When The Unknowing Tell You What You Need To Do

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Blindsided, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    This is my first post, so bear with me. I hope it’s not too confusing.

    My daughter’s, alias-May, dad died suddenly at age 55. Now her dad’s brother’s wife is reaching out to me on FB, alias-Sal. Sal says her boy (May’s cousin) visited May in her current home state, where May can get Medicaid and food stamps. He reported that May has signs of liver failure, bloated stomach, bruises everywhere. I knew this. My daughter had used her lab work to get more money from me, supposedly for gas to get to the doctor. I sent her link to medical transportation for Medicaid patients and asked her to please let me know how the doctor appointment went. That unleashed the usual wrath. That was in April. I have begged May to stop drinking, but she won't. My sister got her into alcohol detox for 5 days a couple of years ago. May says she will never go back to that kind of place, so quit asking her to. I never did hear what the doctor had to say.

    Sal's idea of intervention is to notify the police to catch her driving drunk. Then they will see how bad May is and get her the help she needs. I can tell anyone who considers this option, the police will show up, but they will tell you, unless your adult child threatens themselves or others, they cannot force them to go. There is no rehab in jail. I tried to explain to Sal we have tried everything possible and unless my daughter asks for help, there is nothing we can do. So Sal said unless we are willing to drive the 1300 miles, one way, to get May’s 2 little dogs, we should get ready to watch May die. We already make that trip twice a year; we don’t have a vehicle that will accommodate 2 dogs in a cage. The dogs are not trained, because my daughter lays in bed drunk all day (witnessed). It takes us 4 days as it is. Not to mention my husband has said absolutely NO WAY, drop it! Then my brain goes to the bad place.

    I am once again in quick sand without a rope. I have regular visuals of the behaviors reported to me by those who have thought they were doing the right thing. I don’t need reminders.

    I just got my daughter to respect my boundaries and not text me unless she has something kind to say. That was just before Mother's Day and she did text me to say "I hope you have a good Mother's Day". That is progress. I answered, Thank you that means a lot to me. I reached out last Tues. and said we were thinking of her with love just to let her know we are still here. No response.

    May has used the dogs for years as an obstacle to getting help and says they are her only reason for living. I feel like May is now using them to manipulate Sal, because of something Sal said about May's death will be slow, agonizing and cost a lot of money! Who knows what May has said. My friends say, what do Sal and your son think will happen to the dogs when May is dead? Have they thought about that?

    I have explored every avenue. Including taking the dogs regardless of what my husband says, at least while we are in the state where we have found a place with a good program, should May reach out. But, how can I make arrangements when we are not there if others are not willing to fill in? Now, my son nor his wife (who doesn’t work) will respond to my texts or email about participating in a plan. He did, however, let his aunt Sal know how hurtful her words were to me and that she has no idea the road I have been on. Then I feel bad about being angry with my son about the dogs and shunning my attempts to communicate.

    I have been in therapy, several times. Every time someone new wants to help, they really mean “I am going to tell you what you need to do.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I know Sal wants to help because May has now reached out to her. But, I feel like I can't go down this road anymore or I will implode. My husband has heart problems and is on several medications. I have chronic health issues and we do the best we can with what we have been dealt.

    I need help from the only people who really understand. How do you react to people who blame you for not doing enough? How do you get them to understand that detaching is a last resort to save yourself?
  2. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I don't know where you live, but in my city this is how it works: After a person has been pulled over multiple times for DUI, the judge gives them the choice of jail or rehab. The ones who choose to go to jail still have to participate in rehab while incarcerated. Our jails are set up for detox, but not all cities have these services. Most people choose rehab over going to jail. After being in treatment for a while, many of them are glad they were forced into rehab. Others go simply because they didn't want to go to jail, and when they leave, they start drinking again.

    I really hope your daughter reconsiders going to detox, at least. If she's that close to the dogs, she could board them just for the week of detox. Then do the outpatient treatment. By going to detox, she might save her life, as well as the lives of her dogs because she would be around longer to take care of them. Obviously, if she dies, they'll most likely end up at the shelter. Maybe you could approach it with her from that angle.

    I am an animal lover who tends to forget that pets aren't people. So, it definitely breaks my heart when I think about the dogs. All in all, she needs rehab for herself. When an addict wants to stop to please others, they may not be able to stop. But, when they decide they want to do it mainly for themselves, that is when they are more likely to stay sober.

