On the horizon

This has been hanging over me since June. Just want to put it out there for other's thoughts, input, support.

Difficult Child was staying at friend's house. They allowed her to use their extra vehicle to get to work, and other times. (Not that she went to work, but used the vehicle to run the roads instead, but that's irreverent right now). Anyway, one night she and a minor friend went joy riding, and she totaled vehicle.

Couple of things:

- Given a ticket for careless driving ($420)

- Minor child's family suing the insurance company of family where Difficult Child was staying for medical expenses.

- Since mishap, Difficult Child has been asked to move out

- Family wants Difficult Child to pay difference not covered by insurance

- Our medical insurance won't process any medical bills till auto insurance info is provided first

Difficult Child has court Monday for ticket. To which, I know she doesn't have the $$ saved. Just to note, family all have given her $ for her birthday so she'd at least have 1/2 of it. She also was working, and has quit several jobs since being given the ticket. Currently not working, or truly looking.

We've decided we are not taking her to court, nor will we pay the ticket. Additionally, we will not cover the medical bills (and because she's no longer a minor, the bills are in her name even though we provide the insurance).

I heard her boyfriend offered to pay the ticket should she not have the $ as long as she's doing what she's supposed to do. So, again, she puts on a show to make it appear that she is so he'll pay ticket. Instead of just doing the right thing herself.

Reality is, if he doesn't, she probably wouldn't even show for court, or pay ticket. Which would result in suspended license and probably bench warrant.

That makes me want to "take care of it" cause that would make matters so much worse! Especially should she really start working! But, it goes a long with her choices have consequences and even if we did take care of it, she'd never appreciate it, or take advantage of help and do the right things...it would be us paying for her choices once again.

I really don't feel near as sick about it as I did in June...it is what it is.


one day at a time
Oh, Seeking Peace, I am sorry.

Of course your reaction is to take care of it. That is so natural. We keep thinking they're going to get it, soon, so we don't want the hole to be too deep that they have to dig out of.

In the meantime, many of them keep digging as fast as we can fill the hole for them.

I did that, too, for years and years.

Can you give us some background about her, and what's been going on? I see you say that she is an adult, not a minor.

I don't know about you, but knowing my son was "of age" even though he behaved like a 15 year old most of the time, helped me with detaching more and more as he kept on and on.

It's still hard. I remember worrying so much about his "record." For months and months, his offenses were misdemeanors. I would comfort myself with this thought: at least he doesn't have a felony. Then the day came that he had not one, but two felonies, and that was a rock bottom for me. Even though the offenses---selling drugs---had occurred two years before, and the grand jury indictment had just come down, it set me way back and I realized what I knew about his actions were the tip of the iceberg. Of course he went to jail for that, and although he had been doing better at that time, he was set back as well. That made me sick at heart, too, at the time, but I had to step away from the here and now and see the bigger picture, which was the fact that he had done this, and right now was when he had to pay for what he had done, regardless of how much progress he had made or not. Consequences have actions, sadly, and that was a lesson my son had to learn the hardest possible way.

It is a crying shame. More than a crying shame, the things they keep on doing to wreck their own lives.

You sound like you are sick at heart but you also are telling yourself how to separate and detach. It is a process, so be very kind to yourself. You can change your mind at any time. Nothing is in stone. If you get new, different, information, you can do something different.

It is such a process and a journey. And to me, the goal is peace. Just getting some peace in the middle of all of the chaos.

I found that peace came with detachment and for me, setting some boundaries about our communication for a long, long time.

I think in the end, that separation was good for him and for me. For the both of us. He had to know that he was truly on his own, and if things were to be different for him, he had to make them different. Not us anymore. We had been there, and done that, 1000 times.

I hope you find comfort in knowing that so many of us understand exactly the path you are on, and we are here for you. Whatever you decide, we're still here, and you can post and vent and use this forum as one of your tools on your life's journey.

Warm hugs this morning.
Difficult Child has been in and out of our home 4x in the past 2 years. She's 20. In between, she has been between friend's houses, boyfriend's parents and grandmother's house, our extended family's homes, and many undesirable locations. Each and every time going to do the right things. She's had at least 20 jobs in two years. She lands a job, then hardly shows. Pretending to go. She's been given 2 vehicles. First one she wrecked. Second one by boyfriend's parents, which was taken away when they caught her lying about work again. The third being the one she recently totaled.

Part of me thinks she should not be driving anyway! Another part thinks, when she has her own transportation to work, she NEVER has shown up. Sadly, dropping her off at least you know she went, even though she has somebody come right behind you to pick her up.

The fact is, she has not once done what's expected of her in return for trying to help her. Lies about therapy, work, etc. disrespectful and steals.

I keep thinking that doing nothing for her might finally be the answer. Even if she hates me for it.

Even when we are helping, she's smear campaigning and gas lighting. I want a relationship with my daughter, but that's not a relationship. She certainly treats strangers better than me. Always twisting my words and publicly trying to destroy my reputation.

