Sweet Betsy-What to say or not say or do?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Mrs.McNear51, May 23, 2011.

  1. Mrs.McNear51

    Mrs.McNear51 Member

    I'll keep this really brief, but if you've got time, I'd really appriciate your input.

    Everything with SB has been status quo. Still homeless, couch hopping, drinking, no desire to be a part of society.

    I have done a pretty good job of detaching...she isn't allowed to stay with me, I don't give her money, etc. We still talk, I tell her what I've been telling her....treatment, treatment, treatment. She contiues to deny there's a problem....

    I just got the text from her that I've been praying I wouldn't get. ....Mom, I'm pregnant. I would really like to talk to you and get your advice...

    Problem is, I don't want to advise on this....I don't. I want to go ,lalalalalalala and cover my ears...I want to run away....

    What do my board friends think??????
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    First piece of advice? Dear SB, get your fanny off the booze and into treatment for any drugs. (I can't remember if drugs were involved in the equation or not)

    And when she argues, and she may, you might want to inform her that in certain places if she tests positive for drugs/alcohol while pregnant.......or gives birth to an addicted baby, well let's just say it won't be pretty. Not to mention damage done to the baby while she's partying it up, if she refuses to give up the party lifestyle.

    I hate to be blunt, but she's not just SB anymore. IF she's pregnant, there is another human being who is completely innocent to figure into the picture.

    This may be a motivation for her to get it together. It might not.

    If it were me, I'd talk with her. It doesn't hurt to try. I'd attempt to stay calm (ok not easy I know) but I'd be brutally honest with her about the effects her current lifestyle will have on the baby ect.

    I'm so sorry. You've already been to heck and back on this roller coaster ride with SB. You shouldn't have to deal with this too. Me? I'd talk to her because it's my grandchild, and whether she kept it or gave it up, I'd want it to have the best start possible. I'd talk to her because she's my child and the slim chance this new life may be what saves her from herself.

    Not saying what you should do. You're the only one who can do that. Just saying what I'd do in your place. I can imagine the range of emotions you must be feeling.

    Prayers going up for both you and SB.
  3. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    My difficult child had a baby and while she wasn't drinking or drugging (to the best of my knowledge) she certainly was in no position to have a baby. When she told me I didn't say much because I was about ready to lose it. She had already decided to keep the baby, so I calmly explained what a big responsbility it was going to be, etc. Then I went out and bought her a What to Expect When You're Expecting book. I figured it was the best thing I could do since she had decided to have the baby. I also told her this was HER baby and I was not going to raise another child. I must admit I have gone back a bit on that since the baby is here.Right now I would love to have custody of KK because Kat is not providing properly for her. I think it changes once the baby is here and an actual person that you love.

    I would say don't give her advice about whether or not to have or keep the baby. That has to be her decision that she has to live with for the rest of her life. Try to be supportive, which is hard because they are being such immature idiots. For me, the pregnancy was actually worse than when the baby was finally here. I think the imagination of how bad it's going to be is worse than the reality. And with Kat her baby daddy was also her abuser, so it's been a nightmare serveral times. But I think that KK is such a joy that it is worth dealing with the problems. I know how you feel- it's a terrible situation. But I love my granddaughter so much! If she decides to have the baby focus on how much fun it will be to be around a baby again- because it is, even when the situation is not the best. Hang in there!
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    My advice would sound harsh.
    I have an adopted difficult child and have many friends who do as well. I have one friend who after adopting her difficult child, lost her health and her marriage.
    I no longer have rosey thoughts on the topic.
    If it doesn't look likely that she is going into treatment, doesn't want treatment, etc. then you know what the options are and I would consider ALL OF THEM.
    There are some stories of difficult children having a baby and this helping them to a certain extent when reality hits. But there are MANY stories that don't go this well. And innocent children are hurt. Or grandmothers step in and try to help.
    I have a friend who has done this REPEATEDLY. Now, her life (the grandmother) is starting to crumble....too much financial burden and stress.
    If you go the adoption route, PLEASE don't lie to the agency. They should know the real truth regarding her past history and any possible mental health concerns.
    I am so sorry to read about all this. Surely, it is confusing and conflicting.
    I would brainstorm all her options with her
    If she asks you for your personal choice, I would hesitate to tell her. But, in time you might know more clearly the answer to this and change your mind.
    After this is finalized, I would provide her with birthcontrol...no matter the cost.
    Lasted edited by : May 24, 2011
  5. Star*

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

    Well, hey there friend.

