My daughter wants to talk-Feeling horrible

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Blindsided, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    OK. Most of you already know, but here is a quick synopsis. 41 y/o alcoholic Difficult Child daughter alone in another state, living couch to couch. Has been abusive, delusional, and threatening over past several years. Boundaries set, get mental health help for her outrageous behaviors, get into AA and get a job. Has had many interventions, people try to help, but give up and tell her to get out. She won't help herself.

    She hit her brother up for $250 a few weeks ago. He declined. Two weeks ago Difficult Child sends me an email with a link to a site that sells Papaya Powder for leukemia! (Difficult Child does have issues with liver failing and I believe that is the cause of her multiple health complaints.) The site shows signs of leukemia are skin lesions. She attaches pictures of what looks like multiple burn wounds. According to dates taken, it looks like she picked healing scabs. My response to her email is that leukemia is diagnosed with blood work and asked her if her doctor mentioned anything. I told her the wound looked nasty and she should show it to the doctor and let me know what he says. I kept it matter of fact. I am working on detaching from the emotional apple cart. Of course, I didn't hear another word.

    We haven't talked on phone for months, because when I don't agree to send money, she goes off on me. After that last talk, she texted me "If my tests come back with cancer I don't want you there. Do you. That's all you have ever done." More of my retirement than I care to think of, driving hours because she threatened suicide, only to be abused again because we told her to come back home with us and the money was stopping. We gave in. $500 more so she could get her car in order to make the trip. She never showed up. But, I have never been there.

    Three days ago she texted me at 7:30 p.m. and asked if I could talk. She knows I don't take night phone calls as I have health issues. I also suspect she was drunk at 7:30. I didn't answer her text until today, because my husband and I both have had doctor appointments every day and I haven't had time to take a call. The truth is, I don't want to talk to her, but I do. I am so afraid of what she has to say. Is she dying? Or, is she wanting to take out her aggression on me? I suspect she has been kicked out again. I need to get off her chaotic train. We are elderly and we do have two places, but they are both small 2 bedroom slab homes. I am afraid if we took her in at this point, she will just flop. We can't afford to keep utilities going when we leave here in the spring. What would I do then? She also has 2 small dogs she has been carting into everyone's home and they are NOT trained, because they have been neglected. That aside, she is mentally ill, undiagnosed, of course. I don't dare suggest she get a job, she says she's just too sick. I say, then apply for disability. Oh no, she can't do that. I have no doubt she would qualify if she would just get mental health help. I am one huge mess! I am trying to let go and let God. I don't know what to do. I don't want my daughter to feel abandoned, but I suspect it doesn't matter what I say or do that will change that.

    Christmas was my favorite holiday.
  2. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I’m so sorry for all the stress and worry you are under.

    What I would try to ask myself in this situation is will your daughter respect, love and care for you more if you set her up in your 2nd home? Will you just be enabling her further? Will she destroy your home by bringing pets she will not discipline that may destroy your property? Will you have more peace in your soul if you take care of her?
    I think you know the answer to these questions and that’s why to say yes to helping her in this way causes you so much stress.

    It’s difficult because she’s sick but will you be self-destructive to yourself by getting all entwined in her constant drama and crisis?

    I’ve only recently started to try to put myself first and ask myself who will be there for me if I get sick from all the stress, anxiety and worry? Who will be there for me if i use all my funds and can’t pay my own bills? I doubt my two sons would be.
    For me right now detachment is all that’s keeping me sane. It hurts not to see my sons or know how they’re doing but I have to hope this is not forever. I think of it as a season in my life I have to go through. I can’t fix their problems anymore. Not sure I ever really did. On the surface paying rent and other bills etc did fix the outer shell of the problem but with the years that have passed neither of them has made any long term sustainable changes inwardly.
    The hardest thing for most of us is how uncomfortable and sad we feel because for whatever our kids reasons are be it mental illness addiction or something else they just can’t seem to do much to improve their situation.

