New .... intro and shameless plea for support

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I am so glad I found this forum. Here's a quick review of my story ... by no means is it complete.

    My difficult child is 18. She was always a happy child but, around the age of 12 began to exhibit impulsive behavior - especially with regards to boys. As the years went on, I became more and more concerned - her grades were dropping and she was lying more and more about more and more things. At 14, she was diagnosis'd with ADHD. medications helped for awhile and they were changed periodically, but she stopped taking them completely when she went to college this fall.

    She was failing at school and decided to withdraw. Unfortunately, she did not simply withdraw. She left the campus and met up with a guy (in another state) who she had met on an online dating site. She went with him to his place and e-mailed DEX and I, calmly explaining thaqt she'd left school to live with this guy (she'd "known" him for two weeks).

    We managed to get her back here. She is living with DEX (where the rules are more to her liking), is not looking for a job, and is bound and determined to go back to this other state to be with this guy.

    Her counselor long ago suspected she was bi polar, but the psychiatrist she saw said it was really just ADHD.

    She is seeing the couselor again next week and we are going to get anogther opinion on the BiPolar (BP).

    I am scared to death. Talking does no good - calling her on her lying does no good. I want to help her without enabling her.

    Where do I start:

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I want to welcome you to our little corner of this wonderful site. You really have found a new bunch of friends who have been there done that and walked a mile in your shoes before. We have probably heard or lived it all before in some form or fashion! Lots of us are still in the midst of the chaos.

    Pull up a chair, grab a cup of whatever is your drink of choice, sit awhile and get to know us. We want to get to know you too. Please go to UserCP at the top of the page and fill out a signature like you see on the bottom of our posts to let us know about you and your difficult child. That helps us keep everyone’s stories straight. There are so many folks on this site that we can’t possibly remember everyone! Thanks!

    Read through our posts here. We have an archives section available down below. There is a wealth of information there. Also check out the Watercooler for tons of fun and humor to let down your hair from dealing with all the chaos. We all need some fun in our lives.

    I am so sorry you had to find our site but I am glad to meet you. I came to this site back in 1999 when my son was 12 years old and quite the handful. As you can see in my signature, he is now 23 years old so I have been here for quite awhile…lol. There were some very dark times but I think we are seeing some light now.

    I want to offer you some links that may be of some assistance.

    Detachment article

    Detachment practice

    Setting boundaries book

    Again, I want to welcome you to our site and to this forum, Parent Emeritus.
    Your Moderator, Dammit Janet
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Thank you for the warm welcome and suggestions. The links were very helpful and i am reading through the archives.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi and Welcome!

    I was trying to figure out if I hit the lottery, and bought an island - no three - one for drug addicts, on for alcoholics and one for kids who were problematic - so far out in the middle of no where what it would have been worth to me to have my kid put there for ohhhhh I dunno say 15 years. No wait - (rethinking) SIX islands - three of each for two sexes. yeah...better. Okay - and sharks LOTS of sharks in between. Ugh.

    I'm just not sure if there are any really good answers other than age, tough love and you learning to detach as a parent. Support is really a good tool to have and you've come here and that's a good start. (winning the lottery and sharks is MY dream) lol. :tongue: .

    Welcome - to fantasty island....oh I mean the board.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board, Dashcat!
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board.:D

    When dealing with anything concerning my grown kids I say something to myself "Where was I at that age, and what would I have thought about parental input?" (most especially per whatever actions I may be considering) This helps me remember what it was like at their age.......what I felt.......and how I looked at the world. And often, actually more often than not, it helps me keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself and maintain a good friendly relationship with my kids. lol

    Unfortunately, your daughter is now 18. That means if she wants to go live with this guy in the other can't do a darn thing to stop her. It stinks to high heaven, but that is the way it is. How is your relationship? Do you have one where if you could sit down and have a heart to heart neither will wind up screaming at the other? (hard I know with teens) Do you think it possible to talk with her without inserting advice/opinions so that you can figure out what she's thinking, then maybe show her the pros and the cons and be able to discuss it?

    With my girls I ease into these touchy conversations. I want to know their plans, what they're thinking and feeling. Then I can come up with a reasonable way to approach it without as much risk of them becoming defensive and refusing to listen at all. I'm very careful not to tell them what they want to do or whatever is wrong. (or I do my utter best not to, I'm far from perfect) I just try to help them see both sides of things so that hopefully they can make a much more informed decision. And if they make the wrong one......well, some of our best life lessons are through mistakes, some huge, some small. Lord knows I've made more than my fair share.

  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    All your replies are heartwarming. Thank you. Star, let me know when you acquire those islands...I have a kid I'd like to send along for a bit. How about an island for the parents? This one would have an open bar and plenty of beach chairs!

