difficult child's Asking For Money and Other Things...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mom_to_3, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    First, I have to say that my husband was a warrior dad tonight and I am so proud of him. :bravo: There were many times when our children were growing up that I felt that I was raising them alone. I carried the largest part of that responsibility in our marriage and it was very frustrating for me. I would have loved for him to have been a more "hands on" kind of father, but it wasn't to be. I don't believe he was being malicious about it, I believe he didn't know WHAT to do_Obviously, as time has gone by, we have both changed and our children are all now 18 and older. What has changed the most, specifically regarding our difficult child is that while she was at home as a minor, she was mainly my responsibility as were the other children. Now............... My husband steps up to the plate ESPECIALLY regarding our difficult child. You can't begin to know how much this relieves me, or maybe you do!

    Looking back, I can see how we have balanced each other thru the years, when and where I was weak, he was strong, when and where he was weak, I was strong. These days and for quite a while now, he takes a firm stand with our difficult child. I have tried to just remain neutral with her, never challenge her, just keep the peace so that we are not too involved with her drama, but continue to have a relationship with her, and so that we can have a relationship with her son, our grandson.

    Since our difficult child left our home at 16 yrs. of age and we paid for her to be in foster care (that cost us a fortune not only financially, but other ways also) we told her to never ask us for another dime. We explained that the money we would have paid for her to go to school and to pay for a wedding was already spent for her foster care. She has never asked us for a penny and she has been in some desperate situations. To be honest, I am amazed because no never meant no to her and every challenge was worth a try. Boundaries were never boundaries in her eyes, but this one thing, she has not crossed the line on for 7 years, until tonight.........

    She called tonight, and asked for me.......... the weak one now? She used to hate me, I believe because she couldn't manipulate me. She was crying her eyes out, very, very distraught. She asked us to send her $108 for a bus ticket back to Texas. Several months ago, she moved away from Texas AND HER SON!!!! (what kind of mother can just walk away from her child? OMG, did I even raise her???) to South Carolina to live with an online (female)friend she had met, work and save up some money and said her plan was to move back here and be a part of her sons life. She says she is working two jobs, I don't really know, she is a teller of tales. She said tonight that her roommate was in a car accident and was in the hospital and that our difficult child had to pay the Dec. rent and bills and buy another car. Our difficult child said she had $600 saved and would use that money to do all that. Hmmmmmmmm, that is a lot of expenditures for $600, but begged us sobbing to send her $108 so that she could buy a bus ticket to get back home to see her son for Christmas. She didn't want to disappoint her son. She planned to be here for 10 days! I wonder how she worked that out with her bosses considering she is a fairly new employee. I wonder what she would use for "spending money" while here?

    On one hand I hate doing this, but I did. I passed the buck on to her father. I am so tired of being the bad guy to our children, I have spent years saying no, following up, staying strong that I think my "stay" power is used up. My husband very blatantly told her NO! She cried, begged and sobbed some more and then wanted to talk to me again (the weak one????). It was truly heart wrenching for me, but I told her that I supported her dad, my husband. She changed her tactic and said she wasn't asking for an answer right now, but could I just talk to him and then we could make a decision? Being the wuss that I was, I said we would discuss it, but I doubted he would change his mind, but if he did, I would call her, but don't count on it. I sympathized with her and told her how awful *I* would feel if I were in the same situation and that maybe she could take on another job or do something to earn $108 for that bus ticket. I finally had to tell her that I had to get off the phone. I couldn't take anymore.

    Raising a difficult child really warps a person. Or at least mine does. I can't believe anything she tells me, anything! I can't be happy for her when she tells me good things that happen nor can I feel sympathy or even help her out in bad times, because I can't believe one word she tells me. :sad:It's surreal. I am extremely tied to her emotionally. When she cries, my heart cries, when she is happy, I am happy when reasonable, when she is distraught, I am distraught. I have to work so dang hard to think with my head and not my heart with her. I have to work to keep myself from falling into the trap that is my difficult child. I had been having a good day/evening when our difficult child called. When I hung up the phone, I wanted to vomit. This isn't healthy.

    Mainly I wanted to post and say yea!!! to my husband for being a stand up guy :warrior:and taking the pressure off of me. I love him for that. :mistletoe:
  2. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hi momto3. It's wonderful to hear from you.
    It's great that your husband has stepped up. I agree with you about husband working with your weaknesses and you being the tower of strength when he is weak.
    I'm sure listening to her sobbing was heart wrenching. I don't know if I could have been that strong but I hope it will be a turning point for difficult child.

    The older they get the easier it is for me to let them follow their plan and deal with consequences. I fight the urge to fix things but it's a lot easier to be sympathetic but uninvolved. Sounds like you are at the same point. :bravo: Yay for husband and for you.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    This is a tough - albeit necessary - reality lesson. Your daughter had to choose between paying her roommates bills or going to see her son. She made her choice. It must be really difficult to watch her suffer the consequences of her choices.