Just games and manipulation all the time. She was diagnosed with bipolar as a teen, but also with Borderline Personality Disorder 2 years ago. Her biological grandmother has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Her biological father exhibits many of the same traits as her....

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Oh SP, it's just so hard when our DCs actions put us in the position of having to make some difficult choices.
She has really created a big mess.

This is one of those "but this time will be different" moments. We pin our hopes on this, that our Difficult Child will finally get it and start being responsible and making better choices.

It's a tough call to make. I paid so many different things for my son to try and help him, to keep him from having bad credit, etc.... The one thing husband and I never did was to pay his bail or pay for a lawyer. In the end nothing we did helped but at least I know I tried.

Whatever you decide it will still be difficult.

You can only do what you are comfortable with.

((HUGS)) to you.......................
I'd pay for things if I honestly believed she'd be any different...she has zero regard for the amount of money people have spent in effort of helping her. Feels like she simply takes and takes, with no return. It'd be easier if I actually saw her making effort and falling short. A lot easier to help a person who's trying to help themselves

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
A lot easier to help a person who's trying to help themselves
Yes it is!!
This is where "helping" meets "enabling"
Helping those who are trying is helping. Helping those who don't try is enabling.
So simple yet it's not as the line can be so blurry when it's our own child.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oh boy Seeking Peace, I think we can all relate to how your are feeling right now. I'm sorry.

Where you are is a really crummy place to be, to be hanging there wanting to help, recognizing how helping hasn't "helped," knowing what the consequences will be when she doesn't realize or doesn't care what they are.......in a typical parent/child connection, we would likely step in to help........but, with our kids, that often becomes part of the problem. It's so hard to negotiate that reality.

It is a hard place to be. I paid and paid and paid for my daughter's mishaps for a very long time......until I got to a place where I could finally see that none of it changed anything, and she also treated me badly too. As I stopped doing that, she faced the consequences of her own choices and our relationship improved. That doesn't always happen, but it can happen.

I also have mental illness in my family and my daughter exhibits similar behaviors, although she has not been diagnosed. That makes it more difficult sometimes to stop the helping. I had to get to the place where I realized that my ''helping" was in truth, hindering both of us, regardless of her mental health.

Only you can decide the best course of action based on your experience and your willingness or unwillingness at this point. We know how challenging it is to be where you are, no easy answers, only our hard won ability to make one choice at a time, take one step at a time until we come through and start to see some light at the end of this long tunnel.

Hang in there SP, we're all here for you.......we get it.


Well-Known Member
That makes me want to "take care of it" cause that would make matters so much worse!
My opinion? She shouldn't drive and you shouldn't cover her on your insurance, especially since she is going to jack up the price.

Adults who take drugs have no business being behind the wheel. This time she totaled somebody else's car. Next time she could kill somebody or herself. Under no conditions would I give her any transportation. She isn't making a real effort to work. If she wants to work, she will find a way to get her. Boyfriend can drive her or she can walk (get a close job) or take the bus. I see a lot of parents giving excuses why their children HAVE to drive, even though they know they are often inebriated and I feel it is dangerous and even possibly immoral (now this is just MY take on it, nobody else's).

When my daughter quit drugs, she got a job and walked to and from work. It was over a mile and she did it in all types of Chicago weather. She did not have access to a car, but she did get a job because shse wanted a job. Before she quit using drugs, my daughter had three horrible accidents. One was with our vehicle and she never drove our vehicles again nor did we pay for her insurance and she not only survived but thrived.

I really think a lot of times (not ALL the time, but often) adult children keep messing up because we parents want to help them and do too much so they have no incentive to get their act together. My own experience is that it worked better not to do the rescue. I think it hurts more times than helps. Of course, there are exceptions.
She's not on our insurance anymore. I took her off when she continued to allow her then boyfriend to drive her car. She drove my vehicle before that until she blatantly ignored me on not going to pick up a friend, and did anyway blowing off my stand on being liable. That's one area I can say I've held steadfast in.

The other cars were from other families trying to "help the poor girl whose family put her out".

She isn't using drugs. I'm pretty confident about that, but she is reckless. Reality is, her passenger could have been seriously hurt, or even killed. Then she'd be facing vehicular manslaughter.

We won't put her in another car again. I agree, if it's important to her, she'll find a way. This may be a blessing in disguise.

She is not living at our home any longer either. But when she was, many of the jobs were within walking distance.


Well-Known Member
Hi Seeking Peace,

You have received good advice. I will add my two cents.

I would not be so confident that drugs of some sort are not involved.

Knowing what I know now, I would have cut off all financial assistance for my son much earlier.

What is that saying? When somebody tells you who they are, listen. From our love and hope and fear, we do not. We pay for it later.

