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Supporting the estranged mother

Posted by straycat_wandering (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 15, 08 at 13:12

I just wanted to say "Thank-you" to everyone. It has been both healthy and sad to know other mothers have and are experiencing estrangement from their adult children, apparently without justification or cause. It is a long hard battle we face just to deal with the almost daily reminders and of course the pain of loss we carry in our hearts every second of every night and day. I say night because I am sure, you as well also dream the loss.
I feel both encouraged and saddened to realize that part of my healing process has included becoming aware that my estrangement from my children is permanent, and part of that decision is mine. I know now the importance of protecting my physical and emotional health, because I came close to losing both. I have also realized another part of this process for me is to discontinue contact with other members of my family who are also abusive, such as my mother and her husband. For my soul deserves more...
Bless us everyone!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Straycat,

You are so right. We must protect our physical and emotional health. Believe it or not, my breakdown has been a blessing in disguise because I emerged with a new sense of "self." I realize that I am very, very sick in both of these areas.

You know? It is amazing how our mental health affects our bodies. Emotional poison will manifest itself in other areas of the body. It is looking for an outlet and will settle where it can because the mind can only handle so much. As a result, my health has been deteriorating rapidly over the past 8 months since the estrangement began. I have severe pain in my lower left abdomen that doctors (2) cannot explain. They tell me that all my tests (including ultrasounds & biopsies) have come back normal. So it must be the emotional stress that is causing the pain.

I am in process of making some positive changes in my life. I am putting myself first instead of focusing on the pain and heartache. I can't blame my daughter for hurting me anymore. I am only responsible for my own reactions to her behavior. I no longer give her the power to hurt me.

Another thing I have learned is that I cannot control other people. I don't have the power to make anyone love and/or accept me. This is has really given me a sense of freedom and relief to know that I am not responsible for my daughters actions. Only she can choose to stay estranged or to return. So, I put it back on her shoulders.

We all need each other here. A kind word goes a long way when people are in the process of healing. Keep your head up and take care of yourself first. You are the only one who can, ya know?

Hugs,
kmttsmom


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Thank-you kmttsmom,
You are right, so very right. I tend to put myself last but stick up for others. As putting my children's needs not only first, but also failing to take care of myself. I am trying to change in fact, you may want to look at what I just posted on 'blinded fault.' At first I was going to just ignore the implications, then I remembered what you wrote about a kind word and supporting each other...and you are so right. I just had to go back, and write, because if I didn't I wouldn't be true to myself or those wonderful people like you who have helped me so much in my journey through this forest of tears. We do have to help each other because it is the only way, and it works.
Thanks for being the special person you are...you really really are special and I so appreciate you.


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as i've watched my mother slowly but surely reclaim her life over the last few years though tragic on one level, it's been inspiring on another. she has revealed her true character as one who overcomes but holds no grudges. she holds her head up, in the most extraordinary circumstances as when she encounters her enstranged children in public. yet she is gracious and nonconfrontational. she learned some life lessons along the way, even at 80 years old. and they haven't all been bad, there have been many affirmative and tender realizations as well. she's taken it but she doesn't give it back.
there were nights that i layed in bed awake praying for my mother. not knowing if my love and support would be enough for her, i always can use some help. it works. i know how hard these times are and it seems as if there is no way out but i can assure you there is. my mother is proof. even though there has been no resolution between her and her enstranged children sometimes success is defined by other realities. she's come thru the other side of enstrangement with her dignity and self respect. she's hopeful that some day things will work out with her children, but she's not making that possibility a precondition to living her life. keep your chin up.


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Hello,
I'm new to this forum. I have a son who has decided not to talk to me. He lives in another city. The last time I spoke to him was in July.
We were to have a family picnic and he went to the wrong park - which wasn't my fault. But the picnic was ruined anyway because it rained, I'm talking buckets, I talking torrents - I never saw such rain, and we all had to leave after being there less than an hour.
This is so petty that he'd stop talking over this that it took me about a month to even think of it. So I don't know if that's the problem. He's not a petty guy.
I tried phoning a number of times and always there was no answer. I left messages for them to call back - no reply. So I emailed him and he was replying - just asnwering questions, not asking how I was or anyone else.
They sent me a birthday gift in Sept. and so I thought it was a good excuse to phone again, but no answer.
He is no longer answering email.
I tired phoning when he is at work, but his wife will not answer. He's married to a wonderful woman, and has children.
I don't understand how he could do this and if he's not talking, how will I know what's bothering him?
Like many of you, I am perplexed.
Is there some kind of strange virus going around?
I talked a bit to his in-laws, but some are not well and I was afraid of upsetting them, so I played it down. One has a pacemaker, so I don't want to drag them in on something that they have no control over.
Many of you write about the daughter in law. This girl is sent from heaven. I couldn't say a bad thing about her if I thought all day.
So I have joined the estranged mothers club. Wish I could think of a funny line here.
Did any of us think we would end up where we are?
God bless all of you. I have felt your pain in what you have written.
Ka12


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Good to have you ka12-No I don't think any of us in our wildest nightmares ever thought we'd be here-I KNOW I didn't. I thought and it seemed to other people that my children and I were so close. I can't to this day really believe this has happened and it's been three years since I've seen one of my sons, and two since I've seen a son, daughter and grandson. Here is is Christmas again, (that's when they "broke up" with me two years ago) and I am left out again and again and again. It gets "different" not really easier I think but, different. You go through such a painful, painful time, and then you start to feel some anger (or at least I did). How can they deliberately inflict so much pain and not even try. OH I am sure my children say they do...but I've met their conditions and they throw in more, and more. And I was told by a "Professional" -"you are never going to be able to please them,....they just keep wanting more." So....then I progressed to a kind of limbo, a lot of outside influence can make or break your day. (Like witnessing what you are missing :( ) Uch. So if you can't find a funny line-it's ok...that I think is part of it-you can't exit with a smile all the time. But it's ok here, we do understand. I hope you find some comfort here. Take care.
stray


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But, don't you think after a period of time enough is enough? Are you going to self flagellate yourself until the end of time?

Are you being treated fairly? NO
Are you getting what you deserve? NO
Did you do anything horribly bad? NO
Will you ever understand why? NO
Has over half of the people on this planet got what they deserve? NO

But are you going to forever until the end of time punish yourself for the fact of your child/children abusing their power over you? NO

And if one must create an image it is one of a prisoner, tied hand and feet upside down with duct tape over their mouth being repeatedly tortured. You want to live your life like that? NO. You have no power in this situation.

Children who do this to parents are creepy people. One could hope they get their just desserts? I would think not. Can you live with the knowledge that you raised a creepy person?

There is no justice, there is no retribution.

Get on with your life.


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No colleen, I don't think I raised "creepy" people. In fact I posted what would be a good reply on Blinded faith, but I'll tell you how I feel about my influence as their mother. When they were born I figured out I could claim half. Then environment came along and cut my half into at least two. That left me 1/4. As they got older "free will" came along, personally I think that's a big one, but if we give it the same percentage as environment I only have 1/8th. The parts (compassion, love, tenderness, appreciation) that I have was not a part of the 1/8th they choose to keep. But no, they are not creepy. In fact, if you met them you'd love them. They have some many good qualities and one of them used to be love...I don't know as far as I am concerned where it went. But, I do hope and pray it's still there in their heart where they are sharing it with others.
You are right-we must go on. But repression doens't work well. In fact, for me it usually menas my pain will come out when I least expect it at the worse possible moment and I begin to cry and can't stop. (not socially appropriate)...so, it makes much more sense for me to pour out that pain in the midst of others who know and understand than take a chance on appearing "not together" in the company of those who don't understand or know what I am feeling. So, it's not the end, it's just part of my journey, and I'm moving not very fast some times, but I keep going. It's all about the journey not the destination.
stray


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Colleen - Although your words are harsh, Im sure you mean well. You want to shake us and tell us to get on with our lives, and that these "creeps" arent worth it. Perhaps if it were a neighbour or coworker, we might take that advice and carry on. But dont you get it? These are not ordinary people in our lives. They are our children. The ones we would give a kidney to or anything else the doctor wanted to take from us. We have already given our hearts.

And like Stray I dont like you calling my son a creep. Hes a child of God who presently is making a big mistake in his life, and needs prayers. Please be a little more gentle in your words.

Im not even angry with my son over this, Im hurt. But I wish I had a bit of justified anger as it might give me some backbone. Im like a doormat and if he called, I would accept him. I was going to say no questions asked, but no, I will ask why.

Stray, I wish like anything I had some words of comfort for you. You have had more than your share of pain with all your children. We are only souls in cyberspace, unknown to each other if we passed on the street, but my is heart is heavy with you.

Kmttsmom, the same to you as you also are suffering with your estrangement, as I have read many of your posts. Im so sorry too that you are going through this.

And to Colleen and Silver and all the others as well, who in one way or another are going through hard times with loved ones Ill conclude with the prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
were there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.


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ka12,

Thank you for putting so eloquently into words the thoughts I have had for a long time regarding this board. Sometimes people who post really aren't that sensitive in their word choices. Sometimes, I believe this is unintentional. Other times, not so sure. :(

Colleen has posted before and she's always been very supportive. I have thanked her many times for putting others in their place when they needed it. :) I think she was justing giving us a good kick in the pants because she thinks we need to "snap out of it." All-in-all, I think she meant well.

Thank you for your kind words and for reminding others to be a little more gentle. We are like butterflies with bruised wings. We try so hard to keep right on flying even though it hurts. We accept our pain and live with it everyday. It becomes a part of us. All it takes is a big gust of wind, (hurtful remark) and we lose our strength and begin falling downward again. The problem is that once we are down it's really hard to get back on course. I hope that others will keep this in mind whenever they post in the future. I also hope this makes sense and doesn't sound too corny.:0 That's the only way I know how to describe it.

Take care and I am so glad to have a new friend on this board. We do take care of each other here.

Hugs,
kmttsmom

PS: hello to you too, Straycat! :)


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Kmttsmom, your words are very poetic. Do you write poetry?

It would be nice to put those words to a poem.


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Did anyone hear from their children Thanksgiving? I didn't, but I didn't expect to. It's really probably better this way. I've written before about the relationship betwwen by mother and her husband with my children. Anyway, I have something to admit...I am no longer communicating with them. They feel the problem and as much as I try and overlook the damage each time I talk to my mither it increases. She call my children and tell them all kinds of things (she makes things up) that increases the distance and estrangement. So I feel I have to put that on hold. I hate to do it because even though she his and has always been abusive they are not healthy and I have always been there for them to call and help them. I just no longer can handle that with the pain of losing my children and then knowing they intentially try to hurt me more. I realize it's not the best for them but I feel the need to protect myself. I know they have my children to call and people that go the the church they attend., plus I do not have power of attorney (my son has)so I really cannot do anything in the event of an emergency. I know someone is going to ask if I have discussed this with them; so yes in the past, but they "didn't get it." I am sure they wouldn't now. It's probably hard when someone who has always taken your abuse and still been there for you quits, but I feel I have to. I even wonder if it's not for the best. I hate the game playing and I'm not good at it-so I just quit.
Take care everyone and beware the Wal-Mart shoppers!


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Hi Stray
I'm sorry they didn't call and I'm sorry that you are hurt.

I wish I were a sage with some words of wisdom, but just know that I, and many others on this board, care about you. Perhaps that's all anyone needs anyway. To be kind to one another.

Try and do something nice for yourself this weekend. Maybe treat yourself to a new bit of clothing. What about a nice new sweather? Just something to give yourself a bit of a boost to make you feel good. And hey, there's some good sales going around.

Do you do any volunteer work? That can also help. It's nice go get away also. I'm going away tomorrow to visit my sister for a couple of days.

God Bless.


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kmttsmom,

"Sometimes people who post really aren't that sensitive in their word choices. Sometimes, I believe this is unintentional. Other times, not so sure. :("

I would agree that many people lack sensitivity and are probably poor communicators. Everyone could learn how to communicate more effectively and if they did I'm certain that they would see some improvement in their overall relationships with others. Of course, that is a generalization and doesn't mean it would be effective with everyone, but I think it something to strive for.

