Hello. I am new here. I do not know where to start

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Sinking Heart, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    Hello. I am new here. I do not know where to start. I do not want to offend, bore, or annoy anyone. I am 46 with a 19 year old daughter with mental illness. She has had behavioral issues since she was in the 3rd grade. She is abusive in every shape and form at home; towards me, my husband (my husband is not her biological father), and her older sister (23). She and her sister have the same dad. I finally broke and gave her a letter that she needed to leave our home 8 months ago. However, I told her she is welcome to come back under 3 conditions: 1) STAY in therapy (I also said I will pay for all her mental health needs: co payments, medications, and what not), 2) MUST be in school or be employed full-time but if she chooses to do both, part-time is acceptable within reason., and 3) FOLLOW all rules in the house. She was finally back home as of a little over a week ago. I literally just kicked her out again last night. This time, no notice, nothing in writing, I just told her she had to leave immediately. I live in MA. It is finally the Fall and winter is near. I thought she was getting better but then she just turned. Five days/nights of her short stay back was horrendous. I tried and I tried to be understanding. I wanted her to know I am trying too by not telling her to leave again. Well, I am mess. I am back to square 1, like how I felt 8 months ago, all over again. I thought tough love would work. I don't know, force her to get help, stay in therapy, want to shape up to be home. I am rambling now. Thank you for reading.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi. Welcome.

    I am sorry you are dealing with this .Maybe this daughter, since things have bern difficult from long ago, inherited sime behavior problems or personality traits from her biological dad. They may go away (bio. Dad) but his DNA is still there, influencing those he gave birth to. When did you divorce? Does she see him? Will he help?

    Daughter is old enough to follow your rules. You didnt list her specific issues but many of us lived with drug abuse, a horrible issue. Many here have had their adult kids leave then come back then leave. It isnt rare. It can seem like a warped merry go round I am sure.

    Are you taking care of YOU? You matter. Are you in therapy to help you deal with this? Do you work, have great friends, hobbies, a compatible husband? You are allowed to enjoy your life and let the adult kids figure things out. It doesnt help them to be miserable too.

    Love and light!
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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  3. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    Hello SomewhereOutThere! I am just seeing your response because I physically came back here. I still don't know what I'm doing. Please pardon my ignorance, I still don't know how to post my own thread either...ugh. Thank you for your response. My daughter is bi-polar and has depression but is not on any medications. Well, she did take prescription medication for a little over a week when she was only 14 but she claimed they did not make her feel well. That was the end of her ever taking prescription drugs again. She refuses to and is always considered "borderline" (my words) to people like DCF (Department of Children and Families), the court system, and multiple mental health facilities so they will not make her get on medications. When I say borderline, I mean, she is not harming herself physically (not visibly-she is definitely self-medicating which IS harming herself) and/or she has not literally tried to kill herself (she IS killing herself by self-medicating and not eating). Their explaination/s to me. THIS angers me because why wait till she or our family is at a point of no return? Why not save those who can still be saved too? When she was a minor, it was against the law for me to make her go to therapy or take her medications. Now that she is an adult, everything concerning is none of my business anymore. I know my daughter is hurting. She is in so much pain emotionally and mentally. But at the same time, she has put our household in so much turmoil for over a decade. It was/is so unfair to all of us.

    Her dad and I divorced in 2007. Mental illness and addiction does run on his side. No, he has had nothing to do with her since we divorced. I know they communicate now but just via telephone or when there are tragedies (like deaths or funerals) from his side of the family. I never prevented my kids from seeing their dad. HE wanted nothing to do with them after the divorce but of course, I would never tell them that, but they "know". They started seeing the truth on their own as they got older. I never had to tell them how ugly he was. So, no he did not help and I do not see him ever wanting to either.

    I was at one point in my life seeing a therapist but it was not a good match. I just felt like I was being interviewed so I decided to stop. My girls were younger and my youngest was extremely difficult so it was not worth the trouble, and the co-payments rack up. My youngest's co-payments (which included the No Show penalty fees which are normally double or triple than the actual co-payment) was already killing me. I would rather have the money for her. I once also joined a support group and I really disliked it. It became about the parents' own past traumatic experiences/issues/demons versus our current experiences dealing with our children with behavioral issues. So in essence, I felt alone again with these parents who I thought were in the same boat as me. Hoping I could learn from them or feel I was not alone. Yes, I work. Sometimes 2 jobs but I have always had 1 full-time job. I literally have 5 friends who are always very supportive and I love them dearly. None of them have children with behavioral issues. I just got married again April of this year. My husband is wonderful and also very supportive. He is the type of man who says, "We will get through this. Do not give up on her. I know you are sad, is there anything I can do for you?" He is even more patient with my youngest than me and my oldest. Any other man, I know my youngest would have already scared away. He has 1 adult daughter from a previous marriage with no behavioral issues either. His daughter's daughter (our granddaughter) is OUR baby! I do not have hobbies. I work and go home, but will always make quality time with my husband, older daughter, grandchild, and friend/s at least once a month.

