Need words of wisdom please!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by kitty lover, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. kitty lover

    kitty lover Guest

    I haven’t posted much but have been lurking for a long time. I am in real need of some help right now. I am a single mom with a 21 year old adopted daughter (adopted at age 11). She has been with me for 10 years and has always been extremely immature for her age. This is due to her past and her diagnosis. She has her good moments but on most days her maturity level is that of a young teenager. She is impulsive, explosive and doesn’t think too much about consequences. She also talks (even when things are going well for her) in a very childish manner. I love her with all my heart but she is more complicated than anyone I have ever met.

    She has been on birth control for a few years but last week we found out that she is pregnant (due at the end of April). After the initial shock wore off for both of us she told me that under no uncertain terms will anyone take this baby from her. She was taken away from her family (due to abuse and neglect) and said she will not reject this baby. Talking to her about placing the baby in a stable loving home is getting me no where and I know this is a decision I can’t make for her. She is currently back home with me and has never been able to hold a job. I lost her adoption assistance when she turned 21 and she was rejected for disability. I’m working 2 jobs right now to pay bills.

    She made an attempt at a vocational college medical assistant program but didn’t do the work, kept skipping class and was dismissed. She just refuses to do anything that requires some work. I have had people ask me if she was ever given an MR label because of her behavior but no, there are no learning disabilities. I do believe in miracles and maybe this might cause her to grow up but I don’t have a guarantee on that. I know that today, any baby left in her care would be in danger because she doesn’t have the mentality to know what to do. I hope she can learn but like I said there is no guarantee.

    I know there are a lot of babies born to unwed mothers, but she is so unstable right now. Any suggestions I make about anything, even taking care of herself, are met with a very defensive attitude. She has been in some legal trouble over the past couple of years and her cases were recently turned over to a Mental Health Court. She has a lot of stuff to clean up. Nothing major, it just started adding up for her after she chose to not show up for a court date back in March. (She just doesn’t think!)

    I’m just asking for some prayers and support that I will handle things the right way without driving a wedge between us. My main concern of course is for the baby and for my daughter’s health. I just don’t know what to do!
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi kitty lover.

    Sounds like you have had your hands full for a long time. You know at 21 I'm surprised that people as you if she's MR and there has never been a diagnoses. Have you ever taken her for any sort of testing to rule it out?

    You said she was denied Social Security Disability. Are you aware that most people are denied the first time - nearly every time? I think my son is about the most dysfunctional human I have ever met and if anyone ever qualified based on past history it would be him - but he was also denied. I belive he's going to get an attorney. He's 19, living in foster care currently. Something you may want to check into.

    It's awful that you have to work 2 jobs, and when the baby comes how does your daughter expect to support this baby? Welfare wont last forever, and insurance - how is she going to pay for the hospital bill? What about health insurance for the baby and well baby check ups and food, diapers, clothing, car seats, crib etc. Maybe the way to get her to see that she's not able is by setting a plan down with the price tags attached to everything and showing her a budget of how much everything is going to cost HER - not you HER. Financially - where is she going to get the money? If she has no job? How are diapers and formula and the basic necessities going to come into the house for that child?

    There must be some resources available to help you. I know you said she's against adoption. I, myself am adopted and I'm not against adoption so I wonder if YOU maybe went (without her knowing) to an agency and asked for advice on how to perhaps go about showing your daughter that she is really not capable - or what are some good ways to present it to her?? (Just thinking out loud) Maybe they have better ideas than mine and the financial report because I'm sure her first line of defense is - I'll have Medicaid and Welfare and this and that - and well - it sounds good - but you know - Medicaid could go belly up any time with our current government - Welfare too. Something to think about.

    I'm sorry for you both. I would not want to think that it would come to you having to push to find her an unfit Mother - that would be a further wedge and no one wants that - but push come to shove - you'll have to think of the baby. Sounds like you're doing just that by opening up here and I'm so glad you chose to come out and let us meet you.

    Others will be along....don't despair....its' great therapy to write it down and get others opinions...we're a pretty decent group really ...More understanding than any I've ever met in my life for sure. (A little goofy too -watch out for some of us - we get a little left of center now and then but ya know our kids do that to us) :tongue:

    OH and should it be that you remain in the house with a wee one....Where are my manners....

    CONGRATULATIONS GRANDMA...or NANA or MEEMAW Or whatever you have dubbed yourself. It's a girl!

    Hugs & Welcome
  3. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    Impulsive, explosive, and doesn't think about consequences. I definitely can relate to that.

    You're in a really tough spot. I think about the only thing you can do in this situation is try and keep the lines of communication open with her and try not to set her off. I don't mean let her walk all over you, but I would try not to rock the boat. I have a sister who is unstable--her husband died when her youngest daughter was three (she was unstable before that, but she became really bad after he died).

    After several blowups with her (mainly when I tried to talk her into getting mental health help), I decided the most important thing is preserving the relationship with my niece (she's nine now). Like you, we were very worried about my niece's welfare, with good reason. However, none of the reasons were severe enough to warrant CPS taking her away from my sister. It seems to be very difficult to get a child taken away from its mother, and even if you do manage it for a short time, reunification of the family is usually the goal. By staying in her life, we're better able to monitor whether she's okay or not. During the times my sister shut us out of their lives, we just had to hope and pray nothing bad happened.

