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Why does my daughter hate me?(17 Posts)
Forgive me, it's my first time of posting on a chat forum but I'm feeling a great need right now!
After another day spent with my daughter - Christmas Day - I'm not sure how much more I can take of her sniping and resentment of me. She (now 22 years) always felt that her brother (now 25 years) was my favourite yet I was never aware that I treated them differently. Her father left when she was 8 years old and she really suffered from this loss. She still saw him for a period of time but this dwindled out as he got more into his new relationship. She went through a really bad stage from 13-17 years and got into all sorts of trouble with the police and social services which I bailed her out of constantly.
She got back in contact with her father when she was about 15 years old but this just made her worse and I became powerless to stop her doing and saying anything because she would just get on the phone to him to complain about how badly I was treating her when all I was doing was setting boundaries. I awoke one morning when she had gone off in a strop the night before and found that she had left our home - her father had bought her a last minute air ticket to fly over to see him to get away from me. She even went through the stage of telling all her friends about how I would hit her on a regular basis - of course a complete lie - her friends were sucked in at first but then soon realised she was lying and one of the friends still has not spoken to her since then.
She tells all her friends about how well she got on with her father but she has now fallen out with him badly and I was the one she turned to, but she won't put him down when I am there, even is someone else has asked why they fell out, because she does not want me taking the 'moral high ground'.
I put this all down to the teenage troubles but now she is older I just expected her to be different. She can be nice some of the time but when she feels like being rude or disrespectful, she can be vile towards me. She says things in front of others deliberately to embarrass me, she makes snide and personal remarks.
I am now remarried she tries to enlist the help of my new husband to gang up against me and this has caused terrible rows between my husband and me. He doesn't really understand the way I feel about her nastiness and I think he lets it go because he knows the issues it will cause if he tackles her directly about her comments.
She is impossible to talk to as she gets emotional very quickly and turns everything around to be about herself. We have fallen out on an odd occasion and she always becomes ill afterwards to gain my sympathy and draw me back in to her!
On my part, I am very proud of her, she is strong, independent, beautiful, clever, wise beyond her years and I love her zest for life. I have spent more time with her, on her own without her brother being around, over the last 2-3 years and I have done so much for her and she should be in no doubt about how I feel about her. Yet still she loves taking chunks out of me and she can never say anything nice without having a sniping comment to follow the nice comment!
Can anyone shed any light on why she is punishing me and constantly pushing me away?
Looking forward to getting some clarity on this!!
Findingithard, I wondered if you'd like this thread moved to the relationships board? I think you'll get a bigger response there (parenting posts tend to be about babies/younger children). You can do that by reporting your post.
In terms of your daughter, how do you respond when she's mean? I had a very difficult relationship with my parents until my mid-20s and only now I've had children and am mid30s I can see that they didn't set out to make my life a awful, even though the way they acted was sometimes misguided.
It's easy to push hardest against those we are certain won't abandon us - in a peverse way her behaviour to you might show that she trusts in your relationship.
But she is an adult now so your response to her can be different. Maybe working to create a safe space to discuss some of this with her would be good , so it doesn't deteriorate into falling out/arguments. I know I would have welcomed the chance to have an honest talk with my mum (has never happened) but it would need to begin with her reassuring me very clearly that she loved me and this wasn't an attack or about blame, just an opportunity to share feelings and move forward positively. And it's ok for her (and you!) to cry/be upset. I would allow her be upset but acknowledge her feelings are valid.
Ps it's also not your job to 'fix' her, just to love and support and build a healthier relationship. She'll need to come to things in her own time.
We're just going to move this to the Relationships board at the OP's request.
I think she probably still has a lot of maturing to do and coming to terms with how her Dad treated her. You are her constant, her security, she can pout all her anger onto you and trust that you still love her and be there for her it.
Really sucks though!
