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Reconnecting...

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Our eldest AD is now nearly 18 and has been out of touch for some time having returned to care at 14....


Today she got in touch as she is in a mess and needs some help. At one level I am thrilled as she is still our daughter and we love her, but on another level, she is in such a mess I don't really know where to start or how to help. SW moved her into a flat 3 months ago, she stayed a month, then absconded back to her birth family and returned just over a week ago. Issues include heavy drinking, possible drug use, being sexually exploited, not managing her money, depression, not eating (or even buying food - stuff in her fridge was ready meals, three months out of date), lack of structure/routine, washing machine not working (that is probably the one easy fix!).....


Today we chatted and bought her some food basics. I said I'll contact SW tomorrow....and offered to meet again later in the week.


Any thoughts welcome...


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3 users have supported this.

Go very very slow, do not pay anything big at this stage, do not be manipulated, do not trust, help her to find help, do not give money, do not facilitate her bad choices, again go very slow. It takes time for your family to build trust, she has to prove to you that she can be trusted. At this early stage do not put her into situations where she can break the trust. For example if she comes to your house eventually do not leave money on the desk, do not give her the opportunity to steal, etc.


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7 users have supported this.

Pluto's advice is good, but sad. I guess trust has to be earned, and gently, that's what you'll need to get across to her. At the same time, any practical help you can give her to help herself is probably what to aim for. Show her how to manage money, how to shop for herself. Maybe make some food together? As pluto says, little things, small steps. Be prepared for setbacks or for it all to go wrong. Try and do things like go for walks or drives which can facilitate non-threatening conversations - where you're not staring at each other over a table. I suspect I'm teaching my granny to suck eggs here!

But just also, (hugs) for you. x


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5 users have supported this.

Agree to go slow but it is an opportunity to reconnect as adults as she is nearly 18.

There are changes in outlook and thinking.

Use texting a lot rather than visits till you know more of her situation. Be prepared to be her advocate in practical situations but also do not become her problem solver.

This has been our experience as we knew our girls are vulnerable but we also know that we are not around forever.

Johanna x


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4 users have supported this.

Thanks all.


It is a really tough one as on one hand she is vulnerable and on the other dangerous.... I have to be really careful about being alone with her as she made allegations against me (and since has done the same with several others), but she is really struggling at the moment.


I think yesterday was OK - she was meeting DS and he reported she had no food and wanted to see us, so at the end we popped in for about 30 minutes and took her a few tins, a loaf and some milk and cheese. Made her cheese on toast and really just listened and didn't promise anymore. To be fair the parts of her flat we saw were clean and tidy (thought DS did say they cleaned before we arrived) but she was very teary and upset she's lost her job and is drinking too much - and also really upset that she left us prematurely. I did text her later but have heard nothing back.


I will see if I can contact SW today - although unless she tells them she wants me to know, they won't tell me anything. There are things I can advise, but I don't want to rescue - the only thing I might rescue her on is a GP appointment as she will avoid that one as she has a fear of doctors, but think she does need that.


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4 users have supported this.

No words of wisdom to add - you are doing just what I would suggest. Baby steps, no expectations, protect yourself.


As you know we're heading along this road, and so far so good. But it will inevitably have backward steps.


Meeting in public is good - a sandwich in a coffee shop?


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4 users have supported this.

I agree with all the comments so far and the need for self protection, however, I also keep thinking that at crucial times we are rescuers and without our rescue the outlook could be worse. We have had mostly good official support over the years but have still had to intervene often to stabilise our AD . I agree that I should not be her problem solver but the reality is different to my beliefs and sometimes I have to solve her problems or at least get involved because she is not capable of solving them alone or even with regular post adoption support and a community mental health nurse. Things are steadier now but I still do the weekly food shop with AD with a budget, assist her with making sure housing benefit goes to her rent, take her to dentist and optician, dry her laundrey, assist her with gardening a small lawn, get someone to keep up repairs to a flat, take her out each week for a meal after therapy and so on. Some of these I enjoy and we work together on them but when she is in a crisis our support has to be increased. I am lucky to be part time and to not struggle with finances so my decisions may not be realistic for some. At times when I am struggling with life experiences, I notice the extra stress and pull back but mostly I am grateful to be able to help her. I do wonder about the future but try not to look ahead too much and I know that her neediness is not her fault, it is the real consequence of a very damaging past.


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3 users have supported this.

How amazing she knows she can rely on you in her time of need - I am sure there will be many ups and downs - but she needs her mum and dad - not sure if I have worded this right - but am sure you know what I mean!


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3 users have supported this.

White Christmas it can grow to that over time, it would be unwise to start of after years of allegations, wanting no contact etc. Especially as Bop does not know at this stage how much alcohol or drugs is involved you do not want to become an enabler. So support yes but very slowly and carefully at this moment in time.


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5 users have supported this.

Finding the balance is going to be hard. I would love to support her in the sort of way you describe White Christmas....I hope we can get there...


Some of you may remember we had six months of fabulous positive contact two years ago, that ended in a total disaster, affecting everyone in the family. I have to remain cautious...but I also know of other adopters where things have turned out OK as their teens mature and realise the grass isn't always greener on the other side.


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5 users have supported this.

Every circumstance is different. I hope that you find a way through that is workable and helpful for all of you. I see your point Pluto about caution. Wise words x


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3 users have supported this.

Hi, I do think treading very very carefully is ideal. Maybe you can ‘just’ be there as a shoulder to cry on as she uses the services to limp out of her mess? Maybe you agree to buying in her weekly food but not giving her £50 a week cash as you know it will go on ciggies and cheap cider?

The really big thing is to not rush in a do all the ‘rescuing’ as you know you want so desperately to do. That you have your own lives and she’s not going to have a functional normal grateful response to any of the helps you offer/ provide.

So please please look after yourselves.


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4 users have supported this.

Had a long chat with our SW today who agrees take things slowly and see if we can work with her SW.


Also had a called from DD - she had a job interview and wanted a pep talk before - then after to say it had gone well and she'd been told she was getting a second interview Smile We also had a brief chat about managing her money and what that means....she still says she wants help....


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8 users have supported this.