A little worried about easy child (20dd)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    You may recall that my 20pc moved into an apt near campus with her boyfriend (22). He's a chef and works nights and she's a baker/pastry chef and works mornings - their schedules are opposite.

    Apparently, he is resentful that she doesn't wait up for him at night and/or is always tired or sleeping. She has to be up at 4AM for school and gets home at about 1:30 PM in the afternoon, which is when he goes into school and doesn't get home until about midnight...hours after she's fallen asleep. She sometimes tries to nap in the early evening so she can be up when he gets home. She doesn't expect him to rise at 4AM with her, so she is annoyed and hurt that he's trying to make her feel guilty for being exhausted and sleeping when he gets home from work at midnight. Also, she's confided that their sex life has greatly diminished (because of her). She said she's just so tired all the time and has no desire. He's obviously getting frustrated and feeling disappointed and no doubt neglected because of this. I know in the back of her head she is worried that he's going to cheat on her, but it's almost as if she's too tired to think about it. On his Facebook account, he has new "friends" that are girls just about everyday.
    These were some of the concerns H and I had when they decided to live with one another - that their schedules would get in the way, that they'd be too busy and pissy to enjoy the time they did have together, that one would be understanding and one would not, that they would grow in different directions, and that their relationship was too new to handle all the ups and downs of a live in relationship.
    easy child has a lot of outside interests and up until early July (when her friends all move or go home) she spends her afternoons with her girlfriends (boyfriend is at school). She goes rock climbing (bouldering) or bike riding or just hangs. Lately, she's been too tired to do any of that and she feels guilty for hanging out with friends when she barely has time to hang with the boyfriend - despite the fact that he's not available when she is anyway. Then, add to that she got the puppy which takes a lot of time, training and work on top of her already stressed schedule (I am actually taking the pup for a couple of weeks while she finishes up the year!! Can't wait!!). The boyfriend does nothing outside of school and work. He either hangs around the apt till it's time to go to school or after school (at 12PM) he will go party with friends for a bit.
    They both work, right now only on weekends, but again the opposite shifts. Once they are both out of school, they will be working full time, again opposite shifts. Not much will change. They are going to try and coordinate with their jobs to have the same days off.
    I am worried about my easy child. She had to start taking an antidepressant a couple of months ago - depression which I think was caused by lack of sleep, the winter blues, all this stress, and all the changes that took place. I think she bit off more than can chew (as did the boyfriend). As we all know, they likely had different expectations about living together and perhaps now they aren't so thrilled with the way things panned out. Anyway, easy child stopped taking the AD's when she 'felt better' and then told me that the boyfriend commented that he's "tired of her long face and of her being tired all the time". Hmmm, I know he's young, but 'way to be supportive'. She started taking the AD's again at my prodding. She is due for her annual physical in early July and I want to encourage her to speak with the DR about all these issues. I really think it's all linked and if I say as much, she may not share as much with me, but if the DR comments similarly, perhaps she will.
    She was recently offered a position as Ambassador for her school, which would entail her traveling throughout the country (at their expense) and speaking on behalf of her school, doing demonstrations and workshops. With this position she would be eligible for not only monetary compensation, but a FREE dormroom. I am hoping she takes it. I'd love to see her back on campus and on her own. I like the boyfriend, but I think he's adding to her stress. And I know my easy child; when things get too stressful, she has a tendency to run herself ragged and eventually cut everyone off, then flee the situation. She recently half heartedly mentioned that she thinks she and the boyfriend need counseling....? They have never been together steadily for more than a few months at a time. Why they thought living together would make them stronger, I will never know.
    Anyway, any thoughts or ideas would be helpful. Thanks for 'listening'. It's hard when they are at this age. Please just send out some goood healing vibes!
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I think in a situation like your daughter is facing, for a parent who had strong suspicions of what would happen - it's more like an "oh I knew it" moment.

    At her age and with her talent you just want to pick her up and say "GO FOR THE CAREER" and don't worry about the on again off again boyfriend. She sounds like a perfectionist and my have hung on to the boyfriend because while she thinks she is in love with him - she actually needs to hang on to him until she feels she's worked this whole relationship fiasco out to her satisfaction. Not a reason to have a relationship - but you are going to face a brick wall I believe; if you tell her anything.

