Return to the Parents Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Blinded fault ?

Posted by khandi (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 21, 08 at 18:55

Was not sure what to post as a subject.

I've had this thought several times and have been wondering about it. How some parents are actually at fault for the estrangement but don't even realize it. In their opinion, they did nothing wrong and it's ALL their kids fault!

Example, my aunt's kids all moved far away from her as soon as they could and don't "go out of their way" to call her or visit her. They treat her like they would a stranger. She has no idea why. Has no idea that all her yelling, screaming, and slaps during their "growing up" years have actually had an effect on them and this is why they don't want her in their lives. It was emotional abuse!

Unfortunately, my sister has done the same thing to her kids. When I mentioned to her about how she yells all the time (even to her dog!), she denied it. Everyone in the family knows how much she yells. Her yelling has pushed all her family (husband and kids) away from her. Her youngest son is so full of anger that he's slowing destroying his life with drugs and alcohol. Her other child moved to another city and talks about how her mom's yelling has emotionally scarred her.

How could both these women not see how these estrangements are actually their fault? When you tell them why, they deny it and don't see what the "big deal" is... they don't see the emotional abuse they caused.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

The same reason that the children don't see that they've caused the estrangement, they are oblivious to their actions. The two mothers you mentioned don't see how awful they treat their kids or other family members, to them it is all just normal.

Kids that are estranged from their parents can also think that they are so right, or have committed no wrongs. I know this is a bit of a generalization but many kids I feel look to the parents to make things right. However, when one is dealing with injustice collectors it doesn't matter how much we seek to make things better, some new thing always develops that they are unhappy about. I could literally spend my life apologizing for crimes I didn't commit. I don't mind giving, but walking on broken glass gets very old.

anniebal


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Khandi, I was so sorry to read your post. I think the difference for me is that parents are responsible for ensuring their children get the basics:
LOVE
FOOD
SHELTER
EDUCATION

While children may also reject their parents, cause estrangements, and not appreciate their parents, and not respect their parents, and not accept their parents into their adult lives, it's a completely different situation than when a parent rejects a child.

SOME parents are genuinely kind, and get adult children who walk all over them. I'm truly sorry for those parents who are doing their best and get rejected. I know this happens.

BUT! In my personal experience it is more often the parents who don't act responsibly and then wonder why their adult children don't like or respect them. They can say "I did all I could" and "it's not my fault" 'till the cows come home. At the end of the day, there is a reason for a person who used to love you unconditionally, want to "be" you, want to "marry you", want to "live with you forever" to not want to even see you or talk with you anymore. (The quotes are either things I've heard from people, or feelings others have expressed that they used to feel)


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silversword,
I can see why you may be of the opinion that some/all (?) parents are responsible for their children no longer wanting a relationship with them...that is a common thought among those who "haven't been there." It's been said many, many times on several of the posts (yes, and that includes me) but I know that it is hard to understand that loving, nurturing, giving parents are estranged from their children, but I can promise you that it happens and according to all of these mothers who are hurting, it happens a lot.
That is why they (and I) share our story-we are seeking support from one another...and I personally think that to suggest any of these mothers must have done or said something to make their child (or children) choose this situation is cruel...read their stories....They are not vengeful, bad mothers or they wouldn't have the pain in their heart that they carry every day...
Please, be open to explore ideas that are new and you haven't experienced with a mind that is open as opposed to one which only can empathize/understand that which it has experienced. I think you will find that as we all experience life our views change and experience is a really good teacher.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat, you wrote... "I can see why you may be of the opinion that some/all (?) parents are responsible for their children no longer wanting a relationship with them...that is a common thought among those who "haven't been there."

In writing the (?) you seem to be confused as to what my opinion actually is. I made it clear that in my experience, "it is more often the parents who don't act responsibly and then wonder why their adult children don't like or respect them."

This is in my experience. Not a world-wide, set-in-stone rule. I do understand that, as you wrote... "loving, nurturing, giving parents are estranged from their children." That's why I wrote..."SOME parents are genuinely kind, and get adult children who walk all over them. I'm truly sorry for those parents who are doing their best and get rejected. I know this happens."

I do listen to their stories, and I do sympathize. But I never hear these parents saying anything about how they may be responsible. It's always that they were the best parents, gave them everything, and that their children don't appreciate that.

"I personally think that to suggest any of these mothers must have done or said something to make their child (or children) choose this situation is cruel"

So, you think I'm cruel? Because I'm suggesting that things can't always be "I was a loving mom, and I have no idea what happened?" and that there must be a reason? I didn't say that the (hypothetical) reason was a valid one, just that children don't go from idolizing their "perfect" parents to not wanting anything to do with them for no reason. SOMETHING must have happened. For some, they blame it on the spouse of the child. I have acknowledged that this can be a valid reason. But I have asked why a child who was raised under "perfect" conditions would end up not wanting anything to do with their "loving, nurturing, giving parents".

Could it be that the parent is prejudiced? Or is it only ok on this forum to discuss the children being damaged, not the way that parents damage their children?

"Please, be open to explore ideas that are new and you haven't experienced with a mind that is open as opposed to one which only can empathize/understand that which it has experienced. I think you will find that as we all experience life our views change and experience is a really good teacher."

I feel that I am open. You, on the other hand, I feel, are not. You say that I need an open mind, but you are not willing to open your mind to my opinion, which is that there must be a reason. There must be a reason, and as Khandi wrote "When you tell them why, they deny it and don't see what the "big deal" is... they don't see the emotional abuse they caused."

This is exactly my point. A lot of times (IN MY EXPERIENCE) parents do not want to, will not, or cannot acknowledge that they may be responsible for the estrangement. People, sane, aware, responsible people, do not estrange themselves from their family without a reason. One that, again in my experience, is usually not seen by anyone else because the parent is very good at keeping up their facade. So the parent says "why me" and the child says "I've had enough". And the cycle goes on...

"Please, be open to explore ideas that are new and you haven't experienced with a mind that is open as opposed to one which only can empathize/understand that which it has experienced. I think you will find that as we all experience life our views change and experience is a really good teacher."

I feel that statement is very condescending. Please don't patronize me. I cannot understand fully what a parent who is estranged from their child is feeling because I have not experienced that. But I feel I am sympathetic, and make my sympathy known, even as I am disagreeing and asking questions.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Silver,

Since you obviously have no problems, why are you even on this board? We are here to support one another, not to be judged by them. It seems to me that those who have no problems in their life in this area could/would find better ways to spend their time. Is our pain THAT entertaining to you? Just a thought.

kmttsmom


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silversword,
Know what? I think I do know why these children are estranged from their mother! Want to know-because they are HEADSTRONG and want everything they're way-they have no respect for their elders, much less their mother. We gave them too much. Yah, I think I was bad, I worked much too hard, I was there whenever one of my children spoke they needed me in the least, drove hundreds of miles and some in the middle of the night. I went to parts of town by myself where no one other than a mother would be in the middle of the night to try and find my child. I knew one was in danger and I went. That is love-love like all of these women have for their children. I didn't measure it because I didn't have to it was and is in my heart, and for you to say we need to look and see what we did wrong. Well, perfect I am not, but neither are you...Not in this life. And if you will look closely at your relationship with your parents and analyze everything they did that you can call them on-well go for it and break their hearts. Unfortunately when you do they will then realize what a bad job they did raising you for you to turn out to be such a heartless woman. Go ahead and batter, you must really be in need of an excuse for your behavior. I just bet you have hurt them also and probably in ways you don't even know about. Blame is a great game and if you want to play just find yourself some partners to play with, but I am telling you they are not on this site. We have had all of the crazy-ness we can handle so go peddle your "insights" some where else, Because we are all stocked up! Not one of us ever had perfect parents (like you obviously) so what! GET OVER IT and GROW UP. If you become a parent you are going to experience failure-I'd put money on it. You rip and rip and rip and then expect one of us to sympathize with you? And enjoy your enlightening insights? You have got to be kidding-There are so many people on here trying to help one another-support one another in our sorrow...Yes, I am sure you will be one wonderful mother you have shown all of us how understanding you are. If you would have read posts from other topics dealing with this subject you would have seen how we have explored, gone to therapy, begged, pleaded and just about lost not only our minds,hearts and souls but often come close to losing our life because this pain is so deeply cut into our hearts that the bleeding won't stop. This is how we are trying to get better by supporting each other-you have got to see that-so why, why, why are you drilling away at us? What do you want? Why? Here some advise you'll probably resent but I am telling you this to help you...try and figure out what is really hurting you and work on dealing with it. I think you've got a lot more issues on your plate than the importance of giving someone advise on something that you've never even experienced. Read kmttsmom's post above again-she hit it right on the nail.
OH, and I am surely not patronizing you- in fact in case you didn't notice I didn't hint either!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

"Since you obviously have no problems, why are you even on this board?"

Probably because this is a PARENT board... we are all free to be here!

There is a separate estrangement board for those of you who need to commiserate about that particular subject....

silversword, you cannot win here!

khandi, I have thought the same myself!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Kmttsmom,
You are judging me. I have read and responded to your posts, but you have obviously never read any of mine because otherwise you would not have made this hurtful and ignorant statement:

"Silver, Since you obviously have no problems, why are you even on this board? We are here to support one another, not to be judged by them...Is our pain THAT entertaining to you? Just a thought.kmttsmom"

Maybe your daughter doesn't want to see you because you only look at things through one side, your side. And then you reject her when she has an opinion and accuse her of being entertained by your pain. Just a thought.

And thank you, Luann, for saying it more eloquently than I possibly could.

This is a parents forum, open to the public. I'm not here to support nor be supported. This is not a support group. If someone is in need one of those they should probably go somewhere else instead of recommending others leave. Who are you to say what everyone is here for? I'm here to discuss topics that are relevant to me.

I think Khandi had a really good point, and we are discussing her thoughts on this thread. If you don't agree with Khandi, or anyone else's opinion Kmtts, why don't you post your thoughts on that instead of attacking me?


 o
RE: Misplaced Anger

Hi Straycat,

You miss the whole point of my post, which does not attack anyone, simply questions the logic of estranged parents in general, and you personally attack me once again.

You accuse me of "rip and rip and rip" tactics and of "drilling away" at you.

You say that my parents did "a bad job" raising me.
You say that I am "a heartless woman".

You accuse me of playing the "blame game" and tell me to "go peddle (my) insights somewhere else" because youve had all the "crazy-ness" you can handle.

I never said anything negative about you. I am stating my experience on a topic which is very clear. I think it is you who is out of line. If you want sympathy, go to another post, one which you indicate I should have read, that is focused on re-hashing how hurt you are, not on one that was created to discuss the seemingly incapability of some mothers to look to themselves and their actions to see where they might have caused the issues they are going through.

I will say it again:
"People, sane, aware, responsible people, do not estrange themselves from their family without a reason. One that, again in my experience is usually not seen by anyone else because the parent is very good at keeping up their facade."

You are intent on reiterating what a good mother you are because you were there for your children. I think that is a marker for a good parent indeed. But, once again, you do not consider the possibility that you may have any hand in this estrangement.

As Khandi said "some parents are actually at fault for the estrangement but don't even realize it. In their opinion, they did nothing wrong and it's ALL their kids fault!"

You tell me that you "think (I've) got a lot more issues on (my) plate than the importance of giving someone advise on something that (I've) never even experienced."

I have experienced estrangement. Im not giving advice. Im responding to the OP, stating my opinion and Im asking questions.

You are demonstrating my hypothesis. You are not looking toward yourself; you are lashing out at me and hurling insults.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Silver,

Here is my response to your latest post:

"blah, blah, blah" post anything you want, from now on I will simply scroll right past it and keep on going. I don't have time for this.

kmttsmom

PS: you might as well not respond, cause I won't be reading it anyway.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Good job-Kmttsmom!
As a said on another one of the site she posts on-ignore her-!Go girl!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Kmttsmom, Straycat, if this is any indication of how the two of you communicate with your children I can understand why there would be problems. It's obvious that the two of you do not actually want to discuss what the OP was talking about, so I respect your decision to ignore what is posted here.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Again, I am sorry Silver-This cat gets her claws out when she knows someone is hurting and boy do I know the hurt. You too are hurting, and I didn't see it at first. You've been through a lot too and I am sorry if I hurt you.
I'll relax and purr now...
sorry...


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

My goodness, why some people are so quick to attack others because they don't like what they post!!! Just this "fact" speaks volumes!

Straycat - I think I do know why these children are estranged from their mother! Want to know-because they are HEADSTRONG and want everything they're way-they have no respect for their elders, much less their mother...etc.

My niece is a very kind, loving, warm, respectful, hardworking person. She chooses not to have her mother (my sister) in her life anymore because it "destroys" her. My niece has given her mom many chances BECAUSE it's her mom! But my sister just can't seem TO GET IT!! My sister has this NEED to CONTROL everyone and everything in her life. She just can't seem to butt out of things that are none of her business. A few of us have tried explaining this to her, but, to her, she's doing nothing wrong.

Don't get me wrong. My sister has always been loving, caring, kept a clean home, hot meals on the table when they came home from school, etc. It was the yelling and screaming that was abusive and what eventually destroyed her relationship with her kids and husband. Like my niece once told me and my mother.... "My mom may have never hit me but she was verbally abusive and she doesn't see that."


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Khandi,
"My mom may have never hit me but she was verbally abusive and she doesn't see that."

Your niece sounds like she went through something similar to what I went through. My mother was and is seen as a great mother. Heck, she was a good mother. She fed me, she gave me a roof over my head, I had clean clothes and activities to do. I always went to school, and she took me to the library and the beach religiously.

She also would go on screaming rages that were abusive and completely out of control. I did not feel safe with her. I have diagnosed her with NPD as she does not seem to understand why what she is doing is not working. Other people in the family are to blame for what has happened. Always it is the fault of others. She has a serious issue with allowing people a different opinion. She will talk over anyone, she always has a story to prove her point, and she will just drill into you until you say you give up. She is very insecure, very passive-aggressive. And very smart, funny, charming, loving, kind. I love my mother, very much. But I don't like her very much at all.

As Straycat said "headstrong... want(s) everything (her) way...no respect...". She hit the nail on the head, except it's my mother I'm talking about, not my child.
Other people who knew the dynamic personally have told me as an adult that they felt so sorry for me as a kid because of her treatment of me. But what could they do? She was a "good" mother.

For a long time I was sucked into her little drama, starring MOM! and best supporting actress... SILVER!!!! Yayayayayayay! And then I realized, no, we don't always agree, no, I don't think this is right, no, mom, you are not my "best" friend. Actually, I don't even like you. Wait, what? Nope, that's really how I feel. Big sigh of relief. It's ok to love someone and not like them. It's ok to pull away and lead your own life. It's ok to not spend holidays with your parents, siblings, etc. That's why this stage of your life is called being a "grown-up".

