When your adult child steals from you...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by KayDay, May 4, 2013.

  1. KayDay

    KayDay New Member

    So glad to find this. Sorry others are going through it but so happy to not feel so alone. I am a Mom of 2 girls. One who will be 20 in July and a 13 year old. I have never been absent in their lives. PTA Mom. Hosting kids parties and the go to Mom for all their friends. If they need a ride or somewhere to stay. Im that Mom. Always the volunteer. They had the best of everything materially as well as love and good family and teaching.

    My eldest decided after chasing guys like crazy all her life that shes gay .. A year ago. Shocking but nothing to destroy our family vim super liberal. She had taken to crappy behavior. More and more lying and disrespectful by the day since she turned 16. To cut to the chase...she is 19 and keeps running off with a 34yr old dyke. With meth mouth and a terrible temper. She claims to have killed a homeless man before. Her brother is in prison for a double murder!
    My daughter ( while I was out of town for a surgery and her dad was at work) robbed me. She took several thousand in jewelry from my jewelry box. Stuff I cannot afford to replace. Some old and sentimental that cannot be replaced.
    a new tablet nexus as well.
    Wecalled police. They recovered one of the bracelets and a pair of earrings. She had pawned them. She has walked on me for years and manipulated me all of the time. The police say they got warrants for her.hate on me if you must. I feel we did the right thing. She went out of srate so I dont know low long before they arrest her. She has ran off and thrown away everything several times in the last year. Get in a bind then cry to come home we go get her trytogetherback on her feet and in college.this was the last time. I feel violated. Would love inputfrom others in the same boat.
     
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome KayDay, I'm glad you found us. I moved your post to it's own thread because you were responding to an old thread, this way you will likely have more responses.

    I'm sorry you are going through this with your daughter, you are not alone, many of us here have a similar story. Even the sexuality shift seems for some of our adult kids, a choice they look into. The lying, disrespect, stealing, manipulation, no responsibility for their actions..........are all behaviors we are familiar with. No one here will judge you, we all have gone through our own nightmares with our kids. This is a safe place where you can vent and feel empathy and compassion, many of us have been there, done that.............we understand.

    It sure sounds as if your daughter is doing drugs, likely meth like her friend. Of course you feel violated, she has violated you, your family and your trust. I believe you did the right thing. I've had to distance myself from my adult daughter too, so I know the pain of it quite well. I think in calling the police you made a courageous and necessary choice, a difficult choice for us parents, but in my opinion, the right one. Perhaps once she is finally arrested, if she serves time in jail, it may jolt her out of the reality she lives in and give her time to get clean from the drugs. Or not. We can't control their bad choices.

    You've found yourself, as we all have, on a devastatingly difficult landscape, unlike any other any of us have been on. It is not a normal parental trajectory, it is in a class all by itself. Most other parents of 'regular' kids do not 'get' what we have to do; often we are judged for our choices. But, here we understand how much of a struggle it is for us to choose to call the cops on our own child, to set boundaries against their terrible choices and behaviors, to distance ourselves from their blame and anger............it is a terrible place to be.

    If you have not already and it feels right to you, you might seek counseling for you and your husband and younger child, so you can heal from this trauma and learn tools to keep yourselves detached. I have found that professional help is necessary, at least for me. There are also 12 step groups you can attend, family groups, whatever groups feel appropriate to you. If your daughter has any mental issues or emotional disorders, you can contact NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, they have wonderful groups and classes for parents and you can access them online.

    The bottom line is that you cannot control another's choices. However, you can learn to disengage from those choices and live a healthy and happy life. You can learn to respond differently to your daughter so you remain intact and calm. It takes practice and support and learning new tools, but it can be done.

    I'm glad you're here and I hope this gets easier for you. Please keep posting, it helps. I wish you peace in this stormy sea you find yourself.........
     
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hate on you?? For doing the right thing?

    I wish we had turned out daughter in when she first started stealing from us. In our case, though, it was small amounts (never more than $100) so we kept letting it go. That was a big mistake because our difficult child never had to face the consequences of her actions.

    Recoveringenabler has wonderful advice. I have started seeing a counselor to help me set boundaries with my difficult child. I also found NAMI to be a wonderful resource as my difficult child has both mental illness and substance abuse issues. They often go hand in hand.

    I'm glad that you found us in your time of need. Keep posting and visit the Substance Abuse Forum, too.

    ~Kathy
     
  4. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Kay,
    It is so hard to understand the 'whys' behind their behaviors. Mine stole from me and helped his friends steal from me. My car, all my jewerly, I came home from work one day and they had cleaned out my apartment. I did call the police.

    After my son's last conn to get money from me I still tried to help him relocate to another area to start over. When I finally said no more he had nasty words (text) and threatened suicide.

    I refuse to be treated with such disrespect!! My saving grace is there are no children, and even if he does have children with the current girlfriend I know I will never see them.

    Drugs, mental illness, or both, until my son get help and is serious about treatment I would rather not hear from him. He has been in so many programs and maybe someday he will get tired of his lifestyle. My son will be 35 in a few months and girlie is about 38.

    Learning about enabling, codependence, and detachment has help me so much. Also, this forum! Some days are easier than others, none of us would choose this, and here we are anyway. It's completely out of our control. I stay busy and give thanks for my positives in my life.

    You are doing the right thing.
    (((huggs and blessings)))
     
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  5. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    What you shared this morning helped me see my own situation more clearly, KayDay.

    You did, and are doing, the right things, the best things, for yourself and (both) your daughters. It's so impossibly hard for a parent to admit that what is happening to our kids is really what's happening! I can see my own daughter peeking out from between the lines of your post.

    WE JUST OFFERED TO BRING OURS HOME AGAIN.

    Believe it or not, she said she wasn't ready.

    And KayDay? My daughter is 38.

    Hate on you? I admire you. It took more strength (and honesty) to see and respond to your daughter's situation the way you have than I have been able to find, so far.

    But I'm working on it. This site is wonderful, KayDay. Keep posting, for your sake, and for ours, too.

    If you can, try to do something nice for yourself, today. Just something simple, something to mark this signpost. The paths our children have us on are long and twisted every which way. You took a stand, Kay Day. That took clear-eyed courage. Celebrate and savor that strength in you. We both know your daughter will be coming back, one day. You will need to be just as strong, then.

    I wish you a deep, peaceful sleep tonite. No worries.

    Barbara
     
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no original input for you but am sending very caring thoughts your way. None of us thought we would be facing these outlandish issues with our much loved children. It is hard to take. Meanwhile, however, don't lose your own sense of what is "right" and what is "wrong". Your values are fine. Hang in there and if you haven't already try reading and reciting The Serenity Prayer. It has helped me survive alot. Hugs. DDD
     
  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Welcome KayDay. I am glad you found this group. I have learned a lot here and have gotten wonderful advice. You did the right thing by calling the police.
     
  8. Mechdonna2

    Mechdonna2 Mechdonna2

    Kayday,

    I am so sorry you are going through all this.

    You can see my posting about my son and his girlfriend being in my home for 11 days (it turned into 30). I have blamed myself many times for his problems. I was a single parent. His father was going to marry me, and he changed his mind. He rejected his son when he was a teenager. I could not take him to sports practice. He was alone in my home after school. He says he began drinking at 12 years of age. Drinking does not seem to be an issue now, but he has used other drugs. He is a con artist. difficult child and his girlfriend moved from FL to VA at the beginning of March, and neither one has worked a single day.

    Girlfriend claims she will no tomorrow about a start date for a job. She claims they have done a background check. Her parents say that she lost two jobs as a medical assistant while in FL. One time for doing drugs and stealing.

    You were able to be a great Mom. It makes me very sad that your daughter took the wrong path anyway.
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kayday...you did the absolutely right thing in turning her in for stealing from you. Absolutely. I did it too and now my son is doing well today but I am absolutely sure if I hadnt done that he wouldnt have turned himself around. It was hard to do but Im glad I did it. I think I saved him even if he has to carry felonies on his record.
     
  10. KayDay - I agree. You did the right thing. Your daughter needs help and until she has to pay the consequences for her action she may never decide to get that help.

    *Hugs and support for you. This is not easy.
     
  11. DadInMinn

    DadInMinn New Member

    A Google search brings me here this morning. I need to tell my story for my own therapy and to get a handle on what has been happening to my family for that past 14 years culminating in events that occurred earlier this week.
    My wife and I married young; we were 22 and 21 years old. I had just returned home from a four-year enlistment in the Marines and a tour of duty in Vietnam. My wife graduated college the month we were married. We settled in to our first apartment; my wife taught school, I attended college and later, law school with help from the G.I. Bill.
    Our eldest son arrived a year and a half after the wedding, the second son came along thirteen months later. The boys were close and grew closer in their school years. I have to say that I was not the model "hands-on" father during those days. My wife took the laboring oar with the boys. She took them to piano lessons, guitar lessons, swimming, and other varied activities in addition to teaching full-time. I studied, did well in school, but, in hindsight, I did not engage the boys to the extent a good father should have. Two more children came along, a son and a daughter, a few years after I began practicing law. These kids have grown to be "normal" adults, with families and vocational direction.
    Back to the older sons: Sports were important to them; both became varsity athletes in high school and college (Big 10 and MIAC). Both received their college degrees, on a B.A. in Business Administration, the other a B.A. in Psychology. One started law school, but only stayed for a year and a half before quitting to pursue his dream to become a major-league baseball player. An irrational choice, as he had not been scouted in college, nor had he made it past day 2 at any try-outs. Nonetheless, both I and my wife supported his decision, keeping our reservations between us.
    Since the two were inseparable, big brother had to follow little brother and his dream.
    The major-league dream became a major-league disappointment. The two wandered around the country, settling for a few weeks or a few months in one location, then another, then another after that. We suspected that both were doing illegal recreational and "performance-enhancing" drugs while they were away. They began living on the street in the mid-2000's. They had run-ins with law enforcement in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and probably other cities. Nothing serious; just "vagrancy" offenses and the like.
    Periodically during the past fourteen years, they would return home after periods of a year or more without any contact. Most often, we would receive a call from one or the other, asking us to purchase bus tickets from L.A., N.Y.C., Savannah, or God-knows-where, back home. When they arrived, we of course gave them food and shelter. We also encouraged them to find jobs. They were either unable to find work or when they found a job, unable to keep it. Whenever we pressed them to try harder, or to not let their increasingly-radical political opinions get in the way of their employment, they would angrily accuse us of being unsupportive, favoring their younger siblings, mistreating them when they were children, and threaten to leave again and go live on the street. Each previous visit inevitably came to an end with our sons walking to the bus depot, backpacks slung over their shoulders, with no goals, no money, no jobs and no future. On one or two occasions, they took a car without permission when they decided it was time to go. One car was never recovered, having been abandoned in Mexico. Once they took my credit card to charge airline tickets. The first few times they left, we felt we had failed them and that it was our fault they were living under bridges or in cardboard boxes. More recently, I have decided that they actually prefer that lifestyle to working and living a "normal" life. Either way, we worried about their health and safety all the time they were gone.
    They returned home last summer. We were treated to the same program we had experienced during their previous visits; they would sleep until 2:00 p..m. Neither obviously had a job. Their personal hygiene was sketchy to say the least. When they were awake, they did little more than eat, watch cable T.V., and surf the internet. We saw no more than half-hearted gestures to help out with household chores.
    The political and economic "discussions" they initiated with us quickly degenerated into shouting matches featuring accusations from them that we did not care about our grandchildrens' future because we did not support the candidate of their choice or believe the conspiracy theory du jour. Suggestions of counseling or professional help were met with derision, "If anyone needs a shrink, it's you and Mom."
    My wife and I left the home in November for an extended stay in a warmer climate. My wife reasoned that "the boys" could use the time to find a job and save some money so that, when she returned in the spring, they could find their own place. Even she had had enough of their confrontational attitude, and wanted them out when she returned.
    When I came home for work in late January, I learned that our sons had sold (or otherwise disposed of) anything they could find of value in our home during the six weeks I was gone. A modest coin collection (from our parents), furniture we had had since we were first married, our bicycles, a Concept 2 rower, and probably more items we are destined to discover missing until we die: Gone. My wife was still down south.
    I have to admit that I lost it. I demanded to know how they felt they had the right to sell our property without permission. "We needed money to live. Besides, we cleaned up this place. When you left, it looked like a crack house. You needed to get rid of all that junk."
    I demanded that they leave immediately. I gave them each $100 cash and a bus ticket to a destination far away. I told them I never wanted to see them or hear from them again.
    They're gone now, and I'm alone in my recently-unfurnished home, hoping I can find the hand tools I will need to change the deadbolt locks.
    I awoke this morning full of remorse. Could I have done anything to help them? Should I have somehow forced them into counseling?
    The personal property is not important. Some of the items can be replaced, others had sentimental value and cannot be replaced, but folks who lose their belongings to fire and natural disaster have to move on, and we will, too. I am dumbfounded by the utter lack of respect and empathy my sons displayed for their mother and me. We gave them shelter and, in return, they looted our home.
    They are 42 and 41 years of age. I no longer consider them my sons.
     
  12. Childofmine

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

    One of the common things I see in KayDay's and DadinMinn's post is the final, big scene, now you've really gone too far event that causes the big step forward to detachment.

    Why couldn't we get it earlier? We are parents who love our children and believe in them, that someday, the people we housed and loved and nurtured for so many years will revert back to those lessons and that foundation and finally. Get it.

    What we don't see is the truth and the depth of their disease. But why should we? We are way, way out of our league most of us with this horrific, 40-foot-tall monster called addiction. We get it when we get it.

    And then, we feel guilty about it. We are ashamed because we finally lost it and did what we had to do to save ourselves.

    Hopefully, with the both of you any shame, guilt or second thoughts will be short-lived. I hope and wish for the both of you that you can now finally, rest, return to your own good thinking and sanity, and focus on your lives.

    Trying to think we can fix or control somebody else is insanity-making. We become insane in our loving quest to stop our precious adult children from their path of destruction but we fail Every. Single. Time.

    Unless the person is ready to change.

    DadinMinn, I too, am beginning to think my precious 24.5 yo adult son would rather live the life he is living than a "normal" life. Once I could even tolerate that thought for more than a minute or two---it being completely foreign to me and without any type of rationality----there was peace. I am learning to stop struggling against what it.

    We know who we are. We know what we have tried to do in our love for them. We also know mistakes we have made and things we wish we would not have done or said. We are only human. We can say we are sorry if we need to.

    Then let's move on. Maybe some people are just lost to us. Maybe that is, what is. It is sad, it is tragic, it is a waste, and it hurts us deeply and profoundly, but I am tired of suffering so much for someone who doesn't want to change.

    I am working hard every single day to stop that. I now care as much about myself as I do my son, and I believe that is tremendous progress.

    Prayers, blessings and hugs go to you two especially today, and to all of us.

    P.S. In addition to this site, another immediate thing you can do to quiet the crazy obsessive thinking is attend an Al-Anon meeting. You don't have to say anything. I have worked an Al-Anon program seriously for the past 4 years and I have found tremendous honesty, truth, peace and caring there.
     
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Hello, Dad in MN, and welcome to the site.

    No, you should not have forced them into counseling. You did exactly the right thing. Your sons are grown men who know better, on so many levels. There are parents here who will tell you that, in addition to actions already taken, you should press charges against your sons.

    You are exactly right that you need to speak the truth about what is happening to you, your wife, and your family. I am glad you found us. It is a painful, shameful, humiliating thing to try to understand what is happening, to figure out who is responsible, and to go about changing it.

    We can help you with that.

    First: Nothing you did or did not do when they were little "made" your sons rebel, drop out, use drugs, turn fundamentalist political activists or, more recently, turn opportunist thieves. You and your wife are being victimized in the same way our difficult child (Gift From God) children are victimizing each of us. As you continue to read here, you will be amazed at the similarities between our stories and your own.

    You will be horrified to learn we are agonizing over our children's lives and choices, and our probable responsibility in what happened to them, just as you and your wife are.

    The first "pinned" item on this site contains information on a skillset called detachment. Please take a moment to read that.

    I am glad you found us.

