UPDATE- difficult child is leaving today~

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hearts and roses, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    difficult child is leaving this evening after what will be our last counseling appointment. I'm at work this morning to do payroll but then I'm leaving. I want to make sure I've filled all her scripts to take with her and also to help her pack...almost 18 and the kid will sometimes only pack pants with no tops or vice versa.

    I'm hoping that going to her dad's will help her in a few ways. One, I hope she and her dad can have some open and honest conversations that will answer some deep, long awaited questions for difficult child. She has such a skewed perception of the reasons for which we divorced and I am hoping that exh will be honest about things with her (he says he will). I hope that she will realize that H (her stepdad) wasn't the meanie she makes him out to be, nor did he steal me away from her father. I hope she realizes that no matter where she is geographically, she will still always be expected to behave responsibly and pitch in at home, get a job, make something of herself, compromise and behave as the adult she believes herself to be. I hope she figures out how to use a washer, dryer, and dishwasher. I hope she misses home and all it's comforts that are often taken for granted. I hope she grows up and stops whining about how unfair her life and everyone in it is.

    As you can see, I am heartbroken, but I do think this is the best move for her (and us) right now. Her dad says he's up for the challenge and the one advantage her will have in NY is that she doesn't have any friends to run to when things get tough. He's already set up a job interview for her tomorrow. She will stay with her aunt and uncle while he's away visiting easy child in VA for the weekend and when he gets back, she and he will reaarrange and clean her room so it's ready for living in. Why he didn't do this BEFORE she arrived is beyond me, but I have no control over that.

    I feel defeated and a little like I dropped the ball somehow...like, why, with all my concerted efforts, couldn't I have made the difference for her? Why wasn't I effective in helping her to find her path and realize what she needed to do to become an independent adult? Why does it feel like I've been sucker punched and left with breath?

    Please keep a prayer for difficult child (and me) today. Thanks.
  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Sometimes you just need someone else to tell you what you've been told all along. Ex and I went to counseling prior to divorce. The counselor listened to us both and then repeated what I said WORD for WORD to ex. Suddenly he got it. He thought this guy was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I was so POed that we just spent $100 to have someone else tell him what I had been telling him all along for FREE.

    You did what you were supposed to, she just needs a fresh start. We all get stuck in our ruts and she is stuck in hers.

    I hope she comes away from this realizing how much you have done for her. (((hugs)))
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I can feel the sadness in your note, Jo.
    Don't say you didn't make the diff in her. It's not over yet. In fact, you instinctively know that, or you wouldn't have phrased things the way you did.
    You gave her a path. She hasn't chosen it yet.
    Give her time. She's maturing at a slower rate than she could be. It's going to take a while.
    You're going to get some conflicting reports from NY, by the way. She'll probably have a honeymoon period and you'll sink even lower. But a part of you will rejoice because she's happy. Then she'll wake up and smell the coffee and you'll think, "Ah ha! I knew it!" Then your ex will have to work, work, work, just like you have been doing.
    It will come full circle.

    Be good to yourself.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    All Stressed Out, LOL! been there done that!!!
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This will be in addition to many other fresh starts. I just think she needs to go to that old antiquated school of hard knocks.

    I loved what you said about your h's reaction to the counselor's words! Isn't it always the way?? Jeesh - how frustrating!
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Terry - it's true, it isn't over and we're not done just yet. When I'm not feeling bad about it all, I am looking forward to the freedom, the not worrying, the not hearing her whine, and the peace I will likely feel once I know she's settled in at her dads and doing okay. As long as I send along her medications, and check in with exh every few days or once a week, I think it will be just a matter of getting used to it. I've already bought some plastic crates to box up her things and clean out her closet and crap.

    I need the lift, thank you.
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Jo,
    you don't know that you haven't made a difference for her--you just can't see it yet. Also, I know with my difficult child 1 that for some reason she just could not learn to be an adult while having me to lean on. She would revert to her helpless ways anytime she lived with me. I wondered if she was even capable of taking care of herself--thought her emotional problems might prevent her from being able to work and be responsible for herself. She about broke my heart before she went to her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) just before turning 16. She said, "but, Mom, how will I live without you?" Here was a kid who was skipping school, stealing, doing drugs, being promiscuous, seeing way too many things beyond her age, and she was like a toddler in her neediness. She seemed so fragile to me. Well, she proved that she indeed could learn to assert herself and be responsible and that led to much more self confidence. Unfortunately, when she came home she reverted back to being dependent, seemed to lose everything she had gained. But now it is there for real and she couldn't have gotten there with me to lean on.

    It's hard for a mom to realize that the best thing you can do for your kid is to let them go--that is being a good mother. It goes against our protective instincts but some kids just don't seem to be able to step up to the plate unless we take all support away--seems to be no balance you can reach.

    I hope you will get some much needed rest and rejuvenation and don't feel guilty about enjoying the peace of mind and freedom! You will be a better mom in the long run if you are a whole person, taking care of yourself.

  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Jo - I soooooo know where you are right now. My difficult child moved to her dad's for an entire year. It did help. RIght now she is going there for an entire week and I am a mess! LOL!

