When your adult child steals from you...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bean, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. reggi12

    reggi12 Guest

    Wow I didn't know there was a place to go for this! My story sounds the same as a lot of other peoples. My daughter is 19 is unemployed, can't seem to hang onto a job. Last weekend I found out that she stole some jewelry from me and pawned it. One was wedding rings that belonged to my mother (who passed away in June) that my father gave her. My daughter denies taking these but does cop to stealing a necklace and earrings that were my great grandmothers. Last November she was stopped for a dui and has yet to complete anything that she is supposed to do. She signed up for victims panel twice (both times I paid) and "forgot" to go. Now she has a court date on the 22nd of November for compliance. I ended up kicking her out (she's been gone a week and is living with her boyfriends grandparents, since the boyfriend doesn't work either they are both freeloading on this people. I gave her the money yet again for victims panel told her to go get it taken care of yesterday. She lied to me and told me she did it but when I asked for proof she had a fit. Finally got it out of her today that she hadn't done it. I'm at the end of my rope and don't know if I am doing the right thing by kicking her out or not. I did tell her that once she gets a job we would talk about her moving back in at that time. I haven't changed the locks yet but I'm thinking about doing so this weekend. Thanks for letting me vent! I never thought I'd be the type of parent that would kick out her daughter, but I'm honestly tired of dealing with it.
  2. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    Oh, this post is painful to read. I see difficult child 1 in virtually every single post. Fair warning - this is going to be a long, long post - but hopefully helpful to someone. I hope.

    My difficult child 1 is 18 (soon to be 19), married, living with Lord only knows who this week/month/whatever, no job, lost custody of her daughter, and a known thief. Oh geez, the lies, the second chances, I could write a book.

    She left home at 17, just two months after my granddaughter was born, because she didn't like living under my rules and expectations. (Yes, I am a horribly overbearing Mom - I expected her to finish school, get a job that at least covered diapers and formula while she attended college, and generally act like a decent human being.) She stole from me, her brothers, her friends, her sister. First it was little things like books, tshirts, etc. (Although she also stole her sister's underwear, which for me is just nasty. Who would want to wear someone else's panties?!? No matter how clean they are, it's still someone else's UNDERWEAR, and 2 sizes smaller than what she wore? GROSS!)

    The day she left home (Christmas Day) she threw a fit because she didn't get much for Christmas, although she was told way ahead of time that her Christmas present money would go towards baby necessities and things she needed as a new Mom - something she was fine with...until all she got for Christmas personally was an inexpensive video camera. Funny how her "random" explosion ended in a 2 second trip to her room to grab two bags of pre-packed clothes and announce she was "out of here," just as her boyfriend's cousin pulled into the driveway. And naturally, she had nothing to do with the missing checkbook and $300 cash gone from my desk.

    After a few months of not hearing from her, I got the "I miss you, Mom. I'm sorry" phone call. Looking back now, I must have had moron written in permanent marker across my forehead. I helped her and Rae's (the grandbaby's) Dad get a small place of their own, even bringing several truckloads of old furniture from storage to help furnish their new house. I put the electricity in my name, but withheld the power bill money from her deceased father's social security benefits, writing her a check for the difference each month. All they had to do was get jobs that paid enough to cover their $400 a month rent and buy diapers. They got state assistance for everything else, groceries, wic, etc. I even picked them up and brought them out here once a week to do laundry, never knowing she was helping herself to anything she could take without notice.

    She was 17 at the time, and while DFCS could not help me force her to come home because they viewed her as an adult because of the baby, technically I was still legally responsible for her. So I kept bailing them out of the b.s. they got themselves into, hoping that giving them a chance would increase their odds of success - or at least make sure Rae had what she needed. I eventually signed for her to get married to 1)legitimize Rae and protect Rae's father's parental rights and 2) to aleviate any legal liability for me, since GA law would hold me responsible for her as a "minor" but would not help me bring her back home where I could at least have SOME kind of control over what she was doing.

    Four months later, after twice "raiding" her house to take back things she had stolen, (I literally barged in, went to her bathroom and took down her sister's Japanese scarf that hung in her bathroom as a make-shift curtain, took my pots and pans out of her sink, even going so far as to physically turn her over on my knee to remove MY jeans off her rear end.) I got a call from the landlord. They were being evicted because they had not paid rent since they moved in. He had given them chance after chance to get jobs and get on their feet, even offering to let them clean other trailers to offset what they owed. Nope, she was more concerned with playing games on their Xbox and HOW DARE I suggest they sell their system and games to help pay for a new place or pay their back rent. No. I was supposed to pay the back rent. Yeah, right. Not happening kid.

