An Update

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by GuideMe, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Hey everyone,

    Well, it's almost been a month since difficult child moved in with my brother. I had no idea how that was going to go, so I have been literally holding my breath for the last three weeks because anything could have happened. I really have done absolutely nothing for fear of my world being flipped over again. I didn't want to get disappointed and I just truly didn't know how things were going to go from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute, even second to second. However, so far, so good praise God. I know it's way too soon to tell yet and I don't expect it to go all peachy cream forever, but I gave myself permission to exhale a little today and actually move and get some things done.

    Me and difficult child are on ok terms. I see her a couple of times a week and talk to her. One of my major problems is that I want to address a lot of things with her about the last few years but she knows how to avoid talking about it. She just wants to forget it all, but we can't just "forget" it all. Trust me, I do not want to re-hash all of it, but I just want to tell her some things that I will not accept and she is not open to that conversation at all. I know she is going to wait until it's too late to finally listen to me but my goal is to stop people, including her, from only doing things on their time and not mine. I want some things to change between me and her if she truly wants me in her life and it's very minimal. Don't be angry and aggressive. Don't yell, scream and curse, ESPECIALLY in front of people. Don't demand things and don't take your anger out on me. I know it might be asking a lot of someone who has anger problems, but it HAS to happen in order for me to feel comfortable. I do not want to go through out my whole life being afraid of my daughter or being bullied by her. I don't want to have to worry if we are invited to a family gathering if she is going to freak out on me or treat me like scum in front of everyone if god for bid she gets angry at me. That is one of fears. I do not want to be treated like that or humiliated like that EVER AGAIN.

    I also have a very few other must haves on my list such as: sometimes things have to go as *I* plan, not as she or everyone plans. Some things have to be done my way for God sakes and that goes not just for her, but for everyone in my life. I have been a doormat for far too long.

    Anyway, just learning to take it a day at a time. With her living out of the home for the last three weeks, I have already seen changes. When I walk my dog, I am actually started to enjoy the scenery. It's like a cloud has been lifted slightly. Not living with abuse, anger and rage everyday is definitely a healthy thing. I also want to state for the record, it was just not her that was the problem, I have serious problems as well and by no means am I throwing the blame souly on her. I am just saying, sometimes people can not live together. They can be in each others lives a lot, but living with them is such a very different story. A VERY DIFFERENT STORY.

    I just hope that the living situation stays permenate at my brothers. If things start to go astray there and he tries to put the responsibility back onto me, I am going to remind my brother that it was HIS idea to take her on, I have all the text messages of how he said he can raise her better than me and that if I get in his way, it would be World War 3. Oh how I love text messages in this rare case since he loves to forget a lot of things. However, HOWEVER, things seem to be going ok over there and I do hope everyone is happy and I hope that it works out for my daughter. I think she should stay there for as long as she possibly can.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    GM. glad things are better now and you are feeling more peaceful. I do have some suggestions about how to deal with your daughter that do not include talking about "stuff" as that usually doesn't do any good and provokes their nonsense arguments and a reason for them to be angry at us, which causes stress.This is how I do it now and just take what you like and leave the rest. You can talk to a easy child, but not a difficult child. I would abandon that strategy.

    "Actions speak louder than words."

    Without any conversation at all, you can stop how she treats you. All you have to do is not allow it. For example, if you and her are talking and she gets abusive, calmly say, "I expect us to respect one another when we speak now as we are adults. I will go now and when you are in a calm mood call me maybe another time." Then gently hang up and don't answer again. If she goes ballistic and calls you 100 times, put the phone in a drawer and take a walk with your dog or alone, but don't answer until she has had time to think it over. I would make her wait at least a day before answering a call or reading her texts. Type or say ONE TIME IN RESPONSE, "I love you, but we are adults now and you must respect me and then we can talk." That's all. Reinforce your boundary. Then try again when she contacts you next on another day. If she gets abusive again, hang up or delete text without finishing reading it, rinse/repeat.

    Acting on what you will tolerate, WILL get the message to difficult child, more by what you do than by what you say. Do the same if you are in the same space as her. She starts talking smack or getting abusive and you leave, no matter where you are. Do it each time she isn't respectful. Forget about what the other people in your family may think of you and do the same to them. Eventually, they will ALL get it. You can always give a short, CALM explanation first. "I have decided that we are all adults and I prefer to be treated with respect. If I'm not, I will quietly leave until we all calm down. I wll also respectyou. I love you. Good-bye." Leave. Brother will be blown away, but have no choice but to treat you respectfully or not talk to you. This makes it HIS decision and you are setting reasonable boundaries.

    Nothing works less than "This has to change or else." You can not guarantee a good relationship or a non-frightening one with your daughter. But you can make it clear that if she is ever violent or disrespectful, you are gone for a while. I'd call the police too if she ever gets violent again. Make her know you are serious. The ways that you change will send a strong message. Rehashing old hurts and setting verbal rules, without any action to back it up, will not do anything except trump up drama that you are involved in.

