Input / Opinions Needed Please

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hound dog, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I have stopped posting because I have a snoop. Seems someone snooped on my first post about this mess over bff's funeral, her husband, ect.......and jumped to the wrong conclusion that I was trying to commit her. Goes to show why snooping isn't such a great idea I guess. sigh But I need some input with experience and so if she snoops this time......then she snoops and will just have to deal.
    In just 2 wks time Nichole has broken off a 5 yr relationship with boyfriend with no fight and no warning, she walked out on her daughter, moved in with bff's husband (which she knew would cause a huge uproar), she's done her level best to alienate her family, and quit her job. She left ex boyfriend with the responsibility of moving out of the apartment, finding a place to take the pets.

    Extreme behavior that in my opinion can't be explained by bff's death. It might have been the trigger that got the ball rolling......the initial walking out on ex boyfriend that night......but not the rest. For 2 weeks I've been trying to figure out wth has been going on with this child because her behavior does not make sense.

    A couple of days ago I finally got her to talk to me. She declared she was in a relationship with bff's husband and happier than she's ever been in 5 yrs. She wanted to know what I thought of that. I told her it made me want to hurl, but it was her decision. And that she sure didn't seem very darn happy to me. Then she denied the relationship saying bff's husband was just being really nice and a good friend. And all seemed to be forgiven. She invited me to a movie with her and Aubrey the next day. (friday) A bit later she extended the invite to easy child via fb. Later that night sister in law who has been furious with Nichole's treatment of me and easy child bawled her out on fb for her current attitude toward family. She replied with Mom tried to commit me (if I did she'd been there by now) and is a control freak and I'm done. Not wanting to muck up the tentative reconciliation.....I replied to sister in law via the same post and told him he was out of the loop and it had been settled. I chose to ignore her comment, although it stung quite a bit.

    Friday we met at the movies. Nichole decided to bring along bff's boys (not a problem) and guess who came with her? Bff's husband. Both easy child and I felt like we were having our noses rubbed in it. Not happy, either of us. We managed to be polite. But neither of us have ever cared for this man, and it's sure not going to start now. Geez I'd been friends with bff for more than 10 yrs and her husband had never stepped foot in my home because I didn't want him there. We'd have left but both Darrin and Aubrey were looking forward to the movie and seeing each other. Which didn't quite work out that way as Nichole was nearly 45 mins late because they "had to stop for food" and so we didn't wind up sitting together anyway.

    Yesterday Nichole stopped by to drop off some stuff for the animals. She sort of hung around a bit and didn't seem overly anxious to leave. I was nice but stand offish, still very irked at her behavior the day before and not particularly anxious to talk. Maybe I should've taken the opportunity.......especially since the last 2 times we were together she'd also acted as if she wanted to talk (the 2 times I was too emotional), but I'm human too for pete's sake.

    All along I've been trying to make sense of this situation. As bits and pieces of information come trickling in the picture is getting clearer but we still don't know a whole lot.

    Ex boyfriend's side: Nichole came home from the funeral and he acted like sort of a jerk because he didn't realize that it was a big deal. He had no way of knowing that she was as close to bff as she was because she never told him. Next thing he knew she was going to check on the boys and she left. At 1 am he gets a text saying she won't be home. No fight. In the following days she goes home to change clothes. As far as I know there were no fights during this time either. He assumed she was over here, which is why he didn't call to say she was missing. He didn't know where she was until easy child and sister in law let it slip.

    Nichole's side: Before bff's sister called me, Nichole had called me the day before and told me she had been throwing up almost non stop for 3 solid days but had no other symptoms and no fever. (I even wondered at the time why she was asking....because there was something a bit off with the conversation). Then bff's sister calls and I discover the beginning of this mess. Nichole told me that she had started throwing up that night and was afraid to try to drive home, so she told boyfriend and stayed over. Then decided not to go home that it was over with boyfriend. But boyfriend knew where she was and she was going home every day but he refused to even talk to her. When I tried to get her to come here she said she was staying with bff's husband to avoid "drama". The next day she came over and we already know I handled it terribly. Same with the following day. easy child and sister in law let it slip to boyfriend where she was........and they had a huge blow out where Nichole declared she was sleeping with bff's husband, then took it back. Then of course we didn't talk until a week later, the day before the movie date.

