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'When Parents Hurt'

Posted by njtea (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 12, 08 at 10:09

Well, about all I can say is that I'm glad I got the book from the library and didn't pay for it.

Coleman is STILL dumping the blame on the parents, no matter how he talks around it, if the kids are unhappy with the way they were raised.

Riggins, if you read this, the manner in which you and your husband seem to be planning to handle issues with his parents is BY FAR THE BEST WAY to address the problem. IOW, learn how to get along for everyone's sake.

For the rest of those children who won't learn to ways of coping, I would just say: "Get over yourself." Unless you were beaten on a regular basis or sexually abused or seriously emotionally abused, grow up. No one had a perfect childhood so you're not special in that category.

I've said my piece on this subject, so other posters don't need to try to goad me into arguing with them, because I'm not going to respond.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

I think when you get right down to it, most people didn't like the way they were raised, especially since the 70's. They want more freedom than they can have, less responsibilities, more money and just want to have fun all the time. No situation is perfect and seems like people always have to place blame. I tell young people, "once you acknowledge that you have a problem.... the problem is then yours..... fix it or get over it.

I for one thoroughly enjoyed my childhood and like the person I turned into. I have my faults like everyone else, but I accept the responsibility for them.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

No parent is perfect as is no child. There's mistakes on both sides although I still feel that a lot of the time the child has a manipulative spouse to back them up. And I know that's not always the case. I'm willing to bet if the parents in all estrangements apologized and groveled, the situation still wouldn't be repaired because then the child or sil/dil has the upper hand, which gives them the power. And they love it. I'm basing this on my own situation. Thanks for the review njtea, I won't be reading it.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

I must say sniffles that your point of view could be looked at also from the other side. Some MIL's and FIL's love having the upper hand and could use it against their child/DIL/SIL that they came to them first. I know if my MIL knocked on the door and wanted to reconcile I would never hold that against her..if anything I would respect her more. I hope if/when we knock on their door they respect us more for it.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

Rookins, I know this applies to both sides. As I said in my previous post, I'm basing this on my own situation. I know several parents in the same situation as mine. However, I also know people in your situation also. I know mil/fil can be the problem also. As I posted to you on the other string, I think there's 2 sides to everything, and we all say and do things we shouldn't during an estrangement. Emotions run high. Don't take it personal, I was speaking from my own experience with a manipulative sil.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt' 123

Rookins, Just wanted to add, I do think you are doing the right thing. And not holding a grudge is a good thing. You'll find peace for it. I hope it works out for you.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

I'm eating my words - Rookins, I apologize for getting your name wrong.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

Rookins - did it work? As the MIL, did you knock on your child/in-law door?


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

"For the rest of those children who won't learn to ways of coping, I would just say: "Get over yourself." Unless you were beaten on a regular basis or sexually abused or seriously emotionally abused, grow up. No one had a perfect childhood so you're not special in that category.

I've said my piece on this subject, so other posters don't need to try to goad me into arguing with them, because I'm not going to respond"

This summarizes the attitude that lead to my estrangement from my family. They get to say whatever they want and I get to listen. If they engage in a behavior that bothers me I have to "Get over myself."

No one has a perfect childhood seems to be the mantra for dysfunctinal families and it is not true. I have many friends who had wonderful childhoods and whose parents have become their best friends in adulthood.

I do blame my parents/family for my sad childhood which is why I am not subjecting my children to them. Emotional abuse, verbal abuse, neglect or indifference may not leave a physical marks but they do leave scars.

I learned to "cope" by leaving my childhood hurts (and family) in my past and building a wonderful future with my husband and children- true-it is not perfect but it is pretty wonderful.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

You can separate yourself from your family physically, newgardenelf, but you can never separate yourself psychologically.

Unfortunately, it will take you years to learn that and by the time you do, it could be too late on many levels.

From the Washington Post in May of last year:

"How do you achieve forgiveness?" asks Philip A. Cowan, who with his wife, Carolyn, headed the study: "If you don't, you can't move on."

Forgiveness, Cowan says, comes when you put a negative relationship in perspective. "Can you say: 'They were doing the best they could. They didn't know any better?' " Those who can, Cowan continues, "do better in their current relationships with partners and with children than people who are still angry."

It's hard to heal old wounds. Some do it in therapy, some by forging a loving bond with a grandchild, some through art. Whatever the pathway, the process leads to a richer experience of love."

Here is a link that might be useful: Pefect Childhood


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

Thank you for the link to the article.

I guess what I left out of my post is that even though I blame my parents for my childhood- I assume the responsibility for my life as an adult and I have reached a very peaceful place within myself and with my own family and I have moved on.

