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)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
I think people need to remember that while she's an adult, she's an adult with ASD. It does make a big difference.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
If she is working at 20, why can't she rent a room in a shared house
Or rent her own flat/ bedsit (depending on price where you live) ?
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.
I’ve just read the bribery thing. You are stopping her from growing up. You are causing the problem.
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.
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.
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.
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?
apacketofcrisps - I know, it is ridiculous. And far removed from how I parent the other two. This is a problem a lifetime in the making. I had her very young, separated from her dad when was a baby. Spent most of her life compensating the guilt and trying to deal with what I know now were her ASD traits.
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.
That's her choice and can not dictate the financial set up of the rest of the family.
Your other kids will end up hating you and her.
Jessgalinda - my warped thinking on that particular day that staying in house we can't afford to keep her stable will cost way more than spending some money on making the difficult move seem positive for her.
Sundance2741 - she wouldn't need to share a room - we used the conservatory as a bedroom when we were there. DS would love to go in there and the plan would be to have it done properly. So she would have her own room, my other DD would have the box room and we would have another room.
I would plan to redecorate fully.
Could this move to your mother's be managed in a way that makes her feel supported by you, so that far from losing her, you stay close to her?
I have a dd with severe anxiety (unable to function without medication, repeated suicide attempts in the past) who moved away 2 years ago to live independently in London (big step). She still needs a lot of support but she gets it from me, just in other ways: she knows she can ring whenever she wants to, she knows I understand her difficulties, she knows I believe in her and am proud of her. She feels exactly the same about our house as your dd does about your old house: this was the place where she tried repeatedly to kill herself; she can visit for the odd weekend but she can never come back to live here, we all know that.
Of course it was very different from your situation because my dd wanted to go. But is there a way in which this could be managed to help your dd feel she is making a positive move? That is, assuming your mum is still happy to have her.
If you have been a bit over-protective in the past, I don't think you can do a sudden "putting my foot down"-about turn; it has to be managed sensitively so as not to damage all the good work you and she have already put it. She has come far to achieve this level of independence. It's something to build on.
If she functions well enough to work full time and go travelling, she can make decisions about where she lives, as you have to. You can't sustain rent you can't afford. She either chooses to move back with you where she'll be more than welcome, hours to stay with her gran or finds her own place. If she chooses to live elsewhere in sure she'll visit often
Cancel the bribes. You çan't change the past but you can help teach your DD some reslience. While you protect her from every difficulty you are stopping her from moving forward. If your mum agrees let her move there. She should pay some rent and take care of her own cleaning, cooking and laundry. You can keep a close eye that this is working for both.
If you move back into the house she will feel pushed out even worse by the fact it’s not her bio father, if you stay where you are just for her the other children will feel second best.
The best option would of been to sell the house and buy a new one where there are no bad times and start a fresh.
Will she be living in at university? My DD got to live in halls for the whole time because of her diagnosis. She had one of the rooms set aside for disabled students which had it's own mini kitchen and a bathroom which were fantastic when she didn't feel able to use the shared facilities.
She has two options. Pay the £500 additional rent it costs you so she can have the luxury of her own room, or move to your mum's.
It's unfair on your other DC that she has come first for so long and continues to demand to do so.
Depending on where you are, she could probably rent her own place for a reasonable cost. That's another option.
I think you really need to go back to a counsellor to help you a bit. You shouldn’t be feeling this amount of guilt over something that is a relatively normal decision
apacketofcrisps - I really dont think they will, they are amazing kids and despite it not sounding like it they have a huge amount of focus on their own lives too. I would consider myself an excellent parent to them, maybe not got everything right with DDs needs but it would completely unknown and scary territory to me - I literally felt like my actions would either save her life or force her under.
She completely withdrew at one point where she was hospitalised for dehydration as she wouldn't leave her room to even get food or drink and we would hear her in the night moving around - she would wait for us all to go to bed to come into the house.
She is an amazing girl, the picture Im painting is about her most difficult traits and how they are affecting where we live.
