This is all true, wrote it for my xGF and sharing for benefit of others! People just want me to write simply..."give me the answer!" No, I have fun writing the answer, it's more fun that way:)
PRIOR RELATIONSHIP CRASH LANDING
My prior relationship ended a few months back and the ending for me is best captured in this WWII film:
It felt like that at the end and after a heart doctor visit [no answer...stress!] and no longer able to feel any emotions...I pulled the plug and took time to recover and process! There were many awsome times and I don't regret it. The pain I received dislodged me from old patterns to work hard on myself, think, understand and I've grown to be a better person who understand God and people to a deeper level. I wouldn't wish pain on anyone, but in that pain is the stress that motivates change. Embrace it and squeeze the value out of it for in it, there is often a greater good, the hands of a master craftsman refining something beautiful out of mud!
My XGF recently contacted me after being blocked for months and asked for help with her daughter. As such, I am obliging to give her value back as I frankly don't know what she got out of the relationship, she never said. Maybe this is it?
I meant to write this and send to Ed when we broke up, but I was processing my own grief and didn't. Since you've reached out in concern and for support for Elle, I'll gladly share my view.
Plea for Help
"Ed and I feel you can help and she would feel safe and comfortable talking to you ... we would appreciate. I would like to talk to you when you have the chance regarding Elle's ongoing anxiety, and what seems as of late to be a concerning pattern of deception and cheating on exams and homework assignments. Her schoolwork has improved dramatically since 2016, and we know she is fully capable of completing her work, learning new material when she focuses on what is right in front of her, but it seems that many times her mind wanders uncontrollably, and she gets lost."
I have some thoughts from what I observed in those 2 years which results in my saying Elle is/was fine, this is a parenting issue...in general.
But first, I'd like to ask a favor of X hubby, Ed and yourself to visit the nearest airport and rent a Cessna 150 and fly it! You can have 20 minutes of training, and no, I don't care about FAA rules right now. Just fly it and report back with a flight log! Now keep in mind, you are fully responsible for all damages and costs. Feeling any PRESSURE yet? Now the kicker is when you get to the airport they are out of 150's and the next best thing is a Boeing 737 but the autopilot doesn't work. F@#$@#! You still have to fly it and you are responsible for the lives of people onboard. Ok, you can have 2 days to train, whatever. But if you crash it, it is your issue and responsible! If you don't fly it, you are fired and lose your house!! Feel any pressure to lie on that log yet? That's my point!
I tried to pick something he wasn't good at, and maybe with training he'd love flying. Reality is, we all have gifts that are intuitive and feel right and some things we are just not wired for. Your boy is wired to sit down and do math and study all day. Your daughter is not. She's a round peg being forced into a triangle hole and being ground down. You are disliking the remnants cast off that object in that process and you'd like to know what can be done about it.
What she is experiencing, being forced to sit in a chair and study math, most of which she will never use in the rest of her life, is tantamount to child abuse, torture and a waste of her natural talents. I know that sounds rediculours, everyone needs these skills and school to get to ...blah blah. I want to kick POTUS in the shin for failing to revise the education system, but he tried and was "bi!ch shielded" by nydoe. Keep trying POTUS! That's another matter. But it aggravates me.
Girls learn best in groups with social support...is she getting any of that? Maybe Montessori schools or other system would suit her better...of this I do not know.
Girls are emotional and Elle is exceptionally emotional. A positive feels good, but a negative carries 10x the weight. A failure feels awful inside, whether she lets it out or not...refer back to crashing that Boeing plane! Yea...she's being beaten up inside, no wonder she has anxiety which is leading to bold face lying! Exactly how else is she to express her emotions and get what she needs...support, love and understanding? Cause if she does that, she gets verbally smacked down.
If your kids were in a domain she was highly skilled at with less stress, it would be a different deal as she would shine and he would falter in despair!
I've said this before, I had a hard time at first with your kids as they were very different and I just didn't understand them. The genetic combination of you and Ed, I know you know what that means:) But as I came to know Elle, I saw her gifts and came to value them very highly for their unique gifts. They really are amazing little people and I hope they are able to reach their full potential. Love them much!
