Evening guest - Sheriff! Oh boy!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DoneDad, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Difficult Child daughter living in our house with 11 month old son Z she had with one of the long string of losers she's hooked up with over the last 6 years (she's 24).

    So, after some shenanigans by loser sperm donor (he is not a father in any sense of the word), wife spent days in court with Difficult Child getting custody worked out and a restraining order.

    Yes, you guessed it. Difficult Child missed loser and went to his house with the baby to "talk it out." Surprise - the leopard didn't change his spots! She says he pushed her, decided to call police several hours later.

    So here they are! They know as well as I do this is a waste of time. It's he said- she said. She violated her own restraining order. If he is charged she'll change her story. She puts the baby in harm's way with her idiotic decisions.

    She seems perfectly content to live the life of a thirteen year old forever. It would be an easy decision to kick her out but for Z.

    Anyhow, I'm an avid reader of the site but don't contribute much so thought I'd put something in.
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi DoneDad,
    Thanks for sharing. It's never easy when there are small children involved. Have you ever thought of getting custody of Z?
    Ultimately your daughter is going to do what's she's going to. If you continue to allow her to live with you it's my guess that you will pretty much be raising Z anyway. Of course even if that happened she would still expect to have a say and would also be an influence on Z. I know you are concerned about Z but if they both remain living with you as Z grows up you may end up with another Difficult Child.
    It's a tough decision to have to make anyway you go about it.
    I'm so sorry you are going through this but you have come to a great place to get support and feedback.
    Hang in there!!
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  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Hi, Done Dad

    I remember your story. Coming back to the site was the right thing to do.

    Is your daughter working and doing well in other ways?

  4. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Hi. She's not working but did start back at local CC a few weeks ago. She's not drugging or drinking that we know of. She was using meth but stopped when she found out she was pregnant (was using when Z conceived and until she found out - probably a month).
    I know the kind of problems that can cause.

    Loser sperm donor has reported her (and us) to Child Protective Services and they did drug tests and she was clean. (Always fun to have social worker show up at your house accompanied by Sheriff).

    When we raised our kids we were all in - our lives revolved around helping them with their homework, taking them to (and being involved in) their activities, etc. We saw son today and reminisced about it and it struck me how much they did - scouts, football, swimming, karate, basketball, religious education, horseback riding (Difficult Child got so into this we bought her a horse), Kumon tutoring, cross country, track, camping trips, going to museums. Going through this list makes me think of two things - one is that we just plain old don't have the energy to do it again.

    Second is a negative thought that creeps in - why did we bother? We worked hard to give them opportunities neither of us had as kids, and what do they do with it? (I wouldn't classify son as Difficult Child, but he is definitely an underachiever.)

    Anyhow, my mantra lately has been "Not my circus, not my monkeys" and "stay in your own lane".

    Oh, cops are here again. Ok great, I'll be in my man cave. (Son's old bedroom i repurposed for reading, playing guitar, and listening to music.)
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    We had the cops coming alot too, Done Dad.

    I am glad you have a man cave!

    Have you discussed when daughter will move out on her own?

    Your signature indicates that you are 60. Have you and your wife discussed retirement and bucket lists? If you do, you will begin to see a way out, I think. I am 63. My husband is 68. We have been retired for some time, now.

    There is a whole, new life out there Done Dad.

    Even if you cannot go for long, please take your wife and get away somewhere for a weekend ~ a week or ten days, if you can do it. You will come back different people, people who remember themselves and one another as something other than a mom or a dad. (Or worse yet, a grandma and grandpa.)

    We are all out here, all of us, from so many places in the country and the world, learning to paint and write and sing and play music (in bars!) and kayak and do martial arts and a thousand other things.

    Changing the way you see yourselves will be your new beginning.

    I did not want to leave my troubled kids. My husband insisted, and he was right. He did it just that way, Done Dad. A weekend, a week's trip, a few weeks away.

    Then, we moved.

    And so, we were able to reclaim our lives.

    There are still problems, but we have other facets of self to sustain us when things we cannot control happen to our children or our grands.

    I hear you about the times when our kids are young and we do what we do with and for them, and we spend what we spend and devote the years we devote. Addiction is addiction. No one is protected from it, and no one gets to slip away from it. It is an ugly, terminal disease that destroys individuals and their extended families and their children.

    I am glad your daughter stopped using while she was pregnant.

    I love the idea of the man cave!