    I just do my very best to avoid any confrontations with my sister. If she starts ranting and raving, I just try and change the subject. It helps that my sister needs me for help with things, like rides to the store, grocery money now and then. But I don't make any suggestions to her about anything. If she asks, I'll tell her I read an article about whatever and in the article, it said to do x. I let her think she's the best mother in the world.

    I hope motherhood does turn your daughter around.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    You sound like a caring mother, who is probably extraordinarily tired, worried, stressed and probably showing other signs of wear and tear.

    You wrote "BiPolar (BP)" in your description line, I believe indicating Bipolar illness. If this is the diagnosis, why is she not taking any medication?

    Has anyone ever suggested the possibility of Borderline Personality Disorder as well as the BiPolar (BP) diagnosis? Sometimes, these things come in pairs.

    For one thing, if you honestly feel she can not hold down a job, I would consider re-appling for the SS Disability. If you are turned down again, get an attorney who specializes in these things.

    Also, get her to the psychiatrist asap. For one thing, you will need the documentation. For another, perhaps there are medications she can take while pregnant. Will your daughter go to therapy (to talk with someone)? Bipolar illness is a serious diagnosis and it really requires medication and therapy to get a handle on things.

    Your daughter is my humble opinion, it is time to pull back your involvement. Sure, this is going to be very hard due to a variety of complications here. YOu might not want to fully pull back because of all that is involved, but perhaps it would be a good idea to let her know that you expect her to be doing much more than what she is doing now and let her know you mean business. How? Well, refuse to pay for her cell phone for example if she is disrespectful to you, etc. (just an example).

    However, boundaries are important for each of us. All children/young adults need boundaries in their lives.

    It takes guts, thought and creativity, but when and where you are able, I certainly would expect her to put forth a greater effort in her own good self care...and this probably would start with going to a doctor or doctors for treatment and being respectful of you and your rules in your home.

    With reference to her not showing up for court is that part of being bipolar or just simply bad behavior? It kinda sounds like bad behavior and even if it were partially due to her illness, why isn't she on medications? Did SHE make a decision to not take medications? Hmmm. Perhaps she needs to accept the consequences of her decisions.

    PLEASE make sure you take good care of yourself and your relationship with good friends and loved ones. Don't make this the center of your universe. And by the way, if she is defensive and/or rude when you make suggestions, don't make them. Live your life...find things to do that you enjoy.

    I also like M1976's way of saying she read it in an article! Fascinating!!! Perhaps after the baby comes, you might want to consider keeping the lines of communication open by "not rocking the boat," however, I would never tolerate unkind behavior towards you.

    Sure, this is a very upsetting situation, that could very well warrant some of your extra attention at this time, but don't let it totally take over your life, don't participate in her life if she is unkind to you, and don't let your daughter not do what she can do, to help herself as best as she is able.

    Sending good thoughts.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 7, 2009
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome Kittylover :D

    I most certainly understand you worry and your fear. been there done that with Nichole. She was extremely unstable when she became pregnant with Aubrey.....and mature wasn't a word I'd use with her at that point for sure.:tongue:

    My first thought is that everyone is suspecting some sort of delay with your daughter. Has she ever been thoroughly tested by a neuropsychologist evaluation? If not, and you can get her to cooperate, it would be a very good idea. I'm suspecting you have other issues going on that as yet have not been diagnosed. Not MR per se......but perhaps a developmental disorder that is causing her to lag so far behind her peers. You might want to research the autism spectrum and see if it rings true for her anywhere.

    That said, I was scared to death when Nichole was pregnant. She was 16, unstable, uncooperative with treatment (I was dragging her to it). I thought about adoption for about 5 mins. Abortion wasn't even an option. Nichole can barely bring herself to give up an animal and grieves for it for years.......I knew in my heart she would never be able to live with either of the adoption or abortion options.

    So I worried horribly. But decided to make the best out of a bad situation. I gave her as much responsibility as possible thru the entire pregnancy. doctor appoints and such were hers to make......I went along just cuz I'm Mom....and had to give my permission. She had to immediately STOP all medications!!! (make sure daughter does this!) It was a ntiemare. Somehow we got thru it......but I've never been more glad to see a baby come into the world. lmao doctor gave her back her first dose of medications in the delivery room. :D

    From the get go, Aubrey was Nichole's responsibility. She was Mommy, I was Nana.....around only for advice. I did not feed, did not diaper, did not dress, did not bathe, did not get up in the middle of the night with the baby. There were times when that was very hard to keep to. But I knew if I let myself do anything with the normal care of the baby I stood a high risk of Nichole backing off and resuming her "teen" role....and I'd find myself stuck in the mother role. That was the last thing I wanted.

    After a bad bout of post partum depression.......BiPolar (BP) Mom's are much more prone to which she needed to be hospitalized for, Nichole learned and bonded with Aubrey. Aubrey gave her the desire and motivation to do whatever it took to become stable. She became pro-active in her treatment program. Took over making her own psychiatrist appointments and her own medications. And she did acheive stability.

