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 !
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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