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How the hell do you detach?!

(30 Posts)
endofmytethertake100 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:53:06

Just that really I need to for my sanity. DD has been near on impossible for 2 years. She smokes, drinks, suspect cannibis, in daily trouble at school, disengaged from education, rude, angry, guilt trips/emotional blackmail, swearing, lazy, dramas , false accusations and worst of all the most repulsive boyfriend who she adores despite him treating her like shit. My attempts to tell her she should end things resulted in her making false accusation that I "beat" her.

I am at my wits end and for my own sanity I need to try to detach but how? I am anxious 24/7 about DD and it is literally one thing after another after another. I have tried with her rewards, sanctions, boundaries, counselling, anger management , positive reinforcement etc etc to no avail.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 26-Feb-16 17:55:00

How old?

The advice will be massively different to a 14 year old than a 17 year old

endofmytethertake100 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:21:44

She is 14, 15 next week.

MuttonCadet Fri 26-Feb-16 18:25:31

That sounds awful, but are you sure detaching is the way to go?

endofmytethertake100 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:29:05

No but I feel I've tried everything else. I've sought advice from many professionals but she won't engage at all. I'm usually quite strong but I'm at a point now where I can't function like this every day!

endofmytethertake100 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:59:10

But anyone with any successful interventions please share.

wibblywobbler Fri 26-Feb-16 19:12:52

No interventions to share but just wanted to say I've a 14 yr old DD. She'll be 15 in a couple of months, it's hell and affecting my mental health daily. For my sanity I need to detach from the constant anger, sarcasm, entitlement and occasional violence. And now she's discovered sex there's a whole other set of issues at play now angry

endofmytethertake100 Fri 26-Feb-16 19:29:54

Oh yes DD has also discovered sex I am at my wits end. Her boyfriend is abusive but if you try and get support she lies and says he's perfect and I'm abusive. She looks and talks to me like she hates my guts and it hurts. I'm ashamed to admit I'm quite scared of her now I feel I'm walking on eggshells. I'm so depressed about it all trying to figure out where it all went wrong and how I can fix it.

wibblywobbler Sat 27-Feb-16 10:52:01

oh you sound so much like me!

I have been thinking back and wondering where it's all gone so wrong. DD has been 'challenging' to say the least since she was three, it's been power struggles ever since. It's exhausting!

When I found out she had become sexually active after swearing blind to me numerous times neither her nor her boyfriend were ready to go to that stage yet I had the serious sex talk again with her for the third time, and she laughed at me and said of course she wouldn't get pregnant, he was pulling out! shock So I have said she is not going anywhere and nor is he coming over again until she is on some form of birth control and picked up condoms from the family planning clinic because if she feels ready to be having sex she needs to be ready to take responsibility. But then I feel I am facilitating her having sex. I feel in a lose-lose situation! But now she is driving me mad demanding I take her to the FPC to get sorted out, nagging and demanding with no regard to all the other commitments I have that mean I can't just drop everything and take her at a time that is convenient for her. Her general response is that, well I am the one that is wanting her to take precautions.

I am also sick of the constant anger and contempt with which she talks to me and has done for many, many years. She's never in the wrong, it's always just my perception or my fault that she is behaving the way she is. There's no taking responsibility for herself, and she prides herself in never backing down or admitting she's in the wrong. She sees it as strength of character, despite me saying the opposite is actually true. It's exhausting and I feel sorry for my other child growing up in such an atmosphere of hostility.

I remember posting a few years ago about her attitude and people saying it was EA and if she was a partner they would say LTB in a heartbeat, can't do that when it's your child though can you sad

I read on here about how much the kids who are the hardest to love need lost the most and that they need their parents more than ever between the ages of 13-18 but I am so tempted to tell her she can move out at 16 at times!

3catsandcounting Sat 27-Feb-16 12:28:00

End and Wibbly - I have a DD18, with all the issues you've listed. I also have an incredibly easy-going DS16 who I worry will be scarred by her behaviour.
I can detach a bit more now that she's 18 (if someone would kindly send me the instructions!)
No advice, as I'm still struggling, but much empathy to you both.

3catsandcounting Sat 27-Feb-16 12:28:37

End and Wibbly - I have a DD18, with all the issues you've listed. I also have an incredibly easy-going DS16 who I worry will be scarred by her behaviour.
I can detach a bit more now that she's 18 (if someone would kindly send me the instructions!)
No advice, as I'm still struggling, but much empathy to you both.

3catsandcounting Sat 27-Feb-16 12:28:54

End and Wibbly - I have a DD18, with all the issues you've listed. I also have an incredibly easy-going DS16 who I worry will be scarred by her behaviour.
I can detach a bit more now that she's 18 (if someone would kindly send me the instructions!)
No advice, as I'm still struggling, but much empathy to you both.

3catsandcounting Sat 27-Feb-16 12:30:38

Sorry! It's not me, it's my phone!! blushblushblush

endofmytethertake100 Sun 28-Feb-16 11:15:44

Thanks ladies, at least I'm not alone, my RL friends have lovely teenagers so I've stopped talking about how bad things are .

DD has always been difficult , just gets worse with age. I had a friend like this at school and aged 38 she still gives her parents merry hell and they are constantly bailing her out, she still lives with them ! It makes me want to run away, the thing that keeps me going is that hopefully within the next 4 years it might ease of its another 30 years doesn't bare thinking about. At the moment I wish I had someone who would take control of this situation and support me, as its only me and DD in the house it has become all consuming !

rogueantimatter Sun 28-Feb-16 13:15:50

That sounds super difficult. I lived in a home with only my mum and me in it and it must have been horrible for her. I wasn't as difficult as your DD but aged 17 she'd tell me to be home by 1pm and I would pay no notice, had no regard for her worrying while I stayed out till whenever I liked. As an adult I had a great relationship with her though.

If it makes you feel any better your friends teens probably aren't as nice as they seem. My 16YO has a friend who is lovely - everybody loves him - he's so nice, but I was shocked to hear him on the phone to his mum -grumpy is an understatement. Your friends teens might yet go through a difficult stage.

I know what it's like to feel you're the only one though. Although not difficult, my teens are very stubborn and don't ever listen to advice - even from other adults who they like and respect. Meanwhile most of their friends are studying hard and not almost getting permanently excluded from school for persistent lateness like she almost did. She's now doing a degree that was very difficult to get on to ( entry by audition) which sounds marvellous, except that her teacher and I didn't think she would like it and now in her second year she doesn't like it and isn't happy but is determined to stick it out for another two years. I worry about it often. She moved into a flat I didn't think she'd like despite my advice. Surprise surprise there are problems with it as I predicted. I worry that she will never be happy.....

But she did become instantly grateful for meals, lifts etc as soon as she left home. I'm sure your DD will come out of this phase too. I suppose my DD is making progress in that she does now at least admit that she hasn't made the best choices always.

However I know that's small stuff compared to your DD. I do have some advice;

Don't comment on boyfriends ever - however difficult - (DD had a bf who wasn't nice when she was 15). Be welcoming to him but don't give her advice. Be there for her with tlc when it ends. Which it will. She'll be enjoying the drama of knowing that you don't approve, so try to give the impression that you've changed your mind and realise that as she's about to turn 15 you won't advise her unless she asks.

Compliment her for anything you can think of whenever possible - anything - sense of fun/style/love of carrots/anything. Make her feel loved just for being her.

Acknowledge that it must be hard for her living in a home with only one other person. Encourage her to talk about stuff with another adult? Aunt, GP, family friend.

Do something regularly for yourself.

Don't blame yourself.

Don't accept swearing - tell her quietly that you're not listening if she starts and walk away. As calmly as possible. Try not to seem bothered by her language - don't add to the drama - but be matter-of-fact, briskly not accepting.

Try not to let her know that you are worried and stressed if possible.

I hope this doesn't sound patronising - apologies if some of this is irrelevant.


Thankyouforthemusic Sun 28-Feb-16 13:50:19

Hello End. You have my sympathy. My niece was like this between 12-16 and it was awful, just like you describe, school issues, screaming, hitting, staying out late/overnight, trouble with the police. My sister was distraught. What helped her was that my niece lived with me for half the week to give her mum a break! She wasn't as unpleasant with me because as everyone has said, teens are not as bad with other people - it's their mum who bears the brunt of it and if like you and my sister you are on you own at home, it is very very difficult to deal with. So my advice is can you offload her onto someone else for some of the time?

I agree with Rogue, don't discuss her bf. Don't talk to her if she is swearing at you. Cut her off if it's on the phone, walk away if face to face. Withhold pocket money for bad behaviour (all the time?)

Make sure you do nice things for yourself, take up a hobby, go to the cinema, whatever. And talk to friends, MN about how bad it is. Get support for yourself.

Finally, I know this is not much help to you now, but my niece is 19 now, at uni and is a changed person! Her relationship with her mum has improved hugely. So hang on in there as things will get better! Good luck xx

endofmytethertake100 Sun 28-Feb-16 15:51:28

Thanks ladies, I find it so difficult not to comment on him , especially after death threats and abusive messages, I want to ring his nasty little neck! She has some social communication difficulties and is beyond deluded when it comes to him. If one of her friends insulted her like this she would go mad and certainly cut them out of her life with short shrift, but he can do no wrong. He brought her gifts to apologise for threatening to kill her and she said "Isn't he so sweet" she wasn't even joking. I could not bite my tongue and said "Yes , its what abusers do DD. He is no where near sweet". To which she stormed out saying I was jealous of her relationship! I will try extra hard to bite my tongue but he needs to go ASAP. DD's behaviour has deteriorated since he arrived.

The swearing is fairly recent and I do challenge this but she is looking for ways to hurt me like accusing me of hurting her she even said "You won't have a job then will you" ( I work with children). I do not recognise her anymore at all. She was always defiant and urm spirited but had very sweet moments and we had a great relationship and spent lots of quality time together. Now our chats involve me talking and her staring at her phone whilst grimacing or just blanking.

You sound like a lovely auntie having your niece for half the week, I need one of those in my life. I feel I have lost all control and things have spiralled really quickly, 6 months ago she listened (did lots of sulking, stomping and mouthing) but did as I asked but now she does not give a shit.

BoyGirlBoy3 Sun 28-Feb-16 15:59:23

I would like to suggest the following website, for some really good advice

rogueantimatter Sun 28-Feb-16 16:17:55

That sounds awful. It's no wonder it's impossible not to comment. Encourage them to spend time in your home - be super nice to him - kill him with kindness and he might seem more ordinary and less appealing. Tell your DD how it's such a shame that he has the issues he has that predispose him to saying such inappropriate things and sympathise with your DD about how hard it must be for her to be supportive. Be very sympathetic to the difficulties teenagers have today that they didn't used to have so she knows you are on her side. Criticising him won't work so you must take a different strategy.

My DD's bf was flaky. After a few months I took to pretending to be all enthusiastic about fun dates (which often never happened). Once he was supposed to be coming round for dinner so I went to quite a lot of effort - he was fussy - then he said at the very last minute that he wasn't coming so I gritted my teeth and was very gracious (furious on DD's behalf). Saved pudding for him anyway etc. Eventually DD saw the contrast between the reasonable behaviour in her home and his behaviour.

There's a website called Scarleteen for teenagers - very sensible, very detailed advice about all aspects of relationships.

Could your DD have unresolved issues about her own DF perhaps? Apologies if that's irrelevant.

BoyGirlBoy3 Mon 29-Feb-16 17:49:07

Op did you look at family lives website?

endofmytethertake100 Mon 29-Feb-16 18:07:52

Yes I did thank you for that link.

Yes she could well have unresolved issues with her Not so D father she doesn't see him and hasn't for several years.

I tried killing him with kindness but can't bare to look at the smug look on his face after his latest stint.

BoyGirlBoy3 Mon 29-Feb-16 18:13:16

I wasn't searching for a thank you, I hoped it helped you, like it helped me. Did you read the bit about setting ground rules, in the 'you and your teen', 'parenting teenagers' bit. I found that bit very helpful, think about it, maybe decide them together, not too many, and then don't flex, the boundaries make them feel safe, and cared for. I hope you don't think this post is bossy, I would like to help.

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 18:16:07

Sorry if this is a really stupid suggestion, but could you send her to boarding school, to get her away from the boyfriend?

He wouldn't be allowed in my house. I couldn't stand it and would likely throttle the little bastard.

endofmytethertake100 Mon 29-Feb-16 22:56:41

I don't have enough money for that. Just going to live in eternal hope this phase doesn't last forever and neither does the nasty shit of a boyfriend.

rogueantimatter Tue 01-Mar-16 10:02:18

I went to a free six week evening class based on a book and DVD by a couple called Nicky and Sila Lee for parents of teenagers. Although they are Christians and I'm not I found the 'manual' really useful. Small exercises to do including stuff for your teen to do to. Eg asking your DC to pick the three qualities they think are most important in a parent. I did a couple of things with my two and was astonished to discover that my older teen didn't think I was sufficiently encouraging. It was a really useful means of communicating with my DC.

the parenting teenagers course Guest Manual by Nicky and Sila Lee they're quite an unusual couple but they seem pretty wise

I'm sure her bf won't last. Not at their age. I really sympathise though.

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