easy child won't move home

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    easy child moved out about 3 mo's ago, due to difficult child's behaviors toward her. We have been to therapy and continue with-it, but she has not. She went just b3 she moved and and seemed calm and happy.
    But every time we bring up the subject, she bursts into tears and digs in her heels (figuratively ... sorry, I'm used to talking to my difficult child).
    I am going to therapy with-her today, specifically to address the fact that she has not addressed her issues with-difficult child. She has merely shelved them.
    She is living with-a lovely family, 3 daughters in the same school with-easy child, but it's like living in a dorm, and no one is really parenting easy child. She's letting her boyfriend verbally abuse her, he's very immature but very bright and athletic, and I'm wondering if she's allowing him so much leeway and that she's teaching him how to behave, to replace what she did when she lived at home with-difficult child.
    Anyway, wish us luck.
    We intend to have her back home in the next 2 wks.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Perhaps she is afraid the boyfriend verbal abuse will be revealed while in therapy.

    Good luck! I hope she figures out a way to live with her family!
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i'm sorry your going through this. I hope it goes well, i hope she copes and learns how to address it instead of running away from it.

    i see your point, that is like living in a dorm. granted shes' safe yet so much different than being home with-you.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hope you're able to get her to open up about things. I'm sure it's been like a vacation for her, but like you said, she still needs someone parenting her at that age to a certain degree. And since boyfriend is behaving badly, all the more reason to get her back home where you can help guide her decisions about that situation.

    Good luck!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had a gut feeling this would happen. I realize it's better for her to be at home and that it's important to try to work at least some of this out in therapy. But, I think at 17yo, it's not such a bad idea to have a safe place if she's ready to start spreading those wings on her own. Sort of a transition into adulthood. I got married and left home at 17yo. The marriage didn't work, but I never went back home in need of a place to stay fro more than a few weeks, then I'd be out on my own again. An idea as far as therapy- if she won't go to family therapy, maybe she would agree to go to individual therapy as a second choice??
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry, I know this has been so difficult. Sending positive thoughts your way that things work out soon.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    Busywend, she brought it up on her own, and questioned whether she was trying to fix her boyfriend like she was used to working out things with-difficult child. So she has already given it some thought.
    We had a great session but she's not ready to come home yet. I am hoping we can go back next wk. She has a very busy school schedule, plus soccer nearly every day, so this scheduling thing is making it difficult!
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Sounds like you are doing the right things so far.
    I would continue with the open dialogue. Let her know you are not pressuring her, but there for her regardless of her decision.
    Maybe then she will feel like she can make this choice on her own?
  9. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. It sounds like a very difficult situation, and I wish I had something more helpful to say. I am glad she is in therapy
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Originally, we spoke with-the therapist and he told us to put our foot down. We are the parents.
    But watching her tear up so quickly just at the mention of it, I could see it was something deeper, and not just being a spoiled, too-free teen.
    So we're working on it.
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member


    yea it's easy for them to say just do it, your the parents, yet at the end of the day when it's your own child and your concerned for them and want to do what's best it takes a careful approach.

    Your doing all the right things, fact she even has her wheels turning is a huge sign that impact is occuring.

    I hope she goes again next week, the open dialogue thing is so huge when they dont' shut down on you it's great. You must miss her though. I know my easy child drives me up a wall yet with-o her i'd miss her.

  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Terry, I think you're taking the right approach by not forcing the issue with your easy child, but showing that you're there for her regardless.

    I think the stress of living with a difficult child in the house can be overwhelming for non-difficult child siblings, and sometimes getting away is the only thing you can do to maintain your sanity and focus.

    I left home at 17 to get away from all the GFGness in my house (older brother and parents). I started planning my escape when I was 13, had my entire road map for leaving laid out, and no one could have persuaded me to do otherwise, especially once I'd gone.

    I admire all of you for your openness and willingness to support each other through this, rather than just laying down the law.

    Sending hugs to all of you.

