Trying to back off, mostly succeeding

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Ann1010, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Ann1010

    Ann1010 Patience and God

    It's been a few weeks since I've posted about our situation, and our daughter has been "mostly" ok. There have been no huge blow ups, just digs here and there....and even though they still hurt, they seem to be getting somewhat softer (or could it be that I'm getting used to it now?). She's been going to therapy every other week, attending her two classes, doing her homework, and going to work. Not much help with chores around the house, but one step at a time.

    I've been concentrating on how I handle or respond to her, and I think I'm successful about 50% of the time. I try not to question her every move, and try not comment on things that I can't control/change. I still have anxiety and worry about how she handles things, but I know that if I keep intervening she'll never learn, and I'll be always bailing her out of her problems. She has been and still is, late for everything, and I've been able to step back and stop myself from reminding her of the time and how she needs to move faster, etc. Don't get me wrong, I still slip and in the end I get a quick reminder from her sharp tongue for my troubles.

    Now here's my new issue, about a month ago she started dating someone. Now I've got another worry on my already overactive brain. I started the push for her to get on birth control and she told me she would. Yesterday I asked again, and now I'm hearing that her sex life and birth control are none of my business, that if she gets pregnant then I can worry. I pushed and finally she called and made an appointment with her dr. for a yearly and to get BC. But she keeps saying that it is none of my business and I need to stay out of it. I know I'm not wrong to keep bugging her, and in the end it's for her own good, but I keep asking I overstepping? We've talked before and she isn't emotionally / financially ready to have a baby, she said said she doesn't even know if she could handle the hormonal changes and would think seriously about abortion. I am utterly and completely against abortion and keep telling her that prevention is better than consequence.

    I know that most on this forum have things much worse than we do. I know that I need to have patience and can only take things one day at a time. I know that she's 21 and that she needs to figure things out. And I know that I can't fix her....she has to do it on her own. But how do I separate myself from this person that I feel like I don't even know anymore??
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I tried to get Kay a shot in high school and after, but she wouldn't and said it was none of my business. My husband and I sat her down and told her that we will not care for her baby if she has one and I know we sounded firm. It's one thing we did right. We are aging and had health problems even in our 50s. Kay took us seriously and actually got the shot and then she ran off and married her dysfunctional boyfriend Lee and they are shockingly still married. It is not a sane marriage.

    None the less, Kay eventually had my grandson and we would not care for him full time but we paid the bills. Until we got fed up and stopped.

    My daughter is 33 and she and Lee are behind in rent and face eviction. If they become homeless we and our daughter Amy are willing to fight to get the toddler in my sane daughter's care. That drives Kay nuts as she has a real problem with her "perfect" sister, but this is our plan. Our daughter is young and a good mother. We are.old and Jaden needs a younger caregiver.

    Perhaps it would help to tell your daughter that.if she gets pregnant you will not pick her up or help. if she actually gives birth you can change your mind about caring for the baby and even go for custody but your daughter is an adult and you don't need to care for her too.

    We can not control our kids. Period. I would not badger your daughter. It may turn her rebellious as our difficult kids are so immature and she may get pregnant to spite you. I have not heard or seen that pushing defiant adults does any good. Only she can decide to protect herself. Or not. I would sit her down once then back off.

    If God is in your life, I send my prayers to you and your daughter. This is very hard. Have you ever gone to Al Anon? I love it. Even if you feel your daughter takes ho drugs, including alcohol or pit, the twelve steps in my opinion help anyone. We also are in therapy and have managed to detach from our daughter.
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  3. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I feel that you said your peace and the rest is up to her.

    I would let her know that you don't plan on raising anyone else's children and that she is an adult now and would be responsible for any children that she brings into the world.

    I don't see what else you can do. Maybe this relationship will be good for her. Have you met the guy?

