I kicked my daughter out of the house - LONG

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WhereIsTheLight, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. WhereIsTheLight

    WhereIsTheLight New Member

    I was on this forum several years ago when my daughter was first diagnosis'ed with severe depression and self-mutilation. While I'm happy to say she finished high school through an alternative program (it took 3 different schools, but she made it), and that we have seen improvement in terms of meltdowns that are less frequent and less intense, the challenge of living with her has not abated.

    Life with her has been a matter of "if she's happy, the home is happy. If she's not, then watch out". I was hopeful as she reached adulthood, that maturity would bring independence. However, she's never earned a driver's license, and cannot keep a job. She feels as if she is making people uncomfortable, and that in turns makes her very suspicious of society. Recently, I took her to Starbucks as I was given a gift card. She immediately became combative, telling me that Starbuck's had blood on its hands. And of course, I was at fault because I put her in such a situation.

    Her lack of motivation (and hygiene) to get a job frustrates me as she is vegetarian who will not eat sugar or dairy, and she insists on organic foods and pricey juices. If they are not provided to her, she accuses me of starving her. I try to reason with her that the expense and restrictions of her diet is more than I can afford and that she needs to be in a position to purchase her own food if she is so rigid. But then I always end up buckling because she becomes unbearable if I don't.

    Late in March, she met up with a couple of older friends, and was illegally served at a bar in the late afternoon, about five miles from home. She had ridden her bike, a Christmas gift that I provided so I could encourage transportation and job hunting. The first bike I purchased was after several visits to the bike shop, and very careful consideration of her needs and the fit of the bike. We had it ordered when the salesperson mentioned the gears contained sperm whale oil. She immediately went into a tailspin because she felt so awful about even considering riding the bike and spent several days listening to whale calls on the computer and even burned the sounds to CD.

    In an effort to teach her some adult skills, I told her she could return the bike and purchase something else within the budget. I left her to make the decision on her own. She returned with a bike that did not fit her comfortably. More and more she complained about the bike, yet even as I knew I just lost several hundred dollars, I would not guilt her into riding a bike that intimidated her. I did tell her, however, that I would be unable to replace it, but she shouldn't ride it if she was afraid of it. Perhaps we could sell it.

    I came home from work one evening to a rare empty house. Bliss! Until I got a phone call from someone telling me my daughter had a bike accident. Well, she had been hit by cars twice last summer on bikes that have been given to her or fixed up. Both times she was okay, just bumps and scrapes. Although I knew she was becoming more and more anxious about riding a bike, which is why I put so much effort in finding the right one for her. This time, I knew it was different. The ambulance was on its way and the caller said ominously, "she's conscious".

    On my way out the door to get to the scene, I heard my daughter's sirens. It is a sick feeling when you know where that ambulance is going and who it is picking up.

    I got to the scene, and my daughter was on a backboard with a c-collar around her neck. It was misty after a hard rain that followed an unusually warm day. I dropped to my knees at the site of her and in the waning light, I saw part of a tooth on her bloodied face. I knew immediately, like only a mother does, that she had broken her jaw.

    I followed the ambulance to the hospital and was not initially allowed to be with her as she is 19. She had to be triaged and I was asked to wait. I made the requisite phone calls and was finally brought back to see her, but was there about 5 minutes before she was whisked away to x-ray. During that time, she kept crying for her girlfriend (my daughter is a lesbian), begging me to tell her girlfriend that my daughter loved her. I called the girlfriend, 50 miles away at college. When my daughter finally got a room (actually a bed in the hall) in ER, I learned that she had a BAC of .18. The bar had never even ID'd her. I learned this as I was given her belongings. She had good intentions that day, having made a to-do list, including picking up job applications. The ID on her was her legitimate state ID. But she ran into older friends, who took her to the bar. She was visibly drunk when she left, tottering to the point that one wanted to give her a ride home, but couldn't fit the bike in his car, so away she pedaled.

    She got withing 1-1/2 miles of home, navigating an 8-lane boulevard during rush hour, and into a neighborhood. At some point, the gorgeous day melted into heavy rain, and it appears that she went through a puddle and hit an obscured curb, that launched her over her handlebars and onto her face. She did indeed lost consciousness and does not remember what happened.

    She was in the hospital for two days. After surgery to wire her jaws shute, when she was still highly medicated and was taken back to her room, she insisted that I stay with her til she fell asleep. Then she wanted me to sit on her bed. Then she wanted me to lay down with her. Now this kid has never been physically affectionate, I am much more so, and this I think was more of a comfort to me than her, so I laid with her until she drifted off. She said to me before she fell asleep, "What happens to the people who don't have anybody?"

    There is a small irony to this story. I get gift cards as incentives and rewards from work from time to time. With the last one, I purchased a juicer as I thought it would be alternative to buying all her expensive juices, and heck, it's just healthy and delicious and I could lose 50 pounds. The juicer was delivered to the house a day before the accident. So I was prepared to give her liquid meals and have spent the last three weeks cleaning, peeling, chopping, juicing, blending and straining. I have cleaned the kitchen four times a day, and 80% of the grocery bill is fresh fruits and vegetables. I have gone to specialty stores for soy and rice ice cream and spirolina and quinoa and have tried to sneak in fat and protien while respecting her diet. And during this time she has treated me with hostility. There has been no thanks yous, no pleases, no "gee, Mom, I appreciate your efforts". She has been snappish and demanding and moody. I know this is frustrating! I have been on a liquid diet and is sucks. But her hostility wore on me so much and I tried to calmly explain its effect on me, which enraged her more. Finally, on the way back from a doctor's checkup, she had a meltdown in the car - of course while I was supposed to be taking my younger daughter to get a wisdom tooth pulled. difficult child has always been really good at putting me in "Sophie's Choice" moments. How could I calm her, and take care of the other at the same time? She felt she had damaged her wires and displaced her jaw. I took her to the ER, and asked that she get a psychiatric consult, but she discharged herself because they put her in peds and she was offended. She refused to see a social worker.

    This happened Easter week, and I was put in the uneviable position of having to let her see the consequences of not following through with staying at the hospital. The doctor was not going to be in, and no other specialist would take her. She had to wait until the next appointment to see if she damaged her jaw during the meltdown. I told her she would have to take the bus from now on because I would not take time off work and drive her to the doctor if she was going to kick my doors and dashboard while I was driving. She also blamed me for breaking her jaw as I bought the bicycle. She made it to the next appointment by bus, but did not tell the doctor she thought she re-injured herself. So, that horrible meltdown did not accomplish anything, and may have cost me more money (I'm being nickled and dimed to death with co-pays, prescriptions and groceries).

    After the appointment, she decided she was going to take a vow of silence so she could "learn something from this experience". Well, it would have worked out nicely if she did it right and found a cave to crawl (yes, I did go there!), but her vow of silence consists of gesturing, writing notes and tap, tap, tapping your head, shoulders or back to get your attention. She cannot say please or thank you, and of course when you don't understand her, she gets frustrated. And I get frustrated. I try to be supportive of idiosyncracies that aren't harming, but this vow is harmful and it came to a head Thursday evening.

    I woke up that morning dreaming that she was 9 again...a little girl with long hair. Still difficult to parent, but she was crying and needed comforting and she allowed me to do hug and hold her and let her cry. I felt like I had been given a glimpse into the past and I was wistful remembering when she was a child, and even though she was disruptive then, she was somewhat controllable. Then I saw the mess in the kitchen which I hadn't attended to because I had work obligations that had me working long into the evening. I put a note on the sink, "I did not leave this kitchen this way. There will be no computer until the kitchen is cleaned properly. Also there was an ashtray dumped and ashes are still on the floor". The computer in question is my work laptop, and her use of it is a privilege, and is not compliant with my company's policy. It could very well get me in trouble.

    I had a horrible day at work, as I work for tax accountants and the week has been a blur of work, parties (one that I had to organize and host for the entire department of over 200 employees), and the associated demands. I went to my mom's house because I was in such a foul mood and I knew if the kitchen wasn't clean, I would be set off. So I just went to mom's to calm down and not take my frustrations out on my kid, who had nothing to do with my mood. I thought it was the safe and prudent thing to do.

    She called me three times in quick succession on my cell. I didn't answer the first two times, because, hell, she wasn't going to say anything to me anyway. Finally, I picked up and said, "I'm at Grandma's, I'll be home later." Grandma lives 8 blocks away and I swear that kid was there in 3 minutes flat. She is tall and anyone who says people aren't born gay hasn't met my daughter. She reeks of testosterone...she is much more masculine than feminine and has that looming presence. She scratched out a note that her girlfriend was waiting for her and that the least I could have done was drop off the computer. Now, give her the keys to the car so she could take the computer home.

    I said no. She wasn't going to drag my work computer home. For someone who has taken a vow of silence, she was quite effective at arguing. I said I had read her notes and now it was time for me to talk so I could tell her that I had a rotten day and needed to decompress so I didn't take it out on her. She put her fingers in her ears, kept scratching out notes and got in my face and gave me her nastiest, evilest glare. Rage had possessed her and she began to flip me off in front of her 76-year old grandma who is on oxygen. I said it again...I say it at least monthly, "you have to leave. I can't take this anymore. You have to leave the house". This time she actually said she would leave (she never budges), and said she needed to get a few things. She ended up going to an organic cafe/chiropracter/holistic healing center in Detroit. I've been there with her before and its a place where a lot of hippies hang out, but she is safe there and comfortable amongst the people, who are quite nice.

    So here I am, the mom who throws the kid out with a broken jaw. No job, no money. (Although she has been hanging onto a few bucks for a concert - so she isn't completely broke. Her priorities are skewed, though). I gave her her dr's card and told her to get to Social Services as quick as possible and try to get GA, or food stamps or something, learn the bus routes and that I would not be responsible for her jaw not healing properly if she failed to comply with medical treatment, as I fully expect her to be passive agressive and blame me for victimizing her.

    I know I have to let go of this kid...I knew it 5 years ago when the severity of her behavior came to light and I learned she attempted suicide and was a cutter. The longer she is with me, the less life skills she learns and the less likely she is to become an independent adult. I have to kick the bird out of the nest and run the cub up the tree. I will know I'm committed to this when I change the locks and disconnect the landline (I kept it after I got my cell only for her as she refuses to own a cell, but does not refuse to use others).

    I told her she could come back this weekend to get more stuff. She says I'm a control freak, I say I establish boundaries. I think I'm wallowing in guilt and frustration more than I am worried about her, but this is causing me to get old before I have to, and I find myself always angry and complaining. I don't like who I am. I feel cloistered and isolated and I don't even want to be around people or experiences. I work, watch TV, play on the computer and sleep. A genuine feeling of joy has escaped me for years. I know I can't blame her, but somehow, I feel so stifled by years of this. I never left the house because when I did, one time I was pulled out of a college class to pick her up at the police station and another time I came home to find 4 teenagers drinking a box of wine in my backyard. None of them felt they were doing anything wrong and they were all defiant until I blew a nut. The disrespect and combativeness is more than I can handle any more. I need peace. I need a personality! I am on the edge and I see no other solution than to thow her out. But what if I find that it doesn't matter, and that it's really just me?

    Can anybody really heal after parenting a child like this, or is this the life we all have to live? Should I just come to grips with this and accept it, or do I fight it? I sound so self-centered, but I have a mortgage and another daughter and this is slowly and methodically killing my spirit. Am I fighting for me or for her? I'm not a movie of the week mother and I just don't know how to deal with a kid that contradicts and refuses to accept any kind of parenting. I'm tired of it all. I have to let go of her. And I just want to yell at God.
     
  2. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    My difficult child is still young so I haven't been through this as long as you have. I do have hope that you can heal after the years of torment and fighting. I have had the same feeling of wanting to yell at God for all of this. I think it's completely natural and we have all done it at some time or another.

    It sounds like she is unmedicated. Is there any possibility you could get her committed for treatment? Her thinking really is skewed.

    Reading your story just breaks my heart. Wish I had more suggestions. :sad:

    (((hugs)))

    Steph
     
  3. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    WITL~ I want you to know that your feelings are understood

    I suggest you read the post in PE forum, the thread that scentofcedar started on Good night moon seems to answer many of your questions on the pain caused by our difficult children.

    Posting here will help you get through, I bet you felt much better getting all that out and being able to vent to others that understand. Keep it coming and it will help
     
  4. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I there. I had to ask my son to move out three weeks ago. at first he was hateful and angry. now I see him helping himself more. I will not go back on it.

    your daughter needs more help than you can give her. even so we have the guilt that comes with wanting to mother them and knowing we cannot do it anymore.

    I too have another son. one who is wonderful, fun and the best thing that ever happened to me in my entire life. he was suffering from his brothers up and down life.

    I would seek counseling for yourself to get you thru this time.

    you have been thru so much and need to renew yourself for a while. she is still your daughter and will not go away for good. like my son, you will have to set clear boundaries of what you will and will not do for your child.
     
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    First off....I just want to tell you that you are an amazing writer. I mean, your email was like a story, one that was extremely well done. Do you ever write in your free time as a means to release your inner torment? You might find it quite cathartic, I know I do.

    Second of all, if I read this email correctly, I think you know that you have made the right decisions about your daughter moving out, (which I agree with), but it is all of the past guilt, and missed opportunities that are making you so sad right now.

    I undertand complete, as that is where I am at everyday as well....and I do not know how to help or what to offer to you, except support. You are not alone....we are all here with you.

    Lately I am overcome with emotion when I see little kids playing ball like my son used to, little blond boys with their carefree spirits, romping through the park, just like Matt. I get teary eyed when I remember how I could scoop him up and hug the rage out of him, or rock him to sleep with stories and kisses. I want a do over - a retake of our life together - I would have done so many things differently.

    This is all so much harder when our kids are in an adult sized body, but still acting like a difficult child ten year old. What can you do? Except set the limits - and yes, then we as parents are always the bad guys, the dumb one, the evil entity in their lives. I think my son told me he hated me last night a record amount of times - and you would think that I would be used to it by now - but no. By the twentieth time, I still was momentarily choked up by it, just for a second, but enough to remind me I am still human, and not a robotic limit setting machine. Just for a moment I wanted to scream - "but remember that day, that beautiful sunny day, when you and I, hand in hand, walked for miles down the river catching tadpools? Remember that? I am the same mom!"

    Do we ever heal? I will leave that question for maybe those of you who have lived through all of this a bit longer. I know for me, that I have to finish writing my book about my difficult child - because for me - writing is purging, healing, and a release that I hope will bring me the healing I need. But that is all I know. I know I will never be the same - and if I ignore my present state I believe I will die a miserable person. My goal will be to take this pain, and somehow turn it around to manifest itself in my being in a new way. My mechanism for doing that, however, is yet to be revealed.
     
  6. WhereIsTheLight

    WhereIsTheLight New Member

    My daughter is not medicated.

    She was medicated when she was 14-15 years old. At the time, she was cutting. When she was first diagnosis'ed, we went through pharmaceutical roulette, and I can't tell you or remember all the medications, but I do remember her eyes rolling back and her drooling, unable to hold her head up. She was catatonic.

    We eventually were able to find medications that kept her flat for the most part, and I decided that I preferred her intrinisic personality to the ever-present sour and blank face. I was grateful that the one medication relieved the cutting and she has not done so for many years.

    Even so, I left it to the psychiatrist to decide whether to continue medications. I was unsure and she was insist to get off them, and I knew it was only a matter of time before she would refuse. She's been bigger than me since she was 14 and has been arrested for domestic violence when she left a grabbing mark on my wrist. She spent 5 weeks in juvy and 6 on a tether for that incident. She hasn't touched me or her sister since.

    The p-doctor agreed to wean her off. That was at least 4 years ago. She had seen an MSW for several years, too, until the SW had a baby and left the practice. We loved the SW, but unfortunately, the SW loved us too, and it seemed that we were much too friendly for therapy to work. Still, difficult child did improve, probably through maturity.

    I've lost my backbone, and GD it, all those times, leaving early from work during rush hour and trying to make it to the SW on time took it's toll on me. I didn't try to find another SW and the SW thought difficult child was doing well at the time. She was finishing high school and we had no drama for some time. When I mean drama, I mean the kind where police or hospitals are involved. The combativeness is ongoing.

    SW told me finally that I would either have to live with difficult child's behavior or throw her out.

    I did kick her out once before, when she turned 18. She decided to go to San Francisco! So, for her birthday and Christmas, I gave her cash, got her a train ticket, set her up for a hostel for a week and gave her several pages of resources in San Francisco. SF is such a liberal and rich town that they have many, many social services. Not only did she have an opportunity to live out there, she really had the opportunity to thrive. There were programs that took homeless kids from the street thru college and into apartments. If a kid is going to be on the streets, that's the place to be. Still, it is dangerous if one doesn't take advantage of the support offered. And she pissed off the people at the hostel (they were sending me emails about her behavior), and finally I had St. Vincent dePaul track her down and put her in a shelter for teens that had a very structured program to promote independence. She couldn't follow the rules there, either. She ended up sleeping many nights in Golden Gate Park, and we would keep in touch by email. I gave her phone cards, which she lost (I think she traded them for weed) and even sent her care packages. If I hadn't heard from her in a week or so, I would be a basket case.

    Finally, I got a call from SF social services. They would give her a one-way ticket back to Detroit if I agreed to take her back. This is where I blew it (one of the times I blew it...I always blow it). I had written a four-page contract outlining acceptable and unacceptable behavior, responsibilities and consequences and what I considered zero tolerance behaviors. I should have faxed it to the SW right then and there, and made her agree to it, but the Mommy in me just wanted my kid back and safe.

    I approached the contract with her when she returned home, but there was always a reason she couldn't read it: just got back, friends are calling, gotta see Grandma...And with the relief of seeing her healthy and unharmed...I always seem to be just hoping this is the end of it...the last argument, the last meltdown.

    In the days after she returned, she seemed to had an epiphany. She said she wanted to heal, and actually couldn't believe that I took her back and how lucky she was that she had a mother, that someone loved her because she had met 11-year old homeless, orphaned boys and drug addicts and prostitutes. I've even heard from her acquaintances that she has described me as the 'cool mom'. So, yes, I'm a buckler, spineless and always hoping but never following through.

    She had even gotten a job, and received the MEAP award, which is given to students who acheive high scores on a standardized test. She is highly intelligent, draws very well (although the subject matter is very dark) and plays guitar by ear. For a kid with a D- average in mainstream high school, a $3000 scholarship is quite an accomplishment.

    She immediately signed up full time at the community college, which I was anxious about, and I tried to tell her, gently, that she didn't have the study skills and habits to take on such a heavy load. All the classes were academic as well. I encouraged her to take the art classes, but she doesn't want anyone telling her what to draw. Subsequently, she dropped two of the classes and lost that money. The rest of the money was sent to her by check by the college. That money is gone now, too. She'll get another payment this fall, and she's already figure out how to enroll and drop so she can get the cash. In the two classes she completed, she did well, but if she wasn't critical of the teacher, she was critical of the material or the other students.

    I keep thinking if she finds a passion or a purpose, she'll be okay. But she has this intense feeling of entitlement and injustice. She dresses in shambles and thinks the world should tolerate her because everybody's !@#$ed up but her. Yet, if I try to buy her clothes or shoes, they must be animal-free, ethical, organic and she won't wear anything that is mass produced by some sweat shop. Some people have to ask her if she's a boy or a girl. And the gender issue doesn't concern me...she's lucky she got stuck with a liberal mom and grandma who invites her girlfriend to Easter dinner.

