Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

catbalou
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 137

26 Nov 2010, 6:41 am

I dont know, my daughter, 12, is so angry a lot of the time. I feel I'm walking on eggshells around her. She really is very well behaved at school I'm told, then at home turns into this prickly angry scowling ALWAYS cranky girl. I know part of it's puberty, and I know she's holding all her stresses in during the day and then lets me have them, but it's just very hard to know how to manage her sometimes.
So, lately, she wants to paint her room black, but I'm not going to let her do that, perhaps I should, I dont know but a black room seems too awful. She wants black clothes (she has a good few but I draw the line at all, ) and looking at her internet history she is going on you tube a lot and listening to heavy metal, with horrible scarey lyrics. Plus she draws dragons only, and the last three pictures disturbed me, one of a dragon high above the school blowing fire and smoke down on it, one with a crying dragon, and one with a dragon wrapped around a sword dripping blood. (Help!). All very telling stuff.

The last one she drew after I yelled at her for yelling at me because I told her , (in a firm voice after lots of resistance that it was bedtime). I know I shouldnt have yelled. I have told her, after yelling sometimes, (which I hasten to add am getting better at not doing) that parents aren't perfect and sometimes I get to the end of my tether, and when I lose my cool I feel bad about it after.
Her teacher tells me she laughs and jokes at school, and at break time is always with people. But I know that it's very surface, and that she struggles if there are any real opinions or feelings to give. She has frequently said she hates everybody, on coming home from school, but then is unable to give a specific incident that upset her. She has always maintained that nobody bullies her. I do wonder though, if she would be able to tell me if they did? I feel she is frustrated at her inability to communicate her feelings verbally and that leads to the anger.

Apart from that, at times in amongst all this I can reach her, like if we watch a funny sitcom together, and then talk about it. She has a great sense of the ridiculous which is there and can go from scowly blackness to laughing very quickly, to funny stuff in the media or our dog chasing a fly around the room. She is seeing someone at school who gets her to talk, but she gets quite annoyed with this woman if she asks her too many questions, I've told the woman this and she took it on board.

Does anybody have any suggestions as how to help. I feel at a loss a bit because the depth of her anger and feelings kind of scare me. I really feel she needs some outlet or something, and yet any suggestions as to something like taekwondo, or swimming, are met with scorn and resistance. She is good at writing, but I've noticed with her, if you compliment her on anything, or notice something and single it out (in a positive way) she seems to then drop it or lose interest, so I dont want that to happen with the writing.

Also, she 's never been on medication, because I just feel the side effects I've read about look pretty bad, and I'd only go there as a last resort, but at what point does one make that decision? Sorry for rambling on a bit, and also when I've posted before I'm wondering did I already cover this stuff? Sorry if I did.



mechanicalgirl39
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Apr 2009
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,340

26 Nov 2010, 9:20 am

I'm not a parent. But she sounds exactly like me at 12, so I'll stick my nose in.

Don't worry about the heavy metal and dark clothes. It's just music. It doesn't mean she has mental problems.

The anger may well be frustration at not being very good at verbal communication. Another important one to consider is that she may be angry because she has very little power over her own life. I know at 12 I felt very angry because everyone in my life had a say in it except me - my peers had the right to label me as abnormal, my teachers had the right to decide that 'something was wrong with me', and I had not an inch of the world to assert myself except at home with my mother. Could very well be the same for her. So just try and respect her as an individual as much as possible (although it sounds like you already do so respect for that).

Since she has the writing which she likes doing, just let her do that in private.

As for going to activities, let her decide for herself if she wants to take one up. It may simply not be the right thing for her. I know at that age I just wanted to be left in peace in an environment where I could be myself without having to mold myself to social norms to please everyone and their dog. Then I found that I developed interests by myself and became more outgoing and actually wanted to do sports and other activities - because I was doing them for myself for my own interest and not because being outgoing was 'what normal children do'.

Good luck.


_________________
'You're so cold, but you feel alive
Lay your hands on me, one last time' (Breaking Benjamin)


momsparky
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,831

26 Nov 2010, 10:24 am

I, as well, was very like this at 12 (well, except I didn't have an understanding parent like you, and didn't have any choice about clothes and barely about music.) Puberty is hard.

