feeling disappointed

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by janebrain, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi All,
    just wanted to talk to you guys about something I feel bad about. Here's a refresher on my difficult child 1: she moved out to Seattle (3000 miles away) in January--followed boyfriend out there by greyhound bus and then he dumped her (supposedly). We helped her, using money from a 529 college savings plan we had set up for her, to get herself settled out there since she didn't want to come back home and we really didn't want her back here anyway. Well, she got a job and an apt. and has been doing well as far as we know. She has not asked for any money since she got established. According to her she heard from the boyfriend but told him to get lost and she was really finding herself as a person and figuring out what she wants to do in life. It has been great talking to her, we have had many heartfelt conversations and she sounds happy.

    Okay, fine. I had sent her a package with some goodies by UPS and was tracking it on line. Last night I saw it had been delivered and signed for. Guess who signed for it? The boyfriend! So, all this time I think she has been with him. I don't care if she is still with him but I do care that she has been lieing all this time.

    My husband and I are not so naive that we didn't suspect they might be together but as time went on I really thought he was actually out of the picture because she sounded so "normal"! However, when she was first there and he had supposedly dumped her I remember hearing male voices when I talked to her at her motel and she said it was the tv. I do remember hearing a voice that sounded a lot like his but I guess I just dismissed it.

    So, I think what really happened is that they were out there, broke, no way to get an apt., etc. so they decided to play on our sympathies--surely we wouldn't let her be on the streets all by herself so they would have to pretend he had dumped her. This is not the 1st time we think they have done this.

    Back about a year and a half ago she called me frantic because he had left and she had rent to pay. We were suspicious at that time that it was a ploy because miraculously they got back together after she got the rent paid by us!

    So, I am feeling betrayed and let down and very, very foolish. I haven't been able to reach her yet by phone but when I do I will let her know the gig is up. Sure, they don't need us right now but when and if they get kicked out their apt. or decide to just take off for some other place, whatever the situation is, we will not be helping them. If and when she calls, frantic, she has no money, no place to go, is all alone, she will have to figure it all out on her own. The sad thing is, if she actually is in desperate straits we will not believe her. She has cried wolf too many times.

    I also feel that our relationship is a sham. I thought we were close and I was really enjoying her. Now I don't even know who she is. I think she came up with a fantasy person so she could have our approval. I actually think she has been basking in our approval, all based on a lie. Either that or she is laughing behind our backs about what schmucks her parents are. Either way, I feel so let down. I know I will get over it; after all, she isn't really a part of my daily life anymore, it doesn't affect me that way. I guess I sort of have to grieve for awhile. I don't want to just cut her out of my life but our relationship will just be very superficial since I can't believe anything she tells me. I guess I basically will know she is alive and okay, that is about it.

    Thanks for listening, I'm glad I have you guys. I told one of my co-workers, who was very sympathetic, but I feel like an idiot because I've been telling them how great she is doing now and how she has really learned and turned her life around, blah, blah, blah...now I feel stupid and and gullible.

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I understand your feelings but I hope you can find a slightly different perspective. As you said, she sounded "normal." That's hard to fake, especially to moms. So, while she may be with boyfriend, she may also be growing up. For our kids, baby steps even in adulthood is frequently the best they can do.

    For my daughter, I've learned to compartmentalize. If it's a topic I know she will lie about, it goes into my junk basket. I don't listen. She gets the "I'm sorry to hear that," "I hope you can find a solution," etc. This way, I can still talk to her about the good stuff, have a decent relationship and not feel so used.

    As to the money issues, I made the policy to myself that if I give her money, it is because I want to, not because she needs it. Quite brutally, her needs are not a factor to me. If they were, I'd be bankrupt four times over. I give her money for her birthday, gifts at Christmas. I visit her at work and leave hefty tips (usually at least the price of the meal) if she gives me good service, the standard if okay, nothing if bad. When she was homeless, I offered to pick her up. I did not offer to give her funds. If she becomes homeless on this move, she will be on her own. I'm not paying for bad choices any longer.

