It's Been Awhile..................

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mom_to_3, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Hi All, it's been awhile since I've been on this site. I have checked in from time to time. I see some familiar faces and quite a few new ones! I need the opinions of some seasoned, intelligent warrior moms and I knew this was the place to get good, practical advice.

    Our difficult child was married and is now divorced, has a 3 yr. old son that she does see but his primary custody is with his father, as he does manage to somehow keep a job. Our difficult child has worked a couple of jobs and either quits or gets fired. Her favorite job was working part time for Block Buster because she could get 6 free movies a week, so she says as a benefit and she LOVES to watch movies. She moved away from that city and of course lost her job.

    She has had no job for several months. I honestly don't know how she has managed to survive. She did tell me that she gets food stamps, but one also needs some cash. I guess she got desperate a couple of weeks ago and accepted a job "travelling and selling magazine subscriptions". This company was going to send her a bus ticket to Utah and she would travel all over the U.S. Her goal was to work long enough to earn enough money to be able to buy a car.

    My husband and I have been doing an excellent job with detaching. We have done nothing to make her life easier. I call and talk to her every now and again. She will occasionally call, never to see how we are doing, but always to tell us about her life. This year, she ignored my husband on Father's Day and his birthday that was earlier this month. :mad:

    She told me about a new job she got and she was supposed to leave last weekend, I did a bit of research. I found that these jobs were not legitimate and she would never make money. It very much sounds to be akin to a prostitute and a pimp, her doing the work, living in terrible conditions and not getting paid, and "them" collecting the money.

    My husband and I couldn't stomach the thought. We've watched her for years now live in poverty and unsafe situations. We made a decision to offer her a "hand up", not a hand out. My husband talked to her and asked her if she had had enough, if she was ready to change her life and to do the work it took to make it happen. She said she wanted a better life, was tired of living the way she had. We made plans to go see her and lay out our expectations. My husband ended up getting sick, so I went alone.

    I took her out to dinner and we talked. She was respectful. When we were almost finished eating I told her that we would allow her to come back home with conditions. She seemed relieved, until I laid out OUR expectations. I told her that she would need to get her GED FINALLY taken care of. I then told her that since she would have no other obligations that we expected her to work a full time AND a part time job. The reason for that is two fold.......... one, she desperately needs to work and save money for a car, insurance, etc. so that she can get and keep her life on track. Second, it would just be better for everyone if she was otherwise occupied. We offered her a home, a bed, food, and transportation to her jobs, have located services that will provide free medical and dental care and another option for furthering her education if she chooses. We would take care of her clothing and other needs within reason. I also reminded her that we had to be totally honest at all times, she replied, "I don't lie anymore MOTHER. Okay.

    She actually had the nerve to ask me if she would have access to a computer because she really likes to play role playing games online at night. Then asked if she would have to go to bed at 10pm! Then she was concerned that she might get too tired or too stressed if she worked two jobs, couldn't she just start out with a part time job??? I tried to remain polite and explain that she is and has been behind the eight ball and really needed to do double time to catch up and get her life in order. I told her she would be on the "fast track". She really stuck to her guns about not wanting to work as I suggested, got self righteous and mouthy. She also insisted that I get over an incident with her ex husband, when I tell her I refuse to participate with people that are disrespectful to me, she became belligerent!

    I've really taken on a new attitude with her, with everyone actually. Life does teach us things and I need peace in my life! I live by the principle the everyone is entitled to think and act as they chose. I chose if I want to participate in those particular behaviors or if I will allow others to disrespect me. I choose not to participate. I stood up, looked her in the eye and said, "this is not going to work out between us, the deal is off, get your things together, I am taking you home now." I proceeded to leave the restaurant quickly. She followed behind, crying. By the time we got outside, she found it in her heart to get over herself and changed her tune.

    I told her that I was not going to argue with her nor would I beg her to come home. I did however tell her that we loved her and wanted to offer her a gift. It was hers if she was able to conform to our wishes. She said she could and would. A date was chosen that we would pick her and her belonging up.

    I ended up picking her up one day to go around and drop off some applications as we had seen a couple of businesses looking for help. She filled out the apps. and went in to talk to the managers. One job was at a valero working 8-4 m-f and the other was at a Blockbuster and we hoped she could work like 5-9 m-f. That is a lot of hours but not unreasonable for a 22 yr. old mother that needs to be working and supporting herself and her son!

    That was a week ago. I called my difficult child and asked if she had heard anything. NO! I asked if she had called them to follow up and express her extreme interest in the jobs. NO! We were supposed to move her to our home today. When I talked to her earlier in the week, she asked if we could change the day to Saturday because a friend's father had passed away and she wanted to attend the funeral. No problem with that, until I read her myspace where she specifically said that this man had died 2 weeks ago!!! I kid you not, this "friend" has a picture up of his father's casket IN THE GRAVE on his myspace page and people have expressed their condolences and someone even said RIP and the date was 1 MONTH ago! My difficult child has been messaging my oldest easy child and you would not believe the story she has concocted. I won't even go there. I know my difficult child is lying plain and simple. She probably has a dungeons and dragons game lined up for the weekend and that is why she "can't" come.

