MDJunction - People Helping People
 
Ask a Question
06/20/2011 08:36 PM

How can I help my adult daughter?

freebirdtu
 
Posts: 7
New Member

My daughter, 29, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her mid teens. She is gainfully employed and owns her own home. She has also occasionally discontinued her meds and the effect is often disastrous. For the past two years, her behavior has been wildly erratic and she has become involved with an unemployed man with a criminal record who moved in with her, chokes her into submission until she loses consciousness when they argue, and sleeps around with other women. She regularly engages in illegal activity with this man and covers up for him when the police show up at her front door. I have good reason to believe the man who presently lives in my daughter's home is also her dealer, and supplies her with illegal drugs. She has also developed a drinking habit, often starting at lunchtime and regularly consuming liquor until she passes out.

When I have questioned her about the wisdom of her choices, my daughter responds with denial, blame, excuses and paranoia, though she readily admits one day she will look back on it and wonder what she was thinking. She fully understands the consequences of her behavior and appears indifferent. She has lied to and manipulated her entire family, the very people who care the most about what happens to her.

Moreover, my daughter is also the single mother of my 7-year old granddaughter, whom I love dearly and I have had serious concerns for her safety and well-being in my daughter's home. I have intervened on my granddaughter's behalf and custody was awarded to her father, who can and does provide a more stable, loving environment for her to grow up in. It was a very painful decision that was not made lightly. Needless to say, my daughter now wishes me dead and has threatened to harm me as well as herself and understandably wants me out of her life. I have respected her wishes but I stand by and watch in horror with each day that passes.

She is still my child, and though I regret it had to be done, I feel I did the right thing in protecting my little granddaughter by removing her from the situation. Nonetheless, I love my daughter with all my heart and feel helpless watching her take this path of self-destruction. Now that my granddaughter is safely out of harm's way, I feel my daughter has the opportunity to focus on resolving her own issues and perhaps revisit child custody when she is in a better position.How can I help her save herself?

Reply

06/21/2011 04:43 AM
gardengirl
gardengirl  
Posts: 1727
Senior Member

That's a hard question to try and answer. I think you were right to move your granddaughter, first of all. The basic problem is that your daughter is legally an adult, and there is only so much that you can do until she decides to help herself.

Some things I would consider (and have done in my own case) is to have her give permission to her PDoc and/or therapist so that they can communicate with you. I have that permission now, but will also say that when my daughter (who is going to be 25 in a few days) was in crisis, there was a point where I talked, and all they could do was listen to what I was telling them. That alone was helpful, as they were getting information from me that they would not have gotten from my daughter.

I'm sure there are others here who can add their thoughts -- *hugs* and hang in there!


06/21/2011 05:31 AM
clearthinker
clearthinker  
Posts: 998
Senior Member

Freebirdtu, Welcome. It had to be extremely hard for you to get your granddaughter removed out of your daughter's home but I know you followed your heart and did the best thing possible. I can't imagine how painful that was for you but I also know that you must be sleeping better knowing an innocent child is out of harms way. I too have a 29 year old bipolar daughter. She put us and everyone in her path in constant hell. It got to the point that I could not tolerate her BS anymore. My husband and I decided that we have a right to a good happy life and decided to ignore her to the best of our abilities. This decision came after years of her abuse, ripping us off, lying non stop to us and making our lives so miserable that we were barely able to function. I did not answer the phone or my door and cut all ties. This lasted for over 3 months. My daughter fell hard and when mom and dad were not there to help fix, bail her out she had to finally grow up and it came from deep within her. Our decision to blow her off came after thousands of dollars worth of therapy and medication that she would not take and thousands of wasted dollars on her ugly lifestyle. Enough is enough and you can only do so much when they are an adult especially when they know you have a kind heart and will walk all over you. I regained my self respect when I made the decision to blow her off. It was very hard, I cried everyday but crying everyday was not as hard as putting up with her self made destruction on a daily basis. When she turned 28 she finally got tired of her life being such a mess that she started to move forward and is doing ok now. You can pray for your daughter but somehow helping her is not helping her at all. I did not know this until I went to bipolar support because I felt my daughter was too ill and needed me but I came out of support with a new perspective. I do know that if I continued to do what I was doing that my daughter would still be doing the same stupid shit as she was always doing so it was ME that had to make the drastic changes if we were to move forward. Every situation is different and this is the only thing that worked with us. I pray for you and I sure hope you daughter straightens out real soon. Amen.