    There is no guarantee, no matter how much you talk to your daughter, that she will ever be safe. That has to come from her. On the "actions speak louder than words" you will know by how she goes to therapy and attempts to change and softens her demands and how she treats you. If you want to have a relationship with her, you do not have to have high contact...low contact is fine until she can prove she is no longer a verbal or physical threat to you.

    It really isn't that hard to do it. Remember, people watch what you do. They don't listen to what you say. Most will think you are just blowing hot air and words give others the self-righteous belief that they can lawyer you and argue with you and you probably usually go home in tears, having lost the verbal fencing. Don't verbally fence. Do. Act.

    Like the mighty Jedi said, "Don't try. DO! There IS no try!" (I hope you like Star Wars or you won't appreciate

    People can not abuse you unless you let them. Short and sweet, less is more, talk is cheap...I have found all of these things to be true with a difficult child. They have to believe you will stick to your guns and talking all day and all night will not prove that.

    So in my opinion you probably will get nothing but grief if you talk too much to your daughter about what she should and shouldn't do. I feel it would help A LOT MORE to SHOW her what you will and will not tolerate. And be consistent.

    Hugs and have a peaceful night ;)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    On your brother.

    If he decides daughter can't live there, it is his decision and he can decide it's not working out. Why would you try to guilt him into continuing to do it? He will probably just get angry and you'll lose your argument and cause both of you angst, hard feelings, and nothing will change. Nothing. Other than you will again work yourself up to a frenzy. It is worth it to practice accepting others decisions, even if you don't like them or agree with them or think they are fair. It only hurts YOU and YOUR HEALTH, which isn't good, to get worked up. That is not a good thing to do. Calm, calm, calm. Practice meditation...was very helpful for high-strung me! I used to over-react like you do. I learned how harmful this is to me so I practiced another way of reacting. Can't say I never slip, but I do catch myself and tell myself "Calm, calm...this explosion is NOT working for anyone...calm down or nobody will take you seriously and you will get sick. CALM!" I repeat "calm" in my head.

    Daughter is going to have to find where to live if Brother changes his mind, which is his right. She is an adult now. Or you will have to bring her back home, if you feel you can't let her try on her own, and put yourself right back where you were before.

    That is your decision. Your brother AND you are no longer responsible for your grown daughter. She is responsible for herself. Many difficult children burn out all their relatives by acting like a difficult child...that's why so many are homeless. I would not take on brother. It is not worth your energy or strength. Bet you get your heart rate going just thinking about a confrontation with Brother if hs changes his mind. Remind yourself, even if you don't think he is very nice or very fair, that it is his home, his castle, and he gets to choose who lives there and for how long. You have the same choice in your castle. We all do.

    Don't waste your time. This is not a battle you can win.

    This is really your daughter's fight. She is the one who has to change for others to welcome her into their homes. Or they won't. And she WILL end up homeless. She needs to learn to follow society's rules, not attack people, not become violent, not do drugs. Counseling is there for all of us, her included. It is hard work. It can be done.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  4. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    You know what, you are so right about the "talking doesn't work" aspect. Thanks for reminding me of that. I am going to have to show her instead and I think what will work the most is if a situation does arise, and she starts her stuff, I will leave and not talk to her for a LONG time. I know that will be REALLY hard for her.

    As for my brother (you do remember the abusive and arrogant jerk we are talking about right?), you are right it is his decision and by no means would I be trying to guilt him. I don't know if you read what I wrote correctly, but try re-reading because sometimes we do miss things. I said if he , for whatever reason, tries to get me to let difficult child move back in with me, especially after what he said to me about my being a bad parent, he can do it ten times better than me and if I get in the way he will make my life hell, I am surely going to remind him of what he said, especially since I have it in text message. I am not going to make it easy for him (or difficult child) to kick difficult child out. If he does it, he will have to have the hardship and the guilt of putting her out, NOT me and I HAVE to be really strict about that because my brother will try any way possible, including being abusive and trying to make my life hell, in order to get his way, the way he wants it. Meaning, if he wants me to be the one to take her back in, he sure as sh*t is going to try to make it happen (including all other kinds of sneaky tactics) and I WILL NOT let that happen. I will not deal with his abuse and tactics anymore just like i won't deal with difficult child's. Period. He wanted it this way, now he's got it and if things don't turn out good, he will have to bare the burden of throwing her out, not me. He will NOT suck me into it, get me involved and I will in no way, shape or form help him, ESPECIALLY after all the horrible things he has said to me. For once, he will have to own up to his words towards me.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He probably won't feel guilty and bringing up anything won't change what he does.You can't force him to keep her no matter what he texted. Do you really think he will feel guilty if he throws her out? He doesn't sound like the type. Nor does he sound like somebody who will keep her no matter what you do if he doesn't want to. Why engage him? In the end, if he does throw her out, it is on you whether you want to take her back. She is old enough to make it on her own. Many eighteen year olds do. You really are putting yourself in danger if you do take her back, but it is up to you.

