I'm so afraid...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter who used to take drugs is starting to scare me. She has always been high strung, but lately she is overwhelmed with her job and her boyfriend and her father says stupid things to her that make her very nervous. She lives with her father AND with her boyfriend (who lives with his mother still--as goofy as this sounds boyfriend's mother and daughter really get along well--we all do).
    My daughter confides in me more than anyone. Since quitting drugs, she has felt very lonely. She has no real friends, except for her boyfriend. The fact is that without drugs, she is on the shy side. She has lately been talking about how boring it is to go to parties because everyone is wasted, so she stays home.
    Of late, when I talk to her, she cries a lot about her pressure she's under and mentions suicide. SHe'll say "I feel like killing myself sometimes, but I would never do it, but I feel like it sometimes...or just like running away. It's so hard to deal with all this." She won't go to a therapist so far although, trust me, I've been pushing the idea and she does at least give me an ear.
    I'm so afraid that this sensitive, sweet daughter, who is so big-hearted, is going to kill herself one day. Today I've been thinking about it more than usual and it scares me. I have offered to let her live with me and just rest for a while. She has worked hard since age fifteen and has never had a break. Even when she took drugs, she worked, did her chores around the house, and was old for her age.
    She was sexually assaulted at a friend's house at age eight. I think this has a huge deal to do with her problems. The man was a visitor at her freinds house and assaulted her while her friend was in the kitchen helping her mother cook. She didn't tell me until she was fourteen because "I felt like I deserved it" "I felt so dirty" "I didn't know what to say" "It was too awful to talk about." This, after we'd told her "you can tell us if somebody touches you the wrong way." She went for some counseling, but mostly refused, calling it "a waste of time." I'm quite sure this contributed to her drug use. Inside her, is a good person who wants to be loved and who would give anyone the shirt off her back. I truly don't know how she quit drugs with all this on her head, but she did. Of course they doesn't mean she won't start doing them again. Anyone have suggestions on how to again approach her to think about getting help? I know she is too old for me to force the issue and if I talk about it too much, I think she'll shut down on me because that's how she is.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I don't have any advice other than to be there for her.

    Actually, do you belong to any book clubs or neighborhood clubs or anything social you could invite her along to? Maybe you can join some just so you can invite her...off the cuff thinking here...scrap booking is popular for that age...something along that line?

    Just keep in mind that you can't change her. We all want the best for our kids, but its out of our power to change them.
  3. Star*

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


    I think you have some valid fears based on knowing your child. I think it is so wonderful that she feels she can confide in you. At this point in our lives with our adult children I think we become therapists of sorts - so in a way she is getting some release by talking it out with you.

    Is it possible that she would move back in with you AND look for a less stressful job? She really sounds like she's got her act together and I praise her HIGHLY for going to parties and seeing people stoned then leaving. BRAVO.

    Fingers crossed that she'll find her way - I'm hoping for a less stressful new job. And for her father to be hit in the mouth with duct tape.

  4. Irene_J

    Irene_J New Member

    I know how you feel. My difficult child actually attempted suicide. The day before it happened, I faxed over a detailed memo about my concerns and fears to the therapist (I knew something was up, but the therapist didn't take it seriously). I think we should always follow those feelings we get in the pit of our stomachs.

    You indicate that your difficult child did not like counseling, but how about a group situation? One on one counseling was a waste of time for my difficult child, but she seemed to do better in group counseling sessions. Has she ever attended a session for abuse survivors?

    I agree that nagging about the situation will probably make her avoid talking to you about it. Perhaps a nice mother-daughter outing without any talk of what is bothering her will give her a respite.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think she'd find a group situation even more intimidating. At the root of her substance abuse is that using drugs made her vivacious and popular, which she hadn't been before. She is basically kind of shy.

    She lives in Illinois, I live in Wisconsin. She could stay here with us without any pressure. I know how hard she's worked and I understand anxiety and pressure and feeling suicidal. But I can't make her come here. She feels obligated to her job (don't know why) and is probably also influenced by her boyfriend who lives there, although he wouldn't care if she came here and we said he could come up too.

    We'll just have to see how it goes. With some kids, it's NEVER easy. And, of course, you never stop worrying. Stopping her drug use didn't fix the reasons she did it in the first place.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I am going to gently suggest to you, once again, that you suggest to her to go to AA.

    Relapse happens LONG before one picks up a drug/drink. It's a matter of the mind. Your daughter is in a dry drunk right now, and is well on the road to relapse. She really needs the fellowship of others in her situation. Not only will she have some support, she will have some friends as well. She is isolating. I should know; I am the pot calling the kettle black, isolating my own damn self.

    But, I talk to my sponsor regularly. Please suggest it to her again.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Could she take some time off from work (like a week) and pay you a long visit? It sounds like she could use a rest. You could make arrangements for her to visit you for long weekends periodically after that. This way she would always have something to look forward to. in my humble opinion, she is an adult and needs to learn to live independently if at all possible. She might also have to learn how to get through difficult periods of time. However, it is comforting to have family that can provide temporary respite when things are tough.

    Will she go to therapy? What about AA?

