Advice needed

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by rush, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. rush

    rush New Member

    I have a 19 year old daughter who is driving me nuts and upsetting our household. I know what needs to happen but I don't know how to bring that change around in a timely fashion.

    7 months ago she moved 700 miles away to live with a friend at his granny's house. That lasted for 5 months then granny kicked her out. She called me, said she was ready to come home, but needed money. I sent the money for her to drive home, but she kept the money and stayed out there. She lived in shelters and tents. During this period, her car keys were stolen, then her car, her laptop, and everything she had, cell phone included. I was very upset that she lied about the money and didn't come home as planned.

    Eventually, she made her way to the next state over and found a bed at a shelter. She wasn't feeling well so the shelter sent her to the hospital. The hospital put a 96 hour hold on her (she is low level bipolar) and they got her back on her medications. They released her after 4 days with no medications and she proceeded to try to find a place to stay.

    She called home again saying all the shelters were full and she couldn't find anyplace to sleep. I asked her if she wanted to come home, and she said she did. I put her up in a hotel for 3 days and my husband and her drove out there and brought her back home.

    Since she has been home, she has been rude, disrespectful, and impossible to live with. She got my husband and my new credit cards out of the mail and proceeded to charge 150+ dollars on them. (She would have charged more but the credit card company called us and cancelled the cards.) She also took an unactivated store card of her older sister's that was put up here at our house and ordered stuff online. I intercepted the packages as they arrived and returned all of it to the store. ( she does this after we have gone to work). I had to remove the house phone because she was making long distance calls. We have a deadbolt on our bedroom. She broke in anyway and took the house phone, saying all she wanted was the phone.

    I buy groceries for the week and she will eat them all in a matter of a couple days. ( gallon of milk in 1 day, tub of butter in a week, a dozen eggs in a couple days, etc,,, no exaggeration). She cooks while we are gone to work and leaves the mess everywhere. Her room is atrocious, as well as her bathrooom.

    We have tried talking to her, but it is like talking to a wall. This past Thursday when I got home from work, there was a mess all over the kitchen and living room where she cooked. I was so mad after cleaning it up the night before, that I told her to start looking for a place to move to. She left, walked to the police station, and told them she had nowhere to go as I had told her not to come back. The police called, and I informed them of what has been going on, including the stealing. I told them I did not tell her not to come back, I told her to start looking for a place to move.

    This is where my husband and I are at. I bought her a tracphone yesterday and told her she has a month to get a job. The insurance company totalled her stolen car and sent us a check. So--

    Do we buy her another car? Do we simply kick her out, knowing she will have nowhere to go? (NO relatives or shelters nearby)? I have taken care to see that she gets her medications, but I don't know how much more I can take. My husband is threatening to leave over this. He is her stepfather but he has raised her from age 3. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know I must be doing something wrong for the situation is not improving.

    Thank you!
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The problem is your daughter, not you. The situation is not improving because of her, not because of anything you can do. Because there is nothing you can do. Nothing. She is causing every bad things that has happened to her.

    She is of age and is choosing not to be medication compliant and to make a mess of her life. I suspect drug abuse of some sort which is where the stealing can come in...nothing corrupts morals faster than drug use. Everything one is taught goes out the window with drug use. Could with overuse of alcohol too, which by the way is also a drug.

    You need and deserve to have a peaceful life and money for your retirement that you have not spent on an adult child who doesn't even use it the way you want her to. I personally think you shouldn't give her any more money for anything and let her couch surf. Our grown kids tend to find places to live and people to put them up for the short term, until, due to THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR, they suddenly are no longer welcomed. Few are actually on the streets, but, if they are, it is due to their lifestyle choices that they won't change. Some of our grown kids don't like shelters because you get tossed out if they suspect or see you drug abusing. They actually prefer the car or the street. And, by the way, no, I wouldn't buy her a car. She stole one, totaled it, and you are on the hook for it. She should be. I wouldn't buy her anything.

    Our rules go like this: You can live here, Adult Child, as long as you show respect, work, and contribute to the house. So far none of my grown kids have come home, but if they got into a bind we'd be fine with it as long as they understood the rules. And that we aren't going to support them, as they can do that themselves.