I think what's happening to your daughter is similar to what's happening here, even though it looks really different: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt143979.html There is a lot to process at the age of 12: the rules are different, girls are meaner, school changes, fashion changes, boys, other people's parents start changing the rules, your own body is changing...or not changing fast enough, your skin changing (I felt really betrayed by my body/skin.) I can't blame her for being angry - she must feel like the floor under her feet is constantly shifting. Unfortunately, this is all part of growing up...it's just that much harder for anyone spectrum-y who needs consistency and routine. I think (again, not a doctor, so if you're concerned have a professional check it out) the dragon is not representing something she wants to do, but a representation of how frustrating and frightening all the changes she's dealing with are.

I just realized as I was writing this - a lot of the black/metal/emo type clothing has an important commonality: it's all the same rule, all the time. If you wear the same "weird" clothes every day, you don't need to worry that suddenly people will make fun of your clothes: either they make fun of you every day no matter what you wear, or they will stop noticing; you don't have to worry that you've broken fashion rules. Unless she is dressing in an offensive manner (e.g. t-shirts with hate inspired logos or sayings, or extremely sexualized clothing - I know as a young girl I misjudged the sexual message of my clothing all the time) I'd let her have as much leeway as the school allows with what she wears to school, or to places where other girls her age might see her (mall, library.) Tell her there are times when you expect her to dress your way: (maybe) school photos, family events, places of worship, etc. and see if you can agree on clothes for those events that work for both of you.

Hugs to both of you. 12 was my hardest year ever.



mgran
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 May 2009
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,864

26 Nov 2010, 10:34 am

Drawing the dragons is probably very cathartic, so I wouldn't worry about that.

When I was her age, I really wanted my parents to allow me to paint my room "strangely." I decided that if I had a white room, I could bring in a strong light, and sketch in the shadows of people on the wall... I had it all planned out, and was sure it would be the best room ever. I sulked for months when my parents wouldn't let me indulge in my bizarre attempt at modern art. I'm going to have to say you're right not to allow her to paint her room black... the actual colour would probably depress her.

I'd be careful to let her have some freedom to self express... dragons and music (no matter how rubbish the music) are emotional releases for her. If you can let the small stuff slide, she'll feel more in control, and be less likely to lose her temper.

You have my sympathy... I have a son, not a daughter, and I think lads are easier to raise, since although they're hormonal at that age, they don't have PMT etc to cope with.

Sounds to me like she's creative ... that's a good thing. When you stop worrying about her, I bet you're pleased she's so uniquely gifted.



oddgirl
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 2 Oct 2010
Age: 21
Gender: Female
Posts: 75
Location: North Carolina

26 Nov 2010, 10:41 am

catbalou wrote:
I dont know, my daughter, 12, is so angry a lot of the time. I feel I'm walking on eggshells around her. She really is very well behaved at school I'm told, then at home turns into this prickly angry scowling ALWAYS cranky girl. I know part of it's puberty, and I know she's holding all her stresses in during the day and then lets me have them, but it's just very hard to know how to manage her sometimes.


when I read this, at first I thought my mom got a wrong planet account and was posting about me! Maybe it would help her to talk to a therapist/psychologist (I see one and so does my 4th grade sister) and they can also help her find better ways to deal with her stress. I too have anxiety problems, so my mom and I have been getting up early in the morning before school to jog (the endorphins give me a happy start to the day). Another thing you may want to consider is signing her up for a martial art. I've heard that karate can build confidence and self control.



theWanderer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Oct 2010
Age: 60
Gender: Male
Posts: 996

26 Nov 2010, 1:46 pm

catbalou wrote:
I dont know, my daughter, 12, is so angry a lot of the time. I feel I'm walking on eggshells around her. She really is very well behaved at school I'm told, then at home turns into this prickly angry scowling ALWAYS cranky girl. I know part of it's puberty, and I know she's holding all her stresses in during the day and then lets me have them, but it's just very hard to know how to manage her sometimes.
So, lately, she wants to paint her room black, but I'm not going to let her do that, perhaps I should, I dont know but a black room seems too awful. She wants black clothes (she has a good few but I draw the line at all, ) and looking at her internet history she is going on you tube a lot and listening to heavy metal, with horrible scarey lyrics. Plus she draws dragons only, and the last three pictures disturbed me, one of a dragon high above the school blowing fire and smoke down on it, one with a crying dragon, and one with a dragon wrapped around a sword dripping blood. (Help!). All very telling stuff.

