Meet my daughter, who used to be non-difficult


Active Member
I'm just wanting to share with someone and am weary of supplying the reality-show type stories to my friends. I have a couple of good friends who know everything about my family, but neither of them have a difficult child, so they're sympathetic, but I just feel weird bringing up all this stuff with them. And I think I'll spare my mom and dad, who I have likewise shared everything.

I got a call at 3 a.m. from daughter (age 21) who said to come and get her from the ER. I said "what happened" and she said she had a busted lip but was OK. My daughter-in-law was there with her but the doctor wouldn't let her go home with anyone but a parent. Which is kind-of weird since she's 21, but whatever.

Husband and I raced there and the doctor wanted to talk to us first. He said she had come in an ambulance from the university (she's a senior), and she had been pushed by her boyfriend during an argument. She was extremely drunk and had been fighting with the ambulance drivers, doctors, nurses, and her sister-in-law. He said he didn't think her injuries were serious, but normally he would want to do a scan to make sure there was no further head injury. He wanted our permission to skip that scan because he had to consider the safety of his staff! The only way he could do a scan is if he sedated her, which he said was also an unnecessary risk in his opinion.

He was super helpful and nice. He said if we didn't want her to go with us or thought we couldn't handle her, we could tell him and he had the authority to keep her overnight.

When we got to see her, she wasn't fighting anyone but kept talking about how horrible the hospital is and how she never wants to go there again. My daughter-in-law left. There was a young man from the university with her, as I guess is their policy. He told her she'd be getting a call from their wellness center to follow up. The nurse signed her out and they put on the report that she had acute alcohol ingestion and the lip injry.

As we got into our car, I told my daughter, "It looks like you might want to lay off the alcohol for a while." Well, that was the wrong thing to say. I got to hear how I don't support her, she's entitled to drink whenever she wants to, it didn't excuse that her boyfriend pushed her, we're blaming the victim, we're re-victimizing her, etc. I didn't say much to her the rest of the way home, just realizing she wasn't thinking straight.

She went to sleep right away at our house. She called me this morning and said she found out that her boyfriend had been arrested and had to post bond. She was crying and said she didn't know how all this happened and she didn't want him to be arrested. Then she continued with how horrible the doctor was.

Somehow I feel like she's not taking any responsibility for her actions. We don't know the whole story, but I'm imagining that they were drunk and arguing, she got in his face (literally) and he pushed her away. I've seen her get physical with her brothers before, and I know she's not the delicate flower she wants people to believe at times. Of course I'm not excusing him for pushing her, but I'm just wondering how it got to this point with her. She had another bad relationship that ended with her filing for a restraining order, but I really thought this new guy seemed a lot nicer. I don't know how much of it was her or him.

She was a model student through high school and has managed to keep her scholarship at least in college, but she's becoming rather a mess and I'm feeling like I was under an illusion of being a good mom after all these years. One son is still addicted to heroin, one son is young and irresponsible (the one who has to go to court on Tuesday), and now her. (sorry, I'm having a pity party)

Again, just venting and thanks the shoulder to sigh on.

Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member
Sigh away, Origami. I often feel exactly as you say, "under an illusion of being a good mom after all these years." I'm just getting too old and tired for all this angst, too. You're not alone, that's for sure. Hang in there, we're all with you.


Active Member
Thanks, CJ. I just talked to daughter, who said the boyfriend is in jail for domestic battery. The bond isn't too high, so I expect someone will bail him out soon. As I expected, daughter said she doesn't remember what happened and doesn't even remember arguing with him. She said a witness told the police that he punched her and threw her on the ground. She said he's never laid a hand on her like that before so she doesn't know what's going on. I felt really bad when she said, "All I know is, my lip is busted and my heart is broken." I tried to be sympathetic to her, but am also trying to stay apart from the drama.