Is it the very best solution? No. I wish I could go over to my mother's house and she'd just drive me mildly crazy with questions on my family and wanting to babysit. Or just see one another for holidays (she doesn't celebrate them, always gave me trouble with me celebrating them) Or just invite me on a trip every once in a while. Or ask me to cat-sit. But with my mother it's a full body intrusion. No middle ground. Either stuck together, or not on the same side.

Deep breath. Exhale. It's ok. It's ok to not be her mini-me. It's ok to not want to continue the abuse. It's ok to love and not like. It's ok to be thankful that she gave me life, but not feel like I owe her mine in return. She is an adult. She had a child on purpose because she wanted one. She raised me, and now I am on my own. This is the cycle of life. Nowhere in the lawbooks does it say you have to love your parents. Moral compass guides like the bible say to honor them. I have, and I will continue to honor her. But nowhere does it say I must succumb to her abuse.

The interesting aspect of this thread, and others on the estrangement topic, is the unwillingness of some to consider the other side, and the speed in which they blame, insult, and harangue other posters who disagree with them or question their motives and then expect their completely out of line behavior to be forgiven and forgotten on the basis of one post. It speaks volumes about interpersonal relationships and is a good indicator of how those relationships have deteriorated.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Again, apologies have been issued. The olive branch has been extended. One can either accept or continue to harp on the subject. It's a choice.

Respectfully yours,
kmttsmom


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Silversword - what is NPD?

We just recently found out that my aunt is bipolar. My mother often questions whether or not my sister is too!

The part that really gets me is that my sister is doing the same thing to her grandchild who is 2. She just yells NO. That's it. No explanation why it's "no" so that the child doesn't do it again. Her son and the child's mother are not together, so my sister gets to babysit her grandchild whenever she wants. When the child was about a year and a half, she was playing with the curtains at my place. My sister kept yelling NO. After her doing this several times, I tried explaining to the child that curtains were not to be played with and what their purpose was for. My sister told me... and I quote..."You have to yell at her in a stern voice." What the heck???? I couldn't believe my ears!!!

I told my mother that my sister shouldn't be babysitting her grandchild cuz she has no patients and is doing the same thing as she did to her own kids.

When I once explained to her about how a person should always explain to a child the reason(s) why they couldn't do/touch something so that the child could LEARN, she AGREED!! How can she agree and still fail to do it??


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silversword
".....it speaks volumes about interpersonal realtionships and is a good incator of how those realtionships have deteriorated".........
Thank you silversword for pointing out why I deserve to live my life without my children. I can never thank you enough-please excuse me now while I die.
Good luck to you.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

straycat - Why do you attack her so much? Seems it doesn't matter what she says, you are on the defensive ALL THE TIME!! Do you take EVERYTHING to heart? Do you think EVERYTHING is aimed at you? Man, you need to change your attitude because your angry, rude, attacking posts are starting to really show the true colors of your personality. Sorry, but I've had enough of your attacks. If you don't like what is posted, move on!!!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

khandi-
what did I say?
I told her "thank-you " and now I will also tell you thank-you. You have both made it very clear to me why I am in the situation I am with my own children, and I agree-and now I realize "no wonder my children hate me so much."
I am not being angry, rude, or attacking" I am serious.
Thank-you. I do take this to heart-it is serious-very serious.
I am a total failure- I was saying I am now just ready to throw it all in...I got what I deserve. I realize that I am not only worthless to my children but to the world. ...some people supported me and I thanked them on another post, but they were wrong and you and silver are right. I was a bad mother, and I am a bad person.
I am so stupid that I actually thought I wrote a nice note to Silver-see what a dope I am-total loser. As a mother and as a person. I have nothing and that is what I deserve, and I am tired. tired of trying to be worthy-just tired of hurting inside. I have a big hole where my heart used to me and now I am not going to try anymore. It's hopeless...I quit.
I won't be around tomorrow, or anytime after
So, Peace to everyone and I wish you all the best.
stray


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat,

I am not sure if you will return to read this or not, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Sometimes jabbing the knife into those who are already hurting simply isn't enough for some people. They take great pleasure in turning the knife (very slowly and mercilessly) as well.

There is no "forgive, forget, and move on" with some people.

My opinion concerning this behavior is that, "It speaks volumes about interpersonal relationships and is a good indicator of how those relationships have deteriorated."

Your kindered spririt,
kmttsmom

PS: There is no reason to leave the board. Do what I do, use the scroll key. What you don't read can't hurt you. :)


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

khandi- I feel sorry for your sisters grandchild. It is the parents responsibility to decide what quality of care they want for their child though. And if they are happy with the way she treats the child you can only keep stating the obvious. A life long yelling habit isn't going to be resolved because she agreed with you once. Count on putting in more time if your committed to helping her get unstuck from that thinking.

Maybe you could give your sister some books or articles that deal with positive ways to interact with children. It sounds like she was just making conversation when she agreed with you. Are there things she does right with the child that are positive and effective/loving? I hope so. You could commend her on those things and the next time she does the excessive yelling point out the different effects the two styles have on the child. You can disipline without simply shouting "No!"

You say you told your mom your feelings about your sisters treatment of her grandchild. The parents are the ones you need to communicate with. Are they aware of how she is with the 2 yr old?


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Khandi,
NPD is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I've attached a link so you can look at some of the things it describes. There is also a thread on here, if you do a search, where a lot of people discuss their experiences with people with NPD.

Here is a link that might be useful: NPD


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Organic_brice - Are there things she does right with the child that are positive and effective/loving? I hope so.

Yes, there is. The child's mother isn't around to see the yelling cuz my sister gets her grandchild on her weekends off.

My sister also has several health issues and is holding down a job. She's had somewhat of a hard life... getting married very young, husband that wasn't really there for her, etc. I really don't think she realizes her yelling because she's too preoccupied with her own problems and has no patience whatsoever.

Silverword - thanks for the link. Will check it out.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

No problem Khandi. It appears many parents don't want to look at the possibility that they contributed to the situation they're now finding themselves in. It's a lot easier to be the victim than an active participant in a relationship.

I completely understand what you mean about your sister and "NO". I have a friend like that. She just yells with no explaination at her kids. It's really hard to be around. But she thinks her parenting skills are fine. When I posted about that, it seems most people thought it was her husband's fault because she was overworked and wasn't getting support. What I have to say about that is that women have been having children without a husband around the house all day for longer than dads have been actively involved, and the kids turned out very well behaved. While the father is responsible for his children too, her parenting skills are in desperate need of an overhaul.

And, her children will grow up and have issues too, same as we all do. And she will say she has no earthly idea what she could have done to make her children not want to be around her. It pains me to be around her when she screams like that. I see the looks on the kids faces. I try to explain to them why, same as you did, but she keeps screaming because that's what she knows how to do. She's not willing to look at the idea that there might be a different way of parenting, and that the way she is parenting may have an effect she will later regret.

"I really don't think she realizes her yelling because she's too preoccupied with her own problems and has no patience whatsoever."

That's exactly it with my friend too. She has no idea that she is excessively yelling. It's perfectly natural to her because this is her pattern that she has set for herself. She also married very young, and has emotional problems.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

When it is all said and done, the eternal human principle remains: people gravitate towards that which is pleasurable, and away from that which is painful.

The decision to cut off a parent comes when the pain of contact is greater than the pain of no contact.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

I think you might find this study published in "Divorce & Remarriage" journal interesting. It states "without cause."

http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/dunne.htm

stray


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

to assert that people gravitate to what is pleasurable and away from what is painful and therefore that's why adult children enstrange their parents is just an outrageous oversimplification. what about those individuals who exhibit sadistic tendacies where they derive pleasure from negative consequences. there are adult children who enstrange their parents only because it makes them feel good (in a dysfunctional way) to cause their parents pain. there are adult children who derive great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction that a parent is getting "exactly what they deserve". these adult children want to teach their parents a lesson. oh and how justified, self righteous and entittled these adult children feel in their persecution, it makes them feel good, and yes vindicated that they aren't going to "take it" anymore. how unfortunate it is that they've used their lives to punish the very people who brought them into this world.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

"The decision to cut off a parent comes when the pain of contact is greater than the pain of no contact."

How do you then explain the children who have been truly abused and they crave a relationship with their parents?

How do you define "pain"? Are there some "painful" parts of a relationship that you tolerate as they are only "painful" on a scale of 1 to 10 at a 2.. and you just accept them.. since acceptance of people is important in order to have a relationship? and.. no one is perfect?

Is life truly "pain free"?

i don't know.. i think that the whole issue here .. at least for me.. is that if i caused "pain".. I would like the opportunity to address that... I haven't gotten that opportunity.

I can assure you that what beginnerseye said is absolutely true... my husband and my daughter were at a local restaurant this past weekend. They walked in and my DIL and ES were sitting at the counter. My husband touched him on the shoulder, said Hello and my daughter didn't see them at first, so my husband said.. tell your brother hello. They didn't speak to my husband, and barely to my daughter.. she is 11. After they sat down, my daughter .. who hasn't seen her brother in a yr and 1/2 wanted desperately to go back and talk to him. She did while waiting for the food. She said she told them about horseback riding and they asked about school. She said they didn't say anything personal to her and she was so disappointed that there was not any sort of "caring' on their part. Then when they were leaving..she went back to say goodbye to them and they were already out the door. She was devastated.. she said goodbye and they threw a goodbye to her over their shoulders...
so is there any responsibility on their part? or is pain of contact with your 11 yr old sister just too much...
never mind just plain rude...


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

"How do you then explain the children who have been truly abused and they crave a relationship with their parents?"

The pain of leaving those abusive relationships is greater than the pain of staying.

Pain is defined by the person who feels it. It's subjective and individual. Of course life isn't pain free. But people get to choose their 'poison', and estrangement happens when staying in a relationship hurts more than leaving it.

Of course you'd like to address the issue if someone feels you've caused them pain. But they may not give you the opportunity because again, they feel it's only inviting more pain into their lives.

I'm very sorry your little girl is suffering because of the estrangement. Very sorry.

"what about those individuals who exhibit sadistic tendacies where they derive pleasure from negative consequences."

Who raised those individuals to so lack empathy? In some cases, I will accept that they are 'made wrong' and are psychopathic. In my extended family, there is someone who is psychopathic and his behavior even as a child was disquieting. If your child estranges you for his own pleasure in your pain because of psychopathy, you are lucky you are estranged. These are predators, and it's only distance that keeps you safe. But still the principle holds true: he gets more pleasure out of the estrangement for whatever twisted reason than he gets out of the relationship.

If your child estranged you out of addiction issues, again the pleasure of addiction is stronger than the pleasure of your company. And in fact contact with you may indeed be painful because if you love that child, you no doubt hate the addiction. Addiction also has no morality.

"...there are adult children who derive great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction that a parent is getting "exactly what they deserve". these adult children want to teach their parents a lesson. oh and how justified, self righteous and entittled these adult children feel in their persecution, it makes them feel good, and yes vindicated that they aren't going to "take it" anymore..."

These are the ones who feel that the pain of remaining in the relationship is greater than the pain in leaving. In fact, the relationship may have been so painful to the child that there is no pain in leaving it.

Parental Alienation Syndrome refers to minor, dependent children of divorce and how one parent uses the innocence, dependency and youth of the child to turn him or her against the other parent. Dr. Gardner who came up with the syndrome in the late 80's was discredited; he also advocates sexual expression between men and boys.

The situation is real though. Angry divorced parents use a variety of games to turn a DEPENDENT child against the other parent. And it's easy to counteract: simply enforce visitation. If mom says dad doesn't love the child, but every other weekend the child goes over to dad's and feels loved, mom's words have no power. If dad says mom spends all the child support on herself, but the child knowns mom is buying her clothes and books and treats, dad's words have no power. That's what the 'without cause' refers to. I have a great deal of knowledge about parental alienation; and it boils down to, if contact is maintained between parent and child, the relationship will development without real interference. Remember, sometimes mom does spend all the CS on herself, and sometimes dad really doesn't care. PAS doesn't ruin those relationships, bad behavior on the part of the parent does. That would be alienation 'with cause'.

I skimmed over the article cited above and don't see anything that pertains to ADULT children freely choosing to sever or limit contact with their own parents. So I am puzzled. It's about 2 year olds and 6 year olds and divorced parents and minors who are trying to get their dependency needs met by pleasing their angry custodial parents. How does it translate to estrangements between adult parents and adult children?


 o
RE: It goes both ways...

Posted by beginnerseye (My Page) on Tue, Nov 11, 08 at 7:08

"there are adult children who derive great pleasure and a sense of satisfaction that a parent is getting "exactly what they deserve". these adult children want to teach their parents a lesson. oh and how justified, self righteous and entittled these adult children feel in their persecution, it makes them feel good, and yes vindicated that they aren't going to "take it" anymore. how unfortunate it is that they've used their lives to punish the very people who brought them into this world."

Posted by straycat_wandering (My Page) on Sun, Nov 9, 08 at 19:58

"It's about time we are got mad and said I refuse to be treated this way and wish them luck finding someone else to be the caregiver, nurturer, and one always there for everyone while suffering at the hands of their abuse. Well...thank goodness for Karma, because what goes around DOES come around and with all of my heart I hope we have front row sets for the show!"


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silversword,
Since you took my post out of context I feel the need to share the context of my comment:

kmttsmom-
We must have both been the designated scapegoat in our families. Well, we HAVE TO CHANGE that-and right now I am so mad that you are so hurt that I would like nothing better than to gather up all of our children and butt their heads together for being so heartless. (and I don't want to hear how "my true colors are showing, by anyone either). It's about time we are got mad and said I refuse to be treated this way and wish them luck finding someone else to be the caregiver, nurturer, and one always there for everyone while suffering at the hands of their abuse.
Well...thank goodness for Karma, because what goes around DOES come around and with all of my heart I hope we have front row sets for the show!
You take care woman! You are not alone and I know I don't know where you live but I want you to know if you need me I will find a way to stand by your side. THAT I can promise. Don't you give up, don't... we need each other, we really do and I will say it now- I NEED YOU! You have other children who need you and you don't even always know the many people in the world who look up to you and need you. You email me and give me your phone number and I will call you-BUT you hang in there- we are going to make it!!!

Yea, silver I am a real tyrant all right!

