even though I feel inadequate as a parent that had to seek counseling for my child, I am doing it because I want the VERY BEST for her and I don't think we were meeting that need.  I have 3 daughters and 2 of the 3 are more like me - my middle is extremely bright and apparently anxiety ridden.  She is still very young, IMO, and we have been struggling with issues (her anxiety manifests in angry outbursts) basically since she could talk.  We felt that it was time to get someone else involved to help HER - we were afraid it was interfering with her friendships and how the other kids viewed her.

It has been my experience a lot of folks do just stick their kids in therapy because they really don't care & don't want to have to deal with them, however; that is certainly NOT the case in all scenarios.  PLEASE don't pass judgement or advise others to not seek something that could be really helpful (ex. health related issues as opposed to general rebellion of rules) for them and their whole family.

*a parent who is TORN UP because my child is in counseling...*
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: lori67 on January 18, 2010, 12:07:30 pm

I'm so sorry for what you're going through with your daughter.  That age is so hard to begin with but the added stress of surgery is so much for a kid to handle.

I don't really have any advice to offer, because fortunately I had 2 kids that were old enough to understand what was going on and 2 that were too young to know what was going on at the time of my surgery.  I tend to downplay things like this anyway and didn't really let them know it was a big deal until after all was said and done.  My own mother was shocked afterward - she said I made it sound like no big deal - like I was going to get my teeth cleaned or something.  That's just my way of dealing with it - I don't like people to worry about me (my family is a bunch of worriers to begin with).

You are a good mom and you will know the right thing to do for your daughter.  She doesn't really hate you - she just hates the idea that this might have taken you away from her.  As far as therapy - you know your daughter better than anyone and will know if it's right for her.  We moms do whatever it takes to make sure our kids are happy and healthy, even if it's something we hadn't considered doing before. The way I see it, if your knee is bothering you - you go to the orthopedist for his professional advice; if your emotions  are bothering you, you go see a professional for that too.

Please don't beat yourself up over this.  It's no one's fault that you got sick.  Your daughter will realize that one day.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Debbi on January 18, 2010, 12:09:37 pm
I don't have kids, although I was a 13 year old girl once myself.  ;)  So, no advice on child rearing from me.  However, on the subject of therapy, I can honestly say that it helped me through an extremely difficult time in my life a number of years ago, so I am pro-therapy all the way.  

Michelle, I know that you will find the right answer for you and for your daughter.  You know her, whereas none of us do - and that makes you the very best person to decide if therapy is a good idea.  

Sending you prayers and hugs.
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: leapyrtwins on January 18, 2010, 12:11:53 pm
I'd avoid therapy like a plague. Most of the kids that I know whose parents sent them to therapy are even more screwed up today as adults.

Youch!!!  I know this is just an opinion, but I totally disagree.  While I never went to therapy as a child, I have gone several times as an adult.  During the time I was struggling to have children (something that took 9 long years, many medical procedures, tons of money, and one very generous egg-donor); went to marriage counseling twice in the hopes of saving my marriage; and post-divorce I went to individual therapy and family therapy with my two children.  In addition, my son who is ADHD has gone to counseling - and I in no way, shape, or form think he's "screwed up".

Life is extremely complicated and we all have issues that we can't handle at times.  There is no shame in seeking help when you need it.  If you have a medical problem, you seek medical attention.  If you have an emotional issue, you seek someone to help you deal with it.

Just the opinion of someone who's "been there".


Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Cheryl R on January 18, 2010, 12:16:09 pm
Good for you, Kay!       It sounds like you are doing good to make sure life does go well for your daughter.      I always told my daughters that I did the best that I could at the time if they complain how something should have been different when they were growing up.
                                                        Cheryl R
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Jackie on January 18, 2010, 08:14:50 pm
Very very well expressed Donnalynn!!

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said!!! As with all professions there are good and bad and as far as entrusting the welfare of your child to a stranger, is a very poor idea. Yes you are so right when you talk about sharing the same values and beliefs is absolutely tantamount to good results. Let's just say, Been there done that and leave it at that! Great lessons to be learned from you Donnalynn. Thank you for your direct and honest approach!!

