(Closed) Daughter might be a pathological liar. Help

posted 7 years ago in Parenting
Post # 167
Member
5398 posts
Bee Keeper

You need to get her to a new therapist ASAP. You have to just try them to see if they click and if she will like him/her. You don’t have the luxury of time and trying to “find” someone good. I would do some googling and find one in your area who looks appealing and just go as soon as they can get you in. 

Post # 168
Member
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

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@TexasSpringBride:  I was afraid of that, and exactly how long it would take.

I’m sure with all your emotions in high gear right now, this might not be a good time to ask this, but…..do you ever blow or cry in front of her and let her see any emotions other than calm and collected? Does she ever show empathy or sympathy to you or any of the other kids? Does SHE ever cry real tears? Throwing a fit while screaming and yelling is one thing, but does she ever break down and truly let it all out?

You need some time away from her, I think, to try and gather your thoughts about your next steps and what they should be. Have a friend you can go see and just talk? Can someone hold down the fort so you can get a breather for a few hours to clear your head?

I’m so sorry.

Post # 169
Member
1744 posts
Bumble bee

I was acting this way to see if people still cared about me, my thinking was, if my own mother didn’t want me, why does anyone else? Taking things away from me, grounding me and threatening me with punishment of any other kind didn’t work because I didn’t care about anything. I’d already lost the thing I loved the most.

This is a big dose of insight. 
 
I hope that some of the specific recommendations by PP as to what to look for in a new therapist will help.  I periodically read a blog where they’ve recently had lots of adolescent drama.  The daughter did spend some time in an inpatient setting.  I have no idea if that would cause more problems or be helpful at some point, but obviously your family is reaching the breaking point.  Something has to change for all of you. 
 
I’m so sorry that today has brought new problems and drama.  It must be exhausting living on the edge all the time.

 

 
 

Post # 170
Member
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Hm. Okay, preface by saying that I have experience working in mental health, but am not a trained therapist. Also, I read the first two pages, but have not read the rest.

I’d be concerned about going to a new therapist, unless you feel that the therapist is doing something wrong. I’d be concerned about taking away a meaningful relationship for the child. Instead, could you ask the therapist to bring in others? A behavioral specialist? A family-based service that comes to your house? Taking away a relationship (unless you feel it is harmful), might make things worse. 

Also, if she is manipulating because she wants to control others, that’s different than simple attention-seeking behavior. One thing that worked with a couple of the kiddos I worked with was to tell them “you are in control of yourself unless you show me that you cannot be, and then I will be.” If she is lying, then she is not in control of herself, and you make the decisions. If she is not lying, give her more free reign/individual- and family decision-making power. When she lies again, go back. She will decide on her own that she has more control when she is not lying. Don’t take away the attention when she lies, but shift how it’s approached–I’m in charge and we’re doing things I want/need to do. When you show me you can be in control, I’ll do what you want/need to do (within reason, of course)

Don’t ever remove your/your husband’s attention from her (you’re doing great here!) but do control how much she gets to interact with siblings/friends when she is lying. 

You are doing awesome and she knows you love her! It will take time, and there will be steps forward and back, but with how much effort you are putting in, I’m convinced it will get better!

Post # 171
Member
408 posts
Helper bee

I’m not a mom, so feel free to totally disregard this. It seems like you guys are locked in a battle where she lies and you punish or attempt to get her to understand that is bed behavior repeated over and over. Thats not working. Talking about her behavior isn’t working- she already knows it’s wrong. I think making a big deal out of it sort of makes it more of a draw for her, so it’s escalating. I almost wish she had a kooky aunt or grandma that would say ‘oh you are so imaginative- help me make a comic book’ or ‘lets see who can tell the craziest story- you would make a great author’. Just someone- not a direct athority figure that isn’t zeroed in on ‘fix this kid mode’ and can just channel some of her energy into a more postive outlet. I do think she is testing to make sure you won’t leave and since you are already frustrated by this- wouldn’t it make sense to her to keep on doing it? If your goal is to test something’s strength and you find a place that seems weak, you keep hitting on that spot to make sure it won’t break. Next time she lies what if you just said ‘well sometimes you have trouble knowing what is real and what you’ve imaginied so I have a hard time going by your word, but it’s ok- I’ve heard some people have that happen and when they get a little older they have an easier time knowing which is which and I love you anyway and i’m sure you are going to be great’. That gives her a way out. Once she is sure you are there for good she can ‘grow out of it’ with out losing a battle/war and you don’t have to. 

Post # 172
Member
11231 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

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@TexasSpringBride:  Oh no. I’m so sorry. 🙁

Post # 173
Member
10361 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Yes, it is absolutely a characteristic of abandonment. It’s also a common trait in children who grow up in unstable homes/have alcoholic/depressed/addicted parents, as well. It isn’t going to change overnight. Keep going to the therapist. Keep working on it.

Post # 174
Member
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I’m not a Mom and I can’t offer any insight, but I wanted to extend my support to you and your family.  I can tell you truly love this girl, and want to wish you all the best.  Lots of love! 

