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any advise re daughter nc

(32 Posts)
lookfowardtohearing Sat 22-Feb-14 19:44:08

I have gone round in circles for the last 30 years with my 2n dd.
I have totally supported all her life,(long story), she is now 44.
every year or 2/3/4, she will argue with a family member,
paranoid of everything anyone says.
then refuse to talk to them,
for the last 2 years she has no contact with anyone, aunts, cousin and siblings.
least of all me her dm,
our last contact was a totally vile email the day her cat died,2 years ago, she seems to have a wobble when she has a personal problem
she refused to answer her phone to me when I attempted to simply ask her why?
it destroys my life each time ,as I fear that this time will be the last time I hear or see her again, I am now 68. .
she has done this on a regular basis to me, my dh, my ds and her ds.
she devastated her aunt, who also loved her.
we have to walk on eggshells around her when she kindly " makes contact" but know that it is only a fragile relationship.
she was the happiest child you could imagine, but as an adult she seems so full of hate.
12 years ago, she refused contact with her elder sister, saying she hated her husband,
*then today, out of the blue, she emailed her to say "sorry" and she would like to meet her again, just like that.
her sister is very forgiving, but I wonder "why" now.
she hasn't spoken to her brother in 6 years, but suddenly she wants to have " happy families"
she abused my husband verbally, quite unwarranted as he is a very quiet, sweet caring person, yet she seems to believe that she can behave how she chooses ,and everyone must accept her horrendous aggressive behaviour.
look forward to hearing any thoughts

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Feb-14 19:54:54

I'd suggest you stop walking on eggshells around her. I don't know if she's full of hate or not but she sounds like a bully and, as far as I'm concerned, you stand up to bullies. Verbal abuse, arguments and all the rest are not to be tolerated. Double-standards are unacceptable. In fact, all of this forgiving and tip-toeing around probably only earns you her contempt.

In response to an e-mailed 'sorry' therefore, I would reply that the person she should be apologising to is your DH and it has to be in person and sincere... Set the bar higher and she might stop taking you for granted.

lookfowardtohearing Sat 22-Feb-14 20:06:03

thank you,
I guess I am so happy again when she kindly treats me like a mum , that she has the upper hand, as I am afraid of losing her yet once more.
I have lost count of the many times this has happened with the family members, sometimes nc is for a number of years.
but I just want peace at this time of my life.
this time, I am seriously considering nc once and for all.
I feel as though I am in a whirlpool of emotion just now.

Quitelikely Sat 22-Feb-14 20:12:38

Have you asked what it is yous have done to make her so angry? Has she ever told you? It's easy to comment on the behaviour you describe but she must be upset with some if your behaviour too? Even if she hasn't said can you reflect to think what it could be?

lookfowardtohearing Sat 22-Feb-14 20:18:55

oh yes, I have thought about that over and over.
it seems that she blames all of her family, and extended ones,and everyone in the world. for her depression over the years, which she has suffered from all her life.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Feb-14 20:33:32

Depression is an illness that has to be managed and treated medically. It is not an excuse to treat others badly.

I don't think someone like your DD would let you go NC quite honestly. As I see it, it suits her to have you around as something convenient to blame. If you want peace of mind I think, rather than NC, you'll need to exercise 'TL'... Tough Love.

I have a very good friend the same age as you and her DD is also a spoilt brat/bully. Her 'weapon' is not withdrawing contact but refusing my friend access to her grandchildren. As my friend looks after the GCs a lot this threat causes her so much anxiety and physical illness that she had to do something. So she didn't cave last time and the GCs were whisked away. But she's held her ground and things are finally improving.

