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fairfarmhand

20 something’s—typical

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Tell me if this is typical of a 20 something or I’m taking things too seriously:

 

Says her childhood was miserable and recounts how terrible she has had it. (Like all of life there was good and bad, but she tends to enumerate the unfairness that it was to be her)

 

Talks about all the mistakes her parents made and how she’ll never do xy and z to her own hypothetical kids.

 

Talks about how unreasonable the requirements of living at home are.

 

Says that everyone likes younger siblings better.

 

Talks about how unfair we are in comparison to friends parents.

 

Typical???

 

My 20 year old does this a lot and for a long time it’s triggered my insecurities and I’ve worried about how I ruined her.

 

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m taking her complaints too seriously and I should just inwardly roll my eyes and go on with life.

 

 

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Not typical. I could see this behavior happening in 14/15 y/os, but would expect 20-somethings to have outgrown this stage.

 

But yes, you should roll your eyes inwardly and not pay too much attention.

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Is this the same child that has been ungrateful and a complainer for the last many years? Not the first post you've made about her....

 

Seriously, I think the consensus on the boards has been that it's her, not you.  So, stop listening to her crazy. :)  

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I think it can be typical, though a bit immature.  It reminds me more of the drama of a teenager.  I have heard people say that when your teen starts telling you how they hate their life they hate you and how everyone has it better......you are doing it right lol. 

Edited by happysmileylady
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Typical of a young adult with mental health struggles.

 

Cause for concern, yes. Evidence of poor parenting on your part? Not at all.

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Has she always been a negative person? Has she always been jealous of her siblings?

 

She doesn’t sound typical to me, but my ds is still 17, so I don’t have personal experience with an adult child of my own. My adult nieces and nephews weren’t anything like your dd, though — they always seemed far more positive, and they were supportive of each other rather than being envious.

 

I agree with Regentrude that you shouldn’t get upset about it. I’m sure you did a great job raising her, but you can’t control the way her mind works. As she gets older, she will probably realize how good she had it when she was growing up.

 

Don’t let her mess with your head! :grouphug:

Edited by Catwoman
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That's when anyone in my house old enough to live on their own are given the option of going out and reaching those dreams. Go, fly, make that life you crave. If she were younger it would be writing 3 positives for every negative. Sometimes they just get into a 'habit of complaining. Help them break the cycle.

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Not typical. I could see this behavior happening in 14/15 y/os, but would expect 20-somethings to have outgrown this stage.

 

But yes, you should roll your eyes inwardly and not pay too much attention.

Emotionally yes, very immature.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Some of those thoughts may run through the mind of a typical young 20s person, but not the fixation and apparent jealousy of the younger sister that you have described in many threads over months (years?).

 

I'm sure it's difficult and demoralizing to listen to. If I were in this situation, I might just confront (that's too strong - maybe I mean "approach with confidence"?) and say something like, "I hear what you are saying. You've made your feelings clear. I think you may need to discuss these feelings with an actual counselor. When are you available for an appointment?"

 

Not sure how she would react, but it would be clear that you are no longer going to allow her to verbally beat you up.

 

ETA post high school graduate and living at home, complaining like that? Here it would result in an invitation to relocate.

Edited by Seasider
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I have three kids in their 20's and this doesn't sound normal to me. I would be shocked if any of mine acted this immature, but if they did, I'd tell them they're adults and they should stop whining and act like adults.

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Thank her for inviting you to her pity party, but decline and move along with your life.  If she wants your company, insist on some other topic.  I have known a few like this, they have fallen in with the victim crowd at their college.  I just say "doesn't sound like its working out for you, aren't you glad you are an adult and have choices".  If they whine again, I remind them that their student fees pay for counseling if its really bothering them, but now its time to do whatever activity they came over for.  

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Mine tried it. 

 

I didn't take it. I told her we (her parents) did what we thought was best for her and for the rest of the family. Sometimes when you have siblings you may not always get the 'best' for you, but parents have to do the best they can for everyone. 

 

And you are an 'adult' now, so if you think we did something wrong, suck it up and go forth and fix that default in your character. Do NOT blame us. You are responsible for you now. We are no longer (although really we are since we are helping her with college) responsible for you.

 

She straightened up. Or she doesn't talk to us about it.