    I cut the power off the day they were supposed to be evicted. Two weeks later I get dressed down by a DFCS case worker for turning my back on my child and cutting their power. Didn't I care about my grandchild? Didn't I want to give my daughter a fighting chance to succeed? Please, lady. You don't have a clue! Talk to me when your children's ages end in anything teen, much less have difficult child issues. After all, I didn't even know they were still squatting in that house! They were supposed to get evicted and difficult child 1 had stopped speaking to me because I wouldn't pay their $1,600 worth of back rent or GET THIS - buy her a house so they didn't have to worry about it. DO WHAT??!!??

    She came out to the house a couple of times while she and her hubby and the baby lived with his family after the eviction. By then, DFCS had been involved with them for months. difficult child still refused to speak to me because it was all my fault. If I would have just given her everything she wanted, none of this would have happened. Every time she came out, things turned up missing. Earrings, petty cash, things that belonged to my boys. She always denied it. I knew there were drugs and partying involved in the stuff she was doing, but no one would listen. It got so bad she was not allowed in my car, much less at the house. I would lock my purse in my glovebox whenever I went to see the baby.

    In short, I called Social Security and told them she was now married, which stopped her father's death benefits and cut what little money they got each month. They weren't using it for shelter or diapers or anything else anyway. I always had to bring the baby diapers, and at one point, even formula because they were selling their state benefits. (Which she was only getting because she lied and said SS had stopped long before I called them.)

    I called DFCS and told them everything I knew - the drugs, the meth lab that used to be in her father in law's shed (right behind the house where she was living with the baby) the games, the stealing, everything. It was like turning my child in to the Gestapo. But nothing worked. No one would listen to me or believe me about the stealing and the drugs. They wouldn't even TEST her.

    Eventually, she stole from everyone - including her in-laws. They kicked her, their son, and the baby out over her b.s. Her hubby went to live with friends while she and the baby went to live with someone else. Since then (almost a year) she has stolen from everyone who has tried to help her - to the point her hubby has now filed for divorce because he can't stand to be associated with her anymore. No one trusts him because of her. Finally, after the second time she left Rae with my sister in law "for the weekend" that turned into several months, DFCS stepped in and gave custody to my sister in law. Since then, difficult child 1 has only gone further down hill. In fact, she was just recently arrested for shoplifting. She stopped by here to get the ID she had sent here (because she has no permanent home.) I wouldn't let her in the house and instead handed her the envelope on the front porch. She asked if her aunt had told me about the arrest. I told her heck, her picture was in the arrest report book - everyone in a four county area knew about her arrest. She acted like it was nothing more than a traffic ticket!

    She's now all over Facebook talking about how everyone hates her, wah, wah, wah. Her family doesn't love her and won't speak to her. "My Mom never loved me. She kicked me out when I was only 17 and had a baby to take care of." (Oh really? I kicked her out? Okay. Sure.) "My life sucks. No one will help me." She doesn't understand why people keep saying nasty things about her and accusing her of stealing "just so they can kick me out" or "because they're jealous of me" or "they think I slept with so and so for money." Now we've learned she's pregnant AGAIN, kicked out for stealing AGAIN, and facing adult criminal charges for the shoplifting.

    She's quite a piece of work, let me tell ya. I hear my experiences with her in each and every one of your posts. It breaks my heart. I know your children, just like mine, were once sweet, loving, beautiful children. You hope so hard that deep down in there somewhere, that child you once knew is still there. That hope keeps you trying for their sake, again and again.

    From my experience? The best option for me, my sanity, and the well-being of my other children still at home, was to cut all ties. I don't answer phone calls, Facebook messages, letters, or text messages. Every few weeks or months (usually around holidays, birthdays, or like when my father had his heart surgery) I'll get some kind of "I'm sorry Mom, I love you. I miss you. I'm trying to straighten my life out" message. I tears at my heart strings every time because I so want to see the day that she truly means it. But that day hasn't come yet, so I don't answer. She knows my conditions if she wants to be a part of this family again. Don't talk to be about what you're doing, what you're going to do, and all that other b.s. Come to me when you've already DONE IT. When you've gotten your life straightened out. When you're standing on your own two feet, with a job, a plan for the future, and making an honest effort to reconnect in a meaningful way with your family - especially your own daughter. Until then, it's just more b.s.

