Sad and tired

I feel so sad. 19 yo daughter again somewhere out there not communicating. Maybe another phone lost or stolen...who knows. It seems always, time and time again, that about 4-5 days go by before I start this obsessive worrying. Her life is a secret and I don't even know her anymore. How do I know if she is with friends, at a shelter, or if she was picked up in a drunken stupor and held against her will prostituting or something? I just don't know how to detach emotionally.
The worst thing about this, and it's like mental torture when I start on these dark thought paths, is the realization that I - we - raised a daughter who has no self worth. Because ultimately people with self worth try to improve their life because they realize they are worth it. And for so many years of her childhood I thought she was happy and secure. I don't consciously feel guilty anymore because I realize we did just about as good a job as we could. I do think we entered the FOG early on when she was a young teenager and didn't realize it at the time. She learned that she could manipulate us with threats...self harm...etc. I think I could have been stronger but everyone has a breaking point. I forgive myself because at the time this started I did my best to try and help only to be screamed at, verbally abused, avoided and basically demoralized to the point of depression which is now better but ongoing on and off as I am also entering into hormonal age. Counseling didn't seem to help her. Antidepressants didn't help after a while. Peers who had the answers she was looking for - pot and alcohol and maybe other drugs and a severe case of anti authority - came into the pucture. How does a parent compete with the 22 year old boyfriend who she was madly in love with? (of course she didn't tell me about him... I learned it from a school mate). Well I don't really know why I'm going on about this but I needed to write it out. Very teary today. How do we not let the unknown destroy us? It's not easy letting go.


Well-Known Member
It is very sad that your daughter is choosing drugs and bad people right now. Mine did too. At 19 she had to was impossible to protect my younger kids from her drug rages and scary "friends." I was heartbroken, but determined not to help her kill herself by enabling her dangerous choices. I thought she might die. Instead she quit....

Not one of us who has a loved one who used drugs know what they are really doing. If we talk to them, they lie. I thought I at least knew what drugs my daughter took. I did not. After she quit, she seemed compelled to talk about her life in drugs and get it all out. What she told me, shocked me. My guessing had not even been close. Drugs take our loved ones away from us to a place we can not know. I think in hindsight it is foolish to try to know what our drug using kids are doing. We will never know so it is a waste of time and just elevates our stress.

Many here HAVE learned to not let this destroy us. That doesn't mean we don't care or worry, but we do let go of the drama and go on with our lives. There are places to find tools to grow strong.

I love Al Anon. Nothing topped talking to others who understood in real time for me. I also had a priceless private therapist. You can do both at once or pick one. Doing nothing to help yourself is SO HARD. Don't try doing this alone. I don't recommend even trying to figure it out yourself. We are too emotionally involved.

I read too. One of my favorite books that launched my own recovery from trying to fix others was "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. Great starting book. Please buy it! Read every word!!

You can't take care of or fix your daughter. She is the only one who can do that. But you don't have to give up your own life because for now your daughter is struggling. You can choose to learn to cope and even thrive. Suffering won't help your daughter and your other loved ones need you to be happy. You owe that to yourself too. You matter. Your mental health matters.

Love and hugs!
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Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Good advice SWOT. Anything that helps you learn how to cope helps you and your loved one in the long run.

It is a highly distressing and difficult time.

Strange: writing here is sometimes the only thing that kept me sane. There is a world of understanding and wisdom here.
Thanks for your wisdom SWOT and LBL...
Some days are better than others. Today I just came unglued thinking about all the horrific things that could happen. Most of the time I'm not this overcome but after several days of no contact I start to feel it creeping in. I ended up driving by her "spot" at the park and did see her there with a guy. Not my choice for her but at least for today I know she is alive. She is trying to detach from us too...maybe this is the only way she can do it. She thinks she is independent but she's totally dependent on everyone...the state, us, and her "friends". Hopefully one day she will be able to find self worth that dissipated long ago. Hopefully my fears don't come true. I know she's a heavy drinker and MJ user and that's bad enough but thinking about how women can become destitute and turn to prostitution or other ways of getting by - sugar daddy - etc. Well, I will slowly detach, but it's definitely a long process that comes and goes.
And by the way LBL, I am so happy your son has a willingness to get out of his former lifestyle...I have been reading but not posting. I truly hope he continues on the path to wellness.


