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Author Topic: I'm at the end of my rope with DD25's rage and verbal abuse of GS4  (Read 510 times)
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« on: January 01, 2019, 03:32:39 PM »

Hello family,

There have been some ups and downs these past few days but mostly things have been OK.

Yesterday, DD and her exBF were dying their hair and I was in my room. At some point, GS was sent to take-5. Once in his room, he was kicking or punching the back of his bedroom door. Periodically, DD would shout out, "Timer is reset for kicking your door!" then she'd reset the timer. "The time will start over when you're quiet!" then she'd reset the timer.

After about 10 minutes, DD stormed into his room and shouted, "I'm not doing this anymore! You don't get to kick and destroy things when you're mad! You can punch your pillow or you can pound on the floor but you can't break things. You can punch your stuffed animals, like this (GS started crying) Oh, you don't like that do you? Because it's something you care about, well memaw cares about this house and when you destroy her house it makes her sad too. Look at this door, you put a hole in it, I'm tired of you breaking things in this house! Memaw worked her whole life to get this house and you don't get to destroy it. I did that too and she made me fix things. You will have to fix this hole and no more banging on this door, breaking things, it's not acceptable. (as the tirade went on, the yelling decreased and by this time she was just talking loudly) Now, you are on take-5, I'm going to reset the timer to the normal time and no more destroying things. The door will stay open if you're quiet."

She then told her exBF, "Reset the timer to 4 minutes" and she went to the bathtub to rinse out the hair dye.

I sent a text: I like how you gave GS other options for expressing his anger. I also like how you told him he would have to fix the door. I'm proud of you.

GS came out of take-5 and was in the living room with exBF. I went into the bathroom and said, "Oh, time to rinse out the hair dye, huh? Want some help?"

Her: Yeah, I coud use the big cup for pouring water. I want to get all the dye off the top but not the side, I'm doing red there.

I got the cup and helped her wash out the dye, making small talk about how it's nearly all washed out, etc.

Me: I sent you a text. I like how you gave GS other options for expressing his anger and telling him he had to fix the door was a good natural consequence.

Her: I know, I still yelled, sorry. I just get so mad.

Me: Progress not perfection.

The rest of the afternoon went well. She was engaged with GS, giving positive reinforcement to him, and seemed more calm all around.

I was very encouraged when she said, "Yeah I still yelled, sorry."

That all went to  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) this morning. I was awakened to DD yelling at GS, who I could hear in the hallway outside my door.

Her: GS!

GS: What!

Her: Get back in here right now!

GS: Why!

Her: I told you not to go near memaw's room!

GS: I wasn't!

Her: Go outside right now!

GS: I don't have any shoes!

Her: I don't care, figure it out! Get outside and run off some energy!

I came out and said, "Rough morning, huh?"

Her: Yeah, I've been noticing a pattern. He screws up about every 15 minutes.

Me: That sucks.

Her: It's whatever, it's normal, it's my life, nothing will ever get better.

I could think of nothing to say to this so I said nothing.

There are two big dogs in the yard behind our house. GS sometimes throws things over the fence or otherwise antagonizes them. I came into my room to look out the window to see if he was bothering the dogs, because they were barking a bit. From what I could see, he was just near-ish the fence but not bugging them, he was picking up rocks.

I came out to the living room.

DD: Is he bothering the dogs?

Me: No.

DD: Good. I can't see him from here so I never know.

The dogs continued to bark and she and I went out to the backyard to investigate. GS had his back to the fence, a fair distance from the fence, and he was bending down to pick up rocks while walking away from the fence.

DD: GS get in the house!

GS: Why!

DD: You were bothering the dogs!

GS: No I wasn't!

Me: He wasn't bothering the dogs.

DD: Yes he was, as soon as he heard me he stopped, I know what I saw!

Me: He was picking up rocks, I know what I saw.

DD: I don't care! Why do you have to come out here and critisize my parenting?

Me: I wasn't, I was telling you he wasn't bothering the dogs.

DD: You KNOW he does things to piss me off, you didn't believe it then you saw it and apologized to me. (not totally sure what she's talking about but it may be in reference to when she texted me saying, "Notice how when I scream he stops and the nice one-two-threes get him violent?" and I replied, "Yes, I notice. Why do you think that is?" She said, "He doesn't let me do what everyone else does, idk, it's because I'm me." I was thinking, "He stops because he's terrified of you when you scream!' ::sigh::Instead, I said, "I can relate to that, very frustrating.")

As you can imagine, all hell broke loose.

We all came into the house and GS went toward his room while DD continued raging at me. I said, "I don't have to listen to you yelling at me" and I walked away and into the hall, DD yelling at me all the while.

DD: Oh so now you're gonna call the cops because I'm too loud.

I was in the hall near GS and he said, "Mommy is really mad, we should call the cops to make her feel better!"

Me: Yes, she's mad but she needs to make herself feel better.

GS: Okay, do you want to come into my room and play?

Me: Okay.

We went into his room and he closed the door, "I'm going to close the door so mommy can't come in."

I held my breath, expecting her to come storming in. She didn't.

I could hear her on the phone.

Her: It's not going to get better until she goes back to work. She's been off for days and days. It always goes like this when she's off work. I HATE MY LIFE!

GS and I stayed in his room for a little while then he went out to get something and said to DD, "Me and memaw are playing in my room." DD said, "Yeah, that's just great, whatever."

I stayed with him the remainder of the morning. We cleaned the back patio and DD did dishes. GS brought some cups from the backyard for her to wash and she thanked him. After a bit, GS said, "I'm gonna tell mommy we cleaned the back patio" and we came inside. He called out her name, I thought she might be in the garage but he found her cleaning the bathroom, headphones in and singing. I heard him screech (like a happy screech, like he was attempting to sing along?) and she screamed, "OUT!" He came into the livingroom and told me, "Mommy screamed OUT!" I said, She did? How do you feel about that?" He said, "I feel happy." I said, "Oh, you feel happy." He said, "Yeah, I went in and she was singing and then she said, OUT!" DD was coming down the hall and said, "Yes, I did. You can't just come into the bathroom while I'm cleaning and interrupt my singning and my work." She then sat down on the couch and said, "This is  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) bull:cursing:

GS got a craft project for Christmas, a wood car to assemble. He's asked me several times if I would put it together with him but DD says, "No, daddy's gonna put that together with you." Today, he brought it to her and asked, "Can memaw put this together with me?" She said, "I don't care, when daddy bought it he said he'd do it with you. I just don't want to do it so go for it." Then, "So you're not done? Why did I come out here if you're not done?"

Me: Done with what?

DD: Hanging out with him, I only came out here because I thought you were going in your room but if you're not done hanging out, I'll finish cleaning.

Me: I'm not going into my room.

GS and I did the car and one other craft project.

At some point, she became more engaged and loving with GS. I asked, "Are you feeling better?" She said, "Yeah."

I came into my room when it was wind down time.

GS napped from 11:45-1:25 and she is more patient with him, more engaged.

She sent me a text:

Her: When (exBF) comes to take GS today are you busy?
Her: I wanted to go to xxx to get a massage chair.

Me: Are you asking for a ride?

Her: Kinda more a hang out.

Me: I'd like that. I have some running around to do. I need to go to xxx to get dog food and some light grocery shopping.

Her: Ok I can grab something too I have the gift card hahaha

Me: What time is exBF coming?

Her: A little after 2.

