Lies: Wants money because shelter not safe/open

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by scent of cedar, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I am handling this fine, I think. I'm posting about it anyway because I will feel stronger once I read your responses.

    I am so grateful you are there. :O)

    difficult child called this morning. She wanted us to pay for a hotel room for her (and the bad person she is with, I'm sure) for the next 16 days. Barring that, she wanted us to pay for hotel tonight and through the coming snowstorm in the city where she is.

    I told her I had talked to NAMI in her area, and they had assured me there were adequate resources there for her. I directed her to the shelter they had recommended. She became upset. She said it would be full tonight, because of the storm. She said she doesn't feel safe there, she is hearing voices because she stopped her medicine suddenly, and "those women are crazy and will steal from me".

    So, she must have spent at least one night there, already.

    I offered to call her uncle, who lives in the same city. While I don't think they would like it, I am sure they would take her in.

    She refused.

    Plus, she wants money for food, daily.

    I told her I would talk to husband and that she should call later this afternoon.

    I called the shelter. She would need to register before 4 p.m., but no one will be turned away. They do separate the males and the females. The person must be sober/straight.

    I came up here to start this post, and difficult child called. The first words I said were that I wasn't giving her any money. We argued about that for a little bit, and she asked to talk to husband. He told her the same, and added that until she was doing what she was supposed to be doing, there would be no money for her. (What she is supposed to be doing is treatment, which is still an option for her. As far as I know, anyway.)

    We both felt terrible. Especially husband. This is the first time he hasn't sent her something when she needed it. And truthfully, he wanted to send her $150 and tell her not to call again. He would have done it, too. I was waving my hands and whatever telling him no, don't do it.

    So he got mad at her and said what he said about treatment, instead.

    So, we were commiserating with one another afterword, and I found myself telling him ~ just like we tell one another, here on the site ~ that no matter what we did, we would feel badly, because this is a bad situation.

    That helped.

    But now that we said "No money ~ not for what you're doing and not until you do better.", we feel cleaner, somehow.

    It's like we have taken a stand. We're no longer sort of pretending with her that what is happening to her is excusable or explainable.

    One of the reasons she didn't want to stay in the shelter is that they lock you in at 4 p.m. and don't let you out again until 9 a.m. (This came out later, of course. Like that was going to get me to cough up the money for a hotel.)

    It makes all the difference in the world to know that she has a place to stay if she chooses. That there are places in that city that serve hot dinners. That if she chooses to sleep in an abandoned house again, it was a choice, not a necessity.

    Boy, this is tough. But it would be just as tough if we'd given her the money or rented the hotel room. Then, we would be sitting here worrying about money and wondering what all this was going to cost by the time it was over.

    Yesterday, we sent one of our granddaughters $100 to buy herself an outfit. I'm glad we did that. It is good to know we can budget in good things to do for our grands without worrying about what the next difficult child emergency is going to cost.

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


    P.S. Okay. So I'm feeling a little guilty right now. Sort of like I'm trying to act like a caring person or a big shot (oh, those negative messages!) while my daughter has no food and is probably cold.

    And I'm not cold.

    Or hungry.

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You're not cold or hungry because you choose to do what is necessary to alleviate that type of discomfort.

    She isn't. She'd rather be on the streets, in an abandoned house, not eating, than follow what are probably very simple rules.
    :hugs: Feel cleaner, somehow - yes, I bet you do! :bigsmile:
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Barbara, oh boy, can I relate to what you are saying. Over a period of time, I was having those exact same conversations. I've come to the conclusion, like you have, that all they want is money, nothing else. All the options in the world make absolutely no difference, simply continuing where they presently are, with your money is all that is required. Good for you and husband to stop the payments. My experience is that over time, the requests stop, but for awhile, they just get craftier, so be prepared.

    I understand your feelings of that guilt too, you are not cold, you are not hungry, I know, ew. I get that too. But your daughter has choices, she doesn't have to be cold, or hungry, that is her choice. That's what I tell myself now, it's her choice. So, I wrap my daughter in love, say a prayer for her and go on with my life. There is nothing else you can do.

