Facing my reality

I think I may have mentioned before the M1 is diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. While the struggle is very real and very hard I often lie to myself about how bad it really is living with it day in and out. Let me clarify

On Monday I ask her where her homework is. She says it is done, emails from the teacher say it is not. Monday is her laundry day, I ask her to do it she blows me off. Monday is take out the garbage day and she refuses to do that too.  Yep parenting a teen is hard and many can relate to this nonsense as they too deal with it.

Tuesday I realize I am missing an entire box of Capri Sun juices. Well this means M1 or N has struck again. I go down to M1’s room look around I find, one box of Capri Suns, the wine cooler my friend gave me empty which was taken from the fridge. One peanut butter egg that my friend had given me for Easter, the really big ones, well it is gone. I find a crap load of candy wrappers and candy stuffed in her drawers. I find the receipt proving she really did steal my money at Great Escape and lied to me about how much drinks were. I am furious, I cry and write her a scathing letter about how I am fed up. She emails me back a nasty fuming email basically telling me to go f** myself she is moving out soon anyway. I have to step away from the keyboard to not type “Please do”

Wednesday my BFF has surgery. M1 sends me nasty emails telling me what a piece of crap I am for not letting her do what she wants to. I remind her that she has stolen from me and lied to me. She claims the money was given back to me, I just don’t remember and the wine cooler was from a long time ago. No it wasn’t I search your room every few weeks, you just don’t know it. I check on her grades, 30, 30 and 72 yep actual school grade numbers, translated F, F C. Did I mention my BFF wants to press charges against her for stealing her iPhone? Yeah she does but here is the irony, the court would make me pay for her lawyer to defend her. Not freaking happening.

Thursday I see my counselor. I burst into tears and tell her sobbing that I can’t do this anymore. I don’t hate M1 but I cannot parent her anymore and I want to quit. I want her to be gone so I can stop living with locks on all the cabinets to prevent food theft, and hypervigilance on my part so I can keep my money loss to a minimum. I sob and sob I want her gone out of the freaking house but I know she will fail. I know she cannot do it. I know that I am the best attachment she has and it sucks. I didn’t realize until that very moment how much I was looking forward to her graduating high school so I could be done and it is not going to happen. My counselor worked with me for 20 minutes to get me back so I could go on with the day and not continue to cry.

Friday I am doing my second job and I see that M1 is on Facebook. Great how did she get over my password on the router. I go downstairs and ask her, she tells me she does not have access. I know she is lying. I come upstairs and go into my router. I see two Android devices, mine and hers (well the phone she “borrowed” from a “friend”). I turn mine off and the one remaining I copy the MAC address and put it into deny. Fixed her good now didn’t I. She comes upstairs and demands to know what is wrong with the WiFi. I ask why she cares she told me she was not on it. She gets pissed and says “Well I was on it but now I can’t get on.” No hun you can’t but I am not going to admit I know why as you will then have enough information to Google search how to get around it. She admits after much yelling she searched the internet to find out how to get around my passcode so she had internet access so she can text her friends. I say call them here is the phone. SHe curses at me and stomps downstairs.

Saturday she comes upstairs and asks me to help her get onto the internet using the phone. I tell her no. I remind her she has used the internet to send lewd photos to older men, harass peers at school and bully other people she knows. I explain that she is not allowed on my network and that if she does it again I will see if she can be charged with a crime for hacking my router. She yells more how unfair I am and how I am a basically miserable human being. We go see her counselor and I ask for a few moments alone. I go in to see her and the tears start again. I am tired, I don’t want to parent. I am her only victim the courts won’t do anything. PINS made things markedly worse. If my friend presses charges I have to pay a lawyer to defend her. I am helpless and overwhelmed. I want her to move out but know for sure that it will fail. I know she has to fail but then I utter the sentence which surprised me “But I don’t ever want her to move back in with me again.”

I am overcome with grief as I realize what I just said. The worst thing a parent can say, they don’t want their kid around anymore. What is worse, I really feel that way. She has spent 12 years stealing, lying and turning me into CPS. I don’t want to do it anymore. There is no hope for better because she doesn’t want better, she is fine the way she is. I have managed her abuse for 12 years now and just can’t do it anymore. I pull  myself together as the counselor reminds me to keep talking to my counselor. We meet with M1 and she of course says almost nothing is wrong. I am trapped in insanity.

So yes it is my reality and while I understand one one level that M1 has grown leaps and bounds in many areas, her diagnosis prevents change between us. I love her I do but after 12 years of abuse I just don’t even know what to do anymore. But yet, I will go on parenting her. I will cry myself to sleep then get up and offer advice and an ear for all the drama she creates. I will do what has to be done because it is my job and more importantly the choice I made when I said I would parent this child. But guess what….this crap is really really hard.

8 thoughts on “Facing my reality

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  1. <> I feel your pain, even if we don’t have a RAD diagnosis here.
    Please know that you are amazing, you are strong, you are a total badass. This path is so rough, but you can do it. Take a breath, take some time to practice some self-care, even if you have to be creative about it. You are a good mom, and even when she doesn’t act like it, M1 loves you in her own way.

    1. Thank you ABM, I do know you are right she does love me in the way she can which is very different than traditional love but it is there. I appreciate your words of encouragement

  2. I have no answers, but so much of what you are going through I am going through. The stealing of food, the relentless efforts to get onto the internet, to use it in unsafe and inappropriate ways. The added insult to injury of pressing charges, then having to pay for her lawyer, when you are the victim of the crime. The guilt of admitting that you want her to leave and not come back. I know how that makes you feel like the opposite of everything you meant and wanted to be as an adoptive parent.

    I wish I had an answer. All I can say is be kind to yourself. You are human, and you are doing a humanly impossible job. And if it helps, know that someone else out there hears you and knows how you feel.

  3. I am so feeling your pain right now, my dear. Maybe she has to move out on her own to see how the world really works.

    That happened with our Marcus. I’m so sorry you are going through this. Your honesty is refreshing.

  4. Hey…I have been trying to catch up on most of your posts so that I can understand the whole story before I opinionate but I couldn’t help myself when I reached this one…I’ll tell you a little bit about my background so that you can understand where I’m coming from and why I am giving you the advice I am giving. So I’m Portugese/Angolan (in Africa incase you’ve never heard of it) both my parents are African and most of my family but I grew up in England. As a teenager I was somewhat wild and did a lot of things I should not have done that nearly drove my mother insane and although my mother was very different to you (meaning she did not know how to handle me and just decided to ignore everything) and although I know your daughter has an actual diagnosis and I was just rebellious, there is one thing that I still believe no matter what; children need to learn for themselves. All the advice was I given went in one ear and out the other, especially if it was from my mother. I had to learn the hard way, by having to go to work at an early age and move out and face reality. Sometimes you need to lose your mother’s protection to appreciate it. Furthermore, I moved back to Angola about 4 years ago and I will tell you one thing, living here has shown me that sometimes tough love is the best kind of love. I’m not sure that anything I’m saying could actually help you but maybe just give you a different perspective. Keep wishing you luck. No teenager is easy. x

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