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Counseling was a fail, I feel like a fool


Elisabet1
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I should not even be posting this, because I know someone will trash on me for this, but here goes...

 

I thought things had gone great with the counseling and everything was improving. Daughter has bipolar disorder and they were talking a few months ago about changing or adding to that diagnosis with personality disorder. But then things have been so good, we thought we had really moved forward.

 

Come Tuesday, she comes crashing down. By today, she takes my iPhone and runs outside and throws it, causing me to lose all the pictures from my son at the Nutcracker, and everything I have taken really since November as I have not backed up lately. He had a cast party and I had a couple pictures of him in costume and such. He had pictures of himself with pretend mom and dad (from party boy role) and with the rat king (he is a soldier) and in his Russian costume..you get the idea. He also had pictures of himself with various friends. All that is gone. And she ran away again, barefoot again, outside. 

 

Then, remember how I grew up in foster care? Again, she calls my birth parents to go stay with them. These are not good people! She knows to stay away from them. My dad has mental illness himself and can barely remember where he is half the time and drives on the wrong side of the road. My mom doesn't really do anything. And my birth sister tried to steal from her. But, she knows it bothers us when she runs there, so she ran straight there. She told them we are abusing her again and she needs a safe place to stay. This is after previously telling me she hates them. Thing is, they are not a safe place to stay! Then she has my birthdad, a man who doesn't even know where he is most of the time and does not even know the names of my children (because he cannot remember) and gets lost walking down his own street, and puts my dad on the phone to inform her boyfriend that I am the one with mental illness. 

 

Her boyfriend is kind enough to call me and tell me what she is up to. I have been very worried. A lot has happened obviously. But she has behaved in such a way that even her boyfriend cannot ignore that something is seriously wrong. For example, she texts she is not going to church because she wants to help out at the Nutcracker. Then, a while later, texts that she just now found out that she is being forced against her will to help out at the Nutcracker and that I signed her up and never told her.  In another text, she claimed she did not even know Nutcracker was this weekend. (in fact, with all the holes in what she remembers, sometimes I wonder if perhaps she has some of my birthday's issues). On Saturday, she had volunteered to play at a Christmas concert, but then she was a no show and made excuses why it is not her fault. Then, she claimed she really just wanted to work at the Nutcracker that day. But when it was time to walk out the door, she went in to a fit of rage about something. I do not even know what she was angry about, and said she would not go. My husband got angry with her and told her she had an obligation and made her go that day. 

 

Her boyfriend has caught her cheating. Not sex cheating, but having lovey dovey conversations with another guy. He is devastated. 

 

And on her cell phone she left here, all her history is deleted prior to Sunday. Sunday, it says she was googling why should she live and she is so depressed and stuff like that. 

 

I just do not know what to do. To top it off, she is over 18 so I cannot even speak to her counselor about it. She has to sign something to allow me to, and she would have before. But now that she has crashed, she is not even here. 

 

I was so dumb to think all was better. And I am totally clueless on what I am supposed to do now. I put a message in at the regular doctor. But I suspect I will just get the answer that she is over 18 and can make her own decisions.  My husband feels we should not allow her back in the house. He is right I am sure. It is just very hard. 10 yr old spent a lot of time crying this morning after she destroyed the phone with his pictures.

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:grouphug: I am so sorry.  Bipolar is a wicked disease.  My 21 year old son was diagnosed with it several years ago.  Life has been a living hell.  My son, too was 18 when he was diagnosed.  It feels so helpless because they need someone to make decisions for them, but our hands are tied.  And you are not dumb to think it would get better.  You want to hope, you have to hope.  I get not wanting to let her back.  If you need to PM me, please do.  My dh and I had such a hard time with that decision, but I will be happy to share privately with you about it. 

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I am so sorry. :grouphug:

 

I am not sure what the etiquette is here, but I think the truth is that the counselor cannot speak [share info with] to you. I don't think there's anything preventing you from alerting her counselor.

 

Hopefully Joanne or one of the other professionals aboard can weigh in on this.

