stealing, lying

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by done_dad, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. done_dad

    done_dad Guest

    Hi, I posted once before a while ago. difficult child now back with abusive boyfriend. She got a $750 settlement for an accident he caused, plus she has been working part-time, so she had some money saved up. She's been back with him about 3 weeks, and has spent all the money she had buying him marijuana. As you can imagine, they're very happy right now.

    She's also back to stealing - went with wife to the old folk's home where grandmother lives - she stole her jewelry, including her wedding ring. Luckily, wife found it in her purse before she could sell it. Her computer history showed she had looked up places to sell gold (she would have gotten pennies on the dollar of what it was worth).

    After that happened, we confronted her, and her first response was to lie - "I found it by the bus stop." Like we wouldn't ask wife's mom if it was her jewelry. After it was confirmed to be grandma's, when we asked her why she stole it, response was, "I don't know" or "I don't remember" in a very flippant way. We kicked her out for 4 days ( I wanted to, and still want to, kick her out for good - wife won't hear of it).

    I am very close to moving out myself. I have told wife this. She's trapped in a cycle of enabling difficult child, trying to fix things for her, doing things for her that just get thrown back in her face. I don't know what it will take for her to wake up. I literally can't take it anymore. Seeing the mask of pain that her face becomes when difficult child once again betrays an (undeserved) trust. Wife is planning to take difficult child to the old folk's home again! I don't want to cause her pain by leaving, but I can't live like this anymore - the grandma incident is only one thing that happened, there are MANY more.
     
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh I am so sorry to hear this. I can totally relate to what you are going through. We kicked out son out for 2 months, he went back to a program for 2 weeks and has made an effort so he is back home for now.... but the good thing is he knows if things get back againn we won't hesitate to kick him out. I don't think before we did it he ever thought we wool do it. Now he knows.

    A couple thoughts. Have you or your wife been to counseling? I started going to counseling quite a while ago to help me to let go of control with my son. It was a huge help. Recently my husband has been coming with me some of the time. I am not sure if we would have gotten to the point of kicking my son out, or done it so calmly, or done it in synch with each each without the counseling. So one thought would be to explain to your wife where you are at and that you need to go to counseling together to figure out how to best handle your difficult child.

    Ultimately you have to decide for yourself how much you can put up with, what you are willing to let go and what you are not. I know the feeling of thinking of leaving. In my situation I was clearer first and there were several times I thought if my husband gives in again then I am going to stay somewhere else for a while. Lucky for us it never actually came to that.

    OK on the abusive boyfriend. I work in the area of domestic violence. This is very tricky. Has your difficult child always been a difficult child or did this start with the abusive boyfriend? In either case I am sure he is complicating the situation. Just like anything else ultimately she needs to make her choices. In my experience a woman does not leave an abusive relationship until she is ready. What truly helps though is knowing she has a support system out there if she does leave. Part of the abuse is the abusive partner doing things to isolate her from her friends and family. So she needs to know you love her and will be there for her.... at the same time you need to set limits of what you won' t put up with. Clearly lying and stealing are not things you want to put up with.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Are you and your wife in therapy? Maybe someone outside could help her to understand that he commitment to your marriage was for life, and her obligation to your difficult child was until 18. difficult child makes her own choices now.

    FWIW, you might ask your wife how she would handle a nurse's aid who stole from her mother. Would she not press charges and give the nurse's aid a handout because she felt guilty that she somehow didn't stop her from stealing? I think not.
     
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Witz makes a very good point. If it were an aide or a stranger who had taken the jewelry your wife would not have reacted the same way. Perhaps getting her to see it from this point of view might help. Just because it was family does not make it right, does not make it less than stealing. Stealing is stealing. Period. The fact she lied shows you both that daughter knows it is wrong, even if wife is having issues admitting it. Perhaps your wife would benefit from reading a few posts here. My husband has done so on occasion when I thought the topic hit rather close to home especially in a area he just didn't seem to be getting.

    Your instincts are right. But it can be tough for some mothers to shift from the caretaker role to this person is an adult responsible for their behavior role........well heck it's tough for all of us, just some more so than others. Daughter will not learn if her mother will not let her learn. Just like with walking, riding a bike ect. Same thing just bigger.

    (((hugs))) I hear your frustration and understand it........been there done that.
     
  5. done_dad

    done_dad Guest

    difficult child was in court ordered therapy for 6 months (long story) - anyhow, we connected with the therapist and are going to see her as a couple now. She is helping us with presenting difficult child a united front.

    The abusive boyfriend is somebody else's difficult child himself - his mom is a HUGE enabler. Last July we found out he had been climbing in difficult child's window at night - we found out when the police showed up at 3 am because he had been skulking around outside between our house and the neighbor's and the neighbor called the police. The police wouldn't do anything at that time because difficult child had been "inviting" him in - (his parents are local politicos in our little community - which is part of the problem, he's been getting away with things all his life and the police are hands off).

