Just need to be reminded

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by sooooo tired, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. sooooo tired

    sooooo tired soooootired

    My Difficult Child and I are talking again... not close, but talking. She does this every time. She blows up and says really mean things to me and then starts slowly trying to get close again. My feelings get so messed up when she starts to get close to me. She hates her life and hates her boyfriend, but stays with him because she doesn't know where else to go. That is what our last blowout was about, because I refused to let her move in with me. Now last Sat she calls and leaves a voice mail. She was crying and pleading me to call her back. I didn't call back and a very small part of me felt guilty. She always tells me that I am never there for her emotionally, and she is right!!! Because I dont know how to !!!
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This pattern of blowing up and then trying to get close again...to only start the cycle again...is part of her personality, it would seem.

    I would guess that she does need you...but then when she has got you...she acts out again.

    I think most of us are in some version of the same mess with our difficult children.

    And our responses to it run the gamut. There is no good answer except to keep trying to find some way of being in contact that works for both of you. If it can be found.

    Are you going to Al Anon? You will need ongoing support, I think.

    My mother died 2 years ago. We were estranged completely in the middle part of my life. I would guess 15 years. For more than 20 years we had what was mostly a phone relationship. Both of us tried hard to maintain it by not going places that we could not sustain relative harmony.

    I believe it can be done, if there is the will to do so of both.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You have been there for her. While her words can cut like a knife they are just simply not true. You are not responsible for her emotional well being. All you can do is listen, you cannot make her life change, she has to do that.

    Her perception is that you are not there for her in a way that she wants and the way that she wants is not healthy for either of you.

    You are changing and that of course changes the dynamics of your relationship. She is used to retreating to the safety of your home when her life becomes to chaotic. That is no longer an option for her so of course she is going to think you are not there for her.

    You know your daughter, you know what she wants from you. I understand why you did not return her phone call and that is nothing you should feel guilty about.

    You can still call her back. Let her vent, let her rant, just listen, you don't have to offer any advice, just listen. If she starts to say ugly things to you, you can tell her you will not be subjected to her verbal abuse, say I love you, good bye and hang up. If she asks you to let her move home or for money you simply tell her no. If she asks why you can tell her because it's not healthy for you to enable her.

    I'm glad you posted. I'm glad you are here with us.

    ((HUGS)) to you..............
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree that she probably wants something from you and knows that saying you are not emotionally available for her is probably a ploy. Obviously, it's not just emotional support she wants. That is love and you give her love. She obviously wants you to let her move in and repeat abuse cycle again. That's not emotional support. That's enabling.

    I feel that the safest way to have a relationship with somebody who is very hard to get along with is to meet them in public places where they are less likely to act out or keep it to maybe twice a week, ten minute phone calls. No lightbulb has gone off in your daughter's head. She is not taking responsibility for her part in this. It is unlikely she has changed or that the cycle of abuse would end. And manipulation.

    You can not be responsible for anybody's emotions but your own. The same for your daughter. We are incapable of making another person's outlook on life change for the better. Plus...would you really WANT to support her behavior?

    Hugs for your hurting heart!!!
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It helps me to know words to say. I cannot think when I feel so badly, or when someone cries or is angry with me because I have not done what they needed me to do.

    I want to leap in and fix it. Fixing it means: Let me move home. Let me have enough money so I don't need to move home. Then let me move home.

    That is not a good solution for any of us. So, I have learned (here on the site I learned this) to say:

    I am sorry this is happening. I know you will come through it well. I am backing out of fixing things so you can learn the way it feels to take care of adult problems and never be afraid you cannot handle things on your own again.

    That is the gist of what I say now.

    I just keep going back to that.

    I say "I don't know."

    Man, I hate having to say that! I'm supposed to be the mom or the grandma. I am supposed to know.

    It is working, for us. Sometimes, the kids are really mad at us and say bad things about us. They tell us about how "family" supports their kids, and provide a multitude of examples of loving families where the parents don't hang the kids out to dry. Where they let them live with them and even, buy them cars when they are not working.

    New ones.

    Then I say that I think that is not helping the kids in the long run.

    I feel really crummy about myself, but I say it anyway.

    It helps us to post about it here.

    I am glad you did that. It helped me, too.