Feeling guilty

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jbrain, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi All,
    difficult child 1, E, called me today and asked for $50.00 for food. I refused. I feel like ****. I think it is a no-win situation. If I give her money (and I never know if it is really for what she claims it is) I feel like I am being used. If I don't, I worry that she really needs it and I have refused.

    She supposedly is working day jobs to pay for food and said there was no work today. I asked what happened to the money she has already earned and she says she has spent it on food. I told her that her lies have led us here--me refusing to help. She said she realized I don't believe a word that comes out of her mouth. We parted kind of on bad terms. Then she called me back and said she didn't want us to be on bad terms because she worries that I'll die and she doesn't want to leave things like that. This is familiar--and maybe true since her dad did die and she has that as a reality. So I said, "Okay, I hope you figure things out" and we said goodbye.

    My husband says he feels exactly as I do--that it is so hard to know what to do. We don't want to enable her but we don't want to see her go hungry. He pointed out too that even if I got her a gift card to a grocery store that she could get booze and cigarettes most likely if she wanted to.

    Anyway, just thought I would come to my friends--so many of you have been there done that!

  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Could you just buy her food? I won't give L or M any money, but I'll buy a case of chili and some hot dogs and buns, maybe some cereal and milk. I know that she's not near, but if you know where she is, maybe someone nearby like a church or charity could help you make arrangements?

    It's hard, I know.
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I feel for you, Jane. This is a hard one. Witz suggestion is good - it might be a way to help her through the tough times without enabling her. Sending hugs.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    To follow up - if you belong to a charitable organization or church, you could ask them to set you up with someone in an office in difficult child's city. Send them $50 for food, and have them give the food to her. If she doesn't come get it in a week, tell them to give it to someone who's hungry. Maybe that's oversimplifying, but it's logical...
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know exactly what you mean. I won't give Oldest money for food, but sometimes I will take her to the grocery store, or pick up extras for her when I'm there and drop them off. You could even get a grocery store gift card, most of them have those now. That way you're not handing over money and not knowing where it goes. I don't do it on a regular basis mind you, but when I get phone calls like that, sometimes I do (Oldest likes to call me and tell me she hasn't eaten in 2 days, just for the dramatic effect.) Her problem with buying "food" is that she eats a lot of fast food instead of buying things to make at home, and that blows through her money pretty quickly.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I've gotten and given grocery store discount/gift cards and quite a lot of them don't include the sale of alcohol or tobacco. Check with the store if you have questions.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Is there a food shelf near her that she can get food from? I don't know the policy of how often you can get a box of food but it does sound like she would qualify.

    Also, can she apply for assistance through the county she lives in? Many programs include food stamps.

    Some Salvation Armys and other such organizations have daily meals that she might be able to get.
  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    In my case, I feel pretty heartless about this. difficult child 1 went through a $62,000.00 inheritance in one year. Now he gets free medical care thanks to the taxpayers of the state of Maine. I used to volunteer in a food pantry, there is help out there. Her "friends" won't let her starve. I found that they pool their resources.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Aw, Jane, I know that it is such a difficult thing to not help when your heart wants to. But like you said, you just don't believe that she's going to spend the money on food.

    She has proven in the past that she is old enough, capable, and savvy enough to get what she wants when she wants it.

    She can seek out a food pantry, soup kitchen and/or women's shelter if she is truly in need or food. Just thank God that Liam is not with her. Hugs, hang in there.
  10. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Thanks, everyone for reading and replying. I'm just going to see how things play out the next couple of days. I think Hearts & Roses is right, she has shown she can get what she wants when she wants it. If she truly has been working day labor jobs she should have made enough money to keep her going awhile.

    My other dtr said if I keep giving her money she will just keep asking for more and that is what has happened. I just wish she would be unpleasant about it--would make it easier! She seemed so pathetic--still wanted me to keep in touch with her regardless of whether I helped her or not. But, then again, she is a wonderful actress so that could have been for effect.

    I'll keep you posted, you guys help me so much!

  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    There are so many resources available to people who truly do not have any food. Food pantries for one....food stamps for another...soup kitchens....homeless shelters....church groups...

    Not to mention that she has almost certainly made the acquaintance of someone with a stocked refrigerator who would be happy to spare a meal if she was truly in need.

