Question: I am a single mother of two adult children, a daughter and a son. I have raised them on my own with no financial or moral support from anyone. Their father’s abounded them at birth. While trying to raise them, I was dealing with heavy depressions and trying to work an extra job when I could, or selling my personal property or car just to make rent or keep food on the table. I brought them to adulthood on my own, and I am proud of that. My daughter is in her mid 20’s. I feel like she hates me and didn’t want to be around me since she was two years old, preferring to stay with my sister and mother (who are both deceased). She has never really been kind or loving toward me as far as I can remember, but I always tried so hard to be loving of her and to give her space. From the time she was ten years old she blames me for not having a lot of money like her friends, not having a house, a car, not being more successful in life. Up until know she has always raised her voice at me or yells loudly at me and finds a way to start an argument during a normal peaceful conversation. (This has went on since a young age) I am the one that always talk to her and make things right. She will never apologize to me, even though I taught her how to. I have tried to get her to go to counseling with me back then and up until now, but she refuses. She now has a daughter 4 years old. My daughter was pregnant when she graduated high school (which I did not know at the time). I offer advice if she has questions about my granddaughter or any other questions in general. I don’t interfere with the way she raises her daughter. I always tell her she is an excellent mother. She never replies; won’t even look me in the eye. As I am typing this letter, my daughter will not speak to me (we all four live in the same apartment) she will not look at me, if I walk into the room where she is she will walk out, if she sees me walking down the same side of the street she will cross over to the other side, if she sees me in the supermarket she will look right at me and act like she doesn’t see me. But, I will go over to my granddaughter and talk. My daughter got angry at me because my granddaughter came into my room and she looked kind of down, so all I asked my granddaughter if she was bored and was she looking for something to do. My daughter yelled at the top of her voice from the kitchen. “There is no such word as bored, she is just waiting for me, she has plenty to do”, and she called her out my room. Then she had her daughter come back and tell me to knock it off, I am so hurt and I feel so unconformable, stressed out and sad. My daughter won’t talk to me, she avoids me, and she will leave the room if I come in. She doesn’t want me to take my granddaughter anywhere, and if I sang a song for her, she will interrupt and say that’s not the way it goes, or if I am talking to her she will say, that’s not the way to say it, etc. I have several health problems, lately I notice that my blood pressure has been very high and even through I am taking two medications to control my blood pressure it won’t stay down, and my body feels like one big knot. This can’t be good for my health. I can also see that my granddaughter is bothered by this and I don’t want my granddaughter to feel uncomfortable. I have decided that my daughter needs to approach me and sort things out. She is an adult not a kid anymore. At this point, I am tired of being yelled and screamed at, (its been over 20 years) being blamed when things are not going good for her. If my daughter is not yelling or blaming me for something it’s my son sometimes. I signed the lease of the apartment over to my kids. (I have to add that I pay more than my fare share of the rent). I decided that the best thing to do is move out. I am on a fixed income and can only afford a room. Some rooming houses are not safe. But I found a big room with a private bath that may be OK? Do I continue to live like this or take a chance and move out into the room? Maybe it will make things better for all of us if I just move out. Please help me with any advice. F.
Answer: Dear F.: I would move out and take my dignity with me. You are being used and abused and your granddaughter is being confused. Your health is failing and nothing is being resolved.
Create a life for yourself. Make friends at church or where seniors meet and enjoy your self. Go to the library and get some good books. Travel a little. You don’t have to go far or spend a lot. The room sounds nice. You can decorate it the way you want to and have some much deserved peace.
Being parents doesn’t have to make us captives. We give them our best and that’s it. If necessary when the job is done, we go our way and they go theirs. It’s not a life sentence. Blessings, Luise