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Broken by my adult daughter

(41 Posts)
Elainecoley1957 Tue 12-Jan-21 09:51:54

Hello everyone
I'm searching for advice- can you help?
Long story short- I am 63 years old and working full time as a secondary school teacher- in school every day during lock down.
I had my mother living with me and my family for 5 years before she died in April last year. Despite dying from leukaemia- she was also diagnosed with Narcissistic personality disorder. I should have gone 'no contact' with her years ago- but her strangle hold was so strong I couldn't- instead I took her in to my home. The effect of her illness on me has been huge- I have had PTSD counselling.....
Since her death, I have struggled to come to terms with self loathing and guilt, but at the same time, I have worked my socks off trying not to be her- with my 5 children- I thought I had succeeded!
In the last 3 years my 25 year old daughter and her boyfriend have lived in my house for 2 years. They are still with us- they have been able to save a lot of money.
My 20 year old daughter has been with me since before Xmas with her boyfriend- both unable to return to Uni.
Just before Xmas, my 31 year old daughter arrived home from Spain. She was unable to return last Sunday.
She found it difficult living in the house hold and decided to move to her fathers until she is able to return to Barcelona.
She felt on the outside of things in my home- with 2 sets of couples etc.....I could only empathise with her and felt I had let her down when she left. We messaged each other about this and I communicated my theory about her 25 year old's behaviour- which at times is very judgemental. She is very arrogant and repeatedly tells me what she thinks of me.....
She went through my phone and read my private messages. She went straight to her father- he generally backs up her against me. I heard her shouting- went into the room. She had my phone in her hand and then started to scream at me. ' you are a F... shit stirrer, you are deluded, what you have said is vile and outrageous......I don't want you in my life anymore.....' it went on. I felt violated. I had no voice- she shouts over me and her father - trying to keep the peace- kept telling I had made a mistake in messaging my other daughter.
My younger daughter- became involved, and both now want nothing to do with me in my own home which I have given over to them for years now.
I spend my time in my bedroom when I come home in the evening. I clean up and do my household chores at 5:00am in the morning when everyone else is asleep.
I am broken by this behaviour- from both girls and from the lack of support from their father.
Please tell me what to do now. I feel like leaving.
Thank you in advance.

Gwen45 Tue 12-Jan-21 10:18:48

Hi Elaine, I'm so sorry for the very difficult time you've clearly had. My suggestion would be to have some personal counselling to talk through all the issues you describe and find ways to help you deal with them. NHS offers free counselling, you don't need to be referred by your doctor. Here is the website: I do hope this helps and wish you all the best.

Nonogran Tue 12-Jan-21 10:28:15

I have no experience of this kind of family dilemma but others will no doubt be more helpful. I really feel for you & it was wrong for your daughter to go through your phone. We all have a right to privacy. Is she entirely without the sin of sharing private thoughts or unloading to A.N.Other on her phone from time to time? How would she feel after such an invasion?
In your shoes I'd put a password lock on my phone straightaway.
I'd hold a family pow wow & thrash out what's going on.
The world is still turning for the rental market, so I'd set deadlines for getting out from under your roof.
Sounds like you all need a bit of space & you need some rest, respect & headspace.
Don't even think of moving out yourself. It's your home so stop confining yourself to your room and command your space like any mother should be able to. Your children are being disrespectful and bullying.
My heart goes out to you working so hard in these troubled times.

Carenza123 Tue 12-Jan-21 10:28:25

Hi Elaine! You do not need all this in your life. I know we all want to support our family but you are being overwhelmed by your full time job and all these ungrateful “children” who treat you very disrespectfully. Your daughter’ partners are at fault too, by perpetuating what is adult abuse in your own home. Your ex doesn’t make it easy as he is meddling in your life. It is time to stand up for yourself which is very difficult in your circumstances. I feel you would benefit from counselling as it appears you still have issues relating to your own mother. Your children have witnessed your insecurities and think they have a right to treat you with disrespect. Counselling will enable you to change your reactions and reasoning for you to better cope with your situation. It is time to help yourself rather than others. Wishing you well. Try also to get out of the house - go for a walk, take a flask of coffee/tea, to take your mind off things.

Toadinthehole Tue 12-Jan-21 10:29:55

Your story sounds very hard....but it seems you’ve spent a long time trying to please people. It’s your time now, and while you may benefit from some counselling, I think your daughters need to move out if they can’t treat you with respect. You’ve done your job, the best you could. You are no longer obliged in any way to your grown up children. You don’t need to leave....they do.

vampirequeen Tue 12-Jan-21 10:38:30

You should not live like a servant...seen and not your own house. It's time to encourage them to leave/kick them out. Why should you be abused in this way? You daughter had no right to read anything on your phone. It's like opening someone's letters. Ex did it to me then got really upset when he saw what I'd written.

