Pay for contact?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Marys5452, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Marys5452

    Marys5452 New Member

    I am brand new here and just read a few random posts to see what the concerns of the parents here. From that very brief observation I think my daughter's behavior and issues are not as severe as some of those I see here but nevertheless I feel confused, conflicted, angry, disappointed, anxious and frustrated over my daughter and her situation. By the way, what is difficult child? To be brief; my daughter is going on 24 and has a complex history. I adopted her at age 7 and did the best I could. She needed and got years of therapy, private special education and as much extracurricular activities as we could fit with her therapy etc. Jumping ahead a few years, once she discovered boys she latched onto romantic relationships to the exclusion of everything else. She was always an indifferent student so getting her to graduate from HS took a huge effort. She got engaged at age 19. Two years later that relationship fell apart and she landed in a locked psychiatric unit under a 72 hr. hold. Once out, she discovered a new set of friends who introduced her to drugs. She went thru 5 different rehab attempts, the last one ended about 18 mos. ago. She has a new fiance' she lives with in a house with several other people. When she was in treatment I paid everything. When she got out of inpatient rehab she went into a sober living house. I told her I would continue to pay for that but if she left to live with the boyfriend, I would not pay. She went back to smoking pot and living with boyfriend so I stopped direct financial assistance. That was about 18 mos. ago. I pay for psychiatrist, medications and phone and for things like Christmas and Birthday presents or an occasional trip to the grocery. She is not working but does get foodstamps.
    Right now, I don't know how much pot she is smoking. I doubt she is doing anything stronger right now but she is on a cocktail of psychiatric medications.
    Here is my dilemma: I live out of state and I want to have some regular communication with her. The thing is, I can call/text 4 or 5 times over 4 to 7 days and she will not return my calls/texts. She does call when she needs something like her medications. Sometimes I get lucky and she picks up when I call but mostly not. I chide her gently about this and she says she will do better but nothing changes. Having a relationship with her is challenging but I want to keep lines open but I feel demeaned when she does not return phone calls and of course I become anxious and frustrated. I considered turning off her phone but I think I am the one who would feel that most. She is somewhat isolated where she is. Other than the boyfriend, she has no friends and it feels like she is sinking into an ever deepening pit and sliding away from me. Perhaps, our attachment to each other is impaired by her early childhood and adoption. But she needs someone and someday she could land back in the hospital and will need support then. I have been considering paying her to call me. Say $10 a call with a max of 5 per week. She would get some cash and maybe we could slowly improve on our relationship. I know paying your kid to stay in touch is unconventional but I really don't know what else to do. I am trying to wrap my brain around this idea and see if there are some unforseen consequences. I would have to accept that when she calls it is not because of any attachment to me but for the money. But I hope that over time that could improve. Opinions anyone?

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  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    by the way, on computers, terms are underlined and if you hover your mouse over the term, the def. Will pop up. difficult child is gift from God and is what is used to refer to our challenging children. easy child is used for "perfect" child=typically developing child. Both are tongue -in-cheek. Though certainly all of our kids are gifts. Sometimes I wished I had the gift receipt, LOL.
  3. Hi Mary - I saw your post over in General Parenting as well.

    I wouldn't pay her to phone you. I agree with the others that if she is using drugs that money will go to more drugs and in that sense you will be contributing to her addiction.

    I see that you pay her phone bill. I know my difficult child is lost without his phone so while I don't contact him a lot (once a week or every 10 days) my requirement is that he answer the phone when I call or text. He does not want his phone cut off. That's not to say it's a perfect plan - it isn't because sometimes he ignores me, says his phone was dead, didn't get the text, you know the drill - but it does help. He NEVER calls unless he wants something from me. I am also not sure I could bring myself to completely cut off his phone. If you suspended her phone do you think she'd find a way to get in touch with you to find out what was happening with the phone or would that backfire?

    Can you look on social media like Facebook or Twitter to see if she is posting and that way you'll know she is ok? Or you should be able to go online and see if she is using her phone to know that she is ok. That way you can find some peace.

    I'm not sure if this would work given that she may have some significant attachment issues but my support group often advocates not calling and waiting them out to see if they will call you. I haven't been able to do it yet, honestly. The longest I've gone is two weeks - but I find the longer I go between calls the more likely I am to get a decent conversation out of difficult child. Not that our relationship is good right now, it isn't. It's very rocky. Maybe backing off and not 'chasing' her would help?

    Big hugs to you. Stay with this forum - the people here are wonderful, full of knowledge and they really understand what you are going through.
  4. Marys5452

    Marys5452 New Member

    To Warrior Parent: Thanks for posting. My brilliant idea was universally panned so I won't be paying her to call me even though my mind tries to tell some perfectly legitimate rationale for doing so. I plan on waiting and even then I may not immediately answer or call back as promptly as in the past. She does not appreciate the fact that I do answer and call back. She can chase me for a while. I am starting to burn out so I may even tell her that if she queries why it was so hard to get hold of me.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, welcome to the board.

    Im another one who got a phone for my son Xmas 2011. I thought it was a wonderful gift because he had been doing relatively well and he needed a way we thought we could reach him. Well my phone didnt pick up much better at his house than his free 250 minute a month phone but it would get text messages okay so we had to accept that. Main problem is that instead of him using the phone, his girlfriend carries it and he bought a prepaid....sigh. So when this phone contract ends in 2013 I wont be renewing it. They can get their own and transfer the number if they want.

    I used to call all the time and worry if I couldnt get up with them. Then it was oh lordy....if they called and I missed a call and couldnt reach them back I would worry like nobodies business. Now, heavens, I figure someone will get back in touch with me if its important enough. Sometimes I see my son's number on the phone and I just ignore it because I am not up to deal with whatever issue he wants to talk about at the moment.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm not voting on this one, lol. on the other hand, I completely understand how the idea originated. Hugs DDD