My story. The heartbreak.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Irishlizzee, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Irishlizzee

    Irishlizzee New Member

    I wanted to share my story because I really need some support right now. Three years ago my daughter turned 18. She was a troubled teen Who is bipolar and borderline personality disorder her, and refuses to take her medications. She also has a stealing and drug problem. As a parent, the hardest thing to do is to turn your child into the police. She stole from my husband and I over and over, and would never admit to stealing unless she was caught red-handed. We had her arrested when she stole my credit card and got caught on camera using it. She went through The juvenile system, but it didn't do much good. After she was 18, still living in our home, she went and stole $100 from my husband and kept breaking our house rules by bringing in people we didn't know overnight, sneaking in and out of the house, and not working on her school to graduate. After she stole from us for the last time, we gave her a choice. She could join job corps, Or get a job and move out. She didn't want to do either. So she very angrily pack your stuff and moved out. She moved in with her boyfriend whom she later married. They live with his parents for about a year, and it was a very volatile relationship. Both of them were abusive to one another. After he kicked her out, she wanted to come back home, but there was no way we could allow her to come back because she was still into drugs and still unmediated, and unemployed. We gave her again the option of joining job Corps, which she refused. She bounced around from couch to couch and hasn't had a stable place to live. She has been engaged in another volatile relationship with a man who is also as messed up as she is. Neither of them can hold down a job and they are often homeless and they fight all the time. She is 21 years old now and has not been able to hold down a job for more than 2 to 3 months. She has lived with her grandmother and stolen from her and pretty much burned every bridge that she has.

    There's a lot more to the story in terms of detail, but I wanted to give you a general idea of what we've gone through as a parent. We have done everything we can to try and help this girl, but she doesn't believe she has any mental problems. She flat out refuses to take medication and believes that she only has anxiety, and can medicate herself with marijuana.

    Here is my imperative. The entire three years she has been virtually homeless, she has blamed me. She's constantly calling me and telling me how I have failed her. She tries to get me wrapped up in her drama and then extorts me for money with emotional blackmail. I struggle on a daily basis because I want so badly to take her back into my arms and give her a mothers love. If I brought her back to the house my husband would probably leave because he believes she needs to figure this out on her own. But this is killing me. I weep for her every night. I feel so much guilt because I have the financial capacity to help her and I don't because I'm trying to give her Toughlove. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I feel responsible for her failure and think that if I had not asked her to leave at 18 years old she would be more stable and successful. So not only does she blame me, I blame myself. I just don't know what to do.
  2. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I do not know if tough love always works but what I do not know is that you deserve to have an sanctuary in your home. A place where you can be happy.

    Probably she would have been more successful probably she would not its does not matter the price is to high the pace and your marriage.

    If you look from these perspectives you did a good thing and should not blame yourself.
  3. RN0441

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

    Welcome Irish:

    Sorry you have to be here but you have come to the right place.

    Your husband is right. She has to help herself; she is an adult and not a little girl anymore. She has continued to make bad choices the entire time you have practically killed yourself trying to "help" her. I have done the same with our son so I am no stranger to this either. Our idea of helping them is actually enabling them.

    More will be along to offer their advice but I would recommend reading posts on the substance abuse forum here. Additionally have you ever seen a therapist or gotten help for YOURSELF? I have found that it has helped me tremendously along with the strength I have gained from this forum and the very knowledgeable folks here. You need to stop putting yourself in a tailspin by her actions and behaviors. You do not want to go down with the ship. Don't let her pull you into her drama!

    Stop blaming yourself. She is not accepting the responsibility for her own actions. That is not your fault. We cannot control another human being. We can only control ourselves.

    I agree that she should not live in your home. Until these Difficult Child accept responsibility for their actions and feel the consequences of their bad choices they will not change or grow.

    All we can do as loving parents is let them know we love them and get out of their way and let them find their way. This is their journey and not ours. Do not let your daughter control your life. Enjoy your husband and the good things in your life and let her find her way. Many here have a dialogue they use when their children call them begging or being accusatory. Keep your conversations short. Let it go to voice mail. Respond or don't respond. She'll have no choice but to figure it out if you don't rush in to "fix" things.

    She is very young like my son and I hope for your daughter, like I hope for my son, that they find their way.
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Before you make any decisions read the awesome book "Stop Walking On Eggshells" by Randy Krieger. It is all about dealing with people who have the very very difficult issue of borderline personality disorder. Bipolar is a walk in the park next to borderline because borderline is wired into the is who she is, and it is very unstable. They never have ongoing long term healthy relationships with anyone, you included, and they can be highly unethical, empathy challenged and it is NEVER their faults. Just ask them!