She has overcome so much, she won student of the year when she returned to education in an alternate provision, she also won an award for her contribution to supporting others with mental health issues as a piece she wrote about her experiences was adopted by the NHS for staff training purposes.
Please dont just read the opening post about this specific situation and write her off as a selfish brat and me a pathetic mother - it is so complex. My own mental health will have played a part too, I barely coped during this time and with hindsight didn't always make the right choices but didn't see an alternative.
BollockstoBrexit makes a good point about university; they are much better than they were at coping with students with additional needs.
Chillipizza - that is definitely an option, Im just worried about getting a mortgage to do that so can't promise it. Either way though we need to take back ownership of the property in order to sell it.
No, she won't be living in at uni, she purposefully chose the local uni for that reason.
no offence but you need to stop enabling her and tell her to grow up.
Yes, that's all us folk with ASD need to do, just pull ourselves together and grow up.
It's attitudes like that which mean that the rate of suicide is much higher amongst people on the spectrum.
Its really ironic as my career is supporting emotional needs of children -but I seem incapable of applying it to my own life right now or thinking rationally.
I can totally understand where you're coming from. My DS is ASD and has really bad depression and anxiety.
But financially and for your younger children it makes more sense to move back.
You say you will redecorate. Could you do a loft conversion so she could have that to herself, or if not have a different room than she did last time?
Perhaps she could stay with your mum whilst it's done.
Go and see a broker that will help you be able to work things out. It honestly sounds the best option if it’s possible unless your in negative equity. People with terrible credit by a large deposit can get mortgages by using a good broker.
write her off as a selfish brat and me a pathetic mother - it is so complex.
I don't think anyone is doing that - but I agree with Meandwinealone that counsellor for you could help. I think your fear of her sliding backwards isn't helpful to you or her.
She in a better mental place and has exciting plans to go to university soon - crippling yourself financially and causing problems with the rest of the family rather than trying to support her through her anxiety about upcoming changes isn’t I fear helpful to anyone - (though very understandable given what she's been through)
Please dont just read the opening post about this specific situation and write her off as a selfish brat and me a pathetic mother - it is so complex
I know what it's like, OP. It's a constant balance between helping them towards independence and actually keeping them alive: you are walking a tightrope whilst having to avoid resentment from the rest of the family too. But by the sounds of it, though you won't have made the right decision at every single step of the day, you have made a whole lot of right decisions- because you and she have come a long way.
I really dont think they will, they are amazing kids and despite it not sounding like it they have a huge amount of focus on their own lives too
OP you need to stop burying your head in the sand.
My son has asd. So I get it. But no the focus is on your daughter. You entire families finances are running round her.
When they get older, they will resent you and her. You just think they wint so you can carry on this path.
You cant carry this on forever. What happens when you get old and pass away. Whose life is going to be based on your dd wants? Her siblings?
Chilli Pizza we are approx 65%, credit problems been paid back with a DMP but would imagine still within the years where it adversely affects your credit.
OP, this actually sounds like the perfect opportunity to transition her to a bit more independence. She even had an alternate idea, to live with your Mum (was that her idea?). Don't think of it as being 'mean' to her, think of it as helping her to grow. Do respect her statement that she can't move back to the old house - you are sending her very mixed signals here, that you want to protect her at all costs, but also that you want her to do something that she has told you would be detrimental to her. Show her you believe in her ability to know herself, and that you are willing to work with her to help her on her terms.
I know a lot of autistic adults (I might be one too, but not sure). They spend a lot of time fighting with others to get them to believe that they actually know themselves - so many people think they can tell the autistic adult what would be better for them, even after that person has clearly articulated what they need. It can be extremely distressing that people don't even trust you to know yourself. Please don't do this to your daughter.
There is a staggering lack of understanding of autism in some of these responses.
Defaults and ccj’s fall off after 6years and a day they where registered. They will have an affect even if settled but settled is better than ignored if it’s under 6years and by using a broker you can get a bit of leeway if there is a bloody good reason for why it happened and explaining how you fixed it etc. You can check your credit file for free and find those dates out.
