Life Advice



Ask Amy: Teen daughter must become her own parent

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a very difficult and stressful relationship with my mother, and I don’t know what to do about it.

I am now 19 years old.

My mother is an addict and an alcoholic, and she missed out on much of my early childhood years because of it.

When I was around eight, she finally sobered up, but she still has a multitude of psychological problems, most likely stemming from years of substance abuse, and she never really grew up.

She only thought about herself. She hurt me over and over again. She put her maternal duties aside and wasn’t there for me.

Finally, I had enough when she missed my high school graduation last year. She then lied to me about why she had missed it (turns out she was at home the whole time).


I tried to tell her how much this had hurt me. In response, she cried, engaged in theatrics, pitied herself, and essentially told me that she was giving up on our relationship because she “always messes up.”

I begged her to try to change – for me – but it appears she would much rather wallow in her own sorrow and cry about how much I hate her.

I don’t hate her; I wish she would try harder so we could spend the rest of our lives together.

I haven’t seen her in almost a year now, and I haven’t spoken to her for months. I’m completely lost, and I have no idea how to deal with this.


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