Jackie in Oregon
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Jim Scott on January 19, 2010, 01:09:16 pm
Donnalynn ~

I enjoyed your thoughtful analysis on the pros and cons of professional counseling as it relates to those in Michelle's situation.  I appreciated the fact that you validated those situations where the parents and child are able to work through the problem on their own while offering cogent advice regarding the choosing of a therapist/councilor when this decision is warranted.  You've presented a balanced, informative analysis that will likely be of great benefit to those who read and absorb the information you've thoughtfully provided from the perspective of a experienced counselor.  Thank you.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: LisaP on January 19, 2010, 06:19:28 pm
Hi Michelle,

I had the opposite happen to me when I recieved my dx due to my brother's illness (he was dx with a gleoblastoma back in 9/07, died on 10/16/08), I was dx on March 31,2008.  My dx brought my family very close, my daughters are very protective of my now due to the loss of my brother.  I have explained my dx to them and that I should not die from it.  My children are also older at 27, 27 and 20 so maybe age made a difference.

My 20 year old even had my name tatooed on the back of her ear on the right side (the same side of my AN).  I was very touched by it.   So try to hang in there, it sounds like your daughter is scared.  Just keep talking to her is all that you can do.

Best wishes,

LisaP ;D
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Keri on January 20, 2010, 07:56:16 am
I can empathize. I have three kids - my oldest daughter is autistic. We had and still have many challenges with her, but they NEVER prepared me for the emotional roller coaster ride that we've had since my youngest daughter hit the teen years. Around age 11 or so it was all "mommy mommy i love you so much' and she'd leave me notes everywhere and it was all so sweet. At some point, it digressed to where about a year or two ago i felt she hated me and i could do nothing right. She had just turned 15 when i had my AN surgery. Maybe I downplayed it a bit, like Lori said. I mean, she knew it was quite serious and she saw me looking like i was hit by a truck in ICU. she and my son seemed to have a difficult time coming to the hospital. now, she's 16 and while our relationship is better - we're not getting so much into the 'she copes the attitude, i get mad or nag, her attitude gets worse, i nag more' cycle. but she's still having some pretty significant problems. people who know her think of her as so cute, so personable, so creative, so happy... and she is all of those things. but she's also gets depressed, has panic attacks and has problems with things i just don't get. we go to a really nice, good counselor. the one thing i've resisted is her going on meds. i so want her to 'fight' and not have to depend on meds. but we may have to do it. i know the teen years aren't difficult for everyone. i was a difficult teen but my problems were much more rebellious in nature! but the transition of when they're a sweet child to a teen that seems to hate you is a huge surprise and very difficult to deal with.

i know she must love you very much but i think they just have such a difficult time dealing with and sorting through their powerful emotions.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: sunfish on April 01, 2010, 01:35:29 pm
Lots and lots and lots of good responses above.  I work in the mental health field, but not with kids.  I'm a mom to 5 grown children.  My baby (daughter) just turned 18.  What a rocky road it's been from age 13 to 18!  I do see a little light at the end of the tunnel.  I think counseling is great, if the child wants to go.  I never had much success with my kids wanting to go, or connecting with a therapist.

One thing I don't think others have said:  In my experience, teenage girls sometimes like to push our buttons, and the "I'm a victim, my mom is sick" button can be a good one.  I agree with everything others have said, especially "she is angry your sick only because she loves you and is afraid you're going to die."  This can also be a self-centered age, and with all my kids, I was amazed at how everything could be all about them, even at a time when it should be all about someone else.  But that's just natural, and they do grow out of it.
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: moe on April 03, 2010, 10:34:46 am
I loved your story. Interesting how your kids responded differently. Whoever snags your son when he turns into an adult will be very lucky indeed! A touchy  feely kind :)

