Jump to content

Menu

I need to vent so pull up a chair (a bit long winded sorry)


Recommended Posts

My two daughters are driving me crazy .... but more seriously they are breaking my heart.

They are 24 and 27. They live together with two other girls in the city about an hour away. I've posted before about how they are "woke" and for some reason that is making everything a mine field! Below is just an example of how things get so derailed lately.

My oldest daughter took a two week trip to California. Partly to visit friends and partly to go off on her own and explore. The pictures looked amazing and I could not wait to hear all about it. I texted them I would love to call and chat to catch up and hear about the trip. 

We were supposed to talk at 4:30. I call at 4:30. No answer. I text to say "answer your phone". I get a text back that says "Hold on a sec. Something came up." So I wait. 30 minutes goes by. Now they text and say "Sorry, something came up with DD2 -- everyone is ok"

Of course now I start worrying. I text again "just tell me what is going on" -- this goes back and forth for a while. All the time they took to text things like "hold on" or "something came up" could be used to text the actual reason. Drama on top of drama.

I finally find out that someone has been texting my DD2 pretending to be a someone else, a friend she had in college. They texted back and forth about a lot of things, and I guess some of the stuff was personal. I think they were talking about a guy DD2 likes and there was some sexual details that went back and forth. Of course this pretend person then spread the texts around. 

My DD2 was freaking out so bad she was throwing up. Everybody in the apartment was up in arms. I could sense the 4 of them just ramping this whole thing up. 

Don't get me wrong .... it's a lousy thing to have happen. But you know what? The same thing happened to her in 8th grade when someone stole her phone, pretended to be her and texted a bunch of guys with sexual advances. 8th grade and new to the school!!! She did NOT freak out anywhere near what she was doing now because I sat her down, told her that this person made a victim out of her but once she knew what was happening she no longer had to be a victim. When we found out the two girls who did it the only resolution I asked for was that DD2 could sit with the two girls and look them in the eye. She said to them "What you did to me was mean. It embarrassed me and it embarrassed you. I have never done anything disrespectful to you and I do not appreciate you seeking me out to disrespect me." I wanted my daughter to learn that you cannot control what mean people do, but you have a VOICE and a PATH to control the situation, confront it and then walk away. But none of this was getting through on text and they would not answer the phone.

Then I get a call about 9:00 pm. They want the contact information for my nephew, their cousin, who is a police officer. He is not a police officer in their town. They wanted to get him involved. They contacted my other nephew for the information. It was like there was someone outside their window with a knife and they needed police intervention NOW.

I tried to tell them to put out a message on social media saying "if you receive any weird texts it's not from me so ignore it", then to step away from social media for about 48 hours. Cut off the oxygen to the whole thing. It's literally a 2021 version of a prank phone call (I get it's a little more than that but the motivation from the bully is the same. Basically, don't give the pr*ck the satisfaction.) It is not my job as their mother to match their level of hysteria - that does not help anyone.

Well, that was it. I was "denying them access to the one person that could help them." I am "minimizing her pain". Everything these days is about being a victim. I always say "you adjust your norm to who you hang around with" .... I think they people they are hanging around with coddle this concept of "I have been victimized! Justice must be done!" Everything is insulting, Every joke is prejudice, every slight is born from someone profiling you or discounting you because you are female, every male has "toxic masculinity". Where are the days when you would just say "Boy, that person is a real JERK so I am going to either tell him to go to hell or just walk away." Everything has to have some deep-seeded motivation that they then wear as a badge. "I have been minimized!!"

So I have still not heard about the California trip, or how their jobs are going, or just a simple chat. Now it will be days and days of hurt feelings, demands to be acknowledged, crying about a safe space........ UGH!!

Right now the plan is to talk (not text!) on Saturday. I am going to keep my original advice, try to stay cool, and stay my path. It will go badly though. 

I just want my normal, calm, stable relationship with my daughters back!

  

 

  • Like 1
  • Confused 2
  • Sad 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m sorry you’re feeling left out and more emotionally distant from them. If it helps at all, that separation is normal and healthy. They were trying to solve the problem on their own and in their own way. Their solutions may not match yours. Your advice may not be welcomed. It’s all, still, ok. My advice is to give them some space. The drama you describe is pretty common for that age and stage. Hearing about a trip a week later vs the day after isn’t gonna kill you however disappointing it may be. The healthy relationship you want may start with just giving them the space and grace you want for yourself.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 30
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m sorry you’re feel left out of and more emotionally distant from them. If it helps at all, that separation is normal and healthy. They were trying to solve the problem on their own and in their own way. Their solutions may not match yours. Your advice may not be welcomed. It’s all, still, ok. My advice is to give them some space. The drama you describe is pretty common for that age and stage. Hearing about a trip a week later vs the day after isn’t gonna kill you however disappointing it may be. The healthy relationship you want may start with just giving them the space and grace you want for yourself.

I agree.  My kids have let me know that they are sorting something by themselves and can't talk until they feel more settled, or they have asked me for one piece of information rather than giving me a whole story.  It's their life to manage.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Home'scool said:

Sneezyone - thank you for your kind words. 

No worries. I have a socially precocious teen so I’ve been practicing this myself...a lot. I have to back off after a disagreement and return when I’m calm and fortified, prepared to listen and offer nothing more than nods of affirmation. It doesn’t matter whether I actually agree. The consequences, or not, aren’t mine to bear. It really matters whether my teen feels good talking to me so the lines of communication stay open.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

  stop actively parenting your adult children. 

