I have a 17 year old dtr who I think is amazing. We were very attached when she was a little girl. She has always had a hard time in the community we live in and has struggled to find good friends. She had a serious bout with an eating disorder that landed her in a treatment center for 3 months during 8th grade which robbed her of an amazing Irish Dance career and derailed her in many other life areas, including church. She has really pulled back from us (my husband and I) emotionally, and seems almost hateful towards us. I know she loves us, but due to her sadness, she lashes out and cuts us off much of the time – probably because she knows there’s nothing we can really do to help her, except listen. We’ve gotten her help, and I even had her talk to one of your coaches for a few sessions, but she doesn’t want the help, and doesn’t think it works.
I snoop around her room to make sure she’s OK as she was truly in such a dark place in the past. Today, I saw her her daily question journal that her biggest accomplishment of 2018 is that she’s still alive. I don’t believe she’s truly suicidal. I think it’s just drama. But it still breaks my heart. I also came across some nicotine oil and a vape pipe. I’m not planning on saying anything as I was snooping pretty deeply. And she did just start ‘talking to’ a really sweet boy who I think will be a good influence on her.
I’m so sad that my experience being her mom during these years has been so turbulent. I’m really worried about her, her future, her ability to form and maintain friends, her health and mental health, and I feel like somehow I failed. My vision and the reality of what I thought we would share are completely different. I thought we’d have a rich church life, and that is all fractured in our family. I thought we’d be traversing off to Ireland for her amazing dancing. I thought we’d take mom / dtr trips and enjoy each other’s company.
It’s an ache in my heart that fluctuates between deep worry, sadness and anger. And I buffer a lot over it. I’m trying to focus on growing a business, doing your program and using models to support me, but it feels like I can’t get it to be deep enough. I have this knowing feeling that I’m not good enough, that I have really screwed up somehow, and that she and I will not be close in the future. I have a deep wound with my own mother that has resulted in no relationship with her, and I’m afraid that will happen with me and my daughter. Although I am nothing like my own mother as far as my availability as her mom and being a solid role model for my daughter in many ways – certainly not all.
Here are my models for her:
Big picture model:
C My daughter
T She is God’s child on her own journey
A Give her space with boundaries
R She knows I love her and totally have her back
C My daughter has and is struggling
T It’s really normal for me to be be sad
F Kind and compassionate towards myself and her
A Go on about my life
R Continue building my own life and allowing the sadness when it comes.
I’m having a hard time finding joy, being happy and confident.
I’d love your insight on how to better cope.