 

It was ridiculous. At one point, she told me that I sucked ALL the joy out of her entire life because I taught her to always put hot pots/pans/ovenware on something (usually a wooden cutting board) and not directly on the counter top. And that was stupid because we have granite counter tops. We laughed at her. And stared at her like she had three heads. All the joy in your entire life? lol - she must have had a very sad life. Sometimes when she is home, and I pull out the wooden cutting board to put something hot on it, I warn everyone that I am fixing to suck ALL the joy out of the room. Which generally causes everyone to laugh now. I don't do if often. Just on rare occasions when she is showing the tendency to feel sorry for herself. 

 

 

Edited by Bambam
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I've seen it where the home was stable and loving but the people were generally pretty negative growing up. The parents just shrugged and said they did the best they could.

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Tell me if this is typical of a 20 something or I’m taking things too seriously:

 

Says her childhood was miserable and recounts how terrible she has had it. (Like all of life there was good and bad, but she tends to enumerate the unfairness that it was to be her)

 

Talks about all the mistakes her parents made and how she’ll never do xy and z to her own hypothetical kids.

 

Talks about how unreasonable the requirements of living at home are.

 

Says that everyone likes younger siblings better.

 

Talks about how unfair we are in comparison to friends parents.

 

Typical???

 

My 20 year old does this a lot and for a long time it’s triggered my insecurities and I’ve worried about how I ruined her.

 

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m taking her complaints too seriously and I should just inwardly roll my eyes and go on with life.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

She sounds like an unhappy girl. I'd sit her down (when she's not in a frenzy) and tell her that you understand that there are things about her childhood and family that she would change. And that there are things about your own childhood that you would change. And your mother would change things about her own childhood. But since all these childhoods are water under the bridge, why not start enjoying your adult life now? I'll help. What are your immediate goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years? Ten years?

 

Sometimes even 20-year olds know exactly what buttons to push on their moms to get attention. So, by putting the onus on her to plan her future instead of bemoaning the past every time she brings it up, she'll have far less fun than when inspiring parental guilt.

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If you are actually being fair to everyone and not holding her to a higher standard than younger siblings, then I'd chalk it up to immaturity and a bad attitude.

 

However, having been the "Cinderella" in the family with spoiled younger siblings, I have to point out that it isn't AUTOMATICALLY the aggrieved party overreacting.

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I think some people naturally have negative personalities. And it takes time to learn you can't tell everyone around you life is bad and parents are the source of all unfairness.

 

As hard as it is, try to let it roll off you and move on.

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When I had a 20 yo I did hold her to a higher standard than I did the children.  I never heard that she found that weird or unfair.

If you are actually being fair to everyone and not holding her to a higher standard than younger siblings, then I'd chalk it up to immaturity and a bad attitude.

 

However, having been the "Cinderella" in the family with spoiled younger siblings, I have to point out that it isn't AUTOMATICALLY the aggrieved party overreacting.

 

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When I had a 20 yo I did hold her to a higher standard than I did the children.  I never heard that she found that weird or unfair.

 

Its normal to hold an older dc to a higher standard than a younger; but when the older was at the age of the younger, did they do more, at a higher quality level? 

 

My resentment came from being berated for doing a bad job when I really needed a new pair of glasses.  Also not too happy that I had to get an allergic reaction every Saturday from my permanent job of dusting. That kind of stuff makes you feel like Cinderella.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Typical? No.

 

Is it possible that she sees something you don't? Sure. Possible. 

 

Is it possible that she is just immature and will grow out of it or have a light-bulb moment if you just ignore it? Possible, but not likely.

 

Personally, if this is the same child that you have posted about having a horrible attitude and always feeling aggrieved, I think it sounds like she will need help to change it. When she isn't having a negative ranting moment, you might gently bring up the subject of her unhappiness, express sorrow on her behalf, and suggest you both look into getting some professional assistance to work through those feelings.

 

I think just ignoring it expecting her to heal herself is cruel. She sounds miserable.

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Some of those thoughts may run through the mind of a typical young 20s person, but not the fixation and apparent jealousy of the younger sister that you have described in many threads over months (years?).

 

I'm sure it's difficult and demoralizing to listen to. If I were in this situation, I might just confront (that's too strong - maybe I mean "approach with confidence"?) and say something like, "I hear what you are saying. You've made your feelings clear. I think you may need to discuss these feelings with an actual counselor. When are you available for an appointment?"

