Is anyone here parent to an adult child with Asperger's/roleplaying addiction?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by goomer, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. goomer

    goomer New Member


    New here. Don't even know where to start.....

    I guess first I want to ask if there is anyone here in a similar predicament as me?

    My daughter is 27, a documented genius, alma mater to our area's best gifted program (public school), and a complete underachiever. In fact, so much so, she has only had one successful job in her life (fast food) and her other job failed miserably, getting her tossed out of the military (coast guard) because she cannot cope with simple, everyday expectations such as waking up on time, being responsible for anything, etc. She recently got the Asperger's diagnosis and now uses that to explain away why she cannot do anything. She loves having an excuse not to have a job or work toward a viable future. Her LARPing (see below) friends seem to be supporting her on the most part, or she gets a place in a fellow LARPers house and fails to pay rent because she has no money.

    She has flushed every single opportunity and advantage ever given to her down the toilet.

    Her obsession? Live Action Role Play (LARPing), World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, etc. She lives in fantasyland and every single *friend* she has is through these so-called "hobbies" They are not hobbies, though. She lives for them and because of them, cannot work, go to school to better her future, have an actual relationship with a person outside of this network, etc. She is obsessed with being a victim and loves to play the sick role. Her lies, stealing, cheating, and blatant disregard/disdain for this family finally came to a head about one week ago, and she is no longer accepted as part of this family in her current status.

    She relishes being on the fringe, and the weirder/freakier a person is, the more likely she is to seek that person out to befriend. She thinks responsibility and achievement is for boring people.

    I am at a loss. Have tried so hard over the years to guide her, to be a good example for her, and went so far as to apologize to her for my failings. She hates me, I think.

    Her future was so bright as a young girl, one would never know this if looking at her now.

    Is there anyone on here who has an adult child with similar problems?

    Thanks for reading. This has been a horrible week, and she wrecked my tenth year wedding anniversary on top of it all..
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome!

    My kid's problem are different, though he too has battled with behavioural addiction (that is, what your daughter's roleplay obsessions likely are too.) Larping, roleplaying, gaming etc. can be nice and productive hobbies, but unfortunately they can also be addictions. WoW especially is notorious.

    Being in fringe may feel cool especially for young people an also some more mature people. But there is a huge difference between having alternative lifestyle and different focus in life and mooching on others and living parasite lifestyle.

    Sooner or later your daughter will find doors closing in front of her an having to make some hard decisions about her life. Unfortunately you can not do anything to help her confront that truth any sooner than before she is either ready or has no other choice.

    She is bright and she has friends (which likely means she is not totally lacking social skills.) Some day she may surprise you with (positive) ways she can make her life work. But right now she may not have enough motivation to do so. You not allowing her to mooch off you may bring that day bit closer and that is about all you can do.

    Other than that unfortunately only thing you can really do, is detach and learn to have a fulfilling life despite her issues and choices.
  3. goomer

    goomer New Member

    Thank you for your reply. I understand what you are saying.

    The thing about her friends is that they are ALL heavily involved in this LARPing business. She cannot and will not have any friends who are not into this.

    She is unwilling and supposedly unable to have gainful employment....but she can LARP every chance she gets if someone is willing to pay for her to go to these things.

    She once had money and great opportunity to make something of herself if only she had tried to make a few strategic decisions. Instead, all of her funds and efforts have been flushed away by this addiction.

    No, I can't help her remain the victim, when she really has known no real hardship in life. But this really hurts, and it doesn't make it very easy for me to be happy about things going better for my stepkids when my own child is so maladjusted.

    I really hope there are a few parents on here who can relate to what I am going through lol.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I do have a child with high functioning autism and he does obsess, but not so that he can't function. However, although he can leave his obsessions at home, he is always thinking about them and obsessions/addictive thinking is a big part of any form of autism. It is unlikely to go away, especially if she has always had these obsessions. It is not like drinking or drug addiction. It is getting mentally stuck because of the autistic brain.

