Having a harder time with this transistion

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PatriotsGirl, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I have to admit, I don't know how to be around my difficult child anymore. She is on her own. Certainly not living the way I would like her to be, but she hasn't asked to move back here nor has she asked for anything from us. She seems happy with her drifter way of life. Oh, and the "move"? Well, some one they know has the house now and needs to move out so three of them are talking about renting the house now. I don't think it is definite and they do expect her to help with rent and she has no job. Bobble head - I smile and nod.
    Anyway, I am so used to her manipulating everything that I am "on guard" around her when she visits. When she visited the other day she was up in her old room - everything is still up there. I thought she was going through her things, perhaps picking out things she was taking with her. But it was really quiet up there so I went to check on her and she was in her bed sleeping. Well, flashbacks of her "crashing" for days at a time came back and I woke her up losing my cool. I told her she will not even nap in my house until she has gotten treatment. I do not want her using my house to crash at. It turned into quite the argument with me accusing her of doing drugs again, which made her angry. But I told her after years of lies, it will take a very long time for me to believe anything she says anymore. But I made her go downstairs and sit on the couch as anyone else would who was just "visiting". Go figure after sitting on the couch watching tv for a little while, she fell asleep on the couch until dinner. After dinner I took her home. Since she fell asleep twice, I now have my doubts that she is clean. :(
    My best friend and husband think that she wants her freedom and enjoys being on her own, but when she wants to get away from it all she wants to come visit here. It's just as I said, I am on guard around her and always suspicious of her motives. I can't help it. I just don't know how to transition to a parent of a child to a parent of an adult. I'm always afraid she is going to try to weasel her way back in here, (though I am very confident in my ability to stand my ground about rehab first).
    I thought about asking her if she wanted to spend the night on Christmas Eve, because it is Christmas, but my goodness we don't need the drama. She is getting a Visa gift card for Christmas while her brother will actually have presents to open. I think that is just asking for drama. I will do stockings, but besides that, it will be a gift card. Besides, that also goes back on my word about her not sleeping here until she has received treatment. So, I will pick her up Christmas morning and bring her over here for the day. I am hoping to have a nice day playing games and spending time together. Christmas night we always go to the movies - this year we are going to see Little Fockers :). After the movie, we will bring her "home" and then go home ourselves.
    Anyway, the point of this post other than my rambling is that I am having a hard time figuring out how to parent an adult child.
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Update: So she texts me this morning and asks if she can come over. Again? I told her that I am working and my focus needs to be on work. She then texts me to tell me she is stranded in a town a few towns over. So really what she wanted was for me to go get her. Um, no. I need to be working. And what really stinks for her is that hubby is in the town she is stranded in today! Is he going to rescue her? Absolutely not. We will NOT prevent her from hitting bottom and I am PRAYING the bottom is coming...time for me to put my foot down with all of these "visits" when I am working from home. This would be the third time in two weeks. Apparently she has nowhere to go so she wants to come here. Nope. Not happening. Rehab or bust honey.
  3. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    I wish there was an instruction book on how to shift from being a parent of a child to being a parent of an adult. I think we all just muddle our way through the best we can.

    Both of my difficult children have done the leave home to couch surf at 16. It's very hard. With difficult child-Ant, I had to be very careful. His ODD was so over the top if I said anything that he could take negatively, he'd have nothing to do with us for months. So on those time that he did come over, I was usually working in the kitchen (dishes, making cookies, something) so that while he talked about whatever, I could smile and be the bobble-head. It was very hard. And after the visit, I'd go see my therapist so that she could help me through it.

    As for difficult child-Step, she is so far gone that I don't know if she will ever come back. On the only visit home that she had this year, she was so rude and hurtful. She made fun of the dogs that she grew up with. She made rude comments about her brothers. She bragged about her freedom and how she is getting everything she wants (she's living with an enabling grandma) and then she said some very hurtful things to and about husband. We didn't get pulled into any of the garbage. We acted like were hearing the most wonderful news. Then when she left because she wasn't getting the responses that she wanted, husband & I dealt with the garbage that was dumped on us.

