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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a 22 year old daughter still living at home with my

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I have a 22 year old daughter still living at home with my husband and myself. Everything we do or say is always wrong and her moods swings from happy (very rarely) to angry and rude. We feel as if we are walking on eggshells in our own home. She expects my husband to cook dinner and clean up because he is retired. She has called us pigs because there are always dishes in the sink but very rarely does she pack or unpack the dish washer. She pays no rent and doesn't buy food. She has a full time job and gets good money. We want her to move out but she says she can't afford to take out a loan and purchase her own unit/townhouse as her boyfriend hasn't got a proper job. He has just finished university and works part time. He is madly applying for full time jobs.
My daughter was bullied when she was growing up and it has left a huge mark on her. I am afraid if we push too much that she might snap. We just want her to be happy. We want to be happy and we want her to move out. We feel that it won't matter if we show her the door or if she stays, she will still hate us. She says that I'm not interested in listening to her when she has a problem which is every day. I can't talk about my work because she says that's all I talk about. I suggested she talk to someone and she has made appointments through her work counsellors but they have cancelled on her twice. She is taking medication to help for depression and I have suggested that she see the doctor to change it as she is more angry than ever. She accuses me of using medication to solve her problems. I am ready to move out of my own home. What can I do to help her and us as well?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It is ok to set limits with your daughter. It sounds like she is using your and your husband as a way to deal with her feelings and adding guilt to control you. And it has come to the point where you and your husband are being emotionally and verbally abused by her. Depression should not make someone act in this manner nor does it give her the right to hurt you.
It may be that because of how your daughter was treated as a child, she may have learned that bullying others is the way you treat others, particularly your family. This is learned behavior and therefore can be unlearned. The depression does not have anything to do with how badly she is treating you because although she may have increased irritability, emotional and verbal abuse is not a symptom of depression.
It is obvious you love your daughter. Sometimes the best way to love someone is to set limits and right now, your daughter needs limits. If she was not working and had no way to support herself, then that might be different. But if she works, then she can find a way to support herself. So you may want to make a plan on getting her out of your house and into her own place.
Start by planning on a date you want her to leave. Make it as soon as possible. Talk to her about this date and let her know that you will help her plan her move, but that you are firm on the date. No matter how much she gets upset, calmly tell her that you are not changing your mind. If she would happen to become more abusive, tell her you will have her removed from your home, then do it and change your locks. She needs to know you are serious about your boundaries with her. Otherwise she will continue to take advantage and hurt you. She needs to learn to be responsible for her own behavior or she will always blame you and your husband.
If you feel your daughter's past is still affecting her, you can suggest she talk to a therapist to work it out. She needs to work on her issues and move on so she can live a more fulfilling life. But if she won't get help, you may have to let it go. But do consider therapy for yourself and your husband if he is willing to go. You have been through a very stressful time with your daughter and you need to talk out your feelings as well as find ways to cope with her behavior.
I hope this has helped you,
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