Seeking help with addicted daughter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tired Mama in WV, Nov 9, 2018 at 5:29 AM.

  1. Tired Mama in WV

    Tired Mama in WV New Member

    I have been visiting this sight for a little while and all of you give great advice. I am seeking some direction for help with my daughter. She has been a problem since she turned 12 years old. She started out smoking weed and drinking and by the time she was 15 she ended up in juvenile jail for because she would not go to school and went into the court system because of truancy. She was in jail from the time she was 15 until she was 21 because she would not do what they told her. The court sent her to two different colleges, beauty school and even just keeping a job at Walmart. She has been to most of the juvenile detention centers in WV and I have followed her to everyone. Every place that they put her she would either fail drug tests, sleep with married men that she was working with or she would get drunk. Fast forward to 2016, when they finally let her out of jail because they were tired of fooling with her, it wasn't two months before she met up with a guy who is a addict also and he had just enough drugs and money to keep her happy. She got pregnant by him after they had been dating 3 months and she gave birth to one of the prettiest little girls that I have ever seen. She seemed to be doing better but before Olivia turned one year old she was back on pain pills. She is currently on methadone and pregnant with a little boy. I believe that she and the man that she is with are both are mentally ill. She is abusive to me all of the time. I have cut her out of my life in the last couple of months but it is very hard because of the baby. I love her little girl and I feel that I am missing all of her life. I would love to see the baby but I will not be in their drama. I know that getting out of her life for the time being is the right thing but I really struggle without seeing my grand daughter. I was wondering if any of you have advice on how to handle missing your grand children. I don't want to be involved in her day to day crisis by crisis life but I sure do miss Olivia.
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Tired.

    I do not have any experience with this particular issue but just wanted to welcome you and let you know that you are NOT alone. More will be along to offer you advice and what works for them.

    I'm glad you found us!
  3. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    From my observation unstable addicts don't make competent parents. In the long term anyway. So many grandparents make some kind of compromise, stifle their feelings and keep some kind of contact so they can keep an eye on the baby. This is not in any way a judgement. There are no right or wrongs. What one person can live with is not right for another. You know what is right for you and your situation. You can read about my struggle cutting out my son on another post. In that thread there is a lot of advice on separating yourself from your child. I think the same applies to grandkids. The only perceived difference is that the baby is innocent and helpless. Some would argue that an addict child is the same despite their age. The real difference is that we can't do anything for our addict kids. For minors we can.

    Your question is how to handle missing your grandchild. I suggest you look at a post on the sub abuse forum about this. i will try to find the title. Its never easy. Your daughter has control of your relationship with your grandchild. My best advice probably is the AA prayer... Accept the things you cannot change.

    Look at the post 30 year old daughter has done horrible things

    You are not alone.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    In the 3 and a half years I have posted here there have been so many grandmothers in this situation. There is no right answer except the one that you can live with. What you will come to is the less bad solution. There is one alternative that is worse than the other. And that is how you will decide.

    I am not in your situation. I would long for grandchildren. I believe I would subject myself to any indignity to be close to them. But the reality of things is that I threw out my son from a rental we own, 4 months ago, because it got too much to take.

    But I am trying to find a compromise with him. He is homeless in a metro a few hours from here. And I find that intolerable too. So I am in the same kind of situation, deciding between two hard things. The way I am dealing with it is putting forth what are non-negotiables for me. A bottom line. And I am saying, this is what I need. I can't go on the old way. In our case my son needs the housing.

    If you have something that your daughter wants and needs, I think you may have leverage. It is really sad to have to put it this way, but this is real life. And there is the bottom line, which is you love your daughter. You hate the drama but you love her.

    I think missing Olivia will decide things. Either you will want to stop the pain, and draw a line, or you will decide to try for relationship, and try to change yourself in order to deal with the reality of how things are.

    A friend told me about a couple she knows with a young adult child with fetal alcohol syndrome, who began drugs and went homeless. He met a woman and had a baby. The parents had an in law apartment and the couple with the grandbaby moved in the house. (I am pretty sure they stopped the drugs.) And the grandmother/mother got an apartment because she felt consumed by the situation. And the father is in heaven caring for the baby. I write this, because people all over the country are dealing with this right now.

