Just can’t understand the reasoning, our difficult child is spinning out of control.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cw_mi, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    I’m new to the forum and this is my first post and I apologize, it’s going to be a long one. My wife and I’s situation with our difficult child is beyond repair at the moment, only time will fix this but it does help to write about it. My wife (M) and I have been married for 3.5 years, together for 7. She brought with her a daughter from a previous marriage , I have no kids of my own or had been married before. J was 11 when we all met. Right from the start I could see that M and J had a strained relationship. For the most part J was a very nice quiet and polite little girl. I did notice she was immature for her age and it was really tough to get her to show or share her feelings. Her and I actually got along really good and developed a good relationship. I loved her as if she was my own daughter. There was always a constant battle though between M’s ex (R) and us. His whole goal in life was to turn J against us and get custody of her. My wife had full (not sure if that is the term) and J would stay with him every other weekend and visit with him one day of the week. He is pretty much a dead beat dad, always late with child support, always badmouthing us to J, always negative. It was the worlds fault that his life was the way it is. In one hand he would bark orders at her then be overly emotional with her. He would coerce J into things, like writing notes about us and leaving them where teachers could find them. That led to a couple of CPS investigations. Always ending with CPS recommending that J stay with us and R taking parenting classes which he never did. All these things happening really effected J and how she shared her feelings towards us, and anyone else other than her father and her grandmother. You could tell she would feel guilt. The CPS caseworkers called it “emotional incest “ . We tried counselors and that really didn’t help, J would just tell them what they wanted to hear and never really open up. At this same time we could see J was developing a really bad habit of lying. Lying for everything, for things we could not understand she would lie for. M and I’s focus was to just remain positive , never bad mouth her father, and provide a healthy loving home environment with the hopes that she would eventually see the differences between how she was treated by her father and how she is treated at our home. It took a couple of years but she actually started realizing what her dad was trying to do. She started talking to us, opening up to us etc. Things were starting to really go well. M and J started to develop a decent relationship. She was doing well in school , meeting friends etc. She was still very immature socially and really lacked common sense, she also had self- esteem issues that were starting to show up. The lying was also becoming habitual, which didn’t make sense because she is just a horrible liar. We would bust her every time. Although she knew she could pull the wool over her dad’s eyes and had even told us this. Again for the most part she was a good teen, better than I was at that age for sure. She never yelled at us, talked back , sure we would get the silent treatment once in a while but for the most part she would always apologize if she did something wrong. Both M and I could tell though that she was starting to develop some deeper issues and these spiraled out of control a little over a year ago. She was just shy of her 17[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday. She met a boy from school, he was a year younger than her but a grade ahead of her (J was held back in 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] grade due to some learning issues). At first we weren’t all too cool about her “dating” ( she showed no real interest in boys up til then) and we kept it as a “friends” thing at first. We met him, and had most of their meetings at our house so we could monitor. J also had a laptop and she was aware that we would/could monitor her chats , FB activity and emails. Well after a month or so things started getting strange, almost obsessive on both ends. Then their conversations started getting darker and darker (always initiated by him called B) So we started seeing red flags and decided to talk with his parents, we had met them earlier on when the two started hanging out with each other. So M calls B’s mom and has a long chat with her. And we find that they aren’t really his parents , they are his aunt and uncle. B had been taken from his parents at an early age by the state , he then bounced around thru some foster homes ending with them. He was diagnosed as a Bi Polar Schizophrenic and has anger issues. He had tried to commit suicide twice before. She told my wife the medicine he was on (when he decides to take it) and we looked it up and it scared the hell out of us. By this point J was lying even more even to B, her attitude was getting darker and we were starting to see some signs of rebelliousness. We could see in J and B’s chats that he was trying to turn her against us , also telling her that when she’s 18 no one can tell her what to do anymore. M and I were starting to get scared for sure, we knew it was going to be tough and if we did the wrong things we would lose her for good. So we tried the same approach , positivity, talks etc. Always encouraging her to be her own person. Things went bad when we saw one of B’s FB posts stating that he didn’t know if he was going to go to school the next day because he might do something that he would regret and end up being taken out in handcuffs. We saw that talked about it and my wife called the school. The next day the school talked with B, and his aunt and uncle. After that we were public enemy number one. He tore us up one side and town the other on FB, email and chat to J. And she