Feeling hopeless....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Just-a-mom, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Just-a-mom

    Just-a-mom New Member

    Well I feel so sad that I am here, admitting to myself that my 18 yo difficult child is causing extreme up sent and anguish in our family but it's true. Our beautiful, brilliant daughter started having problems at age 15. She was into pot, selling and smoking, we found out, we went heavy hand, sent her to counselling, did the consequences and got over it.

    At age 16 had her with a different counsellor where she was diagnosed with anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and panic. Put her on medication, we thought it was right. The medications were not working, more anxiety started which led to more lying, drinking, drugs. She did her best to hide everything and she hid a lot.

    Age 17 - grade 12 her diagnosis was changed to bipolar. Different medications and a program for those with bipolar. She refused the program and took her medications improperly if at all. Got kicked out of the house for 10 days when we found ecstasy. She lied, said it wasn't hers. We managed to get her graduated from hs and in the summer after hs she moved out into her own apt.

    Two months after moving out, she was fighting with roomie. Roomie moved out so difficult child had to move out because she couldn't afford it. Throughout this time I was tight with money to her but I did loan her cash and I pay for her car insurance. This past Christmas she had to move out of the apt. I think she got evicted - landlord through her belongings on the street couch and all. She was never honest with me. Lied about everything. Got fired from two jobs as far as I can figure but again lies about what really happened.

    Grandparents decided to save her. End of January she has has no job for a month, so grandparents say she can move in with them. Two month after moving in, gramma calls me cuz difficult child is stealing cash from their wallets. difficult child has also conned grandparents into paying thousands of dollars of her debts from credit card to cell phone. End of February gramma paid off her $600 credit card. Today the statement came here so I opened it. Day after the card was paid difficult child took out 240.00 cash, next day 200.00 cash, next day 100.00 so card is maxed again.

    Two weeks ago grandparents kick her out for stealing, change the locks and the alarm on their house. Today she conned them into moving back in. She messages me saying "help" because grandpa is yelling at her to get a job, he won't let her sleep past 8 am, her car is out of gas, she feels sick etc . We get in an messaging fight because I tell her grandpas house, grandpas rules. Live by them or move out. The fight leads to her accusing me of allowing her step father to say mean things her entire childhood and me not care. She can't come to me for help because I chose him over her. I allowed him to do this to her etc. she will never forgive him. I keep trying to turn it to her to get a job and get a life. Now she says she will never talk to me again. Sigh,

    My husband thinks I need to somehow make my parents kick her out again. She has no friends. Also husband thinks I need to get the car back... Car is in my name, I pay insurance. I just know she won't get a job, if she does it will be like the last two where she lasts less than a month. She won't go to a doctor or treatment facility. She vehemently denies using drugs. She has no money. I am feeling totally hopeless......

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  2. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi JustaMom,

    Wanted you to know that I read your post and to assure you that wiser ones than I will be along.

    I can tell you that my difficult child (32yo now) started such accusations at about age 17. Although husband and I knew they were unfounded, we did feel guilt---what did difficult child feel that we were not understanding? Stuff like that. difficult child got a lot of mileage with such accusations, from other family members as well as his parents. Looking back, i'd say do NOT validate this "crutch" because she will continue to build on this, if folks buy into it, until it is huge and ten years later she still may not be standing on her own. Our difficult child is not and the blame is much, much crueler these days....and difficult for us to even understand its basis.

    We love our kids so much. Sometimes, we think we are helping when we are really hurting them.

    If, husband and i had known then what we know now....
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    We have all felt hopeless at times. Please consider doing something for yourself at this point: counseling or a support group. Families Anonymous has been a huge help to me. Sometimes the only way to help our kids is to not help them. Hang in there and know you are not alone.
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi just...my best simple and immediate advice to you is stop the flow of your money to your daughter and turn your energy and focus onto your own life.

    You can't control what her grandparents do or don't do. Once they get sick and tired enough they will stop.

