12-10-2017 02:55 PM - last edited on 02-06-2018 03:44 PM by Danielle-RO
We have 3 children girls 17 and 18, boy 16. We have always been a very close family, I still have an amazing relationship with my daughters.
My oldest daughter has always been a very anxious child, very smart and an achiever (whatever that means).
My 17 yo is a beautiful deep thinking soul which has made her vulnerable to suffering from depression. Both are medicated.
In the last 18 months falling into the wrong crowd they have both slowly but surely become addicted to dope. 17 yo is still high functioning but has suicidal tendencies and in under good care now but in fear of losing her completely we did allow for a time her to smoke pot in the shed thinking at least we knew she was home, safe and not hurting herself. Unfortunately this has led to my other daughter and her boyfriend to join her, them ultimately quiting their jobs, laying around the house all day smoking.
Clearly recognising this plan was not working we set down boundaries, no pot in the house and until 18 y.o and boyfriend quit pot, get jobs and start behaving as adults he is not welcome under our roof as the relationship is toxic and we have enough going on! This has led her to lash out against us, be verbally abusive and threaten to move out (with no money etc insert eye roll)
We have told her we love her, there is always a bed for her but while ever her and boyfriend are making such bad choices we need to put these boundaries in place. Have we done the right thing?
Any advice would be great, we are constantly exhausted 😰
12-10-2017 05:42 PM - edited 12-10-2017 05:43 PM
Hey there @amandanw I am sorry to hear you're feeling constantly exhausted, but also very understandable to feel this way! I love the fact that you are quite a close family and I love the way you speak about your children, such adoration echoes through your post.
By the sounds of it, these boundaries are very reasonable - you're looking out for their welfare which I applaud. Obviously with change comes backlash at times, especially for our young people, their brains still aren't fully developed (this process actually ends at 25!) and sometimes the cognitive reasoning lags. Have you thought about talking to her regarding the legal implications?
I.e. you're responsible for her until she is 18, if a neighbour were to report the use of cannabis, you're liable etc? I am wondering if a few different angles could assist. Is she close with her 16 year old brother? Perhaps also reminding them he looks to his older sister's for guidance (unsure as to the dynamic between the 3 of them). In regards to the boundaries, it sounds like you have her wellbeing at the forefront of your mind, it must be so frustrating she can't see this. Do you have any support yourself in terms of counselling?
We have an amazing, free program - ReachOut parents coaching [click here]. It's suitable for almost any parent and designed to assist with an array of challenges we come across as we raise adolescent's.
12-12-2017 07:18 PM
Hey @amandanw, welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your situation with us.
I have to agree with @Breez-RO - the love for your teens and their individual qualities resonates throughout your post, it was lovely reading.
My daughter is just 15, and I'm lucky enough that I haven't faced the smoking pot issue with her (yet!). I do completely understand your reasoning behind allowing smoking pot at home, and it's a shame it all went so pear shaped as I get that you would rather know what's happening and know your daughter is safe. I am sorry it all went so pear shaped for you all.
All I can offer is support and say that I think you're doing the right thing with the boundaries you've set. They are very reasonable and as normal as it is that your eldest is reacting the way she is, I know how exhausting it is dealing with a disgruntled and teen. My daughter has bipolar, anxiety and PTSD and it can be very emotionally taxing and absolutely exhausting just dealing with her emotions and outbursts. Sticking with the boundaries you've set while the behaviour remains the same and continuing to tell your daughter that you love her is fantastic.
The only other thing I can recommend is the parent coaching ReachOut offers. The coach will help you navigate your way through this and could be really beneficial for you in finding techniques you can use straight away. Check out the link here to see if it's something you'd be interested in doing. I've done it myself and can highly recommend it. Plus it's free!
Hang in there, you're doing an amazing job!
01-31-2018 02:25 PM
01-31-2018 05:35 PM
Hi @amandanw - I am really heartened to her that there seems to have been some positive steps recently with your daughters. That is amazing!
It is also great that, hard as it is, you are trying to see the bigger picture and while it is only natural that this is a constant and daily struggle, I am so happy that you are conscious of the impact that these have had on you and your ability to be the best carer you can possibly be.
With all that has happened in your household it is no wonder that all of this has had an effect on your own mental health and it is really positive that you acknowledge that.
I was wondering what steps you are taking to look after yourself during all of this. It might feel selfish at first, but you will be in such a better position to support your daughters when you’re feeling well yourself.
Have you got any strategies for looking out for you?
02-05-2018 08:44 PM
02-05-2018 11:33 PM
Hi Amandanw, I totally understand what you mean about the constant worry. I jump sky high every time I am not at home and my phone rings. I feel like we all have some form of post traumatic stress syndrome. especially after some other the things I have seen with the self harm, etc. Images that are hard to live with. I am a different person than I was a year ago. Any reasons your daughter give to live are great and I like how you are asking her to build on that. My daughters reason to live was her tiny black dog. Not even her family which kinda hurt not gonna lie. Hugs and good thoughts coming your way.
02-06-2018 09:22 AM