New here and looking for advice

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Onesickmama, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Onesickmama

    Onesickmama New Member

    Well I was online browing for advice and stumbled across this site. Please offer any advice or suggestions you think will help. Here is my story....

    My 19 y.o daughter has me worn so thin and at my wits end. It started about 5 years ago when her sister came to me after she found her sitting on her bed cutting herself. I had no idea my daughter was having any sort of problems at all but after doctor and counseling visits over the next couple of years she was diagnosis with depression and being bipolar, both which she began taking medication for. During those years of course things werent always easy and there were a few suicide attempts but I had her on the right path. She got her GED and had enrolled in cosmetology classes. Things were going quite well until she met (or as I later discovered) reconnected with this boy. He is a very controlling and violent person and unfortunately has turned her into the same. About 6 weeks before she turned 18, she called me crying and told me she had done something terrible and had taken alot of benedryl. I rush home to find 3/4 of a costco size benedryl bottle empty. We rush her to the ER and after they take care of her medically they keep over night and were to determine further treatment in the morning since it was a suicide attempt. The next day they sent her home since she wasnt that much of a danger to herself. (later I found the benedryl pills hidden in he room). The next week I got a call to come pick her and her car up because her boyfried was driving it and got pulled over because an officer saw them pulled into an alley and he wassmoking weed (she was not). He walked but when the officer and I were talking we decided to go get a no contact order so he could stay away from her since he was clearly a bad influence. This freaked my daughter out and she started making threats so needless to say it landed her a week at an inpatient facility.

    A couple weeks later, at midnight the day she turned 18, she walked out the front door. Everything has gone downhill from here. She is so into this boyfriend that she lets him control her. She dropped out of cosmetology because he was jealous of the boys in the class. She has cut ties with all her friends because he doesnt allow her to talk to them. She has even stopped talking to an aunt because he told her the aunt said something to him that she had not. On more than one occassion m daughter has called me for medical assistance because he has beat up on her. She has had very visible bruising, cut lip, and even chipped teeth from him but she refuses to press charges and there are no witnesses so he gets away with all of it.

    This spring he held her down and in an attempt to get up she ripped his shirt. When she tried to leave he took her keys and she told him if he didnt give them back she was going to punch him. He recorded these words on his cell phone and pressed charges aganst her. She has now been charged with DV. I thought for sure this would have been the wake up call but it wasnt. Numerous times she calls me asking me to come help her get her stuff cuz she needs to get away from him. Last month she was arrested again for DV because she scratched his arm in an attempt to escape and he pressed charges but was let go when it was determined there wasnt enough of a case. When she got out of jail, she was right back with him. Besides all of this we have now been missing things around the house. My coin jar was found empty in her room, money missing from her sisters room, a huge jug of coins taken from her grandparents found in the trunk of her car, money missng from grandmas purse more than once and only when shes around, and I have even found pawn shop slips in her room for jewelry items which I have no idea what jewelry it was and now the family wii is missing. I really feel the boyfriend is the cause of this because if he wants something he demands she get it and she wants to do it or he becomes violent, but know she is making the choice to be in the situation.

    I cant take it anymore. I provide a car including gas and insurance for her so she can go to school even though I have suspicion she is not going, a cell phone, all food, clothing, shelter, and on occassion money for manicure or a movie. I am paying for all her medical needs and court costs. I live my life alone waiting for the next phone call to come help her. If I question something she yells and cusses at me but has no problem asking for help moments later. I dont want to enable her to remain this way but dont have the strength to turn my back and watch her fail, which is why I am here.

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  2. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry you are going through this. Since she is an adult, there is not much you can do to stop her from making such bad choices. You will have to set very strict boundaries if she is to continue to live with you. You may want to tell her that you will not pay for lawyers or bail her out, and allow the natural consequences of the law to take place as many on this site have done. If there is a domestic violence shelter you may want to call them and ask them for advice. You may want to insist that she takes her medicine, makes her appointments, get a job, and stay away from the bad guy as a condition of using the car, spending money, and living in your home. You may want to get yourself to a support group such as Families Anonymous, and your local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) although I did not find my local chapter very helpful myself. A therapist of your own can be very helpful in assisting you to set boundaries.

    "I dont want to enable her to remain this way but dont have the strength to turn my back and watch her fail, which is why I am here."

    What you call "turning your back" is what we on this site call detachment. We have had to do just that: watch our adult children struggle with drug abuse and the consequences of not taking their medications and not seeking and obtaining/maintaining gainful employment, dropping out of school, not maintaining a car/driving recklessly, etc. Because we have tried and tried to fix things and make things easy for them, with no results. It is only by struggling that they learn and grow. Sadly, some never do.

    It's not easy, I know. Your daughter is still young. If you continue to enable her now by tolerating all the drama, it will just go on and on, and there may be young children eventually who will be at risk. Please get some expert help. And keep posting. You will get excellent advice and emotional support from everyone here!

    My best to you...
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome, mama.

    I have a daughter in an abusive relationship, too. It's heartbreaking to know our children are being hurt and there is nothing we can do, and no way to keep them from going back.

    But mama, I think you are being mistreated by this daughter you love so well. Over time, you have had to accept that she is stealing, that drug use may be part of the picture, that the male is abusive. These are such hard things to know, hard things to face, but you have done that.

