22, with 4 month old now stealing from us.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by !overwhelmed!, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    I am brand new here so I hope I'm doing this right...my 22 year old daughter for the past 3.5 years has been taking our family on a wild roller coaster ride.
    She left for college in August on an athletic scholarship, by late March of that school year, we got a midnight phone call from her newly ex boyfriend that she was sleeping in her car with some "thug" she just met at a club. We drove down, found her, took her home & by April 9th she left with all her things. That night she met the "current" boyfriend. By June she was pregnant. We talked them into an open adoption. She got a good part time job. Worked for 18 months. Started a 2nd job studying for her real estate license. She failed. Long story, but it's always somebody else's fault. Decided to quit the good job & just be the RE secretary that was really not an option unknown to her. Now without a job still "in love", moved out with him. Wound up living in her car with him until it got too cold & she came home! We were happy, but then spring came & she knew she had been pregnant again all along, & went back to living with him in her car. By May they found a motel to live in - the dream realized! On welfare, having a baby then the landlords found out their motel was being ripped off by the manager & everyone had 3 hours to get out. She calls me. We allowed her to come home, he found a couch to crash on. Baby was born in June, now 4 months old. Every time she has come home, she has reverted to a 3 year old, throwing tantrums, screaming etc. It's been hell. Now we my husband's fathers gold ring came up missing. No she has not seen it. Within making 3 phone calls to local pawn shops my husband found where they sold his ring. We have a picture of the boyfriends ID on the paperwork next to the actual ring. All his data, signature & thumbprint. Shop owner said they were a nice family. So they brought the baby in with them. My daughter lied & said her grama gave her the ring. They got $240. Now WHAT DO I DO? We are afraid to leave the house empty for fear of anything else walking out. I called the sheriff, but doubtful much will be done. Slap on the wrist etc. If it were just my daughter I would be done. But there is a 4 month old baby I need to think of - since they obviously don't! If anyone out there can help I am all ears. I do not want to raise my grandchild. She loves her mommy & I don't want to get in between that. But I have a 17 yr old daughter who is trying to have her last year at home before she goes off to college & has also been dealing with all of this as well! It is autumn it will be cold soon & of course there's the Holiday Season. I know this sounds so stupid, but I want to be grama & mom but it seems that all I will be is a monster who kicks out a baby & new mommy into the rain & snow!! Please any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Sorry you had to come here, but welcome. You did a fine job of explaining and posted in the right place.

    Hon, you can not control your daughter's bad choices. She is an adult. You are no longer responsible for your daughter, who seems to be determined to ruin her life, at least for now. You have other people, who are not imploding, to worry about and one of them is YOU. You would not be a monster to throw her out. It's what most of us have had to do. By your daughter's actions, I am guessing she and her boyfriend are using drugs. They steal for drug money and they lose their earlier vision of life and then want us to fund their lifestyles, no matter how old they are, if we will pay for them.

    Unfortunately, it does not seem like you will be able to have a normal adult/parent relationship with this daughter or be a normal grandmother to this baby. Are you rich enough to support your daughter's family? I am guessing that you pay for everything for them and that she does not pay rent, work, help out around the house and disrupts your seventeen year old's once peaceful life. Before you do anything else, my advice would be to toss Boyfriend out the door. if he is also there. That isn't clear to me. He isn't your family.

    Your home is your castle. It is not your daughter's house. In the end, she will probably have to leave. If you feel your granddaughter is in danger, do not hesitate to call CPS on your daughter. The little one is the only one who needs protection and you do not have to choose to raise her. Your daughter has already been pregnant twice. Who knows how many babies she will have in the end?

    Our defiant adult children tend to be very resourceful. She will find the homeless shelters and places to eat. What would really solve her problem, a job, doesn't seem to be in her plans right now. The holidays, in my opinion, are irrelevant. She can come to them without living in your house. If she gets furious because you won't support her, as if she were a little child, well, then she will probably lash out, throw an adult tantrum, and not show up. This is a typical pattern with our grown children who don't want to grow up, but who want us to treat them as if they are acting like adults EXCEPT if we stop paying their way and EXCEPT if we expect them to get sober, find jobs, and move out.

