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Can someone please help? Need advice and support...terribly sad and broken...

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM
  • 18 Replies

Hello Moms -- I am new to this site and have been wanting to post on here for some time but wasn't sure what or how to describe my situation. Turns out that my situation is not at all uncommon and before I explain I want to express how deeply sorry I am for any mother that is / has gone through this very same thing or worse...here goes...I had my daughter when I was 18 years old. It was a very tough upbringing for her, being young myself, with absolutely no family around (mine was in another state) and her father was well, just not someone that was a good father. Her and I were very very close, I protected her and did whatever I could to make sure she was taken care of no matter what the sacrifice was...that is how it has been for the last 18 years...she is now 18. As a young teenager she was an honor roll student, loved school, was just such a good kid and I always counted my blessings for that...my husband, of whom I recently married after 9 years last October has been the closest thing to a father figure she has ever had...and being from a broken home himself, he really understood how she felt about being rejected by her own father...so there was a bond (so I thought) there between them. He works hard and is literally the most unselfish person I have ever met. Anyway, to get to my issue, my daughter has really really changed since getting together with this kid last summer. A couple of years ago my daughter adamantly came out and said she was "gay" and was with 2 or 3 girls that one year...that coming out was very difficult for me because I was unsure if she really was truly gay, or if she was following a "trend"...she tends to latch on to people she "loves" and literally puts 150% of herself into that person. That kind of behavior I truly feel is due to the absence of her father in her life, I really do...so last summer she says she's with this "guy" now, that I guess had a crush on her since her sophomore year in high school. OK, so she's finding herself, who she is sexually, I get that. But what has concerned me is that there has been a noticeable decline in her overall that has me here today asking for advice/ help/ support, just anything anyone can offer. She was so into makeup, beautiful girl, took care of herself...for the past 8 months or so I know she started smoking pot. She was with this kid and he lives with his father, he's sick or something, so he is on disability. She again, latched on. Had to spend every minute with him including spending the night over there. When they're 18 there is not much you can do other than try to instill rules of some kind to respect family and home right? We did that...gave her space, let her do her thing, as long as her grades were good, helped around the house, we were OK. But she's gotten extremely disrespectful...flippant, doesn't care about being around me, my husand or anything. OK, I'm her Mom, the last thing she probably wants to do is hang out with us (and for the record we are kind of "cool" "hip" parents I like to think...we've been there and done IT ALL...but we demand respect). But it was turning out, that my home was a hotel, and she was alot missing school. She had alot of credits accrued since she was so into school for the last 3 years of high school, she probably figured she didn't have to go to class to graduate. Wrong. Things have gotten SO bad...SOOOO bad between us that I have been cut down to my knees...I couldn't take the constant fighting, the never home, the missing school, the had to be with this kid 24/7...and me and my husband paid for everything for her including a car we bought for her for her 18th birthday and we were a bit leery on that too but I guess to me, I had it very tough raising her alone when she was little...I wanted to make sure she had all the tools to get herself on a good track and have a CHANCE in life. A car to get to and from school and to and from a job if she found one...learn to be an adult...I admit that I may have cottled her along because I wanted to protect her from going down the path I did...but about the beginning of March, over my birthday I was out of town and she was left to check on our animals, check the house etc. I got home and I knew that there had been "people" there. I don't approve of this boyfriend of hers due to how she has totally changed and the obvious influence on her that has been anything but positive...school called again, wasn't going to school. I was looking for some clothing of mine that I knew she had in her room and I find full beer bottles under her bed. Along with a glass bowl of cigarettes butts. So hiding beers and smoking in our home. Not going to school, yet driving around in a car that WE purchased and pay gas and insurance for...in my name. Anyway, I had reached my breaking point. I told her that if she wanted to not go to school, do it somewhere else. She had a part time job at the time (at a head shop) so she kind of really thought she was hot stuff. But we all know that you don't LIVE off a job like that. Of course she goes to this kids house to live. His family has "accepted" her...well I knew that any money she got wasn't going to be enough for her and sure enough, she barely had money for gas to get to school, barely any food. I cried and cried and cried every night wondering if I had done the right thing...she is so close to graduating, should I have done that to jeopardize that for her? A few weeks went by and she literally didn't go to class at all. On the online school portal she had F's in the two classes that she absolutely needed to pass in order to graduate May 15th. I couldn't take it anymore...she was clearly in trouble and I called and told her I don't care what we need to do, you need to come home, let me get you through