Living Under Daughter’s Rules

“Hi, I’m feeling depleted and confused with my daughter. I’ve been struggling on my own for the past…

“Hi, I’m feeling depleted and confused with my daughter. I’ve been struggling on my own for the past 10 years since the divorce…

I moved in with her at the beginning of November, in which we sat in a meeting and I was given her rules without her having understanding about PTSD/TBI.

She wants me to do craft projects with the grandkids and this morning I asked her if we could print a “stuffie” pattern. Her response, “no, if you want that you’ll have to buy some ink cartridges.” I was slightly thrown off by her response, but can accept it, as she also threw at me the other day that she expects me to buy groceries a few times a month also. I pay her room and board too.

She has in the past had no boundaries around her men and spent regularly on them and they didn’t respect her. I get boundaries as I’ve done 12-steps since 1991, but I find I’m getting the brunt of her lessons and she expects me to entertain the grandkids and watch over them, and interferes when I ask them to clean up after themselves. If I leave one item anywhere, she gets after me like I’m the odd one out, while the grandkids have stuff everywhere.

How do I communicate with her so she’s not soo persnickedy with me and we can all get along with respect. I buy all the material and crafty items and I’m on a fixed income. With PTSD I forget things at times and have to ask her again and she snaps at me and says, “I’ve already told you!” -Anonymous

29 comments
  1. I believe that counseling would help or maybe a friend who could hold space for you both to talk. Praying that you find the answers to your questions

  2. You expected a home, she expected a maid who paid her to work and live in her home. Reset the boundaries or move back into your own space.

    1. She sounds continually angry. Find a way to move out. Possibly live with a compatible roommate or a seniors place. Your mental health is important.

  3. How sad your circumstances must be. I am thinking that you need to talk with someone who can help you find separate housing so that you can live without such scrutiny. You are an adult who can make her own rules and not have to feel so dependent on your daughter. In this situation, you are living as the child and not the mother. Prayers coming your way, with much luv!!

  4. I agree with others. It would be best to have your own little place and a few good friends! Being alone doesn’t have to equal loneliness.

  5. This is micro-management at its finest. I agree with many of the others to investigate other living arrangements. You are not being valued and that is not good for someone who is already stressed out. You can try talking to her but I would not expect her to take kindly to what she will interpret as criticism. She is in control, that is the message.

  6. These days many seniors are looking to roommate. Find a place with a compatible roommate. That way you can afford to live separately and also have a potential companion. Do this thoughtfully and after testing the waters vs jumping at the first opportunity. Sending love and healing light ❤️✨

    1. Sounds like your daughter is “using” you and that’s not right. I’ve always felt I’d find a roommate if I was ever in that situation. I also have thought about the old boarding houses. My great grandmother ran one during the depression. Meanwhile, it sounds like emotional abuse. Perhaps a counseling session would help both of you!

    2. I have a roommate, not easy. My house my rules, because I love her I let a lot of things slide.
      Not for the money costs me more to live than before she came.

  7. Move out asap. I am in a similar situation, here as a caregiver to a disabled grandchild that includes changing bedcovers daily and washing them, bathing feeding, etc etc., paying rent and buying groceries to add to the household. She has told me she will need extra if ever there is another huge power bill, although I only have one room and she leaves lights on all night in the house. I am not valued other than as a sitter. I cook most days, and some days it is Breakfast lunch and dinner. I clean up as an extra, or did, I have stopped all the extra because my time is precious and hardly my own. My own child is verbally abusive and has threatened me several times during an alcoholic “episode”. Continually lets me know my place and this is her home not mine, even though she lived in my house for 10 years with no rent. Get out before it gets worse. asap! I’m working on that right now, but this has forever changed my relationship with my daughter. I feel for you, and the grandkids.

  8. Your daughter is angry at the past, and determined to show you that she can manage her household better than yours. I am in a similar situation, but thankfully, I don’t have to live with my daughter. The man I married (not her father) turned out to be a sly, sneaky, narcissist, and put us both thru the wringer. Took me many years to recognize, and get away from the POS. But of course the garbage damaged my daughter and myself before I was able to recognize and get us away….and my daughter blames me for that. I can accept that, have apologized, and shown her that I am honestly working on changing myself into a better person that is not susceptible to narcissists and such. But my daughter is still angry, and does the exact same stuff as yours…micromanages everything, including HER daughter (my only grandchild), and won’t let me see her. What I see is a person who is so afraid of BEING controlled, that she is over reacting and exerting total control over everything in HER world. And that’s not gonna end well, I already know it. But, while I make an effort to understand what happened, how I can deal with narcissistic individuals in the future, and how I can modify my own behavior out of the learned patterns of narcissistic control, my daughter does not seek help at all. She believes she has everything under CONTROL, and that’s all that matters. More fallout of my former narcissistic spouse. But you can’t force other people to seek help. So all I can do is stand by and maybe help her pick up the pieces if/when it DOES blow up. I suggest you find another living situation. Because it seems as though your daughter is Hell bent on punishing you for your past mistakes, and whether you believe it’s deserved or not, you cannot continue to live that way, unless you BOTH seek help. And if your daughter cannot admit that she needs help, than there is very little you can do except reassure her that you are there if she needs you, to whatever extent you are able, without compromising your own financial, physical or mental health. And please stop babysitting and such for free. I know that sounds silly, but it’s part of your daughter’s attempt to put you in your ‘place’, to almost dehumanize you. Don’t allow that, no matter what happened in the past. Be prepared for the threats of ‘never seeing the grandchildren again’. Don’t let that throw you, because once the daughter finds out you can be controlled through the presence or absence of your grandchildren, she will use that relentlessly. And don’t feel guilty. Everybody makes mistakes, including parents. If you are honestly working on changing your family dynamic, and your own behavior, because of past trauma, than you have nothing to feel guilty about. Blessings to you, Dearest.

