So, I talked to her...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I told L this evening "It wasn't ok for you to bring your boss to husband's birthday dinner without asking us or letting us know." Debate, debate, debate, debate in reply. "L, the point is, this is the way I feel about it, and you need to know that you didn't deal with it very well. Next time you either need to call me and ask if she can come, or call me and tell me you have other obligations and can't make it."

    "Maw-aw-om! Why are you always this way?" Drama drama drama. Me telling her that actually, three times lately this has happened, and I've only mentioned it this one time. Two hours of how awful I am to pick on her "all of the time!" Two hours of "No, it's my house and I get to say what I don't like, and I most often let it go." No, you are always this way!" Eventually she got around to "I'm sorry." with an explanation. There's always an explanation. She's screaming at me and I hung up on her twice.

    I got her talked down a couple of times, and explained to her that it wasn't ok to tell me "You always do this you never let anything go" when two out of three times lately (and a lot more) I don't. I hung up on her twice for screaming at me. Then when I told her that I would try to approach her more gently when she was doing something that I found to be rude because it upsets her, and that all I can do is change my self, and that she upsets me when she pulls the "You always overreact, you always hold a grudge, you always act that way, she told me to F off, she had enough and she wasn't done with this. I take a full xanax (I usually only take .5) and a sleeping pill. She calls back a few moment later and wants to make her point that I should be nicer if I have a problem with her. I promise her I will try, as we can't live in the past, only in the now and in the future, to approach her more gently. That she should understand that I know she will debate everything I say, and that my feelings are debatable with her excuses. Call first, deal with your own problems.

    By the same token she needs to back off the "You always jump all over me everytime you think I did something you don't like something I do. You dwell on everything negative." It's not fair and it's not true and she needs to look at the one thing I may of brought up, because it stands on it's own. It's not about me, it's about her. And she can change if she wants to, and she has to if she doesn't want me to cut to the chase when I finally get around to laying down the line about something.

    "OK :(" "But you need to know..."

    No, L, you need to know that we can't do anything about the past, we can only live in the now, and should the situation come up again we both can try to not do the things that push the other's buttons. "Ok". "I love you dear. I think we're done now." I love you too. But does husband love me? husband (we were on speaker phone) "I love you." Good night L. But.

    Alright, goodnight. I'm pretty sure she just wants her I-pod. Wait until she see's it's the cheapest smallest one. Hope she can be grateful... Gggrrr!
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    By the way. husband picked out a birthday card for her. It says "The world always needs a drama queen. Happy birthday, Princess.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Witz -

    I'm glad you talked to L about this, but....

    You let her argue with you too much. You let her get you to say that you would approach things more gently. Yet she's screaming at YOU, telling you that YOU overreact and telling YOU to F Off.

    She takes advantage of you left and right. She is not concerned at all how you feel about it or how it effects you. She feels entitled.

    I would take the words 'I feel' or 'it makes me feel' out of the conversation. Bottom line is it is inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. Period. You don't need to justify it. She's a big girl now.

    I've found with my kids even at the ages 16 and 13 if I use the feelings words it's like an invitation for them to argue or debate it. When they do, I I stop and just start with the cold, hard facts: it's inappropriate, unacceptable, against the rules or whatever. And that's that. It is no longer up for discussion. They can like it or not. It's just the way it is.

    You have every right to feel the way you do. You have no need to justify that to anyone. If she could hear your feelings on it without trying to manipulate and argue it would be one thing. Afterall, we would like our children to have some compassion and empathy for us. We would like our children to say, "Gee, Mom. I didn't realize you felt that way. I'll do X next time instead of Y."

    But, she doesn't seem to be able to hear it without arguing and trying to turn it around on you. Which makes it sound like your feelings don't matter; only hers do.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Nothing is worth that kind of aggravation for me anymore. The beauty of Caller ID is that if you hang up on them ONCE, you know who's calling and don't have to answer the phone when they call back. :)

  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm glad you talked to her. I'm sorry you let her engage you for over two hours. I agree that when you use the nice, polite "I feel" and "I want" words, you're setting yourself up for the debates. Try just telling her that the rule from now on will be no guests without advance permission or whatever the rule will be and then hang up. When she calls back, don't answer the phone.