    If you want to put the money down on a rental for her, you certainly can. Many parents do. Usually the grown kids blows the opportunity for a place of his/her own. We can not save, change, talk to or help our adult kids. Being of age, THEY have to be the ones willing and eager to change or they won't and we'll just keep on being their victims.

    I suggest you hold fast to your daughter needing to leave and, in the meantime, take time to concentrate on yourself and your loved ones who are good to you. Sometimes we put so much into these grown kids who can't get it together that we forget to enjoy our other kids or other family and friends who treat us well and appreciate us. Most of all we forget to be nice to ourselves and stop going to places we like and doing things we enjoy because we are too consumed by our adult child's issues to think about ourselves.



    Your daughter knows how to pull at your Mommy Heart. We all know how that goes. Most of us are in Detachment Mode. It's not easy and you may need therapy to help you get there, but it's worth it. If your daughter is a substance abuser of any kind, I'd find an AA or NA group for real life, real time support. You don't have to speak if you go there, but you can listen and learn a lot about how to survive and thrive while your adult child implodes because of his issues/behaviors. Don't let this daughter destroy your marriage, your other relationships, or your ability to have a rich, fulfulling life.

    Sorry that you are being put through so much by your daughter and hope you can learn to detach from her. Others will come along :)
     
  3. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    I am so sorry about this. My 20 year old difficult child has done some of those things to us, too. As I was reading your post, I thought "bet she's bipolar" bc it sounded like our bipolar difficult child...and sure enough...I know how hard it is to not help them. You probably are like me, tenderhearted and remembering the sweet little girl you once had before she got ill...and ALWAYS hoping that THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT...only to realize that yet again, no change has happened and the manipulation just continues. I constantly remind myself of the following things and maybe it will help you: We are AWESOME and loving parents who gave this child a wonderful life. She is ILL with a cruel disease. It makes her manipulative and mean. We do not deserve this. We deserve happiness and if we keep enabling her, we will just keep getting hurt. So we have detached, not 100%, but enough to keep her from making us miserable. LET GO, OR BE DRAGGED." Those are my mantras. We pay for her medications and health needs, car insurance, and phone. That's it. She has to leech off someone else for the rest...SHE is making choices, good and bad, and we cannot do one thing about it. So please let us know what happens. There is no easy answer, and every difficult child is different...Stay strong. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
     
  4. 2far4me

    2far4me New Member

    I am not in the position to offer advice at all since I'm dealing with similar issues from older children. I know that I am in a financial ruin due to my continued monetary contributions to get one or the other out of trouble. I am also divorced, something I cannot blame my children for but my situation with them certainly didn't help my situation with my now ex-husband. I often feel emotionally bankrupt and have all but given up on sleep. Today is my birthday and I won't hear from any of them, which cuts me deeply. I am so detached right now that nothing matters much - just an automatic pilot version of living.

    I have an awesome counselor who has been working with me on healthy ways to establish boundaries and to talk to those I gave birth to. I would recommend that you find a solid counselor to help you through what could be a long, rocky road. I don't know if it is comforting or not, but I've read so many posts about situations similar to mine. I take some comfort in that. Wishing you well.
     
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rush, I think MWM has offered you very good advice. You have done nothing wrong. You do not have the power to make the situation improve because your daughter is the one orchestrating all of this. Part of the issue is usually WE, the parents, take responsibility for our adult children's actions, their poor choices, their bad behavior, thereby giving them a free pass on responsibility while we suffer all the guilt. Give that one up, it is not your fault. You may have done some enabling, but that doesn't make it okay for her to act the way she is acting. Do not accept that behavior. To the degree that you accept that behavior, you will live with it.

    There is not much you can do but provide the boundaries you require. If she cannot follow the rules you set forth, which it sure sounds as if she can't, then she has to find alternative housing. It does not sound as if living with you is an option at all. At this point all you can do is give the move out date and stick to it. I would definitely not buy her a car. There are those cheap hotels where folks can live long term, you might look into that. Or a room in a boarding house if you are inclined to pay for it. Or shelters.

