Adult Daughter Stealing from her mother

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scared mother, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Scared mother

    Scared mother New Member

    I have a 35 year old daughter who lived with me till about a week ago when I discovered that she stole money from me for the third time and asked her to leave the house. She separated and then divorced from her husband about 1 1/2 years ago. She and my grandson (currently 6 years old) stayed with me, except when he was staying with his Dad. He got sick and my daughter took him to the hospital after he and she took a staycation in a local hotel. The pediatricians in the hospital she took him to discovered he had a small amount of cocaine in his system, She was arrested and put into jail and lost custody of him. Since then things have gotten worse for her. She has lied to me constantly so that i learned I couldn't trust her. She drank and did drugs and also has anorexia. No matter how my other daughter and I tried to help her get medicaid, tried to get her into therapy, tried to get her to see a doctor, she would not go, or if she did, would not allow us to accompany her. She has had a number of seizures. She has been hospitalized in various treatment programs for alcohol/drug abuse and anorexia but didn't stay the length of the programs. When she lived with me she spent all day in bed.

    I threw her out of my house last week after I discovered she had sole a large amount of money from my retirement account. I'm glad I did it but am petrified that she is going to die and don't know how I will live with myself if that happens. Does anyone have any advice?
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel


    Welcome and please know you are not alone. We all have, or had struggles very similar to yours.

    My son is now out of our home and he is not 18 until Friday.

    We did not cause their illness, we can’t control it and can not cure it.

    Do you have help, support an therapist or local bars in meeting to attend for support?

    Lead by example and do not lose you over her addiction.

    As desperate as we are to guide them to help, If they are not willing we can not force their hand.

    Stay strong and keep posting.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Somehow in her care her son got cocaine in his system??

    Your daughter is very sick, but unsafe to those who love her the most. There is no excuse for refusing help, stealing, and hurting her child. You in my opinion cant allow her to live with you since she steals. And if something happens to her, it will be 100% because of herself, not you. She refuses help so there is not one thing you can do for her. In your house or out of your house she is in danger because of the alcohol/drugs, the behavior which wont change just because she is under your roof and the anorexia. Are you sure its anorexia and not a lack of appetite due yo meth or cocaine? The seizures maybe ftom drugs?

    I hope your grandson is safe. He should not be with her or alone with her. Nor should you. She is 35 years old and needs to do this on her own. You cant save her. There is nothing you can do that will help or hurt her. She is the only one who can save herself. To me, stealing is a dealbreaker. You never come into my home again if you can do that. Did you call the police?

    I know this may sound harsh but the fact is you must protect yourself from her. You tried everything to help her and she did nothing to help herself. You need to take care of yourself now and only she can take care of herself. Or not. You cant force her to do the hard work of healing.

    I have a good book for you to read. Try Codependent No More by Melody Beatty.

    I know this is anguish, and that you may see her as that little girl that you have to save, but she is a fully grown woman now and legally you cant make her get help. Sometimes sheltering them and not calling the police harms them, although our hearts are in the right places. Their hearts must also be in the tight places or nothing will change. Do you see a therapist? Go to Al Anon? I highly recommend both for you.

    Love and light.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  4. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    I am so very sorry to read your story. I have a very troubled 35 year old daughter. I also have a deceased son that would be 36 this year but died when he was 13, almost 14. My daughter lies and steals from me, I have taken her to counseling for many years but I do not think anything has helped. I believe she is a psychopath while she is manic. My daughter's bad behavior has grieved me more than my son's death. I had to detach from my daughter years ago and I told myself that if she died during that time it would be horrible but our relationship as it was, was a death all to itself. Our relationship is dead, I do not trust her, I also told myself that if she died maybe she could turn into a good spirit. That is how I made it through the detatchment period. It all sounds so easy but the truth is I cried all day, prayed and knew I could not go back and let her continuely abuse me. I had to do what I had to do. Years went on and we had a workable relationship, of course she lied and used me here and there but for the most part it was workable. She has a no good live in boyfriend. Recently she stole $7.000.00 from me. I feel like an idot, I knew she was awful yet I trusted her one more time to do right. My heart is shattered like a death. I have texted her and talk on the phone with her but in the pit of my soul she makes me sick. I have a headache writting this because of how sick I become when I am around her. As soon as my emotions settle down I will take drastic action. I will get my money back and she will pay restitution.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. As I've said before, you might chose to be lenient prior to age 21, but after certainly are not helping at all to enable an adult child. It almost always makes things worse.

