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Cover1W's picture

YSD17.5 DROVE herself to the library this past Saturday. All alone.

I was in the yard and could hardly believe my eyes, and had to shut myself up from giggling to myself in glee.

See, we had the housecleaners over on Saturday, and it's loud. You know, they are cleaning upstairs, I am doing laundry downstairs and am in and out with yardwork and stuff. No peace and quiet on a GORGEOUS sunny Saturday afternoon.

YSD was lurking about upstairs and asked me, "Where's daddy?"  and looking impatient. Me: "I think downstairs...?" Housecleaner comes into room (she's worked for us for years now, at least 4) and says, "Oh my gosh, this is the daughter!?" Yes, it is, DH's youngest. "Oh my goodness she has grown. How old?" 17. "She looks so young!  Maybe it's because she's so skinny!"  I about died. YSD looked like she just wanted to run. Because she is NOT good at social stuff - note she didn't say ONE word to housecleaner.

Anyway, I go out, YSD leaves (haltingly - obviously not driven a lot), I go in, "Did I see YSD just drive off alone?" DH: Yes. I'm going to ride my bike into town and meet her at the library in a while. I SEE. 

So what likely happened is DH running late, YSD getting annoyed, DH saying too bad - there's the keys. I am CERTAIN she didn't volunteer to drive.

I'll tell ya, that trampoline doesn't get used by the time bad weather arrives (she's not touched it since early spring), it's buh-bye.

THE LIBRARY FOR HOURS on a gorgeous day. I made the use of it by myself that's for sure.

I also have to say I've been amscraying lately when YSD is here. I don't hardly interact at all and she and DH seem happier. Me too really. Disengagement is good when it works.


grannyd's picture

Grand news, Cover!

Now that SD has had a trial run as an independent driver, she's bound to build up confidence. Hon, your liberation from SD and her needs is on the horizon! Hallelujah! Yahoo

JRI's picture

BD (before disengagement), I tried hard with SD61 for years.  I tried to listen, be supportive, be understanding, served as a sounding board, attended her doctor appointments  - did what I'd do for my bios and the 2 SSs.  But after her final stint living here, with the lying, drug use, theft, sneakiness, I realized she just didn't care about me and I was disgusted with her.

So, I disengaged.  I am civil and polite but I seldom answer her calls, don't ask her questions and don't discuss her with DH.  If he brings her up, I'm noncommittal and change the subject asap.  If she tries to engage me in conversation, which starts with a question about my well-being and soon morphs into a recital of her latest problems, I stay as quiet as I can and search my brain for a way to end it ("I promised my 100yo mom Is take the x to her right away").

I'm happier and more peaceful for sure.   DH seems relieved that I'm not bringing up any of her flaws.  He seems a little more enboldened to let her solve her own issues.  She seems a little confused but also relieved.  Disengagement is working here.


justmakingthebest's picture

Was she working on a school project or something? At 17 on a beautiful day there is now way you would have caught me at the library (even if I had school work!). My kids either. 

That girl really needs some friends! BUT hopefully that drive gave her a little confidence boost!

Cover1W's picture

She is a nerd through and through. No friends in our area. She used to have two but dropped them last summer. 

I suspect she's somewhere on the autism scale - friends really don't play a part in her life.

Hopefully she'll drive herself again, especially if DH leaves the car for her at the transfer point park n ride, she could get herself to our home w/out DH interrupting his work day.

grannyd's picture


I agree with your suspicion that your younger SD is ‘on the spectrum’. Having a nephew with Asperger’s, I’ve done a great deal of reading on the subject and, having noted your posts for the last 8 years, recognize the disorder in many of your SD’s behaviours. Her lack of maturity, severe food issues, poor communication skills and indifference to clothing and friendships are just a few indicators of mild autism.

Girls, particularly those low on the spectrum, are less likely to be diagnosed as they are better able than boys to hide their ‘difference’. This capability does them a disservice since early detection of autism is paramount in dealing with the condition. Has the girl’s father considered having her tested? Have you ever recommended it? It's never too late to address the issue, introduce therapy and improve the girl's quality of life.


Cover1W's picture

Oh my goodness I have done the reading. She ticks most of the boxes on the girls/autism checklist.

DH didn't want to read anything, and dismissed my concerns years ago. He's now noticing she's not like her peer group. I just say, "uh-huh" and move on. I cannot care or do more than either parent.

TrueNorth77's picture

I mean, progress that she drove herself, but why on earth wouldn't DH just make her?? He isn't an Uber! This drives me crazy, parents that just drive their kids around forever because the kids "don't WANT to drive". Everyone is so afraid to push their kids to do things they might be uncomfortable doing, when I think that's part of being a parent. Sometimes they need a nudge. 

Last night SD14 told us she is able to take Driver's Ed at age 14-1/2, which is a recent change in our state, but also AMAZING. That is just over 2 months away! Then in June she can get her driving permit, and next June she will have her license. This has felt like ages away, but these milestones are making it feel doable. Thankfully she actually can't wait to drive, so we have that going for us.