    Anyhow, turns out he was climbing in the window, getting oral sex, and difficult child was giving him $20 for gas money too. (She's a little confused on who's supposed to give who $20 in these situations.)

    Wife found her myspace page and there was page after page of him calling difficult child every name in the book - wife took her to stay at relatives to try to get her out of this situation, but difficult child got back in contact with abusive boyfriend and he convinced her to move in with him (in his parent's house). boyfriend's mother drove to pick her up and take her back to their house.

    So, when they were living there, they were "drinking themselves into a stupor every night" (boyfriend's father's words), doing drugs, sleeping all day. difficult child had been going to local community college, was on the track team - was doing great. All that went down the toilet. (boyfriend is a loser, doesn't work, doesn't go to school, is on food stamps and general relief while living in parents house in gated community - he also tried to get difficult child involved in welfare fraud while she was living there.)

    During this time, she was sending wife text messages saying how much she hated her, cursing her, etc. They tried to break into our house one day - we came home and caught them and said if they tried again we would call the police. 2 weeks later they came back at night and broke into a shed in the backyard and stole some things to pawn (they were also stealing from boyfriend's parents). We called the police and pressed charges. Then wife panicked and hired a lawyer for her, which cost us a fortune. Anyhow, that's how she ended up in therapy.

    boyfriend's parents eventually had enough (the cops showing up at their house and arresting difficult child and boyfriend and retrieving our property from their house was probably the final straw). They kicked them out - they lasted about 2 weeks before loser broke his arm having a drunken tantrum, his car broke down (new car provided by parents) and his parents had it repossessed. difficult child moved back with us (gigantic mistake on our part to let her back in). Loser moved back in with his parents. Nothing but drama since then. We put locks on our bedroom, den, garage, and easy child's bedroom doors. So we have to walk about the house with a set of keys to get in various rooms. This is because difficult child will steal anything that is not nailed down. She pawned a $200 camera my brother gave her for Christmas for $25.

    So, this is the kind of insanity I'm living with - actually, I'd hardly call it living. Nothing we say, the therapist says, the police say, nothing gets through to difficult child. Loser boyfriend is just using her - but she sees it as "true love." Wife will agree to impose consequences, but then backs off when we go to implement them - I guess she sees it as protecting her baby, or that difficult child is a victim herself, so we have to be there for her. I see it as, yes, loser boyfriend might be behind some of this stuff, but difficult child is making choices to steal from us, lie to us, use drugs in our house, use our computer network to send pornographic pictures of herself out to the Internet, etc. Wife and I are devout Catholics, so all of this is totally against what we believe in and how difficult child was raised.

    With the therapist's guidance, we set down a very clear set of rules in writing and told her the next time she violates them, she has to move out. I know it's not a question of "if", but "when" she violates them. The question is, will wife follow through or not?
     
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sounds right to me. No matter the abusive boyfriend she is lying and stealing from you, you can not live like that. The bottom line is you can't protect her from the abusive boyfriend, she has to decide to do that for herself. In some ways it must be harder to kick a girl outnof the house. I knew when we kicked my son out that he could end up on the streets and in a terrible situation, but he is also a kid that will defend himself and so although in many ways vulnerable, I think I would have been even more worried if he was a girl.

    So yes if she breaks the agreement (sounds like she surely will) then you need to insist she move out. I would get as much help from the therapist as you can right now to help your wife be able to follow through.

    It absolutely does these kids no good to get the message that they can violate every rule, steal from their parents, and have no consequence. That is what finally got me to the point where I was willing to do it. I knew the life lesson he was learning from flagrantly violating the rules and then threatening me when I called him on it.... would be bad if I let him get away from it.

    Instead he was taken out by the police, no tresspassed from our house. He lived some with friends but also got arrested twice with a possible third charge. I mean he had to learn the hard way that he can't behave that way in society and get away with it.

    What we did do that helped give us some peace of mind (not a whole lot but some) was to continue paying for his cell phone. We kept in touch with him via text. I would text him and he would ignore me but it kept the door open and then when he needed something he would call us. I also got sort of friendly with the dad he was staying with. A whole lot of issues over there but I didn't care we connected and the dad kep tin touch with me so at least I knew my son was ok.

    Kicking him out was the best thing we could have done. I can't say he has it all turned around but after 2 months he went voluntariily back to his old Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 2 weeks to work on school work to finish his diploma. We worked on the rules for him to live here until he gets on his feet. He has been home a week. He has since managed to get a job for which he has orientation tomorrow. So although I don't think he is committed to being sober - which may be his downfall - he is taking some very positive steps to pulling it together.

