Sweet Betsy-Question?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MrsMcNear50, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. MrsMcNear50

    MrsMcNear50 New Member

    Hi All-

    A quick update. SB spent 2 months at my brothers, 2 hrs away, after leaving treatment after 14 days. She had $2000, ample opportunity to get her life together. Her choice was to sit on the computer and drink all nite, sleep all day....no forward progress to say the least.

    Over the last couple weeks, my brother saw her real colors, unappriciative, lazy, drunk. He finally pulled the plug and told her she had to go. So go she did. $300 bucks left, back to the same ole crowd here in town. She text me when she found out she had to leave. Mom, can I just stay there until I figure out what to do next. No, SB, you cannot. Good luck, I love you. Call me when you want to go get help. It's my only offer and open ended.

    I haven't heard from her since. I'm sure the other shoe will drop, just a matter of time. I won't be involved. My question is, should I continue to communicate with her, via text or phone, or should I just leave her alone? I'm afraid if I even text her that I love her, it will open a door of "Can I please stay there?" But my mommy heart wants to continue to remind her that I love her, that I care.

    It's espically bad today, as a friend is laying to rest, her beautiful 28 year old, non difficult child daughter. Sudden illness that took her in 2 days. I've been so sad. I just want SB to know that I love her and always will.

    What do the experts think?


  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that another opportunity went down the tube due to SB's choice. It must be really difficult to stay detached but you seem to be doing a great job.Regarding emails...you know that she knows your love is the one steady thing in her life. on the other hand I assume it brings you comfort to express your feelings. I know how frightening it is to accept that due to their choices something dire could happen at any time.Understanding your need, I would probably reduce the number of emails significantly andperhaps depersonalize the content a bit to sustain the detachment. The key, in my humble opinion, is meeting your comfort level. Hang in there. DDD
  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I'm not an expert, but I'd never want to cut off communication with my child, and never want them to not have a place to turn to when there was need. That is not the same as offering an open door for living accommodation etc. It is "I love you" and "I want to do what I can that is good/best for you" ... and when she asks for help, I'd want to be able to provide it. I did that with our son some years ago, and got him into a psychiatric hospital, followed by an outdoor therapeutic program -- all of which gave him the tools to turn it around. No quick fix, but a world of difference which continued to improve. We didn't let him come straight home, but we kept lines open.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it's ok to keep communicating, within reason, if that makes you feel better. I would decide on a "schedule" .. say, if you haven't heard from her in a couple weeks, just texting/emailing to say, "hi, haven't heard from you in awhile, hope all is well. Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you. Love you, Mom." Keep it short and simple. I would steel yourself for the possible response of "no, all is NOT well, because you won't let me come home" yada yada yada ... in which case you can calmly respond, "ok, well, my offer of treatment help still stands. Just wanted to check in with you. Take care."

    It's a tough line to keep, I know all too well. But after I kept my contact with Oldest on that sort of level for awhile, she eventually stopped asking for help quite as often.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I would probably text once a week just saying that you love her. Nothing offered, no comments on her choice. It's me though.
    I can't not hold out the hand in the case that difficult child reaches back.
  6. Bean

    Bean Member

    I don't necessarily think that open communication means taking every call you get (if your kid is anything like mine, that can be oodles of calls in the span of minutes). In our case, if I don't talk to her in 24 hours, I worry a bit - mostly because she tends to call and check in every night, even when she's drunk/high/whatever. I guess we've always been like that, even when she was in jail or treatment. Even when she was on the run she'd call. I don't know if that is good, because then when there's days she doesn't it can be really stressful for me, and it's kind of a heavy communication pattern. But, like I said, for our family it's pretty normal. We're the kind of family where we call. My husband still calls his dad, I still call my parents, when we arrive home from a trip, etc.

    There's plenty of people I know who don't talk to their kid for week spans or more, and that's normal for them. In fact, a friend of mine said her kid headed back to college a week prior to our conversation and she hadn't heard from him, but assumed he was alright.

    So what is normal or comfortable for you and your family? A call or text every few days to say you love her? Or is a week more "normal" for you? I 'd do what seems comfortable. Maybe ask her if she'd like for you to take her out to lunch. Neutral stuff, no strings attached, and she doesn't feel completely shut out from you.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    If this is a literal quote, Julie, you might have inadvertently backed yourself into a corner. Your credibility will suffer if you recant too soon.

    I'm really big on trying not to say anything I can't back up in action. Since you put a condition on when she can contact you, you've pretty much drawn the line in the sand and closed communication until she makes the next step and decides to get help.

    I'd give her some time to think about it and to miss you. She knows you love her.

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with Suz. She knows you love het. Now stay strong and let her come to you when she's ready to take you up on your offer. Hugs, I know that's difficult when you're hurting and worried about them.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Suz and Jo have good points. While I don't see anything wrong with "I love you" as a text occasionally, you have put a limit on when she can contact you. It might be best to limit contact for a while to let it sink in. If you really feel a need to tell her you love her, follow your instincts. Sometimes we know if our kids are having problems even when we don't have regular contact. It is a mom thing, in my opinion. If YOUR heart needs to send your love every week, then do it. It is okay to do what YOU need. Just don't ask a lot of questions. She knows you will help her if she asks. All of our kids know we will help any way we can if they want to turn things around. But ONLY if they are serious.