 

Post # 175
Member
408 posts
Helper bee

Why are the same adults (principle, teachers) continuing to fall for her lies? I don’t understand why your son had to be pulled out of class when the principle should know that she has that track record. I know ‘drugs are serious’ but she’s lying about so many serious things that at some point maybe they stop falling for it. 

Post # 176
Member
1880 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

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@HisMoon:  Committing her isn’t abandoning her – it is getting her full-time specialized treatment while protecting TexasSpringBride’s three (?) other children from her. She has almost broken one’s nose, she has shown violent tendencies, and she has lied about them in ways that could get them in SERIOUS trouble. It is IRRESPONSIBLE to keep her around the other three kids. I know it sucks for her, but you can’t let her destroy the lives of the other children just because you want to keep her at home while you fix her. The other three children have done nothing to deserve living in an environment where they are terrorized and could, at any minute, be reported to school/the police or have their faces bashed in. I think it’s legitimately abusive to force them to live in that environment. If it was just the parents and the one daughter, they have every right to risk their safety and mental health to help her. I do not think that right extends to risking screwing up their other three children for life because of one kid. An inpatient treatment program could be very helpful to her and serves the double purpose of protecting the other kids. It doesn’t mean they are abandoning her, just trying another option.

Post # 177
Member
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

A lot of the other bees have made great suggestions.  I second the part about being totally honest with her about her mom.

My nieces (12 and 9, who I am VERY close with) are going through a similar thing with their dad.  My sister has them in therapy with someone they really love, and she and their step-dad (who’s more a dad than they’ve ever had) are so loving and supportive.   Thankfully, they are not acting out, but I bring this up because my sister is able to talk very openly with the 12-year-old about her dad – the fact that he doesn’t call or come around, etc.  Jr. High aged kids are old enough to be honest with – honesty doesn’t have to be harsh, but I think that totaly honesty on your part will go a long way toward getting her to understand its importance.  

The thing to me that is most disconcerting is that her quest for attention seems to always end with her relishing someone else’s suffering – be it a relative stranger’s (sub teacher) or someone close to her (sibling).  This is a rather chilling and calculated behavior.  She sounds like an incredibly smart girl to be so manipulative at such a young age.

I would be careful that your other children don’t begin to resent the amount of energy you’re pouring into her, especially when she continues to hurt them.  Not only is she hurting them directly, but also indirectly, by making sure that the focus is continually on her.  

Again, chilling that a child so young could be so calculating.

Post # 178
Member
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

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@TexasSpringBride:  IDK if this would help, but instead of focusing on the lies, try turning it around & focusing on the truths. Like give her a lot of attention when she does things right. Make big deals about small things. Maybe have a girl’s tea party as long as she is honest all week. Complete with decorations, etc. It seems something family-related or bonding time is a good “reward”. Maybe have a serious talk with her about you’re not leaving her no matter what she does, maybe as a family or in family theropy. Maybe she is testing boundaries, trying to drive those she loves away because she can chose if she makes them go away, but if they go away on their own than she can’t handle that. 

Maybe she needs to know she is loved. That she is an awesome person. That she is very wanted by you & her family. That lying does not make her a bad person, they are bad choices but she is not bad. She is loved very much.

Maybe she needs a “job”, to be in charge of something, & something she can take pride in. Like she can grow plants (watermelon, or other type of food, or even flowers). Maybe a fish or some type of pet? Or idk maybe others have a good idea/suggestion.

This is so sad, I’m sorry you’re going through this.

Also, I have some good book recommendations, that’s if she likes to read & also if you guys are Christians (because they’re about how God loves her too). PM me. Talks about how she is called to greatness & she is loved.

Post # 180
Member
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t have any advice, I just wanted to say that I’m sorry you’re going through this. I can’t even imagine. 

Post # 181
Member
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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@distracts:  +1 My best friend when I was growing up had some serious personality issues (and still does, to an extent, but I think she deals with it better). She would lie, hurt animals, throw furniture, etc. When we were 11 her mom put her in an inpatient program for a few months. At the time we were both upset and found it to be unfair, but it helped her so much. Looking back, I’m glad that her mom had the strength to do that. It must have been hard for her, and I’m sure that my friend and I weren’t the only ones giving her a hard time about it.

 

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@TexasSpringBride:  I’m so sorry that she’s lied about your son now too. 🙁 I’ve read through all 5 pages of this and it honestly sounds like you’re doing the best that you can. I agree with the PP who said that you should try rewarding the others. I think it might be effective, but it might also help you to spend quality time with the others, because it sounds like they’re starting to resent all of the attention that your daughter is getting for her bad behaviour.

I disagree with distracts that your daughter is incurable, but I think an inpatient program might be a good idea at this point. Sometimes people need to reach a crisis point (a spouse leaving, job loss, or serious life change) before they can change themselves. And I think that having 24-h a day with mental health care would be good for her.

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