The last one she drew after I yelled at her for yelling at me because I told her , (in a firm voice after lots of resistance that it was bedtime). I know I shouldnt have yelled. I have told her, after yelling sometimes, (which I hasten to add am getting better at not doing) that parents aren't perfect and sometimes I get to the end of my tether, and when I lose my cool I feel bad about it after.
Her teacher tells me she laughs and jokes at school, and at break time is always with people. But I know that it's very surface, and that she struggles if there are any real opinions or feelings to give. She has frequently said she hates everybody, on coming home from school, but then is unable to give a specific incident that upset her. She has always maintained that nobody bullies her. I do wonder though, if she would be able to tell me if they did? I feel she is frustrated at her inability to communicate her feelings verbally and that leads to the anger.

Apart from that, at times in amongst all this I can reach her, like if we watch a funny sitcom together, and then talk about it. She has a great sense of the ridiculous which is there and can go from scowly blackness to laughing very quickly, to funny stuff in the media or our dog chasing a fly around the room. She is seeing someone at school who gets her to talk, but she gets quite annoyed with this woman if she asks her too many questions, I've told the woman this and she took it on board.

Does anybody have any suggestions as how to help. I feel at a loss a bit because the depth of her anger and feelings kind of scare me. I really feel she needs some outlet or something, and yet any suggestions as to something like taekwondo, or swimming, are met with scorn and resistance. She is good at writing, but I've noticed with her, if you compliment her on anything, or notice something and single it out (in a positive way) she seems to then drop it or lose interest, so I dont want that to happen with the writing.

Also, she 's never been on medication, because I just feel the side effects I've read about look pretty bad, and I'd only go there as a last resort, but at what point does one make that decision? Sorry for rambling on a bit, and also when I've posted before I'm wondering did I already cover this stuff? Sorry if I did.


I'm not a parent, but I grew up aspie without even knowing what I was (they didn't have that diagnosis then, and in any case, severe vision problems, "genius", and nutty parents made anything else hard to spot). So I'll give you a few thoughts based on my own life.

Why are we so angry? As we start to grow up, on some deep level, we realise just how different we are. I know, by twelve, I had learned to identify with two groups: the persecuted (Jews, blacks, the eccentric - anyone who was singled out to be attacked) and animals. Why animals? Even then, I sensed that they, too, lived in a world they didn't understand and had no control over. Animals are the ultimate dumping ground for the most vicious humans. I didn't think this through at the time. These were just the natural consequences of what being forced to pretend to be NT all the time when I was not did to me.

School. Despite having parents who psychologically, emotionally, verbally, and occasionally physically abused me, I'd say that the singe most negative force in my life was school. Period. If you really consider what it is set up to do, to standardise a herd of young humans, to force them all into the same basic mold, then you will understand that for those of us who are furthest from that mold, all it can possibly do is crush us and destroy our sense of ourselves. The more you tell you kids school is important, the more you reinforce this. School encourages bullying; I was even bullied by teachers. Bullying is tacitly accepted as a useful tool in crushing disruptive forces and wearing them down. (No one wants to hear this because "education" is an inescapable part of our society. But if you really look at the system and how it works, unflinchingly, you discover how it works. I had the state involved with the school when I was in high school, because a teacher was blatantly discriminating against me based on my vision issues. Even though the Commission for the Blind agreed I was in the right, they urged me to do nothing... it would have disrupted the system too much. Of course, they didn't say that quite so bluntly. They used all sorts of reasonable sounding phrases {"too late in the school year to do much by now", for example - of course, the system is designed with so many delays that is almost always the case}. I was too tired of fighting by then to bother arguing with them. :cry: ) You sound as if you really love your daughter: if so, please, don't ignore this truth just because it is painful and awkward to face it. You may not be able to do much, but every bit of understanding helps.

