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Estranged daughter(118 Posts)
My much loved daughter and her family are estranged from me. I am a widow, living alone. She is a very wealthy young woman and a lifestyle only few could dream of, over the years she distanced herself from me, making comments about my fading looks and dress sense, I answered back at first, I have always looked after myself and consider I dress well, but not top designer, when I visited she made herself absent or started to vacuum, I was only there half an hour, perhaps once a month, any invite to my home had been refused, house too small, but I had bought her up here, had her engagement party for about 40 people here. Whenever I said something she thought I was getting at her, so
Last Christmas I was ill, she said I had bought it on myself and has not made contact. I did not see her or her family and felt alone and like giving up. I waited to see if she would get in contact but she never has, she moved home and didn't tell me. I am asking you for advice, knowing she doesn't want me, have any of you just outgrown your mom? I love her and her family so much and each day hurts. If I got in touch you would just shout at me again. I made a new will and until I got to solicitors I was going to cut her out and leave my home and everything to grandchildren, but once there I couldn't, I love her, she is my daughter, doesn't need the money but I felt mean considering it. I cry everyday for her and lost confidence, other friends have their families. She once said to me, don't expect me to care for you when
you are old, I don't know why she SA id it, it was me caring for her and looking after her home and family whilst she was always away.
From a young persons point of view, can you imagine that baby who means the world to you, turning on you. What would you do? Am I just being selfish. I loved my mom, couldn't have hurt her, but know it's not the same now. She has a new life, should I just face facts that I don't fit in. If you thing I am out of order in my expectations, tell me, I want the truth.
First off, I'm sorry that your relationship has broken down to this extent, I can only imagine how horrible it must feel.
I don't think you're out of order to want a relationship with your daughter and GCs, but there's little you can do to force one. It sounds like you were supporting her with childcare etc at one point, so what changed?
You mention arguing about her criticising of the clothes you were wearing etc - did those arguments get quite heated? Did you ever criticise her back (i.e. has she got a "reason," real or exaggerated, to feel off with you)?
Do you know your son in law well enough to approach him and ask what you may have done wrong and/or for help reconciling?
Do you have other children? Is her father still around?
No the arguments didn't become heated, I never critised her, she has a temper. I asked sil, whol I love like a son, he said I get on her nerves, he can't interfere his family come first. Understandable, so never asked again as I knew he would feel disloyal to her and he loves her very much. I appreciate you replying.
I understand your pain and sadness. My son hasn't seen or spoken to me in over a year. He is celebrating his 18th birthday today and although I will go round to his grandparents to take his presents and card , I will get no thank-you or anything back from him. My heart is broken he thought he could do as he pleased I was never overly strict but did set rules as any decent parent does. My mum and dad seem to let him come and go as he pleases. It has torn my family apart my parents and sister took his side as he was always the apple of their eyes so things were bad between them but I'm slowly building that up again . My other children keep me going but I feel so sad inside. Your not a bad person your daughter is incredibly selfish, look after yourself. It's so hard when you look around and see other families happy. I never expected my son to do what he has. He was always selfish and awkward and has done and said some awful things to me but I still love him no matter how he's treat me. Sorry for rambling . First post but been lurking a while your all so nice and supportive on here.
Yes I did ask, she said I irritate her god lots of reason, I asked for one, she said I can't just answer without thinking about it. I replied well perhaps you can tell me when you gave. Her reply was, just get out I can't deal with this now.
"Whenever I said something she thought I was getting at her".
Thing is, with one side of the story it's impossible to tell whether you're innocent and she was picking a fight, or whether you were constantly getting at her.
I'm biased, my mother is bloody difficult and has created a totally false victim narrative, and therefore I do find myself reading your post and looking for your daughter's side. That might be unfair to you.
Phrases like "can you imagine the baby you love so much turning on you?" are exactly the kind of sympathy seeking, daughter blaming actually untrue things my mother would say. I read that, and think - ah, she's a drama queen too then, this mum. Ditto changing wills and reference to "giving up". As I said - that may be totally unfair on you, but I think you should try to examine both your behaviour objectively.