Do respect her statement that she can't move back to the old house - you are sending her very mixed signals here, that you want to protect her at all costs, but also that you want her to do something that she has told you would be detrimental to her.
This. And in fact, every word of murmuration's post.
Let her go and live with your mum. She will be safe there and it might be a good stepping stone for her into a more independent life.
The move is perfect for the rest of you and given that your DD has a safe place to go to I think it is the best choice for you.
I think it sounds like you need to get some counselling to help you help DD. Now she is not dragging along the bottom of life, she is in a place where you can help/encourage/push her to get even more balance back in her life. But you need to be in a place to do that, when you look at her you need to be able to see the more capable young woman she is now and not the broken child she was. You shouldnt pretend she is now ‘fine’ and treat her like anyone, she will always be more prone to anxiety etc, but you can and should keep your help to that which will help her grow and not wrap her in cotton wool
I grabbed this quote from an excellent web site. Try googling enabling anxiety and accomodating axiety in children. You might find some useful info
Accommodation, also called enabling, occurs when you give in to your child’s anxiety rather than letting your child tolerate some discomfort and learn to use coping tools. Accommodation is commonplace in families of children with anxiety. It often starts out innocently enough. For example, when you are trying to make it on time to soccer practice and all that stands in your way is a simple promise to stay and watch, rather than drop off and go. Or when your child refuses to go to bed unless you kiss him one last time. However, after a while, the demand for accommodation grows. Soon your child cannot go anywhere without you and takes an hour to get to bed, when i could be a 10 minute bedtime routine. It's often a surprise to families when they realize just how much the accommodation has grown overtime.
Recognizing that accommodation is in effect is the first step. However, you are soon confronted with a dilemma: Do you push your child to manage their anxiety without accommodating them? But I can’t do that, my child won’t be able to cope! you say. Or do you hold and keep accommodating? But I don’t want to do that either, it doesn’t work! you reply. Both statements are correct. For long-standing anxiety that has demanded months or even years of accommodation, suddenly cutting it off cold turkey can be very distressing for a child. But continuing to accommodate is making things worse.
You have done a fabulous job, and still are
You know her and her needs far more than we do. You have taken a girl with major difficulties and helped her become very independent. While bringing up two other kids who sound great, and maintaining a relationship. Don't feel bad about any decisions you have made to date.
If I were you, I would either sell up and use to the money you would have used to extend to get a house that works for all of you.
Or, suggest that she does settle with your mum for a while while you get the old house ready.
Asking her for rent won't help in the medium/long term if she is dropping her income.
Murmuration - your post really resonates with me actually. On a much less serious level she gets very annoyed with me if I try to reason with her about for example a food she is refusing, I'll say "but you like chicken, you will like it" and she responds by becoming really irritated that I am telling her what she likes.
Your husband is right.
You have done amazingly well to get your DD back on track, but you have yourselves and your other children to consider, and throwing away hundreds of pounds every single month is not sustainable and frankly quite foolish when there are other, reasonable options for everyone. Your DD does have another reasonable option. She is nearly 20. She needs to learn to cope more on her own, and she won't even be doing that: she'll be with family, close enough to continue to support her yourself.
Your DH has done the right thing for all of you. Tell your DD it's happening, and she can either move with you or into your mum's or on her own if she can afford it. She needs to live in the real world.
In many ways I have been in your position, not exactly but having complicated children and younger more able children to deal with as well.
If you continue to try to protect and make it right for your DD, it will end in tears and you will have far more to deal with than the expectation of an en suite. Whilst you have been clearly making things ok for her because she needed your protection she does now need to be realistic and it isn't realisitic to expect that a whole family will continue to work around her as she is now an adult.
