Author Topic: My Troubled Daughter  (Read 6021 times)

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Winter04

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My Troubled Daughter
« on: May 06, 2011, 07:43:29 AM »
I am new to this site. I suppose I am desperately trying to find a way to change my own behavior and gain wisdom/advice from those in the same position I find myself. My 25-yr old daughter barely speaks to me. I have given up trying to have a phone conversation with her, and heaven forbid I dare send her a text message. I have lived through a decade of her psychological issues (anorexia, depression, OCD, anxiety, etc), and I am slowly learning to let go of the expectations I once had for her. She maintains a low-paying job, and continues to be involved with an emotionally abusive "boyfriend." She says she is attending college (she lives two hours from me). However, I have learned the painful way how frequently she lies to me - I don't analyze the reasons - but I never know what to believe. Her father and I have heavily subsidized her existence financially for several years and my resentment at this is escalating. Oddly, I can't seem to break this pattern, because I am so afraid of what will happen to her if I do. I know that despite my profound disappointment and grief, I will always love her. I can't bring myself to cut off the flow of money, regardless of the impact this is having on me personally. This situation is draining me emotionally, physically, and financially. It goes without saying I am heartbroken. I sense she hates me, but needs the money.

holliberri

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 07:47:51 AM »
I am sorry, Winter, but welcome you the boards! I think a lot of women are going through something similar here.

If you haven't already done so, please read our Forum Agreement under "Open Me." Just a small formality. I hope you are comfortable here!

Offline Pen

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 08:39:00 AM »
Winter, welcome. I'm sorry you're going through this. It's painful to mourn the death of our expectations for our adult children and to realize our relationship with them has become less than fulfilling. There are no Hallmark cards for this. Some of us are embarrassed as if society is judging us - we must have done something wrong, our parenting is suspect, etc. etc. which only adds to our pain. Please take care of yourself, Winter, as you move through this process. As Luise & other WW say, trying to make sense of it is often futile, and the only person you can change is yourself. Luise also says that we were someone before we had kids and we'll still be someone when they're grown and gone. Or something like that. You will stop supporting your DD financially when you are ready to start living for yourself. {{{hugs}}}
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

justus

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2011, 08:41:13 AM »
Winter, I think you are doing her a great deal of harm by throwing money at her. You are keeping her from becoming an adult and you are doing it to appease your own feelings of fear rather than for her benefit. I get the feeling that there are some control issues here as well. If you can keep her coming back for money, she won't totally cut you out of her life and you have a "right" to information and some involvement in her life.

Maybe I am way off, if so, ask yourself what you are getting out of this, and if this is a healthy way to get what you need.

It is well bast the time to let her go.

MoonChild

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 08:47:40 AM »
Hello and welcome! I too am new to this site as of a few days ago. I am not a mother but yesterday I shared the following on a different thread (FDIL said she won) and I thought that maybe some of my experiences and revelations may help you find insight into what your daughter may be going through and feeling, as I went through a similar situation:

I will say that growing up my parents made sure that I had any opportunity that I wanted, they wanted me to be able to succeed in life, as any parent would want for their child. However when I made the decision to put college on hold our relationship became strained. I was so used to having them provide everything for me a place to live, food to eat, my own car, spending money, etc. Now they never took any of this away out right, but they did begin to limit things and they expected me to find a job and begin to pay my own credit card bills. They wanted me to learn the value of the money I was earning and to do this I had to fail, and I am so thankful they let me fall!
When I moved out it was hard for all of us, they didn’t want me to leave and I didn't want to leave 'the good life', but I knew that if I didn't get out there on my own I never would and I would never be able to prove to them that I could make it on my own. When I would get into financial trouble I was always too scared to tell my parents for the fear of them being disappointed, or the thought of them thinking 'I told you so'. The only thing worse than an angry parent is a disappointed parent, at least in my mind. It took me over a year to get my finances in order and learn how to handle my money. I had to go through closing my credit cards, paying off my debts, having my phone turned off a couple of times, living without a car, the list of learning experiences goes on and on. Over time though I was able to establish a budget to meet my expenses and needs. 
Sometimes as children, especially spoiled children, when our parents provide everything for us we begin to just expect these things without a question, and then when they begin to take these things away we don’t initially realize that they are trying to help us grow. Instead, at least in my experience, we begin to think things like 'why don't they love me anymore, am I not good enough anymore, etc'. In my situation, I was able to accept their decision to stop paying my bills when we all sat down and they verbalized their feelings on the entire situation and gave a clear explanation as to why they were doing this and the ways they would still like to help me to achieve my goals of living on my own, by helping me create a budget. When I began to prove to them that I was serious about everything we agreed to, that is when our relationship began to heal and grow on many new and different levels; now they were seeing that I was taking responsibility for my past, my present and my future. It is hard to see the ones we love fall but to see them climb and learn from their missteps is such a joy for all involved.
Keep the lines of communication open, even when my parents and I were in a rough patch they still made a point of inviting me to dinner every Sunday, for me it was their way of saying 'we love you, we understand that you want to be on your own but we are always here for you and you will always have a spot at the dinner table.' It is easy to cut someone off but it is so much harder to say 'I'm sorry'. Sometimes we have to fall to learn to grow and sometimes we have to let someone go so that they can come back.
As children, for me anyways, we want nothing more than for our parents to be proud of us and our accomplishments. And hearing those words 'we love you and we are so proud' is the only thing we want to hear. As one who is still trying to overcome my self-imposed pressure to 'be good' I will often doubt myself and become a bit depressed because I feel like I am not living up to my parents' expectations. I wonder if other children create false parental expectations in their own mind too that causes them unnecessary stress? When I vocalize my feelings to my parents they always make a point of assuring me that their only expectations of me are that they want me to be happy in life and then they tell me how proud they are and that they love me. Sometimes it is the simplest things we say that have the most profound impact, good and bad. If we all made a point of telling those we love that we love them and we did so everyday would that put everyone's fears of acceptance at bay and thus we may all have less conflict in our lives?

And to the Moms out there please know that there is nothing wrong with being a softie and helping the children you love. We tend to look at being 'soft' as a weakness but for me I think it just means that you have so much love you tend to let it cloud your vision. My parents would tease me that while eating dinner the dogs would always sit next to me because I was a 'sucker' for their cute begging puppy faces, and I would always retort that I was not a sucker I was a LOVER!


Offline themuffin

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 09:37:06 AM »
Winter, welcome. I'm sorry you're going through this. It's painful to mourn the death of our expectations for our adult children and to realize our relationship with them has become less than fulfilling. There are no Hallmark cards for this. Some of us are embarrassed as if society is judging us - we must have done something wrong, our parenting is suspect, etc. etc. which only adds to our pain. Please take care of yourself, Winter, as you move through this process. As Luise & other WW say, trying to make sense of it is often futile, and the only person you can change is yourself. Luise also says that we were someone before we had kids and we'll still be someone when they're grown and gone. Or something like that. You will stop supporting your DD financially when you are ready to start living for yourself. {{{hugs}}}

So well written, Pen.  Such true and wise words.  You are right, there is no Hallmark card for this.  When I did a search (My son hates me) I didn't expect to find anything.  It is also true that you wonder if others think DC may have reasons, although you, yourself can't imagine any that would create such hatred.  It is a futile waste of energy to try to figure it out.  I have heard stories of terrible abuse and still the DC love the parents.  And here the WW haven't done anything close to that and we don't know why our DC don't seem to love us.  There is no rhyme or reason to it so don't kill yourself trying to figure it out.

Winter, I think you are doing her a great deal of harm by throwing money at her. You are keeping her from becoming an adult and you are doing it to appease your own feelings of fear rather than for her benefit. I get the feeling that there are some control issues here as well. If you can keep her coming back for money, she won't totally cut you out of her life and you have a "right" to information and some involvement in her life.

Maybe I am way off, if so, ask yourself what you are getting out of this, and if this is a healthy way to get what you need.

It is well bast the time to let her go.

Justus-I think Winter is doing herself a great deal of harm as well.  I don't think that Winter is trying to stop DD from becoming an adult by giving her money, nor do I believe she's trying to contol her.   I think that she's trying to hang on to her the only way she knows how.  I thinks she knows that money is now the only connection she has with her DD and when she cuts that off there will be no connection with DD. 

I know what you are saying and I do agree with where you are going.  But it's a process. She needs to let this DD go.  For DD's sake as well as her own.  She needs to prepare herself for the "loss" of her child.  It seems that she's taken a step in that direction by coming here.  Hopefully, our stories and our words of wisdom will help her to move forward so that she can live her life again and be happy.

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Offline lancaster lady

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 10:41:20 AM »
Hello Winter 04 :
I have a daughter too who I support occasionally now , but more so when she was your daughter's age .
the difference is she treated me better .
If a friend of yours treated you with such contempt , would you continue to bail them out financially ?
I expect not . I don't know why we continue to support members of our family without any thanks or respect in return .
I suppose it's because we love them , but to what end ? In your case to make you ill and heartbroken .Why do this to yourself ?
From now on you must insist on a repayment program .It will help teach her the value of money and perhaps how to budget .
you're going have to be cruel to be kind ....in the end it will benefit you both .
You are the parent , do not take this abuse from your DD .

