Not sure if I belong here but...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Californiablonde, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    My daughter turned 18 on New Year's Eve. She is now an adult, even though she is incredibly immature and has the mind of a 12 year old. Scary. Anyway, she is technically still in high school so I don't know if I can post here or in the General forum since she is now an adult but still in school. If this post doesn't belong here, please move it to another forum or let me know.

    So anyway, the reason for my post is that I am at my wit's end on what to do with my daughter. Since she turned 18, she has completely stopped attending school. She has now missed 10 days in a row. In our district, if a student misses school for ten consecutive days, they can be kicked out. I don't know if these rules apply to my daughter since she is Special Education and in the ED program. But consequences of her getting kicked out is child support stops for her and I am short $450 a month. I count on that money to pay my bills. If child support stops, I will need to cancel cable TV and we will no longer have access to the internet and we will also have to give up our cell phones. So basically we will be stuck in a tiny little one bedroom apartment with no TV and no Internet. I told my daughter what could potentially happen if she stops coming to school, but she is certain they will not drop her.

    Now that she's 18, I hold no rights over her education. I attempted to speak with the school psychologist about a week ago, and I was informed that my daughter will have to sign a form giving me permission to speak with any staff members at the school. Thank goodness my daughter agreed to sign the form. She is now requesting an IEP, and she gave me permission to attend. At first my daughter wanted to ask for a late start schedule, since she running a little on the manic side and she's not sleeping well at night. She refuses to get out of bed in the morning when I try and wake her up at 6:30. She used to let me pick her up on my lunch break and take her to school half day, but since she turned 18 she won't go at all.

    She is saying her stomach hurts and she is nauseas, but when I come home she is watching videos on her cell phone and binge eating. Baking cookies and muffins, etc, and eating half of what she bakes. I tell her that if she's really too sick to go to school, then she wouldn't be sitting up watching videos and eating all sorts of junk. She tells me that she can't help but eat a lot of food because even though she feels sick to her stomach, she is still really hungry. She also says that sitting up watching videos is not the same thing as having to use her brain to do actual work at school. She has an answer to everything.

    I attempted to take away her cell phone for her not going to school, and she held it tight and refused to let it go. My mom did manage to take away the laptop she was letting difficult child borrow, but she still has her phone and tablet. I don't know what to do anymore. All of a sudden I have a lazy adult child who refuses to follow rules or go to school. Now difficult child wants to go to independent study. I can see her just sitting at home on the phone all day and not actually completing any work they give her. She is literally the laziest person I have ever met.

    So now we have an IEP on February 8th that my daughter requested. More than likely she is going to request to be transferred to Independent study. I can give my advice and input, but ultimately the choice is my daughter's . This whole turning 18 thing is scary! I still can't get the thought in my head that my daughter is actually and adult! I don't know what to do with her. Should I try and convince her to go start attending school, or go with her decision to try independent study? My mom is trying really hard to convince me to tell my daughter that Independent study is a bad idea for her. She is right, my daughter is not an independent worker, but what are my other options when she claims to be too sick to go to school? I am going crazy trying to figure out what to do with an adult child who refuses to do anything!
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    It seems as if your daughter would do best if she attended school, but is there anything that you can say to get her to go? If I thought you could convince her to actually go, I would say go that route.

    If she won't go, and you can't make her, try the independent study. Is there any way to have a homebound-type teacher come to the house once or twice per week to keep her on track?

    I would ask about any supports that are available for a young adult who has some special needs. Both to finish school and after she gets out. Does she qualify for any programs?
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    There is a community college in our area that does have a special needs program. Problem is she needs to graduate first before attending. She really wants to be a vet, but has no motivation to get herself there. I am lost.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. So sorry for your grief.

    The only thing you can do for an adult child who won't go to school or work is to cut her off so she will have motivation to at least work. Get her off your cell plan. No internet. No money. No car. Nothing. You can also decide on what conditions she has to meet to live in your home.One condition can be that she finishes school or takes classes toward her GED. That is so important, but she won't do it on her own apparentlly. Because of her age, she will probably need to get the information herself. Maddening, I know.

    Don't bother trying to take her cell phone. Cut off the services. That works better.

    Hugs and I'm sorry...very sorry she is making bad choices. It IS different once they are legal adults and we have to adjust our way of dealing with them as well.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    DItto computer access. When you leave for work, turn off the router. Take it with you if you have to.
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I would echo the no phone, no cable, no wifi... I would try a compromise if you don't go to school, then these things stay in my possession. After a week, if she still won't go, then I would just cancel all the fees and start saving money...

