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Ask Anne: Relationship Advice
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Relationship Questions

I miss my daughter

My daughter and I always had a great relationship. We were friends and we respected each others' boundaries as mother and daughter. She could tell me anything, but she knew she couldn't misbehave, swear, or disrespect me in any way. We didn't go through the typical teenage issues that most parents go through. I told everyone "this is my stellar child."

Her father abandoned us when she was very young, and we became very protective of each other. In 2004, my second marriage failed. A few months later, my niece (who was also my daughter's best friend) was tragically injured in an auto accident, leaving her paralyzed. I created a website and tried to earn money for my uninsured niece who laid nearly dying and in a coma for almost a year. I also single-handedly held a concert to try to help. I believe I was a bit absent for my daughter at that time - the entire family was suffering from trauma.

A girl my daughter went to high school with called our house repeatedly, at all hours to talk to my daughter. My daughter (depressed) refused her calls. The girl seemed to almost stalk her. My daughter finally spoke to her when she learned the girl was also about to lose her best friend to brain cancer. They became close very fast, and I accepted this because they obviously needed each other in the wake of tragic events. But something strange started to occur. My daughter left our church for her friend's church (nondenominational) and spent more time with this gal than she did at home. She no longer had respect for my rules. She seemed to blame me for not being able to fix my niece's injuries. Arguments transpired between my daughter and other family members that seemed to be fueled and/or supported by her friend . . . all in the name of "God." On one occasion, they were caught "kissing." The friends' parents insisted the pastor meet with them to explain that homosexuality/lesbianism is not allowed in the church. They promised it was just an experimental kiss, but that they had no interest in becoming involved romantically. Since then, they asked that we simply trust them, and not bring it up again. Anyone who brings up the subject again will be stricken from their lives indefinitely.

When my daughter turned 18, her friend and she repeatedly insisted she didn't have to obey my rules because she was an adult living in my house. I told them that as long as my daughter lived with me, she would abide by my rules, or they both could leave. They both left that night. My daughter's friend told her father, who is a cop, that I had threatened her with bodily harm. I insisted this was not the case and wanted to speak to my daughter calmly. He refused to believe me, told me I was a terrible parent (though he doesn't know me), and that he would take any ACTION NECESSARY to protect the two girls from me. Of course, the fictitious accusation and threat angered me and I swore like a trucker. My daughter moved in with her friend's family, which I was unhappy about, but had to accept.

Later I reconciled and got them both a job at my law firm. Her friend had difficulty in her tasks and was reprimanded by a supervisor. My daughter's friend believed I was sabatoging her and her job to her superiors. My daughter and her friend confronted me and I told them that was not the case. They did not believe me and both quit their jobs (without notice) on the same day. A few months later, my daughter moved to another state with the family. This was nearly 2 years ago. I've tried to be civil, but always end up getting hurt.

A year ago, I began seeing and moved in with a new man. My daughter's friend sent me nearly 30 scriptures - using God's word to call me a "whore." Additionally, she has told me I'm a horrible parent. I've tried to ignore her antics, but what hurts the most, is my daughter will not come to my defense, which leads me to believe she believes all of this, too. She no longer wants to pursue a career in the medical field, but is taking her best friend's advice - find a hardworking, good-Christian man to marry so she'll never have to work. But she hasn't had one date since she moved away with her girlfriend. And she has nearly terminated every other relationship she had with her family and other friends - again in the name of "God." She poses in portraits as though she is a member of their family . . . and I feel like a biological toxic waste dump. But she does call before birthdays and holidays to insure her token gift, and she always says she loves me.

I feel like I don't know this person my daughter has become. On one hand, I know she's being manipulated and brain-washed to a certain extent. But on the other hand, I raised her to be an independent, self-thinking individual - so I know I shouldn't make excuses for her. Recently, she was hospitalized with an ovarian cyst . . . she didn't even bother calling me. I am to see her in two months, if she keeps her end of the bargain. I'm afraid to tell her how deeply she hurts me because I don't want to lose her anymore than I already have. She already put me on notice, she will not stay with me during her visit, but with her stepfather (who in my opinion - let us down). She thinks it's okay to dictate to me. She's using MY LOVE FOR HER as a weapon against me. I want to ask her what I did to deserve this treatment. If it's because I don't like her friend, then perhaps, I could compromise. When her friend loosens up her hold on her a bit, I'll begin liking her more and maybe one day even forgive her for calling me a whore and bad parent. I have asked many people for advice. The first two questions they ask are always: 1. Are they gay? 2. Are they in a religious cult? And my answer is "I don't know. I just miss my daughter." Help?

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Disclaimer

  • 'Anne' is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • 'Anne' bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
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