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Old 04-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
kwood
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Default Failure to launch. Page 1

Hi, my name is Kelly. I made my introduction on the intro forum and now I can post.

As I mentioned there, I am 43 years old, been to war and been shot at, I've lived a really great life so far, I'm an artist, photographer and computer person, I race go karts with my 12 yr old daughter, and even started a website that still sits at #1 in its field. I live in SLC utah and I'm not religious. I smoke and drink a few beers after dinner. (don't worry, it's Utah beer... 3.2%.. ya just go to the bathroom a lot)

Since my situation covers a few areas, I wasn't sure which forum to put it in. I am a step father and that's where it started, so... I have a story.

PAGE 1. (page 2 is in the reply, too many characters for a post I guess)

It's about a strung together family, a failure to launch 20-something adult child, and me venting/needing advice.

Sorry for the lengthy story, but I feel it's needed to get a grasp on my situation. If there's any typos or offensive language in it, I apologize. I try to keep it clean.

15 years ago, I met my wife on AOL when windows 95 was new. She was 35, in a wheelchair, and living in Michigan. In the small time we chatted on line, it became evident that her current marriage was on the rocks.

A mere 3 weeks after we'd met online, she came to visit me and never went back. The day she came, she had to have her friends sneak her from her house to the airport with her husband trying to stop her.

She left her husband (who was mentally abusive and even locked her in the house) and her 3 daughters behind. They were very young. 6, 8, and 9 years old.

This event is what I believe sets in motion the path that one of these girls will follow.

Strike 1. Our mommy left us.

Over the next year I found her constantly battling with her soon to be Ex husband but keeping in contact with her girls. She loved them but had to leave and I began to understand why. He was an abusive guy that never really grew up and her girls adored their daddy.

Forward a year and her divorce has taken place and she'd asked me to marry her... which I said yes. We moved to a new house and began our lives together. Shortly thereafter, we had a baby girl. This would be my only child.

In the back of my mind, I knew her girls were important to her and that someday, they could come to live with us. I'd inherited a family but little did I know, I was in for quite the experience.

I had a pretty normal childhood, even though my own parents divorced when I was 15, then remarried each other some 7 years later, it was still pretty normal. I bought my first car with paper route money I'd earned and I've had constant employment since I was 18. I've worked for my stuff and nobody has constantly bailed me out all my life... which is why this ticks me off so much.

Back to the story.

A year passed and my wife's ex-husband found someone on the world wide web that he began a relationship with a woman in Louisianna. Apparently, he thought he'd do the same thing his ex did. He was still in Michigan with his 3 daughters at the time. It appeared that he believed that this woman & he could have a better relationship if he was closer... at which time, he uprooted his 3 girls and moved from Michigan to Louisianna. These kids were forced to leave everything behind.

Now, this event obviously would have some consequences for these kids.

Strike 2. Daddy cares more about some stranger than us. Good bye friends and everything we know.

I was pretty upset at him for it... for their sake. I wasn't their dad, but I felt bad that they had to go through this.

The funny part about this... when they got to Louisianna, the woman that he'd been chatting with... didn't want him. There he was, a U-haul, 3 little girls, and nowhere to go.

Eventually, he did find work and a place to live in Louisianna. He met a woman (who was married mind you) and began a relationship with her. From the little girls point of view, she was pretty mean. We're talking evil step-mother. She took control of all their lives, became the parent and driving force in their house... and that meant bad stuff.

When her 9 Year old daughter hit 15, things weren't well for them. The hatred she had for this "other" woman constantly wedging herself between her & her father has grown into some pretty nasty stuff over the years. Fights, phone wars between my wife & her ex, wars, crappy grades, what have you... it was bad. All the while, my wife never got out of control. She was the type to let karma do its job.

All that time they'd been away, my wife & I have tried to support them as best we could. My wife didn't work but did get money from the insurance company for her accident and I was the one with the job. Thankfully, I've been in the computer industry for a long time and have made pretty good money. We'd brought them here to visit, even sent them money when their lame father wouldn't buy them tampons. (yes, really)... and every penny came out of our pocket. He never paid once to fly them here & let them see their mother. It was always us. Birthdays, Christmas, we did it all.

At 15 years old, my wife's oldest daughter moved here... and she's got some heavy baggage. It was at the boiling point in Lousianna and time for a change.

When she got here, I felt bad for her and the only thing on my mind was to do my best to help her and show my wife that I can be a great father figure to her kids. Well, one of them.

I was wrong.

I set some simple rules, we enrolled her in school and each morning I'd drop her off because it was on my way to work. Things seemed ok for a while but it was clear that this girl had a pretty bad attitude and a constant need for attention... attention she wasn't getting from the needed sources.

