15 year old daughter - need advice!

Martina - posted on 04/24/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Ok I am totally new at this and this is my first post.

Little background:
I have a 15 1/2 year old daughter. We recently moved to LA to support her acting career. She is inherently and undeniably talented and been working so there is no question in my mind that the move was necessary. She is also doing online school due to her acting schedule- So, her and I (I am a single mom) are living together 24/7. She isn't seeing her dad right now and we don't have a social network as of yet so it's been rough.

Now, despite moving here and driving her everywhere, etc.. I am treated badly and dis-respectfully on a regular basis. I feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells and losing myself in the process. I try to talk to her and she treats me like I am an imbecile. When I have done something that upsets her (reasonably or not), she doesn't talk to me for days. I have sent her texts and get nothing. She is also in a fight with her dad and hasn't spoken to him for 6 weeks. I know a lot of this is teenage daughter stuff but I am concerned about her inability to let things go and also about her isolating herself and getting depressed. I wish she knew I had her back, wasn't her enemy and could move past this debilitating anger. I feel like the only way she forgives me for anything is if I cower and apologize. Half the time I don't even know what she's upset about. But I am also a big time nurturer and the anger from her makes me physically sick. I stopped working to support her career and to reinvent mine once she's a bit more established. I have stopped dating because she feels like I am never home (would be out maybe 1 or 2 evenings and a couple of Sundays). I had a successful, intelligent career and now I just feel like a worthless person who is completely subjected to her whims and moods. Not the kind of person I want her to see me as. I guess my question is multiple... How do I get her to move past difficult situations? How do I get her to see that I am not the enemy? How do I keep from losing myself in the meantime???

Sorry for the book BTW!

5 Comments

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Martina - posted on 04/24/2014

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Lisa - no need to apologize at all but thank you. Your advice has been extremely helpful and insightful. Very much appreciated and needed! I totally agree with you about boundaries. I have been stuck in a bit of a quagmire due to a divorce but I absolutely need to the a stronger role - just need the back up and backbone to do it! I have let my need to keep the peace dictate and now it's biting me in the ass! Pardon the cussing...

Thank you again!

Lisa - posted on 04/24/2014

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Yes, I apologize for possibly being too harsh. This is something I feel so strongly about so it flips my switch so to speak. I can promise you my daughter is much happier. What it amounted to was that I was "infantilizing" her. My therapist pointed it out and something clicked. I was treating her like she couldn't survive without me (which she really can't) but if she's not allowed to make mistakes she can't learn from them. My daughter also has other issues. Actually a lot of them. But nothing excuses that type of behavior. Or I should say whatever issues our kids have or things that have happened to them doesn't give them a free pass to abuse us. The biggest thing they need are clear boundaries. If she is allowed to treat you that way with no consequences, she has you in a vice. And yet she's not happy I can promise you. Because any professional will tell you that the one thing a child needs is boundaries. Believe it or not it makes them much happier as well. When they have that stability they feel more at peace, even if they don't always agree. They do not want us to fall apart. They want us to be strong, guide them and love them. I really hope you and your daughter can find that peace. Hold your head high!

Lisa - posted on 04/24/2014

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Actually I have a couple of other thoughts on this. When I say I have been there, I am telling you it actually took me getting tough and using tough love to let go. It only took a couple of times of me telling my spoiled 18 year old when she was 17 that she needed to pack and get out of my house. Obviously that is NOT what I wanted but I had to stand up for myself. There is no reason that you shouldn't have a life. To date, etc. You won't have a social circle if you give in to what she thinks she wants. But what she wants doesn't matter. You are the parent. She is a child. And this child is completely controlling you. It's not a bit healthy for her either. When I did that to my daughter, there was an immediate change. It only took her being gone 1/2 day to come crying to me that she needs me, and my guidance. And she realized she isn't grown. So I'm saying please talk to a professional and make changes ASAP. If not, both of you are spiraling out of control.

Martina - posted on 04/24/2014

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thank you Lisa for your frankness. Harsh but I appreciate the honestly. I am seeking therapy for myself and have had her in therapy as well but unfortunately her therapist crossed some personal boundaries - There is more to the story but I figured my rant was too long as it was. I am well aware that I have enabled the behavior and as much as I would like to say this is all on me - the truth is there is a lot more involved. I was just wondering if people had suggestions on how to effectively communicate with their daughters at this age.

Lisa - posted on 04/24/2014

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As a Mother of 22 and 18 year old daughters, and grandmother raising 19 month old twin Granddaughters I can relate. However, at the risk of being blunt, I will say that you are being exactly how she sees you. A victim. I can also promise you that you will never gain any respect from her unless you completely stop this nonsense now. You are not only hurting yourself, but your daughter as well. You are teaching her that the world owes her something. And that she should go through life with no conflict. No one to tell her no. Is that reality? Ask yourself. It sounds like you need to dig deep, see a therapist NOW and start being her mother and not her slave/friend/whipping post. I'm sorry if this upsets you but I started down that road and had to change what I was doing. This is truly not about your daughter. She will change when you set boundaries and stick to them. Only then will you gain any respect.

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