I think this is excellent advice.

Your girls are full adults at this point. They are at a point in life where many women have children of their own.

While there may well be a significant generation gap in how you think and perceive the world and how they do (you might find the book The Coddling of the American Mind interesting as it discusses some of the trends you are seeing) I believe it is possible to establish healthy adult-to-adult mother/daughter relationships. 

That will probably involve a lot of intentional letting go on your part; they are going to have to forge their own paths. The active parenting days are past.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, maize said:

I think this is excellent advice.

Your girls are full adults at this point. They are at a point in life where many women have children of their own.

While there may well be a significant generation gap in how you think and perceive the world and how they do (you might find the book The Coddling of the American Mind interesting as it discusses some of the trends you are seeing) I believe it is possible to establish healthy adult-to-adult mother/daughter relationships. 

That will probably involve a lot of intentional letting go on your part; they are going to have to forge their own paths. The active parenting days are past.

Totally agree. I would just add that I could see myself having a VERY difficult time doing this if I wasn’t intentionally and actively finding ways to work on it now (with small things like hair, makeup, clothes and even *gasp* choice of major). When my kiddo leaves here, she probably won’t be coming back for anything but vacation and ‘down time’. I want her to *want* to visit. 🥺 This sucks. Especially when I know more/better and have to say NOTHING.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Sneezyone said:

. Especially when I know more/better and have to say NOTHING.

It can be very hard letting go!  I have 3 adult children and my youngest is 18.  Each of them were different in how dependent/independent they were as children and even young adults.  Fortunately, I think they usually make good decisions but sometimes I wish I could still tell them what to do!  Actually, my dd, who is pretty independent, didn't want to make a difficult decision recently and said she wished she were still little when I made all of those tough choices for her.  

Hang in there.  I do think the more we let go, the more they are willing to share with us.  ❤️

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It can be so tough to watch someone play the victim when you know they are capable of so much more. It's heartbreaking... and there's not a dang thing to do except be there for them to the best of your abilities and step away when you need to so you are not sucked into the well of wallow.
 

Society is going through a massive shift right now from asleep/silenced to "woke"/having a voice. Which is fantastic! Thank goodness for progress! But, growth is messy. It sometimes seems like the pendulum has swung a little too far in the other direction.

I hope you are able to have a lovely chat with your DDs on Saturday. If the drama comes up a supportive phrase and a change of subject might be help. "I'm sorry you are going through this, I hope you are able to work it for the best. Do you have any exciting plans for the summer?" Pass the bean dip. Easier said than done. Big hugs!
 

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, kand said:

This post was very helpful for me today. My oldest has very abruptly gone from very dependent on us to wanting to be totally independent, and the rapid switch has thrown me for a loop. We keep getting into conversations that become a little tense because of a mismatch of expectations, and I don’t want it to be that way. Your words are a helpful reset of the big picture. Thanks. I’m going to endeavor to bite my tongue more going forward 😬

Same with my son.  He was very much like @Dreamergal describes her son, but abruptly went in to full 'I am an adult mode'.  It was very disconcerting, but I could 'see' what was going on.  He is 21 now and he IS an adult so I have no desire to make decisions for him.  But the shift is hard to take at times.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being a parent to adults can be challenging, and sometimes hurtful, as you learn to find balance. It's not easy, because sometimes I'm just sharing my heart, and it hits a nerve (or a "woke" nerve), which causes a response that was totally unexpected. This especially happens with my oldest. It's hard. It does make it easier to find other interests and pursuits, because sometimes you end up wanting space from them and their touchiness/drama, too.😬 Hopefully, you will eventually find the sweet spot. Hugs.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kids aren't old enough to go out on their own, but I'm nearly 50 and I've grown to resent my mother constantly giving advice. This is a cautionary tale. 

We came to blows over it while I was in the middle of a crisis. Before she came to visit for that crisis, I told her I was not in a place to receive advice as kindly as I could. But during her visit, which was supposed to "help" me, it felt like constant criticism and nitpicking. I lost it and started yelling at her. She apologized and said she understood. 

The next time we talked, she was back at it again. Now, I don't feel comfortable telling her about even the slightest problem. My oldest daughter has been hospitalized twice for suicidal ideation and while I desperately needed the loving support of a mother, I did not tell my mom. And I know she loves me, that's the thing. But she simply cannot show support the way I need her to. I know she would say "Have you tried this? Could you do this?" instead of, "Gosh I know that's really hard. Is there anything I can do to help?"

I know that if it came out that my daughter was hospitalized, my mom would be really pissed at me for not telling her. I'm afraid something will slip out if I talk to her. So I don't talk to her as much as I used to. 

Please learn to step back and practice active listening techniques. Learn how to be empathetic and not give advice, unless they ask. This way, you may find they will approach you during a crisis. 

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 4
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DD is 26. She likes to tell me all her problems, but she often doesn’t want any advice or suggestions. What to me seem simple solutions or at least some solution is to her me not understanding how wrong the other person is. I have learned to shrug it off and butt out. When she tells me something now, I just sympathize unless it is something that impacts me directly. (No, you cannot quit your job and move back home just because your co-worker is an idiot). Our time together has gotten better for me once I learned to respond differently. Also, I do not let the complaining go on too long around me or I tend to start wanting to offer advice. I have gotten much better at changing the topic of conversation to something less controversial.

