How can I ever truly be happy? I am 63 and she is 36 still acting 13.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lonelylady, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

    Hi, I guess I am to the point that I realize every day is precious and should be lived to the fullest. In my situation I just dread the moment she wakes up and starts calling me. This is a vicious cycle that I can't seem to break. I have tried over and over. I am raising her children. To be honest she has my life. She can't even babysit or help me cause she doesn't feel good and one of the children is special needs. Never does it matter how I feel. I have had both of the children since birth. One is 12 other is 16. I love them with all my heart but at 63 I am tired and my husband has health problems. We have no one to babysit at all ever. Our anniversary is in a few days. Forty years we have been together. All I ask is for a week to spend together. You would think she could at least give me that. She tells me there is no way..... she just can't but in the next sentence she needs money for her medicine or food. She has never worked and is on SSI . She married a man that won't work. They stay up all night sleep all day. And make my life a living nightmare. Could anyone offer any advise? I am so fed up and so physically tired but all she can do is cry and tell me how hard her life is.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Yes. I feel strongly about this so I am giving my input. This is for those of us who are 60 and above. 60 and up is different and special and Our Time.

    Live your life.

    Drop those two kids off at her house. Dont ask her for permission. Do it. Have your week. Why is it up to her?They are hers. If you have legal guardianship see if you can get respite care for a week. Your 16 year old grand can watch out for the 12 year old for one week with an adult around, even if its Mom. They aren't so young that you cant ever have time alone with hub.

    I am 65 and nobody will take away my golden years. in my opinion you shouldnt give yours away either and your ill husband deserves peace. Your daughter gets SSI so has some insurance and can pay for her own medications. Her husband and she get some money. Welfare on top of social security? A food card? Section 8? Let them use their own resources and community help like Food Pantries. You need your money.

    i would take time for me and husband FIRST if I were you. Your daughter needs to be ready for when you are not here and it could be sooner if you are too stressed. Think of yourself. You and your husband well deserve a peaceful rest of your life. You dont have to answer the phone whenever your daughter calls or texts. Tell her she can call between, say, 11-12 Monday, Wednesday and Friday or any schedule and stick to it. Put your phone away in a drawer at night. She may be up all night but you dont need to get called at niight. If she has an emergency she can learn to call 911. They can help better than you and you deserve to sleep and wake up on your own schedule, get coffee, and just relax. There is not one reason for this daughter to upset you by calling in a needy way every day. Encourage her to call her Case Manager. If she has SSI she has a Case Manager.

    If you are not in therapy please go!!

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm so sorry for what you are dealing with. Do you have legal custody of the kids or did you just step in to raise them?
    There are legal issues that can arise if you don't have legal custody.
    What kind of relationship does she have with the kids? What do the kids think of her?
    Would you really trust her to watch the kids for a week?

    One thing I can tell you is that nothing will change until you change it. We have a saying here about people being stuck in the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) When we are stuck in the FOG we are just that stuck. The good news is you can choose to step out of the FOG.

    There is a really good article about detaching. Give it a read.

    I'm glad you found us here and hope you will share more.

  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Do you have legal custody? Or is this just an arrangement you have with your daughter? Do you get any financial help fom the state for the children? Like TANF? Food Stamps? Do you claim them on your taxes? Does the special needs child get SSI? Any chance that the parents are getting benefits that belongs to the children?

    I am guessing that you have just accepted this arrangement for years.

    I can't tell you what you should do... I hope you get some advice from others. Because the only thing I have to offer is to go to SRS and try to get benefits for the children, which means SRS would probably go after your daughter and her husband for reimbursement to cover any benefits they might give you.

  5. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I am sorry that you have given up so much of your life for your daughter. I am sure your grandchildren are the better for it, but I echo what others here have said. Whatever life you have left - if you want it to be meaningful for you and your husband - must be claimed by you. Your daughter is unlikely to ever put you ahead of her own dysfunctional needs.

