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OT - Helpful wisdom for a broken heart?

Old 04-26-2011, 03:59 PM
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Question OT - Helpful wisdom for a broken heart?

Hi SR folks,
Many of you are parents. I have a 17yr old who just got dumped by her boyfriend of 6 months. She is heartbroken and in despair. Threatening to drop out of high school, the works. Won't participate in life (like an awards ceremony today for an award she earned) and isn't eating (she's already too skinny!)

I am finding myself running out of patience with the constant drama that started about Thursday of last week. Right as we made the big move into the new house. Damnit! Timing was so perfect...I'd just like to find this boy and...well...I won't put that in writing. How about a visual instead?

Anyway - anyone have some wise advice to pass along to a young girl who got her heart stomped on for the first time? And for me to not get so frustrated by her that I end up snapping at her? I've tried 12-stepping her - ya know - using the slogans and just-for-todays...she's not buying any of it. Just makes her mad. Or burst into tears and run out of the room. *SIGH*

I'm at a loss.....thoughts/advice/opinions...all welcome!
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
how about a big fat hug, an I Love You and share with her one time when when you got your heart broke?
Tried that one. Even used my current situation with the RAH when discussing heartbreak. If I remember correctly - I couldn't imagine my mother ever being 17 when I was 17. This kid has that same affliction... apparently unable to imagine I was a teenager once, and not too terribly long ago either! Argh!
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:17 PM
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I've been through this twice with my 17 year old. Once a couple of years ago and again this year. There's not much you can do for them apart from just being there and listening. The listening is hard because naturally you want to make things better by giving advice but it's generally not welcome. We just spent a lot of tearful and angry hours on the couch. I tried making sure she had dinner made and I would just walk out of the room to breathe when I felt myself getting impatient and angry. I even cried my frustration out in the bathroom a couple of times.
The only thing I would repeat to her was that I understood that this was horrible pain but that she WOULD get through it and that we would look back in a few weeks and she would be feeling better and stronger. I also assured her that she was not alone - billions of people, nearly everyone, had been through this. It's just part of being human.
Try to encourage her to see her friends. Watch movies together. This will pass. My kid rebounded quite quickly, probably quicker than I did after the whole drama! Hang in there!
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:23 PM
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Yikes, I don't know what to offer for advice... The closest I've run into is my D5 being upset that "her" bf wants to marry another Kindergartener. I told her she's beautiful and told her all the things I loved about her and we had a mother/daughter Saturday afternoon just she and I and went to Friendlys. I imagine that's a little simplistic for a 17 yr old but maybe, cheesy as it sounds, find a card for her and write all the things that are amazing to you about her in it. Sometimes teenagers (just remembering from having been one and from working with them) do better with all the expressions of affection when they can digest it by themselves first and then approach you afterward?
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:34 PM
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Thanks all - she did agree to go to the awards ceremony this afternoon so that's a positive step and I think I will take her out for sushi afterward...its her favorite food. And I will remember to button my lip and leave the room when she bites my head off.

I've had so much drama lately that I am just overwhelmed by her new drama. I've reached my limit on drama...I can't take much more.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:51 PM
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I haven't actually tried this beyond the classroom, yet: At DS's school we had a parent night earlier this year that included the topic of talking with kids. The class leader had every one pair up, and walk around the school ground, side-by-side, one person would talk for x minutes the other would listen, no nodding in agreement or understanding, no shaking our head in disagreement, no "umm hmmm"ing, no looking at the other person, just walking and listening. When the first person was done, it was the second person's turn to talk.

It was really hard to listen with out making some kind of acknowledgement, without looking at the person. But as the speaker, it was really very freeing.

The class speaker mentioned that it's a very great way to talk with teenagers when approaching a touchy subject. She also mentioned talking this way while doing other tasks, like cooking or baking in the kitchen.... Just thought I'd share in case it helps.

Hugs for you and DD!
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:04 PM
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I've been down this road with with my daughter too. I never know what the hell to do and she almost can't be talked to in times like that. So, I usually stick her in the car, take her shopping for a shirt or jeans, then take her out to eat. I don't talk the whole time-- I just listen.

It may be terrible, comforting her with shopping and food, but it sure as hell works. Usually costs me about $100 a pop. Money well spent.

Cyranaok
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:30 PM
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Ugh. Last year, my daughter was 17, first boyfriend, they were Prom King and Queen. Then, about a month later, he dumped her. I think she cried for about 10 days. Went through at least five boxes of tissue. Nothing I said helped, so I just said "I love you and if you want to talk, I'm here." Then I hugged her and she grabbed on to me and wouldn't let go for a good 20 minutes. My shoulder got really wet and smudged with mascara. She eventually came to me and wanted to unload, but it took a week or so.

It's so hard when our kids are hurting and there's nothing we can do about it.

L
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:52 PM
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sometimes you can never say the right thing to them...when my daughter was that age and have BF issues....i usually made an appt. for both of us to have pedicures/manicures and then a trip to her favorite restaurant....(something about Olive Garden pasta and the giant salads)....if i thought it was a more serious funk, I suggested the make-up counter at Nordstrom for her favorite line of Origins....I agree, money well spent if she felt perked up....and of course swallowing my tongue because they might be back together next week...
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:02 PM
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I would invite her friends over tonight after the sushi. Buy them icecream. Let them hang out and listen and cry and vent.

And keep an eye on her. (((hugs)))
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:35 PM
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Just be there for her. It is one of life's lessons, first heartbreak. Keep pointing out the good in her and the things that she has going for her. For girls this kind of stuff can really knock their self esteem out of wack.

Treat her like a princess for a bit Before you know it she will be onto the next guy....
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:50 PM
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I'd leave her to work through her feelings the way she wants to. Being heartbroken about the end of a romance seems very normal and healthy to me. Maybe if we're talking 4, 6, 8 weeks of mourning, I'd be worried. But if my kids were all chipper and it mean nothing to her early on, I'd actually be more concerned.

The reason I say that is because my mom was very intolerant of my feelings- make that everyone's, actually- so I was super cautious about that with my kids. My mom got to have the full range of emotions, but everyone else in the family was supposed to be this way or that way, and that was decided by her. Anything other than happy and "normal"- by her yardstick- caused her discomfort. I'd try to just keep living the way you live and tend to your stuff as you usually do, and let her be sad.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:14 PM
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Thanks, all! I am really worried more about ME than HER right now because, like blueblooms said above, I am finding myself more intolerant to her feelings right now that I would normally be. Damn stress - I am just overwhelmed with change and pressure and I really should drop it all to focus on her when she needs me. Thanks for the reminder to what's important.

I took her to sushi and she ate like a horse and then went to the gym with friends. She did ask if I would go see 'Water for Elephants' with her this weekend and I said I would love to. And she did say tonight that she is now beginning to get mad, which is a healthy reaction to rejection, next to sadness. And he's doing the yank-around with her right now, too. Not quite letting go but pushing away with all his might. Feel familiar, anyone?!

Bless her heart, I KNOW this sucks. And hurts. And makes her feel unworthy. But this too shall pass...I hope...and pray...also that he leaves her alone for good. Stupid boys. No offense to you men out there.

Now onto the store for more Kleenex and chocolate.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:07 PM
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Those are all great suggestions! We did road trips ~ it got us out of town, out of our internalizing. Kids say amazing things when they think you're not listening! Fortunately, the coast is just a day trip, and it's enough to shake loose the grief.

-Sylvie
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