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adult daughter is webcam modelling


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12 replies to this topic

#1
ErinGo

ErinGo
  • 16 posts

Hi, thanks for reading this, especially if you make it all the way through and give some feedback. I was discussing this in the chat room until late last night and was extremely emotional and so you may know my story already. I got some good feedback but I also find the chat room to be a bit chaotic and hard to go back to examine what I said and what was said to me in order to reflect on it at a less hysterical moment. I don't know if I should be sorry for jumping in there and unloading a bunch of disorganized feelings or if that is acceptable.

 I'm going to try to write down what is going on and hopefully get my head wrapped around it in a way that I can understand what exactly about the situation is upsetting to me and whether or not I need to take some kind of action, and if so, how to proceed.

 

My daughter is 19 years old and shares an apartment with her boyfriend. Her step mother called me to tell me that she found out that my daughter is working as a webcam model. The step mother and I had a couple of crazy and emotional conversations about it, which ended up with her telling me that I should confront my daughter with the knowledge and that would get her to stop. I was extremely upset to learn what my daughter was doing but my ex's wife is not really a person I want to talk with about my feelings and once I had control over myself, I thanked her for letting me know and told her that I was going to think about what I should do. That was 2 months ago and I haven't done anything at all except to stew about it. My daughter might know that I know, she might not.

 

My daughter is lying to me about what she does for work, her cover story is that she is a nanny. I have not asked her anything about her work since I found out the truth and she hasn't volunteered anything without me asking. I used to ask her the usual questions, like was the pay good? and are the kids easy? I noticed that her answers were vague and that she didn't really volunteer any work stories or hold the conversation in her usual enthusiastic way. She is normally very fun to talk to and our conversations are usually a positive give and take and we both enjoy each other.I knew something was off. I didn't examine it at the time though. I don't know if I was just using a "bury my head in the sand" technique or just figured that she'd come out with whatever was bothering her eventually without being pressured. Now I feel very guilty for not asking what was wrong when I knew that something was. (it never crossed my mind that it could be something very serious though, I trust her to come to me for guidance when she needs me and I trust her to know when she can work things out herself). 

 

Now I find that I am withdrawing from her. I don't want to call her and pretend I don't know, and pretend that everything is normal. There is the distinct possibility that she knows that I know and I don't want the two of us to just allow a charade to stand as some unspoken rule. There is an 800 lb gorilla in the room that is calling the shots now that we can just obliterate simply by acknowledging it.

 

I understand that she has reasons to lie to me or else she wouldn't. Since I haven't asked her, I can only guess. She would lie to me to avoid negative feedback from me or because she wants to protect the image that I have of her. She would lie to me to protect my feelings or to keep me from worrying. She would lie to me to protect her own privacy and maybe what she's doing is none of my damn business anyways. So I am not angry with her for lying or for the lie. I am a little hurt that she felt the lie was necessary, but how the hell was she supposed to tell me what she was really doing. Had she powered through and dropped that bomb the ensuing conversation would have been very unpleasant. She has the right to do whatever she wants and if her mind was set on it, why expose herself to a bunch of negative blowback about her decision?

 

I've had some trouble communicating with my mother and sisters because they ask me how my daughter is and how her job is going, etc. I'm not willing to make up lies to cover for her and her own cover story is pretty thin anyways. So I've just said, I don't know, we haven't really been talking much lately. I think my family is perceptive enough to know something is wrong and they aren't stupid people. I can imagine that my daughter will just avoid them and then when finally do end up together, she'll be questioned and then she will lie and the lie will be seen through and allowed to stand and another gorilla will be born. Or, maybe my mom will call her on the lie and my daughter will continue to lie and then continue to avoid everybody and then just keep becoming more and more isolated. (and my mom's feelings will be hurt and she will be sad and she will miss my daughter)

 

I have a whole mess in my head

  • I am worried that she is degrading herself and causing emotional harm to herself
  • I am worried that she will be in contact with people who will use her and exploit her
  • I am worried that she wouldn't be doing this unless she has some deep issues, so that means that I fucked up big time somewhere
  • I feel guilty that I probably fucked up
  • I feel guilty for avoiding the issue and avoiding her because of it
  • I feel sad that our relationship is going downhill
  • I feel sad that her relationship with everyone else will probably go down hill
  • I am worried that she will become isolated
  • I am worried that she will develop (or already has developed) a bad image of herself
  • I am worried that this job will lead to other kinds of pornography or worse
  • I am worried that her reputation will be damaged
  • I am worried (to a lesser degree) that I will be thought badly of, that other's will conclude it is my fault or my responsibility to stop her somehow
  • I am unsure if she has already communicated her desire not to tell me by lying to me that it's the right thing to talk with her about something she doesn't want to
  • I am afraid she'll reject me if she feels trapped or like I'm violating her privacy or autonomy

I think I could continue to go on and on but you all probably can't. So I don't know if I should tell her that I know what she's doing and if so, I don't know how to proceed from there. I have a strong desire to protect her and a firm belief that what she's doing is not good for her. I want her to know that I am here for her and at the same time, I do not want to sanction what she's doing.

 

Thanks for reading my mess. Please feel free to ask me questions or give me feedback or direct me to resources that would help me or help me to help her or keep me from making everything worse.

 

 

 


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#2
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 761 posts

First of all, don't feel guilty for mentioning any of this. Not that it is encouraged you open up about every dark aspect of your life or anything like that, but it is certainly welcome and we're here to help if we can.

 

You seem very sincere in your post and don't seem very judgemental towards your daughter. That's a very good thing and I hope you can be consistent with that if you choose to talk to her about this. *sigh* I have to admit that I'm guilty of enjoying some webcam models and what they've done, but lately I've been learning to empathize with it would have to take for a woman's self esteem to derive value from simply showing off her physical assets for attentions and money...

 

I still want to just thank you first for being brave, open and caring about this as it puts things into perspective for me. You're showing me what it's like to be on the other side of the webcam as a parent of someone who's doing this...so that's really shaking my shit up nicely and helping me to stop enabling the exploitation of these women.

 

Anyways, it sounds like you have an otherwise good relationship with your daughter aside from her vocational habits. That list you have there is what i think you should simply talk to her about. But try not to make her feel embarassed or judged about it. Try to RTR with her (Real Time Relationship, I think you're new to the idea but I'll try to sum it up for you) and tell her how you feel. The most important things for you to mention and I think is all you need to really focus on in that list are the points you started with "I feel" and maybe the other concerns can be welcomed into the conversation if your daughter welcomes the honesty to begin with.

 

As for what to say I don't know...the only thing I can help with is how you approach it: with humility and genuine concern. Let her know how you feel about this and that you know. Let her know that you knowing about it shouldn't have to change everything between you, but you are feeling concerned. And of course try not to tell her what to do with her life as it might be a temptation (but I dont know you too well so I don't know if you'll get that urge). Focus on your feelings about it and ask her why she thinks she does it. Become simply curious as to how she stumbled upon that gig and how she truly feels about doing it. Hell she LIVES with her boyfriend, what does he feel about it and does HE know? Is he even the one who put her up to it who knows? Just be curious and understanding and Im sorry if I'm making it sound simplistic, but I know that it's not. In theory sounds easy but once you get into the conversation, expect a lot of discomfort from both of you. But that discomfort is healthy and only temporary, and just might be what will save the both of you ongoing discomfort having that gorilla in the room.


OH and the RTR summary: it's basically a form of communication where you relate in real time by expressing you emotions as they come. You tell the other person how you feel about them and their actions without making them feel responsible for making you feel that way. For instance you can say, "I feel like I failed you as a mother if you're willing to be a webcam model. I'm not saying that being one is bad and that you're bad for doing so, but this is just how I feel. I feel guilty for avoiding this issue with you for so long, but it has been on my mind a lot. I feel sad that our relationship is going downhill and I'm not saying it's your fault or mine, but I feel a huge decline if we can't be honest with each other. That you can't be honest with me with what you do for work and that I can't be honest with you enough to let you know that  I know what you really do...until now."

 

Someone else may be better than me in this matter to see if I missed anything, but I truly feel like voicing those points that start with "I'm worried that--" will cause her to want to do it more. You know how people are when confronted with resistance right? So just be open and vulnerable like the above paragraph, and hell I'm sure you'll be able to say and pull off better things that I suggest, but I think I've provided a good starting point.


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Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.


#3
Libertus

Libertus
  • 542 posts

She's your daughter. Take a long, good look in the mirror. What do you see?


  • -1

The meaning of your communication is the response you get.


The reflex of the propagandized mind is to prevent truth by interruption. ~Nathan T. Freeman


#4
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    :)


  • 1391 posts

What would it take to have the kind of relationship you would like with your daughter? What would make her less afraid of your rejection? In what way could you earn her forgiveness for whatever ways that you fucked up?


