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I don't think my daughter likes me much

(107 Posts)
Ilovedragonflies Sun 03-May-20 12:58:28

She's coming up for 19 and is due to go to university in September. It's been just the two of us since she was little. We've coped, albeit barely at times, and from the outside things look okay. She's never been a talker - as a small child she would whisper to me rather than talk to others. She finds it hard to maintain friendships.

She's become very controlling and, since lockdown, I'm on the receiving end of it. She barely talks to me and if I try to talk to her she rolls her eyes and sneers - everything I say is wrong whereas she's right. She's sleeping until 3ish (pm), gets up, logs onto her computer and phone and that's it until bedtime. She won't walk the dog, hasn't helped with normal housework but will cook every other day. She'll only eat pasta and rice (stir fry) and if I cook anything different, refuses to eat it. I'm still working (from home) so am doing that and everything else and living with someone who, frankly, appears to despise me. She won't have it that she's sinking into another depressive cycle (she's mildly bipolar) and refuses to take any medication our GP has prescribed. The first time she was like this, she self-harmed - it was a terrible cry for help but she won't take the help on offer. I am at my wits end.

I love her so much but she's pushing me away with her constant need to be right about everything. When she does talk, it's to argue. (Small example, I was watching the gov. news update when it was said that 739 further people had died. It was on screen in red. I mentioned it and asked how the gov could say figures were dropping when that many people had died and it was up on the previous day. She said, 'it's not that many, I've googled it and it's only 300'. I say she said, but it was her tone really. It was on the screen at the time. I kept very calm and let it go, but inside I wanted to scream because I can't say anything without her either belittling me, or screaming that I'm wrong and don't listen to her.)

She can't do small talk - doesn't see the point - which is part of her makeup and I understand that. But I'm craving a 'normal' conversation where I can be myself and not walking on eggshells for fear of winding her up.

We both actually caught the virus (she had it mildly) and my GP managed to keep me out of hospital. I'm asthmatic and at one point couldn't catch my breath at all. She sat on the sofa and did nothing to help. It felt like she was waiting for me to die, and didn't care.

I don't actually know why I'm posting this; there's nothing anyone can do to help, after all. I know it's long and I'm sorry about that, and I'm aware I sound selfish and self-pitying but I feel utterly broken and can't go anywhere to talk to anyone in private, which is the norm when she's spiraling, mood-wise. I know she can't help it and I'm the closest person to her so I bear the brunt, and I know this cycle of her mood will probably end in the next month or so, but actually, I'm struggling quite badly at the moment. I can't see any good ending to this situation.

notanan2 Sun 03-May-20 13:08:07

Can you set up your home so you have a more "house mate" situation to give you both space during lockdown?

Separate kitchen cupboards and fridge shelves. Different sitting areas.

Living as housemates rather than trying to be a unit might diffuse tensions a little?

Hithere Sun 03-May-20 13:14:37

You also say she was never a talker, ever since she was a child.
She is still not willing to be a talker.

I agree nonanan's idea of being roommates, with the chores and expectations that it entails.

She cooks her own food, cleans her room and share of the house, etc.

Newatthis Sun 03-May-20 13:19:15

That's a good idea notonan2. It seems that you have really tried and you don't seem selfish at all. There has been a lot mentioned about abuse in homes during the virus but no-one has mentioned abuse from adult children - which she is. If she wants to behave like this then just try to ignore her, let her look after herself - cooking, washing etc. If your house is as such that it doesn't allow you space than try to get on with something that will occupy you and basically only speak to her when she speaks to you. Do as you would be done by. You must be so upset by it all.

Starblaze Sun 03-May-20 13:21:53

It's hard to live with anyone with poor mental health, especially now. She is an adult and you can't force her to take her medication. It's not your fault and it's not her fault. It just is. You shouldn't have to give up on your needs though so finding a way to accommodate you both as suggested above might help.

Smileless2012 Sun 03-May-20 13:31:34

A good suggestion from notanan and newatthis. She can cook her own meals if she's being particular about what she wants to eat, take care of her own laundry and keeping her room clean and tidy, and if not it's a not a room you need to spend time in.

You don't sound selfish or self pitying. This current situation is difficult for us all. You D's 19, old enough to know how important it is for her to take her medication which she's going to need to do when she's at university.

