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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

I Feel Like I Have Failed - - May 20th 2010

I too have a nearly 18 year old daughter.  She is bright and intellegent, she has been the most important thing in my life for 17 years.  We have always had a strong bond and close relationship. We have lived on our own for a good 4 years.  I work full time and ,as most, have a hard budget to follow.  

My daughter decided to give up on school as soon as she went to High School.  I ended up letting her leave school to find a job as neither of us could take anymore.  She was miserable at school and I was sick to death of arguing every morning at 6 AM.  I guess i gave up, too. 

She worked hard and finally got a casual job.  Great effort! The job went well for 9mths. She worked Friday nights and weekends, pretty good for a teen, I also think. As the job was only part time I let her off paying board as long as she bought her own clothes, paid her telephone bill, and put petrol in the car I bought for her so she could go to work. 

She was fired a month ago for stealing something as silly as a bra? She took 2 weeks to tell me.  And I found out as she told her 1/2 sister who told her Dad.  We have now gone into the worst disaster iIcould have imagined.  I asked her to pretty much stop using the car until she really needed it.  I cannot afford to run it.  Since then I have hardly seen her.  The car is as messy and uncared for as her bedroom and anything else and her computer is wrecked.  She has friends giving her money for gas to run them around.  I have refused to give her money until she cleans up her act, cleans the car, cleans her room and gets back to reality. 

I have also found evidence of party pills.  I have had too much and I have gone nearly into a depression. I cannot take much more of her using me.  I have told her to pack her bags and basically bugger off. Then, I will cry myself to sleep over what will happen.  Will she live on the street, use more drugs,  have sex?  I cannot help but think it will be worse.  I just lost it so much that I have thrown everything in her room onto her bed. I am so close to the the edge that I cannot take anymore.  She has also been cutting herself for a few years and she had promised to stop...well thats back now.

Is this to punish me or her self?  I can't get her help as she refuses. What can iIdo?  I cant carry her there to therapy.  She wouldnt come out if I get someone to the house.  I feel like I have failed as a parent and I am going crazy. 



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