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For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Posted by imaginny (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 6, 08 at 10:20

This is the first post of a new thread for discussion of estrangements between parents and their grown children.

Maybe there have always been family estrangements. I know that I never expected to be estranged from my daughter. Our estrangement didn't begin until she was 29. Since then I have heard of so many estrangements of parents by their grown children. The stories are often wrenchingly painful. In many cases there seem to be no solution. However, recently I have been hearing of the beginning of reconciliations. When reconciliation begins, it seems to take a long time and the parents are often fearful of saying or doing the wrong thing and they often don't even know what the wrong thing is as it might be a hug or a look or something else that seemed innocuous to them.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: Estrangements: The Website


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Great work imaginny, glad to see you figured out how to begin a new thread! I knew you would.

I know someone stated that their were family estrangements in their family when she was growing up, so I guess these have always happened, but it sure seems as if there are tons of them now. Like I stated in another post, I didn't speak to my sister for 2-3 years, but besides that, I don't know of any other estrangements.

My husband and I have both decided that we are not giving in to the groveling anymore. If our son and dil want a reconciliatino some day, then they are going to have to decide to put the past behind them and to learn acceptance. We did enough bending over and apologizing for crimes we didn't commit. We were the people pleaser, but they abused us time after time. My dil is a drama queen, narcisstic, cunning and manipulative. She has beyond a doubt brainwashed our son. Still, he is accountable. It's not as if he doesn't have a brain, and he knows who we are.

I am amazed at the similarities the personal stories between me and garden60. It's almost too much to believe. Garden60, your dil sounds even worse than mine if that's possible. I feel so bad for you, your husband and your oldest son. It hurts so much, it's unbelievable. It's good to hear you trying to move on and focus on other things. I was doing pretty well (for me,) before I had to see my son and dil at my sisters last week. That was just too painful, and I've been struggling ever since. I feel like I'm starting to get back on track now though, or as much as is possible for me right now.

I'm glad others were able to confirm that we are individual posters on this site. I was very offended to have that remark made about me since I take my honesty so personally. Thanks for affirming that imaginny.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

anniebal (and garden60 too), I know other mothers who have been estranged due to conflicts with sils and dils. There are all kinds of conflicts. Some are conflicts where the mils are unreasonable and hard to get along with. Some are like what you and garden60 describe where the dils and sils are the ones who are demanding, controlling, manipulative, and unreasonable. Mils, dils, sils, fils come in all sizes and types. Someone doesn't get to be a nicer or a worse person just because they are a dil or a mil, just because of the "label" they wear. They are either nice or not so nice. We all know someone like the worst dils, sils, fils and mils.

What I hate to see in discussions is when people "take sides" based the perceived age and role of the story teller. Then the whole discussion degenerates to one of people being on one side or the other and it's not productive. How is the Family Rifts board currently? When I was there from 2004 to 2006 it deteriorated until it was a mess. Which is what could happen here too.

I know that it is tempting to "react" when we feel insulted. In fact it took me a while to be able to discuss on the internet without reacting to anything that seemed like a slight. I can still get wound up sometimes if I am taken by surprise. It is a good idea to take deep breaths, count to ten or one hundred or one thousand, and not write when you feel furious and insulted. If we all react to every slight, then this discussion will continue to deteriorate.

Well, there is something I want to go and do so I won't continue to type right now. Life is calling. I hope that the discussion here can get back to civility and reasonableness.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Imaginny, I appreciate your message on being civil. Yes, I reacted very defensively to another posters comments about me. I know you are right in what you say as far as sitting back, taking a deep breath and then writing your reply. Better yet, walk away and come back later. It never ceases to amaze me that one person with negative comments should get under my skin. I guess part of it here is that I'm already in a stressed out state of mind, so it doesn't take a whole lot to push me over my edge.

I agree with you also that I was suggesting that certain age groups were taking sides. Whether this is true or not, it serves no purpose to just throw it out there as if it is indeed true when there probably isn't any truth to it. I hope I can learn from my mistakes, I certainly am trying and will continue doing so.

I would hate to see this group degenerate, as in the family rifts site. I actually started posting at both sites at the same time (here and family rifts.) I wasn't at family rifts very long before someone was very harsh and judgemental of my post. I decided not to go back.

I'm certainly willing to let by gones be by gones with all who have written here in the past week. I know that I was a contributor to the problem, and I am hoping I can keep a cooler head next time.

I don't think garden60 needs to be lumped in with me and what has been going on here lately. She simply wrote for support, & never got defensive over the insinuation that she may be me posting under duel names. She may be new to the estrangement thing, but she has done nothing deserving of any corrections.

You are very right about the type of people such as my dil in our lives. They are in every position, from mother, father, brother to sister, aunt, uncle, grandmother, etc. There are no boundaries concerning who it is being an injustice collector. It is too easy to think that because my dil is doing this to us, that all the mil and dil jokes are true. However, this wasn't a mil/dil issue, it is a mil, fil and dil issue, not to leave our our own son either.
I probably am quick to think that other dil stick together, but it is wrong to jump to that conclusion. I'm sure there are very many sweet, thoughtful women out there that are dil. I'd like to think of myself as one of them! I never had issues with my in laws, or parents so why would I assume others would?

Thanks for your down to earth, common sense advice.

anniebal

PS...I hope garden60 knows how to find the new thread?!!


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anniebal, Actually, to be accurate, people do take sides based on any number of things that they relate to in each other. I think it's human nature. The challenge for each of us is to become aware of it and to take it into account when considering a response. There is that old saying about walking in another's shoes. Until each person can imagine what it is like to walk in another's shoes, we/they are less able to be objective in how we respond. Sometimes it is very hard for someone else to imagine what it is like to walk in our shoes and vice versa. And then one day something happens to you that you never thought would happen and voila! Then you know what it is like to walk in those shoes too and you wish that you didn't have to go through that to know! I can clearly recall when I thought that 99% of parents who were estranged by their kids must have done something to deserve it and if I knew what it was, then it would all make sense to me. Remember Roseanne Barr? For 14 years she was estranged from her family and made accusations. Then she decided to become un-estranged. Can you imagine what her parents and siblings went through during thost 14 years?

I think you are quite right when you say that you are in a stressed out state of mind and that you are letting things get under your skin more than it would if you were feeling calm, cool, collected, and together. It is a major stress to feel at risk of losing the relationship with one of your children. I know this from personal experience and from knowing the stories of many other mothers who feel that kind of stress too. So often it happens in relationships that once did seem to be excellent, harmonious, exceptionally close. That contrast between past and present makes it feel so senseless. I know that no one sees this coming. And few who respond with simple suggestions know how impossible it is to resolve some of these estrangements. The answers generally lie in the hands and minds of those who have estranged themselves. It is agonizing to wait for that hoped for reconciliation without knowing if it will ever really happen.

I can understand how stressed out you are feeling and how many emotions come up. Contradictory emotions even.

In 2005 to 2006 my daughter and I communicated through email and also indirectly on the Family Rifts group. The communications from her were so negative, nasty, and derogatory that I felt like I was being assaulted with poison. The communications felt toxic. So regardless of how much I wanted to have a relationship with her again, I did not want a relationship where I would allow myself to be abused. So I told her not to contact me again until she WANTED to have a relationship with me. So there it stands. She does not want a relationship with me. If she communicates, it is in a disgusting manner. And I go on with my life. If you can imagine what this is like, you would understand that I have had a LOT of contradictory emotions during the course of this. This estrangement is now almost 13 years old.

Ginny


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I am so sad for you Ginny, 13 years seems like forever. Thirteen years of your life that your daughter has wasted, time that I'm sure one day she will regret beyond belief. Kids don't seem to think about the fact that we're older, and anything can happen in the time they've decided to estrange themselves from us. Heck, anything could happen regardless of our ages, even to them. At least I know that if something happens to my son, that I have done all I could to resolve this conflict, and have sent him an e card telling him that no matter what, I'll love him forever.

I too feel very strongly as you did with your daughter, that we can't go back to the way our relationship had become with my son and dil. We did nothing but dote on her, apologizing for things we didn't do, giving in on things that we would never have given in on simply for our own self respect. There was nothing we weren't willing to do out of our sheer love of our son. Now we look back and wonder why we did what we did? Perhaps if we had from the start stated that her behavior was unacceptable (as well as his many times,) that things would have been different. At least we would have some self respect left. Still, I don't mind the fact that we were the nice one's in this relationship. I can honestly look back at my behavior and have no regrets. I did write him a long letter when my son didn't apologize for what he called me, but my letter was almost completely factual. There were a few sarcasms in it, but I don't regret what I said. I've read it to several people and they have stated that it is a strong letter, but it is both loving, and blunt about his/her selfishness. My therapist told me that I have to let myself off the hook for the letter since I can't forget how they provoked me for over 3 years before this happened. There was a lot of hurt and anger.

I feel strongly we will be in the same position as you and your daughter because I don't think my dil will ever respect us and act accordingly. She is as toxic as it gets, and finally someone else in our family has heard her give two different lies about a particular occassion when she couldn't do something. My dil tries very hard to look as if she is better than other people, and one of these days I'm confidant my son will have catch her in lies to him...that is if he ever opens his eyes.

I don't think it is that he doesn't see, I think it is that he doesn't want to see. He wants to pretend that all is well with his wife, and marriage. Our estrangement has brought the two overly dramatic people closer together. I don't see this lasting though, I do feel it's just a matter of time before he gets her wrath in some way, shape or form. The problem is he'll probably blame us if he ever does have marital problems since once again we'll be an easy scapegoat due to our past problems, (in reality it is her past problems with us!)

Is your daugher married? Do you think this has anything to do with her husband or boyfriend? Do you have other children? I know I've asked you these things before, but I forget what your answers were now. Do you have a husband that's involved with this too, or our you divorced? If your divorced, how does your daughter get along with her father?

My heart goes out to you Ginny. Just the thought that I may not have normal conversations or get togethers with my son ever again is too much for me to handle right now.

Anniebal


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anniebal, When this estrangement first began, I told a friend about it and was horrified when he told me that his sister and mother hadn't spoken for 13 years. Now it must be 26 years since they've been estranged. I was sick to hear about his sister's and mother's estrangement. I can imagine what feelings my story must bring up for you and other parents. However, people do reconcile. So please don't take my story as typical or that it predicts your future. My story is more common than I would have thought possible but it doesn't mean that this will happen to you and your son.

I have been divorced from my daughter's father for over 20 years now. He has refused to speak to me since 1986. Our daughter is our only child. My daughter has estranged herself from him and her stepmother in the last two years. She might hate her stepmother more than she hates me.

She is married. Her husband's biological father estranged himself from all four of his children. Her husband is close to his stepfather and was very close to his mother who died within the last two years.

I don't know if this estrangement has anything to do with my daughter's husband. She has claimed that it doesn't. But when someone does have an influence on someone else with whom they are romantically involved, then I think that they can be unaware of how much they are affected. I think that the effect can be subtle, not always overt. Also, my daughter has been diagnosed with a serious mood disorder. She is being treated for that. But I don't know how closely she follows the treatment and whether there might be other things going on too that are not diagnosed.

It is really hard to know sometimes where to put the responsibility for how someone is when they have a mental illness. I've met so many people who are diagnosed with something and who can be so horrible. But they have a problem. How much do we excuse because they have a problem? How do we get along with them? Or is the horrible behavior because of something other than their condition?

I've also met a number of people who might well meet the criteria for having Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And they can truly be tough to get along with in any kind of harmony. It can be easier not to be around them at all. But if they are married to your kid, what to do? Because your son (and my daughter) are adults and are entitled to make their own choices in life.

Generally I believe that most people grow over time to become more mature and wiser and learn from their mistakes. I have had faith in that. For some reason so far that has not resulted in a better situation with my daughter. But for most, I do think that in time things get figured out for the best. I wish I knew how to relate better to people who have serious things going on mentally. I tend to lose patience and back away when someone does things that are abusive and unacceptable. But some people manage to deal with very difficult people and remain calm and smiling.

Life presents us with such challenges, doesn't it?


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I have been estranged from my daughter for almost 10 years. She lived with us for 23 years. While I was not a perfect mother, I have done nothing to be totally abandoned. I never hit her, abused her, nor did her Dad. We are absolutely clueless as to what is wrong. She refuses to talk. Now, this to an outsider, reflects badly on us, but no one could have loved their daughter more. We long to see her and be part of our grandchildren's lives. Everyone who knew her, cannot believe she has treated us this way. We had great times together, but she says it was all in my mind and that she never was happy. I am grieving myself to death. She and my grandchildren are the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of at night. I buried my Dad not quite a year ago, and now my mother is approaching death. We have no other children and I wish to be in Heaven with them, as I cannot imagine not having any family in my life anymore. I do have my husband, but this has taken its toll on him as well. I am overwhelmed and it seems as if my daughter delights in hurting us. I read some of the postings on this site and I noted where someone said this is quite common. I don't know of anyone...I have NEVER come across anyone who has been estranged from their child unless drugs or alcohol were involved. This is not the case with my daughter. She simply hates us and we cannot for the life of us figure out why. I am slowly dying. Someone please help me. Help me figure out what went wrong. What did I not see? Where did I go wrong? I attended to my dad for months before his death. I did things I never knew I could do. I changed adult diapers, sheets, fed him, held his hand, made arrangements for hospice,... I did it all and now, just last week, my mother was admitted into the hospital and may not come out. If she does, I will once again resume the role of care taker. No help from my daughter and it frightens me that when I reach the end of my life, that my own daughter, my own flesh and blood will not be there for me. Will she ever reach a point in her life where she is remorseful? Will she ever be repentent? Will God deal with her? Why did God allow this to happen? How could anyone abandon their parents? How?


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Dear Cornflakes. I feel your pain and bewilderment all to well, I'm afraid. All of our family is torn by this estrangement, not just us. It hurts everyone, since they feel tied to us first, but still love their nephew or grandchild too.

Do you think that your daughter's husband has something to do with this? I asked Ginny the same question, and she stated that she doesn't know, but when someone is involved in another's life such as a spouse, we know the influence they can wield. Have you ever considered your daughter having mental issues? You say she lived with you 23 years, is that until she was 23 years old then? Have you ever seen your grandchildren? Did your daughter attend your father's funeral? If so, what is it like to be around her?

I was estranged for a short time with my sister, which probably lasted 2-3 years max. However we made up when my mother got ill, and though things will never be perfect, they are pretty much the way they were before we had our falling out. Besides this estrangement though, I had also never known anyone to go through this. Because no one we know has experienced anything like this, it is hard for them to know the deep pain, hurt, and agony it causes.

I feel your pain, really. Like my husband always says to me, we may have made our mistakes but we did nothing that would warrant my sons behavior toward us. We were a loving, close family until my son met my dil. Things started going downhill rapidly after that. We swallowed some big pills just to get along and keep the peace since we loved our son so much. But if finally came to a head over a vacation last summer, and came to complete estrangement in October. My son won't take phone calls from us. If we're together in the same room, I have to address him in order for him to speak to me. We've reached out a number of times trying to convince him/them to get together, talk and move on past the hurt. We don't believe any of this is our fault, yet we are trying to gain our son back in our life. I don't understand why he can't at least call us, and see us himself once in a while.

What could you have done that would have brought on this result, that you could be unaware of? All parent's make mistakes, one isn't born knowing how to be one. But we loved our children very much, spent most of our time with them doing family things, & I was a stay at home mom their entire lives. All of it is still surreal to me. I want to move on, but I am having so much difficulty. I feel very much the same as in slowly dying, yet I know I have to stop this carrying on and be the mother my other son deserves. I also want to be the wife my husband deserves, but it is a daily struggle.

Unfortunately (at times,) our families our close on both sides, and do get together fairly often. This makes it incredibly difficult since being in the same place as my son & dil with our family is so hurtful. They ignore us, while they carry on with the rest of our relatives. This is going to end though since we told our families it is just too hurtful to be around him while he treats us the way he is. They have agreed to stand by us, and see my son on different dates. Then I worry about my son when this actually does take place. I think he'll be heartbroken without being able to attend get togethers when everyone else is. I know his wife is far to selfish to care about my sons feeligns, and she will carry on just fine.

This whole affair has taken it's toll on both my husband and myself, individually and our marriage. We're still swimming, but I don't think it would take much to sink.

I guess the best advice I've been given and read, is too start relying on good friends to be your family now. Your husband needs you, and you need him, so you have to concentrate on that relationship. If your worried about your future (health issues and all,) I would get a will and make sure your daughter doesn't have any say over your health care when the time comes. This may relieve some of your anxiety. Perhaps you have other family you could count on for care, or prepare ahead of time when the time comes, and find an senior living center with health facilities. This could put your mind at great ease, though of course it will never make up for not being able to count on your daughter.

We made sure to change some things in our life to ensure the my dil won't have a say in anything to do with us. Even my son won't have a say, only some very close family and our younger son. That may change (only in my sons case, not my dil!) if we ever reconcile, but right now I certainly hold no hope out for a reconciliation.

I also wonder why this was allowed to happen, and why to us? I thought we did everything we could possibly have done to love our boys and make them the center of our lives. I always thought I'd have lasting close relationships with both of my boys, and I just can't rationalize this at all.

Ginny has great advice, and I would listen carefully to what she has to offer.

Ginny, I wanted to tell you not to worry over the fact that you mentioned it's been 13 years between you and your daughter. I actually need to hear this, not because it will becmoe a reality, but simply because the threat exists, no matter how small that may be.

Anniebal


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Cornflakes, I am so sorry about your daughter, it is so hard to understand why a daughter would want to break ties from a loving family. I wonder how she will feel if her children did the same thing to her.

I have a daughter that moved to the other end of the country for work. She only keeps contact when I contact her, she never phones or e-mails. But it I do she will respond. She never asks how we are or anything.

I too have often wonder if it is some type of mental illness.


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Thank you so much for your prompt responses. While I do not wish this situation off on anyone, it does bring me comfort to know that I'm not in this alone. This situation is so very rare. It has affected every area of our lives.

Yes, Annibal, our daughter lived with us for 23 years and seemed to be happy. And yes again,... when she got married, things drastically changed, almost overnight. Her husband is very controlling, but I never thought she would be swayed to the point of abandoning us. They've been married for nine years now, and I don't see them ever being apart. We've done everything to make him a part of our lives as well, including "going along to get along," but nothing works. We wrote our daughter out of our will three years ago and made our grand daugther heir to our estate, but the thought has not occurred to me to make certain she cannot oversee our health care matters. I didn't know I could legally do that. This has caused us both great concern, as we are fearful of her.

She is extremely unpredictable. I am so thankful I came upon this site. I got exhausted trying to find one, as that everytime I searched for such a site, I would always come up with sites for children abandoned by their parents, or child abuse...not the other way around.

When my Dad died, my daughter and her husband attended the funeral. When the funeral director instructed them to sit with the family at the front, her husband said, "No, we're good where we're at." She never spoke to us and at the graveside, my husband turned to her and said, "You're still a part of this family. Take your rightful seat." If looks could have killed, we would have been right alongside my Dad. To avoid making a scene, they both reluctantly sat down. Now, with mother's failing health, instead of coming together, she has further withdrawn, We will not inform her when mom passes away. In your opening paragraph, you stated your entire family was torn by this estrangement. It does indeed affect not only us, but everyone.

Both you and Enjoyingspring mentioned the possibility of mental illness. I stayed up until the wee hours in the morning, pouring over links from this page to other web sites and was drawn to NPD. I didn't know anything like that existed and I also read on bipolar disorders until my eyes became blurry and I had to retire for the evening. NPD alarmingly described my daughter to a "T." It's as if she has an inability to communicate effectively, an abnormal need to cover up her life and delights in hurting us. For age 30, she is very immature.

I want to thank each of you for not telling me, "Well, you can't dwell on this. You've just got to get on with your life. She'll come around one day. She'll regret this." With my daughter gone, my Dad dying and now not knowing if mother will make it another day, I feel like more than half of me is gone. I miss them dreadfully. With regards to her "coming around one day," I have lost hope.

Again, thanks for replying. I'll try not to be so lengthy in my posts, but please ... I don't want to lose touch. Remember me, as I will remember each of you. Until I check the message board again, I remain sincerely yours. Prayers and blessings.


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Hi cornflakes, I'm glad that you found this thread and that you also found information from the link to other pages on the net with information. It does help to know that we aren't alone. I hear how much you feel alone in having had this happen to you and your husband. I hear your grief, fear and despair. I don't think that parents ever get over losing their children, whether it is through death or estrangement or illness or anything.

What I do that has helped some is I got involved in a nonprofit group that needed help. I volunteer my time, energy (what there is of it), ideas. I am on the board. I am on several committees. I do things that I know are very important for the success of the organization. This helps me feel as though I am contributing to the world and that I have worth, even though my child rejects me and I can do nothing for her. My involvement in this organization takes up a lot of my time and mental energy, so much so that I have less time to obsess over the loss of the relationship with my child. This helps me go on and feel better about myself. It doesn't eliminate the pain but I feel as though I am doing something that gives my life meaning.

I have found no solutions or answers to how to resolve an estrangement with a daughter who rejects me. But I have found a way to redirect the energy from being a mother to a daughter to something else.

I read every day the words of other mothers who are dealing with this type of estrangement too. The words that I give me the most strength lately are that our lives have worth too. That we are important. That we deserve to treat ourselves well and to feel good about ourselves. That we have worth.

Early on in our estrangement my daughter wrote to me and said something to the effect that I wasn't worth the ink it took to write to me. Those words went straight to my heart and lodged there. But I know it isn't true. I know that I do have worth and that other people who know me recognize my worth as a person.

You have worth as a person too. I know from my own experience how painful this is for you. I feel sad to read that you feel as though life is hardly worth living without your daughter in it. I hope that in time you will be able to recognize your worth.

There is an organization in Dallas called Healing Estranged Relationships (H.E.R.) for mothers. I am not in Dallas and have never gone to this group. It would be a heck of a commute for me! But I wish I could go to a H.E.R. meeting. They have plans to expand the group to other locations. I don't have time to get involved in that but I think it would be great if there were H.E.R. groups nationwide. I think there is a need for this type of support group.

Here is a link that might be useful: Healing Estranged Relationships


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Cornflakes, there are so very many of us in situations where our children married controllers.

In many cases with which I am familiar, the controlled spouse just does not have the backbone to leave the relationship. It could be because the male spouse has threatened his wife with taking the children away from her (which seldom happens but it is nonetheless a very powerful deterrent to filing for divorce.) In some cases, the wife doesn't know where she will get the money for a divorce or how she would support herself and her children after a divorce.

Perhaps she's not contacting you because she is truly afraid of her husband. It could also be that she is embarrassed and ashamed of the situation in which she finds herself. Or, for whatever reason, she thinks she has to stay with him in order to survive.

Did your daughter have any signs of NPD before she married? Did she begin saying that she hates you after she got married or had it started earlier? If it didn't start until after she married, it could be her way of coping with a bad marriage or she's been brainwashed by her husband. I recall my daughter saying things to me that I knew she picked up from her husband - it just was NOT her talking to me.

I, too, have cut my child from my will and directed it all to her "issue". There are those who say doing so is not a good idea. I totally disagree as I don't believe that anyone should be "rewarded" for bad behavior.

Do you send cards and remembrances to your granddaughter, whether she gets them or not? I read in one of these forums about starting to put together a package of copies of cards that are sent over the years and I have been doing that. The package is to be given to my grandchild at the age of 18, either by me if I am alive or by my attorney - she can then decide for herself what she wants to do about our relationship, if anything.

Most of all, start living for YOU and not for your child and grandchild. It's tough and it takes a heck of a lot of strength, but YOU CAN DO IT!


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Cornflakes, just a thought, but have you every spoken to you SIL's parents about the situation.


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For a discussion on the advisability of getting others involved, Coleman's blog had some interesting comments last week or maybe the week before.

2 things I remember:

Coleman said the in-laws parents probably won't intervene because they, too, are afraid of being estranged

and

in general, trying to get someone to mediate just doesn't work.

However, everyone has to make their own call on whether or not to try to involve another.

Here is a link that might be useful: Joshua Coleman Blog


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

But, maybe she could at least find out from them if there is a problem that they should be aware of without them getting involved.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Imaginny, to read the words, "You have worth," just took my breath away, as I haven't heard or felt that in years. There was almost something curative just to read the sentence. I derived so much of my self worth and wrapped up so much of who I was into being a mother, that since this estrangement happened, I've just never felt like a "whole" person. I work out of my home as an editor, but am searching for other activities that require me to be outside of my home, to get involved with people, to help take my mind off of the situation. When I read the statement, "Not worth the ink," it pierced my heart like a sword, as I can sympathize and empathize. I plan on researching the H E R website tomorrow.
Fuzzy, prior to my daughter's marriage, we didn't have any problems, or so I thought. If life were so bad, why did she remain with us for 23 years? Looking back, I can see signs of possible NPD. The memories she has of her childhood and the ones we have are totally different. It's as if she grew up in another household. Just after she gave birth to her first child, her physician wanted to place her on anti-depressants, but her husband adamantly refused, stating "God will get you through this depression, not pills." I didn't say a word, not wanting to interfere and afraid to speak my mind, but I wish so badly she had taken the doctor's advice. I've begged her to go into counseling with me, but she states, "You're the problem. I don't have any problems except you." I am of the same mindset about not rewarding bad behavior by leaving our estate to someone who has abandoned us. Now, I will be back in touch with the attorney to have someone appointed guardian over us in the event we are unable to care for ourselves. I have a journal that I write in periodically to be presented to my daughter. Sending and keeping copies of b'day cards and special occasions would be excellent to include with it.

Enjoyingspring, I've spoken to the SIL's mother. She said she didn't want to get involved and would not speak to me about it. She said, "You just need to understand my son." Then, she turned around and called him, which infuriated everyone.

I wish I had discovered this site years ago. You may think that your words fall lightly in your posts, but they have great weight in my heart. Thank you. Thank you.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Cornflakes, how does you husband deal with this situation, has he ever tried to talk to your daughter?? Really is too bad she did not go on medication. Does your daughter have any friends that you know, maybe you could speak to them to get a better understanding of her.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Enjoyspring, when my daughter married, she quickly terminated all relationships with her friends. She does not have one single friend now that she was friends with when she was at home. One of her friends contacted me to tell me that her mother had died. My daughter had spent a lot of time with this woman and I was shocked when she said, "You just used this as an excuse to call me. I haven't seen Kathy in years." She hung up. At that time, calls from my home, my husband's workplace and cell phones were blocked. I've just got to face it. My daughter doesn't just hate me, but is indifferent, which hurts all the more. People tell me continually, "One day she'll regret this." "She'll come around." I use to believe them, but don't think so anymore since so many years have passed. Is there anyone who has had a happy ending under these circumstances?


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

cornflakes, Interestingly when I suggested to my daughter that we go to a therapist together, she had told me that she was fine and didn't need a therapist and that I could go by myself. I had already gone to therapists before then and after. She saw my suggestion as insulting and she took it that I was saying she needed "fixing." At the time I didn't know what was wrong. I had been taken by surprise by her anger at me and I had hoped that a therapist would help sort it all out. I could not see where the anger came from.

Of course, in retrospect now, I am aware that if she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, she could see the slightest tinge of criticism as an attack on her self image and react with fury. She, of course, has decided that her father and I have NPD. I am afflicted with far too much empathy, far more than I wish I even had, to "qualify" for NPD and I am also much too willing to go to a therapist. I think that someone could win a large amount of money betting that I don't have NPD. As for her father, my ex, there is a slight possibility but I don't really think so. I've known people who could be poster men for NPD but my ex being a candidate for NPD never occurred to me until I saw that she had labelled him as such. He has his flaws but I don't think that's one of them.

My daughter has been anti-therapy. She does get treatment for her bipolar disorder but the treatment seems to be limited to medication. She is willing to take medication. But to my knowledge she does not see a talk therapist.

As for my daughter's marriage, as I have said previously, I really don't know if my SIL is a factor. I don't think I can blame it on him. He may be an influence of sorts. But I don't think that he controls her. At least not overtly. I had thought of him as rather insecure, especially when it came to what he thought I thought of him. I think he was convinced (and she probably was too) that I thought more poorly of him than I did. I was always concerned about my daughter's happiness and her being able to do whatever she wanted in life. For a time, when he was unemployed a lot, I was worried. Also, he didn't seem to be in touch with reality all the time. He seemed somewhat unrealistic about wanting to do things without training or hard work. I never had an argument with him. But he seemed very sensitive to my opinion. I think he was a little paranoid about me. And then who knows what they said between each other in conversations about me and her father? If they were both super sensitive, they may have worked things up a great deal, much more than had any basis in reality.