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I am thinking of suggesting to her boyfriend that he try to get her to willingly go to the hospital for help. She has called him and wants to meet him tonight. He is devastated over the cheating. I hate to drag him in to this. But, since she is willing to see him, maybe he can get her to get help.

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Call the crisis line.  If you don't know what it is, call 9-1-1, tell them what is happening and ask them for the number.

 

 

I am thinking of suggesting to her boyfriend that he try to get her to willingly go to the hospital for help. She has called him and wants to meet him tonight. He is devastated over the cheating. I hate to drag him in to this. But, since she is willing to see him, maybe he can get her to get help.

 

If you are going to talk with the boyfriend, perhaps you should share with him the info Jean suggests above.

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Mental illness is hard, hard, hard. It hurts everyone.  :grouphug:

 

I feel like from all your posts you were trying to rush ahead. It's going to be a long time. It's going to have many highs and lows in your relationship and her general progress. It's going to hurt.  :grouphug:

 

Even if she doesn't go to counseling you should. At the very least contact NAMI. They have parent training and supports groups that are very helpful. www.nami.org.

 

:grouphug:

 

 

ETA is there a parent email list for the ballet school. Someone has some pictures your son is in. Post something saying you lost the pictures with no explanation and would like to be sent anything anyone has. Hang around and track parents at the beginning and end of class and ask them in person. 

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What Jean said.

 

Call the counselor. Even if he or she cannot tell you what's been happening in the sessions, I'm pretty sure you can give them input into the current situation. Perhaps they know of resources.

 

Are you sure the pictures are not recoverable? You'd be surprised. Data has been recovered from items from the bottom of a lake, run over by a car, etc.

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...and not that this is at ALLL the main point, but is it possible that your phone has backed up the pictures to the Cloud?  

 

That might give one little candleray of light in this darkness, if you could find those pictures.  

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What Jean said.

 

Call the counselor. Even if he or she cannot tell you what's been happening in the sessions, I'm pretty sure you can give them input into the current situation. Perhaps they know of resources.

 

Are you sure the pictures are not recoverable? You'd be surprised. Data has been recovered from items from the bottom of a lake, run over by a car, etc.

I called 1-800-My-Apple and they said since those pictures were not on the cloud, cannot recover them. I asked if taking the phone to the store would help and they said it would be a waste of trip. Think I should still go to the store anyway?

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...and not that this is at ALLL the main point, but is it possible that your phone has backed up the pictures to the Cloud?  

 

That might give one little candleray of light in this darkness, if you could find those pictures.  

I emailed the studio and asked for the contact information for the Rat King and the pretend parents. Son says pretend parents took a picture too so they might have one. The rest of the pictures it seems are just gone. I called my grandma and asked her to send me anything I might have sent her. I do not recall if I have sent her anything since the party. I am not sure if my grandma will know how to also. 

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I called 1-800-My-Apple and they said since those pictures were not on the cloud, cannot recover them. I asked if taking the phone to the store would help and they said it would be a waste of trip. Think I should still go to the store anyway?

 

I think when this crisis has passed you should look up a a data recovery service (not Apple) in your area. I do not know the answer to your question but they will. I'm talking about a service like this.

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I called 1-800-My-Apple and they said since those pictures were not on the cloud, cannot recover them. I asked if taking the phone to the store would help and they said it would be a waste of trip. Think I should still go to the store anyway?

The store may not have any hardware technicians on-site. How badly damage is the iPhone?

Use the sync cable and see if you can find the iPhones photo folder under windows explorer or Macintosh equivalent. Your iTunes may not be able to see the iPhone but the explorer could.

 

My friend is bi-polar. It's a long road so honestly get yourself some emotional support.

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Calling your local nami group is an excellent idea. I would do that right away. At the very least, you'll get to talk with a person who knows exactly what you and your family - and your child - is going through, and you will be establishing a local resource for your family and for you personally.

