Emptynester and sad..

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lucedaleblessed, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Only a few days after she turned 18 her bed was empty. She had left during the night.

    She had left a letter where she claimed that she had been playing an act because we tried to kill her some years back when we took her to Michigan for a weekend boot camp. She wrote that she had been living in fear for some years and she just waited until she could leave without being forced back.

    It has been some weeks where we have searched for her. It seems that she is living in a town two hours’ drive from here working in a restaurant. Thanks God she got her high school exam.

    Thinking back on it I should have realized that something was up. Usually money in her hands would have been spent fast but lately she had no desire to spend money on anything. She must have been saving her money for this so-called escape.

    I am disappointed. Sure the camp was tough but it was not supposed to be a punishment. It was lessons in team work and personal accountability. We had researched the camp and we still believe that it was a sound and safe program they had going there. When I check it on Facebook even now years later they are still in operation and the teenagers who have been there state on the Facebook page that they want to go back.

    Maybe the camp was a shock for her because we had always shielded and serviced her to a point where her problems were more our doings than her. Before the camp we were not that strict about chores and homework. We also took lessons back from the mandatory parent seminar at the end of the program so we changed and there were consequences when she didn’t pull her part. Her grades improved and we didn’t have so many fights about chores so I really believed that she benefitted from the program. Apparently I was wrong. She was according to her own words just too afraid to talk to us.

    *Right now I will let her reach out to us. I believe that she can manage for herself. She is 18 and an adult. She has made this choice and now she has to stick with it. Still I am sad. If she feared for her life then why didn’t she tell anyone? I hope that she will return some day to talk. I want a relationship with her but I know my daughter enough to know that she has to make the first move. Otherwise she will just move on to a point where we cannot find her.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm so sorry you are sad. I don't know what happened at boot camp, but my guess is far more was going on that that one weekend to make her want to leave and that the boot camp happened because she was going in a dangerous direction. At any rate, I hope she comes back to talk to you about it. Bet it turns out to be more than that and she's just using the boot camp as a guilt trip. Wouldn't shock me if she has some boyfriend she wants to move in with. Of course, at eighteen, she is on her own...legally s he can do what she wants.Is she a drug abuser?

    Gentle hugs.
  3. I don't think that she is using drugs. She hangs on to the last dime. I feel stupid for not realizing what she saved all her money for.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, don't feel stupid. None of us want to think the worst of our children and if she's not using drugs, she may come around yet.

    Our kids do fool us and at eighteen you couldn't have stopped her from moving out, even if you had known. I am sorry she hurt you.
  5. compassion

    compassion Member

    My difficult child has done similar "runs" many times. I find it important not to buy into the guilt/blame/fear. I find that her need to assert her independence, identity and individuate/separate from me takes on forms that true to her personality/illnesses are dangerous, in my view. Last year I had tried so hard to support her to go to the community college, she was 19, she spun a psychiatrist, became her own payee for SSID so she would have the money. She took off with her boyfriend and they were living in a tent in Fl. in July! That did not last long, she has been back at our country home now since last Aug. She is now 20. It is baby steps and I always call it a marathon not a sprint! If I can let go shore my energy up for the ultimate needy times, that can help. I find that the more I try to engage when she is in breakaway mode, the more she resists. When I back off, then at times, like currently, she calls me frequently. There have been months though where she did not speak to me. The treatment you sought was because of HER behavior/needs. I have to focus very hard on what a great mom I was because those perfect mother/guilt feelings can be emotionally lethal! I always find summers challenging with her. It is her biggest party time. Even kids that are fairly compliant during the school year, see summers as party time. This year, trying to reinforce her working. She has a part-time job at a sports bar in the university town she lives near. She has not worked since May 12. She says she will, but have not seen it yet. Detatchment and trying to take very good care of me helps me.