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


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14 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. 

You push back - gently. And you get used to your role as 'bad guy' and wait for it to pass as lovingly as is possible for a human with emotions.

And recognise that behaviour like giving your parents a list of demands for the privilege of you continuing to support them is immature, and a sign the young person hasn't fully embraced adulthood. And perhaps mentally dial back expectations of maturity for a while, just for your own sanity. 

And give yourself a huge part on the back for doing your best in a very challenging situation. 

 

 

 

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I'd also suggest, Kand, that you take a serious step back and consider if any of their claims do have merit.

I'm not saying this because I think you're a lying liar and also a bad parent. I don't know you, I don't know your kid, I don't know your life. I'm saying this because we all make mistakes, and nobody likes to admit them (even to themselves) or, if they're forced to admit it, to acknowledge how bad those mistakes were.

And I assume your child is also not a lying liar and a bad kid who only wants to hurt you. Nor, I think, is it likely that they're just plainly delusional. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle of your view and theirs.

Of course, our kneejerk reaction when our loved ones tell us we really screwed up is "No I didn't, how can you say that, I did my best, I love you!" but the wiser move is sometimes to stop and think about it first.

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Co-living situations between competent adults ALWAYS are a matter of negotiation and not demand. On both sides. 

Categorically, I know that kand is doing every single thing she can for her young adult that it is possible for her to do, including self examination. 

So honestly? While generally it's good advice for both adult children and adults to do some self examination, it's really odd that there's even an assumption that hasn't happened (on the posting parent's side, at least) already. 

Adult children are sometimes unreasonable and sometimes, we don't get to blame Mom for it. Adult children are not Mom-creations, and they tend to live in wider world contexts that are equally influential on their emotions and behaviours. 

 

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It's not an odd assumption at all. It's an assumption based on what I've seen from people, including but not limited to parents. I do not think anybody here is specially different from most people in the world.

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2 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

It's not an odd assumption at all. It's an assumption based on what I've seen from people, including but not limited to parents. I do not think anybody here is specially different from most people in the world.

The poster in front of you just talked about feeling 'pummeled all night' by her situation....I don't think it's necessary for anyone to jump in with 'yeah, but have you considered your kid has a point?'

 

 

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I truly understand your feelings. I have three grown children (aged 31, 25, 24). Both my husband and I are very involved still with our children's lives. The 24 y/o lives with us full time as he finishes college, the 25 y/o just moved back in to save for a house, and our 31 y/o is a single father and owns his own home. However, currently he is traveling a lot for his job, so we are caring for his home, my granddaughter, and his pets. My granddaughter is in first grade, so now I am taking and picking up from school, arranging for doctor's appointments, watching her while she is sick, and arranging for visitation with her mother. (My son has primary custody.) My husband retired in 2014, I retire next year, and this is not how we envisioned our retirement years. We intended to travel and live in our favorite mountain community. There is no way we can move, however.  

I thought we had raised independent sons, but it is surprising how much they depend on us, not so much financially but emotionally. Any major decision has to be vetted by their father. Any major life crisis (like the washer breaking) means I have to stop and help them deal with it. I honestly feel like I am raising my granddaughter, but I love her too much to NOT want to be there for her. It's just that sometimes I wonder if we are doing too much for them. My mother passed away when I was 26. When I was 18, I was basically shown the door. I did get a  VW Rabbit though to help me out, but other than that I was on my own financially and emotionally. My mother did not coddle us at all growing up either. "Get up and deal with it," was her motto. Never once were my siblings and I hugged or told I love you by either of our parents. My husband's parents were the same when he was growing up. When he was 19, my husband got mad and quit his job and college all in one day! When he told his father, my father-in-law told him, "You got until Monday to get out of my house. I'm not supporting a lazy kid." My husband couch surfed with his sister for two weeks before joining the military (mid 1970s) and moving away.  My husband and I are very different parents from our own parents.

I agree with many of the posters who have said that we as parents have to learn to separate ourselves from our adult children. "Cutting the cord" goes both ways really. When our 25 y/o moved back home, he had lived on his own for five years. I guess he thought things were still the same as when he was a teenager. A small step for me was NOT doing the cooking and laundry for them. They have to do their own laundry and cook dinner for themselves. In the past, I would do all the cooking and laundry. My husband and I are buying a small travel trailer that sleeps only two (with a couch for the granddaughter). We intend to start traveling (with the granddaughter) this summer on short road trips. It's an attempt to foster some independence for our grown children. For example, they still want to go on every vacation with us. We have usually rented a VRBO house for the whole family to stay in but now we are going on our own.