  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    in my humble opinion, if woud be really helpful if your daughter attended at least a few sessions of family/group counseling with you and your spouse...possibly with- your son as well. If I recall, she was living a productive life...school...other responsibilities. True? This is vitally important at her age. If she is behaving in a co-dependent manner...there are great books you can buy her on that subject. There are also CODA mtgs. Does she have her own therapist? She is at a crucial...scary age. As a side note...if she has had a "taste" of freedom...chances are sky high, she will not want to give that up by moving back at home. If you combine this with- difficult child "stuff," that might go "double." If you are not forcing the issue for her to come home...this sounds like a good plan. Since she is younger than 18 and you are likely footing many bills, it would be reasonable for you to have certain expectations though. Soon, you will really have to pull away in a major way. And honestly, you can't really control anyone. At 18, your influence, is very limited. And after that, we all hope our adult children are motivated to make good choices and that our influence will not be a major issue.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    My Mom said a very odd thing to me the other week. She said "How you allow your first boyfriend to treat you sets the bar for the rest of your life."

    I thought about my own life and the lives of a lot of my friends - I tried to picture in my mind just one that had a bad guy and ended up with a good one for life. - no one came to mind.

    Also living in a dorm style life at her age? FUN Mom - just FUN.

    Time to get the box marked - Issues I have with my brother out of her storage and go through the box, shred what she needs to and move on.

    THEN move back in with Mom.

    Hugs to your baby.....you too.

  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Terry...I think you'll have to figure out a classy way to dig in your heels and make daughter think she took hers off.

    What Star said...makes much sense to me.

    Star...spend a little time with- your mom. She's a smartie. (Does NOT suprrise me one bit! LOL)

    LOVED what Star's mom said re: the first boyfriend. in my humble opinion, patterns can be reversed/broken...but my oh my...it ain't easy.

    I agree...she should "deal" with her issues with- her brother.

    However, bottom line...daughter can't use the negative stimulus of brother to negatively influence her behavior/her life.
    Acceptance, coping mechanisms, etc. need to come into play. If not appropriate now...then as soon as it is...she might move out. If she moves out now...what does she have to do to be responsible. Brother does NOT change accountability or the forces of life.

    Life moves on...
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wondered how this would all come about when your easy child first moved out. As I recall it was largely because issues with difficult child.

    difficult child is probably now to a size that if he wanted to force her to do something he could. If he was raging or even just obsessing about underwear and wanted hers, well, he could really hurt her.

    Seeing as this is part of the problem, and how terribly violated she must have felt when even after interventions he STILL got to her private area and took her underwear, well, I can't see her willingly coming home. I know I wouldn't feel safe in her place, esp if I were home alone with him. I know you do your very best, but you simply cannot supervise someone 100% of the time.

    Hopefully you can still have her in a supervised home with friends until she goes to college. I can see having standards for grades, behavior, etc... but you are going to have to keep the reins loose.

    Gentle hugs, and keep up with therapy with her.
  17. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I agree with Susie. I really think easy child has found a viable solution for now. My younger dtr was abused by the older one and she felt trapped. She often asked if we could build her her own place or build a treehouse for her, or a secret room, etc. She dissociated to be able to escape and has now been in therapy for 4 yrs and still has a ways to go. Our house is a major trigger for her--so many bad things happened to her there. She is very much looking forward to being able to go away next year (doing a gap year program overseas) where she doesn't have to be constantly reminded of her sister and what happened.

    Your dtr too was violated by your difficult child--she needs to feel she has control over her life. That has been the biggest thing with my dtr--she becomes withdrawn and helpless and depressed when she feels she does not have control. She also has a lot of anger over not being protected by us, her parents, and I have had to acknowledge she has every right to be angry even if I didn't know what was going on at the time. We have had to do a lot of work to repair our damaged relationship--mostly me validating that her feelings matched what was going on and that I made mistakes that caused her harm. I'm not guilt ridden or defensive, I would surely do things differently if I could do them over. Most importantly, I am there for her now and I have made the stand that her sister cannot live in our house. I had to make that decision when her sister was only 18 but I had to be sure that M knew she would be safe now, that it was her turn to come first with us.

