eighteen

shadeshaman's picture

So, L-Dawg turned 18 last month, and yesterday she told me that she has been receiving e-mails from my mom and my dad. People with whom I no longer have a relationship. Not only because they were so abusive to me as a kid, but because their abuse continued into my adulthood and also landed on my kids. L-Dawg being one of those kids (and, honestly, the one who got more shit from my 'rents because they were pretty much out of the picture when T-Dizzle leaped into it). And now, behind my back, because for so many years, I have FORBIDDEN them contact with MY kids, they are each (not together--they've been divorced since the 70's) trying to have some sort of relationship with L-Dawg. And, from what she's said, they seem to think it's okay, because she's 18 and an "adult" now. I think it speaks volumes about their parenting, and how, the minute I turned 18 they stopped parenting, stopped giving a shit at all about me, and used my birthday as justification. Like, "hey, we don't have to act like we give a shit, because no-one can hold us legally responsible for Shadeshaman anymore!"
It does not speak volumes about my relationship with L-Dawg, nor does it say anything about the kind of newly-minted "adult" that she is.
From what she has told me, which is very little, not only have they contacted her, and didn't say anything like, "Is it okay with your mom that you are speaking to me? Cuz I know that she doesn't want anything to do with me, and that's hard for me to take, but she is your mother, after all, and she's raised you and you live with her still, and I don't want to cause problems in your relationship with your mom", but, on top of that, my dad (who over the course of many years flat out refused to do anything at all helpful for my kids) actually asked L-Dawg to *help* HIM do something (he wanted her to give advice to some cousin that I've never heard of--a cousin who is having problems in school. Why should my kid give advice to a strange person who just happens to have some biological relationship to her? Why? Because gramps has nothing useful to offer and figures he can get MY KID to do it for him????) MAUDE, it's so fracking manipulative that I want to pull my hair out.
I'm not sure what to say to L-Dawg right now. I'm still her mom, period. Perhaps, legally, I can't forbid her to talk to them or they to her, but this is not something that the courts are deciding--this is about what goes on in my home. I don't want to make this more of a forbidden fruit for her--I want her, if she must poke around in this trash heap called my family of origin--to do so with eyes open. Open to the abuse, the manipulation, the ways that any info she gives might be used by my 'rents to take T-Dizzle away from me. T-Dizzle's sexual orientation, for example. My lack of religion--and the music I make and how it's kinda tied in to a non-Xtian religion and Maude-only-knows what else.
Sigh....help?

Comments

punkmama's picture
Submitted by punkmama on

it s a testament to your good parenting that you made these choices about your FOO and your own family, to separate them. of course your kids can make their own choices about this, but i think they deserve to know that you made these choices as a way to end the cycle of abuse that your parents perpetrated and give them the option to listen to details that you might be comfortable to share, and let it go at that. they are smart girls. they will hear you.

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

shadeshaman's picture

I talked to her and outlined my concerns, and was very clear about what she is NOT to talk about with them, and so on, and (this warms my heart) she said that she's grown up hearing me talk about the mean stuff they did to me, and she heard it and absorbed the information, so she's keeping them at arm's length. In short, she's not that hot to have a relationship with either of them.....and, even better, she's spending most of her writing energy on talking about how expensive school is and how she doesn't know how she's going to afford tuition when she transfers to a 4-year college, etc, to try to bleed 'em for money. I like this. I did not prompt it AT ALL, and I told her not to hold her breath, as they are stingy muthafuckas. Still and all, I chuckle that the same people who refused to give me any college money at all (despite my great grades, recruitment letters from Harvard and MIT, etc.) might, just might, in some small way, finance my beautiful, wonderful, amazing daughter's college journey. Nice!

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius"--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Glamorous's picture
Submitted by Glamorous on

Oooooh, this hits so close to home! My family is playing the same irritating, disrespectful game. I send you mega vibes of sympathy and protection.

When my daughter turned eighteen in October 2009, my estranged sister blew back into into her life in the same insidious way that your children's grandparents have.

"You're 18, you don't have to listen to HER anymore", my sister has told my daughter repeatedly. I am referred to as 'the manipulator' and 'the kook' by my sister and my former husband, two people who can't stand each other but actually get together to make plans for sister to see my kids behind my back. Former husband does not have shared custody, he only keeps in touch with my children because he lives in his parents basement.

My sister drives *four hours* to the in-laws house to see my daughters behind my back instead of making her plans through me as I have insisted. She lies to the inlaws and tells them that I suggested that she join them for the visit, then tells the kids to lie to me and say she wasn't there.

Anyway, not hijacking your rant here, just relating.

Our society seems to expect parents to be very liberal about what goes on in our households. I've heard repeatedly "you can't tell them what to do."

We're their parents. We have every right to tell them what we will allow in our home. That they have turned 18 does not mean that they suddenly have it all figured out. If they choose to leave at that age, we must accept that choice, but until they make said choice, we have no need to feel guilty or that we are being overbearing by setting limits.

Example, smoking cigarettes is legal for an 18-yr-old, but I will not live with a smoker, and don't allow anyone to smoke in my house. Cigarette smoke is toxic to me. Period.

I take the same stand with toxic people, family or not. Abusive ex-partner? Known drug user? Money leech? Chronic liar? Don't call, don't come over, don't use my amenities (like the internet service that I provide) to contaminate my house.

Chances are that your daughter is as uncomfortable with this intrusive communication as you are. She may welcome your placing a boundary that does not require her to attempt to play ball with seasoned manipulators.

Teens and young adults are not in a place yet where they are able to defend themselves against insidious undermining. The unspoken message your parents are sending urges your offspring to be distrustful of your judgement.

"You're 18, you can talk to us no matter what your mother says..you don't have to listen to *her* anymore." puts your daughter into a position that encourages a sense of disloyalty. Abusers of this nature also take the offspring's participation in their thumbing their noses at your rules as validation of their position that they are entitled to your children.

I've learned not to worry about what makes these perpetrators of emotional incest tick. I worry more about how to protect my family from their divisive nonsense.

One method that has worked well has been to tell my young people that this is still my household, and I will not allow toxic people to infiltrate my household. People who encourage the members of my household to disregard both my feelings and the boundaries I've set up are not welcome. This takes the young people out of the equation of having to 'choose' who to support.

If your parents came to your door physically and said "Your daughter is eighteen, now let us in!", what would you do? Chances are, you'd tell them to get lost, and shut the door. You can do that when they come knocking electronically, too.

In my case, I've instructed my daughters to block my sister's number on their phones and email (both of which I still provide).

Whatever you decide, I wish you and your girls peace and safety from the toxic intruders.

Glamorous

Memory is a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food. ~Austin O'Malley