    But it seems my boundaries are what causes the discord. I am limited in my finances and although every parent wants to buy their kids the whole toy store, I know I can't do that. She needs to work for rewards, and earn the things she wants. But she thinks that as the kid, I should provide all her wants and needs. So trying to get her to earn something is like pulling teeth. She'd rather go without. At the same time, it isn't usually the material she wants...she me to pay for college, or order some $20 juice off the internet. It's not the big stuff, its the nickel and diming that kills me.

    I asked her girlfriend to support me and encourage her to seek help. We have decent insurance, but my youngest is 18 this year, and I lose child support. My health care premiums have doubled because DEX's insurance won't cover the girls after 19. So, I figure I'm losing about $10k in income and additional expenses this year, and I can no longer afford for her to sleep all day and make no contribution to the household.

    And the damage she's done to the house! Broke the couch when she was about 12...she jumped on it and broke the frame. A 12-year old! Punched holes in walls. Cut the kitchen counter. Broken two windows. Gouged and gashed woodwork. Scratched my truck with another bike's handles. Left candles to burn while she slept and has had a small fire contained to the table. Cigarette burns on my truck's seat. Cigarette burns on clothes and blankets. A ceiling fan that no longer works because she hangs things from it and turned it on once. Permanent burns to the stove because she won't clean up the spills and messes and continues to cook. Charcoaled pots and pans. Busted kitchen appliances. At 16, drew on the computer table and couldn't understand why I was furious with her. My house is trashed. And I don't blame it on her, but I refuse to clean up after her, so it just sits and sits and I'm too embarrassed to let anyone in the house. She had a job once where she drew with chalk in the parking lot and couldn't understand why the boss nailed her for it. Knowing her drawings, God knows what she left there for the public to see.

    I just never know what I'm going to come home to. I just wish there was someone that she admired that could look her in the eye and say, "You're wrong" and call her on her crap. Because the truth is, that when she was on probation, she didn't cuss at me, she didn't throw tantrums. She doesn't want to go to jail again, so she stays out of trouble. She doesn't even realize that she could have been arrested for drunk driving the night of the accident, because in Michigan, bicyclists have the same traffic laws as automobiles. And she's not a real drinker. I think the nice weather and meeting up with her friends put her in a party mood and she did something dumb, which is unfortunately, age-appropriate for 19. However, it is the total lack of responsibility she has for breaking her jaw that astounds me. She doesn't like pills, having ODed on Tylenol and anti-depressants on separate occasions. She doesn't do cocaine, ecstacy or heroin. She's knows people who are burnt from doing chemicals, although I know she has experimented. In SF, she admittedly did alot of acid, to the point that it didn't effect her. And mushrooms. Now, she just smokes pot.

    I can't say that her experience with acid has changed her behavior in terms of the combativeness. On the other hand, she is very forgetful, and you can tell her something and she'll forget in two seconds.

    She reads autobiographies as diverse as Malcolm X and Ghandi. She says she is a philosopher. She has so many qualities about her that I find interesting - we can sit on the couch and talk for hours about alot of different subjects and get on real well. But the minute she tests my boundaries and I grow a backbone, the trouble starts.

    That's why I think we need to live apart. She doesn't respect me and I just get more and more angry. And she continues to be dependent on me.
     
  7. nlg319

    nlg319 New Member

    Sequoia is right...what a way with words. I too felt like I was reading an excerpt from a best selling novel. I don't mean to make light of this situation because this is your life. But I feel your pain. What you are going through right now is exactly what I am afraid will happen between my 15 yr. old daughter and I. I think you are doing the right thing...
     
  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Hi, From personal experience I can tell you that this will never get better until a big change happens, like you kicking her out. She has no reason to behave, earn a living , or be kind to you because this is working for her. I know what it is like, my 19 year old son was a thief, and violent to no end- I was scared of him. He robbed the house... I could go on. But he had to go, and your difficult child does too. That is the only way she will see, with her own eyes-by doing-how hard it is to make money to survive. And she will be able to take care of herself in society, which is the goal. It will be a wake-up call for her. Some kids are fine with this loser type lifestyle- mine too. What they need to change is something drastic happening that they don't like to motivate them to change. What will motivate her? It sounds like you taking care and being kind to her isn't. She is young and can do so much with her life. Whan she does make changes after being gone, she will be a whole new person, the one who you know is in there. My difficult child is.-Alyssa
     
  9. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I know that in the Parents Emeritus forum there is many parents that have been there done that.

    Obviously, your difficult child needs mental health services. She's an adult now and whether she gets that help is really up to her. Unless, she becomes a danger to herself, or others.