    Extreme behavior. She has thrown/pushed away everything that is important to her. Even bff's death is not enough to cause that. Which has been running as an undercurrent in my brain throughout this mess. easy child agrees. It may have been the trigger, but it isn't the cause of the following self-destructive behavior. It's like she is punishing herself. It is like she suddenly feels she doesn't deserve boyfriend, Aubrey, or the love of her family. And whatever it is that happened to make her feel this way, stems from that 1st night at bff's house with her husband.

    Of course I have no way of knowing what happened. But I have a working theory based on what I've seen over this time period. Could be dead wrong, but it does fit with her current behavior. I think Nichole went to bff's house to blow off steam after dealing with boyfriend's attitude and maybe to feel close to people who could share her grieve. She didn't come here because 1. I was still pretty darn mad at bff and 2. I was studying for finals. Something happened that evening between Nichole and bff's husband. If he had coaxed her into drinking.....that would explain the vomiting and the fear of driving home that night. Perhaps drunk, he coaxed her into something else that she wouldn't have even considered sober. (Nichole is NOT a drinker) Or maybe he even forced her. The drinking and staying over night alone wouldn't be enough I don't think to cause the fall out, she could've told boyfriend she stayed at some friend's house he didn't know. BUT if willing/unwillingly something sexual happened, Nichole would do exactly what she's been doing because she wouldn't be able to forgive herself. Why? Because to Nichole "cheating" is unforgivable. Period. Black and white. No middle ground. No excuses.

    The theory fits. Bff's husband wouldn't think it a big deal to get her drunk and take advantage, nor would it be out of character. He wouldn't even think it unusual behavior. Actually, it's one of his favorite tactics.

    It would explain the extreme self punishing behavior. It would explain the "I'm having a relationship/but wait no I'm not" thing as well. Sort of ........could you forgive me if ?? type thing.
    Problem that I might have worked out the possible reason behind it.....I'm not sure what to do next. Or even if I should do anything. While Nichole appears tougher than nails on the outside.......she is anything but on the inside. When she lashes out, it's to keep from getting hurt first. I could attempt to discuss this with her and have WWIII blow up in my face, or have her break down and come clean with the real reason behind the past 2 weeks. Or I could be dead wrong. But for the life of me, I can't come up with another reason that would trigger this extreme behavior.

    If you made it this far, thanks. I was using this as a way to sort my thoughts as well as to get input.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ya know...that makes a whole lot of sense. I am that way too. If I do something wrong, I lash out and act all tough too. My favorite tactic is to be the one to leave first so you cant hurt me by leaving me.

    I have always thought this is my anthem. Maybe she will like it too.

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Wow Janet, that hit the nail right on the head.

    Any clues on how to approach her to find out for sure what happened that night? I have a strong feeling if she gets an opportunity to "confess all" and discover that we're not going to hate her for it that the self destruction will stop. I of course can't speak for ex boyfriend.....but he told sister in law that he hasn't given up yet. He's waiting 2 months for her to come around. That surprised me. Maybe he does really love her. I know he tried awfully hard to get her to come back.

    Ex boyfriend said when she came to pick up her clothes she came early. It was the day she quit work. He expected an ugly scene. But she sat on the couch and made small talk.....and didn't seem eager to leave, stayed about an hour. I told boyfriend she was trying to work up the courage to ask to come home. I sort of blurted it out, didn't mean to. But I recognize the behavior.......I did it to husband many years ago when we were separated / divorced. Took me 3 tries before I finally bit the bullet and came out and asked. Like I said, we're more alike than she'll ever know. lol husband had been trying to patch up our relationship for almost a year....and still I was terrified of being rejected by him. Sigh I don't think she expected him to really move out of the apartment. She told me that she told him to stay there and she'd continue to pay her half of the rent. Which also tells me she thinks she did something terribly wrong. If this was a break up for break up sake, she'd have told him to stuff it, not volunteered to pay it.

    I dunno how ex boyfriend would react if such a situation occurred. But sad part is she'll never know either if she doesn't come clean. Even if they don't get back's just not worth throwing her life away. Things happen......people make mistakes. Part of real life.

    I know that Nichole loves ex boyfriend with her whole heart. (she doesn't do things half way) I find it impossible to believe that she would sleep with another man while still in a relationship with him unless the man took advantage of her and coerced her into it with alcohol (or something else) or forced her. Not the girl who is so firm in her belief that cheating is unforgivable under all circumstances. She'd have to stand in front of me, look me in the eye, and tell me while I could read her expression. (cuz I always know when she's lying to me) And heck, if she's as much like me as I think she is.......even if he forced her.....she's still thinking it's her fault because she put herself into the situation even though I warned her never to go into that house without me.

    She looks like h*ll. by the way. Certainly not how one should look who is so blissfully happy. Sigh

    D*mn. And Mom is feeling mighty low thanks to my reaction to the whole thing. I let her down. Yeah, I'm no mind reader, but when you need your Mom to figure out what's wrong during the worst moment in your life, you're going to be devastated when she doesn't. No wonder she's so mad at me.

    Worst yet? I still don't know what the heck to do about it. Crud and double Crud.:(
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think she is a confused, hurt girl who doesn't know which way is up.

    I wouldn't push her, but just be available. I think the worst thing you could do is start pushing.
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I'm not sure. You could confront her, but that would risk putting her on the defensive, and maybe pushing her right where you don't want her to be. On the other hand, if you say nothing, you risk her staying there and becoming more entrenched in the situation with bff's husband. It's so hard to parent an adult child. She has the right to ruin her life, and that's a hard thing to watch. And as a parent, you have a right to express your displeasure and offer to help her find a way out, if she wants out. (Can you tell I'm thinking out loud here.) I think you should keep your hand extended, be there when she comes around to talk, and let her ask for help.
  6. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Lisa, maybe the best thing to do is keep communication open, a helpng hand extended and let her play this out herself. Working out theories on what must be happening will only serve to push her further away and make you totally nuts. She may be tired of playing house with the boyfriend - she may have needed a change and just jumped off the life raft and onto the nearest passing ship (and from my own 20 something difficult child days, it was usually the Titanic that was passing by during times of desperation). It took some time to have reality hit but I always managed to find another life raft and get off.

    And for what it is worth - at times when my mother was working up her theories on what I was actually doing with my life - and she had NO clue as she was over 3,000+ mile away, one of my difficult child tatics was to tell her what she was imagining was 100% right, just to get her to shut up and go away and leave me alone as I had stuff to figure out on my own.

    You raised her to be independent and self sufficient - I don't thiink she has figured out the right way to get from Point A to Point B quite yet and like most difficult child's, do it half a##ed backwards at first

  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Given her mindset on cheating, and your closeness to her, your similarities with her, I would say it is highly likely you are on the right track. That doesn't mean that you have to fix this for her. If it feels right at some point to tell her that if something happened, well, it is the "new" guy's mo to get a girl drunk and take advantage, and that IF it happened to her that you would understand and that you don't hate her and are not mad at her, well, that might help. Or it might not. You have to follow your instincts on how to handle this.

    in my opinion there are times as a parent to follow your head and times to follow your instincts. Given that this guy is not a great guy (maybe not as awful as you thought he was, given that much of what you know came from your mentally ill drug addicted bff, so it may or may not be all true), and that she has upended every single thing in her life with no warning, it may be that it is a time that she needs you to follow instinct. However, she IS an adult, so if you end up upsetting her and getting WW3, it is NOT totally your fault. She has to be responsible for her own actions in this.

    She may need you to figure it out and confront her. But even if you never do that, it is NOT your fault that she has made these choices. You are not responsible for her current actions, nor any future actions. Yes, she seems to be in turmoil and punishing herself. But it is partly a choice.

    I know a while back you had some worries about her having similar mental problems as your mother. What role is that playing in this? It seems to me that there is some delusional thinking going on, though I cannot pinpoint where. Please think about that as you try to figure out what to do.

    As I have said many times, the biggest mistakes I have made as a parent have been made when I ignored my instincts.

    Love you, and am hoping for the best possible outcome.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You've no clue how much I appreciate the input and advice.

    My dilemma is that through a big part of this mess I wasn't behaving normally myself. My normal reaction would've been to pin her down and force her to tell me wth was going on and what she was thinking and not let her walk away until she'd done so. Let the chips fall where they may. But she'd have known where she stood with me regardless of what she'd decided to do from the get go. I wouldn't have told her what to do. But I would have given her the pros / cons and shown her options available to her. When I failed to behave normally........which she may have consciously or unconsciously depended on me to made it worse.

    Yeah. I know, regardless of what I did or didn't do they're still her decisions.

    What do my instincts tell me? At the moment, they're screaming at me that if I don't start behaving like my normal self and do something, Nichole is going to continue to self destruct until there is no turning back. If I let her know that I've figured it out and force her to talk about it.......and get the opportunity to tell her it does nothing to change how I feel about her, how the family will feel about her......and she pushes me away.....she will at least know that and will have that running through her head while she is with the man. But if I continue walking on egg shells afraid to tell her what I'm really thinking and feeling, it's going to get worse.