    Funny how someone with no job, no home, and nothing on her Facebook statuses but her plans for partying with this person or that somehow manages to have new clothes, dye her hair every other week, get body piercings, and have a car to drive (although she still only has a learner's permit.) If she's that resourceful, she should have NO trouble making it on her own without needing the ability to access my home, my purse, or my bank accounts. So I don't worry about where she's living or how she's getting by. She's her own problem, not mine. I'm better off NOT knowing how she's choosing to ruin her life this week. It saves on the heartache and worry. It saves on the getting sucked in only to get screwed once again. Heck, the only reason any of us (family-wise) still has a connection to her on Facebook is to gather the evidence we need to keep Rae safe and sound with my sister in law.

    It's a horrible experience as a parent. I have felt like I failed her so many times, which she has always used against me. I have felt like a monster for turning my back on my own child. But eventually you get to the point where its you or them. In my case, it was me, my boys, and my granddaughter, or her. I picked us and I refuse to look back. All I can do is hope that someday, something will happen to wake her up for real. Someday, she'll run out of people who fall for her b.s., only to have their valuables and personal possessions stolen or their lives ruined. Someday, she's going to run out of options. Hopefully, when she hits rock bottom, she'll make positive changes. If she doesn't, at least she won't have the opportunity to take the rest of us down with her.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Wow, Hex, I could swear you were talking about MY difficult child!! And I even live in Georgia, too!
  4. hexemaus2

    hexemaus2 Old hand

    That's funny - in a morbid kind of way. lol.

    Have you brainwashed family members into believing she's a horrible person too? I never knew I had that kind of power over a bunch of grown adults living in so many different states. I even brainwashed family members I haven't seen or had contact with in 5 years or more. lol. Watch out! I could be brainwashing you right now, my influence is so strong. lol. :rolleyes:
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Hex.... {{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}
  6. Bean

    Bean Member

    I had to come back and re-read this thread, as this continues to be an issue for us. My daughter (who moved in with my parents AGAIN), was caught stealing from them. She took multiple valued items of jewelry from my mother. All sentimental in value. Breaks my heart. It's hard to remember that this is not normal behavior. I need to continually remind myself of that.

    I am in continual amazement how my daughter has survived the past year with no job, but still manages to party, have make-up, gain weight, tattoos... I just don't get it!!!??
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Hi KayDay. Glad you found us, sorry you had to. This isn't an area I have experience in, but wanted to say hi and let you know that you might have better luck by starting a new thread rather than adding to a (very) old one and introducing yourself as well. It's the weekend so replies will be slower, but others with experience in this area will come along.
    :smile:*HUGS* and hang in there hon.
  8. KarenAnn

    KarenAnn New Member

    I need HELP and advice: Here is my story. My son who is 31 had to move home with his pregnant girlfriend of 5 years. They have had a rough and rocky relationship and we don't know her very well. We turned our home upside down to accommodate them. I have done everything to make sure she feels at home. I got their room set up like a lil studio with the baby crib and all. I washed all the baby clothes and put them in the drawers. She has only 7 weeks to go. The problem is is that along the way we have had issues of things missing... money out of my purse, money stolen from my visiting daughter and other things. Finally after spending 5 hours cleaning the floors and walls in their room and getting it ready for baby we had another silly incident but profound just the same. My husband had bought me a special muffin and that night she decided to just take it. Then she lied about it convincing me that she was in fact the common denominator in all the other thefts. She is no out of the house and my son is heartbroken. Her mom refuses to see that there is a problem. This girl has been on Klonopin for years and other medications...and while pregnant she still is taking them and smoking pot. I am lost, hurt and confused and now believe that the Klonopin has been the source of her problem all along. She is not in therapy but goes to pick up a lengthy list of perscriptions from some counselor...obviously he is doing nothing to help her. Bottom line is is that I can not and will not have a liar and a thief in my home. The saddest part is that this is my first grandbaby and now everthing is all messed up. I could use any and all input in what to do...I fear there is nothing I can do at this point. I can not let her back here because she denies it all and is clueless to her issues. What to do????
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi, KarenAnn.