 

Not sure how she would react, but it would be clear that you are no longer going to allow her to verbally beat you up.

 

ETA post high school graduate and living at home, complaining like that? Here it would result in an invitation to relocate.

 

 

I couldn't agree more with every word.

 

And, no, my 20 something isn't like this.  She feels like we baby our younger set and that they would be better served with fewer opportunities, more strictness, and exactly how we raised her, lol.  The 19 year old agrees.  

 

I think I'd hear her out and have a conversation.  Once.

After that do invite her to do better with her own kids and to pipe down.

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If you are actually being fair to everyone and not holding her to a higher standard than younger siblings, then I'd chalk it up to immaturity and a bad attitude.

 

However, having been the "Cinderella" in the family with spoiled younger siblings, I have to point out that it isn't AUTOMATICALLY the aggrieved party overreacting.

My almost 80 year old mother-in-law, the oldest of five, still talks about how bad she had it growing up compared to her siblings. Knowing all of the family members involved, neither my husband nor I have ever really understood her complaints, but she can’t let it go.

 

My younger sister, who has some mental health struggles, also thinks my brother and I were and are favored over her, although I don’t recall her complaining about it until she was an adult.

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I had to listen to a boatload of crap from my middle son (he's 26) and it really hit me hard. I was boo-hooing about how I'd ruined him. 

Until I really thought about it. 

 

Not taking that from him any.more.

 

Stand up for yourself. 

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I don’t think it’s typical.

 

That said, I hear that stuff from my 26 yr old, mentally ill son. He’s not happy with anything in his life. At all. He needs to blame someone. I could have written everything you wrote.

 

Like Chris in VA, I’m not taking that from him anymore. It’s mental illness talking.

 

Is your DD depressed? Is she NT? She sounds unhappy, and it’s not your fault.

Edited by Spryte
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I definitely know 20-somethings who have been this way.

 

Part of it was that they had someone in their life encouraging it.  In one case it was an unlicensed "counselor" who was getting paid to listen and encourage this person to do all that kind of talk and hate and distrust her parents.  Really unethical in my opinion.  She snapped out of it when I pointed out that parents are human and she was holding hers to superhuman standards.

 

I've also seen this kind of thinking encouraged at college, particularly in psychology programs / among young women attending them.  And there are oh so many books to help feed this.  It's unreality, but so is a lot of college life.

 

Also with young people living at home, they may still view the parents as super humans (and not accept flaws) because they have no other frame of reference.

 

I think it usually passes once someone has a meaningful occupation that keeps their mind busy with productive thoughts.  :)

Edited by SKL
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If I recall - this child has leaned towards drama queen. that's an attitude. to a degree - you can have compassion with her, try to help her have a more positive attitude.   and on the other hand, don't take her drama personally.

 

I have one with messed up chemistry, and has been a challenge.  sometimes they'll listen and my suggestions have helped, sometimes they haven't. and sometimes they don't want to hear what mom has to say - or that their attitude is part of their unhappiness.

 

some kids - just are more demanding than others.  (and can make you feel like a failure - every day. no matter how wonderful the other kids are.)

and gee, people like the siblings better . ...why is that?  (does she think? if you're feeling particular ruthless, you could ask her, and then suggest strategies she could implement to help people like her.)

 

and some, are very easy.

 

(I think most are in the middle.)

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The 23 year old step child here blames DH for all their life choices that have resulted in their not being courted by European countries soley because they are the Awesomest Person Ever and of course they would make those countries so much better with their lack of education and nonexistent work experience. Yep, all DH's fault.

 

Also how dare I pay for my DS to attend college in middle school/write essays to earn scholarships to camps/start and run his own business/exist. Other bad things with DS involves us paying for his medical bills while insisting the 23 year old pays for their own meds and copays.

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I am not sure that it is typical, but I have seen this type of behavior around that age.  I have seen some young people who are in some ways ready to be on their own but frustrated that they cannot really support themselves yet.  Or, I have seen some who are terrified at the prospect of being on their own and supporting themselves.  In some ways it is like the terrible twos--they want independence but yet they don't quite know how to go about it.  

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Typical of a young adult with mental health struggles.

