When did you hit your own rock bottom with difficult kid?


Well-Known Member
I think this is an important question. And in my case I can't answer. I just sort of drifted from thinking I had to fixeveryone to slowly starting to feel that I am no good to anyone, even myself and my loved ones no were wonderful, when I put my energy into those who didn't want to change. It's wonderful and freeing and I will never go back.

I know others had more defining moments. Any stories?


I Am The Walrus
When a nurse walked in and told me my daughter had tested positive for meth. That was bottom for me. That was the moment I could no longer make excuses for her behavior, tell myself she was having "growing pains," find every excuse under the sun for her erratic moods and reactions. That was the day the blinders came off - and it only got worse from there as then came her diagnosis, the discovery of all of her suicide attempts, finding out some of the horrible things she had done to herself and other people....including how she had become permanently, physically disabled bc of her poor choices. I think we all naturally wear blinders to those we love the most, making excuses for them, trying to give every benefit of the doubt. That was when I realized there was no "happily ever after" for her, and that everything she could and would have been was gone. I hit bottom and it took me a long time to rise from it.


Active Member
My first rock bottom - Calling CPS when he was 13 to see if I could be rid of him.
Before that, I really thought I was a good mom. It was a big part of my identity - a huge part. I don't have that feeling about myself anymore.

My new rock bottom is figuring out now that he might never change. That he may remain an angry emotionally thirteen or fifteen year old forever.

My New Year's goal is to get back on track somehow, self esteem wise, happiness wise.
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Well-Known Member
The night she wanted to pay me back (for making her plunge the toilet she had stopped up) and dumped some of my stuff, including toothbrush, into the feces-filled toilet. We locked up everything that Hubby or I used after that, and then she lived with my mom for nearly a year.

Horrible started when she was about 15, I had a door thrown at me, and didn't sleep at night because of her comment about the ease of sliding a knife into a sleeping person. She did graduate high school, did one year at the community college here, one year at a college on the coast, and then went to Oregon.


Only one rock bottom? I’ve had several incidents, including my son ending up with a drug overdose in the hospital and him slurring his words to deny it and having to take him to court for theft from a company he used to work for. That day after leaving the courtroom I had a complete anxiety attack after we got home (never happened to me before and it was truly scary). A few months later after he continued to use drugs, spend all his money, and continued to lie to us constantly, we finally had it and gave him a choice to save X amount of dollars by X date or have to find someplace else to live. He chose the latter. I have very limited contact with him now. My mental and physical health has dramatically improved. I’m happier than I’ve been in years. I’ve come to realize that just because he is my son doesn’t mean I have to like him, agree with his lifestyle, or ever have to provide him shelter again.


Well-Known Member
I think I am more on the progression end of it too, SWOT. I have many incidents that stick out in my mind, but I think I just got to the point where cumulatively I could no longer excuse his actions because of his drinking, his age, his friends, his job, his...on and on, always something other than his own choices.

As I come to accept that he is who he is, I find myself more comfortable with keeping a distance and focusing more on the people and things that bring joy.

I am so sorry for the pain I read in the other stories above. It is just heartbreaking that our children can be so cruel.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I don’t really think I ever had a specific incident that was “rock bottom” for me, but two specific things that were said to me about Oldest stick out:

1) a therapist who said, “she may very well die from her own neglect one day, and it will not be your fault.”

2) an emergency room doctor who said, “if she has a personality disorder, that means this is who she is.”

Nothing like reality slapping you in the face. But learning that there was nothing I could do, that I was not responsible, was definitely a stepping stone on the road to my own recovery.


Active Member
My rock bottom came about 3 1\2 months ago. After 9 to 10 years of helping my daughter, who has my two granddaughters, she ended contact . it happened when I said no to a request and then told her my feelings about the last 10 years (which I've never really done before). I told her I was 71 and tired.And that was the end of contact. I've asked twice to speak tomy granddaughters. Once on one's birthday. I've sent birthday and Christmas gifts. No response. I'm not begging her . I'm going to respect that she wants no contact. I've written amends last year as part of my CODA program. I don't know anything else to do. I don't want to beg and I don't want to be mixed up in her life again.


Well-Known Member
Seems like she is the one who should make amends. But she wont because she doesnt think she did anythong wrong. You were kind and courageous.

If she is borderline, that is who she is and appealing to her emotions won't help. They don't feel loving emotions...just rage and revenge against others, angry, that they are victims and that YOU are their perpetrator.