Edited by City Mouse
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m sorry you’re feeling left out and more emotionally distant from them. If it helps at all, that separation is normal and healthy. They were trying to solve the problem on their own and in their own way. Their solutions may not match yours. Your advice may not be welcomed. It’s all, still, ok. My advice is to give them some space. The drama you describe is pretty common for that age and stage. Hearing about a trip a week later vs the day after isn’t gonna kill you however disappointing it may be. The healthy relationship you want may start with just giving them the space and grace you want for yourself.

I agree with this 100%.  My oldest is 27, we are very close but it took a lot of just listening without offering advice unless it was asked for, not "over"reacting to things, and not micro-managing their lives.   

1 hour ago, Dreamergal said:

For you to have a good relationship with your grandchildren, you must have a good relationship with your kids. You sound like a loving, concerned mother, but stop actively parenting your adult children. 

QFT.

14 minutes ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

My kids aren't old enough to go out on their own, but I'm nearly 50 and I've grown to resent my mother constantly giving advice. This is a cautionary tale. 

We came to blows over it while I was in the middle of a crisis. Before she came to visit for that crisis, I told her I was not in a place to receive advice as kindly as I could. But during her visit, which was supposed to "help" me, it felt like constant criticism and nitpicking. I lost it and started yelling at her. She apologized and said she understood. 

The next time we talked, she was back at it again. Now, I don't feel comfortable telling her about even the slightest problem. My oldest daughter has been hospitalized twice for suicidal ideation and while I desperately needed the loving support of a mother, I did not tell my mom. And I know she loves me, that's the thing. But she simply cannot show support the way I need her to. I know she would say "Have you tried this? Could you do this?" instead of, "Gosh I know that's really hard. Is there anything I can do to help?"

I know that if it came out that my daughter was hospitalized, my mom would be really pissed at me for not telling her. I'm afraid something will slip out if I talk to her. So I don't talk to her as much as I used to. 

Please learn to step back and practice active listening techniques. Learn how to be empathetic and not give advice, unless they ask. This way, you may find they will approach you during a crisis. 

 

My daughter tells me EVERYTHING (literally, people here would probably be shocked by the stuff she tells me about her life) but we often avoid telling my mother about things.  Between the unwanted advice, the over-the-top worrying, and the nit-picking details it's just not worth it.   

My daughter was on the scene of a violent crime (not a direct victim but involved in the subsequent investigation/court case as a direct witness to the crime who knew the victim) that had a huge impact on her life at one point, but we completely avoided telling my mother about it.    My daughter currently lives with my mom, mostly as a "rent-a-room" type of situation since dd has her own very active life with a boyfriend, full time job, going to grad school, etc.  My mother is constantly complaining "she doesn't tell me anything" followed by "not that I expect her to" (in a very passive aggressive way), but not being able to just have a casual discussion about anything makes her not want to tell her anything.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, keep in mind there may be more going on than they told you, that would explain her freaking out more. Cybercrime IS a crime, so she has every right to seek info on reporting it. That doesn't mean it will do anything, or anything will come of it, but if it will make her feel better to do that, there is nothing wrong with it. Let the police tell her if it isn't something reportable, you know? Let them be the bad guy, not you. And again, maybe there is more to this that is embarrassing and she doesn't want to share, that would make her reaction more reasonable. 

  • Like 12
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main problem in your relationship with your adult daughters is that you still have opinions about what they should and shouldn't be doing with their lives and their thinking. You literally don't think they have developed the correct personality, and you want them to accept your guidance in further development towards personality goals you have set for them. That sort of thing stopped being your job about 5 (or even 10) years ago. No wonder they are irritated with you.

They are grown ups. If anyone else was behaving that way you would have (probably) silently rolled your eyes at what seems to be too much drama, then gotten them the phone number they asked for, wished them well, and put it out of your mind.

What you need to accept is that (a) some people in the world are more reactive than you are, (b) your daughters are that kind of person, and (c) they are still fine people even with that trait. Welcome them to show you who they are. Be kind and polite to them. Don't try to change their opinions or influence how they are turning out these days.

There is no need to be more adversarial with your own kids that you are with the general population. If you want to be closer to your kids than your neighbours you need to treat your kids with more courtesy, dignity, independence, and autonomy than your neighbours. Or at least about the same. Definitely not less.

Edited by bolt.
  • Like 13
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, kand said:

Very much. My oldest is in college and lives with us, and just presented us with a list of rules she wants us to follow for the rest of the time she’s living at home.   I think that could’ve gone a lot better had she just started the discussion with us about things that would be helpful to her, rather than presenting it as conditions, considering she lives here and has all her expenses covered, her school and food paid for, we run her errands for her, etc., etc.  I can’t even fathom having presented such a list to my parents when I was still at home during college. Still, I can tell she’s in a mode where the way we react to this will determine a lot about how things move forward, and I want to maintain the good relationship we’ve always have.  But it doesn’t feel good to feel like we’re being held over a barrel in this situation when we are supporting her in every way while expecting almost nothing from her (she is not expected to help with chores or anything even. She literally gets pretty much left to do her own thing the vast majority of the time as it is.) 

I relate to this so much with my mom. That’s what I want to avoid with my own kids. 

Same. It makes conversations very awkward because I’m also someone who has a very hard time being anything but totally honest, so it makes me avoid talking to her when we have difficult things going on.