    I would not respond to your daughter and let her deal with her own consequences.

    If you are ready to do something different you may want to attend some alanon meetings (they have saved my life) and start your own recovery program. You likely need to recover from enabling. I did and the work I have done over the past four years has helped me become a better person.

    Today my 24.5 year old son is homeless in the town where I live. I love him very much but I am through trying to save him.

    Nothing and I mean nothing I have tried over the past four to six years has affected one single thing he has done. His addiction has flourished and I have exhausted myself in my quest to save him.

    I can tell you sincerely that you cannot save or control or fix your daughter. Only she can.

    The best thing you can do is work on yourself. Please spend some time reading this site. We get it. We care.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  5. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hi Just-A-Mom, sorry you have to be here but glad you found it. Like SS said, there are some very wise people around here and I am sure others will be along soon. SS and dashcat and COM are definitely among them.

    I don't know how old your daughter is, but my feeling is that she is trying to play the guilt card to avoid taking responsibility for her actions. My son did that also. When that stopped working, he said he couldn't handle his demands because of anxiety and panic attacks, then he would not show up for counseling and would not take his medications. It was as if he was trying to create a problem with no solution. For what it's worth, I think you are right to keep the focus on her getting a job. No matter what happened when she was younger, that doesn't excuse taking cash or running up bills she can't afford.
  6. Just-a-mom

    Just-a-mom New Member

    Iso appreciate and so agree with what each of you say. I sit here and think about my daughters upper middle class up bringing and yes there were times she was yelled at and consequenced but for the life of me I know she had a good childhood and upbringing. Our other four children seem unscathed through their childhoods... I feel like in her own mind she believes the garbage she spews.

    In any case, I am totally done giving her money. That being said, I have to deal with the fact she is driving a car registered to me and that I pay the insurance on... Lol why can't that car just break down?

    I don't know why I have guilt, I guess all moms have guilt. I did my best, and my best was good.

    Yes, I have been thinking I need some counselling ... Have done that a few times in my life and it works well. I love what I read in here.. Some of the things stick in my mind... Like I'm not responsible for the choices my adult child makes.

    How do you handle the lying? Most of what she says is just not true. She messages me today and said she hadn't eaten all day and grandpa said she ate an hour ago... Small lies, big lies...

    Oh well. She is mad at me now so likely I won't hear from her for awhile. The other four kids are coming for dinner this week. My impulse is to invite difficult child although usually she doesn't come to such things when invited. I don't know, I don't want her to feel shunned or banned, but don't want her to be the Center of attention if she does come. Maybe I will just let it rest and it will be what it will be.

    Tomorrow is another day.

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  7. Just-a-mom

    Just-a-mom New Member

    Seeking strength: thank you for these words of wisdom ... My thought is to ask her more questions to find out what she really means... What happened that I am not aware of, what makes her say we abused her? But I am rethinking, I think all that is just here mixed up mind and best not to grow her crazy thoughts. I will not validate or apologize ...

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  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Just, I highly recommend the book: when the servant becomes the master. I am reading it this weekend and it is filled with wisdom.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    HI again. You're on the right track, in my opinion, and we are right here for support.

    You may want to rethink the car. Can you put it in her name?

    Your proof that you are a good mother is in your other four children. And good for you for putting them first right now. So often our difficult children suck the oxygen out of our world so that we end up focusing on them more than our other loved ones who treat us right. I agree with you that our difficult children often have some distorted sense of reality that suits them so it is not often useful to discuss their distorted reality with them. Sometimes attempting to do so just amps them up.

    My troublesome son is not liked by his other siblings because of how he treats me and my husband. In the end, very, very sadly, he will end up alone. I can't live forever.
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the site, Mom.

    Mom, this site is read by many. To protect your anonymity, may I suggest a different avatar?

    I am sorry your daughter is having these troubles, Mom. There are many opinions as to how the situations developed with our kids, and just as many opinions on what is the best way to help her, now. It will help you to read in Substance Abuse forum too, Mom.