stood by and took it, never telling him not to talk about us. So at this point we were concerned for J’s safety as well as ours. We had several talks with her all to no avail. We set boundaries with her and results of what would happen if she broke the rules. That is where the lying and deceit started getting more and more. She would tell us one thing and B another. We ended up switching schools, because she told us he wouldn’t leave her alone (and the school would not help) . Police had been involved. After starting the new school she told us she just wants to move on and get past this so things could get back to normal. We also told her to be honest with us and herself, if she doesn’t think she can break up with him to tell us and we would have to compromise. She assured us that it was over. We told her that at this point in her life that school is the most important thing, then college and after that if you want to start things back up with B and if it was true love it would all start back up like it never ended. At this point we told her that if she cannot keep her grades up, lies or is deceitful again with us the only thing we could do was have her move out and go live with her dad. It was really starting to affect my wife and I. Not our marriage but we were constantly stressed, we couldn’t believe a word out of J’s mouth. Had zero trust in her. Well it all fell apart about a month after that. There was a huge blowout involving everyone. We caught them hanging out again , (B had found out her new school and tried to sneak in) and J told us she didn’t want this and she was scared . So we went to B’s house and that is when the truth all came out. They were supposedly engaged, and had never broke it off like J had told us. On the way home J came unglued. She screamed and yelled at us which was a first. Honestly I think it was the first time in my 7 years of knowing her that I saw her lose her temper like that. I was the first target, she screamed at me that I never loved her, and wanted her gone then she did the same towards her mom. That was the last time we saw her. Her father took her home that night , which was a little over two months ago. We have had zero contact. No communication thru the holidays , nothing for her birthday. Since she’s been gone we have found out more lies she had told us and some valuables had been stolen. We have heard that her and her dad along with B have had several altercations, two which have involved police. She is skipping school on a regular basis, and is failing classes. She threatens her dad that she is going to move out with B. Neither have jobs, cars or even driver licenses. We recently found J’s new FB page and they are engaged again. Really how clueless can these kids be ?! J has turned into a different person, then the one she was when she was with us. She is dark , and un emotional now. Blames everyone else for her problems. Basically has become her father. It’s crazy , almost like a lite switch was flicked. It is like she has lost all sense of emotion except for B. She has alienated anyone that has tried to talk to her about the situation, friends , family etc. It is such a shame to see a young person throw their life away like this. She had everything when she was with us and in the end told everyone that she chooses B over family. She just can’t see that B is ruining her life. Not that she is innocent in the matter either though. As much as it seems like the focus is on B , really it’s her inability to be honest with herself and anyone else. The habitual lying is a serious problem, as well as the self-esteem issues. Along with being able to confront her mistakes instead of blaming everyone else. Until she gets a handle on these things, there will probably be no change. The sad thing is she has seemed to pick up some of the issues that her father has. We are close friends with R’s sister and brother in law. That whole family has pretty much alienated R years ago because of his constant hatred and negativity towards life. His sister has told us that all thru life R seems to be missing any kind of emotions other than anger. Well we are seeing that in J now, although it is scary how quickly she fell especially after seeing her improving before meeting B. I’m sure a lot of it is , even though she is 18 , her maturity level is more like 14/15.
    I’ve done a little research (how I found this site) and have found that J fits some of the profile of “borderline personality disorder” and “covert incest” . Not that anything can be done now, we just hope that she will someday see the light and realize that family is important. We are deeply concerned about B though, especially with all the crazy things we’ve seen in the news about people that just go off that have the same mental health issues. I really loved being a parent (even if it was just a step parent)for the 7 years that I was, thru the good and the bad. My wife and I tried for a couple of years to have kids of our own but it just wasn’t in the cards for us. We are both in our mid 40’s so it is what it is. We have a strong marriage, good health so we will just move on from this. Someday J might come to her senses and maybe we all can rebuild then, who knows.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome CW MI. I am glad you found us. Your tale is a sad one, not unlike many of us here with our difficult and estranged kids. I'm sorry this has happened to you and your wife and your step daughter. It certainly makes sense that an immature wounded teenage girl would find another immature wounded teenager, our difficult child's find each other. It sure sounds like you and your wife have done everything possible, loved her, provided for her, offered her a supportive home............and now, as many of us here realize, at her age, 18, there is nothing you can do but learn to detach and accept what is. It is scary considering what this boy says, you're right to be concerned. I am very sorry.

