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"Adult" daughter age 20, left home at 18, trying to reconnect.

Started by Amytx5, June 04, 2013, 10:28:14 pm

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Amytx5

Hello, This is my first post and Im thrilled to have found this site. I will try to shorten a LONG story but I tend to be long winded. I am a stay at home mom to 5 children. 4 sons ages 22, 17, and 14 yr old twins. 1 daughter who will be 21 in Aug. My daughter who is dating a man 6 yrs older then her, left our home in the beginning of her Senior yr in highschool. She was dating bf for 4 mths at the time. As soon as she turned 18, he told her she didnt have to follow our rules anymore and she agreed. She moved in with my inlaws, (mil is an alcoholic, fil is enabler) we have been separated from inlaws for 7 yrs.  Inlaws were more then happy to take our daughter in, buy her a car, a new laptop etc... anything to keep her from coming back home. Our daughter did leave initially because we had 3 arguments about her bf's controlling behavior.  BF is also the father of a 6 yr old boy that he had with a 15 yr old girl. This "Man" is a manipulator, control freak, has no morals, values or work ethic. He is a "the world is against poor me" type of person and our daughter thinks he is her saviour. He has been physically and verbally abusive to our eldest son, my brother and my husband and myself. My daughter and I have attended counseling to no avail, it always ended as a screaming match. She moved in with bf 6mths after she graduated hs and has been with him ever since. She recently decided to get in touch with her older brother via text and decided to try to mend some fences with us. There has been very limited texting , basically very superficial, the weather, work, basic conversation, extremely limited.   I have been so emotionally void, I almost let this situation destroy me and I have finally recovered and startting living again. I am afraid to let her in, I have dreams of the relationship we had, when our family was all together. She was a wonderful sister/daughter. This is her first boyfriend and she has completely been brainwashed. I want to try to let her in, but I am anticipating that a conversation is coming about marrying this man. I will NEVER accept him into our family and he will NEVER be allowed to treat any other family member like he did before. My daughter left 6 of us, my parents, my brother and his 3 children, my great aunt and her family. All for this man. He should be in jail for his relationship with a 15 yr old, and then for my daughter when she was 16. (We were unaware of their relationship at that age) I have so much anger and frustration. We had a beautiful family and all for selfish wants/needs, she walked away for a man that has nothing to offer her. I dont know how to relate to her now and as soon as i mention her bf and not accepting him, im afraid the war will begin again. Any thoughts?

Didi.lost

Well our daughter lost almost everything including her 6 yr old son for a man, that we do not like, and she blames all of us for it.  He is the world to her and we are nothing if we don't accept him.  So that's the way it is.  It has to run its course.
I do believe there is trouble in paradise now and she will see who he is but the rift in our family because of him seems unrepairable now.  She said some pretty nasty hurtful things to us.

All I can say is be patient and maybe things will change and she will return to you and maybe not.  But you need to live your life for you as she is living her life for her. 

I choose not to interact with my DD anymore until she learns some respect for her parents and brother and treats people better.  We can't live in her constant chaos anymore. I too... am afraid to let her in.  It's unhealthy for us.  It just is what it is.

Pooh

Welcome Amy.  Please read the posts under "Open Me First" for the rules and such.  Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to do so.

I'm with Didi.  Our AC make some bad choices and all we can do is watch the train wreck that is coming.  I think we can be supportive, without being enabling.  Very fine line and hard to do but I learned that to do that, I had to hold my ground.

