The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a homemaker in my late 50s. My daughter, who is already in her 30s, has been spending most of her salary on being a groupie to a celebrity.
She started following this entertainer around when she was in high school. Now she goes to all the concerts and events this celebrity has wherever they are in Japan, whenever she can get tickets. She sometimes goes to see the same concert tour several times. She gets all the CDs and publications, and records all the TV programs that feature this entertainer. Basically this star is everything for her.
This fascination has made her lose contact with her old friends, who are married with children. Her current friends are all single and in their 40s and 50s, and she met them through her groupie activities. I think she’s such an idiot. I’ve argued with her many times about this.
My daughter doesn’t earn much and doesn’t pay any living costs to me. She just works so she can be a groupie to the entertainer. Her work is not promising enough to guarantee her any good future.
I’ve been telling her to reflect on her life, but she won’t listen to me. I’m really worried.
J, Wakayama Prefecture
Dear Ms. J:
Being a groupie of an entertainment personality is a good pastime, and you can enjoy it to your heart’s content. However, you should do it in moderation. And sure enough, it’s a serious problem if you go to such extremes that you make others anxious that you may be ruining your life.
In your daughter’s case, it seems she’s already reached the stage where you can’t stand it, to the point where you’re shouting at her, “You idiot!”
One thing you should do now is to make it clear she must pay living costs to you. If you shoulder them for her, it just helps her spend more money on her groupie activities. It’s like you’re encouraging her to continue what she’s doing while at the same time telling her to stop.
I suggest you take this idea a step further and have the courage to let her live on her own and give up on trying to persuade her to stop being a groupie when it’s clearly not working.
When you do this, you should be determined to tell her: “It’s your life, after all. You can do whatever you want, which means being that entertainer’s groupie or whatever. However, you must take responsibility for the consequences and your future.”
I don’t mean you should sever your ties with your daughter. I am simply suggesting you let go of your daughter and have her become independent of her mother so that you two can review your lives. I believe things won’t change unless you make such a bold move.
Soichiro Nomura, psychiatrist