My daughter is 46 years old and has been homeless for 10 years. She says "nothing is wrong with her". We give her about $300 per month but nothing else
Plus I don't think my daughter fits the definition of "gravely disabled" in California because she manages to obtain food and clothing.
Your daughter is being sustained by you in a fashion. So it is hard to know whether or not she would be gravely disabled if she did not receive this money. Without it, she most definitely would qualify for food stamps and Medi-cal. I wonder if you have considered stopping this cash aid.
How do other parents cope with this behavior?
I am in the same boat as you. My son is 34 and he is homeless. He is also mentally ill. He uses some drugs--including very large amounts of marijuana and caffeine in the form of pills, etc.
When he would not cooperate with what I asked of him which was to seek psychiatric treatment and/or be productive, I kicked him out about 11 years ago. And then began 10 very difficult years when I tried to "motivate" him to do what I felt was the "right thing." The right thing for me, involves some form of work, school, and psychiatric help and ideally some sort of spiritual involvement. My son wanted none of it. Guess who won?
Largely with the help of this site, I changed. He didn't.
To answer your question there is no way that I have found "to cope" with this behavior. Living as a homeless person is degrading and dangerous. You are the bottom of the heap. You are treated like garbage and people look away. It is a dog-eat-dog life. Homeless people are traumatized. They begin to believe the world is hostile and persecutory and predatory. And that is before mental illness amplifies this paranoia.
What I am trying to say here is that a person who lives normally cannot tolerate how a homeless person lives. I love my son with all my heart and soul. Yet I cannot tolerate his presence. I cannot tolerate how he lives. I cannot cope with it. I react to it and against it with every fiber of my being. And so I must limit our contact. I also tell him what I will not tolerate.
The only thing I can suggest is to accept the way your daughter lives and set firm and clear boundaries based not on her needs, but on your needs.
I would also re-think the $300 a month. With that money, you are sustaining her as a homeless person. This may take away any incentive and necessity she has to earn a few bucks, enter a rehabilitation program, or apply for government benefits.
My son receives SSI based on mental illness. While I am grateful that he has money, he uses the money primarily for his drugs, nicotine, and energy drinks. He prefers his vices, over having a home and a comfortable and safe place to sleep, eat, shower, and relax. Before he received this money he had to live in a drug rehabilitation program or live in such a way that other people tolerated him. The money enables him to sustain himself on his own terms.
While I understand why we would choose to keep our adult children afloat, what we are really doing is enabling them to live degrading lives. But I go back and forth on this.
Because often I fear my son may be incapable of making the changes I would want him to make. He had a traumatic brain injury. Waiting for my son to hit bottom and learn, if he can't do better would be cruel. I love him.
But my son won't cooperate to be psychologically evaluated, and when we do try to help him by letting him live in a property I own, while he arrives "humbly" (meaning he has no money and he is tractable and cooperative), the minute the money arrives he is domineering and demanding. We can't tolerate that.
I guess what I am saying here is we have no place to stand. Our children's conduct and choices seem to define the rules of the game, and there is no win at all for us except staying far away from the chaos and loving them from a distance. At least, this is the only safe place that I have found. It is heartbreaking.
I have given you way more information than you asked for. I am sorry. I got carried away. But I have not updated people on our situation for a long, long time, so this is it.
As always, I am very grateful for the support and the counsel I have received here over these many years. I can't even recognize myself.