Manipulating Daughter

pattylou_maggieNovember 1, 2008

My 28 yr. old daughter, divorced twice, two kids with each husband has not listened to our advice for the past 10 years. 1st marriage lasted 3 yr., she lived with us for 9 mo. & before the divorce was final, she was dating an old boyfriend. Immediately after the divorce was final, she got remarried, against our advice. 4 yr. later, after depending on their Church and state aid most the time, she kicked him out. Throughout both marriages, it was one crises after another & we bailed her out of financial problems constantly. We went thru our entire savings of $15000. She didn't listen to anything we told her, financially or any other advise. She started drinking and sleeping around. Between the emotional abuse, yelling at us and the disrespect she shows us, she has pretty much sucked us dry. Our 1st concern is the children-because she had made such a mess of her life, she sent the 2 girls (7 yr. & 8 yr.) to live with their dad in Idaho (we live in UT) & his wife, which we trust completely. They visit every 2 weeks (we pay for her gas to get them - she is now unemployed). 2 wks. ago, she & the 2 boys (2 yr. & 4 yr.) moved in with us because she lost her apt. She is impossible! Last week, while my husband was working, she dropped the "F" bomb. She knows how that upsets me & I told her she was not allowed to talk that way in our house. She argued, was beligerent & disrespectful. I was at my wits' end. I picked up the 1st thing on the counter, a plastic back massager, and threw it across the room. I can honestly say that I was not throwing it at her. I am a calm person, do not lose my temper often, but she was out of control and I lost it. Just as I threw it, she stomped across the room & it hit her on her arm. I apologized, she was beligerent & I told her we'd talk later & went downstairs to watch TV. She went outside, I thought to cool off, and 10 min. later, I went out to check on her because it was cold out. She was in her van (which we bought for her $500 & registered & licensed it because her previous van broke down & she needed a vehicle to get to work)talking on her cell. After a few min., which I stayed totally calm, I talked her into coming back in the house so we could talk. We had what I thought was a good conversation & felt good about it. She wasn't making enough money to live on so we were supplementing her income by buying her gas. She came in late 2 nights ago & it was a fiasco (her kids were exhausted), with screaming, etc. After the kids were asleep, we told her while she lives with us, she needs to have the kids on a regular schedule & during the week, they need to be in bed at their regular time (8 p.m.) so we can all relax. The next day, she was fired for all of her tardiness. I began helping her find jobs on the internet to apply for. That night, she was at a friend's house - I called her at 8:30 p.m. & she said she'd be home around 10:30 or so - I told her to get her butt & her kids home. She was angry, beligerant, but came home & again it was another fiasco. But once the kids were asleep, again we talked & made plans to help her find another good job. (her previous one was at a call center - poor pay & hours, etc.) When her dad informed her that because we are paying for her gas, she pays no rent, and we are paying for a storage rental for her belongings, we would not be paying her cell phone. She went balistic! At 1st we thought it was cuz she was worried about her daughters not being able to reach her. We have a house phone & told her she can use our cell phones to call them any evening. But then she told us,in a panic mode, it was her life line & she would be trapped in the house without it! Angrily, she took her laptop upstairs and claimed she was applying for jobs. I went upstairs for something & she was rude, & threatened (for the 4th or 5th time) that if we didn't want her here, she could go to the women's shelter or move in with her friend Ryan. I told her I was tired of being threatened & if she wanted to move, then go. She then informed me that she had filed an assault with the police he week prior because of the massager I had thrown & it had hit her. She also told me I should be grateful cuz she told the deputy not to talk to me. It was just like the phone incident-she totally changed her demeaner and was downright mean when she told me this, as if she was a different person completely. When her dad heard this, he told her in no uncertain terms that she was to leave the next day. We talked about it in private & decided, for the kids' sake, she could stay, but on our terms - I didn't want to talk to her for a few days & she had to follow our rules, etc. So her dad went upstairs & told her this. About 15 min. later, we went to bed and so did she, we thought. A little bit later (it was around midnight by then), we heard a noise & my husband checked in the living room. She was packing 2 suitcases. He asked her what she was doing - he was totally calm. She muttered that everyone was so upset, they were going to stay with Ryan. He told her it didn't make sense cuz he already said they could stay & we were almost asleep & the boys were sleeping. She insisted they were leaving so he said, "Fine." and came to bed. A few min. later, we heard a man's voice & my husband went out to check & in the hallway was a policeman. He asked if Ryan lived there & my husband told him no. Apparently, our