Am I too detached now?!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader


    difficult child went on an overnight to the cape with her 28 year old 'man'friend (I can't get the word "boy friend" past my lips). There are supposedly others going, but I doubt it, of course.

    I know nothing about this guy. Not his last name, his address, phone number, nothing. It used to be that I would get all that information before even letting either girl get in a car with a guy. You would think that with this guy I'd be even more diligent in my parental duties. In all fairness to my guilty concience, I did ask several times for this full name. And I do have a general idea of the town he lives in, but difficult child never seemed to get around to telling me that info.

    There is a part of me that feels it's pointless to push it really, especially with difficult child. And then there is a part of me that feels, "Well, she is almost 20 and I've let go, so keep letting go and pray that she's safe".

    I'm not alarmed and I'm not even worried. There is a part of me that wonders if maybe she's better with someone older. And then I wonder why is he hanging around 20 year olds? And then I let that go too. I also think back to when I was her age. I was on my own. My parents had moved 3000 miles away from where we grew up. I had my own apt, paid all my own bills, went out every night, partied and crashed at friends' houses, etc. So, a large part of me feels that the only way she will truly grow up and learn responsibility for herself is to live her life. As long as she continues to pay us for her car insurance and pay me back for fixing her car (which she's been doing), I am okay with letting go.

    So, have I detached too much or am is this what a healthy detachment feels like? It feels so good not to constantly be waiting for the other shoe to drop or to worry non-stop.
  2. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Jo,
    yes, this seems healthy to me. She's 20 yrs old and it's her life to live. I had to do the same with my difficult child 1. She's 21 yrs old, has a baby, last I knew she was living in a tent because she couldn't afford an apt. or motel. Well, I do worry some but mostly I don't think about her so much and if she is going to try for a better life it will be because she doesn't like the life she is living.

    Yesterday I was seeing my therapist (also difficult child 2/easy child's therapist) and I told him how I was worried about M and how she will handle little frustrations when she goes off to India this Fall for her gap year program. He asked me, "will worrying help?" Of course not! He basicallly gave me permission to let go and let M handle it. There's nothing I can do to ensure that she will cope successfully with frustrations during her trip--that's up to her.

    I think you are doing well--at some point you really do have to let go and I have found it to be such a relief to not have to feel I must own all of my kids' issues and emotional responses. I guess it could make you feel guilty to put the burden down but it is actually the healthy thing to do for both you and difficult child.

    Take care,
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Sounds healthy enough to me. Although I'd have insisted on that information in case of emergencies that can crop up, not to necessarily be informed on man friend.

    At some point we simply have to cut the cord and let them be their own person. Falling on their face and learning to pick themselves back up again goes along with that. I do alot of the "where was I at their age/how did I look at things" thinking when it comes to my kids. Helps me keep that healthy detachment firmly in place. Seems to me the best lessons I learned were by falling flat on my face and learning how to fix it myself. By the age of 20 I was married, had a miscarriage, my first child, and was living in a new state 9 hrs away from any family. I had to learn how to make that work, and work well.

    My grandma had 4 major difficult children out of 7 children. At 18 there were on their own to succeed or to fail. She was a single parent long before welfare existed. Working 2 jobs and raising younger kids.......she had no time to over worry over her grown kids. All of them turned into successful "normalish" adults. Two remained difficult children due to mental illness, but still managed to function fairly well in the world.

    I figure if it worked with her'll work with mine. So far it has worked well.:D
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you are doing just fine! Honey..I was driving to Cape Cod with my boyfriend at All the way from VA! Now that I am a parent I cant believe I was allowed to do that.

    It is hard to cut those apron strings but it has to happen. It really makes the kid grow up. They can do so much more than we think they can. Here I have been worrying about Cory and what he will do for a place to live and he managed to figure it out and find a new place all on his own without a bit of help from me! Go I am so I guess all those lessons did sink in after all.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    H is flipping out at how far removed I've become. I tell him my health is at stake.

    He's constantly asking me if I'm "okay with this?" and I tell him not necessarily but what else can I do? And then I let it go. It's like water rolling off my back. Feels so good.

    Thank you for reaffirming what I was feeling in my gut = This is healthy.
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Yes, I think it's healthy, too. I am just as happy to NOT know everything that Rob is doing. It is better for both of us.

    on the other hand, if he was living with me, I don't think I'd be able to be as healthy as you are- lol. I know I would have insisted upon knowing contact info. (and had a major hissy if he'd refused to give it to me)

    Yep.........Rob and I are much better off living in separate places. :rofl:

  7. maril

    maril New Member

    It sounds like you're doing well!

    My daughter's boyfriend is six years older than her and she has been with him (off and on)since HS. The age difference has not been a problem, as far as I can see.

    I am thankful she found such a good guy. :D
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Nope, you're fine. Some things we just don't want to know. And as long as its legal, let it go.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    As difficult as it is, I think you are doing just fine. If she were living in her own apartment, you wouldn't have a clue at all of what she was doing and who she was doing it with. And you would be fine with that. You are hitting the right stages of life with her.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Out of sight, out of mind. That is the part of this phrase you are having the problem with...out of

    I used to wonder why I had such a much easier time actually cutting the strings with Jamie than I did with Cory. I really thought I would have mourned him horribly and worried desperately over him for months and months and jumped at every phone call....but that went away quite quickly. It was much harder with Cory. I came to figure out that it was because Cory actually lived with us longer. Jamie left when he was supposed to and didnt come back home. Cory stuck here and didnt seem able to leave. Once we did get him out...he has been more out of sight so I feel more at ease like I do with Jamie.

    Now to get the last one out!
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think its healthy. I suppose I might/perhaps would double check on the birth control...that's about it. Try not to concern yourself. Life is too short and tooooo good and us folks at PE have lost toooo is what it is..., etc.

    by the way, when our difficult child moved out of the home it was SOOOO much easier, nicer and freer. husband has been heard to say "never again."
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I have no idea of what I was thinking when I had children. That's detached!