    Honestly, I think you did what you had to do. It's not something you wanted, but unfortunately, those were the cards dealt. It's okay for you to set boundries. It's okay for you to want to live your life without walking on eggshells. You are not self-centered at all. You are completely worn out. It's okay to salvage what spirit you do have and start to build a life for yourself that doesn't have difficult child at it's center.

    I'm so sorry. I can literally feel the exhaustion through your words. I do hope that difficult child makes a full recovery. It's her responsibility to see that she does.

    (((hugs)))
     
  10. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Wow, I'm starting to see my young difficult child in your difficult child. My difficult child is also extremely creative and artistic. Artistic to the point of obsession... not sure how to explain it. It's like she can't stop herself from making "art" out of things around the house.. the walls, furniture, decorations. She thinks they are beautiful and improved.. I see it as another thing destroyed.

    I have tried it all to contain her creativity. I even gave her an extra bedroom as her own art room. Worked for about a day and then she was back to recreating household things.

    Mine won't take art classes either. The teachers always tell me how creative she is but she refuses to follow any instruction at all. :hammer:

    Your difficult child is lucky she has such a liberal family. I have one gay cousin and I have never met him. He is such a black sheep I never even heard his name mentioned the entire time growing up until I was pregnant with my own daughter.

    If she is such a naturalist or whatever you call it... why does she smoke cigarettes? I smoke but I also know what is in them. She won't wear unorganic clothes but she puts tar in her lungs? Has anyone mentioned this to her? Just curious.

    Hopefully this time on her own will make her mature. It is sink or swim when you are on your own. I am sure it is tearing your heart out and making you feel relieved at the same time.

    So sorry it has come to this. :sad:

    Steph
     
  11. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Yes you can heal after raising a child like that. My 20 year old difficult child son has been out of our house for almost two years. He is a recovering heroin addict. He left with no money, no job and no place to live. Now he is almost 7 months clean, living in a soberhouse, working full time and paying his own bills. This would not have happened if we had allowed him to continue living here. He is happy, we are happy and we all have a much better relationship. Most of all, he has learned to be a responsible adult and that was all I ever wanted for him.
     
  12. WhereIsTheLight

    WhereIsTheLight New Member

    Stella, you just made me see another side to my difficult child. I never considered that she was trying to 'improve' the surrondings by drawing on the computer table, but it is possible. Who knows what reasoning lurks in that brilliant, complicated mind? When we moved into this house, I specifically told her she could draw on the walls of her room. When growing up, I had seen a friend's brother's room and remember all the fanciful drawings and thought - wow, I wish I could do that.

    Unfortunately, instead of drawing on her walls, they are filled with ramblings that sometimes don't make sense to me, and some that are downright offensive. That and her friend's phone numbers. Once, she took the Jack figure from the Nightmare Before Christmas and crucified him. If I said it was offensive to me, she'd say it's art.

    Her mantra: Tolerate me, but don't expect me to tolerate you.

    I think my biggest source of frustration is that she lacks empathy. She hasn't the ability to foresee how her actions can impact those around her. I've tried to talk to her in terms of community rather than contribution, but it just doesn't stick. There is such a disconnect, and then she feels criticized and the belligerence begins.

    But, I can see some maturity even on her walls. She's begun to paint over the holes and filth and the grafitti that is directed at me, accusing me, hating me.

    The gay thing is so minor in my mind. It is not something I rue over. On some level, I think I knew it years ago. You try not to stereotype your own kids, you try to give them exposure to so much to see what grabs them, and once difficult child said she was afraid (!) of dolls, she stopped getting them. She was a huge Animorph book series fan, and had nearly 40 of them before they were sold at a garage sale. I think that's when I knew in my bones she was gay. I had friends that would tell me when she was 7 or 8 years old: She's different, she doesn't talk about stuff that kids her age talk about...she's like talking to an adult. But when they would tell me this, there was a look of confusion on their faces, not that "oh, isn't that cute" smile.

    difficult child got lucky with her first girlfriend. The parents are affluent, the father being self-made. The mother is a yoga instructor and brought her kids up kosher, and with soy milk and lentils and carob chips. This is likely where difficult child got on the organic train. difficult child was at her lowest then and the other mom didn't like me, because I threw difficult child out in the middle of winter for a couple of days because, as I told her, she dropped the f-bomb on me once too many times and I'm setting boundaries. She approached the subject of medication (her own daughter was over-medicated in my view, but that was none of my business). Anyhow, we had that discussion and the other mom says, "Do you think they are more than 'just friends'?" I hesitated out of that basic instinct to protect my daughter. But I said honestly, "I think they could be".

