Worse and worse


Hi everyone,
This is my first post, though I have been dealing with a Difficult Child for fifteen years. My daughters problems began at age fourteen, going from a perky pony-tailed buddy to cutting, teen pregnancy, lying, stealing. She diagnosed as bipolar at age 20 and seemed to improve on medications, although she flunked out of two attempts at college/tech school, and never kept a job for more than a few months.

Two years ago, at age 26, while living with the latest troubled boyfriend, she announced she’d been doing heroin and checked into rehab for a month. I paid for a sober living house afterwards, but she left after two days and moved in with some guy she met there. We told her not to contact us, but after about three weeks she pleaded with us to help get her back on her feet. So ... we found her a room to rent, and paid the first two months after she got a job within walking distance. She had totaled her car before rehab and we refused to buy another for awhile. I actually thought maybe this was her turn around moment, when she would finally begin to move forward and start a responsible life. We got her a cheap car, but after a few months she took off for a friends in Georgia! Then we learned she was pregnant ( no idea who the father is). We wired her money for an abortion, which she lied about having. She moved back to our area (unfortunately) six months pregnant and moved in with a girlfriend. We urged her to consider adoption, or a maternity home where she could have received support and guidance for two years.

Instead, she had the baby, moved in with yet another guy who quickly landed in jail. When her clunker car died my husband bought a great almost new model and coached her taking care of it so that it would last and she would not need to pay for costly repairs. In two months we found out she had sold it for another clunker- wonder what she did with the cash difference she must have received. since then our lives have been consumed with her daily pleading for money, housing, gas, and now formula, diapers. In October she broke into our home and stole jewelry and tools, an iPad. I know we should have pressed charges, but from reading at this site, I know people will understand why we didn’t. And I understand why many will say we should have. We did get a restraining order and a security system.

In November she said she was hooked on Percocet and was going to a daily meth clinic to detox. Now she says she is clean and working, but she looks awful, like she has lost 20 pounds and aged ten years. I feel so sad thinking of the beautiful, bouncy girl she used to be. Yesterday I met her at the gas station to fill her car. I also gave her $100 worth of formula, diapers, and baby clothes, and offered to buy her a fast food supper. But what she wanted was $20. When I refused she began to cry and beg at the gas pump. I left her there and could hear her wailing my name as I drove off. That’s all I have been able to think about since.

She has already called this morning saying the car has broken down and she needs help or she can’t get to work. There have been two other please like this in the past month. When my husband gets there, the car starts right up and then she begins begging for money.

I txted her last night urging her to put the baby into foster care and herself into rehab. But I know she won’t. Any thoughts, advice, and words of support would be most welcome. I do have a therapist, and have confided in a few close friends, and my husband and I do try to find ways to have fun. We are recently retired and would like to enjoy ourselves and have some peace. Is it wrong to really and truly once and for all to turn a deaf ear to her begging?

Thanks for listening.


Well-Known Member
If you have been reading, you know that I believe in tough love and feel it is THE most compassionate step we can take for our addicts, that my own meth/cocaine daughter quit and is twelve years clean and that I personally am flabbergasted that so many parents buy their intoxicated, non working adult kids cars (a car is a guided missile when an addict drives, plus it requires tons of money, insurance and gas...For all the reasons why it isn't helping your daughter, I wouldn't buy an addicted adult a car. Ever.) But it is done.

Your daughter is probably using, maybe even heroin again. Anything you buy her will be sold for drug money. The car probably was a s***tload of drugs. $20 will even go for drugs. We cut our daughter off. She was NOT going to die because she paid for her drugging with our help, our money. She would have to die on someone else's dime. I say die because the speed made my gorgeous nineteen year old addict look like a wasted away old lady with terrible skin. She looked like the walking dead. Al Anon saved us and her. We made her leave our home, no money, no car, no more help from us because she used every bit of help against us. And to harm herself.

Because she had no money and her older, stern straight laced brother let her live in his basement, but only if she never smoked, worked, paid rent and cleaned up his place...she did what he said. She knew he would have thrown her out with one infraction and that we were not an option. She got a job and walked to and from work in the Chicago winter and neither froze to death or even caught a cold. She paid rent. She cooked meals for the guys who lived there. She cleaned. She quit drugs, even cigarettes and met her boyfriend of now twelve years. We grew close again. She paid to go for a two year course in college. She and boyfriend bought a house. She is good mother to my dear granddaughter.