to the end. I'll make sure your fed, have toiletries, have gas in your car, you can do your laundry...because she was suffering over there and I knew it. She may be in love with this damn kid but they have NO MONEY, nothing to help her. He doesn't have a job. If I hadn't intervened she would still be in that house day in and day out. So after a few meetings with her, talks with her, she agreed that it would be the best thing for her to come back. And in the meantime if we reconnected and got along great...and I really wanted that...but the deal was you need to get to school, every day, for the rest of the school year. So this was in the last week or so. She expressed interest in going to the prom and I told her she should go. It's her senior year, you want to remember it as fondly as you can. So you messed up, let's just work together to get you to the end. Lean on us for now and get through and then let's go from there...meaning if she wanted to leave us and move and go her own way we at least helped her get her diploma. Well, all was seemingly going well. And I know she was of course going over and seeing her boyfriend, but then, just after a few days, would ask to stay over there...I wanted to make sure that I wasn't overbearing or trying to run her life and order her around since she IS 18 and came back and I wanted to be careful...so I just expressed that that wasn't the deal and that she needed to not make a routine of that...prom night comes, I knew that she wouldn't be home, but expected her back on Sunday...I took her to get a dress, nails done, makeup done...she was so happy. I was happy, I was SO happy. Sunday comes and I ask her when will she be home because I was going to cook and wanted to know if she wanted to eat with me or just eat what I was making period. She said that HE (the boyfriend) felt bad that he couldn't take her to the prom...they were going to have their own "mini" prom. Kid can't attend school functions for her high school because he got expelled (kid's also been arrested, has a warrant I just found out). I again, gave in and said please be home tomorrow and clean your room and your bathroom (that would have been the day after, Monday). Monday comes, I ask her when she will be home, she says around 4. That she has a choir class rehearsal. I said ok. 5, 6, 7pm comes around, she still wasn't home. Then I get the call from the school. I looked on the online portal and she was not at that mandatory choir rehearsal she said she was going to. She was now failing her choir class. She had not been to school at all. I called her, asked her what was going on, and she told me the truth. She had taken some drug over the weekend at prom and the side effects didn't go away...she, out of "respect" for me didn't want to come home that way. The conversation of course got heated. She then said that she would prefer not to come home and "stay there" since I was upset with her. I then told her that I needed her to bring her car to the house the next day after SHE WENT TO SCHOOL, so we can get the car signed over to her. I couldn't trust her doing God knows what, going God knows where, under the influence of God knows what, in a vehicle in my name...she said she would. The next day was the day she was supposed to get her yearbook which was $75. I wanted to make sure that she got it. I asked her to let me know. Guess what I get back? "I didn't go...I know I f****d up...."....I was angry at this point and just crushed. I didn't understand...I had had it. I was tired of giving her chance after chance after chance...and after all the support and encouragement we gave her this last time around, OK she screwed up, but she didn't even have any kind of remorse, no feeling...I was done. And if she wanted to be with this kid THIS bad, that HIS family is so much better than ours, then I was going to damned if something that my husband and I worked so hard for was being used to their benefit. And I mean the car, not to mention the gas we were putting in it...the boyfriend nor his father has a car. It was the last straw and I thought and thought hard about it...I knew that that was her way to school...but when is enough enough? I thought OK I'll leave it and trust she'll get to school...but what message does that send? I had a friend of mine take me over there. I told her leave the house key too, in the car. I went to get in the car to leave but before I did that I went right up to the kid's door. I wanted to see her face. Kid didn't even have the guts to open the door. Got my daughter and asked her if she had ANYTHING to say...just ANYTHING...at this point there was no excuse and she knew it, but she chose to yet again, just be like "whatever"...I said goodbye and I told her good luck...that I really tried...I got in the car and brought it home. I put it up for sale. I am here today because I literally pulled the rug out from under her...I don't know if I did the right thing...I want her to graduate, but if she doesn't she is going to blame me for the rest of her life...and she has said the most awful hurtful things and right now it has cut to the bone and I just don't know how to handle this...I don't really associate with many people, women that is, I am a very private person, so I don't have like a huge amount of lady friends...I am so heartbroken because she has made a choice and that is this boyfriend and his family and well, I feel like I really failed...I don't want to see her suffer...she has no job, no money now for anything, and now no car...I can't go as far as cutting her cell phone off, she needs a way to communicate if she really gets in trouble, but this was a harsh move, and right before her graduation...should I have sucked it up to get her through to the end? Did I not handle this the right way? I am so hurt and so badly just want her to be a decent human being...that's all I want...but I am really hurting so badly...please someone help? Did I make a mistake?

