I’m sorry that you are faced with this difficult situation. I offer you my deepest sympathies.
Guilt implies that you did something wrong. You didn’t give your daughter schizophrenia. Your daughter has a brain disorder, though no fault of yours, that impacts her ability to think and to function. Her use of powerful, illicit drugs exacerbates the problem or may be the actual cause of the problems you are seeing. No matter what the cause, she is out of control.
At this point, it does not seem within your power to help her. You have tried your best by giving her a safe place to stay, food, love, and care but that has not been enough. That’s because schizophrenia cannot be cured with love and neither can drug addiction.
Unless the court declares her incompetent and you are named her legal guardian, she has the right to make choices about every aspect of her life, including whether or not she participates in treatment, uses meth, and so forth. You cannot force her to take medication nor can you stop her from taking illicit drugs. Only the state has that kind of power and authority.
It’s best to consult with her parole officer to determine what arrangements are best for her. It may be that jail is her best option. Think of it this way. Will she be safer in jail or safer out of jail? Neither place is safe but for your daughter right now, where will she be safer? What are the chances of her remaining addicted to methamphetamines in jail compared to out of jail?
I would recommend you reading books about tough love. Sometimes, it is absolutely necessary to be very tough with people we love because it is the only way that we can save them from themselves.
People using methamphetamines can be very violent. They can easily commit murder, easily be killed when there is police intervention and easily end up being incarcerated for the rest of their lives.
What gives her the best chance of regaining her life? I would tell the truth, the whole truth to the best of your ability, to her parole officer. Hiding her behavior from the court system will not be helping her. The truth is the truth. I would not lie or deceive to make her look better or worse. Let her own behaviors and choices be the deciding factor.
Consider contacting the National Alliance For Mental Illness (NAMI) or the Treatment Advocacy Center for support and guidance. You may be able to attend support groups or interact with people who are dealing with similar problems. Both organizations offer support and advocacy for families.
Finally, you should also consider counseling, even if you “spend an hour falling apart.” Counseling can be quite powerful, especially in times of anguish and distress. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to write again. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle