Adopted a teenager - bad outcome

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by no1understands, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. no1understands

    no1understands New Member

    [h=2]Per advice - reposting on this forum.

    We completed a blind (means we didn't know the child) adoption of a 14-year-old (yikes) from a foreign country about 4 1/2 years ago. Though we had her in pretty intense counseling, she increasingly became more and more disrespectful towards us.
    After her behavior became untolerable, she was enrolled in an out-of-hospital program and placed in an adoption respite program. But she continued on a road of self-distruction. For instance, during a family vacation, she bought some pot and mixed it with depression medications. It was horrible - I thought she was dying (and we had lost a child already - not from anything she did to herself). At the hospital she maniupulated the people to tell them she didn't want to see us - she was 16 at the time!
    She has ran away four times - the last about a year ago (at the age of 17 1/2). She is not living with us now.
    She lived with a family and their son, whom she was dating. Of course she got pregnant (which is what she had been trying to do with anyone) and lost the baby. She once told some guy who is in the Army that she was four months pregnant - she wasn't. (guess it's the drama she got from it).S
    She was going to high school and doing well when she was with the old boyfriend's family, but stopped near the end - so has no diploma.
    Her boyfriend kicked her out after learning that she was having sex with other guys (which we had warned his family about). Now, at 18, she is living with with some other guy, whom we don't know.
    She lies about everything, won't get a job, can't keep friends (unless they are male), is remarkably promiscuous, calls for help or to tell us something like - "I'm cutting myself again."
    She won't tell us where she is living.a
    When she calls, she NEVER asks about anyone in the family. She argues with us about anything and everything. She is the victim - nothing is her fault. She has alienated everyone and thrives on drama.
    We have managed to keep our marriage together - but it has been a challenge. Better though, I'm sorry to say, since she is out of the house.
    For the 10 months she was living with her first boyfriend, she never called - except when needing something. The people wouldn't believe us that she still needed to see a counselor regularly and get help. Instead, they did nothing.
    We have been told by a counselor and a psychiatrist who saw her that we must not help her because that is enabling her. No money, etc - and we are okay with that, though it is very hard - we get it.
    We have, however, given her a list of places to look for help. Of course, she won't take the intitive.
    Her last message to us about a week ago was - "I hope you burn in hell for turning away an adopted child."
    Is the counselors, etc. advice good - and how in the world do you keep doing that without feeling so guilty?[/h]
  2. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Although I don't know very much about your situation, the love you have for your daughter shines through in spite of all the "garbage" you've been through. Sadly, at 18 years of age, unless your daughter wants to be helped, there really isn't anything you can do. You can let your daughter know how much you love her, that if and when she is ready to do the hard work necessary for positive change, you'll be there to support her. However, if she is going to continue down the path to destruction, there is, I repeat, absolutely nothing you can do to make her understand that her negative choices are going to have a very negative impact on her life.

    I found the following posted byHereWeGoAgain in 2007. Detaching has been very difficult for many of us. Hope this helps a bit. SFR

    Quote: To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
    To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
    To let go is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences.
    To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
    To let go is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
    To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
    To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
    To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
    To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.
    To let go is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
    To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
    To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
    To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
    To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
    To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
    To let go is to fear less and love more.
    Remember: The time to love is short.
    (author unknown)

    Read more:
  3. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    I understand, no1understands. My oldest daughter is very much like your daughter. Firstly, I am so sorry you are going through this. I know what you are going through. You have worked and worked to try to give your daughter a good life, and she has fought you the whole way. My daughter is out of our house when she turns 18, which is in 190 days. I don't feel badly at all. I don't worry about her; I worry about the innocent victims in her future.

    Your daughter deliberately says "I hope you burn in Hell for turning away your adopted daughter", because she knows it will hit your heart hard with guilt. It is her way of trying to manipulate you through guilt. I use to fall for it all the time. When my daughter says similar things like that, I make sure I tell her exactly how it is HER behavior that is causing our reaction or consequence: "we are turning away a person who deliberately treats our family in abusive ways. We don't allow anyone, whether they are a stranger on the street or our own daughter treat us the way you do. Our question is: how can a daughter intentionally treat her parents/family as despicably as you do? Without any guilt or remorse?" When you say this, expect another blame or guilt tactic to manipulate you. We usually get " how very Christian of you." I tell her the bible supports removing your self from abusive forces, which you are. Look it up."

    Understand, your daughter is deliberately saying these things, because she knows your guilt is her best tool to get you to do what she wants. You have proven that to her time and time again. You need to do what is best for your family and not for your daughter. I know that decision is hard, because you think if you try a little harder, maybe she'll get it. If she is like my daughters, she won't. You won't help her, but you will end up hurting your marriage and your family.

    Character Disturbances by George Simon has been a comforting source for me. I highly suggest you read it. His book is, along with this site, a go-to site of advice and guidance.

    And remember, I do understand. And I am sorry for both of us.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Your story is all too familiar to many of us here if that is any comfort to you. My son had dreadful attachment issues as a child and young adult. He was hellbent on doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and he had no regard for the impact his actions had on anyone else. He had to learn every life lesson the hard way and it wasn't until he was homeless for over a year that he finally started to come around.

    You have my sympathies. Detaching is the most difficult thing I ever had to learn as a parent. I would recommend a couple of things for you to read right now. One is a detachment essay- the link is in my signature. The other is to to go the Archives of this forum and read up on responses. I don't have the link handy but I'll post it in a separate post. Many of us have found these responses to be enormously helpful- I even wrote them down and had them next to my phone so that I would remember to use them instead of what I really wanted to say (lol).


  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I too understand all too well. My daughter also had awful attachment issues and was at times abusive to us. From ages 14-19 when we finally made her leave our house, she was horrible to us. She ended up abusing alcohol and drugs and she has been living elsewhere since then. Kicking her out of the house was the hardest thing I ever had to do and yet I knew if I didn't my marriage would fail and my older daughter would never recover from the chaos. We could not help her any longer. We helped her get into a treatment center and worked with her for a year trying to get sober but she relapsed and is living on her own. Like your daughter she also got pregnant with her boyfriend of the month. Thank goodness she did not carry it to term and she now has an IUD that will hopefully protect her for five years. It would be disasterous for her to have children.

    Detachment does not happen overnight or without pain. If you have any FA (families anonymous) meetings near you I strongly suggest you go. In time you will detach with love and without guilt.

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would love to tell you to offer help on the basis of her doing X, Y, Z....because that is what a parent would do...but not a parent of a difficult child, because it just does not work that way. Over and over again parents here try it and over and over it fails. I especially feel confident that your difficult child will not do her part of any deal since she is a master manipulator and knows all the right buttons.

    Sometimes the parent role takes on a very non-traditional involvement. That is OK. Sometimes it is what is best. So, yes, I agree with your counselor. She will need to figure out how to get her own help - and that is truly the best parenting move here. It is likely the only way she will learn in life, to figure it out for herself.

    I know it is terribly hard because it is not how you envisioned parenting. But, it is not wrong, just different.