difficult child's senior award ceremony

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Nancy, May 12, 2009.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We went alone, difficult child refused to go. Said she didn't feel like getting dressed up and was tired and didn't want to leave her punk friends to go. She got out of school at 2:30 and she just walked in the door now at 10 p.m.

    Actually she didn't even come home Saturday night. Went to a party and got drunk and didn't bother coming home. Guess the silver lining is that she didn't drive. Walked in at 10 am and got into a fight and left again. I hate Mother's Day.

    Eleven days of school, 25 days until she turns 18.

    I'm done. I told her I wasn't going to her graduation. I am bitter and hurt and full of resentment.

    I am determined to start living my life.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm so sorry, Nancy. {{{Hugs}}}
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My heart is aching for you. ((((Hugs))))
  4. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    sending you gentle hugs. I'm sorry for your poor tired soul, and I understand the frustration.
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Just a hug---it's so hard when you've done all you can and they just don't want to change their choices.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Brat! Sorry Nancy. What she did was just bratty.
    When we all come to your neck of the woods, we will help you pack up her stuff up so she won't have to wait too long to get out. You can change her room into a hobby room for you.

    You gave it 110%.
    We aren't martyrs or rugs to be walked on and I sure don't plan on going down with the ship.
    You have a lot of choices open to you regarding a life post high school children.
    The ball is now in her court but somethings she has done(as have many of our difficult child's) will never be forgotten. That hurt isn't easily dismissed no matter how many "I'm sorry's" come along when that light bulb goes on for her in the years to come.
    I really am sad that she couldn't at least fake it for a few more days and let you have the pleasure of seeing her graduate.

    After she's gone, change your phone, change your locks and get a big mean dog who doesn't like difficult children. :angrydude: Totally unnecessary cruel behavior from her.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry.
    I recall our difficult children hs graduation was difficult and it was NOTHING like THIS!

    I like to use certain "key" words to describe difficult child behavior. They provide a little detachment room for me.

    My fave is "unacceptable." There is no judgment. It just says it like it is.

    I'll be honest...having our difficult child on disability opened up some doors. Is this any possibility for your child?

    Whether it is or not...only matters a tad financially.

    What helped my husband and I the most, is learning to look at the entire situation from a different perspective.

    Here is my advice to you:

    1. Google Families Anonymous. Find a mtg. GO GO GO GO GO GO. Do it now!!!!!!
    2. Google the serentiy prayer. Print it. Read it while you are waiting to attend the mtg.

    3a I liked what you said here...
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    I am determined to start living my life.
    3b READ the above statement 1000000x times.
    Then read 100x more.

    4. You might ask your daughter if she has a plan after hs. Give her perhaps a week to figure one out. If she doesn't have a plan in place, then I would ask her to move out. If she has a plan, then she needs to stick to it. If she is on drugs, she needs to get to rehab NOW. Otherwise, she shouldn't be allowed to stay at your home.

    5. Discuss with- your husband what you might be willing and able to provide for your daughter in terms of necessities...food, shelter and medical expenses...perhaps for a month or two. I would limit this and let her know when the time period will end. After that, perhaps medical expenses only. Stick to your guns.

    6. I personally would not change your phone number, unless you don't trust yourself or she is VERY abusive to you.
    Instead, I would not answer the phone at weird hours. Turn it OFF. If she becomes abusive to you or starts begging you for money, etc, get off fast. Hang up if needed. Do not entertain "unacceptable" conversations. YOU TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU.

    7. Think about what YOU enjoy doing. Go DO IT!NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!!!!!
    As you know, you are your choices. You TRIED to teach your daughter this. She did NOT understand. YOU understand. You need to take this knowedge and make a choice to move forward Nancy.
    Lasted edited by : May 12, 2009
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Nancy...so sorry. The things we look forward to the most are the things our kids can hurt us with the most. One day they will get it. I will promise you that.

    Does she have any plans for when she turns 18? Are they realistic or just pie in the sky? These kids just dont seem to get it.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oh Nancy - many hugs to you! I'm so sorry she's destroying this rite of passage for both herself and her family.

    What are her plans post HS? Is she planning on moving out? Are you prepared for that process?

    I wish I had some healing words for you. I don't. I'm finding thank you's transition to adulthood to be an incredibly hurtful experience. On the bad days, I wonder if any of what I've done in the past 14 years made a difference, or if it was worth it. Only time will tell.

