New to this forum but not the site

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DenitaS, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. DenitaS

    DenitaS New Member

    My difficult child is 18 and 5 months pregnant (AGAIN) WE have custody of her first child (he is 2) We also have a easy child/difficult child that is 16 and traumatized by her sister.
    difficult child 1 has been thrown out of where she was living and has nowhere to go! I refuse to let her come home BUT I am so TORN by the decision. I feel like I am choosing between my children!
    WE let her come and see the baby when she wants, which is when she needs something. She doesn't have a maternal bone in her body.
    difficult child 2's counselor said that we need to make clearer lines with difficult child 1. That we should consider having her visit the baby out of the home. That it would clearly define that she is not part of the household. I understand the reasoning but, I am not sure if I am ready to cut MORE ties with her.

    It is TERRIBLE to be in this situation! There is NO right decision. I just don't know what to do that is right by everyone. Any suggestions would be great!
  2. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I can only imagine how hard this must be. I am very familiar with the feeling of being faced with a situation where every decision seems to come with some huge anvil of pain and guilt attached.
    I wish I had some real advice for you, but I have no experience with this. I do, however, have experience with badly-behaved 18 year olds so i can say that I understand your pain and frustration.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi Denita!

    It is really hard to be in a situation where you have to choose between your kids, esp when you know one is hurting so badly and the other will force this to be a "her or me" decision.

    Your younger child has been traumatized to an extreme by difficult child. There is no "slightly abused" when it comes to a difficult child, esp to how they treat a sibling. I am that sibling, with an adult gfgbro that I only recently had the cajones to cut out of my life. It is really hard. It is even harder to keep my parents OUT of it, though they are finally working toward that goal after his latest stunt. I hate hurting them, but they are adults. Gfgbro terrifies my kids to the point of panic attacks and nightmares and I had to choose my kids.

    I don't know all of the things that happened between difficult child and pcgfg, and chances are neither do you. As long as there is contact the difficult child will continue to try to hurt pcgfg, simply because she feels she has a right to. Why does difficult child feel that? She is a difficult child.

    I would guess that pcgfg feels very vulnerable, esp when difficult child is around. Knowing that difficult child can come into her home probably increases those feelings of vulnerability and being unsafe to a great degree. I would NOT be surprised if she is terrified every time difficult child comes over or she finds that difficult child has or will be there, EVEN IF SHE IS NOT THERE WHEN difficult child COMES OVER.

    difficult child is old enough to find her own home outside of the house. Pcgfg is not. Do you remember how upset and scared you used to feel when difficult child would rage and pull her difficult child behaviors? Imagine being younger than her and having NO WHERE TO GO TO GET AWAY. There is nowhere that pcgfg can go to get away from difficult child for more than a little while. Your home should be her safe spot, her refuge. Knowing that difficult child can come into her refuge leaves her with a horrible unsafe feeling most of the time.

    I would be highly surprised if difficult child did not find a way, at least sometimes, to let pcgfg know that she can "get" pcgfg anytime she wants, even at home. difficult child may even have told her that she is moving back in, that you will let her move in because the pregnancy and the little bit of safety pcgfg has had is going to be OVER. Pcgfg is probably terrified. It is one reason the therapist is probably encouraging you to change things.

    At this point there is little that you are going to do that will have an effect on difficult child. Very little. She is 18 and can do what she wants.. Letting her move back in will make things much worse in the medium and long run, even if the short run is "okayish". She has already proven she will not take care of her child and she does not value her child. I would be very skeptical of any claims that she has "changed" simply because with-o a LOT of therapy given AFTER she hits bottom she will see no REASON why she should change. She LIKES doing the difficult child stuff at this point and she believes others will "rescue" her.

    You still have a chance to help pcgfg become mostly easy child or all easy child and to have a decent, responsible, happy life. It IS going to take work and effort on her part, but as she is already working with a therapist and is at least partly easy child, I would say there is hope there. Before pcgfg can give up the difficult child behaviors she learned, she must feel SAFE. There is NO possibility of change unless she can feel that she is safe in her home and feel that you will choose her safety over difficult child's current crisis.

    in my opinion you need to work out a way to see difficult child out of the house. If that means asking her to meet you at McD's for a burger with the baby, so be it. I would probably avoid telling difficult child not to come to the house for as long as I could, but if she pushed me I would tell her. Don't tell her that it is because pcgfg doesn't feel safe if difficult child can come to the house. Tell her that you would prefer to meet her elsewhere for another reason. If you tell her it is because pcgfg is scared, difficult child WILL find a way to "get" pcgfg and make her feel even worse. She will alsso use the unborn baby to yank your heartstrings. You and I both know that if she really cared about the child she is carrying she would have cared for the first child she had and want to see that child. As it is, she only asks to see her toddler when she wants something.