 

Cause for concern, yes. Evidence of poor parenting on your part? Not at all.

 

I would be aware this could be  what's going on. stress, depression, anxiety, or worse.  I have one with messed up chemistry, and can have extremely volatile moods.  some things help -and then they don't.

seen many drs, and still having issues. counseling/retraining self-talk is only part of the process.

I recently suggested earplugs because everyday sounds can be stressful for some people.  I've had times I felt my bp drop after putting in earplugs.

 

stress aggravates things - one thing that has come out is an almost flat cortisol level, which I likely a goodly chunck - but getting it to do what it's supposed to do, has been difficult.  (it's supposed to be high - mid-range - in the am, then gradually decline.  it's just flat - and spikes at night.)

 

or it could be a kid who is just negative and needs to learn how to find the silver lining in a cloud by wringing it out herself.

 

 

Some of those thoughts may run through the mind of a typical young 20s person, but not the fixation and apparent jealousy of the younger sister that you have described in many threads over months (years?).

 

I'm sure it's difficult and demoralizing to listen to. If I were in this situation, I might just confront (that's too strong - maybe I mean "approach with confidence"?) and say something like, "I hear what you are saying. You've made your feelings clear. I think you may need to discuss these feelings with an actual counselor. When are you available for an appointment?"

 

Not sure how she would react, but it would be clear that you are no longer going to allow her to verbally beat you up.

 

ETA post high school graduate and living at home, complaining like that? Here it would result in an invitation to relocate.

 

I would include a dr for a thorough physical as well.  thyroid, adrenals, candida yeast, etc. can trigger this type of moodiness.

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I would invite the ungrateful child to move somewhere else and jump out of my wallet.

 

Since she is triggering an emotional response in you, she learned some manipulative skills that you can quickly curtail by cutting the wallet strings. Even in other adults, we can change some behaviors by not giving the expected response.

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My family growing up had a sibling who was unfavored by my father. Somehow my mom never really knew for years. She asked my aunt about it and found that my aunt and uncle had seen signs of it for many years.

 

It was nothing my mom did, though.

 

I think if you can talk to any relative or friend who has been around you, that would be a way to get a reality check.

 

I have also heard people talk like this in their early 20s just as part of figuring out how they have different life experiences and their parents had different values from other people, especially if they grew up in a smaller area where everyone they knew was similar to them in certain ways, and then they move somewhere that there are a lot of differences about things they always took for granted.

 

I also think — if there’s any chance she gets more attention when she is dramatic then you can try to show a great interest when she’s not. I have had a phase in my life of being busy with a younger child and putting off an older child, unless the older child was upset. But — it was staring me in the face at a certain point, and my younger child had special needs, etc. It was not what I think of as a normal amount of “I’m busy with the little kids.â€

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Typical of a young adult with mental health struggles.

 

Cause for concern, yes. Evidence of poor parenting on your part? Not at all.

 

Yes, I agree.

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My parents did favor (do favor) my younger sister in some ways (most ways).  It bothered me as a kid and as a teenager; it wasn't until I'd moved out and moved on that I sort of got a perspective on it.  They were doing the best they could, as most people do.  It made me stronger and more self-reliant, so it's turned out okay on the whole :)

 

That said, while I'm sure I bitched about it a lot while I lived with them, especially when I was younger, I had certainly given up on it by 20.  Really I'd given up by 14 or 15, because it never got me anywhere - they weren't going to change or force her to stop doing this or that thing, so it was just an exercise in frustration.

 

eta: maybe part of it is that you do feel guilty, if not for favoring the younger kids (which I gather you don't think you do), then for her bad feeling?  And she perceives that sense of guilt and so continues to complain as she at least gets the satisfaction of your guilt (whether or not her concerns are justified is really beside the point).  My parents never expressed any sense of guilt or self-doubt or anything, so I learned pretty fast that there was nothing to be had from complaining.  Maybe if you somehow reduce your own emotional involvement and reaction, hers will find another outlet.

Edited by eternalsummer
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Have not read other replies.

 

I would not say typical, but it’s common enough that I recognize some people I know in that description. I know of one young adult who was very dissatisfied at having been homeschooled, is contentions towards the other siblings, thinks they were favored, and generally whines a lot about his upbringing. I have known this family a long time and I do not get it, but this young man is an intensly glass-half-empty malcontent in general, so I guess that is why.