You are right-we don't agree. A problem is it appears you can only see your side. You had already made up your mind that all of us are in some way responsible for the abuse we are suffering. That attitude is in direct conflict with comments you have made saying you were hear to hear the parents side and share your side also. You however, continue to read other mothers posts explaining all they have tried to do to reconcile with their children and respond with comments that indicate you believe they are to blame for the estrangement.
Then you make comments about how I am rude and mean to you...but you don't see how your words are mean and rude...you only see how you feel. You are a perfect example of a person who cannot (apparently) be empathic to toward others.
Just look at these sites which were designed for mothers who are estranged from their children to find support and understanding among other mothers experiencing the same thing in their life-they are full of you-your abuse-your thoughts- your life-you are taking over. We are not here to have every line we write critiqued by you or anyone else. We are here to support each other. Just like you took what I said to another member out of context-yes I did say it's time we stand up for ourselves. But I was in no way expressing my thoughts, views or beliefs of the way to raise children,. Surely that was obvious. It hurts me when other mothers are so hurt, because I know their pain, and believe me it is deep and like no other pain you've ever felt. (and I know you will again challenge that). But it is true.
The point I was trying to make to you is we cannot be responsible for every choice, action, or decision our children make. We do not have that kind of control over any person. I was trying to point out to you that I understand how frightening this must all be for you. If you believed us it would mean it could happen to you and I know you must feel like you have to fight that idea with all of your soul. I don't blame you. That's why I keep saying-this is a situation that you cannot believe until you experience it. It seems impossible for a loving, nurturing mother to be estranged from her children. BUT it's here and it is happening.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

dear silversword with all due respect what is your point regarding your latest post? that elder parents can also exhibit sadistic tendacies as well as adult children? well then i guess you're agreeing with me that both adult children and elder parents have sadistic tendacies in this regards. but i think the difference here is the degree.

you chose to highlight a quote from straycats along with one of my own. in so doing you've taken both statements out of context in order to make YOUR point. perhaps it's just me but i don't get it. straycat is not alienating her kids. she's tried to seek out different ways to reconnect and appears willing to go to a professional family mediator to help facilitate understanding communication and tolerance. but it's her children who refuse to meet her half way. straycat is obviously engulfed in the realities of her situation. she has come to this board for insight and support for her journey to come out of this. my question to you is how does your latest post help her find her way? the answer is it doesn't, it only helps you feel better about yourself. in the future if you have something to say about one of my post then say it to me. please, you talk about civil discourse, how is it civil taking someone's elses words out of context to make their own self-serving point?


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat, I did not call you a tyrant. You called you a tyrant. I have not said you are to blame for anything. I have asked if there is anyway you would consider that you had a part in this relationship or if you truly are an innocent victim of your seemingly viscious children. Once again, you state you are here to be supported. And, it appears that there are many willing and ready to commismerate with you about how terrible your children are and how bad you feel. I'm glad you get that energy, as that seems to be what you are seeking. I am not seeking a support group. I'm looking for logical reasons that a formerly loving relationship could turn out so badly.

Beginnerseye,
Yes, I reposted a section of one of your posts. And yes, I do agree with you that parents as well as children can be sadistic. I don't think it was out of context at all. You were speaking of adult children who delight in making their children miserable by cutting them off. My point was simply that the street runs both ways. Contrary to your opinion my last post does not help me feel better about myself, it highlights the fact that you and others believe that the children are sadistic and cruel because they want to see their parents suffer. What, then, was Straycat saying, if not that she heard the pain of Kmttsmom and lashed out with hoping "what goes around comes around" and wishing they had "front seats" to their children getting what they deserved?


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silversword, thankyou for elaborating so that i am better able to ascertain what your message was. it appeared to me that you were using my words to make a personal commentary about straycat. it is true she is struggling with this reality, but by reading her post i don't believe her intent is to mean any ill-will towards her children. i think she really is sincere about finding info to help her gain insight even if it means facing up to some of her own failings. i watched my own (then 77 y.o) mother go through the different stages of learning how to accept the reality that her adult kids had divorsed her forever. it was hard for me to watch her internalize this situation. it took her years to finally regain her ground. at times during the process she vented and made similar comments that you highlighted by straycat, but i knew it was just a stage and that in time she would rise above and have a perspective that was less reactive. i feel straycat too will go through these different stages of acceptance and someday have some peace and perspective.

i agree with you that there are many adult children that have good and just reasons for not wanting a relationship with their parents. but unfortunately, just like in our justice system many, not all, claims are false and frivilous. many of the parents on this post and others have only made the kinds of mistakes ordinary people make. they are confused as to why their adult children won't even make an effort to try and meet and ressolve the differences. you keep insisting that they as parents must have done something to have driven them away, but the fact is that there are many parents who did nothing wrong! i realize you think we're all in denial, but then why would practically all of these parents be so willing to see a psychologist if there in denial and so afraid of being exposed. the fact is many adult children who enstrange are the ones refusing to see a professional family mediator or psychologist. my mother wasn't perfect and i too use to alienate her in different ways, but then i finally grew up and started to think outside myself and be less absorbed with how everything effected me. and that's when i realized that my mother didn't have it perfect either. instead of condemming her i finally began to see and appreciate how she overcame her own difficulties and somehow never blamed her parents. go figure.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Beginnerseye, my message was in no way intended to make a personal commentary on Straycat or her mothering. I was following the post above and elaborating on what I've observed. It struck me that exactly what people were complaining and criticizing their adult children for was what people were condoning for parents.

I'm really not saying that anyone here is a bad parent. I have gone through what you are describing as well, and I have personally made comments similar to SC's comments.

I'm not "insisting that they as parents must have done something to have driven them away" I'm asking if there could be a possibility. I don't think that these specific parents are in denial. I simply said that parents (in general, in my experience) tend to follow the cycle of thinking they were perfect parents and then wondering why their children turned into monsters. I did not point my finger at anyone and have been careful not to infer that any particular parent here is "bad" or "deserving" of any "punishment" they may be receiving.

I think I outlined my feelings in my second post, and made it very clear that I am speaking from my experience and my experience only, after which I was told I should not be on this board, that I am heartless and a batterer, my parents raised an awful person, etc etc.

I am not condemming anyone. I am posting my experience. I think that the way people communicate on these boards is a good indicator of how they interact in their personal relationships. To that effect I see you as someone who may be put off by something they hear but are willing to ask questions to make sure you understand exactly what the other person is saying. I hear honesty and a willingness to look at other perspectives in your tone, even if you have already made up your own mind.

Straycat asked me to keep an open mind about estrangements and their causes. I have seen many estrangments. Some are ridiculous (IMO) and some are justified (IMO). Some are because the wife of the child is controlling. Some are because the kid is a spoiled brat or the parent is a jerk. And some are just from a big miscommunication. But none of them is one sided.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart beginnerseye. You are right. I have done everything I can think of to have my children back in my life. Some of there issues revolve around me divorcing their father, whom they all agree was "not a good husband." But many more are due to negative influences within my extended family unit and their father not wanting to be accountable for his actions when we were married (take the heat off him and put it on me type reasoning). The mothers who are experiencing the pain of estrangement have made it very clear that they have (and are) seeking ways to mend the estrangement from their children without success. It will be if possible very difficult, because several mothers including me realize that their children do not show the respect that is necessary in order for them to have a mutually successful relationship in the future. Whether due to the fact they didn't teach their children to have respect for them or as in my case didn't have the support of the other parent.
Yes, Silver I did say that at times the cruelty of our children make me mad. I will say it again, it makes me mad. If you would have read any of my post as opposed to dissecting them you would have already known the type of person I am. I do not feel the need to defend myself to you.
As far as "why" you are contributing-your reasons do not make sense. There are other sites where "children who choose to estrange their mother" contribute "their experience.
I feel you are fulling a need and it must be working for you or you wouldn't continue to critique us. It appears to me and I am sure some of the other contributors that we are a stand in for the resentment you feel towards your own mother. You apparently have a lot of issues with your mother which I understand, however I can't help but wonder how we are fulfilling you when your tone continues to be harsh and degrading, such as pointing out you know why we are here and what we seek, but you refuse to support us in our ordeal.
You state we must realize we could be to blame-we already have long ago when this situation first reared it's ugly head. This is certainly not our first attempt to resolve this problem for any of us and I think your over simplified suggestions that we look to ourselves in order to solve this issue is redundant and demeaning. It resounds like what many of us experience with our own children, they talk, but they do not listen. They take things we say and do out of context...they pick us apart, and isn't that what you have been accused of doing over and over by many of us? Yes, it is.
You are in this for your own entertainment, thinking you are getting all of your anger toward your mother out. But it will not work, and that shows. You are not feeling better about your mother or your estrangement from her you are simply turning your back to people you do not even know or make the effort to know by actually reading with an undering of their situtation.
Good luck to you-I really mean that. I hurt, but I still have the heart to realch out to others. You don't and that is what I really call sad.


 o
From the Horse's mouth...

Why do our children do this to us? Well, I know the answer to that question. It is to PUNISH us and I have proof. After my nervous breakdown last week, my son wrote my daughter and told her that I was in bad shape. Then he asked her if she was happy about it. She responds below:

"I am happy, very happy. She (mom) did it to herself. If she hadn't been so selfish then I would have invited her to my wedding. Maybe this will teach her a lesson."

And Khandi and Silver, before you even start, I have no idea what I am supposed to be "selfish" about. I guess I am selfish because I finally told her to start paying her own bills? Because I told her to stand on her own two feet? Because my checkbook stayed closed? Who knows. But she obviously feels I am to blame for something and that I need to be taught a lesson.

Anyway, I just hopes this helps to back up the theory that our children are punishing us and taking great pleasure in doing so.

Thank you,
kmttsmom


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

kmttsmom-
Surely I think they must have no idea how much they have hurt us...and then I see my own children in your daughter's response and know...they know...
How tragic, how very, very tragic.
I hurt all over. My heart feels like it is torn in little pieces. I will never be whole again. First the death of my little girl-then this. I will never be the same. My insides feel empty-sometimes I feel numb...what on earth are we to do? So much of how I felt about myself was placed on how close my children and I were. I don't feel good about myself at all. I feel worthless. I lost the most important things in my life-all my children. I just try to go on day to day...it's been 3 years next month and 4 for my youngest, and it's just getting harder and harder...
Where did all the love go? How is this so easy for them? What in the world did I do to deserve this? My karma must be awful...
I ache inside my soul...


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Oh, and about "silver" who continues to try and convince everyone she is "just trying to help." On another thread she called one woman a "Mexican dog."
. She called my children terrible and vicious-and questions my parenting.
She also stated she "is not seeking a support group." But is "looking for "logical reasons that a formerly loving relationship could turn out so badly." It doesn't appear that you are looking for anything, because if you were you would be reading and listening to what the mothers who are estranged from their children have to say instead of challenging them every time they post, taking comments out of context, and mixing up what two people say in order to make a point of that is nothing like what either one of them said. Plus stating over and over that the way people interact with each other on the posts is a good indication of how they interact in their personal relationships. silver, we are not sitting down and talking to our children here. The idea is it is a place for us to vent-and when people vent and let go - they make comments. It's a release-not an indicator of how they react-you take every comment that is made and turn it around to make it appear cruel, mean or vicious. You are not displaying the effort to understand how we feel. So please look at your true motives and you may want to think about writing on a site where you are experiencing a common occurrence with the people who are also posting. . I saw one and brought it up for you in case you decide to share with other people who share the same issues you.

NO-you are not seeking a nswers to why a loving relationship turned out bad-you think you already know and will not consider the "OTHER SIDE." It doesn't make sense for you to seek answers to that question, you stated you know why your relationship with your mother went bad -so why look here for an answer to how? You answers to your own situation you already know.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ? Indeed!

Straycat,
First of all, I did not call anyone a "Mexican Dog". I think anyone who actually read that exchange would agree. I was referring to another post and it was meant in humor rather than at anyone. I apologized to the poster who thought I was speaking of her. Why are you dragging that out of the dustbin unless you are intentionally trying to slander me?

I did not call your children "terrible and viscious". I have said time and again how I feel. But talking with you is like talking to a wall. There is no reasonable discourse, only lashing out. You have said before you will ignore me. Please do so. I am tired of defending myself, my intentions and my actions.

I have attached below the discourse with the other poster in my defense. There is a lot more on the "Mexican Dog" issue as that poster went to every thread and made comments about it. If anyone is interested, and I highly doubt they would be, just search for Silversword or Mommybunny and you will see the accusations all over the postings.

Secondly, if you want to go on and on about how I am speaking on the wrong thread, look at what the OP posted:

"I've had this thought several times and have been wondering about it. How some parents are actually at fault for the estrangement but don't even realize it. In their opinion, they did nothing wrong and it's ALL their kids fault!"

This is what this thread is about. This is what I'm commenting about. Please stop with the "this is my playground and I make the rules" remarks. This is a public forum.

PAS Syndrome

Posted by silversword (My Page) on Thu, Oct 2, 08 at 12:20
Mommybunny, you wrote:

Posted by mommybunny (My Page) on Wed, Oct 1, 08 at 16:05
"It's also pretty sad how some people refer to other people as mexican dogs. I'm still wondering about that comment. Do you care to elaborate?"

Mommybunny, I looked and looked for where I posted that to get my exact quote and the context but I can't find it. I'm sorry you thought it was directed toward you. What I remember is someone said something about how you can't train a chihuahua to be a guard dog, the worst thing they will do is bite your ankles and it doesn't matter if you have boots on. What I was saying (and obviously my humor didn't come across very well!) was that people (not you personally) were on the attack. I think it was something like "they're releasing the chihuahua's, ladies put your boots on". I was trying to be funny. It wasn't, because you got hurt. It wasn't directed to anyone in particular. I'm sorry if I hurt yours or anyone's feelings.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silver,
we are not "posters."
The "mexican dog" comment and reaction of the person you intended it for is another example of how you "slander' and hurt people everywhere you post. You are quarrelsome, and enjoy finding fault.
Enough said-I think we all will be ignoring you. -yes, I can speak for others, and you would see their feelings too if you would read what they write to you instead of picking out bits and pieces of the sentences to insult them with.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

I have been reading all these posts and find myself feeling attacked everytime something is mentioned about "us" estranged moms should really look at what we contributed to the estrangement. It just strikes a very sensitive nerve with me because - I love my son so much and to think he would rather be dead to me then to face being hurt more by me is almost more than I can bare. It has taken me many months of counseling, praying, and support to stop blaming myself and accepting that this what I am going through is not as much about me and my son as it is my son and his wife. "PLEASE DON'T ATTACK ME ON THIS STATEMENT" My son dated this woman for aprx 6 mos off and on before he gave up everything to be with her. He quit school with only 4 months left to graduate, he gave up his car, his phone, his home, his career, and ultimately me and my whole side of the family. Of course I had an opinion but was smart enough to keep my mouth shut except for saying that I was dissapointed that he could not wait 4 months to finish college but I also followed that up with "but I know it is your decision and if that is what you decide you need to do then I will respect your decision" to which he replied "I understand Mom I know you just want me to be happy."

I lost a part of me - it has changed me and my life and though he is not repsonsible for my happiness, not having him in my life has been like a death. Who would look at a mom who is greiveing the death of her son and say "you know you just might be partly responsible for that death." That is what if feels like to be attacked.

I live with the guilt and the should have's and if only's I don't need more guilt laid on me. My family is hurt for the loss as well but seldom talk to me about it because they know I am struggling and don't want to hurt me. Sometimes that is best and then sometimes I want to remember the son I had and loved and that there really were good times. But when you go through something like this you loose the ability to look back on those times for comfort because all you have is now is regret.