    Your daughter has a very real disability. In spite of her intelligence, she is on the autism spectrum and obsessive interests are part of the problem with many of our kids. This disaiblity is getting in the way of her living a so-called "normal" life and her brain is likely wired differently than other smart young adults. She is not misguided and you have not been a "bad" parent. She is simply not a typical person and her quirks, which are not unusual, are more important to her than your idea of a successful life. She doesn't think like you and me. Her problems at work are common for an ASDer. It is also common for an ASDer to have a very high IQ yet be unable to hold a job. I know an Asperger's man who has an IQ of 160, speaks six languages, and can not even hold a janitor's position. He is on full disability. He will never be completely independent, in spite of his extreme brilliance. Fortunately he is married, but his wife has to sort of take care of everything. His obsession is Christianity and he spends all his life on it. He can quote the Bible almost verbatim and thinks about it constantly.

    Have you ever spent a great deal of time studying what Asperger's Syndrome really is? Has your daughter gotten Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) interventions as a young child and up? I don't mean talk therapy...that doesn't work for most Aspies. I mean, learning how to deal with the world as it is. It works with some Aspies and some Aspies remain stuck to their own ways of thinking, not to be defiant but because they are different. I feel you are being hard on her. The very things you say she WON'T do are things many if not most Aspies CAN'T do, especially regarding relationships.

    Does she still live with you? If so, why is that? She is twenty-eight and there are assisted living apartments if she is unable to work, either due to Aspergers, mental illness, or both. Are you paying all her bills? She will never break away from her obsessions if you do not force her to make her own money and buy her own luxuries. The Dept. of Workforce Development should be able to get her a job. It may be a simple job, one that she normally would be too bright to do, but because of her issues she may have to take a job that, say, does not involve multi-tasking. She sounds sort of Aspie and sort of "something else" to me. Can you give us a longer history on her, from babyhood on (the short version). Any mental illness on either side of her family tree?

    Do you have any other children who are being affected by her behavior?
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I may have some of that experience that you are looking for.

    First of all I was borderline genius most of my life but in high school I also threw away all my chances at doing things the right way. I had the SAT's and grades to get into any college I wanted but I decided to quit at the end of my senior year. I got my GED instead. I was in the first class that had to take graduation exams to actually graduate in VA and I got the second highest score in the state and I took the test stoned.

    I havent had the life I was born to have. My parents had me late in life and they were born during the Great Depression. They worked extremely hard and became upper middle class. I can in no way be called that myself. However during my early twenties I turned around because I had kids. I had no choice but to become responsible because I had someone else to take care of. Im now disabled but I am so much better off than I was as a teen. We didnt know it but I have been bipolar all of my life.

    Now I have a 32 year old son who we believe is aspie lite. He should have been diagnosed when he was young but he fell through the cracks because I had two other much more obvious kids with mental health issues. We actually thought my oldest was a really good kid who didnt need much parenting because he caused no trouble. Boy were we wrong.

    He is also extremely smart but it took him about 4 years out of HS before we could convince him to go to the local community college. Then he didnt get his drivers license until 2008 because he had such anxiety in that area. He didnt work at all until maybe 2003 when he got his first job during the Xmas season at a layaway counter. He obviously was let go when the rush was over. Later he went to live with his younger brother for a little over a year and managed to get a job working at 7/11. That actually gave him some feeling of success and he wanted to work from that point on. He has now been working at the same retail store for the past 5 or 6 years. I think its closer to 6. Its not what he wants to do for a living but at least he is working.

    He has also always been into computers. He plays lots of online games with other people. I have no clue which ones. Before he worked he could be on the computer all day and we would hardly see him. Now that he works he doesnt play as much though he does play some. I personally dont think he will ever actually move out of our house unless something really good comes along. We are okay with that because he really doesnt cause us problems.

    *He will never be as normal as we had thought when he was young either but he has grown up a whole lot.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Goomer, welcome. I'm sorry you find yourself struggling with your daughter's choices. Being a parent under the circumstances you state is very difficult.

    I have a 40 year old daughter who is quite similar to your daughter. Had enormous potential, extremely high IQ, exceedingly bright in all honors classes in school with little or no effort, appeared at that time to be headed to great success in whatever she chose. Once the real world kicked in, she did not fare so well.

    I also have a sister who has been diagnosed with Aspergers and Bi-polar and a few other things. Similar M.O. Brilliant with many issues.