I am like you and tend to feel, at least with some people, that their poor communication and insensitivity maybe unintentional. I'm not convinced that is true of everyone. I also think communication tends to go sour for different reasons, but a strong contributing factor to a downward spiral is when people refuse to take responsibility. I had a sister who always responded with, "You misintrepreted my meaning...." and judgments such as "You're too sensitive," and "You always take things the wrong way," etc.

If you notice in her word choices (You, You, You) and in those expressed sentiments the onus is never on her to take responsibility for her communication style or delivery.

For example, if she felt that her message was taken in a different way than intended, why not take some responsibility and say, "Perhaps, I'm not conveying to you what I meant....Let me try another way to say what I was feeling....etc....Instead of judgments and dismissive comments such as "You're too sensitive," why not try a more empathetic approach such as, "I can see a comment like that hurt you," or something along those lines.

If people really do ascribe to that they are imperfect and that the human condition is about being imperfect, then why would they have such a hard time taking some measure of responsbility for their communication?

If anything has been consistent in my life it has been hearing people judging my feelings as "too sensitive". And these people routinely demonstrated lack of sensitivity to my feelings. It was all about them. Now, whenever someone tries to use that comment with me, it is actually code word for that they are a very aggressive person and someone who is oblivious to my feelings. I won't allow them to get close to me and they do not merit my time and attention. One cannot have a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable and oblivious to the emotions of others. I wouldn't refer to it as a relationship....I think that would be misleading because that implies there's a connection. No, I think it more like an association and acquaintance, since it's so impersonal and based on someone getting their needs met at your/my expense. When people care about others they don't dismiss or devalue someone's emotions as "too sensitive".

I do really feel that some people care far more about winning and being right than they care about the feelings of others.


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I hear the same "too sensitive" comments. I feel it's more like the ability to feel my true emotions and that is what I express. I'm doing better I think, in backing away (like you) from people who are toxic for me to be around. Unfortunately...the one who is the most unhealthy for me to even talk to on the phone is my mother. I've tried a lot of different approaches when trying to have a conversation with her, and even alter my reactions, but it just is not good to share anything with her. The first thing she always does is call my children and turn what I say against me. I don't want my feelings or life to be the "entertainment." and in my family that is the way it goes. Always has been (different people-different times) and now I am it. (no, I never played even when I was young it disgusted me). So I guess I was an easy target-I've certainly lasted a long time. But it's time to stop and not talking to my mother will help I am sure. At least I can hope.


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straycat...

I think we must have the same mother...(I'm trying to infuse the situation with a little humor). I've learned to talk to my mother, but not talk to her. It sounds funny, but I've learned to talk to her without telling her anything or much and besides she is very self-absorbed, so I don't even think she is all that aware. If she is aware she has made a choice to not acknowledge her own part in the problems. I also write her instead of calling her on the phone. Currently this is the only solution I have to make the interactions with her less emotionally painful. It is a way for me to have her in my life, but keep distance as well. I wish the situation were different, but I have to accept how things are. I don't know if that type of approach may work for you. It's difficult when you have someone always twisting what you say...My mother can even accomplish twisting my meaning by the very limited interaction that I have with her and that is in written form. It's amazing because most people observe that I'm a very accomplished communicator (although I'm imperfect). I've tried different approaches too and alter my reactions which provokes an angry response. I learned the relationship was very limited.

I, like you, feel that sensitivity is positive, although the people in my life who have made those comments are not using the phrase in a positive way. They do expect me though to behave in a sensitive way towards them (I intrepret their behaviors as that they want me to agree with them and to act wantless and needless). They just don't reciprocate sensitivity. Sometimes family members scapegoat children who are seen as "sensitive". They make easy targets for rage, anger and abuse, because they react.

I have one friend who values my "sensitivity" and does not turn it around as a negative character flaw or trait. Have you ever read the book, Emotional Unavailability? The author writes about the numb and oblivous. A lot of people are not present emotionally and thus are unable to express themselves emotionally as well. The subtle daily fluctuations of mood and emotions are lost to them and lost on them. They would intrepret someone who is aware (sensitive) and "too sensitive". I mean if you can't identify emotions in yourself (excpet the large emotional responses), then you can't indentify them in others.

I think you need to take care of yourself first and do what helps you to feel healthy.


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Hi All

My son is now speaking to me.

I phoned him yesterday morning and got the usual recording and said I had a ride to his city on the 14th and I would like to come over and bring some Christmas gifts to the children.

I was feeling particularity bad yesterday about the whole situation. I think it was because by phoning I was setting myself up for another rejection. I certainly didnt expect a call back. But after 9:00 p.m. the phone rang - and it was him. He was talking in clipped sentences, like he was angry but he said it would be fine if I came. I wanted to cut the conversation short, sort of quit while I was ahead and I said "O.K., Ill see you then." Then, suddenly everything changed and he started talking. Maybe it was because he was embarrassed at the start and then the ice broke. He told me all about the kids, what they were up to and was just his old self.

So there you go folks. It was July since I last spoke to him. I reneged about asking why he was angry as I had planned. Ill just leave it as it is and see all of them on the 14th.

Thank you so much, all of you, for the help and support you have offered me on this board. It helped take my mind off my own pain and made me realize how much this is happening in our society.

I hope and pray it works out well for all of you. God bless.


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Hello Everyone,

I posted this on another thread last night, I did not realize this was the most recent. Anyway, this is what I wanted to say.

This is my first post and while I am so very sorry that anyone has to go thru all of this heartache and sadness, I am glad that I have found all of you. I have been walking around since this past April in a haze of anger and grief that my 38 year old daughter has put me in. I will get into details at a later date but the short story is that she makes as much money as I do but I have been paying a lot of her bills for the past couple of years and doing without things myself to make her life easier. The more I have done, the worse she treats me. I finally told her no more money and she smiled and said FU, you're no loss to me and got in her car and drove away. She has 4 children by 3 different men. Single but living with the father of the last one born this past July.(I have seen him once for about 10 minutes) I miss my grandchildren terribly but after I asked twice to see them and got no response, I have given up. Anyway, I just want you all to know that I feel your pain and know what you are going thru. I just keep telling myself that I have been bent, but I am not broken and like a tree that withstands mighty winds, I will come thru this stronger.


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ka12-Wow, that is great you'll be seeing them so soon and that he talked to you about his kids. Sounds like not asking what was wrong with him at the start gave him room to open up some. Sounds very positive. Enjoy him and your grandkids on the 14th.


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Hi Everyone,

I am new here, but so thankful to have found you all. I can identify with much of what I have read in your posts and it is comforting to know that I am not alone in this.

I am estranged from my two grown adult daughters, ages 34 and 29 and it has been an "off and on" estrangment for the past 7 years. Like the rest of you, I am totally SHOCKED at this, since I have always been extremely close to both of them their entire lives.

We were kind of like the "three angels" protecting each other from my abusive minister husband whom I finally divorced in 1991. He was mentally, emotionally, verbally and physically abusive to me for the majority of our marriage and verbally abusive to the girls.

Finally I divorced him, having given up on him ever changing and realizing that trying to protect him from himself and the congregations that we served, not wanting them to know that they had a "monster" for a minister, etc.

I went back to college and obtained my Master's Degree in Pastoral Counseling and made sure my daughters both graduated from College and we all three began our new lives apart from him.

So imagine my utter shock when my oldest daughter begins to not call as often, not return or answer my phone calls even when she was home, stopped visiting as much, etc. She wrote me the most beautiful letter in 1996 telling me and thanking me for being her "best friend" who never abandoned her, who made sure she made it, in spite of what her Dad was doing to all of us, and how much she loved me.

Then in 2000 that all changed. I have NO IDEA WHY, other than the fact that she moved near my oldest sister in Ohio, who has always "put me down" my entire life, and who is a wealthy snob, who lives the jet set life, and has a husband who is a football coach at Ohio State. Next thing I know my sister is over at my daughers house all the time, attending birthdays, christmas's, babysitting, etc, and then there were also the next door neighbors who adopted my daughter and her husband and showered them with tons of attention, gifts, and adoration.

Long story short, all of a sudden my grandchildren are calling the next door neighbors, Grandma and Grandpa and I can hardly get my daughter to answer the phone.

I began to challenge all of this in person the few times that I visited, I live in Virginia and they are all in Ohio, and also via emails. For that, my daughter begins to write me vicious, accusatroy emails, calling me names, saying that I am EVIL, selfish, etc you name it, I got called it.

Since I am an ex-minister's wife who does not even smoke or drink, or do drugs, or have never abused ANYONE in my life, this is all a COMPLETE SHOCK!!! For the past 7 years I have been trying to explain, reason, apologize for things I never said or did, JUST to get her to give me the time of day. Now her younger sister, moved there as well, and now she is not speaking to me either and we were always very close.

I know you probably think there must have been SOMETHING that I did to cause all of this, but the truth is there is NOTHING I have done wrong other than to try to DEFEND myself. Both of my daughters are now completely making up stuff that NEVER HAPPENED.

Anyway, it is an ugly ugly thing. I have been re-married now to a wonderful man since 2002 whom they both really like, and they are now treating him as bad as they are treating me.

I guess the best way to put this is I feel like I have been slandered, framed for a crime I did not commmit, and tried and convicted and sent to jail, with no possibility of parole.

Just this past Thanksgiving I found out my ex-husband who never gave them the time of day spent Thankgiving with them, apologized for all of his past mistakes to them and they have now forgiven him.

Me on the other hand, they won't even allow in their homes, I am not allowed to see my grandchildren, I am not given the opportunity to "talk this out" let alone be "forgiven" and now my daughter is pregnant once again with my third grandchild.

Yes, it really HURTS. Paying for a crime you did not commmit and having no idea how you became the prime suspect.

I admire all of your posts, and I am VERY HAPPY for the woman whose son is speaking to her again. She may never know what caused it, and I like what someone said on here about this situtation " is there a virus going around?" because it sure feels like it.

Thank you all for letting me vent, this is the one problem I cannot solve or fix, and here I am a counselor.

Patricia


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Hi Patricia,

I am new here also and I can totally identify with what you are feeling and what you are going thru. One thing I discovered was that whenever my daughter started getting distant with me, it was because she was doing something that she knew I would not approve of. I always found out from other realatives, after she had found a reason to stop speaking to me. I have never thought of myself as a judgemental person but I do have a definite sense of right and wrong which I obviously did not pass on to my daughter as much as I tried.
You may never know what your sister has said about you but I can promise you that she definitely has had a hand in this. Jealously knows no bounds and I would imagine that even though she has all the worldly goods she will ever want, she still wants what you have. She does not want things like you have, she wants what you have.

I try to console myself with the knowledge that I have loved my daughter as well as I possibly could have loved her and now it is my season for being and living for God, myself and my husband and my son and his children.


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Hi missed,

Thank you for your comments on my post. You have given me a new way of looking at this. My sister HAS played a big hand in this, and even though she has three grown children of her own, none of them are married, only one lives near her, and none of them have any children, thus my sister has no grandchildren. So, she has adopted mine I guess, plus my two daughters.

Plus, I will never forget the comment she made to me when my first daughter was born, which was: "how come YOU are the one who has children with blond hair and blue eyes? I was the one who was supposed to have blond-haired, blue-eyed children" All of her children have brown hair and brown eyes.

The next door neighbors who have since moved to Florida STILL show up every single summer since their children also live in the same area as my daughter. The man can "fix anything" and does, and the woman, who is around my age, showers my daughter with babysitting and gifts and tons of attention. Now they do the same thing with my two grandchildren. So I just got "pushed" right out of the picture.

My friends tell me that NO ONE should have been able to take my place UNLESS my daughter had allowed it. So I guess I have to face that as well. Whenever I would call, she all of sudden never had time to talk to me on the phone because " Jim & Margie" (the neighbors) are here, or we are "on our way over to Jim & Margie's house" so gradually, they just "took over my role" as the grandparents and parent.

