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How do I stop taking this personally?

(53 Posts)
3catsandcounting Fri 13-Nov-15 11:51:54

DD18 is doing a Foundation degree at a local Uni and living at home (hopefully moving away next year.)
She's always been "difficult" - controlling, disrespectful, ungrateful, lazy and entitled - at home! Lovely elsewhere!
Basically, I'm not allowed to nag, comment, or ask her to do anything. I'm interfering, over-protective, and ruining her life. She wishes she could leave this shit-hole and live on her own. All her friends think I'm weird and she hates everything about me.

We're fortunate enough to have a large, comfortable semi-rural home, with plenty of space to socialise; her friends all flock here as they say that we make it so open to them (they're always lovely to me!)
We've worked so hard for everything we have and I just feel so used and unloved by her. She's never hugged me, never apologised for anything, begrudgingly says thank you, occasionally. She can't be bothered getting a part-time job, lies in bed most of the day when not in college, makes food and leaves all the mess.
I've stopped giving her any money, apart from bus fare and lunch, she goes out with friends and manages to spend nothing on a night out, (she has tiny amount in the bank) She makes demands about new clothes/ shoes/make-up; when I refuse, it confirms to her that I'm unreasonable and mean.

My DS16 is fantastic, loving, sensitive, well-mannered (I'm very careful not to compare them, except in my mind.)

How do I detach? How do I stop all this from bothering and hurting me?
I know she'll be different when she moves away, but what about now?

3catsandcounting Fri 13-Nov-15 11:59:09

Sorry, that was a long rant (can you tell I'm pissed-off today??)
Oh, and whatever my DD says, I'm NOT weird, honest!! grin

Candleabras Fri 13-Nov-15 19:50:04

No real advice I'm afraid, but didn't want to read and run. I have one like yours, mine is 16, and a lot of your DD's observations of you, are identical to my DD's observations of me. I am also weird, controlling, interfering, and am hell bent on ruining her life. She does nothing around the house, is rude and lazy and disrespectful, and can't wait to leave. When she wants something her mood changes and she becomes all sweetness and light. I am sick to death of her. Like your DD, out of the house, she is great, and knows how to behave. She is involved outside the house in all kinds of community based stuff, and adults make a beeline for me when I attend the events, to tell me what a wonderful young woman she is, how polite, how mature and what a credit to me, blah blah.

I think what I am trying to say, is that your Dd also knows how to behave outside the home, and she is a credit to you too. She is capable of this behaviour towards others, and that will eventually extend to you. It is down to you that she knows how to behave when it counts. I understand that anytime after the age of 18 is when the horns start to shorten, and they begin to emerge as humans. I am waiting too.

Tbh, I'm not really bothered about the insults she hurls at me, and when she screams she hates me. I have managed to detach, because I had to, and I know that eventually she will become a lovely young woman, in and out of the house.

You should continue with the rules and boundaries you see fit while she is in your house, and probably stop doing stuff for her. I'm working on that bit, but she is bitter and resistant.

Hang on in there flowers

ImperialBlether Fri 13-Nov-15 19:55:27

I would get hold of a big box and every week I'd buy something for when she moves out. If you're careful you could get 30 weeks out of it. As you see it start to fill, you can let yourself get excited that soon she'll be going.

I think I would respond by yelling if being nice doesn't work.

ragged Fri 13-Nov-15 19:57:38

mmm... is she allowed to nag you?

Even if you are extremely weird you don't deserve disrespect when you provide a safe warm roof over her head.

What if you looked at her as a lodger, or a looney relative you feel obliged to house. View her as a ... temperamental cat. It's out of kindness that you house & feed her.

There are so many aspects of that picture you'd like to change just to make your life a bit better, I dunno which one you choose but I think I'd hone in just one thing that is entirely reasonable to ask of a lodger & work on that (expect fireworks).

Don't take stuff she says personally, whatever happens.

Sunnyminimalist2 Fri 13-Nov-15 19:58:00

A few questions

Do you make her feel appreciated, treasured, valued?

Do you do share any hobbies? Walking, games, sport, creative? Do you share time alone with her?

Do you respect her decisions? Do you accept her as she is? Are you giving her something to rebel against? Are you controlling? Do you organise her or prevent her doing things (piercings, hair colours etc)?

