Because I wanted a broader audience than my ddc, I decided to put this here.
She is 20 and has an almost 5 yr. old son.
She inherited, like my bootie, the bipolar.
I've always tried to educate her about this lovely inheritance, and she knows... but much like me at the same age, she hasn't at this stage of her life, quite found "her safe space" within the illness.
She was a "model child" until puberty, and I mean PERFECT. It was then the dreaded "thing" hit.
At 13, while I was going through a divorce, she started running away. (staying gone until she was ready to come home) She started saying she wanted a baby.
: She started using nasty drugs like meth and crack.
I hunted her down, I called cops, I got her into therapy. Nothing worked. I put her in an expensive lockdown behavioral center. Nothing. Medication (shoot me) didn't work. I tried to get her on BC, nope. She wanted a baby, and she wanted to do what SHE wanted to do.
She got pregnant at 14, stayed on the "streets" (staying with friends and friends family) until the fear of losing her baby? momentary sanity? landed her in a teen residential home. For a WHILE. To her credit, she did get off the drugs once she got pregnant, and best I can tell, stayed off them. However, she has pretty much spent ages 15-18 doing whatever she wanted, living wherever, working, not working, prostituting, hitchhiking, wandering around the country.
Two weeks before her 18th birthday, I got a call from Las Vegas PD, she had been found in a hotel room, all of her things had been stolen (including personals, baby books and clothes) with her 2 year old, she had been beaten, and left for dead. I drove down, got her and the baby, and she came to live with me... again. She did manage to get her diploma and get a job, but within 3 months, she had "recovered" enough to meet a guy and move in with him. le sigh... but by then, she was "an adult".
She spent the better part of the next 1.5 years doing "ok" she got a good job, took good care of her son and mostly had a "regular" life. He was good to her and the baby, but a sane man can only take so much. (I know this) She still had violent episodes that her bf finally tired of and kicked her out.
She moved into her own apartment and did "ok" for a few more months before she ended up with "G". A 100% street thug. He doesn't work, he beats her (when he's not in jail for beating her) he is strung out on stolen painkillers... And these are the things she SHARED with me while "attempting" to leave the relationship. She came to me for help. I helped. I took her to the police station, the courthouse, the shelter... I offered my home, I kept the baby for 3 months while she worked and tried to get herself back together.
That is, before she took thug bf back again and again, and went on her NEXT episodic binge: Steal/cash child care subsidy money (that was supposed to go to the childcare provider) from the government with/for thug bf, get car windshield broken out by bf, get beat up AGAIN, and disappear off the planet with baby to stay in unknown, unsafe environment because?
because I am evil. I was told this morning after her theft and absence and lack of safety or care for her son, when she called to get insurance card info and me confronting her about it all, she said to me, "you are a sorry excuse for a mother. maybe if you keep having babies, one of them will turn out the way you think they should. if you had not KICKED ME OUT all those years ago and SUPPORTED me, maybe i wouldn't have problems". I then pointed out the error in her viewpoint, only to hear how amazingly successful she was and "You should be proud that I turned out AT ALL."
One: I am not that monster she made me into. I DON'T THINK? (enter bipolar paranoia and fear that i'm not seeing the picture clearly) I am, however, as frustrated and at a loss as ANY mom with a sick child.
Two: If she's doing SO WELL, why is she getting beat up, stealing $, hiding from me and losing her Sh!#? (yeah, i know, you can't rationalize the irrational
) But I am at a loss.
Three: I AM proud that she's made it this far even though all she's put HERSELF through hell. I still see this crazy roller coaster ready to crash at any moment, and the danger she puts the both of them in everyday. I am STILL proud of the things she HAS been able to do in spite of the bipolar... She, in the last 3-4 years has managed to finish school, mostly support herself and the baby financially, hold down a GOOD job, build a credit score to rival my husbands, and is a "pretty good" mom to her 5 year old. (well, used to be) She has, in all honesty, been able to "accomplish" many things that I did NOT at her age, and don't think I would have BEEN ABLE to at her age. fwiw
But here I am, with this AMAZINGLY brilliant, put together in so many ways daughter, that is about to crash and burn and take us all with her in her never ending cycles of bipolar.
It is true that without LOTS of financial help, I barely "get by" financially when alone, but ALWAYS put the kids first (ESPECIALLY if that means I need to take a mental health break away from them) If I didn't have a husband that was so well off and generous, she wouldn't even have had the things she has had. She WOULD however, always have a safe place to be and food to eat. I always made sure of that. She always refused/refuses.