When she hit 16, I taught her to drive. I was proud of this. I taught her to drive my big ole 89 chevy suburban. I figured if she could pull it off, she'd end up being a reasonable driver. She was for a while, but thinking back (4 wrecks in 8 years), it just wasn't in the cards. Hey, I guess some have it & some don't.

Now, as I mentioned, she had a bad attitude. She was one of the laziest, self entitled and dilusional people I'd ever met. Getting her to do anything that didn't get her something too, was nearly impossible. Her mother in the wheelchair wasn't in a position to be forceful with her and it turned into a few times where I wondered what was going to happen.

2 "kick-outs" and a year later... I had to come home from work once because this girl physically threatened her mother. That's right, a 240LB daughter against a 120 lb woman in a wheelchair. Wonder who would have won?
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Failure to launch. Page 1

PAGE 2
It's about here that I began thinking about Jerry Springer episides to make sense of what was happening. I don't live in a trailer park, I'm not white trash, why is this happening? Was it me?

The war went on for years, all the way through highschool. When she graduated with a not-deserved 2.0, I realized that she was one of those people that would skate through life, living off the backs of others... and I was determined to not let it be my back. I was starting to hate her.

Now, this is the 1st daughter my wife had. I get it. I know it's her baby and I'd probably be the same in a few ways if she were mine. Sure, I'd want her to succeed, I'd help her to do so, but what's happening now is clearly not that. I don't think my wife even realizes it. If she does, it seems easier for her to do nothing and avoid the conflict. If I mention it, the wife takes huge offense to it and I'm sure she has the right to do so. I verbally attack her for it nonetheless. The problems it's making for me, I let them bother me... and it's my own fault.

I feel I have the right to. It's my house too and I bring in most of the moola.

So, long story short, here's the current situation:
1. This (now a 24 year old) woman, lives in my house and sleeps in the dining room. She rarely takes down her bed and getting her to do anything around the house is like pulling teeth. Her mother can't even do laundry because her blow up bed is in the way (along with her other crap)
2. The arguments are starting to take a toll on the whole house. Typically, they are between her mother and her... and they never get anywhere. It's always just bitching about the same stuff with no logical resolution in sight. It's like they have issues with each other that they just don't know how to find a solution. When I get involved, it appears that they can listen but I am clearly an outsider.
3. My wife commonly just gives up and doesn't do anything, then, in frustration, other wars errupt and set the whole house on fire.
4. My wife is agoraphobic, has panic attacks, and a myriad of other things steming from abusive childhood... and can rarely go out of the house by herself. Even with someone, it's still a major undertaking. Oddly enough... with her daughter there, it makes it so much easier to get stuff done. (go to the store, get this & that, etc...) Makes me wonder if she really wants her out or not. Seems like she's there to stay forever as some sort of slave and someone to take away the feeling of being alone. The daughter doesn't like doing everything for her mom but feels she has to or she'll get mad. (quite the dynamics eh?)
5. This 24 year old woman has lost 3 JOBS in 1 year due to sheer laziness & fake illnesses. Now has a job but mommy continues to constantly wake her up to get to it.
6. My wife has paid her cell phone bill for the last year.
7. We haven't charged her rent because she has no money. If we do when she has a job, she'll STILL never leave cause it'll all go to her own cell phone & rent.
8. This adult child spends nearly every hour of her awake time literally STARING at facebook and accomplishing nothing. If I unplug the internet, the wife gets mad at me because now, she'll have to deal with conflict, which in turn gets her upset, which in turn makes me mad that shes getting run over by her child, which makes me irratable, which sends the wife to her office... only to come back out in a day or so...

Lather, rinse, repeat... and don't get in between mama bear & her cubs. You'll lose every time.

My wife and I have nearly been on the edge of divorce a few times for various reasons (some not mentioned here), but now seems different. I'm thinking differently these days. I figure if I say something like "it's me or her", she'll choose her. There's no contest here... but the odd part of it is that my wife, along with all her negative upbringing, would be the one that leaves. She's said it many times.

What we've built over the years will all come crashing down and things will change.

What's worth more? Security or sanity.

I've tried the "make a plan" thing with them. The wife agrees, but then can't enforce it. I've tried the "deadline" thing with them. I've tried to say "no" but keep getting overridden. I can't even quit smoking because both of them smoke and rarely respect my requests to do it outside or in a back room.

I'm not sure what to do.

It's clear that I'm not equipped to handle some things here.
- Daughter has unresolved daddy/mommy/abandonement issues coupled with a fear of failure.
- Wife has issues.
- I probably have issues too.

And just this morning, this girl did manage to get up & go to work (driving our car mind you...) only to return home 2 hours later. She stated that they sent her home due to the weather. She works at a home improvement store and while I can believe the story, what she did next was expected. She called the boyfriend while staring at facebook and said the following: "I think my bosses should have to call me and tell me when I'm not needed rather than make me come in"

Sipping coffee and heading out the door, I looked at her and said: "who works for who here?"

