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I'm Really Upset
March 27, 2007
2:07 am
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bonita1
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I just had to tell my thirty year old daughter ( who lives with me and doesn't pay rent) thatI don't like her leaving every single night at 11pm to drive to her boyfriend's house to spend the night. She leaves her 7 year old son asleep with me and says its okay to go off and leave him with me because he is asleep.

I told her that I don't like it at all because I get home from work and she is fast asleep and my grandson tells me, "Nana, I'm hungry," as soon as I walk in the darn door. I mean, she has to get her beauty sleep so she can keep those late night hours, right?

Anyway, I am so pissed off right now. I don't like to think of my daughter as somebody's booty call but that is essentially how she is behaving. He doesn't take her out on a "regular date" because he says he is always broke. But, he can't even go biking or kayaking with her on the weekends (daytime) because he is "always working."

She says he works as an Oceanographer in some Institute down by San Diego and he has enough money to go flying to Alaska or Nepal or wherever to go climb mountains. But, he never picks her up for an evening dinner or drops her off. She is always the one to drive back and forth to his place which is about 20 miles away. She says they mostly stay in his apartment watching movies and eating pizza.

Maybe he is really a vampire and can only see her at midnight?

It really hurts me to see my daughter acting this way. First of all because I think her boyfriend stinks and doesn't even put in the minimal amount of effort. Second, it hurts to think of my kid as somebody's booty call. Third, I blame my ex-husband for what I see as "promiscuity" because he sexually molested her for years. Fourth, I blame myself for being too blind and trusting to see what was happening right under my damn nose.

I think that's what hurts the most.

AAAAAaaaaarrrrrrrgh!!!!!

March 27, 2007
2:17 am
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bonita1
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Two weekends ago, she was up at Lake Tahoe. This past weekend she drove to Las Vegas.

My grandson was with Dad on his weekend visit when she was in Tahoe, but this weekend was her turn to have him for the weekend and she split. Also, she only works part-time and I wonder how she has the money to travel but no money to give me even a token amount.

That pisses me off, too.

She's turned into some kind of changeling. She used to take a lot more care of my grandson. She used to do Foster Parenting because she wanted to rescue kids who needed a safe place to stay. Now it seems as if all she thinks about is herself.

March 27, 2007
5:14 am
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revelation
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Bonni...one word BOUNDERIES!!! Yours are being crossed!!!

First of all, I know this will be difficult, but I'm 32, almost same age as your daughter, I'm going to give you some advice now which will be harsh but in the long-run will be most beneficial:

Let her make her own mistakes!!!!

Yes, to me it does sound like she's not being appreciated as a woman in her relationship, yes it sounds like its a booty call, yes it sounds like she is being used. And if I were her girlfriend, I would sit her down over a few glasses of wine and say "Woman have some respect for yourself, you are a mother and a woman of the world, you are selling yourself short" BUT only a really good girlfriend could get away with that, a mother will only sound like she is nagging. So, I know its really hard, but you have to let her get hurt on this and learn from her mistake...

You cannot blame yourself for what is happening now, I understand that she had a hard childhood, and its just terrible what happened to her, but she's an adult now and she will never learn to have respect for her own bounderies unless you let go and let her make the mistakes she needs to make....honestly I know it sounds hard and cruel but its the best thing you could do for her.

As to your own bounderies, its not fair that you are left with the responsibility of her son, she needs to be reminded that she is a mother....I would simply put my foot down. Next time you come home from work and your grandson tells you he's hungry....go wake her up and tell her to feed her son!!!!!!!

I know she's your daughter bonni but she is an adult!!!! I may sound like I'm being harsh to you, but honestly as a woman close to your daughters age I'm telling you, its the best thing you can do for both of you. You need to be allowed to have a life too!!!

March 29, 2007
12:32 am
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bonita1
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You and my therapist and my psychiatrist all say the same thing... BOUNDARIES.

So, I am gonna try, honey, real hard to get this resolved.

Thank you for your post.

Also, I know our monikers are almost the same but bonni is another person. You can call me bonbon, though. My friends do.

