Foolish wishes for our children that they don't seem to want...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm throwing this out at you guys because you all have such good advice and common sense. I realize that this is *my* problem, but I need some good words of wisdom on how to not let it bother me. The last thing I want is for my daughter to KNOW that his bothers me because I don't want her to feel forced into this step just to please me. So far I've been very good at biting my tongue, but I'd like to get suggestions on how to just let it go completely so that I do not slip up in the future.

    Jumper is beautiful, popular and has more friends than all her other siblings combined. She is very very well liked and loves to hang with the boys because she has a lot in common with them (she is an athlete). However, she has her share of female friends too. When she was a very small girl we adopted a boy who sexually abused her. She remembers it...she did not block it out and has no interest in sex...always says she will not have sex until she marries.

    Although Jumper has gone to homecoming and this year to prom with dates, she will not actually go out with anybody. She makes it clear to everyone that the boys are just her good friends and nothing beyond that. She always says she has too much going on to bother with a boyfriend. I think a lot of this goes back to the sexual abuse, but I'm not sure. She is almost fifteen and I know she's young and that many parents would be thrilled to have a girl who is not boy crazy or at all interested in why does it bother me that she has never had a boyfriend? Or just a date? I feel like she is missing out on some fun...most of her friends have boyfriends. She claims most are not sexually active either. Her group of friends is also anti-drug and they don't get into trouble. She does not seem jealous of her friends who have boyfriends. What's wrong with ME? Why do I want her to have one (and the problems that go with it)???

    So please tell me how stupid I am for wanting this for her. She has a full life...sleepovers with her friends every weekend, one sport after another, and she does go to her school's special events. I guess maybe I"m thinking that because of the sexual abuse perhaps she will always shy away from boys in THAT way.

    I admit I feel guilty that she was sexually abused in our house by a child WE brought into the house who conned us and made us believe he was a good kid...haha (right!). When I see her shying away from boys, I feel like maybe it was my fault. Yet she seems perfectly happy...I'm so confused...

    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Yet perhaps there is nothing to say at all. Maybe this is just a vent. But it's on my mind a lot and I would like to stop thinking about it.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Jumper strikes me as a young woman with a good head on her shoulders.

    Sometimes a person who experiences something horrific comes out stronger on the other side. Jumper has become a young woman who is not going to give up her power or let herself be 'swept away' by the charms of some teenaged boy. Most women go through years of "kissing frogs" before we eventually figure that one out...

    I say - Good for her!
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I echo DF on this. Deciding to not have a boy in life on top of everything else right now (or instead of everything else) is a very wise move. There may also be some correctness in your statement that some of it may be from her memories, and she does not wish to put herself "at the mercy" of a boy. I have a friend who was abused by a step-brother for years when she was little, and yes, the thought of the act was more than repulsive to her for a long time afterwards. She also wrote a will every year on her birthday. Then, one day... she met the right guy. They're still married and have four kids.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I will third this - she sounds like a very, very intelligent girl. The fact that she did not block it out probably will be better in the long run. Sure, she's going to shy away some. If she's happy, then it's really a non-issue - for her.

    Now for you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Nada, zip, zilch! Every parent wants something for their kids that the kids just aren't interested in. I know my Dad was hoping I'd go into engineering, my Mom that I'd go into medicine. Instead I got a degree in English. My parents had dreams for me - but they didn't push me to do these things - they let me decide (within reason, of course). I want so much more for my kids - and I did not even give birth to them! I do sacrifice for them, probably more than I should given I am a step-parent. But - I love them - they are the children of my heart, if not my body. I know Jett will probably not be on his own until he's over 30... If then. Onyxx, if the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) helps her, would be great in graphic design (which she loves)... I don't want to think about what might happen if it doesn't. But, geez... What I wouldn't give for Jett to get into physics - he's got a mind like a steel trap for this stuff! I can wish. But he will do what he WANTS to do. (Dating? Oh, no...)

    Let her decide. You've done well so far raising her, clearly.

  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I think it bothers you because you feel guilt that the abuse happen on your watch, and you are afraid that it will have a long term effect. And, that is understandable. But, she is still to young to know that her choice is anything but a very wise decision. My 17 yr old son does not have a girl friend yet, and my 15 yr old (,difficult child, who does have a girl friend) has made the choice of no sex until mirage. I count myself blessed in this area. Every individual makes their own choices for their own reasons. She is making good choices.

    But your real question is how to you get to a place where you can let go and stop letting it bother you. Ideas include:
    - Read about others who were abused and learn what signs to look for. If you don't find any she could be through it, and her behavior not related to the events.
    - Consider taking to a therapist who works with abused kids and see if she/he can provide you with any incite to whether your concern is valid or not.
    - Talk to her and tell her how you are feeling and your concerns for her. (But don't encourage her to change).
  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    My difficult child was like that at that very age. She went so far as to say she was asexual, because she had no romantic interest in anyone. I was very, very concerned for a while. It did fade in time. And she was never abused. If she is happy, don't worry :)
  7. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Oh my, what you wish for! I do understand that you want her to have fun and make the most of her teen years ...but her idea of fun may be very different from yours. Judging from my daughter's classmates when she was around that age, MOST fifteen year olds had never had a date.