    In the meantime, if I were in your shoes, and I have been, I would get all the professional support I can. Therapy, parent groups, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) which offers terrific courses for parents which give us the tools and understanding to deal with our adult kids who have "issues." They may be able to provide assistance to get your daughter on SSI if that is an option. Your daughter will likely not change, so the onus is on you to change how you respond, which will change everything. And most of us need help to learn how to do that.

    Living with kids like this is pretty devastating. We have to combat our natural parenting responses which are to protect and comfort and learn new methods of detachment to protect our own sanity as well as give our kids that chance to become healthy adults...............or not.........but it is now up to them.

    If you haven't already, you might read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here, it may be helpful. Hang in there, keep posting, get yourself some support, take care of YOU now, put the focus onto yourself................I wish you peace.
     
  6. rush

    rush New Member

    Thanks for listening and the great advice. I know I need to detach, but I don't know how to do that while she is in the same house as me. I want her out of the house, the sooner the better, but I also don't want her on the street.

    To clarify two things, my daughter did not steal a car. She moved away months ago in her own car. While she was far away, her car was stolen. We kept up the insurance on it, we filed a claim, (the police out there recovered the car), the insurance company totaled the car and sent us a check for the car.

    While I don't know what she did while she was 700 miles away, I don't think drugs are involved since she has been home. Even her stealing our credit cards, the things she bought or attempted to buy were clothing ( since all hers was in her car which was stolen out there), and personal hygiene stuff. I am not condoning her stealing our credit card, but there was no attempt to get cash. She is here at home almost all the time, and there are no drugs here in this house for her to get. She doesn't behave as someone who is on drugs. She has never been in trouble with the law, nor in a group home or hospital ( with the exception of a month ago when she was far away).

    I gave her a month to get a job (that's why I got her a tracphone). I am sticking to that date. I told her I want her in her own place soon. As bad as she is here at home, I honestly think if she can get a job and her own place, she would be a whole lot better. If she stays on her medications, you would never know she was bipolar.

    So, the consensus is I should not replace her stolen car with the insurance money? I just thought it would be easier for her to get back and forth to job hunting and eventually a job with one. I see your point though, as part of me thought that with a car she may just run around all the time, or take off far away again. I assure you, if she goes far away again and gets in a fix, I will NOT be bailing her out.

    I will keep you all posted! Thank you so much for listening!
     
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rush, thanks for the clarification about the car and drugs.

    A possible solution to the car thing, at least for now, is to put the money aside and make the car a reward for her getting a job and respecting you and your boundaries. Sometimes what is very helpful is to write a 'contract" which clearly states what your expectations are. That would also include how you are treated, no verbal abuse, no theft, taking her medications, looking for a job, helping around the house, clean up after herself, eat only the portion of food allocated for her........ EVERYTHING you would expect from a person renting a room in your home. Often one of the things that our kids need is structure, clear expectations and boundaries and very clear consequences if the rules aren't met. Sit down, present her with the contract and ask her if she can comply. If yes, ask her to sign it.

    You may also want to cover your tracks and find out what exactly the eviction laws are in your state. Here in CA. even if the person is your own child in your home, you have to formally, by court order, evict them and give them notice. Just letting you know, because sometimes our kids know that info and throw that at us at the last moment, so it helps you to know the laws.

    She has to learn that her behavior completely dictates whatever the outcome is. You have to learn to uphold that, no matter what. It can be quite challenging for everyone because it is such a big change, but you can do this. She has a month to get it together and with specific guidelines, I hope she can pull it off...........good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    RE gave great advice.

    Don't count on your daughter deciding to change in order to get the car either, but don't give her a car to get back and forth to work or looking for a job. If she really wants a job she will find a way to get there. When my drug using daughter finally wanted to change, she had no car. We don't buy cars for our kids and she had totaled her car which her brother bought her (big mistake...well, he learned). So what she did, since she was highly motivated to change, was to find a nearby job to her brother's house because she was living there under very strict rules and one rule was that she had to work. She walked to and from work.Funny, she knew her brother wouldn't waffle like me. When he said he'd kick her out in the streets if she broke any of his rules, she was positive he meant it, so she was willing to do a bunch of stuff we'd asked her to do which she had been unwilling to do for us. She even quit smoking cigarettes. It is ten years later and she really straightened out. Keeping her at our house would not have helped her.