I know that my experience isn't quite the same as the OP, but perhaps taking a step back and letting your grown daughters deal with their own problems is a good place to start. We also are trying this step with our overly dependent kids. Be there for them when they really need it. My 25 y/o has looked at every house with his father in tow, because Dad knows about this stuff. But we do intend to take more time for ourselves and let our kids deal with life on their own level. 

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Do not give them unsolicited advice or make comments about them being "woke." In fact, if they do ask for advice, you may say," You have a good strong mind, and I'm sure you will come with a reasonable solution to your problem."  Their behavior does not strike me as uncommon for their age group.  Do not expect them to return texts or calls promptly.  Even if you consider their responses to the situation as hysterical, would you truly want someone else telling you how should feel about a situation or judging your response to be hysterical?  Acknowledge that the situation must be stressful for them and tell them you hope they get it worked out.  For me, it has helped to remember to talk to my adult children the way I would talk to friends.  

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Well, I think a lot of posters are being too harsh on you, but we *do* always tend to blame the mother. I know people probably don't mean it this way, but it does sound like we parents apparently need to keep endlessly breathlessly supporting our (ADULT) children through perpetual adolescent self-absorption? But I was one of those who was expected - and forced - to be on my own the day college ended, so perhaps that is coloring my perspective.

I will, in general, agree with many others in that you have no real control here & it will only help things by pulling back and making innocuous comments deemed to be supportive. In this particular situation, backing off early on and letting things run their own course might have been more helpful to them (& more peaceful to you). At this point, things sound somewhat acrimonious, so stepping back & out (& staying there) is the right/best thing to do.

With that being said, and at risk for derailing this thread (which is not my intent), yes, "woke" is a thing and I believe it's important to call it as such (I distinguish it from social justice activism, which is focused on seeing and correcting many of the inequalities built into industrial systems). I say that as a lifelong devoted Leftie who has been watching this phenomena infiltrate many of my circles of activism and seeing *many* good people and good endeavors get ripped to shreds by it. It's insidious, this obsession with one's self & the near-complete identification with one's woundedness & resulting dysfuntion(s) (accompanied by an endlessly-proliferating word salad of descriptors), along with the accompanying belief - bordering on the fanatical - that this/their perspective is Truth and the ONLY Truth (no other perspectives are allowed to even be acknowledged). If you do not 100% hold to that same Truth (instantly), that is 100% proof that you are......(select nefarious adjectives of your choice). So I don't blame you for reacting to that 'energy', for lack of a better word. It's very hard to deal with and you can't be successful at talking people out of it (I call it the Left's version of Q). So acknowledging your powerlessness here to change or impact that mindset is important. Hopefully this phenomena will eventually run it's course and we'll all look back on it like we look back on the high-waist pants of the early 90's....as in, "who the hell thought that was a good idea?".

And....27 is not young. And 24 is not that young. Hell, a good number of people who have been on this board over the years were parents & already homeschooling preschool by those ages.

Edited by Happy2BaMom
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. I always find advice that helps or clarifies.

I guess my frustration comes from the pushback they do give. I tried to talk with them via Skype on Sunday but they were so angry it did not go well. They can be cruel, but I know that is from hurt. I am trying to set up family counseling to help us learn how to communicate better. 

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On 4/11/2021 at 2:54 PM, annandatje said:

Do not give them unsolicited advice or make comments about them being "woke." In fact, if they do ask for advice, you may say," You have a good strong mind, and I'm sure you will come with a reasonable solution to your problem."  Their behavior does not strike me as uncommon for their age group.  Do not expect them to return texts or calls promptly.  Even if you consider their responses to the situation as hysterical, would you truly want someone else telling you how should feel about a situation or judging your response to be hysterical?  Acknowledge that the situation must be stressful for them and tell them you hope they get it worked out.  For me, it has helped to remember to talk to my adult children the way I would talk to friends.  

I absolutely would tell a friend if I thought she was overreacting to a situation.  I can give sympathy without encouraging overwrought thinking.  

I know a lot of 27 year olds and they don't act that way.  So I don't know that it is 'common'.  Not the end of the world for sure, but a sign of immaturity or better yet a sign of the current mind set of some people. 

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1 hour ago, Home'scool said:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. I always find advice that helps or clarifies.

I guess my frustration comes from the pushback they do give. I tried to talk with them via Skype on Sunday but they were so angry it did not go well. They can be cruel, but I know that is from hurt. I am trying to set up family counseling to help us learn how to communicate better. 

I wouldn't set up counseling.  They will use it as a way to further bash you to make themselves feel justified.

What exactly are they so angry about?  

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On 4/12/2021 at 4:14 AM, Happy2BaMom said:

Well, I think a lot of posters are being too harsh on you, but we *do* always tend to blame the mother. I know people probably don't mean it this way, but it does sound like we parents apparently need to keep endlessly breathlessly supporting our (ADULT) children through perpetual adolescent self-absorption? But I was one of those who was expected - and forced - to be on my own the day college ended, so perhaps that is coloring my perspective.

I will, in general, agree with many others in that you have no real control here & it will only help things by pulling back and making innocuous comments deemed to be supportive. In this particular situation, backing off early on and letting things run their own course might have been more helpful to them (& more peaceful to you). At this point, things sound somewhat acrimonious, so stepping back & out (& staying there) is the right/best thing to do.

With that being said, and at risk for derailing this thread (which is not my intent), yes, "woke" is a thing and I believe it's important to call it as such (I distinguish it from social justice activism, which is focused on seeing and correcting many of the inequalities built into industrial systems). I say that as a lifelong devoted Leftie who has been watching this phenomena infiltrate many of my circles of activism and seeing *many* good people and good endeavors get ripped to shreds by it. It's insidious, this obsession with one's self & the near-complete identification with one's woundedness & resulting dysfuntion(s) (accompanied by an endlessly-proliferating word salad of descriptors), along with the accompanying belief - bordering on the fanatical - that this/their perspective is Truth and the ONLY Truth (no other perspectives are allowed to even be acknowledged). If you do not 100% hold to that same Truth (instantly), that is 100% proof that you are......(select nefarious adjectives of your choice). So I don't blame you for reacting to that 'energy', for lack of a better word. It's very hard to deal with and you can't be successful at talking people out of it (I call it the Left's version of Q). So acknowledging your powerlessness here to change or impact that mindset is important. Hopefully this phenomena will eventually run it's course and we'll all look back on it like we look back on the high-waist pants of the early 90's....as in, "who the hell thought that was a good idea?".

And....27 is not young. And 24 is not that young. Hell, a good number of people who have been on this board over the years were parents & already homeschooling preschool by those ages.

That is a great description.  Me'ism repackaged.

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1 hour ago, Home'scool said:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. I always find advice that helps or clarifies.

I guess my frustration comes from the pushback they do give. I tried to talk with them via Skype on Sunday but they were so angry it did not go well. They can be cruel, but I know that is from hurt. I am trying to set up family counseling to help us learn how to communicate better. 

We need a hugs emoji--I couldn't decide whether to "like" due to the family counseling, or "sad" because I'm sorry about the misunderstandings and missing each other through communication. I hope you are able to improve the relationships. It must make you feel very alone, and I'm sorry.

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1 hour ago, Home'scool said:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. I always find advice that helps or clarifies.

I guess my frustration comes from the pushback they do give. I tried to talk with them via Skype on Sunday but they were so angry it did not go well. They can be cruel, but I know that is from hurt. I am trying to set up family counseling to help us learn how to communicate better. 

It's always extremely difficult (impossible?) to get a sense of a situation from the internet, but I'm glad to see you seek a counselor. One word of advice though (if I may)....a # of counselors can really SUCK - as in, do more harm than good, because they themselves are so screwed up, so make sure you find someone who seems fair to all parties and who actually HELPS, otherwise, find a new counselor....and 3-4 sessions are my max for judging whether a counselor is helping or not (this does not mean things are solved in 3-4 sessions, it means I and others are starting to believe there may be hope). But YMMV.

I have no idea why your daughters are still "so angry" about the situation. Clearly, there are a lot of dynamics going on that can't be explained over the internet. But I'm also not 100% sure that you've not become the whipping boy/girl, so you really do need a professional, competent outsider to give a balanced perspective.

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16 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I wouldn't set up counseling.  They will use it as a way to further bash you to make themselves feel justified.

What exactly are they so angry about?  

A balanced counselor can help OP see if she is being bashed. The risk, of course, is finding a really screwed up counselor who will pile on.

Ya gotta be really careful with counselor selection. And not afraid to switch. OP might want to seek individual counseling at first to try the waters.

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8 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

A balanced counselor can help OP see if she is being bashed. The risk, of course, is finding a really screwed up counselor who will pile on.

Ya gotta be really careful with counselor selection. And not afraid to switch. OP might want to seek individual counseling at first to try the waters.

I can see OP might need a counselor (if she thinks TWTM  forum is not adequate LOL) but I would not risk 'family counselors' in this situation. If it turns out to be a pile on counselor and OP tries to switch her daughters will just accuse her of shopping for someone to endorse her 'hurtful' attitudes.

 

Edited to add ---  If I had read your post more closely I would have seen that is exactly what you suggested.  😉

Edited by Scarlett
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2 hours ago, Home'scool said:

 I am trying to set up family counseling to help us learn how to communicate better. 

