what would you do?
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|Mon, 11-03-2003 - 8:48am|
I'll call her Daphne. She's 25, single, college educated, and beautiful except for this huge boulder she carries on her shoulders and an uncontrollable temper. Daphne hates her father (my DH) because while she was a child and he a single father, his discipline was very strict - even borderline abusive - to her and her younger brother. She ran away from home at 14 to live with an aunt and uncle (mother's side), who convinced her that her father was a terrible father because he spanked, yelled, made them do chores, and didn't buy them the things they wanted. Oh yes, and he divorced their mother (uncle's sister) when Daphne was about 4yo. (Mom had/has a mental illness and cannot live independently. Her own family does nothing to help her - has even disowned her - but are angry with DH for giving them back the responsibility of her affairs.) (BTW - Mom's only only family contact these days is with DH and me, who drive her to doctors' appointments, pick up her meds, and help with shopping from time to time.)
Daphne put herself through college, but made poor choices (degree in very low-paying work but insisted on staying in campus housing and took 5 years to complete the 4-year degree = $60,000+ in student loan debt). At college graduation, she asked Dad for help with her car (then took our credit card and ran it over the limit), then refused to share tickets to the graduation. We stood outside. (He refused to help with college because she refused to listen to his advice about expenses.)
Daphne had little to do with her father since, except to ask him to bail her out of one financial crisis or another (which he has done whenever possible - more often than not). When she lost her apartment, she came to live with us for a couple of months - but that ended in a physical confrontation. Long story, but enough to say that she attacked him and he wrestled and pinned her to a chair until her temper calmed down. He never hit her - but he and I both emerged with scratches and bruises from her punching, clawing and kicking.
Since that time, about a year ago, she refuses all contact with us. She told DH's family that she wanted nothing more to do with any of them, because they were too "loud." But, true to form, she called Grandpa to take her to work because the transmission went out on her car. For two weeks, Grandpa has been driving her to/from work (30 miles round trip, twice a day). No matter that this girl lives ONE block from a bus line, and has a stop directly in front of her workplace - same bus, no connections. Route schedule fits with her work schedule. She won't say why she refuses to take the bus, and has not offered to help Grandpa (SS income and pension only) with gas money. She doesn't even talk to him while enroute to/from work.
Meanwhile, Daphne's brother, let's call him Frank, also spent years stewing in anger, ran away at 17 to the same aunt and uncle, and also put himself through the same college. He and Dad have mended the relationship and got on with their lives. Daphne refuses contact from Frank also, because he lectures her and she doesn't want to hear it. Frank is overseas for a year on a teaching contract, but is in regular contact with us. He gave his dad Durable power of attorney to handle his affairs while he's gone. We have his dog living with us. The relationship is warm and growing stronger every day.
So any ideas what to do about Daphne? Or should we do anything at all? I so much want to help DH mend his relationship with her and have her be a part of our family, but don't have a clue how to go about it, or even if we should. DH misses her and it hurts.