    I'd be happy if my son were in a relationship with a good woman.
  4. Ann1010

    Ann1010 Patience and God

    Yes, God is in our lives and we ask for as many prayers as we can get. Thank you
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  5. Ann1010

    Ann1010 Patience and God

    I have told her she's going to have to figure it out if she gets pregnant...and she's made the appointment so I feel like I've done all I can do. I just met him last week and he is super polite and seems to adore her. The "softness" in her demeanor has happened since she started dating him and has pulled away from some other bad influences. She plans on introducing him to the rest of the family this weekend. My husband worries because she seems to be moving into this relationship extremely fast. I'm hoping a relationship doesn't interfere with the counseling she's getting.
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others. And I agree with your daughter. You have said your piece (peace?) and there is no more to be said. Your views about birth control and pregnancy are your own.
    If and when the country's laws change about abortion society will have intervened in this conversation. Until then she has the option and the right to avail of this "lifestyle" remedy. Should you continue to rail against her she may react even more defiantly to demonstrate her control over her body and her life.

    Like others I see her doing lots of positive things: college, working, a boyfriend, moderating her behavior in the house. These are blessings. My son is almost 10 years older and NONE of this is happening

    I think you are doing phenomenally. All of this is hard, hard, hard. To know when you need to push back, to take a stand, to set a boundary. And to know when to stay quiet, and to do so. I find this all of it impossibly difficult.

    You raise what is a very important question, for me. Moral issues about which I feel profoundly. About how to live. I do not much concern myself about how others live. But I am deeply concerned about how my son lives. My son brings his own life choices into my own home.

    And this is what your post is really about, I think. How do I deal with a situation when my own daughter, living in my own home, comes to a point of compromise which violates beliefs about life that are essentially important to me?

    This is a different question. It is not about imposing rules. It's about the essence of life. And what is essential to life.

    This is about compromise. But how can somebody compromise about such a deeply held value, as life? (I do not share the same views as you. I am more ambivalent. But I do strongly appreciate how you might feel.) For your daughter to put you into this quandary, to have to compromise your values, in order to protect and support her, is thoughtless and immature to the extreme.

    That said, I do not know how to reconcile this, except to consult with very wise people spiritually and through much prayer. But I do not think the solution of this is through dialog with your daughter. It's something deeply personal.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Oops sorry at work and wrote it quickly but it does really mean PEACE too doesn't it.

    I have to say since I moved to the south I have observed that these women (in my women's group currently or bible study last year) know how to PRAY like nobody's business. Wow. I am so blown away by it. I am learning a lot about faith. It is an eye opening awakening to say the least.

    How I WISH I had experienced this when I was in the throws of my son's addiction. It would have helped me so very very much not to feel so alone and helpless and hopeless.
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  8. newstart

    newstart Active Member

  9. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I think that your daughter has a point in that her sex life and b.c. or lack thereof are none of your business. She is 21, an adult woman, and I assume she knows all about sex ed .

    The only control you have is over your own thoughts, feelings, and actions . The way I have broached some subjects with my daughter is to ask questions. That way, she has the option to decline to talk about it, but usually I will at least learn where she stands . When she dated someone and confided in me that things were moving very quickly, I asked her whether the young man would be participating in the prevention of pregnancy. I learned through my question that she wanted to get b.c. and I asked whether he would contribute financially and take her to the appointment. She did not like my questions and let me know that I was overstepping and I backed off. She then started taking a friend's b.c. and when she shared that with me, all I said was that I thought that was not a good idea . And dropped it.

    It sounds like due to your beliefs, you are afraid of your daughter getting pregnant. You don't think her capabable/ready to care for a child , and you also don't want her to have an abortion. Since we can only control our own person, this poses a dilemma. You have every right to not chose abortion for yourself , and to judge it as wrong even, and have an opinion against it . I would try to become clear within myself how far I would take my belief as far as my connection with my daughter is concerned if I were in your shoes .

    Give her some breathing room , and allow her to make mistakes . That's how we all learn . Trust that nothing , absolutely nothing , happens in God's world by mistake .