What should I do?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Love or fear, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    My granddaughter whom I raised has had emotional trauma and physical brain trauma. She is 24 and has been on and off drugs and alcohol for many years. She recently was put on the streets in a different state than I live in. She has been sick for awhile and has a warrant that will result in around one year in jail. She can not defend herself she has been assaulted and raped and will not turn herself in or go to a hospital. Her mom and grandpa live in the same state that she is in they will not do anything to get her off the streets. I don't know what to do or how to deal with this.
  2. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Hello. I'm sorry for your difficult situation. Unfortunately since she is an adult there is not much you can do. I don't know how bad the brain trauma is but if it is bad enough you could probably get her legally declared incompetent and have guardianship over her. Don't know if this is an option, but if not the best you can do is take care of yourself. Let her know you will help her if she wants to turn herself in or go to a hospital. Otherwise, you need to learn to control what you can, which is you. Sending peace your way. I know how tough this is.
  3. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    Thank you.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It is hard to become guardian (I did but my son has autism and was okay with it for afew years). It is a court case and Mom may not be appointed. Can be a state worker. Unlikely your daughter is damaged enough to even have it considered. As soon as my son didnt want a guardian, we went to court to remove me. I wasnt upset. He was doing so well. Just saying that the court system does not like to take away freedom to choose unless the person has dementia.

    As others have said, and if you have read other stories, you cant force a 24 year old to do anything. You can send her a list of shelters and how to get a food card and other community services but she is the one who has to apply. I dont know if you are thinking of bringing her home, but she IS 24 and needs to learn to live without you, disabled or not. As I just mentioned there are adult services to help her. My autistic son lives, works and does things himself.

    You do have tje option of inviting her home and supporting her. I personally dont like this method but I am not you. I am assuming that since nobody in her state is eager to help her, she has burned bridges and badly misbehaved. This is common. Sounds like she will be in jail...that could actually make you feel better....she will be off the street and fed with a cot to sleep on. My daughter is a correctional officer and she talks to the inmates to keep them company as well as watching them. Its not luxurious but the streets are worse.

    Nobody owes her their help, including you. But that is entirely up to you. Is she willing to go to rehab and try hard to quit using?

    Others will come along.

    Sending hugs, love and light. This is hard on us.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Your granddaughter has provoked (or been victim to events) that have created consequences that are now circumscribing her range of options, and yours. Apparently she has burnt bridges with family. If you believe her mother and grandfather are reasonable and loving people, there are reasons they do not extend a hand. And this would be a red flag for you, I think.

    Paradoxically, the best thing that could happen is that she go to jail, get stable, and be protected there. Yes. There are assaults in jail and prison. Yes. There is abuse that occurs there. But the job of correctional personal is to protect inmates as well as the community. That is my experience.

    I have not worked in jails, just prisons so I will speak to what I know.

    In prison she could get psychological treatment. In prison she would likely stop drugs, or cut down, especially if nobody sends her money to put on her books.) In prison she could go to school or college. In prison she could go to church. In prison she would get health care.

    A number of us here on this forum have children or grandchildren who are vulnerable. Due to fetal alcohol syndrome, illnesses, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)'s, etc. And their vulnerability makes them more vulnerable to other assaults and dangers that come from their lifestyle and homelessness. We have to deal with the same sense of helplessness as do you. We don't know what to do either, to help or to protect them. I am one of those parents.

    How we deal with it, and the responses we make, are various, and depend upon our own personalities and histories, and that of our children. The only thing I can recommend wholeheartedly is that you continue to post here. You will find wise and caring friendship, counsel, and support. And with that, you will find a path through this.

    This is very hard. I am sorry.
  6. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    I have already rescued her several times and right now I cannot do it. She has been in and out of jail since 18. I keep focusing on
    "That she will get picked up soon" she has a warrant that will lock her up (for lack if a better word) for approximately a year. Thank you for the time and advise I feel grateful for it. She has blocked me at this point because all I did was beg her to turn herself in. Now i send her fb messages through someone else. She only has fb for communication right now. She has also been associated with gangs an a year ago she list 2 cousins and a friend. 2 years ago my husband of 29 years found a girlfriend. It was a nasty divorce. She has no coping skills she has some frontal lobe trauma. She landed on her head in a 75 mph motorcycle accident. I know exactly what she is going through and what is happening to her from past experiences. The first month with new this last time I saved her she ended up being found by someone in the park with her paints down and had to be revived. I am scared out if my waits because I feel her pain but there is nothing I can do. But hope pray ask the universe to get her picked up! Thank you so much for your knowledgable post here I feel a little stronger.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    If you continue to post here you will find that the key to all of this is the strength and purpose and focus that we can find in ourselves, in response to unrelenting pain and fear.

