Should I Force My Older Teen to Eat Dinner With the Family?

I was quite upset last evening, as in sad, angry, frustrated, and confused, when my sixteen year old daughter called an hour before dinner and said she wanted to go out to dinner with friends. I said no and when she started complaining , I responded with a martyr’s response of “Do what you want.” So, she did, and I fumed the rest of the night. 

When she came home and I tried to talk to her, she was cold and distant and that made me even more irritated with her.  I told my husband and younger child in a impulsive, angry comment that she was being a bitch, and this really upset my other child, understandably so. I immediately regretted saying it and felt horrible for hurting my younger one. I apologized profusely and, of course, started in with the self-hate inside my own mind. 

My husband asked if he thought it was the topamax cessation that was effecting my temper since I had this type of reaction when I started it way back when. I don’t think it is that. 

I think I’m just missing my daughter, who is hardly ever home now that she is driving. I think I have a hard time with last minute changes.  I think I am frustrated when I have food cooked for her that goes to waste because she doesn’t come home to eat it. I think I am trying desperately to keep as much family time intact as I can, and eating dinner as a family is something that has always contributed to that. 

So now I am struggling with the idea of requiring that she be home for dinner with us five nights a week or letting it go on as is and learning to accept it as part of her growing up. 

Last year she was at a different school with no friends and in the midst of a severe depression. Now, she has friends to spend time with and life is going really well for her. I have to take that into consideration, too, and not keep her from too many social opportunities.

Is there anyone out there with older children that have experienced this whole letting go- holding on struggle?  Am I being selfish in wanting her to be home for dinners or is it in the best interest of the family as a whole?  Is it unreasonable to make her eat with us?

Another Out of Town Trip

These trips kill me. I’ve been super busy catching up on projects I have to do when I get back from the trip that when I am finally done, it’s like a big let down and I crash. Now what?  I am left feeling exhausted, unmotivated, migrained, and depressed.  I’ve been so keyed up for the last week with busyness that I can’t seem to settle myself down into a restful state. 

I feel extremely anxious and uneasy. It doesn’t help that I had to take two migraine pills today to get rid of my migraine. The side effects are horrible (fatigue, muscle aches, depression, lack of motivation, grogginess.)

I feel overwhelmed by everything today; unable to breathe right even. The medicine is probably mostly to blame for all of this. I am looking forward to tomorrow. To a fresh start.

Luckily, husband is picking up my slack on carpool tonight, we scratched cooking dinner and are opting for take out instead, and I’m just going to hang in there and do the best I can. 

Teenager Woes

Mood did get better after PMS passed. It seems this keto diet has enabled me to be better in tuned with what is going on with my body and emotions. I suppose because it is not all mucked up with sugar highs and lows. I like it a lot – to have a more cut and dry picture of what is happening inside of me. 

This week my daughter had a fight with her best friend.  When my daughter apologized, her friend said she still didn’t want to be friends anymore. I lost it. Not in front of my daughter but alone and then later in front of my husband and other daughter. It was like going through PTSD symptoms from last year when this happened with her other friends. I didn’t know how she was handling it because I only recieved a brief text about it while she was at school, but I was assuming the worst, which was my biggest mistake- assuming.

Turns out it didn’t devastate her as much as it did last year. In fact, I was taking it much harder than she. It bothered me so much that this girl wouldn’t work it out with her. They are very close friends, our families are friends and we see each other all of the time. I was full of anger, frustration and sadness all week, losing sleep and tears and temper, unbeknownst to my daughter, however.

I was also so angry because this friend was my daughter’s ride to school and now I had to rearrange my whole morning with my other kids to take her. It’s a huge inconvenience for both me and my other child who now has to sit at school 45 minutes before the bell rings.

Finally, last night, her friend made ammends for her part in the fued and they made up. I feel so relieved this morning. Less angry and stressed. Still sad because I know things are going to probably be different between them from now on since they’ve decided to spend less time together. 

She’s still not taking my daughter to school, which I think is incredibly selfish but what can I do.  I’m trying not to let it bother me but it’s hard. I keep reminding myself that it’s best for them to be apart and it’s selfish for me to want it the other way. It’s not about me. 

Stress: Diet, Daughter, and Me

I’ve been on this Low Carb High Fat diet for a week now, and I was wrong about it being hard due to the fact that I am, or was, addicted to sugar. I have been functioning fine without it. My mood hasn’t even been affected by it. In fact, I don’t feel hungry hardly at all. I’m really quite surprised. My husband is doing it with me so that helps out a lot. I’ve already lost 4-5 pounds which is mostly water weight but still fun to see.

