I saw my daughter tonight.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Esri, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Esri

    Esri Member

    She came over for the first time all summer since she left. She was polite and kind but she is still very immature.

    My other daughter was very happy to see her.

    I'm not even sure how to describe how I feel. I was happy to see her but sad and disappointed when she told me about her summer. I kind of wish she didn't.

    I also know she lied to me. I checked her phone GPS tonight when she wasn't here at the time she said she would be.

    She told me she was getting ready. I know she was at an ex boyfriends house.

    I didn't say anything about it because she doesn't know I check her whereabouts. Which leads to another thing. As I wait for my Codependent No More book to arrive, I know I check that GPS too much.

    I feel like a stalker. Torn because I want to check her whereabouts but am usually disappointed when I know. I tell myself I'm checking for my peace of mind.

    Another thing that I need to work on for me.

    I wish I had better words to explain tonight. I am sad because I don't see her path changing anytime soon.

    ME 42
    husband 40
    DD1 18
    DD2 9

    My oldest moved out a week after turning 18. I'm really struggling. Looking for advice.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Esri, maybe this will help you. It helped me.

    Your daughter is taking HER path, not yours. We all make our own choices. Our children are not born to fulfill OUR dreams, but to fulfill their dreams. None of my adult children finished four year college. So what? It was their choices. A few went for two years. All are hard workers. Even difficult child has a good job and he's never gone to college. He makes a lot of money, just doesn't spend it well. College would not have changed that.

    I personally think you should ditch the GPS. What does it gain for you to track her whereabouts except getting you mad because she is apparently seeing some boyfriend you didn't like? What she does is actually none of your business. Yes, I said it's none of your business. She is of age and not living with you and you have no business telling her who she should go out with or marry. Most of us, difficult child's mothers, did not ask our parents who we should date. We did it. Even if you think it is bad for her to see him, she has to learn that on her own or maybe she doesn't think so. I don't get the GPS. If that were me, and I was a kid and found out, I'd be furious and it would make me think you were violating my boundaries and being a control freak. I don't understand why you do it at all. You don't have to know where she goes. It hurts you and your health. It potentially REALLY harms your relationship with your daughter.There is no up side to it because it doesn't change anything. You have no control over your grown daughter and she does not need to be watched. Please...I urge you to stop for both of your sakes. Your peace of mind will be better once you learn to detach. Did you read the article on this site?

    Now (and I say this with laughter in my voice, not anger), if I am getting annoyed at how close an eye you are keeping on your daughter and how much you are trying to control her life...(remember I am being lighthearted here), can you imagine how SHE feels? Do you think maybe that's why she left? Because you were looking over her shoulder and telling her what she "should" do at every turn? In therapy, I learned that "should" is not a helpful word. I would try not to use it and see what happens.

    Lastly, I do think you could use therapy. You will not be happy in your life until you step out of your daughter's life and path and walk your own path and rediscover what makes YOU happy and do it. Not what makes you happy if SHE does it, but focusing on yourself, apart from anyone else. You are separate and unique and deserve a great rest-of-your-life.We warrior moms are basically almost all about stopping the control and moving on with our own paths and being happy even if we don't like the decisions our grown children make. Remember, although you have 0% control over your daughter, you have 100% control over yourself. You can choose to be happy and I hope you do!!!
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Have to agree with MWM. You have to respect her boundaries in this new part of your life and relationship. And her romantic/intimate life is certainly her private business and outside of boundaries for you.

    And let's face it, I wouldn't even consider it lying, that she told she was getting ready instead of telling you something else. It was a polite thing for her to do, when it so happened that she was running late (yes, of course it would had been more polite to be in time, but I bet most of us have been running late at times.) I mean, what was she to say? That she was with her ex fighting/having important discussion about their relationship/having sex/whatever? True but way too much information! That it was none of your business? Again true, but rude and disrespectful. Try to avoid answering or not giving any excuse? Again slightly rude.

    What do you do, if you end up being late from meeting with a friend or your mother because you and your husband had a fight or got carried away? I know I'm not telling anyone that I was fighting with my husband or having sex with him or things like that and am late because of that and I'm not considering it dishonest, when I blame bad time management/traffic/not noticing the time or whatever for my lateness.

