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Daughter starts horrendous arguments within minutes of speaking to me.

(50 Posts)
Colvillefly Sun 13-Aug-23 23:46:48

Every time my daughter phones up or comes down from London to see me, invariably the most horrendous arguments take place, usually over nothing much. For instance I said I’m letting you know your fathers not well. To which she said “What do you care, why are you acting like the caring wife”. I said because “I am”. Then the insults start and on it goes until I say I’ll have to go now sorry. When I go reams of texts start appearing on my phone, full of insults and hate. I honestly think she has a personality disorder or something of that nature. I was so down and upset yesterday I felt suicidal and decided just to cut her off, I can’t be insulted and put down anymore it is destroying me. Her brothers and sisters also think she has a screw loose and is very vindictive. It makes me sad that it has come to this but I’m not going to be used as a battering ram. I feel so defeated with her behaviour. I sent flowers and she told me it was because I felt guilty for fighting with her, and to shove them. I didn’t I just wanted to show love to her. Does anyone else have this carryon?

B9exchange Mon 14-Aug-23 00:01:05

I am not sure I have an answer, but I didn't want just to disappear off to bed and leave you. It sounds as though she is like that with other members of the family, so not a personal vendetta against you. I wonder what is eating her up? Is there anyone she is prepared to talk to rationally, who might act as a mediator for you?

You are her mum, you won't stop loving and caring about her, but that doesn't stop you disliking her behaviour and needing to protect yourself from further abuse. What would happen if you left her and didn't try to contact for a month?

I am sure there are family mediation services you could contact if you wanted to, but it does sound as though a bit of peace is needed for a bit?

Anyway I do hope you get some sleep, and perhaps others will be along soon with better suggestions. [flowers[

Coolgran65 Mon 14-Aug-23 00:17:33

It certainly does sound that all is not well.
When did this behaviour start, what age and was she still living at home. How was she at school. Does she have long standing friends. Are her relationships stable apart from yourself and her siblings.
Is she self sufficient and able to take care of herself and pay bills. Had she ever seen her doctor about her rages and her outlook on life.
I ask these questions because I am familiar with the difficulties of a family member with mental health issues and never being able to do right for doing wrong. I learned the hard way that I could not help my family member act normally. That was simply how she was, it was her normality.

You must take care of yourself

Coolgran65 Mon 14-Aug-23 00:24:19

Just to add I am so sorry that you have been subjected to this and it's so hard to watch your child distressed because she must be suffering herself to behave like this. My heart goes out to you.

nanna8 Mon 14-Aug-23 00:35:53

What she is doing screams out mental health issues to me. Something in her life isn’t right and you are copping the flak. If it wasn’t you I am sure it would be someone else. The only thing I could suggest from your end is as soon as she starts to go on like this just stop the conversation immediately, which it sounds as though you are doing to a certain extent. Don’t let it drag you down and I wouldn’t be sending flowers next time because, in a way, it is saying she is right.
I really feel for you - we have a SIL who is a bit similar which isn’t as difficult as a daughter I know. We keep a distance, works better that way.

Shelflife Mon 14-Aug-23 00:38:48

I too wanted to respond before I sleep. What a distressing situation for you. Particularly hard when you are unaware of why this is happening, there must be something in her mind that triggers her behaviour. Feeling suicidal is a red flag warning you to take good care of yourself, your daughter may have a mental health condition. It is clear you are at the end of your tether , take heed of that , step back if possible and protect yourself - much as you love your daughter self preservation comes to the fore. You must protect yourself from your daughters tirades!! Speak to your other children and get strength and support from them. I have no experience of your situation but I do know how upset and angry you are and I sincerely hope that this situation eases soon for you - somehow! Thinking of you 💐💐

Uschi Mon 14-Aug-23 01:02:09

Colvillefly I feel for you, as I have experienced similar treatment. I am not a psychologist but I think it sounds like a personality disorder. Getting her to acknowledge she has a problem and getting her the help she needs will probably be difficult. I have made some small progress here but there is still a way to go. Please take care of yourself. Above all do not accept abuse. Do not try to reason with her. Simply withdraw and greet the onslaught with silence. It is not a valid judgement of you, only a symptom of her condition. Please seek out the best advice and support around you. I wish you all the best.

Hithere Mon 14-Aug-23 02:23:16

1 agree with coolgran65

fancythat Mon 14-Aug-23 06:43:54

I agree with answers on here.

I would start to try and work out why she has changed, if she wasnt like this previously.

fancythat Mon 14-Aug-23 06:44:42

But dont ask her directly.
Ask siblings etc. But dont let your daughter know you are asking.

Hetty58 Mon 14-Aug-23 08:55:35

Colvillefly, I just wouldn't put up with it - whatever her problem or challenge may be. You've done your job, brought her up, and now she's an adult.

If she can't treat you with respect, you are free to stop communication. Any messages can go through her siblings. Leave her to sort out her difficulties - they're not yours.

