Don't worry, no need to slap me across the face. She's not moving back in. But for those of you who have kicked your kid out on the "cold, hard streets" - maybe you can relate. My genteel little girl has been out of the house for 10 days now. She's staying with an older woman who gets SSI, about a mile from our house. On the bus line. In the city. Heated. With all of her clothes and bedding from our own house. In her own room. Not too bad, but not up to the standards that my daughter would like (free ride, laundry done, food stocked -- aka OUR house). As uncomfortable as she is, she's not yet run screaming for a day job. Fancy that!? She's been here maybe every other day for a meal and a sandwich packed for the next day, as she is "starving" and needs nourishment. We have her here for short spells, feed her, watch her like a hawk. Part because we don't trust her, and part for her to understand that when you steal from people (the catalyst for her leaving our house), they lose trust in you. Weird, eh? I do feel badly, because the mommy in me doesn't really like to see her kids suffer - pretty standard, I'm guessing. Even if it is by her own stupidity/laziness, it's not fun to watch. But, we've had times in the past where she was out for weeks at a time (as a teen) with God knows who, smoking/drinking/popping God knows what. This situation is not the same. Similar, at times, but not the same. Like this weekend when she calls at 3am saying she just got back from a hotel party and can't get in the apartment (bad neighborhood), and will we come get her? No. We will not. Easy to tell your daughter no when she's standing out in the middle of the night in a bad area with a dying cellphone? No. It's risky. She's got to learn if she wants to party, she needs to figure out how to do that on her own. Sleeping on a porch one night might be helpful to her. Having her here in our home put me too close to the border of having to parent her again as a child, too close to co-dependency. With her out of the house, I don't know that she is safer or making better choices. Probably not. But it isn't wrapping ME/US up to suffer the consequences of her poor decisions. The boys seem to be functioning a bit better. The house is quieter, less chaotic. I'm able to focus more on the other children, trying to turn the big ship back around and focus on a steadier path. Our evenings are a bit calmer. My mornings are not interrupted by screaming matches, trying to get a grown adult out of the house to job hunt. I don't feel like I have to catch up with her and play police - if she doesn't work, her situation doesn't change, and she's accountable to herself. As much as she wants to come back, I know that would not be beneficial to me or to her or to anyone else in this house. My goal(s) are to: Remain hopeful that she will be able to learn from her decisions and take responsibility for her own life and wellness (however looooooooooong that might take). For me to continue steps in the way of healthy detachment. Please remind me of this post if I come back here weak and caving. Thankyouverymuch.