Does it ever get better? Daughter forged my checks

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by 2far4me, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. 2far4me

    2far4me New Member

    I have three adult children: 27 and 25-year old boy/girl twins. Most recently I discovered my daughter has been taking money from my purse and forging checks on my account. She had to admit to the checks since I had copies of them but she denied taking the money from my wallet. I discovered another forged check and confronted her at which point she admitted taking $20 from my wallet the night before. I had fallen asleep on the couch with my bag on the floor beside me, which means she had to sneak the bag literaly right out from under me. I got angry and slapped her when she called me dirty names then told her to leave....which she did along with her twin brother. I've been trying to get them to pay and/or help around the house but they seldom did anything. Even though it is really bad right now (I feel like ****), I do believe that the only way I could have gotten them to leave is by a big blow up like we had.

    I've suffered through living with the three of them for the past three years - and have had all kinds of theft: daughter's twin brother stole money from my ATM and I've had two charge cards taken and used but wasn't able to prove which one of them did the taking. In addition to the theft, I've bailed the three of them out of jail, paid lawyers and fines for them. My son has a warrant on him for a failure to appear and my daughter has been arrested four times in the past two years alone - for DUI and shoplifting. She is presently driving on a suspended license in a car with expired tags BUT still drives. The day after she and bro left, I drove by my house on my lunch break and she was here but couldn't get in the house since I had locked all doors and fastened windows. She went off on me, screaming profanities, calling me every name in the book, accused me of punching her the night before - I didn't punch; I slapped her which is something I'm not proud of but I allowed her to get to me - which is how she operates. She tried it the day I drove by but I wouldn't let her get me going. When I asked her for my house key, she refused screaming at me the entire time (impressive performance for my retired neighbors) and threw the key into the yard. I made her pick it up and give it to me before I unlocked the outer door that is seldom locked and to which she didn't have a key. She loaded up her car with clothes, throwing stuff into the yard and driveway. Her boyfriend (who dumped her after three years after she got drunk AGAIN and went on a crazy all-night rant AGAIN) texted me to let me know he thought I was a dead-beat who didn't help her daughter and that my daughter had never had a family support system in any way.
    I really do believe she has a serious mental disorder like bi-polar or something. She lies all the time and I wonder if she doesn't believe her own hype. Who knows what she told her boyfriend. I paid for her phone for a couple years but let her's go when the contract was up and she wouldn't answer my calls. I am still paying for the boys' phones but one contract is up and when I can pay my bill, I'll disconnect that phone. STill, I worry that they won't have phone service but I've been paying for these phones off and on since 2007.

    I really don't know what to do about any of this. I'm not able to sleep through the night and am stressed beyond belief. Still, I''m so tired of drama and being demonized by my daughter, her brothers, and their friends. I'm wondering if I should attempt to mend bridges or just let all three of them deal with their own lives - without living here. They make no secret of the fact that they are only here because they have no where else to go and that they blame me for everything that is wrong in their lives (the criminal records, the failure to complete college, their failed relationships). My son, twin boy, even told me I had never tried to help him do anything. Will it ever get better? Or is this the way life will be with them forever? I feel like they take and take and take with little effort to give back anything.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    2far4, welcome. What you are going through with all of your kids is terrible. I feel for you. I'm glad you found us but sorry you had to.

    You've arrived at a place where your experience is all too common, we do understand how you feel and your exasperation, frustration, anger, fear, worry and guilt. Your kids are adults. They should have launched years ago..........and just so you know, blaming us, treating us horribly, taking no responsibility for their actions and being lazy is typical behavior for our adult kids who fail to grow up and begin the process of becoming contributing, healthy, balanced, responsible people.

    This is NOT your fault. Although it seems you may have enabled them, at a certain point, they must take responsibility for their actions. I think you did the right thing and I also think you should stick to your guns and not allow any of them access to your home again. If you have to, get a restraining order. Although doing that may sound bad, many of us have been forced to do it. If they do anything criminal, call the police and do not bail them out. Cancel all those phones, do not pay for anything. There is an article at the bottom of my post on detachment, you may find it helpful.

