Help requested by new member - sorry if this has been covered elsewhere!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by strugglingwithgirls, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. strugglingwithgirls

    strugglingwithgirls New Member

    Hi there

    I have just found my way to this forum as I am feeling pretty desperate - happy Christmas!! I have just had my 21 year old daughter home for a few days over Christmas. I have 2 daughters aged 18 and 21 and have always had a difficult relationship with them, which I put down mostly to a bad marriage I had when they were aged 4 and 7 - to a very controlling and bullying individual who was also an alcoholic, and who adopted them (this was a whirlwind relationship which took place when my mum had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I was very 'needy'). I have made many mistakes in my life and have a lot of guilt over this. However, after a few years I decided I would be better alone than with this control freak and decided to split up with this man - despite the fear of losing our home. I managed to get a job which meant I could remain in the family home despite my ex-husand's attempts to foil this. I also met a new man - 8 years ago now - who I am now married to. At this point the girls' real father turned up after more than 10 years of no contact which didn't turn out well. This complicated series of events no doubt led to the future events which I won't go into in lots of detail. Suffice it to say I have had years of hell with my two teenage daughters which even led me to think at one stage that my youngest daughter may be bi-polar, and as a family I feel we have been dysfunctional at best.

    Both my daughters express affection and respect for my now-husband and think of him as a father figure and a settling influence in their lives, even though many of our worst times were when I was with him though I think that is a reaction to the outside influences of their 'fathers' rather than events which were taking place at the time the reactions took place.

    The problem I am having at the moment is that my eldest 21 year old daughter has a boyfriend who I just don't like, who seems to be controlling over her even though she appears to be a free thinking intelligent and intellectual feminist, of whom I am very proud. He has been violent to her in the past although I accept that this was not a one way street and she herself was not free of blame (much as I hate that phrase in this context, she did contribute to the situation) - I suppose if I am pushed I will say that she may have been as much of an instigator in the situation as he was.

    However, I feel that he has a 'hold' over her - she is an argumentative individual however when he gets a certain way she will just agree with him to end the argument. This is so unlike her I find it difficult to accept. I myself am a fiery individual and have fallen out with her boyfriend a couple of times and we are at the point where I do not speak to her about him. She got very upset on the way home this Christmas about it and I felt bad and so said I would draw a line under the past with him if he was willing to do the same and start afresh, not taking anything previous into consideration but a true fresh start. I offered to pay for his train fare to ours for Christmas but he didn't want to do that. However, it seemed to release something in my daughter that she felt she could talk about him freely and I spoke to her about him - how talented he was, etc. It did make me realise that she had felt unable to discuss her relationship with him with me previously. The precipitating factor to all this was the relationship I have with her younger sister's boyfriend - who was coming to us for Christmas with my daughter - and I can understand how this made her feel.

    What has brought me to this forum is something that is totally my own fault. My daughter came home for Christmas and borrowed my laptop, using Facebook chat to talk to her boyfriend. She went back home and didn't log out of FB, leaving her profile on my page. I'm not proud of the fact that I had a look at her profile and particularly her messages between her and her boyfriend - I know I shouldn't have done this, but I am concerned over her behaviour and mental health, her having told me she has been depressed and that her boyfriend is too. What I saw totally shocked me. Yes there was stuff there slagging me off but the most worrying thing I found was that my daughter is a regular drug user and is planning with this boyfriend to try acid for the first time. My guts are twisting and I really don't know what to do for the best. I can't confront her about it as she will know that I looked at her FB. I have checked online and I know that LSD doesn't have any known long term effects, mentally or otherwise. I have spoken to my husband about it, and he feels she may well have a really bad 'trip' as she has lots of negative stuff going on in her life at the moment. What can I do, or do I just not say or do anything and let her learn for herself? I am terrified she will end up as some kind of drug addict as she freely referred to herself as a 'druggie' and as someone who 'loved drugs'. I am tying myself up in knots here.

    Does anyone have any similar experience that could help me here? I don't feel I can even talk to my friends as I don't want them to think badly of my daughter.

