What have i done so wrong to make my adult daughter dislike me so much?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by elliedeb, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. elliedeb

    elliedeb New Member

    thank you Midwest for your response, I totally agree, and understand it was natural for her to move on and when my daughter met her partner 6 yrs ago, I was not thrilled either, but I supported, accepted and respected her choice . I agree who she chooses is none of my business, and I accepted him without question.
    If you read the rest of my post, I think it shows that I have no problem detaching from her. I understand the need for things to change, and have always been willing to accept that change.
    The problem I think I had was trying to find what or where I fit into their new life. She met him in the January, and although we had contact regularly on the phone, that contact was limited to me asking how she was and her saying fine.
    I missed her and my granddaughter terribly, and told her often, but she never offered to visit or invited me to visit her. When I tried to make efforts to see them, she was always to busy. I accepted this, and it was only after I had not seen them, for about 3 months, that I decided I needed to do something. 3 months may not seem a long time, to many people, but when I had gone from seeing them, a minimum of twice a week, to not seeing them at all in 3 months. I felt this was to long. As adults we can handle 3 months, but to a 5 yr old child three months is a long time, to not see the person you’d had such a lot of contact with. Also my granddaughter would ask me on the phone when I was going to see her, and I would tell her as soon as her mum sorts it out.
    It was only after the three months that I asked my daughter that if she is too busy to see me, then could she at least try and find some time, when I could see my granddaughter, and she agreed that I could have her for occasional weekend. I was thrilled with this, and looked forward to these times, which were fun.
    Even though it was fun, the only time I saw my daughter was briefly when she dropped her off and picked up my granddaughter.
    I did make efforts to have a little more contact with my daughter and suggested we go shopping, or maybe a coffee. These were always refused because she was to busy. It did hurt a little, that she could not find any time for me, but I accepted it.
    It was only a few months later that I felt the hurt again, when I discovered I had not been invited/informed about my granddaughters sports day.
    I asked my daughter why she had not let me know, and her response of “I did not think you would want to go” surprised me. I asked her why she would think that, when I had gone to all the previous school stuff, and she became angry with me accusing me of trying to cause an argument. I was very confused and hurt by this, but she would not discuss anything further. If she had let me know she did not want me there, I may not have liked it but I would have accepted it. That set the pattern for the future.
    Re the incident with the hair, my reason for asking her, was to try and find something we could do together. As you said, you would not ask your daughter, because you know she does not like it. That in my opinion is showing respect for your daughter. As for me, I was still trying to find where I fit into her life, and was trying to find things we might be able to do together. I did not know that my daughter would not like to help me with that, which is why I said in my previous post. A simple no would have been enough. If I am honest some of the problems arise out of the fact that I have no idea what any of my daughters likes or dislikes are, and she blocks any efforts I make to find out. This made it more difficult to find a place to fit in her life. And I found everything I tried, was rejected, and nearly always ended up with her getting angry at me for trying.
    The money issues has more or less petered out, and it is only a small amount when she asks. This is because I no longer have the means to support her as I did, and I suspect that this has something to do with why I don’t fit into her life now, as there is nothing I have that she wants apart from the occasional babysitting, and the occasional loan of £10 here and there.
    I can understand and accept this, even though it hurts, but at least I would know where I fit. The reality is, I don’t fit, and she won’t acknowledge this, which in turn leads us into situations, whereby she will make excuses I will find out the excuse was not true, then I get upset and hurt, then she gets angry.
    You say deep in my heart I know she is not a nice person. There is some truth in this. She is not nice with me, but I know she is with others. She can find time for her granny, her father, and her partner’s parents, and others. Granted maybe not a lot and I guess they have something to give her. I know if I had the money and means to take her and the children out for the day, she would find the time for that.
    There is one issue that kept rearing its ugly head, I agree I don’t have much I can give my daughter, other than time, but if I discover there is something I can give her that might be useful, or she has indicated she wants, then I will try to give her it. Her attitude towards me at these times I have to admit feel abusive.
    An example of this, when she visits her granny, she is always given something to take home with her. She accepts it graciously and then disposes of it in some way if she does not want it. She would occasional moan to me and say I wish granny would stop giving me junk, and I said if you want her to stop, then it’s up to you to tell her, to which my daughter replied no way it would upset her. This shows me, that my daughter has a clear understanding of the concept of accepting something to please the giver.
    For some reason I don’t warrant the same consideration. She will not accept anything off me, that I offer, even if it is something she has indicated she wanted or needed. On one occasion she was moaning to me that her bath towels were shabby, but she could not afford to replace them. I thought oh I have half a dozen bath sheets that are still almost new, and I told her she could take 2 or 3 of those. These where towels that she had used when she used to visit me, it’s just now I was alone, they had been packed away. Her response was I don’t want your towels, I want my own. The way she refused them I found hurtful.
    On another occasion I received a tin of Ratatouille that I had not ordered and would not use, so I suggested to my daughter that she take it home with her, to which she replied “why would I want that”. I pointed out how her partner ate vegetables and he may like to try it. At this point she started to get irritated with me, and said in an angry tone, “ your just like granny she keeps giving me stuff I don’t want” to which I replied no I am not, because with granny you accept graciously, so as not to hurt her, but with me you refuse, and don’t seem to care if it will hurt me. her response to that was “ well stop offering me stuff I am sick of telling you I don’t want anything” . Needless to say I no longer offer her anything.
    she did ring me last night and I answered, and when she asked me had I got over sulking, I told her I had not been sulking, but that I was refusing her harsh behaviour towards me. We went round a bit in circles, but she did not scream and shout accusingly at me.
    It was clear that although it was calmer, there was still no willingness on her part to enter into any discussion to resolve things as she still saw it as I was wrong. it was based around her asking me to be a normal mum, and me asking her what a normal mum was in her eyes. She launched into what normal mums don’t do like they don’t sulk when they can’t get their own way, and they don’t upset their kids, when they have done nothing wrong, so I stopped her, and pointed out I had not asked what normal mums don’t do, I had asked what do normal mums do, to which she replied your just playing with words. I could not get her to see, that I cannot be what she wants if I don’t know what that is.
    The same process started when she told me I was not being fair to my grandson because I have not seen him in a month now. This is true but this is not downt to me not wanting to see him. Because I have a close relationship with my granddaughter , and she is now of an age whereby she is not dependent on her mum, to facilitate contact, she contacts me to ask if she can stay. As for my grandson, he is only 4 , so any contact has to be facilitated by his mum.
    I am sad to say I don’t have a close relationship with my grandson, but this is because when he was younger , my daughter created a relationship with him that left no room for anyone else, and now that he is a little older, he does not want anyone but his mummy.
    Because we were going round in circles, I told my daughter that I miss my grandson and would love to see him, but if she wanted him to have grandparent input, then she had to find a way to facilitate that.
    She did try to carry the conversation on asking me to just be a normal mum/grandma, so I told her that as I did not know what she means by that, and clearly she does not understand how I feel, then I would maybe be better if I wrote to her , so she may gain a better understanding.
    The grief and pain she causes me, has now left no longer caring if she wants me in her life or not, because feel I don’t want her in mine. I don’t want to reject her, so I need to find a way that I can let her know that I will always be there for her, but I no longer want or need her to be there for me. This is not coming from anger, it is coming from the realisation that I don’t fit in her life, and my efforts to find a place there, are causing me to much pain.
    So my next stage is to write to her. This will probably take me some, time to do, because I am scared that I may go the wrong way about this.
     