Me: Ok. I'll be out in a min. I know GS would like to paint the car since it's probably dry.

I can't take the yelling and verbal abuse. My T says I should tell her, "When you yell at GS, my response is going to be to ask you to stop yelling at him" but I don't see how that will do anything but fuel her anger, "You're not his mother and you can't tell me how to talk to him" is what I suspect she'll say/scream.

I'd love to be able to talk to her about how damaging her words and volume are to him. I'd love to be able to usher GS out of the room when she's raging at him, to protect him, like he asked me to do.

For now, I'm going out to paint the car with GS and will see how our "hang out" goes.

Thank you all for being here and letting me ramble on for nearly 10k characters!!

~ OH
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Our objective is to better understand the struggles our child faces and to learn the skills to improve our relationship and provide a supportive environment and also improve on our own emotional responses, attitudes and effectiveness as a family leaders
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 07:08:15 PM »

When I came out, she and GS were painting the car. GS saw me and screamed, "No Memaw, don't come out here!"

DD: Don't yell at Memaw, she can come out here.

GS: No! I don't want her to come out here! (getting more upset)

Me: You don't want me to come out here, can you think of a nicer way to tell me?

GS: (not yelling, but sort of grunting) Don't. Come. Out. Here.

DD: Why can't she come out here? She wants to see the car.

Me: Oh, you're painting the car?

GS: No! It's a secret! (getting very riled up)

DD: It's not a secret, geeze.

Me: Do you mean it's a surprise?

GS: (still upset) Yes!

Me: I like surprises. Maybe you could say, "Memaw, please go back into your room, I'm working on a surprise."

GS: (calm) Memaw, please go back into your room, I'm working on a surprise.

Me: Ok, I'll go back into my room. Thanks for asking nicely.

He knocked on my door a few minutes later and showed me the car. I oooh'd and aaaah'd, said I liked the red wheels, etc.

Me: It looks really good. Did you and mommy paint it together?

GS: Yes, see it's got yellow doors.

Me: I see, and red wheels. We all worked on this car, didn't we?

GS: We all did?

Me: Yes, I helped you glue it together and mommy helped you paint it.

GS: (big smiles) Yes, we all did it together! Do you want to play with me in my room?

Me: Sure! What do you want to play?

GS: Paw Patrol Party!

Me: Oh, that is your FAVORITE game. Ok, let's go.

After about 15 minutes, DD came to the door and told him it was time for him to get dressed, "Daddy's on his way."

Me: Okay, GS, let's get this mess cleaned up so you can get dressed.

GS: I don't want to clean it up, I want to leave the mess here.

Me: Nope, we've got to clean it up. I can help you or you can do it by yourself. Which do you choose?

GS: I choose to leave it here.

Me: I know you'd rather leave it here but that's now how it works. When we make a mess we clean it up. I can help you or you can do it yourself.

GS: I want you to help me.

That's done and DD and GS begin the "getting dressed" routine which rarely goes smoothly.

DD has shown him how to put his shirt on by himself but he struggles, he's 4. She's taught him to put his arms in first then his head. This usually results in him getting his head stuck with the shirt on his chin. It's then impossible to get it over his head. He becomes visibly upset and she tells him, "Come on, you got it, I know it's hard but you have a big head, I have a big head too, you just have to keep trying." By this time he's practically falling apart and she's getting frustrated. He asked for help and she said, "I'm not helping you, you have to learn to do this on your own. You're 4 years old, you can get dressed yourself now come on, quit messing around. I'm not buying this."

It was agonizing. He finally got the shirt out from under his chin and eventually got his head through.

DD: See? I knew you could do it. You have a big head, you're going to have this problem your whole life. I have a big head too, you'll learn to stretch out the collar on a shirt before you put it on like this, (she grabs a shirt and stretches the collar) see? It's just something you'll have to get used to. Shirts aren't made for big heads like ours. You'll find ways to work around it. I don't like my big head and shoulders either, I hate the way they look. Sorry, kid, you got mom's big head.

Incidentally, neither DD or GS have abnormally large heads   Love it! (click to insert in post)

Daddy comes, I say "Hello, I haven't seen you since last year," I say goodbye to GS, "Bye honey, have a nice time with daddy. I love you," then I go into my room.

About 20 minutes later DD and I go out. We make small talk but it's uncomfortable. At the department store she can't find what she's looking for. I said, "We might have to ask someone." Just then, two employees are walking by and one says, "Hello." I said, "Hi," and waited for DD to ask where to find the item. She didn't and I said, "We're looking for a xxx."

Employee: Oh, we're out of those in the store, sorry.

DD: Oh bummer, I guess I'll  have to order it online. I have a gift card.

Employee: If you go downstairs, they can pull up xxx.com and order it for you.

DD: No, I'll just do it on my phone

Other Employee: I love your hat, it's so cute. (DD thought she said hair, which she dyed black on one side and red on the other)

DD: Oh, thank you.

Other Employee: Where'd you get it?

DD: Oh, I've been dyeing my hair for ages.

Me: I think she's asking about your hat.

DD: Oh! My hat, I got it at xxx. Just 5 bucks.

Other Employee: Oh, yes, I didn't even notice your hair, I was just noticing how cute your hat is. Your hair is cool.

DD: Thanks.

We got on the escalator to leave the store.

DD: That was horrific.

Me: What was horrific?

DD: Talking to strangers, I hate it, it makes me so uncomfortable.

Me: Oh, talking to strangers is uncomfortable. What's uncomfortable about it?

DD: Making small talk with people I don't know, I don't know, I just hate it

Me: How'd you do it when you work in retail?

DD: I was getting paid. I'll do anything for money. I can do anything if I'm getting paid for it. I'm very money motivated.

I swear, I'm thinking about paying her to go to parenting classes, giving her money for each day she manages to not scream at GS.

On the way home I ask, "What time is GS coming back?"

Her: It's a two hour trip. exBF is going to take him Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm stressed out, and it's not even you, well, it is you, but it's not just you.

Me: You're stressed out?

Her: Yes, when you're home working GS just won't leave you alone. I tell him to not knock on your door but he always does. I mean, come on, you've been working from home all this time, he knows the rule. But he just doesn't listen. I know you say it doesn't bother you but it bothers me. So exBF is gonna take him on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a couple of hours like he promised to do before, but then the move came, then I didn't move, (note that she didn't bring up CPS - progress I think?) but now he's gonna take him so you can get some work done.

She's rewriting history a bit here. GS has gotten much better at leaving me to my work. By implying that exBF didn't take GS because of her planned move, she's forgetting that he's only taken GS a few times since they broke up in July, and the planned move was at the end of November. I think, "I planned to move then didn't" (translation: You kicked me out so I planned to move out of state then you told me I could stay after all) is the new "You called CPS."

GS is home, having dinner then wind down time in about an hour.

~ OH

edited to strike out and replace with actual words DD said.
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 09:17:24 PM »

OH - you say you're at the end of your rope ... but yet you are still incredibly capable and manage to model good parenting, show patience, and still validate those positives that you are able to 'find' in your interactions with your daughter and her interactions with her son.

It gives me strength to know that others (even those with lots of practise navigating communication with pwBPD) still have to work hard to get through their days too sometimes!  Yet, you are willing to do it - even at your wits end.  You still have faith in your child and try to work with her BPD traits.  As odd as it should be, I am grateful to read your words, and take comfort in your bravery/need/willingness to allow us experience things along with you.