 

Bipolar can't be "fixed," but hopefully it can be managed. It will take time, and I would encourage you to stop thinking of your child by her chronological age but by her ability to function independently. Give yourself permission to have a different standard for her than you expected when you first started a family. Give her permission to take the time she needs to gain the skills she will require. 

 

 In my opinion, medication is a huge component of treatment. It's like trying to walk with a broken leg before getting the cast on: You need that structural support first, then you can move on. Hospitals have inpatient and outpatient therapies, and this can be good idea to help tweak medical changes in a safe environment with trained professionals who know how to help. Would she be willing to try? Would her boyfriend be willing to help her consider something like that?

 

I'm sorry about your pictures. I lost all photos of one child's first communion in much the same way. It tore my heart out at the time. I would encourage you to try to put that on the back burner for now, but I know how cathartic it is to fix at least one crisis. 

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Please don't think counseling was a failure or that you were fooled. It was probably working right up until she started having more difficulties. Mental illness is a lifelong battle, and she was making progress. There will be setbacks.  Hope you can get her to go in for some help.  :grouphug:

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If you are worried about her safety, call your local mental health agency. They should have a 24 hr crisis line. You can speak to an emergency mental health worker and they should be able to go and see her if necessary. (this is my husband's main job) They get calls from worried relatives/friends frequently. At the very least, they can give you advice on what to do and help you brainstorm.

 

Counseling was not a waste of time. Bi-polar and personality disorders are not a quick fix. I agree with PP that you find a counselor to help you navigate your DD's mental illness. Your DD's counselor will not be able to tell you anything, unless your DD gave the counselor permission to speak with you, but it worthwhile to call him/her to let them know what's going on. 

 

 

 

 

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Your daughter has a brain disease. Counseling and medication help manage the symptoms and minimize the impact on life, but they do not heal severe cases of bi-polar (and I am guessing possible borderline?).

 

Counseling and meds are not linear. You don't go in a straight line from unwell to well. Over the course of time, gains may be infinitesimal.

 

If you (and your DH) feel it is best, overall, for your dd to live elsewhere, I understand that decision. But if you or your DH are making that choice for some "tough love" mentality and thinking "she'll come to her senses", the motive behind the choice is wrong and your understanding about mental illness is under-informed.

 

You can't "tough love" mental illness - not substance abuse, not bi-polar, not depression or anxiety.

 

Please, get help FOR YOU and the other family members. Support and encourage your dd when she makes strides towards wellness and do your best when she doesn't.

 

Bi-polar can be devastating to all involved.

 

And, no, the Counselor by law can not talk to you. But they can listen. ;)

 

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As you probably know, bipolar can be managed with meds but when people go off meds it is very difficult to get them back on when they start cycling again. Don't feel like a failure, you have not failed. This is a medial condition requiring careful treatment.

 

Sometimes inpatient treatment is necessary to re-establish or establish for the first time a balance. It can be tricky and seem like trial and error but is essential for her to have a normal life.

 

So sorry for your 10yo. I'd sit and commiserate with him so he knows his anger, grief and sadness are shared by others.  :grouphug:

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If you (and your DH) feel it is best, overall, for your dd to live elsewhere, I understand that decision. But if you or your DH are making that choice for some "tough love" mentality and thinking "she'll come to her senses", the motive behind the choice is wrong and your understanding about mental illness is under-informed.

 

You can't "tough love" mental illness - not substance abuse, not bi-polar, not depression or anxiety.

 

 

I don't disagree with this at all.  However, and I say this as someone who's had a bout of mental illness and has dealt with mental illness in my family, sometimes you do need to make hard choices.  If it is affecting your safety, your physical, or mental health, your other children's stability, etc I do think these are extremely important things to weigh as well.  Sometimes these decisions aren't about trying to push for the other party to do something.   :grouphug:

 

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I should not even be posting this, because I know someone will trash on me for this, but here goes...

 

I thought things had gone great with the counseling and everything was improving. Daughter has bipolar disorder and they were talking a few months ago about changing or adding to that diagnosis with personality disorder. But then things have been so good, we thought we had really moved forward.

