I was married to a man with bipolar for 30 years. It was a verbal, mental and sometimes physical abusive relationship. From this 30 year marriage, I now have a 33 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Bipolar also. I just can’t get along with her. I think she just hates me. I was not an abusive mother. I tried so hard to protect her from her father’s abuse. I thought she would be close to me but it is the other way around. She is very close to her father’s family. Her father passed away 5 years ago. I have tried so hard to have a relationship with my daughter and her children. She is so angry with me. It always for some reason or other. I am not saying I am perfect in anyway. I hate to fight and she is always starting one with me. Just need some help on how to deal with this situation. She makes it very hard to see my grandchildren. (age 62, from US)
I’m sorry about this difficult situation that you have to deal with. It is unfortunate that your daughter pushes you away, especially since this also affects your relationship with your grandchildren. If you have reached out to her repeatedly and it and isn’t improving, I think that the best thing you can do is seek support for yourself. If you initiate individual counseling to help you deal with the situation and she sees that you are willing to put that much effort into improving your relationship with her, maybe she will eventually join you for a few sessions. If not, you at least have a supportive place to work through your own feelings. It might also be helpful to get involved with National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) for information and support on loving someone who has Bipolar Disorder.
I would also encourage you to never give up on having a relationship with your grandchildren, even if you can’t mend things with your daughter. At some point they will be old enough to make their own decisions and if they have memories of you always being a positive person in their life, even if they don’t see you often, they will seek you out later.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts