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frustratedmum September 28th, 2017 01:26 PM

Daughter blames me for all her difficulties
Very frustrated after yet another row with my adult daughter aged 22 who has just moved home again after 3 years at Uni where she pulled out of degree after doing year 1 twice, due she says to OCD.

Today again she says its all my fault, she always had it and I failed as a mother to get her the help she needed. I didnt get therapy as a child as I saw her behaviours as quite normal childhood things such as following me around when we moved house when she was 7. She was worried by new environment and that is normal isn't it? I was anxious too!! We quickly solved it by me leaving room for 1 minute building to 10 and in 1 afternoon- problem all solved. Then there was I wont eat off of plates washed in dishwasher phase. I noticed it was a great way of getting attention at the dinner table and chose to not reward such behaviour. She said my approach just led her to moving from one thing to next. What I saw from a young age was a headstrong, inflexible, creative, funny, determined, rigid child who liked her own way or had a tantrum. At 22, I see the same. She has had no actual OCD diagnosis and refused to see 2 therapists I found as "they're all incompetent and don't know what they're talking about". I apparently, fall into the same category or insane idiot who has no idea what she (daughter)is going through.

The rows now are due to her habits which I think are a distraction from getting a job and a life. She yet again got up today at 3pm, took ownership of the kitchen and flooded the floor cleaning it yet again. She then bleached to the point my eyes were watering and destroyed the paintwork on something I love. I have asked her 4 times now not to flood the floors in kitchen and bathroom as they are a slipping hazard to me and her brother. I told her if she has to clean them, do them in evening when we have finished for day in kitchen. I have asked her not to use bleach as its too harsh, makes me choke and all ours and visitors clothes are constantly getting destroyed with bleach. The smell is just dreadful and as I work at home there is no escaping it. She just ignores me and does it again and again and says "I cant help it, I have OCD and its all your fault", "you're just insane and not normal- normal people bleach and scrub their floors all the time- you're dirty" and her favourite "you're the selfish cow who just likes it all your own way- why can't I do it my way?".

I swing between guilt and anger. Guild because I worry I failed her although I also know I worked hard to give her and her brother everything I could. I tried to make sure we had a good fun life and to make them both feel safe. So when I'm not feeling guilty, I feel angry and want her to clear off and make her own way then and stop living off me with no contribution and playing the victim. I want to ask her what she plans to do about her "terrible affliction" and why now she's an adult hasn't she taken the steps I didn't. Maybe I am a complete ***** of a mother or maybe I am being emotionally blackmailed. What do you think? Ultimately its heartbreaking realising she has no coping tools and that has to be my fault I think.

KayKay September 28th, 2017 03:34 PM

Re: Daughter blames me for all her difficulties

Originally Posted by frustratedmum (Post 84855)
I want to ask her what she plans to do about her "terrible affliction" and why now she's an adult hasn't she taken the steps I didn't. Maybe I am a complete ***** of a mother or maybe I am being emotionally blackmailed. What do you think? Ultimately its heartbreaking realising she has no coping tools and that has to be my fault I think.

I think you ought to ask her what she plans to do about her "terrible affliction" now that she's an adult (and has been for 4 years) and can take the necessary steps that you apparently didn't.

I think you're being emotionally blackmailed. ;) Truthfully, I think she has other things going on besides OCD (maybe depressed?) but she has self-diagnosed OCD (which she may actually have) and latched on to it as a reason on which to blame her failures (which it may or may not be).

OCD runs in my FOO (I have a niece who has been diagnosed, and family members who were just considered "superstitious" back in the day before you'd run someone to a psychiatrist because they weren't lock-step "Normal"). I have never been diagnosed, but I certainly feel the pull of it. In my experience, OCD isn't really a tool used to punish someone else. But maybe I'm wrong. At any rate, she is crying out for help.

If I were in your shoes, I'd put the ball in her court. Offer to pay for whatever therapy she needs to get herself well and offer to help her find a way to get well, but make it clear that it's up to her to do the work to get well.

And next time she asks why she can't have it her way, remind her that she most definitely CAN have it her way when she gets her own place, but for now she has to function within the framework of the people she's living with. :)

LucyVanPelt September 28th, 2017 03:51 PM

Re: Daughter blames me for all her difficulties
I agree with everything KayKay said, except...

I would make therapy a requirement to remain at home. Her "job" right now would be to find herself a psychiatrist who can diagnose her and treat her. You could have "made" her go when she was under 18, but you didn't know she needed that. You can do it for her now.

P.S. It's not unusual for mental health issues to come to the surface when kids attend college. The stress and the change in environments makes the lack of coping skills apparent, or can bring out what was latent. Brains are growing very quickly at this time, and mental health challenges become more apparent-- there are many reasons why you might not have seen the signs when she was younger but she has them now.

This is a long road ahead of you. Make sure you take care of yourself, perhaps finding a support group or consulting with a therapist to help you manage this.

Good luck!

frustratedmum September 28th, 2017 05:18 PM

Re: Daughter blames me for all her difficulties
Thank you both for your replies. It really helps to get another perspective as feel so unsure about what to do. She won't see the therapists I have found. You're right about rules Kay. I've just drafted a set. It will be messy when I share them with her. She will yet again tell me what a cow I am. A bad mother and how completely unreasonable I am. I really don't particularly want the stress. I'm recovering from health issues myself and was in a good place but she has come home and is leaving me feeling quite down. Whats ironic is I collapsed from exhaustion trying to work enough to pay for all her expenses and had to leave my career after collapsing and being out cold for 90 minutes. I knew I was killing myself so I sold the family home as couldn't pay all the bills on my own and she told me she'll never forgive me for that (even though she moved out to Uni and had her own place I paid for). My partner has just started getting to know her since she came home and is very worried about how she treats me. He thinks I need to get help to deal with her so your advice Lucy, resonates. Thank you both for taking the time to respond. Really appreciate that you would bother to give time to a stranger. ps. My other 2 kids are great

snafu September 29th, 2017 06:01 PM

Re: Daughter blames me for all her difficulties

SuZQ154 September 30th, 2017 02:10 PM

Re: Daughter blames me for all her difficulties
You sound like you have done a good job trying to establish boundaries with your daughter and she is responding in a disrespectful way. As a mom, that just hurts. So sorry!

I understand. My daughter displayed very similar behaviors, along with developing an eating disorder at the same age as your daughter. I didn't know what to do, at first. Eventually, she consented to going to a Christian residential eating disorder clinic, which required the entire family attend for one week. It was very effective for her recovery and for our family's healing, improvement of our communication skills, and a safe place for all of us to voice our feelings.

Have you considered counseling for your family, or for yourself? Also have you read any of the Boundaries' books by Cloud and Townsend? They are very helpful and you might want to check them out. Praying for you and your family today.

Marijandel October 15th, 2017 07:24 AM

Re: Daughter blames me for all her difficulties
She's 22. She's educated. She should be living on her own and dealing with her issues however she chooses to. You are allowing yourself to be emotionally manipulated and it is not helping her. If you are strong and steady, she will be led by your example [kicking and screaming no doubt] but if you buy into this behaviour as if you believe her, she has been validated by the person she can blame instead of the person who should be held responsible...herself.

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