difficult child's plan

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nancy, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    difficult child came home last night so she could do some of her community service here. She announced she is not going back to cllege next semester, she hates it, there is nothing to do there except sit around and smoke and drink???????? She is going to look for a job and when boyfriend graduates from high school in June they are going to get an apartment together and he is going to go to the community college.

    husband told he he doesn't care when boyfriend does but she is getting a job immediately and finding a place of her own asap. I didn't get a chance to say anything because she told him this on her way to community service. Wait until she hears our requirements for coming back home.

    However, this changes things since we will not spend one penny on an apartment for boyfriend to freeload off, so our plan to get her an apartment for a year is no longer an option.

    What a difficult life she is making for herself.

  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I completely understand your feelings. I would not want to provide boyfriend with a free place to live.

    However, I don't think you want difficult child back home, either. So how about a slight change of plans? Provide difficult child with an apartment until June. By then, she should have a job and be paying her own bills and if boyfriend moves in with her when he graduates he can help with the rent since you won't be paying anymore.

    Six months instead of a year . . . long enough to get her footing but you still have peace and quiet in your home.

    Sounds like a good trade-off to me.

    by the way, for what it is worth, no matter what requirements you set down for your difficult child, she won't live up to them and it will just be more fighting and drama. At least that has been our experience.

  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would do something like this as well....

    Provide difficult child your place back home to live (assuming she follows the rules) until she is at her job for a month. Also, offer her the opportunity to see a good counselor.

    Then help her get an apt. Perhaps pay the down payment. Give her a small allowance for food in terms of a food store gift certificate for awhile (perhaps until her next birthday...you set the date). Tell her she is on her own for the rent, etc and for any extras. It is time for her to start pulling her own weight.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the boy freeloading.

    Of course, there is always the problem of her getting evicted if she fights with- the boy and/or has parties.


    It is a dilemma....but significantly more for her than for you.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds good but he will move in, just like he has done in her dorm room on weekends and wednesdays using her dining plan...our money. Nope, we told her she has to get a full time job and be self sufficient and get her own apartment. She claims the boyfriend's parents are ok with this idea. So let them pay for it and let him support her. If she were moving out on her own I would help but I'm not making things easy for them. If we have to pay the security deposit ok but nothing else.

    She will have a very difficult time getting a job. She has no skills, no references, poor vocabulary and people skills. So let him graduate from high school, get an apartment, and then she can move in with him.

    It's just so sad that she has chosen this path when things could have been so different.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good lord. Its October. How does she even know boyfriend will even be around in June?
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So she is going to live with you until then? :highvoltage:

    We'll be here for you.

  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE


  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Nancy, seems like some kids are just determined they've got to learn it all the hardest way possible. :tongue:

    I'm surprised she said there was nothing to do at college. Travis goes to all sorts of functions for the students. At this very moment he's at King's Island with a group of friends. Happens he got a ride there, cuz his fellow blind friend thought it might be wise to take a fully sighted person along, but they could've went on the Magic Bus the college supplies for free.

  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Daisy...there is nothing SHE wants to do...big difference...lol. There is always something to do. She could study, make new friends, get involved in student life..but no, she wants to party, party, party. And be with boyfriend.

    One day she will be sorry.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet is right, there are tons and tons of things to do there. I would find so much to do that I wouldn't have time for anything else. We have tried to get her involved in the activities they offer but she has no interest. Like Janet said there is nothing there she WANTS to do. Janet I wish you could talk to her, you have been there done that and you now have the wisdom to understand what you have given up and the honesty to admit it. But she would never listen.

  11. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Nancy,
    so sorry you have to deal with this. You do sound like you know what's what though and that is good! My difficult child 1 and her boyfriend moved into an apt. together--we provided the security deposit, knowing full well we would never see it again. They paid a couple months rent and then made up all kinds of stories for the landlord about when they'd have money, etc. They finally just disappeared and left all their stuff there and the place was so trashed it was disgusting. That's when my husband and I went to retrieve some of her stuff and found they had left the pet rat to fend for himself. I was very glad we didn't co-sign anything.

    They did the same thing in Seattle--moved out there, supposedly split up. difficult child called us crying because she was homeless and boyfriend had left her. We offered to help her come back to our city (though we didn't really want her back here) but she turned us down, wanted to try to make it out there. We used some of her college savings to get her set up in an apt., all the while knowing boyfriend might actually be in the picture. Sure enough, he was--it was just a scam to get us to help her. I didn't feel too bad about it though because we did it with our eyes open and I knew the money was unlikely to ever be used for college anyway so might as well get her set up out there and not have her living near us.

    I think you just have to figure out what you are willing to do, what you can live with without feeling you are enabling or knowing you might be getting scammed but you do it for your own reasons. Sounds like you are there--you know darn well the boyfriend will move right in with her and you are not willing to support him. I think you have things figured out and that helps you stay strong with a decision. Anything I do now for my difficult child is done with my eyes wide open and is done according to how I will feel about my decision--if I give her money it isn't out of guilt or with a feeling that I "have to" do it. I do it because in the situation it will give me peace of mind (or don't do it because I will feel resentful).