I believe also that my daughter is fearful about mental health issues and that this may be a factor also. Her maternal great grandmother and grandmother both suffered from mental illness. My mother's illness impacted my life and self image a great deal. My daughter was aware of much of my mother's very bad behavior that upset everyone who knew her. Now that I know that my daughter is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and realize that she must have suffered from this for many years, I can see that she may be angry and afraid of having any connection to what she saw occur in her grandmother. There are times when she has seemed to have me mixed up in her mind with my mother. She has a level of cruelty and insensitivity to people that is much like my mother. And as time goes on, her physical resemblance to my mother is becoming remarkable.

I never would have predicted any of this back in 1994. I wouldn't have believed it could happen. I didn't see my daughter's illness coming on. I was shocked when I heard the diagnosis. And I strongly suspect that there is more going on than the bipolar although bipolar can cause behavior and thoughts that are much like NPD.

Ginny


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There is one other thing I feel compelled to mention. This has affected every single aspect of our lives. When we moved four years ago, that required us to locate a new church home. We have quit going, as that churches are, as they should be, family oriented. Going through the "get to know the new person" stages have caused us to flee every time. Politely, we are asked if we have any children/grandchildren and we say, "Yes," but don't elaborate. Happy, normal families tell stories about what their children bought or did for them....the photos and cute stories of what their grandchild just did or said...and we cannot contribute, because for unknown reason, our daughter has severed ties with us. While we are happy for others, it breaks our hearts, because we long to enjoy the same things they do. I've prayed many times not to be bitter. An article I came across one day caught my attention. It said, "As a child, you adore and love your parents. As a teenager, you like them. As an adult, you judge them." For whatever reason, we have been judged and found guilty. We've been sentenced to the remainder of our lives without a family and have been refused forgiveness for only God knows what. God asks that we forgive. Most mature people are capable of doing this. He also gave the commandment of "Honor your father and mother," and with this commandment comes both a warning and a blessing..."That your days may be long upon earth." Perhaps the reason reconcilation is so long in coming is that God in his infinite mercy is allowing her to correct this wrong on her own, before he intervenes. If only I knew what I had done...if I knew what was wrong....if she wouldn't hide, refuse to talk and be so evasive. Oh, I'll never figure it out. Never. Anyway..I've gotten sidetracked from my intent of this post. How do others in this situation deal with the embarrassment?


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Classic controller:

"Just after she gave birth to her first child, her physician wanted to place her on anti-depressants, but her husband adamantly refused, stating 'God will get you through this depression, not pills.'"

Your daughter was not allowed to make a decision regarding her own medical care - her husband made it for her.

I would hazard a guess that your daughter is totally controlled by him, Cornflakes, and that could what is exacerbating whatever personality issues she has.

It's also classic that people who need therapy the most will refuse to go saying there is nothing wrong with them.


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Estrangement

Ginny, I gasped when I read your post. It was if you're living my life! I can't expound now, as I have edits to complete and the hospital called and said they are releasing my Mom today. I'll write the first chance I get to inform you of the striking similarities. I want to thank you and everyone for investing your time, being so compassionate and understanding. This is just something that's so rare and to be able to talk to people who have and who are experiencing the same is comforting. I no longer feel I have a monopoly on this.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

This post is to everyone on board here lately, I've been out of touch for the past few days. I can't believe how many posts there have been since I visited last, but each one of them offer so much information into the lives of others that we share so much in common with.

Cornflakes, I am sure the my dil has NPD. She is poison, toxic. I now think that my son possesses some of those qualities himself, and she has managed to exacerbate those qualities to the max.

Last week I saw a sad movie, and afterwards felt compelled to send an e card to my son. Last I saw him at my sisters, I hugged him good bye but forgot to tell him that I loved him. It was a very uncommon experience for me, since I tell them all the time. Anyway, I picked out an e card from a Beatles site since my son always loved my Beatles music. There was a song that he used at their wedding that he and I danced to, so I picked out that song to play in the background. The title of the e card is song lyrics that stated "I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm sorry if I made you cry." In the body of the letter, I simply wrote: I think, wonder and worry about you all the time. I'll love you until the day I die." Mom. I used lyrics from another song to follow my message: "PS...I love you." I felt so good after sending it, that I was letting him know once again that I love him no matter what. This helped me feel better for neglecting to tell him when I saw him.

I told myself when I sent it that it didn't matter if I heard back from him since the most important thing is that he knows I love him. Yet, I found myself looking for just a note in my email telling me that he loved me too. That message never came. I was crushed once again.

Today I phoned his work number. I was hoping since he couldn't see who was calling (the call is put through a switch board,) that he'd actually answer this time. No such luck, it went to his voice mail. I left him a message in a very sad voice stating that I couldn't believe he didn't send me a short note saying he loved me too after I sent him the e card. I then asked him if he still has a heart?

I received an email later in the day that was cold and heartless. He doesn't start out dear mom, he just states mom. Then he asked how I got his work number, that that is his professional number and that I'm never to call him there again, especially with the type of message I left. He told me that if I ever call him there again with that type of message, he will delete it before he listens to it. He did sign it love and his name, but that was it. He copies my husband in on it, which I find interesting. My take is one of two things, either he wants his dad to also know this is unacceptable, or he hopes that his dad will keep me from ever daring to call him at work again.

I wouldn't usually call him at work, and in fact haven't all this time. However, he won't answer my call on his home or cell phone, and I wanted a chance that he would actually pick it up. It was the only chance I had that he would answer since he couldn't know ahead of time it was me.

A long time ago, before everything went completely nuts, I had talked to him one day when he was at work. We were having words and he told me he had to get going. I was very immature and irrational and told him that I wasn't going to say good bye. He kept telling me that he couldn't talk to me at work, and that he was going to hang up. Finally I gave in, but I know it was wrong to do this to him while he was at work, and I told him I was sorry after it happened.

He has sinced moved to a location downtown, and I didn't have his new desk number. However, his company is listed and I just phone the main number and asked for his line. There was nothing devious other than the fact that I was hoping to get to talk to him without him screening my call.

I now feel worthless. I was hoping that he never got my email, that his wife had deleted it and he'd find out and be mad at her. Even though I got a receipt from the 'posty' I sent that he had opened it the next morning at 6:15. In my fantasy, I saw his devious wife opening it and deleting it before he could see it. There is almost nothing I can put past her doing. I guess it was easier to believe that then to think my son wouldn't at least write me a short email saying he loved me. I guess it was self protection. I wish I'd just gone on wondering, rather than find out what I did today.

I feel I have found out that he really doesn't love me or us. He doesn't miss us, and is hostile and angry at me for things that I don't remember ever having took place (nor my husband.) Much like you cornflakes, guilty but no crime.

In Mark Sichel's book he does state that people who are Narcistic don't seek therapy, ever. I think it was you Ginny who stated your daughter accused you and your husband of being NPD. If you went to therapy (as I do, and many others on this site) then you don't have NPD. If you have empathy, as you stated cornflakes, then you don't have NPD. People with NPD have such a deflated self esteem that they try to counter it with acting superior to everyone else.

Now I am crushed, and I know my husband will be mad when he finds out I left him a message. He was already upset that I sent him the e card, since he doesn't believe we should be contacting him at all (one because our son told us he is not emotionally ready to see us, and the other because my son doesn't deserve us.)

My hubby will have little sympathy for me having put myself in this position. I wish I had someone to talk to besides my therapist or husband. People just don't understand how painful this is, and how would they?

Cornflakes, we have been presented with similar embarassing situations about children. When we are with friends of ours who know we were having arguements with our son, we just never mention him in our discussion. When someone asked me how many children I have, I always say two, but then I then I don't say much more. I always talk about my youngest son. At times it's tempting to say I only have one child.

I'm glad I was able to inform you about the will and stating you don't want your daughter to have any say in matters of health concerning you. We changed our will recently with those concerns addressed. We also cut him out almost completely, but I'm not satisfied. Now that I know how he hates us, even despises us, I want him out completely. I'm making an appointment for this or next week to do so. My youngest son and his children can have everything should something happen to us. I agree wholeheartedly that they get what they deserve, and my son deserves nothing more from us.

This is all to surreal to me still. It seems like it's been years and it hasn't even reached one year yet. I need to get involved like Ginny, so that I can feel worth while again. As one of you stated also, my whole life was dedicated to raising my children, they were all I ever wanted to do. Now I feel like such a failure, like I've done something terrible to deserve this. I thought I was being punished once before in my life when my youngest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 3 years old. Thank god he is healthy and almost 24 now. I worry about him all the time though since he has had this illness so long in his young life.

Sorry, I always end up writing a book which I'm sure people get sick of seeing.

I appreciate everyone's support on this site so much, and I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this site to rely on. Thank you all!

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

I am very sad for you Anniebal, reading some of these posts is very difficult.

Does your younger son have any contact with his brother, maybe he could have some infulence in the situation.

This "estrangement" problem seems to be getting worse, when I was growing up (I am 60) you never heard of these problems in families. So, I wonder just what has society done to create these people.


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Dear Anniebal: In your post you stated, "I wish I had someone to talk to besides my therapist or husband. People just don't understand how painful this is, and how would they?" I feel the same way. I'm not certain how to use these boards, but is there anyway I can reveal my e-mail address, or for that matter, I don't even care if I provide you or certain others on this board with my phone number...because I've reached a point of desperation and would love to speak to someone who has been through this.
My e-mail address is msrs3@aol.com

My eyes swelled with tears when you told me about the special lyrics from the song. It sounded exactly like something I would do. As I've stated, my mother is 91 and is hospitalized. My daughter had slight contact with her until this past Christmas when Mom told her enough was enough and she didn't see how she could treat me the way she has.

Anyway, when Mom went to the hospital, I phoned her from there, knowing she would not suspect it was me since the hospital number showed. On that day, my mother had suffered a series of TIA's and we didn't think she was going to make it. My mother has made several requests known that she would like to see happen before her death. One of them is that my daughter will reconcile with the family. I asked her if she came to the hospital, or to the nursing home, if Mom made it there, if she would pretend everything was okay, for my mother's sake. She abruptly said, "No. no way," and hung up. I phoned her husband at work. I have not spoken to him in just over two years. I explained to him the severity of my mom's condition and stated having buried Dad just less than a year ago, and now facing the possible burial of my mother was almost too much for me to bear. I told him life was too short and too precious to have this distance between us. I told him I loved him and would do anything, ANYTHING that he requested to have a relationship. His response was, "You're right. Life is too short for destructive relationships. With that said, never call me or us again. You need to be taught a lesson. I have told ______ (my daughter) not to have contact with you, her grandmother or anyone in else in your family." I was stunned and asked the stupid "why" question. He said, "You see? That's why we don't want anything to do with you. You just don't learn. Just by you calling me shows you have no respect for us. We have set boundaries of you not calling us and you disrespect us by calling and going against our wishes. How do you expect us to have any type of relationship when you go against the rules?" Rules? I wasn't aware of any.

I apologized and apologized (for what, I don't know,) and begged and cried. After all, it has been two years and I thought perhaps something had changed. It has...it has gotten worse. He continued to reprimand me like I was a child, like I was an idiot. I responded in closing with, "I love you." He said, "I love you too, but never call me or us again." That was it...end of conversation. Now, I regret having come across as a spineless, gutless, pathetic worm.

I only have the one child. My husband and I cannot think of one single person to sign guardianship over to in the event we become like my parents did. At this point, we know of no one we could turn over Power of Attorney to. I fear what my daughter would do to me, as she seems to delight in hurting us. In this search for a guardian, the stark reality sets in that no one cares. The thought that we could risk losing our estate to the State in our elderly years troubles me. I had always thought my daughter would inherit our money, our property and would treaure family heirlooms. She told me a long time ago, that these things meant nothing to her and neither did we. I reminded her of the good times, the color guard competitions she was in, the dance team, shopping, etc. The list goes on and on. She said those things never meant anything to her and that the "good times" were all in my head." She told me how she went to bed crying every night as she was growing up and now, it was my turn to cry. Before everyone on this board and before God I can honestly say, this NEVER happened. If I ever heard my daughter cry...and her bedroom was right across from ours, I would have been in there in a flash to see what was wrong.

Nothing makes sense to me anymore. This is so mind boggling and every day...for years now, I try and try and try to figure out what happened? What did I do? What can I do now? What's wrong with my daughter? How are my grandchildren being treated? Will things ever change? When do I give up? Will God intervene? Am I being punished for something? Is it her? Is it him? I have so much to give. Why and how can my love be rejected? Is this going to kill me? My husband said this is hastening my death and that when I die, it will be direct result of her. I honestly believe people can die from a broken heart.

While I read each person's post, I cried. Your pain is in my heart. I want to encourage everyone to hang in there...I want you to be comforted. I can be brave for others, but being couragous for myself is another. Isn't that odd? In regards to the efforts we make to reconcile with our children, no matter how futile we may feel they are, I suppose it is better to err in our actions, than to completely refuse to perform. Prayers and blessings to you all.


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anniebal,
I have seen other griefstricken mothers do similar things to what you just did in your effort to reconnect with your son and to be assured of his love. Everyone gets pretty much the same results. As far as what it means, I don't think from his reaction that it means that he does or doesn't love you. He may love you. It may be that he wants his "space" so much and is establishing boundaries so much that he can't be there for you while you are in such pain over missing him. I'm not on his side or any side in what occurred this week. I want to point out that the ultimate meaning of what occurred is unclear.

I mentioned recently that pushing does not work. Pushing really really does not work. Your previous inclination to back off and leave him alone was a better approach. I dislike telling anyone what to do so I won't do that. I can let you know what I've seen and how I have felt and what I have seen work and not work. Pushing does not work. And his failure to respond with what you wanted to hear does not mean that your son doesn't love you.

Your thought of getting involved in some other things that take your mind off of your son is an excellent idea. It can't hurt. If you find some other things to occupy your mind, you will grow as a person and as a mother. And you will find that you think about the situation less. You will still think about it but it will take you outside of yourself and you will truly find other satisfactions and joys in living.

You can also look at the idea of finding something else to occupy your mind and heart in another way. They say that living well is the best revenge. This is true. If you explore your strengths and potentials, you will become stronger and better and more resilient. And it will become much more difficult for anyone, including your dil and son, to point at you and criticize you. You will not fall into the trap of letting this damage you and take over your life.

(((((((((((anniebal))))))))))))

Ginny


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cornflakes

cornflakes, I wrote my post to anniebal before reading your post of this morning. Your daughter and mine seem to have much in common. I think it is too early to tell whether anniebal's son is on that page too.

My daughter has claimed that I did things that I never did. In her case, it may be that she likes to "embellish" ordinary events in ways that make them dramatic and put her in a sympathetic light to explain why she has rejected me. I tried to defend myself and when I would make a point to show that the story wasn't true, she would then change the subject and go on to another story without ever acknowledging the point that I had made. In her case it is a situation where there is no way that I can win. I do not mean the word "win" in the sense of one of us winning over the other in a contest. I mean the word "win" in the sense that there is no way that I can be seen as an okay ordinary normal fine and dandy person at all by her. Even though I am an ordinary okay normal fine and dandy person. She is capable (and has done it) of criticizing me for things like being supportive of her.

Apparently your daughter has never been treated for any length of time by a mental health professional. While she is with her husband, it looks as though she never will be. I think sometimes when there is an undiagnosed mental illness, mothers have a hard time separating the cause of their child's behavior as having nothing to do with the mother's ability to be a mother. But the truth is that sometimes we lose our children to mental illness as much as other mothers lose their children to leukemia or other serious physical illnesses. If it was leukemia, we would not blame ourselves so much. When it is mental illness and the adult child treats us as though we are worthless and rejects us, it is very difficult not to take it personally.

I read a good book on mental illness recently. I might not ever be able to make use of what I learned from it with my daughter but I am still glad that I read it. The title is "I Am Not Sick I Don't Need Help." I'll provide a link to the Amazon page for it. I also read a book (The Holy Book of Illusion: A Journey Through Mania by Jessica Dolin) written jointly by a young woman with bipolar disorder and her father. Parts of the book were written by the woman while she was in the depths of her illness and she was incredibly hostile to her parents in the most uncertain terms. My reading this helped me to understand how little mental illness has to do with others in the family. The person who suffers from it is so taken over by the illness that they can't see or recognize the love and goodness of others in their lives. It is such a tragedy and it hurts so much.

When I realized in recent years that my daughter had this illness and I did some reading about it, including the experiences of other parents, I realized that, at least for now and maybe forever, I had lost my daughter to something over which I had no control. That it was not my fault. And that I could go on with my life or give myself up to ruining my own life through my reaction to this tragedy. I think that we can make new directions and accept the loss when we realize that it is not because we are bad people that we are suffering this loss.

(((((((((((cornflakes))))))))))))

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: I am not sick, I don't need help.


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Your SIL's words could have been those of my SIL, cornflakes. It's my feeling that although your daugther might have NPD tendencies, she has become totally controlled and brainwashed by her husband.

You said you told him you loved him - do you really mean that? You must be a better person than I, because I have nothing but contempt for my SIL as his actions have ripped apart an entire family.

Ginny has given good advice to Anniebal: don't beg, don't plead, don't push as it will get you nowhere. I hope your mother survives but if she should not, if I were in your shoes, I would consider not even letting my daughter know about it. If she doesn't want to be a part of the family, that's fine. Let her read about it in the newspaper. That sounds cruel but it's giving her a dose of her own medicine. No matter what you do, it won't be the right thing, so do what makes you feel best.

As difficult as it is to do, just back off. "Reinvent yourself" as a current saying goes. Sounds impossible but it's really not hard. As another saying goes just take it "one day at a time" - don't focus far into the future, but just on getting through the next few days. I found that really helped.

I have two children and am lucky enough to be able to have removed my daughter's name from my medical POA as I don't trust what she might do. My son now has the first power and my DIL the second. Does the area where you live have an "office on aging" that you can call to talk about medical directives in a case where you don't have anyone to whom you can give responsibility for your medical care?

My ex has told me that he has told our son and daughter that it is his hope that they reconcile before the ex dies - but he's not said anything to me and I presume not our daughter either about the two of us reconciling. Isn't that special? I hear that as his agreeing with the SIL that I am the main transgressor in this whole thing - but I guess the mother always is.


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I wonder what these children telltheir friends, co-workers etc. about why they don't have a relationship with thier family. How do they explain it to their own children??? Would they want to be treated like this by their own children??? Also, do they shut out freinds the same way as they do Parents???

From what I have read here it seems like it is always a conflict between the "Mother" and children, you never hear to much about the "Father", am I right???

Just so many questions and not enough answers.


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enjoyingspring, The fathers have conflicts too but they don't talk about it as much online as mothers do. Also, I have noticed that men in general seem to be able to detach more easily than most mothers. I know one couple where the mother agonizes over the loss of her son but the father says about the estrangement from his daughter, "I need to make a living and take care of my wife." Which is his reason for not obsessing and talking about the estrangement from his daughter. In the case of that couple, they each respectively have a grown child from whom each is estranged. The grown children are from earlier marriages.

My daughter has estranged her father too although she estranged him long after she had estranged me. Oddly enough she used to talk about how much she disliked him but she estranged me first. She has estranged him and his second wife whom she despises. Apparently her stepmother dislikes her a great deal too.

Ginny


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WOW, I need to respond to so many posts...again! Cornflakes, it breaks my heart the conversation you had with you sil. I had to read the entire paragraph to my husband though because it is SOooo similar to the things we hear and have heard from our son and dil. It is as if ice runs through their veins! We wondered how my son could see his grandmother cry over this situation and just pat her on the knee and tell her everything will work out. He is such a liar now that I seriously don't know who he is. I know it's early on in our estrangement, but I have to tell you all that the similarities in all these estrangements is almost to much to believe. How can there be so many similarities, it does seem as if it is something we and society have done to raise thse kids to think this way.

I mentioned a while back that I'm reading "Generation Me," and it touches on this generation being like no other in the respect that they were taught early on that their happiness comes before all others. They don't know how to respect since they weren't told to do so. I have to argue with that a little bit, because we did teach our kids to be polite, and respectful. However, I think that so many of them don't do that. I also feel that since there is no respect (for whatever reason,) that that is why they feel equal or superior to us. They don't have the need or desire to want to do something simply out of what is right. Such as the WWII generation that put the country before themselves. I don't think this generation in general can put anything before themselves. That being said, my youngest son is nothing like this and has never been. Though my oldest showed signs of some narcism, my youngest has always had the biggest heart in the world. He put up with his older brother treating him like a jerk most of his life, and yet he is still tolerant of him. He is getting very tired and impatient with his older brother and how cold and cruel he is being to us, since he see's the hurt in me and my husband.

I agree with whoever said that men just show it in other ways. My husband has reached the point that he is so angry and disgusted with his son that he just wants to concentrate on me and my younger son. He no longer wants to waste time even trying with our son.

Ginny, I agree with you so much (now!) about not pushing. After that email reply from my son yesterday, I could feel just how cold and disconnected from us he is. Now I know, and I am accepting that there is absolutely nothing I can do that will change how he is behaving. I kept thinking for months that if he could just see me, or hear my voice, that surely he would remember how much he loved us once. But now I know that that is not the case, and will probably never be the case.

Cornflakes, have you ever considered giving your estate to some cause that you feel very strongly about? Perhaps to research on strokes, since you mother is struggling with TIAs? If there is no one else in your extended family that you would want to leave your estate to, I would seriously consider something like that. At least there your money will be appreciated and recognized. It is sad about your heirlooms, and I know that that would crush me to think that my heirlooms would never be treasured as I have treasured my mom and dads. Do you or your husband have any brothers or sisters with children you are close to? Even a good friend with kids may be interested in some of the things you have. You want someone to take them who will appreciate them.

enjoysspring, It's funny that you asked the question about what do they tell their other friends and family? My husband and I were just wondering about that. I think that they don't tell them anything since if they did, I think their friends would disassociate themselves from him. I mean what could they make up that could be that bad? Most of my sons friends (even now,) know us, and liked us. So what, now he is going to try and tell them what awful parents he has? I think instead he just tells them that we in an arguement and "we're" being difficult to get along with.

Fuzzywuzzy, it is my sentiments exactly about loving your sil, or in my case dil. I absolutely despire her for ruining our family. Though my son had these tendencies, I truly feel if he had met a nice girl that things would be wonderful. He is like a teeter totter that could have gone either way, and unfortunatley he met the wrong personality to cling to and marry. I don't think I could ever tell my dil I loved her, not now. I give huge KUDOs to cornflakes for being able to stoop to that level. Cornflakes, you sound like such a compassionate person, don't lose that because of your daughter. You are deserving of people who love and care about you for who you are, don't letter your daughter take that away from you!

Ginny, perhaps my son loves us, but it is buried now that I don't think even he could find it. Something drastic would have to happen, and I don't see that as a reality. Ginny, I would also find much more comfort thinking that my son had a mental illness. At least that's a condition, not just brainwashing and narcissm. I would feel like that's something I couldn't have contributed to, but as it is now, I always look for what we did wrong to bring on this type of behavior.

Cornflakes, your daughters stories about how she cried every night reminds me too much of my sons list of issues he suddenly had with his dad. That was just before the blow out, and it was absolutely remarkable to hear him state things that we knew were not true or never happened. We were nothing but loving, supportive parents that did just about everything with our children. Were we perfect, of course not, but we certainly didn't abuse them, or do anything wrong maliciously! Our mistakes were probably the standard mistakes parents make, afterall, we were always learning. We never hit our children, punished them excessively, overindulged them (though we did spoil them,) abused them either physically or verbally. There is no understanding of this, and that's what makes it so extremely painful and difficult to accept.

Good news! I went to that web site for the HER that Ginny mentioned and wrote them an email. I asked them if they have any plans to expand their organization to other states. The woman wrote me back and told me she was happy to hear from me, asked how I had heard about their organization, and told me that yes, they are planning on expanding. I wrote her back and told her I would be all for helping to start a support group in my area, and to just let me know what I can do to help this become a reality. I hope this happens so much! It would be something I feel I would be doing to help myself and so many others in dealing with this pain. I'll let you know what I hear back.

I did tell her about this site and that this is where I heard it from.

Cornflakes, I will write you an email either tonight or tomorrow and we can correspond. If you have a cell phone number that has unlimited calling, we can exchange numbers and talk to each other on the phone! I would love to do that, really!

Anniebal


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anniebal, I agree with you that the choice of partner can have a profound effect that is impossible for anyone else to do anything about. People do tend to be attracted to others who think and feel like them. People who have issues have more in common with others who agree with them, who have similar issues. Or who are interested, for their own reasons, in convincing them that they are so much alike and should be together.

It's funny about how people blind themselves willingly. I know a couple who have been together a very long time. Most people who know them agree that the wife has something wrong with her in terms of mental health issues. She can become extremely withdrawn and look depressed and angry. She shuts out other people. She will turn her body away so that people will be less inclined to try to communicate with her. But her husband never acknowledges that there is anything at all wrong. He goes on and continues talking as though she is behaving entirely normally. I can recall many years ago when she did indeed act as though she was okay.

That is very cool that you contacted the H.E.R. organization! Please do keep us informed of what happens. There is such a need for that type of group to be available everywhere.

Ginny


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I too am overwhelmed by all of the posts. I'm pushed for time due to the condition of my mother, my work, etc. However, I want to briefly respond to the above.
(like I've ever been brief on these posts.)

Fuzzy, you asked if I loved my SIL and you expressed your contempt for yours. Truthfully? No, I don't...not the way I should, or could. I am convinced that my daughter has problems and had she married anybody else, things would not be like they are. We have never treated him with anything other than respect since their marriage. We have "gone along to get along," to try to pacify his ego. It has and must be, "BIG HIM, little us," when dealing with him.

I would like nothing better than to reinvent myself, but at this stage in my life, find it extremely difficult. I have established and reached my career goals, my strength, energy and creativity have diminished with age and the abandonment by my daughter has left me a shell of a person. I am not the same person I was before this happened.

I'm going to change my will again. Yesterday, my niece agreed to be guardian over our affairs. Originally, we had left everything to my granddaughter, but because certain heirlooms would have more meaning to my niece, it will be rewritten. Money will be allotted for both my granddaughter and niece. I did not include my grandson, who I have never been allowed to meet. The day he was born, the SIL phoned and left a message on my answering machine stating, "This is ________. This is a courtesy call to inform you that ______ had a baby boy. He is fine. She is fine. Again, this is a courtesy call and do not interpret this as an invitation to come to the hospital, house or call. We still do not wish to have you in our lives, especially at this time, but I am calling only out of courtesy." Do I love him?

Enjoyspring - You know, I've wondered that same thing over and over and over and over again. What could they possibly be telling others? And, I haven't a clue. I don't even know anyone that they communicate with. It's like a closed, tight circle that cannot be penetrated.

About the husbands...At the onset of this, my husband brushed everything under the carpet. Then, as it progressed, he got angry and disgusted. It's as if he would be happy to never seem them again under these circumstances. He doesn't mourn the way I do. He told me just last night that he was concerned about my health and that he's more concerned about me, than about them.

That is great news about H E R. I reviewed the web site and am eager to see where they'll be expending to.

Prayers and blessings,
Cornflakes


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About what they are telling others. I know a very few things. I know some of what is said about me online. She tends to be vague as to specifics and big on insulting namecalling. The worst kinds of names you can imagine someone calling a woman. I think she hopes that I read them. I occasionally get reports from online friends about what is said but I have asked them not to tell me the bad things any more because it makes me feel ill to hear them. She refers to her father and her stepmother in an immensely derogatory manner too. As for what she tells others in life offline -- I don't know. I don't think that she has many friends.

I have heard that she no longer knows her father's home address as her father moved and didn't give her their new address. Although he has a second home that is quite near her so she does know where that is. She keeps an eye on who visits there and then gets angry over relatives not coming to visit her too.

cornflakes, Your SIL's treatment of you is so horrible. I have a hot temper and if I had received phone calls like that, my husband (my second husband, not her father) would have had to pull me off the ceiling. I don't think I would give that sort of SIL the time of day.

I am glad that you have your niece in your life.

I have a few family things that are not very valuable but have meant something to me. I keep thinking about whom to leave them to or whether to sell the things that I am not using and are stored away. I haven't yet been able to bring myself to make a decision. I doubt that she even cares.

I have a little doll highchair that I played with when I was a child. An old stuffed toy that was mine. A couple of antique chairs that were a grandparent's. My father's gold watch that he got from working in a factory for 25 years. Not many things but things that I thought she would want. Now I feel as though her having them would be meaningless. But I haven't been able to stand selling them yet.

Ginny


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Cornflakes, I think our children's personalities determine, in large part, their choice of a spouse, just as our personalities drew us to our spouses. It could be that if your daughter had married someone different, she would not have fallen as far as she apparently has, but I think there would still be issues.

I've heard it said that you marry a person who is similar to the parent with whom you got along with least well. I can see some validity to that but it leaves a lot unexplained.

After I was divorced and dated a couple of different men, I suddenly realized that I was dating men who were in so many ways just like the man I'd divorced. I had an inbred "need" to choose men like that. I'm aware of that now.

