Difficult Child called mother in law and she picked her up!!!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WearyMom18, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    The saga continues, my Difficult Child called my mother in law late tonite and said she had been kicked out of where she was and was standing on the side of the road with nowhere to go. My mother in law said she couldn't just leave her there at nite so she went and got her. Difficult Child is high according to the behavior mother in law is describing and told her that she has to go first thing in the morning and she can't come back. My in laws are elderly and not in good health and I'm worried Difficult Child will rob them blind!!! mother in law says she is asleep now. I don't know what to do...Difficult Child told her that she didn't call us because she knew we wouldn't come and get her. Help!
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Since there is nothing you can do right now, you must commit to doing nothing.

    Repeat the Serenity Prayer until it helps. That helped me, sometimes.

    "God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    the Courage to change the things I can
    and the Wisdom to know the difference."

    The grandmother called you after, not before, she went to collect the granddaughter. You cannot change what the grandmother is going to do and like all of us, the grandmother wanted to help and did not know how to say no. I am glad she called, so glad the two of you are united in trying to figure out what to do for this daughter. The grandmother will have to come to the same emotional place you have come to before she can begin to say "No". For this minute, please change your mind from worry to accept mode. For right now, there is nothing, not one thing, you can do. Tomorrow (today) you and the grandmother can talk about what could be a better way for her to respond to the granddaughter. If the grandmother needs help getting the granddaughter to leave, you can help with that.

    Your daughter believes you mean what you say. That is good.

    Holding all of you in my thoughts today.

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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I can imagine how bad you feel and how worried for them, but they know what she is and what she does. Elderly or not, they made a decision, with wide opened eyes, to take her in. There is nothing you can do. This is part of their life's walk and does not involve you. You warned them.

    I hope nothing happens, but relax because this is out of your hands. Hugs!!!!
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Cedar and MWM are right. Part of learning to detach is understanding that we cannot control the actions of our kids and WE CANNOT CONTROL HOW OTHER PEOPLE INTERACT WITH THEM. We need to let go of the weird place of disempowered responsibility...like, you can't stop your daughter from manipulating your mother in law, but you feel guilty that she might steal from her.

    You have no control in that game. None. All you can do is hug your mother in law, who sounds quite lovely, tell her that she is not responsible for your daughter, that you appreciate her love and desire to help both you AND your daughter, but that stepping in to the breach will only prolong this phase of your daughter acting out and also refusing to take any accountability for her own life.

    I'm so terribly sorry this is happening to you. But I see the light in you! and I see that you will find a way to come to terms with this as well.

    Maybe your mother in law can read some of the forum posts?


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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Naming aspects of overwhelming emotional response helps us make sense of what is fueling what is happening to us. Then, we can know a little bit more about where we are and about how to respond.

    Disempowered responsibility.

    That is a good, good naming. It is how we feel about so much of what happens with adult kids. Even when it isn't about stealing from someone we are also trying to protect ~ like the grandmother ~ that phrase "disempowered responsibility" is how it feels to be the parent watching your child head for homelessness or for jail or into addiction.

    Disempowered. Responsible somehow for choices we did not make.

    This is an excellent descriptor for that frozen in time place we have named "FOG", Echo.

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  6. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    I just spoke with my mother in law and she explained that she couldn't bring herself to allow my Difficult Child to be stranded on the side of the highway for the night. She picked up her and explained to her that she would not do it again and that this morning she needed to get up and go because she cannot stay there. My mother in law says she was giggling and acting strangely last night which I know is meth from previous experience with her. Sickening. My mother in law says she smells horribly and needs a bath and clean clothes. My Difficult Child told her that she had her clothes and things at a friends house and had a place to stay so when she wakes up today, my father in law is going to take her there and they said that is it. They are totally onboard with me and actually apologized for going and picking her up but I can understand how hard this must be for them too. They agree with my approach of not allowing her to live at home and support my suggestion to my Difficult Child that she seek help from a shelter. I have given her the name and phone number for one that caters to her age group and will provide direction on how to transition to independent living, provide meals and even job training. It is up to her to reach out.

    I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach when I found out she was back in our hometown because I just knew she would pop up somewhere with our family. She told my mother in law that she didn't call me or my husband because she knew we wouldn't come and get her. She told my mother in law that we kicked her out (actually that my husband did) so she clearly has a very distorted view of her situation. We did not kick her out, she left in a hurry with a bag full of clothes because she knew the police would be coming soon to our home. My husband did tell her, when she took off running down the road, to not come back. I guess that's why she says we kicked her out. What a mess.

