Arguments over car

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiseChoices, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Daughter (21) gets to use my car while I am away on vacation for a month because she has to get to school twice a week (2 hour drive each way) and we also thought shopping for groceries would be good independence for her. Now she is applying for a job which she will most likely get (and I am in favor of) but it looks like she will constantly use my car while I am gone which was not really the deal to begin with. My rule is nobody drives my car, but obviously I have to make concessions when I am not here and and has to get to school . (The job would be her first job)

    So, she wants to go to her friends house on the day I am leaving on my trip. I would prefer if she was home to see me off but in all fairness she offered to take me to airport directly after school (which I would have to go with her to big city) and then she wanted to go on to her friend's who lives 45 minutes from airport. This is all a lot of mileage which I am always concerned about. (car already has 180K miles)

    She now wants to stay at friends house for 2 nights .I am guessing she is maybe escaping her feelings of me leaving because she mentioned before it was hard for her when I go .But she didn't specifically say that .

    I agreed to one night this morning, not 2. I am not comfortable with my car being gone for 2 days in my absence . She already said they would not use my car for anything while she is there , they would use the friend's car, but I can't really trust it.

    So this morning, of course , she doesn't want to accept that I am only agreeing to 1 night . She has a way of pushing me .I felt pressed to give a reason when she wouldn't accept that I am not comfortable with it because when we had talked before and things were better between us, I had said that 2 nighters were a possibility.

    So I said something I should not have and I feel terrible now. I told her that I don't trust her because she lies all the time . She asked about what and I said "everything". She said that was a blanket statement which is true. It is also true that she lies all the time about what cleaning has gotten done and many other things .When she lived at school last year, she manipulated money out of me by saying she was getting a 90 day refill on a prescription but then bought a 30 and pocketed the rest of the money. She retorted that trust is a 2 way street and she did not trust me, either. And I just said that's fine.

    But, I feel awful that I told her she lies all the time about everything. It's true but I should have just stuck to my not being comfortable and not said anything about that. How do I come back from that? I am too honest with my feelings with her a lot and it always ends up biting me .I want her to feel I trust her so she makes good decisions for herself but I am also seeing now that I don't trust her, so I am pretending with her.

    Our relationship has not been great lately and I feel like she only talks to me nicely when she wants something from me. That doesn't feel good .Other than that there is a lot of criticism of me. And I feel like she can't wait to get my car while I am gone and go all over the place without Mom"s eye on her all the time . I could be wrong, of course.

    The friend lives 1 hour away from our house, and she was planning on staying there Tue-Thu some time during my absence and go to school from there . She does not like my husband (her bio Dad), claims emotional abuse during dry drunk years and has these stories of what he did (which are not outside of the realm of a frustrated parent) that she won't forgive him for. But even with me , she stays holed up in her room all day, she makes all of her own meals (that I buy the ingredients for), she doesn't eat with the family .this has been going on for 5 plus years (the separate meals and eating times) and started with her eating disorder .

    So I feel like she won't participate in the family , rejects her Dad (who pays for everything) but now wants complete freedom with my car while I am gone .she has no money, so if there were any accident, she can't pay for the deductible.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Wise, you are smart and help us all very much

    If you leave her the car, you know that she will use it whenever she wants. These kids, and even usually obidient kids, have a field day when the mouse is away. The cat will play.

    From a distance and while she has the keys expect her to do what she wants with the car. It's actually normal. She may through a party too. So either give her the keys or don't and give the rest to God. Have a wonderful vacation.
  3. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I need more specifically help with what I said to her about not trusting her. That she lies all the time about everything .I feel it was a horrible thing to say. How do I come back from that? Do I fix it? Do I leave it? Can I fix it?
  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Can you trust her?

    If not I would just say that losing my temper was not good and apologize for that then leave it.

    This is how we talk to Kay when we are at odds.

    Less is more. More leaves them with more to abuse us over and we don't deserve it. If we lied to them, they would tell us; just let it go and focus on your trip.