06/21/2011 06:11 AM
lillipets
Posts: 1495
Group Leader

Welcome to our community.

unfortunately I don't know if there is anything you can do at this point. She is going to refuse all suggestions and efforts of assistance.

You may want to contact a NAMI group in your area. The would know what can and can't be done legally in this situation. Since your daughter is employed, owns her home, etc she will not be seen as incompetent in the eyes of the law.

Now if you suspect her boyfriend of doing anything illegal, you may be able to tip off the police.... if he is out of the picture she may get of her common sense back. Of course if she suspects you have anything to do with it....it could get ugly.

But don't hesitate to call the police if she continues to threaten you.

I'm glad you found us. This forum is a wonderful source of support for all of us.


06/21/2011 11:32 AM
cigarinface
cigarinface  
Posts: 86
Member

Welcome! This is the best place for you to be. I am so sorry for the pain you are enduring. You absoultely did the right thing to help your granddaughter. Unfortunately, when our bipolar children are in their disease, they are unable to make clear and rational decisions. I know it is incredibly hard to watch her go down this road, but remember, you are a good mother. The things you have taught her are inside her. The hardest part is that you have to let her make her own choices on how to use those lessons. Stay strong, and we will be here when you need us.

P.S. The last time, my daughter told me that she was going to harm me, the sherriff officer who removed her from my home told me that he hears this often, and it is extremely rare that children act on their threats. Stay safe, stay positive, and do something nice for yourself.


06/21/2011 03:52 PM
jjsmom
 
Posts: 443
Member

I too want to welcome you to our group.I completely understand where you are at.I have a 24yr old son who is currently in jail due to risky behavior.He also self medicated with street drugs.I've finally figured out all I can do is stand back and let him fall and keep falling until he decides he's tired of living like he is.Then maybe he'll reach out for help and thats when I can step back in.This site has been a godsend for me.It's made me realize I'm not alone and neither are you.We are all in this together.WELCOME!!

06/21/2011 07:24 PM
clearthinker
clearthinker  
Posts: 998
Senior Member

JJSmom, I'm just wondering how your son is doing in jail and if they have him going to counseling while in jail. And wondering how you are holding up through all this. I know this is a hard time but it has to be some relief knowing he is somewhere where someone is watching over him. I hope you take this time to take care of yourself. And I pray that your 24 year old will realize his mistakes much sooner than my daughter did. Amen.

06/22/2011 04:55 AM
jjsmom
 
Posts: 443
Member

Thanks for the concern clearthinker.I'm really not sure how he is doing,because I have cut off all phone calls and I can't visit due to a protection order.I have written him and hope to get a letter soon.I'm going to his court hearing today. We see what happens.I'll keep you guys informed.Again thanks for asking it mans alot.

06/22/2011 05:21 AM
clearthinker
clearthinker  
Posts: 998
Senior Member

JJSMOM, I know you worry about him all the time, but now he knows that you can't run to him each and every time he falls. Hopefully this will be enough to get him to thinking about his own life and where it's headed. It took my daughter a long time, longer than I had patience for. My daughter knew that her dad and I could not muster up any more patience, compassion or money and my daughter knew she was way too old to be doing the things she was doing so when my her dad and I decided we are not going to put up with it anymore is when she made the much needed changes in her life. Also her friends could not put up with it anymore either so she felt the pain of being truly alone and that is really what got her to straighten out. She still does things that disturb us but it's not as much or as deep and she is quick to apologize. I have reminded my daughter several times that bipolar is a MOOD disorder not a do a bunch of stupid things disorder, I think that made the most sense to her. Good luck to all.

06/25/2011 11:19 AM
gardengirl
gardengirl  
Posts: 1727
Senior Member

clearthinker -- the distinction between a mood disorder and a "do a bunch of stupid things" disorder is something that I am going to remember!
Reply

Share this discussion with your friends:
<< Start < Prev 1 Next > End >>


Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 MDJunction.com All Rights Reserved