Just asking for prayers and good thoughts for daughter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lar, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. lar

    lar New Member

    I don't post here very often but have been reading this site daily for years. This may be a little lengthy but I am just asking for some prayers and good thoughts for my difficult child who is now 26. Quick background, I adopted her through foster care as a single mom when she was age 11. Attachment was not really an issue but she has always had very low self esteem and has always had problems applying herself to anything. She was diagnosed with ADHD and later on with Bi-polar. She has severe anxiety and also suffers with depression. We tried counseling and medications but nothing seem to really help. She has also had several legal issues that have happened over the years. Currently that seems to be behind her. My biggest issue (other than her burst of anger at times which has been very frightening at times) is that she has always acted so much younger than she is and this causes so many problems for her and for me. Even at 26 she can very much act like she is 12 or 13 by the way she talks and handles herself. Weird behavior.

    Here is the current situation. She has been in and out of my house over the past 4-5 years. Got married very quickly last year to someone who turned out to have a drug and alcohol problem and became abusive. She got pregnant very quickly and I now have an absolutely beautiful 5 month old grandson. difficult child and grandson now live with me. She is currently not working (very rough work history) but does receive assistance.

    I am just very concerned about the fact that she has no direction in life at all. She absolutely loves her baby and is very hands on with him, which I am so thankful for, but she acts more like a young teenage mother. Because of her low self esteem she doesn't take care of herself at all. She is very overweight, has had high blood pressure problems since he was born, her cholesterol is in the danger zone and now has thyroid issues. Junk food is basically all she eats and I can't control that because it is her food stamp card. She gets very defensive when I or anyone else discusses this with her or else she makes you think she is listening but nothing changes. The childlike behavior is what really drives me up the wall and always has! There are times when I believe she can control it and times when I'm not sure she can. I was really hoping that things would turn around for her when she had her son and in some ways they have but not like they need to. I just want her to be around to see him grow up because he is an amazing baby and I know he is going to be an amazing young man. At this point he seems to be right on track with everything and is a very easy going and loveable little boy. I know there isn't a lot I can do for his mother at this point but just ask for prayers and good thoughts for her.
     
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You sound as if you're dealing with most of what your daughter brings to the table quite well........and then there are some things which require change. You seem to have accepted a lot.

    Have you ever contacted NAMI? (National Alliance on Mental Illness) They may be able to offer you assistance for YOU through their parent courses and for your daughter, perhaps with some kind of education, nutritional & health counseling, child care classes, I am not sure what they offer, but it may be worth a phone call. They were quite helpful for me. You can access them online.

    Since your daughter does receive assistance, have you tried calling Social Services to see if they offer any classes or any educational courses or counseling or (?) for your daughter?

    Because your daughter is considered an adult, you really don't have any control over what she chooses, but I can certainly see your concerns. I'm not sure how much you can influence her, she does sound as if she acts like a young teenager.

    Perhaps the best advice I can offer you is to find a very good support system for yourself, some place you can go to vent and get empathy, compassion, understanding, guidance and support. If you can find support for yourself, you will likely be able to find ways to let go of all that you have no control over and learn to accept what you can't change. Often, our kids don't change all that much, but we can learn to respond differently, to detach from their choices, to learn to accept what we can't change and let go.

    If you've been reading along for a long time, you likely have read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

    I can hear your anxiety about the future and your frustration about the present, you have a lot on your plate. I am glad your daughter is a good mom, that is so important.

    Keep posting, it does help a lot. Get yourself some support. I'm glad you're here with us......
     
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Sending hugs
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome.
    I have adopted five children. Two did not work out. One, adopted at six from another country, decided we aren't his family and one, adopted at eleven, was so dangerous I fear that he is out on the streets unsupervised. We are not in any type of contact at all. He is too threatening and does not even know where we are. If he murdered somebody, it would not shock me.

    I think it is amazing both to you and for her that at age eleven she did not reject you with attachment disorder, which did happen to us. Our young adoptees are amazing, but our older ones did not do well in our family at all. So kudos to you and to her. Please understand that you did a great job and so did she survive well!

    Was she possibly exposed to drugs in utero by birthmother or abused in foster care? Most kids who are adopted out of foster care have disorders, due to the poor care their birthmothers gave them both in utero and after, and then in all those foster homes. Autism is common. Could you daughter have a form of that? Or could she have some fetal alcohol spectrum that just makes it hard for her to grow up through no fault of her own? Face it, just being a foster child would retard age growth. And, happily, NOTHING that happened to her impacts your grandson unless she also drank or did drugs while pregnant and it does not sound as if those were problems she had. Sounds like she has some "growing up" delays and while so many of our adult children don't want to grow up and get into trouble because they hate rules, to me it sounds more like your daughter is disinterested in growing up. She reminds me a bit of my twenty-one year old who can not be talked into caring about healthy food or his weight, although he has gone to nutritionists and is doing well with high functioning autism. Yes, he was adopted out of foster care. Yes, his birth mother did drugs while pregnant. Yes, that is probably partly why he has a form of autism, but it could be worse. He is a happy kid, although rather disinterested in what "normal" twenty-one year olds care about. Although he is self-sufficient as far as living in his own place and having a part-time job, he is very young in his interests.

    It is very hard to figure out our adopted children when they have complicated histories. But to me it sounds like she is doing well, her early life considered, before she came to you. And you sound amazing. Just don't judge her as you'd just a young adult who lived with stability all her life and whose birthmother took stellar care of herself. And don't try to make her something she's not. I am guardian over my son and still take care of his medical appointments. I think one day he will be able to take care of his own medical needs, but he isn't there yet. And he is twenty-one. He will always need a little support from the community due to his disability but, in general, he is doing great and your daughter is doing pretty well too in most aspects of life. Do you have legal guardianship over her? If you got it, you'd be able to control her medical care until she is able to do it herself. She may grow up much more slowly than people who had a better start in life. That doesn't mean she will never grow up, although that is also possible. Has she been evaluated to see where her functionality is?
     
  5. lar

    lar New Member

    Thanks so much for your kind responses and encouragement. They mean a lot to me. I just have to remind myself it's one day at a time. I did look into Nami at one time but I didn't follow through with it which I need to do. You are so right MWM in saying she doesn't really want to grow up. I have always thought she might possibly be on the spectrum. She has come a long way though. I don't know much about her birth mom but I do know she suffered neglect and physical abuse. I sometimes believe her issues are more environmental. Yes I am thankful I haven't had to deal with attachment issues. I don't know if I could have handled it. I'm trying to really step aside as much as I can and let her grow up. I have to keep reminding myself too that I am not my grandsons mom, I'm Mimi. That really hard sometimes. I will look for some professional support for myself to insure I'm doing the right things. It's really easy for me to come down hard on myself and wonder what I could have done differently. Thanks also for the reminder that I can't expect her to be something she's not. I think it would please her greatly if I would remember this!
     
  6. lar

    lar New Member

    P.S. in answer to the question about her ever being evaluated, she has never had a full evaluation. She currently receives services through our mental health coop but they aren't a lot of help. It has been a struggle in that regard.
     
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You are responding beautifully, with deep thought and with conscious intent, to a difficult situation. It is so easy for us to forget sometimes that we are living in and coping with ongoing and unusually difficult situations for which there are no simple answers. Each of us does our best, but it is so good to have a safe place to ask questions, to learn from one another, just to write that we are so tired, sometimes.

    I am glad you found us, and happy you posted and let us know you were here.

    Cedar
     
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