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. 

I hope, beyond hope, that it helps you to write it all down so thoroughly, because it truly helps those of us just beginning to find our way, to see what conversation CAN look like.  As you said to your daughter, "PROGRESS, not perfection".  Something we can all aspire too.

Ace

P.S. - glad you can be wordy too, like JeanGenie & I (and a couple of others : )
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 11:06:33 PM »

Hi Music Ace,

Thanks for your kind words and letting me know my sharing has helped you. Coming here to put it all out there helps me to not sit and brood or, worse, go off on my DD.

While DD and I were out today, it was very clear to me that she has the functional/social/emotional maturity of someone who is about 13 years old.

I also thought of something that I hadn't considered until today. It's been a little over a month since she asked if she could stay after I had impulsively given her 30 days notice to move out on 11/26/2018, then offered her the chance to stay just a day or two before she was headed out of state, vowing to cut me out of her and GS's lives forever.

A few days ago she had a meltdown about not getting calls back for any jobs she's applied for, how she is wanting desperately to not be living with me but can't see that happening any time soon and, "No offense mom, but I don't feel safe that you won't kick me out."

When she asked to stay until she got her own place I said, "Let's take it a month at a time, see how it goes."  

I consciously decided to not discuss future plans on the 26th, a month after she asked if she could stay, because on 12/26/2017 she received her 60 day notice to move out of GS's paternal grandfather's rental.

She touched on that while she was melting down, said things were great, her life was great, she had no troubles, she was working, making good money, paying her own way, etc. I listened, knowing her life wasn't great then. I parroted things she said, "You're overwhelmed," "You've got a lot going on," etc. but there were no openings for much else, just stream of consciousness rambling. I told her I want to support her and she said, "I'm done, I don't want to talk anymore."

Yes, I am still learning and practicing. Some days are better than others. Today is just a bad day.

~ OH
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 05:31:25 PM »

Excerpt
I was very encouraged when she said, "Yeah I still yelled, sorry."
...
I can't take the yelling and verbal abuse. My T says I should tell her, "When you yell at GS, my response is going to be to ask you to stop yelling at him" but I don't see how that will do anything but fuel her anger, "You're not his mother and you can't tell me how to talk to him" is what I suspect she'll say/scream.

i think you have every right to insist on "no yelling in my house"...

and i think wed all agree that wouldnt be entirely realistic or practical.

i think youve done a little of both...insisting on no yelling (which she pushes back on when shes heated but also appears to be starting to get) but mixing it with other approaches that might be more helpful in other cases, like positive reinforcement, support, etc.

it seems like she, expressly at least, is starting to get it, even if she isnt consistently practicing it.
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 07:43:39 AM »

OH - I absolutely love how you give credit to both you daughter and grandson when you see growth. (I've read the two most recent entries in the positives/break through thread!)

For we who are here, for the most part, not through our own making - those moments give us pause to smile because although they may seem small or insignificant WE understand how amazing they are. For me, they buoy my spirit and know that it is worth the effort you've put in AND that you get to hold onto that as you face the next second, minute, day, and even week.

Stay the course! Keep sharing.  It might not be easy but it sure sounds like DD and GS are learning right along with you.

Ace
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 10:16:46 AM »

Thanks for the replies, once removed and Music Ace.

OR, I agree, DD appears to be starting to get it. As I said, progress not perfection. I give that same pat on the back to myself.

Music Ace
, Yes, we are definitely all learning together.

Two steps forward, one big step back this morning. I was awakened at 6:00 by DD yelling at GS to go back to sleep and the ensuing back and forth yelling, threatening, and crying that comes with an exchange like this.

I came out of my room and calmly asked DD to stop yelling. It went worse than expected - she ramped it up, starting calling me vile names, told me I can't have my day with GS tomorrow, banged on the hutch, telling me I'll have to kick her out because she's not going to stop yelling. Somewhere in there I said, "I want you to know that when you yell, I'm going to ask you to stop yelling." She said "He is the one who started yelling." I said, "I'm asking you both to stop yelling." She told me she'll never stop yelling, "go ahead and call the cops, I don't care, I don't care if I'm kicked out, I don't care." I said, "Ok, I can see you're not willing to stop yelling" and walked to my room and picked up my phone to see what time it was. My phone did an update overnight so the screen wasn't showing so I had to enter my password. DD had followed me to my room and said, "You're calling the cops? I swear to god mom, if you call the cops you'll never see GS again." I said, "No." She said, "I don't believe you, you were dialing and you put the phone down when I threatened to take GS away." I said, "I'm not calling the cops, I'm looking to see what time it is."

I told her I'd like to talk to her when she isn't yelling at me and asked her to leave my room. She left my room and got on the phone. She was alternately raging and talking calmly, rewriting history to whoever she's talking to, coming close to my door periodically so I could hear what she's saying like, "Mark my words, if you kick me out, you'll never see GS again, neither will any of the rest of the family, you'll mess it up for everyone."

I came here to write, I was shaking, doubting whether I should have kept my mouth shut. That's walking on eggshells. That's not protecting GS.

I received a string of texts:

You won't see GS for designated days till I feel you respect me in front of him.

He disrespects me because of you undermining me.

If I get kicked out IDC I'M THE MOM AND YOU NEED TO NOT DISRESPECT ME NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK IN FRONT OF HIM. This is why he does what he does. Thanks mom!

I guess I should say I'm sick of parenting him your way by living in fear you called CPS and the cops on me and you know what you don't get to keep telling me what to do with him. No no I don't care if I live here, I won't live in fear of you. He's my son, I have the power and I am the mom. You lost your shot* Your job as grandma is to enforce MOMS rules.

You're too comfortable him living here.

If we were weekend sh__ you'd respect me and would never dare say stop yelling.

Your power complex is not allowed with my son when I've legally done all you asked and you've already forced me to change my parenting.

Guess what mom? My safety plan I scoured sh__  you don't know.


I'm not sure how she plans to keep me from seeing GS for "designated days" while we are all living here.

All is quiet now. GS is locked in his room, probably terrified. But he's terrified most of the time anyway. I see him looking over his shoulder when we're having fun, jerk his head toward the hall when he hears her coming.

The real bummer part of this is that yesterday was a really good day until bedtime. There were no take-fives yesterday, DD validated him, GS didn't yell, throw things, was pleasant, they enjoyed some play time together. Wind-down time came and, I don't know what crime GS committed because I was in my room, but I head them in the bathroom for teeth brushing and going potty before wind-down. A half hour later, I heard this yelling exchange:

DD: Get in your room now!

GS: No, I don't want to!

DD: Get in bed now, no stories!

GS: (crying) Why?

DD: (I don't know what she said)

GS: (crying) No, I want you to rub my back.

GS went to bed without a story, was locked in his room.

Before I left for a few hours I came to her and said, "How's it going?"

DD: He won't go to sleep. I just need him to go to sleep. No matter what time I put him to bed, he doesn't go to sleep and he wakes up at 5:30. And don't tell me it's normal for his age. All my friends' kids sleep from 7pm-7am and take three-hour naps.

Me: That sucks.

DD: Yeah, it's my life, it's whatever.

Me: Well, I hope it gets better someday.

DD: It won't.

