Estranged children

MsGertrude1September 17, 2013

When I was around my adult children (35,23,33 years old) I always tried to help them I felt so guilty becuase they don't make Intelligent decisions.They never listened and would laugh in my face(when I tried to talk to them) and make fun of me or my son would be extremeley rude.They would say"That's what a parent is supposed to do" when I would say didn't I just give you this or do that for you.They would ask me for everything I had and It never was enough then when I had no more money etc.they had no use for me. When they said That's what a mother is supposed to do I told them I'm a person first, and when I look at the situation this way I realize, my kids are not good people. I took care of them becuase I wanted to,I am responcible and I'm not selfish or greedy. I'm not perfect by a long shot but I'm beganing to care about me.

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"They would ask me for everything I had and It never was enough then when I had no more money etc.they had no use for me. When they said That's what a mother is supposed to do "

That is your mistake - we have to let our children become adults who are responsible for their own lives. Mother is NOT meant to be there to hand out money to them.

You should definately start thinking of yourself and care for yourself, and not be a doormat to your children.


Let go of resentment.

That will be a big weight off your shoulders.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 2:38AM
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I am glad I was able to vent and let go of some of the hurt and confusion I've felt for so many years through posting on this forum. I don't understand my children's actions but I believe in God and I leave it in his hands.I'm more focused now on getting myself together and thankful that I can. Thanks to all of you

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:12AM
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The best thing you can do is redirect your thoughts. That is what has helped in the most difficult times of my life. If I find myself thinking of sad thoughts I read a good book, I even re read one that always makes me feel good. I just finished Debbie Macomber's A Turn In The Road. You have to feel good after reading it. The same with feel good movies or playing video games on the PC or Nintendo. If you play a game you cannot think of anything else. Nature walks help me also.

As far as the kids go, if I could without being obvious I would avoid them and their calls. They will only upset you again and that gives them power over you. I you don't do as they want you to, they will make you pay for it by upsetting you. I had a problem with the daughter in law one time. I knew she came over to start something and she brought a friend. I just pointed to the door and said we do not fight in my home. You should have seen the look on her face and the friend smiled at me.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 3:05PM
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" I knew she came over to start something and she brought a friend. I just pointed to the door and said we do not fight in my home. You should have seen the look on her face and the friend smiled at me."

Good for you, Emma.

This is being assertive and stating your boundaries.

Said with calmness and conviction - it doesn't have to descend into conflict. A good message for all of us.

I like your idea of redirecting your thoughts. That is a great idea for getting through life's difficulties.

Thanks Emma.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:13AM
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Thank you Popi, my Mom was our sounding board, she listened to our problems and if she took sides at all it was for our husbands. She would point out the good things about them. She told me once "you are dwelling on his bad points and told me to think about all of the good things he does for you". I took her advice and it really worked. It has help in all the problems life hands you, not just husbands and kids.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 9:49

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:45AM
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My daughter, age 25, went missing last summer. For a week I didn't hear from her and we never went a day without a hello. I finally called her father, my ex, who said he would call me back. Next call I get is from my daughter who informs me she had a nervous breakdown, it wasn't my fault and that she couldn't talk to me. There was a therapist in the background who asked me if I had a therapist and that I had better find a way to seek help. Click and the phone went dead. I sat there for the longest time in complete disbelief, I felt like I was watching someone else's life not mine. I was a single mom for a long time and my daughter and I were a team. She went off to college and did incredibly well, she did the typical college partying and smoking pot but I never put too much into it because I knew or thought she was being careful. I had raised her to be independent and I always thought she was.