    My daughter, like your daughter plays a lot of games and excels at them. However in real life, she has no job, has no intention of getting a job and finds people who will support her without her paying for anything.

    My sister, on the other hand, completed graduate school, became an artist, manages her issues as well as can be expected and has become somewhat successful, although lacks social skills, she found ways to compensate.

    I raised both my sister and my daughter, so I am familiar with what you're talking about.

    Your daughter is 27. If she lives with you, you may want to rethink that and look into eviction. Unless she is willing to make changes in her lifestyle, there is NOTHING you can do. If she lives with you, research eviction because in some states you have to have a court order even if the person being evicted is your own child. This may sound harsh, but at this point, all you are doing is enabling her, IF she is living with you.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. My experience, similar to yours, is that right now what you need to do is focus on YOU and the rest of your family. For me what that meant was putting all my effort into getting over my own enabling patterns and stopping MY behaviors that kept my daughter and I enmeshed in a negative and unhealthy pattern. I changed immensely. She didn't change at all. I had to recognize how powerless I really am to enact change in anyone else. That was a huge process of detachment.

    I got myself into a codependency program at a huge HMO which lasted 22 months. I just this week completed it. It changed my life. The program had a monthly meeting with a therapist and weekly therapist run support groups where we learned tools to detach. I also attended CODA 12 step meetings, read a lot of books, kept posting on this site and really listened to what others further a long on the detachment path had to say. I contacted NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness and talked to Social workers there. I learned a lot there too. They offer support groups for parents which are very, very helpful. You can contact them online, they have chapters everywhere. NAMI assisted me in getting together resources which my daughter could have used for getting on either Social Security or disability (giving her an income), receiving therapy, medical insurance, housing, education, medication....even massage and healing opportunities. I set it all up........she ignored it all and threw that away too. You can find out what the options are for your daughter as well. And, you will have to let go if she decides to not do anything to help herself.

    The main goal is to stop enabling your daughter in whatever ways you do. That is not helpful for you or for her. At her age there is little you can do about her choices until or unless she decides to change and ask for your help. Until then, which may or may not happen, you must concentrate on YOUR own life and find ways to fulfill yourself, find your joy and have peace of mind. For me that meant putting all my energy into myself and seeking the support I needed to change so I could let go of my daughter and accept ALL that I cannot change. It is quite a process, she is my only child, it was difficult, which is why I always advocate getting professional help.

    All that potential your daughter had is so hard for us to let go of, but the truth is we have no control over it. I am so saddened by the choices my daughter has made and what she in essence threw away, but there is nothing I can do about it, regardless of what her issues are, whether she is mentally ill, lazy, feels superior to to others or whatever, she is who she is and I have had to accept it.

    I feel bad for you, I know how hard this is and how much it hurts, believe me. But you can either pine away for the life your daughter could have had, stay stuck in your sadness and anger or you can move on and recognize exactly what you can do and what you cannot do, what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do..............and move forward and enjoy your life. This is one of the most challenging things we parents can face and yet there is nothing you can do.......................keep posting it helps, seek support, focus on YOU, nurture yourself, do what YOU love and choose joy. I am so sorry you find yourself here, but you can find acceptance which is the ultimate accept what you cannot change.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
  7. goomer

    goomer New Member

    Oh, and quick question before responding to these posts (thanks for everyone's input by the way) many posts do I have to make in order to not require moderation? I didn't see anything addressing this in the forum. Thank you!

    Just got my answer as the post showed up immediately. Cool.
  8. goomer

    goomer New Member

    I will get to all of your questions later for sure. Have to ask though....

    Why am I being hard on her, just out of curiosity?
  9. goomer

    goomer New Member

    No. She's been mooching off her friends for an unknown period of time.....I say unknown because she has lied so much about everything to us that there is no way for me to know what's true and what isn't.

    I haven't seen these. It would likely be too proactive a thing to do, though. She doesn't do anything that's proactive near as I can tell. Not being harsh here.....just realistic.
    We were paying for her brand new cell phone....she was on our plan and we had bought the phone as a birthday present for her after she told us she was sincerely interested in getting her life together. Of course, when this all blew up last week, it was discovered she had been lying to us (myself and her stepdad....who is wonderful father figure to her) all along, so we shut the phone off for good. Other than that, I am pretty sure she's not been paying her auto insurance, because in order to do so would require she have a source of income, which she does not. I know she was also very behind on her rent on the room she has in some crazy dude's house.
    Yes, she cannot multitask at all lol

    . Why do you think so?

