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#936031 02/16/07 10:20 PM
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Hi all,

I would appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on the following.

I have a step-daughter in her early 20s, still in school, definitely NOT living an independent life as an adult (we pay her school and give her money to live on, but beyond that, emotionally, she is not really fully an adult.)

H and I just found out the following:

(1) She is having a brown birthmark removed from her neck (I have always thought it was cute, but she says sometimes people think it is a hicky. It truly is not a disfiguring or distracting birthmark.)

(2) She initially lied to us about why she needed my SSN. (Health insurance is in my name. The doctor requires it even though the procedure will not be covered.)

(3) Her mother's boyfriend is paying for it. (He also bought her mother breasts a couple of years ago.)

(4) I am 99.999999% certain that she was offered this gift without having asked for it herself. That is, that it was her mother's and/or her mother's boyfriend's idea.

(5) No one involved is overflowing with cash. This is a significant sized gift in terms of expense.

(6) No one contacted us at any stage in the decision making.

(7) She is on antidepressants.

Thoughts anyone?


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Hi OT,

My only thought is why would she lie to you? Usually people lie because either they are embarassed at what they are doing or they know you wouldn't approve. I guess it WAS an avoidance issue since it sounds as if now she has told you the truth, but why? Something just isn't right here.

I guess you'll never really know unless you ask her.

Love,
Bethie

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Hi Bethie,

Yes, thanks, it is good to focus on that question. I guess I'm worried that she is doing it so as not to seem ungrateful and/or to make her mother or her mother's BF happy. Unless she suggested the gift herself (which I seriously doubt), offering a gift like that just is going to put pressure on her to have it done. She is definitely a people pleaser.


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I hear ya on that one. Maybe she's related to me. I am the original people pleaser!

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Or maybe the spot does bother her and having it removed is something she wants.

Girls that age really do want to look perfect.And having something on her that looks like a hicky would bother most girls her age.I have a 20 year old and her looks are very important to her.When I was her age I was very imbarressed about being short.I'm 4 foot 11.But from the way I puffed up and acted you wouldn't have known that I hated it.

And in the end having it removed won't make much of a difference.I would let it go.

Later Friend
Briget


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Yeah, OT, let it go.

If you REALLY think she doesn't want to do it but is just feeling pressured, you can say something like "I always thought it was cute - are you sure you want to remove it?". But I'm guessing that it really is something that bothers her. Who knows why she didn't want to tell you guys - maybe she was afraid you'd feel it was frivolous?

As for the money - who cares whether the people paying for it can afford it or not - that's their decision, not yours. And be careful, as a stepmom, not to overstep your boundaries with her. I had a stepdad as a teen - he was my mother's husband, NOT my dad, as far as I was concerned.

Especially since this is not a harmful thing - she'll probably not regret having a birthmark removed, it's not like she's getting a tattoo - I'd just stay out of it.

It's something I know I struggle a bit with, this generation's obsession with appearance. Coming from the hippie generation myself, we were the antithesis of this current body-modification craze. (Ha ha - my Mohawked daughter announced she was going to grow her armpit hair and dye it pink. I had to tell her that not shaving your armpits was an expression of feminism in my college days - and there's NOTHING SMELLIER!!!
Ellie

kml #936852 02/17/07 06:36 PM
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My 20 year old came home the day after her 18th birthday with a tatoo going from the length of her back.It covers half of her back.

I cried.I felt like it was grafetting my best work.

Later Friend
Briget


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Hi,

I definitely understand the "let it go" advice. And, I would never say anything myself -- that would be crossing a boundary for sure.

H and I were both pretty disturbed by the whole thing. The lying really sucks and makes us both think that she isn't comfortable having it done for some reason. And, it turns my stomach to think about her mother's boyfriend offering to get her plastic surgery. Talk about a way to take a kid down a notch. I wonder when he'll offer to throw in a little liposuction or breast enhancement with it.

Of course, we have no idea how things went on that end. If she brought it up, then fine, it is a generous (but still gross) gift. But, if it was their idea, I worry that it will make her feel bad and that she will also feel as though she "should" have it done for the wrong reasons.

But, let us say that it was their idea and she is doing it to make them happy, or to not appear ungrateful. Even in that case, that is still kind of between her and them. So, H and I are just kind of at a loss.

What is the best way to support her real wishes?


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P.S. Thanks for the input!


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