There is nothing wrong with Elle as far as I know. She may need some refinement here or there and learn techniques to manage time and focus and calm her mind. What is wrong in my opinion is the education and parenting pressures. Sorry, if that hurts:(
Elle (name changed to protect innocent) is highly empathic, connecting, considerate, caring. She's artistic, creative, expressive, movement oriented. When I finally realized that Elle was empathic and what that was, it was a lightbulb moment for me. She was reading emotions and expressions in people at an early age. She is very very strong in this and it is natural. Girls are often strong in feelings and so a negative feeling has a higher weight than a positive one, say 10x. So getting an A is awsome, getting punishment for a C is multiples awful. The fathers masculne power weighs heavy on the daughters emotions as does mom's strictness.
Realize that Elle's feelings are 10x his as a female empathic person. Realize no matter what parents want her to be, she is not wired to sit in a chair and focus and do math. She's got the wiring for creativity, reading emotion of others, being of concern for others, dance, arts. That's her. You can do the best you can training her in this system but realize it is not exercising her strengths and it makes her very stressed all the time as opposed to filling her with joy. A golden rule in business is accentuate your strengths not try to build your weaknesses! That's just how it is...
I'm sorry, you didn't order her, God=love did! You know that Broadway performer in your past...yep...you pulled one of those from the deck!:)
Her mind is 10x stronger than either of you in in empathy and creativity and arts, but she isn't valued for it. It's zero points in the school world.
Imagine you were given Super Girl as offspring and told she had the ability to see through paper walls, but that some day, she could see through buildings and metal with training! Well, you have that. Your daughter can read peoples emotions and some day she can peer into a persons face and say..."I know what happened"! She may be able to heal people with that. She may be able to connect to people that others cannot. I didn't know what an Empath was before I met her, but she and I have these gifts! That's why I "get her" and I think most of the family does not, for most everyone else is very logical.
Several times I saw her look at you or me and ask..."what is wrong, is something wrong"..when were were trying to hide problems. She doesn't have the context yet of what those emotions mean, she knows they are going on. That is a gift, you can't train it! You can grow it and if it is grown, could even turn into things far times the power you can imagine. For example, get a load of what scientists are apparently proving exists...Precognition...reading the future! , they just don't understanding it yet. Empathy and intuition would be feeders. Wholly sh!@ that's Biblical stuff!!
It is amazing to me that God=love, blessed you with a child unlike any other in your family. He's always making things difficult so we will grow. He has handed you a gem, and asking you to guide her craftsmanship into the amazing precious ultimate her. I don't envy parents! He has in effect challenged you to love to a level you may not know exists yet, that is the power that is working covertly.
Lets talk about lying... The Bible, Genesis 3!
The point of this is to show that the Bible calls out that core emotions of shame and fear are within us. We harbor a poison fruit if you will that we swallowed and became core emotions...it is of deciept and lying. The woman ate it first, the idiot next to her didn't protect her and ate it! Ugh...story is so accurate!
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” [challenge, setup deception...is it not easy to deceive the emotionally designed woman?]
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” [LIE] the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it [ATE POISON...which was deception..rooted in shame]. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it [DIDNT PROTECT HER]. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked [EMOTION OF SHAME ENTER'S MANKIND]; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day [Wearing Size 52 Air Jordans?], and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid [FEAR ENTERS INTO EMOTIONS] because I was naked; so I hid.”
THE POINT: Mankind is separated from God (love) by distorted emotions we took on of shame, fear, etc.. We swallowed them...they are in there, deep in our emotional selves. We have many other terrible emotions beyond that now. Bible stories...hard to read, but very accurate to what is going on!
I know you two don't believe in this book and that's fine, but I had to have something to point out some emotions here. What emotion does Elle feel after 5 years of pounding and pressure comes up short a lot, can't seem to focus, does ok on tests, but sometimes fails? Shame, fear of consequences. Who knows what else is spinning in there as she has a very active emotional mind!
A father projects a strong image on to the daughter with his masculine force. She will lie to avoid the consequences of pain and punishment which for her feel 10x more than you two experience since she is a girl and very emotional. If she didn't have an exhaust she'd become depressed or very angry...there are only so many options. Her current exhaust vent is lying and deceipt, very Biblical! Plug up that exhaust vent and you'll have a:
Don't do that...
In summary, the education stress is the major source of the anxiety and stress she feels. Her only acceptable outlet is to lie so as not to feel the pain she knows is coming of failure. In her head, it spins around constantly as she thinks about it and cannot shut it off. That's a girl thing and normal...girls can't shut their minds down like guys.
WHAT TO DO?
So changing the parenting is the solution, accepting who she is and where she will achieve medium and where she will excel is important realization.