    My children are 38 and 39.

    Cedar
     
  14. LoveSushi

    LoveSushi Member

    Hello Dan in MN. I'm sorry you had to find this site, but I'm glad you're here. There is so much wisdom to be gleaned from people who have been on this journey for a long time.

    I have a 19 year old daughter, very difficult child/adolescent, Borderline Personality Disorder, and who has been a thief and liar all of her life. The "straw" for me was when all of my valuable jewelry: wedding ring, diamond pendant, grandmother's pearls, various pieces that were my mother's...even all my fun funky jewelry was stolen. It was specifically targeted, nothing else (except husband's digital camera that was probably grabbed on the way out) and our dog knew whomever came into the house and stole these things. She is the only one who could have done it, who knew where I kept all that. We know she did it, the police know she did it, but it's very likely we'll never see any of it again.

    She has been extremely verbally abusive, demanding, entitled and generally an unpleasant person to be around for many years.

    I am done with her. She no longer exists to me and she will not until and unless she sees that she has a mental illness and seeks help for it. I don't see that ever happening, so I am trying to accept that I no longer have a daughter.
     
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DadinMinn, welcome. Your tale is very, very similar to many of ours and I'm sorry you find yourself here, but landing here is a good thing to do..........

    My daughter is 41..........similar traits to your boys, but no drugs, some kind of mental illness or personality disorder...........doesn't really matter what the reason is, the result is the same........lives in another reality and I had to detach from that reality.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here, it's helpful.

    As others have mentioned, you are not the cause of this and as you know, you can't control your sons actions. Only they can change, if they want to and at our kids ages, it is very likely they won't change.

    Entitlement, manipulation, no responsibility for their actions, secrets, often substance abuse, lying, disrespectful, arrogant, bright...........all categorize our adult kids.

    Throwing them out and stating this is it, in my opinion is certainly a step in the absolute right direction, but the real work for you and your wife will likely begin now. It's the guilt, self blame, ruminations, fear, resentment, anger, loss of your dreams for them, loss of hope, grief, the breaking up of denial..............the loss of your bright and talented little boys................all of it.............we go through all of it..........it's part of the letting go of them process of detaching..........the final result being acceptance of what is. Not acceptance of their lifestyle choice, or what they have or haven't done with their lives, or how they treat you, not condoning any of that..........but accepting the reality that we as parents are powerless to enact change in our grown offspring who do not want change.......only they can do that.............and when we can accept it, really accept it, we can find peace of mind and stop being angry and having regrets or any kind of guilt.

    The simplest and yet most profound statement to be made about all of it is the serenity prayer........

    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. "

    If you ponder those words, you can use them as your guiding light out of the remorse you feel today..............

    I wish you peace, keep posting it helps. Many of us find counseling of some kind to be very helpful since detaching from our kids is monstrously difficult.............we need tools and support on a journey not one of us would choose to be on...........hang in there, we're here if you want an ear or a shoulder.......
     
