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New here, don't know what to do

Started by dvg, May 29, 2011, 07:31:17 am

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So glad I found this site.  My 19 year old daughter is breaking my heart and I don't know what to do.  She took off with her half brother and a friend of his, and did not tell me where they were going or when, or if, she would be back.  She said she is "done" with me - but she is in college and I am paying her tuition and rent.  She says this is not her home, that it is a "toxic environment" and that she will never come here again. 

She and I live with my mother, and up until she met her two half brothers we had the usual ups and downs but got along.  She was an excellent student in high school.  Two days ago she left with her half brother and a friend that he brought from New York. I had said that the friend couldn't stay here, but wound up letting him stay for a night anyway.  This half brother has an alcohol and drug problem and I think my daughter is going to follow that path.

After an argument she packed all her things and put them in his car.  When they were all together before they left I said "have fun and take care". She wouldn't even roll down the car window for me to say goodbye. When she got out to throw something in the trash, I said "I will always love you" and she just said "no" and stormed off.

I'm confused and don't know what to do.

I had promised I would pay this year's rent and college, but it is becoming obvious that I mean nothing to her now.  While she was at college and away from the half brother, we talked or emailed every few days and got along well, but now she is cutting me off.  She is also verbally abusive to my mother, calling her a "Nazi butch" when she asked her to stop slamming doors. Now my mother's heart is broken too.  She said that DD has destroyed all feelings she had for her.

If she comes back in time to make it to college, I will pay the tuition, but I can see estrangement on the horizon.  I'm not even sure she will make it back to college, because she could get drawn into the punk drug lifestyle of the half brother. 

She says "I'm an adult and I do what I want" but she refuses to get a summer job to pay for her expenses, and she has an expensive apartment because she did not put in for the dorm.  She said if she had to go back to the dorm she was dropping out and I gave in to that emotional blackmail.

She has caused me pain beyond what I could imagine.  I know I need to "detach with love" as they say in Al-Anon, but don't know how to do that.  Trying to focus on other areas, but it is so hard.  My worst fear is that she could die out there, second worst is that she will cut me out of her life.  She is in a good college and could be ruining her life.

I go back and forth between being angry at her and her manipulations (she has been physically abusive and lied and stolen), feeling like a victim, to feeling guilty and inadequate and wondering what I did wrong.

How do you survive it when a beloved child says "I'm through with you" and means it?
And have any of you distanced yourself from an adult child who hurt you so much?
Should I wait it out and hope and pray for the best, or start preparing for a life without her?


Welcome dvg :)

If you haven't already done so, please read the Forum Agreement in the category "Open Me."  We ask all new members to do so, not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

Just a question so I get more of a background how are the half-brothers related to your DD?  From her father?  And they are older?

Glad you made it here, there are a lot of posters in similar situations that can relate to you.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Welcome...take a step back, take some deep breaths and then focus on something that brings you comfort. The first thing of importance is you. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


The half brothers are from her father's first wife.  I left him when he was a baby because he was a bipolar alcoholic and would not get help, and I couldn't take it any more.  They are older, the one she is with now is 24 and on drugs, and the other one, who I kicked out when he pushed her when he was drunk, is 25.

Thank you for being here. 

I am trying to prepare for the worst case scenario because she is getting into a very dangerous situation.  I still love her but have to admit that, at this time, I do not like her as a person.



I do not know much about bipolar but is it possible that it is genetic?  From what I know a lot of the mental illnesses have addictions that come with them. 

Your concern and confusion is very understandable, this must be a very hard time for you.  I think you have to do what feels right, what are your instincts telling you? 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Welcome dvg and so sorry.  You will find many here that have estranged themselves from adult children (including me).  It's not something that is done easily and it stinks big time, but in many cases, it's for the best.  You have to realize that we can not control them any longer.  We can be there to support them when they are doing things to the best of their abilities, and give them support and a soft place to land when they have some failures.  As long as they are not doing things that are unhealthy, there is nothing that says that you have to help them or enable them.  Like Luise said, take a step back right now and do something for yourself.  You were a good Mother, that doesn't give an adult child the right to try to make you feel like you were not.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


She is young I kind of did the samething only my mother had no clue where I was.  Just left the dorm room no warning I was upset and mad teenager at the time.  But I came around DM and I don't always have the best relationship but it got better.

lancaster lady


Whether for good or bad reasons I reckon you will hear from her sooner or later .
she is kicking up her heels , stating a fact , when she realises where the grass IS greener
she'll be back .
Meanwhile I know you are in bits , be strong , I'm sure she's not worrying about you .


Welcome, DVG. You've come to the right place; many here have been in your shoes and can relate to your story. What's good about this site is that you can also get the perspective of someone like SassyDI who was in your DD's shoes as a young woman and has since come around. It must be comforting to hear about her life now that she's grown and has come to terms with her DM.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Welcome, You've found a group of very wise and helpful women here. 
I can only imagine how your heart must be breaking. No one can hurt you as badly as a child I've learned. I wish I had a wise answer for you.
Sending you hugs and prayers.


Bi polar can be genetic absolutely.  :-\Sending you a hug.

forever spring

May 30, 2011, 04:21:27 pm #11 Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 05:08:04 pm by pam1
Quote from: Donna on May 29, 2011, 04:39:20 pm
Unfortunately, we as parents are not in control of the outside stimuli that affect our children, their thought patterns, their behaviors and their choices.  However, we have brought them through to adulthood, and if they choose to go astray it is their choice, if they wish to throw their lives away, it's their choice.  If they choose to throw you away, it's their choice.

IMO this is true. Our children are not our children, they are their own persons and will develop accordingly. I do think in your case, your daughter will come back, she is young and impressionable now but it seems that you have given her a good basis to come to her senses when the time is right. Sorry to hear about your problems at the moment. HUGS

forever spring

Sorry I got the quoting wrong again, the second paragraph is from me.


Thank you all so much for your understanding and support... and a special thank you to SassyD for showing that it is possible for relationships to heal.  This is the worst heartbreak.  If she cuts herself off from me, there is nothing I can do.  She will HAVE to be in touch with me for a while because I am paying her apartment rent and the part of tuition that her scholarship doesn't cover.  Her rage is against both me and my mother, and she is breaking her grandmother's heart too.  My mother said after one especially hurtful comment that she will distance herself from her... not cut her off but she won't talk to her for a while.

You're right, there is nothing I can do except create a life for myself, and be prepared if she does not want to be in it.  For all the talk about the joys of family life, being in a family has been the greatest source of anguish ever.  If there is reincarnation, next time around I do not want to be in a family.  Her early years were wonderful but I do not know how I can survive the pain and heartbreak.

So glad you all are here and that there is a place I can come and talk to wonderful people who understand.


So sorry you are going through this ((((((((((((((((((((((dvg))))))))))))))))))))))).

These sound like growing pains to me though. She is VERY young! She will probably come around. My brother and I both went through this sort of thing with our DM. I (25) have come around and have a wonderful relationship with DM. DB (27) has not come around yet..... There is hope. It is just a phase. Hopefully it doesn't last real long.  :)