daughter had contacted this Ryan guy & told her that she felt "threatened" & I was trying to take her kids away! I had told her earlier that I couldn't believe how cruel she could be to the family & she was beligerent again & reminded me of the police report. I told her that if I wanted to, I could prove her an unfit mother (she had confessed that she spanked her 4 yr. old son with a fan blade when she was living with her boyfriend but felt very badly about it) - not just cuz of the blade thing but throughout the past yr., the welfare agency had done a check on her cuz the elementary school was concerned because her girls had missed so much school. (sometimes they were actually sick -they were sick a lot, her house was always a total disaster, totally filthy & unsanitary) Also, she had no home, had put the kids with people who were not safe people while she went out on dates. (we found out about all of this after the fact) I told her, "If I wanted to take the kids away, I could. So she should be grateful that I didn't go to the police." So, this policeman walked into our home cuz she had left the door wide open while she went downstairs to get both her sons, in the middle of the night, and leave. The policeman was totally confused - he had walked into a silent home, we were in bed almost asleep & Ryan had called in a "domestic dispute". The policeman asked my husband what was going on & he told him we had had an argument earlier, told her she had to leave the next day but then decided because of the boys, they could stay. The policeman was totally baffled. My husband said, "I don't understand her thought process." The policeman's response was, "There doesn't seem to be much thought process going on." as he watched our daughter carry her son to the car. He shook my husband's hand & apologized for disturbing us. We have never ever had any problems legally, have never abused our children, are responsible hard working people & something like this happening was a shock. It is obvious to everyone, including the police, that our daughter has some mental and/or emotional problems. This is why we have allowed her to live with us, we thought we could help. But I know now that we have been enablers. My concern is our grandsons. We have always had a very close relationship with all our grandkids-we have been their only constant in their short, tumultous lives. Then today, we both received a text, written as if in business form, asking if they could move back in because "my son's welfare is my main concern and I am sure it is to you as well". She is manipulating us again - we have spent all of our savings bailing her out over the years, our health has gone down hill & she is using the kids as leverage, once again. Everyone I have talked to (a good friend at work, my sisters, even her cousins) think we should not allow her back. I just don't think we can live with her - I don't trust her at all and because of her, I have had 3 bouts of hives which I haven't had in over 3 yrs. This requires me to take large amounts of benedryl and sometimes use an epi-pen and/or go to the emergency room. If it wasn't for our grandsons, I would just tell her to get out & fend for herself, but I am so wrried about the boys. I know the YWCA has a 30 day program (I checked online today) for no fee where she & her boys could stay, if there is room. She has managed to suck us dry in every way, she has alienated her extended family, lost her daughters to her 1st husband, alienated friends who have bailed her out over the yrs. I just don't think I can take any more. She is still my daughter & I love he but she is very cruel & lies to us. I found out today, from her cousin, that she was sleeping with the 2 men (brothers) she was living with before moving in with us. She had told her cousin that it was "funny" because neither of them knew what was going on with the other one. She had told us they were all just room mates & they had cruelly decided to kick her out. All this time, I was thinking she had changed - that the 2 men were the cruel ones. But apparently, once they found out what was going on, they told her to get out. The boys' dad is living with his mom, just started a CNA course & I don't think he would step up & take care of his kids full-time but I'm not sure about that. It is depressing & heart breaking to find out that our daughter has been lying to us for so long -we found out that there was other things she's lied about. She is manipulative, disrespectful, ungrateful - everything that her brother who is 8 yr. younger is not. The entire family thinks she has a mental problem, which I agree. And in my mind I know it would be best for everyone for her to move into the YWCA or some place like it. Maybe it is exactly what she needs to kick her into gear & make a turn around. But I am so worried about our grandsons! I apologize for this being so long - it is so complicated & there is so much more to all of this, but I am at the end of my rope & so is my husband. I cry when I see the few things she left here (dirty clothes, some of the boys' favorite videos, etc.) cuz I don't want to be cut off from our grandsons & I am worried for their welfare. My sister pointed out that what they have been going through for the past few years is worse than staying at the YWCA. Please - you are all grandmas, please let me know what you think. I need some opinions and suggestions. Thank you.