As for her being unable or unwilling to tell you about specifics: I don't doubt that. For all my parents made my life hell, they actually would have taken my side against the school, and against the bullies in it. Which just would have made things worse. I understood this, and I kept my mouth shut. People like us learn to suffer in silence. That is part of the message the system sends to us. She won't tell you about this stuff; at least, I know I wouldn't have, even under torture. The worse it was, the less likely I was to talk about it. If she says no one at all bullies her, that's a sure sign she isn't talking. Only a very few people, like the prom queens, are bullied by no one. If it was minor and not a problem, then she'd be much more likely to be able to talk about it.

Drugs: if you put her on any type of medication, you risk sending her the subtle but unmistakable message that drugs are the answer to life's problems. That never happened to me, but I watched it happen to others. Think carefully before you go there. Once you tell her that the way you fix things that are bothering you is to medicate them, you can never unteach that lesson.

As for the writing, leave her alone. Writing is one of the greatest possible forms of self-therapy. Don't look at it, don't ask about it; things like that are so private, the slightest hint of attention will just trigger withdrawal. As a writer, I can tell you, even when we aren't working out terrible personal struggles, even when we are "just writing", as adults, we only show our work to whom we choose, when we choose. Asking us about our work, commenting on it, unless we invite that, is a huge invasion of our privacy. Nearly all of us feel that way; we strip ourselves naked enough in our writing, we have to be ready to unveil it in the timing and the way that we choose.

I was never into the all black clothes. I grew up a little too early for that scene. But I understand the appeal. You dress one very simple way, and the people who accept you, accept you, the ones who don't, don't. You don't need to struggle to keep up with fashion and all that crap. (I'm a guy, but even I had fashion issues. I was always either "sweeping the floor" or "waiting for a flood" because I could never get my pants the right length.) Is it really worth subjecting her to so much more grief, just so she'll have "variety" in what she wears? Especially when this is just what she's trying to avoid.

I do wonder if the all black room - however much I understand the appeal to her emotions right now - might not reinforce a negative state. Perhaps you could let her paint it something which appeals to her but isn't quite as depressing in connotations. Deep, rich, purple, say? A little less downer on her mood, but gives her a bit of a victory - assuming she likes purple. Deep shades of other colours would work, too, although red is perhaps too associated with violence. At least, that's my thought.

I understand why you're worried. I'm worried for the poor kid, and I don't even know her. I do know all the things I went through, and all the things I barely escaped, and I think about my best friend, who died in high school - and I still don't know how much of a factor it was that he wanted to die. I don't give advice lightly in situations like this, because I'm terrified I might say the wrong thing. :cry: (Very long story, but the way things went with my friend, I have a huge load of guilt, even though everyone who knows the story says I couldn't have done any better - but the point is, I'm more afraid of getting something like this wrong than I am of waking up in a burning house... 8O ) but I really think the best thing you can do for her is give her all the tolerance and understanding you're capable of, and then some. Will that be enough? I hope and pray that it will, because if she's in the place I suspect she is, the kind of place I understand, anything else will just increase the pressure. No matter how reasonable it may sound, no matter how well intentioned, it will increase the pressure. And that is the worst possible thing to do; we are under intolerable pressure as it is. Yes, from the sound of your post you love her, and she's lucky in that much - but you do not, you cannot, understand what it is like for her. Only someone who has lived that life can understand.

Sorry I sound so upset, and have rambled so much. This just brings so much back to me, and scares me, and makes me bleed inside for another kid going through the meat grinder society insists on putting us through "for our own good".

One final thought: if you had to tip this woman at school off that she was pressing too hard, then she isn't as good or "professional" as she thinks she is. In fact, I'd say she was downright clumsy. She probably also misinterprets things your daughter says to her, since she cannot comprehend what is going on in her mind - this happened to me. If you look around here, you can find a lot of us who disagree with what the "professionals" say about AS, because they can only observe the outside, and say what that looks like to them - and we're pretty consistent in what we think is going on in our own minds. Which says to me that we understand ourselves better than any NT can. Even the whole "theory of mind" issue, which I partially agree with - I was very late in developing any theory of mind - is twisted and misinterpreted. Because NTs just cannot accept that we are different but just as good, without any "disorder" their expecting us to be like them doesn't impose on us, so they refuse to really try to understand us.


