I am new and don't know where or really how to post.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by sad in SD, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. sad in SD

    sad in SD New Member

    I am new and don't know where or really how to post. This thread looks really old so I don't know who will see this. My daughter is 22. She has mental health issues. refuses to get help after 4 years of us trying to get it for her. We finally got her into a job corp out in San Jose (we live in San Diego), but she stayed only a few months and found a way back to her abusive boyfriend. I bought her a plane ticket to go back, but she refused it and I looked at her and told her that this was the LAST help we were going to give her. She chose to go back to the boyfriend's house. He beats and burns her and recently posted graphic nude photos of her all over his facebook, but she keeps going back. It is like she is addicted to him and throws everything away for him. We have been going through this for 4 years now. She is an alcoholic; she binge drinks and literally wakes up in strange places with bruises all over her. We have tried everything. She was fine until she turned 18 and then BAM all of this. I am physically and emotional sick over this. I am 39 and have two other daughters 7 and 9 and a wonderful husband. I know that she will knock on my door in a couple of days and I will have to close it in her face.. I don't know that I can, but I don't know what else to try. I am so sad and I feel like this is going to be my whole life from now on, as it has been for the last 4 years. I am so sad and worried all the time. I cry every day about her. Every day I think she is dead and put myself through a grieving process and I am drained... I am at a loss. I don't know what the right answer is. I read some people say cut her off completely and I hear other people write not to ever give up on your child.
  2. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    That's an awful situation to be in. If I was going to say something encouraging, it would probably be that she may eventually wake up - but if she doesn't, it's not because you did anything wrong.
    Al-Anon is one resource I've heard about for loved ones in bad emotional places. Needing a safe space with an objective and supportive listener is one way of healing.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hello. I have a different parenting challenge but wanted you to know I saw your post and that I'm here for you.

    Your heart ache is understandable and it sounds like you are making choices no one pictures they'd ever have to make. The parents here who have older children and kids using drugs will have much more useful things to say and I'm glad you found them, they are truly lovely people.

    It hit me when you talked of needing to give up on her (or not) and (again my perspective is different so maybe this won't apply) I've decided that there may come a time I can directly do next to nothing, but that doesn't mean I have to give up in my heart on a healthy level...
    I can continue loving and praying, etc.

    Each childs situation requires different levels of detachment, and over time that will vary.....but our love and hope can go on as much as we want it to.
  4. buddie

    buddie New Member

    I have a daughter like yours. She kept going back to the abuser. She even got pregnant by him. He beat her when she was 9 months and she had to have an emergency c-section. She still went back to him. We got restraining orders. They don't work. As soon as we called the police he would disapear. He went to jail a couple of times but always came back. This went on for 8 years. Off and on.. She knew I wanted nothing to do with him. Finally he got tired of fighting with her and moved. It is hard being a parent. You are always second guessing yourself. Just live a day at a time and remember to take care of yourself. You have to be strong. It is very hard. I never cut her off completely but did not help her financially. Today she is doing ok. No man in her life but she is looking. And I have a wonderful granddaughter. It takes time but eventually she will see the light. I will keep you in my prayers.
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome,
    My heart breaks for you and for your daughter. I'm so very sorry about your situation. I am not well versed in the law, but even though she is of adult age, if he is beating and burning her and the facebook pictures show it, can you report him to the police? I don't know if you even know his address, but it was a thought. If she is mentally ill I don't think she is considered responsible, so perhaps you could at least try to at least have the police get involved.
    From your post, I can see you have tried everything humanly possible to help her. It does seem sometimes that everything is not enough, and that's the frustration. She needs serious help, and if she is ever responsive to it, I'm sure you'll be there for her. Just keep telling her that, it is sometimes all you can do.
    I hope you feel comfortable to post here any time you like. Take care of yourself, too. There are many wonderful support groups for parents through NAMI, AA, etc.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You can refuse to let her live with you unless she changes her life, but that doesn't mean you gave up on her. She knows she will have you if she decides to change things. Not the same as giving up.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hello and welcome.

    You should look into making a domestic violence charge against the boyfriend. Most states now the woman doesn't have to do it herself. Domestic violence is not always easy to escape......even though it may appear simple to us on the outside of the relationship. DV relationships are complicated.......the victim loves her abuser, yet is absolutely terrified of him. It's a cycle that can be next to impossible to break without help. She's not going to like it if you charge him, but you're sending a clear message to her that his treatment is unacceptable not only with you but society as a whole. You're also telling her you're still watching her back. Although it's going to be a while before she ever realizes that.

    I'd call or visit a DV shelter near you and talk to the counselors there.........they're women who have been there done that and can give you both insight and advice. I'd search for an Al-anon meeting near you as well. Some are excellent, others not so much, but if you can find a good one the support can be wonderful.

    I'm wondering which came first.....the boyfriend or the alcohol. But to further complicate things, you can bet the boyfriend is using the alcohol to help control your daughter. So one step at a time, first getting out of the DV relationship, then dealing with the alcohol issue.

    Sadly you can't do either for her. She has to do both by herself. What you can do is let her know you're there for her when she is ready, that you love her and nothing will change that. You'll be walking a tight wire with DV if you attack the boyfriend she will defend him because she loves him and it will take longer for her to see the situation as it really is......yet she also needs to know that no one should treat her that way. Can you leave DV pamphlets around where she can see them perhaps?

