A mother's letter to her adult daughter...by Glenda Gibbs
Briefing - I had made an earlier request for help, to which my daughter didn't want to have anything to do with it. After sharing a few thoughts, I scripted the following and sent it. Note: With my daughter's permission and her name removed we agreed this letter might benefit other mothers and their adult daughters.
Dear Adult Daughter,
We have for the most part â one way relationship. It doesnât seem reciprocating. Reciprocating means sharing /exchanging. Our relationship exchange seems conditional â when itâs good for you, youâre available, when not â¦
Yesterday on the phone I heard the word âguiltâ â that you didnât want me to âguilt you into doing things for meâ â I canât make you feel guilty unless you choose to feel guilty. If youâre feeling guilty perhaps you arenât living up to your potential. Just maybe guilt is the key to motivate you, I donât know.
I feel like your demand is ongoing, very rarely are you satisfied for long, thereâs another drama, another fire to put out, more money needed â perhaps being rescued is your way of assuring yourself that youâre loved â and a payback for not being protected as a child.
I further suggest your unwillingness to volunteer to help me or come to my house is because you hold energy/thoughts/feelings all associated with how you were denied/wronged as a child. These behaviors along with your unwillingness to get professional help or delve into your own personal development are met with stubbornness, know it all attitude, anger, and reasons/excuses of why I (along with others/events) are always to blame â consider this: youâre stuck.
Speaking for myself in this moment, generally when there is change or I need something, Iâm met with a wall of resistance.
Your usage of marijuana, smoking and weight gain are all self medicating methods to reduce anxiety.
Yes, youâre very smart, never a question. Youâve learned the typical therapeutic knowledge and processes â¦ no different than what Iâve experienced â and life wasnât working for me either â¦ sort of like memorizing the manual to ride a bicycle and getting on it and putting that intellectual collection of information to use â not â the application/experience is entirely different. You havenât been willing to do the work â doesnât make you bad or wrong â it means that your survival mechanisms are doing their job.
At some point I wish for you that youâll âpony upâ â¦ quit playing a âlose-loseâ game with your life â¦ that will be a different message to teach your children and your husband. The benefits youâll experience will be profound.
I canât change what happened to you â and as Iâve shared, I apologize. I did the best I knew to do.
For you, there is that little girl who resides within you and continues to be upset and crying out for attention, needs proof sheâs loved â¦ I canât do the work for you â¦ only you can â¦ she needs to know youâre there for her
Your response to my needing help with my moving â accepting your offer now - letâs donât. Iâll take care of this move for myself. There are other ways to get my needs met without dealing with the resistances, drama and adding additional stress.
I donât love you less â I love you very much, more than you believe.
Â© Copyrighted 2009 by Glenda Gibbs. Feel free to share... The content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact.
Glenda is passionate about leaving the world a better place, people feeling better about themselves and the power of positive thinking. She loves to share her wisdom and experiences as an integrative coach/counselor, facilitator and writer.