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Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both? Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

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Unread 07-12-2005, 03:30 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

Ok, here goes I am Mother of four daughters all but one in young adult or teen status. Not a day goes by that I don't have some "incident" with one or the other, though I consider myself pretty ok, (don't we all) with the rules, boundry setting and compromise and understanding aspects of guide, but don't break the spirit parenting. The problem here is with the daughter not living with me anymore, (long story but three years ago she was told to leave due to many hateful and disrespectful conflicts that were disrupting the whole family, not bad stuff boys or drugs just mouth mouth mouth, and manipulating other family members, rage, bad temper etc.). She is now 24 years old and as far as I was concerned she could still be here (minus the attitude of course) because it is so hard for young people male or female to make enough to move out, especially as single young adults. She had finished some schooling and was making pretty good money at the time she was asked to leave and my DH and I gave her a 2000.00 grubstake, to help her with moving expenses and to give her a cushion to not have to come back home. We had been saving this for a badly needed extra room, but realized something had to be done about her controlling, and disrespectful ways, and her moving out would also free up the room for our youngest, so we opted to pass this money onto her. I felt this was to insure she knew we meant business about her moving out, but also so she could STAY away and be a success in her business also to insure no chance or her returning to only attempt the utterly disrespectful stuff, as I could no longer tolerate her "stuff". The real problem seemed to be and still is her constantly "overruling" my authority as woman of my house, mother to my minor children (2) and my interactions with my "midlife crisis or something husband" and her need to know more, and control more. She was a master trouble starter and manipulator. Again, questioning and defying and creating three ring circuses out of my authority and rightful position of "woman of this house". She constantly seems to STILL be able to create total family confusion over the slightest "stuff" or goings on, even though she doesn't live here anymore. We have short periods of ok, but mostly she is attempting to be a total control freak of me and mine. Now I am reading this post and feeling so sad as I realize this is MY child I am saying such negative things about. She does make very good money now, and in many way will agree moving out was good for her, but she has never owned her part in her being asked to move out, AND worse she is still into the "I am equal to you" attitude that creates problems problems and more problems with EVERY member of this family, as she learned to use my husband, her sisters, my mom, sister and anyone who will listen with her rewrites of events and horrible mouth towards me, and I am just heartsick, as SHE wasn't raised this way at all. This started when she was about 17 or eighteen and flat REFUSED to ride the school bus occasionally or regularly when I couldn't drive her to school as she felt was MY job, as she yet didn't have a car, but was working toward a downpayment on one. Ok so after this embarrassing tell all, my question is do any of you have any children that just get stuck in Mom defiance, or have such "competetive" for your role and rank daughters? This makes me sick and especially so, as she often attempts to "rewrite" stuff and ***** in my DH (he is getting smarter) and my younger two. In short she is horribly disrespectful, we fall out, I refuse to answer the phone as she just reads me the riot act and curses me out, and then she will "invite" her nine year old sister to the movie or some such excuse that forces me to have to cooperate or be pleasant or otherwise be the "bad guy" in keeping her from her sisters. Now I don't mind being the "bad guy" but this is very bad for the youngest children as they don't see WHY she suddenly calls and asks to talk to them or otherwise "forces" her way or the highway attitudes on me. This is very complicated to explain but if you have this you KNOW it. I am totally at my wits end with this child and her blantant attempts to rule me, or ruin me. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 07-12-2005, 04:00 AM
correction or why was the word pull bleeped