Now my oldest daughter ADMITS that Jim is like a "father to her" and Margie "says she loves her like a daughter"

Has anyone ever had other people come into your adult children's lives and because they live near your child and you live several states away, they REPLACE YOU?

Thankyou for any responses.... I just think that a very insiduous process has taken place in my situation and I guess I have to come to the point where I don't try to fight it anymore.

Patricia


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Patricia,

What a wake up call your daughters and grandchildren will get one day when the older generation starts to pass and leave all their belongings to their REAL children and Grandchildren.

There is nothing wrong with having friends in an older generation, and those older friends don't have the history with your children that you do so it is easier to be friends with them. They are not going to have an opinion that goes against your daughters and neither will your sister unless she thinks it is the opposite of what you would say.

I think the best thing for you to do is stay in the background right now and keep sending cards and making phone calls just to keep the communication open. Maybe one day they will mature enough to appreciate you and what you have done for them.

I am really sorry you have to go thru this, you will be in my prayers. Just remember, you may be bent but you are not broken. That is what I keep telling myself and it does make me feel better.

So do the massages that I have been getting twice a week now that I have money to spend on myself instead of paying my daughter's bills!!!! lol


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Patricia,

Hello,

Yes, I too, have been replaced by my ex mother-in-law. She has completely taken over my role. For example, my daughter was married in September. My ex mother-in-law orchestrated and paid for the whole affair. And get this...I didn't even receive an invitation!!!

My ex mother-in-law is a total control freak. She has to be in the center of all the action. She is a contributing factor as to why my daughter is now estranged from me. See, grandma has a revolving checkbook with checks that have my daughter's name etched on them.

My daughter who is pregnant for the 3rd time, nor her new husband will hold a job. Therefore, grandma is always bailing them out of trouble. She pays their rent, car payment, etc...anything else that they need to live comfortably. Meanwhile, my daughter learns nothing and continues to have more babies for grandma to support.

I refuse to cater to my daughter and provide her a living. Therefore, she has nothing to do with me anymore. I am of no value to her. My daughter tells me that grandma is only one who cares about her.

Sorry if I sound bitter, but I am so sick of the drama and attention that is given to this whole mess. I can't compete with a 70 year old woman who obviously has more money than sense.

So, yes dear, I know all too well what it feels like to be replaced. Furthermore, I don't know how a woman, especially another mother could stand by and watch a child treat their own mother was such callous disregard as my ex mother-in-law has witnessed my daughter treating me. I can't believe she didn't insist I was invited to the wedding. But since she was paying for it all, she felt it didn't matter I guess. Who knows?

But, you know what they say, "what goes around, comes around." So I keep holding to that adage. It is the only thing that gives me any comfort.

kmttsmom


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

kmttsmom,

My daughter received $10,000 dollars from her X inlaws in exchange for a legal document stating they will get custody of all her children in the event that something happens to her. I say she sold their future because all of the x inlaws children are total losers, drugs, alcohol, prostitution, theft, you name it. But the money is that important to her. Sad thing is she makes very good money but lives way beyond her means.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

kmttsmom and missd,

My heart goes out to both of you. I wonder just how many estranged mothers out there have been REPLACED by someone else? I know that in my case, my ex-husbands girlfriend was a air line stewardess and she showered my daughters with exotic gifts from all over the world, while I was struggling as a single mother, and their Dad was not paying court ordered child support and alimony. He is considered one of the worst dead beat Dad's in the state that we live in.

Add to that my older sister, who also showers them with money, expensive gifts, and free babysitting, and the next door neighbors who do the same thing, etc. As you said kittsmom, how do you compete with that?

I also agree with you that I don't know any DECENT woman that would sit by and watch children treat their mother horrendously and not intervene. Which is what my sister has done. At one family function about four years ago, I began choking on some food and went out into the garage of my daughter's home, so as not to draw attention to myself since it was my granddaughter's 3 year old birthday party.

My mother, sister, and both daughters were there when this happened. My husband of course ran out to the garage to see if I was alright, my mother came out also, my youngest daughter came out, but my oldest daughter and my sister NEVER came out at all to see if I was dead or not. My mother told me later that my oldest daughter leaned over to my sister and said "here Mom goes again, trying to draw attention to herself, and ruin another family event of mine." !!!!!

My sister instead of saying "She is not, how could you say such a thing? Said NOTHING and continued to sit there in the living room with my oldest daughter."

I think the hardest thing is knowing that you did a good job as a Mother, and thinking you had such sweet and wonderful children that you were close to, and then have them grow up and meet other people and ALLOW themselves to be influenced by their values, and rotten characters, all because they are being wined and dined by people with more money than you have.

It is hard not to be bitter, but hopefully all of us will get past this and realize that the problem is THEIRS not OURS.

PatriciaAngel


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Hugs Patricia. What did you expect people to do? Life is a continuous process of being replaced. People die, pets die, parents die, you die, you find another way to have that need met, or you become bitter. All of us are "replaceable". And a good parent ALWAYS ensures that their children are very capable of surviving without you. I wish I could be alive to read my obit.

Noone can replace me, although many have tried, and many wished they could too! HAH! Your value is in what you see yourself as. The problem is that you want to see yourself as more lasting and important than you actually are. It is not an issue of theirs VS ours.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Missd,

You have got to be kidding me! Your daughter gambled with her children's future well-being in exchange for $10,000? I may be overstepping some boundaries here (and please excuse me if I am) but isn't that almost like "selling" your children off? Again, I mean no offense, I am just trying to look at the situation for what it is. My gosh, those poor children. I bet that $10,000 is long spent. :( I am at a loss for words right now about that situation. My heart aches for you and your grandchildren.

Patricia,

I am glad you understand the point about how another human being, much-less another mother, could stand back and watch a daughter treat her mother so badly and not say anything. My own mother has been trying for weeks to intervene on my behalf with my daughter. In spite of my mother's pleas to "make things right," my daughter refuses to budge.

My mother has shamed her for months for being so heartless and cruel, but it doesn't change anything. My daughter has her mind made up that she wants nothing more to do with me because she says that I think I am better than she is. My daughter says that she is jealous of me because I have a new house, better car, etc...

Yep, this is what she tells my mom. Well, sister, my new house didn't come without sacrifices! I went back to college at age 30 to get a degree to afford this house. My husband and I scrimped and saved for years to acquire what little bit we do have. We aren't rich, not even close.

I am 42 years old. I have been married almost 20 years, and it has taken blood, sweat, and tears to get where I am. She is 23 and barely finished high school & got pregnant three times out of wedlock. In her mind, since I am doing well, I should share it all with her. I can't do that because I am not that well off. LOL It's ridiculous for her to even think that way! Meanwhile, grandma (ex's side) is always there with her open checkbook ready to take care of the problem and make everything all better again.

She called me last spring because the brakes went out on her car (that ex-grandma bought). Neither she nor her dead-beat boyfriend at that time were working, so I told her that until they both get a job, I wouldn't help. I know that may sound cruel, but as long as I support them, they will have no incentive to work. Well, she then goes to ex-grandma, who also refused (for the first time) SHOCKING isn't it? Anyway, when ex-grandma refused, my daughter became angry with her and refused to see her or bring the grandkids by. Well, this about killed ex-grandma, so she finally gave in. See? I have raised a manipulator. Sad isn't it?

You know? When your child calls you and tells you that all they have for supper is Mac & Cheese, your heart aches. But then in the very next breath they tell you that they are too good to work for $7.50 an hour (she was offered a job for this amount and turned it down because she thinks she is "worth more") you just want to throw your hands up. Or when every job they get, they lose before the 90 day probationary period is up. I mean, what are we supposed to do?

kmttsmom

PS: It is nice to meet both of you. Welcome to the board. :)


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I thank God I found this site! Just to be able to put into words what I have held in for so many years is like a drink of cool water. To be able to read of the problems that you all face and know EXACTLY how you are feeling makes me not quite so lonely.

Now, here is theory that I have and maybe you will think it is just too way out there to be valid but here goes....

In wolf packs there can only be one Alpha male, I am beginning to think that in families, there can only be one Alpha female. If you because of looks, intelligence, employment, whatever, are viewed as the Alpha female in your family, or as a threat to becoming the Alpha, you must be challenged or ostracized.

Now, at the risk of sounding conceited again, I KNOW that I am taller, thinner, prettier, more educated and make more money than my mother, sister and daughter although my daughter is close in earnings.

I also know that my husband is much more desirable in many ways than my brother-in-law or my son-in-law. There have actually been times that my daughter has made my husband and I very uncomfortable with remarks she has made about being attracted to her step-father(my husband). And as for my mother, I was my father's favorite child and she was extremely jealous of that relationship. She treated me like another woman in his life rather than his daughter, and I can promise you that he was the sweetest, kindest, man anyone could ever know.

Having said, all this, it does nothing to change the situation except in my searching for answers. My husband, my son, my brother and my uncles all think that mom, sis and daughter are jealous and petty.

I have lived without the love of my mom and sis all my life and am used to that, but losing my daughter has broken my heart. To lose someone you would step in front of a train for is just unthinkable but unfortunatly an every day reality now.


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Well there you go

Finally someone who has identified the actual animal urge to be the dominant one. Well who would have ever guessed that we have animal urges and drives.

Surprise surprise... of course we do.

Nice one missd. I remember back in the day when everyone told me my sister was the pretty one and I should just bow down to her physical beauty. Doh, and huh? How so? I thought it was irrelevant at the time and I still do. And that all changed over the course of a very short period of time. But you know what? Her loss of beauty pissed her off. An eventuality she has never fully recovered from.

How silly we are.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

The thing is colleen777 is that you may have been the better looking one and whoever told you that was jealous of you. It really is irrelevant like you said, I never thought about my looks one way or the other until my mom or sister would say something about it. If someone told my mom how pretty I was, she would immediately go on the defensive about my sister being just as pretty as me. She NEVER once told me I was pretty. Funny thing is my sister and my mom look exactly alike. I look like my dad's side of the family.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Gee,

I don't know who to respond to first. Alot of posts here. But I think I will start with Colleen.

You have completely missed my point. I can allow for my children meeting new people, getting on with their lives, and not needing me to depend on anymore. Both of my girls are very independent, both have college degrees, and both have high paying jobs, and one is married and the other is about to be married.

BUT, and it is a HUGE "BUT" While I am alive I DO NOT EXPECT their next door neighbors to replace me as "Grandma" and I DO NOT EXPECT my own sister to REPLACE me as their Mother. They only have one Mother and it will always be and should be, ME.

After I die, they can replace me with anyone they want to, but while I am alive, pardon me, if I expect to be called Mother and Grandma.

You posted: "The problem is that you want to see yourself as more lasting and important than you actually are. It is not an issue of theirs VS ours."

Are you actually a Mother Colleen? Because if you ARE then seeing myself as their ONLY MOTHER is HARDLY seeing myself as more lasting and important than I actually am! I don't feel that I need lectures on motherhood, thankyou.

Sorry, but I take exception to my grandchildren calling someone else who is NOT their grandmother, "Grandma" and I take exception to an older sister who has "practically moved in" and taken over as my daughter's mother just because she lives three miles from them and I live 700 miles away.

I have alot of issues with my own mother, but I do respect the fact that she is the only one that I have, she gave birth to me, and while I may find a substitute, that substitute does not mean that I have REPLACED my Mother!

Which is what all of our children on this forum apparently have done. Either they have replaced us with someone else or they have convinced themselves that we are so horrible we are not worthy to be called their Mother. My eldest daugther once referred to me in an email as "that woman."

When just 7 years ago she called me "her best friend, the one who always protected her and was there for her, the one who would give up her life for her, and whom she appreciated and loved to no end."

Now what happened in the past 7 years to change her thinking is a combination of OTHER people entering into her life, and being so jealous of me, they intentionally set out to destroy her relationship with me. Some of these people have been members of my own family of origin. Mainly my older sister who has been jealous of me her entire life.

