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19 year old daughter disrespect

Started by Pattipal4, December 27, 2011, 09:00:28 am

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Pattipal4

So happy to have found this forum.  I am crushed, baffled, angry all at the same time.  I never thought my now 19 year old AD, who was the joy of my life up until about 13 years old,  would ever have the nerve to speak and act horribly disrespectful.  I just never pictured this.  Her father and I divorced when she was 7, and I'm certain that has contributed to her inner turmoil and hatred for me. I always did what I thought was best for her and her sister who is 23.  I also have a 4 year old son from my second marriage.  During the second daughters teen years she morphed into a very difficult person to parent.  My husband and I did the best we could, even providing a lot of extras that most families cannot do.  She always had a way of wearing me down to get what she wanted.  For her high school graduation I was able to take her and her sister on a vacation.  She treated me with such disdain the entire time and talked to her boyfriend continually.  She did not make the grades to go off to college but wanted me to pay rent for her to attend community college away from home.  I refused to do that.  Then she wanted to live at home, but stay overnight with her bf whenever she wanted. That was the last straw. The foot finally went down and I would not allow that,  especially after all of the "I hate living here, I can't stand you, why would I want to be in this house".  On our way home from her graduation present vacation, I told her to call her boyfriend, have him pick her up, and move in with him.  I'd had enough.  I didn't even let her back in my house as she already had a bag packed.  They lived together 5 months when I got the call, crying, "we broke up".  So I rented a u haul and packed up all her things while she was at work, because she was too distaught, and moved her back home.
48 hours later she was overnight with the boyfriend again.  24 hours after that I had her pack up and get out again.  Now she still has the nerve to write texts like "you can't even be a caring mom, I don't have a relationship with you, nor do I want one" and added expletives which I cannot repeat.  All I asked of her was to follow 2 rules, speak respectfully and don't stay out overnight.  I would not compromise on the rules in my home.  How do these people we choose to bring into the world, provide for, love, support, end up thinking its ok to speak directly to a parent this way?  How or where or why is this ok?  No parent deserves this.  Thank you for allowing me this forum to vent and know that I am not alone.  Any thoughts are appreciated.






lisafox41

Welcome Patti,
You should be so proud of yourself for setting limits. I was never able to do that until the last 6 months or so.
I'm not sure why our children speak to us as they do. I agree with you...it is not okay.
We can't control what they do as adults. If she can't speak to you with respect, then she can't speak to you at all. I can't tell you how many times I have had to tell my AD "I'm hanging up now. Call me when you call talk respectfully."
Our homes must be kept peaceful. It is not asking too much of your AD. Stay strong, there are soooo many of us going through the same thing.

pam1

Welcome Pattipal4 :)

Please read the Forum Agreement and WWU History (both threads located in the category Open Me First.)  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

I'm so sorry what you're going through but I think you'll find a lot of support here. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

luise.volta

Welcome - This is pretty much a "been there, done that" Website.  There is nothing remotely fair about what you have gone through. Most of us here have spent a lot of time and effort trying to make sense of the senseless. Healing comes when we get that's not going to work and we start building a life for ourselves beyond parenting. You did your best...and you deserve so much better. Now, it's time to give it to yourself. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Pooh

Welcome Patti.  Good for you for telling her to leave again.  They have no idea what's out there in the big, bad world but they sure have it all figured out.  She needs to get the dose of reality and get a true picture.  Like Luise said, time to give to yourself.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

themuffin

Pattipal, I hear ya!  Thank God for this forum, but what a shame that one even has to exist.  I have a theory about our rotten AC.  Now I'm sure some of you will disagree, because there is no one answer for all problems.  But in my own personal case and in many of the stories I've heard I think that we are treated the way we are because we've been too good to them.

I honestly believe this (at least in my case).  I didn't raise my children the way I was raised or the way my parents said they were raised.  See my parents, parent's didn't take any crap.  They were loving, sure. But they were also strict disciplinarians.  I was not allowed to raise my voice, roll my eyes, suck my teeth, or even look look like had an attitude.  My opinion didn't matter, my mother never permitted me to beg until she changed her mind.  My parents never tried to be our friends.   

