Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Totally at a loss with adult DD and behaviour. How do I move forward?

(31 Posts)
SpringyReframed Fri 27-Dec-13 12:07:31

Really sorry but this is going to be long.
This is the 3rd Christmas since my ex Twunt and I separated. It has all been terrible and well discussed on here with DV, financial difficulties and all round unbelievable shite. It is still not over and done with regard to divorce finances but I've had lots of counselling and really feel I have moved on and feel recovered and strong. I do feel very alone at times but I am coping. I was congratulated at court by my barrister and solicitor over how I lack bitterness etc.
Because of the circumstances with assault - OW being only 3 years older than DD etc (and his behaviour in the 3 years before the split, drinking and being generally extremely obnoxious whilst leading double life) none of my 3 DC's aged 18 and above have any contact with their father. (He has up to this year sent them cards at Christmas and Birthday but nothing this Christmas.) Oh, and just to add to the mix my mother died in October, and my elderly father lives miles away and I worry about the future for him.
So that's the background. DD who is the eldest, lives abroad. She has been very very difficult since all this happened. Everyone who knows her thinks she is wonderful but with me and her two brothers she has been truely awful. I am sorry to say that I have had some massive rows with her. I have tried to avoid this and have learned through counselling how to cope with her to some extent but it is all very hurtful stuff. She for examples rarely answers any texts or emails, is always busy if you do try to call and rushing somewhere. On the other hand if she wants anything I am expected to jump to her assistance. She never talks about her life at all to me. Not even little things like mothers and daughters do like clothes or shopping.
Now, to this Christmas. She began by being very evasive about when she was coming. She arrived by car and did put herself out to pick up her brother. He told me she drove like a complete nutcase and that "he was never getting in the car with her again". She also brought us all lots of lovely gifts although not thoughtful ones just "what do you want". She did a lot of snapping at me even during the present opening process and called me stupid on quite a few occasions. I ignored it. Then yesterday a few hours before she was due to depart we planned on a walk. She literally shoved her brother out of the way whilst he was putting his shoes on to get to her own. He snapped and told her basically what he thought of her behaviour. Her response was "right well I will never come here again." He said that was not what he was saying but she needed to have her behaviour pointed out to her and how it made us all feel. He said he wouldnt say it if he didnt care and wanted to fix things and of course he could take the easy route and not be in touch with her again. It was getting very nasty and she was in her usual fashion swearing. I ended up joining in. I told her I loved her but it was not acceptable and she had to think about why she behaved towards us in this way. I even said I thought she was probably a very unhappy person. An hour later she departed without saying goodbye although I did call her and she answered. I wished her a good trip and later texted her to ask her to let us know that she had arrived safely. No reply.
She always appears to see things only from her point of view and how they affect her. I've spent this morning thinking about how she behaves and she never "gives" anything.
Where should I go from here? I am totally at a loss as to what to do about this. I would do anything to sort this out but I just cannot see a way forward. I dont really have the time or money to go back to counselling to talk about it. Her living abroad makes things doubly difficult as I cant just pop and see her but I would willingly visit if I were invited. I would really appreciate any suggestions - if any one has managed to get to the end of this.

SoloXantiaClaws Sat 28-Dec-13 15:57:37

I hope things are sorted between you Springy, I hate family rifts.

dozeydoris Sat 28-Dec-13 17:07:49

I have no idea why she feels the need to behave towards us like this or why it has got worse

Possibly she has no idea either.

The fact that she avoids your eye suggests she knows her behaviour is wrong.

Maybe she feels left out f the family now, maybe your DM's death has had a major effect on her and being abroad means she is distanced from dealing with it. Who knows.

As long as you are kind and dependable towards her you are doing your best. But don't jump when she is demanding, let her see you have your own life.

RandomMess Sat 28-Dec-13 17:19:16

Maybe she is just very very very angry at both her parents for how much she is hurting and you are the one it is getting it all projected onto because you are the one around?

It took me many years to forgive my parents for failing to protect me and not giving me the emotional support I needed. They can't see/won't accept that they failed me which has made it very difficult for me to have a relationship with them from my late 20s.

Lavenderhoney Sat 28-Dec-13 17:27:57

I think she sounds quite unhappy, tbh. You don't really know how her life is abroad, why she doesn't have a boyfriend, if she really does have lovely friends, if work is still great etc.., she could be feeling all sorts of emotions and not know how to handle it.

Her bad temper could be stress and not wanting to tell you because she is angry at everything, and feels she can't for some reason. Not anything you have done, but perhaps doesn't want to disappoint you or upset you. Speculation of course!

I think you all did the right thing by pulling her up, and sticking up for your other dc. Because she left so quickly says she couldn't cope with a chat about life. Its not you! I was like this myself to some extent when a lot younger, early 20s perhaps, but without the background your dd has had.

She is lucky you care so much. Could you keep gently offering an olive branch wrt you visiting but for an event or something, so its not a summit meeting? And tell her you just want to have a good time and not question her/ advise her etc? Tell her you can only make it for 2 hours, so she doesn't feel trapped into anything.

Does she get on with her siblings? Do they seek each other out without you?

SpringyReframed Sat 28-Dec-13 20:08:37

I got a text from her! Just to say she got back ok although later than she hoped. I just texted back saying glad she was safe, and a little funny comment about her grandad. No reply to that but its enough for me.

All these ideas are really helpful and thought provoking. Thanks everyone.

She has always been fiercely independent ,even from a toddler and doesnt like to admit problems or give up on anything even when it is clear she needs to. She has also been very ambitous so far and I am surprised she hasnt moved on to a new job in the past year or so so you may have hit some nails on the head. I am confident she does have lovely friends though who I have met, and lots of her old UK ones visit her. I cant imagine she confides in many though. It is just not her.

She has always been bossy with her brothers. They dont hear from her just like me these days and say she often does not reply to their messages. When her brother got glandular fever she wanted him to come and stay with her to convalesce so that is good isnt it? Writing this has made me realise if there is anything "practical" to be done, she is there for you.

Anyoneforacheckup Sat 28-Dec-13 20:10:48

Random, how did they fail you

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now