So in answer to your post Colleen. Yes, life is continuous, people die, but UNTIL they die, they are STILL here on this earth, part of a FAMILY, and that should be respected.

By the way Colleen. I am a Christian therapist, I am very spiritual, and I know all about life ending, and people dying, and just because I miss my daughter's relationship does not mean that I think I am more important than I actually am. I am also a graduate of a seminary and have a master's degree in Theology and Psychology.

For you to assume that I think I am more important than I actually am is quite a thing to say considering you don't know me at all. I tend to think you might need some counseling when it comes to being judgemental, assuming things you have no idea about, and being very bitter yourself.

I wish you well, but take a long look at the speck in your own eye before you jump all over someone else on here.

Patricia


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

patriciaangel, I am sorry for the pain you are feeling and for the difficult life you've had. I'm going to say something very unpopular, but it's something to consider if you want to repair the rift between you and your children.

I want to address the statement you made: "Since I am an ex-minister's wife who does not even smoke or drink, or do drugs, or have never abused ANYONE in my life, this is all a COMPLETE SHOCK!!!"

Patricia, staying with an abusive man, allowing your children to witness abuse, and allowing him to abuse them IS abuse. He's responsible for his actions for sure, you you are responsible too. I understand there are complex reasons for staying; but there are complex reasons why your ex was abusive too.

Subjecting your children to an abusive person, even their father, is grounds for removing children from the home. It's considered it's own form of abuse by almost all mental health and child development professionals. If you are a counselor, you should know that.

And, fair or not, children expect protection from their mother, and have a higher standard of expectation from her than their fathers. It's well documented that abused children are often more angry at their mothers than the fathers that have abused them.

Your girls are likely very angry with you for letting them live in that situation. From their point of view they have two parents that failed them: one parent admits it and apologized and owned up to his behavior and got invited to dinner; the other parent has NO idea why her girls are angry, admits to no failure, accepts no responsibility for their unhappy childhood, and spends Thanksgiving alone.

I'm sure you don't want to think about this; I'm sure it's very painful. But is it more painful than losing your children forever, never knowing your grandchildren?

Perhaps it would be worth it to you to see a therapist to come to terms with this white elephant and to help guide you in addressing this issue with your children. There's also plenty of information on this issue on the internet as well.

Good luck to you.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Bucyn,

Thank you for your well-intentioned advice. I guess I should have explained things more clearly. My husband was a minister. His abuse was not eveyday. It was about every three or four months. And it was a gradual, insiduous type of abuse. NOT BLATANT and obvious.

Secondly, he never abused the children. Just me. And this happened way back in the early 70's when there were not battered women's shelters, and women were not believed by authorities. Plus, we were living in a church parsonage, we owned nothing, no furniture, nothing, it all belonged to the church. Plus, my family lived 6,000 miles away in Hawaii.

I now counsel women of domestic violence. Go to my website www.dovechristiancounseling.com and you will see all that I do in that area. NOW there is plenty of help out there for women who are abused, they are believed and there is a network to draw on for the abused woman. Not so in the 70's.

I did take my children and leave him twice. On the condition that he get counseling. Being the psychopath that he is, he was able to convince the counselor that he had changed so I went back.

My daughters have both assured me that they KNOW I had nothing to do with his abuse and that is not the issue that they are mad at. They also know that I took steps to remove us from him.

I think what has happened is he has somehow convinced them that his abuse was something he could not help. He is telling them things that NEVER HAPPENED. And yes, I know as a counselor that children should not be brought up in that envioronment and so I DID TAKE THEM AND LEAVE when they were only 9 and 14. They gave me all the credit for getting them out of there and for protecting them from him.

So you are wrong in your assessment of the situation. But I do thank you for your input.

Nope, this has EVERYTHING to do with my very wealthy older sister, and my mother who also lives near them. My children ended up in Ohio 7 years ago due to college and marriage. Unfortunately, their husbands live right near my sister. My entire life, my sister has been jealous of me, and undermined me to my parents. Now my daughters have shown up in her radar range and "all of a sudden" I can do nothing right.

My ex-husband who by the way, not only left the church, which of course he should have, being a minister who battered his wife, but he took up with another woman for ten years, hit her, and then went to prostitues behind her back. He is a Psychopath, classic psychopath. Thus he is very charming, charasmatic, persuasive, and a pathological liar, who can convince anyone of anything.

Even though both of my daughters witnessed his treatment of me, and eventually experienced verbal and mental abuse from him, and they BOTH know he went to prostitutes, etc. he has managed to apologize and gotten their forgiveness, even though I know it is all a SHAM and just another one of his good "acting jobs"

I HAVE apologized to them, even saying, I apologize for everything you ever thought I did or did not do, even when I had not done anything, and they STILL would not forgive me. I have said, "is it because I did not get us away from him sooner?" and they tell me "NO" it has nothing to do with that. They tell me they KNOW that he was the abusive one, not me, they tell me they KNOW I did everything I could to get us out of there, so that is not it.

BUT they can't seem to tell me anything other than this;

1.) "You embarrassed us in front of our friends growing up when you called to see if we got somewhere safely"

2.) "You always have to be the center of attention" which they got that from my mother who told them a couple of years ago that when I was five years old, I seemed to need more attention than Lynn, my older sister. So they took me to a psychiatrist who told them, there is NOTHING wrong with her, but you should be giving her EQUAL attention and you are giving her older sister WAY TOO MUCH.

Lynn has always been the "favorite child" in the family. So my daughters twisted that into meaning I "always have to be the center of attention" rather than " she needs more attention."

They INSIST their anger at me has NOTHING TO DO WITH their abusive father to me, so that is why I am so UPSET about this.

Somehow, he has come out smelling like a rose, and I am the one who is being labeled the bad parent. If I did anything wrong it was to protect them so much that I overdid it, and a good friend of mine in one of our churches told me " Patty, you were the best Mother and you spoiled those two girls" so there you have it...

Anyway, thanks for the help, but it is not that ....


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Also...

And consider too, that your daughter has grown up and matured in the last seven years, and it sounds like she's become a mother herself. It's quite possible that she looks at her child and compares herself to you and thinks, "I would never allow anyone to do to me what my mother allowed my father to do in the home." And it might have changed her from a teen or young adult who was grateful to her mother, to a fierce protective mother who wonders why no one protected her the way she'd protect her children.

Consider also that some people think relationships should be designed per status and others think relationships should be designed regarding merit. Those who follow the philosophy of status trumps all say things like: "I gave birth so I'm the mother and am entitled to certain rights." If the people around you agree, you are in good shape.

Others follow the merit model, "If you act like a mother, feel like a mother, support like a mother, you are a mother." Your daughter may be an adherent to this philosophy. This is not so good for you if you rely on the status model, but it may be a balm for her.

She's CHOOSING to associate with your sister; nobody came and replaced you; she's likely getting some needs met by your sister that you were unable to meet.

COunselling would be a great option for you because this is not an uncommon problem and estrangements based on this problem can be resolved. It's takes a lot of courage and honesty and time though. I have a friend who was married to a crackhead for about 20 years and she spent so much time trying to keep the family just running and dealing with him, that her two girls were mostly neglected. They had a lot of trouble 'launching' into adulthood, and when he got cancer and got clean, they swarmed around him all love and forgiveness and dumped all their anger on her.

She's been working through this for about 4 years now, and it's complicated, there's a lot of guilt on her part and immaturity on her daughters' part (because they did not have a peaceful home growing up in which to mature). But after a lot of hardwork and soul searching, the relationship between her and her children is on the upswing. Five years of hard painful work is going to pay off for a lifetime of good healthy relationships.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Bucyn,

What you said above...

"...staying with an abusive man, allowing your children to witness abuse, and allowing him to abuse them IS abuse. He's responsible for his actions for sure, you you are responsible too."

This is exactly why I have issues with my mother, despite the fact that I do still love her.

And thank you for this...

"Subjecting your children to an abusive person, even their father, is grounds for removing children from the home. It's considered it's own form of abuse by almost all mental health and child development professionals."

You speak the truth about my situation. And yes, fair or not, children expect protection from their mother, and have a higher standard of expectation from her than the father.

You hit the nail on the head for me about my own issues with my mother and said what I probably failed to address as well as you have...

"Your girls are likely very angry with you for letting them live in that situation. From their point of view they have two parents that failed them"

"...the other parent has NO idea why her girls are angry, admits to no failure, accepts no responsibility for their unhappy childhood..."

Yes, yes, yes....I've posted on another thread...but thank you, thank you, thank you....To live with that horrible pain is enormous.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Ok,

Did you read ANY of what I just wrote to you about the fact that they have said their anger at me has NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR FATHER'S ABUSE and they KNOW that I got them out of there?

Yes, my daughter is choosing to associate with my sister, but my sister is also choosing to associate with my daughter and is saying bad things about me TO MY DAUGHTER because my daughter has told me what she said.

The REAL QUESTION IS THIS: Why is my daughter number one not believeing me anymore and two, why is she not DEFENDING ME to my sister?

If I can answer that question I can solve this.


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RE: abuse and the estranged mother

patriciaangel,

I am sorry for the pain that you are feeling and for the difficult life you've had too. I think you took steps to pull your daughters away and left an abusive situation. That took courage and I can see and admire what you have done with your life counseling abused women. You also took responsibility and apologized....So I have a hard time understanding your daughter's positions.

I do understand what you mean by "his abuse was not eveyday." I, too, understand how it feels to be on the receiving end of gradual, insiduous type of abuse, NOT BLATANT and obvious. So much of abuse is what you describe and it usually isn't blatant and obvious.

Doesn't every parent embarrass their children in front of their friends? I don't understand that at all. I just thought that was what mother's did. I always thought it was funny though about my mom, she was oblivous to what was happening in her own home with her daughters and didn't believe my older sister...I never told her, somehow knowning she wouldn't believe me either, but in odd ways she was over-protective and controlling. Maybe it was the only thing she thought she could controll. Right now I cannot think of examples, but it always stood out to me. It's like she didn't trust me or us to make good choices, but then what happened had a far greater impact on all of our lives.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

"Did you read ANY of what I just wrote to you about the fact that they have said their anger at me has NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR FATHER'S ABUSE and they KNOW that I got them out of there?"

I posted the second paragraph before reading your response. I'm writing while cooking dinner.

Not to be argumentative, but the problems of their childhood likely DO have something to do with their problems with you. They may not know what they are angry about, and flounder about with diversionary excuses like embarassing them with their friends.

I agree that they are being shammed by their father; you can't blame them too much about that, they have a need for resolving things with him. You and I know he's going to disappoint them and hurt them again. That's what psychopaths do.

As for your sister, she can be as jealous and as 'seductive' to them as possible, bribing them and gushing over them, and it won't make any difference in your relationship with them, if you had a good relationship to begin with. She's merely exploiting a flaw in your relationship with your girls. The accusation that you always have to be the center of attention is a curious one, that you may not want to glibly pass off to your sister's jealousy. She may have brought it up, but it might have struck a chord with your girls. They didn't dismiss it out of hand as I would if someone said that about my mother. So maybe there's something there. But I'm not accusing or blaming, you know in your heart of heart if it's true or not, and if it's true you likely don't want to share it here, and if it's not, it's a bit insulting to have to defend yourself here. Believe me, I wish you well. I don't think your case with your children is hopeless like I think the case is with a couple ladies here.

I know it's painful, but if you have a fundamentally good relationship with your children, years of love and a true bond, this will pass as they work through what's bothering them. Yes, it may take a few years, and if they have children and growing families, you may miss some precious times. But the parent child bond is very strong, and if it's as you say and nothing more hidden that you don't want to look at, they will give you another chance. Have faith in the love you had.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Thank you Bucyn,

For FINALLY understanding what I have been saying. The "center of attention thing" is not true in my heart of hearts. If anything, I am the one that always sits at the "back of the room" hating to be the center of attention.