_________________
AQ Test = 44 Aspie Quiz = 169 Aspie 33 NT EQ / SQ-R = Extreme Systematising
===================
Not all those who wander are lost.
===================
In the country of the blind, the one eyed man - would be diagnosed with a psychological disorder


catbalou
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 137

26 Nov 2010, 6:32 pm

Well all those replies were quite incredible . Mechanicalgirl, I agree you're probably right about the feeling of lack of power in her life. I think there are areas in which I'm a bit controlling and need to lay off a bit. (a lot)
I got comfort in hearing that you were like this and can look back on it from having grown up and got out of that intense place, by the sounds of it.
Momsparky, thanks for your take on the dragons, and everything. I was probabaly interpreting them too literally. And mgran, yes, all that helps me see it more in perspective. As you say, let the small stuff slide.
Odd girl you sound great, and believe me I wish I could get my girl to go running, I'm a great believer in the power of exercise, but she wont do it. I also wish she's check out wrongplanet like you do, but she's no interest.

And Wanderer, thanks for putting the time in to give me such an in depth answer, I found it very moving. And quite an eye opener. Your comment about animals living in a world they have no control over, well you're talking to a believer there.
I also agree with what you said about drugs, it's kind of the thin edge of the wedge. So I'm convinced enough, I wasn't that tempted to go that road anyway. It really helps incredibly to have people respond who have gone through this experience, well nothing beats it really for insight. I am just left with the conviction, after all of what you said in relation to how my daughter sees the world, to just let her be herself, and take the pressure off!! ! I am really sorry you had such a tough time at school, and growing up, and at a time when there was no understanding of AS. It sounds like you turned out pretty amazing. (You did make me laugh at the description of your pants "sweeping the floor or waiting for a flood") :D



Kailuamom
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 660

26 Nov 2010, 7:06 pm

Hi - With respect to the black room; my son wanted one too. What we did was talk about an overall look or feel he was going for and found ways to get him ther (that I could live with). What we did was; Painted the room a light shade of gray, then did the bottom 3 feet a deep red, then got a solid black 12" border to divide the two colors. Then we got these vinyl black squares and put them all over the gray walls and ceiling. We also bought a large black shag rug at Ikea. We got aluminum furniture.

It overall had the black, dark vibe but still looked teen cool and wasn't hideous. To paint over the black when child changes mind, was just too bad of a thought for me.

While my son was into black and red, that may not suit your daughter. You could also do one black wall and the light gray on the other four.

Help he know you want to find a way to make it hers and oin a way that maybe she will like for a while.



momsparky
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jul 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,831

26 Nov 2010, 7:45 pm

catbalou, I hate to bring this up now that you're feeling better - and I think this "I am just left with the conviction, after all of what you said in relation to how my daughter sees the world, to just let her be herself, and take the pressure off!!" is exactly right - however, please be vigilant for self-destructive behavior. I am not commenting on this because I am picking up on it anywhere in your post - but in my own experience (without a supportive parent) I did have suicidal thoughts and fantasies. I'd double-check with a professional you (and your daughter) trust just to be on the safe side.

Obviously, the fantasies never came to anything with me, in fact, I spent most of my adult life ensuring that I thwarted any possible attempts, but when I was a kid teen suicide wasn't on the news all the time. I'm not sure I agree entirely with this post, but here's some info on it: http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2010/08 ... icide.html



buryuntime
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Dec 2008
Age: 81
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,662

26 Nov 2010, 11:24 pm

Quote:
Drugs: if you put her on any type of medication, you risk sending her the subtle but unmistakable message that drugs are the answer to life's problems. That never happened to me, but I watched it happen to others. Think carefully before you go there. Once you tell her that the way you fix things that are bothering you is to medicate them, you can never unteach that lesson.

The belief that medication is a cure all and the belief that medication should always be avoided are both stupid beliefs. If medication could help your child you should keep an open-mind about it.

After all, I was the characteristic severely depressed and angry aspie kid because my parents had the same belief that medication can't solve problems and now I'm on an antidepressant that reduces my anger and keeps my mood better... why'd I have to wait so long?

