Help Me Get Through This Mother's Day

charroMay 10, 2008

Hi, everyone. I haven't posted on this forum for awhile but have been lurking and reading all your posts.

As some of you know, I recently became estranged from my adult daughter around Thanksgiving of last year. I did post about it. In a nutshell, she is furious with me for not giving her the downpayment on a home that her husband committed me to without even asking. As in the past, all money given was expected to be a gift. I told her "no" for the first time. I admit; I was an enabler. She will have nothing to do with me.

Tomorrow is not going to be an easy day for me. Not only is it Mother's Day but the anniversary of my husband's death as well. I have been dreading this day all week and everytime I think of it, I start to cry.

I do have friends here but they are all going to be with their families. How am I going to get through this day?

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Maybe you could plan to celebrate Mothers Day by remembering your own Mom. That's what I intend to do, although she's been gone for a very long time.
My child is not my friend either, and for similar reasons as yours. I finally said no, and she does not like that word. I do not expect to hear from her.

I plan to spend my day with the spirit of my Mom, rather than spend it thinking in terms of myself as a Mother. My Mom was a gem, a lively positive woman of great strength. She took a keen interest in many things, so I have lots of activities to choose from. Gardening, hiking, long country drives, sewing, travel, fishing, painting and music. I intend to fill the day with her creative spirit, rather than the harsh reality of the nasty realtionship I currently have with my daughter. Maybe someday my daughter will think of me the way I think of my own Mother, maybe not, that part of the story remains untold. But I have much of my own Mother in me, and I intend to fully embrace that.

Maybe my suggestion will help you too. I hope so. I am sorry about the loss of your husband, you do have quite a void to fill tomorrow. Plan something special for yourself. Dream up a plan, it's not too late to make arrangements to do something to make yourself feel good.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Charro, hang in there and maybe take Penny's advice. Charro, do you have other children? If so, focus on them. Penny4thought, that's a great idea.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 12:13PM
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You lovely people, thank you.

sniffles07, I do not have other children. She is my one and only.

Penny4thought,I love the idea of focusing on my late mother. She died in 2006, four months after my husband.

The week before she died was probably the closest week that the two of us spent together. I knew how much I was loved and cherished by her.

So, tomorrow, I am going to eat lots of ice cream - her absolute favorite food. She loved to garden and tend to her plants. She could make a Christmas cactus bloom in July. I do not have that gift but plan on going somewhere pretty where there are lots of flowers to remember her.

And maybe someday, our daughters will come to their senses and know that we love them and what we did was out of love to help them to grow.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Mother's Day- aah, the day of us forgotten people!

I am going to spend the day with my mother- who is 82 and not in the best of health. We are close- see each other every day. We share the pain of the fact that my son ignores us both. My mother was good to my son- paid for his entire education, bought him a new car and gave him a substantial sum every year. For this, she gets not a penny post card or a call.

My mother has a good attitude when she speaks of my son- she sayd "he'll get his." She refuses to let him depress her.

So, today, we went to the cemetary, put flowers on my grandma's grave. I went to the store and do not laugh but I bought my mom 4 jars of pickles- she loves pickles. I am taking her out on Monday- not tomorrow as it will be too crowded- but for lunch at Friendly's she loves Friendly's food and sundaes. We will sit and talk and have a good time. We are going to make our own Mother's Day on Monday.

As for my son- well he has sent me flowers every year on Mothers Day- I am not holding my breath as he is a real work these days. I do not need his flowers. I do not need his phoney thoughts or pretending that he cares when 365 days a year he does not talk to me. He can spend the day with his new trailer trash park family complete with sisters in laws with illegitimate illegal kids- I hope he has a blast!!!!

Do not waste your day thinking negative thoughts. Think of the other great things in your life. Do not let these damn kids make you sick.

As my son is my only child, I often envy people with many kids who care for them. I am resigned to the fact that I Have no kids and no one that cares- so what can I do???

Have a good day- being happy is the best revenge!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 1:47PM
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Remember, she doesn't have a mother to celebrate with, either. She's made some bad choices and now she is paying the consequences, and even something as "inconsequential" as Mother's Day can drive that point home.

Friends and co-workers have probably asked what she's doing for Mother's Day. I wonder what she's answering - "well, my mom wouldn't give my $$$$ for the house we wanted to buy, so I'm not speaking to her anymore". She'd get lots of disapproving looks from a statement like that.