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    HI again.

    This will be my last response. I feel I am becoming repetitious...lol. Although you say you are not overly involved with your daughter, I see signs that say you are. My daughter #1 lives in Chicago and I live in Wisconsin. She works tons and when not working is often tired or busy with her SO. I talk to her maybe once a week and we are still very close. It's how we feel in our hearts and how she reaches out whenever she needs me and how I keep in touch in spite of both of our busy schedules.

    It's not how much contact you have or how much you see one another...and your granddaughter will survive without you around too. You have to accept it in order to be happy. Being close in your hearts and love is not the same as being enmeshed and needing to know your daughter's every move or thought. She wants freedom to keep this to herself.

    Your daughter sets the boundaries. It is possible that one day she will only want to see your three times a year. Or she may move to another state. Not saying it will happen, but it could. And maybe she doesn't WANT to do activities with you?? She is telling you to back off and you're trying to figure out why. It doesn't matter why. It is what she wants and needs, both in phone contact and in real life contact. The more you push, t he more she will back away. Very few parents see their grown kids that often these days.

    Do you have a job so you have something to do? Could you volunteer? Can you make friends in THIS area? Do you have any hobbies? Go to church? You need to make your main contacts your friends or you will be miserable and make your daughter miserable too. She may react by seeing less and less of you. SHe isn't your little girl anymore. Yes, in your head she will always be. But in her head she is an adult with a life and a too-demanding-of-her-time mom who wants too much from her. And that's likely how hse feels even if YOU feel you DON'T demand too much time from her.

    I could add that my seventeen year old is still living at home, but I am so busy and she is so busy that we pass in the night nad laugh about it, but we are very close and love each other very much. Maybe once a week we have a mom/daughter lunch to catch up. She will go away to college next year. I will miss her greatly, but I am building a group of fun activities that keep me very occupied plus I have my husband. Ever think of dating again (wink)? :)

    Your daughter doesn't need your money. She has a SO and should have a job. Seems you may give it to her as a way of keeping her around. Perhaps you're afraid she will disappear altogether if you cut off the money supplyl. I have no idea. It shouldn't be that way. She shouldn't be asking Mom for money at her age. Apprently, though, she will.

    I have no other insight or advice to offer other than you are overly involved with your adult daughter and that you will not be happy until you move on. That means you don't depend on her for a lot of phone contact or Mom/Daughter days or think your granddaughter can't live without you. Of course she asks about you when she talks to you, but she probably moves on when she isn't talking to you. That's what kids do.