    Again, I am so fed up with this nonsense. I know she is lying, it's not worth it to confront her, she'll only lie more and we'd get no where. Why oh why does she have to sabotage everything good in her life? When she told me she might be too stressed working two jobs, I asked her, aren't you plenty stressed wondering where you will live, how will you provide for your son, what happens when your food stamps run out? I'd rather be stressed working and getting my life in order and making something of myself.

    My husband says we should rescind the offer. On one hand I agree, she's all talk and no action and we refuse to have her living here doing nothing but causing chaos in our peaceful home. On the other hand we did make the offer and I'd like to honor that because we are honorable people. I said honorable people, not foolish people (I hope). I had another idea last night and presented it to our difficult child today. I told her that her father and I had talked and decided it would be best that she not move back home UNTIL she already had a full time job lined up. That puts the ball in her court. She has to take action in order to receive our gift, of a hand up. She has to want this more than we do and take action to make it happen. We are going to pick her up tomorrow evening so that she can attend a job fair Sat. morning. She did not want to do this, stating that she has that family memorial to attend, you know. My husband was very gruff with her and would not listen to any of her nonsense. He said for her to come when he said or to forget it. Our difficult child actually sucked it up and said okay. I told my husband that he needs to tell her tomorrow that if she does get hired, that there needs to be an understanding that if she quits or gets fired, that she will need to leave our home immediately. If she wants to change jobs that's fine, just make sure you have another one lined up before you leave the first one. No excuses, she is the master of excuses.

    So, if you've made it this far............. Are we missing anything? Any suggestions or other ways to protect ourselves, or help her to help herself without throwing money at her? We would both hate to do it and it would kill my heart, but we would toss her out immediately if she did not follow thru. There is too much at stake for our whole family.
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi there, don't believe we have had the pleasure of meeting...

    Wow, you should have a diploma on your wall for graduating detachment school! Way to go, mom!

    Let's far as her BS-ing you, and you giving her another chance...the only thing I would suggest is to get real with yourself, and think about whether or not you believe difficult child can stick to your plan and be honest, or if this is a set up for failure. If you really think she is not capable of doing it, would it be better to stop it before it starts?

    Next I wonder, would showing her that you are onto her games deter her from playing them in the future? For example, what if you offer (emphatically) to accompany her to this "memorial"? Or is she just way too much into being the master of excuses?

    Sounds like husband has a zero tolerance policy. That is a good one. Especially with 2 PCs in the home, they don't need the turmoil or the drama.

    The very best of luck to you in your endeavor. Your family will be in my prayers!
  3. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Thank you BBK!

    I really think in my heart of hearts that our difficult child cannot follow thru. I believe she wants desperately for us to be proud of her and has said as much. She see's that her sisters are much farther ahead of her and it's painful to her. I believe that she wants all the rewards that living a decent life will give her, but is for some reason incapable or unwilling to achieve that goal. She is not a stupid girl, she is not slow. She has a normal intelligence.

    She is the most creative person I know, she is an excellent writer, loves to read anything, she writes poetry and stories, writes spoilers for a t.v. show online (no pay tho)it's almost as if she is living the stories she writes. If you read her work or read advice she gives others, you would think she was a grown woman, very thoughtful, solid advice. But, she doesn't live a word she writes or offers others, it's as though nothing sensible applies to her. One would be totally shocked to see the person behind the words!

    She lacks follow thru, has all of her life. I don't get it. We have dangled so many golden carrots in front of her that she desperately wanted, but has not been able to even nibble that carrot. We're not talking giant strides here, we're talking baby steps. The girl will not or cannot conform. She's proud of being her own person, isn't able to see how she is hurting herself. It's not working for her. She's had therapists, she had psychiatrists, been on medication, been in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I don't know what else to do for her.

    I am being real with myself, I am afraid we are setting her up to fail once again. We truly were afraid for her life, living on the road. The girl doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut.

    I couldn't "empathetically" accompany her to the memorial. I would bet my life there isn't one. And I am not a betting woman! Do we just sit back and watch what happens? I am beginning to think that is our only option. I need to harden my heart some more!
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Do keep in mind, the time of day that I answered your post.

    There will be other very wise warriors along during the day (ones who were not suffering from insomnia as I was) to offer their advice as well. Lots of us have been were you are, some are right there with you now!
  5. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I think her behavior showing you she's not ready. The desire and willingnness to change is not there. The lying and playing you for a fool, and she's not even living there yet, will only intensify. She thinks she pulled one over on you. You want her to change, but she didn't even want to go to the job fair. You're right, she has to want it more than you do. Maybe you could have the condition that she has to have a job before you allow her to move in. You could still give her rides to look for one. Let her tell you where to look, not you telling her. Don't let yourselves sit back and watch it. I would confront her, but very kindly, nicely, not harsh and explain youself-but be brief. Let her know absolutely that you know she's lying and that's why you won't continue this. It's up to her to show you-let her.-Alyssa
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Stick to the zero tolerance and let her know you are serious. First screw up, she's out. You have come to far to start at the beginning and allow her to lie to you or manipulate you. If she screws this up, then she has chosen this life for herself and you and husband will once again go on with yours.

