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OT -- Terrible fight with my teen daughter that became physical. Help.

Old 07-01-2014, 05:18 PM
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OT -- Terrible fight with my teen daughter that became physical. Help.

I am in a very dark place and I don't know where to turn. I have no one to talk to and I don't know what to do.

My backstory is that I was the wife of an alcoholic and am now divorced. I'm raising our teenagers. I have a 19 year old daughter whom we adopted from the foster care system when she was 10. She is a great girl but not without her share of emotional, attachment, and learning issues.

During the last year or so, I've had increasing challenges in my relationship with her. She's been at college, which has helped. Nothing horrendous, but always the feeling I'm walking on eggshells around her. She is very, very emotional --- cries and sobs at the drop of a hat. She's always been very moody; I never know what mood she'll be in. We've had a few serious fights (one several years ago that became physical) and have been in some counseling together.

On Sunday night I prepared a nice dinner and we were all about to sit down to eat. She came into the kitchen and started into this weird conversation about a broken kitchen pan handle. She was kind of grilling me about what sauce pans were broken. It was odd. I was a bit exasperated it came out in my tone of voice. To this she flew off the handle (pardon the pun) and started up about how she was just asking questions and why do I always have to be so mean. I was SO confused. And then I got angry.

We wound up yelling at each other. Me telling her to "grow up" and she telling me I "have no emotion" (I'm quite emotional). It was a horrible fight. Then she threw her dinner plate at me, and it bounced across the kitchen counter and food went everywhere. I felt so much rage. I grabbed her by the shoulders and the fight wound up becoming physical. She punched me in the face and I slapped her multiple times. My younger daughter wound up in the middle, trying to break it up. We were screaming. It was horrendous. I screamed at my daughter to "get out!" and felt like my whole world had exploded.

My daughter has now been gone for 2 nights. I feel absolutely bereft. I feel confused and angry and so tired of all of the years of her emotional breakdowns. Allowing myself to be out of control and allowing the fight to become physical makes me sick. I feel like a monster.

Now my daughter says she won't be near me without a 3rd party because she "does not feel safe" around me. I told her I would help her get back into counseling and that we could go together to try to resolve some things. I asked her yesterday to please not involve my parents. They are in their 80s and in poor health; they do not need the stress.

My daughter then proceeded to go to my parents and tell them everything. My mother tends to stick her nose into my business a lot. I really didn't need her influence as I try to sort out this terrible mess. My daughter just emailed me today to tell me that my parents know everything "because they really needed to know" and that she is now planning to live with them.

I feel such complete despair right now. I am sitting here at work, unable to work. Unable to focus or do anything. I feel terrible about what happened with my daughter, and also angry at her. I have lived through so much madness with my XAH, and sometimes it feels like I am now living through madness with my daughter.

Please help me.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:24 PM
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You can't change what has happened. I would suggest you write a letter and let her know how you are feeling, then let it go. Go to counceling even if you have to go alone. I am sure she knows you love her. Time is often a great healer. Don't play into the drama. I am keeping you both in my prayers.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:32 PM
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Soaringspirits , , where do you start with something like this !

First up , i have 3 daughters so i can understand the turmoil you are in .

You have to sit down with her before this manifests into an even bigger issue .

The sooner , the better or you will make yourself Ill . I understand how teenagers can drive us crazy and worse . Do you have a close girlfriend that your daughter likes , someone other than your mother , where you daughter feels she may have the upper hand .

You need neutral territory .

This can be fixed , with patience , it may take a while , but you will get there .

Why don't you leave work sick if you really cant function and get the ball rolling sooner rather than later .

The longer these things go unresolved , the bigger we make the issue in our minds .

Ring your Mum and ask her for advice ( let her feel you are struggling with this )?You are her daughter and no matter how old we get , we all need our Mums .


It will get better , i promise xxx
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:40 PM
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Did you ever read the book, "Stop Walking on Eggshells"?
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:18 PM
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Ex-wife of an alcoholic here with a 20-year-old, very emotional daughter. She can escalate from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds. I can sympathize. It has taken me years to learn not to escalate right along with her. I'm not always successful.

In this situation I would tell her I'm sorry about my part in the fight including of course striking her. I would try to get into family counseling with her as soon as possible. Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:00 PM
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Well, I've been in a physical fight with my mom before but it wasn't as intense as yours sounds. Regardless, it left me feeling alone and I called my aunt and told her EVERYTHING after it happened because I felt like I needed an adult in my corner (I think I was 17ish when this happened.) I feel for you. I don't have any advice or words of wisdom, I can only tell you that time has made that incident very small I'm the grand scheme of things for me and for my mom. We've had more bad times since then but never ever physical again after that.

I guess I do have a suggestion actually, get yourself into therapy if you aren't already. My mom ALWAYS tried to make me go into therapy with her and I resented it so much. She was constantly trying to put the blame on me but it takes 2 to tango, KWIM? It's not like one of us was beating on the other we were both engaged and acting in appropriately. Maybe offer up that you'll help your daughter get into individual OR joint family counseling.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:29 PM
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What I always wanted from my parents was for them to handle their issues. I wish they did counseling on their own so they could be present for me.

My son is 14 and we have had some ragers but not quite like this. I went into counseling individually, as did he, and we had a chance to come together once I had done some work on my own. It was very helpful.

It's hard bit to escalate when someone is being confusing and aggressive, and yet, we have to try to dial it down. You are human and now the cat is out of the bag, YES YOU ARE HUMAN. As we always say, the only thing you can control is you. I'd get into counseling to resolve whatever is yours to own, and let your daughter know just that.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:15 PM
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As a parent, it's so hard to hold it together sometimes.
We make mistakes. Our kids aren't expecting us to be perfect. They need us to be role models of how to handle the inevitable imperfections
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:11 AM
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Thank you everyone.

I have been in counseling and will go on my own again. I know I have to own my stuff. I love my daughter so much, she is my world. So this tears me up to no end.

Amy55, thank you for the book suggestion. I looked it up and it does not reassure me to say that there is a lot familiar there. My daughter's bio mom has pretty severe mental illness. Thanks, I'll order this book.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:11 AM
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We make mistakes. Our kids aren't expecting us to be perfect. They need us to be role models of how to handle the inevitable imperfections
Agreed. My solace during this journey with my son has been that even if I have royally screwed up, I can show him how I mean to make it right.

Even the best moms make mistakes. Us average mistake-makers need to let ourselves off the hook sometimes.

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Old 07-02-2014, 06:35 AM
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I am so sorry. What a horrible situation. I would be very honest with her, and let her know that violence is unacceptable from yourself or anyone else. That it WILL NOT happen again, and don't let it. Know when to walk away for a while.

It does sound like counseling would be a benefit for both of you. Maybe give her some space, living with the elderly is no picnic and she may not want that long term. Let her know you support her and that you will be there for her.

I heard my DD who is 14 tell her friend the other day that no matter how awful it would ever be, she knows I am there for her no matter what would happen in her life and that she loves me for that so very much. It brought me to tears because it is so very true. I will love her, cheer her on, all of those things. However, when push comes to shove, I won't be manipulated or if ever in her life she is a user I won't enable her in any way. I will have boundaries.

One thing to remember is that kids go to who is safe. So many times they take anger out on their own parents because they know the parents are constant, that even after it's really bad, we will still love them.

Be patient. Work on you. Try to have as open of communication as possible. Make amends. That is all you can do, and pray.

Tight Hugs. We will walk this with you.
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