my problem, not grave or scary

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Landshark, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Landshark

    Landshark New Member

    I've posted before about my daughter, got some great advice. However, the thread was hijacked a bit and eventually closed. I have changed my user name on the advice of a person who was concerned my username of choice was very identifiable.

    I have been up since three, not getting too much sleep the last few days. Of course I was asleep at 10 so it's not really as bad as it sounds.

    My daughter is currently unemployed and has been for a year and a half. She has been living off of her boyfriend and he is now out of the picture. Truth be told, he didn't much like to work and they subsisted on his disability money from the government.

    She just makes it so hard for me to figure out a way to help her. Clearly giving her things doesn't help in the least. Yesterday when I went over to give her a little moral support, she opened her side door to the enclosed area where she keeps her bike to take out the recycling. And there I saw the vacuum cleaner I had given her. I saw the piece of luggage I had given her. Out in the elements deteriorating. Just walking around her little place I saw all sorts of things that I had given her, things that I didn't use and I don't regret giving them to her but there sat the French press in pieces. The mini and the monitor covered in dust. I've lived without a job, many people have lived without a job. Did we live in the same conditions the same squalor the same neglect? I don't know, I can't say.
    Anyway I took a couple of loads of laundry home yesterday to wash since her washing machine is broken. Her clothes literally smell. I'm going to drop them off today and probably pick up towels which I'm sure have not been washed in over six months. She gave no indication of going to a laundromat since things with the washing machine went south.
    How do you help someone like that, how do you not feel sorry for someone like that? How do you not do the little things like laundry that cost you nothing more than time and dollar and electricity? How do you not extend kindnesses in the hopes that they'll pick themselves up and fix their life?

    There was a letter on her coffee table from the government agency that deals with welfare and food stamps. It said that she needs to call for a phone interview by June 10. That's today and as of yesterday she had not called. After that she needs written statements from people that have been paying her bills. So I sat down and wrote a short statement and I had her Dad write a short letter as well. She has to send those things in and God knows she doesn't even have an envelope to put them in.

    I know this little things pale in comparison to those whose children are abusing them, stealing from them, and much worse.
    I need all of you to kick my butt into realizing I am the worst sort of enabler. If you remember some of my previous thread, my daughter left home for seven years without a word. Now she has been back for almost five years and I don't see any progress.
    It should be known that she rarely asks me for any help, I see things and I decide to take care of these things on my own.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I don't think your story is pale. I think it is heart wrenching.

    I don't know why they don't care about stuff...I realized just this year that my difficult child doesn't have a single thing I've given him. All the ipods, the phones, yes the ipads, the drumsets, the warm clothes, the gloves, the backpacks to keep his stuff in...nothing. Where did it go? Why did I do it? I don't know anymore.

    I don't object at all to your washing her clothes once, or more if you have to. I don't object to your mailing her forms or making her calls for her. She sounds horribly depressed. You should do what you feel you need to and the place where THAT FEELS OK TO YOU AND YOU DON"T RESENT IT.

    Don't let your choices to help her negatively impact your work life or job performance.
    DOn't let your choices to help her impinge on your other loving relationships.
    Don't let your choices to help her compromise or endanger you financially.

    Within those parameters, do what you must, Mom. It is helpful to me to be able to look back and say "I tried everything. Left no stone unturned." None of us want to have regrets.

    I don't see these small things as enabling. I see them as you picking a careful path of love and concern.

    Good luck, mom.

    I'm glad you came back to us.

  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I don't know about "the worst sort", but dear, you certainly ARE an enabler.

    If she's not asking, why are you doing for her? If she isn't trying to help herself, why help her?

    It hurts REALLY BAD to have to let it go. I had to change my name last fall when my difficult child, Belle, started posting nasties here. Things have changed a bit, she's in prison now - her own bad choices. But they are HER choices.

    How do you not feel sorry for them? Well, I do feel bad for my daughter. But - she is an adult. Yours knows HOW to do this stuff, but chooses not to. Why? Because she knows that, eventually, you will.

    And, honey... She IS abusing you - your generosity. She IS stealing from you. It's just far more insidious.

    If you MUST do SOMETHING, have her come over for dinner once every couple of weeks. Have HER bring her laundry over and SHE can do it. (My parents did this for me - but *I* had to do the work.)

    Don't do it all for her... Let her rise or fall on her own actions.

    And... ***HUGS***
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  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I don't really have much faith in enabling-concept. You didn't cause this. Your actions are not a reason why she seems to have so little zeal. You didn't enable her to be like that.

    What she does sound like, is that she may have some major mental health problem. Major depression, social anxiety disorder, other anxiety disorder or something like that. Your doing her laundry may not help her to recover from those, but neither would not doing it. She would likely just have dirty clothes, not some major breakthrough to go and wash them herself.

    Your taking initiative and doing these things will likely keep her a bit longer out from the streets. They may not help her more. But neither does living in the streets do.

    What could help her is treatment for her issues (and no, no one really is like that because they are just lazy, depression or the regression before the schizophrenia breaks out first time for example are much more likely reasons.) And that is a problem. It is very difficult to get an adult to the mental health treatment if they don't want. Some say you should leave it to them to arrange it too, but I disagree with that. Best situation with seriously mentally ill adults I have seen, have been with people, who have been pushed to treatment by loved ones. They have been willing, but parents, siblings or spouses have often had to do the legwork to get them there. They have been lacking initiative, but have agreed to go, when someone else has booked the appointments and physically come and got them to those at least at the beginning. Lacking that initiative is extremely typical with many mental issues, with some it is almost a diagnostic criteria. Unfortunately, if they actively against getting help, it gets very, very difficult. But if you can get her to go, if you arrange it, I would personally do that.

    Just my two cents.
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  5. Landshark

    Landshark New Member

    Thank you all, again. She has taken the first baby step, seeking help with counseling and prozac. Only one counseling session so far, but it is a start.
  6. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I agree.
    I do that sort of thing for my son (when I see him). I don't see it as enabling. He's gone too far anyway, he's beyond the stage where enabling or not would make any difference to him. Washing his clothes so he smells a bit less bad for a week or so seems like not a lot to do for him.

    Sorting out financial problems is another matter though. In my experience, trying to help and sort out money issues has just contributed to the state he's in now. The more you do, the less they do. I've also bought things, like you, and then seen them disused and abandoned, if they don't have to work and earn money and buy things themselves then they seem to have no respect for things. I don't buy anything for him now apart from socks and toothpaste occasionally.

    Yep. That was me. It didn't get me anywhere other than sad, frustrated and exhausted. It didn't get him anywhere other than homeless and smelly.

    You really have to start thinking of yourself and looking after yourself. Your daughter has been surviving like this for a long time. She survived without you for 7 years. Living in squalor is her choice.
    You said in your previous posts that she is seeing someone for depression and has started taking prozac. It takes a while for that to start working. Don't make yourself ill with work and worry and sleeplessness. That won't be helpful. It is very hard to let go and accept your child for who he/she has become, but for me it was the start of enjoying life again and also improving the relationship that I have with my son, now that I am not trying to control how he lives and change the things that cause me grief. She's not your little girl, she's a grown woman.
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  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Landshark, and welcome. Wow, your daughter sounds a lot like the rest of the adults we talk about on this board. And regardless of her diagnosis or lack of diagnosis, I am gathering she is an adult.

    I'd like to answer the three very real and legitimate questions you posted above, as I have answered them for myself.

    1. You do want to help someone who, for whatever reason, doesn't live the life of an adult. You do feel sorry for that person. At least for a while, and for most of us, a very very long while, and maybe even a little bit now, from time to time. But feelings aren't facts. That is a truth I learned in Al-Anon and it has taken me a long, long time to unpack that truth and understand it for what it is. I used to think if I felt something it must be true. I feel sad so the situation must be sad. I feel like my son is helpless so he must be helpless. I feel like my son is not able to do something so he must not be able to do something. Not anymore.
    My feelings are still my valid and true feelings and I have to feel them, honor them and not stuff them down or cast them aside. But I don't have to act on them. That is my choice.

    2. I have done and still do some little things for my son. I choose to do them. I truly like to do things that he doesn't ask me to do, as a surprise, but I also still sometimes do things he asks me to do. Sometimes I still do things for him he should be doing for himself. And that is where I believe I go wrong. That is a seminal question to ask ourselves, every single time: Are we about to do something for somebody (a difficult child) that they should be doing for themself? If the answer is Yes, then I want to stop. Because if I don't stop, I am taking away that person's dignity and adulthood (even more), their chance to face the direct consequences of their choices, and perhaps even, I am delaying or blocking that reality check they need, right now, to help them get closer to their rock bottom. I may be outright harming them. And haven't we all (them and us) had enough harm?

