Dear Annie: Eight months ago, our highly educated 43-year-old daughter informed my wife that she hates her. She put on a humiliating performance in front of her two children, a stepchild, her husband and us. We don't understand this at all, but she now wants nothing to do with us.
We do not deserve such treatment. We have been good, helpful parents and grandparents. In March, I phoned my daughter and asked why she hates her mother. She refused to discuss it. Three months later, I wrote her a letter and asked again. She has not responded.
Our daughter's first marriage was not good, and we helped her emotionally and financially. Is a therapist giving her bad advice? Does she have a split personality? Might she be in a cult? Is her husband pushing her to do this? Please help us find a reason for this shabby, disrespectful treatment. - Bewildered Dad in Illinois
Dear Dad: Your concerns are all interesting possibilities, but extreme. More likely, your daughter blames her mother for things that have gone wrong in her life. You may see it differently, but this is your daughter's version, and to her, it is the truth. Please don't argue with her. Instead, ask whether all of you can go for counseling together to work through whatever issues are troubling her, so you can be a family again. We hope she will agree.
Editor's note: Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.