Well, my friends, I am back and it is not good news . . .

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kathy813, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate to ruin a board success story but things are going downhill quickly. As some of may recall, I was a regular here when my difficult child was 19 - 23 years old. We kicked her out several times when she was doing drugs and stealing from us. I was able to detach from her at that time but for some reason I am having a harder time now.

    difficult child moved back in when she was going to school to learn to be a hair stylist. She made all of the usual promises and, of course, did not follow through on most of them but it was bearable. She graduated from hair school and has had several jobs but they never seem to provide her with a stable income and she is still dependent on us for most things.

    The problem is that she is still stealing from us. No matter what we do for her, it is never enough. I know that it is our fault because we never followed through with consequences. Despite the fact that we paid for her expensive hair design program, bought her another car (a cheap used one but it still came out of our savings since husband is still not working) and only asked her to pay for her own phone, car insurance, and medical expenses (which she gets by going to a local mental health clinic with very small copays).

    So what did she do this time? She took our Shell card without permission and put $177 on it in two weeks (but supposedly only used it for gas . . . yeah, uh huh). I noticed it missing today and called husband who checked online and realized what happened. He called her at work and she admitted taking it.

    I was furious and we got into a huge fight. Of course, it was all my fault according to her because I have been such a bad mother and inflicted such deep emotional scars. Yup, she's almost 25 but her actions will always be my fault.

    We gave her a choice of moving out or us reporting the fraudulent charges and at first she dared us to do it. When I got on the phone with the credit card people, she came into the room and started begging and crying and when I stayed on the phone, she started banging her head against the wall so hard that I thought she would knock herself out. I've never seen anything like it.

    So what do I do? She makes veiled comments about us being sorry but will not come out and say that she will kill herself if we kick her out. She is still on probation from a DUI so she says that if we report this, she will end up spending a year in jail.

    Does anyone know if this is true? Would this be a felony or a misdemeanor?

    I'm sorry to be back under these circumstances.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm so sorry you had to come back under these circumstances. {{{Hugs}}} Personally, I wouldn't worry about the threats because I think she is playing you by hinting at harming herself. I don't know about the criminal charges but I imagine identity theft and credit fraud are charges that could result in her parole being revoked. I suppose she should have thought about that before stealing your credit card. As to everything being your fault... it will be your fault no matter what you do so you may as well protect your family's finances and have her leave whether you decide to press charges or not.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Oh Kathy---I'm sorry things are going badly. I think bad times are so much worse after moments of relative (at least for a difficult child) peace. I am one who has had a child steal from me. He is a felon now because he went on the steal from someone else. I now try and enforce consequences for bad choices---but like you, I also supplement his income when I probably shouldn't and should force him to learn to budget----but if it's illegal---then there is no choice, in my mind, I will do what I have to do.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The problem is that she does not seem stable and is playing the mental health card. She keeps saying that she is emotionally fragile and unable to take care of herself and has no where to go which is probably true. The enablers of the past do not seem willing to help her anymore.

    Seeing her smash her head against the wall was truly frightening. Could she be so mentally unstable that we have to keep her here and let her steal from us? Or is she playing us like a fiddle?

  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It's the choice she has made, and if she had done this to a stranger they would tell the police. You may be fooling yourself that you are the only ones that she is stealing from. If I had told her I was going to turn her in, I would. It makes it worse to make threats that you don't keep. She may very well be putting on a big show for you by banging her head that she wouldn't put on for someone else.

    I wish there was a "right" answer, but there's not. My gut tells me that you should turn her in, but it also seems obvious that this will be a sad story for a while, no matter what you do. Bottom line, if she's stealing from you, she can't live with you. At the very least she should have to come up with another arrangement.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Kathy- Why did she come into the room to smash her head? The only reason I can think of is so you would see it. I really think she's manipulating you and she will continue to ratchet up the ante to get her way. Better to cut her off now before she gets even more violent with herself or someone else.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish we could just make her leave without reporting the theft. Unfortunately, we found out the hard way that we have to give her a 30-day eviction notice to get her to leave. husband and I are going to the courthouse tomorrow to tell them about the theft and see if we can speed things up that way. Unfortunately, I think they are going to tell us that we have to press charges and file a police report before they can do anything.

    She is telling us that she is not moving out and there is nothing that we can do about it. This is at the same time that she is telling us that we are horrible people and are making her life miserable. Wouldn't you want to move out if the people you are living with are making you miserable? She alternates between threats (like posting personal information that she found when snooping on my computer) and bouts of poor, poor me.