When I returned home, his door was still looked and she had taken away his comfort item. Even though I wasn't here, I know how that went down because it goes down like this every few days. She will check on him about 30 minutes after saying goodnight and, if he's not sleeping she starts demanding that he go to sleep right now or she'll take stuff away. He protests, cries, she yells, he cries, she locks his door and yells, "If you're not quiet, I'll take xxx away." He can't soothe himself, he's crying, saying he hates her, she barges in and takes it away, yelling at him, things like, "Why do you make me terrorize you? Just go to sleep! This is bull___!" then locking the door behind her. He's still crying, she is screaming at the closed door, "Shut up GS and go to sleep NOW! When you're bad I take things away, so I took it away, this isn't my fault, get over it! Bad boys don't get privileges!" It's utterly heartbreaking to listen to GS get all worked up, crying, begging.

It's been over an hour since her last text above. She just let GS out of his room and they are being pleasant to each other, going about their day.

I just received these texts:

My days canceled thanks to the morning that wouldn't have happened if you just kept your nose in your business. I will not talk to you about this on nap time, that's MY TIME! If you disrespect me by trying I will ignore you and then scream.

We can do it anytime when he's not asleep. My time is reserved for me not you and the talks that don't go anywhere.

I responded, OK.

I just called out from work, I'm taking a mental health day. I'm going to shower then leave for a bit. I'm not sure what I'll do if DD makes good on her threat, "You won't see GS for designated days till I feel you respect me in front of him," or if GS rejects me when I walk out. I guess I will validate both of them, be conscious of my body language, remain calm and pleasant, and tell them I love them.

I regret the timing of this but don't regret asking her to please stop yelling. It may, or may not, have gone better if I made my request when she was yelling on the phone with someone rather than when she was yelling at GS. I totally get that she sees this as my criticizing her parenting, undermining her.

The difference today from months ago is that I'm not crying in my room, or rushing out to apologize in fear that DD will take my GS from me, or calling my BFF to self righteously lament about how terrible DD is to me. I texted my BFF and we're meeting for coffee after our showers. I will take today one minute at a time and, like someone wise once said, I'll "do the next right thing."

I don't want to stay silent anymore. Silence is acceptance. I don't want to walk on eggshells anymore. Baby steps.

~ OH
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 03:41:45 PM »

Shortly before I left for coffee with my BFF, I heard this exchange:

GS: Can I knock on memaw's door?

DD: Is the smiley face up?

GS: Nope.

DD: Then nope.

GS: Ok.

I came out about 10 minutes later to leave and they were both in the bathroom, GS pulling up his pants after going to the bathroom, DD putting on her makeup.

Me: Hi

DD: (turned toward me, glared, and said nothing)

GS: Memaw! Where are you going?

Me: (cheerfully) Hi GS, I'm going to run some errands.

GS: (tearing up) I don't want you to go, I want you to play with me.

Me: You want me to stay and play, I hear you. But I'm going to run some errands. Maybe we can play when I get home.

GS: (still pulling up his pants) Ok, but wait. I want to give you a hug goodbye.

Me: Ok, I'll wait for you.

GS: Ok, I want a hug but noooooo kisses.

Me: Ok, no kisses. I know you don't like kisses!

GS: Because you don't like kisses.

DD: That's not true, memaw loves your kisses, everybody loves your kisses.

Me: I do love your kisses.

GS: Ok but only a hug, no kisses.

Me: You got it.

After a few hugs, I left.

I came back a couple of hours later, DD was in the garage. I asked, "Is he asleep?" She said he was.

When I walked by his bedroom he wasn't asleep. He said, "Hi memaw." I said, "Hi, GS, you gotta go to sleep." I went into my room.

Ten minutes later I heard this exchange (loud but not yelling):

DD: This is not good, GS, you have to get back into bed now. This is not cool, you were asleep then she comes home and now you're awake. Wow (pause) wow (pause) just wow. This is bull Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post). Get back in bed.

GS: (whining) But I don't want to go to sleep.

DD: Too bad, it's nap time, get in bed now. Now I have to shut the door because you came out of bed.

GS: (crying) No, don't shut the door, leave it open.

DD: I won't shut the door if you get in bed NOW!

GS: (yelling) No! I don't want to!

DD: (loudly) That's one.

GS: (yelling) You're so mean to me, get away from me!

DD: (louder) That's two.

GS: (yelling) You're such a liar, I don't love you I just love memaw!

DD: (louder) I tried, that's three, now the door is shut.

GS goes quiet, he's locked in his room.

DD: (walking to the garage, loud but not yelling)  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) my LIFE! This day is ruined because of my stupid mom. Again.

At some point today, after she lets GS out of his room and before wind-down time, DD and I will have our talk and I'm super nervous about it. She's right in what she says about talks that don't go anywhere. I sit and listen to her vent her frustrations, look for ways to validate, empathize. When I speak, she talks over me before I can get a full sentence out, like she's been waiting for me to say something she disagrees with or doesn't want to hear. She starts yelling and I say, "Let's take a break and come back when you're calmer," and she'll start with the "Or what? You'll kick me out?" talk. It's easy for me to recognize how I got into the habit of walking on eggshells.

She is validated in her bullying of me by her exBF who, I believe, is just relieved whenever she's raging at someone other than him. Sometimes when she's raging at me, her words, mannerisms, and even facial expressions are such that I think I'm looking at and listening to her exBF.

I'm trying to hear the feelings behind her words.

"I don't care if you kick me out," "I know you're going to kick me out," "You're going to have to kick me out,"

Fear.

She's probably very afraid I'll kick her out. With nowhere to go, not enough money to live on her own, and my past history of impulsively/angrily kicking her out following an exchange like this morning's, I can understand that fear.

"He never sleeps," "He never listens," "He does things on purpose to piss me off," "I need more time away from him."

Frustration/Anger

Her life is no longer her own and I believe she's a reluctant mother. She was not supposed to be doing this alone; GS's dad abandoned them before GS's birth, choosing drugs and criminal activity over them. I also believe she wants to be a good mother, I believe she enjoyed the easy-ish day yesterday. I can understand her frustration, feeling abandoned. Our experiences are not dissimilar. Her dad abandoned us for drugs before her birth.

That's all I've got right now. Fear, frustration, anger.

As it turns out, DD and GS just left with the exBF to go to the lake. Prior to their departure, DD was pleasant to me, pleasant and validating to GS, but it's clear her next outburst is just below the surface. It's likely that no talk will happen today since they'll be gone for a few hours, then the exBF will hang out for a bit, then it will be wind-down time/her time.

I believe she may regret saying, "No memaw and GS day tomorrow," as it gives her a break. At the risk of hearing all about why she's not budging on her statement, I'm going to ask, "Are we doing memaw and GS day tomorrow?" If she starts to go off, I'll remove myself with a pleasant, "Ok, just wanted to check in, goodnight!" 

~ OH
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 09:45:01 PM »

Here to post the good news. While GS was having a snack at the kitchen table I asked DD if now was a good time to talk. She said it was and we went to the back patio.

I'm very aware that I'm not able to relay this conversation word for word (or close to it) It may be because I waited so long (this conversation took place almost two hours ago and in that time I hung out with GS, posted in some other threads, and maybe I lost focus. My apologies to my DD because the talk went well and she deserves the courtesy of my sharing the good stuff as thoroughly as the negative stuff. Above, I shared my fear that she would yell at me, talk over me, but she didn't. Her voice was a normal level, her body language was open, and she expressed herself well, I thought.

I started with, "I told you this morning that I wanted to hear what you had to say, so let's start there, ok?"

She started with how she hates it when she feels like others are criticizing her parenting (I said, "I can understand why you'd think I was criticizing your parenting and why that would make you upset.")

She doesn't believe the way she's treating him is abusive, she can't spank him so all she has is yelling, she's a loud person anyway and has trouble regulating her voice when she's emotional - happy, sad, excited, angry, it's all the same to her; she feels like nobody hears/listens to her until she yells; she doesn't believe she is harming him, preventing him from being a normal adult, by yelling at him.

She knows she could be a better parent - she doesn't ignore him, not feed him, beat him - yes, she is focused on her phone a lot, but she believes she's a good mother.

She believes he's not like a normal kid - maybe it's ADHD, she knows it's not Autism, but he's more mature than most kids his age - she explains things to him in detail and she'll see him get a look on his face like all scrunched up eyebrows, like he's thinking, then he'll summarize what she's explained so she knows he gets it (I said, "He's very bright, yes.")

Since he was born, she's been worried that he'll be taken away from her and that's why she reacts so strongly when she feels someone is criticizing her parenting (I said, "It would feel awful to worry about that, I'm sure.")

She's even gone off on strangers in public when she felt they were criticizing her parenting and she knows that's not cool but she doesn't know how to stop it.

She believes people lose their children for reasons that are not valid or are arrested for reasons that are not valid, like getting stopped for running a stop sign then getting arrested for having drugs on them.

She apologized for yelling at me, said she realizes I probably wasn't criticizing her parenting; she understands her perception is not always on point with reality (I said, "Thank you.")

I shared that yelling is a trigger for me, I don't like it, it makes me nervous (this is something I worked out today as I was thinking about why I'm so bothered by people yelling, even if they're not yelling AT me - my sister, two years younger, was a big-time yeller. In fact, DD reminds me very much of my sister and I sometimes catch my self using their names interchangeably when talking about them.) She said knowing that yelling is a trigger for me is helpful, she will try really hard to not yell, and hopes that knowing it's a trigger for me will help her. I said, "I appreciate you seeing it from my perspective, I know you are trying not to yell, I can see when you stop yourself, I appreciate it, thank you.")

This was about 15-20 minutes and I could sense DD was at her limit so I said, "Okay, I'm glad we talked. Thanks for sharing your perspective with me and thanks for listening to my perspective. Is there anything else you want to say?"

She said, "Just that I'm sorry I yelled at you and I'm sorry I kept it going for so long, I should have stopped, I don't know why I didn't, I was just so mad."

I said, "Can we hug it out?"

We did.

I thought of something else she shared. She said she's a very empathetic person. When someone is sad, she feels sad; when someone is stressed, she feels stressed and wants to help; when GS is angry, she gets angry, and when he's loud she gets upset about it, she has an emotional reaction to his volume.

~ OH
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2019, 09:34:57 AM »

WOW OH - that's definitely a big ol' tally in the win column.  You and your daughter should be proud. 

You learned some things about her thinking that she probably thought were obvious and she was able to understand your perspective.

Reading your summary ... gave ME ah ha moments for both sides.

THANK YOU for sharing!

Ace
(got so excited, I almost signed my REAL name Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))

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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2019, 06:43:29 PM »

Thank you Ace, I appreciate your support.

You learned some things about her thinking that she probably thought were obvious

I bet you're right, she probably thought I should know these things. Looking back, I see that I brushed aside things in our past that she brought up yesterday. Like being naturally loud. I recall a time we were in line at the DMV and she was talking really loudly. I did the "shhhh..." thing, finger to my lips, and she was crushed. I think she was about 14.

Excerpt
Ace
(got so excited, I almost signed my REAL name Laugh out loud (click to insert in post))

I've almost done the same  Being cool (click to insert in post)

~ OH
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2019, 10:04:10 PM »

OH: Wow! You have the patience of a saint. Seriously, I will never be that evolved. Good job!
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2019, 02:09:26 AM »

Hi RedRyder, thanks!

Baby steps...

~ OH
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2019, 01:17:18 PM »

I'm at the movies, then lunch, with a fun group of ladies and DD is dealing with a situation with her dog again. Her exBF has their dog and is living with his mom who has mental health issues of her own. exBF is out of town with a friend 1.5 hours away and his mom has given the dog away (not the first time) claiming the dog is neglected and abused. So exBF has been calling and texting DD continuously since 10pm last night, expecting her to do something to get the dog back.

She's fed up with him (right now) and having a hard time keeping her cool.

I offered to help, if she could think of something, after I return today, sometime in early evening.

Trying to enjoy my time, hoping for the best.

~ OH
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2019, 06:43:09 PM »

Hello Family,

I'm back with more good stuff. The dog is home and safe and DD thanked me "for everything today."

I'll be back after GS is in bed to share more details of how the day went and how using the tools worked for me throughout the ups and downs of this chaotic day,

As always, thank you all for being here.

With love to us all,

~ OH
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2019, 12:53:54 AM »

Today was a challenge and I made some good choices and not so good choices when interacting with DD about it all.

The dog is a sore subject for me. It's a long story and not relevant to today's events except to say that it's very difficult for me to have any compassion when it comes to the dog.

DD's exBF lives with his mom who also doesn't care for the dog. Three times since DD came to live with me in 4/2018, there has been a major (to DD) crisis about the dog.

This time, exBF was out of town and he got a phone call from someone saying she has the dog and won't give her back because the dog looks underfed and neglected. Because both phone numbers are on the dog's tag, this person also called DD. It seems both exBF and DD spent all night texting and calling this person, and each other, trying to figure out how to get the dog back. The details are not clear due to DD's difficulty staying on track with relaying the events.

I got home late last night and DD was distraught, telling me the dog is being withheld, exBF is blowing up her phone, expecting her to do something, she's getting increasingly animated and loud, telling me bits and pieces of this story that didn't make any sense to me. I validated, "You must be so worried," "I know how much you love her." DD's emotions continued to escalate. 

I was getting anxious due to the rapid escalation. I felt helpless and, since there was no natural break, I interrupted her and said, "I have to go to bed. I'll be leaving tomorrow around 10:30 for a few hours. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know." She sort of glared at me and said, "There's nothing you can do, forget it."

How do you do listening with empathy when it goes on for 10 minutes straight and, as she's talking, she's getting more and more worked up? I couldn't do it. DD often laments, "Nobody is there for me, I'm too much for everybody." I'm guilty of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted listening to her.

I sent a text: I know how much (dog's name) means to you, DD. Sorry this is happening. I'm leaving here by 10:30 tomorrow and I'll be back no later than 5:00. So if I can help with something early morning or after 5, please let me know. xoxo.

I awoke at 9 to a text from DD, sent at 3:45 this morning. "I just got to bed...of course exBF called me all night again. I need to check the pounds tomorrow morning, please. Please also wake me up I won't be able to with how late I'm getting to bed but of course, I'm up yelling again. My phone is also on "do not disturb" so I won't receive texts."

GS4 was up and about when I got up. He had fixed himself a glass of chocolate syrup and painted over some of the rocks DD painted yesterday.

I woke DD up and when she came out she was grumpy and short tempered. Mad about GS's having painted over her rocks, and she started crying about how tired she is and how mad she is at exBF for not letting her sleep.

GS and I interacted while DD laid on the couch texting. I asked if there was anything I could do and she said, "It's too late, we can't go to the pound because you're leaving."