    She is also a devoted loving mother, and a mighty good one. :D She did her Mom proud.

    What could've been a disaster turning into a blessing. Nichole says if it hadn't been for Aubrey, she might never have had the motivation to work toward becoming stable and growing up. She firmly believes Aubrey saved her from the worst in herself.

    in my opinion your daughter has very strong and valid reasons for wanting this baby. I'd drop talk about adoption. If you push too hard it's going to put a wedge between you and that's the last thing you need at this point. Instead, use this situation to help motivate her to learn to do the things she needs to become a successful good parent, and a stable parent. This is something she wants very much to learn, that will make all the difference.

    Make certain doctor gets her OFF her medications as they are harmful to the fetus. That's going to be the hardest part.......pregnancy with no medications. *shudder*

    I very much understand your worry and fear. But I wanted to let you know that an unplanned pregnancy is not always the disaster many people believe it to be. Sometimes it can be the miracle that brings out the very best in a person.

    I hope that is the case for your daughter as well. She wants to be a good mother. You can help her become the best mother she can be. She already has one big plus in her corner....YOU!

    I hope you take advantage of the board during this time. I doubt I'd have survived the process with Nichole if it hadn't been for all the wonderful people here.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm adoptive mom myself. Was she exposed to drugs/alcohol before she was born? If so, this can cause fetal alcohol problems that make it hard for her to reason.

    I don't know any words of wisdom. She doesn't sound capable of taking care of herself and I actually understand why an adopted child wouldn't want to put her own child up for adoption so I can't help you there either.

    I just wish you lots of luck. Keep us posted.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    While my kids werent adopted, I had a late teen difficult child who had a child and wouldnt give it up. Wouldnt even consider it. My granddaughter has been a huge turning point in my sons life. My son and Daisylover's daughter had their kids a month
  8. kitty lover

    kitty lover Guest

    Thanks so much for all of your responses. I hope you know how much I appreciate all of the support. I have been following so many of you for years and feel like I personally know you.

    Daisy, I have seen over the years how Nichole has grown so much as a young woman and has really committed herself to Aubrey. I just pray that this will be the miracle that gives my daughter a motivation to grow up.

    She has not been on any medication for the past year but has tried several different things, none of which seemed to make any difference for her. She was actually ordered by her Probation Officer in August to return to counseling and to a doctor's care for medications. She was prescribed Lithium and took it for almost 2 weeks before finding out she was pregnant. She did immediately stop and isn't taking anything now (but she is taking her prenatal vitamins.) I know in my heart that there is more than just BiPolar (BP). I have always suspected she is on the spectrum due to her social skills and immaturity. I was just never able to get anyone to agree with me. She has never had a full evaluation and I'm not sure if at 21 I can get her to agree to one.

    Regarding insurance, fortunately for now she is on Tenncare which is like Medicaid in Tennessee. I have not had to pay one dime for health care since I have had her (including braces). When she turned 21 she was no longer eligible for dental care but health care (including mental health) remained the same. I believe that all of her medical expenses will be taken care of and that the baby will also fall under Tenncare. I will need to verify that. I don't know how long Tenncare will be around so that is something she is going to have to think about for the future. But, there are definitely food, diapers and daycare to think about.

    At this point, I need to be so careful about how I react to her without letting her run over me. The last thing I want to do is drive a wedge between us that may never be pulled out. I can feel that already starting to happen. I want her to know that I am right beside her. I will not do this for her, she will be the mom. I am going to try with all my being to not overstep my bounds, but if I feel the child is in danger in any way, that's when I will do what I have to do. I'm really praying that it won't come to that. I'm also concerned about post partum depression. The big question will be whether or not she has the mental ability to do this. At this point I really don't know.

    I will definitely been leaning on you for support and I appreciate you being there. I absolutely hate mental illness!
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    While she has the Tenncare would be an excellent chance to get that neuropsychologist evaluation....and have it paid for. Even if she isn't on the spectrum, it ought to catch whatever it is that seems to have her delayed. It might be a determining factor for disability in the future.

    Of course you have to convince her that it is a good idea. With Nichole my stand by was can use all the help you can get, regardless of where it comes from. Being a single Mom is hard, being a single Mom with mental illness even harder.

    Often I'd bring up a topic.....get her feedback. If it was neg or she wasn't receptive, let it drop. Wait for a better time, try again. Often during her pregnancy situations would actually help with this and give me an opportunity to bring things up and discuss them with her.

    I was also firm about Aubrey's safety. She and boyfriend both knew that was my number one priority. Sometimes I had to step in and tell them like it was, point out what they were doing, and give them better ways to do/deal with the issue. I never did unless I felt it was absolutely necessary. And I found that I often had to remind myself of parenting mistakes I made as a young I wouldn't over do this. She and boyfriend were bound to make mistakes, all parents do, and I had to let them in order for them to learn. But boy, that was hard. lol Many times it felt like I was walking a fine line.

    She might just surprise you Mom. (and I hope she does) by the way Welcome to the grandma club. :)