    Good job, mama.

    So many of us don't have the courage to acknowledge what is right in front of us. For them, the healing process is longer and harder. For you, this time will be a process of reclaiming your own power from your daughter. For beginning, can you picture so clearly just how you would like your relationship with her to be?

    No rudeness. No irresponsibility. No stealing from family ~ in fact, just the opposite. She should be helping family. No crummy jerk of a boyfriend.

    A nice, stable man with a future, right, mama?

    Think of all the ways life should be for this child you love so much.


    You need to demand no less than that, from her. You are her mother. She will take her cues from you. If you allow this self-destructive behavior, if you commiserate over the woe she has created in her own life, that behavior is what will continue. I know this, because my daughter was the same way. I took the blame on myself. My husband took the blame. Everyone wondered how we had somehow destroyed our daughter's life, how we had created in her this poor, wounded person. The answer? We didn't. But we continued to deal with her from her reality, instead of our own. Her reality was not healthy. There is no telling whether our current situation, with this same child who is now nearing 40, might have been a different, better situation had we responded from a position of strength. But we did not. We sunk, instead, to her level.

    And we are still there, mama, after some twenty five hard, painful, horrible, self and family-destructive years.

    Know that I wish you and your child well, mama. Here on the site, we practice something called detachment. It is a skill set which, once we get it, enables us to stop encouraging self destructive behavior in our children. We don't want to go there. I am learning that going there may be the only thing that truly helps our self destructive children. Detaching means that we let them go. We don't pay, we don't worry, we don't commiserate with them over what they have suffered through their own faulty choices.

    I am learning too, mama.

  4. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    welcome the others have given you good advise, recovering enablers post on detachment was a huge help to me and many others here; I copied it and posted it on the refrigerator to help my kids process what was going on, you might want to do the same.

    I noticed when I quit rescuing them they didn't need rescuing anymore. Upon notice of assault won't be tolerated - go to jail (with- no second chances) Angel quit throwing things at my head every time got frustrated. It's a whole lot more peaceful here. It's not perfect but I haven't been to the ER myself or had my living room full of cops in over a year (knock wood).

    glad you found us but sorry you needed to... Nancy
  5. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Read, reflect, and learn from our mistakes...
  6. Onesickmama

    Onesickmama New Member

    Thank you for your kind words. I know I have to change in order to feel better about the situation and to hopefully show her I love her but she is paving the path for her future and needs to make better choices. Im glad I have found this site and know I'm not alone.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Onesickmama. I am sorry you are going through this with your daughter. Many of us have been in your shoes. It's a tough path we find ourselves on, but as you mentioned, it is VERY good to know we are not alone.

    The article at the bottom of my post here is a very good one, on detachment, the skill we have to learn with our adult kids. It is a process and takes time to navigate, but it will help to improve the quality of your life and give you tools to learn how to begin the process of disconnecting from your daughter in healthy and productive ways.

    It's important to discern what it is that you want, what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. Often we need professional support to figure that out and then learn how to implement our desires. It is reasonable to begin weaning your daughter of the perks that you financially provide..........

    You might try NAMI, they offer good courses for parents and can help with resources. Personally I required a therapist and a support group for parents, I could not have done this alone. It is very important to get as much support as you possibly can because this is a difficult process for us parents.

    I'm glad you found us. Keep posting, it really helps. Keep yourself well supported. Wishing you peace..........
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Just checking in to see how you are doing today, mama.

  9. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Hello. We have an adopted, now young adult daughter. who has,bipolar illness. It has contributed to over 20 years of undue stress and grief in the household. She is a good person, but........
    I do not and will not, tolerate certain things. This includes: breaking the law, thievery, being rude to me or members of our family or violence. We paid for private school, private tutors, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, special medications and everything we could think of to help her, her entire life. It helped, a teeny, tiny bit. Very minimally. We helped her get on SSI (Disability). She is very ill, and at best, she might be able to work a few hours a she absolutely needs assistance. She moved out at age,19. Our home became much more peaceful. We had to set up other types of boundaries, like no calling before or after certain hours. It took a long time for her to "get" that we REALLY mean this. She knows that is she is rude to us, she will NOT hear from us until she decides to change her tune. We do help her with some things, but very very minimally.
    Some thoughts: consider if she can really handle a full time job. If she can't, keep SSI, at least in the back of your mind as a possibility.
    See if she will see a counselor to get help for a variety of issues...most importantly, getting away from this guy. Consider paying for this. Well worth the money.
    Set up boundaries...what you will tolerate from her and won't. If she is rude to you, consider hanging up the phone and telling her to call back when she feels better and can speak more appropriately.
    Consider getting some help for yourself, if you haven't done so already. A counselor or support group. Co-dependent s no more is good, as well as NAMI
    Double check if she is going to school and if she isn't, stop this charade NOW. Consider paying for legitimate medical expenses only. And food, six months.Consider helping her get on food stamps, if that hasn't already been done. Back off
    Your help and when you do help, try to get her to at least meet you half way by doing some things herself.
    Take extra good care of yourself, as this stuff is hard!!!!
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Rec. enabler....I no longer see the article at the bottom of your posts :_confused:
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nomatic, I was hoping you would respond here since you have done such an excellent job of making it all work with your daughter!

    I checked and I can see the article on detachment so I am not sure how to correct it..........