shes' beginning to crack.......

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Jena, May 5, 2011.

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  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    tonight easy child showed up, unannounced at our house.... came flying in door stating i need my mirror. she had one in her room on wall.

    well it's sat here for two weeks so i utilized it and hung it in our living room lol..... i said sorry it's been here for two weeks.

    ok, i'll take difficult child's mirror........ it used to be mine! i said no you stole her's while we were away in portland, and than you had to give her yours after you broke it. blah blah

    she takes it, difficult child gets upset than says no easy child it's ok you'll be mad at me if you don't take it. easy child takes it than tosses it up against wall, curses at us both and slams out front door.

    difficult child clearly is upset. she than texts from her friends cell phone i need to borrow money. yea ok. i didnt' answer.

    wait til sunday when she finds out no gift. crack, crack, crack. let's hope it's working....... and she returns home soon, goes back to therapy and gets a grip
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Jena, you are way too emotionally involved still to detach. Detachment means she doesn't storm in a home she is not living in and then destroys property. Detachment means you call the cops. Detachment means you don't buy her medications you send her to the health department like others who are on their own and can't afford to buy them. Detachment means no birthday party, no gifts, no special treatment. When you detach, you give them their issues and allow them to work them out without malice or the thought of "got ya!" I understand she is young. My easy child left home at 17---she joined the military at 18---she is now 21 and her life is hers---she made mistakes---she paid the consequences for those choices---but she is doing well---not the life I imagined for her---but it is hers. I didn't talk to my difficult child for a long time. He was abusive to me once and that was it. I allowed him to sit in jail for 23 days and cut off my house phone so he couldn't call. He respects me now. He knows I will not tolerate his talking to me or treating me disrespectfully. Allow her to suffer the consequences of the choices she has made. She will survive.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Everywoman is right.

    I don't get how this is supposed to mean she's getting ready to crack. Sounds more to me like she's determined to run the show..........and is still running the show on her terms.

    She is not living at home. Therefore she has No right to just barge in at anything for any reason, let alone barge in and to demand stuff from you. You should have calmly told her to leave or you'd call the cops. If she refused, call the cops and let them deal with her behavior and drama.

    So, yeah, I agree, you'll still too emotionally entangled in her right now.

    It will probably be helpful to sit and write down behaviors you will not tolerate from her as an adult, whether living at home or not. When you would be willing to help her, this check this one several times and really really think through if in the long and the short run if it is going to help her...........and does she want that help, really need it, and is she going to learn anything.

    If she were to barge into someone else's home and do what she did? She'd be sitting in jail tonight. The world is not going to be so kind in their lessons.

    The first thing you need to work on is not letting her pull you into the drama. I'm thinking this is a gut're probably going to have to retrain yourself to stop and think before you react, once you're good at it, that will replace the old response. But as long as she can get you all worked up emotionally and pull you right into her're going to be miserable and she's going to make little if no progress.

    And like EW said, she will survive.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    jen, you have GOT to set stronger boundaries. EW is right. This is NOT detachment. I know your mommy heart wants her home but I do NOT think that is a wise or healthy goal. the therapist part is. Getting ag rip is. Moving home is NOT.

    It is WAY too soon for you to be thinking she is cracking. She is angry but that isn't a change. she is walking on you and difficult child and that isn't a change either. She stormed into your home and demanded something and had you explaining why she couldn't have it. She got you in that old trap WAY too easy and too soon. You need to call the cops over the mirror she broke. I know it won't be easy. But she has GOT to learn she cannot insist she has to leave and then come home and wreck things and leave them for you to clean up.

    What would you have done if one of difficult child's friends or easy child's friends had come into your home and behaved that way? Or a stranger had? THIS is what you need to do.

    No lending money. Let her sweat on the medications - she can figure out how to get them or to get the doctor to change them to something on the $4 lsit at Walmart. As it is she is oging to wind up leading you a merry chase as she continues to wreak havoc on you and difficult child and your home as she does what she wants.