    Has she had a physical check up lately? Sometimes certain physical condicitions can contribute to depression (like being hypothyroid) and it certainly sounds like she is depressed.

    You might suggest that she explore any interests that she has and get in some physical exercise. Would she have any interest in joining a gym? What about playing a sport like tennis? These are healthy distractions.

    by the way...I recall long ago our son refusing to go to almost all high school parties. He said that it was because everyone was drunk and/or stoned. He had some lonely times. in my humble opinion, his main problem at that time was he wasn't thinking of other enjoyable things he could be doing.

    Today, he has a lovely girlfriend (knock on wood, crossing myself), enjoys sports and has a hobby...all this on top of working and college. Bottom line....he is so busy that going to parties is not important at all. (Very grateful mom here).

    Hoping it all works out well.
  8. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member


    Sending hugs for your worried heart. :( You have gotten a lot of good ideas here and I really don't have much to add except maybe suggest trying to get involved in something together.. i.e. a ceramics class, volunteering at a crisis center for babies or women. Helping the elderly in a retirement home by reading to them ... something like that. She sounds like she has a good heart and helping people just might bring her out of her shyness.

    I used to drink, it was like a magic potion..... I was incredibly shy as a kid and when I drank I wasn't shy anymore.... I felt like I had found a wonder drug but of course it turned on me... as it always does. :(

    Somehow helping others gets our eyes off ourselves and this just may help your difficult child come out of her shell and ease her lonliness.

    Just some thoughts. :)

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, everyone. Unfortunately, part of the reason my daughter turned to drugs is her unwillingness to open up to others. I have suggestesd AA/NA and she listens, but won't go--yet. She also says, "Want to get high? Go to an NA meeting." (sigh) She's so busy at work that she has no time to do anything except work and go home to get ready to work again. I told her to take time off. If her dad gets ticked off, well, she can stay with me. I would let her rest. She has often said, "I was never a child." She's rigiht. On top of being sexually assaulted, her dad and I divorced (she was nine) and s he had to do a lot of things herself while I worked. She felt overly responsible for things too. She has always had a good heart, was never one of those difficult children who slacked off on purpose or acted spoiled or entitled.
    I will continue inviting her up here and dropping hints to get help. I volunteer at a shelter for domestic abuse and am considering getting t he Sexual Assault Counselor, who is awesome, to call her up (I'd tell her first and aske if it was ok). I don't think she realizes how much of her behavior is due to that. Plus, I agree that she is now a "dry drunk." She still hasn't learned how to handle her emotions. She DOES show flashes of amazing insight. At least, she sometimes does talk about counseling. In the past, she wouldn't. She has also said, "Sometimes I think I'm bipolar." I do see a mood disorder in her, I always did. She's loathe to take medications because she sees that as "taking drugs."
    This particular child, of all my kids, is the one I'm going to worry about forever. Even my autistic son doesn't worry me so much because he is happy and grounded. This daughter hurts my mommy heart.
  10. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Oh MM,

    Hugs for your heart... :( I know the quiet pain all too well. :(

    Will keep your difficult child in my thoughts and prayers and hope that she will accept help.
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    MWM- My husband quit drinking and never went to an AA meeting. He could not stand them. He had the same theory as your daughter, going there made him want to drink. Somethings that work for some do not work for others. FWIW, my dad quit drinking and went to AA meetings religiously.

    husband, tho, was self medicating with alcohol, and recently was diagnosed as BiPolar (BP) and adhd. He has started medications and while they are not just right, it is better.

    Continue to be there and talk to your daughter, in my humble opinion she needs a therapist or psychiatrist, but if she will not go you cannot make her. It is good she is comfortable talking with your.
  12. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    My dtr also went to NA and AA meetings but said they just made her want to do it more--talking about it was apparently a trigger for her. Also, she was wary of ones with teens and young adults--new friends to get drunk or high with. The ones with older people made her feel discouraged--most of them had relapsed many times before becoming sober, seemed that none had achieved it while young.
  13. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    MWM, DDD posted to me once that she believed family contact helped our struggling kids of whatever age to remember who they were before the bad times began, and helped them to believe that they COULD do it, that they did, after all, have the strength to make it through to the other side.

    I think that is true.

    I agree with the others of us that your daughter is fighting hard to keep herself on the good path she has chosen. Do you think it might help her to look at her feelings in that light? Sort of like this is another hurdle on the path to full recovery?

    Sometimes, if we can just make sense of what is happening to us, we can stand by our healthier choices.

    I know this is hard for you, MWM.

    Sending strength for you and holding you and your child in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all.
    I think my daughter meant by "NA meetings are great for using drugs" is that so many people she knows got high at meetings. I think she'd do better one-on-one. SHe knows I"m here for her. I just don't know if I can be enough, especially since she's in another state and won't stay here with me--she is very loathe to leave Illinois. I swear, it's probably because her boyfriend is there, although I invited him as well. It's also her job. She feels responsible. I haven't heard from her in a few days, but that's probably due to her working. I did talk to her dad. She wants to please him so much and he is so very hard to please, but he does love her much.