I don't know whether you have considered this but your council will do grants that you don't have to pay back and as far as I know aren't means tested to adjust buildings for disabled people - you may need a report from an occupational therapist or something but it might be worth looking into www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants
My thought when I read what trauma and losses your family had been through and how it had affected DD, was to think of how it must have affected you and how were you being supported. Your update answered that - your own grief and trauma were sidelined in order to help and put your daughter first and I get why that had to be like that, at that time, but things have moved on, your daughter is coping much better with life and you can't keep putting yourself and the rest of the family at the bottom of the pile just so your DD isn't upset. It isn't sustainable living that way. I can understand why your DD doesn't want to move back to the house where she was so ill, she cannot help but associate that with a dark period of her life, I get that, but the rest of you have to move back for financial and practical reasons. I think your DD going to live with your DM is the best option for now. You might need to support your DM over this in order to ensure DD doesn't bully or take advantage of her. Maybe when you have made the changes to your house she may come to see it as a more positive place that she could be happy in again. Either way, at 20 she should not expect to take precedence over the rest of the family's needs. Please don't offer bribes and don't get a new puppy or pay for DD's car, if she wants a car she has to pay for it herself, she needs to learn those life skills. You sound like an amazing Mum, but you need to start considering yourself and sometimes putting your needs first.
So your DD can travel, so she is able to stay in other places. I agree with your DH, that it makes financial sense to move back to your property & that your DD should not be dictating her priorities over your WHOLE family. At 20 she has options about where she can live, including at uni & she can get a part time job while studying. Moving is all about budgeting/finances, independance.
I think those that have mentioned counselling for me are right - just talking about this here and reading posts has got me feeling intensely anxious.
This is also why it created huge arguments when DH took the reins from me and gave notice to the landlord.
Ive known this decision needed to be made for months now and each time I have thought about it or discussed it I have to actively stick head in sand and stop as it makes me feel terrible.
Supporting emotional needs does not mean just giving in every time. It means helping people with ASD to find strategies and techniques to live, yes it means picking your battles but it also means helping to build resilliance and to step out of the fixed mind set. It means teaching empathy and social awareness. Stop with the bribes - rewards for actual behaviour are much more effective.
You say your children will not grow up with resentment - I would say you have a blinkered view point. There will be impact on them - whatever you think : sone of it positive - my only non ASD child has the patients of a saint 😂 but some will be negative.
Can you frame the mum thing as a transition. I do understand why she might not want to go back to the house where it was all so awful for her.
But if she comes over to visit she might come to terms with it all a bit.
It’s clear you will struggle to move atm. Does she understand that?
I worry that you’ve tried so hard to protect her that perhaps she doesn’t even know what difficulty you’re in.
She can indeed move, her travels have encouraged me, she is on a trip right now that I couldn't imagine she would manage.
Its odd though, as she works full time and can do things like travel but in some ways she doesn't function well. She mostly eats the same things for every meal and at work goes to the carpark to sit in the car to eat it as work cafeteria is impossible for her. Most weekends she spends friday evening to monday morning either in bed or in her bedroom, recovering from the week and preparing for next one.
I lived in a house share where you had to put in money to make the hot water work for the shared shower. So long, hot, showers did not happen ! I appreciate that you have supported your DD. Life is full of ups and downs and events that we don't expect to happen, but that is what makes us stronger as people.
Blessingsdragon1 - I agree, see above, I have a career in helping children with emotional needs and building resilience, strategies, growth mindset etc
Yet have got myself into this fixed mindset shower of shit
Your support for your daughter is admirable but you cannot allow her as an adult to dictate the life of 4 other people. I think your DH took the reins regards tenants as he's probably fed up with your pandering to your DD. She goes to work, goes travelling, has a bf, all fairly independent yet is dictating where you live. Let her go to your mothers and do what's best for your finances and other DC. I think you're using her ASD as an excuse for everything, your otherDC need their mum too.
The support you have given her has enabled her enormously and she has said that she would rather live at your DM's than go back to your house and this would work. So you have a solution, do this, don't bribe her, that is to ease your guilt and make you feel better not her and you have nothing to feel guilty about.