    Write a letter telling her that she has NO belonging in yoru home and is entitled to NOTHING of yours. That you are willing to do X and Y but that she MUST behave as a guest in your home. That she does NOT live there, can NOT come over with-o calling, can NOT break, damage or destroy anything in the house or on the property. That you will call the cops if she does because she is NOT a resident of your home by HER choice. So she can live with what that choice means. That you love her and want the best for her, but she has chosen to shove you out of her life and to live iwth another mother. So that mother can provide what she needs, take her where she needs to go, and loan her money. You will be happy to visit with her but she must call first, must be on time and must be polite and courteous when she is there.

    If seh cannot do that then she does not need to be in yoru home.

    I know you want a fast fix. I don't think you realize what a whirlwind you can be, or at least seem. I know things can move fast with the ways difficult children change, but we need to take things slowly to ensure real change. Just like it can take six weeks to know if a medication will work, and it is very unwise to make changes early, you also cannot jump at every little sign that your daughter may be changing. chances are she will use this to keep you sucked into her vortex of anger and fear.

    I know how hard htis is. I really do. I know you want a magic wand or pill to wave or swallow to fix things. things with difficult child, with easy child, even with your husband. Life just doesn't work that way.

    There is a line in one episode of CSI that I love. Grissom is talking to a man who's wife has been kidnapped and says that when you need to move fast it is often best to work slow. He means that you need to fully let things work and not just rush around willy nilly. This is esp true in your situation.

    in my opinion if you let easy child move back into your home in the next five or six months it will be WAY too soon. That may even be too soon. I watched my parents let my bro leave to work in the Nat'l Parks in Idaho/Montana every spring and then come home every Christmas. We changed when/how we celebrated to fit his travel. He would come home and stay for months, not ever having a job. One year they made him get an apartment but then he managed to find a way to not have to the next year. Personally I think letting him live at home every winter slowed him growing up in a major way. he worked and saved so that he could lay about for four months of the year with no responsibilities. he did awesome things but they did NOT help him grow up and mature. He did this until the year he got his felonies then met his wife. I honestly have thought he might have come to terms with his alcoholism years before except he got those months to be away from all the people he lived with and got to do nothing or very little but visit people. His best friend's wife feels the same way. We don't say this to my mom, not ever, because it would do no good.

    Your daughter has real problems and they won't be fixed by a couple of months on her own. Esp not if she doesn't get held to the same standards anyone else does as a guest in someone's home. I don't htink she realizes fully that she is now a GUEST in your home - NOT the beloved daughter who lives there. It own't be easy to get this across because she own't like it.

    Talk to your therapist about this. About how you think she might soon be ready to come home and fix her life. She didn't develop her problems in a month or two and they will take at least as long to fix as they did to develop - this means YEARS, not months.

    I am sorry to have to say this. I wish NONE of it was true.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    actually your both wrong, sorry gotta call it the way it is lol..... no offense think you guys are great. yet truth is she barged in, i didnt' think to lock door. she stormed about wanting something she didnt' get.

    she than said i can come here whenever i want. i said no you may not, you do not live here anymore. you have to call first or email it's that simple. the whole thing was maybe ten minutes at best.

    when she didnt' get her way she walked out and i locked door.

    furthermore she emailed for money and i didnt' answer her.
    calling the cops is dramatic and serves absolutely no purpose. been there done that. just adds drama for difficult child and me. after they show she'd already be gone. and than what?? before i do things i think carefully and also in the heat of a moment. my first thought is ok what's my goal here? there is nothing to be achieved by calling the police who than will say ok what do you want us to do after shes' already left.

    i know her all too well. she's in crack mode now. she wants money can't get it. she came here thinking she could walk in whenever she wanted to find out within two minutes it doesnt work that way anymore. she also wanted something and didnt' get what she wanted.

    it may go on for alot longer, who knows how defiant she can be. yet in absolutely no way is she running the show anymore. i did the absolute right thing, i know it in my heart. didnt' blow, stayed cool and calm and collected, kept difficult child calm and easy child didn't get her way with any of it.

    i just wanted to share that she is beginning to crack that's all. sorry you guys dont' agree. i feel good about how i handled it.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Jena, I'm sorry but I agree with the others. She barged into your house making demands, she damaged your property, cussed at you, stormed out, then expected you to give her money! How do you see that as "she's starting to crack"? You stood up to her which is very good, and maybe if you keep this up enough maybe then she will "start to crack". The change today was with YOU, not her, but it might be a beginning if you continue to stand your ground with her and don't give in.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Well that was the way I took it. It can be hard going by the written word.

