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She Makes Me Cry

I cried when I adopted her because she was the child of my dreams, my fantasies. She made me a mom.

I cried at every milestone because I was so proud. Everything she did was perfect in my eyes.

I cried at every birthday and threw my heart into making them special so I could see her smile.

I cried as I marvelled at her beauty, a type of beauty that would cause a stranger to stop and say, "Such a beautiful, poised and respectful and kind child." I would cry with pride at that.

I cried when I watched her lead the band on percussion, an extremely naturally talented young woman, the pide of her music teacher.

I cried when I saw her interact with her friends, whom she cherished, making them gifts, always, with a generous nature about her that drew raves from my friends.

Somewhere along the way I lost this child. Someone or something otherworldly took her from me and left in her place a 13 year old who is on her way to in inpatient psychiatric facility for emotionally troubled teens. I will go to court next week and stand up and tell the family court judge that we are beside ourselves with grief, but that "yes" I will agree to the placement as it has been explained to me that we have no choice at this point.

That child has been replaced with another who has mastered the art of manipulation. She lashes out. She stands up to her full height of 5'4 and stares down teachers and administrators, even police officers, therapists and judges, none of whom have been able to make an impact on her.

She doesn't play music anymore. I don't like her friends. My friends are not jealous of me now, in fact, they look away when they see me, they are sad for me.

I went to visit her the other week, the one time she consented to see me. Her hair was pink. She treated my with disdain, as usual. But I glanced over and there was a bin with her name on it in the common area. And in the bin I saw some yarn, and I saw that she had been making bracelets. She can knit with her fingers. She told me she had been making people bracelets and that they were a big hit...

And for a moment I saw my little girl who would hold up her hands, multi-colored yarn hanging down and dragging across the floor, and I could see her smiling at me and saying "Look what I can do? Look what I made mom. Do you want me to make you one?" And I would say sure, even though I already had about 80 of them. I always figured you could never have too many things that your child makes for you.

My little girl is in there somewhere. She is lost in there. Failing out of school, determined to drop out. Failing at relationships with other kids. Failing to show respect of any kind to anyone. They will take her, and they will help her, I can only hope.

And maybe someday I will find a way to stop crying these tears and I will instead cry tears of joy when my daughter comes home to me.

deleted deleted 26-30 69 Responses Apr 7, 2009

Your Response


You have my heartfelt sympathy for the sorrow you are enduring right now. But you also have my heartfelt belief that you are absolutely correct in knowing that your little girl is still in there somewhere and will be helped to come back out.<br />
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If this had to be a part of her journey, if she had to go through this dark night , I keep thinking that it is better to happen now when she is younger than to happen in her twenties or thirties when options and help might be less.<br />
Holding you both in my heart.

She will come home as a woman when she is finished with this part of her journey. You're both in my thoughts and prayers.

love - strength - enduring hope is always wished for you.