The thought of moving back to her old house may cause great anxiety due to her previous depression there and it can all be black and white with ASD. The other suggestion would be also looking at getting help to claim PIP there are a few descriptors on there which can get an award, doesn't matter if she is working. The extra money could have been used to pay extra rent, however it could be used to make adjustments at your DM's house or whatever it takes to keep enabling her to function well.
so she wont be there majority of the time anyway-sorry shes 20 she needs to realise it all doesnt revolve around her
ive had anxiety since my teens where we lived was never my choice
and can u not use animals as bribes
I would let her move in with yo ur Mum and do the extension from her or a garden room. If you can afford to maybe change the house as much as possible, decor, furniture as much as you can. My childhood home wasn't happy and I always said I would never go back but since my Dad died my mum has changed it so much I don't really connect it as the same place, my siblings say the same!
From my experience living with my very rigid autistic ex-husband, the key to everyone being as happy as they realistically can be in the family unit is finding ways that she can make changes that she needs rather than you doing them for her. For example, my ex would eat only a handful of different foods and the smell of any food he disliked made him feel sick. It wasn't fair for all of us to only eat his limited diet but also it wasn't fair for him to be made to feel sick or for me to have to cook different meals. So he cooked for himself.
Well I think she's been very clear about what she can cope with, and offered a solution. I think you shouldn't think of it as losing her, that's not even remotely the case! She's clearly doing extremely well, furthering studies, travelling, I bet a couple of years ago you wouldn't have dreamt she'd be capable of that. Yet here she is. Let her go and stay with your mum, and don't think of that as permanent because it might not be.
She's developed coping mechanisms that mean she can live pretty well. Yes, she's eating a narrow range of food, and eating in the car. But she's also found a way to prepare herself to deal with a full on adult life each week. I'd stop focussing on what you view as 'problems', which seem to me to be her coping mechanisms, and start focussing on how incredibly far she's come.
Move back into your house, start redecorating, have her over for meals that are full of love and fun and laughter, and her favourite foods. Over time, the layers of new, good memories may eclipse her old ones and she may start to see possibilities. Any changes to the house to encourage her back should be done in conjunction with her. Even better, if she instigates them.
Finally, I know fuck all about ASD other than a close family member who is on the spectrum so take my thoughts with a pinch of salt!
Good luck, you sound like such an amazing mum. You've put her first for so long, and she's done so well. Now you need to start focussing on yourself, your DH and your other children. That's the biggest compliment you can give her actually - to trust her that she knows what she needs and take her words at face value.
Its odd though, as she works full time and can do things like travel but in some ways she doesn't function well. She mostly eats the same things for every meal and at work goes to the carpark to sit in the car to eat it as work cafeteria is impossible for her.
You know, from my perspective of another child with anxiety, this doesn't look to me like "not functioning": it looks like a young adult making sensible decisions which will enable her to function. She knows certain foods will work for her, so she has them. She knows she needs down time at lunch, so she ensures that she gets it. Looks good to me.
My dd also knows that there are certain situations that will trigger her, so she works around those. Just like she knows there are certain situations that are bad for her dodgy joints, so she avoids those too. This is now what failure looks like: it's common sense.
cross-posted with eddielizard who said everything more clearly and eloquently
The puppy bribe is a bit of a misnomer, we have one much loved dog and plan to get another when she is around 2. I was just attempting to parcel it up as a "bribe" to reframe it for her, but yes, foolish and not helpful.
I certainly wouldn't be just recklessly buying animals though.
I did see you have obviously parented amazingly well given the circumstances - as you say at the moment though you are in a fixed mindset as much as your daughter is. She doesn't need bribing with puppies 🤣
Reading with interest and a heavy heart. My DD has done everything yours has, being in a darkened room 24/7 getting dehydration, refusing to eat, meals have to be cooked separately etc.
Looking at the option for her to stay with your mum, how would that work - how far away does she live? Longer term I wish I knew what the future held because I will be facing that too - I've already put off splitting up with my H because of DD's problems but she still only just 16; also when I am thinking about how and when we would split, and where we will live after that, I am constantly thinking "where will DD AGREE to live after that" - I feel like exploding with the stress. I can feel it in every word of your post
At what point OP can you carry this onto.
I can see that you have answered it. But you wont be around forever. Who will take your role when you get old and pass away? If you dont change things?
She needs to live in the real world.
FFS. She's fucking autistic. She's living in a world that's not designed for her. Are some of you so completely ignorant that you can't understand the concept of being different? That actually it's so bloody difficult living in the 'real world'?
I would believe her about not being able to move back to that house and help her to move in with your mum, hopefully as a temporary measure, while looking into the options for selling up and starting afresh/changing the set-up there so that it feels very different to her.
It sounds aweful but may actually be for the best if she stays with your mum and becomes independent.
You and your DD have done amazingly well over the past few years and it sounds as if she could be able to make some decisions about her life. She can choose where she lives but not where the whole family lives nor be responsible for putting the whole family into debt. You need to take some care of yourself to be able to help her. If you step back I'm sure your long-term aim is for all your DC to live happy and healthy lives and although some will face extra challenges at times you can help to support them to cope. It is difficult when you are so invested because she is your daughter. You can look at selling but that might take time so you need to move back to your old house for now. You won't 'lose' your DC if she goes to stay with her gran for a while.
What impact would it have on your mum if your daughter moved in with her?
You're between a rock and a hard place OP.
I think it would be best for her to move to your Mums, as the beginning of a transition for her for living away from home.
That way your youngest child can also have a decent bedroom, instead of being in the box room. That really isn’t fair on them, to constantly see their sister being prioritised in terms of accommodation. It can set up a lifelong mindset that they just aren’t as special as their sibling, which means they aren’t loved as much - regardless of what you might say to them. Because the evidence is there, right in front of their eyes - older sister gets big room, while they are stuck in the box room. No matter how nice you might make it, it will always be the smallest room.
I have a child with SN and it’s our job to help them to be as kind, cooperative and independent adults as they can be, as with all our kids, having a disability or different brain shouldn’t then be patronizinglh viewed as less capable of being a decent adult!
Regardless of my daughters needs my youngest would be in the smallest room - isn't that just the way it goes?
cherrytree, oh, I'm so glad what I said was okay. I wrote it and then worried it would sound too harsh. I've just seen so much of people in distress when they've got something all planned, and then, for example, their MIL/sister/husband provide an all-worked-out "better" solution that basically is just what the other person thinks seems nicer, whereas the autistic person would much rather follow their own plan, but feels they need to recognise the effort put in by the relative, etc., get grief for not being grateful for the assistance, etc.
Not necessarily. Your youngest is still a dependent, and has a lot of growing up to do, why shouldn’t she have a big room? Why shouldn’t she have your energy and support just as much as older DD?
Older DD is old enough to start being independent, or at least acknowledging that she’s not number one in the family dynamics. It’ll be good for her future development to appreciate her siblings have needs too and even more claim on family resources; emotional, financial, physical.
Ok, I’m confused, because I thought there were three bedroom, plus conservatory?
DS would love to go in there and the plan would be to have it done properly. So she would have her own room, my other DD would have the box room and we would have another room
It’s unfair to always make the same child have the worst accommodation solely because of age, while the eldest gets the best, even when they are an adult and have the choice to live elsewhere.
It’s really unfair because it never gives the youngest a chance to have a decent room and always prioritises the oldest.
OP I was originally on the side of all the posters saying she's an adult and she needs to accept it. But then I remembered a flat where I had bad experiences and I honestly can't even walk down that street anymore, let alone go back into it. If she is off to uni then get her a tiny one bed flat to live alone and get some independence. Part-time work plus student loan and maybe a bit of help from you guys.
Regardless of my daughters needs my youngest would be in the smallest room - isn't that just the way it goes?
No! My brother and I alternated rooms every few years.
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
So OP and her family are compelled never to return to their home?
Is DM happy to have your adult daughter live with her and for how long?
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