Love can make & break you…

My daughter has O.D.D (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) and it is a difficult as it sounds. She is currently undiagnosed but we are in the process of getting her diagnosis. This article may only resonate with parents in similar situations…

I keep getting stuck in the same cycle.

I am full of patience, I am very easy going, I thrive in a peaceful, harmonic environment. I’m basically a tree, right?
I believe in words, I believe in kindness and understanding. I love creating harmony.

Patience can only last so long when it’s being chipped away at day by day… 7 years of this and I’m on the edge. I am ignored constantly, even when I am in tears. She will be horrible until she gets what she wants… standing my ground means everyone suffers and no matter how many different ways I explain a situation (my favourite is perspective- my daughter thinks it’s with a comparison or that I’m guilting her). My daughter pushes me to places I have never been before. I have never yelled at anyone the way I have at her, I have said things I don’t mean and I am struggling to understand how my own daughter can bring out such a horrible version of myself.

I’m a shell of who I once was. My bubbly personality is shot down before I can even wake up most days and I am struggling to find the joy in anything. I thought I could do this back and forth forever because that’s my baby girl but it seems like I am running out of steam, of which the thought just brings me to tears. I can’t run out of steam, I’m a mother… I don’t have a fuse anymore… as soon as I see her repeating the same behaviour and bullshit from the previous day, I lose my mind. I am not patient and peaceful and understanding anymore… and the saddest part is my own little girl is the cause of it.
I love my beautiful girl – she’s just so angry and defiant every single day and I don’t know when she’s being real or when she’s just playing to get her own way anymore.

So I guess I am left just playing myself off between two bottom lines: I am either not as good of a mother as I thought I’d be OR I have unresolved childhood trauma that’s causing me to lash out. Maybe both, maybe neither… but I have to find cause somewhere.

Because, if I was as gentle and loving as I always thought, I would be able handle this would I? I want to love. I want to teach my girls to love. Why can’t I do this?
I brought her up with love and compassion and positivity. I want her baby sister to feel that too but I’m afraid all she hears is screaming.

I love my beautiful, strong willed and confident little girl but she’s so angry and defiant… I don’t know how to help her grow, anymore. The tools are there and she knows how to use them but something inside her takes over before she has a chance. As a mother, how do you approach a situation where your child REFUSES to listen, respect and comply with basic requests? It’s near on impossible. But you don’t give up because that’s your child who you chose to have, no matter what. So you stick it out, everyday, and you do it with the best intentions. And then the cycle begins again………

Living in a pandemic, the health system in Australia (especially Melbourne) has been pushed to the limits and access to mental health support has been difficult. I took my daughter to a paediatrician after being on a waiting list for 4 months only to be told I had to come back in 6 weeks to “see if she has made any progress”. That appointment cost $400 and we left without any guidance or a formal diagnosis. The next appointment would have also cost $400 but I couldn’t afford that. So we are left waiting for an appointment with a paediatrician who will bulk bill – the wait will be months, again. Until then, we walk on egg shells in my house.

Love can both make and break youa lesson only having a child with Oppositional Defiance Disorder could have ever taught me.

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