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Our middle daughter has severe depression

Our middle daughter has severe depression

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Nino93
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Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hello everyone . Our middle daughter has severe depression for quite many years now. She has been through therapy a few times and a few years back on medication. She is now married and has a child . We have not seen her for six months despite the many attempts to reach out. She distanced herself from the entire family. We understand some of the main chore issues that might have led to distance and we are respecting her decision. She had periods in her life when she would withdrawn completely and others were she would be the first one to smile and comfort the entire family with her uncanny sense of humour. My question for the parents here would be is there any advice you can share at this point? We have not seen her for 6 months so at this point is there anything we can do? We are looking after ourselves and our health. Between our two other daughters and us we are supporting each other so despite the pain of her absence we can say we are ok. However I found this forum and heard so many good things and read so many beautiful post that I decided to give it a go and seek help. Thank you all in advance. Our daughter is now 25 however she has suffered from depression during her teenage years. Thank you all in advance.

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Parent/Carer Community Champion
PapaBill
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Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

hi @Nino93 

 

I am very sad to hear that you are not able to have the relationship with your daughter you seek.  

Does your daughter live near by?  Is there a physical distance issue in getting to see your daughter?

 

How is the relationship with your son-in-law?  Can you work with him to arrange time together as a family?

Hopefully he would see having his child's grandmother in their life as a positive?

 

Reading your post I gather you understand some of the causes of why she is distant.  Can anything be done to address these or are they historical and unchangeable ?

 

It is hard to offer anything concrete as suggestions as the reasons for the separation often need to be addressed and they are specific to each relationship.   

 

At 25 the reality is she can choose to go her own way and sadly some do.  My ex-wife brother left the family in his early 20's and has not been heard from in the last 30 years, so it is important to see what can be done now to repair any relationship issues sooner rather than later.  

 

 

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Nino93
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Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hello PapaBill, thank you for reaching out. Much appreciated. Yes our daughter lives nearby with her family. Me and my husband do travel a lot but we are home every other month for an extended period of time. She got married just two years ago and the relationship with our son in law was very positive. We are a family who love having our daughters and their partners for dinners and to hung out. So even before they were married , we used to see them often. During the pregnancy there were episodes where she would come closer to us and then after the fifth month she wrote us a text explaining she would need to distance herself from us as she experienced the relationship with her family as toxic and detrimental to her mental health. At that text she pinpoint a number or issues that she could not get resolved in her mind and so she opted for the distance as a way to keep a positive environment for her baby to develop. At end of pregnancy she contacted us again and the first few days of our grandson being born she reached out many times. There were complications with breastfeeding and she did not let us near. She was diagnosed with depression before and just days after giving birth she was back with anti depressants. We saw our grandson twice for a brief moment. That was six months ago. Since then we had tried to reach in many ways but she changed her phone. She also distances herself from her siblings. Historically she was very very close to us. She did not have many friends and her family always has been her safe port. She was the one who sit on the sofa with us to watch a movie while the other two would hung out with their friends. She always would come to us and being an artist myself we shared many creative outlets. She was a fine artist student but could not complete her degree due to mental health. Since she started dating her husband to be, she gradually became distant and sort of building gradually a fence around her life. There were times where we would be invited in and there were times of silent. We very much respected her space and during her growing up we were there to support her in every single step. She started therapy at tender age of 10 due to severe panic attacks and where in therapy in different times in her life. We always been very close. So yes we had access to our son in law before our daughter opted for a distance but now no longer. I believe she had requested him not to be in touch with us. What we have been doing in light of all this is: respecting the distance, during special occasions like birthdays, mother day etc, we would send a simple card and a small gift. Letters and gifts had not been returned during this time so we are guessing she is receiving it. We were aware of her introspective personality but we worked together in order support the way she wanted. My guess it is pretty much what she stated
In the text sent during pregnancy, the relationship with us and particular with the mother she experienced in her mind is really toxic for her and despite her wish to be a positive one, for now she just could not handle. Again I appreciate your suggestions in here and I believe I had laid a few points so I welcome your view. Much appreciated.

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Parent/Carer Community Champion
PapaBill
Solution

Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

hi @Nino93 

 

I am very sad to hear that you are not able to have the relationship with your daughter you seek.  

