Friday, July 11, 2008
Daughter is a 21 year old woman who was repeatedly molested before she turned 3. She wants a boyfriend. She is also afraid of getting close to any man, and doesn’t have very good taste in men. She came home the other day to announce she has a new boyfriend, D. He is in his 30’s, and she met him at the workshop. He lives in supported living with two other men, and has a car. Other than that, I don’t know much about him.
I do know, though, about her history with boyfriends. Her prom date has been labeled a sex offender and sentenced to prison. He’ll have to register for the next 25 years. (I blame the system, at least in part, for his troubles. He is developmentally handicapped, and when he graduated from high school the system set him up with an apartment and a job at McDonald’s and expected him to make it on his own with no supervision.)
There was the Iraq vet who wanted her to go spend the night with him the first day they talked. I said no. He was spending a lot of time at the VA for PTSD, and when he came to visit daughter, he was accompanied by his brother, who was looking after him.
There was T, whom she has “gone with” numerous times. I think the longest it lasted was 2 weeks. Before Valentine’s Day, I was threatening to put a sign around Daughter’s neck warning men to stay away. Sure enough, on Valentine’s Day Daughter came home and announced she was giving T “one more chance.” That one lasted less than a week.
There was J, whose parents were going to charge Daughter with phone harassment, until I gave them the phone records showing he was making most of the calls.
So, now there is D. I let them go to a movie with friends a couple of weeks ago, but they were “just friends” then.
Daughter came home tonight and said she wants to go to the concert in town tomorrow night with D and some other friends. She said D was willing to come pick her up and bring her home afternoon. I told her that I would take her, and would stay for the concert myself. This is part of a summer music series that takes place at a park in town. I assured her I wouldn’t sit by her. Predictably, she doesn’t want me there at all. With the price of gas, I don’t think D can afford driving almost 50 miles to transport Daughter. He drives a van, so he can’t be getting great mileage, and based on what Daughter earns at the workshop, he can’t have much money. I also want to provide Daughter with a safety net should she feel threatened or uncomfortable.
I doubt this romance will last very long, none of them have. Daughter is afraid of getting close to any man, as much as she longs to be part of a couple. Her therapist and I have worked with her on the differences between what happened to her as a baby and the skills she has to keep herself safe as an adult, but she still is overcome with fear and finds an excuse to break up when she gets too close. I feel sorry for D. He may be a very nice young man. At this point, though, I doubt he’ll be around long enough for me to get to know him. While I’m grateful she hasn’t chosen the promiscuity route in dealing with her history, I do feel sorry for the young men who she rejects when her fear overpowers her.