    Do take care of yourself, Nancy. Be kind to yourself. Her choices are hers. I think the only thing left to do now is learn how to insulate yourself from her choices. I think maybe that's the second to last lesson we have to learn as parents of difficult children, and so far, for me anyway, it's the hardest.

    I pray that the final lesson will be how to reconcile.

    Many hugs, Nancy. I'm truly truly sorry you're going thru this.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy, you should go to graduation. You have earned it! Be thankful she is actually graduating and leave it at that. She is not nice. You do not have to be nice to her either. Just stay detached and watch the ceremony.

    She can not see the hurt she brings to you. Mine can't either. 19 days until mine is 18. I do not know if that means anything. I only pray the older they get the more they realize the hurt they cause. They don't even have to regret it - just change it. Fingers crossed both of our difficult children see it soon!
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm a little confused Nancy...the event you just went to...was it graduation?
    I guess it was only the Seniors Awards Ceremony.

    I too would consider going, assuming she is also going and is decently appropriate.

    Perhaps stay in the background. Limit your attendance/participation/emotional involvement.

    Listen, does she deserve more??? I think NOT. However, being the responsible mother that you are, I think you would want to attend. You do not have to put more into it than what is appropriate.

    It would be a loving thing for you to attend. It starts to get inappropriate when you do more than this for a child who is abusive to you...it doesn't teach her anything.

    I wouldn't make a fuss. Perhaps go for a short time and leave. No nice fancy dinner or part afterwards. Perhaps you can have a little cake at your regular dinner. Invite a relative. A tiny celebration or NOT. Nothing overboard. She does NOT deserve it. Keep it on the down low...or do nothing at all if things are really ugly.

    It is good that she is graduating.

    This is a PLUS!!!!

    Stay as positive as posssible. Although this transition is ESPECIALLY difficult for those of us with difficult children, know and trust in your heart, all will be okay in the end.

    It is time for you to make changes...you sense it.

    difficult child will make changes too. It is just harder for them. And our role in all of it is confusing. Sometimes we have to incorporate "tough love." They often seem to have to learn things the "hard way." Let therapists figure it out....if difficult child is willing to go. It is what it is.

    Don't get sxcked up in the melodrama. Just don't.

    I like what busywend said...if you are able...and there is not inappropriate behavior going on...I think it would be a good thing to attend the graduation.

    Cling on to your Higher POwer and your husband for support.

    As slsh says...take care of yourself.

    It is going to be okay.
    Lasted edited by : May 13, 2009
  12. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Nancy,
    so sorry you are going through this. My difficult child 1 moved in with her boyfriend about a month before she turned 18 (she wasn't in high school anymore, had a GED) and I have to say I was happy to see her go with the attitude and the drinking, etc. She did try to move back after a few months when she realized how hard it was to be "out there" but I ended up kicking her out.

    She is like a different person in many ways now. She will be 21 in a couple of weeks and has a baby and is very contrite about her behavior back then. She really seems to "get it" now and we have a nice relationship (though it is by phone since she lives across the country from me now).

    I think you are right--it is time for you to live your life and let her live hers. She will find out how good she had it but she is probably going to have to do it the hard way. I truly believe she will mature and you can have a good relationship again but it will take some time. Meanwhile, the better you set boundaries and let her know that you have your own life to live that is not dependent on her the better off both of you will be.

    Lots of hugs,
  13. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I have to say Nancy, I don't have the faith that everything is going be ok. I think our difficult child's have the capacity to have an empty life(my difficult child) or to live a dangerous life. Your little girl makes choices that are immature and dangerous. Most 18yr olds can't navigate the world. She thinks she can but there are many pitfalls out there. At this point you have done everything possible to make her see and understand. She isn't addicted but she has real potential to become a substance abuser. She has a real danger of being with people who can hurt her or expose her to situations that will hurt her.
    It's heart breaking but she insists on taking her chances. You and husband have no choice but to watch her self destruct or distance yourselves to the point of not knowing. When she wants to turn herself around you will always be there.
    Many of our parents here have made that painful choice. It seems to get worse before it gets better. At least your home will not be a constant jail or war zone. I would however change the locks. She is easily influenced by negative behavior and seems determined to be spiteful.

