30 Year Old BiPolar Daughter Going Downhill (again)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Denise2017, May 29, 2017.

  1. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Hello and thank you for this forum. I am so glad I found it. I am new here and this is my first post. I have a 30-year-old daughter who was diagnosed as Bipolar (possibly Borderline) at about 13 years old. She can not hold a job. She has relied on boyfriends and an ex-husband for a place to live. She has lived both with me, her father and friends in between boyfriends. She has been hospitalized for depression 4 times. She has attempted suicide. She occasionally uses drugs (marijuana, cocaine) and seems to somewhat sexually promiscuous. I know much of this from a report that was sent to my house by a psychiatric hospital where she started attending a program but did not continue.

    We have sent her to therapists, set-up house rules, given her money, let her live in our home, guided and paid for her to get vocational skills, found and paid for therapists, found recovery programs and none of these endeavors have helped. We just don't know how to help her.

    For the last year or so she has been living with a very nice man. She is pretty and always finds boyfriends (and a short-term husband) that are caretakers. But she spirals down and get very abusive. She hit the man she is living with. She has a history of some violence, includung hitting a forner landlord, a former boss and me. (Each once)

    The current boyfriend relationship is ending. He wants her out.

    She is about to become homeless when he throws her out. She is on SS Disability. Her car was repossessed.

    I am 66. I have come to the point where I want to enjoy the rest of the days while I am healthy and can enjoy my life, my husband and my dog. My mother died at 53 and my father has Parkinsons and I want to enjoy the good years I have left.

    She is going to need a place to live. I don't want her in my home. She has verbally threatened me many times and done some physical damage in the past. Her threats are cruel and frightening.

    Her father is recenty divorced from his second marriage and living in a one-bedroom. We have a house and actualy have an extra room, although we do use that room. He says he does not have room for her in his apartment. I make much less money that I used to, so giving her financial support is not an option right now.

    My stomach goes into a knot when I think of her or see her name on my phone.

    I am totally conflcited becaise I believe it is my job to help take care of her but it makes me frightened and physically sick to have this abusive person in my life.

    I have been to therapy and was told that I should let her go to a homeless shelter last time we faced and episode like what is happening now. I was not able to do that. The therapist said that if she could succeed on her own it would strengthen her. I do agree with that. However I am not sure what she is capable of. I do understand that she is sick.

    But I can not live with her.

    I have been reading about detachment here. I have seen several times that there is an article about detachment at the end of a post but I don't see it on the thread. Guidance to article would be very much appreciated. I also saw a reference to Al-Anon articles.

    by the way she is not acting particularly abusive at the moment. She did ask to live here. But in the past she has told me in frightening terms that she has a right to live at my house and I would have to evict her to get her out. I can not let that situation happen. (I have spoken to a lawyer, but I still don't want to let her in the door.) Unfortunately some of her mail is sent here and that worries me.

    Thank you in advance for reading my long rambling post. I need to put my own oxygen mask on first. but it's killing me.
  2. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Hi, other people will respond, just wanted to let you know you're being heard.

    It seems like you know what you have to do, but the FOG is holding you back. Fear Obligation Guilt. Go back to the therapist that gave you the good advice before, they can help you.

    Why let someone who's physically assaulted you (and others) into your home, much less stay there.

    Your house is not a psychiatric facility. She can't get help there. All you're doing by letting her back in is throwing away the few precious years you have left. You've given and given. Now it's your turn to live.

    As for her mail, write "doesn't live here" on it and put it back in the mailbox.
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  3. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Thank you so much for the quick response. Very supportive! I am going to ask her to get a PO box. I am afraid to send back the mail. I don't want her to lose her disability. Troubling. Thanks again! I see that this will be a journey.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You dont have an obligation to care for any 30 year old. There are outside services. What will she do when you are gone? Also, bipolar does not make one abusive. She must not be taking her medications, maybe is using more drugs than you know, and maybe has borderline, which CAN cause assault and does not get better without intensive INTENSIVE therapy over years snd the admission by the person that she needs help.

    At your age (I am 63) our golden years are ours alone and precious. Is your daughter worried about YOU? The difficult ones dont seem to care about our health, our well being. So you have to care. Enjoy those who are good to you. Travel. Start new hobbies. Renew your marriage. Hug your dog forever (i have two beloved dogs). Maybe volunteer at an animal rescue shelter. Hub and I are buying a used RV to live in for as long as we want to travel. If you have adult children who are nice to you, enjoy them. Enjoy your friends.

    I would not give your money to or housing or easy ways out to this adult woman at all. She gets SSI. She can get HUD, rent a small room in somebodys home, or use shelters and the social workers who are there to get help. She better learn how to do it. One day she will have to. Then what? SHE NEEDS TO LEARN TO GET HELP FROM THE SYSTEM BEFORE YOU ARE GONE.

    Be kind to yourself first. You already gave your all to her. It didnt and wont work. She is no longer a cute little girl. She is an abusive woman who wants a mommy to still take care of her. She needs herself, not a mommy.

