There did seem to be a downhill battle with my daughter after divorcing a narcissist/abusive ex. You can really see the spiral downhill and how we were unable to turn it around in this story. Our daughter has become extremely irrational and unreasonable to converse with. Ugh! I did exactly what I said I shouldn’t do and argued with an extremely irritating 17 year old.
You may have ready my previous, Resentment Only Harms Myself, where my daughter had a difficult sophomore year. Her childhood has been filled with so much hell and craziness that she really didn’t need. Sometimes I feel that we are to blame, but I know some of this behavior by my ex-husband has always been beyond my control. However, some of her decisions as of late have been brought on by her own decisions and poor choices.
Post originally written on June 25, 2016:
In the Beginning
During a young age, she dealt with my ex-husbands erratic behavior along with my emotional responses to his awful behavior. Until I found Alanon, I would often respond to him by yelling and screaming because he was getting DWI, coming home drunk, or not coming home, lying all the time. No matter how I approached him, nothing would ever change, and eventually I became more irritable and unreasonable. Plus, whenever I would blow up, then he would say, “Look how you are behaving, look how crazy you are acting!”. Worse, I would feel guilty for my reaction. The reason for my initial anger was justified, however when I yelled back it was like giving away my power. Also, he knew that and would use it against me.
When my daughter was around four, I remember we had the biggest argument about her fourth birthday party. He wanted to have alcohol and I was convinced this party was for little children. It really hadn’t occurred to me that he had a problem with drinking at that time. Once I found Alanon, I began learning that it was like he was throwing the ball and I kept picking it up and throwing it back to him. Eventually, throughout time I learned to stop picking up that damn ball. When he would throw the ball (words, ignoring, lying, breaking promises) I learned to let it go on by without responding. I made many mistakes, but I also learned that his behavior was unacceptable and I did not have to continue tolerating it. By the time she was nearly five, I was buying my own house and getting a divorce.
Being divorced from him was harder than being married to him and he made sure of that. He found a woman who moved in with him shortly after I moved out and I had hoped he would focus on her and leave me alone. No such luck! He continued to be harassing and abusive for many years and still does. Worse, he always used our daughter as a pawn. It would take me many years to learn to talk to him as little as possible. He is so awful, to this day, I can’t believe how manipulative he is and how hateful he is.
Between the ages of four to nine, she complained of her vagina hurting and I would take her to the doctor. They could never figure out why she was having this pain. One time, her father dropped her off and she crawled under the bathroom sink, screaming that her ‘tee-tee’ hurt. I called her pediatrician, show said, “If you do not call CPS, then I will.” So I let my ex-husband know I was calling because I was afraid he would be worse if I didn’t. I was still so afraid of him at this time. Plus, he was always threatening to take my daughter away and I was so fearful he had the finances to pull it off.
During this time, my attorney told me to record their conversations. That night he talked to his daughter and I recorded the message. He said, “You tell mommy we went straight to gymnastics and back, you tell her that.” When the police officer was filing the report, I remember she raised her eyebrows at that response. He continued to be difficult after this and my daughter continued to complain about her vagina hurting. The only time she ever complained was after visiting her father.
To this day, I still do not have any answers for why this happened and it suddenly stopped when she was nine years old.
My ex-husband used to interrogate her every time she would visit. Asking about everything we did, if any guys were ever over. Then he would email me screaming about this. Funny, he had a woman living with him at that time? He also used to pull out all the stops in manipulation. Your mom is going to get mad at you, you are going to get in trouble with your mom, who knows what else…
Whenever she visited his house, she would get whatever she wanted and had no rules. She could eat whatever and just really had no rules or boundaries. I get it, he was ‘fun dad’ or ‘Disney dad’. However, he would make comments like we were the ‘food police’ or his wife said I was crazy. He even mentioned this in a chat this week about his wife saying I had borderline personality disorder. My comment back is “What business does an assistant teacher have in diagnosing anyone with ADD or any other medical condition.”
So all through my daughter’s childhood she would come home and resent the rules. As she got older, this only became worse. This was every other weekend we would have hell when she came home for several days. It was almost as if she had to detox from his house. Plus, she has been struggling in school for years. It did not help that my ex-husband and his wife were undermining all our rules and working against us throughout her entire childhood.
We have continued to go to therapy. One mistake I made was we stopped taking her a few years ago when we thought things were getting better. This was such a mistake, especially when we learned she was cutting herself. She also hooked up with a bunch of friends earlier this year and they were lying all the time about what they were doing. Eventually that friendship ended badly and all her friends turned on my daughter.
Now, she found new friends and was lying again. I have been paying attention to this behavior and her dishonesty always made me suspicious. Earlier in the year I installed a program on her phone called UKnowKids. She was aware I had installed this app on her phone and I told her if she is trustworthy, then we would remove the app. She just really never was trustworthy. So this app notifies you every time it scans questionable texts.
So a text came in that said, “Going to pick up ‘friend’s name’ and the bud and the rillo.” So my husband and I were puzzling through this message because it could have meant beer or marijuana. So, I asked my daughter if her friend smokes cigarettes. She said, “I don’t know.” So, I asked does she smoke pot? She said she didn’t know. So I asked, “Have you smoked pot.” She said, “No.”
Plus, she had posted a video on Instagram where it looked like she was driving. She showed me that the phone reversed it, but it was still in question. Everyone thought she was driving. However, I looked at the pages of her friends who commented on that post and found her friend’s page. Wow, this girl had a ton of selfies, but had pictures of her smoking a bong and cigarettes. Then we noticed a screenshot of a user name for Periscope and the first video is one of my daughter smoking pot with these two friends.
Well, shit hits the fan, of course.
When I was a teenager, you could certainly say I was difficult and eventually grew up. Of course my path led me to marrying an abusive man and extra years of hell trying to co-parent with him. Now, we have a child that not only grew up in a household of divorce, but had to be subjected to years of emotional abuse. Plus, we added a blended family to the mix to further complicate the issue. I had thought we did a pretty good job, but there were high-conflict outside influences and behaviors at work too. My daughter didn’t deserve all this, but this must have happened for a reason. Perhaps some day she will be able to do something good with this situation.