    The few borderlines who want to change and are willing to work very hard in therapy (dialectal behavioral therapy can be effective) can beat it. It can take years though. medications dont change borderline behavior. The problem is most borderlines think others "make me behave this way" and think they are fine. They refuse therapy thinking everyone else needs it, not them.

    It is difficult to live with.i would not.

    Please read the book mentioned above and i recommend a site to check

    There is info and a forum there. If the address doesnt work just type borderline central into your search engine. It is there.

    You will see you are not alone and can go from there.

    Protect yourself and your assets. She could possibly be dangerous. Read and learn so you know best how to interact with her and be on guard.

    Good luck.
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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Dearest Irish, Welcome, I am so sorry for your heartache and need to be here. The parents that post on CD know all too well, the emotions and challenges you have gone through and are experiencing, myself included.
    It is the hardest thing to do, all we ever hoped and dreamed for is that our children would grow into responsible adults. The end of the story is not yet written, and there is always hope that these adult children of ours may one day see the light and grow to their full potential.
    There are similarities in your story that are repeated throughout the posts on CD. The blame, and guilt, and what ifs.
    Please do not blame yourself. That is a heavy burden to bear that does not rest on your shoulders.
    I, too had my daughter leave at 18. Love her with all of my heart, but she refused to follow the rules of our home and took advantage of us at every turn. I had to see it for what it was, that she had essentially "kicked" herself out by her actions and there truly was no alternative. It has been years since and she is still out there trying to find her way.
    Did I make mistakes in raising her? Of course I did! There is no such thing as a perfect parent, or perfect life. We all have our challenges and looking back, may have handled things differently with the knowledge we have now.
    The fact is that kids grow up and make their own choices. When their choices effect our households and wreak havoc, lying, stealing, utter disregard and disrespect for us not only as parents, but as people, what can we do?
    It is an impossible situation to live with in our homes.
    These adult kids know how to yank at our hearts and turn us inside out, blame switching and manipulating our emotions to a point where we can't think straight.
    They work on our guilt ravaged hearts to get us into a mindset that we are the cause of their difficulties, so we need to fix it, to help them.
    When we fall into that trap, we are tangled up in a web of desperation.
    It is all so complicated, but yet at the same time, simple.
    My problem was that I kept seeing my two wayward daughters as children, remembering the times when they were younger, and thinking that it was my job to "fix" them, to rescue them from the choices they made.
    They have told me several times that they are the way they are because of me.
    I bought into that for awhile.
    In reality, it was a twisted way to keep me focusing on my parenting mistakes, take responsibility for their choices, and think that it was my duty to help them.

    They didn't want help.

    They wanted to continue to live as is, partying and making bad choices, with nary a thought about the grief and utter craziness they caused our household.
    We got swept into the quicksand along with them for years, our lives entangled in the drama and desperation of the consequences of their choices.
    They are our children, but they are not children, they are adults.

    They have to learn to make better choices.

    I had to learn after many years that that just does not happen when they are in my home.
    It becomes the same ole, same ole.
    I had to change my way of thinking and reacting.

    For years I would allow my two back into my home, thinking that "This time will be different".
    It wasn't.

    I have learned to say no.
    No to that first gut reaction to opening that door.
    It doesn't work.
    I had to start standing up for myself, and not be the "rug" they want me to be.
    It's not easy.
    But, the alternative of having them live in my home is unacceptable, not only for me, but for them.
    They don't recognize the need to make better choices when they are in my home.
    They continue as is, and blame me for it!
    "Nothing changes, if nothing changes."

    I thought my love would bring change for them.
    I had to realize that I couldn't change their life course.
    They have to want change for themselves.
    I have no control of that.

    The only control I have, is over myself.
    I had to change my way of thinking and dealing with this situation.
    Not easy to pull up and out of patterns.
    Even as I write here, I am reminding myself. not to fall into the same pattern.

    I have learned that love says no.

    I understand now, after many years of opening that revolving door, that having them live in my home doesn't help them.

    It still isn't easy.

    Posting here and reading others stories has helped tremendously. I found that giving my two over, as well as my desperation, to a higher power has helped relieve the many emotions that churn within.
    Finding ways to build yourself up is important, books, videos, support groups, counseling.

    Switch focus towards working on you, because that is where change begins.

