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My abusive and controlling partner of twenty years, locked my out of our jointly owned home. I have since had to fund alternative accommodation from my savings, he hasn’t let me have any contents, I’m sixty this year.

Our daughter who is 18 has stayed with her father and I have only seen her once in 6 months, we live very close to one another. He has not encouraged her to meet me, I have texted her but she ignores my texts. Our daughter is quiet, sensitive, shy, does not socialise, does not make friends easily, has a monotone voice, no hobbies or interests other than school work which she excels at. She has never called me Mummy, never shouted out my name or his for that matter. I met her the other night, we spent the evening together. She didn’t asked how I was, she did not ask where I lived, did not ask me anything about my well-being. I’ve texted her since and she has ignored me. I do feel that she is enjoying this cruel game with me and I also feel that he is now controlling her. How can I tap into her?

How can I get her to talk to me? How can I make her feel she is safe and okay? I feel that I am losing my daughter.

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    I hope you will consider reporting the lock-out to the police. Perhaps a women's shelter could provide ongoing support in a step by step way. Feb 5 at 21:13
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    This really falls into the realm of 1:1 counseling. Getting locked out by a partner isn't normal, healthy behavior. A trained counselor or therapist can help you and your partner (and daughter) work through the complex relational and personal issues involved. I don't think you are going to find general parenting advice relevant or helpful.
    – JDB
    Feb 22 at 16:39

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This is a difficult and complex issue. Some aspects of this issue may not even fall under 'parenting', as your 18 year old would be considered an adult in many places and the major problem may be that she is being controlled by another adult as you say you were.

Focusing on the parent/child relationship between you and your grown daughter - she sounds very unhappy, and likely she has been told her father's version of events. From your description of the conversation you had with her, very little was discussed and I imagine you are holding back from telling her your side of things which may be wise. Trying to turn her against her father could backfire and even 'prove' what he may have told her.

The answer to a lot of parenting problems is to teach by example, to demonstrate to children the best way rather than just tell them. For example, you can tell a child not to be scared of spiders, but even more effective is when they see you are not scared of them. So, what is your daughter seeing right now? Is she seeing that you are in a better, stronger position for being away from her father, or does she see you in a worse position? What will that tell her?

You need to stand up to your situation. If there has been abuse, report it to the relevant authorities. If the house is jointly yours, then get legal advice and fight for what is yours. It might take time, but the law is on your side. Get yourself established. Things might not be easy financially for a while, but if you gain your freedom and independence, stand your ground and flourish, the message to your daughter will be that breaking away from the abuser was the best thing that could have happened to you.

Throughout the situation, continue to make contact with her. Invite her over to you, let her see your situation, and most importantly your security and happiness, improving. Let her know that you are ready and willing to have her come to live with you. That might have to be her decision.

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Children sometimes choose to give their loyalty to what they see as the stronger parent, even is that parent is abusive and controling.

Your adult child is still only 18yo, she's still a teenager, so that child part of her is likely still following the choices she made years ago when she was actually a child.

She doesn't act like she needs you, but she does, because you are the only parent that has her best interests at heart.

Stabilize your own life, and use that stability to reach out to your daughter and be midful of the messages you send.

She needs to know that you love her.

She needs to know that you are concerned about her wellbeing.

She needs to know that you are always here for her, any time, any day, for any reason.

She needs to know that you have some genuine concerns about her living with her dad. You don't have to go into great detail, but she needs to know how you feel about her living with him.

She nneds to know that she can leave whenever she wants and will always have a home with you.

You're now in a marathon, where you win by being loving and consistant, and hopefully there will come a day when your daughter sees a sliver of truth, and recognizes that you've always had her best interests at heart, and her dad has not.

Without your input, she'll have a very hard time seeing the truth, so your job now is to run the marathon, and be there when she needs you.

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