It sounds to me like manipulation and attention seeking. If she has decided she is second fiddle for reasons of personal insecurity/inadequacy then, no matter whether she's pushing you away or endearing herself to you, she's getting your attention. If you feel obliged to over compensate because of her father's actions - and maybe that's a pattern you fell into years ago and which she continues to exploit - that will feed the fire.
How entwined are your lives on a day to day basis? Do you live close together? Could she be more independent?
You need be firmer with her. She sees you as a push over and yes even family can take advantage of your kindness.
Your her mother! Take the control back.
My daughter is very similar to yours. However, she was never any trouble even throughout her teens but her behaviour started to deteriorate when she decided she loved to hang out with really horrid bad fellas. She turned from a beautiful daughter to a monster half way through her 20th year.
I have stuck by her through so much and done everything for her and her baby boy but she hated and despised me and didn't even batter an eyelid when her boyfriend very violently verbally abused me on several occasions. I was simply told not to be so over dramatic because I was so terrified that I fled my home for three days.
In the end I had to kick her out because it was as if an alien had taken over her body and mind and I no longer felt safe being around her.
Her life has descended into chaos and she has lost every thing/one that was good in her life just one year ago.
I still have no idea why she hated me so much. We are now trying to build some bridges slowly but never again will I allow anyone to lie, abuse and manipulate me again the way she did.
There is a saying that people treat you the way you allow them to treat you and I think in many ways this is very true.
Put some boundaries in place and keep to them. If she keeps disregarding your boundaries then it might be worth having a little break from the relationship until she can treat you with respect. She is not an immature teenager, she is an adult and needs to start behaving like one.
You don't mention it and nothing in your post implies it, but do you feel guilty with her? I just say that because some of my friends feel so guilty about their children that their adult children behave like this with them. I'm much too cynical for that to work with me.
I think blaming our parents is a very easy cop-out from accepting responsability for being less than ideal ourselves.
Watching this with interest as this is exactly the scenario with one of my sons. I haven't seen my son for three years until this christmas (his choice up to a point: on the few occasions I did see him over that time the meetings were brief as the screaming verbal abuse was shocking: 'you fucking whore/psycho bitch' etc - many etcs). I saw him for a few hours after christmas and his hatred was palpable. I am wary of saying more as judgement on here can be scathing...
I don't feel guilty about my son, only deeply shocked and, actually, traumatised. I have scraped the cupboard bare looking for answers - I have of course looked with a microscope at myself to see if I have hidden bogies I am unaware of. So far drawn a blank. He has caused a huge amount of grief, far and wide, re turning a wide circle of family and friends to his way of thinking. There is no basis of truth to any of his allegations. It is as though he is his father's mouthpiece (his father was an abuser, now deceased, I left the marriage when my son was a baby). I despair. There seems no way forward.
I have a friend whose daughter is similar - the result was that the daughter made such serious allegations that my friend was convicted of child abuse and served time in prison. I met this friend through a parenting group, both of us looking for answers.
You have written your OP well - I have not been able to find the words, though I have tried. Ime people generally assume we must have done something seriously wrong for the end result to be this. Only we don't know about it.... catch 22. People post who have had a bad time with their own mothers and project their stuff onto our situation. It's hopeless.
I am not an expert, but could this be undiagnosed disorder like ADHD or Asperger's?
I think blaming our parents is a very easy cop-out from accepting responsability for being less than ideal ourselves
I agree with this.
If your childhood has not been ideal so that you have emotional insecurities and low self-esteem (I am thinking of her DF's treatment of her here) then life can seem very hard. Small slights can seem like the final straw, why is your life sooo hard.
When in fact your life is completely normal, it's this way for most people, life isn't perfect. So, rather than face what she might believe are her deep failings she blames it all on you. In fact her failings prob aren't failings but normal angst and worries. She just doesn't know how to handle them.
Perhaps some joint counseling might help, and you telling her once and for all you won't listen to any more abuse, ever. I can't see that the abuse is helping her, merely enforcing her beliefs, and certainly not you.