    There is nobody who can guarantee difficult child a home with her behaviors, including your brother, who I realize is an a***hole. But he hasn't lived with her and may decide it's not worth it. You have to be prepared that all the guilting in the world won't make him live in an uncomfortable situation. He seems to value himself too much to put up with too much garbage that interferes with his comfort, and your difficult child can be a royal handful. They all can. Nobody knows what they are getting into, no matter what they say, until difficult child is in their home. And often they get thrown out.

    It's up to your daughter to change her life.
  6. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I think you are misunderstanding me MWM and yes, he would feel guilty about throwing her out if he knew she had nowhere to go, he's not that cold hearted.

    Again, my intent is not to guilt him with that response at all actually. What I am trying to say is, if things go south and If he chooses to bring me into it in any way , shape or form which is what I am worried about. If that happens, I am simply going to text him a copy of what he said and then I will certainly not engage him any further. There is nothing he could say after that. I will not engage him after that for anything. What he decides to do will be up to him. I accepted that from the first minute he let difficult child move in there. I am not going to lie, I would love for him to honor his word, especially since he thinks so highly of himself and puts me down all the time. He says he could do so much better with her than I ever could, damn right the responsibility is on him now. He would make himself look so bad if he kicked difficult child out and I plan to remind of him of that if he ever does, not for guilt purposes but for all the crap he talked. I guess you literally have to see the text messages he sent me to understand. Maybe I will post them. In addition, no matter how bad my daughter can be, I don't ever want to see her homeless. If worse came to worse, and she showed up at my door step, I would let her move back in but I am going to do my absolute best not to let that happen so easily and that's because of all the tips you and others have given me. If they get things start going bad, which I pray that they don't, I plan on staying far, far away and not answering my phone from either of them! Furthermore, my daughter will not know where I live. I am just saying, I am not going to make easy for either of them because like you said, he does not like anything or anyone interfering with his life even if she was a saint, so I would not put it past him to somehow sneakily suck me back in for the soul purpose for me to take her back because he would do that. Yes, that he would do. However, if he knows she has no place else to go (I move out at the end of the month), he won't kick her out. Yes, my brother will feel very guilty. He does love difficult child very much whatever "love" means for him. If anything he will help her find some place else to stay. The only way he would kick her out is if she stole from him or did something horrid, which she is not a thief and doesn't do anything horrid. She will not act out with him because SHE IS AFRAID OF HIM.. So the things that she does here, she wouldn't dare do with him because SHE KNOWS better. I'm not saying she will be perfect for him, not by any means, but she knows not to get with him like she gets with me.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  7. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    and remember I told you? My difficult child has lived with my brother before. Once for almost six months and one other time for about two months.
  8. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    The possible reasons why brother would want difficult child move:

    1. As you said MWM, interfering with his own life and comfort, even if difficult child was a saint. If she becomes too much of a burden for him.

    2.Possibly he might get hurt because difficult child doesn't or didn't in the past, interact with his kids a lot. They love her to death but she barely wants to spend time with them. It's not personal, she is just not a kid person at all. She loves her cousins dearly, but they are over a decade and more younger than she is on top of it. However, I am sure it could be hurtful sometimes for my brother to see his kids vine for my daughters attention and she barely gives them any. I know how that feels because he was the same way with her when she was a baby and a little kid growing up! so he really has no room to talk and he knows that.

    3.If she loses her job and doesn't get another one. That would be a big one.

    4,If she disrespects his girlfriend or doesn't listen to her, such as keeping her room clean (which is very hard for difficult child to do)

    5. My brothers girlfriend setting up difficult child to be kicked out because she doesn't want difficult child living there. Not because she doesn't like difficult child, but for other reasons. Yes, his girlfriend would totally do something slimy like that with no hesitation.

    6. Other reasons I might not even be aware of

    Those are a few reasons that I could think of that he would want her to leave, but even at that, he wouldn't kick her out with no where to go. He would at least find her a place. That's why I can not make it easy for him if he decides to pull me in, which is why I have his text messages at the ready. I have to let them know I can not be an option, even though deep down I would take her if it is the absolute last option, but they don't need to know that.

    As far as I know, everything is going pretty well over there. I don't think any of this is happening because everyone seems to be happy and difficult child is working a lot. So, I am going to leave at that.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm so happy you are finding some peace and able to "exhale". MWM is absolutely correct in that trying to talk to a difficult child about what has happened in the past won't work. I tried too many times with mine and it always ended up the same way, they will talk you in circles leaving you feeling confused and defeated. I simply just to do not engage my difficult child.
    Hugs to you!!
  10. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Hey Tanya, thank you. I've been thinking about you. How have you been?
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm doing ok, it has been such a busy month, plus I'm getting over a cold - don't have time to be sick :o_O:
  12. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    That's good, except for the cold part. I know how that is. Take those vitamin C chewables like I do. They seem to work.