Would DD 17 open up to a counsellor perhaps?
I get the introvert mindset I am one myself and will talk when I am ready but your family has been put through the wringer.
Could you perhaps swing a weekend away together for the 3 of you to reconnect?
I hope things get better soon.
Best thing I gained in my divorce - my freedom.
DD17, same description as your 17 yr old and DD19 have really been going at it. Don't know if it all relates to what is happening with WH and I or not. I'm sure it is somehow connected or maybe there is something happening with the moon
"Calgon take me away...."
Your character is what you do when you think no one is watching.
Really I think this is the only way to help your younger child. My younger child is like this also, because they process the anger differently. Your younger D can't yell at her brother, she can't tell you how she feels because you are in such pain also, she doesn't want to add to your sadness and what you have on your plate. She is really sad and angry about it all, but can't say it so it seeps out in the one safe place -- her sister. She knows her sister will always love her so she lets her have it when her sister is getting too close to the truth.
I may be all wrong here, but this was the family dynamic when my older brother died - and I was only 2!!!!!!! For years I was like your daughter -- I never wanted to make my mom sad so all the emotions were trapped. It wasn't really until I had kids of my own that I could let go of what was my part in his death - nothing-- he died of encephalitis.
[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 10:21 AM, June 29th (Sunday)]
The younger one, I suspect, if you love her and leave her alone, she will come around. As long as she's not self-destructive. Introverts by nature are introspective. We usually figure things out correctly if were left alone and not pushed into a corner.
I'm sorry you're going through this. You don't need this right now. Take care of yourself.
I am an introvert like DD17, so I understand the need to be alone to process and reflect. That is what got me thru when I lost my first brother tragically when I was 20. I've tried explaining it to DD22, but she doesn't really get that when DD17 says she needs space, in DD22's mind that means 15 minutes. In DD17's language that means days or a week. And 17 is not self-destructive in any way. If she truly is like me, she just needs time to process and come to terms with everything.
Also, DD22 actually works as a counselor for foster and troubled kids. So she has a lot of patience and doesn't rise to 17's barbs or baiting. Thank goodness for that. I just need to get her to understand how introverts process things. What weighs on 22 is that DS told everyone he was "fine" too, and we know how tragically that ended.
On top of being an introvert, 17 is full of teen angst and the typical, "no one works as hard as me," "no one gets as tired as me and needs rest," "no one understands," etc. She "knows" everything and everyone else is stupid.
DD22 doesn't live here, which helps, but she wasn't here to witness the marital breakup and divorce process either. DD17 saw it all, which has only added to her emotional burden. I was explaining that to 22 last night so she understands what 17 has dealt with on top of losing their bro and uncle. I have also tried to get 17 to understand where 22 is coming from and that her actions are truly motivated by love and concern. I've got two polar opposite DDs that I am trying to get to see and understand the other's perspective so there is no feeling of malicious intent or misunderstanding. My referee whistle is getting worn down...
I just don't want to see their relationship damaged because of this. But I am ready for that cave living as well...
[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 2:42 PM, June 29th (Sunday)]
What weighs on 22 is that DS told everyone he was "fine" too, and we know how tragically that ended.
No one deserves a few weeks away more than you do.
My thoughts are you have a 17yr old TEEN -- they can define cranky can't they? who whas been through a horrific trauma -- she's bound to be internalizing some of the feelings. She may be the most mature 17 year old on the planet but she just doesn't have enough life under her belt yet to deal and process all this as well as she wants everyone to think.
She probably doesn't want to add to your burden so she's not talking. Has anyone said flat out "your brother said he was fine and he wasn't. just b/c you're fine doesn't mean you are. we are worried"
Dealing with teens is challenging enough. Add in such a huge loss, you've got a lot to navigate. Be kind to you so you can have the energy to keep up with this. Keep trying. Even if you don't think you're getting through, some of it probably does. Heaven forbid they admit it thought!
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler
Has anyone said flat out "your brother said he was fine and he wasn't. just b/c you're fine doesn't mean you are. we are worried"
Yep. We ordinarily have a very open relationship (as much as a parent can with a teen) and I have been blunt about my concerns. She then feels guilty about making me worry, and insists (as a true introvert) that she just needs to be left alone. I respect her introvert needs because I am the same way, but DD22 isn't completely buying it because of that very smoke screen their brother used.
I have even addressed her guilt about adding to my stress, and have explained repeatedly that talking to me doesn't create any additional burdens so there is nothing to feel guilty about. It is difficult to discern what is DS related vs what is typical teen attitude (she has plenty of that as well).
I would sign 17 up for therapy, with a grief counselor, and tell her she is going, she can choose to just sit there the entire time, but as a mom, I would make her do it. Introvert or not.
Secondly I would tell 22 to back the hell off. She needs a sister, not a counselor. Tell her she is to do fun things with her, and to not bring her work home. I'm sure she wants to save the world, we all did when we were 22, and most of us believed we could.
Neither one of these young women, have the life experience and skill set to deal with all of this without some support, and it shouldn't have to come from and dad, they are suffering right now as well.
I'm sure it's just a lot to deal with, and given the right support both will make it through and be stronger, smarter, and more amazing women because of it.
One more thing you can explain to DD22 is that her mother henning DD17 is making DD22 feel better but is in no way helping DD17 right now. And that to continue to do something just to make herself feel better would be selfish. Obviously, you should be nice about it because DD22 is doing what she thinks is best. And then suggest what she can do to help, like taking her sister shopping or to a movie or a hike or out to eat. Something that the 2 of them liked to do together before everyone's life blew up.
I think your DD17 just graduated HS, correct? She may be anxious about her future and worried if she is choosing the right path for the right reasons. If that is it, then she really does just need to time process her feelings.