Here we go again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Californiablonde, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Most of you know about my daughter's struggle to graduate. For those of you who don't, here's a quick recap. My daughter started having issues with GERD when she was in middle school. However, she still managed to make it to school every day. Once high school hit, she used every excuse in the book to stay home from school. The reasons varied, including headaches, sore throats, stomach pain, and sleeping poorly. On the few days she did attend school, she was always in the nurse's office, demanding to be sent home. The nurse was up to her tricks, and refused to let her go. Her policy is no fever, no throwing up, no going home.

    It was a daily battle of trying to get her out of bed, her calling me relentlessly at work to pick her up on the few days she did go to school, and her cussing and screaming at me when I pushed her to go. At her last IEP, which was about a year ago, when she was over 18, the principal and counselor informed us she wouldn't be graduating until she was 24 years old at the rate her attendance was going. We were pushed to enroll her in adult ed so she could graduate faster. That didn't work out. There are no aides in Adult Ed and my daughter was struggling. So for months, she sat at home doing nothing.

    Okay so eventually my daughter gets sick of being home bored, alone, and has this desire to go back to school. Since she is Special Education, she is legally allowed to stay at her alternative high school until she is 22. Last month we started the enrollment process, and today was her first day. To give her credit, she actually went. I was relieved. But then...

    Around noon the calls started. I was driving back to work from Target on my lunch break, and she was blowing up my phone with texts and phone calls. Of course I couldn't answer her calls when I was driving, but I did happen to get a chance to read her texts at a stop light. In a nutshell, she was too hot and weak feeling to stay in class. She wanted me to pick her up NOW. Since there was no way for me to answer her, at least not right away, she kept texting me, saying how she was going to die in the heat.

    We are having a heat wave today, over a hundred degrees, but still, no valid reason to go home. She went to the nurse's office, the same nurse from two years ago who knows her tricks, and the nurse refused to send her home. My daughter was calling me and texting me on her own from class. When I finally got back to my desk, I texted her I could not pick her up. I had just gotten back from lunch and I had nobody to cover for me. She kept texting me, calling me on my work phone which I couldn't answer because I was busy with other calls.

    By this time there was only about an hour and a half left till the end of school. I told her to tough it out and take the bus home. She refused. She said there is no air conditioning on the bus and she just KNEW she was gonna pass out. I called my mom, who I knew would be in the area, and asked if she could pick her up after school, just this one time, since my daughter is VERY stubborn, and when she says she is not getting on the bus, she means it. She would have been stuck at school for two and a half hours till I could pick her up.

    My mom agreed, even though neither one of us felt good about it. So same tricks, different year. Okay so I know this is only day one. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Things have gotten off to a rocky start, unfortunately. It is supposed to be hot again tomorrow. I don't know how this is going to go. I think applying for disability is one of our few options to consider, but even so, with the high cost of living in California, my daughter will have to get a part time job to even share a room with somebody (and no, living with me forever is NOT an option.)

    My question is, what kind of employer will give my daughter a part time job with no diploma, when there is a crap ton of competition out there, and most people have diplomas? I don't want to lose hope just yet, especially after just one bad day, but dealing with this for years and years makes me wary. I am about to go home. I am not even going to broach the subject with my daughter tonight. I had a stressful day at work, my supervisor is on vacation, and I have a headache. Let's hope tomorrow is better. Wish me luck.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Well...I had a successful career in Information Technology with a GED, but I started out as a clerk in a computer shop and worked my way up, taking technical ed courses for certifications as they became available, some out of pocket, and working my ass off.

    Lots of long hours, in the early days,lots of physical work, (boxes of paper weighed 60lbs), and lots of jobs requiring serious brain work and that I prove myself over and over.

    There are still many jobs where one can succeed with a GED, but they requied hard work and dedication in all cases, and either physical labor, or intellect, or both. ALL require a good work ethic.

    She can do it, but it's gonna require a radical change in attitude, and the willingness to work HARD and take direction.
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  3. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Does she have social anxiety?

    It seems like school refusal and physical symptoms (both real and imaginary) are common to those who suffer from it. That affects
    employability too.
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    there are all kinds of opportunities for her. the thing is--you have no control. over her. just over you.

    i think she's got too much power.

    i might have left her at school. what's the saying? nothing changes without changing.

    how are the kitties?

    wishing you luck.
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  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    My son is your daughters school twin sigh.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope tomorrow is a better day for both of you.
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  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    She's over 18. If she doesn't want to take the bus, she can either wait it out or walk it out. I have to agree with Copa, your daughter has too much power.

