New Here - Any advice welcome

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by grammy105, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. grammy105

    grammy105 New Member

    Hi All,
    I changed my mind about posting in a public forum. Thanks for all you advice.
     
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi Grammy. Just a quick thought - even if your daughter was what we call a difficult child earlier in her life - and finally pulled it around, she may now be completely overwhelmed with how deep the hole is that she dug for herself.

    {warning - analogy coming} Did you see the movie "The Guardian"? There was a scene where the rescue swimmer was trying to save a husband and wife; wife badly injured, needed to go up to the helo first. Husband loses it, tries to push wife out of the basket and go up first - gets a punch in the nose for his trouble, but finally realizes what's up and lets the swimmer do his job.

    I learned the same thing in lifeguard training: a drowning person will climb on top of you and drown you, just to save themselves. It isn't personal, it's an animal reflex tied to survival.

    From reading your story, it sure sounds like your daughter is "drowning", and climbing on top of you to save herself. Been there, done that myself, and needed to help myself before I could make my situation better for my family.

    Has she sought any kind of professional help at all? Individual or group therapy? Peer support groups? Local support resources from the city/county?

    Just my two pennies worth.

    Mikey
     
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Hi grammy,
    Sure sounds to me like you've come to the right place. Good advice Mikey!!

    Your in a tough spot because of the kids, so I'm sure your not ready to play the tough love, it's your life figure it out, yet!!However, you can't keep supporting her forever and being a built in babysitter. You have your own life to live and she is taking that away from you.

    Don't have too many good suggestions off the top of my head, just wanted to say welcome to the board and there are others who have been there done that, who I'm sure will be along soon to offer their experiences and suggestions.
     
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: grammy105</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thanks for your reply. I kind of get what you're saying, but how is she saving herself by drowning me? And as for help for herself, she doesn't think there's anything wrong with her, she thinks everyone else is crazy and doesn't know what she is going thru. </div></div>

    She's drowning you by allowing her life to spiral out of control, and demanding that you handle the important stuff for her. IANAD, but that sounds like depression (or something similar) to me.

    For me, I got to a point in my life where I had a wife, three kids, a house, and let it all go. I knew I was in trouble, knew things were going down the tubes, and couldn't lift a finger to help myself, help them, or stop the decline. I didn't have any trouble, however, putting all the work on the shoulders of my wife and my mother to handle, while I sat and watched from some detached island in my mind.

    I didn't mean to do that. I didn't mean to make two people with little or no resources responsible for all the things I should have been doing. I was just "gone", and threw those responsibilites at the only people I thought could handle them. I wasn't thinking - I was acting. It wasn't until I got help that I could see my part in the whole thing. Then started tackling one issue at a time, building on small successes, and things gradually got better. But not until I realized I was drowning, and pulling down the two people around me that I loved most along with me.

    But, that's why I say it sounds like your daughter is "drowning", and taking you with her. If she is, it probably isn't personal, it probably isn't even intentional. More than likely, it's the part of her brain that reacts instead of thinks that's driving her actions. Again, "I am not a doctor - IANAD", but if she was anything like me, it's a vicious cycle of depression and escape that has to be broken before anything will get better.

    That's why I asked if she's sought out any help. If she's resistant to getting "professional" help, maybe you could find her a support group to join of others like herself? That way, she's not "crazy and needing a shrink", but associating with others who share her issues and concerns, who can speak to her from a perspective of understanding.

    And believe me, I understand your self doubt. I can look back now and see how the path I took through life could have led my son into becoming a difficult child. Others here, though, have been lovingly beating sense into me with wet noodles about that. It doesn't do any good after a certain point, since our children are old enough to make their own decisions.

    That's all I can offer, for what it's worth.

    Grace and peace to you and yours,

    Mikey
     
  5. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    hi there from a fellow granny. My son fathered a child to a woman he is no longer dating. my grandson is 3. I love him and had the privilege of watching and coaching his birth. I am very protective of him and attached to my lil man. (he calls me Nunny)

    that said, I have to tell you that you must pull back and stop helping so much. even if your daughter works daylight she will need child care. she can get help from the state for day care.

    my grandson's mom is on welfare so they live in public housing on food stamps and welfare. the state pays for daycare for him while she sleeps on the couch all day. the state bought her a car and paid the first month's insurance. she cannot work because she cannot get out of bed after partying all night. who knows who watches my grandson when he is not with me.

    my son lost his license til he is 34 (he is 23) because of three underage DUIs. he has recently been evicted from the home of me/his mom.

    so that leaves lil Kaleb in a lurch.

    my son and Kaleb's mom are able bodied people younger than me with more energy than I have. My son works but buys fine clothing, eats out at restaurants and wines and dines a bevy of young girls. he does not pay child support because they sahre custody two weeks on and off.

