Open Letter to My Daughter

god has plans for meDear Daughter,

I want to start out by saying that I love you with all my heart. You are my child and I will always love you no matter what. That being said, I need to point out to you that you are an ADULT now and have been legally so for the last 25 years. And as an adult YOU are responsible for providing yourself with the life you want or need. No one else, not the government, not your friends, not me, or anyone else is required to provide for you. YOU are supposed to provide for you. That is God’s will and God’s plan for your life. I know you as only a mother can, and I know that you know the difference between right and wrong. That you chose to ignore what you know is the main source of the sorrows in your life.

I obviously made mistakes when trying to raise you and for that I sincerely apologize. I was a child of 16 myself when I gave birth to you and had no knowledge of how to raise a child and provide you with guidance that I never received because I made the poor choice to leave home too soon. Somehow I failed to impart to you the reality that when you are an adult almost everything that happens is a direct result of your action or inaction in any given situation. Sure sometimes bad things happen to good people, but only rarely. When bad things are constantly happening, you need to step back and take a long hard look at what you are doing or not doing to bring such sadness and deprivation into your life.

  • My car, purse, phone and laptop got stolen; well, you left your car unlocked, running, with the keys in it. That was your inaction. The place you choose to live is the car theft capital of the country and you are well aware of that.
  • My meds got stolen; well that was your choice to let it be known that you have meds that can be abused in your home and to also leave your house unlocked rather than blame it on the fact that the mate you chose, an alleged adult, can’t seem to keep track of a house key.
  • Someone is listening to my phone; OK, you know why that is, if someone really is doing that. This is a DIRECT RESULT of something you have done that you should not have done. You are NOT a random target.
  • My feet are cold, I lost my boots; well you chose to live in a frigid climate and chose not to keep track of your boots.

I can’t even count how many sad tales I’ve heard from you over these decades since you reached adulthood. I have lain awake night after night wondering why it is that you seem bound and determined to screw yourself over in every way possible.

One thing that has become clear to me is that you do not accept responsibility for yourself. I hear endless excuses about how whatever the latest crisis is not your fault. People are always out to get you. You never get a fair break. You are betrayed yet again. And on and on it goes. You have told so many half-truths and made so many excuses for your circumstances that you start to believe that is the truth instead of doing some serious soul-searching and asking yourself “what am I doing to ruin my life?” Deep down in you somewhere you know the truth, but I don’t think you have actually faced it and taken ownership and responsibility for your life.

Grandmommie used to have a quaint way of saying it. “If you lay down with a dog, you get up with fleas.” A biblical way of putting it is: “You reap what you sow.” What are you sowing? It can’t be anything beneficial, because your life seems to be a never ending stream of tragedy, melodrama and heartbreak. At the age you are, you should be reaping at least a little bit of joy, roses and sunshine by now instead of living in the eternal darkness of a wasted life caused by bad choices.

Looking back over the years I realize now that the only time you call is when you want something from me. You usually call when it’s getting close to Christmas. You want me to give you money, buy you something you insist you “need,” listen and believe your latest sob story and go along with your misguided attitude of “oh you poor little thing, why are all this terrible things happening to you?” I can’t even recall a time when you called me simply because you wanted to know how I was doing, what is going on in my life, what troubles I may have. These seem to be non-issues to you. I feel that I am nothing to you but an ATM machine and a shoulder to cry on when you’ve made yet another extremely unwise decision.

I can’t force you to change your ways and I don’t intend to even try. What I can do is change my ways. What I have decided is that I will no longer;

  • Give you money
  • Buy things for you
  • Respond to random text messages that are impossible to understand
  • Sympathize with you when you are suffering from the consequences of you own actions
  • Believe your excuses and long involved stories of why it wasn’t your fault that something bad is happening to you yet again
  • Attempt to rescue you from another pickle you’ve gotten yourself into
  • Attempt to have a conversation with you when you refuse to be honest and give me straight answers to reasonable questions regarding your situation
  • Attempt to talk to you when you are stoned, high, drunk, wasted, baked, buzzed or whatever the latest slang for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be
  • Allow you to come live with me because you “just can’t make it” on your own

What I will do is continue to love you and pray for you every day. The gift I am giving you today is your life. I am handing it to you on a silver platter because it does not belong to me. I have also given you back to God. It is between you and him what you do with your life. You know what you need to do. There is no better time than now to start living an honest, moral, sane, peaceful and joyful life. I hope you do, I’m looking forward to it.

Love you forever,


15 responses

  1. As a daughter who is estranged from my own mother, I feel like this could’ve been written by her. I’m sure you feel quite proud of yourself and what you think was a smart, wise letter to your daughter. But I’ll tell you what it’s like on the other side of the pasture: better without you and your conditional, superficial “love”. Easier without your sullen attitude that I should’ve been someone other than who I am to fit your dream daughter fantasy. My mom pulled the exact same game you just wrote about–she hadn’t seen me up until recently for a decade, and I still have zero interest in ever having a friendship with her and I make no attempts to see her or tell her what’s going on in my life. She knows virtually nothing of my life and I intend to keep it that way. She did it to me years ago, so this is her karma. Fair is fair. Because you know what she, albeit inadvertently–taught me when she did what you’ve done to your daughter? It taught me I didn’t need her. It taught me that when mom bounces from the picture, my life not only went on–but it got even better because I was free from her nonstop anger and judgments. I realized no one else in the world–including my SO–thinks as harshly of me as my mom does and that really, SHE was the one who made my life hell. She withdrew all support and I saw I didn’t need what she could offer, anyway. I didn’t need her praise, support, financial help for college, or anything. When I had trying times, I no longer thought about calling her. She faded into the distance and now, years later when she wants to be friend again, not only is she a person I don’t trust, she’s a stranger to me. So to you, I just say; if you really feel so poorly about your daughter and think your pitiable “love from a distance” bullshit is enough–definitely let her go so she can surround herself with people who actually do love and accept her exactly the way she is today. Because now is the only moment that matters and it should be spent with people who only see the best in her, not people who remind her of how poor she is in their eyes. Just remember, old age hits everyone and if you ruin a relationship with your daughter now, she may not want one with you later when you change your mind.