    How do I know? Two additional tidbits of news has trickled in. Nichole is drinking. I repeat, Nichole is not a drinker. And seems she can't leave the house without bff's husband. He even drove her over to ex boyfriend's house and waited in the car for her to come out again. Ex boyfriend says the last several times he has seen Nichole the bff's husband is always waiting in the car and even if she wanted to talk she probably felt like she couldn't. This information is not sitting well with me and it has my mother radar going off the charts.

    No. I can't fix this for her. But I can try to convince her that it isn't the end of the world, that her family is still behind her 100 percent, that we understand she is as human as the rest of us, and that we will be there to help her put her life back together if she wants us to be. After that it will have to all be up to her. I can't force her to stop punishing herself. But I can't even tell her those things without telling her I've pretty much figured out what happened. ugh

    Basically your typical no win situation.

    How I'll go about it I haven't a clue. I'm not going to call her up and confront her. Oh, that would go well. lol It looks at this point that I'm going to have to keep an eye out for an opening and then seize the moment. If that moment doesn't come around in a timely manner..........(school starts tomorrow limiting the time I have to see her) I may just have to come up with a way to create one.

    Not trying to fix it. Not trying to make her decisions. Just trying to let her see that she's allowed to make mistakes without everyone she cares about hating her for it. Something I really believe she needs to know right now.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Just the few posts I've seen on FB lately have had me wondering...and I have the feeling that she's gotten herself into something she doesn't quite know how to get out of. I can relate to the frustration of waiting for someone to commit to you, and then something happens to blow it all up in your face...oh, yeah, been there done that.

    I think you're exactly right, about her punishing herself, and it sounds to me like she's pretty much given up on nearly everything. My mom instincts are fired up as well. Hopefully she'll be ready to listen to you very soon. Many hugs and lots of prayers going up for her safety.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Non-specifically speaking? Women who have and stay in controlling/abusive relationships and do not get counseling? Do not just luck out and get the nice fairy-tale Prince Charming guy and live happily ever after. What they do get more than likely for life and a perpetual cycle for THEIR CHILDREN ESPECIALLY THEIR DAUGHTERS is an example of exactly how to go from bad relationship to bad relationship without ever knowing what a good one is like.
    Because they NEVER EVER take the time in between hops from this guy and that bed to that guy and hops to that bed and don't put themselves before sex and their emotional drive to feel "needed, wanted, cared for" by a man. The truth of the matter is if they took just ONE little bit of their lives off from looser boyfriends and men who were abusive and controlling and found out WHO THEY WERE, WHAT THEIR GOALS WERE, WHAT THEY WOULD AND WOULD NOT TOLERATE FOR REAL in their lives and got rid of things like RAGE, ANGER, and truly found their SELF WORTH? They would attract more men that would literally fall all OVER themselves and give up THEIR little quirks to please HER. Not all of them - because no one is perfect. And I'm not talking that you'd go from getting the Macho, sexy, buff, rough, bad boys to little geeky nerdy guys....Heck I got a biker...(swear I looked up at God and said 'Is this a TEST?'"

    So maybe instead of trying to figure out WHY she's doing what she's doing? (because that's a given as far as I'm concerned - she's looking for something she wants but can't ever have and you can't convince her of it until she believes it in herself and she doesn't and won't believe it until: SHE DOES THE WORK. Sadly if she does NOT? Aubrey could end up doing exactly like her Mom - falling for guys who fill a superficial need instead of really giving her the things that a real relationship needs.

    Honestly - the mans wife isn't even cold and he's screwing around with someone else? Yeah - he's a winner. (If I have this right) And even if I don't -What kind of man just moves another mans' woman in without making sure they are through when her daughter is still there with him? He's so low class he doesn't even have a class. Yet this is who she thinks is Mr. Wonderful and is going to take care of HER? Yeah right. She's thinking with her hoo-haw not her brains. - So I'd tell her to go have a trist, get it out of her system, then leave the boyfriend, leave the trist and get herself into some counseling, stave off all the hoo-haw activities for a year - get her mind right for herself, her daughter and when she starts to figure out who she is, what she REALLY wants, what she'll put up with in a relationship and is HAPPY with Nicole? ye out a trist. A good one. One that respects you, will do things for you, support you in all ways.....and will take CARE OF YOU and puts YOU FIRST.