    Love and light to you and hoping for a great rest of your life.
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    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  5. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Wow. Thank you. I am close to tears at reading your message. I have seen your posts. I noticed the adorable image of the dogs. I dearly love my little dog, who I rescued from this very child when she abandoned him. I was actually hoping that you would write to me.

    It's almost like you read my mind. I have another grown, married daughter who has a new baby, our first grandson. She has been abused by her sister too. She and I are similar, hard workers, achievers and we get along very well. I want to spend time with them. I want to volunteer at and animal shelter and I will. My dad is still alive and I need to spend time with him too. I am still working full-time, very hard, to add whatever more I can for retirement. However, I am very aware that the time ahead of me is limited and that I must enjoy my life. I am in a very good second marriage and I want to enjoy my husband and be calm and happy when I am with him.

    You are an angel for all of the help you give. This is very hard, but I am at that place where I know I must do it. Everything you say is true. Just true and practical.

    Can you lead me to the article on detachment? That would be very much appreciated

    Thank you so much for your help, guidance, and energy. Sending hugs to you and your doggies.
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  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are just too kind. Other people gave me any wisdom I have today and animals have been very healing to me.

    There is a detachment article at the top of this page. It is always there for everyone.

    Do do do enjoy your other daughter and precious grandchild (i have a dear granddaughter too) and your great husband (also have one of those) and concentrate on your many blessings. Your daughter is tje only person who can save herself. Or not. Dont let her take away from the blessings in your life. Those who appreciate your goodness are the ones who deserve your attention. Too often our one struggling loved ones take too much time from others and ourselves. Dont allow it.

    I hope you can start putting yourself first. We could have twenty more years if we take care of ourselves and minimize our stress. So lets try for twenty or more!! Love to your little or big doggy. Dogs personify unconditional love. They can teach humans a lot!
  7. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Thank you! Thank you! My dog is a little doggy like yours. My difficult child abandoned him during one of the times she lived with us. I am a serious animal advocate, especially for dogs. They never hurt anyone emotionally and always give love. And they are so trusting. I contribute to end animal abuse whenever I can. This is what I would like to concentrate on when I retire.

    Our new grandchild is great and that daughter is very happy being a mother. She has wanted this for a long time.

    I truly believe that we can have 20 more good years! One of my grandmother's lived to be 101.5 and she was in good shape until 90! But agree with you. We need to get rid of the stress.

    I am so grateful that I found this site. I am going to share the knowledge with my family. It is very helpful for all of us.

    I actually feel much calmer and supported.

    Love to you and your family and doggies! Thank you again! xoxo
  8. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hello Denise,
    Welcome to this safe place. It is a relief to tell your story to others who understand, and to know you are not alone.
    There is a quote which says “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” You have taken that step by acknowledging the need for detachment and by finding this forum, which is a fount of wisdom and therapy. And you rightly recognize that the detachment process is a journey.

    It is not easy, but as you learn “detachment,” you will find some freedom and healing. This is a turning point for you. Know that you are going to be alright.

    Do read and re-read the detachment article. Here is the link. Article on Detachment

    Stay with us and keep posting. Continue to read others' posts to be encouraged and stay strong. It helps. I am following along. Take care.
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    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Denise.

    My first response to your story is do not allow your daughter to live with you. You deserve a peaceful life and you know from experience, your daughter will bring to your life what she lives in hers, chaos, dysfunction, manipulation, anger and violence. I'm so sorry, I know how devastating it is.

    The article on detachment is at the bottom of my post here. I hope it helps.

    You may also try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can connect with them online, they have chapters in many cities. They have excellent parent courses and they may offer resources for your daughter. They may have housing options for her. Otherwise, there are likely local shelters.

    Put yourself as the priority and make sure you get your needs met.

    My daughter is similar to yours and like you, I have had to learn how to detach from her lifestyle choices and accept what I cannot fix, change, or control. It has been difficult, very difficult.......however, I have learned that it is doable. For me, each issue prompted a choice on my part, it is a process of letting go, it is progressive, we have to learn a new way to respond which puts our own needs first.

    Where you are right now is an important point of choice.....and a hard one.....but in your heart of hearts, you know what the appropriate response is......but that doesn't mean it makes it any easier.

    Hang in there. Keep posting, it helps. Seek support. Keep yourself in very supportive atmospheres as you move thru this time, you'll need the support to stay strong. I'm glad you're here with us.
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  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is very much time to return any and all mail of your daughters that comes to your address. Write "Not at this address" on the envelope and put it back out for the mailman. That takes care of any right to live there established by her getting mail at your address.

    You do NOT owe this 30 year old woman anything. PERIOD. I don't CARE what illness she has. She can get a job, take her medications, or find another boyfriend to sponge off of. She hasn't had problems finding others to sponge off of before, why should she ruin your peace now? Jobs are what normal people do, she should give it a try. She needs to grow and struggle and figure her own stuff out rather than making you support her.

    You having an empty room is not the point. That is YOUR room, not her room. NO is a complete sentence. Just say it and hang up. Better yet, think of the phone as a door that you do not have to open. You are not required to answer the phone when she calls. You can just let it ring and then go about your business as if she never called. It is an invitation into your home and you don 't have to invite her in if you don't want her there.