Me: Can I get you anything?

DD: No.

Me: Would you like me to start some coffee?

DD: Yeah, that would be nice. Thank you.

At some point, she went out into the garage and I could hear her yelling on the phone with exBF.

I left at 10:30 as planned and did my best to enjoy my time with friends and family. It was a struggle because I worried about how things were going at home, worried about how DD's tiredness and anxiety were affecting GS.

After the movie, I texted DD:

Me: How are things? Thinking of you and sending good vibes xoxo

DD: Scared. Worried.

Me: That makes sense, anybody would be. I'm so sorry this has all happened.

DD: When you get home I want to go looking for her with exBF. Can you watch GS?

Me: Yes, I'm happy to help.

I got home around 3 and GS was being very rambunctious, loud, running around. I asked DD, "How's it going?" and listened patiently while she updated me. Again, without any real detail that let me know what was actually going on. She told me she had one of her internet friends locate the address of the person who claimed to have the dog and, as soon as exBF got back to town, she and exBF planned to go there to get the dog. The person threatened to call the police if they came and DD said she didn't care, she was getting the dog back no matter what.

I didn't say, "How about you call the police and let them handle this?" but that's what I thought should have been done. DD and exBF going over there in their heightened emotional states would likely have gone very badly. I suspected, if I had made the suggestion, I would have been perceived as unsupportive, not "getting" it, etc.

While DD was updating me, GS was acting out and DD sent him on take 5. Then she ranted about how she's tired, GS has been "bad all day," he didn't nap, exBF won't stop texting her so she blocked him but then he called on blocked numbers, she's exhausted from not sleeping, etc. I listened and validated.

Her emotions were escalating and I was getting anxious.

GS came out of take 5 and DD was still going on. I asked clarifying questions but she wouldn't, or couldn't clarify. GS was interrupting us, saying there's a BIG problem with his bedroom window.

DD: GS, I know what you're doing, stop interrupting us, I'm talking to Memaw.

GS: But there's a big problem with my window, come look.

Me: I know you really want to show us  your window, but we're talking right now.

DD: Nevermind, go see the problem. I'm done talking.

So I went with GS. When I came out, DD started up again. It was all very chaotic with DD in her heightened emotional state, GS trying desperately to get attention, and me getting very  anxious about it all. I said, "Maybe now is not the time to be talking about this."

DD: Why isn't it the right time to talk about this? This is what's going on right now. I've been stuck here all  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) day alone with that little PLEASE READ, I haven't talked to another grown up all day, I didn't get any sleep, and I'm tired. I need to talk about this.

Me: I'm sorry that I misread your need. If you want, we can set GS up with something to do and go out to the back porch and talk. I didn't mean to discount your need to talk about this, I'm sorry.

DD: No, I don't want to talk to you anymore.

Me: Okay, let me know if you change your mind.

DD: I won't, leave me alone.

The rest of the evening, I interacted with GS, staying out of DD's way. We invited her to play a game and she declined.

Eventually, DD reported that the dog was home.

Me: Oh, that's good news!

DD: Yeah, it is, but I'm thinking she wasn't even gone, that exBF's mom was just having people text us to mess with us. I need to figure out a way to get her evaluated for her mental health issues. Even if I have to pay my whole tax refund check to get her evaluated, I will. She's not right. She's punching neighbors, she should be evaluated and forced to take meds. If I can get her committed, I could get her house. It's complicated but the house is in her name and exBF name. She's a hoarder and the house is filled with cockroaches. I'm sure she just had her friend texting us to get us upset.

Me: It sounds like you may be right.

DD: No, I am right. Now all I have to do is get her committed. They can make her take medication, right?

Me: I don't know anything about that, sorry.

DD: Well, I'm going to look into it. She can't keep treating exBF like this. Every time he's gone she starts trouble. Last time he was gone, she had him arrested, and I'm sure every time the dog has gone missing it's because she lets her out. I'm surprised she didn't do something when he was here for Christmas.

Me: I see, so there's good news and bad news.

DD: (goes on for another few minutes about her desire to get exBF's mom evaluated)

Me: Well, I know she's made your life miserable. That sucks. I'm glad the dog is home.

(I highly suspect exBF is making a lot of stuff up about things that happen. He knows DD will do her best to support him and she will spend hours on the phone with him talking, trying to ease his suffering, to her detriment)

Later, DD told me she was afraid of going to the woman's house. Not because she thought the woman would hurt her but because she was afraid she would hurt the woman and get arrested. This part of the coversation really concerned me. DD said, "Like, what if I accidentally killed her? I mean, when I get mad I get really mad, what if like I had my hands around her neck and killed her?"

Me: That IS scary. I'm glad it all worked out.

DD: Me too. Sorry I snapped at you and thank you for everything today.

Me: You're welcome, I love you.

DD: I love you too.

There's obviously so much more but the bottom line is we got through it. I credit BPD Family and the support and guidance I've gotten by posting and reading. Had this gone down six months ago, it would have been a very different outcome.

~ OH

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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2019, 12:55:19 AM »

The best part of the good news is, while I was hear anyway, DD remained calm while sending GS to take 5. I think there were three instances so that's a win.

~ OH
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2019, 06:36:41 AM »

So glad you feel good overall about the interactions! You've worked so hard to get there yesterday.

I hope today offers you a moment (or 2, if it's not too much to ask) of peace.

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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2019, 09:39:49 AM »

How do you do listening with empathy when it goes on for 10 minutes straight and, as she's talking, she's getting more and more worked up? I couldn't do it. DD often laments, "Nobody is there for me, I'm too much for everybody." I'm guilty of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted listening to her.

i understand this very much from the flip side - i get exhausted and im not great at exiting conversations when i need to. in fact i got advice here once that was very similar along the lines youre practicing.

it is a reasonable limit to listen, to help, then to need a break, or need to go to bed. is this something youve recently put into practice?

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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2019, 01:43:56 PM »

I haven't consciously put it into practice, no. Until yesterday, as long as she wasn't screaming at me or berating me (for example, when we sat on the back patio swing for 20 minutes while she talked non-stop about how worried she is about not getting a job, complained about how everyone she's ever known has screwed her over, everyone has more support than she does with their kids, etc.), I would listen until she was done as she talked/complained/cried. I only feel the need to exit a conversation in certain situations:

When DD's emotions are escalating. It sometimes seems that listening to her, validating her feelings, gets her more ramped up (because she's feeling heard and she feels safe sharing her feelings with me? I suppose this is a good sign, exhausting though.)
 
If GS is in the room and acting out due to wanting attention/feeling ignored (most of the things DD talks about are inappropriate for GS to overhear and watching DD be upset, upsets GS).

"I've go to go to bed", "maybe now isn't the best time to talk about this," spoken at the height of her escalation feels dismissive to me, and probably to her.

If she's screaming at me or berating me, I feel less like I'm letting her down and more like I'm protecting myself.

~ OH

 
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2019, 01:55:49 PM »

feels dismissive to me, and probably to her.

thats what i took from it. she telegraphs as much.

that doesnt mean its the wrong thing to do. she might adjust, especially as you do it with sensitivity, and follow through in getting back to her. there might be room for tweaking, too.
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2019, 03:56:00 PM »

I have every other Friday off so I slept in. This morning I had the opportunity to ask DD to please stop yelling when she was yelling at exBF over the phone, and not at GS.

Her response: I'd love to stop yelling but exBF won't shut up and he's not listening to me.