    Sometimes we do our very best and the results are not what we hoped for or expected. It is hard. You might want to read the blurb at the bottom of my post here on detachment. It's important for you and your wife to take care of yourselves. There is an organization called NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness that you can find online and they have chapters all over. They offer educational classes and parent support groups which are invaluable for us parents to understand and get the tools we need to heal. It is very difficult living with and loving someone, especially a child, with mental illness. You and your wife have been through a long and a tough time, I would strongly suggest the two of you find support in whatever manner feels best to you, therapy, the NAMI classes or support groups, counseling of some kind, some place you can go to heal. This takes a toll on families in a big way.

    It's a hard place to be to really get that there isn't anything that we can do. Perhaps, as you mentioned, in time you can rebuild, but for now, it's learning to live here in the present, with all the issues you can't control or fix or repair. I know just how that feels myself with a much older daughter who continues to make bad choices..........and there is nothing I can do. I get through it all with a lot of support. I am glad you found us, keep posting, it helps to write it out and get responses from others who share the boat you've found yourself in. I wish you and your wife peace. Gentle hugs for both of you.........
  3. CW_MI - You sound like a very loving parent, as does your wife. I too am very sorry that this has happened and is happening to your family.

    It seems as though you and your wife have been wonderful parents who have done the very best they can to provide for J - both her emotional and physical health.

    I am relatively new to this board but I can tell you that you will receive a great deal of support from the parents here. I would agree with RE and say that it would be wonderful for you and your wife to find a support group, whether it is through NAMI or another agency. My husband and I recently found a support group and although we have only been going for the past 3 weeks we have found it very helpful.

    Please keep posting and reading here - it really does help to put things in perspective and learn how to detach and claim back some of your own life. You deserve that.
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Patience is such a hard thing to learn! I am fighting that as well. You want to step in and fix the situation or get them away from the bad guy but you really cant. It does sound like she is under age 18 and therefore you have the legal right to make her return to your home since mom has full custody, if you live in the USA. While it may not be ideal it would atleast allow you all to ensure she gets some therapy and gets away from bio dad. Have you tried talking to a court designated worker about a diversion program?
  5. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    Thanks everyone. Writing about it does help. First I have to say my wife has got to be the strongest person I know. She is pushing thru this very well, sure she has her moments (like thru the holidays) but for the most part is doing very well at detaching. One of the items that was stolen was a rosary that was my wife’s mothers. She passed away 8 years ago. So on the anniversary of her passing (Jan. 2) my wife went to get the rosary and found that it was gone. In its place in the little felt bag was some change, to make it feel like it was still in there. My wife handled that very well, I would have been a wreck for sure. To me that is an unforgivable thing, I can’t believe J would do this, well actually from what has happened I guess I can see it.
    Her and I talked with a friend that is a therapist, he wasn’t our therapist put that is what he did for a living. So we got a lot of help from talking with him and it has helped some. I find that our emotions kind of change as time progresses. For my wife she was hurt, then angry now she is worried about J’s future. After all it is her daughter so the detachment part is going to be tough for her. For myself, I was really bummed out at first. I missed having J around , I missed the conversations we had (although she wasn’t the best conversationalist , LOL ) , missed that fact that M and I are now childless. Being a parent was something I really had grown to love. Then my emotion went to anger, I despised J for how she had made my wife feel. Now I guess I’m just trying to understand it all. I’m more of a logical type of thinker and I just can’t get my head around this. How can someone turn against everyone that has shown her love, encouraged her to be her own person and go towards the one that controls and just fills her head with useless talk. And why the constant lies ? I just don’t get it. We didn’t spoil her but she really had pretty much everything she could have wanted, her college would have been paid for, etc. Her Dad on the other hand gives her nothing and B is doing nothing but pulling her down with him.
    M and I both feel like we did everything we could but sometimes feel cheated. We see some families that are pure train wrecks and they end up with good loving children. We did everything we could and end up with a train wreck for a child. I put a huge blame on her biological father, I don’t think J would have ended up like this if it wasn’t for his influence.

    J turned 18 at the end of Dec. which was a month after moving in with her dad. In the past we had tried several times to talk with my wife’s FOC caseworker and they basically could do nothing unless there was signs of physical abuse. So that was a dead end.