  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, I have absolutely no clue in this situation but just wanted you to know I am so glad you found your way to this board. There ARE people here who will be able to relate. We all have issues that are related to challenging kids and as to that point, I can tell you I do understand it is a hard road. Hang in there, there will be folks along soon I have NO DOUBT! Many shoulders are on their way and we all can offer you a place to vent and share concerns. HUGS, Buddy
  3. strugglingwithgirls

    strugglingwithgirls New Member

    Thank you Buddy - as a 'reserved Brit' I have never posted to a forum before but I am feeling totally alone in this and really don't know what to do for the best. I don't feel like I can just ignore it and don't feel I can talk to any of my friends, so I appreciate your response. At least someone has heard how I'm feeling even if they can't offer any advice! Looks like you have your hands full yourself so big hugs back x
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yes, lol....but I dont think i would want to trade places right now! We have other brits here so you are not alone. I am a Brit wannabe.... I did my student teaching in Staines, Middlesex..... a LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG time ago. Lived there three months and did not want to go home at the end. Just loved it. It is hard not to have friends to really tell. I only just started sharing some of it with people and found a ton of support. But there are still details that I only share here with people who know you can have issues and hate behaviors and situations, but still totally love your child. I always feel safe here to make a huge parenting mistake too.... most here have made a few!
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, struggling!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the forum. This is a great place to vent and nice people chat here.

    Your situation is sad and unfortunate. Your daughter is 21 and does not live with you. I am not sure of the laws in the uk, but in the US, once a child is 18 it is pretty impossible to legally do anything to stop them from a destructive lifestyle. If it is the same there, I would tell her the truth about seeing her FB and WHY you looked and talk to her. Even if she gets angry, it's worth a try. Let her know you are there for her and worried and willing to help. If she rejects it for now, at least it will be in the back of her mind that she can get help from you. Otherwise, I'm not sure there is anything further you can do at her age. It is very difficult, I know. Do you have Al-Anon and Narc-Anon meetings in the uk? If so, I highly recommend going to one to get real life help!

    Keep us posted! Hugs :)))!
  7. strugglingwithgirls

    strugglingwithgirls New Member

    Hi MidwestMom

    Thank you for your words of advice - Al-Anon and Narc-Anon are no good for my daughter or myself since they are faith-based and I know my daughter does not believe in organised religion (similar to my own beliefs). That is not to say that we are not spiritual or 'good people' but I think generally in the UK religion/spirituality is much more personal and not based on a belief in 'God' as such, although I have respect for those that do believe.

    I am worried if I tell my daughter I looked at her FB it will be the catalyst for total lack of communication - her boyfriend has already asked her why she hasn't already cut me out of her life completely and she is some way to doing this already - I find it hard to contact her generally unless she needs something from me, such as money, etc. I just feel after our time at Christmas she is some way towards understanding my perspective - something her boyfriend had a go at her about, saying 'what the f*** did it matter what I thought about anything' but she did argue with him about that saying it was important to her that she could come home and that he could come with her, even if she didn't totally stand up for me! I just want to be supportive and reasonable I think so that she feels she can talk to me without it becoming a drama. I think if I tell her I've looked at her FB page it will become a big drama and give him all the fodder he needs. I just wish I'd never looked at it! Although I would still be stressed at least I wouldn't know she was planning to take LSD!

  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That is interesting. Why did I always think they just talked of a "higher power" however you see it..... I think they borrowed from that stuff for our program back when I was in ED treatment. So, is it connected to religion now? or always has been?
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    buddy it is a higher power however you interpret that. I understand that it is not for everyone and yet I have seen the good that it does firsthand.

    Welcome struggling. You are certainly in a dilemma. I have experience with a daughter who is an alcoholic/drug user, mostly pot. I would be very worried too if I knew she was going to try acid. I'm not sure what you can do without letting her know you saw her fb. Perhaps the most you can do is keep in contact with her and be there to listen without judgement. She is an adult and you have no control over what she does but you can be her soft place to land if she needs help.

  10. strugglingwithgirls

    strugglingwithgirls New Member

    Hi Buddy

    I may be wrong - just looking them up online and the whole "higher Power" thing I know would make my daugher run for the hills - no credibility for her at all. She believes as I do that spirituality is an internal and private thing - more to do with personal conscience and accountability. Or maybe I am projecting this onto her!! I don't know any more. But I do know she has her own personal beliefs on right and wrong, even if I think they are sometimes a little skewed by her perspective of what is happening at the time! Maybe I am just rejecting something on that basis that could be helpful, I don't know.