    Sadly, my 38 year old difficult daughter disowned me a year ago because I wouldn't keep rescuing her. She won't let me see my 2 grandchildren. I am heartbroken, but unwilling to be captive to her demands. I am fully committed to setting boundaries and living life fully. Taking as good care of yourself as others is not selfish. Keep posting.
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  6. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

    Thank you for your advise and I know that you are right. I wish I could claim my life. The 12 year old is on the autistic spectrum. He was retested last week and he is at a second grade level and needs constant care. The 16 yr old is a boy and I am happy to say he stays very busy in sports and school. He doesn't give me any trouble but at the same time he seems to have little time for a younger brother with disabilities. I love these boys as if they were by own having them since birth. I kept thinking that as we got older she would start helping. Hoping that they would form some type of bond. The only true bond she has is getting everything she can from me. I am so upset today. She called me and ask me to pray for her cause her bones are hurting. The 12 yr old has been into everything today, I would love to just rest a minute. He can't help he was born with this and he is also 90% blind in one eye. He would love to have a friend but most kids just bully him. I am in way over my head. I use to be able to go to the school and fight for him for his rights etc. Now it has become so exhausting and to see what he goes through is so heartbreaking. On top of that I stay so angry at her because she has no time for him. According to her he is to hard to keep an eye on. This situation just keeps repeating itself. I am sorry to just ramble on....

    Your daughter is very selfish to keep you from your grandchildren. That is so cruel and one day she will be very sorry if she doesn't wise up. My mother passed away last year and no one can take a mother's place. I really hope your daughter realizes this soon and you can enjoy being a grandmother. I would give anything to be able to be a grandmother. Stay strong and live your life enjoy and savor every minute of it. I wish I knew how to do what you are doing. Please any time you have a moment I appreciate hearing from you.
  7. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

  8. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

    Thank you for responding. I have had the boys since birth and it is through the court system. She lost them as newborns due to drugs. She is on legal drugs now but drugs are drugs if they hinder you and she is hindered. The youngest is 12 and he is on the autistic spectrum. Last week the school had him re tested and he is functioning at a 2nd grade level. Also he can't really show emotions. He is constant work. Don't misunderstand me I love him so much, but as I am getting older it is harder to keep up with him. He wanders off and just doesn't understand so many things. He gets bullied at school and I am constantly trying to help with all that. If I ask her she comments, he is just to hard to watch. I just have so much anger sometimes I promise myself I will never speak to her again. But then she will sneak and get hold of one of the boys even when I tell her to leave them alone. This is just a mess. I feel like no matter what I do or say nothing will ever change with her. I have actually went so far as to talk to my husband about moving out of state so she can't come find me. But all the doctors etc are here. I just really need some help. We planned to take a week together for our anniversary and just get some rest. But it looks like he will be going with us. The older son is 16 and he is in school and sports. He is a good kid but he deserves more than what people in their sixties can really do. We are slowing down even though we try hard to keep going. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

  10. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

    Thank you for your response and for understanding how important the ages are. I would love to take your advise and drop them off but she isn't competent enough. The 12 yr old has disabilities and needs to be watched closely. She said she can't handle it and I don't think she could. The older son is at school and sports for the biggest part of the day and into the evening. I need therapy because she called today and ask me to pray for her because her bones hurt. Never ask about the boys or us. I really didn't talk just listened and hung up but I really took some time to think about this. This is all wrong. I do truly need therapy. I also need some strong permanent help with the austistic 12 yr old. He needs more than we at our ages are able to do. I really thank you for your advise and hope your write again.
  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Usually, if the court has given you custody, you should have some options for respite care. Is there any one you can talk to? Before we adopted our granddaughters we could receive respite care. Usually just a weekend, but it doesn't hurt to ask! Ksm
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am really sorry. You are very kind and have so much on your plate and probably feel obligated to take care of everyone. It is common. But it isnt always good for us or even for those we are caring for. We can burn out.

    Doesnt the twelve year old get SSI and a case manager? I have a 25 year old spectrum son who functions very well but I still wanted to plan for him after we are gone. So he lives in a nice subsidized apartment, gets a food share card, gets SSI and has Medicare/Medicaid, has a payee, works part time does some sports for adults with special needs and is on his own. His case manager is a phone call away if he needs to ask questions. We certainly welcome his phone calls....he is a love bug....but we encourage him to utilize his community supports because they will always be there and we won't. He has a sister close byH and she is very helpful.