    This is so hurtful and I still feel some guilt that I am not helping her but I am starting to better understand the concept that she CHOSE to not follow our very reasonable house rules, she CHOSE to disrespect us, or the drugs did and she continues to CHOOSE to do drugs - all things that I refuse to live with. I ache for my child that is beautiful and only 18 years old and so capable of living a good life and she just won't - she still sees us as the problem and herself as a victim and it's just exhausting and frustrated.

    I begin to think I am getting stronger at this but then she pops up and I'm back down in the slums of feeling so sad I can hardly stand it. I guess it's kind of like 'Out of sight, out of mind'? I hate this - this whole situation.

    I could use some re-assurance today that I AM doing the right thing for both her and myself....days like today make me question my path although I can already see how peaceful my life is without her drama and abuse and I feel like I deserve that peace. I also feel, at times, that I'm giving up on her and on my responsibilities as a mother and that just makes me crazy..the doubt and the guilt.

    Thank God I have you ladies....don't know what I would do without this forum.

    Especially weary....
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  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh WearyMom, I'm so sorry. These are the ups and downs that our Difficult Child put us through. It's really hard when they involve other family members. They have a knack for seeking out who they think will be the most sympathetic to them. You have sent a clear message to her that you are done "helping" her so she moved onto Grandma.

    As the other members have stated, you have no control over how your mother in-law will choose to respond, nor do you have any control over who your daughter will call on for help.
    Hopefully she will leave your mother in-laws home without incident. Now here's the hard part, if she doesn't you may have to call the police, perhaps the threat of calling them will be enough.
    You said she had been kicked out of where she was staying, this may or may not be true but I would ask her why and you may or may not get the truth but it offers an opportunity to point out to her that her choices are creating chaos not only for her but your family. I would also point out to her that it is selfish to put her grandparents through this kind of stress and worry or you for that matter. Of course if you choose to do this you will be engaging her which will most likely not be pretty.

    I so wish I could give a simple answer that would make this all tolerable but the truth is there are no simple easy answers. It is hard, your heart will be put the limits but what is true is that you can do this. You will find you have an inner strength that will hold you up.

    I am keeping good thoughts for you and I hope you feel the strength from all of us here who are supporting you.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I just read your update after I posted a response. Timing is every thing!!

    It sounds like your mother in-law has a good grasp of what's going on. It's good that she let your Difficult Child know she and grandpa will not be there to pick up the pieces. I do find it interesting that she said she has clothes at a friends house and a place to stay yet she called your mother in-law claiming she had no where to go.

    You are doing great in the way you are handling all of this. Despite being exhausted from this you are getting stronger. As I said in my previous post you will find an inner strength you never knew you had.
    I have said it before, there is no roller coaster on the planet that equals the emotional roller coaster our Difficult Child take us for a ride on, there are so many ups and downs, twists and turns.

    You will get through this. I've been dealing with my Difficult Child for close to 20 years and when I think back to when I first started going through all the chaos I didn't think I would make it, but I did. My son is still a Difficult Child but I have not allowed that to dictate my life. I have a very good life because I chose to take my life back. I only wish I would have had this site back then.

    Hang in there, you are doing great!! The day will come when you will be WearyNoMore!!

    ((HUGS)) to you.................
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  9. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Tanya, I also found it interesting that she called my mother in law but apparently, she had gone to someone's house last evening and from what my Difficult Child says (don't bet the farm on it), the guy kicked her out because she wouldn't have sex with him. Great.... It was too late to go to where she was staying so she called my mother in law. Why can't she see how messed up her choices are and how they impact people? I know there's no answer to that and man is that frustrating.
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  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    That's the million dollar question; why don't they see how their messed up choices impact people.

    Wow, "the guy kicked her out because she wouldn't have sex with him" not sure if the truth is worse than a lie on that one.

    There are times when my son has expressed how sorry he is for making such a mess of his life but because it isn't backed up with action I think he's only telling me what he thinks I want to hear.

    Our Difficult Child are good at that, at manipulation, telling us what they think we want to hear.

    You are now part of a club none of us wanted join but here we are. People that have not lived through the kind of chaos and pain we have will never be able to understand it. It's a strange place to be when you love your child with all your heart yet you don't like them, don't want to be around them and don't trust them.

