Hello. I have a question about my daughter Christine. She is 46, married, and a mother of 5. Her children are 30, 30, 22, 4, and 2. The oldest three are married and no longer live at home. Anyway, about a year ago Christine started having some problems. I went to visit in August, and Christine was unrecognizable as my daughter. She looked the same, but she sure didn't act the same. Eventually she broke down and told her husband and I that she had been smoking marijuana since around June. It was serious enough that we immediately took her to rehab, and I moved in. During her first weeks there she tried to commit suicide twice that we know of. Luckily after some more treatment, she started to recover. She explained that she started smoking because of everything that was happening. In April-my husband (her father) passed away, in May-she, her husband, and their two youngest moved for his new job. And in June-her then 21-year-old daughter Emily got married. So I agreed that an incredible amount of change had occurred. She also explained that she was tired of being a mom. I understood because she's been raising kids nonstop since she was 16. Her 22-year-old was suppose to be the last baby, but then she had two more in her 40s (hence the 4 and 2 year old). Finally in October she was able to come home. I didn't expect her to be 100% which is good because she wasn't. She's a Spanish teacher at a private school, and they said she could keep her job as long as she passed random drug tests. The biggest problem was now mood swings. She'd be laughing one second, but then immediately start crying. She also had a hideous temper and bursts of anger. One night her then 3-year-old son Alex spilled water, and she screamed at the top of her lungs. He of course was petrified. When she had those moments of anger I usually told her to go upstairs and separate herself from everyone. She has never been one to hit her kids, but I was not sure if she would now. After awhile I took her up a glass of water and we talked. I felt like I was treating her like she was 3, but it seemed to work. Then in November more problems arose. One night during a blizzard, and living in Michigan blizzards aren't uncommon in November, she told me she was going to shovel the driveway. After about 20 minutes I went to check on her, and she wasn't in the driveway. I called for her, but she was nowhere. Her car, phone, and purse were all inside, but Christine was gone. I immediately got in my car to go look for her while her husband stayed home. I found her walking down the side of the highway. I asked her why she chose to do that but she said, "I don't know. I just wanna go home." The next day I asked again and she said she had gotten confused, and she wanted to escape. Then a few nights later she said she was going to walk the dogs. I watched her walk down the street with them and everything. Ten minutes later, the dogs were in the yard, but Christine was gone. I found her on the highway again. After that, I decided that she needed constant supervision. She went to work, but her daughters who work in the school checked on her every hour. That was it. In late November her boss told her she needed to take a drug test before Thanksgiving break. She called me all upset, but I told her she'd be fine. She gave her boss a hard time, but she took it that day, and completely passed. I was happy for that. By then I was taking her to a new therapist who had diagnosed her with Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis. I didn't agree with that because she had been fine for 45 years, but I'm not one to argue. She was put on Lithium and a few other medications to try and keep her calm. In December she had her mood swings and anger issues, but she also tried to commit suicide multiple times. We always caught her before she did anything luckily. She threatened to stab herself in the heart, she threatened to hang herself, she threatened to run out in the middle of the street. Just awful things a mother should never hear. Her therapist simply said it was because her medication hadn't kicked in. I just started to watch Christine more than ever. Sadly the day after Christmas, one of her oldest daughters was hospitalized with meningitis. Within the first few hours they had determined that she would live and most likely recover at least 80%, but Christine was devastated. Two days later she said she was going to church to pray and talk to the pastor. I agreed to let her go because she hadn't run away in awhile. Well when she came home about two hours later her eyes were red, she couldn't talk well, and she just wasn't herself. I then noticed that she smelled like marijuana. I asked her if she had smoked, and she said "No. Why would I tell you?" Her husband, who happens to be a cop, looked at me and nodded. I had bought a home drug test so I could randomly test her myself if I ever needed to, so I decided this was the perfect time. I asked her to follow me into the bathroom where I asked her to take it sometime before she went to bed. She immediately started screaming, crying, swearing, accusing me of not trusting her. She was out of control. I walked away and told everyone else to give her space. She basically threw a tantrum for 40 minutes and then quiet down. After about another 30, she called for me from the bathroom. I went in, she quickly took the test, and that was that. It was positive for marijuana unfortunately. The next day she admitted that she had gone and smoked weed with her old dealer because she was stressed about her daughter being in the hospital. I simply told her if it happened again, I would let her husband decide what legal action was best. I started testing her every week, and then every few weeks, and now we're down to never luckily. The good news is, she's been clean since. The bad news is, she still has the mood swings and bursts of anger. I've also had to basically re-teach her how to raise her youngest kids. She wasn't bathing, feeding, or caring for them very well after rehab, so now she's much better with that at least. She went back to rehab in early May because she was just having a bad time mentally. She wasn't herself. It was then her therapist said she probably isn't bipolar which made us happy. Then at the end of May she did something really stupid. She went to Target one night after visiting her daughter. She made the mistake of shoplifting. She took nail polish, bath salts, just a bunch of small things that she doesn't really use herself. She said she wasn't sure why she did it. She had to go to court and everything, and received a fine and misdemeanor. No jail time. When that happened, I no longer knew what to do. Luckily, after that she started to become her old self again. Like I said she still has some problems with anger, but that's about it. Last week her 22-year-old daughter came over wearing a spaghetti strap top. Christine hates those kind of shirts, so she snuck up behind her daughter and cut the straps. I helped fix the problem and everything was fine. Her therapist thinks she had a nervous breakdown last year and the marijuana didn't help her mentally. My question is, do you think that's the case? What could have possibly happened to Christine to make her change so much? What should I do/change to help her? I'm sorry that this is long and most likely confusing. I just want some answers. I want my daughter back. Thank you!
Thank you very much for asking me your concern. I wish I could really help you give good insight on your dilemma but this is a bit heavy to discuss in one e-mail. However, to give you the best medicine is to rely your trust in GOD that your daughter will get well. That is, by constant encounter with prayer ministry group. Contact a real pastor that can help you connect with a healing ministry. There will around anywhere in the USA that do that.
Secondly, do not expect a lot from your daughter to have the change. Be thankful that she is still alive and working still. The effect of medication and marijuana intake might have affected her flight ideas that is why she is confused. That is why sometimes, or even most of the times, she is out of control. And that is why even there is a medical examination that she is clear on the drug test, still she will be experiencing some side effects of both use (medication and marijuana).
At the moment, the way you are doing things is more than enough to help your daughter. Patience is a virtue and love is eternal. You are blessed with a good heart so keep the prayer with you in your pocket when you seem to need a recharge in your energy. May GOD be with you. And if you ask JESUS CHRIST TO HEAL HER, she will be healed.
Have a wonderful evening.