My colleague at work divorced her husband (several years older than she) because he was an alcoholic. Who is she now dating - a much older man who has a drinking problem - she apparently can't see how much alike her ex and her "boyfriend" are because she encourages his drinking and laughs with him about it.

I think we all know people who have left abusive marriages only to remarry another abuser.

Unless and until we understand why we pick the partners we do, we a doomed to repeat our mistakes.


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If you have family heirlooms that might be of use to local museums or similar, consider donating them. I am sure they will be appreciated.


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Once again I find myself drawn to this site to read all of your posts! It is therapy for me to be hear, and think about the similarities to us all.

njtea, I agree with picking out the same spouse, girl/boyfriend after a break up. A friend of mine also left her alcoholic husband, got divorced, and a few years later started dating another alcoholic! She knew that she was repeating her behavior too, and couldn't figure out what the attraction was. Much to her credit, she managed to help her new boyfriend realize that he was an alcoholic, and he went to AA. He has now been sober for almost a year. That was quite an accomplishment.

I've often wondered if my son left his wife, if he too would be drawn to what he believes to be a strong, independent woman who can make decisions. My son has always felt that he can't make decisions, so this is such a bonus having a wife who can do it for him! Who would want that?!! It is for this reason that he has been so easily manipulated, or at least in my opinion.

What do you all think about this. When my father passed away four years ago, I gave my son a very nice gold chain that my father wore. I was extremely close to my dad, and both my boys were also. I gave my oldest son the chain, and now I regret doing so in a very big way. In no way, shape or form does he emulate the man my father was, though he used to want to do just that. My father was a remarkable man, and immensely devoted to his wife and family. My own mother got mentally ill when I was only 8 yeasr old (I was the youngest of 3) but my dad took care of her from that point on. My dad would never have thought of leaving her, or us. I think about how much my father loved my mother. When she first when into a treatment center, he couldn't stand to have her stay at the place for more than a week. She kept calling home, and the place had bars on the windows! That was way back when mental illness was still a very taboo thing, that they certainly didn't understand how to treat. When I was 21, the family had an intervention to force my mother in for treatment again, and we were successful! Once she was on medication she was a new person. Of course she was never as independant as she was before she was ill, she still needed my father's guidance on almost every issue. But at last I had a mom that I hadn't remembered having past the age of 8! She was able to know and love my kids, as well as all her grand kids. The point of me sharing this is that my father was so deeply in love with my mom that there was nothing she could have done to turn him away. He was the best father anyone could ever have. It sickens me that now my son is wearing this chain around his neck, when he is so undeserving!

I want to ask for the chain to be returned to me. I want to send a letter asking for it back, that I gave it to him when he was a different person and wanted to emulate my father. I want to say that since he is the furthest thing from being like my dad, that I want the chain for my own memories of my dad.

We've already changed our wills in the event something should happen before what our time on this earth should be. We didn't want them to have anything, and certainly no say where our health is concerned. I can't even imagine where our dil would place us if it was up to her! If for some reason my youngest son can't make the decision, the we have another family member as a back up. One that we can trust.

Would this be ok to ask for back? I really want it now more then ever, since he is so unlike my father. He is a fraud, wanting everybody to think he is this really great guy (that he did used to be before dil.)

I haven't heard anything back for HER yet, so I hope they do contact me. I will write them again soon if I don't hear back from my last email to them.

Ginny, where is it that you see your daughter posting those negative comments about you? I don't know if I could stand seeing that, I would be fuming! The hurt and anger would be just too much, so I'm not surprised that you don't have your friends tell you what she is saying about you.

Why must there be all this hurt, when I know that all of us were good, loving parents?! We deserve better, and I'm working on finding something to take up my time that gives me more of a purpose in life. I love that I'm still a mom to my younger son, and a wife to my husband, but the hole that my older son left is big and needs to be tended to.

Let me konw what you all think about the chain. Is it immature?

anniebal


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Dear njtea: In your post you wrote, "I've heard it said that you marry a person who is similar to the parent with whom you got along with least well. I can see some validity to that but it leaves a lot unexplained." If either I or my husband were/are similar to our son-in-law, then we did indeed deserve to be abandoned.


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I certainly hope you didn't take that comment personally, Cornflakes.

I, too, certainly don't want to be looked upon as being like my late MIL - although my daughter has accused me of being just like her. Our similarities extended to our outspokenness, but unlike my MIL who was totally concerned about her own well-being and how people saw HER, my concern was with my children's welfare, not my own.

HOWEVER, my mother was full of suppressed anger; my ex was full of anger that he did not suppress. The two men I dated also had a lot of anger, although both suppressed it. One has OCPD and I didn't stick with the other one long enough to figure out his issues, other than that he was a basically angry person.


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anniebal, I hear how hurt you are and how angry. When I am hurt and angry, many times I would like to do something to hurt and anger the other person so that they would feel as badly as I am feeling.

I am trying to think of a way to demonstrate why it wouild not be good to ask for the chain back. Your father's love for your mother might be an example. There must have been things that your mother did when in the depths of her illness that made loving her a challenge at times. Undoubtedly your father gave her many gifts. There may have been times when he felt angry either at her or at her illness or at the fates for having given her this illness. But I am sure that he never ever would have asked her to give him back anything that he gave her. Even if he was a saint, I am sure that he had days that he felt stressed out and upset and hurt. But I am sure that he would not have asked her to give him anything back that he ever gave her.

I know that your ideas about what constitutes mental illness don't include things like personality disorders. However, a personality disorder is a distinct disorder that prevents someone from feeling and acting normally. It is an obstacle to their living their life fully. Even if you don't agree that a personality disorder is not a mental illness, if you study some of the personality disorders, you will come to realize that the person who has a disorder didn't choose to have the disorder and that they can't control much of what they think and feel. Especially if they aren't receiving treatment. There is a possibility that your son has a problem for which he has not received treatment. Your making a decision to hurt him and anger him as much as he has hurt and angered you at this time would not be the wisest or the most compassionate decision. It would be much better to take the high road and try to find a way to release your anger in a healthier way.

If you son does not have a disorder and is someone whom you have come to dislike, if it were me, I still would not ask for the chain back. A gift is a gift and at the time you gave it to him you loved him. Your father might well have wanted him to have something of his. It accomplishes nothing except to hurt and anger your son and to have a short term feeling of satisfaction that you managed to hurt him back.

I have the sense that you want something to happen NOW and that you can't wait and sit with all of these feelings that are inside of you. You want something NOW. I assure you that your feelings will not kill you if you don't do anything and that there can be much to be learned and gained by accepting the silence and finding something else to occupy your mind.

One thing that I have done is to journal. If you pick up a pen (or use your computer) and start to record ALL of your thoughts and feelings that bother you intensely as often as necessary, you might find some relief from the obsessing. I have found that writing really does help me a lot. When I obsess the most, I open up my journal and write and write and I feel much better later. If you do this, do not censor yourself. Use profanity if it occurs to you. Say the worst things you can think of to say. This is only for your eyes. It is therapeutic.

As for where my daughter writes, she writes a blog on the topic of how awful her family is. I do not read it. I don't link to it from my sites for several reasons although I have been tempted. I don't provide a link because she has a mental illness. She puts a lot of information about herself in the blog, I am concerned about her safety and also concerned about her state of mind. She is not well. Also, I believe that one reason for her writing online is that she wants to hurt me as much as possible. I have refused to allow her to communicate with me through emails (until she wants a relationship) and I don't participate in discussion groups where she is a member because she appears to enjoy denigrating me. I believe that one reason for her blog is that she hopes to continue to disparage me and have me see it. I will not communicate with her until she decides that she wants a relationship with me. By "relationship", I mean one that doesn't involve denigrating me.

Ginny


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njtea on whom we choose

njtea, I was thinking about your post about whom we choose for relationships. Yes, sometimes people repeatedly choose people with the same "stuff." I am responding to your post with a less serious intent than usual. I was thinking about choices that I know about. One is my current husband's choice. He has his father's name so he is a "junior". I happen to have his mother's first name. If I had taken his last name when we married, we would have had the same names as his parents!

I am not like my MIL in personality. I do like her and she has inspired me in some areas of my life but we aren't much alike. I wasn't anything like my first husband's mother although I think he wanted me to be like his mother. To the point that he didn't want me to drive a car at one time early on int he marriage. His mother didn't drive.

My father was addicted to gambling. He never did talk with me much. I would have loved to have conversations with him. But his major passions in life were drinking and gambling. My first marriage I fell into rather than made an overt choice. I won't go into why. But my first husband never did talk with me much. He kept his feelings and thoughts to himself. He did not drink or gamble. He was quite conservative. My second husband and I talk a LOT. He is like his mother in that they are both talkers. Years ago he did like to gamble but he stopped doing it when he realized that it was self destructive although he still does like things that are long shots in business.

My daughter's husband's stepfather, who was the man who was around for him for most of his life as a father, has bipolar disorder. At the time that my daughter and her husband married, they did not know that she would end up being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her husband is not like her father except for one thing: they both like to cook. My daughter is not like her husband's mother at all.

Ginny


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njtea, Oh goodness no. I didn't take that personally. I enjoy reading your posts and value your input. I simply meant what I said, that indeed if I or my husband were like him, I could see reason for the abandonment. I've pondered many times whatever attracted her to him. Now everyone put on your shock faces when I say this. "I'm not perfect." None of us are. "All we like sheep have gone astray?" However, I have spent hours, days, nights, weeks, months and years trying to analyze what I may have said or done, intentionally or unintentionally....was it genetic...etc. Truthfully, taking into consideration all of my flaws and imperfections, I can honestly say, I did nothing to cause such extreme behavior and hostility towards me. And, it's not my daughter's behavior I'm after, it's her heart. Prayers and blessings, Cornflakes


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Hello everyone!!

Like someone said in a post "what a life line" to have found this site. I have been reading up on postings for the last 3 or so weeks when possible. I am beginning recall parts of many of your situations as I see your user name. It is a lot to take in but there is imaginny, Ginny, one child, a daughter. Anniebal, two sons, the problem and then the younger boy, lostmama, a only child, a son, glorygirl, sniffles, dirtboysdad and many others. I am trying to keep up with who has a husband and who doesnt but so far I cant keep it all straight.
Regardless much of what is written is "eerily" familiar and has somehow allowed me to vent some degree of my frustration and anger before even placing a post. Just to find others in a similar even though awful, situation is a comfort. I am still in varying stages of fear, worry, disbelief, depression and anger. One day I am angry and the next depressed. The blog is something I look forward right now. It is difficult to talk with anyone about this sort of thing. Who can understand how it affects you if they have not been there.

The majority of what I have read so far has been over the last 3 evenings. Each night I found myself finally going to bed about 1:00 AM then getting up for work at 5:30 AM. Not to smart but I think my blood pressure and anxiety level have gone down a peg or so.

I found this site after putting in a search for "hateful children" and then "hateful adult children" if I remember correctly. I have laughed in a common form of disgusted amazement as I read the postings about some of these adult (?) children

I have to wonder if any of these adult children have a conscience or any empathy? What an eye opener and very thought provoking.

I will continue following all of you while still learning to locate postings in the order that they were written. I plan to check out the book referred to as the Me Generation. Sound like our kiddos to me just from the Title.


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blownaway, You are a member of our "Club" too! Or you are wondering if you are a member yet and not sure of your membership?

You wrote: "I am still in varying stages of fear, worry, disbelief, depression and anger. One day I am angry and the next depressed."

I've experienced those emotions, especially in the first years of the estrangement, plus a few more: guilt, angst, frustration, grief, sadness, fury, shock, regret, confusion, determination, persistence, concern, denial, empathy, acceptance. It is hard to feel love for someone when they are being abusive so that becomes a challenge to feel loving after being rejected and denigrated. I think I've put my love for my daughter in a box and pushed it to the back of the shelf where it still is but I don't try to look at it right now. If I didn't love her, then I'd be apathetic about her estranging herself and I wouldn't be here talking about it. But it gets harder to think about my love and affection for her. It is really hard to feel love and affection when someone behaves in a manner that causes pain. If someone is sticking a fork in your foot, you tend not to be thinking about whether you love them right then and maybe not till they take the blasted fork out of your foot will you be able to feel loving again. Even then, if the fork is taken out of your foot, you tend to remember what they did and how much it hurt. So you get wary of them. It is harder to love someone when you don't trust them any more.

It is harder for me to think and talk about feeling affection for my daughter now but I remember when things were different and how passionately I felt love for her then. I don't know if it is possible for things to go back to the way that they were. I haven't experienced that particular stage of experience yet although I have heard of parents and grown kids who reconciled and became "the best of friends." So apparently it is possible.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: Estrangements: The Website


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One experience too many

I wrote in my last post: "I haven't experienced that particular stage of experience yet . . . "

My wording in that sentence lacks something. Or it has too much of something -- like one word used twice. My grammar police didn't check that sentence before posting. I hadn't experienced that experience! My senior moment for the morning!


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I said I wasn't going to post here anymore, but I can't help myself.
Cornflake..you posted
"We had great times together, but she says it was all in my mind and that she never was happy. I am grieving myself to death."
You remind me of myself when this first started almost 10 years ago. Everything that you have posted! Your DD said it was in your mind...mine told me it was 'the preception.' My jaw dropped when I read your posts. That could have been me..writing your posts.
My SIL is very controlling also, and after hearing story after story of dil & sils...I know it my heart it's my sil.
I've decided to take a stand on it all..and it will either make or break the relationship with my daughter. I want her and I to meet alone and clear the air. A friend of DD has told me that daughter wants to 'make up' with us. Although she is seeing us at the present time, she isn't really connected to us either. It's mainly holidays, dropping or picking up the grands. I think sil might try to prevent the meeting. I sent a big message to my daughter this week, I won't say how, for fear someone that knows us might read this post. I heard she was thrilled.
I'm wanting her to ask me about it, so I can try to arrange a private lunch for us to talk. I'm just at the point that something has to give. I don't want to talk about sil to her..I know she will defend him..I want to talk about her hurts, my hurts, and how we can get past it. If we can't..I don't know.


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Hi sniffles! I'm happy to see you back! :-)

Your news is exciting! I hope you are able to have that meeting. That's cool that you have an inside track on some of what is happening with her.

My daughter has said how unhappy she was growing up as yours and cornflakes' daughters have done. Her unhappiness certainly wasn't obvious back then. Nor was there any reason for her to be unhappy. Unless having parents who love you and try to do things for you to please you and make you happy is a reason to be unhappy.

Until the estrangement began, which wasn't until she was 29, she mentioned nothing about being unhappy while growing up. She told me that I was a good mother. She used to tell me she loved me. Then we had an argument in 1995 and everything changed. When she was 29, I became unworthy of love.

It is as though she has tried to reinvent herself and manufacture a childhood experience that only she witnessed. And she didn't actually witness it until she was twenty-nine and older. She is now forty-one. By the time she is sixty, she'll probably turn me into a combination of Joan Crawford and Uttila the Hunness.

It is sad that someone can turn memories that had nice times and good people into something negative. I'm sad for my daughter too that something has happened to her perceptions of her childhood. I have read that people with certain disorders do transform their realities to fit their illusions. If someone believes that something was a certain way, there appears to be no way to talk them out of it.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

'Correction' My daughter said her & I being close was just a perception. Spelled that wrong in a previous post.
Thanks Ginny. I don't understand why they twist the memories around. My dd and I were very close. Even now, 10 yrs after the trouble started, people have mentioned it to me about how close we were. One woman I know told my son, 'I feel sorry for your mom..her and your sis were so close'. I guess everyone had the wrong idea per my dd!
It's strange because this started when she got married. It's been one thing after another. I didn't get a call from her today, although she did try to call me last night. I called and left a voicemail on her cell, after I noticed she had tried to call, because I'm not 'allowed' to call the house. Makes sil too mad. :O


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

I visited my Mom today in the nursing home. Guess who showed up? No emotion was shown, but she didn't leave in a snit when she saw I was there, which that in itself was quite an accomplishment. However, it was very awkward, as that my mother is unable to effectively communicate. The moments of silence were uncomfortable. She asked if I had my cell phone with me and wanted to know if she could use it. I said, "Sure." She phoned her house, only to receive the "Your call has been blocked message." She flippantly gave me the phone back and said, "Oh well." I left soon after that. I developed an aching in my right arm, as if it were in a vice. My hands became numb and I could hardly breath. My heart was racing so fast and skipping, I considered driving to the emergency room, but told myself over and over again it was all nerves. I thought when I saw her, I would have this overwhelming urge to hold her, to talk about things... to say something loving, but for the life of me, nothing would come out. Thoughts whirled through my mind chaotically, like in a blender. I wish our paths hadn't crossed, as it only brought nagging, recurring questions to my mind once again, confusion and anxiety. I've been sick from it all day.


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Not allowed to call!

sniffles,

Not "allowed" to call because it would make the sil too mad!

For some people I think that being married for them must be like having been kidnapped and then suffering from the "Stockholm Syndrome." They become allied with those who want to control them and they will do their bidding no matter what.

When it's a marriage, no one else is allowed to "rescue" them. They need to figure out what is wrong with the picture and rescue themselves. The first step must be for them to acknowledge that there is something wrong. That must be a very tough step!

I think that this upcoming meeting is very exciting!

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: What is the Stockholm Syndrome?


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Thanks for that link, Ginny. Our family has said many times it seems as if DD is brainwashed. I'm wondering if she's starting to realize a few things. One thing is for certain, if we meet, I can't say anything about sil..if I do, she will go in defense mode. I'm certain sil doesn't physically abuse her, but he does play mind games and is yelling, arguing, etc. all the time! My grands have mentioned it time and time again, in front of DD. DD has always been 'sensitive'. The slightest thing can bring her to tears. She hasn't called me yet. She did try several times Friday, but she hasn't since. I'm wondering if what imput he had on the 'message'. If he's rained on her parade so to speak.


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Racing heart

cornflakes,

I think that a call and a trip to a doctor right away would be a good idea even though the worst part of that event is over. I have heard time and again that women often discount symptoms of a heart attack and then suffer the consequences of not getting immediate attention. The fact that you are still feeling sick is not good. Even though I understand seeing her was emotionally traumatic for you, it would still be a good idea to get checked. Emotions can affect our physical health.

I will say that in 2005 when my daughter contacted me by email, I reacted physically as well as emotionally too. I had developed Grave's Disease just prior to her contacting me. One of the symptoms is a rapid heart rate for which I was put on medication to slow it down until they got my thyroid hormone situation under control. I had to go to a doctor fairly often then. Whenever my daughter contacted me by email, my heart rate would go up significantly. This happened in one case on the night before I saw the doctor. I explained to him why my heart rate was as high as it was. Every time she contacted me, my heart rate would go up, even while I was being treated with medication to bring it down.

At one point I also developed a severe pain in my jaw from grinding my teeth at night during that time. This may sound amusing to some. For me it was anything but amusing. It was emotionally and physically painful.

cornflakes, I hope that you get checked ASAP about the symptoms that you experienced. I think that this is a lot of stress and that it can weaken your system and make you vulnerable to becoming ill in all sorts of ways. Please be gentle with yourself and take good care of yourself.

I thought that there was a certain irony in your daughter not being able to call her house from her phone. She might not have shown it but I would think that she would have felt a little bit embarrassed at least. Despite her flippancy which I know hurt you.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: Warning signs of a heart attack or stroke


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your phone not 'her' phone

I can reread and reread a post and still goof up.

I meant the call from your phone, cornflakes, not her phone.


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Being in denial

sniffles, I think that is very wise to plan to say nothing about your sil when you have that meeting. Or say only things that can be construed as somewhat positive or neutral. But saying nothing is probably safest.

Your daughter is the one closest to the situation. If she is becoming aware of how things really are, she will want to talk about it some day. It might be likely that she already knows everything that anyone would like to tell her.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Can anyone tell me what lessons are to be learned from being abandoned? Is there some message I'm not getting? I have to believe there is a purpose behind this. There just has to be.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Sniffles said: "I called and left a voicemail on her cell, after I noticed she had tried to call, because I'm not 'allowed' to call the house. Makes sil too mad." and

"...DD has always been 'sensitive'. The slightest thing can bring her to tears. She hasn't called me yet. She did try several times Friday, but she hasn't since. I'm wondering if what imput he had on the 'message'. If he's rained on her parade so to speak."

Ginny said: "Not "allowed" to call because it would make the sil too mad!

For some people I think that being married for them must be like having been kidnapped and then suffering from the "Stockholm Syndrome." They become allied with those who want to control them and they will do their bidding no matter what.

When it's a marriage, no one else is allowed to "rescue" them. They need to figure out what is wrong with the picture and rescue themselves. The first step must be for them to acknowledge that there is something wrong. That must be a very tough step!"

Sniffles, my daughter too was/is very sensitive and just about anything can make her cry. I wonder if that contributes to the "hostage" situation that I see her being in, i.e., Ginny's comment.

Ginny, I think the married children already know that something is wrong. They have to develop the backbone to take the steps to change the situation.

My daughter does not speak to those of her family who came right out and told her she was being abused. She knows it and she's angry about it. However, it's not "safe" to be angry with her husband so she has taken her anger out on those with whom it feels "safe" to do so. In some way, I do find that encouraging, because she trusts us enough to be there for her when she is ready to take the necessary steps to end her problem. The waiting is so difficult for me and I know is exponentially more difficult for my daughter.


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Lessons to be learned from being abandoned

cornflakes,

For me the lesson has been how much it helps me personally to reach out, connect with, and help others. I have done this in several ways over 13 years. When I help others, I am helping myself too. I am sure there are other lessons for me to learn from this too. I am still learning.

If there are lessons to be learned, I am sure that they vary with each of us. If we don't give up and give in to the tragedy of it. If we make a path that leads somewhere rather than letting events swallow us up.

I did need to take antidepressants for four years due to a clinical depression that was triggered by the loss of the relationship with my daughter. I am vulnerable to being clinically depressed which appears to run in my family.

Ginny


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Being angry at those who feel 'safe'

njtea,

I am sure that you are right that they often know that something is wrong and also know what is wrong. And that they take their anger out on others who are "safer" to be angry at. In the case of your daughter especially, that may be what has happened. And also there is the motivation to keep the peace with a sil who pressures her to do as he wants and who is probably abusive when angry. And there are children which really makes it difficult.

In the case of my daughter, I think that it is different. There are no children. I think that my daughter tends to be the angrier of the two of them in personality. I don't think she is afraid of him although I do think she is afraid of being alone in the world. If my sil has an influence, it would be more of the type that bonds her to him because he doesn't want to be alone either -- and maybe he wants her all to himself with no outside attachments, not even family. I don't know. And then there is the mood disorder too.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

I think deep down my daughter knows things aren't 'right'.
Njtea, I agree with you, only she can take the steps to fix things. We talk between ourselves that she's been brainwashed. I think we say that because it's such a radical change from her personality. We know sil puts pressure on her, and she already has a full plate. We don't really think she's been brainwashed, we think she's trying to pacify sil. It's easier to go along than be true to herself. I think she's scared she'll lose him and she thinks if she left, he'd get the kids. Even if he didn't want the kids, he take them just to get even. He is an injustice collector for sure. He holds everything against everyone. We aren't the only people in the community he's mad at. If I can get dd to meet with me, I will not bring him up because I know she'll will immediately rise to his defense. From there the conversation will go no where. I'm more interested to hear what her complaints are & what I can do to close the gap. Not sure how possible that will be.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

My son is my only child and always lived with me until 07/07. His father left unexpectedly when he was four. He was not a regular but rather a periodic figure in my sons life. Five years went by on one occasion no contact another it was three years.
There were problems in the teenage years that were not fun but I suppose pretty much normal rebellion and defiance. I hoped my son would go to college and eventually have a career. In best case scenario perhaps he would settle nearby with a wife and children as he is my only child. For our financial situation living at home made attending school possible. He was expected to work part-time. During college my son started to drink. Later he would binge drink and also have periods of not drinking at all. The result was dropping in an out of school and the same with a job. As his peers and old friends went on with there lives he became depressed and more isolated. He slowly dropped away from all of his friends. Eventually he stopped working or attending school and the drinking continued. He was cunning in his ability to acquire and hide alcohol. I equaled him in my efforts to keep him away from it. We clashed routinely. This was a long horrible time and I often felt stuck in a nightmare existence. I feared I was watching him slowly kill himself. Yes, I sought help. It is not an easy thing to accomplish with and adult who will not accept treatment. I dreaded going home for fear of what was in store for me when I arrived. My life had also become extremely isolated.
He became extremely ill numerous times only to do it all over again. Eventually he asked to see a doctor. He received treatment that allowed him to detoxify in safer manner. He improved rapidly and began to look like himself again. Once stable he was placed on medication that would make him ill if he drank. For me that served as a security blanket. He started working and saved for a car. He returned to a different University and his self-esteem improved as did his treatment towards me. He made a few friends at school and work but stayed focused on getting on with his life and completing his degree. Things seemed to be at long last going in the right direction.
He went to a birthday party of female co-worker. A week later he went to visit with these girls and did not come home for two months. When he returned he told me that he was thinking about moving in with one of the girls as a friend/room-mate. The girls were having problems with each other. In short order I found evidence of drugs. I insisted it stop. It didnt and he and one of the girls found a place. She is now the gf.
I was very concerned and frightened because of the drugs. Since he was no longer here I had no idea what was going on, good or bad. Having witnessed what damage he is capable of, I needed to know. Didnt he learn anything along the way? I appealed to him to allow me to know if he is simply alive. I stated if he did not wish to speak I would appreciate even a missed call on my cell phone. He has not allowed it. Once he obtained most of his personal belongings he shut down communication.
One of you posted that you had decided to no longer grovel. Reading this blog has helped me form some opinion on how I will approach things. I do not plan to grovel any longer either. It is a role I do not play well. I never sought to be an independent women or a single mother. It is a role that has developed as time went on. I have tried to rise to it and do the best I was able. I have always jokingly described my true self a displaced homemaker. I wanted a good marriage, children, a home all that white picket sort of stuff. I have not posted before as I found it difficult to condense all of this insanity. I am glad to have found this site and all wisdom I can derive from your postings.
Cornflakes, I believe your daughter may be re-evaluating her relationships I hope so.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Hey Everyone posting on here! Welcome blownaway! I hope you don't spend so much time reading that you don't post also!

Imaginny, I can't believe that my response to your advice regarding the chain wasn't posted! I know I submitted it, and I was shocked to come here today and see it isn't here.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you once again, thanks for your level headed response. I do want to take the high ground, and I realize that I do want to hit back for my hurt, yet it is only a very short term satisfaction. I just wish I had given it to my youngest son now since he has the heart of my father. My youngest was only 18 at the time my dad passed away, and I just wasn't sure he was old enough to give this to. I have a ring my father was wearing when he passed away though, and some day I am going to give it to him (not his wedding ring!)

Cornflakes, that's amazing about the cell phone! It serves your daughter right to have had this happen, I just hope she realizes why the message stated her call was blocked!

It's interesting hearing many remarks about the estranged children being sensitive, since my son was/is? also. I do wonder if this personality is ripe for abuse? My youngest son is sensitive, but not so sensitive that he doesn't tell us when we do something to hurt or upset him. We've had many chats, and he is very open. Some times my oldest was a drama king though too. He would make a mountain out of a mole hill as the saying goes. I was always pleasing him. Yet, he had such a sentimental side. My oldest was a great gift giver, much like me (I'm not meaning to brag.) I put a lot of thought into my gift giving and really try to get something personal. I'm very good at remembering people's personal interests, and things they've mentioned they like or want. My oldest is very good at that also, but he hasn't followed in my footsteps at being able to say to their mate, enough is enough. I tried to tell my oldest son that sometimes you just have to tell your mate that they've gone over the top, and how both his father and I have done that with each other and it keeps a good balance. He just never seemed to get it, or he didn't want to.

anniebal

PS...While waiting for my youngest to come home last night (for which he was very late!) I started fantasizing that my oldest had called my youngest son for advice, and that they were sitting together having a beer discussing how my oldest could make up with us. I fantasized that he said his marriage was not good. I can't believe how quickly this scenario flashed into my imagination. I knew it wouldn't be true, but it made me so happy for that minute.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Cornflakes

Did your DD also visit with your father before he passed? I know you posted that she and the sil attended his funeral. I was just thinking that perhaps his passing had made something click with her. You mentioned before you asked if she would visit her grandmother and she had responded no, no way.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Blownaway, I really needed to respond to your post. I'm so glad that you took the time to describe your situation. Just as I feel for all the posters, my heart goes out to you. It sounds like you did just what you should have done as a mom. You were there for him, you loved him, and you helped him with his alocholism. You set him on the right track, but once he was off on his own, the encounter with the girl and drugs seems to have taken over. It's too bad that he would have to meet up with someone like these girls, but then perhaps that's what he was looking for? It could be that he hasn't conquered his addictive personality.

