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2022-07-04 - 9:54 a.m.

I just read an entry from 3-14-2018


I recently enjoyed finding and listening to the fun CD my then high school senior created with her class mate after the trip I chaparoned to Nashville TN where they studied songwriting.

Here is the guy these students had the pleasure of studying with!

I just wanted to write of this one kid of mine who this Fall embarks on her teaching career.

In a few weeks I go with her to move her into her first apartment. She has been working at a science musuem and took a short term rental of a room found on AirBNB and its been a great summer experience for her. She wanted to stay in the area she will be working in rather than move back home at all after college. I TOTALLY GET THAT!! I am so proud of her! I have to call her as she was also applying for a 2nd job to increase her summer income- so applied as a pizza delievery person. She said she ordered pizza with friends and the "We're Hiring $18 an hr" on the box caught her eye!

I also need to ask the basement dweller how his interview went for a tutoring job. The one who is about to be a teacher had worked as a tutor all through college for an on line tutoring company. Sure it paid crappy for tutoring and one can get much more privately- but only if have a reputation to find personal clients so she wisely took what she could get and it worked great for her! Heck as a college student $12 or $15 per hour ( I forget what it was) is better than fast food wages or campus work wages so she did darn well.

Reading that old post from 2018 and am SO PROUD Of her! It was spot on. She managed to not be financially dependant on her father. She did not put up with his toxicity BUT she set healthy boundaries and managed to maintain a relationship with him. At some point after he was being controlling about not wanting to follow through on his promise to her he got angry and told her to just move out and not come back. She packed her stuff and left.
She said "YOu can not just use that abusive tactic of losing your temper and saying things then later say you don't mean it. YOU CAN ACCEPT The consequences of your actions"
SHe was so strong
and smart

So she said "NO I am not going to see him. I am not going back there."
And she didn't for a while

BUT after some time, this year, she decided to go visit him.
In other words-
She forgave him. And he is in her life on HER TERMS now

Meaning With respect.
and only with respect.


She freed herself of his abuse.
As I did.

As the younger kid who he dropped from insurance also did. They too are happy to not be fiscally reliant on one whose love has strings attached.
Rather one who doesn't really know how to love.
But can only love if the person is doing WHAT THEY WANT all the time.

There is a difference between narcissistic love and TOUGH LOVE Of parenting. My kids are not seeing the tough love of parenting but rather manipulation which is very different.
Tough love of parenting is when parents set boundaries of healthy behavior kids need to thrive. Things like
NO DRUGS or ALCOHOL usage in my home....fine... that is tough love
Not enabling substance use if kids have issues....
Not enabling NOT WORKING When ADULT CHILDREN are capable.

So CHARGING RENT for your ADULT children- that is tough love
KICKING OUT ADULT CHILDREN Who are not being responsibile and not contributing- HECK THAT IS TOUGH LOVE
KUDOS to parents who are not enmeshed enablers!! But there are AGES where that makes sense. When kids JUST Graduate high school that makes zero sense.

HELL circumstances are different but some have said as teens once they started working their parents took a cut! That is tough love IF it was for teaching budgeting skills and training AND if the money then went to the kids well being! ( Some parents did that and saved every penny then were able turn over to the kid a down payment to the kids shock when they WANTED To break out on their own)
THAT ALL is tough love.

Tough love is NOT refusal to suppor your kid because they are not following your path exactly
or they are not who YOU as a parent want them to be.

Threatening to not pay for college if you kid goes on a senior trip with their other parent to learn to write songs in Nashville is NOT TOUGH LOVE.

It is being an asshole
and a narcissist
and controlling and emotionally abusive and manipulative.
I am proud my kid that went to Nashville on that trip planned with her student advisor and other parents and I did not succumb to the manipulative abusive behaviors of her father but it was AWFUL To watch her navigate that!!! He was giving her the abuse. Not me. It was AWFUL To see that pressure he was putting on a high school student.

DROPPING your kid from your health insurance becuase they are trans is not tough love. Its abandonment and self centered narcissism.

Kicking a kid out because they are trans is not love ( I fear one of my friends actually did that to their kid! Acquaintence so not that close and have not talked to her in a while but hearbreaking to see that her child was doing a go fund me for medical needs and said was homeless as family kicked him out. I mean WTF??? That homeless teen hustled and just finished his Masters now a few years later but really... WTF?? HE is this awesome young man now and is working in a full time job and rocking it . Was it really WORTH IT to his mother to be so true to her Catholicism that she now has no relatonship with this child of hers? I JUST DON'T GET IT)

With the youngest he apparently made it clear he would only offer support if the kid goes to college. He basically has said if you don't go to college I am not going to support you.
BUT she negotiated with him to learn to understand she has no intention of NOT going to college; but just needed a gap year.

