stop the blame game

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hope1972, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Hope1972

    Hope1972 New Member

    I don't know where to start. I figured this was a safe place. I am floored by the extent of parents with the same issues. I haven't been on any forums for over 10 yrs. I am not too sure of how this works. I have seen some of the guidelines after reading thru this site and they are very good. I am near the end of the "blame game" and I believe I have a long way to go dealing with my daughters illness. Do I just start telling our story or only the current situation? I will start with the current situation with in the last week. Please advise on anything else.
    my daughter is 21. She tried to commit suicide last Fri. I begged her to check into a mental health facility. She stayed in the ER dept. for 2 days. I was called to give "collateral" last Sunday. I told the case worker she absolutely had no business being out. I thought this would keep her there and get her the help she needs for the bipolar disorder she lives with. She was out by Monday. I found out she took a title loan out on her car and was hoping that she would stay in the hospital for mental help so I took her car to a safe place so it wouldn't get towed and figure it out when she got out. She walked from the hospital to the car and won't return. She thought I tricked her by telling the staff she shouldn't be let out. For 2 days I felt relief thinking she was going to be forced to get help. After she got out she drove 250 miles to pick up a "friend" and I could tell by her voice she was in a manic state of a high. She was going to go visit a friend in this city 4 hours away for 3 days and while there drive another 4 hours to sit by the ocean. The next text from her was that she is going to be a flight attendant and show her son (that she has left with his father and my mother) the world. This was at between 8pm and 11pm at night. The next morning at 5am she was driving back to our area.She had no sleep and was driving with a person we don't know. She showed up at my mothers house and she fed her. The last week I have been told be her that she slept at a friends, in her car and at a motel. She has made a string of very bad choices in the last 4 yrs. She has a warrant, now in a situation to get her car towed, she has gone thru 15+ jobs, has a theft addiction, homeless by choice and the family afraid of being robbed, on medications. I don't know the extent of drug and alcohol abuse but, I know there is abuse. Something came to mind when I found her walking on the street last Monday looking for her car. We sat in the car and spoke for 30-45min. She blamed me for not getting her the "right" kind of help. I was not surprised that I was the blamed. I looked at her and told her "my carburetors are messed up in the car and it's your fault since I picked you up. Fix them." she thought I had lost my mind. I looked at her and said "this is the way I feel when you blame me for something totally out of my control." I expressed that the choices she has made and still making are hers. Stop blaming me! I'm exhausted and can't sleep most nights. I just want her to get help.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is she psychotic? If so, she isn't going to make good choices until she is caught doing something wrong, taken in, and put in a hospital. Unfortunately, the mentally ill have rights, even if they are psychotic and don't know they are sick. The drug use can't be helping, but that may be part of the mania, especially if psychotic.

    Funnily (not in a silly way) I just finished reading a book about a young man who had Bipolar I and he did not understand he was sick when he was sick. He thought he was enlightened and a God and could not understand why nobody believed him.

    If this were me, I would not have long talks with her. Less is more is my motto.

    You are not to blame for bipolar disorder. It is a chemical disorder in the brain and has nothing to do with how she was parented.

    Big hugs for your hurting heart. Hang in there. Others will come along.
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  3. Hope1972

    Hope1972 New Member

    Thank you for your reply. I do believe she is Psychotic. She admittedly speaks of her anxiety and bipolar issues and now is on a free program for counseling and free medications. She supposedly is taking the medications but, there are responsibilities to keeping the program, such as going to a counselor once a month and getting her medications filled at Walmart or Kroger. She got a job and is hooking up with a guy and they are living in her car and a motel when they get money. She refuses to check into a program. She has a major theft addiction and has admitted to this as well. I know at this point I am not to blame, it has taken me several yrs to say it. I gave her everything she needed to succeed. I worked so hard to save for her to go to college, by her a car for her A report cards, gave her full access to my credit cards. She was on her way to being a exceptionally successful woman and in a short amount of time flipped, into a nightmare. I just don't understand where things went wrong. Life isn't about focusing on the bad or hard. It's about seeing the joy and love from family and friends. She was the center of our family and we encouraged her, built her up. We didn't have it easy for many years but, we always had family and a support system. It's like chasing a dog with treats and they keep running into the street. She lies so much we never know what to believe now. I am so saddened to see so many parents dealing with these issues. There is hope. I know there is. If not for her, then for me to learn to cope.
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  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hope1972, welcome to the forum. I am so sorry about your pain and your daughter's obvious serious problems.

    I think one of the most important facts you stated is that she is 21. I know, if she's like my son, it was 21 going on about 14, but in the eyes of society, they are adults. That's both good and bad for us. Bad in that it's hard to intervene, even when they are lying on a gurney in the ER, helpless and crying, and good, in that we can know they are considered adults and we have truly had 21 years of trying to give them everything good we had to offer.