    If you don't want cops, that part is up to you.........and if it makes it far too dramatic for you and difficult child, then I can't say I blame you for not wanting to call.

    Glad you stood up to her and kept your calm. That is good. But it still a good idea to think about what you're going to do if she decides to up the ante on this power play of hers........and she might before it's all said and done. Helps if you have plans in place beforehand. And I'd keep the door locked to prevent her from coming in like that again. Svcks..........but I've had to do it since katie has been back in town. I don't trust M for a sec. So while for oh about 20 yrs my doors have never been they're locked even when we're at home. (he just walks in too)

    Still don't see how this is her cracking......but you know her better than me. I hope you're right. Me? From what you wrote it sounded more like an overgrown temper tantrum.......with a request for money tossed in for good measure.

    You're changing in your responses to her behaviors, which is positive. It's going to take a while for her to realize that old behavior is not going to work anymore. So I'd expect it to get worst before it gets better.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Donna Lisa your both dead on and i agree 100 percent. i can't change her only me and my responses.... it's just the first cracking in the layers and your right she's going to shake her head for a while confused. she had been emailing me for two days complaining about medications making her sick.i didnt' answer, is she kidding me ? LOL.

    thanks to you guys i am learning slowly like i said.... :)
  9. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I saw this sort of scenario many many times with my difficult child nephew and his mother while I lived with them: he would fly into a rage, break things, physically menace his mother and brother (get right in their faces, shout at full volume, curse and intimidate and threaten), and my sister's reaction would be the same as yours was: stand firm, refuse to comply with whatever he was demanding, BUT he'd get away with breaking things, throwing things around, raging, menacing, etc. Her only goal, and she counted this as a victory, was to get him to stop doing whatever he was doing. There was NEVER a punishment or consequence--she had defined "success" so far downward that it had become merely getting him to stop, which really meant waiting out the storm. He'd eventually fly up to his room or out of the house, and she'd pick up after him.

    This is NOT success and it is NOT useful or constructive. Merely surviving the storm and not giving her whatever she wants and then picking up after her, with zero adult consequence for behaviors that would land anyone else in jail, is not a victory. But I know from long observation that this is a very common routine for parents of difficult children: just wait out the storm without giving in to demands, and then clean up the mess and heave a sigh of relief that the bout of rage is over. I can't emphasize enough that this is very counterproductive--it teaches the difficult child that all that's really expected of her is that she calm down and/or leave the room or premises. That whatever she did--the disrespect, the destruction of property, the curses and chaos and rage--will receive no consequence and is therefore acceptable so long as they stop short of actual assault or real destruction of belongings.

    This is what difficult children do: they force you to define "success" downward to the point where they can simply do as they please and walk away from the emotional or tangible mess they've made and carry on as if it never happened. Their HAS to be a consequence for this sort of absurd destructive and transgressive behavior, and the consequence has to be proportion to the wrongdoing--not just "ok, it's over, let's clean up the mess and count our lucky stars that she's left the house." If you keep responding this way, it will never change. People don't change unless they feel so much discomfort that they *have* to change. You're not making her feel any discomfort for her misconduct--i.e., not providing a consequence in reply to it--so she feels no pressure to alter her behavior.

    It's understandable--a LOT of parents of difficult children do this. difficult children wear them out and eventually many parents just require little more than that normalcy be restored--which lets the difficult child off scot-free and thus perpetuates the behavior.

    My counsel would have been to call the police immediately after the event. If you are very disinclined to involve the police, I would at the very least bar her from the premises, refuse any contact at all, and let her know that any attempt to enter the premises will result in a call to the police. Her behavior was completely unacceptable and should NOT go without a commensurately stern consequence.