    The best advice I can give you is to read the article above on Detachment to learn how to stay out of your grown daughter's drama. You taught her better than she is behaving. I don't believe in enabling adult children. It doesn't work in making them responsible adults and it makes our lives miserable and we count too. Yes, you matter as much as your daughter does.

    Adoption is still an option for such a young infant.

    I feel really badly for you. You were a good mother and don't deserve to have your daughter plopping on your couch and expect you to support her. My advice is to read the detachment article, go to a Twelve Step Meeting maybe or get a private therapist, and step back. Yes, yes, it's terribly difficult, but your own life, and that of your other loved ones, plus your own will be ruined if you don't respect your daughter enough to let her learn on her own, even if it's a rough ride for her.

    Most of us on his forum are or were in your shoes, and we are trying to detach so that we can have lives of our own and to take good care of ourselves. I'm really sorry that your daughter is putting you through this, however it is your own decision whether or not to put up with it. You can't change her, but you can change how you react to her neverending soap opera. You can jump off the merry-go-round of insanity.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. I used to say for your hurting mommy heart, but we are not mommies anymore. We are adult mothers with adult children.

    Others will come along later on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Overwhelmed,
    When my children were small a coworker was having a really bad time with her son. He dropped out of school, would not work, suspected drugs, girlfriend became pregnant.

    They let the couple live with them trying to help them. After the baby was born they kicked the son to the curb. He wasn't trying and was blatantly using drugs in their home.

    Then the young mother quit her job 'cause she could not get off to take her 3 month old trick or treating. Things were missing from the home so they offered to take the baby, but mother had to go.

    I thought they were so mean and didn't understand the young couple!!! Fast forward to my son being born and way too soon I was having my own nightmare at home and I completely was taught a life lesson. No one knows how bad it is unless you are living in the life of the difficult child!

    Sadly, my grown difficult child continues to make bad judgment call after bad judgment call. And he is involved with someone just like him. That makes sense, like attracts like!

    Please read all of the books you can get your hands on about enabling, drug abuse, detachment. Join a group or therapy if you can find one. I was not lucky enough to have a good group to help me.

    Posting on this forum (and reading the other posts) helps tremendously.

    They are adults and your job as a mother has shifted. My 36yo and girlfriend would still be unemployed and sleeping in my sofa if I let them! Take care of yourself, do not feel guily. It is difficult enough, but add a baby to the mix and it does make things harder.

    (((hugs we know how hard this is)))
     
  4. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    How is she taking care of the baby? You say she has a good relationship with the baby - is she taking responsibility for the baby? Is there a possibility that she is having hormonal problems? Doesn't explain the stealing but just asking to get a better picture of what you are dealing with. Is she taking birth control (a long term one would be a good fix for someone 22 and 2 pregnancies) Make that a priority and a condition (at minimum, of staying at your house). You said she is on welfare, how is she using it to move her life forward?
    Personally I believe in "if they are going to manipulate you, you have every right to manipulate back". Having said that, since you have all the evidence on the boyfriend actually doing the illegal sale to the pawnshop I would threaten to have him arrested to get an agreement of some sort out of her.

    Not a whole lot to go on here but seems you may being dealing with someone who is either bi-polar or borderline personality disorder, by the way you describe how quick she is to start up relationships with men.

    Before I would feel comfortable telling you how to proceed, I guess I would need more information on what has been going on long term.

    I feel so bad for you though. When difficult children bring babies/children into the scenario, it creates a whole bunch of new problems and heartache.
    If they already manipulated before, now they have a new weapon to use against you.
    I think you need a plan on what exactly you are going to do so don't start kicking yourself just yet.
    Post more and we will help you with more ideas.
     