    I've been sucked into the drama with my daughter. She could go on for hours arguing something if I chose to respond. I just make my voice flat and tell her this is the rule. If she doesn't like it, she knows where the door is. In your daughter's case, if she doesn't like the rule, she doesn't have to come over. I know we try hard to teach our children to be considerate and I know that we teach best by example but we deserve to not be abused by our kids -- not physically, not verbally. What your daughter does is abuse.

    For kids like our girls, we have to learn to not engage. To walk away when they try to engage us. It took me a long time, but I did finally learn. I will preface a rule conversation with, "This is not open for discussion or debate. I am telling you that from now on, X will no longer be acceptable in my home or around me. If you don't like it, you don't have to be around me." After that, I walk away. Yes, she'll follow me and try to argue it and I'll simply repeat the rule. I will not get into a discussion about her feelings on the matter. I will not discuss why the rule has come about. I will not discuss ways it could change. After she has had a chance to digest the rule and her objections to it, I will listen if she truly believes the rule is unfair and sometimes even be willing to compromise it. However, when laying down the law, I refuse to engage and I refuse to let her abuse and bully me.

    Maybe you could try telling her from now the rule will be that when you tell her a rule is X, there will be no debate about it at that time. Then hang up. I'd love to see her face when the phone goes dead after a simple sentence. After hanging up, go do something out of the house and turn your phone off. If it doesn't ring, you won't be tempted to answer it.

    On the plus side, you did get an apology which means that you stuck to your guns no matter what she said and did. I know how hard it is to sit and take it. Sometimes it really is easier to give in rather than go through it all. Good job on not backing down!
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    So, sounds like another battle. I am sorry. Maybe next time you can flatly state what the rule is and then hang up. And don't keep picking up on her. Warn husband that if he does you will go off like a crazy woman.

    This behavior MIGHT be tolerable from a very young PMSing teen. Froma 24yo woman, this is totally unacceptable. But since you keep engaging her, she will keep doing it.

    And you backed down enough to say you would be nicer and more gentle to her feelings if this occurred again?

    I believe someone mentioned a need to Grow. A. Spine.

    I think maybe it is time. She plays you like a violin. Is this what you want? If not, please state your rule and hang up. Unplug the phones if you have to. Turn off the cell phones. Or make a nice long call to someone so she CAN't get through.

    Encouraging bad behavior only gets more bad behavior. You certainly have given her permission to treat you badly. Please revoke the permission. Maybe in the future you should just drop a note saying that this is not OK, in the future she will be asked to leave if she behaves like that? IT would cut out some of the interaction that is so damaging to you. Be sure to keep a copy of the note scanned into your computer.

    Right now it seems you are having a tough time emotionally. I hope you are seeing your therapist or doctor or whomever you have to help you with this (besides us, we always care and are here for you).

  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    It sounds like you said everything you wanted to say and regardless of that she will always want to find a reason to get the last word and thought in. As you understand it, that's her problem not yours. I think you did very well.

    And I don't think it's a big deal that you allowed her to take up two hours of your evening to reiterate what you needed to say to her. On the surface she may not understand your point of view or even care for that matter, but somewhere inside the recesses of her little difficult child brain, there is a little block of space that DOES 'get it'.

    I'm glad for the way you ended your call - you simply stated once again the purpose for your discussion - bravo! Now that you've said your peace, you can avoid future situations and utilize that caller ID and make plans that do not include her (or her rude boss).
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Wynter. I didn't actually use and "feel" words, she did. I responded with "It's not about your feelings, it's about your behavior. I didn't even go for the "You always do this" until about the 4th time she said it.

    Yes, she takes advantage. Yes, she argues. Yes, everything's a drama. And sorry always comes last. I'm exhausted. She needs therapy.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You know, I have to tell you all that I don't appreciate that at all. Firstly, "Grow. A. Spine." comes across as really snotty, and the other person that told me that got a nice note asking them not to. It's not going to become the Witzend catchphrase, thank you very much. I have a spine. I kept the conversation on track with my daughter long enough to get an apology out of her and a promise that she would stop doing the "You always..." thing that ticks me off.