    TM~ she has threatened us in the past when she got mad. We had the police here about a month ago when she got into a rage about us refusing to pay her cell phone bill and said that she was going to kill me. I didn't hear it since I was behind a locked door. Only husband heard it and it turns out that both of us would have had to hear it to get the police to act on it (she would have been arrested). That is when they told us again about her "legal right to be here since she has established residency" and that we would have to send her a letter giving her thirty days to leave and then go to the courthouse if she refused and sheriff deputies would come remove her from our house.

    I can't even imagine what she would do to our house during those thirty days. I truly worry that she would hurt our dogs.

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am so very sorry.
    Her behavior is abusive to you and herself.
    Personally, I would consider a consult with an attorney re: all your options and of course, lock up all your stuff including internet, etc. I WOULD give her the thirty day eviction notice. She has the education and ability to get a job. You've done your job. If you are willing and able and since she has expressed a need, you might provide her with the opportunity to see a psychiatrist and a mental health professional on an on-going basis. I would definitely do this. BUT, you absolutely, positively, do NOT have to, nor should you even consider providing her with a place to stay when she is stealing from you, etc. If she continues to threaten suicide, find out if you can have her picked up to be evaluated at a local hospital. She should not make idle threats and if the threats are real, then she should be hospitalized. IF she is on drugs...get yourself to Al Anon or Families Anonymous ASAP. I'm sorry....but love yourself, wish her the best and get out of harm's way.
  9. helpme

    helpme New Member

    I wrote my post, but I am going to come back in an hour or two
    after I sit on it a bit to think. Cause I know I went "extreme".
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't think that she is using illegal drugs but I do think that she is abusing her prescription medications. She threatened to sell her Adderall to pay us back . . . again, something that she is being "forced" to do . . . that's how she thinks. Oh, and I am being spiteful using this "bad decision" against her. And as crazy as it sounds . . . it gets to me.

    I used to think that she would outgrow all of this somehow. It is hitting me square in the face that, at 25, this is the person that she is going to be. It breaks my heart.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would give her the written 30 days eviction notice today. If she gets her head together in 30 days she doesn't have to move, but it starts the clock ticking if there is no other recourse.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Is she getting any talk therapy? I believe this is vital for her well being.
    But most important for you, is having her leave your home. Certainly sounds like eviction is what needs to be done.
    In the end, it might help her too. Logical consequences are impacting.
    Please read the detachment literature. I really like Henry Cloud's Book on Boundaries as well.
    It sounds like she's got to go through another dip down the roller coaster and reach out for help before she can get better. Being a parent is a tough road. Some of us have a tougher road than others. (hugs). But you will survive. What choice do you have? And by doing the right thing, by loving yourself and by creating a healthy boundary for yourself...you will actually demonstrate/model good boundaries for her to emulate.
    I would hesitate to press any charges against her (but WOULD for repeated offenses), but would NOT allow her in my home when she is abusive to me and stealing is abusive. Re-read Suz's detachment stuff for support and wishing you strength. Sending good thoughts and hugs.
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, she already has a "plan." She says that she is going back to school because she doesn't want to be a hairdresser anymore since it is "monotonous." Now she wants to major in psychology to help little children that are victims of "bad parenting." Is there still a roll eyes emoticon?

    Anyway, she actually has applied to a local college and is planning on getting a FASFA loan and Pell grant which she plans on using to pay for an apartment and tuition for school. This has been in the works for a while. Of course, I don't think that she will stick with it and then she will have school loans to pay back with no degree to show for it but husband said if it gets her out of the house he is all for it.

    She just came in and cried on my shoulder. . . said she was sorry for everything. difficult child said that she thinks that she is bipolar and knows that she needs more help than she is getting at the community mental health center . . . says she doesn't know why she does the things that she does.

    She asked if she could stay until May when her grant money comes in (which has been the plan for the last couple of months).

    Oh, and she says she will pay us back with her next paycheck. The problem with that is that she already owes us most of the next paycheck for damage to husband's truck when she ran it off the road Christmas night while changing CD's. She is on a monthly payment plan for that.

    I'm think I am getting played again . . . this is a new tack, though. Usually, everything that goes wrong in her life is my fault.

    Nomad ~ The local mental health community clinic where she sees a p-doctor once every 3 months and gets her medications does have therapy groups for bipolar patients but difficult child has always dismissed the possibility of being bi-polar. She also says that talk therapy has never helped her in the past when I bring it up. She doesn't have health insurance and husband is still unemployed so seeing a private p-doctor is out of the question.