    People who haven't lived through it don't understand why an addict won't go to treatment, and think the immediate family should convince them to go. It isn't that simple. Unless a crime is committed, a person cannot be forced into rehab. Some people would think jail is better than rehab if given the choice.
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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  3. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Thank you. I understand about being an animal lover. I am too. We raised one of her dogs along with ours years ago. We just had to put our 17 year old hyperthyroid cat to sleep. So, I get that. May isn't employed. She lives on people's couches and has for several years now, that is until she gets kicked out for her abusive behavior. She started out staying with friends, now she stays with strangers. She used to be a social butterfly, now she has exhausted all her friendships. She is 1300 miles away from us right now. She has been in detox and says she will never go back to that kind of place again. The alcohol, adderall, xanax, and now possibly meth is the medication she uses for her personality disorder. She needs somebody to take the dogs for free. I looked into boarding them, because we found an inpatient place in another state for 90 days that will take her Medicaid. That would be followed up intensive outpatient therapy for another 30 days. It's over $60/day. We are elderly and are coming to the place where we are going to need help before much longer. May only has Medicaid and food stamps. She refuses to look for work or apply for disability. She has over $100,000 in credit card debt because of gambling. The last boyfriend paid off the credit card debt from before, so she was able to get more credit cards. About 5 years ago one of her wealthy friends flew her and the dogs to the east coast so May could help her recover from a surgery. She called me and said she had no idea May was such an alcoholic and that they couldn't handle her abuse, even accused her husband of trying to get fresh with her. They offered to send her to treatment there and pay for all of it. She refused. Then they couldn't figure out how to get her out because she was clear across the country. We intervened twice. The first time she tried to mow me down with a clothing rack after she had threatened suicide. She did this while I was on the phone with the crisis line, so they sent the police. May came up with some cockamamie story and tried to have my sister and me thrown in jail. The police simply shoot their head. Then comes the Mental Health counselor. May talked them all out of taking her for help. At the time, we were in a position to take the dogs. Then she moved to another state. Again, threaten suicide, and wouldn't answer her phone. I had no idea where she was, so the local police there couldn't do a well check. By luck I had kept a number of one of her friends there. Her friend said she tried to take her in, but her boyfriend immediately said May had to go. She thought she knew where she might be. She went there and said she was there and found her room, but May would not answer. Now, we have an address. The police do a well-check and say she did answer, and was refusing to go, even though the kind office said it was obvious she needed professional help. We had to make arrangements for our cat and then we were out the door for a 6 hour drive. She answered the door. It was obvious she was drunk and drugged. She has fought depression for a long time. Our church was willing to help, but she refused. There's more to the story, but the long and short of it is we tried to get her to go back home with us. But, she had met a new guy. She couldn't leave because she needed new tires (which I gave her money for more than once). After 3 days there, we had to get back home. On our arrival home, she called to say she was staying there and just send the money for the tires as rent to the boyfriend. It's been a very long journey.
  4. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I am going to check the city rules to see what happens if she was picked up for DUI. As for the dogs, maybe they have better resources than what I have been able to find. I pray everyday she crosses paths with someone who she is willing to accept real help from.

    thank you again.
  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    There is nothing you or anyone else can do if May wont accept help. Nothing. Not one thing. We had to face the same about our daughter. Its hard.

    My husband and I have decided not to talk to anyone in our families who bring us problems anymore, especially about our daughter. The pressure we feel and lack of understanding from others about all we have tried along with accusations of being bad parents to a 33 year old just makes us sick. It doesn't help anyone.

    Where we live if you get a DUI it is jail or jail. I hope it is better by you.

    I would look for a rescue for the poor dogs. I would not take them to the humane society. Maybe someone you know and trust will give them a good home together.

    I am so sorry.
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  6. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Are you looking for a temporary place for the dogs to stay in the event that May goes to rehab or rehoming them?

    There are rescue groups in most cities. Many rescue specific breeds, but some aren’t picky. Not sure if they would help or not.

    My brother, who is an alcoholic, has the distended stomach, too. I worry about him, but there is nothing I can do.
  7. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Thank you for your understanding. I just told my sister, maybe the best way to handle it when people reach out to me because they want to help is simply say, I don't know. That sure is the truth. My granddad always said, "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink."

