Does it EVER get better???


New Member
Hello everyone. I have been a reader of the forums for quite some time (sooooo much helpful information) but this is my first post.

I have two children:

My Daughter is 23 years old. Currently lives with me (in an attached in-law suite) rent free. Not currently working but starts a new full-time job with benefits on January 6. She was fired from her last job (a good local government gig) for using parking validation intended for customers. We have been told she has Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Bi-polar. A little over a year ago, she was in an approximate 9-month relationship with a recovering heroin addict. They were living on their own, both working, and doing well, then he relapsed, and purposely overdosed. She has been home with me since, and the bad things about her quickly got worse. She has been in counseling on and off since she was 6. She has tried every medication known to man, and none seem to work. Last year, she went through TMS treatment. Those of us around her seemed to notice a difference, however, in her mind, nothing changed. She goes into rages, destroying my items, screaming and threatening harm to herself and others. My dog has even bit her before, because she is so volatile, and he is very protective of me. At one point when she threatened suicide, her dad and I joined forces (we have been divorced for 10 years) and somehow convinced her to go the emergency room. Once we got her back there, we showed them text messages she had sent to us, and they kept her for a 3-day hold. They let her out at the end, but I honestly believe that was because she knows what to say to make people (doctors, therapists, family, etc.) think she is okay. I KNOW that she will never voluntarily go into any type of hospital, treatment or facility again. She has hinted recently that she has some past drug issues (snorting percs). Of course, we really don’t know what is true, and what is an attention-grabber with this one.

My son is 18 years old. Well rounded, does well in school (when he wants to), is a hard-worker, and honestly, is what has kept me going. He broke up recently with his girlfriend of 2+ years, and we started to notice some changes. We just found out he has started smoking pot. To be honest, after all this child has seen and dealt with regarding his sister, I surprised he faired so well as long as he has. He has always just flown below the radar, I guess and has always been a good kid. As I’m sure everyone knows, much of our attention has been on her since she was little, and while we’ve always made extra efforts to try to make it fair, he gets the short end of the stick. I am shocked to learn of his drug use, as is his dad, but his dad is taking it a lot harder. He has fired him from his job (Dad owns his own business and son works for him part-time while he is in his senior year) until he can pee clean. This all happened December 23rd, which led to a huge downward spiral with our daughter.

In the past two days, she has texted both her father and I repeatedly. Nasty, nasty texts, wishing death upon us, telling us how bad we suck as parents, etc. She wrecked my Christmas Tree and threw ornaments, and her stocking presents on the front yard. Destroyed the food I made for our extended-family Christmas Eve Dinner. Did show up at my brothers to “celebrate” with family but stayed on the couch and slept the whole time. Barely spoke and did not thank anyone for gifts. She texts her brother and cousin and her Dad’s parents trying to get them on her side, and of course only telling them what she wants them to hear. That night, after such a horrendous day, I arrived home to a long letter from her, basically saying she wished I understood her better, she acts out because it keeps her from hurting herself, and that everyone just stays away from her and never checks on her. This is the truth. In the past few years, I have distanced myself from her more and more. When she is doing good, I will talk with her, joke with her, do things for her, etc. But when she flips the switch, I just totally ignore her. More for my own mental and physical health than anything. Any advice I give is brushed off, or ridiculed, so I’ve just stopped giving it.

Normally, both kids will go with their Dad’s new family on Christmas Day, so I made plans with my “friend” to spend the day with his family. Well that set it all off again. I ended up having to block her on my phone. I managed to enjoy the day but was scared to go home and see what she had done. Turns out she just flipped over some furniture. I am putting my house up for sale soon, and plan on getting her out before that time. She lives like a pig, and there is no way I could show the house on short notice with her there. Not to mention if there is a showing scheduled and she has one of her episodes. Buyers would run for the hills!!

Once I got home Christmas Night, she was still spouting off. I was so glad to get to work this morning, I couldn’t believe it. Something must change. I will not continue to walk on eggshells in my own home, I will not continue to be disrespected and verbally abused, and I will not continue to have the things I have worked so hard for ruined.