    It does feel pretty weird to be comfortable when our kids are not, however, Calamity Jane once asked me, when I was feeling guilty for my comforts, "what are you going to do, wear a hair shirt?" Once I looked that up and found out what it meant, I laughed my head off. The image of me wearing this hair shirt to somehow atone for my daughter's choices really helped me to get over myself. We are not responsible for our kids for the rest of time. We are not responsible for them when they refuse our options for help and only want cash. They are creating their lives out of their own desires and wants, VERY different from ours. They are exceedingly manipulative, very difficult for us to see though. It's a fog which lifts very slowly as we allow the truth to seep through it. But once we see the truth, it's easier to sustain those strong boundaries. Good for you Barbara, you did a really good job. And, I know it's not easy to do. Be kind to yourself and have your husband be kind to himself too, these steps are hard on us. Go out to dinner or do something very soothing so you can have solace and feel nourished. Many hugs to you.
  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Barbara- I struggle with the same feelings of guilt regarding my son's homelessness. He has been on the streets during freezing cold temps while we were warm and cozy here at home. It's a horrible feeling. But, like your daughter, my son made the decision to do that rather than follow the rules at the shelter where he would have warmth and food. To him it was worth it because how dare anyone tell him what to do! I just don't get that mind set and I don't understand why following simple rules is SO difficult for our difficult child's.

    You need to give yourself a huge pat on the back for making your boundaries clear to her. I know how hard it is to do that but it will get easier to say no more often and set even more boundaries. She will either do what she needs to do to make her life better or she won't. It's HER choice!

    Please enjoy your evening and try to relax. Push that guilt away and stay strong. I know all too well how evil guilt can be if you let it! Sending lots of support and hugs your way!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You are making wise decisions. on the other hand, those decisions are painful and I am sorry you are feeling that discomfort. I have not been in your shoes but after all these years on the Board...I KNOW you are making the right choice. Hugs DDD
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    There is no reason for you to feel guilty. There are places she can go to eat and sleep..........and even for treatment should she finally realize that is the best thing to do.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy do I understand too. We actually had to lock our doors to our daughter in a horrible snow storm and have to police come and make her leave. It was awful but she was high and abusive and we had to make a stand. She called us begging for money for a hotel room and we said no. I found out later she called a friend to pick her up and bring her to a cheap hotel and he gave her $39 for the night's stay. It was her choice, she could have stopped her destructive behavior and had a nice warm bed in our house but her drugs would not let her.

    You are doing the right thing, she must take the steps she needs to get herself help. And you are correct, no matter what you do you are going to feel awful, this is just a horrible situation. If you have a support group go there. Surround yourself with those who understand. And I so get how you felt when you finally said no, it's like you finally identified the elephant in the room, no more walking on eggshells or whispering.

    Sending hugs of understanding.
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Sending hugs, Barbara. Guilt is a terrible thing, and I don't think there is anyone on these forums who can claim to be completely free of it. You don't feel guilt because you are wrong. You feel guilt because you're human. Remember, the right thing is rarely the easy thing.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    You made the right decision. She is the one who is choosing to be out in the storm, both figuratively and literally. I understand your guilty feelings, but you drew a line in the sand and you and your husband stood strong and would not allow her to cross. I can only hope that if I am ever faced with a similar situation I can be as strong.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You did the RIGHT thing.....not the EASIEST thing. It would have been easier to send $150 for a hotel and a meal, would have alleviated your worry about being out in the cold.....but what if that was money she used to OD on drugs? See, now you KNOW you did the right thing.
  11. Barbara - How are you this morning? Still feeling ok with your decision, I hope.

    Like Busy said, it is the right decision, not the easy one. You made a very difficult choice but it is a choice she forced you to have to make. We should never have to make decisions like that as parents but our difficult child's force us into that uncharted territory and force us into those choices that would have once been unthinkable for us.

    I find it so helpful to come here because everyone understands. People with 'regular' children just don't get how we can/have to make the decisions we do. Hugs to you and your husband.
  12. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I reread everyone's answers this morning. Last night, I read the answers that had come in to husband.

