How to cope with a difficult child ALL the time - 24/7

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by nellytelly, May 7, 2010.

  1. nellytelly

    nellytelly Guest

    What do you do when your difficult child is graduating and has absolutely no intentions of going to college or working and has told everyone that HER future plans are limited to:

    1) Marry the 15-year-old that she thinks she is in love with who is another difficult child (worse off than she is and who she's been warned to not have contact with)
    2) Collect welfare or SSI (because others do it is her reason)
    3)Continue life as it is now, living with Mom and expecting Mom to take care of her every need, pick up and clean up after her and provide food/clothing/home for her indefinitely

    Frankly, I am looking into kicking her out of my home but at the same time I want her to be safe and no relatives are willing to take her in. She's threatened to burn my house down, kill me, and kill herself, and she is disrespectful, rude and mean to most every adult who knows her. She has destroyed a lot of my furnishings, broken a window and allowed strangers into my home when I was not at home and has stolen from me. She is not a nice kid and never has been.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I want to welcome you to our little corner of this wonderful site. You really have found a new bunch of friends who have been there done that and walked a mile in your shoes before. We have probably heard or lived it all before in some form or fashion! Lots of us are still in the midst of the chaos.

    Pull up a chair, grab a cup of whatever is your drink of choice, sit awhile and get to know us. We want to get to know you too. Please go to UserCP at the top of the page and fill out a signature like you see on the bottom of our posts to let us know about you and your difficult child. That helps us keep everyone’s stories straight. There are so many folks on this site that we can’t possibly remember everyone! Thanks!

    Read through our posts here. We have an archives section available down below. There is a wealth of information there. Also check out the Watercooler for tons of fun and humor to let down your hair from dealing with all the chaos. We all need some fun in our lives.
    I am so sorry you had to find our site but I am glad to meet you. I came to this site back in 1999 when my son was 12 years old and quite the handful. As you can see in my signature, he is now 23 years old so I have been here for quite awhile…lol. There were some very dark times but I think we are seeing some light now.

    I want to offer you some links that may be of some assistance.

    Setting boundaries book
    Brainstorming list

    Again, I want to welcome you to our site and to this forum, Parent Emeritus.

    Your Moderator, Dammit Janet;)
  3. nellytelly

    nellytelly Guest

    Thanks for the welcoming post! I definitely will be looking at the detachment article. I felt so defeated and sorry for myself when I first came here and began reading but I spent a while quietly reading and crying in the archives and instantly felt like I fit right in. With parents here like me I don't feel like so much of an outcast like I normally do in my life. I keep to myself for fear that I will run into a parent that knows my difficult child and her misdeeds so I'd rather not risk starting up a convo with anyone anymore and with the police at my home several times I shy away from the neighbors too.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome Nelly! :D

    Sounds like difficult child is stuck between the Never Want to Grow Ups and the I Wanna Play House.

    Problem is that she is already 18. You can no longer make any decisions for her unless you're willing to go thru the process of declaring her unable to do so herself.:faint:

    If it were my child, I'd simply stop doing everything for her. As long as she remained in my home it would be a world of do to get.

    1. Don't clean up after her. If she doesn't clean, have some pretty solid consequences. Travis wouldn't clean, he wouldn't eat that day. Do to get. Don't bathe, don't eat. Don't put your dirty laundry in the laundry room. Wear dirty clothes.

    2. Don't be her transportation. If she can't treat you with respect, she can walk. Simple.

    3. If she is destructive to the home/you, call in the police and let them handle it. She's an adult.

    You'll have to come up with your own list that fits the situation. But do to get is a good method because it's a huge lesson she is going to have to learn for when she does go out into the world. You can't treat someone horribly on one hand and yet expect them to take care of you on the other. Real life just doesn't work that way.

    What worked for me was finding their biggest motivator and using it. Travis has autism. It was/is the only thing that will motivate him. And it was the only thing that ever really worked to any degree.

    I remember back when I thought that life was going to be just peachy when my kids "turned 18 and left home". I used to count down the days (on bad difficult child days). Gawd! Was I naive. :tongue:

    Others will be around with probably better advice. I just started my 1st cup of coffee and am not up to par at the moment. lol

  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I would let her know that as she won't be working or going to school, her bags will be packed after graduation and she will need to move on. She won't get terribly far, and the kindness of strangers - or lack of it - will be a real wake up call. Things just go downhill when they realize that "they're adults" yet fail to realize any of the responsibilities of adulthood.

    Good luck, it won't be easy. Don't debate it, just state it. She'll think you're going to change your mind, but don't. When the time comes, get her some boxes and start with anything of hers that are in the common areas of your home. Remind her that she is indeed an adult who has made choices and it's time for her to figure out how to carry those choices out.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh dont worry about feeling like an outcast here, we are all the outcasts! Having cops at my house was a normal thing until my son moved In fact, it was so normal I dreamed about it even last night!

