How do I empty the nest?
September 10, 2012 5:42 AM Subscribe
I have seen some wonderful advice & help given over the years on the Green, so now I am asking for your input - about a nest that should be, but isn’t, empty.
posted by anonymous to human relations (62 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
In a nutshell: I have just invested 24 years to carefully raise my daughter, who is two years out of college now. Her father, a bright and funny / fearful and negative Irish chap, took off to the other side of the country when Daughter was 3 and has been sighted twice in 20 years.
Daughter has been nicely reared amidst hard working, well mannered, generous and loving extended family – the best people possible. I had a ton of help, right through to financial assistance getting her a college degree and the gift of a place to live while getting her through high school and college in one of America’s most expensive areas. (I work full time in public education technology; it does not pay.)
NOW TO THE PRESENT. She is living here with me, her 58 year old mother, in an 800-square foot condo in a down-at-heel seaside resort, with no plan to get a full time job (“not for me”), a diminishing roster of friends, no respect for my exhausting full-time job plus bartending for extra quid, or for the basic standards and practices of how people live together.
I come in at 6:30 each night to a sink full of dishes, crap and clothes everywhere, all the lights and televisions on, etc, etc. Dinner is somehow my responsibility. No amount of polite requests (or anger) on my part gets anything but the same response: some amount of shitty comment, brief sulky compliance and then .... noncompliance.
She seems scrappy and negative, enjoys arguing, and has alienated / eroded the interest of many of her friends and the people around us – including me, honestly. At my age and doing the work of three men at my job, I am just too burned out to prop this kid up anymore.
I have had a lot of wildly variable advice, from hard core, “throw the ungrateful wretch out,” to the wets, “she needs time, don’t guilt trip her, man.” Some have suggested psychiatry for her, others tell me it’s this generation and they don’t move out, or that she's just immature. One officious relative offered to come and do an intervention on my behalf - as I am known in the family for being passive and laid back. I dislike anger more than anything except bad manners.
If you can parse this little tale for something I might be doing wrong, or have done wrong in the past, please share? Or maybe you have a similar tale to tell?
When I was 24, I had my own apartment in Pacific Beach, was managing a restaurant, tripping in the desert or surfing on weekends, and had a boatload of funny friends. Ergo I cannot understand or relate to this-hiding from life in mommy's spare room-thing.
If you want to say something really sharp please e-mail me at email@example.com
And thank you for any input. Sorry it's so long....ugh.
Oh, PS, she now has no car as she left it (a gift from my brother) in a flood zone last rainy weekend - it is totaled.