Why don't you volunteer at a children's program - hospital, shelter, day care, etc. They need the love you have to give and you'll get a lot from it, too. And for tomorrow, go do something or go someplace you've always promised yourself you would.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I would never let anyone know how much they hurt me, it gives them the power to do it again. If you are around people who you know will see you the child, be real subtle and tell them how busy you have been with friends, on the go all the time. My estrangement with my children didn't happen over night, so it was easier than a sudden break up. I packaged up my kids baby things and sent it to them.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 8:37PM
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Just thinking that tomorrow will be difficult will make it difficult. I agree with other posters that you should shift your focus. If you have flowers, why not pick some and go to a retirement home. I'm sure there are many 'mothers' there who will not get visits. I've had many 'mothers' in my life, only one that was my birth mother. It's an attitude, not a position.

Bring smiles to others, and it splatters on you.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:05PM
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I would like to wish you a happy Mother's Day!
I'm so sorry that you are going through this.
My own mother does not talk to me. She is over 80 years old.
She doesn't wish to have anything to do with me. My sister doesn't speak to me, either. She has lived with my mom for 14 years, and doesn't work.

So, it's not just the children who do the disowning.

This Mother's Day, I'm grateful that I'm alive and well, and happy with my dear husband and children. I love and am loved, and life is GOOD!

Count your blessings and REFUSE to be depressed. Do whatever makes you happiest, and enjoy yourself....if that is shopping, swimming, horseback riding....or just sitting and reading quietly! Savor your sweet day.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:21PM
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I too am going to be sad on mothers day. My mother and I are not speaking. I posted about it a while back. She has a drug problem that she refuses to admit to. I have tried to help her and she has gotton angry with me over it and said horrible things to me. I miss her so much and holidays are difficult for me in that way. So tomorrow I will be focusing on my daughter and stepdaughter and husband. And I will cherish my good memories with my mom as I often do to help me get by. I do miss the mom she used to be and wish I could have that back.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Lostmama: What are you doing? Why are you turning this into a war with your son, that you may NEVER recover from? And why do you keep bringing up the money spent on his education and a car, as though he owes you a great debt? You do realize that most parents (or grandparents) pay for their children's education, and many pay all or part of a car? You must also realize that with the amount of partying on college campuses, that it is pretty obvious that most of these young people do not appreciate or respect the gift they were given. Yet. You are tuning this into a war with your son. What in the world are you thinking? With wisdom, you would realize that throughout the 20's and into the early 30's he is living life on his terms, mistakes and all. Instead of standing back, as parents who have launched their son into adulthood, and letting him find his way, you are trying to still control him. Set him free. Without debt owed. Let him become a man, on his terms. You are loved because you are his mother, and this love is not determined by whether he comes home for the holidays. You are a grown woman. You may be disappointed that he is not coming home for Christmas or Thanksgiving, but why in the world would you allow yourself to destroy your relationship with your son over something like this?

Regarding the girl he plans to marry. It is not helping you to keep referring to her as trailer trash. Have you had a calm, quiet conversation with your son to find out what he loves about her? Have you asked him why he loves spending time with her family? And if she is as bad as you believe, then you and your husband (without all of the drama, emotion, accusations, and never once calling her trailer trash) should have a conversation with your son about marriage, children etc. Talk to him about whether HE BELIEVES this girl has what it takes to not only be a really good mother that HIS children can count on, but whether she has what it takes to be in a long term marriage to raise those children. Tell him that if he brings children into this world, he will love them with everything he has. And if he chooses the wrong woman to be their mother, it will be painful for all involved. He needs to make his decision by who she really is, and not who he wishes her to be. If she is bored in a marriage, would she be faithful? Does your son really believe that she is someone both he and his children can count on to persevere when the going gets tough? Or will she jump from man to man, you son's children paying the price for his choices?

I imagine that your son is doing some real soul searching about this marriage, since you have told him that if he marries this girl, he will lose all of his inheritances. So you have drawn the line in the sand. He realizes what it will cost him if he does this. But it will cost you everything, because I have no idea if he marries her, how you will EVER repair your relationship with them to ever see or know your future grandchildren. Why would she want someone who calls her trailer trash to ever be around her children? And no one would blame her.

