21 answers

Mother ~ Adult Daughter

My 21 year old daughter has not spoken to me for almost three years. She has me blocked from her in every way possible. She is my only child, my heart and soul, this is a mom-site ~ you understand my love for her and my broken heart. She believes (I think) that I have hurt her feelings and without going into too much detail, she is correct. Although, never, ever with malice or intent. Nobody is perfect and situations in my life happenend over an 8 year period beginning with my own mother becoming very ill with Altheimers and subsequently passing away in 2001 (my daughter was 12) and I was hit with a series of situations that could not have been worse (life happens) I raised her by myself (no father in the pic). In a nutshell, when she left for College in Sept/2006 (the last time we saw each other) we talked til the end of her first year. She was always very cold and abrupt on the phone to me. And in June of 2007 she changed schools, disconnected her phone and blocked me from her in every way. She went to an attorney for youth back East and I got a letter telling me basically that she wanted "no contact with me at the time because I left her too many email and voice messages". That was untrue because I knew she was pulling away so I was only calling her 1-2 timesw a week. Bringing us to my question which is. I found out what College she goes to last Oct. I had to have major surgery in Nov. She graduates this coming May. I want to do everything inmmy power to be there, no matter what it takes, because I feel that it is imperative to reunite with her. We have both changed and gone through so much learning apart. And her College graduation was our dream together. I am not in a good financial place. Am looking for a job. Am doing positive affirmations everyday. Any suggestion and feedback are greatly appreciated.

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What can I do next?

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Leave her alone. She hired a lawyer to get you to stop bothering her! Next step is a restraining order for you because if you persist, she'll know that you are stalking her (yes, you are)!

Only she can decide if or when she wants you back in her life. And you need to accept that. Do not go to her graduation uninvited. I know it's sad for you, but you need to let her go and move on.

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I'd say she needs her space. She went so far as to get an attorney to tell you point blank she needs her space. For whatever reason, she needed to go to that extreme to state her need and I'd respect it until she rescinds it, if she ever does. It sounds like she is supporting herself and working hard to achieve her goals in life. Why do you feel it is imperative to re-unite with her? Do you have something terminal going on? Do you have some medical bills that are looming large right now? If you are dying, you could send her a note simply stating your circumstances, and if she wants to contact you, now's the time to do it, and then she either will or won't. You are proud of your daughter - that's great. You want to be at her graduation to show your pride in her achievements. Strange as it may seem, if she's put herself through school, she might view your being there as an attempt to take some credit for her success - perhaps a way of saying she owes you. Your showing up to congratulate her on her entrance to the working world (and, oh, by the way - you need money) could look pretty bad. I'd send her a nice card stating how proud you are of her hard work and her accomplishments, and say nothing else. She knows where you are. When and if she wants, she will come to you. Your baby bird has flown the nest to become a successful adult who can stand on her own feet. You might wish the circumstances were more amicable, but you can be proud none the less.
It's hard to tell what's going on, and her motivation to stay away from you might be entirely something else. Whatever it is, she needs to work it out on her own.

4 moms found this helpful

Leave her alone. She hired a lawyer to get you to stop bothering her! Next step is a restraining order for you because if you persist, she'll know that you are stalking her (yes, you are)!

Only she can decide if or when she wants you back in her life. And you need to accept that. Do not go to her graduation uninvited. I know it's sad for you, but you need to let her go and move on.

4 moms found this helpful

I am sending you a great big hug and peace. This is so hard to read.

You need to do what she wants. If you try to contact her, you are perpetuating, the fact that you do not listen to her.

For whatever reason, she felt she needed to be able to go through school without you. It may be that it will be even more years till she is ready to grow up and realize that nobody is perfect, even her mother.

When I got married I realized how hard marriage is. When I was working towards higher management, I realized how stressful and how much energy that took, when I had a child it REALLY hit me that my parents, who I knew were not perfect, had done their best with the tools that they had. They were a product of their own parents.

I guess what I am saying that at some point your daughter will probably realize, that you love her, you want to be part of her life and she will want to contact you again. It takes maturity and she is not there yet. She is emotionally the age of her first big traumatic incident from what I read here, that means she is about 12. Let her have her fit, her hurt feelings, and let her heal herself.

Write her letters. Date them seal them and save them. When she is ready you can give them to her. Honor her wishes, she has told you in many ways this is what she wants from you.

2 moms found this helpful

Aww honey, what a tough situation. It made me feel bad reading this because I was 'that kid'... I didn't reconnect with my parents until I had my first child (because I wanted my daughter to know her grandparents)... I was soooo difficult. The more they tried to reach out to me, the further away I'd go. They know now (sounds like you do too) what deep hurt they had put me through, and we're still mending the parent-daughter relationship, but it's still like walking on eggshells. I think that absolutely, yes, get in touch with her to let her know that you are having surgery. Tell her how you feel about your past together, and what you have already changed, and how much you love and miss her. I would write a letter. Pour your heart and soul into it. I wouldn't try to call her or anything immediately afterwards.. let your words weigh on her heart and leave it up to her to make the decision whether or not to contact you back... it's not so much that she's ignoring you after she's heard all you've had to say, as she is going to have just as much to think about, and it might take a little time for her to want to reach out to you. She's going to be reevaluating everything the two of you have been through in her head, you know? It takes a lot, and all she needs is your love and commitment to her. Make sure she knows that your door is always open to her, and you two can reconnect on her terms. Tell her how proud you are of her. Make sure you're not saying anything like 'I'm sorry about the time when I... but you did this...' just let everything go. I want so badly for you to have your daughter back! She's an adult now, she'll get it eventually... I did :) Good luck with your surgery, and please, keep us all posted on this! BEST WISHES!!