Then, "Oh, you want to get off the phone because my mom's in the room? Mom, please come in the room aaaall the time, I've been trying to get off the phone with this  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) for five minutes."

GS was wound up, understandably so, and asked if I wanted to play with him. I told him I've just woken up and want to get my cigarettes from my room and go out back, he can join me if he would like. He asked, "Can I go with you to your room to be safe?"

Me: Sure, come on.

GS: Oh good, I'll be safe in your room.

Me: You don't feel safe?

GS: No

Me: Why don't you feel safe?

GS: Because mommy's yelling at me.

Me: Oh, she's not yelling at you, she's yelling on the phone.

GS: Yeah, she's yelling at daddy. But she also yelled at me.

Me: Oh, she yelled at you too? I'm sorry to hear that, GS.

GS: Ok, let's go in the backyard.

We stayed out for a bit and DD stayed on the phone for a bit but her volume was decreased.

For the next hour or so, things were tense. GS wanted to play Go Fish but I told him we had to clean up his messes first. He got the broom and happily started cleaning up the crumbs under his chair from his morning muffin. He asked if I wanted to sweep too and I got the broom and started sweeping.

GS: Look mommy! We're sweeping!

DD: Oh my god! Please don't sweep! I'm going to do that later!

GS: No! I want to sweep! You're a bad mommy!

Me: GS, that's not nice, that's 1.

Me: You don't want me to sweep?

DD: No, I told you yesterday I wanted to sweep and I'm tired of everyone messing up my day!

(Yesterday, after we put the Christmas tree away, DD told me, "Oh man, it looks so clean. It makes me want to sweep. I'm not going to do it right now but I'm actually looking forward to sweeping. She's told me in the past that cleaning helps her calm down.)

Me: Ok, that's cool. Thanks for letting me know you want to sweep. GS, you can sweep your mess, mommy says she wants to sweep too, so she will sweep the rest.

As GS and I were playing Go Fish, DD got up to clean and when she brought the vacuum cleaner out, she said, "GS, I don't want to hear anything about me cleaning. I'm allowed to clean. If you say one word about me cleaning, you're going on take 5. You don't get to control me."

DD turned the vacuum cleaner on and it turned off immediately. I had a suspicion it was the outlet she was using, it doesn't hold the plug securely. DD tried another outlet, no luck.

DD: Looks like your vacuum cleaner is broken, great!

Me: Let's try it in another outlet.

DD: Didn't you just see me trying another outlet? I'm not stupid.

Me: Some of these are on the same circuit, I'm gonna try the plug in the hall.

DD: Whatever.

GS: Can I go with you?

Me: Sure, come on.

The vacuum turned on.

GS: Mommy! It works in the hallway!

DD: I can hear you, you don't have to yell, god!

Out I go to the breaker box. I flip all the switches and come back inside:

DD: Great! Now the wi-fi doesn't work!

Me: It may be resetting since I flipped all the switches.

DD: Yeah, maybe.

I checked the outlets and find two in the kitchen that aren't working and I say so.

DD: (referring to the outlet by the couch which has a bunch of stuff plugged into it, her phone, GS's tablet charger, and a lamp)This one isn't working either.

I go over to the lamp and turn the switch.

DD: I told you it's not working and I'm pretty annoyed that you don't trust me and you have to check for yourself.

Back to the box I go. Since I have no idea which switch is which, I start flipping them one by one again.

DD (shouts out to me) Now all the lights are off!

I keep flipping, taking my time, smoking a cigarette, standing out there, pacing, not flipping, calming myself down because I'm quite angry at this point.

DD (shouts out) The lights are back on!

Back in the house, the three outlets are still off. 

Me: Well, I've done all I can do. Those outlets are weird, sometimes they just start working again.

DD: I can use another outlet to vacuum.

She vacuums, GS and I play Go Fish, the wind-down timer goes off and DD says we can finish our game before wind-down. There's a take-5 in there because GS is yelling at me. While in take-5, he is kicking his bedroom door. Poor kid, I want to kick things too!

Me: Stop kicking the door.

GS: NO! (continues kicking)

I go into his room and tell him, "You can stop kicking the door and have wind-down time or you can have no wind-down time before your nap. Which do you choose?

GS: I want wind-down time.

I go back out to the living room, DS is still cleaning.

GS: Mommy, will you turn my tablet on?

DD: You know how to turn it on, I'm not doing it for you.

GS: (getting frustrated) It's not turning on!

Me: Maybe the battery is dead.

DD: Well, there's nothing I can do about that! The outlet doesn't work!

GS: I want my tablet!

DD: Here, I know (reaching for her phone to give him for wind-down time)

Me: Looks like mommy has a solution. Good night, GS, I love you. Have a nice nap.

GS napped about 1.5 hours and I went into my room to do some work, DD went out to the garage.

GS is up and things sound calm out there.

I've got a therapy appointment and will leave here in about 30 minutes.

I'm vadlidating, staying calm, following through with my statement, "When you are yelling, I'm going to ask you to stop." It went OK, she didn't turn her anger on me.

Next step, I don't know.

~ OH
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2019, 09:00:14 PM »

Again, I had another opportunity to ask DD to please stop yelling. I'm working in my room and heard her screaming, "I don't know what to tell you! I don't know what to tell you!"

I walked out and she's on the phone.

Me: Please stop yelling.

DD: Mom! I'm allowed to yell! My dog got loose again!

Me: I know you're upset, I'm just asking you to please try to stop yelling.

DD: Or what?!

Me: Nothing, I'm just asking you to please stop yelling.

Then I walked away.

She yelled a couple more sentences then went into the garage and texted me. I didn't hear any yelling from the garage.

1. Stop telling me to stop yelling I'M NOT GONNA WHEN Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) HITS THE FAN I YELL I SAID THAT I HAVE EXPLAINED IDC IF ITS YOUR TRIGGER ITS THAT OR SELF HARM SO IM YELLING STOP TELLING ME TO STOP IT MAKES ME WANT TO EITHER CONTINUE YELLING AND LOUDER OR BREAK THINGS

2. LET ME PROCESS

3. STOP CONTROLLING MY EMOTIONS

4. IM ALLOWED TO FEEL MY WAY NO ONES HURT

5. AND CALL THE POLICE GO AHEAD FINE IM NOT GONNA GO TO JAIL FOR BEING EMOTIONAL AND RAISING MY VOICE ITS NOT ILLEGAL IM NOT IN FEAR OF YOU ANYMORE

I have not responded to any of the texts. I'm back in my room, getting some work done and GS is in bed.

The difference between this and previous rages:

I'm not wishing I didn't say anything. I'm not obsessing about how to get her to forgive me. I'm not angry at her. I'm not writing an eviction notice. I didn't threaten to call the police if she didn't stop yelling. I didn't call the police.

I'm concerned about her words, "It's that or self harm...it makes me want to continue yelling and louder or break things." I'm having a hard time not taking this as a threat. I know I'm future-tripping, but I suspect the next time I ask her to please stop yelling she'll yell louder or break something, throwing in, "I warned you, you didn't listen," implying this is my fault.

I have set a boundary - at least I think it's a boundary. If she yells, I'm going to ask her to please stop.

As for tonight, I've still got a bunch of work to do and I have plans to go out at 8pm. I'm thankful that this interaction has not distracted me from what I have to do, what I want to do. It's not always been that way.