  5. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Thank you all for your insights & support. As for her responsibility, she has gotten better, but her real attention is to the boy friend. The baby seems secondary. She is never without her phone which they constantly text & speak - mostly arguing. She refuses birth control. As for the income, it seems to all goes to him. They have spent "maybe" $200 on the baby in the last 4 months. They get approx $600 cash & $500 food stamps each month. We take care of our daughter's needs, food, hygiene products etc (which for some reason she now barely ever takes a shower, likewise the baby gets a bath maybe twice a month at best), while he comes & goes at will in "her" car that her grama gave her for going to college. He smokes cigarettes, marajuana & drives to & fro (with no drivers license) & all the $$ is gone. She says he's working but he picks her up everyday before noon & brings her home around 8-9pm.
    I've often thought she has a mental issue of some kind. She's never been able to make or keep friends. No real boyfriends all throughout school. Extremely athletic, hence the scholarship but also a "C" student at best. She was bullied & "apparently" had death threats her sophomore year due to a HS scandal with the whole team "drinking" except for her! (She would have drank too but she wasn't even invited to the party!) The team was disbanded for the remainder of their season & she was allowed to play "down" on JV to finish out her season. It was the most backward turn of events ever. She never told me of the abuse until years later. There was also a pedophile that found her while "pshing" on her phone I think it was her 8th grade year...called the FBI etc. So there have been weird experiences in her life. Before that her Jr High coach would lock himself in the gym with the 7th grade girls because he didn't want to deal with parents. As a parent I tried to get the other parents to come along side me to stop that behavior, had to go to the school board...it was taken care of after the local paper threatened to write about it. However my daughter was maligned & ostrisized because of it, as was I, but as an adult . could take it where she could not.
    Sorry about the backwards order of stuff, I'm just trying to piece the puzzle in my mind as to how & why this is happening. This guy has a hold on her that I cannot explain. He is horrible to her. Talks down to her, they scream & curse at each other constantly on the phone & they think this is normal behavior. He of course "knows everything" about everything. He's been abused (so he says), he had a stroke at 7 yrs old, his parents disregarded him & his needs, Divorced. Dad moved across the country, mom on "medications" since 19...ugh this what I've been "told" I've never met these people. He also has a grama living in the area & a female cousin, all have tried to help him/them & he has burned bridges with all of them. So I'm sure my daughter thinks it's them against the world. She lives in a strange mental place of make believe I have never been able to penetrate. Used to be loving & caring but "always" the outsider, made fun of etc. She is absolutely beautiful as well. At least she was...always most 6 ft blue eyes ginger hair. He has ruined her & she has let him. It's like she is becoming him. He rarely bathes is always disheveled & now she looks the way he does. I'm pretty sure she is getting high on marajuana & not sure how that is affecting the baby. Don't know if that constitutes a CPS intervention or not. It's NOT legal here.
    I know this a huge rambling mess of an explanation. I hope I've given you more of an insight.
    We are planning an intervention of our own with an acquaintance who was once a sheiff, did drugs & went to jail & is now a pastor. Hopefully he can shed light from all angels. We will be pressing charges on both of them & having the sheriffs dept on standby. We also plan to get a restraining order against them as well. It won't be until next week due to this person being on vacation until Thursday & our work schedules. So that's where we stand right now. Again sorry for the long winded rant. I hope it was helpful. Any ideas as how to approach the intervention would be appreciated.
    We of course will offer to keep the baby here with us as they really have nowhere but a "couch" living with a bunch of drug addled drunks - mostly barely 20 somethings. But I'm sure that will be met with a big NO on their part. Doubtful the police will do anything except send them a notice to appear, which will be difficult since their mail goes to my p o box. Ugh! I am vowing to be strong for my other daughter so she knows this is NOT acceptable behavior on any level & we have tolerated more than enough. God help us all...again, any ideas or advice is appreciated. Thanks for listening...
     
  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I am in a similar situation. My 21 year old is living back at home with her 14 month old. She was doing great for a while, but once she lost her job she went downhill and I am constantly putting my foot up her rear to DO something with her life. I will say that my daughter does take care of her son, though. If my grandson was only gettting bathed a couple times a month, I would have someone's head!! I am WAY too controlling to let that happen. Our grandson is the light of husband and I's life. We would do anything for that sweet innocent boy and I have let my daughter know that we have no hesitation in fighting for custody of that baby if we feel that is in his best interests.

    Lucky for us, the sperm donor is in prison and will be there for quite a while.

    I would be suspicious of more than marijuana, though. I know when my daughter's looks and hygiene went down the toilet, it was because of meth. I honestly don't know anyone that has let themselves go over just smoking pot, but I am sure there are some...

