Our Daughter Has a Problem With Alcohol and Has 3 Small Children. What Do We Do?
Our daughter moved in with her boyfriend 4 years ago when she was pregnant with her 3rd child. He is an alcoholic who drinks every night after he comes home from work. Their fridge was always full of beer and a half gallon of milk. We didn't know how much they drank until we saw our daughter with a big glass of beer almost every time we called on Skype.
Her boyfriend was always relaxing in his recliner next to his pyramid of empty beer cans and Jagermeister bottles. Eventually, after suffering several beatings from him, our daughter asked us to help her move away. We came and moved her to our home in another state.
We put her and the 3 kids up in a spare room and tried to get her life back on track. At first it was horrible. She was full of hate, remorse and regret for asking us to move her away from the children's father even though he'd beaten her and put her in the hospital several times.
She didn't seem to remember any of that or most anything else for that matter. Her memories were foggy at best and she constantly complained to us for more refills of her perscription drugs (Adavan, Ritalin, etc). She also kept sneaking out of the house and getting beer at the local drug store a mile away.
She hid alcohol in her purse and in her room and secretively drank day and night. She was horrible to be around. Her brain was always foggy and the least stressful situation would set her off, once so bad we had to call 911 because she was trying to beat up her mother. She got in trouble with Child's Protective Services after the middle girl went to school with red hand and finger marks on her throat.
They interviewed my daughter and determined her to be an addict. The state wanted us to take the children away from her but we were not ready to do that at this point. She left us twice but came back both times after a week or two with a better attitude and more appreciation of her children.
She's making progress but still has bad episodes after drinking. She drinks till she feels good, isn't in pain and then does something stupid like running off and not telling us where she's going in
the middle of the night and not coming home till the next day and won't talk about it and can't remember most of it. She insists she doesn't have a drinking problem and won't even talk about "rehab." We're at our wits end.
We want to protect the kids and we want her to be able to raise them herself. We want to be nearby to help with that but we're reluctant to consider raising them ourselves (we're almost 60 and live on a fixed retirement income). We don't want to force her kids from her either. But, she just won't admit she has a problem, won't even talk about rehab and gets angry when we try to talk to her about it. Help ....
While you did the right thing in removing your daughter from an abusive relationship, allowing her to continue living with you without her having to take any form of responsibility for her life, and effectively just do as she pleases, is simply enabling her alcoholism.
Because that's what she is - an alcoholic. It's clearly more than a drinking problem, and by giving her a free ride unfortunately you're not helping her problem, only making it worse.
Your daughter needs to be given the message that unless she starts getting her act together, acknowledging her alcoholism, and receiving the appropriate help via going to rehab for example, you will no longer be supporting her.
Because until she experiences all the terrible consequences that come from choosing a life of addiction in full, she'll never be motivated to change. The state were right, you should have taken over the custody of her kids, and made it clear to her until she gets sober and turns her life around, she would have no further part in their life.
She strangles her mother and her own child has finger marks on her throat (which amounts to child abuse), and yet you hope things are just miraculously going to change. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Your daughter is in denial and you need to start breaking down the walls of her denial by drawing a line in the sand and saying 'enough is enough.'
You can't begin to imagine the long-term damage being done to her children by being exposed to her alcoholism and erratic behavior. So for their sake you need to intervene.
All The Best