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AIBU to hate my 14yr old
104

memorial · 04/08/2022 22:29

I know it sounds dramatic but I almost feel like I'm in an abusive relationship with her.
DD2 is 14. We are a single parent family. She suffers from anxiety and we have put a lot if effort into trying to help. She is currently having private counselling.
But she treats me like absolute shit. Almost all the time. She sneers at me. Cringes from me. Constantly tells me off. For breathing too loud. Making noises. Coughing.
Nothing I ever do seems to be enough.
We are currently on holiday just the 2 of us. In a very nice very expensive city. This morning on a tour she was charming and chatty to everyone else. Since then she has blanked me. Monosyllabic answers. We did an activity which was strained and painful.
Everything I've suggested or tried to speak to her has got monosyllabic answers. We ate dinner in silence.
And when I eventually give up, feeling sad and defeated. She then wants to know what's wrong with me. When I point out that she's barely spoken to me in 5 hours I'm being ridiculous.
We've now stormed off in opposite directions. She's gone back to the hotel. She's fine it's very safe 2 mins away.
I am sat outside the ice cream place crying. Every time this happens I swear I won't bother again. But of course I'm the parent so I do. But it's so very wearing.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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WombOfOnesOwn · 04/08/2022 22:36

The anxiety and her over-the-top criticism of you are two sides of one emotional coin.

Think how aware your daughter is about every "wrong move" you make. Breathing wrong, coughing wrong.

She thinks, on some level, that everyone is paying this much attention not just to your behaviors, but to hers. She thinks the whole world is noticing every time she acts "cringe." And she sees cringe everywhere.

She's taking it out on you because she sees you as being, to some degree, herself, so it's ok for her to subject you to the awful stuff her subconscious is saying.

None of this is to say that she should be allowed to do this. But the way to talk to her about it is probably to use a discussion of the coughing or breathing wrong stuff to bring up that it seems like if her criticism of others is this big, it's probably because her criticism of herself is that big. Does she worry she is too loud, takes up too much space? She sees what you do as reflecting on her. You can take every one of her criticisms as being a displaced self-criticism, something she's reminding herself to do all the time (imagine focusing so much on breathing quietly so people don't judge you that you don't even really hear what other people are saying -- that's teenage anxiety for you!).

This phase passes for some kids, but not for kids whose parents indulge anxiety by removing anxiety triggers. Proper anxiety therapy involves confronting anxious beliefs and deliberately desensitizing. She needs to realize that no one notices all these things but her, in order to make progress.

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MackenCheese · 04/08/2022 22:41

OP, I'm sorry you feel like this.
All I can say is that you're not alone. It's hard when your child is abusive. My ds14 is the same. The hatred for me is unending even though I'm busting a gut to meet needs.
I hope when you get back to the hotel you can say you hear her, but you will not accept abuse. I call my son out on it. Whether it sinks in or not I have no idea. Sending strength to you.

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Muminabun · 04/08/2022 22:41

Your dd sounds very down and depressed. Showing you the real feelings but masking to everyone else. Rather than counselling what about a proper psychotherapist. A holiday is a lot of pressure for an anxious teen maybe knock those on the head until she is feeling better.

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lemonsaretheonlyfruit · 04/08/2022 22:59

I really understand. And it's so much worse when you have made an effort to do something so lovely that should be a bonding experience for the 2 of you. My DD (just 15) has very similar traits and also has anxiety and depression. She is Superb at masking in all sorts of social situations and with new people. But when she's had home she is often moody, uncooperative and wants to be on her own. I think she's frustrated with the world that it takes her so much effort and it's so draining just trying to fit in. Then she knows she can fall apart with me and not have to put on a show. She also struggled with other people's chewing/ breathing etc.

She was diagnosed with ASD a few months ago. Obviously impossible to tell if that's a possibility with your DD but has it ever been mentioned. Girls are excellent maskers and they sound as if they have similar things going on.

I hope you manage to have some moments of brightness on the remainder of your trip. I would consider removing yourself from her for a couple of hours (if you are in a safe place to do that) if it happens again. Go off and treat yourself to something to try and distract yourself. I know that's hard though.

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memorial · 04/08/2022 23:09

lemonsaretheonlyfruit · 04/08/2022 22:59

I really understand. And it's so much worse when you have made an effort to do something so lovely that should be a bonding experience for the 2 of you. My DD (just 15) has very similar traits and also has anxiety and depression. She is Superb at masking in all sorts of social situations and with new people. But when she's had home she is often moody, uncooperative and wants to be on her own. I think she's frustrated with the world that it takes her so much effort and it's so draining just trying to fit in. Then she knows she can fall apart with me and not have to put on a show. She also struggled with other people's chewing/ breathing etc.

