Daughter 24 stole from me

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Devasted Mom, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    This has been happening but everything blew up last week . My daughter is 24 lives with her boyfriend who owns his own business and works very hard. She has been unemployed yet she has made a nice income on eBay . She is not on drugs and has a great disposition so I thought. Over the past few months my husband and I have noticed 100 200 dollars missing from bill money here and there. Thought we were going nuts . She is constantly buying very expensive items Gucci bags, loubaton shoes etc very high end items. Telling us her boyfriend is paying for it. No reason not to believe. I was holding money for my other daughter when I recounted the money 500 missing. Now I am saying hmmmmm somethings wrong. I had 18,000 in a spot I thought was a secret. Which was money left to me by my deceased mom . Go to that spot all the money is gone!!!!!!! Needless to say I lost my mind accusing everyone in the house. No one did it. I told everyone including my own husband they would have to take a lie detector she says she is not taking it . I should believe her!!!! This goes on a good week her ignoring calls no texts nothing. We have a last talk before I write her off she finally admits it. Says she is doing it over a year. She says she has a problem with buying she will get help , she will pay back the money. I have so many emotions and don't have a clue how to deal with this please help!!!!
  2. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I guess my first question is if she doesn't live with you, how does she have access to your house? If she has a key or some other way in when you aren't home, that needs to be changed. I don't know that I would let her back in my house, but if I did, it would never be without supervision and never in rooms other than where you would have guests, like your living room.

    I would not be past pressing charges, either. That is a large amount of money that your only wisp of a chance of getting back is a promise from a thief and a liar. If she is willing to lie and steal from you, she is willing to tell you whatever you want to hear now that she has been forced to admit it. I would want something that backs up that promise and holds her to it. I know that is hard, as it will give her a record. I just know I wouldn't trust just her word because it is obviously not worth anything.
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  3. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    Yes she does have a key to the house never had a reason so I thought until now. This truth literally has just came out on Saturday I have not press charges. I do not believe anything she is saying and. Am beyond devasted furious etc etc should I give her a chance to redeem herself??
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There are at least two approaches to this. One is to press charges - which will definitely impact your relationship. The other is to handle it yourself - which may impact the relationship in different ways, depending on the outcome.

    If you are not pressing charges, then please get everything in writing. A legal contract would be ideal. Treat the money as a formal loan, with a formal re-payment schedule, and terms and conditions if she defaults. Ideally, with some sort of collateral.

    I would NOT do this as a word-of-mouth agreement.
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  5. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    That is a idea I never thought of and think that is a great idea. I really don't want to press charges a written contract is definitely a first step. Her entire personality does not reflect the behavior of a thief that is why I can't wrap my head around. I am sure I am in some sense of denial along with so many other emotions. I know I will never be able to trust her but I do love her and want to try to forgive. Then my next hurdle is her sister saying she will never speak to her again and how to deal with that. The whole family structure is forever altered
  6. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    Another question I have is how Do I act toward her moving forward??? I feel clueless
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    i agree with every word that insane wrote. i am a highly responsible almost old woman. I have a buying problem too. while i have not stolen from anybody i have stolen resources from myself. your daughter has a problem. she has made it yours. she must fix it.

    i think i might go to an attorney to ask what is the statute of limitations. as a condition for not going to the police now, i would require that she write a written confession. i would stipulate in the document that you will not go to the police only if she obtains treatment and repays the stolen amount. I would negotiate a repayment schedule and I think I would have a neutral person enforce it. not you.

    you have some complicity in this. (believe me I am not judging you. I screw up so much it is not even funny.) the money should not have been in the house. because what happened is that it appealed to the worst instincts of people you love.

    these things happen. i remember i worked with a woman who was a friend. she was close to 40 at the time. her mother gave her 10k to hold for her. that was in 1977 or so when that was a lot of money. at that time I was into stocks. the woman invested in one of my stock picks. through that she fell prey to the stock broker who encouraged her to play stock options (higher commissions.) the woman invested all of her mother's money and lost it all. Luckily, she and her husband (an artist and professor) had good jobs. I guess she eventually replaced the money but I did not ever ask.

    all of us have weaknesses that can bite us. it is how we respond.our job as parents is to support our children to grow in their responses, their self-knowledge and their control.

