My daughter is 18 years old, a rising senior, and as far as I can tell unable to handle the responsibilities of an adult. Part of this is my fault, and I take full responsibility for it. I failed in my duties as a parent to teach her how to do things around the house, cook a meal, balance a checkbook and handle money and generally to be a fully functioning member of adult society (when she was ready).
I did teach her to drive, but that was only because she wanted to so badly. I should have held off on this until she was willing to master the other. From the time she was two years old, discipline has been difficult. She didn’t respond to spanking, time-outs or having precious treasures removed for a short time. No matter what I did, she would look at me defiantly and say, “I don’t care what you do to me. I’m not going to change.” How does a parent respond to that? I was a single parent at the time. I had no one to reinforce what I was doing. So, it didn’t take long for me to just give up.
When I remarried, it didn’t take long for my husband and my daughter to butt heads and words. Even after 5 1/2 years, they still seem to despise each other. I truly thought they would come to an agreement, but I was very mistaken. Guess who, again, is caught between a rock and a hard place. How do you live in a house with people you love very much who dislike each other? Myself, I am slowly going insane.
Now that she is 18 she believes she can do whatever she wants to do without permission, without following through with responsibility and without concern for others. Nevertheless, she is living in my house, driving my car and eating my food. She is living like a queen doing no laundry, no cleaning and no working of any kind to support her computer habit, music habit and any other fun habit she feels entitled to. Yes, again, I totally admit this is my fault. She has lost all respect for me, but I don’t think she ever had any. I could ask where did I go wrong, but I know. I failed her as a mother.
I have no idea how to fix it. She demonstrates affection for everyone but me and, at times, tells me she hates me (something all teenagers do, but when she says it you can see the sincerity). She is constantly telling everyone how embarrassed she is of me.
I am seeing things more clearly today than I did 16 years ago. I sometimes wish I could go back and do things differently, but I’m not sure it would have made any difference. Maybe, in time, she will come to discover the true meaning of being an adult. Until then, I am praying for a miracle.
(Note to readers: I love my daughter. I have tried to explain Asperger Syndrome to her; however, she is in denial and refuses to claim this diagnosis. This could be a good thing–only time will tell. She can be a very pleasant person, but she can also be very hateful and mean. I wish I knew how to explain this. I apologize for what seems like a post full of complaining–it is my intention to let others who may be going through a similar situation know that they are not alone.)