    This attitude has kept me from seriously feeling used by her. It took a long time to get to this but it is working well. The plus is I can talk her both on a superficial level and seriously. It does strengthen our relationship (or will if she ever calls again lol). It worked well while she was living here.

    Don't kick yourself too hard for believing her. You wanted it to be true. We all want the things we know are bad for our kids to be gone. Something tells me she won't be able to go this route again and boyfriend will have to step up.

    If she does truly become homeless or claims she is, ask her for the name of the shelter she's at and call them and find out if she's alone or with him. Then you can make a decision based on the facts.
  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi MB,
    thanks for the reply. I think it is hard to compartmentalize with my dtr because she will lie about anything, it can't be sorted out. She used to lie about things that it would be just as easy to tell the truth about--things that had no consequence, good or bad, if she told the truth. Also, she isn't telling me anything negative or asking advice. Basically, the things she tells me are all good things, about how well she is doing and how she has really learned from her past mistakes. She is telling me how she isn't dating right now because she needs a break from men and is enjoying the company of her women friends. She tells me how nice it is to just have to look after herself and to be able to spend her money the way she wants to. How she loves living on her own! How she told boyfriend that they couldn't be together anymore and how she was nervous that he might come find her at work, that she was glad he didn't know where she lived!

    It isn't just a lie here and there, her whole life is a lie, and this is consistent with her history. And I think the mental health issues she had when she was younger are continuing but she is able to function better now. She is so convincing and sincere--actually she is very good at faking it and I have been taken in many times. I don't even know if she is faking it--maybe she believes her own delusions. I have often wondered if she is able to convince herself of her fantasies despite all the evidence to the contrary. My difficult child 2's therapist has suggested that difficult child 1 may have a dissociative disorder (which is what difficult child 2 has been diagnosed with) too. I know something is really wrong with her--I just don't know what it is.

  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi Jane,

    Please don't feel stupid. A lot of what MB said made sense. You were enjoying the new relationship with her. There is no reason that has to be over. however, you have a right to feel betrayed, and you have a right to confront her on it.
    Maybe she did grow up enough to make baby steps and have normal conversations with you, even with boyfriend in her life, but still has not grown up enough to be truthful about boyfriend with you. So, like MB said, compartmentalize. You can continue to have your normal conversations with her, enjoy talking with her, but like you said, no more sending money. Unless you choose to. Not if you feel pressured to or if she calls crying wolf again. And make that known to her now, while she is doing well.

    Hugs, I know this hurts. But I think that maybe difficult child is just trying to do the best she can.
  5. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Sorry for the pain she has caused. I too hoped at some point I could trust my difficult child, but now I only offer love, give an opinion if asked and send money if I feel like it. My difficult child stopped asking on this point even though I know he needs money.
    Don't know if confronting her with questions of how long has this been going on......she would just lie. Guess I would approach it with the facts.....I see boyfriend signed for the package so he must know where you live. Drop it at that (I know that will be difficult) and move away. If you want a relationship with her that would be my suggestion. She is going to be with him whether you want it or not.....If she is not asking for money let her solve her own situational problems....
    If and when she asks for money, a decisive "No, I will not be sending any money" would be the brief answer and don't offer ANY EXPLANATION.

    No use in getting everybody worked up over the whole mess even though you feel used, it won't change or effect her. She was telling you what you wanted to hear, so be prepared for untruth in her statments and you won't be disappointed....
  6. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Thanks, BBK. Maybe you are right and difficult child is just trying to do the best she can. I will try to keep that in mind when talking to her. It is probably good I couldn't reach her last night because I would have been lashing out. I should try to wait til I feel more detached to talk to her. It's hard because we sent her about 5000.00 dollars and I didn't mind at all since it was her money essentially (though it was supposed to be for college) and was being used to help her. However, I suspect it also helped boyfriend and he has had her hit us up for money before. He tells her some story to tell us in order to get money because he doesn't like to work. He gets "bored" working a regular job and has made fun of her for being responsible by going to work regularly. He has no problem with other people working to support him and he has no problem with lieing to get other people to help him. He really is a con artist and it makes me feel enraged to think we helped him once again.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Hopefully your daughter will wake up one day and so no more to being used. As badly as you feel, at least you know the money will benefit your daughter. Not to the extent you want since he's in the picture, but it does give her food and shelter. As you said, she is willing to work fulltime and be responsible. She may (??) not be honest when it comes to discussing her boyfriend with you, she does have some positive qualities going for her.