    Okay, I got rambling, just wanted to say basically that I support your easy child's decision and I am glad you aren't "forcing" her back home.

  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    You have to ask yourself "what does easy child need?" The difficulty of living with difficult child obvliously distressed her. It's a fine line between being overindulgent and being wise. Look at what she needs to deal with her distress and encourage her to work on those issues.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all!

    She turned 18 last wk.

    But we do hold the purse strings. And she wants to go to college. The postmark deadline for the deposit is May 1. She's not going to jeopardize that. ;)

    Yes, as Star said, she needs to take this stuff out of the box, go through it and shred it. We began that process this wk at the therapist's ofc.
    She is very angry at the yrs she lost, so to speak, not being able to go everywhere because difficult child was tantruming, for ex., or not being able to have friends over. In fact, her friends did come over but they didn't like difficult child so her friends controlled her activities. I think she needs to be a bit angry with-them, too, and I told her so. For ex., I gave her the name of a person we know and said that if difficult child messed with-her, she'd turn her back and ignore him, but her main best friend is a drama queen and not only makes a big deal out of everything, she wants everything done HER way and she leads easy child around by her nose. So difficult child is behaving the same way toward them but their reactions are completely different.
    easy child is tired of it but doesn't have the strength to walk away, (same with-her boyfriend), plus, this friend is very exciting and smart.
    easy child has a "pleaser" personality and she has pleased us over the yrs with-her mature behavior, but has stuffed a lot of emotions, too. That was the price she pd.
    She pleases her friends, too, to the point where she aggravates me and I have come up with-excuses for her to go places with-me to keep her occupied. (That won't work any more, LOL!) She is aware of that and figuring it all out.
    So, Jane, you are right, she needs to feel she has control over her life, but it isn't just difficult child, it's everything.
    Also, she's a "typical female" in that she doesn't make statements, she asks questions.
    I have a guy friend who, several yrs ago, pointed out that I did that (boy, was I embarrassed). We had gone to an art fair and I said, "Do you want to cross the street here?" and he said, "Are you asking me for permission to cross the street? Do YOU want to cross the street? Why don't you just say, 'Let's cross the street?'"

    It sounds so obvious when people point it out but it's one of those long-standing habits that really define who you are. easy child does that all the time with-her friends. I'll say, "We're going to eat at XYZ. Tell your friend to meet us there at 6:30." She'll call her friend and say, "Is it okay if we eat at XYZ?"
    I want to wring her neck! Arrrgh!

    She needs assertiveness training but she can be assertive because she's digging in her heels with-us. She can argue when she really wants to.

    Now I'm the one who's rambling ...
  20. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Your easy child could probably benefit from EMDR therapy. You do take the things out of the box but you don't shred them, you process them and take away their "power" so to speak. I've been doing EMDR therapy with my dtr's therapist for some anxiety issues and I can tell you I am feeling so much better now.

    My younger dtr is also doing EMDR and her issues are much greater so it is taking a lot longer but she has made a lot of progress. She is now to the point where she has to talk about things that she is feeling great shame about though and that is very difficult to do. She feels she doesn't deserve to be happy--her sister told her she was a bad person over and over and she internalized that. She hears her sister's voice in her head all the time telling her how bad she is. She also got involved with boyfriends who were sort of abusive--they reinforced the opinion that she was bad. Her therapist says those relationships slowed down the therapy quite a bit though they do serve as "learning experiences".

    I really feel for your easy child, she sounds a lot like my dtr. What I have learned from my dtr's therapist is to be there in an open, curious way. I listen to her and I validate her feelings though I disagree with her thoughts. I have to be strong enough too to hear how I let her down through those years with difficult child. I don't make excuses or try to defend myself. What she experienced was real and harmful and I can't deny that. Perhaps if she had been less sensitive she could have weathered it better or would have fought back. But she is who she is and it hurt her deeply. Her therapist points out to her that I have been working on my own issues too and that I am there for her now and I think that helps. I can't change the past but I can change the present and I think she does trust me now.

    Wow, rambling again! I guess I should start my own thread.....sorry!