Frustrated and trying to stay detached

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    First, please know that I know that I'm not dealing with even a fraction of what so many of you deal with and have dealt with. I am well aware that my worries are comparatively small. But I hope you'll indulge me as I work through these feelings.

    My difficult child wasn't always a difficult child. She was a delightful child, an honor student...there were a few red flags along the way, but she did not bloom into a difficult child until about four years ago. I fear there is worse ahead and am powerless to help her.

    My main issues with her are her lying and her risky sexual behavior. I've done all a parent can do about both and I do understand that it is now out of my hands. I've drawn my boundaries with my home and she's respecting that.

    But I worry about what's ahead. She's currently living with her dad and, while her dad is on his own kind of dissconnect, we do have a good relationship for the most part. We agree to disagree a lot. He's a very detached father - more like a buddy - and she can do pretty much what she wants there.

    She dropped out of college (had a great opportunity) 3/4 through her Freshman year and - until yesterday - was working 20 hours a week at a nursing home doing laundry. She has no car, but could walk to work, and we were both willing to drive her when we could. She claims to have gotten a job at Penny's and planned to work both. I am very suspicious about the Penny's story, though. She said training was Tuesday but then said she could either go Tuesday or Saturday. That just doesn't sound like the world of retail to me. We'll see when Sat rolls around.

    She had a small savings account and blew through it living in a hotel with a guy she'd met on the internet and known for less than a week. Dad drove them to the hotel (so you know what I'm dealing with). She has a CD that I'd opened for her with about 1,500.00 in savings and it comes due in two weeks. Who knows ... is she thinking she can "live" off that?

    And, I guess, here is the true source of my fears: It's the magical thinking. She tells people she's a classically trained pianist and wants to give lessons (she is very talented, but only took lessons for two years, quitting in the 7th grade!). She'll tell people she has a car when she doesn't. She seems to give no thought to the next step: How do I produce a car when I don't have one? She thinks nothing about quitting a job and laying around all day.

    Like all of you, I wanted so much more for my little girl. I never saw this coming. I fear for her future and I feel helpless.

    Thanks for listening.

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    (((hugs))) Dash

    I can understand both your worry and your fears. I can't recall was difficult child ever evaled and diagnosed with anything?

    Natural consequences is all I can say. Hopefully enough of them and she'll snap out of it. Or if there is a diagnosis.......she'll get with a treatment program. It's so frustrating to watch them throw away opportunities.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is so hard, I know. I understand especially the frustration at the "magical thinking." It's all so irrational, and while we can see it and the potential pitfalls down the road, difficult children seem oblivious to it, which is maddening. Yet somehow, many of them glide through these things. I agree that natural consequences are really the only things that will "teach" a difficult child in situations such as these. Sitting by and watching those consequences happen is incredibly difficult as a parent, however.
  4. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Thank you No real diagnosis yet. She was diagnosis'd with ADHD at 14 (that's when school problems started) and Strattera did wonders. She was switched to Adderall at 17...took it for awhile and then stopped. She refuses to go to the therapist or the psychiatrist. It is so baffling to me how the difficult child's minds work. There are no other difficult child's in my family ... I'm new to this and pretty darned inexperienced.

    You're right about the natural consequences. i need to go to detachment boot camp!
  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    unfortunately she is 19 and you cannot insist on therapy of diagnosis. In addition she won't get into the public help system because her dad has furnished a place to live. You have no choice but to detatch and remain that way. you know the saying: "Accept what I cannot change."

    Save your energy for when she really wants help instead of wasting it now on worry and getting burned out on interventions that won't work because she won't embrace them. -RM
  6. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Hope she will agree to get to a doctor. Certainly seems something is going on.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dash -

    Hi. You know in full print you sound like WOW....and you are WOW. But when I read between the lines? I see a Mom like me that thinks in the back of her mind, 'if I could figure this 'thing' out now; perhaps we could nip it in the bud and avoid future heartache down the road for her and us." Problem is, you like me and several other parents get caught up in the what if's and it's a never ending cycle of reading, research, false hopes.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't keep faith - no no no. I'm forever hopefull that Dude will someday cure his severe case of cranial-rectalidis. That coupled with whatever mental illness he has is a dandy to say the least. But for the cranial part? I have hope. The other ? Well it makes me just nuts thinking? Is he turning borderline? Is that more schizophrenic? I mean I make Dammit Janet almost crazy asking "Does this sound Borderline Personality to you?" and still? I have no answers other than he will be what he will be and here I am left to put myself farther and farther away from my own kid and his fantastical world. See Dude is also living with Daddy-Do-Whatever Suits you and I think OMG HOW can you Do this after living here with rules, and structure and it is SO frustrating to me sometimes I think if I hear anymore IIIII will go crazy. So distance right now is about the only thing going for me.

    Like you, I love my child but the skewed perceptions of their realities is mind-blowing. I keep thinking ant and grasshopper, ant and grasshopper. I'm an ant, I raised an ant, I modeled an ants life and now I have this ridiculous, nincompoop grasshopper running all over the place, telling people for all I know he's related to the president, has a Maseratti, and lives in FL just for the Winter. Know what I mean?? (rolls eyes and exhales) and I'm the Queen of Sheba. (checks look in the mirror) - well I am pretty danged exotic looking......but seriously. If I told the whoppers he told? I'd be a flippin Burger King. And how he saves himself from the things he says or does he believe them? Well if your concert pianist met my race car driver? I bet we'd have an Einstein grandchild that would walk and talk before he was 3 mos. old. eeeeeeeesch!

    Anyway - (chuckle) hang in there.

    Hugs & Love
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Oh, Star, you are so right. I have my own kind of magical thinking when it comes to my difficult child. I can so relate to your ant and grasshopper analogy. I watched my two sisters raise nine great kids into adulthood. And those kids are now sending their kids to college, grad school, internships.... I thought all I had to do was model good behavior, be there in a meaningful way, sacrifice, be loving, honest and firm... just like my parents, my sisters and my inlaws.

    In my magical thinking, my difficult child's behavior was temporary. Surely the divorce rocked her world as it did mine. Surely her curiousity about her adoption plays into this ... but surely, SURELY, she'd come back to her raising.... surely she'd see that lying has huge consequences, that her friends and cousins are having the time of their lives at college and that she is bright and capable and could be there, too. Surely she'd realize that, when you blow nearly 3,000 on living in a hotel with a loser, unemployed, abusive, moron you knew only for DAYS before deciding to play house with him, that mom isn't going to write a check to buy you a car ....

    So I am now where many of you have been - and I suspect, many revisit at different stages .... I am in the facing reality stage.

    A diagnosis would help, certainly, but I can do nothing about that until she is ready. I guess it's the same thing as when I discovered my husband's affair. I had all sorts of evidence; phone records, love letters, even pictures he took of her in my home (she was clothed, but stilll...). He denied, denied, denied. I was the crazy one for misreading this platonic friendship.... I launched into the full Nancy Drew and, finally, my todoc said to me "Dash, why are you trying to prove what you already know?"

    I know my difficult child is dealing with something - be it BiPolar (BP) or Borderline, whatever. It's there. It's the real world. And all the magical thinking in the world isn't going to change that.


    (and, star, let's just pray they never meet!!!!)