MJ - what's next?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiseChoices, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Haven't posted in a while. daughter got a job and has been working on p/t to f/t and doing uni online. Has own car now, pays for gas and insurance herself.

    Last Friday, she was out with new friend from work. About 10pm I get text that she f......up, to not be mad, that she is too high, and would I please come pick her up, bring Dad to drive her car. This is the first I ever heard her say of getting high even though I suspected it for a while.

    We picked her up, verified with friend that it was only MJ, because she is on medication for depression and anxiety and we needed to know whether to take to hospital. Brought her home. She did not even seem that stoned to me. I did not say much at all and told her we would talk when she is sober .

    She did not want to talk next day. We sat her down and told her while living at home, she cannot come home drunk or high. She said she had only done it twice before. She was defiant and not cooperative at all accusing us of leading a "brutal confrontation" - all because she did not like what we had to say. We were concerned that she had gone to this co-worker's house without knowing him well into an area that she was (rightfully so) uncomfortable in , had gone to his sisters and her husband to get high (doesn't know them at all), and taken too much .I came from love and concern for her. She felt discriminated against based on gender and felt that I was more lenient with her brother about his MJ use .I did not want under any circumstances to send the message that I condone drug use of any kind . I told her that drug use of any kind to me shows a level of irresponsibility and immaturity that is unacceptable to me .
    Husband lost his cool a little , raising his voice at daughter, because of her defiant and nonsensical answers. She accused him of yelling, refused to speak to him , yet next morning was fine with him and cutting me for 48 hours.

    Her best friend with whom she (of course!) Got high one of those 3 times, seems to have a great relationship with her Mom. The Mom posts gushing birthday messages of adoration and admiration for her daughter and daughter always says they are the perfect family and much more her family than we are.

    Am I doing something wrong? I have been careful to not disconnect due to upsets and to just say my peace or or lay out my boundaries and then let it go . Yet I am treated with distance when I don't cosign what is going on. Maybe this is a sign that I am doing more right than I think.
  2. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    It sounds to me like you are setting clear boundaries. Many of are kids are hardest on the one they are closest to. Prayers that this is a monentary setback.
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  3. RN0441

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

    I agree that you did the right thing by letting her know how you feel.

    I would say that she did something bad but she did something good too by admitting to what she did and calling you to pick her up.

    I also never bite my tongue when I feel our son missteps. I don't care who likes it or whose feathers I ruffle.

    He seems to have matured a lot in that regard because he "gets it" now. As time goes on things that I don't like happen less and less often.

    I think it's most important that both parents are on the same page and show a united front which it seems you do.

  4. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you, RN .I did tell her she did the right thing to call me when she couldn't drive and said that was a responsible thing to do. And pointed out the poor decisions leading up to it that were not responsibly handled. I told her I want her to be safe and that I am coming from love and concern for her well being.

    Thank you for sharing with me how you don't care whose feathers you ruffle. That is helpful. I have to acquire a tougher skin.

    She seemed to think I was going to be that "cool Mom" who is ok with kids smoking pot .She had said she would tell me from now on when she was going to get high that night (because she had lied and said she was getting a drink with a friend and I had a feeling she was going to get high ) on the car ride home before I laid down any boundaries. And I dont want to be giving her the impression that I want to know when she gets high. Because I don't want her doing it at all.

    She seemed disappointed like I was not cool like her best friend's Mom who also does MJ I believe. I also let her know that I did not want to get calls like that all the time.

    I had read somewhere that when your kid calls drunk/high to just go get them with a no lecture / no questions asked policy. I don't know how I feel about that. I am her parent. I think she needs to hear from me how I feel about it and that this needs to be an exception not the rule that she can party and then I drive.

    I never know how to handle these situations. I want so badly to be a good parent, to do the right thing, and I never know whether I did or not . My parents did not say much about anything when I drank and drove drunk as an older teen.

    Daughter is 21 now, so an adult, but she is under our roof, not financially independent, so I feel I have a say whether she likes it or not.

    I am also worried she will do more dangerous drugs going forward, especially since she allows the best friend to lead her. I asked her what she would do if heavier drugs came out on the table and she said she had thought about that and would not take them. However, she always maintained she would never touch MJ and was hard on my son when he did it all the time. When I questioned her why she did it after saying she would not, she just very snippily said she had changed her mind .I am worried it will be the same for heavier drugs. I know there is nothing I can do and I know worry is like shoveling smoke, but right now that is where my mind is taking me (and I am letting it).