Stand up to your DD.

eeetheygrowupsofast Sat 22-Feb-14 22:02:47

I think there is much more to this. I'm sorry for your pain but I'm more sorry for your daughter's pain and depression. For myself and anyone I know who's gone nc with a parent there is usually good reason. Sorry. I know that's not a helpful response for you, but it's ime the truth. Maybe you should think afresh very deeply and honestly about your decision to dip in and out of your family. Or if that's too painful or leads to a dead end, accept her decision to go nc or even instigate permanent no contact yourself and get on with your life, accepting the pain and sadness is a cross to bear. Sorry for all of you - genuinely.

eeetheygrowupsofast Sat 22-Feb-14 22:04:22

Sorry OP I meant 'about her decision to dip in and out of your family'

OhWesternWind Sat 22-Feb-14 23:11:17

Cogito I could be your friend's daughter, made me go cold when I read that. I've recently had to severely limit contact with my mum, for my children too, due to my mum's bullying and manipulative behaviour. But she would say I bully her - I'd say I've recently started to stand up for myself. She'd say I'm punishing her by not letting her see the dc - I'd say I'm protecting the dc from her unstable and harmful behaviour. Two sides of the same coin, it's never clear cut.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Feb-14 06:07:27

In my friend's case it is clear-cut because the DD assaulted the eldest grandchild. It's probably a reflection on the demographic of the typical web user but, on a website dedicated to supporting Mums, it's disturbing how often the older mothers, the DMs and the MILs, are always assumed to be the bad-guys.

Mashedupbanana Sun 23-Feb-14 07:43:20

Wow this is a very similar story to my family and my sister - will pm you

differentnameforthis Sun 23-Feb-14 09:01:54

What happened when she was 14?

Many posts here are quick to take your side, not knowing what kick started this off.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Feb-14 09:05:41

Does no-one think that, when the arguing and silent treatment is directed not only at the OP but aunts, siblings, cousins as well, that the common denominator might just be the DD being (putting it charitably) a bit on the touchy side?

lookfowardtohearing Sun 23-Feb-14 09:42:27

thank you for your honest replies.
well, the day she turned 13, it was as though a switch had been pulled. from the happy adored child, she became another person entirely.
finding fault with everyone and everything.
she has had years of counselling, then appears to "turn the corner", but then out of the blue, she imagines a " slight" and her life goes into freefall.
last year, her dear aunt, my sil, who in 50 year we have never had a cross word, became the target of my dd,
it devastated my sil when she was told " I will never step foot in your house again".all because sil is the sister of dd's father, who she has gone nc with.
it is though we all take a turn to be " punished" by dd by vile emails and eventually nc.
dd has never married or had children. she has some friends, but easily falls out with them one by one.
I am so sad that she lives alone with her cats, with no blood family to turn to.
her sister who received her "sorry" email isn't sure how to respond, but as she said, it will probably only be a fragile truce, going by past experiences, (once only lasting 3 weeks until umbridge was taken and nc reared it's head again)
but as she said, living abroad as she does at the moment, there won't be immediate physical contact, and also the worst that could happen would be that she would go nc again, but that her sister " couldn't hurt her again".
I couldn't imagine my life without my dear sister in it, and just wish my 2 daughters could find peace together.
my ds, also living abroad, with his sister, when he read the "sorry" email, feels that he has had enough of his younger sisters nastiness and is indifferent to any reconciliation.
so........after years of nc with me/us, I am afraid that she is going through a difficult time in her life, to suddenly want contact, yet she won't speak/ phone/email to me.
maybe she is reaching out via her sister,???

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Feb-14 10:02:42

It sounds as though your DD is hugely introspective and insecure as well as struggling with depression. Someone who goes through life resenting others, imagining 'slights' and pushing everyone away with bullying insults and aggression is ironically missing out on the one thing that would probably help them more than anything else i.e. love.