    The others have given you awesome advice. I would look into therapy if you aren't going already. I would definitely look into some sort of support group like Alanon or Parent's Anonymous. These support groups are very helpful

    As I see it, protect yourself and grandson. No way would I allow her to live with me.

    If your daughter legitimately wants help, you can guide her to NA mtgs or give her gift cards to the local food store (Limited), give her information re applying for food stamps, or send her to a doctor and pay for the visit. I would consider (key word: consider) very general and limited help IF she is civil you.

    If she can't be civil to you or you are afraid, I would consider changing the locks to your doors and limiting speaking with her...even not speaking with her at all. I would also consider pressing charges re the theft. And if she steals from you again, don't consider it immediately.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Welcome SM, I am so sorry for your need to be here. It sounds like you have been dealing with your daughters troubles for a long time. It is a hard journey to be on.
    You have gotten some really sound advice here.
    You didn’t cause this and can’t control it, whether your daughter lives with you or not.
    My two also engage in risky behaviors that could mean their demise.
    It is a cold, hard fact of the choices they make.
    I so understand how you are feeling. As mothers, we never want to see our children, no matter what age, suffer, or leave this earth before us.
    Those pervasive thoughts are probably what keep us engaged for so long, feeling that there must be something, anything we can do to prevent the train wreck.
    In reality though, if we continue to try to help them, even when they are going off the rails, to try to shield them from the consequences of their choices, we are actually making it easier for them to continue as is.
    I think that would be harder to live with.
    Something could happen to my two if they lived with me.
    Not a one of us imagined our adult d cs falling off the deep end. It is no wonder that when it happens we try and try and try to help.
    It becomes the norm to be in this state.
    For them as much as us.
    We give, they take.
    We forgive, they take advantage.
    What a cycle.
    They don’t want help to get clean, they want a place to stay, to be comfortable while they continue as is.
    They take advantage of our love in the worse ways.
    It is unacceptable.
    It is a harsh reality, but true. If you continued to house your daughter, bargaining away your safety and sanity, it would not change for her.
    Unless she wanted change and made better choices.
    She’s not making better choices.
    When people show you who they are, believe them.
    You have taken a very large step in showing your daughter that her disrespect is unacceptable and intolerable.
    She threw herself out of your home.
    She stole from you.
    You put your foot down. As hard as it seems now, it is a good thing, for you and for her.
    Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
    When I put my foot down and said enough, I went through similar feelings. Not knowing where my two were, knowing how troubled and drugknapped they were.
    It really is grieving we go through, in all of the stages.
    But, they have not passed, this is not the grief of losing a loved one.
    Our d cs are out there, living.
    We grieve their lifestyle and choices, and the what if’s.
    We grieve what we know from past experience with them.
    Acknowledging this is important, we have to process the hurt of it somehow.
    It is hard.
    But, they are still alive, as long as there is life, there is hope.
    I am sorry for your aching heart.
    You have landed in a good place here and will receive much guidance from folks who understand your pain.
    I think when we go through so much with our d cs we become conditioned to some pretty appalling situations. Shell shocked and battle weary, we suffer our own form of ptsd.
    There is a way through it, a light at the end of the tunnel. You have taken the first step, by drawing the line. It is up to your daughter to make better choices to change her life’s course. It is up to you to redirect your focus and work on yourself. You have value and worth. You have the rest of your life to live.
    Try not to write the end of the story, projecting the worst case scenario. Our d cs are remarkably resilient, they find ways to survive. They are out there, living the consequences of their choices.
    It is how we humans learn.
  7. Scared mother

    Scared mother New Member

    Thank all of you for your support and advice. Even though I continue to worry about her I know I have made the right decision. She hasn’t been home in the past 6 weeks. She is anorexic and she may very well die. I pray every night that she’ll pull through and get the support and help she needs.

