Bewildered

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    difficult child continues to do difficult child things despite her seeing a good mental health counselor and despite having some good weeks here and there. I suppose this doesn't totally surprise me...this has been going on for 20 years.

    Much of the current soap opera and anguish centers around difficult child and her friendship with three brothers. She has a crush on one of the brothers, who is an alcoholic. All THREE of them were kicked out of their home. She feels "sorry" for all three.

    She went to one Al Anon meeting and shortly thereafter began seeing a new therapist. She made the decision to stop seeing him and did so for 3-4 weeks. However, he has recently been back in her life although it is very weird...one day on and one day off. This boy has a place to stay, so periodically he disappears for days, even weeks at a time.

    To make matters worse, she feels very sorry for his brothers. One just turned 18 and seems very "young" for his age...perhaps a little "slow."

    Not too long ago, they slept in the park...they really seem to have nothing. Dad is very angry with them.

    However, difficult child keeps giving them food and then goes hungry. She also lets them sleep in her apartment and it looks like a pig sty when they stay over. We refuse to give her any money for food to compensate when these boys eat all the food she has on hand.

    Once in awhile we will let her work for husband if and only if husband has legitimate work to be done. I think it is dawning us now that difficult child was using this money to feed the others more often than we thought.

    Recently we were out of town. Even though difficult child told us that she was getting rid of these boys, she did not. Instead, they came over, had a party, someone brought beer, and someone threw a beer bottle into the street and the police were called...difficult child is being evicted. She has been in 8 places in 1 1/2 years. Some evictions...some she just decided to move.

    She has about $80 to her name and has found someone to move her for that amount and one of her old places said they might take her back. I CAN'T believe it. She was near homeless tonight...and she seems to be pulling herself back into having a roof over her head by the skin of her teeth. No food for two weeks or so, but a roof over her head.

    The last two days have been a little nightmarish. difficult child wanted two of the boys out of her house yesterday and said she was too "chicken" to do it. I didn't know if it was right or not to do this, but I did it anyway, and did the John Wayne thing and kicked them out.

    However, she did NOT tell me about the party. I am livid.

    So, the landlord said difficult child has the one week to get out. One of the previous landlords is more or less okay with her coming back....who knows she might not have to go to a homeless shelter...but it came very close.

    We don't know how she will react with-o food. It often does NOT go well.

    We called her therapist and she suggested that we talk with her about checking herself into a psychiatric facility if she finds herself overwhelmed.
    We asked her if she wanted to go to her usual Thurs. evening apt. w the therapist and she said she wasn't sure. husband is going to call her at 9 a.m. and if she says she is not sure, we are going to cancel. We drive her there and were suppose to go in for the first ten minutes this apt.

    We are on drama trauma red alert. However, husband and I are doing fairly well.

    IN the middle of the chaos, I went an bought some dog vitamins and this speciality shop and a new calendar for my appointment book. It was interesting...I am so glad I was productive.

    I have mixed thoughts about continuing with the monthly family therapy.
     
    Lasted edited by : Aug 12, 2009
  2. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Nomad, it seems kids like ours go in phases. 2 steps forward give us some hope but then the hurdle in their thinking trips them up and they fall backwards 3 steps.
    The more detached the easier it is for me to not get drawn into their drama.
    Sounds like she figured out how to get moved for 80.00 so all you can do is write down the new address.
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Good point...although the last address, we didn't even write down. Just knew the street coordinates. There wasn't enough time to write it down..good thing I didn't waste the ink or space in my appointment book. I'm going to use pencil in my new one. Oh, and difficult child found a "food bank" to supply her food for awhile. She's resourceful, it seems.

    I spoke on the phone with- a good friend tonight and her sister has the same diagnosis. Seems she (the sister) went through years of this type of behavior until one day she had a very bad experience and decided that she had "enough" and chose to do things differently. All SO sad...but I get it...my hands are also tied. It is what it is.

    Very pleased that the night was productive...I got plenty of housework done and another GOOOOD thing...I did NOT overeat...I lost 2.6 pounds last week and continue to be on a roll....things are a changin!!!! :D
     
    Lasted edited by : Aug 12, 2009
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    difficult child called this morning to ask husband about working. He had promised her. He told her that he changed his mind, because he doesn't feel comfortable working with her after knowing after all the lies recently. We went through all this "stuff" with the boys with her therapist, explaining that their personal situation was unfortunate, but that she had to care for herselt, be responsible with her money and responsible to any money or time we provide for her even if it was now very limited. She seem to understand and agreed (for a limited time...all up in smoke currently).