    Here we learn detachment. It's not necessarily cutting our kids off completely.......it's stepping back and realizing they're adults and we can no longer make choices for them. It's learning our new role as the parent of an adult child and to put proper boundaries into place. It's a process, it takes practice, and you're not going to learn it all at once.

    I'm so sorry you're having to go through this.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. Sorry you had to find us but glad you did. Although each of us has a different set of problems it is really helpful to have a "safe place" to share our pain. I have never dealt with Domestic Violence issues on a personal basis but I feel confident in suggesting that you call the DV shelter and ask for advice anonymously. Not all shelters are run the same but they all have trained people who will listen, explain choices and give suggestions.

    Meanwhile, as others have said, it is necessary to detach as much as possible. Some parents are able to avoid all phone calls. Many force themselves to avoid FB. Often a support group can be of help. I "think" I know what choices I would make........but.......when it is your child and your pain the choices have to be yours too. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you seek our a position that will allow you to parent your young daughters in a positive way. DDD
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I understand the heartache you feel, I believe many if not all of us here do. You've arrived at a safe place where we can truly get where you are. Everyone has given you terrific advice already, take it all into consideration and move forward at your pace.

    Detachment is a loving process, not a swift cut through a relationship, it is stepping out of the parts of a situation that you can't do anything about. You may want to read the article at the bottom of my post here, it may be useful to you.

    I think getting support for YOU now is going to help YOU feel better. Others have made suggestions about ways to help your daughter and once you've exhausted those, there really is nothing left for you to do but to learn ways to respond to all of it differently, ways which are healthy for you. I hope you have some kind of support system for yourself, a therapist, a counselor, a support group, some place you can go to vent, cry, get tools to cope and learn how to live your life with a modicum of joy and contentment, regardless of the choices your daughter makes. I know that sounds so heartless, how can a parent be happy when our child is hurt.............however, if your child is an adult and is not seeking help, refuses to remove herself from the situation she is in, at some point, there is really nothing you can do.

    I think you have to make a distinction in your heart about what detaching really is........it is NOT cutting our kids off without our love, it is not throwing them out on the street without our help, it is discovering OUR boundaries, recognizing what we really can do and what we can't and communicating that to your daughter. It is taking care of ourselves in the midst of the chaos of their lives and always loving them but sometimes we have to do that from afar. The choices they make can drag a whole family through hell and back, so we take a stand for ourselves and the rest of our family and set boundaries and recognize really just how much control we don't have over the situation. Once we're clear on that, we can step back.

    NAMI is a good organization as CJ recommended, they are the national alliance on mental illness. Find ways to support yourself. There may be professionals you can speak to at a local DV center, someone who has the knowledge to give you advice. Get all the facts, find out realistically what you can and cannot do, do it and then learn how to detach. Find a group or therapist who can support YOU. In order to move through this dark place, you will need to find your strength and regain your balance, your health and find some peace, you, your other children and your husband all deserve to be happy. And, remember, you did not create this situation. (((HUGS)))
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    First let me welcome you to this board and tell you that I am so very sorry for your pain.

    You said that you sent your daughter to a job core position to get away from the abusive boyfriend. Unless she was also getting domestic violence counciling and support services she would not be able to break the pattern.

    California is one of the states that procecutes DV even if the victim is unwilling to press charges. You can make a report and the police are obligated to follow up on it. Contacting your local DV hotline or shelter for information on services is also suggested. Your daughter is in a situation where she is not likely to be able to protect herself or make the decisions needed to free herself of this man's clutches. It is also possible he has threatened her loved ones to make her come back to him. He is obviously a monster and your daughter feels powerless against him. While I agree wih detachment for most problems, I do not when severe domestic violence is involved due to the psycological crippling that these situations cause the victims. Most do not escape these situations without alot of support from people outside the relationship. I strongly recommend reading about California law, talking with domestic violence counselors and possibly making a police report. If he is an illegal he will be prosecuted and then deported and will never again be able to return to the USA legally. If not an illegal but not a citizen the same applies. If a citizen, he will be charged with a crime and held till trial. That will give you time to convince your daughter to get DV counseling and prevention. Here is a link to a lawyer's site who specialized in Domestic violence. It has some information regarding the laws in your state and also some telephone numbers for resources available.


    I also recommend you view this brief video of a talk by DV survivor Leslie Morgan Steiner who answers the question Why don't tey just leave.


    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    RM I think your post is very helpful and comprehensive however haven't I read numerous times in the past year that Ca. no longer incarcerates any but the most severe criminals due to the budgetary problems? I would hate for Sad in SD to believe that the abuser would be behind bars only to find that he might be released after arraignment. Hope I'm wrong! DDD
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think DDD and Exhausted offer good information. It seems that you may need to do some research into the legalities and take the action that feels best to you. If the law backs you up and you can do something to stop the abuse legally, then certainly, that is a viable and very positive choice you can make. Perhaps the best thing you can do is get as much information as you can, if you can talk to an attorney, that would be so helpful, if not, you can glean much information off the internet. Once you find out exactly what you can and cannot do, you will likely feel less powerless too. You're in a tough spot, take good care of yourself along the way.