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  1. Thank you for the guidance. I’m trying to view this as a new beginning, but it’s tough because I’m so worried that my daughter will not want a relationship with me moving forward. That sentence alone makes me realize exactly how much self-esteem work I have to do. Again, thanks!
  2. Hi, all. I’ve only posted here a couple of times in the past two years, but I found the responses to be so helpful that I thought I’d return and try again with a new issue. I’m 42 and I’ve dealt with depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety nearly my entire life. I'm really struggling with my 18-year-old daughter. First, a bit of background: I was a single mother from day one; my ex-husband left our home when she was only 8-months-old. He was physically and emotionally abusive, arrogant, and entitled. I “allowed” it because I didn’t think I deserved much more than that and I was so young that I didn’t know how to extricate myself from the situation. I had full custody from the start and he was permitted the standard every other weekend visits. He canceled about 40% of those visits over the entire span of my daughter's childhood. He has done his best to turn my daughter against me with lies for years and as she's grown older, she has gravitated toward him because he has never had any rules/chores for her. In other words, I've been the actual parent and he's been the buddy. You can guess whose opinion she respects more. She just wrapped up her first semester of community college and nearly failed one of her classes because she didn't do the work. It bears mentioning that I purposely worked at our local state university for the last 19 years so that she would get free tuition, but she didn’t earn good enough grades to be accepted and she just wasn’t ready in terms of her maturity for a four-year school. I stayed in an area I could barely afford solely so that she could attend good schools. She doesn't care about any of this (not that I necessarily expect her to, given her age and maturity level). About halfway through the fall semester, she pursued an unemployed, drug-using guy on Instagram and arranged a meet-up with him. She was very poorly influenced by him and eventually announced that she is not attending classes in the spring or summer of 2019 because she wants a "break" to hang out and skateboard with him as much as possible. She said she wanted to “feel the wind in her hair, create, draw, and get in touch with her inner self” until fall 2019. As for work, she would prefer not to do so at all, but I told her that she must work a minimum of 25 hours per week or pay rent if she wanted to live with me. She viewed that as unfair and cruel. I was trying to be gentle with her and ease her into adulthood, believing that if she moved to her father's where anything goes, her life would spiral out of control quickly. Basically, I was trying to help her avoid the pitfalls of my own past and position her for success, as I always have. I recognize the error in that thinking now. I determined a reasonable curfew for her in a three-way conversation with her father a few months ago, but he stopped enforcing it because he didn’t want to be the bad guy and he simply didn’t care. I told her that I recognized that she was (barely) 18, but if she expected to live at home rent-free, she would have to follow a few basic rules, help out around the house, and treat me and our home with basic respect. I told her that as long as she was in school, no rent would be expected because I wanted her to succeed. I also told her that she would gain more freedom and independence as she demonstrated more maturity and worked more. She resented and fought against every single bit of it. My daughter told me for about a year that she wanted to continue living with me, but not in a family sense. She wanted to use me as a home base (i.e. proximity to work and a few creature comforts that she doesn't have at her father's), but go to her father's house to stay out until all hours or, recently, overnight at her last boyfriend's house. When I lost my patience and got angry with her (admittedly, sometimes very angry), she took zero responsibility for what she was doing to contribute to the situation. She has decided that she is a vegan and expected me to buy her the pricey foods she wanted so she could blow her paychecks on junk week after week. She spent her entire bank account (about $1,000) on junk in October. Meanwhile, I’m eating a cup of homemade lentil soup and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch at work five days a week to save money. She broke her arm in September while skateboarding and refused to wear her sling during the treatment period. I occasionally attempted to engage her father in three-way text messages to get to a place of mutual understanding among all three of us, but he denigrated and cursed me while our daughter supported him. I'm getting ready to fulfill a 20-year dream and finally move from an apartment to my very first home. I'm not a woman of means, so this is something I never expected to actually happen. I was very resentful of the fact that she would be enjoying my home rent-free all day long while I'm at work for nine hours. Her choices over the past couple of months have gone from bad to worse. I found out a few weeks ago that she is spending time one-on-one with a 25-year-old man she met on Instagram (I hate that freaking app, haha). He makes the first boyfriend look like a Boy Scout. She insisted at the time that they weren’t “dating,” but they are now. Last weekend, she went to her father’s and had this man pick her up. They were out until around 2 a.m. The following night, he picked her up and took her to a skatepark he’s building in the woods 90 minutes from home and then to a house party where she was the youngest person by between seven and 10 years. She was one of the only girls and everyone was drinking. She didn’t get back to her father’s until nearly 3 a.m. I know what some people think: She's 18 and shouldn't have a curfew. However, she was living in my house and I’m not comfortable with her being out all night yet, nor do I think she's anywhere near responsible enough to make halfway decent decisions. Her conduct lately is proof of that. When I attempted to discuss these issues with her last weekend, she informed me that the conversation was over because it was unproductive. She was supposed to come home last Sunday night, but I told her I was still very upset and wanted her to delay her return to the following night so I could calm down and decide how to handle the situation. She and her father responded with extreme anger. When we talked the following day, she told me that she had decided to move in with her father, effective immediately. She had been using this as a hurtful threat for at least two years whenever I attempted to enforce rules or expressed anger at her disrespectful attitude. The moment has finally arrived: she’s leaving. I’m falling apart inside. It’s been all I can do to hold it together this week. Needless-to-say, the holiday season hasn’t made it any easier. She is my only child and I’m terribly sad, lonely, and dealing with incredible guilt that I don’t fully understand yet. I’ve started therapy again and intend to stick with it. I cannot believe how I allowed myself to be treated by her father, and eventually her, after nearly two decades of sacrifice and effort to raise the best person I could- by myself! I feel like a fool. My entire life was my daughter for 18 years. Our contact now is pretty minimal. She’s on Instagram about 18 hours a day and I’ve contacted her there just to say hi, but her responses are minimal and she doesn’t reach out to me first. I feel like I’m losing my daughter for good and there’s nothing I can do about it. I have no clue how to handle this. If you’ve made it to the end of this diatribe, I thank you. I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. I’d be so appreciative of some advice for how to deal with this emotionally. I should mention that I have a serious weight issue that I started seriously working on at the beginning of December. That ties into my low self-esteem, but that’s a post for another day. Thanks in advance for any guidance!
