Losing my mind

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by elizabrary, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    In just about a month Kat has driven me over the edge. The final straw was one night last week when she asked if I would babysit so she could go out. She told me she would be home by 2 am. She rolled in a little after 5 am. I told her she has until the end of Oct. to be out of my house. If she didn't have KK she would be out right now. The question is how can I function through this next month. Since she's been here she's lost her benefits (again) for not turning in the correct paperwork, lied to me endlessly, quit her medications and counseling and is just horrible. She doesn't take proper care of KK and so many people on here have said for me to get custody. Over the span of nearly 3 years I have contacted CPS at least 8 times that I remember. Most recently I sent them a photo of KK being held by some guys surrounded by beer and cigarettes. They visit Kat and do nothing. She has even said, "I don't know why you call CPS, they won't do anything. All it does is stress me out." I cannot stand her- she's lazy, a liar, manipulative. She has not intention of changing. But the stress of worrying about KK is literally eating me up. It's bad when they aren't here, but when it's right in my face it drives me insane. I will say Kat has been doing all the housework I've asked her to do, but really... I give her no cash except for bare minimum gas money because I live out in the boonies. It doesn't seem to bother her that she has no money, no place to live, no resources. At the grocery I buy what I like and stuff for KK. I buy nothing for her. She has to eat whatever there is and I'm a vegan, while she loves meat. Lots of evenings she eats at one of her friend's houses. Most of them are even tired of her mooching. OK, rant is done. I just had to get all of it out. I know this will be a tough month, but I will survive. Any objective ideas to help me get through are much appreciated.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry. I know how crazy I went when Youngest and her kids were living with me, so I feel for you. I got through it by (1) going to therapy every couple of weeks, (2) throwing myself into a social life that kept me away from home as much as possible, and (3) reminding myself that it would end, eventually. It was not easy, and there were many days I thought I simply could not stand it another minute, but somehow, I did.

    Worrying about a grandchild is heartbreaking, I know. This was my biggest issue as well, and it's something I still wrestle with from time to time. It must be incredibly frustrating to have no response from CPS. My therapist used to remind me that I had to detach from Youngest's parenting skills (or lack thereof) as much as I had to detach from her other behaviors. That's a tough line to walk, because of worries over a child's safety, but I knew I couldn't take custody so I had to learn to walk it anyway. Youngest can be neglectful and emotionally harmful to those kids sometimes -- but has never put the children in direct physical danger (as far as I know, anyway) so that made it slightly easier for me, there was never anything I felt compelled to call CPS about (or that I thought they'd take seriously enough to do anything). I mostly just knew the kids had a screwed up life and was sad for them. I've had to accept that, that's their life -- and just be a grandmother to them.

    Hang in there.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you find yourself in this difficult place. I understand about your granddaughter who is an innocent child in the middle of it all. Is it possible for you to go to court and get permanent guardianship of your granddaughter? I had to do that when my granddaughter was 11. My difficult child is older then yours but they sound similar in many ways. I went to court and filed for temporary guardianship which can be difficult because you have to prove the child is in immediate danger. I did the entire process on my own without an attorney. I went online and researched it all, got all the papers, submitted them myself and I was awarded temporary and then permanent guardianship. You don't have to wait until CPS does anything, although I contacted them and made a connection with one of the Social Workers who ended up assisting me and going to court with me the first time. Your daughter has a case with CPS already because of all of your calls. All of that will be considered during the guardianship process. You can also, of course, get an attorney to do all the legwork for you. I found a great organization called Grandparents parenting again which helped me wade through all the paperwork. It was a lot of work and a lot of paperwork, court appearances and stress, but in the end, my granddaughter is safe and doing very well and that was always the goal.

    Also, in some states a formal eviction process is required to evict even your own kids. You might want to investigate that in case your daughter is aware of that.

    You have options where your granddaughter is concerned, you just need to get some legal advice or research it yourself and find out what you can do. Find out about the legal eviction issues. Once your ducks are in order and you know what you can and cannot do, you will feel better because you will have regained your own power back. Your daughter is presently holding you hostage with her issues, which feels powerless. Get the facts, protect your granddaughter, do it step by step. While she is still with you, decide what it is you want and set very strong boundaries. If you have trouble with that, seek help, a therapist, a group, NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness has chapters everywhere and they have parent groups and help for YOU. You can go online and find the nearest chapter and contact them for support. It is extremely difficult to deal with an adult who has a mental illness they will not seek help or medication for. It is made more disastrous when there are children involved.

