What have i done so wrong to make my adult daughter dislike me so much?


New Member

a huge thank you to midwesmom for guiding me to the correct forum, and i will try to respond to your answer

Hi I am a newby here, and hope i can find some help. I am at the end of my tether, and don’t know where to turn. My adult daughter, has never seemed to want me around her. She never tells me she loves me, and never does anything to show she even cares about me. her attitude towards me, is that it is a chore for her to spend any time with me, which makes me fell so unwanted and worthless. i have always supported her, with everything she chooses, but she still seems to dislike me. i know she did not have it easy growing up as i split from her father when she was 9yrs old, and he took it bad, making everyone around him responsible including my daughter. i have tried talking to her, but she says nothing is wrong, and wont discuss anything. i get excluded from the grandchildren's activities, but when i tell her how that hurts me, she just gets angry with me, and says i am not excluded. an example is i wanted to see my grandson at his 1st sports day, and every attempt for me to get information so i could, was met with excuses like she did not know if she was sending him, each time i asked her to let me know, she just uttered a yes. when sports day had finished i said to her so i guess you did not send him, to which she replied yes she had. i asked he r if she had not wanted me there, and she got so angry telling me she did not know i wanted to go. this is only one of many incidents. my mental health has deteriorated so much, and she does not seem to care about that either.

Read more: http://www.conductdisorders.com/for...ghter-dislike-me-so-much-54843/#ixzz2bDTgFPBp


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ellie, welcome. I'm sorry you are going through these feelings about your daughter. I read what Midwestmom wrote to you and she really covered all the bases I think. There comes a time when our parental roles are over, that role changes into something else. It sounds to me as if you may need some support in order to let go, to give your daughter the space she is needing. You can't control her choices and to the degree that you allow them to impact you only causes suffering. Start to focus on YOU and take the focus off of her..........do what you love to do, find things that nurture you and make you happy. You deserve that.

Our kids can make choices which are hurtful to us, but we can feel the hurt and then move on in our own lives finding joy and fulfillment in spite of the choices our kids make. I'm sorry you are hurt. You seem to have expectations that your daughter can't or won't meet. Either way, you end up suffering. Since you cannot control what she chooses, it makes sense to learn how to let go of what she is doing or not doing and concentrate on YOU and what makes you happy. Sending good thoughts that you find peace.


New Member
thank you for responding, i do understand that our roles change, and we need to move on with our lives, and let our children lead theirs. My first post does not make it very clear,l what has happened , we were in a place where we seemed to be 2 adults rather than mother and child. i am trying to compile a clearer explanation, which i hope will help you to understand,


Well-Known Member
Even so, you can not overdepend on your daughter for your social life, even as two adults. Its best to let your daughter move on. If your daughter can blow hot and cold that's all the more reason to move on with other people. We give them roots to grow and wings to fly. We can't expect them to love hanging out with us. Do you have a rich, interesting life outside of your child and grandchildren?

scent of cedar

New Member
Sometimes, we have to love them enough to let them distance themselves from us. Next time, you could ask your daughter if she would snap a picture of grandson at his event for you. That way, you will have the pleasure of seeing the event without the stress of trying to figure out whether daughter is going to let you attend or not. You can congratulate grandson, and take part in his life that way. If daughter still refuses, then you will have to accept that, for this time, this is how daughter wants it. We need to respect our children, and we don't seem to have much choice but to respect their wishes. I knew a lady once who said the best advice she ever got about parenting adult children is: Pretend you are sitting on your lips. Smile, say nothing, go on with your day. Welcome them, when you see them again. Demonstrate the pleasure they bring, and let them go.

Part of the resentment both parents and difficult children feel is the unnatural influence we have on one another's lives long past the time when that is appropriate. I should not feel responsible for my child, at this point. She should not feel responsible for me, until I am old and unable to care for myself.

And as husband says about that? "Good luck with that one, honey!"