Somehow I strayed from that formula.  I thought that I could be a parent and a friend. They didn't have any fear of us because we were "talking" parents.  We rarely spanked or punished.  They were allowed to voice their opinions and we actually listened.  We didn't let our no's be no and yes's be yes, like my mother always said.  My DH and I aren't even sure when it happened but we looked around us and realized that we had lost control.  Our children considered us their peers. And not even peers that they liked.  They considered us peers to which they were superior to.  The children who we had allowed to voice their opinions, now spoke their minds, and it didn't matter to them how they said it.  Lord forbid you ask them to do anything, because now these "opinions" that we allowed them to have voiced complaints!   We got to the point when we stopped asking them to anything because we didn't want to deal with the attitude.

We weren't rich by any means, but we also weren't poor. They had many, many nice things and they knew it.  Not only did they know it, they grew to expect it.  And not only did they expect it, they stopped appreciating it.  See, again I strayed from the formula.  My parents didn't spoil us and give us everything we wanted when we wanted it. We had to earn it.  Often times we had to save up for it ourselves and buy it.  Gosh, but we appreciated everything we got.  My children grew up feeling entitled.  Things came too easy, but yet still they complained about the few things they didn't get. Go figure??

So when you ask what makes them think they can talk to us that way, I believe it's because they have no respect for us, no fear of us (yes, I feared both my parents!!!) We had real consequences for our actions.  We didn't get time outs. We weren't allowed to talk by.  My mother lived by the verse in Proverbs, "Spare the rod, spoil the child." So many kids today are out of control and it's only getting worst. 

My DS is having our first GC.  My DH is not over the moon. DS broke a bond between them that I fear will never be repaired. We were having a family meeting because DS had said some hurtful things about MS.  We were sitting in the livingroom trying to be like Mike and Carol Brady, you know, the talk and listen kind of thing, when DS broke in a verbal assault against DH using curse words in combinations that I had never heard before.  The lack of respect were like physical blows..but when the verbal blows got to the point where DS was going to physically assault DH that was it.  I must say that although I know my DH loves DS, always has and always will, he will never feel the same about his namesake again. 

DH is not excited about the future GC.  He's deeply hurt and disappointed by the behaviors of DS.  He's never said this but I know it to be true.   DH and I were married very young. DH was only 20 when DS was born.  We went without many things and devoted our lives to them...Willingly,  because we love them and they brought us joy.  We did everything we could for them and tried our best to make them happy.  So when DS did this DH he was hurt to his core.  Thus, as terrible as this may sound, and it is sad and terrible, but the only time hubby displayed some excitement about the baby was when he said, "Now he'll see that it's not easy being a parent. And I hope he (the baby) grows up and treats him the same way he's treated us, so he can see how it feels."

I know, I know. ..it was not a nice, loving, parental thing to say. But I did kinda understand where he was coming from.


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Smilesback@u

Keep respecting yourself and set those boundaries like you did.  Very very very healthy of you to think and respond appropriately.  You are a mother all of your life, and believe it or not, our AC will get a clue one day that they cannot buffalo us -- we will always have the power/authority in our relationship with them because we are their parents.  It is not an equal relationship - not like any other relationship they will have with anyone else - complicated as that sounds.  It is so.  All they can really do is decide to respect us, honor us as their parents, and let the past go.  That's all they can do to get on with their own lives.  They can live their lives the way they want too, just not under our roof.  Good luck to our AC and they will work on finding their own happiness, by loving and being loved.  Hopefully they do not burn a bridge to come back home for visits.  I am just not too keen anymore on being the warm nurturing Earth Mother - I am no saint theresa either, or Dr. Phil.  Their problems get too complicated for me to figure out anymore.  They are old enough to get help when they need it from a counselor.  I wish you peace, as you are one great mother in my book :)

Pattipal4

Your responses are helping me get through the self doubt, shock and anxiety of knowing my AD is perfectly fine with having pronounced that she no longer wants a relationship.  After seeing her on Christmas Eve (she arrived unannounced after I had asked 3 times if she were coming over or not), I had thought there was hope.  Just Monday night I texted her to please ask her older sister,  (my other AD) who didn't have her cell phone with her, to please let me know when she would be home because her 4 year old brother (my baby) was asking for her.
The reply I received was, "We're busy having fun. She is not at your beckon  call (beck and call) everytime she is home from college." 
I was shocked. How dare she, or anyone,  respond in such a way? I return to the saying, "No one can make your feel awful without your consent". I look forward to returning to work where there is mutual respect among peers. 
I completely agree that the theory that there was a  formula in place with the past generation that worked. Perhaps we became obsessed with our children's "self-esteem" and created  the "entitled" generation.  We spent too much money on them, and too much of our own time meeting their expectations.  And I am also over trying to live up to the "let's sit down and talk about it" parent.  I don't recall having those conversations with my parents.  And everytime they said "no" I'm sure I was mad at them, but I'm glad for it now.  They never even had to say: "if you want something,  work for it yourself". It was simply understood and woven into the fabric of the community.  A lot of things were different then.  Maybe with the economic crash and less income, parents will spend less and expect more from their children.
  Looking back to when my children were young, I'm certain I just caved in to their demands because I could, or I wanted them to like me more than I liked my mom at their age. 
Now I have a 4 year old boy and will surely do things differently.  Hope springs eternal.