    I fall into and out of helplessness and suffering. But little by and little I am learning to locate myself in me, and let my son live his own life. The recognition I have is what I have to offer is love and loyalty but not much more. I can offer guidance, advice, or even protection...but I have found that the latter do not work. I end up wanting to steer my son's life, which he does not work. Or I end up putting conditions on my help, which he will neither accept or conform to. I tell myself that what I want for him is only his health, his dignity, and that he live. But really, unless he wants these for himself, do I really have a right to impose that which is really for me, so I can sleep at night? It's a moot point. Because he does not do ANYTHING that I think is wise, safe, or responsible. Not one thing.

    The only answer is to find a way to live your own life and to deal with these waves of terror and misery. Therapy, meditation, artwork, friendship, religion and spirituality, movement, etc., pets.
  8. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    I struggle daily trying to focus, some days u can't function from the guilt and knowing what is happening. The only messages I send her anymore are just that I live her and I am here with room if she quites that life. And then I only hope for the best scenario. I feel myself trying to get better but this is consuming my life. I have a counselor but I have not meditated since all this started about a month ago. There have been and right now is one of them...where I want to report her missing. When she lost those boys I lost them to. Two of my nephews died exactly 7 days apart. Then the young man a family friend was murdered in October of the same year. I am scared out of my waits for my granddaughter which is my heart!
  9. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    You are right about many things. As far as a relationship with her mom is volatile at best. Her grandpa is a coward and afraid to do anything. She has burned bridges but she has to get off the streets which either one of them could set her up to go to jail. I had to do that once she was at a drug and prostitute hotel. It was a dreadful situation. She needs a doctor and needs to go to jail.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Are you in therapy? I love this forum but I think we all benefit from neutral third party wisdom about our worse problems face to face with good people trained to advise. They are trained. We are not. Therapy REALLY helped me.

    If your daughter is in a gang I am thinking that you may need to face that she is too dangerous to bring home no matter what. When my daugjter used drugs she brought home some dangerous people. Eventually we made her leave and we wete fortunate that she turned it around. Its been about 14 years now since. Even do, she never came home and became independent!

    You have to stay safe. You cant be too young and deserve calm and lovely Golden Years. Your granddaughter has the option of getting help from the community. I know it really hurts but you need to take care of yourself for you and other loved ones who need you alive and safe. Love yourself. You are deserving of your own love!

    More hugs!!
  11. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    I am overwhelmed in fact I am crying I wish I could talk to all of you in person. You all know this struggle I am overwhelmed.
    Thank you. I am greatful I found this site.
    I will keep reading all of these responses.
  12. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    I am in therapy. Thank you so much for your advice and mostly thank you for the hug.
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Love or fear, welcome. I am so very sorry you find yourself in such an untenable situation with your granddaughter. My heart goes out to you. I raised my now 22 year old granddaughter, who was emotionally traumatized, so I have an inkling of the fear and helplessness you feel. Being on the sidelines watching someone you love with all your heart go off the rails in such a dramatic way is devastating for us.

    With your recent divorce, the deaths in your family and your worry about your granddaughter, the grief & sorrow must be overwhelming. At this point, self care is essential. I know it sounds strange when you are so worried about another, but YOU matter and YOU deserve love and support. i'm glad to read you have a counselor. It sure sounds as if you've been traumatized yourself. When I was in the middle of the worst times with my daughter and the intense anxiety had overtaken me, I went to a trauma specialist who told me in no uncertain terms, "you are traumatized." It woke me up. I was so busy taking care of everyone around me I had not realized how far out into fear I had traveled.

    You might also contact NAMI, which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can find them online, they offer support, resources, information and guidance. They have chapters in many cities. They offer parent support groups which may be able to offer you the support YOU need while offering you healthy ways of responding to your granddaughter's issues. I found them to be very helpful.

    What helped me the most while dealing with so much emotional distress was to make myself the priority and begin focusing on MY needs. Often when we've been taking care of others for a long time, we forget to take care of ourselves, we focus on our loved ones who need help, at the expense of our own health and well being......I found therapy, NAMI, meditation, prayer, support groups, this site and many books helped me put myself as the priority which healed much of the pain, anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Making the shift to put myself as the priority was the biggest step in the change I needed to begin to learn how to accept what I have no control over.

    It may be helpful to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post.

    Many of us here have faced or are facing what you are presently going through......it is not an easy path........I would encourage you to stick around......the folks here are gentle warriors.....we've been in your shoes.....we get it...... we'll circle our wagons around you........you are not alone.
  14. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    Yes I am traumatized some days well most days I can't function. I know how to use all of your suggestions to heal. I need to keep doing it. I need to get back into it. I am so grateful I found this site and I am going to look into NAMI. Thank you so much.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Love or Fear. The thing about this site is that you will find at any given time a dozen people who truly, truly understand what you are going through. They will understand all of the nuances. Even better than we who suffer it, do.

