Daughter hit DH

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 12/30/2009 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Our bp, 18 yr daughter has been very stable for over a year now and has been able to go off to College. She is staying on her meds and even working part-time. Overall it's been a good phase in her life. We had a blow out last night and would like some advice. She desires and we do treat her for the most part like an adult but last night I had an issue. She wanted me to drive her to the train station so she could go visit her boyfriend. She came down the stairs with a sweater, leggings and boots on. I told her I would drive her but she needed to put on pants that is was inappropriate dress (way to suggestive), that it was too cold outside (20 and winds at 20-30mph) to not have more clothes on. She refused and I said I wouldn't drive her until she put some more clothes on. Any parents know that w/ BP kid there are different ways to parent and maybe I should have let it go but I do feel that I have a right to state my opinion and to give her options. I'll drive if you change your clothes and put pants on.

She argued with me for 30 minutes, called a friend to drive her but they couldn't because they got stuck in traffic. She then came into the living room where my husband and I were watching TV and started screaming, cursing at me telling me how angry she was and banging doors. My husband stood up and told her to stop yelling. She kept saying her outfit was okay and that lots of people wore leggings (to me they looked like black stockings) my husband said, 'you look like a tart'. He did not call her one but we had tried for 30 minutes to tell her her clothes were not appropriate at a train station alone at when it's in the 20s.

She then slapped him hard across the face and called him a little crap and left the house. My husband did not hit her or raise a hand toward her. When she was younger she was more physical and would hit her sister and I but she hasn't done that in years. She is staying with her boyfriend now.

So what should we do? She like many bp people has a short fuse and is quick to anger but that doesn't mean that as a young adult she can do and say what she wants and expect to get everything she wants. Life isn't like that. Should she get anger mgmt, see her psychiatrist while home on vacation, should I call the police and file a report, ignore the whole thing, ask to to leave... These are all the things I've been thinking of today. She most likely will be home tomorrow or over the weekend because she has work. Since she has been at College we've had a relaxed home life and I wish she could enjoy her family.

She has been diagnosed w/ bp for 8 years. My sister was bp which lead to her psychosis and suicide two years ago.

Thanks for reading and any advice,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 12/30/2009 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I can clearly remember being about that age (about 10 years ago) and acting about the same way. I would base most of the response on how she behaves the next time you see her. Does she regret her actions? Can she discuss what happened in a rational way?
Then I would consider them in this order- 1) discuss with her, come to conclusion 2) see her PSY 3)anger mgmt and if things get worse 4)call police 5)ask her to go. Those I would not do until she is at a state that you are unable to live with her.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 12/31/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mom2em,

Good to see you. Before I get to my response, I just wanted to let you know that we've changed formats a bit on the bipolar board. We know focus exclusively on living positively with the disorder, for people who have the disorder. So we'll do our best to answer your questions, but if you check out the Bipolar Disorder Resources thread and page down in it, you'll find a list of resources for family and friends, since we don't generally do this anymore.

That said, I have to think that this argument (aside from the slapping, obviously) sounds pretty typical for teenagers of this age and their parents. While she should not have laid a hand on your husband, his remark was pretty insulting. Sure, based on what you wrote, he didn't out and out call her a tart, but he said she looked like one, which is nearly as bad, especially for a teenage girl who's insecure and trying her best to look fashionable. The slap and the insults were out of line, though. Because it is pretty typical, I'd say the best first step would be to have a talk with her once everyone's cooled down. Let her know what you wish you'd done differently, and what you are upset that she did -- without being too accusatory or aggressive -- that's just going to make her defensive again. Let her know that slapping your husband was unacceptable and that you expect her to apologize. Be firm but forgiving.

If the violence continues, then intervention would be appropriate, but for now it may just be a one-time deal. I slapped my own mother about this age. She tried to slap me first, so I slapped her back. I have zero violence problems; if anything I'm too passive. But I just got angry enough and defensive enough that I lashed out. We all do that. I don't know that it's a bipolar thing, unless it continues or worsens -- I think it's more a teenager thing.

Good luck,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar and Depression Forums
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 12/31/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to be brutally honest.
Those outfits are "in".  Big sweaters and leggings.  Hell, they have leg warmers again.  Welcome back to the 80s.  I'm 41.  Guess what I wore for Christmas eve church and family gathering after?  Big sweater, black leggings, leg warmers and fuzzy boots.  My niece in HS wore pretty much the same outfit.  That's the style.  So what if you thought it was too cold for it?  It's the style.  Exactly how long would she have been standing around out in the cold.  If she wants to be cold for a little bit, let her.
Also.  She's bipolar.  I'm bipolar.  I have a very nasty and violent temper.  Don't push me.  Just walk away.  You kept at her over her clothing?  She's 18 and an adult whether you like it or not.  You see her about ready to explode you don't push her more.  It's like teasing a caged tiger and then letting it out.  Is it acceptable behavior?  Of course not.  Do you think she could have controlled herself?  I doubt it in the state of mind she was in.  The fight was ridiculous, imo.  Good lord, you should have seen what I wore when I was 18. 
Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder (and about a dozen other things)
300mg Lamictal
90mg Pamalor
60mg Prevacid
2mg Niravam (Xanax)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 12/31/2009 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I think any kind of violence is wrong...whether it be slapping someone, etc.

But you also have to realize that she is an adult, and that you and your husband may not be aware of current styles, etc. I have a 16 year old and I can not stand the styles these days. Like the rolling down of the waistband...and yes the leggings again. One of my daughters favorite outfits is a pair of black leggings, her boyfriends oversized Abercrombie shirt and her UGG boots.

When I was in high school we wore the leggings with long shirts or sweaters...everyone did! The point is that all you can do is trust your child to make correct decisions...but as far as their fashion sense, I would accept my child no matter what. What if she were into body piercing or tattoos?
I just think that 18 is a little too late to start nagging about outfits. Parents are usually never in-tune with the current teen styles. It is ok to express an opinion, but to give ultimatums that she must dress as you want her to...that is a bit overboard.

And by the way right now my 7 year old is going through a phase where she purposely wants things not to match...LOL Yea it looks ridiculous but it is just her being her and expressing herself. As long as my kids are not wearing anything that would attract wrong conclusions (like kids running around the neighborhood in bathing suits...bikinis even....can't stand that!).
Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet? - L. M. Montgomery

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