People with personality disorders are no or nice and don't change. You are the good person here. I'm very sorry.
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Active Member
Swot, I don't know what's wrong with her. I just know she's extremely difficut to deal with. Some of the decisions she's makes are baffling. She stays in abusive relationships that are just horrendous. She'll leave them and I think she'll never go back. The next thing I know, there she goes again. I feel so sad for my granddaughters. They have probably seen things little girls shouldn't see.but there's nothing I can do. She does take care of them. They're not neglected it took years for me to finally understand that something is not right.


Well-Known Member
Look up borderline personality disorder in your search engine. That could be it.

Even if she cares for her kids, living with abusive men is damaging to them. And taking them away from you for nonsense reasons is also not good for them. She sounds unstable in all her relationships, which is classic borderline.

Borderlines can't have long term healthy relationships. They thrive on drama and love you/hate you...cant maintain their emotions. But best to read about it so if interested put it in your search engine and read.

in my opinion most of the female adult children on this forum are undiagnosed borderlines

There is a book called Walking on Eggshells for those who are in borderline relationships.

The book could help you, even if she never got the label. Hugs for a hurting heart.


Active Member
I have read about it and I just finished the book walking on eggshells. She definitely has some of the characteristics. She's also self-centered, no thought for anyone else. I've also read about narcissism and some of those also ring true. What can I do about the girls? I've thought about trying to get custody. I don't know if that's possible given that they're not physically abused or neglected. I understand about the lousy men she's been with and how that has affected them. They're precious little girls. I wish they had a better life. We loved spending time together and I miss them so much. She knows how the girls and I love each other, but she doesn't care. It's all about her. But boy, she can talk a good talk.


Well-Known Member
CPS, the agency that initially decides custody, has to really have a good reason for pulling custody on a parent, such as proven drug addiction, abandonment or letting them wander around outside at 3am. Exposing them to an abusive boyfriend isn't enough. Unless he beats them, and you can prove it, or there is sexual abuse.

She is allowed to be vile and not allow you to see grandkids and no states have good grandparent rigjts. I read somewhere the U.S. Supreme Court shot down grandparents rights. You can look it up. Or check your state laws, just in case I'm wrong.

I am sorry your daughter is doing This to you.


Active Member
Swot, I pretty sure he doesn't beat them and don't think there's any sexual abuse. She went to Colorado to be able to buy pot legally. She told me once she would never stop me from seeing the girls. That was a lie! She has used them many times to get what she wanted.
Thanks you for caring. It means a lot.


Shooting from the Hip
Yeah... She does sound borderline... And it's awful, just awful. *HUGS*

My own rock bottom with Belle came the day she was screaming at me in the car because I had the audacity to try and help her - again. I had been afraid of her for years but at that point I swerved into the breakdown lane on the freeway, and told her that was ENOUGH. She called me a crazy b**** as she got out. After that I would NEVER allow that behavior in my home again. Bill knew I was serious then and... yep.

With Pat, it was a series of bounces on the bottom. I think though when he left, it was over. He hasn't spoken to us since June. We know he's okay, living with sister in law and father in law and nephew. And they're enabling him.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Great thread!!!

I think my rock bottom was when my son overdosed in June. This was after we had sent him to Florida to clean up his act and he seemed to be doing very well. I think I realized how serious his addiction was and that we, as loving and caring parents, had no way to fix this. I realized then that he really could die from this and for the first time REALLY realized that HE had to do this. We could not do it for him. He has to decide what type of person he wants to be and what kind of life he wants to live. He has said it and I have felt it but he has to really do it.

I knew I had to PROTECT my own heart. That is when I started going to therapy. I knew I was way in over my head and thankfully I was intuitive enough to realize that.

Flash forward six months. He is working 30 hours per week and is enrolled in one college class to get his feet wet. He is still out of state tuition so that is all we wanted to do at this time. We are giving him some financial support but he is also contributing and being more responsible than he ever has because he has some skin in the game. I KNOW he would not have grown at all as a person if he was home with us. Tried that so many times.

I still do not think he accepts his shortcomings but one day at a time is all I can say.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks SWOT, it's a good thread to remind me of how far I've come!!! Thank goodness!

Mine was incremental for the most part too. It took me a long time to let go. I thought my love could make it all better. I was wrong.

As I was reading this thread this one day kept popping up and as I look back I do think it was a turning point for me.

