"I'm at an impass with my daughter, who is never happy with anything I do and has a negative attitude."
In a recent inquiry from another mother, you explained the law of attraction in the response. I'm at an impass with my 22 year old daughter. She is never happy with anything I do, talks to me in a horrible tone and has a negative attitude. She reacts when I point it out and won't talk to me.
She thinks We have treated her brother differently than her, although I tried to always be fair. There are no words for how much I love her. She has a recent ex-boyfriend whom hurt her when he left her while she was preganant, then she soon miscarried. She did not want to come to me about this and I'm so sorry for that. But she knows we never liked him. I've loved my children and I'm proud of them.
I come from an indifferent, broken family, I'm the middle of 5, (but I have a different father), my sisters shunned me for 10 years, as there are unhealthy patterns. I also have 7 former step sisters. My mother has been in several marriages. Although confusing, I felt invisible. My mother generally had a calm tempermant. She never meddeled but never interested and has never, ever said, 'I love you' to me. She also gave up my full brother for adoption at 18 yrs of age as well. I'm on good terms with my mother but I've never been close. I crave close relationships with women and have good, life long friendships.
I on the other hand, was a helicopter mom, as I wanted my kids to feel secure and never alone. (Is that my need?) My husband was a work-a-holic. I even had to get myself to the hospital when I delivered my daughter because of his work.
I've expressed my love, and adoration to her throughout her life, but she says I've done things to hurt her. She whined as a child and was generally quiet and extremely bright. Although I read books to her all the time, I should have had her on a lighter schedule and given her quiet, calm attention. We were affectionate too and said the words 'I love you' easily.
I was a drill sargeant many times - managing the business while they were in school, running the kids around, three dogs, big house and frustrated my husband would never, ever be around. At times we fought about it.
She hates me. I confirm my love for her. When I mention therapy, she says 'no'. She speaks over me. We can't communicate. She still has me book appointments for her, etc. She is in grad school and not yet financially independent. My heart is broken as I gave up myself for my family to be solid. I want a healthy relationship with her. I want to heal the hurts. My son on the other hand says he is grateful for his childhood. This is a mother/daughter issue. What do I do?
Glad you wrote in. OK. Let's get started.
First of all, we all come in with our own baggage. This baggage, or what can be called our "shadow", is actually the place we grow from, because it demands our attention to be brought into the Light and explored and healed because it is painful and uncomfortable. When something is painful in our lives, or not working well, or we find ourselves struggling, there is then a need to look within to see what is causing our lack of balance and peace. Until we know more, and become more self aware, we usually are not aware of our own "stuff", and so we spend our lives trying to fix things outwardly. We try to fix other people, situations, etc. But, it's never about another person, place, or thing. As long as we focus our fixing outwardly, we can't change the patterns or wounds within ourselves that are creating things not working.
As you mentioned, you came from a family that was broken. We carry within us beliefs that are not geared to the Highest thought forms. Kind of like a computer that has a glitch in it. If you came into this life with a strong and unconscious belief that families are broken and don't work, that children will be abandoned and neglected or rejected, shunned, as you put it, then that is what your soul came in to see, to bring it to your conscious awareness so that you do not have to continue creating your life and experiences from this unhappy and unhealthy thought form.
When we carry a belief deep within us, such as your belief that families are broken, it would manifest then, as a broken family. We get these faulty beliefs or "programming" due to some misunderstanding or lack of information along the way when we experience something in our journey. We interpret something, in other words, in a way that creates a glitch in our thinking. For instance, someone may be feeling ill, and they may then speak harshly to you, and you take that to mean that you are not worth loving, or that you need to protect yourself and be afraid of others, when in fact it was just this other person's not feeling well at that moment.
So, let's say that all of your life, and maybe others, you have carried this belief, and in trying to fix it, you decided that the best way to do that was to try to make sure that your children would never experience this - you devoted all of your time and energy to this goal. You bent over backwards, in other words, to compensate for it, and dedicated your whole life to trying to create an environment of love for your children. There is nothing "wrong" with this, except that it is coming from reaction. And it also something that can't be realized. Everyone will experience pain and frustration or whatever they need to experience as their cutting edge in order to grow. By reacting to this, your need to create an unbroken family.
It is a ping pong thing instead of something that is in a natural, relaxed state of balance. It is not from the center of balance, it is caught in a back and forth loop. It still comes from that old belief, so that means that you are still tangled up in it - that old belief is still in there putting out its energy and still operating. That is why, I think, that no matter how much you have loved and taken care of your daughter, that thought form is still creating things. Now it is manifesting as difficulty and brokenness between you and your daughter. Do you see this? Being a helicopter parent, as you mentioned, generally comes from fear. It is over protective, trying too hard. It says, in effect, "I don't believe that things are really all right, so I'd better be hyper vigilant." This is not coming from love so much, as from fear. That doesn't mean at all in any way that the love is not there, as well. But it's not in balance.
Your husband, too, represents the lack of support you felt in your family - still an aspect of that old broken family "I won't be loved or taken care of" program - so you do it all yourself. This also creates imbalance. This is still, then, coming from that place of the child who felt alone and not having anyone there for her. Just as he is an actor playing out your belief systems - like attracts like - if you believe you won't be supported, then you draw to yourself someone who won't be around to support you. So, too, your daughter is an actor in your play acting out for you this old program. She "scorns" you, as your sisters did, because there is still a belief that you carry that you expect to be treated without respect and acceptance and love.