I just had to correct this bleep by the managment as I want to insure no misunderstanding, I don't know why the word PULL as in PULL IN, was bleeped but the sentence was "she tries to pull in my husband" with his ignorance of events or with rewrites. During his worse, when he saw me as villian in HIS mid life poor me drama............he often took their word against mine, saw me as the trouble maker and stupidly allowed about a year of her divide and conqueor stuff to totally create a monster, to this day he often thinks he is avoiding conflict by silence and I still have some difficulty getting him to back ME and believe me (MEN! **%*@#!) Ironically, this occurred pretty much right after my hysterectomy when I realized just how much I was doing, how much they expected and might be as "mommy do" spoiled and he sure let them know they were ENTITLED, as I didn't raise such nor had ever tolerated such and up till then we had a pretty good division of labor between myself and these growing girls.........It became just awful when he got so mean and selfish about my inability to cover for him and do all for them............. and they couldn't accept my NOT being able to do and his juvenile tirades how my "sickness" was interferring with his workalcoholic ways and the sole reason for this family discord, didn't help matters any. In some ways I realize she was a "victim" but she was an awful willing one, and should have outgrown this and seen it for what it was. Nope, she is still grudging over all of this. I was always there for them as a stay at home, and did so much for this daughter and the others, as her father was military and pd and very rarely home. Until this time we had had a pretty good mother daughter relationship and in fact she was my best buddy and we saw eye to eye on many things. I honestly believe my husbands "attitudes" gave all my girls somewhat of a license to kill, and I was the quarry. I never understood how his stuff made her so willingly to "crucify me". There were times I honestly felt "competition" for my place as wife and mother. I know seems sort of sick, but he drew them into his "warpath stuff with me" too ignorant to know the dangers long term. Another of life's mysteries. No matter the "cause" I wasn't going to tolerate another minute of it from her or him and the end result she was told to leave (this was after several attempts to calmly and lovingly explain what she couldn't do and what was going on and how it was MY business NOT hers etc. . I adopted the "you want to be a grown up and my equal, earn that right" move out! attitude. Again feedback would be appreciated. I cannot bear the thought that her continued disrespect will totally ruin any chance of a relationship with her now or ever , as I simply cannot tolerate her mouth, and control and utter disrespectful ways. She is still trying to control me, and using whomever and whatever is available to do it. Much like her father did during this time, control and blame game. She has a very low frustration level, MUST HAVE THINGS HER WAY, or someone pays. I really think she has learned nothing nor will ever see it was her disrespect, and need to power over that resulted in her being asked to leave in the first place. She literally calls me every 20 minutes all day just to have the last word, tell me off and cuss me out, everytime we have a fall out, that usually happens if I even talk to her at all. Any like situations and what did you do?
Unread 07-12-2005, 04:22 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

I would seriously consider therapy for you two. She is very angry at you for something and you need to find out why, or you will be dealing with this for the rest of your life. I was going to consider asking you if you've asked her to lunch and had a nice "heart to heart" with her, but that won't go over well I don't think, so therapy would be your best bet. And dear Hubby needs a good "heart to heart" too. I wouldn't wait to much longer because one of your other daughters may end up being the same way...

I wish you all the best!! Let me know how it goes..

Hugz n more Hugz

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Unread 07-12-2005, 11:13 AM
thanks, long and complicated

