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Adult DD personality question - please help me.

(24 Posts)
Desperatelysadmother Sun 14-Jul-13 11:15:25

My DD has always been volatile. She was a very clever, talkative child but I have to say she wasn't blessed with a sunny disposition. She has always been critical of herself and others - especially those closest to her.

Now married with her own family I think she is getting worse. She has a very short fuse and a horrendous temper, she says the most cruel things when she loses it, it's as if she has no brakes. Often I'm at a loss to know what causes these outbursts, everyone in her path suffers, I'm so afraid for her children. I don't believe she would physically hurt them or deliberately emotionally harm them but they see and hear her, it must be having an effect on them.

Selfishly, I'm worried that if I get on her wrong side she may prevent me from seeing my grandchildren. I do believe she is capable of that.

In the past I have suggested that she may benefit from counselling but she thinks I'm being ridiculous. I just don't know what to do for the best.

Any constructive advice is welcome, the one thing I won't do is jeopardise my relationship with my grandchildren. What I would like most in the world is to help my poor DD to be happy.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 11:38:21

Has she got worse since she had children? I wonder whether she's suffering from PND (it can go on for longer than the first few months.)

Is she worse at particular times of the month?

Does she ever acknowledge that she loses her temper?

What's her husband like with her? Is he scared? Does he retaliate? Is he being bullied by her?

How would she react if you told her that you were very worried about her and the way she gets so angry and that you are frightened she will lose her temper and hurt the children? What would happen if you said to her that if she didn't try to get help for her anger, her husband might leave her and have full custody of the children?

Walking on eggshells around her must be incredibly difficult.

Desperatelysadmother Sun 14-Jul-13 12:28:44

Thank you Imperial , I did wonder about a hormonal connection but I'm not aware if she is worse at a particular time of the month.

She refuses to acknowledge that she loses her temper other than to say that she reacts to other people's (her DH & her parenets) unreasonable behaviour. Her DH can be moody and I believe that he also has a temper although I haven't witnessed anything extreme. According to my DD, her DH is abusive but the only incidents she has cited involve both of them becoming physical with each other in temper.

I have thought about speaking to her about the possibility of her marriage breaking down but I know she will tell me it is none of my business and will blow up at me. You are absolutely right, it is so wearing.

RandomMess Sun 14-Jul-13 12:34:17

Does she let you have the dc stay over at yours?

If possible let them stay regularly so they learn that what happens at home isn't "normal"

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 12:36:38

Does she drink too much? Does he?

Did she ever seem to learn a lesson in her youth about her temper, eg someone never speaking to her again after her behaviour? Does she always think she's right?

I agree with RandomMess - try to have the children to stay with you as much as possible, both to give your daughter a break and to give them one, too. You really need to encourage your grandchildren to see you as a confidante, in case things are worse than you imagine at home.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 12:39:44

I know when I had PMT and then in the early menopause I felt that terrible anger. I would just sit there seething and certainly during the menopause I would drive to work thinking I was about to have a heart attack.

Once I got medication I was OK. I knew, though, that just watching my husband (at the time) read the newspaper shouldn't result in my plotting his long and slow death, nor should my daughter being in the bathroom too long make me feel like my heart was being twisted by an iron fist.

Your daughter sounds as though she is under terrible pressure. That might be down to her own fault or her own biology, but it's a horrible way to live.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 14-Jul-13 12:48:48

It sounds like a miserable battleground for the grandchildren, I agree. Between her aggression and his alleged abusive behaviour, there can't be much laughter in that house. If you've already witnessed them being 'physical with each other' and if you can get the kids to open up to you, you might be able to alert the police, social services or the GP mental health team to get into the family and help before someone gets killed.

Desperatelysadmother Sun 14-Jul-13 12:56:27

Yes, Random they do stay at mine occasionally and I will continue to encourage that, good idea about letting them see that it isn't normal behaviour.

Neither of them are big drinkers.

She probably hasn't learned that kind of lesson Imperial as only her immediate family have seen her explode. She is exactly like a pressure cooker a lot of the time. She can also be very loving towards us, sadly it just doesn't happen often. What kind of medication helped, if you don't mind me asking?

RandomMess Sun 14-Jul-13 12:58:31

Anger like that can also be a sign of depression as is being so critical of youself and others.

Desperatelysadmother Sun 14-Jul-13 13:01:00

cogito I haven't witnessed them being physical, that came from comments made by my daughter.

Oddly enough in between times there is laughter in their home and the children are delightful. However I have spotted signs of aggressive behaviour in one of the children.

WafflyVersatile Sun 14-Jul-13 13:09:12

Do you ever get the chance to talk to her DH?

Desperatelysadmother Sun 14-Jul-13 13:31:25

I tried to speak to him but he is very proud and doesn't want to discuss their problems with me or anyone else.

I also wondered about depression but I'm not sure. There are happy times and her bad times are anger fuelled, there isn't any evidence of low mood or sadness that I've seen.

She has an extremely stressful job but I can't blame that as she has always reacted badly to stress even from her schooldays.