    In the conversation this morning husband asked her if she would go to therapy Thurs. and she said she would not. She just called back and said she would. It's definately not a good situation.

    husband and I feel a little "yuck," are fighting despair, but are pushing through and are planning our day. I actually have many important things to get done and am determined to do so...likewise for husband. In between, I'm going to get a pedicure and some flowers for my house.
     
    Lasted edited by : Aug 13, 2009
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't you just wish that "someone" would come along and give you and husband "the answers"? ;) I know I sure do. Somehow it's just impossible to accept that family life could get to be so stressful and odd for years on end.

    Truthfully it sounds like you and husband are fighting to maintain normalcy in your lives and that you are on the same page in doing so. Living with the frustration, anger, fear and intermittent hope is not easy. For us it is just
    bearable much of the time.

    You guys are doing everything that can be done. I wish you well and will continue to hope and pray that your difficult child has a "lightbulb moment". DDD
     
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Nomad,

    When I think about your situation with your daughter, and compare it to the same type of necessary 'salvation' of others it is not surprising to me. It's frustrating and I guess in a way one half of me wants NOTHING to do with the kinds of kids that Dude is drawn to or feels he has to save. THe other half of me sits and thinks - What in the world makes ME think that I am ANY better than those kids? Who do they have? Isn't my son a very special person for reaching out to them when no one else will and being a friend? I've discussed it in therapy a lot with and without Dude being there, because while we all want to set a good example for our kids to NOT hang with "those" types of kids - what comes back to haunt me and bite ME in the butt is Dudes words - "Mom did you ever stop to think that other people, other kids, other nice families think that I am "those" types of a kid?" - and that never dawned on me in a million years - but...once I really sat and thought about it - (sorta reality slap) I guess the straight A, well-to-do neighborhood, dual degree educated families 'could' look at Dude and tell their children - I don't want you hanging with THOSE (meaning my son) types of kids and that was an eye opener for me.

    Sometimes we are justified in our judgements of our the people that our kids choose to hang around with because of the influences that they bring. I'm not for anyone that is enticing my already disturbed kid with drugs or alcohol and get very upset at the thought of anyone bringing anything like that around him. Personally our lives have had enough of that sort of thing in it and nearly killed us both. Then there is the easily influenced factor and the longing to belong to a group at any cost desires that after so many years of being rejected by every other group of kids - when they finally FIND someone that says "HEY - you can be part of OUR group!" Our kids literally jump through hoops to be part of any clan. If you break it down like that? It's not so unbelievable or such a slap in the face to you as a parent. Then there is another component of what our kids feel - and that is that just once - they'd like to know what a good feeling it is to be the one that saves someone else. To be the big sister/brother. To be the one that is GIVING help - not GETTING help all the time.

    After years of being angry, lashing out, kicking, screaming, being obstinant, defiant, oppositional then having windows of kindness - small that they were when Dude would be in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) setting and a younger child would come into the program and be scared, cry or be so shy - it was ALWAYS Dude that they saw go to that kid and be the first to befriend him. The counselors thought this was the ODDEST thing ever. Here was a kid that was so out of control he couldn't be handled - yet bring in a younger kid - and WHAM - instant big brother - best of the group, no bad behaviors - no outrageous meltdowns, and no one got to hurt the new kid. The psychiatrist told them it was because he found a niche - for once he was able to help. It made him feel good. It released endorphines - and that made him feel so good, so much better than bad behavior - Wierd huh?

    So in a way - when your daughter is helping - it makes her feel good and she can't help it. It's like she's fighting against herself and honestly - I think she's willing to give up the food to get the feel good. The feeling of helping others far outweighs the consequences of being hungry, of being kicked out, of making you and husband angry. So she's on a right path - of helping - but she just can't do it at her home. And I know this is true because when we picked up and took Dude to the Salvation Army and he loaded furniture and sorted books and helped people? It was like he shined. He really loved it - and ESPECIALLY if the manger hugged him and made a fuss over him to the customers - WOW - it helped him out of his shell. We'd volunteered there for years on and off - but when he got to where he was without ME (MOM) there? The difference was amazing - he was chatty - and talked, cut up with the other staff....had good influences his own age....met a few bad ones too - but it wasn't so bad. And he met a lot of really down and out folks - homeless people who told him their story - and he listened.

