Adult daughter stole entire life savings

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jeanne in CA, May 26, 2014.

  1. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    We retired and relocated just before the economy turned sour. All of the transactions of selling and buying another home were over the phone and by mail. I didn't like it, I discussed many times with hubby that anyone could obtain our SSN and easily steal our identity.

    Same with my 401K, I took out a loan from myself so we could close on the new while waiting for the old to sell. Everything was phone and computer.

    Years ago I was sent one of the blank checks the credit card companies send out and I threw it away without opening the mail. Someone took it out of the trash (living in an apartment at the time and it was communal trash can) cashed it for $1000 charged to my credit card. It took me over a year to get that corrected, but taught me a huge lesson about security. That one wasn't my son lol!

    When my son and girlie hacked my computer and were trying to access my banking account I was getting emails about password changes so I changed all of my security info to really goofy things. Freddie Krooger as my pet's name etc. I have the credit card company put a flag (not sure what it is called) where any transaction of $200 or more is not approved without them calling me.

    It's a pain and still not the safest, it's only an automated call to my home and I simply press a key to confirm I made the transaction. When they were sending my emails to her computer I never even thought that they were forwarding them, hubby and I both thought it was a computer virus! I felt really dumb when I called tech support and he told me they were forwarded (a copy) to another email address.

    It's sad when you can't thrust your own children!
  2. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    Tiredof33- You know, somehow when strangers hack your account or steal your mail, it just isn't surprising anymore. I guess we have become so jaundiced about people that bad behavior is expected. What is absolutely beyond comprehension is the kind of betrayal your describe from your son. The girlfriend doesn't surprise me, but when your own child not only does not protect you from theft, but encourages and activiely participates, it is a betrayal that you do not really get over.
  3. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    Tiredof33- You know, somehow when strangers hack your account or steal your mail, it just isn't surprising anymore. I guess we have become so jaundiced about people that bad behavior is expected. What is absolutely beyond comprehension is the kind of betrayal you describe from your son. The girlfriend doesn't surprise me, but when your own child not only does not protect you from theft, but encourages and actively participates, it is a betrayal that you do not really get over.
  4. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    I find I am having nightmares several times a week which are followed by headaches and bone-weary fatigue. I can’t remember having nightmares before discovering the identity theft. That is not to say I slept well. For the entire time this entire mess was going on, I never got one full night’s rest. Even during those nights where I slept on the floor beside my mom’s bed, worried to death about her, I could not escape the anxiety over what was happening with our finances. I could not stop thinking about the fact that I could not write a check that didn’t bounce or get any real resolution through all of the growing number of “representatives” who were supposedly working on my accounts. I now realize that there was a genuine opportunism in my daughter’s timing---that she chose the long, dark months of my mother’s terminal illness, a time when I was particularly off-balance emotionally, to increase the tempo of her thievery.
    As things got progressively worse with our finances, so did my nights. It was one crisis after another during the day. At night, before falling asleep I worried about all of the things that were going wrong. I would examine and reexamine what actions I had taken, and what additional actions I could take the next day. I kept a notepad and pen on the night stand so I could write ideas down as they came to me in my sleep. That is using the term sleep very loosely. Every night I would pray the same prayer, “God, please give me strength, wisdom, and patience.” and then swallow two Tylenol PM just to try to settle down enough to sleep for a couple of hours.
    I was always tempted to take something stronger to help me sleep but was afraid for two reasons. First, I was afraid that anything stronger would make me too groggy the next day to do what I needed to do, to work my list of action steps. Second, I was afraid that anything stronger could be addictive, and that was the last thing Jmy husband and our kids needed, a drug-addicted wife and mother. Nothing would ever get straightened out if that happened. I didn’t want to contribute to the problems, I wanted to solve them. For the same reason, I never resorted to alcohol. I often joked that if I drank, I would be an alcoholic, Given the circumstances, I wasn’t about to take any chances. So, I would say my little prayer and pop my two Tylenol PM and hope for the best.
    The best usually lasted from about midnight until 3:30 when every night the demons would come. They came in the form of what felt like an electric shock shooting a very high voltage current through my entire body from the tips of my fingers to the bottoms of my feet. It was physically excruciating. The first few nights that happened I felt sure that something had actually shocked me. There had to be a concrete explanation. We have lamps, telephones, and electrical outlets etc. around our bed so I started examining everything that could explain it. I came up empty. Slowly I came to realize that the “electrical currents” were not actually caused by outside forces. Rather, they just were the instrument used to jolt me out of sleep and set my mind to worry again. Every time it happened, I would immediately start thinking the same litany of thoughts, “Why are you sleeping? You don’t have time to sleep! You have to fix this stuff! You cannot sleep until you get your brother paid back. You just need to work harder, do more, be better!” Every single night it was the same thing. Eventually, my mind would turn to dread. I would dread what horrible emails would be awaiting me first thing in the morning, what collection calls would start coming in as soon as it turned eight o’clock, and what awful news would be in the mail that day.
    My husband had his own sleep issues during that time that continue to present day. He would fall asleep on the couch until about four in the morning until he would turn off the TV and come to bed. By that time, I was awake, but pretended I was asleep. There was no point in sharing what I was going through at the time. He had his own burden to carry and he couldn’t do a thing about what was happening to me. Most nights I would wait until he fell asleep again, and then creep downstairs where I would sit in the dark to cry and worry. I would turn the TV on just to have a distraction but that seldom worked. On more than one occasion I would discover that Comcast had shut off our service claiming that we had not paid the bill, so the TV would not even come on. Sometimes I would go back to bed and try to get a little more sleep. More often than not, I would just sit in the dark with a cup of tea anxiously awaiting the day.
  5. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    Immediately after I discovered tour daughter's ongoing financial and identity theft, things changed dramatically. Almost overnight the “electrical shock therapy”, as I had come to think of it, ceased. I was no longer mentally plagued with a continuous string of questions about what was going on with our accounts everywhere. The questions turned from “What is going on?” to “What all did she do?”, “Why would she do this?” and “What were we going to do about it?” My nights were now filled with thoughts of potential answers to those questions and a never-ending list of things I needed to do. Even with the Tylenol PM, sound sleep always remained out of reach. If I doubled up on it, I was a zombie the next day, and zombies can’t fix things. I settled into a routine of tossing and turning and trying to sleep until Javier would come to bed. As soon as he settled down, I was free to get up and stumble downstairs. I felt totally numb and overwhelmed beyond my ability to describe with mere words. I had to give myself pep talks just put one foot in front of another. I would tell myself, “Just start with a cup of tea and go from there.” After the tea, I would tell myself, “Now just pick up that folder. Now just put everything in that folder in chronological order.” On and on it would go, hour after hour, day after day.
    Today, I sleep longer. No more electrical shocks and no more endless and ultimately useless questions about why she did the things she did and where this is all going to end. My nights fluctuate between mentally writing and rewriting my still endless “to-do” list and nightmares. I still take two Tylenol PM each night and I still pray for strength, guidance and patience.
    I would like to get rid of the nightmares but, even understanding that they are a byproduct of this seemingly endless trip to hell and back, they continue. Many times I don’t remember all the details and I am glad. They always leave me with a headache. The headaches slowdown my progress and frustrate me. The nightmares I do remember are pretty mundane in that I don’t wake up screaming and hitting my husband in his sleep.
    Sometimes I dream I am trapped in a box about the same dimensions as a coffin and I cannot move. I cannot get out and I cannot make anyone hear me when I yell. There is not enough room in the box for me to pound my fists on the inside of the lid so I just lie there trying to think of a plan of action. Finally, the headache wakes me up and I get up and stumble downstairs just to get away from it.
    Other nightmares are work related. In my dream I am once again working at a very stressful job with a lot of responsibility. Most of my jobs in government were like that. I liked having a lot of responsibility and was able to handle the stress well. In this dream however, I am in trouble. Somehow I am being investigated for embezzling thousands and thousands of dollars of government funds. I knew I had not embezzled anything, but investigators had invoices with my signatures on them. I knew those signatures were fraudulent, but I could not convince them and therefore could not prove my innocence. The powers that be had deemed me a thief and were determined to put me in jail. The headache wakes me up.
    One of the nightmares that bothered me most was one where my daughter and I were out and about in a town that appeared to be my hometown in PA, but yet I could not find our way home. We were on foot and kept walking the streets over and over. I knew I could find us a way to get home, yet my every attempt failed. Every street I led us to looked familiar at first, but eventually brought us to another dead end. We walked forever. I tried to call my husband on my phone because I knew he would come and get us. My call to him would not go through. I wanted to call my dad and then remembered that he was dead. I kept calling Jmy husband until finally my phone died. I was beginning to feel frantic because it was getting dark and we were lost, and I needed to protect my daughter. There were no taxis, no busses, no one to ask for directions. I asked my daughter to call her dad on her phone. She said she couldn’t get through. I asked her to text him and she said she did. Over and over she told me she tried, but could not get her dad to respond. Finally, I was able to catch a glimpse of her phone and see that she had never tried to call her dad. She was lying the entire time. I never learned why.
    I don’t spend a lot of times thinking about the nightmares or the headaches they cause. I don’t have to be a psychologist or psychiatrist to know that they are connected to this whole mess. I know they will probably diminish with time. On the other hand, I am realistic enough to know they will probably be replaced with new ones once our daughter is confronted, and held accountable through whatever process appropriate. There is little I can do about any of that. I will just have to deal with whatever comes.
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Jeanne, I am so sorry for what she has done to your life. I pray that somehow, someway, a resolution comes soon, and somehow, someway, you can create a strong boundary---a wall---between you and all of this, so you can move on.

