911.. what to do.. she is asking to come home..

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Rhonda, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    Hi all.. you have been such a big help so far. I am so emotional right now that I don't think I can do anything.

    It is probably where you all have been so many times. But this is a first. For the first time since Ocotober, she has asked how she can come home. She just text me and I am sitting here crying. I think I should say there is no way. But I have so hoped she would has for help and she never has. I am not moving except to type. I am actually terrified to call her and be the parent I know I am. I am afraid she has been beaten up again or she is just mad or angry and wants to run away from another problem.

    But I feel like I have to contact her now! Giver her some hope, but I am so not sure I can do it the right way. I know I have to ask what her plans are and all that. But, I know her and I am sure she has not really thought it through. She is scared and ready to try anything to feel safe for a little while even if it means coming home.

    I want so much to see her again and hold her for just a minute.. I try so hard to see her as an adult but I can't she is just my 18 baby.. who has way too many issues for me to deal with, but if I can't then how can she... She is supposed to be the sick one...

    Just need a quick reality check all! Thanks..
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would hold off making any decisions. In addition, keep your emotions, as best as you are able, in check.
    As you know, bringing her into your home is likely to be highly problematic and probably not advisable.
    You do need to protect yourself...your instincts are telling you this and that is healthy and wise.
    If you would like and feel strong enough to do so, you might call her, but stay in fact finding mode.
    Do not commit to anything. Do not say much. Just find out what's what.
    I wouldn't necessarily fully believe everything she says.
    It might be factual, or not, or something in between.
    Give yourself time to take it all in.
    One option, depending on the situation, you might see if there is help you can provide for her from afar...legal, medical, etc.
    Very generally speaking...my thought is to check it out, but hold back emotionally and in taking any action.
    Tell her you need a little time to think things through.
    As long as she is making sense, you might ask what it is she needs and/or expects you to do.
    Can you text back this type of thing???
    If she starts getting angry or sounds illogical, I would figure out a way to end this discussion.
    Again, don't offer anything. Just listen. See how you might contact her again..perhaps tomorrow.
    Do you have someone in "real" life that you can talk with about this?
    This has got to be a difficult night...I'm sorry for your pain.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 3, 2009
  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I guess my response would depend on what the past problems were, and what she is asking for... and maybe is willing to take or accept. If she were asking for help to change for the better, I'd welcome her to come home and then to the right place to get the help. That right place could be a lot of places. If the past problems were absolutely intolerable and she indicated no change happened or was wanted, I'd probably be happy to see her and talk, maybe give her a little something (bus fare, motel room cost?), but tell her she couldn't return to the home as things were in the past. And in between those ends, i'd look for her perhaps to come for a little bit and see what happened.

    My son had a serious drug problem, and was living away from our home. We could change nothing. Finally, he asked for help. We said yes, but on our terms, which he accepted. So, he came home, washed and changed, and went to an excellent psychiatric hospital (having been in bad ones before), and from there straight to an outdoor therapeutic program. Only when he asked for the help did things work out so well. So if your daughter is asking for help, do what you can to provide it. You don't want to miss the chance.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Our kids can sure yank the rug out from under us can't they??

    Ok. Deep soothing breaths. Until you have your emotions under better control, don't commit to anything. You want to be able to think before you agree to anything. And you need to know as many facts as possible.

    Last thing YOU need is to be put in jail for harboring a fugitive.:faint:

    Up til now, she's been honest. Ask her the facts. Let her know you want to help, but that you have to know all of what's going on before you can help. Because otherwise......you have no way of knowing how you can help her the best possible way.

    And that's the utter truth.

    I know you want to grab hold of her and pull her home as fast as you can. I know you do, because I've soooooooo been there done that. And I don't blame you a bit. You love her. This is what you've anxiously been waiting for so very long to hear.

    There is nothing wrong with bringing her home......IF you have all the facts and don't walk into the decision blind. I won't tell you not to. Only you can make that decision because you're the one who has to live with it.

    I couldn't say no to K when she asked. In the end, I got burned bad. (doesn't matter that it was a misunderstanding, I still got burned major) But I don't regret bringing her here or helping her for one single moment. Because I did what I had to do because that is the person I am. If I had turned my back on her at that moment when she needed me most.......I could never have lived with myself. And I knew it.

    I'm facing the same circumstances with her 9 yrs later. I'm still collecting facts this time around. I'm holding back because I did get burned so bad last time. But I know if it once again comes down to utter desperation under the right circumstances....I'll probably do it again. I'd be lying to myself if I said I wouldn't.

    I'd say at the very least, you've got to figure out what the truth is about this jumping bail thing is before you can bring her home. Maybe if you can get enough facts out of her, you can head to a lawyer and see what your options are and how risky it would be to bring her home at this point with that hanging over her head.