    3. There are kindnesses and then there are the daily activities of living that every adult should be responsible for. (I am not talking about seriously mentally or physically incapacitated people here, people who truly, honestly, can't do things for themselves. My own sister was blind and disabled with an incurable bone disease. Even she helped around the house and did what she could and our family not only let her, but encouraged her. Her doctors said that is exactly why she lived as long as she did. But I digress.) My son, Landshark, can spend all day walking around town, finding where the free food is, applying for food stamps, checking out books on WWII at the library and wash his own clothes at the shelter, yet he can't get a job? No, he won't get a job. Let's put the right verbs in the sentences. Can't or won't? A kindness is something you choose to do for someone---a bunch of flowers, a special treat you baked, even a load of laundry---because you want to, and it is a gift. Doing somebody's laundry for them because they have chosen not to do it for six months isn't a kindness, in my humble opinion.

    Why is that? Is it truly (and I mean truly here) because she can't? Or is because she won't?

    For the past year, my son has either been in rehab, homeless or in jail. He was kicked out of his dad's house one year ago this week, and he truly has not laid his head in anybody's home---his or otherwise---since that time. What he seems to care about only is living a life completely outside the rules and responsibilities of society. He steals, he takes drugs, he gets arrested, he goes to rehab because I manipulated him into going to rehab, he makes excuses, he is a very sweet and loving person, and Landshark, I am starting to believe he likes this life. That he is choosing this life and is comfortable in this life. And if that is the case, then okay. But he will have to take the very natural and real consequences of choosing that life, and I am working on me today, so that I can accept him with love, regardless of what kind of life he chooses. So in my case, Landshark, I believe it is because he won't.

    To further unpack it, if a person won't go by the rules and responsibilities of society, then why in the world would I take on those responsibilities for them, i.e., washing clothes regularly, giving him the things he needs, like a ride around town, like a place to live, like clothes to wear, like all of everything that contributing citizens have to accomplish, really, why in the world would I do that over and over and over again?

    Well, I'll tell you why. I did it to make myself feel better. I was in agony over him. And just the idea that I would refuse my own child (I still saw him as a precious, chubby three year old then, even though he was nearly 25) was intolerable to me. I could not even entertain the idea. Why, he was going homeless? He as going to be arrested? He was taking drugs? He was going to jail? Not my child. Not while I have breath in my body. So Landshark, I danced and danced and danced, trying to fix him and help him and prop him up and take care of him, because I could not tolerate doing anything else. It was on me.

    Until the day finally came, finally, when I got sick and tired enough. I mean sick to the core of me. I mean tired to the core of me. So sick and tired of the same endless merry go round where I did and did and did, and he took and took and took. So tired of living a life of complete insanity when it came to my son. Well, even a mother gets tired. Even a mother.

    So I would suggest these things to think on:

    1. You have a choice. You always have a choice.
    2. You will have to be sick and tired enough to make a different choice.
    3. If you make that different choice, once you are sick and tired enough, you will have to do a whole lot of hard work to change. Every day. I mean, it's the hardest work you will have ever done.
    4. You will still slip. You will still do enabling things for her. It's just that hard to totally change. And that is perfectly okay to slip and make mistakes.
    5. And I believe this: you will start, over time, to be able to let go of her. To detach with love. To start to accept her, no matter how ugly and how awful her situation and life look to you. And through that process, you will become happier, more joyful, more serene, more contented, more at peace. Not with her. With yourself.
    6. You are just as important as she is. If she is a grown woman, it's time for her to be a grown woman, whatever that looks like.
    7. And it's time for us to let them go.

    There is no perfection here, Landshark, just progress along my own path that I believe God put me on a long time ago. I am a better person today for this whole awful terrible horrible experience with my precious son.

