My daughter... When will it end?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by MustangDad, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. MustangDad

    MustangDad New Member

    Hello all. I'm posting here for the first time, though I have been lurking and reading this forum for over a year now. I apologize in advance if this gets long winded - I'll try to keep it short. I'm just so overwhelmed, and I have nobody to talk to. I've never done this type of thing before.

    Anyway, I'm a single father to one child. my daughter is 24 years old. When she was 18 I found out that she had been using heroin intravenously. I sent her to rehab immediately, which she completed. She came home and did well for a while, and then relapsed. She continued this rehab/move home and do well/relapse/go back to rehab cycle for a few years. In that time, I enabled her fully, and honestly, I still do. I paid all her bills, her college tuition, her court fees and fines, and gave her money to use with, knowing in my heart that's what she was doing with it. Throughout all the time she used, though, she kept up appearances. She worked, went to school, acted like a "normal" kid.

    She got on methadone a couple of years ago (mid 2013) and hasn't used heroin since then, to my knowledge. She doesn't abuse her methadone and doesn't seem intoxicated from it. She's started graduate school and works full time. However, I feel like not much has changed on the money front. She is draining me, financially and emotionally. I'm still paying for her car insurance, cell phone bill, car payment, school fees, court fees and fines... It never ends. I've cashed out my savings and retirement, sold a time share and numerous other things to pay for her different treatments and bills over the years, and she's tried everything - suboxone, vivitrol, AA, NA, holistic rehab, strict rehab, rapid detox... And the list goes on.

    She had a baby last year that she placed for adoption, and she's just recently told me that she's pregnant again and plans to parent the child. She still lives at home with me, and I honestly don't think she is ready to be a mother. Though she does very well in school and gets great grades, I dont think she really understand what she's getting herself into here. And I feel like this child will become my financial responsibility as well... Which I just don't have the strength to take on.

    I don't know why I'm posting this. I just needed to get it off my chest, really. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Dad and welcome. At 24 she should be on her own but it certainly doesn't sound like she is ready for that. May I ask what she is going to graduate school for? Just wondering what kind of career she is looking at. I am amazed that she can keep her grades up AND work full time all the while using. And since she is pregnant she is putting the baby in danger. This is a tough time to cut her off financially, bet you wish you had done that earlier.

    I won't pretend to know what advice to give you. My daughter was in the same boat, minus the school and full time job part. She was living on her own and drinking and smoking pot and I suspect taking pills. We made it clear to her we would not support a baby and I know that sounds awful but at our age we just could not do it nor did we want to.

    I would tend to want to give her a certain time period in which to find her own place and be able to support herself.
     
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,
    It sounds like you're going through a very difficult time; I'm sorry. I'd very strongly encourage you to make very clear to your daughter that if she wants to parent this child, she will have to live elsewhere. I'll guarantee if you don't do this and stick to your guns, you'll be parenting both of them from now till kingdom come.

    I know firsthand that there's a thin line between ennobling and enabling. I have been throwing money at my kids for years trying to be noble and "do the right thing" and all I've done is enable. After everything you've paid for, she couldn't get free birth control? That's absurd and you shouldn't have to be responsible for the daily care of her child if that's not what you want.

    Kicking heroin is, I'm sure, one of the most difficult addictions to conquer. She seems to be doing well, but she has lived the "easy come, easy go" kind of life that she's been accustomed to for so long because you've been compassionate and supportive, but now this has to end. It's a process, and perhaps you should seek professional counseling and support to help you along in this part of the journey. Otherwise, I'm afraid that you'll be manipulated by her unwise decisions for the rest of your days.
     
  4. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I would agree with CJ, as long as you will pay for these things and support her she will continue to expect it. And that is the crux of the problem with enabling, the child being given to thinks that they deserve it.

    If nothing else, for your own sanity and well being you need to cut her off and live your life. It wont be easy and it will take time for both of you to adjust. Old habits die hard! But in the end, it will make a better life for both of you.
     
  5. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Hi Mustang Dad--
    I fully understand the enabling since I'm sort-of in the same boat as you. I'm still trying to reconcile "ennobling vs. enabling" with my 28-year-old heroin addicted son. He currently lives with us (as of 18 months ago) but is moving out soon. Although I don't pay his bills (except the free rent), the whole situation is a drain in more ways than one.

    Since your daughter seems to be doing well in some aspects of her life, such as attending college and working, I think she's fully capable of living on her own. I think human nature, especially for our entitled kids, makes a person look for the easiest way to live. Your kindness of helping your daughter has reached a point where she expects too much and isn't really trying to be independent financially.

    And I agree that under no circumstances should you allow her to bring a new baby into the household. I'm afraid you'll end up rearranging your life and depleting your finances even more, and day care is not cheap. I know you're a compassionate person, but there's a point where we have to look out for ourselves. I can speak as one who is struggling with this issue myself, and I think you've taken a good step by posting here and gaining insight from the collective wisdom of the forum members. You do have the strength to change things, but you'll have to do some things that are against your natural inclinations. It's not selfish to take care of yourself.
     
  6. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Posting is a good first step. You have to admit you have a problem before you can start to work on it. Our 24 year old daughter lives with us with her one year old son. She goes to school and lives off financial aid and government programs. She pays rent and we don't pay for anything. I know how tough it is when there are children involved.

    You need to stop the flow of money. She's living in a fantasy world where everything comes easy. We know that's not how the world works. Give her a month's notice that car insurance, cell phone, etc are cut off. And that rent is due on the first of the month.

    This can only change if you change it. She's not going to change it - why would she? You need to reclaim your life and not be somebody else's ATM.
     
  7. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    MDad,

    Plain and simple...it will end when you end it, and not a moment sooner.

    With my brother and his wife, who have two difficult daughters in their twenties, it ended when they lost their house on acreage, vehicles, and everything they own. They are now living in a travel trailer 1000 miles away.

    And their sixth grandchild will be born in April.

    They helped support their daughters, their spouses, and grandchildren until they went broke.

    It will end when you end it, and not a moment before.
     
Loading...