    I say that because it might not be as bad as she perceives it to be. So you need to know for certain what is going on with the charges against her.

    Don't say no. But don't commit just yet. Leave that door wide open and get all the info you can before you decide anything. If it weren't for those darn charges, I'd tell you to go for it.

  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Nothing to add to what has already been said.

    Sending hugs and lots of extra strength.
  6. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    OK .. here goes.. Thanks tons again.. after bawling my eyes out and sending SOS out to you great people.. I called my Mom and Dad.. You who have read my other posts and know what is going on will understand this. So, not repeating myself too much, my difficult child stole from her GP's and her GrandFather is not so forgiving. I told my Dad that she is asking to come home.. After a lengthy conversation with him (since I am in CA and they are all in MS). I called my difficult child.

    I am so proud.. I did "mostly" what you suggested. I did cry a little but tried to cover it with distraction.. hmmm. hope it worked. I told her how very much I loved her and how much her GP's love her but that none of us were going to put ourselves out there for her unless she wanted a completely different life than what she is living. I asked her what she wanted and she said that she wants to change everything but she could not really talk, there were other people that could hear her. She seemed to want a way to runaway (that was my perception) again. On the other hand I could tell that she has actually put some thought into what to do to turn things around. I am just not sure she is committed to doing them.

    She told me that she would think about everything and call me tomorrow. We will see. She may not even call after the things I said. I wish I had read the post from Nomad before talking to her. I would have said a lot less. I made some recommendations for her and I really wish I had not. She was the one who should have come up the ways to help herself instead of me "plateing them up" for her. I did back up some and tell her that it is all her choice and that even if I decide that I can't help her, I will be beside her while she goes through everything. I told her that, while I am sometimes embarassed by her behavior that I am still proud to be her Mother and that my head will be held high when I stand beside her. I told her how angry and frustrated her actions make me but my love for her is always so much more than those feelings.

    She is wanted for shop-lifting and skipping bail. And I told her there was no point in crossing state lines until this is cleared up. But I don't think she listened very well. We will see.

    She completely denied doing any drugs or alcohol. She said she had quit. When I told her that I understood her lieing about this, that that is what all drug addicts do, she was of course outraged and asked me to please believe in her. So I told her I did. And she said thank you. I do not though. I don't believe her at all. I just did not know what to say when she asked me to trust her the third time. And I do trust her as much as I can, that is just a notch above a buried bone.

    Thanks again.. I will post tomorrow .. Wish I knew how to point to my past posts so that if you are interested you could read the history.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think you did fine. It's hard to get everything right in the trenches.

    Saying a prayer she is serious, and another that she calls you tomorrow.

    Hang in there.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You did great. As the mom of an ex drug addict, I was going to tell you to let her come home as long as she follows these rules:

    1/No drinking or drugs
    2/serious drug rehab
    3/she finishes school or gets her GED plus works part-time (I believe that busy hands are happy hands--an old saying of my moms--give her no time to do drugs)
    4/chores around the house plus respect
    5/she faces up to her legal troubles

    Good luck, hon!!!
  9. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    Sending hugs and support.
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    You are absolutely correct that she needs to clear up her legal mess before crossing a state line. If you can when she calls back tell her to go to a women's shelter and ask for legal council. I am reasonably certain that she will do very little jail time if any at all. If she is given probation she can have it transferred to your state through the inter-state compact. It takes a couple of weeks to get all the paperwork approved but it can be done. It is done throught he parole or probation office. (I did this to get my difficult child in an out of state Residential Treatment Center (RTC)). There are also Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s or community based housing and programs for young women where she might be able to go to get her life turned around. I suggest that you do your research while you wait for her call tomorrow or whenever and figure out a plan of action. Present it to her and make her sign a contract with you. I do not believe that it is realistic to expect such a young difficult child to come up with a plan of their own. The do not have the experience and they are most likely getting (poor) advice from other difficult children.
    Also when they are so depressed and frantic they are usually not thinking straight. You can make a plan and leave room in it for her input but if you really want her to do the right thing she is most likly going to need some guidance. Just try not to get yor emotions all caught up in it. Be informed and be strong and only compromise on the stuff that really doesn't matter. Be realistic without squashing her dreams for a good future. Basically tell her that all things are possible but that she needs to get all these other things squared away first. If she is willing to take the steps that you outline then she might be ready to accept help. Good luck. -RM
  11. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    Sweet... RejectedMom...

    That was just what I needed to read. I will start researching now. Thanks so very much.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi -

    Don't think we've spoken before but I have read your story.

