Teenager has estranged herself from our family
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|Tue, 09-10-2013 - 11:06pm|
Thank you for reading. We have an unusual situation that has been very hard. I have joint custody of my two daughters. I am happily remarried and have one stepson, he is awesome. My oldest daughter "Jenny" recently estranged herself/separated herself from my family -- Jenny has moved in with her father (my ex husband) full time, after 12 years of splitting her time between me and her dad. She turned 18, and that day, she announced to me and her stepdad that it's so time consuming to be in (joint custody) that she wants to live with her dad full time, and, she said in a perky voice "and if I miss you guys, then, I'll come see you!" Her 13 year old younger sister misses her. We all miss her.
I understand that children sometimes move out when they turn 18. But she is still in 12th grade, and always had a close relationship with me, my husband (her stepdad) and her younger sister. To suddenly announce that she's moving out was very hurtful. Her grandpa said to me "boy, that was a slap in the face" ***Brief background. She has moved in with my ex husband (her Dad). He is a verbal abuser and very controlling. He does have good qualities (he is a hard worker) But my ex husband is also in a cult-like religion.
My own former brother in law emailed me last year and said that he and my ex "were raised in a cult-like church" My ex is so controlling, that he hasn't allowed Jenny (my 18 year old) to get a driver's license. He also told her in the past she could not shave her legs until she was 16 1/2 -- she was embarrased. Jenny wears long skirts and no make up...that is fine, but we believe her Dad (my ex) has pressured her to do so. My ex's new wife wears no make=up, wears long skirts, never wears shorts, and is very very religious. My daughter Jenny tries to please her Dad. She's told me that now that she lives at his house, it's "Great to be able to go to church service 3 times per week". I have seen her twice. Both times, she wanted to meet at a restaurant, and had her dad pick her up at the end. He missed work to pick her up, even though I could have driven her to his house. (We offered to teach her to drive when she was 16, she'd say she wanted Daddy to teach her. Now she has no license at age 18)
So in a nutshell, she's 90% cut herself off from me, my husband (her stepdad), her grandpa (my dad), her grandma (my mom) -- and everyone is saddened. Even on the night before her 18th birthday, she was loving towards us and we had no idea she'd move out. My parents and my husband say "she's been brainwashed by her dad" and "it's not healthy that he won't let her get a driver's license" and "he's scripted what she says to all of us". She loves her dad and is caught up in his religion and the 1950's type clothing she and her stepmom wear. I mean no disrespect about their religion...it's just that in the last few months, she'd read the bible about 5 nights per week after homework, and sometimes she'll pray over drinking a soda or a glass of milk...she doesn't just pray at mealtimes. If I'd buy her a Gatorade at a 7-11, she'd pray over it in the car before drinking it.
How would you handle the hurt if your loving child up and moved out, to move in with your controlling cult-like ex husband? When I say cult-like, even ex's own brother said that to me. My husband finally closed Jenny's bedroom door so we don't have to feel crushed when we pass her room.
Advice on the heartache? Incidentally, my 13 year old daugher is doing fine. I think she likes having the computer to herself, not having to wait to share a bathroom with her big sis, exc.