    Maybe you can tell her that you want to meet her at McD's because you want to be sure she is eating, or something like that.

    Either way, I would find a way to keep her out of the home so that pcgfg can have a chance. It may be part of what pcgfg needs to begin to shed the difficult child side. The difficult child behaviors of pcgfg were learned as a reaction to feeling very scared of difficult child, at least partly.

    I am so sorry you are in this situation. Esp with difficult child having another child. Do you think difficult child got pregnant with the idea of using the baby to force you to let her move back in at home? I know a couple of difficult children who have done this. I hope she is signed up for some sort of program like WIC so that someone is keeping an eye on her unborn child.

    You have done so much for difficult child, worked so hard to be able to help her. She had thrown all of it in your face, time and again. Pcgfg has done some of that, I am sure. She learned it was okay by seeing difficult child do so much of it. Right now pcgfg is your responsiblity to take care of. difficult child and her unborn child are difficult child's responsibility. You need to put what pcgfg needs as your priority. difficult children do so much damage to our pcs. difficult children make SURE they get most of the attention, resources, everything and pcs are often traumatized by them in many many ways, much of these ways (if not most) are ones we parents NEVER see because difficult children overshadow the pcs' needs. At some point we MUST make healing our pcs a priority over whatever is going on with difficult child.

    Otherwise difficult children end up wreaking havoc on many many aspects of our pcs, even to the point of pushing them to gfgness.

    This is my 2 cents from being the younger sib of a difficult child. And from raising a difficult child who did a LOT of damage to his siblings.

    (Sometimes making the difficult child KNOW that you are putting the well being of the pcs ahead of them no matter what they do helps the difficult child to start to turn things around. Wiz told me that realizing that I would put making the other kids feel safe above trying to "reach" him was the turning point for him, and was a big enough shock to help him really LOOK at himself AFTER he spent several months acting out his rage at being thrown out and me not allowing the judge to force us to take him back into our home.)
  4. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I agree 100% with Susie. Your younger child needs to feel safe in her own home. I had to choose between my 2 dtrs when my difficult child turned 18. I realized I had put her 1st all these years because of all her issues and now my younger dtr was suffering because of abuse from difficult child.

    For me it felt good to make a firm decision and to let my younger dtr know that her needs came first with me and that I would never allow difficult child to live with us again. Yes, I guess I was choosing between them but difficult child forced me to it. And difficult child has treated me a lot better since I made that decision. She cannot walk all over me and I think she has more respect for me now.

    So sorry for all the trauma in your life.

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hugs, Denita.

    My first difficult child was the youngest, so there was no chance of getting her out to save easy child the horrors of having a difficult child sibling. I did all I could to protect easy child as difficult child terrorized the house throughout their teens and encouraged her to go out and do things outside the house. I also carved out time to spend with her without difficult child around to ruin things.

    Recently, the tables have turned and my easy child is behaving a little difficult child-ish and my difficult child is behaving in some ways more easy child-ish. My older daughter (prior easy child) has moved out (she is 22) and I cannot tell you what a relief it is to my younger daughter (prior difficult child). easy child was terrorizing her, treating her mean, harrassing her and berating her all the time. difficult child would bend over backwards for easy child if she asked her, and she did, often. But easy child will just turn on difficult child and treat her like garbage.

    So, it is difficult child I am protecting now as easy child has turned into a mean, selfish young adult. I don't know how it all transpired, all I know is that as parents, especially with minors, we need to protect our families - often from each other.

    I agree that you should meet your difficult child outside the home, plan a picnic at the park, meet for lunch or dinner someplace family friendly so you can bring the baby. I don't even think you need to give a reason - just tell her the baby needs to get out and get some fresh air and it's more convenient for you.