I am so sad that he won't see you. How old is he? Perhaps he just needs to hit rock bottom again and he'll straighten back up? Do you know why he cut off communication, is it because of your concern over the drugs?

I was the one who posted that I'm no longer going to grovel to my son or dil. All we did from the time my son got engaged until last summer (3.5 yrs.) was bend over backwards to please my sons girl. She was so impossible to please, everything I did, or we did was wrong. I heard repeatedly from my son how his girl was "deeply hurt" over something I had done. There never was a crime, only her pretending there had been. She had/has quite an inventive style that is impossible to please, which of course I believe is how she wants it. I believe her goal was always to conquer and divide and she won.

I am crushed, and still reeling over it. I'm seeing a therapist, and practicing relaxation techniques. I'm looking for a part time job doing something fun, I don't care about the money. I just want to get my mind and focus on something else, this is taking up far too much of my time. I want to focus on my youngest son and my husband.

It is still difficult for me to want to see people. I haven't seen one of my nieces (or talked to her,) since Christmas. I feel terrible about it too, because usually I see my nieces every few months to catch up and see their kids. I just lack the motivation to see them, I'm sure it's depression. I'm getting treated for depression now for the problems I've been having with my son. It may help a little, but I'm still such a shell of who I was. Cornflakes stated this to me, that she is just a shell of the person she used to be and I can relate entirely.

I don't want my son to ruin the life I have left. I desperately want to put him a box on the back of a shelf like Sniffles (I think?) stated she had done. I'm thinking about him far too much, and it doesn't do a bit of good. In fact, it just causes more depression and stress.

anniebal


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H.E.R. Update

GOOD NEWS! I heard back from H.E.R. (healing estranged relationships,) that Ginny had mentioned a week ago. I asked them about me starting up a group in my area, and she sent me the information that I need to do so. They will supply me with a CD and all the information I need to learn to start up this group. They suggest a $35 donation to cover costs, which I think is definately fair. I think doing something like this would help me a lot, not only in doing something good for others, but being able to talk to others in person who are dealing with this situation also.
If anyone here would like the information on how to obtain the training material, please just ask and I'll post it here. I'm sure this takes quite a bit of time to do, but I at least want to get the information and find out if it is something I think I could manage.

Since I've managed other things such as an adult volleyball league, I really don't think this will be anymore difficult.

Just a For Your Information.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Dear Blownaway, I enjoyed reading your post about your son. I have found this web site to be an excellent way to develop friendships with those who have mutual concerns about our children and, about each other. While my dependency remains with God regarding my circumstances, I consider each person who has shared their story as an extension of God's presence and love. And, I need that at this point in my life more than ever! You asked about my daughter being there for my Dad when he died. Her visits were few and far between and she offered no assistance. She stopped in whenever she felt like it. If she knew I was there, she did not come in. I had not heard from her in two years. After the funeral, and the way she acted, she had the nerve to call me and ask for personal belongings of my Dad's! My brother and I were dumbstuck. This was very BOLD. I told her she could have whatever she had given him. That consisted of only one item. I ended up giving her boxes full of items after my brother and I went through his belongings. It still didn't satisfy her. She was very angry. For whatever reason however, she did come to visit my mother in the nursing home just yesterday. It was a shock.


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Estrangements

I had asked Imaginny about the common thread that ran through those who have gone through estrangements. Then, I began wondering what, if anything, we had in common with our children who have tried so diligently to be unlike us and to exclude us from their lives. I came up with the following assumptions and correct me if I am wrong. Are they not lonely too? Do they not feel pain, and alienation? By avoiding the issues does resentment and bitterness not fester in them? I have to fight bitterness daily because of this. Please do not think I am discarding their accountability for their actions, but how can they cope and appear to be so content with what we know to be so wrong?


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Cornflakes, you raise a very good point and one that my husband and I have talked about many times. How can our son really be happy with himself, or his life right now? He has given up everything that was a real memory for him. Does he imagine that it was awful growing up, or does he remember the good, loving times?

Does he ever dream about us? I've had many dreams about him, and one that was incredibly real. I dreamt that my son had his arm around me, and stated "What, do you think I don't love you." I was crying, and I never answered him the dream before I woke up. I swear I could hear his voice as if he had wispered it into my ear while I was dreaming it. It did give me a little peace for some time thinking that perhaps I had that dream so that he could still let me know that he does love me. I wish I knew that was true.

I can't imagine Cornflakes that they don't feel pain and alienation. I imagine my son is very bitter too. He has recently developed high blood pressure (he is only 26 and this doesn't run in our family!) This worries me very much, and I place most of the blame on this incidence. I feel he is doing what he thinks he needs to do to support his wife's insatiable appetite for attention and dominance. I think he feels this is what a husband does for his wife when the parent's don't like who he has picked out. The only problem with this is the fact that we tried like crazy to like his wife and develop a relationship with her, she just wouldn't let us. It astounded me that he never saw the things she was doing to us, that never was offended on our behalf? How was this possible? He was always so aware of other people when they were rude, thoughtless, or tactless. Why couldn't he see his wife's behaviors and stop them? Was our relationship with him so unimportant that he couldn't even defend us when we deserved to be defended?

anniebal

PS...I also think however that they are so certain that they are right, and we are wrong that they manage to live with it in that respect. I'm sure my son is thinking that they will teach us our lesson and then we'll never be unruly again!


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

To try to answer your question about how our children are feeling, Cornflakes, a few weeks ago in Joshua Coleman's blog someone posted a link to a New York Times article, a study done several years ago, regarding family estrangements. In the article one of the experts interviewed, said something to the effect that while our children might estrange themselves from us physically they can never separate themselves psychologically. That says to me that our children are NOT happy with their lives after estrangement.

IIRC, the same article said that grandchildren who are kept from their grandparents through estrangement have issues and that children who estrange themselves from their families are much more like to suffer estrangement from their children later in life. "What goes around, comes around."


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

blownaway, You didn't mention whether you had been to Al anon. Perhaps you have found this great twelve step group? If not, I would encourage you to go to Al anon meetings. There you will find others who are dealing with situations that are much like what you have described.

I have many alcoholics in my family. There is some chance that my daughter has a problem with alcohol too. I went to Al anon initially because of my father's alcoholism. It was such a relief to be among people who knew what I was going through. I learned that I didn't have to fix it and that I couldn't fix it. That it wasn't all up to me. They talk about the three C's: You didn't Cause it. You can't Control it. And you can't Cure It.

The Serenity Prayer that is said at twelve step meetings is a great prayer no matter what our religious affiliations or beliefs. It is an attitude of such wisdom. "God grant me the serenity to accept what I can't change, The courage to change what I can. And the wisdom to know the difference."

I sometimes think that it would be a good idea if there were twelve step groups set up for anyone that wanted to go to one for whatever reason as the attitudes learned there can apply to so many situations.

I hope that you son gets back to his sobriety soon, before he damages himself and others any more. Generally, as you may already know, they have to reach some sort of bottom before they start going back up. He might not want to talk to you right now because he knows how self destructive he is and he knows that you know too. He just might not want to deal with inconvenient truth and facts. Which may be true for many of those who estrange themselves from us.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: How to find an Al-anon meeting


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The need to be right.

Annniebal,

I think that you make a good point when you suggest that they need to feel as though they are right. No matter what. I think that has been a factor, along with the disorder, in my daughter's estrangement. Her father is like that too. He has always had a tremendous need to be right. No matter what.

Some people get so invested in the need to be right that they'd cut off their arms rather than ever acknowledge that they might be wrong about something.

I believe that my daughter has come to believe that she is right that her parents are terrible creatures and that now it would be unthinkable for her to acknowledge that she just might be wrong about that. She has said so much and has said it in such vehemently disgusting ways that she can't back up. It's hard to imagine how she could take a different position without looking really strange. I think she would find it humiliating and embarrassing to change her position at this point.

As to the point of whether she is happy, she has insisted on so many occasions that she is so very very happy, much more so than happy people generally do, that it comes down to that old saying, "Methinks she protests too much."

Despite my talking about my feelings and sharing my experiences about the estrangement from my daughter, I am pretty much a happy person. I do feel depressed sometimes and occasionally have suffered clinical depression but I am at heart basically a happy person. When I am happy, I might mention it in passing in the context of "What a beautiful day it is!" but I don't make a point of stating my happiness continually. I've met many people who are basically happy and they don't announce to me their happiness as though they need to proclaim it. They merely appear happy. So when someone proclaims how happy, happy, happy they are again and again and again, it kind of makes me wonder if there is some reason why they need to keep saying it. Who are they trying to convince?

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

cornflakes, You wrote: "By avoiding the issues does resentment and bitterness not fester in them? I have to fight bitterness daily because of this. Please do not think I am discarding their accountability for their actions, but how can they cope and appear to be so content with what we know to be so wrong?"

If you think about it some, I know that you will recognize that your daughter has expressed resentment and bitterness and that it is apparent that she is not content with her life. Avoiding issues is not improving her life. She does have accountability for her life and she is paying a price. In many ways she is NOT coping well. Her estrangement from you is only one example of her avoiding issues. I am sure that there are many more ways that she is avoiding issues in her life. There is very little evidence that she actually feels content.

I think that in estrangements where someone is using estrangement to avoid issues, that eventually things come to a head because life just keeps throwing stuff at them. No one can avoid all issues in life. As parents we might not be there to see what life is throwing at them while they are estranged from us, but I believe that life is indeed throwing stuff at them and if they have a habit of avoiding things, that they are paying a price for not being able to deal with life in a more direct way.

These are things that they have to figure out in their own time. We can't do anything about it and it sure is painful to stand in these shoes!

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Ginny, al anon is indeed a great organization! My husband attended meetings because of both his parents being alcoholics until after we had our 2nd child! They wouldn't admit it afer a confrontation to do so, so an intervention was the next step. It worked with his dad, but not his mom. His mom is now what I could call a closet alcoholic. Most of the time she is not drinking, she waits until very late at night and drinks alone. We've called her late (by accident,) and discovered this to be the case. Otherwise, she is a wonderful woman though. It's odd, but she doesn't have the very self centeredness that so many alcoholics have. She always has wine if we stop by to take her out to dinner, and she'll have wine (1 or 2) with dinner. My hubby's oldest sister is suffering now, and has been for some time. She has reached the point where is disrupting her life majorly since she is neglecting important things in her lief (i.e. bills due, how much money she has in a bank acct, etc.)

Alcoholism was rampant on my mom's side. I'm not sure it it was the depression that caused the drinking or the drinking that caused the depression, but I warned both of my children as young adults about their relatives and to be careful about both issues.

I think because of my mom's family, she was pretty much a non-drinker. Neither of parent's drank, only on a special occassion. It's a good thing too with the illness my mom got, since it probably would have been much more complicated. I think my mom avoided it because of her family history.

Besides attending al anon, there are some great books out there for the family members (adult children) of alcoholics. My husband also benefited very much from reading those books.

Ginny, I also agree that your daughter was trying to prove something with her answer, that was way overboard. No one I've ever asked acts like that about being happy. My husband is one of the happier people I know, usually cheery, smiley, not moody, & eager to help, and even he wouldn't answer like that if he was asked. Your right about what comes around goes around too, and won't it be interesting to see them later in life with their children?

In the book Generation Me, it just covered a huge difference between our generation (boomers,) and Generation Me, and that is that we care if we say something tactless or inappropriate, we are willing to apologize if we're wrong, and we care about our appearance to others. I guess those are some pretty bad qualities for us to have, huh?
I do see those qualities in many of today's younger generation. There is a general lack of loyalty also.

I think many here would enjoy this book, if simply to confirm the beliefs that we already know! It's like finding someone who can finally identify with you!

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Wow, am I glad I posed that question. Many thanks for the responses. I just hope that some way, some how, I can at some point in time stop being so absorbed by this and that my energy and joy will return, with or without my daughter in my life. Now, everyone put on your shock faces again, and your opinion of me may diminish greatly after I say this, but I'm speaking honestly. I told my husband the other night that had I known the pain I would be going through now, I would never have opted to have had a child. Irregardless, I feel that all of the years I invested in my daughter's life were wasted. And, maybe she is telling me the truth, when she says, "All the good times were just in my mind."


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Oh Cornflakes, your just hurt and angry! The same type of thoughts have crossed my mind regarding my son. I still wouldn't give up (and I doubt you would either,) having my son and raising him the way I did. I have so many great memories from that time, and that is something I try to think of, and not these hurtful times. I know that they do intersect though, and at times I start feeling angry, bitter etc. about what a good child he was and now he's treating me like dirt. I too find myself thinking of getting even, and you know what, if I did have a chance to get even, I would probably never be able to forget that I did that to him. We are moms, that type of guilt just goes with the job, we were never meant to do harm to our children in any way, shape or form. I too looked forward to these years with a dil in my life that I could at least communicate with. I looked forward to them having kids, for which now, I don't. In fact, I picture my son thinking that when his wife is pregnant that we'll come running back to them because he knew how much I was looking forward to having grand kids someday. But that isn't going to happen. If my own son can't demonstrate love to me, what makes him think that I would want to demonstrate love to his child? All they will do is hold that child over our heads, and if we don't behave as they see fit, they'll yank the child out of our lives. I'm not going to go through even more hurt having that happen.

Believe me your not the only one absorbed with this. Right now I'm considering getting another dog that will keep me even more busy then I am right now. I could use something young to nurture, and all my kitties are grown ups now. We did used to have 2 dogs but they died a few years ago. We had them a long time too, both lived to 13 and 14 years old. I got those dogs specifically for my boys, and they lost interest in them a few years later.

Still, my husband travels out of town every week, and I would love to have something here that at least would bark if there was some weird noise. It would force me to take walks every day, and I just think it would be therapeutic for me right now.

Cornflakes, do you have any pets? Pets can bring so much joy into your life, that you may want to consider getting one?

Cornflakes, I also do not believe for one minute what your daughter stated as all the good times being in your mind. You know that's not true, it may be the memory that her husband or she has convinced herself of. This is so that she can live with herself for what she has done to you.

My husband and I have both agreed that no matter what happens to us, our son is not going to be called. I will not have him relieve his guilty conscience by coming to visit either one of us, and that includes us dying. If he hasn't rectified this situation or at least reached the level of being cordial, then I don't want him pretending to grieve over me and having people think that he's a good son.

Anniebal


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cornflakes, Like anniebal, I do not believe for one second what your daughter said about the good times being in your mind.

My daughter has said things too about her unhappy childhood. When I heard that, I thought that my daughter and I must have been on different planets. Or maybe lived in different planes of existence. (In my heart I call it complete BS.)

I am sure that there are plenty of people who were around when your daughter was a child who would assure you that they remember the good times too.

This may well be another symptom of a condition that your daughter has that is going untreated. In fact I am sure it is.

I'm sorry that you are feeling as though you have wasted years. Speaking for myself, I know that there is something that my daughter can never take away from me and that is the joy that I have had of being her mother and seeing her grow up. I wasn't able to prevent her from becoming a person who dislikes her parents and who perceives things in a way that I do not understand but I don't regret being her mother and being a mother. I loved being her mother.

I hope that you can find that joy again too if you remember back and remember the things about her that you loved and all the neat things about being a mother and seeing someone grow through the years. I am so sorry that you are feeling this way right now.

Ginny


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The precious memories I have of my daughter bring me joy and pain. I wish I could let go. As a result of her abandonment, I have allowed myself to become paralyzed with doubt, confusion and simply have not lived the life that I know God intended for me. It is as if I have let this situation and her dictate my life. My self esteem, self image and self worth have been battered. As I draw closer and closer to putting her in my past and letting go, I feel somewhat guilty about that too. How could I just give up on my own flesh and blood...my only child? However, I am so-o-o-o close to that point now. I feel if I can only accomplish this, that I could indeed enjoy life again and be confident that God will deal with her and her husband. I had so hoped that they would handle this on their on, but it doesn't look promising. It is my prayer that God will grant me the courage to let go and to walk through the remainder of my life without insecurity and pain from the estrangement. I pray I'll no longer ache and long for what once was and cease imaginations of reconcilation. I am desperately trying to accept what has happened, walk away from it and begin the healing process.


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cornflakes, Putting your daughter in God's hands and letting go of the outcome is not the same as giving up all hope of reconciliation. It doesn't mean that you give up all hope. It means only that you put the your daughter and the outcome into God's hands. That you give up any idea that you can control what occurs. That you put it entirely into God's hands. For some of us we refer to or think of God as a Higher Power which is what I do.

When we treat ourselves badly, allow ourselves to be emotionally abused, let someone else walk on us, when we don't stand up for ourselves in the hope that if we are sufficiently loving and submissive and giving so that this person who is acting abusively will love us and come back to us somehow, we are acting in the hope that we can control the outcome. As a religious person you know that your purpose in life has nothing to do with allowing yourself to be mistreated and abused. Your purpose has nothing to do with making yourself into a sacrificial lamb. That is not your purpose. Being a sacrificial lamb under these circumstances accomplishes nothing and is not what God would want you to do.

When we let go and let God, we trust that our Higher Power (whatever our understanding of a Higher Power is) will take care of the outcome. I have put my daughter into the hands of her own Higher Power. It's true that I have been disappointed so far that things have not gone the way that I had hoped. Yet. And maybe my Higher Power and hers have their own plans. But I have accepted that I cannot control the outcome and that it would not be good if I could control the outcome because I might well make things worse if it was all up to me. So I put this in the hands of my Higher Power.

As for your daughter's statements about her perception of her childhood, her statements are consistent with what some people do who see things as either all black or all white. Some people are unable to see shades of grey. So when you are on their good side, they think that you are the best of the best, there is no better, you are golden and sunlight and magic and incredible. And then one day for some reason they get annoyed with you. And then you go from being the best of the best to the worst of the worst. Then you can do nothing right, they have no good memories, you are worthless and even a demon. They demonize you. Yet only days before they were singing your praises. There are people who do this. Unfortunately I am related to a few of them.

Some people that do this have conditions with names like Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, bipolar disorder, and others. The fact is that they do it and when you go from being totally wonderful in someone's eyes to being beneath their contempt, then that is an indication that they think in only black and white terms. People are either all good or all bad to them. They can't just be a little bit irritated and go on. They have to praise you or hate you. There is no inbetween. It is not your fault. It is how they are. Some conditions are treatable. Some aren't. Some people are just the way that they are and it is not your fault. Even if you are their mother, it is still not your fault.

I read a phrase that another mother used recently in another group. She said that she had been "letting the negative eclipse the positive." I do that too. I see you doing that, cornflakes. I know that in time you will find a path through this. It is hard to let go and let God but once you do it, there is a comfort in doing that. There has been some fear too but there is some comfort in letting go.

I am including a link on Borderline Personality Disorder. There is information on that page about how someone with Borderline Personality Disorder goes from adoring someone to hating them. If the condition was a different one, the thinking process might be different but the outcome would be the same.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: NIMH: Borderline Personality Disorder (and black and white thinking)


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I hadn't read this board in a while. I looked through some of the old posts and I am glad everyone seems to be back to getting along. I have learned a lot from the parents' perspective and I am grateful to everyone for allowing me to come here.

After some of my earlier posts I have started getting along better with my parents, but of course there are still so many friction points, mainly centered around my wedding and my future. Unfortunately my mother issues so many ultimatums such as "this is not negotiable" when talking about my wedding. This puts me in the awkward position of having to tell my wife to either suck it up or telling my mother she can't have her way. Either way I choose, it appears that after all the dust settles my wife and mother will not have a good relationship. If I side with my wife then it probably does make my mother think she is too controlling over me. But I have to live with my wife, not my mother, so my alligience needs to be to her. Also oftentimes I find myself using my wife's feelings as an excuse for not doing something when I also do not want the same thing. Somehow this seems easier, but may actually cause my mother to think my wife controls me.

I guess the only advice I can offer parents is that oftentimes your methods to reach out to your children can be misinterpreted. My mother's most hurtful things have come in the form of an e-mail. I am not sure if she doesn't read what she sends carefully, but the problem of written words are twofold: they cannot be unwritten and they can also be misinterpreted. Also try to avoid the ultimatums. A child typically tries to resist or rebell when parents say "I won't talk to you if you do this." When you say things like that to an adult it is really insulting because it is not recognizing the fact that they are independent an can do what they want. Instead just say that you would like them to consider your feelings. I cannot tell you how angry I am at my mother for her saying "this is not open to negotiation" when she is talking about my wedding.

I cannot imagine a life without the support and involement of my parents, so I have been very hesitant in the past to speak-up against their ideas. Maybe this has somehow contributed to the current idea that they can control me. I do not want estrange myself from them but I cannot keep letting them tell me what to do.


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Hi Charliev, I am glad you post on this site, since it is very helpful to hear it from your perspective. Just as their our children who estrange themselves from parents, I guess there are very demanding parents who need to take a chill pill too.

I do think you need to sit your parents down and try to talk things over with them. Let them know where you agree or disagree with their wedding suggestions. I don't believe ultimatums should ever be given by anyone, anytime. This is not constructive, and it doesn't work. I'm afraid some times that my dil may have presented my son with an ultimatum regarding his relationship with us. There is a huge difference here though, since we did nothing but bend to the demands of our dil in order to keep the peace. I have never been one to get hung up on how someone wants to run their own party (wedding) so I kept out of the wedding plans as much as possible. Even regarding the rehearsal dinner which was our big contribution, my dil made all sorts of demands that we gave in to to keep the peace. I'm not sure that was a healthy way to do things either, since it just gave her a stronger sense of power in controlling us. I made it clear to my dil that I wanted to pick out the invitations to the rehearsal dinner since that was my only big role, and yet she slyly pretended not to get my message and didn't contact me until she had sent them out! My son had told her this too, which is the real conflict in her story. All I did was tell my son how disappointed I was that I didn't get to do at least one personal thing for his wedding, that was in fact, mine to do. There was never an apology for her behavior.

All my husband and I have done is reach out with an olive branch to accept everyone for the way they are, and to move on with no going back on old arguements. Still there is no attempt to reconcile on his end.

I do agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the email. I learned the hard way that it is just too easy to write up an angry letter and send it off hastily before thinking it through. I would have to guess this is the case with your mother too. You may want to suggest to your mom that if she is angry over a situation regarding you, that she can say all the angry things she wants in an email, but just don't send it. This way it gets her aggravation out, and most likely the next day when she reads it she will be glad she didn't send it. Let her know it hurts your feelings when she says the things she does in an email.

I wrote a very long letter to my son after our big arguement that lead to this estrangement. I was very factual though, basically keeping to a timeline of events since the time my son started dating his wife. I was angry and hurt, and I know it showed, but I didn't resort to name calling. I did throw in a few sarcastic jabs about his hypocricy regarding a certain situation. The sarcasm was completely uncalled for. I know I could have stated the same thing without dipping to that level. But I've shown the letter to many in my family, and they are amazed at how hurt but civil I was.

Since that time, I got angry at my son recently over an attempt by me to reach him. I sat down, opened up word perfect, spewed all my anger and hurt into a letter to him and then saved it. I never had the intent on sending it, but I needed to vent. When I re-read it later on, I was amazed at a few very hurtful comments I said about my son, and was very glad I had learned not to send things like this. I have my husband to thank for that one, since he is very level headed and calm about situations. He has to deal with situations like this all the time at his job, so he is really good at it.

I can't believe you mother makes statements that there is no room for negotiation. Since your dealing with two families here, and many different personalities, some things do have to be negotiated just to keep the peace. It isn't worth destroying her relationship with her new dil to be, and her son over silly wedding plans. We gave in on the few things that did arise simply for the reason that it isn't worth it.

I would really try communicating your feelings to your mom. If your in agreement with your fiancee then you need to let her know it so she doesn't just get mad at her and think this is all her fault. You may as well start now since this is going to happen again and again, it's just part of getting married and growing up.

Good luck.

Anniebal


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Hi Charliev, It's nice to see you back here. Thank you for the update. I have wondered how things were going for you.

You wrote: "I cannot imagine a life without the support and involement of my parents, so I have been very hesitant in the past to speak-up against their ideas. Maybe this has somehow contributed to the current idea that they can control me. I do not want estrange myself from them but I cannot keep letting them tell me what to do."

Those two things: life without the support of your parents and your speaking up to voice your own ideas are not mutually exclusive. You voiced your opinion and advice to parents here so well. I am curious if you have said these things to your parents too? And if you haven't, if you have thought of doing so? Are you making progress in that direction? You seem quite self aware about the things that you are able to do and not able to do. Like using your fiance as an excuse sometimes. I think that many couples do this in life at times in various situations, not just with parents and in-laws. But with your parents, it isn't going to do healthy things for the relationship between them and your fiance.

You wrote your post so well about what you think that parents should do. I especially like what you said about email and agree with you. In fact I think that communication through email is fraught with dangers and pitfalls. You might consider having a conversation with your mother about email and perhaps suggest that all discussion needs to take place over the phone or in person. Even though email saves time, it is too fast. It offers too much opportunity to read between lines that might or might not be there. People's feelings can get hurt on either end.

I think there is a chance that if it were not for email, I might not be estranged from my daughter. An estrangement that is going on thirteen years old. Not that our relationship would be great if we were on speaking terms. But we might not have become estranged. If I could do over one thing, it would be that we would have not communicated in that period of time through email.

As for negotiations and ultimatums, I agree with you about ultimatums. But some people try it any way. It is a bullying technique. Sometimes I've found when someone tries to bully someone else, they recognize in their heart that they don't have that much power but they'll try it anyway. When I go ahead with what I want to do no matter what it said to me, generally a bully will fold. It is a shame that your mother tries to pull that on you. Perhaps you might have conversation with her about that. Or just go ahead and do what you want to do and don't let her bully you.

I too wish you good luck with your wedding plans. When will the wedding be?

Ginny


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Well, I ended up getting depressed again today. I was driving my neighbor to a service station so she could drop off her car to get fixed. On the way there, I pulled up next to her van, and noticed she was on the phone. She turns to be and mouths that it is my son! This is a lady that my son was fairly close to and has taken an interest in helping her out since she is battling cancer right now. My son and his wife have taken the kids for the day a few times which is very nice of them. This neighbor lives right next door to me, so when they come, they just pull in, talk with my neighbors a bit and take off with the kids. Our driveways are about 12 feet apart.

Anyway, I am imagining that he called her to discuss our situation. Afterall, it was she he consulted long before he got married over the fights he and his then fiancee were having all the time. She isn't a professional, but she has done counseling for young adults through her chruch. When she adviced my son, they had several meetings, and she told him that she didn't think it was good timing to get married, that my son and his fiancee had some big issues to work out. Of course I never heard this until after they were married, and my son obviously didn't listen to anyone, I don't even know why he bothered to consult her. It's probably because he was so sure she would tell him that their fighting was normal, her not getting along with his parents was ok, and to just live his own life and be happy.

Anyway, getting back to the phone conversation. We pull into the service station and my friend gets in my car to go home. She states right away, that can I believe it, that my son happened to call while I was following her to pick her up! I asked what he had called about and she stated that he was trying to do his geneology on the internet and wasn't finding a thing out. I guess she told him that you can't find that kind of information simply over the internet, that it can take years of digging to find out this information. I guess he complained about his grandma not helping out with family history. She then told me that the main reason he was calling was to confirm the time for Saturday that they were picking up her kids to color eggs. I had to ask if there was any mention of me or us, and of course there wasn't. I asked her if he knows that she knows what happened between us, and she doesn't think so. I guess he had asked her once if she knew about the problems he was having with us, and she just told him that she knew we were really hurt, but she didn't know any other details. She was hoping he would talk to her about our situation, but he has no plans to do so (at least in my opinion, since he hasn't asked any family member what they think, not even his own brother!)

I've had about all I feel I can take of hearing other people tell me about my son. I seriously don't want to hear it, it just hurts to much realizing that he calls everyone but me/us. I want to tell my friend not to tell me anymore when he's coming, or when he calls, or anything about their conversations. I don't know how to do so without making her think I may be upset about today. Still, I may just tell her as tactfully as possible that it hurts me too much for too long to hear these stories.

I had a very long talk with my neighbor last night who did a lot of mechanical teaching to my son when he was in jr high thru highschool. They were very close, as we were to. My neighbor is so upset for us, and he told me that the things I told him during the engagement until now are just not who my son was. He did agree that our families are enabling him by acting as if nothing is wrong when they all see them at get togethers. That's changing, so my son will be in for a shock next time there is a get together. My neighbor stated much what you said Ginny about that fact that it's out of our control completely. My son has to see this himself, and it may take hitting rock bottom before he does so. Worse yet, he may never realize it, and just become a shell of the person he used to be.

I am sad.

At least I went to the county health department today and signed up to be trained as a mental health volunteer. Since my mother suffered from mental illness as well as my niece, I think this will be a good thing for me to do. I feel I have a lot to offer in the way of friendship, and that's what they are looking for most for these people.