    In her mind - she has got to figure a way to let this go. If she's even 1/2 heartedly suggested counseling for her and boyfriend I would capitalize on THAT aspect - telling her that if she's determined to work this out - perhaps SHE should go on ahead and speak with a counselor without him for a time - so she can lay the foundation (so to speak). And maybe if you can encourage her to go - a good therapist will open her eyes to the fact that she can not continue to try to make everything in her life work - and some things she needs to know how to allow to go. It's not easy for a perfectionist.

    If he has "friends" on facebook - IMVHO I'd say he's looking. If she were his everything - he wouldn't need them. But I'm from a really long line of bad relationships that does not believe in "sharing" in the manner to which I think he is. Friends are friends - but When he says he doesn't like her long face? My mature woman comment would have been - "You know what I dont' either so I'm going to go find myself. If it ends up that you are part of me being happy - you stay. If it ends up being you are what is making my face long? You go." - Anyone for counseling or do you want to sit here and sulk?

    But see - I'm older - and I know I can't fix everything now and I know it's OKAY to make mistakes or not spell every word correctly or make myself crazy trying to look perfect or go to school, work and balance a life. Somewhere along the line your daughter has to find those answers for herself.

    At this point I think I'd just 1/2 heartedly suggest if she wants to keep this relationship - maybe counseling IS a way to have it all.

    She sounds very driven - that's good and bad in a person. If she can find her balance - she may decide this relationship is not worth her career.

    I'm glad you get to puppy sit Gramma! They are so much fun.

  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Star, what a good auntie you are. When she calls me later today (to tell me how things went last night - she had called me crying from the car while he was in the store), I will bring up the counseling comment she made and tell her I think it might be the way to go - if not for them, then at least for her, to help her find some balance in her life. We've talked about finding balance in her life before this, so it's won't be like I'm pulling it out of thin air.

    easy child is very driven and tends to be on the perfectionist side. She was very distraught last week when she received a C in the last block's class - she had missed a day (due to exhaustion) - and although she asked her chef at the time if she could make up the lost day, he never responded and simply brought her grade down one full point. She doesn't do well with grades less than A- or B's. I think her boyfriend takes to his schoolwork as a chef like a fish to water and although in a physical sense so does daughter, she has to work harder on the book knowledge - and she does work very hard!

    She got the puppy to keep her company since he's never home in the evenings, but I think he resents the puppy as well because he has to watch it when she's not home. She told me he gave the pup a little smack on her hiney when she messed on the kitchen floor. She's only 15 weeks!!! OMG -What pup doesn't do that??

    And the friend's on Facebook. Yes, more new girls than new guys. I think back home in his little spit of a town in OH, he was a 'Big Guy" among the girls and so he's constantly seeking attention. I hate saying anything at all, because daughter has had her own suspicions along the way. And I see that one of his new female friends on Facebook also happens to be the girl he rebounded with when he and easy child broke up last fall. Hmph.

    And, the boyfriend text msgs ME all the time. To say "Hi, how are you?" or "I miss easy child...she's never home and when she is she's tired". I'm a pretty straight forward person so I usually will respond with, "So let her sleep and surprise her with a back rub or something - yeesh". I mean, what better way to get someone in the mood than to be nice and maybe show them you love and support them, instead of brow beating them to make them feel guilty?!

    Anyway....thanks. I will just maintain my listening mode at this time.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    :redface:I'm a good Aunti? THANKS!!!!!!


    It would be my advice that when you mention the counsleing you say something like a girlfriend may say -

    "Hey you remember when you said something about therapy for you and boyfriend? Well, you know if I wanted to fix a relationship but not let him know I was trying to fix it - I'd seek the help with a professional and then ask her/him how to get boyfriend to join -men are usually a little put off by therapy beacause they think they know it all - and while we let them think that - we're getting the best help we can. Maybe just go to a couples therapist and not say anything for a while until you see if you think he would like it or can work on a plan with him/her to get boyfriend to go."

    Something like that and NOT about HER. If you put the focus on her - she's going to FIGURE this out - if you keep the focus on THEM and this therapy is for THEM -she may be more apt to go. Say things like "I think if YOU went to a therapist you could really find SOLUTIONS to your relationship with boyfriend." She's looking in her mind for THE FIX - the SOLUTION - THE CURE And like I said once she gets to therapy (if she thinks she's going for THEM she may be okay with it at all) the therapist will work on HER - and help her - because well - HE isnt' there. If they start working on HER.....and she thinks it's for THEM maybe she'll stick with it and because she is SO smart - eventually she will figure out what YOU did - and thank you for it.