    I suggest Al-Anon/Narc-Anon or a new therapist even if you have to start over so that you can start building a life that is satisfying to you, in spite of what your daughter is doing. You need to let go to be happy. You are depending on a very unpredictable and not a good natured daughter for your fulfillment and are ruminating over her every move. It's a waste of time. Life is short. I hope you live it for yourself, no matter what choices your daughter makes regarding your relationship. Don't let her be in charge of your happiness. Learn to detach :)

    Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  3. elliedeb

    elliedeb New Member

    Hi again, I understand why you feel you are becoming repetitious, It must be so frustrating to try and tell someone you can see things that they can’t, and I accept this may be one of my problems. Whereby I am so enmeshed in things that I cannot see what others see.
    Yes I believe my daughter thinks I want to be over involved in her life, but the reality is I am not involved in any aspect of her life. I don’t want to and never have wanted to know her every very move or thought, but I would have liked to know some of her likes and dislikes or her views /ideas on some things. It is hard to maintain a relationship with someone who does not want to know anything about you, and wants you to know nothing about them.
    I agree we did have a lot of contact, but that was not healthy contact. She does not see this, and cannot understand that I don’t want that type of contact. A 20 minute dash around a few shops, where there is not chatting, laughter, exchange of likes dislikes etc is not enjoyable. Neither is a daily phone call whereby I will ring her or she will ring me and the only conversation that takes place is, based around me saying hi are you ok and her saying yes. She has never asks how I am, or what I have been doing. Basically she shows no interest in anything I might or might not be doing, and does not want me to show interest in her. If I am honest she never has.
    It is only recently I have realised that I do have friends, it is just I have been avoiding them, because many of them know my daughter, and they are quite critical of her, which I find hard to take.
    I do think one of the biggest problems we have is communication. For whatever reason she is not hearing what I say and I am obviously not hearing her. my last phone call with her ended with me saying this, and I told her I felt It may be better if communicated things to her through ta letter.
    I have not seen her for over a month now, and I have spoken to her only once in that time. However it is very noticeable, that since then I have felt a lot more peaceful and a lot less anxious, but now I feel a lot of guilt, because she has told people I won’t have anything to do with her, and I have to tell them it is not her it’s her behaviour I don’t want anything to do with. This makes me feel very disloyal, because I am now doing what my friends did.
    Coming on this site has highlighted quite a few things for me, and has helped me acknowledge a lot of stuff, I already knew.
    I do accept I have a long way to go, and do need help for myself, but I can only take one step at a time.
    Your help has been invaluable, and I thank you for that, and will keep posing any developments
    :smile:
     
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Ellie, I understand well about not seeing a grandchild who had been in your life pretty much constantly and then having them pulled away.

    I had my oldest grandchild practically living with me for the first 4 and a half years. Then her mother had to move and take her 18 hours away from me and I only saw her twice in almost 20 months. It almost killed me. She was also not a talker on the phone even though I had bought her a cell phone to call me.

    She came home last February and we have resumed our relationship. We both have said how much we missed each other but now we have just moved on and have a close relationship again. She is my heart even though I have other grandchildren. I think its because she lived so close to me in the beginning and she was my first.

    I can tell you that I have rarely thought my kids mates were good enough for them. I have learned to keep my mouth shut.
     
  5. elliedeb

    elliedeb New Member

    hi skotti, it was only in the very early days, of my daughter moving on in her new relationship, that I was not able to see my granddaughter as much as I’d had, or wanted. This I did manage to resolve, and was able to renew my contact with my granddaughter. At the times me and my daughter fell out, she did stop me from seeing my granddaughter, but this was not for long periods because I always gave in, and let her get away with hurting me. there were some aspects of my granddaughter life that I felt excluded from, but I was able accept this, and continue to build my relationship with her. She and I are very close, and she is now at an age where it is harder for her mum to stop contact, and as long as I don’t make my granddaughter a go between, our contact should continue. It’s my other grandchild who has lost out so much, and is still losing out, but I accept there is little I can do. I have told my daughter, I love and miss my grandson, and would love to see him, and that if she wants him to have grandparent input, then she needs to find a way to facilitate this. I think this is the 1st time, I have not jumped into fix it mode, and am letting her fix this one.
    I have backed right out of my daughter’s life at the moment, and have told her, I am here if she wants or needs, me, but that I will not be asking for anything from her. She is angry about this, but I have to let her be angry. I no longer can try to fit into something that I don’t fit into.
    It is hard especially with the grandson; it would be so easy for me to make the arrangements for me to see him that would just be me fixing things for her again
    I hope and pray that she will get over her anger, and will want to find a way forward, but I know that is her decision. Since backing out I feel a lot better, and can maybe find my way forward with or without
     
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    She may move forward, but not with you. She has a family. You have to get a life. You have never addressed the questions about whether you have friends or hobbies outside of her and I am not going to "lecture" you again, but it would be a good idea to get a very busy life apart from your daughter and her kids. She is not obligated to have you in her life or allow you to have a big say in her kid's lives. It is always best to make your life about you, not about somebody else.
    Many grandchildren live far, far from grandma and do just fine. You are necessary to one person...yourself. Please, please start having a good life on your own. This will likely require therapy.
     
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    MWM, sometimes people simply either arent able to have a full active life because of physical issues or they arent able to because of some sort of anxiety issues. I think I have read in Ellie's posts that she has been very ill. I dont quite remember what she was/is ill with but that doesnt much matter.

    I would be deeply hurt if any of my kids shunned me from their lives. Even though my mother was crazier than a loon, I made sure that she had an active part in their lives. No she didnt come to their games or anything because she lived over an hour away but we went down to visit her once a month or more. In fact, my kids had no idea that my childhood had been so bad until after she was dead. I didnt want to put them in the middle of our problems and my kids loved their grandmother. I had to explain some things because when my oldest granddaughter was born and we were working on what she would call me I said I didnt care as long as it wasnt Grammy. That was what my kids called my mother and I had no interest in being called the same thing as her. Thank heavens Grandma stuck.
     
