Stuck in vortex of enabling and overgrown difficult child nightmare. Help. Please.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bean, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    Detachment has its ups and downs. I must be in a down because I'm finding life unmanageable.

    Daughter said she was dancing privately for money (last post), daughter moves out of boyfriend's home. Daughter moves in with other "private dancers" and then daughter moves in with BFF who says she wants something better for my daughter.

    We take weekend getaway with our other children and some friends. During that weekend getaway...

    Daughter then proceeds to go to hotel party with BFF (husband advised her not to), some shady friends and two bottles of tequila. Daughter gets in fight with BFF (aka place-to-stay/gravy train), punches her, and then reaches a "crisis" (whoops I just gnawed on the hand that feeds me!!!) which means she calls my husband at 4am (he tells her we're out of town and she's SOL) - daughter calls my ENABLER parents. Tells them she's at the end of her rope, hit rock bottom and wants help -- or she's going to kill herself.

    My ENABLER Parents go into hyper-helping mode, pick her up, take her to the ER where they sit for hours, she is assessed, not identified as a threat to herself, and released. My ENABLER father is mad at the system and focuses his anger on that. Daughter goes to dirty friend's house to "babysit" for the night.

    Next day ENABLER mother picks daughter up, gets her some lunch, goes to the BFF's house to get daughter's stuff. This kills me: ENABLER mother goes to the door to get her stuff, because my daughter is still embarrassed from her drunken freak out the night prior. ENABLER mother drives daughter back to (ex? current)boyfriend's home to stay with them again.

    ENABLER mother says she told daughter she had off 2 days this week and would take her to any appointments she needed to make on her quest to get healthy. I told my mom it was good to support her in getting to her appointments, but to try to let her (daughter) be responsible for as much as possible. Let her have that ownership. Don't make it about shopping or lunches or rides to friend's after the appointments. Make it about the appointment only.

    Mom picks her up to go to her gynie and proceeds to buy her shoes. How do I know she bought her sparkly new pink shoes? Daughter sends me a text to tell me, and my mother strangely is unavailable for phone calls.

    I'm worn the eff out. I'm tired. I feel like I've exhausted myself in helping/supporting my parents. They are pretty much just as sick as she is, honestly. We all are. Seeing how much it still affects me, I'm obviously stuck in the mess, too.

    What do I do? Cut off my contact with them for a week? My counselor told me to try that with my daughter. But my mother is almost as painful. I'm so frustrated and angry. I don't understand my parents. But I have to work on letting it go.

    Have been to counselor, Al-anon, psychiatric., on medications... and I'm still feeling like I've got water up to my nostrils, trying my hardest to tread, tread, tread and not go under.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hugs, lots of gentle hugs.

    Yeah, I'd have to detach from them, too. My mom said some hurtful things a couple of weeks ago. But I have decided - she doesn't live my life. She doesn't understand, though she thinks she does. It's a 100% different situation than yours... But I can see mine going there, too. And you aren't a fish, you cannot extract oxygen while you're underwater.

    Detachment is so hard. So, so hard. And yet... It's peaceful. The Serenity Prayer has been running through my mind a lot lately. And somehow, somehow - it has helped. Keep your chin up, and come back for more hugs.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ugh. I do think you need to distance yourself from the whole lot of them, for now. As frustrating as it is, the choice to enable your daughter is your parents', and not yours to deal with. Repeat to yourself: "this is not my problem. this is not my problem." Do not allow them to throw any guilt in your direction. Cut off phone calls that want to drag you into the drama, say "I really can't talk about this right now" and hang up. Delete texts without reading them in their entirety, or even block texts and phone calls for the time being. Detach yourself physically, and you will slowly gain more strength to detach emotionally.

    I'm so sorry. What a mess. But again, this is not your problem.. rinse, lather, repeat...
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I have to agree with the others. Just be unavailable to all of them for awhile. You and husband need some peace. I am sorry and sending hugs ...
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Everyone has said it so much better. Detachment in eventually peaceful. It hurts like crazy for a while but it does become more peaceful. Your difficult child sounds so much like mine. Their threat to kil themselves if we don't rescue them, I don't fall for that anymore. The last time she said that I told her I hoped she didn't but the drugs and alcohol were killing her anyway. She didn't kill herself and in fact had a great time that night.

    I'm sure your parents think they are helping her, and it's hard, very hard, to turn your back when your child/grandchild calls for help. Would they go to an alanon meeting with you?

  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Detachment is definitely much much more peaceful once you get used to the steps and they start being habit. It does hurt getting there.......but I honestly think without that pain we probably couldn't get there at all. Lord knows I had to get to the point where bff's behavior made me physically ill to finally completely detach from her and keep my distance.

    Guessing your parents haven't reached the pain threshold necessary to pull back yet. Their intentions are good, it's the actions that are wrong. Which really makes it more frustrating.

  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Bean, I am so sorry you are going through this and that your parents are enabling her. Remember the serenity prayer... they are part of what you cannot change. You need to do what takes care of you.. So the question is, what is good for you? Is it good for you not to talk to them for a week? If the answer is yes then don't talk to them!! If they call you to tell you what next thing they have done for her, or what she has asked of them or whatever, just say calmly, I wouldn't do that but it is your choice and your decision. Then change the subject or get off the phone. Don't engage with them about what they should or should not do... it is their decision as to how much they will do for her. In a sense they have to reach bottom with their enabling (kind of like the rest of us had to do that with our difficult children). BUT as I said earlier only talk to them if it is good for you in some way to do so. Right now make yourself and the rest of your family (not your parents) your priority.
  8. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I agree- for me physical detachment is the first step. And just cutting off contact brings nearly instant relief because the insanity isn't slapping me in the face all the time. I still worry but since I don't have to deal with constant craziness I just feel mentally, physically and emotionally better. It's amazing how one interaction with Kat can literally send me into a tailspin. And my whole body feels it- I get tense and feel physically ill. I'm just better when I let it go and focus on me- which is really the only thing I can control anyway. I'm sorry you have your parents thrown into the mix also. At least mine stay out of it and don't say too much, which does help. Hang in there!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Maybe detaching is easier for parents, I dont know. As a grandparent, I think I would find it very hard to detach from my grandchildren but then they are still very young so I really dont have a any base to compare that to. I just am thinking that I dont think I could ever turn Keyana out no matter what. It has been hard enough with her daddy. I cant see me doing it in 14 years with her. Shudder.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    So good that you have been to the counselor. Are you going regularly? Did you take the advice re: cutting off contact for a week? Are you also going to FA or Al Anon? in my humble opinion, you need to get as much healthy support as possible.
    It is sad that others are likely enabling your daughter. You can't control your difficult child and you can't control them. You might ask them to cooperate with you, but that's about it. line above. You are out of the control business. With others, that is. You CAN control yourself...your thoughts, your actions, your reactions. Your difficult child is on the young side and this is ashame. I would make it clear to her that (assuming you can afford it, etc.) you would always be willing to get her in to see a therapist or to pay for birth control. However, you do not wish to hear about her behaviors and greatly limit discussions with her, especially now. And if the counselor says no contact for a your very best to make that happen. Do you have a friend that can help you with this now and again? Maybe you can see the therapist twice this week (or whatever week you stop contact with- your daughter). You can do this. You can control how you think and react to this difficult situation.
  11. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Too bad you can't get them to go to alanon with you. Maybe they need to hear from somebody else that what they are doing, that they think is helping, is doing the exact opposite. I know it's a hard lesson to learn, but maybe that would help.