It's the aggressive nature of her anger that frightens me.

dirtyface Sun 14-Jul-13 13:38:31

OP you have just described me down to a tee

have always been like you describe your dd, right from being a child. it comes and goes but its always there

i do try and rein it in as much as i can but its still there under the surface iyswim

have tried counselling, antidepressants etc over the years and nothing has really worked much

so no real advice tbh but your post just resonated with me. (i don't think you are my mum though as she does not "believe" in counselling and depression etc hmm )

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 13:44:31

I had ADs and then later I had HRT. I used betablockers for a month when I thought I would die as a result of just trying to have a shower in the morning.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 13:45:56

OP, just reading what dirtyface said then and wondered whether your daughter would come onto a forum like MN? She would get such a lot of help. Of course you might have to 'sell' it to her by saying it's a load of crap!

Hopasholic Sun 14-Jul-13 14:04:40

What would she say if you said (during a calm moment) 'do you know what DD, I actually feel frightened of you'

You see that's something she can't argue with. They're your feelings. I'd be mortified if my DM thought that of me.

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 15:57:38

Or "When you shouted at DC1, she looked really frightened of you."

ImperialBlether Sun 14-Jul-13 15:58:33

It's made me realise that we don't discuss anger really. If someone is angry, we avoid it because we don't want to "start trouble", when the reality is that when we walk on eggshells we cause more trauma to ourselves.

Desperatelysadmother2 Sun 14-Jul-13 16:59:32

I am the OP. I obviously have some kind of memory problem as I managed to forget the email address & password I had set up to join & had to do it all over again. blush

I know my DD reads threads on here which is why I am doing my best to stay completely anonymous. I don't even know if she would recognise herself as she seems so convinced that the problem lies with everyone but her.

Good point Hop I may try that.

Dirtyface, do you have any idea what causes your anger? Pm me if you'd rather. I'm sorry for you, it must be miserable to be so out of control.

I feel that my life never mind hers is blighted by this, I live in a state of worry & trepidation that I will anger her. I can't talk about this as I don't want people to think badly of my DD. SHe is highly thought of in her profession and even her closest friends don't see this side of her.

springytato Sun 14-Jul-13 17:37:28

Well, whatever causes the anger, it's up to her to face it. eg convinced that the problem lies with everyone but her suggests she may not be seeing her side to it all, her culpability. It often happens that eventually things become unmanageable, a huge crisis blows up, and she is (we are) forced to face our problems head on.

there could be any number of reasons why she is angry. Some families are convinced they are wonderful but only one member 'knows' that they are not (and the knower is right!). This is as long as a piece of string, impossible to get to the bottom of - it's up to her to get to the bottom of it. But she may not feel the need. HOwever, the kids may feel the need...

I really do appreciate your fear that she could cut your off from your grandkids. But I am also concerned that your grandkids may be in a damaging environment. She may have legitimate reason to be internally angry, but there are boundaries to how her anger is expressed. eg you don't scream in kids' faces, regardless how unbelievably trying they can be (I@m not suggesting she has done this, just giving an example of an inappropriate expression of anger).

to that end, have you seen anything that gives you cause for concern re the kids?

If you alienate her by saying something and she cuts you out, this could mean there is no-one around who can step in and protect the kids should things start to get out of hand. the kids are the top priority here. Are there people in her life who you know are keeping an eye on her behaviour? Is there anyone brave enough to say something?

I'm not suggesting she is entirely at fault iyswim, but her uncontrollable anger is a problem that needs to be addressed - or the sake of the kids. Did she witness 'uncontrollable anger' in her childhood? Was it acceptable in the home she grew up in?

(NOt sure I'm making much sense, sorry. Jolly hot here!)

dirtyface Sun 14-Jul-13 18:29:53

no idea really desperatemother sorry

i have had my fair share of shit things happen to me throughout life (think bullying, shit relationships, failed marriages, bad relationship with parents etc) but average it out and it would be no more than most people i would say. so am not about to lay the blame elsewhere for my own feelings, thoughts and actions.

i honestly feel like its just something thats in me, that i live with, something i was born with even, like say, having blue eyes or brown hair iyswim

and i have never told anyone in RL about this either for fear of sounding nuts blush

i have to say that mine sounds a lot more in control than your dds though, i would never take it out on my parents (although i did when i was younger) or my dcs

Desperatelysadmother2 Sun 14-Jul-13 19:20:40

Springytato her anger isn't directed at the children, other than a normal level of snappiness when they are being particularly trying. She just doesn't seem able to hold back in their presence when she loses her temper with her DH or me. I have no fear that the children will be hurt, I am concerned that they will accept this behaviour as normal. If I had the slightest suspicion that they were at risk then I would be the first to notify the relevant authorities.

As a family we are far from wonderful, we have had difficulties in the past and she did witness angry scenes, but they certainly weren't the norm.

Desperatelysadmother2 Sun 14-Jul-13 19:22:50

Thank you for your honesty dirtyface, it helps a little to know that she isn't completely alone in experiencing this.

springytato Sun 14-Jul-13 20:26:32

but average it out and it would be no more than most people i would say

erm I wouldn't agree with you there, dirtyface

I've had all of those and I've had a lot of therapy to address it. Also, just because other people have it, doesn't mean it isn't very damaging.

Just saying smile

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