    Have you looked into applying for SSI for her? With her diagnosis she may well qualify for it. The marrying the 15 year old worries me but I think the state licenses may keep that at bay for a while unless his parents will sign.

    If she can get SSI, it may well be a way out for you. You could look into low income housing for her and move her out! My youngest son gets disability and he lives on his own with his girlfriend and they make do the best they can. I would be a whole lot happier if she would understand the concept of waitressing but thats another story.

    It was my oldest son we had the hardest time with about growing up and working. Contributing to household chores is a well..chore. Im ready for him to be gone too.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Sorry you had to join our board, but, at the same time, welcome!

    Frankly, if she won't work or go to school and threatens to burn down your house, I wouldn't let her live at home even if I feared for her safety. I'd feel she will never grow up unless she had to fend for herself. Also, her threats are serious and scary. Is she using drugs? Does she hit you?

    I'd think seriously about both detaching and giving her a date to pack her bags. And I'd never ever do things for her that she can do herself. No money. No laundry. No changing bed linens or letting her use the car. No paying for the cell phone. Nothing.

    I'm sorry you have to go through this. I know first hand difficult child's are not easy when they are the verge of "adulthood."
  8. Bean

    Bean Member

    Living with the same struggle. Though, my daughter is almost 19 and is at my parent's. She's stolen from them, "hates" them but will take any ride, smokes, WHATEVER without problem. Supposidly she's moving out today (in with her "boyfriend"). No job, not graduated, and lazy, lazy. From what she says, she'd rather sell drugs or hustle, then get an honest job.

    Breaks my heart, BUT her staying with us or my parents does her no good. So we're making the next step. It's hard to get my parents on board (they are severe enablers), but we're getting there.

    Hugs to you.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would tell her that in order to live in your home, she has to be respectful and make a real, honest to goodness attempt at work or school. AND make it clear that she is never ever ever to threaten you again. If she does so, than I would ask her to move out pronto. And offer this kid some therapy asap.

    I would encourage school first as opposed to work. (Edited...made an error before). She could go to therapy either way and should.

    Perhaps take her to the local community college and see what courses might be appropriate. If she has some fear issues, take her to a counselor there. She can always start part time.

    I would give her a deadline to get moving on going to school and/or finding work and a little help, at least at first. Perhaps go with her to the school...but don't go overboard. Bottom line is that it is HER life. Set some boundaries in the home and between you and her.

    YOu might want to consider charging rent; especially if she is not going to school.
    In order to pay rent, she'll have to work. If she doesnt' work, she'll have to move out. If she passes the deadline, go ahead and enforce some consequences. I would do your very best to encourage her to avoid these her a little....and hope for the best. If it doesn't work out, make some suggestions on where she might live until if and when she thinks differently. You can make your door open if she has a change of heart. In the mean time, shake your own personal emotions out of this. How old is she? Surely, if she is is time for you to start thinking of her as a young adult who might have to learn things a different way than others. She might have to take each thing as a learning experience. Step out of her way. But...enjoy life.

    YOu might have to do this with her out of the home. Remember, if she continues to threaten you....she has to move out RIGHT AWAY. No ifs ands or buts. Don't even worry about it. Don't sweat it. It is what it is. Give her fair warning. Nothing more, nothing less. Do not put up with this behavior. And most importantly, don't fret over this. Easier said than done...but DO IT. She should know that there are logical consequences to crazy/bad behavior. IF she has inner turmoil, well, she can get some appropriate help. She can NOT be rude/disprectful and threatening to you and/or others. Period. End of story. Let it go. It will be a learning experience for her and RELIEF for you.

    This might be the best way to cope if she insists on "doing" life with an unhealthy atittude at the moment.
    p.s. Yep, that "detachment" website mentioned is very good. I would re-read it several times:
    Lasted edited by : May 11, 2010
  10. helpme

    helpme New Member

    Hound dog, MidwestMom, witzend, & Nomad gave YOU the answers.
    YOU need to take control. YOU need to make decisions for your difficult child.

    Bean, I have to self moderate/self-control myself whenever I even hear
    that nasty en@bling word. Bleep Bleep Bleep!

    Nellytelly, YOU can teach her to be in charge of her life, by taking back
    YOURS. Best of luck, it's a rough road alright.
  11. Bean

    Bean Member

    One of the hardest things is following through. The boundaries everyone stated are pretty darn reasonable. So, I would just make sure that you're willing to go through with a deadline and have her leave is she does not adhere to the rules. I don't envy you, and have been there myself.
  12. nellytelly

    nellytelly Guest

    The kicking out part is what I need to know more about. She has nowhere to go, no friends or anything. She has refused to budge when I told her to leave before when she was yelling at me and being a monster. We don't even have any boxes to pack her stuff in. She's got a room full of clothes and stuff laying everywhere in there. Half my basement is full of the stuff she's been hoarding.

