Doubt and Guilt...Need a reality check

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WearyMom18, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    Everyone is pretty aware of my latest dilemna with my Difficult Child - she has a warrant out for her arrest in the county she attended rehab in (about 5 hours away from home). She has another court date this Wednesday for another charge in our home county.

    So all day I've been thinking that she hasn't had her phone (because she broke it) so she only has access to one when the guy she is staying with his home from work so she probably doesn't remember about her court date on Wednesday BUT for her court date last week she was high on drugs and out in another town after her 'boyfriend' was arrested.

    She doesn't know about the warrant and I doubt remembers about her court date this week. I guess I'm questioning whether I, knowing that her court date if this week and knowing that she doesn't know it's on Wednesday, should tell her about it or not. She hasn't asked about any of her court cases since she's been gone and I don't know if that's because she just doesn't want to know because she's afraid of the trouble she's in or if she is just in a hopeless place in her mind and she's given up.

    I guess I'm doubting myself and what I thought I had planned to do which was let things take their course - if she showed up to court great, if not, it's on her. That said, she has no idea about the court date but if I tell her about the warrant and her court date, she won't go because she doesn't want to get arrested and I know that.

    If I don't tell her I'm going to feel as though I kept it from her purposely and allowed her to have yet another warrant issued. If I tell her about the court date and not about the warrant, I'll feel like I withheld information and she will accuse me of setting her up to get arrested when she shows up to court!

    If I tell her about it all, at least I won't feel like I've withheld information or trapped her but that will also guarantee that she won't show up and I will be paying the bond money.

    So many variables.

    My husband feels strongly that we should not pay the bond and therefore she needs to get put in jail. I can respect his feelings in that she has already stolen thousands from us and cost us probably thousands of dollars so he is not wanting to pay a penny more on her behalf - at least as long as she is living this life.

    Any advice? I feel, on one hand, that I've told her about her court dates in the past few months a million times and when she left this last time, on April 1st, I said no more! I decided not to keep managing her court dates and legal problems because I ultimately can't control the outcome. On the other hand, I can't help but feel like I'm being sneaky by not telling her the information I know about HER court cases to give her the ability to make her own decision.

    I'm open for suggestions!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My own .02. Take what you like and leave the rest. To my mind, you should not be managing her legal problems. You have told her the date. She probably knows the date all too well. It is not your fault to get her to court on time if she will actually even go.

    She is safer in jail than on the streets and she may straighten out there. I'm not going to say I've read THAT many stories of people getting straight in jajil, but there are a few. The life she is living can literally get her killed. She apparently has no fear of the legal system. She needs to fear it. I would never post bail for her. She's only going to get into more trouble. Are you that rich?

    She doesn't need a cell phone to have access to a phone. She can borrow anyone's phone or even go to a library or some store and ask to use a phone and get use of one to find out when she should appear in court, if it matters to her. She knows she is being looked for. If she doesn't find out, it's because she doesn't want to know. If you tell her, as you said, she will not only not go, but probably give you an earful of hate for trying to help her do the right thing. She does not sound ready to do the right thing.

    With all the ups and downs you thought of, it all comes out neutral. Nothing is good. Nothing is bad. It is really up to her to straighten out. So, without any clearcut good to getting her out of trouble, is it so bad to let her face adult consequences to serious crimes? I'd let it go and let her handle it. She may learn something.

    Read our stories as well as the archives. See how futile it is to bail them out and rescue them.

    You are not alone though. We are all here for you and hope she does the right thing.

    Hugs for your confused and hurting heart.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Wearymom
    Absolutely, I second Somewhereoutthere. I am a new Mom here, so can only speak from my own experience (read, mistakes.) I always rescue, and it always backfires, and makes things worse. If her behavior warrants jail, it warrants jail. I also agree with Somewhereoutthere that she may be safer in jail, than on the street. Incarcerated, she also has a better chance of turning things around. Gosh, I feel for you, but reality needs to be faced. She created the situation by her choices. This is hers to fix--or not.

    I echo Somewhereoutthere. You are not alone. We are all here for you and hope she does the right thing.

    Hugs for your your hurting heart. But you do not seem confused to me. You seem clear. Just in pain.
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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wearymom, Just trying to follow along, it sounds like she knows about one court date and she doesn't know about the other one?

    I so understand your worrying about this. You sound just like many of the thought processes I used to have.

    A few thoughts:

    1. It doesn't really matter how many warrants or court dates she has, or how many she misses. I used to think it did, because I was very worried about his "record." His record was very important to me. Little did I realize that once he broke the law (over and over again), all of this was completely out of my hands and his hands. Over time I came to feel that was a blessing, that he couldn't manipulate the police and the courts like he did everybody else, and so would "meet his match."