 

When *I* was early twenties, I had many complaints about my FOO and made many vows about what I would not do. In my opinion, though, they were legitimate complaints and I have largely stuck to the things I said must be different.

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Its normal to hold an older dc to a higher standard than a younger; but when the older was at the age of the younger, did they do more, at a higher quality level? 

 

My resentment came from being berated for doing a bad job when I really needed a new pair of glasses.  Also not too happy that I had to get an allergic reaction every Saturday from my permanent job of dusting. That kind of stuff makes you feel like Cinderella.

 

I was also as a first born pushed more and berated more than my younger sibling.  Expectations were higher.  My brother is now in mid-forties and professionally employed - divorced with kids.  My mom is still supporting him in ways I don't think I'd ever be supported.  Financially and emotionally.  And actually the inequities and off stuff about my upbringing wasn't really clear to me until I went through talk therapy for depression.  The therapist flagged things I talked about as not normal and not healthy family dynamics.  I do think my parents did the best they could with the tools they had available.  They were both youngest in their families and suffered in other ways because of that and I think they made subconscious choices because of that.  I don't hold bitterness now though it has formed a less than amazing relationship with my mom.  Just over the holidays she had a tantrum on how I was treating my brother and his live in ex-wife.  I just want my kids not to have an emotional rollarcoaster every time we get together with them and no, they are not going to be super close to people that self absorbed and dysfunctional.  I also had a very poor school fit my K-8th grade years and my parents ignored bullying and I suspect I was depressed. 

 

Anyway - I'm not speaking to the OP's situation at all.  I'm just saying there are legitimate reasons an adult child might have some level of bitterness about their childhood. The OP knows how she brought up her child.  I would just say her feelings are real to her and maybe she does have some mental health issues to sort through.  I would strongly encourage that.  I don't think it's bad to shut down the conversation.  I do think it is kind to acknowledge feelings.  My parents taught me to swallow my feelings and opinions my entire childhood and that they didn't matter.   When I child is angry or sad for years and years, I do think something is wrong that likely needs treatment.

Edited by WoolySocks
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Mine tried it.

 

I didn't take it. I told her we (her parents) did what we thought was best for her and for the rest of the family. Sometimes when you have siblings you may not always get the 'best' for you, but parents have to do the best they can for everyone.

 

And you are an 'adult' now, so if you think we did something wrong, suck it up and go forth and fix that default in your character. Do NOT blame us. You are responsible for you now. We are no longer (although really we are since we are helping her with college) responsible for you.

 

She straightened up. Or she doesn't talk to us about it.

 

It was ridiculous. At one point, she told me that I sucked ALL the joy out of her entire life because I taught her to always put hot pots/pans/ovenware on something (usually a wooden cutting board) and not directly on the counter top. And that was stupid because we have granite counter tops. We laughed at her. And stared at her like she had three heads. All the joy in your entire life? lol - she must have had a very sad life. Sometimes when she is home, and I pull out the wooden cutting board to put something hot on it, I warn everyone that I am fixing to suck ALL the joy out of the room. Which generally causes everyone to laugh now. I don't do if often. Just on rare occasions when she is showing the tendency to feel sorry for herself.

I love this! You gve me a good laugh this morning.

 

Also - I do the same thing. Granite countertops; use a trivet anyway. I figure it’s better for the kids to be in the habit of using a hot plate on the “off chance†(lol) that their first home does not have such a fancy kitchen.

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To follow up:

 

Please don’t quote.

 

In treatment for depression and doing well.

 

But does have a complainey side and while I’ve tried to be supportive, I’m wondering if my support is undermining her progress.

 

At some point we decide what we’re going to do with the past—fester in all the mistakes our parents made or grow up.

 

As far as jealousy, it’s just expressed as stuff like “when I was in elementary and middle school you were all wrapped up in babies and stuff and had nothing left for me.†Which is a half truth...I don’t do the baby-toddler Years well but I do remember knocking myself out to do special things for her.

 

Some of this is frame of reference for her. She’s the oldest and she wants the privileges of adulthood but still desires the perks (in her head) of being a kid. She hasn’t seen an adult kid go through our house yet, since she’s the first, so it’s all so unfair.