    But they have to Be the ones to make the changes in their lives just as we have to do for ourselves. We know any other way is not anything that will last.
    Sending hugs.
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  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I can hear the sadness in your words. It is obvious that you love your daughter. It is also obvious that she has put you through the wringer. I am also retired and my son has used a significant amount of my retirement. I finally said no. I do help with small things but no rent , no vehicles . In my experience these "kids" are master manipulators. I too have have had suicide threats and life and death pleas but it is like so many have told me they will bleed you dry. You need to live your own life and she needs to learn how to live hers. What good is it going to do anybody if she eats up your money and you can't provide for yourself anymore. She will have not learned to take care of herself and you will be unable to help so both of you are in a bad situation. I worked 37 + years for my retirement I deserve to enjoy it he doesn't. It is also not fair to your other children to give and give to her and not them. Many of us have tried providing houses for our sons and daughters with the same result , they destroy them. About the i am dying calls you handled it beautifully. Its like the old fable of the boy who cried wolf. We keep running to help but sooner or later we just assume they are lying and we don't go. That is their consequence to live with. unfortunately the lifestyle they live is hazardous and there are risks but they need to come to the understanding that it is their behaviors, their bad decisions that force them to live that way. Until they understand that they won't change. I pray for my son every night but my prayers have gone from please get him out of this situation to please do what is best for him. I don't know what is best for him anymore i truly don't. I am not perfect and i slip up but i get a little better each time. I would say don't give her the house. Buy her something useful for Christmas that you can afford. If you feel you need to, send her a food gift card or warm clothes. The point is that it is what you want to send. It shows your love but does not enable. With the suicide threats call the police and if they feel she is in danger they will hospitalize her. Most police are connected with mental health agencies that go and talk to them and evaluate. Please do use your retirement to do things you want to do. Prayers.
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  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Well, I feel for you. But you didn't abandon your daughter. She and her alcoholism, that is pervasive even to her soul, left YOU. And she is not willing to feel better, to stop drinking. She has abandoned herself most of all and there is nothing you or I or anyone can do to save an addict. Our troubled kids. We can do nothing. It feels horrible but we have no power over another adult, even a beloved one.

    What will she do after you are gone? Who will she call? Who will give her money?


    We all take a personal life walk only with God, if we believe. There is nobody who can fix us as we try to fix others. But we can lean on others to learn to cope. In our cases, husband and I decided to let Al Anon and a therapist, who is an uninvolved third party, keep us in Sanity Lane. We have decided to take the advice we get. N

    Not everyone does take advice. Most of our adult children refuse outside help to get better. But parents who are suffering due to their kids often also refuse to get any outside help.

    Are you in Al Anon faithfully, or with a therapist you feel is safe? Do you have strong circles of support,even tiny ones? Family? Friends? A church family? Another type?

    We walk our life path, but we can have support systems that let us know they care. in my opinion doing this completely alone is not healthy. You deserve to enjoy your golden years. So do we all.

    Story that is sadly true: A man I know was an addict who is decades clean. His drug was heroin and he quit. Is that the end?

    No. Now his son is the same age as he was when he decided to quit. But his son won't quit. Won't even try. He is homeless under a bridge and recently almost died of drugs.

    The father flew down to comfort him in case he woke up and he did wake up, although he was on a breathing machine.

    Almost dying and having failing organs and now Multiple Schlerosis has not convinced the young man to do anything about his addiction. He is doing the same things as before. He denies he is sick or addicted. His sober brother bought him a tent. He gives his brother money. But he won't let him into his house. The brother has kids. He can't allow a heroin addict in his house, no matter how much he loves him.

    His father will not give him a dime. As an addict himself he told me that giving an addict anything makes them worse. He said he did not quit until his parents cut him off. Then he went into rehab for the 20th time and did it for good. Not until.

    I take an addicts advice seriously. Who knows better? This man is very active in Narcotics Ananymous AND Nar Anon. He tries to help others without enabling. Even his child who doesn't listen to him.

    I hope you can find some way that is positive to handle this atrocity. It is so hard to watch our kids circle the drain. I no longer watch. Not even social media. If she won't do better, I can't know what she is doing at all. I have to stay healthy for my sane loved ones. It's not all about Kay.

    I pray that you find peace in your own life even if you can't do anything to change your daughter. Hugs to you.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  5. MissLulu

    MissLulu Active Member

    Blindsided, I just want to reach out and give you a hug. I can see myself being in your position, sooner rather than later. I don't know what I would (will) do but I think TriednTrue's answer makes a lot of sense.
  6. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Jay Pea, Triedntrue, Busy, miss Lulu, thank you so much. Every word you each offer I know to be true. I needed to be reminded of the effects on my husband and me. Your support, and wisdom gives me strength. Thank you. I will be re-reading as many times as it takes. Blessings
  7. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I am blessed with loving and supportive friends and family. My sister is a mental health NP, and I have a therapist, but I havent seen him in a while. I need someone closer to home. Thank you for asking. Thing is I think they are all getting worn out hearing about it. I understand that. So, I dont share very often. My husband is the pragmatic one.
  8. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Yes, yes, and yes. All would be enabling and not helpful to anyone. The way you explain it makes perfect sense. It is palatable and relatable. Thank you so much.
  9. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Master manipulators they are. I dont love that part at all despite my love for her. So much is toxic. In my mind I know that.
  10. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Hugs returned. I will keep you in my thoughts as I do everyone here. Love and light.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    One of the first things I thought is that is she could get disability it might be very helpful. And since the paperwork is a handful, she might need help.

    Of course, then comes the issue of spending the disability money.
    But it has the potential to help with essentials like a place to live.

    Our daughter also over concerns herself with health matters. Recently she has gone to the doctor too much and too quickly and has had lots of tests and although I’m not certain, I think it has given her “pause.”

