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A little worried (a lot actually) about D6

Old 10-04-2011, 04:45 PM
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A little worried (a lot actually) about D6

Tonight stbxAH spent about 45 min alone with the girls.

When I returned (bc I did not want to be here around him and I could see he wasn't drunk when he arrived so I felt okay about leaving the girls alone with him for such a short time), D6 was BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS. Now, granted it's been pouring rain for days here and she's a little hyper (what 6 yr old isn't right?) but this was crazy hyper. She wound up almost hurting D3 pretty badly by accident bc she was so wound up and I stepped in and sent her to her room to chill out and kind of took over.

AH left and I got D3 into bed then went to see D6. She was really sad and quiet and wouldn't talk to me. I tried to ask her what happened between when I left and when I got home that had her so wired but she just wanted me to leave her alone (so she said).

I suspect there's something that has to do with anxiety, worry about being with AH and that it's manifesting itself as being crazed but I really don't know.

I guess my question is: Has anyone else ever seen this with your kids, or if you are an ACOA do you recall feeling like this ever? She was laughing so I shouldn't have been concerned, and yet it was like a scared, out of control laughter and I WAS alarmed.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:06 PM
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My old sponsor used to tell me that my kids were a good gauge of where I was at in my recovery, and he was right.

When I was off-kilter and didn't have a good conscious contact with my higher power, they were bananas, hyper, almost uncontrollable.

As I look back, I also see where I exposed them to unhealthy people, and again, the same reaction.

Kids absorb all the ugly negative emotions floating around in their environment.

Just my own personal experience.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:08 PM
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I also wanted to add that when you left, the kids lost their anchor. You are the stability in their little lives right now.

I have no doubt that also contributed to the behavior.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
if ANY OTHER situation caused her to be so upset, wouldn't you prevent that situation from occurring again?? whatever she is going thru, the AH instigates the reaction. she has no skills in dealing with this, or processing it, so the ONLY option i can think of, as a mom, would be to not allow her ANY alone time with him again....like for a long time. FOR HER BENEFIT. screw him. she needs sanctuary. i speak from my mom voice here.......she HAS to take precedence over EVERYTHING.
She does take precedence. That's why, despite the fact that she was laughing and for all outward appearances, having fun, I feel concerned.

I'm not sure if maybe I'm looking too hard for a concern where there isn't one or whether this behavior is something others have seen.

She wasn't saying she was upset, and her behavior at bed time may have been as much about feeling bad for nearly hurting her sister as anything about her dad.

I'm not naive about what AH but I am trying to be cautious (an al anon lesson actually that I was recently reminded of) to not pin every reaction of mine or the girls on AH.

Maybe I didn't present this clearly enough. I was the one upset seeing her so wound up. But it wasn't wound up upset. It was laughing and being waaaaaaaaaay hyper. I didn't want to jump to panic conclusion without running it by other minds...

My instincts tell me what you all are saying but I guess I wanted to check my perceptions...
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:35 PM
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My wise sponsor always tells me.... with respect to my children ..."Shannon, ask god for guidance, and trust your mom instincts."

That doesn't mean jump to action... just keep listening, praying, and more will be revealed.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:51 PM
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I don't know how to express how hard it is for me to trust my instincts. I need these reminders/wake up calls bc what happens is I DO have concerns, I express these to AH and then suddenly I'm "alienating" him, or "neurotic" or "putting ideas in the girls heads".

I do appreciate very much all of your observations and pointed remarks that I need to trust my instincts and if I sense something is wrong, it probably is. I'm so afraid of the wrath from AH if I try to stand up for myself or the girls that I suppose over the years I've preferred (subconsciously) to tell myself that it's me who's seeing things that aren't there. And that just isn't the case I guess.

I grew up with a mother who while not an alcoholic, may as well have been one bc she behaved exactly like AH does minus being drunk. And when I felt anything (and I was a really perceptive kid) I was told I was nuts. I was brought to an IN-PATIENT psych ward on my 13th bday for "assessment" bc my mom was convinced I was nuts (and by then and well into my 30's I believed so too). I got a copy of the reports from that day a few yrs ago and it was disturbing to read that all that was assessed was that there was signficant dysfunction in the family and reading between the diplomatic psych jargon it essentially said that I was being abused and living in a dangerous situation.

Then I married AH who told me all the same messages my mom had... Anyway, I spent 38 yrs believing that my perceptions were wrong/crazy and it's hard to change that belief. I recognize that now but changing it isn't happening overnight.

I just re-read my post and of course I knew D6 was upset and why is it that I question my perceptions? Well, I guess I just explained...

I don't know how to "justify" keeping AH from the girls. I have no tangible proof of abuse toward them and even D6's T has said that courts don't listen to he said/she said about kids demeanor etc... when with the A parent. And this same T informed me that I need to be very careful about suggesting too much that the girls not be with AH often if at all bc it WILL be viewed by the court as alienating.

