Out of Ideas

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Fallen Angel69, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Fallen Angel69

    Fallen Angel69 New Member

    Hi, my name is Julie and I am the single mother of a 20 year old daughter who's story is similar to that of
    waivering faith.
    My daughter graduated high school, went a year to a world renowned local university, did fantastic in her first semester and then almost failed her second semester. She wanted to live on campus and then was calling me daily to pick her up and drive her back in the morning. Since school was out, and we're talking two plus years ago, she has done nothing. She claims she is depressed but refuses therapy. She has been on several antidepressants and refuses to try another. She finally got her driver's license last April and refuses to drive, get a job, go back to school, help around the house or do much of anything. She sleeps most of the day and is up most of the night texting her friends and playing games online, skyping, etc.. I know she has experimented with alcohol and marijuana, but I don't think she is "abusing" them; she has no money other than the money I give her. I know she is still a virgin so she's not out selling herself. She has a nice group of friends which she goes running to when they want to go out. We do live in outside the city so her friends have to always pick her up and drop her off. Sometimes I question if she is just lazy and yanking my chain. Everyone I've talked to about her tells me to kick her out of the house, but I've done this twice to no avail. I told her she has to leave this morning after an incident which is why I went online and found this site. I've never done anything like this before, but I am at the end of my rope and out of ideas. I am not naive, I am a high school math teacher and deal with kids and their issues all the time, but for some reason I cannot seem to help my own daughter. We have had some trauma in the past.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. You are on the wrong forum for kids over 18. You should probably post on Parent Emeritus, which is for adult children.

    I''m sorry you are going through this. Don't be hard on yourself. Teachers are educators, not psychologists. You need outside help, more for yourself than for her because she is too old to force into therapy and you are suffering because of her behavior.

    It does sound it could be drugs, although you say it isn't, but many of us thought not and it was. As for being a virgin, not that it matters, unless a doctor has told you that, you don't know for sure. Sleeping all day and being up all night reminds me of my daughter when she did drugs. I would not be so quick to dismiss drugs, even more than pot, over-drinking or other dangerous behaviors. My daughter had no money either. They have ways of getting drugs they want and money too. Has she ever stolen from you that you know of? Sometimes they sell drugs to get money.

    Another thing I learned: We don't know how nice our adult children's friends are. They put on a good face for us or they may have been nice at one time, but changed.

    If your daughter is so depressed she can't do anything, she would not want to text her friends all night. She is being social, the way young people do it today. Do you pay for her phone? If so, I'd feel perfectly fine reading the texts to see what was really going on under your roof. I know it could just be depression, but don't believe it is...rule everything else out first.

    Why did you allow her to come home after she left? Did she make promises she didn't keep?

    Your daughter is an adult. 20 year olds can vote, fight for our country, go away to college, and make their own decisions. It sounds like your daughter is acting like a young child, expecting you to take care of her and support her. This is common here. Even if she has mental illness, SHE is the only one who can take care of it. At her age, in my opinion she ought to be contributing to t he household and either going to college full time or working full time.

    Everyone has had trauma in the past. My own youth was a nightmare and my daughters had extremely scary and bad things happen to them, yet they are productive and functioning and not laying on my couch. I would not allow the past to be an excuse for refusing to grow up in the present.

    I am again sorry you are going through this. I would deal with her behavior, not the past or the "what ifs." My suggestion, which you don't have to take, is to give her three months to get a job, pay rent, help with chores, be respectful or leave and learn to stand on her own two feet the hard way.

    There is a reason "everyone" is telling you to kick her out. She must be causing you a lot of angst in your own home, one way or another. Any other children? A SO? You have to think about them too, if you have others in the house.

    Just my opinion.
    If you post on Parent Emeritus you will get many responses because all of us have dealt with these issues. Kids over 18 are a whole different story than k ids who are under 18. Legally, we have no control. We only have the ability to change our reactions to our adult children. We can't change them or anybody except ourselves.

    Good luck.
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile... from a different perspective. If she is staying in your home, YOU have the right to control certain things. Like... the internet can be turned off at night. Cell phones can be put in a central location for overnight charging - NOT kept in the bedrooms. Night is for sleeping (except for those who have shift work). Whether it is drugs, depression, some other mental illness, or something else entirely (or some combination), it will not hurt to adjust her schedule to be "normal".

    If you are providing all the groceries, then you have the right to require that those groceries be eaten at common meal times. She doesn't have the right to eat whatever she wants, whenever she feels like it. Food, like sleep, is a strong influence on our internal clock.

    If the only money she has is what you give her, then why do you give her any? She is 20. She is not in school. Therefore, she needs to earn any spending money. If you are paying for her cell phone, then you own it, not her... you control when it can be used, and whether it is even available. You have the right to cancel her off your plan (although the contract may have penalties).

    I'm not sure the first course of action would be to kick her out. Try setting some rules and boundaries around the things you CAN control, and see what happens.
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  4. SuperG

    SuperG Member

    Hi Julie, and welcome. I feel your pain. I was a single mom of an only child (daughter) and I can relate to much of what you're expressing. I'm new here too. You will find great (honest) support here. Get yourself a copy of CoDependent No More by Melody Beattie right away. I also recommend Boundaries by Henry Cloud AND Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke.

