difficult child moved out the day after high school graduation

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tryagain, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    I'm brand new. My 19 year old difficult child daughter had a very rough time making it through high school bc of severe dyslexia,ADHD, anxiety, bipolar,and missing a lot of school. Graduation night was a very happy night and bright with promise. difficult child was happy and purchased a very nice computer with grad money so that she could use it at community college toward her studies of graphic art (she is very talented in art). The next day - she moved out to our shock and horror. She is staying with the loser boyfriend that she has been dating for a year and a half who has very little family, is antisocial (won't come to our house no matter how often invited), lives with a family friend lady in an old place in the middle of nowhere, once cursed out my husband for no reason, has been graduated for a year and has done NOTHING. Not a day of work, not a day of school. No car and no plans to get a job and buy one. And now she has decided to join him in his lazy lifestyle! This goes against everything we have tried to instill - work ethic, get out of h.s. and go to college to meet new people, learn skills, and become part of the working adult world. She immediately applied for disability - although she is able-bodied and can certainly work. I told her that even if she gets this (which i hope she does not), it will no way pay for all she needs. She's just trying to get by the easy way. We quit buying her gas and giving spending money when she decided to leave. We thought that might encourage her to get a job. Nope! This loser has rubbed off on her to the point that tonight, I called to remind her of the community college tour tomorrow accompanied by her beloved older sibling, at difficult child's request (which she requested to go on) and she refused. So now she's throwing her plans and dreams away. She sounded really down so I think she is having a mood swing. This upset me so much. All we've done to get her to this point seems a waste. I told her she's throwing her future away. She won't listen. We want her to live here at home where we could help her launch in a positive fashion - either to a dorm, or to an apartment near campus with a part time job to pay for it, etc. Not to go mooch off this needy lady who barely has anything and be influenced by the loser. We also pay for her bipolar medications (for our safety), the cell phone (in case she sees the light and needs us - loser has no phone), and insurance. That's it. If she'd come back home, we'd pay for far more. She's used to a very nice lifestyle - although I think she'd live in a ditch with this loser. We hope that eventually having no money or gas or anything much will dawn on her. The lady they stay with is on our side and knows that this loser will pull her down. If the two fight, this lady will call and tell me so I can contact difficult child in a weak moment. But they keep making up. Although it is peaceful without her here, I am sad because of the way she went about declaring herself "free" - going to mooch off someone and throwing her dreams aside. We cannot do much in the way of taking away her car, etc. because she has a very violent temper - we have replaced 2 doors she's kicked through, and a huge plate glass window she shattered by throwing the phone. She has thrown horrible tantrums when manic and once bit my arm as we fought over control of my car. She now has very little to do with us, although we were close before. We have tried to be the best parents possible, and for this? I pray every day that this loser will move bc that's the only way to get rid of him. difficult child feels so sorry for him that she has gotten bogged down in his very small world. difficult child also has an older sibling who cannot stand the loser. Older sibling hates seeing little sister go down the drain like this. We really try to not say much at all about the loser bc she is stubborn and it would make her stick with him more. but it is kiling me to see her throw away her dreams bc of this guy who's going nowhere fast. Question: any ideas of how to get those 2 to get mad at each other? Ideas to get her interested in going to community college again? Suggestions welcomed. Thanks.
  2. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    As hard as it is she is an adult. The more you try to pull them apart the more they will turn to each other - you will be the enemy.

    I'm really surprised that the lady agrees that he is a loser and still lets him live there.

    It's getting harder to get disability 'cause there are so many on it now. I know several that were truly disabled and had to hire an attorney to receive the benefits. Maybe she will be turned down and this will force her to look at her life and future differently.

    It is easier to say than to do, but at this point there is not much you can do other than wait and see. If the lady has a way to contact you I would not be paying for her phone. The more you pay for her the easier it is for her to stay in this life style.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    She's an adult. (yes, that's a bit hard to get used to after caring for them for so many years) These are her decisions to make. Yup. We're wiser because we've been around longer.....and we realize so many things that haven't even occurred to her remotely yet. But they're her mistakes to make. Human beings learn by making mistakes.

    College doesn't have to be an immediate after HS thing, although it's easier and nicer when they follow that path. But in all honesty, to put it a bit in perspective, she has her entire life to go to college. Perhaps it's best she not go until she can take it seriously because it's certainly not cheap, and that money has to be paid back at some point.

