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Worried mom needs advice
August 18, 2009
6:16 am
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broncoangel
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I have an 18 year old daughter who has been the focus of my tears for the past several months. She has been associating with new friends, skipping school, and lying to me and my husband. I also found out that she became involved with a 24 year old man. I have known this idiot for a few years as he worked with my oldest daughter and I know that he is bad news. When her relationship with him began to have an impact on the rest of my family I told my daughter that she had to decide between him or her family. Then a few weeks ago I found out that he has been physically abusive to her. He was also arrested for assault on a friend of hers while she was in his car. I thougt that my daughter was finally finished with this guy, as she reported the incident to the police and also informed them about the abuse. However, I found out a few days after the arrest that she had returned to his home and was staying there. Since this man has made threats against other members of my family, including two of my other children I felt that I had no other choice but to tell my daughter to leave the house. She moved in with this jerk. I am so worried about her, but since she is at a legal age I don't know what I can do about it. Every night I pray that she will realize how bad this guy is and that she will come home. I am so worried that one day I will get a phone call that he has seriously hurt her or worse. What can I do to get my daughter away from this jerk? Someone please help me.

August 18, 2009
7:26 am
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CAMER
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you did what you could for your daughter...unfort. the rest is up to her, she is an adult and can make her own choices.

I know the feeling, i "was" your daughter when i was younger, learned the hard way, did not listen to my parents, was kicked out of the house.........BUT eventually, i did learn and came back home.

Keep letting her know how you feel, maybe ask her why she is with this man, maybe she can open up to you more.

(((hugs your way)))) camer

August 18, 2009
9:20 am
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atalose
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broncoangel,

It sounds like you did do all you could have for your daughter and your entire family. You set a boundary to protect the rest of your family and that is very healthy. Sounds like your daughter was pretty much already living with this guy and coming home once in a while long before you even set your boundary. She has made a choice, not a very healthy one and certainly not one you or most people would agree with but it’s her choice to own, not yours – no guilt you did nothing wrong and did everything you could for the health and well being of your other children.

At 18 they are legal but so immature and naïve about life, relationships and reality. If you have the opportunity to talk with her you may want to keep the focus on her and not the abuser. Validate her feelings about her relationship but help her recognize that the abuse is not “normal” and not her fault and that she deserve a healthy non-violent relationship. Try and just listen to her patiently, that shows you support HER it doesn’t mean you support her decision. As much as you don’t like it you should be respectful of her decision, the more she feels you are against HER and HER choices the farther away from you she will run. I’m not saying welcome her decision with open arms but acknowledge that her decision is hers to make and that is what you are respecting, that the DECISION is hers to make.

I learned the hard way with my niece who was living with me and make a horrible un-healthy decision for her self. In all my talks with her I never once validated her feelings or her decision instead I nagged, pleaded and made every attempt to get her to see my view. After she was gone and I realized what I had done I contacted her and corrected my wrongs, it didn’t change her decision but it did open up communication again between us. Several months later she did recognize her mistakes and reached out to me to talk about some things. Although she wasn’t asking me to rescue her or solve or fix HER problems she was looking for a healthy voice of reason to help her sort out her confused emotions and chaotic life she created for herself.

You have your point of view about this and she has her own, as hard as it is you need to accept her decision and mentally plan your response when it all goes south which you know it’s going to.

Atalose

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

August 18, 2009
9:35 am
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Healing.. and peace
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Broncoangel,

I agree with Atalose. However having two daughters and three son's I will suggest you picking up the phone and calling your daughter to let her know your thinking of her, and to just say you love her. This is not saying that you feel she made the correct decission but it opens the doors for her to feel she can call you to talk if need be.

An 18 year old girl is still sooo young. I would have been heart broken if either of my daughters made the decission your daughter has made because her age is so young. However, I feel that is what you must remember. Being 18 years old is considered an adult by age, but emotionally there is so much growing ahead of them. This is just another time in their growing process that you have to be there for her in the way of offering suggestions, and giving her your shoulder to lean on, without enabling her in any way. Our kids need us just as much emotionally at 18 as they did when they were 18 months because they are just learing how to walk on their own, they will fall and get a scrap here and there but you can always be there to let her know it will get better.

Just my thoughts, hope your heart heals but remember this is all part of growing up in a way. Abuse should never be tolerated, but as long as she is tolerating it there isn't a lot that you can do other then letting her know that there is a such thing as love without all the abuse.

Healing and Peace to you

August 18, 2009
10:50 am
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soofoo
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Make a list of the things you can control and the things you can't control in this situation. You can't make your daughter leave this guy. That's a big one, but you've got to face this fact before you can move forward in a way that makes sense.

On the side of what you can control is how you treat your daughter. You have disowned her at this point, so why would she come home? You kicked her out, but you really wanted her to stay.

Why do you not acknowledge that she is a separate person from him? Especially considering that you want her out of the relationship! Why do you punish her for his behavior? When he threatened your family, why didn't you kick him out, ban him from your house? Why did you ban your daughter from your house?

You are teaching your daughter that she is responsible for this man's behavior, which is the quintessential characteristic of an abused woman. Moreover, you have cut her ties to her own family which is the main way she would get out of the relationship.

Turn it around. Reach out before it's too late. Welcome her and ban him. Tell her you love her no matter what. That you are family, and you are here for her.

August 18, 2009
12:42 pm
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soofoo
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Atalose,

Where is "healthy boundary" here?

A healthy boundary is when you draw a line as far as what you will do for another person, or accept from another person. A healthy boundary is not a way to control another person's life. It's a way to control your life. When you're trying to control another person's life it's an ultimatum. "You must choose between this man or us" is an ultimatum. It is not by an any stretch a healthy boundary.

A "healthy boundary" does not hold one adult responsible for another adult's behavior. If your daughter's boyfriend has been cruel to your children, then banning him from the home is a reasonable boundary. But banning your daughter for the same reason is NOT.

August 18, 2009
1:14 pm
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atalose
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Soofoo,

Thank you, yes you are correct. The healthy boundary should have been to ban the BF from her home not the daughter.

And yes I do see the ultimatum here which is not healthy.

Broncoangel……soofoo is very correct and I am glad she pointed that out to me. Ultimatums are used to control and get our way where boundaries are in place to control our own lives.

(((soofoo)))

Atalose

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

August 18, 2009
3:32 pm
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soofoo
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(((atalose)))

August 18, 2009
6:06 pm
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Healing.. and peace
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I so much agree with Soofoo on this, please reach out to your daughter, pick up the phone call her, and let her know she is welcome back and reason's why you felt so frustrated. She will respect your honesty that you really did't want her to leave but you wanted her to leave the abuse of her boyfriend so you thought this was the way to wake her up.. Which I think you kind of know wasn't the best of choice... I understand out of you feeling frustrated and wanting to protect her that you may have thought this was the best way to handle it but honestly I think she needs you now more then ever. This young man is getting what he wants by isolating your daughter even if it was your doing's by giving her the ultimative, he is most likely happy about all of it. Again I strongly suggest you calling her and let her know you truly love her, and want what is best for her and that is why you got angry, but that anger is against her boyfriend not her because of the abuse.

Healing and Peace

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