    Put it all in a box and tape up the box, and throw the box over a big cliff, or bury it in the ground or throw it off a bridge. Put the past in its place, and start to rebuild from it, with your amazing aptitudes, attitudes and great character and values and qualities. You have so much going for you, even with all of this, Jeanne. That is clear from what you write.

    Reading the stories on this site, story after story, person after person, the pain, the endlessness of it all, with our very own children, nobody else would believe it.

    Our own children.

    But Jeanne, there is hope. There is sun after the rain. There is peace after the angst.

    There is a new day after the everlasting nightly Parade of the Terribles like you describe above.

    But we have to create it. We have to work for it. We have to do new things, every single day, over and over and over again, to create those new neural pathways RE talks about, to replace the deep ruts of the old ones.

    We did our jobs. We had children, we raised them with love, support, affection, rules, boundaries, so much encouragement and opportunity. We did our jobs.

    Now they are adults. Our jobs are over. Our jobs are over. And---for some of us, our relationships with those now-adult children are no more, or they are just a trickle of what they could have been. Okay, that is sad, but you know what, I'm tired of being sad about it.

    It is what it is. Life on life's terms. For whatever unknown reason, this is to be our story. What has happened, what is true now and what will be to come---this is our story, and no matter what happens tomorrow, it is our story right now.

    So that is reality. And whatever reality is, I want to accept it. I want to Quit. Struggling. Against.

    My son can choose differently. Your daughter can choose differently. It is completely up to them and no one else. There is always a chance to change.

    Having said that, I don't want to expect change. I want to just expect more of the same, and if something changes, then bingo, what a great surprise!

    Jeanne, I hope you can take a wonderful bubble bath tonight, get some flowers for your kitchen table tomorrow, smile at your husband, and remember that there is still a great life out there to be had. You are an inspiration to me! Thank you for your openness and your honesty. Warm hugs for you from me.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jeanne, I am so sad to read your posts, your sorrow, overwhelm, determination and devastation fly off of the page........I am so sorry once again to know that this has happened to you. You've lost so much, not just your life savings, your security, your sense of safety and comfort, but you've also lost your daughter........and you've had to face what she chose to do to you ...........I can certainly understand the nightmares, the headaches, the crying and the worrying.

    I imagine putting all your efforts into doing all the research, the paperwork, dealing with the banks and the police, the attorneys and everyone else you've had to deal with has been a curse but also a bit of blessing to be busy all the time so you don't have to feel. I think that would be a fairly natural way to deal with what's happened to you and your husband.

    I want to invite you to get yourself support through this...........and to do it now, not when it's finally 'over'.

