Daughter is 22 and has cut us out of her life am devastated.....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JHe17, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    Please help. My daughter is 22 and is just finishing her last year at Uni. We always thought we had a lovely relationship. We lent her £22000 to go to Uni on understanding she would start to pay back when she got a job. Out of the blue she emailed us to say that we were awful parents and had mentally abused her for years and were controlling and manipulative. She said that she was entitled to our money and it was unfair of us to expect her to pay any of it back and so she was simply not going too. She has refused to answer her phone or texts. Her friend said she was fine just stressed over her Dissertation. We decided as her Dissertation was due in 2 weeks we would wait until then to try and get hold of her again. On the day she handed in her Dissertation she emailed us again telling us we were horrible and didn't love or care about her and had not tried hard enough to contact her and therefore she wanted no further contact from us and that this was our decision and not hers as if we had tried harder she wouldn't have done this!!!!!!. She has changed her mobile number and her friends are now not responding to us either. We called the Uni and they said that she is considered an adult (i know that!!) and as such she can do as she likes basically. She has done this sort of thing before but not this venomous or vindictive. She told us over the Summer that she would get a job in her own good time and that it was nothing to do with us. She is very self centred and rarely asks how any family member is. She has clearly lied to her friends about us and am so very angry and cross with the whole situation. Have thought about suicide as I cannot imagine life without her in it. I just don't know what to do.

    Any advice please
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I hope you seek help. Your life has value in itself, regardless of who decides to abandon or betray you.
    Of course this is ridiculous. She is responsible for her own choices and her own persona. She wants to have it both way. Talk about controlling. She wants it both ways. Take from you on her terms, without any reciprocal responsibilities from her.
    This, of course, is cruel.

    The thing is what can you do? Everybody here on this forum is united by their circumstance of having to accept behaviors of their adult children, that hurt or worry them.

    When you stabilize yourself, I would read the article on detachment.

    Your daughter, no matter how much it hurts you, no matter the unfairness or the cruelty can live her life as she chooses. She has betrayed you, by taking the money you offered with certain terms, in good faith and then once received, turned the tables.

    Failing a written agreement, what is your recourse except to accept the circumstances, and go from there?

    Right or wrong have nothing to do with it. She is an adult. You are adults.

    There is a reality that must be accepted, and feelings to be dealt with. Learning that your child is somebody different than you believed she would be.
    Because she has chosen to be this different person, and may continue down that same road.

    All of these things must be accepted and dealt with. It will take time. This was a betrayal. You need time to recover. Of course it was wrong.

    As far as her lying about you to other people, her friends, many of us know the hurtfulness of this. The thing is, she is a separate person from you. She can decide who she wants to be. The hope comes from the possibility that down the road, she may change her mind.

    But that will not come from your hurt feelings. You are responsible for those, not her. I know this must sound harsh and unfeeling. Nonetheless, it is true.

    I hope you keep posting. It really helps.
  3. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    Thank you so much for this. I just keep going over and over her childhood and I simply can't see where it was so very bad. I would never have thought she could be this cruel. It is so hard getting through each day and wondering how she is and if she is okay. It is just so hard to think that she simply doesn't care. The thing is as well that even if she changes her mind we can never trust her with our feelings or our hearts again.....it feels as if there is no way back from this. I emailed her to say that we would go to some sort of mediation with her but have no response.....my own mother was truly horrible to me.....I was sexually abused for years from the age of 5 and when I told her and my Dad they didn't believe me and so didn't stop it....my daughter knows this and I cannot believe she has hurt me like this....where has my lovely girl gone.


  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Im guessing she has always been difficult and lacking in responsibility and probably plain doesnt want to pay you back so she started another fight. If this isnt new behavior, perhaps she had a personality disorder...at any rate, no matter what is wrong, you cant control her but in my opinion it is not a good plan to plead and beg for her presence in your life. It will make her swell with power and she will only get worse each time she doesnt like something you say or do.

    The more power you give of your life over to an entitled college kid, the worse she will abuse and punish you. Thats what she us doing. Please maintain your self-respect and dont listen to any abuse. Our difficult kids are good at fabricating fake horrible things we did to them hoping they can gain from our guilt. Ill bet you were a great parent trying your best to raise a not so easy daughter in the best way you could.

