Rudeness and cleaning

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiseChoices, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    DC2 is not getting her cleaning chores done . Conveniently forgets , lies about it being done, then when confronted does a half effort job. I feel like I have to stand over her and micromanage and I don't want to have to do that with a 21 year old.

    She acts entitled all the time, is only nice when she wants me to buy something , and is otherwise rude a lot . When I confront her on her attitude towards me, I hear that she "has anxiety" , that when she is stressed she will act that way and I "need to adjust". When I address that, she turns it around and claims she never said that , that her and I "just have very different personalities" etc

    So there is no point trying to reason .I laid down the law this morning and just said that if she wishes to use my car on occasion to go see her friend that I need all cleaning chores done and done well without me micromanaging. I also said she is control of her emotions and her reactions and that anxiety is not an excuse.

    This child used to be my sidekick. Joined at the hip .We did everything together, traveled, had so much fun. She used to help out around the house so much to help me, was just genuinely pleasing towards me and helpful and thoughtful. And that relationship is gone. And that hurts. But I can't cry over spilled milk and need to deal with the issues at hand.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    It is probably very sad and disappointing when a beloved child who we were very close to suddenly changes this way. I think perhaps it may be harder to accept than if the child was always at odds with us, as my daughter was. But I guess substance abuse and life can change our kids. But it has to be very difficult.

    Kay never cleaned and my husband and I threatened consequences but always felt too sorry for her to follow through. You are way ahead of some of us in knowing what has to be done. You give such good advice. I do know that it is easier to see somebody else's problem than one we are emotionally involved in.

    Kay was married and in the house we bought her by 21. She had no idea how to keep up a house. It overwhelmed her. She would call me crying that it was too hard and that she could not do it.

    I ended up doing it for her. I cleaned and even did her laundry and sometimes cooked. Sometimes I did this with Kay abusing me at the same time. When I would tiredly ask her if she could just offer me a thank you she would say that she hadn't asked me to clean her house. This was true. She called crying but never asked me to do it. Of course she knew I would though.

    I wish i had not done it. Nor should I have thought that if she had a house of her own she would want to keep it clean. I was thinking as myself, not her. It is easy to project what we would do onto our child.

    I think your instincts are good. I wish I had followed mine. I learned from someone in Al Anon to trust my gut. If I feel I should do something I now follow that more than my mind and even heart. My gut is most accurate. I can feel when something is right or wrong for me.

    God bless.
  3. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Wise, I think you responded very well. It sounds like you didn't over-react but just stated your expectations in a calm, clear way with no arguing with DC2. It's so easy to get drawn into their argumentative manipulations.
    It is hard to accept who a child, formerly wonderful and a joy, is now today. The loss is keen and painful. Just curious--how old was she when she began to manifest symptoms?
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I too think you handled it well. She might not be open to it...but if there is any chance she might suggest positive affirmations. Like have her repeat to herself “I can do this!” “I can clean fast and well too!” “I like cleaning and it works out well for me!” “I will do this and then I can use the car!”

    Weird question: why do all our kids loathe cleaning?

    When ours lived at home her bedroom st Times was scary.

    If I hired a housekeeper, more than 50 percent of her cleaning time for the entire home was spent in the one bedroom. Ugh

    Our adult child rarely cleans , although I think she does a few things like vacuums now and then. She also tends to clean a little if we are coming over or a good friend. But generally Of particular concern are her sheets. She has cats. She has had odd rashes, eye infections and scalp issues. I don’t think she washes her sheets regularly. I don't know. It’s so sad.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  5. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I was just thinking
    Thank you, Busy. What you said hit a lot of truths for me .

    It is way easier to help other people with boundaries than to apply your own .I struggle with it regularly. I think my problem with my daughter is I am trying to find out why she changed (analyzing her) when I need to keep the focus on me. What do I need? What do I want?

    I have cleaned my childrens' rooms in the past. I think that is how we got here. My daughter's room has always been very messy but it has taken on new proportions. Clothes and towels all over the floor. She does nothing all day except lay around in her PJs on her bed on her phone . She does the occasional homework and attends class twice a week, has 2 online classes.

    At school, when she lived in the dorms, I went once and cleaned her room for her - it took me hours for a tiny room. All of her clothes were dirty . She had depression and said she couldn't function. She seemed very grateful I cleaned for her .

    Here at home (we decided to not send her back to dorms) ,I don't comment on her room, I don't look at her room but once a month when I require both young adults to wash their sheets, sweep and mop, and dust . She drags it out. Says it will be done by the end of the week, then doesnt do anything until Sunday , then only washes sheets. I have to get after her to do the rest which she then claims got done while I wasn't home. She lies all the time .

    Even now after telling her about the bathroom , and taking away seeing her friend , she has not done any work on it.

    She has been playing the victim for years : claims she was emotionally abused by my husband's dry drunk behavior and while there was some of that, she exaggerates it to play the victim card. And now she has a new situation : she went on a date at school first semester and SHE pushed the sex with him. I was telling her to slow it down etc but she was determined. They had sex 3rd date and he dumped her . But she didn't tell anybody about it .She claimed clothes stayed on and he dumped her after making out . And she started cutting. For a whole year and gained 60 pounds. (she had an eating disorder before) . Just recently she told me that they had sex and after she told me she stopped cutting. I asked her whether he forced himself on her and she said no. She never told him no and went through with it (her first time) but then started calling it sexual assault. I don't know what to believe because she lies so much.

    I listened to a talk on narcissistic adult children today and she displays every last characteristic of it.

    I need to forget how things used to be , and face what they are now.

    So with her not doing the bathroom and therefore not using my car to see her friend, do I clean the bathroom? It needs to be done.
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    If it's your bathroom and having it dirty in your home drives you nuts, like it does me, clean it. Don't punish yourself. But don't give her the car.

    I am wondering if you considered moving her out. She is not too young. Have you thought of it?
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Beta, thank you for your response .my daughter's unraveling started around age 16 .it all started with her going vegan, starving herself , and losing 70 pounds. Periods stopped, hair fell out .I took her to an eating disorder clinic where she was diagnosed and then took her once a week, 2 hour car ride to big city one way, to their nutritionist for 3 years. She got better but continued to restrict food during many times, lied . Slowly stopped veganism, then was vegetarian, then added meat and whole milk .it took 3 years to get her periods back! During this time she became depressed . Took her to therapist for 3 years. She got worse under this person's care . Finally went on medications. 4 different medications all failed. She quit them all cold turkey. Was suicidal during all those years.

    During this time , I tried to support her. Was her emotional support and codependent. Worried sick about her.

    Our relationship unraveled when she went to University .she did not want to leave me for school, we cried saying good bye, I visited her once a week for the first few weeks and she would cry , didn't want to be there, didn't want to be away from me. Then made a friend at school and everything changed. She admitted later that she started throwing me under the bus with this friend and gossiping about me. And things never changed back after that despite the fact that she felt this friend was toxic and ended the friendship after a year. But has been keeping me at Bay ever since.

    At school, she had 3 different anti anxiety medications in her possession (all benzos) and threatened suicide and had a plan with the pills. So I went and collected them and threw them out.

    She went from Dec - August without any medications. Was cutting all year though and gained 60+ pounds. The bingeing had already started way before the sexual assault she claimed happened (see response to Busy) but continued here at home. She is 220 pounds now.

    She is now on medications again: heavy dose of Wellbutrin and Prozac and an antihistamine for anxiety. Her anxiety seems to be getting worse all the time. Or so she claims.

    She has never worked. Her therapist encouraged her to and she did apply to jobs a few times , did get one interview but did not get the job.

    She is controlling and manipulative with me . Al-Anon had helped me change a lot, but I still fall for her games all the time because I love her and I want our relationship to be good. I realize that the relationship is one-sided for the most part and that I accept rudeness and criticism from her.
  8. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you, Nomad .I don't know why cleaning is such a big deal . If my kids had their own homes, it would be much easier to accept it .
  9. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thought of it, yes, actively pursuing it, no. I am trying to get her to her Bachelor's degree which is in May. She has no means to support herself , and I can't kick her out into the streets at this point.
  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    College alone may not help her. Has she been treated specifically for her eating disorders? Seems she has always had serious problems with food and this is a mental illness that is quite serious. Cutting happens often with eating disorders. The eating disorders, from going from too thin to too heavy, probably needs attention more than anything. This is dangerous to her physical as well as mental health.

    If your daughter is severely mentally ill she may not be able to keep a job regardless of a college degree. A degree no longer guarantees a job. A niece of mine got her Master's in Education and had to take a job in another field that you don't need a degree for. She is not alone And she is not mentally ill.

    I hope the eating disorders and the causes gets addressed. I feel badly for your daughter.

    Kay used to cut. She still may. Oh, how I wish she would cooperate in receiving serious therapy. I know she is sick. I would pay for treatment if only she would get it.

    God bless.
  11. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    She was in eating disorder treatment for 3 years. When she started bingeing and gaining weight, she stopped going. I offered to pay for it for her to go back , and so far, she has refused.

    I have been wondering for a long time whether she has Borderline (BPD).
  12. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Hallelujah, she cleaned the bathroom at the end of the day! Didn't speak to me all day - I mean how dare I demand she does her chores - but whatever, it got done!
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  13. RN0441

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

    It's exhausting but so glad it's done....until next time. LOL
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I am pretty sure Kay has Borderline (BPD) among other things. She has explosive rages, either cuts or used to cut, has contentious relationships with everyone, is terrified of ending up alone (a prime symptom of the disease) and uses substances. Eating disorders are a big part of Borderline (BPD) as well, but Kay doesn't have this.

    I have read extensively about many disorders to try to figure out Kay. Borderline (BPD) sounds the closest. And she will never get help.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Some young people have a hard time separating from their mothers. I was one. It sounds like your daughter has attachment issues that are holding her up. This is common and it is not an attachment disorder. Because growing up, for her, would necessitate separating psychologically from you. And she doesn't want to on some level.

    She has to negate you, reject you, talk about you badly to others because she loves you too much. This makes her ambivalent about becoming self-sufficient. Hence the issues with cleaning, etc.

    And she has to devalue you in order to make you smaller, because inside her you are too large a presence. In the sense that she can't manage her feelings for you, and at the same time feel big and grown up.

    There is a way that she is making herself a dependent baby, in relation to you. So as to solve her problem, but this makes things worse. I recognize this. I have the same thing with my son.

    I recognize that the dorm and living independently were too much for her. That happened to me too. I flunked out my first semester in college, because being away in a dorm was too much. I could not handle it emotionally.

    I am wondering if you have thought of her living away from you in a supported situation, not in a college. Where she would be quasi independent but not alone. Where she would be supervised. I don't know what this setting would be. My girlfriend's daughter went to residential treatment for bulimia. (It was very scary because the daughter has type I diabetes.) This treatment center was a wonderful experience for her. She now has a masters of social work and is working in a clinic and engaged to be married.

    There are similarities between the dynamic you're in with your daughter and my son and I. Who is perhaps 10 years older!!!

    He acts like a baby. And the result is I treat him like one. He won't live as an adult away from me, and won't live as an adult near me, either. It's horrible.

    I guess what I wanted to say in this post is to not despair. Your daughter does not love you less. She has not changed in her feelings about you and wanting to be close to you. It's just that her emotional circumstances and needs have that she's now an adult and needs somehow to become one emotionally. I believe your relationship can return to the closeness of the past. But first she needs to be able to grow up. Which means away. Separating psychologically. It is this task to which she is dedicating herself. Whether or not she recognizes it.

    Your task is to be okay with her separating. Not reacting personally when she rejects you. (It's hard). Going about your life, independently. Letting her stew in her juices. Being supportive but separate.

    There is an extensive literature on this, particularly in psychoanalysis. There may even be books. I will see if I can find anything. Psychological separation of daughters from mothers.

    I think that she is too young for anybody to really make any kind of determination about diagnosis. Many of these issues she is dealing with may well recede once she works all of this through.

    I think she would be served by as much independence as she could safely tolerate. I know how hard this is. Because she is having such a hard time functioning normally at all. But I believe she can.

    This book looks good, but I haven't read it.
    My Mother, My Daughter, My Self Paperback – October 31, 2016
    by Jane G. Goldberg (Author)
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  16. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Copa, thank you so much for this. I cried reading it because it rings so very true. It's exactly what's going on, and I see how it is so very painful for both of us, my daughter and I.

    You have first hand experience with this with your son.

    It's like every time I give her more independence (dorms), she ends up taking advantage of me (lied about money, tried to extract more money out of me etc). So I apply boundaries and she gets mad.

    With the cleaning, she did clean the bathroom sparkling clean, but is angry with me for setting boundaries, not talking to me, and this morning informing me she will try to get the job her brother is leaving (he got a better one). She already applied, so "she can get out of here when she graduates in May". It's definitely a step in the right direction, so my boundary setting must be working even if emotionally it separates us more. According to what you said, I have to bear that for the sake of her independence. And later , the relationship can change again when she is independent and we can relate to each other as two grown women.

    This is hard! Thank you for the book suggestion. I will look into it.

    My Mom did all the cleaning for everyone. She did all of our laundry. She insists on doing my laundry today when I visit. My sibling and I did grow up despite all of that. I clean, my sibling does not. Sometimes, I wonder if I should just let it all go , but then a voice says no, that my children are adults and if they want to live with me , they have to do their part. It teaches them responsibility, and participation, and models self respect. And for me it preserves that self respect I have today, because I would be angry every time I scrubbed down their bathroom.
  17. RN0441

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


    That is great news that she is thinking about her independence! Sounds like she is doing it to "punish" you but who cares why as long as she does it. This is really great news to me!

    Do not let it all go. That is the easy way out. Stay on her. I stay on my son too about things and sometimes feel like a big ole NAG.....BUT in my Mother's Day card he wrote "thank you for helping make me a better person each and ever day" and then I knew that my work is being rewarded.

    I will continue to help my son to develop into the man God intended for him to be until the day I die or he is doing it himself. He is the one child that needed more guidance than the others. I am going to continue to step up to the plate even though at times it makes me, him or both of us uncomfortable.
  18. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you, RN, that post made me feel good that I am on the right path. Your son is doing so well .I am so glad for you and for him. I did think part of her wanting to work is punishing me for making her clean .it's so horrible she has to move asap - Hahaha - but, like you, I feel like if that is what it takes to get her working, great!
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