Printable Version of Topic
Click here to view this topic in its original format
Message Board > Families / Partners of Addicts > Complicated

Posted by: Hannah226 September 12, 2019, 8:51 PM
Our daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19 yrs, 1st hospital stay in psych, although there was some drug use then. Moved on to heroin, has been on and off for 10 years, several stints in rehab, recovery houses. Consistently attended NA meetings, had a number of sponsors. In between, finished college, had a number of jobs. She was living with us and working last year when she relapsed-went to rehab for a month out of state and was then referred to a TC / recovery house. She stayed clean but became involved with a male member of the program with a long criminal history, and she was asked to leave. She opted to stay in the state. At the time, had a good job and was able to pay all her expenses. The boyfriend moved in with her and stole everything she had and she supported his habit- it appears that she's not using any drugs. He was on parole at the time. They got involved in at least one robbery. She is free on bail, he's still incarcerated. AND she's PREGNANT She insists on maintaining their relationship and visits him in jail. Sentencing is next month for both of them. It doesn't look as though she'll go to jail She has a small income from unemployment (she lost her job too)and has applied for Medicaid, food stamps, etc though it hasn't come through yet. We have helped her temporarily with some rent, food, and Lyft rides (her car was repossessed).
Here's the issue-we want to find a way to disconnect from her financially but we are concerned for our grandchild. If the boyfriend gets out of jail we can let their relationship take its course but if he stays in jail, she may stay where she is and be alone or she may return to the area where we live, but she can't live with us. We are just not sure how much to provide or what our role is under the circumstances.
Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated-

Posted by: Parenting2 September 12, 2019, 11:17 PM
I just wanted to say welcome. I have no grandchildren involved and I hope I never do, because that has to be doubly heart-wrenching. I know others on here can discuss there experiences with grandkids. It does add a layer of complexity and a layer of sadness. I am not sure what I would do.

I mostly wanted to welcome you and say, "We're here for you." Keep posting and sharing. It really does help. Sometimes this is the only place I can go where I KNOW people understand.

Posted by: Hannah226 September 13, 2019, 7:04 PM
Thank you!

Posted by: NyToFlorida September 13, 2019, 9:16 PM
Hello Your daughter’s situation is complicated. The rule of helping is only if they are sober. Hard to stick to especially when we star out paying things like rent.

It iis shocking how little we can give and the train keeps rolling. This year we kicked our son out at beginning of March and cut off contact. It still took 2 1/2 months of living on street or with other addicts before he was arrested and the crazy train came to a halt.

Unfortunate that your daughter is pregnant by such an awful person.

The only thing I can think of is for her to be in a sober living situation. Where she can take care of herself without being alone. Look up resources at the websites TAM - the addicts mom and

If she is in a sober living house - only with women, you can have a bit of peace that she is sober.

Posted by: Walkedon September 13, 2019, 10:29 PM
I'm so sorry about your situation. My daughter is also mentally ill and an addict.
Now might be the best time to stop all financial assistance,before the baby arrives.
There are so many programs for pregnant woman. If she wants things to change now is her chance.

Posted by: sad eyes September 15, 2019, 7:45 AM
Welcome and glad you have found this site, sorry to hear of your situation it does seem quite complicated especially when there is a baby on the way, he dosent seem like a very nice person, if he has robbed her once ime sure that will happen again, she might see things as they are in time, as to what help you give her that's hard, like you say if he stays out of jail, is he able to provide for her, I don't think so, sounds like he can't look after himself! let alone a partner and baby, would he be working, things may be different if he he goes into jail, you might want to help her if he's not around, very hard and it's hard not to help your children, I always say go with what your gut tells you, it's often right, keep us posted and take care

Posted by: Sallyanna September 15, 2019, 10:38 AM
Welcome Hannah226. I'm sorry to hear about your daughter and everything that is happening right now. I know how tough it is being a parent of an adult child with a history of addiction and poor choices. I guess how I see it is she's an adult (almost 30, I'm guessing) and she's living her own life. She's making choices about her life and she has to live with the consequences of those choices. If she's going to have an intimate relationship with a criminal that steals from her that's her choice obviously and there's not very good consequences to that. I personally choose not to accommodate my daughter's addiction and subsequent chaos. Its not easy at all as a parent and watch the self destruction. I hate it. However, there are always healthier choices they can make but we can't make them for them. They have to learn and sometimes in life we learn the hard way but at least we learn. Focus on yourself and your life. They will rob our life away if we let them. I hope you find courage and strength.

