Daughter is homeless

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by May we find peace again, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. My 21 year old daughter is homeless. I am new to this site, please forgive any errors while I learn.. She is not allowed in my house or on my property anymore due to a fight with my husband and drug issues. She lies to me and only tells me half of what is going on. She mostly only calls or texts when it's a crisis. After dealing with this for months I find myself living in a constant state of fear and anxiety. Every time the phone rings or my text dings I immediately start shaking. It's gotten so bad that I don't know what to do anymore. I have not completely stopped helping her with food and gas like everyone has told me to do. She has a 'boyfriend' that kicks her out all the time and she sleeps in her car and waits for him to let her stay the night and they have had violent fights. When she got her tax money back she spent it all on him and I think crack. Then she was clean a few weeks and had a job and when she got her first paycheck she did the same thing. She's been clean for several weeks again and got another job and just got paid. I'm scared she will do it again. She also has a huge gash on her arm that she won't show me and only told me she had a "moment" and doesn't want to talk about it. I'm assuming she did it herself but she lies so much I don't know ever what words are true anymore. There's more crazy stories I could tell if you're interested.
    Does anyone have any advice on dealing with the anxiety and stress of living in constant fear of the next crisis. I am desperate. I am afraid.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Nora. I'm so sorry for your struggles with your daughter.

    Your story is not uncommon on this forum, you'll find understanding, compassion and support with our members. We understand the heartbreak, fear, anger, resentment, worry, guilt, shame.... all of it. It is not an easy path when our adult kids go off the rails, for whatever reason.....we suffer devastating heartache.

    We are all powerless to change anyone, including our children. The choices they make, often poor, dangerous, skewered and mostly not well thought out, keep them and us stuck in a hamster wheel where nobody wins. Most of the time, we are the ones who need to jump out of the wheel.

    The anxiety and stress you feel, we all feel, comes out of the powerlessness and complete lack of control we have in their lives.......and the profound fear of what will happen to them if we aren't there to save them. We are only reacting to their bad choices over and over again. We can't change anything, fix anything, control anything, nor are we responsible for any of it. But we're compelled to stay on the sidelines watching their lives spiral out of control along with our well being.

    It's a pattern which doesn't work, but we all try. We need to learn a different way to respond to their dramatic lives. How most of us do that is by a lot of support. Here are some options: Get yourself in to therapy with someone who is versed in substance abuse/codependency issues. You can begin that process by finding therapist's names in your area. Here are 2 sites which may assist with that: goodtherapy.org and The Psychology Today website. Find a support group of some kind like Al Anon, Families Anonymous or Narc Anon, many members here find much solace and information in these environments. Read Codependent no More by Melodie Beattie. Read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. Take the focus off of your daughter and put it on YOU. When we've been in this battle for a long time, we are depleted, exhausted and filled with anxiety and stress, as you are right now. We have to get off of that track immediately and begin to practice self care. Self care meaning attending to your needs and desires first, as the priority. Most of us had forgotten ourselves completely as we were too busy putting out the fires in our kids lives.

    You have to shift out of this because your daughter is going to make whatever choices she makes, she's an adult. You can't wait until she changes, you have to do it yourself, now. You have absolutely no control over what she does. But you have control over your responses to her and how you care for yourself.

    As you focus on your own needs and get support to learn how to set strong boundaries and detach from your daughter's behaviors and choices, you'll learn that you can have a quality of life which is not dependent on what your daughter does or doesn't do. I understand that sounds bizarre from where you stand today, however, it is possible to learn how to accept what you can't change and still have a life with peace. It will take you making the internal choice to put yourself first and go down that path to find support for YOU.

    You matter. Your life matters. Sometimes in all of the turmoil and fear, we forget that. You're not alone, we know what it feels like. We get it. Take care of you now......nurture and nourish yourself......you'll find that anxiety and stress level will diminish considerably with support and self care. I'm glad you're here. Hang in there. Keep posting, it helps.
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  3. Thank you so much for the support. I have found several post here to be extremely helpful. I think I will find some counseling for me. That seems to be the biggest recommendation. I will keep praying for her too.
    It is oddly comforting that I’m not alone and other parents have the same struggle. Although I wish none of us had to go through this. Or our kids.
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  4. RN0441

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

    Dear Nora

    Welcome and sorry you have to be here.

    I couldn't have said it any better than RE. This is a process we all go through in our own way and in our own time.

    I seriously think I would have gone off the deep end if not for this site. I could not believe the way we were living due to my son's addiction. It took me many years to figure out what we were dealing with as he would be sober for many months at a time but accomplished little.

    A lot of what I read her I didn't understand or agree with....at first. I couldn't understand the detachment piece or taking care of ME even though he was spinning out of control.