Love,

bonbon

P.S. When I came home from work today, she was cooking dinner for my grandson. So, maybe she did take some of my nagging to heart? Also, I have bitten my tongue many, many times and have only told her stuff twice in the last six months, when I thought it was affecting my grandson negatively. So I am doing pretty good, for a mom. LOL :p

March 29, 2007
2:14 am
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bonita1
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bump

March 29, 2007
2:21 am
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jewel
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I just wanted to jump on and say that I am sorry that you are going through this. You don't deserve it. It is like you are being taken advantage of. I agree with the whole boundaries thing. Something needs to be done in a healty manner. Hugs to you from Jewel!!

March 29, 2007
2:35 am
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g16
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Have you considered telling her to move out on her own? If she lived on her own and had to pay rent, and couldn't leave her son alone at home while she ran off to the boyfriend's house every night, perhaps that would be a little "kick in the pants" for her? It might force her to get her priorities straight. Also, somehow I doubt the boyfriend is going to bother coming to her house, so he might end up breaking it off if she isn't easily available to him.

The added benefit is that you don't have to live with her behavior and decisions after she moves out. If she moves out, she'll take most of those problems with her. And if your kids are grown now, you could be out Tango dancing at 11:00 at night; not babysitting!!! This is YOUR time to life it up and have fun!

Regardless of what you decide to do, my heart is with you.

March 29, 2007
3:45 am
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revelation
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bonita...yes of course you are different to bonni...soooo sorry, it must have been late at night when I wrote that.

Myself and Rasputin who are good friends on the forum and often post on the same threads we get confused by others too....I don't think either of us mind!

Rasputin and Revelation are completely differend, but when you shorten them to Ras and Rev, well you can see the confusion!!!

Yeh Bonni, you should give the boundery thing a good hard try....its not only for your own good but hers too. She has to learn to respect your bounderies before she'll be able to learn how to form her own. And no, 30 is not too old to start learning that, I know people much older who still haven't figured it out.

Rev.

May 27, 2007
2:00 am
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bonita1
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Well, here's an update...

Three weeks ago my daughter was out late (during the middle of the week) and my grandson told me he couldn't go to bed because his mom had locked the bedroom door. Now, she has done this before and usually my grandson ends up sleeping in my room with me or on the sofa. But, I was so fed up that I got my 25 year old son to remove the doorknob so that my grandson could get into his jammies and go to bed. I was so pissed.

Well, the very next day I came home from work and found that my bedroom door was missing it's doorknob!!! First, I laughed because I do have a twisted sense of humor but I was pissed too because it just felt like the cherry on top of a whole pile of disrespect.

Since I was studying for my finals (I'm taking some pre-requisite courses before I get into the Special Ed. credential program)I decided to not mess up my concentration and stick to my studies, wait til after finals to hash it out with her.

Well, finals have come and gone and she and I are not speaking to each other, other than her asking me if I was through with my temper tantrum!

Well, I asked, "Are you?" and she said, "I really don't care."

"Good, I'm very happy to hear that," I replied,"but you really need to be very concerned about getting your own place to live."

Needless to say, I haven't heard a peep about her taking me seriously. But, I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt since I saw a thick envelope from the City where we live and it could be the application to some low cost housing around here.

Anywhoo.... she broke up with Mr. Booty-Call Boyfriend (hallelujah!!) so she has been staying home at night during the week....

My therapist tells me to really think about what I want to set as my goal when I talk to her...If I am not willing to "kick her out" then what boundaries will I set up and what kind of leverage will I have? I mean she says that I have told her many times before to leave and get her own place, set deadlines and then do nothing when they come and go and she still stays put.

Part of the problem is that I am truly not willing to kick her out because I am afraid that will push her over the edge into even worse depression and self-destructive behavior. Also, in my culture (Latino) we tend to accept that our adult children stay at home with their parents until they either get married or find long distance jobs from home. It's not a stigma in our culture to see adult children at home with their parents. However, most of these adult children are working hard at their careers or full time jobs and more often than not are helping out their families with living expenses. I know of some families where the adult kids pool their resources and buy their parents a home.

I own my own home so that would not be an issue ( well I mean the bank owns it and I signed my life away in a blood oath heh heh)

But, really, it would be so wonderful if she had a fantastic paying career that would enable her to take care of herself and her son and for her to buy her own home. She does have a B.A. in Communication Disorders and could begin a two year graduate program to get into Speech Therapy!!

I know, I know that's just a pipe dream because she says she will never do that because she hates it. Then why did she study that as her major???? HUH???

Then she studies for Massage Therapist, finishes the darn program, but realizes that working in a reputable spa is very expensive. I mean you have to rent the station you have there and so the money that you make goes mostly to the spa owner. She could be making so much more as a Speech Therapist or even an Audiologist for goodness sakes.

But she doesn't listen to me so I don't waste my breath. Now she is taking classes at the local community college. Let's see...her class list was Swimming, Rock Climbing, Back Packing, Kayaking... oh and she joined a rowing club that practices on the weekend, every weekend....

heavy sigh.....

May 27, 2007
2:04 am
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bonita1
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Wow!! That was a LOOOONNGGG Post!!!!

Didn't mean to make it so long!!!

Sorry!!

May 27, 2007
4:15 am
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fantas
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Bonita...that's a lot of stuff to deal with. I come from a culture similar to yours in terms of children staying home until they are married. However regardless of what age I am, when I am in my parent's house, I show them the utmost of respect and I contribute my share. Anything else is unacceptable unless I am incapacitated in some. You daughter is right to say that you have threatened to do things and yet you don't so she doesn't have to take you at your word. In a way you ae enabling her behavior, she knows it and she is taking full advantage of your goodness. Like your therapist said decide what you really want to see her do and stick to it. There is no need threatening to kick her out when you'll never do it. I'd say for starters charge her money for rent and or food and give her a deadline with a managable consequence. You can kick her out and let your grandson stay. It must be painful for a parent to have to do deal with this kind of thind with a grown up child. Hang in there!

May 27, 2007
5:00 pm
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bonita1
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Thank you, fantas!

I would love to charge her rent and I have asked her for at least $100/month which is nothing but since she is my daughter and working only part-time I figure I can give her a break.

What I hate is having to ask for it every month. She should really just give it w/o me asking but I see that is not gonna happen.

May 27, 2007
5:31 pm
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loverbee
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I gotta be honest, I am 24 and she sounds like a brat. No offense but you sound very understanding and generous and it is her that needs to grow up. You said she locked her son out of his and her room. THat is not the act of an adult. I would say tough love is in order and you shouldn't have to worry so much about "pushing her over the edge." Thats just a way of blackmailing you to get her way. By making you think she is going to break you play into it and she gets to continue this bad behavior. I could be wrong though.

May 27, 2007
5:34 pm
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sad sack
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Dear Bonita 1,

I have been reading your thread and I just had to say this. And I am sorry if it comes across harshly.

You are not doing your daughter a favor by allowing her to live with you virtually rent-free, and free of any adult responsibilities. I heard you say that it was your culture, but I doubt it is your culture for your daughter to be so rude and disrespectful. She is not accoutable to anyone. She is still acting like a child. When, if ever, is she going to grow up? If you keep being her "mommy" then there is no need for her to grow up. We raise our children so that they can be self-sufficient, productive members of society. Your daughter is neither of those things. I am not saying that you need to throw her and her possessions out on the street. But you can give her a time line that she must adhere to. Why is she only working part time? THe answer is simple. Because you are allowing it to happen. Don't you see what you are doing? Please, stop being one big time enabler!

I am glad that you are going to a therapist. That is a step in the right direction. You need to gather up all your strength and do the right thing.

Again, I am sorry if I came across harshly. You will not benefit from advice that sugarcoats your situation.