As for saying your house is too small... I used to say my parents' house was too far away. It's just a bit kinder than saying "I don't like you, you're not a positive part of my life, I don't want to see you". You seem to be wanting us to conclude that she's a snob, as you talk about her wealth, and later your house being too small. I find that irritatingly like passive digs, tbh. If you came on and said "she's a snob now and it hurts me", I'd agree with you. But dropping in about her lifestyle but not being explicit - it's the kind of woe is me hint dropping my mother pulls.
Once more: I am biased.
Practical advice? She didn't tell you she'd moved, but you were already not contacting her by then. So forget about that. Try not to pick up on everything ever said out of context (I've told my fiancé not to expect me to care for him - of course I will!). Have a really honest think about why she felt you were always getting at her. Instigate low contact - birthday, Xmas cards... or tell her you regret that you've ended up not in contact, and ask if she'd like to have lunch (as lunch is time limited so less pressure!)
I hope you can work it out.
That is really hard to deal with OP.
Your dd would probably have a different tale to tell, sadly.
Have you any other children ?
Is her dad still with you ?
This does sound immensely painful for you.
I think you may have to step back a bit and give her some space, and maybe do some reflection. That's not to say it's your fault but you can't change her behaviour - only she can do that - so you will have to change your approach. That might mean letting it go for a while and just focusing on your own life and interests.
Have you thought about counselling?
I also wondered about this:
Last Christmas I was ill, she said I had brought it on myself. Could there be any justification for her saying you had brought it on yourself? E.g. was it lifestyle related (smoking? alcohol?). Could she be feeling frustrated about something like that?
if your daughter wrote this thread about you what would she say?(right or wrong)
Interesting your comment about caring for her family whilst she was "always away".
Sounds like you judge her choices on that - though you say you've never criticised her.
Do you feel critical of that? Does she know that?
I'm confused about the adult relationship you've had with her - there's a big difference between you always caring for her family and you only visiting for half an hour once a month! Would it help to actually explain what's gone on?
You need to accept that this is your reality and, hard as it is, move forward by detaching emotionally. If you don't, life will become so incredibly negative and you already sound very depressed.
It is what it is. Be kind to yourself, get out and about, join local groups and associations to have something else to focus on. The problems with your daughter have understandably become all consuming...but its really not helping you to cope is it?
One of my daughters doesn't do emotion. She too is quick to criticise, blunt to the point of rudeness and desperately keen to be seen as a middle class yummy mummy type.
I let her get on with it. I let her set the pace in our relationship and I never complain, I never explain either which means that she's always curious as to what I'm up to...but I don't tell her everything as she has form for being judgemental and critical.
I love her to bits....but she is exhausting and so keeping a loving distance seems to work, as does living my own life to the full and not taking any of her nonsense personally. Good luck. It is hard I know...
I agree with Elisandra. I'm cut off from my mum because I can't deal with her any more and your post reads just like something she'd write. All wide eyed innocence victim playing.
My mum told people that I never came round because the house was too small and I looked down on it. Reality is her house is bursting at the seams with clutter, to the extent that it's dangerous. Why would I take my small kids into that?
In my case I've told my mum over and over again what my issues are. But she makes like she's listening but I might as well be talking to the cat for all the difference it makes.
She also doesn't follow medical advice and gets very ill. She diabetic but won't change her diet and frequently doesn't bother taking her meds. Then when she gets ill expects everyone to drop everything and lavish her with attention. After years of this I did reach the point of telling her she'd brought it on herself and refused to 'support' her. But she won't admit this as it doesn't fit her victim role.
Actually I'm now wondering if the OP is my mum.
Yes - and openly admitted to be.
I think it's helpful for the OP to consider other potential interpretations of her daughter's behaviour.