    I think if we had not kicked him out we would still be where we were back in June or worse.....and now he knows we are serious. That level of stuff again and out he goes. Things have actually been pretty calm the last week. Maybe cause we had a good vacation and I am trying hard to not try and get in the way of decisions that are his to make.... but am being clear about what he does here at home or with our car.

    Good luck. I really hope your wife can follow through.
     
  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Not trying to be mean or critical but you are wasting your money on therapy if your wife isn't willing to tow the line. It is worse than doing nothing when you lay down the law and then go belly up when the time comes to impliment penalties. I am sorry you and wife are not on the same page. I've been there with my husband. Nothing changes if you do not form a united front. Fortunately for us we are now in agreement and life is easier since we both stood firm and told ouir difficult child that he was not welcome in our home if he was not clean and sober. We no longer give him money or things that he can sell for money it just fules his addictions. We will feed him if he is hungry and point him to help but it is up to him to make the effort. -RM
     
  8. done_dad

    done_dad Guest

    Thanks for all the words of wisdom - sounds like you've been through something similar to what we're going through. Wife is on board for laying down the rules and is talking like she's going to follow through - I think difficult child stealing wife's mother's jewelry really opened wife's eyes.

    We'll be here for her when and if she decides she wants a change - but not to be manipulated into supporting difficult child and boyfriend's criminal behavior and addictions. My attitude is - she knows the rules and what the consequences will be - if she steals, uses drugs in the house, has boyfriend sneak into our house, lies, uploads pornographic pictures of herself to the Internet - she is choosing not to live with us anymore by those actions.
     
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I am glad your wife is on board. It is so hard to go through this. And yes we were in a similar place last June. My son was out of the house for 2 months and I must say it did the rest of us some good to have the peace we should all have in our homes. He is back for the moment, but he did make some very clear steps on his own which made us willing to give him another chance. We are also looking at this as temporary. I am fully aware that we may get back to that same place and if we do he will have to leave again.

    One thing that really helped me. When we first kicked him out I kind of felt ok he did this, he got us to this point, so we need to wait until he gets in touch with us. I talked to my therapist about it. She also felt we had done the right thing and was very supportive of us. Anyway she said you just kicked him out, why would he then contact you??? That would be a hard step fo rhim to take. Good point. So she suggested we stay in touch with him, send him daily short loving text messages. Defintiely don't invite him back, make it clear he is out of the house, but also let him know you love him and keep the door open.

    That turned out to be really good advice. So I started texting him. He would not respond but that was ok. But then he needed something and he called us. He got arrested and he called us. Now I think he expected (or at least hoped) me at that point to come down and bail him out. I did not. But I told him I loved him. I showed up at his arraignment to see what happened. So although he was angry and distant we kept showing him we love him and support him. It was hard at times not to feel a bit used since he only called us when he needed something from the house, like clothes etc. But we let that feeling go.

    I tell you this because I know the temptation is to kick her out and then wait until she comes to you. That will make it harder on her and on you and your wife. It was a huge relief to me to realize I could still love my son, still show him I loved him, and yet still be clear that he could not live here.

    I think it all ended up making a huge difference in his decision to try and move on with his life in a more positive way.
     
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi done dad -

    I've read your story and WOW.....certainly a lot of heartache there. A lot of denial too huh? There are so many things going on in your house it's a small wonder you have stayed on as long as you have so I applaud you for your strength and courage, but mostly for your love of family. I think anyone could stay - you choose to stay. That says quite a lot about your character and willingness to keep your family together. Quite a rare quality in men these days.

    That said maybe I can shed a little light on things from a few angles. I'm a former abused and battered woman. The reasons a woman stays in an abusive relationship are more of a mystery to her than they are to the people that love her. (scoffs) Odd huh? See you can see that this is a bad relationship for her. She may KNOW it is, but chooses to stay. You can say things like "looser, worthless, no account" and to her? Oh boy oh boy you have just solidified that relationship 10 fold. Why? Well there's a cycle of abuse and it's something that anyone can understand, there are reasons that a woman will stay in a relationship and stages to the "why she stays" part and it's complex, and that's the part that gets convoluted for a lot of women. At first we stay because we believe what they tell us - we suffer from some kind of self-esteem issues, or lack of self worth. NOT self-confidence. I was one of the most self confidant people you would ever meet. Couldnt' be done? I COULD DO IT and would. Tenacity of a pit bull. But self esteem and self-confidence? Two different things. So somewhere in your daughters belief system she suffers from lack of self esteem or self worth BUT has NO idea. Personally for me? I was adopted and had no idea I had issues with it. She may have not been picked for high school prom queen or team captain or something seemingly trivial. But it's there. So when these guys come around with their lines - WE buy it hook line and sinker because they make us feel SO good. You just can't believe what a boost it is to our self esteem. HERE is everyone - all the women and HE singled ME out. THIS important minute was MINE - NOT hers, NOT her.....not even HER. BUT ME. So that's the start. Secondly? He may be the bad apple - a little dangerous and we think we can change them. Then we believe our LOVE will conquer all. I mean after all - THEY PICKED US....over everyone else.......they picked us - so WE can work miracles. And so it goes in a rather long laundry list of why we stay ------until it almost becomes nauseating to even us - and then we are trapped. Eventually we don't love them, we hate them, but we're trapped. We're afraid of them, we have enormous guilt about leaving them and they know how to play us - even right up to the suicide card. My ex attempted suicide in 13 years of marriage 11 times, moved us 44 times, and I was in and out of ICU like a revolving door. it took me 13 years and even more broken bones to leave him. I'm not a dumb woman, I was scared to death. Literally. He's 56 now and has not changed a thing even after I took our son and left - NOTHING has changed about him - just me.