    their use to be a twelve step group called debtors anonymous. if you live near a metro area, there might be a group. internet shopping is highly addictive. I have gotten control. I hope. this is not the first time in my life i have used buying as a means to console myself. i truly understand how your daughter could have gotten herself in this mess, although I do not understand the piece of it, about the theft. the issue about pressing charges is not in the main important becaus of the issue of your relationship. it is important because it is a pivot point.

    she has an illness of sorts. but in the service of this illness she committed a felonious crime. to forgive the crime is to support her addiction, her illness. so you cannot, to my way of thinking, take away the consequences of breaking the law.

    the more I think about it, I might decide to inform the police. not that she be punished but that she be held responsible. I would at least have that on the table when i go to the attorney. but there is no way that i would hold responsibility of absolving her of consequences of having committed a felony. that would be the worst possible outcome for her.

    i remember once i was in university. for one reason or another i had a run of checkered grades. I went to a counselor and asked him if there was a way to erase the bad record. (I do not know where I came up with that idea but i seemed to think there was a chance.)

    I will never forget his response (over 40 years ago.) He said, "i cannot do that and I do not think you would want me to." (I remember thinking: Oh yes I would.) He added: those failures are every bit as important and valuable to you as any success would be.

    it took me years to understand. but i do so now.

    Your daughter must be held responsible. for her own good.

    I am so glad you are here with us. You are doing so, so good. this is really hard stuff. do we know it. I hope you keep posting. take care. (I really do feel for your daughter.) Posting to you has helped me understand my own situation a little better. that is how it works.

  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    hi again
    i just read your new post and want to reflect a bit on it. sorry for my presentation here but i am using a jerky tablet.first, everybody is in shock. i do not think the family is irretrievably affected or change. Nor is it your responsibility to make it right. I would let everybody have their own emotions and I would start that with yourself.

    there is no right or wrong way to act. you are a good mom with a good child who has done a bad, bad thing. you have every right to be hurt, afraid and pissed. you have a right to not know what to do or what to say. you have a right to tell her that.

    If I were you I would feel like saying this:

    what you did has hurt me deeply. i am in a position where i cannot trust the child who i love with all my heart and soul and what you did caused this. you have committed a felony crime against me, your mother. grand theft.

    as your mother i am responsible to myself as well as to you. I will need time to decide what to do. i suggest you for starters, seek out treatment. (that is before you go to an attorney.)

  9. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    Everything you are saying is making so much sense to me and such a relief to talk to someone neutral about it. My husband and I are of course arguing over this cause he feels she is still a child NOT!!! She is willing to seek treatment and I do know I am going to make sure she follows through because that is the only way our relationship can continue. But sadly right now I can't even look at her. This feels as if I slammed into a wall head on and I am mangled mess. I am too embrassed to talk to friends about this. I am actually mortified. Came across this site by accident and you have already given some insight and relief and I thank you I agree 200 percent about the complicity I have in this by leaving the money in the house yet it was hidden and I never thought anyone would know where it was
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    i will explain a little bit what i mean by saying you are responsible to your daughter.

    with my own son i came to the point where i believed that i was responsible only for setting limits so that i would not be so hurt by him and for something i call moral authority which I define as telling him the truth when he asks me or when I am impacted by something he has done.

    this is something i learned from another member here, scentofcedar. that we are responsible to tell our children the truth. we owe them that. not sugar coated. not pie in the sky dreams. the truth of this situation is that your daughter committed a felony. to my way of thinking right this minute, you do not have a right to forgive her this crime, nor should you. although anybody could understand that you might want to.

    if the truth be told, i think i might want to get help on this, beyond legal help. I am talking here pastoral help or therapist help or even ala-non help. because from one way of looking at things, to take over the consequences from the law, is to enable. I do not know if I would be able to the authorities, but I would sure want to, and feel i was obligated to do so if she did not follow through with a plan of restitution and treatment.

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I think you've been given good advice by the others. I like the idea of treating this as a formal loan.

    Very generally, I would add, that she is not to be trusted again for a very long time and your trust might not ever be fully restored. I would lock your valuables like Fort Knox. Don't ever let her have a key to your place. Change your locks. If she complains, too bad.

    She should probably find some low cost therapy. Maybe the boyfriend will help pay for this.

    And I would consider short term therapy for yourself because this was a horrible violation of trust.
  12. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    well, we are your friends and you told us. and then when you confessed your mortifying problem, you gave us the chance to confess our own.

    first, you do not need to tell anybody right now except if you choose, trusted professionals. second, these things seem to pull for spousal conflict. in my case my significant other is not my son's dad. we still go round and round, because he feels responsible and guilty if he does not help. I, like you, seem to be able to be the tougher one.

    i totally agree with you. by doing this your daughter has defined herself as an adult. actually an adult perpetrator of a crime.

    getting on the same page, the two of you, on how to understand and respond to this, I think, should be goal number one. it is not good for your daughter if she can split you two. nor is it good for you.