    Have you read the article on detachment pinned to the top of the Parent Emeritus thread? I think you will find it helpful.

    Your child is very young. Though you believe you have no power here Mom, right this minute you have all the power in the world. Daughter is broke, soon to be homeless, and without money. She has no choice really, but to do as you suggest.

    This is the time when you have the power to require her to go into treatment.

    Very few people trapped in their addictions freely admit that is the problem.

    I think it would be helpful for you to invite the troubled daughter for dinner, making her attendance mandatory. Have one of the brothers pick her up, if necessary. At dinner (and the grandparents need to be there, too) the family should confront this troubled daughter.

    No treatment, no family.

    Daughter will not admit she needs treatment. What she says is not the issue. The issue is that unless she enters treatment, no family assistance of any kind.

    This may be one of the few times daughter is at a low enough point that you can actually help her, Mom.

    Our difficult children are trapped in a horrible place. They are good people being destroyed by addictive drugs, by alcohol. Blaming them for that does no good ~ but neither does coddling the child or ignoring the seriousness of the situation.

    Something similar happened with our son, Mom. By the time we snapped out of it and realized it was drugs, the time when we might have forced treatment was past.

    Addicted people lie, Mom.

    They don't look like what we think of as drug addicts. Not yet, they don't. So, we believe them.

    But addicted people lie, Mom.

    Believe what your intuition is telling you. You are right.

    This child needs treatment.

    You and your family need support too, Mom. Al Anon, this site, NAMI ~ those are all good references. Another thing you can do is contact your county's Social Services department. You can refuse to give your name if you like. Explain your child's situation and ask for information regarding treatment for her and how to fund it. They will be knowledgeable, and will help you know how to begin.

    Though that information will probably need to be via Private Message, Substance Abuse forum here will be a wealth of information for you regarding treatment and funding options other parents have used.

    You aren't alone with it anymore, Mom. Each of us has been in that same desperate, lonely place you are, today. Don't lose hope, Mom. There is every chance in the world that your daughter can recover and reclaim her life. But the first step has to be recognition of the problem.

    Then, the family has to circle the wagons around this child, to save her.

    Please keep posting, Mom. It helps me so much to post. Each of us has something to teach, has something to learn. It is a lonely, frightening thing, to have an addicted child.

    I'm so sorry this has happened to your daughter.

  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Welcome.....It is such a hard place to be with one child who is now 18 and legally and adult and lying using drugs and taking advantage of others in the family.

    As others have said you cannot control her... and you cannot make her grandparents not save her either. All you can do is set your own boundaries and to be clear on what you are willing to do and not do for her.

    If you are comfortable I might talk to the grandparents about the situation and let them know what your limits are... set their expectations that in fact if they have her living in their house they are taking the risk and it is not your responsibility to save them from her shenanigans.

    I would definitely do something about the car and insurance being in your name. If she has a horrible accident due to driving under the influence you do not want to be responsible for that. So I would take the car back and cancel her off your insurance.

    As far as dinner.....first think about what you want....and then if you want to invite her. But I would be clear with yourself about what your limits are and if she starts creating a scene be willing to tell her to leave. How are your other kids handling her drama etc?

    And as far as the lying..... well I have realized that I cannot believe anything my son says. I dont trust him. It just is. I no longer try to get the truth out of him. At the moment my difficult child is in a long term rehab program and is doing well so I am more likely to believe him.... but I still take what he says with a grain of salt. It is hard but true.

    And my recommendation is not to go there with her accusations and trying to get clarity.... I have done that with my son and when they are in a spewing place they will spew at you all sorts of stuff..... and when he is in a better place he doesnt blame me for where he got himself. So that conversation is not really helpful and can just add to your feelings of guilt.

    Fact is we all did the best we could at the time, and I bet all of us made mistakes as all parents do.....and in the end they are adults and at this point their future is up to them not to us.


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  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I don't try to sort out the lying anymore. I just say "OK".

