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2 Bumps

How can I help my daughter heal?

My 20 yo daughter has had reallybad luck in love. 2 years ago she met a mothers dream while a freshman in college. He was kind good looking and came from a great family. His family treated her as one of their own and we loved him like a son. In March over lunch she told me they were having a rough spell but they really wanted things to work out because they were in love. My daughter does not have a lot of self esteem, but she is a champion swimmer and takes a lot of pride in it. She began to have hip problems and had to undergo surgery, but during testing they discovered an anomaly in her uterus which may prevent her from having kids. She also found out she may not swim again. She went off the deep end and started hanging with a new crowd and a guy who was very controlling. Luckily she came to her senses and they tried to put things back together. They were intimate he dumped her but had actually cheated for months. Feels lost

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Labs1129

Asked by Labs1129 at 10:49 PM on Oct. 5, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • You can't. If she is having a hard time encourage her to seek out GOOD counselor, that can help her work on moving on and building up her self esteem(instead of a bad counselor that will just allow her to wallow in self pity as they collect her money).

    SHE will have to make the decision to get up and move on, which I know is easier said then done.
    tntmom1027

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 10:59 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • I ran out of room. She emailed me last night that she is a mess. She can't deal with this. They had a nasty exchange on line and now the girl she asked him about this summer is coming to campus for the night. It's a small campus so she may run into him. He does not know about her medical issues and although its no excuse it explains why she changed. I am so tempted to tell him. I don't want him to go back with her I just would like some compassion on his part. I can't believe he has been cheating since last winter and then let her believe it was her fault.
    Labs1129

    Comment by Labs1129 (original poster) at 11:02 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • A counselor would be very good for her. But as her mom, you can just listen to her talk and vent. Non judgmental listening with unconditional love will help her immensely. Just listen. You don't need a response for everything she says. She's old enough to know you don't have all the answers. But she needs to talk
    Nimue930

    Answer by Nimue930 at 11:03 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • She has seen a counselor over the years for stress and anxiety after the death of her grandmother. I am trying to get her to go at school. We've just finished paying off this semester and I am afraid she wants to leave school. Money is beyond tight and a guy she has been friends with for 2 years at work is telling her they can't be friends anymore because his crazy girlfriend does not like it. Her support systems are dropping like flies. I don't want her to go back to the controlling guy. He was scary
    Labs1129

    Comment by Labs1129 (original poster) at 11:10 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • There isn't anything you can do. Beyond listening and suggesting counseling.

    I know it is scary for you but there isn't anything to be done. Encourage her to seek out new relationships. People and friends change and fall away it is just a part of life.
    tntmom1027

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 11:15 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • You can't solve your daughter's problems. She knows that as well as you do. All you can do is listen, hold her, spend time with her, anything that gives her the comfort and support she needs. Don't underestimate the power of just being there, either to talk or to hang out with. Ultimately, she'll have to make her own decisions. Remember, too, that if she makes choices you wish she wouldn't, it's not necessarily forever. If she leaves school, that doesn't mean she'll never go bak.

    I wouldn't tell anybody about her medical problems, though. I know why you want to, and that you wish the one she loved would have compassion for her, but telling him is up to her if she decides to do so. Don't betray her trust, even with good intentions.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 11:39 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • Unfortunately there isn't anything you can do. But if she wants to leave school DO NOT ARGUE ABOUT IT. In fact, coming home and being with you might be the best thing. She's only 20, too young to be thinking about forever relationships.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:40 PM on Oct. 5, 2013

  • If most of her sense of self (self worth) is rooted in her ability to perform (swimming competitively) & in her relationship (feeling worthy because someone "good" seems to value her) then all that has happened is going to shake her deeply. It's undermining. It's this undermining because her "self" was rooted in those things, rather than in a sense of knowing that she is of value simply because she is who she is (in other words, because she exists!)
    If her boyfriend was cheating all last winter while they were together, then to her it brings her value as a person into question (because it obviously exposes their relationship as not what it seemed to be, and she was deriving worth & meaning from the fact of the relationship--being wanted & valued by this guy.)
    THAT issue (feels of value because of what she can do or how people see her/because someone wants her) is what's been exposed. She can grow & heal that. But it's painful!
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:12 AM on Oct. 6, 2013

  • Right now it sounds like the issue is her distress about current events. She's reaching out to you, which is good. You do have an important role as listener, and emotional anchor. But it will help you to BE an "emotional anchor" if you can tolerate witnessing your daughter's distress, and hearing about her painful self-doubt and seeing all the ways her self-worth seems non-existent. You'll see that she deeply cares what others think--that she is dreading running into the boy while this other girl is visiting campus, that she feels ashamed & humiliated. I think seeing this in my daughter would be upsetting (I would want her to care less what others "might be" thinking.) But the way out is through. You can't fix people's feelings or "make" them see things differently. The way to support growth & change in another person is to (ironically) accept them exactly where they are. NOT pointing out all the things they are missing (how
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:19 AM on Oct. 6, 2013

  • "that girl" doesn't matter, or how "that boy" isn't worth her tears, or how true friends wouldn't behave this or that way, or the people that "matter" won't think less of her, they'll see that she dodged a bullet....or whatever.) Pointing out those things is more likely to keep her stuck right where she is (because that IS how she feels!) Another reason it's undermining is that it recreates the problem: it encourages her to care about what you or others who "really matter" think, and to feel better because someone else sees her positively, and sees the ex-boyfriend negatively. What is needed is a true sense of SELF. Not more "borrowed" self.
    What is helpful is if you focus on the person of your actual daughter.
    She happens to be low & uncertain now, without a strong sense of self & intrinsic worth. She's a person who doubts herself. But that is a person! If you can see & value her as she IS you'll be helping.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 8:25 AM on Oct. 6, 2013

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