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Really need some opinions on what feels like an impossible situation! Cannot find a solution that makes everyone happy and potentially means me losing my DD.

(220 Posts)

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cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 11:36:39

OK... so a bit of history.

We own a house that we lived in from 2004-2016.

We started to outgrow it but due to historical debt problems and DH recent self employed status we weren't in a position to move.

DH was earning more money than we had ever been used to and we decided to rent the property out and rent another, much larger property to solve our problem.

We rented a house completely out of the budget we could afford to buy. Went from 3 bed end terrace to 5 bed, 3 storey, 4 toilet, 4 reception room.

My DD (16 at the time) had been suffering terrible depression and anxiety, she was in a very terrible place, hugely depressed, self harmed, didn't attend school for a long time - during this time she was also diagnosed with ASD - she was beginning to recover slightly when we moved. I was able to give her essentially her own floor in the new house - big bedroom with ensuite and walk in wardrobe and everyone else in other part of the house.

This helped her massively - she likes to be isolated from the rest of the household and spends huge amount of time in her room.

After just over a year, our landlord was selling the property so we moved to where we are now. Smaller and less grand than the first rented property but still bigger than our owned house. I gave DD the master bedroom with ensuite so that she was still able to have her private space.

DD is now working full time and managing life way more successfully than she has before, or that I ever dreamed was possible a few years ago.

The issue is now that DH now earns nowhere near what he was, that opportunity ended and he also hated working away from home for so long - we made the decision for him to move back home into a permanent position again and taking a big pay cut.

We are now forking out nearly a thousand a month on this house and whilst we can afford it, it eats up a lot of our disposable income and seems less worth it than before as this house isn't as large as last and is in way worse area.

The only options available to us are to return to our own home -
We are deciding wether to go back just to try and sell it and move on (still have concerns about getting a mortgage for significantly more than our current one)
Go home, get a big extension on it and make it as nice as possible.
Go home, spend less than option above but get conservatory converted to a bedroom and put in new bathroom. So that there will be room for all 3 kids to have their own rooms.

2 younger kids (1 teen 1 almost teen) are keen to move back - that move would be really positive for them - closer to school and their friends not to mention as a family we would have an extra £500 a month at our disposal.

DD will not even discuss it, she has unrealistic expectations now about "needing" an ensuite. She believes that if she went back there she would not cope. She sees it as the house where all the bad stuff happened and that she cannot go back there. It is very difficult to reason with her as she will say, I wanted to die when I was there - how do I argue with that?

Any time it has been raised she is adamant she won't come back - her plan b would be to move in to my Mums spare room , this would be ok with my mum but would definitely have an impact. It would be so unsettling for me, it would feel temporary and makes the decision to make this move so hard as by doing so I am effectively rejecting one of my children.

DH has lost patience with me dragging my heels over this and has contacted the letting agent and given them 2 months notice and given our tenant 2 months notice. He sees it as us throwing away money we can't afford every month.

My daughter nearly 20 now, is away on a long holiday at the moment (she really is doing way better than ever before, managing to travel, work, drive etc) although still struggles with some aspects of life and can be very rigid, catastrophise and prone to having bouts of low function and mood. I love her so much and I think my way of dealing with her illness was to try and protect her from any negative feelings, trying to solver problems and make things as easy as possible for her.
During the time of her worse depression we had a lot of trauma in the family - we lost my grandparents, my dad and my mum was critically ill all in a very short period of time. Since then my step mum has died and my DDs uncle - we have been through a lot, particularly DD for her age and with fragile mental health.

So I have the job of breaking this news to her on her return, it has made me hugely anxious as I just know its not going to go well.

If I took DD out of the equation it would be an exciting move - being back in our own home where we can make improvements and decorate etc The kids would be excited me and DH would be excited and relieved to be saving the money and be able to go on holiday etc.

However, the reality is I just dont know what the next few weeks are going to hold - I have a fear that either way, wether she comes with us or not it will push DD back to the state she used to be (and in my worst fears cause her to self harm or wore) and I would feel responsible for ruining her mental health again. I worry that she won't cope and will hate me for it and cut me off.

