So torn - need guidance

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Acacia, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I am so appreciative of the wisdom and acceptance shown by the group members here. It gives me comfort and hope.
    My 36 year old, probably borderlilne, daughter has had another child with an abuser. She got up the courage to leave, but now faces homelessness with a newborn, a five year old, no job, and no car. She is begging for me to help her with a car, with rent, take her in.... Her stepdad and I have been taking her in and helping her for 15 years now. She was using and has been sober for three years, and was doing well until she hooked up again. I feel so resentful and do the wrong thing by bringing up the past, but we have spent thousands on housing, rent, lawyers, cars, and after every debacle, she says she's learned her lesson. My husband says he will leave if I take her in again, now with two children. I am losing my mind because he is not wrong to be tired or it all. The other side is that she is sober, and she stood up against being abused. The shelters are full, relatives are tired of the drama, and as an abused woman, she has isolated herself into a corner. She has thought for so long that I am a horrible person because her dad was even more of an enabler, which worked for her. I am trying to stick to my boundaries about not having her here, but my anxiety is through the roof. She may lose the children if she is homeless, especially because the first inlaws desperately want the older child. She is loving in her care of her children, but not responsible in providing stability. Why is this so hard? I know I am codependent, and as soon as I stand firm on one side, I start doubting that I am doing the right thing. Logic doesn't work, but neither do feelings. Help!
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My opinion only.

    I have a 39 year old. Your daughter is 36. You cant be that young. Your daughter has borderline behavior. Sober or not (and this is good) she has not had serious therapy to change her problem behaviors and may just find anither abusive man and have another child. This is likely even under your roof with you paying all her bills as if she were still sixteen years old. I personally dont feel this works well. Again, my opinion.

    Fifteen years is a long enough to put a fully adult daugter who has never made good decisions, even with your generousity, ahead of a loving husband who has done all he could for her. It is not worth your marriage. in my opinion your husband is the one who will be with you in the end, not Daughter. You deserve a partner; a loving fun retirement; peace i your house. Your house is your sanctuary in my mind.

    Grandkids complicate things, but since her in laws love and are willing to proviide five year old with stability, how is this bad for your granddaughter? Will they take both children? My opinion is humbly (and not meant to be mean) that your daughter is not really ready to raise children in a positive way. She is unstable. She is immature. She exposes them to abuse. She can not take care of herself, let alone raise two children.

    Would your husband be willing to raise baby until there is a better solution?

    My 39 year old son is difficult, although he supports himself well. Thats good. I could not live with him again nor could my wonderful husband. I am 63 and have great retirement plans with hubby. If I were in your shoes there is no way I would give up my relationship for a grown child who I cant help. You cant help her. Enabling isnt helping. You have been doing it for fifteen years. She is still not independent or stable. The more you hand her money and toys, the more dependent in you she becomes. Like a child. She needs to grow up and not bebailed out of every bad choice she makes.

    Here is a possible solution. Daughter can stay at a domestic abuse shelter in a citg where there us room (not every shellter of e ery kind is all filled up. If she says so, she is lying to manipulate you.)

    I volunteered at one. It was very caring. Kids were welcome, it was safe and friendly and jobs and housing and public assistance was found for the abused women. There was therapy. Rides here and there.They had babysitters for the children. I ssaw wimen get stronger and leave, but NOT to their mothers home. They got Housing Assistance and were found their own places.

    I recommend (humbly again) perhaps you see a therapist before making a decision to give up your life...again..for Daughter. Also there is an excellent book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. This book, and a wonderful group called Codapendents Anonymous helped me stop trying to fix my loved ones and made me realize i couldnt fix anyone except myself. Its gut wrenching, hard and work but we can learn to put our needs first without feeling like a witch. Yes, at first the mere idea of putting my needs first made me feel like The Wicked Witch of the West. But, strangely, now I wonder why I thought I could save everyones day like some Super Hero. We are human. We can help one person. Us. Thats it.

    Do you have other adult children? I think its harder to say no if this is an only child. Still, I feel you must...for you and for her too. She needs to do it herself. You cant live forever. Her stress and drama in your house can affect your health.