Aspies are generally very logical people and will probably see medication as a treatment just like anything else with risks and benefits. I wouldn't immediately medicate a 12 year old but if things get any worse, consider it.



Alien_Papa
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 7 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 668
Location: Minor Key

27 Nov 2010, 12:02 am

I usually wear black and usually listen to bleak music. The blackness is saying I know I don't fit in, but I never wanted to fit in. I never wanted to be normal. The bleakness is cathartic.

One summer in college I had a job working in small factory on an assembly line. Essentially I spent 7 hours each day putting smaller boxes into bigger boxes. That would've been OK, but the coworkers spent the whole day chatting and I was completely uncomfortable and out of place. I was a wreck at 5 PM each day. Went to the basement for an hour and listened to angry punk rock music. After that I felt normal.

When life is difficult it's often helpful to know that you're not alone. Others share the same frustrations and emotions. That's one of the things this site is about. Music isn't interactive, but to some extent it can play the same role.

I've wish my daughter had more of a punk attitude. I wish she could just reject the stuff that bothers her. She's really tied up in routines. She wears a bland school uniform every day. She has no idea what to wear on the weekend so she's worked out a bland weekend uniform. She builds up a lot of anger at school etc... but she's got no release for it.

After you go black, can you go back? Ian Curtis' wife said he tried over and over to paint his study blood red, but the color kept fading into the underlying white leaving him in a pink room. If you apply enough coats of paint to get a room really black, then what happens if you change your mind? Can you just put a coat of primer and then a new color, or will the blackness keep leaking through?

Quote:
if you compliment her on anything, or notice something and single it out (in a positive way) she seems to then drop it or lose interest


I guess it would be too easy if you complimented her taste in music ...



katzefrau
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,835
Location: emerald city

27 Nov 2010, 1:27 am

catbalou wrote:
I dont know, my daughter, 12, is so angry a lot of the time. I feel I'm walking on eggshells around her. She really is very well behaved at school I'm told, then at home turns into this prickly angry scowling ALWAYS cranky girl. I know part of it's puberty, and I know she's holding all her stresses in during the day and then lets me have them, but it's just very hard to know how to manage her sometimes.
So, lately, she wants to paint her room black, but I'm not going to let her do that, perhaps I should, I dont know but a black room seems too awful. She wants black clothes (she has a good few but I draw the line at all, ) and looking at her internet history she is going on you tube a lot and listening to heavy metal, with horrible scarey lyrics. Plus she draws dragons only, and the last three pictures disturbed me, one of a dragon high above the school blowing fire and smoke down on it, one with a crying dragon, and one with a dragon wrapped around a sword dripping blood. (Help!). All very telling stuff.



well this is why she's angry at home, you hate everything she does. and you monitor it all.

she probably uses up all her energy getting through the day at school without getting into trouble, and then she comes home with no emotional reserves left at all and can't be herself.


very blunt, sorry .. pretend you are her and then re-read your post!! i was once an angry daughter something like yours, and you zoomed me right back there, and my first instinct was to pack my bags and run away.

i do hear that there is real concern for her well being and happiness here but she may not be hearing it. she may only be hearing criticism.

your daughter needs a sanctuary; and she is the one who knows how best to create it for herself. this should be a no-mom zone. (as long as she is safe) let her listen to what she wants, wear what she wants, decorate however she wants .. and give her lots of time alone to recharge and use her angry music as a catharsis.

as for her interests or trying to get her to engage with activities more, try things she is already interested in. instead of taekwondo or swimming why not suggest drawing and music? goth fashion design? writing horror fiction? special effects makeup? taxidermy?? you get the idea ..


_________________
Now a penguin may look very strange in a living room, but a living room looks very strange to a penguin.


Chronos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,698

27 Nov 2010, 2:57 am

catbalou wrote:
So, lately, she wants to paint her room black, but I'm not going to let her do that, perhaps I should, I dont know but a black room seems too awful.


Awful to you, not to her. If you own the house (and sometimes even if you don't) there is no harm in painting a room whatever color if that's what your kid wants. It can always be painted back.

catbalou wrote:
She wants black clothes (she has a good few but I draw the line at all, ) and looking at her internet history she is going on you tube a lot and listening to heavy metal, with horrible scarey lyrics. Plus she draws dragons only, and the last three pictures disturbed me, one of a dragon high above the school blowing fire and smoke down on it, one with a crying dragon, and one with a dragon wrapped around a sword dripping blood. (Help!). All very telling stuff.