My 18yr old daughter moved out 2 months ago to live with her boyfriend and his family, she won’t speak to me or my family, to say I’m hurt is an understatement. I feel like she’s dead! All I wanted was for her to get a job and pass her driving test but my pressure was too much for her and her boyfriends family was more ‘laid back’. But after 2 months she still has no job not driving and no money!!
You know precisely why you've been cut off by your DD; accept her decision to be no contact with you and leave her alone. She had every right to walk away from you, the pressure you put on her and likely over many years also was too much.
Lots of adult women find ways to manage a relationship with mothers who they find difficult. Very probably both sides need to understand each other a little better and establish some boundaries.
Stop talking about wills. Stop insinuating that you will cut her out if........ if ............what. That speaks volumes imo. You're trying to control her. To be something or to not be something and the carrot you're dangling is that she be left in your will? You're playing the wrong game here. She is wealthy anyway.
I agree, detach emotionally. Build up your own life. What are you interested in? What do you enjoy?
My mother always tells me what I think and tells me what I feel and I'm only now learning how to identify that line between pleasing myself and pleasing her because the two were enmeshed for decades. I'm not saying that's what's going on in your case but I do detect a bit of victim mentality and also a lack of detail.
What does your daughter mean when she says you brought your illness on yourself? Can you elaborate?
ps, sorry if I sounded harsh there, I realise you never told your daughter you considered cutting her out.
I'd say that your daughter feels bad when she thinks of you, alone, unhappy, ill........... it makes her feel guilty or uncomfortable?
I definitely second the advice to detach emotionally from the situation. For your own sake and as a tactic.
Book club, learn to paint, knit, bridge, cooking, learn Italian. Get fitter?
I had the same reaction as Ellisandra.
Not my mother though. My friend's mother. She can't ever imagine what she's done wrong. My friend and I compare conflicts with our mothers. I don't have much conflict with my mother, but when there's a disagreement we find a compromise. Full scale rows are very rare (once a decade). My friend's mother on the other hand is melodramatic, unable to admit she's wrong about anything, and quite manipulative. She cries and rages if she doesn't get what she wants, and won't have calm discussions to seek compromise. And then claims she's hurt that my friend isn't in constant contact and doesn't understand what's wrong. She's been told what's wrong. She won't accept it.
So whenever someone says they don't understand why a family member has gone NC or has rejected them, I think of my friend's mother. Usually they have been told over and over but won't accept it.
Cards I have this experience in my family and am now estranged. The person who I've had to cut contact with is adamant that he has no idea why and that I've never explained it to him. The years leading up to the estrangement were horrible beyond belief and cutting contact is the only thing that has brought peace (to me - I don't think he's so sanguine).
However, I would absolutely rather it had not come to this. Cutting contact should be a last resort. It comes with its own hefty price tag.
The thing that I always wonder about in these situations is that it's very unusual for an adult child to completely cut off a parent for "no reason". Very unusual indeed. Even parents who are abusive, neglectful, addicts, etc; even adult children usually still have this deeply programmed need for their parents' attention and approval. I won't say it never happens. But it is rare.
On the other hand, parents who have been rightly cut off by their children invariably are "bewildered" about why despite having been told directly multiple times, and have a narrative in which they've only ever done what a loving parent would do and the whole thing is a complete mystery. Included in the narrative are usually several instances of having ignored the boundaries the adult child has set, because the need for "answers" that satisfy the parent is just sooooo strong.
I don't know what really happened, obviously. But either your daughter's unusually cruel, or the version you've just given us doesn't represent reality. Either way, your daughter is an adult, and the only thing you can do is respect her wishes and leave her alone. Seeking some counselling for yourself might help you to do that and to focus productively on other parts of your life.
So you were always looking after your her and her family while she's always away yet you only see them for about half an hour once a month? I think maybe you could start with being more honest, even to yourself, about how you relate to her.
Also you ask to have it out she says she can't deal with you just then. Why don't you then ask when you could both deal with the issues.
You sound like my self centered self involved dad who wants all things on his terms and then gets all poor me when I draw some much needed boundaries. Did you inform her about your plans to cut her out of your will in an effort to get her back in line?
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