  9. Get your own place. NOW!
    One bed room, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and hopefully, a porch or balcony.

    1. Get out dear and ,just let it be l was bullied for years even though l didn’t live under same roof ! Yes it hurts but l have felt devastated but it made me ill ! The younger generation is unfortunately not like us but be brave and like me l felt l was walking on egg shells it is not worth it anymore ,l would rather be by myself than be with someone and wish l was ,good luck and believe me their days will come ! Take care xxx

  10. Hi. Where do you live. Are there no agencies who could help you find somewhere to rent. A bed sit would be better than your situation, if not a flat. Good luck, I hope you sort this. Your daughter isn’t kind.

  11. Your daughter is setting the perfect example to her children on how they should treat her when she is elderly. May the Lord guide and direct you towards a better life.

  12. What ever state you live in will have a senior services agency. Call them and explain how you are being used. They will help you find a place you can afford to live. If you income is very limited they will help with benefits you are entitled to. Good luck and please put yourself first for a change.

  13. You have made it sound like your daughter is unreasonable. If so, move. No place is too humble that allows you your independence. If that is not possible, lay down your own rules. Something like this: I will do crafts with the kids 2-3 times a week and they must help clean up. I will buy $50 worth of groceries a month. I must have 1-2 days a week free of duties. If she cannot comply with this, maybe you can get joint counseling. For myself, I have two wonderful daughters who would have me but I intend to live solo until I die. I’m just happier that way.

    1. You need to either set your own boundaries, or leave. Don’t live the rest of your life being disrespected.

  14. Contact social services in your community. They will probably direct you to the local or state senior services agency. There are rent subsizes in every community. It is not unusual to have conflict when three generations residee together. Counseling could help but often results in a temporary fix. It would be easier for you to cope with the family dynamics is you live alone, have your own friends and activities. Senior centers generally offer the noon meal for a very reasonable cost. There is not reason for you to accept being used by your own daughter.

  15. Please find a place of your own.. she shows no gratitude and sets a terrible example for the kids… as they get older they will emulate their mothers behaviour and treat you with the same disrespect your daughter does. As many others have stated; seek help from social services. Once you are settled you in your own place; you can have the grandkids visit (providing she doesn’t become spiteful) and not let them visit.

    You need to set boundaries you can control. Good luck.

  16. Been there & did this! Won’t do it again! The $ means nothing to them but being hell-bent on making you tow the line is gospel with them. I get why they’re single cuz no man would put up with their shit! I moved out due to domestic violence & got a court order against my husband. My daughter told me to come move in for 2 months until I could find a place. Well that didn’t happen soon enough for her & she started tightening down the screws. Guess where I was stuck returning to? Yep….back into that BS situation with the husband…5 years later I left him for good & filed for divorce. She is still single & now has a daughter. She is no easier on her and her militance has not improved! Sad….

  17. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I agree with everyone who has encouraged you look for help through senior services in your area to find affordable living space. Somehow, your daughter has lost all respect for you, and that is unacceptable. I believe the quote that says, “People will treat you the way you allow them to.” As hard as it is to hear, part of the way she treats you is because you let her. It is time to stand up to her and let her know what you are willing to do. I’ll bet she wouldn’t treat another roommate this way.

    It is understandable that you might feel beholden to her if she took you in because you are unable to provide a living space for yourself. You are trapped. Use every resource available to you to get out, dear sister.

  18. WOW I wonder how many of us will be facing similar situations. First and foremost do not be afraid to live alone. I have been divorce 37 years and my son left for college 20 years ago. I love my home. Retired and on a fixed income I live within my means and I am happy, truly happy. All the suggestions above are great. Get help, find a modest place join a senior citizens group, make friends get active. Volunteer at library, food banks any place to meet folks. You will have a lovely life. If you like religion join a church. Get a group of ladies together for hikes even in the malls when weather is bad and as soon as Covid is better. You are going to be so happy to be finally free. DO IT! I wish you well.

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