    Is it possible your daughter started using drugs or drinking too much?

    Get help. This is not worth your life. You matter every bit as much as your daughter does. Bet you have many loved ones. I am sorry about your parents...all I can do is shake my head sadly.

    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  5. At least we know what we did wrong but it kept her in high school. It is awful when it happens out of the blue. What I can say is that life goes on. I pray that we some day will be forgiven.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There is more going on here. It sounds like she didn't go from "angel" to "devil" in one fell swoop. She just didn't take such a definite major step before. But the personal qualities that laid the groundwork, were already there.

    However, there are other things you don't know. She may be using drugs, which can alter personality. She may have developed a mental illness - sometimes major stress can be a trigger, sometimes it's just time and chance. She may have a personality disorder. She may be in an abusive and controlling relationship.

    Because you don't know any of these things, it is important to look after yourself - and to decide to what extent you are willing to keep an open door for your daughter. What are your boundaries?
  7. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    Thank you....what you say makes sense...just hard to accept that we have to just let her be.
    Think you are right and I am just losing my own self respect in trying to make her see what she is doing is just plain nasty and wrong.

    Thank you

  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    J, we share a number of things in common that can be summed up in a hard and difficult word: betrayal. Both of us need to be especially careful to not betray ourselves. For me, this is really my Achilles heel. When I fear others have betrayed me, I tend to betray myself, first. It is a lifelong struggle.

    This is an opportunity for you to come to terms with your life and to learn to care for yourself in the most profound sense. Me too.
    Stop this please. It is futile.

    Daughter can think and do whatever she wants. She has the right to determine her attitudes and stances towards her past, just as you do. Just as your feelings and your beliefs and attitudes are your own, and can be different than are our hers. This is a new beginning. For you to define yourself, independent of how you were treated as a child.

    It is very, very hard for us who may have been mistreated as children, because we feel we must have deserved this. In our parenting of our own children, we seek to redo this, to feel the love and to give the love and acceptance and safety we did not get as children. (Somewhere along the line you might look at some of the FOO threads where some of us dealt with the residues of past hurts on our parenting.)

    Remember. You are not alone in any of this.
    She is an adult now. Not your little baby. She does not want your doting, and it does you no good to think of her in terms of the baby she once was, and no longer is. It hurts you.

    To my way of looking at things, you are the baby who needs care and doting upon. Start now.
    You needed care from parents, who did not give it. She is your daughter. It is not correct to seek the care you want from her. At some point in the future it may come. Now is not the time to grieve her. The time now is to grieve for your past hurts which had nothing to do with your daughter.

    You have a golden opportunity to start a new. To re-parent yourself. I know this may sound as if from left field. Trust me.
    Never is a very final word, the most final. She has betrayed your trust. That is true. It may be among the biggest gifts and opportunities you have received in your life. You will begin to take responsibility for protecting yourself and nurturing yourself. Her? Let her be responsibility for her.
    Yes. I know. These are wounds that are in you that have not one thing to do with your daughter who is not your mother.
    I know this hurt. It is the worst of betrayals to not be protected, instead preyed upon by those around you. Remember. This too is your history, a vulnerability that is independent from your daughter. She is only responsible for her conduct. Not for those in your early life.

    It is not your daughter's responsibility to protect you and to remedy the hurts you have suffered. This is your own road. Not hers.
    Your lovely girl is trying to grow up. To do so apparently she feels the need for distance. She is doing whatever she can to make this distance. It is chosen and purposeful because she wants this and needs this now. Right or wrong from your perspective makes no difference at all.

    When she needs you again she will make contact. If it were me I would use this time to work hard to determine what kind of boundary I need with her. You do not have to accept her terms. You have a right to your own.

    You also have a right to have your own rich and wonderful and sustaining life. Now is your opportunity to build it.
  9. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    She has always fought against the prospect of getting a job. I am worried about her but unless she talks to us I am struggling to see how to help her? All the things you say we don't know about are very true and I don't know how to find out if she is alright anymore as she has made it very plain she doesn't want to see us. She was on some message thing to her brother the other day and he said she seemed perfectly normal.....she doesn't know that he knows what is going on as we want her to feel she has a friend in someone in the family. As for boundaries I just don't know.....haven't even thought about it.