 

Come Tuesday, she comes crashing down. By today, she takes my iPhone and runs outside and throws it, causing me to lose all the pictures from my son at the Nutcracker, and everything I have taken really since November as I have not backed up lately. He had a cast party and I had a couple pictures of him in costume and such. He had pictures of himself with pretend mom and dad (from party boy role) and with the rat king (he is a soldier) and in his Russian costume..you get the idea. He also had pictures of himself with various friends. All that is gone. And she ran away again, barefoot again, outside.

 

Then, remember how I grew up in foster care? Again, she calls my birth parents to go stay with them. These are not good people! She knows to stay away from them. My dad has mental illness himself and can barely remember where he is half the time and drives on the wrong side of the road. My mom doesn't really do anything. And my birth sister tried to steal from her. But, she knows it bothers us when she runs there, so she ran straight there. She told them we are abusing her again and she needs a safe place to stay. This is after previously telling me she hates them. Thing is, they are not a safe place to stay! Then she has my birthdad, a man who doesn't even know where he is most of the time and does not even know the names of my children (because he cannot remember) and gets lost walking down his own street, and puts my dad on the phone to inform her boyfriend that I am the one with mental illness.

 

Her boyfriend is kind enough to call me and tell me what she is up to. I have been very worried. A lot has happened obviously. But she has behaved in such a way that even her boyfriend cannot ignore that something is seriously wrong. For example, she texts she is not going to church because she wants to help out at the Nutcracker. Then, a while later, texts that she just now found out that she is being forced against her will to help out at the Nutcracker and that I signed her up and never told her. In another text, she claimed she did not even know Nutcracker was this weekend. (in fact, with all the holes in what she remembers, sometimes I wonder if perhaps she has some of my birthday's issues). On Saturday, she had volunteered to play at a Christmas concert, but then she was a no show and made excuses why it is not her fault. Then, she claimed she really just wanted to work at the Nutcracker that day. But when it was time to walk out the door, she went in to a fit of rage about something. I do not even know what she was angry about, and said she would not go. My husband got angry with her and told her she had an obligation and made her go that day.

 

Her boyfriend has caught her cheating. Not sex cheating, but having lovey dovey conversations with another guy. He is devastated.

 

And on her cell phone she left here, all her history is deleted prior to Sunday. Sunday, it says she was googling why should she live and she is so depressed and stuff like that.

 

I just do not know what to do. To top it off, she is over 18 so I cannot even speak to her counselor about it. She has to sign something to allow me to, and she would have before. But now that she has crashed, she is not even here.

 

I was so dumb to think all was better. And I am totally clueless on what I am supposed to do now. I put a message in at the regular doctor. But I suspect I will just get the answer that she is over 18 and can make her own decisions. My husband feels we should not allow her back in the house. He is right I am sure. It is just very hard. 10 yr old spent a lot of time crying this morning after she destroyed the phone with his pictures.

It seems like you have had so many troubles and struggles recently, and it also seems that the bulk of the problems have been falling on your shoulders. Is your husband helping and supporting you through all of this? This is too much for you to try to handle on your own.

 

Have you heard from your dd yet? How is your son doing? I feel so sorry for him (and obviously for you as well.) :(

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I don't disagree with this at all.  However, and I say this as someone who's had a bout of mental illness and has dealt with mental illness in my family, sometimes you do need to make hard choices.  If it is affecting your safety, your physical, or mental health, your other children's stability, etc I do think these are extremely important things to weigh as well.  Sometimes these decisions aren't about trying to push for the other party to do something.   :grouphug:

 

My own son was not welcome back into my home for the same reasons.

 

But I did not do it "so he would hit bottom" or to show him "tough love."

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:grouphug: I'm sorry you're going through this.  Bipolar is so hard.  Our son was diagnosed at 18.  It's been a journey ever since.  Lots of ups and downs, but we've gotten into a better place (crossing fingers it stays that way).  I hope, for you, that this is one of the bumps and that she keeps going to counseling, taking her meds, and moving forward.  It's hard.  NAMI is an excellent idea.  You need support, your whole family does - and lots of it.  