I can't tell you how many people have looked at me with those eyes that said "normal people don't walk away from their moms for no reason" and deep down I believed that too. But over time I am finding others that have lived this same nightmare.

We are not perfect - we have made mistakes - hindsight is 20/20, and I know I would welcome any opportunity to change things but in a 4 month period I went from having them to dinner with laughter and hugs to total isolation. Believe it or not - that is it - as hard for anyone else to believe that could happen imagine being the one it happened to. I still want to believe there is a rational explanation for this and that my son feels justified in his actions because if that is true maybe down the road this can be resolved. But nothing about this whole situation has been rational - like sneaking to call me to try and make the first move with his wife - and when I called and left her a message that said "what is wrong" I must have done something and it kills me to know I have hurt you, can we please talk? I will come there when and where it works best for you just let me know. You know what I got in return - nothing absolutely nothing but silence.

Learning to live without my son is like waking up someone else and having to adjust my thoughts and dreams to that of a stranger. Finding out I am not alone gives me hope I can survive this.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat, someone who "posts" is called a "poster". This is general English vernacular.

I did not intend the comment I made about ankle biting dogs to refer to any one person, it was a general comment. Actually, if you want to be picky about it... another person had posted the comment about snappy little dogs and how they don't hurt if you have ankle boots on. All I did was copy her words and then write my own comment, which was something to the tune of "ladies, put your ankle boots on, they've released the Chihuahuas". The comment I made was due to PEOPLE being snappy because just about everyone on that post was snappy, and that's why I said it. It was meant in humor. I retracted my words once I realized it was taken personally and apologized. I stated that then, I've stated it on other posts since, and I stated it in this post.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silver-
You have been asked many times-many ways to move somewhere that you can contribute your thoughts based on experience. Many "posters" have told you that your comments hurt-"blah"-"blah"-"blahed" you. Stated they were going to ignore you- AND yet you continue to get your "jollies" by throwing in your pennies worth of "we must accept responsibility for our children treating us this way" yada, yada, yada- I am sure you've also run off more than one person -because I've read several posts from women who you hurt that we no longer hear from. I know I am not the only one just plain tired of defending myself. No more. Your time is up. You can post whatever you like, but for me-I will not respond to you or acknowledge your presence. Maybe if we all ignore you -you will have to find another way to get your jollies-oh, and don't bother to bring carla back to take up for you-we all know you two are one and the same.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat,
Yes, you are correct. Several posters have been quite rude. This is the first time I have been accused of being two people though.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silver,
You refuse to own up to your actions. You do not acknowledge the pain you have inflicted on others. Then you have the nerve to suggest we are responsible for the estrangement from our children & that we are in denial.
As far as your relationship with your mother I will have to just put your opinion back on you-we don't really know both sides now do we? Plus you have certainly managed to draw the attention away from the theme we were discussing onto you. I have an idea your mother would tell a different story about your estrangement...
You are a perfect example of what many of us face when trying to talk to our self centered children.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Stray,
You don't know my mother's side, it's true. I'm sure she would have a different story. I have said as much on other posts. She would agree with you, that it is my fault we are estranged.

That's my point. Once again, Straycat, you have enabled me to clarify what is going on. For that I thank you. It is very hard for one side to know what the other side is thinking. As a child I am thinking that I have given my mother everything a child should and she continues to abuse. For her, she is thinking she was the best mother she was and I am not appreciating. And, as I have said on another post, around and around we go.

I think I have been more than accommodating of your rudeness. You say that I "...have certainly managed to draw the attention away from the theme we were discussing onto..." myself. Actually Straycat, I responded to this post prior to you posting so you can't say you were here first. Not that it would matter. Again, public forum, anyone can participate. Plus, I have barely posted about myself at all on this thread. Mostly I have been defending myself against your attacks. It's getting ridiculous actually.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat,

Practice this 4 word method: (It works for me)

1) hit
2) the
3) scroll
4) key

whenever you see a post from someone who gets their jollies from wrecking havoc on others, just bypass 'em. It just isn't worth getting all worked up over. They are seeking attention, so don't give them the satisfaction.

When everyone ignores them, they will realize that they can't get a rise out anyone. Eventually, they will get bored and go away.

Hugs,
kmttsmom

PS: I got your email. I am going to take a few more days to heal and see where I am emotionally. Thank you so much for being such a good friend.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Kmttsmom, that's good advice. Those who are trying to get a rise out of others will not respond to such tactics. I hope Straycat listens to you and does not post in response to me anymore, as she is obviously offended by my manner and will not respond in a civil way no matter what I say.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

ktmmsmom,
You are right...it's hopeless. But you had already told me that, I tried.

I will hit the scroll key, alone with everyone else.
You are welcome and Thank you too!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

You know what?

If a thread/post doesn't pertain to your situation, move on! Not EVERY post is directed at YOU. Every person's situation is DIFFERENT. Some parents are responsible for the estrangement (like my sister), and some parents are NOT responsible. If you know that you are NOT responsible for your estrangement, then the thread/post does not pertain to YOU so stop the bashing!

Some of you have said MANY times that you'll just ignore Silversword's posts...then do it! You keep responding with your "bashing" and are ruining the "original post". Every post seems to turn to "leave us alone, you don't know what you're talking about, I'm not responsible for the estrangement, etc.". Like I said, if the situation is different from yours, stop the bashing!

Once AGAIN, you have "ruined" the thread's topic!!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Geez candy take a vitamin FFS.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Sorry, but tired of the same old BS!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Maybe it just follows you around. You know what-you think everyone should be able to express their thoughts -well that goes for me too. Personally I am sick and tired of this bashing. I ruin the posts? You know what? That was an evil thing to say. silver deserves to be accountable for all of the trash she has posted to me and others. Now she is playing all nice -know what that's called-divide and conquer. Yea, everyone -but you see her
EVER write ANYTHING nice to me-nope-know why? Because I stick up for those she hurts...that's why. Well, I am just so .....glad she has made you all feel all better.
I am sick and tired of taking anyone's dumping. That includes your's. So, take your own advice and if you don't like what someone has said-move along. I didn't direct anything at you-but I sure got your BS directed at me.
You can sling it-but can you take it?


 o
kandi for estranged mothers

Your just great at being judgmental. You never READ my posts. You have no idea how I feel and what I have been through-EVIL -yea I think you were evil. If you had taken a minute and read some of my lasts posts, and (and as in plus) had an ounce of empathy you may not have written
those words...

"ONCE AGAIN you have ruined the threads topic"..

well, sorry to have bothered you. I won't "BOTHER" anyone anymore!
I will leave......I was suicidal before I read your posts so thanks for the "words of encouragement."


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

You know what-you think everyone should be able to express their thoughts -well that goes for me too.

And that goes for Silversword too!

I will leave......I was suicidal before I read your posts so thanks for the "words of encouragement."

If you're in that bad of a shape and Silverword's and my posts offend you so much and bring you down, WHY do you keep reading them?

You wrote the following to Silverword in your first post here "That is why they (and I) share our story-we are seeking support from one another...and I personally think that to suggest any of these mothers must have done or said something to make their child (or children) choose this situation is cruel...read their stories....They are not vengeful, bad mothers or they wouldn't have the pain in their heart that they carry every day... "

She wasn't suggesting ANY of these mothers, etc. She was talking about HER personal experience. Not yours or anyone elses.

Yes, I have read your posts and I feel for you. But that doesn't give you the right to bash someone's post all the time. It seems it doesn't matter what she says, you have something negative to say all the time. If the posts don't pertain to your situation (meaning you're not responsible for your estrangement), then don't read them if u will get upset over them. This thread was about a parent's accountability for her estrangement (my sister) and thus, that was what Silversword is talking about.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

"maybe you" shouldn't read mine since you get upset all the time. And as far as me having something to say negative "all the time" how about you in your messages to me. Why do you think you can say anything you feel and no one else can?
And as far as silver goes-she has bashed more people on these forums can I care to think about. If you'll go back and read some of the replys to my posts
you will notice more than one person has been offended at her posts. You said:
"once again you have ruined the threads topic"
Well I'll just give what you dished out to me back:
"if you are in that bad of shape and my posts bring you down why do you keep reading them"
There eat your own words!
You , are some sour khandi.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

I don't get upset all the time when I read your posts, and I am not in bad shape mentally. I'm quite happy actually!

And as far as me having something to say negative "all the time" how about you in your messages to me. Why do you think you can say anything you feel and no one else can?

Do you hear yourself? Why do you think you can say anything you feel and no one else can? Aren't you the one who is always telling Silversword that she doesn't belong here????


 o
It's really a shame...

that we cannot use this forum as a opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other.

One thing that "some" need to understand is that when people are hurting, they need to be treated gently, with compassion and kindness. We already feel guilty enough about our children's estrangement. The last thing we need is to feel like someone else is also blaming us. Even if you don't come out and say it, we can tell when it's being implied. That hurts and we end up lashing out. It a natural defense mechanism, (everyone has one) so don't judge or condemn us for it. Sometimes, it seems that "some" enjoy the power it gives them to make others feel worse. Also, if someone has estrangement issues with their own mother, how can they possibly have any compassion or empathy towards other mothers whose children are also estranged? It's almost like they use us to emotionally vomit on.

I would really like to use this forum as a learning tool as well as a support system for those who are hurting (on both sides of the fence). It would be so great if we could treat each other with kindness and respect and LEARN something from the experience.

There, that is my 2 cents worth.
kmttsmom


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Kmttsmom... you wrote... "The last thing we need is to feel like someone else is also blaming us."

This I can understand. It's why I thought I had been careful not to say anything directly to people, but ask general questions. I have said time and time and time again that I am not blaming anyone, or insinuating, but asking a question. I think if you go back and re-read that is what you will see.

"Even if you don't come out and say it, we can tell when it's being implied."

I don't think that's fair at all. You are saying that you are reading something into my posts that is not intended, but that you can tell what I mean, so you know what I am thinking and how I meant it, and that gives you the right to take offense.

"That hurts and we end up lashing out. It a natural defense mechanism..."

I understand that's a natural defense. But I think some are taking what I write the wrong way, then getting upset. That's not anything I can fix.

"Sometimes, it seems that "some" enjoy the power it gives them to make others feel worse."

I sincerely hope you are not talking about me. I don't know if you read the very personal attacks that "some" posted above and on other posts but that goes above and beyond anything that I have written.

I have nothing against you or anyone else on this board. As I said on another post, I ask questions and if you don't want to answer me, don't. But please don't take it personal without asking first if that's how I intended it. I'm not saying to Straycat that her husband must have left her, or her parents raised a horrible woman, or any of the very personal things she has written bashing me. But somehow that's ok. I think it's ridiculous.


 o
RE: I'm sorry

Khandi, I'm sorry your post was ruined by this fighting. Thank you for seeing my posts as I intended them to be and for giving me a chance to speak. I appreciate it.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Over the years on these boards I occasionally see people get upset because they don't feel supported. The GardenWeb and HomeSite forums don't have foul language, don't generally have name-calling, etc., but they aren't support forums in the truest sense of the word. Instead, they are more like discussion forums. If the original poster posts a thought, dilemma, etc., then others will chime in with posts about their own experiences, thoughts, etc.

Throughout these long threads about estrangement some posters refer to these posts with things like (don't have exact quotes) *I come here to be supported*. Posters who post only to be supported are going to be hurt sometimes on these forums, because these forums will have a mixture of support and also an exchange of ideas and opinions.

When Silversword posts to exchange ideas, examine concepts, look at possible causes/solutions - that's typical for what I see all across this family of forums. Speaking only for myself, I find it better (for me) that I only post a thread (or response) if I'm prepared to "hear" dissenting opinions or alternative solutions. I know for some people a support forum is best. Often I personally benefit quite a bit because these forums are not strictly support forums, but more of a discussion format. I've learned a lot from people who don't share my views and instead disagree with me. But certainly people who are only looking for support won't feel the same way, that's understandable.

I am so sympathetic to each of the estranged mothers and the estranged adult children who post on these boards. But Silversword is not out of line with her posting. Even though she is posting in a perfectly legitimate manner for this type of forum (i.e. not a support forum, but a discussion forum), she has had some very personal attacks, but she has not responded with personal attacks herself.

If anyone posting here is suicidal, please, please, please get help from a mental health professional. Please seek out an environment that is meant to be only supportive in a way that agrees with your views. If my children become estranged from me at some point in the future, I know I will be devastated. I am sure it's very painful process for those who go through it. I wish the very best for all the estranged mothers here, and it's for that reason that I post this - not to hurt, but to help. I wish all the best for you - healing, wholeness, peace of mind, and joy.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Excellent post daisyinga, and I agree 100%!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

I don't mean to criticize you daisyinga...but before you make a statement like "someone" has had personal "attacks"-but NOT responded with personal attacks herself...you may want to read more of the other links...Because that's just not true. In fact, several of us have suffered personal attacks by "people" numerous times and we "just got tired of taking it." I'd like to see everyone as "adding to" as opposed to "breaking down" but taking comments out of context just doesn't make me or apparently some others people feel "understood."
I think your comment about this not being a place which is designed in order to "offer support" is an opinion and a personal choice which I respect. However, I think if one or more of us do choose to offer support to one another that also should be respected. In fact, there is a link in which the first posts explains the purpose is to offer such support.
Everyone has their own comfort zone. Often by reading the title, posts and replies it becomes apparent what the people who are posting are seeking, whether it be new ideas, support, or whatever. In contributing to a post I would think that out of respect for others you would contribute in a like manner or start another post that is more appropriate for the ideas/opinions, whatever that you choose to express. In saying that of course I must also add that in my opinion not doing so is rude. But...I guess everyone is entitled to express themselves however and wherever they like, it's a free country so far. But, for someone to be offended when other's have shown disrespect for their feelings is a natural consequence for their actions. So..if they suffer in return so be it. After all, we can expect what we put out to be returned, can't we?


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat, I've been reading this thread and the posts in it for a few weeks and I finally wanted to join in because of something you have now said at least twice.

On the first or second of November and again on the 15th of November you made remarks about being suicidal. When I read your first comment about suicide on the 5th of November, I actually searched for you on this board to make sure you were still alive. I wanted to make sure you continued to post because you are the only person I have read on Garden Web who seemed to be seriously threatening suicide.

I have been greatly relieved to find you alive and continuing to post.

But having said that, I must also echo comments made by Khandi and Daisyinga about getting some professional support if you are truly suicidal or having suicidal thoughts. This board is not designed for that kind of help. People here may care about you (even when they do not agree with what you say or how you say it, sometimes) but we are not professionals.