    I say you have both done a terrific job detatching. Good for both of you :smile:
  7. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    I'm not getting much confidence from your post that this is going to work.....She's already making excuses and asking for changes.....

    Is there someplace else she could live? Having her in your house will only accentuate all the things she does that you are not happy about. You will get along much better if you don't have to deal with her day to day trivialities....I guess I would concentrate on her getting her GED and one job....yes, she does need to fill her time and give up the game playing, but I doubt she will do this....this is only my opinion and I don't know all that has gone on, but it really doesn't sound like she is ready to handle all this....

    I wish you luck with your family endeavour.....sometimes you do need to remove yourself from the situation and see if they can handle life....she has figured out food stamps, so would find other options or shelters....not easy to watch, but if she is mentally able to make choices the choice is hers.....if her child is living with father, how often does she see her son and does she think about his care? As long as her ex is taking care of son, she may not feel the need to take part in that.....
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Why don't you just tell her what you told us? It does not seem like you really care if this happens - evidence: not wanting to go to job fair.
    Tell her maybe you thought she disliked her life more than she actually does. Perhaps she thinks it is not so bad - and therefore she should continue on that path.

    Obviously, wherever she is living she has computer access, seems to be able to sleep indoors, and has a phone, too. So, she does not have a job and pursues a strange one indeed. Why would she choose a more 'normal' job now? Just because you tell her to? She could easily get the job you are requiring of her right now - correct?

    I agree with your intentions and I can see myself offering up the same hand up. However, I think it might be too soon. She does not seem miserable enough yet.
  9. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I agree with Busywend. I think she doesn't mind her life so much, it is hard to understand that, but that is the reality. You want this more for her than she does. She didn't come to you asking for help, you offered it and she thought maybe it could work to her advantage if she can get you to change the conditions.

    How do your PCs feel about her moving back? My younger dtr would not do well at all if her older sister was moving back home but she was abused by her and is trying to heal. We absolutely cannot let her sister ever move back with us (and thankfully she is doing okay and doesn't want to!)

    I think this is a set-up for failure and your discomfort with her life has led you to try to help but she isn't ready for your help and may never be ready. I think no one will benefit if she moves back. She will cause resentment in your family, she will fail once again, you will have to kick her out. Lots of pain and drama and chaos for everyone. I would rescind the offer, let her know if she ever would like to take you up on it that it remains open but only under your conditions and that she will have to take the initiative and also require some sort of proof that she is serious (such as getting the 2 jobs).

    Good luck!
  10. blb

    blb New Member

    M23- nice to see you :smile:

    I have to tell you that I think she's not ready, you are still having to do the work for her taking her to a job fair, et al., when she clearly doesn't have any interest in improving her life. Knowing her hx, I almost think she's just going to be one of those who has to learn it herself. Any attempt by you to help her she will self sabotage, because she's not hungry for it.

    I'm sorry to hear that the baby is with dad, but it sounds unfortunately like it's the best thing for your grandchild.

    Wish I could offer you a more positive reading of the situation, but based on what you wrote I think you'll be just dragging your pcs back into the drama :frown:
  11. peace and joy

    peace and joy New Member

    I think you what a better life for her more than she does. Don't we all want that for our children?

    I'm afraid if she does move back in it will be a disaster. You have to follow your gut, though. If she does take your offer; she MUST, MUST, MUST have STEADY employment first!

  12. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hi mom to 3. It's been a long time.
    I'm sorry to hear that difficult child is still trying to live an unproductive life.
    I can understand the offer you and your husband made as it seems that she was headed for a career choice that could put her in a dangerous and scary position. Hopefully if you keep reminding her how stressful living as she has, she will try to keep her focus on doing better for herself. I think you did a kind thing, even if she doesn't manage to follow through. It gave her some reprieve. She may not acknowledge it but you know it was an important thing you did for her.

    My difficult child seems more ambitious since his easy child brother graduated and has done what he was supposed to do for himself. Unfortunately, my difficult child doesn't seem to be able to work a 40hr week yet. He is doing better than last year but it's 24 hrs/wk. We tried full time but he just couldn't hold it together. He also doesn't have time for normal routine housework/maintance/planning because he has to work. Sheesh, give me a break. He has some new movie to watch or whatever is his interest.

    She has some skills, it's unfortunate that she doesn't use them to help herself. Our kids just can't seem to get out of the bag they are stuck in.

    It's nice to see you. Hope your offer works out.
  13. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    I agree with the others. You have come so far with your detachment. Remember the reasons you had to detach in the first place and you will realize SHE needs to be the one to contact you for the hand - up when she is ready for change, not when you and husband thinks she is ready.

    Hard as this all is, she has to be the one ready to change or it will never work.