    A lot of her lies remind of my daughter and her boyfriend. It was easier to lie about anything to do with him than admit to me and herself what a loser she was dating. I found out after we moved here just how badly he was treating her (borderline rape -- she said then acceded, verbal abuse and finally actually hitting her). The stories she was telling me far from that -- he'd changed, was actually looking for a job, presently working his uncle, etc. The only thing that was true was that he had changed, just not for the better.

    Honestly, given the circumstances as you knew them, I wouldn't have hesitated to give her the money, especially since you felt it was hers anyway. As I said, it is helping her, not just him. I think you did the right thing in giving her these funds. Just let her know there will be nothing in the future no matter what the circumstances. It is time for her to stand on her own two feet, just as it is for my daughter.
  8. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Hugs to you Jane. I think it sounds like we have a lot of simularities in our children. Sometimes my difficult child lies alot and sometimes not. I find it very difficult to have a meaningful relationship with her. A relationship is based on trust and honesty. We don't have that. I love my daughter. We will never have the close relationship I had hoped for us when she was a baby. So we have a superficial relationship. It works for me and my difficult child appears to be fine with it. As long as she gets to talk and talk and talk, it's all good. You have to learn to protect your heart, superficial works. That way you don't have to ask questions that will undoubtedly make her lie. Start using these phrases: hmmmmmmmmm, oh wow!, oh my goodness, how is that working out? I hope you get what you want, I hope that really makes you happy! I never challange these "stories", it just isn't worth it. I'm sorry for your pain.
  9. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi All,
    I am feeling better about things today. I have been too busy with rehearsing for a performance I am in tonight to be able to call difficult child so I think that has been a good thing. By the time I am able to call her several days will have passed and I will be in a much better place mentally.

    MB, thanks for your vote of confidence. I was thinking it over and I think you are right--I would have given her the funds anyway so she at least had the chance of getting on her feet out in Seattle. And, she has done well and she has not asked for any more money.

    Maybe once it is out in the open that she is indeed with boyfriend she can be a little more honest. I think she is afraid to tell me about him because she knows what a loser I think he is. It's kind of funny because part of the reason her whole family hates him is because of the times he just up and left her but I bet he never even did, that was the story they came up with in order to get money from us.

    I think I will be able to continue to have a warm, encouraging relationship with her--she really seems to need that closeness with me and maybe it will help her in some way. She gets something out of telling me about her future plans and how she has learned from her past mistakes and she thanks me for being a good mom, etc. I do not initiate these conversations, she calls to "talk." I just have to be careful to remind myself that what she is telling me may be her own fantasies and not connected to reality! She told me she wants to have a nice house and a family. Well, that is not going to happen with the boyfriend. He is a wanderer--the grass is always greener somewhere else. He talks about his plans but never follows through on any of them. He has an ex-wife and 2 daughters whom he does not support or even see. One of them lives with his mother and the other one with his ex-wife and no one knows where she is. difficult child has gotten pregnant 3 times by him but miscarried each time so I don't know if she can even carry a baby to term. She now says she wants to wait til she is older to have a family.

    I do think she cares for us--she is very thoughtful and always wants to know how we are doing and is very tuned in to us--she knows us very well. So, I will just continue to be there for her from a distance but I will make it clear that we cannot help financially if she and boyfriend screw up again. They are going to have to plan ahead if they decide they want to go somewhere else and they are going to have to be responsible with their bills if they want to continue living where they are now.

    I am grateful she lives 3000 miles away--makes it so much harder to get pulled in and I can be very much removed from the daily drama. She recently got a dog. I hope they don't end up just leaving the dog behind when they get tired of taking care of him. You may recall they left their pet rat behind when they left their apt. a year ago and my husband and I rescued him. I can't go rescue the dog!

    Thanks so much for all your sound advice and for understanding all this so well!