I think I finally figured out where a lot of the confusion about the Boarder’s Agreement is coming from - Despite the "legalese," this was never intended to be a legal document. No notary was used. No court will ever be involved. This is intended to be an "impressive" document for Kitty (and someday, possibly, Bear) that she will hopefully respect - causing her to argue a little less about having to follow the rules(to the best of her abilities). I have always known she will never be able to follow these rules completely, and I would only enforce them where/when it seems appropriate and based on her current mental state and abilities. Maybe this isn’t the perfect choice for Kitty. I’ve tried lots of other things that didn’t work. Maybe NOTHING will work, but right or wrong this is how I've chosen to handle this. Nothing less has worked. I figured it couldn't hurt.
Yes, this is a "bad deal" for an adult tenant. No, of course I would not accept it myself from any landlord, nor would I even attempt to offer this to an adult tenant. The part you are ignoring is that Kitty is NOT a normal tenant. Anyone who reads my blog knows that. She IS a dependent. If she gets SSI she’ll have to have a representative payee. She needs someone to fill out forms, get her services, make sure she takes care of herself… just because we cannot afford legal guardianship, does not mean she doesn't need it. We've had to adapt.
I'm not "struggling to accept her as a sovereign adult." I'm not struggling at all. She's not one. I accept that (you don't have to).
My moral obligation as Kitty’s parent is to try to help Kitty keep from permanently hurting herself or damaging her future. No matter what, I will continue to give Kitty the loving structure and support she needs. That means if/when she comes back, the house rules will be in place. I know in my heart that this is what is best for my children.
It sucks that being a therapeutic parent is already so hard, and on top of that it exposes me to judgmental people who see our lives and make assumptions. Sometimes I’m not sure why I open myself up to criticism by blogging, but my goal has always been to help other parents of kids with special needs to feel less alone.
I don't know most (if any) of the people who have commented over the last few days, but I understand that I invited them in to part of my life. It doesn’t make hearing their negative comments hurt any less. I'm done defending myself, especially since it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference in other’s perception.
This will be my last response to all of this. I need to go back to focusing my energy on my family and my new job. Thanks to all who offered constructive advice, and even those who just had good intentions.