    I'm guessing? By the lack of responses and the influx of 101 inquiries - with limited responses? This is a really "Oh boy don't ask me for advice" kind of topic. But since you asked? I guess we're supposed to come out and say what we feel or think and give you advice given the situation your Betsy is in.

    WOW. (Exhale long and hard) Friend I just don't know. I do know that Betsy has an awful lot of hard decisions to make, but I would guess that since she has told you? She's chosen to keep the child and not have an abortion. Usually when kids opt for abortion they aren't as likely to come home and tell their parents - they just go off and do that, and you'll never know. Either that or she's too far along and didn't have the money to have it done. Hate to sound brutal, but procrastination is one of our kids' strong suits. I'm not pro or anti abortion either. I'm just thinking out loud about choices Betsy made as a drug addict, an alcolholic and this baby has a 50/50 chance of having a long hard life with the potential to be born with mental or physical handicaps put on it purposely. It's hard enough to have two healthy parents and have that 50/50 chance. I pray that the baby is inthe 50% that is born without incident like I do for all babies, but you asked, and I'm a realist. I'm also an optimist. So no hate mail. It is what it is.

    My second thought is she's very scared. Very. She's an addict, an alcoholic and pregnant. Not a trifecta anyone wants to hear happening , but again - she called YOU. Interesting. I'd say this means in Besty world- "I messed up and I don't know how to fix this." Amazing to me is that they think this is a fixable solution. This is life altering, everyones life and a new life comes into play.

    Does she at all sound like she wants help or do you think she's just looking for a place to get her head together, dump the baby and then go back to Betsy world in 8 or so months? I'd want to know where her head is. Is she committed to becomming a Mother, or is that something ELSE she wants you to do for her? If so - Is that something YOU want to do? Or is adopting the child out a better plan for it? Not that I think anyone would want an alcolhol fetal baby or a drug of choice child - Nomad's right, she'd have to disclose what is going on to adoptive parents.

    You know your daughter best, even on drugs - what do you think she's planning here? SB and Mom raise the baby? SB gets off drugs, gives baby up for adoption and realizes she made a mistake and gets her life together from here on out? SB gets off drugs, gives the baby up and goes back on drugs? SB doesn't give up drugs, gives birth to the baby, keeps it and life is a mess for everyone? SB gives up drugs, gives the baby to Mom to raise and leaves? Lots of variables - and if she says "I don't know Mom." you had better tell her to get her mess together Quick, FAST and in a hurry - she doesn't get the luxury of just thinking self-centered about SB anymore. Thanks to her poor decisions - she now has to think about baby first and SB last. She better get used to that TODAY. Right now.

    I guess Nomads advice would sound harsh - mine IS harsh. I still love Betsy- that's why this Auntie says it's time for her to grow up.

    Hugs & Love
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess Im harsh too. Im praying Betsy called you before her time is up. I hope that if she is still using and abusing that she still has time to make some choices that save a life that might not be SB. Again no hate mail but in my opinion, if a baby is likely to be born this messed up, it is probably in its best interest not to be born. I dont think SB is in any position to be a parent right now and this baby has already been damaged probably beyond repair. Tony's brother kept getting drug addicted women pregnant and the state kept taking them away. These were pathetic little babies. Really. Drug addicted, brain damaged, physically impaired babies. They actually asked us if we wanted to adopt one! I declined. This was right before Keyana was born...can you imagine me taking care of a child like that at my age? I cant.

    I will admit I am pro choice but I think the child should have the choice to be healthy too.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm with Nomad for so many reasons!!!!!

    I am sorry you are having to deal with this situation. This is a huge worry for me also, but I know what advice I would give.