    We all have to get to the point where we stop enabling our kids and let them be responsible for their poor choices. If they have the capacity to learn, that is the only way they will. If they need professional help, they must want it or it won't work. Their lives are up to them, not you. This is not your fault. You cannot control them. And, you mustn't rescue them.

    The best advice I can offer you is to seek professional help for YOU. Get therapy, a support group, attend NAMI classes (National Alliance on Mental Illness- they can be accessed on line and have chapters everywhere) To the degree that you learn a different way to respond to your kids, the situation will improve. They are used to manipulating you and getting their way and when you stop giving them what they want, they act out in all the ways you mentioned, blaming you, calling you names, becoming angry, creating scenes, all of it. They are MASTER manipulators.

    Think about it, instead of getting jobs, growing up, going to school and becoming adults, they used all their skills to learn how to make others (YOU) take all the responsibility for their actions. After awhile, that becomes a lifestyle choice. The way you stop that is exactly what you are doing now, kick them out and stop responding the way you did. That is where the therapy and support for you comes in, you will likely need help so they don't wear you out. Plus you will need the help, the tools, the comfort, the support that professional assistance offers because this is not easy to do.

    It will get better. No, this is NOT the way your life will be forever. However, YOU are the only one who can change it. Your kids are very invested in you staying the same course because it works for them. It does not work for you so you need to change it. It is YOUR home, your money, your time, your not give it to them. You will be robbing them of the opportunity to grow up if you do. And, you will tie yourself to them and their bad behavior if you allow them to dictate your life.

    They have held you hostage in your own home long enough. There comes a point for us where we reach the end, we reach critical mass and we've had enough. It appears that you have reached that point. Now, get yourself some help to stay this course. Be kind to yourself. Do something nurturing for yourself. Comfort yourself. At this point you've gotten used to doing everything for your kids, that has to shift into doing for YOU. You've all gotten into a habit and you have to change that habit. And, believe me, if you allow it, they WILL take and take and take and not give back anything.

    As most of us here find, once they are out of our homes, life gets calmer, more peaceful and we can begin to get our lives back. You deserve to have a life. You deserve to be happy. You deserve peace of mind. Go find all of that for yourself. I wish you peace.
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My difficult child started stealing from me at an early age. I was at the point of leaving my valuables at work. He helped his 'friends' steal my car by giving them my keys. They were finally arrest, robbing people at gun point, and they told the police about my sons involvement. The police called me and said, we just want you to know you have a serious problem at home. DUH, YOU REALLY THINK SO!!!

    I had my son in all of the programs I could afford and he was court ordered into rehab twice. Once, he walked out and they extended it 3 more months. I have spent so much money, my vacation and free time revolved around visiting him, 2 hours there and two back.

    I retired and moved to another state and I thought he was doing much better. He kept getting laid off (economy) and I was helping him to complete some college courses. After 6 months I found it was a conn for money from me, he had finished some classes, then decided they could have more fun partying on my money.

    I had to call the police to stop the girl friends harassment and one, or both, hacked into my computer. I finally realized you can't help kids like this. As RE posted, they will use you until you are penniless with no thoughts about your welfare. Whether it is mental illness, drugs, or a combination, they have to learn to support themselves.

    Read all of the books on enabling, codependency, get support and therapy. They will not change until you do, and they will fight you tooth and nail for things to stay the same. They are comfortable!

    They are adults and need to start acting like it, I'm still waiting for mine too lol!!!!
    (((hugs and blessings)))
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Is there anywhere else that she can stay? Most of us got to the point where we told our kids that they had to leave when they were breaking the law in our home. What does your bank say about this situation? What is she using the money to buy? Is it drugs? I suspect that it will get a lot worse before she gets better.

    I wish that I had something more encouraging to say. You are in a safe place to vent your frustrations. The kids are adults and making their own decisions. RE is right - you have to start making life right for yourself now.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Even if the grown abusive child(ren) has nowhere to go, sometimes we have to show them the door anyway. You are an abused parent. This label is starting to be acknowledged. Some kids abuse their parents and we think we have to put up with it because we can never ever not be there for our kids, even if they are 25 or 35, and even though they steal from us, swear at us, and make our lives hello.