    As an aside, what will happen with the baby she is currently carrying? Do you have plans of taking on that one as well? I hate how these difficult child's just go through life without a care for the lives they are affecting so horribly. I'm so sorry you have to make difficult choices like this one, but I agree with Susie that this is an opportunity to preserve the easy child in your younger child and keep her safe. Hugs~
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi Denita,
    You have my sympathy. I also have a difficult child who did a lot of damage to his siblings. Now that he's out of the house, his younger sibs have been able to express their relief and the resentment they feel for the years of fear and pain they endured. While I find it hard to watch difficult child 1 struggle and live with almost nothing, I have to remind myself that he chose this for himself; and if I were to take him back into our home his old behavior patterns would re-emerge. Sad but true. I wish I'd protected my other children more in years past, instead of focusing entirely on difficult child 1. So I agree with the others - I would protect your child who is still at home and NOT feel guilty about it. Hugs.
  7. Bean

    Bean Member

    I'm at the point of protecting the other children as much as possible. I love my difficult child, but I can't put everything into her and let the others be casualties. We're doing the best we can in our situation. Good luck to you.
  8. DenitaS

    DenitaS New Member

    Well, my husband is not ready to not allow her over. We did agree to do a schedule with her of when she can call and when she can come by. So, I guess we will just have to see how that goes! I am hoping that my easy child/difficult child will have more of a sense of security with her having a schedule. If she just pops in, I will ask her to leave. If she can't follow the schedule, we will move on to the next step.
    NOONE wants to be in this situation. Thank you all so much for your kind and UNDERSTANDING words!! They really do help!

    And no, we are not taking the baby she is pregnant with. I REFUSE to let her think she can pop them out and I will raise them. She has told the baby's father's mother that she will sign the baby over to her. So, I guess we will have to wait and see how it plays out!

    Thanks AGAIN! :confused:
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It IS hard to get both parents to the point that they will not allow their child to come over, regardless of how gfgish the child is. It seems like it takes a LONG time, a lot of work and gfgness to get both parents to that point.

    Does your pcgfg have a sturdy door and a good lock on it? She might feel much safer if difficult child was NEVER allowed into her private space and she could keep it locked up. Even if it was not locked, both you and husband need to make it VERY clear that difficult child is not to contact pcgfg or to enter her space or mess with her things. Of course if pcgfg leaves stuff out and difficult child touches/uses something with-o knowing it is pcgfgs, that is one thing. If/when (problem when because most difficult children will do everything they can to go somewhere they have been told not to go) difficult child goes into pcgfg's room, you and/or husband need to tell her FIRMLY and absolutely that one of the rules for visiting is to stay out of there whether it is locked or not, and that she MUST leave the house immediately. First frisk her to make sure she has not stolen anything of pcgfgs. I know my difficult child would have done ALL he could to get into the room and take or leave something to make Jess feel unsafe.

    Your goal is to provide an absolute safe place for pcgfg. Somewhere she can stay in if she is there when difficult child comes over and someplace she can KNOW that difficult child is NOT NOT NOT allowed to touch, enter, or have any impact on. A strong door with a deadbolt is a great idea. Of course you and husband need a key, it is your home and you NEED to have the right to search it at any time for any reason. Largely because of the difficult child part of pcgfg, but also because she is a minor and all minors need to know this can/will happen at any time. Pcgfg needs to be able to trust you and husband to keep her safe from difficult child, and until she has her own "gfgfree" space this will NOT happen.

    I hope this helps. So many of our pcs end up being sacrificed on the altar of our difficult children' illness and/or problems. At some point you have to stop it and refuse to sacrifice everyone else because no one benefits from the sacrifices, at least for the most part.

    It is wise to refuse to care for any more of her children. Don't be afraid to call social services if she keeps the child, or if you suspect substance or alcohol abuse during her pregnancy. Would she have the birth control implant put in if you paid her? Is it something you would be willing to do? One of my college friends had a twin sister who was a difficult child. When we met her sis had 2 kids that she refused to care for. No doctor would sterilize her or give her an IUD and medical problems made her unable to use the pill in any form. We caught up with each other a few years ago. She had 1 child of her own and 7 of her sister's kids to raise. Her mother was raising 3 others and various fathers and their families had a couple of others. All together the twin sis had given birth 18 times by age 30. MOST of the kids had problems due to fetal alcohol and drug exposure. FINALLY, after all of these kids were born, an OBGYN agreed to give her a tubal ligation at age 30. It had to be postponed at one point because she was not in a relationship and the doctor feared he would be sued if she got involved with someone who wanted kids with her!!! My friend's husband went to the OBGYN posing as her boyfriend to sign the paperwork as her boyfriend!! Even with ALL of those poor abused and neglected kids they had a tough time finding a doctor who would tie her tubes because she was "only" 30 years old!!

    If there is ANY way to get her doctor to agree to tie her tubes or implant a long-term form of birth control (longer than the 3 month shot, which would be continual drama each time it was due), it might be worth it.

    Hopefully the father's family will provide a loving home to difficult child's child, and that it will be born with-o any problems that could have been prevented, or any problems at all, of course.