difficult child on self destruct

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by stayingstrong, May 27, 2008.

  1. stayingstrong

    stayingstrong New Member

    I am a newbie, so sorry if I leave out any details.......

    My difficult child F 19- is on self destruct. Just out of a 3 year bad relationship that ended two weeks before the boyfriend died of an od of methadone and zanax (on Mothers Day). difficult child has issues of guilt over the death, and I am worried about her state of mind.Her friends are worried as well. she won't let me help, and will not even talk about his death.Total denial!
    I know of her past use of the same drugs, they almost killed her on New Years. if she had not hit the tree at 60mph and sent her into trauma, causing her heart to keep pumping. Ended up with broken jaw 6 places and metal plate in the chin. 2nd surgury since October, because she was drinking and fell off of someones shoulders and hit face first on the road.

    We have tried everything to help her, Juv Difficult Child, for 30 days and signed her over to state custody 3 months before she turned 18. (Out of Contol / remained in the home) All in an effort to get her away from the boyfriend that introduced her to this environment and used to beat on her, and is now dead.

    i know she is hurting, but how do I help if she won't let me.

    My difficult child has lied to us, stolen from us and her bother, she upsets the household, but I can't put her out, she has no where to go.

    I know about the issues she needs to deal with in order to move on, but counseling will not work if she is not willing.

    How do I make her realize that NO ONE should ever hit on you and that she has value to not only me and our family but to the world.

    What do I do????? i am scared to death that she will be the next one to die, if I can't find a way to help........:sad-very:
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi and welcome to the board.

    Have a seat and a cup of tea. This is where parenting hurts the most.

    Put her out.

    It's called tough love and detaching. Be allowing her to stay in your home, you are enabling her behavior. Stealing, lying, etc... all symptoms of drug addiction. You are right when you say that therapy will do no good if she is not willing. Likewise, she will never get help for herself until and unless she is ready. If her boyfriend dying didn't wake her up, perhaps she needs a bigger reality check.

    If you put her out, she will find somewhere to go. It's spring, she has friends. Addicts are very resourceful (VERY). When life on the streets gets too tough for her, she will realize that this is no kind of life.

    Get yourself to an AlAnon meeting as well.

    So glad you found us; so sorry that you had to. Hugs; this is not easy.
  3. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I understand also. My son is in jail. A safe place for him really. His friend is addicted to methadone and also uses Xanax. It scares me for my son to go over to where this guy lives so I would rather my son be in jail. I know how hard it is to put them out - but sometimes you have to shake them up to a reality check - it does no good to keep enabling them to self destruct in yourhouse. It is up to you though - go at your own pace - you know yourself and your daughter - when it comes to where you have to do something if she is a danger to herself and others go to mental health and have her committed - call the police also if you need to -
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board.

    It's awful when you have an adult child on self destruct, because there is little you can do to help if they don't want the help.

    Can you make attending domestic volence therapy sessions at your local women's shelter a condition of her staying at home?? Maybe do the same for regular type counseling?

    Sometimes exposure to that type of therapy, even without cooperation, eventually soaks in enough for a person to want to make a change. Notice I said "sometimes"

    But you can't do it for her. She has to want it and be willing to work for it. All you can do is be there to be supportive when she's ready.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Dear Staying Strong,

    I like your name, it says a lot about you. And that leads me to my next point. Wouldn't it BE nice if there WERE just that one all encompassing answer regarding someone we love who is an addict, alcoholic and self-destructive? I prayed so hard every day that "it" would skip a generation and at least allow my very dysfunctional son an advantage his biofather never chose to have - sobriety. And that's just the point - it is a choice. I've talked to folks from all walks of life from career homeless people who choose to be on the streets, to senators who because of their affluence feel they have better control over the situation. Drug abuse and alcoholism don't choose you, you choose it. So if it's understood that this IS truly something they choose to do - it's easier to understand they have a choice to stop.

    Alcoholism and addiction rarely run alone. In asmuch as the majority of people who drink and do drugs also are suffering from some form of mental illness or lack or self-worth. In all the years I've had to deal with these afflictions I have yet to run across anyone that truly meant it when they said "I want to be this way." But keep in mind - while it's a battle to stop and be sober - it's still a choice.

    You say that if you put your daughter out she would have no where to go. That's the same truth I told myself when I wanted my son and his behaviors out of the house. In reality there are places to go - but what was really going on for me was knowing if he were home, despite all the hell he created - I knew where he was and thought I could prevent some of the really awful things that I knew would happen if I didn't at least keep one eye on him and one hand out to support him. And then there was the overwhelming guilt in the back of my mind that this in some way had to be MY fault - I didn't parent him right, I forgot something and to cut him loose would only say to him - I dont' care about you any more. I spent so many nights thinking that - or standing in the hall watching him sleep; thinking - HOW can something I love and that is SO precious be so self-destructive? And mine doesn't do drugs or drink. I had 13 years of that with his suicidal, alcoholic, drug-riddled, womanizing, abusive and torturous true-psychopathic bio father. Ask me if I would do it again with my son - and most people who know me even after counseling said - sure she would. She's nuts.

