Being a parent is so hard

Old 01-23-2017, 08:39 AM
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Being a parent is so hard

As most of you know, I have a 17 and 11 year old DD. I guess I have been focusing so much on my 11 y/o that I have lost sight that my 17 y/o DD is struggling right now.

Clearly something is going on. She says she feels depressed. Thing is, I think she has something going on that she is not telling me. She says she does not want to go to the same counselor she had because he just wants to focus on her dad, and that's not her issues. She also asked for a female, which is fine. So she has an appointment coming up. It's hard for me to talk to her because she is going through a phase that she is really wonderful, or she is just snappy and awful, which I call her out on and then we fight about that. Definitely not drug or alcohol use, not even on the radar.

Her behavior does not match that of a depressed person. She is very socially active. She has lots of friends. Goes to lots of events. Involved.

I don't even know why I am posting this except to get it out I guess. I know parenting teenagers is no picnic.

She made a post on twitter over the weekend of something very minor, it did not even matter much. However, I told her to take it down because the situation changed right after. She told me she had already taken it down, but she had not, and did not until I told her to. Which would be fine except she lied to me about it, which is not like her at all.

I guess more will be revealed in time. I did call and get her a counseling appt w/a female counselor who they recommended for her as she is really good with teens, so we will see how that goes. I guess at this point I am feeling overwhelmed with all that is going on, and doing a lot of second guessing of myself to make sure I am handling things in the way I should.

Sometimes you just feel like you cannot get a break.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:57 AM
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Hey Hopeful, I don't have kids but it sure sounds like you are doing a good job.

I'm also a depressive and it sounds like you two are ahead of the curve in dealing with it.

Let us know how it goes. Big hug to you.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:57 AM
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:59 AM
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Just want to give you a *hug* from one mumma to another.

It is so difficult to parent teenagers. Especially females. My son was so much easier than my daughter, that's not to say he didn't come with his own set of challenges.

I know how exhausting it is and how scary it can be. Even when you have "good" kids it is still a huge undertaking. If only these young people came with personalized instruction manuals. Sigh.

Hang in there, you are doing a great job.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:17 AM
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I'm not a parent and would never dream of offering parental advice.

I am, however, a depressed person.

I am socially active, have lots of friends, and am very involved in both my job and my theatre company. And none of that means I am not also depressed.

Mine comes in waves. I am lucky and grateful that I am able to continue functioning, for the most part. I say no a little more frequently. I schedule quiet time on my own. I know there are people out there that are worse off.

Sometimes instead of making things impossible, depression just makes everything harder. But it's still real, still present, and still...depression.

Sometimes the things it makes harder are stupid things that should be so easy, like taking down a tweet. Answering an email. Turning on the tv. Turning off the tv.

She sounds like she is pretty self-aware and self-directed and that she is actively working towards finding her way out of this. She is even asking for your help and support. She is at an age that is terrifyingly close to independence, and if she did not have some friction with her parents I'd be pretty worried about her.

You are a good parent. I wish I'd had at least one of you growing up with addiction, hopeful.
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:26 AM
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Thank you everyone, and especially thanks to you Sparkle.

I have anxiety but am not a depressed person, so it's hard for me to wrap my mind around in the same way. Thank you for sharing your situation with me, it helps me see that yes, she is doing these things, but may be struggling more doing them. She joined a gym because she knows exercise is good for her, and that has been a positive as well. She is physically fit, but we all need those endorphins.

I do think it's scary. She is at an age she feels she must know what she wants to do with her life, and that is overwhelming, because she really does not know. I know lots of self pressure there.

I appreciate all of your kind words and support, it means so much to me friends!
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:50 AM
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hopeful......When I was 17...I was graduated from high school...and went, on scholarship to college..living in a dorm with many other girls, my age...it was a nursing school that was more like a "convent". In that place there was no alcohol or drugs to be found...
I can tell you what girls of that age talk about,,,with no adults in the room...lol...
they talk about boys. they are acutely aware of their emerging sexuality...and all the issues that surround that subject...from looks...to self esteem....to future marriage plans...to crushes...to which boy is cute...what kind of boy they would like to date..sex..etc...etc....etc....
I have got a feeling that she might want to discuss something along those lines...
hence, the desire for a female therapist....(I hope it is no more serious than that)....but I think it is great that she will have someone to tell!
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:59 AM
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I had thought that as well Dandy, and I am completely fine with her having a female therapist to talk to! I hope it's not more serious, and I guess that is what my worry is.

Part of this is me too, if I don't have something to worry about, I seem to seek it out, hence making things into a bigger deal than they need to be at times.

Trying to breathe, take a step back, and just be there for them any opportunity I can.

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2017, 11:21 AM
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Being a teenager is hard--could be any number of things. The great news is that she isn't keeping it to herself. I think that, right there, bodes well for getting through whatever it is without any more damage than any of us suffer through adolescence.

Life is hard, and sometimes things just suck. A realization we all come to--the trick is to have ways of getting through it.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:01 PM
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sometimes MOM, there is nothing to FIX. she's 17, and while she most definitely still needs her mom and always will, this is a time for her to grow and develop apart from you, outside of your influence, in her own way. and it won't always be pretty.

she voiced to you how she feels.
she voiced to you what she wants.
she told a little fib.

it's going to be ok.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:07 PM
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Gosh Anvil, this is so true! After all this time, I still want to FIX the people I love, when I really need to work on fixing me! Thank you for the reminder!

Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
sometimes MOM, there is nothing to FIX. she's 17, and while she most definitely still needs her mom and always will, this is a time for her to grow and develop apart from you, outside of your influence, in her own way. and it won't always be pretty.

she voiced to you how she feels.
she voiced to you what she wants.
she told a little fib.

it's going to be ok.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:56 PM
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I just wanted to acknowledge how great that it is that your daughter is expressing her needs, even if minimally. The fact that she mentions she's depressed and would prefer a female therapist is really self aware. At her age I was still hiding and ignoring my needs and feelings for the sake of my dysfunctional family, so it's really good that she's telling you these things. It took me years to realize I was depressed, so she's way ahead of things at 17. I would just arrange the therapist for her. It sounds like she knows what she wants.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:58 PM
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I have, she has an appt this week. I agree that she is very self aware and I am so glad. As a momma, just wish I could help more.

That's ok, it's part of being a teen. I have dedicated my life to my kids. They have had to grow up much sooner than they should have, and I admit, it makes me overprotective.
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Old 01-23-2017, 08:13 PM
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Please consider this...

Originally Posted by hopeful4 View Post
Definitely not drug or alcohol use, not even on the radar.
Very respectfully, there is no possible way to know this unless you are drug testing her regularly (and I'm not suggesting that at all). I'm not saying she is using drugs or that I have any idea if she is, but in seventeen years the number of times I've heard people say what you said in both AA and Alanon meetings used to be astounding to me, until I said it about my daughter.

Like most of them, I was wrong. Not all of them were wrong, but the vast majority, including myself, could not have been more clueless about their child's use of drugs and alcohol.

I hope you are right, and I hope I am wrong, but please don't rule it out in such a way as to have your eyes closed to what really could be happening. It would not serve her, and it would not serve you.

Good luck!

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Old 01-23-2017, 09:43 PM
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Friend-you are doing a great job...being a parent is hard-being a good healthy parent is ridiculously hard!!! Hang in there-those girls are lucky to have you.
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Old 01-24-2017, 01:05 PM
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I have 4 boys and 4 girls. The boys were easy but the girls ....wow. They only had 4 years between the eldest and youngest and once they hit that age pmt in our house made it a no go zone. They were up and down, all over the place. Bawling and a crying one day and all sunshine the next. They lied to me on occasions, they'd hugged me one day and hated me the next. Dramas like you'd never believe and loud screeching fights in their rooms and then they grew up. She will be fine. Just hang on tight and breathe. xxx
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Old 01-25-2017, 12:25 PM
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Thank you!!!!
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:19 PM
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Hugs, Hopeful! I get it, truly I do. My son is very self aware of what he is feeling emotionally but I have noticed him pulling away lately at times. He's 18 and a senior in high school and I see him seeking for independence and I caught him in a few little white lies lately that ticked me off because it's so not like him.

With that said: he got his first job recently and is happy to be working about 15 hours a week. He's varsity captain of the tennis team this year, he still drives himself to his high level tennis training camps about 45 minutes away at least 4 days a week! He's busy and taking care of his own schedule and I'm so very proud of him. He's talking about his future with excitement.

But, there's the other side that bothers me. He's a bit of a loner. He doesn't have a lot of friends or confidantes. He tries to 'save' his father and he buys into what my XAH says way too much. I hear him sounding like his dad a lot with negativity and a small mind when he thinks through things.

Anyway, you're a great mom! Your girls are so blessed to have you!
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:09 PM
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Hey, hey Hopeful...

First off, Hopeful, you're doing the right thing, just so you know. Don't forget that - or to keep telling yourself you're doing what's best for your kids.

Your daughter sounds a lot like me at 17. I literally had the world at my fingertips and I couldn't understand why I was so SAD about it. Let's just put teenage hormones aside for a minute, but kids at that age struggle to define who they ARE, to say nothing of fitting in or figuring out how to navigate the social complexities of high school, and what they want for their future.

When I was a teenager, I used to walk into a room and feel completely alone. I felt like no one saw me. I could be talking to a group of people and it'd feel like I was putting on a show and that I was acting out the role of who I was supposed to be. I was unhappy with my parents and felt like they were pushing me to be someone I wasn't sure I wanted to be. All my friends acted like they'd figured it out, and I was left wondering what was wrong with me.

Let's just all agree that high school sucks. And being 17 years old and in high school? Oh man, you couldn't PAY me to go back to that time in my life. You band together for SURVIVAL, which is still contingent on any number of cosmetic details. It changes as we age and find people who share our interests, motivations, and passions. We learn what makes us happy and we avoid what brings us down. Hopefully.

But you, Mama Hopeful, are doing what's right. You're helping your daughter to get counseling and you see that she's struggling, even if you can't understand why. You're taking the shame out of it and helping her to realize that life doesn't always have to be like this. Ultimately, what helped me was time - and a good therapist. Make sure she knows that you only get out of counseling what you put into it and that things can get better if you work at it.

Good luck. You're a great mom, don't forget that either.
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