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Janet, if she has a disability of some kind, she probably would have said so. I am assuming, unless she says otherwise, that she can do other things, but just hasn't. I know it's not possible for some.

    My mom was really mean to me and was not a big part of my life. My own attitude from years and years of therapy is that if people aren't nice to you (and loony doesn't mean they are mean...just a bit crazy:)) that it is better not to have much to do with them, DNA or not. And that's why my mom and I had little to do with each other. She was terribly abusive to me and finally I just said "See ya later" and it didn't bother her one bit. We were toxic to each other and did better apart and shes didn't even want to be a part of my kid's lives, which was to their advantage...lol. All sitluations are different.

    This woman's child is not wanting her to be in her life that much and they are constantly fighting. She is asking what she can do about it. There is nothing she can do about it. You know you can't control other people, even your kids. It may hurt you, but that won't make the adult child include you. That is out of one's control.

    You are fortunate that you get along well with your kids. It's really a different relationship and you do have to do things differently if your children reject you. It does hurt, but you have to go on or drive them further away and feel constantly depressed. It's not a choice that many of us have had. The decision is often made by the child. I have one kid who walked off, one who I sometimes don't even want to talk to because he can get so nasty, and three who are great. I can not control any of them. It is what it is. I practice acceptance and value my own life apart from all of my kids so that I'm NOT that clinging mother who has nothing to do but hang around with my kids.
     
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I know Im very lucky that my kids feel so close to us. Trust me, I never thought that would be the case. I fully expected my kids to grab the door on the day they hit 18 and never look back. Evidently I was a better mom than I thought I was because I dont seem able to cut the cord...lol. They just bring me little editions of themselves!

    I really think I read somewhere in this post that she had breast cancer. If not then Im thinking of someone else but I dont think so.

    I agree she cant make her daughter have a great relationship much like I do with my kids. I really dont blame her for trying though. I do think its better to have a grown up relationship once kids get to a certain age. Even in my case where J moved out at 18, we still had a parental relationship with him..at least somewhat of one. He constantly called us for advice and to keep us informed about what he was doing. With C, we parented quite a bit longer. He simply wasnt ready to be an adult at 18. B has always been fairly easy to deal with but it has never been a big parenting deal. At this point mostly we have a close friendship though we can fall back into me wanting them to just be my kids from time to time.
     
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Janet, you're a great mom. I get why your kids adore you :)

    I have three who do and one who loves me but is abusive and one who walked away, but that's the one we adopted at six. I tell myself that's why he did it. I'll never really know. It was hard. And sometimes Mr. 35 is hard too. Tonight I had to hang up on him because he was losing it and calling me a word that rhymes with switch...lol. I'm used to him and it doesn't bother me much anymore. I don't know how I'd feel if I didn't have the other three though.

    There does come a point when trying hurts things even more than it helps. If the adult kid wants to be left alone, clinging to the relationship usually just makes things worse. And then the adult kid, who isn't particulary nice anyway, realizes she has tremendous power over Mom and can turn her on and off at will...and demand money and favors and all sorts of things. Frankly, a relationship where your kid does not respect you really socks!

    Janet, you have three very nice boys :)
     
  11. elliedeb

    elliedeb New Member

    So sorry all for not responding sooner, but i have been going through a very difficult couple of weeks. There has been some developments, bit i will try and answer your Questions first. first.

    Up until six and a half years ago, I had a very active life, both outside of my daughter and with her. my life outside of her, was my partner, best friend, and work colleagues, who had become friends. my life with my daughter, revolved around her needing me for transport, money, etc. The main involvement I had was with my my GD, I saw a lot of her, and was involved, in all aspects of her life. Money played a big part in this too I guess, because I paid for a lot of things my daughter could not afford. saying this, I only ever provided what my daughter asked me to, and I never made decisions for her, any involvement in hers and GD life was at her request. Looking back I can now see this was wrong, and I should have made my daughter stand on her own 2 feet.

    I recognise one of my main problems, is my need to support others. I have known this for a long time, and the few needs I have are rarely met. I know why this is, and I believe it is why I struggle to find real friends/[partners.
    I agree therapy might help, and I am trying to find this, but where I live it is difficult unless you have the money to pay for it. the other side of this, is that my work involved using different types of therapies to support others, so I know a lot of what I need to do. knowing what to do, and doing it is so hard, and it also brings into play other problems. trying to do all this alone, is causing me so much stress, and leaves me not knowing where to turn, without it causing hurt to my daughter, and grandchildren.

    I have always been quite an anxious person, but was always able to cope with my anxiety. it is only over the last six and a half years, it has been becoming worse. The more I tried to get some help with the things I needed the more I seemed to be getting rejected. the more I was rejected the less I asked for help. the rejection i am talking about, is not just from my daughter, she is just the final straw in the rejections I can take.

    I was still undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and what I failed to recognise at the time, was that my partner, and best friend, were using my illness so that they could spend more time together. If I am honest, this was a problem, long before my illness. It is only with hindsight that i can now see, they were developing a friendship/relationship outside of me. The medication i was on at the time also caused problems with my employment, and the end result of all that was, i lost my job, partner and best friend. it was difficult to maintain contact with work colleagues, due to the problems, i had with my employer, so they just dwindled away.