    Love and hugs and God bless you.
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  5. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you, Busy! You have been very supportive for me here on this board. Blessings to you!
  6. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    She doesn't lie about everything, but she does lie a lot. It's mostly over little stuff like having cleaned something when she hasn't.

    I think a problem in our relationship is that we were so close for so many years and I made mistakes in confiding in her my frustrations about my then dry drunk husband. This was pre Al-Anon and I did not know the extent to which this would damage a child . She felt she had to protect me from him (this is what she has told me). And when I went into Al-Anon and he into back into AA and things became much better between us, she struggled a lot. I wouldn't talk about Dad anymore realizing it was unhealthy.

    So do I trust her? No , right now I do not .She has thrown me under the bus repeatedly, she is manipulative when she only is nice to me when she wants something, and she wiggles out of cleaning chores like someone who ows you money and has a new excuse every day.

    I so much wish we could be close again in a healthy way. I miss hearing about her life, I miss sharing mine (she hardly ever asks about me) , I miss spending time and being silly, watching Netflix together. I am heartbroken over it and I have told her to a certain extent and she always gets really hard and won't really address it with me.
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Wise, I am so incredibly close to Amy. I can FEEL the bond. It is almost spiritual. Scary close. But....

    She is in her 20s now and was married and has kids. Our family is quiet by nature. Amy does not share her feelings much nor do I yet we are rock solid and would do anything for one another. We are more apt to play board games,bwatch movies together and crack silly jokes or cook meals together than talk. She told me more when she was a teen.

    I do not think it is odd for our adult kids to withhold things when they mature, even if they shared everything with us when they were younger. Amy is more apt to confide in her little group of peers. Again I feel this is normal.

    Now in our family we did not tell the kids our problems, but it's not like we could hide Kay from them! So they saw and knew.

    I think your daughter is pulling away in a normal way. Please don't feel badly about something that could just be normal getting older.

    I used to overthink everything Kay said. I have concluded that Kay's problems and even nastiness have much more to do with herself than about truths. To her they may be true, but she has faulty thinking.

    God bless.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  8. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Yes, that rings very true. Thank you, Busy. You are so helpful ! I am grateful.
  9. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Wise, you help ME. I'm trying to pay it forward :)
  10. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    We are all in this together .It is always so much easier to see clearly with someone else's situation than your own. I get so confused so easily when it's my life . My emotions play tricks on me. Feelings are not facts! I need to remember that. Grateful for this forum and grateful for you!
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  11. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I agree that you should not take her pulling away from you as personal.
    I do not have daughters so I do not know the closeness that you can have with a daughter (we have 3 boys, mine, his and ours together).

    My very good friend has a daughter though and they have never ever been close. My friend wants it so bad but her daughter is very cold to her. It's always been that way. Her daughter is 24 and putting herself through school to get her masters. They paid for her bachelor's degree. She did not even see her mother when she was in the hospital having a 5 pound tumor taken out that had grown on her ovary that could have been cancerous. I visited her. I could not believe her daughter didn't. I could see how painful it was for her. I just don't get it. Her daughter works hard and works hard at school and doesn't give them ANY trouble other than she is very indifferent to her mother. I don't think that is normal but what do I know?

    People say things when they are angry that they don't mean. We all do it. We are human. Don't beat yourself up.
  12. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Yes, I know. Maybe she needed to hear it. She emptied the dishwasher and put her dishes away as I have asked her to do
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  13. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    RN, no, that is not normal. I am sure it is heartbreaking. Sending your friend my prayers.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am sorry I am seeing this so late.

    This exact thing happens to me with my son. About the exact same thing. Lies. Manipulations. Failure to follow through on commitments.

    And I erupt in the exact same way.

    My son and I were very, very close. M has said that he does not think my son loves me now. I believe he does but can't act from it. This feels the same as if he didn't love me.
    I think the remedy is to come into balance in yourself. To forgive yourself. I don't think you have to clean it up with your daughter, except to say, I overreacted when we spoke last night, I'm sorry.(You don't have to spell it out. You don't have to qualify it. You don't have to grovel. Just words like that. I would not get drawn into more conversation about the issue until you figure out where you stand. See below)
    You are giving yourself too much power and control here. Nothing you say or do will effect how she acts. Or how she feels about herself. She is an adult woman. You can only effect how you feel and what you do. She will either act well or poorly. She will either strive to deal with her feelings about herself, directly or in some other way. The deciding is in her.

