Where did it go wrong?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PatriotsGirl, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    So, last post I told you how husband said he would pay difficult child to come do the lawn each week. Helps us and we know she has food money in her pocket. difficult child needed a working phone and so earlier in the week I picked one up and told her she could do the lawn to earn that this week instead of cash. Well, it rained most of the weekend except for yesterday. So around 10am I start trying to get a hold of difficult child to come do the lawn. husband says no big deal, I can do it and she can come clean the house on Tuesday instead to earn it. Should have just made that plan, but I digress. difficult child called me back so I went to retrieve her and told husband she was coming to do the lawn.
    Well, I pick her up and she had fallen back asleep. So she gets in my car looking thoroughly ragged and proceeds to tell me not to pull all the way in the driveway when I pick her up - that all it does is cause the homeowner to get ticked off. She of course said this is her usual snappy way. I knew right then and there it was not going to be a good day. I should have just stopped and brought her back. But nooo.....I was determined to have a good day.
    So, I bring her back to the house and husband comes outside and says hey to difficult child. She doesn't say anything. Great start. She is wearing a dress that I gave to her and flip flops - husband says she shouldn't be weed eating in flip flops and she tells us that she does not own a pair of sneakers. She had a pair but they were stolen. (I am also beginning to think she doesn't have many clothes, either). Which of course, makes us both feel bad.
    She goes out and is working on the lawn and husband had to run to the store. He comes back with the items he needed and a $25.00 visa card for her. He handed it to me and told me to tell her to put shoes on her feet. I explained to him that I was planning on taking the kids to Shoe Carnival that day because they were having a sale and both kids could use sneakers. So he says well she can use it for what ever she needs. I thought that was sweet and told difficult child about it and left it on the table on top of the phone she earned.
    After she is done, she opens the box and pulls the phone out. You can tell she doesn't like it but is trying not to show it too much. Oh, well, I was not buying her some fancy phone with all the bells and whistles on it! She takes a shower and asks to borrow my laptop. I let her thinking she is going to use it to look for a job - should have known better. She goes on craigslist and she is looking at dogs and sitting there sniffling. I knew this was some sort of manipulation tactic. It was dramatic - she kept calling me over to look at dogs. Ugh.
    But all day she was in a bad mood and she was just snappy and miserable and it felt exactly the way it used to with her there. So I decided we are going to finish this day up quicker than I had planned. So we ate dinner and packed up all these leftovers for her to take back with her. I told her she needed to get off the laptop and she snapped at me to wait a minute. I told her no, we have to go now - I wanted to get to the shoe store, bring her home and get home in time for Big Brother. She decides she needs a pillow and goes up to her old room. I told her she could have a pillow, of course, but to leave the pillowcase because it goes with the set on the bed. She starts arguing about that and I handed her a spare pillow case and said she could have that. Then she changed her mind and wanted one of the throw pillows off the couch in her old room. I told her no, that is part of the set up there take the other pillow. And it just turned in to an argument from her and husband said hey, next time you have her over do it when I am not here because I don't want to listen to this. And of course that threw her in to a tizzy and she comes flying downstairs cussing and running off at the mouth. So he tells her to pack her things and leave the house. She is cussing, flipping him the bird and basically going a little nuts. She gets in the car still screaming at him and he comes flying out of the house and screaming. It was a bad scene.
    On the way to drop her off, while she is still screaming in my car, I try to explain to her what went wrong. She insisted it was all us. That she did nothing wrong. She says she is unhappy because of her dog. I explained to her that her losing her dog was not our fault and no, I am sorry, I do not wish to spend the day with you looking at pictures of dogs and crying. (She lost her dog because of this lifestyle she is living. I know it is hard and I know it is rough but for goodness sake, learn something from it and move on!)

    So, needless to say, the visit did not go well. husband wants nothing to do with her and I am in a rock in a hard place. I still feel the need to help her. I still want to put shoes on her feet, clothes on her back and food in her belly. I am also thinking we tried to give so much that we went backwards a bit. She did text me to apologize for the day, but she has not apologized to him.

    So......now what do I do? I need warrior mom advice please.....
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I don't think there is anything you CAN do to make it better. difficult child does not want to be helped in any meaningful way...so anything you do for her will be a temporary lull in the drama....quickly forgotten as she moves on to her next adventure.

    I think the best you can do is to take care of you and your husband.

    I'm sorry this is so hard...

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Perhaps the next time you start seeing signs that the day is going to go badly you should let her do her work to earn whatever you give her and then abruptly take her home. If she asks, you can be honest and why she's going home early.

