Early Christmas present - not

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There we were limping to the end of the year in the hope of a quiet Christmas - a much patched (literally) dh, myself and our new pup - our little bundle of hope and a new challenge for the future as we have adjusted to the various cataclysms of this year not least dd's histrionics whilst finally transitioning to living independently and despite constant rejection desperately trying to inveigle herself into her birth family's life and of course their day to day chaos - the results of which have been horrendous for her mental and physical health.

We have tried to stay connected and supportive whilst endeavouring to keep the chaos from our door as she is desperate to offload the toxic effects every time we see her. We have continued to try and walk the line of allowing her to do her thing whilst checking she is managing her bills etc - which though tight a second job and extra hours has given her a bit of an extra cushion - and she does graft. However all her years of hard work and 3am starts all look to be for nothing as in the last couple of weeks her spending has outstripped her income in eye watering fashion - mainly on sweet treats so her health has suffered the effects. She had left her credit card with us for safe keeping as she only used it to pay her car insurance but it seems she has applied for a new one and told them she'd lost it or something - somehow her limit has been doubled - and she has taken full use of that plus two pay day loans at exhorbitant interest of course and an eye boggling phone contract. She has been exploited before and we don't know if the bfamily are involved in some way or some one else as she sadly doesn't tell the truth. Basically she has blown all her hard earned savings as most will go to cover her debts and put at risk her private rented flat, her little car which is vital for her to access work, her jobs and the few friends she finally started to make.

I think she is copying to a T what her brother ended up doing in the hope she too can plead at the door of her bm as he has done - well that's how it goes in her head. The reality will be very different. I just feel so sad that just like her brother she has blown it so spectacularly when she had so much that she was actually beginning to feel good about and more confident in herself. I really don't know how to tell my dh especially after all he has endured this year. I always thought this could happen and we have tried to walk with her - she is incredibly stubborn and oppositional so won't work with us now - so I guess we will just have to watch as it works itself out and let the debt companies put in the punitive boundaries - I doubt she will work with a debt advice organisation especially as her spending is so psychologically spurred by her interactions with birth family.

A further irony is that we were just about to write a cheque as my late father in law had left her a small inheritance - morally and legally it's hers but I guess it's going straight to a pay day loan company which will really upset dh - something she probably has factored in! I suppose we could just drag our heels for a bit - any thoughts?

So here I sit waiting for her to lob this into our festivities - I really do feel like leaving her to it as the end result is going to be the same. After everything we thought things would get a little easier as they became adults and marched towards their thirties...but it seems not to be for some of us.

Well my pup is here to chew on my socks and me... and the tree is up, snow is on the ground and I have Christmassy songs a playing - so I am going to keep on playing the game whilst she has dinner with us tonight and put on the flack jacket with tinsel and baubles later. Never dull for sure!

My thoughts are with those of you facing similar challenges - may you find peace and happiness despite and the strength and wisdom for another year ahead.

Much love to all


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It is a big shame that money is linked to psychological and emotional issues in this way. Our AD has spending splurges when she is hormonal, which is a substantial chunk of each month and when she wants to buy for others to feel good in herself. This means that her ESA and PIP money do not last longer than two days usually. It always surprises her when she needs money and she has already spent it. Luckily, she does not have a credit card but she still borrows from partner's family then pays back with the next ESA. I urge her not to borrow as she becomes anxious if she cannot pay it back but her impulse control is minimal. From your post, the impulse seems similar. On the positive side it is great that your AD has the confidence to have a job and she grafts. Also, though it is far from ideal, the small inheritance will help her out of further debt at the moment. Our AD has never really understood money or how to value it. She wants to have money but at the same time feels uncomfortable having any lump sum of money, so gets rid of it as fast as she can . It is rooted in low self esteem. My only advice is to try not to worry about the negatives of the situation. Keeping safe is most important and keeping a job is a bonus. Focus on how you can help not on what you cannot achieve at present. I hope that you can manage to cut up the credit card. Good luck and best wishes for a steadier Christmas x

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Its a hard lesson for her to learn...

My advice would be to go and see a specialist debt adviser either at CAB, Stepchange or CAP - all of which are charities and offer impartial advice. I have done some work as a Debt Adviser, but I'm in Scotland and the legalities are different so I can't help here. One thing to mention though, that I am sure is also applicable in England, is that you need to have capacity to take on debt and not be coerced, so those may be avenues to explore, with the aim of getting the debt (partly?) written off.

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Good evening Mayan, it’s late and I’ve just caught your message. Yes debt and money are one thing that seems common but yet tie it up with vulnerability, poor impulse control, lying and deceitful behaviour and wow it’s a toxic mix.

There are times when I’ve said to mr Pt that partridge/ Blossom in a dreadful state. I know the details will make you unwell, I can tell you now or when things are a bit more settled. In reality we try and face stuff together as individually stuff would crush us.

Our son Partridge is coming to help out the decs up and is doing a big PR niceness thing which means he’s got himself in a big mess somewhere. He does these payday loans, cards etc and spends a lot on cigs but also at the CEX shop where he buys and sells lots of knocked off gear. It’s a blur of owning money and robbing Peter to pay paul and denying all of it. He won’t readily accept advice support or help beyond on a superficial level.

I’ve not always been able to keep ends meeting and this year we have struggled. My ex husband was into a lot of debt but took it as a fact of life but it always frightens me. I know folk are different on their debt pov’s

Even the Bible calls debt a sort of slavery and that is true. But it occurred to me that’s why our adoptees choose to get in such a £ mess. It’s slavery, makes you feel rubbish and is a constant struggle. I guess it makes the feelings of constant angst arise and that’s weirdly what they want to experience.

Re the inheritance can you set up a trust for her?

We are looking to do this for our AC after the POTATO conference excellent stuff on wills trusts and legacies. Basically with our lot it’s going to be trusts and letters of intent.

The CAB are a good help and I think Bop is right about you not fully understanding what you’re signing/ agreeing to. It’s worth a shot.

Our son is coming to stay here Christmas Eve at least. I feel a real lift in my heart when I hear he’s coming and then soon the inner rocks churn a bit. It’s the lying, the misunderstanding of his charm and then shock at his real underlying problems and all the dreadful mess relationship wise he left here when he just left. The troubles with the dreadful gf continue. She’s now in a flat of her own which locally can only mean her parents have chucked her out- she doesn’t work etc. Interesting partridge hasn’t chosen to live with her. He’s a dreadful flirt and has a number of ‘acquaintences’ all of whom are secret from gf who obsessively texts, messages and controls as much of him as she can. So I guess a quick sh** with someone who isn’t a complete nightmare must be a relief?

I don’t like any of it really. I’d like a magic wand! every now and again I catch a twinkle in his eye that he genuinely loves us and I well up because I do love him. Just wish things weren’t so impossibly hard relationally for him.

Blossom is heavily involved with bf and thinks they are the bees knees and we are, let’s be honest, I am, the wicked witch of the west. Something else dramatic has happened with her I cannot put here. We can’t see her (violent threat remains and the police remain very supportive) and really involvement in her life is always extremely hard.

But I miss her. Even after 3.5yrs from seeing her she dominates much of my thinking in the small hours. But she’s a grown woman off in the world with the crappy SC system and gang land minions from her BF. It’s really sad.

Like you mayan, we hope that time will help our yp, certainly for partridge to have held a job down so well, is a massive improvement.

The psychotherapist we saw when things were winding up with seeing Blossom, she said that people like our kids tend to come into psychotherapy in their late thirties/ mid forties. This is apparently because they recognise that the same stuff seems to happen again and again in their lives and they need change. I hope like we all do that time will heal where I cannot. In the meantime I can pray thanks that they are alive and in hope of recovery and that God might watch over them as I cannot.

I loved reading about your puppy. We have a 5.5yr old lab retriever and I can’t imagine life without him by my side. Pip is now 10 and despite her early experiences with the older two is doing well. She’s very caring. Fun. Musical and loves children. Atm she’d like to be a teacher when she grows up, and do shows at the weekends!

Thinking of all our families with holes in where the kids we adopted with such optimism, haven’t managed family. It feels particularly intense this time of year.

Hoping your daughter manages to attend Christmas and my son manages here too and wishing your older son and my ad well at this time, wherever they are.

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Can relate to the money problems so much.

Younger miss doing ok so far but her older sister really needs to take charge of her finance.

She has regular doctor's appointments to help with underlying issues which have affected her mental and emotional health. We are proud of her for sticking to this.

There are explosions every so often with birth mother living locally and we monitor this also.

No matter what we do love them and they love us. They have needs over and above peer group but we cannot fulfil all their needs and just hope that they turn to agencies for support which we do encourage.

It is hard to strike a balance between support and independence when the chronological age is so different from the emotional age.

At every age they have reached we have faced challenges and it has always been on the extreme side.

Self care becomes vital.

Thinking of you Mayan and PT and White Christmas.

Johanna x

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Oh pear tree i welled up reading your post. You express the impact on yours and other families who have survived the battle so movingly.

I hope that you all experience some measure of joy and peace over the christmas period no matter what hand grenades are dropped into the mix. X

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Oh Mayan.

My dear friend.....


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Thank you everyone - dh sad but pragmatic at the news - gentle enquiries with dd met with denials, lies and hostility - offer of support to sort things out made so we will just have to wait and see how things work there way out. Peartree - you really did describe the challenges of supporting our adult children so accurately - sometimes for all our best efforts - they will do what they will do. Gentle hugs to all.


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Work their way out...

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