    Stop checking the GPS unless you have a real and serious reason to worry for her safety and well-being. It just causes you anguish and would make it very difficult for her to trust you in longest time if she found out. You are building a new relationship with her and it is much more a two-way street than the one you had with her, when she was a kid. You have to respect her boundaries and her new-found independence and understand that she will not be sharing everything from her life with you. Even the most perfect easy child child at her age does lots of things their parents would not approve or consider smart. What makes them easy child's is, that they are able to hide those things from everyone who isn't supposed to find out. difficult child's tend to be worse at that and their stupid stunts tend to become common knowledge.

    Maturing, learning to be independent is about making mistakes, learning from them, succeeding and learning from that too. And every 18-years-old is immature and while I'm sure your daughte4r is more so than many, her willingness to grasp to the independence, her ability to draw boundaries with you (not telling she was with her ex-boyfriend and giving a polite excuse instead) are in fact signs that she is much more mature than some others, who at 18 are not yet willing to take any steps to independence and are constantly giving their parents too much information of their private life. You should celebrate that.

    If you have been very close before, it may have been necessary for her to take a bit bigger break from you to gain the independence she is aiming at. Taking that distance helps you two start that new relationship that you need to have for next decades. It will be different than one you had before, but it doesn't have to be worse, even though her taking that distance likely hurts like heck now. But if your relationship had strong roles for both of you, for you taking care and controlling and her being your child, it sometimes needs that distance to break those roles so that you can find new ones. Ones that make it relationship between two equal adults.
  4. Esri

    Esri Member

    Thank you. You are right. It is none of my business what she does and who she sees.

    I also agree with not checking GPS.
    I just deleted the app. It does zero for me to continue to check.

    Man, it's so hard to 'learn' that my job as her mother is no longer the same. But I am willing to learn. That's why I came here and I did start therapy and I'm also trying to read a lot of this subject.

    ME 42 husband 40 DD1 18 DD2 9

    My oldest moved out a week
    after turning 18. I'm really struggling. Looking for advice.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh the GPS. It is both a blessing and a curse. When my son was younger, we used it a LOT. He was a minor...he was supposed to let us know where he was and what he was doing. He hated it. His friends called it his "electronic leash". I admit, I used it a bit when he was away at "college" - but eventually I stopped doing so. I have used it a couple times since, when he said he was "job hunting" and had our car - to double check to see he was actually where he said he was going, a job interview, etc. But mostly I don't now. Deleting it was probably wise. You can always reinstall if she loses her phone or something and you want to help her find it.

    Our rule with our son, who still is at home, is that he's 19 and his life outside of our home is not his business. If he wants to stay out all night, that's his right. We only ask for a heads up so we don't wake up to find him gone and worry.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Another issue to consider, Esri, is not checking Facebook. That is another medium they use to torture us with posts that are haunting and horrible, and really just for us, even though their friends see it and probably think, "oooooooooooooooooo, that mom is meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeean." There is no up side to reading Facebook, in my opinion. We moms can not detach while we are spying on our adult children who are no longer at home and, on this forum, the majority of them are out of the house. We have no right to have expectations about their choices if they are no longer living off of our dime. As long as we support them, I think parents should expect standards of behavior or do the cut off. But not afterward. We can't control them anyway.

    "God grant us the SERENITY to accept the things we can not change (our adult kids),
    "The COURAGE to change the things we can (ourselves and our reactions to them)"
    "And the WISDOM to know the difference."

    Peace! :)
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ersi, this stuff is hard on us, get some support for yourself. Therapy, a parent group, CoDa 12 step groups, do it for YOU. Letting go is hard enough, but when we are forced into it because our kids leave home, there is a lot we go through and it so helps to have someone to talk to, to give you insights and compassion, empathy and understanding, tools and resources to help you to cope with the loss you feel.......all the feelings you are going through........be kind to yourself and find a supportive environment so you can learn to detach enough so that you can find peace of mind amidst the choices your daughter is making. It is a very tall order and it takes time and it takes a lot of support, but you can do it.............

    We don't just turn off our parenting abruptly as has happened to you.......it is usually a tad more gradual and expected. You experienced a big loss and it was abrupt, it is no wonder you are having a hard time of it. There are so many emotions to deal with, sadness, guilt, resentment, anger, bewilderment, grief...........it helps a lot if we can have a guide through all of that, it will make it a lot easier on you. Give that to yourself, you deserve that.