This must be very difficult for you; please do what you can to take care of yourselfflowers.

Puzzler61 Sun 03-May-20 13:34:50

This is a maddening situation for you, and sad at the same time. Your daughter doesn’t seem to like herself or anyone else. She’s hurting the person she loves the most because she can, and you’ll still love her.
Ask her to be civil to you as you are her Mother. I don’t think at this point you can be her friend as she’s not open to that. Keep strong Ilovedragonflies.
I hope University changes her for the better. You’ll certainly get a break then. I know it’s little comfort to you right now as it’s still months away.

notanan2 Sun 03-May-20 13:36:45

Let yourself off the hook a bit she's an adult. You cant change another adult but you can change your own boundaries and expectations flowers

Its lonely to not be alone but still not have companionship. More lonely than being ACTUALLY alone. But she doesnt want to do this WITH you so you cant expect companionship or cooperation from her so try to make yourself as self sufficient as possible and seek company elsewhere if you can by phone/online.
You do not need to entertain nastiness from her. Have your own space to retreat to. Maybe reconfigure your bedroom like a bedsit so you can have telly and hobbies and computer/phone in there if the shared areas are tense x

notanan2 Sun 03-May-20 13:39:56

Also you clearly favour the DDs kids and their lifestyle which isnt going to endear the cousins to each other..

Ilovedragonflies Sun 03-May-20 13:44:28

Thank you all for responding- we live in a small flat and are quite rural so separating it up isn't feasible, unfortunately. I leave her to it, pretty much, anyway - her room is a tip and she hasn't changed her sheets in weeks but that is her responsibility. She won't let me go in there anyway! I think if I left it to her to speak first, we'd go for days without any conversation at all, but I'll give it a go - she may wonder why I'm so quiet eventually. I also like the idea of each of us cooking for ourselves (although that may be hard for financial reasons - she's out of college until she goes to uni in September and not working). And yes, she can do her own washing, too. Perhaps if I tell her we need to both be adult about the situation and ask her what she thinks that looks like, she may suggest acting like room mates - if not, I will. Thank you. I'm going to have a think about how to word it so she doesn't flare up at me...

Hithere Sun 03-May-20 13:52:22

Please please please - pick your battles.

Not changing the bedsheets in weeks is nothing.
Yes, it is nasty but you and your dd have different standards.

Stop forcing a conversation with her.
If it's days before she says anything to you, let it be.

Gaunt47 Sun 03-May-20 13:55:54

Sorry Ilove, but there's no need to tell your daughter anything. Simply and quietly make those small changes to the way you live. You don't need her permission.
And don't forget you're not alone with this surprisingly common problem flowers

Ilovedragonflies Sun 03-May-20 13:59:05

Puzzler61 - you've hit the nail on the head - she doesn't like anyone, herself included, and it's desperately hard to see and live with when she can't see it herself and won't let anyone help. I do need to take a step back for my own sanity but my instinct is to try and make it better because I'm her mum and I love her, even when I don't like how she's behaving and the abuse she dishes out. I'm worried about how she'll cope at uni and feel guilty that I'll be able to relax at home and, worst of all, am finding myself looking forward to it. What kind of mum looks forward to her child leaving home?

Ilovedragonflies Sun 03-May-20 14:01:12

Gaunt47 and Hithere, wise words. Thank you (and for the flowers). I'll try and let things just flow.

Missfoodlove Sun 03-May-20 14:04:23

Hi there,

It’s not you she hates it’s herself.
For someone prone to depression this must be a very difficult time.

One thing that may help is Vit D, if she is lacking in sunlight then this works quickly, it can lift the mood and give energy.

How much has her life changed since lockdown?
Did she have a p/t job, friends, clubs etc that she may be missing?
Or has she always been reclusive?

If she is to be moving away for university I would question if she is ready to go.

Try and set some boundaries even if it’s only small wins such as her changing her bedding you will feel more in control.

There are some natural supplements that could help the moods if she would be willing to try them.

It’s an awful situation for you.
I hope things improve.

notanan2 Sun 03-May-20 14:06:34

I do need to take a step back for my own sanity but my instinct is to try and make it better because I'm her mum and I love he

When you try to "fix" another person what they hear is that you think they arent good enough as they are or loved for who they are.

