My Grown Daughters Hate Me

Question: Dear Luise: I am an aging Mom of adult daughters. I have recently tried to re-unite the three of them. To my surprise, they actually agreed to get together as a family. To make a long story short: It did not go well, but the victim was not a sibling in this case it was me. They told me how awful I was, and that the reason they are “messed up” (their words), was because I was such a horrible, mean Mother when they were growing up. First off- I know how horrible I was. I have told them all, many times how sorry I was for my bad behavior back then. No one ever heard of P.M.S. back when my children were young. They have been shown love in many ways as adults by their Mother. I am not a monster anymore and haven’t been for many, many years. They hate me, they don’t want to have anything to do with me,(not the youngest), but they all three treat me terribly. My Grandchildren show me no respect because of their parents’ feelings toward me. I am invited to family events, but I am invisible to them. My children do not care what they say to me. They tell me not to talk if it is something they don’t want to hear. I just take it, because I want to be with them. Last week I couldn’t take it anymore, I asked my eldest child to take my eldest granddaughter away (they were staying with me, they were from out of town, and she is in her twenties now). I do not have any idea why my granddaughter would behave the way she did toward me (I have never been around her). She was very hurtful, and without provocation. I am not just sounding off, I really do need to get help with this. I know you will suggest that I should let them fly, but at my age I really do need them. What do you suggest? I have another appointment with a counselor, but I hate to continue crying about it, I am not getting anywhere. P.

Answer: Dear P.: You gave them life. Your girls seem to have forgotten that. For reasons no one may be able to understand after the fact, it wasn’t easy for any of you but they are here because you said, “yes” to motherhood. You also didn’t adopt them out; you gave them each other and a family unit. Those observations aren’t going to change anything but they are the bottom line regarding your self-respect. No one can take that from you. You can forfeit your self-respect if you focus only on regret but the truth is that you did your best and no one has any way of knowing how hard that was for you.

Saying you are sorry doesn’t remove their memories. It really doesn’t do much of anything. They have their own little group and they may be feeding on each other’s complaints. You gave them the impressions that you hated them. If your youngest has maintained even a minimal degree of loyalty, that’s something. And if you are invited to family events, it’s time to see that invisible is a whole lot better than not being invited at all. My point is that not liking the situation doesn’t change it. Self-pity may come up for you but it is not productive.

Your disrespectful granddaughter was probably mirroring what she had heard about you from her mother and Aunts. You didn’t have to do or say anything; she was operating from the basis of well-founded gossip, probably with her mother’s blessing. You certainly had the right to end a visit that was abusive. Good for you.

Within you is your love for your girls…and love is a powerful thing. In your present situation is also your need. You spoke of needing them and not being willing to let them go. Your counselor is the place to take this, not the web. It is too well established and time is needed to sort it out. Crying sometimes helps, too. You can release that way and not turn your feelings into a time bomb.

You can guess about PMS but that may not have been it, or all of it. That was then and this is now and what you need to do now is move beyond hypothetical excuses to some level of resolution. If they are unwilling to work with you regarding reframing their relationship with you, work on how you can accept all of this and heal. You can’t call a family meeting and stop it. It seems to have a life of its’ own…so turn toward your own healing and leave their healing to them. Blessings, Luise

12 Responses to My Grown Daughters Hate Me

  1. D. January 28, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I am in a similar situation. I have two adult daughters, 30 & 28 and two grand children whom I dont get to see.

    Their father is an alcoholic and addicted to drugs. I came from an abusive mother but swore to my self I was not going to be anything like her! I am proud to say I am nothing like her today!

    My first husband physically, mentally & emotionally abused me for yrs & the second time he tried to choke me to death in front of my two girls when they were 3 & 6 yrs old they were scarred for life! I divorced their father. I moved on with my life and a few yrs later their father came back and wanted another chance, he had been in rehab…..long story short we remarried a yr later and the kids were very happy! five yrs into the remarriage he started his crap again! he left me and my girls for a wealthy much younger woman and moved out of state and had more kids!!!! and told my kids he thought they were crap and did not want them to be around his new family. Today he is dying of throat cancer in advance stages…Karma????

    I moved on and struggled. When my kids were teens they were getting in trouble with drugs , alcohol and having sex at a very young age. I was working ful time and still could not afford to pay some one to watch my teenagers. I had no family support.

    I was dating my second husband and he saw how they were walking all over me and I asked him if he would help me by moving in……they HATED any MALE especially telling them what to do! We took turns watching them. When I was working my boy friend would sleep on the couch by the front door to make sure they would not sneak out of the house at night we would monitor their EVERY MOVE! we ALL attended counseling together too!

    When My oldest was 14 she was getting into too much trouble and I exhausted every avenue trying to reach her so I contacted her biological father and asked him to step up to the plate and help me help her! he wanted custody of her and he seemed to be doing well in his current marriage. So for 4 yrs my daughter was living with him and we stayed in touch by phone.

    it turns out he let her do what ever she wanted! she was kicked out of his house and she called me and asked if she could come home? I told her sure! but I told her I was remarried and there are rules to follow! NO DRUGS,ALCOHOL & NO PARTIES or you are out!!

