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Not sure what to do ....

Old 05-16-2012, 08:22 AM
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Not sure what to do ....

Hello American friends,

Bit of a dilemna, and I think I know what you will all say. As I have posted recently, my stepdaughter took the brave decision to write to her mum telling her she doesn't want to see her or speak to her. A very angry letter was written from a very angry 13 year old girl. That was just over a week ago now, and mum would have received the letter a week ago. We have heard absolutely nothing from her, neither has my SD. If mum were to phone her she wouldn't answer her call, and if she were to phone my husband's phone to speak to her daughter, she still wouldn't speak to her because she doesn't want to. Fair enough. But, every day she's asked if her mum has mailed anything to her, and yesterday there was a handwritten envelope in the mail, which she saw, and said 'is that from my mum?'. It wasn't. I asked her if she was upset by this, and she said 'not really, but I wish she would respond, just so I know she cares'.

The dilemna we're in is this - do we text mum to suggest she writes to her daughter? Part of me wants to text her and shout at her for being so damned cold and ask her who the hell she thinks she is, but another part just thinks 'if she cared she'd get in touch', and just leave it and let her dig the hole she's in even further. She is an alcoholic after all. On my last thread someone (sorry can't remember who) said that she would be throwing a 'pity party', which I would imagine she has. She is very much 'woe is me', and nothing, of course, is ever her fault. But we are all very surprised and somewhat shocked that she hasn't even attempted to contact her child, to say sorry, beg for forgiveness, beg her daughter not to abandon her. I would imagine she's feeling pretty crap right now (deservedly so), and I know her mind doesn't work like normal people's. We just want to do what's best for this child, and thinking about it, prompting her mum to write to her isn't what's best for her because mum needs to do it off her own back.

God she's so damned selfish.

One good thing though, which is interesting actually is this. My stepdaughter, since the age of about 6, has cleared her throat constantly, and I mean constantly, like every couple of minutes or so. She has always described the feeling of a lump in her throat, and we always put it down to anxiety (globus). A little while ago we took her to our GP about it because it was getting worse, and sure enough the GP agreed it could be anxiety but wanted her to have tests for asthma to make sure it wasn't that. It wasn't. So, we were going to see if counselling lessened it, and if it didn't, help her with some behavioural therapies to improve it. Anyway, after she wrote that letter to her mum last week it has suddenly improved, and she hardly does it now!! Just the odd one, occasionally. She says she doesn't feel like she has a lump in her throat anymore!! What's sad about that of course, is that poor kid has been made to feel anxious by her mother for the past 8 years, and the fact that it's near enough stopped since she told her mum to 'do one' shows that this woman is detrimental and toxic in her life. What kind of a position will that put us in should she ever resume contact with her mum and the throat clearing problem starts again! A bridge to cross if and when we get to it I guess.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by NikNox View Post
But we are all very surprised and somewhat shocked that she hasn't even attempted to contact her child, to say sorry, beg for forgiveness, beg her daughter not to abandon her.
I've learned not to expect any semblance of decency, compassion, or "sorry" from anyone in active alcoholism or addiction. God knows I was incapable of that before I got clean/sober for the last time in 1990.

As for the lump in her throat, it sounds like she did a terrific job of getting all those ugly feelings she's been carrying around for years onto paper and let it go, at least for now.

It's amazing how much I am affected physically when I start stuffing emotions and not finding a way to express them.

She's a lucky girl to have you in her life!
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:50 AM
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NN, wasn't the letter your stepdaughter wrote something of a 'sever all ties' letter with her Mother? Wasn't no further communication from her mother the desired conclusion to their toxic relationship?

I would drop the matter entirely. By you getting involved with her mother re: the letter serves no purpose whatsoever that would benefit any of you.

Maybe therapy sessions with a professional (Psychologist or Psychiatrist) would be the next step for your SD to begin the work needed to get her to a healthy place regarding the abandonment she deeply suffers by her mother.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by gerryP View Post
NN, wasn't the letter your stepdaughter wrote something of a 'sever all ties' letter with her Mother? Wasn't no further communication from her mother the desired conclusion to their toxic relationship?

I would drop the matter entirely. By you getting involved with her mother re: the letter serves no purpose whatsoever that would benefit any of you.

Maybe therapy sessions with a professional (Psychologist or Psychiatrist) would be the next step for your SD to begin the work needed to get her to a healthy place regarding the abandonment she deeply suffers by her mother.
Thank you Gerry. Yes, it was, but there seems to be a tiny part of her that wants a reaction from her mum, which I can understand. She has felt deeply responsible for her mother for so many years, since she was very very young, and although she accepts this was wrong and that she should have been the 'child' in their relationship and not the adult, she seems to be seeking a reaction from her mum. At 13, she is very mature for her age, but she doesn't fully understand the nature of alcoholism (does anyone?). Over the past 10 months, since she has lived with us, every time she's had the guts to confront her mum about her drinking her mother has vehemently denied touching a drop of alcohol. SD has always known her mother was lying to her, as have we, but she wrote in the letter that she knew about mum's recent hair strand test results showing excessive use of alcohol and I think she wants mum to admit she's alcoholic. Of course she may never get that from her mum if mum stays in denial, we know that and we tell her that, but at the end of the day this woman is her mother and SD just wants her to react.

I know we shouldn't interfere, and we won't, and we find it as frustrating as SD does, possibly more so because we can see what she's losing in this beautiful, wonderful child. Perhaps SD wonders how her mum can just appear to be giving up on her.

Alcoholism is such a mess isn't it!
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:10 AM
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Oh Nix... I wish I didn't, but I understand exactly how your SD feels.

My Mother wasn't/isn't an alcoholic but completely and utterly emotionally unavailable among other things. (Thank god for my Dad) I suffered with the abandonment and all the issues that manifested as a result. It is unbelievable to a healthy person to understand and to a 13 year old, it's beyond all that a mother should feel for her own flesh and blood daughter.

I can understand that SD wants some admission of her lying to her, but the lying to her represents a greater loss felt to your daughter. Poor child....I really highly recommend a professional for your SD. Yes, she is lucky to have you.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:18 AM
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And I wish you didn't understand either. I wish no-one understood if that makes sense, because it's a horrible place to be. Surprisingly, she is fairly well balanced, but has only just really hit her teenage hormone ridden years, and the worst could yet to come. We will speak to our GP about some more professional counselling for her. She is having counselling at school, weekly, which she says helps (as an addition to a previous post saying I was questioning the quality of the counselling - she told her counsellor she'd written to her mother to stop all contact and the counsellor told her she was proud of her for being so brave, so I take it all back!). Unfortunately the organisation which I really believe could help her, Al-Ateen is virtually non-existent now in this country.

I am truly sorry for what you have experienced Gerry. No person should ever feel like their mother doesn't care for them :ghug3
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:43 AM
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Okay, so maybe I'm psychic!! SD has just got in from school, and said she's had a text from her mum. She read it out to me 'I have read your letter. Let's just ignore it. I will ring and speak to you later'. SD said 'she doesn't understand what I said in my letter does she? She doesn't get it. I don't want her to ring me later. I don't want to speak to her, so I won't answer my phone. Can you please please text her to tell her not to bother'. So I did.
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