Oh boy.  This made me LOL. But that would be very difficult to take.  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Home'scool said:

My two daughters are driving me crazy .... but more seriously they are breaking my heart.

They are 24 and 27. They live together with two other girls in the city about an hour away. I've posted before about how they are "woke" and for some reason that is making everything a mine field! Below is just an example of how things get so derailed lately.

My oldest daughter took a two week trip to California. Partly to visit friends and partly to go off on her own and explore. The pictures looked amazing and I could not wait to hear all about it. I texted them I would love to call and chat to catch up and hear about the trip. 

We were supposed to talk at 4:30. I call at 4:30. No answer. I text to say "answer your phone". I get a text back that says "Hold on a sec. Something came up." So I wait. 30 minutes goes by. Now they text and say "Sorry, something came up with DD2 -- everyone is ok"

Of course now I start worrying. I text again "just tell me what is going on" -- this goes back and forth for a while. All the time they took to text things like "hold on" or "something came up" could be used to text the actual reason. Drama on top of drama.

I finally find out that someone has been texting my DD2 pretending to be a someone else, a friend she had in college. They texted back and forth about a lot of things, and I guess some of the stuff was personal. I think they were talking about a guy DD2 likes and there was some sexual details that went back and forth. Of course this pretend person then spread the texts around. 

My DD2 was freaking out so bad she was throwing up. Everybody in the apartment was up in arms. I could sense the 4 of them just ramping this whole thing up. 

Don't get me wrong .... it's a lousy thing to have happen. But you know what? The same thing happened to her in 8th grade when someone stole her phone, pretended to be her and texted a bunch of guys with sexual advances. 8th grade and new to the school!!! She did NOT freak out anywhere near what she was doing now because I sat her down, told her that this person made a victim out of her but once she knew what was happening she no longer had to be a victim. When we found out the two girls who did it the only resolution I asked for was that DD2 could sit with the two girls and look them in the eye. She said to them "What you did to me was mean. It embarrassed me and it embarrassed you. I have never done anything disrespectful to you and I do not appreciate you seeking me out to disrespect me." I wanted my daughter to learn that you cannot control what mean people do, but you have a VOICE and a PATH to control the situation, confront it and then walk away. But none of this was getting through on text and they would not answer the phone.

Then I get a call about 9:00 pm. They want the contact information for my nephew, their cousin, who is a police officer. He is not a police officer in their town. They wanted to get him involved. They contacted my other nephew for the information. It was like there was someone outside their window with a knife and they needed police intervention NOW.

I tried to tell them to put out a message on social media saying "if you receive any weird texts it's not from me so ignore it", then to step away from social media for about 48 hours. Cut off the oxygen to the whole thing. It's literally a 2021 version of a prank phone call (I get it's a little more than that but the motivation from the bully is the same. Basically, don't give the pr*ck the satisfaction.) It is not my job as their mother to match their level of hysteria - that does not help anyone.

Well, that was it. I was "denying them access to the one person that could help them." I am "minimizing her pain". Everything these days is about being a victim. I always say "you adjust your norm to who you hang around with" .... I think they people they are hanging around with coddle this concept of "I have been victimized! Justice must be done!" Everything is insulting, Every joke is prejudice, every slight is born from someone profiling you or discounting you because you are female, every male has "toxic masculinity". Where are the days when you would just say "Boy, that person is a real JERK so I am going to either tell him to go to hell or just walk away." Everything has to have some deep-seeded motivation that they then wear as a badge. "I have been minimized!!"

So I have still not heard about the California trip, or how their jobs are going, or just a simple chat. Now it will be days and days of hurt feelings, demands to be acknowledged, crying about a safe space........ UGH!!

Right now the plan is to talk (not text!) on Saturday. I am going to keep my original advice, try to stay cool, and stay my path. It will go badly though. 

I just want my normal, calm, stable relationship with my daughters back!

  

 

I just wanted to say I am sorry and give you a hug.  I think a few people have been a little hard on you, but you have also gotten some good advice.  It is difficult to making clucking sounds of sympathy rather than blurt out the very OBVIOUS (to us) solution to their problems.  

 

Also as someone else mentioned there might be more to it than they told you.  Of course that may just worry you more....hang in there!!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all this thread yet, so ignore this if not appropriate. 
With my adult children, we've had issues of me trying to be a little too advising. I've talked with them and told them as they grow into independence, I'm going the best I can to adjust to that too, but I've been their mom for many years, and it isn't like flipping a switch (at least for me!). I will do okay sometimes, and sometimes I start advising when I should be quiet. I've encouraged them to tell me when I do this, and told them there are/will be some things that I will see advise/warn because I think those are super important/safety/long-term impact related.  But I hope they will bear with me as we move to these new roles/relationship.  It seems to be helpful to let them know I'm trying, I'm not perfect, but I am trying and I realize they are capable independent adults, it's just hard to break the habits of the past 18-20 years! 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the posters before -- it is so hard to let go from the direct advice to the advice when needed role.  It is a work in progress! I have learned to bite my tongue a lot.

The other issue of the pendulum swinging towards extreme "wokeness" is something I am seeing in my own kids.  Despite all their advantages, they seem sometimes to focus more on perceived grievances.  The other day when my oldest daughter and I were trying to help her sister with her math homework and dd21 was trying to make light of the difficulty by sharing her own adhd experience with math homework (NEVER EASY) my youngest said that dd21 was using her ADHD to "invalidate dd15's pain".  DD21 just laughed at her and told her she was 15 and she'd grow out of it.   