Does your daughter live near by?  Is there a physical distance issue in getting to see your daughter?

 

How is the relationship with your son-in-law?  Can you work with him to arrange time together as a family?

Hopefully he would see having his child's grandmother in their life as a positive?

 

Reading your post I gather you understand some of the causes of why she is distant.  Can anything be done to address these or are they historical and unchangeable ?

 

It is hard to offer anything concrete as suggestions as the reasons for the separation often need to be addressed and they are specific to each relationship.   

 

At 25 the reality is she can choose to go her own way and sadly some do.  My ex-wife brother left the family in his early 20's and has not been heard from in the last 30 years, so it is important to see what can be done now to repair any relationship issues sooner rather than later.  

 

 

View solution in original post

Active scribe
Nino93
Solution

Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hello PapaBill, thank you for reaching out. Much appreciated. Yes our daughter lives nearby with her family. Me and my husband do travel a lot but we are home every other month for an extended period of time. She got married just two years ago and the relationship with our son in law was very positive. We are a family who love having our daughters and their partners for dinners and to hung out. So even before they were married , we used to see them often. During the pregnancy there were episodes where she would come closer to us and then after the fifth month she wrote us a text explaining she would need to distance herself from us as she experienced the relationship with her family as toxic and detrimental to her mental health. At that text she pinpoint a number or issues that she could not get resolved in her mind and so she opted for the distance as a way to keep a positive environment for her baby to develop. At end of pregnancy she contacted us again and the first few days of our grandson being born she reached out many times. There were complications with breastfeeding and she did not let us near. She was diagnosed with depression before and just days after giving birth she was back with anti depressants. We saw our grandson twice for a brief moment. That was six months ago. Since then we had tried to reach in many ways but she changed her phone. She also distances herself from her siblings. Historically she was very very close to us. She did not have many friends and her family always has been her safe port. She was the one who sit on the sofa with us to watch a movie while the other two would hung out with their friends. She always would come to us and being an artist myself we shared many creative outlets. She was a fine artist student but could not complete her degree due to mental health. Since she started dating her husband to be, she gradually became distant and sort of building gradually a fence around her life. There were times where we would be invited in and there were times of silent. We very much respected her space and during her growing up we were there to support her in every single step. She started therapy at tender age of 10 due to severe panic attacks and where in therapy in different times in her life. We always been very close. So yes we had access to our son in law before our daughter opted for a distance but now no longer. I believe she had requested him not to be in touch with us. What we have been doing in light of all this is: respecting the distance, during special occasions like birthdays, mother day etc, we would send a simple card and a small gift. Letters and gifts had not been returned during this time so we are guessing she is receiving it. We were aware of her introspective personality but we worked together in order support the way she wanted. My guess it is pretty much what she stated
In the text sent during pregnancy, the relationship with us and particular with the mother she experienced in her mind is really toxic for her and despite her wish to be a positive one, for now she just could not handle. Again I appreciate your suggestions in here and I believe I had laid a few points so I welcome your view. Much appreciated.

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Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hi @Nino93, thanks for sharing. It sounds like a very complex situation for everyone involved. You were really close with your daughter and her husband - it must be difficult to feel that you may have lost some of that connection. Your daughter sounds like she has had her fair share of struggles in life. There is no right answer on how to approach this situation but you have reached out to her and tried to keep in contact. It sounds like you have tried to respect her boundaries but are still unsure how to approach the situation. It may be worth clarifying what is toxic about the relationship so that you can work on this together. It is important to try and remain neutral and non-judgmental. As you mentioned, it is from her point of view. You could also ask what your daughter expects from your relationship. For example, does she not want to be contacted, are gifts okay, does she need time etc. It can't be easy to be in this position. I can tell that you are thoughtful and want to do what is right. Best of luck and please keep us updated Heart