    Speaking as a former retail manager? I wouldn't hire her. For anything. A big red flag for me was someone over 18 who hadn't finished high school/no GED with no work history. It shows an inability to take initiative and also a lack of follow through. If she is truly ill enough to be on disability, then she needs to apply. If living with you is not a forever option, you need to hold her feet to the fire and make it uncomfortable enough for her to make a change. She won't change if she doesn't have to. Change is uncomfortable and it hurts.

    I can't say what will work with your daughter; I know that I was hard on mine because she needed to know that the world could care less what your issue is, you need to deal with it somehow. in my humble opinion, she needs a hard dose of "Grow Up."
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I have to agree that she has too much power in this situation.

    You've mentioned GERD. Does she have any other physical ailments that make her truly unlikely to be able to survive a few hours in the heat? If not, and she's physically healthy, then what makes her so special that she must be treated like a delicate flower that will wilt? Didn't all the other kids and teachers and staff manage just fine?

    I wouldn't have picked her up. Were there not other people taking the bus? Did they survive the experience? I like to think I'd have made her take the bus or otherwise wait. Period. BUT - the truth is, I fell for the same crap a dozen times from my kid. He was forever "sick" and "throwing up". One day when he was about out of school he even told me, "Mom, you know I'm never really sick."

    I have nothing but sympathy for the many screaming phone calls. It's HORRIBLE. My son was king of that and it was ALWAYS me. Maybe because I was a softer touch than his dad, but mainly because Jabber works in a prison and doesn't have his phone. So it was me, called over and over and screamed at and begged for everything. I wouldn't wish all those phone calls on my worst enemy.

    So...if advice is welcome...I'd say stop. Stop answering her calls. Stop responding to her texts. Heck, take her phone if she won't stop calling at work. The fact is, if there is a TRUE EMERGENCY, the school or the police or the hospital, etc., would call. Weren't we ALL raised without cellular phones? My life was much happier when I couldn't answer my kid's calls. I would suggest telling her, "You're over 18. You're an adult. I know that you can do this, but you're the one that has to do the work. Go to school or don't but it's time to :censored2: or get off the pot. School or work." I wish I'd have taken a harder line with my son years ago.

    I hope you are having a better day today.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    You know what got me my first job "in computers"? A 2-yr work history, and being able to type 90 wpm (not required. position required 65 wpm) and being able to use an adding machine. I learned to use a terminal on the job. I learned to type from my mother and in school, and I learned to use an adding machine cashing out my till at Arby's and K-mart.

    Typing and using an adding machine by touch, combined with knowing how to use a couple of varieties of terminal, set me up for learning data entry.

    It all flows together, and as you learn new skills and face new challenges, new doorways open up for you.

    Even today, being able to talk on the phone, type decently (and have good grammar and spelling), and basic math skills, is enough to get your started. If you have basic computer skills, even better.

    I can't speak much for "floor retail" as I only worked floor at K-mart when "straightening" or during inventories. Cashiering was during the transition from manual registers to the first electronic registers. (not POS)

    My fast food experience came in handy in Germany as I worked part time at the PX burger joint on and off (bleargh!) when extra $$$ was needed, even though by then I hadn't worked fast food in years.

    I do have to say that I agree with KT, though. As it stands right now, based on my management experience (I was a supervisor at K-mart towards the end), I wouldn't hire your daughter either: too many red flags. I certainly would hire an employee with a GED as I have one myself, but I want to see a good work history, or a good reason why there isn't one: taking care of ill family member, for example.
  10. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    No school phone. Every time you rescue her or respond to her bs you are reinforcing her behavior. The question you need to ask yourself is why you are doing it. The truth is that all of us have had to work on OUR behavior/ respose to our difficult kids. I know this is not you wanted to hear. None of us do. Please understand that we care about YOU.
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  11. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    It sounds like anxiety, especially the physical symptoms she has had since she was younger. An antidepressant might help, along with counseling.
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  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    She refuses medications/counseling. If you go back, there's a long history of this type of behavior with this child, now adult, and her mother and grandmother.

    I don't doubt that she suffers from severe anxiety as her mother does. I do, too, and yes, it does make it very hard to handle school/work.

    But one can find work/shifts that keep people contact to a minimum. For example, I'm very good on the phone, and can handle rote contact face-to-face, such as cashiering, but absolutely cannot handle sales or collection work, etc. I excelled at phone technical support, though.

    She's going to have to be given no choice but to go to work, or gotten into a supervised living situation on SSI. One or the other.

    My "no choice" was wanting to get out of the house and move in with my boyfriend (husband to be) when I turned 18. To have the money to do that, I HAD to work.
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  13. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Shes an adult with issues. She doesn't get to continue living as a dependent because she chooses not to address them.

