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Why Won't DD Stay in Touch?

(21 Posts)
LondonAnnie24 Thu 28-Jan-21 12:24:14

Sorry for my long post; I'll try and keep it simple! Our DD is 27 and moved out of home when she was 18, since then she's lived in several places and now lives 100 miles away. We have always known we had a tricky relationship since her teens and have helped her with her rent, shopping, etc when needed. Now, due to Covid, she is furloughed from her part-time cafe job and claims Universal Credit. We are now paying her full rent, which (at the moment) we are able to do. We know this comes from her being our only child, and our guilt at not being great parents (family history). She rarely calls, despite promising to 'ring on Sunday' and it's rare for us to be able to contact her via phone/social media. Her GP has also suggested she may have Borderline Personality Disorder (family connection) and finds relationships difficult. Two years ago, we and the Police, removed from her from an abusive relationship and she now lives alone. Whenever we challenge her, her voice changes and she gets tearful. I know it's a "back off" reaction and the conversation just breaks down. My head says 'stop paying and let her sort herself out' and my heart says 'she'll end up on the streets'. So, over to you, experienced 'Grans'; where do we go from here?

Smileless2012 Thu 28-Jan-21 13:20:39

Hi LondonAnnie from what you've posted there seems little point in challenging your D as it breaks down the conversation.

You recognise that she finds relationships difficult and as hard as this is for you, this is something you need to accept; it isn't you, it's relationships in general.

You've said you are paying her full rent which "at the moment" you are able to do. If this level of financial assistance isn't going to be possible in the long term, this is something you need to make your D aware or asap so she can be prepared.

I would think about how often you try to initiate contact and see if you could pull back a bit as she may feel under pressure to make contact when, for whatever reason, she feels unable too.

In your position, I wouldn't withdraw financial support while I was able to provide it, but would consider reducing the amount being given, not because she "rarely calls", but because it looks from your post as if this isn't something that will be sustainable indefinitely.

Peasblossom Thu 28-Jan-21 13:22:42

She moved away almost 10 years ago and has made a life for herself. I’m afraid you have to accept that (apart from the rent) you don’t figure very highly in it.

It maybe that during the time that you were not “great parents” she learned to do without you and doesn’t feel that you really have much connection.

It’s up to you really whether you keep paying the rent, but I think she’s made it clear that, as far as she’s concerned, she doesn’t need or want frequent contact.
I think you just have to accept that as the way it is.

Perhaps “challenging “her isnt the best way to try to mend the relationship?

NellG Thu 28-Jan-21 13:43:10

It makes me really angry when GP's suggest a diagnosis they are not in a position to make. If her GP had been concerned that BPD was a possibility he/she should have made a referral to the MHT.

I say that because the GP in question has not helped you one bit in making this suggestion. In slapping that label on the situation he/she has invited you to feel that you are supporting someone who is ill and cannot help her irresponsibility and poor choices. Besides, BPD is a complex personality disorder, and therefore not heritable. This GP has helped neither of you.

Having said that I think it might be important for you to think about why you are continuing to pay her rent. Is it about her needs, or guilt towards her for what sounds like a complex history? Plus, harsh as this might sound, are you paying because you feel it secures the relationship in some way and 'buys' the right to contact? These are questions for you to ask yourself, not judgments from me. The answers might help you move forward.

As to your question of why she wont keep in touch, the answer is because she doesn't want to. So... it's a case of decide why you are giving the money, make a clear headed decision about whether you will continue or not and put the ball in her court. let her contact you when she wants to.

I hope you manage to resolve it in a way that feels more comfortable. Best wishes.

Namsnanny Thu 28-Jan-21 13:52:39

I cant add much to smileless excellent post, except to underline the need to have a discussion with her about the rent money, so there are no nasty surprises for her.

Also I think NellG has a good point about the 'diagnosis' of BPD.

Nanof3 Thu 28-Jan-21 16:09:48

I can't add much either apart from the possibility of her claiming Housing Benefit if she is already on UC and has no savings. Maybe suggest that she looks into finding out about it as you know you will need to cut back on your outgoings in the future. God Luck.

Nanof3 Thu 28-Jan-21 16:10:05

Good Luck

welbeck Thu 28-Jan-21 16:23:53

i think you should gradually reduce the rent money.
say pay equivalent of 3 weeks rent next month, then pay 2 weeks the following month, then one week's.
then no more. but tell her in advance that you are doing this. maybe best not to give any reasons.
just email her the fact, so you have proof of date you informed her.
does she not claim housing benefit, if not, why not.