  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Can you ask if they have individual appointments? Our local university will do individuals for $35 intake and then $20 a session.

    Think about it...when someone is depressed, it is not a good feeling. Sometimes a person is lethargic, and this makes them not want to go to therapy. But often what happens is that they are so desperate for the feeling to improve that they will try anything to stop the pain. With other disorders...I suspect it is different. You might try asking her what the harm is in trying individual therapy sessions for at least a few sessions to check it out if you can find it at a reasonable cost.

    >The doctor prescribing her medicine should know that she is worried about being bipolar, has talked about (even if it doesn't seem serious at times) suicide and has threatened to sell her medication. These things are all very important!

    Bottom line...as best as you are able...I would help her get good medical/psychological care, set up some firm boundaries in your home, proceed with the eviction and protect your own good mental health.

    Again, I'm so very sorry...this has got to be a horrible let down...very draining, conflicting and hearbreaking. Sending good thoughts for strength and wisdom.
    Lasted edited by : Apr 5, 2010
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    "The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry."

    I think that it's great that she has a plan and it would be wonderful if she sticks to it. Stay until May when she gets her check? I'd make a written contract with her that violation of the rules will mean immediate removal from the household. Have her sign it in front of the notary, and you and husband do that too. Then you don't have to wait 30 days if she goes off the rails again.

    But given the song she was singing yesterday I'd give her the eviction notice anyway and tell her that this is her incentive for it not to come to that in 30 days. Like I say, you don't have to kick her out in 30 days if there is a miraculous recovery on her part. But May is a long way away, and I'd have to see the paperwork showing that she was getting the grant and her budget for herself before I'd make any bargains like that.
  16. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hi Kathy, I doubt she will hurt herself. She is too self absorbed and is sure the world revolves around her. I would be cautious
    about her doing vindictive things, like posting private info.
    What happens if while she is at work if you have the locks rekeyed. It's not too expensive. She would have to ring the door bell to get in.
    Put a deadbolt on the office where the computer is kept. Lock up every credit card, check book, cancelled checks and
    bank statements. She is forcing you to treat her as a thief because she is a thief. Just because you are related doesn't mean she isn't
    acting as a thief.
    Encouraging her to get a thorough evaluation is a good start but I would be very clear that if anything is missing or any damage to the house
    or car that you will file charges and follow through. Being bipolar is not an excuse for doing the wrong thing. Maybe the impulsivity is a component but
    she consistently used the credit card and seems to have no remorse.
    Using logic doesn't work for our young adults when they want something.
    She should feel shame at taking things from family but for some reason our kids only see what they want or need.
    Be clear that she is out May 31st or sooner if she breaks a rule.
    I would definitely control her access to the house without supervision. She has to earn trust.

    I agree with the poster who says that the fact that she is stealing from you, she is probably stealing from someone else.
    Hopefully she doesn't get her self hurt by robbing the wrong person or her boss.

    Sorry to hear the downward spiral. My heart is with you.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    ((hugs)) Kathy

    No real advice. Mine recently took a nose dive herself and it was far from pretty. I think it's a bit harder to handle when you get a period of fair stability with them. I know for me it was worse than back when I was used to it.
  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Fran is right on this one. I'm bipolar AND AS. I am STILL responsible for my care and upkeep, and most importantly, for my actions. It is my job to make sure I have appropriate therapy and medications, and that I be compliant with my maintenance treatment.
  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Would that cover us legally? I have a feeling that she would still get the 30 day eviction period even if she signed something in writing.

    Fran ~ I swore that I would never have to live like that again. Second verse . . . same as the first.

    Something seems different this time, though. difficult child hardly ever goes anywhere except work and sleeps all the time that she is not at work. . . . literally all day long. She has stopped seeing her friends and only goes to see her loser boyfriend once every couple of weeks. I went into her room today and literally gagged. I had deliberately been staying out of the room but I swear it looked like something you see on the television show Hoarders. It took 4 big garbage bags just to get the junk out like empty boxes of food and empty bottles of hair products. She also vomited on the floor when she was sick a couple of weeks ago and didn't clean it up. She has always been messy but never anything like this.

    I don't know what to think.

  20. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Kathy, This, in my humble opinion, changes things at least a little. Please go into her room and take pics of the filth, you may need the proof. She's not functioning and may need to go inpatient. She sounds depressed.