Sad

May 27, 2007
6:23 pm
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I'm 28 and I live with my Mother. We share an apartment, we are both on the lease and we split the rent. She doesn't have me pay for any utilities but I buy all the food for both of us. I would NEVER live with my mother without giving her rent. That's disrespectful and I'm an adult and need to responsiable. Even when I was using drugs I still paid rent ever month. My Mom never has to ask, she knows that I pay my rent on the 1st of the month every month. I'm a student and a single mom with a 6 month old son. She likes helping me out but I don't take advantage. You aren't helping her, you are actually hindering her and holding her back. She's not going to grow up and that's sad because when you're gone she will have no idea how to live and what it's like to be responsiable since she's never had to be. She won't know how to budget her money correctly, pay bills on time, none of it because you never made her grow up. Sad really. You said she's educated, does she have some kind of impairment like mental retardation or learning diabilites? If not then why treat her like she's not capable of funcitoning like an adult? Just curious.
AQueen

June 22, 2007
12:37 pm
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bonita1
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AQueen,

I really do have a twisted sense of humor because what you said, "You said she's educated, does she have some kind of impairment like mental retardation or learning diabilites? If not then why treat her like she's not capable of funcitoning like an adult? Just curious. AQueen," really made me laugh out loud.

Yes, I do believe she is impaired in some way, BUT, not mentally where she is incapacitated and unable to support herself. She is simply too comfortable living at home and being supported by mommy. She seems to have regressed to the point where she acts more like 13 than 30.

Everything you said is the truth. Everything people said to me on this thread is the truth. Everything my therapist says to me is the truth. Why do I allow this behavior from my daughter? How do I change myself? How do I let go of fear and guilt?

June 22, 2007
12:45 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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bonita...I wasn't following your story, post...but have some sort of thoughts on the whole parent supporting adult child thing.

I think that it's fairly easy for parents to get stuck in the guilt trap of feeling bad that they weren't "enough" for their kids on some level...that something happened and they felt like they didn't do good enough. And perhaps that viewpoint IS valid.

But I think that the adult children get stuck in the victim role - and it feels comfortable cuz of the gains/rewards it gets them - whether it be simply attention, or in this case, mom supporting her.

It's a vicious cycle...because the kid gets used to mommy making up for the guilt...and mommy feels like she has to continue.

Getting a free ride, on any level...or extra attention for your victim status, keeps people stuck, because they don't learn to stand on their own. Their identity is "the victim", it's all they know.

The cycle has to be broken...and usually the kid will protest, then mom/dad will feel guilty all over again...so the cycle begins again.

Someone has to be strong and put down their foot...someone has to be the adult and stop enabling.

Sometimes the kids get tired of being the victim and move on.

But usually it's the parent that has to make the kid "grow up" and face life as an adult.

I don't know how to explain what steps need to be taken...I hope your therapist can help you thru it.

Some call it tough love...it is tough...it's about drawing boundaries...it's about being firm...it's about getting past the guilt and making the little ones stand on their own two feet...they aren't little anymore.

I often wonder if that's why my mom used to go out of her way to help me thru my "hard times"...why she always stayed so close to me.

I'm kidn of glad we all moved...cuz now we all have a chance to be ourselves...and not live so entangled in eachother's messes.

June 22, 2007
12:58 pm
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atalose
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Bonita,

What is your biggest fear? And does your daughter know what your fears are in regards to her?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 22, 2007
1:13 pm
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bonita1
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rising,

I want to be strong and put my foot down. I have talked to her about moving out, about being more responsible in caring for her son, about getting a full time job, about going to grad school to finish her education in order to get a job that can support her and my grandson and allow her to buy her own home.

I am going to therapy and my therapist is ready to throw up her hands in defeat. She said, "Unless you are willing to follow through and make her leave, then you will continue to allow your daughter to be irresponsible and dependent. You will continue until your health is affected and you get a heart attack from the stress and even then you won't be willing to throw her out."

June 22, 2007
1:20 pm
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bonita1
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atalose,

What is my biggest fear? I am afraid of her finding out that I suspected my ex was doing something bad to her but that I couldn't face it. I think that if I help her now, it will in some way make up for not caring for her enough when she was little. I am afraid that she will find out what a coward I really was in in not allowing myself to face that deepest, darkest suspicion.

I remember waking up at night and my then husband would not be in bed with me. I felt the urgent need to get up and look for him. I tried several times and got up but I don't know he always felt the floor moving or heard the boards creaking. But, that pervert must have had some kind of "ESP" because he would always rush back to the bedroom before I ever got to the door and climb back to bed. I remember asking him, "Where were you?" and his response would be, "Oh, I heard a noise and wanted to go check on the kids." He made it seem so plausible, but I always had that feeling inside my heart that all was not well...

