A little hope...and some things I wish I did not know

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Elsi, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Some good news today. C found a place to live. A room off Craigslist, not in a great area but affordable and near employment options and bus lines. And most importantly he’s off the street. I saw him today and took him a blow up mattress and pump, a set of sheets, blankets pillows and basic toiletries. I’ve paid for the security deposit and first month, and told him he’s on his own to make things work from here. He said he understood. It’s a 6 month lease, which will get him through the coldest months and give him time to figure out his next move. I pray that he’ll get along with his roommates - an older married couple. He says he’s been sober 5 days and is taking things ‘a day at a time.’ He’s not making promises, but said he feels much better than he has in a while and wants to stay sober.

    And then he told me a bit about his sister. I don’t encourage this generally - they’ve gone through childish stages of tattling on each other while downplaying their own issues - but he said that he was worried about her and there were things that I should know. He told me the man S just moved in with is a big time dealer, someone well known and feared on the streets. He also told me he’s pretty sure she’s trading sex for money.

    I don’t know what to do with this information. I don’t know how to feel. It’s too much, the hope for C on one hand and this heartbreaking news about S on the other. I feel physically ill thinking about it. She is beautiful and vulnerable - not even 5’ tall and less than 100 pounds. She’s struggled her whole life. Learning disabilities. A growth disorder. Partial deafness. Mental illness. While it was never officially diagnosed, I’ve long suspected she was born with some degree of fetal alcohol syndrome based on her issues and bio mom’s. She spent most of her teens in and out of treatment centers. So many emergency holds. So many doctors and psychiatrists. So many medications tried.

    And now she is lost to me. She refuses all possibility of treatment, will not take any prescribed medications. She is, to use a word I’ve seen some on this forum apply, now feral. C tells me she goes out and gets wasted almost every night and picks fights with other girls twice her size, and alwYs loses. He said he keeps getting called to carry her out of places when she’s out of control, or rescue her when she’s been beat up. He said he can’t do it anymore, and he’s decided if he’s going to be able to stay sober he needs to go no contact with her for a while. I told him I support him in that, and he Is not responsible for rescuing her from her choices. Just as I can’t be responsible for his choices.

    I want to find her wherever she Is living, drag her out of there, and force her into some kind of treatment. I know I can’t. And it wouldn’t work, without her consent and desire.

    I knew things were bad, but I didn’t imagine this bad. I don’t understand. It is all so outside anything I can imagine experiencing or allowing to happen in my life. Even through all her difficult teenage years, I didn’t predict it was going to end up like this. I will never understand. And it hurts so much.
  2. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    Elsi, great news about your son. It sounds like he found a good fit for him for his current situation. I hope he gets employment right away.

    From what he’s told you it does sound like your daughter is putting herself in dangerous situations. And it’s very understandable that he feels he can’t deal with her dramas and hold himself together. The thing is, because he’s been rescuing her, just stopping is not going to be easy for him, just like it isn’t for us. I hope he has a plan in place for when he gets those calls.

    I don’t know if I would be able to handle two off the rails adult children. I hope your home and you space continues to be your oasis.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum of any degree is organic brain damage. It is irreversible and devestating. Those afflicted at the worst level have no idea of right and wrong and morality and ideally can be watched all the time to keep them safe. There are no cures. If she is fetal alcohol spectrum there may be little anyone can do. Same for C. If she drank while pregnant, even a little,alcohol is poison to the brain of a developing fetus and strips away the ability to reason and learn frim mistakes. Other drugs are bad but strangely alcohol is the worst to ingest while pregnant. This problem also makes one easily addicted.

    I am sorry about daughter. Guard your heart with C. Dont get too excited so soon. I dont want your heart to be broken. These children were born with huge challenges if birthmom drank or drugged while pregnant. They can be sweet when little but tend to have trouble figuring out adult life and often could use a legal guardian, which isnt that easy to get but if Daughter is diagnosed (she has to be) the court can order a guardian and payee. But will she comply? My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son had me as a guardian for some years but he was in agreement and compliant and a few years ago court said he didnt need one anymore and he is fine but he has a Case Manager who is available. His birthmom used drugs.

