I wish I knew what to do

My daughter (1st born) is a beautiful 24yo who has a degree in digital communications. She has never lived away from home. Her father and I bought her a car, paid her way through school, paid all her bills even after she has a job. (car insurance) She did buy gas and some of her food that she wanted to eat when she was working. She got fired almost a year ago, and before that I could see that she hated her job and she voiced it a few time. She gained a lot of weight like 80 pounds. I told her when she got fired to take the time to work on getting herself healthier, think about what she wants to do with her life. She seemed really depressed all the time. She is slowly losing the weight, but she still has quite a bit to lose. She has been in therapy, but they didnt seem to help much. she has trouble sleeping, but I think it is because she doesn't do anything to wear herself out during the day. All she does all day long is sleep until 3-4 oclock, get up and sit with her laptop drawing or talking with her one and only friend that lives in texas. She goes to a anime' convention once a year for the weekend, and an ocassional movie but other than that she sits at home with mom and dad. She will help out around the house only if I tell her to. I have tried to get her to go back to school, look for a job, go to bed at a descent hour and get up and get out of the house. She will go and pick up job applications and sometimes we will fill them out, but most of the time they never make it back to the place she got them. I try to get her to do anything for money like restaurant work, walmart, or anything just to get out and meet people. I have even suggested online dating since she likes the internet so well. NOTHING WORKS!!!! I do not know what to do. I am at my wits ends with this adult child of mine. I am thinking of going into therapy just to figure out what I have done to her. My son is 19 yo and has been off to college since he was 18. HE has no problems with socializing or anything. What am I going to do?

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May 25, 2014
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What NOT to do...
by: Don Carter

Hi,

It seems to me from what you have written that you don't need to know what to do, you need know what NOT to do...

You are feeding her, housing her, supporting her, even thinking for her. You are doing so much there is almost nothing left for her to do! This subtly sends a message that you agree she needs you to do things for her.

she is also too comfortable to feel the pain of having to rely on herself. That pain is a motivating kind of pain and it is healthy.

You may need to get in with a good counselor of your own to implement this plan that I am going to suggest (or one like it.)

1. You commit to her that you are not going to do anything for her that she should be doing for herself. Tell her you have faith in her that she can do it.

2. She needs to take action steps to get a job, get on her feet, and get out on her own. Spell out those steps in writing.

3. Make a timeline for getting a job, then one for getting an apartment, then one for moving out.

If she is depressed according to her counselor, you will need to have her sign a release so the counselor can take to you and provide input about what she pace she can go and what she is able to accept/do about work, etc.

If she is not in counseling but says she is too dressed, then the first thing she needs to do is get into a therapist and sign a release for you to talk with them about your goals in the plan above.

Again, you my need a good counselor to help you sort out the plan and provide support as you learn to let go.

Hope this helps,
Don

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