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. Forgive me for forgetting, but is this her second child? If so, I would NOT hold out hope of this bringing any long term change into her world. IF she truly want to have this child, she MUST get clean. This means treatment. She likely will want to move into your home and have you care for her and her child. It will mean she wants to either have you be her jailer and take the responsibility of staying cleana nd sober from her, or she wants to try to snow you and sponge off you, or both. It likely means she will give birth to an addicted difficult child. Even if she stops everything now she is highly unlikely to have a child who is without problems.

    Hound is right, giving birth to a child while you are on drugs or one that is addicted can mean YEARS in jail in some areas. It is COLD but I have long thought that if you give birth to an addicted child your penalty should be not having any more kids ever. It just costs too much and is a price that YOU don't ahve to ever pay. YOU can dump the child on relatives or the system and go back to partying and the child pays the price every single hour of their lives. I do think that Janet is right. Ending the pregnancy is painful for you and ends a life, but it does keep a child from suffering life iwth the problems of drug addiction and fetal alcohol.

    If she has the baby, make her work HARD to get sober and clean, stay that way and figure out how to care for her child in every way. I would like to think this is not a second time and that she will use this to get treatment, stay clean and sober, and turn her life around. IT just doesn't happen that way. I still remember my shock at hearing, when my niece was five months old, that her mother had NEVER had more than five months of sobriety in the last fifteen years. She likes opiates and alcohol and swore up and down she was clean while pregnant. But it was NOT true. I see ways it impacts my niece, but the family does not. Blessedly the child does not have fetal alcohol syndrome or addiction issues, but it is through NO fault of her mothers. her mom has been in rehab/detox or a psychiatric hospital at least eight times in the last seven years. And now wants full custody based on lies about my bro abusing his daughter. But she cannot care for the child even on the half time basis she has her now - my parents have her the other half since the court says that bro has to prove he isn't abusive (and niece openly said she lied about it because her mommy told her to - but all that got was a continuance) and they have her 1-2 of my exsil's days with her. Exsil will just not show up - and school has to call my parents. But exsil is NOT working or in treatment right now - just passes out and niece goes and wanders around town with her dog. At 7 years old.

    THIS is what the child has to look forward to - IF she doesn't have problems from the alcohol and drugs (cause rarely do alcoholics just drink - once they are drunk they will do ANYTHING most of the time, they just don't remember it so it doesn't "count" - from what I have seen.)

    I am so sorry. You have EVERY right to run screaming lalalalalalalal and NOT give her advice. If you cannot cope, tell her that this is her problem and not yours and unless she goes to treatment you don't want to talk to her.
  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I have seen this a total of 5 times from SO's neice T - addicted to drugs - two babies with really bad emotional problems his sister has taken custody of - pregnant with 3rd when she came our way wanting to get straight - asked us to think about taking the baby - we didn't (well, I did but SO said absolutely NOT) In hindsight he was right - she moved to Mexico as the feds were looking for her in connection with the boyfriend transporting illegal aliens- can't come back here unless she deals with a realllyyyy long prison sentance, gave birth to the baby,and then went on to have two more - all of them with mental health issues. His sister will end up with those three as well - he, his mom and I send out positive vibes into the universe that his sister stays healthy.

    The stories in the paper abound about abused bio children and adopted children comming into the world and having tragic ends to their little lives - I would probably councel her to terminate (no hate mail please) and later on down the road when she is stable, revist the having a baby issue. She already has a beautiful little boy living elsewhere due to her bad choices. And so many drug addicted women end up with less than desirable partners in life.

    What a mess these kids can make of their lives sometimes :( Am so sorry you have to have any kind of "what to do" talk

  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I totally understand wanting to run and hide. My difficult child is curently in jail and his girlfriend is pregnant. They have no money, no place to live, he is still struggling with his addictions, she appears to be estranged from her family and this baby has a less that 10% chance of not inheriting difficult child's genetic disorder and being born normal . The baby will need much medical attention and both the parents are too ignorant and immature to cope with it. Like you, I wish the mother would terminate the pregnancy. I Have not said this to my son and I will not ever. They won't do it anyway and the situation my difficult child was born into will continue. I can only hope that that baby will be taken and put up for adoption and he will have a family who sticks with him till adulthood as we did for difficult child.