    Perhaps it's time to stop offering the help, even if she's earning it. Seems like she's getting paid quite a bit to do some yard work. I understand I think why you're doing this.....but I don't think it's helping her to "get It" simply because it's from you and husband and she still believes she's entitled to it, like just another child living at home.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like she's still using drugs. If so, there is nothing you can do. Actually, it has to come from her. It wouldn't hurt in my opinion to buy her some tennis shoes from a place like Good Will, and offer her a meal once in a while, but I wouldn't give her a dime (drug money). She will have to do it herself if she is going to do it. Nobody, not even you with your mommy love, can do it for her. It is her journey to walk alone.
    Huggs :)
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I had a feeling it was drugs, too - her face looked really pale and I told her so. She looked a lot better on Tuesday when I saw her. Of course the excuses came - no make up on, etc. Claims she has not used in two weeks. I wasn't sure whether the flipping out was due to her being tired from using or her feeling sad and bitter about not living at the house anymore. Though while she was yelling, she said this is why she can't live with us (Hmm, I thought it was because you didn't want to go to rehab).

    I am going to get her sneakers and may even get her a gift card to Goodwill (they have them now!!) so she can get some shorts and shirts. Can't say I will have her over for a meal anytime soon. husband doesn't want her at thouse house at all right now...and if he finds out I am helping her in any way, he will be more than ticked.

    She is currently staying at a house in a good neighborhood. It is pretty far from any stores or anything like that, though. But, the owner told them (there is my difficult child and at least one other male young adult - not sure if there are others. I know the home owner has his ill mother living there and handicapped brother) that they could have the basement of the house. So she told me that they have been finishing the remodeling that was started down there to build their place. Not sure why the owner would do that, but it is what it is.

    Then again, she told me that one of her friends got a record deal from Circus and he offered her to go to Europe with him. She told me yesterday when I dropped her off that she was going to go to Europe today. I fell for the lie about going to California, not about to fall for this one....ugh.

    It is just that she is so quick to deny she did anything to cause the situation and she is SO good at making you think it was actually your fault. I started to wonder if we did do something wrong to cause her to freak out. I mean, it was only a pillow. I should have just let her have it.... :(
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If she was high or crashing, nothing you did would have pleased her. I lived with that too remember. Don't feel bad that you decided to keep the pillow case that matches your set. Chances are, whichever pillow case she has won't be well taken care of anyway and will be ruined.
    I like the gift card idea. I don't think it buys drugs. One thing we don't have to do, is help them get drugs, even if that's just our tiny little protest.
    When my daughter was using, she could look me straight in the eyes, unblinking, cry and tell me the most outrageous lies that I'd always find out about. She was quite the actress.
  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You did nothing to cause her meltdown. It was preordained even before she got in your car. I've been there with my difficult child. She sounds like my difficult child - a master manipulator who could make you feel responsbile for the tsunami in Japan if she set her mind to it.

    Forgive me for asking (I'm still pretty new here), but is your husband her dad? Not that her behavior would be cnsidered acceptable if is isn't but - especially if he is, I hope you don't mind my making a suggestion: If you want tod o the sneakers and the gift card, fine ... but don't do it behind his back. You can agree to disagree, but if she knows you're going behind his back, that gives her ammunition for a later date. Also, it's tough on your relationship.

    If this were my difficult child (and it very well could be!), I'd invite her for coffee or out for a walk and explain that you're taking a break from hiring her for yard work. Tell her you'll leave the door open (if you wish) and she can come to you and ask to try again.

    You wouldn't accept anything close to her behavior from anyone else you hired. She needs to know that she cannot behave that way in any workplace ... even at the homestead of mom and dad.

    So sorry for your stress. I've been down the crazy highway with mine more times than I care to count.

  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Is this "nice house in a good neighborhood" the same one where you're not allowed to actually pull in the driveway when you pick her up? Isn't that a strange story all by itself? The homeowner, his sick mother, handicapped brother, plus difficult child and boyfriend all live in that house - but the owner doesn't like people pulling in the drive to pick them up???

    BUT - that same homeowner is just fine with difficult child and boyfriend remodelling his basement????

    You KNOW this is probably all a lie, too....
  9. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    He is not her biological father, but has been her dad since she was 2. He legally adopted her when she was still very little. So, he is in fact, her dad. They are SO much alike, both pig headed, stubborn, have to have the last word - oh my - you would SWEAR she came from him!!! It is very hard playing referee between those two....and yesterday I swear I had PTSD with all of it happening again.