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"There is no law, no compulsion, no law of physics or man that is preventing you from living the life that you want" - Stef (The Greatest Gift in the Entire Universe)


#5
ErinGo

ErinGo
  • 16 posts
Morse Code Stutters: Thank you for the nice things you said to me. I'm beating myself up over this and feeling hopeless and fearful of making things worse by addressing the issue with her. I just finished reading RTR two days ago, so I haven't had a chance to consciously practice it yet, but I get your meaning. Maybe waiting to talk to her was good (waiting this long, not so good). I say that waiting was good because in the frame of mind I have been in, it's likely that I would have taken the wrong approach or just spewed out a disjointed bunch hurtful crap at her. I could visualize myself saying things to her that are intended to provoke shame on the supposed premise that she ought to be ashamed. Like just dumping all my feelings all over her and making her feel responsible for them as a form of punishment.
Instead, I'm beginning to visualize a real conversation. Something that opens the door back up between us and gives her the freedom to express herself without being too scared or thinking that the conversation can only conclude in hurt for either or both of us. She is a sweet, perceptive and empathetic person. It would be too easy for her to take on managing my feelings as her job and that's not what I want.
I think you're right and talking with her about it is the best thing to do.
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#6
ErinGo

ErinGo
  • 16 posts

What would it take to have the kind of relationship you would like with your daughter? What would make her less afraid of your rejection? In what way could you earn her forgiveness for whatever ways that you fucked up?


Kevin, do you mean what action will it take to have the good relationship, or what do I think a good relationship would be?
As to rejection, I think I could only allay that fear by not rejecting her. I'm not even positive she has that fear except to the extent that we all do. I'd have to check with her and reassure her somehow. I would have to be careful that my reactions don't continue to include avoidance and be careful not to make her feel blamed for how she feels (especially after specifically asking her! Wow, that would be a betrayal! That makes me cringe)

I can only earn her forgiveness if she is allowed to express to me what I've done wrong. Maybe I should think of an instance and bring it up for her and apologize and encourage her to talk about it and then she can see that I won't just shatter if she's critical of me. Like I said, she's a real sweetie and genuinely cares how I feel and might avoid triggering discomfort in me at her own expense. We're both sensitive and empathetic people. She's well tuned in to me and I think she'll need a lot of encouragement and reassurance to say something that I would feel bad about. I think I would have to take the first step and describe something I did wrong and why it was wrong and ask her how she felt or feels about it, accept her feelings, and apologize?
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#7
ErinGo

ErinGo
  • 16 posts
WE BANISHED THE GORILLA!
I am so friggin relieved and so is she. Thank you guys so much. I couldn't imagine a positive outcome before I came on here and I was anxious to the point of sweating and nausea before I called her today and then it went so well. She was immediately relieved when I told her I knew and we had a real open conversation.
I don't know what to say, without recounting the whole conversation, I guess if it would help anyone specifically or you're dying of curiosity, you can PM me and I could try.
I'm not trying to cop out or anything by being so short here, but I'm pretty happy right now and haven't fully digested it. Plus, I exposed quite a bit about her above and I'm not sure that was 100% right. The conversation we had was intimate and 2 sided and I'd have to describe her feelings which isn't the same as expressing my own.
We certainly haven't resolved everything (and no, she didn't say she was quitting right this second) but I'm sure that she feels safe and able to talk honestly with me. I realize now too how much my fear of being rejected by her was driving my overall anxiety.
I'm very glad that I dug a little deeper into Stefan's material than just his more "political" type videos and that I found the books, resources and support here. Sooner would have been better, but now is better than way too late.
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#8
Quince

Quince
  • 1 posts

I liked reading this (especially your last post offcourse), im glad you found this information and indeed; better later then never!

Its good to read a story that confirms Stefan's ideas :)


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#9
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

    That Popular Anti-Social Guy


  • 761 posts

Oh please share with me as much as you can. I want to know if you came up with your own way of doing it so I can learn of ways to have honest conversations.


  • 0

Nothing is permanent, only short term or long term.


#10
ErinGo

ErinGo
  • 16 posts

I'm really curious as to what caused this behavior? I think it's worth for you to find out so that if there need to be healing, she can have it.
 
Webcam modelling is exhibitionist and sexual in nature so my guess will be that she may have been sexually abused? Was there inappropriate nakedness around the house? Maybe she still hasn't processed the divorce? Was there something that you specifically feel guilty about?