June 22, 2007
1:29 pm
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bonita1
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I remember my parents telling me when my caughter was 3 or 4 how they did not like the way that my former husband would touch my child, sit her on his lap, or kiss her on the mouth. I called them dirty minded. He was her own biological father, for goodness sakes!!

But, that created a seed of doubt within me and I did NOTHING about it. I lived years with that doubt inside my heart and sick feeling in my gut. But, I could not believe that kind of thing about him or that kind of thing would be inside my home and in my life. He seemed so normal to me. But, apparently, others in my family just saw his creepiness and tried to avoid him as much as possible. How can a woman be so blind as to not see that kind of perversion? How can a woman not know that she is "sleeping with the enemy?"

I cared for my daughter so much. I dressed her well, took care that she was safe so I would drive her to school (we lived in a bad neighborhood) and paid for private school. I always tried to keep her from danger and here was her own father sexually molesting her in her own home. I felt so betrayed when I found out. I felt as if all my efforts to keep my child safe were being thrown a monkey wrench by the one person I trusted with my life and with my childrens' lives. I trusted him to keep us safe. I trusted him implicitly!!!!

June 22, 2007
1:32 pm
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bonita1
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He betrayed me. He betrayed his family. And I am the one paying for his betrayal?

June 22, 2007
2:09 pm
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bonita1
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I'm afraid she'll get mad.

June 22, 2007
2:22 pm
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atalose
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bonita,

Does your daughter remember being molested? Has she addressed this issue in any kind of therapy?

I can only imagine how you must feel and living with the fear that your daughter might blame you for what happened. I am so sorry.

What does your therapist say about all this?

What does your daughter do to help herself and her own self esteem?

Have you asked your daughter to attend therapy with you?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

June 22, 2007
2:35 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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Does your daughter go out of her way to make you feel guilty or does this guilt come from within?

If your daughter is not outwardly saying "it was your fault, dad did this to me and you owe me"...my guess would be that she doesn't even know it happened.

In the end, you do NOT owe her anything...I think you more than made up for all the wrongs.

As I said, I think my mom goes out of her way to make things up to me. I wasn't molested, but my dad really didn't treat me well. He was emotionally abusive. verbally too I suppose.

But at this juncture, she doesn't owe me ANYTHING.

Whatever happened is my problem to reconcile...and her guilt is hers to reconcile.

EVEN IF your daughter WAS molested by your husband...letting her have her own way is NOT going to fix it.

Therapy would.

But being indulgent and enabling her is not.

All it's teaching her is to rely on you and not stand on her own two feet.

In some senses, you are actually continuing to HURT her. In that you aren't teacher her to take care of herself...you are teaching her to be dependent on you.

What happens if something happens to you? Where will she go? Who will she live with? How will she get by without you?

She will be like a lost child - totally unable to think for herself.

By teaching her these skills now...you are ENABLING her to be an adult.

instead, you are keeping her a child.

I wonder if you are afraid of losing her...afraid that if you let her out of your protection that something will happen to her....afraid that if she's not around, you can't control her choices, her actions, her decisions....afraid that you will lose control over her life.

Are YOU afraid of being alone?

If you can reason that it would be GOOD for her to learn to be on her own...that would be a good first step.

I promise you...keeping her under your wing is doing more harm than good. God forbid something happen to you...she'd be lost.

about the abuse...

not talking about it, is like ignoring the elephant in the middle of the room....an old analogy I learned along the way.

you all know it's there, but you walk around it, and don't talk about it.

maybe at some point, you just have to hit it head on....ask her flat out if she remembers her father touching her innapropriately.

if she acts like you are crazy, then drop it.

otherwise, if she admits it, then you can explore your feelings and guilt with her about it...and if she goes to therapy, great, but if not, that's not something you can force...but at least it's in the open.

Your biggest fear is finding out it did happen.

But the longer you live with the unknown, the longer it hurts you.

and maybe it didn't happen...and now you have been living with this so long, you could have been relievedd of the guilt a long time ago.

perhaps getting her to move out isn't the next step, perhaps getting this out in the open is?

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