I need some "mom" help. My DD 19 has always been dad's girl, he can do no wrong, and mom can do nothing right and knows absolutely nothing. Her father and I are divorced - we divorced in 2001 and a few years after that I remarried and moved 5 1/2 hours away. He also remarried and had 2 more kids...he's now divorced again. I always made it a point for my kids to see their dad every other weekend, several weeks in the Summer and holidays. Never denied them the chance to be with their dad. Have always told them if they are unhappy in my home, they do have another option - to live with their dad. When my oldest was 15 - she became very dis-respective toward me and her step-dad. They barely get along. It was difficult HS years but we got thru it. She even debated living with her dad those years, but she didn't. See her dad is bi-polar and even though he "walks on water" she knows how his mood swings and temper can be, so she has always lived in our home.
She's now getting ready to start her 2nd year in college. Living with us for the Summer and working full-time to help pay her housing for college in the Fall. Her dad has not paid any support for my two daughters since I moved, he is self employed and gets away with it. It's never been about the money, I just wanted out of the abusive and cheating ass relationship - period. So i've never pushed the issue. I digress -sorry, just so upset and feeling like a worthless mom
Anyway, I do not have a close relationship with her, never really have since she was about 9 or 10. I've provided for her her entire life of wants and NEEDS, but apparently nothing is good enough. I'm proud of her in so many ways, and yet she doesn't accept any recognition I give her. Maybe she hates me for moving away, maybe she hates me for getting re-married, maybe she just plain hates me? She's very rude and selfish towards everyone in our home, including her younger sister.
I'm tired of the dis-respect, I'm tired of the 1/2 truths she tells her dad about things. I just am at such a loss. Issues that never seem to really go away and she's not happy unless she has someone in our house pissed off. She doesn't seem to care.
Sorry for rambling. I'm trying not to cry. But as a mom, what do you do? Do you cut the strings - tough love like, and say if that's how you want to continue to be then you're on your own? I HATE this. I want to see her succeed and I'm her biggest fan, if she'd let me be, but she won't and it hurts. How do you let go? I'm feeling like I want to just wash my hands and give up. But I think that would kill me too.
I really am feeling lost, not knowing what to do, and feeling like she is a stranger in my own home that is causing so much friction in our family.
I'm so sorry. As a mother, I can't imagine how difficult this is for you. I wish I had some words of wisdom that would help. All I can offer is a hug and send good thoughts your way.
She is 19, she's an adult now, she may need to find an apartment with a roommate or two and live on her own now...
That doesn't mean you're doing "tough love"... it means she's being a full-fledged, independent adult.
We all have to leave the nest sometime... it sounds like now is her time.
Thinking of you and wishing you well.
I guess I just feel like I've been the only one really there for her day in day out and she doesn't see it that way at all. I don't get it. And so I'm sitting here wondering if I messed up somewhere along the way. What did I do wrong with her, ya know?!
My parents just kept on being themselves, despite what those two kids did or said.
A couple of years down the line? One of the kids woke the hell up. It took having his own kids to do it, but he did. He has since apologized to my folks and gone out of his way to support them as they have aged and fallen into poor health.
The other kid? Well, she's just the same as she always has been. It is her personality. No one is ever good enough, smart enough, etc. She will never be satisfied, and that's not on my parents, just as your daughter's satisfaction (or lack of it) isn't on you.
Big hugs, honey. This stuff sucks. (((((hopelessromantic)))))
"And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."
- Sarah McMane
I don't have any advice, but wanted you to know that I'm sending good thoughts, hugs, and support your way.
Thanks jo2love for the support. That's what I love about SI - always someone here to understand.
Now she is 27 and working. She has told me, a few times, that she is sorry for the way she treated me.
Just like you, there were a lot of stressful family dynamics, and that certainly played into it. And, some kids just get hormonal and just plain nasty for awhile (working with sons through this now).
In my case the relationship with my daughter is now calm and strong. Boys mature later so I'm waiting for this day from my 23 year old son and 21 year old son.
And there seems to be a generational difference. I know I sound old-fashioned when I say this, but when I was a kid I would NEVER EVER consider talking back to my parents and giving them grief (I'm 61). I had nothing to apologize for....and this seemed to be true for all of my childhood friends. I wish the world was the same now as it was then.
[This message edited by JanetS at 2:47 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]
Just breaks my heart that I tried to change this behavior and I've not been able to.
My DD20 (heading into her junior year of college) is also "Daddy's little girl" and was never especially close to me. In fact, when XWH, the kids, and I still lived together as a family, the three of them would sometimes gang up on me "jokingly". I was always the odd man out.
DD was about 13 or so when I kicked XWH out. Her attitude toward me went from mildly disrespectful to complete witch. I put up with SOME of the disrespect for years because I didnt want her living with XWH (and seeing things children should not see).
Fast forward to the summer just before she went off to college. My current husband and I planned a huge family vacation. We let the kids pick the activities so the vacation was tailored for them. We had a horrible time.
DD was a royal ass the entire time.