I would say if your household was a very conservative one for them growing up, they might be differentiating themselves from you.  So in that case I would just let it go -- they won't level out by being chastised or criticized for their ideas.  Sometimes this age can be still very dramatic.  They will figure out what things are emergencies and what isn't.  All that being said, what happened wasn't cool, it is an invasion of privacy, and it sounds like something that should be dealt with.  But they will have to deal with it, and at this point I would not give advice on ANYTHING unless asked.  Protect your relationship and increase the trust.  They will learn on their own and maybe faster than with advice they are automatically rejecting from you!

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally get not wanting to hand over the phone number for a family member if I thought my kids were going to do something dumb.  Maybe redirecting them to the cyber crime help line or something if you have one would help.  
 

Hopefully things get better with the dds eventually.  It seems like you’re all going through a rocky time right now.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can kind of see some of this coming from my daughters in the future.  They hear all kinds of things at school and of course their friends know better than me.  They've already started with the labels and it's not gonna end well at this rate.  😛

In your shoes, I'd try just listening to your daughters' side and doing the "uh humm" thing so they feel listened to.  They are adults and they are going to do what they are going to do.  Drama and extra precautions won't hurt them.

As for giving them cousin's contact info, I think it is OK to give it, and it's also OK to say "let me check with Cousin and see if it's OK with him."

As an attorney, I get a lot of weird messages from distantly connected people who think I can help them with every random thing.  I simply tell them my limitations and move on.  I assume similar happens with folks who are doctors, police, and other professionals in high demand.

Edited by SKL
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listen, I have advice to give you, but before I do I'm going to ask: Is this supposed to be a JAWM post? Or are you actively interested in advice?

I'm asking that because I respect that you are an adult with your own opinions, feelings, and viewpoints, and that sometimes you might not want other people to give you blunt advice, no matter how much I might think you could benefit from having my opinion, feeling, or viewpoint instead of your own.

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom “doesn’t understand” me and my sisters a lot of the time. We love her, she loves us, blah, blah, blah, but her defensiveness and dismissal of our “style” leaves us talking less and less, and it sucks.

My approach with my kids is to not be judgmental about their core beliefs.  I still argue, debate, fight, whatever you wanna call it with my adult and near adult kids, but NEVER in a way that demeans the things that are important to them. Sometimes I do mess up, and then I apologize.  But mostly all I have to do is remember to respect them as people and it all goes fine.  And, frankly, they have a lot to teach me that’s worth learning.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seeing how hard it is having teenagers and seeing them grow up (and everything else) I won't pretend like I know what it is like to have a young adult. I'm just trying to get through the teenage years right now.

But I wanted to share a bit. I'm significantly more liberal than my parents and I'm sure it was difficult for them to see that. Our relationship works best when we work to find common ground, avoid hot topics, and they are supportive and empathetic. I'm certain that has been very difficult at times and our relationship has had some rough spots here and there but I'm *trying* to follow in their footsteps in that regard. On the other side is MIL who is always dismissive and bossy. We share very little with her, you don't want to end up as that parent.

As a PP mentioned I've seen areas where the pendulum has swung too far and how this focus on pathologizing has been anything but helpful and positive for anyone BUT progress is messy. Try to acknowledge her feelings even if you don't understand them. My 13 yo went through this super woke spell last year. It was not good for her and rough for everyone. She has mellowed a lot but still is heavily geared towards justice. She lives in a different world than I did at her age and Im proud of her sticking up for herself, even if sometimes I don't exactly agree.

Edited by Soror
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And sometimes I think they just feel differently. Their problems are so much worse, so much more real than anything we do -- at least to them. And I think it is just the nature of them pulling away. It is hard. It hurts.

Right now my youngest just accused me of not understanding. She will be 21 in just 2 weeks and she has problems with negative feelings about herself. Today she is just in a bad headspace, but some sleep and she will be better (and she said this).

Today she has complained because she is feeling overweight and eating too much (she is 115 lbs and 5'5) She also complained about a movie she had to watch for class -- it was depressing. Then she is almost out of coffee and wants me to drive over an hour to bring her some. Uh no. She is going to the store tomorrow with a friend and can buy some. She will be home next weekend and I will give her some more then (we buy in bulk and usually supply her). 

But she just texted that this is the worst day. When I said that there were worst ones she said I just did not understand how bad it was. Folks, my Mom died 2 months ago. I sat with her almost constantly the last few days watching it happen. And the I had to take care of the memorial service and make all the calls to say Mom had died and we need to take care of .... Believe me I know what a bad day feels like.

And that was my vent of the day about adult children.

  • Like 2
  • Sad 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, LinRTX said:

But she just texted that this is the worst day. When I said that there were worst ones she said I just did not understand how bad it was. Folks, my Mom died 2 months ago. I sat with her almost constantly the last few days watching it happen. And the I had to take care of the memorial service and make all the calls to say Mom had died and we need to take care of .... Believe me I know what a bad day feels like.

I am sorry about your mom.

However,  how bad someone feels doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the objective, external situation. A person whose life is, by all appearances,  wonderful with great family, partner, job, financial situation may feel that there's no point in living and nobody from the outside could see the internal pain.

You never know how bad some day feels to them, and telling them that there's worse only adds to the horrible guilty feeling and will eventually cause them not to be open anymore.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parenting young adults is hard. 

