Seeking Solace

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tentimesaround, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. Tentimesaround

    Tentimesaround New Member

    I have been seeking solace in community of the forums since December. Today, I have finally found the strength to tell my story which is so similar to most parents here. My daughter, now 18, was born with a congenital heart defect so from day one she has faced many difficult health issues. I look back now and realize we have been saving her forever. Perhaps that is the cause of problem. At 16, my daughter, who had always been a home body and a mamas girl began to display uncharacteristic behavior. Loud outbursts, lack of care at school, disrespect to her parents, teacher or anyone in authority. She ran away to a friends a few months after this began, a week went by she apologized and came home. Several months later she left again. The running away was always her escape mechanism after her not getting her way. It was always to a friends house for a week or two then home. Counselors advised us to allow this running away calling it a "cooling off period". I did not agree then and I do not now. In March of last year, we discovered weed in our home in addition she had stolen credit cards and was failing school. We told her our bottom line rules were go to school and no drugs. This was not agreeable to her so she left. Two months later, she begged to come home agreeing to our conditions. She came home and it was wonderful. She was the girl I knew and loved again. I spent much of that time living in fear so afraid it would end badly. In October, I just felt something was off and my mothers instinct was on high alert. I was shocked that again my credit cards had been used again! A searched the car revealed a pipe and several bags of weed. That night she came to our home in a screaming rage to get back her weed and pipe. She proceeded to trash my house looking for it. I called 911. Police did not show up but she was long gone anyway. A month later she asked for her clothes which we packed up and allowed her to come to our door and take it. I was not home at the time as I was and still am fearful of her. Months have gone by with our contact being minimal. She tells us how great she is doing! How she is going to school and going to graduate but we know these are lies. At this point, I believe nothing that comes out of her mouth. Her dad believes most of what she tells him so she confides in him not me. I have not heard from her for weeks but yesterday and today she called crabbing about her braces and dentist. I simply said what would you like me to do? Which I think will be my standard answer for most everything with her. I am trying so hard to detach and find peace in that! Each day gets a little better for the most part. I find great solace in the forum to know I am not alone. Most days for me are lonely and i feel stuck in a grief I have no reprieve from.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and glad you posted. Sorry your daughter is using drugs and stealing from you. I think most of us can relate. I would change my credit card numbers and other things she could use to get free money. Just be cautious. I would not let her back in the house. Most of our differently wired adult children do not live life by society's rules and very often are slow to see their wrongful thinking or else some never do. You have no reason to feel lonely unless you are focusing on only her. To me, in your signature, it looks like you have good support. You have a husband, and two other children. No offense to you AT ALL, but I never expect my grown kids to take care of me and I'm 61. You know who has to take care of you? Yourself!!!! Most of us here are working very hard to love ourselves, be good to ourselves, treat ourselves well, refuse abuse even if it comes from our own adult children, and to make a happy life for ourselves in spite of having a difficult child.

    We all grieve for our difficult child, however grief has an ending. I strongly suggest you go to counseling for yourself to help work through your grief and then learn coping skills so that you can move on. You are, as many of us do, taking your daughter and blowing her up so big that she is all that is in your world. There is no room for anyone or anything else, especially you. This is not healthy for you or any of those who love you nor even your dysfunctional adult child. She needs to see you strong, not her doormat. If I were you, and I realize I'm not, I'd talk husband into counseling as well. I personally think it is not good when there is no united front. To me, if one of my children won't talk to my husband, then they can not talk to me until they cut that crapola. Not that I want to hear from dysfunctional people all that much, but I am guessing Daughter is saying things to your husband knowing he will tell you and I'm also guessing that they hurt you. This in my opinion needs to be stopped. Now.

    I understand your grief as I had an adult child walk out on us and have not spoken to him in eight years and it is unlikely to change and, after all the therapy I've had, I realized he abused me terribly and meant to hurt me badly and that this is not a person, son or not, that I want to know. I count my blessings every day...those who do love and care for me, the beauty of the world, the smell of coffee in our house, my doggies who jump up and lick my face to wake me up. I enjoy my job. I like to write and volunteer and talk to people and I do that, excluding anybody who may make me feel uncomfortable. The days of allowing toxic, abusive people into my life are over. I hope you learn to do this before I did. I was 50 something before I made my life a peaceful, serene place for me to live. Make that therapy appointment and have a talk with your husband. Smile at the little things in life. They are true wonders.

    Others will come along. I just didn't want you to feel ignored. Maybe read some of our current stories. You'll see a lot of familiarity. Big hugs. We are here to help and support.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh my, your daughter and my son would be quite the pair. Stealing, weed, running away....all there. Our last straw came when he took nearly $700 cash from our closet we'd been saving up 9 months. We put him out that day. He still doesn't "get it".

    I'm so sorry you have to be here, but it's a good place. You will find sympathetic ears and absorbent shoulders if needed, as well as wise counsel.
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  4. Nikimoto

    Nikimoto Pursuit of peace

    Aloha, I have an 18 year old rager too. We never found drugs or evidence, but he acted up and escalated over time. We knew he had to go to protect our home. I deeply worry for him, but he is grown. It's his bridge to rebuild. It's lesser than the worry I suffered when he lived here.
    Be blessed, we are in this together.
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Hugs.........My 18 year old is in juvenile prison. It is so painful when they choose a negative life.
  6. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Now that things have quieted down I would tell her if she ever touches your credit cards again you will have her prosecuted. Also if you have an adult child that has been so bold as to use you credit cards, I suggest getting credit freeze on your credit. : which is not one of those expensive credit monitoring service - it just gives you a pin number so only you can open credit in your name.
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,

    Has your daughter ever been evaluated for a mood disorder, depression, mental illness?
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi 10 and welcome. I am sorry for what you are going through but you are at the right place. My son also used drugs and stole from me before I kicked him out of my house. He was playing at college at the time.