New Member
So sorry for not responding sooner, but this was harder to write than i thought
It is so hard to know where to begin. It may be best to start with saying, that i came from and abusive and split family, which i don’t doubt has probably impacted on my ability to choose partners, who I can form and maintain healthy relationship with. The one thing i know is that i always knew i would do anything in my power to make sure any children of mine would have a better life. I only had the one child, because after 3 yrs into my marriage i knew something was wrong with it, but having made that commitment i felt i had to keep trying to make it work.
I split from my daughters father in 1988, when she was 9yrs old, after i had spent 11 yrs, trying to make an emotionally abusive marriage work, and I met a new partner the following yr, my daughter seemed to like my new partner (that’s another s story)
Her father took the split bad, and stalked and harassed me for 8yrs, in an attempt to get me to take him back. most of this I managed to hide from my daughter, as I did not want her to have to be in the middle of things, but unfortunately, he also used her to try and get me to take him back. She was made to feel guilty, if she did not try and make my life difficult. His hope was that if I could not manage alone, then I would take him back. Some of the things he did were horrendous. On the occasions she did get upset, and refused to go to his home, he would buy her something or offer to take her on holiday, and being a child she always accepted his bribery. At that time, I do believe she resented me especially, when she was promised a Disney land holiday, but then later after she had spent a few weeks, building up her excitement, her father told her, he could only afford to take her if I went too. She did not understand that i could not bring myself to go, as it would cause further problems. I always thought that as she grew, she would learn to understand things like that.
I feel that the way I handled things at this time, may have contributed to how she feels about me now, but she says not, and won’t discuss anything that happened then. She seems to have accepted his behaviour then as it was not his fault, because he was sad that i did not want him.
Even though i resented her fathers behaviour towards me, i tried to ensure that she had as normal a life as possible, and did not want her to miss out on having a family around her, just because her father and i were no longer together. I made sure she was able to attend any family activity that she was invited to, such as weddings, Christmas etc.
Like any child, she wanted to buy presents at these times for family and friends, so i obviously gave her the money to do that. Her father and his family never did the same in reverse, so i also gave her money to buy mine, and no matter what she chose I cherished.
When I first split with her farther, I tried to get employment, which proved difficult as I had no means of childcare. I tried taking on a weekend job, but as soon as my ex found out he refused to have our daughter or let his mum have her I should say.
Due to his behaviour, i started doing voluntary work for a charity, so i could get training, and companionship. Because it was voluntary, and the organisation understood the predicament i was in, they did everything they could to help me. if i could not go in because childcare was messed up, they understood, and if they were really desperate for cover, they let me take my daughter with me.
By the time she was 14, i had eventually secured paid employment, so was able to give her some things, i previously could not.
We were close when she was younger, but as soon as the teenage rebellion kicked in, her father was there to exploit that. Her behaviour towards me deteriorated, and she would not accept any house rules., which her father supported. She left me to go live with her dad when she was 15yrs old. This lasted 2 weeks, then she moved in with her granny. She preferred being with them as there were no boundaries, so she could come and go as she pleased, and do whatever she liked. By the time she was 16 she moved in with a boyfriend, his mum and his young son. I was estranged from my exes family, because of the split, and my family were all a 2 and a half hours drive away, i felt so alone, and unable to protect my daughter from dangers, as I was denied any information about what my daughter was doing during this time, and I was constantly worried.
The only thing i could do, was let her know I would always be there if she needed me, and i was overjoyed when she did start contacting me, even if it was only because she wanted money. I was so grateful just for the contact, that I always gave her what I could. She still would never discuss anything with me, and if I asked her if everything was ok, all I ever got was a blunt yes. Just before she was 17, she asked if she could come with me on my next visit to my family, which surprised and pleased me. I obviously agreed to this, but when it was time to return home, she refused and said she wanted to stay there. My sister agreed that she could if it was ok with me. although it hurt she did not want to be with me, i understood , and felt she would be safer with my sisters guidance, than she had been under her fathers.
She seemed to scared to tell her boyfriend she was not coming back, and did not want him to know where she was. Any attempt I made to find out why she felt this way was always met with she was not scared, just did not want to go back. It was left to me to inform him, and pick up her things from his house. By the way this was the first and last time I met this lad.
She returned to me, when she was 18, but soon wanted her own place which I helped her with as much as I could. This failed, and she moved back home to me, bringing a boyfriend with her. soon after this, her boyfriend told me my daughter was pregnant, but my daughter was so angry with him for telling me, so she ended that relationship. I made it very clear that I would be there for her, no matter what, and she decided she could not keep it. I supported her decision all the way, and never put any pressure one way or the other. I went with her when she underwent this, and looked after her at home. She then moved into another flat, which again I helped her set up, but she started to neglect it when she met her next boyfriend. During this time, she did work, but as any typical teenager her money never lasted. She struggled to make ends meet, and any attempts by me to guide her were always met with anger from her, and i never felt she appreciated for anything i did. I eventually stopped providing money, and started providing actual food, and paying the bills.
She was also now earning her own money, but would still come to me when she could not buy birthday/Christmas presents, and I usually gave her it, but tried to guide her in how to manage money, this was always met with anger from her. i did start to resent the fact that I was giving her money to buy her father and his family presents, when i was getting only a card, because i felt by this age i should not be giving her money to buy my present. Although i was feeling resentful, i never let her know that, and always told her not to worry, when she said she could not afford to but me anything.
I remember the first time i told her, that if she wanted to buy presents for her father and his family, then she would have to start saving, as i was no longer prepared to pay for them. Her attitude towards so what keep your money, just before Christmas that year she started her crying that she could not afford to buy t the presents, and i reminded her what i had told her. this caused one of the biggest arguments between us, and she told me i was evil and never cared for her. because it was so close to Christmas, and i did not want to spoil it, i gave in, and told her this was defiantly the last time.
She became very cold towards me after that, and still kept me at a distance, but I felt she was still learning and finding her own feet. She turned up late at home one night, and told me she had left her boyfriend, (who i had never met) and she was 6 months pregnant. She said she was happy about the baby, and things started to improve between us. i took her to her appointments and was with her when she gave birth., and she stayed with me for 2 months after the birth. Yes we still had some arguments but nothing more than most people do. Understandably she wanted a home of her own, for her and her daughter, so I helped her as much as I could, both physically and financially. I never made any demands on her. Even though she had her own life, and i had mine, we still saw a lot of each other. Most of our contact was based around hers, and my granddaughters needs. As a parent/grandparent i needed to know they were both okay, so whenever she called me crying she had no money for this that and the other i was always there to provide. I do accept that maybe this was not the best thing to do at that time, and maybe should have made her take more responsibility, but when your daughter is crying down the phone that she has no money for food/bills and then also that she give her daughter a nice birthday/xmas or buy presents for her father, his family or friends. Its hard to refuse, when you can provide that, and i also wanted them to have nice times, and be part of them, so it was for my benefit as well. Although she did say she felt bad for not being able to provide things herself, i made it clear that no one would know that she had not bought the things herself.
After a while i started to notice she had no interest in me at all, and i don’t mean as a mum, i mean as an equal adult. I tried discussing with her, how it felt when the only time she seemed to want any contact with me is if she wanted something


New Member
i am so sorry this is so long, but i did not know how to give a clearer picture. i had to sentd it in 2 posts as it was to big