    I would explain it that right now, school is her "job". You work, you get a pay check, (electronics), you don't work (attend school) you don't get those perks... KSM
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  7. LostSoul1

    LostSoul1 New Member

    Hi there...and sorry you are going thru this. Your daughter sounds exactly like my son! Never motivated to do anything, school was always a challenge to get him to go. My son is bipolar and has adhd...sounds like maybe she may have similar conditions??? Is she on medications, has she been officially diagnosed? My son also binge eats. He isn't good at verbalizing what is bothering him, so even talk therapy and communication in general is very challenging.

    I would try to treat the mental illness first - take her to a psychiatrist to have her assessed. medications can make a huge difference.

    YOu can read my thread...i recently had to have him removed from my home by the police. He is currently in a youth shelter. He too seems content to do absolutely nothing at all - zero motivation. I know it's hard and i'm sure you have tried everything.

    Please start with an assessment by a psychiatrist and go from there.

  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    How serious is she about veterinary/animal care?

    My older kids did quite a few internships as high school students. My girls did internships in several types of pharmacy work ( in a retail store, mail-order pharmacy, office,etc.) My son interned with a hospital and with several medical specialties, engineering firms, etc.

    Maybe your daughter would be interested in doing an internship or volunteer work with a vet/animal shelter/free clinic for animals etc.

    I would try to interest her in getting out of the house and doing things. Baking and eating too much is not good for her. Maybe she is depressed?
  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Internship at a zoo or animal park? That sounds so interesting!
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Actually she has a requirement to complete 40 hours of community service to graduate. All kids are in our district. She is signed up to volunteer in a cat shelter but so far she hasn't gone because she still complains of stomach pain/nausea. She has had every test under the sun. Utrasounds, an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, and most recently a pill cam test where she swallowed a pill with a camera inside it and the doctor looked at her stomach and intestines. All tests came back normal. Those stomach ulcers that she had a few years ago? Completely healed. So at least so far there is no viable explanation for her nausea and stomach pain, other than GERD, which I also have but I go to work every day and never call in sick! So frustrating.
  11. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I honestly think she's depressed. She vehemently denies it. I don't think she has a clear idea of what depression actually looks like. She thinks having depression is spending all day crying over nothing. I try telling her there are other signs of depression, and she has a few of them. The overeating, going for days without showering or washing her hair, and wanting to sleep all day. I tried telling the nurse practioner this at her last appointment, but he wouldn't even let me speak now that she's 18. He is only temporary. We are on hold to see an actual psychiatrist in our area but he is not accepting new patients until next month. She has an appointment in the middle of next month, and hopefully this guy will let me intervene just a little bit so he can see that difficult child is not "fine" like she keeps telling these doctors.
  12. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    She has been taking the same medications since she was 8 for her bipolar. Now that she's much older, I think she needs a medication adjustment. Obviously what she is on is no longer working. We see a new psychiatrist next month. Hopefully he's a good one.
  13. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I had good luck by writing to the medical professional and telling them what my observations were of the patient. They can't talk to you but they can read what you have to say.

    Maybe call the office and ask if this would be something you could do?
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  14. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    That's a great idea!
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Most privacy laws do not prevent YOU from telling the doctor stuff. It prevents the Dr. from telling YOU anything that is said or discussed or agreed to, unless the patient signs that you can be told.
    So... write a letter, express your concerns.

    Our brains control our bodies. Far more than we allow. Her symptoms of ulcers definitely sound psycho-somatic to me. She had the ulcers - so, now that see feels "sick" about other things, it shows up as same symptoms. Even though it's a different cause.

    Also, depression and anxiety are closely related. It may not be "depression" at all, but severe school-related anxiety. And/or social anxiety, or any number of other anxieties. Anxiety doesn't "look like" depression - but it's on the same "spectrum" and requires the same kinds of treatment (medications and therapy).

    Hopefully you get an ADULT psychiatrist this time. The kind who are actually prepared to make stuff happen.
  16. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I wonder if something is happening at school, is she being bullied? Her not wanting to go to school, sick to her stomach, etc. Does she have any friends, do they come over, does she do any after school things for socialization?

    It's good that she is getting in to psychiatrist and hopefully you can submit a letter of what has been going on with her.

    In the meantime, I would make it very "not fun" to be home; no staples to "bake", no snack food, pack up the videos, cut off the cell phone, remove TV in her room if she has one, I would grab the tablet when she is sleeping, etc.
  17. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member


    I remember you saying that your daughter is no longer going to her dad's on weekends.