He is telling her it is not healthy to live with me- that he thinks NOT HEALTHY To live with your parents.

Sure is right if you have abusive parents !

What struck me is that my youngest is 17. I think I forgot her age myself! I forget she, like all my kids, was a YOUNG student with a very early fall birthday.

Some parents held their kids back to be more mature before entering PreK.

You know no one ever suggested that when my youngest was having meltdowns and separation anxiety and crying and screaming to be dropped off at school in kindergarden. When they said she might have done better had she been to Pre K and were shocked when I said " I did bring her to Pre K." ( But it was only a couple days a week every other week. She did well in that program!)

But never once when she had issues in kindergarden did it ever occur to either of us to just give her another year of pre k and wait to start school. I wish I thought of that now. It would have just made sense actually!
In any case... kids all grow in their own time.

She does have a plan. She always has. She just did not want to share it with her parents and wants neither of us helping her out in executing it. She likely had not felt trusted and supported enough by EITHER Of us frankly.

I know my ADHD has affected my parenting. Some of my kids are gracious about that. My oldest are nothing but apprechiative ALL THREE Of the oldest of all the love and support and the fact I have always done my best.

I would fight for any of these kids to do the things that are important to each of them.
The oldest seem to KNOW THAT.

I feel like the younger three just don't seem to KNOW THAT as much.

Now actually I think the trans kid who I supported in the fight to stay in school knows that. I think they HAVE to know that... I mean.... they have nothing but support EVEN if it is a detriment to my career. I see each setback EVEN IF DUE TO TRANSPHOBIA as not a big issue in the end.
It just means I was not meant to be in a space for longer than it would serve me/ serve us as a family.
EVERY time a possible job loss is due to either me pushing for quality/complaince/ or integrety OR ME making someone uncomfortable simply due to WHO MY FAMILY IS
which is part of WHO I AM
My family is my world

So as I think about the youngest I look at the oldest of these four kids with my 2nd narcissistic and yes emotionally abusive now ex husband

and know she likely has the pressure of him threatening to drop support
if she doesn't do what he wants her to do

just like the others had the same emotionally abusive manipulation

BUT I think she moreso than the others knows he actually knows no other way to love
and he THINKS it is tough love

so she is more inclined to forgive his failings.

But I also think at some level she hasn't really figured out where she wanted to go to college and at some point she might have realized the first plan she was talking about persuing was not her own. It was her fathers' .

My speculation is that she did not follow through and wants another year as the path she was working toward was the one he laid out for her.
That is not to say it was a BAD idea if she followed it! Certainly not!
But this is to say rather that I think she realized in her depression that she was just being LED by him. She would not even engage in conversations with me to help her figure out what she wants to do as her next step. So I could not offer her any insights, suggestions, ideas to explore much. I did so anyway... some local resources of classes to consider taking if she is here at home over this next year. She did agree to go visit one teacher to see what he offers at his studio. I realize she has been in atrophy- just a mode of not acting at all, due to depression and as he is a pushy person he pushes through her resitance and tells her what to do and she does it. That may not be a BAD thing if she needs the help!
I have been trying to figure out how to help her have more agency and more motivation and more self direction! THAT is a hard thing to teach, or nurture when one is depressed and not really seeing any future in the moment.

So I think for the youngest she was WISE to not finish that college application if she realized it is NOT HER VISION.
She was WISE to use her own agency in the boldest move she had energy for.

Now that I think of it , that was a VERY BRAVE thing for a kid to do if you have a parent threatening to drop your support unless you are going to college.

YES a very brave thing

She was standing up for herself in not being manupulated to apply to a college just to appease an overbearing controlling parent.

Parents forcing their kids to do things that the parents want for their kid for their life path-
I mean whether it college , a particular degree, or the family business

IT is often the way that parent thinks is the BEST way for them to set up their kid for success,
It is often motivated by the parent WANTING what is best for the kid- and the thinking they the parent knows best.

It just really self serving often but also the parent is not always knowing how to do different.
I think of a movie that was one of my Ex husband's favorite. Dead Poets Society.

YES my abusive, narcissistic ex husband LOVED that film.
Because he got it. He doesn't WANT to be that parent that leads his kid to suicide.
And that Dad in the movie didn't want to be either.

