Getting sucked into the vortex

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by elizabrary, May 4, 2011.

  1. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    I know we're all shocked, but IG (who Kat met on the internet 6 months ago, moved in with 2 weeks later and got engaged) dumped Kat. She was in town visiting before they moved to a city an hour away. He moved their stuff there, then dumped her. She is here with no job, no place to live, no stuff, no money and a broken down car. So her idea was since he is such a great guy he told her she could live (with KK) in the other bedroom until she found a job and got on her feet. So she would be in a strange city where she knows nobody with no job and her 1-year-old baby living with her ex. Yes, that's the best idea ever. She said at least she would have a roof over her head so she wouldn't lose KK.

    She is currently staying at her friend's who is moving in a couple of weeks to new house and there is no room for Kat. I told her she could move back in here but first we would sit down and agree to a set of rules, an amount she would pay each month and a plan for getting her on her feet. I would really rather not have her here, but I'm worried sick about the baby. So then she calls me tonight with this story of how IG told her if she could get a car to drive up there tomorrow she could get some of her and KK's stuff and he would pay for gas for her to get back. I think it's a big lie for her to get up there to try and get him back. When I called her out on it, told her she was a grown up and created the situation so she could figure it out, but could not use my car she denied it and got off the phone. I called her back and told her no manipulative behavior if she was going to move in here. She denied it and when I called her out on it again she hung up on me.

    Yes, I know the intelligent thing to do is not let her move in, but I'm so worried about the baby. Objective advice from anyone is welcome, but I especially need a grandparent's opinion. Thanks guys, I'm really, really stressed at this point. :crying:
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is tough. Youngest is living with me again, with her 2 kids, because I was concerned for them. They had nowhere else to go. If she didn't have kids, she would NOT be living here. I struggle with it daily, especially in the beginning when she was so nasty to me despite all I was doing for her. That's gotten better, but I'm still pretty miserable with them here. Sometimes I honestly don't know how I'll survive it.

    I think you have to do what you can live with. I'd agree with sitting her down and giving her a specific list of expectations and goals.. but you also have to decide what the consequences will be if she doesn't comply with those, and be sure you're going to be able to follow through with those consequences if necessary. Despite my concern for my grandchildren, I decided that if Youngest's attitude didn't change, or if she continued to disrespect my home and me, I'd have to take them to a shelter. It would break my heart to do so.. but I will not be abused. I can't take custody of them, I don't have the strength. My therapist said to me that I have to accept that no matter what I do, her children are likely to have a pretty difficult life, because of the choices Youngest has made. That was really, really hard to hear.. but she's right, I can't save them. I can only do so much. Thankfully, for now, things have gotten better. It's just my own resentment over my loss of freedom and privacy (not to mention money) that I'm struggling with now.

    I wish you luck.. it's a tough decision.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    No advice, Eliza...sending hugs and support.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are in a parents worst nightmare. None of us want to ever think our kids would be in a position that they would not be able to take care of their kids and then we would be forced to take care of them. So many grandparents are living this bothway now. Its epidemic right now. So far we have able to avoid this completely although we did have Keyana quite a bit but Cory was mostly in our home when she was here. I am not as convinced that he will be able to be as able to do as well with this new baby especially with this new mother. We refuse to take on the role we took on with Keyana as a basically surrogate parent so he didnt have to be there constantly. Plus with the fact that we only had her part time anyway, well, he had a hobby, not a full time child. Both of Keyanas parents had hobbies not kids, the grandparents raised her!

    We have already told Cory that now that he has found this new place to stay...which I paid for him to get out...he is out for good. He isnt coming back no matter what. I simply wont allow it. If something horrible happens and he and mandy end up on the streets, we will take the baby once for a few days. If it happens twice, we will take the baby full time with papers because I wont have this back and forth thing going on. Otherwise, it can go to foster care.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Here's a thought -

    Since you are worried about the baby - why not offer to take the baby - and let her go on her merry way. Tell her when she gets on her feet, settled and has a home, job, car - and is stable and you can see for yourself she can take care of the baby? She can come get her.

