She wants to come home and follow the rules

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by accmama, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. accmama

    accmama Guest

    Help me think clearly here.

    difficult child is in a bad place right now and begging to come home. Basically she says she can follow any rules we have. She just wants to be with her siblings and family. If she could come here and follow the rules, I don't mind her being here and she certainly will have a better chance of turning things around. She's now saying that she can follow the rules and be respectful and do what we ask. Do I give her a chance knowing full well she probably won't keep to the rules?

    we live in the south and right now she is in a northern state, so if I do have to kick her out from my home, she'll at least be in a warmer climate if she should end up on streets.
    I'm happy to drive her to/from work if she can get a job and follow the rules in our home.
    She has a much better chance of survival if we let her come back.

    Given her history, it is doubtful she can do what we ask- even though really nothing we are asking is out of the ordinary for anyone her age.
    I have no idea how quickly I could legally kick her out if she causes trouble.
    Her old druggie friends are local to us, so if she came to stay and it didn't' work out, she'd have easier access to that crowd.
    The city in which we live is not nearly as big as where she is now, so there are more resources where she is now. Here, I'm not sure what help she could get if we had to make her leave our home.

    I told her we'll need a few days to think about it and that if we do say yes, it will not be right away. She only said "I understand" which shows me she's trying to be humble.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you're taking time to think about it.

    Is there any reason for you to believe she will be different? Are you willing to go through hello if you have to?

    We can't tell you what to do, but the past is usually a good predictor of the present is her history UNLESS there has been a profound change in awakening that you can see, feel and sense.

    Remember, that you and other family members are as important as she is. While you are deciding, I would talk to a good therapist to help you sort things out. The therapist is not emotionally involved so perhaps you can get some good feedback from a non-partison observer. I think you need to realize that you can not help your daughter anymore. It is up to her to help herself. You can certainly assist her if she ASKS for help, but you can't force it on her at her age, even if she lives with you.

    Hugs and luck whatever you decide to do. I do realize how hard this is. It was and still is hard for me too. I just think I got tired of wrapping my life around my dysfunctional kids and decided that they had to do it...I needed to move on. That can take time. And you may need help doing it, if daughter does not decide to get her head together.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mamakathy, excellent that you are taking the time you need to sort this all through. I was told by my therapist to always say, "let me get back to you." Standard line now.

    MWM has given you great advice.

    Do remember that our kids are master manipulators when they want something so her responding "I understand" may simply mean that she is doing what needs to be done to create the desired outcome.

    Generally, these types of scenarios don't fare well.

    However there are some guidelines I would cover if I were you. First, check in with the local courts to find out what you need to do to evict your own child. In CA. you have to get a court order and serve it to them officially. There is also a waiting period, I think it is either 30 or 60 days, I'm not certain. You will want to know this beforehand, so you know exactly how long you may have to house her if things go south quickly.

    If it were me, I would first figure out what it is I want and what it is I do not want. I would hold a family conference with everyone to find out what the whole family thinks. Out of that meeting, I would create a document, a contract, which CLEARLY states your expectations, what you must have happen. Every single thing. Our kids are masters at loopholes. So, if you want household chores, home at a designated time, no friends over, quiet after a certain time, a psychiatric evaluation and medication compliance if that is something important to you, along with therapy for her...........she has a job within ___amount of time and pays some kind of rent, you will have to identify all of that clearly. She pays for her food, her phone, her gas, whatever. She is respectful and respects your belongings as well as YOU. I mean you cover every single possible component of her living with you. Then you figure out the consequences. And, once you do that, you have to be willing to impose the consequences or the whole thing is worthless. Ask her to read it and ask if she understands. Ask her sign it, just like in real life.

    If what you want is not done, hand her a list of shelters. Let her know that will be the result. She will be counting on you enabling her, she will be counting on being able to snow you, she will be counting on her manipulation skill to get what she wants. You, on the other hand, will be training her for real life. It is tough. But you and your whole family have to be behind the contract. No easy ride for your daughter, it's wake up time.

    Many if not most of our kids cannot live within rules, their wiring prevents it for whatever reason. It is just the way it is. If I were you I would give this a lot of thought before I agreed to it. And, if I did agree, it would only be under all of MY rules. And, once the rules were not adhered to, she would be out. It's a hard line, but she can do a lot of damage to you and your family, they are very, very skilled at aiming the arrows where they will hurt the most, and driving wedges between families. They are very skilled at devastating us with their behavior. Be prepared. Get supports in place, therapy, whatever you can, you'll require it.

