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how do you keep on giving?


fairfarmhand
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i've posted about my oldest dd who has a rather...challenging...personality.

 

We're working on it.  i see slow progress that comes in fits and starts.

 

but  i am just tired.

 

I'm tired of handling stuff, smoothing over conflicts and talking talking talking about every imaginable situation and how it should be handled. i'm tired of dealing with negativaty, arguing, and complaining.

 

what do i do?

 

i am so looking forward to when she goes to college in 2 years. I and the other kids anticipate days when she's out of the house at work or someplace else.

 

Sending her to school isn't an option at this point. (believe me, it's been seriously considered.)

 

It's all up to me.

 

And I don't know where I can find the energy to do this for 2 more years.

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My older son has autism. Key portions of my extended family are like a Jerry Springer nightmare that never ends but from which it is impossible to cut contact with (because of their children). It's not a stretch to say that I give a lot of time, energy, patience, money, talent and love to my family. But I learned a key thing that charity starts at home and home starts with me. I have to invest something in myself to have anything to invest in others.

 

I can't help my son regulate when I am disregulated. I can't stay patient and loving with my SIL if I am stressed and anxious myself. I can't give my neurologically typical son what he deserves or my husband what he needs if I have tapped myself out on everyone else. So I invest in myself first. Maybe it sounds selfish but it has all I have found that works to allow me to be all that I need to be for my family.

 

Pick something to do for yourself everyday and do it until it is a habit. Then add in something else. Exercise is absolutely critical for me.

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I get it.  my oldesdt is challenging, too.  Looking forward to hearing how others w/challenging kiddos handle it.

 

I have a friend who says she just ignored it, nodded and when it was too much just saID LALALALA in her head.

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Even though I find his tone snide and there are a lot of things I don't love about his advice, I found John Rosemond's book "Teenproofing" so helpful,  I needed to learn  how not to engage - how to choose to not talk talk talk, argue or debate.  I actually had to work really hard to just be matter of fact, shut the emotionally draining "talk" cycle off, and just live my life, make my decisions, and not get dragged into my child's need for engagement.  Obviously, my child is different from yours, but I found it very liberating for ME to do that.  It sounds sort of mean to talk less to your child during conflict, to withdraw from arguments and debates, to listen less and engage less.  But while perhaps some kids need to be listened to and understood more, but if you are like me, you may be over feeding that monster.  Just as an example, from Rosemond, I learned that I would never give my child "reasons" that he would accept or admit made sense, so I stopped trying.  I released the need to have my child give ground, admit I had a point, etc.  If saying it the first time didn't make a difference, repeating it wouldn't help. 

 

I think as an introvert, I just found it so exhausting to have to verbally engage so much.  So I cut way down on it.  And of course, I still talked to my child and listened, I just was more intentional and knew what my reasonable goals were. 

 

 

 

 

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(((hugs)))  I had one of those teen girls.  :)  She is older now and much less "work" for me.  I am pretty blunt so I found that I had to learn to beat around the bush so much with her.  That was tiring.  Also, I figured out at some point that she did not really want my advice on her problems.  She just wanted my commiseration.  Even now, if she wants it, she asks for it.  So I took up basically saying "Oh, that's awesome!"  or "Awww, that sucks!"  to 90% of what she said (because in her brain things were very polarized).  The other 10% of our interactions were/are me trying to shove my 47 years worth of knowledge and experience into the cracks between the "awesome" and "sucks".  :)

 

(Didn't read a single other reply, mama, so I hope this is helpful.  :) )

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I am wondering what she is doing, exactly, that is upsetting you on a daily basis.

 

Complaining. About everything. Sisters wiggling her foot on the couch, someone got the leftovers she wanted, dad is so mean. Everyone else is the favorite. Why can't we go ___? We never...We always...

 

She really doesn't have a clue about self awareness. Her negativity and explosiveness sets her up for family members to dislike her. However, when you point it out, it's always someone else's fault.

 

She judges herself by her intentions and everyone else by their actions.

 

She very seldom admits when she's wrong. She's consistently disrespectful and rude to me when she's annoyed with anything. (frequently takes out frustrations on others)

 

She;s just rather unpleasant to be around.

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I don't think it is fair to blame a child for lifelong habits and traits if the parent has not sought assistance in intervening.  It seems to me that these patterns have existed long enough that it is time to recognize a need for help and get it for the child rather than just hope that your responsibilities will end in 2 years. 

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I think you all who mentioned self-care are spot on.

 

Now that I think about it, I have allowed this area to slide.

 

I've been upping my part time work since we quit school for the summer to help with bills. I'm not feeding my soul. My creative projects have dwindled to nothing.

 

That;s going to make me take things more personally, have less patience, and feel more overwhelmed and hopeless.

 

Now to figure out how to make myself fit that into my daily life.

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Guest submarines

In my DD12 these very same traits correspond with being very sensitive and empathetic (when not in a state of being overly sensitive and anxious.)

 

I get it that it is very draining to live with someone who is irritable, negative and impulsive but it would be a mistake to think that she doesn't feel with her entire being that you can't wait for her to finally leave.

 

It is a never ending cycle of low self esteem and negativity. If she feels she can do no right, why to even try?

 

Can you go away with her for a couple of days? If you find a time to reconnect and recharge you will have more patience for her. For me the key was to break the negative cycle.

 

We also try to feel DD's life with experiences that recharge her (and do send her out of the house for 3-4 hours in a row).

 

 

 

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Have you looked at ADHD symptoms in girls? Untreated it can cause depression or anxiety (or both), or they co-exist and exacerbate each other. Obviously I don't know your DD, but quite a few symptoms overlap some things we are experiencing pre-puberty. Apparently puberty makes it even more uh fun...

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I guess I retreat into my own head. I spend a lot of time there. I can be in a crowd and be completely alone.

 

I try my best to be "present" with my kids, but when they wear on me, I go to my mind cave.

I'm never alone in my head. Those are the best conversations...

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Complaining. About everything. Sisters wiggling her foot on the couch, someone got the leftovers she wanted, dad is so mean. Everyone else is the favorite. Why can't we go ___? We never...We always...

 

She really doesn't have a clue about self awareness. Her negativity and explosiveness sets her up for family members to dislike her. However, when you point it out, it's always someone else's fault.

 

She judges herself by her intentions and everyone else by their actions.

 

She very seldom admits when she's wrong. She's consistently disrespectful and rude to me when she's annoyed with anything. (frequently takes out frustrations on others)

 

She;s just rather unpleasant to be around.

Well, I haven't BTDT from the parent side, but I was your dd. It took me several years away from my family before i decided I didn't want to be that person anymore. I was miserable and I know I made the people around me unhappy. There was nothing extrinsic that motivated me to change until I realized I needed to do so. Something just clicked.

 

Part of my internal conversion was the realization that I had a choice. I could be satisfied or I could be unsatisfied. Content or discontent. I couldn't control life events, but I had control over myself and I could decide how to react. I try to tell my kids this all the time (especially my Eeyore) in the hopes of heading off the same experience for them.

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Maybe she needs to volunteer and be around people who have less then her. Can she get a volunteer position at a woman's shelter possibly? She may be in for a rude awakening when she goes to college. You don't want her going with no self awareness. People with think she is a pain, won't want her around, then she'll be beggin' to come home.

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Maybe she needs to volunteer and be around people who have less then her. Can she get a volunteer position at a woman's shelter possibly? She may be in for a rude awakening when she goes to college. You don't want her going with no self awareness. People with think she is a pain, won't want her around, then she'll be beggin' to come home.

 

GAHHHH!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!!

 

:eek: :willy_nilly: :eek:

 

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Guest submarines

I looked back at my past posts and about 29 days ago, I was posting about her PMS. hmmmm....  I'm off to iHerb to buy the Evening Primrose Oil and Vitex that she ought to be taking.

 

And it is likely your cycles are synchronized and you are feeding off each other's hormonal energies. :grouphug:  I'm sure there are things that your DD is amazing at--try to focus on those, don't corner *yourself* into being negative about your DD.

 

Also, what ErinE posted about self awareness, is she self aware but not in control, or not self aware at all? What are you doing in terms of developing her emotional awareness?

 

I find that DD (she's just like what you are describing) is becoming incredibly aware of how her mind and emotions work but she is not fully in control yet. I see this as a huge step in the right direction--I didn't have such awareness until I was in my twenties, if not thirties. lol

 

Your DD might be similarly hyper aware, but hides it because she's embarrassed when she can't control her negativity, seeing herself as failure.

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I handed her some Vitex and mentioned to her that this exact same thing happened 27-29 days ago. It was like a light bulb went off. At least now she's pitifully whining about "I feel like I have a thundercloud over my head." rather than griping about everyone else. I suppose that's an improvement. I also showed her where I am ordering the other supplements that she needs. I think now that I explained that  I was keeping track of her cycles she realizes that it's not ALL everyone else.

 

We spent the evening doing some fun stuff. I fixed a good dinner, we played Banana grams for a long time and now we're watching a movie while waiting on dh to get home.

 

I think I need to scale back on the work. It's making me short with people. I'm pushing too hard and missing what's important.

 

And yes, seekinghim45, I have outsourced all of her schoolwork to the virtual school. It has drastically improved things.

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We spent the evening doing some fun stuff. I fixed a good dinner, we played Banana grams for a long time and now we're watching a movie while waiting on dh to get home.

 

I think I need to scale back on the work. It's making me short with people. I'm pushing too hard and missing what's important.

 

And yes, seekinghim45, I have outsourced all of her schoolwork to the virtual school. It has drastically improved things.

 

You're on the right track.  When I get totally fed up with DD, I try to plan something enjoyable for us to do together, even briefly.  I try to focus on the positives about her.

 

67 is right about steps...DD has been in the self-aware but not in control for awhile now, and is SLOWLY SLOWLY moving into some control.  She catches herself sometimes now, rather than me having to point it out.  There really is hope!  I just know that I will squash any hope if I can't keep my attitude *mostly* positive. 

 

It's hard..don't give up!  :grouphug:

 

Oh, and how do you keep giving?  The same way you kept picking up the baby, and feeding the baby, and rocking the baby, when you haven't had sleep for you've-forgotten-how-many-days...  Because that's what she needs from you right now.  You have a vent, plan some time for yourself, have a chocolate, and try again.  :grouphug:

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