    I am sorry about your friend's daughter.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I tend to agree with everyone else here. Go with your heart.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't. She'll see your weakness and will do her best to suck you in. Even if she's unsuccessful, I don't see any reason to put myself through that once a week to tell her something that you both know.

    I would do something positive for myself when I feel the need to contact her. Whether it's indulgent or enlightening, I don't think it matters. But it sounds like old habits out of the best of intentions to me.

    I'm so sorry to hear that she didn't do better in treatment.
  12. MrsMcNear50

    MrsMcNear50 New Member

    Hi guys-

    I took your advice and went with my gut. A couple times in the last weeks, I did text her, told her I love her. No response at all. She has been keeping in contact with my brother....the poor me story. I haven't asked any questions, just, is she ok?

    Last nite, right before having dinner with my sweet boyfriend, the text went off. Message read this way.

    "I've been putting in applications, but have had no call backs. Because I'm out of money, I don't have a place to stay and I don't know what to do."

    I quickly shut my phone and made no mention of it. We had a lovely dinner together and I didn't let her message ruin it.

    That's the way I feel right now. I finally have my life back. I love my new job, my empty nest. I am going out with friends, have a great new boyfriend, and my life is happy! I flat refuse to go back to a continuous upset stomach, nerves on end, headaches, body aches, etc.

    I have not responded to her, and don't know if I will or not. I've been in prayer that the Lord will give me guidance about what to do, and if I do respond, what to say. For now, I will just sit on it.

    I will be HAPPY!


  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...in my opinion - you have told her what to do. You've told her to contact you when she is ready for treatment. So - she does know what to do.

    How is she paying for the cell phone? With no money and no place to stay? Priorities.

    I think you are doing absolutely wonderful with your detachment! Sitting on it is a great idea.

    Now, if you do get the text that says... "I need help and I am taking you up on your offer"... THEN you stop sitting on it. And do exactly what you said.

    I wish it was always this easy, and I know it isn't... But it sounds like you're doing wonderfully. Keep it up!
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Julie.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm really proud of you, Julie. I know how hard it is. It's the right thing to do for both of you.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I too am proud of you.
    I would avoid drama trauma messages like the plague.
    Now and again let her know that you love her, know in your heart that she can do well in life, etc.
    You might offer to help in a limited way with medical expenses, including therapy if you can afford it and she might consider going (at least in the future).
    But don't fall into the trap of letting her stay at your place or have you pay for things.
    Keep conversations limited, short and simple. Texting might be better.
    You said 'you will be happy' and this is awesome. My guess is that will go much further...with-o this constant melodrama! Stay the course...
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Mrs. M, I think your prayers are guiding you to do exactly what you should. Having a healthy life is your responsibility. SB having a healthy, productive life is her responsibility. Don't rescue, don't save but offer suggestions, guidance if asked for and positive reinforcement when she does what it is she is supposed to be doing. Then go on and have a life.
    It is a travesty for the whole ship to go down because of one faulty piece of equipment. You don't have to martyr yourself in hopes that it will save your child. It will not.
    I think you are moving into a better place.
    I would imagine SB will up the ante to get what she wants so again, plan and prepare what you will do and say if she becomes entangled in some new drama.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ignoring her message and moving on with your life seems like the right thing to do. Some CD parents in the past with similar contact have had a set response that they kept handy for when they felt compelled to respond. If I recall the response was just two sentences.

    "I have great confidence that you can find the right answers for your life. I love you. Mom."

    No contact may be preferred but passing the exact same response ball into her court would leave her with a response that never varied but also prevent accusations of ignoring her needs.

    I'm sure you will find the right answer. Hugs, DDD
  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  20. MrsMcNear50

    MrsMcNear50 New Member

    Thanks for the suggustions guys. SB called this week and asked if I would take her to turn in applications she had filled out.. She knows I am here to help her when she is taking positive steps forward. I picked her up after work and ran her to Dominos, Sonic, Quick Mart, all within walking distance of where she is staying. Regardless of her displeasure of being a part of "this screwed up society", she is realizing that she must have money to survive.

    I offered to take her to the grocery store and bought her $20 worth of groceries. I also put 200 minutes on her phone, so she can follow up on the jobs she applied for. She didn't ask for anything, I offered. I wish I could say I saw a major change in her attitude and outlook, but it wasn't there. When she started defending the monster who almost beat her to death, I changed the subject. I do think she is clear that she cannot stay here, it wasn't mentioned.

    She did say that easy child would'nt return her texts or calls and that she missed her. easy child hasn't seen or talked to her in months, and refuses to be around the drama SB creates. I had dinner with easy child last nite and was heartbroken for her. She misses her sister so much. She told me one of the girls at work just buried her 30 year old, homeless sister. With tears in her eyes, she said, I pray that isn't my story someday, but I am aware it could very well be.

    For now, I will sit quietly and wait for change. I so agree Fran, the entire ship will not go down. Once again, my dear board family, your support and suggestions have made a world of difference in the way I handle the SB situation. I am forever greatful for all of you.