Question: Dear Luise: I had to send my rebellious, eldest daughter to live with her dad at age 16 because she was impossible to manage when I worked full time. He didn’t do any better and her “adult” life has been one mistake after another that she does not take responsibility for. I have a grandson by her and she has a new baby that may or may not have been fathered by her current boyfriend. They treat me like dirt under their feet, curse me and blame me for all manner of things. I can’t let go and lose my grandkids but at the same time, I can’t stand it. My other daughter hasn’t taken this road and I honestly don’t know why this is happening. Help! J.
Answer: Dear J.: You may want to stay connected but it sounds to me like it’s a package deal. All of the abuse comes with it…probably in retaliation for sending your daughter to live with your ex to some degree.
There are people who resist, sometimes for a lifetime, growing up and taking their place as a responsible adult. One necessary ingredient is there must be someone to blame for their obvious failings. Mother’s are usually the victims due to both proximity and loyalty.
You aren’t responsible for your daughter’s conduct. She is choosing it and she has lots of other choices. None of us were perfect parents and none of our kids are either. Each and every one of us needs to eventually untangle the past to get on with the present.
In the meantime, the decision is yours. You aren’t going to change your daughter. She can change herself but you can’t do it for her. If you set boundaries, you will probably just get more of the same. The price for staying in very high…and you deserve a lot better. It’s not pretty to see that you have to either cut your losses or remain a doormat but that’s where you are in my opinion. Blessings, Luise