    I don't know what to tell you to help you deal with your daughter. Just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone in this. I wish you the best of luck. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and be glad that your daughter is going to be with you. Get your rhino-skin on along with your Warrior Mom Armor so that you can focus on the beautiful parts of the day and not the other stuff. {{{{hugs}}}}
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are doing a great job. There is little else you CAN do other than smile, nod and not let her crash at your home. Insisting she behave like any other guest is a great idea - she chose not to be your child right now, to be an "adult", so she needs to be held to the standards that every other guest would follow. No way would you allow another guest to go crash with-o asking. I would not even let her go up to her old room unsupervised. It simply isn't hers anymore. You might think about packing up her stuff and making her old room into your new study or craft room. It could go back if she was to chose rehab and home, and would send a CLEAR message that she does NOT live there anymore. in my opinion she is trying to have her cake and eat it too - wanting her "freedom" but also wanting the luxury of having you support her and drive her around. I would NOT give her rides unless it is in YOUR best interest.

    I hope she hits bottom soon. I have a feeling that unless she finds some very new people to mooch off of, she is going to end up homeless because her friends will NOT want to support her, nor will they be able to support her! I hoep it helps her see how she needs to change. In the meantime are you going to AlAnon meetings? They will provide awesome support as you wait for her to hit bottom.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    The shift from parenting a child to parenting an adult can be a very difficult one. I actually started when my kids were in junior high, which made it a smoother and easier transition for all of us. It was nothing special really, I just pulled back on what I was and wasn't doing for them which increased more and more as they approached that 18th birthday. By 17 I was basically doing nothing but supervising and giving advice when it was wanted.

    in my opinion if you would like for difficult child to spend the night on xmas eve, then ask her. Holidays were exceptions to punishments and the like in our family simply because they're special and it made keeping them special easier. She's old enough to understand you're making an exception only because of the holiday and it does not extend to the rest of the year. Just as she is old enough to understand that a visa card is a gift suited to her better and of course a child still living at home is going to have presents under the tree. And if she can't understand it, it's her problem not yours.

    Napping doesn't necessarily mean she's using, although I understand that gut reaction totally. But with her drifter life such as it is it could simply mean she had no where to sleep the night before and was exhausted.

    You're doing a good job of keeping adult boundaries in place.

    Keep in mind too that difficult child is learning how to be an adult instead of a child, and that is just as hard. Also she and you both are learning how to fit into your new roles. There are going to be some glitches along the way and many bumps in the road before it evens out.

    How I'd have handled the nap...........I would have woken her up and had her go downstairs as any proper guest would do. I would not have tried hard not to assume or read extras into the behavior. (does not mean that it couldn't happen cuz I'm human lol) I'd have calmly explain to her that no longer living there means she is a guest when she comes over, and you expect her to act like a guest. Redirecting the behavior without anger actually has more impact and avoids the ugly difficult child response usually.

  6. compassion

    compassion Member

    Yes, you are doing great with boundaries!!! That is my experience: boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. My difficult child is 17 and has not really lived at home since age 15. I am very clear about boundaires. The reality is I have to watch her like a hawk. It is stressful. During the holidays, they(her boyfriend, herself and 20 year old brother) are invited over for 1.5 hours on Christmas Eve at a speicific time and on New Yeaq's Day. I have foud that 1.5 hours is about all that works . I have to hae it very strucutrued. I have lowered my expectatations a lot. Acceptance helps a lot. She has low and high functioning times and i TRY TO BE RALISTC AND ESPICALLY ENJOY THe higher funcitoning times. T-docs have helped me to treat her like the woman of ht world she trys to be when actually she acts a lot like a middle school girl. I also do not trust her but try to be as postive as possible but put number one focus on protecting me and the quiet of our home.
  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Well, I have quite the update. She showed up here and asked if I would take her to rehab after Christmas. She still maintains she is not using and doesn't feel she needs rehab but understands that it is what is required for her to live here again. She was kicked out of the place she was staying and realizes she has nowhere to go for any length of time. I told her she needs to successfully complete a program - that means not going in and not cooperating and end up being discharged again. If that happens, she will not come here. She will spend Christmas Eve and day here but I am trying to get it so we leave the day after Christmas. I just got off the phone with the place that she takes her drug and alcohol classes at and they are working on a place for her - may be out of state but that is okay by me!! Wish us luck - but I am not getting my hopes up, either. It's a whole week away and a lot can happen in a week.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    All the luck in the world hon. I'll pray hard she doesn't change her mind between now and then. Just stick to your guns.