So what does Elle want? She wants love, security, reassurance, support and patience. That was demonstrated various times including learning to ride a bicycle. Give her time and space and she'll learn with lots of support. And it would really help if it was in the form that she was good at since nobody likes to struggle endlessly at something they are not good at, unless they really love it.
What is important is to pump up her self worth and confidence in domains she is capable and grow those things as well. Then she has an outlet for the stress. Accept her weaknessess and encourage her constantly how she's doing her best. No negativity. In other words, the parenting becomes..."we expect you to do your best, the result is the result. You will get the same love. Be honest at all times is highest importance, not the results!" No shame is to be triggered or guilt trips, endless hugs and support, a C is as good as a B. Let her decide to work and do better and give support as needed. That is what I'd do...I'd take my foot off her neck and let her stand on your shoulders so to speak.
Then I'd amp up all areas where she shines. For example..
She needs a physical outlet for her anxiety on a daily basis that is healthy...what would that be? Exercise, dance every day? No games....physical or creative or play with brother..ideally creative.
She may need some tools to help manage anxiety and stress. Namely, every day:
* Write her emotions down and thoughts
* Write down what she is grateful for for the day!
There may be others. Go to Jewel Never Broken, check out those exercises!
Apparently her trip to Italy with family was canceled because she lied. I'd re-do this so she can succeed and get back in vs reinforcing failure. I'd give her a shot at winning that trip back and I'd make damn sure she does succeed. Give her some options where, after she gets her school work done, she comes up with a song, or a dance, a short story of 10 pages or something creative. Maybe she has to go out and make 5 sad people laugh and smile? She has to present it and get approval of the parents or some social group like neighbors! If she passes, she WINS THE F'ing TRIP BACK! She's gonna win too! I'll help her come up with creative things if she needs.
Then, on this trip, line that up with some orphanage, helping poor or unfortunate kids and people. That will feed her soul of love because she is a caregiver and is what she has passion for. Build that connection to empathy and giving and nurturing. Rinse and repeat! Might have to figure out how to manage your son in regards to this because he shouldn't feel like a side show. That's another thought I haven't thought threw, don't want to make him feel lesser.
The Hormonal Storm Coming Quickly Your Way
There is no way around it, within a few years, her hormones will kick in and that will activate new emotions within to desire boys, and then this is gonna get really scary. So you have little time to make adjustments and do it now. When the hormones are turned on, it activates different emotional circuits. I wish I had understood this more when I met you, I'd do things differently. I didn't realize what we did would be damaging to her psyche and cast a shadow on her life!
The way attraction works is the subconscious mind selects the other person. The deep emotions from 100,000 years of females and her life experiences that say what is normal! Need i say what she was exposed to as a child to say what is normal?
Remember the 1/2hr knock down drag outs with mom before bed because I was sleeping next to you (there was no other place, it's nyc tiny apt. We didn't intend to be bad, but it was. Those were emotional moments that deep inside of her said "something is wrong" but she had insufficient power to alter. She was right, I regret the impact to her. So that, along with divorce and other BF/GF's you two have had is enmeshed in her emotional mind and will influence how she behaves as an adult. It altered her attraction system and won't be easy to fix:(. It can't be changed with logic, it has to be changed with emotions and re-programming, if it is possible at all.
The problem I'm getting to is that she is a prime target for a narcissistic player and NYC is full of that! Yes, these types of people go for caregivers, those that have empathy as they need to draw their love from them. A narcissist specifically doesn't possess empathy and they harbor child wounds of self loathing. What they give is not love, they give control, and they will bring her down! She being a giver, emotional, could be swooned and taken in by one of these men easily...and they will drain the life out of her like a spider drains life from its prey. Probably won't kill her, just drain her life energy and you'll have another set of hard problems to deal with. Know in advance the risk, prepare to steer girl away from that hazzard. Read https://www.amazon.com/Stop-Caretaking-Borderline-Narcissist-Drama/dp/1442238321
So, I strongly suggest you direct her energies into developing love for others to postpone the lust as much as possible. Get her into world missions where she can help starving kids, build orphanages, etc.. That feeds your passion as well. Put her energy somewhere where it gives back! Also, she needs to be trained on how to identify these bad personalities and root them out early. That is going to be very hard since she becomes fearful and the female attraction system around 17-21 is a mess of hormones that says those "bad boys" are the best!
I hope that helps. I think it will save her life, or direct it in a much more positive way.
I think that's a chunk of value in her life. A lot of what I just gave you is what I gained from our relationship. My pain resulted in me learning this and more.