    Anyway, I want to say I think you have your head on straight and you sound very strong to me! Congrats!

  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    She is going to find the same thing to do no matter where she goes. Smoke pot and drink. There's "nothing else to do" because she doesn't want to do anything else.

    I'm probably too fuzzy headed this morning to realize for sure what you are saying. Is she home? Is she moving home?

    I'm with you. It'd be a cold day in Hades before I got her an apartment even without the boyfriend if all she sees for herself is smoking dope.
  13. Star*

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

    Nancy -

    May you find the strength you need, claim it....and know that there is a plan in all of this after all without loosing your sanity. I'm really keeping you in my thoughts. I belive in her. ;) She has a purpose, she'll find it. She just needs to want it badly enough. They all do. Don't get discouraged by this. Just keep the faith.

    Hugs -
    I have no idea where that came from either - but apparently it was for you. :D
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dear Nancy's Daughter,

    Hi, I am a friend of your moms and I have heard so much about you over the years. I have even seen a picture of you and boy are you a beautiful girl! Im writing to you because I used to be so much like you in so many ways. When I was in my teens all I did was party and cause chaos in my family. I was so rebellious. I wanted to be with my friends and smoke pot and drink. School and family life was so unimportant which really was a shame considering I had an IQ in the 130's and my SAT was 1230! Can you imagine? I could have gone to any college I wanted to attend but instead I was more interested in which boy I could sleep with next and where I could get the next joint. Yeah. Stupid.

    So stupid that when I was 18 right after graduation a friend and I were walking home after school and we were kidnapped and raped at knife point. Boy was that fun - NOT! It basically messed me up for a really long time. I went really foolish for a time and didnt care if I lived or died ended up pregnant not long after that and married a man I didnt love at all. He turned out to be a jerk and abusive to me.

    I never got that University degree which I really should have had. I eventually got an Associates degree in my mid twenties after I settled down with a good man. However, that good man is a construction worker. My life is hard. It isnt what it could have been if I had done it the right way. You have the choice and the chance to do it the right way. Maybe you should think about it. There is a time and place for fun. It doesnt have to be an all or nothing thing. Just dont let fun be all you care about. School is much more important than fun for right now because fun and boyfriends will probably not be the same things or the same person in 4 years but that education will be what makes your life easier or harder for the rest of your life.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Very similar to what jbrain said in her post, we do not co-sign anything for difficult child. We give her money under a few different circumstances. The main one is if and when she is living up to her end of the bargain we have set up for her. We have set up certain reasonable rules and if she is respectful to us and follow the rules, then we help her out. It is in a small way, but it is designed to give her a hand in life. There are a few occasions, where we help her financially like jbrain says with our 'eyes wide open' and not out of guilt, but because it would make us feel better and we know it would be helpful for her. However, we are doing our best to make wise choices and to do this in a limited fashion. Knock on wood, crossing myself, lighting a candle and thanking my Higher Power, difficult child now has a part time job (something she has been trying to do for a looong time now). Together with SSI, she is able to make ends meet more or less on her own and she feels self sufficient. She recently signed up for a course at the community college, is seeing her therapist regularly and has (for real) dumped her alcoholic boyfriend. (More crossing myself and thanking my Higher Power). difficult child knows that by and large, she gets very little help from us unless she is respectful to us and she follows the rules. We do not ask very difficult things of her. We do understand that she has limitations. But we do expect her to try her best with-i her capabilities. I think more and more she understands this and I think (more crossing myself and thanking of G-d) this has been a helpful thing. Sadly, it took lots of weird, difficult, painful and sorrowful experiences before she got to this point and I do wonder if she can maintain this mindset. I think that as long as she goes to the mental health counselor, she is likely to move in the right direction. For us, finding a therapist that took an active role and gave homework each week, helped difficult child to move forward. It was also helpful that difficult child realized that husband and I were no longer going to overly concern ourselves with her antics. We set up reasonable rules and found her a great counselor. The rest was and is up to her.

    p.s. Nancy, I do hope that you will ask around for a really good mental health counselor for her...one with experience working with young women who have issues like what your daughter is struggling with. It might take a lot of asking around, but if you find such a person, it can be a great thing. Hopefully, at some point, your daughter would consent to go regularly.