    The idea of purchasing a grocery card or paying for her to see a doctor are good ones. I myself am not in therapy for this nor have I attended Alanon
    Meetings recently but I will do both of these things.

    Again, thanks for the support and quidance. It is very helpful to hear from other parents who have gone or are going through the same thing.

    I hope we can stay in touch.

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Scared mother, I'm glad you've chosen to attend 12 step meetings and get yourself into therapy. Those 2 choices will help you in many, many ways. This is a devastating path for us parents, more often than not, we need professional support to get thru it.

    I have an older daughter who is a challenge too. It takes awhile for us to walk thru this terrain and learn how to detach and accept what is. You may find solace in reading the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

    As SWOT mentioned, the book Codependent no more, by Melodie Beattie is an excellent resource. As are books by Pema Chodron and Eckhart Tolle who teach about learning to live in chaos and uncertainty and staying in the present moment, not future tripping or living in the past.

    Any support you can find for YOU leads the way for us to find true joy and peace for ourselves, regardless of what our kids are doing or not doing. It takes time, it's a process, we often require lots of support and guidance, but it is doable.

    Hang in there, I know how difficult it is. Get yourself a good support system, develop a "tool box" of supportive things you do for yourself when you are feeling pulled into your daughter's lifestyle choices and dramas. Keep posting, it helps so much to write our stories down and have others who understand and won't judge listen and makes a huge difference to be heard.

    You're not alone. We're all here with you.
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  9. Scared mother

    Scared mother New Member

    Thank you so much. Can you tell me which parent meetings would be good to search for? I have searched online but can’t find any near me that meet my same criteria.

  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You can try Families Anonymous, many here find solace in these meetings. (Or Al Alnon or Narc Anon, or CoDa, which is Codependent Anonymous).

    You might also try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, you can access them online, they have chapters in most cities. They offer an excellent course for us parents which many of us, including me, have taken. They can offer you information, resources, guidance and support.

    I entered a two year course on Codependency, lead by therapists, which was in the Substance Abuse program thru my HMO here in Northern California. You might try checking with your health insurance to see if something like that exists. That was, for me, the single most important thing I did for myself, the therapists helped so much in helping me to change my enabling/codependent correct my "faulty" thinking and to offer me tools and guidance to shift the dysfunctional part of my connection with my daughter.

    When you find a therapist, she/he may be able to guide you to a parent support group in your area, or a general support group. You can try googling the Psychology Today website and to find therapists.

    You may have to search around for a therapist and group that works for you and meets your criteria.... where you feel safe and that it's a good fit for you.

    You're on your way......hang in there.......keep posting.....
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  11. Scared mother

    Scared mother New Member

    Thank you so very much. I so appreciate the quidance and help!
  12. Destroyed mother

    Destroyed mother New Member

    My daughter has stolen everything I own including pills. She even stole $200+ clothes from her own children the day and day after I bought it. She trashes my house yells and cusses. Damages the walls. Abandoned her her baby. Got her back. I have 2 of her girls in my home they will be here until she is stable. Her relationship was insane constantly being abused coming home to me for help. I put my foot down. She can't come home until she is stable. Who is my daughter now. She used to be a good girl.
  13. Destroyed mother

    Destroyed mother New Member

    I'm exhausted from trying to help my daughter. I'm done she can figure it out on her own time not mine.
  14. Destroyed mother

    Destroyed mother New Member

    I enabled my daughter for 10 years as i watched her get worse. I'm sick to my stomach. Uh how could I be so stupid. You're not alone i know how you feel.
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi DM,
    I am so sorry for your troubles. I can’t answer right now, I am at work. Just wanted to let you know you are not alone. You have replied to an old post. If you start your own thread, you’ll receive more response from the kind folks here.
    Welcome to this site. Please continue to post and let us know how you are doing. It is a tough road to be on. Hang in there!
  16. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Enabler here. Just recently jumped off the enabling bridge but it hurts.

    You are not alone.