I am so sorry for you and your daughter! <br />
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I hope this helps you:<br />
<br />
How Mental Health Can Best Be Restored<br />
<br />
WHEN mental illness strikes, it is a cause of great sadness to those affected. Yet there is no need for a family to feel shame when this happens. In many cases mental illness can come just as does some physical illness, such as the flu or heart disease. And even where physical causes are not a major factor, there is still reason to be hopeful and take a positive attitude. <br />
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The question is, What best can be done?<br />
Often a combination of treatments is best. Most importantly, however, the suffering one should receive help from understanding family members or friends who are able to impart real hope and encouragement.<br />
<br />
These ones can take comfort in the fact that, as with other ailments, persons often recover from mental illness spontaneously, as the body in time adjusts and heals itself. And even when this does not occur, there is much that can be done to help the sufferer.<br />
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The greatest need of such a one is to be loved. The importance of this is now stressed over and over again in medical literature. This means that family and friends should be patient, putting up with the person when that one acts erratic, irresponsible, or is unreasoning or otherwise difficult.<br />
<br />
Where can this needed help best be provided the mentally ill? In some mental hospital or institution? Quite likely not. In fact, a book prepared by four medical doctors says: “A major goal is to keep patients out of the hospitals whenever possible. Sometimes that alone is a victory, because with some of our present mental hospitals, there is a probability that the patient may be better off at home.”<br />
<br />
At home the patient is in familiar surroundings. He or she has the attention of vitally interested parties. Care can be given with the goal of recovery or improvement. But is education in a worldly school of psychiatry necessary in order to provide this help?<br />
<br />
Psychiatric Schooling Necessary?<br />
<br />
Interestingly, psychiatrists themselves acknowledge the shortcomings of psychiatric schooling. David S. Viscott, for example, states that the psychiatric board certifications have “overlooked many of the most important qualities which make a good therapist, such as his interest, his honesty, his curiosity, his openness, his humanness, and his willingness to help. <br />
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Most of [these] were things they didn’t teach in school.”<br />
Going farther, Dr. J. D. Frank, author of Persuasion and Healing and coauthor of Group Psychotherapy, says psychiatric schooling is not necessary to aid the mentally ill. Psychology Today of April 1973 explains: “Frank believes a person with no training at all can be just as successful a clinician as a psychiatrist. ‘The therapist’s personal qualities,’ he says, ‘may have more to do with his success than his training in a particular method.’”<br />
<br />
Certain psychiatrists have acknowledged that the wisdom and understanding contained in God’s Word the Bible is of greater value in treating the mentally ill than is worldly schooling.<br />
<br />
At the close of a long and successful career, the late psychiatrist Dr. James T. Fisher wrote this in his book A Few Buttons Missing: the Case Book of a Psychiatrist:<br />
“If you were to take the sum total of all the authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene—if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage—if you were to . . . have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount.” <br />
<br />
That sermon by Jesus Christ is recorded in the Bible at Matthew chapters five through seven.<br />
Time and again, mentally unbalanced persons have been restored to health by receiving from qualified Bible teachers proper guidance and instruction based on the contents of that Divine Book. <br />
<br />
Consider some examples.<br />
Remarkable Recoveries—How?<br />
The patient was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as a paranoid schizophrenic. After ten years he was pronounced incurable and was able to stay out of a mental institution only by taking thirty-three pills every day. <br />
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He took no interest in his appearance or in life in general. Then one of Jehovah’s witnesses calling from house to house managed to start a Bible study with him, and patiently inculcated in him its righteous requirements and the promised blessings to come to mankind under God’s kingdom. After eight months the man needed no more pills, and four months later he was pronounced fully cured.<br />
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Then there was the woman in Michigan who, for many years, had received regular psychotherapy, shock treatments and had spent $5,000 on drug treatment. Yet, she still kept threatening suicide. However, after studying the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses she was able to discontinue taking drugs as well as quit smoking. She phoned her psychiatrist to tell him that now she felt better than she had ever felt before and what accounted for it. He replied that he wished all his patients could find a cure like that.<br />
<br />
What made the difference with these persons? How did Bible instruction help them?<br />
As a result of their studies they gained a strong faith in the Creator, Jehovah God, as a personal God, and a real helper. (Isa. 50:7; Dan. 6:27) They came to understand why God has allowed wickedness and human suffering until our day, and how, soon now, God’s government will crush out of existence the causes of world troubles. <br />
<br />
Gaining confidence in God’s promises of the righteous conditions soon to be enjoyed on earth changed their whole outlook on life. They had hope!—Dan. 2:44; 1 John 2:17; Rev. 21:3, 4.<br />
But that is not all. They also learned to live by Bible principles, including how to apply love, joy, peace and self-control in their lives. (Gal. 5:22, 23) Certain persons have been especially helpful in aiding them to do this.<br />
<br />
Qualified to Help<br />
<br />
Due to their years of study of God’s Word and practical experience in handling personal problems, many Christian elders of Jehovah’s witnesses are well qualified to help those mentally or emotionally sick. The Bible command may be fittingly directed to these men: “Speak consolingly to the depressed souls, support the weak, be long-suffering toward all.”—1 Thess. 5:14.<br />
Guided by such divine counsel, Christian elders are aided to be sympathetic and upbuilding to persons coming to them for help. They thus manifest genuine interest, patiently hearing the troubled one through. <br />
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They know the importance of not being quick to censure, but agreeing whenever they can with the ill person, recognizing the mental disturbance. Thus they are in position to work to comfort and help that one to recover. Kind and understanding elders have thereby assisted many persons to gain and maintain balance in this mixed-up world.<br />
<br />
Providing the Help Needed<br />
<br />
When helping a mentally disturbed person, Christian elders try to determine what has precipitated the unbalance. Is it deep-seated feelings of guilt? If so, God’s mercy can be stressed, as the Bible explains: “If anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one.” (1 John 2:1, 2) And the elders can show the Scripturally prescribed course, namely: “He that is confessing and leaving [one’s sins] will be shown mercy.”—Prov. 28:13; Ps. 32:1-5.<br />
Or perhaps it may be determined that the problem is that of anxiety. <br />
<br />
Here there is a need to stress the importance of, and the reasons for, faith in Jehovah God. He welcomes us to ‘cast our burdens upon him.’ One way we can do this is by heartfelt prayer, and the elders can demonstrate by praying in behalf of the listening troubled one.—Ps. 55:22.<br />
<br />
Obviously, it does not follow that every case of mental illness can be cured solely by helping persons to apply in their lives the Bible’s divine wisdom. Other measures may also be indicated, an important one, meriting early attention, is a complete physical examination. <br />
<br />
There have been cases, for example, where something as simple as an impacted tooth has been found to affect the brain, causing mental aberrations, even though it caused the sufferer no physical pain. When the pressure was relieved by removing the tooth, the mental disturbance ceased.<br />
<br />
In other severe cases, use of certain medically prescribed drugs may be necessary to help relieve mental unbalance. And not to be overlooked is what has been said about the role that nutrition can have in restoring mental health.<br />
However, based upon what experience has shown, we can be confident that mentally or emotionally disturbed persons will especially be helped by the counsel and guidance from God’s Word. <br />
<br />
It is the desire of Jehovah’s witnesses to make available the soothing and healing effects of this Divine Word to as many persons as possible in this distressed world of mankind. If you care for such assistance, or know of anyone who does, please contact Jehovah’s witnesses. They will be happy to call and help persons to benefit from the healthful, upbuilding principles of the Bible in their lives.