    Within 6 months of her return I had police evict her! she could not follow the rules…..so at 18 she was on her own again! I bought her a car and that was it….she has nothing to do with me and she will be 31 yrs old this year, so we are talking 15 yrs and no contact! I send her birthday and Christmas cards she has turned my mother and all of my brothers against me! my mother does not even claim me!!!!! and she calls her self a good catholic woman!

    Ok ,thats just the beginning! my younger daughter did not start her shananagans till she was 15 yrs by getting involved with a 21 yr old! Who I pressed charges of statutory rape and he never even went to jail, he had to move out of the county untill she turned 18….you are probably thinking where was I at this point??? I was working and struggling to keep a roof over our heads.
    My youngest got along with my new husband we were totally against her keeping company with the boy friend who took her innocense but she became very sneaky.

    My youngest was hanging around the wrong crowd and was doing drugs and drinking and she was expelled from school for starting fights. She wanted to do home school and when I told her NO she must learn to get along with her peers… she said oh well, I will do it my way! she beat up an innocent girl and had a restraining order against her! I had her in counseling once a week and even when she was doing good I encouraged her to keep going because she needs someone to talk to because she was not opening up to me.

    Im am going to jump a little ahead…. My youngest continued to go to school from home her grades were good and she was working. She then wanted to be emancipated and I said NO
    she rebelled again! she moved in with her boss at 17 yrs ….the more I put my foot down the more trouble she caused so I let her stay at her bosses home. At 18 yrs old she got pregnant by the boy friend who is a drug addict and alcoholic ….the whole time I am working going to counseling and driving all over to find her!

    I love my kids and how they can hate me is beyond me! I put my daughter through shcool paid her bills etc she has two kids now who I am cut off from and everyone supports me and knows my girls are trouble makers but they have my mother and brothers convinced I am the bad guy!

    My youngest admitted to me on several occasions that I never abused her and I asked her to tell the rest of my family the truth! so I can be a part of my family again….she said she would but as it goes it seems it will never happen…….my daughter has lost custody of her son when he was a baby because of her violence and I have always been there supporting her and getting her help.

    Last year I flew from the east coast to the west coast to help her out with her bills. I was planning to get a job and just hand her my check. I did not want to see my grandkids suffer.

    I lived with her for one month and in that time I saw her abuse alcohol and bring men home when the kids were there and I bought her an SUV because she needed a safe vehicle to carry the kids…..she abandoned me on Easter Sunday and took the kids in the truck I bought her to go on a trip with out me!

    She came back screaming at me in front of the kids and I left it was so embarrassing! Child Protection services wont even do anything! she drives around drunk with the kids in the truck I have called the local police and they know who she is and have not been able to catch her.

    So if you think you have troubles…..I bet my story tops yours!

    Bottom line I love my kids and grand kids…. I am stumped on how to make things right I tried talking to family but they are influenced by an alcoholic….I won’t give up!D.

  2. N. June 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I relate well, and am surprised how many of us are living it, regarding alienation of daughters. I’ve three. In my situation however, I’ve no idea what went wrong. They were easy girls to raise; we had fun together through their 30’s, and then something changed. They started comparing notes, and it seems a negative tone began to grow Their relationship with one another is now so incestuous, no one, and I mean no one, is allowed in their gang. No spouses, no other girlfriends…nothing. They text one another nearly all day (I honestly don’t see how their employers put up with this). I’m not included and for the most part can’t identify with half of what their referencing anyway (I read much of their transmittals on FaceBook), and just can’t see myself spending 24/7 doing so. I am hurt that I’m not included in any of “their” family gatherings, and am never acknowledged on Mother’s Day etc., where as prior to these activities commencing about five years ago, not one time was my birthday over looked, or a Mother Day either. In fact I received lovely calls and letters from them all. I reciprocated, and even now, send gifts despite their poor behavior etc. I am an understated mother, quiet, encouraging, and do not mettle. I have listened to and validated their sorrows, and apologized for mistakes I may have made, most I think pretty normal. I’ve sought much counseling, and done much introspection…and can not come up with an explanation other than it’s a sign of the times. Parent alienation is apparently an accepted part of our culture now days. I wonder how well my daughters will receive this treatment they have taught to their kids, but by example. Will it even phase them I wonder. If not I worry at the advancement of society. There are days my grief at the loss of them is so paramount it’s all I can do to not spoil the day with buckets of tears in recollection of last Christmas when I wouldn’t even have known two girls and their families flew in for a reunion at the youngest daughter’s home, but a mile from me, except that I accidentally ran into them. Why did the higher power that be have this oddity happen? I would rather not know they had come to town without even seeing me, much less, inviting me. Fortunately I am long time married to a lovely man (who all my daughters have even amicably lived with at one time or another so it isn’t my relationship that bothers them). What has happened? Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon? N.