    There is no judgment here. I am sharing with you what I have learned over the past years. Please, take what you like and leave the rest. I have so much compassion for you and for all who write here, and respect for your choices as an adult yourself. We can only do what we can live with.
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  8. Crying Uncle

    Crying Uncle New Member

    There's the crux of the situation. The mental anguish, 24/7, of the situation. So hard to accept because it DOESN'T have to be this way. It is a case of difficult child never wanting to work, never developing a job skill, and exactly as so many describe, an actual pride in not being a functional part of society. They wear it like a badge. We're the suckers that fell for the job, car, house schtick. Sigh. It's so true we help to make ourselves feel better because there is guilt and shame associated with doing nothing.
    My personal failures in my relationship with my Mother left me with deep guilt and regret over not having done MORE in her final years. I don't want to make that mistake twice. But I see the truth that this reaction is for ME more than the difficult child.

    It's baffling to us that a person can be comfortable in a situation like those described here, but obviously many difficult children are. That,s a part that is so deeply puzzling. I may never be able to accept that difficult child is okay with being hungry and jobless. Because I could never be. difficult child has held a job, had money to live on and relax on, not rich but stable. But seems to have lost the motivation to achieve that again.

    I have been unemployed twice in the past five years, came back from bankruptcy, and am about to turn 56. I don't have enough money for my later years, but I am saving. I have always worked when a job was available, with maybe two years cumulative unemployed in 35 years. My job is good but nothing is guaranteed. I want my savings for my emergencies. AC repair. Health. Replacement car.
    But I also lean the other way some days, help now or regret it later. Pay rent or worry about difficult child on the street.
    It's the "invisible" nature of mental health problems. If difficult child was in the hospital with an injury or disease, the help would pour in. If difficult children house was broken into. If difficult child was laid off. But when the "crisis" is difficult child wont apply for food stamps, or difficult child can't make a phone call.. what the hell?? WHY oh WHY is it like this?

    The fact that difficult child is on medications now, about a month, gives me more reason to extend a helping hand. (enabling hand?). This is more movement towards course correction than seen in years, but only with constant pushing.

    I am separated from the difficult child by half a country, so don't get to help directly. There's not much I CAN do but help with some costs and offer moral support and my personal experiences with depression.

    Just trying to wind down by putting some words down...
  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    welcome landshark i'm an enabler also, also have 2 chronically mentally ill people living in the house. the wise warrior parents at this site have helped teach me when to offer assistance and when to stay out of it.

    i'm going to have to keep this short because need to get one of mine to the doctor appointment. i've been riding them to reschedule since january.

    i would suggest instead of doing her laundry, offer her use of your machine and soap to do it or probably a better option at this point is offer ride to laundry mat and supply the quarters for her to wash 10 loads at one time and just get it all done.

    i feel a need to give you a heads up about something as i've seen it happen to a couple of my friends when their first medication is an antidepressant... if you visit daughter and the place is clean, then you find out she is feeling top of the world and has all this energy, hasn't slept for days... she really needs to call whoever is prescribing her antidepressant and tell them all that (what a great job it is doing) it's possible she might need a mood stabilizer to go with it and the only way the person prescribing the medications would know that is if she tells them.

    people don't go tell their doctor when they are feeling great, they seek treatment when they are feeling bad (depressed). when angel lays around all day watching tv yes its a little annoying but when i get up to find she hasn't been to sleep last night and is singing while cleaning cobwebs it literally scares me because i know what goes up must come down and have been with her when she needed inpatient the 17-18 (lost count) times she has gone in.

    just saying try to only help to the extent it is needed, supervise and point in right direction when they need help. sending hugs and good thoughts your way

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  10. Crying Uncle

    Crying Uncle New Member

    That's very good advice. I had tried some medications that hyped me up and kept from sleep - no good!! We'll have to keep an eye on that. I do take both an AD and an MS myself.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    LS- you have been given very wise words of advice here, better advice than I could give to you. I read your post and it hit home for me - and Child of Mine alluded to it in her post as well...

    I have a much easier time "doing for others" when I acknowledge that I am doing them for myself. It doesn't just apply to things I do for difficult child - it applies to my H & the pcs too. Some of the things I do for them are things they really don't necessarily want. Like cutting sandwiches on the diagonal instead of straight (or serving whole), like baking extra cookies for H to take to the office... or picking up a brand new shirt I know easy child will love for no special reason.