    With everything I have been through, from a very abusive childhood (daughter knows nothing of, because she does not want to know, years of unhealthy relationships, breast cancer, and constant rejection from many, it has taken a toll on my mental health. I have become very anxious, scared and un-trusting of people. this has resulted in me, becoming quite agoraphobic, which has got worse, and in turn has meant my life, has become so restricted to the level, that I am now really struggling to cope on a daily basis.

    I am now classed as disabled, (although I don't like to think of myself as disabled) due to anxiety, and depression disorder. and also some physical tasks, are difficult. because the medication I was on, have weakened my bones. I am not on medication now,as GP does not think they will help, because I have been diagnosed as having situational depression.

    in my previous posts, it seems that some of you are getting the impression, that I was or trying to rely on my daughter for such a lot. this is not true.

    Yes I would love to have a closer relationship with my daughter, but I have never saw her as necessary for my social life, just as I still don't now. In all of her life, the only thing I have ever asked her for is to find some time for me, and allow me to have a relationship with my grandchildren, or accept she doesn't want that, and allow me to try and move on without her. It is only by me pulling away that I have realised the reality of what has been going on. before she met her partner, she needed me, and allowed me to form a close bond with my GD. since she met him, she no longer needed me as much. she only needed me, when she needed money, or transport. once I could no longer afford to run the car, or give her money, I became obsolete. When I did start to struggle alone, she never once offered to help me, and when I was reduced to asking her for help she always found an excuse not to help. Her biggest excuse was always she would help me more, but it was not her fault I lived to far away (the other end of town). i suggested moving nearer to her, and she thought it was a good idea. I guess I was a bit naive,because
    we discussed how it could make both our lives easier. She could help me get out a little more, by letting me go shopping with her, sometimes, when she did her own shopping, and I would be available to help her with the children when she needed it. I also thought i could increase some contact with the many people I had developed relationships with, when i lived at that side of town. I had not realised that what she really meant was I could help her with the children, but she would resent anything I might want.

    Yes I wanted to be part of her life, why would't I she is my daughter and I love her, but I only wanted that if she also wanted me in her life. the same with the grandchildren, yes I want to be in their lives, but again only to the level she wanted. the reality is I have raised a very selfish daughter, and it hurts me to recognise that. I think it was MWM that pointed out, that my daughter might not be a nice person, and I hate to admit it, but i think she may be right. Although I think I have known this for a long time, I struggled to believe that my daughter could treat me in the way I let her, I was ashamed to admit this to others and I did not want others to think bad of her. I guess I was blaming myself for failing to fit in her life, and I was also making excuses for her. I could never understand why she would not sit and discuss the problems, so that we both could get a clear understanding of where we stood with each other.

    It is only because, I have not yet give into her since we fell out 6 weeks ago, that I am now seeing things in a very different light. Yes I wanted her to find some way of including her in my life, why because she said she wanted me in it. the reality is she did not, but she could not admit that to me, herself or others. this became so apparent when one of her friends (not a close friend) stopped me in the street, and asked me why me and my daughter fell out. Rightly or wrongly I told her of the actual two situations whereby I felt hurt by my daughters behaviour, and this person seemed shocked, because she thought we had always been very close. This person already knew I struggled with getting out, and offered to help me if I ever needed it. I appreciated her offer, and no I am not likely to take her up on it for many reasons.

    A lot was highlighted for me, when this friend put on FB, that she had enjoyed our chat, and if i need any help, then I just had to let her know. When my daughter saw this, she became furious, and sent me me angry messages about how dare her friend and I Slag her and her partner off. I told her this was not the case, and all I had said, was we fell out, because i cannot take getting hurt any more, and I had used my GD party and GS sports day as an example. My daughter cannot accept this, because it suits her to feel she has been betrayed, so she can blame me and her friend. I believe the real reason she was angry, was because this friend had just discovered something my daughter did not want her to know.

    The reality is she portrays to others, that she is this kind, caring loving person, who will help anyone, and she does not want them to know, she is none of this with me. She does not want me in her life for whatever reason, but she does not want to take responsibility for that, and she needs to find a way to blame me, for not being in her life.

    There are many people, who I know would willingly help me when I need it. Not only would they be willing, I guess some would possibly like to, as they usually turn to me for help when they need help with something, whether its a listening ear when they are struggling with things, down to repairing their computers for them. I don't ask them, because they all know my daughter, (not her friends) and I know the first thing they will ask me is why wont your daughter help you. I struggle to answer this question, for the reasons I said above.
     
  12. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    hi Ellie, I have several friends and relatives that have gone thru cancer treatment and I understand that tiredness you described. My friend Penny has CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) to the point a trip to the market is a 4 day thing; a day to rest and prepare, shopping day then 2 days to rest afterward. The bag of dog food (that stock boy loaded) stays in the trunk of car to be taken out a days worth at a time. Figure out ways to simplify your life so there is less physical labor.

    I've also noticed in my life most of the people I think of as friends don't seem to be available at the times when I really need a friend. Sure I drop everything and come running when they need me but I need something ... like I said in another post I'm still working on the detaching thing myself, getting use to the idea of not my responsibility to fix everything that is broken in the world is the first step.