My daughter had been arrested for the second, third, fourth or fifth time, I can't recall now. (usually because of probation violations) But she was going to be there for a couple of weeks. Her car had been impounded and each day there was a charge. I couldn't get it out because it wasn't my car so I had to drive 2 hours (there and back) to get the keys and registration from her in jail. I drove back and there was some other issue I had to deal with, I had to go to the police station about that and while there one of the cops started yelling at us as if we were the bad guys. My granddaughter had just had all 4 of her wisdom teeth pulled and was home alone while my husband and I paraded around Northern California handling my daughter's problems. I was worried about my granddaughter so I was feeling emotionally fragile. When the officer treated us badly I began crying. We were often treated like criminals by the police, or at the jail, which of course, only added to the misery. When we finally got back to the impound lot, there was yet another issue to deal with. I completely broke down. Remember, this scenario with jail and homelessness had been going on for about 2 years at that point. I couldn't stop crying, I had really never experienced that level of a breakdown before, it scared my husband. But there was still more to do.

We then drove another 45 minutes to the DMV because the registration had not been paid. We paid it and went back to the impound lot and paid for the car and drove it back to our home. The car is a piece of junk and driving it was perilous.

We had attempted to allow her to live with us (again) previous to this jail time, but she left because we had "too many rules." She kept inviting her unsavory friends to our home with her teenage daughter living with us. When we told her they couldn't come over, she left. When we moved 2 years ago we discovered quite a number of things had "gone missing" from our home which we attribute to those "friends" of hers.

At the same time, we were taking care of my daughter's 4 cats. Both my husband and I are allergic to cats so we kept the really old one in the downstairs bathroom and the other 3 in my daughter's car in our driveway. We tried to bring them to a shelter, but the shelter wouldn't take them because we weren't the owners. We contacted animal control and the officer got in touch with my daughter in jail and she flipped out saying they were her cats and we couldn't do anything with them. I can still remember that officers face, he was a compassionate one, he felt so sorry for us, we were a mess at that point and he was trying to help us. We had those cats on and off for months. The poor things. Ultimately we found homes for them the next time my daughter was in jail. She took a long time to forgive me for that one.

That was ONE day in my insane enabling story. All of that and nothing changed. She got out of jail and simply continued her lifestyle. My daughter kept up that behavior/lifestyle until I stopped helping, until I changed......then she changed.

It's hard for me to believe that I went through so much for so long......as most of us around here do.....when I look back on it now, I can't even relate to the person I was then. I am grateful every single day that we humans have the capacity to change, to let go, to accept what we can't change. Right now that seems like a miracle to me.

Snow White

Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom
I agree, RN0441 - this is a great thread. Thanks for starting it SWOT!

I've had what I thought were rock bottoms: having to place borderline daughter in care because we couldn't keep her safe, being attacked while calling the police and having my hair pulled out, threats of having my throat slit while I slept, and bailing her out of jail in Thailand were just a few of those. The absolute rock bottom came this past October when she lied and defrauded so many people about a illness/surgery she didn't have in a foreign country; going online to threaten and humiliate our family when I wouldn't give her money. I finally came to the realization that I can't fix or help her.

a therapist who said, “she may very well die from her own neglect one day, and it will not be your fault.”
We were told the EXACT same thing by our daughter's psychiatrist but he added, "she won't have don't it intentionally."

We're moving forward while she is staying in the same vortex; spinning and spinning.


Active Member
Great question!

My rock bottom was having to admit our then 20 yo daughter to the ER during a vacation due to her strange and dangerous behavior. I think it was then that I realized her problems were not growing pains when she punched me in the eye and bit her sister after admission while we were waiting for her to be evaluated. The absolute rock bottom moment was watching her being sedated and a straight jacket put on her. It still bring tears to my eyes to think about it. It was a long time before I could even talk about it.

Six years later, the struggle still goes on. She texted us the other day out of the blue asking for money to fix her dented car door. We didn't say no, but we asked her to call and tell us more about her living circumstances, does she have a job, how she is doing, etc. Instead of opening up, she texted a string of obscenities and insults, calling us greedy money grubbers, telling us it was none of our business asking about her life.

Thank goodness for this forum, a place where I can put this behavior into some kind of context and learn from the experiences of others. I have also learned compassion from the stories here, because even when parents are "enabling," the compassion shines through, the impulse to stick it out until one can't stick it out anymore is still inspiring!

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone's 2017 is productive and satisfying : )


Well-Known Member
It is both heartbreaking and reassuring to read these stories.

Heartbreaking because I can't fathom how a parent even gets up out of bed after living through some of the days you all have described. There was a time when I would have read about such days with fascination. Now I read about them with empathy, so that is where the reassuring part comes in. I know that all of you would feel the same way if you read about some of my days.

I am very grateful you started this thread, SWOT.