Dear Amy: My middle child and I fought during my parenting years. I have always connected with her older brother and younger sister more easily than with her.
I had no idea how much it hurt until she got out. Once during a conversation, she shared many, many incidents showing a lack of attachment during her childhood that hurt her. There is truth in this; at that time, however, I did not see him.
Now that she is an adult, I have tried to “compensate”
Now she is a doctor and throughout the medical school she wrote me love cards of kindness and gratitude, thanking me for my support and love. And yet we can hardly be about two days without her sharing everything I say or do.
I’m always on eggshells around her. It is very beautiful and professionally powered. I know I’m teasing her. I can’t tell if there are still insults from my childhood.
She is currently distancing herself from me. This happened after she and I traveled several hundred miles together to the site of her medical residence. Although she lived quite happily with me a month ago, the trip itself did not go well.
She says she doesn’t like the person I am. This came out of the left field.
I don’t know how to react. She ignores my lyrics.
Should I just give her space?
Dear stunned: First of all: You cannot “compensate” for the lack of attachment, neglect or unbalanced treatment in your daughter’s earlier years. You can only do your best to validate your daughter’s experience, apologize, ask for forgiveness, and try to start over – as two adults sharing a complex story.
Your daughter is a medical professional, so there will probably be no additional emotional bandwidth to work on your relationship. During a situation with very high stress (heading to a new place with extremely challenging work), she said something rude and unkind. I think you should try to let this incident allow your daughter to succeed and heal, and emphasize to her that you are working hard to become the mother she deserves to have.
Dear Amy: I am a 2020 graduate of the high school.
While the last few months of my high school experience were marred by awkward Zoom farewells and anti-climatic endings, I continued to experience all of this with the thought that in a few short months I would fly to my dream college.
As this summer ended, on the same day that all my friends went to college, my university announced the cancellation of all personal classes and campus housing for the entire year.
While my friends all write to me about the wonders of college life — the freedom, the excitement, and the new friends they make — I sit at home contemplating the year ahead.
At one point, I lost my high school friends, and also the opportunity to meet new friends at my college for at least a year.
How can I make the most of this situation and not be jealous of my friends while enjoying their life in college?
Dear sad: I can only imagine how this should feel. I could point out how much worse things could be, or point out your own privileges, but – don’t you hate when people do that?
Envy is a natural, human emotion. I hope you can turn your envy into action by using this break to fulfill a personal goal: Run 5K or write a script and, in short, use some of the time you will one day spend in communication to continue to develop personally.
Given how difficult it has been to start the university year so far, unfortunately your friends are likely to bounce home due to a COVID-19 outbreak on their campus.
Dear Amy: In response to your comment that you played “Cowboys and Indians” as a child, it is “despised”, parents will make adjustments if they are concerned. There were few.
We played “cops and robbers” and it was very similar.
Dear C: That’s right. This is my point. To always throw Indians as “robbers” when they were actually robbed is what worries me so much.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.