    The other mom, didn't say anything, left it at that and continued to allow her daughter and mine to see each other. So, even as I know she has more success with her difficult child (who is in college full-time and is now embracing her ethnic background and has finally broken up with a controlling boyfriend), and the woman thought I was mean and cold with my kid, I will always respect her for not blowing a vein when she learned our daughters were seeing each other. They cooled off after a while, but our daughters are still very, very good friends. This open attitude really helped difficult child get comfortable with her gender/sexuality much quicker than most adolescents, I think. And I've always thought I'd have much more trouble on my hands if I tried to deny that part of her.

    difficult child, of course, manipulates this openess. She once wanted to wear a t-shirt with a not-quite-as-subtle as Georgia O'Keefe drawing of a flower. It was really quite graphic. When I told her I would not be seen in public with her in it because it wasn't appropriate for families, she cried, "Art! Individual Expression! You're Repressing ME!!!"

    This is the same kid who was blaring a Nine Inch Nails song outside my front door one beautiful summer's evening. She was reading and had set her speakers outside to enjoy the sun. Our house has family foot traffic to the ice cream parlor down the street, and here I come home from work and families are pushing strollers down the street and "I want to :censored2: you like an animal" is blasting from my front lawn.

    "It's just music!"

    You try not to be appalled or embarrassed by your kid's actions, but they always find that place between human respect and decency and not giving a whit.

    I will not miss these moments.
     
  13. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I wonder if NAMI could help you?

    I am taking a class that NAMI offers on coping with a family members mental illness and it is wonderful. They also have support groups. You will meet many parents sharing similar circumstances and they are a source of information and support.

    It sounds like an extremely difficult situation and I have not experienced my difficult child at that age yet, but check NAMI Michigan and see what supports they offer in your area.

    I think that you did what you needed to, and you need support and direction.
     
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You are right. She is passive aggressive and also, you're feeding it. As long as you continue to be a doormat, she will continue to show contempt for you. You keep giving way and this is doing the worst damage possible to you both as well as to your relationship.

    Although I'm not sure what else you can do, if you're trying to cope with as much as you are.

    You did the right thing making her leave. You shouldn't have her back until you can call her on her inconsistencies, such as smoking, while insisting on you buying expensive health food.

    I understand about the mess - we live like that too, although our problem isn't so much damage, it's just piles of stuff.

    With our kids, if they want something special they have to justify it to me, or buy it themselves. If I buy it for them it must be shared by everybody in the house. If they disrespect the house to the point of causing damage, they must fix the damage or pay for it to be fixed. If ANY of my kids interferes with a ceiling fan in any way, they have to look me in the eye and explain why they did something so stupid and thoughtless - we NEED those fans for the whole family, to keep cool. And if it's a fan in someone's room, the same thing applies - it's only their room while they're living here, when they leave it becomes someone else's room and it has to be in good order; the same good order that they would expect if they were inheriting the room instead of being the ones to pass it on.
    As for buying all the fresh food and special requirements plus slaving to such extra extent with no gratitude - NOT ACCEPTABLE! You don't have to get bossy about it, but if she doesn't appreciate it then don't do it.

    What we're doing now - we treat the adult kids like co-renting flatmates. We organise who is going to be home at what time, so we can plan meals, I try to give the kids food they want, within budget restraints. They like lasagne but I can't afford to always buy it so I've found an easy recipe. I also get them to help me make it. We all take turns in cleaning up, the kids help me with shopping ( when they're available) and with unpacking the groceries. Basically, if they don't help, then I'm too tired to go to the extra effort they want. It HAS to be a team effort.
    And if THEY want to cook a meal, they have to follow the kitchen rules - put things back where they belong, if you empty something then put it on the shopping list, use clean spoons/knives etc to dole out amounts, NEVER use the bowl of a spoon to open a tin. Always clean, dry and strop the knives immediately after use. And so on. If they don't do it, they are called back to do it. Not with any "parent - chid" thing, but still we're firm about it as we would be with a flatmate not following house rules. Failure to show respect to other housemates results in eviction. We've not had to evict anyone yet. Mind you, I haven't had someone like your daughter to deal with, but it would be "comply, or leave - no emotional blackmail will work." There are emergency shelters for the homeless who would be getting a call from me. No acceptance of any blame from her, either - she's been using blame to browbeat you and make you more compliant - she is abusive and you are a victim of domestic violence. So is easy child.

    The period of cutting - from your description she was going through some fairly major emotional upheaval. Coming to terms with being a lesbian wouldn't have made it easier for her.

    She needs a lot more help than I think you can give her. I really don't know what more you can do - she is walking all over you and not respecting any of your boundaries. This is a bad example as well as a bad environment for your other daughter.

    I do think you have done what had to be done. Now you need to stick to your guns, for the sake of your younger daughter.

    And I have one big burning question - WHY was difficult child's dr appointment at the same time as easy child's appointment for her wisdom teeth? How could they have been scheduled for the same time? Because if there is ANY chance that difficult child was using the opportunity to make you choose between them, I would be moving her out of the house even faster. That is potentially VERY nasty and can't be tolerated.

    If you can give yourself time away from her (and try to not worry - you have long ago done the best you could to teach her how to get on with people, do NOT throw money you haven't got at her either, it only delays her independence) then maybe you will see the situation with a better perspective.