    I have an 18 year old that has literally put us through "it". He currently is living in foster care, on probation and facing more charges/jury trial. He could end up with 30-40 years in prison which would be just so sad and such a waste. To know that he is trying at all to me is improvement - but like many detached parents here - I show very little "yeah factor" on the outside. Our kids seem to self-destruct when they get praise.

    Some of the best advice I got, years ago about my son was to pretend like he wasn't my son. Put myself in the shoes of someone who wasn't realated to him and how would I advise them to handle the situation. It really helps you take the emotion out of the equation. Which is what most times messes my thoughts and decisions up.

    Looking at her history - there is no way I would harbor a fugitive.
    I would make her clear that problem up first. I think you've gotten some excellent advice about womens shelters and court from RM. I too have a list of local shelters for Dude to go to, in the event that he becomes homeless. I'm not 100% sure I could go through with it either, but I know that a week after I'd let him come home - my stress levels would go back up, the dogs would cower and the world would owe him a kiss on the butt. Then I would be miserable - we'd fight and in a heat of the moment I would take him to the shelter. I dont' want things to be like that. So I'm planning the best I can for the worst and hoping for the best.

    As far as her coming home after that? I honestly think once she would get in with a women's shelter and begin attending their mandatory counseling? She would begin to hear stories from other women who were down and out. Some less than some greater than her own problems. From there she may even be guided towards her own independence on her own terms and at her own doing.

    If you were to just say "Fine, come home?" WOW - would I come here and get a list of things to draw up in a written contract and both of you sign. Then I would have the consequences CLEARLY drawn out =and signed. So that there would be no question - If A should occur - B WILL MOST CERTAINLY happen and you will be X. here.

    As far as hugging her and loving her? Yup....I think every Mom should get to do that. Maybe if she finds a place with an address you could begin to write her and just tell her how you feel or if she'd ever give you a phone number - call and just leave a message you love her. You can also make a photo collage, or scrap book - it helps bring back good memories, allows you to cry over missed times,,,and gives something nice to show her when she does come back from planet X as your real daughter.

    I'm sorry you are hurting so badly - Maybe a journal could help you - written or typed. You could just write a little each day - so that someday she could read how much you love her. ? Journaling used to be a great tool for me.

  13. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia


    Oh the wisdom of experience. I would really prefer to miss out on this experience and just get straight to the wisdom part. I am so grateful for your advice.

    I have already refused to let her come home until her current situation is handled. But, I do not think that she is strong enough to turn herself into the police alone and I certainly would not want any of the other difficult child's she is running with to offer their help.. she would be crossing the border if they had a say so. I think that I will fly to MS and talk to her and offer to go with her and hope that is enough to get her started on straightening out the mess she has gotten herself in. I have talked to the Bail Bondsman there who she skipped bail on. He wants his $1500.00 and she will have to go to jail. If the fine is paid she will still have to go to jail until there is a hearing on the shop lifting charge because they will not set a new bail due to her being a flight risk (because she is). Once she is sentenced, she will either have to pay a fine or work off the fine in jail or possibly come to the jail daily to work until it is paid off. That is how it works. (a bit hard for someone with no home and no car..oh well)

    I will not pay her fine. Her father might but I will not. Even if it means her having to be in jail to pay it off. I would however be willing to stay in MS during her incarceration and visit her as often as possible. That is it.. I make no more promises than that. We will see how that goes. Or if it even goes. I am under no illusions that even if I fly to MS that she will turn herself in. But I do know that the possiblity is much greater if I am there to hold her hand. If she chooses not to turn herself in. I will get back on an airplane and leave her to deal with her life. I can only love her, and that love is greater than any anger and dissapointment I have felt. I know that she is not alone and even if she goes to jail she will not be alone not for one minute. She may think she is but she is not.

    These children.. these people.. that we raise.. what causes their behavior.. it is painful to try to live with it, to try to understand it, and even more painful are the ambitions most of us have to try to "correct" it because they end in our own failure (great now we are failing along with our little difficult child's). We are truly powerless, and it is very humbling, it can also be very liberating if we let it. I am trying to find the joy in understanding and belief, it is hard, but I know I can do it.

    I am not at the "contract if she comes home" stage. I am at the forgiveness stage. Forgiving her, forgiving her friends, and forgiving this cruel world for offering such an abundance of candy coated opportunities to our weak ones. I will think about "contracts" if she starts fixing her current situations with the police. So I may ask for a lot more advice if and when that happens.. wow.. I hope I get the opportuntiy to ask for that advice.

    I think the journal/scrapbook thing is great. I have toyed with that idea a lot but not done anything with my ideas.. I will start..
    Thank you again.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    forgiving this cruel world for such an abundance of candy-coated opportunites to our weak ones -

    Brilliantly put. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do this. Being of a mind that I am not of this world helps a lot. :tongue:

    Safe journey
  15. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    Smiles..... hugs! :alien:
  16. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Wow, Rhonda.