Posted by: NyToFlorida September 15, 2019, 1:06 PM
A few thoughts.
Sorry that I said your daughter is in a relationship with an awful person. He might be similar to the rest of our ‘kids’. A good person but awful when in active addiction. And not the person we would want our daughter to be involved with. My son was walking the same path.

It is hard to know how much to ‘help’. My son was in jail. I sent him $40 per week bc ‘the food is so bad and scarce. Needed to buy snacks and toiletries. Even had to purchase packets of sugar and creamer and instant coffee’. I knew $40 was too much but I thought it’s temporary.

all of our helping over the years, well meaning and ‘temporary ‘. The problem is that all of our help did not fix the problem. It kept our son dependent on us emotionally, mentally. It did not help him grow. Reinforced that ‘he cant’ survive. As someone said it is insidious. Slowly creeps in and brain washes all of us. We want to be good parents.

This is when the parents help becomes counter intuitive. We can not give financial help. Even though that is what is needed ASAP.

My suggestion is to help research long term housing and support for your daughters situation.
The truth is that we are not equipped to help them with mental illness or addiction. There are experts and medically trained people, organizations, social services.

Focus on getting your daughter into a stable living situation where she can use the resources around her to continue to be independent. Your daughter has been independent and self sufficient recently. SHE CAN DO THIS!

Sallyanna - you are right - I do feel my son has robbed half of my paycheck away in the past 5 years. All the time it felt like just a little for now... and years have gone by.. I feel robbed even though I gave willingly and always thought the was ‘a plan’ in place.... I am finally tired if it. I want my paycheck back. Why have I been giving it away!!! Ugh... I know what is right to do - when it comes to our own children - so hard to tell them no.

Posted by: Hannah226 September 17, 2019, 6:27 AM
Thank you to everyone for you feedback and suggestions. I am currently helping our daughter with obtaining services-we have made many phone calls, and as always it is difficult to negotiate the web of government services. We live in a different state, so it is even more difficult. Since she is not in active addition, some services are not appropriate for her.
She is awaiting her court date in the next few weeks to find out the consequences and impact of her criminal behavior. Her boyfriend is still in jail and his court date will come up soon also.
Just a comment:over the years, we have received mixed messages as to whether her behavior is related to her bipolar disorder or her addiction/addictive behavior. Her manic phase involves high agitation and impulsivity. Of the many therapists and psychiatrists she has seen, very few have been able to engage her. She takes medication , but as her psychiatrists have explained it will never fully control her symptoms.
I have found it difficult to separate the urge to help someone with a mental illness vs the "tough love" recommended with addiction.
If anyone else has had experiences related to the combination of mental illness and addiction, I would appreciate hearing about them.

Posted by: Walkedon September 17, 2019, 1:31 PM
My 31 daughter is schizoaffective and bipolar and a meth addict and former opioid addict. She is now working and is mostly clean.
I also have horrible guilt about the mental illness part of her behaviour.
What I have come to realize is the two diseases are similar.
She knows she has to take her meds and go to her appointments. When she doesn't she has to deal with the consequences. Just as she does when she does drugs.
I'm sure you daughter has told you she is an adult and can do what she wants. Setting boundaries for both addiction and the mental illness are similar.

Posted by: Parenting2 September 17, 2019, 2:26 PM
Yes, me too. My son has always had mental health issues, as well as addiction. It is super common to have both. Unfortunately, in the US, they closed all the mental health institutions without any services. So, prisons have become the new mental health institutions. It makes me really angry there are not more services. My son often refuses help or doesn't follow through on plans made. It is hard to watch people with mental health issues because life is very hard for them.