I would first gently bring up the idea with your adult daughters to see if they are open to this. I could imagine an adult being not very receptive to their mother's idea that they should all do "family counseling" together, especially not when they already feel you don't take them seriously. It can easily come across as "mom doesn't agree with our views and thinks we need therapy to be fixed". 

Edited by regentrude
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I personally think you going to counseling and seeing if your daughters would be wiling to join at some point seems like a good idea (their choice).  Didn't you go through a pretty ugly divorce not that long ago?  I know in theory that shouldn't affect adult offspring, but it can and does.  Especially if your daughter saw potentially unhealthy relationship dynamics for years.  

I don't really like throwing around the term "woke" to invalidate someone else's feelings.  Empathy and listening generally go a lot further than insinuating someone is being hysterical.  It's actually perfectly ok to be mad and react like something like this happens and give yourself some space to vent about it.  I don't consider that emotionally unhealthy.  That doesn't mean after time to process someone won't make good decisions and take the high road later.  Having someone tell you repeatedly you're processing your feelings wrong isn't helpful.  I agree your daughters are trying to step away.  Let them do so if you want a relationship with them.  

If they don't want your advice, just back away and say give me a call when you are ready to talk.  I thought AZ mom's advice was great here.  

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30 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I would first gently bring up the idea with your adult daughters to see if they are open to this. I could imagine an adult being not very receptive to their mother's idea that they should all do "family counseling" together, especially not when they already feel you don't take them seriously. It can easily come across as "mom doesn't agree with our views and thinks we need therapy to be fixed". 

Yeah. I've been sticking out of this thread because OP and I have almost opposite situations. However, I can say when my mom said we "needed family counseling" when I was 31 years old, because I was (gasp) moving 20 minutes farther away, I would not say it was good for our overall relationship. There is an aspect of controlling that is introduced when one party says "you need to do this with me"; it becomes less about fixing communication and forcing the other person to sit in a room and listen.

If communication was the actual issue, I think individual counseling on how to communicate would be the better option. Even recommending they get counseling separate from you would probably go over better (and this usually doesn't go over well). "I've started counseling to learn how to better communicate, to fix some of the habits I learned over the past 20 years that weren't healthy. I know we shared a lot of the same experiences and so it may be something you want to consider, too, when you're ready."

That being said, because of the divorce and what the family has gone through maybe they would be more open to it for healing other wounds. But having the watershed reason for counseling to be an incident where party A thinks party B is overreacting to an injury done to party B that didn't even involve part A in the first place? It may be better to wait until this is no longer the drama du jour. 

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If you do want a family counselor, look for one who says they are strengths-based and systems-based. They are equipped to tease out the dynamics that are working and not and help the family use their strengths to overcome their difficulties in relating. Best wishes to you and your girls. There is a definite undertone of victimhood in a lot of people’s mindsets now, especially young people. Hopefully you all can sort this out.

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2 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I personally think you going to counseling and seeing if your daughters would be wiling to join at some point seems like a good idea (their choice).  Didn't you go through a pretty ugly divorce not that long ago?  I know in theory that shouldn't affect adult offspring, but it can and does.  Especially if your daughter saw potentially unhealthy relationship dynamics for years.  

I don't really like throwing around the term "woke" to invalidate someone else's feelings.  Empathy and listening generally go a lot further than insinuating someone is being hysterical.  It's actually perfectly ok to be mad and react like something like this happens and give yourself some space to vent about it.  I don't consider that emotionally unhealthy.  That doesn't mean after time to process someone won't make good decisions and take the high road later.  Having someone tell you repeatedly you're processing your feelings wrong isn't helpful.  I agree your daughters are trying to step away.  Let them do so if you want a relationship with them.  

If they don't want your advice, just back away and say give me a call when you are ready to talk.  I thought AZ mom's advice was great here.  

We don't really know what OP said to her daughters.  

And I don't think the point was that the daughter's feelings were being invalidated.....there was a great description up thread about an entire mindset of some people today....and honestly it is not just very young people....but they are almost hostile in their 'right' to see things THEIR way.  

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1 hour ago, Home'scool said:

My daughters are the ones who requested family counseling. We need to go over past hurts and set guidelines for future interaction.

This is why you need a systems based counselor. They don’t look to assign blame, they look to helping you as a family to have healthier dynamics. You don’t need to be party to a “let’s let Home’scool know what a terrible person/mother she is and why we get to set all the rules in our relationship” type of situation.

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I agree with you and would have handled those situations the same way you did.  I don't think you can fix this, however; your daughters are just going to have to experience life a bit longer and learn to chill.  It gets tiring playing victim all the time and perhaps they'll come to their senses sooner rather than later.

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