    I will always love my son and I will always have hope that someday he will start to make better choices and live as a responsible adult, of course I temper that with reality in that I allow myself 1% of hope, that way I don't obsess on something that may never be.
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I don't think they think about other people, really. That's how you and I think. Once you are steeped in addiction, from what I've read, it is all about the drug and getting it. It's a selfish illness.
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  12. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    This is most definitely the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life and from reading all of your stories I know many feel the same. It's such a tear between feeling like you're abandoning your role as a mother where we are programmed to fix and make it all better and letting go of that responsibility and making them handle their own lives. After that, you get to watch them self-destruct in some cases which could go on for years!

    She's so young, just turned 18 in January, and she just wouldn't let us guide her into adulthood; she wouldn't listen to anything we had to say, wouldn't stop using drugs even after rehab and jail (where the other inmates told her that she didn't belong there and they should kick her butt for even being there) and just continued with her selfish, destructive ways until we couldn't take anymore. We didn't decide one day to kick her out, in her case, she knew the police were coming so she ran and now tells people that we kicked her out. Pity party if you ask me - and so frustrating to know that some people don't agree with how I am handling this and feel sorry for her being out on the street. Ugh, it's going to take a lot of selfishness on my part to take care of myself, rest and do things I have put off for 4 years to keep my mind busy. It's such a struggle everyday that it exhausts me to think about it.

    I'm sure you're all sick of hearing my complaining because I know I am - I have just never dealt with such a difficult set of circumstances and realizing that I could be facing this difficulty for YEARS! Too much to think about. I'm going to do today, do me and try to keep my sanity intact. LOL
  13. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi Weary,

    Everything you feel, i have felt. We certainly understand.

    My difficult child is 33 now. For years, friends and family members (not the majority, but some) would let us know how they thought the situation was in some way my and husband's doing. Sometimes the advice was along the lines of, Just take a walk when your son starts acting like that. That's funny now, years later, to think back on that expert parent's advice. A friend's parents took difficult child in, only to kick him out 6 weeks later.

    And, it is tough hearing that advice: Here's what I would do. Those folks do not have a clue what you are dealing with.

    and, my parents enabled all along. They helped difficult child quite a bit. Guess how often he stays in touch with them now? Never. They are 82 & 83 years old but no longer on difficult child's radar once the money stopped.

    Cedar sometimes refers to me always saying this, so I feel badly when I forget! :p
    But, truly stay close to this board. It is absolutely what got husband and me through those first weeks.

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  14. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member


    mother in law called and let me know that my Difficult Child woke up finally around 12:30pm with a horrible attitude wanting something to eat. My mother in law told her to get her clothes on so she could take her where she needs to go. mother in law told her about the shelter she could go to go shelter, food and job training and Difficult Child told her, 'If you think I'm going to a f&*(&^% place like that you're nuts'. She got in the car and my mother in law took her to her friends house where her clothes and things are and never said a word. To talk to her grandmother like that is so infuriating and I am moritifed that she had to deal with that. My mother in law told me it wasn't my fault; that my Difficult Child came to her and she chose to help her for the night but that she told her she would never do it again. To that my Difficult Child said, 'Yeah'.

    So she knows where she can go for help/shelter/food but she thinks that's beneath her I'm guessing so it's out of the question....well fine - live on the street! How crazy is that to turn down something that could help you and it's free!

    She called another friend, that she used to stay with and he told her she couldn't come back because the police were there looking for her. She just called me and wanted the number to call the detective on her pending felony case to find out why they are looking for her (or if that's even true). I told her she could find that information and call them if she wanted to. In the background, her friend's dad said, "Oh hell, I'll call them for you and tell them you're my daughter and find out what's going on" Great....such classy people she chooses to be with. It's still not gotten through to her that no one owes her anything, not even respect at this point because of the way she treats people! She's got to have the hardest head in the world! LOL

    I'm so flabbergasted by the ridiculousness and irrational choices and ways of thinking she has, it's that of an insane person!

    So frustrated but glad she's out of my in-law's home and back where she is choosing to be - in scum so maybe she won't hurt anyone else in my family for a while. The abuse continues!
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If it helps your Mom-heart any... you need to do this not just for yourself. husband deserves to have you alive and well. And if Difficult Child ever turns herself around she will want that to. So... it is not selfish. Simply necessary.
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  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm sure you're all sick of hearing my complaining because I know I am

    Never ever think we are sick of hearing you complain / share / vent.... That is what this site is all about. I am so glad you are here so that you know you are not alone. We are all here to support each other.