    I buy Kaleb clothes at the salvation army store..I buy his toys there too. that way his parents cannot return them for the money. I keep diapers here for him but do not send them to him when he is not with me. I feed him when he is here, but the rest of the time he is on his own.

    cut the cord. you are gramma not mom. you already raised your kids. your daughter can do without or get to work. you may have to see the kids do without too at times. dont do her laundry or give her any cash at all or gas money. start someplace to do less.
    • Control Behaviors Which Weaken Boundaries
      • 1. Need to Fix
      • 2. Need to be a Caretaker
      • 3. Unchecked Idealism
      • 4. Non-acceptance of Powerlessness
      • 5. Lack of Belief in a Higher Power
     
  6. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hi grammy, and welcome!

    I know someone exactly like your description of your daughter -- my ex-wife. Always needy, unable to accept responsibility, constantly mooching, always playing yeah-but ("Here's what needs to happen..." "Yeah, but...") -- even the aimless driving around. Psychiatrically, I don't know the name for it. Elements of depression and another pattern I learned about recently, borderline personality; then again, having learned about it recently, I tend to see it everywhere now. Whatever. Doesn't matter.

    The big problem here is the kids. What are the chances that you can take over their care? Do you have room, is your health good, and do you have the time? I know you said you work full-time. It sounds like dealing with daughter is a second full-time job already; can the children be that much worse? Financially you could cut off daughter's many subsidies and redirect the funds to caring for the grands, maybe hiring some help around the house?

    Problem with taking over care of grands is that daughter has the legal rights and can use them as a weapon. She can theoretically take them from you any time and there is not a thing you can do about it. Then again, where's she going to run to? She won't last long without your money.

    Seems like your choices boil down to: play the tough love card and be prepared to raise the grandkids yourself, or let the situation go on just like it has. I can tell you that that tank of gas from last night is not going to last the week. First thing you can do in the tough love dept. is refuse to refill it tomorrow and don't pay her or anyone else to clean up her place. In fact my advice on her place is forget about trying to get her to keep house. It just ain't gonna happen. Likewise don't waste your energy on cajoling her on the other expectations. Just tell her if she does not meet your conditions, the funds stop. That's it. "Do to get" is a popular saying around here. No harping on it, fretting about it, or dwelling on it, just a simple statement of expectation and consequences. And then follow through -- you'll have to, 'cuz she won't believe til it happens. Brace yourself to resist the sob stories. She'll live.
     
  7. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    grammy, why would she go straighten out foodstamps when she can get money from the grammy bank? Cut out the cash flow. She knows where the food stamp office is. I would stop asking her questions too, because you already know the answers, it's just causing a rise in your bloodpressure. Learn to detach, you love her, but can't make choices for her. Don't give opinions unless asked and then realize she won't do what YOU think she should.

    When she has to start fending for herself and her child she might realize that SHE needs to make a life for herself. I also wouldn't hesitate turning her in to CPS if she fails to provide for her child. It will cause major problems, but you've already got that anyway.

    Cut the cord.... Good luck with any decision you make, I will be thinking about you and your family.....
     
  8. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Well I see I pretty much directly contradicted ant's mom re: the grandchildren. She does have a point. Whether or not you're able and willing to take on the grandkids, the thing we agree on is that you have to cut off your daughter and make her pull her own weight for your own sake.
     
  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Originally Posted By: grammy105 I am so truly sick of her that sometimes, and I know this sounds mean, I regret the day I had her. I can't truly take this much longer. She is the most difficult seflish person I have ever known.

    I think I can safely say that we all know exactly what you mean! Don't worry about it. Hey, you have permission...
     
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Grammy, one other quick thought: money truly is the root of all evil, and the bane of goodness in the world. Sounds like the other stuff going on is just additional goo on top of the real problem, money management, which can be the most depressive situation any person can face (it drove me into a near catatonic depressive state for nearly a year!)

    Maybe, if she got some help learning to budget and manage her finances, do you think that would take some of the stress out of your relationship and allow some of the better energy to flow between the two of you? Would getting her financial life in order put her in a better position to address the other critical issues she must face?

    There are a bazillion public, private, and not-for-profit agencies out there that offer these services.

    Just a thought.

    Mikey

    "Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today - Pink Floyd
     
  11. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hmmm, are you sure she didn't sense that you're at the end of your rope and figure she better kiss up a bit to keep the bennies rolling in?
     
  12. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    the mooching will stop when YOU decide.
     
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