    P.S. My D H doesn't have a man cave, but he does have his own bathroom. He decorated it himself. In a pirate motif. So, we have boats and ships and lighthouses in there, and over the toilet, a beautifully worked, one and a half by two foot pirate-like sign that reads, in flowing scroll: "Strong ales and loose women" across the top. And across the bottom? "You are always welcome, here." On the back of the toilet, he has a small wooden chest filled with coins.

    A dragon holding a glass globe in one claw sits on that.

    And beside it?

    A mechanical hanging pirate my husband found somewhere at Halloween. When you push the button? One of the things the swinging, leg kicking pirate says is: "All right! Maybe I did do those things. But I don't get no respect. Arrrgggghhhh!!!"


    Those are the kinds of things you and your wife have to look forward to, once the kids are on their own.

    Pirate bathrooms.


    He has shadow boxes with mounted lures in them, too.

    Everyone loves D H's bathroom. They always play the pirate.

    For Heaven's sake.
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  6. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Since you know that she will take the baby and put the baby in harms way - how about, when you know that she is going to do it anyway, manipulate her into keeping the baby at home. If she acts like a 13 year old anyway, she won't much mind if you "were going to do something with Z" or "Oh Difficult Child we are home anyway so we don't mind babysitting". At least that keeps the baby safe. Also keep a log of any "bad" activities you feel she does. Because she has been on meth before she could certainly start up again.
    I agree with Cedar though, you and your wife need to plan your retirement for the two of you. That includes financially. Make sure Difficult Child is signed up for any and all programs she is entitled to. No use blowing through your retirement funds on Difficult Child.
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Absolutely true.

    There will come a time, and it will happen more quickly than you think, when you will be unable to work the way you do, now.

    You will have only whatever you have managed to accumulate for retirement and nothing more and no way to get more.

    In our case, both our children have cost us so much money. It sometimes seems like anonymous, countless buckets of money have been dumped into nothingness.

    The buckets and buckets of money are just gone and the immediate, pressing need for more money right away, for more money right this minute to avert some crisis or another ~ that never ended.

    We finally had to dig up the chutzpa to say "NO MONEY." (I finally ~ husband never did have a problem saying no. But he would weaken, would throw money after money at whatever child or grandchild it was who needed money this time, to placate me.)

    2much is absolutely right.

    We are talking tens of thousands of dollars, here.

    We have six grands. There literally is no way we could take them all, and there is no way we can help them all enough to make a difference, partly because the parents mess things up the second they have two cents to rub together.

    Which two cents have generally come from us.

    As you know, being the grandparent is a whole other vulnerability.

  8. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Great words of wisdom!

    I actually did retire about a month ago. We have taken a week long trip since then and it was great.

    Before we knew Difficult Child was pregnant we went to Mexico for a month (she wasn't living with us then). We had a fantastic time, traveled to different parts of Mexico, took cooking and language classes together, wife took art classes. There were even some problems - I got sick, got pick pocketed on the Metro in Mexico City - but we were together having an adventure and that made it fantastic!

    I hear you on the money - when she was 18 she was doing well, going to CC, on the track team - then she met loser #1 and she was like a different person. That's when drugging and drinking started, stealing from us, moved in with loser (actually loser's mom's house - a common theme with all her losers is that they live with their moms).

    Anyhow, we have wasted a lot of time and money on lawyers etc trying to rescue her and that's not happening any more and we've made that very clear.

    I love the Pirate Bathroom!

    We need to discuss move out date. The man cave came about because I needed a sane space, but was also a preemptive move to keep son's old bedroom from becoming Z's room. Right now Difficult Child and Z are together in her old room, and that's all the space she's getting. If she wants more she can get a job and an apartment.

    Continuing her adolescence into her twenties is costing wife and I what should be our time.

    Posting on here is a great way to reflect on the situation and get new insights. I never saw it that clearly before.

    Continuing her adolescence into her twenties is costing wife and I what should be our time.

    And us letting her do it isn't doing her any favors either.
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  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Something tells me you and your mate are going to come through this beautifully.

    Together having an adventure is the mind-blowingly best thing to be!

    We were in Mexico once when, against every piece of advice we'd been given, we took a public bus and wound up somewhere very much not where two people without a word of Spanish between them wanted to be.

    We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find the border.


    After paying someone who turned out to be an ex-patriot American (on the run from his parole officer) five bucks to explain to us where we were (which turned out to be only about three blocks from the bus that would take us back to the border ~ and America), we wound up back at Garcia's, where all the tourists shop. D H sat out front and drank margaritas while I went shopping, and we never went to Mexico, again.

