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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 !

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 11:58:06

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.

Sundance2741 Sat 06-Apr-19 11:58:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Jessgalinda Sat 06-Apr-19 11:59:11

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.

apacketofcrisps Sat 06-Apr-19 12:00:00

Your other kids will end up hating you and her.

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:00:06

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.

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:01:54

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.

corythatwas Sat 06-Apr-19 12:01:59

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.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Sat 06-Apr-19 12:02:19

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

Crabbyandproudofit Sat 06-Apr-19 12:02:47

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.

chillpizza Sat 06-Apr-19 12:03:13

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.

BollocksToBrexit Sat 06-Apr-19 12:04:04

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.

TokenGinger Sat 06-Apr-19 12:04:24

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.

Meandwinealone Sat 06-Apr-19 12:05:56

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

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:06:37

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.

corythatwas Sat 06-Apr-19 12:07:53

BollockstoBrexit makes a good point about university; they are much better than they were at coping with students with additional needs.

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:09:01

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.

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:09:31

No, she won't be living in at uni, she purposefully chose the local uni for that reason.

FriarTuck Sat 06-Apr-19 12:11:36

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. angry
It's attitudes like that which mean that the rate of suicide is much higher amongst people on the spectrum.

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:12:39

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.

SusanWalker Sat 06-Apr-19 12:13:45

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.

chillpizza Sat 06-Apr-19 12:14:15

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.

bigKiteFlying Sat 06-Apr-19 12:14:30

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)

corythatwas Sat 06-Apr-19 12:15:26

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.

Jessgalinda Sat 06-Apr-19 12:15:45

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?

cherrytreeblossom Sat 06-Apr-19 12:16:43

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.

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