    You've been at this for some time, this survival, this coping, this dealing with the facts so you can put it all together for yourself as well as the authorities. I applaud what an earnest and thorough job you've done. However my concern is for your vulnerable, heartbroken, devastated self who is buried underneath all of the doingness, so that you can get the job done and not fall apart. I think when we take the kind of blows you'e sustained, you have to make getting support for YOU the highest priority so you can get through this remarkably, unrelenting, treacherous landscape of horrors.

    You are more valuable then your life savings, your credit rating, your mortgage, your home, any of your material things and yes, even your daughter. You deserve to be comforted, to have someone hold your hand through this, to have someone or a group of someones, hold your heart and keep it safe, while you march steadfastly through the war zone. We humans are not meant to be isolated, to trudge through life "getting the job done" without a loving family, a village, a best friend, a therapist, a support group, whatever it takes to feel as if we're not alone and we are being held upright by strong arms..........and held tightly when we need to break down and deserve that Jeanne, you not only deserve it, you need it, you need it so that while this is happening you can breathe, you can on occasion smile and even laugh, you can notice the sun set or the moon the midst of all the heartache and all the losses, life manages to continue moving ahead..............

    We need that balance point when we are annihilated by circumstances............ to create a balance between the darkness we are experiencing and the ever present light which we can lose sight of. It's very important Jeanne to open yourself up to support, to empathy, to compassion, to help, to others to be there for you during this time.

    It is so easy for us to be stoic, to be strong, to soldier on through all of it...............but there is absolutely no reason to do that alone............there is always help for us, all we have to do make ourselves available for it.

    My wish for you Jeanne, is that now, while you are still in the throes of this heartbreak, get yourself some support, just for you, not to help with the case, but to help with your broken heart, to help you put the pieces of your life back together, not from a vantage point of material things, or money or accounts.........but the more important components of taking care of ourselves, of nurturing ourselves so we can replenish what has been lost.........of loving ourselves and being connected to others...........of intimacy and understanding.............of friendship and grace.............. of empathy and beauty. Remember there is more out there then this experience, life is still the same miracle it was before your daughter took the sun out of your life............that sun will shine again..........but in the meantime you will have to grab some of that light and pull it in to do that by getting help, getting support, getting your needs met and nourishing
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  8. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    RE knows what she is talking about Jeanne, different circumstances but same advise she gave me a couple months ago. Sharing some of the burden with a friend or therapist really does help.

    For around 10+ years I had replaced therapy with these forums, aromatherapy (lavender real good), bubble baths, music, dance, karate, meditation, pets but in March life just slammed me out of left field (never saw it coming) at 75+MPH.

    If it hadn't been for following RE's advise and getting professional help doubt I would still be here today to type this. A stroke or sleep deprivation would have taken me out by now.

    Over the counter at pharmacy where they sell the vitamins look for Melatonin, it works better and is safer then tylenol PM. The developmental pediatrician prescribed it for my youngest when she was 8yo, stuff has helped me a lot the past couple months; and I'm overly medications sensitive (can't take anything) due to a drug addiction past. I can't stress enough you need to get sleep.

    Keep posting and shedding this negative energy in every manner possible. Might try writing out on paper what kind of person does what she did, what she deserves done to her (don't hold back you are the only one who will ever see this) then once you've gotten it all out go to your bbq or fire place and burn those pages then bury the ashes in the backyard.

    The anger, the hurt, the betrayal you can't just suck this up and sweep it under the rug - it will eat you alive from the inside or cause a lump in carpet so can't get door open and imprison you.

    You don't deserve what you are going thru in any way, but you've proven already that you are a survivor. We all know how strong you are but it's not weakness to get help it's just being smart enough to outsource some of this stress.

    Sorry didn't mean to type a book when sat down here, sending you hugs and calming thoughts and wishes for peace

  9. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    My oh my, I simply cannot get over how kind and wise and articulate you all are. I am so appreciative of all of your posts and the specific suggestions. I will read and reread until everything sinks in.

