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Old 05-21-2018, 02:41 PM   #1
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Hi, My eldest child, my daughter, will be 34 years old in June. She is currently studying at a well-respected university for her Phd. She has been married for 6 years to a fine man who is on a career fast-track. They own a nice home in the town where they live. They do not plan on having children because they want to devote their lives to their careers (and to making money, if we're being honest).


My daughter and I have always been extremely close. From the time she was born until recently, we were like the best of friends. I mean, I was definitely "mom", but frankly, my daughter seemed to be born with a substantial maturity that never required a lot of boundaries, etc. I never had to tell her "Do your homework"- stuff like that. I have ALWAYS, without exception, been "there" for her in every way a mother can be.


She started university last August (she had her degree from a smaller college already). From the very week she started university her attitude towards me has changed. She is arrogant and condescending to me. No matter what I'm doing or involved with, my daughter cops an attitude. Suddenly I am doing the wrong things online. I have made some foolish choices in my life (???), I need to get control of my Bipolar Disorder (???), I need to be more practical in general. Since I am part of Generation X I am, without a doubt, inferior to HER generation.



When we talk on the phone (I've always called her every morning) it's like she's watching a clock. Unless we are discussing her, it seems she gives me my "allotted time" then in a clipped manner she'll say, "I really have to go now. I am overloaded with homework." She has often made reference to how, "No one understands how busy" she is "with school!"



I have no doubt that she is busy (too busy, I think...she is frequently lacking sleep and sick with colds).


And so on.


I recognize that she is going through a specific stage in her life. What she's doing, however, seems to have gone to her head, to put it bluntly. I feel terribly hurt...discarded.



I have spoken with her about how I feel; she denies that she has any attitude toward me at all. She insists that I need to check my emotional/mood state better.



What is my best course of action? I guess I have no recourse except to wait it out. At this point, aside from items she wants (clothing, concert tickets, travel, etc.), her husband handles all of their household finances. She has never paid a utility bill, for example. Her hardships in life have not been unusual or outstanding, except for a life-long generalized anxiety disorder for which she has always been in appropriate treatment (thanks to her mother...). She has in her mind that she "takes care of" my husband and I...in reality, she really doesn't do either, except to speak with us on the phone for short periods of time.


Input? Ideas? Thank you.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

It sounds like you raised her well & bear no responsibility for her present attitude. Sometimes folks can come down with "Ivory Tower Syndrome" - when they assume their intelligence is measured strictly by the number of credit hours they accumulate. No doubt her husband is paying for her tuition, as well as the other things you've already mentioned. She's spoiled...& you did nothing to facilitate her attitude. I just hope that if she should ever fall to earth she doesn't have too hard a fall, accompanied by a rude awakening.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

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Originally Posted by emgreen View Post
It sounds like you raised her well & bear no responsibility for her present attitude. Sometimes folks can come down with "Ivory Tower Syndrome" - when they assume their intelligence is measured strictly by the number of credit hours they accumulate. No doubt her husband is paying for her tuition, as well as the other things you've already mentioned. She's spoiled...& you did nothing to facilitate her attitude. I just hope that if she should ever fall to earth she doesn't have too hard a fall, accompanied by a rude awakening.

I've always believed that I raised her well. She was a very mellow teen...it's almost like she's going through some adolescent behavior now. Her husband absolutely adores her, which is wonderful, but - yes - he spoils her and she loves it.


I am extremely proud of her. I also realize that she truly is overworked and very tired and cranky most of the time. I'm trying not to take her behavior personally, but it is hard, because the way she behaves toward me is darn hurtful.



However: I hope the same. That when life inevitably throws her a really nasty curve ball she doesn't fall to pieces. If she does fall to pieces and it happens while I'm still living on this earth, it will be me she calls, that's for sure.


Thank you very much for your reply, em.
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Old 05-24-2018, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

Honestly, it might be that she is stressing over her Ph.D. work and is not trying to snub you or hurt you. I got a Ph.D. and there can be a lot of pressure. So, my suggestion is to try not to take it personally, although I can understand that it would be hard not to. As you say, it sounds like you have many, many reasons to be proud of her.