    2. Drug-addicted kids and young adults only thing about one single thing: how to get more drugs. Anyway they can. I don't believe when they are using they can even fathom the consequences of what they are doing to themselves in the current time or to their own futures. And your best efforts won't change that. Remember: all she wants is drugs right now.

    3. I reread your signature. Your daughter is moving fast in defying the rules of society. If you can...just let it be.

    4. If you can't, there is no harm in letting her know about this court date. If that will bring you more peace, let her know and then work to...let it go.

    My son has two felonies from selling drugs and multiple misdemeanors for theft, shoplifting, possession, public intoxication, driving infractions. He has been in jail 8 or 9 times (lost count). Over time, he sold everything he has. Last summer he was stabbed by his now-girlfriend. He wrecked his car and ruined it (even had mold in it). His clothes were in my attic and all he had was a backpack and what he could carry there. I understand ugliness and the mess they can make of things.

    He is now almost 26 years old. His "record" is shot. He appears to be working to rebuild his life. He has a lot of messes to clean up. I believe cleaning up the messes he has made is part of his recovery and is part of his awareness that he never wants to be back there again. I do not want to interfere with that.

    Right now, we are working hard to know when to help, and when not to help. I constantly tell myself: the journey back is for him to walk.

    Of course, we want to help people who are truly working to change and who want to help themselves...first. But I know this: it took him years to get to the bottom, and it's going to take him years to move up from the bottom.

    I have to let him walk that path himself. My interference, my "help" will only delay his recovery and true adulthood.

    I don't know if this helps you in making a decision to contact her or not about this information. As I said before, I don't think it matters much either way. If you are torturing yourself over this, let her know. And then let it go. You did all you could. Detachment is a process and it will occur over time, if you work hard for it.

    We're here for you. We care. Warm hugs today.
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  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess if it were me, I'd ask myself why I want to give her the court information. Is it to assuage your own guilt, or is it because you're hoping she'll have a light-bulb moment and "do the right thing" and actually go to court? If you're doing it for yourself, and it will make you feel better, then I agree with telling her - and then letting it go. I'd be very cautious of doing it with any hope of a behavior change in her - because that's unlikely.

    This is something I've taught myself when I 'm in these kinds of situations - checking my motives. If my motives include any hope of influencing the other person's behavior, it's a sign to me that I'm probably heading down the wrong path. Sometimes, though, we need to do things to help us let go - in other words, "well, I provided the information, she can't say I withheld it from her. Now it's on her." It can be a slippery slope, I know.
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  6. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    What they said. For better or worse, your daughter is legally an adult. If she doesn't keep track of things its on her. Call and remind her if you want but its been my experience that it will in no way help. She will show up or not, your call probably wont make a difference. You will probably still worry about whether or not she will show up so again, no difference. Like Somewhere said, take what you want and leave the rest.
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I struggle to keep from "reminding" my son about things. He has a court date in May - to prove he has completed his community service (he hasn't yet) and pay his court costs (he hasn't yet), or to show good cause why he has not. I want to remind him, I really do. Sunday I kind of reminded him that we aren't paying his rent again after May...which he knew...but I didn't mention the court date.

    Will I remind my son about his court date? Maybe. Should I? Probably not. But in the end will it matter either way? Not really. He'll either go or not. He'll either do the community service or not. It's up to him. But it may make ME feel better to remind him - like I've done my duty - even though it really isn't my duty at all.

    In your case? Well she's missed one court date, so there's a warrant. If she goes to the next one she may be arrested on that warrant. She probably knows that, in which case she may not show on purpose. Two warrants are not that much worse than one. In her mind, it may be like she's already in trouble, so who cares if she's in a little more trouble.

    So, will your reminder do any actual good? Will it make her suddenly decide to go to court and face the music? Chances are it won't. But you can say you reminded did what you could and the rest is up to her.

    Sometimes it's about what makes YOU feel better.
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  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    WEary, I basically addressed this on your other thread before I read this one...but in my own life I feel much better now that I have stopped reminding everyone of everything. I was reminding on of my other sons about some things on his calendar just the other day, and I said "I'll show you how to use the calendar on your phone." He said...I don't need a calendar, I have you.

    and I thought...the hell with that.

    Why is it my burden to be the reminder, the carrier, the knower? I get the grimaces and scowls when I remind them of something inconvenient or unpleasant.

    The more so with our Difficult Child's.

    She will not thank you. Your reminding her will not make her go. She knows. She can look online and find out what to do if she wants to do something. My Difficult Child has a GAF of 55 (this is low, basically a function IQ) and HE figured out how to check all these things online. He also calls me ALL THE TIME from other peoples phones. I am always amazed at how many strangers let my son use their phones. Weirdly I have never had a street person ask me to use my phone, but he does it all the time and people let him.

