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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My adult daughter has completely shut me out of her life

Customer Question

My adult daughter has completely shut me out of her life for the past year and a half. I do not think I can get through another holiday season this way. She has a two year old that I haven't seen since he was six months old. She only lives 20 miles away from me. She is 28 years old and she is my only child. I am divorced. I am so depressed I can hardly get out of the bed each day. Jan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I am sorry that you are having this issue with your daughter, I can understand how distressing this can be for you. May I ask, what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have you had any experience in dealing with adult children who turn against their parents and do you know of any way I can reconnect with her? I did nothing that I know of to cause this.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I do have experience in this matter, but unfortunately reconnecting with her is not your responsibility as she is the one that has made the choice in cutting off contact, and that means she must be the one who decides to reconnect with you. You can say and do everything right and perfect, but in the end the choice is still your daughter's to make. You have written letters and have tried to see her and your grand-child, to which she has said no, but she knows what you want. Now it is going to be up to her to reconnect with you when she chooses. Also given that you are unaware of why she shut you out of her life shows a lack of communication with you and probably others since I am assuming no one else has told you why she has taken this action. The only other option I can see is that in some states there is a legal requirement for grandparent visitation of your grandchild if there was a previous relationship and you stated that you had a relationship with your grand child for the first 6 months of his/her life, so it is possible you could reconnect with your grand-child legally, but not your daughter unless she chooses to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
North Carolina does not recognize grandparent's rights in a situation like this. I only saw my grandchild three or four times total during the first six months and then she told me she did not want me to be a part of her life. It is not that I am totally unaware of the reason. We had a disagreement about something but, in my opinion, she used that as an excuse. The disagreement was so minor and I tried to apologize to her for my part in it but she would not accept an apology. It seems that she decided to hold the grandchild over my head as a punishment. She lets her dad see him but not me. This is how she expresses her anger toward me. I do not know why she has this anger toward me. I have always done everything I know how to do for her. If I made mistakes raising her, I did them without realizing I was making them. No mother could have loved their child more than I loved her.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I am very sorry that your daughter is being this vindictive towards you and holding on to this anger. Unfortunately if she still has this anger towards you though, than she is not going to listen to reason to try to communicate with you to resolve this matter, it is much easier for her to hold on to the anger and push you out. I know this is very hard for you, but the only way to resolve this matter is for her to at least try to communicate with you and let go of that anger, which she appears unwilling to do.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It seems that you are saying that the ball is in her court and that she is the one making the decisions so that I just sit back and wait for her to do something. If that is the case, I will be waiting a long time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks anyway.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

You have already tried to communicate with her by sending letters and trying to talk to her face to face which has not worked. You even asked others to try to talk to her, which has not changed your daughter's stance either. If you continue to try to contact her than that will only push her away farther from you, so yes unfortunately you will have to wait and hope that she changes her mind and at least tries to let go of her anger. Just like you are the only person in control of your actions and behavior, she is the only one in control of her actions and that is why she must make the decision to let go of this anger and try to resolve the matter with you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do adult children ever let go of their anger?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Most do, but of course it depends on the individual. I cannot predict when or if your daughter will let go of her anger because I have never met her nor have I ever spoken to her about this issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it possible that I did something bad to her without knowing it?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

Its possible, but without knowing what you did it is hard for you to address that and her lack of communication does not help the matter at all.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think that most people who think they may have done something wrong have a natural tendency to want to fix it. It is so frustrating to be sitting here wishing I knew what I did but having no way of finding out and, even if I could find out, having no way to fix it. Talk about your hands being tied.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

I agree that you want to fix it, but if you try to contact her when she does not want that, it will only increase her anger of you and will push her farther away from you. It is a frustrating situation just waiting, but at this point it is all you can do. You cannot fix this when your daughter is not ready to communicate with you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is your recommendation then just to do nothing?
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

You can continue to try to contact others who have a relationship with your daughter to see if you can find out why she has broken off contact and to see if she would be willing to communicate with you in the near future, but as for direct contact with her I would not recommend that at all as she has made it clear that she does not want that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. That is what I will do. Thank you for your time. Jan
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

You are most welcome, I wish you all the best and I hope your daughter will decide to contact you soon. Happy Holidays :)

*Please do not forget to leave a positive rating at the top of the page so that I can get credit for helping you. Thank you, ***** ***** appreciate it.