ImperialBlether Fri 13-Nov-15 20:01:40

Oh Sunny, that is so funny.

Sunnyminimalist2 Fri 13-Nov-15 20:05:54

Do you hug/pat her in passing? Do you say nice things to her?

What do you genuinely like about her? You've listed nothing you like.

She will know that you prefer your son by the way. She just will. It will be divisive.

I believe material possessions have to be earned. Pocket money too. Can you discuss different ways she can earn the cash.

Is it worth sitting down and constructively asking how you can both get on better? What can you both do to make things work. Look forward, be constructive.

3catsandcounting Fri 13-Nov-15 20:08:38

Candleabras - thank you for a lovely post.
All that you've said is true and yes, people do tell me what a lovely girl I have - I have to bite my tongue hard sometimes!
It doesn't help that I'm surrounded by friends with teens the same age who are hard-working, loving to their parents, and generally pleasant and mature (most of the time!) I would just like a glimpse of that occasionally!

DD is very young for her age, not very streetwise, but now she's hit 18, thinks she can do anything she wants without any regard for us.
She hates the fact that I worry if she's not come home from a night out when she's told me differently; I do try to explain that I'd be worried if DH did the same, it's got nothing to do with age, it's just common courtesy to let us know!
I'm hanging in there with the help of a nice bottle of red tonight!

Jftbo74 Fri 13-Nov-15 20:26:40

Have you ever got on with her?

3catsandcounting Fri 13-Nov-15 21:38:32

*Imperial -*You're a wise woman. I love reading your posts; and I love the idea of the box.
Ragged - she really doesn't think she does anything wrong. I laughed at the idea of the loony relative!*
Sunny* - my girl is appreciated, praised and loved beyond words; she just makes it very difficult sometimes. I think this morning, after yet another rant of what a shit mother I am, my positive slant on her rather escaped me!!
However, she has a wicked sense of humour and we laugh a lot; she hates any physical affection (I like to hug and kiss my kids at random)
she just about tolerates it, but sneers at anything I suggest we do together.
She draws and paints like I could only dream of doing; she loves her animals and treats them far better than humans.
Jftb - we do 'get-on' - when she's in a good mood!

3catsandcounting Fri 13-Nov-15 21:41:54

Oops - sorry Sunny!! That really wasn't meant to be in bold writing. It looks like I'm shouting - I'm really not! Right, time to put the red wine down!

KikiTheFrog Fri 13-Nov-15 23:21:52

Hi 3cats. I don't know how to not take it personally. My dd is similar in some ways to yours and sometimes I feel so hurt by her behaviour and the things she says. I have lost count of the number of times I have been in tears this past year.
I guess we have just got to put up with it and hope the nice moments get longer and more frequent.

Keep ranting here. Its good for you smile

Jftbo74 Fri 13-Nov-15 23:34:09

She must feel quite safe to express herself. All you can do is be loving, accepting, have fun, give her your time/attention and treasure her. Would you say she's quite a sensitive soul and she possibly feels things intensely whilst being very insightful.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 13-Nov-15 23:35:09

Have you tried agreeing with her?
`You are ruining my life` `yes i am`
Or I find saying `you`re very welcome` having not heard a thank you works wonders!

3catsandcounting Sat 14-Nov-15 00:01:18

Thank you Kiki.
Jftbo - she's very secretive (as I was at her age, but I didn't want to disappoint my parents, whereas she seems to relish that thought!)
Sally - I do agree with her whilst in an insulting rage; it's usually met with "oh, you think you're so fucking clever!" sad

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 14-Nov-15 00:44:40

Yes I do!

3catsandcounting Sat 14-Nov-15 00:57:22


itsthecircleoflife Sat 14-Nov-15 01:14:53

This sounds like me and my Mum 10 yesrs ago. I dont know the personal dynamics OP- we only have your side of the story. But heres mine:

My mother was very controlling. Who I socialisied with, what I did with my spare time, what I spent my money on etc. She also said I wasnt "street wise"- when I was, she just liked to belittle me and sometimes I didnt want to show how her how tough I could be as she wouldnt of liked that either. You couldnt win with her. It got to the extent when honestly I though id go NC with her.

