She moved into the women's shelter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by accmama, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. accmama

    accmama Guest

    It feels like a new low, being happy that my child is staying at a women's shelter, but I am happy about this.

    Not without drama and anxiety, she called the woman in charge, spoke to her and got herself there and checked in.

    She has up to 60 days there. Hopefully at some point before the 60 days expires, she will get herself into the 2 year transitional living program that is run by the same organization.

    There was so much drama before she went. First she seemed relieved that she had a place to go.

    Then about an hour before her appointment to check in, she called me saying she can't do it and won't go because she is too anxious. Unless of course, I send her money for cigarettes. Then she can smoke and calm herself down and will willingly go there. I refused, saying she needs to go there not matter how worried she is and that if she doesn't, our communication will be very limited as I cannot deal with her drama if she's not willing to take my advice. She then agreed to go and hung up.

    Then of course when she drove there, there was more drama. Calling me to ask where to park??? As if I am there and can help her. She didn't like the "you are a big girl and can figure that out on your own" answer and started yelling at me again. Had to hang up on her and PRAY she'd find a spot and just go. Even if she had to park illegally and have her car towed, I didn't care.

    After awhile, she texted, said she's there and it's a decent place and the people are nice. It is women only- no children, and they seem to be focused on helping people rather than just providing a few nights of shelter. They have programs in place to get people off the street and their facebook pages shows pictures of a nice facility with happy/smiling volunteers. I feel good about that and pray that someday she'sll be on the volunteer side of the shelter, rather than the resident.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mamakathy, although all of this is terribly difficult on us parents, you have consistently done what I would consider the appropriate things when dealing with a young woman who has been acting as your daughter has.

    Yes, I understand that feeling about being happy she is at a women's shelter..............our reality changes under these circumstances and I think what we want most of all is for them to be safe. It is not uncommon for us to be happy that they are in jail rather then the streets or other dangerous places. Sigh. I know how you feel.

    You did well through all the initial dramas, holding strong and not giving in, and as a result your daughter made the right choices and rose to the occasion. Hopefully now she will get herself into the transitional living program and learn the tools she needs.

    It certainly does appear that the less we enable our adult kids and the more we put the onus onto them, the better they fare. That is not always the case, but it is often the case. I know this is difficult for you, but you've made very good choices and now she is safe and has a real chance to move ahead. The rest is up to her. In the meantime, you can take a deep breath and relax with your family and focus on yourself and your younger children. Good job! Keep us posted as to how it's going.
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My difficult child always manipulated me by telling me I was the only family he had. It made me feel very guilt if I wasn't constantly available.

    I'm not sure if some of their dependence is not just habit, it's so much easier to have us do it for them. During the past 12 months that my difficult child was not speaking to me he as not fared any worse without my help. At least he has a job and a place to stay and I didn't do anything. I took the time to evaluate ME and the things I was still doing to enable and with the detachment life became more peaceful.

    I'm glad she went to the shelter, mine refused to and would rather spend nights sleeping in the woods. There are programs out there for them if they only try.

    Enjoy the peace and take care of you.
  4. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I love your strength, mamakathy.

    Your daughter will learn so many good things where she is, now.

    Holding a good thought for her.


  5. accmama

    accmama Guest

    Thank you all. I still feel like I'm gambling with her life, but logic tells me that I must let her go through this- for her sake as well as the rest of the family. It hurts though.

    My mother, who she had been living with until a month ago, is a nervous wreck and won't even let me talk about my difficult child to her. She says she doesn't want to know and can't handle thinking about her. Ugh.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MK, you're not gambling with her life because it isn't your life to gamble with, it's hers, she is doing the gambling. If she were 7 or 15 that would be different, she is 19 so she has to learn how to have life skills which you can't teach her. Many of our kids need to learn about life on their own terms and those terms are often pretty scary and weird for us, but really, what choice did you have? You know in your heart as well as logically that there were few or no other options which would have worked out in a healthy way. At some point she has to face her choices, it may as well be now.

    Your mother is having the response many who aren't the PARENTS have, they may not know the inside track the way we do and don't understand the choices we make. Let it go. You will likely never be able to explain it to her in a fashion she'll understand or abide............after awhile, it becomes easier to allow others their opinions, judgments and observations without responding. They simply don't know.

    It hurts MK, it hurts a lot. I know. I've been there too, so have many of us..........really, try to do something kind for yourself, even taking a bath, or curling up in front of a fire with a book and a cup of hot chocolate...........anything which is soothing and calming............and just for you............take care of you now.........
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh MK, you might want to put in a signature and bio on your page so we can recall your circumstances and respond accordingly. You do that by going up in the right hand corner and clicking on settings, scroll down and look on the left under profile and create one, one which protects your anonymity.
  8. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Oh. I can be so dorky, sometimes. I could not, for the life of me, figure out who you used to be. I had no warm and fuzzy feelings for the new name, and could not think of a thing to say. Rereading the thread this morning, I realized who you used to be and BOOM.


    accmama, this is what will happen for your daughter in a Women's Shelter. She will be surrounded by other women, some her age or younger, most older. She will learn about their lives and their life choices through the groups they hold at the Shelter daily. She will learn about what it looks like, up close, when you have children you, or the man you chose to father them, cannot take care of. She will see women who fear for their lives and for the lives of their children. All these things will be invaluable knowledge for her as she begins putting her life together, again.

    She will learn how to begin again from where she is, and there will be help for her to do that.

    difficult child daughter has lived in Women's Shelters more than once. They have been a very good thing, for her. There are so many women there, all caring, all trying to make sense of what has happened to them. There are women there who share what they know about the dynamics of physically abusive relationships, and about the difference between a place to be and a safe place to be, and how to figure that out.

    I wanted to make a comment about grandma, too. When a relative takes a child in, inevitably, part of that decision is going to be that they may be able to help the child when you could not. There is a certain judgment call there, for all three parties involved ~ the difficult child, the parents, and the relative taking the child in. As Recovering posted, relatives seldom know the full backstory. And why should they? Our families are experiencing something horribly traumatic. The destruction of everything we've held dear is not a peep show. Anyway, when the relative can't do anything with the child, either...there is going to be a time when they need to re-examine everything they thought they knew ~ about the difficult child, about the situation, about themselves, and about you.

    We absolutely found that to be true, as we went through our times with difficult child daughter.

    And I still feel hatred to this day for those who used my family's tragedy to elevate themselves.

    Oops! Where did that come from?

    Cedar blushes and slinks away.


    Anyway, that is where I think the grandmother is coming from. Not so much judging you or difficult child, but reassessing her whole understanding of what the situation is. She probably doesn't want to say anything hurtful, and is so angry and confused herself right now that she has decided to say nothing.

    I'm sure this hasn't been easy for her, either. I would be so heartbroken, if I were the grandma. Too much pain. Relationship with a grandchild is such a different, special thing. It's all about fun and being loved so specially, for the grandma. This experience has changed her image of herself, and of her grandchild, too. Maybe you could break the ice a little if you got her something nice ~ maybe a little box of candy or something, and told her you understand, and that you know how much she loves difficult child, and that you appreciate that she tried without judging?

    That would melt my heart, in a minute.

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    She's doing very well to get herself there. You should both be proud. If it costs you cigarettes for a while, that's a deal I would make.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have not been there done that but "Congratulations!". You have traveled the road and although it has been painful SHE made an awesome and mature choice for herself. That is a huge step that would have been impossible if you had continued on the path of enabling. Fingers crossed that she can absorb the situation and use it to move forward. Hugs to you.DDD