    Sorry for my fervor here, but I have seen this very scenario, and the equivalent of your reaction to it, too many times. It gets nowhere and it sends all the wrong messages.
  10. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Belated apologies for my stern, maybe judgmental tone in my last post. I really do want to help via my counsel, not berate. This topic just really pushed some serious buttons for me, as I saw this very scenario, always in simmering but unspoken dismay because I wanted to respect my sister's dominion over her own household, so many times and SO wanted to just step in and take over and throw the difficult child out of the house (bodily) and lock the doors behind him, but had to sit on my hands and let her do things her way, all the while knowing that it wasn't working and that this was how things got this way in the first place--i.e., way too much lenience and enablement and absence of consequences. And I know that that isn't always what makes a difficult child in every household, not by a long shot--but that was certainly how her difficult child was made a difficult child. So perhaps I am generalizing too much from my own experience, and if so, I do apologize. I really am just trying to offer useful counsel.
  11. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    Sounds like you handled the incident well, even though she didn't. I hope you don't think I'm being too harsh, but I would say the goal should not be to get her to "crack," but rather to help her learn to function as an independent adult. That takes you out of the mode where you're either engaging in her drama or ignoring her. If she wants a mirror, let her know she can get a job and earn the money to buy one -- that's what adults do. If the medications are making her sick, let her know she needs to call the doctor -- that's what adults do.

    Hugs. I know it's really hard.
  12. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I'm sorry if you felt I was too harsh as well, but from experience I know that nothing you do or say, or don't do or say, makes a difference in anyone wanting to change. That motivation comes from within and it only comes when they are allowed to reach bottom. Bottom isn't pretty---especially if you are a parent watching---and even after hitting bottom, the rise up is not easy. If given too much help, they become dependent on you for their success. If I could've fixed my difficult child, I would have moved heaven and earth---and I tried---and it cost me my marriage, my sanity, and my social life. I became hyperfocused on his recovery and lost myself.

    I don't want to see anyone walk that path if they don't have to. It is a lonely, lonely walk. Even my friends here couldn't provide what I needed. They offered support, advice, encouragement, and sometimes scolding. It took stepping back and looking at myself to see what I needed to do to save myself. By that time, my marriage was done, and I had to begin rebuilding my social life.

    You are going to do what you feel is right...and that is what you need to do, just understand that even your choices have consequences just as hers does.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Grace has a good point.

    Your goal is to "get her home and get her help". I think you should consider changing that goal to "functional adult" at this point. Sometimes, simply wording things helps your mind wrap itself around what needs to be done.

    When my ex left, but before we were divorced, I would often refer to him to people who didn't know us as "my husband". Someone suggested I stop that, and use his name instead. It was amazing what that one little change did for me...instead of saying "my husband" 10 times, he was John, my husband, and then just "John" 9 more times. And who was John to me anymore? Nothing. Just John. He wasn't "mine" anymore. He wasn't tied to me anymore.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I am somewhere on the realm of her needing to feel some consequences for her actions. If she bursts into your house demanding things, then maybe its time for you to put a no contact order on her until she gets her act together. When Cory stole from me, I had him arrested and he knows I will do it again which is why he wont steal from me again. He wont even think about it. odd how that sunk into his brain! You may have to get tough with her to teach her the facts of life.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Jena, there are alot of different aspects to what's going on in your life. Many of us, like you, find comfort posting when in crisis...especially when it's an ongoing crisis state. So I want to make sure you understand that I am not referring to the number of your posts (no problem for anyone in the family) but the content or verbage in your posts.

    I don't know what the term is but I think there is an appropriate one. It's like you are hyper to the max and each day expect that "something" is going to happen that will resolve the problems of at least one family member. There's no doubt that you are in a difficult position. I'm not expressing myself well, darn it.

