Monday, July 13, 2009

Shaking My Head

Well, we're back from vacation. We took an extended weekend to Big Rapids, Michigan. Pictures and details will follow in a future post. It seems that reality bites rather frequently lately. My frequent readers are familiar with and have shared in my parental woes. Surprise, surprise! We have another one to limp through.

Our youngest daughter, the one we were holding out to make some great decisions for herself seems to be following in the footsteps of her older sisters much to our dismay. If you had asked me a couple years ago, I would have told you she was different. She had goals and dreams. She had a plan. I cannot say that anymore. Over the course of the past 2.5 years she has blown around $30K. After four years of living at home and working she has roughly $700 in the bank. She has consistently mismanaged her money, and she has wasted thousands of ours. The latest being that she totally blew off a year of college that we paid for out of pocket.

Now, the ultimate in bonehead decisions has been made. Our 19-year-old high school/college drop out has decided to move in with her homeless/jobless sister and her biological mother that is also jobless and has NEVER had her own home in her entire life. This is the sister that she quit her job of three years to babysit for, and she stiffed her never paying her a penny for over three months of daycare. This is the mom that abandoned her at the age of seven and disappeared for years not calling on birthdays or holidays. This is the mom that is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. This is a train wreck waiting to happen!

My poor husband's mind is just blown. I know he feels like such a failure, and I have NO IDEA how to be there for him. Personally, I am thinking this is just step one in her apparently needed process of growing up. I know the track record is horrific, and she has no money and a part-time, minimum wage job. I know the odds are VERY against her. I know she will most certainly get taken advantage of, and it will be a miracle if she doesn't end up pregnant. I know her innocence is lost. However, I have been there, done that way too much to feel too much pain about the situation. Their decisions are theirs. We have led in a much different direction, and they have run as fast as they can down a different path. We are disappointed, but I find it hard to be sympathetic or even worried. Is that wrong?

I am constantly blown away by my daughters, and I know of nothing else I can do other than pray and put my boundaries in place. I have learned to guard my boundaries like a bulldog. However, I see my husband still struggle with this one. The hard part for me is that he lashes out at me when he is stressed in this manner. I struggle not to react. I seriously do not know how to handle the situation when he is lashing out at me. It's just silly, honestly, and I know my reactions make a stupid situation toxic. Somehow, I need to get myself under control. This is a challenge I seem to consistently fail.

My good friend and ex-pastor's wife, Nancy, is sorely missed by me, especially in situations like this. She always had such great advice! What a rock she was. I miss her friendship so much. Prayers are still needed for her as she is still battling leukemia. I have not seen her since April. I hope to get to visit with her sometime soon.


Mom said...

I have so much I want to say. I have a 19 year old daughter (semi-adopted) that has consistently made poor life choices. It's very hard for me as her mom to watch her suffer through the consequences of those choices.

You are right, though. It is their lives and their choices to make. All we can do is love them, pray for them, and maintain our own boundaries.

Let your girls know that you will always love them no matter what. Let them know they have a home to come back to should they find their choices were a bit much to deal with. Ultimately, though, you have to let them go.

Tell your husband he didn't fail. You have both managed to give these girls a loving and stable home that they would not have had without you. They didn't get pregnant before they were adults. In my mind, especially with my own daughter and her previous life, keeping them from teen pregnancy is a HUGE accomplishment.

Also, try not to see this as a rejection of you or your lifestyle. I know how difficult it is because you probably feel that they are choosing their biological mother - the one who wouldn't take care of them properly - over you - the one who sat up with them through the wee hours of the night when they were sick or heart broken.

I know the feeling - from both perspectives. Their need for their biological mother's love and acceptance doesn't mean they no longer love and appreciate you. It doesn't make it easier for you, but try to remember that what you gave them has special meaning even if they turn away from your morals and values to follow a different lifestyle.

Tina said...

MOM - Thank you for sharing your story and your words of wisdom. You are a rock as always. There is more to this story that has come into light, and I will share when the time is right. It is my prayer that others can learn and grow through the sharing of our experiences.

Carmel said...

May God's wisdom, peace and love surrounds you today and always. may you learn to bring it to the Lord in prayer. God is good and will always be.
God bless!


Tina said...

Carmel - Thank you for your kind words. If I didn't have prayer I highly doubt I would have sanity.


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