 

I do think I’m giving her gripes more credence than I should. I had a trusted adult tell me that she seems like she knows she’ll be happiest at home, and then I was like “wait a minute...â€

 

So some of it is that I’ve been attending too many pity parties and I need to stop listening to the crap.

 

Just tell her “well that sounds like something to talk to your therapist about†for the record, her therapist kindly has little patience for this stuff. Live in the present, let the past go, be thankful, change what you can change, etc.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think most people think their own complaints about their FOO are legitimate :)

I’m sure, but complaints about one’s FOO can actually be legitimate.

 

In the case of the young man I mentioned, it was so obviously this man’s issue and he was the only one of four kids who had these complaints. But if five kids all have similar complaints as adults, there may be more than a kernel of truth to the charges.

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Some of those thoughts may run through the mind of a typical young 20s person, but not the fixation and apparent jealousy of the younger sister that you have described in many threads over months (years?).

 

I'm sure it's difficult and demoralizing to listen to. If I were in this situation, I might just confront (that's too strong - maybe I mean "approach with confidence"?) and say something like, "I hear what you are saying. You've made your feelings clear. I think you may need to discuss these feelings with an actual counselor. When are you available for an appointment?"

 

Not sure how she would react, but it would be clear that you are no longer going to allow her to verbally beat you up.

 

ETA post high school graduate and living at home, complaining like that? Here it would result in an invitation to relocate.

 

:hurray: Yes. This. Every word of this. 

Edited by Angie in VA

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hmm...I might have been that 20 year old.

 

I was definitely treated differently than my siblings and it took me a long time to process it. I'm 43 and have a nice life and the memories and negative thinking still creep in. I definitely made comments about it when I was younger and was very resentful.

 

I don't think the situations are similar. I was a middle child coming after the prized first born son. I really had a tough time growing up. I think there are a few factors. One, there was some reality to my parents making some really bad choices about how they raised me. Two, I do think I am a negative and resentful person by nature and I have worked hard to change that. Three, I definitely am prone to some type of anxiety.

 

My siblings have come to me and acknowledged what they can see in hindsight was an unhealthy situation for me so I know it wasn't all my imagination. Though I have no doubt I exaggerated it, dwelled on it, etc. more than someone with a different personality might.

 

I could have benefited from counseling (and probably still could).

 

All that to say I am not that surprised to hear of a 20 something acting that way and am kind of expecting it from mine at some point because I remember being that way. I don't think you should endure her treating you badly. Not at all. I guess if it is possible to apologize sincerely for mistakes you may have made (if there are any you are aware of) and acknowledge her feelings and offer her counseling that is enough. If my kids turn this on me, as I did to my parents, I will acknowlege their feelings, apologize if it is appropriate, offer counseling if appropriate, and then inform them we are moving forward and I will not listen to it anymore.

 

"I may have ruined your childhood, but you are responsible for your adulthood."

 

I do think a degree of self centeredness and sudden wisdom of all the ways your parents failed and how much better you are going to do is common in the twenties.

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I get that kind of complaint from my oldest a fair amount too - basically, she sees the ways in which her life is different from her friends' lives, or her cousins' lives, and wishes she had what they have (fewer siblings, less chores, more electronic possessions).  I do feel sorry for her sometimes - she does do more work than her friends or cousins, and much more than I did as a child, and more than her youngest siblings will do (because there will be no toddlers running around making messes).  Probably we will have more money to spend when the youngest ones are tweens than we do now, too.  That is all true, and I feel bad about it.

 

On the other hand, she's had experiences some of them will never get - she was the first, so I spent 2-3 solid years reading to her and playing with her all day long, every day (I used to count the hours until she slept, it was so intense!).  She was the only child to ever be an only child, and she's closer to DH and me in some ways than the others just because she can do things like play cards or talk about books, and she's the only one who can really do that right now, so there's a sort of exclusivity to our attention that the other kids will not have (likely).  

 

I've tried telling her that for almost everyone, there is some aspect of their life that they wish were different but that is unchangeable - certainly in this society, at this time, there are both luxuries that people living in previous times or different areas of the world would never dream of (air conditioning!  Chinese takeout!  Minecraft!) and hardships, some that she experiences and some that she doesn't (the cousin she's most jealous of hasn't seen her father in 7 years, etc.).  Conversely, if she were living as a 12 year old girl in more or less the economic middle of most societies throughout time and geography, she'd be doing a lot more work and a lot less reading (if any reading at all).

