Been a long time

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DoneDad, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Hi, I posted on here several years ago about our daughter who was 18 with an abusive boyfriend, stealing from us, etc. Anyhow, she's continued to have a string of loser boyfriends and, surprise, is now pregnant (now she's 23). We let her move back in because she's pregnant and want her to have a stable environment. She mostly just sleeps here and spends most of her time at loser boyfriend's house (really his mom's house, he sits on the couch smoking weed all day). This is losers second kid - the first baby mama was living there and loser's mom bonded with the baby then the baby mama wised up a little and left and he doesn't even see the baby now (never mind supporting it). So, loser's mom doesn't want our daughter living there because she doesn't want the same to happen (to her).

    Anyhow, I don't know what's going to happen when the baby is born. I want to be self-sacrificing and all, but I don't have it in me to raise another baby. I see zero chance that loser and daughter are going to get it together and be good parents. I know letting her live here is not going to help her, but what about the baby? This situation is very complicated and I'm trying to find the right way forward, but honestly don't know what to do. I was planning to retire next year, but now I don't know if I can (and I REALLY want to).

    She been heavily involved with every drug you can imagine the last few years. She says she's not using during the pregnancy. My wife believes her, but I don't believe anything she says. She could tell me the world was round and I've have to check it out before I'd believe it.

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you in your 30's? Is your son 14? If not, you don't have to be self-sacrificing anymore. You tried and it didn't do any good. Frankly, I'd be loathe to let her lay around doing nothing, even pregnant. Pregnant women work. Is she taking good care of herself? No drinking or drugs so she doesn't harm the baby? How much do you believe her words?

    It does not appear she is changing. I hope she does once she sees the baby. Until then, you and your wife have every right to have a stress free, happy, healthy life in spite of your daughter's poor choices. You might want to read on detachment...the link is above. We all have trouble doing this, but to stay sane we HAVE to detach from the drama and dysfunction that is your daughter's world. You must have other loved ones and great friends who care about you and whom you can enjoy being around. You should spend your time with THEM. You also deserve to enjoy the hobbies you enjoy and the activities that you love. Your daughter should not derail that.

    Our difficult child's tend to be ten years behind their age level in maturity and the only way for them to even have a chance at growing up, the adult child will need to be forced to stand on her own. difficult children tend to become very infantile, mostly around us. What good do we do them by fostering that dependence?

    Have you ever gone to a Narc-Anon meeting, NAMI or your own therapist? If so, I highly recommend it. The focus for the rest of your life should be yourself first. You can do nothing for anyone if the stress kills you, ya know?

    Hugs. I know this is very difficult to do, but it is a sanity-safer. Read "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beatty. I think you should retire next year and travel with your wife and have a great time. You in my opinion should not support your daughter's family. She WILL use this baby against you. "Take care of ME or I"ll take her away." Yada yada. The difficult children share many traits.
     
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome DoneDad. I'm sorry you're facing this so close to your retirement, it sure is a conflicted set of circumstances. Can you have your daughter drug tested so you know if she's using or not? If she is, has anyone considered adoption? She's 23, pregnant, doesn't do anything but party with her boyfriend and sleep. This is a recipe for disaster which will not change once the baby arrives. Are you prepared to raise this child? This seems monumentally unfair to you and something you aren't responsible for. I don't know why you would WANT to be self sacrificing, that is actually called enabling. Your daughter is an adult, she is responsible for her choices, not you.

    I would have her drug tested immediately, do not believe her. If the baby is born addicted, she faces another set of problems which may fall into your lap so you have every right to demand a drug test, she's living in your home.

    I am raising my granddaughter because my daughter is unable to, she is 17 now and I've had her since she's 11, but I have essentially been responsible for her since she was born. I love her fiercely, but let me tell you, it is hard. I am 64 years old and raising her altered my entire life. So, from my vantage point, here is my advice, open the conversation up for adoption. If that fails, figure out what your position is about all of this, talk to your wife, present a united front and YOU decide what is going to happen, NOT your daughter. She will take the free ride you offer so don't offer it. Once the baby arrives, in a short period of time, your daughter will need a job and to find a place to live. You will need to give a deadline for that, unless you're willing to have all of them live with you indefinitely.

