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DD acting out

squid posted 10/26/2020 04:08 AM

DD21 came home rather abruptly from her college town a few weeks ago after her plans to move to a new apartment apparently fell through and she didn't have place or roommate to move in with.

I say "college town" because she decided to take a break from college but didn't want to move back home. She loves her life there too much.

But on the reality side, she blew through her college fund, switching majors more times than I can remember, at an out-of-state college that was way more expensive than an in-state school.

I told her that if she was to go back to school she had to enroll at a state college. She hasn't been in school since last summer. I said if she wanted to stay there, she'd have to get a job and pay for her own expenses.

Frankly, I was relieved she decided to come back home, especially amidst the pandemic. She insisted before that she would be fine up there.

In fact, there was some back and forth earlier this year when I was insistent on her moving back home and she at first begrudgingly acquiesced. She made it known that she'd be very withdrawn and would spend most of her time in her room and not want to talk to anyone.

We had plans set up to where I would drive up to help her move back home, but she changed her mind saying she wanted one more chance to make things right. That didn't happen. She got through summer but then her roommate (so she says) could not come through, so she came home.

And since she's been home, she has pretty much mostly been shuttered in her room. I noticed early upon her return that she's been drinking quite a bit. At first hard liquor and now mostly wine.

For the 3rd night this week, DD21 took the car, presumably to go do some food delivery jobs (at least that's what she tells me). I just happened to wake up as my irregular sleeping has me doing lately. It's now 4:30am and she has not been home yet. She left at 3pm.

The first time she didn't come home until I texted her at 2:30am asking what time she was coming back.

The second time she didn't come home until 8am the next morning. I didn't even know she left the house then. She tripped the house alarm when she came home, to my surprise.

I know she's an adult and perhaps it's not my place to ask. But at what point do I say "what the f**k?".

We've talked about IC for her and she claims she was seeing one. I know from my health insurance notifications that she is on some kind of meds, I think for depression and anxiety.

If any of you remember, she has a history of not being truthful with me. Like straight up lying and gaslighting me even in the face of hard evidence. That's a whole other story.

XWW moved 60 miles away earlier this year without telling me, so she is kind of persona non grata with regard to parenting.

I just needed to vent.

2020 just keeps getting better.

Bigger posted 10/26/2020 04:50 AM

All Iím going to say is that some people will always be at the extreme end of a taut leash.
She might think that at 21 she doesnít need a leash, and in many ways I agree with that. But frankly we are all on some sort of leash. Itís more an issue of who and what is holding the other end.
There is always something that restrains us. In her instance her liberty to do as she likes is restrained by the fact, she isnít independent. Sheís financially dependent on you and therefore needs to comply with whatever rules you set.
Know you are mainly venting, but be careful about placing the cause for her actions on mental issues. I would seriously look into substance use/abuse too. I would also consider finding some way to motivate her on how she envisions her future. A career-consultant or maybe even trying to get her a job connected to something she might be interested in (like reception at a hospital might get her interested in radiology, nursing or becoming a doctor).

tushnurse posted 10/26/2020 08:16 AM

Sheís financially dependent on you and therefore needs to comply with whatever rules you set.

AMEN!!!

I have a 23yo that has trouble finding his way. Not a bad kid, but a bit lost.
His last year of HS he had plans to go away to an in state school. We had toured, he had met w/ advisors, and had been accepted, w/ scholarship. Well after that, he stopped working at school, he brought home 3 F's the end of the first semester. I said NOPE you aren't going anywhere you are staying here for at least a semester to prove you are going to do the work.
He did, he flunked out in 2 semesters. Was smoking weed a lot, and had no motivation, and wasn't going to as long as Mom and Dad paid for everything he wanted/needed. We stopped. Rule in my home was if you aren't going to school or trade school to become financially independent then you will work full time, and you will pay for some of your own expenses.

He is now an EMT, works PT as a 911 dispatcher, and is in Paramedic school. He has matured, and is thankful that we put limits on his behaviors. It was helpful. At one point prior to his 20th bday we stripped his room, and took his door, gave him a bed and clothes. That was it, it was because he was not doing anything, and smoking weed, and playing games on line all day. We had to break that behavior pattern.

We now ask that he keep us updated that is he is going to be out all night just to let us know. I realize that if he were away at school I'd have no clue, but we live by roommate rules. If you are going to be here for dinner let me know. If you are going to be gone all night let me know etc. He has a few responsibilities to help around the home too, that are expected to be done w/o asking and he does them well for the most part.

My point is you have to set boundaries. Their brains aren't done developing for whatever reason, and their motivation is nil if they don't have to work for much. Common decency and respect is what we ask for and get, but at one point had to set some firm rules to get him on board.

Hang in there, it does get easier.

little turtle posted 10/26/2020 08:37 AM

No advice for you, but wanted to share something.

In the middle of my divorce time, I had enough and moved back home with my kids. I was about 25 (the timeline is a blur!) And one of the rules my dad had for me was to let him know if I was coming home or not. He didn't care if I stayed out somewhere, but he wanted to know if he should expect me back or not.

You should implement this or something like it with DD. I don't know what the consequences would have been if I didn't tell him. I respect my parents and didn't want them to worry about me.

sisoon posted 10/26/2020 13:36 PM

You've got 2 reasons for setting ground rules: 1) finances; 2) you're living together.

I suggest figuring out your non-negotiables and your negotiables and talk with your daughter about them to come up with a way to live with one another.

Not easy, and we certainly didn't succeed when we needed to, but worth doing.

The1stWife posted 10/26/2020 21:18 PM

Medication and drinking? Not good.

Possibly drinking and driving? Even worse.

No accountability? Not acceptable.