    Tonight , she drove to best friends birthday party (21) with the bff' s boyfriend who is a self proclaimed alcoholic . They want to get cocktails . I asked who was driving and she said the Mom was taking them. I don't believe her. I think due to my talk with her, she is lying to me now . Well, she has lied for years about anything , really.
  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I think it's fine to set boundaries but from my own experience I would assume your daughter probably smokes pot often and pot is not as benign as it used to be.

    When we first caught Kay she said she had only done it a few times, didn't like it and would never ever touch it again and she blamed "friends." I bought it, hook, line and sinker. My husband was more worried than me that she was lying but we both wanted to believe it was a fluke.

    It was a lie. She was a pothead by then and using other drugs. And, yes, we were so clueless we had no idea.

    I don't think our particular brand of kids tell us the truth nor care what we say about their lifestyle choices. Your daughter is working and that is definitely a plus. Kay was allergic to work.

    I hope your daughter is being honest and listens to your wise advice. I have learned sadly to be skeptical.

    Blessings and wishing you the best.
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Gosh. I feel differently than everybody about all of this.

    Your daughter triggers me. I wonder if I feel I am like her on some level.

    I get mad at her when she is mean to you. Telling you hurtful things, like that mother is her real family. Gee. She needs to shut her mouth. She tries to be mean. She works at it. Why?

    I feel irritated at the phone call. Of course you don't want her driving under the influence. But the "don't get mad" part? Why? You have every right to be mad. Why should you and her Dad need to wipe up her messes? She seems to do this over and over again. Why shouldn't you be peeved? Anybody would be.
    She seems very like my son, actually, in this. Making totally irresponsible decisions, and not learning from her mistakes, but continuing to demand the right to make the same impossibly stupid decisions, in the same dumb way. Putting me down as the bad guy when I either suggest a better option, or squawk about how I am always on the hook, vulnerable to the consequences of his bad decisions...which he repeats over and over again, insisting upon autonomy because he refuses to learn and to change. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    Who's the slow learner here? I am.

    Wise. You are doing everything right. But like all of us you have a vulnerability. You cave when your daughter appears to withdraw her love and approval. You know already this has to do with your own past.

    Somebody recommended a book to me. It's been around for over 30 years and I have never read it. But I will. I just ordered a copy. Healing the Shame That Binds You, by John Bradshaw.

    PS I think you need to get a hold of yourself with the fear about heavier drugs. She could be that dumb, but I doubt she will be. I worry the same way about my own son. He is adamant he wouldn't use hard drugs. I need to believe him.
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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you, Copa. I get mad, too. There was something about the whole thing that has me puzzled. It's like she wants me to know these things about her. She did not even seem that high. I am not suggesting she should have driven like that, but I am suggesting she could have waited it out a few hours. She was uncomfortable with her surroundings which has happened at sleep overs etc before , and she was not worried about letting me know she gets high now. Her uncomfortability was more important than her disclosing MJ use to her Mother which she knew would upset, and disappoint me. Just like with the cutting, she wanted me to know. It seemed almost like an attention thing to me.

    You are 100% right about my vulnerability! You wanna know something amazing? I have the book you suggest sitting right here on my living room table. Someone was giving it away at Unity and I grabbed it. Now I just have to read it. I am so hurt by her withdrawal of love from me, by her unwillingness to tell me why I became the enemy in her mind, and I miss her so much while she is right here living on my house. And I really need to get over it . And figure out what it is triggering. Reading the self differentiation book "Growing yourself up" by Jenny Brown has been helpful for me .

    Thank you for assuring me that I handled it properly .I base my parenting evaluation on how children react to me which is of course nonsense. It is my insecurities that do me in.
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  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I had always told my children don't drive drunk i will pick you up. The older one used it when it helped him out of a situation that was sticky for him like cops are coming. I didn't know that at the time. The younger two used it more appropriately. I was always iffy about it too but didn't want someone else to get hurt so i went, later started sending uber. With my Difficult Child i took him to a hotel not home. I honestly don't know the best answer. I am sorry you are experiencing this problem. All of our dcs lie for one reason or another. I rarely believe my son which is a consequence of his actions. Boy who cried wolf way to many times. I think i am rambling too much on my mind right now. Prayers
  9. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I feel you handled the situation very well. My gut is telling me that maybe there's a need for attention as you mentioned. Maybe she doesn't feel she's getting enough attention being "good", holding down a job, paying for her gas and insurance. Possibly some psychological issues as many of our kids have that make them just behave badly and oddly with no logical reasoning.