    I don't know if any of this makes ANY sense with regards to your daughter. Maybe none at all. Maybe she doesn't want to volunteer or has no desire to do anything like that at all. But I think - if you talked to the therapist about it - well, I don't think our therapist was too far off the mark with Dude. I don't know your daughter, but I think she must have a lovely heart despite seeming to her parents like she's missing a part of her logical brain. :tongue: I think it falls off during teen years and they get it back as adults if they ask for it.

    Also - if she's volunteering - it can - not for sure - but it CAN lead to someone seeing her doing a good job and maybe a paying job - or getting job skills, learning how to be responsible....get's them in a mode for getting up, going to work - exercise - and gets them around people.

    Just my .02 which I must spend today because with the way things are now - by the time I have grandchildren my .02 will cost 1.28:laugh:
     
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think star has a point.

    Cory constantly has kids over at his place. Not kids I would pick as ideal friends for him but it isnt my place anymore to pick his friends. He tries to steer some of the younger ones not to go in the direction he took when he was younger too and that tickles the heck out of me. He is always cooking and feeding them which does worry me a bit but I figure that it isnt such a bad thing to want to feed your friends. He doesnt come home for food often. Maybe a pack of fish or a pack of deer meat once in a blue moon.

    Your daughter sounds rather resourceful in finding places to live. That is good. I am learning to stop fretting so much and taking on so much of that "oh gosh, I have to fix this for them" feeling. I swear I keep getting that feeling inside me when the problems arise and I start looking and researching and trying to keep the wolf at bay and by the time I figure something out....well Cory has already solved his problems and is on to something else! He did it all without me...lol. I didnt even need to be worried!!! I should have been sitting home eating bon bons...lol.
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nomad, I can see a lot of similarities in our difficult child's I think you and husband are doing a marvelous job at detaching and making this her problem. I agree with husband's decision not to let her work for him right now.

    Is she stabilized on her medications?

    Nancy
     
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Just got back from all my errands and a very vigorous gym workout!

    Nancy:
    I "think" difficult child is stablized on her medications. Ideally, she should take her medications morning and night. She kept on forgetting her morning medications. Soooo, her doctor changed it to nighttime only. She takes none in the morning and a larger dosage at night. Since she's been on Lamictal (plus I think getting a little older helped), she no longer rages. A very good thing.

    difficult child seems to have found a new place to live. It is unreal. Seems folks are very happy to hear of a renter on disability. Perhaps they think it is a good "catch" these days...don't have to worry about them losing their job. OMG! She convinced the new folks to let her pay a deposit a little at a time over many months. OMG! Some fancy footwork will allow her to pay for half a month's rent until she can get her next check....it's all rather complicated. Have I have mentioned that difficult child has a rather high IQ?

    She has NO problem going to the food bank for the next few weeks. It is so sad...

    Star: I have a call into the Salvation Army and husband is going to call Goodwill. Then we are going to pass on the information to a social worker working with difficult child (helping her find a job). Our proposal, if he doesn't find one very soon, help her get a little volunteer job. by the way, difficult child dumped the other social worker (her idea) and found this one herself...this one is much better...new to the case only a few weeks. Star...we've always known difficult child has a good heart. However, her judgment is way off. And I've always thought that "charity" starts at home. In my mind, that means love, care, respect, regard, etc. for family members is paramount. This doesn't mean that we don't also care for others, but we can't ever throw our loved ones "under the bus."

    I didn't want to go with her to the therapist tonight, but the woman called and asked that we come in . DARN.

    Janet/Fran: husband and I wish to detach detach detach detach detach detach....and detach some more.

    We are going back to our FA meetings next week.

    daughter...Thank you sooooo very much for your beautiful remarks. husband and I work hard to have things as normal as possible...and in fact...often enjoy many beautiful things despite of lots of difficulties.
     
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Nomad -

    I couldn't agree more if I tried...and belive me I came from a home that promotes family first. However with my son despite teaching, preaching and demonstrating family first for years - for whatever reason he does not get it. Some days I feel that he would help out a total stranger before he would us. It very much feels like we're being thrown under the bus.