    You don't go into much history of your own son, but why did he have to live at your house? He's a grown man, nearing middle age, and should never have asked you to come home let along bring his girlfriend with him. I am really sorry it has been such a problem, however in my opinion they should have never been allowed to live with you and you should never have taken on the "mommy" role again, such as cleaning after them, cooking, probably not insisting on work from son or rent or respect...I know because lots of us have been there/done this. What is wrong with girlfriend is her problem, not yours. It is very unlikely she steals because of Klonopin, although if her son and her use drugs illegally, that would be a huge reason why they steal. My guess is your son does it with her and is well aware of it. There is much more to this picture. Is this your son's baby? If not, it is 100% not your problem. If it is, you still can't do anything for him or his ex. Neither should be in your home. Why do you not know his girlfriend? Did he disappear and suddenly want to come back? It's common in this community. When they suddenly have no money, they suddenly show up. And we love them so we try to believe...

    You are neglecting somebody really important to try to fix your son and his realtionship problems, although he is an adult. You are neglecting YOURSELF and you are important and deserve to be over parenting your son by now. You deserve your own life, fun with your spouse, fun with your friends and other loved ones and freedom from mothering a man his age. Does he have a job? Why doesn't he have his own place?

    It is hard to know exactly what to tell you without more of the story. However, right off the bat, I can safely and advise you, guilt-free, to buy two books: Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend (it is Christian, but if you are not, you can still get tons out of it and just skip the religious parts...I am not CHristian and I really learned a lot from that book) and "Codependent No More" by Melody Beatty. Fantastic book and the moment I realized that I took care of everyone in the world but me! And nobody was grateful for my attempts either and my life was filled with stress and worry and tears. I also went to Al-Anon when my daughter used drugs and that was extremely helpful to me.

    Most of us have had a long journey and are happy to share. It's just that at this point we are not sure what your son's issues are...drugs? Criminality? Mental illness? Something else?

    A "normal" young adult is not living at home at 31. Nor does he want to live with his parents anymore.
  10. Sad Daddy

    Sad Daddy New Member

    I am really glad I found this site. My wife and I have been dealing with a daughter that has a prescription drug problem, and steals my wife's medication as well as been arrested twice for shoplifting. We have bought three safes which she has broken into each of them, this has been going on for over 5 years. She has used the threat of suicide on us again in Nov and we confronted her and went through her purse where we found drugs. We gave her the choice of treatment or she needed to move out, she moved out. Since early November when this happened we had to change the locks on our home because she came back and stole jewelry from us. We changed the locks and now she has used two checks given to her for copays which should be like $80 and at least two stolen checks for the tune of $1,200 in total. We did not involve the police with the jewelry and do not want her to go to jail about the items and checks but need to make the bank know of this to insure no more checks get cashed. There it is out now hopefully it will help me heal a little.

    My question is does any one know the consequences once the bank is made aware of the problem?​
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Sad, I'm sorry you are going through what you are but you are not alone. My suggestion is you may need to close that checking account and start a new one as that is the only way to ensure no more checks are cashed on that account.

    My husband and I also bought a safe, we also had a lock on our bedroom door. I came home one day to find my 15 year old difficult child (he's now 33) had taken a hammer and beat a huge hole through our bedroom door and had stolen the whole safe. I called to police and they found him the next day. He had tried to get the safe open but was unable to.

    It's good you found this site as you will find wonderful advice and support. You are not alone in what you are going through.
  12. IceBerg

    IceBerg New Member

    I'm reading these posts because we have the same problem with my 22 y/o daughter. I could write a book with everything we have been through. What do we do about this? Is there any help for these adult children? or us?
  13. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    My son is 23. I'm learning that there is help, but they have to accept responsibility and seek it out and do the actual work involved.
    I am sorry you're going through this, I know how you're hurting and I'm sending you hugs and prayers.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The most common reason for them to steal is drug use/addiction and pawning our stuff. It is your decision, but you have several choices, none that will stop the stealing:

    1/tell the grown child that stealing is not acceptable in your home and that he/she has to leave and find other accomodations.

    2/Call the police and let the adult face the consequences or go to jail.

    3/Hope it doesn't happen again. Give another chance. I think this is highly unlikely to work, but many people give many chances.

    When adults are 18, we have no legal rights anymore. It is often problematic for them to stay at home with t heir behaviors, especially if we are also supporting the adult child. Many choose to finally tell t heir difficult adult child to leave. That can motivate them to launch or quit the addiction, but often it just gives us peace. And we deserve peace and quiet and no more drama. We are not "mommys" anymore once they are adults. We are mothers who should in my opinion expect a respectful, law abiding, adult relationship with our children, including that they obey the law, w ork, and help us with the bills and chores in our home. Our home should be in my opinion our sanctuary.

    We have no rights to send our adult children for help. There are no words to make them do it. They have to want to do it. They alone have to want to change. Our yelling, begging, pleading, bribing...it won't change anything, although they will gladly lie to get a bribe. We can only change our ourselves, just like they can only chane one person...themselves.