    If I didn't have a spine, I would never have said anything to her. I came out way on top of this conversation because I got the results I wanted.

    1) She's not going to spring company on me again.

    2) She's not going to do things that she knows is going to tick me off and then pull the "you always hold a grudge".

    3) She said she was sorry and could have handled it better.

    4) I agreed to not let her get the better of me by making me snappy when she does something stupid, which makes her claims of victimhood appear valid and gives her ammunition for an argument.

    5) We hung up with a reasonable agreement and "I love you."

    That doesn't mean that I didn't have a huge argument with my daughter last night and that I am not emotionally drained and tired of being picked upon. So, with all due respect, Knock. It. Off.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I don't know if there is a good way to try to get your point across to your daughter L. The reason I say this is because when I have tried in the past to say to Dude "Okay, you don't want to argue and I don't want to aruge what do we do? " I don't hear the word compromise - I hear "You need to LISTEN to ME Mom, I'm not an idiot and you just. don't. get. it."

    At that point I'm fired up again because I DO get it. I do not want to argue, i do not want to debate, I do not want to have drama...I just want to be heard. And amazingly enough I always get goaded into Dude saying "Okay I go first." (rolls eyes) because once he speaks - it is DONE....he is done.

    I swear it's like being up against the finest defense lawyers in the world isn't it? They are never wrong, they strive to get their point across, you are paying for it in health, financially and with every fiber of your being - and eventually you just find a place where you can give up.

    I'm at the giving up stage. Arguing wise. We have debated this at the therapists with him as the impartial judge and Dude flipped out saying that since WE were paying him HE was on OUR side - if he took Dude's side then we wouldn't pay and he's out the money. ARGH - Even the therapist gave up for the day.

    And when we finally did regroup and try to hear each others side? I swear I don't know if it is just that I'm soooo set in my ways that I didn't want to hear - I never bend I never try I never get it, I never this I never that - and at that point I'm sitting in the corner doing sock puppet with my hand a rolling my eyes. I SHOULD have been respectful to his feelings but CRIPES - WHEN IS HE EVER respectful to me. And THAT was the beginning of our healing. (immature as it was on my part) it was a start. We had to write down things that we liked and disliked about each other . Amazingly enough - my list was shorter on dislike - and longer on like - but.....
    BIG BUT.......(you should see mine lol)

    We were able to work things out with a mediator (therapist) and we agreed to allow him to give solutions that each of us had to remind the other one on. Hey - my kid didn't want to argue with me - he just wanted to be heard and understood. ME TOO. And he didn't want the drama (although you could have fooled me) our ability to fight fair and walk away if suggestions to calm down aren't headed HAVE improved.

    To me before the therapy it was like I had to take a back seat to a child for WHOM i was supporting etc, etc. Now that I have begun to learn the art of's better. It's not a matter of being tough or curt or coarse or having big ones - it's a lot easier and a lot more productive.

    If she needs therapy - then offer to go with her so that the therapist can point out to YOU what you may be doing wrong (THAT will be the hook to get her there) my son could not WAIT for the appointment. to tell THE WORLD HOW unfair and horrible I was. And he found out a few things about himself too -

    Maybe....that is worth a try? OH and by the way - I WAS Wrrrr rrrrrrrro (hate to say it but) I was WRONG on some of HOW I was saying things. Not what but HOW =

  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Hey, I'm all for going to therapy with her if she wants to admit she might benefit from it. She's a little too spoiled for that yet. We just aren't that far into it yet.

    When I walk away from the conversation and we have both agreed to try to make things better, I think that's a win/win situation, even if we could have gone about it better. But then again, learning how to try to make things better is the next thing we get to work on, if either of us is serious about it.
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I do hope you both try.

    My mother and I fought like that for THIRTY years.

    I was way wrong about a lot of things, but she was too, and to this day she does not fight fair. It took a therapist, pointing that out to her, for her to take a look at herself and really believe it.

    We hardly ever argue now. We still do occasionally, but we are better about retiring to our own corners before it gets too ugly, and coming back later after we have cooled off to discuss it maturely.

