Life Advice



Ask Amy: Mom learns it's not easy being mean

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a separated, 63-year-old retiree. My 29-year-old daughter lives at home. She has a half-sister and a father she doesn't see very often (her preference).

I am having a very difficult time navigating retirement with my adult child living at home. She pays no rent and offers no help, other than buying her own food and paying for her cellphone, car loan, and insurance.

She has had a series of jobs, but lost the most recent one due to the COVID-19 emergency.

She lives on the couch, watching reality TV. At least when she was working, she was out of the house all day. Her room looks like a tornado went through it. It's like living with a 15-year-old.

I'm not allowed to complain because then I am "mean."

She has a lot of anxiety and so I find myself staying quiet. When I have mentioned her moving out, she says she looked at apartment rentals every day (when she was working), but couldn't find anything she liked, and she won't settle for anything less.


I grew up during a time when we couldn't wait to move out of our parents' home. I lived in a number of crappy apartments.

I feel taken advantage of and don't know how to move things forward.

I live in fear of provoking panic attacks, so I stay out of her way.

I have visions of her living here for the rest of my life, which terrifies me.


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