No, what my Mother told them was that she was told to "give me more attention" since she was giving so much to my older sister and I was getting the short end of the stick. My daughters have "twisted" what she said into

"you always have to be the center of attention" something I NEVER heard out of their mouths growing up, ONLY in the past couple of years since my Mother made that comment.

It is like they are looking for "SOMETHING" to get mad at me about and when they can't find it, they just make things up.

I think what is going on here is "hidden anger" as you suggested which is really at their father, and they have counter-transferred that to me. They never were able to stand up to him and tell them how they felt. And I never heard any complaints out of them directed at me when they were growing up, but plenty of complaints about him.

I have offered to sit down with them and hash all of this out, I have said, Ok, let's go to a counselor, and you can both "get it all out" and I will just listen. They REFUSE to do that as well. But their accusations against me are so flimsy, warranting nothing like estrangment, it is almost funny.

But I will take your advice to heart. THEY NEED to work through this, and get their anger out and directed at the right target because although I am not perfect, I certainly took care of them, protected them, and they wanted for nothing.

I felt very sad for them that they had a minister father who was acting like a "monster" behind closed doors, because I knew it was messing up their idea of what men are like and what the church and God are all about. I tried to make up for that by teaching them the Bible, taking them to church, going to counselors with both of them as we went through this, and STILL this has happened.

In fact, I was the Mom that their friends came to and talked to when they were upset with THEIR parents. I know that living a lie, like they had to do was causing great damage, but I got us out of there as soon as I could pull it off, and I thought we had gotten through this fairly well.

We were pretty bad off financially because he did NOTHING as far as child support and I had to work three jobs just to support us until I got my degree. During that time, all of their friends were driving brand new cars, had expensive clothes and could pretty much buy whatever they wanted and we were struggling.

Then they both met their husbands who changed things financially for both of them so I guess I looked pretty bad. They are both mad at me because I did not pay for their college education. What single mother can do that who is working on a degree and gets no child support or alimony from her ex? They expected me to be able to give them everything even though I hardly had a job.

Anyway, there are many facets to this ... it just makes me sick what he has gotten away with, and I read some other posts on here and they are horrendous with how some of the mothers on here are being treated not only by their children but by other family members as well.

It appears that children who dis-own their parents also keep being friends with that parents family. THAT is the biggest hurt, to have your own family continue being friends with your children, going to dinners, weddings, etc when they know you are being ignored. I could not do that to someone.

It borders on being EVIL which is the only word I can think to describe this experience. UNLESS the mother physically abused their children or was a falling down alcoholic or drug addict or abandoned them, as far as I am concerned perhaps most of these adult children on here were spoiled so much that they are just plain ungrateful brats.

How about that theory? Ha!

Patricia


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Ahhh Patricia,

I identify with you so much. I wish I could take away your pain but believe me. This too shall pass. It did not come to stay. I think that other family members have your kids in a state of confusion, sort of like brainwashing. In their hearts they KNOW you love them and they love you but there is that constant whisper in their ears against you. Little things that might have just been an irritation to your kids about you could have been mentioned to those family members and they latched on to it and pick it like a scab they don't want to heal. I don't know how to fight it either except to pray.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

patriciaangel,
I also am so sorry you are going through this and this time of the year is one of the worse.
I know what you all mean about the "family members" being included, and going to your children's events even though you are excluded. I do have to say in my case; I wasn't surprised my mothers side of the family is extremely dysfunctional, other than my grandparents who are both deceased. I remember my grandmother telling me when I was in my 20's; "You're mother was mean to you when you were a baby too," & "I am so worried, when I die you won't have anybody." Well, that was certainly true, I just couldn't have imaged that would hold true for my children also.
I read a website last night that was describing "evil people," it sounded like my mother. She and my stepfather feed my children lies, and I realize benefit from this estrangement. In fact, it was thrown in my face every time I talked to them on the phone or went to visit, all the
while they were telling me, "oh, I wish there was something I could do to change this!" Yea, right...
So, I slowed down the number of calls in fact for the last month I don't return their calls or answer when they call. It's useless, all it does is upset me, and that is what they really want. I do feel I deserve a lot more empathy, understanding, whatever than that and I won't be there for them anymore, it's cost me too much (emotionally) to let it continue. I can't stop them, but I quit giving them time or information good or bad about my life.
I am starting to this this estranged mother deal is a virus. It's everywhere.


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RE: Family members who don't defend you

Missd & Straycat,

It sounds like all three of us have the same families. Straycat, I can understand why you don't answer the phone or give anymore information to your mother and stepfather.

I have a mother like yours also. She plays both sides, and then uses the excuse that she is "in the middle" and is "trying to keep the peace", when in reality she is two-faced and works behind my back all the time.

She is the one who put it in my daughter's heads about me needing more attention when I was five years old. She writes emails to my daughters giving them sympathy and saying things like:

We know how you Mother can be, but can't you find it in your heart to be nice to her? Or, your mother had "different genes" then your aunt did, so from day one I have had to learn to adapt to that."

My sister has said things like "there are two Patty's the nice one, and then the one who gets angry and defensive" conmpletely leaving out the fact that ANYONE would get angry and defensive if their own mother and sister were slandering her to their children.

Like you Straycat, my mother was mean to me as a baby. She told me that she threw me down on the bed from a height over her head, ( she was holding me over her head ) because she said "I would not stop crying" so she just threw me down on the bed. I was 3 months old at the time she did this. Then she admitted to me that she and my father were "hoping for a boy, and I showed up instead."

It was not until I was 21 years old and went to get a copy of my birth certificate when I was getting married that I found out what was on my birth certificate.

It actually says, to this day: "Baby girl Jaffray" which is my maiden last name. They NEVER put my name on my birth certificate. My mother's lame reason is "they could not think of a name since I was suppposed to be a boy, and so they did not think of a girl's name until after they brought me home from the hospital, and they just "never got around to putting my name on my birth certificate!

So can you imagine these two, my mom and my older sister being around my daughters all the time like they are now?

I feel so sorry for you two as I know what the pain feels like to not only have your children reject you, but to have your family participate and contribute to the rejection behind your back. It IS EVIL Straycat, what they are doing, and I can't think of a better way to describe it.

I have accused my Mom of adopting me, but we all look too much alike, plus she has pictures of me being born in the hospital. Also, since they wanted a boy so much why would they adopt a girl?

When I got married and got away from their abuse, I started to feel alot better about myself. Not realizing that many abused woman marry abusive men. Then HIS abuse started and so the cycle continued.

Then when I divorced my abusive husband, we ended up in Ohio staying with my parents while I went back to college. They ORDERED me to come there if I wanted any help, and being jobless and having two little girls to support and not getting any child support from their father, I HAD to swallow my pride and accept their help. But something deep inside me knew that their emotional abuse would once again rear it's ugly head and I would have to deal with it.

So I guess it is a no-brainer that my mom and my sister should get their claws into my daughters and they have done a very good job of turning them against me.

I know for a fact that if my daughters did not live in the same town as my mother and sister I would not be estranged from them today.

Hang in there, I know that wrongs have a way of being exposed for what they truely are. And if our children have one little ounce of decency in them, they will RETURN to us. Just keep up the prayers until that day comes.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

When I was separated from my childrens dad and going thru the divorce, my soon to be x called me at work and told me he wanted to apologize to me for always thinking I was paranoid about my mom and my sister being out to get me. That he now knew that I was totally correct about that and he was sorry for not supporting me emotionally. I asked what brought all this on because at that particular time there was no drama going on betweem them and me. He told me that they had come to him the night before and offered to testify in court against me if he wanted custody of our kids!

He was totally shocked, and told them in no uncertain terms that I was a very good mother and he did not want custody of the kids.

Later on that day, my sister called me at work which was unusual and was just as friendly and happy sounding, until I lowered the boom on her that is. Ten minutes later my soon to be x called back and said well, I see you got to your sister already, she called him and cursed him out for telling me what they had done.

I never spoke of it to my mother at all, I was too scared I would lose control of myself, so I talked to my father and several months later, he changed jobs and moved him and my mother 2 1/2 hours away from me and my kids. Things were much better after that. There was another incident before that, but I am out of time.


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patriciaangel,
and missed 2008,
I am so sorry we have so much in common, all bad. My Father finally told me that I was a "shaken baby. Thank goodness I didn't suffer the brain damage, but now I know why I've always had trouble hearing. I also know why my mother refused to get me any assistance with my difficulty. Someone
must have mentioned the "incidents'. Yes, plural and must have happened a lot because she did it in front of my Grandmother, and Father so no telling how much she shook me and threw me on the bed. My mother has told me about numerous my Father abused her....well...the truth was; he wasn't aware at the time of the possible damage she could and did inflict on me just the trauma. So, he did shake her and pushed her on the bed when he was present. Funny how that got turned around, huh. It's ok to do that to a helpless infant, but to a grown woman-oh,...bad...My gosh, what was everyone thinking?
I can't GO THERE, AND OUR CHILDREN THINK WE DESERVE THIS?
Well, at least I know they never ever had to endure anything evenly remotely like we did. What is wrong with these people? I think you are right patriciangel...there is evil alive and well in the world and our families are active participants...so sad.


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I am new to this site. I have just joined this a.m. and hope that this can finally be a place where I can connect with other parents of estranged adult children. I have spent the past hour reading many of your posts and feeling such a sense of weight and relief lifted from me that there are actually people like myself out there! My daughter left our family 8 plus years ago at the age of 15 and 1/2. Looking back now, the first three years of her absence is an emotional blur. I don't know how we made it through the pain, fear, anxiety, etc.
Fast forward to today: through the years we have seen and tried to connect briefly at times. Last we have seen her is Feb'05 with our 1 year old grandson. Of course I began making the search for support again today as the holidays and Christmas is drawing close. Such a difficult time of year! Thanks for listening...thanks for sharing. Love and hope to all the other parents out there with missing family - I share your pain.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

New here and glad to find a forum like this where there is interaction and support!
My story is a long one but in a nutshell:
My daughter is 23, her son is 4. I was there for my grandsons birth, I took care of him full time when she returned to work (her choice) a month after his birth, and about six months later my daughter started using my love for my grandson as a tool to get what she wanted...new clothes, money, car, etc. She even tried to get me to "GIVE" her our old home when we moved into a new one (of course we couldnt afford TWO mortgages for petes sake!) When she didn't get her way, she would cut me off and say she was "done" with me and it would last for weeks or months....and usually when I heard from her again it was because she wanted or needed something from me. For the record: my daughter did NOT get everything she wanted as a child, this behavior came as a total shock.
At first I gave in to the threats that I would never see her or my grandson again, but as time went by I got tired of being used and I felt terrible for contributing to her using her son that way as well. As I stopped giving in, I missed my grandsons second birthday, have not seen or heard from my daughter on several holidays and the year that we didn't "give" her our old home (we sold it of course)-I didnt hear from her for six months.
A few weeks prior to Thanksgiving this year, my daughter tried to capitalize on my desire for her and her son to join us for our usual family dinner here on Thanksgiving. She asked for money to get her latest boyfriend some winter clothes, I declined, then it was a request for money for plane tickets for them to go see the boyfriends dad in another state, I declined, and then came the demand to bring her $200 cash when she overdrew her bank acct...I declined and I was punished with a dozen nasty emails saying I am a lousy mom and lots of name calling and being told she is "done" with me and that I will "never see my grandson again". I tried to call only to be hung up on. THe week before thanksgiving i was so upset I could barely function, it was also the week of my moms birthday which hurts too as my mom passed away 10 yrs ago and she was my best friend in the world. On thanksgiving I called and left a voicemail wishing my daughter a happy thanksgiving and asked her to call me back. Of course she didn't. I am at a loss as to how I am going to cope with Christmas without seeing her and especially my grandson. I am generally a very happy go lucky kind of person who doesn't let much get me down, but I have yet to find a way to cope with the games my daughter plays.


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harmoni and cheli

Welcome, I am pretty new here also and yes it is comforting to find a place where people are going thru the same thing you are. Whoever said misery loves company was right in some respects! I am so sorry for what you are going thru and I do know how painful it is. Just remember, we can't change them or make them love us as much as we would like to. I think we just have to find other priorities in our lives and try not to dwell on the missing children or grandchildren. Instead trying to focus on what we DO have and not what we DON'T have. There are other people in our lives that deserve to have the same person in us that they had before someone else tried to break our hearts. We owe to those other people to try and be that person because it certainly was not their fault that this happened.

I compare this to the mother that lost a child thru death and was forever changed negatively because of it. What about the children she still has left? They not only lose a sibling but the happy mother that they had before the death occurred. They probably think that the dead child is the only one she really loved.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Mssd2008,
I get what you are saying....my son (hes 28) gets so furious at me for allowing my daughter to upset me and for letting her use me. I know I let him down on Thanksgiving because I was just NOT into it at all and it wasn't fair to him, in realizing that the same night, we made arrangements to take him and his wife out to dinner a few days later to try to make up for it and we had a great time and I just focused on enjoying them :) As it is my relationship with my son sometimes gets complicated with our business relationship so its even more important to put some focus and effort on that relationship without issues with my daughter tainting it.
In an effort to overcome some of the grief of the situation, I have been focussing on the freedom I have as an empty nester and doing some of the things I always wanted to do....just for ME! Enrolled in some photography courses that start next month, some scrap booking classes, and my husband and I have been running away from home once a month to see or do something we have always wanted. We also joined an organization last week that provides food and shelter to the homeless downtown and will be serving up food to the homeless on Christmas Eve and we have committed to volunteering there two days every month. There is no joy greater than helping others in my opinion and it sure reminds us of how lucky we really are! I think I have a handle on things right now, but as christmas gets closer its likely to be more of a struggle, this will be the first Christmas morning we wont get to share with our grandson.
Thank you for your kind words :)


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

We really need to keep our other loved ones in mind during the holidays. We really don't want them to look back and think well, once so and so left, we never got to have a good holiday again. I guess we weren't worth the effort. We need to remember that they love us enough to stick around and want to be with us and have a good time.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Exactly missd, whether its another child or other family/friends, there are people close to us who deserve to enjoy good times with us still and just as important-we deserve to still have good times too! I LET my daughter ruin thanksgiving for me and the rest of my family suffered as a result of it and that was not only unfair to them, it was unfair to me as well. Will have to keep reminding myself of that as Christmas gets closer too!


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Dear forum-

I found this site by chance when looking for an appropriate gift to get my mother this holiday season. I don't know if we're exactly estranged, but I haven't spoken to her in many months. We used to be very close (best friends).

I'm hoping my story might help some of the mothers out there wondering what their children are thinking and how they could alienate their families from their lives.

A few months ago, I signed up to get a copy of my credit report (wondering what it looked like and why I could never get approved for anything). I found out that there was quite a bit of debt my mother signed up for in my name. In addition to the debt I've accumulated myself, this became too much for me to handle. I had to take a job I didn't like for the pittance of money it provided (I think I'm worth much more), just so I could stay on top of my bills. And in this economy, I'm not going anywhere for a loooong time. I felt betrayed that someone so close to me could do something like this that would greatly impact my future without telling me. She said all the debt was to buy things for me, for college, Christmas, etc. that she couldn't afford on her own.

I severed contact with her in an effort to get my life in order and stay on top of my bills. (Previously we shared money often, helping one another out when times were tough; I wanted to end that cycle of dependency as well as the relationship that was responsible for it). I guess I always feel I owe my mother for . . . well, life, childhood, all the time and money she spent in taking care of me for so many years, so if she asks me for money, I feel obligated to give it to her. I wanted that to stop, so I, in a sense, got rid of my mother.

At first she called incessantly, not understanding why I wouldn't talk to her. Even though I was very clear of how I felt and the cause for my withdrawl, she would call me at work and email me all the time, which I found inappropriate and embarassing. After a while, she reduced the calls to weekly and the emails to necessary ones and I've responded a few times, though not with any feeling (sort of answering questions, but not making inquiries as someone else described). She still sends me packages with things she thinks I'd like (articles, etc.).

I called to wish her Happy Thanksgiving, because I spent it alone, 3000 miles away. I couldn't afford a plane ticket to go anywhere, much less home to a family I wasn't exactly talking to. I guess as the time passes, it become more and more difficult to start a communication with someone who used to be so close. There's really no excuse that sounds good and it feels like you're backing down or admitting you made some kind of mistake to go back to her. Plus, what do you SAY?!

Now that I've begun to get a stable payment plan for all the debt, and the holidays are approaching (major family times), I really miss my mom. I have no one to talk to about problems, and no one to share stories with. No one to get opinions on life from. After reading your stories, I feel worse because I think I've made her life awful in old age. I can imagine her alone every night with no one to talk to (just like me). But how can I re-establish communication with someone I've hurt so much (and who has hurt me so much) without "giving in" regarding the money situation? She's not the same person to me that she was in the past and I feel like I don't even know here anymore. Also, I think I was right for getting angry and trying to get the situation under my control and her away from all my finances.

How do you explain to your friends and colleagues that you aren't going home for Christmas because you don't talk to your mother? How do you go home for Christmas if you do start talking to your mother (awkward!)? It puts you in this kind of limbo state where you can't go one way or the other without losing face in some way. And believe me, it's easier to lie to your friends and colleagues than it is to reconcile with an estranged mother.

I thought it might be nice to get her a gift for the holidays (something I can afford and something she'd enjoy), as a way of breaking bread so to speak. Our relationship will never be the same, and I don't expect it to, but it's difficult to go out of my way to ignore her, and to be honest, I miss her. It's hard enough not having a father or any other family (which I partially blame her for as well), but to not have a mother makes you feel like an orphan and it's just the pits. I haven't fully decided one way or the other on whether or not I'll speak to her again. It's a difficult decision to make.

Phew! That was a lot to get off my chest. Does anyone have any idea of how to begin to reconnect this holiday season if I decide to? I would greatly appreciate any constructive thoughts or suggestions.

Sincerely,

MissingMyMom


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Dear missingmymom,
I admire your courage and your obvious willingness to reconnect with your mom! I understand your mom let you down, you had every right to feel hurt & angry about her abuse of your credit. She let you down and she added a burden to you that wasn't fair. But based on your post, there is hope for the two of you to reconcile. Sounds like some time apart was necessary to break a pattern that was not healthy for either of you and now you may be ready to try again. A reconcilliation isn't giving in unless you let it be, think of it as rebuilding but with some boundaries this time? Before the separation, the relationship seems to have been too close...now it is too separate, there is an in between ground in there :)
It would probably make your moms holiday if you extend that olive branch before Christmas and it will most likely make yours as well :)
You asked how to approach this....well i dont know your mom personally, I have a few ideas but only you know your mom and if the ideas would be good in your situation.
Things that I would suggest is calling her up telling her that you don't want to fight over the past or rehash it, that you distanced yourself because you felt it was the best way to break the pattern that was hurting you and you are sorry if it hurt her, but she needs to understand that you were hurt too and you had to take care of you first. Let her know you love and miss her and want a relationship with her but need to know that she is willing to change the pattern that led to the separation. Ya dont want to sound accusatory or put her on the defensive, that won't be productive for either of you but you need to be firm and confident and assure her that you want her in your life but need her to respect some boundaries. One such boundary I would stipulate is that money stays out of it, no borrowing or lending from each other at all, let her know that you feel that finances get in the way of a healthy relationship and you don't want that anymore. There's an old saying that the fastest way to ruin a friendship is to do business with them...there is a lot of truth to that. Let her know that financial issues need to be excluded from the relationship completely.
I do hope you contact your mom very soon and that the two of you can rebuild the relationship into one that is healthy and rewarding to both of you.


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Dear missingmymom,

Im so sorry that your mother took advantage of you. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be the victim of identity theft from someone who is supposed to protect you. In any case, I am very impressed that you are attempting to reconcile with her; I only hope that I am as fortunate as your mother.

Hello Everyone,

I just joined this forum (after months of lurking); thank God for all of you.

My story, in brief:

My daughter started seeing a therapist about two years ago. I was surprised when she told me that she seeking therapyshe had just gotten married, had a beautiful home, and a wonderful career, in other words, I thought she was happy. However, I knew that she experienced some serious trauma in her past (including date rape) so I thought that perhaps that was the reason she was undergoing therapy.

Things began to unravel last Christmas--she became very angry because I left a gathering "too early" thereby "humiliating" her in front of her in-laws. When she mentioned this to me, I was flabbergasted and instead of apologizing to her, I defended myself. That was the first time she stopped speaking to meit lasted for several weeks. When she finally broke the silence, the catalyst (i.e., my leaving the gathering "too early") was never discussed, instead she promised "complete honesty" from that point on. Since then, she has bludgeoned me with her version of the truth (including a couple of things that never happened) culminating in an e-mail in which she blamed me for her depression because she had "modeled" my "negative attitude" while she was growing up.

At that point, I told her I would no longer try to force a relationship with her. So, she informed me that she would only see me twice a year (Mothers Day and my birthdaynote, not at Christmas) and wanted contact only through e-mail. When I expressed concern about e-mail (how it had a tendency to make things worse), she fired off an intemperate response (which, incidentally, proved my point). Frustrated and wanting to get to the bottom of all of this turmoil, I risked a visit to her new office (we both happen to work at the same place), and asked for permission to come in. Once I shut the door, she began to eviscerate me (at times shouting) for things going back to her teenage years and ending with, "you are not interested in my life, you do not like my husband, you do not respect my opinions, and you treat me like a child."

When the shock finally wore off, I composed an apology and e-mailed it to her. No response. About a week later, I left a message on her voice mail. That night she fired off an e-mail to me, scolding me for confronting her in her office, telling me that she would no longer speak to me unless I "entered therapy" to "face" my "issues", and threatened to call security if I so much as approached her at work. I offered to see her therapist. That was a month ago. No response.

Everyone I have confided in over the past year, including my ex and my son, all point to the therapy for causation but I have been trying to reason my way through this. Until last Christmas, I thought my daughter and I were getting along just fine. I thought she loved and respected me. Now, I no longer recognize her. Literally.

Yesterday, I happened to pass her in the hall. This was the first time I have seen her since visiting her office. She was with someone (who did not know me) and I almost walked by her without realizing who it was. She waved, smiled at me, and complimented me on my new dress. I was so startled; I could only manage a weak "hello" as I walked away.

My ex says she will eventually come around but Im not so sure. And even if she did, how can you learn to trust someone who is capable of turning on you?

Thanks for listening,

Ashton


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Dear Ashton,

I am glad that you found this place, as I did a few days ago myself. I am astounded to see some of the stories on here as they are almost identical to mine, yours being one of them. I KNOW HOW you feel, having a daughter who you were very close to, just "turn on you" so suddenly. And for what it appears to be "little things."

About six years ago I went to my daughter's baby shower, but had to rely on my older sister to get me there on time. I was flying in for the shower, and had to stay at my sister's house because my daughters house was full of her "fly in friends". Anyway, due to my sister taking forever to get ready we showed up at my the baby shower five minutes after it had started. Something I would never have wanted to do, but was helpless and had no control over when my sister would get me there.

When we got there, there was no place for me to sit, so I ended up in corner of the living room, with my view completely BLOCKED so that I could not even see her open the baby gifts.

Somewhere in all of that, BEFORE the shower started, I asked for everyone's attention to ask them if they had seen my "ice pack" that I was wearing for a bad back.For doing that, I got called "RUDE" and "Having to be the center of attention" by my daughter.

Then one of her friends who was going around with a video camera stuck it in my face, and said "are we having fun yet grandma"

Needless to say, my daughter was upset that I was late, she refused to listen to my explanations, refused to believe that my sister had caused us to be late, my sister did not "fess up" and just let her think that, and when I tried to talk to my daughter out on the back porch to explain what happened she said "I don't have to listen to this" at which point I just got up and walked out the front door and sat in my sister's car waiting for her to take me to the airport.