Perhaps you don't mean that you really intend to commit suicide but believe me when I say that when you make comments about ending your life, people take them seriously. You affect other people when you say you want to kill yourself. Please don't throw those comments around lightly. If you are suicidal, get help from a professional. If you are not, and your comments are only an attempt to make people stop saying things you don't like, please don't do that.

I hear that you are in great pain. That is very clear from what you have posted in this and other threads, but saying you feel like killing yourself as part of a conversation like this one seems very much out of place.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

yes it's disturbing to hear someone express suicidal ideations and i agree that i don't believe it is appropiate to express these thoughts on a public forum that is exposed to so many interpretations. that being said.....
i think straycat's point is not that she going to committ suicide, but rather to highlight to someone that "hey, i'm down right now. i'm at a real low and what i need right now is support not criticism or disgenuine support from someone who is being judgemental. even professional psychotherapist first support the client before they attemp to instill constructive imput about the person. is it a call for help? yes exactly so why project your own issues on top of hers as if she is responsible for your problems. i know you've never stated that, but it's obvious that your're more interested in scoring points (ie. postulating parents are responsible for driving children away) than you are listening and responding to the persons unique needs in the moment.
when my mother was initially experiencing enstrangement from my older siblings she was concurrently caretaking for my 90yo father she use to tell me over the phone how she felt like killing herself. she was under terrific stress. how would it have been if i started to inform her my take on her world. that she had done things in her life that has brought all this upon herself. "the chickens have come home to roost" ..... give me a break. instead i gave her the support i could. i became non-judgemental and offered to minimize some of her stress by caretaking for my father temporarily full-time for as long as she needed. thus allowing her to get much needed sleep and rest and then concentrate on herself and her own needs for a while instead of everyone else's. ultimately she recovered and began to be strong enough to start reflecting on some of her own shortcomings and failings. keep in mind she was 77yo at the time all this occured.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

marysdottir posted what I was thinking about your suicide comments Straycat. I think she was kind and caring to do so.

I was glad to read in another thread that you are taking your health and life seriously, Straycat. I hope you are very blessed in your efforts to heal and care for yourself.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat, it's really been bothering me that you said I ran off other posters. Ironically, in the same post that you referred to me (incorrectly) as calling a poster (MommyBunny) a "Mexican Dog" you had some pretty intense conversations with her and she said she was leaving because she disagreed with you! MommyBunny was also saying that she was having trouble with her estrangement from her mother, and you wrote her pretty much verbatim what you wrote to me. Several people on that thread asked you to stop with the restrictions on what people may post and on which topics. Just one example was posted by bloobird (My Page) on Fri, Aug 29, 08 at 16:38.

straycat,
"Just because YOU personally don't value the opinion/advice of others does not give you the final say in who is allowed to contribute, or what they may be allowed to discuss. I suppose that if you consider that offensive, you are free to start your own board or blog or whatever where you may manage both the members and the content, but as long as this is a public forum, everyone is still welcome to contribute as they see fit."

Posted by mommybunny (My Page) on Sat, Oct 4, 08 at 4:29

Hello again straycat:
I've been thinking about what you said. And I have to ask myself. Why am I here revealing my personal information regarding my mother, my life and my opinions when it is quite obvious that my presence, opinions and life experiences are not valued?
I feel that you have totally devalued me as a person and totally rejected me as a person. I don't know why your life experiences are important and valid but mine are not but that is obviously how you see it.
Thank God that I'm not a weak minded person or else your comments would really put me into a deep depression. I admit that I feel hurt by your abusive comments but don't worry I will get over it. After all, I don't know you personally and my life doesn't depend on you and your opinions of me.

Posted by mommybunny (My Page) on Sat, Oct 4, 08 at 6:11
straycat: I guess I am still upset by what you said and am having trouble getting to sleep.
You know. How you treated me in your message reminds me a lot of how my mother treats me. Like cr*p. Like I don't count. Like my opinions don't count. Like my feelings don't count. Like my life doesn't count. I think there is a lot of dysfunction here on this message board and I have enough problems with my own mother and oldest child and I sure don't need this cr*p from this board from people that I don't even know. I hope you feel good about yourself. Right now I'm feeling very angry and depressed. And to be honest I think you are a real j**k.

******

Ironically, after you and other people were going at one another, that is when I posted my comment that you keep bringing up as evidence. This was done to try to lighten the mood, since everyone was getting pretty upset:

Posted by silversword (My Page) on Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 12:12
(I mean, a Chihuahua can be a non-stop, vicious little fiend, but if you're wearing boots, who cares?) Put your boots on ladies, they've released the Chihuahuas! :)

I meant it in a way of telling people not to get too worked up because the other posters cannot hurt them. Thats all.

If anyone is actually interested in this, or actually believes what Straycat is writing about me, please take the time to read the link I posted below. I think you will find that aside from the one post that was grossly misunderstood I wrote several supporting posts to other members.

Im not trying to take these posts above out of context, but I think its really wrong of Straycat to be continuously bashing me, accusing me of running people off and saying I never post good things, when its just not true. I feel the need to defend myself.

Here is a link that might be useful: All These Estranged Parents


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

beginnerseye,
You said that you don't think Straycat really means she is going to commit suicide. I hope you are right but since neither of us are psychologists or psychiatrists (I assume), I don't think we are able to accurately assess what she might "really" be thinking. My point is that once someone makes these kind of statements it is better to be safe than sorry. Someone needed to recommend professional help and Daisyinga did that. I only chimed in because Straycat did not address this issue in her response to Daisyinga and I wanted to make sure she knew that others also thought her remarks needed to be taken seriously.

Another point I would make, though I'm trying to be gentle about this, is that when one feels low and needing support, the way to ask for that support is not to say something like "as a result of what people have said to me on this forum I now see what a loser I am and I cannot try any longer and I will not be around tomorrow or any time after".

That is not a request for help; it is an attempt to make others feel guilty for saying things one disagrees with or is an attempt to have those people stop speaking out of fear that the speaker might really kill herself. Either way it is not an EFFECTIVE means of getting the support she is looking for. Most of us do not give support out of guilt, we give it out of human connection.

Straycat, people here seem to rally want to understand. Please don't take so personally comments you disagree with. You maybe cutting off some of us with whom you could find connection.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Just forget I ever said anything and enjoy yourselves!


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

I don't mean to criticize you daisyinga...but before you make a statement like "someone" has had personal "attacks"-but NOT responded with personal attacks herself...you may want to read more of the other links.

I have read them.

I think your comment about this not being a place which is designed in order to "offer support" is an opinion and a personal choice which I respect. However, I think if one or more of us do choose to offer support to one another that also should be respected.

I agree with you there, 100%. That is my personal opinion, and that doesn't make it a fact. Also, I agree with you 100%, those of you who choose to offer support should be respected. Your opinions and your views should be respected. Not necessarily agreed with, but respected.

I wonder if perhaps you and I, along with many other posters here, don't view respect in the same way. I think someone can respect my viewpoint while still offering a dissenting opinion. You may feel that respect is shown by agreement, or silence if someone disagrees. I can't speak for Silversword, but I suspect she and I would have the same viewpoint on this. I see her in this forum and others around the HomeSite forum group giving what I call support - not by agreeing with the poster, but by offering her thoughts in a way that is genuinely thoughtful and reflective, not just a knee-jerk reaction. Although I call that support, others would view that as an attack, because it doesn't support by agreeing with the original poster. My point in saying this is not to bash you, but simply to point out that good people of good will and good intentions disagree sometimes on what it means to be supportive.

Often by reading the title, posts and replies it becomes apparent what the people who are posting are seeking, whether it be new ideas, support, or whatever. In contributing to a post I would think that out of respect for others you would contribute in a like manner or start another post that is more appropriate for the ideas/opinions, whatever that you choose to express. In saying that of course I must also add that in my opinion not doing so is rude.

That is the crux of my post. All over the GardenWeb and HomeSite forums - the stepfamily forum, the Kitchen Table, the Pet forum, the Buying and Selling Homes forum, heck, even the cleaning and home disaster forums - in all of those forums people commonly give and take ideas as well as support on the same thread, regardless of the poster's original intentions. Whether you think it's right or wrong, whatever your opinion, the fact is that's the way it's commonly done. That's not my opinion, that's the way I see it over and over and over again.

I am certainly not arguing with your or disagreeing with you that the way you'd like to see it played out may feel kinder, gentler, more supportive to you. I'm simply saying that even in the days of Spike and the teacups, people got their feelings hurt because of this very same type of issue - people were seeking support and were deeply offended and hurt when they got an exchange of ideas or the discussion veered off in a way they didn't want it to go.

But...I guess everyone is entitled to express themselves however and wherever they like

I guess that's a big part of my point. Within certain limits, whenever you or anyone else starts a post, people are free to take that discussion other places within the thread. It may start out as a "support" or "agree with me" post, but it may very well end up in a different place.

Again, I am sorry for your pain. Any of us with younger children could one day find ourselves in your position, and I know it would be very, very painful and my emotions would be raw.


 o
RE: Thank you

Daisyinga, "I can't speak for Silversword..."

You can speak for me anytime. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You very kindly and clearly said what I've been trying to say and obviously not saying very well.

Straycat, ditto on what Daisy said...

"Again, I am sorry for your pain. Any of us with younger children could one day find ourselves in your position, and I know it would be very, very painful and my emotions would be raw."


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Daisyinga, I also want to thank you for expressing so well what I have seen over the past few years on Garden Web.

This is a place where we can disagree with each other and where sometimes we disagree strongly, but like in real life, no one of us (not even the person who creates the topic) controls the direction of a conversation. It is always a result of all of the people participating. Things can take many turns in the 150 posts GW allows on a thread.

If someone doesn't like the way a conversation is going, they can start another and try and get what they want from it. I think most frequent posters often have the experience of starting a thread and having it end up somewhere they never anticipated. I am an infrequent poster and I have had probably half of the topics I have started go in unexpected directions. That is not a bad thing; it just is the way things are. Often I learn far more from those who disagree with me than from those who agree.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Well...

Back to the original subject:

"I've had this thought several times and have been wondering about it. How some parents are actually at fault for the estrangement but don't even realize it."

One reason might be because in their opinion what they did was no 'crime'. For example, if you grew up being belted over small offenses and accidents, and as a parent you smacked your kids on the bottom--you may end up with kids who accuse you of abuse. To you, this is utterly ludicrous, "Let me tell you what abuse is, young lady...". But to them, it was shocking or painful or unfair or outrageous. It hurt them just as much emotionally to be smacked as it was to you to be belted. And it's the EMOTIONAL PAIN that causes estrangements.

So the child says, "You abused me and I grew up afraid of you." and the parent completely rejects the notion because their knowledge of abuse is so different. They naturally deny it; and the adult child is outraged because the child is trying to point out, "I grew up AFRAID of you" and the parent can't hear it because they are so focused on the accusations of abuse when they tried SO HARD not to be like their parents. They are offended and insulted and angry and they DENY it angrily and indignantly and defend their right to have done what they did. They naturally want credit for giving their children a better childhood than their own, and they are frustrated because they aren't getting it.

And the adult child hearing this anger and denial becomes angrier and angrier, until they give up in frustration and walk away. How can this be defended? Why is my parent ignoring my key complaint that I was afraid of her, and minimizing my pain?

And the reaction of the parent stirs up that fear again, or remnants of that fear, and the child tries a few times to get a sincere apology and acknowledgment, which the parent cannot give because they thought they should be commended for being a better parent than their own parent, and it's galling to have someone demand an apology for something they were proud of accomplishing.

But denial and defensiveness don't repair relationships, no matter how valid it seems to the parent. And minimizing or rejecting an adult child's complaint will not work.

And if they can hear the underlying complaint: I grew up afraid of you, and I resent you for it, is very hard to hear. It's hard enough to hear criticisms to begin with, but if you've made parenting central to your identity. If you've put all your eggs in one basket, e.g., the mothering basket, and your chick pops out and says, "You did it wrong", it's easy to feel not that you DID something wrong, but ARE something wrong. And that starts a war that gets nowhere. Again the adult child feels minimized and unheard, but the parent is fighting for her identity and for what meaning her life had and for a positive self image and a positive view of shared history. It feels to the parent like death to lose this battle, and it feels to the child like mind control not to win.

A collorary to this is a adult child who says, "I feel this, I felt that" and a parent who can't understand the child's feels or is threatened by those feelings and try to insist: "No, you don't feel that way." Since the parent hasn't the imagination or respect for the child to have his/her own feelings, they can't fathom that such feelings could REALLY possibly exist, and just discount the adult child's complaint. Your complaint's not real, therefore, I don't have to pay attention to it. To the parent it's like giving credence to the man in the moon.

"Example, my aunt's kids ... treat her like they would a stranger. She has no ... idea that all her yelling, screaming, and slaps during their "growing up" years have actually had an effect on them and this is why they don't want her in their lives."

She might be one of those people who don't connect words with feelings and actions. She feels love for her children, therefore her children must feel loved. That she doesn't ACT loving has nothing to do with it since she FEELS loving.

"Unfortunately, my sister has done the same thing to her kids. When I mentioned to her about how she yells all the time (even to her dog!), she denied it. Everyone in the family knows how much she yells. Her yelling has pushed all her family (husband and kids) away from her. Her youngest son is so full of anger that he's slowing destroying his life with drugs and alcohol. Her other child moved to another city and talks about how her mom's yelling has emotionally scarred her."

There could be any number of reasons in addition to the ones I mentioned, but maybe she's like those anorexics who look in the mirror and see a fat girl instead of skin covered bones. She hears herself being kind, whereas everyone else is running for cover.

"How could both these women not see how these estrangements are actually their fault? When you tell them why, they deny it and don't see what the "big deal" is... they don't see the emotional abuse they caused."

And some people are just so self centered that don't see other people as having rich, complex internal lives as they themselves do. Or just don't believe they have as much value as they do. Other people, even their own children and spouses, are two dimensional paper dolls or shadows, nothing more. They aren't even necessarily bad people, just so self consumed they have no room for the fullness of other people.

Also rejection is reportedly the most painful human experience possible, people with abandonment fears, few secure attachments and a lot of insecurity sometimes cannot tolerate to the extent that they will not, cannot acknowledge fault in themselves because of the distorted belief that acknowledging any real fault in themselves will invite rejection in and legitimize rejection. Even if it means they lose everything that's really important to them.

A lot of these people haven't been parented well themselves, and thus cannot parent well in turn. This was good enough for them, why isn't it good enough for their kids? What demanding, entitled brats their kids seem to be.

And there's willful blindness, like the kind people use when their debt is growing and about to topple over and drown them, but they don't want to stop shopping, or when they have COPD but prefer to turn off the oxygen machine a couple minutes every hour rather than give up smoking, or when they see drinking driving away family, friends and employers, but don't want to give up alcohol. Acknowledging the problem means changing, and they don't have it in them--they'd rather lose than change. It takes courage to change, and they don't have it. Easier to blame the kids.

A lot of these people really do know why they were cut off although they claim they don't, but you didn't ask about those.

