Adult daughter living with me on drugs

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Katemary, May 16, 2015.

  1. Katemary

    Katemary New Member

    This is my first time on a forum. My daughter is 27 and I am sure she is using drugs but I do not know what kind. My son is 34 and has bee addicted to heroin for probably 10 years. He lives on the street with his girlfriend. I can barely handle the thought so losing another child to drugs. I have threatened to kick her out but basically gave in hoping the threat would make her realize she needs help. I am seeking advice on how to handle this. Please help.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Katemary. I am so sorry you are in this position. Unfortunately, most of us here on this board have been through something similar.

    Every parent here will understand the position you find yourself in. There is nothing easy about it. The fact that you have faced this terrible thing with another child is not easy. Many here on the board are with one child, and than another in perilous situations. Many others are facing the situation with our only child. Which is worse? I do not know. There is nothing easy about any of this.

    Reality must be faced. And from there, a decision. And from there, more decisions. That is our only path.

    And that is the only way out for our children. We come to understand that our decisions can only be for us. Our children's lives can only be changed by their own decisions, or not. Their choice.

    Some questions: You gave your daughter an ultimatum, and relented? Has that worked? Have things improved for you? For her?

    27 years old is an adult, not a child. My thinking is this: there are no circumstances that justify an adult child actively using drugs living in your home.

    My son is 26, until recently off and on he was in my home.

    I am choosing another way, now. I am letting him live his own life. He can find his own living situation, treatment, and by doing so, learn, or not. I came to see this as respect for him, the real embodiment of hope.

    It is by no means easy.

    But the other way was worse. On me.

    And I saw after trying and trying that NOT ONE THING I DID OR SUFFERED, helped him. I got sicker and sicker, weaker and weaker. More and more despairing. My life had come to be defined by my failure to solve my adult son's problems.

    The decision I came to is to try to let go. I think initially I made this choice, for him, not so much for me.

    Better idea: to accept fully that I matter, my life matters, my health matters. MY HAPPINESS MATTERS. I am nowhere there yet.

    Still, I am as a boxer in the ring, my opponent, way stronger than am I. Every phone call from my son, brings me down.

    I am still sacrificing myself that he shall live. WRONG. It does not work.

    I am pondering what to do next. I have few answers. I only know the first steps.

    I know this: Nothing that we do at this point will help them. They must solve this, not us.

    I know this too: At this point our children are like us. Adults. No different than us. Do you and I not deserve health and well-being as do they?

    Answer yourself honestly, here.

    Nothing about this is your fault or your responsibility anymore. Nothing. Your children are adults. Let them handle this. You take care of yourself.

    We are here with you and for you. Stay with us, why don't you and learn from the other mothers and fathers who have faced this. We can do it together. Take care.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is shse working? Why is she still living at home at 2&? Why do you think it will help her if you keep her at home and shield her? Did that help for your son?

    I believe in Tough Love. My daughter quit drugs, including cigarettes, shortly after she was escorted out of our house and had to sink or swim on her own at age nineteen. We cut off the money tree too, but one thing she had going for her is she had always worked because we cut off the ATM when we knew about the drugs. You can't change either of your children, but you CAN change yourseslf and the way you respond to their refusal to grow up and stop acting in criminal ways. You don't have to make it YOUR problem because it isn't.

    No 27 year old of mine would be living at home. I think that is harmful for both parent and adult child. Nor would I pay for a 27 year old's cell phone, internet or let her/him use a car of mine unless he/she was sober and paying for gas and his portion of insurance. Disrespect at t hat age is enough to show them the door. I don't think she will improve as long as she is at home acting like she is still a child.

    I'm glad to "meet" you, but sorry you had to come here.
  4. Katemary

    Katemary New Member

    tha k you for replying back to me. She is working 5 days a week and pays minimum rent. She basically comes home from work eats dinner and flops on the couch. She is combative and defensive whe I try to have a conversation her attitude in general is negative. She has a boyfriend who is a drug dealer aim sure because he is of the same age and drives a bm
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think this whole process is a journey for them and for us. Somewhere.... you were lucky in a way that your daughter chose to quit drugs after being kicked out of your house. We too kicked our son out at age 18. I still believe that was the right choice at the time because we could not continue living like we had been and it was not good at all for my younger daugther.

    However it has taken him a lot longer to start pulling himself together. He didnt quit drugs, lived with friends, has been in jail 3 times and has lived on the street. I think that for whatever reason had to be his process. He had to find out the hard way that he does not want to spend his life in jail or be homeless again. So my only point is that tough love, and kicking them out also does not necessarily get them to do the right thing.

