So, I haven't shared this yet in any meaningful way, but my daughter moved out the weekend she turned 18.
In with her dad, she's not on the street or anything. She moved out in a pretty shady way. She didn't say anything ahead of time. She invited people I loathe into my home to do the dirty work while my husband and I were out of town. She didn't leave a note.. just an empty room with empty hangers. She took everything of hers - in such a way that made it quite clear that it was planned for a while - like certain cups out of the kitchen cabinets... and she took some things of mine, as I keep discovering when I'm looking for a particular scarf. They even unscrewed fixtures from the walls. And items they weren't taking, they moved into other rooms to maximize the "shock and awe" effect when walking into an empty room. It was a clear communication that not only did she want more time with them, she wanted ZERO time with or connection to us.
The whole episode left me feeling quite invaded. The police were sympathetic and recommended changing the locks (which we did) and filing an eviction (which we did not).
After that we didn't speak for a month. Last night a couple of texts were exchanged that didn't go well.
So. Not only am I a sudden empty nester (which isn't that big of a deal, she was going to leave this year anyway for college), but I now fit into that odd category of people who can refer to someone as "my estranged (fill in the blank with relation).
So, for now I'm done with parenting. I imagine it will be several years, if ever, for her to come back. And why should she? It's not like the lack of me as mom means she has no mom. She chose her stepmom for that role at this time. Her kids will have grandparents - they just won't be me and my husband.
People keep warning me to keep open arms, an open heart, an open door. But there was a way that could have happened - and it would have been with honesty and transparency and an effort on her part to maintain a relationship. The way in which she chose, as a self-proclaimed "adult", to handle this was intentionally hurtful. Every contact I have had with her since was intentionally hurtful. The lack of contact is intentionally hurtful.
She's 18. I've done everything I could to raise her the best I was capable of, and now she gets to choose where she wants to be and who she wants to be. It may boggle my mind how small and cruel she is choosing to be, but these are her choices now. My job now is to set boundaries for how I will and will not allow myself to be treated. And if I wanted to be treated like shit I'd still be married to her dad.
Have you ever had to cut out someone from your life, for a brief period, long period, or permanently?