    I hope nothing offended you. I did not mean it to. We put down our own feelings and experiences here.. and you take what you
    like and leave the rest.

    Try to find some peace tonight. I am hoping you get a good nights rest. If you pray, pray a lot. Give your daughter to God. If you dont believe then learn how to detach from daughters drama. You love her and always will but you dont love and need her drama. Try to let go if it. It belings to her, not you.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  3. Joanieb

    Joanieb New Member

    I logged on today as I'm at my wits end with my BiPolar (BP) 36 year old daughter. She makes up illnesses about my grandsons so she doesn't have or face anything and manipulates the world at round her through the BS. She hardly ever sends them to school and I think they might finally be onto her. I hope the school catches on to her.

    I really identify with the conflict of feelings, especially when children are involved and that's my dilemma. My daughter does not communicate at all like a normal person so I can't talk to her like you would expect to be able to even if you're argueing. At times I believe her to be psychotic and other times just plain horrible and dysfunctional. I'm lucky that to my knowledge theres no drugs or alcohol involved. I'm worried sick to the core about my grandsons. I saw them yesterday and they are living a terrible life. She doesn't feed one of them anything but ice cream and the other one is so skinny I don't know what she feeds him. The father has a low IQ so cannot process what's happening and they are separated. I've tried to talk to him and it's useless.

    I don't know how people of our generation ended up here with these kids. She isn't living any resemblance of a life like what she grew up with. She did not learn this stuff from me.

    I'm wondering if anyone has ever tried intervention with family members telling Borderlines that they need help and what the outcome was?
    'Somewhereouthere' I really liked your advice and it seems like you've been through it.

    Any advice anyone?
  4. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    If she cant take care if them, either go to court for custody and/or call cps.
  5. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    You have a lot of words of wisdom. No offense taken. It's important to be able to hear the truth - something my daughter is unable to do yet. Yes, I have enable but I keep working on it. Believe it or not, I have ben in Codependents Anonymous for year. It has helped tremendously, but once grand children came in to the picture it's been more difficult for me. My daughter loves to guilt and is very manipulative, and I still fall for it. I am back at step one: I am powerless over others, and my life has become unmanageable. I am holding the line at not letting her move in, and no my husband wants nothing to do with the baby. He's furious at the two fathers for not being responsible, which is why he doesn't want to shoulder that burden.
    I have caved in that I have a friend who has an apt. with a shared kitchen, and strict rules. If they work out an arrangement, I told my daughter I would pay 3 months rent, and she would have to take over, and I told my friend if my daughter doesn't honor her agreement, she needs to move out immediately. My daughter is on the list for subsidized housing, a 6-12 month wait and she has a college degree. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
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  6. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member


    Congratulations on coming up with a compromise that works for you. Sometimes I think that we try so hard not to enable that we forget how to help. It sounds like you've found a reasonable way to help with a timeline and guidelines that you're comfortable with. Leaving an abusive relationship is dangerous and frightening. Regardless of your daughter's history, I personally wouldn't victim blame for her current situation.

    Your story spoke to me because I struggle with my spouse and my child (not his father). Sometimes I'm not sure if my husband is right or wrong because my natural instinct is to defend my child.

    I wish you comfort for you and your daughter and especially your innocent grand babies.
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  7. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Thanks for your response. I appreciate it. I understand what it's like to talk to someone who can't 'hear' you and twists everyting. My experience with my own daughter is that anytime we've tried to intervene, it was fruitless because of a number of reasons - even gently telling her our experience is too excruciating to hear. She is so raw all the time. She really only sees things from her perspective. She walks or runs away literally whenever she is confronted. What I have learned is that the person I need to focus on is me - to set clear boundaries, to get support, and to take care of myself. I don't always do it well, but I try. What is painful is that she can't see herself, how many choices she does have, and how she must face the consequences of her choices, so she always turns it around and makes me the mean, unloving mother.... Hopefully, someone in the school system will intervence. My best to you.
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