    Well, she sent me an apology and sent him one too. He just texted me shocked to hear an apology from her. It's a start...but I do think I am offering way too much help too soon. I need to control my need to give to her. :(
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cory and his father are so much alike that people always said that if you looked at them from behind, they looked like twins. Just one was larger...lol. Now not so much with Corys spine issues becoming so obvious but still...they are so alike in looks and attitude and even what they like to do.

    We have offered to let Cory do work for us around the house too and that is never a good thing. Well...let me preface that and say..it isnt a good thing when we offer to let Cory and Mandy do it. Or give them the money up front. Mandy tends to do half the job and never finish. Now if we offer for Cory to do something like mow the lawn or something like that? He does it. But I asked Cory and Mandy to clean out my room for 50 bucks and paid in advance because we were going out of town so I was leaving them spending money to eat on and they didnt finish the job. I was ticked. I cant offer Mandy anything. She simply wont do anything for me. Cory is better about it. Of course, he is mine.

    When our kids are at the point that the dads and the kids are in such a feud, sometimes you just have to step back. It can get really ugly until they work it out between them.
  11. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    DF - this is a different house - not far from the last one she was staying at. She admitted she messed the other one up by getting into an argument with the home owner over not getting paid when she did a bunch of work for him. She told me she had her own bedroom there.
    She is a gypsy - never at the same place too long. Yet she doesn't seem to realize that people are not going to keep putting up with her koi...and yet, she doesn't seem to have any will or determination to do anything about it.
    I found a sober living place in Ft. Lauderdale - right near the beach!! It is only $440.00 a month and they will help her find a job, apply for food stamps, etc. I told her about it - no response. Shocker. :(
  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    PG - It is such a balancing act between loving them, showing you love them, and holding them accountable and not enabling them. I get that need to give to her, I feel that too. I think it is a way you can keep showing you love her..... except that right now she is not reading it that way. She is entitled and acts like you owe it to her. As long as you offer and give her too much she will remain entitled and not appreciate what you do give. Also I think she needs to feel responsible for herself and not just assume you will do it all for her.I get how hard it is because I am often in the same place on that same tightrope. I think my son is more appreciative now becuase we have said no to things, and he has had to be on his own and not get anything from us. I think he is getting that now we will only give him so much and we will not give him anything with any conditions. To me that has been freeing to realize that I no longer will set any conditions..... if he is not sober that is his problem, not mine.I am also guessing by her behavior that she is probably using again... that whole irritability thing sounds like it.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PG I'm going to be tough here but it's only because I care about you and difficult child and I have been there done that so many times. You are trying to rescue her and you can't. She has to rescue herself. It's time she get over the dog. She's a big girl now so put on her big girl pants and start figuring out what you are going to do to get out of this mess. She wants a dog because she thinks it will be something to love. No matter that she can't buy food for it or care for it if she's on the street. She has to love herself first.

    I would not let her come over to work for you at the house. You saw how that turned out. If you want to buy her shoes that's up to you, but buy them and deliver them and go back home.

    Her behavior smells drug use all over it. It's exactly how my difficult child would act. Her apology is not sincere, it's only because she's afraid you won't enable her or give her what she wants. I've gotten so many of those apologies after a day like you had and none of them were sincere. Until she is clean and sober nothing she says or does will make sense or be honest.

    She is trying to manipulate you. And because she is pulling at your heartstrings it is working. Tell her you love her and you want her to be ok but that she is not going to treat you disrespectfully or come into your home and act like that any longer. Tell her when she is serious about changing her life to make a plan and let you know what it is and you will be the first one there to support her.

  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Nancy, thank you, I needed to read that. You are perfectly right, of course. I feel my heart aching, my eyes are always close to tears that could turn in to a crying fit ever so easily. I am not taking care of ME anymore. I am spending all of my time worrying about her and she is not even worrying about herself. Why do I still feel responsible for her? I try to remind myself that she is an adult and makes her own choices but my gosh, I feel like there is something I should be doing... :(
  15. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member


  16. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Giving gift cards instead of money doesn't always work. I found out gift cards are sold to get the cash to buy drugs or alcohol. They usually sell them for less than what the card value is. Hugs to you.
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PG I know why you are feeling like you are. I was so close to tears all the time they would flow in the grocery store if I saw one of her former friends. I had a pit in my stomach all the time. I worried myself sick. I wanted to fix her. Of course you can't stop worrying, it's harder when they are put there and you don't know what's going on, but remember that she won't change until you do, and even if you do change she may not.

    "We are living the way we choose to live, and they are living the way they choose to live. We didn't make them live this way, they chose it and they are the only ones that can choose to do it differently."

    One of our board members said that to me and I put it on my fridge. It's helped me often.