Well-Known Member
Somehow I feel like she's not taking any responsibility for her actions. We don't know the whole story, but I'm imagining that they were drunk and arguing, she got in his face (literally) and he pushed her away. I've seen her get physical with her brothers before, and I know she's not the delicate flower she wants people to believe at times. Of course I'm not excusing him for pushing her, but I'm just wondering how it got to this point with her. She had another bad relationship that ended with her filing for a restraining order, but I really thought this new guy seemed a lot nicer. I don't know how much of it was her or him.
You know what I'm going to say...there is nothing you can do to control your daughter or how much she drinks, but you don't have to pay for college or let her drink and live at home. You did this for your son and it just doesn't work, especially for YOU and YOU matter. It is telling that she doesn't want boyfriend arrested if he pushed her. There is no excuse for pushing anybody. He had the option of leaving the house. Or wherever he was. If she followed him or shoved him, HE could have called the police. He chose to push her. They both made a horrible decision to get very drunk, and your daughter knows that addiction runs in the family. How are her college grades? Can she finish college at home, at another school? For many kids college seems to mean partying and drinking and no boundaries on behavior.
You've already done this forever with your son. It is up to you if you have the energy to do it again with your daughter. Maybe you'd rather spend your days rekindling romance with hubby ;) We are responsible for our children's behavior until they become adults. After that, it is up to them. The only thing you can do is to stop the money train and the offer of a free bed and food at home unless YOUR rules are followed. It's your house/your rules.
I am sorry you have to go through this after all you have gone through with your son and I truly wish I could give you a real life hug. I can't so here is a cyber-hug. (((Hugs)))


Well-Known Member
Ok, so he punched her and threw her down. I wonder if he is an alcoholic. At any rate, neither of them can handle drinking and there will be drama between them such as this as long as they do drink. She also doesn't seem to be angry at him for hurting her, which most people would be.

I am so sorry.


Active Member
Somewhere, she's a senior in college so I just want her to finish out the year. She lives in the dorm, so I don't see her that often. I have met the boyfriend, who seems very nice but then again that was just one meeting. I do think she's angry with him for hurting her, but she's confused. She said she wants an explanation from him, and I told her that she shouldn't accept being treated like that. To listen to his explanation if she must, but not be too quick to reestablish a relationship.

They both made a horrible decision to get very drunk, and your daughter knows that addiction runs in the family.
Yes, I think the mutual drinking is more of a problem than she wants to believe. The fact that she was so drunk she doesn't remember anything says a lot. For the record, I actually don't supply much financial support to her. She's paying her own way through college (though scholarships and loans) and has a part-time job for spending money.

Thanks for the cyberhug! All support is much appreciated.


Well-Known Member
Alcohol does strange things to people...and it's amazing how one person's temper builds on another's. My roommate - and best friend since age 5 - and I used to have horrible, screaming fights with each other at times after a night of drinking. I even slapped her once. She swung and missed; I swung and connected. I don't even remember what we were fighting about.

It sounds like the both badly need to lay off the drinking and possibly each other. I hope that this incident wakes them up. :hugs:

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
All in all you handled it well. I too would have made the same comment about the drinking. You were wise to not push it as she was in no condition to hear it.

I hope they will both see their roles in this. It may take some time for it to really sink in.

If there is a next time and you get a phone call to come and get her, you can always say no. You can remind her that she called you from the ER to come and get her and when you tried to express your feelings she shut you down. That's the thing about Difficult Child is they want it both ways, they want us to rescue them and be for them but to keep our mouths shut. They cannot invite us into their drama and expect us to remain silent.

Rant and vent all you want, we are here for you.

((HUGS)) to you...............


one day at a time
Origami, I'm sorry you got that 3 a.m. call. I hate those calls. We get to see our Difficult Child in full living technicolor, and wow is that a shock to the system.

There is no way to know what's really going on with her, from a long-term standpoint. She's 21 and that is a tumultuous time in anybody's life. And if there is drama and upset, even more so. She may have a drinking problem and she may not. The fact that she is a senior in college is a great thing. I've learned that nothing is either this...or that. We...each person...we are all a confused, chaotic jumble of personhood.

Today, what matters to me is behavior, and I'm learning not to expect a direct line of any particular kind of behavior from anybody.

Case in point: Difficult Child was here last weekend to watch the football game on Sunday with us. Our team (Titans) did...shall I say...fantastic!!!! What a game. Anyway, I digress...

He, when he's here, regresses. This is the house he grew up in. He goes around, shuts the shutters, lays down, gets a pillow and blanket...settles in. He's like a 15 year old boy, to watch him.

Then, later in the week, he calls me and we have this amazing phone call. He is asking me lots of questions about how hard it was to start my own business back when he was born and his older brother was three and a half. You could tell he had really thought about it, wanted to know more and was taking it all in. We had an aspirational conversation about the value of being persistent, and staying the course to meet your goals, and how we all have lots of obstacles, and we have to ourselves decide if we are going to pick them off one by one or let them beat us down. It was the kind of conversation with him I had only dreamed about.

