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Aster's avatar

How would you deal with this kind of circumstance?

Asked by Aster (19974points) February 28th, 2012

My older daughter has mental health issues. She calls my other daughter and my ex and tells them things she has merely imagined. She can take a situation and her brain switches it into things that never happened or that never were said by me. It’s very upsetting when it happens and my ex and daughter look at me with suspicion when wondering if I ever said or did such things. I am defending myself but they may think, without proof, that “mom is really nuts.” How can I keep this from bothering me so much or do I have to just learn to laugh it off? It’s been going on for years and there’s no reason to believe it won’t keep happening. This is a person who tells people she hasn’t seen me in three years but last year we drove for four hours and took her to a restaurant. She doesn’t remember it.

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10 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

How have you not yet worked out a system of communicating information and having reality checks with both your ex (father of the child?) and your other daughter?

May I assume that your older daughter has a diagnosis and that your ex and your other daughter are aware of this?

Does your daughter have a therapist who can give you some very long-overdue tips on how to handle this secondary problem?

You may also want to learn some techniques to prevent you from feeling defensive, guilty or eaten by “why are they treating me this way” noises. There are a number of ways to protect yourself and remain detached. Don’t give them any power.

john65pennington's avatar

After all this time, surely your ex and your other daughter realize the fantasies your daughter is making up, are not true. Your ex may be using her “make believe stories” to his advantage, even though he knows they are not true Is this possible?

All you are doing is slowly working yourself into a heart attack or stomach ulcers.

You need to set the story straight, once and for all, with your ex.

I believe he knows all of this, but like I said, he is using it to his advantage.

How about doing this…....swap daughters with your ex and let him see this for himself?

There is nothing like experiencing a situation yourself..

syz's avatar

Sounds like a good reason for family counseling.

Aster's avatar

@gailcalled she would never agree to therapy; she thinks she’s just fine and her family is crazy. I’d like to learn these techniques you’re mentioning. How to not give her power over me ? How?
@syz she lives in a different state but wouldn’t show up anyway.
@john65pennington you’re right. My ex uses her remarks to his advantage in some way. I don’t know the advantage but yes, he often says, “she’s terrible; I can’t believe she said/did that!! when , in fact, he doesn’t believe her. I can’t swap daughters with him. They’re both grown up and she is not permitted at his house which is in another state anyway. The two of them give me heart palpitations.

gailcalled's avatar

@Aster: You need to see a trained counselor , do some talk therapy and learn some confrontation techniques.. Letting someone give you heart palpitations is dangerous, unnecessary and very bad for your one and precious life.

Aster's avatar

@gailcalled I know. I can’t confront her; you know why? She gets manic and talks (sort of yelling) non-stop. She doesn’t pause between sentences! She won’t hear my side.

gailcalled's avatar

This is not about confronting your daughter, who is apparently mentally ill, if not officially diagnosed.

I am talking about your behavior with the people you let make you feel terrible.

Do you need permission to divorce yourself from the people who are toxic? That too is something a therapist will help with.

Aster's avatar

@gailcalled she is extremely toxic. I have done a fairly good job of divorcing myself from her craziness but with that comes a bit of guilt. Luckily, she rarely calls but when she does I’m in a tailspin for two days. At least she can’t drive over here. She has an old car and no money. But when she used to drop by it was a total nightmare. She could not sit down and chat; she was like a tornado on steroids.

gailcalled's avatar

“when she does, I am in a tailspin for two days.”

You are repeating yourself about how you allow yourself to self-destruct. The details of the narrative are not important.

Get some assistance; you can’t do it on your own and you are squandering your life currency.

Go, thou, and talk to someone.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Mental illness can be a terrible problem to deal with for any family. All you can do is urge your daughter to seek help. You might also seek help so that you can learn better ways to deal with your mentally ill daughter. There are better & worse ways to deal with someone who is mentally ill – you need to find a way that works for you.

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