    This will take a while lol.

    Short version:
    Nobody in my own family is maladjusted in the way she is.....not even close, in fact. The closest relative to have any similar issues whatsoever would have been my mother's half-brother, now dead. Everyone on my side of the family has at least a four year degree, and several of us, including myself, have graduate degrees. We have all had gainful employment and dealt with normal responsibilties.

    Myself? I am on the Aspie spectrum somewhat, but have never really made that a big deal in my life. I guess I don't live my life around a diagnosis, which to me seems seriously counterproductive. I was very young when my daughter was born, only 19. My father had died just the year before, and I had no relationship with my mother to speak of (long story) Having her at a young age was both the hardest thing I've done, but yet it saved me at the same time. I will go into that later in more detail.

    Her dad had issues as well....some of which were medical (rheumatic heart disease contracted while he was in the Navy which ultimately killed him back in 2007), and some of which were mental. He had a *nervous breakdown* in 1993. He was extremely bright, but unable to work much throughout all of her life. He chalked it off to the heart disease. It may have been more than that, though. He spent time twice in mental hospitals before he knew me because he (and I quote) "wanted a vacation"

    Yes. My 5 yo son was there when everything came to a head last week. He has been very sad that he won't be seeing his big sister anymore. My 20yo stepson was also there. This has hurt the entire family.

    I admit part of my problem with all of this is watching her behave in ways that are so antithetical to everything I hold dear. Something to do with a strong belief in the old adage *whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger*
  10. goomer

    goomer New Member

    Some of your story definitely reads as familiar lol

    difficult child (now I know what this means lol) was first invited to take her SATs when she was 12 years old. She scored 1230/1600. When she took it again at 15, she got 1530/1600....and was actually disappointed with her score of all things. When she was a young girl she showed all the promise you'd expect in a young person....although looking back, some of the signs were definitely there.
    Sounds a bit like her dad who, in his 20s, took some IQ test stoned off his butt only to score well into the Genius range.
    Our situation is the opposite. She was born very early in my life and this made her stand out in the gifted program especially. All the other parents were married, established, and some 15-20 years older than I was....while at the time, I was finishing my undergrad and preparing to enter medical school, as well as working part time. So, our income was more limited in that sense.

    . That's pretty much what I've done as well. It helped also that all the education and work ethic I'd shown in my life is partially what attracted my husband to me in the beginning. Between us, we're technically upper middle class even if our debt is high lol
    Totally understand this. Having difficult child turned me around for exactly the same reasons.

    This is partially why she never got the diagnosis as a little girl. My best friends' son had a much more obvious case of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie's that I never really thought of her on that same spectrum as a young mom. Looking back though....the signs were there.

    Same for difficult child. She generally was a pretty good kid and not one to create chaos or even talk back that much.
    She drove at a normal time, but to this day has a great deal of anxiety about it. It was her issue with driving that first caused her problems in the military. She FREAKED OUT when her superior officer told her to move some truck. She refused, telling him she couldn't do it. Not something you do in the military at all lol.

    Her only successful job has been Arby's, right after high school in the interim between graduation and entering the military.

    I honestly don't see this happening for her at all. I think she is hoping to get disability so she doesn't have to work. Her father was on it because of the heart disease. I think she wants the same "permanent paid vacation" he had.
    This happened during her senior year. She nearly failed a class because of it, which is unheard for her if she even bothers to go to class.

