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Angela
Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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How do you deal with the hurt that comes from a dependent adult

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How do you deal with the hurt that comes from a dependent adult childs hateful attitude and total withdrawal from the family. My daughter has totally excluded her family from any involvement in her life which I guess in some sense may not be a bad thing since when she is around she is hateful and everyone tip toes on eggshells.....I'm aware I need to cut the strings so to speak and I agree... however somehow I need to understand where the rude hateful disrespectful behavior began....I am by no means perfect but I do feel that I am a kind empathatic caring person or at least make every effort to be....I just don't understand and it is very painful..
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Angela replied 4 years ago.
Hello Donna,
Due to loving your daughter you will naturally feel affected by her behavior towards you, in this sense you cannot stop the hurt because you cannot control her actions. The only way not to feel continual hurt, pain, etc. would be to have her completely out of your life, which more than likely is not going to happen because you love her and she is your daughter. Even if she was out of your immediate daily life (-such as relocating to a different country, etc.) there would still be residual hurt and pain that could occur from your memories. Therefore, the best thing to do is to deal with the hurt and pain in a healthy manner.

You would do this by continuing to talk to her about how you feel and to continue to ask her the questions you would like to have answers to concerning her behavior -do this when you are comfortable with resuming expressing your feelings to her in a calm manner in order for her to have a better chance at actually hearing what you are telling her; however, always take the necessary time you need away from her to heal before resuming conversation with her.

Additionally, when you feel hurt and anger, go to where you can be alone and undisturbed and fully acknowledge what you are feeling (-don't repress it or ignore it). Sit quietly and fully experience your emotions and then from a place of awareness of how you feel (-hurt, angry, etc.), move beyond these emotions to a place of quiet meditation. Meditate about something which brings you peace and as you do so, the hurt, anger, and etc. will eventually subside as you continue to meditate on what is peaceful to you. For example: visualizing gentle ocean waves as the sun bounces over them and imagining the sound of the waves gently reaching the sand.....as you continue to meditate on this and to be fully present with this meditation, the painful emotions will eventually dissipate.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Angela, thank you for your response. Realizing I was somewhat vague in my explanation, I would appreciate your additional feedback if possible. Just for a short back ground, my daughter is my only child and WAS the absolute joy of my life. Since she began dating her current boyfriend whom I have met once in the last year and half, she has become beligerent, berating, hateful, angry, very physically destructive and extremely verbally abusive. Nothing ever gets resolved... I just give in and get over the verbal abuse just for the sake of having a relationship with her. I realize she is under allot of pressure from college and works 30 hours a week to be able to financially keep up with her boyfriend's life style. I have tried to support her as much as possible but somehow whatever I do is neither enough nor the right thing..... She shows no appreciation for anything, and at this point I feel like I just take the crumbs off her table in order to keep a relationship with her. Otherwise we go for months at a time without speaking yet she is in constant contact with her father who is out of state and pays nothing for her. We have been divorced since she was 5 due to his adultry. My problem is that my heart is broken and I desperately want a relationship with my daughter but I feel like my only options are to deal with her neglect, lack of concern and verbal abuse or be estranged. Pretty much the same situtation I dealt with when I was married to her father. Fight or flight....I don't mean to sound like such a victim but I am so sad. And as far as talking to her as you suggested... there is NO good time to talk to her... everything with her is a debate in which she either down talks or verbally berates you to the point of sobs.... It's either agree with her, tiptoe around her emotions or she storms out, slamming things and drives off like a mainac..and you don't hear from her for months and the only way I know if she is dead or alive is by checking the cell phone records I have access to because I pay the bill... which I would quit however that is the only way I have of knowing if she is dead or alive... ....Sorry I didn't mean to drag this on so far.......
Expert:  Angela replied 4 years ago.
Hello Donna,
I am very sorry to hear about this situation. Based upon what you have written, it is obvious that your daughter takes you for granted and of course this is not right, however, your daughter takes comfort deep down inside knowing that you will always be there for her especially since you always have been. As a result, she is clearly mistreating you and one of the reasons I think she chooses to do so is because you are a safe and reliable person who has always been there for her. Don't misunderstand what I am saying, her behavior is terrible and disrespectful towards you, however, at the same time she knows that you will always be there for her. As far as her contacting her father, since he was not always there for her, she probably finds it easier to reach out to him as well as knowing that she can't really depend on him but yet wanting his approval. Also, because her father was not there, she probably has issues with males in her life (-bonding with them, expressing her true feelings, etc.) which could be why she is trying to keep up with her boyfriend's lifestyle versus having a honest conversation with him about how she really feels. Also, she could be acting terribly towards you due to possibly blaming you for her father not being there. I have also experienced this type of behavior and issues in my counseling sessions with my clients and their children. With all of this in mind, if there is any way to have your daughter go to therapy with you, this would be the best option to get to the bottom of her behavior and additional reasons as to why she takes it out on you. However, based on what you have written, it seems that if she agreed to go to therapy, that you would have to do so near her due to her busy schedule.
Donna, I understand your concerns, but you will have to stand up for yourself with your daughter because allowing her to make a doormat out of you is harming you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually (-if you believe in spirituality). As you stand up to your daughter, practice doing so in small increments. For example, stop walking on egg shells around her and attempt to speak to her as you normally would. AS soon as she blows up at you, yells at you, etc., immediately (-with a calm voice and in your own words) tell her that you treat her with respect and that you do not disrespect her by blowing up at her, yelling at her, etc., and that you will no longer allow her to do this to you. Tell her it's okay to be angry, upset, etc., but she needs to express it in a respectful way toward you because you love her and are here for her. This is one example of what I mean by standing up for yourself in small increments......and yes she may storm off and leave..........let her because you calmly and lovingly expressed yourself to her and if she chooses not to be respectful to you then she should leave until she can be respectful towards you. You can no longer walk on egg shells around her, the harm you are doing to yourself is not worth it or justifiable. Also, by standing up to her, you will also be true to yourself as a woman and mother and you will be true to your angry daughter by parenting her in spite of her disrespectful behavior.
Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Expert:  Angela replied 4 years ago.
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