Disclaimer: of course, none of these scenarios refer to any of the posters on this forum. This was an answer to Khandi's question.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Bucyn, what you say makes a lot of sense to me.

I see so many people who have no idea of the effect they have on others. They are quick to take offense (often when none is meant) and yet they minimize the damage of their words or actions on others.

I see kids being raised this way all the time. Some are children whose parents are forever railing at teachers and coaches about how "unfair" it is treat their child like a regular member of the class or the team. These parents are raising children who don't get along with others because they expect others to do as their parents do and overlook all of their transgressions.

Obviously this isn't the only way to raise someone to become an adult who is blind to his or her effect on others. Your example of someone who has tried to not make the same mistakes as her or his parent and who wants to get credit for that instead of criticism for not being perfect is another way though for quite different reasons.

It is very sad to see situations like that described above by Khandi and others because the person involved is so completely unable to see or hear what is so obvious to outside observers. It makes me wonder if there is any way at all to help in these situations.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

I appreciate the opportunity to see things like this from different perspectives and I believe some really valid points have been raised here. So I am evaluating that information with what I am dealing with. So this is a personal struggle not a general one. I have no contact with one of my sons and I can honestly say I don't know why. I am by no means saying that I could not be responsible for what has happened just that I can't see it. Once I realized my son was upset I wanted to know, understand, and do whatever it took to make amends. Yet, I found out he was upset with me when he suddenly quit taking my calls. He would not respond to any of my attempts at apologizing in letters or voice messages and told anyone that asked (his dad and brothers) that it was between "mom and me" but refused to tell me as well. I have had 19 months of silence from him to think about the kind of mother I was, how I contributed to this, and what I could have done differently. I have even gone to counseling which is helping me cope with the loss but not helping me understand any better "what I have done" because I can only talk about things from my perspective. I believe my son loved me and that "he believes" I have done something that has hurt him so deeply that he felt he had to cut me out of his life to find peace.
I have even offered to pay for my son and his wife to go to a counselor to tell them just what it is about me that has caused the problem so that when I go to the counselor he/she can help me see what I so obviously am unable to see alone. Yet they refuse because they have no desire to work this out.
So is it possible that when people say "they don't know what they did" they could truly just not be aware? But saying that does not mean that all of in this situation do not feel responsibile or are not willing to try and understand things from others points of view.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Dear Lost1of3..

I am lost2of2..
I wrote a long letter the other day and somehow it didn't get posted.. so I am going to try again..
your story is so similar to mine and many others..
this is not an opinion I am putting out there.. this was said by a qualified individual..
in doing this documentary...
I interviewed Mark Sichel.. www.marksichel.com
he says and I quote..

Interviewer... it seems a lot of these women seem to be looking for some sort of validation that theyre not guilty
Mark... usually theyre not and usually what theyve done, what they are guilty of, is not a crime that merits wholesale rejection

Interviewer... I just feel like what Im learning from a lot of other people is that theres this whole new kind of category of estrangement that comes for no good reason they just say "done, dont want to talk to you anymore"
Mark... well there are reasons in their head, they have a whole host of reasons, and its basically, generally people who cut off other family members are fragile. And when people are fragile, and feel powerless, they attack.. like when a dog is scared it barks and will attack, so if someone is threatened by a mother-in-law, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, whoeverum thats when they will attack and come up with a set of reasons that theyve made this choice which seemed to be valid for them, and the choices generally have some validity, however, its part of getting along with people. People are not all the same and when you want people to be exactly how you want them to be, it.. life is not like that, we have to learn to accept. its a matter of not having rules. Its a matter of not breaking rules of common human decency, in my opinion. Some people feel that they can just break rules, that formerly were not acceptable overall in society. People were too tied to, were not too tied, they were tied to religion, and didnt give themselves the choice of saying Im never seeing you or speaking to you agai.

I have also been speaking to a psychologist who lives near me and he says that usually this kind of thing happens when someone can't or won't talk about their feelings. For example the person, who as a child.. maybe never expressed when he/she was upset with something.. I think that is true in my case.. it still doesn't excuse the behavior but sheds light on why.. he also says.. this is pretty obvious, but it has nothing to do with the one situation that the estrangement occurs.. it is something that has been building and the incident was the straw that broke the camels back.. often making "the" incident seem silly.
He says that it isn't your fault ... and even more essential .. there is nothing you can do about it. They will either come around because they got help through therapy or they will mature enough to see that they must take some responsibility too.
This is me is the crux of all of these threads..
parents here are ready willing and able to take their share of responsibility for whatever is bothering their children...
however.. you can't apologize or correct a situation if you don't know what you did..or even understand what the other perspective is...
Please .. GIVE US THAT CHANCE...or else we are blinded fault...


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Im a new poster - I posted on Supporting the Estranged Mother.

Ive read so much for the last few days that my head is spinning. I must say it has helped me, even just to take my mind off my own pain.

It is certainly disheartening reading so many of your experiences and my heart goes out to all of you who are hurting. Maybe we mothers can all adopt Silver and she can adopt us and we will all be happy. She will be our little girl running through the daisies and well pick her up in our arms and swing her around.

As a child in an estrangement situation Silver has an edge on us mothers though. She can ask, as some have on these boards, "who raised these kids?" We must put our heads down and shamefully admit that we did, thus omitting any blame on our childs part. We have no retort for her situation.

Can you imagine going to a psychiatrist, waiting months for the appointment, and then when the time comes at last bearing your soul to a complete stranger, and the doctor looks as you long and hard and says - with a Freudian accent no less - Who raised this child?
How about the other Ive read on these posts- it takes two to tango. A woman goes to see her parish priest, "Oh Father Murphy, tis awful, he wont communicate with me now for going on two years."
"Well, Mrs. Sullivan, it takes "two to tango." What did you do to him?"
"I told him to get out of bed and get a job."

I think Silver is very smart and very articulate, but sometimes fails in her understanding of us mothers. And why not. Shes on the other side - the little girl in all of us, who is hurting. Im sorry for that. I hope it makes you, Silver, a better person and a better mother than you would normally be.

I think peoples hearts are hardened. They dont forgive. That is the problem our children are having for things they have perceived that we did wrong - (be nice if they told some of us what it was!) My son cannot be happy right now and it breaks my heart. Happiness comes from forgiving. We all make mistakes. The just man falls seven times a day.

I truly forgive my child for causing me such sorrow. Its surreal sometimes and it feels like I am entering a dark place that I have no control over. I dont wish him any "karma" whatever that is. If he called me now I would be the Prodigal sons father.

God bless all of you. I hope in time all matters will be resolved.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Sweet, sweet silver....
Every one's daughter, isn't she already? She is everyones son, daughter, conscience, a voice for all of our children. We are the "mothers." She is our child-speaking from a far. She brings out what is wrong with us all. I for one have accepted her, pain, judge, and jury for we did raise these children. They were so innocent when we received them a gift one I prayed for. Karma may be for all we know an excuse for sowing what we reap, no matter what portion of control we had, we are the mothers, thus we have touched our children, and they are a product of that touch.
I am lucky, my children are all educated (up to a PhD-even) they are happy and have everything going for them even the extra gift of beauty. In which they are well endowed. I am so blessed-because the very best of all is they are all happy. I really won't ask for more.
I am sorry everyone hurts-it is hard. But look to the positive side of this if you can, and realize we have had years and years with them before this happened and every moment was a gift, and our memories will always be with us in our hearts.
Today is my birthday, and this is what I am giving myself.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Happy Birthday Straycat - Irish Blessing - May God grant you always...A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.
===============

I'm new here so I can't get pushy, (I haven't paid my dues) but wouldn't it be nice to mark this day as special and see where we all are next year at this time. Want to meet here? Will there be happy reconciliations to tell about? Who knows what can happen in a year. We'll meet here under the heading Straycat's Birthday.

I hope you have, and are having, a very happy day and best wishes for the year ahead. Love, ka12


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STRAYCAT!! I wish I lived close enough to come over and give you a big hug. :(

I hope this cyberhug will do (((((((((((((( ))))))))))))))))))

Love ya, girl!
kmttsmom


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Hi Ka12 and welcome,
Im sorry your son is estranged from you. That must be difficult. You were kind in saying I am smart and articulate. But I think you misunderstood me and my intent. You wrote "...She can ask, as some have on these boards, "who raised these kids?" We must put our heads down and shamefully admit that we did, thus omitting any blame on our childs part."

I am the one who wrote "who raised these kids". But it was not intended to take any blame away from the children or to shame the parent, nor was my statement that "it takes two to tango" intended to mock.

When parents on this board have said they have no idea what happened or how it got to the point of estrangement I have a hard time believing it. Thats why I asked, who raised them? Who knew the intimate details of their lives for at least 18 years? Who has had the longest relationship with them? How could you not see any of the signs at all? Either the child is psychologically damaged (and probably there would have been some indicator of that) or there were clues that if you look hard enough you will be able to see. But I could be wrong, this is just my opinion.

You write about telling a child to get out of bed and get a job and the child not speaking for two years. Thats where the it takes two and who raised them comes in. I didnt estrange myself because my mother kicked my butt out of bed. She raised me to work hard. She instilled values, ethics, and morals and placed a high value on education, both emotional and mental. If a child is so spoiled that they have to be "woken up" at such a late age to the responsibilities of an adult, and then so spoiled that they wont talk to their parents for such a travesty, I have to ask, who raised them to have these misguided expectations of life? Were they just spoiled until the parents couldnt take it anymore, and then they got a big bucket of icy reality on their heads, for which they blamed their parents because they had no idea it was coming?

You are right. I do fail in my understanding of mothers who are estranged. I failed in my understanding of my mother. Just as parents feel the estranged children must be doing it for selfish reasons I feel the parents must have the slightest idea of what went wrong.

If people are on this board to talk about how hurt they are, thats fine. I dont want to do that. I can bellyache about how my mommy abused me and how sad I am this I have done, ad nauseam. Now Im on the questioning side, the figuring side, the understanding side. I want to know how this happens. I dont see anything good coming from me complaining relentlessly about the "wrongs" that have been inflicted on me by my mother. And, I think that if anyone were to know the full extent of what happened to me as a child and growing up they would be horrified and shocked and outraged. Im not suggesting any of the mothers on this board were like my mother. They were most likely good parents. But if they were good parents, who knew their children, and raised them well and knew the children were stable mentally and emotionally how could these children all of a sudden turn into selfish, self-centered, ill mannered, non communicative people? What happened? I cant believe that no one understands at all what happened.

I also wrote "I have seen many estrangments. Some are ridiculous (IMO) and some are justified (IMO). Some are because the wife of the child is controlling. Some are because the kid is a spoiled brat or the parent is a jerk. And some are just from a big miscommunication. But none of them is one sided."


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat, happy birthday. That sounds like a lovely gift to yourself.

I hope you really do not believe I "...bring(s) out what is wrong with us all..." as "...judge, and jury for we did raise these children".

I have tried very hard to not judge, but to ask questions. There is no way anyone could know the full story of your life that that of your children. And I hope I don't bring out what is wrong with you. I don't know that anything is wrong with you, or anyone else. I can only guess what is wrong with my own mother, and I've known her all my life. But I will never fully know her. I do not know her as a woman, only as mom. I don't know the carefree college girl, the girl with the skinned knee, the happy bride. I have a very one-sided view of my relationship with her, much as I do with everyone on this board. We only see what others are willing to share.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Yes silver, I do believe you bring out as in your quote below "what is wrong with us all:" isn't that what you want to share with us, your insight into how we have failed our children-how we must be able to see what we did- just as you said in the quote below. Of course "someone had to point out how it just doesn't make sense not to know how or why...but for some reason...the women who are "going through this "DO" see that it "does happen." That is why, you can't believe it or feel it unless you own it. It's just too hard to imagine. I for one know if I hadn't experienced this I never would have believed it either and probably would have thought surely that mother did something horrible for her children to cut her out of their life. BUT too many mothers are hurting and struggling and this. It is becoming just too common to attribute it to something the mother MUST have done. Because we have sought answers, gone to the therapist,and psychiatrists, and they all say...it's not our fault. Therefore what are we to do except wait-we can't change what we can't find is wrong-and no one seems to know.

silver in her post above:
"When parents on this board have said they have no idea what happened or how it got to the point of estrangement I have a hard time believing it. Thats why I asked, who raised them? Who knew the intimate details of their lives for at least 18 years? Who has had the longest relationship with them? How could you not see any of the signs at all? Either the child is psychologically damaged (and probably there would have been some indicator of that) or there were clues that if you look hard enough you will be able to see. But I could be wrong, this is just my opinion."


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Thank you for welcoming me aboard Silver. When I said the two to tango bit, it was just a joke. OK, poor attempt at humour - well, maybe it was just a little bit funny...just a little?

When you say who raised them...my son is over 40. He left home when he was, I dont know, 18 or 19? Thats a long time ago. How would I see anything coming? Nothing happened that he gave the slightest indication that anything was wrong.

I have come here to talk about how hurt I am. Thats ok to say that eh. I had a dream of him the other night. We were just sitting talking, and it hurt so much to wake up. I did a search that day and found this site. I was searching more for explanations as to why this would happen, and didnt expect to find a discussion board. I was saddened to find so much pain that children are inflecting on their parents and I was shocked to find that like myself, many dont understand what the heck they did. I thought Id be the only one and they would find it hard to understand me. Im not really here looking for answers as you are, but if I find some, that will help.

You say if we were good parents who knew their children and raised them well......you cant believe that we dont understand what happened. But people have many facets to their personality. We can never really know or understand anyone. Be they your child, mother, husband or wife. We are complicated beings. Sometimes we dont even know ourselves.

God bless.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

If we look at how we become who we are several "factors" come into play...same for "our children"...