Set the ground rules. Period. Not negotiable. Donít enable. Do not let her make these poor choices and you donít do anything. She needs help. I hope she gets it.

number4 posted 10/26/2020 23:55 PM

We've talked about IC for her and she claims she was seeing one. I know from my health insurance notifications that she is on some kind of meds, I think for depression and anxiety.

While I agree with others that she needs to abide by your house rules, this line from you says you need to tread lightly. As someone who has suffered from anxiety, then depression for much of my life, if someone basically threatened to kick me out, it would do nothing but perpetuate the anxiety. I know talking about mental health issues is not a comfortable thing to do, but you need to be talking to her about this. I self-medicated my anxiety with alcohol throughout my high school and college years. I'd give anything if one of my parents had even noticed I was drinking at 15, and smoking pot at 16... and MANY times, driving while under the influence. When I had my first major panic attack, driving home from college one weekend (my parents had to come to my rescue when I was an hour from home), my dad accused me of being a hypochondriac.

If you had any other significant other in your house, you'd be damned mad if they went out all night and didn't let you know where they were or when they'd be home, so why do you tolerate it with your daughter? It's called common courtesy. Would you go out all night or at odd hours without telling her? There is no more 'claiming to see an IC'; as a condition of her living in your home, she needs to be doing this. I'm surprised the person who is prescribing her meds isn't insisting on it.

It's scary as hell to be young, and be debilitated by anxiety and depression to the point where you can't even attend school. You feel like a failure. Maybe one of her anxieties is she's developed test anxiety, which could explain why she had to drop out. She needs some gentle prodding, but again, an insistence that she has to let you know when she goes out (even if she has to wake you up when she leaves and comes home) and when she will be home. If she can't do this, then there's no use of the car.

When I was between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college, I would drink every night. 18 was the legal drinking age then, but I would either go to work (I worked some nights at an ice-skating rink in addition to my day job), or tell my parents I was going to work, go hang out there, or head to a local 7-11, buy a couple of tall beers and suck them down, just to get drunk. I remember one night saying to myself, "Maybe if I drink enough, someone will see something is wrong with me and do something about it." That never happened. My parents never caught on - I was good at hiding it, and I really never drank at home. It's actually a miracle I never injured/killed anyone else in a car accident, and amazing that I did manage to graduate college. But I was self-medicating, and life just sucked. Most of the people I hung around with just colluded with me - in hindsight, none of my friends were very mature emotionally... which of course led to my picking a husband who... well, we're not supposed to talk about infidelity on this forum, so I'll leave it at that.

squid posted 10/27/2020 10:47 AM

Being forthcoming with me is not one of her strong suits.

Case in point: She planned a trip to go "back home" to her college town for a few days before she starts a new job. How did I hear about it? From DS14 who mentioned it in passing. Even he remarked how rather sad it was that she didn't consider our house her "home".

So when did she tell me about her trip? Today. Wanna guess when she's flying out? Today.

I only asked her because my mother offered to take her to the airport and told me about DD travelling today.

Kind of ironically, one of her friends is a certified counselor and, like her, DD wants to pursue a career helping others with emotional issues.

I've tried gently steering her towards various careers but she complains about doing the work. She was an honors student throughout high school. She wants to be a photo journalist and travel the world too. That'd be freaking amazing, wouldn't it.

Ever since her shady behavior last year she knows I'm pretty adept at detecting a lie and will always call her on it. It all just makes it impossible for me to trust her at the moment.

But, yes, you are all right about setting boundaries. She's literally on her way to the airport right now so our chat will have to wait until she gets back.

pureheartkit posted 10/27/2020 10:53 AM

Sad that she'd rather hide away.

What about trying to get her to have some dinner nights with you? The drinking too much isn't healthy. She shouldn't drive then. What's good in her life to enjoy?

I was a sad teen. Life can seem hopeless. Can you both find some happy minutes together?

I agree with the firm rules. It will do no harm.

squid posted 10/28/2020 11:42 AM

I certainly don't want to minimize her mental illness. I can't truly gauge how the divorce has affected her and being away from home now coupled with coming back home to a split up family and her mother not being nearby.

But I believe she has used her mental illness as a way to manipulate me and tug at my heart strings.

When I proposed late last year that she move back home after having dropped out of classes she claimed that her moving home could be detrimental to her mental health. So I let it slide, feeling bad for her. She went back to acting normal.

Then earlier this year after suggesting again that she come home, amidst the start of the pandemic, again she brought up her mental illness. This time she said she had thought of suicide a couple of times, even stepping in front of a bus, or jumping off an overpass.

I did not take this lightly at all. I told her she needed to visit the school counseling offices immediately and that I would try and contact the school myself to make sure someone could look after her until she came home. I even suggested that she or I contact my brother who lives not far from her that she's emotionally struggling and may need to reach out.

Almost immediately she replied with, "I was just exaggerating. I'm fine. I was just being dramatic. I'll be okay. I can figure whatever I need. I don't need to come home."

Obviously I was furious. She tried to hit back with, "You know, talking to "uncle" about my issues is an invasion of my privacy!!"

I replied, "You just admitted to me that you are a potential danger to yourself and possibly to others! I can have the police come to admit you if I feel I need to in order to keep you from harming yourself!"

Radio silence for a while. Then, "I'm fine".

I know there is another member in this forum that is going through a real suicide crisis with his DD. My heart breaks for him.

I'm simply not equipped or even have the energy to deal with DD. I wish she would take the role of the mature, responsible, oldest sibling. Her younger brothers are doing better at least in handling life.

It would also be nice if her mother would have a more nurturing presence in her life.

I just learned from my mother that she spoke her and that DD has expressed she is going to make her move back home a more permanent thing. So I guess there's time to adjust and make this work. One day at a time.

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