I do believe that they did the best they could but I also believe that when the time came that they knew better they chose not to do better- I understand- it is very hard to break patterns. I do love them and forgive them for the things that they did unintentionally that caused me pain and even intentionally. I pray for them and hope they will find joy and happiness but I can't bear witness to their destructive behavior. My resonsibility now is to myself and my children.

I do not worry about "before it's too late" or "what if I made one more attempt" I try to live in the moment and feel internally that I have made the right choice.


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I sort of think parents just get us started on being raised. They raise us for the frst 15 years, and we raise ourselves after that. By the time you are 65 you've been raising yourself for 50 years--if you are still blaming your mommy for your unhappy life...

So by my reasoning, by age thirty, you've run out of excuses for what's wrong with your life--you've put as much effort into raising yourself (or not) as you've been influenced by your parents. Very simplistic, because of course a horrific childhood takes longer to get over, and abusive parents continue abusing adult children as they did their young ones. But for the general run-of-the-mill childhood, this seems to be about right.

I am completely perplexed by people who falsely accuse their parents of sexual abuse. I understand their being different perceptions of 'abuse', neglect, or meanness; but there's no misunderstanding false allegations of abuse. Near here was a father who was in jail for 5 years because his daughter accused him of the unthinkable. DNA evidence proved she lied. It was her mother's boyfriend (no romantic feelings on the girl's part for the boyfriend either). She knew domn well who it was, even if she didn't like her father for whatever reason, how could she victimize him like that--AND allow a pervert to escape justice.

If you have a child who accuses you of this sort of thing, I think as a parent you just have to cut them off; the relationship is beyond repair.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

I just posted this on another thread but seems to belong here

Problems with adult children where there is conflict especially with the mother does, I think, rest on several factors - their unwillingness to see the parent as a human being rather than the 'mom' all the media presents; many of these kids need a scapegoat to blame for their own mistakes in life (At an age of over 30 I remember blaming my mum for not correcting a crooked tooth I had - a friend's son blames her for his small stature - my mum couldn't have done anything about my teeth wartime Britain etc., but I know I hurt her. I blamed her for my asthma because she smoked - now I realise that she had been brought up to smoke that when she was young smoking was 'good'.
I wasn't the perfect Mum myself - I was studying when my kids were growing up - I was at home but busy with 'other things' - now I wish I had been more with them.
When my eldest daughter was 20 and the middle daughter 17
my husband was working in Greece - I left these kids in the house over Christmas and took the youngest 10 with me - just for 2/3 weeks.
Because of illnesses and a dreadful event associated with my husband's work we didn't back back until May of the year - -5 months all told.
My middle daughter came out and stayed with us and had a wonderful time BUT now she tells everyone she was abandoned!
and uses this as an excuse to leave her 16 year old son on his own here in the UK while she makes a a new life with a new husband and child in Turkey. This boy needs his mother - she wouldn't listen - eventually she had to be told face to face over the last Christmas when she was here on holiday - it was aweful - she took him,(put him in a flat on his own somewhere!) his clothes, the little boy and everything - told everyone she'd finished with us and I wouldn't see my young grandson ever again.
and that's that - I hadn't known she had so much venom in her.Anyway we are in very thready communication - but we are in communication
and I will keep channels open without expecting anything else.
These kids have to grow up take responsibility for themselves - many kids come from much worse backgrounds than ours and manage to become their own people.
We have all made mistakes as parents and I wish I could start all over again BUT that's the way life is for all of us.
I know wonderful mums who should have perfect kids - but that doesn't work either
Good luck and Best wishes


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

This is for families with estrangements. There is now a new support group at the Starting Point in Westmont, NJ They meet at 6:30 - 8:00p.m. on Tuesdays. No pre registration or fees.
If interested email poec_group@live.com. or call Starting Point 856-854-3155


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

My DH's Ex still blames her childhood for how her life turned out, and has allowed it to excuse her own children's bad behavior. True, her parents made poor choices, which led to her bad choices, and continues to damage the next generation. She did reconcile with her parents, but cuts off anyone who doesn't fall for her pity-party attitude. She claims that her mistakes were ALL caused by the original ones her parents made, I say BS. Now some of my SC blame their Dad, who was one of Mom's mistakes. If it isn't dad, it is the teacher, classmate, relative or me who is wrong. Nothing is ever Mom's fault, to her or them.
If your childhood was so f*cked up that it is still messing up your life twenty or more years later, get therapy.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

"If your childhood was so f*cked up that it is still messing up your life twenty or more years later, get therapy."