Here's hoping your daughter is doing OK and you have a nice Easter together.
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Soundy on April 12, 2010, 11:23:01 am
 July will mark my 3 year anniversary ... and recently I have felt like my 12 1/2 year old hates me for the AN ... when I don't hear her and ask her to repeat something she rolls her eyes makes a kinda grunting sound and storms off ... she gets mad when I won't want to go watch them skate or when I do go and I plug my hearing ear , she is mad because I can't hear and respond to her as she wants me too ... I get tired and take naps ...lots of naps and she thinks I should be up and about ...but later after being a pill and growling at me she comes around , kisses my forehead and tells me she loves me ... but the anger she is expressing is scary ... I am figuring hormones and the still dealing with my issues is catching up with her ... She has said she wants the old mom back and I am not the same mom she had before surgery …

my 10 1/2 year old is just herself ...sweet, lovable , happy kid ... but I am prepared for her to turn Mr. Hyde on me like older one has ... and with both , I just keep loving them and wait for it to pass ... will seek help if we need to …

as for counseling ... it all depends like Donnalynn said , getting the right match ... the wrong person can do more damage than good ...

I have been in counseling several time in my life associated with  problems of my older sister and how it was impacting my life and that of our whole family ...

First was group family therapy when my parents finally realized that my older sister’s  severe mental illness  was not something they could handle alone  ... she would be normal one day and may try to kill someone the next ...didn’t work well with first 2 assigned therapists ( when in El Paso and Army is paying for it , you got little choice in who you saw , just take what is given ) 

 I have a knife scar on the back of my hand and a scar on my forehead ... When I was about 6 month old she held me by my ankles and thunked my head on a coffee table to get rid of me ... She told our parents she  didn’t want any brothers or sisters …but me  having a hard head she didn't succeed ... She was just past 2 years old at the time

The knife scar was put there when I was about 11 and I had cut up an apple ... I was sitting at table smearing peanut butter on the pieces and then there was  knife stuck in my hand ... she was in and out of hospitals all across the country ...

The first therapist was when we were in El Paso , mid 70’s we went into group therapy to “fix her “ … after one session of getting to know us other kids  ( as if he could know 4 kids in 2 hours ) the therapist had us drawing all the time … just put us at a table with crayons and paper , then tell us to  draw what ever comes to mind … this went on every Saturday morning and Wednesday evening for 2 hours each session …after about 6 weeks of this he said we all had issues and needed extensive counseling … this after our drawings went for typical for our ages  to disturbing

what he and my parents didn’t know is that my  oldest brother ( a year younger than me ) and myself devised a plan to get out of therapy … about 2 weeks in to this experiment  , we had bribed and instructed our two younger brothers to draw naked people and draw in black and red only …and we had out own drawing plans …so we all sat drawing in black and red …me and partner in crime drew angry people and demons all in black and red crayon , while the younger two were drawing naked people colored red …looked bloody … I was in 8th grade and tired of being hurt and my parents reluctance to do anything drastic like commit my sister so the myself and my brothers could have a normal life … I had to fess up or we were all going to have to go to private sessions for being nuts … but he was not a good therapist … did nothing but add frustration to the problems we had in dealing with living with a sibling that tried regularly to kill or maim us  ...learned later he had been working with vets that had returned from Vietnam with PTS syndrome and was reassigned to family counseling after complaints from some of the soldiers he was suppose to be helping

Take Two …. First question the next one asked me :  How do you know that you are not the one with a problem instead of Jay ??? Well sir , I have never tried to kill any of  my little brothers (just made them draw naked people ) and I never stuck a knife in anyone … But does that make you more normal than her ? Yes … How can you be sure you are both not operating in your own state of normal ? … I had to think on that question for an answer that wouldn’t  end with my mouth being washed out or a whipping when I got home …. In my hesitation he said See you don’t know if you are any more normal than she is …. This man had been seeing her in a group home she had been in for about a month and I guess she had him convince she was OK… so he figured it was the rest of us … I told him that maybe we were both in our own normal state but mine was the socially acceptable state … I got up and left his office never to return …

I developed a distrust of therapists … my sister could be so normal acting when she was put in the hospital and dupe doctors in to believing she was fine … it was the rest of the world that had a problem …it was the fault of her siblings that she acted like she did … then she would come out and terrorize us … if we defended our selves we were in trouble because if you fought her,  her behavior escalated and police  had to be called in …and that embarrassed my parents …