    If I were you I would get professional help for you and your wife. A therapist who can walk you through all the ins and outs so you can discover exactly what it is YOU want and then move forward. If you want to retire, then do that, there is nothing that says you are responsible for your daughters poor choices. Talk to your wife, talk to a therapist, make a plan of action immediately and then let your daughter know that that is. Once the baby arrives it will get stickier because you will bond with the child. So figure out what is going to happen before the baby is born. And remember, if you allow this to go further the way it is, there could be MORE children down the line, it doesn't mean it will end here, many of these kids just keep having babies...........you've got to figure it out NOW and come up with a solution that works for you and your wife. Your daughter is apparently not capable of making healthy choices so it's going to be up to you.

    Read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. Find help to learn how to detach. Go to a Families anonymous group or a narc anon group or a codependency group, keep yourselves very well supported so you can figure out what you really want to do. DO NOT be self sacrificing, do not rescue her anymore, you deserve YOUR life, you deserve your retirement to be peaceful, you do NOT HAVE to raise this baby.

    This is all very hard, I understand that, so get yourself some help so you can make choices based on what it is that YOU want. Once our adult kids are adults they are supposed to go off into their own lives, they are supposed to launch out of our homes, but substance abusers don't do that and your daughter is a substance abuser so you are dealing with a whole different set of rules.

    I wish you peace. Keep posting it helps. I'm sorry you are going through this, I know how hard it is.
     
  4. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    My husband took an early retirement.

    It has been almost twelve years. I was like you. I thought we should keep working until the kids were okay. Now, twelve years later, the kids still are not okay, and we are beginning to age.

    I feel my husband was very wise to insist that we begin the next phase of our lives, on time and as planned.

    In this time, we have done amazing things. We have fallen back into the relationship that we had before we had children. We are each others "person" again ~ not the mother, not the father, but the lover, the helpmate, the heart of the thing. Though we are both very healthy, we do find ourselves slowing down, becoming more cautious, that kind of thing. It isn't that we are old, it is just that we are not as young and strong as we were those few short years ago.

    Time is the one thing that can never be recovered.

    I agree that it would be helpful for you and your wife to see a therapist or even, to attend Al Anon or NAMI meetings. Anything that will put you in touch with other parents who are going through this. It's too painful to do this, alone. The other thing I want to tell you is that my husband not only insisted on retiring, he insisted that we move.

    Twice!

    First, out of the house where we had raised the kids. Then, out of the house where both kids, at one time or another, had come home to live. Then, out of the state altogether. And do you know, we both feel a freedom, an ease and a sense of fun in the place that is far away and where our children have never been?

    We don't even know how toxic our homes have become to us, to our relationship to each other, to our individual relationships to life, until we leave the area where our adult children have caused us such unremitting worry, stress, and pain.

    Cedar
     
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Welcome back.

    I always feel like it is so much more confusing and heart tugging when a baby is involved...I'm so sorry.
    But, like the others have said, getting some counseling for yourself or for you and your spouse together might be a very good idea. My husband and I did this simply due to difficult child conflict. We actually got along well...but the difficult child "stuff" caused turmoil. It helped, and I wish we even did more of it.

    Yes, adoption might be a great idea, but often difficult child 's aren't open to the idea. But, it certainly is worth a discussion. Anyone in the family whom she respects that might be willing to speak with her?

    one thing taught to me by a fellow grad student who was also a former drug user....when dealing with a drug user...remember this: if their mouth is moving, they are lying.

    Ditto to what the previous posters have said. Great advice!

    *sending good thoughts and prayers to you and your spouse...
     
  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    You are faced with some difficult decisions. I have no words of wisdom. The advice you have been given has come from some very wise women.
     
  7. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Thanks for listening. I know what you're saying is right. Letting difficult child daughter drag us down isn't going to help anybody.
     
  8. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    DoneDad, it isn't for anyone else to judge or even, advise you. You and your family will come to your decision in good time, and it will be the right one, for you. There are no simple solutions. The most important thing I learned while going through my family's challenges is that I had more power than I thought. In fact, I had all the power. If the primary concern is that you are hesitant to trust your daughter when she says she has changed, then you could require that you be able to test her for drug use with one of those kits at WalMart as often as you like. If she does not agree to this, you can tell her, with a clear conscience, that she needs to leave. If, on the other hand, she does agree, then you will know that, however far she fell into the drug culture, she is truly making her way back, now.

    Any time there is a way for us to get solid information, that helps us clarify what our next step should be.

    Cedar
     
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