Active Member
I know so well the catastrophizing an imagination is capable of! I'm my own worst enemy at times.

Try to remember that your thoughts are not facts.

And that whatever the facts are, they are.

You can't box with shadows or fight her demons.
Daughter texted asking if I could bring her food becsuse food stamps card doesn't recharge til the 7th. I brought her a bag of food from home . Also stoppwd and bought a $20 grocery store gift card.
Feel guilty now for doing this but I have not seen her since last Sat. She says she is staying at a couple different friends' houses but I suspect not. I met her at the park...different spot than usual and close to houses so it's possible she is staying somewhere with a roof. She was wearing the same clothes she's worn for a week or more. Obviously not bathed by the looks of her hair. This makes me feel so sad. At 19 a young woman normally values hygene. She told me she ate at a restaurant yesterday (someone gave her money and someone else gave her a gift card to this restaurant a while ago). I wonder how the other customers felt sitting next to her and the unclean smell. My heart is breaking and I try to tell myself there are many ways to live. I just wonder if my once beautiful daughter with sparkling eyes full of curiosity and strong will is now known in town as the girl who stinks. Probably. Not what I wanted for her.


Well-Known Member
It's not bad that you gave her food. Not a big deal. Doubt she can sell food for drug money and we are human.

Your daughter getting money and a gift card certificate (If it's true...drug addicts lie when their lips move) indicate street smarts, the ability to maybe get money etc from strangers, maybe the common panhandling but maybe as a gift from a friend. I feel so bad for people in the street and always offer to buy food and even give money.

It is hard to starve by the way. There are food pantries and shelters with free meals. Also...I know this is not much comfort to you...I get it. But your daughter is not disregarding her benefits and utilizes a food card. Some can't manage their benefits.

Our adult kids break our hearts, but they are smarter than we think about street life. How nice if they would use their intelligence to never use drugs and plan a career. They sadly don't. Not with a brain on drugs.

You were nice to your daughter. You did the little you can do.

Bad hygiene goes along with drug use.

Now be good to yourself and do something that gives you pleasure. You deserve it. Have you tried therapy or Al Anon?
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Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
SW do not feel guilty. There is no rule book of what is right or wrong to do. Feeding tour daughter is not wrong. It is an act of comparison.

She has to want to change. I is devastating when we see them below what we would imagine their bottom to be and see them dwell there. I know I have been there a few tunes with my 18 year old AS.

What we want does not matter sadly. They will do what they choose to do. As Leafy says our children were only on loan to us they never belonged to us. They make their own choices. Good, bad or indifferent. It is what it is.

Detaching is a ongoing process each and every day. Some days are good, and others not so good. We have to live in the moment and do what we can do to help ourselves.
Thanks for your comforting words. Only those who have been there done that understand the sad and surrealness of it all. She does have some street smarts I guess. Yes I have done both therapy and alanon but not regularly. While it is helpful, sometimes it makes me dwell even more. I should go more often but also we live 20 minutes out of town and most meetings are at 7 pm. Excuses I know but I charish my evenings at home. Therapy helped some. I know I can go back if the time comes. And it probably will.
Yes our kids are only on loan. We don't decide their fate and we can't guarantee anything. I wish we could just guarantee security and safety. But even then they make choices that dislodge our bearings.

Reading here all of our similarities really helps in this world of disingenuous, perfect appearances. Helps to know there are others who understand the intense emotional ups and downs this brings on. Hope...defeat....despair....hope....defeat....despair....and repeat. Until eventually despair loses it's strength and I can learn to live with defeat. And hope is something I will always have. Where there is life there is hope.