    Evidently her drifter lifestyle has worn thin fairly quickly. Odd thing is that even if she isn't actually using........yes, I usually give everyone the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise........the program will be good for her since she has not yet completed one. It will give her the tools she needs to move forward with her life and increase her chances of success long term. (many addicts can maintain sobriety for short durations so then feel they can't possibly be addicted)

    That would be the ultimate gift she could ever give to both you and herself.

  9. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Hubby and I are having a little disagreement about Christmas Eve. I said she can spend the night here on Christmas Eve and Christmas day and then my plan is to leave with her to rehab that Sunday. She cannot stay before then, though, because I do not trust her in my home while I am at work to be honest. But if she is willing to go to rehab, then my opinion is she can be here for Christmas. We can tell she misses being part of the family. All she wants is to spend Christmas with her family first before she goes.
    She was tired of being homeless. She told me they dumpster dived, slept in the cold, just a really awful way of life. It wore thin real quick. I agree, rehab is still good no matter what. I told her it is not only about learning the tools to stay away from drugs, but to get on the right medication to get her head straight. Hopefully she will come out a much better person and ready to begin her life the right way.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think you are doing great. You are setting limits and boundaries, you are supporting her to do the best thing for herself. You are letting it be her decision. I can totally see why you want to let her stay Christmas Eve and Christmas night at your house and I would probably do the same.... although that will add more stress to your holiday. i really hope that before she stays you have the place on board and that she can go the 26th. My only worry for you is that she will get revived by the holiday and then not want to go. I think a lot of people going into rehab really minimize their drug use.... maybe she is not using now but the real question is why? Is not using because she is choosing to stay sober, or is she not using because she hasn't had any money to buy drugs? I would be like you and be veru suspicious of drug use. My experience says when your gut is telling you it is drugs, it probably is.

    And I agree the transition from parenting a child to an adult is difficult. I personally don't think it will be hard with my easy child. She is 15 and as she is growing up she gets more freedom and responsibility. The thing is she tells me and takes those steps herself so it is easy for me to let go and follow along. My difficult child did not do that... he fought hard for his independence but made such stupid bad decisions that my gut instinct to protect him always kicked in. And the need to control him for his OWN sake and safety. I don't have that need with my easy child because she generally makes good decisions and doesn't do the things he did.

    So now we are at the point where I think if he was living at home it would be really hard for me to treat him as an adult, unless he was really acting like one. Oh that may be the key, I can treat them like an adult if they act like one. LOL. If they don't then it is really hard to let go. So anyway I can let go of a lot if he isn't living at home or depending on us.... hopefully he is on the road through rehab to be really independent.
  11. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    When am I going to learn???? This girl puts me through too much bs. We were talking on the phone this morning and I told her she may need to go out of state, etc. and she started saying something and then said never mind, I love you mom. I kept trying to talk and she just kept saying I love you mom. So, we got off the phone and I texted her that it does not sound like she is serious and not to waste my time. If she is not serious about this, then she is certainly not moving back in and she will not spend the night on Christmas Eve. She can come visit on Christmas Day. She told me she didn't want to talk about rehab. To me, if you don't want to talk about it, you aren't really serious and it really makes me mad because I have spent all morning making phone calls and trying to find a place for her while I am at work! I am so mad right now. I guess being homeless and dumpster diving isn't that bad? She told me one of her friends picked her up last night and she spent the night at a hotel because the place she was going to stay at had no heat. I am so tired of all of this drama. I'm soo done. I get my hopes up that she is going to do the right thing and get my heart stomped on AGAIN. My husband knew she was not ready yet. Not serious enough. I hate to say I think he is right. I told her to talk to me when she was seriously ready for a change. Until then, there is nothing I can do for her.