So, what do I do? Even when I'm here the girls are wound tighter than a coil when AH is around so what's the solution?
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
She wasn't saying she was upset she's SIX for pete's sake, she doesn't have the years or experience or language to TELL you what is going on. YOU have to assess and be her voice. i'm sorry, i don't mean this harshly....just stridently.
I couldn't agree more. Very well put.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
also, just love that baby ok? get back to her level...get in jammies, have waffles for dinner, watch whatever it is kids are into these days...maybe everybody sleeps together in the big bed tonite, slumber party!
We've been doing this a lot lately but it's a good reminder, thanks.


She wasn't saying she was upset she's SIX for pete's sake, she doesn't have the years or experience or language to TELL you what is going on. YOU have to assess and be her voice. i'm sorry, i don't mean this harshly....just stridently.
[/QUOTE]

THIS is precisely why I stayed for so freaking long. I won't be with her every second and the reality is that AH will have unsupervised visitation (unless he does something drastic) and there's no way for me to protect the girls when I am not around. I guess I am thinking too far ahead. For now I'll plan that I'll stick around when he visits with them (I have no court order saying he can't and remember, I tried to get a RO and it was denied). A lot of the advice here has been to NOT stick around when he comes to see them and tonight was the first time in a long time that I have left and been completely gone. It was good for me during the time I was away, but upon returning it was clear that being away wasn't smart. My poor kids suffer either way. If I'm here there's tension and anxiety for us all bc he's itching for a fight and if I'm gone, the girls are apparently anxious and wound up...

He's not here now and won't be seeing them again until Fri so I have several days to think this through and let the girls enjoy the peace...
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:59 PM
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I am amazed how often people try to talk themselves out of their intuition. You are the mother. You FELT something was not right, therefore SOMETHING WAS NOT RIGHT . . .Don't try to talk yourself out of it. That would be denial. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:12 PM
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Seek- I see how it can be called Denial. I am not justifying my thinking but am trying to explain that it is as if I have lived in a different country, speaking a different language my entire life and literally in the past year am suddenly living somewhere unknown, speaking a new language and am being asked to believe that everything I've believed my whole life is wrong. I DO believe that my perspective has been very skewed bc of how I grew up and the abuse I grew to think of as normal but it doesn't mean that suddenly I snap my fingers and don't have moments of confusion.

That's why I came here. I sensed that my knee jerk reaction to think I was over-reacting was really wrong and I wanted to get my head on straight.

I guess until you've grown up never being told anything other than that your intuition was wrong, it's easy to be confused about how people can question their intuition. I feel like I am doing the best I can with the tools I have (checking in here, talking to T, sponsor and al anon group) to question my skewed thinking that pops up frequently. In the past I would have been concerned about D6 and beat myself up thinking that I was neurotic for worrying. I'm not at perfection but I know that I'm doing my best when I realize I might be thinking oddly and I check it out with others.

I wish my girls had a mother who hadn't grown up as I did and hadn't married the husband I did who reinforced all the mistaken beliefs I had about how wrong my intuition always is. Unfortunately they don't. I'm trying hard to get it all right each day for them and I appreciate the perspective you all have offered. Thank you. It really does help.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:22 PM
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It was laughing and being waaaaaaaaaay hyper.

Even when I'm here the girls are wound tighter than a coil when AH is around so what's the solution?

Another take here and I'll qualify this by saying I don't know you or your kids or your AH etc., but I have read a number of your threads and you seem to be a great parent.

When you said "waaaaay hyper" it reminded me of my girls (I had 3, which doesn't make me an expert, but gives me some experience). When they would get this way it was often over-excitement and the inability to manage it.

I'll use this as an example, but I am not in any way saying the two situations are similar, it's just the only way I can think of describing it: Through the many years of birthday parties we started saying "if someone wasn't in tears it wasn't a good party" because you could see them just get more and more excited / hyper and a need to release it somehow.

I am just sharing this because you know your daughter's behaviour was different and that she was unnaturally wound up. I acknowledge you have noticed something, but it's not automatically something untoward. It might just be excitement (or other emotions) at seeing her father, after not seeing him daily, and especially if he is focused on her, which may not be how he spent time with her in the past.

If I can use the birthday party analogy again, sometimes, afterward, they would seem sad and I would think that maybe they didn't enjoy the party or didn't like their presents or ... It would often just being a little blue that the party was over, and perhaps exhausted from the intense excitement.

But, like you, I think I would worry and be watching my children like a hawk for how they are doing and how they are reacting and what are they thinking. I think I would mention this reaction to D6's T and maybe she can explore it? Or perhaps give you tools to help her manage her emotions before she gets hyper?

I hope I've put this forward with some sensitivity.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I feel like I am doing the best I can with the tools I have (checking in here, talking to T, sponsor and al anon group) to question my skewed thinking that pops up frequently....


I wish my girls had a mother who hadn't grown up as I did and hadn't married the husband I did who reinforced all the mistaken beliefs I had about how wrong my intuition always is.
Whoa Nellie! Let's replace paragraph #2 with paragraph #1 in your thinking. Please don't berate yourself like you did in the second paragraph.

