18 year old DD angry, irritable and horrible to be around.(17 Posts)
I've posted here before about DD. She's been hard work, with moments of delight, since she was 15. She squeaked through her A levels and I had hoped that I might have a bit of relief from the irritability, selfishness, and general grind of living with her. She was lovely for a while back, but the angry, short-tempered, entitled and selfish person is back. She does do chores when asked, and will help out. But beyond that she will barely talk to me without snapping at me, and is very ungrateful and just horrible tbh. I know that there is a nice person in there. I see it occasionally. Tonight she says she just wants to have left home, feels annoyed that she didn't go to university this year (she decided to have a gap year), and says she just wants to avoid me. I thought it was me maybe, being a naggy mum, but a friend heard her talk to me last night and said she was truly out of order and that I should not be engaging with her rudeness (I am pretty thin-skinned and sensitive). Her twin brother is off to Uni in a few weeks and all her friends are doing things (travel, work etc). She has work one evening a week, seems uninterested in travel or doing anything much, but does light up when she has a party or festival to go to. I've offered to help with finding a volunteer job abroad or work but she has disengaged from everything - opted out of family holiday, taking part in nice joint things like doing the car boot with me, or even my bf and I help her redecorate her room to her scheme, I've helped her out when she expressed an interest in a hobby (not pursued) etc......I have said that she needs to find a job as she will have to chip in for her board and lodging (genuinely as I cant afford to pay the bills). I just don't know what to do for the best. I am so stressed living with this constant negativity and anger directed at me, I feel like a kicking post. I don't know if it is depression but she won't go to the doctor or take any of my advice at all. She has and was always an anxious child and suffers from stress. Should I offer more help (she doesn't seem to want my help at all); sit back and watch her being angry with me and the world; disengage completely..? I don't want to back off if there if there is something genuinely wrong, but I cant live with this rudeness. I would be so grateful for some ideas and wisdom...Thank you :-)
I feel for you as went through similar. It's a horrible situation amd almost broke me. However sadly it seems quite common.
For me, it started like your situation but things spiralled with anger towards me and younger sibs, bordering on physical and emotional abuse and my daughter left home at 18 to live with a friend and then went to university shortly after. I had offered counselling and medical appointments (she declined) but could no longer tolerate the house being a war zone. It was complicated by her being in an extremely unhealthy relationship (both brought out worst in each other) and we were constantly dragged into sorting out a big mess (much worse than normal domestics!). She chose to stay with a friend rather than improve behavioir but as she was 18 we accepted it. We actually get on pretty well now although she still can be snappy and it still hurts when I think back.
Sorry I know this isn't helpful at all but just want to let you know you aren't alone!! Hopefully someone else will have more constructive advice. Most situations I have read do end well luckily.
Thank you Jelly. I'm glad your situation improved. I am trying to detach but keep getting drawn in over concern for her welfare.
I was like this as a teen it massively improved when I went on the Pill which rebalanced my hormones.
Hi Princess... Interestingly it seems to be worse since she changed pill. I did wonder about that. She is a month into this new pill and I am hoping the effects may settle. I'm at my wits end!
I could be entirely irrational, get annoyed and angry at the slightest thing and generally be in a foul temper.
This is completely at odds with my normal chilled out, patient personality and was quite hard to deal with because you know you are being irrational, you know your being unfair to those around you but you just can't work a way out to stop it.
( I was never physically or emotionally abusive though). I also had awful periods that made me sick and have an upset stomach so for 1 week of the month I was pretty much out of action, I was also anaemic so exhausted but I thought it was normal and my College and work life suffered.
The pill (Microgynon I think) helped massively for a couple of years and then I changed and it got worse again. Having DD has also helped everything settle down both physically and emotionally. I generally get a bit annoyed a few days before I'm due, get a migraine and often sick the day before but then I'm ok.
I think it sounds mainly that she's frustrated to be still at home when she's wanting to be grown up. Does she really need a year out? Doesn't sound like she's got much planned for it and really just needs to leave home and get on with being independent. You can still find places on courses for this year if you apply though clearing asap (and by 20 September I think)
If she is having a year out she should get a full time job as it would get her out the house meeting new people and give you a break. I think you can insist on basic politeness and a financial contribution towards keep, whilst accepting that she's feeling grumpy and antisocial a lot of the time.
she needs to be a grown up (start being one anyway)
She needs a plan: a study/job/volunteer project abroad/apprenticeship.... not living with mum and doing very little and paying board and having her room decorated (re-enforcing the idea that she can live off you indefinitely).
I don't know how, I am not saying it is easy, but she needs to choose what to do for the next year. She can choose her own plan, but there has to be a plan!
She's clearly frustrated and using you to take it out on. Going through this myself with my daughter at present she's going to uni but is shutting herself so everything's my fault.
Step back from her financially don't give her a penny, tell her she needs to earn her keep if she's not going to work or an apprenticeship and generally ignore her when she's shitty don't do her waging or ironing don't give her lifts tell her youl engage with her again when she's nice. We want to be nice to put children and support them but give them the wrong message when we accept their abuse. My daughter told me she's
Sick of us asking what she does with her money she pays no lodge but is always on the load despite having a part time job with more disposable income that me told her yesterday when she contributes to the house and werw
Not financially supporting her well stop asking. I think they find it hard when they turn into adults but as adult they want the freedom but without the hard work that goes with it
The time of the year is key. Her brother is starting uni. Lots of her friends are starting uni/ college. September is all about new beginnings and she's feeling stuck.