    I feel that the best thing we can do for our challenged adult children is lead by example, strengthen ourselves, work towards reaching our own potential and joy in our lives.

    You will find help and comfort here on CD. Posting helps to work through your feelings. There are many wise parents who will share their stories and advice.
    This is not a "one size fits all" situation. We are not experts, just battle weary parents who have been on this journey, at different points on the path.
    Keep posting and sharing your heart. It helps to vent and reach out and work your way through this.
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  6. Alejandra

    Alejandra New Member

    Hi all! So glad I found this forum! Still haven't share my story and this is my first post but my story very similar to others here... just felt I have to said something because you guys are answering many questions I still have. I'm doing much better that a year ago, I got help attending Nar-Anon, working the 12 steps for codependency, talking to a counselor , reading books, surfing the internet, meditation and yoga and joining support groups for mom's of addicts and mental illness. My daughter have Borderline (BPD) even thought she won't accepted, bipolar and drug addiction in denial for this too., she is 34 and a very smart , talented girl that of course keep making bad choices and finally a year ago lost everything, her apartment, her car , quit her job , in and out of hospitals ( many times) as a right now sober (for the 4th time) starting again the vicious cycle . I'm getting good at the detachment thing( not that easy ) and taking care of myself, enjoying life with my hard working husband, our two little doxies and our hard working son . One of the questions I have is...when my daughter calls me and start talking about her drama because of her bad choices, do I just listen to her? Change the subject? Tell her , I don't want to hear? Like I said, I'm much better about listen and not let it get to me, but seriously , I prefer not know because there is nothing I can do...this use to be a cause of lots of stress for me , not anymore because I have learned but the less I know the better for me. Please advise...thank you all for the helpful comments
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would detach from the drama. You have no obligation to listen. She is 34, not 14. Yes, age matters. Tell her, when she starts up:

    "Oops. Someone at the door. Have to go."

    "I have a hair appointment. Later!"

    "I have to run to the store. Now. I am picking up Sue and she is waiting. Love you. Another time!"

    Or the truth. "I cant listen to your drama anymore. It stresses me and i cant help you. No, i wont give you money. Thats over. Apply for Disability or welfare or both. You are 34, smart and can figure it out. Love you. Bye!"

    Borderlines are in constant drama because they crave it, cause it, and constantly make hideous choices, often rage at people, lose jobs due to temper fits and have trouble in ALL relationships. They very often fall for abusive men. That is on tjem. They need intensive therspy but dont think they do. So they rinse/repeat the same bad dramatic choices.

    Plus the personality disorder makes them think none of their woes are caused by is everyone eise who is crazy, not them. Also they demand things a teen may need, but not a 34 year old, a free place in your house, your ear for their abuse etc

    Borderlines are impossible to reason with and do not maintain good nature long term. They may be nice for two weeks, then explode on you.

    Do buy the book Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Krieger. Do take care of and protect yourself. Do remember she is smart and able bodied and could try therapy and work but she wont.

    She is no longer your baby or a that cute small child and its up to her to fix herself at 34. You deserve retirement from being a mommy to her.

    Perhaps check out this other forum: its all about borderline relatives.


    You can only fix yourself, not her. Be good to YOU. You earned it. Relax. You cant be too young,and dont let her drama make you sick. You have a happy life to get on with and live. Detach. Love her, of course, but detach. And plan great golden years with the kind folks in your life. I'm a no drama mama :) Hope you join me!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  8. Alejandra