    I do think that she has suddenly realised how much money she owes not just us but with the Government Grant too and it has freaked her out and she cannot see how to pay it all back. She has a weekend job but was looking for a full time one...her rent is paid (by us) until June and then she needs to find somewhere else to live. It just is so sad.

    Thank you for your advice it is really nice to feel am not alone

  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I differ in the way I think from some others

    I do not necessarily believe she is a bad person, just because she has done things that feel hurtful. This is a functional decision on her part. It achieves two important things right off the bat for her. It removes the urgency of repayment, for one. Second, she has drawn a big fat line in the sand.

    The latter is not a bad thing. She needs to be an adult. Maybe she feels weak and needs to buck up. Maybe she feels it weakens her to have Mummy close. Well, she just got rid of Mummy and her money problems in one fell swoop.

    Maybe there is learning for you here too. Listen to what she has told you. Was there unnecessary dependency on your part? Was there over involvement? She has a right to her own feelings and her own needs and she is showing you that she can demand the autonomy to express them.

    These above questions are for you to think about at some point if you choose. Not to answer here.
  11. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    Where did you get so wise? What you say is very true but very hard. To be betrayed by someone you love is indeed the worst.

    I do hope you are okay ....I don't know you but you seem a lovely person and so understanding.


  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Is this something you might want to rethink? She has put any agreement between you into question.

    Would you want to keep supporting her when she is treating you with disrespect?
  13. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    I feel like we have to keep to our part of the agreement as if we cancel it she could then throw back at us that she then couldn't finish Uni as she had to get a full time job to pay the rent. Even though that would be her choice it feels like we would have forced that on her. Hard to know what to do for the best.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    Thank you. I have my troubles. Little different from yours.
  15. JHe17

    JHe17 New Member

    Please take care of yourself.....you are a very understanding person. I hope you have someone as kind as you to talk through your problems with
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Who cares? She will say and think what she wants to. On the other hand, you as parents may choose to take the high road. I do not know what I would do in your shoes. You may stay committed to her education as the highest priority. You might also decide that there are issues of greater importance, on which you must take a stand. Not in a vengeful way but because you are her parents and you have a stake and a responsibility, some would say, to take a stand for what is correct.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yeah, um, I dont know is she is entitled, bad, good or anything. None of my kids whom I raised from birth ever expressed a need to cut us off. A child we adopted at ahe six did, but he had attachment problems. Unlikely your daughter does. Being honest, and always close to my four other kids and their friends, your daughter is not doing what kids usually do to grow up. They do not normally cut us off in a cruel way. Your daughter is being cruel. She knows how this hurts you. I'm sorry she chose this. So while she may not be a cruel person, this is a cruel deed.

    Having said that, your only option is what Copa said. Take care of yourself and let her do her thing. If she is like most adult Difficult Child she will be back as soon as she needs something, like money. No matter what is going on with her, you cant help her. Only she can get help, if she believes something is wrong.

    I had to learn this: the only person on earth you can control or change is yourself. And you are impotant. You matter. in my opinion you do not need to listen to nonsense abuse. You can resist checking her social media...sometimes they write hurtful things there just for us. Why indulge her when she is being mean? It wont change anything and will just hurt you.

    My advice, which you can take or discard, is to turn your focus to yourself and doing the things you love to do with friends and family who treat you with kindness. Do you have a spouse? Other kids? Dear friends? People who will treat you as your kind heart deserves ?

    Wishing you the best. Take what is useful from all responses and leave the rest ;)
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You are very kind, too. Sometimes "kind" is not all that it is cracked up to be. Tough and self-respecting and self-protecting are important too.

    I have to get going. I want you to know that you are not alone. I will be back later and I will look for you.
  19. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    JHe: So sorry to hear your daughter said this to you. I'm sure it was a total shock to your system.

    I have found with my Difficult Child that after he does or says something that initially shocks me or brings me down to a place I don't want to be, that I eventually find that each day it gets less and less hurtful and I am able to deal with it. Then of course something else comes along and may do it again but at least you have some time to get yourself together.

    I agree with the great advice here from COPA. So wise and has helped me so much. Thanks COPA.

    You really should try to get some therapy for yourself to help YOU feel better. You are not alone!!
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You are welcome. Thank you.