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The more you try, the farther she will get away from you.
Try to give her the space that she is looking for right now and she will come to
you when she is ready.

I wish you well in all that you do.

God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful

I would write to her as often as you need to, but do not send her the letters. This is a technique I use to get my hurt, anger and frustrations out. Without having to be harsh or hurt the person I intend the letter for. You have to give her space, as a young adult that is all we have control of sometimes. She will come around when she is ready. If you are too pushy, you are doing exactly that...pushing her further away. Let her have time to heal and accept you for who you are. Every woman needs a mother and in time she will let you be hers again. Right now use this time to continue to work on yourself...we all have room for self improvement. Quit trying to justify what has already been done, there is little that can be done to undo it. Nobody wants to hear excuses...they just want you to own it. When she finally reaches out to you, let her do all the talking. Accept how she feels and don't make excuses for your actions. Let her know you are there no matter what...but it has to be on her time. Then finally you might bring up the letters you wrote over the years and if she wants to read them..she will let you know and or she will know you have always loved her and never gave up...just simply give her space and privacy. P.s. the letters are more for you to help during this painful time :) I will pray for you both.

1 mom found this helpful

Let her be. She will come home when she is ready and time has healed her wounds. I stopped speaking to my mother for 4 years and the only reason we reunited was that I became pregnant and I felt that urge to reconnect with her. Your daughter likely feels very justified in her actions and you showing up unannounced at her graduation will probably ruin what she has been working so hard for: completing college. The farthest I would suggest going is writing her a letter. Explain exactly what you are apologizing for and what you want to come from the letter. Then wait...she will more than likely respond. Mention you are thinking of coming for graduation and I can practically guarantee she will. Take care and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry B., it is hard to know your child holds resentment even though you did your best to raise her. The stories our children tell themselves in relation to what we tell them is not always the same message. For example, I always encouraged my daughter to do better in school. She is bright and Cs were not her potential. The story she told herself was, "No matter what I do it isn't going to be good enough." When she brought this out in therapy, I was astonished because I thought my message was, "I believe in you, you are intelligent." So we never know. With that said, you can be proud of your daughter, she has made it through college, she is strong in creating boundaries for herself, she is confident in knowing what she wants, and will probably go on to live successfully. When she comes back, it will be from love, and that will be a glorious day!
Remember, hate is not the opposite of love, indifference is.
My heart is with you,
Wendy

As a mother with an only child, a daughter, your note brought me to tears. I do agree with the other moms about showing up at her graduation unannounced...don't do it. She will definitely see it as you trying to take credit for her accomplishments in some way. I loved the idea of sending her a letter with your heart and soul poured into it. Lay it all out there, apologize for your transgressions and hurts specifically and lay no blame on her. Do not try to explain it away. Let her know that you are proud of her, you love her with all your heart and you look forward to the day when you can both be reunited.

I really wish you much peace and love right now. You are in my thoughts.

You were pretty vague as to exactly why she felt it necessary to cut ties with you. Going through hard times as a single parent is common, but what made her so angry, so distant that she doesnt want to speak to you? I'm asking because personally, at 33 yrs old and after a lifetime of betrayal, hurt, and resentment I am at the point of cutting off my own mom. I feel that I am finally in a phase of my life where I have everything I never thought I would, and her continual backstabbing, and refusal to change just leaves a toxic area in my life that I no longer want. I would say if there ARE things you need to make ammends for, acknowledge it. And if you can't then she wont accept you back. However I also know there are children out there who are just ungrateful and don't realize they sacrifices a parent makes. And are just unreasonable. EIther way you need to figure out what the real issues are and go from there. At 21 your daughter is probably still very emmotionally immature and has alot of life lessons to learn. Good luck, I hope you can work it out!