luise.volta

I think it is very hard when we are in a cultural shift...(if we are)...to know that's what's going on. I look back and "entitled" is a word that just didn't describe children when I was growing up. Our mothers, mine had a college degree, didn't drive. We walked to school events and church events and the streets were safe. We didn't get delivered or picked up. We knew a depression was going on and we were all excited when we got to pick though a Goodwill bag those more fortunate had put togehter...before it went to its final destination. When there was a family event, my dad, also a college grad, brought home a 5 cent candy bar and split it 5 ways and we were tickled pink.



Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Smilesback@u

Yes, each family has a different culture it seems.  My parents were from depression-era and they worked hard to get somewhere in life to have security for their family.  My Dad was military and I never had him home for holidays or any great length.  My Mom was an alcoholic from when I was 4 years old.  My Dad would be gone 9 months at a time or more.  Once he was home more I was a teenager and I didn't really know him or him me.  We didn't talk about life, except he was super critical.  I developed an attitude, big time.  Who cares?  We are not close, my Dad and I or my sister and I, but I respect him.  I have many childhood issues in our relationship because of his *My way or the highway.*  I was a brat, a military brat.  Anyways, that's history.  Years later, I tolerate more than I should from my AC because I want to learn how to communicate with them as adults.  I accept now that I don't really know them that well as they are so very different from when they lived with me as dependents.  What they share with me, is what I have to go on, for knowing who they are becoming.  Some I like, some not.  Their actions often speak volumes of how they feel about me as a parent.  I refuse to devalue myself when they have an issue with what I say or do.  I have been through too much raising them, as well as trying to get along with them to keep thinking I am the one with the problem all the time.  The DS who got into trouble the most, says to me it was not my fault, not my parenting that caused his problems.  Another DS is married and he feels I don't give him enough $$$ and owe him -- ha, and he makes the most $$ in the family.  The middle one seems to be aware that he did not get into trouble in h.s. but did alot when he was in elementary school.  I don't rub it in with any of them -- they were kids and growing up and I disciplined them then.  Now they have to learn to deal with their problems as adults.  I am grateful they all lived through their growing up years.  there are possibilities if you are alive of getting it together, you know?  Now they are on their own, and have to figure out how to stay alive, stay healthy, and make their way financially and happily.  I am helping them sometimes with $$$, and encouragement, but it is getting to be less and less.  They were brought up without name-brand clothes, or big-ticket items.  They were expected to work for those things if they wanted them, and earn money for a car and car insurance if they wanted to drive and date.  If that was being mean to them, oh wells.  I worked full time as did my ex and despite that, we still sat down together for breakfasts and dinners and participated in all their activities.  That was sacrifice on our parts as parents -- to be responsible, be home to supervise, to cook, to clean and to teach them how to care for themselves.  That included teaching them how to do chores.  If I ever felt too tired and taken advantage of, like a victim, I would figure out how to delegate more work to the sons.   They were getting older and could do more -- they cleared the table, they did the dishes, emptied the dishwasher, did everybody's laundry and took turns with all those jobs.  I used to joke how I got my windows cleaned every week just to make sure everybody was busy.  I didn't need my windows cleaned -- it was the principle.   I made sure they were busy until they graduated from h.s.   How can our AC imagine we need to do anything more?  It certainly isn't because I raised them to think somebody is going to wait on them hand and foot.  good grief!  I am not going to turn the clock back.  Anyways, that is my tirade for letting myself go and not realizing that if I left them make me feel guilty for something it is my own fault.  I made mistakes, but who doesn't?  They are grown up now, and your daughter just like my son have no one to blame but themselves if they are not making it.  Everybody has to work hard, and maybe our economics will turn things back around.  Hope so...

luise.volta

That's the bottom line, Smiles...they are responsible. Blaming is just a denial of responsibility. Good for you for being so clear about that. I have yet to meet anyone who had a perfect childhood...growing up is tough. There are no perfect parents and contrary to popular belief, there are no perfect kids. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

firelight

Hi Pattipal4....welcome! 

