I Never Imagined I’d Be Here- Need Advice

TwinkleToes

New Member
Hi Twinkle- I'm sorry you had to find us, but I'm glad you did. I had several similar situations with my daughter (she is in a much better place now, but tomorrow could be different, I know). She had a baby at 19 with her abusive boyfriend and did all kinds of lying and manipulating to get money, saying she was no longer with him. It was a nightmare and I got so angry over all of it. She did eventually leave him, but for the next several years it was chaos. I had to learn to set and maintain boundaries and to focus on my own health and well-being. I know it's extremely difficult when there are children in the picture. If you think your daughter and her husband are using drugs and/or alcohol I strongly urge you to contact Child Protective Services. I did maybe 5 times with my daughter because I was so worried about my granddaughter, especially when she was little and couldn't tell me what was going on. It takes a lot for children to actually be removed from the home, but just calling does a couple of things: 1) it gets a file open so your daughter and grandson are being tracked as far as behavior and safety 2) it provides a safety net for your grandson, making sure there is food and decent living conditions and 3) it will likely scare your daughter so she might straighten up, at least for a bit. That's how it worked with my daughter. She would get scared and straighten up for awhile.

I have taken a different path as far as sharing information about my daughter. At first I felt like you and didn't want anyone to know. But as I started working on myself and setting boundaries I started realizing her choices are a reflection of her, not me. If she's doing these things she must not be ashamed, so I will tell people who ask. She hated it when I would tell people what was really going on with her. When she asked why I told someone that I would say, "You did it, so you must be OK with it." She really didn't have an answer to that. It has been a very long road. I will say once I learned to set and maintain boundaries with her our relationship improved. Again, I know it's very difficult when there are children involved. Sending peace to you.
Thank you Elizabrary!

I’m so happy to hear your daughter is in a better place now. “You did it so must be okay”. I LOVE that response. I’ve been giving the CPS question a lot of thought. In order for me to learn from you all I have to be honest. Honest with you and myself. A part of me feels if I do that Erin will never speak to me again. If I had witnessed her being neglectful or abusive in any way it would be an easy call to make. What I have seen is an almost empty refrigerator. I’ve seen the separation anxiety my grandson has which I believe to be problematic. Erin has even agreed. Bum’s parents are still in the picture, but don’t have any extra income. I know they would help in a pinch. Are they doing drugs? Yes, but they are prescribed by a doctor. Are they doing additional illegal drugs? I’m not sure. I’ve lost one grandson through no fault of anyone. There is no way I would ever allow my darling to be put in harms way. I honestly don’t know what’s going on since I’m not in the picture, so, therefore, I don’t know what to do about CPS. Again, I’m so happy to hear things have improved for you. I need hope and you’ve helped me. Thank you, Elizabrary
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
What do you think about sending her a message that I’m coming at 3:30 to get my stuff. If she wants to put it on the porch that’s fine with me.
I will tell you what I think. I think this could be risky for you. I would feel badly if she wasn't there or did not open the door. She could well do that, just to make you feel bad, and to have control. Or did not put out the stuff. I would also worry that there could be an argument, or that she (or he) could say or do something. I worry that by going there you put yourself in a lower spot, vulnerable to her.
Anyway, I have a key and could certainly get his permission to go inside when they aren’t there.
I am not an attorney but if your father is on the lease it makes sense that he has the right to go in and out, or even to live there if he wants. If he was willing to go there with you, that would be one option. The thing with this is that she will likely get very angry. And then what? You see, it sounds like her idea of her grandfather on the lease was how it would help her. She did not think about how she could be compromised.

Each of these ideas have their downsides, to me. The first one does not have an upside. The second one, has an upside, but risks, too. I like the second one because if you're sure she (and nobody else) is there, there is limited pain for you.

What other stuff would you be going for, besides the gateway? Is it really worth it. My experience with cable companies is that they will give you credit for returning rented equipment even well past the time, service stops. Is this stuff worth this?

If you enter the house with your Dad I doubt if she will cooperate with the pawn shop. If that jewelry is important to you, I might focus upon that.

Sometimes these lessons we learn cost us.

As far as CPS, I would NOT call unless there is clear cut and verifiable risk to your grandson. Anything less than that risks the calls being considered by CPS as crank calls, or only to make trouble. That would hurt your grandson's situation rather than help it.
 

TwinkleToes

New Member
Hi there and welcome, you are among friends.

My household recently expanded to include our 19 year old son, who we sent to rehab a couple months ago. He transitioned to a sober living facility but did not want to follow their rules, and became disruptive/disrespectful, so he was kicked out. He begged us to give him a chance. We have done so - with a strict contract outlining our expectations and the consequences if he does not follow our rules.

We have a very long and troubled history with both of our sons. This son is the antisocial type who won't do anything unless he sees direct personal benefit. He is with us only because he has no other resort other than homelessness. There have been years of estrangement between us and him, by his choice. We have gone from no contact at all, to taking him in, in a three month span of time. It has been a whirlwind to say the least.

So far things are going smoothly. It's only been one week.

Regarding your daughter, unfortunately it sounds like she is beyond reach at the present time. I agree that based on her behavior, it certainly sounds like heavy drug use is involved. To deal with all this on top of chronic pain, and back surgery imminent, is absolutely awful.

One day at a time. Do you have support to help you through your surgery - someone reliable?
Oh BBU, that certainly is a whirlwind. It must be so difficult to be faced with a decision to have your son living on the streets or making your life a living hell. Based upon his behavior in rehab, I’m sure you’re waiting for the other shoe to fall. I’m hoping for the best for you all.

You’re the second person who said it seems like heavy drug use is involved. I find that really difficult to come to grips with. It scares me to death. The reality of it is that it’s the only reasonable explanation for my daughter to say and do what’s doing. It’s sinking in albeit slowly. Ugh!

My fiancé is wonderful and will take good care of me ..BUT! He has a fairly large family owned business and time off isn’t much of an option. My parents are divorced and live out of state. My 20 year old son took me for an injection I had under anesthesia and that was enough to show me he’s not the greatest nurse. My daughter should be helping me, but she’s too busy screwing her life up. Most of my friends work but will pitch in I’m sure. We can hire someone if necessary. That was really sweet of you to ask. Good luck with your son. I hope he surprises you follows the contract to a T, but reality has you on pins and needles I’m sure. Take care!
 

TwinkleToes

New Member
I will tell you what I think. I think this could be risky for you. I would feel badly if she wasn't there or did not open the door. She could well do that, just to make you feel bad, and to have control. Or did not put out the stuff. I would also worry that there could be an argument, or that she (or he) could say or do something. I worry that by going there you put yourself in a lower spot, vulnerable to her.
I am not an attorney but if your father is on the lease it makes sense that he has the right to go in and out, or even to live there if he wants. If he was willing to go there with you, that would be one option. The thing with this is that she will likely get very angry. And then what? You see, it sounds like her idea of her grandfather on the lease was how it would help her. She did not think about how she could be compromised.

Each of these ideas have their downsides, to me. The first one does not have an upside. The second one, has an upside, but risks, too. I like the second one because if you're sure she (and nobody else) is there, there is limited pain for you.

What other stuff would you be going for, besides the gateway? Is it really worth it. My experience with cable companies is that they will give you credit for returning rented equipment even well past the time, service stops. Is this stuff worth this?

If you enter the house with your Dad I doubt if she will cooperate with the pawn shop. If that jewelry is important to you, I might focus upon that.

Sometimes these lessons we learn cost us.

As far as CPS, I would NOT call unless there is clear cut and verifiable risk to your grandson. Anything less than that risks the calls being considered by CPS as crank calls, or only to make trouble. That would hurt your grandson's situation rather than help it.
You’re right, right, right! It absolutely puts me in a vulnerable position if I relied upon her to put my things on the porch. One more way for her to say , screw you! Then the anger, hurt and disbelief starts all over again. It’s like picking off a scab. It infuriates me that I’m going to loose everything I loaned her in good faith, but it’s going to be a very expensive lesson that I won’t make again. I’ve practically loaned her the contents to fill an entire apartment. Some things I don’t care about, others I do. I see what you’re saying though. As long as I am unable to release the fantasy of getting my things back, she’s wielding power over me. If I’m able to let these possessions go, she has nothing other than my grand, which is huge. Part of me is hanging on the items at the pawn shop like a dog with a bone. I feel that I chose that particular way of helping so that it would require her involvement. Just going to the bank and cashing a check is too easy. I guess that backfired. I never imagined she was capable of handling this how she has. Erin and the baby are scheduled to go to Connecticut in a few days to see her dad and stepmom. She’s treated them badly also and promised to visit about a month ago and then stopped communicating when Erin and I had the big blow up. I’ll be shocked if she gets on the plane. I want you to know, Copa, you’ve been VERY helpful. Muah!
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I’m going to loose everything I loaned her in good faith
You don't know that yet. There is time for her to do the right thing. Until now there was no incentive for her to do so, as long as you asked for nothing, had no bottom line. You say you know she misses you. Let's let her chew on that for a while. It's not that you want her to suffer, but that she has to know (and so do you) that you DO have a bottom line.