You are not your mother but have spent so long trying not to be like her that you have forgotten who you are. You do not deserve this treatment and you shouldn't tolerate it.

I can understand if you're worried they'll end up having nothing to do with you at all but would that really be any worse that the abuse you're suffering atm.

Grandmafrench Tue 12-Jan-21 10:39:37

You sound like an unselfish and kind-hearted Mum (and Daughter) who is not afraid of hard work but sadly who is being taken advantage of, possibly bullied and who is struggling with issues of self esteem.

Without going into a tangled bunch of past or current relationships, you don’t need to think of going anywhere! It would seem your daughters feel it’s perfectly ok to abuse , take advantage of and generally do what they like in YOUR HOME. That probably needs to stop. They have certainly picked up on your past problems, won’t hesitate to use their father ( who should be ashamed) to whine and complain to when things don’t go their way.

You need some back up and people in your corner. Speak to your Doctor without delay and get some advice about your situation. If you can’t speak without being shouted down, you should possibly give them their marching orders - in writing. Why are you sponsoring someone in their saving for a good life, whilst having to suffer misery in your home? Toughen up, learn to stand your corner. You are worth a lot, remember that and imagine what you’d feel if a dear friend was telling you this story. I don’t know you but I’m angry for you and the way in which your past dealings with your Mum have possibly made you feel a lesser person.

Please get some help and advice, legal if necessary. Counselling later, perhaps, when your home has been restored to a place to be in, offering you the peace and calm that you need and deserve. Good luck and warm wishes. You CAN do this.

Grandmafrench Tue 12-Jan-21 10:41:29

Just checked back! Look at all this practical and supportive advice, Elaine and act on it.

Urmstongran Tue 12-Jan-21 11:00:48

Family drama when you are overwhelmed at work too in this lockdown isn’t good for your mental health Elaine. Time to issue marching orders to this bunch of entitled young adults. Give them a date, say 6 weeks hence, to use their saved monies for a rental deposit.

They are no longer children and they are abusing your kindness. They will be shocked to be asked to leave but this current situation is untenable. You have your own life to lead and crave peace in your own home.

Tell them it’s been a pleasure to have helped them but it’s time now to create the space you all need !!

jenpax Tue 12-Jan-21 11:09:56

My heart goes out to you 💐

Smileless2012 Tue 12-Jan-21 11:13:16

Nothing to add to the excellent responses you've already received Elainecoley. I hope you'll follow the advice given and tell them they have to find somewhere else to live.

It's your D who is at fault for accessing your 'phone without your permission. There's an old saying isn't there that 'people who listen at key holes rarely hear good things about themselves'; a lesson your D has learned the hard way.

sodapop Tue 12-Jan-21 12:40:11

Exactly as others have said Elainecoley your daughters are abusing your kindness and hospitality. Time for some tough love, they either start to respect you and your home or move on.

GillT57 Tue 12-Jan-21 12:48:10

I too am angry on your behalf despite not knowing you. Your children and their partners need to be gathered together and told you will not tolerate this, having to skulk around in your own house. If, as I suspect, they shout and don't listen, write to them, giving them notice. I know it is easy for us to advise, not being in among it all, but I do wonder if in your efforts to not be like your late Mother, you have bent too far and become something of a doormat ( sorry, horrible word). You are obviously an intelligent, hardworking, professional woman, what would you tell a friend in the same situation? Also, possibly a strange suggestion, but could you get their Father on side to help?

Hetty58 Tue 12-Jan-21 12:59:33

Elainecoley1957 nobody, but nobody, should ever be cowed into submission by their own family members - in their own home.

You cannot live like this, can you? It's your home, so your rules and respect should be demanded of visitors. If they refuse, ask them to leave.

A friend of mine once called the police to remove her teenage son. He'd become insulting and threatening, in a bid to rule the roost - and made her life a misery.

It was the very best thing to do, for my friend and also her son.

Bear that in mind, if things don't improve.

JGran Tue 12-Jan-21 13:17:00

I agree that they should be asked to leave. I'd have a private conversation with your DH and once you both are on the same page, together you give a reasonable notice. Going through your phone is a violation of your privacy and if you are not respected in your own home then the individual violating needs to leave and that includes treating you disrespectfully. Maybe you complained about her in the text, so what! That is exactly what she did when she ran to your DH. WE ALL need someone to complain to It is part of how we figure out how we deal with our personal feelings.