Actually the only thing it's telling of is that she likes the goth or punk sub-culture. 99.9% of the time this is benign. I really don't think her drawings are anything to be alarmed about. They're typical of teenagers.
[/quote]

catbalou wrote:
The last one she drew after I yelled at her for yelling at me because I told her , (in a firm voice after lots of resistance that it was bedtime). I know I shouldnt have yelled. I have told her, after yelling sometimes, (which I hasten to add am getting better at not doing) that parents aren't perfect and sometimes I get to the end of my tether, and when I lose my cool I feel bad about it after.
Her teacher tells me she laughs and jokes at school, and at break time is always with people. But I know that it's very surface, and that she struggles if there are any real opinions or feelings to give. She has frequently said she hates everybody, on coming home from school, but then is unable to give a specific incident that upset her. She has always maintained that nobody bullies her. I do wonder though, if she would be able to tell me if they did? I feel she is frustrated at her inability to communicate her feelings verbally and that leads to the anger.

Apart from that, at times in amongst all this I can reach her, like if we watch a funny sitcom together, and then talk about it. She has a great sense of the ridiculous which is there and can go from scowly blackness to laughing very quickly, to funny stuff in the media or our dog chasing a fly around the room. She is seeing someone at school who gets her to talk, but she gets quite annoyed with this woman if she asks her too many questions, I've told the woman this and she took it on board.

Does anybody have any suggestions as how to help. I feel at a loss a bit because the depth of her anger and feelings kind of scare me. I really feel she needs some outlet or something, and yet any suggestions as to something like taekwondo, or swimming, are met with scorn and resistance. She is good at writing, but I've noticed with her, if you compliment her on anything, or notice something and single it out (in a positive way) she seems to then drop it or lose interest, so I dont want that to happen with the writing.

Also, she 's never been on medication, because I just feel the side effects I've read about look pretty bad, and I'd only go there as a last resort, but at what point does one make that decision? Sorry for rambling on a bit, and also when I've posted before I'm wondering did I already cover this stuff? Sorry if I did.


Honestly, I most certainly do not get the sense that there is any behavior here that needs medicating. You should not medicate to control teen angst, or personality traits. You medicate to control specific symptoms of specific disorders, and AS is not really a disorder, but a personality.

I don't think her interest in the goth/punk sub culture is anything to be worried about. I'd be more worried if she were into that emo crap. I think you should let her paint her room black. That is one way you can let her know that you respect that she is an individual with her own interests, and that you empathize with her. NT's speak so much of people with AS and so on lacking empathy, but it's quite clear to me that that is a two way street. Many NT's do not empathize with those with AS, and many parents don't empathize with their children.
While parents do need to set limits, those limits need to be chosen carefully, and the limits should not be set to make the perimeter of their freedom too small or you will have difficulty keeping them from crossing them, or inadvertently make yourself your child's adversary when you need to be someone they are willing to allow guide them. She needs to feel that accept her and "get" her.

So let her paint her room black and get her a gift certificate to Hot Topic. You will probably see a positive change in her behavior towards you.



Chronos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,698

27 Nov 2010, 3:14 am

buryuntime wrote:
Quote:
Drugs: if you put her on any type of medication, you risk sending her the subtle but unmistakable message that drugs are the answer to life's problems. That never happened to me, but I watched it happen to others. Think carefully before you go there. Once you tell her that the way you fix things that are bothering you is to medicate them, you can never unteach that lesson.

The belief that medication is a cure all and the belief that medication should always be avoided are both stupid beliefs. If medication could help your child you should keep an open-mind about it.

After all, I was the characteristic severely depressed and angry aspie kid because my parents had the same belief that medication can't solve problems and now I'm on an antidepressant that reduces my anger and keeps my mood better... why'd I have to wait so long?

Aspies are generally very logical people and will probably see medication as a treatment just like anything else with risks and benefits. I wouldn't immediately medicate a 12 year old but if things get any worse, consider it.