    I am taking my time deciding what role if any I will have in this child's life. I am leaning toward not having much to do with this child. I fell that way becasue I know that difficult child and girlfriend will try to take advantage of us using the baby as a pawn for us to give them money and things. They will not follow any advice given either by me or by professionals and I will be stressing out all the time. I will most likely call DSS and inform them that this baby is on the way and his likely medical risks/needs. Hopefully DSS will make sure the mother gets prenatal care and counsel the her on nutrition, support her, monitor the baby and hook him into the right developmental programs and medical specialists from an early age. I have lost my health to my difficult children and there is no way I could even think about raising or even overseeing the life of another one of him.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry rejectedmom about your difficult child and the circumstances. Sigh. I also worried about the pawn thing with Cory but he was told that would never fly here and if he tried it even one time he would be extremely sorry and for once in his life, he listened well. I am assuming he will do the same with the new baby. I have enough faith in him that he can keep Mandy in line, I dont doubt that she would attempt to play the pawn game if Cory wasnt in the picture.
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish I had advice. I've been through this twice with Youngest. After her first baby was born, she really did turn things around.. stopped drinking/experimenting with drugs, got reasonably stable, got a job, her own place, etc. Then, she met another abusive loser.. and got pregnant again, and threw all that away. The second pregnancy was especially painful for me.. her epilepsy was not stable when she got pregnant, and her seizures worsened in the first half of her pregnancy. They loaded her with more and more anti-seizure medications to stop the seizures, which caused the baby to have growth issues. My granddaughter now has pretty significant developmental delays and is working with a physical therapist. Youngest admitted to me just last week that she wishes she'd never had a second child, it's too hard ( not to mention the baby's issues). That was a tough statement for her to make, yet, I'm still not sure she's ready to make the changes necessary to turn her life around again.

    I'm struggling with my role in the lives of my grandchildren, especially given that I've allowed them all to move in with me. My therapist recently said to me that I have to accept that these children will never have a "normal, happy life" because of the choices Youngest has made (and continues to make), and that I have to mourn the loss of the life I would want for them. Their lives are going to be full of instability and emotional trauma. It's incredibly painful, and I'm struggling to dump a bunch of misplaced guilt. I can't raise these kids, I barely survived raising mine.

    I, too, harshly hope that it's "not too late."

  13. Star*

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

    I'm still looking for articles on drugs - which I'm assuming is pain killers like Oxycodone et al. Not sure what she's doing but that and heroin seem to be the drug of the day. My sister in law worked in the neo-natal unit and is now a teaching nurse at NKY. She's rocked a lot of babies that were addicted to sleep forever and that's why she teaches now, said it was too painful.

    Just wondered how you were doing Mrs. Mc.N. I'm sure this has not been an easy thread for you. Sending hugs.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm your CD relative and you know that I care for you but darn it...I don't want to reply to your post. It pains me to think that you are being drawn in to a lose-lose situation. been there done that.......and my life has been absorbed into raising another generation of children. It's not pretty.

    First of all I have to say that I am pro choice. The question in my mind is pretty simple. SB is not a dumb kid. She knows that drugs and alcohol effect baby development. She knows that she does not have to have a baby. She knows that if she has a baby that the baby is going to require decades of financially and emotionally expensive. Why would she want to talk to you about it? Based on my experience....she wants your support. She can talk to counselors and Planned Parenthood counselors who are experts. She wants your support.

    You can't advise her to abort. You can't let her convince you that with your support that she will come clean...she has been there and done that with her choices and she is not going to morph into a young adult who is ready to accept responsibility for her actions and the outcome. What is there to talk about?

    I've lived through four announcements. There was not an issue with substances. husband and I allowed GFGmom to add to our family....23 years ago. (Yes, we love easy child/difficult child like he is our own.) She could not or would not step up to the plate. More announcements followed. "A baby" can quickly become baby A, B and C etc. Once you embrace and love them you end up in an untenable situation.