Set your boundaries with her.  Be patient and keep the texts superficial.  She could be honestly trying to mend fences or she could be testing to see if she can still get her way.  Only time will tell but that doesn't mean you have to live with her choices.  She does.  There is no way I would let "him" back into the fold after being abusive and preying on young girls.  He's a predator and although your DD may get mad and stop contacting you again, if/when the conversation comes up I would let her know that she was welcome, but he was not.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

luise.volta

Welcome - My take is that you can't change her. She has lessons to learn...or not...and part of that is facing the consequences of her choices. None of us here can make sense of the senseless or expect our adult children to meet our very normal and realistic expectations. What most of us learn is to get that we did our best and our job is done. ..for better or for worse. I agree that boundaries are imperative. I also agree that the superficial interactions you are now experiencing need to be maintained. You have a life to live and other priorities. I would say - stand by them. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Sunny

Thank you posting your story - I am in much the same position as you. My much loved youngest daughter went off the rails at 17 because of a guy no one in our family can get on with. My relationship with her is very rocky and it is really hard. Hearing from others struggling with the same issues helps all of us so I hope you will come back and let us know how things are working out.

Just a thought- is there any chance your daughter is pregnant and this is why she is trying to get back in touch with family? There are a number of mothers who have posted similiar stories to ours in various corners of the internet, but usually the event that brings daughters back to their family of origin is a pregnancy and the typical age seems to be around twenty.

I think the thing you have to avoid in your situation is regrets that may last a very long time. She is reaching out- for whatever reason- and as angry and fearful as you feel, try not to burn any bridges with your daughter in case you regret it some way down the line. Allow the superficial communication to continue and just let some time go by until you can see what she is after. If she is wanting to marry this guy, then after all that has happened I think the ball is in her court to prove to you why you should decide to accept him if that is what she wants. He would also have to show  that he has changed and has matured into a better man than the guy you knew a few years ago. Maybe though she is starting to have her own doubts about the guy. If you turn your back on her now, and she is having doubts about her relationship,  she may end up continuing to stay in the relationship because she feels she has no other support. Cautiously open the door a crack and see what happens.

Amytx5

First, Let me thank you all for your support. Im sure you know how uplifting it is to realize that we are not alone in this struggle. I have read and will re-read your posts in the weeks to come for encouragement about keeping our "relationship" on a superficial level. It makes me genuinely dismayed to look back to all I have lost. We were just beginning to have a "friendship" and going out to lunch, taking bus trips with other moms and daughters and I was really enjoying have a grown up daughter. I have had to let go of that dream.  This was a child that I never had to punish, she never talked back, drank, smoked, stayed out late... none of the normal teenage  patterns, I thought I had beat the odds. I would trade any of the teenage behaviors for her to be out of this domineering relationship but obviously I dont have that option. As for my daughter being pregnant, I honestly dont think that is the case, but I could be wrong. She did have a minor surgery to have a mole removed, I think she was scared when the dr said she had to take more of it for testing and maybe saw that she "might" need some reassurance or support. Thats the only reason I can see so far for her wanting to reconnect. Now that that situation is over for her, I think she will go back to living her life with him w/o really bothering with us.  I find it very difficult to be superficial, I am very upfront and opinionated with everyone in my life, I am honest to a fault so its so hard to just say "thats nice" and "Im glad things are going well"... I know that she is completely aware that this behavior is uncharacteristic for me.. I often wonder what shes thinking. I have put the invitation out there for her to have pizza or a movie with her younger brothers. She has said she would like to but has made no attempt to set a date/time. So i will not bring it up again. My boys finally have their mother back, I feel in control and I am no longer letting her life interfere with mine. It took a very long time to get to this point. I look back on my online journal and cry thinking of how low I was to write what I did. I still cry for what could have been and what my dreams were but i now that I will survive with or without her. I would prefer to have my family intact if it can be that way and work but not at  the cost of my other children, my extended family or my husband. I will keep you updated!

Pen

Jujulia, welcome to the site. Please take a moment to read the pink-highlighted items under Open Me First on the home page. We ask this of all new members so everyone understands the policies of the site and to make sure it's a good fit.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Whitney

Amy, I feel for you...I have been through similar circumstances with my daughter starting at age 16.  She is 23 now, and I can't say that a miracle has happened, but at least she is moving in a more positive direction. 
The best I can offer is:  be patient, and don't "burn bridges" as that would eliminate any hope you have of your relationship improving and being a part of your daughter's life.
Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
(Voltaire  1694 - 1778)