    To quote an oft seen facebook post...your excuses for her are not valid.

    Let it go, Weary. Your telling her will change nothing and it will expose you to more unpleasantness from her. Let it go, if you can. If you can't, we will support you in whatever you need to do.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.

  9. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    CrazyinVA - Your input really hit home. I ask myself why I am struggling with telling her or not telling her and the answer is to make me feel better, so that I don't feel like I withheld information. That said, I also know that it's involving myself in her court issues that I said I would no longer involve myself in. The truth is I hurt for her and I'm struggling to detach still.

    My motives are certainly not in hopes that this will change her course - I'm past thinking anything I can do or say will do that - she's going to have to change on her own.

    To update on this - she actually just sent me a text that said, Mom, I miss you. That was it. I couldn't hold it in anymore so I told her that her court date is tomorrow and the time. She hasn't responded to either message.

    Okay so I've told her - now I'm letting it go. What will happen will happen. I know that she won't go - I'd be fooling myself if I thought any different but the truth is, it's her trouble to deal with. I'm not in trouble, I don't have to worry about it (other than my motherly heart and mind hurt for her).

    It's amazing how much we love these kids and how much abuse we take (or have taken) and through it all we still hurt for them and love them and want better for them. Parenting can be so rewarding but it can also be such a hard, hard role.

    Hugs to everyone for your ongoing support of my craziness. =)
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wearymom, I see so much of myself in your note.
  11. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    I'm so annoyed and why don't I realize that this will be the case everytime with her?

    She called me and said she hasn't had a phone so she hasn't been able to keep up with her court dates. I told her that she doesn't care because if she did she would have at least ask me for information. She was slurring her words very badly and I pointed that out snd told her I was done talking. She said she loves me and bye.

    So frustrating! Clearly she is high on something or she wouldn't talk that way and I kick myself everytime I start to feel sad about this whole situation because it always ends this way! Everytime I actually talk to her she makes me so mad I could spit and then I feel stupid for feeling sad over anything to do with her!

    Will in get better at this over time or am I just a glutton for punishment?
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well you know this is completely false, at least as far as the one she already missed. You and she had plans to get her there. She was fully aware of it.

    Had she forgotten the next one? Maybe. My son "forgot" where he pawned things he stole from us. Drugs of any description don't seem to be memory enhancers.

    But now you've told her. She knows. It's up to her.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
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  13. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    There is a foundational saying in Al-Anon that really helped me when I was struggling with things like this:

    Say something one time. If you say it more than one time, you are trying to control the situation.

    As time went on, I was able to even get beyond that at times. Often, the things I want to time...ARE controlling...even that one time.

    CrazyinVA is so right about motives. I also learned that in Al-Anon. What is my motive in dealing with other people?

    To control what they do was often the motive.

    I's ugly. But if we can't admit what we did/do, we can never change what we did/do.
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Yep. Having the same thing happen over and over with your Difficult Child is part of the process of teaching you that your best efforts won't result in change in her.

    I think as a mom, we have to be shown: not once, not twice, but 1000 times. Before we are even partway ready to stop.

    We keep going back to the same well expecting different water to be there...but it's always the same water.

    husband and I have a joke about things changing, and it's about Cheetos. See, I know that most people really like Cheetos, but I don't. But every now and then, I try Cheetos again. To see if they've changed. But they haven't. I still don't like them. But a few months will go by, and I'll try them again. To see if they've changed. But they haven't. I still don't like get the picture.

    It's funny but it's not. It takes a long, long time for us to reach rock bottom on our enabling.

    Be patient with yourself. You are changing and learning with every single interaction.
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  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, it will get better - but it takes LOT of practice. Give yourself a break, and try to focus on the things you HAVE accomplished until now. You're recognizing the behaviors for what they are, and that's improvement, right?! You're going to slip, you're going to fall - but you just keep on trying. We've got your back.

    I like the Cheetos analogy. For me, it's Brussels sprouts. I've tried them, don't like them. They seem to be on everyone's menu these days, and I have friends that rave about them, can't get enough of them. They tell me I just haven't had them prepared properly. One place even has BACON infused Brussels sprouts, how could I not like those?! But I tried them.. blech. Couldn't stand them, even with my beloved bacon. Nope, not gonna change my mind on Brussels sprouts.

    But I digress...

    First-- do you see the irony in that statement? She CALLED you and said she doesn't have a phone :) Really, it makes you giggle when you think about it (I'm big on humor to diffuse stress). She can make calls when she wants to - she finds a way. This clearly isn't a priority. But you knew that..