    That must be very hard. I don't know if I could ever deal with that myself. Same for my just goes against everything we believe in. No disrespect meant to your situation, of course :)

    That's good to hear at least.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She may not be able to do what you want of her, that's all. It's like my friend's son. By all accounts, he is a brilliant 36 year old young man who should be working at a high level job because he's so smart. But Aspergers actually can cut into a person's ability to live up to their IQs. This young man is a doll, but he has lost every job he ever had. For one t hing, being an Aspie, he thinks everything should be fair so he argues with his bosses if he sees injustices and can't seem to learn not to. He also does not really understand or accept that some people have authority over him in the workplace and gets into trouble by making "helpful" suggestions to his bosses. He does not know how to "play the work game." He is socially clueless. On top of that he can't get his obsession (Christianity) out of his mind even if he isn't where he can do anything about it. It is ALWAYS on his mind and he tends to talk about it to people who really are not up for being

    Social cluelessness and lack of understanding how to "play the life game" is the problem with even bright Aspies. That's why I asked if your daughter had any early interventions to help teach her how life is and how to mimic "the game." Aspies also tend to be horrible at reading social cues so that they may keep talking at people even after the people are trying hard to get away.

    On the other hand, there is no reason for your adult child to be rude to you. That isn't a part of Aspergers. She may have more going on than Aspergers. It's not uncommon for disorders to co-exist. Who diagnosed her and is she is any sort of treatment? I think she needs to learn how the world functions and about acceptable behavior. But at her age, she would have to go willingly.

    I know how frustrating it is to have a brilliant kid who can't even seem to hold a McDonald's job because I lived through this with my friend. And, no matter what she tells him, he seems unable to stop himself from going up to everyone including strangers to try to Save them. But, in general, his life has settled down with his wife and he is happy. In the end, she feels this is the most important factor.

    She would never allow him to steal or talk back to her though. He used to, but he doesn't anymore. He seems very appreciative that his family understands him, even if nobody else except his amazing wife does. He's a good young man, just wired differently, and things have improved as he ages. Maybe you need to look at her from a different perspective. Those brilliant kids can fool us. Brilliant, however, doesn't mean they have problems that severely impact day-to-day life.

    I did not mean to sound harsh to you. I only meant that perhaps you don't understand what is going on in her mind. If she is like most Aspies, she won't tell you what her thought processes are and we parents are left to guess, which is not fun!!!! She may appear more capable than she actually is. I relate to her a bit. I have neurological differences and can't multitask, which rules out almost every job there is. Even Big Mac requires multitasking.

    But you sound like a GREAT mom with a differently wired child.
  12. goomer

    goomer New Member

    difficult child has always had some sort of obsession. I think of it as her "F'd by the cult" mentality, which is really what it amounts to be. I have seen her false enthusiasm complete with falsetto excitement to her voice right after she's been under the influence of her "cult" She behaved this way after she graduated bootcamp, for example.....which makes sense to me because bootcamp can be like becoming a member of a cult. It so happened she was the top scoring girl overall in her company in addition to being one of the top five scorers in the whole company, male and female. If you could have heard her at that time she would have convinced you the military was going to become HER LIFE. But, it didn't last long. She also spent a fair amount of time obsessed with Christianity, and used to spend a great deal of time attempting to bring me into the fold.....all to no avail of course lol. Once her father died (he was the Christian), she renounced it completely. Now through all of this, LARPing and role-playing have played large roles......but in the past several years since leaving the military, it has become much worse. I cannot really even say how much worse because she has always been so secretive about the things she does.
    She is known to do this.
    She hates me for my strength of character and the fact she knows I have had some severe adversities in my life that would have set many an average person back, but it didn't for me.....they just made me more determined than ever to get through and do whatever it is I set out to do.
    . I don't know who diagnosed her, but she did supposedly get a Cyclothymia (little brother to Bipolar) diagnosis while she was still in the military. She was also covered on our insurance plan until federal law forced her off when she turned 26. Now her medical stuff all has to be done through the VA.

    She has never been in a relationship with anyone. I know she is still a virgin as well. One thing we've always been able to discuss is matters of sexuality, because she knows I'm pretty open about all of that. She denies being gay, though. I understand many in her situation....those who become addicted to roleplaying and LARPing are, quite often, virgins until much later than everyone else. They would rather spend their time developing their elf/whatever persona than spend time with actual flesh and blood human beings. This is no joke, either.

    Maybe someday. Right now I am still getting over the anger of her having the audacity to bring the POLICE to our house the other day in a grand show of dramatics just so she could get two or three bags of stuff from the house. That morning, she had actually left our house dressed in one of my job interview outfits with the alleged intent of seriously looking for work. This is one day after she allegedly signed up for three preengineering prereqs at a local CC....all of which I had helped her with because she had hit rock bottom and was seeking my help.