  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    thanks Nancy, you know what I realized.... I actually went to a couple of meetings a long time ago with my sisters.... we went when my dad was being ugly and our family therapist said he was a dry drunk. THAT is where I remembered it. How strange I would forget. My dad is such a different guy now..he is in his early 70's and still growing! It is lovely when people really do mature and are able to show love in a healthy way. I truly rarely think of it. But we did find it helpful for the few times we went, I remember that now. It never became a big support, just helped us sort thru things. weird how I can really remember that now.

    I can see how these kinds of programs are good in some places and not as good in others. After all, it must really depend in large part on who is there, right? I am glad you found us... As you can see, there are some really kind folks here, and it can feel like we are all neighbors at times though we are all across the globe.
  12. strugglingwithgirls

    strugglingwithgirls New Member

    Hi Nancy

    Thanks for your answer, it is good to know there are people out there who have been through something similar and care enough to respond. I think I had kind of come to this conclusion that I need to stay in more contact, if she will let me - she lives across the other side of the country, so it's not that easy, especially as she loses her phone regularly (another worry for me, as it is always after a night out) and often ignores my messages saying she has no credit on her phone or no internet access. I feel it is down to the influence of her boyfriend. I feel that she just doesn't see me as a 'soft place to land' as I have been vociferous in the past about her life choices, although I have been trying to soften my approach as I feel my honesty just doesn't work with her. It's a tough one but I would like for her to feel that I am there for her no matter what (and I always have been, though not always without reproach for her behaviour). I have been very accepting of her this Christmas even though she got very drunk on Christmas Eve and spend most of Christmas Day being sick (and also lost her phone and purse whilst out in town drinking). I didn't reproach her at all although I did at one juncture point out that if she didn't want to feel like that or lose her phone she needed to not drink as much or get so out of control. But not in a judgemental way. How do other parents deal with this? Am I being too soft or have I been too harsh in the past??

  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome. I am also a mom of substance abusers. Mine are males . In answer to your post: I do not think it possible for you to step in at this point without letting your daughter know that you saw her FB chat page. If you are trying to build her confidence in you this revelation could turn her away from you. On the other hand if you go to her in person and tell her that you got caught up in her page when you went to log off for her and that you saw things that make you concerned for her well being, she might listen. She might listen merely because you are being honest. It is a hard call. Do you think you can keep this a secret and never let it slip? I personally probably could not so just comming clean is probably what I woud do. I would be very apologetic and self flagulating in the process.

    by the way when I participated in co-dependant counseling and a 12 steps program we were told that the higher power could be anthing we believed in. It could be within ourselves or it could be external, it could be the universe or the greek gods, etc. We were told it was not religion but rather spirituality.
  14. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am writing this quickly-from a smart phone in a stolen moment-so please understand my quickness is not meant to be glib.

    You can't unring a bell. You know what you know... Can you live with yourself if you don't say anything?

    I could not. I've been in your exact shoes. I found out about my son's plan to use weed (prolifically) thru a chance computer encounter. How I wish I hadn't seen it! How I wish I could ignore it!

    But I could not. Can't unring a bell. I did confront him, it ended badly with him storming out and us cutting him off. H repeatedly reminded me in the dark days that followed that I had done nothing wrong. Had we kept quiet, difficult child would still be away using substances with our "look the other way" approval.

    Not a good alternative. We experienced the worst case scenario - but it meant that we stood up for our beliefs & drew a line in the sand. It sucked, still does-but the alternative is worse.

    You're in between a rock and a hard place. Make the tough choice and try to stop her. You know its the right thing to do or you wouldn't be here... Just my $.02
    Again- quick not glib. I know how u feel. You have done nothing wrong, no shame needed. She used your computer & left her fb page open. Maybe she wanted to get "caught"? Be true to yourself. {{{Hugs}}}
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Everyone is different. Nobody is allowed to smoke cigarettes or get drunk in my house. It isn't specific to my kids, but it is not allowed. I found that being too lenient did nothing to help my daughter, but she was 18, not 21. I personally wouldn't accept that in my house, but you have to make up your own mind. Trying to get along isn't always the answer. We need to TRY to motivate our grown kids to live a better life. We enable them when we allow them to act terribly in front of us in my opinion. I personally would not do that.

