20 year old daughter, etc.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by done_dad, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. done_dad

    done_dad Guest

    Our daughter is 20 years old, has had Tourette Syndrome and learning disabilities her whole life - but in the last 1 1/2 years has been making our life hell with incredibly stupid decisions. She's had a string of loser boyfriends - one was a controlling jerk who got her to move out with him to his mom's house. There she learned how to drink, do drugs, and have sex. They also broke into our house and stole from us. Her and him together seemed like a perfect storm of a borderline personality (her) and a narcissistic personality disorder (him).

    Anyhow, she's back living in our house (big mistake on our part). She still communicates with controlling loser, but also hangs out with pants-worn-below-the-buttocks druggie loser. She quit community college (she had finished one year) - she announced on the day classes were to start that "I'm not going" - because controlling loser was afraid she was going to talk to other guys there. She now has a part time job making minimum wage.

    I caught her smoking marijuana in her bedroom last week, and she also posts on MySpace and Facebook about getting high and taking amphetamines - so there's no need to drug test her. She refuses to go to drug counseling, says she doesn't have a problem.

    We also have a 17 year old son who lives at home, so this chaos isn't just affecting my wife and I.

    I want to give her 30 days notice to leave. I grew up with an alcoholic, abusive father - so I know what detachment is all about. Wife has never experienced anything like this, and is still trying to hold on for dear life.

    My son is leaving for college at the end of August - I want to go with him. Seriously, I can't take this for much longer.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Welcome. Would your wife be open to attending a few alanan meetings with you, just to gain a little insight into how her her 'acceptance' and inaction is enabling her daughter?

    Could you provide some reading materials to your wife that would help her to understand how your daughter's behavior is controlling your lives?

    Do you have a counselor that could work with you and your wife through this?

    I believe it will go a lot easier if both you and your wife are on the same page. I hate to suggest threats but perhaps if your wife knew you were ready to move out over this she would be more willing to create a plan for dealing with your daughter. Personally, in think you have the right idea-get daughter out and giving her a deadline is the usual next step. You are right to want to have a peaceful home and live within guidelines you're comfortable with. The daily strife of dealing with someone who uses drugs and hangs around with dirtbags is no way to live.

    Best of luck-I'm sure others will be along with some real life experience and advice.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Your daughter does not think she has a problem because all her basic needs of food, clothing, shelter are being met. She has no responisibilities to work on to grow up. She feels well taken care of and doesn't get the fact that "adults" are suppose to leave home and start their own lives.

    I would tell her that it is time for her to move on with her life, that being an "adult" she needs to find her own place to live. This is her first step to being independent.

    Moving out of your parent's home should be just as exciting as it is scary. Give her lots of pep talks that you KNOW that she will enjoy life on her own. That her decisions must be her own (not controlling boyfriend's or anyone else's). That you are there to help her by supplying input on different sides of a decision (you can point out good and bad and the consequences of each) but that when she is on her own, you will honor the choice she makes as her choice - good or bad. One consequence of a bad choice will be that you will not bail her out of a bad situation especially if you had pointed out that bad choice to her.

    If she is willing to spend time with you and her mom in apartment hunting, that would be good quality time spent together. Show excitement over a place of her own talking about which furniture she can take with, bargain shopping for what she will need, setting up a budget, ect.

    I know it is scary for her mom. My 20 yr old is moving out to college next month and I know she will be homesick for awhile in a town 2 hours away and not really knowing anyone. Scary but exciting as she will grow from this experience and gain a next level of confidence as she faces life's struggles on her own. She will call home for advise but may not follow it. I am just super excited that she will not be available to spend times with her "friends" as much (she plans on being home on weekends and that is normal).

    Sometimes I am so tired of giving Diva advise only to have it thrown back in my face with an "You are so stupid" message attached that I feel like throwing in the towel. I recently discovered that even though she threw one of my advises back at me in this manner that she really did listen to the message and admitted to a friend that my words opened her eyes to what she wanted in life.

    I try very hard not to tell my kids what they need to do, but to guide them in looking at themselves and deciding for themselves what they want in life. I don't care if they don't get high paying jobs to be super comfortable, as long as they are happy with who they are and what they do is fine with me as long as it pays the bills.

    I have learned that just because you are good at something doesn't mean that something will make you happy. I guided Diva to try to be a speech teacher because she is so good with kids and has a special talent in the world of speech but she wants to be a photographer so I am letting her go for that.

    I hope you are able to convey to your wife your feelings on this and that you both can work as a team for what is best for your daughter. Once you are on the same page of what you believe is best for her, it will be somewhat easier to make a plan and follow through with it.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the boards! I can "hear" the frustration in your post. Many of us have been where you are; I know it's incredibly frustrating. I'd agree that Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, etc. is a good place to get some support for yourself, and your wife if she's willing. If she's not willing, go by yourself.

    Does your daughter have a job, and is she doing anything to contribute to your household? My rule was, if you're not a full-time student, you get a job and pay rent (even if rent is a minimal amount). I take a tough line on drugs; since you've already caught her smoking pot in your home, I'd be tempted to search her room, and flush whatever you find. I'd also tell her that if you find them again, you'll call the police. That is tough for some parents, I know, but I think sometimes it's the only thing that get a kid's attention. It is tough if your wife isn't on the same page, though.. this is why if you can get her to go to a support group with you, it might help. IF you really decide to go tthe "Tough Love" route, you're going to need all the support you can get.

    If your daughter is indeed borderline, I can highly recommend the book "The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder." It helped me gain a better perspective on the disorder, and gave me some specific strategies for dealing with it.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Dad,

    Welcome! I'd like to encourage you to add a profile signature. It helps us to remember each other's stories without having to repeat them every time you post. Here's a link to help you do this. http://www.conductdisorders.com/forum/f7/signatures-8399/

    I don't blame you for wanting to give her notice. If she's only working part-time at minimum wage, is there someone she can room with who would be a good influence......or at least not as bad as the boys?

    Yep. been there done that. Just don't make empty threats....if you say you *will* do something, be prepared to do it; otherwise your credibility goes down the tubes and you are really powerless.