    But not one of us is like the other. We come to these resolutions through a great deal of pain and struggle. I hope you keep posting. Welcome.
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Tired, I am so sorry you find yourself in this situation. I am fortunate that neither of my two wayward ones have any children, so I don't have specific advice for you on how to deal with that. I think for me I would feel the need to stay at least somewhat involved, if possible, so I could monitor what is happening with the child and step in if I felt I needed to. Or call CPS if warranted - I would not hesitate to do this if you feel like the babies are at risk. It seems likely with her history that she may at some point lose custody of her children. Maintaining some form of relationship with Olivia and your future grand now might help keep you in the loop when and if that happens. It might help you to spend some time getting very clear about what you are and aren't willing to do. If it comes to it, are you willing to take your grandchildren in? How much drama are you willing to endure for the sake of maintaining a connection with them now?

    If it helps, there ARE ways to stay connected to our difficult kids while minimizing the impact of drama on our lives. It takes very strong boundaries, both the kind you impose on them (I'm not giving you money, I'm hanging up if you talk to me that way) and the kind you maintain within yourself (learning to "change the channel" when worries and bad thoughts try to consume you, focusing on self care and other things that bring you joy when you are not directly interacting with your child). I will not say I have fully mastered these! But I have come to a place with mine where I can maintain connections - somewhat from a distance - without letting them destroy me. I've held my boundaries long enough that they don't test them much anymore (this takes time, early boundary setting can be hell). They know I'm not a regular money source. they know I won't bail them out from legal problems. They know I'm not going to accept them talking to me disrespectfully. They know the most they will get from me if they come to me with self-created drama is "oh, that's too bad - sorry to hear that." They know I will not attempt to solve their problems.

    For the most part this approach has worked for me. I've gotten really good at bland sympathy and deflection. I refuse to allow them to make THEIR problems MY problems. (Most of the time - I won't claim that I never get sucked in, but I try.) And I refuse to take anything they do or say personally. I try to be like Teflon and just let their drama and BS slide off of me. Again, it's not perfect - I'M not perfect - but it enables me to sleep at night most of the time. And it's improved my relationships with them immensely. I've taken a lot of my approach from Zen, I guess.

    I don't know if this approach might work for you to allow you to have some connection with your daughter and most importantly with your granddaughter and the baby to come. Your daughter is different from my kids and may respond to your boundary setting differently. Your history and circumstances are different. So if you determine that in your case you have to maintain no contact to protect yourself from drama, I understand. All of us here have had to come to our own balance that we can live with. You deserve peace and safety. Hugs to you and sweet Olivia.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tired Mama, I'm sorry you're going thru this with your granddaughter. I was in a similar situation with my daughter who suffers from some kind of mental anomaly (she has never been diagnosed because she doesn't believe anything is wrong, but I have a history of mental illness in my bio-family.) When my granddaughter was 11 I went to court for guardianship. I know your struggle intimately.

    I think you did the right thing in removing yourself from your daughter's orbit.....and I know how much it hurts to not see your granddaughter. These choices are very difficult.

    I'd suggest for the time being that you put it all aside for the moment and put your focus on "extreme" self care and self nurturance. You've been thru the wars with your daughter already and now you're facing yet another hurt. These are big hurts too. In making self care, self compassion and self kindness the priority in my life, it soothed my broken heart and gave me the strength to face whatever I had to face. Many of us who are in the trenches with our kids for long periods of time, forget how to self care, we are so spring loaded to care for everyone else, especially our wayward kids....... and often we become depleted, exhausted, depressed and filled with fear and anxiety. When our "cup is full" we're more able to perceive the situation in different ways and accept what we can't change a little more easily.

    Therapy, meditation, prayer, being in nature.....whatever it is that brings you peace, solace & joy.....for the moment, you're stymied by your daughter's choices.....take the time to love yourself....

    Hang in there Tired Mama, you're not alone, we're here with you. I'm glad you're here with us.