    Chances are, if you got your daughter a car, in her frame of mind, it would not be used to look for a job. I think you know that. It is hard to give up the wishful thinking, but recently I have had to face the fact that I have one grown child who will NEVER change. He is 35 and the one who can never live with me.

    Therapy helps us face the truth about our grown children. Most of them are not really very nice people. Heck, if my 35 year old son wasn't my son, I wouldn't want to know him!!! I give him very limited time, even though all we have is phone contact since thankfully he lives several states away.
     
  9. rush

    rush New Member

    A quick update- now she says she may be leaving again on Friday. She meets these people online or through friends. She barely knows them. Anyhow, she says she was offered a place to stay and she can get a job there. I know where this is headed if she does this, but I told her, you leave again and go far off, you are on your own, there is no coming back into this house. Maybe I won't have to worry about replacing her car. I will let you know by the end of the week what actually happens. I don't think she should plan anything until she sees her counselor on Thursday- she is NOT making good decisions! I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all listening and the advice! Thank you!!
     
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Modafinilguy, you are a new member here and perhaps you are not aware that this is a SAFE place for the battle weary parent. Parents come here to be able to express their fears and concerns which we meet with compassionate empathy, support and understanding. It is not helpful to compare your experience with others and then judge them. Please keep your responses non judgmental without making comparisons.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know why he is here. I don't think he has kids. Seems like he is just here to voice his opinions which, of course, are superior due to the fact that he has a four year old child so he knows.

    Yes, this is a safe place for all of us to land, not a place for young people to voice opinions that really do not reflect the reality of our lives (sigh). Perhaps, mm, you need to read the posts and see what the boards are all about before answering. Some of us are very fragile right now and it is best to post here after you understand why the forums exist. Since you only have a 4 year old, I would think you do not have experience in this area to tell us what to do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  12. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    QUOTE: I constantly remind myself of the following things and maybe it will help you: We are AWESOME and loving parents who gave this child a wonderful life. She is ILL with a cruel disease. It makes her manipulative and mean. We do not deserve this. We deserve happiness and if we keep enabling her, we will just keep getting hurt. So we have detached, not 100%, but enough to keep her from making us miserable. LET GO, OR BE DRAGGED." Those are my mantras. We pay for her medications and health needs, car insurance, and phone. That's it. She has to leech off someone else for the rest...SHE is making choices, good and bad, and we cannot do one thing about it. So please let us know what happens. There is no easy answer, and every difficult child is different...Stay strong. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

    Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/forum/f18/advice-needed-55461/#ixzz2iDualNXB

    Thanks for this Try Again!
     
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  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Rush, has your daughter found work? How are you handling everything?

    Cedar
     
  14. rush

    rush New Member

    Hi everyone!
    Thanks for listening and asking about my daughter.

    Here's the latest. About a month ago, she left and went to a friends house here in town for about 5 days. When I went to pick her up, this friends mom said she wouldn't help around the house, she ate all her food up, and the mother stated she didn't invite her to stay. Her child just brought my daughter in and begged mom to let her stay. This mother stated she couldn't afford to feed another person. I told her thank you for letting her stay and I certainly understood as we were having the same problems at home.

    So on the way home, I explained the rules of the house again. Clean up your own messes, no eating in your room, keep your room and bathroom clean, don't eat up all the groceries, get a job, and be respectful of your parents. She said she could live by those rules.

    She got a job last week. She is working about 40 hours a week. After she got the job, my husband and I replaced her car (the one that was stolen and the insurance paid us for), for we both work too, and wouldn't be able to drive her back and forth. She loves the job, hasn't missed a day yet. I am so proud of her for that.

    However, while she has improved in cleaning up in the kitchen, she still won't clean up her room or bathroom. The bathroom really preturbs me because it is in the hallway and guests use it. She still eats in her room and most of the glasses end up in there and I have to argue with her to bring the dishes out so they can be washed. She still hogs the groceries and we have resorted to locking some of the food up in our room and some locked up in a small refrigerator in the garage.

