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I can't handle this anymore

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Casual scribe

I can't handle this anymore

Hi I'm new here.
I have an 18 year old daughter with depression. I try so hard To raise her right but this is so overwhelming and I'm not coping.
She is beyond nasty. She is stressed and angry over every tiny thing. I get called such horrible names and told I make her want to harm herself, make her feel worthless. She says she might as well become a stripper and do drugs as she is that worthless. All that stuff comes from a simple request of washing a plate or something similar. I can't talk to her. She sometimes apologizes eventually but I want it to not happen. I am rambling sorry. I just dont know what to do. She has tried antidepressants and stopped taking them. She wont do counselling. Please help please I can't cope with this 😥

Super contributor

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Hey @Barbara82


I'm so sorry you guys are going through this. It can be so overwhelming to hear our child say things like that. She sounds like she is in a lot of pain.


And although it might feel hopeless because she's refusing to engage support there are actually a lot of things you can do, on your side, to help her see other ways of managing her feelings and thoughts.


Let me put together some resources for you.

I just really wanted to say Hi and Welcome first so you know you've been heard. Smiley Happy

Prolific scribe

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Hi @Barbara82, welcome to the parent forum.  You are going through a lot at the moment and you are coping.  Reaching out and getting help for you is really important.  I have been through a similar situation in my house and although difficult I did keep reminding my child of expectations around behaviour.  You are not alone and I hope I can offer reassurance that you are doing all you can and the best you can at this awkward time. 

Super star contributor

Re: I can't handle this anymore

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Hi @Barbara82, welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing with us. I can hear your distress and I really feel for you and your daughter going through this. It's really horrible when our kids say nasty things to us, and it can be so hard to let their words just slip in one ear and out the next without taking them personally. 


My daughter used to be the same, at times still can be rude and without support it's natural that at some point we reach our limit. We're human after all. All the things your daughter is saying to you is reflecting her own feelings and thoughts about herself and you're the punching bag at the moment because she doesn't know how to manage her overwhelming emotions. 


My daughter refused counselling for years too, but as @Ngaio-RO said there are things you can do to still help her. I went to her counselling sessions and did some parenting courses, got a lot of support around learning to understand her and ways I could parent her differently. It's made a huge difference for us, and could be something to look into for yourself?


ReachOut offers coaching to help parents. I did it earlier this year and found it to be really useful. It's free and is done online and over the phone, and they help you with the issues you want help with. Check out the link here to find out more.


Reaching out for support shows how much you love your daughter. Parenting is a tough job. Hang in there and be kind to yourself. 



Casual scribe

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Casual scribe

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Hi, I am in the same position. My daughter is 16 years old. I have been called names, I hear "I hate you" about 20 times verbally and in Text. I have been receiving text messages such as "you suck at everything", "you are the most horrible mother", "get out of the house", "go back to your Russia" (I am not from Russia, but Eastern Europe). 

This all I get because I "am nagging" by asking to clean up her room, take a dirty dish into the dishwasher, asking if she checked her school e-mails. I have to repeat the same at least 50 times, and then there is a moment when I raise my voice and say that there will be consequences.

I promised she would go on a trip to Colorado with her swim team, only if I don't hear "I hate you" any more. After that, there were at least 100 times "I hate you". I then said that I will cancel the trip because she did not stick to what I asked her. I was called an abusive mother, I was told that she knew she wouldn't go. I am just t trying to enforce the consequences for disrespect. 

My husband is teaming up with her, as he doesn't like the confrontation. I cover all the bills and my daughter goes to a expensive private school, that I pay for.

I feel very lonely and afraid. She threatens to run away when I reply verbally back (unfortunately by then it's yelling) to the offensive words that she sends my way.

I am such a failure because I too get emotional to her disrespect, mean attitude, smirking and just hating me. She hates anything I do. She is mimicking how I talk with a visible disgust and makes faces with her Dad in how ridiculous I am.

I want to move out and live separately, as I have been trying to improve the situation for the past 2 years and it is only getting worse... I get constant headaches, anxiety, and my hands are shaking every time I see a text message from her. Help!



Super star contributor

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Hi @Ilonija, I’m glad you’ve reached out for support and I can hear your distress in your voice. I’m so sorry you are going through this and it’s so hard when we’re doing our best and trying to give our kids the best opportunities and all we seem to get in return is attitude and abuse. 


Your daughter sounds very angry which usually masks another emotion (fear, hurt, grief) and you’re her outlet. While I’ve found it helpful to understand this, words are still hurtful and over time can become unbearable. 


My daughter has improved a lot but still can be very brutal in her moments. I no longer respond to abusive texts and to help my own sanity have blocked her number during times of persistent messages. 


During calm times I’ve asked her why she’s so angry with me. If she says, for example, I’m always nagging, I ask how would she prefer I go about things. I just listen and ask questions and it usually comes down to ‘I’m not hearing her’ - which is usually what is upsetting me about her! I then ask her if she thinks the way she reacts to me is okay? I remind her I’m her Mum and I love her dearly and I’ll then tell her how I feel when she says this or doesn’t do that, keeping my language about how I feel, not placing blame.


