Daughter Homeless Again...I Cant Help Her...Feeling Guilty.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mommaRN, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. mommaRN

    mommaRN New Member

    My Daughter is 27 years old. She has been bouncing from couch to couch for years with some breaks when she found a steady boyfriend here and there. About 3 years ago She became angry at me due to me asking her not to discuss my business with other family members I was no longer in contact with. She became enraged with me at this request becoming verbally abusive. She called me horrible names, stating that I was "dead to her" and that I was to never to contact her again.

    I kept tabs on her through her sister and through social media to make sure she was OK but respected her wishes hoping that when she was done being angry she would come around. at the beginning of this summer she contacted me and told me that she wanted to work on things and get back to the way things were. We used to be close despite her having a difficult time during her teenage years; ie running away, stealing cars, escaping juvenile detention, breaking into neighbors houses ect.

    I decided to try to put things in the past and start fresh. She called me up shortly after and asked me if there was any work I had for her ( I have a second property) so that she could earn some money. I told her that I had some yard work that could be done. In the past I paid her way more than what I would have paid anyone else because I knew she needed the money to pay fines, buy food, ect. she said great we agreed on a time to meet and hung up.

    I showed up waited and no daughter...waited another hour...no daughter. I called her for the 5th time she finally answered and started to scream the worst things on the phone to me. blaming me for every bad decision she has made in the last 3 years. telling me how bad of a mother I as and that she hated me, acting as if I was the one that asked her to do the work. Needless to say I was shocked. I hung up the phone and cried.

    Fast forward to two weeks ago. She is now texting me stating that her step brother is kicking her out and that she is going to be homeless and that since I am her mother I HAVE to help her. Her sister wont help her because when she was staying there she stole money from her. Her other sister wont let her stay with her because she stole her promise ring from her. Frankly, I'm at my wits end and I don't want her in my house. I don't trust her. I feel guilty because its winter. I feel guilty because its my daughter. I just don't have it in me.
    when people ask me if I'm going to help her and i say no they look at me like I'm a monster. Sorry if this is long winded. It just makes me mad, she is capable of working and being productive but she chooses not to. I dont know what to do... any words of wisdom?
  2. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Well you are doing the right thing I mean she is a grown adult that is verbally abusive and on top of that she is jobless and you are not obligated to support such things.
    Take comfort you are doing the right thing and you have every right to do what you are doing now. Nobody wants to live with a abusive person.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    If you tell her now that she cannot come home, your daughter will make other arrangements. If you wait to tell her, then I think it will happen that you will take her in. If you tell her no now, then you make room to open a dialogue about past behaviors and future goals. That conversation can only happen if your daughter is willing to listen and hear what you say.

    So again, I think it would be the right thing to tell her she cannot move home.

    Then, sit with that decision. You can change your mind at any time.

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  4. mommaRN

    mommaRN New Member

    I have already told her that she cannot come home weeks ago. However, she keeps texting me trying to make me feel guilty. She also has her second to youngest sister working on me also. I know I'm doing the right thing but I still feel sad. :frown:
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  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi mommaRN,
    So sorry for all of your troubles, that have brought you here, it is a good place for folks like us.A place to vent and get opinions from others on similar journeys.

    You have been going through this with your girl for quite some time. It is the same for me. My two have been troubled since teen years. I think that when this happens, we develop patterns of rescuing. We get used to stepping in and trying to fix things. The difference is, now they are adults. They have to learn to take responsibility for their actions, and for that to happen, we have to step back. It feels weird and counter intuitive, but it is true. Especially when this kind of behavior is exhibited.

    We are not rugs to be tread upon.

    Do you know why your daughter was acting out the way she did as a teen?

    For both of my girls, it was drugs.

    My other two went through the typical teen angst.

    My d c's, were another story. Lots of work.

    This continued on to adulthood.

    It is not our duty or obligation to help an adult child. Especially ones who are capable of working and being productive.

    Forgive my being forward, it sounds as if drugs may be an issue for your daughter. The erratic behavior, and stealing from family, is typical.

    Nevertheless, it is actually the best thing for our adult d c's, to let them deal with the consequences of their actions. If we constantly rescue them, they do not learn.

    The saying goes, " If nothing changes, nothing changes."
    Your daughter seems to think it is okay to take advantage of her family's kindnesses. This is not okay.

    You have done your job parenting her. She is an adult now, and is making decisions that make her life harder, she needs to learn how to make better choices, the only way this happens for all of us, is if we have to take the end result of our choices.