When we got home, I had a "come to jesus" talk with her. I told DD that she was 18yrs old and an adult. Her behavior and disrespect for the people in my household was no longer going to be tolerated. I told her that if she wanted to continue living in my home, her attitude needed a drastic adjustment.
Then I asked her point blank if she wanted to live with me. She immediately responded "Yes".
We talked a good bit more (and this was the conversation where I finally told her about her dad's infidelity, etc...she actually wasnt surprise).
We cleared the air quite a bit.
Her attitude DID change. She's not always Miss Mary Sunshine, but if she's in a mood, she stays in her room. She's a lot more respectful and we've actually grown a lot closer in the last couple of years.
Yes - I was fully prepared to kick her out of the house though. I had reached my breaking point. It was starting to effect my marriage and her little brother was starting to indirectly copy some of her disrespectful attitude.
Perhaps this is a conversation you need to have with your own DD. Outline YOUR boundaries and then leave the ball in her court. Just be sure that you're ready to follow through on throwing her out if her behavior doesn't change.
I wanted to add that a couple of years later and being away from home has given DD a bigger view of life. She's starting to recognize that the world doesn't revolve around her and has a better idea of how much we (hubby, me, and her father) do for her and her brother.
[This message edited by GabyBaby at 3:16 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]
WH#2 (suicide prior to finalized divorce)
XWH #1 - legally married 18yrs. 12+ OW (that I know of).
I edit often for clarity/typos.
I wish the world was the same now as it was then
Remember that pillar of SI wisdom - you cannot change someone else. Her actions and words are hers, honey. You can't fail at something that isn't yours to own
YES...you are SO right NIK, but didn't look at that aspect within with a parenting role - but you're absolutely correct. I have taught her right from wrong, she is CHOOSING to be this way. Just wish it wasn't so heartbreaking.
I will get thru this, I know, just seems so damn hard at the moment.
She needs tough love, but so do you.
I'm tired of the disrespect, I'm tired of the 1/2 truths she tells her dad about things.
Since wh had a major manic episode (which lead to diagnosis). My dd has also complained that nothing is good enough.
I find myself indulging a lot, but its never enough.
I think, and maybe this is your child's issue, too, that their behavior has to do with dad's illness. Like maybe they always have to be in control, or happy, I don't know. But I think it might have some relationship to dads bipolar, at least in my kids case...
Your dd is 19. Sit down and talk to her like an adult. Tell her what you want from this relationship.
[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 10:54 PM, July 17th (Wednesday)]
You said you haven't been close since she was nine or ten. Doesn't accept recognition you give her. Nothing you do is good enough for her. She's rude and selfish towards everyone in the house. Doesn't care if everyone is pissed off at her. Is "so much like her father - always feeling entitled and owed to her".
ALL of these could be behavior problems but they ARE all possible symptoms of mental illness as well.
Has she ever been evaluated? Even been to a counselor?
I have felt EXACTLY like this regarding my son: "I really am feeling lost, not knowing what to do, and feeling like she(in my case HE) is a stranger in my own home that is causing so much friction in our family."
He(my son) finally agreed to medication after having a total breakdown last year and is doing so much better. We can communicate, he gets along with everyone so much better, he is a human being again!
I wish you luck and my prayers are with you.
[This message edited by Rollercoaster at 12:31 AM, July 18th (Thursday)]
When my kids start to act this way I do a version of the 180. The situation with my kids is different than yours in a lot of ways, but in general I have found that when I give too much of myself, I get walked all over.
When I go inward, focus on me and not on their behaviors, their attitudes towards me change.
I agree with the others that it is nothing you did. It hurts on a very deep level when our kids take us for granted and don't respect us.
I do think you can set boundaries with her in your home with the way she treats you and your H. If not she has the option to leave.
but in general I have found that when I give too much of myself, I get walked all over.
I can relate, and this is something I need to work on for myself.
I plan to sit her down and talk adult stuff. Starting with all the things I was taking care of for her, but will now be her responsibility. She has made it clear that unless she asks for my help, she doesn't need me interfering. I will step back, silently cheer her on in all her endeavors and hope I don't have to watch her fall.
ladies_first - not sure what you mean by "prove it" - she's my daughter, I feel an obligation to be there for her no matter what, not sure what it is I'm suppose to "prove" but thank you for giving me a push to think about some other things as far as her actions matching her words.
Everyone has given me food for thought - thank you! It has eased the heaviness I was feeling on my heart. And looking back over the years, I know I have allowed some of her behavior to go on, but I also know, like Gabybaby, that I had my reasons and was doing the best I could given the circumstances and my primary goal was to protect my children, but perhaps now that she is entering adulthood, those reasons no longer hold true (to this extent), and I need to adjust my sails.
She said "she's not sitting down and having a therapy session with me" and she's not going to talk about it.
Sigh....If I felt lost at the start of this post, I really am at a loss now. She's on her own I guess. She already knows everything anyway so I guess I sit back and watch. I don't know what else to do.
As far as boundaries in your house and respect... You tell her she needs to sit down and hear it and then you lay them out and tell her the consequences for not respecting them is that she doesn't get the privilege of living there anymore.