    Personally I don’t think J will change. She doesn’t have it in her. She was always negative, blamed others for everything and would choose the path of least resistance. Sadly I think she will end up like her father, an angry bitter individual. Both my wife and I sent her messages on her new FB account congratulating her on her engagment (the one she had insisted wasn’t true) and the we hope she is happy with the path she has chosen.
    We have heard she is still lying to everyone, tells people “we” are the ones that hate her and the relationship with her and her dad is not going so well. She has called the police on him twice, B has gotten in his face … what a mess ! B is 17 at the moment, failing his senior year so he can be around J and is about 6’ tall and 140lbs, and talks like he can take out Seal Team 6. Clueless , just clueless.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't think many of us truly understand why our kids behave the way they do. Their brains respond differently to events and emotions. They're wired differently from us, which is why it's so hard for us to understand and accept. Most of us spend a lot of time feeling hurt and angry and judging them because we just don't get it. My difficult child is 40, probably close to your age, and she has made such poor choices for so long, sometimes it is unfathomable to me. I am raising her daughter who is 16 because my difficult child simply can't think in a responsible way and of course, children do require that. I have had a long, long road of detaching. It comes in layers at different times, it's not linear, it's all over the map, acceptance is hard won. But it is possible. Someone here recently called this process a 'personal devastation' and I think that about covers it; none of us are prepared for it, none of us know how to do it, but we are forced by circumstances to learn...........or go crazy. You and your wife sound like you were very loving parents. That makes it so sad, like you said, with all your efforts, you produced a train wreck. Me too. It is what it is. It's the accepting of that that is difficult. You two have each other, you have a strong marriage and support, this is a process and there will come peace in time. I really do understand how you feel. There are many feelings to maneuver through. You're doing a good job already.
  7. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    M and I both feel like we did everything we could but sometimes feel cheated. We see some families that are pure train wrecks
    and they end up with good loving children. We did everything we could and end up with a train wreck for a child.

    Can relate!
  8. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    Sort of an update. M and J had a conversation on the phone. It was short and not very deep but at least they talked.
    M did well and did not do too much of the "mom" thing (hounding her about the bad situation she put herself in) , there was no talk about B or the engagment. M asked how she was doing in school (we know she is doing terrible) and got a half truth so not a complete lie. J asked about me (which was a surprise with how things ended) and how the rest of the family was doing (my parents and our pets). M kept it short, told J that we both miss and love her and J reciprocated that. She did ask if she could get the rest of her belongings back and that is when M hit her with the stolen Rosary. J did not flat out deny it but acted like she wasn't aware. M was firm and told her, I want my mothers rosary back until I get it your stuff is going nowhere. J said she will search thru her stuff and see what she can come up with.

    Over all it was a good start. I know M feels a little better now that they talked. Neither of us are ready to see her and still don't believe a word out of her mouth. The sad thing is J's dad was hovering around her while she was on the phone (M heard him bickering in the background) so I'm sure J is not very happy there and is just biding her time until she can move out with B. This all happened about 5 days ago. I was pretty indifferent about it at the time , yesterday I was sort of thinking about J. Just thinking how horrible her life is at the moment and wondering if she regrets any of it.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You handled it well!

    You have an 18 year old here who is putting her boyfriend before you and mother, not uncommon. May not be a good boyfriend or a smart choice, but NOT uncommon. The more you push against this boyfriend, the more like Romeo and Juliette they become. I would like to add, for those of us who suffer from mental illness, that schizophrenia and bipolar does not make anybody violent though. Would I want that for my grown child? Nope, but what could I do to stop it? Nothing. The more you try to control her, the more she will probably resist, unless/until she breaks up with this honey. Or he dumps her.

    Sounds like this difficult child always had issues and never got any help. That's too bad, but it's sort of too late now unless she agrees to go. Right now in my opinion you and wife should enjoy each other and your freedom. Likely difficult child will be back in your lives someday and you may not be so happy to see her. Doesn't sound like she is too likely to admit she was 100% wrong and apologize. But...ya never know :)
  10. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    Yes, she is 18 but still a junior in HS so for her to be pulling this stuff it is going to greatly effect her life. And I apologize for painting anyone with Mental health issues with such a broad brush. Our concern with B is the fact that he has violent tendencies (was told this by his legal guardian) and it showed up in their chats. (he would talk fondly of tying someone up and whipping them because they angered him and not in the BDSM context) So again I apologize if I offended anyone.
    I would be lying if I said we absolutely can't stand B and would want nothing more than him out of her life, and ours. But we did try to focus on J's habitual lying and sneaking around. And this was ultimately what got us to the point we are at now. I'm sure J could sense there was more to it than that and that is quite possibly why she made the choice that she did. And yes she always did have some issues, most of which we blamed on her dad. If all three of us would have been on board we could have gotten J some help before it turned out the way it did. It's hard to move forward though when her dad basically un did everthing we tried, just as B is doing now. Before she met B we saw a spark, we thought she was changing and growing... then it all fell apart.
    I know at this time neither M or myself would want her back in our lives, we miss her and worry about her future and if ever the time comes where she wants to be a part of our lives we will have to see some major changes. It is what it is for now, and M and I will move on and we have a few major vacations planned for this year.
  11. Siobhan Harper

