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The Silent Treatment

Started by Florimond, March 27, 2018, 04:09:05 pm

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March 27, 2018, 04:09:05 pm Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 08:06:54 pm by Bamboo2
I just found this website and hope I can get some guidance. I have two daughters. My younger daughter has shown cruel behavior toward me since she was a child. She is almost 50 now. A child psychologist told us that my daughter has trouble expressing herself and, instead, lashes out at me. This has been her pattern for decades. Many times, she expresses her displeasure by refusing to talk to me...t

My daughter refuses to tell me why I'm getting the silent treatment. Often, she exhibits this behavior when I have the most trouble in my life. Here is the latest example. Within three months, my 95 year old mother broke her hip, I had knee replacement surgery, and my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. After my surgery I came down with a serious bacterial infection and unfortunately had to postpone a birthday celebration for my husband. All my doctors, and family members' doctors agreed that even if I didn't attend the celebration, my husband could be carrying spores and infect the rest of the family. My daughter was furious that I canceled the party, even though she's on a biologic medication that lowers her immunity. She'd have been most at risk to catch this very contagious bug (c-diff) yet she told me I was crazy to cancel. After that she stopped talking to me. That was almost three months ago.

My husband asked her why she refuses to talk to me. My daughter said the reason is that I am manipulative. My mother, my brother, my other daughter, and my grandchildren do not know what is wrong with my daughter...why she is so angry and why she won't speak to me. I have written to her, telling her I miss her, I love her, and I want to make things right. She has ignored me. I've had enough. I am still recovering from my surgery, taking care of my husband, and speaking to my mother 2-3 tines each day. Mom has a full-time aide but I worry about that inevitabke phone call. Thanks for bearing with my long story. If anyone has any thoughts, any ideas, I welcome them. Thanks!


Hello, Florimond, and welcome to WWU!  We ask all new members to go to the Home Page and read the posts under Read Me First.  Please pay particular attention to our Forum Agreement to be sure that WWU is a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website. I did modify an abbreviation in your post as per the Forum Agreement.  If readers can guess the word, then it's a no go. The essence of your post is intact.

I feel for you and your issues with your younger daughter.  Mine exhibited similar behavior during adolescence with the silent treatment or the cold shoulder treatment.  That was stressful enough on its own.  I couldn't imagine dealing with that in addition to the health issues that you are facing in your family.  It seems to me you did your best for this daughter when she was young, and now it's time to focus on the people who need you.  I'd put my energy there, because you only have a finite amount, and to continue putting energy into a draining relationship seems disrespectful to yourself.  When my daughter refused to talk to me, or was cold and moody, I called her on it and told her I wouldn't accept that anymore. I knew I deserved better.  She just stopped calling and visiting for a while and things were actually peaceful.  She decided to treat me better because I wasn't going to take rude, manipulative behavior anymore.  In my opinion, you have a lot on your plate, and you deserve people who are going to lift you up, not bring you down. 


Welcome F!  I am glad you found us!  It took me way too long to get to the point where I decided that my life was better without contact from my DS.  It felt like I was abandoning him.  Actually I was allowing him to complete his journey to adulthood and making him understand that as an adult you cannot treat people that way (even your mother) and expect them to hang around for the abuse.  He also eventually got the message and now things are much better between us but I did have a while when there was no contact.  I realized during that time how much calmer my life was and I started enjoying my life and the people who were in it.  I don't mean to make it sound easy.  Giving up on saving the relationship with my DS was very difficult and I had to get mad, really mad to the core, in order to do it.  I was totally tired of being blamed for anything that went wrong in my relationship with my DS/DIL and trying to save it had almost cost me my marriage.  Changing my focus from the problems with my DS to the wonderful man I married changed my life, my health and my outlook.

I spent years doing for my DS and now he is grown.  It is OK for me to let him make his own decisions and mistakes.  He has his own lessons to learn like we all do and he will learn them his way.  My focus needs to be on my health and enjoying the life I have with my DH while I can.  Remember that what you focus on expands and focus on everything good in your life! 

We are here for you and totally on your side!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Welcome, F. My issues with this same thing were with my eldest son. I honestly didn't know that being there for him as a child was one thing and supporting him in achieving adulthood was something else. He found adulthood hard but I didn't get he needed to make his own choices and face the consequences or not. He, in turn, attempted to blame me for everything which kept him from the normal process of maturing by learning through experience. The harder I tried to help the worse it got because it wasn't about me and we both thought it was.

Once I got that my biological job was done, even though I would always love him to pieces, I was able to make my life about something else. My first assignment was to retrieve my self respect and then to focus elsewhere. Since he had been my focus for what seemed like forever, it was a rocky road for both of us.

We made it. He became successful and a good husband and dad and I expanded into many things, one of which was to create this Website. Sometimes I think I should have had a T-shirt that said, 'There is Life After Parenting' to remind myself not to give up. I didn't. Really I couldn't. We were locked in emotional combat and blackmail when all I was guilty of was doing my best. Hugs to you...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama