Bambi1 has concerns about her Loved One’s behavior but she doesn’t have the full picture. Her LO is secretive, out all day, and avoids calls from the family. Now she’s back with the old crowd after getting a car again. Not working, not in school, she is using the car a lot – maybe as an uber – and it seems she is being dragged back down by old “friends.”
My daughter is very secretive. 20 years old. So secretive, I overheard her trying to get an apartment and needs a $300 deposit. Mind you, she has no money, doesn't appear to be working, even though she had a job. She was withdrawn from school because she didn't show up. She leaves early morning to avoid us and doesn't return until late night. Last night came in at 3:40 a.m, left around 10 am. Phone rings non stop however, can't take my calls when I'm phoning her, I pay for the phone. Read the full comment here.
There’s so much to unpack in your comment. We have written about the car in other posts (there are several posts related to the car on this page). If you believe she is using and driving, it’s serious, even more so if the car is in your name AND she’s chauffeuring people around.
Your daughter has no job, is not going to school, is gone from early each day until very late, and the car has racked up thousands of miles in a short period of time.
The danger with the car takes precedence. So many areas of the US have poor public transportation. Parents can find themselves stuck in this situation. You can’t get to school or work without a car. Some parents give their kids rides everywhere. I just talked to a father who told me he hadn’t envisioned his retirement years being spent taking his 30 yr old son back and forth to work every day.
Before we even talk about CRAFT, my suggestion is to park the car before someone gets hurt. In the short-term, give her rides or pay for an Uber to get her where she needs to go.
Your daughter wants to get her own place. This is a huge reward and, like the car, is quite hard to meter out on a day-to-day basis, according to whether she looks sober or not (See Learning Modules 5 and 6).
Without a car, I would guess your daughter would be home more often, making it possible for you to observe her more (Learning Module 3). Some of the secrecy might naturally subside when you are sharing space more. You don’t need to ask her about her use to determine patterns, you can be taught what to look for. Learning Module 3 provides you with detailed points of what to look for.
For 8 to 10 weeks or so, follow the principles laid out in the Learning Modules and learn all you can by observing her behavior and patterns. Soften your communication, work on building a real bridge between the two of you. You need to have more information to know what to do.
I can see eventually leveraging help with a place to live with an agreement that she sees a therapist or gets into some other treatment, but first we need to have a better picture of what’s going on. Don’t talk to her about her use or her lifestyle for now. Start with taking away the car, something like:
“The car is not working out. I got you the car so that you could get to work and school. Right now, neither is happening so, I’m sorry, the car comes off the road. Something is going on. You don’t need to explain, we just can’t chance being sued over something that happens with you and the car. When you feel you need help, I want you to know you can come to us. We love you dearly, forever”
So, deep breath… you can do this. It’s time to refocus and start looking at this with new eyes. Write back to us with what you are learning.