I think it would be good if you can find other friends and activities until she gets a break and is free to chat. I generally let my adult sons call me. One calls often, usually with concerns or problems, and the other only rarely calls. I have to keep up with them on facebook!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

Tl, Thank you immensely for your reply. It is very helpful. She seems to be completely entrenched in, and overwhelmed with, classwork. Yet, she keeps getting A's...I suspect she is driving herself very hard.


You are absolutely correct: I do need more contact with people beside immediate family.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

It doesnt sound like the daily phone calls are a joyful event.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:35 PM   #7
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Heart Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

Hi *Laurie*

I am sorry you are feeling so hurt and discarded. But in reality, we (you) don’t know what is happening in her thoughts—so it may just be that she’s really pressured at this bigger school (where’s she’s now a little fish) and is stressed…

Which would you rather it be? Because all the time at the bigger university has ‘gone to her head’ and she’s letting you go==========OR========because she is really really busy and stressed?

Since you cannot sit in her brain and actually hear her thoughts—why not chose the ‘she’s just busy’ reason. As long as we are making up reasons (cause again we cannot read her thoughts) let’s make up reasons that make us feel good.

Also, you probably need to dial back the calling every morning. It’s not working, right? Then quit. Don’t quit it poutingly, but quit it to give her space, time, and distance because she’s really really busy. Call once a week, maybe at an agreed time. Then she might be happy to talk to you. And you’ll be happier when that happens.

It’s another stage in life for both of you---so just as she’s filling her new life with school, research, papers, and new friends. You do the same. Make a NEW happy morning routine for yourself. Have a morning coffee meet with friends. Volunteer at a nursing home and make some lonely lady happy at breakfast. Soon you’ll have all kinds of new wonderful things to talk to your daughter about….

Also, this is in no way clinical evidence—but two of my good friends who had only daughters—both had their daughters, in their words, turn against them. They had been very good friends until after high-school. Then both daughters began criticizing, arguing, and complaining. Nothing they said or good was good enough or could fix it.

One mom kept hanging on, calling, (she too started criticizing) and she and her daughter while okay now—are not close.
The other mom, realized that her daughter was acting like a teenager citing her independence (even though she was 26). She then decided not to take what was happening personally; she did not think her daughter was out to hurt or injure her. She stepped back—and only called occasionally. For eight months she got very clipped quick replies. But wonder of wonder, in the ninth month her daughter called her and just started talking as she always had. My friend was thrilled.

After reading your post, I called and asked her what she’d tell you. She said she’d tell you to let your daughter go for now—that she’ll come back. She said one thing she learned during the time of few phone calls was that she had always had a comment on whatever her daughter was telling her she had done or what she thought. She said since then—she waits until her opinion is asked for (like she does with me her BFF) and it’s made all the difference. She thinks the closer a mom and daughter is==the harder she has to make her stake for independence.

Just thoughts==hope they help and hope you heal.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

I'm not a parent, but I do think the daily phone call may be a little much. I sometimes feel like I need more space from my parents, although I know they love me and are just concerned.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

Thank you all for your input.

Daily phone calls are not the problem. If I don't call her, she would be worried and hurt. She would call me, concerned. My husband, her dad, calls our daughter 3 nights a week. If he doesn't call one night, our daughter is sad about having missed speaking with him.
When my mother was alive I called her every day. I would not have dreamed of not doing so.



I have really worked on this issue and come to the conclusion that my daughter is truly overworked, overstressed, and does not have enough hours in her days. I have decided not to take her behavior personally, to accept that it is not at all about me. That does leave me somewhat concerned, however, about her motivation to spend her life doing something that causes her such extreme stress.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: My Kid is Almost 34...

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Laurie* View Post
Thank you all for your input.

Daily phone calls are not the problem. If I don't call her, she would be worried and hurt. She would call me, concerned. My husband, her dad, calls our daughter 3 nights a week. If he doesn't call one night, our daughter is sad about having missed speaking with him.
When my mother was alive I called her every day. I would not have dreamed of not doing so.

.

When was the last time that you or your husband didn't call her and she phoned you instead? Sounds like the emotional connection that you have is strong. Maybe it's time to have a face to face discussion about what might be going on and sort out what are helpful amounts of contact.
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