    Keep posting, it really helps. I'm sorry you're going through this..........you're not alone, we're all here with you.........hang in there and take very good care of YOU.......
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Have you told us why she moved, Esri?

    I would feel as you do.

    I agree though that excellent self care through this time will be very good for you.

    I'm sorry this is happening.

  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Some of this GPS and facebook thing is so dependent on the family and situation. I dont use facebook a whole lot but I am "friends" with all my kids on there. I dont consider it spying on them if I talk to them or look at pictures of my grandchildren. Its a way of us staying in touch.

    Also when I had Sprint we had an app that our whole family belonged to and we could see where we all were. It was easy for me to see if Billy was still at work or if he was still in town so he could pick up a gallon of milk. I liked being able to watch Jamie run around his town up in VA. I especially liked the fact I could see where Tony was when he was coming home from work. I dont think any of this is spying. We all knew we signed up for this app.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Janet, your situation is way different, in my opinion. Everyone is on board, which is ok. I am friends with my two adult kids who have FB (36 and Julie deleted their accounts). GPSing when the other person is aware you all have tracking and are ok with it and nobody is trying to make another person feel badly is absolutely A-ok, in my opinion. This is not spying while your kids are trying to hurt you, Janet.All of your boys dearly love you. Anyone who has seen your posts year after year knows even your difficult child loves you and would not post horrible things on FB to scare you, right? That's my impression.

    When an adult child starts writing hteful FB posts, such as "My mother is a (fill in your favorite difficult child's most common demeaning word) and I'm going to kill myself because of her" then it's no longer just to keep in touch. It's being used to frighten and abuse. Tracking somebody who is not aware you are doing it, and no longer is a minor, is, in my opinion, spying and to what end? Who is the one who gets hurt and depressed and suffers? What does it accomplish except our own angst and sadness?

    Of course, anyone can continue to check FB and monitor a difficult children every move, but who does it hurt? Not the difficult child. The difficult child is not going to change or do things differently because you are secretly following them. It hurts us...only us...because we love them and they are doing things we'd probably be better off not knowing about, since there is nothing we can do to stop them. I think, on this forum, many of us have already learned to take of ourselves pretty well, and we try to pass along some of the serenity that we have achieved to those with very young difficult children who are just starting out. I know I don't want anyone to be codependent as long as I was. All of us have multiple people who love us, not just the difficult child who is so dramatic the air gets sucked out of the room until there is no time for others who care about us. And what about taking care of our health, mentally and physically? I think all of us would love to dance at our grandchidlren's weddings :) When I used to snoop on 36, even though at the time he was a minor by many years, I was miserable 90% of the time. I was more miserable than he was!!! It is no way for us to live and our difficult children also are allowed to self-destruct as much as it kills us inside...at any rate, there is nothing we can do to stop them if they don't want help or to stop. Until then, we have to give our hopes and dreams over to something bigger than us, and let go while keeping some hope. It is sad, very sad, but it is also very true.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  11. Esri

    Esri Member

    She left because we were fighting and she wanted to be an 'adult' and make her own mistakes.

    I have not checked GPS since my original post and I already feel better. It's a small step for me.

    My husband and youngest went to a family BBQ yesterday. That was great therapy me. Surrounded by love and laughter.

    ME 42 husband 40
    DD1 18 DD2 9

    My oldest moved out a week
    after turning 18. It wasn't on good terms. Her choice. Since moving out she has not made good choices. Looking for advice.
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  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    As much as it may hurt right now, that is kind of a good reason. And also gives every reason to hope, that when you get over this (and it may take a year or two), you will be able to have a great relationship.

    It is a good thing she wants to be an adult and make her own mistakes and learn from them.
    It is a good thing, that she recognize that you two fighting was a bad thing and the way to solve that, was take some distance for now.

    It hurts and it is a big adjustment for both of you, but there is a prize other side of it.

    Good for you not checking the GPS and concentrating to rest of the family. Your younger daughter still needs different type of mommying than your oldest for some time.

