As most know, I have a twenty-three year old daughter who once was heavily into drugs and turned it around. She is doing pretty well now, has a job as a Manager of a retail store and a boyfriend who doesn't have twenty piercings or do drugs and she's been with him for four years. She doesn't have good self-esteem and lives with her father who is highly critical and she's one of those people who believes it if you tell her she's wasting her life. I mean, here she stopped using all drugs, even smoking and drinking, and my ex is still criticizing her because she's in retail instead of cutting hair (she is a licensed Beautician, but really hated it). My daughter has been stressed lately (and NOT taking drugs to dull it!!!), but I'm worried about her. She can be highly emotional and I feel she has a mild mood disorder. She doesn't want to take medications for obvious reasons and is just now thinking of therapy. The big issue is her boyfriend. She talks about him all the time because he can be really nice and then again he can act angry at her for no reason and he blames it on her. I don't know what kind of "mom" advice to give her. She is not sure she wants to stay with him (and I hope she doesn't), but I'm not sure I should come right out and tell her to break up with him NOW (although I'd like to). Knowing her, that would just confuse and upset her more--she cares a lot about what I think, although she won't necessarily take my advice...lol. She is torn in half and I'm not sure how to respond when she talks about him. He is not a terrible young man, but I do think it's good that she's considering a breakup. She says she's been with him for so long that she misses him when they don't talk...then again she feels that it's partly because she doesn't have a lot of friends anymore and is insecure about going places with the ones she does have. I don't say it, but I think she had more "confidence" when she was all drugged up, but now she is straight and it's harder for her to socialize. I am at a loss as to what advice to give her. Should I just listen and offer encouragement and empathy? Although her father seems not to be proud of her, she is my hero for how she turned her life around. Most of you know how hard that is for a young person to do. I don't care that she's the manager of a Fannie Mae...I'm glowing with pride. I've talked with my ex, whom I get along with, but he'll be better for a few days then start on her again. She is not financially ready to move yet, although she is saving up. I guess I'm just confused because I'm not sure what she wants from me, and I want to give it to her. She has been let down a lot. She was the one who got socked with a divorce when she was eight (her sibs were much older) and I had to work full time. She was sexually assaulted once at a friends house and never told me until she was fourteen because she felt "ashamed." We moved from Illinois to WIsconsin when she was twelve, the worst possisble age (I made a BIG mistake moving her while in middle school), and she sat alone in the lunchroom until the "bad" kids noticed she was alone and recruited her into their crowd. She was thrilled to be popular, even if it meant doing drugs. I just want to be a good mother to my daughter right now. She's in another state. I've offered to let her stay here and I'd never bug her...I know she'd get a job and help clean the house, etc. And she'd be respectful now that she's not on drugs, but her life is so entrenched in Illinois. I'm feeling helpless. I love her more than my own life, and tell her how much I love her, but I can hear the conflict and anxiety within her. I guess I'm asking for ANY suggestions. How do you talk to a young adult who has had it rough (partly because of you) and who you want to build up and comfort--while her father does the opposite. And what about her love life? I do offer advice, but try to make it seem like it's still her choice what to do--that I'm not pushing her. Do I make any sense? LOL. Who dreamed, when we first had kids, that we'd have to worry about them while they're in their 20's???? Thanks to anyone who has a word of wisdom. So many of you are so smart!