    Though I had told him before how similar our stories are, he was amazed to learn that for himself, to know other parents have survived what is happening to us, now.


    So, here is what happened: difficult child called three or four times. We did not answer. Truthfully? We would have caved, had we answered then. husband especially was in that shocky place you get to when you have done something that goes against your principles. He kept saying how he resented having been boxed into being that father who does not help his daughter. He said again and again that this is not who he is. He talked about the certainty of difficult child's death, whether last night or in the coming days or weeks.

    As I mentioned earlier, this is the first time husband has not given money.

    The first time, ever.

    He is still shaken this morning. It is a hard thing for a father. Harder than it is for me, I think.

    Anyway, we did finally answer difficult child's call. She behaved as though nothing had happened earlier. Said she (they) were at the casino (too late now for the shelter). They had nowhere to go. Snow coming. Need Dad to rent cheap motel room for her over the phone. Just a cheap one. So they didn't freeze to death. No blankets, no food, nowhere to go.

    I put husband on the phone.

    Know what he did? Stuck right to his guns. Yelled that difficult child had betrayed us, betrayed her own children. That she had chosen to be where she is and that he didn't like it and would never help her again until she was doing the right things.

    Then he handed the phone to me!

    The chicken.

    So, being a chicken myself, I hung up.

    I can't hold it together when difficult child cries.

    So, that is what happened last night.

  13. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Tell him that I, for one, am proud that he stuck to his guns. My mom never did for my brother, and while he's turned out ok in the end, I think REALLY THINK he would have gotten his scheiss together much sooner had she never bailed him out, never dropped thousands on a lawyer, etc.

    And I'm not blowing off the emotional impact. But he WILL come out of this stronger and more secure. My words to him: "Do not hate what you did. You did what you have to do right now, and nothing you did in the past is as important as what you are doing Right Now." Please give him my warmest regards and wishes for healing.

    (What woke my brother up for real was the day he got T-Boned in Vegas, and the only reason he wasn't arrested (aside from the impact knocking him unconscious) was that the girl who hit him was more drunk than he was. That's when he realized it - when someone else did it to HIM.)
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good morning Barbara, I was glad to read your post and discover that you and husband are holding your ground and doing as well as can be expected today. Good job! I know that sounds kind of weird to say considering how horrid it is to do what you are doing, but I think we all need acknowledgements along the way. As WTW mentioned we are all in uncharted territory not one of us would choose to be in and we're creating it as we go along. There is no roadmap for the kind of parenting we are forced into doing.

    I have much difficulty hearing my daughter cry too, it is heart-wrenching to me. I was relating this to my therapy group months ago and the therapist said, "you don't have to listen, you can get off the phone." It sounds so simple, but it freed me from this belief or some kind of stuckness which made me stay on the phone with her, listening, no matter what it did to me. From then on, when the conversation began going south for me, I would say, I'm getting off now and hang up. After awhile, my difficult child began getting my boundaries and stopped doing all of the behaviors that were intolerable to me. I told her it hurt me too much.

    I so understand your husband's responses. This is not who I am either. And, I had to face the fact that my daughter may die. That is pretty dreadful. It is also pretty dreadful that THEY put US in the position of having to be people we aren't, people who have to detach from them in order to survive the horrors they bring to our doorstep.

    It's such a process, little by little you face all of it, the resentments, the angers, the profound hurt, the unending fears for their safety, the deep disappointments, the losses, all of it. I needed a lot of help from professionals to do that. But, it all begins to recede, to lessen, we human beings are remarkable in what we can adapt to. Like living in a war zone, you adapt, you accept, you become willing to acknowledge you have absolutely no control over this and you are powerless. That powerlessness is what drives us into control and insanity. And, conversely, the acknowledgement of that powerlessness, the acceptance of it, is what liberates us too.

    Hang in there, both of you, you are really doing the right thing and also the healthy thing. Without you enabling her, she has a chance, if she chooses to take it. Letting go frees all of you. (((HUGS)))
  15. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I'm right there in the same shoes with you Barbara! It hurts me to the very core of my being, but I keep reminding myself it's his choices and only his. My soon to be 35yo difficult child would always tell me I was his only family that cared about him. At the time I didn't see it as a manipulative move to guilt me into always sending money.