    See you and I both know that she does not need HIM at all. And the fact that he's hooking up on line with an X? OH puhlease - he's already doing the ground work for breaking up or ALLOWING himself permission to have an affair. He's telling you he's lonely? WHAT A MAN!!

    It's a recipe for disaster and no other ingredients have been added to the pot here to make it palatible. (like my chefy humor?) But .....I really would back off all the way on the IMPROVE YOURSELF. She's not worried about herself - she's perplexed on HOW TO MAKE HER RELATIONSHIP work. So approach her like you really are concerned and validate her thoughts on her 1/2 hearted comments of therapy for THEM. You notice she did NOT say "Mom I'm having relationship problems I need therapy." right???? She said THEY need therapy. So - suggest THEY go and knowing a MAN wont go tell her to go FIRST. Say nothing about HER alone - always THEM.

    Otherwise I think she'll shut ya out. ( I could be wrong it's your kid)

    And a "man" that would spank a puppy? Cripes for all his smarts he couldnt' get a book on HOUSETRAINING???? You NEVER spank a puppy. I think he needs spanked for hooking up with old girlfriends to get the "LOVING FEELING" going in his little Mr. Small Town Popular Guy head.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I spoke with her just now. I pretty much said what you suggested before even reading your post - we must be on the same page! She was worried about the cost of the counseling. I reminded her she has insurance so the copay is only $25/visit; twice a month won't kill her. She asked me to look on the website for a provider by her and email her the list. I will send her the link and she can look it up on her own.

    She vented some more. Apparently, even though he has today off (she doesn't), he told her it was her turn to do the laundry since he's done it the last couple of times - on his day off! She tried to call him at home, but he's not answering the phone. She thinks he's still asleep. She also found out through a friend that this Thursday before his graduation on Friday, he was invited out by another pastry class of girls to join them in celebration at a local pub. He told her about going to the bar with his fellow classmates, but he never mentioned that he was invited by a bunch of girls. easy child is a bit peeved. I reminded her that when she and boyfriend signed the lease that I told her that she will never be and should never feeltrapped. She said she knew.

    Thanks again.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have a niggling feeling...a mother's intuition...I am not sure but after speaking with easy child this evening, I am getting very STRONG vibes that he's looking to pick a fight with her...that's he looking for a reason to justify his actions...that perhaps he's already behaved badly and is looking for easy child to react in a dramatic way. I think she knows it too. I can tell she's very distraught...and his parents are coming into town on Thursday for his graduation Friday. Do you think my gut is wrong and he's just got the jitters and is acting weird because his family will be in town for the weekend? He does tend to be a drama king and easy child hates drama (who can blame her growing up with difficult child?)
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Sounds like he is a bit guilty---most men will turn the table to make sure that they look like the victim when they've done something wrong. I hate it that she is hurting because of boyfriend. It is so hard to watch our easy child's go through a hard time because we know that most of their lives have been in turmoil because of difficult child siblings. I hope she will see someone---and I hope she will seek individual therapy. If he is treating her like this now, what happens when the real life tests are thrown his way?
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    My Mother - in regards to any boy I dated except my now DF would always change the subject or say something like

    Well you married him - isn't he the greatest and "we always have your bed here if YOU want it." emphasis on YOU. And while I hated it - it was what I needed to hear. In other words - if I thought he was so great, convinced everyone he was great and married him and moved in with him - I wasnt' getting any of her sympathy =

    With DF? I thought She would freak out. He's got the whole biker thing going on - tattoo's, long hair, and my mother tends to be from an age where a cover tells about your book.

    In this case - she called him a prince among men! I nearly passed out. I coudln't figure out if she really liked him or was being overtly and hideously sarcastic. When she gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek? I KNEW she was serious.

    But to her credit - she's never picked sides in any of my relationships and I never told her how bad my marriage was. When i got out - she told me that she would SLEEP that night for the first time in TWELVE years. I felt awful. I never knew. That alone made me think long and hard about any if ever relationships I ventured into. I felt like an @$$ - my mom literally didn't sleep well.

    I hope your daughter finds herself very quickly - as kids we just think our parents love and patience are indespensible. They really aren't.


    I made my bed - I can always get out of my bed.