I have decided to go back to therapy for myself, as I haven’t been since before her boyfriend died. At least that gives me a sounding board, some reassurance that I’m doing the best I can, and some fresh advice and outlook on the situation.

Many blessings to everyone dealing with things such as this. While I would never wish it on anyone, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that I am not alone.

Fingers crossed that 2020 is the year it starts to get better!


Well-Known Member
Wow. I am so very sorry. How terribly hard.

If your daughter lived with a heroin addict it is likely she also did some drugs. And his sad outcome did not help. Her mental illness does not help either but it is up to her to decide to get healthy. Mental health care is more than just taking medication, and even pot interferes with the good effects of psychiatric medication. They are.not supposed to be taken with anything else.

In spite of your daughter's very real issues, if it were me she could not live in my house with me and my other son. Violence for any reason means you can not live with me. That is my bottom line.

I would focus on the son. See what you can maybe do to help him over this hard time. Too often our well behaved kids get less attention.

At any rate, I am sad for you and hoping you can figure out what is best for you. Never feel it is selfish to put yourself first. I used to think it was horrible for any mother to put herself before her children, all of them. Boy, did I find out how wrong I was! It is compassionate to let your kids grow up and for them to see us.moving on!



Well-Known Member
I have been through much of what you talk about. The one point i want to make is she won't voluntarily get treatment. Mine is same he gets it when forced but... When she decides not to get help you have the right to take care of you and your family. Your home is your sanctuary she does not have the right to terrorize you in your home or break your things. I hope when you sell you set up very strict boundaries about her being there if she is allowed at all. Prayers


Sending good vibes...
I’m sorry for the turmoil in your family. I agree with you to sell the house and get on your own as quickly as possible.

I’ve lived in volatile situations before so I get what you’re saying. You need to be able to go home and feel safe.

Please take care of yourself.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I’m so sorry. How dreadful. I’m glad you are seeing a therapist. Too much stress. I’m glad your ex is working with you cooperatively.

I too would be at least a little concerned about possible drug use.

Something to consider...if she is going to have free or low cost room and board then she needs to abide by certain rules like:
See therapist regularly
No violence
No drugs
No illegal behaviors
No sleep over guests

I would start charging her low cost rent if she is not paying already. Find out what rent would be in your area and perhaps charge a little less.

And set a date that she will need to leave so that you can sell your house. Maybe a month or two notice e would be reasonable ?

I always felt that if I was reasonable or a tad more than reasonable with our daughter and she messed up ....too bad, so sad. I can only do so much.
What comes after more than reasonable? Nothing.

Does it ever get better? Hmmm
We got some improvement, not a ton, but I’ll take what I can get ...when:
We moved to a different city
We set up boundaries
She got on disability
We push ourselves to do our best not to be enmeshed and to disassociate/remove ourselves from her craziness as much as possible.
We push ourselves to explore our own interests and not focus too much in this crxp from our adult children

Yes, take care of yourself.
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Well-Known Member

Our kids sure can wear us down. I had to giggle at you being happy to get to work. I know that feeling all too well.

That was kind of you to let her live there rent free. Hopefully she will gain appreciation when she is on her own.

I agree that your boy needs you. He has accomplished much by avoiding drugs until now. I hope he can make good decisions with your counsel. I'll be praying for you guys.



Well-Known Member
What a difficult and trying situation .it sounds like your daughter might live with borderline personality disorder .The rages and violence seem to match that . I am also highly suspicious of drug use (sleeping on relative's couch) .I agree to stop the flow of any money towards her and charging her rent immediately . Selling the house and getting her out sounds like a good plan for you since you don't deserve to live with violence and destruction of your property.

As far as your son goes, I would be very concerned. That is how our troubles started : with pot. Sounds like he got immediate consequences with loss of job and that is a good lesson. They need to experience consequences for drug use. Don't give any money so he is forced to get another job or get the old job back with a clean drug screen. It is so terribly disappointing when a formerly good kid starts smoking pot. I was devastated when I found out about my son smoking pot. I am still disappointed in him for it.