    (((HUGS))) we DO understand...
     
  7. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    My daughter is a 40 year old difficult child and I love her dearly - yes I said that! Having said it I would also add that I am living in No Contact without her. You can still deeply love your child and live your own life without them being in it. Although I love my daughter with all my heart I will not give her the keys to my heart because she has proven, with them, she will only bring hurt and anger. I will not allow her to continually run and ruin my life. So you can love your child but refuse to put up with the way they choose to live their lives. Even oust them and declare yourself free of them. No-one has the right to mentally/emotionally abuse you and just as you would rid yourself of a partner that would treat you this way, the same must go for the adult child who does the same.
    As for keeping the baby - perhaps just being very firm with a big "No" you are not taking the baby might work. One thing I think you should be doing is keeping a journal on the care or lack there of of the baby; the comings and goings and the impact this may have on the baby and report anything wrong(not bathing is neglect) to family services. This might be of great help to you later if you have to go for custody.

    Although no-one can diagnose your daughter, it is likely that because of your daughter's lifestyle and choices she will never go for any kind of proper mental health services. In this case I recommend trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together to give you a guideline as to what kind of disorder you may be dealing with. The old "if it walks like a duck" may be the closest you ever get to determining what is going on with her.

    Also you may want to go to your local police and tell them what is going on, maybe they can bust them/their friends for drugs.

    Since your friend was once a deputy, is he willing to follow the two of them to give you some idea to where/what they are up to?

    It is very strong of you to get the restraining order - how is this going to affect dealing with the baby? Can you get a legal custody agreement drawn up before the intervention? If so, maybe they will be at a weak point during the intervention and be willing to sign it.

    Man this is such a hard issue because once there is a baby on the scene, the difficult children now have a new weapon in which to use and abuse, manipulate and control both your emotions and metal well being. I feel for you because the addition of a baby, in which you have no control unless they give it, is just heart-breaking. Maybe, they want to get high more than they want the baby?
    Besides the not bathing of the baby can you think of anything else that is considered neglect of the baby? Not using the money from welfare for the care of the baby would be considered welfare fraud if you could prove it - like with receipts maybe? Thank God the baby is only 4 months old, and unable to grasp the realities that are going on.

    One more thing, not to alarm you, but there are people who will abuse the baby when they are out of it on drugs. This puts the baby in jeopardy every time they take him/her out into the drug community.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Everyone has given you very good advice so far. I will make a suggestion about the idea to try to figure out what your difficult child's mental health issue is. We spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out what our difficult child's mental health issue was. In the end all it did was cause us to worry even more. Due to being biased about the situation, we couldnt remain clinically detatched so kept going to worst case scenarios. Im not telling you not to do this, just saying to be cautious with it. When push comes to shove, even if you are spot on with your diagnosis its not like you're a physician to prescribe the needed medications or a miracle worker to make her take them.

    As far as the child goes, she is ultimately responsible for the welfare of that child. If you're willing to take over responsibility then document neglect, work with the police to catch them in the act with drugs, and anything else that you need to do in order to prove them unfit parents. Then you can petition the courts for custody of the child. If you arent willing, then instead of petitioning the court for custody see about placing the child up for adoption. Im sorry if this is coming off as a bit cold blooded. Not trying to judge or get emotional, just trying to help you see your options.

    My wife, Lil, and I had to kick our difficult child out on Saturday for pretty much the exact same issues, sans infant, as your daughter. My son is 19 and your daughter is 22. They are adults and therefore responsible for and subject to the consequences of their actions because they are legally adults even though they dont act it. We have come to the conclusion that our son has been comfortable "running away" before because he always knew we would take him back. I fully expect for him to come back in a few weeks begging for us to welcome him back. It wont happen any time soon. Its called tough love because its tough, not just on the difficult child but on the parents as well. I fully expect the next few months to be hell as he has already tried to guilt trip us. Stay strong and see to the other family members. They cannot be ignored in this. I dont know your whole situation so dont know if its time yet for tough love. Just be prepared for when it is. Dont lose your family over one child.
     
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  9. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    OW --- Welcome to this group. So sorry you qualify for our club, but it surely sounds like you do. Our hearts and support are with you. Great responses here. A handful of things stand out as I read them.