I stand by my original suggestion of 'tough love'. Set your boundaries rather than overcompensating. I don't think you've created this.

lookfowardtohearing Sun 23-Feb-14 11:00:19

thank you for your replies.
dd certainly resents others, and all her thoughts revolve around herself.
since her cat died almost 2 years ago, she has refused contact with me, as she went into a deep spiral of anger, so perhaps contacting her sister who she "wrote off" many years ago, could be her way to attempt reconciliation,
but having experienced this scenario many times in the past, which eventually/always leads to nc, I am a bit too old now to consider being in the lions den again.
she has had so much help and "understanding" over the decades, that maybe I must simply take one day at a time.
we all love her,

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Feb-14 11:03:14

I'm sure it is an attempt at some kind of contact but it can't be 'string-free', do you see? Being kind, welcoming, understanding and non judgemental has got you where you are now - waiting for the next time she storms off in a huff - so a change of strategy is on the cards and I suggest that means you set your terms of engagement very clearly from the off.

Cabrinha Sun 23-Feb-14 13:14:39

You're not risking anything, trying a new approach, because the current way doesn't work.

It's definitely her issue, given the repeated behaviour with a number of people. But that doesn't mean there isn't some legitimate feelings that she's handled badly. You mention her being rude to your husband - which makes it sounds like a stepfather? Any issues there?

I would write her a letter telling her that you love her and miss her, and want contact but that you won't accept <insert whatever you won't accept> and see if she responds. But whatever happens, you need to stick to your boundaries.

LightNC Sun 23-Feb-14 14:40:44

Cogito speaks much sense, as always. I agree with Tough Love, and boundaries.

In-family bullying is the abuse that dare not speak its name, especially when it goes from daughter ( or son) to mother, or indeed sibling to sibling. Plenty of literature and advice on toxic parents and abusive partners, not much about what you're dealing with, lookforward.

I can't offer better advice than cog, so will simply give you my sympathy. There are definitely others in your position.

lookfowardtohearing Sun 23-Feb-14 15:00:43

re stepfather, she always said he was more of a father to her, than her own, definitely no problem there.
it's just that she lashes out when the feeling takes her, and we all suffer the unexpected nc, which comes out of the blue.
I sent her a Christmas/birthday card, but she ignored them.
but for now, it is her sister who she has contacted out of the blue, not myself or her brother, or indeed any other family members.
so I guess I will have to wait and see what the future brings.
thank you for advice and understanding.

rainbowsmiles Sun 23-Feb-14 15:24:10

Just a stab in the dark here. Do you think she could have pmdd. It is a severe pre menstrual syndrome. It was when you described a switch at 13.

The anger and the depression are all symptoms too as is paranoia and falling out with everyone. Interestingly she fell out with her sister after 3 weeks which would be in keeping with a cyclical issue.

It is pretty difficult to treat and with all the counselling in the world if it is a biological issue the counselling just doesn't really help.

It is an awful thing to live with either as the one with pmdd or the poor people putting up with the rages and depression.

Just an idea.

innisglas Sun 23-Feb-14 15:41:06

Rainbowsmiles, unfortunately even if it is a condition she can treat, such as severe pre menstrual syndrome, which acupuncture is very effective for, it is unlikely that the daughter would take advice as she is likely to ask for advice.
OP, you did your job, which was to look after her as a child and bring her up to the best of your ability, which is all anyone can do.
She can only be helped with her problem if she recognises that she has a problem. Shame there is not an equivalent to Al-Anon for the families of neurotics

rainbowsmiles Sun 23-Feb-14 16:25:40

Hi innis, there is no good scientific evidence for acupuncture being an effective treatment for severe pre menstrual syndrome.

If the daughter is suffering with it then the symptoms are very bad therefore"alternative therapies"are useless. She would need referral to a specialist and in my experience gps are reluctant to do this.

It may be worth the OPs time and effort to look into it and share the advice. If she chooses not to take it or if it turns out to be unrelated then what has she lost.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Feb-14 16:36:17

She potentially loses a lot if the DD takes the attitude that researching illnesses and giving advice is interfering. They don't seem to need much excuse to fly off the handle as it is.

rainbowsmiles Sun 23-Feb-14 16:45:18

Well there are ways of doing it. If she is living abroad she may be communicating by email. You could very lovingly approach the subject by email. If it is severe pms then she potentially has an awful lot to gain.

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