Cheeseplantmad Mon 14-Aug-23 09:11:12

I agree with all the above replies .

lemsip Mon 14-Aug-23 09:19:44

delete the texts as they come through, don't read them.. you know they will be nasty as you've just spoken on phone.

protect your mental health by not making contact , if she phones you keep it brief.

contrary to what some say, I bet she's sweetness and light to her friends and colleagues who would be appalled if they knew how she was with her own mother.

eazybee Mon 14-Aug-23 09:26:27

Could you write a brief and very carefully worded letter saying that she is your daughter and you love her and you are distressed that she seems to dislike you so much? Do not apologise, accept any responsibility for her behaviour or attitude, just state that if she needs any help you are there.

If she rings you and starts abusing you simply say there is no point in continuing the conversation and end the call; delete any abusive texts.
A horrible situation but perhaps her siblings will be able to discover what the problem is.

pascal30 Mon 14-Aug-23 09:26:45

She's clearly very unhappy and you are the one she offloads on... I think that I would write her a letter saying that if she wishes to talk to you about her problems then you will listen but that she has to respect your boundaries and not resort to insults. Make it clear that if she speaks to you in that way that you will hang up and block her on your phone. and do it.. that way you are allowing her to take full responsibility for her actions and showing her that you care but will not be treated in this way.. stand very firm, even if she has MH problems she will understand.. then maybe you can help her get any help she might need..

lemsip Mon 14-Aug-23 09:29:23

oh, don't write a letter, she will hold on to it forever .

ExDancer Mon 14-Aug-23 09:31:28

I love both my daughters but I don't LIKE one of them. She takes offence at the most innocent of remarks and can turn even a complement into an insult at the drop of a hat, and is super critical of my cooking and housekeeping.
But I haven't found an answer so I'm sorry not to be able to help, I just wanted to say you're not alone. All I can suggest is that its a kind of insecurity and they can only make themselves feel better by attacking their mother who is the easiest target because she loves them unconditionally.

pascal30 Mon 14-Aug-23 09:36:28


oh, don't write a letter, she will hold on to it forever .

It will give her the chance to think about it which is not possible in the heat of an argument..

Patsy70 Mon 14-Aug-23 09:42:08

Very sound advice from everyone. I have a friend whose daughter behaves like this. She has lost an extremely good job due to her unacceptable behaviour, which is thought to be a personality disorder, made worse if she drinks alcohol. The company had been supportive for years, paying for private health assessments, whilst she received a full salary. She demands money from her father, whilst being abusive to him. I am amazed how he tolerates it, whilst currently going through prostate cancer treatment. Do take care of yourself and your husband Colvillefly, and try to only communicate through your other children. Sadly, it would appear to be a mental health issue, for which she needs medical help.

henetha Mon 14-Aug-23 10:04:54

That's so sad, Colvillefly. I'm really sorry. It certainly seems as if your daughter has issues and needs help.
I know for certain, that if any of my loved ones behaved like that towards me, although I would try absolutely everything to put things right, if they continued to hurt and upset me then I would definitely cut myself off from them. For a while, at least.
I sincerely hope that she gets help and that your relationship can be mended in time. Sending best wishes.

Wyllow3 Mon 14-Aug-23 10:21:07


It is heartbreaking but you must protect yourself. Many good suggestions above.

I'd not contact her, I'd wait for her to contact me, and set boundaries described above when she does for now.

I have some reservations about you bringing it up with her sibs unless they bring it up with you, these things can rebound.

It's really hard: like others I think there are MH problems lurking there, and it is NOT your fault in anyway. If you go on feeling as bad as you do, I'd seek a counsellor out for myself.

BigBertha1 Mon 14-Aug-23 10:24:05

Some really helpful comments on here for you and nothing else I can really add except look after yourself. I'm sorry this is happening in your family. It sounds like at some point she is going to disconnect with you which would be a sadness for you but perhaps some space would do you both good.

Blondiescot Mon 14-Aug-23 10:28:08

I agree with many of the comments on here - it sounds like she may well have MH issues of some kind. But at the end of the day, you need to put yourself first now and stop responding to her. Delete any messages without replying to them and don't respond to any of her nastiness. Leave it be for a while and see if the situation settles down. Take care.

crazyH Mon 14-Aug-23 10:33:03

My daughter can also be quite difficult. She found it hard during the time her Dad and I were going through a divorce. She was a Daddy’s girl, but felt she had to support me, due to his affair etc. Although she did help, there were times she would say some harsh things. That’s typical of a mother-daughter relationship, I think . Don’t worry too much - you’re not alone in this ..

eazybee Mon 14-Aug-23 11:49:38

That is why I suggested a very carefully worded letter with no recriminations or conditions other than the Op loves her and is there for her.
I expect the initial response will be more abuse and the OP won't be talking to her, but she is clearly troubled and possibly in the dark reaches of the night she might just cling to it and remember you are there for her.