    The helplessness. The inability to let go. The hope against hope that you are wrong, and that there is a way to make it all better. That indeed, there is a RIGHT thing to do, even though we have explored and tried all of those options a hundred times before. And the people here will understand why you need to do it one more time. Because maybe this time, it will work.

    And they will understand when you no longer can do it anymore, and why.

    They will hold your hand as you hold your breath. And still be there when you weep in despair. You will not be lonely here. You will not be alone.

    All along the people here will worry that you might be alone and urge you to rest, to sleep, to read a good book, to take a walk, to find a friend for a hug as they send you virtual hugs and kisses and real love.

    What brings tears to my eyes is how hard it is to find this same level of understanding in others close to us, and how much of a gift it is, when we do.
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Love or Fear. I am re-reading some of your posts. My heart breaks for your granddaughter, that she has been traumatized, and that she is so vulnerable.

    My son has been traumatized, too. And he is vulnerable. I do not allow myself to feel compassion for him because it feels like I would die from heartache if I let these feelings in. Sometimes I feel that I cannot bear my own heartache. His? He must bear. I do not have room for more.

    But the thing is this: These adult kids of ours, vulnerable or not, traumatized or not, have to find a way to navigate their lives....there is no other way. They have to find their way through. You, me--we cannot do it for them. The only way they learn is to do.

    My son has a serious illness for which he requires treatment. I could write here that, he has to learn from his mistakes.

    But what if he pays with his life? What kind of a position does that put me in? Helpless. Distraught. Afraid.

    But this does not change things. It's true. They have to live their reality, and learn if they can. My agony, your agony, have no role here. The only thing is to learn to not suffer so. Which is really the purpose of this forum, as I see it. (But I recognize the hypocrisy of this. I am a slow learner and struggle to let go of the belief I should do something). But I'm doing it. I am letting go and putting my power and focus back into my own life. At last.

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  17. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    The hardest time is night time. I find it hard to get into my warm bed knowing that she's not, sometimes it's hard to go into my bathroom wonder where she is going. I dont eat much I don't sleep much and what clothes is she wearing does she have a coat. Does she have pads is she able to brush her teeth? This is excruciating most of the time. But I can't do anything, nothing, I am helpless to help my child and get her off the streets.
  18. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member

    I am so sorry for your circumstances I know how excruciating it is. You have said some things that really resonate with me and it does make sense even though it may sound contradictory to someone else I know what you are saying. At this point I feel like she has a less than 50% chance of making it through this and that is devastating and consumed me. I am grateful for your wisdom and I too have already read through these responses several times and it has helped me to start to understand what my role should be even with my broken heart and my strong desire to save her...I can't save her and it hurts every fiber of my being. What hurts the most is imagining what she is going through is she alone or does she have someone with her. She provokes and attracts violent people and situations. I am in such pain it physically hurts I feel hollow I have a constant ache.
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You don't know that. You fear it. You don't know.

    Look at all of the parents with thriving children who lose them just like that. There is no rhyme or reason sometimes to what happens in life.

    I have to believe that my son will get better and make a life where he is protected and contented. If I don't believe that, how will I live?

    What do I show and tell him about himself, if I fear he can't make it?

    This would reinforce his fears and sense of unworthiness about himself. How could I not have faith?

    Now. The truth is I have been very weak. I have been afraid. I exaggerate any vulnerability and dwell on it. But this is wrong of me. This is selfish.

    I need to find strength in myself. And I need to live my own life not his. I can't stay in his life. I tried.

    I lose myself. And I can't control my behavior vis a vis him. I try to control him. I become sad. This is wrong of me. I have realized it, finally.

    I have to live in my own strength, and care for myself. This is the only way I can get through it. And if I can stay in my strength and care for myself, and not burden him with my own difficulty handling things, there is a far greater possibility that he will find his own strength and self-acceptance.

    It's kind of hard to explain. I have a current thread (I have lots of threads!) If you read it, you would see how hard this is for me. Which is one reason I post so much on other peoples' threads. It's easier for me to be strong here, than in my real life. But by having a strong(er) voice on other people's threads, I grow stronger.

    I suggest starting to post on others' threads, too. That is where you will get strong. Because there you will speak in your strong voice. You have a great deal to contribute. Nobody has this made in the shade. Nobody. We just do a little bit better, and keep going.

    PS I don't mean to be mean, but to think that any comfort you have has anything to do with your granddaughter is magical thinking. If you are comfortable and safe, it will not take this away from her. Your distress is only that. Yours. Your suffering does not help her.

    The reverse is true. Your well-being and your ability to be centered and stay strong can potentially help her. I believe that. I believe we can radiate well-being and confidence. She can absorb your strength, which is different than feeding on it. I am practicing being strong, forward thinking and contented in my life. I am convinced this will help my son. What other good choice is there?
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  20. Love or fear

    Love or fear New Member