    As for loser boyfriend............well, he's obviously a difficult child himself without the raising that your daughter has had. If you try to break them up, you risk making their bond tighter. Right now she's probably romanticizing living on her own with her "true love" and blah blah blah. It won't take too long before reality hits and she discovers it's not what it's cracked up to be. YOU want to be there for her when that happens to help her find her way out again.

    You've raised her well, taught her what she needs to know, now it's time for her to learn to use the knowledge you've given her. And she probably will given some time and as maturity begins to sink in. Not to mention more than a few natural consequences.

    It's really hard watching your child making enormous mistakes that seem really obvious. But we all make similar mistakes. It's just part of growing up. Perhaps her bipolar is playing a role.....but she will have to learn to manage that as an adult as well, learn to recognize when she's being manic or depressed, learn to go for help when she needs it.

    We all learn that ultimately we have to do what we each can live with, but offering her as little help while she's in this lifestyle as possible will let natural consequences take their course much quicker and ups the odds she'll see she's made a wrong decision.

    Welcome to the board.

  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ditto, Hounds post. After years and years around here we can almost guarantee you that the smartest thing to do is hope for the best and fight the urge to change her mind. It is not easy to back off when you know it is a mistake but the last thing you want to do is dirve her away. You raised a smart hard working young woman. I'm betting she'll make better choices if she feels that the two of you are still lovingly connected. Hugs. DDD
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I would be worried sick that she would turn up pregnant making it even more difficult to break away from the boyfriend.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    First of all, are you POSITIVE that she isn't taking recreational drugs or drinking a lot?

    Secondly, I am betting that this move was planned way in advance and she just played the game until graduation night. On the other hand, she is eighteen and unless you can prove she is unfit and you are her legal guardian, she can live with him as long as she likes. I'd personally make it harder by taking the car if it was in my name. If she caused any damage, I'd call the cops. Being soft on these kids really doesn't help them. Of course, anything you do may glue her closer to Mr. Wonderful.

    Your daughter is only 18 or 19. She can go back to college any time she desires. Her life is not over. Her chance at a career is not over. However, it does sound as if your daughter has MANY challenges and disabilities. Maybe she didn't want to go to college. Maybe she felt it was expected of her, but she really didn't want to go. Did she have the option of getting a job rather than going to college? Sounds like she didn't like school very much and very well may not want any more of it, at least not now. Not all kids want to or should go to college and, my own belief is, it should be up to the child. Some kids may handle one or two classes better than a full load too. Was it her own idea to go to college?