I say we had our own lives, this is true, she started university, i worked full time. Any attempts i made to show interest in what she was doing were always met with her giving nothing away. At that time she was studying photography, and i told her i would love to see some of her work, but she always blocked this. The only time i did get to see some, was on a couple of occasions, when she needed, my computer for some reason or another. She showed irritation to me if i asked any questions on this. Whenever i tried to tell her anything about my life, she never wanted to know, whether it was good or bad.
In 2003, i was diagnosed with breast cancer, so my times with my family became more precious,
The only saving grace in this was my granddaughter, i was able to show interest in things she was doing, and was involved in all aspects of her life. I loved seeing her happy at Christmas, her birthday parties and seeing her have fun in school plays and sports days. i still had my own life separate from this, but these were special times i looked forward to.
By 2006 things started to break down, when medication was making things difficult at work, and they were not sympathetic to my needs, and i eventually acknowledged my partner and my best friend preferred each other’s company to mine (deep down I’d known this for years, but was not strong enough to face it), even though i knew it was futile, i was desperately trying to hang on to my relationship, i think i was more scared of being alone, because i knew if i ended the relationship i would also lose my best friend.
In early 2007 my daughter started dating one of my work colleagues, so she no longer seemed to need me. i was happy for her, but was worried, because i knew this person, and i did not believe he would treat her that well, but i knew i had to support any decisions she made. i understood i would not see my daughter and granddaughter as much, but i did still need to see them reasonably regular. By that i mean I would have accepted anything that was offered, but nothing was offered.
Eventually everything started to get on top of me, and my GP signed me off work with stress. I rarely requested support from anyone, but this was a time i needed support, instead of me giving support.
my partner was spending less time with me, and more time with my friend, and any attempts to address this was met by they were only friends and doing nothing wrong. when i tried to talk to my daughter about this, she seemed to think they were doing nothing wrong, so i felt that i was wrong, for wanting my partner with me, instead of him being with my friend.
I was becoming more and more isolated, and my confidence and self esteem plummeted, a few friends visited at first, but that was mainly so they could complain about work. These friends agreed that what my partner and friend was doing was wrong, and they told my i needed to get them, out of my life. I knew they were right, but i also was scared that i would be alone.
I made many attempt to keep contact with my daughter and granddaughter, and she agreed i could have my granddaughter stay over some weekends and school holidays. This happened a few times, whereby my daughter would drop her off, then get the next bus home, she would pick her up next day or the day after, but when she got to my house it was still the next bus home. This made me feel my daughter did not want to spend any time with me.
Even though she had a partner she still rang me for money, although not as much as she had done in the past. i loved having my granddaughter, but i was lacking adult company, and was finding it hard to make new friends, because i was now finding it financially difficult to do the things i used to, and i was becoming more depressed, because i felt so bad about myself. This resulted in me avoiding going out of the house.
The more i stayed in the harder it was to go out, even though i pushed myself to get some shopping done.
It was Christmas that year that i finally realise how little i meant to the people in my life. My partner told me he had decided to spend Christmas with his son in another town. He said this was because he hadn’t had Christmas with him for years, as he had spent them with me and my family. (i must point out hist daughter and his grandchildren always came to mine). i understood his need to spend Christmas with his son, but could not understand why he had not invited me along. When i challenged this, he said well you will be spending it with your daughter like you always do. This was going to be the first Christmas she had not come to me, because she now had a partner. By early December she had not invited me to spend Christmas with her, even though she knew i would be alone. I told her that i did not know what i could do for Christmas, and her response was “ i suppose you can come to us if you want”. I was gutted, by this, and told her this made me feel unwanted, and she became very angry with me, saying she had never said she did not want me there. I spent that yr alone. deep down i think it was her partner who did not want me there, and he was giving her a hard time, whereby if she invited me she would upset him, and if she didn’t she would upset me.
My partner return in the middle of January and my relationship finally broke down id February, as i predicted i also lost my best friend. I still saw my granddaughter at times, and very quick glimpse of my daughter as she dropped her off and picked her up.
In may 2008 my daughter told me she was pregnant, and the baby was due in September. I felt so left out of this, and could not understand why she had not told me earlier. When i told one of my friends from work who occasionally visited me, she said she already knew, but had been told by my daughters partner, not to tell me. when i asked my daughter why she had not told me, she said they had not told anyone. She said my friend from work was lying and she had not known. I did not believe my daughter, sad to say i know, but i had to let this incident go. I asked if i could see a scan picture, she said i could, but never brought it to show me. she kept saying she forgot it. I stopped asking after a while, and i still have not seen it. My grandson is nearly 5 now. Again this makes me feel worthless, and unwanted.
I tried telling her that there is a problem between us, and would love to resolve it, but she denies there is and says i am just looking for excuses to argue, and that the only problem was me. i asked her how or what could i do to improve our relationship, and she said there is nothing because nothing is wrong.
As things continued to deteriorate for me i tried to get help, and GP arranged counselling, one of the things the councillor asked me to do was to try and arrange quality time with my daughter, and try to combine that with me leaving the house. I asked my daughter if she could do this with me, but she refused stating she does not have time and i lived to far away. I suggested that maybe she could possibly try to make a little time, maybe 1 afternoon, every 6 weeks or so, but this was still refused. A neighbour agreed to do this with me, but it hurt when she asked me why my daughter could not help me. i was embarrassed to have to admit i was worth so little, that i could not be given one afternoon to try and help me get out of the rut i had got into. I suggested to my daughter that it might help if i moved nearer, and she agreed it might., as she said she has to shop locally anyway.
It took some time, but i eventually managed the move, in December 2010, may i add with no help from my daughter.
The first few weeks, seemed to go ok, but still there was no quality time, It was get groceries and get home, but i saw this as a start. On some occasions i could go out alone, but on the occasions i was struggling i would ring her and ask if she was going shopping. It soon became apparent that this deemed a chore to her, and she would say yes, but you have to hurry because i don’t have time. I tried telling her how it made me feel, but that only instilled anger in her. i decide to try and stop asking her if she was going, and sometimes she would ring me and ask if i needed to go, if i said yes, it was still followed by the you will have to hurry i don’t have much time.
Even though she said very little to me, she did start complaining about her partner, over a few things, which confirmed my earlier thoughts it was him restricting time she spent with me. Because the things she was complaining about where similar things, but just about how he is with other people. When i voiced this she said this was not the case, when it so clearly was.
In my daughters words not mine, in front of others , he pretends to be the perfect partner, father, and step father, but when others are around he is the total opposite. I don’t doubt that this is true, because he was the same when i worked with him. I was his senior, and when i came on duty he went to great lengths to make sure i knew what a good worker he was, and how he had gone beyond the call of duty, whilst putting down his counterpart, i think he wants me out of the way, because he cannot pull the wool over my eyes, and i see him for what he is. I never used my knowledge against him, and always tried to make the best of things with him. Birthdays and Christmas i never left him or his other children, and he would say thank you and tell me how much it meant to him to be accepted in this way, but my ex never buys him or his kids anything which upsets my daughter.
Although i tried to include him, it was soon very obvious that he did not want me to be included, after much effort on my part my daughter agreed to try and include me and she started to invite me for tea, i loved that she was making an effort, but it was always at a time when he was not around. It was not easy for her, either as she would have to come out and meet me, as i could not get that far on my own, and she also had to do the same for me coming home. I appreciated her efforts, and told her this. There was 2 occasions when she asked me, to go, and i had to decline because i was ill. She seemed to understand this at the time, but i have recently had this thrown back at me how she tried to include me, but i kept refusing so she stopped asking. I pointed out to her that it was 2 occasions, when i was ill for s weeks, but she seems to have forgot that. She sees only that i refused to go, so she decided not to ask me anymore. I feel that she used my refusal as an excuse to get out of asking me.
Last year my daughter organised a birthday party for my grandson, but did not invite me and when i asked if i could go she said she was not inviting adults, i tried to accept this, but it hurt, because i knew adults would be there. Very few adults leave their 4yr olds in the care of 1 adult at a party. At Christmas i was denied access to my grandsons school concert, i understand she may need space, but i get fobbed off with feeble excuses. This year i did not get an invite to my granddaughters party, so i asked if i could go, (by the way i am very close to my granddaughter and she had already asked me if i was going, and i told her i would love to but it was up to her mum). i was told no because adults were not being invited. Again i tried to accept this, even though it hurts me to miss these special times in the children’s lives. I was devastated a few days later while out getting some shopping with my daughter, and she was stopped by a friends, whereby they proceeded to discuss what a fab party it had been. This makes me feel that it was not because adults were not invited, it was because she did not want me there. I did not say anything because i did not want to have to face her anger if i did, then a few weeks ago she told me it was my grandsons 1[SUP]st[/SUP] sports day at school, but she was upset because she could not go herself, as my granddaughter had something on the same day. I said that i could go and she told me it was okay, as his dad was going to go. I said i would still like to go and see him. A few days later she told me that the school had told her she did not have to send him, as he does not join in with things, so i asked her what she was doing and she said she did not know. I asked again a few days after that, and she still said she did not know, so i asked her to let me know. I felt that she was avoiding discussing this with me, and i also believed her partner did not want me to go. She ranh me on the afternoon after sports day, and all i said was i guess you decided not to send him, to which she replied yes she did, i was so hurt, that i said i guess i wasn’t wanted there, and she got so angry with me, and said she did not know i wanted to go, and she was not a mind reader.
Following this, i tried to reduce any time with my daughter, because I felt she was struggling to cope, and asked her to leave her mobile on just in case i got in a panic. I must add that i have not yet needed to ring her, even though i have felt shaky and anxious instead of her rushing me, its now me rushing to get there get what i need and get home as quick as i can,
Throughout all of this, i am good enough to borrow money off even though i am on benefits, i am good enough to babysit when she needs it, i am good enough to buy them presents at the special times, but i am not even good enough to be saved a bit of cake. Please don’t think i am gripping about a bit of cake, this is not so. Its the lack of inclusion followed by the lack of consideration. If she could only say i am sorry mum there was not enough cake, i would be the first to say don’t worry i understand, instead she said nothing, so i said what no cake? And she snapped at me and said there wasn’t enough.
She kept ringing me, but because i would not accept she did not know i wanted to go she constantly got angry with me. i keep telling her that this cannot go on, if she does not want me in her life, i will back off and let her get on with it, or if she does want me in her life then we have to work out a way were we can minimise hurting each other. She insist there is nothing to work out and i need to stop being evil to her. She will not do anything to resolve this, which has resulted in me withdrawing from her completely. I have told her that i will happily discuss a way forward, but i cannot continue the way we are.
This leaves me feeling pretty worthless, unwanted and constantly hurting, which in turn is impacting on my health. I want to move forward, and i know i need help to do this. I also acknowledge that the help does not need to come from her, but i am struggling to seek help when she clings on to me for the things she wants off me. this is the reason i have come here.