My husband has been financially supportive of this girl since she was 17. She has been given a years worth of phone service (shut off on her 20th birthday) 3 years worth of health insurance, umpteen "helps" and "can you's" and all the babysitting she needed for WORK. We have NEVER allowed disrespect in the home or unsafe parenting. When 17, she was told she could "wait until we got home to make some food" while driving on the interstate in traffic. She wanted to stop for food. The result? She had a tantrum, bailed out of the car, taking her 2 year old with her, and stealing off into the night.
Don't say "call cps" they are WELL aware of what DD#1 is up to, have been for YEARS (since they were called BY HER for me not taking her to mcDonalds at the age of 12
same, yet more dangerous behavior that we see at 17) And numerous occasions by me and by the cops and other folks. If you know anything about CPS, you know that if there's not a gun being held to the head of the child when they show up, they will DO NOTHING.
My daughter is ill and it's taking her, her family (and child) down with her.
Is it wrong to "cut her out" and focus on my own mental health and the safety and heath of my younger children? At what point do you just give up/refuse/deny?
I know for my own mental health and healing, I could have used a lot less "rescues" and perhaps a few more "hard reality checks" in my earlier life- at least I often THINK I would have "pulled it together" earlier if so, perhaps I would have felt MORE destitute in that case and ended it all?
I know that I didn't really pull it together until my mid 30's with the bipolar. I mean, it's a daily job, it's never DONE. I was "functional" (even if I felt like A$$) 97% of the time, but maybe because of dumb luck & circumstances? DD#1 has NEVER "had it bad" in any stretch of the imagination. Never abused (until she put herself on the streets). She always had a warm home, food, clothes, safety, medical care, LOVE, education, etc. She had more than MANY. To hear her tell it NOW though, she not only came from a broken home, but she was forced out of the house and onto the streets while a sad little scared pregnant girl. In her illness (as I did as a youth) she often CHOSE (demanded) a different life: the streets, drugs, dangerous living, insufficient health and mental care, bad relationships. SHE CHOSE. STILL chooses.
The things she said to me today HURT. Her truth? I frantically re-play her childhood and try to find MY part in it all. What would I REALLY have done differently? I actually hear myself saying:
Maybe I SHOULD have spanked her. LOTS.
Maybe I shouldn't have forced her to take piano or go to girlscouts or do volunteer work at the children's museum and library.
Maybe I SHOULD have vaccinated her/hospital birthed/bottlefed/public schooled.
Maybe I SHOULDN'T allowed her a voice as a child, just "made it mom's way"-as I was raised.
Maybe I SHOULD have sent her away to her dad. (a sentencing to a life of ignorance, bigotry, crime and poverty-oh wow, maybe not so different than what she CHOSE)
Maybe I SHOULD have never allowed her back into my home after what she did. again and again and again.
Maybe I SHOULD have... and on and on... things that I STILL believe are the right choices and will probably make most of the same choices (except the public school one) again with the other children.
What she said to me about my parenting being a direct result of who she is now, throws in my face some obvious insecurities. I have enough "issues" and self loathing and fears of my mental illness and abilities as a parent. I wonder if having a bipolar parent is "too hard" on the kids and impossible to raise them "right" because of it? I get stirred up in fear and stress and blah blah blah
Even though I heard out of her mouth, on the eve of her 20th birthday,
"You know mom, I'm really glad you gave me the opportunities I had when I was younger: volunteer work, girl scouts, travel, etc... I know at the time I complained about it, but it really opened up a lot to me that I would have otherwise not experienced and I am a better person for it. I have to say those were very valuable skills and experiences you "made" me have. Thanks."---
I STILL as a bipolar mother of 3 girls ages 20, 11 & 1; have to work through this statement from my adult bipolar daughter this morning:
"You are and have been a sorry excuse of a mother."
I need a fresh perspective. I needed to unload. I need the voices of like minds and similar experiences. I need the support of people who, in the least, won't judge, will pretend to care and expect little in return. My dh is a very young and himself a personally troubled man. He does "enough" without me trying to milk a dry teat. I have "my life" which is ongoing and the usual fears and challenges. I still need to set up my own therapy, but I have been so busy trying to get my physical health (damaged by stress/lack of TLC) better without falling into the endless chasm of big pharma; that the last little while that I haven't set up anything to help heal the mental pain.
Un-invested POV's from parents with adult children or anyone who knows anything about bipolar, welcome.