    Our son had a very rough start in life as his birthmother did not care for herself during her pregnancy and he had drugs in his system at birth then had open heart surgery. We adopted him when he was two and love him to the moon. Those drugs probably contributed to the autism. He had amazing foster parents before he came to us. They had him in tons of services. All his autism interventions really helped.

    It would be a good idea in my opinion to get your grandson's life in order in case some day you can no longer care for him. He probably can get SSI now and with SSI comes many services, including respite care. If you dont need this now, you probably will need it in a few years. I personally like to be prepared in advance so that I can have peace about things. So I get my ducks in a row.

    My son had many free services in school and the community. Dont try to do this yourself. Everyone needs help, even if you are young and healthy. The services helped my son become very high functioning. Without them, I don't know how he would be.

    I again suggest you do all you can to get outside help for the 12 year old as you and your husband deserve to have peace of mind knowing what will happen to the boy if you cant care for him anymore one day. For now, if you can get respite, the 16 year old can help with his brother even if he would rather be out with his friends. He is edging toward 18. He can help you with his brother. Or help anyone watching his brother. Do get him used to being a support for his brother. I dont mean make him responsible for his brother but I would encourage him to be helpful, empathic and concerned for him. One day it will be just them. Mom is unlikely to step up but older son sounds responsible and nice!

    There is nothing wrong with looking at a state paid for school or live in care center for the 12 year old. I am still quite healthy and active but at my age it would be very hard emotionally to care for a minor child. There are so many things I never did that I want to do with my husband and my ability to be a good parent would never be like it was. I dearly love my grands but could never raise them.

    Please, please try to find a way to take your life back. Try to get help for the twelve year old. This is for you too.

    Well, I wish you well and send prayers. This is really all I wanted to say, and I hope you do get that week with your hub and time to yourself...there is a lot of help out there that costs nothing but you have to ask! Good luck!

    Love and light!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  13. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, Lonleylady

    It sounds like you are at the end of your rope.

    I think the first thing you need to do is try and separate yourself from your adult, middle-aged daughter and her constant demands on your time, money, and emotions.

    Don’t answer her calls, at least for a couple of weeks. Then, put some boundaries in place. She can’t ask for money or complain to you about anything. If she does, politely hang up and don’t answer for a while.You don’t need more stuff on your plate. She is an adult and has been for a long time. If she is on SSI, she probably also gets (or is eligible for) Medicaid, housing, utility subsidies, food stamps, and many other things. Food banks can close the gap if she can’t make ends meet with what she gets for the government.

    I feel terrible for your youngest grandson.

    Reach out to Somewhereoutthere or another of our knowledgeable members for info about how/where you can go to get some more help in raising your grandson, and getting some plans in place for his future, which eventually will be necessary for him to live independently of you.

    I hope that you find some comfort here, and continue posting.

    It helps.

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  14. Lonelylady

    Lonelylady New Member

    Thank you for responding. I am trying very hard to take some time away from my daughter. She is piling on the guilt. How can I be so cruel? That's her favorite thing to say to me. I am really trying so hard. You are so right my grandson needs all of our attention right now. Somewhereoutthere, really gave me some great advise about him. I live in a small country town and they don't have respite or a case manager. I will keep looking. In the end all that really matters is these two boys have a way to live and move forward when the time comes without us.
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    One last tip. I live in a small town too. Every county in the U.S. has services and you can certainly apply for SSI. Better now than later just in case. You and I and nobody our ages can know if we will be able to continue caring for a child even a year from now so preparation is so important. You CAN get the respite and a case manager and all that I got.

    Your error is looking at your town for aid. Services go by county, not town. The services my son got were from a bigger town in our county, not our town. Our town didnt even have a gas station! But the county had everything. Call your county Social Services and ask them who to contact for SSI. Most likely he will need testing and in most states this is notndown tjrough tjetsocial security office....check with Social Services to see where to go.