Thanks for reading, any comments are welcome.

Kelly Wood

(I want that hot metal slippery-slide with sharp corners back at the neighborhood playground, I really do.)

whew, that was a lot of words.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Failure to launch. Page 1

Honestly, off topic I know, but she's right about the fact that if she isnt needed her boss should call her and tell her not to come in, thats expected for most casual and contracted employees (I assume she's casual or contracted if she isnt working set hours and can be set home) being rostered on for a shift isnt "rostered on to pop your head in and see if there is work for you".

On topic, however, she needs to leave. She needs to get out and fend for herself, it sounds like she hasnt done that yet. Look, she hasnt had the greatest childhood, but she is an adult now and she needs to get out there and do adult things, and sleeping in Mum's dining room every night isnt one of them. Your wife does need to encourage her to get out there and be the adult that she is, she isnt doing her any favours by allowing her to live like a child.

Dont make it an ultimatum for your wife, that isnt fair, no one should have to choose between a spouse and a child. But you need to sit down and have a serious discussion with her about how her daughter is 24 now and needs to start living her own life. Hopefully she will come around.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Failure to launch. Page 1

You have multiple issues here but all of them seem to rooted around guilt. The mom feels guilty and the DD uses that to her advantage. Has DD had counseling? If not she needs it.

But even knowing all of that she needs to get out and live on her own. She needs, no has, to find her own way in life. People have crappy lives, some people don't but everybody at some point has to grow up.

You have to get mom to see that by continuing on the path you guys currently are on, the DD is never going to grow up. She is never going to take some responsibility for herself. She will forever be 'that' kid who lives at home on mom's couch. That is very unfair to all parties involved becuase someday mom is gonna be gone, that's just a reality, and where will that leave the DD? It leaves her in a world she isn't prepared to be left in.

You will notice that I refer to mom and not you. While you absolutely have a say, mom has to be the driving force. Is mom in counseling, I assume so if she agoraphobic, but I know that that isn't always the case. You have to help your wife and she needs to help her daughter to stop enabling her.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Failure to launch. Page 1

Ok, so it's been a couple of days and the saga continues LOL.

Saturday arrives and the step daughter manages to get up & go to work only to return 2 hours later stating that they offered to send people home again due to weather.

To clarify her job, she works(ed) at Lowes, a Fine american hardware store, supposed to be part time I guess.

I wake up & go about my normal routine, shower, get ready for the day, etc. Oddly enough, Lowes just happens to be the only place I can find something I need.

I'm headed out the door and I mention that I'm going there. I ask her if she'd like to go. Heck, she works there, she mentioned we could get a small discount, why not get it right? A little attempted quality time never hurts right?

Anyone know what that "deer caught in the headlights" look is?

Well, she's on the couch, sprawled out... tap-tap-tapping on her cell phone and she declines. Her mother immediately tears into her for being selfish, etc. Mom starts to cry a little and begins to apologize to me... for her daughters actions.

It don't matter to me really, it's a 3 dollar item. I head out leaving them to their own devices, and I don't really want to hear them arguing. I snag a cup of coffee & leave.

It's kind of a rainy morning and I really enjoy the time out. While at the store, I think about asking if she's there just to find out any information but decide not to. It'd just fuel the fire if I knew more, and I didn't want to.

I return home to find my 12 year old coming outside to meet me, wrapped in her favorite blanket, sleepy face look, it's cute. Mom & step daughter were tossing bombs at each other and woke her up.

Great.

Yes, ironic that I happened to be going to Lowes but it surely wasn't planned to set in motion these events. It is neat though.

She bold faced lied. She didn't just come home because they were letting people go home... she quit... because they weren't giving her enough hours. Evidently, the fact that i was going to Lowes was enough to send her into a panic and she told on herself while I was away.

I guess I don't get it. Personally, I'd find another job before jumping ship.

I decide to take the high road & simply stay quiet. Throughout the rest of the day, the house is pretty normal but a little quiet. I hug my wife numerous times and each time, she starts crying.

I'm trying to support her and I know this is tearing her apart.

Normally I participate in the barrrage of lectures but this time I didn't. I just went about my day and got stuff done around the house as planned.

The wife did lay into her again, but she remains... in my opinion, unaware that what she did was wrong.

The wife made her do a bit of house work, which she did do, (only because her boyfriend was here), then let her take our car again to sleep over at her boyfriends house.

Oh well, the peace is nice for now.

Thanks for the replies so far.

Tune in next time for: Can you tell me where the homeless shelter is? (OR) What's the number for 911? LOL

Have a good one y'all.

Kelly

Last edited by kwood; 04-15-2012 at 06:16 AM..
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