Need to vent, understanding and ideas

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Quick background...We left no stone unturned getting our daughter medical and educational help as a young person. Doctors, therapists, private schools and tutors.

    Our daughter has been crazy difficult for decades. Recent weeks are more of the same.

    I recently posted that she is on very thin ice at the condo where she lives. I think it’s possible that they haven’t taken action to get rid of her because of an incredibly complicated situation in which the man downstairs from her who is also mentally ill , has been harassing her. The HOA recognizes this and it gives them “pause.” But she has also broken rules and has been unpleasant even to people trying to help her.

    She hasn’t been able to hold down any job of any kind.She does (did) seem to try to look for jobs. Not as much recently. Always seem to end badly and quickly.

    She is on disability, but is allowed by law to work very minimally. It’s very hard to find part time jobs, but the ones she has found she has gotten fired within a week. One time I believe it was the first day. She is unorganized, moody, grouchy, undependable, inappropriate and one time was violent.

    She rarely, if ever, acknowledges her part in getting fired.

    She wants us to pay for an expensive educational program for her to be an assistant of some kind. For privacy sake...I’m not saying exactly what. This job field would require a car and people skills. All sorts of skills she doesn’t have. And she doesn’t drive. We won’t pay for it. I doubt she could finish the course anyway.

    She applied to do some volunteer work. I’ve been so excited. She once had a great chance for a volunteer job only a few blocks from her home but decided against it mostly because she would have to work with a lot of high school students and she didn’t like this. I guess it was beneath her. :(

    So, she recently applied elsewhere a little further away. A big positive. She asked to do two specifics types of things there that she doesn’t have much experience in. This was 10-15 days ago.

    I told her calmly if she doesn’t hear from them in a few days to call. And if those two jobs are filled to apply for two different ones. And that it’s honorable to work even as a volunteer. And that she will learn new skills. And it would be great for her.

    As a side note...she often seems bored.

    She started getting hot under the collar. I said I would give her $4 an hour for any volunteer job she does as an incentive and a gift...although I added that we would have to work out the details.

    She then screamed at me that this was less than min wage. I said it was just a small token as a volunteer job is just that...volunteer...but it would allow her some spending money. And it would be a good thing for her and the community.

    She then started screaming at me more. I calmly told her I would have to go because I don’t let people scream at me and hung up.

    She texted me this huge nasty diatribe (I only read the first sentence or two) that we are terrible people because we should pay for any schooling she wants.

    Any thoughts? I’m a little down in the dumps and I’m very tired of the futility of it all. Ugh.
  2. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Hi Nomad, I am so sorry you are experiencing this difficulty. You did well getting off the phone when your daughter screamed at you.

    She is in the wrong: you do not owe her to pay for any schooling as she is an adult . You have already helped a lot (didn't you say you bought this condo for her?) and she does not seem to have gratitude for that .

    Please don't take this the wrong way as I understand why you did it , but offering to pay her for volunteering was a mistake. It triggered her entitlement. My daughter acts similarly when I have asked her to take over for me in my business, not wanting to accept my pay rate and demanding my rate when I am the business owner and get to determine her rate.

    I would redact my offer to pay her anything for the volunteer work due to her screaming at you. I would simply say I have changed my mind and the deal is off. You don't owe any kind of explanation.

    You feel good when she does well and feel bad when she doesn't or acts out . I did this for years and an finally learning to have more emotional balance regardless of what happens outside of me. It's about taking care of myself , tending to myself and my needs that has brought me a little bit more out of that pattern. We want our children to do well for themselves but we can't force it and I can't let it be the basis for my feeling well or being happy .
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  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Thank you. No worries.

    I had a friend have some luck paying her adult child to do volunteer work and this eventually led to a paying job. But I think he was more motivated and slightly healthier. Slightly. It seem to work for her situation. Who knows for certain.
    I’m very unsure if it was a good idea.

    I try not to let her get me down or steal my joy...but some days are just harder than others.

    It seems so futile at times. Ugh.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with Wise.

    Don't participate with abuse.