  16. DadInMinn

    DadInMinn New Member

    Thank you for your thoughtful replies, ChildofMine, Scent of Cedar, TessFromWa, and Recoveringenabler. Your thoughtful and kind words of support arrived when they were needed most.
    I'm still struggling with feelings of guilt for throwing "the boys" out at midnight in a -20F windchill. At the time, I rationalized my decision (in reality, it was more of a reaction than a decision) to kick them out, reasoning that they may well be safer outside in the sub-zero temperature than they would have been had they remained in my house with me. When I fully comprehended that awful truth I knew there could be no turning back. At that point, I could no longer stand the sight of either of them. A kinder, gentler DadInMinn of yesteryear might have kept them safe at home, feeding and sheltering them, allowing them the use of family cars, even providing them small amounts of money from time to time, until Spring, when I would probably have forgiven them "just one more time." DadInMinn ver. 1.0 is no more.
    Something had to break the cycle; their outrageous behavior may have done the trick for both my long-suffering wife and me. My wife and I are temporarily separated, which may make this situation more difficult for both of us. (MomInMinn is staying in a far-away state with our easy child daughter and her family, soaking up grandchild love and warmer weather for the winter months.) She supports what I did, but she, too, is feeling waves of sadness and despair.When we talk on the phone about the current situation, I can hear her sob and catch her breath. I told her I posted to this website yesterday when we talked on the phone last night. She read my post and the reply posts available at the time, I think from ChildOfMine, Scent of Ceddar, and maybe TessFromWa. I'm glad to say that MomInMinn was comforted by the kind words offered in support by each of you. She asked me to thank you on her behalf.
    By now, our "Irish Twin difficult children" have arrived at their destination with whatever remains from the $100 I gave each of them. They have no jobs, no food, and no shelter. They are full of resentment, anger, and, for at least one of the two, a roiling, malignant bipolar illness.
    I'm working very hard to not care, but I'm finding it not merely difficult, but impossible to do more than say the words; so far, my heart isn't listening.
    I'm going to read the article on detachment now.
    Again, you have been a tremendous help to two distraught newly-estranged difficult child parents. We can't thank you enough. This is not going to be easy, but we are determined to make it stick this time. We need to consider our own happiness. Besides, "our boys" are no longer boys; to grow up, if that is even possible, they will need to begin taking responsibility for their own situation(s), together or apart from one another. Mommy and Daddy are no longer available to them.
     
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Good Morning, Dad in MN (and Mom, too)

    You are doing fine.

    None of this is easy. But it hasn't been easy, it hasn't been what you wanted, hoped for, or deserved, for a long time. You are changing the rules of the game, and the kids don't like it. As is common to every abusive relationship when the victim demands change, the abusive behaviors are escalating.

    Hold strong.

    It will be easier if you remember the good things you do know:

    You know your sons survived the night and arrived safely.
    You know there will be shelters, soup kitchens, free clothing.
    You know they are angry, so you have heard from them.

    To enhance understanding of the dynamic behind the verbally abusive relationship (which is what your sons are doing, now that you have decided to stop being nice about your own victimization), it might be helpful for you to visit this site:

    www.patriciaevans.com

    As we begin the detachment process, we shift responsibility for what is happening onto the people who are causing it: the kids. We begin to get it, that nothing we try works with these kids. We aren't sure just how this happened, but we know nothing we do helps for long. Every crisis is worse. We begin promising ourselves that this will be the last time. But however many times we promised ourselves we are not going to step in, there comes a point where the consequences are so dire that we can't justify turning away.

    Boom.

    Right back to square one.

    What we've taught our kids and ourselves is that, if the situation is bad enough, the parents will leap in, take control, and fix everything. The darker side of all this parental wonderfulness (mine, too) is that the kids have learned to turn to us for help in avoiding the natural consequences of their choices. What they should have been learning is that they are strong enough, competent enough, smart enough, to cope with those same consequences.

    Their is no safety, no self respect, without a sense of competence, without a sense of efficacy.

    And that is the true cost to the kids of rescuing the kids.

    As the years pass, consequences escalate.

    As we continue along the detachment path, we understand that it is less what the kids need than it is those feelings of guilt, of worry, of responsibility and hope and love that keep us hooked in, that keep us doing the same things over and over again.

    It all begins to seem unreal. How could this be happening to us? To our kids?

    It would be so easy for us to fix it.

    The next thing we know, the kids are in their forties. They don't respect us or themselves, and they are so dependent that we literally can't turn away.

    Something has to change, or we will be parenting our sixty year old kids when we are eighty. It happens, every day. And those sixty year old kids are angry, abusive, irresponsible sixty year olds who have never had to grow up.

    What we call detachment is a way to survive the emotional onslaught of turning our adult children out to become adults. It is hard for us, and harder than it should be for them.

    But it has to happen.

    They have to grow up. Or, they have to know that, whatever they choose to do, we now view them as fully capable adults responsible for their own life paths.

    We are never again going to take away those chances of maturity.

    It's a hard thing, to do this.

    Most parents are not required to do this.

    We are.

    Here on the site, we try to support one another through the guilt, through the nights when we don't know where they are, through the times we have had to send them on their ways with nothing when it would be so much easier to fix everything for them one more time. Especially when there is a mental illness involved, this is such a hard thing. Midwest Mom, one of the parents here on the site, will have very good information for you regarding this exact question. It is her contention that mental illness is not an excuse. A mental illness is an additional challenge that the person must take responsibility for.