You are a good mom, and don't forget it!
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:35 PM
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wellnowwhat- thanks for your post-- you said much more clearly what i was trying to say in one of my posts... i don't want to discount that d6 may be very upset/stressed out but i also don't want to pin everything on alcoholism and ah when it may be something like what you describe. they don't see him daily (they did for a while but not lately) and she just started at a new school and is struggling with making friends and has been cooped up inside for nearly a week bc of torrential rain... so, all things considered there are many possible reasons for her to be hyped up.

i guess i just worry that i've screwed the girls up bc of staying with ah so long and lately i seem to attribute everything "off" that occurs to my choice to stay longer than was healthy.

i seem to be on a cycle of fearing i've screwed the girls up, fearing they are upset by their dad, telling myself i'm imagining it all and then starting all over.

i really really do appreciate your perspective bc it helps to hear that there are very innocuous reasons that kids might get wound up just like there are serious reasons that they do. and in d6's case it might well be a combination of the two.

thanks so much!
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Seek- I see how it can be called Denial. I am not justifying my thinking but am trying to explain that it is as if I have lived in a different country, speaking a different language my entire life and literally in the past year am suddenly living somewhere unknown, speaking a new language and am being asked to believe that everything I've believed my whole life is wrong. I DO believe that my perspective has been very skewed bc of how I grew up and the abuse I grew to think of as normal but it doesn't mean that suddenly I snap my fingers and don't have moments of confusion.

That's why I came here. I sensed that my knee jerk reaction to think I was over-reacting was really wrong and I wanted to get my head on straight.

I guess until you've grown up never being told anything other than that your intuition was wrong, it's easy to be confused about how people can question their intuition. I feel like I am doing the best I can with the tools I have (checking in here, talking to T, sponsor and al anon group) to question my skewed thinking that pops up frequently. In the past I would have been concerned about D6 and beat myself up thinking that I was neurotic for worrying. I'm not at perfection but I know that I'm doing my best when I realize I might be thinking oddly and I check it out with others.

I wish my girls had a mother who hadn't grown up as I did and hadn't married the husband I did who reinforced all the mistaken beliefs I had about how wrong my intuition always is. Unfortunately they don't. I'm trying hard to get it all right each day for them and I appreciate the perspective you all have offered. Thank you. It really does help.
I was not trying to blame you, but trying to support you. I did not listen to my intuition for years, and believed other people over my own feelings. I just wanted to tell you to trust yourself . . . it is good you are checking in here and elsewhere . . . you do seem sensitive to your husband saying you are neurotic and I understand this . . . I bought into that too, but I think it could be a dismissive tactic to get you to second guess yourself. So I was just trying to support YOU AS THE MOM KNOWING WHEN SOMETHING IS WRONG.

I also think that when you know something is wrong, then you have the responsibility to DO something about it and lots of times it is easier not to do anything . . . you say you had a good time out by yourself and I don't blame you for wanting some time for yourself BUT it sounds like your daughter is not safe so you might have to figure out something else. It is not easy, that is for sure. Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:58 PM
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I have observed that kids will get kind of silly/giggly/maniacal when they are really uncomfortable. For example, my daughter, 16, was telling me about a truly disturbing murder she read about, and she kept grinning and stifling a giggle. I started to chastise her for it then remembered this is a common thing when kids especially feel intensely uncomfortable. It's a coping mechanism. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just a coping thing.

Your mama instinct is king. You know something bothered her. Your job is to back off, let her know in a very simple, age appropriate way that you two can talk about anything, then let it go for now. Maybe she was just wound up and/or uncomfortable around her dad.

You might tell her a story about a similar situation you got into when YOU were a child her age, and reflect what you saw in her in yourself ("I was so wound up and silly after I visited with my dad that I ran all over the room! I wonder what I was feeling?") This can help her share her feelings with you without feeling put on the spot.

Two of my kids were adopted from foster care at ages 8 and 9. They lived through HORRENDOUS neglect. Their mother was severely mentally ill and thought they were Russian spies and space aliens. She was incredibly cruel at times, also loving. Sometimes I overthink the trauma part of their lives and make things into more than they should be (see story of grinning daughter, above) when I should just relax and let them simply be kids. As my mother would say, "Don't borrow trouble!"

You are a good mom. Don't be so hard on yourself. You were smart to get out when you did and acted in their best interests.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:19 PM
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I don't envy you right now. You and your children have a new daily situation (no AH), new school, T's, etc. A lot of changes. And through it all you want to assess your children to see how much / if they are copying, but how can you tell if they are acting "normal" for them, when there are a lot of un-normal (new word??) things going on.

I guess staying calm yourself and starting new routines and continuing to let go and detach (while remaining watchful) might help the new world become comfortable for everyone. I am glad you have Alanon. I wish for you peace of mind that you are doing the best you can for your kids.

I think you are doing great!
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