Who knew that such a beautiful relationship as I've had with my almost 22-year-old daughter could turn to crap in a month's time........ever since the young man she was engaged to decided he "wasn't ready for marriage" (but who continues to use her for sex whenever he feels like it), she has turned into a completely irresponsible, thoughtless, and utterly miserable human being. She goes out with him every time he comes to the house, whether or not it happens to suit anyone else's convenience.......just last weekend, we had a family reunion with some folks we haven't seen in over 15 years, and sure enough, he drove up and off she went! :angryfire The next day, she let him insult her little brother, got mad at me when I objected to it, and then said she was going with him to the 7-11.......and was gone for over three hours.
Yesterday was the last straw. I'd gotten home from work the night before, only to find out she was gone again because she'd heard a rumor that Micah was sleeping with some one else, and she'd demanded that her father get out of bed at 11 PM and take her to Micah's stepdad's house so she could confront him about it. (My DH and I have since had a serious talk about the proper uses for the word "NO".) She was out all night long.......never phoned to let anyone know when she'd be back, and we didn't know for sure if she was even there, or if she'd gone over to Micah's friends' house to ask THEM about the alleged incident.
Then he brought her home around 11 AM yesterday morning---the day of her sister's high-school graduation---and we finally had it out. Actually, I
had it out.....she just sat there like a bump on a log. She didn't bother to apologize for worrying us, didn't even defend her actions, just took off walking down the road after I was through yelling and crying, as if nothing mattered to her. She returned later and went with us to the graduation, but as soon as we all got settled, off she went: first to a nearby store with her little brother, and then to good old Micah's........she missed seeing her sister receive her diploma, and even THAT didn't appear to matter to her. Then came the capper: During their trip to the Dari-Mart, she'd told Ben, my youngest, that she was moving out this weekend, but not to tell me.......knowing, of course, that this child who could NEVER keep a secret to save his life would do exactly that.
To say that this ruined Melanie's graduation for me would be the understatement of the century. It was all I could do not to burst into tears right there in front of God and everybody........it was an emotional occasion anyway, but on one of the proudest days of any parent's life, all I could think of was how sad and mad and hurt I felt.
Later last night she did come back home, and by that time I'd taken a couple of Ativan, cried a lot more, and was fairly calm. I already knew this was a losing proposition........she's over 21, it's her life, and she's got to make her own mistakes. The trouble is, I'm not gonna let her do it on my watch anymore........she DOES need to move out if she's going to behave like this, she can't just come and go as she pleases, shut off her family emotionally, and then expect us to continue supporting her. I suspect the reason she has decided NOT to move out at this point is because he won't have her......he's got other fish to fry now, and he doesn't want her getting in the way, being possessive and jealous etc. Oh, she's still good enough to "hang out" with (read: service his sexual needs) but he doesn't want to be obligated to her in any way. And SHE'S so damned blinded by her love for him that she doesn't see that he doesn't love her the same way, let alone that he's using her. :angryfire
And of course, as both of them see it, I have no right to be upset about any of this. I'm supposed to accept it, even embrace it, and because I don't like the situation, she's convinced that I'm trying to keep them apart, and therefore she must rebel. Now, she didn't do this high-school drama-queen act when she WAS in high school, so I'm more than a little disappointed with her behavior; but I'm also baffled and confused because she's suddenly turned so cold toward me and everyone else in the family. She perceives us as being "against" Micah (she must have forgotten how happy we all were when they announced their engagement, and how bad we felt for her when he broke it off), so that makes us bad and not to be trusted. In the meantime, all she wants is to be with this guy, who turned out to be a user and a loser who paid his share of the rent for only two of the four months he lived with us, but was able to finance their big snowboarding trip to Wyoming and his solo trip to Florida a couple of weeks later. :angryfire
So now I have this moody, sulky, unreliable, hostile stranger in place of the daughter I thought I knew so well, and I don't know what to do. The daughter I know would never have skipped out on her sister's graduation. The daughter I know wouldn't have just walked away from me while I was upset and crying, or allowed this jerk to treat her brother like dirt, or let herself be used and then cast away when he doesn't want her around. I just know I can't do anything about her situation, I can't fix it even if she would let me, and I'm heartbroken that this chasm has opened up between us.
Adult kids.......and I thought parenting was supposed to be easier when they grow up? That's when you can't kiss their boo-boos and make them better anymore, and what's worse, you have NO say in what they do or what happens to them. No, their life goes in the toilet, they start treating family like the enemy, and all YOU get to do is watch. :stone
Thanks for letting me vent.
Jun 4, '04
((((((((from a fellow mom of troubled daughter))))))))
We did all that, when it happened with ours, and the only thing that worked was ignoring everything we didn't have control of, which was most of it.
Ours was 18 (and in her senior year of high school) when she decided she knew better, joined up with a bunch of people that would have elevated my HR and BP in broad daylight, let alone a dark alley, and proceeded to do everything she (seemed to have) thought would upset her father and me.
She became combative verbally and physically. She moved out. We wouldn't hear from her for weeks.
We kinda thought maybe a little bipolar stuff going on, but now it seems it was likely drugs.
That was 3 years ago, plus. She "settled down" with a fellow a little less frightening than the (above) original crowd, and actually finished high school (he was instrumental in keeping her going each day, which was a huge surprise to us).
Do I still totally approve of her lifestyle, no. But ignoring her has done one perfect thing--we have a good relationship (she'll be 22 in September), we telephone nearly every day.
Since it's hard to start the "ignoring" part of the "strategy" (which was more for my own sanity than for her), what I also have had work was beating her to the punch. For example, making the suggestion that she move out because she seems so unhappy at home and because you know she loves her younger sibs and realizes that all this is not good for them.
See if you don't get a little startle out of her. Help her pack. Apologize for losing control (she's ticked about the display, trust me; you don't have to say your opinion was wrong to still apologize for the effect it had on her). Become her ally and she'll become your friend--over time. Mine now is super-dependable (finally) and tells me she loves me a lot.
I would caution you against doing anything against that little piece of trash she's enamored of, or his worthless family. You will look very foolish in the public (why must that word always start without it's "l"????) eye, might face criminal charges if you did anything I considered when I was where you are, and your daughter will be forced to side with him (they don't call it the "Romeo and Juliet phenomenon" for nothing).
Been there, done all that, felt like a jerk, feeling better now, and really ought to make myself a teeshirt about it.
Love you, Marla. It does get better, it really does. If if doesn't you can still shoot them. :kiss
Last edit by chris_at_lucas on Jun 4, '04