    I feel with her living under your roof this is a warning to be more diligent about her personal after work activities. I have found when certain things came to light when my sons were living at home with me, that often times I was only then being made aware of things that had been going on at a much deeper level (i.e., I was seeing the tip of the ice burg).

    Prayers going up.
  10. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you all very much! I appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and input. I got a lot of food for thought and assurance which is what I needed. Love to all!
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You're hitting on something I felt but couldn't articulate. She's rubbing it in your face. She knows how you'll be triggered by substance use and addiction. She's showing you just how little control you have but more than that: she's holding you hostage, to make you see it, to suffer it. I will use a harsh word here, sadism (we all have a little bit of it, not just her). She's subjecting you to this. She's making you watch it. On purpose.

    You can't allow this. It's not good for her to demonstrate her power this way. It's not good for her, and not good for you.

    I think I've written before how she seems to empower herself in covert, negative ways. This is what is happening here. She has turned a lot of her aggression against herself. But here she's subjecting you to it.
    I felt this too. It felt like exhibitionism to me, more than attention. Hey, look at me.

    Wise, you've got to nip this dynamic in the bud. You can't reward it. That's what I think. You're right. What will she do next? There's nowhere to go with this except to escalate.

    I differ about whether to reward her with "attention." My gosh, she is already the center of your life and attention. She needs to be the object of her own attention at this age. I am wondering if it isn't time to accelerate her moving out.

    I am wondering if she is worried about that. That she's showing you through her poor choices how much she needs you to baby her. I mean, to me that's not age-appropriate to have Mommy and Daddy come and carry her home after she's over-indulged. What about Uber and Lyft? What about a friend? If she's old enough to go driving around hill and dale, can't she cover for herself, to call a Taxi? To arrange with a friend to be the designated driver, or to not indulge and be responsible?

    To take over for bailing her out in this kind of situation at her age, seems like enabling to me (no criticism here. How could I?) She's forcing you to treat her as an infant. You are not her drinking buddy. You're not her pal. And for sure you're not the mother of a baby. (But she's acting like one.) This is not age-appropriate to involve Mother and Dad. She had options, she could have exercised. Why choose this way?

    Honestly, I don't know why I am so mad at her. I see her as having every consideration. Every advantage. I see you as sensitive to her needs and caring of her comforts, wanting to give her what she needs. I see you as fair and respectful. She could not have a parent more responsive to her, more committed to her welfare, and to her potential. You don't deserve any of this. But of course I know that deserving enters into this not at all.

    Wise, your instincts are so good. You see and understand everything that is happening. You are right on it. You know when you're triggered. You feel it. And you know the causes.

    She needs to suffer the consequences of her own choices, so that she will learn to be responsible for them. Right now she sees you as the injured party. She has somehow made a causal connection between her bad acts, her own vulnerability, and you. It's like there's a stimulus-response feedback loop, and in her mind, you, not she, is in the middle of it. Wise. You've got to get yourself out of that feedback loop.

    Your ambivalence seems about cutting her loose, so that she's independent and becomes her own power base. She's had so much good mothering. She needs to become her own psychic mother. That's the relationship that needs to be strengthened. Let her.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  12. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    This observation you've made is giving me a lot of food for thought. Although the dynamics are different with my sons from Wise's this is applicable to what goes on with them and me.

    Recently, my youngest son did something "bad" (not ready to go into just yet). He contacted me in hysteria telling me I was the smartest person he knows and I had to have advice for him on what to do. I told him I wasn't God and don't have all the answers. He was adamant, insistent and demanding I give him "advice". I simply held firm and told him that I've given him all the advice I could ever give someone and he very rarely if ever follows it and I cannot do that anymore.

    I'm not going to say I'm not fretting to some degree over the situation, however, I have to let him realize the consequences of his own actions. It's as if "the sky is the limit" to what he does and then it's as if he relinquishes all ownership and feels it's up to me to fix it.

    I haven't heard from him since that call and of course my worry take me in a million directions. Trying to turn it over to God.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    When I was a little older than your daughter in this respect I was like her. What was different was that I left home at 17-18 and was self-sufficient in all respects from that time.

    But I remember a phone call with my mother. Maybe a series of them. I was suffering. I had lots of blocks in my life, particularly about men, but other stuff, too. What never leaves me about this phone call was my anger at my mother, and my blaming her for my inability to overcome what I was dealing with, although I tried with all of my might.

    What I did not realize at the time was that it would take a lifetime and I would not overcome what blocked me; that it was my life work. Just as your daughter's suffering is hers to own and to confront.

    I did make a break with my mother. And after many years we reconciled and for the last 25 or so years of her life we were close. Maybe not in the way we would have wished, but in the way that it could work.

    I am not saying you have to break with your daughter or she with you. My own situation was very different.

    What I wanted to say is this: Each of us individually has to come to the place where we find that we work, that we work in life, that we confront life head on. I think this is the essence of life. And it is in this place where we find a connection to Divine, to creativity and to the greatest sources of personal fulfilment and personal strength.

    When I stand in the way of my son and his life, when I try to buffer the consequences to him of his actions, when I feel responsible or take on responsibility for what is his to bear I rob him of the truest and realist part of his life and being.

    I think parenting has the potential to be heroic. We are the ones who must step up.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  14. louise2350

    louise2350 Member

    Wise: I don't think your daughter really considers her friend's mother cool at all.
  15. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I tend to lean on what Copa is saying, but can't articulate it that well.

    The post "triggered" me a bit, but I guess I was thinking of my own daughter and her similar behaviors. If I had to pick her up every time she was high, I'd be driving every night. We're not on the "recovery" side. But, she also doesn't live with us (this being one of the reasons - her coming home drunk and or high... can't deal).

    Now on to the sadist thing. Very interesting! My daughter overshares a LOT. I've often thought, at times, that some of it was punishment - or said for shock value. The other night she told me that she was doing coke and molly as if she had a cappuccino with soy whip. She has to tell herself it's "normal" so she says it as if it is. I'm just tired of it. It exhausts me mentally.
  16. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hello Wise,
    Just to let you know I am following along, and commend the wise comments from others in this thread and the clear insights you are getting and sharing in dealing with this situation.

    So much of working our way through involvement in our difficult children’s chaos necessitates dealing with many hidden “shadows” and sorrows in our own lives. It’s not easy stuff.
    Just so happens … I am also reading this same book at this moment, and have experienced some powerful eye-opening discoveries and important learning. Our journey with our difficult children is as much a journey of healing and forgiveness in and of ourselves also.

    I am reminded of an old “girl scout” song “Lonesome Valley” ~ that we (and our children) must all walk the lonesome valley of our lives by ourselves. Nobody else can walk it for us. But I stay so thankful that when we do stumble or start drowning along the way, that we have safe landing places, such as this forum, and the love, support, comfort and understanding of this "family" to keep us afloat !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItVmpBr7KLE ~ Lonesome Valley ~ Joan Baez

    Take care.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  17. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you, Copa. It reminds me of the situation with the cutting. She knew it was killing me and despite me saying I wanted no part of it, she always made sure I knew when she was doing it again. My therapist at the time felt very strongly that I withdraw all of my attention from the subject .Let it be her problem. I think I will do the same here : Not say anything else about it. I set my boundary: while living in my house, you cannot come home drunk or stoned. Nothing more needs to be said, because anything else is giving attention to something I really dont want any part of .I did the drinking and the drugging myself up to age 24 and I don't want any part of it .I don't want to see it, I am in recovery for God's sake.

    I see what you are expressing here: daughter likes to hold power over me. Any way she can. I have slowly been withdrawing from her drama, her mental health following Al-anon's detachment with love. And she hates it. I no longer shop with her, I let her deal with her own issues, I don't give advice, I don't make suggestions. And she hates it. She puts me in enemy camp for it. She wants me to be the rescuer, the fixer.

    I picked her up -high- this time. It was the first time. And I made it clear how I felt about it. So I won't do it again. We don't have Uber or Lyft where we live. She doesn't have very many friends here. But it doesn't matter. I think she knows I won't do it again.

    She tries in almost every conversation we have to put me down somehow. Today telling me that something I said reminds her of my Mother (she knows I will get defensive with that one - haha), laughing at me. It wasn't anything serious, but enough that I withdrew attention and started reading. She likes to get me to react. So I am working hard at not reacting and thoughtfully responding instead. It all reminds me of my husband and how he used to act out when he was dry drunk. The attempt to control me, to put me down, to keep me small, to play with my emotions .

    The answer to all of it is the relationship I have with myself. I will continue to work on self acceptance, self love, and self confidence .When I have that, nothing or nobody can shake me. I need to get the focus of everyone else and onto myself.

    Started the shame book this morning. I am ready to work .
  18. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    My son said the same thing about the mother of his best friend, who I dubbed Eddie Haskel. They loved this mother so much because she let them do whatever they wanted. Then my son said he was invited to live with them. I called said mother and told her to knock it off unless she wanted to take full responsibility for my child. Today, my son says what a mess that family was and his once best friend has become a lazy bum. He is grateful now that he was raised with rules. Hang in there.