    Siobhan Harper New Member

    cw_mi: I'm new here, too. Your original post resonated with me so much. It was long because it had to be long; it takes a lot of words to describe a lifetime fraught with one crisis after another. If I told my difficult child's entire story, it would be as long as yours, if not longer, because mine is in his 20s. He came to us through the foster system and had suffered abuse and neglect from birth mom and dad, a foster home, then had a disrupted adoption right before he came to us. The adopting mom and dad pulled strings with the county CPS, got a baby placed with them, then proceeded to tell the authorities that if difficult child wasn't out of her house by the weekend, she would drop him off at a shelter! We heard about difficult child on a Thursday, met him on Saturday, and brought him home to live with us on Sunday. He wasn't quite 10 at the time.

    I'm not going to relate the blow-by-blow of all the years that have passed since then, but I will say parenting our difficult child has been the hardest, most heartbreaking thing we have ever done, bar none. I don't know how many times we have literally cried to the heavens, "Why, why, why???" difficult child's actions can't be explained by any kind of logic or "normal" reasoning, as you have discovered. Consequently, reasoning with him never worked, although he would give lip service to agreeing with us.

    Maybe most of all, I sympathize with you for all the lying you have to endure. Our difficult child did and still does exactly the same thing...and often about the most ridiculous things! My husband and I would just look at each other and shake our heads...for example, difficult child would swear up and down that he had put his clothes away, and five minutes later I would walk into his room, only to find them strewn all over the floor! Obviously, that's not an important example, but it does illustrate his inability or unwillingness to tell the truth (or even tell a convincing lie)! Nine time out of 10, as a kid, he knew he would get busted, but he still lies. As an adult, that one characteristic alone has caused him, us, and a lot of other people a world of hurt. It has made it nearly impossible to help him when he has gotten in over his head in some very adult situations. All the while, we just keep wondering, "Why are you lying about this?" We don't understand. I don't expect we're ever going to understand, other than to say that the lying is part of a much bigger picture/diagnosis, that manifests itself in other ways, too.

    You mentioned "Borderline Personality Disorder." As much as that has become the "psychiatric flavor of the month," it is a very real disorder, and even the most skilled and reputable mental healthy professionals will tell you that it is often impossible to cure. I've only ever read about success ameliorating the symptoms for limited periods of time. But when you live like we live, even that sounds pretty good! You might want to look into that disorder a bit more deeply, even search the web for national or international docs who specialize in treating it. Knowledge alone can make you feel a little less powerless.

    Please just know that you are NOT alone. One of the hardest things for husband and me was that we were alone throughout difficult child's childhood and adolescence; no resources that we knew about, no support groups, no other parents, for sure. There were adoption websites, but they didn't address the problems we faced. This site is the first I've ever encountered that allows parents who've been through the same kind of issues to share experiences.

    I wish you peace.

