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Help with 18 yr old daughter(7 Posts)
This is going to be a long post, so grab a cuppa and a biscuit...
Let's start with me. I'm in my late 30s and suffer with chronic pain and mobility issues. I'm on tons of meds, including painkillers, but in constant pain 24/7. I do as much as I possibly can, but this means cleaning or any chore I can only do for a very short time, then I need a rest and often feel like I've ran a marathon (chance would be a fine thing!) I'm on benefits as I'm unable to work and lifetime disability due to illnesses.
I have 3 teenage children. They all know how I suffer. My youngest is the most helpful. My middle child has got to that "cocky" age, and eldest turned 18 in Oct.
Eldest has had issues for a long time. She attention seeks and claims she has anxiety and depression. I'm not saying she definitely doesn't, but what I see living with her is a very, very different picture to what she is telling healthcare professionals. For example, around 5 months back we were out clothes shopping when she started shaking a breathing harder. I asked what was wrong and she claimed it was her social anxiety. She claims she is unable to leave the house without someone she 'knows' (friend or family) due to her social anxiety. However, at that time, she was working as a community care assistant for the elderly. When pay day rolled around, she was up, bright and bushy tailed and went shopping on her own! Something she claims not to be able to do.
When she turned 18 my benefits for her stopped as she became an adult. Her choices were to either go to college (so I could continue to claim), or pay £200 board per month. She started at college (alongside working part-time), but after a week or two, stopped attending. Benefits stopped. Each month when payday rolled around, she was up and out spending every single penny on herself. I kept asking for her board money and she'd just grunt and say she'd spent it. I'd ask for help around the home and got excuses like her anxiety is too bad to help. Or anything to get out of it. My other 2 children are frustrated as they're asking why they should help out with chores when eldest does absolutely nothing, and I can see their point but then everything gets left for me to do. She will make food and throw the cardboard box on the floor! If she spills anything, she leaves it. The other day she dropped a brand new instant hot chocolate powder all over the gas hob, down the oven and it went all over the floor and inside the cupboards. She just left that too.
Then she stopped going to work on the grounds of her mental health. Now, all she does is sleep. She doesn't go to bed until 4am so sleeps all day, rising at 3, 4, or 5pm. She won't even go to the doctors, which is less than 5 minutes walk away to pick up her prescriptions, then blames me for her not going. In Oct, I gave her an ultimatum, she either works and pays board, goes to college again or moves out, and this was to be done by end of November. Well, on the very last day of November, she books a college interview. Then the day of said interview (at 1am), she comes in and tells me I need to take her. I wasn't well enough to go to so offered her bus fare. Then the anxiety thing pops up again and she says she can't get the bus. 5 minutes before the interview she's arguing with me to take her. She calls my dad and tells him I refused to take her! It was by chance that I was on the phone to my mum at the same time that I found that out. So interview comes and goes and still nothing. She got fired from work for never going in anymore.
I have spoken to my parents about her, and they both agree that she has me over a barrel. Meanwhile, I'm going into debt struggling to support a family of 4 on what little benefits I do get. I've gone into debt and explained this a million times to her. My parents have had a word with her and even a healthcare professional about this. Nothing has changed and she has told her siblings that "I won't kick her out". I cancelled her mobile phone contract that I was paying for to try and wake her up.
So now what. I can't carry on like this, I'm turning into a nervous, stressed wreck. She has turned into a nasty piece of work who only cares for herself. I don't what what to do anymore. Both of her siblings dislike her recently too and are becoming sad, frustrated and fed up. Help.
That is really tough. I suppose all you could do is literally make her leave. She is not being understanding. 18 is tricky as she seems grown up, but obviously doesn't understand the implications of not paying you rent or going to college. I think it must be hard for her to see you unwell and not working. She might think to be unwell is the easy way out. I expect she doesn't have anxiety, but is just a little insecure and has no sense of purpose. But to her it may be she feels she has a big issue.
Does she claim benefits for being out of work? Can you put in writing that you are no longer able to have her live with you and she will have to go the council to see if she can help with housing?
Thanks for your input, I agree with you that she's a little insecure - but not insecure enough to be uploading makeup tutorials on YouTube. I don't know whether she's not understanding though. I've sat down and explained (and cried) too many times to count. She makes so many excuses to get out of everything. She doesn't have any friends and never goes out because she was attention seeking so much on social media that anyone who friended her wised up to her antics quickly.