    Keep the faith!
  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi strugglng,

    I am not sure exactly what I would do in your situation. I do have a son who has done acid several times. The last time he had a pretty bad trip. The drug use of course is a big worry. I think you have to ask yourself if she is likely to listen to you if you say anything. It is certainly a trade off between doing what is good for your relationship and also letting her know of your concern. In the end she is going to do what she is going to do. Sounds like she already has a substance abuse issue... this is not the start of it. Is there any way at some point you can let her know you are concerned about possible drug use without pinpointing what you know from FB. For what its worth I would have looked at the FB page also left on my computer.

    The other big issue is the problem with her boyfriend. This is very tricky and something I know something about. It sounds like he is definitely abusive and controlling. This is really hard to watch. One thing that abusive men do is try to isolate their partners from family and friends... so you are right if you confront her about the drug use he will use that as a way to isolate her from you even more. The fact that she is staying connected to you is a good sign. So in that situation the absolute best thing you can do is to let her know you are there for her and that when she is in trouble she can come to you.... do what you can to not let his attempt to isolate her from you succeed.

    As far as alanon. I have been going to a parents alanon meeting and it has been hugely helpful. They do talk about higher power and use the word God but it is not based on any particular religion but is your own definition. I am agnostic and for me the higher power has more to do with the bond and support of the group, and kind of my feeling of what will be will be.... very undefined. I have found it very helpful to find other parents who have kids who are drug addicts.

    And the other thing I want to say is to stop blaming yourself. Ok so there were some less than perfect situations when she was growing up. That is true in most families (no matter what hallmark tells us). She is now 21 and is an adult and making her own decisions. Her current choices and decisions are not your fault... as they say in alanon you didn't cause it, can't cure it, and can't control it.

    Keep coming here... there are several of us that really understand what you are going through.

  17. strugglingwithgirls

    strugglingwithgirls New Member

    Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences with me. I think if I confront her about it I will push her further away, this has happened before in the past and she still has some bitterness towards me about that. If it wasn't for her boyfriend and the distance she lives I might take the risk, but I don't think I can at this point in time. I did mention her drug use over Christmas as I have suspected it before in relation to her depression, saying that if she was smoking dope this would contribute towards those feelings, but she was very dismissive. I also mentioned her drinking as she always loses her phone, which makes it hard for me to stay in touch with her. She lost an iPhone earlier this year which was an expensive mistake for her but she lost her phone again on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day with a bowl being sick on the sofa, not great for her younger sister and her boyfriend and myself to watch. On the positive side, she and her sister got on very well over Christmas which is a first, and something I see as a real positive. I really want to nurture her connection to us so that she feels we are there for her, so I don't think I will/can confront her. It is definitely part of a larger drug problem as she also mentioned MDMA and cannabis on her FB page. She does talk a lot to her boyfriend about how they can take LSD 'safely' - getting a sitter (one of their friends) to be on hand if they have a bad trip for example. It sounds like all of her friends take drugs very regularly. My younger daughter also readily admits that she smokes weed but nothing else now, she used to take different drugs as she was growing up and ended up leaving home at the age of 16, we are now much closer but it has taken a while to get there (she is now 18). I think it is so much a part of the culture I really don't know what I can do about it, other than be there for them and remind them without falling out with them of the bad effects that drugs can have on their lives.
  18. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Want to add my welcome and support.... (((HUGS)))

    They still make LSD??? That was something I did on a regular basis in high school. Had no idea the stuff still existed....

    (I am a former difficult child who lives a completely different life these days). I can say I never experienced anything bad using it. I didn't know anyone personally that did. But I heard rumors and stories..
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im surprised LSD is still out there too. Havent heard of it being around myself.

    Well at least it isnt addictive. I would worry more about the boyfriend. I wouldnt tell her about the facebook. See if you can find out what her password is that she put in for that page if you can if you want to keep track of her...then I would do everything in my power to keep up a relationship even if you have to send cards or letters.
  20. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I know so little about street drugs but as our family (we are all close, nieces and nephews etc.) are growing older I am paying more attention. I looked it up and this is what I found in one simple article"

    Drug Addiction - What is LSD? Drug Addiction Rehab and Rehabilitation

    sounds like it is being made in a less strong form now but the effects can be so serious at times.