    First, she will qualify for help from the State Dept of Rehabilitation. They will pay for her to complete any training for which she is suited. She may require the help of an advocate but that is available too. They will also help her get volunteer work. They will give her a stipend. They will find the position. They will coordinate and communicate with the agency. They will try to impart to her the skills she needs to do this. There is no need for you to fulfill this role.

    I would (try to) back way off with her. She is becoming more aggressive, entitled and demanding. We cannot save our mentally ill adult children. If they respond to support and love and care with inappropriate, aggressive behaviors, that is an answer that must be taken seriously.

    Nomad. We are in similar situations. It's time to see the writing on the wall. I would try to back off. That is what I will be doing with my son. If these are the lives they are choosing to create, this is what is reality. To not accept reality makes us exceedingly vulnerable. And we suffer.

    I for one will be starting again at Al Anon.
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  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I remember you posting about this friend, I think. I think we all of us have different personalities. For some people, this micro managing may work. For me, I can't stand it. Within 5 minutes I'm hysterical with how my son behaves. I think while you may be more tolerant and have more self-control, you may be more like me. It's not sensible to ask of ourselves what we do not have to give. Nor is it kind.

    This is another way I need to accept the reality of things. To recognize my own needs and limits, and to act accordingly. Our adult children will consume all of the air and resources that we give them. Including our life force, our serenity and our confidence. It is my own responsibility to protect myself. And to not give what I don't have. Or don't want to give up.
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  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Life force.
    We use to say , and still do at times, after speaking with her it’s as if a giant hyperdermic needle took out all my life energy.
    I can barely move at the moment.
    And it’s not good for anyone, but for folks with autoimmune issues (or probably any chronic condition) it causes havoc internally. I can almost feel it. Ugh. :(
    It’s good to be able to talk about it here. Having a bad day. Thank you.
    PS I usually can accept reality. Some days I dare to hope. It gets squashed quickly and harshly.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Wow. Sounds like Kay. With no education and resume, all jobs are beneath her. She won't demean herself by working at fast food (although her husband does). But she is better than that. I don't get it. She had a chance to work at our business for a good wage and lots of latitude and she caused scenes that put our business at risk.

    I agree with the others not to pay her for volunteering. Maybe if she works for a month, take her out for dinner and a movie in a real movie theatre. Something fun each month. I would not give her cash. And I would make her get financial help from Disability's services to go to any sort of school. I actually think classes could help her stay busy, but I would not pay a ton for them. She probably qualifies for special programs that may waive fees.

    I am so sorry you are going through this.

    God bless.
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    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  8. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    This sounds like my kiddo. So much. I'm sorry.

    I noticed that about the payment and wondered if that would not work for her with her situation. It wouldn't work for my daughter, I know that. She can't keep a job, but is not on disability. But you not reading the rest of her ranting text - BRAVO! My daughter often uses texts because she can't seem to communicate verbally (she screams a lot and hangs up on me). Cellphones aren't just bad for teens, they can be terrible for adults with issues, too.

    Anyway. I'm with you. And hugs.
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  9. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much. Not everyone fully understands this “stuff.” (I almost put a different word here. Lol)

    I will VERY likely rescind the offer.

    I like the idea of taking her to a nice dinner or the equivalent once a month assuming she volunteers for a month.(this is almost a silly paragraph cause it ain’t gonna happen)

    It is sooooo unlikely to happen. Nope. No. Let’s face reality. Nomad...snap out of it!

    Patting myself on the back for two things:
    1. Politely hanging up when she screamed at me
    2. Not reading but two sentences of her mean, long and irrational text

    I will VERY likely delete it having never read it.

    I am in self preservation boundary mode.
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  10. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Good for you.I honestly don't know why it never occurred to me to not read full text, LOL,ButI may have to implement that strategy as well. So I appreciate that. I have resorted to telling my daughter that if she hangs up on me I'm not going to answer the phone when she calls me back. I know that sounds really weird, but these are our situations.
  11. RN0441

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


    So sorry you had to deal with this. Sigh. Ugh. I do not know anything about any of this type of thing but have had my own adult child issues as you all know.

