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Sad my stepdaughter is distancing herself

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by PhoenixBill, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Got it, didnt pick that up. Still..... there is no standard timeline for how long it takes someone to get through something. Still, I hear ya. Hang in there.
     
  2. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    she may well be hiding something. Just be there when she really needs you
     
  3. PhoenixBill

    PhoenixBill Tele-Meister

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    I thought about that approach. I agree, she sometimes takes advantage of me being immediately available for the least little thing, but I am not sure if it would help to say “no” ...or just totally make her quit calling me altogether.
     
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  4. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Holic

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    It's too easy to make these into a right/wrong bad guy/good guy thing.
    It never helps to list your grievances or whatever of her behavior made you think something is off. Anything that can be construed as critical on your side will not help.

    Just say in effect, you liked it when you were closer, it seems like something has changed, you're sorry if you have done something to upset her (and if so you'd like to know what so you can stop/make ammends etc).

    Also people often get defensive in a live conversation.
    If you write a letter it gives her time to digest and takes the pressure off for an immediate response on her part.
     
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  5. rstaaf

    rstaaf Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I can't pretend to know your situation or your relationship with her, but as a Step-Dad myself, I think the best advice is to just always be there when she needs you.

    My Step-Daughter was 9 when her mother and I got married. She struck out on her own at 18. She is now 36 and has 3 wonderful kids. We had our share of bumps along the road.
     
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  6. PhoenixBill

    PhoenixBill Tele-Meister

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    She doesn’t have the attention span to read anything more than a sentence now, I am sad to say... I tried writing a text a few months back saying something like that and she answered with “I don’t have time to read this”. And she won’t even go through her emails anymore, she has an inbox with more than 10,000 unread emails! I am not exaggerating, I saw this the other day.

    Maybe if I don’t hear from her in a while, I will mail her a greeting card with something appropriate but not sure what...
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Good heavens that all sounds like a heartbreaking mess.
    I’m also clean 22 years, my Irish/ English wife and her family drink, and I have to make some effort to keep them from feeling bad about drinking.
    I open the champagne for them or go shop for wine when they visit etc to reassure them that I’m not on a high horse of judgement.
    That’s just a small aside, but you say she went to rehab presumably to get clean & sober but has relapsed? Or learned to use responsibly etc.

    I can’t imagine that if she drinks to cope; she doesn’t also feel guilty and judged around you. No need for you to actually be judging her, you know those feelings of guilt and shame are just in there looking for a reason to grow and take over.

    Way too much to cover here but I went to Naranon meetings for a while to get myself right with a loved on using while I was clean long term.

    If nothing else you hear others rave and stomp and cry over their far worse situations, and are given a place to vent away from your own.
    Better still we learn nuts and bolts separation between their having problems and us making their problems our own etc etc.

    In simple terms we are available to help unless they harm us, but we focus on helping them do good but not helping them get sicker.

    Hard to say what specific kinds of helping apply but I’d bet you can both be happiest if you stay available without judging her; essentially, illness.

    Naranon might help you find some happiness in staying her friend during a time when she is not capable of BEING a friend.
    You know from you own recovery how important unconditional love is to someone in her shoes.

    I find unconditional love is easy to give to 12 step members who I do not depend on individually.
    Once I establish some mutual dependence like family or romantic ties, I have expectations and it gets really hard to give love unconditionally.

    As far as her past, maybe being a survivor of unknown abuse, that stuff can rear up decades later...
    A symptom of PTSD is that when someone gets close and everything seems great, suddenly the disordered person becomes terrified and shoves away.
    I guess that’s a syndrome now, not a disorder, but suffice to know that kindness can be the trigger, and abuse may feel more like comfort.

    After a number of romances with women in recovery, plus a bunch of step writing, oh good heavens we be a heartbreaking mess!
    And yet shot through with beauty, hope, love, potential for change, and truths desperate to find a safe place to sun themselves.
     
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  8. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    These are tough times at best. Add normal life’s issues and massive demons/monsters can raise up.
    I hope everything works out for the best. Positive mojo headed your way.
     
  9. PhoenixBill

    PhoenixBill Tele-Meister

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    Yep for about ten years or so she was sober. Then she started sipping a glass of wine if she went out to eat if her (ex) husband wasn’t around. Then when he got kicked out she started drinking wine, sorta responsibly but then lots of wine and mixed drinks and Jell-O shots and then she got her medical marijuana card. I have tried not to be judgmental, I have refilled her wine glass or gone out and bought wine for her, certainly I would have preferred not to but my logic was that being there for her in the long run would be better than having her immediately tune me out of her life.