    She is your daughter and you still remember when she was a little girl, the good times..............but it sounds to me as if that has all changed. You are on a different playing field now and you will need to learn how to play this game.............otherwise you will become a hostage in your own home and your life will be all about your daughter and her drama.

    Think long and hard before you make this decision. Get all your ducks in order first. I hope whatever choice you make works out for everyone. I wish you all peace.
  4. accmama

    accmama Guest

    husband and I have discussed and honestly in my heart I know that the best thing for my little kids and for us is to not let her come home. History tells us she is not able to behave. Her constant ringing of my phone with frantic calls begging for me to send money yesterday and constant texting have proven that she is still just as immature and dramatic as always.

    I've given her numbers for shelters and programs that will help, plus I told her how to get in touch with United Way and advised her to call today before he car insurance and phone run out at the end of this month. At least she has a way to call for help now. Starting Nov 1, she won't even have a way to call a program for assistance.

    Pray she sees how critical it is to listen to our advice. The worry is too much for me right now.

    In the back of my mind, I have these thoughts- what if the programs turn her away because they don't have room for one more? what if she lands on the street and get lured into prostitution or hard drugs? I feel like I'm gambling with her life, steering her toward charity rather than family support. Right now she at least has a chance. The fear of losing her forever is overwhelming.
  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    It is so very hard! My difficult child was doing better, or so I thought, then a few years back he relapsed and was worse than before. He also was involved with another difficult child. Once again I was snatched back into the drama, conns, lies and I tried to help.

    IT DID NOT HELP!!!! In my case I was only allowing him to continue in his destructive path. I finally had enough and when I would not send money he threatened suicide.

    I feel your pain, but until THEY decide to help themselves nothing you do will help.
    (((hugs and blessings)))
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sadly, even if they are living at home they may decide they need more money and may decide to be a prostitute. In truth, you don't know the extent of her drug use, but she can decide to up the ante even living at home. Nothing will stop her from meeting bad people. My daughter lived at home and upped the ante from pot to meth to even trying heroin right under our noses.

    My two younger kids could not handle it and would cover their ears when she got into a rage. When the cops started coming, they would hide from fear. I often wonder if the younger kids reviled drugs because they saw what drug use did to their sister. At any rate, she was so disruptive she had to leave as I had to put my young minor children first. And living at home was not helping her.

    Everyone does things differently. Are you ready to do a Round 2 with your difficult child? It's your decision.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am quite impressed with how you've handled this mamakathy. You have given your daughter a real opportunity well as given yourselves a peaceful environment.

    Along with your good choice comes all the self doubt. I completely understand that. My daughter is old enough to be your daughter's mother and I still have all those same thoughts. My own experience as well as what I continually read here offers this observation............our kids are remarkably resourceful, what they lack in other responsible skills, they become adept at finding a way through life which although it may be abhorrent and/or surprising to us, they often succeed in a somewhat unique way. They find others to take care of them, they develop skills we don't possess but somehow offers them the freedom they so crave.

    That fear you have in your heart is so familiar to me, I can so empathize with you. However, one distinction is that you are not "steering her toward charity", you are offering her other options because she has proven that she cannot live within the normal rules the rest of us live by. You are not taking away family support, you are being realistic about what her presence will do to the rest of the family. You are making hard choices but choices that were precipitated by your daughter's own choices. She orchestrated the outcome, not you. That is the part that the consequences may (or may not) open her eyes to.

    As always, while you wander through this personal devastation, it is imperative that you receive support and make sure you do everything you can to take care of you. This can deplete us and exhaust us like nothing else can and you will need your strength, courage and balance to stay the course.

    For what it's worth, having made similar choices which have wounded my heart in ways I can't even explain..........I think you made the only choice you could given all the circumstances. I say that with a heavy heart, believe me. I understand the magnitude of it for you and my heart goes out to you. For some of us here, this becomes the only choice.............

    Stay the course. Get AS MUCH SUPPORT as you possibly can. Focus on your family. Focus on gratitude for what you do have. Place your daughter in the hands of whatever Higher Power you may believe in. Pray for her. Sending you warm and supportive hugs and always..........wishes for peace.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    1) Do you trust her to follow the rules?