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I really feel so bad for you. This is a terrible situation and I know you want so hard to care for your grandkids. You know the problem...your daughter has a problem and does not do things in the best interest of the children, however, she's still your daughter. I don't know if you are able or willing to get custody of the children. That would really be the only thing that could help the children. As for your child, she needs help, as you know. Truly, my heart breaks for you.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 2:24AM
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From all that you posted, it appears that your daughter has placed herself as her priority. The boys are just tools to get what she wants.
First, I'd let her stay at the Y and offer to watch the boys while she works, if she does.
I would document the best I could all that has transspired with the girls and the boys. Get your husband involved with recalling incidents.
I'd contact the boys' father and see what reaction you get. He may be willing to do something. However you haven't mentioned if his parents have a part in the boys' lives. If not, and he's living with them, he may not be able to do anything.
If the boys' father is not an option, then getting custody is the next step. They have not had security or stability. That is so wrong for them to live like that. They probably have witnessed the arguements.
How have you contributed to this - honestly? Would the boys have a stable home if they stayed with you? It would be hard for you but you have to really look at the whole situation honestly.
If you find they wouldnot really get the life they need with you, is there another relative that would and knows the situation? I have never been in favor of foster homes due to what I've read in the news.
It is just so sad that 2 innocent children have to go through this.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Sometimes you just have to let an adult child go and cut your losses. Your daughter may straighten out or she may not, but YOU don't have to be dragged along on the ride unless you allow it.

A good friend has a daughter who has been 'in rebellion' at life in general from the time she was 13. She's now 40. My friend has had to recognize that there is nothing she do but change her own behavior and leave her daughter to her own life.

If you are concerned about the children and are willing/able to take them in, do it, but on your terms, not hers. I'd talk to an attorney to find out what your options are.

You say you love your daughter, but what you have tried in the past has not helped her or you. Time to change.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 6:14PM
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I am so sorry for your situation. I cannot imagine this nightmare. I also don't know what is the health situation with you and your husband. If it's good, then I would move heaven and earth to get custody of those darling boys. I would see an attorney immediately and I would file for temporary custody. If possible, I would get a restraining order against your daughter, specifying only short, supervised visitation with her sons. I would bypass their father if possible, and grant him visitation only if he begins paying child support - to you. He's the father of two and he's living with his mother and thinking of beginning some sort of course? IMO he's not a fit parent either.

I would start a list of all that has gone wrong, of your daughter's erratic behavior and irresponsibility, her boyfriends, her carelessness, etc. Write down everything that is provable, and other things that may not be, but that an attorney can work with. Keep every receipt for every bill that you've covered for her. Show that you have gone far above and beyond the call of duty, and that now the children must be the primary concern.

I know that I don't have to tell you that you've been enabling your daughter big time. It sounds as though it's time to get those boys away from her and into a normal life, and to cut her off. The financial aid must come to an end. You need to plan for your own retirement - that has to come first, along with finding a way to care for those boys. Child support from the father can help with that.

It sounds as though she is mentally ill. In all likelihood she will seek the help she needs only when she is desperate.

Do stay in touch with us. You could use some hugs!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 4:19AM
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Hi Pattylou. I know you are so upset about your daughter and scared for your grandsons. You and your husband have done so much for her in the past. But she is manipulative and ungrateful and believes her own lies. She can't see that you and your hubby are her greatest allies.

I agree with sable's suggestions of documenting or journaling all of your daughter's quirky behaviors and your efforts and expenses related to them. Did you know that an actual, dated journal (could be homemade notebook) is admissible in court as evidence? As long as the judge can see that you have been keeping notes in an orderly manner and NOT pencilled in some kind of calendar the night before court, this could be invaluable someday. It shows the court that you are not testifying from memory if that makes sense. As you know, the saga takes so many twists and turns and it is hard to tell the story further down the line.