    That may mean being homeless. But this is what happens, when one does not appreciate others graciousness, or work to pay for ones lifestyle. We will not be around forever to look after our d c's. They have to learn to take care of themselves. Homelessness can be a consequence of choice.

    It is similar, our story, except my girls sisters did not take her in, they knew what would happen.

    My eldest is homeless. Has been for awhile. We have let her come home a few times, only to have the same things happen. Missing jewelry, money, clothes, toiletries. She would bring her street friends over and party while we were working. Or she would sleep much of the day, claiming to be sick, then up and out all night. This gets old and tiresome to be taken advantage of by an adult capable of working. By taking our daughter in, we were funding her lifestyle. It was not right. She did not care.

    It does not matter what people think about your decision with your adult daughter. You are making the right choice for you and her.
    By not helping her, you are helping her.

    There is a good article on detachment in this forum. I read it often.

    MommaRN, you have been through a lot with your daughter, she has not treated you decently and respectfully. You deserve respect and peace in your home.

    Our d c's can be very manipulative and know how to pull at our heart strings and press our guilt buttons. Do not fall for it.

    Try to step back, examine your daughters actions without your " mom eyes" and see it for what it is. You would not put up with this kind of treatment or action from a friend or acquaintance. Sometimes we have to look at it from a distance.

    We cannot control our adult d c's, we can only control our responses.

    I have learned the hard way with my two, they do not grow or change in my home. I want things to be better for them, but they have to want that for themselves.

    I wish you peace of mind and heart. You are not alone. Keep posting, it helps to hear from others on the same journey.

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  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The only kind of help that seems to work for these kids who have worn out their welcome is to provide information on other resources. Actually "doing" anything for them just makes things worse.
  7. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    That is so true, CD.

    Our young man has done much better than we had ever thought he would, after we all stopped trying to fix things for him and 'help' him. It's not what I would have chosen for him, but it is not my life, either.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome mommaRN,

    ((HUGS)) for you hurting heart!!

    I am glad you found us here. You will find much needed support from us Warrior Parents.

    There is a very good article on detachment at the top of the PE forum. Please take some time to read it as it's really helpful.

    You have nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing, Zero, Nada, Zilch!!

    Our difficult adult children are counting on us to feel guilty as a way to manipulate us into "helping" them. I use the term "helping" loosely as there is nothing we can do for them that will help them but we can do plenty to enable them.

    I know how hard it is to have such ugliness from your child. Been there, done that, have the T-Shirt. I had to stop all communication with my son for a while because of his verbal abuse. Again, your daughter is counting on making you feel guilty with all of her venom. Don't buy into it.

    Your daughter is 27 and needs to live her own life. She may not see it this way but a loving thing you can do is supply her with names and numbers of shelters.

    I have always liked the saying "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part" This is very fitting with our difficult adult children.

    You are doing the right thing by telling her no, that she cannot come live with you.

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  9. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    MommaRN. These are very wise words in the above replies. I come to this site everyday for reinforcement, support, and peace. It is like my daily stress-relief doses. By reading your post and the responses, I also grabbed tight hold of the wisdom and guidance here like a lifesaving ring to keep afloat and stay the course, and to rest a bit.

    Thank you for your post . I agree, agree, with the above replies. Keep with us here to get build your assurance and confidence and strength to clear the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that natuarally grips us all as moms. You are not alone. Others are with you and understand.

    To Cedar, New Leaf, Tanya, Apple , Insane – thank you all so much for your responses above. I needed to hear all this from you today also for myself. Coming to this forum for me is like prayer – to spill out sorrows and heartache, lift petitions, seek guidance, get answers, and be thankful. All that happens here. Mahalo nui.
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  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Actually, as I read my own words a few posts above, I am ashamed to realize that we really didn't think he could do these things for himself.

    How wrong we were!
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    My two have said very hateful things to me. It is hard, MommaRN.

    Are you a nurse? My mom was an RN.
    This is difficult work.
    You know, with patients that are suffering and healing, nurses help, but also step back and let patients do for themselves, it is important for their recovery, to move about on their own, to feed themselves, to be self sufficient.

    Loving detachment.
    Stepping back.

    Also, something I have just thought of in my heart today.

    To my daughters I will say

    " I love you with all of my heart,
    I have made mistakes
    in raising, you, it is true.
    I am only an imperfect human.
    As we all are.
    We all make mistakes.
    Please forgive my mistakes.