She's at a tricky age: her behaviour comes from her insecurities, but what would be forgivable in a child and responded to only with unconditional love, in an adult, a more hardline approach is necessary, as they are responsible for their own behavior and need to face up to the consequences.
She is young, and you are her mother, so switching to treating her adult-to-adult is difficult.
Do you think it could be effective to do a bit of both? When she acts out, say "I love you, but I will not accept such-and-such behaviour, and now the consequence is (whatever adult consequence, including no contact, her finding her own home if she still lives with you, etc)." And then enforce it, the way you would if a non-family member did that to you.
Re - Workingtitle - I am usually upset and too raw to respond when she says anything to me, on other occasions I tell her that she is being disrespectful at which time she just carries on with her conversation.
Re - CogitOIOIO - She has always been manipulative and attention seeking and I have always felt that I have needed to compensate for her father not being present. She has also manipulated this situation and made sure to tell me that if I didn't give her what she wanted then she would get the attention or money/gift from her father - it has been difficult - I have not given her everything though and she has achieved her goal by getting these things from her father which has always ensured that he remained in her highest esteem! Our lives are not entwined now since she left university and we see each other only on a weekend. But I do tend to get worked up about these times and worry about what will be said next!
Re- Rebecca2014 - I will be trying to take the control back more in the future and I do do this, but she catches me off guard and I feel like I'm back to square one!
Hey Heyday - sorry this is also happening to you and hopefully we can both get some valuable advice from the discussion.
Re - Coyoacan - I don't feel guilty nowadays but I did when the kids were little - I hated the fact that I had been forced into the divorce situation, I had tried so hard to keep my marriage going but when your husband has an affair with your best friend, I think you know it's time to walk away and eek out a future as a smaller but stronger family of 3 rather than a weak, failing family of 4! I never looked back and did not miss their father and his lies and cheating. I stayed on my own for 12 years until both children were off at university and worked 2 jobs, full-time and part-time and began a part-time degree to encourage them in their studies. I have my moments when I am difficult to live with as I am determined and stubborn but it's this determination which has kept me going over the years.
Re - Springydaffs - It seems strange that we are the ones who search within our souls to get to the bottom of these issues and yet logically speaking; it takes two to maintain a relationship and yet the ones causing the issues do not seem to want to try to rectify the problems! A long time ago I decided that no matter how bad my daughter's attitude got, I would have to behave in a way that I would be happy with so that I could lay my head down at night and sleep comfortably regardless of however badly she would behave. The scenario you mentioned regarding your friend's daughter has also happened to a family member of mine and the child in question causing the issues just seems in total denial of all the heartache she has caused across many members of the family. On the point of my own mother, she left when I was 2 and my father got custody of my sister and me. We all ended up going to live with my grandparents and whilst they did their best, it was difficult for them as this temporary situation turned into a permanent one which ruined my grandparents retirement. Being rejected at such a young age by my own mother has only served to make me more determined to be a better parent either on my own or now as part of an extended family.
Re - GoatsDoRoam - Thanks for the advice, I do feel that a new approach is necessary and I may sit down with her to try to explain how all this aggravation makes me feel and the upset it causes, I'm just not in the mood for another fight right now!
Thanks all for the support, I truly do appreciate your frankness and once again I want to reiterate that I do love her very much, I am very proud of her and will not be giving up on our relationship xx
I was just thinking, would there be any possibility of getting into family therapy? Would she be open to it?
Every weekend offers too many opportunities. I think you should start arranging other things to do with your weekends. Don't exclude her in an overt way but simply encourage her to be with people her own age by not being so easily available. A little distance will help a lot here - both of you need to take a big step back.
Since you're conscious that she's manipulative and since you know her usual tricks, think ahead about ways in which you can respond differently when she pulls one. e.g saying 'no', anticipating an outburst and deciding to ignore it rather than trying to keep her sweet.
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