    It's still a lonely life and I'm looking real hard at the group I call friends, one that does help me I've kind of neglected while dealing with a couple others that were just using me for free couples therapy - think I'm gonna go visit that one and let the other two have a nice life (I'm out). Was thinking about what you said in your post and was thinking maybe instead of calling them to help you just invite them over for some tea? If they live too far to travel a nice phone visit just because you enjoy talking to them.

    Wishing you peace
    Nancy
     
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi again, ellie. I am sorry to bring up what seemed so obvious...that you can not please your daughter because she is basically not that open to being pleased and probably does not have a good temperment. I have a son like her. Actually, he calls me more than I call him because he is so unpleasant to talk to most of the time and seems to contact me the most when he is needy. I mean, almost all kids are that way, grown or smaller, but he is extreme that way. Like HelpAngel, I also found out who my real friends were after I went through a divorce and had some other bad things happen tome. My son was not one of my friends. I'm embarassed to tell you that my son is so selfish that because he is going through a nasty custody battle over my grandson now, he feels that I should give no attention to his brother and sisters and just focus on him. He is selfish enough not to even text his brother, who has autism, Happy Birthday today because it's his birthday and he was once close to this brother. Now I think all of his siblings wonder why I even bother with him. I get their point too. Half the time I hang up on him when we talk because he swears at me. I am past feeling badly about how he treats me though. He is like this to everyone he is close to and I'm afraid that, in time, when my grandson is not so small and cute anymore he may even treat him badly. At times I send my grandson things, but never money and only when I feel like it. My son knows better than to ask.

    It is very sad to have to think poorly of our own child. I think it is even harder when you only have one child.

    This son is my only biological son as we adopted our other kids and I really believe he has inherited every nasty gene on my side of the family tree. I don't have a very nice family either. I was probably not abused as badly as you were as nobody ever physically touched me wrong. I was emotionally tortured and belittled. My son was never a 'sweet" baby. He was born with a mean streak. When he was eighteen months old, he stomped on a baby's hand on purpose and laughed when she cried. I was horrified. That was to define his life...he is not nice. Every day I thank the Good Lord that He gave me a strong desire to adopt children. My other three kids are gems...not that they were always easy, but they are now.

    I am glad you beat cancer. You have strength inside of you and I hope you find the county mental health clinic in your area and go to a counselor. Honestly, I know tons about therapy because I've been going since I was twenty-three (I am going to be sixty next week) and I have learned so much and can really help others who are suffering. However, I have a much harder time helping myself, even with my knowledge, and often it takes an outside professional to help me over the hard times...and to remind me not to go back to my old, codependent ways. Like you, I have fought depression and anxiety and even panic attacks, which kept me mostly in the house for a few years.

    My best friend, and maybe the only REAL friend I ever had, passed away at age fifty of cancer. But I am trying very hard to get out of the house now and make a network of friends who are also real friends. My daughter is going to college next year so she will be away from home and I will have an empty nest and if I don't make a life for myself, I won't have any life at all. I am finding that volunteering to help others and joining a community theatre group and a singing group is fantastic fun. Plus I work out every day now and lost a lot of weight and feel less stressed. It is not easy to start life over, but it can be done. Your daughter is not somebody you can depend on. You found that out. You are not the only person though who has a child who is undependable. It would probably make you much happier if you dropped your wall and let others in, knowing that some will disappoint you, but that some may end up your best friend/partner ever. Leave your daughter out of your friendships.

    I hope I didn't ramble on too much. I just feel badly for you and want to try to give you some motivation to move on. IF I can do it, anyone can. Hugs!!!!!! :)
     
  14. elliedeb

    elliedeb New Member

    Hi MWM, thank you so much for your honest words. and I agree with all of what you said. There is no pleasing her, and I guess there never has been. your right she does not have a good temperament, but she is good at hiding it. from those she wants something from. She now seems to depend on her father to provide the things, I no longer can. I am so sorry, you too have a selfish child, and I am happy your other children have kinder hearts. I know now I covered up for her selfish behaviour, so most people never knew. looking back at some of what she has said about her father, I suspect she is possibly quite selfish with him too. He now provides a lot of what I used to, and it is possible he was providing at the time as I was. I know she is dependant on him at the moment, for getting my GD to her swimming club, and he has started to pay for driving lessons again, for her, so he doesn't have to keep turning out 4 times a week. This is the 3rd time, he has paid for driving lessons, and usually after about 10 lessons, there always seems to be a reason, why she has to give up. Of course it has never been her fault. Now I think I understand why, it will mean she may have to depend on herself, and that possibly scares her.

    I hope I too can get past feeling badly about how she treats me, but I think that will take some therapy. All my GP seemed to arrange, was 6 sessions of CBT therapy, but this was not helpful, so I have continued to try and cope alone for too many years. It is only recently after reading some of the support from this group, that I decided to take the plunge. and ask for help. This has not been a good start. In the UK, it is very difficult to get access to counselling on the NHS. Our GPs manage their own funding, and are reluctant to pay for any costly treatments. I foolishly thought if I referred myself to the mental health team, they would make an assessment of my needs, so I could, then go back to my GP, and say this is my needs, what can you do to help meet them. They asked me very little, in my first phone contact with them, but I did make it clear, that my emotional state, was very fragile, and I had been coping so long alone, that I now found going out of the house so restrictive, that I was unable to go further than the local shops. They told me, that they would assign me a worker, who would meet with me, to assess my needs. I checked with them, that I would not be expected to find my way to them, and they assured me, that someone would visit my home to carry out the assessment. This made sense to me, because this was how things were done, when I worked in the field.
    I was horrified, when I received a call from an ex employer this week,

