difficult child conflicting with sponsor

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by HereWeGoAgain, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    My daughter and her AA sponsor are somewhat at odds recently, and it is making me a little anxious.

    Here's the problem: sponsor is telling difficult child that she needs to be "more responsible." Well, nothing wrong with that, and I agree. The thing is, the sponsor thinks her main goals should be to "get her own place" and "raise easy child 1 on her own."

    Everyone agrees about getting her own place, although it doesn't appear to be in the cards anytime soon. difficult child will have to save up enough money to get her license back, a car and insurance, and security and utility deposits. She is actually managing to save a little bit, which is a minor miracle in itself, but at the current rate we're talking many months.

    It is the second goal, "be raising easy child 1 on her own", that makes me anxious. Apparently the sponsor is pushing very hard on this. Now, difficult child knows she is not capable of raising easy child 1 on her own. She can barely spend an hour with her without going nuts. But sponsor is not the first to be singing this particular tune.

    difficult child used to harbor a good deal of resentment over us "taking her baby from her." She has in the past from time to time talked about how she was going to get it together and raise easy child 1. She has always had a strong tendency to wishful thinking and grandiose, unrealistic notions of what she's going to do. And she is a follower who will attach herself to people and allow herself to be led into things against her better judgment.

    Of course wife and I would love to see a closer and more nurturing relationship between difficult child and easy child 1, but we are also committed to raising easy child 1 as our own daughter. The fact is that we are easy child 1's parents now. wife has been easy child 1's primary caregiver since birth, as I have been her surrogate father. We were awarded legal guardianship and sole custody 2 1/2 years ago, one step shy of adopting her. To get custody difficult child would have to take us to court.

    difficult child has been arguing the point with her sponsor so far, but my concern is that the sponsor may eventually push difficult child into making an issue of easy child 1 again. On the other hand anything happening is probably months or even years away, and every day that we maintain the status quo makes it less likely that difficult child would be able to convince a court to change it. As the good book says, why worry about tomorrow's troubles when today has enough troubles of its own?

    On the other hand again I've heard of some judges siding with the bio parent against all reason, and it is good to be prepared for whatever happens.

    Would trying to talk to the sponsor be a good idea? I'm thinking not; it may be taken the wrong way by both the sponsor and difficult child for wife and me to stick our noses in to their relationship. But I don't think that the sponsor's insistence is contributing to difficult child's recovery and it could lead to big problems down the road. Maybe.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Here's what I would do in your situation. I would go to a family law lawyer for a consultation and ask how firm your case is and if there is anything you should do to protect the status quo, or adopt should the need arise. I wouldn't say a thing to difficult child about it.

    This way you can be prepared. I would not talk to the sponsor unless the lawyer advises you to. I would be really surprised if the lawyer did that though. It's all well and good that he is pushing difficult child to get her act together, but getting the baby back is putting the cart before the horse if she isn't already in her own place and sefl-supporting with money in the bank.
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I've been in that movie!

    When Copper was a baby, like 2, and I had around 9-12 months sober, I knew that I was in no way ready to care for her yet. If ever at all. But certainly not yet. My sponsor, however, was riding me hard core. I didn't even have the bipolar or the borderline to deal with. I was just a drinking drugging difficult child. My sponsor would have pro & con lists, tell me how I needed to get out from under my mom's iron fist, blah blah blah. Now, I DID need to cut the ties with mom, but that had little to do with my sponsor, my addiction, or my daughter. that was an issue in and of itself, and it continues to this day (and my daughter is going to be 20!)

    I think that your daughter's sponsor is looking at your daughter, the addict. Period. And if that were the only case, then yes, she would have an argument, given your daughter's age. But your daughter has a history and an illness that would prevent her from doing what her sponsor thinks she is capable of doing, at least in the timeframe that she thinks she can do it in. I think that your daughter might want to shop for a new sponsor if she does not feel comfortable letting this one know that these plans cannot be in the cards right now. Yes, she does need more responsibility, but it is not up to the sponsor (in this case) how much. It is what your daughter can handle.

    Copper ended up living back and forth between my home & my mom's home all of her life. She was not a happy youth. I never bonded with her and was never able to be there for her, much like your difficult child is with her child. My heart aches for both of them. I hope that they can make a better go of things than I did with Copper.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Sounds like the sponsor is into the traditional thinking -- a mother should take care of her child regardless. Someone (like your daughter) needs to let said sponsor know that this is not the time to worry about that. There are many other things she can do to show responsibility.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Keep in mind one thing. The sponsor is encouraging your daughter to "get her own place" and "raise easy child 1 on her own" based on what your dear daughter is telling her sponsor. Who knows what your daughter is telling her sponsor. Perhaps her old resentment for you "taking her child away" is a resounding message.

    If it were me - I would talk to an attorney as witz suggested. Be prepared - but don't borrow trouble either.