It helps to talk it out with a trusted friend or advisor. 

I know some people have all the answers and handle it with ease, but you're not alone in finding the transition challenging at times. 

I tend to step away from the drama, and process my feelings about it with my therapist. 

How it would look on the outside in your situation: 

Me: OK, so.long as everyone's safe, I'll wait to hear from you. Hope it all gets sorted out xx

Also me: Relatives number is ####. Don't think he's in your area, but he may have a suggestion for you to follow up on. Talk soon xx

How it would look on the inside:

Me: crying in therapy, I just feel like there was no point in having a family,  there is nothing I can do or say anymore that they want to hear blah blah blah for an hour. 

Long way of saying your feelings are valid (yes, surprisingly, moms feelings are also ok!). Despite or alongside your feelings, you can behave in ways that minimise conflict. 

But..it's hard. And you guys (like us) have been through a lot, which makes it harder. Sure, some people breeze through, but plenty of us don't. It's ok. I can hear you were so frustrated by the situation, and empathise with that longing just to have your kids 'back', unreasonable though it is.

  • Like 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I am sorry about your mom.

However,  how bad someone feels doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the objective, external situation. A person whose life is, by all appearances,  wonderful with great family, partner, job, financial situation may feel that there's no point in living and nobody from the outside could see the internal pain.

You never know how bad some day feels to them, and telling them that there's worse only adds to the horrible guilty feeling and will eventually cause them not to be open anymore.

But you know, it's also ok to acknowledge that young people sometimes lack perspective. It's not something I point out to my young adult kids, but it's something that helps me understand some of their more hurtful (oblivious) behaviour.

Dealing with a death of a parent like the poster above in the last eight weeks - that's objectively an extremely challenging time. Young adults - by virtue of now being adult and not children - will not be harmed by the occasional reminder that part of growing up is understanding that Mom is a separate.person who also feels things and sometimes struggles!

All adult relationships are a two way street, and that includes a young adult's relationship with his or her (assuming non-abusive, non-addict, generally ok dynamics) parent. 

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, regentrude said:

how bad someone feels doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the objective, external situation. A person whose life is, by all appearances,  wonderful with great family, partner, job, financial situation may feel that there's no point in living and nobody from the outside could see the internal pain.

You never know how bad some day feels to them, and telling them that there's worse only adds to the horrible guilty feeling and will eventually cause them not to be open anymore.

You are right. It was probably a bad decision on my part. But in the heat of the moment I lost it. I have been on the phone trying to console her all day, either by calls or texts. I know she has bad days especially with body image. But when she was upset with me for not dropping everything and taking her coffee, I really felt like she did not care about me. And as an adult that care needs to go both ways. 

 

But I could have handled it better.

 

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, LinRTX said:

You are right. It was probably a bad decision on my part. But in the heat of the moment I lost it. I have been on the phone trying to console her all day, either by calls or texts. I know she has bad days especially with body image. But when she was upset with me for not dropping everything and taking her coffee, I really felt like she did not care about me. And as an adult that care needs to go both ways. 

 

But I could have handled it better.

 

You both could have. A responsible adult move is to diversify your support system, so that when you think 'I need to vent to Mom', but Mom is recovering from the experience of watching her own mother die, you can go on to decide 'but that might be rough on her at the moment, so I'm going to call friend/mentor/advisor/therapist/helpline instead'. 

Or you can call Mom and say 'Hey Mom, I need to talk...are you up for that? I know the last few weeks have been rough for you so I wanted to check first.'

There is a real need from many quarters for Mom to be saint/martyr/emotional punching bag. And it's a sign that young adult is still in the process of growing up. 

Of course, you could also have said 'Honey, I really want to help you but I feel totally zapped by everything that happened with Grandma. So I might not be on top of my mom game right now.'

But...we're not robots! She was oblivious, you didn't take care of your boundaries and snapped. The world is still turning. Apologies exist for a reason (though you know you'll be the one modelling it, right! 🙂)

Also...I'm sorry about your Mom. It's a really tough thing to go through. Hugs. 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

But...we're not robots! She was oblivious, you didn't take care of your boundaries and snapped. The world is still turning. Apologies exist for a reason (though you know you'll be the one modelling it, right! 🙂)

Thank you!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

You both could have. A responsible adult move is to diversify your support system, so that when you think 'I need to vent to Mom', but Mom is recovering from the experience of watching her own mother die, you can go on to decide 'but that might be rough on her at the moment, so I'm going to call friend/mentor/advisor/therapist/helpline instead'. 

Or you can call Mom and say 'Hey Mom, I need to talk...are you up for that? I know the last few weeks have been rough for you so I wanted to check first.'

There is a real need from many quarters for Mom to be saint/martyr/emotional punching bag. And it's a sign that young adult is still in the process of growing up. 

Of course, you could also have said 'Honey, I really want to help you but I feel totally zapped by everything that happened with Grandma. So I might not be on top of my mom game right now.'

But...we're not robots! She was oblivious, you didn't take care of your boundaries and snapped. The world is still turning. Apologies exist for a reason (though you know you'll be the one modelling it, right! 🙂)

Also...I'm sorry about your Mom. It's a really tough thing to go through. Hugs. 