It is a potential treatment to certain things. I was not depressed as a child yet I was subjected to medication much of my childhood, primarily to control OCD, which is a valid use of the medication, however as they knew little at the time how to deal with children with AS, and they knew little of the actual effects of this medication on children, any time my behavior was not to my parent's liking, I had my dosage up or my medication changed.

I suffered through temporary, severe side effects, as well as some permanent side effects as a result of the medications, which robbed me of certain opportunities I would have liked to have had in life. My parents feel very bad about it and my mother only recently confided that she had thought the medication always made me "worse" but they weren't aware of it's effects in children at the time.

Most SSRI's are designed specifically for depression, and specifically for adults. In children and teenagers they are associated with increased mood instability and an increase in suicidal tendencies and should generally not be used in children for anything other than OCD.

Children are rarely depressed for biological reasons. If they actually are depressed (upset does not = depressed), they are usually depressed due to environment or hormonal reasons.



catbalou
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jul 2010
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 137

27 Nov 2010, 3:40 am

Hi
Momsparky, it's something I am on the lookout for with her, depression leading to self harming or getting in too dark a state of mind. Especially as she reads so much, and a lot of literature for teens nowdays would have references to stuff like that, which I suppose is a good thing in a way, in that kids feel they're not alone. Though I would also be worried about them getting ideas. )I dunno, what comes first, the chicken or the egg?)
Buryuntime, I suppose if things got bad enough, I WOULD have to consider medication, albeit reluctantly, of course I would , it's not like I'd take a scientology stand on it or anything. I am just instictively against it but no I wouldn't rule it out if things got too dire.

"well this is why she's angry at home, you hate everything she does. and you monitor it all. " Well Katzenfrau that hit home because I suppose theres truth in it. I would be guilty of the monitoring part anyway , but in my defense, it's very hard when theres just two of you and a dog, not to be aware of what the other ones doing. ( Perhaps I should get more dogs) .
But I'm not always that bad, I often leave her on her own while I go out, and she loves that, she positively urges me to go. Yes I do monitor her internet stuff and I think it's okay while she's only 12 because at least it gives me some handle on where she's at , because she's incredibly secretive otherwise. But we often do things her way, because its easier, eg mornings have become very silent affairs, I've given up trying to create a happy breakfast table situation, she never wants to interact, so she eats her breakfast with a book propped up in front of her while I'm in my own world with coffee and a newspaper, From time to time I 'll direct conversation at the dog.
Maybe I need to print out all these answers and refer to the page from time to time, as I'll probably forget some of this advice.
Alienpapa
"after you go black can you go back" funny I though you were talking metaphorically for a moment. Perhaps you can, I dont know. I think I'll go with the black clothes thing before the room. (though that was an interesting compromise you came up with for your son, Kaluamom, will bear a compromise in mind)
Another issue we have re the clothes, and I've discussed this with her, is that she point blank refuses to go clothes shopping, she just cant handle the whole experience, so I have up till now bought stuff for her, which is a pretty hit and miss affair as you can imagine, even with taking measurements. Half the stuff ends up not being worn. And I think she needs to get passed that obstacle, even if it takes wearing sunglasses and a hoody to cope with the department store.
"If I complimented her on her taste in music" mmmm I think she would see past that one. She can spot fakery a mile off. Although interestingly the other day she came home and said she wanted Beethovens Moonlight sonata for xmas. I dont know it, so I listened to it on you tube and found that interesting. It turned out theres a new girl at school from Eastern Europe who has no english, but was playing that on the piano, and my daughter seemed to like it. I also think she felt a connection to this kid who cant communicate with the others.

I've often read that for kids, the experience of having AS is like being dropped off in a foreign country without having the language, and they spend life trying to learn it after being pretty much thrown in at the deep end.
Well it's a bit like the other way round as well, when you have a child with AS it's a very slow process of learning their language too, and making a lot blunders along the way.
Although I myself would not be the most nt of people, I was never one for small talk although I have got more chilled out with it as I've got older. To this day when when someone says, hi how are you ? I'll say fine thanks, and then move on to something else conversation wise, I can never bring myself to say, how are you back, its always seemed so silly, just going through the motions. So there would be elements in me that help me understand aspects of her , and I'm thankful for them.