18 year old Daughter out of control

by Ronda
(La Quinta, CA. US )

I am confused and not sure where to turn. My daughter who recently turned 18 has me on an emotional rollercoaster. When she was 12 her father and I divorced because he was acting paranoid and later I learned it was a drug addiction. She adored him and has spent the last 4 years trying to save him and now she too is using drugs and drinking.

I have tried every way I can think of to help her and it always ends the same. She stays with me 2 - 3 weeks and I get her stable, I get her eating, sleeping habits back to normal, and I help her move on with her life by assisting her with job ideas, applications, take her to interviews, buy her clothes to wear have her hair done etc, and then she blows up over some silly thing and gets verbally abusive claims she feels unloved and that I provided the worst childhood, says she hates me and runs back to her dads.

This cycle has to end and I am so afraid for her life. She refuses rehab and refuses to admit she has a problem. Everything becomes my fault and I get paralyzed by guilt. Any suggestions

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Apr 24, 2011
Thanks for your Story
by: Ronda

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it helps me to know Im not alone and if I keep rescuing her and enabling her she will never change. Its hard as a parent to let go. Today is Easter and I hadnt heard from her in 2 weeks so you would think she would call to say Happy Easter I Love you but instead she called and said Hey Lady I lost the key to the truck can you bring me the spare before it gets towed away? It is heart wrenching. I went to make a copy of the key but no place was open, I hesitated to take her the only key left but decided to give it to her and tell her if she loses this one she is on her own and not to call me to help. How do you love and still let go? If you can explain how that works I would be eternally grateful. I dont want to rescue her but I dont want her to suffer. If she doesnt pull away from her dad and the unhealthy life she lives with him they will both die. Im so confused with how I am suppose to act or treat her to get better results.Thanks so much for your story it felt really good to connect with you.

Apr 23, 2011
Your daughter at 18
by: friend

Hi Ronda,
I have been where you are now. I have an only daughter whose father committed suicide the week of her 12th birthday (she and he were very close). She was abandoned, she felt abandoned. She started to become out of control. What rough years, age 18 when they begin to make their own choices. What I didn't realize back then was she had to pay the consequences of her choices. I kept bailing her out, over and over. It wasn't long before she used heroin, stole from me and has been through rehab after rehab. Today she is 28 and I no longer bail her out. I too heard how much she "hated" me. Today, I don't do anything for her unless I see positive results, then show positive love/feedback. I don't cave and give her things on her "I promise to do betters". As I see it, this is a time when they begin to be their own parent and listen to the voice inside their own heads, so consequences must be paid for bad choices. I know it hurts and is hard not to take it personal. She's depending upon you but not as a child anymore. She needs to learn about choices and consequences. I went to Alanon which helped a great deal. I learned to detach with love. Today my daughter still struggles and perhaps will for a few more years. She hasn't figured out to value herself more. She is still seeking acceptance from males who aren't worthy. Her Dad was a drinker too. I highly suggest Alanon for your peace of mind and I wish you the best. You sound like a great Mom who is simply still caring for your girl as you always did. But now she's different, so you must change too. In peace and love, your friend Bajouke

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