Let me start with what I pieced together. She graduated from college and was home for two weeks before she packed her car up and drove across country with three of her friend’s destination Oregon and her father. I really didn't think too much about it. I thought it was great. The day she left I walked her to her car and hugged her and kissed her face a gazillion times like I always did and she began to cry then sob. I was so shocked, I looked at her and said you are crying like you will never see me again and I am going nowhere. I love you mom, I really love you and I really appreciate everything you did for me. I hugged her and said thank you and that I would see in a couple of months when she was ready, if she was ready to return home. Off she went and would call from the road. Long story short she made it to Oregon and started working in the vineyards and with her father on his land. I heard less and less from her and when I did call her I always felt like it was an intrusion. That November I had to have hip replacement surgery and I was really fine. Her father asked if I needed her to come home to help and I said no I was good. Next thing I know is a call from her telling me that her father had left her in Oregon with no money, no place to live and moved back to California. I sent her plane ticket back to Florida. When she arrived there was a difference, a distance, and anger. I let it go and we went about life as usual but it started to grow. She got a job, started to hang out with old friends and started to get angry and moody. I asked her if she was taking her medication as she is Bipolar and she told me that her father said she didn't need it that as long as she ate healthy she was good. I tried to explain to her but she wasn't having it. Suddenly everything I did was bad, I ate badly, I slept badly, and I just breathed badly. Talking to her was impossible but I was trying to not lose it and stay calm. One night I did explode and thinking about it later it was what she wanted. Well the next thing I know she is in Adult Children of Alcoholics and telling me I abused her emotionally as a child and all this stuff. Now I don't drink maybe wine occasionally but I don't drink. I stopped smoking pot long before she came into this life. I have my own medical issues and take my own antidepressants to keep my life in order. I go to therapy and I try to live in a calm environment. So here is this adult child telling me I was a horrible mother and blah, blah, blah. She finally went to the psycho pharmacologist to have him explain what was wrong with her and why she was bipolar and started back on her medication. Then she decided to move out. She wasn't making enough money to afford it but I kept my mouth shut and helped her move into a place with a friend who was an addict. Then the calls stopped coming and every time I called her it was a long deep breath of what do you want now. Her birthday came and we all celebrated and I never saw her again.

She called me when she was done with her treatment and told me that she was going to California to a rehab there and that she wouldn't be able to talk to me. I spoke to her father and he told me that she would have to work her steps and she would come around. Yep sure her father is not playing with a full deck need I say more. My birthday came and went - no call. Christmas came and there was a gift sent to my brothers. It was a journal in which she wrote total this is what you need to hear crap. But I accepted it as a gift and felt blessed that at least it was a reaching out. From there we texted and she finally let me have it about how horrible I was after the divorce and all this stuff. I came apart, I felt like there was no reason for breathing and I stopped living my life. I went into the deepest, darkest depression so bad I wanted to go to the nut house but my therapist wouldn't let me. I started to put it together and realized I had been had. And I got mad, really mad. How dare she! I let it out and I cried and screamed and I got so mad. The texts stopped coming, the communication stopped all together, she blocked my number and email. It was if I was dead and she never existed.