    Get as much support as you can through this for as long as it takes. I send you warm wishes for a successful outcome for you and your granddaughter especially, but also for your difficult child to wake up and find help. (((HUGS))))
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Eliz, I made the assumption that gaining custody of your granddaughter was something you wanted to do. If that is the case, here is a simple link to help you begin that process http://www.ehow.com/how_5922579_permanent-guardianship-minor-child.html

    If that is not an option, I agree with everything that CrazyinVA said. You decide which option is best for YOU. There is no right or wrong, only what you yourself want.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm so sorry Eliza. (((hugs)))

    IF you want to try for custody of kk, you can go for it by private means without cps involvement, I *think*. Although you'd have to consult a lawyer. CPS is not always the answer, actually much to folks shock it is rarely the answer. They're overwhelmed, understaffed and I know that around here if there are no fosters available to house children taken into custody they will and do ignore outright abuse and neglect cases unless the child's life is in immediate danger. I've seen it myself as well as have had several workers tell me this is the case. I don't much care for cps. It's not all their fault, but still.

    It's hard to go through such things with an adult child that is just spinning their wheels. It's nearly torture when there are innocent children stuck in the situation and you're the grandparent.

  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Just so sorry for you going through this....I pray the time goes as smoothly as possible.
  7. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My friend is getting custody of her granddaughter and the step sister. Both are young and she is 60 and runs her own business. The father (her son) and the mother both just walked out on the children. Drug use is involved, very sad.

    It is heart breaking when there are children involved.
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Will be a tough month, but start thinking of ways now that will make it easier/better for you. I would ask if it would be OK to take KK for one or two weekend nights a month. Get that schedule going....I bet she agrees to it. SHe will probably love it. That way you can give KK a break from the chaos she will likely live in and get some snuggle time with her as well.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I wish you well. It is not an easy path to follow because bioMom's are bioMoms. It's a balancing act trying to keep a level even life for the grandchild..no matter how deeply they love you. Hugs DDD
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sending prayers and positive thoughts for a good and healthy outcome, especially for KK. Have you asked her if she will give you custody of KK? Maybe offering her a way out is the way to go? No ties, no responsibilities, etc?

  11. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    I've repeatedly talked to her about giving KK to me at least temporarily. She will not have it. I'm looking into guardianship, although in our state it looks difficult if she isn't already in the CPS system. Ridiculous!
  12. Eliza, I am sorry your difficult child is putting you through this. I don't have any good advice to help you through the month, only a big hug and a promise to keep
    you in my thoughts and prayers.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Eliza, go to an attorney. Even if you cannot find one with a free consultation, it will be worth the $$ to pay for an initial visit to find out what the laws truly are and what your options are regarding your grandchild. Often CPS and even the courts give you misleading or incorrect info and you truly NEED an attorney.

    I would see one as soon as you can, pref while KK is still in your home. Possession is 9/10ths and right now you are the one providing for her needs even is she is with her mother in your home. You can likely gather evidence before they move out that would greatly help your case.

    Document EVERYTHING starting now if you haven't already. Times your daughter goes out and leaves you with KK for hours past the time she said she would be, dangerous people in her life, drugs, alcohol, etc.....

    When looking for an atty, talk to people you know who got divorced. Find out which party got the better deal and that party's atty's name, Don't just ask who your friend's atty way, if they got ripped off in the divorce then you want their spouse's atty not theirs. Go into the custody battle with the biggest shark you can find.

    You also might consider hiring an atty to represent KK's interests. I know a family here that was being forced into shared parenting (the schedule is strange and kids spend no more than 2-3 nights a week at the same house and EVERY couple gets the same 50-50 shared parenting schedule) but the grandparents hired an atty to represent the children in the case. These children were elem school age and NOT of age to have any real say in who they lived with. The kids' atty got the shared parenting thing changed so the kids lived with dad and mom only had visitation after showing the mom's drug use and unstable mental status and living situations that changed more than monthly. It wasn't inexpensive, but it got a LOT more done than the dad's atty was able to even ask for. (here even with PROVEN drug use on his ex's part, my bro cannot get the shared parenting changed!)
  14. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I can't offer advice, but I am sending you support. Our difficult children are very much alike. Mine hasn't worked since June, doesn't care that she has no money, has found enough people to mooch off of, etc. The big difference is that you have a grandchild....and, that, I simply cannot imagine. Continue to gather as much support as possible for YOU.
  15. Star*

