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Broken and sad....how can I be more resilient?(57 Posts)
My 14 yo dd proper hates me . In her opinion I'm annoying, boring, not fun, horrible...anything negative...that's me! After yet another character assassination of me yesterday which left me in tears, I need to get a grip and grow a backbone to get me through this as I know it could last a while. Can anyone recommend some coping strategies?
Trouble is, I'm a very sensitive soul. I was badly bullied as a child and to be experiencing the same feelings of rejection from my own dd is killing me. I also feel a failure as I keep thinking back to how excited I was when pregnant and would never dream that 14 yrs on I'm in this situation . I also torture myself by looking at pics of us all when she was little.
I just want to run away as I'm finding it really hard. It's so reminiscent of how I felt as a child...I'm so, so broken that she hates me so much. It feels so much deeper than normal teenage rejection 😪
No practical advice but didn’t want to read and run. I have a 9yo who tells me he hates me fairly regularly. Other times he loves me. Goodness knows what he’ll be like at 14! Eek!
Hope someone will be along soon with some helpful advice.
She doesn't hate you. She is a teenager who is full of raging hormones and the stresses of growing into an adult, and is testing out boundaries. Put your boundaries in place and don a hard hat for the rough ride ahead as you cannot allow your child to become the adult - let her know her behaviour is not acceptable and that you won't be spoken to like that.
Try to be calm and do your own thing; if you have a hobby, enjoy that or go out on your own, maybe meet a friend, have lunch and come home smiling.
If your daughter 'starts', look her straight in the eyes and say, "I will no longer tolerate your rudeness. If you don't like me, so be it, you're not the centre of my world any more and I have other things in my life".
Then turn around and attend to whatever you need, be preoccupied if she carries on, maybe look at her and say, "What was that?", but continue with your own work or projects or even reading. Don't let her get to you or at least don't show it. She'll learn to respect you.
Mothers and daughters eh? I hear so many similar stories to yours (& my mum and I were always at hammers and tongs). Later on you will be good friends.
How is she towards her father/male carers/male family members? I think having a chat about feminism and misogyny may be a possible strategy? Since I have called my boys out on sexism in our own home things have improved. I gave them evidence of them shouting at me and never doing so at my husband. The realisation of this really got to them! It should be even more so for a daughter.
Ps I also have very low resilience. I sympathise enormously
@Rachelover60 that's a horrible thing to say!
OP, your daughter is being foul to you because you're the closest person to her and she trusts that you'll still be there even after she's tested you and taken her frustrations out on you. I was a bitch to my mum as a teenager for the same reasons but we're very close now. It's shit but that's the joys of being/having a teenager.
OP, I am in the same boat at the moment. I have had a few very very rough days with teenage DD.
She wants piercings/to dye her hair blond/a dog/the phone in her room at night/to come and go as she pleases etc. And because I don’t give in to her demands, there’s hell to pay. She is like a dog with a bone, the verbal abuse I get is on par with mental abuse. And it’s relentless.
I am divorced from her Dad. Who cocked up monumentally and gave in to all her demands for her affection. So for me there is no: you will eat what I cooked, because she calls her dad crying I am not feeding her and he transfers her money for a take away (usually junk food).
I am on the verge of a mental breakdown myself. I am keeping my wits about me for now.
I informed the school. The only other person DD adores is her grandmother, but she is my MiL and sides with my exH, this she provides anything DD demands, because she saw the damage her son did and is trying to compensate for that.
I don’t know the answer. I downloaded a lot of teenage psychology books and I am making my way through them.
OP what everyone is saying is that this is normal behaviour for a teenager. As well as their own hormones and the uncertainties that come with growing into an adult and the realisation that things are getting serious - exams, career options etc, they are also dealing with their friends who are going through exactly the same things, albeit maybe slightly out of sync due to differences with growing speeds. Add to that the artificial lives shown on TV around teenagers growing up, it s a bloody difficult time for them. That said, I do think it's important that teenagers have some boundaries set and should not be allowed to forget their basic manners. They may not like it, and I suspect you may struggle, but your are still the parent, the one in "charge" ie the one they will inevitably go to when anything goes wrong. I promise that it will pass and you'll have a great relationship again.