    I see great potential in you,
    but you must see this, too.
    You can do this,
    you are capable,
    you are young and strong,
    you have yet to see
    your own endless possibilities.
    Know that I love you,
    and please
    take care,

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  12. mommaRN

    mommaRN New Member

    Sorry I have not replied...night shifts at the hospital...:) I appreciate all of your kind words of wisdom. It makes me feel better knowing Im not alone in this. My mother asked me "dont you get tired of being a walking ATM machine". shes right. I always told her she could do anything she wanted if she set her mind to it. She chooses not to, I can't keep making excuses for her any longer. I dont have anymore. At the current time shes in a city a hundred miles away, its cold and I hope shes well. I haven't heard anything in the last week.

    Tonya M... like your saying ....might have to borrow it if you don't mind as it is very fitting in so many ways .....:likeit:
    thank you again everyone
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi MommaRN

    I am saying a belated welcome here, and offering my support.

    Do not take abuse. Rule number one. I did so for too long. Our children are adults who are responsible for their own choices and their own behavior. We are not responsible anymore. That took me too long to learn.

    The only possibility for them to change is to experience the consequences of how they live. I would not tolerate one iota of her abuse.

    If you have to cut off contact completely with her, including social media, so be it.

    To me, her tirades to you are abuse.

    Why would you feel guilty for behaviors and choices that were entirely hers?

    I have a 27 year old son. Since beginning on this forum in May I have gotten stronger and stronger. I no longer believe I have to rescue him. At all. Now I am seeing, I do not have to have contact with him at all if he acts abusively towards me. I get a phone call from him, and I am sick for days. I am at the point I do not even want phone contact. He is mean to me and acts aggressively. I have done nothing to warrant this kind of treatment. I have only loved him, perhaps too much.

    I am seeing my life as completely separate from his. He is an adult. Who chooses to live in a certain way. What in the world does that have to do with me? Not a thing, unless I allow it too. I want to live fully and well for the time I have left. If I get sick when I interact with my son, it is on me to change that and to protect myself. I am.

    Keep posting. We are glad you are here, and we understand how hard this is.

    You do not deserve this pain and distress. If it is cold outside, let your daughter take advantage of plentiful community resources to get warm, instead of using one person after another.

    Take care of yourself. Your daughter is her own responsibility.

    Insulate yourself, as much as you need to.

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  14. BlueMountain

    BlueMountain New Member

    To MommaRN :
    My son is older than your daughter and has been cycling through these behaviors for years - I am finally seeing more clearly and maybe you can learn from my mistakes. I only found this " peace " after years of attempts to provide help and guidance. Lots of tears and faceplants, both of us.

    My insights :
    A one time "leg up " for a young adult is fine. A pattern of repeated rescuing is harmful. I see now that I only extended his dysfunctional years. My rescues delayed his recovery.

    I taught all of my children to be kind and personally responsible- but it took me Years to realize that I needed to teach them to treat me as well as I expected them to treat others. Years.

    I still will send him links to nearby healthcare / treatment centers - if he tells me there are no other resources than my home or my checkbook. As I type this he just texted me " thank you" for my last suggestion.

    If he is respectful and wants to be in close communication with me - I offer all of the encouragement and suggestions I can - wanting to build him up and reassure him that he Can fix this , embrace a healthy life , financially independent instead of couch surfing. I know for myself - sometimes words of encouragement have saved me. So I try to do the same for him. Sometimes we are too overwhelmed and defeated to see the path.

    Lastly - lately I think of my grandparents and my parents. World Wars, Great Depression. Those generations were not whiners. They never complained - not even in later years when their health declined. They were tough. If they ever shared a story about going through a struggle they quickly wrapped it up with a shrug and a smile and gratitude for where they are now.

    Far contrast from my children - and myself. It gives me perspective , lately.

    That being said , my heart goes out to you. It's painful - and if you deny the tears , the heavy heart will clobber you later when you aren't looking. So go ahead and cry.
    The " tough love " that everyone else in your child's life can employ - that just doesn't apply to mothers. We still have to Do It. But it's like putting on metal armor.
    It sure helps to know other parents are out there.
    As I age , I know I won't always be here to rescue. So maybe my mother instincts are kicking in after all - we have to leave them strong and independent.
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  15. Hopeful97

