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Is my daughter codependent like me????
March 13, 2006
10:35 pm
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readyforachange
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I calmly asked my daughter to go get ready today....wash her face, brush her teeth, get dressed. Before I could finish talking, she rolled her eyes and said rudely, "I'm going to take a shower." I asked her to please not interrupt me, roll her eyes at me, or use that tone of voice. She took this as a personal attack, and we spent the next hour discussing, crying, and arguing.

Bottom line, she is beginning to assert her independence - which I can totally accept and respect. However, she admitted that when she does this to me, she feels terrible and thinks I'm mad at her. She said she absolutely cannot stand it if anyone is mad at her...and she has to have everyone happy with her. She told me she feels awful if she thinks she has upset someone, or if they don't like her, or are mad at her.

She is playing sports she doesn't want to play because she's afraid her dad will get mad at her. She's playing one sport she hates because she's afraid the coach will get mad at her if she quits. She stayed in Girl Scouts for 3 years after she lost interest in it becuase she didn't want to disappoint me by quitting. She does things she doesn't want to do so her friends won't get mad at her. She does things for her brother so he won't be mad at her.

She is such a pleaser, and she's agreeing to do all these things just to make other people happy.

I'm really getting worried about her. When my ex and I were together, and he would fly off the handle about stupid things, she would always cry and say it was her fault.

Did I model this behavior for her, and is there any hope that she won't repeat my terrible mistakes?

March 13, 2006
11:48 pm
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start talking and listening. encourage her to stand up for herself. help her. show by example. talk about the consequences of standing up. get codependency no more for her. i dont know if u modeled the behavior or not. but now that u see it. u can both talk about it. good luck

March 13, 2006
11:58 pm
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on my way
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ready,
I can remember feeling that I had to have everyone think good of me growing up. But part of it was not to make waves in an already stressful family situation. I tried to keep the peace. She may feel to do the same.

Whether or not you modeled it for her, maybe by just being honest about it and letting her know you felt/fee the same way sometimes may take some pressure off of her, if she thinks that you may understand. She is going through alot, but one mistake I amde after my divorce with my boys, was that I modeled a "strong" mom...so strong, that as older teens we did not communicate very well. I thought I could not be strong and open at the same time. It helps to be both if you can.

Hope you are ok, have not spoken to you in a very long time, but I do remember when you were going through your divorce.
hugs,
omw

March 14, 2006
10:23 am
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readyforachange
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guppy....thanks for the encouragement. I do feel the communication is important, and I try to have open communication with both my kids. With my son, it is easy. He tells me about everything, and disagrees with everything. Always has. My daughter is different, and I see so much of me in her.

omw...long time no talk. Yes, the divorce is final, and our house is no longer chaos. But she still feels the need to please everyone, and make everyone happy. I keep telling her that I can relate to this, that I felt the same way for a long time. I tell her the only person that loses in that situation is YOU! Everyone else is happy, you are not. She also doesn't want her dad to get mad at me, so se still walks on eggshells around him. He will be angry with me until the day he dies, and I told her nothing will change that and I can handle his anger. Thanks for the support.

March 14, 2006
11:09 am
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revelation
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Ah ready....what a lovely mum you are!
Isn't it great that you have spotted this! I agree with the others, encourage her by example, on how to assert oneself and stand up for oneself politely and not feel disgustingly guilty afterwards...she's at the age now where you can teach her this and it will sink in! I think its great that you've spotted it..but I hear YOUR codependence coming out because you are getting worried and distressed...I understand that, but try not to be distressed and rather see it as something good, because, you've spotted it...you've both been able to talk about it...and she's young enough to learn from it...without it ruining her life! If only I had learnt when I was younger that trying to please people would almost destroy me in later years! This is Great! I am so happy for your daughter that she has you to help her out with this....perhaps it will also be an incentive for you, to help yourself out of the codep behaviour so that you can set a good example for her.