    With your oldest I would advise you to try to make your meetings and contact pleasant for both of you. Do something fun together when she is willing and has time. Don't ask too many questions but listen what she tells to you. And also talk about things you have done and neutral topics. Try to build a new, friendly relationship that is less about mom and child and in more equal grounds. Not all of her business are yours any more and neither are all your business hers. But between those boundaries there are lots of things to talk about and fun things to do together. Do not overwhelm her, but let her know that you still are there for her and try to enjoy and be proud of her new found steps into the adulthood.

    It sounds like she is basically a fine young woman and you are a great mother. You are just having some difficulties in adjusting to new phase in life, but I'm sure you will be able to work that one out.
  13. Esri

    Esri Member

    I am glad she wants to be an adult. But since she has moved out, she has been everything but.

    She got fired from one job,put her two weeks in her other (main job) tried to retract her 2 weeks but they denied and said it would be better for her to leave because she wasn't doing a great job and it would look better than a termination. So now she has no job. Not sure she will even finish her last week. I had to talk to her into staying the day this happened. She texted me with how much everyone at her job can eff off and there are this and that.....I don't know what to do. I told her to stay and finish her time. She asked so I told.

    She blames everyone else. She's spent $1800 of her graduation money in a matter if weeks. Shes has gotten 3 new body piercings, (that I don't care about, but it's just more change that happened so fast) She's smoking cigs and worse, pot and drinking.

    Her wanting to leave to become and adult, I get. The way she did it (moved out when my husband and I were out of town) and the way she has treated us since, is the issue I have.

    We are talking a bit more and I am learning that I can not change her, I am only be here for her. I have been a
    in a horrible state since she left but I am now working on ME. My other daughter and husband need me.

    I love my daughter. I need to learn my new role in all if this.

    These are her mistake to make. I just hope she does learn from them, stays safe and wants to better herself.

    Thank you all again for the support.

    ME 42 husband 40
    DD1 18 DD2 9

    My oldest moved out a week
    after turning 18. It wasn't on good terms. Her choice. Since moving out she has not made good choices. Looking for advice.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    MWM, you are right, I seem to have a different family...lol. Cory (difficult child) does some awful things but the boy would lay down his life for me. I have never worried that he would hurt me or lie about me or anything else. Mostly he does stuff that hurts him. Which in turn does hurt me. Cory doesnt even use fb anymore. He did when he was out of town as an easy way to send us pictures of all the places he was seeing. Of course, Cory doesnt even use the computer much anymore unless he is checking craigslist for jobs.

    Esri, I think a lot of kids leave in a huff. It makes it easier sometimes to just pull the bandaid off fast. It would be nice if all kids left the nest in the perfect manner. My middle son is the only one of mine that launched the way he was supposed to. He went into the Marines and he has never lived at home since he left on 2/18/2003. Yes I know the exact date...very traumatic day in our lives...lol. We didnt have to push him, in fact he planned going in from the time he was 8. My oldest granddaughter is 8 now and I am working with her to look to the future and plan goals for her life to aim for. Right now she says she wants to be a police officer like her Uncle Jamie. Im all for that! That will force her to be good as a teen. Jamie's goals to go into the Marines kept him inline during his teen years because he knew if he got into trouble his life was over.
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Janet ;) You have a special relationship with all your boys. That is very clear. I believe they'd all lay down their lives for you. Esri, not only does your other daughter need you, YOU need to be happy...YOU need you. We are not supposed to mother our grown adult children forever...they don't like being treated like they are younger than they are. We all have to learn to let them grow up. "Give them roots to grow and wings to fly." Growing up is a learning curb and often what we3 wish for our adult children is not their desire. Many times they make bad mistakes and we can't save them...we can only hope they stop being dangerous.

    It isn't up to you to determine if she is being responsible. Obviously, none of us would find her responsible, but we don't know what's in her head, what her activities are (you don't either) and if it makes sense to her. I'm sure it does. difficult children tend to go off the rails and do unconventional and sometimes even reject societal norms for their own normal. You can't change what she does. in my opinion it's best for you to learn how to back away and go on with your own life. You have no control over your daughter...you may not like her path, but you can't change it. She may not want to better herself in the way of your definition and in my opinion that's ok. She needs to find her own way of being happy and fulfilled, not your way. I mean, all our difficult children need that...their own paths, not ours. (((Hugs)))
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014