    I did so much that I thought was helpful when raising my daughter. I'm only just NOW finally realizing that I was enabling the whole time. There's a different kind of dynamic with single moms of only daughters. I think we need to start a thread JUST for that topic, LOL.

    I'm learning that it's all about baby-steps at this point. Nothing will change overnight, but your reaction/response can start to change right now.

    I hope you have a peaceful weekend :)
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  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Julie, you are getting some good feedback, I think.

    I'm sure there is a lot more to your story, but based on what you wrote here, here are my thoughts:

    1. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
    2. You will have to instigate the change. She never will.
    3. Your house, your rules.
    4. Keep it simple, whatever you decide to start doing. I used to try to write up a whole long list of rules. I couldn't keep up with them myself. He sure didn't. It drove me nuts.
    5. Start doing one thing different. As someone said, that one thing could be, no internet in the house at night. Or it could be, no more cell phone. I remember one time on this board, someone did this: the young adult had to leave the house when they did, and couldn't come back until they did.
    6. If your daughter has a mental illness, most, if not all, mental illness is highly treatable. But the person has to agree to be treated. As long as there is a safety net that enables the current situation, the person has no motivation to change. A person in the grip of addiction, immaturity or mental illness or whatever dysfunctional behavior they are experiencing, has to want to change. Most have to be sick and tired enough of their current situation---it has to be unpleasant enough---to want to change.

    I used to get all caught up in the "does he have a mental illness that he can't help this behavior?" I would spin and spin and spin with that. If he did, what was the right thing to do, for me? I couldn't throw him out, could I? wouldn't that be wrong and cruel?

    I finally came to this, for me. If the person is psychotic and doesn't know right from wrong or up from down, that is one thing. If the person isn't in that scenario, the person is responsible for his or her own behavior. And that means they have to experience the consequences of that behavior. Which means, for me, that I am not going to enable or participate with people who don't want to work their way toward being a contributing, functional member of society. As long as you are trying, I can see measurable progress (not words, but action) and things are changing, I'm with you all the way.

    But you have to start the change. Not me. As long as we are more upset about their lives than they are, nothing will change.

    I know this is very hard to watch. Your daughter is your precious daughter, and I am sure you are heartsick and scared at the current situation. I know because I have been there myself. I could not begin to imagine, early on, what it was going to take, from me, in order to give my son the chance he needed to change. It required enormous change from me, setting the toughest boundaries imaginable. Allowing him to live on the street for months. Allowing him to stay in jail for months. Not allowing him into my home for months.

    These are decisions I didn't come to easily at all, and they occurred over a period of years. I at first set much more lenient boundaries. And nothing changed. It only got worse.

    I had to change. I had to change myself enormously and I had to learn new ways of thinking and behaving. The feelings were very hard to live with and I had to disconnect my feelings from my thinking and my behaving. That was a new skill I had to learn.

    Please know that we have compassion for you and for your situation. We know this is the hardest stuff you will likely ever do in your life. We care about you and we are here to support you, whatever you decide to do. We will give you lots of ideas, and you will need to decide what might work for you. We respect that, we understand.

    Warm hugs today.
  6. Fallen Angel69

    Fallen Angel69 New Member

    Thank you "somewhere out there". I think your advice is sound. I thought I did post
  7. Fallen Angel69

    Fallen Angel69 New Member

  8. Fallen Angel69

    Fallen Angel69 New Member

    Thank you Super Granny, my mom is also a super grandma. I actually have a copy of Melody's book. Perhaps I'll pick up a copy of Setting Boundaries as that may be more appropriate. I agree with the baby steps. Maybe I expect too much. I will let you know as things hopefully progress.
  9. Fallen Angel69

    Fallen Angel69 New Member

    Dear Child of mine (one of my favorite gnr songs), I thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is a lot here to digest. I just checked out her cell phone and there is no indication of drug use (thank God), I know I am fortunate in that area . I just feel like I have tried everything I can 't put her out on the street; I just can't do it. I have thrown her out of the house, but either my mom or her friend's mom took her in for a bit. She has worn out both of those welcomes. In between writing this I spoke with my daughter. I told her that WiFi is going off at night and that I expect her to get back on a normal schedule. I also told her that I expect her to start cooking her own meals as she is a vegetarian and I am not. In addition I told her she is going to have to help out more around the house and start looking for at least a part time job. I did not give her any ultimatums, I hope it doesn't have to come to that again else I will have to follow through. I've also asked her to reconsider therapy. Keep in mind that we've had these discussions many times before and that I am truly at the end of rope. Julie
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Great call on this one. There is no reason to make special means for someone who is able to cook for themselves. If they want to eat part of what you are having, that's fine - the salad, or veggies, or starches. But there is no way you should be cooking a parallel menu. There is a valid reason for HER to actually do something for herself. And every bit helps.

    This is a delicate topic. Any chance she was sexually assaulted? Date rape is not uncommon on many campuses. The girls often don't want to talk about it - but it doesn't work to try to live a normal life with that in the background. She may not want to see a therapist because she doesn't want to talk about this... and nothing else needs talking about. If you get any wedge in the door that she will accept some level of therapy, find someone who is trained in handling the possibility of sexual assault.
  11. Fallen Angel69

    Fallen Angel69 New Member