I'm sorry to hear that your family is going through such a difficult time. I hope your daughter finds help soon and realizes how much you love her. Thanks for sharing this with us.

my heart stopped for a moment reading this...brings back some memories like yours you are now experiencing...i too had to let the state place my daughter when she was 14 and half after two years of hell of trying to get through to the little girl i once had and can swear alien moved in ...was the hardest thing i had to do was walk out of that courtroom thinking i failed somehow someway even after all the group and family counceling... i can remember driving home that day thinking how easy it would be to die and end the pain and the hole in my heart ...thank god i knew i had young ones still at home that needed me...i can say my daughter was diangnosed bipolar and odd and after a year in intense therapy she called me ...wanting to come home...another six months in a group home for teens to learn life skills and independence skills before she faced the same judge and admitted to the lies she told them and asked to come home ...within months of her returning home i had her off those meds and learning to recognize her cycles and be able to say what she needed and self happy to say that almost five years later she is an independant young woman, went back to school, working fulltime and has stayed off meds...she went back to our hometown knowing that i was there for her but states away ...she flew out of nest and took the world on ...i talk to her weekly and at her down cycles shes learned to see it comming and take steps to ease it ...she calls her mom ....there is hope ..there is a lil girl still in there ...on this journey shes on the lil girl will stregthen and emerge ....she knows your there ...just hang in there hun.

I have an 11 yr old daughter and a 12 yr old son... on the verge of bringing me the hell I probably deserve. I'm expecting it. I still remember being a teenager. Perhaps anticipation can cushion some of the heartbreak. There is a whole world outside of your love for her, looks like she discovered it. I think parents try to shelter their kids from the harsh realities of life, and when teen discovers it, they're angry at the parent for what they didn't do to prepare them for the grand disillusionment.

"People raise cattle. Children just happen."

Sorry, one last comment from my cold, black heart.<br />
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Don't worry or stress yourself sick. It's NOT your fault, it's just something she's going through that, in her mind, you will never understand. Just accept it, be happy she is healthy and let time do it's thing.