    It seems like what you try to do that is GOOD is received as BAD or turned around in some way to be perceived in a negative way. I do agree, your offer to pay her $4 per hour unintentionally brought out her entitlement. YUCK.

    I always thought that I should do things opposite of what I first thought with our son when we were going through our "stuff". Which usually meant doing little and that is okay too. I kind of learned that here to be care of yourself and don't let it take your joy as you said.

    We're here for you! I can only offer you my support and understanding.

  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Nomad. Just move on. She reacted badly. You learned that the kind offer opened a hornet's nest. You won't try that again.

    You have all of the choices and power here, to define your limits, how far you will go.

    I would think through how far you'll go with the condo, and where you'll stop. Then think of contingencies.

    You can't stop her from undoing, wrecking anything good in her life. It may be time to involve her with her case worker and let her work out her life with the assistance of the "system" with only limited and tangential involvement by you and your husband. I may be at the brink of this myself, with my son. There are many disabled adults who don't have anybody more.

    If our children only abuse and mistreat and/or take advantage of us and anybody else who tries to help, what in the world can we do? If they have no motivation to learn, that is a fact that is impossible to circumvent or avoid.
  13. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    This is so difficult but I'll chime in and say I too agree with not paying her. I think your gesture was kind-hearted. Your thinking was but for a moment as if you were dealing with someone rational and logical. I often forget that too with sons. I've tried to do something along those lines that would motivate most but then it always back fires on me. And why? Because my sons are entitled with mental, emotional issues, anger, resentment and the list goes on. I've tried so hard to have a "normal" relationship but then reality rears its ugly head and I remember that's not possible, at least for now.

    Glad you're in self-preservation boundary mode. I'm in that club too.
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    We did not want Kay to have to be taking what we called "handouts." Our attitude toward government programs back in the day affected how she looks/looked at them. Now I am sorry we didn't have her tested for SSI. In the end, Lee and Kay will also be on state programs.

    They may be already.

    I wonder if our bad attitude about these programs made Kay feel better taking from us instead of getting state aid. We certainly see the need for these programs now and feel differently about both them and those who need them. Some people truly can not sustain themselves. My daughter may be one. We all need to feel compassion and not resentment. If you have a struggling adult child, you see the need. At least, I do. I just thought before having Kay that almost everyone could find a sustainable job and self support unless the person was lazy. I no longer think it's that simple at all.

    If only we could do the past over again.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  15. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    So glad to hear this. We empower each other to be better about self-care, because noone knows what this is like except those of us who are going through it.

    Applause to you. In healing for us all.
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  16. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Thank you again everyone.

    Yesterday I woke up very tired having not slept well.

    She called. I saw it was her. I hesitated. But I answered her call. You know the rest. Sigh.

    Lesson learned.

    I woke up better today; felt better all around. But, saw / heard the phone . It was her. I screamed in the air to no one “ HELL no!” and didn’t answer her call today. Too sad. My husband was in his office and burst out laughing. I got nothing done yesterday and joked that I was moving like a turtle with a broken leg.

    I am working on full acceptance. I can’t change her. I know I tried. 100 percent or more. Dangerous territory. I can only change myself. It is what it is.
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  17. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Good for you! It feels so much better to be in self preservation mode!

    I was thinking today that putting my efforts for growth and change into my alcoholic or mentally ill relatives or friends is so very draining, and yields zero results. And how, in contrast, investing that energy into me yields huge results in growth, in change, in loving and accepting myself . It is rewardinf!

    I think your turtle with a broken leg analogy is perfect: because we cannot affect change in someone else, we put our own lives into full stop mode. It is that draining, that energy zapping and really shows the full measure of our powerlessness over others. To work step 1 in Al-Anon which is admitting that we are powerless over alcoholism (and people, places and things) then points the way to freedom. I am free to live my life and I can surrender and release all that baggage that is clinging to me like dead weight. The underlying spiritual principle is acceptance and that is where you find yourself .
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  18. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Ironically, I just posted in SA that I’m worried about an alcoholic friend.

    I need to let go. Sigh.

    Thank you.

  19. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Nomad, in my opinion don't add that to your plate. Yours is full enough. You can not do anything for your friends who drink. Please don't take it on.
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