I saved up my money and moved out a week after my 18th birthday. I still see her, but its a couple of times a year and I live a long way away. Ive been here since Monday and things are getting unbearable.

I dont doubt for a second she loves me. But she doesnt respect the fact that my life is just that- mine. Still doesnt now im 28 as you can see from my thread earlier this evening.

So it depends how you treat your daughter on the whole. If you dont respect the fact she is an adult and is capable of making her own decisions- then im sorry, but I cant blame her for a bit of hostility. It can be suffocating. You have to let her make her own mistakes- if it means she gets hurt, just be there to pick up the pieces. Hard when its your baby- but it has to be done. You wont be here forever to mollycoddle her- and when do you draw the line? You could get hit by a bus tomorrow and she would have to get on with it.

Also I do hope you dont show favourtism to your DS. Maybe difficult but again can understand some resentment if you do. I agree with Sunny that she will know. She doesnt sound stupid.

With that said- if she wants to be treated like an adult she needs to start acting like one. Dont do her laundry and ironing- she is more than capable of learning to do it if she doesnt know already, and its a tool she will need when she moves out. Get her to cook some meals and handle her own expenses which you seem to be doing already.

3catsandcounting Sat 14-Nov-15 01:48:08

I really appreciate all the replies, and I'm more than aware of any parenting mistakes that I've made; my friends think I'm far too soft.
Fact is, when DD is in a sticky situation (no money to get home, row with boyfriend) it's always me she calls to rescue her. Which I do.
I just don't like being treated like shit the rest of the time.
DD may well be aware that DS is the favoured one; ain't nobody's fault but her own! He's quiet, shy and hates confrontation; he hides himself away in his room with his computer and games. DD loves to ridicule him about this (until my friend questioned her as to why she thought he did this!!)

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 14-Nov-15 10:27:00

DD is 11, had been taking the mik all summer, not helping out, not tidying her room, out all day with friends. Etc. One evening about 5 she rang for the umteen lift that week without a thank you. It was raining and she was half hour walk away. I was tired and said NO. She walked! She appreciated lifts since, but if she does it again, I will say no.
No is a good word.
Would you let a friend treat you like this?

Jftbo74 Sat 14-Nov-15 10:55:35

DD may well be aware that DS is the favoured one; ain't nobody's fault but her own!


This is your problem. Some of my children naturally are higher maintenance because they are more SENSITIVE (not secretive as you misread). However I have no favourites. They are all wonderful for different reasons.

Jftbo74 Sat 14-Nov-15 10:56:28

Treating her like an adult, an equal might help

Jftbo74 Sat 14-Nov-15 10:57:55

Favouritism is divisive. It's your choice to have a favourite and your choice to be divisive. Your the adult.

Ravingloony Sat 14-Nov-15 11:09:34

I've got one like that here OP. DD16 and all she is interested in is her friends and social life. College work takes a back seat. I am accused of being interfering, controlling, over protective etc etc. I am old fashioned and need to let her grow up, she says. Her room is a tip and she does nothing around the house. Another one who lies on her bed all day or night when she is a home, which is not very often tbh. We dont eat together or spend any time doing nice things as even though I offer all the time, she just would rather be out with her friends. She also has said she is leaving home as soon as she is 18 and gets a job as she hates it here.

I am ground down by all the controntations and I do often feel hurt and upset and find it really difficult not to take it personally. How can it not be personal? She has been loved and cherished her whole life and as soon as you disagree with something she wants to do, she kicks off. Or she used to.

I dont hand out money all the time. She gets lunch money for college and only £5 to spend on a weekend. I would be inclined to give her more if she did anything to help out at home but she doesnt.

On the positive side, she has been showing little tiny glimmers of niceness just lately. When I say niceness, I mean not snapping at everything I say and holding her tongue a bit more. I am holding on to this and hoping things continue to improve and she realises that she hasnt got it so bad here.

I dont want to be rude either, but for those who have not experienced any of this behaviour, its very easy to say "dont put up with it, you are too soft, lay down the law and say no etc". I have an older dc who is totally not like dd and they have been brought up exactly the same way. So I cant have been all wrong in my parenting.

Chin up OP. We are in this together.

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