    I suggest conditioning the support you give her on going to therapy, and if prescribed medications, being compliant. And if/when she can handle society, increase the expectations to include movements towards independence. School, job, apartment.

    For social anxiety, I have read the gold standard is Exposure Response Therapy -- it can be tailored to overcoming anxiety in particular environments like school and work.

    It's not universally practiced, but therapists who deal with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) also use this. Second, is the more general cognitive behavioral therapy.

    First line medications are SSRI antidepressants. It's very common to have to try several before finding one that works well.

    Hopefully she will invest in her own well-being. But why should she if she doesn't have to?
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The issue here is that mom has bipolar, and I seem to recall the daughter does as well, making RXing antidepressant problematic until medications for bipolar are in place and she is stable on them. Even then, ADs might not be do-able.

    Daughter is also overweight, diabetic, and refuses to adhere to diet or take prescribed medications. I doubt investing in her own well-being is much on her mind.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    CB, I'm sorry this continues for you. It appears that the dynamic between you and your daughter no longer works, as she is now an adult woman, your parenting of her needs to shift gears. Like many of us here have to learn, we are not responsible for the choices our adult kids make. It's tough under typical circumstances to make that shift and let our kids go into their own lives, but when our kids are troubled, mentally ill or have substance abuse issues, that road gets so much more difficult.

    In order to make any kind of change, it is going to require you to make the changes, as others have mentioned above. I understand how difficult that is, especially since your daughter is so young and has quite a number of health issues.

    To help support you, you might consider giving NAMI a call. They can help you both to make the transition from your daughter's dependence on you to either her taking the reins of her own life, or at the very least, you letting go of the reins.

    You have a lot on your plate with financial issues, your own health, your son, your job and your daughter. Give yourself the gift of getting help for YOU. I believe NAMI can assist you with not only support, but guidance, resources and information.

    I feel for you CB, you don't deserve to be treated badly by your daughter. Like me and many here, you'll have to learn boundaries, how to say no, not to give in to her tantrums and terrible behavior towards you and let her go thru whatever consequences she sets up for herself. She wanted to go to school, the fact that she didn't want to stay is her problem, not yours. Harassing you until she gets her way is a strategy that you needn't support by giving in to her. If it happens today, turn off your phone. Let her handle it herself.

    I hope today is a better day. Hang in there CB, this too will change.
  16. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    -- sorry, didn't read bipolar

    The point could apply equally to diabetes management. Adults have an obligation to take care of themselves, financially and physically.

    If, as most parents do, CalBlonde wants her daughter to be healthy and independent then she shouldn't enable illness and dependence by sheltering her in that state.

    I'm not trying to be harsh. It's just another version of the advice I commonly read here. My house, my rules.

    If you want to stay here, you need to follow your doctors' recommendations for your physical and mental health, and start being productive.

    Parenting non-disabled adult children isn't supposed to be caregiving. Home is supposed to be a launching pad. And even challenged children launch. See SWOT.
  17. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She doesn't have social anxiety but she does have random panic attacks from time to time. Her doctor doesn't seem too concerned. He has never prescribed anything for them. Maybe he should. If there's anybody who understands anxiety, it's me. Right now she is actually leaning towards the depressive side, which may explain some things also.
  18. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    The kitties are doing good, thank you, and I agree with you. She does have too much control. Has since she was little....sigh.
  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    CB...I see some of your mother's dysfunction in you, with how you deal with your daughter. Sort of: No. No. No. No. I can't stand it anymore. Yes. Just this once.

    It may be odd, but I think if you could break your dependence on your mother (and her control over you), that it would be easier for you to force your daughter to be independent.

    As of now, you're repeating the same patterns over and over, and you're mother is using her "helping you out" with your daughter as a way to maintain control via obligation over you.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Cb, i sure understand anxiety and panic attacks and had many in school and was not on medications in high school at all. And while anxiety, especially for me in school, was lethal to my grades (way too nervous to concentrate or study) i did go. Except when I cut out early. But I went often enough to graduate with no problem. I won no awards and flat out refused to go to my graduation, but i graduated.

    Your daughter will go if she wants to go, bad anxiety or not. And she wont go if she doesnt care about graduating. I think a GED sounds good. I think your daughter is disabled enough for SSI. If she gets it, her caseworker can help her in many ways and Daughter may find somewhere else to live, which would be good in my opinion.

    You very sadly can not make her take care of her health. That must be scary. I am sorry.

    I do agree that you in my opinion would probably be better off without mom's controlling help. in my opinion it would help to fetach with love from Mom too. Let her do less for you and daughter...she is still such a force...

    I hope you can learn to detach with love from both. How is your son?
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