    As for any magic that you can do to make her come home and live the life you want for her, there is nothing. She has to decide to do it herself. My guess is that eventually she'll get tired of her current lifestyle. In the meantime, I wouldn't try to interfere too much. You don't want to turn them into Romeo and Juliette.
  7. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Hey, Midwest Mom, thanks for writing back. It warms my heart that several of you would care enough to write the "noob" back. For once, I have several people all in one place who can relate to my situation!
    To answer your questions - I left out many, many sordid details because I didn't want to write a "book" for my first post. But here are some details I didn't include that may help things make more sense (what an joke that is!! None of this "makes sense", lol)
    The lady who owns the trailer keeps something of an eye on them, and they aren't drinking, etc. They just sit around all day, she says! Both of them! Plus, her psychiatrist is one of the few persons with any influence on her, and he's talked candidly with her about what could happen if any of her numerous psychiatric medications interacted with alcohol. If she is drinking any, I don't think it'd be much bc she is very scared of having something go wrong.
    Re: the car; it was her graduation present and we gave it to her at the end of junior year to motivate her. She had failed 2 classes junior year, and we wanted to inspire her. (It worked - she made it!) The car was several years old, but it was the make/model she learned to drive on and she liked it very much. So we did ask the psychiatrist his opinion. His thought was instead, just don't buy gas for it. Some of the people she is consorting with are "rough around the edges" and if she ever needs to get away, this would at least provide that option. We also have considered taking the phone, but again, there might be a real need for us to communicate with her (death of family member, etc.) and the lady putting up with them is so poor, she could not pay cable this month...so the lady's phone isn't a great alternative. Other than those 2 things, we are staying back from any assistance other than paying for health related things like doctor visit and medications (which we definitely want to continue).
    Re: college; she has always talked about going and studying art to either be a graphic designer, sculptor, or art teacher. She didn't do well on the required college entrance test, so a community college is a great option for her. And yes, we have told her that she might just try one or two classes in her strength area, art, to begin with. She does hate to study, so we weren't going to push her into anything or she'd just balk and not study. We also encouraged her to get a job, but she has not tried a bit. We suggested getting a part time job at the community college, maybe even in the art school. She always acted like she liked these ideas, but never followed through on a thing. So...she now has no goals, no job, no money, and is imitating someone with the same outlook. So depressing. At least we have an excellent psychiatrist who is our ally, and at least she's not out on the streets.
    Again, thank you for being a friend! Now I have to figure out how to make a signature with a little bio. and the other touches.
  8. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Hey pasajes4, thank goodness, she started on the pill about 4 years ago for severe acne - it was like a miracle how it cleared it up. Then she had gotten to like having her cycles regulated, so she has stayed on it. So she has been on it all the time she has known Mr. Wonderful. I am not naive and know that stuff probably happens. I don't like it a bit. Bottom line, I'd rather have a 19 year old on the pill than a pregnant 19 year old!
    Thanks for writing, pasajes4 :)
  9. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    DDD, I appreciate you affirming for me what I'd sort of known all along - trying to break them up will just push them closer together. I do wish that she was "hard working", I honestly can't say that's the case. She can be hard working if it's an art project or something she's into - but she has not lifted a finger to look for a job. I hope that this "life lesson" will somehow impart to her that you can't sit around waiting for $ to fall from the sky, as she seems to think is the case! Again, thanks for weighing in.
  10. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Hi Tired of 33, I do appreciate you writing to me, the new kid on the block. To answer your observation about the lady agreeing he's a loser, etc., it is a peculiar situation whereby the lady is downright poor, but was asked to take this kid in because he had very little family and his step parent was a close friend of hers. The step parent could not afford him, either. I think that my daughter does feel sorry for him and has thrown her loyalty to him. We would gladly have welcomed him and tried to help him out, but he won't have anything to do with us. I think he resents us being a close-knit family and having it easier than he does. However, I keep telling her to bring him over. I'm trying to kill her with kindness so that when he's mean, maybe she'll finally appreciate us and realize that we can help her get to the true independence she craves.
    Re the phone: MidwestMom also questioned us paying for the phone. Here's how I explained it in my reply post (believe me, we have wanted to take that phone so many times but the psychiatrist did not think we should for the following reasons): We have considered taking the phone, but again, there might be a real need for us to communicate with her (death of family member, etc.) and the lady they stay with is so poor, she could not pay cable this month...so the lady's phone isn't a great alternative. Also, she is hanging with some people who are a bit rough around the edges and we would want her to feel she had a way to call for help if needed. Thanks for answering.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Ditto what Hound and Tired said. I would not pay for anything except her health insurance-at least that way you're assured (for the most part) that she's taking her medications, seeing her dr, etc. No phone, no auto ins, no gas, no money.

    She wants to be free? She wants to be treated as an adult? Well, then, welcome her to the 'real' world and allow her the opportunity be an adult. With freedom, comes responsibility and she needs to realize that.

    I pray she doesn't get disability-it would be the biggest mistake ever that could affect the rest of her life!

    It's difficult to cut them off...because you see the many ways in which she still needs parental involvement. However, that said, I think as parents we underestimate our difficult child's. They've developed a certain level of craftiness that has served them well for years...now let her use those skills. She will likely survive and figure it out. It may take a long time, years even, but what's the alternative? Hounding her and turning her against you and more towards the loser boyfriend?

    Hugs, it's not easy this stuff you're dealing with.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The fact is that with or without the phone, your daughter would find a way to contact you. And in regards to you contacting her about a family emergency? In her current state, she likely wouldn't care enough to be present anyway. I hate to say that, but with what you've said, that seems like the honest truth. Ultimately, it's up to you whether she keeps the phone.
  13. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Hi hearts and roses,
    difficult child actually has a soft heart, especially for her elderly grandparents. She would definitely want to know if anything happened to one of them (they are all in their 80s) or to family or friends or her pets. 3 of her friends died last year, by wrecks/suicide, and she is very sensitive to loss. She did come home for a few hours last weekend to see a grandparent and a little niece she's fond of, who were passing through town. Although she can put on a front of acting very tough, she is really soft inside - unless she is in the throes of mania - but even after that, she is one to try and hug/make peace over whatever she broke or did. A couple of weeks ago, when Mr. Wonderful was mean to her and the lady called and told me, I contacted difficult child and she came over and spent a little time with me the next day. I asked her to please stay, but she said, not yet. It's times like that which give me a glimmer of hope that maybe one day, we will have closeness again. Yes, she is one complex young lady. And that's a good quote you have about the key to happiness. :)
  14. keista

    keista New Member

    Hi and welcome.