    When we chose to let go and let him just be? I don't know if the peace came from letting go and detaching from his choices or from letting him be himself and watching him get the joy from helping others. Of course it's hard. I was raised -your own doorstep first. I wouldn't think of helping someone else before my own Mother. Ever. Never enters my mind. Then I see my child and think I'm so far down on his "where she fits in" scale until he NEEDS something, and if I let that rule my head? I'd crumble. So, I chose to let him go. Not easy. But sometimes when you allow these kids to have what they want without hesitation? They get enough of it to realize it wasn't what they wanted anyway - and that their parents weren't so bad after all. Dudes somewhere between those two thoughts at almost 19. He still likes to help people....and gets joy out of it for sure, but he's realizing that life with OTHER people is give to get.

    With your parents - it's just love to receive. Much better concept and a lot less work. ;) - but you have to live a little to figure that out. And you have to get some serious lumps in your mashed potatos before you figure out that most times you prefer them smooth. Right now? Let her have her lumps - You're doing an EXCELLENT job!!!!!!

    And the petticure and working out?? YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!! I'm proud of you!!!! Wish I had the gumption to go to the gym. I've got just about enough energy currently to power the old stationary bicycle for 18 minutes. DF says if we hooked it up to power the TV - we'd both figure out how to pedal more. lol

    Keep up the good work.....I love the Good Will idea - they have a job corps in most cities...that will help her and train her to FIND a job.

    ALSO - check and see if you have a local Voc. Rehab. They work with people like our kids to get them jobs and in some states will pick them up if they don't have transportation. ;)
     
  11. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Detaching becomes easier over time. My difficult child has no concept of how to manage money. He calls at least once a week to borrow---We say no. He is living with a guy that I know deals drugs. I hate it. But he is an adult. Who he chooses to be friends with at this point is none of my business---After he gets burned enough hanging out with those who "use" him, he will learn. Nothing I can say even matters.
     
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    I also think you are doing the best you can. Detachment isn't black white and requires constant monitoring to ensure you're striking the proper balance. Detachment isn't indifference, it is tough love. It is taking care of yourself first and leading by example. It is so hard to stick by your resolve to let your children, I don't care how old they are, go hungry. It goes against every fiber of your being. It is soo hard. I am proud of you for getting the pedicure. What kind of flowers are your favorite?

    Know that we're in this with you and we'll continue to brainstorm and share when we find what works.

    Love,

    ML
     
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you Star, ML and Everywoman....soooo much appreciated!!!:D

    I forgot to get the flowers and husband said he would get some today. We usually just pick a bunch up at the supermarket or lately we have been getting some very reasonably priced ones from street vendors.

    I had my toes painted "Watermelon" and they look GREAT!

    Right now...on my way to the gym again...I have found a new one and have a one week free membership. They are "courting" me and I LIKE it!

    difficult child called this morning and asked that husband drive her to the food bank and she also asked for some shampoo, soap and toilet paper. We have agreed, for now, to supply her with paper and hygenic goods...so we said okay to those items.

    I have emailed the social worker and he and I are going to work together on some things. He is pushing hard for three p/t jobs. If they don't look like a "go" for her, we are going to encourage her to go to the Goodwill Training program (many thanks Star!!!!!:D). The only problem is that it is super duper far from our area and not on a direct run with- the bus route. I said that perhaps he could take her one or two times and I could take her one or two times and after that we would set her up with the Disability Transportation Service they have here and it would be up to difficult child if she wished to use it and continue. Meanwhile...we are hoping those jobs comes through. I'm giving it two weeks.

    Off to exercise....:D
     
  14. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Nomad I think you are doing terrific at maintaining some normalicy in your life and taking care of yourself with the occasional pampering. Kids like ours might never live a normal or easy life. Accepting that is hard on us parents but we must if we are to survive and thrive. We do often need to say "enough" and get on with our own lives. It is our salvation. I wish you and your difficult child well. You have been a terrific mother to her. -RM
     
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm just sort of jumping in after your first post, not having read the other responses yet. Do you think she really would check herself into a psychiatric unit? She probably should, and if she does, that seems a mature thing to do for me.

    I can see why you would kick out the two boys, given that you don't really care if someone calls you a big meanie for doing it. They're not your children, they could get work, they have their own family, etc.

    I think that if she needs food for a couple of weeks, I would buy her a bag of carrots, a few onions, a batch of celery, maybe some potatoes, and a couple of cases top ramin. It won't kill her, and she doesn't have to eat it if she doesn't want to. Maybe some milk? You can do that for less than $10 still, I think. I'd make sure that she knows how cheaply she can actually eat when necessary.

    I'm glad that you are doing things for yourself. Do for her what you feel comfortable with. If you need to think about something, it's ok to take your time. Big hugs...
     
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