You expect to be treated with respect, for one.

And there is the issue of trust. And of responsibility.

We need to feel that the people we love will be trustworthy and take responsibility to do the right thing.

Most of us on this board can't have the confidence in our adult children that they are trustworthy, self-respecting, giving of respect, and responsible people. But I hold to the position that I MUST hold it in my consciousness that my child should live his life in this way. I won't compromise with that set of values. I don't think you should, either.

You are not punishing her. You are essentially telling her, through your own conduct, that until she chooses to step up, you need to step back.

As far as the drug use, if she abuses prescription pills it's as dangerous as illegal, strong drugs. I don't see what you can do about it, at this point, unless your grandson is in danger or neglected. Your daughter seems like a loving young woman. I believe she can and will do the right thing. It's a hunch. But a strong one.
 

TwinkleToes

New Member
You don't know that yet. There is time for her to do the right thing. Until now there was no incentive for her to do so, as long as you asked for nothing, had no bottom line. You say you know she misses you. Let's let her chew on that for a while. It's not that you want her to suffer, but that she has to know (and so do you) that you DO have a bottom line.

You expect to be treated with respect, for one.

And there is the issue of trust. And of responsibility.

We need to feel that the people we love will be trustworthy and take responsibility to do the right thing.

Most of us on this board can't have the confidence in our adult children that they are trustworthy, self-respecting, giving of respect, and responsible people. But I hold to the position that I MUST hold it in my consciousness that my child should live his life in this way. I won't compromise with that set of values. I don't think you should, either.

You are not punishing her. You are essentially telling her, through your own conduct, that until she chooses to step up, you need to step back.

As far as the drug use, if she abuses prescription pills it's as dangerous as illegal, strong drugs. I don't see what you can do about it, at this point, unless your grandson is in danger or neglected. Your daughter seems like a loving young woman. I believe she can and will do the right thing. It's a hunch. But a strong one.
I completely agree that until she chooses to step up, I need to step back. I’m not so sure Erin has even noticed I’ve backed off because she isn’t reachable by phone. Her stepmother has had some success getting in touch, but that’s usually after several attempts. I have always believed I demanded respect from my kids but now I can see that isn’t just limited to words and tone of voice. I’m completely clueless about my bottom line. What is it? Would you recommend me not accepting any phone calls IF she tries to call? I have no idea how to handle anything anymore. We know she’s not trustworthy or respectful, nor is she responsible or self-respecting as evidenced by her treatment of me. Withholding my grand from me abusive. Where do I even begin with her?
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Where do I even begin with her?
I think the beginning is with yourself. To practice locating yourself in you. Not in her.

There is a reality here, I think.

You risked so much. You put so much into her. Into her hands. This is not to criticize or blame you.

But she was unsafe. The challenge now is to pay attention to what's real. To what you see.

To not feel it is your responsibility to fix her or help her or to take care of her or the baby. All of these things are her responsibility, primarily. She is an able-bodied woman. She is a mother.

Either you were not paying attention or you disregarded what you saw.

You put your heart and things into a situation where you could lose.

I believe you saw it but did not give it adequate thought or importance. So locating yourself in you, you would listen to what you feel, and see what you see. And feel and accept what the costs are of what you give, and where you are at risk.

There is a valuing of yourself. Putting your energy and resources and commitments where they bear fruit. Where you have some hope of control. And that's with you.

I'm not saying not to help her, but help her in a way that keeps you safe. If you don't act from yourself, how can you be safe?

I think the first lesson is to let her take care of her. And get out of her lane. Which you are doing. Let her live as she wants.

I do the same thing with my son. I make conditions. I understand why we do it. But I am learning to make the conditions only where I have the right to and the control to enforce it.

She loves you. You love her. That's a great place to start. Wait until she comes to you. Start from love.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
I’m completely clueless about my bottom line. What is it?
Would you recommend me not accepting any phone calls IF she tries to call?
I think we know our bottom line from what we feel in our body. I think "gut feelings" tell us.

Do you want to talk to her? Let that dictate if you do. I don't remember this second what the last encounter was like. If it was difficult you need to address it, if you talk to her.

I always tell the truth to my son, so he and I know where we stand. If you choose to speak to her, if it doesn't go well, you can pull back.
 

TwinkleToes

New Member
I think we know our bottom line from what we feel in our body. I think "gut feelings" tell us.

Do you want to talk to her? Let that dictate if you do. I don't remember this second what the last encounter was like. If it was difficult you need to address it, if you talk to her.