Offline themuffin

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 11:00:21 AM »
Hello Winter 04 :
I have a daughter too who I support occasionally now , but more so when she was your daughter's age .
the difference is she treated me better .
If a friend of yours treated you with such contempt , would you continue to bail them out financially ?
I expect not . I don't know why we continue to support members of our family without any thanks or respect in return .
I suppose it's because we love them , but to what end ? In your case to make you ill and heartbroken .Why do this to yourself ?
From now on you must insist on a repayment program .It will help teach her the value of money and perhaps how to budget .
you're going have to be cruel to be kind ....in the end it will benefit you both .
You are the parent , do not take this abuse from your DD .

Winter-I wish I had followed those wise words before allowing DS to move back home almost a year ago.  We would probably still have a relationship.  Or at least some respect.

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Offline jill

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 11:04:04 AM »
Hi Winter, and welcome to WWU.  Many of us are going through the same thing as you.  The children we gave birth to and nurtured and would have died for have just kicked us to the kerb. I would cease giving her money, and try to back off and not contact her.  Try to think of yourself, very difficult I know.  Sometimes I think I am doing well, but it has not been a good week with Mothers' day on Sunday.    Best Wishes...................Jill

LaurieS

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 11:22:37 AM »
I don't know why we all fall prey to the 'Hallmark Moments'... so many people were sad when Thanksgiving was approaching, they don't even catch their breath and then it's Christmas.... Valentine's, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and the list goes on and on and with it so do the reasons to be sad.  We were even sad over Halloween.  I'm not going to let a holiday amplify my feelings whether my feelings are high or low. 

I'm afraid that we are all just continually setting ourselves up for heartache and why, because we in part think this is how we are suppose to feel if the holiday is less then picture perfect.  If we continue to dread the upcoming holiday days even weeks in advance then how can we feel nothing but sadness once the day arrives.  I vote for crossing out all the holidays on my calendar and then I can dread what I'm suppose to dread.. the day I have marked off for a dentist appt.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 11:25:09 AM »
I agree Laurie ....
I just think it makes people who are alone more aware of their predicament .

MoonChild

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2011, 11:27:29 AM »
i.e. valentines day = singles awareness day

LaurieS

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2011, 11:34:27 AM »
You don't even have to be alone LL.... I see people who are bummed if it's not the perfect setting as in anything less then a scene for a Rockwell painting.  And we are doing this to ourselves.  I talked to my grandmother the other day, she is 99 and it's been less then a year since grandpa passed away at 100 .... even at 99 she is finding things to smile about and a life that is worth living to it's fullest.  At 98 she got on a airplane for the first time and took a trip to Florida.. she is back in Florida as I speak, having a good time again.

It's like buying that new wallet LL...you didn't open it and see the canned picture that they put in the photo slot and sigh because that isn't what you or your dh looks like.  We don't leave the photos that come in our picture frames in place because they represent our lives better then we do.. so why do we gage our worth and our relationships based on what someone else declares is the perfect holiday?

Offline themuffin

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 11:39:20 AM »
I don't know why we all fall prey to the 'Hallmark Moments'... so many people were sad when Thanksgiving was approaching, they don't even catch their breath and then it's Christmas.... Valentine's, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day and the list goes on and on and with it so do the reasons to be sad.  We were even sad over Halloween.  I'm not going to let a holiday amplify my feelings whether my feelings are high or low. 

I'm afraid that we are all just continually setting ourselves up for heartache and why, because we in part think this is how we are suppose to feel if the holiday is less then picture perfect.  If we continue to dread the upcoming holiday days even weeks in advance then how can we feel nothing but sadness once the day arrives.  I vote for crossing out all the holidays on my calendar and then I can dread what I'm suppose to dread.. the day I have marked off for a dentist appt.

I didn't think of it that way.  I get what you are saying and it's so true.  I won't fall prey to those beautiful Hallmark sentiments during the holidays because they won't represent my family life.  I won't look at the Mother's Day cards where the DC is nothing but love and praise and allow myself to be too depressed (or at least I'll try not to).  When Pen wrote there was no Hallmark card for this I immediately started to think, "Yeah, right!  I've never seen the card that says on the cover, "Sorry your son hates you".

Hey, maybe there should be. Maybe we should start a new line of Hallmark Cards.  Some of them could even be humorous. "Sorry your son hates you.....Thank God you've got two more!"  Hey, maybe that was religious.

Ummm...just kidding.  We need to smile today.  We should smile everyday. No one has the power to wipe the smiles off our faces but us.

WWU!!!

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LaurieS

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Re: My Troubled Daughter
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 11:44:44 AM »
even your butt cheeks turned sideways is a smile