IMO, you need to really look at what it is about your expectations and behavior that is chasing away your only child, and creating so much hostility and pain for you both. Your post above exposes the bitterness and anger. And I understand your grief. And yet, it seems that you are your own worst enemy. You are allowing your emotions to destroy your relationship with your only child. Think of it like a kaleidoscope. With a slight turn, the whole picture changes. And so it can be with this situation. You can choose how to look at this situation. You can choose to focus on the perceived hurts, and debts owed and furry over this girl he wants, or you can choose to see this from the perspective of your son finding his way, as he becomes an INDEPENDENT "GROWN UP" man, who will make mistakes along the way as he grows up. You can rest in knowing you are loved, whether he is home for the holidays or not, or you can
choose to make it a measuring stick of his love, and be irate and furious with him for wanting to be with the woman he loves. Your relationship with your son CHANGES as he becomes a man. You should be handling these changes with the grace of a woman. Be someone he "wants" to visit, instead of someone still trying to control him. Stop bringing up that he "owes you" somehow. Stop talking about the money and trying to control him over the money you dangle before him, if he will only be a good boy and do things your way. It is his life, he is a grown man now. Breathe. Work with someone who can help you learn how to look at this from healthier viewpoints. Learn how to let your son become an independent man, making his own decisions, and allowing him the freedom to do so.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:23AM
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Stargazzer, your post implies that you are estranged from more than one child. I would be very interested to hear more about your situation, as I, too, am estranged from multiple children. This makes me feel like something is terribly wrong with me as a mother, although my friends say otherwise. I keep thinking, "Well, I can understand one child going astray, but three????"

Input from anyone else?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:37AM
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I have not spoken to my son more than 30 minutes in the past 2 years.
He chased us home after graduation. When we vistied 3 months later, the girl made up stories accusing me of feeding her dog scraps. My son believed her- I never did feed her dog anything- and when I denied it- he got enraged and threatened to throw me down the stairs for being a "no good liar." That was respectful and nice??? We left for home at that point.
I have never had the chance to ask him what he sees in the girl. He will not speak to me. On the occasions we saw him- 3 times in the past 2 years, he has acted like he cannot be bothered with us. We are not monsters or people to be embarassed of.
I made an effort to be nice, I im'ed the girl for awhile to get to know her- I sent her a Christmas gift 2 years ago. It was never acknowledged. I sent her a birthday card- ditto. We gave them $500 for their engagement- also never acknowledged. What else exactly can we do???
When we met her in person- all of 3 times, she was rude and unfriendly. She took offense at things we said that were not offensive. Because of an abusive childhood she is overly sesitive- my son has to apologize to her daily. Their apt. was littered with "I am sorry" cards. Seems if you look at her cross eyed she is offended. her own grandmother said she is always offended at something.
I have never said the trailer park things to my son- as I said- we have spoken for a total of 30 minutes in the past 2 years. I do not call him, he does not call me.
He called here a few times spoke to his father- always needing something. If I happened to answer the phone he refused to say hello to me and rather asked for his father by his first name in a very curt tone of voice. This is nice behavior???
When he was at our house last May he totally ignored us. His girlfriend put nail polish on our bathroom walls and tampons in the toilet. He made fun of my job and expected his father to transport him and her to the train every hour of the day and night. Never a thank you never any pleasantries. When we asked if we could take them into NYC he said, "What makes you think we want to go anywhere with YOU???" I said nothing rude or obnoxious. I opened my doors hoping that it would be a pleasant trip. What else am I supposed to do???

What I do expect is RESPECT. I am his mother. I am not trying to control his life. I do not appreciate being treated like garbage. I do not deserve to be verbally or physically abused.

I get the idea that you suspect that I call my son all the time and say nasty things to him. Like I said 30 minutes in 2 years does not leave a lot of time for talk.

Deep down, he knows this girl is not right for him. He has so much told me. But the disrespect started before he knew her. After he was done with school, had us move his belongings to his new apt. he told us to go home- we were not needed anymore. Never so much as a word of thanks for your help- simply- Time for you to leave.