    I am so glad you are here. really, if you stay, you will build real friendships. I have, take care. I need to go to sleep. i will check in tomorrow.

  14. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    I do want to forgive yet I know she has to b held accountable. All the advice you have given is such a relief it brought tears to my eyes. And the older sister wanting to write her off breaks my heart even more if that is possible. I realized when they were younger a band aid fixed the problem. Now I have a thief on my hands it surreal Anything else you think of please let me know because u r truly helping me thank u
  15. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    Yes she has agreed to therapy and yes in one day my house is on lockdown. I wonder if the trust ever comes back?
  16. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    I am staying and glad I found u. I have to turn in as well . Hope to talk to u again
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    by tomorrow morning others will have responded. you will either have a consensus or a menu of responses and you will intuitively know your next step. or will soon know. i found that it was necessary for me to dedicate myself to here. because i was driven to do the wrong things. i pushed and pushed and mothered and smothered and then the second he did not conform I exploded. it was the most dreadful of dances. i did it too long.

    in your case, you do not have the leeway that i did to keep on like i was doing. you must choose a response. that makes it much better. you will define yourself by what you choose, and every decision will make you stronger.

    i cannot stress enough how well you are doing. you framed the problem perfectly for us to understand. it is as if you already knew what you and your daughter need.

    you have a girl with an addiction and possibly other mental health issues. now that i think about it, i might think about making it a condition that she see a psychiatist and/or psychologist for a comprehensive evaluation. there are mental illnesses that could drive this kind of behavior, beyond a compulsion to shop. these are treatable.

    you describe this behavior as highly localized, in that it is not a quality that appears to be pervasive in her personality. that is a good sign, too, i think. she does not seem to have intent to hurt or to lack shame or guilt. that is good too. but the end of the day, she not you who is responsible to face consequences, find remedy.

    there is an article on detachment here on the website. The member, scentofcedar, has a link at the bottom of her posts on how to think about these events with our children, and how to communicate with them in a way that really can empower them to help themselves.

    back to my earlier point. when i think about making conditions, i begin to wonder again if it is the right thing to take responsibility at all for insulating her from the legal consequences of her act.

    to me, and i have no way of really knowing, it does not sound like the thievery is primary. it sounds like the buying is. (by the way, i would sure insist she start right now liquidating her stuff. she can just as easily sell that gucci bag as buy one. except that i wonder if any recovery might require that she stay away from the internet.) which brings me back to my quandary: how much responsibility you should take to insulate her, or to help her. I just do not know.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    i am still not in bed.

    i do not think the main issue is the trust, although you feel it to be so. it is that she become an adult who has confronted and overcome and understood her weaknesses and her errors and can go forward.

    there is an article about a famous conservative columnist i read today on the internet. he gave a speech at an event for an addiction and alcoholism forum. he told a story about a man who was degraded by his addictions. as his speech progressed it became clear the man was telling his own story. at the end he owned the story. he claimed his truth. because all of it, the degradation, the error, had made him the honorable man of integrity that he is today. we have no way of knowing who among us has constructed themselves in the same way. came from degradation, disgrace, or even just made a single tragic self-destructive error, or had a weakness revealed in just this way. this is a very human and all too common story. you just need a place to stand and a plan. you are almost there. the man's name is larry kudlow. I could never stand him. he is so arrogant and impossible. now I admire him greatly.

  19. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    Again you give me so much insight. I am hearing everything you are saying and sorry if I am being reptative. She has agreed to start liquidating her items . My next question do I start all these consequences immediately. Take one step at a time? Do I continue to talk about this with her every minute? Do I try to have normal conversation? I just sit here feel like every move and thing I say is crucial and I want to put everything on the table once. I do not want to change any terms. I want to set the guidelines with her knowing I am not going to weaken over time
  20. Devasted Mom

    Devasted Mom Member

    And another thing is she allowed me to accuse my older daughter who lives in my house when this all started and was willing to let het sister take the blame because at first I felt either one of them could be guilty because no one was admitting it. Made me feel as if I was losing my mind. I must go to work now. I look forward to talking to you later as u help me continue this journey