It’s normal behaviour for some teenagers- we all respond to hormones in different ways.
Consistency and fairness are your friends- there’s no wriggle room on some rules, but others can be negotiated on.
If she’s being rude, stop the conversation and let her know that you both need time out.
You irritate her- a lot. This is something that happens and you cannot change it, but you can change how you react to it. Don’t get upset in front of her- this will really irritate her. Her irritation is internal and she genuinely can’t help those feelings at the moment... but she will know they’re unfair, and signs of weakness or upset from you will compound this. Tell her that you understand that she’s feeling irritable/angry/grumpy and that she’s entitled to those feelings, but you aren’t prepared to be her whipping boy as a result. Acknowledge that she is struggling and offer her an escape route rather than confronting her with her bad behaviour.
It might sound like giving in, but it’s not- it’s helping her to manage her unreasonable behaviour herself.
Do NOT say that she's not the centre of your world anymore, what the fuck?
Remember that she feels safe enough to say this to you OP. She knows you love her and she loves you. It really is just a phase
Tell her that while you realise that she is struggling with some things, and its normal to not want your mum around as much, that you will not tolerate cruel or bullying language in your own home, and that if she wants any wifi or phone bills paid, she better shape up, because you are a human being with feelings just like her, and you werent put on this earth to be her verbal punching bag every time she wants someone to lash out at.
My much much younger DD does this. She 'attacks' me reguarly by punching me.
I just take it that she feels safe at home. She is an absolute star with other people.
Your DD hates the world not you.
OP I have lived with this daily for 2 years to the point a large glass of wine every evening was the only way I could stay calm. Im also separated and by the end of last year I felt utterly hollow. I have been called every name under the sun, used as a verbal punch bag, kicked at one point and can’t tell you how much I have cried in private, cried for myself, my daughter and for what our previously close relationship had become. But I persevered even though at times I genuinely thought I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t believe it was teenage behaviour however , we have just come through the other side! In the last 2 months she is like a different person, calm considerate and even happy, and a pleasure to spend time with. No more explosive behaviour, no name calling, it’s like she has had an exorcism and the demon within has gone. She has just turned 17.
I agree with the other posters who say she is testing you, your loyalty, your boundaries, your unconditional love. It’s hideous to have to go through it but you are not alone. Its surprising when you talk to other Mothers how many are going through it or have gone through it. It’s hard when you are faced with it daily but be kind to yourself.
Don't engage, walk away when she starts any shouting, ranting, derogatory comments.
Say as calmly as you can, if you want to talk then we'll talk when your calm.
Don't accept her ranting at you. Practise some set phrases.
My only response to "I hate you" has been "I love you, there's nothing you can do or say to change that" and walk away, it sounds incredibly twee and cringy but it made me feel better to have a set response and did stop DC in their tracks.
"You're angry I can tell but I won't listen to you being disrespectful to me" was another one and again walk away.
Don't add fuel to the fire however angry of upset you are feeling.
Think about the series of events that lead to her ranting at you.
Does it come from nowhere?
Does she feel provoked?
Is there a common trigger?
Is your daughter ok at school? How are her friendship groups?
Have you read 'how to talk so teens will listen and listen so teens will talk'? If not try it.
for you. It's incredibly difficult to develop a thick skin but you can do it. Somewhere in all the rage is your little girl who still needs you and loves you.