 

None of these arguments really seem to change the feeling very much, though.  I know I feel that way sometimes, too - but you can't just impose the bad feeling on others all the time, it's not socially acceptable.  So I've started just saying, hey, you sound down this morning, why don't you make a cup of chai (non-caffeinated) and look out the window for a little while?  That seems to settle her pretty well.

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To follow up:

 

At some point we decide what we’re going to do with the past—fester in all the mistakes our parents made or grow up.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

(if you need me to, I can delete this snipet as well.)

 

In my early twenties, I read the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; it was a very recent release at that time and was probably the very first book I bought as an independant adult. I remember how much the very first habit - Be Proactive - blew my mind. It really settled in to my brain that no matter what things I think my folks did wrong, no matter how I disliked the chaos I grew up with, I had complete power to decide how my present and future life was going to be. I couldn’t do anything about the past, but I could decide differently going forward. It was an absolute revelation to me.

 

I do like the idea of telling dc, “I’m sorry your past was not all you would have liked it to be, but fortunately, you are largely in control of how your future will be. At some point, you have to change your focus to the things you can control.â€

 

Eta: typos

Edited by Quill
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Oh! I also wanted to say, kids can certainly remember things differently than they actually were, as we probably have all experienced once we have a kid older than maybe 13. I posted on here once about how my now-18yo said he thinks I disadvantaged him musically because I usually had the car radio tuned to the same station and did not give him a wide basis of music styles. This indictment was mind-boggling to me because, while there was some truth to that specific charge, I also spent ten thousand dollars over the years on music lessons from Kindermusik to private piano and guitar. I gave him a great variety of music instruction and exposure since infancy, including folk songs in foreign languages and having a pretty impressive number of instruments in the household that all kids were allowed to use and play with. I did “remind†him of these perks he enjoyed; I’m not sure if he really corrected his memory. But just saying that to illustrate how a kid with a certain personality can easily see what they lacked in the midst of staggering abundance.

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To your update, OP. 

 

First, I want to say that I'm not in any way trying to make it sound like you've done something wrong with her. I think in these discussions it's so automatic that the mom feels inappropriate guilt. Don't. You are a good mom. We all make mistakes - whether or not you have here is not really relevant IMO.

 

Second, while I appreciate the advice to just shut her complaints down and don't let her beat you up - I think that's just a first step in order to put up an appropriate boundary for yourself. At some point, hopefully soon, you need to start thinking about what kind of relationship you will have with her. You might want to consider going to counseling with her so that you can help her work through the negative feelings she has towards you. You know that she has a mental illness and I think it isn't fair to leave it only up to her to get it treated. You presumably wouldn't do that for other maladies.

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Emotional validation can be a good relationship building tool--basically, acknowledging that her feelings are completely real.

 

Because feelings always are real, no matter how skewed the underlying perspective.

 

This book might be helpful?

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01LWBI0ZD/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1515774151&sr=1-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=Mitch+R.+Abblett+PhD

 

Since she has a therapist though I think just letting the therapist deal with it is probably fine.

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I do think looking at your childhood/parents critically is a thing young adults do. I know I did. What I didn’t do is vocalize my criticisms to them or openly complain.

 

My dd is kind of in the same stage, not as extreme. Sometimes she tries to make her younger sibs her confidants, but I have shut that down. She definitely hated the restrictions of living at home. I enjoy her more when she isn’t living at home, too. We have a good living apart relationship.

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Well, I know friends in their 50's who are still on that train. Possibly personality, reward for the remarks or some psych problems. I usually respond "Well, time to move on. Can't change the past."

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

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Well, I know friends in their 50's who are still on that train. Possibly personality, reward for the remarks or some psych problems. I usually respond "Well, time to move on. Can't change the past."

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

Yes to this, one BIL blames his mother for his lifestyle choices and weight issues because as a kid she did not feed him the healthiest. Never mind that he has 2/3 of his life to eat right and exercise and he chose not to. The same person also cried and carried on because I bought food to a pot luck that he did not want to eat (he claimed it gave him gas). It is part of the mental illness. As it turning on me and then my kid (yes, really) when I do not bow to his demands and refuse to even give him a platform and instead shut him down.

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