    Other than that? She's going to have to figure it out the hard way =over and over and over and over and over and over and over. ANd over and over and over and over and over....and eventually Aubrey is going to get to dating age and by then it's going to be too late because the pattern is set and voila....repeat this with Aubrey. Whether anyone likes it or not. There is a smidge of chance that she could be so turned off by her Mom's behaviors that she could go the other way but statistically speaking? Not very much of a percentage. THAT makes me just sad.

    My best suggestion for you HD? Take yourself to the Womens Shelter and get ALL the advice you can get and after you have a few meetings under YOUR belt? Invite N to go with you. Breaking the cycle is about all you can do for her. Trying to figure it out? You'll never do it. You'll just make yourself nuts and waste a bunch of time you could spend helping her get to therapy and meetings.

    Hugs & Love.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    A big AMEN to everything that Star just said! Talk about going from the 'frying pan in to the fire"! She just went from one who is childish and immature to one who will be determined to control her every move! And he's already started!

    There's about fifty red flags just in these few sentences, all of these are classic signs:

    "And seems she can't leave the house without bff's husband. He even drove her over to ex boyfriend's house and waited in the car for her to come out again. Ex boyfriend says the last several times he has seen Nichole the bff's husband is always waiting in the car and even if she wanted to talk she probably felt like she couldn't."

    And now she's quit her job too so she'll be at home all the time? So now he has financial control over her too! Give him a week and he will be in control over who she can see, who she can talk to, where she goes, what she does, who she talks to on the phone ... if he isn't already! And this is just the beginning. I second the idea of YOU going to visit a domestic violence counselor and arm yourself with as much knowledge as you possibly can and just hope and pray that you can get through to her. Sending many, many hugs.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Imagine if she feels compelled to stay because of the loss of bff. I mean what happens to bff's exdh if she tells that he did something horid? What happens to those boys? She may not be able to sort out all the 'what happens if's. She needs you to talk it out with her. When she feels comfortable enough you will get to the heart of the matter. Most important is to start the talking now - it may take time for the comfort level to get where it needs to be.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, one good thing.......she's talking to me normally again. No chance so far to have any sort of heart to heart talk.......But it's progress.

    Starbie, I lived for about 6 months or so in a domestic violence shelter and trust me when I say I went to so many meetings and group therapy sessions I could practically run one myself. Had nothing to do with husband or domestic violence.....I was hiding for a different reason but had to follow the same rules as every other client. I learned more in those 6 months than I could've gained in a lifetime. I know only too well what I'm dealing with as far as bff's husband and Nichole views on it. There are moments when I wish I was a bit more's making sleeping at night nearly impossible.

    Tuesday morning I won't be having class...........I'm hoping I can coax her over here for a bit to talk. Might be easier than I thought because she had to ask today if she could come over and use my computer for her online classes. Evidently the internet at bff's house stinks. (thanks God for small favors)

    I'd do the pamphlets again but I know they won't work. Nichole has had them shown to her so many times it isn't funny, both by me and by her psychiatrist. Talking seems to sink in better. I certainly hope so this time.

    This is going to come out sounding awful but honestly........Nichole is lazy. Bff's husband is going to expect her to clean up after herself (he's a neat freak) and the house, he's got her taking the boys to school (they should be riding the bus) and doing his errands. Lord only knows what else because bff's husband is also lazy and would much rather put the work onto someone else than take care of it himself. At some point she's going to rebel. How do I know? Because even I nor ex boyfriend could get her to clean and such. The most she'd do is pay the bills and get groceries. If he dares attempt to dicipline Aubrey the **it will hit the fan so fast he won't have a clue as to what happened. Same reasons, Nichole goes full blown Momma Bear when anyone other than herself or ex boyfriend dicipline Aubrey.....I've gone nose to nose with her a time or two myself. It ain't pretty. So I'm hopeful she'll have something to snap her out of it in the near future. It's only been about 2 weeks.....just about time for the honeymoon period of any new situation to wain. And unlike ex boyfriend.......she doesn't love this guy. So once she's POed there would be little to stop her from walking out the door. (all of her stuff is here except her clothes)

    And she had a friend my age from work (a Mom who naturally mothers her because she also has grown kids) come to visit and spend time with her today. So hopefully she's talking to someone about this even if it's not me just yet.

    I'm trying to work as fast as time will allow without pushing too hard. Not going to be easy when I'm in school 4 days a week. But the longer she stays in that house the more control he is likely to have so I can't just sit back and wait.