    Around November of last year I was jumpimg through hoops to get money to my homeless son so he could at least finish that semester. I was really stressed and thinking of how he finally had matured enough to go back to school and train for a new career. I was pushing back the thoughts that he had quit his job to go to school and was expecting me to support him for about 5 years.

    Fate intervened and I learned all of it was lies, they were using my money to party! I felt like the biggest fool and it also hurt very much that difficult child and girlie would go to such an extend to extort money from me. It also opened my eyes!!! After I confronted difficult child about the lies (I usually did not!) and told him no more money he had a few choice words to say and then threathened suicide and stealing to get money.

    I just ignored him and then he cut off all contact. It is a sad situation, and like your husband, I did feel as if I was turning my back on my son. Even our church sermons are on compassion for others, forgive, and turn the other cheek. It makes us feel like monsters! My thoughts for the longest time were, what in the h*** did I do to deserve this? I feel as if I have been going though this my entire life! I finally understand that giving him money just reinforces his idea that I will each time he calls. I also came to the conclusion that he only cares for me when I do give him money. It may be the drugs, what ever it is I can't, refuse to, have a realtionship like that any more.

    It does get easier with time and I am another that refuses to help in anyway until they start to help themselves. I'm so happy that you have the support of hubby. My hubby came in the picture after difficult child had left home so he is not emotionally attached, it helps tremendously! The other members of my family that I know would not understand I refuse to discuss it with. Hubby and my daughter are the only ones that agree with my decisions.

    I hope your day is going well, you sound strong. When I first joined the forum I was embarrassed that I was still posting these problems at mine and difficult child's age. This forum and members have helped me so much. My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone that is willing to share their pain so others may feel some level of comfort!
    (((huggs and blessings for us all)))
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Barbara, I am so proud of the two of you. It has to be much harder to hear all this from a daughter but I know she will figure out how to survive. Look,, she figured it out last night! Have I ever told you about the time I got myself stuck in NYC for a couple of weeks and I was homeless? Oh that was a I actually lost a car up there because it broke down and I didnt have the money to fix it plus I didnt have money for gas either. It ended up sitting on the side of the road and Im sure got stripped before I ever left town. I had quite the adventure but obviously I made it home. Yes I did soup kitchens and a shelter or two. I also saw things I should have never seen.

    Your daughter is extremely lucky to live in an area where she has many things available. Lots of places dont have those things. There is nothing here which is why we never tossed earlier. You have the knowledge that you have done what you can do, you have given her the resources that are available so you can sleep well at night. You dont have to have guilt because she is making those choices.. She has the choice to fix this. She can go get help and change. No she wont be free of her diagnosis's but she can learn to live with them and if that means she needs to be on disability someone will help her apply for it.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  17. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Thanks, everyone.

    Skotti, you make me smile. I can't believe you survived all that. That's terrible! What a funny, courageous lady you must be. :O) I'm glad you made it. Your poor parents!!!


    So, last night, we caved. Agreed to do a room for the night. The second we agreed to that? She wanted it for two nights.

    I mean the second the words were out of my mouth.

    So, we hung up and turned the phone off, like the cowards we are. (Not proud of that.) We wondered how we could say no, we weren't going to pay for a motel after the first two nights when we couldn't even say no, you can't have two nights to start with. Decided we had to say no at some point, and that it might as well be this one. That is why we didn't turn the phone back on.

    Neither of us slept well.

    This morning, I called the shelter in that city again. I told him difficult child said they lock you in at 4 p.m. and don't open the door again until 9 a.m., and that no one checks on the women and it isn't a safe place. He admitted they only have one volunteer willing to do night shifts, and he is a male.

    So, he watches over the men, not the women.

    Which was the final straw in deciding to try to find her something for the next few weeks.

    So, I began calling around this morning to find somewhere to rent for her. You won't believe this one: she is on the "do not rent to" list for both the horrible, run down places she rented when she first blew into town with money.

