Estranged Adult Daughter

My daughter is 36 and over the past 22 years she has been disrespectful to me.  I have put up with it, then we argue about it, and we have a falling out and this has happened too many times to count.  I have 3 grandchildren that I love.  She doesn’t prevent me from seeing them.  But I am very uncomfortable around her.  She has recently said some very mean things to me and I have spent so much time and money on her and the kids.

I was a single mom raising her and I have mental problems that I didn’t understand to know how to address until 2001.  I am on medication now.  She sees me as weak and yet she is proud and will never apologize or admit she’s wrong.  I tried pleading with her to compromise and move forward but she won’t budge.  She says she is not responsible for my life.  I have never said that she was.  She has also told me that my 14 year old granddaughter feels uncomfortable around me because she thinks I judge her and don’t listen to her.  Now I am the one uncomfortable.

My heart is broken and I can’t stop crying.  I tried to relay that to my daughter and all she says is “it’s all about you!” type of remarks.  I live alone and I am 56 and still work full time.  I don’t drive so I can’t just go see my grandchildren and they don’t live near public transportation.  They have only one car which my son-in-law uses to go to work.  I feel so lonely and upset and I don’t think there is a way for my daughter and I ever to make peace.  No matter what I say she twists it and turns it against me.  I did dote on her a lot in the past because she was all I had.  I was over disciplined as a child so I tried to not be over strict yet I was protective of her and she always had love, a roof and clothes and food though I worked and we were poor.  But I did the best I could.  She saw me depressed and saw me have a nervous breakdown when she was in kindergarten and then she witnessed another in 2001 and then I got the help from medication.  She says things like “I love you but you are toxic to me”  the “but” pretty much ruled out love I think.  She is just so mean to me.

Posted in family & relationships.

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2 Responses

  1. Generic Image grumpys says

    this is so hard for you and the pain must at times be very hard to live with. sometimes are kids are selfish and live in a bubble of me, me and more me. you gave her and the grand kids because you wanted to they do not owe for this….but you can stop now.
    enjoy those times when you see the grandchildren and make those times special. you have to spoil yourself though as you deserve to enjoy your own life you have given enough to your daughter. this is going to be difficult as you have been a giver so now you have to learn to do this to and just for yourself. start in small ways buying yourself nicer clothes. save for a holiday. there are many breaks for single people. many people find friends on these trips. join a club that interest you. hard at first but you often meet other like minded people and make friends here also. other things can grow from this. wake up each day and make yourself move forward to making a better life for yourself. tell yourself you deserve better and take control of what you can… not what you can’t. stop the flow of money to your daughter’s  family and spend this on yourself. i am sure your grandchildren love you and those times together can be joyful no demands on either side just fun when you see them. this does not have to be expensive there are lot things you can do cheaply   bake days painting days for example where you can join in. get your daughter to leave them with you…..make it fun for you also. your daughter and her husband get a break you see your grand kids on your terms it may make it a better time for you. not being judged by your daughter. thinking of you be brave and be kinder to yourself as it is your life and you need to be happy and not rely on your daughter for this but yourself. the new you has to be treat yourself so much better than you are right now. what have you got to lose as it is making you unhappy now and could improve things when you make a life outside of just your daughter. look around and see what is going on in your area and join in. slow but sure your heart will mend and you will survive if you have courage to break free as you  are more than a mother and grandmother you are a person in your own right.

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  2. Generic Image Gold Bangles says

    Dear Anonymous
    My heart goes out to you. Grown kids can be so cruel with so little understanding and information. Toxic seems a word your daughter has latched on to to hurt you because of your situation.
    Apparently there is pain on both sides between you and her from the past.
    I do not think you have to “make peace” with your daughter. I think your daughter feels like the victim and you the oppressor.
    Only you can control your actions and with that in mind, you alone can effect change without your daughter doing anything.
    I do not know what your “mental” situation is and what you do needs to keep that in mind for your own best interest.
    I can tell you from my own experience with my mother, I hated her, she was toxic in my life and I carried that with me till my 30′s. I did not want to talk to her about it and it was always her her her and what she felt.
    My mother did not get help. I did not know she had “mental problems”. All I knew was I was right and I was the victim and she was driving me crazy.
    One day in the mail, I got a large envelope that had a card in it.
    It was from my mother.
    This is what she said to me:
    My Dearest Daughter:
    I loved you from the minute you were born and I still do deeply.
    I am sorry that my life got in the way of our mother daughter life and that  I could not handle things and in the process, I hurt you so deeply and made you feel abandoned and alone and essentially left you without the mother you deserved and needed.
    I see you with your own children and I admire your love, compassion and care for them and it gives me pleasure to see how they love you in return.
    I can only ask that eventually you find it in the depths and kindess of your heart to forgive me for the things that I did that hurt and harmed you and made you feel like a motherless child. I deeply regret causing you, my beloved daughter, the pain that I have caused you by my actions.
    You bring so much  joy into my life watching you with your children and family that I am forever grateful to be part of your life. You are a fine mother and I am so proud of you.
    Please accept my sincere and deepest apologies for the pain I have caused you.
    Your Mother.
    I never said a word. I never called her, I never wrote her back. I had to think about this. A couple days later I just sat down and cried. My mother was never wrong and never never asked forgiveness.
    By doing this, she took herself out of the equation and she addressed me soley and my pain. She took the blame.
    When I did see her, she did good. She never spoke of it. Neither did I. But I was happier to see her and our hugs were better and the bite was off of my words to her.
    Maybe something like that.
    Also, mail the grandkids cards, post cards, funny cards, draw a picture. Same with your daughter. The 13 yr old, find a card that says something about beautiful.
    Just keep that up for awhile and wait.
    Invite them over way in advance when maybe they will have the car.
    Whatever you do, do not panic. You do not want to loose them totally.
    So back off a little. There does not need to be right and wrong and a winner or a looser.
    Apologize and let it go. You did your part. The rest is up to her. You do not need to talk about it. let it just happen.
    Do something nice, spread this out over time, like every other week. Send a gift for no reason to the family, like chocolate covered strawberries or something. Call and talk to the kids on the phone.
    Drop your daugther a note and say something like, between such and such dates or on a particualr weekend, you would love to have the kids come spend the week and maybe she could use some alone time etc.
    Just think about it Anonymous. The goal is to win the war not the battle.
    Take care.

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