Please help me with my 20 year old granddaughter.

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by EricaMichelle, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. EricaMichelle

    EricaMichelle New Member

    I am a 60+ year old grandma who loves her granddaughter immensely. She moved out of her mother's house because they didn't get a long and she was emotionally abusive to her. I took her in and I didn't mind it because I felt bad for her. She's 20 now and moved in with me around 17/18 years. The first 6 months to a year were fine but I was noticing the behaviors that probably made her mom upset. She is very lazy and doesn't help around the house. I ask her to unload the dishwasher and while she does it takes her a while to get to it. She does have ADHD and stopped taking medications years ago because they made her anxious and sick. So, her memory isn't the best. Possibly anxiety or some other mental problems. She has told me she doesn't mind helping around the house it's just she's not used to it because her parents did everything for her. Also she feels in the way and anxious so that's another reason why she doesn't pitch in. She struggled in 11th grade with her grades and teachers have emailed me that she refuses to do her homework especially with Math because she has always struggled alot with Math. Not only this but the teachers have also stated that she is very uncomfortable at school and refuses to make eye contact. The counselor call me and told me she was wanting to be called AJ which I found strange. She's always hated her name and to this day talks about how much she hates it and that to doesn't feel like her. She told me she gives up on everything because she's tired of failing. She ended up taking Summer school for Math after 11th grade and worked hard to finish it. I'm proud of her and all. While all this was going on I was noticing her wardrobe was changing drastically. She always wanted to wear boy clothes and cut her hair like a boy. I don't mind her looking like a tomboy but now it's gotten to the point she doesn't look like a girl at all and refuses to wear anything associated with girls. In 2014 she worked for her dad and did a good enough job but many people made comments about how she looked like a boy, her work clothes were boys. They even mentioned how she slouches and pulls her shirt away from her chest. I've been noticing this as well. She's always done this actually even when she was younger. Getting her to fix her hair and wearing dresses was a battle. I put her in a dress and she kicked and screamed. She's always been a tomboy but it feels a bit extreme. When she was a child she got upset when she couldn't play with the boys or their toys. Her Halloween costumes were boys most of the time. Same goes for her birthday parties. She didn't mind girl things but preferred boy things. Playing with girls she was rough and wrestled them and I had to tell her that was a thing boys do. She cut off her hair when she was about 4 years because long hair made her uncomfortable.

    Anyway, now that she's 20 years old she doesn't work or go to school. I've confronted her on it and she's told me she's anxious and doesn't feel like herself. She wants to live on her own but she says she's afraid and feels stuck. I understand because she struggles with doing basic life skills like cooking, laundry, ect. She feels like she can't thrive in life because she feels... "wrong" She always cuts herself down and says she wishes she could have a straight body and no curves, and a few times I've washed her clothes and found some black tank top and this thing was very tight looking. Another time I found a sock in her boxers. I never questioned her about it. She's very secretive on her Facebook account and hides a lot of things from me, in general. I have a daughter whom she talks to a lot and really acts friendly and social with. While with me she does do the same but gets very moody too. She has no passions or interests. Nothing motivates her. I found out a while ago she was lesbian from her mother. I'm upset by this and it does disgust me. Once I overheard her using her webcam and talking to an online friend and she said to them that she wishes she could live life but she feels fake. Now she's coming to her asking for birth control because her periods are too heavy and disgust her. I'm sorry if this sounds insensitive but I don't want to deal with her anymore. She's 20 years old and needs to get it together. Her cousins drive and she doesn't even do that. She's too scared of her ADHD and anxiety interfering. But I'm frustrated that all my grandchildren are living their lives and trying to be successful and make something off themselves but this one. Please help a grandma out I'm desperate.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Most of us who come to this board are pretty fed up with our children or grandchildren. Because we feel over our heads, and do not know what to do next. We try and try as have you, and our kids stay unhappy and/or self-destructive and/or aggressive or out of control. And when we are so desperate we land here.


    I will be direct here: when our children become adults we really have no control or voice over their choices, their identity, lifestyle, sexuality or gender identity. We cannot get them to go to school or work. We cannot help them be happy, less anxious or better adjusted. This becomes their responsibility, whether or not they feel they can do it or not.

    All we have is control over ourselves, our choices, and our homes.

    This site centers on identifying where you have control and exercising it. And learning where you have none. All of the issues you have mentioned are beyond your control.

