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18 year old lost her way/nerve

(22 Posts)
RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 22:25:21

My 18 year old daughter, in a nutshell - really hard worker, fought tooth and nail to get into the uni of her choice. Sensible, thoughtful, doesn't go out drinking/partying to extremes, never done drugs or smoked. Dogged, organised, thorough, financially responsible and so on.

She decided to live at home through uni, boyfriend mainly, but she does like her creature comforts. She has her own car and commuted daily 10 miles to the city. 5 weeks into term she had an accident in her car that was not her fault, she was not badly injured, neither was the other party. Her car was a write off but her insurance company were magnificent and had issued a cheque for the full value of her vehicle within 3 weeks. She bought another car, which she has driven twice. She is two paces behind me 24/7 and is constantly telling me inconsequential stories/anecdotes. She has stopped going out apart from to her b/f's house, either he picks her up or she walks.

She has to go into uni tomorrow and is catching the bus but very reluctant to go at all. She has been working from home since the accident but now has to present her work so far (which is all up to date). I have spoken to the family doctor about this situation who suggested my daughter make an apt (but she won't).

I know there is more to this than meets the eye however I can't force her to talk, plus I really want her to recognise and deal with whatever it is herself.

With a full time job and three other teenagers (boys) I am struggling to meet her demands (time) plus I am also struggling with her being at home all the time (not spending at least some time in her room as she did previously). Whilst I love her dearly and want to help her, I feel the more I do the less I am helping.

CarGirl Sun 05-Dec-10 22:27:23

oh dear, doesn't sound good at all.

Have you asked her the obvious "Is everything okay because you don't seem to be", preferably after she's had a glass of wine?

RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 22:36:38

Car girl, she is not even drinking flipping wine :-(

Hopefully I have managed to ask her that question in many different ways. I probably have a good idea of the issues but I really want her to recognise them and find her own way. I guess I am asking for thoughts on how to help her move forward/how to cut a few apron strings that were previously not even noticeable before.

scurryfunge Sun 05-Dec-10 22:38:59

She really does need to speak to her GP. She needs to talk to someone regarding the accident and how she feels.....sounds like PTSD.

this site has a forum for anxiety and is quite useful

CarGirl Sun 05-Dec-10 22:40:22


Perhaps she needs you to verbalise them for her though? It's very scary to verbalise things that make you anxious/upset.

LoopyLoopsOfSparklyFairyLights Sun 05-Dec-10 22:43:39

Yes, I really do think that you need to persuade her to see the doctor.

On a practical level, a few things spring to mind.

Have you spoken to her boyfriend? He might have some ideas.

Have you gone out with her driving? A crash can be a massive shock, and it will take a little time to get her confidence back. How about a pass plus course?

Does she have a job? If you insist that she does, make it appear that it is for financial reasons, she might be forced to leave the house a bit and get some new friends too.

How about a holiday?

CarGirl Sun 05-Dec-10 22:46:51

Why don't you get her to have a refresher lesson with a driving instructor and perhaps ask her if she'd like to do an advanced driving course - it can make their insurance cheaper btw.

Sounds like the crash is really having a huge impact on her driving as well as those short apron strings generally.

Perhaps she's become aware of her own mortality, sounds a sensitive soul all around.

RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 22:56:34

I really would like her to see her GP - I agree re PTSD.

Her b/f is all out of ideas and prob doesn't have the smarts to understand (sorry harsh but true :-|). I have been with her driving and she has had extra driving lessons with her very understanding and lovely instructor. I agree re job I think it would do her the world of good however she has her finances all sewn up so she can focus on uni work. She has ditched all her friends in favour of being with her b/f or at home. She has had the opportunity to make hosts of new friends at uni and has been quite snobby about it.

To sum it up (and I have told her this) I think docs and counselling are the answers but she is not having it.

CarGirl Sun 05-Dec-10 22:59:29

Tell her GP & counselling or live out smile, try and remember that in the long run you are doing her a favour.

RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 22:59:40

Car girl - I remember becoming aware of my own mortality and it is something I have recognised too. Really sensitive soul so treading very carefully.

Sorry all, forgot to say thanks for your insightful responses.

CarGirl Sun 05-Dec-10 23:00:34

My dh is a sensitive soul, very infuriating at times - you have my empathy!

LoopyLoopsOfSparklyFairyLights Sun 05-Dec-10 23:00:40

Harsh, but - ultimatum? Docs and counselling or rent?

RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 23:02:08

Lol CG, we are likely moving further away from the city soon so her commute will be much longer. I told her I was buying a house in the city that she and her uni friends could rent and she could manage it. That is what prompted her to have extra lessons with her driving instructor! Perhaps I just have to keep at it ;-)

RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 23:03:24

Yeah, am going to have to practise tough love here aren't I?

Bless her!! Thanks guys :-)

LoopyLoopsOfSparklyFairyLights Sun 05-Dec-10 23:03:50

The renting idea sounds great if could find a way of getting her to go for it. Could her fella move in? Would that be an incentive (too far)?

RocketSalad Sun 05-Dec-10 23:15:36

Loopy, her relationship is a whole new story! She could for me but I suspect it would end in big tears and be back at square one! But renting next academic year whatever :-) Actually don't understand her reluctance - I couldn't wait to go! ;-)

LoopyLoopsOfSparklyFairyLights Sun 05-Dec-10 23:17:39

I know, I always think it's such a shame when they miss out on the experience of halls. And you can usually spot a student who did miss out.

She will be fine though, whatever happens. It will take much more time without counselling, but she'll get there anyway.

frostyfingers Mon 06-Dec-10 13:53:22

My car was hit by a deer when I was driving with my children - it bounced on to the bonnet and went over the top. For about a month afterwards I was really scared driving, I ducked every time a bird flew near the car, and kept imagining "what if that had been a child" etc etc. It passed, but it's perfectly possibly that something similar has happened.

We all think we're invincible in our metal boxes and suddenly we realise we are someone else suggested I think a couple of refresher lessons would be a start.

RocketSalad Tue 07-Dec-10 11:30:32

Thanks all for your advice. I thought you would like to know I was able to sit down and talk to my daughter yesterday and discuss a way forward.

She recognises her difficulties (half the battle) and has agreed to make an appointment to see her doctor.She is also able to claim for counselling through her insurance so has set that ball in motion this morning.

Driving lessons ongoing which does help but she hates driving in this awful snow and ice and would prefer to continue keeping herself out of other drivers way until it passes. She has had 2 lessons in bad conditions which has helped her understand how to handle the car better.

We also seem to have touched on the relationship issues (I didn't go into it but there is one) and she realises she is not with Mr Right but Mr Right Now. I have pointed out this is hardly fair on either of them - she acknowledges this.

Today I have an issue with my son (no wonder I am going grey) and given their individual personalities, it makes this one pale into insignificance! Hey ho!

CarGirl Tue 07-Dec-10 19:34:04

<<wibbles at the knowledge that if dd1 survives her teenage years I've got a further 2 to get through it>>

RocketSalad Tue 07-Dec-10 23:59:48

It certainly focuses the mind. As an aside, my sister in law's fb status this morning read "Sky broke and kids can't watch their tv programmes"! Hmmmm that is soooooooooo easy peasy lemon squeezy! I didn't post a comment ;-)

iwastooearlytobeayummymummy Wed 08-Dec-10 00:27:32

It has been said before, but as the children get older so do their problems!

hope the doc helps, but sounds like she is experiencing a crisis of confidence in lots of areas of her life,

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