sleeping with doors locked; difficult child left, wants to come home, Part II

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    What has it been, like 2 days? She sent me an email through myspace of all places telling me how wrong she was/is, and that she wants to come home. She listed all the things she missed about "us" - everything she listed were things that we haven't done in over a year. She also mentioned that she feels its all her fault that we aren't close anymore and points out that she thinks it all changed when easy child went away to college....blather, blather, blather.

    An apology is always a nice thing, but I'm just not feeling it. I have been down this road before and I know that after all is said and done, if I let her come home now things will just fall back into place...the begging to use my car, the late curfews, the rotten attitude, the having to hide my change, etc.

    In a perfect world, it would be nice if I could just open my arms, welcome her home, patch things over and move ahead. But like I said, I am not feeling it right now. I am thinking that she really needs to put forth a better effort at showing me she is truly ready to get back in counseling, get herself a job, ANY job, and start making things happen for herself before I'd consider allowing her back home. And by then, who knows, maybe she would rather find an apt for herself.

    So, wise ones, how do I tell her this without it sounding like a door slamming in her face? I think I'm doing fairly well with the detachment, but I think this is where my skills tend to run a little "short". I love her and I don't want her to feel that I am rejecting her as my daughter, as if I don't love her. I just am rejecting this notion that she has about being able to move out when she is angry and out of control but then back in when she's feeling contrite...when in all honesty, in her letter it sounded more like she missed her bed and dog the most...I think she's just not liking the insecurity of not knowing where she will sleep tonight, the next night, etc...and meals for that matter? I can't imagine that she's even eaten anything sine Sunday.

    I would like to see her be proactive in making that call for counseling (like she said she wanted to do in her letter) and work towards something. I guess her cousin and his girlfriend (she stayed at his apt with his girlfriend last night) talked with her for quite some time and together they made her realize and understand a few things. My nephew was/is a major difficult child and I know he has a lot of regrets about messing up and around for so long. He's 26 and he still hasn't fully matured in some ways, but he's getting his life on track and that counts for something.

    Again, H feels as I do about this, but he asked ME, "So, what are you going to do?" and I really don't know how to do this next part. Words of wisdom welcome! Thanks~
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    That was the hard part for me, too. Saying no without sounding like I'm rejecting. When mine was out and about before we moved here, she wanted to come back home. I knew if I said yes that nothing would change. She needed to hit a bottom. So, when she hinted, I simply told her that as much as I loved her, I could not live with her. It caused too much anger and resentment in both of us. She didn't like the answer and it caused the usual screaming and accusations but, when she finally did come home, it did make a difference. Some of the old behavior was still there but not as much, not as severe and things never again were as ugly as they used to be.

    I actually practiced what I was going to say when she hinted (she would never flat out ask because that would mean she had lost) long before that day ever came. It helped.
  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Jo,
    I admire you for keeping your strong stance and I think it is the correct one. She is "talking" but so far has not actually done anything. I think in your reply to her it is important to stay neutral--MB had a good answer for her dtr. She really does need to actually follow through on the things she says she will do before you could consider having her back home. I think you are so right--if she actually does some things she may find some confidence and may not even want to return home. I was lucky in that respect--once I kicked difficult child out she didn't ever want to return to live with us. But before that, when she was leaving her rehabs, she sounded so good--she had so many good plans and was so sorry she had treated us so badly, as you say, "blather, blather, blather." It lasted for maybe 2 days and then she was back to her old self.

    I think it will be hard to tell her no without her feeling rejected because of her skewed view of things but you have no control over that. You can only do your best and if she is serious she will get that counseling appointment. and learn how to interpret your words and actions in a healthier way.

    Again, you are doing so well!!!!!!

  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    A tough one, to be sure.

    If difficult child is borderline, she's likely to decide you rejected her no matter how you put it. (at least for a while) I know Nichole would have at one time, not so sure how she'd view it right now. But one of the things that prevents her from "moving out" when she gets mad is the simple fact she knows the house rule is Once you move out, you don't come back.

    This is one of the reasons that rule is in place.