    If you want daughter to live at home, even though s he is 22 and probably able bodied and not working, I suggest you lock up ALL your valuables, credit cards, bank account numbers and be on high alert.

    I know this is easy to say; not so easy to do, b ut you can't help her by putting up with this. Hugs for your hurting heart.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  15. IceBerg

    IceBerg New Member

  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    HI Iceberg and welcome, you have posted on an old thread, but sheesh, what that says is so many, many of us been through this....so sorry for the heartache of it. I have been there, too. Missing cash, jewelry, family heirlooms, gone, pawned, it makes me ill to think of it.

    You have some good advice here. I echo the sentiment.

    The biggest reality here is one word ADULT.

    22 is young, but young does not give our adult children the right to walk all over us.

    You are here, reading and posting helps. If you choose to start a new thread, more will come along. It helps to tell your story, it is cathartic, gets it out of your system, as well as allows you to you look at it in black and white.

    When we wake up from the nightmare and face it, it is a whole different perspective into how much we have put up with as parents.

    Well, we are people, with value, we matter, too.

    You matter, Iceberg. You are not alone. Others will come along.

    Stand up for yourself, and your right to live peaceably, in your own home.

    Our homes are supposed to be our sanctuary, not a place where we have to fear being disrespected and stolen from, from our own CHILDREN.

    It is a smack in the face and a challenge to our own integrity. Our self respect.

    If we allow our d cs to mistreat us, they will, again and again.

    Take care, and hugs for your hurting heart.

    Most of us have been right where you are now......
    Keep posting, it really helps.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  17. IceBerg

    IceBerg New Member

    Thank you for your comments and sharing your experiences. We have pretty much cut her off from everything and do not give her money. She is living with us again so we lock everything up. However, had another conflict because the deal was she would be looking for a job and for 5 days she has not done that. Hard to throw your adult child out in 30 degree weather. I can't help but think I did not do the right things as a parent when she was younger. She feels jilted and she is angry all the time. Doesn't that mean she is missing something from her parents? I'm not trying to excuse her but as a parent I feel I need to try and find her help, if she moves forward with it or not is her choice but I was just hoping there were some resources that someone knows about that she could take advantage of if she gets to that point of change.
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    in my opinion, no, it means your daughter made a decision to probably hang out with bad peers and copy them and probably use drugs. You can't help her. She is too old. She doesn't have to listen to anything you tell her. More often than not, continuing to support their toys, feed them, give them a car on our own dime and make their lives comfy while they abuse us and don't launch is not at all useful and does not help the adult. It just makes them more a child.

    Although we have diverse opinions here, mine is that to help a young adult move on in life by no longer playing mommy is a kindness. How long can she stay? Until she is 32? You did not make her this way. They all say that just to make us feel guilty. At any rate, she is old enough to get help herself. You can't do it f or her. But you may have to see her tears to help her grow up and you may have to hear the very common, "YOU DON'T LOVE ME OR YOU'D DO WHAT I WANT!" Sounds a bit like a kindergartner, no? It is a manipulation to get to us.

    I a had horrible, abusive family. Nobody helped me after I was eighteen and I had real challenges. It was better that I had to do things without them or I may have leaned into my disabilities and acted like a spoiled princess. I had to do it myself, my way.

    We all have to take our own life's walks and they legally start at eighteen, when our parents have no more control over our choices. You have walked your life and I'll bet you were a GREAT parent or you wouldn't be so worried about your adult daughter now. Your daughter has to and will walk her own path in life. She may or may not make good decisions, but at her age, it is on her shoulders, not yours.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    The guilt and the blame game, do not fall for it, it keeps us in the web. We all make mistakes....
    If you feel the need to help her, yes as mothers, we want to help, BUT, and it is a big BUT, they have to want the help themselves.

    The old adage, "You take the horse to water, but you can't make um drink." applies in spades....
    Do what you need to do, to make you feel good, but do realize dear,
    that it is totally up to your daughter. She is an adult, and we have no control over our adult children and the paths they choose.

    As my 14 year old son said, "Why do we have people living with us, Mom, who STEAL from us?"

    I had to really think about that one.......

    We are here, and you are here. The advice you receive, is just that, advice from caring people who have gone through or are going through what you are.

    There is no right or wrong.

    I have to get going, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Others will come along....
    Take very good care of yourself

  20. autumnd

    autumnd New Member