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Struggling

forever2007
Community Member

Hi, am new to this so learning as I go. Having a difficult time as my teenage daughter has decided she doesn't want to be in the home if her father is around. Admittedly our family has gone through a lot of ups and downs over the years but a recent situation has caused a massive upheaval. I am struggling because my daughter has decided to provide an ultimatum by telling me to choose between the two of them and if I don't choose her she is not returning home. I have never known anyone let alone my daughter to have so much anger within them, she's like a freight train whose brakes don't work and she is willing to wipe out anyone in the way of what she wants. I have spent the past few weeks almost non-stop crying and just needing 'noise' to keep my brain occupied. My sleep has never been great but have found it way more difficult to sleep lately and what sleep I do get is generally between about 3am and 5am. I don't know if she will get past this and it's breaking my heart. I have been told that I'm experiencing extremely high anxiety and stress and that I need to put some coping mechanisms in place but that's easier said than done! I'm afraid of....making a decision because I feel like I'm being led, pushed even, in a direction she wants.

2 Replies 2

Alyka
Community Member

Hi, Forever 2007,

 

I'm so sorry that you have to go through that. It must have been very rough.

 

Due to my age and experiences I may not be able to offer you a solution, but can I offer a different angle as a daughter, who once harboured immense hatred towards one side of my parent? I till this day don't speak to my mother, and there are very deep and good reasons for it. My dad, in a way, was also a victim, but he was unable to leave her. Granted I don't visit their house as much, it doesn't diminish my relationship with him.

 

The first thing I would say, is that distance isn't always a bad thing, if she has a safe place, like staying with grand parents or friends you'd trust, she can leave home for a while, away from her dad, the source of all the negativities. It's a healing process, as I have experienced the exact same thing. It really, for me, was a necessity.

 

At the time she left, please let her know that you'll always be available for her. Know that she needs you as much as you need her, if not more. So please don't cut her out and try and keep reaching out to her, keep asking, keep talking about other things, other than your husband, maybe about her school, her life etc. It's much better if you can avoid the touchy subject and focus on whatever you both enjoy, a movie, a sport, whatever gets you two closer. The key here is that letting her know she's safe with you, and you two will always have the connection. (I believe this can help you sleep better?)

 

Then you may work up to her (and your) feelings, of being lonly, or being anxious, don't bring out the source yet, just the feelings, and offer her a chance to try to comfort you, and you do the same. At this stage, you may start bring in some reasoning, regarding why you stay with your husband, not how good was him, but Your reason. (My dad said it was unfair because he married my mother to get away from my grandpa so it was partially his fault to rush into a marriage, and abondoning my mon after she granted him his wish and gave up her career to look after the family was uncalled for, I have to agree with that.)

 

If she still insist, tell her that she can stay away, but you'll always be connected to her, from your post I can see that she didn't hate you so she'll agree. And you can keep the visits and calls for a while before re-evaluate the situation.

 

What NOT to do: In my case, don't say your husband is good or that your daughter misunderstood him. I have a feeling that she probably know something you don't, if she can tell you then all the best.(Ask what's wrong with your father, and let her get it all out is a good strategy to glean as much information as possible. She can go on and on and on for hours if you have the patience to listen.) Also don't even try to patch things between them, that's not gonna happen any time soon, if at all possible. One of my mentor told me to see other people's reaction as 'objective facts', and you choose your action based on those facts. So to avoid attempts to try to alter other people's behavior. It sounds awfully abstract, but here I meant "they are not going to get along and can't be in a same room", and that's a fact, and see what you can do, under these conditions, to make yourself feel better. 

 

For example, under these circumstances, your daughter is bound to live somewhere else, or you'll have to get your husband to live somewhere else. So, arrange your daughter to live with someone you trust is likely a good start I think?

 

 

Hi Alyka and thank you for your insights, I have to admit that I have thought about things from her side, I truly have. I guess I should have written more to explain the bigger picture which is that in hindsight there had been things leading up to a fight all year with her wanting to 'fit in' with some of her friends who have boyfriends, something we have said she is too young for. Coming from a European background this is something that has not been negotiable. While she is staying at my mother's place it is true that she is safe, but my mother is not young and has responsibilities of caring for her elderly father and helping my brother and sister and law with their children so the pressure and stress I feel of making sure that my mother is not taking on an extra burden weighs heavy on me. 
All the things you have said about being there to support her and being there for her is something I have been doing - driving her to and from work, appointments, buying things she needs and wants. You also mention that maybe she knows something I don't, there isn't. The situation we are in I believe was caused by my mother in law who has strong opinions about life and how she thinks we should be bringing up our children. One of these 'opinions' was causing a fight with our children in the room because she insisted that they needed to be 'informed' because they are family and needed to know the 'conversation'. Since then, while I have not said those words directly to my MIL, I have insinuated that she is to blame. My husband can see the error of his ways in some of the things he has said in anger. My mother, where my daughter currently is, is being told one side of a story and I know this because she tells me and then I have to spend time correcting it. My daughter tells her that she has never been able to have friends over which is untrue, she has simply chosen to not have friends over. She also tells her that she doesn't have freedom, which for a 16 year old is untrue as she has quite a bit of freedom, not to the point of staying out all night or doing whatever she wants, but she has freedom to do pretty much almost anything - hang out with friends when she chooses, we would drive her to wherever she needed to go, and pick her up, and she gets money to spend on whatever she wanted (within reason) and whenever she wanted.
Like I said, I have looked at things from her side, I just find it difficult to reconcile her point of view.