Hello! I have made comments to other posts but have not done an actual one on my situation with my 23 year old daughter. So here goes. “M” is 23 and lives at home in a tiny cottage in our back yard. She was an engaging child as a youngster. No obvious problems during those early years although in hindsight and after reading Dr L’ s on child hood anxiety I absolutely recognize some anxiety behavior.
Fast forward to age 12 ( onset puberty). A incident at school whereby a trio of girls called her “ annoying” and ousted her from their group and all heck broke lose for the next decade of our lives.
She school refused much to our dismay and we spend the next 2 difficult years with home school teachers, counseling appointments, school time accommodations, Drs visits, antidepressants, and so many missed days they threatened jail time?.....
Desperate, deflated, frustrated and weary we then performed ( unwittingly) the biggest “accommodation “of all and pulled her out of school permanently to” homeschool.”. on hindsight... ” BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER.”
We just didn’t know what to do and the school was in agreement. The ensuing 4 years of self imposed isolation only served to further her propensity for avoidance. After graduation she worked several part time jobs.. attempted one semester of jr college But could never hang. “I am the best worker but no one likes me”.. “my boss doesn’t appreciate my efforts” .. her depression and anxiety worsened.. panic attacks worsened..
We waited for new Dr appointments for various physical ailments.. “hormone problems” “ stomach problems”.., new psych dr’s when she fired old ones due to ” their attention is elsewhere and they dont seem to care”.. therapy appointments.. new Med changes with antidepressants.. 30 sessions neurofeedback....alternative treatments... to no avail. . She refused to practice CBt/Dbt.. “ doesn’t fit with me .. doesn’t help .. it’s not what I need”
HERE WE ARE. At age 23. I have spent the greater part of the last 10 years advocating..researching , making calls..trying new therapies as I attempted to figure out how to help my daughter the best to move forward. I finally ended up here at SPACE after reading Dr Lebowitz research article on parental accommodation and completely identified with almost everything he had to say. A HUGE” AHA “moment underscored the “lightbulb “ and moved me forward to where we are now.
I can honestly say that his words have empowered me to finally understand how accommodation is only inhibiting “M” from moving forward with the difficult work she needs to do herself.
He sent me parameters for young adults via email as well as reading his book and guide..
I know I have absolutely tried as hard as I could and given my daughter every opportunity to move forward with access to health care, counseling, medication, family support. Now it’s time to let her do the work with me in the background .
We made a contract of what we would pay for and time parameters for achieving goals.We both signed and it was very helpful to have that meeting so she would sense our commitment. I can live with it. I have reached my end game where I feel that I am “Ok” with whatever happens. I imagine that it is a very personal parental gut feeling and will be different for each person. There is no magic age..For my family 10 years has been long enough for her avoidance to affect 4 other people in the manner that it has. Everyone suffers. Anyway... the changes.. have been met with very strong emotional resistance by my daughter. I was prepared for this after being warned by the book. We have given “M” several chances and warnings over the past 6 weeks. Unfortunately last week we had to ask her to leave and not return until she had made some positive changes toward her attitude, expectations and attempts at self sufficiency. So hard to be objective about your own kid..but when your entire village is looking at you dumbfounded like “ DUH”.. what took you so long.. you feel pretty darned good about the decision..
I feel like a weight has been lifted. Is that horrible?? She is an adult with many resources at her fingertips..I absolve myself of being responsible as to whether she uses them or not. And I feel happy and ok with that! It’s nice to rediscover the relationship with my husband and oldest daughter as well. Life has been “ on hold“ for a decade.
I empathize and care deeply for my youngest daughters emotional difficulties but I realize that although she didn’t cause them it is her responsibility to manage them...not me.
She is staying with a another family member and it is a uncomfortable environment for her. (GOOD! ).She is safe, warm and fed.
We provide very a very basic allowance for her daily needs..but there is a contract and time frame for that too.
I know this text is long.. but perhaps it will help another parent..I truly feel that my daughter would not be in this position if I had been aware of ” parental accommodation “ 10 years ago. All I can be is grateful that I have learned about it now. We have hope that although “late to the party “ that “M“ will step up to the plate that is now hers alone... IF a doctor tells me that there is no hope and that she will never be independant then we are here for her of course.. but we gotta let her try.
Good luck to all.. I will post updates as they occur. Thanks for reading!XXOO