22 year-old-daughter stopped speaking to parents


New Member
My husband and I are at a complete loss. When our daughter turned 21, she was so happy and such a grateful person. She invited relatives to come from other states to celebrate her birthday as a surprise for me. She was a successful college student who had completed several internships and landed a very coveted internship. She was a happy and grateful person who loved her family and was thriving. That summer things changed. A friend of hers was diagnosed cancer and my daughter seemed to be emotional and unhappy which was understandable. She was supportive of the friend...took her to doctor's appointments, etc. I felt her change was somewhat normal.
That fall she quit school and didn't tell us. We found out my daughter figured out she was gay and had a girlfriend. My daughter said she had mono and that is why she quit school. She would answer texts or phone calls intermittently during this time. (Forgot to mention we paid all of her bills at this time and were happy to do so. She was thriving in school and a pleasure before all this started.) We continued to pay her bills and hoped she would return to school the next semester.
The next semester came and she said she wanted to return, so we paid the tuition bill. She told us she went to class and finished the semester, but during the summer a bill from the school came which meant she did not go to school. She lied.
She came home for holidays last year and we welcomed her girlfriend for many visits. I thought coming out might be stressful, so I tried to be patient and understanding of her rude behavior and lies. She told me none of her friends talk to her parents as much as we talked. I took this as a hint she needed space. I didn't really expect her to reach out to me, so I tried to reach out now and again to tell her I loved her, which I do, and support her. Sometimes she was friendly and talkative and other times, she would ignore my messages. Of course, I was hurt, but tried to be understanding and just send messages of support.
My husband and I went on a cruise this summer, and during that time, she messaged me every day. We had wonderful conversations. She moved into a new place and said things like I can;t wait for you to get home and come visit. Once we were home I reached out to her, and she stopped responding. She doesn;t respond to her brother either. It has been three months and I don't know what happened. Why would she message me every day and then just cut us out of her life? We have not voiced our opinion about any part of this situation. We have been supportive and as calm as possible.
Last night my husband drove to the city where she lives and stopped by the girlfriends work to find out where he could find our daughter. The girlfriend would no tell him. We have cut off financial support in layers to give her an opportunity to get on her feet. He wanted to tell her she needed to pay her car payment and insurance or give the car back. We stopped paying rent last June and giving money for food etc. Turned her phone off in September. All heart breaking things, but she is spending a lot of money on trips and booze, so she needs to be an adult and pay her own bills.
I guess I raised a spoiled brat who just decided to show her true colors. Maybe she is mentally ill? We offered counseling...she went once. She told my son she was seeing a counselor on her own. I hope so. We are not a perfect family, but things were always very stable and supportive. Has anyone else had a young adult change over night like this? She told my son she is different from us, whatever that means.


Well-Known Member
Yes. Me. And its not uncommon.

The pattern is usually that we always loved and supported them and one day, when we never saw it coming, they cut us out of their lives. Often this follows our divorce or their meeting a new SO who doesnt like us, no matter what we do. The latter happened to me. Another time this is common is if we cut off any of the money. Suddenly, if they will talk to us, we hear puzzling allegations of how we "abused" them. Really??? They never are specific as to why they cut us off, it seems.

There is a site called Estranged Parents of Adult Children. I dont have the address anymore. It is very good. Maybe try to search for it.

With most adult kids who do this, I assume it is temporary. In our case we adopted our son at age six so we met him later in his young life than usual. Things went pretty well until he met his wife. She wanted him to herself. It has been fifteen years now. I am grateful for my other four adult kids and have long since stopped trying. When I groveled, he stopped having any respect for me.

I think giving her time to come to you is best. You will likely agitate the situation otherwise. I do think that those of us who put ourselves last and our kids first set ourselves up. They feel empowered by our extreme parent love and know how much they can hurt us.

Take care of yourself and focus on your own needs and your loved ones who are being kind to you. Let your daughter come to you.

Hugs and good luck!!


Well-Known Member
Back at you. My situation sent me to extreme therapy for two years, but I am here to say I survived it and am fine now. I had to grieve.

Prayers to you. Wishing the best.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Olive,

I'm sorry for what you are going through. From what you have shared you sound like very loving and supportive parents.

It's always hard to understand why our adult children suddenly change their behavior. Your daughter coming to the realization that she is gay I'm sure is part of it. Perhaps she expected you to respond in a non supportive way and built up a wall to protect herself. Perhaps she doesn't believe that you accept her lifestyle choice, again building up a wall to protect herself. Perhaps her girlfriend has told her not to trust you in being supportive.
Regardless of her lifestyle choice, a girlfriend or boyfriend can have an enormous influence over someone. The new girlfriend may be manipulating and controlling your daughter. The fact that she would not tell your husband where daughter is living makes me wonder if she is trying to isolate your daughter.

It's good that you have cut off financial support especially if she is not going to school and spending money on booze. There may also be other drugs involved.

The only thing I can offer is to give your daughter space. Reach out to her once a week or maybe ever other week. Let her know you are thinking about her and that you love her. Ask her when a good time would be for you to get together for coffee or lunch and invite the girlfriend.
If she doesn't respond or says "quit calling me" I would reply with something like "honey, I love you and just want to know that you are ok. I don't mean to bother you but I miss you. I will respect your wishes and hope that you will reach out to me sometime"
One thing I've learned is when our adult difficult children get into a bind they usually will call mommy and daddy in hopes that we will help them.
I have also learned that no matter how much we love our kids there comes a time when they are going to live the life they want and we have no control over that.

I know this is hard. I'm glad you found us here, you are not alone.

((HUGS)) to you.....................


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
You are not alone. I don't recognize who my son has become. His issue is with drugs and although that is the case I also see a rude vulgar person we certainly didn't raise.

It is heart breaking and troublesome no matter the cause. We are still in the throws of this as he has not completed high school and is failing again at this attempt. He will be 18 this month. I do t see him willing or wanting to change. I wish this was different but it's not.

I am learning to care for myself and do what I need to do the survive this ordeal.

He is passive but steals from us. Has. I respect for home or chores and we have set the bar pretty low quit frankly.

I am getting much more secure in the idea that he needs to be on his own and find his own path. Keeping him and supporting him does not appear to be helping in any way what so ever.

Getting therapy and support for yourself is very important.


Active Member
My daughter started contacting us again, though it took a year or two. I still do not know why she stopped talking to us: if she wanted us to know she would tell us.


New Member
Wow. Going that long without talking to her and then just acting like it never happened must have been very hard. You are very strong!


Active Member
Wow. Going that long without talking to her and then just acting like it never happened must have been very hard.
It was.

Not the not explaining part, I am used to that, but the not talking part. I was so VERY used to keeping one ear on her to pick up symptoms, it made me NUTS to have no idea how she was! She talks very fast when she is manic, and then I know to be extra-available to her and t be able to drop anything if she said she needed help.

But, she did grow up during that time. She also moved to another state to stay with a "friend", and when she got into trouble, she called her ex-boyfriend in another state and he went and got her. The ex-boyfriend then called us to let us know where she was. They got together again, and She married him a couple of months ago.

He is a good guy!

When our kids are acting out, we need to remember to take care of ourselves even when it is hard to concentrate on anything else. I bought some books during that time, took myself out to breakfast a couple of times, etc. Little, thoughtful things done for ourselves and given to ourselves, keeps us functioning.