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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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 !
Thanks everyone for the lovely, supportive responses.
Just before we moved out, I gave up drinking. I was self medicating through all of the pressure and stress and I got to a turning point of realising it wasnt helping at all, in fact was making my stressful life even more difficult to manage.
Im 3 months sober today and that has been the gift I gave to myself, I am slowly unpicking all of the situations I used to drink on and trying to carve out a more positive existence!
I may well pick up with some counselling alongside this as well - but at the moment things are going in the right direction.
So good to see a positive update. Well done OP. Your DD may occasionally say she is unhappy but we all have off days. Her moving on with her life and reconnecting is proof that her actions speak louder than her words. Well done OP.
Great update OP
As well as you being a lovely mum, This thread has highlighted for me that there is no magic line where on one side, all the things you describe - lack of space, having to share bathroom facilities - are horrific for people with ASD and a bed of Roses for everyone else!
Lots of things in life are stressful and challenging, more so for some than others- but ultimately it’s learning resilience and facing situations which aren’t of our choosing which makes us happier and stronger- disabilities or not.
I’m glad it’s worked out. Now, what are you going to do for you, none of that my kids are happy therefore I am blah, blah, blah. Hopefully now you have some breathing space and this would be a perfect opportunity to get support dealing with the incredible amount of pressure you’ve absorbed throughout the years.
What I noticed about your posts was that you were always in survival mode when it came to your eldest. Hence the attempt at bribery (a technique which you admit went against your parenting philosophy) in a desperate attempt to avoid impending doom.
Please, please, please prioritise your MH by investing in your emotional well-being. Survival mode is great for getting us through tough periods but long term, it isn’t as effective and often a counterproductive approach.
The very best of luck.
Aww, I love a happy ending! I'm so glad it worked out for you.
Hi cherry! I'm so glad to hear things are working out! When I read the op I thought "I remember this" and flicked to the end hoping you had updated. And you had! I'm really pleased you took that big step and I'm glad to hear your daughter is doing well.
Coming back to update - we've been back home for just over 2 months now.
Things are so much better than I could have ever wished for.
All kids are happy being back - all with their new bedrooms.
DD will ocassionally state that she isn't happy, but she totally is.
She has a new boyfriend, has reconnected with one or two friends.
Is actually socialising more than she ever has.
Dont know what the change was a result of - hitting rock bottom and putting things in place herself to feel better. Or facing the fears of returning here and realising it wasnt as bad as she thought.
Sorry your DD has issues but that doesn’t mean she has the right to dictate how and where your family lives.
No advice to add Op, but I just wanted to give you some support for what must be a really difficult situation. You sound like a lovely, caring mum and I hope it all works out. You deserve it!
Best of luck.
@cherrytreeblossom - you are doing an amazing job in horrific circumstances. Talk about having to navigate a minefield! I know you probably don't get even half a minute for yourself, but if you do, use it to remind yourself what amazing things you have achieved in the face of such odds. You've kept the family going despite going though repeat incidences of some of the worst things people can go through. Of course you feel stressed and overwhelmed, but my word you are doing a good job!!
cherry this all sounds incredibly stressful.
I know some PPs made you feel you'd handled the situation poorly but all I see is an amazing mum trying to do her absolute best for everyone (and not always being supported by her DH in doing that).
I hope the newly decorated room helps and that your DD can start to recover and move on from all the issues and crises she associated with the house in the past. I also hope you have support and a place to offload in RL. If not, then do use Relationships on here.
I'm sorry to hear that it's been so difficult for your DD, but sounds like she's got a lot of support. Hopefully, new furnishings for her new room along with a lot of emotional support will see her through.
Shame about your tenants trashing the house; I hope you can pursue them for damages somehow. REally shit of them.
Unfortunately when we got possession of the house back the tenants had RUINED it
I'm not sure why you didn't know this until now. Hadn't you been inspecting it?
But on the main point, it sounds as though things are on the up in what has been an incredibly hard and complicated time. I think you've supported your DD amazingly well and I hope she continues to improve.
Oh for her and for you!
You’ve given her a real gift you know - you’re teaching her that her anxiety doesn’t tell the truth, that it doesn’t need to rule her life, she can be okay even when life goes differently to what she’d planned or would prefer, and that our fears often don’t materialise and in fact a new situation brings with it new opportunities for contentment. We all are stronger than we think.
Juat to add to what Septembersunshine said, I have been looking at ihus garden rooms for a granny annexe. There are multiple options, finance available, it maybe less upheaval than full extension.
It's great that you have been able to give her room a make over. A friend of mine went thorough a similar situation with her adult son when she had to move back to the inherited family home when her Mother died. He had multiple issues and was convinced the house was haunted. Despite not believing one word of it she paid for a hippy type woman to walk round the house with sage and muttering mumbo jumbo clearing the place of bad spirits and negative energy. He felt a lot better after that began taking his medication again and moved into the house. She considered it money well spent that made him feel more comfortable and safer.
You sound like such a great mother op . I hope things work out ok for your DD.
Keep going cherry I hope the new room works out well and gives some breathing space x
What about a garden room for the future op? You can get these amazing ensuite garden rooms with electricity etc...might be worth considering this when you are settled back home.
OP you will all get through this
You sound like a great mum.
Sounds like you are doing an amazing job OP
I'd let her move out. She might appreciate the financial choices you are having to make, a bit better then.
Yay sounds like everything's going in the right direction OP. You really sound like a lovely supportive family. Good luck going forward!
It sounds like you're doing a great job, OP.
Your family are lucky to have you.
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