    It is comforting to know we are not alone even though none of us would wish this on anyone else. This is a club that we don't want to belong to but we are all members.

    Therapy has helped me...and this site.

    Keep posting and reading. It helps a lot.
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  5. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    You have made the right decision in my opinion. I recently decided that i couldn't live with my sons chaos anymore it was killing me. He is much older than your daughter ans i haven't let him stay here for awhile but i kept helping. That didn't work because i was the one suffering with his decisions. Now i won't help. My husband and many others say he needs to learn how to do it on his own and be able to feel the pride and sense of achievement that brings. I pray that your daghter and my son find the peace of learning to do it themselves. And you and i can sit back and know that they are ok sometime in the near future.
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  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Nora, welcome. I am sorry for your need to be here. I have two daughters out there somewhere. Same scenario. Drug use, lying, stealing from us, the list goes on. We tried for years to help, having them in our home when they lost theirs due to the consequences of choosing drugs over everything else. Then, their consequences eeked over into our household and it was unbearable and unacceptable.
    My daughters are very secretive about their lives and whatever injuries they have. The eldest does not like going to the doctors, thinks it is a sign of weakness. Sigh. There is not much I can do about how they choose to live, and I decided about three years ago that enough was enough.
    As far as the worry and fear. I have given them back to God. When I start to feel concerned and sad, I pray that they find their true potential. I have no power or control over their situation. I do love them very much, I just can’t and won’t live the rest of my life waiting for them to choose better.
    That is three lives wasted.
    My hubs passed two years ago. That taught me a lot about my daughters and the choices they made, even through his illnesses leading up to his passing. That did not stop them from doing as they please, even though they were close to him.
    It was and is very disheartening.
    I had to really rethink my involvement, the time I spent grieving and worrying. The stress level with all of that is horrendous and does not do one thing to change the choices our adult kids make. Not one thing. It does cause us to lose precious time in our lives and also is very damaging to our health.
    Getting your feelings out is really important. Holding it all inside is poisonous. This is where counseling and journaling help. Reading about addiction and how it affects families helps. I find exercising really helpful. Slowly find ways to switch focus back to what you can control, you.
    What we wish most for our adult children is that they learn to take good care of themselves. To make good decisions, to be healthy.
    We are their first teachers. Our kids learned more from our actions and habits, than anything. I feel the best thing we can do, is to model self care. Oftentimes, we neglect our needs due to the circumstances of our adult children. That does not change their choices and consequences.
    They are in charge of themselves, as we are of ourselves.
    Addiction and drug use has a way of entangling families and loved ones in this web of chaos and drama. We become so emotionally involved and drained that it is difficult to live our own lives. I have found that this is what addiction wants of us, to become weak and befuddled, unable to make sound decisions that protect our peace of mind. It is a vicious cycle.
    The worry and anxiety starts to feel like love, and we have a hard time letting go of it.
    That is where our work is cut out for us. Slowly untangling from that web our beloveds addiction
    has wrapped around us.
    It takes effort and work, but we are worth it. Life is short and I believe working hard to live the best rest of our lives is living testimony to our wayward adult children, that they can lead productive lives, too.
    That’s how I switched my focus to what wasn’t working, being consumed by my daughters lifestyle and consequences. Understanding that there is nothing I can do to change or control their choices, but, I can make healthy choices.
    My eldest has been living in parks for four years now. It is her choice. It feels odd writing that. I am not callous or cold. I know through experience that she cannot live in my home. She thinks nothing of taking whatever she pleases, coming and going at all hours, drugging and bringing street friends over. It was unacceptable. I have encouraged her to go to rehab or shelters- brick wall and rolling eyeballs.
    My middle daughter has gone no contact, it’s almot a year since I have heard from her. She has left her three children with paternal grandparents. All for her lifestyle.
    It is sad, but there is not a thing I can do to change the path my two have chosen.
    So, I keep on working on myself and my young son, hoping one day my two will come to their senses. I have decided that waiting for that time to come, to live my life well, is not an option.
    I raised them the best I could.
    They are adults and will do as they choose.
    It is the same for all children who grow to adulthood. They make their own choices.
    Your life matters. How you live, matters.
    I hope you have found some time to work things through, found solutions for you to deal with this. It is hard, but not impossible to come through.
    I wish you peace.
    ((( Hugs)))
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  7. Today she showed up at my work. My boss had to come in and take care of a job and texted me to tell me she was asleep in her car there. He asked me if it was safe to turn her car off because it was running. I drive over to my work and woke her up. Asked her what was going on and why is she at my job on a Saturday. She had been up all night and the guy she is seeing took her phone and she said he beat her up. She didn’t know it is Saturday and she also didn’t realize what time it was.
    I followed her to Walmart and we talked for a while. It didn’t go well. She drove off in anger. I went ahead and bought a phone for her and drove to her job because she mentioned she still had time to get there. She was sitting in her car there. I gave her the phone and we had a calmer talk. She still refused to go to rehab or the homeless shelter. She won’t take suggestions or stay away from that boy so I had nothing left to say and decided to leave. She asked me to call her boss and say she’s not coming. She had told me earlier if she missed work again she’d be fired. So I’m guessing she has no job again.
    She blames me for her life being this way because I won’t let her come home. She won’t listen to anything I say about the pattern of her life. SHe gets money, goes back to the boy and a week later violent fight and no phone and no money. This pattern has repeated itself 3 times since February. I pray she found somewhere cool to sleep it off and she decides to try the shelter again.
    Thank you for everyone’s kind words and advice. It has helped the anxiety a lot.
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  8. Wow!
  9. I’m sorry you have to go through that too.
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you dear. Much of what you just posted is what I have gone through as well. Both daughters with abusive boyfriends. They are using meth, which gives people violent tendencies and psychosis.
    They blame me too. For awhile I fell for it, reeling the tapes of past parenting mistakes. Then I realized it was really their choice, that it was not my fault. My other kids helped me see through that. Then it was saying no about living in my home. They didn’t want help to get better. They wanted a roof over their heads, a place to stash their stuff. When my eldest makes appearances, things go missing. I haven’t seen or heard from my middle daughter.
    They were the same as your daughter. Won’t take suggestions to get help or go to a rehab.
    I am so sorry for your aching mommas heart.
    We can only do so much. It is more than reasonable to not allow these adult kids to live in our homes. But, it is a hard pill to swallow that they would choose drugs, abusive boyfriends and homelessness.
    I still have hope that they will find their true potential. Until then, I intend to find mine.
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  11. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I’ve read your reply before but am just going over some older threads to gain any wisdom and knowledge I might have missed and came across yours again. I just want to say I feel you were being guided by God when you wrote this. Plain and simple. You were profound.