    COM- you spoke of creating a wall, putting everything in a box and getting rid of it. Your words stuck hom in that I believe that that is exactly what my husband has done and I have not been able to do yet. Sometimes he is quicker than I in knowing how to take care of himself. On the other hand, I am the one still dealing with the police (as late as yesterday), the tax situation (a nightmare that will not quit), and all of the other accoutrements her actions have blessed us with.

    I totally agree with you that there is hope, and I do have faith that the right things will happen at some point. The waiting is so difficult as I am sure you know. It is tough to think of starting over but I have been working hard on creating new memories without her and trying to wipe out the thousands of hours we spent together in what I thought was a close loving relationship over the years. Our children are our hearts. I realize that I have to think in the concrete terms that you describe, namely, we did our job and it is over. The rest is up to them. On the other hand, I can't feel that my job is over until she is held accountable for what she has done.

    You say this is now part of our story. How about that? We get to star in a drama that we never even auditioned for. And, we, like so many of you, had neither the desire nor the experience to handle. This is truly a learn as you go effort. We don't ask for this story and we can hate it as much as we want, but it is still ours. You are correct, there is a great life out there and we intend to ease back into it. I say ease back into it because we are unable to do anything else while everything else is still pending. Bankruptcy, taxes, police investigation and upcoming arrest etc. have a way of putting a damper on things but I am determined to make every effort to ensure that she takes nothing else from us.

    RE- You are so right that being busy has been such a blessing. As much as I have felt every painful discovery, it would have been much worse to be idle and just wondering and worrying. You speak of nourshing oneself and creating a balance. There are probably few mothers out there who know exactly how to do that all the time. I know I have not. I recognize the words but they have had no meaning until just recently. In a way, I may have thought that by staying busy and staying focused I was taking care of myself. I felt that any truth was better than no truth and although I stilll feel that way, I can see that my tolerance for the naked truth has waned as things have continued to pile up.

    You speak of continuing to put my thoughts in writing and seek comfortand support. Even that is difficult because I sometimes feel like doing so is self-serving and without definite purpose. However, I have learned throughout this past year that seeking help from the forensic psychiatrist, my cousin a psychologist, and even a few trusted family members and friends have provided not only comfort but practical ideas and thoughts. That has been invaluable. Your point about creating a balance struck home with me. The psychatrist told me the same thing but for some reason it did not resonate until I read your post. Thank you for that.

    Helpangel- thank you so much for your kind words and your suggestion for the melatonin. I will try that right away since I hate taking so much Tylenol PM.