I would send a card with a BRIEF note. Let her know how proud you are of her and her accomplishments, apologize for anything that you need to without a lot of justification involved, and tell her that you hope that perhaps you will be able to build a new relationship as adults together. Mention how you wish that you could be there for the graduation. Remember that you cannot just show up there, even if you wanted to do that without her inviting you, because college graduations involve tickets, and she will have those tickets. Unless she provides you with one, you will not be admitted.
Good luck, I hope that you and your daughter will be able to reconnect.

agree with Merideth, don't try a reunion at her graduation, What I would do is contact her and ask her if your both could meet for coffee after her graduation, this way it opens the door for her to invite you, it will also give you an idea of where you stand with her. What ever you do don't give up. I have a daughter who will be 21 in may and she is one of my best friends. J. L

I don't know what happened between you and your daughter, but my sister's kids didn't have anything to do with her for 3 years, because of something she did, but they eventually came around, so don't give up hope,

i'm soo sorry to hear this. What exactly happened to cause this?? i will tell u that my mother and I are sort of ok now I think just because she is lonely but usually are battling it, my mother is very nasty to me. But even from my point of view I fu find out the graduation info...go. she dosen't have to know your there but u know that u saw her graduate. it's important and once in a lifetime for you. but it is HER day so i dunno if I would let her know I'm there. if she saw u and then you walked away, that might say alot and it might hit her while u love her so much and couldn't miss this proud moment, u were trying to remain respectful of her wishes but won't give up on her either. Try writing letters my bors dont talk to my dad and he has tried letters, in those letters say if she's willing to tell u exactly what u did u are willing to own up to it and work it out. that it take more energy to harbor hate and anger in your heart. good luck

Does the no contact involve a restraining order? If it does, then you have to honor that or go to court to get it revoked. There will come a time when she will likely want to contact you, and as long as she knows where you are, then I would advise being patient. If she has put herself through college without your help, then this is her accomplishment ot celebrate. I would congratulate her on that and let her move on with her new life after graduation. Once she is a mother, she will understand many things she doesn't now. You may have the chance to reunite with her then.

As hard as it is, and my heart breaks for you, my suggestion would be to send her a card if at all possible, or leave a message for her via school counselor. Tell her you are proud of all she has accomplished and you would love to reunite. That's it....no more pushing her...you will push her away. Just let her know you love her. Don't try and guilt her into seeing you because of the surgery. Pray, pray and pray some more! Hope this helps. I have 3 grown daughters...

I am so sorry for what you have been through. That said, I have a parent that I have chosen to cut contact with, and for good reason. This person does not fully understand the scope of the damage they caused. Unfortunately, some mistakes can turn out to cause permanent damage, no matter what your intent was, what you were going through at the time, or whether you apologize now.

As far as our situation goes, I think it is time to count your losses and move on, hard as it may be. Your daughter may want to get back in touch with you later, but you should definitely avoid initiating contact. Again, I am so sorry for all you have been through.

My heart breaks for you. The society in which we live teaches children that it is all about them and they recent hard times. They do not recognize that it makes them stronger. I have a 19 year old daughter and it is rough. They don't understand and probably wont until they have their own children. She was an only child for 10 years. My friends son was an only child and did the same thing to his mom. I will pray for you. Give your cares to God for He loves you. God Bless! J.

Hello, This is very heartbreaking. I have a son who is keeping very seperated from his whole family. He had drug problems when he lived near us. He is sober now, but is with a girl (she has one son and they have one daughter) who came here with him on a "vacation". She caused so much trouble here and then he and she took off out of our home and left. I was also heartbroken. I have had three conversations with him since then and it has been three months. I have sent Valentine's Day gifts, his birthday gifts and clothes for both children (as I always have done). The last thing this girl said to me was, "How does it feel to have someone in your home who doesn't like you?" That was because I had calmly explained why we don't do things to stress our little grandaughter who had just had heart surgery. This girl had intervened in a way which was very upsetting to the baby.
I wish I could tell you it will be okay, but I really can't. What I would do is try contacting her (unless you are forbidden by law) and wait and see if she wants to reconnect with you. I really hope so.
Good luck with your precious daughter.
K. K.

I would just send her a note and let her know that you would like to see her and that you are thinking of her always. Tell her you would love the opportunity to reconnect with her because you love and miss her. I would not just show up for her graduation it may only make things worse if she is not ready to forgive you right now. If she refuses then I would respect that as much as it hurts. It may take more time but as she grows and matures and maybe even when she starts her own family she may find it in her heart to forgive, she may also realize how much she does want to have you back in her life.. I can't imagine how much this must hurt you, but you have to respect her wishes until she is ready. Good luck!!

The only answer I can give you to see your daughter at graduation is to call her lawyer, and have him contact her. Tell him that you want to see her on graduation day. He may suggest writing a letter to her, etc. But at this point, all communication must be through the lawyer, since she had that attorney working for her before. Best of luck to you.

I think trying to reunite with her and heal the wounds is admirable, but I don't think doing it at her graduation is a good idea unless she expressly invites you. I think you need to find a better time that is less emotion filled, less stressful. That is just not the best time for her to be receptive to your message. She's going to have enough going on.

Go gingerly...I would suggest that no matter what you maybe write a letter now that says everything you want to say to her and put it somewhere for her to have in the event that you don't reconcile ever. I'm hopefuly for you both that you do, but if you can write her a letter apologize for things and tell her how much you love her, I would think that would be a wonderful gift if someday after your gone, she starts to wish she'd been closer with you.

Just my thoughts...I bet too, as she gets older, she lets go of whatever anger she has...just tends to happen as we see the world get bigger, our own problems seem to look smaller.

Good luck.
-M

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