Those parents who are overly controlling who don't allow their kids to grow into individual people without trying to mold them like a doll in their own image-

I mean it is not actually tough love and is narcissistic abusive parenting but I STILL BELIEVE that even a narcissist CAN actually love but just is so insecure at core and so self fragile that the overly concerned focus on self inhibits ability to love in a healthy way.
But it doesn;t mean they dont love at all,

It just might be shitty and toxic and not good for others to be around

but they still do love

and want to
even though they suck at it.

SO ONCE a person is healthy
IF the toxic person can learn to respect boundaries IF they value the relationship enough

and if they don't have skills one can walk away but carve out attempts to maintain some relatinsion that works if the narcissit will allow such. Can try

And I think some can navigate that. And as for having a narcissist parent its kind of very sadly up to the kids who grow into adults and forgive enough and are strong enough to navigate that.
THAT is a great act of love on their part.
Which is needed if there is to be a realtionship.

As I write now and think of all my kids; I know they are ALL doing well and are ALL going to be alright!


The youngest two BOTH navigated this gap year they BOTH NEED and navigated the space they each need away from their controlling father so they can have agency to grow into who they are each meant to be,

It is SO critical this next step is solely informed by eahc of THEM being the ones decising on what they see their calling in life ( at this point) to be.
What each of them finds passion and purpose and joy in IS important!

Some are in familiy where they have actual responsbility to others and others who are dependant on them to carry on the family business for example. HEck some kids end up being caretakers for sick parents! (It happens!) Heck the popular movie In the Heights is remarkable example of the pressures of aspiring to go off and do something different than being rooted and stuck in the family busienss our of obligation.
YES some have those considerations. My kids don't! So I think it good for the youngest to take this time to figure our essential who they see themselves as being in this world.

Everyone need a sense of self.
That is so critical!

I am happy the youngest's plan includes working at the Assisted Living place I am working at. She apparently just wanted to rest a few weeks but was happy I completed the referral for her. She didn't yet fill out the application but I am sure reardless they will call her soon. She is still sleeping! (House is quiet) but I today I will check with her she has the appropriate attire to start working there. I told her she can't wear shorts! She honeslty needs some guidance on this! She seemed to not know how you dress for a job. She went to the library to volunteer VERY casual which I think was not awful for that role... but not the best choice. I let her be and made no comments but did tell her that she can't dress in such a casual manner for a job.

I have both a JC Penny Credit card and a Kohls card so time to take her shopping so she has an appropiate wardrobe for a job. It dawned on me just as dropping of her and her sibling who wanted to join her to set up an activity at the library that she really has no idea how to dress for a job! I have observed this issue in recent years before. I guess schools don't really teach kids about what is professional dress for work like they used to! Certain things are just a good practical thing to learn. BASICS like wear a clean shirt without any patterns or logos, not sloppy and wrinkled, and clean pants also not sloppy and wrikled! USE AN IORN ! It take about 10 to 15 minutes and so worth it.
I recall a young gal once showed up in a professional job in a wrinkled shirt and I couldn't believe it!
I mean game over....

it was a temp job.
Had she known that just leaves a poor impression she likely would have iorned that shirt or at least hung it in the shower to get steamed so wrinkles fall out before showing up in it.
She had to just be clueless what my thought!!
I feel like my youngest is completely oblivious as well so I need to give some guidance. I mean she was in BAND so she will GET IT... heck she got their paper plate student awared for "Most prepared" and YES That was in sincerity and not sarcastic as shw WAS most prepared. But I think she just did not think about attire for the internship at the library as she doesn't KNOW that you are expected to dress a bit nicer than you do to go hang at school when go to work.
The house is quiet still. I hope she is awake as I seriously think she needs to go shopping and I really just thought of this or would have done it already this weekend!! Despite finances being tight that is the one reason I keep retail credit cards- so if the kids need clothing for anything I can always get those needs met.
Thrift store even better at times so we can check there as well. But when cash flow a problem, knowing I will increase my income again soon enough, once in a blue moon the credit card for clothing not a bad idea as honestly half of success in job hunting is looking the part!! The first impression is made in 30 seconds ! BOOM If you do not look put togther and prepared in the first 30 sec; and there is ANY Competition for a job; you just blew it, or at least are starting the competition for the job at a disadvantage! Skills and who is most capable are often not the actual deciding factors in who gets hired once get past basic meeting critera enough to land an interview.

So I need to help my kids who are recently graduated be dressed for success as they do look for jobs!

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