    In other words ---------you are getting the child which you will be taking care of ANYWAY without taking care of the OTHER child that's going to bring the drama.
  6. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    So sorry to see you put in this situation between a rock and a hard place. DJ is very right about grandparents raising their grandchildren being an epidemic.

    I think ultimately you're going to have to decide whether you are ready and able to raise KK on your own. As long as Kat is in the middle, whether she lives under your roof or not, she has the leverage of the baby to make you jump to her tune, unless you're ready, like CrazyinVA, to let the baby go with her, or else, as per Star, take over completely - even if it means doing like wife and I did, going to court for guardianship. If you can follow through with one or the other (let go, or take over), you can give Kat the chance to rise to the occasion; if not, you'll be eternally at her beck and call.
  7. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with Herewegoagain!
    It certainly is a difficult situation to be in.

    Hoping for the best,
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think in the end, you have to do simply what you can live with given the situation.

    I believe you said before that kat has allowed the baby to stay with you? Is there chance she would let the baby stay while she gets her act together? This not only removes the baby from any potential dangers.....such as living on the street or with total strangers, it also removes her from the drama of the situation. Kat will still have to face the consequences of decisions she's made for the most part, yet baby will not have to suffer those consequences with her. It there is a possibility that kat would let just the baby stay with you again.......I'd opt for that way first. Then you're not forced to deal with kat's manipulation and drama 24/7.

    But if the bottom line is that the possibility of your grandbaby either being on the street or miserable is going to drive you nuts......and she won't let just the baby stay? Then you will have to do what will let you live with yourself in the end. It's best when that happens to try to keep as realistic and pessimistic view of the situation as possible. Helps you stand firm with rules and you get less surprises that way.

    Innocents, such as grandkids, really complicate the situation with difficult children.

    (((hugs))) And saying a prayer for grandbaby.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is a tough situation, and not one I have firsthand knowledge of. I do think that a contract with expected behaviors and consequences is crucial. You need Occupational Therapist (OT) be aware that it likely will not be possible for her to NOT manipulate. In past threads you have said she is a sociopath. If this is truly the case, you must face the fact that it is not SAFE for you to let her stay with you. Offer to take the baby so she can get on her feet. If she is truly a sociopath and thinks you will put her out she may hurt you so that she can have whatever money/things she thinks you have. You MUST be aware of this.

    PLEASE speak to a therapist and even a social worker at children's services to find out your options. If you won't let her move in and she has no home, she may lose the baby. In that case you could get full custody of the baby and get some help with her and NOT ahve to have difficult child live with you. You must do what you can live with, but letting her move back in and expecting anything to be different is highly unrealistic, in my opinion. She will expect to revert to her past behavior and will not be willing to abide by any terms. Most difficult children, from what I have seen here, do NOT abide by contracts that they sign. Those are to pacify the parents so they can get what they want - free room and board - and then as soon as they move in they go to their old ways.

    PLEASE do not do this before you talk to a therapist and social worker iwth family services. PLEASE. I am very worried about what it will do to YOU to live iwth all that stress and anything she might do to you.
  10. troubled