It’s also a sign that maybe Mom has swallowed too much over the years and coddled too much. Many moms subsume their humanness to their ‘Mom-ness’ and that, too, is a problem. Kids don’t see you or know you for who you are if you’re always catering to their needs and not reminding them that you have feelings too.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

It’s also a sign that maybe Mom has swallowed too much over the years and coddled too much. Many moms subsume their humanness to their ‘Mom-ness’ and that, too, is a problem. Kids don’t see you or know you for who you are if you’re always catering to their needs.

Mom has had to swallow too much, iirc, because Dad was....not available for quality parenting. A situation I feel some empathy with. 

This is what really angers me about young people and their mother-critique focus. There's another parent (usually!) Where's the dad-anger that dad won't meet the emotional needs/demands of young adults? Absent...like Dad. Ugh. 

Anyway...that's an example of something for therapy and not something to bring up with young adult children!

Whether or not Mom 'coddled', the answer now is good, solid boundaries for both parties. 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Mom has had to swallow too much, iirc, because Dad was....not available for quality parenting. A situation I feel some empathy with. 

This is what really angers me about young people and their mother-critique focus. There's another parent (usually!) Where's the dad-anger that dad won't meet the emotional needs/demands of young adults? Absent...like Dad. Ugh. 

Anyway...that's an example of something for therapy and not something to bring up with young adult children!

Whether or not Mom 'coddled', the answer now is good, solid boundaries for both parties. 

Of course Dad is responsible for his fair share but that has nothing to do with whether or not I’m hiding my issues from my kids. My DH is often unavailable so making sure the kids know my personal needs and limitations has always been important. I needed them to recognize my limits. It’s not like it was born of forethought but necessity. I do agree about the boundaries tho. My post was in response to the idea that there’s no way to prevent kids from seeing us as unfeeling objects that exist to meet their needs.

Edited by Sneezyone
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Of course Dad is responsible for his fair share but that has nothing to do with whether or not I’m hiding my issues from my kids. I do agree about the boundaries tho. My post was in response to the idea that there’s no way to prevent kids from seeing us as unfeeling objects that exist to meet their needs.

I'm not sure that's an idea I suggested. 

I'm not sure OP has 'hidden her issues from her kids'. Hard to hide Dad abandoning the family. 

I'm happy for all functional families who are sailing through by virtue of their own ongoing wisdom and hard work. 

Some of us don't. That's ok. I'm never convinced that the super-functional have the empathy to reach someone in need of more functionality. Being a mother stuff-up lets us meet others where they are without too much scolding, and share things that are helpful from a less....confident...perspective.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'm not sure that's an idea I suggested. 

I'm not sure OP has 'hidden her issues from her kids'. Hard to hide Dad abandoning the family. 

I'm happy for all functional families who are sailing through by virtue of their own ongoing wisdom and hard work. 

Some of us don't. That's ok. I'm never convinced that the super-functional have the empathy to reach someone in need of more functionality. Being a mother stuff-up lets us meet others where they are without too much scolding, and share things that are helpful from a less....confident...perspective.

 

We’re getting kind of far afield here. I didn’t raise daddy issues or say the OP was hiding hers. I am focused only on what I can control. I’m going to disengage now so as not to derail the thread.

Edited by Sneezyone
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry Homes'cool, I get what you are saying and I understand why it would be so difficult. Seeing these young people running around in immature hysterics, and turning on you as the enemy for trying to bring the emotional level back down to some semblance of reality, must be so frustrating.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My adult daughters are 23 and 25.  Young adults don't need any parenting. They're too old for that.

If I had called at an appointed time (not something we do, but for the sake of argument I'll pretend) and they didn't answer, I would leave a voice mail that says, "Call me back when you have time to chat so I can hear about your trip."  If they hadn't responded in a day or two, I would text, "Call me when you get a chance."

If my daughters had texted, "Sorry, something came up with DD2 -- everyone is ok."  I wouldn't have spent one millisecond worried.  Why did you say, "Of course I started to worry"?  That's seems so strange to me. I wouldn't have demanded to know what was going on, I would've done what I always do when someone doesn't answer a call.  I tell myself they're busy with something that came up and they'll call me when they get some free time. It's just not at all a big deal-don't turn it into one.  That seems very dramatic on your part, not theirs.

I'm not their hall monitor or supervisor,  I'm their peer as a parent.  If my daughters wanted contact info for a relative for whatever reason, I would give it to them.  If it's much ado about nothing dragging the relative in, then the relative can tell them so. It's not my job to decide who they should talk to about what.  They're grown women, not tweens.  It's not my job to tell them what they should post on social media or whether or not they should step away from social media unless they ask me about what I think they should do. Infantalizing 24 and 27 year olds is going to damage the relationship.

You should've switched gears to peer mode when they became adults.  Let them deal with their choices and the consequences that come with those choices unless they're permanent, serious, irrevocable consequences.

One of my daughters has bipolar disorder.  I just speak calmly when she starts getting worked up and keep my statements or questions to on an absolute need to basis.

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SKL said:

Oh and if this hasn't already been suggested, can you start by asking "do you want my advice or just my sypathy?"

I use this all the time, I can’t remember where I learned it, maybe here, but it is very effective.

@Home'scool I’m sorry you are frustrated.

@LinRTX I’m sorry about your mom and your dd

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, I think you're being really harsh on them - the majority of people would be quite distressed and embarrassed at being tricked and having someone share extremely private texts. It may not be your job to match their level of hysteria, but it's also not your job to decide how upset they should be. 

