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’m actually quite horrified by MNHQ for deleting one of my posts and saying that no one can say OPs DD is spoilt or enabled.
What on earth is going on? So disabilities mean that they cannot be spoilt? Or enabled? Surely that is discrimination?
Orangecookie Read the talk guidelines
My plan as it stands now is to move back in to the house, DD going to my Mams and prepare it for sale. Hopefully sell it fairly quickly even if we lose money and manage to secure a mortgage to move on to a property without all of the bad memories.
Ensuite won't be guaranteed! but if I dont have the guilt of forcing her to live somewhere she finds distressing I can tackle that issue separately.
I would go with letting DD move in with your Mum as an initial solution. Then start making the necessary changes to the house so you are changing it's appearance and in many ways the memories associated with it. I'd prepare her a room, and just leave the door open for her to return. Chances are that she will miss you all and realise that her fears about the house are unfounded.
It's bloody hard being a parent at times but you have to do what's best for the whole family, not just one of you
JessicaWakefieldSVH I have seen you on a few threads lately. You seem to think you can tell people what to think and what to say.
Just because a poster is harsher than you would like does not give you the right to tell people to STOP or what they can put here.
@jessica I’ve read the talk guidelines and I adhere to them. I’m happy that there are guidelines. What really worries me is when these are not applied well, which in the case of not allowing posters to say someone is spoilt or enabled, especially when this is not said in meanness or lack of understanding, and said in order to promote fairness to siblings, in a family, is worrying.
Orangecookie then email MNHQ. They’ve explained their decision in a post upthread, in case you missed it
OP it sounds like you’ve reached a solution. I haven’t read all the posts so I don’t know about what others have said. All I can say is that I wasn’t trying to berate you, I get it, I have two extremely lovely kids but they have issues too, but we just have to be so careful to take care of all of them, which is not always giving them what they want. Good luck anyway.
@jessica I was replying to it here. Look I get that we need guidelines, I get that we need a certain degree of compassion too, things can get a little heated. I just think that people with disabilities are given a disservice if we say they aren’t capable of kindness and cooperation. Just my view.
Orangecookie that’s not what the MNHQ post was about though was it? Autism is complex and when it comes with mental health issues, it’s not fair or reasonable to say some of the things being said on this thread. It’s why autism is so difficult, the lack of understanding. It’s not about ‘what they want’, it’s not that simple. If your child has self harmed and/or been suicidal, it’s a very tricky road to navigate. I don’t know what your post said but I think the MNHQ comment was fair and inline with their guidelines. You can always challenge the deletion if it really bothers you.
Op what a bloody lot you’ve been dealing with. I completely understand that your daughter is despairing at the thought/reality of moving back to a place associated with terrible times for her. You must all be anxious that her progress could be set back.
Solution of her living with your mum seems best all round. I wonder if she will feel (irrationally) that she has been excluded from the family who came before her mental health. It just needs careful management so she knows she is loved and supported no matter what.
I have said throughout the thread, with hindsight I would have done things differently
I really don't think you should feel that way at all cherrytreeblossom!
Parenting according to your dd's needs and your family's desperately difficult situation may look like indulgence to some people but in my opinion it has probably have been life saving.
All this bollocks about what autistic children / people "need" to learn/do to fit into the "real world" is at best unhelpful at first it is deeply harmful. Your dd is unique and has her own path to follow. You have to take it a step at a time because the stakes are so high.
You are an amazing parent who in all likelihood has enabled her dd to achieve so much more than might otherwise have been the case. Just because that achievement doesn't match what some people seem to see as the ultimate goal of passing for NT () don't start doubting yourself.
There are many parents of NT and autistic children alike who think tough love is the only approach. And that you need to push your child to fit the standard profile. You don't!
Your dd sounds awesome like you. She has identified the challenge and provided a solution!
Good luck to you, your dd and the rest of your family
RaffertyFair spot on. Behavioural modification springs to mind.
Come on she is not that same younger teen and I say that with a 17yr old ASD DS myself. If she can travel and stay in a different place in a different town or country she can move back. Dont be manipulated by guilt tell her you will make reasonable adjustments to help her cope maybe include her in how you could redo her room from an extension any chance of an onsuite. Youve done an amazing job my DS is nowhere near that he still doesnt leave our own little house/family set up you have to do whats best for you all.
She's not a child.
She's a grown woman.
She needs to move out.
