Just told difficult child she is not welcome back home. Am I wrong?

D Needza Break

New Member
Me? I am a single mom & have been for most of her life, but I am recently married. My husband is due to move in with me in September.
My difficult child is 20 with a history of Central Auditory Processing Disorder, PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and a general anxiety disorder. She hasn't been on medication for several years. It would take miles of words to explain the last 2 years but bottom line is after moving her around the country for over a year she was finally forced to move back home as she couldn't secure employment.

She slept till 3pm, took & ruined a lot of my things, charged things on my credit card, never lifted a finger to help out, and then decided to take off for 10 days to visit old friends where she tells me she did heroin for the first time. I'm not posting this in the substance abuse section as she is not an addict - just confused and desperate. I also understand she's not the only 20 yr old that acts this way.

I got frustrated enough to tell her she can't come back home. I am done being disrespected.

I guess my question is after 20 years sacrificing everything for her I am being treated like crap. I feel emotionally abused by her. At the same time I am heartbroken at the thought of her being out there on her own. I'm confused as to where I draw the line in helping her out. This is where she is not like every other 20 year old. I truly don't know if she's capable of being independent, but I have tried everything...and then some.

I'm sorry if I'm not explaining myself well. There are years of stories prior to this and I am just worried, confused and past exhausted. I want my life back. Is that allowed? Am I "allowed" to tell her she can't come back home? Am I doing the wrong thing?

Hey there.

Like you, I just told my oldest son that he has 30 days to move out. I'm recently remarried, and this son in particular does whatever he feels like pretty much. We had a rental agreement (which he didn't live up to) and he has consistenly bailed on every family event for the last 6 months...except his borthday of course...during which he told me he wouldn't be here for mine...cause we don't celebrate birthdays so it doesn't matter anyway. Well, I told him if you aren't going to be around for mine, then you can move out. He took off that day, I printed up the notice the next. The morning after, he packed all his things. I honestly don't know if he can make it or not. He may end u having to move back, but it won't be without a written contract, and agreed on rules and dates for rent to be paid and a behavior contract. My next son is 19 and I'm pretty sure has high functioning autism...but i've told him either get into some sort of therapy or get a job...by the end of the month.

At some point they have to be set loose to see if they can or not. My 19 yr old will need significant help to get settled into anything and learn to be functional. My 19 yr old...well his issue is mostly laziness and attitude. I'm hoping being forced to do things on his own will at least make him grow up a little.

Besides...they ARE adults now. I (AND YOU) should definitely be allowed to move past being their parents to being our own person with a spouse we want to settle with and not have constant problems in the house by someone who is not required by law to be there. You have every right, and I say good for you. maybe...eventually...after she gets herself straight...you can start reconnecting a bit, but for now I'd say keep some distance and see what happens.


Well-Known Member
Hi there and I'm so sorry that your heart is hurting. You should probably post on Parent Emeritus as this forum is for children who are still not of legal age. The Parent Emeritus forum is for adult children, 18 and over. And many of us have felt it was necessary to our sanity and peace of mind as well as for the welfare of our adult children to make them move out. It does not help any twenty year old if we enable their unwillingness to work or act like adults, to do their laundry while they steal from us and swear at us and deface our property and, worst of all, use drugs. Often, we are not sure of what drugs they are using or even if there are drugs involved, but with this type of behavior drugs usually are a factor. By age twenty, the adult should either be in school or have a full time job and, if living at home, do chores, be kind to all household members, help out with the bills, pay for their own toys, etc. It should not be the other way around. They are not fourteen. They are old enough to fight in the military and many adults of twenty do. They are old enough to be a junior in a rigorous college course. They are old enough to secure full time employment if neither appeals to them. Either way they are too old to sleep all day, use your car on your dime, eat your dinners without washing the dishes, throw their dirty clothes around, basically act like overgrown toddlers. We do them no favors by paying them to continue refusing to grow up and behave in a respectful manner. If she is mentally ill, she is the one who needs to take responsibility for her illness, go to appointment, take her medications, be in compliance...nobody else can do that for her and mental illness is not excuse not to work. I have a rather severe mood and anxiety disorder...I am the one who has to take control of it and it is not an excuse to act like a toddler. If she is truly disabled, there are adult services for her.I also have a ton of severe learning disabilities, including face blindness. I have a son on the autism spectrum who lives on his own with adult services and he is always outdoing what everyone expects because he tries so hard.

I suggest reading some of the stories on the Parent Emeritus forum. There are some great moms there, far better able to express their thoughts than I am. Anyone on Parent Emeritus has been through the ringer and many are still going through what you are. In the meantime, in my opinion, I would cut off her money train. If she gets abusive over that, let her leave. She can get a job, then she'll have money. She doesn't have to live in a mansion. She can rent a room for cheap in somebody's home. Of course, they won't let her if she breaks society's rules, messes up, uses drugs, or doesn't pay, but she is old enough to learn natural consequences. I would take many steps back and learn detachment. I have a great book for you called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. It's a must read for all of us who have difficult adult children whom we feel guilty detaching from...it was a real eye opener for me. I used to think I had to take care of EVERYONE! (Except myself...that would be selfish...)

