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help with tough love

Posted by on May. 8, 2012 at 8:07 AM
  • 12 Replies

My 20 yr old daughter has been on a downward spiral in the last year...dropped out of college, racked up huge debt, decided to enter a homosexual lifestyle, having several short term relationships one of which resulted in moving to another state to live with a girl she knew for 2 weeks and met online, and when it didn't work out after 2 months she told us that she started cutting and burning herself and doesn't want to live anymore.  This child was on a successful track graduating from highschool with some awards and small scholarships, completed one year of college (living in dorms), on track to finish her associates degree and transfer to a bigger college for her bachelors this year, this has been a complete turnaround in a matter of 8-10 months.

Thinking she is suicidal, we rescued her from the other state and brought her home to get her counseling and back on track, on the way home she was teary, vulnerable, didn't want to be alone etc.  We set up counseling, but before she even went within 2 days she was like a spoiled teenager, doing whatever she wants, living in filth in her bedroom, refusing to go to counseling and/or get a job, when confronted she just leaves, last night she took off with a friend and has not returned home yet, she has no cell phone, a debit card with a little money in the account from her previous job and just the clothes on her back.  I suspect she will return today while we are at work, eat and help herself to whatever she needs for the night and take off again.  We don't know what to do, any advice would be appreciated, what counselers we have contacted are crazy expensive and it is hard to take time off work during their hours, we need help.

by on May. 8, 2012 at 8:07 AM
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Replies (1-10):
EireLass
by Gold Member on May. 8, 2012 at 8:44 AM
1 mom liked this

If it were me, I would take the time off work and go to counseling with her. BOTH parents. At counseling, with the help of the counselor (you're setting it up as a 3rd party, so she's not going to be the spoiled brat yelling you're mean), set the rules, and when the first rule is broken, change the locks to the house.

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by on May. 8, 2012 at 9:10 AM

I agree with her :)

Quoting EireLass:

If it were me, I would take the time off work and go to counseling with her. BOTH parents. At counseling, with the help of the counselor (you're setting it up as a 3rd party, so she's not going to be the spoiled brat yelling you're mean), set the rules, and when the first rule is broken, change the locks to the house.


LEK19
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Tough love is a difficult thing to do. Hang in there and know in your heart that it is the right thing. You do not want to enable her in anyway on any downward spiral. Set your standards. Expect decent behavior. Let her know when you don't approve. That is our job as parents. Let her know that we all mess up sometimes and that you will support any honest efforts on her part. If not, then, yes, change the locks if she is accustomed to coming and going when you are not around.

I had to do this with my oldest and a bit with another. He moved out and went out west. Didn't always hear from him. Did I worry? You bet. But you need to do what you need to do!

Ultimately, she is responsible for her decisions.

breakoutjoyfull
by on May. 8, 2012 at 10:20 AM

So sorry to hear of your troubles, it sounds very challenging.  Several thoughts- it is possible that "coming out" hasn't gone well for your girl.  There are supports for lesbian women and their families, and you can find out about them online and by looking in your local newspaper.  Also, it does seem your daughter has a mental health issue, in addition to coming out.  Some mental health conditions only begin to present in the early 20s.  I agree with the suggestion that you and your husband take her to get help- she should have an evaluation, first, to gain insight about what might be happening.  There are usually clinics and hospitals that offer help on a sliding scale basis, at any rate, it is a worthwhile investment.  Another concern that comes to mind is that she may be using drugs or alcohol to "self-medicate".  This will increase her instability and seeming recklessness.  I don't think this is the time to change locks, not yet, not until you have been able to get professional guidence.  You may have to do a family intervention to round her up and get her to accept help, and there are professionals who can help you do this.  We did it when my son was twenty, I went through our state department of drugs and alcohol.  Your state probably has a department of mental health- you may be able to get some direction there.  Don't give up!  Very best wishes for your family.

bamababe1975
by on May. 8, 2012 at 1:41 PM

 I agree with this. Good luck!

Quoting EireLass:

If it were me, I would take the time off work and go to counseling with her. BOTH parents. At counseling, with the help of the counselor (you're setting it up as a 3rd party, so she's not going to be the spoiled brat yelling you're mean), set the rules, and when the first rule is broken, change the locks to the house.

 
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homeskoolmama
by on May. 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Hang in there. You have been given some good advise.

Take her to counseling. Go in with her. Set boundaries and consequences and then stick to it when she doesn't follow through.

Easier said than done.

busygramma4
by on May. 8, 2012 at 2:12 PM

 This. But I would investigate the metnal health issues & counseling aspect of things too.

Quoting LEK19:

Tough love is a difficult thing to do. Hang in there and know in your heart that it is the right thing. You do not want to enable her in anyway on any downward spiral. Set your standards. Expect decent behavior. Let her know when you don't approve. That is our job as parents. Let her know that we all mess up sometimes and that you will support any honest efforts on her part. If not, then, yes, change the locks if she is accustomed to coming and going when you are not around.

I had to do this with my oldest and a bit with another. He moved out and went out west. Didn't always hear from him. Did I worry? You bet. But you need to do what you need to do!

Ultimately, she is responsible for her decisions.

 

LadySaphira
by Lisa on May. 8, 2012 at 3:04 PM

exactly what I was thinking.

Quoting EireLass:

If it were me, I would take the time off work and go to counseling with her. BOTH parents. At counseling, with the help of the counselor (you're setting it up as a 3rd party, so she's not going to be the spoiled brat yelling you're mean), set the rules, and when the first rule is broken, change the locks to the house.


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Bmat
by Barb on May. 8, 2012 at 3:24 PM

She needs a medical evaluation to rule out bipolar disorder or other medical reasons for her behavior. After that I agree that you should all go to counseling together.

CoeyG
by on May. 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM


Quoting EireLass:

If it were me, I would take the time off work and go to counseling with her. BOTH parents. At counseling, with the help of the counselor (you're setting it up as a 3rd party, so she's not going to be the spoiled brat yelling you're mean), set the rules, and when the first rule is broken, change the locks to the house.

This

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