    I hope I don't sound too negative or act like a fear monger. There is a bright, sweet girl under all that defiance, anger and self absorption but she isn't thinking straight.

    Everything may be ok but I am not one to ignore what the positive and negative possibilities may be. I always hope for the best but plan for the worse case scenario.
  14. Star*

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


    The farthest away I ever felt from my son was when I turned my back and said for him to get out. He was 16. I felt like a complete failure as a person and Mother. THe upside for us was that it took Dude about two years to figure out life. He realizes more every day that your parents aren't the only ones who set rules and limits. Mom and Dad are not a cash cow. YES - $100 for a pair of tennis shoes is ridiculous and how long it takes at a minimum wage job to earn $100. Do you really want to spend it on shoes? I am sure this group could get a list together of reality checks. So it's not just you and your daughter. We've all been there or are headed there.

    He wanted to act like he was grown - I let him go, fall and fail. It has been to date among the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I don't know if it brought him around to thinking "Wow....Mom really IS getting on with her life" but I know that he did make SEVERAL comments about me living a life and not caring about him. I did care - I just wasn't going to be bullied by my own manipulative, lying, no time for Mom kid. I"m glad I had friends here who cared enough to shoot me the straight business.

    It's not to say that your daughter won't come around someday. It just is not today, and that's hard to handle. Dude took about two years of living life on his supposed terms. He found out very quickly that the world is a lot more unforgiving, and uncaring than he had imagined it. His utopian grandiose thoughts came crashing down when he needed money to get out of jail and NO ONE of his great friends or his buddies even bothered to check on him. No one - but good old you are so dumb Mom and horrible I hate you Dad.

    Under all that rebellion is the sweet kid you know and love, and she loves you too - just not right now or like we used to say unless he needs something. I walked around for months saying "***** TO BE YOU" but this time I meant Dude, not myself as a Mom.

    As your friend I hurt for you and know this is a heartwrenching time when it should be a fun time - planning for college and a sorority - and all the other fun stuff that goes into it. Just tell yourself that just because it's not happening today - doens't mean she won't pull her head out of her punk-*** and come to her senses. I do know it won't happen if you do the 2 step forward 3 step back dance.

    I like my Mothers logic - when DUde turned 18 - she sent a box - addressed to me with a semi-precious gemstone ring (18 stones marquis cut) that was for ME surviving my son until he was 18. IT's become one of my favorite rings - and I get a private chuckle when I look at it. FOr his 18th birthday my Mom sent a .50 dollar store card with a .42 cent stamp that said Remembering you on your birthday. She said it was hard to part with .92 cents due to how he had treated me for the last years of our lives. My Mom is wise.

    Hugs for your day - and support for your new life!

    I get a visual of all of us coming to your house - going into her room and getting brown paper grocery sacks and trash bags to pack up her stuff and then stand at your front door while her and punk buddies haul her stuff off. Sometimes it's okay to let your kids know YOU have friends in YOUR corner.
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I sense I have missed posts based on reading Fran's last post.
    And from recollection of older posts...this would NOT surprise me.
    "Hope for the best..." this is what I mean by thinking that all will be "okay."
    Sure, their life ain't easy. Our life ain't particularly pleasant at times because of this.
    However, I think if we say to ourselves that it will be okay in the end, that provides "energy" to make it come to pass. It is sort of philosophical thing. Ideally, THEY are the ones who should be saying this. THEY need the energy. It's all so sad.
    Additionally, our kids "okay" and another kids "okay" are two different things.
    The important thing, is to DETACH.
    It is the only way to survive. No need to die 1000 deaths, while we are hoping for the best...thinking postiive, etc.
    I agree with Fran, if she is determined to go into self destruct mode, no need to you to have front row center.
    I think Fran said your daughter isn't an addict. Neither is our daughter. We go to FA meetings. Those parents are dealing with- kids who are addicts. Ya know what...the behavior is the same. It is freaky. The impulsivity. The lack of accountability. The immaturity. The faulty thinking. The tendency toward entitlement. Never learning from mistakes....it goes on and on. You can hope for the best...that's all. They teach in these AA mtgs. to give it to a Higher Power...it is beyond our understanding.
    Don't feed her energy.
    Don't throw your energy away.
    She has made her choices. YOu can provide her with therapy, should she chose to accept. Period.
    Your choice, should YOU chose to accept it, is to move forward with your life Nancy.
    You have already said "I am determined to start living my life."
    All that goes with that is a hard pill to swallow....but one we have to take it and move forward.
    Your daughter doesn't want to swallow her pills. That life is hard sometimes. That she is accountable for her actions. That she needs to be appreciative of those who have helped her, etc. The buck stops here.
    This is a new beginning.
    You already stated what must be done. Those were wise words.