    She already does her own laundry and feeds herself most of the time (thanks to the school lunch). Her Dad gave her a cell phone but told her she's not welcome there or at his Mother's. I can see her simply refusing to leave my home. What can I do? Call police and tell them she is 18 and so I want her out of my home and to come and take her away? Will they do it? How do you get someone out who doesn't want to go and has no where to go? Will they make me evict her?

    I don't want to be responsible for her in any way anymore. All this talk about ME signing her up for classes and ME driving her here or there - I don't want anything to do with it. I am tired of being her taxi and I want to get on with my life. I gave up 18 years+, a good job, a social life and everything to get this kid to age 18 in one piece and not in jail or pregnant. I feel it's up to her now to carry on with her life. I know nothing about SSI and the only person I know who collects that is her father. He refuses to help her in any way and has told her she is not welcome there.

    Who is going to help her then if not me? Who is going to fill out paperwork and drive her around? Not me! Why does anyone expect me to do any of that for her when she won't even pick up her dirty clothing from my bathroom floor? I have to pay someone to cut my grass or rake leaves. The most she does is take the trash out to the curb after I have to remind her constantly and wait until she feels like doing it. She isn't even capable enough to wash dishes correctly or use the stove!! She wants nothing to do with housework, yardwork and things like that.

    I plan on selling my home and moving into some retirement community. I am physically disabled. I can't take care of the upkeep on a house and yard like this and she can't either. I am tired of being treated like her maid and taxi driver. I had to go pick her up from school just today. they called to tell me she threw up, is sick and needs to be taken home. You don't know how much I wanted to refuse. It was like waking me in the middle of the night since I have bad insomnia and just fell asleep a few hours before they called me.

    No one takes care of me and I need to be able to take care of myself and my health. I can't do that as long as she is here. She has been a burden all these years and it's taken a toll on my mental and physical health. I want to be able to take care of myself and not have to drop everything or be inconvenienced or have to live around what she needs and wants. I want my life back, or what's left of it, anyway.

    I want to know who's going to do all this stuff that she seems unable to do? She even refuses to get a state ID. She can't even go to the bank and cash a check unless she carries around her social security card and birth certificate. She's already tried to lie to the police once before about her age and name. She comes up with all kinds of excuses of why she doesn't want to learn to drive, get her own place, work, go to school, you name it. She's a dead beat just like her father, always looking for someone else to pay her way through life. Lazy. She brags about it like she's proud of it.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Go to the store and get some boxes. Write her a letter giving her 30 days notice to vacate. Give it to her in front of a witness, and keep a copy signed by the witness that it was served to your daughter. Then when the 30 days are up, the next time she goes to the store or a movie or out for a few hours change the locks. Pack the boxes at your convenience and put them out on the porch or at a mutually agreed upon place when you're done.

    It's not your fault that she burned all of her bridges and no one wants her. Someone will put her up for a night or two. They're not doing it now because she has somewhere to sleep - your house.

    There may be someone who will fill out her paperwork and help her figure out how to get to and from the places she needs to go. But no one is ever going to step in as long as you are doing it. And she absolutely will never figure it out for herself so long as you are doing it. If she's capable of doing laundry and feeding herself, she's capable of filling out a form.

    My neighbor sold her house out from under her no good son who wouldn't leave the garage. She moved into a retirement community and told him "Sorry, you have to be 55 years old to live there. You'll have to find someplace to live." Sure enough the day the title papers were signed, the police came and assisted the new owners in moving him out. No one knows where he went, and no one cares. He's not living down the block getting drunk and taking cars apart in the driveway anymore.

    Rest assured that unless your daughter is mentally retarded she is able to do these things for herself. She's a spoiled little girl who is happy to let you do everything for her. Don't you dare feel one bit guilty that you have decided to get on with your life. If it makes you feel any better, you can call the school guidance counselor and tell them what your plans are and suggest that they set her up with a program to teach her life-skills. She's got one tried and true skill that has worked for her for years - leaching off of people who fall for her sob story that she can't do for herself. M got by on that one for over 5 years after he left our house but let me tell you, he never once slept on the street or went hungry. He's a pro at sucking the life out of people. He's getting a little better. But it's his row to plow, not mine.
  14. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I feel for you, if you can, read my post, I believe it was called had to get a restraining order. I too had the same dilemma with my then 19 year old, now just turned 20. Wouldn't do anything, had the police to my home more times than I care to remember. I too did not know "how" to get him to leave because he was not going to leave voluntarily. I was told I would have to evict him but I never had to go that route because unfortunately, he got so disrepsectful and harassed me somuch I had to get a restaining roder in February, and Judge granted me the permanent RO. He came back twice with the police to get some things and his other stuff is still here. My oldest sons could arrange to get it for him if he wants it. He has no license,etc. and was used to me arranging things for him, dentist,doctor,etc. but the disrespect and text messages in February crossed the line so I had to do it. He is with friends in the next town over and even though I am devastated, it was never going to end. He won't acknowledge he has bi-polar so won't take medications,etc. and until he does, he will never be able to function.
    Good luck, I feel better now but he is my youngest child.............