    When there is mental illness (mild to severe), and we live in the U.S, our options are limited. It's a "perfect storm" of distress for us and for them, and I truly don't know the answer.

    My son's anxiety and mild depression were his "triggers" I believe, to a life of addiction, that has only just ceased in the last 15 months. We basically had six years of H#$$, trying to help him, get him help, beg him to get help, deal with rehabs, doctors, police, jails and lawyers. From where I sit today, very little to nothing I ever did had an impact on him. He just kept on and on, until he decided he wanted to change.

    There is help, but people have to want it. They have to want it more than they want their life today. For that to happen, their life today has to be so miserable that the alternative looks better. Most of we parents, we keep proving the safety net that prevents that "aha" moment from having even a chance to occur, and then to penetrate, and there is no guarantee that it ever will.

    I finally had to bow my head, get on my knees and accept that I am just not powerful enough to make another person to do anything.

    That was my "aha" moment.

    I believe my son's "perfect storm" of turnaround came in a jail cell in late June 2014 when he laid awake all night, afraid that he was going to prison for four years, per his court-appointed attorney. He told me later that he laid there in fear all night long. The next day, as is often the case in our over-crowded jails, he walked out again, with the threat still hanging there. He hasn't gotten into trouble since that day, and he has steadily worked to rebuild his life. It has me hopeful but cautious, still...he taught me well.

    If you are getting to your own "aha" moment (which by the way I also define as detachment with love), there is a lot you can do to help yourself.

    I call it a toolbox, and in it I have my tools that work for me. Mine start with Al-Anon, which has been a place of growth, change and possibility. If you haven't consider this tool, please do. It's free and it's accessible in almost every community worldwide, and it is a lifesaver. There are also online meetings, and there are many books you can buy, read and study. They are all wonderful and contain stories of people who have walked the same path you and I are walking.

    Other tools include journaling, this forum, prayer/meditation/quiet, learning how to wait and not react, exercise, doing things for myself that I like to do, good trusted friends, flowers for my kitchen table.

    Some of these tools sound trite and overly simple, even, but they signify an important mindset: I am going to start taking care of myself.

    Many mothers have never done this---me included. Everything was for my kids, my career, my community...etc. Leaving very little to nothing for me. I gave it all, because I "didn't need any help." I was proud of that. No more. I need help. I need rest. I need time. I need peace. And I deserve all of that, and today, I'm willing to work for it.

    Today, I say that my precious son is 49% and I am 51%. I work toward that in all my relationships. Again, a simple statement, but it is packed with tremendous meaning. I love my family and I love my husband and I love my two grown sons, but I also have to love myself.

    I was a wreck by the time I started accepting my own fate, that I can't fix or change or manage other people, and that I had to accept reality, as hard as it was to do. There is no guarantee that when we start to change, they will also start to change. In fact, my son didn't, for years. I had to work to let go of that, too, and it had to become for me, instead of just for him.

    This is a long road, a long journey, and it is one step forward, at times, and two back. It's about progress, not perfection. We are only human, and we love our precious children so much, and we want so much for them to have good lives. Detachment with love is a learned behavior, as it doesn't come naturally. It doesn't mean a hard cold heart that doesn't means learning to let go of people who are adults means offering love and support and encouragement, but not enabling and protecting them from the consequences of their own means being there to help when they are truly ready for help.

    I understand that your daughter is psychotic. Does she know reality? Or sometimes she knows reality and sometimes she doesn't? You are the only one who can evaluate and decide what your own detachment might look like, and if that is a possible tool for you.

    We can offer you support, care, encouragement and ideas here, but we know your decision is always your decision, and we will support you no matter what.

    Warm hugs this morning. Keep posting. We're here for you.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Hope1972,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. I'm glad you found us here, it's a good place to be.

    What you have said here is key. We have no control over how our Difficult Child choose to live their lives but we do have control over how we live our lives.
    COM gave you good advice about the "toolbox" it really does help.

    There is also a good article on detachment at the top of the PE forum. Read through it and see where it can be applied to your situation.

    I can tell you we never stop loving our DCs but we can go on to live a good and joy filled life.

    Keep posting, let us know how things are going.

    ((HUGS)) to you................................
  6. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Hope,

    Welcome to the forum! I'm glad you have found us.

    How are you doing today?

    Please continue to post. It helps.