  12. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am so sorry for your pain. Sometimes even wehn we as parents do all the right things the results are not good. Without an evaluation by a professional you can only speculate on what is at the bottom of all the behaviors. Since she is 18 you cannot force her into therapy even if she is still in HS. It stinks but that is the law. You and your wife need to grieve your lost dreams for your daughter and all her missed opportunities in order to find peace of heart. Forget the what ifs they will do no good at this point. Attending meetings for families of the mentally ill might give you information that will be usful in future dealings with your daughter. It is highly likely that she will be comming to you for help in the future and things that you learn now will help you when that happens. Make a plan of action and be prepared to implement it if given the opportunity. -RM
  13. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    Here’s sort of an update.
    I think in a couple of my previous posts I had mentioned how strong my wife is going thru all this. Well I think it caught up too her. We recently returned from vacationing with another couple, they are the parents of one of our difficult child’s friends. Actually our difficult child was supposed to go with us on this trip but it is another thing she gave up. Well on this trip the topic came up. We were told that our difficult child has lost weight, looks dirty and just looks much worse since she’s moved in with her bio dad. When we returned we did some research on FB and found a current picture of her and she does not look the same. This really tore my wife up. Then we get hit with a letter from her bio father’s attorney wanting child support. In our state child support ends at 18 unless the child is still in school ,then it gets extended until 19.5 or graduation. Just prior to getting the letter we got some feedback from bio dad’s sister that he has been ranting going off about how his daughter is costing him money , he can’t afford it and now he’s laid off. So again our difficult child is hearing nothing but negatives and bad mouthing about us, not that it matters anymore. We have no problem supporting her , well maybe a little since she wants nothing to do with us but the law is the law. What bothers us is we know not one red cent will go to her. Sad, just sad. difficult child actually communicated with my wife over the weekend. Nothing deep just talk, although she did say that her bio dad is driving her nuts and she is gone once she graduates. My wife asked what about college , where will you live etc. and difficult child said “she’s got this” which we know her loser fiancé is telling her he will support her which we don’t know how . He’s got no job, no car or even driver’s license and is failing his senior year so he can stay in school to be with difficult child next year. All this has been weighing on my wife the past couple of weeks. I know it’s really getting to her. I figured it would be tough for her but when is this going to end ? Many have mentioned that her and I should seek someone to talk too. I thought we could get thru this without that, but I’m really starting to think it might help. For myself , I thought it would be easy. Just push difficult child out of my life , detach, forget about her and move on. After all she isn’t my child. And for a while it seemed to be working until my wife showed me her picture on FB and all the emotion came back, as if this all happened yesterday. I think I will be able to detach but I keep getting hung up on the “how” and “why” she did the things she did. How can you walk away from your family, the ones that love and provide for you. Give all that up for a loser that is just filling your mind up with BS. If she just stood back and looked at how her life was before he came into the picture and then now , one would think she would see he’s done nothing for her. They don’t even really have a real relationship, all the communication, and being together is whenever they can sneak it. What kind of relationship is that ? I think if and when they actually can spend real time together things just might not be all perfect like she thinks they are.
    Well sorry for the babbling on but I’ve gotten some really great feedback from this sight and just wanted to share the latest.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry this continues for you and your wife. It is extremely challenging to detach from our own children, no matter how old they are. I would strongly suggest both of you seek counseling, it will support you through this very bumpy landscape so you can begin to heal. For me, I could not have done this without support from a professional, it is just too difficult to let go of your own child. I know how you both felt seeing that photo of your difficult child, it is heartbreaking. They just don't see things the way we do, as one of my therapists said, "they have no ability to "future think." They live in the moment. Sigh.

    For you to focus on the how and why will only keep you stuck, there are no answers that make any sense to those questions, you have to stop asking them. There is no logic in mental illness and asking logical questions in an illogical world is crazy-making for you. All you can expect of yourself is to find peace in the midst of your difficult child's chaos and to learn to respond differently to her. Other then that you have no control or power. You and your wife may want to read the article at the bottom of my post on detachment, it's helpful. I'm sorry you find yourself here, this is a universe not one of us wants to live in. And yet, here we are. So, the next step is to learn to detach from this world as best you can, learn the tools necessary to accept what is so you and your wife can begin to enjoy your own lives. I wish you peace.
  15. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    Thanks and it seems like an endless saga for sure. I am going to bring up the subject of talking with someone to my wife. I think it will help her and even myself. I’m catching myself becoming bitter and angry towards our difficult child. My wife made a comment about hopefully someday things will be better and she could visit us for a weekend and my immediate response was “And I’ll make sure I’m gone that weekend !” That did nothing but upset my wife. As much as I’ve got my fingers crossed that bio dad and difficult child will be out of our lives after she turns 19 ½ I’m sure that isn’t going to be the case and we both need to be prepared for it.
    I work in a design/engineering field so I by nature think constantly with logic. That is my hang up, I’m trying to apply logic to this and it just isn’t working and Its driving me nuts. It just seems so easy to figure out. Family is good/ bio dad and fiancé is bad , positivity is good /negativity is bad Simple ! But difficult child does the exact opposite. I will say I’m surprised that difficult child does talk with my wife on occasion , she has shown no desire to visit though. Another thing I just don’t get is now that we and the rest of the family have detached from bio dad , difficult child and fiancé you would think that they would all be happy and move on with their lives. Instead they still try and create drama just for the sake of it and keep trying to drag us back into it.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yup, logic will not work here. And, those folks who live in negativity, chaos, drama and upheaval generally speaking do not change much. So, the task at hand is for you and your wife to detach, not only from your difficult child, but from the bio-dad and his fiance' and their never ending soap opera. Once you do that effectively and the drama tribe realize they cannot pull you in anymore, they will stop. I have gone through all of the same never ending craziness with my daughter's in-laws, there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop the onslaught of their perpetual drama and blame, however, once I got help and detached and accepted the way it was, oddly, they all disappeared. It's a little harder with my difficult child, but I've learned how to negotiate that territory too. It's why you need help from professionals, you really have to forge a whole new pathway out.........you have to throw logic overboard and I get how hard that is, you have to let go of a lot, but believe me, it's worth it because you find peace, your life calms down from all the stress and you find your own way. But, the road to detachment has a million mine fields, get yourself help to avoid stepping on each and every one.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If somebody is involved with drugs, if that is an issue, it is very easy for that person to walk away from those who don't want her to take them and those who don't care. Sudden weight loss and lack of hygiene can and often does mean drug use. My daughter was a stick when she used meth. It keeps your weight down. So do many other drugs.

    At some point, if this goes on for years, your wife will probably get fed up and detach. But it's never fast...never easy.
  18. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    You are so correct. Many years ago I had a very bad break up and until I could detach my emotions I was wrapped up in the drama.. once I detached it all got put behind me. The theory is sound but it’s much more difficult doing it with someone that you want to see succeed in life. There is nothing more than we would love to see is our difficult child have a successful fulfilling life. If she continues on her path and marries this loser there will be nothing but struggles. We don’t want to see that especially with someone that you raised (speaking for my wife) she feels it reflects back on her. Even though we both know the majority of her issues where from her bio dad. I know my wife thinks that at some point she will see the light, before she met her loser fiancé she did start seeing the light about how her bio dad had manipulated her. Hopefully if it happens no mistakes have been made that are irreversible.

    Up until difficult child moved to her bio dads (a little over 4 months ago) I can say a definite no. Now that she is out from under our roof I can’t answer that in confidence. Although her weight loss and lack of hygiene can be accounted for. Her bio dad eats nothing but junk food and for the most part doesn’t really grocery shop so she is stuck eating whatever he has in the house, she wasn’t much of an eater when she lived with us but we at least fed her healthy foods. As far as her hygiene , bio dad won’t spend the money for her to get a haircut so she’s been cutting her own hair also again he won’t spend the money on clothes for her either. Even more so now that he is unemployed. Again I don’t think she is on drugs but who really knows. The people that she walked away from was anyone that spoke out about her relationship/engagement , part of it is her but a lot of it is the fiancé. I remember seeing some chats of theirs and he would keep telling her that “he loves her the way she is, everyone is trying to get you to change they don’t love you” so she believed him and turned against us. Both her bio dad and her fiancé are great manipulators and she was always a little weak. Our mistake was trying to get her to find herself which lead her to find someone else to lead her around.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    cw_mi- I'm about to leave my office, however I wanted to quickly respond to you once again. I think I mentioned this before, but NAMI has parent groups which are very helpful to understand our difficult child's and how we can cope with all of it. That's National Alliance on Mental Illness and you can check them out online. They are a great resource for parents. And, yes, it is, as one mother here so eloquently said, "a personal devastation" unlike any other.......... to raise a child for whom you want the very best and then to watch them make disastrous choices which keep them perpetually stuck in drama and struggles while you stand on the sidelines, helpless and heartbroken. Your difficult child's choices are absolutely no reflection on your wife's parenting, AT ALL, that is a trap to think that way and only offers up truckloads of guilt and what ifs which are not going to help you at all. There is always the possibility that our difficult child's will get better, we all hope for that, but we cannot live for that, there is a distinction there, at some point you have to let go, you really have to detach and understand there is just nothing you can do, or could have done, nor can you control or change anything. Sigh. It is what it is.
  20. cw_mi

    cw_mi New Member

    Thank you. My wife and I talked and we both agree that we should seek someone to talk with. Maybe I worded it wrong , my wife doesn't feel completely like it's her fault. We both have heard the past years from several therapists, friends , family etc that you guys are doing a great job with difficult child , your doing the right things, we see so much improvement with her etc and in the end , look how things turned out. And who did she end up with ? Bio dad , the one that created the majority of these issues.