Hey, Chiwoojo,
I am not sure if you are asking me to answer all that here or suggesting that I should explore it myself. You said you were curious, you can message me. No to sexual abuse or excessive household nudity. Her Dad and I never married and broke up when she was a baby. I got married a few years later and remain so. (Yeah, I know this opens up a whole 'nother avenue of exploration). There is no particular incident or habit that I feel guilty for, just a feeling that I *must* be responsible. She'd probably be pissed if I suggested she was being driven by something rather than acting on her own and reasoned choice and has already told me it is her own choice and her practical reasons behind it.
Don't think I'm giving up now. I need to tread carefully for her sake. I was weak when I made this post and I really shouldn't have aired her dirty laundry (although, it did a lot of good; you guys are great). I need to respect her boundaries and I can't control her life and it will totally turn her off if she feels psychoanalyzed by me. I've been letting her know that I care and that I'm available and that I love her. I'm using the things I learn here to interact with her in a way that will hopefully help her. I've shared some of Stef's stuff with her and she's loving it. She could potentially end up here which makes me hope this post gets REALLY old.
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#11
masonman

masonman
  • 928 posts

I'm still confused as to why there is an implicit assumption here that what she is doing is bad and/or is coming from a bad place? I'm not saying it is or isn't, but it seems like quite an assumption.


  • 2

The Anarchist Shore


#12
tasmlab

tasmlab

  • 301 posts

I'm still confused as to why there is an implicit assumption here that what she is doing is bad and/or is coming from a bad place? I'm not saying it is or isn't, but it seems like quite an assumption.

 

 

Good point.  If I could invent the most benign case, e.g., between the anonymity of the net and maybe a cheeky bit of exhibitionism she found this to be a convenient way to make money from home.  Maybe she swings a little bit for fun.

 

It's not the FDR way, of course.  If you weren't abused as a child and in need of therapy you have no business here!

 

It might not be too much of a stretch to suggest that she somehow lost touch with a normal sense of sexuality/intimacy and sense of self/body on some level similar to a stripper or prostitute.  


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#13
ErinGo

ErinGo
  • 16 posts
There are similarities between being a stripper, prostitute, porn actor, web cam model, etc. That's obvi.
There are some differences too. I had a friend who was a stripper and it's not the act of showing your boobs and getting a $ that is immoral. Boobs are great and pretty harmless. The whole scene was just horrible, though! She had to pay the club to be able to strip - never mind the $ they make in booze. The strippers were mean and violent to each other and stole anything they could get their hands on from each other, whether it was an eyeliner or $1000 or shoes, etc. They had fist fights and spent a lot of their tips on alcohol and drugs at the club. 1/2 of them WERE prostitutes. Outside security literally slept in their cars at the end of the night. Inside security had their hands full of wasted asshole strippers and wasted asshole patrons. Just a whole scene of degenerate douchebags coming together and getting fueled up with booze, drugs and sex. Doesn't bring out the best in already not so great people. She had some huge mental health problems going in and a HORRIBLE childhood. Now she's a coke head who abandoned her 1st 3 children and husband and then had 2 more with her drug dealer. We haven't spoken in years, but the "idea" of stripping is a lot different than the reality.
Prostitutes are putting themselves at risk for STD's, exploitation, rape, murder. Plus, I'm sure their associates are not all that fabulous and are not good influences. I would hazard a guess that the drug habit comes before the prostitution for the most part, but it's possible that drugs are not a factor for some. I can't put myself in their shoes (sure as hell can't walk in them, lol). I can't imagine it being "just a job", seems awfully cold for intercourse. So sex is meaningless? How does that work out when you want to actually make love and feel something in your heart? I can't separate the love from the lovemaking and would never want to. It would break me.
A lot of the same would go for porn actors. I guess the STD risk would be lower (not low) but there must be drugs, bad people, and risk of emotional harm.

So, I guess I'm pointing at varying degrees of risk exposure. I don't know that I fully grasp the level of risk involved or if she does. Maybe I'm overblowing it, maybe she's underestimating it, maybe it's somewhere in the middle. It's not what I'd like her to do and I'm having trouble digesting the idea that it's worth the $$. What price tag would it take for ME to do it? I don't know, but I bet there is one, so out the window goes the morality thing for sure. So it's not the act itself, but it's out of character for her and unexpected, that in itself is reason for concern.
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