So although you do it out of love, love isnt what is recieved, just confirmation of inadequitness.

Im not saying this to criticise you you sound at your wits end, am just saying that withdrawing and doing nothing is the helpful/loving thing to do sometimes.

V3ra Sun 03-May-20 14:14:21

As soon as my son finished his A-Levels, many years ago now, I suggested he started doing his own laundry in preparation for leaving home to go to university. He was delighted with the idea and enjoyed the responsibility!
I'd also cook whatever you fancy for dinner, just tell your daughter in advance so she knows she'll have to do her own.
Treat her like the adult she's supposed to be, like a flat share. It doesn't need a formal statement, just do it gradually.
Our other son lives at home still and he doesn't get waited on, or expect it.

Grammaretto Sun 03-May-20 14:15:58

I feel very sorry for you Ilovedragonflies. She has hit her all time low at the worst possible time.
It cannot last forever.
Apart from protecting yourself against her insults and behaviour, there is not a lot you can do.
Do you have any friends you can talk to? or who can come and talk to you both - at a distance? It could diffuse the tension.

When one of my DS was 18, I told him to leave as he was insolent/lazy/nocturnal. You haven't that option.
When I had cooled down and wanted to see him again, I had to beg him to come back!!

He's a dad now and such a lovely, caring person. Hormones have a lot to answer for.

quizqueen Sun 03-May-20 14:21:32

It takes two to have an argument so don't be that second person. If she has no income at present then give her food allowance money for the week and tell her to go out and buy the ingredients and cook for herself and let her do all her own washing and cleaning. That will be how it is at university.

If the money's all gone by the 4th day or she can't be bothered to shop for herself, too bad. Just look after yourself now and when she leaves home then say it's for the best she stays independent and lives somewhere else permanently. You may be able to reconnect later on when she's more adult, maybe not.

Ilovedragonflies Sun 03-May-20 14:54:27

So much good advice here, thank you all. I can't write anymore at present as she's getting up and will want to know what I'm doing and, obviously, I don't want her seeing any of this. Thank you all, food for thought x

CrazyGrandma2 Mon 04-May-20 09:43:52

Ilovedragonflies You posed the question

"What kind of mum looks forward to her child leaving home?"

I would say the mum who has done the best to raise her child and in now ready for the child and herself to move onto the next stage of life. Stop beating yourself up! flowers

jaylucy Mon 04-May-20 09:50:23

Hoping you feel a lot better for saying it all.
Like others have said, she is an adult and responsible for herself, including taking her medication, changing her bed etc.
There is little point trying to have a conversation with someone that constantly belittles you - whatever you say will be wrong so you can either carry on, fully expecting that or just stop talking to her, unless necessary.
Look on it as training for when she goes to Uni. The idea of setting your house up as two halves is a start, including making her aware that she will be responsible for her own cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.
If she asks what you have been doing on your computer, just tell her it is for work - none of her business what you do !

Hawera1 Mon 04-May-20 09:54:24

Say to her part way through the day I'm having such.and such for tea. If you don't want what I'm having you can.make yourself something. Just practice a bit of tough love.

Septimia Mon 04-May-20 09:55:02

This doesn't help much with the current situation, but going to uni might really do your daughter good.

Our DS came home at the end of the first term and, when we asked him to put the kettle on, we were staggered that he said 'OK' instead of spending half an hour making excuses why he couldn't.

Your daughter may well come back both more mature and more appreciative. I hope so.

Lynnenana Mon 04-May-20 09:56:49

My daughter suffers from bipolar acutely and the worst when her medication is being changed. Although my girl takes hers we also went through very tough times when she didn’t. My daughter is 28 now and her ‘rock’ is her home and family. When she was younger and her moods had started to show she went travelling. At the time the doctors wanted to assess her but off she went to the other side of the world where I could not help her. Reason I’m saying this is that she sounds very depressed. You are her safe place/person and despite how she is with you it seems that she depends on you being there. It’s a very scary time now too for you both. I think the advice to allow her to look after herself is sound but you need to also take care of yourself and do what’s right for you. I wish you both well. You are doing a great job. X