My troubled 26 year old.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Rosieglow, May 16, 2014.

  1. Rosieglow

    Rosieglow New Member

    As per my intro thread, I have a 26 year old daughter, B, who, as far as we were aware, was happy and living with her boyfriend. She is from a previous relationship but was brought up from the age of 22 months by my now husband. I left her father as he was abusive to me and on one occasion kicked he, that's when I left.
    Recently she has become more and more distant and visiting less and less. When she visits she is snappy and generally not very nice. She hates her 22 year old sister, why, we don't know.
    It all come to a head recently when she announced her engagement to he boyfriend. She didn't visit or call on mothers day but turned up 2 weeks later, handed me a small gift and then said she was engaged. I congratulated her, done all the usual, looked at her ring ect. I was trying to be pleased but this is her third engagement and we don't like her boyfriend. He is 11 years older than her and is rude and arrogant.
    Anyway that was that, she left, things were amicable but there is always a tension in the air when she visits.
    A few days later my 22 year old contacted me to say her sister had sent her a message asking if she knew she was engaged. D, the 22 year old, had not responded when she had got a message from B. D told her she did know. B then asked her why she hadn't congratulated her but in a more aggressive way. D, who doesn't like arguments, she has aspergers, asked me what to say. I told her that she could just say she forgot and apologise, or she could say how she was feeling about the way B and her boyfriend treat her and get it out and have a discussion about it. So D decided to say what was on her mind. She told her that her boyfriend was rude and spiteful to her and that she,B, let him get away with it. This started a big argument and B told D that the reason her boyfriend didn't like her family was because she had told him how she was treated when she was growing up. This prompted my 3rd daughter, S, to get involved as she was upset at how B was talking to D. This went on for a while, all over text messages back and fourth. I was going to ring B to try and calm things down but S pointed out that I should keep out of it as it was just between the sisters and I would end up losing contact with B if I was involved.
    Then, I received a message from B saying that she hoped I was enjoying talking about her and what a bad person she was because it was all y fault as I had messed her up. She said I was her dirty little secret that no one ever talked about (referring to her not having the same father as the others) and that I never understood her. She also said she felt she had to do everything for herself and look after D and S as I couldn't cope. She said she had to take her sisters to school and make their lunch.
    Now comes the crunch. None of what she says is true. Everyone knew she had a different father except her siblings as she didn't want them to know, I left that decision up to her and he said she didn't want me to tell them as they would tell people at school. So she was her own dirty little secret, if anything it was the fact I had had her with anther man that she kept hidden. As for taking her sisters t school, she never did. I would take them or their father. On the odd occasion, if I was ill and their father at work, they may have walked with the lady and her children next door. She did make their lunch on the odd occasion as did D, but they were 13/14 years old and that was their only chore. I was badly treated as a child so I refused to force my children to do any chores, my theory was that they would do things to help me if they wanted to. Bs whole way she sees her childhood is untrue. I have asked friends and family and they are all astounded at these accusations as they all said I was a very capable mother and admired the way B was treated the same as the others, so much so they didn't really see her as not being my husbands child. They have all said she has something wrong with her and it's not me who is to blame.
    But what should I do? I know she has used cocaine but not how much. I am trying to find a mental illness that fits her delusions. With our family history of mental health issues, aspergers, ADHD, ODD separation anxiety disorder (none of these are my Bs diagnosis's) I am thinking we may have missed her issues or something has started in later life. I have had no contact with her for over 2 months now.

    Sorry this is so long but I have to explain things clearly. If you have reached the end, well done and thank you for taking the time.

    I will now go and write my 19 year old daughters thread.
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That lack of contact would worry me too, Rosie.

    Have you read the thread at the top of the site on detachment?

    That would be a good place to begin.

    That you know your child has used one drug, that you know her behaviors and friends have changed, that she is accusing you unfairly...all these things can be warning signs that our kids have slipped from using drugs recreationally and are flirting with addiction.

    Do you think the changes in your child's behavior could be related to drug use, Rosie?

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and so sorry your mommy heart is hurting. This is what I would do right away. I'd take the drama down twenty levels immediately by telling her that if she is upset about anything it is best to take it to a therapist and that, regardless of her childhood, the life she now lives is her own decision, since she is over 18 and how her sister reacts to her is her sister's decision, not yours. I would not engage her. If she starts getting overly upset, I would just listen and not throw fuel on the fire. Your daughter is being abusive and irrational and you have the option of deciding not to react emotionally to your daughter's baiting. Perhaps she is mentally ill and inherited some stuff from her birthfather.At this point though you can't help her. She is legally on her own. She is the one who has to get her act together and since she is an adult, you don't need to listen to her if she isn't respectful. I would not take her "you made me this way" nonsense. She is the one who makes herself that way. She is 100% in charge of herself. Many, if not most kids, deal with some childhood difficulties. They learn to deal with it or they screw up...they have to learn. I would detach and take care of yourself. YOU matter. YOU are important, and you deserve to feel appreciated and to appreciate yourself.

    Whether or not your two daughters hate each other or love each other etc. is between them. It is not your business and should not be a source of angst to you because there is NOTHING you can do about anyone except yourself. You are a good person and, like the rest of us, you did the best you could and you deserve respect, not garbage from a disgruntled grown kid. As for her becoming more distant, it sounds like she is very cranky. Is she always this way or did something happen? At any rate, often older kids pull away. However, she does sound immature and I actually hope she does not get married, not that it is any of my business. It's just that she does not sound ready to be a wife and then possibly a good, responsible mother.However you have no power over anything she says or does anymore. The only thing you can do is change you response to her and not enable dysfunctional, disrespectful or dangerous behavior. Not enabling is within our control.

    If you have not read the article on detachment at the top of this page, I highly recommend it. We, as mothers of grown difficult children, have to learn to detach lovingly from our difficult, even abusive adult children and to live great lives in spite of their struggles and WE CAN DO IT!!!!! If she is on drugs, I strongly recommend going to Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Love the lessons taught in that program and the support from other parents who understand us. There is also The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) if you don't think she used drugs, but is just a person who may have a mood disorder or a personality disorder. They have classes that help the parents cope with have a mentally ill loved one.

    I'm glad you joined us, although I'm very sorry that you had to.
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  4. Rosieglow

    Rosieglow New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.
    I know she has taken cocaine and she told me as if I was stupid, like it's normal and everyone does it. I don't know how much she has used or if it's regular. She holds down a full time job so it's not affecting that aspect of her life.
    Initially I was devastated with the way she turned on me and accused me of causing all her issues in her life. But after gathering my thoughts I realise it's not me who has the problems it's her. I gave all my children all the love I had and still do, if she sees things differently to how they actually are then that is not my problem. I do however worry that she may have an undiagnosed disorder that could stay that way if she does not seek help. If she does not want me in her life I can't be there if she needs me. I love her with all my heart but I don't like her very much right now.
    I have read some of the Detachment article and so far it make a lot of sense, I will continue reading.
  5. Rosieglow

    Rosieglow New Member

    forgot to say, there was no definitive reason for her to behave like this, no disagreement. It has been building for many years, she has been irritable when visiting, made everyone feel uncomfortable with spiteful comments etc. I would say it's been building for some 3 years.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rosie, welcome. I'm sorry you're experiencing this with your daughter. It's tough when our kids are acting in ways we don't understand and don't deserve. She may have an undiagnosed disorder, she may be on drugs, she may just be angry and taking it out on you. Whatever the reason, it is not okay to treat you in a disrespectful manner. Remember that whatever you allow is what will continue. Don't allow anyone to treat you badly.

    Something I've noticed often is that when we enable our kids, we send an underlying message that we believe they are not capable of handling life on their own. I don't know if you enabled your daughter but if you did, some of that anger and resentment she harbors may be a result of that. My daughter went through that and as I stopped enabling her and set boundaries around bad behavior that anger dissipated. I've read similar stories here.

    Once our kids reach adulthood, we are powerless over their choices and we can't "fix" them. They get to make their own choices, however bad we may believe them to be. What has become helpful to me and to many here is to start the process of detaching and putting the focus onto you. Do the things that make YOU happy. Do kind and nurturing things for YOU. When our kids go off the rails, we often lose sight of our own lives and that ends up being to our detriment and really to everyone's detriment. Take a step back from your daughters and take some steps towards your own life and what makes you happy.

    Keep posting it helps. I'm glad you found us.