New to forum. 18 yo daughter leaves house. I am lost.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Esri, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Esri

    Esri Member

    I have a daughter who turned 18 two weeks ago. We have always been close but recently she has not been happy at home and the past month has left twice. Each time to a friends house. This last time she took most of her clothes and said it was for the best that she leaves. It has been almost a week and I feel like I am in mourning. I miss her so much it litteraly hurts my heart. I feel broken.

    She has been pretty disrepectful before this and we were fighting alot over everything. My question is how do I know what my role is as her parent now. How much does she need me, if at all? I know I need to back off and give her space. And I have but it has been very difficult. I dont know how much to go into detail about our situation but it sounds a lot like the other stories I have read on here.

    I sent her a text yesterday and just aked her how she was and told her I loved her and I hoped that she finds some happiness. She replied that she was sorry about this but thinks its for the best. She also said she hoped we could at least be civil. I just replied, me too and left it at that. I want more than to just be 'civil', I want my daughter back. But I am trying to limit my contact with her for now to give her space.

    She is a good kid, but she is changing so much in such a short time. I get she needs to find herself but just because the law says she is an adult, she is far from acting the part. I'm scared because I dont know what this means for her and I. Do I just continue to back off and wait?

    Thank you.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Let her go. She is an adult by law. She will soar or fail by her own strengths or weaknesses. Stand-by and be ready "if" she needs your assistance not your help to do what she can do for herself.

    Live your life. Rediscover lost passions. Do you.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deep breaths. Remember, this is what is *supposed* to happen - kids grow up, move out, and live on their own. It may have happened sooner than you expected, but it'll be ok. I'm sure if things were tense before she left, that may mean some unresolved feelings for you - that's all normal too. It's an adjustment, redefining your relationship with your adult child. It takes time to sort it all out sometimes.

    You still have your daughter - you're just going to have a different type of relationship with her now. I personally think this is a GOOD thing - because it's now your turn again, to live your life for you! I agree with pasajes - try to rediscover some old passions, and find things that you want to do, for YOU.
  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    These separations always remind me of National Geographic know, where the young adult lion attacks the big senior lion, or the young stag attacks the herd leader, and they go at it as though to the death. Usually the younger one is driven out, to go find a new herd or pack. Occasionally the older one is killed, and the younger one is the new leader. It is violent, dramatic, and seems to the death...and it is exactly what we do, with less blood. It seems very natural and right to me.

    My daugher, who is now 20 and whom I adore, was from hell from 14-18. She couldn't stand me, spent as much time away from home as possible and the rest of it in her room, screamed at me, ran away, called me toxic...and then she left for college. And I dropped all attempts at advice or control simultaneously...because you know what? She lives 2000 miles away. I have no idea what she does with her days and nights, or at least the tiny tiny window I have does not reflect reality. So I stopped telling her what to do or even asking questions.

    And we are so much better. We love each other, miss each other, text and message each other, skype if it has been too long...she visits me and I visit her. But if she stays too long, guess waht...I start controlling oh such a little bit, and she starts resisting....and best we move apart again!

    Let her go. Give her space. Practice a "I have faith that you either can handle this or will learn with experience. Good for you for trying it on your own. I love you." standard. It will be good for you and for her.

    I am sorry it is sad. Its hard to let our kids go. But it must be so, so do it with grace.

  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Welcome the others here have given you good advise, the only thing I can think of to add is take a moment to pat yourself on the back for successfully raising an independent self sufficient young adult.

    I also hope it doesn't turn out like many of the stories here where they call collect from jail wanting you to post bail or pay a lawyer or come back with drug habit or pregnant expecting you to support and raise their kid... lets hope it doesn't go there but if it does we will be here for you.

    I hope you stick around this site and can advise the rest of us because you have obviously done something right and we can all benefit from your knowledge.

  6. Esri

    Esri Member

    Thank you for your responses. It helps.

    Her and I are meeting for dinner tonight. Any advice for me? I don't want to drill her with questions or anything like that.

    I also know I should stay calm and not let her see me upset.

    I'm having dinner with my daughter and it feels like I am going on a date. This is so weird and all new to me. I don't want to have to walk on eggshells.
  7. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Instead of ?s like "how are you?" make statements like "it's so good to see you" try to put the mother thing on the back burner and pretend like seeing an old friend haven't seen in a while.

    Oh one last thing if she grabs the check and insists on paying for dinner... do you want to move in here and help me "fix" my kids?

  8. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Keep to positive responses. Use a list of phrases, including...good for you! that must have been hard. I'm impressed. How do you think you might handle that? That sounds interesting. That sounds fun. That sounds challenging. Good for you. Wow! You are doing great. That must be hard. Sounds like a dilemma. That sounds frustrating. Good for you! This was fun. I love you.

