Just said NO and feeling awful

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by LeaMac, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. LeaMac

    LeaMac New Member

    My husband and I just said no to our only daughter. She was pleading for $1200 to pay back child support for a toddler who has been in foster care for a year while she did rehab and was supposed to get a job, see a psychiatrist. She has done neither. Now she says she will go to jail if she doesn’t pay. And of course our refusal will “ruin her life and all that she has worked for.” She is 29 and has cost us thousands in stolen items, ruined cars, recovery houses where she wouldn’t stay, “start up” rent, and on and on until we belatedly reached the end of our rope.

    We have said no several times in the past year to other requests- living here (she is not allowed here anymore), borrowing a car, cash. But this one feels worse because supposedly the outcome is jail. We have no idea of course if that is the true situation. I am hoping they will help her with a debt relief program or something. I am hoping they will let her off and the scare will force her to get a job. I am hoping that if she does go to jail, that she’s in some kind of work release program that helps her to continue working when she gets out. I am hoping that this is some kind of turning point for the better.

    But I am so afraid to hear what tomorrow brings. And feel guilty that despite all this trauma, my husband and I have a good life and are doing our best to move on and remain “detached with love.”

    Any support will be greatly appreciated. Just can’t lay this on my friends. They just don’t know what to say.
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Lea,

    You were right to say no.

    Paying you daughter’s child support wouldn’t be helping her.

    If you rescue her from the consequences of her choices, she learns nothing except that other people will clean up her mess and she doesn’t have to be responsible for her obligations.

    If she has to face the repercussions, whether it means jail or not, maybe she will learn something.

    I’m glad you and your hubby are doing well.

    Stay strong.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Also she is going to have to continue paying child support. It doesnt end because you catch up. You still have to keep paying. And if she has no job, well, the cycle will repeat.
  4. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Actually you're being a good parent by expecting her to live up to her responsibilities and make positive life choices. There is absolutely nothing for you to feel bad about because whatever happens is 100% her fault. Focus your attention on yourself and do something kind for yourself. Sending peace to you.
  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    In my town, it's rare that people go to jail for not paying child support. I have known people who were $40k behind, and nothing happened except threats from the court.

    The police are so overwhelmed with violent, serious crime here. It seems they don't have the time, manpower, and resources to fool with non-violent offenses. DUI is an exception. I have to think it's the same situation in every other city.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Love says no. We have to learn that here. I didn't know that.

    Reread your post. The answer is there. You giving her ANY money is the means to an end. SHE has to clean up HER life.

    All your paying, pain and suffering and wishing won't make it so.

    If she is 29 so you surely have been dealing with this for many, many years. We did for seven years and I was SO DONE by about year five that I threw in the towel. I kept praying for our son but I knew his life was not in MY hands. It was in God's hands. That is where you need to put your daughter's life and leave it there.

    Live your life with joy, meaning and purpose and don't feel guilty for one second!!
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Here they are more apt to take your drivers licence and garnish wages although my daughtder is a Corrections Officer and a young man she knows was in her jail for non payment of child support. But knowing him he was probably $100,000 behind.
  8. mentalcase

    mentalcase New Member

    I don't think any parent would feel great about knowing their adult child could face jail. I understand wanting to help our kids but someone once clarified when i should help and when I shouldn't and it made sense. If someone is suffering consequences for poor choices (within their control) = no help. If someone is suffering because of things outside their control (natural disaster, cancer) = help.

    That little formula makes things simple for me when deciding what to do. I might have some uncomfortable feelings about it, but i know it's what is the right thing to do for me and the feelings subside. You're doing the right thing. It probably doesn't feel like it but feelings are just feelings. Take good care of yourself. Maybe even indulge yourself a little. Seems counter intuitive, but it helps.
  9. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    My son did do some time for child support. However if she tries by paying what she can they usually accept that.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im sitting here at a restaurant with my daughter who works at our jaui. She said it is very common here to be locked up for child support. But she said they often let you work it off by working then going back to jail at night.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  11. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    LEaMac, you are right to let her face her own consequences, however hard that might be. I know what it feels like to say "no" and have a child go to prison as a result. It feels awful. But that doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do. Not just for you, but for her, in the long run. the only way some of our kids learn responsibility and self-management is the hard way.

  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Rarely prison.

    My daughter works in Corrections and says most get to go to work then return to jail at night. This is a good thing in my opinion. First off, they are getting used to working again .Second of all, they are clean of drugs (lets just say you can lose the work privledge if you dont stay clean or break rules during the day and you are wearing an ankle bracelet)) and they are definitely off the street at night. Most bad stuff happens at night.

    Our town is a small city of 18,000 so it may be different in a big city. But my daughter is that person (one of them)overseeing the inmates and given their info and instructions and this is what happens in this jail and town.
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  13. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    I'm new here and don't really have any advice, but I just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you. You've made a hard and brave choice and for what it's worth I think you've done the right thing. I hope your daughter will learn and go stronger from facing her consequences.
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Keep repeating this to yourself:
    She has failed to do what she needed to do. It is not up to you to fix this for her. That is the definition of enabling.

    Stay strong.