    It’s great that you have set boundaries.

    Christmas is my favorite holiday normally but our daughter often causes disruption. Setting boundaries has been very helpful.

    I feel for you. It’s very hard. Set boundaries and move forward. You are doing well under difficult circumstances.
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  12. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I don't know how to do the quote thing right, but Blindsided, this really resonates with me. My daughter is 39, undiagnosed mental illness and substance use- won't seek help. She cut me off for the same reasons you speak of - because I set boundaries and won't continue enabling. The truth is, as you said, I don't want to talk to her. It hurts too much because she blames, drags me into the chaos, and the sorrow is too much when I hear how awfully she is doing.

    It's good to hear that you have set boundaries. You could ask her to communicate to you through letters or emails - she probably won't- but at least that would allow you time to process and respond as you choose.

    I agree with what others have said about letting her into your home - it is continued enabling. After years of giving money, my home, time, childcare, love, etc., nothing has changed. Nothing will change until our daughters want to change. Even those with mental illness, if they want to get well, must eventually say uncle and seek help. I have two difficult adult children, and sadly, they show little concern for anyone but themselves.

    I think, too, that the holidays always make things feel sadder when we have loved ones who are adrift - but that's just my opinion.

    Warm hugs and prayers.
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My community has a residence for ill homeless people with lots of support and care and community.

    When I remembered about this residence, I thought about how it could be for your daughter if she allowed herself this: to be cared about and supported, in loving community of others in her same situation, and helped by compassionate staff.

    I thought about how when we suffer our children who treat us badly without gratitude or regret, we stand in the way of good things for them. Like a residence such as this.

    While most of us here don't much like the way our children have lived and continue to live, their lives are unfolding the way they are, as they live their purpose. Our help (often ambivalent and fearful) is often an obstacle. Your daughter has work to do. She is not just ill. She's not only an alcoholic. She's a soul.

    We trigger our children as they trigger us. We seem to call forth their bitterness and negativity and passivity and dependence, their anger and even, their desire to exploit us. Just as they call out our own anger, frustration, obligation, bitterness, regret, blame, fear guilt and despair. When we invite them into our space more often than not this toxic brew causes everybody to regress.

    Almost all of us here have the fantasy that our love and protection will heal or keep our adult child safe. It's just that, a fantasy.

    I don't think you'd be helping your daughter by hurting yourself. But I very much understand why you would try. Numerous times I have done the same.
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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  14. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I am quote illiterate too. Yes, I was only communicating via text and email, so I dont know why I felt the need to respond to her request for a phone call. I crave hearing her voice again, but it never turns out well.

    I thank everyone for setting my head straight on taking her in. It would be total emotional choice, which I know is never good.

    I wish she would get mental health help. But, the choice has to be hers to succeed.

    I am always sorry to hear of anyone who shares this journey, but grateful for the encouragement and support.

    Many thanks.
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  15. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Thank you so much for the encouragement. Today looks better. Everyone has helped me think rationally again.
  16. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Copa, do you know how I could search for such a community in Vegas? I doubt May would look for such services on her own, but it would be nice to share when she is ready to hear it. I did search for a womens shelter that would let her keep her dogs. But, it was not a good place at all.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Is there a rescue mission there? That is where I would start. The people that work with homeless or indigents and recovering addicts in my town seem all of them to be inter-connected and know each other. Some of them are pastors. In my own town I have been reaching out to these people and they have been very generous with their time and help, spending hours with me to talk. So. I would try to contact any recovery project that is spiritually-based and I would ask.

    What I would not do is speak to the person manning the phone. I would ask to speak with the director. If you live in Vegas, I would ask for an appointment to speak face to face.

    I would also do a google search. Later today, if I can remember, I will look on google.

    I would think in Las Vegas there would be lots of resources because the town beckons to people who are fleeing themselves and their lives, and end up falling further. I lived and worked for a short time in Vegas many years ago as a chip girl downtown!
  18. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    This is great info. thank you. We live in midwest and southwest, which makes it profoundly more difficult, but sometimes I am grateful for the distance.

    May is a Christian. Both my children were raised in the church. Ironically, the child that has succeeded does not embrace his upbringing, but I can easily turn that over to God and I see a glimmer of hope. We are very close except in religion and politics. Lol. I have encouraged May to reach out to a church she has attended many times, but she won't.

    I am going to do some googling as see if I can find anything.

    thank you so much!
  19. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Acacia, I figured out the quote thing. Press and hold the area you want to quote, then move the cursors to select the text you want to quote. Two tabs will pop up under the text, quote/reply choose reply. Viola!
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  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    Dear Blindsided

    I found the link above which describes services available in Nevada to vulnerable people who are ill. They range from in home assistance to care facilities and more. It sure seems to me your daughter might qualify. I think the name of the agency is called long term services and support.