Now if we could only convince my MIL of this. Her mother was 'cold' to her and she claims she has no self-esteem because her mother was not nurturing and if she gets caught doing underhanded things and being rude and childish and insensitive it's because she just wants to be loved because she didn't get it when she was a child because her mother was 'cold'. She's 70, it's f*cked up her life for 55 years, how do we persuade her to get therapy so she doesn't continue to attempt with our lives?


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

"Now if we could only convince my MIL of this. Her mother was 'cold' to her and she claims she has no self-esteem because her mother was not nurturing and if she gets caught doing underhanded things and being rude and childish and insensitive it's because she just wants to be loved because she didn't get it when she was a child because her mother was 'cold'. She's 70, it's f*cked up her life for 55 years, how do we persuade her to get therapy so she doesn't continue to attempt with our lives?"

It's too late - she's already done it - it started the minute your spouse was born.

Maybe you're the one who needs the therapy in order to learn how to deal in a compassionate manner with others.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

Cindy seems very compassionate - to me.

If "dealing in a compassionate manner" means bending over and taking it, standing by silently while her home and family is destroyed by an entitled, egocentric woman without regard for others...I don't think so.

Cindy isn't attacking her MIL - she is addressing her MIL's behavior, which is as it should be.

She is, quite rightly, is protecting her home.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

We can't convince anyone else to get therapy. If MY childhood had me all twisted up after 20 years, it would be my responsibility to get therapy, not my children's job to talk me into it. If we could persuade others to seek help, many of us wouldn't be posting on the internet.
We can choose to put up with toxic people, or not. I choose NOT. This includes ILs, parents, kids, siblings, lovers, or friends. Life is too precious and too short.
Do I wish I could help the people I love, but cannot stand to be around, yes. Some people don't want to be helped.


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I was so excited to find this book and website. But I think I might not be happy here, as I do feel guilty about the past 20 years. I do not think I can blame anything on anybody.

I did a lot of drinking, with my PTSD and depression. I am not sure I did any thing wrong, but I am very sorry that my son, with a post-doc from Harvard, has a very, very negative opinion of me. He still talks to me once a month, and I guess we are working on it, but it is very hard on me. And it hurts me everyday and night. I would do anything to change our relationship.

Bill


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Read book, own personal struggle

I read the book "When Parents Hurt" some time ago, I thought this is a subject that is neglected. I never thought my daughter 33, would grow-up and want me in her life on such a limited basis. Everyone is still telling me she will come around one day. This is very painful for me, and if there was a local support group true to the cause-I'd go!
I find most parents do not experience this, and I'm happy for them. Nothing happened with my daughter (severe abuse, violence etc.) that would cause this reaction towards me. She never calls me, doesn't return my calls, and only sees me on my birthday, christmas and my grandson's 'birthday. She has not one picture of me in her four albums. She says she is just "busy" and is not intentionally cutting me off.
I love my daughter, and was close to my mother who died when she was only 52. I feel powerless, and angry, but nothing works.


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

Bill and Paula,

Estrangement really hurts and so many stories are unique...Situations are confusing...

I'm providing a link to a website about Estrangement. It is current and up-to-date and I find it very helpful--the many short articles are worth a look. I'm providing the link below and hope that you may find it helpful too.

Good luck to you both...

Here is a link that might be useful: E-Stranged


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RE: 'When Parents Hurt'

I found this thread after Googling the mentioned book. I ordered the book, but was unable to read it fully on receiving it, for the very same reasons mentioned by the author of this thread. I had hoped for strategies on coping with the pain I am experiencing at my youngest child's indifference to me. Instead, I found the book laid an even bigger emotional burden at my door.

One thing I felt moved to comment on, was in response to a post in this thread where the author has distanced herself from her birth family and is focusing on her family with her husband and children, doing all the things for her young family that she did not herself receive from her own parents.

My childhood was very dysfunctional, and I was the biggest critic of my own parents as a young mother, and adopted exactly the same attitude as the poster in this thread.

I did everything, absolutely everything, differently to what I'd experienced at the hands of my own parents. My children were pampered, adored, and given as much as I was able to give them. I made heaps of mistakes (of course) but they were totally different to those that my parents made with me.

Today, I realised that karma does exist. What we do to others inevitably happens to us. Youngest child who was probably the most adored, most spoiled of all my children, is the one who has virtually estranged himself from me. His reason? He's just not that into me, and has his own life to lead.

I realised with some pain today that my harsh criticisms of my own parents has come back and bitten me where it hurts most.


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