Blindsided Parent

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Ann1010, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    I'm desperate for help.....my not well-adjusted 21 year has decided that her dad and I are the reason for all the problems and bad decisions in her life. Some background....she was an excellent student in high school as well as a very talented artist. She always seemed happy, and never really gave us any issues. She seemed like a typical moody teenager, complaining her friends never included her, we were too strict, etc etc.

    Fast forward, she goes away to college and is unable to adjust. She spirals and after 2 years, we refuse to let her return until she's ready, this was last year. She was a miserable person for most of the summer and then came to me asking me to help her seek out counseling..my prayers were answered. After a few months, she seemed to be making progress and it was like having my happy daughter back again. She's planning on taking a few college classes and planning for the future. Then comes last weekend....we have a cabin on a lake and we went up for a weekend. She seems really unhappy and moody, not at all like she has been the last couple of weeks. I take her aside to ask what's going on and that's when she unloads on me. She's decided that all of her bad decisions, her moods, her anger, etc isn't really her fault but the fault of bad parenting (and much worse) She's worried about my 19 year old son, that we might [email protected]#k him up (her words). She accuses me of turning everything around and making it about me, and both my husband and I for always yelling.

    She did stop going to see the counselor, and now she is telling me she is going to start going with. I am fine with that...I never wanted her to stop talking to someone, and I've always been supportive with that. I've encouraged her to talk to someone as soon as she started feeling down, instead of waiting until things got out of control.

    As of today, she's barely speaking to us...only when she has to. I told her she is not allowed to come to the cabin on the weekends, because she tries to provoke anger and yelling, seemingly to prove her point that it always happens. Any help, would be appreciated.....
     
  2. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I can see how she would have trouble adjusting to going away to a large university where it's a big social scene, partying, etc. A community College works better for some kids, especially those who aren't into all the social activities.
     
  3. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    These troubled adult kids love to turn the story around and guilt and shame their parents. I went through it with my daughter too. If you were truly such a horrible parent you wouldn't be on this board worried sick about your daughter. It sounds like she is for sure having some mental health issues and perhaps she is self medicating with some kind of drugs too. If you plan to let her continue living with you I am a huge proponent of writing out an agreement explicitly stating your expectations of her- have a job, take classes, attend counseling, treat family members with respect, ways she will contribute to the household- and have her sign it. This is a one strike and you're out thing, so you have to be prepared to follow through and actually kick her out of the house if she breaks any of the rules. I did it with my daughter and I had to kick her out with her infant daughter, which didn't surprise me but it was terribly upsetting. She is an adult and is responsible for her life and behavior. No matter how much you want her to change, it is up to her. All you can control is yourself and your reactions to her behavior. Good luck. I know how difficult this is.
     
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I got confused. Does she want to see a different counselor?
    Maybe reviewing some things in her childhood brought up some sad memories. Additionally, it’s very convenient to blame mom and dad when things aren’t going to your liking. Having those fresh memories makes that very convenient.
    This behavior is a little more like a 16-18 year old, but we all develop at different rates.
    I think it’s ok to set some boundaries. Maybe no going to the cabin next trip. However, she can go on future trips after that if she is willing to follow certain rules. What is most important to you?
    It probably wouldn’t be fair or reasonable to rattle off a huge list.
    Are you paying for her cell phone and room and board?
    If so, that alone, is reason for her to be respectful.
    Our son was at home at age 19 and thought nothing of using the “F” word for awhile. I started fining him a $1 every time. He said he was going to move out. I said that this was his choice, but it seemed much cheaper to stop cussing than get his own apartment. He was upset, but stopped using the “F” word.
    Boundaries were super hard to implement, but it ended up helping.
    I wouldn’t worry at all if she is not speaking with you, as long as she stays within her boundaries.
    My advice...Be polite, caring...but set boundaries. You can not control her anyway.
    Take care of yourself. Enjoy life as best as you can even with this craziness going on.
     
  5. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    Last night my husband and I tried to have a "civil" conversation with her....it didn't turn out that way, unfortunately, but she now knows the rules. She has to have an appointment with a counselor by Friday, otherwise she has 6 months to save enough money to move out. She is expected to be civil to everyone, otherwise a 6 months timeline will start. And after she has been in therapy for at least a month, we will schedule family counseling. She procrastinates with everything, so I'm preparing myself for the confrontation on Friday night, but praying it doesn't come to that.
     