    Well I'm not nuts, I love my kid. I don't have any other children that are having to watch what he was doing - only the dogs and a dear fiance (DF) who has the patience of Job and then some. But eventually everything comes to an end and you have to choose - a life with peace, OR a life alone with a kid who I belive if I put out will a. NEVER forgive me b. probably end up dead without my eyes on him c. the fact that if he dies will I know it's not my fault and not live the rest of my days with guilt.

    Staying Strong - I love my son more than I could ever tell anyone and when push came to shove and his behaviors were so outrageous I did find a place for him to go. See from the stress, I thought I had a heart attack, but it was actually a stroke. I stroked out on stress, and what made me realize that I am not indestructable was the fact that while things were going on around me - I was helpless. At 43 - I laid there not able to do anything for myself and was trying to figure out if I should start to accept my life as a blob - or if I were goign to get out of this mess and have a chance to stand, change my clothes, walk - work - Oh gosh - If I can work - what happens to DF (he's disabled) my house, my stuff. My mom is 72 - she'd be taking care of ME??? and the thoughts like that just kept coming.

    That day - I stopped saving my son from himself. I would still step in and help /assist because of him mental capacity, but it occurred to me that if he killed me from stress or rather if I ALLOWED him to kill me from stress - I wouldnt' be there to watch over him anyway - and that brought a bigger question - WHO WOULD.???? He'd have to fend for himself. How would that go? Could he do it? How would he live? Would it make him grow up? Would it make him give up? And the sad reality of ALL those questions IS - YOU CAN NOT PREDICT what ANYONE ELSE will do with THEIR life.

    And the advice you have gotten here - is good advice. Hearing it, reading it is hard I know. Seeing someone you never spoke with tell you to put your daughter out - is really hard advice. But the experience here speaks for itself. I love the idea of making a condition of her living at home going to a domestic violence shelter for counseling - (Way To Go Lisa) and she is probably in denial about her boyfriend's death. For which I am sorry. No parent should loose a child on Mother's Day especially. My heart goes out to his Mom. I'm sure she's hurting.

    If you are not comfortable with just packing a bag and putting her out - that's okay for now. But DO take the time and look into options that CAN be a benefit to your family. Want to see an interesting post? Ask the memebers of this board who are SIBLINGS of a person like your daughter (difficult child) HOW they felt growing up and get a birds eye view of what your other kids are going through because of her behaviors and how it takes YOUR time away from them. They aren't just allowing you to use their time to deal with her problems - you're taking it without asking.

    I also didn't just packa bag and put my kid on the road. I found a group home that took him and when that was found to be a horrible place - we found a TFF Therapeutic Foster Family. It almost sounds like she would benefit from having a psychiatrist and psychiatric. evaluation. I think the womens DV shelter is a good place to start.

    As for you? You need to recharge your batteries - there was also a good suggestion for Alanon - Go to that - go to AA, go to NA meetings - go to everyone you can go to and LISTEN to these people - they'll tell you what I've told you is true - about the choices. They'll also tell you what you've been told here, in finding a way to put her out. It may be the best thing you EVER EVER do for her. If no one is around to save her - she may being to grow up and make better choices.

    They also tend to run through friends or so called friends and their parents rather quickly and soon discover grim realities that if you do not work - you do not have money. If you have no money - you have no booze, drugs or food. And while you may have friends that will share for a while - eventually your "friends" won't share their dope or booze and you either end up getting a job so you have money or you do without a LOT of things you had when you're parents took care of you. Then once you work - you realize this is hard - and hopefully dont' want to spend money on drugs -

    In a perfect world it would all go down like that but there is truth in a lot of that. There is also the reality that she wouldn't work, run through her friends and just find "new" friends and continue her lifestyle. In which case - honestly there is NOTHING you can do. I had even said at one time with as bad off as my x was - if we caught him - and put him on an island and let him stay there 5 years - he'd detox and start thinking rationally - and someone else said - no....he'd find a way to get high off of coconut hulls and be content to do nothing. And with THAT - I thought - you know - if I went through all THAT trouble - to put him in a deserted island rehab and he still got high? Wouldn't that be it? And then it hit me - what about all the other things I did to help him?

    Something to think about for sure.......

    Hugs to you and your daughter. Sounds like she's got some really hard lessons ahead of her before she chooses to straighten out.

  6. stayingstrong

    stayingstrong New Member

    difficult child had been out of the home until about a month ago when she finally decided to leave the boyfriend, again! repetative cycle... this time for good, she told him so just 4 days b4 he died. I let her move back because she was clean and had a job and was trying to help herself..... Now this as happended and she has lost her job, (starts new one this week, I hope), and is back to doing God knows what, I cannot get her to talk....But I have not seen the personallity changes like when she was heavily using. But there have been changes, not sure if it is from grief, denial avoidance or anger.