    Any money she needs cannot possibly be for food
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    The others have great suggestions, she's a smart girl, she'll figure it out. A jar of peanut butter and a loaf of bread can go a long way- I worked at a restaurant and if someone came to the back door hungry, we would give them some food. She can try that.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Honestly? OK, I do not consider myself a difficult child, though I do have some tendencies toward it... Still. When I moved out of my parents' house, I was broke. I did my laundry there once a week - and my mother would feed me, and send me home with leftovers.

    But money? Nope. And I knew better than to ask.

    My parents aren't rich, but they're quite comfortable - and if I had needed the money, I could have asked, and would have received - probably not ALL that I wanted, and WITH a lecture - that I didn't want - but...
  14. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Ah, yes. She knows that the pitiful approach is the one most likely to get a result at the moment. I remember identifying a circle with both difficult child and with my former husband. Charming, pitiful, threatening. Those were the tools that went round and round, always moving to the next in line to keep searching for the "magic key" for each particular situation.
  15. Bean

    Bean Member

    I hear ya. Sometimes I'm racked with guilt over how little I give my daughter. But the reality is that she is not a victim of circumstance, she is a victim of her own bad choices.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    They are not victims. Bean, jbrain, thinking of them as victims makes this harder for you. They made choices. This was not forced on them by some ogre. IT was CHOSEN by them. They were warned many times that this would happen.

    jbrain, don't send gift cards. It is very very easy to turn them into cash. You go to the store and find someone buying something. Offer to pay for it with your GC so that you have $$ to pay your electric bill or rent. SOMEONE will let you do this. Then you have $$ to party. I see people doing this all the time at the grocery. The store Wiz works in now makes people leave the property if they do this because they are close to campus and a lot of the kids try this to get beer/drug $$.

    I am sorry it is so hard. Please go to a few Narc anon or al anon meetings to help you with this. It will help. If you let it.
  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with Susie. If E is truly hungry there are ways of getting food at no charge. Food banks, soup kitchens, food hampers from local churches, etc. If she's looking for money, then food isn't what she's trying to buy.

    Jane, please try not to let her make you feel guilty. It's likely a manipulation tactic. And even if it's not, E put herself into this situation. She's proven herself to be resourceful before and will likely find some way out of it.

    Detach, detach, detach. I know, easier said than done.

    Sending hugs and strength.
  18. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hey guys,
    you really helped. I am over the guilt now. I just needed a little time and your expert advice and support. I haven't heard from E and don't plan to call her, at least not for awhile. I do know how manipulative she can be, she started that at a very young age and has put a lot of work into perfecting her art! I will be interested to see if she truly has joined the military.
    Thanks again,
  19. Star*

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

    Jane -

    Mine called and said he's eating out of a dumpster. Oh really? Gosh. Hope there's some good stuff in it. (and like you things run through my brain) So I called around to the local food banks, and social services places and found out where he could get free, nutritous food, and food stamps. Churches, pantries etc. You don't have to do NOTHING if you don't want to. You can - and deal with it - but you can also call the places I mentioned and either call her back and say here's what I found OR....you can call a local SAMS club - and pre-pay for picked items or call a local grocery and tell them you'd like to know if they offer a delivery service for bread, bologna etc. Then again - if she has no place to live - you have no idea if she has refrigeration. The thing about a gift card? She could sell it. So square one.

    I'm sorry for your heart hon - really am. If she wants to find Dude - I know where theres a dumpster. UGH.
  20. Bean

    Bean Member

    No, I don't think of her as a victim. I probably should have put that in quotes. It isn't "normal" to not trust your own offspring, or to have to make some of the choices we as parents of difficult child have to make in regards to our children. It does make me sad that I can't give my daughter the same trust I give my other children , like $5 for "tampons" because I figure she's putting it on on a blunt. It is a sad state. But definitely her choices have put her in the position she is in. It is disturbing, and sometimes sad to me, that she's made some of those choices and now has to live with them.

    We all made bad decisions as teenagers, most do. Some learn from them quicker than others, and some struggle more than others and make decisions that impact them for the rest of their lives (like getting arrest records, etc.) so no matter how well they clean up it always follows them. It sucks. We aren't always who we are at 16-19, and some people are dramatically different. My husband has a slew of friends who made badbad decisions as teens and now, though they are wonderful human beings, they have restrictions on their career choices because of those decisions. It is unfortunate. But, they were hardheads and learned the hard way. I imagine without some of those consequences, they would not have grown as human beings, too. So there is that element.