My daughter has been rejecting me for a long time

I feel terrible about my daughter rejecting me. It is very painful. It started when I was misdiagnosed and on psych drugs years ago and it got worse when her cell phone would not work right in my state whenever she called me. She would not call me on her land line. I could not hear her, there was static or strange noises and her phone kept cutting out. I swear she must have called me back 5-7 times for one phone call and this was a regular thing. It was nightmarish. She did not know that certain cell phones and their phone companies just do not work in some localities! It was like she was blaming me for her phone problem because I just couldn't stand it. Things worsened when her son got on drugs for years. He is sober now and working for his dad, her ex. I am aging and I need her in my life. I don't know what to do. I have emailed her nice letters and she will answer me on her 'iphone' with half a sentence. That really hurts. I don't have and iphone and I won't get one. If I call her, she will not answer.

I wrote her a letter but have not sent it. It tells her everything that she would not discuss with me, several issues and this includes my financial situation. I think I should NOT send it to her, though. I was angry while writing part of it. It is a lot to read, three pages. I think I should just leave her alone right now. But it is killing me. We used to be very close. I thought. Life has ruined our relationship.

Also, her father and I are divorced. I left him right after daughter was born. He was and is a very abusive individual and I worry that he has hurt her emotionally. I left him because he was abusive . His second wife also left him because he was abusive. She and I became friends. He had two more daughters with her and he was abusive to my daughter and his youngest daughter. The middle daughter is his favorite and the other two have to joke about this. I believe he hates women. Why am I talking about him? Well, I am afraid he has damaged my daughter.

Maybe she needs to do this to grow up more? She is just over 50, very mature, talented, beautiful, has an MBA and does well in the workplace. She has a boyfriend and maybe she just needs to be with him and not be bothered by her aging mother? I know she wants to be married again. Maybe dealing with me is just too much? I can't believe I am writing all this. I can't believe she is rejecting me like she is.

I have several difficult health issues right now. Stress makes it all worse, of course. I don't know how I have lost this lovely daughter, my only child.

Does anybody else have similar experiences?

10 Replies

  • Yes. My kids have made it hard to contact them. It gets lonely. I just try to let them be and once in a while see what they may like to do. It's not as much communication as I would like and they don't always answer when I contact them. I am hoping it will get to be more often some day. I just let them lead and don't complain.

    I just recently seperated from their dad who is emotionally abusive. It gets lonely. It would be nice to see or hear from them more.

    I hope things improve with your daughter. Take care.

  • Thanks for your response. I know of some who have no contact with their kids at all. Some have a lot, though. I think it would be best for me if I just give up on this. Why should I want communication with someone who doesn't want it with me? I am just shocked by the nasty way she has done this. It's not the way I taught her to be. I give up.

  • So much comes to mind as I read your post. It must be so painful to be estranged from your only child. First thing I think of is to send her a letter telling you miss her and that you want to reconnect. Then leave it up to her. You must become strong and find the support you need elsewhere if she is not able or willing to do so. If you don't, you will lose your days in empty longing and more emotional pain. You cannot control anyone else - especially a child. I have had a back and forth relationship with my daughter who is nearing 30 for many years. She is very close to her Dad who was abusive to me and so we don't talk about him. I have worked at making good memories with her and it has helped. Tell your daughter in the letter that if she has issues with you, you are open to hearing them. Then hear her out! No matter how painful. Do not become defensive or apologetic. Although you need her now, if she feels angry with you, she may not be capable of giving you the support you need. You must learn to accept that.

    I am so sorry you are going through this and I am certain you are not alone. Parent-child relationships are complicated and mother-daughter relationships even more so. Take extra special good care of yourself at this time and focus on you. Your daughter is in her own life and headspace and you cannot control that. Reach out to her and then try to let go of the outcome. It is not in your hands. I hope this doesn't sound overly tough or pessimistic. I strongly relate to what you have written and have written what I wish someone had told me at the worst points in my relationship with my daughter. I am glad you reached out here. Stay strong. Love yourself. Take good care.

  • You are right in questioning whether to send the letter or not.

    Never, ever send something that has been written in anger. Even if it's only just a portion of the letter or even if you were only a little mad.

    It will only make things worse.

    Second, it does sound way too long. You might wind up pushing her farther away.

    I relate to how you're feeling. I have not heard from my son in 1-1/2 years.

    I recently decided to reach out by buying a cheerful card & simply signing it I love you & miss you.

    I did not go into how my feelings were hurt or what I needed or what I wanted or complain about anything he had done. Just the words I love you & miss you.

    I'm taking reconnecting with him in baby steps.

    The card was the fist step.

    He wouldn't answer the phone if I called him either. Hence the funny card.

    I do not want to come across as needy. Even though in my heart I need him very much.

    A month later I sent a birthday gift with a simple card signed love Mom.

    I need to pour my heart out to him but I chose not to because that is my need not his.

    I am trying to reconnect from the perspective of his needs & wants. After all, no matter how old he is, I am still the parent & he is my child.