    Your mother in-law rocks!! She knows how to handle Difficult Child. I'm sure Difficult Child will call her again to test the boundaries. As sad as it is, it's good your mother in-law saw first hand Difficult Child behavior. There's no sugar coating it.

    I know it's easier said than done but really try and let it get to you when Difficult Child distorts the truth to others. You know the truth and that is what matters. I speak from experience on this, my son has told so many lies about me and my husband. It's very painful to think other people actually believe the lies. I just got to the point that I didn't care what others thought, I know the truth.

    You really are doing great in dealing with Difficult Child. It's good you told her she could get the information for herself. As for the friends dad saying he would call for her, well there will always be people that will "help" (enable) her. Our Difficult Child have a knack for finding people like this. My son always manages to find them and get them to feel sorry for him by spinning his lies but eventually his true nature comes out and the people get tired of it and send him on his way. Those are the times I hear from him, when he once again finds himself alone. "No one cares about me" Pity Party.

    Again, I'm glad you are hear and you complain / vent as much as you need to.

    I hope you are able to take some time for yourself. One thing my husband and I used to do and still do is to take long drives on the weekends. We just take off and go exploring the backroads. It's very theraputic.
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Part of their survival is relying on other people. Let them help. It's not your problem anymore.
  18. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Control what you can control - which is basically you. As for the rest - Not my circus, not my monkeys.

    She's involved with people who use each other and she's one of them like the "friend" who kicked her out because she wouldn't have sex (who knows if that's true or not).

    As I was reading this I expected the outcome would be she stole from mother in law. Sounds like you all got lucky. Worst case scenario is mother in law wakes up and finds Difficult Child has let other meth heads into the house.

    You're doing the right thing by detaching from her and her choices. If you want any sanity in your life it's your only option.
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  19. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sitting here cheering your mother in law.. I think you are very lucky to have her in your corner. She definitely gets it. She made a personal decision to help, but put a firm boundary in place and followed through.

    Hang in there!
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yours is a remarkable family.

    This is how D H's mom is, too.

    In a way, this is a good thing. Everyone now has the time (it is not winter, yet) and the opportunity to learn how to do this. Loving an addicted child is a hard thing. We have to go through so many layers of denial and hope and belief with our kids before we can understand what our best response should be.

    Then, we need time, and we need to fall apart a few times, before we can know that what we thought was happening is really what is happening.

    Then, it takes more time to know the words to say to reclaim our own lives. We begin to establish boundaries we never imagined we would need to establish.

    It is a strange time, and we go back and forth between knowing we are handling our situations in the best way for us and for our child, and those times when we fall apart entirely.

    Nothing is simple or easy.

    It helps me to remember that it is the situation that is bad. Not me, not my child, not the neighbors who gawk and turn away or the friends who count their blessings on the heads of our addicted kids.

    What I can tell you is that detachment parenting seems to be working better for us than anything else we have tried. Even when the kids continued on their same terrible paths, knowing that it was okay for me to detach from the emotions surrounding what was happening to them helped me survive the hellishness of it intact.

    That's why I am always saying there comes a place where we decide, pretty coldly too, to survive it.

    We have to come to that place, or we will all go spiraling down. Our children will be old, we will still be caring for them. Only, they will be old addicts, and we will be vulnerable elderly parents, still denying the truth of what has happened to our children.

    So, we have to be wise, and we have to be wary. That doesn't feel right, either. Trust used to be a given, between family members. That phrase, "Addiction is a powerful master" is absolutely true.

    Again, it helps me to remember that it is the situation that is bad. Not me, not my child.

    That is how I love my children, addicted or not.

    Detachment parenting is working for us.

    It is harder to be honest, at first. It is harder to say no, at first. It is really hard to know what to say "no" to. Guilt an eat us alive.

    But here on the site, we are all struggling through the various layers of acceptance and detachment theory.

    And that is how I know you can do it, too.

    It is a hard thing, but there is nothing easy about battling an addiction. Over time, if the addiction is very destructive, the triumph becomes loving our children and ourselves anyway.

    That is what we are after ~ or at least, what I see as my guiding light, as my win.

    To love and respect and hold compassion for myself and my family and my addicted kids.