I must say, you are a wonderful mother for standing by your child through this horrible ordeal. I can only imagine how you are feeling but you are a very strong lady, don't ever let that go and keep being optimisic! She'll be home soon and be the daughter that she is. =o)

I wish I could think of something to say to uplift you, but I think right now you just need to feel all these things that you are feeling and then find your way to work through them. We all do that differently.<br />
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This new reality where you have very little control over what happens must feel nearly overwhelming right now. I've been in situations where I felt that way a couple of times in my life. It left me feeling brittle for a while, like I might shatter. But somehow, someway we manage to come to terms with it. The grieving part is an important part in the process, though. You are suffering a huge loss of the life and relationship you and she shared. You have lost the daughter you had all those years. Hopefully she will be helped and she will come back healthy and whole. But at this moment you have a right to grieve.<br />
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I've always thought that the old adage to take one day at a time was good advice. Try to remain hopeful for the future. But, by all means, grieve for what was lost rather than let it fester inside you.<br />
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I am so sorry both you and she are going through this sad time.

I think you are a parent who loves too much, and that has an intolerable pressure on a growing adult. She is a person in her own right and needs to be allowed to speak. Her adoption / real parents will naturally be of great importance to her though she may have learnt that she has to hide that fact from you as you are so easily upset. Try to see that she is not a criminal or a problem but a normal girl going through normal experiences who is the victim of an over diagnosing, analysing and judgmental society - will you judge her too? Or be there for her?

re: BeMySelf's post - in other words, this is all your fault, Nora. lol, sorry I don't mean to laugh, it's just kind of absurd for her to come in here and judge your "judging." <br />
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Hasn't this story clearly shown that you are trying to be there for your daughter and you're being punished for it?


You have my heart and my prayers. I had a daughter who was like this and has never come back to what I would consider a "normal" life. I had raised her as a single parent for 10 years. She has tried to become friends again with me, but only to get things, ie money from me. Her mother lives an the streets. My wife and I adopted my grand daughter because she wasn't safe in my daughter's house. At 15, she also started down the same road, but seems to be comming back. Maybe the genetics are being fixed. I wish you luck.

Never lose the hope.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies"

wow what a terribly sad story. 13 is always THE most difficult time of any girls life and they appear to have a mental illness- I mean EXTREME symptoms but it doesn't mean that they are mentally ill- it all is on how the parent handles it. My daughter went through a terrible time at 13- you would NOT EVER believe it was the same person I raised. But I KNEW my daughter better than any professional ever could and when they tried to get treatment for her and put labels for her whatever- I KNEW they were wrong. All of them. Professionals want status and they want money. But most of all, even the kind and sincere ones are driven by their training and limited point of view. Luckily I trusted myself, and now after graduating from high school at age 17 she is in her third year of one of the best universities in the country, in honors courses, and is on her way to her master's degree. Children need a mother and father more than they need professionals. <BR><BR>I feel bad for your situation, but I can not give you advice. ONLY a mother and father know their own children, and you have to relate to the child you raised and love her no matter what. I will be praying for you.

I just read your last update- hadn't read it before. I feel so sad for your daughter. She is testing you as all 13 year olds do- my daughter was just like your daughter at her age- all the rebellion and manipulation. She had me on edge when the whole church believed her over her own parents. I can't tell you how many times I was on edge and crying- it was unbelievable that the child I raised could behave this way and think the way she was thinking- it literally broke my heart. We (my husband and I) had to finally just step back and realize that no matter how personal it seems, it is NOT. It is a stage she had to go through. During the time we just kept confronting her with her wrong behavior in a level voice and leave it like that- no more, and hope as she aged she would remember those times, and that they would make sense to her one day. We also kept treating her the way we would treat her normally in ordinary circumstances. That is we kept modeling 'normal life' and never treating her any other way. Eventually, life changes- they grow up, and they can't the drama going forever, especially if you insist on not playing into it by being firm and never changing your behavior or lifestyle. <br />
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It is tough to put into words what I am trying to say. But I hope sharing my story triggers something in you so you know you are not alone. I will be praying for you and your daughter.