Would love some support to unpick this in my head !

BarrenFieldofFucks Sat 06-Apr-19 11:39:43

I think you've done an amazingly supportive thing the last few years, and she now needs to recognise that a little. You need to do what is right for the majority, and tell her that she will always have a place in your home, but as an adult she doesn't take priority over everyone else.

Meandwinealone Sat 06-Apr-19 11:42:26

I’m sorry to say that I would let her go go live in your mums spare room. She is 20 now and though whilst I understand that she’s had huge problems in the past, you say she’s a lot better now.

There has to be a point that she must make her own choices, which are resulting from things that will happen which she has no control over. Ie: she has no control over you moving. You’re not moving because you just fancy it. It’s for a valid reason.

2 months is plenty of time for her to come to terms with it and make her own choice.

Blessingsdragon1 Sat 06-Apr-19 11:43:25

She's a grown up - you have two children who are still dependent and who (from personal experience) endured a lot having an older sibling with ASD.

FriarTuck Sat 06-Apr-19 11:44:24

I think people need to remember that while she's an adult, she's an adult with ASD. It does make a big difference.

Meandwinealone Sat 06-Apr-19 11:45:55

@FriarTuck
I agree. But even people with asd have to navigate choices in life. It might not be as easy, but it unfortunately has to be done.

PeachyPrincess Sat 06-Apr-19 11:47:39

If she’s working FT can she contribute to the rent? Have you given her that option? Sorry I started skimming before the end of the post.

If she were to find her own place then it would cost her a lot with rent and bills. Surely she would want to contribute some of that cost towards keeping what she thinks she needs.

HollowTalk Sat 06-Apr-19 11:47:56

Does she have an en suite at your mum's?

It might be time for her to live on her own. She can't make demands that have such a huge impact on the entire family. That's just not fair. And as a PP said it's time to give as much thought and attention to your other children.

You are not losing your daughter if she's living with your mum. She's 20 years old - it's natural that she should live away from home.

araiwa Sat 06-Apr-19 11:49:03

If she is working why cant she pay?

AutumnCrow Sat 06-Apr-19 11:49:15

Look, you have a perfectly good plan. Your DD stays with your mum while you do the move and expand the house (extra bedroom, extra bathroom). Your DD can then visit, and can then choose where she lives.

Even with ASD and the accompanying anxiety, at nearly 20 this is a perfectly fair scenario to present to her. You are mitigating the move. Others in the family do have rights and deserve to be considered too.

UpToonGirl Sat 06-Apr-19 11:50:12

How big is the garden in your old house? Could you get a garden room built and decorate it for her? There are some amazing options dependent on budget.

bigKiteFlying Sat 06-Apr-19 11:50:17

her plan b would be to move in to my Mums spare room

If that's an option your mum is happy with - it could be a positive way for her to be a bit more independent and perhaps ready to move out to her own place. Even today a significant proportion of 20-year olds have move out of parental homes.

This way there still be family support around her – though your Mum would have to fully on board and if it didn’t work out she’d have to know she could move back in with you.

I think at 20 understanding that money is an issue and compromises have to be made is probably a good thing – you have two other children to think about here as well - and the family finances as a whole.

Palominoo Sat 06-Apr-19 11:50:32

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cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 11:51:35

Barrenfieldoffucks - thank you, it did feel like I was supporting her the best I could. I now look back and wonder if I have done her a disservice making things as easy as possible, shielding her from difficult situations. I still regularly make her different meal to the rest of us, she is so very rigid.

I had some counselling after my Dad died and it ended up ending because the counsellor said that I was so consumed with my daughters suffering I wasnt in the right place to look at my own. He described it as DD being a fragile vase that had been painstakingly been put back together and I wasnt prepared to let it chip or fall again so spent my time trying everything to prevent it from being broken.

Meandwinealone - I think this will be what happens, but, I worry about the pressure on my Mum especially if DD does get depressed again, I can't leave supporting her during that to my Mum.