    Recovering Enabler is 100% right. Your life will get better, even good to great if you are willing to detach from your adult children who are abusing you. At their ages, they should be established and if they aren't, it is usually due to terrible decisions THEY made. They have no right to live with you. It is YOUR house. If they want to abuse you and refuse to do the things you ask of them, they have NO right to live with you. Find them a list of shelters and places where they serve meals, give it to them, and pack the suitcase if they flat out refuse to change. And, by the way, only THEY can change themselves. You can't. The only person who can change ANYONE is THAT PERSON.

    You deserve a peaceful life without your grown kids living with you creating drama and chaos and, in the bargain, telling you absurdly what YOU are doing wrong. They will never change if you keep them home while they abuse them food, a cell phone, the internet, car usage, a warm soft bed, etc. If they are going to change, they need to learn that you are not going to take care of them until you finally die of a bleeding ulcer from all of their activities. Be sure to change the password to your ATM and all your credit and debit cards. It is heinous that your children are stealing from you. Don't allow it.

    There are people who love you and that's who you should spend time with. You should get back to your hobbies and interests and reconnect with those who were important to you before your adult kids hijacked your life. Like many of our grown kids who act irrationally, your daughter may have a personality disorder, such as borderline, but even so your daughter needs to decide, "I will get help" or she will not change. I have a son who is mentally ill, but is so toxic to me and has made so many threats, he can never live in my house, no matter what. I'm afraid for not just myself, but my husband and his siblings, who can't stand him. I won't visit him either. I'm afraid. He lives a few states away and is fortunately phobic about driving too far from home. I have learned to talk to him on the phone for only as long as I can handle it and to successfully put our phonecalls out of my mind once they end.

    I wish you the strength to detach from these adults. I suggest a therapist to help you detach and, if substance abuse is involved, AA anad NA can be wonderful support systems and resources. It's time for you to enjoy the rest of your life. You were a parent long enough. Now it's time for your kids to deal with their lives without you, whatever they decide to do. All of us deserve serenity and happiness. Most of us have done more for our kids than most people do if their kids don't have ANY problems because we had to. Our job is down. It's up to our adult children to pick up from there and it's our time to relax.

    Hugs and I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time, but I think it will get better if you learn detachment!! :)
  6. 2far4me

    2far4me New Member

    Thanks so much for the wise words. I printed the article and will read it later. I am fortunate to have a good therapist and a strong family support system. I have been in recovery for the past two years and relapsed in the two months with all the kids here. I'm working on understanding that I am powerless in many situations, in many ways. My daughter texted me today and asked if she could shower here. I responded that I was uneasy about her being around me and around here since she had such a melt down and would prefer that I had someone with me when she was here, that my sister was coming over and daughter would have to wait until my sis was around. She didn't respond. I am okay. As I said in my first post, we were doomed for a total meltdown. I had reached the point that I didn't want to be home at all and that's not good for me. The past few days have been restful even if I'm worried about my relationship with the twins. I so appreciate the advice that they have me trained. I think some of the disrespect they show toward me is because I've allowed them to bully me and manipulate me. I see my therapist on Tuesday so I have support there as well. I'm so thankful for stumbling across this site. My friends are tired of my continuing stories about these children - I'm as tired of telling them as they are of listening to the mess. Thank you. Thank you.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We will always listen with compassion.

    One thing about worrying about your relationship with the twins. Please try to let go of that fear. You are dealing with two adult kids who are acting like criminals toward you. It is unlikely they will like you if you shut down their gig. They probably both have personality disorders. I'm convinced ALL of the adult kids who bring us here are in some way personality-disordered, even if the trigger is drug abuse and the adult kids were nice before that. You seem well aware of these can't have a halfway sane relationship with anyone with a personality disorder if they are not in their own intense and very difficult recovery, and that is 100% on their shoulders.

    I have a good relationship with three of my five kids. One of my kids I don't even list as a kid of mine because we adopted him at six and he walked out on the family as soon as he found a SO and will not have anything to do with his siblings and me and this has gone on for six years now so I decided not to include him as one of my kids in my signature. He most certainly will probably never see me again. I can't control it. His attachment to us is "iffy" since he came to us at such an old age and from another country and unless he makes contact on his own, I am totally detached from him. I did grieve and moved on because my three "nice" kids and my awesome husband need me to be the best "me" I can be, and I deserve a good life in spite of this grown child rejecting me. It did take therapy to do it, but I have really done well. And I have a shaky relationship with an adult child I call 35 (his age) just because he is both mentally ill and personality-disordered. He also is a functional alcoholic. He can get very abusive and my relationship with him is sort of "I will talk to you on the phone until you start swearing at me and calling me names and then *click*."

    We have no control over how our grown adult children will act toward us anymore than we can control how they treat themselves. I do think it's high time all three of them stay away from your home. I don't know how old you are, but I turned 60 this year and I intend to enjoy my golden years and hope they are long and healthy and am doing all I can to really throw myself into this new phase of life (I am very much enjoying it). Remember that chronic stress is very bad for our health in so many ways. Don't let your grown children destroy what should be your post-parenting years and cause you so much stress that you get ill. YOU are important and worthy of a full life apart from their dysfunction. So do all of us. THat's why we gather here to support one another. If you are in recovery, you can not allow the stress of them to take you out of recovery. by the way, GOOD FOR YOU!!!! You are STRONG.

    I'm sure I speak for all when I say I am very happy you took a chance and posted here and hope you feel safe posting whenever you like. Doubt there is anything you could say that would shock us or make us tired of hearing from you.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have lived your life. Mine started stealing from me quite young. His first attempt to forge a check was when he was in 3rd grade and took one of my checks and tried to cash it at a gas station but the people laughed at him because he did it in crayon. It all came crashing down when he was 21 and really forged checks on me. I pressed charges.

    Unfortunately we are afraid he may be stealing from us again but arent completely sure.
  9. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    We've dealt with stealing, also. We decided to buy a safe, that's how bad it had gotten. We weren't home and our difficult child stole from us and tried to pawn the items. The pawn shop called the police and got them involved. That was the turning point for our difficult child. He hit bottom that day. He has completely turned himself around. I have no advice for you but wanted to share our experience.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    First off, I'm so sorry that you are going through so much difficulty and stress with your adult children.
    my first quick knee jerk response to your question about does it get better was: No!
    1. I have a easy child son, that went through a difficult child year in high school and it was a doozy. We lived in a war zone. We sent him to boarding school and his behavior changed 180 degrees. When he got back, we took the "tough love" approach with him. He is a super easy child now. Very successful. But we put up with NADA!
    BIG CHANGE for the better!
    2. We have a difficult child adopted daughter. Has been difficult child her entire life. She is in her mid twenties now and can't hold down even a part time job. She is on disability. She is on food stamps, but spends her food money for the month often within ten days. She truly is disabled, but I often wish she could just do the basics and stop the non stop weirdness and DRAMA.
    She hasn't changed much...but I have changed my reaction to her. Last night she begged me for food (once again) and I gave her some food from the house left over, etc. I found for a brief moment, emotion welling up, and I immediately rid myself of it. She was wearing the same clothes she wore yesterday and I quickly dismissed this thought. I gave her the food, smiled, and sent her quickly on her way. That was it. That was that. Period. I CHOSE not to make a big deal of it. BIG CHANGE for the better! Of course, things got easier once she moved out!!!!!!!!

    I agree, get a safe and keep that safe in a locked room. Consider filing charges.
    If at all possible, I would get these adult children OUT of your home.Just read that you see a therapist and that is wonderful!

    This is hard stuff. Try not to let their accusations and/or bad behavior "get" to you. In one ear and out the other. Chose to ignore it and insist on better treatment. Consider finding out what your legal rights are in removing them from your home...and chose to not be emotional about it. Difficult, true...but likely VERY necessary.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 14, 2013