Question: Hi Kay,
I have a 24 yr old daughter going on 14. After years and years and picking up after her disastrous (usually financial) irresponsible behaviour I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a personality disorder that causes her to remain so irresponsible (running up huge debts and them just walking away for others (boyfriends, in laws, parents, grandparents) to fix up.
She appears to show no remorse or guilt, has demonstrated being a pathological lair, has no long term goals (although constantly talks about how great she is at this and that and how’s she’s worth more money). I’m at the end of my tether – don’t know how to help her as I’m not sure what the problem is (apart from not say NO years ago).
She is battling weight problems (no motivation to do anything about it – starts a diet, last a few days, talks about it but doesn’t do it). She’s kind hearted, has a lovely personality (to the outside world) but can be sulky and angry when not with people. She will listen and discuss the why’s and wherefores of not doing something, nods, agrees and then goes straight out and does exactly what we just discussed as a bad idea.
Her father and I split when she was 7 and she spent from 7 till 13 living with him and her brother, and then returned home to me. We have a really close relationship, talk about everything, she see’s how hard I’ve worked over the years and has told me she’s proud of my achievements but just can’t seem to set herself a path where she will be happy and not a financial nightmare.
She has just left a 3 year relationship with a nice boy but got into it because everyone else had a boyfriend and she didn’t type thing. Did the whole ‘we’re getting married thing – racked up $5000 worth of dress and rings and then of course, due their enormous debt, the whole thing fell apart.
She has now returned home from overseas and lives around the corner from our home in her own unit (which we pay for) and works in my business until she finds new employment. Any suggestions? Would counselling assist this problem?
Answer: Dear Danielle:
You are not going to like my answer. She is 24 regardless of whether or not she acts like she is 14. LET GO!
She is not going to grow up until everyone around her stops fussing over her. Ignore her bad behavior and let her deal with the consequences.
Regardless of whatever mistakes you may have made not saying no in the past, there is no time like the present to let go. Realize what she has been doing has been working for her so there will be a backlash. Spend the time you have previously worrying about her or care taking doing more for yourself.
Get a new hobby. I know this sounds harsh however she will not grow up until you let her and possibly may not even then however it is her life and her issue. Do spend your time finding more joy for yourself.
M Kay Keller