I read two really great books about the mother daughter relationship and how hard it is to let go. The first book really helped me understand the letting go of my child into adult hood. Too Close For Comfort by Linda Perlman Goldman and Susan Morris Shaffer. Then I found another one and this one really hit home Daughters and Mothers Making it Work by Julie Firman and Dorothy Firman. The second book talks about how your child becoming the ex child and you the mother graduate. You move into the space where you are living your life for yourself and you are the parent of an adult child who is able to make decisions for themselves, maybe not to your liking but it is to them to make. I recalled my own upbringing, I thought about how my 87 year old mother lives 4 doors down the hall in her own place and how at 60 I am still her child. The book made me understand that I am not her child in that way, I am her adult child and that I have the power to let go of that too. She and I had a horrible relationship but I never left her because she was my mother. So I realized that my daughter will never come back to Florida and that it is ok that she is in California because it is where she was born and brought up and that is her home. She needed to create this incredible drama to let go of me but she didn't know why, she has no clue to this day. I did hear from her on my 60th birthday and it was polite and nice but there was no love there. She did say that she wants to try to work on the relationship and that maybe we could do session with her therapist on Skype and I was ok with that. She has unblocked my number but I don't call her. I went to Sicily and she didn't get an invite when I went off with my mother and brother and his family and while she was missed by the family and while I thought wow she would love this I also was ok that she wasn't there. And I will go on with my life as it is as she wills hers. As I have read in these books there is more a loss on their part than on ours as parents because they need to have the connection but get lost in the process in their stuff. Well that is fine. I am here and she knows how to find me. I will love her until the day I take my last breath and will cherish the memories of all that we shared.
One memory is the day I took her out of the car to go to the grocery store, she has just started walking, she didn't want to be carried she wanted to walk and she put her little hand in mine and looked up at me with such pride in her face. And the day she said she didn't want to sleep over her friends because she would miss me too much, and I said that I was with her always right inside her belly button and she looked at me like I was insane. I told her that when she was in my tummy she was attached to the back of my belly button to the front of hers and when they cut the cord that piece of me rolled up into her belly button and when she missed me all she had to do what stick her finger in there and know I wasn't far away. Corny I know but it worked. I tear as I think about it because I will always carry that with me and I will always miss that part of her, but there are other milestones that I remember and carry with me as well. We all want to go back to that day when they put their hand in yours and you knew that it was the two of you forever. Kind of like that commercial where the little girl talks about how hard it was for her parents when she was born but that once they got through the hard stuff they belonged to each other forever. They do in different ways I guess and we have to let go of our expectations of what we want and what they are willing to give.
What I have learned and have to work on constantly is expectations. I always thought she and I would be like the mom and daughter in the Gilmore Girls - best friends forever. never to part. That was my expectation that I put on her, she had her own expectation and had to move across the country away from my expectations to find out her own. So now I live with intentions and that is to live my life for me and leave the door unlocked for her if she wants to return.
In closing, I am so grateful that I found this board and I thank you for listening to my rambling on, but I feel like a weight has been lifted because I was able to share with those who know where I have been and where I am now.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 3:05PM
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It is hard to start this dialogue because I mostly feel hurt and rejected by my oldest son and feel shell shocked by the fact that as a motger of two sons who are 38 and 31, I must sit on the sidelines and watch my daughter in laws mothers be the one who has all the time with their daughters they want, but as sons do not share not much of themselves with me....not even phone I ask myself...why do women who have daughters have all of the glory when I put my entire being into mothering sons that treat their wives so well, they would not dream of giving their mother time taken away from their wife...sounds bitter...but its not coming from that place...I treat their wives very not cause problems and have cared for grandsons to help them out when they have had to work or just to get out....but now I get no reward for all my giving...reward meaning...just having them share even the smallest part of their life with me.....Since daughter in laws mother left her husband, she has been traveling constantly with them...and I never get an invite...what it really boils down to is how much a woman allows her MIL in her life...which may not ever see your my second sons wife is expecting...and I see the same thing happening...if it were not for my circumstances..I would just leave the area....the hurt is deep and be married to a man who sees it but will not acknowledge it only makes it worse....My life has truly stopped...I have nothing to look forward to....I cannot tell my sons anything and expect any understanding or even an offer of help...i fear my husband has some form of dementia taking hold..has adhd....there are so many levels to my back story....impossible to discuss it all...but losing time with grandchildren has been much so, I am not looking forward to going through this ask does this happen to someone who has given her whole life to only know this kind of embarrassed to even talk about it....if I try to tell my husband how disappointed I am that I do not get asked on outings, he tells me that I am just jealous of my sons hurt does not come from jealousy....but envy of a woman who is able to pick up the phone with her adult child on the other end.....I want my grandsons to have 2 grannies....I just wish I could be one of them again.....I have a small dog....and its sad to think of the day I could lose her....I never thought my life would be this way....and know why women want daughters..even though many of you say your daughters are have a better chance of having a female child stay in your life as you age....than a son.....if I could live my life over...I would opt not to live long enough to see this heartache and lonliness....both regarding my spouse and children....