We also discuss and agree on fair consequences and that way there are no surprises and no need for reactive consequences for which I was guilty in the heat of the moment. 


This also sounded unfair to me to at first to be totally honest, but I was advised to apologise to my daughter when I got it wrong. It was hard at first and initially caught my daughter off guard, then I got the ‘yeah, you should be sorry’, but it didn’t take long before the apologies started coming back to me.


I think those things have helped us incredibly. It takes practice and I still mess up and yell sometimes but that’s okay, it’s how we repair that matters. 


It’s all easy to write but you need to be in a place where you have enough energy and emotional capacity, so you need to look after you first. Do you anything for yourself that fulfills you? I started making mosaics just over a year ago - it’s been a saviour! 


Be kind to yourself and I hope something I’ve shared can be of help Heart



Casual scribe

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Oh wow,@taokat! Thank you! You would not believe how important it was for me to see your reply! I am so thankful. I really, really, needed to hear this.


You perfectly touched upon every single issue I was confused about how to handle. For example: the abusive texts - most of the times I feel like I am having a heart attack (the heart is beating so fast, I am scared, anxious). And of course, as a defense mechanism I tend to send replies in the wave of the emotions. My replies turn into "how dare you", "you are grounded", "I will show you", etc. which only throws her off even more. Your advise to block for a say half a day - is a perfect solution I haven't thought about! I will definitely practice this.


We don't have that much of a calm time any more but if we do at some point, I will ask how to better handle/ask that she just does the basic - pick up her clothes from the floor, etc.


I am 100% guilty of unpredicted/unplanned consequences! Usually because I feel so hurt by the names I am being called and the abuse, I tend to punish with the most important and precious that is for her at the moment - like the long waited trip to Colorado. It's my reaction/defense to the verbal attack. I do realize I have to educate myself to keep it cool and not lose it. I am just so far away from mastering it and I am hoping it's not too late.


I too started to focus more on what I like to do. I have recently got together with my girlfriends that I have not seen in 4 years! We went to dinner and a movie and Life looked fabulous to me again...of course, until I stepped into the house with an angry teenager, who was complaining about the food I cooked earlier. But again, just like I exercise in the gym every day, I will exercise the skill of thoughtful and controlled response. God be with me on this - as this will be hardest challenge in my life!


Thank you so much!

w/love Ilona


Star contributor

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Hi @Ilonija,


It sounds like there have been some helpful suggestions from @taokat Smiley Happy We would be interested to hear how you go if you try to implement some of these strategies


Check out our community activities calendar here
Casual scribe

Re: I can't handle this anymore

Hi Jess1-RO,


Thank you for checking on me. I feel like this support group is great and knowledgeable.


I have not had any chance yet to implement some of the strategies that I wish I learned about before. I think I was always in denial that I have a Defiant teenager in the house and thought that with a raised voice, and some (obviously ineffective) punishment strategies I've got it. Come to find out this is not so.


My daughter now got into a Shut-down mode and a silent treatment towards me. When we had our last fight, she yelled out that I will be "invisible" for her from now on. Looks like she is sticking to her threat.


I have been trying to talk thru her closed door for the past several days, but unsuccessful. I offer her dinner, water, or snacks - silence. I then knock on the door (thinking she could be plugged in), and slightly touch the door handle. Immediately at that moment I hear her yell: "You dare to open that door!" "You will regret opening this door". I then say ok, and walk away.


It has been very very difficult for me also because my husband is teamed up with her. He has always chose the easy path with her - just letting her do what she wants, not really checking or addressing if there were issues at school with grades, etc. At times she has been very mean to him as well, and he would "have enough of her", saying that he won't drive her around to friends' house, to her swim practices, if she keeps talking nasty to him. I always reminded her that she could not talk like this to her Dad. But he would never stand up for me.


Now as she sees that he is on her side, they implemented a Silent treatment towards me. Basically they turned away from me. He doesn't speak with me either. I feel very lonely and helpless. My Mom also tells me that it is my job to have piece in the family at any cost to avoid my daughter getting more into a dark depression, etc. I feel the quilt and the blame that her mood, her shutting down, her anger, is what I caused by trying to help her (unfortunately with my nagging) to turn her homework on -time, to respond to the college coaches' calls, etc. I am such a failure and I am scared.


I get up at 2.30am with my heart pounding and start reading tons of articles about how to improve the situation. The more I read, the more I realize how many mistakes I made: nagging, asking her to clean her room (instead of just picking up her clothes from the floor myself when she wasn't home), remining about the college process, asking to stay off the phone after 11pm, asking to follow up with the college swim coaches, suggesting she eats helthy, etc etc.  I could have avoided this heart-ache for everyone if I just left her alone and let her live/do as she pleases. And this is where I get confused - how am I a good mom if I don't really get involved and care how and what she does?


I don't know if I should continue to talk thru the closed door offering dinner, or just saying sth nice, and walk away when I get the regular "get out", "don't dare to come to my room". Or at this point, let it be as it is, leave her alone, and maybe some day she will come out of it and approaches me? Help, please.