    I have to say that the laundry is such a common theme among us moms of difficult children. I can remember putting extra fabric softener in difficult child's sheets etc. so that he would smell it and remember that I cared and that he was loved. Like an extra ounce of Downey can right the wrongs in our dynamic!

    I can remember scolding my kids when they were small that "I am not the laundry fairy" - after they dumped their freshly washed and folded clothes in a heap on their floor or cleaned their room by putting everything in the hamper rather than putting things away. Clean laundry was one of those things I never appreciated until it became my own responsibility for our family of 5. How nice it would be to find everything smelling fresh - clean and folded - just sitting in a basket waiting for me! Those few times I did difficult child's laundry were my chance to be a mother to him again. Even if he didn't notice. I did it for me.

    So, don't go overboard and don't become her caretaker - but at the same time - it's ok to do something for your difficult child because it makes YOU feel a little better.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi, Landshark. I think your story is about equal to many of ours. If she is the adult child who took off for seven years doing who-knows-what, that is pretty serious. Also, her total disregard for the things she was given is very disrespectful in my opinion. I wouldn't buy her towels. I wouldn't get her anything. I wouldn't wash her clothes. She is over thirty. My kids, and two were difficult children, washed their own clothes by age twelve and at least got life skills. If sh e wants to stink, that is her decision. Does she get disability? If so, why? And if so why can't she use her disability check to buy her own things? I'm on disability too and while it's not a lot it is money one can use to get by.

    There has got to be more to the story than she is just not doing anything. She has to have a back story. It is difficult to tell you what may work best for you without knowing it. I do think she is way beyond the age where you can help her. Everything you've tried so far, and I'm guessing it is everything available, has not worked. We can't fix our kids. Truth be told, we can control our minor children to a point, but we can't even change THEM. We can however force them to at least go to therapy. You can't do that with a grown daughter. What would compel you to buy her yet more things that she won't take care of?

    I'm one of the moms who thinks that the more you do for an adult child, especially one as old as yours, the more we hold them back because they have no incentive to do anything themselves. Even if she is depressed, I have a severe depressive disorder too...once I begged a doctor to give me ECT. But I still washed my own clothes. She can do that. It is bad for her mental health and depression to do nothing. That only makes it worse, if indeed that is what it is and we don't really know.

    Sounds like her boyfriend was bad news and I'm betting the farm that drugs were involved in her missing seven years. I know it is hurtful to think about that, but why else would she stay away for so long?

    I hope you can learn to detach...and start to focus on yourself. Your daughter is old enough to decide what to do with the rest of her life, but if you keep doing things for her as if she were incapable or a child, she doesn't seem as if she will grow up. And at your age, which can't be that young, you deserve a magnificent rest-of-your-life, not playing Mommy to a grown toddler (I have one too, however he DOES support himself).

    Do you have hobbies, friends, family who you can hang out with and relax with? Do you have ways of relieving stress and just kicking back to enjoy yourself? You are not caring for your own needs. My guess is that your daughter will find some other dysfunctional boyfriend to latch onto and maybe will even take off again. You can't control her or what she is or wh at she does and you can't help ANYBODY who isn't willing to work hard at it and doesn't want the help. You are not her and she is not you. She is 100% in control of whether she gets help and works hard at it. You are in 0% of whether she gets help or works hard at it. But you are 100% in charge of making your own life good. Many of us have learned to live peaceful, serene lives in spite of having dysfunctional adult children. This is my favorite bit of wisdom and you don't really need to be religious to appreciate the message. I had a necklace with this entire prayer on it at one time.

    "God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
    The Courage to the change the things I can,
    And the WISDOM to know the difference."
  13. Crying Uncle

    Crying Uncle New Member

    I wish I knew the full truth of those missing years, yet never really had the nerve to ask. I know bits and pieces that have leaked out. I resist the idea of crime and drugs being involved -- preferring to believe laziness, bohemian lifestyle, lots and lots of playstation and sleeping. But I will never know. It was both cruel and selfish to stay out of touch so long.
    Not challenging you Midwest Mom, thanks for the tough love advice.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Are you 100% sure she does not use drugs? Pot is known for killing motivation.
  15. Crying Uncle

    Crying Uncle New Member

    Not 100% sure.
  16. Landshark

    Landshark New Member

    In need of positive thoughts, daughter has an interview tomorrow, a simple job but one that is so necessary to her survival. The Prozac has her in a better frame of mind so god willing, tomorrow could be a turning point.
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  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Your story is one that just seems to hit me in the heart. I can commiserate with the parents of difficult child's who are violent or verbally abusive, who use drugs, who are just pains in the rears. I understand those kids. Your daughter simply makes my heart ache.

