Question: Dear Luise: Here I am 77yrs old and never in the world thought my daughter would turn on me. She is 49 and divorced twice from alcoholics. She has a live-in that is showing signs of alcoholism. when I first met him she later asked me what I thought. I am a little psychic: I said something is missing. We get along alright. His brother told me that he is spacy and always has been and until recently has been a outcast in his family. She found out about this conversation and accused me of trying to break them up. She has spent the past two weeks sending me articles about narcissic mothers and that I am trying to control her life.(she has no children) she recently tried to get me to cash in my Ira and pay off her business loan. She has thrown everything at me but the kitchen sink. I have no other relatives and she is not going to be in my life anymore. I could go into more details but it would be too much. I am a Widow and don’t know how to take this. I suspect she is menopausal but that doesn’t explain her behavior. I won’t return her anger and throw up her shortcomings since that is childish. What do I do now? C.
Answer: Dear C.: Good for you. My take is that you were a whole person before you became a parent and you can be whole again. By that I mean, your daughter’s choice of partners and need to find business financing are about her, not you.
I am 84 and even though I live in low-income housing, I am completely independent. I live in a retirement facility ( www.warmbeach.org ) where assisted care and nursing facilities are available if and when I need them. It is a very supportive and loving community and my friends here have become my “extended family.” There is life beyond parenting.
Stay out of discussing your daughter and her live-in with others. It’s clear that only makes things worse. It’s the “he said/she said” thing…and there is always a scapegoat. Beyond that step back and focus on your own life. Contrary to popular belief, it is far from over and many wonderful experiences await you if you can let got of the past. You did your best, as we all did. Now turn toward what’s next. Don’t get stuck in the fact that you deserve so much better, even though that is true. Give it to yourself. Blessings, Luise