    I was going to describe a couple of other occurrences here but don't want to make my posts so long. I will limit myself to one and send it separately. Thank you all again so much.
  10. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    The confrontation- I first confronted our daughter on March 28, 2013 after I learned about the $400 withdrawal made with my stolen ATM card. She had just returned from PA to CA and I was still at the house in PA intending to return to CA within the next few days. I told her I knew she was behind that theft as well as others. Over the next three days she texted her dad and me several times with abusive, outrageous claims. She accused me of making “a mess of all her hard work” and still maintained that she had “additional proof” that she was not responsible for any of the financial problems we had been dealing with. She claimed she was “done with me” and that “I was on my own from then on.” She kept saying that she could not believe how I could hurt her like that when “all she had done was work so hard to help us both.” She actually said, “I have not had parents for a long time and will continue to do without.” At the same time she still wanted me to go with her to the financial institutions to meet with the people she had been dealing with on my behalf “get the facts straight.” (I knew by that time that all the documents she had given me and all the people she had supposedly dealt with were her own fabrications.) She emphasized over and over that she was “not a monster” and that she would never forgive me for hurting her like this. She texted her dad and, among other things, told him that she was done helping us with discounted plane tickets and trying to keep me from having a “freaking mental breakdown.” That text alone confirmed that she could see how mentally fragile I was at the time. For her to know that, and for her to know that she alone was the cause is still difficult for me to process.
    After confronting her on the phone, I flew back to CA on April 3 with my stomach in knots. I dreaded every aspect of coming home, knowing that I would have to face her, face her dad, and face the truth of everything that had happened to him and me under my watch.
    It was late when my husband picked me up so we didn’t discuss anything that night. In the morning I told him what I had discovered, which was essentially that I had proof that she had embezzled thousands of dollars from at several of my accounts and I was not sure how many of our accounts together had been affected. I told him about the fabricated emails, letters, documents, and bank representatives she had created. It was the most difficult conversation I have ever had in my entire life. I was shaking as if I had palsy. Not only was I telling him about what all she had done, I was telling him that he and I were in severe financial trouble. Little did I know how severe. It was clear to him that I had trusted her and relied on her for “help” rather than either handle things myself or come to him for assistance. I was not going to get into the rationale for not doing either at that point. I was too drained. I told him that I instructed her to show up that morning with either her husband or an attorney in tow so we could discuss the extent of her actions and develop a plan. We got up and got dressed and waited in silence. The tension was unbearable.
  11. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    She finally showed up with neither her husband nor an attorney. She had brought our precious granddaughter. We told her we knew she had been siphoning funds from our accounts and specifically told her about two bank accounts, an investment account, and the ATM withdrawal. She was hostile and sarcastic and totally denied any wrong doing. Her dad told her that we knew now that we probably have no choice. but to send her to jail He asked her if she was going to come forward and tell us everything or if she was going to deny everything yet again, giving us no choice but to pursue criminal action against her.
    My husband asked her repeatedly if she was going to come forward. We both asked her several times what she had done with the money. She just responded, “You think I made all this up?” She told her dad, “You want the truth? Your wife has not been telling you the truth for three years!” She was terrified of telling you I was helping her!” He said, “You are right, I have not been in the loop as much as I should have been but that stops today!” “Your mom and I today, as a unit, will see to that. You are nothing but lies and deception. And, furthermore, we are getting your husband involved as well! ” She replied, “He knows everything. I told him everything!” Her dad said, “Well he is going to hear it from us!” At that point, she just said, “He’s working today so good luck with that.”
    The discussion continued in the same vein for several minutes until her dad told her “We don’t want you anywhere close to us. You only bring problems. This is not going to go away. The only hope we had was for you to be truthful. We are in the process of assessing the damage and trying to see how we can protect you but it is not worth it with that kind of attitude.” I then said, “We have to report everything. We have no choice.” Her dad told her, “There may be other people involved and we are not going to protect them, so we have to report everything.” She responded, “If you do, I am confident of the fact that you will find nothing. Good luck digging as far as you can dig. Take it as far as you want to take it. You are not going to find anything." Her dad finally told her, “Get out and do not come back here.” He tried to call her husband on his phone and then said to me, “He doesn’t answer.” She said, “Go ahead. Good one though. Good try.” He left a voicemail.
    I very calmly, in a voice that sounded tight and hollow to my own ears, told her that it was clear that none of the people supposedly involved in my bank stuff ever existed. She said that was not true. Even after all that had taken place, I held out a tiny bit of hope that maybe, just maybe she was telling at least a little truth, so I asked; “Can you produce even one of these people?” She said, “I can definitely produce these people. It will all come out in court and I have every confidence in the world.” Then I asked, “Then can you produce my money?” She said, “What money?” I replied, “The thousands of dollars that are missing from all my accounts!” She said, ‘I know we can meet with these people and figure this all out.” “For the past three years I have done nothing but try to help you.”
  12. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    The encounter continued along similar lines and both her voice and her dad's escalated until she finally said “I’m not saying anything else because you will hold it against me.” At one point I separated the two of them for fear of upsetting the baby. The baby was going back and forth between the three of us until I sent my husband into the living room to calm down. Then she was handed back and forth between our daughter and me like she was playing a game, until our daughter would no longer allow her to come to me. At one point our daughter wanted to leave and I calmly told her she could not leave and take the baby while she, herself, was so upset. Within a few minutes she calmed down and I knew I had no choice but to let her take the baby and leave. As they were walking to her car, I realized that she had left behind a suitcase full of items that she had asked me to bring her from PA when I returned. I wheeled the suitcase out to the car and said, “Here. You forgot this.” She looked at me one last time and asked, “So do I really need to get an attorney?” I said, “I certainly would if I were you.”
    Over the course of the next few days I was extremely anxious and stressed out over the confrontation and my clear expectation that I would hear from her. I had no idea what more to say to her since I was already discovering more theft. We both expected to hear from her husband and were both stressed out over what we would have to tell him about what she had done. When he did not return the voice mail my husband had left, he and I both followed up with text messages about a week apart. We never heard back from either one of them.
    I could go on forever regarding the “games and vignettes” but after a while, it takes more energy than I am willing to expend. One could reasonably ask why l spent so much time with her if she was so mean. Of course, in many cases I did not learn of her actions until after I discovered the identity theft. Also, she wasn’t always mean. More often than not she was funny and fun to be around. I needed a distraction from the aftermath of my mom’s death and in the face of all these problems, and she and the baby provided that. I felt that it was time well spent because they needed me also. I took care of the baby, helped clean the house, did mountains of laundry, and sometimes cooked for them.
    Spending time with them was a much-needed diversion for me and simultaneously provided us time to work on “my problems.” I would bring my laptop over to their house and write letters and emails etc., while she would make calls supposedly on my behalf. I traveled with a constant list of things to do each day. If she got testy or said something mean, I attributed it the fact that I was creating problems for her and she was frustrated. I felt so unbelievably guilty all the time. I just kept thinking that here she was with a husband, a home, a child and her own business, and I was burdening her with my problems. Whenever I told her that, she would reassure me that she really wanted to help me and enjoyed our time together. The truth was that I felt I needed her help, and without it, I would be left alone to fight these never-ending battles. We were finally friends and I was so proud of her and who she had become. I certainly did not realize that her offers of “help” were designed to perpetrate her cover-up of the ongoing theft, control the information that came to me, manipulate events so that I was unaware of her duplicity, and---I now believe---keep me off-balance emotionally so that I was more vulnerable, more gullible, and more eager to accept her assistance.
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Jeanne, I wanted you to know I read your posts. It is so helpful to our healing to gather our thoughts and know we have been heard.