Scentia Thu 28-Jan-21 16:38:09

If you are able and happy to pay her rent it shouldn’t come with conditions. If you are only paying rent to buy her attention you are embarking on a losing battle. She probably senses that you are paying guilt money and is taking advantage. I can’t advise whether you should stop paying that is a personal choice, but if you are expecting something back for your payment I think you will be waiting a while. I am sorry you are struggling to know what to do for the best❤️

Redhead56 Thu 28-Jan-21 17:30:17

It might be a situation she is in such as a relationship that she knows you might not like. You don't know because she lives away from you. You say it was a difficult relationship even so I would not stop the money it maybe the only security she has.
I would try to build bridges text her and ask if there is anything she needs. It's better than an awkward phone call. She might be trying to act grown up but still be immature.
Tell her you are there for her and don't pry she's your only daughter. Maybe when things improve you could meet her half way hopefully the situation will resolve itself.

Iam64 Thu 28-Jan-21 18:42:03

There is ample research to confirm there may be a genetic component to BPD. In people with that diagnosis, there’s a greater likelihood of other m.h. problems in close relatives. Of course, environment plays a significant part. It isn’t clear from the OP whether the GP knows family members.

If UC is being claimed, there’s usually a housing/rent component. Unless you’re paying the landlord direct, I wonder if your daughter is using the cash for other things. I’m not criticising her for that,
Would you consider some kind of family therapy? Has your daughter had therapy, most people with bpd or anything like it, need support

M0nica Fri 29-Jan-21 17:41:39

It sounds to me that you are trying to make up for past problems by over protecting her now.

You say We have always known we had a tricky relationship since her teens and have helped her with her rent, shopping, etc when needed.. This is probably the problems. Without intending too by always being there and helping her out, you are stopping her become independent and leadingher own adult life, whatever she does, wherever she goes, mum and dad are there, helping certainly, but always there.

Like others, I think she needs to be freed to live her own life, make her own mistakes and suffer the consequences

Generally, you keep your children by setting them free.

NellG Fri 29-Jan-21 18:01:41

Iam64 I'm happy to stand corrected, however my understanding is that the only proven genetic component of BPD was in a single area - impulsivity. Research has consistently shown that other features have a stronger environmental origin. But it's a long time since I've worked with this so I may well be out of date on the subject.

LondonAnnie24 Mon 01-Feb-21 12:37:20

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. So many of your comments resonate; I know there's no easy solution. I'll let you know how things go!

Toadinthehole Mon 01-Feb-21 12:52:20

Yes, I agree with Smileless. It’s sounds like you’re doing all you can, and doing it very well. Try not to agitate over ‘tomorrow’, and concentrate on the here and now. Anything could happen in the future, to change how everything is now. There’s no point wasting energy trying to fathom it. At the moment, things seem ‘ peaceful’. Don’t rock they particular boat...certainly while we’re in this covid crisis. Let her lead ....and then take from there. All the best to you 💐

Toadinthehole Mon 01-Feb-21 12:53:05

that particular boat.

Hithere Mon 01-Feb-21 12:59:21

Agree with NellG and M0nica.

Isthepopecatholic Sat 13-Feb-21 22:40:51

My husband and I are in a similar situation. We continue to support our daughter and granddaughter financially, buying food, paying for most clothes, holidays, etc. My daughter has a patchy work record. I am happy to do this as I feel that whether she gets the money now or later (when we die) makes no difference to me.

mumofmadboys Sun 14-Feb-21 07:13:36

You say you find it hard to contact her. Why is that? Could you phone her every week or so for a chat? Maybe she struggles with motivation and finds it hard to get round to contacting you.

nanna8 Sun 14-Feb-21 08:02:23

Maybe I’m weird but I would never support any of our children ongoing once they are adults. Never have and never would. If it was a sudden immediate crisis that is different , of course I would assist in any way, but ongoing support ? It is enabling her and she obviously doesn’t appreciate it. In fact she most likely feels ashamed of it. Can you wean her off? She probably cries because she feels guilty, wouldn’t you ? Treat her like an adult. Very hard to do when it has gone on for a long time but give her her freedom and self respect!

Smileless2012 Sun 14-Feb-21 09:27:23

I agree with what you're saying about on going financial support nanna. It can result in enabling financial dependency and take away personal responsibility.

The suggestion that LondonAnnie starts weaning her D off the support is a good one IMO but as you say, a hard thing to do when the support has been going on for some time.