    Life is too short. I really hope you can patch things up with L.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    L's behavior sounds much more like a teenager than a young adult.

    Which reminded me of the one time my mom and I saw a therapist together. It wasn't for us. It was easy child's therapist because...well, that's another story...but she was there to hear from the therapist first hand what was going on with easy child. I noticed that the therapist seemed a bit stunned at the session. At the next session, he told me that it was like watching a mother and her teenage daughter. Which, I found very validating because she did still treat me like a teenager. What I didn't realize was that with my mother I was still *acting* like a teenager. :bag:

    I'm not at all implying that you treat her like a child. I just wonder if her relationship with you has gotten stuck at that point and you calling her on her behavior is pushing it towards a more adult relationship and she's resisting?

    Just a thought. Might be out there. It just seems like she really didn't want the status quo to change. Ultimately, you were able to turn things around and come to an agreement. Here's to hoping that next time it's not so emotionally exhausting.

    It took a long, long time and some very firm boundaries for my relationship with my mom to get to where it is today. Which is odd because we've always been close. But, those lines were always getting blurred. It was emotionally draining, too. I think mother-daughter relationships are probably the toughest relationships.
  14. dirobb

    dirobb I am a CD addict

    I have to agree with the comment about soundinging like a teenager. L sounds eggsactly (sorry LOL) like my difficult child shes 16. but acts like a 14 yo. Everything is a battle. always has to have the last word. She is slowing down alittle and open for discussion but still very debatable.

    Glad you are making progress. Baby steps are good.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yep. She is very much a teenager. The one thing that I think is difficult for us is that while I fought tooth and nail to be a part of her life, she did not live with me from the time she was 8 months old until she was 20 years old. So, there is not the typical mother/daughter history for us to rely upon.

    But, I don't think that she's any different with anyone else. Her dad would let her treat him that way, and he would tell her it was not ok but with a giggle and a smile. And he wouldn't take any crud back from her, either. But she would have a harder time having a hissy fit because he'd just laugh at her. Which I did do from time to time last night when she just plain got outrageously crazy.

    But, she's a grown up now, and she doesn't get a pass on bad behavior any longer. I've made it really plain that she's a guest in my house and company doesn't treat the hostess like that and get asked back again. When she starts taking me out to dinner and having me over for well planned parties, she can make the rules. But I know she wouldn't be having any of that from me.

    I have decided that while I can't ignore her birthday altogether, I'm not going to go out of my way to have dinner at my house with her either. I'm making reservations at Outback, and she can like it or lump it.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911


    You know - I learn so much from reading everyones responses - and well the part where SOMEONE ever got to laugh at Dude because of his hissy fits - was DF. A now 50 years old biker with long hair, goatee, tattoos, and a serious but funloving man, jumping around in jeans, tshirt and boots waving his arms and flailing fists - WAS funny.....(he was making fun of Dude and even Dude laughed and the behavior stopped)

    But when I tried it??? WHOLY AARDVARKS PINK was like I had emasculated him and even DF stood there and just blinked. It was NOT a stellar moment for Star.....I felt like I had gone out in public without pants and you could have heard and armadillo sneeze 3 pastures over. Just wrong.

    I was just trying to find something to deflect the moment and every time I didn't act like (((((((((((laaaaaaa((((((((THE MOM))))))))))))))laaaaa)))))))
    It just came off wrong - and heck I wanted to have Some fun too - but NOT with Dude-

    Apparently mocking difficult child's with jocularity is reserved for Dads.

    I'm apparently the straight guy in an all clown house.

    Something to consider - when mocking comes sooooo easy to me. :puppet:
  17. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Well said, Star.

    I know I've tried the same in the past and it bombed. As much as our kids will probably refuse to admit it, I think they treasure our opinion of them and hold us to a higher standard (than their Dads) because we hold them to one and they secretly respect that in us. It ain't fair...but it's kind of a back hand compliment to you that she would tolerate that kind of behavior from Dad and not you.

    ("Holy Aardvarks, Pink Panther"--- :rofl: I have got to remember that phrase!)