Active scribe
Nino93

Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hello Taylor, your feedback and support is much appreciated. At the moment and that has been the case for the past 7 months there are no line of communication between us and our daughter. She changed her phone number, her husband do not answer our calls or texts either. We had continue despite her choice to send on birthdays and special dates, small gifts and she did not return them during those occasions. Our son in-law who works with our daughter’s husband has been kindly taking those small gifts to them. Our daughter had cut off communication with all members of our family and as such there is no way for a conversation or any other approach. At this point all we can do is to wait. We are aware that the wait can be a long one. But until she shows she is ready to approach her own family again , I cannot see how we could act any other way. To be honest, I had passed the point of sadness, frustration, disappointment and so many more unpleasant feelings that this whole situation had created. I made a decision to work with my own feelings in understanding what and how this could help me grow and mature as a better person. I am using this as a self growth and I am grateful for this opportunity that life had gifted me. I am seeking help in therapy on how to deal with my own limits in regards to all this. But apart from working within myself there is not much we can do, until she decides to change her approach. We know nothing what is going on, it a big silence in the relationship that once was filled with joy and emotion but relationships work between two or more people, if one of them decide to pull out then it is no longer a relationship. So at this point I am doing my best to understand what all this brings to me and work the best way possible. In regards to our adult daughter I need to let it go of her choice and accept it. When she figures out of it is time to approach us again then we will work on something productive. Thank you again.
Mod
Taylor-RO

Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hi @Nino93, thanks for your response. It sounds like a heart breaking situation. As you mentioned, the relationship used to be filled with joy and emotion but is now filled with silence. It must be challenging to adjust to this major change.. although as you said, there is not much else to do except wait. It sounds like this has all gone on for a while and so some of your initial feelings have passed. You are at the point where you feel that you have done all that you can and need to work towards letting go and accepting your daughter's choice. As you said, a relationship requires effort and reciprocation from the other party. I am sure that your daughter has received your message and your good intentions, loud and clear. It is incredible to read that you have used this situation to work on yourself Heart That is very brave, powerful and not an easy thing to do. Sometimes it can be hard to see the silver lining but you believe that there is something to be learnt. This is so very true. Each situation is usually accompanied by learning, growth and change of some sort. Is there anything you have learnt so far? Is there anything you engage in other than therapy that helps? Smiley Happy

Active scribe
Nino93

Re: Our middle daughter has severe depression

Hello Taylor,

Thank you for the response and such wise words. Yes the relationship with our daughter was filled with sharing moments, engaging conversations and in depth meaningful ties. Her choice to distance herself from her entire family was indeed heavy on our hearts as we did not anticipate this. She was the peace maker and the one who united all parts. Her absence is very much felt by each of us. However as a family who practice respect, love and contentment we have to accept it. It is not easy to any of us and I say on behalf of our family. We had tried to reach her without any success. So after almost 8 months and many many emotional hurdles dealing with this I had started to deal with this in the realms of my emotional consciousness. I have been asking why and the reasons for this lesson. What I can learn from it? Where does it hurt? When I choose to suffer? When I choose to feel the pain? What do I do with it? Where to grow? How to better deal with this to the point I do not break but rather surrender to the situation I am in and accept it with an open heart. I had been through anger, frustration, profound sadness and so many feelings which had nothing but paralyzed me. The feelings I had nourished at the beginning  did nothing but victimized my own self. Did not really help towards growth. I had a choice, either I would sit in a corner and cry everyday or live my life. I had opted for the second one after victimizing my own self for many months. Therapy is not the traditional set of a divan and a psychoanalyst but rather what I came across as family constellations. I had done one session when this is all started and I am engaging on the second one in few days. It did help a lot because I could see why I made the unconscious choice of victimizing my self. Now I am about to engage on a much deeper level where I could see only one remedy. To surrender wholeheartedly to the choice our daughter had done. To surrender with an open heart, with love and respect. I am ready for it. Through this journey I had engaged in many readings, podcasts, creativity, healthy cooking; I made time for me. I made time for being kind, generous to myself. There were long walks and meditation ( a lot of it) to quiet the Ego voice and let the heart speak rather than the mind. This journey reminds me constantly that the love for our daughter is much bigger than the choice she made so there is no reason why I should ally myself with a choice that is not mine. The best I can do is to surrender, to accept with an open heart and live my life the best way possible. I am about to engage onto the second family constellation with the same therapist who helped me over one year ago. I believe the elements I need to this last step I will find it and then will start to work in order to practice full acceptance so I can live peacefully the life I choose for me and very importantly do not expect, hope or imagine anything beyond what is real and what is now.