    As for the dogs, they did stay with a foster home when my step-daughter took May in, 2016. They wouldn't keep them because they are not trained and I mean, they are not trained. They haven't had any supervision. It's not their fault. I just want my daughter to reach out for help and have a plan for the dogs so she can get them back, but nobody wants to help share the responsibility and none of us live in the same state as May, which makes it doubly difficult. She always goes back to the place where she has no more friends and no family. I am probably being far too optimistic thinking that after all this time, she would even agree to any plan. I know I have to wait until she reaches out for anything to work. I just want to be prepared.I read a good book that was written for a church, by a female pastor. It's called, When a Mother Cries, Learning to Let Go and Let God. A friend copied it and sent it to me. I have lost it and it was never published publicly, so I can't get my hands on another copy.

    Thank you again. Sometimes I just need to hear I have done all that I can.
  8. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Yes, looking for a place they can go for a few months in case she reaches out.
  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Call local rescue organizations in her area. Maybe they would have some ideas.

    I don’t consider it enabling to try to help innocent animals.

    I know your relative is concerned about May, but she doesn’t understand that you have tried everything. Would she be willing to take the dogs/pay for boarding/pay for training? If she offered this to May and was turned down, at least she would be faced with the truth—that we have no control over someone else.

    I hope that our alcoholic loved ones will wake up.
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Gosh, Blindsided. It is exhausting just reading your posts. Let alone living them. I have no answers that others have not mentioned already. But I will say this: Our lives are like balls of yarn. We can make something beautiful and useful with it, in the time we have or we can make a tangle. With respect to the tangle, we can either decide to wind it up, or we can keep on tangling. If we keep on tangling, people can try to unravel our mess. But they'll get caught up in the tangle.

    Your daughter has spent her lifetime with her measure of yarn. She seems hellbent to continue as she has been doing. You have tried in every conceivable way to get that yarn together. Your post sets out how that has gone. This has exhausted you. Yet. You are on the ready to help her, if she decides to be open to an alternative.

    Everything is a mess because she has made a mess. There are no solutions because she has not concerned herself with any. The dogs are her victims, as she is her own victim.

    People stop drinking every single day. She could stop.

    As I see it, how can you take responsibility for dogs that are a thousand miles away? If there are people who want to take responsibility, such as Sal, let them. But if you and your husband may soon need help taking care of yourselves, how can you expect yourselves to take responsibility for your daughter's messes, even if they are helpless animals.

    As far as what other's say or think or do, most all of us here on the board have been judged (harshly) by family, neighbors, friends, or no-longer-friends. Nobody can understand what we go through. Nobody. Except people who have walked in our shoes. Please try to let, at least this agony go. The regard or opinions of these people do not count. They do not know. And they do not really know us. This is a kind of irresponsibility and cruelty to bring these issues to your door. At the very least they are carrying tales. Don't listen.

    I am not making light of the dogs' situation. But somebody will step in to take care of them or to see they are cared for. I just don't see how it can or should be you.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  11. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    You have to accept that you have done what you can do and you can not help when she is unwilling to be helped. As far as the dogs i have a cousin who works with a rescue they post pictures and situations on social media mabe that would work.
  12. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome. I'm so sorry that you are going through this. What a mess.

    It sounds like everyone around May is doing more work than May. That is so typical.

    I don't know how we can escape our own worry. I know that I myself am not able to get out of my own head at times.

    My son is doing better than he has in a long time but I still worry constantly that things could change.

    All I can suggest is to pray. That is really the only thing that I can do that gives me any kind of real peace.
  14. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    That is a great idea. I have a friend who is super FB tech savvy. thank you so much.
  15. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Thank you for the welcome. I have been watching and learning from others. I find the validation from others in this situation gives me peace.

    I write about all the tools for dealing with chronic pain, the same tools that could help me right now. I have been holding this pain in for too long. It is time for me to get back to work on me. The emotional pain is far more difficult to deal with.

    Thank you.
  16. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I love the yarn analogy. It helps me to be able to visualize, as I can work it into my meditation. Thank you so much.

    I really appreciate the validation. It's difficult to accept the opinions of those who have not walked in our shoes, even when some of it is helpful. They believe what May tells them, which is seldom the truth. These well meaning people expect May to be grateful, she is not. They expect her to me reasonable, she is delusional. I appreciate all they tried to do because at least I got a short respite knowing she had a roof over her head. Now, I have no idea.

    You are right, it's time for me accept I have done all that I can, and all that I can has to be enough.

    Thank you again. I treasure your words.
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