People are up and down.

I know it's not good that they got so drunk, that her boyfriend got physical and that she can't remember. But again, she's 21. And I'm not trying to minimize either...I know you are concerned and I understand that.

People are messy. Life is not a straight line. Cinderella stories aren't real.

Origami, hugs for you today. I know you have a lot on you, and I just hope you can find some time and peace and space for YOU. You deserve it. It will work out..or way or the other. Warm hugs today.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Origami, sorry for your troubles.

All too familiar with sharing reality show stories with my co-workers whose children are doing perfectly well, thank you!

21 is really young, and a senior in college! BRAVO!

I hope that she has learned from this incident, alcohol is so dangerous when over done. Acute alcohol ingestion- a dear friend lost his niece to this, she passed out and no one bothered to check on her. She died of alcohol poisoning. She hadn't even graduated high school.

Been down the road a piece with my adult children drinking and partying. Some folks get happy, silly, crazy when they are drunk, others can get down right mean and nasty.

Please don't be so hard on yourself, I am sure you are not delusional about being a good mom. We can only give so much of ourselves, and the rest is up to our adult children to make good choices. The "You were a terrible mother" road is one our difficult children would have us stay on, because it keeps us in guilt ridden enabler mode.

Feel what you feel, pity party and all. We need to go through our own steps to process this junk especially with a 3 am distress call.

Please take care of yourself, prayers for you and family. Hugs


Active Member
Thanks for all your replies and support. To update, the boyfriend ended up in the county jail with a restraining order and being banned from the college campus. My daughter bailed him out, not knowing about any of this.

She didn't call me at all for a few days afterward (unusual for her). She said that he told her it was all a misunderstanding, that she was running and stumbled and he grabbed her to break her fall, and other people (who had all been drinking) thought he had pushed her down. She said she believes him since he's always been honest with her. He got fired from his job, also, over the matter. So I guess they're still talking on the phone although not seeing each other because of the restraining order. In the absence of any reliable witnesses, I don't know if he's telling her the truth or not.

She said they both decided not to drink at all for a while, and she's working with her therapist to get control of her drinking. Her therapist told her this incident should be a wake-up call for her. My daughter said she realizes that she doesn't know when to stop, and needs to work on moderation, but it's abstinence for now. She also said that she and the boyfriend rely too much on drinking in their relationship. I think she's really shaken up by all this. He has a court appearance a week from now, and she's supposed to be there.

I'm glad she seems to be admitting she has a problem, and just hope she can find the strength to overcome it. So far she's still doing well in her classes and her job, so I won't pronounce her a total Difficult Child just yet.


Well-Known Member
Oragami, if she has a good relationship with you, maybe you should gently try explaining that it's not that she doesn't KNOW when to stop. It's that she CAN'T stop and it's not her fault. She has an allergy to alcohol, also known as alcoholism. It is hereditary and she probably should never drink because she may never be able to do it in moderation.

Not that she'll listen, but it's worth putting a bug in her ear. I have two adopted kids who both have severe substance abuse in their birth families and since very young we drummed it into their heads that they simply can not experiment with drugs and alcohol like some kids do and come out ok. My daughter has seen her birth father's mug shut in prison. She has never even touched a cigarette. Nor has my other son whose birthmother harmed him in the womb with her drug using.

It is ok, in my opinion, to tell them that some people can handle it and some can't and that your family seems to have an addiction gene. Many alcoholics go lengths of time without drinking, however, once they drink, they can't stop until they are so sick they are puking their guts out and have black outs. THAT is alcoholism. It does not mean you have to drinkj every day. It's that when you drink, you can not stop.

I am not posting this to scare you, just to let you know what can happen. A very young man I know (26) died a few years ago of alcohol poisoning. He drank too much one night and just died. His family was devestated. I was an adult he talked to a lot (well, an older adult) and he knew he was an alcoholic, but he did not do anything about it. I was so sad when he died. He knew...but wouldn't do anything. Hopefully your daughter will be smarter.

Hugs for your hurting heart and wishing you good luck!!!


Well-Known Member
Oh, Origami! Vent away.

I am soooo glad that she is seeing a therapist and has for now, at least, given up drinking.

I agree with your statement that she wasn't taking responsibility for her actions. But she is now.

If addiction runs in the family, and I were your daughter, I'd be scared straight right now. Only time will tell.