    agency. It never used to be like that. I only discovered this, recently, when I was trying to find some help to deal with all that I am struggling with. I referred myself to the mental health team, because I did try this in the past, . arrange They told me, that I would be assigned a support worker, who would meet me, to discus my needs. I was horrified, when I received a call from an ex employer, telling me I had been referred to them. I was lucky that most of the staff I worked with, had moved on, but there is one person still there, who I used to be close to. I am very angry about this, and contacted the mental health team, to find out why they had referred me on, without first discussing it with me. They fobbed me off, with, they did not know I had worked there, and that's how things work now. Part of me wants to put in an official complaint, but the other side of me is scared of starting another battle. I feel this has closed a door for me. So the search for help goes on.

    I understand how voluntary work etc can help, because that is how I got into my career, after my bad divorce. My fears of trying that path again, are quite high, because my problems, have left me feeling so bad about myself, and although I say I cannot trust anyone. the truth is I think I cannot trust myself to not repeat what has happened.

    I do have another avenue to try, I am going to try, and am awaiting the referral pack. Its a private counsellor, who has special rates for those on low income. If they accept me, the have told me it could take up to 6 weeks, to start.

    When I came into this group, I was at the end of my tether, and felt I had nowhere to turn to, and was feeling desperate, lost, crazy, and a failure. I felt I had failed my daughter, and my grandchildren, but now I see this was not all down to me. You and others have certainly given me some motivation. As for rambling on, I don't think you are guilty of that in any way. if anything its me who rambles on, which is why I think I have confused some people on here. apart from trying to get some help locally, my next goal is to learn how to get across what I want to say, in shorter clearer posts.

    It does not seem much, but all I can say is, Thank you so much for you help and support
    .

    PS please wish your son happy birthday from me. x
     
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Well, it means A LOT to me to think maybe I helped somebody a little. I hadn't noticed you are in the UK. Makes it hard to give you a real life hug, but I can do a (((hug))) online. Wow, kids are kids all over the world...some of them hurt us so badly. On top of this very selfish son, who is 35 (you have time to get over how she treats you...your daughter is much younger than he is), I also adopted a six year old from another country and he dumped the family, except for his father who I am divorced from. He will not speak to anyone else and I don't know why and my ex doesn't know either (and doesn't much care). That was the hardest thing I can remember going through as a mother. It has been six years since I've spoken to him and nothing I tried did any good. I may add, his wife is of no help, but I don't blame her. He allows her to think things happened to him in his childhood that never did. What can you do?

    Because my only grandchild at this point is in a different state with my not-so-nice son, husband and I are seriously thinking of doing foster care again. There are ways to fill almost any gap...some gaps are harder to fill than others. And I spent many years afraid of people, just like you are. I have been burned a lot. It was very hard to break out and let others in, but it has been worth it.

    Did you know that not socializing can cut as many years off your life as smoking cigarettes? I didn't know that until I heard it. That was one incentive for me to get out of the house and stop moping. I have a strong tendency to get depressed and have been on medications since age 23. Getting out probably helps as much as the medications and the medications are awesome (I've taken the same antidepressant since about age 40). Exercise is great too. My anxiety is under much better control than it used to be. It is so much harder to experience rejection when you have depression and anxiety issues because you tend to be on the lower side of "normal mood" anyways. Sad things just make us spiral down faster. At least that's how I see it...

    Keep posting. We are a support group, which means we are ongoing in our support.
     
  16. ruppertk

    ruppertk New Member

    I felt compelled to create an account here to reply to this post, it has certainly hit home. I am an enabler coming out from under my rock and once you realize it, there is no going back. Through this unveiling I lost my husband and my grown daughter(21 not quite grown), I would say temporarily. (daughter anyway) A great friend of mine told me this, once you are aware and choose to make some changes in yourself for yourself you must know that some people are not going to like this change and some will go away. My friend told me this way before the great divide took place and I remember her words as it is so true. I have trained people how to treat me for a long time and I can see where they might not understand this change. they will expect the old you to always do what you've always done they have no idea that it wasn't working for me as I was just an enabler, trying to not rock the boat, keeping the peace and being the doormat. All the while I am securing everyone elses so called happiness thinking one day they will get back to me. Today me and my daughter do not speak, everytime there is communication she proceeds to tell me all about myself and comes up with anything hurtful she can think of. I now just repeat myself in a matter of fact way, I will not be treated this way, I will not beg or bow down to this kind of treatment, thank you but no thank you. her father divorced me and married another in the same month about a year and half ago.(we were married 13 yrs) My daughter while she has no use for me at all has taken to the new lady.
    I think to myself often, wow I treated myself so badly that she has no problem doing it to me as well.
    There is so much truth in "if you don't love yourself no one can either"
    This has not been an easy journey but since I can see now theres no place to go but up. There is a flame in all of us once we start to fan it you can feel the power of it.
    No can also mean love. I love me too much to allow this and I love you too much to watch you do it.
    I wish you the best.
     