    It is not wrong to limit her use of your car. It is not wrong to protect yourself. If you do not feel safe or if you feel anxious about the car, or her use of the car, it is entirely fair and just to limit her use of it. In exactly the way you want. Her requirements and desires are hers to deal with.

    Personally, I think that the original plan had merit. That she use the car to go back and forth to school and to shop.

    Now all of a sudden things have ballooned to the girlfriend, etc. The job, etc. You have every right to decide this is too much. All of it or part of it.

    You could tell her:

    I realize that I spoke to soon and I am not comfortable with xxx and yyy. That's partly why I overreacted. I'm sorry. Had I thought a bit more I would have realized I only feel comfortable with xxx and yyy.

    You must get to the point where you tolerate her pulling back. She requires this of you psychologically in order to be able to pull and push herself into adulthood. If she senses you are destroyed or distraught by her separation she will continue to protect you by staying immature and dysfunctional. (At the same time it's not your fault she has set upon this constellation of behaviors in order to cope. While she needs you to be big and strong and self-sufficient, she needs to come to the point of taking responsibility for better choices, coping, and functioning.)

    I am in exactly the same place with my son. I feel exactly the same way as do you. I cope in exactly the same way. And I react in the same way.

    We don't control and we're not responsible that our children can't or won't function better. But we are responsible for accepting the reality that they present us with, in this present moment to respond the best we can. I am dealing with this same thing.

    Many of us were not able to separate psychologically from our own mothers. I was one of these women. Whether this is because our mothers were dependent upon us; or competitive, or jealous, it's different for all of us. But when our children are growing up and pull away, either in a normal way or a dysfunctional way, these old wounds are triggered. It's our challenge to deal with them through therapy, groups, introspection, etc. We can't heal by way of expecting our children to heal us or to take away our pain. Even though it feels like they are the ones that have created this hurt. They didn't. They just triggered it.

    It's hard, hard, hard.

    What happened with my girlfriend and her daughter who is a recovering bulimic is that the daughter occupied a role in her life that her husband should have filled. Her husband is an alcoholic. The mother unconsciously made the daughter an ally against the father and the daughter has hostility towards her father. The mother sees this now.

    These things can be worked out in time. But it's necessary to recognize the dynamic. Which is not so easy. Because we have so much guilt. In my own case I have a very hard time forgiving myself for anything. And as long as I don't forgive myself I will have a hard time having emotional energy to deal with my real life and responding to my son in appropriate ways based upon real circumstances.

    Our real lives only exist in the present moment. To grieve about what should have been, could be, is to give up the richness and possibility of the present moment.

    You are doing this. In real time. The thing to do NOW is to forgive yourself and to wipe the slate clean. Me too. Then decide what you would feel safe with, what you would NOT feel anxious about. What you feel would keep your daughter safe. In your own head. Knowing that you have no control over what she does. Nor do you have responsibility to ensure she does the right thing. Nor do you have the power to catalyze good choices, or self-esteem. All we can do is take our best shot.

    How can you leave on that plane feeling you acted responsibly to yourself with respect to the car?

    You can't make her feel good about herself. You can't give her the confidence to do the right thing. You can't by your blind trust, make her trustworthy. You can only try to determine what your needs are about the car.

    I would re-read your posts. In those posts you write how you really feel about the car. Listen to yourself. That's what I think.

    What will restore your internal calm is centering yourself in you.