    She has had much chaos around her, a lot of it is indeed from her and her friends use of alcohol and other stuff, and it even started affecting me; a couple of times the thought occurred to me “hey I could spend more time with her if I started drinking and getting stoned with her...”. When those thoughts started staying in my head for more than a few seconds, I went to meetings and started using phone numbers.
     
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  10. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Keep your standards and beliefs. You can’t change the world by yourself. Hopefully she’ll get help (maybe the both of you) and things will work out
     
  11. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

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    I don’t want this to hijack or lock the thread, so I would encourage OP to consider this, but please don’t respond if you’re not the OP.

    There was just an election. Younger generations do not suffer political differences well at all... I personally know people my age not speaking with their parents over how they voted even several years ago.

    Not saying that this is at all relevant, but there are MANY parents in your shoes wondering what happened, who simply voted “wrong”.
     
  12. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    If this is abnormal, then obviously something is going on with her. Something she doesn't feel like talking about with you, or something that maybe she doesn't even realize herself.

    Sounds normal for me after a big breakup. Give her space. Check in once a week, but don't push. Let her know you love her. Let her figure it out.
     
  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I know this is a bit off the wall, and timing is off, but she may be in the first stages of change of life. Women can enter that as early as in the mid to late forties. I knew a woman who did that, a sister to someone close to me. She became distant, would just disappear when she was with a group of people, and might not show back up. Next time you saw her, she'd just act like it didn't happen.
     
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  14. fishermike

    fishermike Tele-Meister

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    Have you considered that she may be depressed? The pandemic has impacted a lot of people's mental health, and when you add the divorce, it's a real possibility. Abrupt changes in behavior often mean something's going on...
     
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  15. wangdaning

    wangdaning TDPRI Member

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    Sometimes it takes losing people close to you to finally realize what they have done/are doing for you. What is important to think about is what you are getting from the relationship. I get that she is your step daughter and it makes you happy to help her out, but it seems like at this point that help is being taken for granted and not appreciated. It gets even worse when you consider addiction. I wont go far into that, but I steer clear of addicts. I am famous in my family for telling my dad he might as well be dead a week before he ODed. I was very serious and would say it again. There is a line in that area where you need to just accept there is nothing you can do. I hope you work it out, but remember to also think about yourself here. It is not a selfish move to do so, only natural. You cannot help others if you are not feeling right.
     
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  16. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Phoenix Bill, in reading your posts, I’m worried about you.

    If I correctly understand what I have read, you married a woman who had substance abuse problems and who wasn’t always there for her daughter, who also developed substance abuse problems. You supported them both as they got better, but both have relapsed. Your wife died nine years ago. You are trying to rescue your middle-aged stepdaughter, in whom you have a lot of love invested.

    My recommendation is that you find a way, through therapy or otherwise, to come to terms with your past loss and your obsessive concern for your stepdaughter, which are bringing you enormous pain. While you are healing, she may find her way, and you’ll be in a better state when she eventually asks for help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  17. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Try to meet with her and talk with her - tell her why you are worried etc.
     
  18. 1955

    1955 Doctor of Teleocity

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    It was hard for me to learn to stop rescuing perpetually-broken people and let them suffer the consequences of their behavior and choices.

    Complicated people with baggage have x-Ray vision for enablers.

    At some point I’ve had to ask myself what value certain toxic people added to my life? I was shocked by the answer. Maybe I was subconsciously putting myself into chaos so that I could create the only “normal” that I knew as a child, so that I could, once again, try to “fix” it.

    I usually throw up in my head over psycho-babble, but maybe there is something to it.

    The world has gotten very good at brainwashing certain people to be victims and parasites. The world has gone nuts.

    Even though someone might have great qualities underneath all the baggage, those qualities are sometimes better enjoyed from a distance.
     
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  19. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The situation the world finds itself in today is very difficult for many people. Lots of people simply can't exist/cope without others. Recently, and this is the first time I've mentioned it on the BD, what with all the problems our family has had, a young man related to the family only thirty nine years old in perfect physical condition lost his life to a drug overdose. We don't know if it was intentional, accidental overdose or what, we just know he's gone. There were warnings, but no one read them. The times that Dylan spoke about that were a-changing were nothing compared to the pressure being placed on our societal structure today.
     
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  20. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

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    I hope she has not progressed to harder drugs. Sadly, this is my suspicion.
     
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