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome.

I've been through some of what you describe with my son who is now 31. I think you have been doing everything right, in a horrible situation. And I think you're heading in the right direction. She is holding you hostage. There is no working anything out with her until she is motivated to do so, and it seems she's not one bit motivated.

I don't know what is TMS treatment.

The only thing I would suggest is to come down hard on the property damage and violence. I would call either the police or emergency psychiatric services every single time she is abusive either verbally or against property. You do her no favors to cut her slack.

The other thing is that not knowing a real and complete drug history, kind of muddies the diagnostic picture. You don't really know what might be drugs do you? Or as Wise mentions, there may be personality issues, too.

My son would only cooperate with my agenda (psychiatry, medical, etc., if he thought there was a pay off for him) and could not until very recently see the inherent wisdom of seeking help.

How very, very troubling and sad that she sought out a heroin addict boyfriend, and that such a tragedy occurred. I am sorry.

The texts wishing death, she's sending to you and to her father are unacceptable. I would block her. At the least. If they entail any sort of threat against you, that such death or accident might come from her hand, you have a real problem. That is a felony crime. Terrorist Threat. That entails prison time, if she's convicted. She can't be allowed to do such a thing. For sure I would think about calling psychiatric emergency to have her hospitalized as a "danger to others." If there is an intended victim, the police will need to become involved. I don't see you as having much leeway here. If she is permitted free rein she can get herself in a world of hurt.

That said I think you were very wise to have her hospitalized for the 3 day hold for suicide threats. The only way to curb that is to take her at her word. My son did that and stopped it when I followed through. He's very careful to not make an imminent threat, anymore.

I think differently about your son's marijuana use, than some others. Don't get me wrong. I hate marijuana. And I hate that my son has a dependency which has made everything a thousand times worse. But there is just as much a risk to overreact than to not react at all. I think his Dad was wise to let him go from his job until he tests clean. How has your son responded? I'm not clear. Does he live with his Dad or with you? Have you spoken to son about all of this? What does he say? Just because he began to smoke pot does not mean he will spiral downwards. Would you and his father consider finding a therapist for him?

Finally, it seems like your daughter gets and demands a lot of attention and indulgence in the family, despite very, very bad behavior. This story about not being understood. Her spouting off, and disrespect. Ruining your stuff. I agree totally with what you write. She needs to be curbed and reined in.

She's still within the age cutoff for Job Corps (if you're in the USA) which is a free, federal vocational training program, where young adults are housed and fed and supervised and trained. They take kids with issues. My son went. When my son acted up, they just took him to a clinic, had him evaluated, and took it all in stride. There are centers all over the country. Some parents here don't like the program, but I loved it. I think their issue is that some of the centers are located in poor areas, and there are a lot of poor kids, some with troubled pasts. But this would be one option for your daughter. This is the real world. Her actions are very much curtailing and limiting her options. The stay at home option in a free in law apartment has just been moved off the table. It has to be her responsibility to decide what's next. If she decides she's too mentally ill to take responsibility, then there are residential treatment options.

I told my son to leave when he was her age. Actually, I threw him out. All these years later I go back and forth wondering if I did the wrong thing. My son still struggles. But the thing is this: They can't disrespect us or our homes. They have to do the right thing for themselves, under our roof. They can't be violent in our homes, or threaten us even verbally. I don't see where there is a choice.

It's not just for us. It's for them. People can't run around acting like your daughter is acting. Regardless of diagnosis or stressor. She's off the rails. She needs to learn to correct herself. I support everything you're doing. And I am very glad you posted.


Face the Sun
There's not much more I can add, except to say I am sorry you are experiencing this. As a single mom, it must be horrifying. I am glad you were able to get at least some safe time with your friend. Boundaries work when we are able to stick to them. Some days are better than others and with practice and seeing the results, things do get better for us. If anything, I have learned things will only get better for my 41 y/o Difficult Child daughter when she makes better choices. I have no control over that. Definitely get back in therapy, I will be doing to same. This was a rough holiday season for many/most of us. In healing