When we yearn so much for something, it is a need inside of ourselves that we are not fulfilling for ourselves. We are chasing after it, but not realizing that what is going on is that we have not accepted or truly loved ourselves yet. We do not believe that we deserve love and respect. We are the only ones who can fill that yearning, that empty place up for ourselves. When we do, others are attracted to that light, and we attract others who also then carry that inner light and love, who believe wholeheartedly that they deserve love and they offer that love to themselves, and share that balanced way of being with others. Your daughter is your teacher in this way, helping you to see that these old programs are still in there. As a soul, she took on that role to help you see it. As you heal, she will no longer have to play that role for you, and thus she can move along on her journey as well, and choose to relate in a more healthy way. And your husband too.
When a parent is so hungry for that love, the child feels that and usually reacts against it, because they know they cannot fulfill it. It can be frightening. Instead of feeling taken care of, they feel that they must somehow take care of this needy parent, and it's an impossible task for them.
When a parent becomes such a rescuer and a helicopter parent ( and I think you are beginning to see this, from what you wrote ), it is the parent's own need trying to be fulfilled, the parent's own wounds operating, and that eclipses all else. It is over reaction, not seeing things clearly. The parent may not be able to truly see, then, who that child is and what they may need. Here's an example: my father always demanded that I be at the top of my class and always get straight A's. This was passed down to him from his father, and he never healed it. So, I felt such pressure with this, that I decided I would NEVER do that to my children. So, when my daughter got C's, I never pushed her, or made a big deal of it. But, she was someone who needed more attention than that. She wanted and needed much more than I gave to the situation. And I thought I was doing her the best favor I could, and loving her. But it was my own wound orchestrating my behavior, not allowing me to see who she was and what she needed. I was caught in the loop.
When a parent is too caught up in their own need to take care of, etc. or have a child prove to them that they are worth loving, needing that child's love so much, this can create a lot of anger in the child, for though they are told they are loved, they feel unseen, and not, perhaps, then getting what they truly need, what is more geared to who they are. It is a burden for them to think they must take care of this parent. They may also interpret these actions as the parent saying "You are not strong enough or good enough to take care of yourself, so I will have to do it for you." This does not give them the faith in themselves that they need. However, your daughter also came in with her own baggage, to work something out, and you can't fix that for her. Like you, she will have to find her way to heal herself. You can love her, but love her without the baggage, and you can only do this by healing yourself. Your continuing to take care of her financially though, and perhaps in other ways, keeps her in the non-empowered child position, which continues to give her the message that she is not capable of taking care of herself.
I would invite you to think about removing your helicopter strings from your daughter and giving her the ability and opportunity to take care of herself. Perhaps you let her know that you have come to see that doing this is not helping her, and you can even explain to her where it comes from in you...that you are now going to be healing this in yourself. By doing so, you give her a model that it is important to love and heal oneself. And also importantly, you tell her that you have utter faith in her that she can take care of herself - that she is very creative and capable, and you know that she will find her way to earn $ and do what she loves. Perhaps you give her a time frame, say at the end of 4 months, the $ from you will stop, and so you give her time to find that job. And even if she hasn't found it in 4 months, you stick to this agreement. This is crucial, because it will reflect your commitment to heal and do it differently and not be run by the old program.
I have seen mothers who may get an awareness and see that what they are doing is so unhealthy, both for themselves and their adult child, but they continue to relate in the same old way and do it the same old way, and so nothing changes, and it can, in fact, even get worse, where the child becomes even more dependent and crippled. This is where you will need to find that support for yourself and believe that you can have it, instead of projecting it out and supporting your daughter when it is not for her best good. She will have to find her own strength, then, and stand on her own two feet. This is a gift you give her. Your love for her will begin to come from a more detached but still loving place, a healthy place, not from a fear place - and believe me, that will feel so much better to all concerned.
All of us get tangled up in this in some way, I think, because this is the journey to heal it. It is like PTSD. We are reacting to old wounds and are shell shocked, and the journey is to find and re-gain our health and balance. But that means we have to let go of our addiction to doing it as we always have, and that takes real courage and inner exploration and self commitment. Since we experienced this PTSD over a long period of time, and kept creating our experiences and our responses to life from this, it takes time to heal it. If you have ever gone to a chiropractor, they will tell you that the way your body has twisted and turned and compensated for wounds, as seen in your posture, and aches and pains, etc., has developed over a long period of time, like a tree growing around barb wire, and so it won't be healed in a day. It takes time, and new thought forms, new ways of holding your muscles and your body, being aware of your posture, (behaviors, emotional reactions, thought forms) even though you may have carried yourself that way for years and years.
So, you begin the process of becoming aware of what you have been doing and choosing, from that new awareness, to do it differently, to find ways that support this new way of being, and you catch yourself when you find yourself doing it that same, old way. It will take time, as little by little, things begin to get more clear and change. It is so important that we love ourselves no matter where we are at in this process, in this vast journey we make. Like the tree, we gently find a way to remove the barb wire...we don't hate the tree or disparage it for having had the experience of being wounded. We love it, and allow it to heal. You remove the barb wire - your beliefs that you will not be loved and respected or taken care of, and you choose a new belief and new behavior that gives love to yourself.
So...how do we get out of this loop? By healing yourself. There are many techniques to teach us and help us learn to love ourselves. We begin to practice them, and over time, it becomes a reality. The best thing that you can do is to live your own life to the fullest instead of running after the love of your children. You then share your own health and wholeness and unburdened love with them, and that feels safer and healthier to all. You find what brings YOU joy in life, YOUR passion, and by doing this, by loving yourself, you learn how to truly love without baggage. You fill YOURSELF up with your own delight in life, by taking care of yourself, by respecting and honoring yourself, by being creative and enjoying what you love to do, whatever that may be....taking care of animals, or writing, or painting, or volunteering, or studying something, or going to the gym, or doing yoga. Etc. Etc. This is the best role model you can give your children for living a healthy life. And in this way, both with them and with your husband, you have a healthier relationship with them. With yourself.