Oldest's Spiral, again.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CrazyinVA, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oldest is in dire straits. Hasn't been paid in 3 weeks (she says), hasn't paid June rent, July 1 is next week. Hours are cut at work (so even if she got her paycheck, it won't be enough to cover rent), and no new job in sight. If it were me? I'd be out every single day looking for another job. She claims she's applied places. .but when I push for specifics, I get excuses. Like, I asked if she's applied anywhere since her last [alleged] job interview on Monday.. she said no, and made many excuses as to why not. Also, on Monday afternoon, when I called her to come pick her up (to be at the hospital for the birth of Youngest's baby), she said she was going to "jump in the shower." Now, if she'd had an interview at 1 pm like she told me, wouldn't she have already taken one? (before you suggest it, Oldest never takes 2 showers in one day, ever.. sometimes she doesn't even take 1 a day). So, either she lied about the interview, or she went to an interview without showering. Blech.

    Monday she also told me that her roommate's father was going to help her out with rent and that all would be ok. Today, she said her *roommate* was going to help her out but now he can't. Then she said, I could ask his father for help but I can't get ahold of him and it's too late. I said, I thought he was already going to help you? And she backpedaled and said no, he *offered* .. but I didn't take him up on it, and besides I don't have his phone number. Whatever... lies, lies, lies. I sure don't have the money to help her. I already helped pay for another month of cellphone service for her, so that prospective employers coudl reach her. For all the good that did.

    And the clincher ... she had applied and been accepted for the fall semester at a local commnity college. She's withdrawing. She didn't say it was because of money, mind you, she said it was because she didn't know where she'd be living and wouldn't have a way to get there. Umm the campus is in the city ... I said, well it's on the busline, and anywhere you live has to be on the busline, anyway, since you have no car. She said: "I don't know where I'll be living, and no one around here will let me stay with them I already tried, so I don't know if I'll be on the busline." Translated? This could mean she thinks she could live with me. The weekend I moved in, she commented, "wow, look at all these places within walking distance of your place.. if I lived here it wouldn't matter that I didn't have a car, I could get a job around here and walk to work!" Um yeah, right.

    So, she could be evicted as early as this weekend (she's not on the lease). This is the same old cycle.. I'm so tired of it. Work, lose job, lose place to live, stay with friend, find another job, lose job, lose place to live, find another friend, rinse and repeat. Yet I can't help but cringe at the idea of letting one child live with me temporarily, and refusing the other. The difference, of course, is that Youngest has kids ... Oldest doesn't. Oldest has also put herself into this situation over, and over and over and OVER again ... and my letting her stay with me wouldn't change a darn thing. Yet with 104 degree temps today, the thought of her homeless isn't making me feel great right now.

    Interesting, also, that this occurs when the focus is on Youngest and her new baby. Timing is everything.
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Crazy, have you looked back and found this same pattern for her other nosedives?

  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Occasionally, yes. Not every nosedive is tied to an event in Youngest's life, it's just that the "crisis alarm" tends to be louder and more urgent, if Youngest is having her own crisis/issues. Youngest certainly used to do the same. Oldest is her own worst enemy, for the worst part, and the cycle is continuous and is a pattern of being rescued time and time again by someone instead of facing responsibility for her actions the hard way. I do think the fact that I've helped Youngest lately, may make Oldest feel more "entitled" even if she doesn't come out and say it.

    And, once again, someone has rescued Oldest. She called an ex boyfriend, who called another mutual friend in Kentucky (??!!), who has agreed to "loan" Oldest the money for her June rent.
    Poor man will never see that money, of course. But Oldest bought herself another couple of weeks. This is when I am torn between, relief that she won't be homeless, but ticked off that she has taken in yet another gullible victim, and still hasn't hit "bottom."
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Though no one wants to admit it, we don't love our kids the same way. Our feelings for them are not "equal". They just aren't. Our relationships with them are based on them, not on each other. When they are children it makes sense to give them different things. You would not usually give a son a pink ruffled mini skirt or tampons, just as you would not buy a jock strap for a son. You might attend a dance recital and a football game, one for each kid, and only really enjoy one of them. It is just reality.

    Do not let the guilt over not letting Oldest stay even though you let Youngest stay. Youngest has not done what Oldest continues to do over and over. Youngest will eventually get on her feet and take care of her life and move out again. Oldest will not ever do these things. Help given to her is pointless. You can teach her to fish a thousand times but if she will still go hungry if she refuses to get out the pole and go down to the river and bait the hook and fish. Until Oldest hits whatever abyss her bottom is under the "help" you give will be useless. The best way to help Oldest is to refuse to give in to the guilt. It will help her by pushing her another inch toward her bottom. Sooner or later she will run out of people to burn.

