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Thread: My kid's need for privacy; is there a name for it?

  1. #1 My kid's need for privacy; is there a name for it? 
    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    My kid is 21 years old. Her mother and I know absolutely nothing about her life, her thoughts, her emotions, nothing, and we never have; she has never wanted to tell us any such things. She has never even said "I love you" to either one of us, not even when she was little. She won't let us talk to her about anything serious, and certainly nothing personal about herself, and she never has, even when she was little. On the other hand, she has a boyfriend, to whom she says "I love you" regularly, and with whom she shares her inner life extensively. I learned about these things accidentally, when Boyfriend blabbed to me some months ago, and my kid stopped talking to me that day. I haven't heard from her since, despite two attempts to text her, one saying "Hey" and the other saying "<name>, please respond".

    I've always thought, that's just her personality, and as long as she's happy, I'm fine, even if I'm a little sad about the limits on my relationship with her.

    But I've recently been working in one of these "citizen therapy" sites, where people take their chances unloading their problems to a stranger. I've met two people with very similar traits to my kid, in some ways even more severe. They could hardly even make themselves talk to me, a complete stranger. It would take them over a minute to complete a very short sentence, and they felt very uncomfortable talking about themselves. I was able to make progress with them by having them talk about an imaginary person who is very much like themselves.

    These two people also don't talk to their parents, and I asked one of them for any advice on how to have a relationship with my kid. She said, keep it casual, never talk about anything personal or deep. She said, "I don't do personal with family members." In other words, this woman is never going to have a heart-to-heart with her dad. And it seems that my kid never will either.

    I can live with it. If she's happy, I can live with it. But it would help me cope a lot better if I could give a name to this thing. Is it "just personality", or is it a nameable condition? Even if it's not pathology, it would help a lot if I could give it a name.

    Anyone have thoughts? I'm not looking for consolation or advice, thanks, just wondering if there's a condition or trait or something I could read about. Cheers

    The most exciting phrase to hear in science is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny...” -- Isaac Asimov
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  3. #2  
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    Jul 2019
    I don't have the answer but if she can talk to her boyfriend and not you if may say something about you and not about your daughter. I'm not implying that you are a bad parent but "if" she confides in everyone but you then maybe it's you?

    I didn't get too deep with my mother. She was "too" emotional and I was the opposite. I could talk to my grandmother because she wasn't overly emotional...just normal. There was nothing "wrong" with my mother either. The mix our our personalities was just such that getting too personal or emotional wasn't comfortable for me and we don't generally do things that aren't comfortable with when it's not necessary.

    It seems you are the only one who feels it's necessary. I'm guessing if you hang out with her more and don't try to get all emotional then she may confide in you more.

    You should know something about your daughter through her actions though. She doesn't need to say "I love you" for her to still love you. Maybe you are too needy?

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