In my day and age, when you have a baby shower, usually the mother of the pregnant daughter sits next to her daughter to help keep track of the presents, actually is able to SEE her daughter open them, and is not treated like a criminal. So like you, I got accused of embarassing her in front of her friends and leaving in a huff.

From that day on, she hardly gave me the time of day. She did not return my calls, my emails, never called me or emailed me on her own, and refuses to have anything to do with me. Now my younger daughter who moved near her is acting the same way. I live two states away.

She even threatened to get a restraining order against me if I emailed her ever again. Then two years ago, all of sudden I get this phone call from her asking us to come there for Christmas. Then she wanted me to come and take care of my grandaughter for 10 days while she and my son-in-law went to Hawaii. Which I did. Then just last year she had to have an operation on her foot and I flew there to take care of the kids, ( she has two now ) while she recuperated.

Then last Thanksgiving past, not this most recent one, we were all at my sister's for a big family reunion and I was asked to tell this family story that happened to me, that everyone thinks is just hiliarious and my youngest daughter wanted me to tell it to her fiance. Well, I started to tell the story, and my eldest daughter got mad at me, and told me not to tell it, and that she was sick of hearing the story. Everyone at the table was SHOCKED at her for acting this way, so she got up in a huff and went home.

Since last Thanksgiving she has written me off again, all because I will not call the state and tell them to quit trying to collect child support and alimony that my ex owes me and is in arrears for. He owes me $45,000 in back child support and alimony.He is one of the worst "Dead beat dads" in the states of Virginia and Ohio.

So, I cannot win. Their Dad brainwashes them, then uses them to get him money, then treatens to move in with one of them, and sants to quit sending child support and alimony. He was court ordered to pay 450 in alimony and 275 in child support way back in 1991. And for the first three years he sent NOTHING. NOW the state is coming after him.

And both girls blame me, saying he is going to end up penniless, or dead and they try to make me feel like it is going to be my fault if anything happens to him. Now he has apologized and they have forgiven him, but at the same time neither of them want him showing up on their doorstep and asking for handouts. He is a moocher, a people user, etc. which is why he cannot be taught.

Anyway, you are not alone in this. Our wonderful, friendly daughters, who wanted for nothing growing up, now think we are not worthy of their time or respect.

At some point, you just have to hold your head high, you KNOW inside you did nothing wrong and that your daughter is out of line with such extreme measures.

I can only pray...and I did not tell you the half of it. But my heart goes out to you, and I do hope that your daughter changes her ways, and you are able to reconcile

Patricia


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I too have been reading your posts for awhile now in complete disbelief that others are out there being as mistreated as I have been by both of my children - my daughter who is 34 and my son who is 32.

My daugher and I also were very very close. I divorced my ex in 1990. My daughter hit rock bottom with an ED in 1994. Back then no one really knew anything about ED's, including me. Well, she has been ED for over 16 years now. I was the only one ever involved in family therapy, both as she was in-patient and out-patient. I laid with her in hospital emergency rooms when she was suicidal and had to put her in a mental hospital and other institutions over the years. Her father never was involved in any way -he refused to attend family therapy and my son never did either. My son thought she was faking and he became out of control as well. Joined a gang, cut school, drank, smoked pot, stole from me, threatened me physically all the while getting the support of his father who continuously cursed me out, xcalled me names, insulted me with his lies, denigratedme constantly trying to get my son to move in with him so he could stop giving me child support (We had joint custody while we made close to the same salary).
Eventually when my son threatened me one night, after braking written "standards of behavior" breaking curfew, being stoned, I "threw" him out of the house in fear of being hurt and in total disbelief of what he had done. He had gone to the police (with his father's advice and support) and reported me for inflicting emotional abuse on him and harassment. I knew I had no power anymore to discipline him and I was scared. He left, my ex sued me the next day for sole custody, stopped all child support, which paid most of my rent for a 3 bedroom apt. and had my son sign a false affidavit that I had tried to run him over with my car when he came back for his stuff (which was really my stuff that he stole). I couldn't fight this as he was 17 and I had to concentrate on my sick daughter. I immediately had to move to a less expensive apt. and put my inpatient in another state. Life went on. Over time my son and I made up, but there was always tension, he usually treated me with complete disrespect, lying often to defend his own horrible actions to me which I would finally complain about and which he never took responsibility for. He married a very difficult, controlling woman and has 2 children who I love dearly - 4 and 1 now. He lives near me. Did you ever hear of PAS- Parental Estrangement Syndrome - that is just what happened to turn my son against me. My ex used him like a tool to get back at me leaving him. By the way, my ex is a drug addict, completely stoned every day. Somehow, he functioned as a high school teacher in Brooklyn(says alot for the NYC schools doesn't it) and even though my son knows this it doesn't seem to matter. I used to call my ex to my friends, my ball of chain. He never wanted to go anywhere, do anything, learn anything or change at all.
Now my son won't talk to me again, since last year because I dared to complain when he ignored me on my birthday (as usual), didn't visit me in the hospital when I was there for 5 days, having had a very serious cerebral spinal fusion, stood me up when we were supposed to get together and lied to me and told me he was working on his birthday when I asked to spend it with him and it turned out he didn't work at all and spent it with his father and in-laws. He said, and I quote, "I really don't care about you lady" and then accused me of making him say this. I usually said nothing about his abuse of me but I loved those children and would keep quiet. I finally had to say something as I have to have pride in myself too.

As far as my daugher is concerned, I'll make it brief and start with last year when she stopped talking to me. We were quite close even though she lived in Texas and I in NY. She has an 8 yr old daugher, who is the love of my life, and 4 yr old identical twin boys who I totally love too. She is married to an absolute narcissist who is completely controlling. They have moved 7 times since being married 9 years - to Albany, Texas, Brooklyn, Long Island, Georgia, Texas and now to Iowa. She has no say and he "bribes" her with big houses, beautiful cars and whatever he needs to do to make her move. He travels all the time and is rarely home. He has his father come to stay with her when he is not there "to help" who my daughter can't stand and feels absolutely suffocated by. She has no say of when he comes or when he leaves. She has no say about anything. With all this I've tried so hard to say nothing about him. He on the other hand has always been terrible to me. I've ignored it. Last year my daughter hit rock bottom again with her ED. She had to go this time inpatient to St. Louis (she lived in Texas) for a minimum of 3 months. I was supposed to visit her, had this trip planned for 6 mos and which she and I talked often about, planning what we would do and delighting in knowing we would be seeing each other. I couldn't wait to see the kids too!!! Three days before I was supposed to go she told me not to come. By the way, she hadn't told me about the ED returning until the night before my surgery. Kept me on the phone until 11 PM even though I had to be at the hospital by 5 AM. I know, I let her but I was so worried and was trying so hard to help her and support her. I was really disappointed about her telling me not to come but she explained she was too weak, was in bed all the time and wasn't up to me coming and didn't want to disappoint me by not being able to do anything with me. Although I told her that didn't matter, that I just wanted to be there to support her, hug her, and see the kids she told me not to come and even got angry with me for "arguing" with her. She went away, called me almost every day, sounded better than ever, told me she loved me every conversation, told me she wanted her new friends there to meet me, asked me for one of my recipes to make. She asked me to send her warmer clothes, send the gifts I was supposed to bring to the children on my cancelled visit to the children by mail anyway. I, on my own, bought and sent her a laptop computer because I felt so bad I couldn't be there physically to support her.
Well, then she stopped calling. I called her and emailed her and got no reply. I called the place she was at and got no return call. I called her husband who told me she was fine, period. Well, for 3 months she wouldn't talk to me. I did call her husband again and he SCREAMED at me to stay away from his family, that her illness was all my fault, and that he had sent the gifts back that we had sent to the children. He did, writing REFUSED all over the box. My daughter sent back the clothes, no letter of explanation inside. She kept the computer and the $150.00 rebate that was accidentally sent to her. Three months nothing but a few calls from her therapist asking me questions as to why I didn't like her husband to which I replied, "Would you like someone who was always mean to you?" She asked me how I would feel about my daughter not talking to me for awhile. I told her I didn't agree with this type of therapy, that if she had issues with me we should talk about them and investigate them. She said she'd call me back, never did. I kept calling and asking to talk to her, she wouldn't. Then out of the blue, the Director "invited" me to come to St. Louis to visit my daugher for therapy. I just couldn't then for many reasons and told him so. Nothing said. Then my daugher was leaving. Three days before she left, on the 1st anniversary of my mother's death (who was my best friend but ended up dying a long death from alzheimers) my daugher sent me a 5 page email accusing me of all sorts of horrible things, total misperceptions going back to when she was 6 yrs old, misperceiving my motives, etc. etc. It was shocking to say the least and I still replay it in my head every day. She ended by saying to stay away from her and her children too for fear that I would harm them as I had harmed her. That's been it. I've emailed, called, apologized for doing anything to hurt her, told her how much I loved her, love her and will always love her. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I am beyond devestated. How do you go from telling me you love me to hating me? I don't get it. This holiday season is horrible. I want it to be over so bad. I cry every day. No children. No grandchildren. I was a great mother. I did nothing to hurt them at all. She said I emotionally and physically abused her - a total and complete distortion. She said so many untrue hurtful things. I can't believe it.

Nancy


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Nancy,

I am soo, soo, sorry for all that you have been thru. It sounds like someone got to her when she was in a weakened state and separated her emotionally from you. She and they have decided that everything is all your fault. I do know how that feels. Isn't it amazing? Well, I am glad we found this site, at least we can vent to each other and commiserate with each other.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Nancy,
I am very sorry for what you are going through, I know it's a nightmare and one most mothers never imagined would happen to them.
I am also sorry to hear of the loss of your mom, I know how gut wrenching that is also....my mom was my best friend in the world, we lost her to breast cancer 10 yrs ago, the anniversary of her death sometimes happens on mothers day which really sux-especially when my own daughter has nothing to do with me on that day either. Icing on the cake is my moms birthday sometimes lands on thanksgiving, making that holiday even harder too. This year her bday fell the day before thanksgiving, and I recieved half a dozen nasty emails from my daughter that day saying that not only was she and my grandson not coming for thanksgiving-but i was never going to see them again. It sucks to say the least.
Sounds like your daughter may have been encouraged by a therapist to place all the blame for everything in her life on you and that doesn't seem to be very uncommon these days. My daughter only saw a counselor a few times and per my daughter-the therapist told her that she should cut all ties with me, I don't know if that really happened because my daughter lies nearly every time she opens her mouth but it wouldn't surprise me if it did happen because I have heard so many stories like yours where counseling did more damage than it did good. Also sounds like her husband is a typical control freak and they are known to isolate their spouse to maintain full control.
My heart goes out to you, and as christmas gets closer I know it will get harder but we will all get through it somehow. This will be the first christmas that I am not allowed to see my grandson (he's four), so i will likely be on here venting!