I was just saying to my DH tonight re: my own GC....  Since my DD and SIL have decided to live on skidrow (literally), my own new grandbabe and SIL's 2 sons will probably grow up to be successful adults....why?  because nothing will ever be handed to them as I handed to  my DD.  They have nothing to hand a soul so anything those GC want, they will have to bust their butts for.....

your comment:  "Maybe with the economic crash and less income, parents will spend less and expect more from their children." is so true. 

You are with cyber friends here and I hope you'll find the same comfort I did with the WW on this site.  It helps us get through the craziness with our own AC.  And I thought after the teen years that sort of craziness would be over.  It kind of starts up another way when they're AC.  We have all scratched our heads wondering where we failed.  But they have minds of their own.  We didn't raise them the way they're acting.  I just had lunch with a friend today who has 3 AC.  2 are doing great and the 1, well, it was like it was like I was looking in the mirror talking with my friend....and I told her so.  There are so many of us going through similar situations.  I think luise is right...it is some sort of cultural shift/paradigm shift.  I don't think it's for the best.  I still have hope for my DD but I'm shocked at what she is settling for and the wonderful bright future she once had and walked away from  to settle for what she has now:  skidrow.  I am learning every day to handle my own emotions and actions but no less, astonished.
Firelight

"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~

Pooh

December 29, 2011, 05:47:29 am #12 Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 05:49:04 am by Pooh
themuffin, I totally agree with you.  I think of that all the time and do think my kids had an easy life.  Yes, they were disciplined and I didn't just hand over things to them most of the time, trying to instill the "work for it" ethic that we and our parents grew up with.  But when I thought back, my idea of working for it was still handing it to them.  They had a chore list and if they completed everything, I would rent them a game or something they wanted.  Thinking back now, I had a chore list just because I was expected to pitch in and do things.  No reward for it, that was what I was supposed to do. 

The other thing I think my generation did wrong, well myself and everyone I know I should say.  My kids grew up with video games galore, computers and tons of technology.  They had 5-6 different types of game equipment by the time they were young teens.  We bought them at birthdays and Christmas and probably had 100 games too.  When we were growing up, we didn't have that stuff and we had to go outside to play.  That made us use our imagination.  If we were bored, we had to pretend to be knights, pirates, whatever....find a good piece of stick for a sword, cardboard for a shield and create our fortress in the woods.  We had to think and resolve problems.  We had to learn there were consequences if we didn't make it in by dark and figured out the fastest way to our houses from the other neighborhood and had it timed perfectly.  We had to learn how to get the crawdad off our toe because we weren't supposed to be in the creek barefooted anyway.  My two, they didn't have to think.  Bored?  Pop a different game in.  Get on the computer.  They didn't have to resolve issues.  They did not have to use their brain to figure out what to do.  They were never late for curfew because they were sitting in their rooms playing with all that technology.  Can't get past a certain level on a board?  Look up the cheats on the computer instead of spending days figuring it out.  We had a problem...we couldn't move on until we resolved it.  They had a problem....forget that...move along to the next thing.

The good side?  The good habits I taught them along the way stuck with YS and he is doing wonderful and chooses to take responsibility for what he does.  The bad side?  The bad habits I taught them along the way stuck with OS and he's lazy, and moves on when things aren't going his way.

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

firelight

U said a mouthful there, Smilesback@u!  Life certainly is full of lessons throughout life...who knew we'd still be getting emotional bumps and bruises at this point....and I'm joining you as a lifelong learner too.  Peace back at ya!   8)
Firelight

"When you allow life to flow... without struggle... your Soul is restored."   ~z2z~

Smilesback@u

Thanks, firelight.  I think it is an everyday job for me right now to not let go of my stance that the Dear Adult Sons, DAS, can figure out for themselves how to spend their time and money without my worrying about it anymore.  I can live without seeing them, and realize they are busy with their own lives.  I read another post, forget who said it, but really, do I need all this drama anymore?  LIfe is short and I have work to do, like the Pooh, for instance, I could count all the bees in the hive.  Lalala, I am going to be 60 in a couple months, still working full time and saving for retirement.  Get a clue, I am not going to pay for airfares to visit me or pick up the tab for restaurant when I visit.  I am not made out of money.  Still have a good rant left in me about this, I guess.  Anyways, keep the laughs coming...they sure help :)