I am truly hating this teen stage of being a parent. My 16 1/2yr old daughter has had a very difficult 4yrs with bullying and mental health issues as a result. I have been there as a sole parent throughout it all supporting her, being on suicide watch, caring for her, driving 3hrs to a therapist, you name it I've been there. You would think this was my issue (well it was for a long time and still is on my mind but thankfully through those dark days I hope). My issue is she is so sneaky, dishonest, lies to my face - I have found a vape in her room and she still denies she is vaping, is nasty, disrespectful and as a result I feel so disconnected from her. I get a lot of these behaviours are expected teen stuff, but how do I cope with the paranoid, catastrophising thoughts I have and more than anything the hurt and rejection I feel pretty much daily? Yes, I do have counselling but it just doesn't seem to help. Yes I am trying to focus on my self-care but it is really hard when you go somewhere, come home feeling great and then wham, Ms Jekyll is waiting for me at home to remind me that feeling happy and hopeful does not feature in my life and I come crashing down to reality. I've heard so many times she'll grow up. She'll realise one day what she did and say sorry. Ra ra ra. Does not help. I am exhausted. I feel shattered and doubt everything I do/say now as a mum.
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No it has not been a good 24hrs since I originally posted. Firstly I believe she is safe. Just had another incident, against my better judgment I bought her some clothes under the understanding she could not have them yet and she was grounded for a week. Happy until we get out of the store of course and then attitude returns. "Well I'm not going to school then, ruin my social life etc". I am now triggered and hypervigilant that she might do something, BUT I do believe she is safe and past discussions she has made pretty big promises about it. She is in her room at the moment and I'll give her a bit of time to cool off but will be checking on her. I raised the issue with her yesterday (not sure how, but calmly), she got out of the car and refused to get back in. Reasons being "why can't I be like everyone else's mums" yada yada yada. She spent the afternoon at my nieces, her dad was also talking to her - both understand and agree with my point of it not being the alcohol but that she did not care or show respect to me in my own home. That's what she kept saying - at least it was here and I wasn't hiding. I get it but NOT the point to me. What boundary challenge next? I had a lot of time to reflect and have realised I am scared of enforcing boundaries and consequences due to two things. It's almost emotional manipulation without her doing it on purpose (sometimes like the school thing she'll say something but not about the two below. That she will self-harm or worse That she will leave altogether and end up who knows where We also talked about the separation and I know it is hurting her. So many layers to this. I feel so guilty about ruining her life. The last 2 years was about the bullying and now this. I really haven't got anything left in my tank. I am getting support but it just doesn't help when things are not changing at home. I love her so much and feel really bad saying this but I am not "enjoying this" and I really don't feel like I want to be a parent anymore. Seems like there is just one thing after another.
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Truly hoping I can find some clarity and support in writing this post. Sorry if I ramble a little. My brain is quite overwhelmed at the moment with everything going on.
Bit of background
My husband and I have just separated, he has always worked away so not around to support my parenting consistently and have different parenting styles.
My daughter experiences anxiety attacks, flashbacks, has self-harmed in the past due to bullying and is currently receiving MH support. She is obviously impacted by the separation at the moment also.
In the past month or two my daughter has been wanting to drink with her friends. We have had talked about my feelings on it - I started drinking too young, impact on her brain, addiction in our family, legal age etc. She had a friend sleep over last night and I noticed my daughter's behaviour was a bit more loving to me and chatty, and could smell a sweet smell. I chose not to say anything. This morning when I was getting dirty clothes out of her room I found 2 empty Cruiser bottles (not hidden very well). Now I am left with the issue of how to handle it on my own.
My biggest concern is not really that she was drinking but she was dishonest about it and even had the hide last night to say things like you can trust me. That is really like throwing salt on the wound. I now feel like I can't. We have always had a very close relationship. I know I need to talk to her about it when she comes home and there needs to be consequences BUT I am worried about the consequences of the consequences if that makes sense.
I am realistic that she will want to experiment and drink but right now I don't have the capacity myself to be confident in my decision making and moving forward with this.
Would love to hear any thoughts.
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