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My Youngest Daughter Destroyed Me

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I have 3 children 26,22,and 18. Their dad died when they were 12,7, and 3. I made the decision to make the kids my world, and continue life as normally as possibly with 4 instead of 5. I made sure they wanted for nothing, but also demanded respect and appreciation just as my husband and I together would have done. The 2 older kids managed very well! The youngest has been hurtful, disrespectful, and simply an unruly child. She has runaway, gotten into drugs (heavily), alcohol, and quit school. I try to remain “there” for her, but she has mentally and emotionally destroyed me. I cry all the time and feel as if I am a failure. What do I do–we have done all types of counseling :(

My Youngest Daughter Destroyed Me

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It sounds as if you have put your heart and soul into your children. The fact that your youngest daughter is struggling with her identity and behavior may not have anything to do at all with your love and care for her. While that may be hard to imagine, it also may be the way through this. It sounds like her being so involved with drugs is the first issue. It may be time for a rehab or residential treatment program if she hasn’t been able to manage the drugs issue herself.

I recommend talking to mental health professionals in your area who deals specifically with drug abuse. Most counties in the U.S. have a drug awareness program that you can access. I would begin here rather than try to deal with this on your own. Your daughter will still need your love and support, but she may need to feel that love and support while she is out of the house.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Youngest Daughter Destroyed Me

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Youngest Daughter Destroyed Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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