Anxiety is high today, coming off a busy weekend of sports tournaments and chores and a video project yesterday and all day today. I seem to be stressed or full of tension every Monday from the weekend. Sucks. 

Daughter’s fair, but too busy helping out with boys vball after school while doing her own. Wears her down, but she enjoys it. I’m trying to help her find balance. She is resistant to my suggestions. No big surprise there.  

I’ve decided to not coddle her as much, and instead treat her more like a teenager without a fragile mental illness. I think I’ve been too afraid to set as many boundaries as I’ve wanted to for fear of stressing her out too much. But, it seems like when I do, it always goes better than I anticipated. 

I’m tired and I can’t turn my brain down. Thoughts are swirling like a tornado. I will try some guided meditation and hopefully fall asleep for a nap.

She Did Better Today

Because we compromised. She took a psuedo anti-anxiety pill (an antihistamine prescribed for her anxiety) which enabled her to sit with our company most of the morning. Then I allowed her to go out with friends for a few hours.

I also caught myself babying her like I normally do when she is anxious or depressed, and the last time she had a depressive episode she told us she hated it. She said it made her not want to tell us what is going on because then we treat her different and she can’t stand it. 

Thank God I realized it because I don’t think she was going to say anything to me. She was just getting more and more agitated and I couldn’t understand why until I remembered. 

I said, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I’m treating you like baby. I forgot. I’ll stop.”

I saw instant relief come across her face. I’ll have to tell her to just say something to me next time. Those motherly, nurturing instincts are hard to fight. They just kick in automatically before I realize what I am doing. (Sigh).  

I think a lot of it has to do with my tone of voice.  I’ll talk to her like she’s fragile and has special privileges. I think it makes her feel uncomfortable because she has low self esteem and probably thinks she doesn’t deserve it.

Or maybe she doesn’t like it because she is strong willed and doesn’t like to feel weak, and me talking sickeningly gentle to her makes her feel that way. 

Or maybe she just wants to be treated the same so as to continue to feel as normal as possible when her mental health is anything but.

I know one thing and that is it is counterproductive for me to sit here and assume possible motives for why she doesn’t want me to treat her different when she’s depressed or anxious, so I guess I’ll stop trying to figure it out.

Anyway, she did say at one point that she doesn’t like it because it makes her feel like a baby. I suppose that reason makes sense enough.

Yet, all I want to do is give her a big ol’ hug, tear up and say, “But you are my baby!”

Medication Increase Helping and Daughter Update

I think the increase from 30-40mg of Viibryd two weeks ago is helping me cope better with stress. I seem to still feel the stress and the anger and sadness but I don’t feel the need to act on it in negative ways anymore.

I am able to handle it calmly and with purpose and deliberate actions, like setting boundaries and practicing breathing meditation or simply not engaging.  I have not been perfect by any means. Passive aggressiveness has occurred. Some crying over little things. But, overall some good changes. 

My daughter’s depression has let up these last few weeks. We think because the weather has gotten warmer. She really is affected by it. Four weeks of depression from cold dreary winter days.  And now two weeks of mild weather and all better. Amazing!

We have a house full of overnight guests and she is not doing well. Her anxiety is high and it is hard for me to handle, because my own is elevated.

So, dealing with her tears and her wanting to leave the house, which I won’t let her do because I think it’s rude to go out with friends when we have company, while dealing with all the stimuli of the company myself, is pushing me to my limits.

I’m not taking it out on her by using everything I’ve got in me. I didn’t take an anti-anxiety pill tonight. I definitely will tomorrow. I know it will help.  I wish she could take one, too, but they don’t prescribe them for kids. 

Daughter Depression 

It keeps getting worse. It’s getting to the point like it was last year where the irritability and agitation are so bad that we are starting to fight because she is being disrespectful and rude.

I understand it is her depression talking, but she still needs to be held accountable for her actions. She can’t treat us all like shit in the meantime.

I’m constantly being pulled in two directions of compassion and frustration. Leniency and discipline. Anger and empathy. It is all driving me insane. My anxiety is through the roof.  My instincts are non-existent. I don’t know what to do, how to respond, or deal with this half of the time.

I’m scared of how bad it may get. I always have the fear of her hurting herself. I am in anguish watching her suffer and not being able to make her feel better.

It is going on 3 weeks now and this past week has gotten worse. We see the doctor soon. At least she still wants to socialize with friends. I think that is a good sign.