    Daisy, I am working hard to change my apporach to convos with her. Reacting like a normal parent (dealing with typical rebellion) really doesn't work. Even though she is 18, she is not even close to being self-supporting. She is trying to get us to give her money for a car to go to NC (nope!). She also owes $10,000 in student loans and owes me money for a speeding ticket. All that will have to be taken care of first.

    I'd welcome suggestions about talking to her about the boy. It's hard because he is one in a series - a pattern of one after another (the third in an online series), where it is "Love" after a few days and befpre meeting in person. I have not offered my opinon on the last two, but I did make it clear early on that this is not safe, nor is it any way to forge a relationship. After that time, I did keep my mouth shut.

    She has issues with lying, also. It's hard to know if you're actually having a conversation sometimes....

  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Dash, it's nice to meet you!

    To be honest, I have to question an ADHD diagnosis at age 14. Everything I've ever read indicates that in order to qualify as ADHD the symptoms have to be well established by age 7. If your daughter was really ADHD you would have seen a lot of interference, especially in school, long before ages 12-14.

    How old was she when you and ex split up? I'm not suggesting that the divorce had anything specific to do with it, but family turmoil can trigger other things that might be below the surface. And certainly puberty is a can of worms in itself. :rolleyes:

    If you look at your family tree, is anything out there? Mental health issues? Learning disabilities? Old Uncle/Aunt/Grandma *Jo/e* who had a drinking problem and might have been self-medicating other issues via alcohol or drug abuse?

    I think getting an accurate diagnosis now is key. I would share little about previous dxes so that you can start from scratch with this doctor and see what comes up. I learned the hard way that if you tell them too much it sways their opinion and you only get more of the same and not a true second opinion.

    Hang in there,
  9. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    She is adopted (she was 8months old) - birthmom was 15 and in foster care for about 3 years. Birthmom's family was very dysfunctional - I do suspect there were mental issues, but we have no medical history. Also nothing on birthdad.

    As to the ADHS diagnosis, she did show concentration problems before that but no signs of the hyperactivity part. psychiatric said that does not always manifest itself as outward disturbance, but their minds can be going in circles. Knowing what I do now, I think it was more than that all along. The boy obsession has been there - I kid you not - since kindergarten It was a milder version, granted ... but there. The lying has been present all along - it's just gotten WAY worse, but it has always been a problem.

    Her dad left when she was 15. It was VERY sudden and a huge shock to both of us. We got along great, were very loving and never fought. I know it left her reeling and she definately has gotten worse since then.

    Thanks for the advice about holding back. I never would have thought of it, but I'll take it from a been there done that ... and it does make sense.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Learning to shift your relationship is probably the hardest part of parenting an adult child. I started way back when my kids were in Jr. High (easing them into decision making, responsiblity, ect)....and I still had trouble, although not as much as some parents I know.

    Talking about boys can be rough on a Mom. I'm the sort where it's impossible to shock me, embarrass me, or even get a rise out of me when I chose not to. This helps immensely because they're never able to bait me into reacting. So lying to me just isn't much fun. I've practiced long and hard at biting my tongue. So much so that at times I wonder how I have one left. I do a lot of head bobbing. But the most I do is just listen. With my girls, the trick seems to be to keep them talking to the point where they figure out what they want/need to do on their own.

    I think my biggest question with your difficult child is why she feels the need to find a boyfriend online instead of the usual typical way......which is lots safer and she has a better chance of getting to know who he is instead of a pack of lies. Does she have anxiety about meeting people? How does she do with her peers? How does she do socially other than this? Because it looks like it's developing into a pattern.....and patterns usually have sources......even if it's something silly like she's too lazy to go out and meet someone.

    Also a handy thing I've done when my girls slid past the 18 mark........I actively participate in a friendship with them. We go out to eat together, go to the movies, go shopping (and no I don't buy them a thing lol) stuff that is just the girls hanging out sort of thing. While I'll always be their mother (I was very disappointed to find out I was not going to get to retire from that role lol ) I no longer have to participate in active parenting. So now I get to be their friend and their mother.:D

    Of course the friendship part depends on just how difficult child the kid is and you're interests and such. I have an easier time because the 3 of us share loads of similar interests.

    Detachment and parenting an adult child takes loads of practice, and quite a bit of trial and error.

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry. Our difficult child is also adopted.
    This has got to be frustrating. It would be ideal if you could get her to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. And I agree with Suz, best to avoid sharing previous diagnosis's. They can be influential.
    Sadly, her age (18) limits your influence both developmentally and legally. You should do your best to formulate a working alliance with her father and see if he would agree that she needs to see a doctor. Therapy would also be a good might also consider family therapy.
    Being adopted and having her family go through a divorce has got to be profoundly difficult.
    If this continues to be very stressful and causes you great strife, don't hesitate to get therapy for yourself. It probably sounds a little weird, but the truth is that this is a very stressful situation and you will very likely need the support.