    I could be so very wrong but I dont think she wants to be this way. Something is holding her back but you dont know what it is. It could be so many things.

    I have bipolar and when I get depressed I get really depressed. I couldnt care less if I got out of bed, if I showered, if I washed clothes, if I did just about anything. There have been times I have done nothing for weeks on end. Eventually it does turn around for me though.

    I take it this is your only child. I also take it that you can afford to help her out somewhat. You need to do what you feel best. I think its great that she has started going to see a therapist. What a wonderful start. If she gets a job that will be a huge step forward. I hope it is something that she will love doing. If she doesnt get the job try to find something that she really loves and help her find a way to volunteer doing that. It will make her feel wanted and good about herself. That is so important. Honestly if I didnt have this website to work on I dont know where I would be. I dont feel important anywhere else.

    There is nothing wrong with you helping her with laundry or paperwork. Do you think she would go to your house with you while you do all that? Maybe you could make it something of a fun time which would get her out of the house.

    Now...on a promotional note: To all those who have the overwhelming need and urge to send their wayward difficult child's tablets, I will send you my address. I promise I wont lose them, pawn them or sell them to the local drug dealer! J/K
  18. Landshark

    Landshark New Member

    thank you DammitJanet! Today was a good day. I picked her up (yes, my only ''child'', almost 33 yrs old) to take her to her interview. She looked nice, made a pretty nice outfit from all the black that makes up her wardrobe. She has really let herself go in the past year and a half and it was nice to see her looking good! And she was in an upbeat mood, which I attribute to Prozac (and departure of lithium-pot smoking-genderbending boyfriend, but really mostly the prozac). She had also cleaned her apartment thoroughly, looked completely different than a week ago. I know these are externals and the most important part is her internal issues, but still it gave me a good feeling.
    The interview went well and she will know in a week; I encouraged her to keep applying. Her spotty and unusual work history is making her job search pretty tough.
    A little background...she read Tarot cards in New Orleans on the square for years...did okay, but then drifted into homelessness with a boyfriend. That makes my heart ache, I can truly say I feel my heart breaking in my chest to think of her sleeping on the streets. Maybe that is what fuels my resistance to detaching. I can afford to help her a little, but not forever. I think she wants to be independent, she wants to make an life for herself. I just don't know if she has the tools. She tells me she is going to make an effort to get out and meet new people; she has become quite isolated in the last year and a half.
    Me, I'm gonna pray a whole lot.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    That sounds wonderful! This might give you hope. I didnt get my diagnosis until I was 38. Oh I knew something was off with me for most of my life but I didnt have a clue what it was. I never considered bipolar because I thought "those people" were the really crazy people who jumped off buildings thinking they could fly like Little did I know.

    It did take me a year or two to really get my medications correct but I have been on a pretty good regimen for the last 12 years or so. I still have to do medication tweaks from time to time but its so much better. Also in 2006 I did 4 full years of therapy that helped me so much. I would still be going but my insurance quit paying for the therapist I had such a good relationship with and I simply cant find another one I trust.
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  20. Landshark

    Landshark New Member

    Just an update. Daughter is still job hunting with no luck yet. But she now says "when" not "if" she gets a job....
    Since boyfriend has moved out and counseling has started, as has Prozac, I am seeing a change. She sounds better, looks better, is better at little social interactions (like stopping for coffee and responding to clerk).
    I have taken some advice from this forum. Instead of doing her laundry, I drop her off at the laundromat with change and I pick her up at my convenience. It's a little thing but for me it is a start. I am a major controller. She has mentioned that it is hard to live alone, quiet without TV and internet, and in the past I would have tried to help her by paying for cable. Now I just agree that it must be a little boring, why not write or read? She has no friends, having been happy in her isolation for the past couple of years.
    Now how do I stop worrying about the future? How long do I help her out financially, as long as I am sure she is looking for work? I know there are no answers....