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


    I'm so sorry things are like they are for KK and you........and your daughter. I think when we get emotional in situations about babies, sometimes we forget that even though our kids bring the pain, as lame as it sounds in a way they are victims too - because seriously WHO in their right minds behaves like this - thus not having a right mind and making poor choice after poor choice makes them victims as well. IT doesnt excuse them - but as a parent? It certainly makes you divided in how you have to look at the sitation. You feel sorry for the baby, your child and yourself. Who do you take care of first? If you don't take care of yourself first? There will be no one there to take care of the baby. Sounds selfish, but it's a fact of life. And if no one takes care of your daughter then you get constantly bombarded with HER anger, and resentment because while we'd like to think that telling them to take a hike works - and in some cases it does - their actions regardless of HOW society handles them - STILL affect our heart, and minds and wear on us mentally. I can detach from all my sons antics and get involved elsewhere, and get into therapy, and pray.......but no one can turn off the Mom button in me. It's a process that requires constant constant practice and balance and it's very hard and somedays it works and other days - I have life like no one else I know (except for perhaps a few families here that I'm glad share my pain because without them knowing what we go through I'd be crazy - for real crazy)- NO ONE lives life like this and says - OH JOY-----this is fun. (well not unless they get extra pills in a cup and have craft class and nooooo responsibilities and their fav o rite jello for lunch - but I'm pretty sure when you're at that level? You're in a gown with no back and no unnerpants (actually now that I typed it.....doesn't sound bad as long as it were black cherry jello)

    I think the atty is a good Idea but from where I sit every day? I would go to the police station and ask for an appointment with a #1........like the top dog. I would tell him that YOU need to know in HIS professional opinion as a parent........WHAT it is that constitutes child endangerment, that violates child welfare laws........and what proof you would need to present to officers at any given time that would be WRITTEN IN A REPORT.....(because just because they show up doesn't mean they write a report you have to ASK THEM TO WRITE A REPORT) would help you to get your daughter before a judge or a family court judge to get custody temporary or otherwise......so you could either get HER help court ordered or otherwise for the sake of KK. You are going to have to ask a police man what language to they need to hear, what acts to they need to see in order to make a charge STICK.........and get something on PAPER.......to take TO AN ATTORNEY to take TO A JUDGE.......to get you and your family help.

    By language I mean.........legalese from the police point of view.....Sometimes lawyers and police doin't communicate to each other what is needed ........

    For example........Women call every day to say "so and so my ex boyfriend is back at my house and I need a trespass warrant how do I do that? I've called the police about him three or four times coming to my house." Okay so you would think that if she has had the police out to her house that many times and made a bold statement he is bothering her -----the man would LEGALLY understand to leave her alone. He's been told by her, he's been told by the landlord, he's been told by police. Right? LOOPHOLE. Legally? He hasn't been. Legally she needed to have TWO reports. Well WHAT? She's called police FOUR times? Well she never ASKED for a report. She just called. (OMG are you srious?) She had to ask for a written report? Yup. Loophole. And depending on the length of time it's been since he's been at her home......she may or may not be able to use one of those last times to obtain a written report from or she may have to wait until he shows up again, THEN.......take those two written reports down to the magistrate, wait for her turn in court........in front of the m agistrate......and ask for a no trespass or peace bond order which is now a legal peace of paper that states no matter where she is HE can't come within 500 feet of her -------and he is served with this paper also telling him ------do not come within 500 feet of her........(legal loophole closed).......does it mean he will stay away? (shrug)_but what it does mean is that if he comes near her and witnesses see him?? He will be arrested for trespass and go to jail legally.

    It's goofy - but lots of laws are........and that's the LANGUAGE of the law. and that's what you have to figure out with your daughter.......what do I need her to do........and then have it written up......and take to a judge, and how many times that says..........she is not taking care of this child that puts ME as guardian? WHAT DO YOU NEED COURT PEOPLE......what do I need to bring to you from the police that says.......SHE IS NOT FIT? and how many and in what form? I swear it's like speaking a foreign language that they pretend they want us all to know for the safety of the c hildren =======but dont' tell us when it comes right down to it so that there are rights for parents who have the parenting skiills of drunken stoned babboons......and ch ildren die and then we get blamed and Nancy Grace makes millions.