I've just joined tonight as I would like help and advice concerning my 21 year old daughter. I'm a great believer in forums and sharing experiences rather than facts. It has helped me tremendously in other parts of my life. Hence me joining here.
I'm worried about my 21 year old daughter. I'm unsure if her behaviour is due to depression, bordering alcoholism, or eating disorders or just plain and simple "growing up" problems. Her behaviour, and my worries, have been going on for about 3 years now. One minute I convince myself it's normal and at other times I'm really concerned and worried about her. I'm the type of person who will discuss problems with close friends and be convinced by whoever I'm talking to at that time! Some say she is normal and others tell me she needs help! And I yo-yo between.
I'll try and give a bit of history without boring you. My husband left me 4 years ago after 21 years of marriage. It was a shock to both myself and the kids (I also have an 18 yr old son). There was no one else involved and to this day I'm convinced his problem was depression (he is still in a bad way and hasn't moved on). The kids see him about once a fortnight or so. They are independent and have their own cars therefore I don't get involved. My daughter says he only ever talks to them about his work. He doesn't seem interested in them or in still being a father figure. She says she is happy with that but her off the cuff comments suggest otherwise.
She is in a job she doesn't like, working in an office on her own with no windows and not much contact with other people except mechanics. I'm no snob but I think her attitude problems and lack of respect for others might stem from the company she mixes with at work.
She doesn't have much of a social life. She wants to go out but friends keep letting her down. I'm at the stage of wondering if she acts the same with them as she does with me then it's no wonder she has no one to go out with, but I do hope she is nicer outside and only lets off steam in her own house.
She spends all her time in her room watching programmes on her ipad. She has also taken to drinking in her room too-usually cider but sometimes vodka. She has never had a serious relationship and has told me she doesn't want one as it will only end in disaster like everyone else she knows. She wants to move out but can't afford to. The thing is she says she wants to live on her own and then never has to see me or anyone else again.
She has no respect for either myself or her brother and her attitude towards both of us is disgusting. She is also very rude to my parents (her grandparents). Her parental grandmother has had little to do with her since my ex left. My parents have been there throughout for all of us and we wouldn't have got by without their help and support.
I've tried different approaches to the situation. I try to talk to her, I've taken softly softly approach but I've also taken a stronger parental approach but I know she isn't a child any longer (although she is very childish in her behaviour) I've tried to reason with her and say we are all adults and should treat each other with respect etc. I've suggested going out together but she is very blunt in saying there is no way she'll go out with me. If I go in her room she just says she doesn't want to talk to me or she has nothing to say. Occasionally, she will start to open up but as soon as a nerve is touched she gets upset and tells me to leave. If I don't leave the room then she does, usually locking herself in the bathroom so I can't talk to her.
I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do. I don't know if I'm over reacting and her behaviour is normal or if she really is very unhappy and her behaviour is a cry for help. I spoke to a close friend last night about it for the first time. She doesn't know my daughter but has a 23 yr old daughter of her own. She reckons my daughter is in need of serious help.
She has been to the doctor in the past for depression but was told to "get a dog and take up exercise"!
Any experiences, help, advice, comments, opinions will all be really much appreciated.
I just don't know what else to do or where to go now...or am I over reacting and being paranoid.
Thanks for reading this and hopefully responding.