    Maybe you could try to get her to do her internship on the weekends?
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I would explain it that right now, school is her "job". You work, you get a pay check, (electronics), you don't work (attend school) you don't get those perks... KSM
    :likeit: This is a great idea. If she has no motivation, this should do the trick. It is a good lesson in life's reality.

    We don't get perks if we don't work and have the means to pay for them.

    Good one KSM.

    Cali, good luck with the new psychiatrist. I hope you find some answers there.

  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi CB

    I did not have time to read all of the replies but will chime in anyway. I am tired.

    First, about the internet/phone. I agree with everybody else. Cut off her phone. There is an easy way to use your cell phone as a mobile hot spot. (Except I am not a techie but everybody under 35 must know.) Not all of them do it, but most. So that would cut out her phone and the house internet. As far as cable a lot of people are cutting the cord. I am too. I got satellite radio so that I can listen to my cable news like CNN. I am an addict. But listening is as good as watching for me. EVERYTHING ELSE ON TV IS AVAILABLE ONLINE. We do not need cable anymore. It is a rip off. If you cut her phone, internet and cable, you are half way there to replacing the $450.

    You cannot be held hostage by her. It is not good for you and not good for her. You have enough stress in your life. You do not deserve that.

    Your daughter has several issues some of which seem to be of land standing. Importantly, quite diminished motivation. This can be a symptom of mental illness. And not easily surmounted.

    What about applying for SSI for her? That way, it may not help your financial situation but it will give you some leverage. She should be contributing to the household. Why not?
    She is acting like an adult here. With adult rights and privileges to call the shots. OK. Fine. Good. Let her take responsibility for herself too. It cannot be both. You take care of me, Mama, but I am the boss over me and over the house too. No way Jose.
    We have already saved you $250 with her phone, cable and internet. We have now only to replace the other $200. Do you have a house phone, a landline? I do. There is no good reason except for pure laziness. I got it when my mother was alive and ill and I kept having to call the ambulance. I could not risk not having a landline. We are healthy. There is not a need. OK. That is another $30. How much more? $170.

    All the junk food your daughter eats which is bad for her health. Cookie mixes. Gone. Chips. Gone. Pizza. Gone with the wind.

    If she chooses to play with her own welfare and your own, she will have to pay with her little luxuries. Good nutritious food. That is all we need provide.

    I went to the doctor today. I had been putting off bloodwork for 5 years because I knew my cholesterol would be high. Smart. Very smart.

    This is how I need to change my diet: 5 veg daily. 2 fruits, 1 a banana. Barley or oatmeal every day. Fish. Less meat. A few nuts a day. Beans and Lentils. My Goodness. That is practically a complete diet. She will lose weight. We have chopped off another $250 off the food budget. We are making money here.
    Because she eats poorly. Part of it. I have a bad stomach too. We cannot eat junk. Exercise helps too. If she complains about no food, tell her to go walk.

    I do not mean to be mean here: She is acting like a little tyrant. You do not need this. Let me say it again. You are a wonderful person. You do not need this.
    Absolutely this belongs on PE.

    I am sure every other person has said this: No go. If she is under your roof. Your rules. Not hers.

    Let me say it again: You are a wonderful person.

    I suggest investigating SSI, and starting the application process. If she cannot go to school, it is unrealistic to believe she will be working sufficiently to support herself, at least in the short-term.

    I would also check out the Department of Rehab. They can help with counseling, vocational counseling, job finding, job training, volunteer placement. They can buy tools, uniforms what ever might be required to work even part time, if she qualifies.

    I would put pressure on her or this will continue and may worsen.

    She cannot be the boss in your house. If she wants to be the boss of herself, without taking responsibility for herself, this is wrong too. If you stay here on PE, every step of the way, other parents who have been through this will support you.

    I am so glad you posted. Take care. Do not worry. You will do this.

    I have taken seriously every single word of your problem. Even though my response is lighthearted. We cannot cry all of the time.

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  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    CB, it could be something like dysthymia. Which is long-term low level depressive symptoms. She could be so accustomed to feeling this way, she knows no other.

    But the thing is this: Each of us has to find a way to function in the world. In life. She cannot live like a slug in your home forever. Either she uses your support to get education and training to realize her goals and to become independent. Or she needs to apply for benefits to sustain herself through public means. Like SSI. Or both. I would do both. I wish I had applied for SSI for my son.

    I had the full expectation that he would attend college and work. It may have been unrealistic.