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I am sorry you are going through this. I was prepared to my lose my son's to their wives families that is the way it was with my sisters and our husbands. My husband said we should alternate the holidays between our two families. I agreed but insisted on the first holiday with mine. After that Christmas he never mentioned going to his again. It was the same with my 3 brother in laws. I am not sure what it was that drew them to Mom's home, possibly my Dad but I think it was just the fun and happiness there. I thought this was just normal for families. After my son's left home one came back for the holidays one time. It didn't upset me and neither does being totally alone at this point in my life.

Please don't dwell on your problems, look for the good things in your life. I make the best of what I have, the good things, my books, movies, the silly jigsaw puzzles and the computer/electronics. I have the Serenity Prayer hanging on my wall to remind me, that my life is what I make it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:12AM
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I appreciate what you are saying...but you see I did have my sons coming to my house for the holidays and have never had a Christmas without them or my DIL' youngest son will eat twice if he has oldest one is influenced so much by partnership difficulties with my husband that he just seems in anothet place.....I said...a lot of layers....but what confuses me is why my DIL's are so cold....they will act cordial but after 11 years I would expect they could at least understand how different a mother/son relationship is than one with mother/daughter....Daughters even that cannot get along with a mother will most times find their way back....when I became a mother..i wanted to do everything that was not done for me....not having a warm mother...I became a warmer person..having a MIL that wanted no part of me...I became a kind in my best efforts seem pointless....a son turns into a man who is as difficult to talk to as a spouse can be...perhaps its the genetic oldest son definitely has something indifferent about him that reminds me of my husband.....I have had extremely close relationship with my grandsons, but as they are 10 and 9.... it seems not so husband hurt me deeply today after I told him I was not up to having Christmas here due to having foot surg.3 wks ago....i also said it seems that our oldest will likely have other plans anyway.....and we can see our younger son....but he lashed out with saying...I could do more with them if I wanted to...that DIL's mother tries harder than I do....he might as well have shot me...the wound is severe.....the thought that I could muscle my way in on my sons family without an invite is DIL taught my son to tell me never come by unless I call...and trust me....I have tried to drop in when I was in the area once and it was hurtful to say the least.....I had no cell phone and thought it would be see my grandson....middle of day....when my son was not husband may have signed his divorce paper with that comment...I have had significant ankle problems in the last few years that prevent me from doing many things....just had surg....being in a wheelchair till I heal is so light of the lack of a close marriage...what I have realized is that you may stay relevant to people as long as you are thriving..the min. that do some relationships...I do not feel sorry for myself...just my circumstances....a husband who in five years may not recall who he is...and sons who cannot share any ideas on my thoughts on this......older son already told us that he is never going to help us in old age leaves me confused....I love my children and would never turn my back on them ... I do not know who to go to for info on how we are to manage if our health gets worse...I always helped when my father was sick..he never had to turn to strangers for anything.... it is fearful to think of the future....without one person who can help...I feel like I need to get arragements for the state to decide my fate in old age...not knowing what may come up for me....who do I call or say.... I hope anyone reading this who has a daughter that may seem pick up the phone and try to just talk...women will find their way home just have to leave them a trail....sometimes....I do not think if I live 100 more years I would ever just be ok with not seeing my children on at least one holiday...if you did your best as a parent...that is not a lot to ask...or expect...thats what a family is....if tgey are out of state...a phone call can be just as good as a visit..sometimes better...there is no substitute for a conversation with a loved one....its ok to settle into a life with an empty nest...but when you have a predator type spouse living in that nest...your world becomes unbearable at have no right to feel hurt by right to cry about it or voice an opinion...or you will be cut down by the most hurtful words they can husband came from a dysfunctional background but has denied it his whole life....mine was not great, but I did amazingly well as a parent despite having no good role model....

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 4:04PM
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