    Betrayal on so many levels, Jeanne.

    You are doing the right thing for yourselves, and for your daughter. Sometimes, there is nothing else to say. I am sorry this is all so horrific. You sound very strong, very centered.

    Melatonin was a great idea. Also, there is something called Calms Forte, an over the counter stress reducer. Available at WalMart for like, $5.

    When I cannot sleep, it helps me a little to know that, all over the world, women "of a certain age" seem to be wandering around wide awake at 3 a.m.

    I like to think of us all out there, when I cannot sleep.

    Holding you in my thoughts, Jeanne.

  14. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Jeanne, your story is absolutely heartbreaking and I want you to know that I am thinking of you right now. I pray right now that you will somehow experience peace to get you through this ordeal, and that calmness will somehow find its way into your mind.
  15. jeanne in CA

    jeanne in CA Member

    Cedar and Tryagain, thank you so much for your thoughtful words. Cedar, I will try the Calms Forte as well.

    It has been a trying last few days. I finally saw my brother (the one I borrowed the $20,000 from supposedly for a week and it took two years and a half years to pay him back) it he was very good. As far as he is concerned, the issue is done and over with, even though he still struggles to understand how our daughter has managed to pull this off. He has no faith in the criminal justice system and suggested we sue her civilly. Of course, that makes no sense to me right now since, we have no money for a civil law suit given that we are already dealing with bankruptcy attorneys, bank attorneys, etc. And, she has no money at all. I explained that with a criminal conviction a win in a civil suit would be much easier. He also doesn't get why my husband did not taken a more active part in trying to resolve the financial issues when they were taking place. He has a very John Wayne approach to life and he protects his wife. I admire that but our relationship is very different. We basically divide things based on who's best at them and I have always handled the bills etc. With many of the accounts in my name, they wanted to talk to me. In addition, I was the one communicating with the representatives all the time. I think my brother was just worried about me on one hand. On the other hand, he may have felt that had my husband been involved more, things would not have gotten so far. He was not trying to be judgemental, just trying to understand and apply his own logic and methods. I, on the other hand, just still feel so bad. I have apologized so many times and he keeps telling me it is not necessary and that is all in the past. For me, it is the simple concept that he helped me when I needed it and he got royally screwed for his troubles. I cannot imagine ever forgiving my daughter for hurting him that way and forever changing my history with my brother.