  3. @GSpolar Your reply is awesome. Thanks so much for the support. I try to be an a**-kicker every day, but some days are harder than others. Once upon a time, I lost 127 pounds in nine months, but food addiction is a harsh master, to say the least.
  4. @long journey I have more than a touch of OCD, so the list-making is very attractive to me. It might help me to stay on track, myself. I tend to descend into chaos when there are too many things to do and too many people to please.
  5. @SeekingSolaceInTheStorm I love that you realize that "faking it until you make it" is often the best way to distract yourself from negative self-talk. I've been sliding into these behaviors for a couple of months now and I have to fight back against the urge to give in. I've resolved to take a shower each and every day for the next week, regardless of whether or not I want to, and see how I feel when the week is over. Thanks for the wise words.
  6. *** TRIGGER WARNING: binge eating, compulsive overeating *** Hi, I thought I'd throw myself into the mix here. I have major trouble with compulsive eating. It started when I was a very young child and my mother controlled my food intake very carefully. I had many siblings and my parents had a limited income, so food was treated like a commodity. We had an extra refrigerator in the basement. I can remember going down there and taking one piece of bread out of the middle of three or four loaves stored down there and eating them as fast as I could before someone caught me. I wasn't even hungry; I just needed something to devour. When I started Home Ec. in high school, I stuffed my pockets with sugar packets to take home and eat in my bedroom at night while I read by myself. When I got a little older and started working part-time at a deli, I spent a quarter of my paycheck on snacks to take home to eat by myself. Eating tons of food in secret in my childhood bedroom was beyond comforting. The home was chaotic. I knew I was loved, but discipline and obedience were taken very seriously and I had two troubled sisters who caused tremendous upheaval in our home. To this day, I react to stress by eating. I now have a desk job and sit most of the day. Candy and other snacks are like security blankets in my desk drawer that help me to withstand a day spent with people I really don't like. Even as I'm writing this, I realize how ridiculous it is. I hate what I've done to myself and I'm desperate to make some changes. I hope you're meeting your goals and thanks for reading.
  7. Hi, all. I was a member of this forum long ago and now I've returned to work on my depression and anxiety in hopes of improving my life and outlook. I am dangerously overweight and struggling to give a crap about it. I've cleaned up so many areas of my life. I quit smoking years ago, I stopped drinking almost one year ago after 17+ years of highly functional alcoholism (that did not negatively affect anyone but me), and I've raised my teen daughter by myself since she was eight-months-old. My weight is the last piece of the puzzle and it's proven to be the hardest one to conquer. I don't need cigarettes and booze, but food is a necessary part of life. I'm not carrying a few extra pounds. I'm overweight to the point where I'm starting to have trouble getting around and functioning in "normal" society (fitting in chairs with arms, climbing more than a few stairs, etc.). I'm so embarrassed to look like this, which intensifies my anxiety, which makes me reluctant to leave the house unless it's absolutely necessary. I know exactly why I overeat: loneliness and boredom. My daughter visits her father every other weekend, leaving me alone and wallowing in self-pity. I have no interest in joining a club or making new friends. I'm too introverted to want to do those things. I know that every time I overeat, I'm short-changing both myself and my daughter, but it's hard for me to care, especially given the fact that she is slowly but surely building a life of her own and will eventually fly away from home to begin that life. If I'm going to lose weight, I have to do it for myself, not her. Thanks for reading. I'm not sure if I'm just venting or honestly seeking constructive advice, but any and all responses are welcome.
  8. Believe it or not, this pure and simple advice spurred me to shower as soon as I arrived home from work just now. Thank you. I'll be posting more later, so please weigh in! You've had a positive impact on me so far. ? All I can do is keep trying (and try to avoid overthinking things).
  9. Hi, everyone. I've had depression for as long as I can remember, at least since the age of 10. As just about anyone with depression knows, personal hygiene tends to be one of the first things to fall by the wayside. My worst problem is showering and other basic hygiene tasks. It's as if I can't seem to will myself to set aside the time to take the most basic steps to enter the shower, turn on the water, and perform the act of washing my body. I am a very large woman (another major issue in itself), so needless-to-say, not showering for days and days on end can lead to all sorts of unpleasantness that I'll leave to your imagination. I've always viewed my reluctance to shower as a mixture of laziness and reluctance to tire myself out by standing for so long. I have never had great grooming habits (I had lots of siblings, so my mother didn't "encourage" showering), so there's nothing to fall back on. I have no husband or boyfriend, so technically, I don't have to shower out of respect for anyone else. I was divorced about 15 years ago, which is really when my lack of personal hygiene and extreme overeating began in earnest. To be honest, between getting out of an abusive marriage, raising my baby daughter by myself, and trying to maintain my job and keep a roof over my head, I was under too much stress and simply didn't give a crap anymore. I'd like for this to be the year that I get myself together and end this ridiculous cycle of apathy and disrespect for myself. FYI: I already have nice towels, a clean bathroom, and pleasant-smelling bath products, so it's not a question of making the environment more welcoming. It's a question of making the decision to groom myself- or my inability to do so. Thanks for reading. Any advice or words of wisdom are more than welcome.
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