View Full Version : Co dependent relationship

04-21-2014, 01:03 PM
I am 67 and my daughter is 36. Our relationship is strangling us both. She is a drug addict and has been in and out of involuntary rehab centers 6 times. Her drug of choice now is meth. Each time she returned to my home with no place left to go and with promises that things would be better. I allowed her back and foolishly and hopefully believed the lies she told me. She does not try to work but finds plausible reasons for not working. The last rehab she was involuntarily committed to was in a chemical dependency unit for 5 weeks. After that she declined to go to an extended care facility. While she was last in treatment (Feb 2014) I wrote a letter of letting go to her in which I told her she could not and would not come back to live with me. She was able to con a friend into going after her and bringing her back to our small town where there are absolutely no resources for people without a place to stay. In the face of her incessant pleas and demands for help, I have bought motel room time for her...as has her father who lives in another city. Although retired, I am still working to make ends meet...because of my daughter. Her skills at manipulation are incredibly cunning. Today she has called me at work numerous times begging for money, more room time. Meanwhile, my electric bill has not been paid and my lights will have been cut off when I get home this afternoon. I am exhausted mentally and physically. Another call just now from her...always beginning with promises that if I will help her this last time she won't ask again. Does anyone out there have any words of wisdom for me in helping me to stand firm?

04-21-2014, 02:19 PM
Hi, may I ask what she does with her time if she does not work?

04-22-2014, 06:47 AM
I am not sure what she does with her time other than hang with her friends who are also involved in drug use. She sleeps a lot. She sketches/draws...used to have significant artistic skill. She has been out of rehab since Feb. 24 and is not working. I am told a wide variety of reasons why she does not have a job. Most of the "reasons" in some way or another are blamed on me. This is her standard "out."

04-22-2014, 07:07 AM
Hi, I know that most people would tell you to just let her go, but as a parent I know the difficulty doing that. That being said, by enabling her, you are not helping but rather hurting her recovery. That long term facility you mentioned seems like a good idea so you could tell her no more support from you or her father until she completes her time there. That will at least give you some emotional and financial relief for awhile. Yes I think that she needs to move away from your small town because as long as she is there she will be pumping you for more money and manipulating you. I know you are torn, but as a drug addict she is not really the daughter you knew as she is a different person coning her way into the next short term gratification. I hope you can sort this out so you can start living your life again..All the best...

04-22-2014, 08:02 PM
Sounds like a difficult situation. I read a book about codependence and that you need to detach and let go. Easier said than done. It's not your job to fix her problems. She may need to hit rock bottom before she will ever change, which may require you to cut off all contact for a while. It sounds like you at least need a vacation away from her. Or maybe you need to join one of those 12 step programs for people related to people with addictions, so that you can learn how to detach from it. Sorry I don't know which one, Al-Anon or something similar.

04-23-2014, 06:41 AM
I am seeing a counselor/therapist who specializes in co-dependency. Without this, I know I would not be strong enough to stand up to her. As of yesterday...or so she informs me...she is living in the storage unit where I put all her belongings during her last involuntary commitment in a chemical dependency unit. I work as a receptionist and yesterday the phone calls from her were incessant. She kept saying she needed money to get to a city about 70 miles from here where she supposedly had a job waiting for her. My church was willing to provide transportation for her. Of course then she said that because of me, she had lost the job. After I contacted her about the free transportation, I hung up immediately when she would call. I live on peaceful, wooded acrege a short distance from town, but my sense of safety and peace have been compromised. I have already had her and her boyfriend arrested once for trespassing. She is just single-mindedly focused and determined that I can provide the answers to all her woes. Translation: money. I am exhausted. Were it not for the fact that I must work to supplement my retirement income, I would pack up and go visit my sister for an extended vacation. I know that she must hit rock-bottom before it will occur to her that I will not help her. The trip down that slide is almost more than I can bear.