    Relax and enjoy your social butterfly!
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Echoing the others...
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator


    I haven't read the other replies so forgive me if I'm repeating. I can understand your concern due to Jumper's early abuse... but don't borrow trouble. She seems very well adjusted and has a healthy attitude about dating. I know you have made sure she knows you will make sure she receives any amount of counseling she may need because you love her. But.... I think perhaps you should seek out counseling specific to the sexual abuse for you.

    I imagine it's been gut-wrenching for you. I know you've made your peace with disrupting this particular adoption but I'm not so sure that you don't feel at least a small amount of guilt over the harm caused to the other kids in his wake. Of course it wasn't your fault, but loving parents tend to beat themselves up when their kids are hurt. That's just my .02, I hope I didn't offend you.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks to all.

    TiredMom, thank you if particular. I have called my therapist to make an appointment for just that :)

    You all rock.
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    wow you guys were soo great with-this...... i was going to say yup what she said lol. she sounds like a great kid, her time will come she's just waiting it out and that's GREAT!
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well now that all the good info has been given.....

    What is she wearing to the prom?
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Heh. She picked out a beautiful pink dressed with a puffy skirt. We got it at a bridal shop (they had a sale) and while she was trying it on, it was fun watching the future brides trying on THEIR dresses too.
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to talk to Jumper yourself about this or is it just too sensitive an issue?
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Malika, I'm not sure how to bring it up. She can go to therapy whenever she likes and has a longstanding relationship with a therapist, but she claims to be happy and is doing well in life right now...if it ever comes up, I will certainly be there to get her help and/or talk to her. I was hoping some people who had had similar experiences would check in with me so I could see how they dealt with it and I did get a little insight.

    On the other hand, my daughter IS very busy with her life, is very VERY good friends with all the boys at school, and is only fourteen...I am afraid if I bring up anything she will think she NEEDS to go out to please me (she is a bit of a Mom/Dad-pleaser). I'm going to wait, unless she says anything to me. She is very excited about prom and was asked by the star of our school's basketball team. Although she claims she only likes him as a friend, she seems very excited to be going with him and she has said that he likes her. I think she is just not ready for the sexual issues that come up when teenagers date...and, after reading the responses, I guess I'm lucky. If it persists into college years, then she and I can sit down and have a long talk. The funny thing is, she and I talk about almost anything...but this issue...I feel SHE should bring it up. We are very close. I'm sure she would talk to me or her father (whom she adores too) if she feels the need...

    Thanks everybody for caring.
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, that feels right... to wait for her to bring it up, if she does, and then be available to respond. To be honest, and as you've said, your daughter as you describe her sounds remarkably healthy in her outlook and relationships, especially if she has experienced sexual abuse. What a mature 14 year old! The other extreme would be much more worrying, probably - promiscuity and early sexuality. Perhaps you should only worry if she is still not interested in boys in 5 or 6 years time, say :)
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    easy child's first boyfriend was a safe, long-distance one for her. She was 14/15 when they met and from then on, would talk on the phone for their weekly 'date'. She is now married to him. He was told early on about her abuse at the age of 5, and took things slowly and gently.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 is beautiful, slender, looks like a model (and has done photographic modelling and acting). A lot of fun, popular at school. But no boyfriend (apart from a brief teenybopper mistake which we don't think counts). She actively rejected them. No history of abuse as far as we knew. Then in her final few months of high school at 17, a boy asked her out. Their entire relationship was carried on via SMS across the classroom. She broke up with him (yes, via SMS because he would never answer his phone and had broken several arrangements to actually get together for a date) and very soon met her first serious boyfriend. She was sleeping with him within weeks. They were together about 3 years during which we could see the boy's immaturity, passive-aggressiveness, vast emotional baggage. easy child 2/difficult child 2 had already been friends with another boy when she broke up with that first serious boyfriend, and rapidly moved on. That next boyfriend turned out to be steadier, a lovely guy but still with a few issues. He moved in with us within a few months and they are now married.

    As I said - she had finished high school before she got her first serious boyfriend. I wish she had waited even longer. Before that, she deliberately intimidated boys who made passes at her, told the local kids she was a practising witch and would hex anyone who annoyed her. (no, she's not).

    It will happen. Give her space and do not pressure her, or she could make a bad choice purely to have a scalp on her belt, or notch on her gun barrel. You do not want that!

  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Marg :)

    My daughter is not model-pretty. She is tall and sturdy (not overweight) with long, long legs and a pretty face...even my father said "She's a really nice looking girl." This is significant for him because he is 87 and was once against our adoption of her as she is bi-racial. Boys of all races like her and have shown interest in her. She is NOT gay...if anyone is thinking that. She has always had crushes on boys and hangs their pictures in her room and talks about "cute boys" on the phone to her friends. She is just slow to date. I suspect she needs to be older and find the right person because of her earlier experiences. She will have to go at her own pace.

    Thanks again!