I am so effing angry at my daughter!
Why? Well, I think she’s boldface lying to me.
And because I bought it.
Maybe I’m more angry with myself here – for wanting to believe her – for wanting to love her and feel close to her no matter what. Even when the evidence suggests otherwise.
Let me back up a bit. My daughter had a party last Saturday night to celebrate her 17th birthday, and there’s evidence that she and her friends were drinking – in our house, right under our noses. There was a screw top to a “Barefoot” brand wine bottle that we found when cleaning up, and our wine bottle opener was missing. I asked her if she knew where it was, and of course she said no. But then it turned up the next day – in the kitchen drawer that my husband and I checked repeatedly, because he wanted to enjoy a glass of wine that night.
It’s funny – the more I observe myself, the more I notice. When my husband was frustrated that he couldn’t find his wine bottle opener, I was annoyed. He often misplaces and loses things and gets very frustrated, and it’s exasperating to me that he’s so challenged in keeping track of his stuff. But I also noticed that I wanted to protect our daughter from his frustration, since I immediately suspected that she (or one of her friends) had taken it.
As I said, she denied it, and then the missing opener turned up right where she suggested we should look.
When we talked to her about it last night, she got all defensive and offended that we were “accusing” her of oh so many things!
And I think it’s all a freakin’ act.
My daughter does this – puts on the halo, so to speak, and acts all innocent when we are trying to hash out the truth. I hate it, and yet I desperately want to believe it. I want to believe that she’s not engaging in high-risk behaviors. I want to believe that she’s making smart and safe decisions for herself. I want to believe that she’ll be safe and not risk drunkenness, date rape, STDs, pregnancy, or arrest – as she has in the not-too-distant past.
The truth is, I’m scared for my daughter. I’m terrified that she won’t make it to adulthood, in one whole, healthy piece. I’ve heard too many stories of teens and young adults who make decisions that follow them for life, along with too many regrets.
I want her to be safe and happy and yet I know, as I write this, she already is – safe enough and finally happy with her life. She’d hate me for locking her down and curbing her freedom. She hates my suspicion and fear. She wants to look into my eyes and see that I love her – no matter what.
I guess I need to trust in the process of her life’s unfoldment and notice when I’m caught in my old stuff, as I am right now.
Because I am well aware that have my own regrets from my own experimentation in my young adult years. I wish I hadn’t wasted time drinking, in particular, and chasing guys and doing risky, stupid stuff that I still regret. I know it was part of my own growing up experience, but I wish it could’ve gone differently for me. And so I want better for her. I want her to have a better, more satisfying life than what I created for myself.
I know I need to let her find her own way. She needs to live her own life, and I need to let her. I know I need to do this regardless of my jumble of feelings towards her, which I will continue to work through today – and whenever they come up – because that’s my own commitment to myself.