    troubled Guest

    Hi! I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. You could be me talking about my own difficult child but mine has not gotten herself pregnant yet although she's been having unprotected sex. I agree with most of the advice already given that said NOT to let them come stay with you. I think you answered your own question when you said, "Yes, I know the intelligent thing to do is not let her move in, but I'm so worried about the baby." I understand your worrying but I think the best thing you could ever do is to continue to stay out of Kat's problems. I know my own difficult child would try to use a baby to manipulate others. That tactic won't work in our family. Until my difficult child starts behaving in a responsible way I refuse to even talk to her. I don't want to hear her lies and excuses. She even tries to blame us for her being in jail right now when we had nothing to do with her actions. Do you think I don't worry? I sure do! But I would be more than worried if I let her come back to stay with me!! That would be putting myself in harms way and I've had enough of that.
  11. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Regarding SusieStar's idea about a contract laying out expectations, consequences, etc: this makes perfect sense but I sincerely ask if this has worked for any of you so far. I'm sincerely curious about this, because my sister and I did exactly with that with her difficult child--wrote out a comprehensive contract regarding expectations and rules and consequences, and he literally signed it, and within a week he was breaking the contract flagrantly. It seemed to me in hindsight that it was a fool's errand because if he had been inclined to respect rules and expectations and agreements regarding conduct around the house, he would've already been doing it (the way PCs do routinely, without written contracts). It's like extracting a promise from a habitual speeder that he not speed anymore--the only drivers that would respect such an agreement are those who don't need it in the first place. I'm not saying I have a better idea--I'm just wondering if this one makes much sense. I welcome your thoughts on this.
  12. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Regarding contracts, I think they can be useful. They cannot enforce themselves, of course, but some difficult children are masters at making you second guess what you said and sowing doubt as to what precisely expectations were, and at least a piece of paper is unambiguous and incontrovertable and doesn't fade away with time. They can also be useful with third parties - therapists, law enforcement, relatives - for the same purpose (that is, proving what was agreed to, in case of a dispute or a breach), I would think.

    The only time we tried a contract was when my parents made a written agreement a condition of letting difficult child live with them - it spelled out the purpose of her stay: temporary room and board while she located a long-term sober house, and consequences: "if you leave without permission, there will be no return". She did leave, and they stuck to the "no return" clause. It shocked her, I think - "You mean you really meant it?" - since she had always been able to talk herself back into our home in the past by making verbal promises, which seemed to be forgotten over time.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What Hound dog said :) It's not that the contract makes them any more likely to stick to the rules, it's that there is no question what the rules are, and you have something to point to when they are broken. in my opinion you can't look at it as a way to change your difficult child's behavior, only as a way to back yourself up.

    A contract is worthless unless you enforce it. If a habitual speeder keeps speeding after promising not to, he loses his license or goes to jail. If your difficult child breaks the contract, they're put out of the house (or they suffer whatever consequences you put in the contract). If you don't follow through, it's pointless, and you lose credibility.
  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Well, I have been there done that and would I do it again - absolutely NOT. I would take the grandkids in a heartbeat for a while, even knowing the middle one is a full blown difficult child, while their mother got her act together, but having her in the mix, nope, nope, nope, no way. For the year she was here, it pretty much sealed the deal on our having a cool distant relationship. That year was just too much stress on me

    Mine will be 41, and its been a long succession of having a baby with each guy she has been with, in hopes of sealing a deal where she gets a nice house and doesn't have to work. Cept the guys have been total losers, first one a pot head and control freak, 2nd one a full blown addict threatening her and the kids life (this is the one she moved back home over), 3rd one is the 2nd ones neighbor she called to get together while on hiatis from the 2nd one, and seems to me to be totally uncommitted other than having her as a live in baby sitter for HIS three kids

    In hindsight, its all about the drama, she has to have it swirling around her if there is a lack of it,creating some, the plotting and planning with each new partner to secure herself and each child, cept it never really works out. And if things start tanking with the current one, it won't be long before she starts weaving a web for lucky guy #4 thats in her circle of friends, or friends of friends.

    I was a difficult child in my teens when I had her - 3,000 miles away from any family - and I survived on my own. Nowadays, there is so much help out there if you take the time to look for it. Section 8 housing, food stamps, medi-care, shelters, different kinds of work programs. If you don't get along, and just the idea of her and the lifestyle makes you so angry you want to claw at your face, in my humble opinion, don't go there and let her move back in. Contracts with your difficult children are like restraining orders with your X's - most times they are gonna be broken