I always tell the truth to my son, so he and I know where we stand. If you choose to speak to her, if it doesn't go well, you can pull back.
Boy there is so much truth to what you’ve said. I gave more than I could afford to loose which put myself in a hostage situation. My grand has become a pawn in this dynamic and he has been her ace in the hole. He is the reason I turned the other cheek when I shouldn’t have. The last time I saw her, she kicked me out of her apartment and refused to let me see the baby, who was crying for me. I took the car on the spot. I cancelled her phone and internet within 30 minutes. She had the nerve to say something about getting no help as she was taking out the trash. Another mother here advised me not to bring up what she’s done, that it was her responsibility. I believe as certain things arise it will give me the opportunity to address her behaviors. For example, “Mom how about I come over for xyz”? My response would be, I’d love for you to come over if you can treat my house and me with respect. I have a bad back and can not, and will not, spend a week putting it back together. She will act offended and cancel or suggest somewhere else. I’ve already told her, I won’t load up all these gifts for the baby, they are too heavy and too big. I have a 2 door sports car and a kitchen will not even fit. I’m DONE hauling stuff from here to there. It almost killed me. She refuses to put a lid on her drinks and the baby spills every single one. The wet laundry I did because of that was absurd. I told her when she’s here she has to have a lid or drink outside. I had stopped with the laundry shortly before the fall out. Those are conditions I can enforce. Right now, I have no desire to help her with anything. I’m afraid that the only power she has over me is the baby and she knows it, and clearly isn’t afraid to use it. I cannot go through this over and over again with her. That ....I know for sure. I think in “talking” to you I’ve realized I’m not ready, nor am I equipped, to see her yet. Could you recommend a good book on boundaries?
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
In Al Anon, and for us we believe the principles apply to everyone, addicted loved ones or not, we are not taught to do anything for anyone that the person is capable of doing for herself. Nothing. Adults do what they can do without Mom or Dad. They are usually starting to look after us by now, but that doesn't happen much from what I read about these Peter Pan kids.

I am a huge fan of Radical Acceptance. Look it up or read Tara Beach's book. The past is over and no longer our current reality. The future is a blank slate. All it causes is our imagination, which is not reality, to go wild and cause fear. If you believe in God, He said fear is the opposite of love. You cant love completely and feel fear. I buy this and find it to be true. I live for today. For the moment. The current moment is our only true reality. Everything has happened before or is our imagination and may never happen. All of us only have NOW as our reality. This has helped us cope in every way and in every bit of life.

What ypur daughter does in the future is not yet a concern. Today, right now, is reality. With you. With me. With our kids. With our unknown futures.

Don't overthink, another nugget of wisdom I learned. Our mind can trick us. The ego mind tells us the very worse scenarios. It is also often wrong.

The reality of now, mindfulness, Al Anon, therapy and especially Radical Acceptance have helped us move forward. Nothing else did. If interested, look up what you can on Youttube and listen. Buy appropriate books.

We let Kay abuse us. Today we would disconnect the phone call. I would love to have normal access to my grandson, but I can't. Its the reality of my NOW. I pray about it. I cant force Kay to not put strings on our visiting him. I have toou much respect fore to grovel. Not today or NOW. Groveling before never worked and came with conditions.

Lastly, I don't like to talk about this, but I think I already mentioned that I had a child who died. It never goes away but nobody can take that childs place in my heart either.

So both of us have had challenges but we are still here, soldiers, so to speak.

We are strong. You are strong. You can do this. In the moment. Your way.

When Kay stole, nobody wanted her to have a police record, although technically she was a thief. She never got consequences. So here she is now, in the moment, all three of us the people we are due to all we did in our past, good and not so smart. But we let her off and in the NOW if she steals, and she may, there are consequences she never reaped from us. We can't change it and you are the only ones who can decide what to do. Now. Today. I hope you find peace in what you do.

God bless you, if He is in your life. Be sure to stay well and safe.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
put myself in a hostage situation.
You did. We all do. Love is a hostage situation.
the baby, who was crying for me.
The baby is the ultimate hostage. For both of you.
“Mom how about I come over for xyz”? My response would be, I’d love for you to come over if you can treat my house and me with respect.
In Al Anon they say "'No' is a complete sentence." I don't think you need to justify yourself about your boundaries. It weakens you. And it is blaming of her. It's like getting your licks in. And she will react badly, like this:
She will act offended and cancel
I do it. But I'm wrong. Just say no in a nice way. Then if she brings it up, and asks why, sit down quietly, and explain. Say, I can't help you load because when I do, my back hurts for a week. Or, I need us to make a plan to make less mess.
Could you recommend a good book on boundaries?
The book people talk about as being useful is this one: Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. I did not read it because I'm not a Christian and it is from that frame of reference.
 