    I know we have not met, but I have read your story. Just wanted to tell you I thought you were handling it like a pro!
  17. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    I'm very impressed with your decisions - they acknowledge your love for your daughter, your willlingness to be beside her so she knows you have not abandoned her, and your right to choose to live a life without the chaos made by an "adult".
  18. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    Thanks CJ..

    Thanks Bad Kitty...

    I try.. I fail.. I cry..I get over it.. I try ... I fail.. .... holy cow.. over and over it goes...

    But, I love, I love, I love, I love,.. and that keeps me sane..(of course the sane part is subjective.. : P )

    Oh .... and when I go to pieces again I hope you are all here.. then you will say.. where is that Rhonda that made sane decisions..!!!! Ugh!

  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I knew you had a good head on your shoulders. :) You are handling this the best possible way. You're keeping the door open for difficult child, while not blinding yourself with illusions. I know that's not always so easy to do, and often can be a painful process.

    While in the forgiveness stage......I think you've also stumbled into the acceptance stage......which to me is harder. You're accepting your difficult child for who they are and are attempting to work with that for a change for the better. Acceptance is truely hard because we also have to accept that we have no power to fix it. That's huge for any parent, and the thing that punches us in the gut.

    Sounds like you've got a workable realistic plan in place. I'm praying hard difficult child is ready and willing to do the work involved in changing her life. She is one hellova lucky girl to have such a warrior Mom who loves her so much.

  20. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    This is how we handled that one ~ and it had less to do with difficult child than it did with some basic changes in the way WE perceived the situation. One of the other moms on the site (Sunny Florida) submitted a post in which she compared the things our difficult children were doing to the true danger and real courage displayed by eighteen year olds serving in Iraq.

    All at once, I began to see my own child in a very different light.

    He really did NOT need me to protect him, pay his utility bills or rent, or buy his food ~ not when other "children" (and my son was almost thirty by the time I finally got it) were displaying the kinds of courage and commitment we all saw displayed in Iraq.

    I cut a picture of soldiers out of the newspaper and pasted it by the phone, to keep my spirit from flagging when confronted with difficult child's neverending horrible crisis after crisis lifestyle.

    I also got it, about that time, that it was drug use that was responsible for what was happening to difficult child. It wasn't recreational drug use, and it wasn't "oh, and he uses drugs occaisionally, too". Drugs WERE the problem. Drugs destroy those who use them. It's a slow destruction, so we often forget who that child was before the use began ~ but drug use will destroy our children, will **** their lives right out from under them.

    And if we cannot see it for what it is, a child's drug use can destroy a family.

    We question our parenting, we wonder what it was that we did to create the situation, we wonder how we let our child down, what we did, how we can help them come back.

    That was the change that happened for me, when Sunny posted about the young soldiers in Iraq.

    Our son had been wonderful. Bright, kind, energetic, funny, ambitious, great grades, good looking, popular ~ and then, overnight it seemed, that son was gone. We knew he was using "recreationally"

    But we never once believed it was our son's drug use that was the issue.

    Once I got it ~ once I really understood what drugs do to the brain on a physiologic level and could understand what powerful, nasty things they are, then I could see my child differently. Because I was seeing more clearly, because I was no longer mired in that guilty refrain "Oh, WHAT have we done and how can I change it, now?!?", I could respond to my son (and his drug use) appropriately.

    What we did was present our son with a choice. Treatment, with every bit of our support, or...nothing.

    He chose nothing.

    But we knew WHY we were not choosing to interact with our drug-using child. We were no longer eaten up with guilt over what our child was choosing to do.

    I think that is the kind of thinking you may find helpful, too.

    I am not saying that every interaction with our son was easy, once we had a clear picture of his situation relative to his drug use. What I am saying is that we were able to understand how we needed to approach parenting a child who was using drugs.

    And that made all the difference, for us.

    Please feel free to ask any questions you like about how we changed our thinking, relative to our son's problems. One of the books recommended to me was "Don't Let Your Kids Kill You". Another of the things that was helpful to us was learning ~ through the internet ~ just what it is drugs do to the brain in order to create the "high". What they do is wring the brain of all the good chemicals. The user is then left with the same problems that made using a drug in the first place seem like such a good idea. Only, with every bit of good, stabilizing brain chemistry wrung out, the person finds himself in a really dull, dark depression.

    So, they use again.

    It takes more and more drug to attain the same kind of high.

    Eventually, the high is not very high ~ but the lows are agonizing.

    I am sorry this is happening to you, and to your daughter. This site is a wonderful place to learn how to help both our children and ourselves, and I am glad you found us.