    The day she left in my outfit she was gone all day only to return that night all dressed up in one of her ridiculous LARP getups with a weirdo friend in tow and the POLICE. God only knows what sort of baloney she must have fed them in order to get them to escort her. But that's the thing....she relishes being victimized. Her father was the same way. It was utterly humiliating for myself and my husband to see the police come to our house as if we're criminals!!!!!!!!! My little boy and stepson saw the whole thing. I can't believe my composure didn't give way during the whole debacle, actually. She had no bloody reason to bring the police here. She was in no danger from me.....except danger of being yelled out for her stupidity and the fact she had LIED through her teeth to both myself and my husband. Not sure I can forgive her for this, honestly, and it was because of this latest stunt that I told her not to come back here again. What else could I do at this point.....she is a lost cause. She has no desire to get her life together, and I resent being lied to and having the police brought to my home because my daughter is a drama queen. :2dissapointed:
    It's okay lol.

    I have a few neuroses myself lol. I am on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum as well....although not as much as she is.
    I haven't been perfect by any means.....but she treats me as if I am some horrible person for wanting what's best for her and for refusing to condone her inabilities to deal with life. I know Aspies is a legit diagnosis and all....but to a large extent, how much it controls a person's life is, in large part (my opinion, mind you), up to how much the person allows it to.
  13. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Playing the social game and faking "normal" is darned hard work. I was very lucky in that while I didn't find out officially about my autism until I was in my early 40s, to my family (riddled with spectrum folks_, I was "just another one of those".

    I got a lot of support from my parents socially. I still have trouble. I'm good on the phone because I can read voices, but have a hard time with facial expressions and human body language.

    Oddly, I can read animal body language like a book, perhaps because animal behaviour is one of my obsessions.

    We didn't have supports when I was little. In fact, the only form of autism that was recognized was the non-verbal regressive kind, and those children were institutionalized as a norm.

    It's hard to explain to neurotypicals just what it's like to have to think about/over every single tiny give and take in an interaction.

    I found my niche in Information Technology, where I worked with a lot of spectrum co-workers, and bosses were willing to trade a bit of oddness for sheer brilliance.

    I've gotten to the point where I can handle a short casual conversation and hold up my end. I don't like it, but I do it because it's part of being a member of society.

    My mother is an Aspie. I was diagnosed so late and so well--compensated by that time, that no one is really sure if I'm an Aspie or High Functioning Autistic.

    Probably an Aspie as I spoke very early, but I have the hypotonia and stimming of a High-Functioning Autism (HFA). I've learned to tone down my stimming to the point where when I do it in public it just looks like I'm fidgeting.

    My sister is bipolar as I also am, and her two children are both Aspies. My brother in law is neurotypical though suffers from depression.

    I was a wreck as a child, never raged until I hit my teens and the BiPolar (BP) kicked in. Before that I was a "runner". If I got overstimulated and stressed out, I bolted.

    As a child, I literally bolted. I was dug out of many a clothes rack at the department store and once was found hiding under an overturned kiddie pool at a lawn and garden place.

    My BFF is autistic, and I love visiting her because we can be ourselves and not worry about offending each other. It's no big deal if she picks up a video game, or I dive into my Kindle. It's our way of saying, to quote BFF, "I'm worn out from talking. I need a break!

    My parents used to take me to "lie down" in whatever room at parties was being used for coats and jackets. I always carried a mini flashlight and paperback book in my little purse. I would "take a nap" in the dark with my book and my flashlight and come out when I felt ready to shoulder the burden of socializing.

    When I was working and husband was still alive, he knew to give me an hour to de-compress when I came home from work. I was so wound up and so tired from being "normal" all day that I couldn't deal with talking to him.

    He'd bring me a beer, kiss me on the forehead or cheek, and say, "I'm here when you want to talk about your day." and then, bless him, he'dleave me alone.

    he and I were involved in LARP sort of activities with the Society for Creative Anachronism. I found it very easy to fall into my persona where I was who I was and my persona had been designed to take my innate behaviors into consideration.