It's not about mourning for a child lost, it's about strengthening the struggling young adult.<br />
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You need to be more specific about her "mental illness".<br />
She's thirteen OF COURSE she's manipulative.

I feel so sorry for the story. The girl is so pure and lovely. I am sure she has inspired many people and her rebundance can not be taken place in our heart. Now she is somewhere in heaven. Her apperance changes your life. Thanks for God.

I feel so sorry for the story. The girl is so pure and lovely. I am sure she has inspired many people and her rebundance can not be taken place in our heart. Now she is somewhere in heaven. Her apperance changes your life.

uh, wut are you talking about dotan?

You would not believe how some children are born with traits from who knows where. Please don't blame yourself.

I don't think I was critical or unsupportive. Advice is support. You are reading into my words what is not there.<br />
My advice was not to judge that is all. And not to smother. I speak from experience of having had to care for a troubled teen (not my child - my nephew)<br />
I do not judge anyone, I have seen a teen crippled by parental smothering love then their abandonment which places untold pressure and distress on a developing teen and was advising you not to do the same. You just need to be there and everything will be fine. The style of parenting expressed in your post I do not practise. I would die before I let one of my kids go into a unit - I get my kids and don't need so-called experts to raise them for me. My kids won't because when they do goofy, angry teeny things, I let it go and don't treat them as a problem and run straight to a shrink. But I have sadly learnt on EP that is much more common in US than the UK. That is what I meant by the diagnosing of any behavior that is normal to development as a problem to be treated by a shrink or drugs. I do not agree with this approach in raising children or having teens.

Yes, my son told me how much he loved me the other day, he is so positive, because he knows I am on his side and not the side of the community/experts. He is free to be and do what he wants, whatever it is, I don't expect him to be a clone or "good" boy, he may want to rebel and that is fine by me too. He is his own person now he is a teen, and I love to see him be strong and assert himself, he will be a strong man. You seem to be so conventional and pressured by perfection in your parenting and yet where has it got you? Your style of parenting scares me - be a good child or I will put you away in a mental unit, that is appalling. And way out of line. Having pink hair and wanting a big party and being upset/confused because she was adopted does not make her mentally ill. <br />
My mom let me be myself - assertive and independant and honest too and I used to dye my hair, if I lived in the US and had you as a mom I would have been classed as mentally ill and been put away in a unit how scary is that? God makes me realise how lucky I am to have had the strong and wonderful mum I did. In UK we celebrate individuality, we don't class it as mentally ill, very sad state of affairs...

Nora, I'm sorry you are having to endure this commentor's perceptions. This is a drawback to having a story be featured, particularly when the story is one that is very meaningful to the writer and of a sensitive nature. People who don't know you or your circumstances comment to share their thoughts, maybe meaning to be helpful, but are totally off base. I wrote a story about this happening to me on my most gut wrenching story. It was a painful experience to bear the criticism of someone who knew nothing about me.<br />
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My advice is to not engage this person any more and to delete any further comments without reading them.

Yes, posting on EP gets advice you want and also advice you don't, that is the nature of EP and of life, I hope that we never adopt the US system of diagnosing teen angst as a mental illness/locking away offense. I will argue against it all the way. Viva teens! They rock, they are not the problem.

I came into this experience because I do have experience of caring for a troubled teen who I had to look after while his mother was too emotional to. I was shocked to read that a mother would deal with their troubled teen by classing them as mentally ill and letting them be taken away by strangers and held in a scary and lonely place because this mother cannot understand that being a troubled teen is a stage in development and not a crime or problem. <br />
I have had abuse and criticism hurled at me in my posts, and I respond that is how it works but this lady wants to cry and say be nice to me, I am so sensitive that its not fair to disagree with me - but lady I do disagree, I do, deal with it, just as we all deal with the flack, get a backbone, I disagree with you big deal, happens all the time here, why are you so special?

And Nora, I do know what I am talking about on this subject - the subject of having a troubled teen, yes I do. So when you show a bit of respect for others maybe you will get respect, until then I don't see how you can expect anyone to show you the slightest bit of respect, you can't even participate in a simple disagreement without falling to pieces, like you gave up so easily on your daughter and stuck her away in a mental home.