March 14, 2006
6:53 pm
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readyforachange
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revelation...you are SO right. I hadn't thought about it that way...that my codependence was eeking out with my being distressed about her so much. We had a good talk yesterday, and I'm trying really hard to teach her by example. She was in a really good mood today, so we went out on the town...shopping, lunch, manicures. Lots of girl fun. I will keep an eye on her, and try not to obsess about her behavior. Thanks for the insight!

March 15, 2006
8:31 am
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readyforachange
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Chapter two...last night I picked my daughter up from my ex's house. She spends 4 hours with him on Tuesday nights. She came to the car, and she was very upset. She told me that he had not talked to her the entire time she was there because he was mad at her. She told him that her aunt - my sister - was coming to town with her new baby, and asked if she could switch weekends to come to his house. He has something to do this Saturday, and was going to have her spend the night at his mother's house anyway, so he wouldn't be spending time with her. She explained that it would be better for everyone if she just came to his house the following weekend.

He got angry at her, yelled at her for the entire car ride to his house, and then wouldn't speak to her for 4 hours. When she got in the car she was a basket case. And I couldn't think of a thing to say to her to make it better without going ballistic myself becuase I was so mad at him. I stayed calm, told her I was sorry, and just rubbed her back. I didn't know what else to do.

She tells me that he said he would never come to get her again. He always says things like this to her when he is angry. Friday he will show up and act like nothing ever happened. SO...my thought is that since he told her he wasn't coming for her on Friday, I won't plan on having her ready for him. I will assume that he is not taking her this weekend, and maybe we'll be gone at the St. Patrick's Day parade when he is supposed to come. She doesn't need any more drama right now. It's her Spring Break, and she should be enjoying it. Her friends have been out of town with their families for the week, and they will be back on the weekend. If she goes to his house, she won't be able to visit with them because none of their parents will allow them to go to his house. They've been before, and their parents have said never again. He doesn't feed them, supervise them, and lets them stay up all hours of the night. Their parents know this, so she is very isolated over there.

What happens if I do this...hold him to his word that he isn't coming for her on Friday?

March 15, 2006
8:44 am
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revelation
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ready...this man sounds like a total tosser! Sorry, I don't mean to be offensive, this is your daughters father after all. So, he definitly said that he wouldn't come for her. OK, well, whatever you are going to do about this...stick with it...don't back down...your daughter is watching you very closely right now for her cue.
I think you should plan something else...go have fun with your daughter, go be irish for st. patricks day...I'm Irish, pretend I'm a distant relative and you are celebrating the day in my honour!!!!
Now go have FUN!
Don't worry about his reaction...if he turns up looking for your daughter and gets mad at you later, stay calm.
if he starts shouting, just back away, take a deep breath, look him stright in thr eye and say
1. I will discontinue this conversation until you are calm enough to discuss it rationally...then remain silent...if he retorts with more abuse or shouting, walk away or hang up.

Try some role-play with your daughter, so that next time he starts letting rip at her (which is just NOT acceptable by the way) she is prepared. Without being disrespectful to him, she could just politely state that this shouting is not acceptable.
She could say something like this:
"Dad, You brought me up to be the type of person who respects others (even if he didn't), please respect my right not to be shouted at, I'd like to talk about this, but not until you are calm enough to listen as well as speak"

Somthin like that anyway...disarm the guy with your integrity...t'will make him feel terrible silly!

March 15, 2006
9:33 am
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Top of the morning to you, my distant Irish cousin!!!!

Thank you rev...I have learned to not engage in my ex's crazymaking, so he is getting no thrill from me. My son has pretty much cut his father out of his life, so now he has to prey on the only person left....my 12 year old daughter. You are so right...I will teach her what to do, and role play. And Friday, we will be off celebrating St. Paddy's day in your honor....what's he going to do? Send out the state troopers after me? I'll conveniently turn off my cell phone, by the way...and maybe even turn off my answering machine at home, too!!!

He has to learn that if he says these things to them, we will take his word at face value.

My only concern is that legally, I will be in violation of the parenting plan which states he is to pick her up on Fridays at 5 p.m......

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