    It's possible she NEEDS this outlet.

    husband and I left the SCA when events started turning into drug soaked underage drunken orgies. I smoked weed or hash occasionally, had a couple of drinks here and there, but the idea of getting so toasted that I lost control of my actions terrified me. It would be like being blinded all of a sudden.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Goomer, I've been surrounded by mentally ill folks my entire life...........parents, siblings, cousins, ex husband, daughter. It's taken me a long time but one thing I now understand is this, once someone is an adult, boundaries around bad behavior is necessary, NO MATTER WHAT the condition of the other is. If your daughter refuses any help to learn or change, then you are powerless. Recognizing what we can't change, setting boundaries and accepting what is, in my opinion, is the way to find peace.
  15. goomer

    goomer New Member

    You got that right lol

    Much of this tendency was there when difficult child was young....but back then it manifested more as a mad creativity which seemed more promising. Her exceptionally high test scores on any intelligence/achievement test she ever took helped cement that impression

    She allegedly carries a Cyclothymia diagnosis. I know she takes an SSRI and some kind of anxiolytic, even if it seems they're really doing little to help her.

    How does this make you feel? For me? It makes me really, really angry that my daughter cannot and will not even TRY to become a productive person. I know you are a bit older than I am, (I am 46) and probably recognize large generational differences in how these sorts of illnesses are dealt with now versus how they were during your generation. I think things have gone too far in the other direction now, and people today live their lives as victims much more so than would have been done years ago. Kind of makes me wonder....Know what I mean??

    How old was she when she became more mature about it? One of the shocking things to watch in difficult child is just how immature she really is. She sometimes shows less maturity than my 5yo son, and that's saying something.
    That had to have been hard on you. :(

    She doesn't. I covered the situation in a little more detail on one of my other posts here. I did evict her out of our lives though after she brought the police here as a means to shame/humiliate me, which I know she knew it would do.

    Thankfully this is not an issue.

    I know. It's hard to try and basically forget about difficult child's existence, though. How the heck does one do that? I keep going over the events of the past week in my really hurts like hell.

    I can try and stop caring about her wasting her life away. It's hard though. It also makes me feel like a failure as a parent....and this is one of the most painful things of it all. I am sure you and these other ladies probably can understand this.
    I am skeptical by nature and am not sure if any of this is needed for me, or if it would help me at all. Talking to parents like me in similar situations helps a lot, though. It gives me a place to vent and to get the sort of understanding only to be had by others who are going through similar experiences. I am grateful to have found this forum!

    It may come to this.

    Sounds like something difficult child would do too.

    I think she needs to hit rock bottom. It may be her only hope for her to see how far she has allowed herself to fall. For some, this is the wake up call they need to gather the strength to come back fighting.
    After last week, I'm finished with her for the forseeable future. Not sure I can ever, ever trust her again.
    Before she gets anymore help from me, she's going to need to show hard evidence and physical proof that she had made an effort on her own behalf. Otherwise, it is just another case of her lying through her teeth....something she seems to be rather good at. :(

    Well I'm lucky to have a wonderful husband and adorable little 5yo boy to occupy my time with. My son is the light of my life. He shows signs of being quite the charmer. I can only hope this will remain the case in 15 years lolol. I also have a teenaged stepdaughter who has issues of her own, but she is not lost, yet. In some ways, she is a lot more like me than my own daughter is.

    It is so hard. Have you ever felt guilt that somehow, how she turned out is your fault? I struggle with this sometimes. Other times, difficult child herself tries to make me feel guilty....and then I just become angry.

    Agree completely. One way I cope is through the use of humor....sometimes it can be rather black lol.
    Thank you. Talking to you and to the other ladies on here is helping me process all of this. It does hurt....a lot.

    This is what I am working on. My husband understands I will go into tirades about all of this at times, though. My stepson is getting married this Sept, and it's going to be very hard for me to pretend to be all into it when my own difficult child is basically-and I mean this to sound harsh for emphatic purposes-a loser. I apologize here if this term offends anyone, but it is, at this time, how I feel. Maybe it will soften over time.....still so angry about it all right now, though.