Genetics-
Environment-
Free Will-

We as Mothers contribute 1/2 to the Genetics. Most Psychologists feel safe saying environment is also about 1/2- so that brings the influence of Mothers down from 1/2 to 1/4t. BUT there is more-Free Will- well I am sure we all like to think free will is a biggie. But if we only give it another 1/2-Motherly influence is down to 1/8th! 1/8th-very, very little. We have Genetics , and environment and free will. Sure We have more influence when our children are small and we control (or try to control ) their environment -but adult children - and of course their free will...we just can't expect to have such a small amount of influence and large amount of accountability. That is my opinion but any way you mix up the numbers it turn out that we are not the only or the most powerful influence in our children's life...not at all.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Great to have you ka12. Plus thank you for the Birthday Blessing. Great idea about the one year reunion! I'll be here!
I know what you mean about the "dreams." I do that too, and often I get insights I didn't pick up on during the day-or maybe repressed them to work on later.
It is amazing the number of Mothers who are estranged from one or more of their children-really sad. It's a long hard road, but it does help to know you're not walking it alone. I remember when I first found this forum-I was so shocked! I thought I was the only Mother having these issues. What a surprise. All of the Mothers going though this do understand. Stay strong and please take good care of yourself-this is a time it is so easy to get run down and sick, so make sure and carve out some time and treats for yourself. It does help.
Take care and again WELCOME!!!
straycat


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Thanks you so much kmttsmom for the really cute cyperhug! So cute! Love it!
I read an article today from Mark that really makes me wonder if this isn't what has happed to upset my children (with me) so badly that they no longer want me in their lives. It's called: "The Family Myth"
As it explain the member "cast out" is the one who broke the myth...that would be me-all right. I e mailed my daughter will the link and asked her to read it and give me her opinion....we will see where it goes.
AND YES....I still keep trying...
Cross your fingers everyone... I'll let me know.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

dear bucyn i appreciate the depth and candidness of your feelings of emotional abuse and abandonment on your last post way back, but the goal for me in my journey was to get to a place where an apology from my parents wasn't even neccessary anymore. i know it sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes in order to breakdown barriers you have to do the opposite of what's been tried before. an apology wouldn't work anyhow because your parents admission would only serve to reaffirm your lack of regard for them or you would feel compelled to critique the apology itself, perhaps it wasn't sincere enough in your opinion. the cycle simply repeats itself over and over and nothing ever seems to change.

why don't YOU try to be as courageousas as you expect others. you speak of your parents lack of courage, well what about you. do you have the courage to change? be radical and give up the old tapes of abuse and victimization. perhaps in your mind they are just not worth the effort; but then doesn't that just speak to your own limitations rather than your parents. and i think it's important to differentiate that it's the emotional ATTACHMENT to pain that causes enstrangement, not the pain itself. i was in a simular situation with my parents, without going into boring details there was an ocean of pain, tears and frustration...lost years; and yet that reality did not exclude the possibilty of my parents and i reconciliating. having faults and inadequcies doesn't make your parents evil, sick or defective..... it makes them human. it's when i gave up my attachment to the suffering and let go of the temptation to blame others that things began to change in a profound way. almost instantaneously all the anger and resentment that had built up over the years receded from my weary body and my need to hear my parents account and acknowlege of every infraction disipitated. letting go to the attachment of pain allows new realities to replace old tapes. i accomplished more than i could ever have dreamed and without any confrontation. i know it sounds too good to be true. i didn't lower my expectations or compromise my principles and standards. i just decided to stop being the prosecutor. there was more to life than convincing my parents and the rest of the world how terrible they were. in the end it's really up to you and not them. the power is in your hands not theirs. it's your choice unless being enstrange is easier for you and that's what you really want.

i hope this helps. i know it's not what you might have wanted to hear, but i had to give myself this very speech once.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat,

Could you please send me a link to the "Family Myth" article. I would like to read it. It sounds quite interesting.

Thanks babe,
kmttsmom


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

It is a good article. Here it is:

http://www.psybersquare.com/family/myth.html.

wish I knew how to put the link in so you could just click on it and be there...but I don't and my husband who would is on the phone. Anyway-I really enjoy his articles.
stray


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Straycat:

"isn't that what you want to share with us, your insight into how we have failed our children"

Nope. But I've said that many times, including in that post.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Hi Ka12,

It was funny. I was hoping you meant it as tongue-in-cheek rather than as a mockery of what I was saying. I just wasn't sure if you were mocking me. If you've read the posts above I think you can see why I'd be a little cautious to make sure my intentions are fully understood.

I don't know your personal situation, and I'm sorry you're going through it. Some people in above posts have said that it's cruel to suggest that the parents could be in any way responsible for what their children are doing. I disagreed with the premise that it is one sided.

In your situation, you say your son was 19 when he left home and 40 now. What happened in those 21 years? Did you not see him or speak with him at all?

The reason I am adament that most everyone could probably come up with a few indicators is because my mother is just like many of the mothers on this forum. She has absolutely no idea what could have happened.

As I've said before, all we can do is speak from our own experience. Since my first post I have made it clear that is where I am coming from.

And of course it's alright to talk about how hurt you are here. It's an open forum. Anyone here can talk about anything parenting related as long as it's not abusive to other members and follows the board rules. You're perfectly within your rights to your opinion :)


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Silver...

Question for you....
you said:
The reason I am adament that most everyone could probably come up with a few indicators is because my mother is just like many of the mothers on this forum. She has absolutely no idea what could have happened.

I am wondering if you have told your mother why you are estranged from her, or did you just one day decide you had had enough? I know often the straw just breaks the camel's back and of course it's not a one incident situation.

Has your mother had the opportunity to hear you tell her what you think of her or what the problems from your perspective are? Is it at all important to you to get her to understand? do you even want to have a relationship with her? or was she just too abusive in your opinion?
Do you have any sense of responsibility to her at all.. or have you just decided that she is too far out there to ever "get it" and make amends? I guess that leads me to one other question.. ideally.. what would you need from her in order to have any kind of relationship again?

Are you going to reach out for Thanksgiving? what will you do for the holidays?

just curious from the other side:-)


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Sarahsmom - what an excellent question. That brings up the point of what are the responsibilities of each party to making the relationship work or not? Excluding outside influences like drugs, in-laws, etc., or abuse why would someone cut off an important relationship like that of a parent-child relationship without first acknowledgeing there is a problem. For instance, if the way a parent acts toward their adult child is causing them pain - why would they not want to discuss it? Some may suffer in silence out of some since of respect, fear, etc, and then one day they just have enough and say "no more." If the other party has not been made aware of how they have been feeling up to this point, why would they be expected to know a problem exists? Are they supposed to be able to "read minds?" Don't they deserve the opportunity to accept, deal with it, and make changes before something as final as being cut out of their life occurs? This would make it appear that they use estrangement to eliminate the issue without trying to work it out because it is just easier to turn your back on a stressful and hurtful situation than to deal with it head on? As most of us dealing with estrangement on this site have shown, we genuinely want to understand and work through the issues. Where as in the case of estrangement is concerned, the one that cuts themselves off is ultimately saying "you are not worth my time and effort to try and resolve these issues."

I have heard that when you want to make sure you are being not only heard but understood as well, you should ask the person you are talking to repeat back to you what they think you are saying. I think misunderstanding happens more often than not because we don't get that feed back. It truly takes 2 people being willing to try and see things from each others perspective to communicate effectively. Estrangement should be the last resort not a way of making the point a problem exists and your not worth the effort to explain why I feel this way.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Thanks!

The only thing I would say is that while we would hope for the opportunity to discuss perceived wrongs.. that would take maturity on both sides...I know in my own experience that this is missing. I often feel more mature about things than my mother (which is immature of me), but I also know that my older son.. while discussing his younger brother said.. that sometimes when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and realize all the things you have done, it's easier to just move on rather than to have to go back and deal with things.
Not a very mature response...
So I guess the answer is.. if we were dealing with mature parties on both sides.. we wouldn't have this problem at all..:-(
I still go back to the fact that no matter how awful my mother has been to me.. and she has.. I wouldn't dream of cutting her completely out of my life.. boundaries.. yes.. that is a part of growing up, but cutting her out.. just couldn't live with that in my heart.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Hi Sarahsmom,

You asked a few questions. Let's see if I can answer them all!!

"I am wondering if you have told your mother why you are estranged from her, or did you just one day decide you had had enough?"

Actually, I told my mother it wasn't working for her to live with me anymore, so yes, one day I did decide I had enough. But, I didn't say it's over and we'll never talk again. I suggested she find a place nearby, and that she find something, and that I'd found a few places. She refused, and moved out of state that night, refusing to tell me where she was going. Then she started telling lies about me to family members while acting as if nothing had happened when she spoke with me. Now I don't talk to her at all by phone. I only email as necessary. And she knows why.

"Has your mother had the opportunity to hear you tell her what you think of her or what the problems from your perspective are?"

Yes, she has. She thinks the problem is my dh. This is the third long term relationship that I have been in that she has blamed the problem on him. She doesn't realize she gets wayyyyy too involved in my every day life, passes radical judgement on my life and the problems are exacerbated by her involvement. My ex called me after she called him and he was laughing. He said he listened to her, but that it was amazing how similar what happened between her and him had happened between her and DH. And when I look back, the same thing with my boyfriend before my ex. She lived with me and my ex for one year and he said he wanted her to move out the first day, and he never saw how my DH could live with her for over 2 years.

"Is it at all important to you to get her to understand?"

Yes, it was. Previously. Now, not so much. I've explained how I felt and tire of doing so.

"do you even want to have a relationship with her?"

Not particularly. I do want to be able to maintain enough civility that my daughter can get to know her and have her own relationship with her.

"or was she just too abusive in your opinion?"

She was, and continues to be emotionally abusive.

"Do you have any sense of responsibility to her at all.."

This is a big one. To what degree are adult children responsible for/to their parents? Yes, I did and I do feel that I should care for her. That's why I had her move in in the first place, over three years ago. When it appeared she was settling in for the rest of her life, with no intention to have any life on her own, and judging me and my husband about the way we lived our life, and creating tension, the responsiblity for her became secondary to my responsibility to my family.

"or have you just decided that she is too far out there to ever "get it" and make amends?"

I don't know if she is too far out there. I don't know if she can make amends. I think it's a personality issue really. I don't particularly respect her or her decisions. I can accept her for who she is, but I don't like her and don't want to spend time with her.

"I guess that leads me to one other question.. ideally.. what would you need from her in order to have any kind of relationship again?"

First off, an apology for lying about me and my dh to my ex and my father. Also, to call them and admit she was lying to them. After that, I don't know.

"Are you going to reach out for Thanksgiving? what will you do for the holidays?"

No, I'm not. She's always hated holidays and never wanted to celebrate them. When she was living with me she would throw fits every holiday about how she didn't want to celebrate. Thanksgiving is an entirely made-up holiday, fueled by consumerism, just as Christmas is. They mean nothing to her. But she did ask that my daughter be sent out to her for the winter holiday and I both made the arrangements and paid for the ticket. She will have my daughter for almost two weeks, including the 25th of December.

You also wrote...

"Where as in the case of estrangement is concerned, the one that cuts themselves off is ultimately saying "you are not worth my time and effort to try and resolve these issues."

I don't think that's always the case. I am saying I am not going to go through this anymore. 30 years of this kind of emotional rollercoaster is enough. I am removing myself from this situation, and setting this relationship up so that I am not subjected to your erratic behavior anymore.

Not worth my time and effort? No, a relationship would be worth my time and effort if it were a healthy relationship. Her behavior has created an unhealthy environment. It's not a "this isn't worth it" feeling, it's a "for my own sanity, I need to create a buffer so I'm not constantly affected by her emotions anymore" feeling.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Sarahsmom...

Whoops, I just realized Lost1 wrote "Where as in the case of estrangement is concerned, the one that cuts themselves off is ultimately saying "you are not worth my time and effort to try and resolve these issues."

Lost1...

"For instance, if the way a parent acts toward their adult child is causing them pain - why would they not want to discuss it?"

Maybe there is not the room for discussion. Maybe they did try to discuss it but the other person's heart/ears/eyes were closed. I tried to talk to my mother on countless occasions. There was no getting through to her. It was her way, or no way. And, because she was living with me, and going to every event with me, including family events with DH's family, everything she did reflected on me. It got to the point where we were turning down invitations because we did not want her to go with us, it was too difficult. She would overtake the conversations, putting down those with different political/religious/lifestyles than she has, not letting those older than her speak, not following the hierarchy in his family or acting like a guest. Then we'd go home and have to hear her insult them to us. I tried and tried to tell her I didn't like this and I wanted a different family dynamic.

Like wind over a prairie.... She wanted it her way. Well, fine. Then go live somewhere else and do what you want. But while you're in my house....

Sound familiar? The roles reversed and she didn't like it. And she is perfectly capable of caring for herself, before anyone gets concerned about that. She just wanted to be around my dd constantly and hates it that she can't live with her. Well, I understand. Grandkids are special. But she didn't make sure I saw my grandparents constantly. She moved me thousands of miles away. I am doing my best. But it will never be good enough unless I do everything she wants, the way she wants.


 o
RE: The Family Myth

Great article Straycat. I put the link in for others. In the future, if you look below your *Post a Follow-Up* box you will see two boxes:

Optional Link URL:
Name of the Link:

Put the website in the first one and a description in the second one. This will embed the link in your message.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Family Myth


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

This is what I meant by how easy it is to misunderstand. Silversword replied to my statements based on her perception of what she thought I was saying and thus allows me the opportunity to address the miscommunicaitons.

First of all my statements concerned those that chose estrangement for reasons other than what I listed:

"Excluding outside influences like drugs, in-laws, etc., or abuse why would someone cut off an important relationship like that of a parent-child relationship without first acknowledgeing there is a problem."

I also stated:
"Where as in the case of estrangement is concerned, the one that cuts themselves off is ultimately saying "you are not worth my time and effort to try and resolve these issues."

Which taken without the context of the sentence before regarding "most of us dealing with estrangement on this site" sounds totally different.

In both statements it is reasonable, without clarification, that Silversword could have actually assumed I meant"ALL THOSE THAT CHOSE ESTRANGEMENT" and felt I didn't understand that there are exceptions.

That was truly not my intent - this was about those that seem to suddenly cut off their relationships with family members without warning.

Silversword - that would not apply to you. According to your posts you have really tried and you can't be responsible for your mother not being able to understand or even trying to understand. IMO - the fact that dispite your problems with your mom you are not standing in the way of your DD having a relaitonship with her says volumns to me about your character. Sorry for not makeing myself clearer.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Sarahsmom - you are absolutely right on the need for maturity on both sides as well as setting boudaries.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

These boards are difficult I think to not get mixed up.. wish we could all meet at the coffee shop and talk!

Silver.. sounds to me like you have every right to be where you are with your mother. It sounds like your mother has HUGE boundary issues.. sounds similar to me. Personally, it has taken me a very long time to be able to put my foot down and insist on boundaries. I guess instinctively i knew it would be this way so when I graduated from college I moved from GA to NYC. Even then, everytime my mother comes to visit, my furniture gets rearranged..

but I think what lost1of3 was saying is true.. many of us.. not all of course, but many are dealing with adult children who have not tried to have a conversation with us.. it seems like they just skipped to the end and want nothing to do with us. In fact, many of us.. me included will not know if we have Grandchildren. What you are doing is so admirable.. at least you are maintaining something for your daughter... there are many in our midst who had wonderful relationships with their grandchildren only to be told that they aren't going to see them again.

Somehow as we go round and round, I feel like we are not always talking apples to apples..
of course.. everyone's situation is a little different so that's not a surprise...

sorry about all the questions...


 o
RE: Blame?

I was abused as a child, before my dad saught help with his alcohol problem. He can't undo what was done, and I would be justified in cutting him out of my life. Yet, he did seek help, he asked for forgiveness, and he changed. My dad was a several generation alcoholic who dared to break the chain, and his family looked down on him for being so weak. I saw him as strong enough to want to admit he had a problem and seek help, something they needed but were not willing to do. He is not proud of what he did to my sister and me but that is for him to bare. Through counceling I learned that I could use the abuse as an excuse for problems in my life or I could take responsibility for becoming the person I want to be dispite it. I am not saying that others that are abused should be as forgiving - because that is a personal choice. I am saying that giving where I came from and what I endured makes the fact that my son would cut me out of his life like he did (without abuse by me or anyone) seem so much more unbelievable and hurtful.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Hi Lost1, I think I missed part of your post!!! Sorry about that :) I think you're exactly right about...

"...how easy it is to misunderstand. (A person replies) to (another person's) statements based on (their) perception of what (they) thought (was being said) and thus ... the opportunity to address the miscommunications (is allowed)."

I took some poetic license to what you said to make it universal. You're right, and that is what is so frustrating both in real life and on these boards. On the boards, or on the telephone it is so easy to be misunderstood. Without body language it's really hard to see that someone is being humerous, or loving, or really does intend to be mean. And if someone doesn't ask for clarification, or if it's not offered, the chasm of hurt and miscommunication grows larger.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ??

Hi Sarahsmom,
No problem on the questions :)

I guess coming from my point of view, with total frustration and anger and irritation and and and!!! with my mother, I can't understand that there really could be so many adults who had nothing of consequence happen between them and their parents and take their children away from their grandparents. Grandparents are so important! My mother is great with my daughter. Sometimes I am concerned about her feeding her bad intel, but then it's my responsibility to keep the lines of communication open between me and my daughter so she knows my side as well.

The thing is, kids will grow up and they will form their own opinions of people. I know, because my mother fed me awful info about my dad and kept me from him. I grew up, realized her info was one sided, and my dad and I now have a great relationship. Unfortunatly, we lost a lot of years because of her interference. Time is the one thing you can't get back.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Hey Silversword..

I think you just hit the nail on the head!!
The reason you have been getting such extreme reactions is because it IS hard to understand.. it's impossible to understand for all of us.

I wish I could talk to you in person.. I wish I could show you what I have been working on...I wish you could meet the people I have met and hear the stories I have heard...
I know this is a repeat, but I think the biggest support of the possibility that this really does happen is my own situation. I think I wrote before that my best friends son is a good friend of both of my sons. His mother obviously sees the situation from an adult perspective and every time she has a conversation with her son she would end up in an arguement. She told me that she couldn't discuss it with him anymore as he was one of my biggest critics.. how could a mother, etc etc....
SO .. this past summer, he needed some business advice.. I am in the same business, we talked for about an hour and at the end of the conversation, I told him that I would be glad to help him do whatever he needed me to do but he had to promise me one thing... he had to promise me never to fight with his mother about my situation again.. and then I proceeded to tell him some things he didn't know.. he was aghast.. he went home, hugged his mother and told her he had a different perspective. Then, when I was ready to shoot my first interview. I had lined up a young lady to help me ask the questions and I was going to operate the camera. She is a newly licensed psychologist and was nervous about any liability she might have.. none of course, but I didn't want to put her in an uncomfortable position. So, I was not sure what to do and I mentioned it to my friend.. she said I should ask her son to help.. since this is our business.. I said I had thought of it, but I didnt' want him to feel pressured.. she said, just ask .. he can say no.. so I asked, he said yes, and has been on all the interviews .. even to Dallas with me. He quietly listens as we Mothers talk about this situation.. and I have to say Silversword.. he now gets it.. he even interjects into the conversation.. especially since he has the unusual perspective of knowing me, my husband, my sons, etc. (he's 28.. )

Sorry for the long winded reply.. but I know that there is something very wrong.. we are all just trying to figure out what it is..but yes.. our adult children use grandchildren just like parents use children in divorces...

This is not the situation you have.. I admire your determination to make sure your daughter has a relationship with her grandmother...one more zinger for me..
I was at the park with my dog yesterday and I saw a woman who is a friend of DIL's family. She clearly isn't up to speed on all the dirt, but she was very nice, said hello then said.. oh I hear you are going to be a Grandmother.. you can imagine how my face looked.. I said.. I don't know.
She then said.. oh wait, maybe I have that wrong and it's DIL's brother and his wife..
they got married about 3 yrs ago.. so I don't know which is true, but either way.. this is hell...


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Sarahsmom,

"...oh I hear you are going to be a Grandmother.. you can imagine how my face looked.. "

in the vernacular of my generation...

THAT SUCKS THE BIG ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I personally cannot imagine using my children like that. Grandchildren, children are so precious, and it only lasts so long!!! To deprive a child of love is criminal. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. In reality, my mother and I have a very civil estrangement. She emails as if nothing is wrong, I email back (cheers, smile, yes I can do that, when will you pick her up, yay, ok, great) and we exist on very superficial terms. For me, this is estrangement. I will not share myself with her any longer. For you, and others, as parents, it is different. I acknowledge the difference. Although I do not like her, I will maintain for my daughter because now it is for her to build relationships, to grow and become a "real" person, with family of her own. My job is to be here for her, to protect, but to allow her to make her own way.

It is very personal, and very individual, these estrangements. As personal as a marriage. As individual as a thumbprint made of jelly on the dining room window.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

silversword- The toxic picture you have painted of your mom makes me feel shocked that you would send your daughter to stay with her. Your moms behavior sounds unbalanced at best. I am curious as to why you are happy to trust her with your childs life and emotional well being. You also said it must be her way or no way, of your mom. Do you not feel the least bit hesitant to expose your child to the manipulation or pressure or whatever that you yourself experience with your mom. She sends you nice emails that don't acknowledge your reality or her wild behavior or lies. I am amazed that you seem so cheery about sending your daughter into that in the same post you talk about protecting her in. The two things just don't seem to go together.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

bucyn-I wanted to say thanks for your nov. 20th post. It read in part...

"A collorary to this is a adult child who says, "I feel this, I felt that" and a parent who can't understand the child's feels or is threatened by those feelings and try to insist: "No, you don't feel that way." Since the parent hasn't the imagination or respect for the child to have his/her own feelings, they can't fathom that such feelings could REALLY possibly exist, and just discount the adult child's complaint. Your complaint's not real, therefore, I don't have to pay attention to it. To the parent it's like giving credence to the man in the moon."

I have turned myself inside out trying to figure out how my husbands mother could totally disregard us and every attempt he and I made to talk out the issues we struggled with in our relationships with her. When he said he felt or thought something she would rage "NO YOU DON'T!"

Your post was very insightful about why someone would hold so tightly to invalidating and being rageful about an adult childs feelings and perceptions. He wasn't bringing up childhood things but was trying to get across how it was not okay manipulate, guilt trip and threaten. She maintains she has never behaved that way (her mom is that way but she is not, in her perception, that way at all). Maybe it was much like you suggested in your post. A case of her being so invested in that image of being better that any threat to that had to be 'put down' at once.

How did you come to those insights?

We tried to sit down and talk things out with my husbands mom again and again. We are presently estranged from her and I struggle with whether or not to even send pictures or a card for the holidays. I think sending nothing doesn't reflect the love we have for her but sending anything implys that the door is open for her to do the demanding and dramatic scene making that we just are not willing to deal with anymore.

My husband expects her to acknowledge that she has anything to apologize for and she expects him to move on and not mention the past. We tried that over and over and it just meant she kept treating him as someone she can get things from but who has no right to ever say 'no' or even 'that hurts, stop it'.

I don't see anything wrong with talking out problems. But if only one side is talking nothing changes. She has to be willing and I guess she is not. Isn't talking the healthy way to resolve issues?

From our experience with his mom and seeing that talking things out(or trying to) was beyond insulting to her I wonder if there is any other healthy approach to take?

My husband wanted to simply stop talking to her for a few years without trying to sit down with her and talk it out first. I was appalled by that. But after wards I could see how it might be easier to not ever have that kind of conversation. She seemed to feel outraged an accused by the very idea that we'd want to talk in that way. She was outraged before we ever got there.

We'd like to have a relationship without the dramatics. That is not presently a possibility for her though I guess.

If she did experience our trying to sit down and talk it out in they way you described in the first part of your post bucyn, that would explain her reaction a lot. The question is then is there any way to get beyond that to a better relationship?


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Hi all

Silver you asked: In your situation, you say your son was 19 when he left home and 40 now. What happened in those 21 years? Did you not see him or speak with him at all?
.........
Yes, I saw him often all his life. I should have said that as nothing is a given. When a child leaves home, often living in another city, their adult personality is forming without you being there and interacting on a daily basis. I think when a boy becomes a man he shares very little with his mother.

Maybe in a way I brought him up too well. What I mean is if he was angry over something why not phone me up and give me a good chewing out. "You so and so. . . Cant you get it right when . . . " and then hang up the phone. We dont have those kind of fighting words, so maybe its a case of repressed anger, although he stuck up for himself as a teenager, so its not as if he never spoke back and he doesnt tiptoe around me like Im some high class matriarch.

But were Canadian eh. And you know what that means? Were polite. The old joke, you know youre in Canada when you step on someones foot, and they apologize. Oh, I want to take this opportunity to wish my American cousins a very Happy Thanksgiving. We have our Thanksgiving the second Monday in October. Humm, if we have our Thanksgiving in October and you have yours in November, that must mean that Canadians invented Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and God bless.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Organic, that is the question of the hour, isn't it? I thought long and hard about what to do. It's very difficult. I don't know that I'm "cheery" or "happy to trust her with (my) child's life". It took a lot of consideration. My mother is excellent with my daughter. They have a good relationship. My mother has been in my daughters life actively since she was born. I have never thought my daughter's life was in danger. I am unhappy with my mother. She and I are toxic together. Does this mean that she is toxic to everyone she interacts with? Not at all. She is a very well liked person. Does she treat everyone the same as she treats her daughter? Nope. If she went in for a psych evaluation Im sure shed pass with flying colors.

It is very difficult to remove myself from the position of hurt child dealing with my crazy relationship with my mother and not project that onto my daughter's relationship with her grandmother.

Just to play devils advocate everyone is only hearing my side. If the children of the other posters were on here, I'm sure we would hear some pretty awful accusations about these parents on this board who we perceive to be loving and wronged people. If my mom were on here, I'm sure everyone would love her and think I'm a brat. She is very funny, educated, interesting, well traveled, down to earth... etc. I think many parents were not so good, but can be excellent grandparents.

After discussing it on this board, with my daughter's father, and with my DH I decided to send my daughter there. There is a lot of family in the area and she will be with her paternal grandparents for a portion of the time as well. I dont know how it will turn out. Ive been concerned about it since I made the arrangements, just as Im sure divorced parents are worried about their children being with their spouse.

Do you have a solution?


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Silverword - I think you are doing what you feel is best for you and your daughter and I would bet that if you felt your mother would/does harm your daughter you would take appropriate action.

You also make a good point about this decision being like whether or not you should try to keep children from ex after divorce. Many of us that are divorce know things about our ex and our marriage that our children can't understand and really don't need to know. Most everyone that knows what happened between us feel that had I told my sons the real reason he left that they would be more supportive of me. I know my eldest the ES, blames me for the divorce and uses that opinion to help justify his actions toward me now. Yet, I felt the need to do what was best for them (not me) which meant keeping my mouth shut, forgiving my ex and over time to even rebuild a civil relationship with him. I wanted our boys to never worry about us being in the same place at the same time like weddings, graduations, etc. Just because my husband and I could not live together in a healthy way does not mean that he is not different with our kids. For the most part I feel he is a good dad and to deprive my children on haveing an opportunity to have a relationship with him based on my relationship with him would be selfish, spiteful, and harmful. IMO - is exactly what my son is doing now.

So Silver that is why I find what you are doing so admirable.


 o
RE: Blinded fault ?

Do I have a solution? Silver, it sounds like you have the perfectly right decision for you.

For me with my own mother. My children didn't spend much private time with her until she and I had our relationship healed. It was a matter of my own sanity to validate my very toxic experience of her and resolve that in a healthy way. I would have been a basket case to leave them in her care before that happened. God healed our relationship. I wouldn't have had it in me to leave them in her care before I received that gift from Him.

I couldn't have handled the stress of that internally.
It is great that you have the means to cope. I personally depended on that healing to make leaving my kids in my moms company unsupervised okay.

I understand what you mean about your mom seeming super to other people, that it was or rather IS you that she behaved differently with. I had a similar experience in a way.

A few months ago I had a cousin say, "Oh. I know YOU weren't abused." As though she knew intimately every aspect of the years I went through trying to protect and parent my self destructive mom. I just let the comment die unargued. For her and her siblings my mom has always been a gentle parental influence opposed to their mothers (physically abusive)treatment of them. In front of them my mom was the perfect doting parent to me. (The memory no longer makes me cringe, but it used to.) My mom and her sister both painted me to be a 'special angel' and treated me like gold in front of them. Better than they were treated and the divide that created is not something that can be breached by anything I say about the reality of my childhood. My mothers screaming and tearing our home apart over and over was not something they ever saw the evidence of. It was only her and I behind those closed doors for eighteen years.

Does it matter to me that they see my life differently than it was? Not really. It is sad that we will never be closer. But oh, well.

It did matter a great deal that my mom tried to shout me down every time I dared question anything about our lives. Her treatment and the extreme dissonance I experienced between what happened in our home and what she wanted me to say happened was a big issue for me. "YOUR LIFE WAS PERFECT!!!!" was what she said, not the reality I experienced. : )

The dissonance between her and I mattered as though my life depended on it well into my adulthood because while I was growing up my life did depend on agreeing with her reality or getting her to see my own. I failed at both and was riddled with anxiety until I was healed. My mantra as a teenager was, "It doesn't hurt because I don't feel anything." Turning my reality off was a coping method that backfired on me as an adult. I couldn't function with no sense of the value of my own perceptions. I had to learn that and find ways to validate myself before I could function as an adult.

As your daughters mother you have the right to put her with whomever you wish. You have checked it out with your husband and your daughters dad (your ex, right?). If it were a dangerous situation I imagine that one of you would have pointed that out to the others. So your daughter will likely go have a great time and be fine. You seem to have peace with your decision and you too will likely be fine. Enjoy the time she is away.

My post was because I could not help but question how I would feel in your position. I wish that I had a solution for you about your mothers inability to hear you. If 'civil' works for you and you are happy that is great. I admire your ability to do that I just couldn't handle it myself.

You matter as much as your daughter. And while I admire your ability to delight in providing a relationship for your daughter and your mother I have to marvel at your ability to do so. In my situation I became a wreck at every contact with my mom before that was healed. You must be a very blessed person to keep yourself calm and together for the sake of your daughter and your mothers relationship. Your mother won't change so you just give her more. She is very, very blessed to have you.

Does your daughters excitement at the prospect of a trip help you feel more confident and relaxed about it?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Parents Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here