    I do not drink nor engage in any recreational drugs. Why I felt compelled to share this? Because ironically, the times I have, gave me anxiety and it amplified the worry I have for my youngest. Unlike others, they do such things to forget. Not in my case, such things make it worse for me mentally and emotionally. So, everything I feel and experience is always very clear and it is killing me there is nothing I can do for my youngest.

    Thank you for reading again and for reaching out <3

    P.S. Copy and pasted from the other thread.
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Sorry that you are dealing with this and don't blame you for not wanting to live like that. Does your daughter have anyplace else to live or stay?

    Yes we cannot force adults to do what they need to do unfortunately and it's hard to watch them struggle. We all get that.

    I think your husband sounds wonderful and that are very blessed to have him in your life (silver lining).

    I would recommend that you try to find something that helps YOU. Whether it be searching for another therapist you connect with OR prayer if you have faith. That always helped me.

    I turned my son over to God many time and this time I think it just may stick.

    I never found comfort in groups either because it just got me more depressed.
  5. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    Hello RN0441! I never know when my daughter is telling the truth. I find things out through others (some I find reliable, others...um...wishy-washy). She is a very good liar so I never know what to believe anymore. Because of this most recent situation with abruptly telling her to leave shortly after I just took her back, makes me believe the 8 months she was gone wasn't so bad after all. You know what I mean? Like, do you seriously want to be homeless AGAIN after just taking you back?? Or was it the mental illness just taking over her again?? So, yes and no, she had places to go. Couching it most of the time, I'm sure but who knows. She said she also slept outside then I hear she was kicked out AGAIN from this place, then this place, then another place because of her outbursts and/or bad behavior; which I find more believable. We can all agree the world out there is cruel. Of course, she is better off being home with us but then it's complete chaos.

    When you said you turned your son over to God, may I ask what you literally meant by that? FYI, I pray. I pray a lot, maybe more for my youngest than other people or things but I pray. Praying does not make me feel better though. I think I just do it because I desperately want my youngest to be better.

    Thank you for reaching out : )
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What do you mean when you say borderline?

    I think it is illegal to force treatment. It does start at a very young age
  7. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    I say borderline because her behavioral issues are definitely a concern to anyone or everyone however, not severe enough to be sectioned, given services, or to be committed (for rehab or mental wellness) for a longer period of time.

    Yes, it is illegal to force treatment on someone but DCF, the court system, medical providers, behavioral experts all say it is imperative she goes to therapy & perhaps take medications too to be mentally well.

    So when you're mentally ill child who needs such & such refuses treatment, & it's illegal to force them; is literally like doing nothing while watching them self-destruct ☹
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    As sad and maddening as this is, I know its true. Crazy.
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Sinking, I just want to say welcome, and you’re in the right place. I’ve only been here a few weeks but i have already found a lot of comfort and wisdom here.

    This describes my difficult children also, especially at that age. I’m still struggling with them. Once they are adults, we really have no control and it often seems very little influence. I think you are right to not take abuse from her and no time have her in your home if she can’t comply with minimal standards of behavior, respect and responsibility. You do not deserve to live with abuse.

    What I am learning here is to focus on what I can control: my responses, my emotions, my boundaries.

    Two of mine go through the same cycle you describe of couch surfing or other makeshift arrangements that inevitably fall apart. I just set my homeless son up with the deposit and first months rent on a room only to have him get a 30 day eviction notice 2 weeks after moving in. Not his fault, of course. It never is. Everyone he moves in with just happens to be totally crazy or unreasonable. o_O So there’s money down the drain. Again. I was hoping to get him under a roof and set up with a home base where he could get a job and take steps forward before the cold weather hit. Now it looks like he’ll be on the street again in mid October. I can’t have him here, and I can’t come up with another lump sum to get him set up somewhere else.

    All this to say - I get it. It’s not easy to know what to do for them when they aren’t helping themselves. I think all we can do sometimes I sleep the door open for when they are ready, and pray that day comes.

    Hang in there. Hugs to you.
  10. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    Hello Elsi!

    "I think you are right to not take abuse from her and no time have her in your home if she can’t comply with minimal standards of behavior, respect and responsibility. You do not deserve to live with abuse.

    What I am learning here is to focus on what I can control: my responses, my emotions, my boundaries."

    Thank you! I really needed to read this!! Thank you also for reaching out. I hope we both keep finding ways & people to help us cope with this on here. So far, everyone who has reached out on this thread has made my heart feel lighter. *exhales*
  11. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    My son's issues over all these years has really forced me to be more spiritual and look to my higher power. I knew this was more than I could understand or take on and I had to look for wisdom, comfort and peace for myself and realize that my son is an individual and this is HIS journey and I cannot stand in his way of his choices. We taught him right from wrong and he kept choosing the wrong path time and time again. We'd get him straightened out, I'd deep clean his room, buy new sheets and comforter (fresh start but that made me feel better) every time he got out of rehab. Of course, in time he went back to his drug using ways. Couldn't hold a job, couldn't do anything, couldn't live like a normal person.

    I had to find a way to cope on my own because it was destroying me. Me being destroyed was not helping him either. I would have cut off my arm to fix him.