She was diagnosed with ASD a few months ago. Obviously impossible to tell if that's a possibility with your DD but has it ever been mentioned. Girls are excellent maskers and they sound as if they have similar things going on.

I hope you manage to have some moments of brightness on the remainder of your trip. I would consider removing yourself from her for a couple of hours (if you are in a safe place to do that) if it happens again. Go off and treat yourself to something to try and distract yourself. I know that's hard though.

Thank you yes. She is seeing a child psychologist who has mentioned ASD and I agree this would seem likely. I am sure a lot of how she behaves is anxiety/masking.
I have spent so much time trying to understand and help but I just constantly feel under fire. She is smart and able enough and old enough to understand how she treats me is not on and how it makes me feel. She doesn't seem to care or accept any responsibility.
She wanted this holiday she wanted time with me away from DD1.

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memorial · 04/08/2022 23:11

Muminabun · 04/08/2022 22:41

Your dd sounds very down and depressed. Showing you the real feelings but masking to everyone else. Rather than counselling what about a proper psychotherapist. A holiday is a lot of pressure for an anxious teen maybe knock those on the head until she is feeling better.

Thank you. I dont think she's depressed but anxious and masking for sure.
She is seeing a private child psychologist (who works for CAMS). I still don't think it excuses treating me like shit though I do usually just suck it up/ignore it. Just reached my limit this evening.

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Goldencarp · 04/08/2022 23:13

Ah I couldn’t be doing with that! I have two teens 15 and 16 and they wouldn’t dare treat me like that. Jeez stop pussyfooting around her and tell her she’s being rude, arrogant and selfish.

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lemonsaretheonlyfruit · 04/08/2022 23:18

@Goldencarp do your teens also suffer from anxiety and depression and are they under the care of CAMHS? This certainly wouldn't be the right advice to be following or giving if they were.

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teanbiscuitio · 04/08/2022 23:23

Why do you let her get away with bring rude to you? She does it because she knows you'll put up with it.

No fucking way would my DD be going off on a jolly holiday with me if she's that rude.

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FatFilledTrottyPuss · 04/08/2022 23:29

She sounds exactly like I was at 15. I just couldn’t stand anything my poor mother said or did or the way she breathed. I wasn’t anxious or depressed, that came later. I was just a horrible child at that stage. I grew out of it by about 16 or 17 and my poor mum coped with it and we’ve got a brilliant relationship now. Just hang in there Op and make sure she knows you love her anyway and this too shall pass.

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RoseWindow · 04/08/2022 23:38

Sympathies. I agree with WombofonesOwn’s insightful analysis above about the hyper self criticism, and the effect that that has on how anxious people (of any age) can speak to others when they themselves feel stressed.
Doesn’t mean the harsh, unfair behaviour doesn’t still drive me crazy and hurt my feelings, but I find that it helps me a bit if I can detach from it a bit by being able to explain to myself why it’s happening.

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NoNoNoooo · 04/08/2022 23:43

14/15 is a tough age. My otherwise delightful DD is going through the arsehole stage as did my eldest. I think they do come out the other side.

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Goldencarp · 04/08/2022 23:46

teanbiscuitio · 04/08/2022 23:23

Why do you let her get away with bring rude to you? She does it because she knows you'll put up with it.

No fucking way would my DD be going off on a jolly holiday with me if she's that rude.

Glad I’m not the only one who thought this! It’s not anxiety or depression causing her to act like a brat. I wouldn’t have dared speak to my mum like that and my kids wouldn’t either.

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FridayiminlovewithRobertSmith · 05/08/2022 07:17

I think the first few posters called it right OP. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt and it’s important you take care of yourself as it will be wearing. You clearly love her too.

Being AIBU your post is bound to attract a bunch of people coming up with ever more punitive responses. The responses will be nonsense and are unlikely to work if her mental ill health is really bad or it is ASD. Take care.

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sunsetsandsandybeaches · 05/08/2022 07:27

I was awful to my mum as a teenager and I also have ASD, though I didn't get a formal
diagnosis until my twenties.

I was excellent at masking, but underneath it all, I really, really struggled with "life" at that age. My mum was my safe space and where I felt I could be myself and get rid of all the anxiety and stress of the day.