    2) Do you both know what the consequences of her not following each rule is?

    3) Are you ready to follow through with said consequences?

    4) Will there be room for her to grow in that environment - ie: less strict rules with better behavior?

    If you can say "yes" to all four, I say go for it. If you have a lot of hesitation, you all would probably be better off if you said "no".
  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    My question is opposite of everyone else's?

    Is there a third option? A city other than yours where she has drug contacts? A city where she can get good support? Maybe somewhere close to you so that you can see her and support her from afar but where she is not in your house? Perhaps a family member who could help?

    The reason I ask is this. You seem uncomfortable with her being far away which I can understand. You also seem uncomfortable with her being in your home which I also understand. Maybe a compromise of some sort would help. That way she can plainly see you are willing to support but not give in to her. You would have to be able to trust yourself enough to limit the exposure to her considering you don't think it will be good for the kids. You also have to be sure that she wont show up on the doorstep with issues every day.

    You have to do what is comfortable for you NOT her. She did this and she has to deal with it but if it gives you peace of mind to know that she is close and safe then you have to consider that as well.
  10. accmama

    accmama Guest


    I can't think of a third option right now other than just picking a random city and calling programs in their area. Are shelters/transitional work programs usually ok with helping people who aren't currently local? If so, then I might start calling programs all over.

    Where she is right now, she is near my mom, which is good in case of emergency. Until about 3 weeks ago she had been living with her, then things got crazy and my mom asked her to leave and gave her money to drive home. She took the money and found a couch to sleep on and has been there ever since. Thankfully she's not showing up at my mom's doorstep with drama. a true emergency if she had an accident or something, my mom could get to her within an hour and if she does get her act together I know my mom will welcome her for occasional dinners and whatnot. I could get to her in about 16 hours by car, less by plane.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly? No. They'd rather buy a local a bus ticket out of town than take them in, an out of towner is not even that welcomed.

    That doesn't sound like anyone that I would want in my home. Does it sound like someone you want in your home?

    FWIW, my son couch surfed for 10 years. Not my problem. He finally got a job but only because there's a woman who won't tolerate him otherwise.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Will she go to a rehab where she will help herself? Will she follow THEIR rules? Will she get a job in a transitional center? Will she obey curfew? Not use drugs? Do these transitional places cost you money?

    These are the questions we have to wrestle with. It is not fair to you or the rest of your family to bankrupt yourselves for one child who will just leave because she doesn't like the rules after you have spent yet more money on her?

    You have to decide what YOU can accept and what you feel is best for the ENTIRE family. difficult children tend to take all our time and money, and, really, that's not in my opinion good.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad you see that bringing her home is not an answer. The business world uses a theory called system optimization to evaluate things and in my opinion we should ALL use this with our families. Okay, so maybe it is not the way most people think about the world and family. It is how my mind works, and my mom's before me. System optimization uses the idea that what we want is not for machine A to work at it's absolute best, but instead we want the most output from the entire system. We want every part of the system to work as well as it can in the system. If we give all our resources to make machine A work, but we don't give any resources to machine B, the system of machines A and B will nto produce much. IF we give both machines what they need to produce, and they work together, even though either machine is not getting everything to work at it's absolute best, the system will produce far more than if only one machine got the resources.

    That is a very simplified version, but it gets the point. Our families are systems. To bring your difficult child home would use up resources that the rest of the family needs. THe peace and quiet with-o the rages and drama would be gone. It would likely make real problems for the other kids, and would minimize their potential. They are every bit as important as difficult child, so it would not be a wise choice, in my opinion.

    I once had a therapist who got very angry because I would not allow Wiz to come back home. He was at my parents, safe, healthy, happy. My other kids were safe, happy, healthy. Bringing wiz home? Would end that for all of us. The therapist thought I was awful because Wiz was not living with us. I flat out told her that I would NOT sacrifice J and T on the altar of Wiz' problems. It was the last thing I said to her as a patient. A few years later I ran into her and she said I changed how she saw families with that statement. SHe had been all about family giving a sick child everything the child 'needed' or wanted, regardless of what that did to the other kids. I made her think, and she saw all the damaged siblings she was creating. Or so she told me atthe time. For me, it was common sense. I want ALL of my kids to be happy and healthy, not just one of them.