She's not claiming any benefits. I actually applied on her behalf and set up an interview for her and even gave her bus fare to go. I made sure she was up on time, but she came home 2 hours later claiming she was 5 minutes late to interview and they wouldn't see her, and she needed to make another appointment. I keep pestering her to make the next appointment. She never does. I think soon they'll reject the claim and then I'm assuming she won't be eligible if she won't rebook or even attend the first steps of claiming.
All I want from her is to snap out of her daydream world. She has no respect for anything or anyone. My mum and I decorated her bedroom last year from scratch. New carpet, paint she picked, new bed/mattress, new furniture. The carpet is trashed, her bedroom absolutely stinks to high hell, all the furniture is hanging off its last legs, and is a complete tip (not exaggerating).
I have been ill with mobility issues and pain pretty much her whole life. I worked up until I couldn't anymore and she was quite young (around 3-5) when I had to give up work. I'd imagine she has grown up watching me not working and perhaps thinks that's normal? We used to be so close. She's watched me struggle on benefits for years and always used to say she would get a good job when she was older. I've talked about how if you do well in school, you can grow as a person and get a great job. In fact, my 15 yr old understands this very clearly and is very focused. So I'd imagine my eldest does understand, but who knows.
I'm more than willing to write a letter explaining that I can't afford to keep her here, but my reasons for that are because she's bone idle and refuses to pay rent to me. They're not likely to want to home someone not willing to pay the rent, are they? LOL.
I really don't want to get to the stage where I have to kick her out. But something has to give. I'm worried that if I did kick her out, I just don't know where she'd go. I don't want to see her in a hostel or on the streets. I want to make sure that if I do kick her out, she's got somewhere safe to go to.
I think you might be a little soft on her. I am Hispanic and in our culture parents are very very tough. My mom would have never allowed that type of behaviour and what made me take her seriously is that she meant what she said. Example: clean your room or I'll clean it for you. I'm giving you 5 minutes. And if in those 5 minutes I didn't start cleaning she's walk into my room and literally take everything out and put in the hallway, I mean everything! Mattress and all 😂 sound funny now but at the time I would scream and shout and next time she said something I knew she meant it. My point is, when you tell her to do something go through with it always!! Example: she leaves a mess. Tell her clean it up right now or you're cleaning up the whole kitchen. If she doesn't do it, make her clean the kitchen. You are the adult. You are the person I charge and she needs to listen and respect you! Don't take no for an answer always always follow through with a consequence. She seems as if she's not quite matured yet. She wants to act like a child, treat her like one. I say tough mom approach. I have one year old and I've already started disciplining. This morning he made a mess with the toilet roll in the bathroom and you best believe he picked every bit up and put it in the bin. He's only one. I don't allow him to ever get away with something as simple as throwing his bottle and leaving it on the floor. Sounds tough but this will stay with him for the rest of his life. Be strong momma! Some time you gotta be tough.
@lovely36, thanks for responding. I'm not sure if you read about my illness, but...
Example: clean your room or I'll clean it for you.
I can't do this. I have issues where I can't stand or do much for a sustained amount of time. Her room would take me days upon days to complete.
I understand what your point is and I do follow through on punishments, it's just that I can't physically do things you're mentioning. However, she had a phone contract I was paying for. I threatened to cancel it if she didn't rebook this interview, and she didn't so it has now been cancelled. I've even asked them to cap it so she can't run up a revenge bill on the 30-day notice. 👍🏻
Next, once the notice runs out, I will be disabling the internet on her phone because my router allows me to block certain devices. And I will be password protecting all computers. I might even go as far as setting up one computer to only have access to job or college websites only. I'm hoping this will result in her so bored she'll be screaming to go get a job.
Keep your fingers crossed for me please. 🤞🏻
Why not stop the internet now ? She will run out of data soon enough. Does she know you've cancelled the phone as a punishment ?
Have you tried to encourage into jobs that she is interested in. Make-up counter etc ? Boots / Debenhams / John Lewis or not sure what the situation in House of Fraser is. Or even a beauty store ? I'm sure being a care worker is an extremely hard way to earn min wage.
The point is you said she would be out in November and you haven't done it. Yes if you declare her homeless, they might put her in a hostel but she can return to you IF she pays rent, no exceptions.
Plus if you need her to attend the job centre can you go with her? Say it's so important, we will have to leave 3 hours before to give you the chance to rest on the way to get the bus with her etc. But you will put yourself through that because it is that important.