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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
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My adult daughter will turn 35 this Saturday. She in the past

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My adult daughter will turn 35 this Saturday. She in the past month has emailed me and told me that she no longer wants any furthur communication with me at all as I bring out the worst in her. I went to visit her for Christmas in another state this past Christmas which resulted in her telling me that I had been looking at her with hate all day on Christmas day and told me not to have anything to do with her the remainder of my visit. I was surprised as I thought we had had a good day enjoying a holiday meal that we cooked together with her boyfriend and his family. She told me only to interract with my granddaughter. I did my best to get along with her until I was to leave on the following Saturday, but the day before my flight while we were at a restaurant she began to bring up things that had happened three years ago and telling me how horrible I was. She kept saying that I was not a "priority" in her life or her brother's life who she has limited contact with. She kept asking me if I understood. I told her that I did, but I refused to let myself cry or create a scene. We got home and about three hours later she started again. She started telling me that I should watch what I said around her daughter because I had offered earlier in the day to leave that day if I was a problem. I told her that she should also watch what she said in front of my granddaughter as I did not hate her that I loved her. That is when she became enraged and told me to call a cab and get out, so I did. I was unable to find a motel room because they were all booked and the taxi ride cost $64 to the airport so I spent 20 hours resting on a bench at the airport until my flight left the next day. She never called to see if I was okay or if I made it home okay. I received an email about 3 days later telling me how horrible that I was and that I bring out the worst in her; therefore, she wants no communication with me of any kind ever again.

My daughter has emotional and mental health problems for which she is receiving treatment and taking medication. She just recently went through an ugly divorce and custody case for which I paid $12,000 because she has not worked in 8 years. She is a survivor of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her ex-husband. He is now serving time for drug abuse but was not convicted of the domestic violence. Her best friend ever in her life was murdered along with her two children this past summer by an estranged boyfriend. My daughter immediately after the divorce in Texas, moved away with a boyfriend first to Alabama and now to Florida with her daughter. They are struggling financially. Her boyfriend seems nice, but he owes $75,000 in back child support for two children and he does not have a drivers license because of a DUI. My daughter has to drive him everywhere; although, he does have a work permit. He seems nice and is trying to make a success with a tree-trimming business there. They are having significant financial problems as she is not working. I was proud of myself as I never mentioned all of the tattoos that she now has as her boyfriend is also a tattoo artist. Although, I noticed that she kept them covered with a pullover shirt while I was there. I made no critical or derogatory comments. There was no yelling or screaming match, because I had made up my mind that that was not going to happen.

I waited a few days after I received her email and then responded by email saying that I did love her. I did not look at her with hate and that I was glad she was finally addressing the rage and hate that she has towards me. I told her that I would not contact her again. I asked her permission to send birthday cards, etc. unless that bothered her also. If it did, then I wouldn't send those either. In the past four years, I have spent approximately $30,000 to support her in trying to get out of the abusive marriage and start a new life for herself. She was in paralegal school and doing really well until she quit and moved to Alabama then Florida with this new boyfriend. My friends and family think that I did too much for her. It is very stressful for me as I am a recent widow of two years and I work as a teacher of students with intellectual disabilities. So, the question is....do I send her a birthday card? Do I do nothing? I do not want to hurt her or cause her anymore emotional harm or hurt. I pray every night for the good Lord to provide for a safe, healthy, happy, prosperous and abundant life for my daughter. I have accepted that it does not include me. I do love her and I only want the best for her.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I am so sorry that your relationship with your daughter has deteriorated to the point that she no longer wants to be in contact with you. I can only imagine how painful this is for you...as surely this is painful...and even baffling.

Dr. L :

The best thing you can do right now is to take care of yourself and focus on your own mental health. Your daughter has drawn a very deep line in the sand...so deep that any contact by you is likely to create even more anger and animosity on her part.

Dr. L :

While I understand why you would want to send a birthday card to her, I encourage her not to do that. If..in the coming months she opens up communication with you..then you can re-evaluate that. But at this point it is critical that you honor the boundary she has put up if you want any opportunity to mend this very broken relationship.

Dr. L :

I know this must hurt. Still...she seems to be in a place in which she places all the blame on you. The financial support you have given her was very generous on your part...but it had no positive impact on the relationship. I encourage you to stop supporting her...not to punish her...but because it seems to have only enabled her poor choices and negative behavior.

Dr. L :

I can understand why you chose to bail her out financially. But at 35 years of age...she needs to stand on her own two feet!

Dr. L :

I see you are typing...I will wait for your reply.

Customer:

Yes, it did enable her poor choices and negative behavior....without a doubt. I supported her financially in order to try to set her up for success. It seems it did the opposite.

Customer:

She never did respond to my email in which at the end I requested permission to send birthday cards. So, I wasn't sure if I Ishould or not. I want her to know that I love her and that I will never, ever abandon her. But, I don't want her to think that it is okay to treat me or anyone else that way. This current boyfriend is the one that got her to go for counseling because of her raging behavior towards him. So, that is a good thing. Yes, it is hard, very hard. But, I know that she has had a rage towards me since she was a child and it has resurfaced because of what she has gone through recently. I am tough, but th is last stunt of kicking me out has finally knocked some sense into my head. I think.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
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