Thank you Bernadette for your reply. I too have figured out she is very angry with me for some imagined or unknown reason or something so obvious I can't pin it down. Or maybe not angry with ME, but I am a safe place to "act out" on. It isn't really the anger that is the problem, but how she acts on it. I think we stay angry/at odds at mom in general around a certain age and sometimes that anger or differences allow us to grow up and make our way on our own, necessary sometimes for the child/adult phase of breaking away. I have tried and tried and tried, and don't want anyone to have the impression that I kicked her out in a jealous rage, gave her 2000.00 and forgot about her. I shopped for , painted her rent house, planned many day trips for us both, often stopped by with goodies, invited her on holidays, brought her "care packages" and made every attempt to stay connected minus the anger and disrespect, try and go visit if I can (health and other children often prevents this at times) and am still (although about to cold turkey any contact) trying to have a mother daughter relationship with this girl I love so very much. She and I have a special bond as I was bed ridden during my preg. with her, and almost died, and we both share some similiar "special insight qualities". I find I cannot just listen, she accuses me of "not caring", offer advice as I am then "lecturing with a tone" according to her, state my likes or dislikes for then I am "being arguementative or selfish", set boundries of any kind, such as no your minor sister can't go today she is grounded........... because then I am keeping her sisters from her, make the slightest observation about or relate experiences with (men) /her father for then "I am making it all about me", it goes on and on. In other words she attaches negative motives to everything I am, say or do. I used to have some faith in counseling, thought everyone should use it, but after several bad experiences where as they did total flip flops once my hubby came along, or said such inane things as patronizingly patting my hand while EXCUSING my husbands stuff as acting out,(talk about childish behavior!!!) or they too burdened me with the unfair role of being responsible for everyones dependancy needs being met, or gave me the "you stay at home so you must be a miserable spoiled *****", or the favorite "get a life for yourself" when I have tried and tried to do that or pursue friendships or hobbies etc. BUT........... I am so surrounded by children, adult minor and spousal that that is next to impossible and I am painted totally selfish and uncaring if I do, and on and on so that whether male or female counselor that I wouldn't give them one more dime, ever. I am still convinced it is MY husbands attitudes for the most part that created these "great divide" scenairo's and his acting out and checking out mentally that are largely responsible for the ills, my once happy family has suffered. I am safe to blame, as they KNOW I love them. As part of "his stuff" my husband likes to play the victim, is passive aggressive, oppositional defiant, and for many years totally abandoned us emotionally years so he could get his kicks and strokes and badges and fit in some male fun too, and is somwhat manipulative/dishonest and angery at "no" himself. This is his bad side. Once the exits are shut off, and he MUST act the husband and father, he is the best. The straw on the camels back was when the last male counselor over identified with my husbands military background, admitted that he too ignored wife and kids for his workalcoholic military ways, and told me my husbands "stuff and increasing alcohol use was "just acting out". My whole point, that I hoped counseling would help us with, was that his acting out, for whatever reason, was totally setting the family on a warpath of self- destruction. Again, even my husbands stuff or midlife, was my doing? UNREAL, I have realize out of gratitude for being home and a for the most part a non working mom, and to support his working several jobs for us both, so I could stay with my babies and children, or that when I thought I was being a supportive wife for his carrerrs.......... with me being both mom and dad for years, well " I am now being told I was an enabler" of sorts. Seems the shame and blame and woman's work never ends. OK< but is all the guilt, bad stuff and responsibility for it somehow in this family MINE? I think the problem is I got mentally healthy, assertive, less prone to the blame game, and was starting to think of me, after all most of my children are grown or well on the way and that THIS is what set everyone into the poor me, anger attack, modes. Previously to meeting my husband this same counselor had advised me, "your entire family is treating you as the scapegoat, if your husband keeps drinking leave him, stop doing for everyone, and allowing yourself to be abused emotionally by them all....... take the youngest and move out and find something you like" which I thought was a tad harsh and irreversible and I wanted to "fix it" somehow not just LEAVE it, and then in walks hubby and the counselor over identified with his maleness and then he, the counselor, began acting patronizing, clueless, and frankly abusive towards me himself, actually patting my leg and explaining how I was "growing up". I thought," here sit two men, who by their own admission, abandoned their wives and families emotionally if not financially, STILL don't have a clue, who acted out in ways destructive to their wives and children and they are nodding in agreement regarding how I needed to "grow up". Too infurated to ever return. Sorry so long, but I no longer trust counselors or think they are worth they money they take from hurting people, cept maybe Dr. Phil. Thanks anyway and I wish I could find a GOOD counselor, that doesn't about face, the minute my husbands is present.
Unread 07-12-2005, 11:48 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

ok..i'm not a psychologist or a counsler but this is what I think....
Maybe you were an enabler back in the day, making everyone happy just to keep the peace, but you realized your faults and got tired of being the stepping stone for everyone to walk on, and you got your backbone....GOOD FOR YOU!!!!
No person should be made to just feel used, abused, neglected, and made to feel as if the only reason you exist in that house is to wait hand and foot on everyone like a maid. You are NOT a maid, you are a strong woman who knows what she wants out of life and it's high time you go get it!!!
As for the daughter, you've tried your best so you should NOT feel guilt but, tough love sister, i'd cut all ties for awhile and let her see how rough life is, let her try and ruin someone else's life because for people like that, believe me, it turns around and bites them in the hiney sooner or later. Who knows, maybe one day she'll grow up and realize all i've done for her.
As for hubby, I don't know how you've dealt with that for so long. He'd of been history loooooooong time ago. And don't start with the "I stayed for the kids" because that's not right either because you have daughters, YOU have to break that cycle, the way I see it, one of those girls are going to end up with a man just like dad.

I hope it all goes good for you, and maybe my advise helped, you've done your time, been the mom, now it's about time for you to be you, live the way YOU want to live and screw the rest!!

Unread 07-13-2005, 09:22 AM
tough love

Bernadette, You are right on the money with the tough love stuff. This was very hard for me to finally put into action though in my heart and mind it was clear something had to give, and I was tired of it being me, as I said I had a small child at the time was feeling very dependant as a small child or baby will make us, and with all the hours my husband works, and after he delayed his retirement without even talking to me about it, I just lost it. Between that and my hyster, it was as if a floodlight, not just a lightbulb, went off. I am sad to say during this time I felt my total life as a mom/wife had been utterly wasted, I wasn't looking for awards just some understanding, help and appreciation, or for MY place and status in the family. I would say no one loved my family, as much as I did (but you all do, any mom worth her stuff does) Barring the loneliness I often felt over my husbands lack of any time set aside for us or the family, these were the best years of my life. I realized and began to see that no one really cared how I felt, or what I had done, or how certain things were making it impossible to be the do all, be all to everyone, for nothing in return, not even respect. I feel I have been on an irreversible course, as over time, the well of love in me just went dry. Nothing I said or did was going to change or counterbalance the effects his abandonment, or attitudes and his perpetual me me stuff, or change his attitudes that he was entitled, after all he was meeting the FINANCIAL needs what else did I want? I fear he saw our children just as something to use to keep me from having a life, of my own or with him. Cake and eat it too stuff. I finally realized we were on different pages about EVERYTHING, so after going through the five step process, to include much anger and rage, of which I am very ashamed, as it was so not me...........I came out of the ordeal a very changed woman, and realized I just might have been wasting totally down to nothingness. I knew I had to act before that happened and there was no way to get back up. Now, I am starting to do lots less, and some of the things I want are happening regarding my interest in drawing and painting. Thanks for the input, you are right on the money, but being right and doing it doesn't make it any less painful, but I am learning to deal with that too.
Unread 07-13-2005, 10:08 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

Hi Cricket,

First off, I'd like to give you a

I've always viewed some of the antics that teenaged girls display towards their moms as 'developmental milestones'. They need to prepare to step outside of mom's shadow, and mom needs to be prepared to let them step away....in other words, we moms need to be ready for them to fly from the nest. I was very ready for my oldest dear daughter to move out...and my youngest DD is in right in the midst of this turbulant period now.....

You might want to consider either therapy for yourself, or couples therapy with you and DH. If your DH is still active duty, then I know that these services are available to you. The reason I say this is because it truly helps to have an objective third party to first listen and then offer solid suggestions on ways to cope with everything that is going on. You've had so much going on that I'm not sure family therapy with your oldest DD may not be very effective at this point, later on yes, but not yet. One of the saving graces in dealing with difficult behavior from my DDs has been that their dad and I are a true team, and unless you have that team, or tactics to cope if your DH isn't on your team, then it will be far more dificult to resolve problems with your oldest DD.

There is nothing wrong with 'sticking to your guns' as far as disrespectful behavior goes. But is does seem like your oldest DD knows exactly how to hit all of your hot buttons. She may be challenging your role as mom, but you control how you react to these challenges. Some challenging is normal, but it does seem like your DD is toward the 'too much' extreme. You may not be able to get her to behave respectfully right away, but I have faith that you can find ways to respond that will take away whatever satisfaction she gets from disrepecting you. There is nothing wrong with telling her things like "I'm sorry you are upset, but I will not listen to you cursing at me, I need a break from this, we can talk again when we've both calmed down"; or "It hurts my heart that we are so at odds right now, I love you, but we really need to treat each other with respect."

My husband and I have learned to 'fight fair' and we've tried to pass this along to our daughters. I don't mean that we physically fight, but that we disagree or argue better than when we were first married. It is possible to learn these tactics, even if the other person isn't all that receptive at first.

My heart goes out to you!
Unread 07-13-2005, 10:41 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

Much hugs to you as I know this has to hurt, but in the long run you'll feel much better about yourself, you have to understand that it's not you fault that this is happening or that it happened, everyone plays a part in it, so don't lay it all on your shoulders sister. I hope that things are going alot better for you, and that you're starting to resume your hobbies and thinking about "you" for once. Let me know how the painting is going, I might have to have you email a picture to me, maybe i'll buy one.

You can talk to me whenever you want, i'm here if you need me.