    Don't bring her home. If she chooses services, it is her choice, not you directing her.
  14. accmama

    accmama Guest

    mwm- you bring up a great point. yes, she will follow their rules. She has been in a group home and also a rehab and in detention and at each place she was a model client. She made wonderful strides in rehab but within a week of being home she went out got drunk. That first night of drinking and chaos was enough to get her to see that she had to go far far away from friends who tempt her. She came home that night, sat on the couch and sobbed, saying she was not safe here locally because all of her friends drink and/or use drugs. She asked me to fly her up to my mom's house so she could stay away from all of the friends she partied with. We put her on a plane the next day. She lasted almost a year there before she started dating a guy and then before we knew it she was back at square one.

    So basically yes, she does very well with highly structured programs. She needs someone other than me to tell her what to do, how to do it and when to do it. She listens to counselors and will follow rules. I just think she's so immature that she needs the kind of structure a 10 year old would have at home but since she's 19 it is hard to give her those kinds of limits. So, she ends up messing up because she's so impulsive.

    I truly believe....maybe I'm still thinking wishfully....that with the right amount of help and some maturity, she can be okay. I know that I am not able to provide the kind of structured environment and counseling that she needs. I just do not have it in me.

    But yes, you are all right. She needs to want this and do this. I've been encouraging her via text but also stay very firm that she will not have my support, emotionally or financially unless she is taking my advice and moving forward in a positive direction.

    The woman at the 2 year program called her back today. She is supposed to meet her tomorrow. PRAY that this works out. I know it will be good for her. I know she can do this.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    MamaKathy, she may very well decide to change. 19 is young. My daughter quit at 19 (she started at, I didn't have any idea). If she responds well to a structured environment maybe a few years in one MAY help her long term. Clearly she regresses when the structure goes away so maybe it is not best to bring her home. We as parents can not possibly offer what structured places do. Plus you will have peace if she is safe. So this is YOUR call...what feels best to you.

    I'm so glad you are taking your time!!
  16. accmama

    accmama Guest

    We have definitely decided she cannot come home. Whether she is motivated to change or not, we can't provide what she needs. I think her immaturity gets in the way even when she desperately wants to get better. I know she is upset with herself and tells us she never realized she'd be in such a mess. We remind her that we warned her months ago, but she didn't listen so maybe now she should start listening so in a year she's in a better place. I have told her that IF she manages to get herself some help and that IF she is doing well, I'll drive her four younger siblings north so we can visit with her. But only if she's made HUGE strides. Until then, they have to stay away from her.

    So anyway, it has been decided. She's not coming home right now, no matter what she says or does. We gave her advice and she'll have to take it or find her own way somehow.

  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    She's 19? I have a GFGbro who "magically" made major strides forward after the age of 25. I know... it's a long time away. But... it's not unusual for kids with challenges to mature at a different rate than their peers. And that GFGbro went on to get not one but two degrees. Time can make a major difference.
  18. accmama

    accmama Guest

    Yes, she's 19 and I actually have two friends in real life who were in similar situations at her age and were essentially homeless for years, due to their own choices. Both are successful moms with very normal stable lives right now. I keep reminding myself that these two friends somehow made it, my difficult child can too. I should probable consult both of these friends actually, to see what they think about the situation.

    Of course, then I remember the many people who don't make it- the people who end up being murdered, raped, getting addicted to hard drugs, commit serious crimes and end up in jail. Our country is loaded with people who don't make it. I like to think that knowing she has family rooting for her and has had a relatively good upbringing and has an army of people praying for her has to help somewhat, but I just don't know.
  19. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I know people that have managed to turn their lives around!

    One was living on the streets for years, trouble with the law, homeless, no family contact. He was in his 40's when he decided he wanted a better life. He is now clean and sober for 20+ years, married to another recovering user. They both have college degrees and are raising easy child kids.

    If I did not know these people I would not believe it if someone told me their history! It is possible if the person wants it. I hope someday my son will decide to walk a different path.

    The other I know very well worked at a well paying job, but stayed high every minute he wasn't working. His adult daughter was getting married and she told him she was ashamed of him and he would not be invited to the wedding. There could have been other circumstances, but in the year and a half before his daughter's wedding he turned his life around. He was also in his 40's. Don't give up it does happen.

    (((hugs and blessings)))