    1. Hello, and thank you for your frank response from the other side. There has been a 2 years lag in response time because I was overcome by an attack of bipolar depression. Every thing you said is almost exactly like the things my daughter says to me. Perhaps you are right and she is better off without me. As far as worrying about her “taking care of me when I get old”? That scenario would be my worst nightmare. Mainly because she has stately explicitly that she wishes was dead.

      The mother daughter conundrum is as old as time. Add in mental illness and it is a volitale mix. Best of luck to you.

    2. Emeliene;

      I read your response and I want to thank you. Hearing this woman publicly bully her daughter reminded me of my relationship with my father who behaved in the same way you describe. I recently realized that I can’t rely on him during hard times either. He made my life hell and then blamed me for not being able to pick up the pieces. For so long, I thought death was the only way out of the pain it caused me. Similar to this Woman, he alleges that he was only a piggy bank, not realizing that mentally healthy people can give to their children without feeling cheated because it’s not a power play. They really want to see their children thrive. If they realize that they can’t give money, they give time and guidance. They go to therapists and seek advice. They do anything to save their children. I learned this from watching the parents of my friend who was a drug addict. I couldn’t stay friends with him because of how he treated his parents, but it helped me see how loving people react. I’m hoping to get to where you are, where I don’t need my father’s conditional love and I find people that truly care about Me. I have a few, but I don’t trust people as much as I should because of my trauma. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. I think you’re a jerk.

  3. This is exactly what I would like to say to my half-sister who is untreated for her Bipolar Disorder I diagnosis. She’s been in and out of treatment for years, on and off meds and 6 yrs ago swore off treatment and meds and is in a continuous cycle of mania and bipolar depression. She’s totally self-destructed, is homeless, lost all her possessions, still blaming everyone else, playing the victim card, and wanting to be rescued as long as no one tries to tell her what to do. I’ve enabled her through financial and “moral support” and made myself sick (and poorer). Just went into therapy to get help for me, and while I love her dearly, no more enabling. Just saying the Serenity Prayer over and over. Thanks for your blog.

  4. I felt like I was reading about my stepson. It took awhile before the tough-love thing actually sank into him and even longer for it to sink into his mother and me. You’re right though, you can only do so much, anything else does become enabling and counterproductive.

    I hope it all turns out well in the end for you both, but in the meantime at least, much of the weight has been lifted from you. In the end…it’s her life and only she can run it.

    1. sorry to hear you’re going through this with your stepson. I hope he finds his way

    2. Reading this, it’s clear that you are a Narcissist. You likely suffer from some type of mental health issues and you’ve traumatized your daughter. The fact that you have to write this to strangers is likely because those closer to you who know the REAL story don’t empathize with you. Note how you briefly gloss over your own mistakes in less than a paragraph then spend most of your letter trying to humiliate your daughter for having financial problems. You can’t fool people by playing the victim. At least be honest, own that you’re a selfish parent. The reason your daughter only comes to you when she’s in crisis is likely because you’re an unreliable parent. My Mother knows everything about my life because she asks. If I didn’t call her, she would worry and call me. She even gets angry if I don’t text her back. She doesn’t think I’m responsible for her emotional needs, she knows she is responsible for mine. Because she taught me how to love by example, I reciprocate. You’ll be telling lies about your daughter until you die, but until you accept the truth about yourself, she won’t want anything to do with you unless she is desperate and has no one to turn to. And because you didn’t empower her with the tools to create a stable life for herself, she likely will always struggle in some way. I wish your daughter the best in healing from a Mother like you. I also know that you’re not necessarily a bad person, just a traumatized one. If you seek help and change, both of you could be truly happy.

  5. Thanks for finally writing about >Open Letter to My Daughter | The Serenity Game <Liked it!

  6. My heart is heavy for you after reading this. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and even when one does that job well–as you have–the payoffs and rewards are not guaranteed. So sorry for you, but if it helps at all I think you’re doing the right thing.

    1. Thank you Miss Pink, it is a comfort to know that you think I’m doing the right thing.

  7. I was trying to enter a comment yesterday b4 my computer went bonkers, but what I was saying was pretty much the same thing mairedubhtx was saying and that is that I wish you and your daughter the best on mending fences. I know for a fact how complicated familial fallouts can be … I haven’t spoken with most of my family members in more than a decade since our family matriarch passed. Honestly I don’t hold any regret about pulling away from them b/c it was something that had been brewing for a long time and I will not bore anyone with all of that old stuff, but what I will say is that if you feel in your heart that you have done the best for your daughter then the only thing you can do is what you proclaimed in your blog, “let go and let God”.
    But I do hope you two come to some sort of peaceful resolution b/c you two don’t want to wake up one day and realized how much time has passed over something you’ll each think is a small matter.

    1. Thank you for commenting. My intention is not to break off relations with my daughter. All though she will probably be extremely angry when she receives my letter and not speak to me for what may be a long while. My intention is to not enable her anymore. If she wants to have a sober, respectful conversation, and not try to wheedle me into giving her money or helping her stay stuck in her mess, I’m all for it.

  8. I sincerely hope that your daughter straightens out. You are taking action and that’s all you can do. I hope it works.

    1. Thanks for listening, Maire. Whether she does or not I feel an enormous weight lifted from my shoulders from just giving her back into the care of her maker.

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