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Counseling/from teri, re daughter's visit


QUESTION: Hi again -
well, this is my condensed version...
My daughter often says cruel things to me that bring back to me how her father used to talk to me
A month ago, in a moment of anger, I reacted and told her that when her granny died it wasn't natural causes but suicide, and that I partially blame her father.
She is coming to visit soon and I've had very little communication with her, although I did send her a letter apologising in an unmitigated way.
How should I act when I see her? I expect her mood will probably be sullen, angry or tearful. She might say she doesn't want to be with me. But we have had a beautiful, loving relationship in the past and I'm not a systematically abusive mother. How can I calm her and let her know everything will be ok?

ANSWER: Hello Teri,

Act like you love her. Treat her with respect and dignity. Be authentic. Why hold on to the past? We all only have this moment once. Do you want the past to continue to hurt you, or do you want to create a new present, a new future?

If she is sullen, maintain your calm and peace. People respond to energy. If you are able to keep yours high, she will come along with you. The Law of Resonance says she has to. If you have ever walked into a room and felt the dark, oppressive energy of a place or person, you know what I mean. Be the light for her and yourself.

Be calm and she will be calm. Be the leader of the relationship.

You might also consider apologizing again for blurting out that her grandmother committed suicide. Do this in a way that leaves the door open for more open and honest communication. Give her a reason to want to reconnect. Make it respectful. It sounds like you have a lot to repair. No matter what you do, if you do it with integrity, honesty, and sincerity, she will likely respond with the same. Maybe not right away, but doesn't she deserve that response anyway?

Good luck,

Laura Giles

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Laura.

I feel the same as you do about the past, in many ways, but it is hard to put the past behind me when a person from my past who has hurt me - my daughter's dad - has, of necessity, to be a part of my present life. We are not together any more and he has re-married, but he still seems to really hate me, has protracted family court proceedings and refuses to come to mediation even thought I've been to mediation services three times and begged him to participate. He despises me, or at least acts like he despises me. My poor little girl has to go back and forth between us, and he has a huge, negative influence on her and how she thinks about me.

Have you any suggestions about how I can counter this negative influence? And what, by the way, is the Law of Resonance?


The Law of Resonance states that everything is energy. All energy vibrates. When you have two things of similar composition next to each other, the weaker energy field will begin to take on the energy of the stronger one. For example, if you have a piano and a violin near each other and you hit the D key of the piano, the D string of the violin will vibrate. If a really negative person works in an office, it can bring the energy field of the whole office down. Conversely, if you have someone who is really pleasant in an environment, it can bring everyone else up.This is why we like concerts. They make us feel.

It seems like you are still in conflict with your ex. There are three relationship states. Withdrawal, conflict, and intimacy. Conflict and intimacy are connected states. Withdrawal is a disconnected state. If you want to stop suffering, disengage. Go to withdrawal. Disconnect. This hurts because you care. Stop caring. This doesn't mean get angry. It means stop giving it your energy.

You have no control over how your ex interacts with your daughter. You have no control over how she perceives either one of you. All you have control over is how YOU interact with her. If you maintain your respect and integrity, that will eventually be seen.

Don't make her choose. She needs some stability in her life.


Laura Giles


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Laura Giles, MSW


I can answer questions about sexual assault, sex offending, domestic violence, substance abuse, acudetox, hypnosis, biofeedback, neurofeedback, ADHD, relationship issues, and run of the mill mental health questions.


Extensive inpatient, outpatient and criminal justice experience.

BS counseling, MSW social work

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