    Thank you!
  12. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    New Leaf,

    This is such an eye opening statement. Worry and anxiety starts to feel like love...For me it became my full time job and I felt that I needed to be thinking and worrying about them 24/7 or else I wasn't caring enough, or I wasn't fulfilling my job as their mother. Truth be told, they for certain didn't "think" I was/am caring about them never mind 24/7. It has taken me time (and I'm not fixed yet) to realize I don't have to obsess about them all the time to convince/prove to myself I do care about and love them. I know I love them but they may never "feel" it because their reality of love is possibly only at the moment I hand over money and I'm not really sure about that either.

    So, I continue to work on untangling from that web and grieve the loss of which I had hoped I'd always have. I have good days and bad days.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi JPG
    I don’t think any of us are “fixed” with our wayward beloveds issues. It is a constant retraining, as recoveringenablers name suggests. I do believe that we are worth the effort to keep self care in check, seek ways to switch focus and strengthen ourselves for whatever comes next. It is a process with steps and backslides, which we need to forgive ourselves for and move forward with the lesson learned.
    I have stopped myself from trying to prove my love to my two, realizing that dance makes me easy prey in their game. I took a good long look at the craziness we went through and saw myself as their “mark”. They would tug and tug at my heartstrings until dazed, hurt and confused, I didn’t know which way was up. Addiction thrives on this desperate state in loved ones, we are easily manipulated when we live with heavy hearts. Yes, I am saddened by my twos lifestyles, eldest yet again involved with an abusive thug, Tornado posting gangsta selfies on Instagram, face wrapped in a bandanna, quotes bragging about being on the run. Huh. It’s awful, but there is absolutely nothing I can do to stop the train wreck.
    Oh boy, do we all have good days and bad. Keep up the good work and know that it is a process. There is no one way. The grief will ebb and flow. I try not to write the end of the story, where there is life, there is hope. It is crucial for us to find ways to bring peace and joy to our lives. I truly believe that we are the best examples for our wayward adult kids by modeling self care.
    Hugs to you
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  14. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Reading through posts today to keep my resolve up. Recoveringenabler, "The worry and anxiety starts to feel like love, and we have a hard time letting go of it.
    That is where our work is cut out for us. Slowly untangling from that web our beloveds addiction
    has wrapped around us." That too is me. I don't know if our son is using drugs/alcohol. He claims he's not and we haven't seen any evidence of it, but those things often go along with Bipolar traits, but just like JPG, I struggle with the thought that if I'm not anxious and concerned and worrying about Josh and trying to figure out a way to reach him, I'm a bad, uncaring mother. Being worried and anxious about him has become a habit, just a normal part of my life. And also as JPG said, I know I love him dearly, but his ability to perceive that love as reality is distorted, and he is not capable of recognizing it. "Untangling" is an apt description of what each of us is attempting to do, day by day, in response to the drama our kids have created in our lives.
  15. Do you have a NAMI near you? My 29 year old daughter is homeless as well but living on the streets. I have found support to stay strong with boundaries with this support group. I too am full of anxiety every time the phone rings thinking it might be “that call”. I am learning that I have enabled my daughter for years by rescuing her from consequences of her choices. I am hoping that by having loving boundaries, and allowing her the dignity to learn from her actions, she will realize that only she can change her situation.
  16. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    This hit me today, as I am dealing with my daughter who is facing eviction. My parents have been supplementing (mostly just paying) her rent for years now. She is 28. But, we collectively have talked about it and the riff it causes in our own parent/child relationship, coupled with the lack of effort on my daughter's part... and here we are. It is heartbreaking, and I do worry. But I have other children, a marriage, and my own health to be concerned with.

    I'm very thankful to find this forum. I was here years ago, and am thankful it's still around. ❤️
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  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome back ChickPea. So many of us here right now are in comparable situations. My son is 30 now, mentally ill and homeless *well, paying 200 dollars of his SSI to sleep in a garden shed.

    Even though he has cycled in and out of either my home or a rental property I own (because us together does not work), I cannot accept that he stay living as he does. So I want him back here again (ambivalently) even though I understand he will live the way the way he does as long is he accepts living this way. He has to want it to be different, and accept the responsibilities and rules of living differently.

    What a powerful step to be working together with your parents to support each other to change.
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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think the first thing that needs to happen is that you allow yourself to stabilized and protect yourself.
    This is a trauma symptom. You are traumatized and she is your trigger. Before you can handle this situation you need to find a way to make boundaries inside of your psyche and personal space. And then after that comes an interval of recovery.

    Some mothers have changed phone number, blocked numbers, designated a specific time of a couple of hours a week, and held to it, or refused to interact all together for the time required to heal. I did that.

    This will take work. Work to make yourself the person who is cared about, nurtured, protected at all costs. You are the one who needs to wake up that what is happening to you is wrong. Your soul and body matter too. Right now you have abandoned yourself.

    This is a cycle. You no sooner leave one crisis but you anticipate the next.
    Somehow this cycle of your addiction to this crisis state needs to be broken. It is not your fault. We become the effect of our children, instead of independent people.
    You are in a constant state of disinformation. I don't know if you remember that word. I think it is from the Cold War with Russia. And it refers to a constant fog of lies and manipulation with which the authorities would barrage the population, so that the real truth of things would be distorted. The effect would be the people would lose their power, have no sense of reality, and be disoriented and thus easily manipulated and controlled.

    This is the effect on us if we live psychically tethered to our troubled children. This, more than anything else, needs to be changed.

    I am glad you are here with us. Welcome.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Welcome back ChickPea, I am sorry for your need to be here.
    I am glad you are discussing issues with your parents. We want our adult children to be able to sustain themselves, we won’t be on this earth to rescue them forever. I don’t know what your daughters circumstances are, why she has not made effort to be responsible. My two are on the streets due to meth use. We tried to help them to no avail, they took advantage of us and delved further into partying. It took some time for me to realize that I couldn’t save them from their choices and that the consequences were enveloping our lives to an unacceptable degree.
    It is heartbreaking. I have come to realize with each twist and turn on this road that I have to work hard to guard my heart, to understand that although I love my two, I have absolutely no control over their choices. It wasn’t only establishing boundaries with our living situation, I have to keep boundaries on my emotional state for my own health. I would be a hot mess if I lived in constant worry. It takes work to shift focus from the stress and anxiety of dealing with wayward adult children. What helped me was posting here and receiving help from parents who have been there done that. Prayer has been a powerful tool and comfort. Daily walks have helped me, and I need to get back on track with that. I also began to recognize that I was stressing over their lives more than they were. Looking back, each incident where I was overcome with worry, turned into just another Tuesday for them. I have learned that when my routine of self care goes by the wayside, that’s when I am most vulnerable and it seems like their timing for crisis is impeccably synchronized with my own weakness.
    ChickPea, seek help when you need it. Transitioning from a routine of rescuing adult children from their choices to letting them learn from the consequences is not an easy road. There is no right way, no one way, we all have different circumstances. None of us are experts, just parents who are traveling on this road, each at different places along the way. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. It is a great way to our own recovery to write out feelings and get response from people who care and understand the hardship. Know that you are not alone. Take very good care of yourself and your marriage. As I shifted focus away from the stress and worry, I realized how much I had missed with my well children. They have helped to sustain me through the loss of my dear hubs, the grief of my twos lifestyles and new challenges with my grandchildren.
  20. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Thank you for the reaffirming reminder. I went to lunch with a friend today and she kindly reminded me of the same thing. I appreciate the words.