Blessingsdragon1 - I welled up at this, my other children are so understanding of her needs and have willingly put themselves second, they are like her older siblings in many ways. They are so flexible and amenable, but you're right, their needs need to be considered too.

FriarTuck - it does make a difference and I do wonder if she would ever voluntarily live independently from me, especially not in these forced circumstances.

To my shame I have resorted to bribery ("we'll get another puppy if you come with us, I'll pay for your car)

Jessgalinda Sat 06-Apr-19 11:51:51

But you cant plan your entire families life and finances around her needing an en suite.

Your dd is an adult. You arent losing her. She is moving out. That's ok.

You cant stay where you are. Is she able to make up the financial difference between the house you are renting and what it will cost in your mortgaged house?

If she wants to have her own master bedroom with en suite, she is now of an age to pay for it. You cant keep having the family at a financial detrement so that she can have an ensuite

tenthavenue Sat 06-Apr-19 11:52:16

My two cents is that I can totally see how moving back to a space that you experienced a great deal of depression and trauma could trigger the return of that depression or trauma.
Having said that, she isn’t the only one on the family.
I’d let her move into your mums. Sounds like a good compromise, and at 20yrs old it’s a great time for her to move on in the world.

S0faSl33p6 Sat 06-Apr-19 11:52:26

If she is working at 20, why can't she rent a room in a shared house

Warmhandscoldheart Sat 06-Apr-19 11:53:12

I agree with meandwinealone

S0faSl33p6 Sat 06-Apr-19 11:53:21

Or rent her own flat/ bedsit (depending on price where you live) ?

apacketofcrisps Sat 06-Apr-19 11:54:45

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steppemum Sat 06-Apr-19 11:55:21

She is 20.
Many, many 20 year olds have moved away from home to college, to live somewhere else for a job, to get married!

It is not unreasonable for you to make a move that fits your budget.

Some of this will be in how you frame it to your dd.
The move is not a decision based on a whim, it is based on finances, so, we can afford no to move, if our income was £500 per month higher, but it isn't, so we are moving.
You could think about re-jigging the bedrooms so she was in a different room to the one when she was ill.
I'm guessing you will redecorate, so the house won't look exactly the same.

But your younger two also need their turn to have their own room, and a bit more space, like she had.

So, I would be saying - we are moving, we would love you to coem too, but if you don't wnat to, that is fine, you are old enough to make your own decisions. You could go inot a shared house/flat share, or you could go to Grandmas. Let us know what you want.
By the way, as part if that, I would be saying, you can go to grandmas, she will expect xxx amount per week in rent.

apacketofcrisps Sat 06-Apr-19 11:55:55

I’ve just read the bribery thing. You are stopping her from growing up. You are causing the problem.

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 11:56:02

S0faSl33p6 - renting a room in a share house would be her absolute idea of hell, she struggles to communicate with other people at the best of times. She has a boyfriend but not a single friend. sad

The other complicating factor is she has applied and been accepted to Uni starting Jan 2020 so will then not be earning full time wage.

chillpizza Sat 06-Apr-19 11:57:37

It’s not about the bedroom en-suite it will be purely about the house itself. What it represents which is everything bad that’s ever happened in her life. Of course she doesn’t want to move back.

Jessgalinda Sat 06-Apr-19 11:58:02

I welled up at this, my other children are so understanding of her needs and have willingly put themselves second, they are like her older siblings in many ways. They are so flexible and amenable, but you're right, their needs need to be considered too.

This is setting up your kids for an adulthood of resentment. The case analogy, would be letting other cases break, that are just valuable and just as special. So that theres no risk at all to that one vase. That one vase is guaranteed to break but you wont even have the risk of it breaking. Though you know the other cases will definitely break.

To my shame I have resorted to bribery ("we'll get another puppy if you come with us, I'll pay for your car)

Thats really not ok. A puppy isnt for bribing. And can you afford to pay for all the kids cars when they are old enough? Or will it be, sorry kids cant pay for yours we had to pay for hers pr she wouldn't have moved here.

And how is adding extras costs helping financially?

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