    My older sister went through similar purgatory with her adopted son - and for years she would bail him out financially, she gave him stuff she shouldn't have (and he only pawned it for drug money) until eventually she ran out of money at about the same time as the courts ran out of patience. he is now in his 40s and finally getting his life together. She did more for him than anyone could have, but she should have let him go much sooner because everything she did for him past the age of 15 did nothing for him but delay his development, and maybe assuaged her misplaced guilt in the short-term, while hurting her deeply and putting her at the point of bankruptcy. It was horrible to watch it happen and know she wouldn't hear us. It was horrible for her other kids who missed out on her attention (and the things they needed but she couldn't afford, because she'd given it all to her wayward son).

    Forget about what other people will think of you. Do not accept any guilt from anybody. Stand up for yourself and get help and counselling for you and for easy child. Basically salvage what you can, because difficult child is beyond your help. She won't accept it anyway, not in any useful lasting way. Don't follow her. Let her make her own choices, which is what she's determined to do anyway. And when choices are made, the consequences of those choices must be endured.

    Marg
     
  15. WhereIsTheLight

    WhereIsTheLight New Member

    Thank you, Margie. May I have another? :smile:

    Yep, sometimes, even we need tough love, and I appreciate your response a great deal. Thank you again.

    easy child had a scheduled appointment with the dentist to pull an impacted wisdom tooth. Her appointment had been made several weeks prior. difficult child had a follow up appointment with the oral surgeon following surgery to repair her broken jaw the week before. It was up to the doctor when he needed to see difficult child. Before the accident, it was planned that easy child would get to the dentist on her own, as it is only one mile away and the dentist felt it was an easy extraction and I wouldn't be needed and this was a relief to me, because all my time off work is saved to deal with my kids (crisis or non-crisis) or with my own doctor and dentist appointments. So, if I can save some of my vacation time, I do.

    easy child's appointment was at 11:30, difficult child's was at 9:30. Neither of my kids drive (easy child was asked to leave driver's training - after they cashed my check - because "for the safety of herself and the public at large, we cannot allow to her continue" :smile: (it's a confidence issue for her, poor thing). difficult child was given the opportunity to learn to drive contingent on minimum grade requirements and blew it. I needed to limit my risk and liability and insurance costs, so I haven't pushed it with either of them. Although easy child knows that she needs to pay her own way for further attempts at driver's ed because I feel that if she has a financial stake in it, she'll have more to lose and overcome her obstacles).

    Even if difficult child could drive, I would have taken her to the first follow up anyway, just to note progress, change in treatment, etc. So, feeling just a bit lucky that both appointments fell on the same day, I ended up taking the day off anyway and my work has been completely supportive of me - even after taking 3 days off for the accident itself. It turns out that the weather was horrid, rainy and windy and cold and I really had plenty of time to get them to both appointments. Or so I thought until difficult child had a meltdown in the car.

    ******************************************************

    Oceans, I will keep that in mind. I'm planning on using my company's EAP program to start. Thanks for the tip.
     
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm glad to be wrong on that one. it's just this nasty, suspicious mind I have... I hope you got some sort of refund from that driving school, by the way.

    We chose to let let difficult child 1 learn to drive when everybody else his age was learning. He agreed with us. Now he's a few years older and a tad more capable, it's actually working.

    Marg
     
  17. tank011

    tank011 New Member

    i am trying to reply to the one who wrote "i kicked my daughter out of the house" it was written in 2007!!! i wonder how she is doing now. the mother not the daughter. altho i wonder how the daughter turned out too. i now have a 19 year old daughter and actually found this site because i googled "can i kick my 19 year old daughter out?" so i ran into this. your letter about your crazy daugher is so similar to my situation! i cannot STAND my own daugher, which brings me added guilt and shame. for one i dont even know if it is legal form me to kick her out! i live in alaska. her dad is here too he told her she cant act like that anymore. but she wont listen. she wont listen she tells me she cant believe im even a mother. and always says stuff like that. ive had it. i want her out and to never come around me again in my life.
     
  18. keista

    keista New Member

    Hi. Welcome to the board.

    Start a thread of your own to get some feedback on your situation. There have been some recent "kick outs" with active members, but those are with minors. I do know there are 'veterans' here who have been there done that (been there and done that) who will lend an ear as well as support and guidance.

    Stick around, this is a great community.
     
  19. tank011

    tank011 New Member

    i dont know what to do with my daughter. she is mean, and wont get a job says shes looking. demands things from me constantly and even upset me so much i made mistakes at work and almost lost my job. i need peace!!!! i cant stand her. of course she wont join the military or job core. of course not!!! that would help us all!!!
     
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Tank, depending on how old your daughter is, check out the Parent Emeritus forum. Plus as keista said, there are plenty of current threads where a daughter almost adult is causing similar problems and not currently in the home.

    Why not start your own thread? You will get more feedback that is also more directed to your situation.

    This is an old thread, we have no way of knowing how this problem eventually resolved. It is sad when we lose people - we can only assume no news is good news.

    Marg
     
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