  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Done Dad.
    So glad you went to Mexico. You sure can tell a story! :)
    I'm so sorry about your daughter and her loser sperm donor.
    I agree with what the others have said.
    And yes, it really does help to write things out here ... you can see them more clearly, and it is worth all the money in the world for the experienced, diverse points of view.
  11. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    That is right, done dad. You are not doing her any favors either. If all your help actually helped her grow up and take control of her life...she would be grown by now.

    For every yes there is a no. When say yes to her, you say no to your own choices.

    Its fine to help out for a bit in crisis...but yes, you need to have the move out planning talk, in the most loving manner. Followed by the move out date. Followed by sticking to the moveout date.

    Good luck. I didn't have to do this part...my son left on his own, at 17. We actually tried the reverse...to get him to come back! and later, when he did come back for short stays, we realized we can't actually have him in the house any more, so although we sometimes refused to let him come home when he wanted to, we were never in the position of making him leave. Many others on the board have done that, though, and you will find support and guidance for that phase too, should you choose to go there.

  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hey...most of us know you're at. Cops used to know us well. A warning: Meth is very hard to quit. Just because our adult kids say "I stopped" doesn't mean squat. Can't tell you how many times my Daughter told us that with tears in her eyes and even got angry that we suggested she was still using drugs (she was). You really don't know and will never know what she did during her pregnancy or if she is using now. It's a hard lesson we had to learn. In fact, for over a year of our daughter quitting, we didn't really believe it. Not until it was over a year of her acting sane, working, dumping her druggie friends, literally turning her life around finally and for good. She had relapsed many times. Now it has been ten years.

    You will know when she stops.

    She will not act helpless or be jobless or hang with druggies. Druggies hang with druggies. Druggies do not tolerate the sober. If she still has druggie friends that's a bad sign. Your daughter will suddenly become somebody with a sense of responsibility who wants to be independent and she will not rely on you for everything. The stealing will stop as it is no longer needed for drugs. No sleeping during the day, up at night. Lies will stop. I'm always a little leery of our darlings telling us "I quit. Yep." One clean drug test doesn't mean a whole lot. In fact there are a lot of drugs that don't even show up on drug tests and the users know which ones they are.

    The loser sperm donor may be a loser (I don't doubt you for a minute), but your daughter picked him. I always placed the blame on my daughter's head. She was drawn to losers for a reason. She could have just as easily told the young men to ta ke a hike, as she told any young man she didn't like. She brought home some scary criminals, but that was on her. She picked them.

    I hate when these babies have babies. Thankfully my daughter did not have a baby until recently and she is ten years clean.

    My advice is to not enable your daughter. SEe if she really has changed. You are my age and too old to be doing this dance. I am 61 and in good health and want to enjoy a long and happy rest of my life and my husband and I have said good-bye to drama, fixing, helping out, loans, second chances and abuse. We can't live forever. All of our children have to learn how to make it without us and we have every right to enjoy our golden years without continuing to parent. We taught them the best we knew how and they disregarded it and, yes, at times I have wondered why I tried so hard.

    It's time for our grown kids to start looking after themselves, in my opinion. Hopefully, your daughter will be responsible and is truly clean. Hopefully you can take good care of YOU now and go back to Mexico and other places and focus on yourself and your wife. You earned that! :). If your daughter is not clean, and you feel you still can parent, try to get custody of your grandchild or get daughter to sign over guardianship. I'm not sure I'd do that anymore at my age, but I am also not in that situation. Take care.
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  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    MWM said "
    One clean drug test doesn't mean a whole lot. In fact there are a lot of drugs that don't even show up on drug tests and the users know which ones they are"

    This got me thinking; if loser sperm doner is the one who called child services he must have suspected that she was using.

    It's so easy for our Difficult Child to tell us a lie and be very convincing. The "truth" is in their actions. There's an old term "dry drunk", you can be sober but still behave like a drunk. If the person does not deal with their issues at the core then they will continue to operate as a "drunk" or "druggie"

    I think it's great that you and your wife understand the importance of living your life for yourself.
    I agree that giving Difficult Child a move out date is wise thing to do.

    You mentioned all the different activities you had your children involved in and made a comment about "why did we bother" I think a better way to look at it is you and your wife gave your children a wonderful upbringing filled with many oportunities. You provided for them very well and for that you should be proud. You know in your heart you did a good job.
    What our Difficult Child decide to do in the end and how they choose to live their lives is up to them.
    I would much rather know that I did everything I could for my Difficult Child than to live with regret.