I don’t believe my daughter is happy, and i think she feels trapped, her home seems to be constant conflict, mainly between her partner and my granddaughter, My daughter has told me, he never has time for her, and picks on her for everything she does that he doesn’t like. He is not the same with his own 3 children. This results in my granddaughter kicking off, which in turn results in my daughter getting angry with her partner for picking on a child, but then she also gets angry , my granddaughter for kicking off. My granddaughter at 12 yrs old already thinks her family hates her. When my daughter complains to me how badly behaved my granddaughter is, i try to say that maybe this is because she feels an outsider in the family, but again this seems to anger my daughter, because she sees me as favouring my granddaughter condoning her bad behaviour. It is only since her mum and i have stopped talking, that my granddaughter has opened up to be about how much she dislikes her mums partner, and wishes her mum would leave him. I feel so disloyal to my daughter for allowing my granddaughter to say these things, but i also feel my granddaughter needs to be able to vent these thoughts in a safe place. My granddaughter is always well behaved for me, and respects my rules.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ellie, your relationship with your daughter is not healthy. I read your entire post, it is a sad tale, one in which you will continue to suffer if you don't change. The truth as I see it is that you and your daughter are enmeshed in a codependent relationship where you enable her, rescue her and she manipulates you and does not appreciate anything you do, only uses you again. This is unhealthy for both of you. Your self worth should not hinge on what anyone else does or doesn't do, the fact that it does reflects how tentative your hold on your self worth is. In my opinion, the only way you can begin the process of forming a healthy relationship with your daughter is to form one with yourself first. Somewhere along the way you did not develop a solid self based in self love, self respect and self acceptance.

Your daughter is not treating you with any respect. Your partner and best friend don't appear to have treated you too much better. Others treat us the way we allow them to, you have allowed others to treat you shabbily. If I were in your shoes, I would seek professional help, a therapist, someone who will guide me out of being a victim of others behavior.

You are in an unhealthy dynamic with your daughter. You will need help to change it. If you can heal this within you, you can then begin to form a different kind of relationship with your daughter, one in which you can feel valued, respected, loved and trusting. But, more importantly, you will form a healthier relationship with yourself so that you can make choices which nurture you, put you in connections where you are loved and accepted and offer you a sense of inner peace.

The best support I can offer you about your daughter is to work on YOU first. Put her aside for the moment, put all of your worries about your daughter and her partner and your grandchildren on the side for awhile, and find support for YOU. You deserve that. You deserve to be happy and have others care for you in loving ways, but only you can make that happen. Unfortunately we train those around us to treat us a certain way and you've trained your daughter to not value you. Giving her money to purchase gifts for others who treat you badly and then receive a card from her is very telling. She is treating you exactly how you allowed her to treat you..............and now that is a pattern. You can change that pattern, but it is going to take work on your part. Building your self esteem and your self worth and your self love will make a tremendous difference in the way you will insist that others treat you. I wish you love Ellie, you deserve that.


New Member
thank you recovering for your response, it confirmed a lot of what i was thinking and feeling.
Due to how my own health suffering because of how things are i have ended up so isolated, scared and lonely, and feel incapable. I don’t have any family and friends i can turn to.
Looking back, friends and relationships i had, have always been based on me giving and never taking. I always saw the giving as just sharing whether that was financial, emotional or physical.
I now find myself in the position where i don’t feel have anything left to give, and because of this, there seems to be no one who wants me. i do recognise my responsibility in this, and have become so scared of repeating this pattern. Due to lack of self esteem, and finances, i don’t know how to start.
Your response alone, made me feel that i was right in thinking my daughter shows little or no respect for me,
If i tell her how i feel, she tells me i am being stupid, unreasonable, and only looking for something to argue about, and because i have no one to balance this i was starting to question did she respect me, but i could not see it? When i told her i felt excluded she got angry, and said i was forgetting all the times she had included me. i started to question myself and could not think of the times she was referring to. So i asked her to remind me, her response was “loads of times”. she would never give me any specific times when she had included me., and any attempts to push this always resulted in her screaming at me that it didn’t matter, because i was just picking the times she had not included me.
This always left me feeling worse, because i was in conflict with myself
The insecure side of me was thinking, were there times she had included me, and i had not recognised or forgot them? If this is the case, i would happily apologise, and try to be more aware of any inclusion in future.
The slightly more secure side of me was thinking that if there were times, i was included, then why would she not remind me of these so that i could recognise them? I feel that her off pat answers of “loads of times” is her way of covering up the fact that she herself cannot think of times she has included me, and to scream it doesn’t matter is her way of trying to make me feel guilty for not remembering.
I know the only way forward is through professionals, but this also terrifies me, because my previous attempts left me feeling worse than i did when i started. My GP makes me feel like a useless person for not being able to cope. When i first told him i was finding it hard to get up, get dressed and go out, he told me that was being ridiculous, and had to do these things. He did refer me to counselling, but this was time limited to one session a week for 6 weeks, and this was only to address issues about getting me to go out of the home. My bad experiences prevent me from searching for help, my reason for coming here, was so i could start to look for a way out of my situation, and hopefully the support i have received so far will help me make that move


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Elllie, the main component of enabling is that often if not most of the time, the enabler has no real self, the self is all about others, the focus is external, there is a lack of a solid self in which to make healthy choices. This usually stems from childhood issues and we just perpetuate it until we reach the point you are at, depleted, feeling crazy, not knowing what is right or wrong, filled with fear and chaos. If you can't find a professional to help you, do some research into 12 step groups in your area, Codependents anonymous can be very helpful if you find the right fit. You are in another country so I am not sure what is available. Here in some cases, there are services offered through our medical system for Codependent recovery so you may want to look into that. Try reading a book called Codependent no more by Melody Beattie. You can pull yourself out of this quagmire you're in, take little steps each day to do something for YOU. Take the focus off of your daughter and put it on YOU. Look for some kind of support out there and keep posting here. With all you have on your plate and your isolation, you also sound depressed. is it possible for you to change Doctors to find someone with more compassion for your plight? Don't accept what you've been offered, search out others more willing to help you. Hang in there, you can make these changes............start today, go get that book. Sending you hugs............


Active Member
Hi Ellie welcome to the site and always know you're not alone. I can't really improve on what recovering said so I won't try to add on more (lots of good info there) I just wanted you to know I said a prayer for you and if nothing else you got me to pick up the phone call my folks then go over there to borrow a map (that I already have in my car)

I often get so caught up in my kids, cats & friends demands on me that I sometimes forget to give my parents the attention they need & deserve.


scent of cedar

New Member
Elliedeb, it takes a great courage to acknowledge vulnerability, and to reach for help. Somewhere inside, you have already made the decision to reclaim yourself; you have already made the decision to become healthier, and stronger, and to be whole, again. Every smallest step forward is a triumph ellie, and in honestly assessing and reporting the situation as you know it to be, you have taken those first steps.

I celebrate this beginning with you. Those first, tentative steps into our own truths are so scary elliedeb, but you did it. Once you go further, once you begin reclaiming your true self, you will be amazed at the strength, there at your center, and at the joy you will feel.




Well-Known Member
Welcome. You have received wonderful well thought out advice from terrific people. May I add one more thing? Your new journey of self discovery is a solitary journey. Do not attempt to share your quest with anyone...especially your daughter. It is for YOU and YOUR future. It likely will be a rollercoaster ride but the goal is for you to know and love and understand yourself. I'm rooting for you. DDD


Well-Known Member
Ok, and thank you for sharing. It must have been very painful for all of you.

To me, it sounds like your daughter has learned to go where the money is. So many people have tried to "buy" her. She also seems to be independent, maybe because she had to deal with a split family and varying people with various personalities. The bottom line is, no matter what happened, we are not psychologists. We are just moms. Your daughter, for her own reasons, wishes to see you only when she wishes to. It may be a fierce independent streak, resentment from the old days, her personality, meanness, anything really.

She also does not want to discuss her past. This is fair game. She may not be ready to discuss it with you. She may never be ready to discuss it with you or anyone else. If she does discuss it, she may choose a therapist to help her put her head on straight. A LOT has happened in her short life and she has not figured it out yet. The actual story of her life is not what is important anymore. It can't be undone and you did the BEST you could. This is what you CAN control.

You can control your own life. You can go to your own therapist to talk about your angst with your daughter...it helps! You can make new friends, join new activities, and make a full, rich, happy life for yourself and let your daughter have the space she needs while you have a great time yourself. Her problems are between herself and herself. Or herself and her partner.

You seem to anger your daughter a lot when you put your .02 in. This means she DOES NOT WANT TO HEAR YOUR OPINION about her, her relationship, her child, anything. If you wnat to listen, then listen but don't offer your opinion. She doesn't WANT it. I do a lot of listening to my kids without telling them what I think they should do or what I think they should feel or what is wrong in their lives. I had to learn to do this. I am naturally opinionated, but found that just because I have an opinion, that d oesn't mean that my kids necessarily want me to air it. It can cause resentment,

As for granddaughter, listen but again try not to give an opinion. She may mean what she says and she may be manipulating you. For whatever reason she tells you what she does, your daughter is not going to leave her partner because of her kid's dislike of him. I wish more people would take what is best for the kid into consideration, but most do not and stay with partner regardless of child's feelings on the matter. I gently remind you that you stayed with an abusive man and also married another one that you don't even want to talk about. Let your daughter deal with her daughter, just like you were the one who dealt with yours in the best way you knew how. Stay out of it. JMO.

Your daughter will come to you when the time is right, if the time is ever right. You can't keep badgering her for her "whys" (many that she may not really know) and not expect her to want to put a distance between you...a bigger one. She is moving ahead to her future and would probably be happy to see you moving ahead with your own activities and friends.

Again, I urge you to see a therapist for yourself. I'll bet once your stop trying to cling to your daughter things may relax with her. And maybe not, but at least you'll be happier. You need goals and a purpose to your life that exists outside of anybody else in the world, even your daughter. I want you to look in the mirror, hold your head up high, and tell yourself EVERY MORNING what a GOOD mother you tried to be and how you did the best you could. ALL OF US MAKE MISTAKES! You have a good heart and tried your best and THAT is a good mother!!!!

Huggggs and I wish you luck. Keep us posted! :)
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New Member
Hi all, thank you for your responses, they mean so much to me, and the advice given, is on a par with what I think I already knew.
Helpangel, I am so pleased this has encouraged you to ring your folks, and you gave them the opportunity to let them feel they were needed for something. Sometimes as parents all we need is to see some sign, however small that sign is that we are needed.
I have read many books over the yrs, about destructive relationships and co dependency, and I intend to read the one recovery has suggested to me. although I have read many, when I have tried to put into practice any suggestions, there was always someone who was getting hurt by this, which I could not handle.
Although it is a pattern I now recognise throughout all my relationships, I think the perfect example is my daughter. I had always hoped, I could have a good relationship with her, as she got older, but in reality, all she has ever wanted me for, is when she needs or wants something, but when I need or want something, it is denied me, which in turn which has always caused conflict between us. I know I was trying to be part of hers, and the children’s lives, which for some reason or another it is not what she wants. I think the main problem for me, was that she wants me when she needs something, but does not want me when I need something. For a few yrs now I have been trying to find where I fit in her family, and if there is no place for me then I wanted her to acknowledge that, so I could stop getting hurt every time I tried to find a place to fit in.
The last incident over my grandsons sports day brought things to a head, and really spent time thinking, about where I fit in my daughter’s and grandchildren’s lives, and I came back to the old chestnut I fit when she wants something. I decided that I had to do something to stop the hurt I was feeling, and the only way I could think of, was to try and pass the responsibility over to my daughter.
When she rang me, and asked me if I was going to stop being nasty, and let things drop, I told her I was not being nasty, and no I could not let things drop, because that was only setting the time up, for this to happen again, she stated it would not happen again if I did not keep making it happen, I felt she was blaming and attacking me, in order to try and get me. to drop everything. I told her that I was not going to listen to her, unless she wanted to listen and discuss a way forward, and that if she continued attacking I would put the phone down on her. In the end I did this, and she rang straight back and her first words were “how evil can you get putting the phone down on me” now I felt I had just given her another reason to attack me, and I told her that is not discussing a way forward, to which she replied well stop it then, so I put the phone down again, and again she rang straight back, but this time I did not speak and the moment she said are you going to stop it, I just put the phone down. This went on for quite a few hours, and I was feeling drained, so the next time the phone rang, I spoke, and told her that I love her, but I was not going to answer the phone to her at all, and told her, if she wanted to discuss a way forward then she could send me a text, saying that. For the rest of that week she constantly rang the phone, but I never answered it. I knew I was giving her yet another reason to attack me, but I did not know how else I could move forward. It has been almost 4 weeks, since we have really spoken, and through a third party I know she is very angry with me.and is hurting, and I am worried about the effect this will have on her. I am scared I have lost her for good, and I find it very hard to keep this up. I feel I am not giving her what she wants or need, and this is the longest we have ever gone, without talking. I miss her terribly, and sit here thinking should I give in again, I know it’s not the way forward, but I would at least know she is ok, I sit here waiting, hoping she will send that text saying she does want to find a way forward.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ellie, rather then play out some power struggle with your daughter, perhaps a more reasonable option would be to simply notify her by text or phone that you've realized the two of you are enmeshed in an unhealthy relationship, that you love her and the children, however, for a time you are going to step back, in a healthy way and work on your own issues.......with the intent to be able learn to love yourself so that you can form a healthy, loving relationship with her and the children....................

What you have done is set up a huge wall and insisted she climb it YOUR way initiating a struggle for power which neither of you are healthy enough to stop. So now rather then speak to each other and go through the usual script of you giving her whatever she wants and her being mean to you, you have grabbed the baton of power away from her and reversed the toxic roles. No one will win at this. Everyone loses. I do believe there is a much healthier way to do it.

You may have read all the books on codependency, however, you have not recovered from it. Part of recovery is being able to be honest with yourself about your own needs and if that troubles someone else or hurts them or in any way impacts them negatively, you recognize that is THEIR problem, not yours, you don't need to fix them and control them by throwing your needs overboard for their sake. Codependency is about fear. It is about control. It is not about love. You can't force your daughter to act in a certain way. All you can do is learn to respond differently, you can't change her, but you can change yourself. Continuing down the path you are on will lead to a more profound breakdown of your relationship.

You are victimized by your daughter's behavior and if you want to change that, you will have to work at it. And, you will need help. This sounds as if it is a lifelong pattern in all your relationships and your daughter seems extremely angry at you and you seem extremely angry at her. You two need a break and not the kind of break that you have just initiated, that is part of the hurtful game you are playing with each other. You've both been acting and reacting like this for a long time and it's going to take a lot to break it up and respond in healthy ways. In my opinion, you are going to need professional help to break these patterns, you are very stuck.

I hope you begin looking for ways to help yourself because you and your daughter are doing great damage to each other and you are setting the example for your granddaughter to continue in this enmeshment pattern, so that this will go down the line until someone has the courage to stop it.

I believe the appropriate thing to do is to stop waiting for your daughter to do what you want her to do and begin doing what YOU want to do, separate from her. Find out who you are and what you want. Find a life that is yours. Find out what your joy is. Find YOU.


Well-Known Member
I can somewhat understand both of your sides. I have physical issues which make it difficult to get around town and make friends. Actually I was never very good at making or keeping friends at any time in my life. I also tended to buy my friends which really didnt work out well. I have learned not to do the buying of friends but I still dont have many (any) friends in real life. I have plenty on here and Im sure if we lived closer I would then have friends in real life but for now, online has to work for me.

I also understand you wanting to hear from your daughter, you wanting to be involved in your grandchildren's lives. I almost lost my mind when my oldest granddaughter moved away from me for 2 years. We have always been extremely close so that hurt a lot especially because I didnt hear from her often and at her age she wasnt one for talking much on the phone. Now that she is back with us I am thrilled and so is she. I am very thankful that her mom lets us have a lot of time together. However, as a daughter, when my parents were alive I wasnt as attentive to them as I most likely should have been. One time even my step-mother scolded me because I didnt call my father often enough. I tried to call more but I often felt a bit imposed upon because the phone works both ways. He could just as easily called me to talk. I was so busy raising a family at that point that remembering to phone him wasnt always at the top of my list but I would have made the time to talk to him if he had called me.

Now that I have grown kids, with lives of their own, I dont expect daily reports. When my first child to move out left home, he called us all the time. Over time it has grown less often. He lives over 300 miles from me so we dont see him as often as I would like but we do try to get together at least 4 times a year. I get that he and his wife are busy. If I want to talk to him, I call and he will talk as long as he can. My other kids are closer so it isnt an issue.

I do think I hear a bit of desperation in your post. You seem to be taking on the responsibility for everything that has gone wrong in your life and your daughters. Parents really dont have that much power over their kids...especially adult kids. You both have to learn to exist as people apart from each other before you are going to have that perfect family...if that even exists. I believe that once you find yourself and what makes you happy outside of your daughter and her family, you will be more accepting of your daughter. She might even take your example and learn to grow herself. I would stop financing anything for her too. She is grown and has a family. She should be able to deal with things.

I hope things start getting better for you.


Well-Known Member
I had a child who we adopted at age six walk out forever. It didn't hurt him. It hurt me. I learned how to deal with it and that involved acceptance. You can not make ANYONE do what you want them to do. The only person you have control over is YOU. The more you try, the more it will drive your daughter and grandchildren away. Some kids are oki with an overly involved mother, but many grown kids are not ok with this and will make sure it doesn't happen. Your phone call play is NOT healthy for either of you. You are asking something of her which she doesn't want to give then getting angry and mad when she can't give it to you.

I think Recovering said it all. One can read one hundred books about codependency. The only way to learn not to be codependent is to not be codependent. That means not being overly controlling, bossy, or telling everyone what we think of what they do in the misconstrued belief that only we are right and we can fix it/them. I was like you. It doesn't work. It causes resentment. The only thing that works is to accept. You will see your daughter when she wants to see you. You will see your grandchildren when she invites you. Don't make such a pest of yourself (lol) that she moves three thousand miles away.

I rely on my friends and family, including kids, who are good to me and don't try to force my nasty kid to be nice. It won't happen.

I hope you can learn to detach and make a nice life for yourself apart from your daughter!!! Take care.


New Member
Recovery, I was quite surprised, by your post. I had never considered, that I had started a power struggle, or that power was even involved. I suppose if I am honest, I had not considered that power had ever been an issue, I also never considered I may be victimised by my daughters, behaviour towards me.
I may have given the impression here that, I need my daughter, to provide a life for me, and that I need to be so involved in hers. This is not nor as it ever been the case. Maybe I have not been very clear, and hope the following makes it clearer
I do recognise that I never cut the ties from being parent/child, which prevented us from being parent adult, even though on occasions I tried, which always ends up with her attacking me for being evil and mean to her, and me giving in to her, because I could not handle her hurt and anger.
I believe it is her reluctance to let go of that relationship, and I feel, she wants or needs, me to be both of these parents, depending on what she wants at the time. It is this; I think that is causing the constant battles between us, and I know that to move forward, I need to take the time, for myself, but I also cannot close the door on my daughter. I am trying to find a balance.
I have never been demanding on my daughter, and have always supported and respected her decisions. It was my daughter that included me in hers and my granddaughter’s lives. There were parts of her life I was not included, and I never had a problem with that. As far as I was concerned, she had her life to lead and I had mine. The areas she did include me, where she always spent Christmas with me, and I was I was always included in all my granddaughters school plays, sports days and birthday parties. Granted the birthday parties and Christmases, were what I paid, for, but I do believe if my daughter could have afforded them herself, I would still have been included. It was only after she met her partner that I started to feel left out, and unfortunately this coincided with my own life crumbling.
The feeling of being excluded became apparent that 1st Christmas she was with him. I know my daughter well enough to know if it was her choice alone, she would never see anyone alone on Christmas day, which was proven last year, when she discovered a friend of hers was alone. I believe it was him that did not want me there. Had she come to me and said, that her and her partner wanted to spend their first Christmas alone, I would have been a little sad, but I would also have understood and respected her decision. This would have enabled be to make some different plans so I could have some time, to exchange gifts etc. It was how she handled it that caused the problem.
I believe she could not invite me, because her partner did not want me there, and she did not know how to tell me. I think she hoped I would say nothing until she could call me on Christmas day, so that she could claim, she did not know I was alone, therefore it’s my fault for not telling her.
By raising the subject that I did not know what to do on Christmas day, I think I put her on the spot. She did not want to upset me, by saying I could not go, and she did not want to upset her partner, by inviting me, so the only thing she felt she could say was “I suppose you can come to us if you want” . She either did not or did not want to understand how that response would make me feel unwanted.
It was me saying if that’s your attitude I would rather stay at home alone, that that caused that first big attack on me, of her saying how evil and nasty I was for trying to spoil Christmas for her. she could not recognise her attitude, played a big part in this, and she spent the next couple of weeks, trying to get me to go. She used anger, begging and pleading basically anything she could think of, but I could not go.
Shortly after Christmas she started what has become a routine, whereby she rings asks me to let it all drop, she gets angry and hurt, and I eventually let it drop,
This set the pattern for all future events , whereby she would avoid discussing them, then when I asked she would make excuses. Even though she made excuses, I always accepted and respected them. Such as when she told me I could not go to my granddaughters party, because adults were not being invited. I did not like her decision, but I was not hurt or angry by it. I accepted and respected that decision, as I always have done, It was only a few days later, when out shopping, she was stopped by a friend and they preceded to discuss in front of me, what a great party it had been. It was this that hurt and made me feel unwanted.
Any attempts to address this behaviour towards me, is always met by anger, which makes me withdraw
I don’t and never have needed to be involved in hers and the children’s lives, I enjoyed it when I was, and would like to be involved again, but if I can’t, then I can accept and respect that.
The thing I struggle with, is that I don’t feel I get anything from my relationship with her, other than hurt , anger, resentment, and ridicule. If I tell her there is something I like, she will always tell me its rubbish, whether it is clothes, tv prog, food or anything else. She never tells me about things she might like, and when I ask her, she usually answers she does not know. I have even heard her on occasions say to my granddaughter if grandma likes it will be rubbish, and when I have challenged this she becomes angry and tells me I cannot take a joke. I try to explain a joke is an occasional jibe, and its not a joke, when its applied to everything. I always explain to my granddaughter that this is not true, just because someone does not like something, does not mean its rubbish, it just means we have different tastes.
I have more pleasant and interesting conversation, with my 12 yr old granddaughter, than I can with my 34 yr Learning Disability (LD) daughter. A typical conversation with her is
Me: hi , how’s thing?
Her: fine
Me: hows uni going?
Her: fine
Me: what do you have to do?
Her: nothing
Me: you must have to do something
Her: just do accountancy
Me: ok what you up to now
Her: nothing
Me: have you got any plans
Her: no
Me, oh ok then love you bye
Her bye
Every conversation with her, is the same.
As anybody else there are times, I need help with something’s, and like most people I ask those closest to me. I suffer from agoraphobia, and find it difficult to get out..When I do I never stray far, and I stick to the same places, for familiarity. On some occasions, I would find that I could not get out alone, and knowing my daughter would be going shopping herself, I would ask if I could go with her, as I was having a bad day. She always agreed to this, but she also always made me feel that I was a burden to her. She was always miserable, but said she was fine, when I asked, and would tell me I had to be quick as she did not have time
Because I feel I get nothing, from our relationship, I regularly try to put some distance between us, but I feel that when I do she pulls me back in somehow. There is no clarity of what our relationship is, and If she had been a friend, she would have been out of my life a long time ago. I feel so bad and disloyal, just for thinking this. How can I feel like that about someone I love so much?
I also feel that there are restrictions in place, that hinder me moving on. How my daughter is with me, -she does not want anyone else to know, so if I need some help with something, and I ask someone who I know would be happy to help me, I inevitably get asked why my daughter cant help, so I have to make up some, excuse, or tell the truth. Making up an excuse, goes against my beliefs of honesty, and it means I would be doing to others what she was doing to me, ie making up excuses to hide the real reason, but telling the truth makes her look bad. Another issue that this raises is I feel embarrassed and worthless, and don’t like to admit to others, that my daughter behaves in this way to me.
An incident did occur a short while ago, I asked my daughter to help me dye my hair, as I kept missing bits when I did it myself, her response to me was ewwwwwww no its disgusting, and I told her that was a horrid thing to say. My hair was clean, and I could not understand her response. I asked her what wqas disgusting about it, and she said people to do their mothers hair. If she did not want to do it, a simple no I don’t like doing it would have sufficed. Although I don’t have friends in the area, there are some people, I have know for a lot of yrs, thta would be happy to help, so I asked someone, and her first response, was of course I will help you,. During a conversation while she was helping me, she asked why my daughter had not offered to help, so I told her that I had asked her, but she said she couldn’t. I could not say what my daughter really said, so when questioned why not I said I did not know. A few days later this person saw my daughter while she was out, and stopped her to chat, during which she told my daughter she thought it was a bit mean not helping me to dye my hair. My daughter told her I had not asked her, and my daughter rang me and was furious with me, for telling this person she would not help me. my daughter would not hear that I had not said that my daughter could not help, and I did not know the reason.
The one thing that I have noticed at the moment is that although we are not speaking, and I miss her. I now feel a little less anxious, and a little more peaceful.


Well-Known Member
I got as far as "my daughter found her partner" and had to respond...lol.

This is often when we are forced to detach. It is natural. She is moving on with somebody else. You don't have to like him or think he's good for her. I am not particularly thrilled with my own daughter's SO of ten years, but I accept him without comment because she loves him. When she is upset with him and calls me, I listen without flaming him because I know it will work out and he will stay in her life and he is a big part of her life. Plus who she picks is none of my business.

As for the incident with the hair, why even ask her? My daughter is a cosmetologist and I don't ask her to do my hair. I don't expect her to because she gets tired of people asking her and doesn't like to do it, which is why she quit the profession. Get a beautician or a lady friend (or a man friend) to do it. Her response was rude and uncalled for, and I suspect, deep in your heart, you know she's not a really nice person, like many of us know about some or all of our kids. I could bug my daughter to do my hair and she would, but I know s he doesn't like it so it never comes up.

Is your daughter a lot like her biological father? I am sensing that she has some anger issues that you don't really need to deal with all the time. I have one son with anger issues and I serious limit how often I talk to him and if he is rude to me, I hang up. It took me a while to get to that place, but nobody has a right to be rude or abusive to you, not even your daughter. I used to let him tell me off all the time then I started to wonder why I allow him to treat me that way. I don't anymore. If he wants to yell at somebody for ANY reason, it can't be me. Why put up with it? If she's going to yell at you for what you say or do, I would quietly tell her, "When you are ready to respect me, we can talk. I am getting off now." That's how I started it. Now I just do it. Your daughter is dominating your emotions and not allowing you peace or happiness. Why do you give her that kind of power?

If I were you, I'd cut off her money train. JMO. Hope you keep posting :)
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