My daughter has actually left our home, and moved 15 hours away to stay with my parents, who I do not get along with. I feel that she has gone there as she knew they would side with her, as my mother has always been very manipulative and undermined me, and I made the decision years ago, that I would involve her in our lives so that the children would have a sense of family, but that I would be assertive in the role that I allowed her to play. I didn't have a happy childhood, but I don't think that has made me into a scapegoat personality, as I don't see myself defined by my childhood, and I don't think it left any long term effects on me, except that I chose to parent differently and gave too much, as did my husband.
I did the quiz, and as I suspected I was seriously over indulgent (right off the scale, not just a little bit). Our daughter was always hard work, but to the rest of the world, she was sweet, shy and polite. She was hard work, as she was always unhappy with someone, who she felt slighted her, and I can't tell you how many falling outs I have had with people, because she perceived some little remark as offensive, and I always took her side. That was wrong of me.
I have 2 other teenager daughters who are everything she is not - they are outgoing, sociable, confident, willing to take risks and try new things, and academic success comes easy to them, as it never did for Alex. I always felt sorry for her that she struggled at school, and we supported her in a successful swimming career, and became involved in volunteering and the swimming community, and did everything as a family. But because I was always worried about her future, academically, and some of her unpleasant personality traits, I gave her much more time than the other two, and she treats them like she is superior to them, and they dislike her intensely .
For years I have talked to her about putting goals for a career into place - maybe in hindsight I nagged - 2 weeks before final exams she decided she wanted to be a nurse, as all her friends were going to University, and it was one of the lowest marks to get. We encouraged her (even though I knew she would never get the marks).
She needed a 68 - she got a 42 - She was very angry, and I think she was furious that I could not pave the way for her as I have always done. Here was a problem mum couldn't fix. This was the beginning of our descent into hell.
I banned her from one thing though- that was going out for coffee with her boss, who is a married man in his mid-thirties, who has a pregnant (bi-polar) wife, and 2 other small children. She went crazy, and said how dare I be suspicious of someone who was so supportive and encouraging etc etc, but I stuck to my guns. She worked in a kiosk at the local pool, where my daughters do (and she used to) train. Every time I tried to get her to seek further education or a better job, this man would tell her she was promoted ( Never had a wage increase though and was paid well below minimum wage). He kept telling her he was going to buy her a restaurant, and give her a traineeship. All of the kids at the pool were talking about her relationship with him, and when it filtered back to us, we discovered that she was texting him obsessively every night ( from 10pm till 2 pm some nights). It was not unusual for there to be 30+ texts, and even 47 one night. He also encouraged her not to take a position in an advanced Hospitality diploma course that she got accepted in as it was just "glorified waitressing".
After we confronted her with this information (at this stage she was staying with my sister locally), she refused to speak to us, so we went to see this man. We asked him to explain why our daughter was contacting him to this excess. We were very dignified, and polite as we are well known at that pool, and still have to go there, and did not want any conflict. (my daughter since told my parents that we yelled and screamed and made a scene there, meaning she could not work there). We told him we felt he was steering her in a different direction, than the path she had originally chosen with our help, and asked him to bring the relationship back to a professional level. He was VERY worried, and visibly shaken.
We feel he has then told Alex that things needed to cool off, as she sent me texts telling me I ruined her life. She also took off to another State that weekend (at my mother's suggestion). She then systematically began contacting our friends and sending abusive emails and messages to them, telling them all that I didn't really like them, and said things about them. If anyone supported me, she really went for them. She told various people she had to leave, as I was abusing her, others that her 15 year old sister was sleeping around (we later found out this was in fact her) and this was causing too much stress to live in our house, and other people that I was an alcoholic (and my husband didn't know cause I hid the bottles). In desperation I sent her 2 texts (she would not answer the phone to me or see me) telling her to leave us alone, and she was not part of our family any more. She forwarded these to everyone to prove what a bad mother I am. (Most people told me they could not see why I did not do it earlier).
The upshot of it is she is now a long way from us. She is seeing a counselor who told my mother that Alex has "long term abuse" issues. I would say this is because of the outrageous lies she is telling. She texts us saying she misses us and wants to come home, but tells my parents the opposite.
I told her she can't come home, till we can set some boundaries, and make changes, and that we needed to break this cycle. She disagrees, and says she has done nothing wrong ( and I haven't even touched on her promiscuity, drinking, cussing, violence, and threats of physical harm to me and the other girls). She says that her counselor said she is fine and I have to change.
I was sending her texts and talking to her on the phone daily, telling her we still loved her and wanted her to get help, and we would work things out. But my mother then contacted me and her exact words were "If you won't take her back - stop playing mind games - and F*** off". Alex texted me not 5 mins after asking after her sisters and how my day had been. I think she is still playing all of the adults in this scenario off.
Am I in the wrong, because I can't have her back here until she accepts responsibility? I know my mothers is not the best place for her ( they have talked her out of and hospitality courses that she was going to do and got her onto social security benefits, claiming she was too traumatized to work or study - we disagree with that as we have a very strong work ethic), but at least she is physically safe, and I know they will take care of her, and in their own way show her kindness.
The things she has said about our family, and the fact she is the talk of the town means my other 2 girls (13 & 15) don't want her back and don't understand why I haven't given up on her - I tell them that a mother can't do that. But my husband is a broken man, and I can feel the essence of who I am being sucked dry.
My Out-of-Control Teen