Marge’s daughter had blown so many opportunities in 15 years that Marge couldn’t remember them all. The downward spiral had started in earnest when her 17 year-old daughter had begun ignoring every restriction, every bit of loving advice and every attempt Marge made to rescue her.
Marge’s daughter knew best and was always right.
She was critical and sarcastic, negative and resistant, bullying and abusive to Marge. Even after dropping out of school, selling drugs, becoming addicted to alcohol and God-knows what else, getting arrested and sent to prison, she still wouldn’t listen. She blamed Marge for every bad thing that’d ever happened to her. She blamed Marge for all her bad choices and failures. She whipped Marge mentally and emotionally, and even hit her.
When her daughter became 21, Marge finally protected her personal space.
After a particularly bad verbal attack, followed by shoving and hitting, Marge finally called the police and had her daughter removed. Marge told her daughter that as long as she was choosing the “Dark Side,” she wasn’t welcome in Marge’s space.
When her daughter raged at her, Marge laughed and said, “I’m over your hurt and pain and anger. Not my problem. Get over them with your therapist, not over my body.”
Marge made her daughter an offer; a method Marge required for reconciliation.
Marge told her daughter she’d be glad to reconcile with a wonderful daughter who was kind, civil, polite and interested in a great adult relationship. From now on, her daughter had to please Marge; Marge’s standards would rule her life. Her daughter could make a long sequence of small steps, beginning any time, to prove herself to Marge. In the meantime, Marge would be having a wonderful life; full of friends and experiences her daughter would not be part of.
But Marge was not interested in a relationship with a person who’d chosen the “Dark Side,” no matter the name of the relationship.
Marge was clear; all the blaming and complaining, the scapegoating and whippings didn’t matter to her anymore. She wasn’t interested in her daughter’s dark feelings, reasons and excuses; she wasn’t interested in being vomited on. Her daughter had chosen her own path.
Marge knew she couldn’t teach her daughter anything anymore.
She could only set conditions and standards for allowing people to get close to her.
Public amends were only the first of many steps her daughter had to take.
Since her daughter had told lies and acted publically, Marge said she’d have to take things back publically. Then they might meet once in a while at a neutral place for a year or two. If her daughter threw a hissy-fit, Marge would withdraw again and the clock would have to start from zero. If her daughter was wonderful for that length of time, Marge might consider next steps.
Marge would never again give her daughter money.
Since her daughter was an adult, she was on her own. If she couldn’t make it on her own, Marge would be bereft. And, of course she was scared and still felt a little guilty. What if her daughter couldn’t make it or if bad people did bad things to her or if she committed suicide? But Marge wouldn’t bail her out any more. Her daughter had dug her own pit and she’d have to struggle to get out on her own.
After 15 years, a miracle happened.
Marge’s daughter got it; she turned herself around. She made the steps Marge had laid out. She never exploded in a rage, blaming Marge for all her troubles. After two years Marge was willing to invite her daughter to her home for dinner; the home of her daughter’s childhood. Marge made sure her daughter no longer had a room or a childhood “shrine” there.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- 1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- 2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.