As for the money part- most if not all of my son's college friends have huge loans to repay. No one paid their way like my mother did. They are in hock. He is on easy street. Parents do not have to pay their kids way- my own parents made me work thru college to pay for my books and expenses. My son did not have to do that as it was handed to him. All of my friends are amazed at the lack of gratitude for everything that came so easily. My sin was being TOO GOOD and too nice and too giving. I have no gotten a kick in the pants.

I am getting to the point of saying to hell with him.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 2:42PM
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Wow, Lostmomma! That's brutal. I'm sorry your son is behaving that way.

It must be heartbreaking for you.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 5:47PM
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I misunderstood. From your previous posts, I thought he was at least calling home and talking to you and your husband. I did not realize that there has been virtually no communication in two years. You have every right to be angry and hurt. I am sorry. What a painful and disappointing situation. There are books out about prodigal children, and I imagine that a day will come when your son will reach out. Have you ever read the biblical version of prodigal children? I apologize for my words. I misunderstood, and thought he was making contact, and that you were creating great drama over him not being home for holidays. Thirty minutes of conversation in two years is worthy of drama.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 6:18PM
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My son is a strange fellow. I have not spoken to him since Christmas and the time before was last May when he left in a huff.

I do not harp on him, do not say the things that I think about the girl to his face. We did not say anything hurtful about the holidays- have not really said anything rude

The only rudeness came when he called after getting the pre nup letter and my husband let into him about being disrespectful, especially to my 82 year old grandmother who was extremely generous to him throughout the years.

It is now 7:30 PM on Monday night and the door bell rang.
Fedex brought the flower snad candy he sent me for Saturday delivery.

I was elated that he remembered!

What the heck do you make out of a kid who does not talk to you but sends you flowers and Truffles for Mothers Day???

I have no idea!!!

He probably is wondering why I did not acknowledge the gift- Fed Ex is to blame I suppose. It says here they attempted delivery Saturday morning and found no one home- except that my husband was here all day- some strange mix up here!

I will send him a nice thank you via email.

I have no idea what is going on here!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 7:27PM
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I understand the phone calls where it appears that he calls only when he wants something. Except that I imagine that the real reason of needing something could be a cover or excuse to just hear your voice (or his father's), or to connect even if it is just a surface connection. I imagine the flowers and candy are his way of letting you know that he does not want to lose you, and is hoping to keep the door open. He is not prepared to close it completely. For whatever reason. You are still the only mom he will ever have.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:42PM
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I agree, the fact that he maintains contact, however bizarre, indicates he wants to hold a line open. Who knows why, but I suspect in time, the answers will be much clearer. Maybe he knows he is walking the wrong path, but is not yet ready to turn around or choose a different direction. Sometimes we know things in our hearts, but are not quite at the point of doing anything differently yet.

This is going to take some time to unfold, time that is going to be difficult for you to endure. I hope in time he comes around and offers you a proper explanation and appology for his behavior.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:07AM
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When my son does something nice- like when he sent me 2 dozen roses for my birthday last year and I im'ed him and things looked like they were improving in terms of communication the result is usually short lived. We actually had a few im messages passed back and forth after my birthday. He seemed like a sweet young man. He seemed to really care- i.e.- when I im'ed the thanks we were on the way out for dinner. He im'ed me 4 hours later to see how the dinner was and if I had a good time. He then im'ed me the next day. This was during the period when he appeared to be broken up with the gf. as he spoke about how he was not pleased with living where he did, how the women were very different than NYC area women that he was accustomed to, etc. So, perhaps that is the difference in why he was so caring during that period.

Then, as the holidays approached, both my husband and I sent e mails inviting him home for the holidays. We are not sure but believe he was getting back with the gf. who we surmise had left him. We got snide remarks about whether we planned to give him a large gift. He did not give us a reply.

For Christmas he sent us a card about family meaning so much with gift cards in it. This meant little as we actually wanted to see him. He spent the holiday with his gf's parents.

There was absolute silence until I happened upon the marriage license notice on the net and sent the pre nup e mail. He spoke to my husband after that and from the cell phone records, I think they had 3 calls- all lasting about 15 minutes or so. I ask my husband what he said and get no reply.

When I did not hear on Mothers Day I was devastated- well the flower company delivery man decided not to deliver on Saturday as he was supposed to- and I was really hurt.

I was elated Monday night to know he cared. It was not the flowers or candy- it was the thought. I would have even liked a one minute phone call or a card. He always seems to go the whole 10 yards and send something nice.

Now, I am still happy. I sent him a thank you e mail and will see if he responds.

I would like to communicate with him- but as I said we have spoken a total of 30 minutes if that over the past 2 years- well maybe 40 if you include the nasty words he said to me to which I responded when the gf. accused me of feeding scraps to her dog. As I said previously, after the nasty words when he accused me and threatened to throw me down the satirs, when he called the house he would speak in a strange voice and say "Hello, is (his father's first name? there?" He would not even say hello to me or acknowledge that he knew who I was. I wondered if he thought if he disguised his voice that I would not figure out who it was??? Actually, I asked my psychiatrist about this and she told me to tell him that if he could not address me properly not to call my house. I never had the nerve to do that. That said, the calls were few and far between and I never spoke to him.

Christmas he called- and that is the majority of the 30 minutes of talk. Actually, my husband did most of the talking about things like weather, etc. Nothing substantial. I stayed on the line and added a few words and wishes. No bad mouthing anyone- I even told him to wish his gf a Merry Christmas from me.

Anyway- I do not know what to do now. He has not responded to my e mail. Actually, he may be out of the country on business as he was talking about going to Australia on business in May. I have no idea.

What advice do you have in terms of my e mailing or contacting him? Should I sit and wait until he takes the 1st step- or should I wait until the next big occasion which is about 6 months away- my birthday to see if he makes contact.

I really miss seeing my son- it will be one year this month that he left in a huff and I really would like to just see him, talk to him and give him a hug. He has been out of the house nearly 7 years now- but when he was in college he always flew in for the holidays and came home for the summer for internships. This is really hard for my husband and I. We feel like we have lost our son.

Any advice appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 9:10AM
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I would send him a lovely thank you for the flowers and the candy. Thinking of you, he reached out and did something kind on your special day. Keep your expectations low for now. I imagine a day will come when he matures, that healing will take place between you. But for now, he is keeping his distance, but does not want to close the door. Be strong, and find peace in spite of it all.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:49PM
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lost mama when my son is in any relatinship he completely
stops communication. I always know how his love life is going. Its been 2 months now since he called and said he did not want me in his life any longer. This is one time of many. He just turned 36 . We were very close when he was little. I did'nt even cry this time. My heart still hurts but our times of reconciliation has been very short lived when it does happen. I am alway waitng for the ax to fall. He is angry because I worked so hard all his life but his dad could never hold a job. He is angry becasue his 34 year old brother is Bi Polar and is doing life in prison. That has taken a lot of my time because he needs me so much. He tells me his brother wouldn't love me either
if he was not in prison. He always says such hurtful things
and when I try to talk to him about it he says I am crazy
that he never tries to hurt me. He likes to tell me all the family things he does with his current wife. Letting me know that I am not part of it. I have basically given up.
I have to take care of myself so I can take care of my mentally ill son. We have been doing this prison thing for
16 years now. The entire family has stopped any contact with him. I am the only family member that is still in his life. I never thought I would be doing this alone. My
oldest is also married to trash. They are the most vulgar
people I have ever met. My son becomes whomever he is with.
He would die if he thought I thought he was weak. But he
is . A person should be the same no matter who they are with. How do we raise thse weak sons that cannot think for themselves/

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:26PM
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Hi patticakes,
I read your last post. My heart goes out to you. I don't know how you do it. The part about your bipolar son, in prison for life--I have often thought that would be the worst thing, as a mother, to have to cope with. My son fell into deep suicidal/depression a couple of years ago and nothing in my life has torn and broken my heart as much as that. I just don't think anything could be worse, as a mom, to have to deal with. It really is a most unbearable pain. I felt guilt, regret, for what I might have done differently, etc to perhaps prevent his depression, but that wasn't the source of all my pain, really. The really painful part was the pure agony and heartbreak of his own misery. Just knowing that he was suffering so much, a prisoner of his own mind. (I had been in a depression once for a few years and know what it was like, but it wasn't as deep as his) That is where it really hurts to be a mom--when your kid is really suffering. I often have thought that it would be better if it were a physical illness--at least then he would know that there was nothing he could do. I think with depression the person often (always?) feels guilt also and self-condemnation, self-loathing for their disease. My prayers go out to you. How are you able to handle it? I am so sorry for you that such a condition can even exist.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:38AM
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