RN0441

100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Hi

Just catching up. Sorry you are dealing with this! Good grief. The baby situation - ugh that is awful for you I'm sure.

I just wanted to say that usually pawn shops only give you 30 days to get your items back. At least that is what happened with us. Our son had sold a gold chain to a pawn shop that we bought him. We found the receipt in his car while he was in Florida and entered another rehab. We were going to visit him and get his car (fun times). I called them immediately and had to pay $90 to get it back but we did because after all we had been through, we just didn't want to fight them for it.

I wish I had advice or thoughts to give you on your daughter. I will say that my son's abuse of prescription drugs almost killed him and completely changed him to his core. It is a very serious matter if this is what they are doing.

Prayer and my faith got me through my situation and keeps me going. Seriously I don't know how anyone can do it without knowing there is a God and you are not alone. I could not.
 

JayPee

Sending good vibes...
Welcome Twinkletoes

I'm sorry I just saw your post this morning. I just wanted to mention that although I don't exactly know if the item your talking about it similar to a modem for internet connectivity but I'm betting if you call the internet company you use and explain your circumstances that they may give you the option to "buy" it. I know in our area that some people have the option to either "rent" them by paying a minimal amount on our monthly invoice or purchasing it outright. If you were able to do that, yes it's unfortunate to have to pay for it but for me it would put this issue to bed and allow you to discontinue paying for any internet services going forward for her and save you money in the long run. To me, this is you just taking control of you, which is all we "can" do. Our angst and pain always lies in not being able to control someone else when in reality the only one we can control is ourselves.

Also, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandchild to SIDS. I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I'm wondering if the addictions and behavior your daughter has chosen might be her avenue to not to deal with the loss of her child. Grief can show itself in many ways like anger and resentment. Again, I'm not an expert but I sometimes think that our children hurt us parents the most when they've been hurt and angry, when something doesn't turn out the way they wanted it to. Somehow in their minds they've got to pay someone back for the hurt they're going through. Perhaps, that's why she withholds your 3 yr. old grandson from you and is so disrespectful to you. She is still grieving and wants you to hurt too. She doesn't know how else to express it and possible doesn't realize she's projecting her sadness this way. Since she couldn't "control" the death of her child, perhaps she's just trying to "control" you. I know you mentioned you honor the grandchild that died from SIDS but maybe the grieving isn't really over for her. Maybe she didn't process it quite like you thought she did. This goes right to the old, we think we know what they are feeling and thinking but we don't. They are separate people from us and life has changed them sometimes into people who are now strangers to us.

There are lots of great books out there about enabling no more, boundaries and such. Try reading some of them. I know for me that was an eye opener. I felt and still do feel like they are personalized books written for me. I exhibit so much of what's explained in them.

I feel like if you start to change yourself, have a healthier mind-set and try not to focus on the loss of the relationship of your daughter and your grandchild so much, that things will start to change. Focus on you, pray and meditate if you can and find peace within yourself.

Remember you can only control yourself...no one else. Once we stop trying to fix, rescue and change others we experience freedom.

I always try to remember that saying, "nothing about freedom is free". For me that even applies to my own well-being. If I want freedom from the emotional, psychological stuff my sons put me through I have to put a lot of hard work into getting better. It doesn't just happen with a happy poem or a one-liner quote. Maybe, this is a good time for your to learn more about yourself and who you are and grow and nuture that.

Sending peace.
 
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Nomad

Well-Known Member
I’m so sorry regarding the loss of your grandson.

My thoughts are the same as the others...but experience is key. They know from experience.

I recall someone saying to me “how do you know if an addict is lying?”
Answer: “Their lips are moving.”

Don’t trust your daughter or her husband.
Consider: Dont let them have access to your home or valuables. Don't gift them anything with the possible exception of something specific for your grandson...at least at this time.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
( just loved this post, JP. It's among my top 5 in a lifetime posts.

This analysis of daughter's behavior is so prescient. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Putting this into words helps me better understand why my son hurts me. Tells me how his sadness will never get better. How he's always depressed. He wants to share it with me. Because I won't help him make it go away.
Somehow in their minds they've got to pay someone back for the hurt they're going through. Perhaps, that's why she withholds your 3 yr. old grandson from you and is so disrespectful to you.
I am not sure if the wish is payback. It could be. I see it more as sharing. A boundary issue. And the childlike belief that mothers are there to reassure and to make the pain go away.
She is still grieving and wants you to hurt too. She doesn't know how else to express it and possible doesn't realize she's projecting her sadness this way.
I think this is so.
"nothing about freedom is free".
I love this!!!
 
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