    What can you do?

    Look at the article on detachment on this website.

    The member, scentofcedar, at the bottom of her signature has a link to an article about talking to adult children.

    Talk to your granddaughter about how she can have more control over her life: a job, moving out, therapy, and counseling for her sexuality and gender identity issues. The reality here is you have no say and even less control in this area of her life.

    She is at an appropriate age to live independently. There are training programs such as Job Corps, which is free, and offers free room and board; the enrollees are well-supervised. Or she might want to consider the military. These are just a couple of options.

    If you have trouble addressing this with her, you might consider Al Anon.

    Others will soon respond, with other points of view.

    I wanted to say Hi. And offer support. It is very hard to try and try to help somebody else, to no avail. I know from personal experience. We begin to feel as if it is our problem. It is not.

    Only your granddaughter can make her life better and make a life in which she fits. Many of us begin our adulthood with a sense of inadequacy or even deep confusion about who we are and where we fit. The rest of our lives are to work this out in the deepest sense: who am I, what is my purpose, why I am here?

    This is all normal. Even as it is painful.

    Welcome. Take care. I hope you keep posting.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your granddaughter may have disabilities beyond ADzHD and anxiety. I see red flags for possible high functioning autism. She can choose to get tested but at her age you can't force it. But you don't need to let her live with you.

    Gender Identity Disorder is real. Being a lesbian is also not a choice. To judge her for these issues due to lack of understanding or rigid religious beliefs in my opinion is unfair. She is who she is and you love her as she is or else it's conditional love only.

    She could use therapy to deal with feeling as if she is a man, which is stressful alone. But valid. Sounds as if she has never felt like a female. This is not a moral issue. It is a very real challenge.

    I hope you can do what feels good to you. And you can make suggestions to your granddaughter but you can't force her to do or be anything or anyone. She is not your other grandchildren.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
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  4. Ironbutterfly

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

    It sounds like your GD is dealing with the many issues that come with sexual identity; depression, lack of motivation, not feeling like you fit anywhere with anyone. She doesn't like herself as is evident from her comment she feels her life is fake. I would try and find a counselor who deals with sexual identity issues. Maybe help her find LGBT group where she can seek advice and find similarities. YOU can't control what she feels like, for her right now a male. This is a tough issue for many parents, family members to wrap their head and heart around. But it is becoming more and more of a moral and societal commonality.

    I would start with finding counseling. Demand it. Then give her a timeline for getting on with her life. She needs to get a job, go to school, get a place to live. Set these goals for her as a condition for her living there. If she doesn't then you have no choice but put her out and let her figure her life out.
  5. Deedles

    Deedles New Member

    I feel so very deeply for your grand daughter. Sexual identity is a very scary issue for a lot of kids. If she is expressing her masculine feelings and associations and people are making negative comments or mocking her it will only serve to eat away at her already low self esteem. Does it matter who she chooses to be intimate with? Really? She is still the same little girl you have always loved. Maybe she identifies as a boy. Or as gender neutral. Or as a squid. It doesn't matter. She needs to know she is loved for who she is not who she is attracted to.

    It sounds like she could really use someone to talk to. Do you have a community outreach center nearby? Our local kids outreach center has groups specifically for gender issues.

    Does she have hobbies? What does she enjoy? If encouraged to volunteer or get a part time job even would she be interested?
  6. EricaMichelle

    EricaMichelle New Member

    We live in South Dakota and there was a center she attended to which was behind my back and I found out from her friend. Not too long ago. A girl from her school caused problems so all of them were banned from the center. I did a little research and found out she could be Transgendered but there's no doctor around here that will give her the medicine.
  7. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I do not why behind your back but its good it shows that she wants to try and put some effort to it. To bad she was banned this does do any good for her efforts and confidence to try to be better. She seems a sensitive girl and could be really damaged by such actions.
    Why does she no longer works with her father?
  8. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    How much tutoring has she had for the math? What grade level are her math skills? I don't teach math, but some students have a serious deficiency in one subject and need more than just a tutor and summer school. If she is more than three grade levels behind in the math area, she needs Sylvan or Huntington. I have students who are in college prep English and doing well in that area, but have math skills on a fifth grade level. If that is the case, it could take her six years instead of four to finish college.

    The gender identity issue is hard for teenagers. I hope everything gets easier for her. I would imagine that is where most of her anxiety is coming from.