    Star...your mom sounds cool.
    I might pm you about her sometime.
    Lasted edited by : May 13, 2009
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You know that I am sorry that you and husband (and easy child) have all done your very best and difficult child.......well, she wants to be a difficult child. So sad. Too bad.

    Personally I think you and husband should attend the graduation ceremonies. Go alone. Watch. Give yourselves a pat on the back for keeping her on the straight and narrow enough to be a high school graduate. Don't let her ruin "your" reward. Afterwards take yourselves out for a filet, escargot and a bit of bubbly. No need to buy her a big present...she won't appreciate it anyway. Hugs. DDD
  17. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Nancy, this is exactly where I was when it was time for Rob to graduate so I completely understand where you are right now.

    The danger is to not let my/your resentment completely sour your outlook. That said, I completely agree with DDD:

  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with you Fran. I don't have much faith or hope that things will be OK. I did have hope, but each time that hope was smashed. We have tried and tried to get her on the right path. We were so hoping she would go to college, if for no other reason to mature a bit and meet other young people who had goals (and to give us some time alone without the constant chaos and worrying).

    I don't ignore the negative either. I plan for it and hope that maybe somehow it won't be that bad. I'm not generally a negative person but she hasn't given us much to be positive about. She told me yesterday she knows she has made a lot of bad choices and she will have to live with them. What she really means is that she will continue making those bad choices because she hasn't learned any lessons from them.

    I probably will go to the graduation ceremony. But what I really want to tell her is that I don't feel like getting dressed up. That's what she told us yesterday about the awards ceremony. Besides I earned this diploma. We aren't buying her a present. If she were going to college we would have gotten her a laptop. It just doesn't seem the right thing to do to buy her a present when she spent four years in high school doing everything she could to defy us and did nothing to prepare for the future. She didn't study for one test, didn't bring one book home the entire four years. There are no good memories we have of her high school years. Why pretend.

    I started cleaning out stuff today. Dumped the boxes of old high school papers. Took the computer out of our bedroom where we put it to keep her off it at all hours of the night and put it back in the den where it belongs. I can't wait to clean out her room, fill the holes int he wall, fix the hinges of the door, put the door frame back on, paint the walls and rip up the destroyed carpeting. I took easy child out to dinner. I'm not waiting around for her any longer.

    I told her recently that when I stopped caring she would be sorry.

  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Nancy, my heart goes out to you and your husband. You may not "be ready" but it will be healthier when you no longer feel motivated to emulate her behaviors to get her attention. When you are really ready to move on with your life, you will be able to make sure that you and husband don't "miss" the milestones of her life.........even if she doesn't respond to the concept of milestones. I'm on your team. DDD
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    You said that when you stop "caring...." she will be "sorry."

    I said something very similar. Perhaps many of us did.

    I think consequences for our kids should be all around them. It shouldn't be just the result of having mom not pay as much attention to them as they did once before. Perhaps we paid too much attention to them and/or gave them too much attention in the first place. And of particular note, is that much attention was given to them for all the wrong reasons.

    Some of our kids are never really "sorry." Some are "sorry," but they aren't really sure what to do about it. Some have to make the same mistakes repeatedly before they even have a clue that a mistake was made...nevermind that they might want to do something different the next go around.

    I understand you totally when you say that you don't have faith that things will get better with your difficult child. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps it will just be more of the same.

    With our difficult child, things have improved, but the imrprovements have been in miniscule increments. Almost microscopic...they are there.....but one has to really look.

    These kids are a constant source of potential pain. And our responses to the pain tends to be sadness. Are we deserving of constant turmoil and sadness? What can we do to change our situations and our responses to our dilemma? Might putting this burden back onto our children help? Can we really carry another person's load?

    You said: When I stop "caring...." she will be "sorry."

    For me, it was more like when I stopped trying to control something that was out of control, I started living.