    On the same day, I met with our minister and explained the situation. I felt that I needed that type of support very much right now but knew it would be impossible to obtain without telling the entire sordid story. That was another two and a half hours of emotional upheaval.

    In the afternoon, I picked up my 84-year-old aunt from the board and care facility and took her to doctor. She had been languishing there for weeks after surgery and no one was checking on her health or her ability to go home. I went in with a list of questions a mile long and before we got done he said she could go off the oxygen, off the walker, and go home. Hard to say how long that would have gone on. She did not even have a doctors appointment scheduled until I called and insisted that he see her and evaluate her. I know that is somewhat off topic but it still amazes me.

    Just when I thought that I was done for the day, I learned that my daughter and son-in-law's home was in default. It would appear that she is still up to her old tricks and I could not help but wonder if our son-in-law even knows about it. Like I said, emotional times. I just got up and now need a nap. Sorry for the whine.
  16. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Jeanne, warm hugs for you this morning. Go ahead and take a nap right now if you need one. Then you will be able to deal with the rest of the day and your own self much better.

    In the meantime, it sounds like your brother is not atypical. Our families who have not lived this life do not get it at all. Woulda, shoulda, coulda. While it's understandable that they are thinking these thoughts, I can only tolerate it for so much. It is not helpful for me to hear their "so excellent" advice and Monday morning quarterbacking.

    The fact is, they are not the mother of this difficult child under discussion. They are not the one who raised her/him. They don't know where we have been, even though we try to tell them and bring them along. They do not know what we have learned the hard, hard way.

    And God Bless Them for the support they DO provide, though limited. I am so glad you and he have not lost each other in this whole vile mess, but he can't know your road and of course, you can't know his.

    At some point, it's helpful just to start from today and go forward, not rehash the past, which none of us can affect, and we did the best we could with what we knew at the time.

    I hope you can set a future boundary with him---kindly---and reestablish the natural balance of your relationship. You should not have to apologize anymore, and he needs to respect your decisions from here on out. The relationship should not give him more power than you have.

    Also, it sounds like you were a godsend to your aunt, and I hope you see clearly what you were able to do there and how important it was.

    And even though I am sure it was wrenching to tell the whole awful story to your minister, I am glad you did, and I hope now you will go back to him for continuing support.

    And---well, isn't it interesting that your daughter is messing up her own nest now? There is no telling what else is going on with her that you don't know about. It sounds like she is almost compulsive in her ways.

    There will likely be a lot of "comeuppance" for her in many categories over the next few years. While that is fitting, it is going to be very hard on you in so many ways.

    Jeanne, you are a true warrior, but even warriors need an army to stand with them and behind them. We are here, and please start identifying other sources of ongoing support for yourself. You will be so glad you did.

    Warm hugs to you. Take that nap!
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Jeanne, just wanted to let you know that, because this thread is getting so long, you may want to start a thread, maybe with the same title saying "Part Two." That way you will get more responses, I think. We definitely want to keep you here and try to help you along in your journey.

    This is just a suggestion of mine; nothing you HAVE to do.
  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Any one of those things would have been emotionally draining, Jeanne.

    I would be tired, too!

    It feels like you are gathering your forces for the next phase of this journey. Rest when you can, try to remember to take very good care of yourself and husband, now.

  19. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    First, I am so sorry that your daughter cost you so much financially. I am wondering, do you have any home insurance that has identity fraud coverage? Our insurance does. Are you able to collect if so?
  20. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Jeanne in CA, how are you now? Your story has haunted me for the past two years. I have often wondered about you. I always thought that my difficult child, whom I call my "wild child," had caused us dreadful tension and pain, but sharing here and hearing other people's problems helped me. I think the main help was (a) knowing that I was not alone but that there were hundreds of other parents all over the world struggling with their difficult children, and (b) knowing that here on conductdisorders no one is judgmental, but they are sympathetic and caring. I think what you have gone through is the most extreme story I have heard. Please give us an update and let us know how you are getting on.

    Love, Esther