    It is a very hard thing to learn to parent in the way these kids seem to need to be parented. The things that would make all the difference for most kids only make our difficult child kids situations worse.

    I'm sorry this is happening to you and your family. This site is a safe place, an anonymous place, and I am glad you found us.

    Cedar
     
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  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I didn't get to read everything because I'm in a rush and am not sure who started this thread and when it started...lol...but I give kudos to all of you.

    when we give birth, we do not sign a contract that says we have to house our kids and support them until our last breath...they are to learn from us, school and life and make good choices and move out. criminal behavior is inexcusable, especially against us, those who sacrificed for them since their births. They then in my opinion lose the privilege of living in our homes and gain the privilege of learning how to survive in a world that demands they follow rules and support themselves. Our job is not to be their parents in a caretaking way forever. We give them "roots to grow and wings to fly."

    a common thread I notice, almost all of our kids are incredibly entitled a nd I think many of us have had the means to spoil our kids so that we did all we could to make them happy, give them the extra activities and lessons, and not teach them about hard work. We didn't WANT youth to be hard on them and we wanted t hem to have more opportunity than we had with less work to get there> thus we have very entitled kids and some of them think we should put up with anything>

    I wonder if parents who give less to their children have this kind of entitlement. In our case, we do not even have money, but every dime we had was tossed to the kids so that, although they never did get a new car, they pretty much had what other kids had...kids whose parents made much more money than we did.

    I think we made mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes. Our entitled kids need to learn that:

    1/We are NOT the Bank of America
    2/ We do not need to support t hem in adulthood
    3/We are human beings who deserve to be treated well or else we may choose to send them packing.
    4/Breaking the law and drug abuse assures you only of one thing: A horrible life.
    5/Nobody can fix them but them and anything we may have done in the past is not the reason why they are losing. The reason is because they choose to self-destruct and nobody can fix them but them.

    This morning I send out heartfelt hugs and lots of love and caring to everyone with a dad or mother hurting heart. I have soooooooo been there. I think you are all very brave. Now...time to take care of some very important people...YOURSELVES!!!!! :)
     
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DadinMinn, just to drive this point home, be very cautious of your sons retribution for your act of detachment. Our kids can be considerably abusive to us when the gravy train stops. And, you have two of them. I don't know if they are violent or abusive however, you may want to consider changing your locks if they had keys and look into restraining orders. They may not have left town just because you think they did, doesn't mean they did.

    Our kids can be exceedingly sneaky and remarkably resourceful. They use manipulation and prey on the kindness of strangers with horrific stories of neglect and abuse by US! They couch surf for years. My 41 year old daughter has not worked and has surfed others couches and not paid a nickel in rent for almost 5 years. She has not worked in years but manages to survive quite well under the circumstances. Of course, others are footing the bills, but that is their choice as well.

    What I want to say to you is to be careful. Watch your back. Make sure they are really gone. Keep your home safe. It would not be above our adult kids to break back into your home, steal everything and trash it. Protect yourselves, your home and your valuables. If your sons feel desperate, they will act in desperate ways.

    And, make very sure you and your wife seek some help and learn as much as you can about detachment and get those tools under your belts as you make sure you have support and that you are being very kind to yourselves...........this stuff is very, very hard. We all know that here.

    Keep posting, it helps to clarify our thoughts and feelings and also to get support from others who've been there................as always, wishing you both peace of mind............
     
  20. DadInMinn

    DadInMinn New Member

    Actually, I have not heard from them, so I am only assuming that they arrived safely and that they are angry, etc. That's always been their MO at this stage of separation. We've been through it before.

    I had to chuckle when you mentioned that part about MomInMinn and I in our '80's, the difficult children in their 60's...Awhile back, during one of the many prior confrontations concerning their behavior, difficult child 2 shook his head and lamented, "It's too bad you are acting so immature. We could have been here to help you in your old age, but you're throwing that away."
    I can't count the times I've asked these two to please, please STOP HELPING ME!
    Thanks for your support, Cedar. We'll get through this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
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