 

 

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It seems like you have had so many troubles and struggles recently, and it also seems that the bulk of the problems have been falling on your shoulders. Is your husband helping and supporting you through all of this? This is too much for you to try to handle on your own.

 

Have you heard from your dd yet? How is your son doing? I feel so sorry for him (and obviously for you as well.) :(

 

She did this earlier today, before noon. And he was working, but in the room when it happened. He works from home and he just happened to not be in his office at the moment. We were in the bedroom. So he saw her do what she did. He then said she could not come back and told people that if she came back, do not open the door. 

 

I had to leave to take younger child to preschool. I knew where she would hide and I drove there and she was there. I told her give me my phone back and she said she threw it in the front yard. I drove back home and it was there and then I went on to drop child at preschool. I came home. Shortly after, she came to the front door pounding on it. No one wanted to let her in and 10 yr old stopped crying long enough to write a note to her to go away, she cannot come in and she ruined his pictures. She finally went away but then came back with my birthdad. He told me I should at least give her her shoes. Thing is, when she runs away, it is sudden, with no plan. And with no shoes. She was barefoot when she left. I gave her shoes and then I said something about how she ruined her brother's pictures and damaged my phone. She said in a drone voice "I didn't touch your phone." My husband came out of the house then and said you attacked your mother and she is pregnant, you damaged the iPhone and you destroyed your brother's pictures. She would not look at him or speak to him. She kept trying to roll up the window and my birthdad told her to stop doing it. She continued to fight him. Finally, my husband and I walked away and I think 10 yr old came out to chime in too. We went back inside and they drove away. 

 

 

In the midst of all this, I heard from her boyfriend. Apparently, she has been calling him. But..he already knows she has been cheating on him. He is devastated and he does not know what to do. He found out a few weeks ago that she is cheating but did not know what to do. We talked a long time. She wanted to see him tonight so he went. I asked him to try to get her to get help. I gave him the number to a suicide hotline. But I think I should have given a different one. I just went with the first one I could find that was open still. But..there might have been a better one, like a local county mental health place.  Now I am just waiting to hear from him how things have gone.

 

Also..on her cell phone, I can see she has been searching things like "I am very depressed" and "why should I live" and "I want to die." I let the boyfriend know about it. I also let the doctor know about it. She said call the counselor again. But, I already did contact the counselor and was simply told to take her to a hospital if things are that bad. That was it. But she is not even here anymore. And I miss her. She may be horrible and mean and abusive, but I still love her.

 

My GD test is tomorrow and I have not eaten at all today because of the sadness. This is very painful. 

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Thank you for the update.

 

I have to tell you that if I was the boyfriend's mom, I would be telling him to run the other way, but because he really seems to care about your dd, take advantage of any help he can give you with her. Hopefully, she will confide in him and he will be able to calm her down.

 

I wish I had some kind of advice for you, but all I can offer you is hugs and lots of prayers. I am so very sorry your family is dealing with this.

 

Above all, right now you need to think about your baby's health, so force yourself to eat something if you can. (I know it's hard -- I can't eat when I'm upset, either, and you are way beyond upset right now.)

 

It really sounds like your dd needs help you're not able to provide and I would seriously consider trying to get her placed in some sort of involuntary psych hold so maybe she can get stabilized. Because she is 18, that may not be easy, though. Hopefully someone here will be able to give you some advice about that.

 

Praying for you. I wish I could do more. :grouphug:

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If you have the opportunity, and know where she is, I would suggest, gently, that you try to get her in to a facility.  It sounds like she's suicidal.  With the searches on her phone, and her actions, it's probably enough to get her evaluated at least.  I'm not sure if she's made specific threats or comments, but even with the searches on the phone, it might be enough to get her in and evaluated for a few days.

 

I'm so sorry.  :(

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She sounds very sick, she is not going to be able to respond to reason or make rational decisions. I would try to get her to a hospital until she can be stabilized.