Sorry just realised your selling and decided on your Mums for her. It can take 6 months to sell and buy could she be away for that long if she knows ultimately the plan is to move elswhere I still think she is better with you. Maybe a period of adjustment. To all the rest my ASD DS is spoilt unreasonable selfish and I love him more than life itself, he doesnt even realise he is and we are working on it.
I think you need to put your financial security first - possibly better to be paying down a mortgage than paying out rent - and what's right for your family as a whole.
I agree she is being very black or white and i suspect she wiii climb down when she calms.
20 is neither here nor there. Only a couple of years ago she was suffering ‘terrible depression’ and self-harming.
I’m in my mid 50s - I’d Hope if I was in that situation my family would rally round and support me ! I’d do it for them in fact I have done it for close friend who lived with me for a bit when he had mental health problems.
what contribution does your working daughter make to household finances?
So she can travel without you there.. Is she getting an en suite bedroom everywhere she goes
She is going to uni... Will you be paying for her to have a flat on her own then cus she doesn't like idea of sharing?
She goes to work... What happens there? Does she interact with people?
I can understand she doesn't want to live in the old house due to the connotations but I do think she is behaving very unreasonably asd or not.
There is a lot of contradictions here about what she tells you she must have to be able to live with the family and what she seems perfectly capable of tolerating elsewhere when it suits her.
What will you do if her siblings said they now felt depressed anxious and needed their own spaces complete with en suites?
A family needs to balance everyone's needs, not just exist for the benefit of one.
Her dd has chosen a uni nearby so she doesn't have to live in student accommodation. Might be worth RTFT.
I'm autistic. I've also suffered depression and anxiety my whole life. I've had a few breakdowns.
OP you have done exactly the right thing in supporting your daughter. She's not spoilt, you have accepted her challenges and worked with her on them. That's awesome.
I don't think that you can expect her to move into the house and I think she will view it as a betrayal that you are going to. But all you can do now is explain its so you can sell it and stress that you want her to live with you and that this is temporary.
Expect a meltdown though. For her I think the house represents all the shit she's experienced and she won't be able to face going back. But she can stay with your mum while you sell.
Can you put it on the market now, while your tenants are on notice? It may then sell before you even need to move back. And id make sure to include her a lot in looking for the new house.
I can't believe how harsh people have been on here. There's such a lack of understanding about autistic people.
Hey @Cherrytreeblossom - let me first say how well you've done and are continuing to do. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and when you're in the midst of a crisis, all you can is your best at the time. You've been through a lot, and you sound like a lovely mum.
My DS has ASD and my daughter probably is too, currently undiagnosed. What not everyone realises is that ASD changes everything. She can't just grow up and move out like a regular 20yr old.
I think it's worth pointing out that possibly the reason why she is functioning as well as she is now, is because you've given her the space, support and understanding she needs. She's at the age now where she understands what she needs to function well, and for her that means space away from other people, even her own family who she loves. However, at the same time she still needs ongoing support, especially as she's prone to periods where she doesn't function so well and her mood becomes low.
It's clear your daughter has fixated on the house as being the cause of the bad things that happened and she's incredibly anxious about returning to such a dark mental space, especially as she has big plans about going to university. For anyone with anxiety, but especially so with individuals with ASD, it's so easy to pin irrational feelings on something external, such as the house.
I understand why you're anxious about telling her. You sound worried about whether she'll understand why you've made the decision. You're worried that she'll feel that you chose the house over her. I can only speak for my son, and my friends' children many of whom who have ASD, but I can see why this would worry you. Again in my experience, having some feelings of control can be very reassuring for those with ASD. Sit down with your daughter and explain financially you can't stay where you are, or continue to rent one home and pay the mortgage on another. Ask her if she's happy with the plan to sell up and find somewhere else and give her the option of moving back temporarily or staying with your mum temporarily. If she's not happy, ask her for ideas. Things have to change, and that's hard enough for many people on the spectrum, but if she feels she can play a part and keep some control over her future it might help.
What I would be doing is looking to create a self-contained unit for my daughter. It's hard to tell on here but it sounds like she's not really ready to live completely independently. There are sheltered housing units but they're hard to find and can be tough to access. I think having an annexe or self-contained "wing" with its own kitchen, bathroom etc would give your daughter independence and grow her skills while still having your support if needed.
I've generally found that baby steps work the best. Yes, many people at 20 are ready to become independent but that doesn't sound like the case here. I think she's doing so well because she's got such a solid foundation - that doesn't mean she's ready to strike out completely on her own.
Sorry for long post, your situation just really struck my heart. I think you're doing amazingly well, and you sound like an incredible mum to ALL your children xxx
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