Your daughter is not listening to anything you say. The assistance she is receiving from you and others seems to be training her to expect more. That happened with my son, too. He had no motivation at all to do anything productive until everybody cut him off and he had to live with the consequences of his choices.

I am pretty new at this, but I find that the more I can stay out of my son's business the more clarity and respect there is between us. The result, too, has been that my son has left the area where I live. This is a good thing.

He seems to be beginning to understand that it is not a pretty picture to be homeless or nearly so, with nothing productive to do.

Your daughter by landing jobs, has shown herself capable of doing so. The only incentive most of us have to keep a job is the necessity to support ourselves. Allow her that incentive.

The fear is our children will make worse choices, without our guidance and help. The thing is, our help has not protected them. They mock our advice. They mock our rules. They are indifferent to anything that we do that does not involve money. The only thing they want to hear from us is "yes."

We are without good choices because our children have rejected all of them that we have tried.

I have decided it is time for my son to take responsibility for himself.

My son has mental illness on both maternal and paternal sides. He was granted SSI for mental illness. Still, I am hopeful.

I believe there is wide variability in how people with mental illness function. I believe that personal choice means a lot.

I think it is very important to do our part first, to not enable. To stop what we are doing that makes it harder for them, and for us. To stop the things we do that may disincentivize motivation, independence and the choice to be productive. Only then can we begin to really understand what are the true dynamics at work in our children.

I am glad you found us. Take care and keep posting.
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worried sick mother

Active Member
My son was diagnosed with bipolar 2 but I questioned drugs and was always trying to figure out if it was drugs or mental illness. Now I know for sure he is using drugs. He was prescribed medication for bipolar that he does not take. He would continue to go see the psychiatrist and tell her he was taking his medications when he didn't even get the prescription filled. Anyways I went to see a drug and alcohol counselor when I was trying to figure it out and he told me that it didn't matter if it was drugs or mental illness that if I didn't stop enabling him that if its drugs then he will continue to use drugs and if it's a mental illness that he will never take his medication as long as I enable. He said my son had no reason to get better because I was taking care of everything. When they diagnosed my son they never ruled out drugs, the new counselor that I am seeing says that you can't diagnose someone with a mental illness without ruling drugs out. I am still helping my son financially right now with the agreement that he sees a new counselor and psychiatrist that will address the drug issue so we can hopefully find out if he really does indeed have bipolar. If my son doesn't comply then all support will be cut off. My son manipulates us with his mental illness diagnosis, maybe your daughter is doing the same. Ask her to take a drug test , you can buy those at drug stores and then make sure you watch her use the restroom for the sample to test. My son refused drug test because he said that I shouldn't think that way of him and he doesn't have to prove anything that I should trust him. Boy I was so gullible. Now I know if someone refuses a drug test it's because their using drugs. Keep us posted.
I know she was popping pills in HS. I know when she first moved out at 18, I found several empty pill bottles in her room. She even took the dog's pain medication once. But her boyfriend now is against pills and drugs, and she's with him a vast majority of the time....I just really would be surprised if she was currently using. But then again, I'm learning a lot of things she's done that have horrified me deeper...and she has absolutely used her diagnose to manipulate situations.


Well-Known Member
she has absolutely used her diagnose to manipulate situations.
Seeking Peace, your daughter will use everything she can to manipulate you. Your love, your worry, your hope. I do not know why it is so. But they do.

When I first started getting stronger my son came up with this story that he was stabbed, hospitalized and had surgery (all without a call to me). I was appalled. So I posted.

It turns out this is a commonly used story. About 6 other parents wrote back that they had gotten the same story.
But then again, I'm learning a lot of things she's done that have horrified me deeper
This should strengthen your resolve to pull back. Nothing you did for her, it seems, helped her to help herself or to protect herself.

The will to do so, she must find in herself. The will to choose right.

To respect the right of our children to live their own lives, we show our belief in them. That they can do the right thing for others and for themselves.

By doing this we demonstrate faith in ourselves...that we have done our jobs as parents. We let go. And trust....

Don't have much on how court went cause she's not answering my text. Hubby texted boyfriend asking to have her let us know how court goes. Didn't even acknowledge. So, ended up unblocking her on FB to look and see if she posted anything regarding court. Nothing....

But she is doing just fine cause she posting all sorts of things on there....and since there's nothing regarding court, ticket, and boyfriend didn't respond, very good chance she didn't even go to it....I'll never know. Even if she said she did, doesn't mean she had!!

So, I worried all while she went on along her own merry way.

BUT, breakthrough for me: arrived to work to find a panic email from Difficult Child, needing advice. I simply responded with, "feeling confident she'll make the right decisions. We support her 100% and believe she'll do the right thing. We loved her."

Allowing her to make the decisions so she can grow and learn all while extending love and support. Not the answers.


Well-Known Member
You are doing great, SP!

Let her own her problems.

It is often harder on us than it is on them. We worry while they sleep like a baby.

Hang in there, keep posting.