 I think they'll find out there's nothing the police can do, but I also think it's reasonable to check. 

They are adults, but, even more importantly, they are individuals who may not think and respond and react as you would. That doesn't mean they are wrong or you are wrong, it just means you're different. 

I wouldn't say anything more about this beyond I'm sorry this happened and I hope it gets better soon. 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for this topic.  I have three teens, and I can tell I really need to be aware of the changing dynamics as they become adults.  It seems I spent 24/7 with them for so many years, and doing for them and with them that mothering them is just second nature.  It’ll be a big adjustment I can tell to move from mothering them, to being a mother with a mostly zipped up mouth 😬

I feel I’ve adjusted well so far as they’ve aged, but the complete independence will be very different.  So again, I appreciate reading this topic and responses and experiences.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Growing into adult adult relationships takes adjustments from everyone not just the parents. The adult children need to be responsible adults and consider their actions toward parents just as they expect their needs to be respected. It's a work in progress in my family.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Infantalizing 24 and 27 year olds is going to damage the relationship.

I don’t 100% agree with your post, but close, lol, and definitely agree with the above.

I know the family has been through a lot, and that does mean something. But these are still grown women. Not that I’m recommending it to everyone, but I had 3 kids by 27. That’s real adulthood stage, beyond the gray areas of extended adolescence.

But even reaching my mid-40s, I wish I had a mom I could talk to as an “adult child” without a history of being seen as over dramatic because my hurts didn’t rank as hurts in her view.  (Nor did my wins rank as wins for that matter.) I can make friends with people who relate to me (sort of, lol), but they don’t make up for the barrier between me and a mom who is very much alive but not so much available for being my lifelong champion... without smothering me with her version of who I should be, yk?

And that doesn’t require a perfect relationship. I don’t have perfect relationships with any of my kids, and I do NOT like letting go. Just ask them, lol. My struggles are MY struggles though, for me to overcome, not for them to accommodate. And yes, I’ve been on a therapist’s couch in order to recognize this!

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom passed away when I was 37 yo. We visited every week and she was very involved with my kids but it was far from a perfect relationship. A couple years after she died I was speaking with another woman who had also lost her mom and the way she spoke about her mother was really impactful to me. She said "My mom was just always my biggest cheerleader." I loved my mom but I could not have said that.  I've taken that and used that to inform my relationships with my adult kids. I have a 22 yo and a 20 yo who have lived out on their own since they were 18. It is hard to let go, especially when they are still young while technically adults. My 20 yo makes some decisions I wouldn't advise but they aren't dangerous. So, while he frustrates me at times, I ask myself if he could say that I am his biggest cheerleader. That really does reframe things for me most of the time.

This isn't really specific to the OP situation, just general parenting young adults. While I don't necessarily cheer him along in decisions I don't agree with, I do try to continually cheer him as a person and encourage him. My most frequent phrases, it seems, are "I believe in you", "you can do it", and "what can I do to support you?" and of course "I love you". Those cover alot of circumstances. I can say them sincerely. It seems to be working for now as we transition.

It's a tough time. Hugs to all dealing with the adjustment. 

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I. feel. your. pain.

This is my 24yo. I can totally imagine a similar situation happening to me. No big words of advice. It's so hard to see her drowning in her own self pity and victimhood. It's a toxic way of being but I don't see any way to help her out of it, so I just pray for her.

(((hugs)))

  • Sad 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, kand said:

What do you do when you’re working hard at the biting your tongue part, but the YA wants to push and push the conversation? We’ve developed a situation where it feels like dc wants me to be the bad guy and is rewriting history. They are suddenly surrounded by other young adults with bad family relationships, and it’s like I’ve quite abruptly been cast in that role. It really doesn’t feel like there’s a darn thing I can do about it unless or until they mature a bit out of that. It might take awhile though (this is a slow to mature kid—some neurodivergent stuff going on). So sad. 

I take it with an enormous grain of salt. And I apologize for a few of the things I wish I HAD done differently. Other times it’s just “I’m sorry that’s how it feels to you.” When it’s something seriously ridiculous, like having washed dishes by hand while younger siblings have a dishwasher, I’m not afraid to roll my eyes at them, lol. And then I just wait for them to grow up more.

FWIW, my younger sister considers our childhood to be way more traumatic than I do.  “I don’t feel that way. I’m sorry you do” is my usual take. I often expand on why I don’t, but I don’t tell her her feelings are wrong.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, kand said:

What do you do when you’re working hard at the biting your tongue part, but the YA wants to push and push the conversation? We’ve developed a situation where it feels like dc wants me to be the bad guy and is rewriting history. They are suddenly surrounded by other young adults with bad family relationships, and it’s like I’ve quite abruptly been cast in that role. It really doesn’t feel like there’s a darn thing I can do about it unless or until they mature a bit out of that. It might take awhile though (this is a slow to mature kid—some neurodivergent stuff going on). So sad. 

We have a similar kid.  Right now he's fine with us, but other times he really distances himself.  The best we can do is just let him know he's loved unconditionally and we're always here for him.  But it's hard on our hearts when he turns himself into a victim for reasons we don't understand and we can't communicate with him.  Eventually, he comes around - usually it's quite sudden and unexpected.  Sometimes DH or I have to be a mediator if he's targeting one of us.  It's hard because his feelings are very real to him even if they are baffling to everyone else.  

 

Edited by Kassia
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...