  7. Hope1972

    Hope1972 New Member

    I can't tell you the comfort I have had just knowing that there are people here with resources. I have done several things for many years to cope with any life challenges. I consistently exercise and meditate. I journal, get counseling and now I am using puzzles and coloring therapy. I don't know what I would do with out them. I have included the children in these activities as well as "rooting", going outside and touching the earth and being outside. I need to add the detachment part of this. I really appreciate the suggestions with out over whelming me. I will read the article. My daughter left at 18, about 17 is when I noticed a change in her personality and seeked out counseling. I speak to her but, still don't believe anything she says. When she left at 18 she dropped out of school. First one in my family that didn't attend college or graduate from high school. The only solution I could come up with was "tough love" I removed everything from her. I took her car, credit cards, health insurance (when I started getting bills for unauthorized visits), keys to the house and phone. It was amazing to me that she chose a life of nothing over everything. I have stood strong since then. She knows not to call me from jail bc I won't save her. I guess the hardest thing is to understand why?, I explained that all she had to do was finish school and not get pregnant and she could get everything back. I gave her checks to pay for a GED, she changed the $ amount and stole money from me. She got pregnant and has left the baby with his dad that lives with my mother. I refused to let them live with me and the family thought I was being harsh so my mother let them move in with her. Now she understands. I warned her. She has stolen from my mom and caused a year of grief and drama. We asked her to move out due to the effect it was having on my grandson. His development had been latent. She doesn't always seem to be aware of reality and non reality in my opinion. She makes these grand plans and has no way to carry them out. She is homeless now and is some days staying in a hotel with a young man around her age. She has had a job for 3 days and is supposedly moving into an apt. this week with him. I confirmed she is still getting high (pot) and taking her medications with it. I feel myself, moving on some days and not thinking about her. I believe that I want her to succeed more that she wants it and I stop to recognize this and know that I can't do or say anything to help her succeed. She has to want it. I am good today. I slept last night which helps. Thank you. I hope you are well today.
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  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Glad you are hanging in there, Hope, and you have found some tools to help you through this painful time.

    All of our kids have thrown away chance after chance we and others have given them to succeed.

    And some make their own way, on their own terms, eventually. Some don't. We can't force them to be what we want for them. It's painful, but we all finally come to realize that they must do it themselves.

  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hope I loved your post. You clearly have a lot of recovery under your belt already. I am very sorry about your daughter's choices but with you "out of the way" she can have the natural consequences of her choices in full living color. And perhaps that will be a wake up call to her one day. She is very young and it may take a while longer so keep on doing what you are doing. We're here for you.
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  10. RiverWitch102

    RiverWitch102 New Member

    Hope1972, when I found this forum yesterday, it was a weird kind of relief... not relieved that other people have problems with their kids/steps too, but that other people can relate to the pain and struggle... and feeling like maybe I, or others, don't have to struggle alone. <3 My SDr, like your daughter, is also diagnosed bipolar.
  11. Hope1972

    Hope1972 New Member

    I haven't heard from her in 4 days and I fell back into trying to contact her to see if she was ok, I found out she is getting an apt with the new guy she is with. She showed up at my moms. I did detach in some ways of not playing the game in my head of thinking the worse. I cam to terms the last few days with the mind set that she is fine and I am the one worrying. I am so glad to have this forum. It has made a big difference. If anything a place to speak the truth. Thank you for your posts and support. I hope to be of same service to you as well.
  12. Hope1972

    Hope1972 New Member

    Admitted out loud that I need help and this forum has been a great place to go. I keep reading the Detachment article. I keep applying the rules to my everyday life.
  13. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I can give you some hope when she will decide to get help and be better she can find a job fast over 15 jobs in 4 years means there is a quality that most people wish they had. People that can get jobs so fast in my personal opinion will be very successful people. She just needs to get help and I hope she will.
  14. Hope1972

    Hope1972 New Member

    she hasn't called or tried to get in touch with me in over 6 days and hasn't returned the 2 text I sent her last week. I am undecided if I try to call or just leave it alone? Any suggestions based on the detachment, I believe that leaving it is best but, I don't know.
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    She may be testing you with the "if I don't call her or answer her texts she will be so worried about me that she will give me what I want"
    She may also just be angry and not ready to talk. Right now she's busy with moving into an apt with the new guy so that is what is most likely occupying her thoughts and time.
    Trust me on this, when she gets to a point that things are not "working" for her, like a fight with the new guy or the need for money to pay the rent, she will get in touch with you.
    It's a very common method of operation for our DCs that they won't contact mom or dad while things are going well but as soon as trouble arises they expect us to make it all go away.

    If you want to send her a text I would keep it simple. I would not ask her how she's doing or say that you are worried about her, I would keep it along the lines of "Hi honey, just thinking about you and wanted to let you know I love you"

    Hang in there!! I know it's not easy but you can get through this.

    Go out and do something wonderful for yourself!!