Anyway, I just want to give you a cyber hug ((hug)) and let you know that you are doing the right thing by backing away from your daughter. Some people have to learn the hard way.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 9:03AM
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I'd get an attorney ASAP. I'd document all instances where the boys were put in harms way, any form of abuse, conflicts, etc. Take to the attorney to file for guardianship. The boys' father would have to be involved as he should be paying support. Your daughter needs supervised visits due to her lack of care for them.
Way past time to stop the nonsense. Either you continue to be a doormat and give up all your finances to her to use, get custody of the boys or just walk away and try to live with the fact that those 2 little boys certainly didn't ask for a life like this. They deserve better.
I do hope you can get custody and a little calm in your lives.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 1:48AM
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I have one of the same breed. She is 19 and moved back home after leaving her husband of 2 years about 5 months ago. She has my grandson that will be 2 in January 2011. Same here. I have been screamed at, cursed and threatened in my own home until I am sick of it. She started seeing someone immediately after leaving her husband who was much less than desirable. I was unable to drive for a while due to illness. Every night after putting the baby to bed she was out the door until the wee hours of the morning and on the weekends when the baby was with his daddy, she came home only to shower and leave again, which I saw as a blessing. Things are constantly going missing the most valuable being a stainless steel watch, a gift from the president of my company. My home is in constant uproar. Do not ask her the simplest of questions or it leads to a 30 minute screaming fest. Do not ask her to clean up after herself and the baby in any place other than the room they sleep in. My kitchen is a disaster. The cabinets where my dishes belong are empty and the same goes for my glasses and silverware. I have not slept in my own bed in over a week because I have chosen to work and then leave and stay with a friend. This morning she woke up cursing and screaming at the top of her lungs to one of her friends about what a b*&!h I am for asking why she had taken something out of the fridge and hadn't put it back. When she first came back home she was my daughter. I have no idea who she is now. I have managed to get her back with her husband and for the last week she has been going to be gone every time she throws a fit. She keeps my grandson in the bedroom most of the day. He can't be eating a healthy diet even though there is a full pantry here. She worked for me 2 days a week until I realized that all of the money she was making was going in the pocket of the boyfriend. She is paying nothing to live here. She would get paid on Friday and couldn't put gas in her car on Monday. I also found out that the "boyfriend" was drug addicted and had a 21 count felony record at the age of 27. With her personality change, I cannot help but believe that my clean and healthy daughter got involved herself. There are times that I just cry because my grandson is treated so harshly and there are times that I confront her because I just can't stand her mouth any longer. I was threatened with calling the police this morning to get me under control. My next step was a call to the captain of my local PD. I too have been drained. I feel it more everyday. The 19 year old girl who sleeps in my daughter's old room is now a stranger to me and I want her out of my home. I to worry constantly about the treatment of my grandson. I have come to the conclusion that hopefully with the husband being back in her life that he can control the situation better. I know that beautiful baby boy is the center of his world as he should be. My beau is very adamant that he will not tolerate her abusive attitude toward me and has offered to handle the situation of he is ever here when it blows up. I cherish the days of peace and tranquility in my home and long for their return as quickly as possible. They are making arrangements to move into an apartment locally with some friends of theirs. I know in my heart the the arrangement won't last because of my daughter's mouth and abusive attitude. I never thought I would feel this way about one of my children as much as I love the 4 of them, but she has successfully managed to put the words, "I want her out of my house", on my lips and in my heart. I will be changing the locks on my house and there will not be an open door a second time I can assure you of that. I went through more than enough struggle and stress to raise the 4 of them as a single parent. I have given 33 years of my life away to taking care of them and providing a 2 income household on one salary. She is the youngest of the 4. My son's have grown into wonderful men, husbands and fathers. I had only wished as much for my daughter. I really do not believe God will think harshly of me for standing my ground in this and taking the rest of my life back to have peace for myself. I pray all is well with you and yours. I to apologize for being so long winded.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:48AM
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