    My husband and I want her to find her own place. Should I give her a deadline to move out now that she is working? I can't stand living in my own home having to lock doors and lock up food so she doesn't take everything. This is really affecting my marriage as my husband is now angry all the time, won't talk to me a lot of times. Suggestions?
    Thanks for all your help and thanks for this site! It really helps!
     
  15. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Rush, so glad to hear the good things that are happening for daughter.

    Yes Rush, she needs to leave. Obeying some of the rules isn't going to do it. If you let that slip by, the things she is doing right at this time will slip, too.

    husband and I nearly lost our marriage too, Rush. Is it possible for the two of you to get away for an hour or two on a regular basis? It is impossible to connect in a loving way, to support one another, or even to see one another clearly when a troubled adult child is making life miserable at home. As you are both working, maybe you two could meet for coffee or a drink somewhere before going home? When we were about done with our marriage, my husband insisted that we meet ~ just the two of us, no phone, no television ~ at our own house for Manhattans. We played Dean Martin.

    And we were able to reconnect, and that saved our marriage.

    Then, we had to rebuild it.

    It helped so much too, to hear my husband say that he recognized, and was hurt by, my pain. We were able to tell one another about the secret hurts, we were able to share the terrible questions about how this happened to our child and to us.

    Troubled kids are so hard on a marriage. It takes luck and time and real commitment to stay together long enough to work it all out and fall in love with each other again.

    It can happen though, Rush.

    Cedar
     
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's terrific about your daughter getting a job. However, as Cedar mentioned, she needs a place of her own and you need your peaceful environment back.

    A deadline is appropriate, something YOU can live with. The way you are presently living is not okay, you would not allow anyone else to act in this fashion in your home without insisting they move out.

    You're responding in healthy ways, you deserve a calm and quiet life with your husband. Sending wishes for peace............
     
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Rush...I feel for you. My husband and I adopted an infant girl who showed signs of bipolar illness VERY young. Things only worsened from there. And, yes, it was hard on our marriage and our finances (and my health too!)
    Although we were always close, we had to see a counselor at times. And I also had to see a therapist at times as well. It really turned our lives upside down.
    Over the years, I have met others locally in similar circumstances as myself and I was just telling someone today, I am the only one still married and this is very fortunate.
    I was happily surprised that your daughter found a job and that she likes it, etc. Yes, I would say that you probably should give her a deadline about moving out. She is not following all the rules and is unlikely to do so. If you wish, you might give her a deposit for an apartment and continue paying for her therapy, medications and maybe auto insurance. But, I would suggest you do your best to move her out and put limits/boundaries on your help to/for her. Consider seeing a counselor with your spouse, esp. if you are arguing and don't see light at the end of the tunnel. It is important to be calm and a united front, etc. Like others have said, this is nothing you have done, but part of her illness and the entire thing is unjust and difficult (to say the least). But, you must detach, gather your strength and protect yourself and your marriage and move forward. Believe me, I/we understand. This is a painful and cruel thing we are forced to deal with.
     
  18. rush

    rush New Member

    Well her job was temporary and it ended after 16 days. They also said she wasn't learning fast enough but she is rehireable by them. so I told her to save the money she earned for working to put gas in her car to find another job. I told her she does need to repay me for her car insurance. She got paid today and left before I woke up. I am afraid she will blow the money and we will be right back where we started. I am going to give her until Feb 28 to get out on her own. I hope I am doing the right thing, but i feel she will never start growing up and taking responsibility for her life until she is out of here. I get tired of harping her to go to look for work. Can't wait for the day she is out on her own.

    Thanks all!
    Rush
     
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the update Rush. Geez I wish it were better news for you. Three months is more then a fair time, but is it fair to you? Make sure you check on eviction laws in your state so you know exactly what needs to be done. I know this is hard, but it ends up to be the only choice we can make. Remember to get yourself support as you go through this and be very gentle and kind to yourself along the way. Focus on you and your husband and make the holidays about what the two of you like and want. Wishing you many peaceful days ahead..............
     
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Rush, my position is a bit different. I have an adult son who has not lived with us since he was 14 due to his extreme violence making it unsafe to have him here with the other kids and myself. I have an adult daughter who so far cannot work due to health issues. I DO have experience with having a very difficult sibling who flat out refused to follow any rules he did not make, and mostly not even ones he did.