Unread 07-13-2005, 11:13 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

I agree 100 percent. I simply state no I don't agree, or I will not be treated with such disrespect, or otherwise state my view, and then refuse to be drawn in with any explaination or justifications or attempt to seek "understanding" or even respect. Just state my boundries, opinion or whatever and if she gets "nasty" pushy, or otherwise devaluing I just make an excuse to get off the phone or go home or say, "Well this whatever is off, see you later." Things with hubby had reached a climax 3-5 years ago, and my rage (which I am not justifying) reached a point I could no longer control it, knew we needed to separate, and stated such. The constant fighting was a total waste and everytime I got angry or asked for something it got worse. I was trying to set boundries/expectations for myself that mostly had to do with the "we need a UNITED front" on this stuff, and he still refused to get it as he was so into himself, and avoiding conflict by running. leaving the room or being "busy" whenever they misbehaved or smarted off, or he was childishly thinking being silent was "safest". Problem is I was well aware that his silence was seen as his agreement with the children from their view and mine, or that their disrespect wasn't a "big deal to him" as they weren't doing it to him (but they were!). He also often got his way, and passive aggression toward me, by making light, or actively encouraging them to think I was "incompetent, crazy, demanding" or all three. This allowed him to justify himself, as he now had allies. He might as well have announced to them, "DIVIDE and CONQUEOR with His blessing and encouragement". He also childishly thought it was cute, to "get my goat" and encouraged all my girls (from 25 to nine) to do the same. Burping, farting, and other disgusting stuff or disrespecting my favorite living room chairs (that no one was allowed to eat in) and everything about me in his childish tirade that really had nothing to do with me, but more with his aging, anger, resentment, retirement out to pasture feeling and other stuff he had avoided by being "forever young" in his thoughts. In short he got on a last gasp testerone rush, cave man toot, (after being asked to be more invoved, or home and to help with dicipline, or to be a mate/father or the marriage was off) and instead he went full tilt into MOM.wife ERADICATION. Even the most "docile" man will rebel if he (and his inflated ego) is criticized apparently, or maybe it was just his own stuff (overcontrolling MOM, and he transferred that rebelious stuff onto me that he couldn't get away with with her). Or just mid life crazies. I really don't care to find the why anymore, but I suffered the how as did the girls at ages when they were already getting a little big for their britches, and finding "themselves" and the usual rebellion where they have no clue what they are really rebelling against "growing up" and all the expectations therein. It was killing me to watch him undo a lifes worth of my patient teachings and work, and I could see what he was doing to OUR future, and my future relationships with the girls. Setting me up for a lifetime of disrespect from them, so I finally told he he had to leave as his "compliance" with changing shifts to "help" was a total waste, and I felt he was being an a-- on purpose to punish me for the asking. He refused to leave, but I will say there was so much as stake financially, I didn't want to start with a divorice if I could avoid that. He made some changes, but unfortunately it was too late.........or almost to undue ANY of the damage. The jury is still out as to whether he and I will stay together. I have major issues with forgiveness at this point, as I have been through hell and back watching the problems grow and grow,and me apparently unable to stop any of it, by any means. Every time one of these relationship problems with the girls arrises I blame him (which may not be totally fair, but I do think it would have been lesser without his stuff) and so it seems never ending. I realized I couldn't forgive until the damage stopped. Right now, the solution seems to be I just move on with my life, hold my ground, do what I must and nothing more as I see much of the damage is irreversible. However, I have a very vested interest in us staying together (my age, finances, and my two daughters remaining at home)right now, and find when I detached it works much better. I also have the added leverage that half of the retirement is mine by law now irregardless of anything else, and that I won't be destitute if I do finally chose to leave him. I will say he doesn't cheat, curbed the overdrinking, is more involved and helpful, seems to have gotten over the worse of his "rebellion" and the girls do love him very much, in spite of his parential blunderings. So do I , but never the way I used to. I am older, wiser, and less likely to put ANY eggs in that basket again. I want to thank you all, for your loving support, you have no idea what that means. So many other sources have laid blame on me, and you sweet hearts and sisters, didn't and I greatly appreciate the support without blame. LUV ya
Unread 07-13-2005, 11:28 AM
Teenage daughters power struggles or PMS induced or both?

It is *very* important that you as mom, take care of yourself! Really. No one else will do that for us. I'm glad that you have found a good spot to find some support!

I have more vinegar than honey in my temprament, so pardon me if this seems rude, but have you ever suggested to your oldest DD that she enlist in the military?

If dear ole dad is so dear to her, maybe she could follow in his footsteps.

My oldest enlisted just after Sept. 11 2001. She went to Basic Training in January 2002. She was shocked to discover that I wasn't the toughest person on earth.... She has struggled at times, but has overcome all of her emotions and frustrations. She is growing up. Right now she is deployed to Afghanistan. Her perspective is very different than it was at age 20.

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