Last one they assigned us was a good man … he listened …and especially listened to my mom when she said Jay had never been normal since early childhood … (what 2 ½ year old tries to get rid of their sister by killing her ??? ) and she told him that she thought that her worse behavior was tied to her cycle ( this was in the days where PMS was not a house hold thing and not as understood) he did blood work , after blood work … did it at several points in her cycle ,  2 or 3 months in a row and came up with a plan …her male hormones skyrocketed when she cycled and she got aggressive and dangerous … even when she was at her good she could be mean … but at that time of the month look out … with hormone therapy to keep her levels from going up and down so drastically  , tranquilizers to keep her calm and  alot of talk therapy  things were better …he helped us all where the others caused additional damage …

Long story short … there are good and bad therapist … have seen both 

Watch your child and follow your instincts … and if you do decide to do any therapy don’t be afraid to fire one and find another until you find one that is good for your daughter and what she has going on … and is also good for your family …
Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Jim Scott on April 12, 2010, 03:52:01 pm
Soundy ~

Your story of dealing with your mentally disturbed sister is harrowing in many respects but it proves, as you noted, that (a) psychotherapy is an 'art, not a science' and, (b) that therapists, like medical doctors that treat only our physical problems, there are endless variations in the quality and effectiveness of the doctors that treat mental/emotional issues.  I would expect that treating children with mental problems is the most challenging of all so I'm not shocked that you encountered a less-than stellar therapist when you were younger, but I have to admire your youthful wiles as you dealt with the therapist and your astute observation that this person was not helping.  I believe you handled a tough situation (your sister's mental instability) quite well.

I also agree with your analysis that your daughter's hormones are affecting her attitude toward you.  We all know that once a child enters puberty, they usually begin trying to distance themselves from their parents and like to put on a pose of absolute boredom and, sometimes, embarrassment at almost anything the parent says or does.  Then, the wall comes down for brief moments and the child's true emotions toward the parent shines through, like a firefly's light on a summer night, blinking on and off but reminding you that beneath the unaccustomed insolence and overdrawn expressions of exasperation with you, she loves you. 

Your daughter's statement that she wants her old mom back has to be a disturbing but don't allow yourself to feel unnecessarily guilty about this.  Perhaps your daughter should be reminded that you're well aware of your limitations and how they affect her (remember, kids - especially in puberty - are notoriously self-centered)  and that you didn't ask to be this way. I suggest that you acknowledge her anger and frustration with you and try to show her that you don't like the way you are but if you both work at accepting and accommodating it, things might be better for both of you.

Of course, I'm just a superannuated, uneducated former disc jockey and don't pretend to have any credible expertise in handing these kinds of issues, other than having been a parent, but my AN didn't show up until my son was in his mid-20's, so this was never an issue for us.  I trust that you'll be able to handle your daughter's anger and come through this with your relationship intact.  I know many 'AN parents have to deal with these issues so I appreciate your courage in posting your current problems with your daughter as well as your account of your mentally disturbed sibling and how that affected your childhood.   You're a very resilient woman and your posts are always interesting.  Thanks.

Title: Re: My daughter hates me because I got sick...
Post by: Jeff on April 13, 2010, 07:08:30 am
I have been watching this thread with interest. And unfortunately, I have experience with this as a child and a parent.

My father had NF2, thus, both ANs were removed and he became deaf. While I now realize that this was very hard for him, I was immature and mostly concerned about how this affected me.

I am now deaf and have some physical limitatioms as a result of surgery and complications. This has been difficult for my child, largely because I have difficulty communicating and am unable to do some of the things that we used to do together.

My thoughts: I believe that anger at change is a normal response. I also believe that children have a tendency toward self-centered behavior. Consequently, their anger, while seeming to be directed at the parent, is really anger about change and how it affects them.

I also think that children take time to learn empathy.

Of course, all of this is based upon my own experiences. I am no way, shape, or form, an expert. I don't have the answers, but I have many questions :)