Ginny, I have to tell you that you were very correct in stating that NPD, borderline personality disorder, bi-polar, etc. are considered mental illnesses! I owe you an apology for being so stubborn regarding this issue. Even when you think you know much about a certain subject, it makes you realize that you don't know everything. Just wanted to tell you that you were right.

anniebal


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anniebal, Thanks! Apology accepted and appreciated. I've been wrong a time or two myself. Or three or four. Or more. :-) I"m glad that you got it figured out about the disorders. It helps to understand these things too when you realize that people don't have a choice about what it is that they have and how much it impacts their life. Even if they are annoying and disappoint us and try to drive us crazy too. It has to be much worse to have the disorder. But when you love someone and they have a disorder, that makes it more difficult.

About your neighbor who is in touch with your son, she probably thinks that you want to hear the stories. I know it can be difficult. I've mentioned how my daughter writes online in a blog that I don't read. One friend, who is estranged from her daughter, has told me sometimes about what my daughter writes. Both the good things happening in my daughter's life and bad things that she had to say about me and other relatives. At first I asked her not to tell me about the bad things as those things upset me so much. Then I asked her not to tell me about the good news in her life too as it was too painful for me to hear. It is like seeing great food when you are starving but you can't have any. Or like window shopping and looking at beautiful things that you can never have. It is easier, less painful, for me not to know.

I have asked to be informed if there is an emergency or some major news. But otherwise I don't want to know.

Ginny


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I finally found you. Let's see - not sure what my last post was after sending my son a note asking to have lunch and a week later leaving a voicemail saying "new year, we don't want to hurt each other any more, can we have lunch, if not, know I will always love you and the door is always open" - 2 hours later I received an email from my son saying he has chron's disease and the stress he felt when he and my DIL came to our house on 9/22/07 mad because we left their wedding early, her swearing and leaving telling my husband and I "F_ _ _ You" was the cause. My sister sent him an email saying that is NOT the cause, it is genetic and stress can cause a flare-up, etc. He did not respond to her.

He also said in the email that he wants no more phone calls, emails, birthday cards, holiday cards, etc. from me and that "he" will let me know when he is ready to have contact with me.
Interestingly, I got a call from the diagnostic center with his results. They couldn't reach him at his primary contact number and he put "my work number" down as his secondary contact. Nowhere on the forms did he indicate he was married or his wife's cell #.

Anniebal - I have also been told by a professional that my DIL has NBD and my husband and I did the opposite - when my DIL called to "insist" we give them more money for their wedding than her folks because we don't have any more children at home, that her step mom could invite 120 but we could only invite 60, but still needed to give more $$ -- well, we didn't give them anything after that telling her if my son came to talk with us, we would come to a compromise, but he never did come. And - we are in the same boat as you are with the estranged son and NPD DIL.

I would greatly appreciate a young person's thoughts about the demanding, nasty ways our DIL treated and continues to treat us. Most young ladies I talk with at the office say they would never address their future in-laws in that fashion.

I think about my son every day but am coming to realize he won't be back until or unless she leaves him, which everyone predicts will happen.


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Dear Garden:

I sympathize and empathize. However, in my case, it's the other way around. It's the son-in-law. No one thought my daugther's marriage would last either. My heart goes out to you.


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I thought things were going so much better but then my mother and I had another huge fight tonight over the phone. Since someone asked my wedding is in less than a month, so obviously we are having to deal with last minute additions and changes to the guest list. I guess what upsets me so much is my mother is so angry at me for not letting her have the wedding the way she saw fit. I'll spare most of the details, but basically my fiancee and I have the opinion we can have our wedding how we want and that the two families have to deal with it. My mother doesn't seem to understand this and is very very angry. I tried to remain civil but it is difficult when someone uses profanity towards you and says she hopes I never have children. Mostly at this point I am just nervous about making sure everyone is happy (or at least on speaking terms) at the wedding.

From what I've read on other posts it seems like one problem people have is that other family members get drawn in and are forced to choose sides. Since I have avoided discussing the rift with other members of the family they only hear my mother's version which makes them think I am the only one being unresonable. How do other people handle these issues? I obviously do not want other people to choose sides, but I also want them to understand there are two sides and my mother may be misrepresenting me. If there is a rift between me and my mother I need the support of others even more.

My financee is ready to tell my mother she is ruining her wedding but I worry that may in turn cause my mother to think her future DIL is evil and controlling me (as I have seen written here by some of the other posters--not doubting that your DIL or SIL is controlling).

Thanks again for everyone else's posts. If there is one thing I will try to take away is that I should try my best not to become estranged from my parents because this would bring both them and me a great deal of hurt that cannot be overcome even with time.


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charliev,

This all looks to me like a good reason to elope! But that's probably not an option. It sounds like major migraine material.

I agree with you and your fiance that your wedding is yours and you two get to make the decisions.
I think that your mom is being outrageous. I hope you don't believe that she means what she's saying.

Sometimes we have to do what we have to do and allow someone else to have their anger. Sometimes it's just not possible to make everyone happy.

I don't know your mother so I can't say that she'll get over her anger over not getting her way. I think that most mothers, even if saying things like they hope that their kids never have children, do get over their anger and get on with life. If your mother has some sense, she will settle down and stop acting this way.

Some people, when confronted with someone behaving like your mom, will say something like, "I am sorry that you feel this way but this is what I am going to do. I still love you and care about you and hope that you will accept that this is the way that it is going to be. Because this is my (or our) decision and this is what we have decided to do. I have to go now. I hope we see you later. I love you. I want you to be part of this and hope that you want to be part of this too."
Something along those lines.

Try not to get caught up in long debates about whatever it is. Try to keep your temper. In this case you need to be more mature than your mother. I think it is futile to try to talk her out of being angry. Trying to talk her out of her anger may make her angrier. As I said above, there are times when we need to let others have their feelings -- feelings like anger.

It might make sense to be more open with other members of the family about what is happening. It is all in the way that you state what is occurring. Avoid using words that sound critical or judgmental. You could express how you feel about what is happening.

It is possible to be matter of fact and factual without casting aspersions. Keep to the high road. Also, you might find out one day that your relatives may have more of an idea of how outrageous that your mother is being than you ever knew. If you can be open about what is occurring, maybe some would be able to help you out through support.

You can try stating your feelings in this manner, "When this (whatever this is) happens, I feel ....... (fill in the blank)." Or "When you do this, I feel ......."

I am not very good at things like organizing parties and planning weddings so I am not skilled at dealing with these kinds of problems. I wish you the best at getting through it. It's a day that you would hope to be able to have fun and not be worried about conflicts. I hope it works out and that everyone behaves and that you have a great day. I hope that I have been of some help with ideas. But I am afraid that there is much about weddings and why people get so upset that I do not understand.

Ginny


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Garden60, glad to see you found the new posts. I was worried that you got lost, since it is confusing when we have to start a new thread. They only allow 150 posts per thread and we have to start a new one.

Your son sounds so much like mine that it is surreal. It is interesting that you were told your dil has NBD. Actually many of those personality disorders are similar, so NBD and NPD could be easily confused. Either way, there is something wrong with her.

It is not normal in the least that she talked to you the way she did. On what ground was she justifying such action? Why did your son allow her to speak to his mother this way?
I agree 100% with the old young ladies you have talked to. I also have asked other young marrieds, and they can't get over the things my dil has pulled. Anyone who knew my son before he got married also cannot believe this is him acting in this manner. People have told me what good manners he had, and how polite he was. I am convinced that she has done this to him, but the only person who can save him is himself. He needs to remember who he is, and what is right or wrong. It is out of our control.

Don't you love it that your son blames you for his Chrohns disease. My son told us that now he has a heart condition because of us! It couldn't be that insatiable appetite that his wife has for drama and attention that is causing his high blood pressure, no, it must be his awful parents.

Perhaps your son's condition was caused by that confrontation, but probably because of what his wife said to you...not the other way around. Let's face it, my son and your son want to make us the scapegoats for everything! This is why we decided to stay out of his life because we were tired of being the scapegoats for his wife's behavior. Our only hope is that without us being involved in his life, and maybe he'll start seeing her make other people in their lives the scapegoat.

I agree with Cornflakes as far as how long this could last. My husband never even thought it could get to this point, while all along I was telling him of my fear of where it was headed. I don't think I could ever have believed it would have continued how it has though. I never thought our son could act so cold and distant to us, and yet this is exactly what he has done and is doing.

Ginny, I think I'm going to tell my friend that I don't want to hear any news from her as well. I have told some of my family this already, so friends need to hear it as well. It's a good analogy that you have about seeing great food but not being able to have any. It is just far too hurtful. I know if something bad happened to my son that someone would let me know, since there are so many family members.

Charliev, your mother sounds impossible. You are so right in claming that this is you and your fiancee's wedding and you have the right to plan it as you want it to be. I do agree of course with Ginny that you should take the high road. Whatever you do, when you start a conversation with her, don't begin with 'you.' I just took an anger management class, and we were taught that the minute you start out with saying you to someone, you are putting them on the defensive. I like Ginny's suggestion that you state that "when you do this, I feel like..." thus avoiding the sound of attacking her.

Whatever she's upset about, she will almost certainly get over once the wedding has passed. I wouldn't allow you fiancee to be held responsible by your mother for what you both our deciding. Believe me, your mother will be blaming her over you, it's only natural. It took me a long time to realize that though my dil may have done this to my son, there does reach a time that my son should be able to say to himself that what's she is doing and has done is wrong. He has accountability for his actions, no one held a gun to his head and forced him to pull the trigger.

If you can, I would try to keep a relationship with your parents. It hurts all concerned when we become estranged from the ones we love. You definitely sound more mature than your mom. Perhaps your mom is feeling like she is losing you? It is more of an adjustment for the mom when the son gets married, just as it is for the father when a daughter gets married. Do you have a sister? If you do, then she'll have the chance to be more involved in wedding plans with her. If you don't have a sister, then your mother is just going to have to accept it that this is the way it is when one has a son. I stayed out of the wedding plans completely. The only thing I did was write up our list of guests, and try to plan where the rehearsal dinner would be held since we were paying for that. My dil wouldn't even let me have the benefit of doing that small thing. She had to get involved, picked out the place, and then dictated what the night should be like (i.e. food, drinks, etc.)

Garden60, I'm glad to hear you didn't bend down to your dil demands for more money. I think back at how much groveling we did just to please her and keep our son happy, and it makes me ill. I wish we had just stated that we are who we are, and that my sons wife had to accept us for that. She doesn't have to like us, but she has to at least have some respect for the fact that we are her husbands parents. Unfortunately this girl has no respect for anyone. As I stated before she projects a very superior attitude to everyone. Everyone in her life is below her, and it shows.

Cornflakes, I've been thinking about you and worried about how your feeling. You haven't written much lately?

Anniebal


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Anniebal - it is so good to know you through this site. I am very saddened that you have gone through what I am going through. You gave and gave, we refused to give unless our "son" asked us, not her, and we all ended up in the same place - estranged. As someone on Dr. Coleman's blog stated "they [our sons] are so full of anger, guilt and pain and when people are in that space, they attack anything that has the label of 'love' on it." I will always love my son (and we are attacked because they know we love them more than anyone else) but I do not LIKE my son right now.

My DIL called me up and told me where SHE was going to have the groom's dinner and "were we going to pay for it or not?" I told her "my MIL picked the restaurant, the menu and paid for it and I said thank you." That went on deaf ears. My husband stopped at their place to give my son a check for the groom's dinner and told him he also heard her demands. My son ripped the check into tiny pieces, put it in an envelope addressed to "me" and mailed it back and told us we were not invited to anything but the wedding. Various emails from him it was obvious she had written them as the wording was off from the way my son talks.

I asked my son why he wasn't the one asking for money from us instead of her and his response was "we agree on everything, anything she tells you, I agree with."

He asked for no contact and that is what he is getting. Let him think about the last email he sent me, really think about it.

Charliev - where does your future MIL stand in all of this? Do you get along with her? If you do, maybe your mother is jealous of your relationship and fearing she might lose you? Just an idea.


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Anniebal - searching the web I came across this legal definition for NPD - which seems to fit both our DILs:

NPD: A narcissist's behavior is premeditated and volitional.

How do we know this? Because she is the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. She often goes to much trouble to pick out and set up a victim first. She attacks only the vulnerable and only on the sly. Then she steps out the door, mocking the world with an ironic angel-face that portrays her as the very opposite of what she is.
That's the damning evidence: covering up something proves that you know it's wrong. And you don't get off on a mental plea when you know that what you're doing is wrong.

Furthermore, a narcissist's calculated, predatory behavior is often diabolical. For example, she behaves anti-narcissistically when dating, idealizing him and showering attentions on him. Then, when the honeymoon is over and she has cunningly distanced him from his family, she immediately begins treating him like dirt.

She is not responsible for the feelings inside that drive her to such conduct. But that conduct itself shows that she can control it: if she could control it before the honeymoon was over, she can control it afterward too. This proof that she can control her conduct is proof that she is absolutely responsible for it.

So US law classes NPD as a character disorder, which is no defense (in court).

I found this intersting because everyone says my DIL targeted me. She wanted no competition for my son and after my son had told her about how close we were, she did make the comment to me that she had never known a son and mother to have such a close relationship. She comes from a broken home and always played her divorced parents against each other. Even back then she would tell her father how terrible her mother was, he would go back to court to get custody, and then she would tell the judge her father was lying. So - I had lost the battle before I ever knew there was even a battle going on. But - bottom line - I hold my son accountable for his actions too; he knew better and that is probably why he is having stomach problems.


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Garden60, I just can't get over the similarities to your son and mine when I read your posts. I agree with you that I'll always love my son but I sure don't like or respect him now. It is simply phenomenal that your son told you that anything his wife says he agrees with! This is just what my son acted out. Though he never said those words exactly, it was his actions that spoke louder than words. He could find no fault with her no matter the abusive behavior. We're in the same exact spot, no more correspondance, no cards, no gifts, no emails, etc. Let them sit and stew in their own unhappiness for awhile.

I can't believe my son has now cut off his brother from his communication. This makes me even angrier then what he has done to me and my husband. This is his only brother, a brother who loves him dearly and just because he had the nerve to tell his older brother that he didn't agree with what he's doing, and tried to talk some sense into him this is what my older boy now does. They (son & dil) are very big into 'teaching us all a lesson.' So I guess his younger brother is now on that list. Thankfully my younger son is very close to his cousin who falls right between my two sons ages. The three of them used to be so tight until my son got engaged and dumped on his cousin big time. Somehow though, my son managed to convince himself it is the cousin who dumped on him. It is exactly this warped thinking that I can't come to terms with. My son used to be honest, but now it is as if he has deceived himself for so long about the truth that he doesn't know what it is anymore. Just like Jack Nicholson said in that famous movie "You can't handle the truth." Truer words were never stated.

Garden60, that description of NPD is amazing. I am going to copy it and show it to my husband. I've never seen it detailed quite like that before, but there is no question that that is exactly what my dil did. I stated how she pretended to be something she wasn't for my son to fall in love with her. My son was so convinced that she was this loving daughter, and that she was so close to her parents. She used to bring him lunches on his summer mail route! Boy, did she know exactly what to do. Not surprisingly once they got engaged she could never find time to even attend one of his soccer games until he pleased with her to do so. Then, what did she do while she sat next to her future mil in the bleachers? She talked on her cell phone, read a book, and graded some papers (she was student teaching then.) I would see my son look to the bleachers to see if she was looking, and she never was. I felt so sad for him. Why couldn't he see, why did he keep those blinders on? Was he so convinced that he could find no one more deserving of his love and attention? Men are saps to cunning women.

There is no question in my mind and many of our families that my dil targeted me too. I know my son told her how close we were. I know she couldn't stand that, and felt threatened by it. This girl can control her parents by her moods and behavior, and this is just what she tried to do with us. It must have killed her that we kept being so pleasant and bending over backwards, but she must have known that sooner or later she would be able to present the ultimate divide and well she did.

Even though we've offered several times to put the past behind us and move on, to just accept everyone for who we are, my son "isn't emotionally ready."

Well after the last e card I sent him, and his cold response to me, there will be no further communcation from his mom or dad. His dad kept trying to tell me it was a futile effort on my part, and he was right. I was just setting myself up time and again to be hurt by him.

Even tonigth I am sad. All I have to do is hear the right kind of song, and I'm a mess. I don't want this to kill me, I need to be here for my husband and most of all my youngest son.

Garden60, it's sad that we were so blindsided in this relationship. Neither you or I stood a chance because nice people don't think along the lines that our dil's do. I don't regret taking the higher road, and trying to be nice. What I regret is that she didn't deserve anything, zero, zilch, nothing!

Anniebal


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Well, another Easter without my daughter in it....another Easter without my grandchildren.


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Anniebal - I had to read your post twice because it was as if I was reading my own writing. My older son (27) told my younger son (24) that "grandma and grandpa are rolling over in their graves at the way you are acting" and that was it - the next day he got an email saying "you are out of my wedding". He was supposed to be the best man.

My DIL also controls her parents. I think they are afraid of her and were happy to see my son marry her and get her out of their lives since they have 2 children of their own and my DIL is the father's daughter from a first marriage.

My husband basically said the same thing to me. He told me to stop trying, leave him alone, and my husband is convinced he will be back - when my DIL tires of my son.

An interesting comment from my DIL's step mom was that my son seems so serious and doesn't talk much or laugh. My son grew up doing theater and modeling and was called the "little Jim Carey" because of his ability to make every one laugh all the time.

With the crohn's disease and putting my name on his medical forms, but yet sending the email that he doesn't want any contact or birthday card or anything from us is putting me in a "cath 22" position - if I call to see how his health is, he will be mad because he told me "not" to contact him and if I don't, my DIL can say "see, your mom doesn't care about you". I have decided not to contact him. My husband says if I stay away, our DIL will have to turn her nastiness on him and maybe he will figure it out. There will be no one to blame for her actions but her.

My husband and I are leaving on Thurs for a week vacation. We are looking at this as the beginning of life without him and if he changes his mind, we will praise God, but we have left him in God's hands. It is time for us to think about ourselves. (Not to say he still won't be on my mind all the time, but hopefully I will think of him in a healthier way.)


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Garden60, our situations sound so much alike it's scary. It's terrifying to think there is more than one girl like my dil (or man for that matter,) out in the world though now I'm quite aware how prevalent it is.

We have basically decided the same thing as far as staying out of our sons life entirely, so that we can quit being the scapegoats! Our son needs to see her perform her nastiness on some other people, which I'm quite sure is just a matter of time. I can't imagine that my son is happy, as you have described yours not to be. But he has to see it himself, no one can tell him she is a certain way since he just gets defensive. I'm sure soon she will isolate him from everyone, then she'll grow tired and bored of him and realistically have an extra marital affair. This is quite common with NPDs. I worry so much for his happiness, even with everything that has happened. You don't stop loving or worrying about your child, ever.

I do find it very interesting that your son put you down as a contact, which leads me to believe he feels he can still count on you (and of course you already know that!)

I wish you and your husband a great vacation together. Try to enjoy yourselves and put your son on hold at least until you come back. No amount of worrying, or upset over what has happened is going to change anything in that time frame (or probably ever since he has to see her for what she is.)

I do believe as your husband states that your son will be back, as will mine some day. But I wonder if I'll have the same feelings for him? Not in the way of love of course, but just in the ease of our relationship. I think if we ever do reconcile it will be very awkward and we will be very careful the rest of our lives. We will be trying to protect ourselves from any future hurts he may throw our way.

All the best!

Anniebal


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Anniebal - I just keep rereading your messages because they give me comfort - not that I want you or anyone else to go through what I have, but that I am not crazy or alone in my pain; you and I are in a situation that is controlled by a NPD DIL. I agree with you wholeheartedly that both our sons will come back when the DILs have extra marital affairs (and they will), but like you, I am sure I will be very cautious not to say the wrong thing, and yet we need to show love and warmth or they will be able to read our body language and walk away again. I do think as time passes, so will my anger and heart ache, and when my son does want contact with his family again, we will be ready with love and support. (And they will need lots of unconditional love and support).

My mother used to tell me "you always hurt the ones you love the most."

What saddens me also is those on this blog who are suffering because of estranged daughters. I always knew sons "might" be pulled to and infatuated with their wife's family (because that is what she says will be), but daughters, at least I thought, would always remain close to their mothers. For you mothers with estranged daughters, I can't imagine your pain and I want to just give you a hug and also say they will be back. That is what we have to hold on to.


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I am in so much pain from my 33 year old son and daughter rejecting me that I have been very close to suicide several times. It's a good thing that I don't like guns and have never owned one. But, the worst part is that my daughter and her husband have cut me completely out of the life of my first-born grandchild. Both my kids and I had a great relationship our whole lives, but when I divorced their mother eight years ago (after 24 years of marriage) for repeatedly cheating on me, she became furious. She began a campaign of malicious lies against me, not only to my children, but also to our business associates, which resulted in me being blackballed by some and affecting my finances.

I know that I was a very good father to my son and daughter. I made a vow before they were born that I would tell them that I loved them, and hugged them, and told them how good they were every single day. My ex was so busy carrying on her daytime affair that she refused to aid my daughter with her impending marriage, or to help pay for it in any way. So, as funny as this may sound, I had to be the "mother of the bride". I accompanied her everywhere and helped her plan the wedding, which turned out to be so beautiful. It was expensive, but I gave her everything she wanted. I comforted her, because, as you can imagine, she was very hurt that her mom chose to spend the days in motel rooms with her lover rather than to be with her daughter.

And, at the same time, she cleaned out the entire contents of our home and hid it in storage. While she was gone, she posted our son on the front porch and told him not to let me into the house. Can you imagine?

But after three years of marriage, she began cheating on her husband, who was so good to our family, and divorced him. The new man she married is a complete red neck who immediately took a dislike to me because I am the most liberal of men. But, I never said one word against him. Although my ex wife and my son badmouthed him to death and told me stories about some horrible things that he had done in the past. So, after hearing that, I was none too crazy about him, and I have to admit, said a few things against him to my daughter. She asked me how I knew these things and I explained that her mother and brother badmouthed him terribly to me. So, she went to them, and they both denied saying anything at all about him to me, and she believed them. But it was crazy! How else could I have learned this? But, I guess the facts were irrelevant to her. And my ex's and my son's lies continued, and she didn't want to have anything to do with me. The situation has grown worse over the past several years. And now, I am not allowed to have any contact with my precious little grandson because her husband has convinced her that my liberalism will "pollute" the boy (Her husband is a hateful ultra right wing Christian Fundamentalist gun nut).

I have been on my son's case to just tell the truth about he and his mother's lies for three years now, but he refuses to do so. And, if he would have just done that, I might be able to be with my grandson now. I treated him so good. I just don't understand how my son could do this to me. But, I think I've finally figured out that I have been made the target of a Parental Alienation Scheme which my ex still continues to stoke. She is a pathological liar and so is my son. I have tried everything to be accepted, including praising my son in law to his face for being patient enough with my grandson to let him follow his dad, helping him plant trees, etc.

But I think the die has been cast, and now, the true facts about the matter are totally irrelevant to my daughter. My ex, even though she does not really like her daughter's husband makes a point to bake cookies for him and do him all sorts of favors. I swear, she should receive an Oscar for best actress of the century.

All four of them have created a fantasy world in which each of them reinforces each other. The facts don't matter to them any more. And to make things even more unbearably painful, they won't have anything to do with my elderly father, who, along with my deceased mother, absolutely doted over them as they grew up. He is so so hurt. But it seems that neither my son or daughter have a conscience, which makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of sociopath inside of them.

Any suggestions or ideas from any parent who has gone through this, I would so appreciate. I think the pain is worse than if they had died, for at least I could have grieved and come to a point of acceptance. But this is a never ending hell. Thank you for being so kind as to read this long post. Steve


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I am in so much pain from my 33 year old son and daughter rejecting me that I have been very close to suicide several times. It's a good thing that I don't like guns and have never owned one. But, the worst part is that my daughter and her husband have cut me completely out of the life of my first-born grandchild. Both my kids and I had a great relationship our whole lives, but when I divorced their mother eight years ago (after 24 years of marriage) for repeatedly cheating on me, she became furious. She began a campaign of malicious lies against me, not only to my children, but also to our business associates, which resulted in me being blackballed by some and affecting my finances.

I know that I was a very good father to my son and daughter. I made a vow before they were born that I would tell them that I loved them, and hugged them, and told them how good they were every single day. My ex was so busy carrying on her daytime affair that she refused to aid my daughter with her impending marriage, or to help pay for it in any way. So, as funny as this may sound, I had to be the "mother of the bride". I accompanied her everywhere and helped her plan the wedding, which turned out to be so beautiful. It was expensive, but I gave her everything she wanted. I comforted her, because, as you can imagine, she was very hurt that her mom chose to spend the days in motel rooms with her lover rather than to be with her daughter.

And, at the same time, she cleaned out the entire contents of our home and hid it in storage. While she was gone, she posted our son on the front porch and told him not to let me into the house. Can you imagine?

But after three years of marriage, she began cheating on her husband, who was so good to our family, and divorced him. The new man she married is a complete red neck who immediately took a dislike to me because I am the most liberal of men. But, I never said one word against him. Although my ex wife and my son badmouthed him to death and told me stories about some horrible things that he had done in the past. So, after hearing that, I was none too crazy about him, and I have to admit, said a few things against him to my daughter. She asked me how I knew these things and I explained that her mother and brother badmouthed him terribly to me. So, she went to them, and they both denied saying anything at all about him to me, and she believed them. But it was crazy! How else could I have learned this? But, I guess the facts were irrelevant to her. And my ex's and my son's lies continued, and she didn't want to have anything to do with me. The situation has grown worse over the past several years. And now, I am not allowed to have any contact with my precious little grandson because her husband has convinced her that my liberalism will "pollute" the boy (Her husband is a hateful ultra right wing Christian Fundamentalist gun nut).

I have been on my son's case to just tell the truth about he and his mother's lies for three years now, but he refuses to do so. And, if he would have just done that, I might be able to be with my grandson now. I treated him so good. I just don't understand how my son could do this to me. But, I think I've finally figured out that I have been made the target of a Parental Alienation Scheme which my ex still continues to stoke. She is a pathological liar and so is my son. I have tried everything to be accepted, including praising my son in law to his face for being patient enough with my grandson to let him follow his dad, helping him plant trees, etc.

But I think the die has been cast, and now, the true facts about the matter are totally irrelevant to my daughter. My ex, even though she does not really like her daughter's husband makes a point to bake cookies for him and do him all sorts of favors. I swear, she should receive an Oscar for best actress of the century.

All four of them have created a fantasy world in which each of them reinforces each other. The facts don't matter to them any more. And to make things even more unbearably painful, they won't have anything to do with my elderly father, who, along with my deceased mother, absolutely doted over them as they grew up. He is so so hurt. But it seems that neither my son or daughter have a conscience, which makes me wonder if there isn't some sort of sociopath inside of them.

Any suggestions or ideas from any parent who has gone through this, I would so appreciate. I think the pain is worse than if they had died, for at least I could have grieved and come to a point of acceptance. But this is a never ending hell. Thank you for being so kind as to read this long post. Steve


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Steveinindy, I read your letter with so much sadness, and understanding for what your feeling. Your dealing with some major problem with your ex wife and I agree she is on a quest to alienate you from you children because of her own fury. I guess she feels that irregardless of her behavior, that you should have stayed married to her? It seriously sounds like she has some personality disorder, along with your son. I don't understand your daughter, or how she could have ended up with the type of man she has now married to? Amazing that she cheated on her husband also and the marriage ended after only 3 years! I guess in this case it is like mother, like daughter. Perhaps your daughter is a bit narcisstic? Have you looked into NPD? I seriously recommend checking out all the different personality disorders.

It also sounds like your daughter is being manipulated by her new husband. He probably felt threatened by your close relationship to your daughter (although this is so normal for a father and daughter, as it is with a mother and son.) Still, it sounds like his background and personality lend me to believe that he is very controlling. If he is a extreme right wing gun toting nut, it is going to be almost impossible to deal with. It's hard to believe that your daughter came from such a liberal father and ended up with this nut job. Was your ex liberal also?

I can give you suggestions that I'm trying to use myself, but I have to tell you that I still have conquered feeling miserable a great deal of the time. I'm trying meditation (which is very easy to learn,) I just adopted an adorable dog from a shelter that needs a great deal of attention, I am walking daily, and I am looking for a part time job to keep me even busier. I need to have time each day that I absolutely am too busy to dwell or think of my son and his hurtful rejection of both me and his father.

Just the other day I was crying on my husbands shoulder again trying to figure it all out. I knew my dil was bad almost immediately into their dating, but I don't think I could have ever believe she would be able to brainwash and manipulate the way she has done. Nor would I have believe that my son, coming from the close family that he did, could have ever turned against us. It's surreal.

