When do you throw in the towel?

kmttsmomFebruary 20, 2009

I haven't posted in quite a while. I decided to take a break after Christmas and let things ride. My daughter hasn't spoken to me in over a year. At that time, she told me to never contact her again. She was through with me. At first, I thought she was just mad and that it would pass.

She is 22, divorced, remarried, and expecting child number 3. The problem is that she thinks she knows everything and I know nothing.

She used to call for money. I did what I could, but finally had to tell her to stand on her own two feet. Neither she nor either one of the two husbands she married will work. They live off of welfare, food stamps, and her paternal grandmother.

When I told her to take responsibility, she blew up at me. And that was the end of that.

I have sent Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, etc..all to no avail.

To top it all off: when she married this latest deadbeat, I wasn't even invited to the wedding. Everyone else in the family got an invite and went. Her paternal grandmother financed the whole affair. This doesn't help the situation at all.

This grandmother is always stepping and bailing her out. So, when I refuse to, grandma runs to the rescue and becomes the hero.

Anyway, in one last attempt, I sent a Valentine's Card to her with an apology letter for whatever I had done. Still, no response. I feel like I am wasting too much time and energy on someone who just doesn't care.

I think this is it. I am done. It's sad that I will never get to have a relationship with my grandchildren. They are 4 & 3 and will never know me.



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It sounds to me like you have told her the truth. Any woman with three children needs to become responsible. I don't think you have anything to apologize for. You have to draw the line at paying for her choices in life when they continue to be the same old thing. I know that the thought of not seeing your grandchildren must be devastating for you. Perhaps she would allow visitation with you if you would continue to help with the grand kids and their expenses. I hate to think that you would have to buy her approval to see them but that may be the only way to her heart. I wish you the best and I'm very sorry.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 5:43PM
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Quit playing to her craziness. Give her the distance. Quit trying to buy her. Let her grow up. We don't know what has happened between you two, but clearly she makes bad decisions and expects you to support them. Back off.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 7:58PM
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You would be better off not calling her, don't let her know how much it hurt you. Our kids borrowed money off of us for years. I finally put a stop to it when they were approaching 50. I should have done sooner, but didn't want to hurt my husband.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 8:35PM
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Hi. My first time posting on this side of the forum. usually on wintersowing but, I wanted to throw in my two cents.

Do you remember being 22? You still think that no matter what you do or what choices you make everything will be OK. You DO NOT think about how YOUR choices got you to this place. You also don't think about how hard the next whole bunch of years is gonna be. You can still get away with blaming everything on someone else. That's what you do at 22 when your in a tough spot. I know. I was there about 10 years ago.
Eventually you become an adult. It takes time. You don't know how to be one at 22. Of course, you think you do but, you don't.
Back off, and let her try to figure this out on her own. She will come around. Daughters almost always reconcile with Mom. In a not too distant future you will look back at this and shrug it off as just "one of her things." She needs you just as much as you need her. Just not right now.
Be strong. You'll both get through this. Good Luck!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:38PM
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I don't think you ever throw in the towel, this isn't an all or nothing situation, but I think it might be time to back off, as others have said. Of course she thinks she knows everything and you know nothing, she's 22 years old!

Let her lead her own life, she's an adult and needs to make decisions, good and bad, and live with the consequences. You told her to take responsibility for her own life, now let her. She doesn't know her own mind well enough yet (she has child's mind in an adult body) and can easily take offense at something that those of us older and wiser would ignore. No one likes to be nagged or reminded about bad decisions. She should grow and mature over the next few years.

Granted, her grandmother is an enabler in this situation, but there's nothing you can do about that, so let it be.

Of course you'll want to send gifts to the grandchildren and a birthday card for your daughter every year (so you can honestly say you didn't throw in the towel). And you'll be there when she starts to make tentative steps to restore a relationship, and you won't bring up the past, at all, you'll just look to the future.

If there's a crisis, she may well contact you, since most of us look for mom for help and support, and again, you step in with appropriate help, and then step away. You'll have to be careful not to over-react to any advances by her, in a positive or negative way, don't try to step in and take over, don't remind her of her past behavior or how hurt you've been by her behavior, just let each encounter with her be a new beginning.

Her first attempts to reach out to you may be through the grandchildren, enjoy them, but again, don't over react. Take it slowly and carefully.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:50AM
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My mother and I were estranged for three years. We gave each other time and both got rid of some toxic people in our lives, accepted our role in the situation, and now have a wonderful relationship. We would not be this good without the time that we needed to heal. During that time- I lived my life the best I could, tried to be a good person, and grow. Use this time to better yourself.

Also be strong and centered when she comes back- don't fall into old patterns with money or bailing her out or it won't be a relationship based on respect it will be dependent on you saving her. This has been the pattern my mom has with my brother and it always ends with him blowing up the first time she says NO. When she gets down about not seeing him I always say "Yeah but think of how much money you have saved?" She always laughs....

You can't change her but you can change you and you can love both yourself and your daughter even if you are not with her.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Dear kmmtsmom-i think you have been hurt enough and need some support-not advice. I urge you to check out estranged stories-and also anyone else who is estranged or has gotten through estrangement and been successful in healing the relatiosnhip. There are real good people there who are going through various stages of estrangement-we support and listen and care-we do not judge or criticize in any way. Good luck to all affected by estrangement.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 3:50AM
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Sadly unless Grandma stops handing out money your daughter will never get it together. Stand strong and don't give in on the money thing.. Sorry she is keeping your grandkids from you. Your daughter has some major growing up to do..

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 5:20PM
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