    Second - "I told her she doesn't care because.... " You're right, she doesn't. But part of detachment for me is taking a deep breath when I'm tempted to tell my kids anything about what they do or don't do, or should or shouldn't, do. It's not my job, especially when it comes to stating the obvious. It's really really hard sometimes though, I know!

    I know it's so hard to listen to the slurred voice - it's both maddening and heartbreaking. I hate it when Oldest calls me and is obviously out of her mind on pain medications. An "I love you" in slurry words is kind of heartbreaking, too :( I'm sorry. Hugs to you.
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  16. WearyMom18

    WearyMom18 Member

    It's hilarious now that you point it out! It's so pathetic - do these kids honestly think that what they come at us with is in anyway logical? It's unbelievable to me the utter c**p that comes out of her mouth sometimes - she knows it's c**p, I know it's c**p so why even say it? So ridiculous I'm speechless sometimes.

    I'm back on top of the emotional hill, as I think of it, and feeling strong and confident again about my Difficult Child and (what do you call life, the pain in my neck? lol) my situation because I am so angry with her for even trying to feed me nothing but completely invalid responses and expect me to just swallow it down. Why even communicate with me at all if you have absolutely nothing that is logical or valid to say???? It's like making a pointless phone call to someone just to say....hi....and that's it - there're no more value in that than what she says on any text or phone call.

    I'm frustrated and angry and just fed up but it's strange....I always feel the best after she has, once again, reached out and given me her normal B.S. -that's when I get mad again and feel completely validated in detaching. The hard part is how to remain feeling confident about my decisions and actions between those communications when I start to miss her and feel sad that things have turned out this way - that's the thing that trips me up and keeps my emotions on an everlasting roller coaster. I guess time will help that one because my Difficult Child's behavior certainly isn't.

    I'm going to need a calgon moment after work, days like this drain me and I wish it wouldn't but it does. Now that I'm on the backside of another interaction with her I feel happy and upbeat and it will last for a while - I just wish I could learn to allow myself to always feel that way, even when I hear from her because truly I should be able to - if I've detached.

    Thanks again to everyone - it's my life preserver each and everyday when I need a place to vent or talk to someone - I am eternally grateful.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    WearyMom, your daughter is obviously deep in Deep Heaven. Does she make sense? No. Does it work for her? YES! Whatever she has said, you have felt sorry for her for so she has gotten her means to her end, often probably money she asked for saying she is starving. The money probably helped her buy drugs. We are fools. Not you. We. All of us. At least at first. It takes some longer than others to catch on that NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING we do, nor our hurting hearts, will help our adult child one wit. COM has often said if we care more than THEY do, it is hopeless. You care more than her. Right now, it is hopeless. Jail may actually make her stop the drug use, at least while she is locked up. How is that bad?

    My guess is she got mushy with you because she either knows she will go to jail after she is caught or she thinks she will be able to run to beat the system forever. Neither will happen. Do not think of her as that adorable little baby you gave birth to who cooed at you. Don't think of her as the ten year old who picked you dandelions because she loves you. I had trouble seperating my child from the adult.

    Drugs are ugly. You can not help. When it comes to addiction, there is only one person in the world who can stop anyone from using and that is the person herself. Even rehab can't do squat for an unwilling user. It has to come 100% from her.
  18. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I have no idea if you are religious or not, but I have learned to stay out of God's way when it comes to helping my daughter. He has done a WAY better job than I!! Stay out of the way, let natural consequences happen and let bottom come...
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  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Very well spoken.

    Thank you.

    "The hard part is how to remain confident about my decisions and actions."

    Could you set an intention of maintaining confidence? Something that simple can help us stay upright. To worry and fear for and protect our kids is how we parent when they are little. If we want them to mature, we have to change our responses.

    We need to learn to parent differently.

    I think your description of your patterns of interaction with your child was very insightful. If we can see, and then, name the behaviors we would like to change in ourselves, we are nearly there. You are dealing with the emotional realities of what is happening with your child. That is heavy stuff, but you know already how you can come through this in a better emotional place.

    Just like it is with our kids, no one can tell us how to do any of this, but you do know already the right next step to take.

    Good job.


  20. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Now you've told her so let it go. She's not going and it's not your fault and you can't change it.

    If it's hurting you so much to be receiving texts, calls, etc., maybe you should set some boundaries around when you're available. Once or twice a week on your schedule, and if she's high or abusive you hang up.

    She's going to be in jail soon, so figure out how you want to deal with calls from jail. Where I live they're expensive.

    She's dug herself a pretty good hole and she's still digging. No need for you to get in the hole with her.
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