Thanks folks. I have told her that as of next week she is due to pay me board each week and that she must find work. She tells me she has some (sketchy) plans to get work via a friend....and wants to learn to drive. She is fractionally more civil these last two days, though it seems that she is being pleasant to others but just being difficult with me (it seems everything I say is wrong and she tells me so). But I just have to keep detaching. I don't have any money to give her so I think the total lack will be incentive to get moving soon...We will see....
She definately needs a plan other than to bum about for a year having no routine will make her snippy and iritable and it will only get worse I think you need to leave her to it let her organise herself dont be on her back yet she needs room to realise she is not a school girl anymore
I agree with the detaching, give her some space she is an adult woman and needs to take responsibility for her life and actions.
I don't understand why you allow her keep snapping at you. Tell her it's unacceptable and you will not reply until she speaks to you civilly.
When she gets a job that sort of attitude will not be tolerated and she will be pulled up on it very sharply.
You sound very caring mother
I'm in an amazingly similar situation toomanycats and can identify so much with your comment 'I feel like a kicking post'. My dd is the same age and has exactly the same issues - made a decision not to go to uni (possibly out of apathy - she's bright but doesn't know what to study because she's not really interested in anything beyond music, festivals, going out) but is now showing no motivation to get a job and has no plan whatsoever for her gap year. Every single time I bring up the subject, with what I want to be a constructive comment or question or suggestion, she instantly bristles with defensiveness and tells me she doesn't want to talk about it, then goes ballistic if I pursue it.
I totally agree with previous posters about the necessity of getting a plan and insisting on basic courtesy, but I have no idea how to bring those things about. If I tell my dd I won't speak to her until she can speak civilly to me, she'll just smile serenely and go up to her room. She's set up a complete exclusion zone around any subject she doesn't want to discuss. She is just about nice enough as long as things go her way and no one challenges her, but she can turn in a second and say incredibly cruel, hurtful, unfair stuff. As her mum I think that she must be hurting herself to strike out so viciously, but as a fellow human being who has to share a house with her I'm at the end of my freaking tether. I don't want to lose my temper with her as I'm afraid it'll create a major rift that will be difficult to heal, but at the same time I want her to wake up to the implications of her behaviour.
Sorry for hijack, but just wanted you to know you're not alone!
Hi Oddmollie - I don't have answers, but right now I am doing two things that are working-ish. Firstly I am not backing down on the 'what's your plan' and reminding her that she starts to pay bed and board next week. I have yet to decide what happens if she doesn't. Secondly I am continuing to be a civil human to her and 'bribe' her to do things with me that keep our relationship intact, eg offering to watch her favourite programme together on my bed with the bribe of Pot Noodle, tiramisu and crisps ( yes. .I know it's shit, but if that is what it takes to keep her even grumpily sitting with me in the same room)... This last I would only do if she's been civil for a couple of days. And mostly she sits with me in silence but I think we both understand we are giving each other a chance. I don't know...Some days/weeks are terrible some better. Her twin is off next week so things may shift. I'm still trying to detach....x
Ah - thanks for that Toomany. It's relentless and tiring, isn't it, but it sounds like you're winning by degrees. Here everything has changed in the last 24 hours, and I'm still reeling from it and not sure which way is up anymore, but after a 'meeting' last night (insisted upon by me, and firmly scheduled in) to discuss plans for the year ahead, my dd kind of broke down and said that she wished that she'd gone to uni instead of taking a year off. So, we've spent today on the phone and have three places lined up, with one definite favourite, all waiting on interviews over the phone or in person next week. DD is a different person - excited and relieved - while I'm trying not to only look at the potential pitfalls (like the fact that all the decent accommodation has gone) and be positive about helping the world's most disorganised teenager get ready to go to uni in about a week. I'm glad that she's realised what she wants, even though it's ridiculously late in the day, and hope she might have learned a lesson about herself and her tendency for aggressive-defensive denial. If your dd genuinely feels the same (you said in your op that she'd mentioned this) it might not be too late to sort something out, though it's far from ideal.
Best of luck for next week when your dt goes off. I guess it would be quite natural for this looming upheaval to make your dd unhappy and resentful, and maybe when the dynamic has changed and settled into a new routine things may be easier.
Hi Mollie - Soooo pleased that the dam has broken and your DD has got back on course, if at the expense of your stress levels! I did ask mine if she wanted to go all out to get onto a course for this year but she said that she would rather not. But she has got herself booked onto some Open Days and is sounding quite positive about her options. I hope she can make something good out of this year and it does benefit her to have had some time to grow up a bit before university.
Good luck to you and your DD. I have just done the organising for my son to go next week so I know what you will be up against, but it can be done :-) My best advice would be to keep a really good file with all the passwords and bits of login info that the Uni, Moodle, accmodation portals, Student Finance need!!
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