My son will come with his wife to my neighbors (right next door to us!) and pick up her kids to watch for the day! He doesn't stop by, leave a note, nothing. They are going out of their way to be angels with everyone so no one will think that they are to blame for this situation. I know now how she thinks and works (dil) and this is definitely a strategy. Rub it in our faces that they were right next door but choose not to stop by.

I have sent my last e card, card by mail, gift, etc. for my son or his awful wife. His behavior towards me has been so deeply painful that I will not grovel to him anymore. If he ever wants to come back, it will be under our terms, not his.

There is a great book that someone on this site recommended to me when I first posted here, and it is called: Healing From Family Rifts and Estrangements by Mark Sichel. It helps to read others stories and what this psychologist has experienced in his own life with the estrangement of his parents.

Some times I think our generation gave too much to our kids. I've talked about it repeatedly with my husband, sister in laws, sister, brother, etc. There is something wrong with many who belong to this age group in the way that they are selfish beyond belief. They have been taughter by society their entire lives that the only person who is important is them! Schools work on their self esteem building from the time they start kindergarten. Check out the book Generation Me, it is an excellent explanation for they way most of them think and behave now. It makes me sick to think I contributed to this by loving my son too much (is that possible?) We did indulge him, but we didn't over indulge him like many, many parents I know. Still, both my boys were spoiled with love and far too many materialistic things growing up.

The structure that our kids grew up with has something to do with it, I'm sure. Everything was organized, from sports, to after school activities. Now we had to arrange play dates, instead of the kids just going outside and finding neighborhood kids to pal around with. Although my kids did go out and play with others on our block, there just weren't enough of them. When I was growing up the neighborhood was full of kids, and we played sandlot baseball, and outside games until it was dark! I truly feel that they have been to insulated from reality, that they are don't know how to deal with confrontation or people who have different opinions. They are always so sure they are right, and they not only feel they are right, but they are 'entitled' to be right. My son is self centered and selfish, but his wife has NPD without a doubt.

I suggest posting here for support, along with some of the other things I shared with you that I'm doing. Many in this group have been suffering with this for 5, 10, 15 years! I'm a newbie with having only been 9 months now, yet it feels like a life time.

In Mark Sichel's book he does state that it does indeed feel worse than a death, and the main reason is because they have chosen not to see us, unlike in death.

I wonder myself how long I can mourn, and I do agree, I could move on easier if he was dead and not living in another town choosing not to see me. I'm certainly not saying I wish he was dead, or that any harm would come to him since that would be a whole other devastation. But as awful as it would be, eventually you would achieve acceptance as you stated. In this current state, how can anyone achieve acceptance when the entire thing makes absolutely no sense? How can anyone discard their parents, who loves them more than anyone else ever will?

I can't imagine having ever done anything even remotely resembling this behavior to any of our parents, we accepted them for who they were. There may have been things that irritated us about them, but nothing that we would have walked out of their lives for! Both my husbands parents were alcoholics for the first 8-10 years of our marriage, yet we just arranged our schedule to be around them when there was the least likely chance of them drinking...we certainly didn't dis-own them.

I feel very sorry for you trying to deal with someone like your son in law. That would be enough to drive me crazy! I don't think I could even let someone like that in my house. They are so close minded, bigoted, ill tempered, intolerant, etc.

Of course I also feel sorry for myself having tried to deal with my NPD dil. There was never any pleasing her, yet we bent over backwards for years trying to please our son. Her lack of respect was intolerable yet we swallowed our pride and did our best to get along. We just never knew how far she could push us, (nor our son, as in away from us.)

I look forward to hearing more from you on this site Steve.

Anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Anniebal - your message to Steve was wonderful and truthful and fit all of us so much. I have heard from others that our children seem to have this "entitlement" attitude and we are part to blame but I believe society should be held mostly responsible for not allowing our kids to be kids. If we didn't get them into all that organized stuff, they would have been outsiders. It was a no win situation. But who would have thought we would be where we are today?

It has been 6 months since I saw my son and 2 months since he told me he wanted no contact with me in any way, not even a birthday present and he would contact me when he felt up to it. See - there we are with this "entitlement" thing again. Since when did everything change that our children tell us when we can see them? My friends' adult children enjoy spending time with their parents. I do feel cheated to have a DIL like I have.

Does anyone on this blog know of anyone who was estranged from their son because of a NPD DIL who had the happiness of reconnection? The longer time goes on that we don't see each other, I feel he will forget who his family is completely.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Garden60, I appreciate your kind words regarding my post.

I agree wholeheartedly that we were the guinea pigs in this society, that somewhere, someone decided that if we build up are kids self esteem that that will fix all ills. Unfortunately, building up self esteem when it's not warranted is a bad idea. If a kid gets a C on a paper, now we're supposed to tell him that that's still a great grade, instead of letting him know nicely that it's just average. Many teachers aren't using red ink anymore because this color might be too upsetting?!! Who was the genuis that came up with that idea? The schools and some focus on the family nit wits have these unrealistic ideas of how we should raise our children. It was/is a very structured society, and you are correct in stating that our kids would have been left out if we didn't have them partake in those activities. Still, if I had it to do over again, I would have them do far less then I did.

I was also thinking the other night how I and other friends had to deal with bullies in grade school, and in growing up in general. The BIG difference here of course is that after we were bullied we didn't go home looking for our parents gun! I never even thought of getting even, I would just be sad or upset for a few days, but I got over it. I don't believe there were any school shootings before the 1980s. Society has flipped out with letting any tom, dick and harry own a gun! Heck, it's easier to own a gun then it is to get a drivers license. It's required that a person go through drivers ed before they are allowed to drive, why isn't the same required of a gun owner?

Sorry, got off on a tangent there. Getting back to the entitlement, your sons words are so much like the ones we heard from our son 6 months ago (and repeatedly since then everytime I try to make a connection with him!) He told me that he isn't 'emotionally ready.' What the heck is that?!!! If we all waited until all our emotions were in place, many things would be missed and may not be able to be brought back again. To me, the longer this goes on, the less likely we will be able to forgive him since already I feel betrayed, hurt, angry, and simply astounded at his behavior towards us. What is time going to do? The old saying that time heals all wounds is ridiculous. Some wound will deepen if given to much time in between to correct the problem.

It has been 9 mos since this started with my son, and 6 mos six we have seen him. He will not answer his phone and talk to us. His email back to me was incredible, with scolding tones to it. I decided after that last email, that it was the last attempt I am going to make. He was so cold hearted, that I didn't and don't recognize him anymore.

Garden60, I just can't get over the similarities to our story, and I now understand why another poster thought I was the same person using two different i.d.s

anniebal


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re: to all, check out this article from ny times

Here's the link. I think most here will find it interesting, especially about our estranged children's children.

anniebal

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEFD91039F932A35750C0A966958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Anniebal, it was a good article. However, I believe my daughter has successfully forgotten about us. She hasn't suffered psychologically or otherwise. I feel sorry for those who have just begun this journey.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Hi Cornflakes, I can't believe that your not in the back of your daughters mind somewhere, at least at a subconcious level. It's just not that easy to erase the people who raised and loved you your entire life until you were a young adult. Your daughter may not exhibit that she's suffering psychologically, but I'm not sure that she isn't suffering in some way, shape or form. Even the rude way she treats you is an indication to me that something is wrong. It's just not normal not to be able to have an adult relationship with your parents, even if you don't agree on most issues. One has to accept the fact that they are your parents, and they love you, this doesn't mean we don't disagree on many or most issues.

I still hold out hope for you Cornflakes, I really do. I feel that she needs help, that your sil has brainwashed and manipulated her to the point that she can't see the truth. I think that my son can't allow himself to see the truth because if he did, it would be like opening pandora's box. This could be the same thing for your daughter. Let's face it, she's been married now for quite a while, and she has a couple of kids too. It is scary facing the prospect of being out their alone with no father to help raise the kids, or support them and you. I imagine many can't face that difficult prospect, so they keep those thoughts buried deep inside of themselves. Sooner or later however, those thoughts will rise to the surface and when they do I feel they will be very upset at how much time they wasted in their lives with someone they didn't truly love or respect. They will realize what they gave up, and hopefully it isn't too late for them to reconcile with those she loves and has hurt.

I just don't believe they are normal in the sense that their thinking is so unrealistic. My son used to be this sweet, naive boy who would do almost anything for anybody. We were so close, and had many great talks and experiences together. This is a complete turn around from what he was like, and it can't be healthy. There is something affecting his thought process (which I believe stemmed from my dil with her lies and manipulation.) I fear for him, I truly do. I fear what he will be like if he ever does wake up and allow himself to smell the coffee? Right now I know he is being very self destructive, doing things he never would have done prior to my dil. I know it stems from her and this estrangement between us. I worry that his self destructivness may do harm in some way or another, and that is scary stuff. I only hope that if or when he wakes up and realizes what he's done that he knows he can still come home, that we will always be there and love him.

I wish I could believe he is happy, but I just can't. I doubt your daughter is truly happy either.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

You know, I've always believed she was unhappy...that she was miserable, but I must be mistaken. If she were so unhappy, she would have left him a long time ago. Other members in my family think she fears him, and he is quite tempermental, but I don't think he would ever physically harm her. He is a liar and deceptive and yes, he is very manipulative...the very word he used to describe me. Because he convined her to give up her college education and have children and convinced her to give up a very well paying job, she has no chance in every being self sufficient. And, this may have crossed her mind. I doubt that the SIL truly loves her. If he did, he would never try to separate her from us. It's as if he has to be her sole source of support, of happiness...of everything. I view this as his own insecurity, but hey...he controls her, he has her exactly where he wants her - away from us. The saddest thing about it, is that I see no end to this. I am lonely. I am bitter. They are happy. They are secure. I can honestly say I have seen justice rendered to every "unjust" circumstance I have personally encountered over my lifetime. However, this one I don't see coming. And, I remain confused about it daily.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Cornflakes, your daughter is NOT happy and your SIL doesn't love her because as you said, if he did, he would not separate her from her family. Together they are NOT happy and they are NOT secure, at least they are not emotionally secure, financially maybe but certainly not emotionally.

My daughter is in pretty much the same boat married to a manipulative controlling man. At the current time, it's difficult for me to see an end to the estrangement unless certain things happen - and even then, because my daughter does not have the necessary skills to support her children, I wonder if it will ever happen. He's given her cause to leave and she has chosen not to do so. Personally, I believe that is because he has brained washed her into believing that his "extra-marital" relationship (with another MAN) was her fault and she accepted the blame. Unfortunately, I see her staying with him, unless he makes a move, until her children have reached adulthood.

Justice will rain down upon my daughter and upon your daughter also; I firmly believe that. I might not live to see it, but IT WILL HAPPEN.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Wow! The other man thing just blew me away. And yet, she's still with him? How long ago did that happen? I remember one of the few times that I spoke with my daughter and she told me she always felt she was right, but that when she argued with my SIL, that he always made so much sense and that she never could hold her ground with him. Well, that's become ever more obvious over the years. I thought she had more self confidence instilled in her than that. I have such great compassion for everyone here. With each sentence, it's as if I can feel your pain in my heart. Oh, how I long to be called "Mother," again and to hear my granddaughter say, "MiMi." It's really not too much to ask is it? To have so much to offer, so much love to give and to have it rejected.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

njtea, I have to say I am as shocked as cornflakes regarding your sil having an affair with another man! At first I found myself thinking that there is no way anyone could convince their wife that they were to blame for such a thing. However, then I remembered what my dil has been able to convince my son of, and I know that 'they' can do it. These abusers, narcissists, manipulator, controlers, etc. are skilled at what they do. I'm sure you sil is very skilled, and these people degrade them to the point that they have no self confidance, or self esteem. Their partners begin to believe that they are as lowly as their spouse states, that no one else would ever want them, etc. What is the most difficult to come to terms with I think is that my son was raised with nothing but love and support, and didn't witness this type of behavior. I know he always lacked a bit of confidance, but thinking that he could be completely turned around against us was a nightmare that I didn't believe could ever happen (or even one I ever thought about.)

I know we are in the position that we could help my son financially if he needed that type of support. We're hardly rich, but I would work two jobs if it meant him leaving her and being happy again. I'm sure your daughters are aware that you would also do whatever you could to help them if they were to leave their mates?

Cornflakes, you describe how your sil convinced your daughter to give up college, and leave a well paying job to have kids and be with him. Well, we feel that my dil caused my son to stop persuing a flying career that he was well under the way working towards until he got engaged to her. We knew our son loved what he was doing, but when he told us he was going to stop, we took him at his word that he just didn't have the interest to do so. Some time after that decision we learned that my son's fil (to be) made my son promise that he would never take his daughter away from him (the area that they lived!) This would have made his job persuit in flying impossible since it almost always takes you away for a few years anyway before one can get based back in the city they wish to be in. I know, since this is how I spent the first 3 years of our marriage. The point is, they can almost always get back home, yet this man to a young man who takes giving his word very seriously, and convinced him to make a promise that would eseentially destroy a dream that he was currently fulfilling.

My sons life has been ruined as far as I'm concerned. I don't believe he can possibly be truly happy, it's just a lie to himself he has told himself is true. He won't allow the truth to come to the surface because of the problems he'd encounter if he did so.

I'm very confidant that this is the case for all or most of our children. Remember that the abuser first ruins any self confidance and self esteem the person has, and then works on the divide and conquer. They convince our children that they are worthless, that no one else would want them, and that their parents are trouble makers that need to stay out of their lives. Of course they don't want us because we could give our children the love, support and praise they need to keep level headed. That love we gave unconditionally was a threat to the abusers power, and we had to be removed for that reason.

Who knows if they will ever see it. If my son does ever wake up, I feel he will be devastated emotionally. I'm not sure he would even come back to us if he did realize what his wife had managed to convince him of. The shame and humiliation would be overwhelming. We would never give him anything but support and love, but in his mind he would be feeling that may be gloating, or something similar.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Since I've begun speaking of my experience, a few other mothers have told me that they believe their daughters, estranged or not, are in similar situations.

I learned during therapy that often times a couple will remain together when one "comes out" for the "sake of the children" or for financial matters. In a situation where the problem is acknoweledged, the couple often just live in the same house together and each goes their separate way. I don't believe this to be the case with my daughter as I don't believe any acknowledgment of the situation has been made by her husband.

There was an article in, I think, the New York Times about such relationships around the time "Brokeback Mountain" came out, but I can't find it now.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Regarding grandchildren, I'll share a secret: I'm scared to death that if/when we ever reconnect, they will be children (or young adults) that I find I don't like.

They will always be young in my mind, because they were still young when I last saw them. These are the grands that I remember and love so much. I just pray they won't change from those loving wee ones, but I fear their parents will have instilled in them the same loathing for me that they hold.

That being said, I think my daughter loathes me only because her husband has told her to think like that. I believe that deep down inside she loves me as I love her.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Dear njtea, I know what you mean about the grandchildren. I have a photo of my grandaugther prominently displayed in our great room and a photo copy of her footprints when she was first born on our refrigerator. It's as if she's frozen in time in our hearts and minds. I too am concerned that she will have instilled a hatred for us.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

NJTea, I believe your daughter loves you too. I believe that about my own. Whenever she isn't speaking to us, she jumps on the bandwagon with her hubby and they tell EVERYONE they come into contact with about how bad dh and I are. They've made up plenty. I feel she does this because she feels guilty, she knows it's not right that she isn't speaking to us. She knows deep down it's to make her husband happy. When she is around us, (even though sil still is mad) you can tell she's happy to talk to us. I even got a compliment from her the other day, in a round about way. We were in a group and she was upset about what an in law did to her, and dd said, 'my mom would never do that to me!' I just smiled to myself and thought, see? maybe I'm not so bad!


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Sniffles, how often do you see your daughter? So, your not completely estranged then? Or were you estranged, but you've had some form of reconciliation? I know I've read your posts, but I can't remember what your current situation is.

Prior to logging on this site, I was just sitting watching tv and my mind wondered to what my son is doing now, and if he ever thinks about us. I wonder if he misses us, or if he thinks of us, it is pure disgust? I know I said that I think deep down (probably subconciously) he stills loves us, but coming to grips with this is a daily struggle for me.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

On the topic of whether our estranged children ever think of us, I know that my daughter has been visiting my blog on estrangements from the fall of 2005 to now. Up until late 2007 she visited my blog almost every day and sometimes as many as twelve times per day. She visited it regardless of whether I wrote anything. Currently she is subscribed to it and visits it still about once a week. Even though I now let months go by without writing anything new to it.

For those who are wondering how I know that, it is because I can see information about visits to my blog in site statistics. Sometimes my ex-husband, who has refused to speak to me for over 20 years and who is also estranged by my daughter, visits my blog. On March 27 they both visited on the same day. They don't speak to each other or to me but they visit my blog.

I find this so strange. Three people that lived together once upon a time and loved each other and now none of us are on speaking terms and they visit my blog although they won't speak with me. It seems surreal.

So I know that my daughter thinks of me regularly.

I don't know this woman any more who is my daughter. I don't think that she knows me. I am SURE that she does not know me. I don't think that she even wants to try. But yet she visits my blog despite her statements of not wanting to have anything to do with me.

It all feels so very sad.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Isn't that odd Ginny? There must be something your daughter is seeking to come here. What else is there to see from post to post other than care, compassion, hurt, hope for reconcilation and an immeasurable amount of love. I wish my daughter cared enough to seek me out in some manner.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

cornflakes, It isn't "here" that she comes. The Gardenweb discussion boards are not mine. She comes to my blog on estrangement which is connected to my website on Estrangements. I sometimes provide the links to my site and to my blog at the end of some of my posts.

I don't think she comes here to the Gardenweb forums. If she did, I would probably hear about it from friends of mine.

In 2005 she found my posts on the Family Rifts group which resulted in my leaving that group. So if she came here, it might be a repeat of what happened then.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Anniebal, I've been estranged from my daughter twice. The first time last 3 yrs, and we weren't allowed to see the grandkids for 2 of those years. That estrangment ended approx. 6 yrs ago. About 2 yrs ago, sil got mad at dh and ds about something that didn't involve him at all. DD still visited for a few months, without him, then she stopped coming also and we didn't get to see the grandkids again. That lasted about 5 months, and she started showing back up with the grandkids. SIL is still mad. She mentions him from time to time, we speak nicely of him, but that's it. We just don't see him. I've learned from one of the grandchildren that sil is not happy they get to come up. So I know he's trying to run things in the ditch, so to speak. That also validates what I've known in my stomach from the beginning...he's behind a lot of it. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Sniffles, what does dh and ds stand for? I'm still getting used to some of these abbreviations. I know sil stands for son in law, but not sure what DD stands for either? Sorry, I'm rather slow in this area!

I can imagine how afraid you are about them (especially him,) yanking your daughter and grandkids away again. That is a big fear of ours too. We've talked that if our son reconciles with us, and they are expecting (which I know they are planning to start trying this summer,) that we'll both be very reluctant to get attached to their child. We both know that as soon as we do, our dil will pull another stunt and use the child as leverage to get her way. Of course we won't do it (again,) however, the hurt will be unbearable if we have gotten close to that grandchild. We also feel that if our son can treat us this way, and if he doesn't reconcile with us, then why would we want anything to do with his offspring? It is the offspring who will suffer in this case, and it is my son and dil that will be causing it. Let the child ask someday about who is grandma is and why don't they see her. I'm sure they'll come up with some doozie just as they have with their excuse for not seeing us about how we've wronged them terribly and we're unloving and cold people.

When my son and I got together last summer so that he could read me his riot act, he asked me how I could have sent him an email stating that I thought his wife was a terrible awful person. I told him that I never said that, and he replied quickly with the fact that he had the email saved on his phone and could show it to me to prove it. I asked him to please show it to me, since I knew I'd never said that. My son starts to read it to me, and it states: "I'm sure your wife has convinced you of what awful horrible parents you have." WOW, far cry from what he stated I said. Even after he read what was really stated, and acknowledged that, "Oh, that wasn't what you said," there was no apology for accusing me of saying that, or even acknowledgement that he was wrong/mistaken for thinking that that was what I had said.

It's no wonder then about what he has construed in his head things we have said, OR how his wife has twisted the things we've said around in his head to the point that he doesn't know what is what.

Ginny, I also believe that for whatever reason, your daughter is seeking out some form of relationship with you by going to that site and looking for your posts. I know that I've done searches on google and have come up with posts that my son has made at different discussion groups, and for me it's a way to stay connected in some way. At least I get to hear some of what's going on in his life so that I don't feel completely cut off, (only 99.9% instead.)

Maybe your daughter just doesn't know how to make up with you since it has been so very long. I often think that my son will be so ashamed of himself if he ever does realize what he has done to the two people who loved him more than anyone else ever could do. I wonder if he'll even be able to face us again even if he wants to do so? It may be easier for him to stay away, then face up to what's been going on. I can't help but think your daughter may be in this mode of thinking. Perhaps she wants to see you, but she can't admit she was wrong, or she is very ashamed of the way she has treated you. I do think her reading your posts though is a way for her to stay connected in some way.

Your right in what you state though, it is very sad that this is as far as she can go to be with you (in a very isolated way.)

Anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Anniebal, dh = hubby ds= son.
I picked this abbreviations up off websites so maybe I have them wrong! I've tried to figured them out also. ha


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

I'm sorry, I misunderstood, but I'm certain she finds the same posted on your blog. Mom was discharged from the nursing home this past Tuesday. Daughter doesn't know it. One day, who knows when, she'll stop by, find she isn't there and the SIL will prob-ab-lee call. Isn't it pathetic? My stomach gets in knots just thinking about it. I haven't been in counseling about this for a long, long time, but am considering going back soon. Try as I may, and you'd think I would have built a bridge and gotten over this by now, but it still consumes too much of my thought life.


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anniebal, I agree that my daughter may feel as though it would be an admission of wrongdoing or that it would mean that I am "right" and she is "wrong" if she reconciled. It is really sad as I am uninterested in issues of who is right or wrong. I wish that she could see that these are not relevant issues and just put it behind her.

This is something that she is going to have to figure out on her own as there is nothing that I can do about it. I have told her that she can't call me names. She would have kept communicating in 2006 through email but she was using the communication as a way to beat up on me verbally. I have told her not to get in touch with me again unless she WANTS a relationship.

The verbal abuse was sick.

It was strange too that she appeared to WANT to communicate in 2006 but only so that she could be verbally abusive. It wasn't a communication really. It was more of a nasty name calling fest on her part. She appeared to enjoy doing it.

This is something that I have had to accept ~~ that this is how my daughter is now and that the only person who can change the situation is her. Even if she is sick, as I know she is, she is still the only one who could change anything.

Ginny


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Ginny, I agree of course that we are not in control, it is them...not us as they say. Your daughter is either going to have to grow up and quit being ashamed to get back together with you (assuming she is ashamed for how she treated you,) or she is going to miss the wonderful person who loved her more than anyone else in the world could do. I guess that's what astounds me most, is just how does one not talk to their parents? What a cruel life that would be, and I don't believe any of them can be truly happy living like this. As it said in the article I left the link here for, children can never be psychologically free from their parents, no matter how much they think they are. Still, I've learned as you have too that we can't make them come back, can't make them realize that life is short, and they may not always have a chance to reconcile with us. I just wonder what type of life my son could lead if something happened to us before we reconciled? I know that I have done my best. I have gone above and beyond what most average parents would put up with. If I died tomorrow, I would know that it isn't me, I wouldn't die guilty, only sad that I didn't have my son in my life once he grew up.

Cornflakes, I guess your sil never did follow through with possibly getting together as he threw out the prospect of? How sad that your daughter isn't even concerned over her grandmother. It's because your mom had the nerve to defend you, and had you come over when your daughter was at her home. This is how I feel my son is getting with his grandmother. Mind you, it's his only living grandparent. Still, he isn't seeing her as much, and I know his wife has told him that his dad's mother is poisoned by our stories. It's probably not even a case of my dil needing to intervene anymore to manipulate my son, I have a feeling he's doing it all on his own now. How did they get so out of touch with reality? They are so selfish that they can only see their own hurt, and no others. They feel they have been wronged, just as I heard repeatedly from the time my son got engaged to his wife until Hawaii last year. Neither one can take criticism, and being with them was literally walking on egg shells. Even though I'm sick over this, and very depressed, I can't go back to that type of relationship. I won't be his slave, or his kicking board. I am his mother and he will either come back and love and respect me for who I am, or it will never work. As long as dil is in the picture there is absolutely no chance of that happening. He is far too proud to admit he made a mistake, even if it makes him unhappy the rest of his life.

In another month (or sooner,) he'll find out they aren't being invited to my husbands sisters for mother's day. His one sister always has it at her house, but this will be the first one that will step up to bat for us and let him know that they are on our page, and that they can't have them over with us there because it hurts us too much. All of this is true, it's not a game we're playing as I feel they have been doing for the last 6 months.

It will be intereseting to see just what happens when the family lets them know we come first. I'm afraid for my son. I'm afraid he'll become completely isolated since the entire family now will be facing the wrath of his wife. She'll convince him they don't need any of us, that they have each other! This is a girl who doesn't know what emotional intimacy means. This girl is so superficial that all she watches are the goofy reality shows about models who don't work because they are so independently wealthy! The girl emotions are skin deep, she doesn't know how to really love anyone but herself. She will keep her ego inflated as long as my son continue to dote on her, but if and when that stops, or lessens, she may begin to look elsewhere for that attention. Better yet, wait until a baby is in the picture taking away all the attention from her. She'll be in 7th heaven while she pregnant because all the attention will be on her for 9 months, but as soon as that baby comes out all anyone focuses on is the baby. Of course this is completely natural, and normal people love all the attention their baby gets because they aren't stuck on self love only.

Cornflakes, I do recommend you go back to your therapist. I've been going now for 6 months at least, and I don't have any plans on giving it up. I don't know if it's helping or not, since it just seems that I've lost interest in doing most things I used to love. I'm on anti-depressants but I think they can only do so much. Who knows, maybe if I weren't on them, I wouldn't even be on this board writing to all of you.

I seriously don't know how to keep him out of my thought process either. He just trickles in an out all day long.

Anniebal


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I was going to my mothers to take lunch to her yesterday. When I walked in, I found her dead on the floor. She had fallen straight over her walker, face down on the floor. I immediately, frantically called 911. We may not be able to have an open casket, because when the coronor came and turned her body, it took my breath away again, as it didn't even look like my mom. I went into hysterics and waited there with her and the paramedics for almost an hour before my husband and brother arrived. My blood pressure sky-rocketed, my pulse rate went through the roof. The paramedic suggested I go on to the emergency room. While there, my husband phoned my daughter and told her I was in serious trouble. She asked, "What are you calling me for? Shouldn't you be talking to the doctor?" He said, "She really needs you now. The reason she's here is because she walked in and found her mother dead." She said, "Well, I've got to take care of my daughter. Here you can talk to Jeremy." I reached for the phone and the SIL was online. He stated, "It doesn't sound like you need anyone there. You sound like you're all on drugs." I said, "You're right.I don't need anyone here." I handed the phone to my husband and tried to lay still and let the drugs take effect. It was one of the most horrific times of my life. I feel guilty for not having arrived sooner. I feel guilty for making the decision to bring my mother home. Nurses were lined up beginning this Monday to provide care 8 hours a day. Oh God, I used bad judgement. They told me at the hospital and nusing home that she should be able to go home with only minimal assistance and I took their word. I can still see the blood on the carpet, see her precious face and hear the voice of my son in law. I feel so lonely. My assets lie on the other side. My Mom and Dad dearly loved me and I miss them so much. Dad took half of him with me when he died, now, Mother has the rest of me. I have my husband and no other family to support me. I wish I could be with them.


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I usually spend time in the housing forums, but was drawn here today.

Dear Mrs.Cornflakes, I am very sorry for your loss and for the dreadful way it happened. It may not be possible for you to believe this now, but try to accept that you are not guilty of any wrongdoing. You could not have prevented your mother's passing, even if you had ignored the advice of the health care professionals. Please take care of your own health and let your husband be your comfort and solace at this difficult time.

My dear father lived in several facilities, with increasing levels of care, during the last few years of his life. In each one, he fell and was injured. Before he entered the nursing homes, I arranged for in-home care also. He still fell and was injured in his home. Before dementia robbed him of his faculties, he used to pray for release from this life. I used to pray he would be taken quickly and spared any more pain.

My husband and I have dealt with all sorts of heartbreaking events with our parents and grandparents over the years. One beloved relative was raped in her nursing home when she was over 95. I don't tell you these things to add to your pain, but to remind you that we simply cannot be there 24/7 to protect our loved ones and no care arrangements that we make are perfect.

Try to focus on the thought that your mother is now at peace, free of pain and anxiety, wanting for nothing. I hope you find comfort.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

cornflakes, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I know that your mother knew how much you loved her. She lives on in your memories of her. I wish you strength in the days ahead. It sounds as though it was very sudden and that there was nothing that you or anyone else could do to change the outcome. I am so glad that she had you in her life and that you had her.

Please take care and be kind to yourself. You deserve kindness.
Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Cornflakes! I am So, so sorry! You can't blame yourself for what happened to your mother. What happened could have just as easily occured at the nursing home. When my mom was in a rehabilitation facility where they were attempting to help her recover from a stroke, she nearly choked to death in her room! I just happened to be with her when she was attempting to swallow something (and her swallowing was not normal due to her stroke.) I don't even remember what it was, or why she had it, but I believe it was just liquid not food. At any rate, she started choking and there wasn't a nurse nearby to be found! I had to run to the nurses station where most if not all of them were gathered, either doing desk duties or talking to each other. Luckily I got the nurses attention in time and she was able to help my mother recover from her gagging, which I know would have lead to her going unconcious at the very least and probably would have killed her.

When a person reaches that point of illness, weakness, dementia, etc. unfortunately things are going to happen that hurt the ones who see them and love them very much. There is so little we can do when they have reached that stage, BUT you did SOooo much for your mom! You were there for her, in sickness as well as health! You loved her very much, and she loved you very much! Whatever happened to your mom most likely happened so quick that she was instantly knocked unconcious and didn't even realize what had happened. Beyond a doubt she was not aware of pain at that point, she simply never came around after hitting her head so hard.

You set the example for your daughter, and your daughter is either ill, or very messed up in other ways. How shameful that she couldn't be there for you even now, and that your sil would say such a thing to you. I don't believe she deserves you in her life, you are far too good a person to allow her to be doing this to you. I wanted to strangle your sil, and I don't even know him other than what you've spoken of.

Please, please look for support from you husband, brother and other family members now but not your daughter. If I were you, I'd be reluctant to let her attend the funeral. All it will cause you is more grief seeing her insensitivity to you. She will feel less guilt attending, but I wouldn't give her that satisfaction. You don't need the stress of her ill behavior to you during this crisis in your life right now.

I am so sad for you. I also feel a big part of me went whem my dad passed away because we were so close. But your not alone, you have your husband who loves you very much. You have nieces and nephews, and other family that want to be able to comfort you. Please let them comfort you during this sad time.

Anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Cornflakes, I'm very sorry to hear about your mother and then the horrible way your daughter acted.
Do not blame yourself. I don't know your beliefs but I believe that when it is your time to go, you are going to go, and we all have different times. You couldn't have stopped it had you been there.
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace. "
King Solomon, The Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

So true Cornflakes!


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

I am just back from a vacation in Texas that my husband and I took to visit friends and do some sightseeing. It is a GREAT way to escape pain for awhile. So I am just catching up on the posts.

Cornflakes - you have my sympathy. My mother died pretty much the same way and while I miss her every day, I thank God she was able to go the way she did rather than linger with a painful cancer or other disease.

In one of your earlier messages, you talk about your estrangement with your daughter. It sounds like your SIL also has NPD. Take a minute to read the mayo clinic website on it.

Thanks also anniebal for the good article. Quite interestingly, the minister who married my son was estranged from his family for almost 30 years because his wife didn't want anything to do with them. They are now divorced and he has reunited with his family. I hope it doesn't take us that long.

I sometimes wonder when my son and DIL will have children. I know my son wants to be a father really bad but I can see the same thing happening with them - DIL will get attention while pregnant but after all will go to the child. Heck, last Easter she was jealous of all the attention my son gave my niece's baby.

Ginny - how would I find a blog my son might be writing? He is a computer geek (professionally) so he might have a blog to release his feelings since he doesn't want to talk to his family and since he didn't put his wife's name/phone on his medical records (but put my work number instead as second contact), maybe he is writing somewhere.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

garden60, To find posts online, start with searching online with things that you know. Such as the first part of someone's email address (the part before the @ symbol) or their name (including variations with middle initial, nickname, no middle initial, etc.). If you search for a name, put quotes around the name (example: 'John Smith') so that the search results come back for the exact name, not everyone named John and everyone named Smith that shows up on a page. You could try using Google, Yahoo, and any other search engines that you'd like to try.
Google offers the ability to search blogs from a drop down menu to the right of the search window. After you do an internet search, you can go to the 'More' link and use the drop down menu and choose 'Blogs'.

You could also try using the last name with the first letter of the first name.For example, if the name was John Smith, you could search for smithj. Or jsmith.

You might try searching on social network sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and LiveJournal. Those are just three. There are more. If you search on those, you could search for a real name.

Technorati is a search engine that is just for searching blogs. It doesn't do a perfect job but it is another tool for searching.

Depending on whether you get many results in a search and need to narrow your search. you might use words that relate to a hobby or interest or job.

On some sites you need to be a registered member but often registration is free. So you could register and then search.

If someone posts on sites where members need to be registered, I don't think that any results will come up from internet searches. So you need to choose various sites that the person might be registered with and then register with those and search.

If he is a computer geek, he might be more concerned about privacy and choose a user id that would not point directly to him.

Okay, so that is some information on where to start. But I don't know if searching is a good idea. Although I think that people do this all the time. Some might feel as though their boundaries were being violated and get angrier if they found out that their online writing was being read. Misunderstandings can occur because people say things sometimes that they wouldn't say in the presence of their relatives or their boss or their friends. It's a slippery slope.

My daughter found things that I wrote on the Family Rifts group and she disagreed with what I said. In her mind she remembers some things a certain way. I remembered them a different way and I had questions about those things which I discussed in the group. She found those posts over a year after I had written them and she then became furious. In her mind I have 'lied' about her. She does not discuss this with me, of course.

It doesn't occur to her that my posts were based on what I knew and that I was discussing our estrangement and things that puzzled me. I would have no motivation to lie about her. No one in the group knew her when I was discussing these things. She would be a stranger to them. I stated what I knew and the questions that I had. She found the posts a year later and had a fit about them. I am sure that in her mind she still thinks that I 'lied' about her. It certainly isn't remotely logical that I would lie while in a discussion group talking about an issue that had caused me so much pain and which I was trying to understand. It isn't logical that I would lie under any circumstances as I work hard at being honest and it is not in my nature to lie. But she found those posts and believes that I lied. I do not know what she thinks that my motivation for lying would be. I do think that she is so sensitive about her self image that she takes anything that sounds critical as being a direct assault.

I think that she saw my posts as being critical of her and she probably felt as though somehow complete strangers might feel less of her. I had written positive posts about her too but she ignored those and focussed on what she disagreed with.

So it can be dangerous to find out what someone is saying when they don't think that you can see. They don't know that you know and you can't tell them without them then knowing that you have been searching for their posts. Which could cause a very negative reaction.

Sometimes it is better not to know things. For example ~~ my daughter has a blog on the internet. Have I mentioned this before? I can't remember. I don't need to search for it. I find links to it in the service that gives me statistics for my own blog. I once clicked one of the links to it in 2006. I didn't know what the site was until I clicked the link. What I read there made me ill. So I don't go there and read her posts. I am well aware of how sick at heart it makes me. If I did go back and read her posts, it would be like sticking a knife in my hand, pulling it out, and doing it again and again and again. Sometimes it is better not to know.

I gave you the information on how to search but I am not saying that I think that this is a wise thing to do. It might be better if you don't know. But I do understand that as a parent the desire to know information is strong. It's a choice as to whether to do that or not.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: Technorati


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Ginny, I think most of us here have searched for information on our estranged loved ones. I know I have, and I have found a ton of posts from my son. I even found two requesting advice. One of the posts for advice was incredibly skewed! It's as if he didn't even remember what really happened at all, he left out so many important details. This lead to replies that found us at fault of course, which was of no surprise. That one was the first written and was at the height of our arguing. In his 2nd post, it was much more calm, with less bias. Unfortunately for him, the one woman the replied was against him not seeing us for Christmas, and encouraged him to reconcile with us. I swear if he read this, he would believe I had found it and posted a reply under another name. It was a woman who had two kids, and she put so much emphasis on not letting go of one's parents. I couldn't have handpicked a better responder.

Besides those posts, I've found tons on things my son has put on the net, mostly questions regarding different areas of interest. Those are actually interesting to find, since it gives me some feeling of connection with him, or at least so I know what's going on in his life to some degree.

I do agreen with you however on it being a slippery slope. I can see how he would turn this around to me being intrusive or spying, as opposed to me being curious and lonely.

I understand completely how your daughter remembers things quite differently, and accuses you of lying. I've been in both places too. Is it selective memory, over sensitization, unable to accept criticism, or what? It's perplexing, because as you stated, I have no reason to lie about what happened. In fact, I'm very good at stating the facts without embelishing. We're opposite of them because we want the truth out there, we want people to base their opinions on the real story, not on what we 'want to hear.' I think that is the biggest difference between us and our kids. It was obviuos from my sons 1st post that he wanted to get answers that agreed with him, so he left out very important details.

Garden60! I'm glad your back, since you and I have SOoo much in common. I too believe my son will be trying to have a baby this summer. I think they are planning on her being pregnant over the school year since she is a teacher. This way she can take time off in March or April to have the baby, and then have the entire summer before she goes back to work. She is the last person who should ever be a mom, because she will be so jealous of the baby that it will hurt the babies self esteem. If they are still married then (I can hope, can't I??) she won't be able to tolerate my sons attention on the baby, which is where most of it will be for quite a while after the baby is born. This is natural of course, and usually where each partner's attention is focused, unless of course one is narcisstic.

I mentioned in one of my postings that my dil was SOooo jealous of my younger sons girlfriend! She was absolutely beside herself, and to me it was so obvious. She would barely say a word to this girl, and then she quit talking to my son too. Later she told me that she wasn't right for my younger son, and that's why she wasn't talking to him for a year! She was afterall, 'teaching him a lesson!'

Wow, she is very ill.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Well, I tried to find any blogs on my son and found nothing (although I am not that great on investigation on the internet).

My son's b'day is 4/30. I was planning to call his cell, leave a message just saying in a cherry, happy voice "Happy Birthday, 25 years ago today you were born and now you are an adult; time flies. Enjoy your special day. Love, Mom"

The only thing holding me back is his last email to me of 1/22 which reads: "Ok, time for some explanation. After our last meeting in September, I spent the next 3 weeks in the hospital for Chrons Disease. The stress that I received throughout all of this and the stress that I experience every time I get a message from you or a note, or an email sends me right back to pain. So, no more notes, no more emails, no more cards, no phone calls. Ill contact you when I feel that I am up for that again. But until that happens, please dont send birthday cards or cards for holidays. I cant afford another visit to the hospital or to take more time off work."

I found out that he does indeed have chron's disease (he had put my phone # as secondary contact and I got a call about test results); however, he was never hospitalized, that is just exaggeration to make me feel bad.

What would you do?


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About birthdays

garden60, I wouldn't leave a message or send a card. But maybe I'd do something nice for myself on that day. Maybe have a special dessert or go out for a nice dinner.

It is your day too! You were there on that day in a big way! It was a great day!

Most of the years since the estrangement began with my daughter I have had problems with feeling depressed as her birthday approached. As the years went by, I had fewer problems with depression but sometimes it still comes back. My attitude now is to do something nice for myself on that day rather than to try to forget about it.

I sent flowers years ago but I heard later that she threw them out.

She claimed to have thrown other things out that I sent. One package contained the book put together by relatives in another country on the family tree on my side going back to the fifteen hundreds. They printed a limited number of those books and gave them to relatives. I was given two and sent one to her. Apparently she threw it out without opening it. Or so she later claimed.

I have stopped sending anything.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Garden60, I have already decided not to send any type of card, or voice mail to my son on his b-day which is coming up in mid May. I have reached this conclusion for the same reason your pondering not doing it. My son has made it clear he wants absolutely no contact, and the last email I got from him scolded me for me leaving him a short message on his work voice mail. It was so cold hearted that I decided that that is it, I'm not putting my feelings out there to be trampled on again with him. Let him sit and stew in his wife's narcism. He'll never feel important or loved as long as he is with her, and I imagine your son will be in the same boat.

My son accused us last October of causing him heart problems! Now mind you, he has had slightly elevated blood pressure since he was a jr in highschool. He had been in to the dr. for being sick and we discovered it was slightly elevated. The doctor monitored him a few times and it did come down a bit, but it was far too high for his age. He has an anger management issue, and flies off the handle far too easy. In addition, he holds onto his anger and will hold a grudge. He has great difficulty in apologizing, and it was usually me who broke the ice with him whether it was my fault or not.

Your son sounds like he is using you as the scapegoat for his wife causing him to have this condition. He can't face what the real reason is (like my son,) so he blames you. We're the only ones that they can live with blaming, since they know we will forgive them. I think in my sons case, his wife has also contributed to him believing it was us who caused his high blood pressure. She probably uses the fact that he has had it since late in highschool when he was till living at home with us, as the reason. Sad how easily he is convinced of such nonsense.

My son doesn't remember me making sure his blood pressure was regularly checked, nor does he remember me trying to teach him to let his anger go, to lower his salt intake and start exercising more. We got a long wonderfully through college until he started dating our dil just out of college. Why would we be the ones to cause this? I'm sure he has conjured this up in his own mind as well, believing that had we just given in to every demand that he'd be happy with normal blood pressure.

You can see that your son exagerated just to make you feel bad, so what else is he exagerating? He may have Crohns, but how bad is it? Also, I believe Crohns is an auto-immune disease, but I'm not sure. Even if it is auto-immune tho, auto-immune can be triggered from too much stress, but they don't know all the causes of these diseases.

My vote would be to not send anything to your son, since he will probably turn it around and use it against you as my son will. I will have a very difficult time not sending some form of birthday wish, but I know I have to stick to my guns. Let him feel what total isolation is, and if he can truly be happy with this, then the more power to him. The thing is I don't believe he is happy, or will ever be truly happy as long as he is married to his destructive woman.

anniebal

PS...what part of the country are you in?


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

anniebal, About eight years ago (after five years of estrangement) I searched and found my daughter and SIL's website which she used to post photos and news of theirs. Like you, I felt some comfort from knowing something of her life and having that remote connection. She would not update it often. I would check it every few months for updates.

In 2005 she discovered my posts on Family Rifts as well as my website and blog. She accused me of stalking her. She asserted that I was visiting her website daily. (Hardly!) She wrote long diatribes apparently aimed at cousins or unknown relatives, warning them that I would try to contact them and telling them not to give me her phone number. Since I hadn't ever tried to contact them nor had I tried to call her or contact her, these warnings of her were odd. Nor was it clear who was being warned or why. Also, she had her phone number posted on the internet as a contact number for her business. I never called the number. It was odd that she was telling the world not to give me her number when it was already out there on the internet.

In 2005 she contacted me through email due to her discovery of my posts on Family Rifts, my website on Estrangement, and blog and we proceeded to have yet again (the first being in 1995) an argument which involved her denigrating me and telling me she didn't love me and how she didn't want to have anything to do with me. When someone I love talks to me that way, it infuriates me. I was hurt and absolutely infuriated. It was at that time that I learned too that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Months later, after reading more really bizarre stuff (sent to me by friends) that she wrote about her father and stepmother, it sunk in how sick she is. She had set up a blog with the specific purpose of writing about estrangement, kind of a parallel to mine, and she continues to write there. Much of what she writes has nothing to do with estrangement.

As for jealousy, she seemed to have been very jealous of her stepbrother whom she saw as getting much more positive attention from her father than she got.

One thing that stands out about my daughter is that she seems to have a remarkable need for attention. This is something that I was not aware of when she was a kid. She has even said things that acknowledge her interest in getting attention. She does have an attitude of "yes, this is all about me." Empathy for others is not one of her strong suits.

I guess that some who read this might wonder why the heck a parent would continue to care about grown kids who feel and act like this. I ask myself that too. When they talk about a "mother's love", they aren't kidding! Sometimes I wish I could turn it off and walk away emotionally from her entirely and not think about her any more. But it seems as though it is wired into me. Which is really strange because now I don't even know this woman who is my daughter. So I love someone whom I no longer know. I don't love her as much as I once did. It lessens over time. I'm not sure what I feel now. I know that it is still easy to cry over the loss. I still feel grief. Maybe I grieve someone who never existed? Maybe I grieve for the dream of what might have been?

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Thank you for your responses and telling me what I know is right. My son sent the email and he will have to fix it. I did not respond at all to his nastiness about no contact. It will be hard but I will let him wonder why I didn't send a b/day card.

I have the full support of my family - my sister/husband, 3 adult children and many friends who have written my son off because of the way he has treated my husband and me and his brother. None of them have contacted him in any way and I know he hurts from this. Our families were unbelievably close and when I told him at his wedding that family was important, his response was "no, only happiness is important" - translation - whatever it takes to have her as my wife.

My niece just gave birth to her second child and she did not notify my son. When he finds that out, it will be hurtful to him. In all of this, what he didn't expect is that the rest of the family would react the way they did. He thought his wife could be nasty to me and I wouldn't share her behavior with my sister. Wrong!

Okay, Anniebal, no b/day cards to our sons!

I live in Minneapolis, MN


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Ginny, your post brings up many feelings insdie of me. I can hear my son finding my post someday and claiming I was doing the same thing as your daughter did to you. Even if you were visiting her site daily, what would be so weird about that? Your her mother, and you never see her anymore. Do they think that we turn on and off our feelings like they have? They won't know until they have kids, and those kids turn around and hurt them, just how it feels to be a mom and a parent. One never scores the touchdown or spikes the football who is a parent, we never reach the endzone! I love that analogy which is from the movie Parenthood. I've always remembered it, so obviously it made a big impact on me. There are no truer words either, especially for moms.

I feel so badly for you with how your daughter denigrated you, and warned the entire family about you doing something that you didn't & would never do. Do you think anyone was actually ever warned? Did anyone ever contact you from your family regarding her warning, perhaps she never actually sent them?

When you mentioned how upset she was about you getting her phone number, or knowing it, when all along it is posted on her website, it reminds me of my son. About 5 wks ago I sent my son an e-card telling him I loved him. I thought (foolishly,) that he might send me just a short email telling me he loved me back, but no such thing. A week later I called him at the new office he was working at (which I learned about through his younger brother.) I knew it was a big office bldg and that the calls would probably be put through a switchboard. I was hoping this was the case since then he wouldn't know it was me calling (since he screens my calls of course!) I called him, but my timing was terrible. I picked the lunch hour (duh!) and so I decided to leave him a very short message. My message was low key, actually sad, and I simply stated that I was surprised I didn't hear something from him telling me he loved me too after the e card I sent him. I also stated that I wondered if he still had a heart? Later that day I got a very angry e-mail from him asking just how I got his number at his new office?!! What, does he think his business is unlisted? It wouldn't be a very good company if it was! He scolded me for calling him at work, and told me to never do that again, and to never leave him 'that' type of message again, ever. It was interesting when he emphasized 'that' type of message, since it was not angry, yelling, crying, it was simply in a sad voice. He had the nerve to sign it with love and his name! As if I believe for one minute right now anyways, that he has any love for me. If there is love, it is buried so deep he doesn't even know it exists! I certainly found the phone thing interesting between you and your daughter, and me and my son.

I think I stated a while back that my son admitted to me when he was a jr or sr in highschool that he was jealous of his kid brother growing up. His younger brother has had type 1 diabetes since age 3, which requires daily rituals like no other, especially when they are that young. As good a mom as I know I was, there is no way I could give equal time with his brother having that medical condition. I told my son when he mentioned it that I understood how he must have felt, and that his feelings were very normal (which I know they were.)

I feel my estragned son also needs lots of attention, and his mother certainly gave it to him. There were too many times that I didn't say I couldn't do something because he wanted to do it right then. It didn't matter (most of the time,) what I was doing. I would re-arrange everything, drop what I was doing just to please him. I knew he would get his nose out of joint easily, and then hold a pouty grudge if I didn't go when he wanted. I did it because I loved him, but I didn't see the damage it was doing by allowing him to control me like he did. Still, we had a very tight relationship, or so I thought.

It's interesting hearing you say Imaginny, that you don't know who your daughter is anymore. Actually, it's good to hear someone say that because the other night on facebook, I found my niece had posted pictures of a party she had had with her cousins in February. One of the pics included my niece with my son and his wife. I used to melt when I saw my son's smile, since it could literally light up a room. Yet, when I looked at it, I felt strangely disconnected. I know how much I love him, since I cry and think about him all the time, yet there is something gone now. I doubt whatever is missing, that I'll ever get it back again. Things have changed now, and as they say, you can't put back the hands on a clock. I almost felt guilty for my lack of feeling over seeing him in the picture. Maybe it's a self protection mechanism, since this is so extremely painful for all of us. Eventually one has to put up a shield or they could literally go mad.

I wonder if your daughter doesn't have borderline personality disorder? That sounds closer to the signs she is exhibiting then bi-polar, but you would know more than I.

I have a niece who had bi-polar but she acted completely different. In fact, it was so elaborate I could never even attempt to explain it here. She went into an entire fantasy where she made up things about herself, about how famous she was getting, all this money she was making, etc.etc. until her parents found out it was all a ruse. Mind you, this went on for 2 years! Though we were suspicious a few times (me, hubby & brother,) we never thought it was all made up. She caused her parents to have to declare bankruptcy because of her pretend lifestyle. To me, it almost sounded more psychotic then bi-polar, but, they said it was bi-polar and have treated her accordingly ever since. I'm not convinced however that I got the whole, true story regarding her condition. However, she is married now, with 2 sons, and appears very happy & normal other than some medical problems she is currently having. I don't notice anything strange in her mental area.

Garden60, I am glad that you've re-thought your impulse to send him a card, or message. Now be prepared to tell me the same thing next month when I start tinkering about how I should send my son a card! I'm not kidding either, since I know it will be difficult.

You are so lucky that your family stood up for you all right away. Ours is just coming around to supporting us outwardly now. Up to this point my son & dil have had the nerve to show up to every family get together, treat us like dirt, and carry on with our brothers and sisters! You'd think just one of our relatives would have called and talked to him, or let him know he wasn't welcome over when we were there. It took me being very hurt in February attending my bil's party to set my siblings on the right path. I told them right out that I'd never be in that position again, and if they want us to come they won't invite our son. My hubby's side has gotten the same message. You know, one of our sisters seems more concerned that he continue liking her, then she is about the relationship we have with him! Wouldn't she think that it's more important that he like us? So she is thinking that if they don't include them to get togethers where we are at, and if they get angry at them for it, that they will never forgive them. She thinks that we'll reconcile, but he won't want to see the rest of the family. Even if that is the case, in the end, shouldn't our feelings and relationship come first and foremost?

I'm glad to hear your niece is supporting you as well. This is exactly what I wish the cousins would do, but since nobody will say my son and dil have acted improperly, or let their kids no how he is treating us, they all still do things together! It kills me, since I have always told my kids when one of my nieces or nephews have done something wrong, especially to their parents. It didn't prejudice my kids against their cousins, it just made them aware that what they were doing to their parents or in their life was wrong. How come we can't expect the same thing?

My hubby keeps telling me that just because we would act a certain way, doesn't me we can expect other people to do the same. But this is family, doesn't family stick together, thick and thin? The sister who is so worried about my son being angry at her, is also worried that what if my son & dil get mad at the cousins and won't see them? She thinks how awful that would be. However, in my opinion, if my son does isolate himself to that degree, it may have more of an impact on his waking up and seeing the real picture. Perhaps one of his cousins, or all of them could express that it doesn't need to be this way, that he should be able to have all his family in his life. Am I wrong here?

I am so confused with how our famililes have treated us over this, I really don't know what to think. Some times, I'd just like to isolate myself from all of them.

Has anyone else suffered in the marriage department over this issue? I really feel that this is taking a toll on our marriage. If I talk too much about it, I get accused of sounding like a broken record! I have never said anything that degrading to things my husband has wanted to talk about...ever! I told him this to his face the other day because I just couldn't believe how he was treating my feelings. I told him that I can't walk away and pretend it's gone and I don't care anymore. Men and woman are completely different, and my husband is much happier never talking about our son, and being angry. I know he is deeply hurt and angry, but he handles it so differently than I do. I wonder if I'll ever feel better?

I can relate to what you say Ginny, as far as, why do we keep holding on? Even if we were to get back together again, it won't be the same.

Garden60, I live in Chicago! We aren't that far from each other, maybe if we stay in touch, we can get together someday?

Anniebal


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Ginny, your post brings up many feelings insdie of me. I can hear my son finding my post someday and claiming I was doing the same thing as your daughter did to you. Even if you were visiting her site daily, what would be so weird about that? Your her mother, and you never see her anymore. Do they think that we turn on and off our feelings like they have? They won't know until they have kids, and those kids turn around and hurt them, just how it feels to be a mom and a parent. One never scores the touchdown or spikes the football who is a parent, we never reach the endzone! I love that analogy which is from the movie Parenthood. I've always remembered it, so obviously it made a big impact on me. There are no truer words either, especially for moms.

I feel so badly for you with how your daughter denigrated you, and warned the entire family about you doing something that you didn't & would never do. Do you think anyone was actually ever warned? Did anyone ever contact you from your family regarding her warning, perhaps she never actually sent them?

When you mentioned how upset she was about you getting her phone number, or knowing it, when all along it is posted on her website, it reminds me of my son. About 5 wks ago I sent my son an e-card telling him I loved him. I thought (foolishly,) that he might send me just a short email telling me he loved me back, but no such thing. A week later I called him at the new office he was working at (which I learned about through his younger brother.) I knew it was a big office bldg and that the calls would probably be put through a switchboard. I was hoping this was the case since then he wouldn't know it was me calling (since he screens my calls of course!) I called him, but my timing was terrible. I picked the lunch hour (duh!) and so I decided to leave him a very short message. My message was low key, actually sad, and I simply stated that I was surprised I didn't hear something from him telling me he loved me too after the e card I sent him. I also stated that I wondered if he still had a heart? Later that day I got a very angry e-mail from him asking just how I got his number at his new office?!! What, does he think his business is unlisted? It wouldn't be a very good company if it was! He scolded me for calling him at work, and told me to never do that again, and to never leave him 'that' type of message again, ever. It was interesting when he emphasized 'that' type of message, since it was not angry, yelling, crying, it was simply in a sad voice. He had the nerve to sign it with love and his name! As if I believe for one minute right now anyways, that he has any love for me. If there is love, it is buried so deep he doesn't even know it exists! I certainly found the phone thing interesting between you and your daughter, and me and my son.

I think I stated a while back that my son admitted to me when he was a jr or sr in highschool that he was jealous of his kid brother growing up. His younger brother has had type 1 diabetes since age 3, which requires daily rituals like no other, especially when they are that young. As good a mom as I know I was, there is no way I could give equal time with his brother having that medical condition. I told my son when he mentioned it that I understood how he must have felt, and that his feelings were very normal (which I know they were.)

I feel my estragned son also needs lots of attention, and his mother certainly gave it to him. There were too many times that I didn't say I couldn't do something because he wanted to do it right then. It didn't matter (most of the time,) what I was doing. I would re-arrange everything, drop what I was doing just to please him. I knew he would get his nose out of joint easily, and then hold a pouty grudge if I didn't go when he wanted. I did it because I loved him, but I didn't see the damage it was doing by allowing him to control me like he did. Still, we had a very tight relationship, or so I thought.

It's interesting hearing you say Imaginny, that you don't know who your daughter is anymore. Actually, it's good to hear someone say that because the other night on facebook, I found my niece had posted pictures of a party she had had with her cousins in February. One of the pics included my niece with my son and his wife. I used to melt when I saw my son's smile, since it could literally light up a room. Yet, when I looked at it, I felt strangely disconnected. I know how much I love him, since I cry and think about him all the time, yet there is something gone now. I doubt whatever is missing, that I'll ever get it back again. Things have changed now, and as they say, you can't put back the hands on a clock. I almost felt guilty for my lack of feeling over seeing him in the picture. Maybe it's a self protection mechanism, since this is so extremely painful for all of us. Eventually one has to put up a shield or they could literally go mad.

I wonder if your daughter doesn't have borderline personality disorder? That sounds closer to the signs she is exhibiting then bi-polar, but you would know more than I.

I have a niece who had bi-polar but she acted completely different. In fact, it was so elaborate I could never even attempt to explain it here. She went into an entire fantasy where she made up things about herself, about how famous she was getting, all this money she was making, etc.etc. until her parents found out it was all a ruse. Mind you, this went on for 2 years! Though we were suspicious a few times (me, hubby & brother,) we never thought it was all made up. She caused her parents to have to declare bankruptcy because of her pretend lifestyle. To me, it almost sounded more psychotic then bi-polar, but, they said it was bi-polar and have treated her accordingly ever since. I'm not convinced however that I got the whole, true story regarding her condition. However, she is married now, with 2 sons, and appears very happy & normal other than some medical problems she is currently having. I don't notice anything strange in her mental area.