    Once you get SSI, you get the rest. This kid will likely always need services. The sooner he gets help, the better he will do in the end. The sixteen year old will be independent and fine even on his own at 18, if necessary. He has a large support system of friends....boys he plays sports with. He is a very normal kid :)

    If you wish to contact me I am available through my private message. Just click on my handle and then click on "Start a Conversation." I am communicating mostly that way but your dilemma....I had to answer here.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  16. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    What do you do if you don't answer their calls but then they just drop by unannounced?
  17. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I would answer the door with a big smile on my face and coat in hand, and say “I’m so glad you are here to babysit! Dad and I are going out to dinner and then we are going to do some shopping. We will be back in about four hours!”

    Bet she won’t ever pull that again!
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  18. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Do you know why she calls you cruel?

    Why she guilts you when she wants you to pay her bills or give her something?

    Because it works.

    She will say whatever it takes to keep you on her string, like you are her puppet.

    Stop playing her game (and it IS a game).

    The first step is to realize that what your daughter is doing to you is pure manipulation. Get angry that she continues to try to use you.

    Next, understand that you can’t do everything for everyone, you can’t be there for everyone, and get your priorities in order.

    Your daughter is an adult and can fend for herself. Drop any and all obligations to her and set yourself free from that burden. This is important. You may feel guilty at first, but that is OK. You will be doing the right thing for everyone, including her. Doing things for an adult that they should be doing for themselves only enables them and keeps them dependent. Not a good thing. Remember—your daughter can choose to act 13 if she wants to, but you can choose not to enable her. If someone else wants to enable her to act 13, that is their business. If her husband chooses not to work, that is his business, not yours, and not your problem. Let him figure how to pay his bills without working or getting money from you.

    Call the county and find some free/sliding scale counseling for yourself (maybe hubby as well if needed).

    Find some supports for your younger grandson.

    I remember Somewhereoutthere talking about getting an advocate from the state education agency to advocate for services for disabled kids in the system. Perhaps she could tell you more about that, if she hasn’t already (I haven’t read everyone’s responses in this thread).

    You need help with grandson now, and you need help navigating the system. You also need them to help plan for his teens or adulthood, which needs to include safe housing in possibly a group home situation and help with daily needs.

    There has to be things out there for him.

    Keep us informed of how you are doing.

  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    If it were me, my response to this would be "Honey, you have it backwards, you are the one who is cruel by not taking care of your own children"

    Here's a tip that has worked for many of here. Have a list of responses at the ready. This is really helpful when they call, you can just refer to the list. Also, reading them over and over helps to make them stick in your head.
    Daughter: Mom, I really need you to give me some money for "whatever"
    You: I'm not able to help you
    Daughter: Mom, I really need the money you have to help me!
    You: I'm not able to help you
    Daughter: Seriously, you're not able to help me. I know you have the money and I need help!!
    You: You are a grown woman and I'm sure you will figure something out.
    Daughter: I can't believe you won't help me, I hate you!
    You: I'm sorry you feel that way, I love you, good bye.

    One of the best lessons I've learned is to not discuss things with my son. My son loves to take me on trip down the rabbit hole by talking fast and in circles. I have been left feeling confused and defeated. I now know the best way to respond is short, well rehearsed answers.
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    One though I had was to drop the children off with your daughter under certain conditions :
    1. She has been doing at least fairly well in recent days
    2. For no more than let’s say 90 minutes. NOT for long visits.

    Is she close enough that you can do this? This should give you enough time to grocery shop or have a nap or a quiet conversation with your husband.

    Geez, she should be able to babysit her own children once in awhile for short periods of time.

    Maybe if you go to church regularly or know someone who does, they can ask around for a very responsible high school student to babysit the special needs child now and then on a Saturday night for example. You could pay them what you could afford. It could be pseudo volunteer. Again, keep the the time limited like two hours. Just enough to do something fun like have a bite out to eat with your husband.

    Get creative...and find the help you need to enjoy life more fully. Get strong, to set boundaries with your daughter again...enjoy life more fully.

    Is your daughter on food stamps? Maybe you can give her that information/number to get services.

    I would greatly reduce (basically STOP) any financial help you are giving her.
    She should work or be on disability. People on disability can work some part time hours.

    If you can afford it, I hope you can see a therapist for a few sessions or check with your county to see if you qualify for reduced fee services. This stuff is very hard.

    Sending good thoughts.