Questions for estranged adult offspring

psmumSeptember 21, 2009

Found this list while reading the archives. Have these questions been answered? Any more added?

Have there been similar questions asked, answered from the other (dark =lol!) side?



Posted by sniffles07 (My Page) onSat, Aug 25, 07 at 11:50

At what point does our children decide they don't need us?

What did we do so wrong to make them justify their actions for banishing us?

When did they decide that their spouse knows everything and is always right, even to banish us?

Do they ever miss us?

Do they wish for reconcillation but are too proud, stubborn, etc?

Do they ever care how we may feel?

Do they care that they are depriving their children of grandparents?

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These questions are personal, and would most likely be different in each case. But I will answer from my perspective:

1. I never decided I didn't need a mother. I decided having my mother in my life full time was toxic.

2. My mother was not "banished", she threw a fit and left. She blamed everyone, including me, for the issues and refused to take responsibility.

3. I don't think my spouse is always right, but he could see the situation a little less biased than I could and he had a point. Many arguments were fought over the issue.

4. Yes, I do miss my mother. But I don't miss the drama.

5. Yes, sometimes I do wish for reconciliation. If being proud and stubborn were the case, I think I would have gotten over it already. But she is the one who is proud and stubborn. I am an adult, entitled to my opinion, and to lead my life as I see fit. She will not accept that. So here we are.

6. Yes, I care how she feels.

7. It takes two to tango. Does my mother ever consider/care that she is turning other family members against me and depriving me of those family members? Does she consider that when I do allow contact she is observed poisoning my child against me?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 12:25PM
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Wow Silversword, your answers are so concise! I wrote out my answers in a text file, will trim down then post them.

The intensity of the indignation I see in most parents of estrangement reminds me of my parents, but doesn't bring me any closer to a workable solution ...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 6:35PM
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I'm not in this situation myself and I sure hope I never am with regards to my own children. But, I do have a neice and thus a sister w/step father situation where this happens...often.

I don't live in the same state as the rest of my family so I'm not involved in the issues and the drama. I can see both sides clearly. The reason I'm even chiming in here is because Silversword made the comment that her mother is turning other family members against her. I saw this also happening in my family in regards to my sister and her daughter. When I would go to visit the situation between them was all the rest of my family wanted to talk about. It was exhausting. I finally put my foot down and said to all my family that 'the situation' did not concern any of us and we should not be taking sides because it's none of our business.

My niece felt I was siding with my sister and I said no, I come back here to visit with my family and every time we are sucked into this mess between you and your mother/step father and it's not fair to MY children. These people are adults. They either need to work out their problems amongst themselves or if that isn't possible, then move on.

I see the situation as totally juvenile. My sister comes to family gatherings and completely ignores her own daughter that she raised for 23 years. Won't even say 'Hello' to her. Is that right? No. I mean, it's not like my neice murdered someone or robbed a bank. It's stupid and it's high schoolish but that doesn't mean the rest of our entire family has to get sucked into their crap.

I'm sorry that this situation exists in my family and it's over stupidity. My sister, especially her husband, will not give an inch. My neice is trying to move on but of course she misses talking to her mother. The rest of my family has finally stopped the gossiping and finger pointing and tries to ignore the situation and not get involved. I love my sister, I love my neice. I can only hope that by the time my neice is married next year, she and her parents have worked out their issues and can be in the same room together and have a conversation about the weather.

Life is too short to keep carrying grudges. I can't imagine not speaking to my kids or not having a good relationship with my own mother. But, my mother was never one to hold a grudge if/when we did something stupid. And she's also never been judgemental or interferring. Our job as parents is to try to raise our kids to be decent and compassionate human beings. We can only do that by example.

Silversword, I hope that someday you are able to have a good relationship with your mother. Have you tried, recently, to sit down and clear the air with her? Does she realize at all how your relationship will effect her grandchildren?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 10:27AM
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Hgtvme, thank you SO very much for chiming in! Your fair and objective assessment of your sister/niece situation parallels my experience. Hats off for taking a stand, introducing some healthy boundaries.

I lived overseas for over eight years, and visits to my parents/sibs were expensive and exhausting. I arrived laden with gifts, often did heavy much-needed cleaning projects, drove siblings to and from school, private lessons, practice. Yet the parents didn't have the grace or self-control to act like decent neutral adults while I was there.

Young siblings would tell me how much she complained to everyone about me, cautiously ask if I really hated her that much. Hello? Grow up and leave the kids OUT of it; be an adult and work to resolve the conflict, find solutions. Except, noooooooo. They're just like hgtvme's sister. I'm so glad to hear, hgtvme, that you protected your kids from that mess.

A few days ago, I paid a hefty international forwarding-service fee to receive mail from my parents, who keep on writing to my old address on another continent. Respecting my request for no contact was too much to ask of them.

Mother's note mentioned telling someone _she'd_ _just_ _met_ (!?!!) about how distant I am now and about me calling the rescue squad 20 years ago when she was hemorrhaging. She closed with, "I miss the you that loved me + I will never be able to, or want to, get over it.
Your wannabe friend"

She deserves credit for digging deep to find something nice to say about me that doesn't involve material gifts. One of her compliments once was about looking around and seeing reminders of my value everywhere. Like half her wardrobe. If she thinks material contribution is my value ...heaven help us all. Never mind that anyone would call for help even for an arch enemy, or that by that point she'd long since crushed all affection I'd felt for her as a child. She came up with something not about stuff, and that's a real stretch for her.

The "friendship" she wants from me would involve tolerating her outbursts and attacks, giving her gifts, writing checks, taking her out to lunch and shopping, all the while _never_ expressing anything about myself or my own interests, as that causes her to shut down, feel tired. She's blocked in her own pain, engulfed by her late mother etc. For years, I "did the right thing." But she's like the scorpion who can't resist stinging.

Other choice phrases of hers include:

"When are you going to arrive back in my life?"
"When is your cold shoulder going to warm up?"
"It feels like you're older than I am."
"You're just bitter and want any excuse to avoid a relationship."

In her world, there's zero connection between her rejecting, demeaning, using behavior since I was small and my choice of distance. Everything comes from outside herself. Her wishes MUST be fulfilled; denial of this, drawing of boundaries is an assault out of nowhere. It's truly a mystery to her.

She must sense that all chance of contacting me is nearing an end, if she's writing in a positive (for her!) tone and expressing appreciation for something non-material. That's _huge_! But I know the routine: as soon as I'm back within her grasp, the snark begins again.

The turning people against me hasn't stopped and won't, as she doesn't see it as such. It went on even when I was calling regularly to let them talk, visiting as often as possible, writing often, giving them more than I could reasonably afford. Kissing up "for the sake of the greater good" (shudder!) is no longer an option.

hgtvme, if you have a chance to leaf through past threads, it may become clearer that Silversword's mum has some issues consistent with a diagnosable personality disorder. As far as I can tell just from reading, Silversword has already given her mother myriad generous chances to clear the air. Asking S's mum to participate in honest solution-finding is like asking a toddler to drive a truck cross-country. She'd agree to do it and she'd sincerely want the positive outcome, but just doesn't have it in her or even any idea what it entails. That's my take anyhow, open to correction by Silversword.

You both sound like a warm, loving, accepting, healthfully protective mothers; I'm hoping to process my own pain and move on so I'll be more and more like that. Not sure where my parenting currently falls...


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:51AM
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