    For example when your difficult child saw the therapist and you liked him, you posted so positively that it did sound like the therapist would solve the problems. Then when difficult child was again in crisis you were eager to get her started on a medication that you sounded confident would be a big help. Soon you were posting that the medication was wrong for her and you were eager to get her off of it. With your ??easy child
    it has been extremely up and down on how you have observed or participated in her abnormal decisions. You took a "long term stand" and yet you are eager for her to recognize her mistake and come home and get back on target. Problem is, Jena, she has not been on target for years and years. If she came home today not one thing would have improved nor would she have learned anything about make life choices.

    So...what I think the family is saying is that you need to settle on a plan that is stable and doable for the long term. difficult child doesn't need changing people, therapies, schedules etc. as much as she needs good old boring daily life. ??easy child has to make choices and take actions for herself. That was the decision and that is what it has to be. You are seeing a therapist and riding your horse as your outlet. Your husband I assume is coming home to a quiet home and dinner is on or saved. Keep it as simple as possible. Don't keep hoping for a miracle cure...that isn't one. Take one day at a time. DDD
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have to say (hopefully in a non-hurtful way) that I agree with DDD and I hope I express myself well as I also feel like it is a difficult things to describe.

    I have been here for many years. I think your posts are the most scattered and chaotic I have ever seen. I know, that did not sound nice. How can I say it? OK - what I really think is YOU might be chaotic - in your brain. Have you ever been tested for ADD?
    When I read your posts, I read them faster than anyone else's posts. Because I feel like that is how you would be talking to me if we were in person. You go through so many thoughts in one day - I imagine one would not even write in a journal as much as you write here. AND LET ME BE CLEAR - it is very much OK for you to write however many posts you wish - please do not take this as me suggesting it should change. I believe it is good for you, or I guess you would not do it. I think it is great that you have a place to let it out of your brain. But, I do not think it is typical.

    I envision your house as being very dramatic and chaotic. Am I right? And if so, why? I suspect you will tell me I am wrong.

    So, I am sitting here typing to a complete stranger that I think they are not typical. It feels very wrong and rude. And I REALLY do not mean it to be. I want to be helpful, always. I could delete this (and have many times) but that would not be helpful.

    Do you think you have a chaotic life? Do you think it is partly you? Is it your personality? Do you think it could be ADD? Tell me what you think about yourself in this aspect.

    The reason I think it is helpful to tell you is this: I think you can change your life for the better by getting yourself some help to manage better. I would take some time to think it through and wonder to yourself. Maybe even ask husband or even difficult child. They are probably the best to point out if you do have some tendencies to bring out chaos. I know that did not sound right, not sure how to re-word that one.

    I will never post again if you ask me not to. I promise. But, I do feel awful having typed it, but also a bit of a relief to not hold it in anymore.

    Wishing you the best!
  17. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    Busywend, and DDD, I want to thank you for having the courage and the wisdom (also Susie Star touched on the whirlwind) to try to put into words compassionately the very feelings I also have when I read Jena's posts. Chaos, drama, plantings, whirlwinds, quick fixes, etc. I struggle a great deal with how to post constructively and have been thinking recently that I would do better not posting-- disengaging and detaching so to speak. My reaction has caused me to wonder whether husband and easy child are telling you by their actions that they need somewhere to be where life is calm. I am sorry if I have not been helpful or have been offensive.

    The wisdom and strength of you warrior moms is such an inspiration to me.
  18. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi wow..... lol your all slamming me. yes i do have add. i was tested they said it's borderline yet to me it's full fledged add. all the time. i've learned how to cope thru it slowly. just different techniques i have to use in daily life to get by, stay focused.

    so yea nail on head so to speak. we tried medicating it years ago yet it didnt' work. i can only imagine how it must be to read mine in the mist of crisis and i do apologize....... my mind clicks at lightspeed.

    yet to be honest with easy child gone and i do miss her, dont' get me wrong.... its' so much calmer here. i've had to learn to switch gears. for so long i was on edge, not knowing when it would happen. how bad it would be. we have been dealing with her behaviors besides difficult child's ongoing etc. for years...... i just didnt' post about it that much.

    so now its' quiet except for our dogs and ofcourse difficult child at night. which we still deal with with the same plan.