    What I'm saying is that I had to turn my fear and pain over to God and just pray that he would guide him out of the mess he was in before it was too late. He has now been in a Christian based program for 12 months and will be coming back to live with us in November. He has changed and grown and says he is ready to live a normal life. Nothing else worked for him. I think his soul was broken but I don't know why. I wanted to give him the opportunity to see if this is what he needed and it was thankfully.
  12. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    Thank you for sharing. I hope and will pray that this coming November will be a happy reunion, and a peaceful & healthy long-term union. I feel everyone's pain on here so far and it blows my mind how all of you are still keeping it together and still have the energy to help others like myself. I feel I have been abandoned, betrayed, or failed by everyone I felt was supposed to support parents like us. I am still bitter about it. I feel because of certain "does not make sense" laws, different degrees/standards of who's in need of more help, whether the parents have it together or not, and yatta, yatta, yatta; the outcome (in my experience) is my child who is in need of help does not get the help and only got worse. Then it ultimately becomes only my problem, my child stays broken (even more broken than ever before), and they all go home still with a paycheck in hand. I have jumped hoops, begged, travelled, swallowed my pride, & borrowed/spent tons of money to try and get the help my daughter needs when she was still a minor. We were always turned away or I still did not have enough money. Now that she is an adult, there is absolutely nothing I can do now unless she pursues it herself. Um...but she's mentally ill and addicted to pills I can't even pronounce!

    I apologize, I'm rambling again. I am not happy to see so many parents/families hurting like myself because of their loved ones who need help, but I sure am happy you are around for me. I hope someday, I can be of service to you all also.
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I post here because I was so alone when this all started and our lives felt like a freak show. I didn't know anyone else dealing with this and this site was really an answer to my prayers in so many ways.

    I kept thinking things would get better and they did for some time throughout these years but it would always end up back to where we started. He was very young and immature which did not help matters. I hit wall after wall too with what we dealt with as far as therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists etc. Doctors giving my son a prescription for 90 benzos at one time. WHAT THE HELL!!! You can see a snapshot in my signature of some of the journey but not by far even close to what really happened.

    If I can make anyone not feel the way I felt then that is why I'm here. I can offer what I have learned and also hindsight on what I may have done differently knowing what I know now. I think that is why we are all here.
  14. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    I myself don't know anyone personally going through it. Like, we all know of someone, hear stories of others going through it, see things online or on t.v. but it is different when you know-KNOW someone. Therapists I had in the past never did crap for me and support groups I attended were even worse. Maybe just not a good match but I felt it was not worth my time to keep searching for the right therapist or support group for myself, while my baby needed way much more than me. Ironic how I literally do not know-KNOW anyone here but yet all of you have been so helpful. Thank you RN. Thank you all so much!
  15. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I looked for a therapist that specialized in addiction and that was helpful to me. She also had a father who was an addict so she had a full 360 of experience.

    She left the practice after six months and I ended up with another lady that also was also an addictions specialist. Then I moved across the country and don't have one now because I can't imagine trying to "catch someone new up" to all that has happened but sometimes I think I need it!
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  16. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Same. I so relate to feeling like a freak show. No one else I know has been through any of what I’ve gone through. And I so hate those conversations when everyone’s talking about their kids. It always seems like everyone’s kid is graduating from Harvard or just got a major promotion or is buying a house or going on mission trips to save the world. And then they ask so how are all yours doing? And what do I say? Oh, he’s homeless. But at least he’s out of prison! :eek: I usually talk about E and N and when I get to S and C just say ‘oh, they’re still finding their path in life.” Because no one really wants to know. It makes everyone too uncomfortable if I tell the truth.
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Elsi, you are actually amazing. Think about it. Without the formality, you essentially adopted all the kids and refused to leave them even when their father abused you. God only knows how badly the birthmother damaged them BEFORE their actual births. Who knows what they were exposed to before you were in their lives? It is not realistic that with their challenges, they would likely have it as easy as your friends young adults.

    But you gave them a chance to do their best, whatever their potential is, by your love and guidance. Nobody else gave them your brand of unconditional love. Can it override everything else they struggle with? Maybe. Maybe not. But they know you care.That matters. A lot And a few of them are doing well. I think you are a rock star.

    Dont compare your kids with those who had no serious challenges in their pasts. As for you, nobody could have done a better job. Nobody.
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  18. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    SWOT, you just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
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  19. Sinking Heart

    Sinking Heart New Member

    Hi Elsi! I too sometimes feel weird talking about my youngest but I still do, only if someone asked. She's still my baby, you know what I mean? Not in depth detail but it is definitely implied she is not well. Don't forget Elsi, people only let you know what they want you to know. We all have struggles. Be brave about "being real". It could help another person (even if you'll never know you did) and like SomewhereOutThere said, you should be proud of who you are!! You're still standing, you're a survivor!!! Not everyone can do what you did and/or still doing.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  20. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    And everyone has their skeletons in their closet that they hide. It may not have anything to do with their kids but we are all human and life can be very hard and a struggle.

    There are many trials and tribulations.
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