I'm Enabling

Old 07-10-2012, 10:19 PM
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I'm Enabling

I find it ironic that being in recovery from the effects of another's alcoholism can open your eyes to all the areas in your life that have been effected. I have a 23, soon to be 24 in August daughter, who was diagnosed ADHD with a conduct disorder classification in the 1st grade. By age 10 she was diagnosed as being bipolar. I'm not perfect, no one is but I've done everything I could possibly do to be a good, loving and supportive mother to my daughter. I've sacrificed my career, my education, homes, relationships, you name it I think I've lost it or went into debt over it in the name of being a good mother.

Currently she's living in my house. I don't live there but I pay the mortgage, taxes, water and any other "house" related expenses that are in my name. I bought the house for my children. I felt that we had moved so much throughout their childhoods they needed somewhere that no matter what they could call home. This evening I got a call from her, she found a box of paperwork that belongs to me in the 1st floor pantry. It had gotten wet and she wants to throw it out. I told her that I needed to go through it as I'm sure it has paperwork with vital information on it belonging to myself and her siblings (who by the way is staying with me because they can't deal with her mood swings). She then tells me that I NEED to come there tomorrow or she's throwing it away.

Now, I was calm on the initial call and even agreed to come to the house, even if I had to walk up there. (I recently lost my job so I really don't have bus fare to get there so walking would be my only recourse). Once I hung up, I think reality hit. My child just told ME that I NEED to get to MY house and get MY papers before she throws them out of MY house. The same house I AM PAYING THE BILLS AT. The same house that was raided and tore up, I mean tore up like in holes in the walls and floors, furniture destroyed raided by the police in a drug raid in 2010 when just her and her then boyfriend lived there. The same house I had to go put back together when she was locked up. The same house that I struggle, worry and stress about repairing everyday. The same house SHE pays NO bills at but lives in with her boyfriend of the month who she just almost killed last week by stabbing him in the thigh when he tried to calm her down when upset.

Okay, so you know I had to call her back. I needed clarification, I needed to understand how she could call and say this to me. As you can imagine the call did not go well. It was VERY apparent she is manic. She wouldn't listen, was highly aggressive and defensive, even flippant towards what she termed was MY PROBLEM not hers. I was so angry I was glad I didn't have a car because I probably would have went up there and popped her in the mouth for even twisting her lips to speak to me in that manner and I am not a violent person.

I ended up hanging up on her. I could feel my blood pressure rising and as I logged in to post this I felt the onset of a panic attack rising. (I have a panic disorder that hasn't bothered me since 2005 but has started rearing its ugly head more & more since I lost my job and my stress level has risen). I realize that I am enabling my daughter to do what she feels like and allowing her to verbally abuse me, something that I have stood my ground on with my RAH. Her behavior so mirrors his lately that the only way I've been able to deal is to read my Al Anon books and remember the slogans and steps. The one thing that is very clear is I cannot continue to deal with her. I love her but I cannot let her abuse me and accept it because I know she's mentally ill. I feel that she needs to hit her bottom and hopefully seek the mental health help she so desperately needs, but that will never happen as long as I'm in the way.

Thanks for letting me share.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:26 PM
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She was diagnosed ADHD, and then later on diagnosed bipolar as well?

I have ADHD and take medication for it. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 20. One thing I remember though, when I was being diagnosed with ADHD I was also screened for bipolar disorder, among other things, but bipolar disorder was the main one because giving ADHD medication to someone who is bipolar is dangerous as it can trigger manic episodes. If someone has both ADHD and bipolar it takes a lot of work to get the right combination of meds so that the person is "balanced". When I say "a lot of work" I am talking about work on your daughter's part, not yours. Hmm, I'm not sure why I'm sharing this lol...although I will say that ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc. can and do share some common tendencies with alcoholism.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:41 AM
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I'm sorry your daughter was so disrespectful

Although I really dislike quoting Dr. Phil, 'We do teach people how to treat us'. It seems to me that over the years, you have given over your entire self, your health, your happiness, your financial security for your children in an effort to make sure they had everything you believed they needed.

But IMHO, doing everything for a child does not provide them with the life skills they need to survive on their own; and at some point in her life, your daughter will need to survive on her own.

I know a dear, sweet woman who is my mother's friend. She is in her 80's, she is ruining her health, she is bankrupting herself, all because she feels she has to pay all of her adult, addict child's bills, tickets, jail fines, and so forth. She is killing herself with the stress and she is doing her son a huge disservice by not allowing him the dignity to function as an independent, self-sufficient adult.

Please do not let that happen to you, too!
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:48 AM
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I have 3 siblings with pretty severe mental illness and a severely alcoholic father. With each of them I have had to find it within myself to accept that they are not going to get better, I cannot live their lives for them, and I cannot control them, what they say, or what they do. They are each of them in their own way, destructive. I have run myself ragged trying to help them. Each time, I neglect myself and my responsibilities, and suffer damage to myself, my life, my feelings, my health, and my peace of mind. Each one of us has to learn that we did not Cause it, we cannot Cure it, and we cannot Control it. And, we are HURT by it. Each of us has to focus on us and our lives FIRST, and when someone, anyone, including our family and yes, our children, cause so much chaos, upheaval, pain and suffering, we have to take a huge step back and do what we need to PROTECT ourselves from these very sick people, mentally ill, addicted, alcoholic, or otherwise.
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