    I am so sorry it has to be his way.
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks, Susie. I know you're right.. and I know that letting her stay even for a day or two would be a mistake, and I don't feel like I'll break down and actually let it happen, but it's still always tough when it comes right down to the wire like this. I sort of brace myself for the phone call where she tells me she's on the street, and think about how I'll deal with that conversation, how I'll respond. I suppose I should look up the number for homeless shelter just to have it handy; in our city there's one central place they have to go for "intake" before any of the shelters will take them in. Of course, she may miraculously get through this as she has every other near-homeless crisis over the years; the closest she came to truly being homeless was a few years back when she lived in her car for a couple days. Now she has no car, no license, and has burned a lot of bridges.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    That curfew boundary sounds excellent! Surely it is tough to enforce, but it is a must and a starting off point. Other boundaries should likely be enforced as I'm sure you are either working on or have put in place.
    I do hope you can steer her to treatment.
    But, she is a young adult and she has free will. Some of our kids have to take the long road to getting well. In the mean time, you'll have to let go. Holding on actually makes things worse. Beattie (Co-Dependent No More) has a new book out...might be good to take a look. This type of literature is often thought provoking and empowering.
  7. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I agree with Susie that treating different children different ways is often appropriate. They aren't clones and their different situations need individualized responses .... so if the principle is 'helping while not taking on their responsibilities', it might mean exactly what you're doing: letting Youngest stay for a time, knowing that it's a step toward her becoming independent, while not letting Oldest move home because that would be a step backward for her and for you. Our difficult children don't see it this way (I've been accused of 'not being fair' so many times - bleh) but it's the truth. 'Help' takes many different forms.
  8. MrsMcNear50

    MrsMcNear50 New Member

    Are you sure you're not talking about Sweet Betsy? Sounds alot like what I'm going thru now with her. The latest was, Mom, I'm turning tricks, cuz you won't help me. Whether it's true or not, enough to make my stomach sick.

    Hang in there and hold your bottom line. I am convinced that rescuing her now would be a HUGE mistake. Waiting for the bottom.


  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess I should update this to say she's found a 2nd job, finally .. another bartender position. Friday and Saturday nights at a downtown club. She ought to make enough money to pay rent between that and her other job. I need to remember, next time things seem so dire, that she tends to do this... she somehow figures it out, even if it's at the last minute (literally, sometimes).

    I think my "panic" in these situations (which isn't really as panicky as it used to be) is part of my own PTSD, I've talked to my therapist about this before. Sometimes the memories of worse days, with her begging for help and calling me names and harrassing me by phone, come back so vividly, that I'm afraid it's about to start again. It hasn't gotten that bad in many years, however, at least as far as her behavior towards me (I think she does still treat her friends that way sometimes). She still calls me in tears sometimes, freaking out because she doesn't know what to do, but it's not in the same accusatory way that it used to be. It also helps that she *doesn't* have a car or license, becuase I know she won't just show up on my doorstep, too.

    Anyway, crisis averted once again. But I'm still keeping the homeless intake number in my cellphone. She still has no idea where she's going at the end of July when her lease is up, whether or not she has 2 jobs.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh, sweetie, I know that panicky PTSD feeling so well. I have finally worked to a point that I don't get it from Wiz even when he is upset. I do still get it if I see gfgbro in a store or when I knew we would be seeing him at my parents. It is an awful, sick feeling that I totally dread. I am sure you do too. That is one thing we are here for - to help you get through those times with-o going totally crazy or giving in completely when the pressure comes.

    I am glad your oldest got her last minute reprieve, and that it isn't at your expense. It is less for you to worry about! Many gentle hugs!
  11. Bean

    Bean Member

    So much I can relate to in this thread.

    The "different" treatment of siblings.

    Daughter threatening to turn tricks or do something "hood" for the money she needs.

    The PTSD in situations is HUGE. I know that very well. So many of my reactions are due to trauma in the past, rather than the current situation.

    I also can relate to you with having your child at home and the cycle. I often notice that whenever I try to do something nice for myself, I get a drama phone call. Go figure.

    Glad things seemed to work out for your difficult child and you, and it wasn't a complete return to patterns of the past.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I am so glad your crisis passed well.

    I so know that pit of the stomach clench when you see either their number come up on the phone, or god forbid - the hospital or jail, I almost stop breathing. I never know if its good or bad. I always think bad if its the hospital or jail. Even though the jail number could be anything dealing with our court system...I just know those first numbers mean jail...lol.

    Its just hard to deal with.