    We have made a condition of her staying here that she has to submit to a drug test anytime we request (but she has only been here about 2 hours since the funeral 5/16). Adding that she attend some type of DV counseling does sound like a great idea. My wonderful and supportive husband of 10 yrs and I both know about addiction(family members, ex-husband) and realize she has to help herself on that aspect. Her self esteem is in the toilet, especially since her accidents, (all effected the face). She is still a beautiful young women that has great potential. And deserves wonderful things in life. I know that that is no longer my responsibiilty to make her realize that. she has to do that on her own.

    I also have the guilt thing that Star mentioned. Was it something I failed to do. is it my fault that I made poor choices with my ex-husband and her bio. I realize that that line of thought is useless, however it just keeps popping up.

    Just a little background.... I got pregnant at 17, difficult child's bio was 24, an addict / alcoholic / real bad temper, and has never been around. She has not seen him since she was 7 and that was only for an hour. Prior to that she was 18 months. I raised her alone.
    I met what I thought was a great guy, seemed to treat both of us good..... We got married, he wanted the title of DAD, gave me a easy child that is now 16 years old and a great kid....It turned out ex-husband was an addict / alcoholic / control freak (never physically abusive). we divorced, he persude custody of the easy child only. To my difficult child, he abandoned her (age 7)she was not worth his time.. He told her she could not call him DAD anymore....At 7 years old.....he was the only dad dhe knew......He did get better for a while with visits, then, disapeared for about 2 years. (he is now sober since 7/07 and is trying to be a better dad to both) She has seriouse abandonment issues because of this. We had our difficult child and easy child in counseling after the divorce to cope with that.
    We have had her at a Drug and MH center for evaluation (just before Juv Difficult Child)and the doctor told me that she needed to have a close eye kept on her,...... If I put her out, then mom has now abandonded her, the only person in her life she could always count on the only one that has ALWAYS been there. I see her standing on the edge of a cliff and ready to fall. I just want to be able to pull he back a few steps, not push her over.

    But I totally agree that this is not fair to my husband or my easy child, or ME This is taking away from all of us. And I am ready to melt down...... I am lucky that I have a job that is flexible or I would have lost it by now...( last 3 years have been a nightmare)

    So I guess the thing with putting her out is not really that she has no where to go (she has slept here 1 night in 2 weeks), I am afraid that this will be the push over the edge, thinking the only stable in her life has now abandoned her too.....I know it is not abandonment, but will she?
  7. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    Staying Strong -- Welcome! I hope you find some comfort here.

    I can definately relate. It is so hard to turn them out knowing their life skills are so poor. I think Star has a lot of good advice though - They have to live with their life choices, but we don't. And we can't change someone who doesn't want to change for themselves. We can threaten and nag, but in my humble opinion they will only do the bare minimum to make sure they don't get thrown out of the house. Somebody in another post made a comment that really stuck with me. They said "I'll be part of your recovery but I'm not willing to be your enabler"

    I think sometimes to help our children we have to let them make their own mistakes. Unfortunately, some kids just need to hit the very bottom before they are willing to change. You keep giving them "one more chance" and they will just keep using up those chances.

    You don't say how old your other children are, if they are still at home. I have put my younger one through so much for the sake of her older brother. She is a good kid, and doesn't deserve the emotional upheaval he brings to our home. It's not fair to her that I have used up all my emotional energy in fighting the battle with him, and some days have so little to offer her.

    Remember, Staying Strong, you daughter's well being is important, but no more important than your well being and the well being of your other children.

    I am wishing you strength and courage.
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I think that you are already making steps in the right direction.

    It is SO hard when they won't talk to you. She is obviously hurting.

    Make a date with her to sit down and set up some ground rules. I also like Star's idea about DV counselling, you might use that as a condition. Give her a list of rules that she must follow. "You must do this this and this in order to stay here". Set a goal date for her, "you have to have a job and need to be paying this much in rent by this date". Let her know what will not be allowed. "There is to be none of this, none of that, and none of the other under my roof". Let her know that you are on her side. But tell her that you have an entire house to run, and she cannot be the center of it.

    Give her a chance to respond and maybe even negotiate. And let her know that if she does this, you will do that, if she does NOT do that, you will do this, and let her know (in writing) what will be grounds for being kicked out of the home.

    This way you have had a heart to heart (even if it is only one sided) and you let her know that you are on her side. You are giving her the chance to function as a member of the family. And you are letting her know which behaviors will not be tolerated.

    Hopefully you will never come to the point where you have to throw her out. If you ever do, you will know that you did everything that you possibly could.

    Keep coming back to the board. (((((((hugs)))))))