    With regards to your wife? To me after reading about her and your daughters relationship I would explore the word enmeshed, and co-dependent. I also think if you understood the way an abused womans mind worked? I think you would get a better understanding of what your wife is going through with your daughter. To me? Their relationship is the same as an abusive relationship - it has the same dynamics, same guilt, same thought patterns, same "I can change her with love," same fears of "if I do this - she will never come back I will loose her forever, type thinking." and I say this - because with my son now 20 years old - We had locks on everything, got a safe, installed new windows, had to put locking gas caps on the cars, - I mean we put pad locks on the shed and HE TOOK THE HINGES OFF and REMOVED THE DOORS. How do you live with that? You don't. You tell them to get out. When he was arrested for burglary at 15? I had a stroke. He was looking at 40 years. I literally went to the hospital and passed out. Thought I was having a heart attack. After that? I upped my time at the psychiatrist.....got on anti-depressants, nearly lost my fiance of 9 years....and the therapist said - YOU have to start living for you.....YOU are 43 - if you live to 86 1/2 of your life is OVER.......are you going to continue to live LIKE THIS? My answer after thought was NO. Heck no. So what are you going to do about it I asked myself?? Then I made a plan and worked with my therapist - and I promise you it involved detaching from my son as much as possible and that wasnt' a bad thing, it has allowed him to grow up a lot. It's also allowed him to see that all those things that I tried to tell him and show him and teach him - like being honest, working, saving, being decent? Weren't just for "loosers like me"......yeah - they were actually things you'll need to get by in life so you can eat, have electricity, have a cool house, a car, gas, clothes...you know things a looser like me has.....and tried to give him.

    I wish you the best of luck. My advice to you would be to check with your therapist about getting some basic information on finding out why women stay in abusive relationships and about the cycle of violence. As far as your daughter and your wife? This co-depenent No more book may help her but shes in such denial - probably not. I'd start with the abusive relationship theory to get a handle on understanding them - because to me it seems very much like that is what is going on between them. Just a hunch. But you can be Mother and Daughter and have abusive relationships...as far as being the Dad in it? Well - if you DO step out of the picture for a while? No one says you can't go back....except you may explain to your wife that once you are gone? You may enjoy the peace so much that you might NOT want to come back to chaos---not that you don't want to come back to her - just peace is so euphoric....it's hard to give up. That may help her understand where you are coming from. It sure was an eye opener for me with my fiance.
     
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending many hugs and prayers to you. The wisdom you have been given here is not something I can add to. Toughlovin gave an awesome description of how you can love your child while detaching, as she described kicking him out to live as he chose to live, but still sending him texts of love, and of letting him have clothes or items like that when needed, even though she did not let him move back home, or give him financial support.

    Star has given you insight that ONLY a survivor of a long term abusive relationship who has then gotten a LOT of help for herself can give you. Her words truly are words of wisdom. She is not only wise and caring, and a survivor and one he(( of a woman, she is also a gifted writer who conveys her meaning in a way that makes it real and understandable to others. She is a true gift, as is her post to you.

    I cannot top this, except to say that of all things you do, make sure you keep coming back here for support, ideas, answers, and caring. Use us to blow off your steam instead of family. We don't get as upset, and we understand, so there is a lot less conflama when you vent here (conflama = conflict + drama). PLEASE go to AL Anon or Narc Anon. Even Parents Anonymous if it exists in your area. They will give you, and your wife, real life support to help you understand this and navigate a path back to healthy living for yourself. Take your wife if you can, but go even if she won't. Commit to 7 in 7 - 7 meetings in 7 days, try different times, etc.. Soon one will begin to be more comfortable and you will realize you are learning to live again.
     
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