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Thank you for your support. I must admit it feels good to talk to other mothers who are going through the same feelings I am. I talk to my friends, etc. who feel bad and are sympathetic but it is only others who walk in my shoes that can truly understand.
Dr. Phil endorsed the facility my daughter went to on their web site. It's called Castlewood. I decided recently to write him and tell him what happened and to ask him to let me know why he endorsed them. It will be interesting to see if I get a reply. I hope so. They ask if you want to appear on his show and I said no. I don't know if this will keep him from responding but I sure hope not. He really should have a show about estranged parents who are mistreated by their children and kept from seeing their grandchildren. Grandparent rights, which don't really exist.
From the day that my daughter married her husband things went wrong. He felt that now that she had him he didn't need anyone other than him anymore. Wrote me off as family and did whatever he could to make it difficult for her to have a relationship with me. She often complained to me about him but never the real reasons. ED is all about control and having no control with him certainly proves why her ED got so bad. When she went away for the 3 months I was hopeful that in the seperation she would be able to be honest with her therapy without interference from him. Boy was I wrong. He managed, because he had business in St. Louis often to engage in therapy there with her. No one else was involved until they asked me to go. At that point I knew I would just be yelled at when I got there as had happened to me on other occasions. Can't fight lies when the people there were already believing and supporting them. Pretty stupid on their part, after knowing her for such a short time to act like they knew her better than me. She had been sick so long and it costs so much to go there that they have to look like they are being successful to her husband who is paying the bills. They need her to return as necessary which she has done. More money paid by husband or his father who usually bales him out. Oh, he is close to his parents even though his mother is an alcoholic and he caught her cheating on his father. His parents are still living together but hate each other openly. They don't travel anywhere together, even to visit them, and his mom badmouths him at every change she gets. His father is so, so, so annoying and suffocating and my sil vanishes whenever he is with them. But they are OK. How twisted is this.
The one good thing in my life is that I remarried 8 yrs. ago after being single for 11 years to the most special man - kind, trustworthy, huge heart and great supporter of me. My daughter hurt him too by taking the grandchildren away. The children only knew him as Poppy as they were born after we were married. He loves them so much too. He was nothing but kind and generous and loving to my daughter and she said that she loved him too, more than her father. How can these children be so cruel?
This is a good place to vent.
Thank you for listening.
Nancy


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I have written several posts to send this evening and deleted them all because I wanted to provide a postive response to some of the posts but realize that many of us are through looking for "answers". We just need to be listened to and understood. There is so much pain out there and so much that we can all relate to with each other's situations.
Yes. I will miss my little four year old grandson at Christmas also. ...and I also do not know why a child I loved with all my soul would turn and disown her entire family and choose another.
For all the grand-parents and parents out there who are hurting, I wish you peace and forgiveness and hope. We need to find peace in our lives for the ones that are still with us and forgiveness for our estranged children so that we can go on...and hope so that we can be reunited with our grandchildren again some day. And even a bigger hope that our estranged children will want to come home again.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I too wish everyone the best this Holiday Season. I have many blessings and one of the best for me has been this Forum. Finding out I was not alone, that other mothers understood how the impossible can happen and that sometimes others also cannot please their children and they leave too..But most of all knowing 'good mothers sometimes lose their children' and we (including me) were good loving mothers.
I hope that if reconciliation is part of your future that you can watch out for your hearts so that they are never broken again in this way and especially this depth. In a strained phone conversation with my daughter ( husband went out on a limb and begged her to call me-first time in over a year-because I WAS SO VERY DEPRESSED) It was all surreal, I felt like I was in a 'twilight zone.' It was like talking to a stranger and my words were slow, my mind trying to scrutinize every word to make sure I didn't say anything WRONG. When WE HUNG UP I WAS EXHAUSTED AND COULD hardly WALK. I REALIZED 'THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME-TOO MUCH HAS BEEN LOST. Special MEMORIES I WAS ASKED 'NOT TO' SHARE...ALL TOOK A HEAVY TOLL ON MY HEART.
(I am not yelling it got stuck on caps lock.)
So do try and be patient with your heart.
Merry Christmas -God knows how we have tried and keep trying that is why we are here. WE are very good mothers.
Love to all,
stray

Here is a link that might be useful: RE: Supporting the estranged mother


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

straycat,

I almost cried reading your post, I am so sorry you are going thru this. I wish I could take it away from you and the rest of us. Please try to cheer up for yourself and your husband and rest of the family. Please try to think only of the people and things you do have and not what is lost. Once we realize they have truly left us and do not want to return, we are then stuck in a battlefield of the mind. We can't talk to them so we just replay everything over and over in our heads until we forget how much of life is waiting for us to come and live it.

I have gotten so tired of feeling the pain all the time that I have finally gotten to the point that I have told myself that dammit, I was a good mother! And if she is too stupid to appreciate that, then it is her loss too.

And I have to tell you, that, I really DO NOT miss all the drama and the mooching of money all the time. And as for the holidays, I would spend days getting everything together and doing all the cooking and cleaning and when she did come, it was right before time to eat, she ate and then took a nap while I cleaned up and watched all the kids for her. When she woke up, she gathered all her presents and left. I miss the kids but I don't really miss her. I realize that she actually left me a long, long time before she physically went out of the picture. I was just holding on to an illusion.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

missed I am so sorry-it sounds like she was gone before she left...
I only have my husband and my Dad, and two good friends. My mother and step-father are now close to my children and have abused me in the past to a point that I cannot emotionally handle a relationship with them. My husband has become emotionally and verbally abusive and my Dad lives far away. One of my daughters died, and all three of my other children are estranged forever I know. It is hard and I feel worthless most of the time. I am going to the doctor today to see if she can help me-I am shaking inside and outside,; even my mouth. So I know I have to do something.
I hope you have a happy holiday and I am sorry you won't get to enjoy your grandchildren. I know that is hard. I haven't seen my grandson in two years. I hope he still knows I love him.
stray


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

straycat,

I don't know what happened to my earlier post, it dissapeared. What I said was this, I know you said your husband begged your daughter to call you because you were so depressed. He must really love you to do that. If he is being verbally and emotionally abusive, it may be that he is depressed also, he has lost family and his peaceful way of living too I would imagine. You were probably a much happier person before this all happened, and he is mad that person is no longer with him.

I hop your doctor will give you something to make that hole in your chest feeling go away.

Please remember, you will smile and laugh again one of these days. I promise you will. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other until that day comes. That is how we will get thru all of this.

Once we realize they are truly gone from our lives, all we have left is the battlefield of the mind, our mind. We can overcome the self-defeating thoughts that we let overpower us.

Take all that time and money that you would have spent on your daughter and put it into yourself, your husband, your home, or find someone who will appreciate it more than she did.

Here is wishing us all love and encouragement for the days to come, until we laugh again on a regular basis!


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I think he loves me as a person-not a wife. He is verbally abusive. He also wants me to be a happy, jolly person when he puts me down so I am sure if he can get someone else to take care of me he will.
NO. I will never be ok.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Thank you estrangegrammie,

I looked at the link. I would look at the other forums that she hands advice out on, but I don't think I could stomach it. I am just going to ignore her from now on. Her last post on this thread says it all. When "caught" for what she does on here, she reverses the charges. Which tells me she is not "fixable." I just feel sorry for the new women that come on here and have no idea what she is capable of and then they get slammed all over the place.

To any new women on here. There is a poster on this forum and in other forums that attacks people on here, ALWAYS makes them the bad guy, and sides with whomever you are talking about. She will put something you said in "quotes" and then sentence by sentence make you sound like you are a selfish, immature, dumb person who needs to be corrected, and needs to be corrected or set straight by HER no less. She is sarcastic, mean, cruel, abusive, and has no compassion or empathy at all. She uses different identities when she gets caught, and always shows up AGAIN attacking someone.

You will recognize her instantly by how she makes you feel when you have just shared your pain and are looking for suppport on here. You will feel worse after reading her posts to you not better. If you should be so unfortunate as to come under her scrutiny I would suggest you don't bother to respond, defend, or explain your posts to her nor try to defend her accusations. Just IGNORE her and realize that the rest of us DO NOT AGREE with what she just said to you, and are completely caring and compassionate about what you are going through. We are hoping the management of this forum will be able to ban her from this site, but if not, just ignore her posts and know that we care and we are there for you.

PatriciaAngel


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Patricia,

It's obvious you are hurting, but I think you misunderstand the nature of this forum. It is not a support group. It is a forum for discussion, and those of dissenting opinion have every right to be here. While I don't always agree with her statements/opinions Bucyn has not broken any of the agreements made with Gardenweb that I can see.

You are calling her "dangerous" a "man" and of having multiple "identities". I'm sure you're aware, as a counselor, that making accusations without proof is very damaging and can be considered libelous. Also, stating that in your capabilities as a professional counselor you are able to make a diagnosis of her personality on the basis of a few posts is flimsy at best "...I am a counselor. I have seen her kind, I can tell she has MAJOR PROBLEMS...".

We all have problems. For a lot of us, that is why we are here, you included, in my opinion. If you don't like what she's saying, don't respond. But please don't attack her viciously as you did here. It's unkind, it's wrong, and it does go against the forum rules.

Sincerely,
Silver


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Silver,

I am not attacking Bucyn. She has been attacking me. Go back and read all of her posts to me whenever I was sharing some of my story. Regardless, I am DONE with this site. It is obvious to me that there are some very catty women on here and I choose not to be involved on this website any further. Obviously you have not read all of her damaging posts on here to several women.

To those of you who have experienced what I have on here I wish you well. It would appear that we have enough to deal with in our lives with our children without having to take on complete strangers who are vicious.

Good luck to the rest of you...it is a shame that the support I was looking for on here is damaged by this one woman and now evidently there are two women like her on here. Is Silver the other one I was warned about? Or is this Bucyn with a new identity? By the way, the idea that she has several identities on here was told to me by someone else, so it is not a new idea.

And Bucyn? You win ... have fun ruining this forum for everyone else.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Patricia, I do understand that people can voice their opinion without hurting another person. You said some rather hurtful things to me. Can you please explain what I have said that is hurtful to you?

Surely in your professional capacity you can see what is going on.

Everyone has a right to be here ladies. Stop discriminating. If you don't like what is posted, move on. But don't accuse me of being two people. It's ridiculous.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I wish I could find a support group like this that meet in person, maybe do different activities together as well as encouraging each other in this difficult time. Anyone in the Houston area? I would consider hosting something like this. Maybe a women's group, a men's group and a couples group.

I know some friends of mine who lost a son to suicide joined a group of parents who had lost children and they have made so many friends, and go and do different things together, it is not just sitting around talking about their grief all the time. But they are with people who are going thru the same things as they are.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Missd 2008:

http://www.healingestrangedrelationships.org/resources.htm

There is a group in Houston and another in Dallas.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I haven't heard of any estrangement support groups where I live and they are probably more specific, because the reasons for estrangements are numerous (alcohol, drug addictions and mental health issues). I also haven't found people to be so open about their estrangements. And some people have a history of estrangements with others, including friends. A group situation may be nice, although if you cannot have a dissenting viewpoint, I wonder how helpful that would be--that could be stifling and not a situation where one could explore and grow, or benefit emotionally. The function would be very limited, which is fine for some. I guess it would depend on each person individually and their motivation or purpose for joining a group.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Thanks Estrangedgrammie I will check it out.

Flowergardenmuse, I have just been so happy to have this forum to read and to know that I am not alone. But really wish that we had other ways to encourage each other and get on with our lives. There are women on here that I strongly identify with and wish sometimes that, I wish I was whereever they are when they are really feeling down so that I could try to cheer them up. Especially straycat, I really worry about you girl you are so down on yourself, and I think you are a really wonderful person who has not deserved such treatment.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Flower, thank you for recognizing my intentions. I think your comment about needing validation through agreement is spot on. I have benefited greatly from validation myself... but do find that eventually the result is "ok, so I'm right, I'm justified.... now what?" At that point there are two options. One, I can continue being "right" or two, I can look at my contribution to the problem. The second choice is harder, but for me, it has proven important to coming out the other side.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

I just found this forum and am amazed how many of us mothers are estranged from our child/children. I have not seen my only child (daughter) since 1/8/2010, or my only grandchildren, two boys. She was living with me until that time; I came home from work and they were gone, leaving with a hateful note, after I had been supporting all 3 of them for years. They did not tell me where they went, and efforts to find them have lead no where. My life is so lonely for me and my husband - we love them so very much. I don't know if I will ever seen them again. My daughter has MS and I think this must be causing some cognition issues. Thanks for having this forum so I don't feel so alone.


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

SandraAskew,

You are far from alone. Here's another good site which deals with these issues. I've provided a link. It is more up-to-date with insightful articles.

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


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RE: Supporting the estranged mother

Since my last posting I have had an email from my daughter, but all she wants to do is tell everyone, including the world wide web, how terrible she thinks we, her parents, are. I tried to set up a holiday visit, but she still not will see me. I have given up and pray she is not ruining the lives of my 2 grandsons.


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