Ebbs and flows - It's bad again... feel like I'm falling. Wisdom?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bean, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    I'm maybe just venting a bit. I'm sad, angry today.

    A while ago I posted about my daughter stealing money from us. I kicked her out that day. She moved into relatively undesirable conditions for about a month until she convinced my (enabling) parents to let her stay there (again, after stealing from them and accusing my dad of molesting her). She said the person she was living with was a horrible, hoarding, heroin addict. But she wanted to move back in with my parents, even though, again, for a good 6 months she had been ascertaining that my father had molested her when she was young. Mind-boggling. My father insisted he did not molest her, she insisted he did.

    Back to the enabling environment she goes. Again. I urged my parents to set firm boundaries with her. That more of the same was not going to change or help anything.

    My relationship with them is quite strained. I felt like I was slowly dying, drowning. Could feel myself falling into depression, confusion, sadness, anger. Everything.

    I could hardly talk to my daughter. Could hardly talk to my father or my mother. All three of them made my heart tug horribly.

    After a month of me not understanding why any of them would allow the situation (accusations, lies, theft, use etc.), my daughter confessed she was "coked up" when she made the accusations and that it was all a lie. I was relieved, but emotionally exhausted. Still am. She continued to live with them in their weird, twisted triangle. I finally had to tell them the whole situation was too much for me and that, unless they got some sort of help, I was going to need to take a break from my relationship with them.

    A few days before Thanksgiving, my mom called to tell me that they were missing many items of jewelry and other valuables. That a couple days prior my daughter had printed off something regarding local pawn shops.

    They didn't know if they should call the police or not. Eventually they decided not to. But they did kick her out. Let me tell you, my holidays were about shot. I think my depression kicked in right about then and refused to lift.

    She went to stay with her boyfriend. A couple weeks later, his bench warrent caught up with him, he was arrested, and put in jail. She is still staying with his mother. Collecting food stamps. Still not working (well, worked for 3 days, got fired). The Holidays came and went.

    There's probably SO much more that I don't know. But I'm pretty bottomed out. My parents continue to enable her, picking her up from a friend's house the morning after she spends the night. Taking her to see her boyfriend, counties away, in jail. I don't get it. It goes beyond unconditional love. I can't see it as any way but sending horrible mixed messages, enabling my daughter to continue using, and continue her poisonous patterns of behavior.

    I'm choked out, basically. I feel like I've lost my daughter and now my mother in one fell swoop. I'm working with a counselor (and did start taking medications to deal with the depression) on "accepting the things I can not change." I so badly want my mom back. But I feel like I lost her. I feel so isolated.

    This summer my parents will retire and move away. I don't want the time spent to be resentful, elephant-in-the-room, hurt feelings and avoidance. I'm sad that is how it is right now.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I'm having a hard day today.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry. What a mess. I think the healthiest thing you can do is to disengage yourself from the triangle and insist they stop calling you to report your difficult child's latest misbehaviors. Just don't answer their calls. I realize, of course, that is easier said than done. It must be incredibly painful to feel like you're losing your daughter and your parents all at once. When they retire and move away, do they plan on taking her with them?! (I hope not!). If they can successfully keep her from going with, maybe that will help them disengage from her.

    I'm glad you have a counselor, and that you've gotten on medications to help with the depression. Keep venting here as you can.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Your parents have to learn the way you did. It can be a slow process. Odds are they're still in the We Can Save Her From Herself mode.

    You're right to pull back and just let the situation play itself out. They're not listening anyway.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gosh that is hard. Im glad you have a counselor to talk to. I wish I had some wonderful advice but I simply dont. I will pray that your daughter comes to her senses and that in time, your relationship with your parents heals.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Bean I'm so sorry. We found out on Christmas day that my difficult child stole her sister's bank card and got a tatoo. We kicked her out two days later, the only reason I didn;t do it that day was because we were having our whole family get together the next day, 42 people. But of course our holidays were ruined. She stayed on the street for several days and then called begging to come home. I guess I am still in the enabling mode but she keeps promising to change and I keep hoping, classic example of an enabler I suppose. I also know how it feels to be torn away from mmebers of your fmaily. Right now I am estranged from my sister and dad because of the things my difficult child has pulled and their non supportive actions regarding it. I miss them and want it to be different but right now I just can't do anything about it, I have all I can handle to stay afloat myself.

    I wish we all lived by each other so we could have our own in person support group. I know it would help me a lot to have people who knew exacly how I felt to be with.

    I hope you are feeling better today.

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Disengaging is difficult but if you can do it in increments it will get easier. It's great you have someone to turn to. DDD
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Disengaging is so hard. It is almost easier if you completely dont know anything. Im sure its easier. I just got a missed call on my phone from Cory's number. Came in twice back to back. I call back not two minutes later and the phone is shut off. Im trying not to worry but of course I am. Actually Im not entirely sure Cory came home last night. I dont know that I saw him at all this morning. I did see Mandy and they both have use of that phone. She had it earlier today and called me on it to ask me for a phenergan because she or someone was nauseous. I told her I would leave two out for her on my computer desk. They are still sitting here so she hasnt been back home.