    I don't have much advice in this arena, but possibly an alternative school option? Around here, one of the tech schools offers courses/certificates in graphic design.

    It's the type of school that offers "mini degrees" in 18 months. It might be a better option because it only focuses on the trade required skills instead of creating a "well rounded student" through the torture of unnecessary classes. My sister and BFF are both graphic designers, and say these courses/degrees are all anyone really needs to get into the field.
  15. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Wow Keista, that is EXACTLY the type of 1-year program difficult child was supposed to go have a tour of at the community college yesterday! It would be perfect because, like you say, no dreaded math or English composition or other subjects she struggles in - just graphic web design. I don't know why she suddenly wouldn't even consider going to hear about the program other (1)than she seems to be swinging toward the depression side of bipolar. She is taking her medications but this happens, or (2) she fears losing Mr. Wonderful if she goes off to do something productive and he's just sitting on the couch. I did assure her that she could still be with him other than class time - I'm going to let her older sibling work on her about this issue - Thanks for writing.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If it's anything like the lady that took in my difficult child after graduation, she'll be angry that he's so messed up before long. Unlike the lady that took in my difficult child if you're lucky she'll feel that he has taken advantage of her and kick him out and he'll have to get a job instead of letting him sleep on her couch and steal from her for 18 months.
  17. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Let her go, give her your blessing, but not one extra thing. She'll never get disability. Let her live the poor lifestyle for a while. SHE WILL HATE IT! Let her have nothing and soon she'll come to the conclusion that she wants to go to college. She'll see for herself how hard life truly is. College right out of hs is not for everyone. Some kids are just not mature enough to handle it and don't do well. It's fine that she takes a year off, then when she finally does go, it'll be something she'll truly want and will appreciate it. Just don't give her anything-not money, not even the phone. Let her come up with her own way to pay, she won't like not having you pay for her stuff, she isn't used to that and it will be one step closer for her to realize she'll be poor if she doesn't go. Take back the phone.
  18. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Yes, the lady is really wishing that ge would go off to see distant relatives and not return. I think she lets him stay as is food stamps do provide food. She also is trying to do this for the boy's stepparent-out of kindness, but she is increasingly frustrated, I can tell. Thanks for writing.
  19. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Thanks for weighing in, Upallnight. Your advice is the logical advice that one would normally think of. However, I forgot to mention one sobering detail. difficult child tried to commit suicide about 2 years ago after her "good" boyfriend of 1 1/2 years broke up with her. It was her cry for help. That night, I found the noose in her closet with a chair under it. That is when her psychiatric visits began. Her psychiatrist is an adolescent psychiatric, one of the best. She also locked herself in the bathroom with a knife at Mr. Wonderful's a few months ago when she saw an old txt from an ex-girlfriend on Mr. Wonderful's phone (he used to have one) which resulted in door broken down, wrestling for the knife, and a stab to her (accidental or on purpose, we will never know) requiring surgery. After she left last month, I was all set to "take away everything" and make her go cold turkey, but he told us to instead, in her case, take things away gradually. He knows her well and is trying to give us advice that will keep her from living on the streets or panicking and committing suicide-he has seen plenty of difficult children and has good rapport with ours, so for now, we are heeding his advice.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually (and I didn't re-read all the threads to find out if this is one of her diagnosis.), if she has bipolar plus severe dyslexia she could end up with disability and rightly so. I was told, when I applied (and got it on the first attempt) that bipolar is one of those red flags that almost always gets disability if there is proof you have it. Of course, this was in my state and only one professional who works for disability told me this, but I did want to pass it along. I was told that people with bipolar have so many anger issues and work related problems that they are way up there on being able to get Disability. Of course, there are a lot of people diagnosed with bipolar who don't really have it and can function just fine an d some who are stable and never apply for disability because they don't need it...they have stable jobs and can handle them.

    Perhaps this child is not as capable of this college class or of working as you think? I could be way out out to lunch here, but maybe she is afraid to even try because she struggles so much and bosses are not kind or sympathetic to slower employees unless the person is coming to them from a vocational rehab. Maybe she feels that the Graphics Arts course will be too hard for her. Maybe she feels like she is just like Mr. Wonderful. Could be many things going on here.

    I had so many learning problems combined with mood disorders that I got fired from every job I tried to do for many, many years. And I was terrified to get a job because I just knew I'd be fired. Maybe that's why she is with such a loser. Sadly, she may see herself as the same as he is.

    Again, these are just thoughts which may not be even close to true.