Seeking help with addicted daughter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tired Mama in WV, Nov 9, 2018.

  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.
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  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.
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  7. Jenna0823

    Jenna0823 Member

    I have had so many similar problems with my daughter who is 31. Read my posts here and you will see the similarities. I too have been cut off from my daughter and now my granddaughter. It’s horrible to miss our grandchildren but the peace of my daughter being out of my life is priceless
  8. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I've been through a very similar situation and it's so difficult when grandchildren are involved. Except for when she moved to another state my daughter depended on me for lots of help with my granddaughter so she had a reason to stay in contact with me and maintain baseline respect towards me. That being said, when I have been concerned about the effects of her drinking on my granddaughter I have never hesitated to call CPS. I remember doing it 4 times, but it could be more. This last time they were actually very responsive and got in contact with me twice after visiting with my daughter and granddaughter. Did it cause conflict between me and my daughter? Not as much as you would expect. I think it freaked her out so badly every time that she sort of got herself reigned in and didn't take her anger out on me. I'm sorry you're going through this as I know how distressing it is. Please try and keep your focus on yourself and maintaining your own health and peace of mind. If you fear for the safety or care of your grandchild or your unborn grandchild I urge you to call CPS. These kids can't speak up for themselves, so we have to be their voice no matter how hard it is.
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  9. Tired Mama in WV

    Tired Mama in WV New Member

    Thank you so much for all of your responses. I have not been back on this site except to just read posts for a long time. I am back in relationship with my daughter, in fact she and her little girl are living with me. But, my life stays in a state of chaos with her, just today she has to go to magistrate court because she took a pair of glasses from an optometrist office where my sister in law worked. My sister-in-law ordered the glasses for my daughter and then quit her job and moved. She said that one of the girls in the office told her to go ahead and take the glasses, so she did, and then the Dr filed charges against her. After she goes to magistrate court, she has a meeting with DHHR because the are investigating her with Olivia's care. She moved out of her boyfriend's house on December 16th and has been back with him on two different occasions. I told her that if she goes back to him again that she will have to make other living arrangements. I can do that to her because of everything that she has put me through. But, I really have trouble making my little 21 month of granddaughter homeless. I am at my wits end! I don't think that this nightmare will ever end. Since she has moved in my house in December, her boyfriend has threatened to kill me, to burn my house down and to destroy my car. She just acts like it is not a big deal because he really won't do anything. I am beside myself, I don't think that he has the guts to do anything to me but I am not sure. He did not send any of this stuff directly to me, so I don't have any proof that he has threatened me or I would at the very least file a police report on him. I have asked her several times to send me the text messages and every time she says that she will but so far nothing. I guess I am just looking for any ideas on how I should handle this situation. I really don't want to put her out of my house but I am kind of afraid. You would think that things would die down since she has been gone for a few weeks but I think that it is getting worse. From what I can tell this boy is absolutely insane! He will call my house 20 times in a row. I hang up on him and then take the phone off the hook but no one should have to live this way. I could go on and on with more examples but I think that this give a good look into what is going on. Any advice would be appreciated.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    With your daughter's drugging history, have you thought of trying to get custody of your granddaughter? I dont really know how that works but some here have done it.

    I would have tried to file a police report on this boyfriend. I would want a paper trail.
  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, WV

    Your daughter will never change as long as she lives under your roof.

    It sounds like she is taking pills even though she is pregnant (per your original post).

    My brother and his wife now have their oldest two grandchildren from their oldest daughter. The father’s parents have their three younger ones, because my brother is disabled and cannot take care of toddlers/preschoolers full time. It is a terrible situation. A few years ago, they stopped letting their daughter move back in with her ever-growing family. It was hard, but they couldn’t take the chaos anymore. They actually moved away for a year to get away from them.

    I just sent them some kids clothes, underclothes, etc. because the mom dropped them off with almost nothing, and my sis-in-law lost her job a few months ago and hasn’t found anything yet.

    Is there any way you can work with DHHR to get the kids taken from her eventually? She shouldn’t be around kids.

    Call the police and report these threats from the boyfriend. Your daughter won’t protect you from him. This can’t be tolerated. If they come out and talk to your daughter, at least you will have a report on file for the future. Who knows, she might even be lying. It would be nice to know.

    Call the police if your daughter does anything threatening or dangerous.

    As long as nothing changes, nothing will change.
  12. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    My daughter and granddaughter lived with me 2 different times. The first time she fled her abusive baby daddy. Of course, just a few days later she was back in contact with him. I told her if she wanted to be in a relationship with him she couldn't stay in my house. So she packed up the baby and left in a blizzard, of course telling everyone I kicked her out. It had me worried sick, but she found a place for her, the baby and the baby daddy to live and wound up with a car somehow. Who knows where that came from. The second time she came to live with me was about 2 years later and she had been away from her baby daddy for some time and had moved to another state with some guy she met on the internet. Surprisingly that didn't work out, so she showed up on my doorstep with the baby at 2 am. I let her in and the following day we had a discussion and I laid out ground rules: she had to have a job in 2 weeks, she had to give me 30% of her pay towards living expenses, she had to ask at least 2 days in advance if I would babysit, she had to come home every night, etc. She did OK for awhile, but then started slipping, as she always does. She seems to run in 3-4 month cycles with good/bad behavior. So I told her she had to go and she can't live with me again. As soon as she broke the agreement I told her she had to go. It wasn't fun and I was super stressed for awhile, but it was the best in the long run. She struggled for quite awhile, but got herself together and maintained housing and a job and was sober for 18 months. I never give her money for anything. If she needs something paid for my granddaughter (like gymnastics fees) I pay it directly and I buy the things my granddaughter needs, rather than giving her money to purchase things. Once I figured out my boundaries and how to maintain them and stuck to it things changed a lot for me. It made my life so much easier and peaceful.