    so it may seem like oh no what's going on there? i'm so sorry...... i write all of it, because i have zero friends here to vent to and therapy well i'd go everyday if they'd let me and we could afford it lol. family no venting there either. so i'm sure i can be a bit just a tiny bit overwhelming.

    yes though add to the max. i cant' go through a drive thru without calming myself down first. the stimuli of the woman asking me what i want while difficult child is talking in my left ear! oh sheesh enough to drive me batty. i got tested for everything years ago as difficult child did, bipolar, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) etc. i came up Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and borderline as i said add. yet to me i'm all add. two kids talking at once only one's getting my attention.

    plus to be honest im such a hard worker and want so badly to help all, so i move at light speed. the cbt therapist yes is good, he said he can fix all yet it takes time. yet we still really like him.

    anyway thanks for telling me i'm not offended i'll just try to write more calmly i know i've been posting alot because so much is going on as of late yet i'll try to calm down when i write. i can't promise it though!!! :)

    as far as easy child and husband....... no i dont' think so. i present so much different in person than here. i'm not talking a mile a minute etc. easy child has been exhibiting issues since 12 unfortunately, and husband is husband. hes trying though i have to admit. yet he's running into medication issues with the ssri. we're both like oh no.... he's become aggitated on the ssri now. our fear was he was bipolar. hope that doesn't come into reality.

    again post away not offended not rocking back and forth in a corner. i'll try to post clearer calmer yet no guarantees :)
  19. Jena

    Jena New Member

    one more thing.

    as far as a plan for easy child, i'm guided by the therapist, husband and i talk about it. it's just so sad, truly. yet truth is your all right, she isnt' going to turn it around trmw, the day after, or next mos. for now she's gone.

    my plan is to just wake up each day and detatch more and more. What else can a mom do? I reitterated the rules to her once again about doing random drive by's here at our home. I dont' give money. it is a total detach now. I do not email or answer her's either.

    difficult child well she's my little difficult child.... what can i say? she's great in a million ways. our plan with her is to continue therapy with the new cbt guy, continue with same pyschiatrist and help her thru the pain of losing easy child for now.

    honestly i can't organize our week any better than i do. it's all on a dry erase for difficult child so she knows "what's next"... all her activies are scheduled, doctors, tutors etc.

    me, i'm just going to keep on riding each week. whether i have pain or do not i have to do it. The medications i'll be getting soon should help a great deal.

    i just feel soo badly lol that people are chosing not to respond to me because i'm writing soo crazy lol. omg that's soo bad. wow!! yet we all make choices. anyway gotta run for now. difficult child has a mother's day event at library while i sit "calmly".... lol and read all about ms!! yay something new to obsess about!!
  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Jena 2 comments -

    One is that why on earth would you ever want easy child home? She is now 18, needs to be in college, or working. Period. Her time as your little girl is over, she has to grow up, and she should NEVER come back home. I moved out on my 18th BD and it was the best thing I ever did. It took me years to find myself, but I did it. That is what easy child needs. Do NOT let her back in your house - she has to grow up. THAT is detachment.

    Two is that in light of what people have posted - I think I see your challenges as an inability to be proactive and the inability to keep things in perspective. I think it would greatly behoove you to sit down and write down every single long term goal you have. Then, every night review those long terms goals in contrast to the days events.

    For instance;
    One therapist that is great does not = difficult child's total healing.
    One good moment with easy child does not = a miracle.
    One more fight with husband does not = the end of the marriage

    I know it is hard to see reality when you are in the "moment". I do this as well. I get super excited or super upset over once incident, and then think that this one episode means the whole world is black or the whole world is white. Matt does this too. When we think the whole world is black it is called "catastrophizing" according to the psychiatrists who have observed Matt - I am not sure what it is called when we think the whole world is white. But the point is that we take one thing that happens and think the world has moved because of it - when in reality it is just one thing.

    So maybe try the list idea? If not that - try the yoga techniques whenever anything dramatic good or bad happens - and take time to put the event in perspective with your long term goals and your world.
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