Eloethan Tue 12-Jan-21 13:17:50

When you feel like an intruder in your own home I think it is time to have a serious talk as to what is and isn't acceptable behaviour from your "guests" - they may be family but they are old enough to fend for themselves and should, I think, be seen as guests.

As someone else suggested, counselling too may help you to be more assertive and able to deal with challenging situations.

Sickofweddingcake Tue 12-Jan-21 13:33:55

I can sympathise with you, Elaine,being in a similar position. My son is grown up,but was living with me! He was diagnosed with mental health problems and chooses his own medication: drink etc.
I reached a stage whereby I was staying in my bedroom to avoid any 'clashes' with him. The atmosphere at home...only us two in it... was unbearable!
He now has his own accommodation... I have moved to a small property.
It is early days, but the 'peace' is palpable!
I think it is time to fend for you and insist that they move on.
I hope you find some peace with it all. x

Nanadeeping Tue 12-Jan-21 13:39:31

I feel for you as I have been in a similar position. Please find the strength to put yourself first and put a stop to the abuse that you are receiving. Take counselling if you can. This will help you to collect your thoughts and put your situation into perspective but come what may your children must be made to understand how selfish and hurtful they are being. For your sake and theirs I hope you find a way.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 12-Jan-21 13:50:37

I would throw them out first, then get the counselling, they are treating you like s**t and it won’t stop by you ‘having a chat’ with them , if you want to have a relationship with them they have to treat you as an equal, not someone to be taken advantage of.
And TBH you should have thrown out the one who looked at your Private messages on your phone, not let her stay
Time to get your big girl pants on and stand up for yourself, because it doesn’t sound as though anyone else will, except us on GN.

Madgran77 Tue 12-Jan-21 15:21:59

This is so awful for you Elaine I have to ask what your presumably ex husband is doing in all this, seeing you so desperate and unhappy? (I assume ex as you said your eldest daughter went to her fathers). How does he treat you generally? Does he also make you feel small, inadequate etc? I am truly concerned that he is "allowing" you to be treated in such a way by your shared adult children, and not supporting you. Is he an influence on how your adult children treat you? flowers

Daisymae Tue 12-Jan-21 15:23:10

I think that you have this wrong, if anyone's leaving it should be them. It's high time that they flew the nest. As for reading your phone, that's a gross invasion of your privacy and should not be tolerated. Why are you going to your room? It's your house, if anyone's uncomfortable it should be them. I would stand up to them, if they don't like it point out the location of the door. Okay, so you may not be perfect, none of us reach that standard. We are doing the best we can and that's enough. I would stop being a door mat, time they showed some respect for all you have done for them.

V3ra Tue 12-Jan-21 15:54:38

So if the 25 year old daughter doesn't want you in her life any more, why is she still in your house?

"Feel free to leave, anytime soon" is what I'd be saying to her, same to the student daughter if she also thinks you're so awful.

Maybe their doting father would like to offer them both a home, plus the boyfriends of course?
Maybe they could each move in with their boyfriend's parents?
Or maybe not, hmmm?

They're behaving like Cinderella's Ugly Sisters...

Spidergran3 Tue 12-Jan-21 19:31:07

Elaine, my heart aches for you, I wish I could give you a big hug. There is a lot of excellent advice here and I hope you have the courage to take it. I’m sure that once your daughters have had time to reflect on this time they will ashamed of their behaviour. 💐

Meaux Tue 12-Jan-21 20:40:53

Elaine, I am so sorry for all you are going through. It seems that for the longest time you have forgotten that you belong to yourself, not to everyone else. In order to live authentically you must be clear of your own values and principles and stand firmly on that ground. At the moment you are being tossed to and fro by everyone else’s wishes and demands. Maybe a counsellor will be able to help - it would be good to have someone outside of all of this to talk to.

We all have our paths to walk and, sometimes, the obstacles in our path ARE the path and when you come out of this you will be a much stronger person x

Armadillo Tue 12-Jan-21 21:07:15

My mum was very abusive. Sometimes you can pick up some bad things without knowing. One thing I learned is that siblings can end up closer to each other than to their parents and being closer in age share more with each other than they would with parents.
Its a really bad idea to talk about one child to the other but when you have a bad childhood it's hard to get it right sometimes.
Counselling can be so helpful when relationships break down. My mum says my counselling failed. Your mum probably would too which is a good reason to get it and get them out of your head.