    I saw (and see) my folks do what you are doing. They drew boundaries, he violated them, they redrew them, he violated them, etc. etc. etc.... It really doesn't matter what rules are there, gfgbro KNOWS that he can break them and manipulate my mom into letting it happen with few consequences. If it gets to the point where she is about to do something to enforce a boundary, suddenly there is a crisis with his daughter or with his ex doing something awful to/near his daughter. My mother goes into 'protect granddau' mode and all is forgotten regarding whatever gfgbro has done.

    Give her a deadline to get out. She is NEVER going to follow your rules until she grows up and sees that the real world won't tolerate the BS she is pulling. If you need to, set her up in a cheap apartment or motel, and tell her you will pay for X amt of time, after that she is on her own. NEVER COSIGN ANYTHING. NEVER. If you do, figure the entire cost of whatever it is, plus a bundle for fees, is your GIFT to her because she will NOT honor the contract with the other party or with you. It is simply the way it is.

    You and your husband are NOT helping her by allowing her to do this to you. She MUST learn how the real world works if she is to EVER find real happiness and success. She is NOT going to be happy about this. She may tell you she hates you and never wants to see you again. she does not really mean it, though she may act like she does. If you love her, let her go. While many of us need help at age 19, if we are ungrateful and refuse to follow even basic rules, we NEED to be sent out to figure things out for ourselves. I chose college and had the grades to get scholarships and had parents who were willing to help and able to help. I have friends who didn't have this help and had their own apartments and paid for everything themselves, and they made it. I know a LOT of people who did this. It was a LOT of hard work and cheap living, but it was possible then and it is possible now.

    If she wants to live the lifestyle of someone working a professional job with a spouse who works a professional job (like you and your husband live) then she needs to go out and EARN that lifestyle by working up to that job. if she wants to live the lifestyle of a young adult who refuses to work hard or earn money or be responsible and considerate, PLEASE do her a favor, do yourself and your husband a favor, and allow this. Send her out into the world to go live this lifestyle. I can promise that if my daughter was physically capable of working and supporting herself, if the doctors could treat what is going on with her, she WOULD be out in the world working and supporting herself. As it is, she is at home, doing her best to figure out and manage her health issues (very complex and difficult), and doing all she can around here to contribute. As she is doing her best, she is here with us. If she refused to do what she could, she would be sent to figure her own way in the world.

    Your daughter is able to work, she does not see the reason to work because she can go home to mommy and daddy and their warm comfy house with cable tv and internet and hot and cold running water and all the food she can stuff her face with and no one to really make her life uncomfortable. Until her life is uncomfortable enough to motivate her, she will not work to earn her own way. Why should she? Why should she eat only her share instead of all she wants? No one is going to do anything about it. The food will be replaced and she can do it again.

    I firmly believe that everyone NEEDS education beyond high school. Whether that is college (traditional or community), trade school, a formal apprenticeship, or whatever, it is NEEDED. I don't know if you are able or willing to help her pay for this. You may consider offering to allow her to move back in with you to help pay for college/education once she has lived on her own successfully for a period of time (a year?). By successfully I mean she worked consistently at one job, she paid her bills, she kept her place halfway decent (not trashed). I think that if you don't make her leave and support herself for a period of time before you help her with school, she won't work hard at school. She needs to see why further education is needed and to figure out how to be an adult first. It doesn't seem she can figure this out while living at home, given that she cannot follow even basic house rules. Living on her own or with a roommate would give her a very different perspective of things eventually.

    These are my thoughts, ideas and experiences. Take only what helps you. Even the parts I am passionate about are NOT things I would judge you for. Only you, your husband and difficult child can figure out what is right for you and your family.

    I know that one of your fears is that she will hate you forever. I was terrified of that for many years with my eldest. Recently I found out that he not only does not hate me, he even appreciates all of the times I went toe to toe with him to insist he follow the rules and made safe choices and got a decent education. Given time, I think your daughter will also, though it may take until she has her own kids and sees how hard that really is. If my difficult child can get to this point, I firmly believe that any of our kids can and will.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
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