    My reluctant advice is to say "SB you know as much as I do about your options. I love you and hope the choice you make turns out to be the best one for you." Period. No discussion. She is not developmentally delayed. This is the time that she has to face herself in the mirror........and you don't want yourself and your life reflected in the glass. I am truly sorry that you re at this crossroads. Sending caring thoughts and prayers your way. DDD
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Others have given excellent advice. Being pro choice, I think that if you advise her to terminate the pregnancy she will try to use this against you for years to come. No matter why you end a pregnancy, it is painful for all but sociopaths and maybe narcissists. SB will use this pain to escape further into her substnaces of choice. It will be YOUR fault because you did not jump up and down for joy and promise to support her and the baby forever. So you MADE her do it. It isn't true, but truth doesn't really matter to an addict. Only drugs matter (lumping alcohol in with other drugs).

    I think that whatever you tell her will be used against you later, just as a way to manipulate you. DDD has excellent advise - to NOT advise her. Send her to planned parenthood and the link that Star posted. And then do what you must do anyway - let her handle it, because reality is that you have no real choices here - the choices are hers.
  16. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I guess I kind of straddle the "pro choice" fence and I could never presume to give someone advice about what to do. But I do know what I've seen in our own family.

    Seventeen years ago my then-brother-in-law and his wife, after trying to have a baby for nine years, adopted a newborn baby boy. Back then they gave almost no information about the biological parents or the mother's pregnancy. He was a beautiful, sweet natured baby but was born early, not quite five pounds. He didn't develop normally in his first years, very slow to walk, was over a year old before he could sit up by himself, didn't talk, almost no muscle tone, hearing problems, then they found out that he had a heart defect that would need surgery. They had a whole herd of doctors whose best guess was fetal alcohol syndrome and drug use by the bio-mom during pregnancy. The whole family dotes on this boy. We always said that God chose the perfect parents for him. They have done wonders for him and he's progressed far beyond what was expected. But his limitations are so severe. Their whole lives have had to revolve around this boy and he requires as much supervision as a toddler. For them, adopting a second child was out of the question because he takes up 100% of their time. He will never be like a normal child, much less a normal 17 year old. He will never go to high school or college, he will never be able to sit down and read a book, he will never play sports, learn to drive, go places with friends, have a girlfriend or get married and have his own children. He will require supervision and care for the rest of his life and his parents are not young any more. When they adopted him, they had no idea he would be anything but a perfectly healthy, normal boy. They rose to the challenge and have devoted their lives to caring for him. If they knew then what they know now, would they do it over again? Yes, probably. But would they choose this? Absolutely not! It's really something to think about. To me, it's absolutely heartbreaking because it was all so preventable!
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  17. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Sorry about the situation,

    My advice - If you need somebody to talk to , I am willing to listen but I really can't guide you or give you any advice - you need to get advice and guidance from the experts

    The distorted thinking of keeping the baby instead of adoption is that I will now get state help and live off the back of the baby

  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I have friends whose lives have been devastated by abortion. As a completely pragmatic statement, free of any other moral or spiritual consideration, it is not a consequence-free "fix it". All a woman's unresolved problems can just get deeper and more hopelessly entrenched afterwards. Having a baby in difficult circumstances is a really tough option but there is hope, joy and a chance of healing at the end of it. With abortion there is none of that.
  19. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Actually I've found that this is not usually the way these young girls think when they decide to keep a baby. At least, not amongst Youngest's friends who've had babies in high school and just out of high school (and unfortunately, there are a lot of them). It's more along the lines of, "a baby is someone who's going to love me no matter what, and it'll be so cute, and everyone will pay lots of attention to me because I have a baby." These girls also seem to have come to the conclusion that giving a baby up for adoption, is something that makes them a bad person ... they somehow think people will think worse of them for giving up a baby, than for keeping the baby and trying to take care of it. It's somehow embarrassing to them.. to be pregnant for nine months and then give a baby away.