    If you cycle those and repeat, the evening should be great.

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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In spite of the age difference, there is nothing you CAN do. You can't make her come home or drop boyfriend. I suggest you keep contact to a minimum and be civil, like she said. It is not the end of the world. Most of all, don't feel like it's a date and you have to make a good impression. If you have to do that, your relationship is shot. Be the person that you are, just don't be a mommy. Be a mother. That's different. Be interested, not afraid. And don't give advice. If I had to be nervous about seeing my kids...I wouldn't even enjoy the times we had together. Now....

    Do you have your own life going on? Friends, a job, hobbies, a spouse, good times? I suggest moving on with your life. All parents of adult kids have a different role than we used to and I believe in not preaching to grown kids. Let them make their own successes and failures and (this is important) stay out of the relationship unless asked to come into it.

    And start the rest of your life and make it a good one. I am facing an empty nest for the first time and that's exactly what I also have to do. Our kids are on lone until they are eighteen. Then our relationships change, even though we are sometimes still close. But we are no longer welcome by them to tell them what to do.

    I'd back off and be low key.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart. I do know it hurts. Mine already does and my daughter hasn't even left for college yet. I know I"ll cry buckets of tears, but I have to let her go. We give them roots to grow and wings to fly and then they start their own adventure, just as we did.
  10. Esri

    Esri Member

    Thank you again for the advice!

    I do have a full time job. I also gave a 9 yo daughter at home. I am married and have a strong marriage and support from family and friends.

    My daughters dad and I divorced when she was 2 and I know she had issues with that. He hasn't been in her life much and when he is, it's disruptive.

    She is living with her friend, she does not have a boyfriend. I know she talks to boys. She also has a pretty good job.

    She was planning on going to a tech school in the fall but she failed a couple tests and was going to retake but has yet to so. This is another thing I asked a lot about, still planning to go to school? I will refrain from bringing this up tonight.

    Another topic is her sending out thank you cards. We threw her a big grad party and she received a good amount of cards and money, I told her I didn't want to nag her about getting them out, she said, then don't. Another topic I will avoid tonight, along with the money in her account. I can only hope she doesn't blow it but it's not my
    place to to say anything about it.

    Typing this out makes me wonder if she sees me more as a prison warden than a mom. In a way I don't blame her. I know I need to let go.
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  11. Esri

    Esri Member

    The dinner went well. We had some small talk but we also talked about her leaving as well. I wished her well and told her I loved her and that I'm here if she needs me.

    I kept calm and did not try to talk her back home.

    I'm glad I saw her but I thought I would feel better. I'm still pretty sad about this whole deal. It'll just take time I suppose.

    Thanks again for your wise advice!
  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    If you are only sad and not angry/agitated/regretful/on high alert after your dinner, you have done fabulously.
    Having our kids grow up and away from us IS saddening, or at least sobering. It is all a process. You are taking the first steps.
    Try and do something nice for yourself a nice smelling lotion, get a foot massage, light some candles. You need some soothing and self care. Be proud of yourself for keeping a steady hand.

  13. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    transitions are often difficult for everyone involved, it's good that your daughter can make this transition into adulthood without all that yelling that went on the first time I left home. It was almost a year before my mom and I could even sit down for coffee together.

    In my case my mother feels need to control everything, so when I was living there it was constant debate on everything I did was wrong, it wasn't wrong it just wasn't the way she would do it. It wasn't until I was on my own with my own child did I start to LIKE my mother; I had always loved her but did not appreciate or like her until I had done her job a couple years.

    I'm so glad you had a nice dinner that didn't end in an argument, it leaves room for many future gatherings. Communication is the key to strong family, not necessarily living under the same roof.

  14. Everyone's Mom

    Everyone's Mom New Member

    Reading your post and the responses of others is helping a bit. This is so very new to me as I had to ask my 20 year old daughter to leave yesterday (she's bringing home random Tinder hook ups).
    I know that I cannot put our other children and our home at risk by allowing her to come back. I know that I cannot continue to enable her, but I also know that I'm dying inside because this adult-daughter of mine is my life, my best friend, my everything and I don't know how to get through this new chapter in our lives. I know today is only Day 1, but I'm not sure I can get though Days 2 and more....

    Thank you for your strength. I will borrow some today if that's okay.
  15. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    I noticed this is an OLD THREAD from June 2014. A new member Everyone's Mom just posted here, but she has newly started her own current thread on PE titled: Asked daughter to leave home -Dying Inside. I think it would be more appropriate to respond to Everyone's Mom on her current new thread, you think ?
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