    • Luise Volta June 13, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      N. Please consider coming over to my Web-forum where what you have described is something being addressed by many members. We are at: http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com Blessings, Luise

    • C. July 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      Yes. They are bullies to put it simply. It could be analyzed to the end and addressed in therapy etc., but the bottom line is all of us should be looking for ways to do good with our lives whether our children want to be a part of that or not. And yes, it hurts terribly not to make memories with them, but better no memories than painful ones. Go out and do good! C.

  3. S. June 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Oh my god I have, my son refuses to acknowledge me. he is 37 and blames me for his short comings, but I as you ,was a good mom. He was also easy to raise, I am trying to move on. You are not alone. S.

  4. R. July 2, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Miss momma. you are precious. Your love abounds for your three daughters. I understand your pain my dear because I have a similar story but with a son. Look in the mirror and kiss and hug yourself. You have no control on how people act or feel. NO CONTROL. Tell yourself that. My son has called me fake and I know I am not. However no matter what I do to make him see it my way he doesn’t. lol I see it my way and that is it! Being dis respected by your own children is the worst situation, and nothing is worse. Pain of being a rejected mom stays with us only if we let it. Don’t let it! Shine and know you are the best you can be. Truly do this for yourself.R.

  5. D. July 6, 2012 at 1:35 am #

    I wasnt the best parent–no one abused my 2 kids in any way–however I drank too much–had PMDD and then diagnosed with ADHD at 46–both my children are ADHD and their daddy has mental illness–both daddies married an older woman that takes care of them–here I am –finally –no mood swings and working in YNP–having a blast–my kids hate me and I think my daughter is bi-polar–nothing I can do–I dont understand worked with foster children and no matter what the abuse–they always wanted to be with momma–not mine— it is what it is–hurts like hell too. D.

    • N. August 25, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      You make a very good point. My adoptive parents were very abusive to me, but I appreciated having any parents at all. Because of my upbringing I vowed to be a better parent…became educated, sought therapy, etc., My daughters have no excuse for the way they treat me. Sometimes I wonder if I did it all to well, without complaining so they think it was easy for me. They’re finding hard to do half what I did and are ashamed of themselves for not doing as well (not true in that I think they’re all quite successful, but it’s their perspective of themselves) with so much more to work with (i.e. vacation and medical pay, for that matter any pay, day cares etc.) and that’s where the contention lies – their self loathing… I put in 8 hours at work earning food for the table, and another 8 hours after that putting that food on the table!!! (and this, without a microwave)! N.

  6. dotti lantis April 1, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    although your comment wasn’t to me (I have written with my near same scenario), I have responded to this person, much the same as yours, but it was good to read yours as a reminder to myself. What I found helpful was to do things that raised my self esteem (i.e. gardening, music, art, friends etc.) so that I was more in a place to not buy into the belief systems of my daughters who would like me to think how awful I was, or am. It was hard at first, but two years down the pike, and it’s really, actually liberating…not so much of my energy is directed toward their welbeing, and more toward my own. D.

  7. F. June 17, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    How strange to google ‘daughters who hate their mothers’. But from reading these responses, I realize I am not alone. Thank you Dotti. You have said what I told myself this morning. It is time to move on and stop trying so hard to earn love and respect from a daughter who clearly does not care about me. No longer am I going to cry on my birthday when the day passes with no acknowledgement from her. I am going to walk away from stinging jabs and sarcasm. I am going to refuse the poison that sickens my soul.

    It is time to be grateful for the many blessings in my life, and for those who do honestly care: a kind husband, son and daughter-in-law, grateful grandchildren, and dear friends .

    It is time to live the serenity prayer – Help me accept what I cannot change. Give me courage to change what I can. Please give me the wisdom to know the difference.

    • D. June 21, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      Interesting…it took me about the same amount of time (i.e. two years) as you, to get my head back on straight, and like you, not only am I OK, I’m somehow, “relieved” too. I can not do anything to restore my reputation as torn by the bitterness of my adult daughters,, except live well thereby setting an example of who the authentic me is. Grandkids, I’ve no doubt, will see through the tainted shroud, and, may even be on the upswing of the pendulum. It’s said from generation to generation it swings to and fro, putting then the once removed generation more in alinement with the once before; it’s why grandparents are so important! D.

    • D. June 21, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Loving Serenity Prayer lady:

      Nope, you’re not alone. In my case because there were so many of them I figured I was the bad seed. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening had nothing to do with me. I suppose I wanted it to have something to do with me in that then, I felt some ability to do something about it. That’s what terrifies us…realizing we’re not only not apart of what is happening, but as a result have no hope of ever fixing it. But, when you do realize it, it’s a relief it’s no longer your responsibility except to rid yourself of the guilt you’ve falsely conjured as a part of the scenarios outcome. D.

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