    Lasted edited by : Oct 26, 2009
  16. LucyB

    LucyB New Member

    I have no great advice, I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. My D made it one year in college before dropping out. Her explanation was the same as your D - she hated it there, there was nothing to do. Reality was she was more interested in coming home to visit the boyfriend. I didn't fight her decision because her grades were not very good, and I saw no reason to spend any more money on college until she was ready to put more effort into it. She is now living in her boyfriend's mother's house and working retail part-time. She has had no trouble getting jobs, but the pay isn't great and they don't give her enough hours to qualify for benefits. She is talking about going back to cc in January, but I'm not holding my breath. She has also started looking for an apartment with boyfriend. I can only hope she wakes up some day and realizes what she's missing.
  17. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Dear Nancy's Daughter~

    I see that my dear friend Janet wrote a note to you and I wanted to chime in. Smart intelligent people who make poor choices that affect our lives poorly are everywhere, and I am one of them, too. I'm nearly 50 years old now, and my life is comfortable. For many years it was not comfortable. If I had made different choices earlier in my life, I would be much more than comfortable. But when I was young, my comfort was never further away than today or next week.

    I was a very intelligent girl. I went to a private school and got straight A's my entire life. I began smoking when I was 11 years old, and the drinking and pot came about a year later. I moved out of my parent's home when I was 14, and spent a couple of years bumping around foster care. All along I was smart, all along I could have been the head of my class if I had applied myself, but I was way too busy getting high. We used to drive or walk around town going to the best neighborhoods looking at the fanciest houses certain that we were going to live there one day. There was even a castle with a moat! We couldn't afford shoes, how could we ever be that? We had no plan, it was just "going to be". I didn't graduate High School.

    I did have several opportunities to go to college. I even applied for and received financial aid one year. I had never spent any time envisioning that I might have a career that would allow me to live the way I wanted to. I knew I didn't need to live in a beautiful house, but I did know that I wanted clean warm dry clothes and food to eat. You can only eat lentils every day for about 2 weeks before you know that you want a little variety.

    Eventually, in my 20's I had children and got married. I worked at a grocery store for 8 years, and I rarely earned more than minimum wage. My first child, my daughter, was with a man whom I wasn't married to. He asked for and received custody of her when she was 8 months old. Most people assume I must have been a bad mother, but actually I wasn't. But he was an attorney, and I was between jobs. It wouldn't have mattered how good of a mother I was, he would have won in any case. My bosses at the store changed all of the time, and when they didn't like you they messed with your schedule. For the last two years I worked there, they thought it was funny that they could mess with my head by making me work 10 days on and 4 days off with back to back shifts because they didn't have to pay me overtime because I never actually worked more than five days a "work week". I did it for 28 months. But it was the only way I could see my daughter for the court ordered every other weekend visitation, and I was the only one with health insurance. We lived in HUD housing next to meth dealers. Our cars were broken into and stereos stolen. Our backdoor neighbors threw their garbage over our fence onto the patio. Feral cats sprayed our newspaper every day - we finally gave up and stopped getting the paper. Not to mention they destroyed every set of hub caps we ever had on a car.

    In the long run, I was able to stop working. I have muscular dystrophy, so I am disabled in so far as my work skills go. It kills me to meet people who do so much better than I did because they stuck with it in high school and college. Often their basic English skills are poor, their general knowledge is lacking. Even their specialized knowledge is poor. If you go into those tall office buildings downtown, on every floor in every office you will find men who are incompetent nincompoops who are in managerial positions who don't have a clue about how to manage their hair care, let alone their employees. But, early in the game they learned to play along. Go to college and join the right clubs or the right teams. Go to work and play basketball with the boss on Tuesday. Buy a pitcher of beer after work once in a while. They're golden and can't be touched. They pull in 3 figures when they are 30 years old. They live in nice houses, get 6 weeks paid vacation every year and will retire happily when they are 65. They might have two or three different jobs in their entire life. And they are "supported" in their workplaces by women like you and me and Janet who were busy not planning our lives when we were 18 years old, or thinking that we didn't need to have our own plan because a man was going to take care of us.

    I know that you are having a hard time and that you have no confidence in your future right now. I hope that you will take some time to look into the types of things you like to do and the things that you are good at and do your best to make that happen. No one can do that for you. Just remember that whatever you choose, even if you choose nothing, is what you get to do for the next 45 or 50 years. You can go to work every day and be challenged and make a difference. Or you can bump around being bored, hoping you have enough money for a pair of shoes that don't leak in the rain and snow.

    Just remember, not making a choice is actually making a choice to do nothing. Good luck.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Well Nancy, she can't say you didn't give her every opportunity to find her way back on track.
    You have my sympathies. She is as hard headed as they come.

    When her boyfriend dumps her because there is someone with a bigger meal ticket maybe she will realize what she gave up or maybe the pot and drinking will dull her thinking and emotions to the point that she will not care. She is setting herself up for a hard fall. : (
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I bet you could get a lot of these types of stories from the warrior moms here. I think that may be why we fight so hard and want our kids to make strong choices for themselves.
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am considering printing off the letters and sending them to her. My mommy heart is sooooo sad because I know things will never get better. I agree Fran, she is setting herself up for a very hard fall.

    She's planning on going out drinking Thursday night at college. Apparently the fact that she is on probation doesn't mean anything to her. Maybe she will get caught again and this time go to jail. At least I will know she's safe ;(.