I don't believe she would have done one thing to quit if we had followed our soft hearts and kept doing for her and giving to her. It had to get hard for her, with no options, for her to turn her life around. And we had to worry at home, alone, but act not worried to her and not give in to her tears. And she was only nineteen. You have a grandchild...that makes it worse. Your daughter is not a fit mother. Your options are to do nothing, to call CPS and tell all (I would) or to go to court to get custody from her, if you are up to it. I like option #2.

Do all adult addicts respond to tough Love? Nope. Some stay addicts. Many end up in prison. You may have excused her transgression against you, but strangers won't.

I have been a member on this forum for over ten years and read many stories like yours. Helping them doesn't help them. The drug users who get their lives together are the ones who are no longer receiving any help from home. I can't think of one example of an addict turning his life around while Mom was giving "help." It is normally after both Mom and Dad say, No more, and mean no more. Unlike when they have the flu, nurturing and kindness does not move an addict forward to success. A desperate life does, if anything does.

You heard my words and probably knew what they would be. I care deeply about your troubles and hope you join Al Anon or get into therapy to seek help for YOU. This is soul destroying for them...and us. And we matter too! Please dont lose yourself. You can not save your daughter nor in my opinion should you try. It hasn't worked yet. It won't.

The baby you have options to help...cps or trying for custody. I would take action to protect the innocent little one. Too bad if addict mom throws a toddler tantrum if you call CPS on her...the baby needs stable care, a foster home, at least. Your daughter has a long way to go to be stable and isn't trying.

Love and hugs. This is hard.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

So sorry you are going through this and when a baby is involved - well I cannot even imagine.

I'd have to say I agree with SWOT. I think you need to help that innocent baby. Your daughter has to help herself.

You are enabling her and we've all done it.

And yes, of course you love her with all your heart. Trust me when I say we get it.

Good luck and please keep us posted.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hello and welcome. Your daughter is using you, playing you, and manipulating you. That is what addicts do. We have all been there with our troubled children.

Thankfully, my addict daughter never had a child so it was easier for us to finally come to the decision to set firm boundaries and stick to them. It took two years of therapy for my husband and I to learn how to do that. Shortly after that, my daughter made the decision that she didn't want to live a druggie lifestyle anymore and finally got sober. She has now been sober for almost two years and is a totally functioning adult with a full time job, her own apartment, and is financially independent.

Before that, however, she acted just like your daughter. She would manipulate us into giving her money which in turned she used for drugs. She, too, used heroin but preferred her beloved Xanax.

Your grandchild complicates the issue for you. I get that. However, things will not get better when you keep enabling your daughter. She will continue to use drugs and put your granddaughter in danger.

Personally, I would report your daughter to CPS to protect the child. Then I would cut off contact with your daughter for the time being until she went into a treatment program or a sober living house.

Go back and keep reading our stories. You will find so many like your own. We are here to provide support and advice. Take what works and leave the rest.



Active Member
It is so painful for a loving parent to turn a deaf ear to begging. But you know, as well as all of us, that she might as well be saying: "Mom, Dad, please buy me my next hit, I'm begging you. I need it. You don't understand how hard it is not to have it."

And I'm sure it is genuinely brutal for her. No one would wish that on themselves.

Personally, I would be very sympathetic to that reality, and offer to help her to get her into a short term detox, and to watch the baby while she does. That is super specific advise, I realize, but it's the only thing that would be consistent with my mission to be the parent my child needs.

Lost in sadness

Active Member
I am so sorry and sad to read your story. You will find a wealth of kind, honest and supportive people on this site, please come often and get the support you need to get through this tough, painful time. Hugs xx


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
This is so terribly awful for you to be going through. I agree so much with all of the advice you have been given thus far.

Have you tried to seek help for yourselves? Private therapy Naranon or NAMI?

I have a niece who is much like your daughter and very near the same age. She even began to sell her babies toys and clothes to foster her drug habit. Her son was tw Ken com her and she recently got him back. I honestly do not feel being with her is in the best interest of this child.

Not easy stuff by any means.

You are not alone.

A great book that helped me is Codependent no More by Melody Beattie. I have read it for a second time recently.


Thank you all for your supportive words and straightforward advice. They have helped my husband and me to stand strong against continued pleas from our daughter. I wish you all well in your situations and find great comfort from this site.