    Coming to places like this and finding common ground with other parents who are going through similar things is probably one of my more effective forms of *therapy* lol.

    I won't be going anywhere anytime soon. *sigh*
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    To answer your question about how does it make me I don't really exert too much energy about what my daughter does or doesn't do. I used to feel angry and embarrassed, however, as time has gone by and I've changed my own responses and healed some of my own issues, my daughter's behavior doesn't impact my life much.

    Yes, I do agree that there are many victims out there, I'm not sure if there are more now, but it's a shame for them and for society.

    To respond to your question, my sister vacillated between being okay and being not okay for many years. She had a number of diagnoses and medications and went around and around with that for awhile. I think the turning point for her came at about age 38 when she had a breakdown and was hospitalized. After that she began putting her life back together her own way. She owned her issues and saw herself as "disabled" which,as an artist, gave her a strong commitment to help other "disabled" artists who she saw as cast out by society. She started organizations to help artists. She has become quite successful in her own creative way. Like you, she rose above her issues, used them to her advantage and became a success.

    Like your daughter, my daughter acts quite young, often younger then her own daughter who is 17. I believe much of her personality got somehow fixated around age 15. She certainly doesn't act like a 40 year old woman. And, she looks like she's 25 or even younger, so that aids her in some ways.

    I don't think detachment is about "forgetting difficult child's existence" I think it's more about realistically understanding your powerlessness in enacting change in anyone else's adult life. I think it's about taking the focus off of them and putting it on ourselves. I think it's about recognizing that we are not at fault, we didn't do anything wrong, we didn't cause this and we can't change it. I think it's about accepting what is.

    Yes, of course I can understand feeling as if we failed as parents. That guilt is a huge part of why many of us can't let go. However, one very important component of therapy for me was understanding the guilt and healing it, letting it go and realizing that the guilt kept me stuck. Releasing that guilt is an important part of being able to detach.

    Therapy or groups may not be for you, only you can make that call. For me this landscape of difficult child shenanigans, all the feelings associated....... finding out what is necessary to let go......... the remarkable powerlessness........... and finally, learning acceptance of what I couldn't change, required the BIG guns. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

    Yes, many of our difficult child's need to hit bottom before they begin to change. And, many just keep hitting a new bottom and don't change. Don't make her changing at any time about anything an expectation or you may set yourself up to be disappointed. Some of our kids just don't surface out of this world they live in.

    I'm in a similar place as you, my difficult child would need to show some signs of change and moving forward before there would be any support from me. What has been an enormous change for me is that my peace of mind is not dependent on the choices she makes anymore.

    I'm happy that you have a wonderful husband and a joyful son who makes you happy. And, a step daughter who sounds as if you understand her and you get along well. This is all good to hear. I have a wonderful Significant Other (SO) too, who makes me laugh every day and helped me to go through the hardest year and a half of my life as I detached from my daughter and learned to accept what I can't change.

    Yes, I have felt a lot of guilt. After my daughter was born was when I realized how much mental illness there is in my family. She inherited the genes from me. I went through great suffering over that. However, with all the therapy I had and the realizations I had, somehow along the way that just went away. I realized I am not to blame. My daughter has free choice and she's making that choice.

    Yes, I use humor too. It is incredibly healing. My SO and I laugh about a lot of this stuff..........some of it has been pretty absurd. Like my daughter living here awhile back and refusing to live in the house because of our "rules" so she and her 4 cats lived in an enormous green tent parked right outside our back porch. Her daughter, my granddaughter, (who lives with us) 15 at the time, said to me, "OK Grammy, how am I going to explain to my teenage friends that my mother lives in that tent with her cats in the back yard?" SO, Granddaughter and I just cracked up laughing. We laughed about that for months. What else can you do sometimes but laugh???

    I'm really glad you're here. You are doing all the right things and having all the usual responses. Right on target, for better or for worse...............geez, who among us would choose this path, in a word, it sucks!! But we're here for you, we're like a tribe of wounded warriors holding each other up............keep posting, vent away, get all those yucky feelings out. No one is going to be offended if you want to call your kid a loser, I'm sure we've called our difficult child's LOTS of names, it all comes with the territory. Welcome to our crazy, difficult child world!
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013