 

I am so sorry this is affecting your whole family, mental illness causes so very much pain for all involved.

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The OP can try to get her dd admitted, but the dd is an adult. It is hard to get sn involuntary admission and they don't last long enough for real treatment. An admission that is long enough for treatment requires cooperation and a lot of money in addition to good insurance.

 

If the family does not feel safe with this girl in the house she needs to find somewhere else to live. I would keep communicating by phone and meet her outside the home to give her belongings she requests.

 

The family needs support that's why I suggested NAMI above. I've known families in similar situations. They often put off getting support for themselves way too long. They think it takes time away from... I think they also are hesitant yo take the step because it is admitting things are very wrong. Once they get past that and join a support program and actively participate the family just copes better with all the pain and hurt, ups and downs mental illness brings. These families learn how to make their home/family positive despite the constant punches mental illness gives.

 

One thing to keep in mind, you can't fix someone else. The best thing to do is take care of yourself.

 

I hope the OP and her dh seek out counseling and support groups.

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I have been reading this thread, and feel for you.  Just yesterday I had a tearful phone call from my 23-year-old son trying to finish college after he had another visit with his doctor - he is having to - again, drop out of school, and try a new medication (with anti-depressant dose doubled, too).  He was diagnosed bi-polar, anxiety attacks, depression about 9 months ago - now PTSD is added due to constant nightmares in which he watches our late May car crash over and over (he went with his sister to see the crash site the day after, also saw the mangled car in the tow lot). 

 

He can not manage school, nor a job.  Student loans are due started next month, so have to arrange them to hold off for now.  I wish he and the doctor could find the right mix of medication to help him be more stable.  I like the advise you have been given to contact NAMI - will be looking them up for support for us, now, too!

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I have been reading this thread, and feel for you.  Just yesterday I had a tearful phone call from my 23-year-old son trying to finish college after he had another visit with his doctor - he is having to - again, drop out of school, and try a new medication (with anti-depressant dose doubled, too).  He was diagnosed bi-polar, anxiety attacks, depression about 9 months ago - now PTSD is added due to constant nightmares in which he watches our late May car crash over and over (he went with his sister to see the crash site the day after, also saw the mangled car in the tow lot). 

 

He can not manage school, nor a job.  Student loans are due started next month, so have to arrange them to hold off for now.  I wish he and the doctor could find the right mix of medication to help him be more stable.  I like the advise you have been given to contact NAMI - will be looking them up for support for us, now, too!

 

I am so, so sorry to hear this. I thought he graduated last May, and I think earlier this year you said he was having some difficulties but I thought it was a different kid.  Dd has battled anxiety and one of her professors badgers her about it- she's such a bully.  We've had our share of tearful phone calls.   Prayers for your ds, and for you. 

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It may be possible in your area to have your DD "arrested" on a mental illness warrant and involuntarily hospitalized due to the suicidal ideation you found in her internet searches. I had to do this several times for my BIL, whom we thought was bipolar but turned out to be schizophrenic. Once in the hospital, they can hold for 24 hours for eval. If she is truly manic and they can see she is a risk to self and others, they may be able to hold her and court order forced medication to stabilize her before release. Not a perfect solution by any means, but may be a start for you. Contact your county mental illness court and see if there is a mechanism for families to do this where you are living. We had to go down to the court and swear out a warrant on BIL...more than once. The key was having personal knowledge of threats to harm self or others. If you can swear to that in court, it is possible in some places to warrant them into the hospital. Tough love, that one. Painful but worth it.

 

I'm so sorry. There is truly not a good answer in this country for helping adults with a major mental illness. We have to muddle through. However, like Joanne said, your DD's therapist may be able to help by "listening" but not sharing back to you in anything other than hypotheticals. Each time BIL was a threat, I called docs, hospitals, therapists, whomever and said, "I know you cannot talk to me, but I just want to give you some information." Mandated reporters often then report...or inform you of what you can do legally, in hypotheticals.

 

Hugs and tears with you...

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