    Heart to heart, know that we have been where you are. None of us knows how to do this. We are flying by the seats of our pants through something so destructive we cannot wrap our heads around what is happening.

    And yet, somehow, we expect ourselves to do "the right thing".

    It is very hard.

    We are right here. This site is a godsend, and I am so grateful it exists, every single day.

    Even when things are going well for our family, I am so happily grateful for this site.

    It would take courage to open this conversation, but the end result would be strength and clarity for you both. The more certain our addicted children are that there is no one to help or support them, the more we can speak those words that tell them they are destroying themselves and we will not help them do it or be party to it by pretending right along with them that what is happening is okay, the more chance the child has to turn things around.

    I think this is true.

    I never did see it this way for the longest time. I was always so sure loving them more was the answer. Even when I didn't feel like I even knew or respected or cherished or even liked whichever of the kids was most deeply into his or her addiction, I chose to reflect an attitude of loving acceptance to the point that I destroyed myself because I was lying.

    Our loved one's addiction affects us all in the most horrible ways.

    The truth can be so ugly though, that it is too scary to let it be true. We fight it with everything we have. I think that is the wrong way. It did not help us, for me to do that. Our story is still an ugly, hurtful story, but at least it is an honest story. (In most aspects ~ I am still working through it.)

    The difference, now that I am trying so hard to see what is really happening, is that I feel such compassion for all of us, and so much admiration for our courage.

    This is unbelievably hard, what we are all doing, here on the site.

    It is. Over time, you will know to be so grateful, for their sakes, that they do not know what you know.

    That is what happened to me.

    It drives me batty that I know people whose children are successful. I just wish they would shut up about it, once. But they don't, of course. They are legitimately proud of their children's accomplishments. Somehow, believe it or not, telling them all about how one of my children managed to score an entry level job and stuck with it for a whole two weeks does not represent, in comparison to their stupid kids with all their doctorates and etcetera ad nauseum, the triumph I know it to be, for my child.

    So, I pretty much smile and wish I had at least a decent picture of one of my children. But when one is bald headed and pierced and tattooed (MY DAUGHTER) and one is not even speaking to me, let alone sending me pictures, this too gets to be a difficult thing.

    There is nothing more to do than laugh at the ludicrousness of where we have all come to be.

    Or, cry.

    Here is a story about my sister and her difficult child child. So, the child was in some kind of lock-down place. She was transported from there to the airport, where my sister and her husband would meet the child and take custody of her to get her safely to the treatment facility they had chosen in another state.

    As is so often the case, my sister ran into a friend at the airport.


    You know what's coming next, right?

    So, the friend, always so well dressed and spiffy and with perfect children, says: "Is your husband coming in?" Unaware that her cover would soon be blown to hell, my sister said: "I'm waiting for my daughter." The well dressed woman smiled a perfect smile and asked which daughter. (My sister has two daughters.) At that moment, as fate would undeniably have it, my sister's daughter and those who had her in custody arrived.

    The daughter was screaming and kicking and fighting. Spotting her mother, she raised her middle finger as far as the handcuffs would allow, screaming bloody murder the whole time.

    "Why, there she is, now." my sister said.

    True story.

    When our son was little, I was a Cub Scout den mother. When our son was in the beginning phases of addiction, one of the moms whose son I was den mother for called, offering to bail our son out of jail if we didn't have the money.

    If we didn't have the money.

    I explained we had decided to leave him there as an object lesson. (Though the charges had to do with a headlight ticket, the police knew exactly what they were doing. Though it was all unspoken, they were trying to demonstrate where our son would end up for real one day if he did not stop what he was doing ~ which, we have since learned, had to do with transporting illegal things between cities. But I digress.)

    And I forgot where I was going with this story, too.


    That mother's son eventually wound up serving time in prison. Mine never did.

    Knock on wood.



    Here again, there was true comfort in: I am glad you do not know what I know.

    After awhile, my reputation or whatever ~ none of that stuff matters in the least. Maybe, it has been burnt out of me.

    There is a quote that goes like this: "Perhaps, grandmother, the phoenix cries, as it burns."

    It's like that, I think.

    That is from Charles Williams. Descent Into Hell.

    Charles is my favorite writer.



    Figuring out in advance what we would need to see from our child before we would help them helped us maintain our boundaries without losing our sanity or falling into depression.

    These are very real dangers, for us.

    But you are here with us, now. One way or another, we will get one another through the worst of it.

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015