    My own opinion about dinner? It might be nice for your other four to have a dinner where everyone isn't holding their breath to see if she will or won't behave.

    Do this one without her.
  13. Just-a-mom

    Just-a-mom New Member

    I can't thank you all enough for your wisdom and support.

    Yesterday our lives came crashing down when my sister discovered valuable items included her wedding rings stolen from her house. We all knew it was my difficult child.

    She was confronted and for the first time ever didn't fight it, instead she fessed.

    She has been heavily addicted to oxy for quite awhile now. This is what was causing all the lying, stealing and money problems. In addict talk she hit a bottom last week when she stole from my sister and then basically in her mind had no more resources for money.

    She has been detoxing since then.

    So yesterday I called the cops and they came and got her and arrested her on a mental health warrant and took her in the police car to the psychiatric ward.

    Meanwhile my sister charged her with theft (difficult child told where the stolen items were - pawn shop- so thankfully my sister can at least get back her rings. With the charge how it usually works here is she will have to face a judge. The judge will order her to a treatment facility, if she completes treatment, then the charges will be dropped.... All that is yet to be seen.

    Today we are going to an addiction assessment. difficult child is anxious but letting us help her. Tomorrow, medical with her doctor, then we can apply for treatment.

    As the treatment facility is govt sponsored, there is a wait, but they think they can get her in on April 14. We could get her in to a private facility tomorrow but the cost is $36,000 for six weeks. Plain and simple, we can't afford it.

    Her car is dead, her phone was taken in exchange for drugs.

    Family is rallying, all of us. Pray for us.

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  14. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I know you can't feel it yet, and can't believe it, but yestarday was a good day. Yestarday was a day that maybe just possibly might change things. Yestarday was a day that your daughter needed, has been headed for inexorably one way or another...it could have come in the form of an oxy car crash, an ugly drug deal, another way of getting money...but it didn't. It came through your sister, in a safe form, it came with police and a hospital and a psychiatric ward and a treatment facility.

    Just....this is all good.

    It isn't good that you are living this life, that you don't get to just go to graduations and sweet 16s and weddings like it looks like other families do....but you have the card you were dealt, the daughter (and four others! yikes!) you were dealt, and this is a chance, a small chance but a chance, for her to grow up. Your beautiful, brilliant daughter, as you first described her.

    Look at the response you got from Cedar, where she quoted all those comments you made. THEY ARE ALMOST ALL ADDRESSED BY THIS painful, awful event. Everything has come apart. Now all there is is new beginnings. It is that way sometimes.

    If you like to read and have patience for radical acceptance ....try Pema Chodron's book When Things Fall Apart. Once you get your daughter settled you will have a little more free time to tend to yourself. Use it. When she is in the hospital is the time you can relax.

    My SO told me that. His mom was crazy...a zillion hospitalizations for things like taking all her clothes off in front of the 7-11, starting when he was about 13--his dad left and he was the one who cared for her, took her to the hospital, unpacked her suitcases when she packed to go on trips to nowwhere, starting at 15. He told me that the first time my difficult child was admitted to a psychiatric hospital...I was sooo upset, so undone, by visiting him there...but SO said...he is safe now, now is the time you can relax. and he was right (I hope you never find this out but that is also true for jail).

    Blessings on you in this time of crisis. There is light here around the clouds. Trust me. Trust in that.

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  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Just, you had talked about all of the lying and how it was making you crazy. I feel exactly the same about that. That is one of the key traits of addiction I just can't stand.

    Now, you are in the clear light of the truth. The truth is raining down, and it might be hard to hear, but you have a chance now to hear the truth.

    I hope your daughter can tell the truth and through that, get the help she needs. I imagine she is really so tired of all of the lies on top of lies.

    That is addiction, not her.

    Maybe, she can rest in this chance to change, and find her way. This is a very good day, Just, and I am praying you feel that goodness and that chance for a fresh new start for you all, even as you hear the hard, hard things of truth.

    Hugs and prayers to you tonight.