My 14-yr old daughter lost her father approxiately 2-months. My ex passed away very unexpectedly. Since the divorce, over 10 years ago he never accepted it and created alot of conflict. He was abusive physically and mentally toward me. It was unhealthy and recognized the abusive and left before it became worst. Plus, did not want to raise a child in that enviornment. My 14-year old is an only child with me, he had other children with previous women. My daughter is very close to her step-brothers and sisters and I see to it they always have each other. My step-children are amazing and I am honored to have them in our lives.
I know the death of her father is very new and we are attending teen grief counseling, but she has so much rage. I've read your book, "When things get crazy with your teen" did I learn so much about alot of things. Thank you!
I'm trying to remain calm and not take her comments personally but it is so hard. She is a honor student, but her grades are suffering. I am tolerating (for now) and have spoken to the teacher so they all have been extremely understanding and willing work with her. However, she has the tendency to keep using her father's death in vain. I have a problem with that... Anytime anything goes wrong now, she cries out, "you know my father is dead"
Let me first start by saying, my ex loved his daughter in his own way. I use to find myself constantly telling her that no matter how he behaved, or says, never doubt that he loves you. I never agreed or allowed him to speak to her anyway and that was several of our arguments because I refused to allow him to be vebrally abusive toward her or make her feel guilty for not wanting to spend time when he acted ugly. He NEVER took responsibility for his actions or behavors, it was always my fault or the chidl. He had a love/hate relationship with her. She is a strong minded child, always has been so when he would treat her poorly, she would redirect him immediately. She asked me how I would deal with his behavior and told her at times it was hard, but learned to redirect him to speak to me respectfully or the conversation was terminating. I would never argue in front of her or drag her into our matters, but could not get him to play the game the same way. So, again the relationship they had was a love/hate. She loved her daddy, but hated the way he treated her. He was extremely upset with her a couple of years ago for not wanting to go with him to a family birthday party, his visitation were so scattered we never knew when he was going to spend time with her... On this given Friday, she had already made plans to attend a friend's birthday party that she had asked me for permission. I told that we needed to make sure this was going to be her father's weekend. I remember leaving him a message if he was planning to picking her up for the weekend because she wanted to attend a friends party, that was a Monday. I asked, please let us know by Thursday to RSVP accordingly, my message ended with, if we do not hear from you we can assume she will not visit again this weekend and permission would be given to attend the party. Please, note he had the standard every other weekend visitation, but never exercised his rights. It was always his way or no way. Just to avoid argument, it got to the point of "whatever".... Well, we did hear from him but it wasn't until Friday late afternoon. I had already given the RSVP. I tired to compromise, he became extremely mad and stated to her, "the biggest mistake he made was getting married to your(her) mother and having you(her) for a child". This was nothing new from him but that was the most hurtful thing he had ever said to her directly... Dr. Bradley, the expression on her face haunts me daily. Things really started to change between the two of them. She refused to talk to him weeks after the incident. I tried to salvage what small relationship they had, but what do you say - that's he didn't mean it? Don't take it personal? Nevertheless, they started talking after months of counseling... but it really wasn't the same.
So, now that he has passed away she has several emotions. She refuses to mention his name, talk about him, will not cry, if she catches me crying and try to tell her that I am not, she will begin to insult me or call me names. I usually just walk away to avoid engaging into the conversation. As your book states, handle your emotions before you can speak to your child. When I do try to talk about how she feels, she is extremely short with me and says, she is fine and doesn't want to talk. I'm trying not to pushy and understanding, but her outburst, and rage is becoming more aggressive. We are in counseling but they only meet two times a month. I'm thinking weekly but she is refusing counseling all together. During counseling she refuses to speak. The teen grief counseling is with other teens her age that have lost other a parent or both parents so she is not alone....
Any suggestions? Any other books you recommend?