18 year old DD self-destruction and so rude to me!(6 Posts)
I have this huge problem with my DD at the moment. She has always been quite self-centred and 'spoilt' by her family after she took it so badly when my DH and I split up when she was very young. But now I think it may have bit me in the bum.
She is a lovely girl, but has over the past couple of years become pretty 'wild', various boyfriends, getting drunk, bringing boys home and I actually caught her having sex whilst playing loud music and being very noisy when I had a friend to stay! Our relationship has started to deterioate and seems to go up and down like a rollercoaster. One minute she's sweet and lovely and I feel close to her and the next, she's like a demon!
A few weeks ago, she went to a party and didn't come home for 2 days. When she did, she started crying and shaking saying she had done something stupid. She then said she had taken a lot of cocaine, ecstasy and some pills that she didn't know what they were and she was scared because she felt so ill. She was in bed for about 5 days and her kidneys were in a lot of pain. I took her to the doctors but they were pretty useless and ignored the drug conversation completely and gave her anti-biotics for a urine infection. She admitted this was not the first time she had taken hard drugs but promised me she would not do it again and would distance herself from the girls that she is hanging around with/doing it with.
This didn't last long and she started becoming very withdrawn again and skipping school (she's in her 2nd year of A levels) so I made a decision to talk to my ex-DH about it and together, we agreed she should go and live with him as he lives about 100 miles away and has a very different lifestyle to me. We live in a busy, big town with lots going on with no other family apart from her younger sibling. Whereas he has 5 other children, lots of family around and a much quieter, 'normal' surroundings in a town that is nice.
She agreed it would be best for her to do this but did say she wasn't 100% she wanted to. She moved there about a week and a half ago but after a couple of days, started ringing and texting me saying she had made the wrong decision, misses her friends, doesn't fit in and wants to come back. This would be fine, if her attitude wasn't so terrible towards me. As soon as I try and remind her of the reasons of her going, she launches an attack on me and says it is my fault she is like she is because I go out (I visit my DP at weekends and usually one night during the week) so she should.. she says she's 18 and can do what she wants etc.. Another example, is that yesterday, I suggested she went and visited my parents who live near her father and she said no and that I should. I said I can't as I am working full time and she is 'there' to which she said 'well you find time to visit X (DP) so I'm sure you can find time to visit your parents'.
She also talks as if SHE is making the decision of whether to stay at her Dad's or come back home. She is coming back to me on Friday for two weekends as there are parties going on up here that she wants to go to (with the drug girls) and says she will make her mind up then whether she will stay or go.
She has now officially left school here as I had to inform them when she left for her Dad's. The plan was that she would work for him for the rest of the year and start her second year of A Levels again in September. So if she came back here, she would not be at school and doesn't have a job (she thinks she can just come back and get a job until September - not that easy!)
I'm dreading her coming back. I don't know what to do. I don't know how hard to be or whether to just support her in whatever she decides or whether to refuse to have her back (for her own sake, and for my own sanity!!). It is affecting my younger DD as older DD always has the attention and there is always a drama going on. While she has been at her Dad's, younger DD and I have had such a nice time together, getting to know each other again and really relaxing together without the constant drama of older one.
Don't get drawn into arguments about whether you're right or wrong or should do x or y - stick to what you permit in your home, what you expect of her and what will happen if she doesn't.
I don't know whether you are on good terms with your ExH but it would be good to put up a united front at this point. Don't allow her to play you off against each other and decide when she goes to which parent.
She is now technically an adult - I think you need to really ram this point home by telling her you will not have her in your house unless she abides by certain rules. Clearly you have to protect her younger sister and yourself from the chaos that she brings. This does not mean you can't love and support her of course, but you should do this by providing her with a framework she can hang a more organised life on.
As for the weekends she comes back to you so she can go to a party? No no no - this is clearly a very bad idea. I would meet her with your ExH and discuss the rules of play. If she shouts and screams and tells you she will go off and live elsewhere, say so be it - we will be here when you're ready to work with us.
Stop shouting, start listening and give her adult consequences, not childish ones. Make your answers as short and pithy as you can - she will feed off any drama she manages to generate.
Look after yourself and your younger DD. Good luck.
Don't know if this will help, but as my DS is getting older (14) and bigger, I find myself squabbling with him like a teenager myself and we get nowhere because he is beginning to play the 'almost an adult' card with me as if that would make us equals. It won't.
The way I now try to avoid that relationship developing is to mentally raise myself to the dizzying heights of benign, righteous, years-of-experience adulthood, and look down at him and respond to him from there. In other words, I am in my 50s. Even when he IS an adult he will not be my equal. I have years of experience and knowledge that he doesn't have. I know I am right because...
But I don't do the 'I know better than you' to his face - I hated my Dad for that line with that seething hatred only teenagers can summon up (which kind of explains my reverting to teenage anger with my son). Now I ask myself, 'if I were an outsider how would I handle this? What is in his best interests from this point of view?' (the dizzying heights, looking down) From there I try to find a set of parameters and boundaries for him - ie, you can do this and that but the other is unacceptable - and impose them on him - no negotiating. It's more about curbing and encouraging certain behaviours and attitudes rather than punishments like time out or reducing screen time (which we do as well when needed) IYSWIM.
I won't lie, it is really hard to reinforce because he rants and rails and is manipulative, but by focusing on his behaviour as a real adult rather than his emo mother (LOL), it is easier to enforce.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you and DH are clearly doing this right and just need to stay strong and focused as knowledgeable adults to see it through until she gets to real adulthood herself. Dodge the flying bricks and keep at it!
Right. She's 18. She has left school so if you do agree to her moving back, you would be perfectly reasonable to charge for her board. Tell her she will have to get a job, any job to pay her way.
But that's if you want her to move back, which it sounds like you don't.
If you do though, it might be wise to have a long discussion over house rules. She is entitled to a private life and this will probably include a sex life. You will have to agree on what is acceptable in terms of bringing partners home.
You and her father need to make the decision here, not her. Which you have. When she is at yours next time, why not get out your diary and agree when she is coming to stay? Sort out Christmas dates etc. but make it very clear that the agreement with her father has been put in place and you are sticking to it.
I think it would be a good time to remind your dd that under no circumstances will you tolerate drugs in your home. Because of your younger dd. Whether that's drugs your dd has consumed or has on her. Non negotiable.
She came back from her Dad's for the weekend and the week and was due to go back today.
Since she came back, she has been going out every night, getting drunk and sleeping or not being here during the day
She now says she wants to stay here (on the day she's supposed to go back) and wants to get a job and sort her life out etc. I brought up the fact that since she has been back here, she has done nothing but go out and behave in exactly the way that she did and the reason why we all agreed she should live at her dads. She said this was to make the most of her time with her friends before she goes back to her Dad's to live, but now she doesn't want to
She's in tears, doesn't want to leave and is promising to do whatever I tell her to do. I seriously don't know what to do and have about 2 hours to make my mind up!
Op she is telling you what is wrong but your not listening, you have packed her off to her dads.
I'm hearing mum you don't care
Your not listening
Your never around when I need you
You have no time for me
You've abandoned me
You care for your bf and not me
You see him but don't see me
I have to ramp up my behaviour to get you to deal with me
Seriously op shes screaming out for you, somehow you need to find time to connect with her, and if that means putting your own life on hold then so be it.
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