    Hopeful97 Active Member

    MommaRN, I am very sorry for the pain. Abuse is wrong and should not be tolorated. The article on this forum loving detachment is very good and I go back and read it a lot. This is a very good forum, keep posting. I read a lot on this forum and have learned so very much . This site is very helpful. It is a great support knowing there are others going through the same or very similar circumstances. Big Hugs Hopeful
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  16. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Thanks much for your tried and true wisdom. I have just chosen to have little to no contact with my son who is in prison for dealing drugs. He got only a one year sentence and immediately began the manipulation, call after call, telling me I must take him in when he is released, quoting the Bible, etc. This is not his first time in jail. I know I am doing the right thing by holding my boundaries and not rescuing him, but for now anyway I have chosen to not take calls or to write. As much as I love him, I am choosing to take care of myself this time.
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  17. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Isn't it ironic that despite the bad behavior of our loved ones that we end up feeling like we're the guilty ones. The acronym FOG (fear, obligation, and guilt) really helps me to see what is being done to me in an effort by my adult child to get me to rescue him. Others may not understand your choices, but those who truly love and care about you will understand, and that's what counts. My son is pressuring me to take him in when he is released from prison. It breaks my heart to say no, but I have to, no matter how hard. He really does not care about his impact on others, including me and those he professes to love. Taking care of yourself does is the healthy thing to do, and do so, in the long run, is the best model for your daughter.
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  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Our son has done similar things. Nothing so terrible as to say we were dead to him. Things like telling us we did not deserve to be called mom or dad and so, calling us only by our first names. Other, similar things. This is a really hard thing, what is happening to our kids. It hurts so much and we don't know how to do this. For us, admitting that was the first step toward regaining our equilibrium.

    These things that are happening really tear us up inside.

    They are happening. Nothing we do seems to make any difference. Things somehow get unimaginably worse. The kids keep demanding money, or they demand that we take them in when we have already taken them in so many times that we know that is not the answer for their own sakes.

    That turns out to have been the key. For their own sakes.

    What is it that is best for an adult child who will not take responsibility for their own lives? That is the essence of our dilemma. Not whether the kids have money or a place to live. We could send money. We could rent a room or have them home, but those things we might do are not answers to what is happening to that adult daughter or son that we love and whose behaviors we don't understand.

    To me, the answer was that as my child was not behaving as other children do, I needed to find a different way to parent. Detachment theory helped me with this, but we need to take it one step further I think, to be able to survive detachment parenting. We need to see that helping our kids has been the very thing that made it possible for them to continue using drugs or to engage in other hurtful behaviors. That sounds really easy, but it is a huge piece. Before we can believe it in our hearts, we need to be able to let go of responsibility for the ways our childrens' lives have collapsed into a place where they cannot keep a job, or keep a roof over their heads or enjoy their lives.

    That is all we want for them, when you get right down to it. To have happy lives.

    How do we change our responses to them to help them take responsibility for themselves.

    There came a time when our son already seemed to hate us so much that whether we all ever recovered from that or not was a back burner issue. Once I could see it in light of freeing him from dependence on us so that he could, or would be forced to, take his life into his own hands, then I could be stronger enough to make it through the night when we said: No money. No you cannot come home. I love you. We love you. No money.

    I even told my kids that we were practicing a new kind of parenting called detachment theory parenting.

    It has been very hard.

    Especially with a daughter, it is very hard.

    But it helped my kids, MommaRN. I think it helped my kids. We are still in the thick of it in many ways, but believing not only that they were responsible for where they were taking their lives, but that they were smart and strong enough to take them in better directions helped them to believe it, too.

    I think that is key.

    If we keep having them move home, if we keep being the last resort for money or food or whatever it is, it seems to me that the kids tell whatever story it is that will get us to take responsibility for them. What they need to do instead or trusting that we will help if the story is bad enough is believe that they can help themselves, however bad the story is.

    They cannot grow into adult people as long as they are dependent on their parents in the ways small children are dependent on their parents.

    I am explaining how I was able to hang in there with detachment parenting the best way I know. I am not trying to say that any of it is easy. All of this is impossibly hard.

    But if we begin to say no consistently, if we tell the kids that we are sorry this is happening but we know they are bright and strong and they will be fine, then they believe too, that they can change their lives.

    I remember when I first found the site. I was so hurt and confused and felt so guilty, too. But none of those things were helping my children. Those feelings were definitely destroying me. My best answer was to post here, and to learn from the other parents, and to know that what was happening to me and to my family was a really, really hard thing.

    There is no easy answer.

    Sometimes, there is no answer.

    None of this is easy. It is worse for us at the holidays. Somehow, we need to create little moments of happiness for ourselves and our people. We can be stronger, if we remember to look for some happy thing. It can be anything. A bird outside our window, maybe. Just that one minute of happy thinking can break the chain of darkness we fall into when things are so hard, with our families.

    Holding you in my thoughts, MommaRN.

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  19. 4now

    4now Member

  20. 4now

    4now Member

    You captured the essence of why I come here. Thanks for the words of wisdom SOC.
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