~ OH
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2019, 10:12:40 PM »

ugh.

no, no regrets here.

i am struck by how clearly shes communicating what goes through her head when shes asked not to yell.

shes explicitly saying when " Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post)  hits the fan" she cant contain herself, that being asked to feels to her like someone controlling her emotions, and that shes "allowed to feel". she struggles to separate being asked not to yell from telling her how to feel. and that makes her feel less in control.

thats tough. theres no arguing with that, and clearly, in times of calm she can separate the two.

if she were moving out in a month or sooner, i might suggest letting it go and weathering the storm.

i think what you can reasonably expect her to do is escalate, the more you ask her to stop. that doesnt mean stop. escalating may mean that what she does is blow off steam at you by text, and if it stops there, thats not a bad strategy. if you can weather the storm, and not react, as you didnt tonight, then it may taper off or reduce, and the yelling with it. escalating may mean more. youll need to be prepared as to how consistent you want to be, what to let slide, and how to respond if she goes beyond yelling at you by text. and in times of calm, it will help to be consistent about the message you gave the other day; she gets it in those moments, she probably feels that shes trying, it keeps the two of you on the same page.

its a tough place, and there arent a lot of good options. is there a place in the house she could go to yell where you wouldnt be around it?
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2019, 09:15:48 PM »

shes explicitly saying when " Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post)  hits the fan" she cant contain herself, that being asked to feels to her like someone controlling her emotions, and that shes "allowed to feel". she struggles to separate being asked not to yell from telling her how to feel. and that makes her feel less in control.

once removed, your "translation" is very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time to share it. I don't know if I'd have ever gotten "there" without seeing it through your eyes. Thank you.

Excerpt
in times of calm, it will help to be consistent about the message you gave the other day; she gets it in those moments, she probably feels that shes trying, it keeps the two of you on the same page.

I'm glad I checked in before having these conversations with DD this evening. The dog has been located but is not yet home because DD and exBF arrived five minutes after the shelter closed. When DD got home we sat on the back patio and she gave me a summary of the events. She said the woman at the shelter pissed her off. After being told they were closed and would reopen at noon tomorrow, DD asked, "Will she be safe from euthanasia until then?"

Employee: How long has she been missing?

DD: SInce yesterday afternoon, but we've been checking the website all day and it looks like she just got here a couple of hours ago.

Employee: We open at noon tomorrow.

Me: I can see why you'd be mad, she didn't answer your question!

DD: No, she didn't! She acted like, _I don't know, you better get here by noon tomorrow. Dog is a pit bull mix, I don't know if they kill them right away or what, I was worried so I asked and she blew me off. But I didn't yell so "go me!"

DD demonstrated how she clasped her hands together hard in front of her, pressed her legs together and bent her knees to prevent herself from yelling and it was really hard because she was so mad. Instead, she smiled and said, through clenched teeth, "Ok, thank you."

Me: I'm sure it was really hard not to, I'm proud of you.

Later

Me: I'm really happy that Dog is safe. I know how worried you were about her. I can tell you're relieved, I can see it in your face. And I know how hard it...

DD: I really wanted to yell at her, mom. I'm glad I didn't because maybe I wouldn't be getting my dog back tomorrow. I don't know if they can do that but it wouldn't have been a good thing if I had gone off, but it was hard.

Me: I bet it was hard, I know you're tying not to yell, I see you trying here. I appreciate it and I love you.

DD: I love you too. Thanks, mom. For being available to help both times Dog has gotten out. Even though you didn't have to actually do anything because we found her, I really appreciate you offering to help, it means a lot to me.

Me: You're welcome.

Excerpt
its a tough place, and there arent a lot of good options. is there a place in the house she could go to yell where you wouldnt be around it?

I'm proud to report that I was thinking of this last night - the house is small so wherever she yells is audible from anywhere. I thought maybe I could suggest the garage. Even though it subjects the neighbors to her yelling, the neighbors closest to the garage travel a lot Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). They are familiar with DD's mental health issues and have told me they don't sweat stuff like yelling and cussing. I'll keep that in my back pocket for now, see how things go in the coming days.

~ OH
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2019, 10:03:33 PM »

This may be my "southetn" nature n could my in here, but is there a different way to label her loud communication...other than "yelling"?

"I need you to lower your voive."

 "Can you lower the volume?"

 Is there something about the term "yelling" that triggers her?
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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2019, 10:08:22 PM »

is there a different way to label her loud communication...other than "yelling"?

"I need you to lower your voive."

 "Can you lower the volume?"

 Is there something about the term "yelling" that triggers her?

Good question, Gagrl, and great suggestion, thank you! I like, "Can you please lower your voice?"

So simple, thanks again! I'll definitely try it!  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

~ OH
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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2019, 10:15:27 PM »

The more I think about that, Gagrl, the more sense it makes! And it's only been a few minutes Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

"Please do" is so much better than "please don't."

I do this with GS:

DD: What are the rules about going inside the store?

GS: No yelling, no running...

Me: Yes, those are the things you may not do, what are the things you CAN do?

GS: I can talk quietly, walk slowly.

I read, in a parenting book when my kids were little:

If a child is walking across the room with a glass full of liquid, it's better to say, "Be very careful with that," than to say, "Don't spill that." It was explained that what you say is what will happen.

Sorry if that was hard to follow but I did that when my kids were little and I saw that it worked.

"Butts only on the couch" vs "Stop jumping on the couch."

"Please walk" vs "Stop running."

Brilliant!

~ OH
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« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2019, 01:26:05 PM »

GG (DD's paternal grandma) planned to arrive at 9 this morning for a visit with GS but didn't come until 10. DD values being on time and gets irritated when others are late. I'm with her on this, an hour late and no call/text is not cool.

After a few minutes of greetings, I came into my room to get ready to leave. All of a sudden GG and DD were yelling at each other, DD asked GG to leave, GG said she wasn't going anywhere, DD shouted out, "Mom! I've asked GG to leave and she isn't leaving."

I came out and asked them to both lower their voices. They both started pleading their cases and I said, "I'm sorry you guys, I'm not getting into the middle of this," and I walked away.

Yelling continued and DD grabbed GS and locked them in her room. GG tried to put her foot in the door to stop DD from shutting the door. DD called the police.

I then heard DD telling someone what went down.

DD told GG she was depressed, GG asked what she was depressed about, DD said because her life is crap, GG asked what she's doing about it? DD asked her, "Why can't you just be supportive?" GG said she had to get her Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post) together, think of what you're doing to GS.

So, GG and DD argued through the closed door, both of them being unreasonable, GG insulting DD, "Look what you're doing to GS, you're messing him up."  Red flag/bad  (click to insert in post). The police came, I went with GS into his room and we hung out. GS said he was sad that he can't see GG anymore, he loves her. I validated and then GS was on to asking me to play with him. A few minutes later DD informed me GG and the police were gone. She told me GG is not allowed to see GS anymore and if she finds out I let her, she'll figure something out, but I'll not get to see GS anymore either. I listened but didn't say anything.

I stayed out of the drama.

I'll be hanging here with GS while DD and exBF retrieve Dog from the shelter.

I had an opportunity to validate exBF which, to be honest, I didn't want to do as I don't like him. I've come to see, though, that he's as troubled as DD and deserving of kindness.

~ OH
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2019, 11:41:28 AM »

I stayed out of the drama.

sometimes thats both the best move, and all we can do...

have things calmed down between them?
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