    I think it is all about doing what you can live with... and does the best to take care of you in the process.

    My son is now 23 and ended up moving across the country to avoid arrest again. It has been a crazy journey for him and for us. But now he is starting to pull things together, although I know he is drinking which I am not happy about obviously. But he is working steadily and has been since January. We are helping him out here and there financially. A part of me wonders if we are enabling him... but really him being on the streets was pretty darned hard on me and so yes I want to help him stay off the streets... and he is doing a lot of right things and is making progress and I want to support that.

    So I dont like to say never... because I am dealing with my son differently now than I did 4 years ago, and probably differently than I will 4 years from now.

    So Katemary.... you obviously have been through a lot, given that you have already been through this with your son. I have come to realize I have absolutely no control over my sons substance abuse and I cant base any of support really on if he is or is not using.... because if I do that he will lie to me and do all kinds of crazy things to get what he wants. So my trying to control his drug use by threats, or withholding support is totally pointless. What I will base my support on is his behavior. If he is doing things to help himself, such as working or doing well in school etc. then I am willing to help him. If he is in self destruct mode and doing nothing or worse then I will not help him. At this point I leave the drug use out of it. Because really if he is using a lot of drugs it shows in his behavior anyways.

    I am sure you are extra sensitive to the possibility of your daughter using drugs, because of what you have been through with your son. Is your daughter working, contributing to the household etc? I would not threaten to kick her out based on her drug use.....but I would tell her she needs to find something else if she is not doing productive things with her life. And as much as I hate to say this many people in their 20s use drugs or drink and still lead productive lives. Of course it depends on what they are using and how much... if they become serious addicts it is hard to really live a productive life.

    Keep posting.. I think we all understand.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have to disagree. She is not 19, she is 28. She is using drugs, probably not just smoking pot. Her boyfriend is a drug dealer. She is hard to live with.

    I feel this poster has a right to live her life in peace and it sounds like her daughter being there is just stressing her out more.

    I wasn't lucky my daughter quit drugs. My daughter made a smart and hard decision based on her belief that "drug life is horrible and I hate it." She was using meth.Nothing she did was to my credit or lucky. She did it for herself and it was the hardest thing she has ever done in her life, but s he didn't like her life the way it was. So she changed it.

    It does not always work to make them leave, but from what I've seen on this forum for my years here, it works a heck of a lot better than keeping them home when they are almost thirty, lie, steal, drug abuse and run around with drug dealing boyfriends who drive BMWs. Can you imagine what drugs he is selling to get that car?

    So I will cheerfully agree to disagree :) And the poster can decide how she wants to handle it.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    OK I should not have used the word lucky.... none of us on this forum are lucky at alll, so I apologize for that!! I am not saying that someone should not kick their kid out of the house.... I did that myself and and I think it was the right thing to do at the time. However at the time I thought that would make him realize his mistakes and turn things around. Things got a whole lot worse before they started to get better..... so I dont want anyone to think kicking them out is a solution because many times things do get worse.

    At the same time I think that parents do have a right to lead a peaceful, meaningful, happy life and should not keep up a situation where they are being mistreated or abused in some way, So i dont think kicking them out is automatically the right answer, a lot depends on the situation.

    I also want to say that a drug dealer boyfriend complicates things. If he is abusive then that is a whole other problem. Kicking a daughter out who then may go live with an abusive boyfriend is incredibly risky for a bunch of reasons.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Toughlovin, where does the responsibility of a parent end and where does the responsibility of an adult child begin?

    There is no guarantee that making an adult child leave, will convert her into a sensible, responsible, person. Of course it is always a hope that such an outcome will result. We are only, human.

    But such hope is a fantasy. Assuming that what we do or do not do...can and will control an outcome in our adult child's life...I think is a harmful fallacy.

    Why? By doing so we are holding onto power in our children's lives, that rightfully belongs to our adult children.

    By holding onto the illusion that we can change things by doing this or that, we dis-empower them and disrespect them. We make them weaker. We make it harder for them to learn what they need to learn, so as to achieve self respect and autonomy.

    Kicking out an adult child is risky. Allowing an adult child to stay at whom who you suspect may be using drugs or doing other harmful things, is equally so.

    And that is leaving aside the consequences for parents or other family in the home. If the presence of the adult child is problematic or worrisome, how is it that this person's needs and interests are more important than are, those of the rest?