    Sadly we usually know the tip of the iceberg and quite frankly the details don't really matter.

    We can tell what is going on by their behavior and their friends. It is very hard and grief filled to come to terms with our kids' behavior but there is truly nothing we can do or say that will change whatever they are going to do.

    The best thing to do is to feel your feelings like you are doing---don't fight them just feel them---but try not to act on them.

    We can't allow people who steal from us to live with us. That is a deal breaker. It is a clear line that has been crossed and we can say no more. Like you have.

    It is still sad. But...your home is your sanctuary and you need that safe space especially now.

    Remember this: nothing you did or didn't do caused this.

    There is a saying in alanon: you didn't cause it you can't control it and you can't cure it.

    Get support. Learn about letting go. What that really means. Good books are codependency no more by melodie Beattie and Boundaries by cloud and Townsend.

    Go to an alanon meeting and start reading the literature there. People in alanon get it. They have been where we have been and you will grow immensely there If you will keep going and work the program.

    Your daughter will have to want to change before change is possible.

    Keep posting here. We are here for mutual support and we care.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome, Tentimes. I'm glad you finally came out and shared your story. As you know if you've been here a while, there are many similar stories here.

    I like your "what would you like me to do?" answer, that's a good start in detachment. You might also think about putting things back in her lap by saying, "That's too bad, honey, what do you think you should do?" The more you can put her choices back on to her shoulders, the better.

    I have two daughters with chronic physical health issues (see my signature), and I understand how difficult it can be to balance those concerns with detachment from the mental health issues. My oldest in particular was (and sometimes still is) great at manipulating me with her illness, and it can be very frustrating.

    I agree that it'd be a good idea to look into support groups, and also read some books - "Codependent No More" is one of my favorites to start with.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't ever ask a question when my difficult lovebug complains. I don't want to ask an "open" question that gets him mouthing off again and can be used to abuse. I tend to close things down. I listen calmly and say things like, "Wow" or "Hmmm" or "that's odd" or "interesting." If it gets abusive anyway, I say, "Oh, darn, the doorbell! Talk later!" Or sometimes I am frank and say, again very calmly, "When you can talk to me with respect in the calm voice, we will talk again. Got to go." *click*

    I found that any question was met with a response (not a productive answer) that was filled with why I never do anything and I'm no good and the like so I quit asking questions when difficult child was in a "woe is me" mood.

    I like to keep the control/upper hand so that if Bart is being a PITA, at least he still respects me. These adult kids tend to respect you more if you do NOT let them throw you around and refuse to take their abuse. They may "punish" you in various ways, but they still respect you more and I also believe they are eventually nicer more often if you stand your ground and don't act scared/intimidated by their nonsense words. Nothing makes them more powerful (in their eyes) then to get out one last burst of abuse that hurts us and then THEY decide to get off the phone or stop texting. Often they use passive ways to keep it going, like nasty FB posts, which is why I never engage in FB when Bart is angry at me.

    It seems childish and silly, like a baby game, to say that the person who ends the interaction has taken the power in this sick game, but I do think that this is how our difficult sweeties see it. It's a game and they need to "win." Calmness with them actually helps them quiet down and gives them less to brood about. And it tells them, without telling them, that they are not in charge of you and that you are in full control of how you react to them, even if you can't change their behavior.

    Just my .02
  11. Tentimesaround

    Tentimesaround New Member

    At this point she is no longer living in our home and she is no longer welcome. I live in a very small town in Canada (6000 people) so counseling is very difficult to find. The nearest city is over an hour away and we have traveled there for counseling (family, individual,group, marriage etc). We have done it all! At this point she is under the care of a physcologist there has been no diagnosis yet. For us going to counseling means taking a whole day off work which has created even more havoc in our lives. I have been to Al anon in the past but struggle with that as well because i know confidentially in the group is an issue (small town problems!)
    Today, I received an email from the principal informing me that my Difficult Child has not been to one of the classes she requires to graduate all term. Which means she definitely will not graduate this year. The part I really have an issue with is the lies. She tells us she is going, she is doing well etc etc. It is bizarre to me that she is on the grad committee, is dress/shoe shopping and fund raising for grad but she knows there is no hope. Is there something mentally wrong that causes such a detachment? Is it drugs? Questions roll round and round in my mind. I guess trying to understand "why"! I tell myself it doesn't matter, etc. I so wish I could just have normal teen problems. I watch my friends grad shop with their daughters and talk about university and it rips me apart. What I would give to have the worries they have.
    I also am unsure about wasting my time and my life driving her to counseling. I realize she needs it but obviously it is doing no good at this point.
    I thank you all so much for your advise and support. I am finding my self better each day but the pain of realty sucks the life out of me somedays :(
  12. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    I know we are all here for you Tentimes. One day at a time and remember, don't try to make sense out of nonsense, or it will drive you crazy!
    Hugs and thoughts to you.
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    I SO remember those days. It may get easier over time...but it only barely has for me at this point. I hear friends talking about their Eagle Scout son or straight A daughter and complaining about something they did and I just want to scream with envy. They have the life I expected. The life I have is very hard to come to terms with.