    For what it's worth - I think you and husband did the right (admittedly hard) thing.
  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    My SO and I have this weird habit we have developed after speaking with one of my difficult child's, ESPECIALLY the oldest, of making this "hmmmmmm" sound. A typical missed call from eldest has me looking at my phone and going "hmmmmm" At which point SO will ask who called. I will say eldest, and then he goes "hmmmmm"
    I will call her back, hang up and make that "hmmmmmm" sound again. He wants to know what she said, I tell him, and he goes "hmmmmmm" If its youngest difficult child, insert "uh oh" for the "hmmmm"

    I hate that I have developed this reaction to answering my phone. I hate that I automatically read into any conversation to try and determine what the ulterior motive or reason behind it is. Sigh... I really think I would keel over if I received a call from any of them saying Mom, just calling you to tell you I was thinking of you and love you and just have them hang up.

    Maybe there was a lot more behind the scenes on the call you received from difficult child that prompted a hysterical request for a 108 dollar bus ticket (by the way,is that one way??). Especially if she has been pretty much self sufficient. Her story just doesnt make any sense, but then again, this is a difficult child, and none of their stories make any sense. If you could literally fall into one of the hugh gaping holes in their stories, you could maybe seriously break your neck, or a leg....

    I don't know what I would do because its just not about the 108.00, its all about the 108.00 and drama that you just KNOW is attached to it. If they would only say what the real deal is to begin with...

  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I think I know how you feel. My difficult child has not asked for anything for about 7 months and she does actually call just to chat and there appears to be no ulterior motive. But, I am always waiting for the request--haven't let my guard down.

    After 7 years this must be so difficult to deal with! I think you and husband did so well and I am so glad you can support each other, you are not alone. I am feeling for you, I really am--so easy to put myself in your shoes.

    Hang in there,
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I don't know what to say. I understand why you're saying no but if she's never asked for money since leaving home, it seems there has to be a real need. This has got to be so hard on everyone.

    Any way to check on how much of her story is true? Is there a way you could pay for a ticket that cannot be exchanged for cash? Offer to take your grandson in until she is back on her feet? I know I'd go crazy wondering if he is in a safe situation.

    This must be so hard for you. You have my deepest sympathies.
  7. KFld

    KFld New Member


    Bravo to both of you. She was the one who walked away from her own son, so don't allow her to make you feel guilty that she now cannot see him for christmas unless you help her do so. She should have figured that out a few months back, instead of a few weeks.

    You both done good!!!
  8. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    I know this is such a tough situation for you. Is there anyway that you can adamantly say no, she knows she will not get the money from you, but then, at the last minute, if she hasn't come up with the money, drive the grandson to go see her for Christmas? What a wonderful Christmas present that would be for dgs. That way there is still no expectation on her part, you are not lending her the money but dgs still gets to see mommy?

    I can't imagine your heart ache! {{{{HUGS}}}} Hang in there and keep on trucking one day at a time!
  9. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I am sure that is hard. I understand not being able to trust her. I cannot trust mine either. No matter what the situation is - I have been in the situation before and believed every word only to be manipulated once again. My son is in jail - tonight I get a phone call from him - a bondsman let him use the phone wanting to know if we could bail him out for Christmas. It is sad. We said no. No. 1 we dont have the money - No. 2 it would go right back to the same thing - why should we go through that hell right here at Christmas time! I hate it so much that the child you raised turns out to be someone you cannot trust at all - but want to so much!
  10. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    The strange tales they spin, it's like they have to top their last one. (What will my parents believe now..... Oh, here is one.) And the crocodile tears....It's hard to get calls like that. You did the right thing. It's still hard to hear them, and the desparation in their voice. ((hugs)))-Alyssa
  11. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    I agree. It IS like existing in some warped and forever pain filled reality. Once we have learned that we cannot trust what they say, everything they say feels like a trap.

    Once my eyes had been opened to that, I wondered at how foolish or gullible a person I must seem ~ not only to my difficult child, but probably to others, as well.

    It was just that difficult child was taking me up on it.

    And it's heartbreaking.

    It helps me to remember where I thought we were going with this child before everything got all twisted, and to hold faith with that imagery.

    It gives me some kind of guideline for knowing when his words have even a smattering of truth in them.

    Then too, holding such clear imagery of how we thought everything was going to be enables me to be stronger when I am dealing with him in his current situation without destroying myself in the process.

    Both you and husband did a wonderful job on this one.

    Functioning as a team means the other person steps up to bat when you are just too hurt or vulnerable to do so.

    You could tell your daughter that you will not help her to destroy herself now (through helping her to avoid the consequences of her decisions), anymore than you would have in the past, but that you know she will do the right thing.

    That phrase has been a lifesaver for me, so many times.

    Any money you would have sent her can be put into a savings account for the baby to use when it is time for college.

    That's how we cope with those questions that come afterword ~ you know the ones I mean. Like, "It was only a hundred bucks. What's the matter with me?"

    It's really important for us to keep clear about our motives.

    And it's one of the hardest things about interacting with a troubled kid.