    PS If she wants to work she is responsible to figure out how to get herself there and back. That is what I think.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  15. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Oh, Copa, that was such an insightful post. I feel like you know me and my feelings. Thank you, truly. Reading what you wrote helped me tremendously. I had already re-read your post to my other question "cleaning" the other day which also helped again today. Yes, I have to let go and it's painful. I go through stages and stages of grief. The story you told of your friend and her bulimic daughter is eerily similar to our family . My husband was dry drunk (untreated) and her and I became two peas in a pod. And I still want that with her which is a deep need within me that undoubtedly has to do with my own Mother, and you are right, is unfair to put on my daughter. It's a very deep, very old pain. I don't want to feel it, so I try to change her (to be like she used to be when she was younger) and it keeps her stuck. I need to let go. So she can grow and be an adult. Changed behavior on my part, making living amends.

    The car and my boundaries are a separate issue that I need to have the courage to set according to my own needs and wishes.

    I mix these different issues and feelings together because I get confused with all that is going on

    Again , thank you. You are a true support and take so much time to answer so many posts here with insight and compassion.
  16. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    OK, so I read through everyone's comments quickly. As usual, good advice. I will try to address a few things that stuck out at me. Paying forward... Ditto!

    [How do I come back from that? Do I fix it? Do I leave it? Can I fix it?]

    Unfortunately, none of us get a rewind. I did the same with my daughter as far as discussing adult things when I shouldn't have. Dumb? Yes Catastrophic? No. I don't think that had a thing to do with my daughter's behaviors, which started before I made her my confidant. The only bad mistake is the one we don't learn from. The way you fix it - note to self - don't do that again. You can apologize. Whether you get the same from her is another story, keep in mind why you think you need to bring it up again. She is manipulating you.

    [I get so confused so easily when it's my life . My emotions play tricks on me. Feelings are not facts! I need to remember that.]

    Don't we all? I think you told me this. Envision the conversation as though you are talking with a friend's daughter. As far as the car goes, maybe sit down with her and discuss your concerns, or write them down and give them to her. That way she can't divert. If it's because you don't trust her, give her specific behaviors as to why that is. Maybe ask her what she sees as a logical compromise. Remember she is an ADULT!

    If you feel you have done or said something that is grounds for her to push you away, address it for your sake. It could be a good sign that she is trying to find her way on her own. Give her the room she needs to fall down so she can learn to get back up on her own.

    Set limits that will allow the most room for you to enjoy your time away without worry.

    Pleazzzzzzz enjoy yourself.
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  17. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    You guys were so right! We had a conversation, daughter and I, and things were looking better .I am leaving on my trip to Europe tonight and d. was supposed to go to school and then friend's house .She changed that plan the day before and was only going to go to friends and take her midterm at friend's college library online.

    I had specifically requested that miles be kept down and that any driving in that local area to be handled by friend. Last night I used my car and all my things had been moved to trunk and car was decorated with daughter's things .She made space for passengers.

    I confronted her and asked for honesty , something we had discussed in our talk the other day. She admitted to planning to not only take friend and her sister to friends college but also then driving my car another 30-40 min to another city to pick up friends boyfriend who does not have a car! I told her I would be recording the mileage and that I was disappointed.

    I thought about the situation and came to the conclusion that I needed to set a strong consequence. So I told her this morning 4:30 am when she got up that she would not be using my car to go to friends at all because none of this was sitting right with me. I thought of you here on this board and what you would advise me to do . I especially thought of Busy and how right she had been all along!

    I feared d. would be upset and that my last day at home before my trip would be difficult because of that. I feared her backlash. I stayed calm and focused on self differentiating. I have recently learned that my feelings of anxiety and fear of conflict are the dysfunctional family systems feelings not my personal ones .This thought helped me to detach and let the guilt go that I was being too harsh and punitive.

    I was neutral with her all morning , not making any attempts to connect and "fix" anything, focused on me and my own happiness, answered any questions she had with calmness and even temper. No reason to be mad: she made a mistake and I applied my consequence. It is done.

    She later wanted to talk, mostly about her feelings .I listened. She did say she messed up and that she was sorry and she did not want me to have bad feelings before my trip. That she was not a bad person. And I agreed: I said no, you are not a bad person, I am not holding anything against you, I have moved on, you made a mistake and that's what happens in life. We make mistakes and correct , make mistakes and correct and that is how we grow and learn.

    All is well .