    So now, even if we were to find somewhere for her for two or three weeks (until we get home)...who knows how much there might be in damages by the time she was evicted? (Which is just what happened to her in the apartment we co-signed for last summer, and in both the run-down dive hotels she rented for herself when she still had money. One before she was forced into treatment, and one, after she left treatment AMA.)

    Looks like this explains where all her tax return money went. How horrible, really. When I think of all the other things she might have done with that money, it just makes me sick.

    And remember when I told you she had been in that car accident, and that she has a lacerated liver. She should not even be walking around yet, let alone drinking and drugging.

    So we really are looking at the possibility that she isn't going to make it so much longer.

    It will be like the end to a very sad story.

    And yet? You would have been amazed to see the incredible ability she had to reach adolescents as a teacher. She was amazing. Such a puzzle, and such a loss...

    The only thing I knew left to do was to call 211. They told me to have her call them herself. (difficult child does have a calling card that we are keeping charged up.)

    For anyone reading this, remember that 211 number will connect you with emergency social services, and/or with someone who will listen to your own concerns about your child. 211 is a nation-wide number. I believe it is toll-free.

    Another nation-wide helping organization you may not know about is Lutheran Social Services. They work with young adults, not grown ups like difficult child.

    This certainly is a hard time.

    It helps to post, though.

    I was reading someone else's post this morning. She was posting about how terrible this feels. Boy, it sure does.

    Lasted edited by : Jul 10, 2013
  18. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    And I heard from difficult child.

    She made it through the night just fine.

    We put $100 in her account. So WE could sleep, tonight. No telling what it will go for.

    There isn't anything else we can do. Now that we know she has been evicted from everywhere she has stayed, we don't want to risk using our credit card to pay for ANY room for her.

    We're going to start putting ourselves back together. Yoga class in a little while, and I'm going. :O) husband is doing fine.

    It will be easier next time.

    Thanks, everybody.

    Even husband is saying, "Well, what do they say about this on your site?"


  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He should come join Marg's Man, and see for himself!
  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand you paying $100 so you can sleep tonight, I did that same kind of thing for awhile..........then got weary of the continuing requests for everyone always says, detachment is a process............and one which isn't linear or direct, you go sideways and upside down a lot. Go forward, go backward, it all depends on the level of fear versus detachment I think and letting go of the belief that you in some way are keeping her out of harms way by giving her the money. If/when you decide to stop giving her money, she'll find another way. You and husband are the ones that will be thinking the worst, worrying, imagining her demise, she will likely simply go about finding others to take care of her. My guess is that you'll hear from her tomorrow, or when the $100 is gone, so you can bankroll the next few nights.........prepare yourselves, that's the crummy part, it doesn't stop until you stop it.

    It's interesting to see, in some ways, how incredibly similar the stories are, how similar our difficult child's are, regardless of age.......I mentioned once that they all read the difficult child handbook because their responses and manipulations are so consistently the same. In some ways it becomes predictable behavior. I think when you start to see that, it will be easier for you to say no, when you likely will see how much she will attempt to get from you, without helping herself in any way.

    As I began seeing the truth, seeing how much I was manipulated, how it followed a certain trajectory, the set up, the long pauses so I could really get what a terrible place she was in, and in the original script, I just jumped in offering help because I couldn't stand the idea of her being hurt in some way or suffering. Then after awhile, she had to ask. Then after awhile, she asked and I said no. Then after awhile, she stopped asking, but the manipulations increased, the drama was higher and more intense, so my fear kicked in and I caved. Then after awhile I started to see through that too and just stopped listening and responding, same script time after time. It took awhile to plug up all the loopholes, make all the boundaries so clear, everyone knew where I stood. Now she doesn't ask anymore. It would be wonderful if it were different, but it's not, so I've learned to accept it. It's definitely a process!

    I feel for you both, I really do, this is a devastating experience for us parents, completely the opposite of what we as parents want to do and want to believe, it's horrific in every way. It goes against all our values and beliefs about what a good, loving parent is. However, it's our kids who changed the landscape and the rules, we then have to adapt to it, sigh.........I hope the yoga helped. I hope you can enjoy your evening and have some peace. Hang in there, you're doing just fine.............hugs.............