    Obviously Im wondering whats going on. I do have some theories..lol. Time will tell if they come to pass...sigh.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Argh...I could kill them. No problem...just calling someone else and didnt bother to answer my call back! No voicemail either. One day Cory is gonna know what its like when Keyana does this to him...LOL!
  9. auntalva

    auntalva Adoptive Single Mom of 2

    Dear Bean,
    It sounds like you are scared you will "lose" your mother over this mess. Why don't you write her a letter expressing your concerns? Putting it down in writing helps us to organize our thoughts and avoid saying something we might later regret, plus, she would have the opportunity to read it several times, and think over it, rather than reacting in haste or too emotionally.
    If I were in your shoes, I guess I would feel very unsupported (or even betrayed) by my parents. Their actions seem to imply that they think they can do better than you at parenting this difficult child. BUT you know that you have done the best you can. Something is wrong, the drug addiction or psychological disorders or both. I mean, look at the other children you are raising; they do not have these behaviors.

    If they want to make the mistake of thinking they can "fix' their granddaughter or help her in some way, that is their business. Even though it hurts you to see them being victimized by your daughter, you cannot interfere. You cannot control what they think or do, anymore than you can your out-of-control daughter. As others have said, time and experience will eventually bring them to their senses, and they will finally realize that you were right, understand your feelings or attitude.
    But also, please consider that:
    • This situation is temporary. It is probably 'wrong thinking' to believe that you are losing your mother forever.
    • You have four other children who have a relationship with your mother. Neither you nor she will want to give that up.
    • Try to develop more empathy for your parents. They are probably feeling some (unjustified, but understandable) humiliation and shame because of the allegations your daughter had made about her grandfather's having molested her, and so, they are trying to 'prove' their love by helping her out now. Grandparents have not lived 24/7 with this child, so they do not recognize the emotional blackmail and manipulation that your difficult child is engaging in, for what it is.
    • Remember that your parents are a different generation, and so they do not have the same parenting style that you do, nor do they know as much about psychological/emotional disorders or the affects of substance abuse. They learned their attitudes and 'world view' probably 50 years ago, long before we knew much about co-dependence, 'tough love' and similar topics.
    Good luck. I'm so sorry for this recent suffering, and will pray for you.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Bean, I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is continuing down this path and that your parents have decided to go along for the ride. I wouldn't let myself think in terms of "they're moving away next year and this is the time I must make right." Distance isn't going to make them not your parents or you not their daughter. I think it's unrealistic to assume that your daughter will go with them, and I think that the more distance that they put between them and her will allow them a better focus.

    In the meantime, all we have is this very moment in time. I would do my best to stand by my decision to not involve myself in the drama. To do that you will have to not stay in the know as far as her bad behavior. Remind yourself that she is an adult and making her own decisions. You taught her right from wrong and you can't be held accountable for what she does. It seems to me that your parents are at least in part allowing her bad behavior to lay blame of bad parenting at your feet. That's bad parenting on their part. Good, bad, or indifferent there comes a time when we let our children go. They need to stop being judgmental of you and enabling to her, but this isn't a choice you can make for them. Do your best to take care of yourself and live a life that you can be proud of. Time and distance has a way of changing people and how they feel about things. Let it happen.
  11. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Your parents have their own reasons for their behavior, whether it be generational, an issue of control, or good old fashioned well-meaning but misguided intentions.
    You have no more control over their choices than you do your daughter's, and you certainly aren't responsible for the outcome of any of these behaviors/choices.

    Loving detachment is hard (I'm a novice and struggle daily). You can let your parents know that you will always be their daughter - you willalways love them, but - for now - they have to accept your tough love stance with your own daughter. What they do is their choice, but they must leave you out of it.

    You aren't losing your mother. Her bond to you is still there. Having them move might be the best thing for everyone. daughter wil have to fed for herself and all of you will have the time and peace that you need to reconnect.

    Hang in there and don't give up.
  12. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Bean, I'm so sorry. You're in such a tough place. Your parents may be afraid - afraid of losing your daughter to the streets and not understanding that only she can make the decision to not go down that path - and the only solution they can see is to enable her. I think distance, once they move, will help them gain perspective both with respect to your daughter and to the pain you've been through. I hope so. In the meantime take care of yourself, take one day at a time, and try to find peace with the good decisions you've made.
  13. Bean

    Bean Member

    Thanks all.

    I started to quote and reply to posts and then I realized I was pretty much replying to every post! It sure does help to get it from someone else's perspective. The comments about generational gap make sense to me, too, and in my own stress and emotions, I failed to think about that. My longevity in the situation has also brought me to a different place than they are. I went through 4 good, solid years of upfront action, whereas my parents only heard about it, and she has been living with them on and off for less than 2 years. We aren't at the same "place" quite yet.

    I have to keep reminding myself that I do have control of how I respond. And that everything doesn't revolve around my daughter, including my relationship with my parents. With so many life-milestones my emotions get tangled (kid moving out, other teenagers in the house needing attention, parents moving away, etc.). My parents are looking at their moving away as a bit of an "escape" from my daughter, but I had to gently remind my mom that some of us will be left behind, and aren't looking at the situation in the same way. She seemed to understand that.