Feeling used by dd20(5 Posts)
My did is 20 and at Uni....she struggles with an eating disorder and anxiety. I have really tried to help her but have realised that at this age it is up to her and she absolutely refuses to talk about it or allows us to get involved at all. She is not dangerously underweight and manages her course and holiday job. She has a boyfriend who seems lovely although she doesn't bring him to our home or ever allows us to meet - they've been together a year. My problem is that I just feel used by her - she is pleasantish if she wants something - we and her grandparents support her financially through uni, she lives with us during holidays, we give her lifts and I will be taking a day off work to drive her back to uni. In between times she generally treats me with distain, doesn't want to spend time with us and is generally rude - outraged that I asked her to cook a family meal occasionally, leaves a mess, eats what she likes and doesn't replace etc etc etc How can I have a decent relationship with her - any attempt to discuss things usually ends up with her screaming, switching off or leaving the house?
Has she always been like that in terms of screaming etc? If she can be nice when she wants something, then I'd be tempted to stop doing things for her after every time she's rude, screams etc. Tell her you're going to do this as her behaviour is not acceptable. She clearly doesn't behave like that at job etc.
Parenting a dependant 20 year old, when they are rude, is difficult and painful.
You must feel so sad that she won't confide in you, you are deprived of feeling genuine joy and meeting her lovely boyfriend, and she treats you terribly - even though she is a dependant and needs to be housed by you for the holidays.
It's such a hard position to be in. If she was a summer lodger you would easily cut her off or chuck her out.
Is she coming home for Easter?
Are there siblings?
Detachment is the key. She is an adult and can be treated as such. You might choose to offer her a bed for the holidays but you need not flex your life to accommodate a rude daughter. Tough love. There are consequences to everything. She can see results of her actions and knows when she is sweet she gets help,and when she screams she can upset you.
Don't expect to be in her good books, nor to have a great relationship at the moment. She controls what she eats, who meets her boyfriend, and how she interacts with you. It might be a disorder that means she is difficult. However, she is capable of living independnatly and she can't control you.
Be cool. Extend kindness that you can but cease trying to have a relationship. Show her that there are consequences and so be detached from her damaging ways.
Make no excuses and do what you want. Lifts if you fancy a drive, but not if you don't. Use your home as you wish and not in a way to suit her. Be even handed and consistent. She might not consider you someone to respect right now (she behaves badly) so as she is now an adult you need not pander to her moods.
It's a privilege for her to be housed with you,not a right.
She can't control your feelings. Take it easy on yourself and show her you love yourself. This is important. Show your daughter, pointedly, that you treat yourself nicely. Tough love means she is not enabled to be hurtful to you followed by you being desperate to have a warm relationship with her. She can't just take stuff. Tell her that is theft. She is selfish and immature if she doesn't see that she needs your support. You could warn her that if you feel her disdain is apparent during the Easter stay that she should consider her options for the summer hols? She is obviously not happy with the support you provide. What are her options? I suppose she could stay in her university town.
My heart goes out to you. Did she go into teenage-hood as a nice girl?
Thanks for your replies. You have said what I really wanted to hear, I just needed a bit of direction. I think detachment is def the way to go - without feeling guilty or emotional. She was always feisty - from being little - but we had a great relationship until she was 18 - I think the eating disorder is part of it but it goes along with her need to control - that means controlling us too. I will grit my teeth and go for it!! Thanks again xx
I think it's a bit weird that you expect her to replace food she has eaten. When visiting home as a waged adult, I'd buy the food for one meal per stay...but I wouldn't replace food I'd eaten as such and as a student I never bought food for the house and was never expected to. But I think it's perfectly reasonable that she makes dinner and helps out around the house, you are not running a B&B.
When she kicks off, I'd leave the room and I would probably stop doing nice things for her until she starts speaking to you in a respectful manner. She's old enough now to understand her behaviour needs to change. If you struggle to get your point across because she throws tantrums write her a letter, try your best to stay calm - your heightened emotions will feed her bad behaviour.....because she is getting the response she is craving.
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