    For you --- Your health, happiness, safety and sanity matter enormously! You are NOT a monster -- whether they stay or not. We had a similar scenario with our difficult child (now 24). He now has a 4-yo son. We were spared the decision you have, though, as our difficult child left them all for drugs. Fortunately, our grandson's mother is fantastic and we have remained close with her and her whole family.

    For your difficult child --- She has clear problems, sadly. I, also, am concerned about not just mental health diagnoses, but drug diagnoses. The 2 go together so often like peas in a pod. Not always, but..... She sounds like she has much promise. However......why be with a boyfriend like that? Her boyfriend is abusive toward her. Something is "misfiring" inside her (and, clearly, inside him, too). Don't know the situation, but it really does scream "drugs" to me (particularly the "disheveled appearance" part).

    For your grandchild --- The above quote that 2much2recover shared is, sadly, very true. For a brief period of time (2-3 weeks?), our grandson's situation devolved into this. Fortunately, our difficult child left. But it left a mark on our grandson for a long time -- fear, distraught, safety risk. It was very brief, but it remains imprinted vividly in my memory.

    True, that!
     
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome overwhelmed. I'm sorry you are going through this with your daughter. It is a difficult path you find yourself on. Made more complicated by the grandbaby.

    My daughter is 41. She did not devolve in to being troubled until her husband committed suicide. Her life spiraled out of control at that point. I raised her daughter from 11 until she just left for college this past August.

    So, I know how you feel.

    Whatever diagnoses or drug related issues are present, in my opinion, although that can be helpful to know, it usually doesn't alter the plan much for us the parents. If our troubled kids do not seek the help they require and as long as they are not psychotic, then the path for us is to set strong boundaries which we stick to, and to take very good care of ourselves. Getting yourself in to supportive environments is a key issue. Therapy, support groups, 12 step groups, whatever you can get yourself into will make this considerably easier for you. I had a massive amount of support and it was still devastating. We are talking about our children, it is not easy to let go.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. You may also want to get a copy of Codependent no More by Melodie Beattie. Contact NAMI too, you can access them online, they are the National Alliance on Mental Illness and they have excellent courses for parents.

    I agree with the way you are handling this. Getting a restraining order and having an intervention is excellent. I have no experience in interventions, but I have read on the Substance Abuse forum that there are professionals who do them and some here have had good results going down that path.

    I think it is imperative for you to have a good support system for yourself. That will make this smoother and you will be offered guidance, information, support, compassion and understanding along with having a safe place to vent.

    I wish you peace for today and guidance in finding all the right people to help you and your family.
     
  11. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I agree with previous posts...not bathing the baby, taking the baby out while drugging - totally unsafe and absolutely worthy of a CPS call. My difficult child was doing it for a long time but we didn't know (for sure). She and our 3 year old grandson were living with us. She drove him home completely wrecked one night. That was the night my husband and I had our own little intervention with her. At first it was all denial, then it spun out of control and turned very violent. She was kicked out of the house and we got emergency Guardianship of our GS. She is now in a half-way house. Been clean about 1 1/2 months. She seems committed to her recovery.

    I certainly had not planned on raising another child (my youngest graduates HS this year) but here we are. It's hard as he doesn't understand why mommy isn't around and his dad lives far away so we only facetime with him. Last night the poor boy told me he doesn't have a mommy and daddy. My heart dropped to my toes.

    Taking on the responsibility of your grandchild can be very stressful (and certainly exhausting). I know it sounds weird, but we were "fortunate" enough that both his parents were not able to attend the emergency hearing as one was too far away (and at the time we had no idea he had even been any part of our GS's life) and mom was in detox. It was a very easy decision for the judge.

    Perhaps if the boyfriend is arrested for the theft and your difficult child's intervention works...

    We have no idea how long we'll have our GS as we don't have a crystall ball to see into the future, but all we can do is make sure he's happy, healthy and safe.

    Take care of yourself and your other child. You can't control what your adult difficult child does other than to make boundaries and stick to them, even when it hurts.

    I wish you all best and hope there's a bright light at the end of the tunnel for all of you.
     
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