    Very few of Youngest's friends are living off the backs of their babies with state help. Mostly, they're living off the backs of their enabling parents who babysit for them and co-parent the children, so the girls can still go out and party.
  20. Star*

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

    Mrs. McNear,

    I've thought about this post, SB you and most of all? The baby. I don't know about anyone else here on the board, how they think, what their thoughts are - what their religious convictions are - how they go about their day to day lives or what they think of anything they say, or how they feel at the end of the day when their head hits the pillow and they talk to their Higher Power. Mine happens to be the All Mighty. So there I am...and I hear this little voice that say "So what if.....is that really the best advice you can give?"

    And you know......huh......exhale...I laid there and I thought and I thought and junk rolled through my head like- Did I say the right thing, Is there a chance that maybe this baby would, could maybe be just as bright and as loving and sweet without any problems as Lincoln is? (her other son being raised by the Father's Mother). I think about him quite a lot. I wonder if SHE does. Did she think about him at ALL when this happened. How could she? What were your thoughts when she walked in the door on drugs, addicted to booze and said "Oh Mom I'm pregnant!" I mean here I am not even thinking about how YOUR heart must have felt just a bash all on Sweet Betsy,because - well because if I'm her Auntie and it jerked a knot in my knickers I can't imagine what this is doing to you - again.

    So I guess my first thoughts sometimes are not necessarily the best ones or even the most well thought out ones because while I'm sitting there last night thinking about all this again...I just kept thinking "What if?" Now hear me out because I'm not pro-abortion, I'm not anti-abortion, I'm not pro-welfare, I'm not anti-welfare. I think there's reasons for each system and that's all I care to say about that. So obviously she's on drugs, she's drinking - and she says WHAT? She'll quit. So then this little life is born into your world and maybe it becomes someone just grand that otherwise? You never ever have known about. Maybe he or she grows up to cure something or invents something. On the other side of that coin - maybe he/she is born with such disabilities or deformities that it suffers it's entire life and is miserable, or maybe it grows up to be someone like Manson and takes someone elses dreams away.

    Fact is? Everyone that has been brave enough to post here to you? Has a point. Everyones comment holds validity in some shape or form whether its pro or anti, whether it's think about the consequences to the baby, or think about the consequences to the Mother life-long. What is amazing to me is how one persons irresponsibility and choice has affected so many people. How one persons tiny little person has and continues to effect the thoughts and minds of so many other peoples thoughts. I can't be the only person that walked away from this post and thought OMW - did I seriously just tell a young woman to consider NOT having that baby because .......because of what kind of a life I know I had with my son and how bloody ridiculously hard it was even with all the support in the world and he was NOT addicted to drugs and alcolhol? I mean it really hit me like a ton of bricks WHY I said what I said....I know what life with a drug addict is like, I KNOW what life with someone addicted to alcohol is like. I KNOW what their personalities are about, their mood swings, their temper tantrums, and their unpredictabilities, and then add behavior problems on top of that - and how much turmoil it causes and heartache and how many times you hit the ground on your knees and pray for some kind of answers or strength or peace - and here she is purposely brinig a child INTO situation - and I just couldn't see how to advise her otherwise based on what I know, what I've lived, what I've survived, and how unfair I felt it was to that baby. Not for her - but for that baby.

    But - I'll say this in closing -----there is always a chance, stranger things have happened, hope is eternal, and while I'm a realist? Without faith? I have and am nothing. So whatever Betsy decides I hope she puts a lot of faith and conversation with her higher power in this because it's beyond her life at this point. And I'm not getting all pro-life preachy here because I'm pro-choice and pro-look at the situation for what it is. I've just had a small reminder recently that said - If it had been your choice, and you knew how Dude would have turned out - would you have taken someones advice?

    For your fears - and your hurt, and your aching heart Mother? I am so sorry - I just wish there were arms big enough to hug you and SB because now that the initial anger has worn off - we have some decisions to make...and they aren't easy and you don't need vinegar - you need friends. For my part in spitting? My apologies. Just a worn auntie - so tired of all the poor choices in this old world. Even my own.

    Hugs and Love - :hugs: