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

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by elliedeb, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    I know that I need to stay away. But she is my one and only grand daughter! I know she will use her as a weapon against me. I am aware of how low she can hit me. I know also that when she can't cope or needs a night out she will use me for this. I don't feel that I cN say no as I will be so grateful to have time with my grand daughter. I will not contact my daughter. That Iam resigned to do. Will keep you posted. Today I'm more angry which isn't good but I guess I will go through many stages before I arrive in a better place. Much as I do love my daughter I don't miss her. I had a realisation this morning that were it not for my grand daughter I would be relieved of the break from her histrionics. Sad I lnow but that's the reality. All my best xo
  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Billy, there is something called Radical Acceptance. This way of interpreting my family situation has been very helpful to me. Basically, Radical Acceptance has to do with learning to strip an event of its destructive emotional components.

    It is what it is.

    Why doesn't matter.

    Surviving what is ~ that is what matters.

    Learning how to do that, learning how to survive the terrible things that are happening to us, that is what matters.


    Two of our moms here (2muchtorecover and Midwest Mom) post many articles for us about genetics, and about personality disorders and even, mental illnesses. Armed with this information, I was able to understand that the things I was seeing from my children and even, in my family of origin, had nothing to do with me. None of this was happening because I needed to be nicer or kinder or angrier or stronger. Hurtful and destructive as these terrible things happening to all of us are, they have less to do with us than with a genetically mandated mental or emotional imbalance.

    This has been very helpful to me.

    That must have been such a hard thing.

    You are a survivor, Billy63. You are going to survive this, too.


    That would upset me, too.

    Do you know why they are having lunch so close to your house? If you don't mind telling us Billy, how did it happen that you were told about the lunch, but were not invited?


    For me, there came a time when I made a decision to survive.

    Bad, crazy, hurtful things were happening with my grown kids, and it was sending me into this shocky place where I could not think straight or function well. I had lived depressed and shocked and with feeling inadequate to the situation for most of my life and it just kept getting worse ~ like, way worse ~ no matter what I did.

    But then, I came here, again.

    And with everyone's help and insight and book suggestions and my own determination to come through it able to seek and recognize and choose and celebrate my joyful, cherished lifetime...that is what I was able to do. I was destroying myself and my life over something I could choose to walk away from or respond to differently or ignore altogether, or face in any of a thousand ways than to turn on myself, than to betray myself.

    Don't let them win, Billy.


    You are worth it; your life, the brief, rare time we all are given, is something to cherish and celebrate and honor.

    Don't let them take that away from you.

    You cannot control what they do.

    You can only accept it. Sometimes, you might be able to understand why they do it but ultimately, why doesn't matter, either.

    It is what it is.


    And we are here and the site is anonymous and we are all getting one another through some pretty horrific stuff in sterling shape, I think.

    Welcome, Billy.


  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Cedar, they did it to hurt her. Period. That's borderline or histrionic or narcissistic or antisocial. That is how a personality disordered person thinks and nobody wants to be on their bad side so they give in and go along. Sometimes more than one in the family has personality disorders. The personality disordered member(s) is/are good at talking others into going along with their sick games. That's why we were hurt so much by our families-of-origin. The games were on and we were the bad guy in the sick person's game. We have both been there, hon.

    Billy, yes, yes, see granddaughter when the opportunity is offered. If you want to assure she doesn't change her mind or that the conversation stays short and sweet, which is always best with personality disorders, then only talk to her about the arrangements, nothing else. Let HER contact YOU.

    I like to deal with our difficult darlings in a "less is more" way. Answer calmly and only when necessarily. "Yes." "No." "Ok." Do not bring up issues, hoping you will be able to gt some insight into Difficult Child because she is being nicer (as she wants something). Let it go. I'm convinced, by experience, that they lie incessantly. They have to. I am not sure why and I'm not sure they know why. Best to just get that granddaughter when she is offered, interact as little verbally with Daughter so that you don't kick up drama, and enjoy the times you have with Granddaughter.

    Less is more. Less is more. Less is more!!! Really. The more we talk to them, the more ammo we give them to twist our words and to use them against us, which they do.

    Here is a good article on borderline. See if it fits.

    Hey, be good to you and keep us updated.

  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is a quote taken from something one of the other moms on the site posted before you came to us. The original poster was Headlights Mom.

    "Lest I grow cold about him or let his ugly behaviors devour me. Sometimes, it's the only gratitude I have for him. So.......I'll take it."

    These words can teach us how to guide ourselves through this. This is where we want to be, when we are done, when we are whole and healthy and strong, again.

    Here is something else. This was taken from a letter the President quoted during the State of the Union address:

    "We are a strong, tight knit family who have come through some very hard times."

    That is how I describe my family to myself, now.

    It doesn't matter whether I feel it at first, or not. It becomes true, for me, over time.

    That is what I mean when I post that we must choose to survive it. Unless we do make that choice ~ and it is a cold-eyed choice ~ we will not make it through this. It's too awful, what is happening, and what keeps happening, to all of us.

    It really can destroy us; it really can destroy our marriages.

  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This is true!!! How did I see that and not see it at the same time?

    That is the dynamic in the dysfunctional family. That is why it is a very good thing to stay away for awhile and maybe, to never let them in again.

    We love them and so, we are vulnerable to them in a way they are not vulnerable to us. If they do love us, it means something different to them than that term "love" means to us.

    To me, love ultimately means trust. Respect and cherishing and simple joy ~ all that stuff comes only as we learn to trust.

    Is that just me, because of the way I was raised, or is this true for each of you, too?

    When my sister first began call bombing me, I actually said these very words: "Why are you calling me?" I didn't say them until we had been talking for about twenty minutes, and I didn't say them nastily. Her response was "I love you!"

    I also told her, in that same conversation, that while I loved her too, I refused to accept the identity she and my mother insist I am.

    I actually think I said that with greater grace and dignity than reported, here.

    In my imagination?

    I sounded great.

    Who cares what they think, right?


    Anyway...my sister paused, and then, went on about whatever is going on down in their lives like I had never said those words about refusing to be who they insisted I was.

    How strange, and how grateful I am that I can see it, now. I still don't get what the payoff is, in these kinds of relationships. I mean, I get the power over piece. It seems to me that we fight so hard to be real in our lives ~ to be truly present so we don't miss living our life time, or spend it in anxiety or depression or fixed on revenge.

    Maybe they don't see it that way.

    Maybe they can only feel real when they are making powerful emotions happen in other people ~ shame or hatred or sadness or happiness too, I suppose.

  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    There is a huge need in a dysfunctional unit to keep the "black sheep" in place. It is part of their world and they don't discuss where they placed you because it would mess up their worlds if they admitted they may have been wrong. At least, that's what I think.

    I'm done trying to logically figure out my family-of-origin. I just know facts:

    1. All of us were a mess, including me.

    2. I was "different" so I became the necessary black sheep. I was more sensitive and more easily hurt. That made me a magnet because they could bully me.

    3. The ones still on earth still think I am the DNA collection black sheep.

    4. Big deal. It does not make their wishes about me a true fact.

    5. Move on without them. As much as The Brady Bunch and Beaver Cleaver tried to make family (DNA by random) people who must love you or you are worthless, it is not correct.

    If somebody says I have red hair and insists on it and talks others into seeing me with red hair, when my hair is dark brown, does their insistence that my hair is red make it true? Just because they see it as red? Or want to see it as red?

    We are who we are, no matter what anybody, including our DNA collection, tells us we are. So who cares if they think wrongly about us?
    I'd rather be around those people who see me with dark brown hair. They see and understand the real me and are not making up their own version of a person who does not exist.

    My DNA collection lives in a magical world in which people are the way THEY choose to see them. It's like living with fairies and pink elephants. They are not good at reality. And many of them are quite mean. Who needs it??
  8. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    As I meet more and more "black sheep" I have become convinced that the black sheep is the person who speaks out about the dysfunction going on inside the dysfunctional family. They become the black sheep by betraying the wall of secrecy that sustains dysfunctional lifestyles. I also like to compare it to the sober person who none of the alcoholics want to hang out with - it reminds the drinkers too much that they should be (or getting) sober too! Nobody likes you when you are the "sane" one, who sees and speaks the truth of what is really going on. Therefore a label is slapped on that person and the rest persecute them for failing to toe the dysfunctional family line.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    2Much, thank you. Thank you so much. I forgot about that. Indeed, it is often the one who notices the dysfunction and questions it, thus letting the cat out of the bag by acknowledging it. Therefore, obviously the black sheep is "crazy" because they ARE NOT DYSFUNCTIONAL.

    I was just a kid when I became the black sheep and was not an easy kid either. I had early mood disorders, tantrums, and was very precocious. The combination sealed my fate. "Mom, why do you call me stupid? When I go to Sally's house, they don't yell. They're nice to each other?" with childish interest.

    Later on, "No, I will not only date boys of my own religion. That doesn't make any sense. I'm not doing anything morally wrong if I date boys who are not Jewish. I won't listen to that." The fact that I broke this rule was huge. The fact that everyone after me copied what I did made it my fault that they all did it.

    You can't break the rules of the family, even if they truly make no sense. And there is no discussion.
  10. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, and I learned this, as I too, have an anxiety disorder. When you are young and your brain is developing, if you continuously feel anxious, your brain rewires itself to always feel anxious. I lost a sister to death when she was 9, just before I turned 7. So through the ages of 7ish to 10 I worried constantly that I would die too. Nobody bothered to explain to me what had happened to my sister (she died in the night of natural causes) So the not knowing found me in endless anxiety of what was going to happen to me. It took me a long time in therapy to uncover this, but this is how I understand those "early age" anxieties. Funny, MWM, my cousin (whom I love dearly) tells me that when I was a child everything from me was "why, why, why?" Couldn't have helped my situation when everyone was wanting to keep secrets!
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Oh, 2 Much! I can soooooooooooo relate. I was a "why" kid too and I didn't back down. If I was put off I'd say, "You didn't answer." Drove my family nuts.

    Also, it seems I was born wired for anxiety and remember anxiety before age 3. Cried all the time as a baby and my mom said I wouldn't let her hold me so she "propped" my bottle (didn't hold me) and filled it with chocolate syrupy milk. Anything to shut me up and not to have to cradle me. I resisted her, so maybe I knew even back then. Anyhow, the chocolate milk had consequences. I had 23 cavities the first time I went to the dentist. See, I was allowed to drink from a bottle until age four or five. Anything to plug up my mouth...lol.

    My mother has also told me many times that when she was pregnant with me she felt no love or maternal feelings. Attachment problems? Hmmmmm. Her friends told her she'd love me when I was born, but she says, "But when I held you, I felt nothing...absolutely nothing." What a fine thing to tell your little girl, even if it's true. Of course she added, "Now, of course, I love you very much." Sure.

    She also told my sister that if she had been conceived when abortion had been legal, she'd have been an abortion.

    I think our family, on top of being stuffed full of personality disorders, had attachment disorders too.

    And the games never ended. And it was always my fault. My brother and sister kissed the floor my mother walked on. And brother was "Golden Child" (in dysfunctional families there is a golden child and a black sheep and usually one who tries to tiptoe through the tuplips (my sister). There are definite roles. And I had to stay the black sheep. And, in their eyes, I did because I continued to dispute things they did and not "play nice" (do what they wanted and shaddup!!!)

    I had to learn not to play. It took me 40 years. I hope some people who read this stop engaging way before I did. I actually did not completely quit until I was nearer to 50 as I was still writing love letters to my horrible mother, who disowned me, begging her to love me. It was no longer an every day obsession and I was able to live my life, but it was still there until she stuck it to me from the grave. That's when I learned how useless it is to try to make somebody love you when they have the kinds of problems my mother had.

    Strangely, I seem to have the most functional life of the three of us. I have a loving husband and four kids who adore me (one did leave. I'm lucky only one left). I have two grandchildren. I do have love. Sissy divorced by choice at the insane age of 50 and became a drinking teen with horrible boyfriends, ignoring her still minor son and she lives with her ex. Yep. She can't do it on her own. Bro never had a relationship that lasted in his entire life, but he does teach now and likes it and I think he is happy. Still...neither of them were able to maintain long term romantic relationships. In other words, neither of them ever learned to let somebody get too close. My sister was more afraid of me than Mom when it came to calling out the dogs.

    I am sorry you lived that way too, 2Much.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Here is an interesting thing.

    Unless I am mistaken, I think I was Golden Child until my mother needed to spend the winter months with my sister because D H said she could not come here after what she did the first two times and sulked like a big baby when she came, anyway.

    It seems to have gotten worse and worse as time has gone on and I have been able to see what D H was talking about. I mean, I could see it and not see it at the same time.

    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, right?

    My point (and I do have one, as Ellen says) is that the roles apparently change based on the need of the abusive parent.

    I am quite happy to be learning all these things. It's like a prism in the sun. Brilliant, unexplored facets opening up into more of me ~ into places I could not go, or did not know about, before.

    I can tell I am healing.

    I am beginning to lose interest in my mother and my sister. I think that is true.

  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The rules DO change. Both me AND my sister were demons at first, although I think I was the worst demon. Then my sister got married (and did not invite her golden child, my brother, which you'd think would have ticked her off, but she actually grew closer to Sis when she was doing that cruel act) and since Mom thought new Son-In-Law was nice to her, my sis became sort of like another golden child.

    Now my sis didn't want bro there not because he wasn't a nice man, but because she felt he looked too ugly and even gay and she didn't want her frat sisters to see him. I wish I were making this up. I'm not. Mom sort of knew this. My sister used to yell at Mom, "Make him clean up! Do something! He's embarassing!" when they were younger and when Bro was almost dying of undiagnosed Crohn's Disease. So it's not like she had no clue. But, hey, this fits into the "do these dysfunctional people make sense" file.

    So then later on Sis had twins and although Mom had said she'd never babysit for any of us, she made a living babysitting for Sissy's twins, mostly because they paid her a full time salary with benefits. She never would have done that otherwise. And during that time, due to money or not, she bonded to the twins. Does any of this jive with you yet or are you as confused as I am when I think about it? Anyway, one of the twins becamse Mom's next Golden Child so she had to be nice to Sis, although she blatantly put Sis down and sided with Golden Twin when s he was a visitor at their house. Strangely, Golden Twin was a lot like ME. And Mom HATED that my grandma used to side with me, but she admitted she did the same thing with Golden Twin, saying, "She needs me."

    So I didn't need my grandma?

    Right. It's a mess and makes no sense, but Sis also hated it, but put up with it for her twin's sake as she was vile to that particular twin at one time. To Sissy's credit, she has apologized to that twin and they do have a good relationship now, but,....yeah. These dysfunctional relationships make no sense.

    In the meantime, I fought mental illness(bravely, I think) and got a worse reputation in the family and somehow in there Sis decided she needed Bro, maybe to keep in Mom's favor, so they are close buddies now. And it's me he won't talk to. That's ok, but again it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    Bro did write me some long letter that his therapist probably told him to write about all the things I've done in my life that bothered him (probably like the letter I could have written all of them). I didn't read it. I just read the first two lines and tossed it. By then I was beyond allowing crazy family to get a hearing. He was mama's boy and sees things his way...spent most of the last thirty years in New Jersey. The fact that he is ok with my sis is enough for me to just shrug my shoulders. My sister is needy. She needs somebody to mouth off to about her problems and she doesn't have me anymore...so maybe him? She is afraid of being a lone. She will be alone. I doubt she will meet anyone who will marry her, which is what she wants, and her kids will probably live far away. Who knows? Who cares? She DOES have very nice kids.

    It is a tribute to her son that he is not angry at her, at least on the outside. Once she got single, he spent all his time with Dad, whom she still lives with although she has been single now about five years. No, they do not have sex. She can't stand him. She is using him because she could not afford to live in her coveted rich neighborhood if he didn't help. One day I'll tell you all about how she threatened to divorce him if he didn't build a house they could not afford and that his parents had to help pay the mortgage. It is a sad story. A very selfish story too. And so frivolous.

    Anyhow, back to the Golden Child. Yes, dysfunctional people switch and bait who they find acceptable. At one time I was very much in my sissy's favor and now I am 100% off her list, which is what dysfunctional people do, and she is just crazy about Bro, who was too ugly to go to her wedding. She was not 21 at the time. She was 30.

    And so it snakes and slithers, which is why I feel it is best to hang around with stable people who do not change on a dime and do not have a history of crazy relationships. Thel past, unless in serious therapy, is a clue to their future and your relationship. Unfortunately, this sometimes applies to our difficult children. I am grateful to secuely know that h ubby, Bart, Princess, Sonic and Jumper will never do this and they are the most important people in my life. I also am sure the grands won't and, of course, dogs are unconditional love :)

    Sorry for the novel. Cedar and I have done this ad nauseum on Watercooler and I thank her so much for listening.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  14. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    The " golden child" vs "black sheep" sounds a whole lot like borderline to me.
  15. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

  16. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

  17. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The Golden Child vs. Black Sheep, which can change, is very common in dysfunctional families and I suppose most extremely dysfunctional families are run by people with personality disorders. Maybe I should say I have a Borderline Family of Origin...lol. Normal parents don't act that way. Of course, many times they grew up that way so they don't even see how messed up it is.

    I'm glad I saw, even if it cost me their good will.
  19. Lioness

    Lioness Lioness

    IT IS WHAT IT IS! Wise words indeed. Hugs
  20. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I like that - Borderline family of origin :) Although for me that was not my family - they had their issues but not that. My grandmother on my mom's side, she was the narcissistic - sociopath my daughter inherited her DNA from.