easy child and PTSD, difficult child and her 28 y/o paramour

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Last evening easy child went to a co-worker's house for dinner and there was another co-worker there as well. easy child didn't know that the 2nd co-worker knew difficult child and as easy child was relating how worried she was that difficult child is dating a 28 year old the 2nd co-worker commented:

    "Well, I know difficult child a lot better than I know you and I can tell you - she's not 'dating' the 28 year old...let's just say she has a lot of 'Bed-buddies' around town".

    easy child didn't want to elaborate on this conversation too much and I could clearly see that, for her, it set off a sort of PTSD in her. Like she used to do, she just buried it and went silent. All throughout Middle, Junior and High School, easy child had to, at first, defend difficult child and then endure all sorts of comments made about difficult child, as well as deal with the aftermath of some stupid things difficult child did, and then finally later, separate herself from difficult child. I think when I moved difficult child to the school outside our district, easy child was eternally grateful that she would no longer have to be thinking of how to comment whenever difficult child did something stupid at school. Eventually, people stopped asking easy child why difficult child wasn't going to their school and easy child was glad for that bit of relief.

    Anyway, this co-worker's comments, for me, have confirmed what I've long suspected - difficult child sleeps around. It also confirmed for me that easy child definitely has some level of PSTD related to being raised with her difficult child sister. I reminded easy child that difficult child makes her own choices and it's not a reflection on easy child or any of us...as a 19 y/o adult (the word 'adult' is used loosely here), difficult child has to live with the consequences of her actions (apparently that means being known as a Bed-buddy around town - yeesh!).

    I wish I had a giant eraser and could erase all the pain and embarrassment and undue responsibility that easy child has had to shoulder all these years in relation to her sister. It's not fair.

    On a side note, difficult child used her grown up voice last night and told me that despite anyone's concerns, she will date the 28 y/o and see where it goes. She's very happy with him and he's nice...so, could I just pretend to be happy for her? Hahahaha, after I stopped laughing, I just told her that my only comment is that neither H nor I condone the relationship, but as long as she continues to follow the house rules, take care of her health, and understand that she cannot entertain him in her bedroom, we won't say a peep about it, she's an adult and as such will have to endure whatever the consequences are of having a relationship with a man who is 9 years older than her and has an 8 year old son. She nodded her head and that was that. It feels so good to let go...but I will admit that I've had a little trouble sleeping the past two nights because, let's face it, just because we can detach on the outside, we still worry on the inside. But I am really trying and I feel good about it. I just keep reminding myself that I have no control over this.

    We are going away this weekend and difficult child will be home alone. I have three people lined up to check on her and the house while we're gone. Keeping my fingers crossed that it goes smoothly.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 1, 2009
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand. Youngest had to endure hearing a lot of stories about Oldest through high school... and even now, sometimes gets, "you're OLDEST'S sister? Wow.. you are nothing alike." The stories about Oldest, and her reputation, were quite embarrassing for Youngest at times. I never thought of it as PTSD.. but it makes sense. Much of Youngest's difficult child tendencies coming from growing up in the shadow of Oldest's GFGdom, I've no doubt of that.

    Good answer you gave difficult child.. it's so hard to sit back and watch them make these choices.. but I think you handled it beautifully!
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Just a hug. I'm sorry. It is hard to watch our children make such bad choices.
  4. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Sounds so familiar. My youngest dtr was embarrassed by all the antics her older sister pulled and then she had to hear about--like being drunk in the bathroom at school, all the guys she was promiscuous with, etc. She says people always ask her if she is E's sister (she resembles her) and sometimes she just says no. She says people who deal drugs always assume she will buy from them since her sister did. I think she is glad to be done with high school now so people won't associate her with her sister.

    Sounds like you are doing a good job handling things, Jo! My heart goes out to your easy child.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thankfully my boys never really had to deal with that. Most people knew Cory was different from...well forever. Jamie's friends all knew there was a huge difference between the two. Sometimes they let Cory hang out with them but they were just being nice. Now...well lets just say I am so glad Jamie left the area completely.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks. I don't think I'm doing so wonderfully - I am at the point where I am simply practicing some self preservation. difficult child had control over our home and lives for so long and it's been a long time coming for me to just let her deal with things in her own way instead of constantly fighting against her tide, if you know what I mean.

    It used to be that when people asked me how my girls were I would just say, "They are good" and leave it at that. I finally feel like it's not sinful for me to be loudly and openly proud of easy child and her accomplishments without having to feel ashamed of difficult child. When she does something good, I am proud of her too. easy child has expressed that she feels so sad that difficult child never did anything to utilize her talents and brains and that she hopes she will one day.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jo, I completely understand what you mean. We used to have people come up to us in stores that knew us from back when the kids were playing sports back in elementary school. Coaches, parents of team mates. Several times the boys were on the same teams or stuff like that. Also being a pretty small town and being on the rec league teams we got to know each other pretty well. After all they played together from ages 7 to 13 or so. I still see a few of them. Some of these kids have gone on to play at colleges on scholarships. Ugh.

    It never failed that they would ask me about both of the boys. I always had something nice to say about Jamie and then there was Cory. I could always tell about how Jamie joined the Marines, then how he got out blah blah blah. Then when Cory had Keyana I could gloss over most things and say...Oh Cory just had his first baby...show a picture and say...isnt she adorable...lol. I just left out the other stuff.

    My best saying when it comes to Cory when people ask me how he is doing is: Well Cory is coming along. Its taking some time but I think he will get there.

    They can take that however they deem fit.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    You've come a long way, Jo. Good for you!

    I like this, too.

    There's no reason on earth why we have to spill our guts just because someone asks us a question. It took me a long time to figure that out. :)

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Yes, Janet/Suz, I do the same thing. If things aren't going so well for difficult child, I will usually just say something along the lines of "She'd getting there..." and leave it at that. Like I said, when she gives me something to be proud of, I will beam for her just as much as I do for easy child. I especially love when difficult child does something and she is proud of herself!
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is really hard to not have PTSD when you have a difficult child sibling. Esp if that sibling is older.

    You might consider adding monthly or bimonthly STD screening if she has "bed-buddies". It could be part of "take care of your health". My sister in law almost couldn't conceive my niece and has a number of problems because she was promiscous and didn't get an STD check for a number of years. She was even a NURSE.

    I only know about her because someone from the small town she and her sons lived in mentioned a woman on the team parents board who slept with X and everyone else. this woman said she was really sorry for my bro because he had just married her. (Her children even told me horror stories about her "boyfriends") She was unmedicated bipolar and it is not a pretty road.

    But, the std issue can even destroy your SANITY if you let it go. Or kill you. So be sure you include some testing in what you require. If you and H can.