If you have ASD, masking (which is extremely common in females) is exhausting. I can do it all day, even for days on end if I have to, but eventually it's "too much" and if I don't get downtime or space to unwind, it can all "come out" wrong.

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forlornlorna1 · 05/08/2022 07:29

My dd teen is ASD. She too masks brilliantly in certain situations but then just burns out and it can feel like she takes it out on me.

She's had a reall battle with anxiety in the past and needed therapy. I was also offered some help for myself through an autism charity who organised some sessions with a child psychologist who specialised in ASD. This was a turning point for us as I realised I knew very little about autism. She helped me pick apart my dd behaviours, understand why she was reacting the way she was etc. once I could see things from dd point I didn't then take these behaviours as a personal attack. So we weren't then upsetting each other. And I could help her.


We got through it op. Very close relationship now. I'm still totall embarrassing and annoying though. Just most neuro typical would never dare actually come out and say that, my very blunt and straight ASD teen does lol.

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ittakes2 · 05/08/2022 07:46

Everything thing you said to say she is ‘telling you off’ is sensory issues. They are all to do with sound. Have you spoken to her about if she finds sounds too loud? Maybe investigate those sensory ear plugs to soften sounds without eliminate them.
I am sorry I think you are expecting her to communicate normally - it sounds like she might have sensory overload so is drained after masking. Does she have a favourite topic? Sit next to her at cafes rather than a cross (to reduce eye contact) and encourage her to talk about her favourite topic and see what happens. I am sorry you are going through this but she clearly wants to spend time with you or she would not have asked to.

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crossstitchingnana · 05/08/2022 07:48

The "I wouldn't let my child talk to me that way" brigade are out again. Ignore this. My dd from 15-18 was like this. I had to pick my battles and trying to punish rudeness would have made it worse. I calmly pointed out that it was unacceptable to swear at me, and on one occasion told her that if she was my partner I would leave, as it was abuse. I would also, calmly, say I wasn't taking her out if she was screaming at me for eg. There were consequences so to speak , but not punishments. But I also showed her in a 1000 ways how I love her. You have to grow a thick skin and weather the storm. She also had anxiety btw. We now have a wonderful relationship.

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lemonsaretheonlyfruit · 05/08/2022 07:49

Sorry to quickly gate crash your post op. @forlornlorna1 I could really do with something like that (DD recently diagnosed ASD) . Do you mind me asking which ASD charity you received the counselling through please?

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OhGoodnessItsSoExhausting · 05/08/2022 07:54

Yes, it would be (very) unreasonable to hate your 14.year old child, and even more unreasonable to let on that's how you feel. Parental love needs to be unconditional.

No, it's not unreasonable to feel upset/stressed that your relationship is strained.

I wonder why she has developed anxiety. What is she scared of and worried about? Where does it stem from? Can you spend time really hearing her, understanding her, finding out how to support her in a way which leads to a closer more open relationship where she can share her worries? While she is learning to become an adult, you are also learning how to parent your daughter, as every parent is learning how to parent their own children. Is there some more learning you can do so you can adjust your parenting and find a way to enhance the relationship and help your daughter feel more confident and less anxious?

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lollipoprainbow · 05/08/2022 07:58

@Goldencarp @teanbiscuitio you both clearly no nothing about ASD so suggest you don't comment any further.

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Goldencarp · 05/08/2022 08:06

lollipoprainbow · 05/08/2022 07:58

@Goldencarp @teanbiscuitio you both clearly no nothing about ASD so suggest you don't comment any further.

I have decades of experience of autism. My adult son is severely autistic. I work with young adults with autism and learning disabilities.

In this case autism has been mentioned, not diagnosed by a professional.

She’s being rude and disrespectful. Why does everyone jump to autism when there are behaviours difficulties.

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HarryBlackberry1 · 05/08/2022 08:08

My daughter (who is now 18) suffers from extreme anxiety like your daughter. She was also diagnosed with ASD last year. When I talked to her CYPS counsellor about how she was taking everything out on me, he said to actually take it as a compliment as she felt close enough to me to be able to do this. She just 'masked' with everyone else. It sounds mad, but I do think there is truth in what he said. I just remember this when she is being difficult!

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sunsetsandsandybeaches · 05/08/2022 08:08

She’s being rude and disrespectful. Why does everyone jump to autism when there are behaviours difficulties.

They don't. OP says a psychologist mentioned to her that ASD was a possibility!

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lollipoprainbow · 05/08/2022 08:08

@Goldencarp god help the young autistic kids you work with then ! Do you tell them to stop being 'rude, arrogant and selfish' ??

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