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  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi there. It sounds like you are still hurting. Have you read the book "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud? Fantastic book about how others react when we set boundaries. The truly good people, who love us and are NOT dysfunctional, will embrace and accept our boundaries. Those are dysfunctional people who have been our abusers will freak out that they can no longer control us and will lash out at us like bats out of Hades. In some way both your ex and your daughter are bossy and dysfunctional and lack respect for you. Your daughter is being especially cruel by embracing your husband's new honey. Since he married her so soon after your marriage I would assume he was messing with her during your marriage and perhaps you turned a blind eye to it???? What a jerk, by the way. It is sad when our children are jerks too, but most of us on this forum have kids who are jerks, abusive and worse. Some are plain dangerous to us. It is very hard to detach from our own grown children, but often we have to in order to start a new life and to ultimately be happy. Is there substance abuse in the backgrounds of either your ex or your daughter? Did you cut off daughter's money tree? Is that her issue? That usually sets our difficult child's flying into a childish rage.

    I suggest that maybe you read some of the posts on this thread and see that we are going through what you are so that you know you have company. It's terrible, but it does feel better to know that others understand. Another good book besides "Boundaries" is "Codependent No More" by Melody Beatty. It has helped many of us start our roads to recovery from abusive, demanding and often dangerous people.

    I have one son I haven't seen for six or seven years now except for one abusive time and I realize now that it is not anything I did that caused him to do this. We had a minor tiff over his wedding and he choose to blow it up and then start making up lies about his childhood. If the tiff over the marriage had not happened, he would have found another reason to cut everyone off, except for his father who I am divorced from and who is a financial asset to him. But I don't think he really is attached to either one of us.

    Now he was adopted from another country at age six, and, while I loved him like I'd given birth to him, I don't think he ever felt the same way about me or his other siblings, including his other adopted siblings. At any rate, apologizing to him, even beggging him did nothing to change anything. Just made him disrespect me for my weakness. At this point, I'm in a good place with him. We are not in one another's lives and I focus on the good in my life, not the negative. I can only apologize for whatever he thinks I did and if he chooses to stay angry about it, that's the limit to what I can do. I also have one very difficult adult child, whom I call 36, and we do have a relationship, probably as good of one as he is able to have with anyone, but it's touchy. He is a very difficult person. Fortunately I have three children who are dreams come true. Do you have any loving children, friends, relatives, associates, anyone in your life that you can build a support system with?

    Do you go to therapy to help you deal with all this? Are you in a Twelve Step Group? Many of us have been helped immensely in Twelve Step Groups, but they are not for everyone.

    Disclaimer: Anything I post is just my own opinion. Take what you like, if anything, and leave the rest behind :)

    I am happy to "meet" you although sorry that you had to come here. There are wise, wonderful women on this particular forum. I think you'll like them!

    P.S.-Twenty-one is indeed a young ADULT and most twenty-one year olds have a level of maturity that shows they are well on the way to being self-sufficient. Our particular difficult child twenty-one year olds tend to act like they are ten years old, if that, but that doesn't make them ten. So your adult daughter is not being very nice to you, which is the norm around here...
     
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  18. ruppertk

    ruppertk New Member

    Hi Midwestmom,
    I think I did read Boundaries and a small library of self help, self motivation and human behavior books and I am glad I read all of them, I also did quite a bit of counseling sessions.. While I am glad, I still carry the shock and sadness for what I had allowed for way too long. It is my largest obstacle, not the Ex or my daughter, looking in the mirror is the hurdle. I do notice that I can not go back to who I was as that person isn't here any longer. I mourn the loss of my former self even though she lacked in self worth, respect and self love. I mourn the loss of the relationship with my child knowing she will be back but it will be different. I mourn for the man that I created in my mind. I mourn for my 9 yr old daughter who is watching all of this and as her mother I'm suppose to have answers and teach her what family values are.
    Yes my oldest daughter went where the money went. I don't have much she knew that. My oldest is getting married soon so I have no money for her wedding so the new lady is helping her using dads money. Its really quite amazing.
    Some days are good but there are days like this when I search for articles to read and I found this one.
     
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome ruppertk. I'm glad you're here. It's very sad when our adult kids turn away,however, sometimes that can be the ending of an era and the beginning of something brand new. If you are healing from enabling, I applaud you, many of us here have been in those shoes.

    When we change, as you mentioned, those around us who didn't vote for the change are often quite angry that we have developed some self esteem. Sounds as if that has happened in your life. Your daughter may come around, but right now it appears as if this is your time to heal and grow.

    I would encourage you to read the article at the bottom of my post here on detachment. It is helpful. I would also encourage you to continue with your self help, counseling, a women's group, therapy, whatever feels right to you. Most of us here need professional help in order to detach from our adult kids, it is difficult to break the old patterns we set up.

    Put the focus on YOU now. Take it off of your adult daughter and put it on yourself, make sure you get YOUR needs met, that you nurture YOURSELF now and put your energy into YOU. You have another child to care for and to teach how to treat you with respect.

    As time goes by and you change, and you grow and heal, I hope you can build a new bridge with your daughter which will be healthier for both of you and a win/win for everyone. In the meantime, keep posting, get A LOT of support, put your needs first and focus on yourself. Wishing you peace along your journey of self discovery.
     
  20. ruppertk

    ruppertk New Member

    thank you recoverinenabler,
    Great article on detachment, I will refer to it often.