Hugs for your hurting mommy heart. Hope to see you in Parent Emeritus!!!! Do you have any other children who may need your attention too? Do you think your husband will want to have to support your adult daughter? Your daughter is no more important than them or than you! (That was a new concept to me when I first heard it and I had trouble accepting it, but it's really true. We all have equal value).
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Well-Known Member
Another note: If she tried heroine, I would not be surprised if she is very steeped into drugs and you don't know it. Heroin is not exactly a layperson's drug of choice. I would search her room when she isn't home. I would be shocked if she isn't involved with drugs, which may explain her A LOT.

Most 20 year olds do not act like she is. Trust me on this. Our difficult children just don't like to grow up, like the vast majority of twenty year olds do. Do not underplay this to give your daughter a break. It is a common mistake which does nothing to help our adult children become adults. I did it myself once. And my 36 year old son is not yet an adult, although he at least works and has his own home!

D Needza Break

New Member
Thank you...so very much. I know you must understand that support from parents in the same situation is so important I moments like this. Her issues always seem to cloud things but I have just had enough. My husband is very understanding and supportive. At this point in my life I couldn't have anything but. She is out of the house. I haven't let her back since she took off. She and my mother (the other enabler) are making plans to move her cross country. I have informed both of them I am out of the equation. Daughter still calls me but only because she needs/wants something. I love her so very much, but I just can't do this anymore and am fighting some guilt I suppose. It just always seems to come with the territory. Thank you...very much.


Well-Known Member
Welcome, DNeedza. I hear you!
I think you are doing the right thing.
On the one hand, I understand that your daughter is special needs.
on the other hand, if she is doing drugs, and now that she's older, she's out of control and she'll have to learn the hard way, by being arrested.
Sounds harsh, but it seems like that's where she's headed. (Nice "friends," by the way, to offer her heroin. Why do difficult children always chose losers for friends?)
Be strong.

D Needza Break

New Member
On top of all this I just found out that she posted on Facebook last week that I died. Maybe a sympathy stunt so her "friends" would be happy to have her visit? I have to say she is making this easier by the day to be strong about my decision. I'm still crying a lot but I think that the tears are from feeling like I'm mourning a loss. Thank you for the hugs and understanding. Much needed.


Well-Known Member
D Neeza, her FB post had nothing to do with her Learning Disability (LD) problems or her mental health issues. Frankly, it's sick. but not sick as in she didn't know what she was doing. She knew.

YES on the mourning. All of us have mourned the loss of the child we wanted our adult to grow up to be. We go through a total grieving process. As for her friends, she picks them. You can't blame her friends...she knowingly chose to hang around with them. Again, most likely this is not her first fling with drugs, even serious drugs. And druggies hang with druggies. Nobody else wants anything to do with them.

Most of us ignorantly started out believing out adult kids (or minor teens) did not use drugs, then we moved on to agreeing that our kids smoked pot. The truth is, none of us know our child's story when he/she is not with us. When my daughter used drugs she could go a long time acting normal and straight and we were SURE she had quit, but she used drugs constantly from age 12-19. She told us everything after she quit and frankly we were stunned. She was just so good at pretending she was straight, at least around us. Most of them are.

If your daughter is disabled, which is determined by state testing, then she can get adult living and support and still not live with you. In my opinion, it's in her best interests to live away from home to become as independent as possible. My autistic son is making tremendous gains in personal growth by being in his own apartment with minimal supports to help him out. He pays his own bills out of his permanant part-time job and his social security. He is not disrespectful to us or mean to anyone in spite of his challenges. Again, in my opinion, there IS no reason to lie, disrespect and abuse your own parents or anybody. That includes mental health issues and learning disabilities, which I suffer from both. But the more you coddle her because of them, the less she will be driven to grow up. There is nothing in her diagnosis that indicates she can't hold a job or live in her own place or get help for her issues, if she is willing to comply with treatment. That is what SHE has to do. You can't do it for her.

We all learn that we only have control over one person...us. Your daughter, your husband (if you have one), your other children (if you have any), you mom, your aunt, your BFF, etc. all have 100% control over themselves however they have 0% control over anybody else. If you get responses in Parent Emeritus you'll see what I mean...people there are more eloquent than I am. Most of us have tried EVERYTHING to try to control how our difficult child's think, act, treat us etc. and the only thing that works on our sanity and physical health is to detach and start caring about ourselves, our lives, and those of our loved ones who respect and love us.

Is it possible that your daughter is lying about the heroin? It is HIGHLY addictive and very hard to kick. Something is missing here. You don't just start off your drug experience using heroin. That's really hardcore. Either she has been using drugs all along and fooled you, as my daughter did (they are great actors) or the heroin story has to be a lie. I don't know why she'd lie to you...you know her better than I do. It is kind of like her telling her FB friends you're dead, which is obviously a very sick lie. At any rate, you do not need to take her garbage anymore. She is a woman now, with no more challenges than I had and I did grow up, although it was difficult, but I'm glad it happened.

D Needza Break

New Member
I know she has used drugs on and off since she was young. I want to say nothing this serious but that wouldn't be true. She had no reason to lie about the heroin. It had no benefit to her to tell me that. She was already out of the house by then. Her father OD'd on a mix of heroin and cocaine (we were already divorced). Realistically I can't trust her or anything she says. It saddens me to no end but I know this to be true. Some times I think she has no true ability to empathize...not true ability to love. I am hating this particular experience in life but I know at this point mentally it's either her or me. I usually choose her...but I just can't this time. I can't anymore.