    With issues from his childhood I keep in mind that he really was just a child while I was a grown adult. His perspective on the past will be totally different from mine.

    According to his fiancée it was the way to go. Anymore would have been too

    much for him.

    It kills me to have to do things so painstakingly slow but I want this reconnection to go smoothly & at his pace because I want it to last permanently.

    I'm getting older too & I understand how you feel. It's painful.

    I don't know how this will all turn out.

    Maybe your child is different from my child & would need a different approach than the one I am taking.

    I have no way of knowing that, just wanted to share my experience because I know how much it hurts.

    Best wishes.

  • Tyzack, I think you are doing the right things! Thank you so much for your input and sharing your experience. We human beings are so much alike sometimes. I decided to just file the letter on my laptop under 'not sent.' I have sent my daughter a very cute little card that just says, 'Miss you, Love you, Mom.' I added a pretty frig magnet that says, "Home is where the cat hair is." This is because she moved recently and does not like the new place. We are both cat people. Mailed it this AM. Like you, I have tried to put myself in her place and treat her with kindness. Like you, I want to keep this relationship in a good light and I am taking it slow. Yes, painfully slow. I sure don't want to mess it up.

  • I love the refrigerator magnet! That sounds perfect.

    You said what's in your heart but kept it upbeat with the magnet.

    My relationship with my son tears me apart if I think about it. He has mental health issues that he refuses treatment for.

    It kills me that he is suffering needlessly.

    That really complicates things. I don't know how it will all turn out. But, I can at least let him know I love him.

    You do get half a sentence from your daughter occasionally so there is a tangible thread of hope there for you to try & build on.

    I think you did great.

  • Tyzack, A miracle has occurred, I got a real email letter from her a couple days ago! It's like my silence, my not contacting her has paid off. How many times have I stopped myself from sending an email? That is painful, but I am getting used to it. Maybe I was overdoing it but I don't think so. She had not yet received my card & frig magnet or she would have mentioned it. She was happy and excited about a planned Labor Day excursion to a river and camping with five girlfriends. She actually asked me what is new with me. I responded with a very positive, newsy letter with absolutely no mention of my health.

    I really wanted to tell you what the card said that I sent to her. Because it is so cute, because it could be sent to anyone. I found it online, so here it is: A little girl in a dress, holding her skirt out, very cute...

    Front: "May the light always find you on a dreary day; when you need to be home may you find your way."

    Inside: "May you always have courage to take a chance, and may you never find frogs in your underpants."

    I send that message to you today! Hugs.

  • That card is great, I wasn't expecting the frogs!

    I'm so glad she contacted you.

    I have to be careful not to mention my health as well. It upsets them to hear about it, which is nice in a way because it shows they care. They just don't like being reminded I'm aging. It's funny, being a parent never ends no matter how old they are. You'll always be Mom.

    Well, congratulations on such great news!!

    Thanks for the message, I'll be on the lookout for frogs in my underwear drawer!

  • Thank you. Tyzack. I came to those answers before I read your response to my post and I was so delighted to see what you said! And I had done just that. It is wonderful to know that I did the only right thing. Also so good to know that I am in the same boat as you and so many other mothers, that I am not alone. I have known of others with this problem and I sure never dreamed that it would happen to me.

    The card I sent was cute, with a little girl on the front and it had a poem that said something like, "may you have an easy time getting home and always take risks and la-da-da-da and may you never find frogs in your underpants." But it rhymed and was very cute. I can only remember the frogs part! I know she will like it.

    I was thinking back over my life and when I stopped talking to my parents once, when I was in my 30's. I had to stop communication with them because they totally insulted me by implying that I needed their financial help when I didn't. They always treated all their daughters as if we were dumb babies. My two sisters remained dumb babies and I never was a dumb baby! I think that also my mother had said something that made me not want to introduce them to my boyfriend. So I visited my sister with my boyfriend and we did not visit my parents who lived nearby. I had to do that. Eventually I resumed communications with my parents. I never really had the realization that they were emotionally neglectful and also emotionally abusive until recently. They passed away long ago.

    I think that whatever is going on with our kids lives, they do what they feel they have to do to be able to function and to further develop. Sometimes it includes rejecting us, unfortunately. I am not implying that we did anything wrong at all, like my parents did, just that they absolutely had to do this to move forward.

    I am very sorry that your son has mental health issues. I hope that eventually he will get treatment. Perhaps he must first struggle with his issues alone for a time, to come to the right answers.

    My daughter's son has had addiction problems. I don't know where he is at in this right now but last I heard, he was sober. He also emailed me occasionally. He has stopped doing that. I feel she is perhaps overwhelmed by her son's problems and dealing with me is just too much, somehow. Thank you for saying that half a sentence is better than nothing! Yes, it is.

  • Haven't spoken to my daughter in over 3 years. Not only was my heart broken, so was my spirit.

    Thank God I have a wonderful husband, nurturing Mom & authentic friends.

    They saved my life.

    I thank God the most. He comforts me when I mourn.

    Warm regards,


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