  5. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    We let our difficult child come home again last May, after rehab, promises, contrition, the works. She truly was sorry about her choices and truly made the effort to turn things around in her life, for a long time, longer than ever before. Ultimately it didn't work. We followed the same old trajectory, soaring high at first. Gradually she ran out of momentum and began coasting along neither making progress nor slipping. Then she started to get antsy again, chafing at the house rules, complaining about no car, impatient with easy child 1... in a nutshell, she got used to being at home, having things provided for her, and memories of being grateful for a roof, a bed, and meals faded.

    In hindsight, wife and I would not have consented to this last year-long stay under our roof, nor the three or four or however many it was times before that. In the long run it always boiled down to enabling destructive patterns and postponing the inevitable day of reckoning.

    What to say without seeming to slam the door in her face? "I love you and always will, but it is impossible for you to live here. The only way forward is for you to learn how to cope with life on your own. As long as we shield you from consequences of your choices you will never be able to learn to make good choices, and that will end up destroying you and us both."

    Stay strong! I feel like our difficult child maybe could have been independent by now, had we not caved and let her move back again so many times over the years. Keeping a good thought for you.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Just sending Hugs -

    BRAVO HWGA words are true, not cutting, and to the point.
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    A hug from me, too. It's hard to tell our kids that it's time to go, but you know that it's time. The only time my difficult child is contrite is when he wants his way. Then it goes right back to the same ole, same ole! Can she stay with cousin? With dad again?
  8. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Very nicely said!
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks all. HWGA, I printed out your words - I am going to memorize them.

    She stayed at her cousins last night and this morning I woke to an email from her asking if she could come home, how wrong she was to hit me, how sorry she was for her attitude, how she finally sees that our deteriorated relationship is due in large part to HER. I did not respond.

    I had to go to a work function ALL day today. When I arrived home at 4 she was here. Yikes! I spoke without thinking and asked, "What are you doing here?" and she said cousin dropped her off and I followed up with, "Well, where are you going to go now?" She mumbled something and left the room.

    My allergies are horrible and I haven't slept much these past two nights so I went to take a nap and told difficult child we'd talk when I woke up. So, later, after dinner (she didn't eat) I asked if she wanted to talk and she said she couldn't because it was obvious I didn't want her here and she's looking for a place to stay. I said ok and went to Petco with the puppy to get her a name tag (the silly things we do to run away!).

    When I came back, and after a lengthy conversation with exh, difficult child and I sat at the table and I gave a short dissertation on how I love her, but...

    It was good, I covered all the 'boohoohoo, poor me attitude that I am sick of and will not tolerate anymore from her. I reminded her of how good she's had it and how we've all worked hard to provide a good loving home in a nice area etc., about how she's had every opportunity that her sister had so stop making it seem to others that we favor one over the other, and other good stuff. I told her that much as I love her and would love for all of us to be able to live happily under the same room, I didn't think it was possible at this time. I told her that I'd have to see some efforts and results on her end before I would consider having her here. She went to another friend's house, she's hoping for a few nights.

    Exh offered for her to go to his house, she declined. One thing that exh said to me that really made me stop and think. He said that difficult child seeing monkeyboy is really not and should not be a sticking point or a big issue for me. That if difficult child was working and/or going to school as we had hoped for, we probably wouldn't be so so terrible upset about monkeyboy. We'd still probably not love him to death, but he would not be one of the key issues. Exh ultimately said that the key issues are about difficult child making a life for herself, being thankful *if* she is living here for free, creating and working towards goals, etc. THOSE, he said, are the key issues - the monkeyboy stuff is secondary. It's been a long time since exh said anything that made sense to me. I actually said something similar to H last week, but when difficult child is flying off the handle, it's easy to hate monkeyboy because, well, because he's a drip. So, I am going to try and 'check' my feelings about monkeyboy and just focus on the REAL issues that I have with difficult child instead.

    So, for tonight, I can sleep with my bedroom door unlocked. Thanks all~
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You did good, Jo. She's talking the talk, to be sure. But so far she hasn't walked the walk. I'm glad that Exh had something to add to the conversation. He's probably right, too. Monkeyboy should probably come out of the equation for a while. MB has to know that you won't tolerate verbal or physical abuse of difficult child in your presence. He has to respect you, even if he won't respect her.

    Enjoy your peace and quiet for now. It seems like you had a "rules setting" conversation today. Hopefully soon you'll be able to have a "what's your plan" conversation soon.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    It does sound like it went well. I hope much of it sunk in.