    Be aware that if you DO let her stay, even for a night, she may have rights of tenancy depending on the laws of your city and state. You may actually have to evict her if you allow her to spend the night or to bring her personal belongings into your home. Just don't let her in. Meet her in a public place if you have to see her.

    Go to Al Anon meetings for support. It sounds like your daughter has substance abuse issues, and is very abusive. These meetings can help you very much with coming to terms with detachment and with realizing that she is the problem, not you. You can find the meetings in your area online or in the phone book.

    Most of all, know that this is her, not you. You did not cause this and you cannot fix this. Nothing you do will make it better. You have done all you can, you cannot love her better and you cannot make her well. It is time to love her enough to let her struggle until she starts to look for her own solutions to her problems. As long as you fix it for her, she is not ever going to get any better. She won't like you for not helping, but that isn't your problem either. Love her enough to let her go and figure it out for herself.

    Love yourself enough to set yourself free from rescuing her.

    Most of all, love your little dog enough to rescue him from her. Your dog doesn't need to deal with her drama any more.
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  11. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Thank you so very much Kalahou and Recovering Enabler. This is a great place and I appreciate the welcomes and the support. I feel better. She has not contacted me in 2 days, but I know the shoe is waiting to drop. Thank you for the link to the article. It is amazing to have this support. Especially after so many years.

    You are correct. I am at a place of change. I will tell you that it happened on my 65th birthday. I realized that if I did not start putting myself higher on my list of priorities and start enjoying my life, I might never have the opportunity to do so.

    It is great to get this advice, support and not to be alone.

    I know that a very tough time is coming. It may be the worst yet as she has burned through most of her family and has very few friends and little money. But I will learn from this site and preserve my life.

    Thank you all so much. I will be here for a some time, I am sure.
  12. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Hi Susiestar, thank you for your clear advice. I agree with you about the mail. I am very worried about that. She also gets mail at the boyfriend's house. I am also worried that if she does not see the mail she will lose her SS. I may open a PO box for her and send it there. I don't think she will open one. I imagine those are all the wrong answers! I know I should let go more...

    There are a few things of hers in my garage. I am worried about the tenancy. We are in New York. I did speak to a lawyer 2 years ago when she threatened me and said she had a right to live here and I would need to evict her. He said I had no contract with her and I should call the police if she comes. But you never know...I don't know the law.

    Hard, hard, hard! Upset stomach!

    Thank you. I will try to do what you suggest. In my heart I know it will help both of us.
  13. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Hi Recovering Enabler, thank you so much for posting the detachment article. It is excellent and I recognize myself in many places. I will need to read it many times to get to where I need to go. Still have much work to do. Thank you
  14. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    If you haven't found the Detachment Article, it is the 2nd link from the top of this forum. I believe your post is the 5th one...so look above your post.

  15. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Not only set yourself free, but also "set her free" and give her wings to be the person she will be. Another member @Scent of Cedar * posted this story one time, relating this poignant image:

    We need to push them from the nest. Believe they can fly, and push them from the nest. They will flounder. Then they will fly.

    The kids are scared, too. Like the fledglings are when they leave the nest. But here is the thing. If the mother bird did not push her fledgling to fly, the fledgling's body would grow so heavy, but the muscles in his wings would not have developed. Soon, he will be a flightless bird through no one's fault, really.

    But he will be a worthless thing to himself, nonetheless. Birds are meant to fly. How can they respect themselves when the other fledglings fly with strength and grace and beauty and their wings are tiny, useless things?

    That is why they come almost to hate us, in their anger and their shame at their tiny, useless wings.
    YES, you are so right. As I stayed with the folks here, and as I acted on the wisdom and guidance and support from this site, I learned much, and have little by little preserved my life. Thank you, Denise, for the reminder, and thankfulness for that.
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  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You're very welcome Denise, we're all in this together ........and this forum is a soft place for all of us to land.

    I am 67 years old......it's our time now Denise......you've done enough.......find ways to enjoy your life and have peace, you deserve that.
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  17. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Thank you so much Kalahou. What a good way to spend this Memorial Day. Thanks again for all the support. I will be here often. I am bolstering myself for what I know is coming. I will stay on the site. I need to be as strong as possible. Thanks again!
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You dont have to brace yourself for anything. If Daughter gets abusive at all, rather than listening, end the conversation at once. You dont need to hear what you know she will say to manipulate you.

    If you are with her in person, leave. Right away. Meet her in public, not in your home.

    If she calls, disconnect.

    If she texts, dont answer and put phone in a drawer.

    Dont listen to abuse. For any reason. From anyone. Your daughter has no special permit to abuse you. She should treat you love and respect. If she doesnt, you can decide not to listen.
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  19. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    Thank you so much Somewhereoutthere. I will follow your advice. This is a wonderful place and I have been looking to find this place for a long time. Thank you
  20. Denise2017

    Denise2017 New Member

    I do have a question- if I don't hear from the difficult child for a week or so is it ok to connect by text for example? Or better to maintain distance? Thank you all.