My stepdaughter Tracy needs guidance. She is a lovely girl, a senior in college, and a bit of a late bloomer emotionally at 23.
For her senior year she has chosen to room with two members of the football team, both about twenty years old, and one of them connected through family friends growing up. The young men are both VERY serious about their education and their studies.
Last night Tracy cooked a huge dinner and wanted everyone to join in a household movie night. The roommate she knows best declined politely, and my SD proceeded post multiple tweets to the world about how hurt she was. The “decliner” posted back that it wasn’t a big deal, he just doesn’t “mess with” roommates.
Later in the evening she tweeted provocative song lyrics about “wanting to know what you like so I can do it all night.” To all of her 1500 closest friends and roommates…
Her mother is way too self absorbed to notice or intervene, and her father will go ballistic if he knows she’s making drama to call attention to herself and writing sexually provocative posts in the late night hours while living with these guys.
I invested two years in building a relationship with her, and don’t want to risk crash and burn with unwanted advice. Love her to pieces, but think baiting healthy young athletes under pressure is a risky past time physically and emotionally.
Please let me know if I’m over-thinking this. I never had my own kids and don’t know when it’s appropriate to get the hell out of her life. She talks to me a lot but usually AFTER an affair of the heart burns her current semester GPA and happiness to ashes.
This would be her third romantic roommate drama, and we’re hoping she actually makes it through her 2nd senior year with a diploma.
“Not the Baby-Mama, but Still Love the Girl”
Shit, I wish I had that many followers on Twitter.
Twacy’s Tweeting is Twouble
Tracy is tweading in some very dangerous waters, but not for the reasons you may think.
I will not leap to any conclusions about these male athletes and your stepdaughter’s safety because their behavior thus far has been honorable.
People don’t change their general nature simply because they are seeing provocative tweets. Replace the “e’s” in that word with an “a” and there may be a different story, but I’m not worried about these boys sexually assaulting her.
The Internet Never Forgets
My big concern for Tracy is her public display of neediness and horniness, how that is affecting her reputation now, and how it will impact her future. This is self-sabotague of epic proportions and you cannot simply let this slide by without taking action.
I’ll admit we all over-share on social media these days, but what you described is less “TMI” (too much information) and more “CFH” (cry for help). I’d be surprised if people were not gossiping about her bizarre activities on Twitter.
That’s the bad news.
Here’s the worse news:
Assuming Tracy steps away from her phone and her sad attempts at a sex life long enough to pass her classes this year and graduate, she will soon enter the job market. It is standard operating procedure these days to do a search of an applicant’s online activities.
This is why I am unemployable except as a writer. Don’t think I didn’t plan it that way.
If she is blasting this shit on Twitter, I cannot imagine what her Facebook and Instagram pages look like. She is all but ensuring her unemployability after graduation.
It’s Not Your Call
While it is wonderful you have a great relationship with Tracy, you are not in a position to decide what her father should and should not know.
I understand your reluctance to share Tracy’s activities with your husband. This news will be very upsetting, frightening, and maybe a little humiliating to him. However, he is her father.
He must be told.
Your obligation to disclose this disturbing behavior does not extend to Tracy’s mother (that’s a decision for your husband) but you have an absolute duty to let Tracy’s dad know what his troubled daughter is up to. And make no mistake about it: she is troubled.
Here’s Your Script (send me five dollars, please):
Honey, I’m worried about Tracy. I need to share some information with you that will be hard to hear but I think you must. Here, have a martini.
Have another. Have I told you lately how handsome you are?
(You open laptop)
Here are some tweets she recently published. Not only can her 1500 followers see this, but so can anyone who looks up her profile.
Stop crying, honey.
Here, have another martini.
She has become romantically involved with roommates in the past and we know how that ended up. I am very concerned about that pattern, along with the implications of posting things such as you see here on the Internet. What happens when she tries to get a job next year? What must her friends be thinking?
Honey, you spilled your martini. Here’s another one.
Robin DesCamp, blogger extraordinaire, told me to tell you to speak with your daughter but to do so from a place of kindness, love, and compassion. Please do not yell at her or come at her from a judgemental angle.
Instead, have a conversation about the permanency of the Internet and her bad habit of hooking up with roommates. Ask her if she is OK. Offer her your help.
Honey, your olive is stuck in your nose. And when did you start smoking?
Here’s a fresh martini. Stop crying.
Robin also suggested Tracy should get some counseling because she is acting out in a way that suggests she has some self-esteem and boundary issues.
Robin thinks we need to get tough with her and insist she move into an apartment on her own for this year. We should also make it clear this is the last year of college we will be assisting her with and that no money will be coming her way until she moves into her own place. Robin even suggested we insist upon a certain GPA or we pull the money plug.
Honey? Are you awake?
Please let me know how things go. I feel for Tracy. I relate to her. I was her.
She needs to be needed.
She wants to be wanted.
She is yearning for love and attention but her approach will destroy her. If you love the girl, you will get involved.
Please share! Sharing is caring and caring is loving and loving is kindness and the world needs more of that, don’t you think?