04-23-2014, 07:21 AM
Hello -

First off, let me start by saying I am so sorry for what you're going through. I know just how difficult it is when you love someone so strongly, that you're willing to do whatever it takes to "help" them. I speak as a daughter of a parent who was an addict, and I gave up college, jobs, and many other aspects of my life, so she could depend on me. I used to hate when people would tell me to just let her go, stop doing anything and everything for her, and cut off all contact. Easier said than done, right? At this point, your daughter is old enough to be responsible for herself, you've done and raised her the best you could, and now it's your turn to reap the benefits of all that you have sacrificed. Drug addicts lose their souls, and care about nothing more than feeding their addictions. I know it's difficult to hear, but by helping her, by always being there to fall back on, you are enabling her. I'm sure you've heard that a million times, right? Have you ever tried looking into getting long term rehab through the courts? It sounds like she's been involuntarily sent, but only short term. Sometimes an addict needs to get to the point where they have nothing or no one to keep them addicted. I believe that's a scary place for anyone to be. Have you tried counseling for yourself? They have ALANON meetings, for people in just your situation. You need to start by helping yourself, before you can truly help her. I had to make some difficult choices, and you will too. You have been through quite enough, that I have no doubt you will overcome. I wish you the very best of luck. HUGS

04-23-2014, 10:21 AM
Jas, your reply means a great deal to me since you have gone through the same thing. Isn't it amazing to what lengths one will go in order to help a loved one. After years of enabling, you look around amazed to discover what you've sacrificed for that person. My daughter has been through 6 involuntary commitments for chemical dependency and one crisis intervention for mental. Some of those commitments were ordered by a drug court watch program and two (three counting the crisis intervention) were commitments I signed. These commitments were a variety of time frames from 30 days to 90 days. I live in Mississippi and the resources here are totally inadequate for persons dealing with mental and drug problems. My resources are depleted from caving in to her demands for money for shelter, food, etc. She is very clever and knows how to push the right buttons to get what she wants. You, of course, can readily identify with that tactic. I am in a financial situation of my own making. When I get home this afternoon, my electricity will have been cut off for non-payment. As my daughter has descended to rock-bottom, so too have I. It is a situation that probably I need to be in to really hit home with me the futility of handing over my life to my daughter. Yes, I am in therapy and have been since the beginning of her last involuntary commitment in January (they kept her 5 weeks). Without this therapy, I would not be able to stand up to her and stand up for myself. It is an on-going battle.

04-23-2014, 10:28 AM
I wish you the very best of luck, and yes, I know a great deal about the cunning, and manipulative tactics used by addicts. So long as they succeed, they will continue. They HAVE to know that they can no longer depend on you for anything other than emotional support. My mother used to make false threats about calling CPS, to accuse me of abusing my children, in order to make me succumb to her demands - very sick. I am on these boards quite often, reading, and lurking. So if you ever need to talk, there are so many supportive people here, you're definitely not alone. HUGS

04-25-2014, 01:47 PM
I bet there was no job, that it was just a lie to get money, and when you arranged transportation, suddenly the job disappeared because it never existed in the first place. Keep asserting your boundaries and take care of your needs first and foremost. Don't let her screw up your job too by her calling all the time. You can love your daughter, but that doesn't mean you should allow her dysfunctional behavior to screw up your life too. She has some hard lessons to learn.

04-26-2014, 04:32 AM
I know you love her, she's your daughter after all. I don't have kids myself but I imagine that mother child bond must be one of the few unconditional loves in existence in the world. That's what makes this so hard for you to cut her off when she asks for help. I know that the pain you feel from all of this must be overwhelming at times. I'm sorry that you're having to go through this.

Something that you should try to keep in mind is that the person who keeps using you and begging for money, that's not your daughter as you raised her. That's some stranger with a bad drug problem who keeps harassing you. Your daughter is in there somewhere but has been completely consumed by this addiction. And as you already may know, addiction is a personal battle which must be overcome by the person who is the addict and no external influence is going to have any effect on it. Maybe if you can keep reminding yourself that whether or not you help her next time she asks, she will still continue using drugs regardless. And if you know the outcome would be the same whether you help her or not, then if you say no, it's no different. It's time to start saying no, more often than yes. Until you feel better about saying no a lot and then you can work your way up to saying no always. You can do this, it will be hard but I'm sure you can get through this and preserve what's left of your sanity.

04-28-2014, 08:11 AM
Indeed, this stranger bears no resemblance to my daughter. None of my best efforts have helped to save her...and have probably harmed her. And so now I have let her go. She thinks/says I have let her go because I don't care...more attempts at manipulation on her part. What she fails to understand is that I have let her go out of love and in the hope that she will realize for herself, finally, that she is in control of her own life. For all of you out there, thank you for your support.