by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mamavalor
by Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I am sorry you are going through this.  It must be difficult raising a teenager.  DD1 is 12 and hubby and I are so worried because we both know no matter how loving, caring, understanding and communicative with our kids, there's no guarantee they will turn out all right.

Your daughter sounds like my older sister.  My parents had a difficult time handling her from age 13 and well into her 30's.  They did exactly what you did, including purchasing a car for her.  We even moved to another town.  None of it worked.  There's more to the story, lots more but my advice is to let her go.  Let her make her own mistakes.  It's heartbreaking to see her this way but it's her life and her choice how she wants to live it.  She will come around.  My sister did at age 50.  My sister is now very good to our parents, taking them out to lunches and caring for them when they need her.  The irony is the bad boy my parents all thought was so bad for my sister is actually a decent guy. 

cege
by Bronze Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 5:09 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't want to seem judgmental but I think you made a big mistake in letting your daughter call the shots, 18 or not.  My daughter is a college student (18) who lives with us and she still has rules, chores, and things she must do to stay in our house.  Let your daughter hit rock bottom if you have to but stop enabling her to continue to do want she wants knowing you'll bail her out in the end.  It's time for some tough love.  If you need support to stick by your decisions, I suggest a good counselor who specializes in addiction and family issues. 

luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 6:15 PM
Bump
MamaSnaps
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I am really trying to read this but it's REALLY small type and really hard to read something that long. Could you go in and edit and increase the font a little so it's a bit easier to read? 

MamaSnaps
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I think I have the gist of this. You finally put your foot down and quit enabling her. You did fail her, but not today. You failed her when you enabled her to do this for the past however long this has been building up. You made the choice today that you should have made long ago. She'll thank you more for THAT down the line than for the years in which you did enable her. It's not going to be tomorrow or anytime in the immediate future, but it will happen. I promise!

I was that kid at one time only my parents didn't give me a damn thing when I felt I was big enough to move out and for that I am so very thankful. They took my car and didn't pay for my yearbook or anything else I needed. I had to work full time AND go to school at the time. I did it and I am damn proud of myself for it. I hated them then. THEY did this to me. It was all their fault. Well, about the time I hit 21 or 22 LOW AND BEHOLD I was hit by a lightning bolt. I did that. It was MY fault. I had great parents (mom and step dad) who did more for me than I ever deserved. You'll get there too. It just sucks now. 

Tough love hurts you more than it hurts her and for that I am so sorry! 

luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 7:30 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with this, at some point they either sink or they swim.

Quoting MamaSnaps:

I think I have the gist of this. You finally put your foot down and quit enabling her. You did fail her, but not today. You failed her when you enabled her to do this for the past however long this has been building up. You made the choice today that you should have made long ago. She'll thank you more for THAT down the line than for the years in which you did enable her. It's not going to be tomorrow or anytime in the immediate future, but it will happen. I promise!

I was that kid at one time only my parents didn't give me a damn thing when I felt I was big enough to move out and for that I am so very thankful. They took my car and didn't pay for my yearbook or anything else I needed. I had to work full time AND go to school at the time. I did it and I am damn proud of myself for it. I hated them then. THEY did this to me. It was all their fault. Well, about the time I hit 21 or 22 LOW AND BEHOLD I was hit by a lightning bolt. I did that. It was MY fault. I had great parents (mom and step dad) who did more for me than I ever deserved. You'll get there too. It just sucks now. 

Tough love hurts you more than it hurts her and for that I am so sorry! 


babylove1979
by Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 8:05 PM
Bump for later...
bluelola
by Member on Apr. 25, 2013 at 9:00 PM
1 mom liked this

I know you're hurting because you love her so much, but you have let her be the boss for way too long.  You gave her so many chances and now it's time for her to grow up and take responsibility.  If she doesn't graduate, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.  And some day, she will hopefully grow up and get over this boyfriend and realize how much you did for her, helped her, protected her and loved her.  I do think it's good that you took the car because you don't want her or him driving under any drug or alcohol influence.  And the truth is, she doesn't deserve a car.  Sorry mama, that you are going through this and I hope your girl realizes sooner rather than later that she had it really good at home and that she comes home again with a much better outlook.

WendyMomOf4
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM
1 mom liked this

 Teenagers are the hardest to deal with.  They think they know everything and with her being 18, not much you can do other than what you did.  I commend you mom.  I feel and understand your pain.  You did not fail as a parent.  What you did was begin to regain your sanity.  She will either learn her lesson or not.  That will be her choice, not yours.  You did the best you could with what you had and tried to provide the best life for her.   It is up to her now how her life goes. 

daisykat
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 11:33 PM
1 mom liked this
I get that it's your baby and you continually hold out hope that any minute now she will come around... now it's time for a little tough love. It seems contradictory to show her love by cutting her off from parts of your life, but this is a girl who apparently is going to learn some life lessons the hard way. If she is saying awful, hurtful things to you, then she is being completely disrespectful and with her attitude and behavior, she's earned her departure from her home. You know she's spoiled. I bet she's assuming you'll save her if anything goes awry. The really tough part will be saying, you made your bed, now lie in it. I understand keeping the cell phone on, but you should not provide her with one more dime. If in the event she does want to return home, set some unbendable ground rules. I don't care if she's 40 years old, it's still YOUR home and everyone in it abides by your law. Stop saving her, spending money on her, coddling her and NO crying over her in her presence. You have to be tough, mama. Hang in there and hopefully she'll come around sooner rather than later.
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