Thank you so much to you all for taking the time to post....and a hug and hand hold for those going through similar and sadly, much worse ☹...my heart goes out to you
The common thread is "it's normal"....I must hold onto that, but it's hard... as my self esteem is low...sometimes I believe I am all those things she says I am...and I blame myself as I remember I've been a bit shouty sometimes etc....and in my head it's partly down to me
I need to take some time for myself and stop micro analysing our relationship 24/7
I find it hard to talk to her....I cant find any common ground and I'm clamming up. I drove her to school in silence this morning...I simply couldn't be bothered trying to hold a one sided conversation. It's also a way of protecting myself from the name calling...yesterday broke me.. I feel fragile and I don't want to be her mum at the moment. It's like an abusive relationship you cant escape 😩
This is a really good book btw
It’s really hard but put on those big girl pants and try to stand back. It’s natural to want to try and fix the relationship but your Dd will see it as breathing down her neck which will irritate her more. Instead of silent car journeys could you ask her if she would like to put her music which may take the pressure off her thinking she’s about to be quizzed or talked at?
I agree with others when the bad behaviour starts walk away, telling her you are happy to discuss whatever when she has calmed down, don’t get into an angry discussion it generally goes nowhere💐
OP as others have said your DD's hormones are raging and she's hating the world at the moment not you, but you are the only person she feels safe enough to take her teenage angst out on. It's all part of the course of being a mum I'm afraid. But even though you know all this it is really hard not to take it personally sometimes, especially when you are feeling so down on yourself anyway. Be assured though that she doesn't mean it and probably actually hates herself for treating you like shit half the time-I know I used to feel guilty for it when I was a teen and had moments of calm to reflect on my cuntiness-and you shouting at her sometimes has no bearing on her 'hatred' for you at all, Christ we all shout at times (we're human not fucking robots) and remember this stage will pass and you will laugh about this with her in a few (long lol) years time
It’s a nightmare, OP. They can be absolute arseholes.
My son started in Year 8 and is in Year 11 now. He still has his truly awful moments but I feel like he loves me again most of the time.
My daughter, however, is in Year 9 and absolutely foul. I’m on a mental countdown to her getting to Year 11, in the hope of the same improvement.
If you haven’t already, have a good read of the Teenagers section; I didn’t find answers but did find some comfort.
Also, I have found getting away from them for a night or two, leaving them with DH, has saved my mental health. Do it if you can, but I know not everyone has that luxury.
There is a long running support thread in the teenage topic, it's called "holding onto the end of the rope..." I'd link to it but I don't know how on the app. It's for parents in your position, probably worth a read.
There is a letter from a teenager which is well worth a read - don't know how to link but it's easy to google.
Makes you see the world through their eyes. DD15 still has vile moments but there are more lovely moments again now.
DD14 - don't even go there!
But they lash out because they feel safe with you and know you will still love them no matter what.
You cannot allow your child to become the adult - let her know her behaviour is not acceptable and that you won't be spoken to like that.
I agree that setting boundaries is key. My DD (also 14) has been rude on occasion and I've instantly told her that I won't be spoken to like that - that no one should ever be spoken to in that way and I won't tolerate it. It seems to have helped as she doesn't do it often, although we still get a fair amount of talking back!
I also find that humour can diffuse the situation when she's being really over-the-top, e.g.replying that yes, it's so terrible having an old bag for a Mum; yes, I'm from the Dark Ages and don't really understand social media, etc. She can't help but crack a reluctant smile.
I agree with PP's that it's good to try and contain your own emotions if you can as getting really upset will frighten your DD. 14-year-old's aren't really able to handle adult distress. If she upsets you, try to hold it in until you're alone or with another adult who understands and can offer support.
13-16 are the worst teenage years, IMO. Hang in there.
Come onto the ParentsofTeens thread on this board. We've all had it! I agree - she does not mean it but she thinks she does. You have to create a hard shell to deflect it and remove yourself when she starts. Retaliate with nothing but calmess and love (and consequences if you feel necessary - I disable the phone for a while when it kicks off). Not all teens are like this, many parents are horrified, but some of them really are.
I think calling it 'normal' is nuts. Just because you're a teen doesn't mean you automatically treat other people like shit. Insulting you mum from time to time and needing much more space maybe...but not a relentless tirade of abuse.
NPD, BPD and things of that nature form young and often fail to be addressed at a time where it could make a difference - due to nonsense like 'she's just being a teen'. A BULLY is not excusable at any age.
Get her seen by her gp, she may need some therpapy or other.