  6. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    So, last year, when she was going to counseling, she missed so many visits they told her they wouldn't see her anymore. She loves to blame other people, so she said she didn't like the counselor anyway and she should have known that one of her issues was being on time, etc etc. We were firm and said that she could find someone else but that we weren't going to pay if she continued to miss her appointments. by the way, I made her pay the missed appointment fee thinking that would straighten her out. Obviously I was wrong....And after that she was awesome....her moods greatly improved, she has been working 2 jobs, "seemingly" getting herself together. That's why this past weekend was such a punch in the gut. I had no idea where it came from.

    Right now, she pays rent...a small amount that doesn't really cover the cell bill, food, etc of living at home. She has a few rules, which get followed about 50% of the time. I was working with her on that, when she had this meltdown. Right now my main concern is going to be her finding help. But the scathing comments have made my husband and I doubt everything we've ever said or done, for her entire life. I, especially, keep beating myself up over it and know I need to stop. My husband just flat out told her he wasn't going to apologize for raising her
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Family counseling sounds like a very good idea. This worked out well with our son, but was a huge problem with our daughter who walked out.

    But our daughter DOES have a mental health issue and is on medication.

    There is some chance your daughter has mental health issues or is using drugs. You have described something akin to mood swings. At least keep this in the back of your mind and be aware. It may not be the case at all, but it’s possible.

    Does she work? She should be working at least part time. It provides not only money but self confidence. It also allows time for therapy without undue stress.
     
  8. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    Hi Ann!

    That's among the worst things your daughter can do. Do not doubt yourselves. I am sure that you and your husband did the best you could ad are doing the best you can. Do not let her foist her problems, as serious as they are, on you (plural). Oldest & Youngest (click on the link in my signature) have each dumped considerable venom on Mrs. 200Meters & I. Sorry; they cannot blame their problems on us and as much as my wife and I want to help them (which is alot), the impetus & desire for change has to come from them. Parents can help that happen but we can't make it happen.

    Do not beat yourself up.

    Good for your husband.

    Good luck Friday.
     
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  9. RN0441

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

    Welcome

    Impressed that you got right to it and set boundaries! Bravo to you.

    Don't let her control the show. It's your home. Your rules.

    My situation was way more dire than yours but I do know that I was afraid to get my son mad and now I think that is the stupidest thing I could ever think!!:916wildone:

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  10. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    I would like to thank everyone for the encouragement. Yesterday was an extremely, tiny bit easier...at least there was no yelling and screaming. Still the underlying tone of smugness and a little bit of bating, and my husband had to give a little warning when it seemed like she was going to start drawing emotional blood, and she backed off. Later, she came down and watched a little tv, no drama, no accusing. She later left and told the 3 of that she loved us.

    I'm not letting my guard down...she hasn't indicated that she has made a therapy appointment, but that doesn't mean she hasn't. She is extremely intelligent and I'm keeping in mind that she could be playing games with us....waiting for us to keep asking so she can accuse us of controlling her. My husband gave her a deadline, so we'll wait to ask on Friday evening.

    I pray that the 4 of us can get through this, without anyone saying anything that can't (eventually) be forgiven.

    Prayers to everyone that continue to go through this pain.

    Thanks, Ann
     
  11. Ann1010

    Ann1010 New Member

    Quick little update....daughter is working 2 jobs right now. She works at an allergist's office Mon, Wed, and Thu during the day and midnights at a gas station typically Mon and Thu. She gets home from her Mon and Thu shift, pretty much goes to bed and then gets up and goes to work. Comes home around 6:30am the next day, showers, and goes to bed until dinner. She texted this morning that she forgot she had to work midnights tonight and tomorrow. (Fri and Sat). She then said hadn't slept at all after her daytime shift and was too exhausted to do the chores that I asked her to do. I believe her...and now I'm wondering if she is sleeping much at all. This would partly explain why the jump off the deep end.

    We weren't going to ask about a therapy appointment until tonight, but I feel we might not actually get to see her....so I asked. Her answer was yes, she has scheduled an appointment! This took a large weight off my shoulders, since I know that she is broke. She can't afford to even consider moving, so we can at least not think of that for now. BUT, I've asked for proof of an appointment, when she wakes up tonight.

    I'm thanking God right now, that at least we aren't having that *talk* tonight. AND that she has to work the weekend. We will have very little interaction, so less chance for drama.
     
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Good!!!!I love that she is employed! We found that very helpful for our son when he was going through a rough patch around ages 18-20. Then, he went to a very good therapist for a period of time. He also met some very good quality friends. The story ends VERY WELL. Not all that further down the road...he graduated college with honors and is doing extremely well today. :)