    Alejandra New Member

    Thank you for responding, you gave me good ideas and I think I should just tell her the thruth, I'm sure I did before and that's why she wouldn't call me anymore for a while, and I was actually doing the not answering the phone because I didnt want to hear, is so sad and definitely ordered the book and I was already at bpdcentral. I think I'm still probably dealing with the acceptance thing but I am working on it because like my meditation book said...acceptance is freedom and I choose to be free" is just so painful to see your daughter destroying herself and when you think...maybe this time something will change , maybe this time she will make good choices , you realized that nothing have change...she was hit by a car in Dec. 2016, broke her jaw in 3 parts and they have to wire her mouth for 8 weeks, after that she said she have learned her lesson and will get her life back...well, she got a settlement money for that accident, not much because she didn't want to go to the doctors the lawyer had send her, so she got $15,000 , I have offered to help her manage that money so she won't spend it , I know I shouldn't do that , but anyway she decided have her boyfriend hold the money for her...what?!!! They got a car , so she can go to her appointments but apparently he decided to put $6,000 down payment and they have to make payments!!! How? They are not working, I don't even understand how they approved him for that, because is under his name , my daughter's credit is really bad because when she quit her job, stopped paying her credit cards.. Anyway, they are living in a share home but they are paying only $140 a month and that is until October , after that, they will have to figure it out. But, she texted yesterday saying, we spent most of the settlement money so I'm stressing a little about finding a job soon, every day I'm doing my best" really?!! I guess I needed to vent about this , I just hope she won't start with her begging me to have her coming to our place , because is not happening and I have said that to her many times, I don't think I should have to be repeating this to her, if she does I will hung up the phone. I love my daughter very much and all of this is a very sad situation and I understand that she didn't ask for mental illness but she have choices , and because of bad choices she is where she is now... she have 3 different degrees , graduated from college with honors , she is a piano teacher and had her job, her place and everything is now gone, sometimes I feel a little guilty ( working on that too) because when I thought we were helping because of her mental illness , I guess we were enabling her and she got into that vicious cycle, now she will have to do it herself, is her journey and I have my own recovery to do.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You cant help a borderline. It is touchy and not quite a mental illness. I heard it described as a personality glitch and medications dont help. Wanting to change helps but you must admit you have problems and commit to years of hard therapy. Most wont admit they have any problems. That is not your fault. The help is there if she admits she needs help to change and is willing to work at it.

    If you read Borderline (BPD) central, you know that experiences dont help borderlines change. Dont waste your retirement money. At your daughters age, it is all on her, if she wants to change or not. She can work, borderline or not. Most borderlines work. Three degrees? She could easily get a job. It is her problem if she wont. Only she can save herself and she has the education to sustain herself.

    The drug abuse is a huge problem, very common in borderline, but you cant fix that either

    Time to be good to yourself. Let 34 year old figure out her life, for better or for worse.
  10. Alejandra

    Alejandra New Member

    Yes, it is what it is and the mental illness I was referring to is bipolar disorder , she was diagnosed with both, but she won't admit the Borderline (BPD) but like you said , she needs to want that change. Thank you! Is nice to know there is people here that understand!
  11. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

    dear friend, i can relate to the pain you are going thru. my son is in his 40s, very intelligent, charming and a master manipulator. he refuses to seek mental health ,he needs to be evaluated. he is a sociopath at the least. he has stolen from me and on the other hand i still put out money to enable him. i am going thru torment because of my codependency. he ended up in jail a couple of days ago and i am just glad he is not at my door putting me thru more hell. I am saying a prayer for both of us all the others here that are in pain.
  12. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

    OMG, my son's problem girlfriend said she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and the description is her to a tee. i never really looked up the definition. I am going to order that book too. Thanks for the info.
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Irishlizzee, I'm so sorry for what you are going through but I am so glad you found us here.

    My husband and I have had to call the police on our son several times. Same as yours, stealing and also for vandalizing our home.

    Of course she blames you. This is a very common behavior in our adult difficult children. It's easier to blame us than to own responsibility for their poor choices. Key words here - THEIR CHOICES.

    Again, this is very typical behavior. She is trying to use emotional blackmail. If she can make you feel guilty enough then you will "rescue" her by giving into her demands.

    It's good that you see this for what it is, emotional blackmail.

    If love alone could save these difficult adult children of ours we wouldn't need a site like this. Our love cannot save them. They will not change until they decide to change.

    Feeling the guilt is normal but not needed. There is a saying about coming out of the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) I believe you are trying to come out of the FOG. It's not easy by is necessary to move on with your own life. No amount of money will solve your daughters issues. Trust me on this. My husband and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to help our son. Money is not the answer.

    You are not responsible for her life choices. You are giving yourself too much power. We as parents do not have that kind of power or control over children. I am reminded of when my son was a toddler and one of the first words he learned was "no". I could not control him or get him to stop saying "no".
    We raise our children as best we can. We give them love and security. We teach them right from wrong. We do all these things and there is no guarantee of how they will turn out. I only have one child so I have nothing to compare to but I have read others stories here where one child is a dream and the other is difficult. They were raised the same.
    Please try and step out of the FOG. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Again, your daughter is blaming you because she does not want to own her choices and actions.

    There is a very good article on detachment at the top of this forum. Detachment does not mean that we stop loving our kids. I will always love my son but I had to accept that I needed to let go. I finally got to a place where I took my life back.
    Here is a link.

    None of this is easy but you can get through it. You can be happy.

    Let us know how you are doing.

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