Garden60, I am glad that you've re-thought your impulse to send him a card, or message. Now be prepared to tell me the same thing next month when I start tinkering about how I should send my son a card! I'm not kidding either, since I know it will be difficult.

You are so lucky that your family stood up for you all right away. Ours is just coming around to supporting us outwardly now. Up to this point my son & dil have had the nerve to show up to every family get together, treat us like dirt, and carry on with our brothers and sisters! You'd think just one of our relatives would have called and talked to him, or let him know he wasn't welcome over when we were there. It took me being very hurt in February attending my bil's party to set my siblings on the right path. I told them right out that I'd never be in that position again, and if they want us to come they won't invite our son. My hubby's side has gotten the same message. You know, one of our sisters seems more concerned that he continue liking her, then she is about the relationship we have with him! Wouldn't she think that it's more important that he like us? So she is thinking that if they don't include them to get togethers where we are at, and if they get angry at them for it, that they will never forgive them. She thinks that we'll reconcile, but he won't want to see the rest of the family. Even if that is the case, in the end, shouldn't our feelings and relationship come first and foremost?

I'm glad to hear your niece is supporting you as well. This is exactly what I wish the cousins would do, but since nobody will say my son and dil have acted improperly, or let their kids no how he is treating us, they all still do things together! It kills me, since I have always told my kids when one of my nieces or nephews have done something wrong, especially to their parents. It didn't prejudice my kids against their cousins, it just made them aware that what they were doing to their parents or in their life was wrong. How come we can't expect the same thing?

My hubby keeps telling me that just because we would act a certain way, doesn't me we can expect other people to do the same. But this is family, doesn't family stick together, thick and thin? The sister who is so worried about my son being angry at her, is also worried that what if my son & dil get mad at the cousins and won't see them? She thinks how awful that would be. However, in my opinion, if my son does isolate himself to that degree, it may have more of an impact on his waking up and seeing the real picture. Perhaps one of his cousins, or all of them could express that it doesn't need to be this way, that he should be able to have all his family in his life. Am I wrong here?

I am so confused with how our famililes have treated us over this, I really don't know what to think. Some times, I'd just like to isolate myself from all of them.

Has anyone else suffered in the marriage department over this issue? I really feel that this is taking a toll on our marriage. If I talk too much about it, I get accused of sounding like a broken record! I have never said anything that degrading to things my husband has wanted to talk about...ever! I told him this to his face the other day because I just couldn't believe how he was treating my feelings. I told him that I can't walk away and pretend it's gone and I don't care anymore. Men and woman are completely different, and my husband is much happier never talking about our son, and being angry. I know he is deeply hurt and angry, but he handles it so differently than I do. I wonder if I'll ever feel better?

I can relate to what you say Ginny, as far as, why do we keep holding on? Even if we were to get back together again, it won't be the same.

Garden60, I live in Chicago! We aren't that far from each other, maybe if we stay in touch, we can get together someday?

Anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Anniebal - your message had so much of what I think all of us mothers are feeling. As my sister once said, there is something about that ambilical cord that forms a different relationship with a child than a father's relationship with that child. Men and women are truly different in situations like this.

Our minister gave a sermon one Sunday on when men feel stress or pain, they retrieve to their cave (i.e. garage) but women retreat to Starbucks to talk with friends. How true is that?

I told my husband one time I wanted to just sell everything and move to Texas. He didn't like that idea and said to stop rehashing what could have happened because he feels no matter what we did or didn't do, the outcome would be the same since our DIL is such a nasty person. He also keeps telling me to stop trying to think of ways to connect with our son, that one day he will be back. But I also feel it will never be the same - and it shouldn't because they are now adults - but it should be better when they become adults and I don't see that happening.

Right from the beginning when my son would send me nasty emails, I would forward them to my sister and her adult children and ask their advice, or when my DIL would call demanding money, etc., again I would talk with my sister and she would in turn talk with her kids. My one nephew sent me an email saying "I don't know what's wrong with him; why doesn't he get his head out of his @$$ and start acting like an adult." I don't know what I would do without the support of my sister and husband and my niece and nephews.

YOur situation is different because your family really has no clue about how badly he is treating you. I don't think my family would believe me if I hadn't forwarded the emails he wrote me - in his own words they saw a changed person.

I would love to get together sometime. We all need to keep reminding each other that we need to stop trying to make contact and move on with our life. If and when I ever do hear from my son, I am going to use my "cheery" voice and just talk about how busy we have been, how much fun my husband and I are having, etc. - let him hear we aren't just pining away our lives waiting for his return.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

anniebal, In answer to your question about whether anyone in the family saw my daughter's warnings, I suspect that few saw them. At first I thought that there must be many cousins and aunts and uncles visiting her site and reading all of these messages that she was writing about her angry feelings towards her father (my ex), her stepmother, and me. Later I realized that there might be very few if any family reading it. No one ever contacted me. Although if anyone had, I would have been surprised because my ex has refused to talk to me since about 1986 and his family and I didn't stay in touch after I left.

About borderline personality disorder ~~ I have thought of that as a possibility. Many who have borderline personality disorder also have bipolar disorder. So there is a chance of that. Since she dislikes mental health professionals and it is VERY unlikely that she is getting any sort of regular therapy other than medications for bipolar disorder, it is unlikely that she will be diagnosed with anything other than the bipolar. I doubt that she is being seen more often than is absolutely necessary to get prescriptions to treat her moods.

Borderline personality disorder is a possibility. Her grandmother has suffered from borderline personality throughout her life and has been in treatment with psychiatrists for over fifty years. If my daughter has that disorder also, that would be something she would not want to accept as she knows how her grandmother is and would not want to accept having that condition too.

I never thought that my daughter would suffer from either bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. We don't get to choose what we inherit in terms of good things and bad things. Some of these things are treatable but when the person can't even see the problem, then it is tough to impossible to treat the problem.

As for family helping, I have been unlucky in that regard. I have tried several times during the estrangement to contact my ex to ask for his help. There is no one on my side of the family who was close to her. My ex would not reply. Until 2005 he had a relationship with her. Then things fell apart and she estranged him too. I wrote again when I heard about the estrangement from him. I asked him to contact me because I was concerned about the level of anger that she had. I thought that we could compare notes and talk about what was occurring with her and perhaps do something together to help her and/or each other. But he would not reply. If he loved her, then I thought that he would put aside his anger towards me and want to work together to do something to resolve what was occurring.

In his case I think he found himself in a conflict between his wife and his daughter and he chose his wife. I am sure that his wife has a lot of thoughts and feelings about my daughter as the DIL from Hades. My daughter and her stepmother seem to have quite an undying hatred for each other.

I agree that having a supportive family could be helpful. In my case I didn't have any options there due to a divorce over twenty years ago. Although I really don't know if anyone has any influence over my daughter. Over time she has cut herself off from more relatives. She is forty-one now. Someone in their twenties has more likelihood of change. By the time someone is in their forties, their personalities and attitudes are probably much harder to change ~~~ unless they really really want to change.

Ginny


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I'm amazed at all of the posts. As soon as I find the time and feel a little better, I'll read each in its entirety. I appreciate so much the prayers and words of encouragement from each of you. The services were yesterday and yes, daughter and SIL sat next to us behind the curtain with other family members. However, they did not greet any guests and only spoke to those who approached them. My daughter was extremely cold, as was the SIL. I don't remember who said it, but someone wrote in a post that she would only attend to alleviate her own guilt. I believe this to be true. This is going to be a long, hard adjustment for me. I have an appointment with a counselor this afternoon. I haven't been to one since the onset of my daughter's abandonment, but this has "put me over the edge." I'm bruised and battered inside. Life is just a whisp...a whisper, it's precious and gone too fast. Oh, if my daughter could comprehend that. Things would be so different.


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Gardem60, I would love for us to get together since we are in such close proximity. Maybe we could even meet half way some time since this would be about 3 hrs of driving each? Summer would be a great idea? What is your schedule like, are you working full/part time, etc??

You know we kept our families informed every time something new popped in the our lives regarding our son. It started from the time he dated up until the end of last summer. Every time we told people what she said I had done 'this time' they were shocked! They knew it was a bad situation since most of my family members (on both sides,) told me how good I was at acting on my sons wedding day. They told me how no one would have known how upset I was at the event. I saw it as the end of our relationship with our son, but I never would have guessed that it would be with him completely out of our life.

Like I said I told everyone every step of the way what new thing I had done to 'hurt her very deeply,' yet they don't seem capable of acting cool to this girl. My one SIL did give her the cold shoulder this past x-mas when my son decided not to see us but instead spend it at his grandma's with the entire side of my husbands family! This infuriated me that they allowed him to come. How much more would it hit home that he was without his family on the day if they would have refused him coming over with the way things were between him and us? This has been a huge problem for us, and I feel very let down and abandoned. It's almost as if my son is more important than we are or our feelings. Thank goodness my one SIL didn't say one word to her that day, since that is the message she and he should be getting.

Soon he will be told that he is not invited to mother's day at hubby's sisters house this year. She is struggling with this because she is the one who is so afraid he won't like her, and will be mad at her. Her feelings are really the least of my concern right now, and it is hard to even hear her state those concerns w/o getting angry.

Hubbys mom's 80th b-day is this summer and we're already making plans how to celebrate. The sis who gave dil the cold shoulder is going to send him a letter that all 3 sisters will sign stating that they are not being included because it is too hurtful for his mom and dad to be around him, and that they support our feelings in this matter. She is going to send me a copy to read before she sends it, so at least I get to see how strong of language it is. If it's too soft I plan on letting them know.

Why wasn't our families opinion effected by all the things we told them that our son & dil had done to us? Why did they continue to openly greet them never saying anything about his behavior? FTLOG, the only one who said anything at all is the nealy 80 year old grandma, and now I think she is getting snubbed by he and my dil. I don't think he is seeing her nearly as much, and that just blows my mind being that it's his grandma, and the only living grandparent he has! All she stated to him was that he should apologize to me regarding what he had said to me the night of the big blow up. Eventually he used a very low way of doing so, putting it an email reply to me sorta of like a 'oh, by the way.' My hubby said I opened the door to that, and I know he is right, but I would never have thought that that is how low my son would go.

Ginny, at least you must have some solace knowing that your daughter is probably acting this way because of her disorder, not because you did something wrong, or she just doesn't love you. I think I could accept it more if I thought he had a mental condition. My hubby and I have often talked that if we found out my dil officially has a mental disorder, we could be much more compassionate. Since I dealt heavily with this matter being raised with a mom who was withdrawn from life from the time I was 8, I certainly could sympathize with anyone I know is suffering. I did warn my kids about the mental illness (depression, etc.) that ran on my moms side so that they'd always be looking for it in case they started feeling bad. I doubt my son thinks he has a mental condition, he just thinks he is depressed because of his awful parents and the way we raised him.

Since my son is still in his 20's, I am and was hoping that family support could still help him out of his situation before it's completely beyond help. I do think it reaches a point, as with you daughter, that they are too old and have been set in this thought process too long to change.

Garden60, it's funny to hear you state that you told your husband you wanted to just pack up everything and move to Texas! I have told my husband a couple of times that I feel like I just need to move, to get away from here. Hubby always reminds me of our other son who loves and needs us deserpately. I couldn't leave my younger son, besides loving him too much, I worry so much about his continuing battle for control over his diabetes. I know that disease like the back of my hand, and he relies on me for my support and knowledge. I'm as close as it gets to knowing what it's like to have that disease. My husband traveled out of town almost every week since my kids were born. He'd be gone 3,4 and 5 days at a time, so I had to learn to manage everything myself and then teach my husband. My hubby would come to me with questions when I'd go out for the day. Of course no one who loves being a mom objects to going to any length to help their children, it is just a no brainer, or a given that we will.

Ginny, didn't your husband leave you, or was it a mutal divorce? Why is he so angry at you? I can't believe he would abandon trying to help his daughter? Like you said, you would think he'd be able to put his thoughts and differences with you aside, and work with you to help the one thing you both mutually love unconditionally. Odd.

Cornflakes, it was me who stated she would come to the funeral simply to alleviate her own guilt, I'm not happy that this is what you feel she did though. I was hoping that perhaps this would be a turn around for her, but after you told me how she acted when you were in the hospital with high blood pressure and heart rate, I thought there is no feeling left in this girl that she is aware of. It's buried so deep that she doesn't feel it anymore, and probably won't until smoething terrible happens to you. I feel this will eventually happen with my son towards me, if it hasn't already. This is why my husband & I have both agreed that if something happens to either one of us, that no matter what, he will not be allowed to attend our funeral if things have not changed for the better between us in some way. I will not have him come and being able to alleviate his own guilt for past hurts he has caused by convincing himself that all is well because he came to our funeral! It may sound cold, but that is tha place I have reached, and I won't change it.

I am so happy your going to your counselor today! It isn't going to be an immediate fix of course (since I'm still going and it has been 6 months!) however, it does help to go there and talk. I know how hard you were struggling with this and still are, but you deserve to be happy and move on with your life. You have so much love in your heart to offer, that you need to find another way to express it that appreciates your effort. I know your bruised and battered because that is exactly how I feel. I agree completely about how short life is, and have tried to express this to my son, especially when we were still talking (but arguing) over the situation last June. He either doesn't get it, or thinks I was trying to manipulate him to come back with dumping guilt on him. Of course WE ALL know how short life is, since most of us have lost our parents or other loved ones. Life experience has taught us that it's too short to let idiot things separate us, yet my son hasn't and probably won't learn that lesson until it is too late for him to do something about it. Maybe even then he won't care, since I could never ever have imagined in my wildest dream that he was capable of doing what he has.

Garden60, what began your situation again? Was it all the dil with ridiculous requests and demands? How did he insult your youngest son again, I know it was similar to how my son insulted his younger brother, but I'm too lazy to go back and look for it.

Annniebal

PS...off to take my adorable little dog that I got from an adoption shelter for a walk. Now here is an animal that is loyal to the end, and earnestly loves you for absolutely no reason other than the fact that I take care of him. He will be good therapy for me.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Wow, I'm so glad I've found this discussion again. (I had posted on the old one and then lost it when it closed up.)To make a long story short:
My estranged daughter broke up with her BF at Thanksgiving last year and moved back in with us. This was great for a while, but now she's staying out all night and not being up front with us about a lot of things. I finally told her she had to find another place to live (she's not paying rent), or quit partying. She decided to leave. My hubby and I are taking it much better this time around, we know the drill. We actually talked about it all day today and came up with our individual mantras (i.e. we did nothing to deserve this, etc) to get through it this time. We decided that after today we weren't going to dwell on it (the terrible feelings the estrangement brings) anymore and let it rule our lives the way it did last time.
I see so much commonality among the posts: feelings of guilt, confusion, hurt and anger. It isn't suppose to be this way between parents and their children, but it probably happens a lot more than we know. Normal is an illusion.
Well, I'm not going to cry in my milk this time around, but I'm still glad you guys are here.


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anniebal, In answer to your question about my ex's anger towards me, he was angry and bitter that I left him. He remarried within two years. I think if he was happy, he would forgive me for leaving him. It's been over twenty years. It is possible that his second marriage is not a particularly happy one. (He might even blame me for that ~~~ if I hadn't left, he wouldn't have had to remarry!)

We had married when we were young and were poorly matched. The marriage lasted for eighteen years because I was not smart enough and courageous enough to leave earlier. Then a friend died too young while she was married to an abusive husband. That brought home to me that we only have one life and then I gathered up the courage to make the hard decision to leave. He never has forgiven me.

cornflakes, I hope the counselor helps. That is good that you are going again. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter showed no compassion or support for you.

love2garden, Hi! Your attitude sounds quite healthy! Not crying in our milk sounds like a good idea! I doubt that I will ever be able to put my daughter out of my mind but I am able to enjoy life and get other things done and go on without this being on my mind all the time. It might not sound like that when I write here in this discussion.

Annibal, BTW I have birds instead of dogs. I have parrots. :-)

Ginny


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Our estrangement w/son escalated every time my DIL made demands on us. When she called to tell me where the groom's dinner was to be, I told her that is up to the groom's parents; when she called to tell us, and I quote, "are you going to pay for the groom's dinner or not because it will be where I want it to be, I am sick and tired of your family traditions, we don't need your sister and husband as host and hostess at our wedding, and you should give us more money for our wedding than my parents because you don't have any children at home and my parents have 2 teenagers to raise". When I told her I wanted to talk to my son about this, she said I didn't need to because he agreed with everything she said. That's when my son called, we told him his grandparents are rolling over in their graves with the way he is behaving, he said he thought they would be very proud of him (not!) and hung up on us; then sent an email to my husband, other son and me saying we were not to come to the groom's dinner, he no longer wanted his brother as his best man and we could not invite anyone to the wedding.

At Xmas my sister called him to invite them to join all of us (he knew we would be there); he left her a voicemail saying they would not be attending.

Then I sent him a hote in Jan. inviting him to have lunch and "catch up". That's when he sent the note saying he wanted no more phone calls, voicemails, emails, birthday cards, holiday cards or anything from me and he would let me know when he felt up to having a realtionship with us again.

Anniebal - regarding Mother's Day - have your SIL include in her note that you and your husband/son will be there and they would love to have him and his wife there, but that between now and then she expects him to rejoin his family and caution him that this will be a HAPPY day; no nastiness toward anyone. Really encourage her to set the tone and make him see this will be "her" day to be in charge and he needs to follow some "nice" rules.

The reason my family stuck with me is because they saw the emails from him; otherwise they would never have believed it. Just yesterday my sister told me that again.

One of the hardest things for me is that a dear friend (we were roommates, in each others weddings, etc.) has a son and daughter, both of whom were recently married, and they all have so much fun together and are all very close and the in-laws spend time with them at their lake home, etc. And she does like to rub it in to me. I find myself distancing myself from her because I just don't need to hear about their closeness all the time.

My husband was diagnosed with diagetes a year ago. We are finding it hard to understand, when he tests 3 times a day, that it doesn't seem to matter much what he has eaten or not eaten as to why sometimes the numbers are high and other times they are low. We were told raw veggies like carrots and fruit are really not that good for him, or the beef stick or cheese stick he will grab in-between meals are bad. Any advice on how he can keep his numbers more even?

Annniebal - would love to meet this summer. Yes, I work full time.

Today is my other son's birthday, the 14th is mine, and my estranged son is the 30th. This will be a tough month because my son won't be celebrating or recognizing the family birthdays with us, but I will work on embracing everyone else who loves me. Maybe if I don't acknowledge my son's birthday (like he told me not to do in his email), he will see I took him seriously and rethink his actions. I am sure both he and his wife think I will cave and send them a card (and money) for their birthdays.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

garden60,
I just kills me how sons & daughters can wipe their parents out of their lives entirely. Is that gf/bf that important that they could break their parents hearts? I will never entirely understand it.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Thanks Ginny for the response. Does your DH have high blood pressure as well as diabetes? When all this started with my daughter last year, I had borderline diabetes and high BP. I changed my diet to include everything whole wheat and high fiber. Both has dropped to safer ranges. I hope this helps...

Our daughter (22 yrs old) has been back out of the house for a week now. While she was with us, she almost stopped working altogether and was partying all the time. (She wasn't paying rent, I was washing her clothes, cooking meals, and her Dad was taking care of her dog.) I snapped when she still wasn't home by 9:00 a.m. last Saturday morning after an all nighter Friday night, so I told her to just stay where ever she was at (I text msg her cell phone - modern huh :) )
We found out that since she has to find herself a real place to live again, she's back at work full time. So if nothing else, it was worth it for that. At least for those hours she's at work, she's not partying. It's so hard because I really wanted her to do something positive with herself.
Now she's posted on her my space page that she's 'homeless'?? She does have a bit of money in the bank that she hasn't blown yet so she could have found a motel or apt by now. But I honestly thought her partying friends would have let her sleep on the couch. Anyway, I did offer for her to come back if she could straighten herself up, but no takers.
Now the hard part - sticking to my guns even though I feel awful about it. I'm really hoping that if she has to support herself she'll think twice about her freeloading friends. But in any event, I know from past experience that this is just the beginning of a long 'no talking to the parents' spell. What always surprises me is the intensity of her hatred/anger. She totally forgets absolutely everything we've done for her. Ah well, here I go ranting again, and I promised myself I wouldn't......


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

love2garden, It's garden60's husband who has diabetes. Maybe you knew that? I wasn't sure if you had me mixed up with garden60 or not.

Your daughter is so young. She may just have a lot of growing up to do. Her description of herself as homeless might be a bit of "drama". She's not so homeless that she doesn't have a Myspace page!

I think in the long run she'll respect you for not letting her continue to get away with so much. I'll bet she knows that she's been out of line and was pushing the limits.

Ginny


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Garden60, I want you to know that I am copying your letter to forward to my hubby's email! He just has to read this for himself, because it is so like my situation with our dil that it's surreal. My dil wasn't quite as nasty as yours, but she was right up there, nearly neck and neck. Yes, it is the groom's parents who get to pick the place for the rehearsal dinner as well as any plans for it. Yet, my dil also took that small part I had to play away from me, on the sly! She lied to me, & my son, and of course he bought it as he buys every single thing she tells him. It's as if he is hypnotized....or more accurately, brainwashed!

It is going to be a tough month for you! However, with your younger sons b-day now also, I would focus all your attention on him. I can't believe the way your son snubbed his brother at the wedding! My son also couldn't choose my youngest son to be his only best man, so he chose two best men! I had never heard of this, and it infuriated me that my son would not just have his younger brother be his only bestman, which is certainly usually the case. I know it was dil. In fact my son told me that dil told him that many grooms choose two best men! This is when I expressed surprise about him doing this. We had to tell our son hours before the wedding that his brother should at least be the first down the isle, and not his best friend. Imagine that we had to tell him to do that?!! At least he listened to us on that one. I'm surprised dil didn't step in and put her foot down that it wasn't going to be that way. My son still had part of his brain in his possession at that time.

The similarities between our two sons is hard to believe! I know I've said this over and over again, but I just can't get over it. There are many similarities with all of our stories to be sure, but ours is the same sex, with a younger brother, a NPD dil, etc. I imagine many of the children being talked about on this forum are NPDs too, or else their mates are. They can also have a mental illness such as Ginny's daughter.

Garden60, as far as your husband goes, here are my thoughts. I've never heard carrots or raw vegetables are not good for them! They are some of the best things they can eat, and especially in between meals since the carbohydrates are so low! Fruit has a higher carbohydrate than most veggies, so that will need to be worked into the diet, unless of course he is having a low blood sugar. If he's having a low blood sugar, that is an excellent time to have a small glass of juice followed up by a piece of fresh fruit. Fruits have a wide range of variation regarding carbohydrate too. For instance, Strawberries are very low in carbs and high in fiber. As a fruit exchange, one can have lots more strawberries than say grapes. I'd be happy to share my knowledge with you if you'd like. I've been doing this for over 20 years and know it all too well. I just wrote a person today giving them information and advice on how to handle a newly diagnosed little girl. I volunteer to do this since I remember all to well how difficult it was when our baby was diagnosed. It is my chance to help others.

A cheese stick or beef stick is certainly not a bad choice as long as it is not the snack he has every time. The biggest reason behind either of those two snack would be the fat and salt content. Protein has a very small effect on the blood sugar since it is digested very slowly, thus avoiding any spikes. In fact, when my son was very little, we would always give him a fairly high protein snack to make it through the night since it lasted so much longer than anything else. He still does this after he has worked out, or just been overly active. With all the low fat and low sodium items out there, I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't get the beef sticks with less sodium. Even if you don't, one beef stick is certainly low enough not to worry about it, it's only if he intends on sitting down and eating a handful or more that would cause concern. I know you can get low fat cheese, which would eliminate at least some of the problem.

Is your husband on insulin, or just diet? If he's on insulin, there are many things I can recommend to help his numbers improve. If he is on diet only (or using pills that boost the amount of insulin his pancreas makes,) then I can still give advice, however it's much harder making your numbers good with diet alone.

When he does have higher readings, tell him to drink plenty of water since this help flush the glucose out of his system quicker. Even modest exercise makes a huge difference, such as a stroll right after dinner, or leisurely bike ride.

Let me know some of the details and I'll be happy to give more advice. If you'd like, you could post your email and I will send you the advice that way. I do understand if you don't want to post it at this forum though. The only reason I don't want to post mine is that I'm afraid that my son would find this site by doing a search for my yahoo address. This is exactly how I found out all the information about him, and I certainly don't want him reading anything I write here. If you have an email account that is less used, such as google mail, that would be a better choice. That's entirely up to you though.

Hang in there with the difficult month you have. I think your making the right choice with the b-day card. From what I've read on this site, it doesn't seem to matter how many cards, phone calls, or other methods of communication we make, they are all rejected, ignored or not acknoweldged.

anniebal


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Anniebal - I forwarded to my husband your words on diabetes and maybe he can help me figure out a way to send you my email. I, like you, do not want to post it for the same reasons.

Reading and rereading our posts, it is so obvious that no matter what we try, i.e. calls, emails, cards, pay for the wedding, let our children live home rent free, kick them out, etc. - the outcomes are the same: they are estranged from us. While some of us have to hold their spouses partly to blame, our children are NOT blameless. In my case I think my son's wife has told him that by treating us mean he is showing us that he is an adult. She verbalized early on that she thought he was too close to his family.

Therefore, let's support each other in trying a new tactic - they don't want to hear from us, fine. They won't. With support from each other, we can work to enjoy life as it was meant to be and let them figure out why they aren't hearing from us. Like a young lady at work told me when she was estranged from her mother, when her mother would call or email, she would not answer; but when her mother stopped all communication, she wondered why and it bothered her that her mom wasn't "trying" anymore. I guess that would be called "reverse psychology".

I am going to ignore my son's b'day on 4/30, especially if he doesn't want to acknowlege mine on 4/14. Next week I have friends who want to take me to lunch to celebrate my birthday 4 out of 5 working days, my family wants to have a birthday brunch on Sunday, and I am already getting cards from other friends - so why am I not embracing all this attention and love from everyone? Because it isn't coming from my son. But I am working on getting past that.

Let's all try new tactics since our old ones don't seem to give us anything other than pain and heartache.


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Dear Ginny,
Yes I did get you confused with Garden60, sorry.
Thanks for the support, it really helps! I went back and reread your posts and found that your daughter has some of the problems mine does. When you say that you grieve, I empathize totally. I had to pack away everything that related to her (during the last estrangement period) so that I wouldn't see it on a daily basis. I want to forget, but I can't seem to, as much of my life was wrapped up raising her. How can you look back and not remember all those years? I constantly wonder what happened to the little girl I raised, where did she go (mentally), and will she ever reappear?
You mentioned bipolar. I don't really understand what that is. My daughter has a good side that is sweet, loving, and caring, but for the last eight years or so it's been totally taken over by the 'evil twin'. I don't hold out much hope of ever seeing her sweet self again. She has the capability of totally ignoring us for months on end, including holidays, and then, for no apparent reason, she'll wonder what we're getting her for her birthday. She's super critical of our non materialistic attitude/lifestyle (everything we do, we try to do on a cash only basis or not at all) She calls us hippies and not in a nice way. More recently I've begin to wonder if the sweetness we thought we saw was a fake front, lip service if you will. She can really bring on the crocodile tears when she wants to. Maybe it was all wishful thinking on our part?
How are you holding up? You mention a website about estrangement, could you tell me more? Today I have to start gathering up her things from the house and shed and putting them up front so she can come for them. This time I told her we are not going to box them up and carry them for her. Her last two moves since college we worked hard doing just that and cleaning up her filth and repairing the destruction her dog did, mostly without her help. Wow, it really helps to write this all down as a very different picture of her emerges....
We used to blame her BF as the bad influence over her. He must have been what caused the snotty attitudes, right? But they have been broken up for six months now and we're right back to square one. We have to face the reality that it's been all her, all along, not some outside influence. DH says we really should be angry at the horrible way she treats us, and maybe anger would help after all.
Well, thanks for listening....


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RE: For discussion of parent/child estrangements

Hi, everyone. Just a quick observation/opinion. Parents have a degree of control over their children. They give them guidlines that they are expected to adhere to. In short, parents become used to parenting. This control should become less and less as the child enters into adulthood. It can be very difficult for a parent to realize that they are no longer needed in the same way as they always have been, and since adulthood frequently coincides with a loving relationship with another, it becomes easy to be resentful of the one that is percieved to be the cause of the parents' sense of no longer feeling needed. The association is made. A newcomer to a family can also feel resentment if their loved one's parents question the abilities of a newly-formed relationship to thrive by offering too many uncalled-for opinions.
I think that little resentments snowball and the son or daughter is then feels stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to keep peace.
Your relationship with your son/daughter/parent/in/laws should evolve into a different, but no less loving one.
Make allowances for mistakes in this new learning process.
Just my opinion and hoping better times are ahead for all


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