    Police and social workers, been there done that. One morning when my son was 14 I asked to see his homework, he went into a rant about how it was none of my business, it was between him and the teacher then got right in my face and yelled F*** Y*** B****, my response, I slapped his face and told him I would not tolerate that kind of disprespect. When I got home from work I walked into my living room to find a police officer, social worker, and a very smug looking Difficult Child. I asked "what's going on?" to which the social worker said "you struck your child and he called to report you" She then went on to lecture me!!! It took every ounce of energy I had to maintain control. After she was done I asked her if my Difficult Child had told her why I slapped him, she said it didn't matter however the police officer wanted to know so I told him. Then the police officer looked at my son and said "You are a punk, I can see that you live in a nice home and are well provided for. You disprespected your mother and she had every right to slap you". He then looked at the social worker and said "We are done here"
    The look on my son and the social workers face was priceless.
    I would like say that was my one and only encounter with the police concerning my Difficult Child.

    We have all been there one way or another.

    Wishing you some peace..............

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  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Tanya - it doesn't always go that nicely but it's a big boost on our parenting confidence when it does.
  15. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I just want to point out what you probably already know...if you don't do anything, nothing will change and Difficult Child and Z will be living in your house until HE leaves home for college...then it will just be the three of you. There is nothing to drive Difficult Child to change.
    and honestly, at this point...CC isn't cutting it. She is a mom, by her own choice. Time to provide for her baby. That means...WORK. catching up in school can come later. There has been a lot of press lately about how most people who take classes at CC, unless they have a VERY clear goal that is in line with the schools program go....nowhere.

    Good luck.

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  16. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Great image - I can just imagine the look on their faces when the police officer spoke up.

    What everybody else said about Difficult Child is true. I'm still in "if her lips are moving she's lying" mode. wife wants to trust her, but she still keeps her jewelry locked up. Difficult Child did have at least one meth relapse that we know of. I do want to acknowledge if she acts more positively, but the boundaries aren't going to come tumbling down like the walls of Jericho anytime soon.

    It is time to "parent up" and have the move out talk with some benchmarks (get a job, etc). wife agrees, we have to figure out what we want for a timeline and what will be the consequences for noncompliance (like not getting a job by x date, etc).

    We can't go anywhere for an extended time now with her in the house because we don't trust her and we especially don't trust her judgement as far as who she'd let in the house. I know for us to do the things we want to do we have to disentangle ourselves from her poor decisions and let her deal with the consequences of those decisions.

    The thing that makes it complicated is Z.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There is lots of time for the changes you envision now, Done Dad. It's like steering a boat for a different shore. The simple act of changing course isn't going to land you on the beach tomorrow, but over the course of time, the journey will be completed, and each member of your family will arrive at his or her destination, safe and sound. You have a kind of legitimacy of vision, now. It is the right thing to encourage your adult child to begin thinking seriously about creating her life as an independent adult, and as a mother.

    Posting here has helped me stay honest with myself about what is happening and about what (if anything) I can do about it. In a way, I can understand your daughter fighting for and obtaining custody and then, regretting the end of all those dreams and convincing herself the sperm donor would want to be a father. Our daughter does that. She believes all men are like her own father ~ good, decent, strong men who love themselves and their children. Yet she invariably chooses the wrong kinds of men and then, is heartbroken and disbelieving when they don't behave as her father would have.

    If you think there might be a shadow of this kind of thinking in your daughter's behavior, this could be a time when her heart will be open enough for her to hear you when you tell her, one more time, who she was meant to be.

    And who she can still become.

    And how her life might look with a bright, compassionate husband who loves her and the baby.

    The sperm donor guy sounds like he was a real loser.

    Point that out to her ~ where he is, who he is, the kind of man her baby will grow up to be with that kind of father and role model.

    I am sorry you can't trust her in your home. This is rock solid, no compromise territory for you. She needs to know, right out in the open, that trust and mutual respect are earned, that she's blown it, and that you are only going to put your lives on hold as long as she is pulling her own life together. Our kids sometimes believe we have no greater dream for ourselves than to parent them. I suppose that has to do with loving them so much when they were little and we built our lives around them.

    Maybe your child should hear she is cramping your style.


    Is your daughter not eligible for an apartment through social services?

  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Cedar, I really like the way you put this. So much truth in it. It reminds me that change can take time and we have to be patient.
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  19. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Thank you so much for these insights. I'm going to print Cedar's response and frame it.
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member