    It is not about us. It is about them. Getting them to a place where they can find their way. If it has to be a different physical location than home for her to find her way - so be it. She is still your daughter. Think of this as the avenue to being able to enjoy her as an adult - in just a few years! Isn't that something to think about? I know I look forward to that - and pray it will be possible.

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Jo you have nothing to feel like a failure about. You've made it 17 years and put your heart and soul into it. You and she are very lucky that her dad says that he wants to try. Not all dads would even try.

    I hope that you will consider continuing with a counselor of your own so that you can explore your own future prospects. She will be 18 years old soon, and your time as a full time mom and decision maker is coming to an end. It's time to be you again, where she is concerned.
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    It's always harder to do what is right and do what is for the best. You have done all you can and it's time to let dad take the reigns for awhile and see if he can answer some questions that may have plagued her attitude.

    Please know that I am thinking about you and saying a prayer for both you and difficult child. I understand your heart hurts. You love her so much.

    Lots of hugs,
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I've been watching this story unfold, and you and your daughter have been in my prayers. I think your EX will do right by you and husband.

    I think every mom feels a little bit like you do when their child leaves under not so perfect circumstances. Allow yourself to be sad, but then be proud. She is starting to spread her wings. And she would not even have wings, if it were not for you.
  12. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    jo, most folks know I am still traumatized over my easy child 29 yr old 200 pd 6ft cop moving out. lol
    ant is diff story..lol

    you good mom you!
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Of course you have made a difference and are continuing to do so by being strong enough to let her go for now. I'm sorry you are hurting-saying a prayer. ((((((Hugs))))))
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thank you thank you thank you all so very much. I thought I would be a mess at the ferry with all of difficult child's stuff and her and her dad and H...ugh, I wasn't looking forward to being a mess, crying all over the place.

    But, as we were making the 1.5 hour drive down to the ferry, following our counseling appointment, I was thinking about me at 17. Well, ahem. When I was 17, I was mixed up with a bad crowd and failing all my classes - I was a Junior in HS. One evening, my mom said she was withdrawing me from all my classes and signing me out of school! She made good and came to school with me the next day, walked me from class to class and had all my teachers sign the withdrawal card, right in front of all my classmates! The very next day she packed up all my stuff and drove me 6 hours to my sister's house (my sister was 32 then with two small boys) in PA, where I lived for 4 months.

    When I returned an old friend talked me into going back to school. I had no other prospects and I was mortified to face all those kids, but I did it. I doubled up 11th and 12th grade and wound up graduating with my class.

    I also considered the fact that if difficult child had been more on the ball, she would have went away to college and would have left 2 weeks ago! So, although the direct circumstances of her leaving are not fantastic, they aren't God awful and in fact, I feel much MUCH better about it. I am still worried about her allergies and taking her medications, but I am at peace with this decision.

    Before we left, this afternoon while we were rushing to get ready in time, difficult child was crying and told me she didn't think she wanted to go. She told me she was scared to go. It was so hard for me, but I told her she needed to go, that this was a turning point for her, that she's always wanted to see what living with her dad would be like and now she needs to check it out, that this will be an opportunity for her to do a little soul searching and perhaps figure out what her next steps will be, wether at dad's or here with H and me. I told we are following through with this because ALL of her parents have her best interests at heart and we all love her with all of our hearts and want her to be happy with whatever choices she makes. She cried, I told her I didn't want her to leave me, but that I think she should; that she needs a break and that I do too. She shook her head and went inside. I did NOT fall apart. I cried intermittently on the drive and especially when I said goodbye to her and hugged her so tight I thought I'd pop a lung, but it was a good thing. And exh was so good, I hugged him too and he said he was more worried about me than difficult child...lol. I told him to be tough, but tender as well. And to look for signs of her feeling isolated - it's important that she doesn't feel isolated as she tends to hurt herself at times like that.

    So now we will see. Thanks again.
  15. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Wow Jo...sounds like a very reflective day and one that opens the door to new possibilities for all of you. Wonderful, in my opinion, that you revisited your past and remember when you were her age. Anytime I'm willing to do that with my kids I'm reminded that they're doing the best they can and trying hard to find their way...just as I did once. Sometimes I realize they're even doing Better than I did once, lol.

    Good for you Mom for remaining so positive even with a heavy heart. I think you did great!

  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Just imagine the emotions your mom went through as well.

    Hopefully, you two are close today.

    This will be OK. Dad sounds like he is capable of keeping her safe and healthy.

    Take some 'me' time!

    You deserve it!

  17. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    sounds like you did some soul-searching and found a little likeness with your daughter. You are right. This is a new beginning not an end. You don't know what tomorrow will hold for you or your daughter. Living is about hope and tomorrw is a new day.

    I pray that she has some time with her dad to think about her life and think about where she wants to be in the future. And, when she figures out what she wants out of life, I pray she realizes that it is she who can make it happen.

  18. Gramma

    Gramma New Member

    Congratulations!! You've just made it through another tough mommy moment. You did great. Remember that when you hear her teary voice wanting to come home.
  19. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I'm glad you took the time to work this out - with yourself & with difficult child. You sound enlightened - you also sound like a burden has somehow been lifted.

    I hope this peace of mind continues for you.