    I have come to believe that choosing the welfare of my adult son over my own welfare and that of my SO, disrespects everybody. I have learned that I cannot control my son's life, nor should I.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with you. I am not sure if I am coming across as saying it is a parents responsibility to take care of an adult child. I do not believe that. I totally support a parent if they feel they need to kick out an adult child. I did it myself and I would do it again in the same circumstances. But I also support a parent who is not willing to do that or is afraid to do that. I think every parent has to find their own path and there is not one answer. I just dont want anyone to think kicking their kid out will be the solution. Fact is we dont have solutions for our adult kids. They need to find their own solutions and their own journey.... and we can support them along the way. But mostly all we can do is let them know we love them.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I believe that she has the power to break up with the abusive boyfriend. She is probably with him enough for him to beat her up anyway, even if she lives at home.

    It is the responsibility of any adult who is nearing thirty to take care of his own affairs. Things can get worse even while they live with you. It's not like they aren't getting into trouble. They are still on the streets, doing what they do. The difference is, the only difference, is that WE are dragged into their drug life and put ourselves at risk. Who is to say this druggie boyfriend who probably visits the house won't come in and get aggressive with the daughter or the poster?

    I would offer her a rehab and if she refuses to go, I'd pack her bags. After that, it is her decision which way to turn. Many of our adult kids HAVE done better once out of the house. And we have peace while they no longer live with us, causing us extreme distress and possibly even health issues.

    I support anything a parent decides to do. But I do think I see a pattern of some solutions working better than others and I don't think home at almost 30 is a good thing. What were you doing at 27? On the other hand, I can see how the first son is influencing the poster to hang on, although there really is nothing she can do to help her daughter and there is nothing written in stone saying her son will never change for the better.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    OK I work in the field of domestic violence and there are many many reasons why women stay with abusers. It can be very difficult as well as very dangerous to leave an abusive relationship. One of the tactics of abusers is to isolate their partners which makes it even harder to leave. Tough love does not work when dealling with domestic violence.... all it does is send the victim into the hands of the abuser and makes it harder to leave. So my advice to parents whose children are in an abusive relationship is to do everything you can to maintain your relationship with your child, let them know you love them and that you are willing to help them when and if they decide to leave.

    Now drug use of course makes this all much much harder.

    I do think it is important for paretns to have clear boundaries and limits and this applies to both drug use and abusive relationships.

    The most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she leaves. I agree with you that the responsibilty for any adult is take care of their won affairs.... parents can not do this for their children. But parents can be supportive and can show love... and sometimes it is a very tricky line to walk between loving and enabling. I dont think it is always as clear cut as you seem to believe.
  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    What 'abusive boyfriend' ?

    I didn't find that part so I won't comment on that.

    The fact is, though, this young woman is 27 years old.

    It is time she start her own life, living as an independent adult.

    She needs this, just as you need your life back so that you can live your life as a mother of adult kids. Adults who live their lives as they choose, whatever that is for them.

    Living together in this situation is not healthy for either of you.

    I would sit with her and tell her she must formulate her plan for becoming independent. She needs a time frame. Not an open-ended, ethereal, sometime in the future, whenever it's convenient time-frame. A six months from now, time frame. Help her if necessary to think of all the options.

    Remember, this is as much for her as it is for you.

  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    THIS is a rational approach. Not a kick-out, but help spreading wings. Whether she flies or not, is up to her. But as a parent of kids not quite that old, I'm already looking down the road - because mine have challenges that mean they will not be independent at 18 or 19 or 20. At some point, they need to become independent, OR at least independent of ME (some kids need "system" supports, and that's fine).

    Put this in the positive. She IS working. Full time, it sounds like. She is 27. It's time to take the next step(s). Maybe increase what she is paying for rent, and put that aside as the security deposit etc. for getting her own place?
  14. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    Drugs or not, it's not okay for her to be disrespectful in your home. I think its time for her to spread her wings. Keeping her at home isnt going to save her from the drugs, it will just keep you miserable. Sit her down and give her a timeline. If she's working, she can support herself. Perhaps give her phone numbers of rehabs and sober living homes To look into.Then give her an eviction notice of 30 days, or whatever you feel is fair. Then stick to it!!
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok. Sorry to the poster and AppleCori. I confused this post with a nother one where the daughter's boyfriend was a drug dealer.
    My apologies. Wrong info.