    Love and light!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Elsie, this is tough stuff to deal with. On the one hand, S off the rails choices is a vivid picture for C of what this lifestyle can entail. Hopefully, he will use that as a catalyst for change.
    I don’t know what is more difficult, knowing, or not knowing. Like you, I have two waywards. My eldest, moved to approach me over her younger sisters “feral” activities and urge me not to bail her out of jail “for her own good”.
    Similar to your story, I had heard from my nephew that Tornado knew how to “get what she needs” from partying with men. Her cousin tried to cushion it with “Oh but aunty, it’s not like that.....”
    When news like this hits us like a ton of bricks it is really important to be extra kind to ourselves and take time out to process through it.
    I wished like you, that I could grab my two up and force them into rehab, something, anything but the homeless life they are living and all that entails. Unfortunately, they have to be ready and willing for change.
    Until then, it is really important to stay focused on self care and add to our toolbox. We have no control over our d cs choices, but we can learn to navigate our own paths and shine a proverbial beacon through our own choice to live well, despite the paths our adult kids walk. Hopefully one day, they will come to their senses.
    Right now, your son is learning a powerful lesson.
    I hope that your daughter will wake up and realize there are better ways to live.
    I am so sorry for the pain of this. I do know how it feels. Take time for yourself, and keep soldiering on. You are not alone.
  5. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Wishing you peace. Will C change his phone number so he doesn't get those calls? That way he won't be waiting for them and feeling bad saying no. If he hasn't started putting in job applications at his new location yet he should change the number 1st, otherwise he will have to wait until he is employed. (just so that his number matches the one on the applications)
  6. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    That’s a really good point, and good advice. It’s not as simple for him as blocking her number, because their social circles are so entwined that’s it’s usually other people calling him on her behalf. He said there is an expectation that he handle it as her big brother, because ‘it’s family, man. She’s your sister.’ This has been a really big wake up call and learning moment for him. I think he is starting to understand why I have had to put my own boundaries in place. I told him he needs to learn to ‘put the oxygen mask on himself first’ - and that I’ve had to learn to do the same. It’s why they can’t live with me, and I can’t give them money when they are making bad choices. I think this was a real lightbulb moment for him.

    It makes me so angry when I think about the disadvantages they have started out with in life. I think bio mom was at least trying to remain sober with her pregnancies with C and N. I think by the time S came along she was losing that battle. And then she abandoned them all when S was 18 months, about the worst time possible developmentally. I feel like I’ve spent MY whole adult life trying to clean up her mistakes. And you’re right, there is no curing some of this stuff. They will fight it their whole lives. And it seems like S is losing. Would love to get her into some kind of program with treatment, supports and guardianship. She tells me that’s all BS and she doesn’t need it and she doesn’t want anyone else ‘messing with her brain’ anymore. The more anyone tries to help, the angrier and more non compliant she gets.

    Thanks for this. I’m trying to stay cautiously optimistic, with the emphasis on caution. I know there are likely to be more bumps in the road. I’m just grateful he’s coming to a place where he seems to be accepting responsibility and being more self reflective on his choices. We’ve had some really good talks through this.

    Perhaps. I hope he will not let himself get sucked back in.

    It’s really hard to hear these things, isn’t it? C tried to talk around the issue, too, but it sounds like it very much is like that. She’s prostituting herself for drugs and money. And maybe allowing this man to pimp her out. I want to throw up when I say it. But it’s a truth I have to face.

    Thank you. I’m trying. I am spending this weekend deep cleaning the entire house. Cleaning out closets. Boxing things for good will. Throwing stuff out. Filing and organizing and scrubbing top to bottom. It soothes me somehow. Like if I can just put enough order into my life maybe some of it will rub off on them.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    That's good news about your son finding a place to live. I do hope it works out well for him.

    I'm so sorry about the news your son shared with you about your daughter. That is something a mother should never have to hear or imagine about her daughter.
    Your son is getting a taste of what you have dealt with, with both of them. I hope he takes it to heart and learns from it.

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