s: My 26-year-old daughter has been working as an office cleaner since she was 16 years old. It’s a job that you hate and find humiliating. I struggled to get my high school diploma. Her spelling is not good and she is not practical either, having been kicked out of her cooking and sewing classes.
One teacher called it useless and another referred to it as “that complete stupidity”. She was fired from her first job two weeks later and ended up taking antidepressants. I had similar comments when I was in school, but I went into care work and got promoted a few times – it made me so proud that I didn’t think of myself at all.
She was fired from her first job and ended up taking antidepressants
My son was also bullied at school but is now doing well as a chef on cruise ships. My daughter has made five attempts to pass her driving test. She is very artistic and cunning and has taken classes to enhance her skills, but falls apart in interviews.
She recently told old school friends that she had Covid rather than meet them because she was embarrassed that it wouldn’t work. She has a great affinity for animals and there are jobs at local kennels but she is nervous to apply if turned down. Her father (my ex-wife) is impatient with her and says she is a drama queen who needs to be strengthened.
My 26 year old daughter has been working as a cleaner in the office since she was 16. It’s a job that you hate and find humiliating
a: I am so sorry that your daughter has had such a difficult time at school and since she left. It must be hard for her — and you — to feel like a failure.
However, I’m sure she’s not stupid, she just didn’t get proper help. Her teachers dismissing her struggles as they did was unkind and unprofessional. They should have thought about why her school work was so difficult.
Her poor spelling could indicate dyslexia, of course, but I wonder if your daughter has dyslexia, which can affect memory, focus, coordination and organizational skills – so things become issues, such as essay structuring (hence GCSE issues), spatial awareness (leading ), poor time management and organization (expulsion) and can lead to poor academic achievement and low self-esteem.
I’m sure she’s not stupid, but she didn’t get the proper help
Dyslexia does not mean a lack of intelligence – it requires support and strategies to help manage the difficulties. Many of the symptoms of dyslexia overlap with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
You and your son will likely be affected too, but unfortunately your daughter’s self-esteem has been affected by her bullying father’s behavior. The Dyspraxia Foundation (dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk) can help her raise her self-esteem and career prospects. I hope you will apply for a job with an animal
s. If she tells them of her struggles, and explains that she is looking into a diagnosis of dyslexia, I hope they will be sympathetic—if not, they are not employers for her.
I got a little support from my in-laws
s: I am very disappointed by my extended family. My father is in end-of-life care at the hospital and my husband is recovering from surgery after suffering a heart attack. Luckily he is fine and starting to feel better.
However, although two of his four brothers visited him, no one called me to ask how I was doing. Only his sisters communicated. I complained to one that no one cared but she just said everyone sent their love and were thinking of us. Really do not feel like it!
I understand that people are busy but I feel like my brothers in law are very vulnerable individuals, who don’t know what to do or say, and would rather bury their heads in the sand until it’s all gone.
a: I’m so sorry – it must have hurt so much that your in-laws couldn’t have been more supportive because in addition to being a troubling time for you with your husband, you’re also grieving for your dying father. Unfortunately,
I am so disappointed by my extended family. My father is in end-of-life care at the hospital and my husband is recovering from surgery after suffering a heart attack
I think you’re right: some people often find it so difficult to deal with another’s grief, distress, or illness that they don’t connect with or avoid the person. Unfortunately, your husband’s family members are unlikely to change, so you need help from somewhere else.
The British Heart Foundation (bhf.org.uk) has online support groups and communities. I would highly recommend this to you both because when someone has a major health scare there can be a tendency to let this overwhelm everything – and you’ll need to get back to enjoying life together rather than fearing another heart attack.
You may also wish to contact a charity such as Cruz (cruse.org.uk) about your father.
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