I hope I'm starting off in the right section of the forum as a new poster. I apologise if not. Firstly, I am so grateful to find this forum not because I specifically need help, I think I've finally worked out the problems and how I need to deal with them but I thought it might help others to share my story.
I have just walked away, with love, from my two much loved adult children on the grounds that if I were married to them, I would be advised to leave and find shelter because of their ongoing utter cruelty and hurtful behaviour if I don't do what they want.
First though, It helps if I relate to my own start in life as I'm sure there is a connection. My mum had me when she was 18 and as a result she married my father for which she blamed me for all the time I lived at home. She went on to have 6 children in all and none of them speak to me because they learned not to from my mother. Despite her unhappy life with my father, she had 5 more children, 4 girls & 2 boys. She favoured the boys resulting in a 25 year gap of not speaking to the girls apart from myself. I kept going back but eventually gave up after my mother made her feelings clear. In a row when I was 16, she told me she'd never loved me and never wanted me. She never said anything to counter these words so I believed her. I left home at 16 and made my own way in the world being very successful on most levels except in relationships with family members & men owing to a lack of trust because my father was so violent towards my mother.
I married and had 2 children who were my world. I know I was a very good mum and possibly that was where I made mistakes. I vowed never to be like my own mother and I became everything and all things to my children. I never saw past the rose tinted glasses when they tried to blackmail me into agreeing to things and I never realised how dependant I'd become on them for love and being the family I'd never had. I was Superwoman personified. I ran a business around them, managed a beautiful home, cooked nutritious and lovely food, even qualified in nutrition so I could learn to feed them well. I knitted, sewed, cooked, cleaned & baked. They never had a childminder, I was always their mum, always there, always solving problems and dramas. Christmasses were wonderful as were birthdays and days out. I was strict and they weren't spoilt with money or material things. However, we lived a cossetted middle class life so they enjoyed all the trappings never ever knowing what it was like to go without anything, unlike my own childhood.
They are now 30 and 27 and I would describe them as the most callous, cruel, unhelpful, bullying, blackmailing tyrants I ever come across. My father was the same and I half wonder if their behaviour is gene related. I know it's not though. Sadly, I know that they have learned to treat me in the same way as my mother and family have always done. How could they not? They simply copied the same pattern of behaviour because that's how they saw my family treat me so they thought it normal.
When my son met his now wife 7 years ago, he changed noticably. He attracted a girl that was greedy with 'I have to have everything now' attitude. When they asked me for money to finance a brand new car and I refused because neither of them were working, they didn't speak to me for 2 years. They eventually came back and it wasn't long before they asked for help again with money to buy a house. After much discussion, I helped and they bought a brand new house. The money was offered on the understanding that I would not be able to contribute to the big wedding also planned by the girl. This was agreed and accepted by my son but as the wedding approached, we were snubbed by the girl and her family. I was blocked from seeing any part of the wedding and only saw a photo 6 months later when surprise, surprise,I received a call from my son telling me they were having a baby! He hadn't wanted children so soon, he wanted to get some of the huge debt they'd got into paid off but I understand the girl, now the wife, wanted a baby sooner. I think my son was scared and wanted the protection of being able to ask for help again if he ran out of money.
I congratulated them but could see a pattern emerging so I asked if we could discuss what happened over the wedding as I didn't understand why we had been completely left out although I suspect it was because I'd made no financial contribution having helped them buy their house instead. I was denied any such discussion. Instead I was told I was the problem, that I needed to move on and just get over myself. They had forgiven me so that should be enough (gee thanks).
My son and exceptionally greedy DIL got the shock of their lives when I unfriended them from Facebook in October this year, just one month after they had their first child. I explained that until there was some kind of explanation, they were not going to use their newborn baby to pull me back on board so removing them from my FB was self preservation mostly. At some point I knew that if there was yet another request for money and I refused, I would be cut out of my grandchild's life. I already know the pain and respect myself too much to live in hope of the girl changing and my son not defending her. They have now been terribly offended suggesting I am a dreadful kind of mother. Yet only months earlier, I recieved an email from the DIL telling me what a wonderful person my son is. If I was a bad mother, he couldn't be so wonderful could he?? I have been told many times what a decent guy he is to everyone else so at least I can be grateful for this. Before he met his wife, he was a lovely, caring, courteous person. I know I have done the right thing walking away because he is no longer the person he was so I know they would crucify me if I fell in love with the baby. I know they only invited me back into their lives for financial support.
My daughter is also very manipulative, unkind and plays games of telling me she never wants to see or speak to me again because she blames me every time her life becomes difficult. This is usually because she makes it so but she tries to make me responsible and gets very angry when I refuse to take responsibility for her mistakes. She will then ignore all my contact enjoying the hurt she's causing especially at key times such as Christmas, birthdays and I don't even think about Mothers Day. I never receive cards from either of them. Then after a few months she'll suddenly send an email letting me know of her latest drama and how it's all my fault.
I returned from living in Australia 2 years ago, back to England where I briefly had some contact with my youngest brother. He told me there had been the most amazing event where my entire family had suddenly all got back together for my neices wedding. I saw them all sat around a table togther in photos. When I asked why I hadn't been invited, my brother told me it was because mum hadn't wanted me there.
It hurts to think your mum might not have loved you but only thinking it gives you some hope that you were wrong. Seeing concrete evidence that it's true is a killer to deal with. However, at least it explains where perhaps I have become needy and that my children have exploited my insecurity and need to be loved plus they've also copied a learned conditioning played out in a family situation almost in pack fashion.
This Christmas I met my deepest demons and had a revealing time. I did not receive a card from my children or any family members. However, I am blessed with beautiful friends and a husband who make me feel whole. I also have a wonderful business in which I use a lot of creative skill for which I am richly rewarded.
I never felt special or loved but I do a job where I make all women feel beautiful, special and accepting of themselves because I know how important this is.
It's in this direction I am now going to focus my efforts. By doing this and removing myself from my two children's lives, I can at least begin to stop hurting, heal the pain, move into a position of strength and deepen my own self respect so I can never allow myself to be so badly treated again. It takes huge courage and bravery as at least the pain has been a constant companion but it's not the way to live or be happy. As I said earlier, if I was married to a partner dishing out the same mental cruelty, I'd be advised to leave.
I hope sharing my story will help others. Love yourself, forgive yourself, forgive those that have hurt you but don't go back to the pain if you want to be happy. Change yourself and if that means leaving, then that's what you have to do. My children are welcome to stay in touch with me but they won't. They will hold grudges, throw tantrums and try and make me suffer. It's time for me to walk away.
much love Nna x