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Topics - Stilllearning

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My extreme apologies to Jennifer9.  I am new at moderating and I made a mistake when I tried to move her topic.  Here is what she wrote:

My mentally ill DIL alienated my son from me because she thinks it is "sick" for adult children of the opposite sex to spend time alone with their parents. As a result, my relationship with my son eventually became casual at best. Once she had my son's ear exclusively, she make up terrible lies about me which resulted in a plethora of abusive texts & screaming from my son. I nearly only respond with "I love you" & "I'm sorry you feel that way" but sometimes I defend myself which is pointless & only provides fodder for more abuse.
Anyway, my DIL is happy with this arrangement because she gets me all to herself. She loves spending time with me & wants me to babysit her children, my grandchildren, very often. I have poor health and a bad back so I can only take three of them about 2 to 3 days a week which includes sleeping over. The baby is too painful for my back. My son will text me saying that my refusal to take all of them renders my help useless: I ignore him for the sake of the children. I gave her tons of nice clothes for her daughter, all that I had, but instead of gratitude, I get yelled at for sending her home in a dress that is too large (I gave her everything so that's all my teenaged daughter could find for her). Anyway, I ignore the abuse and tell her that when I get money, I'll buy more clothes.... And I offer to do her laundry because she won't clean their clothes or her house so they live in squalor.
This is where I need advice please. Today she calls me demanding O take my grandson to urgent care. I just woke up and had taken a muscle relaxer so I told her I couldn't drive. While I was trying to figure out when I could take him, she hung up on me! She followed it with a "you don't care about your grandchildren so you may never see your grandchildren again." Then my son sends me a cruel text! I am tired of the abuse and don't want to turn the other cheek any longer. I want to walk away! In California, grandparents have no rights so I cannot sue for visitation. Someone from their church called CPS but they did nothing. I love my grandchildren. They want to never have to go home. They want to live with me but I have no power. Do I continue to tolerate their abuse in order to see my grandchildren? There is no reasoning with them. I could talk to my son but he refuses to EVER see me in person. Last week I ran out to his car and which was in front of my house and gave him a big hug. He hugged me back but his wife found out and put an end to that! Am I a wrong to walk away until they can stop attacking me verbally or do I continue to tolerate their had behavior & threats of alienation from my grandchildren? Thank you!

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Grandchildren / Once again asking for advice
« on: January 12, 2017, 05:16:22 AM »
Hello everyone!  I am in a dither this week over my wonderful granddaughters.  They are age one and four.  First let me bring you up to date on how things are going.

After listening to your advice and turning my sights to things that made myself and my DH happy my life has improved by leaps and bounds!  My DS eventually came back around and my DIL decided that she wanted me to be involved with their children, partially because her father and mother are not as able to keep up with two active toddlers.  So once a week I have been keeping the one year old to give my DIL some alone time. 

My DIL finally got some help with her condition, now diagnosed as bi-polar and recently checked into a hospital to get her medication  regulated.  When my DIL came home I went to their house for a week to help the two of them as my DIL settled into her new norm.  Although we (of course) got on each others nerves there were no mean words exchanged and it was obvious that both she and I were working very hard to get along.  During that week I took the children to their day care  and picked them up several times.  There were comments made by the day care workers, my DS and actually by my DIL that make me think that my DIL has been unable to bond with the one year old.  My DIL brings the children home from the daycare at around 2pm and puts them down for a nap.  She says that her one year old sleeps for 6 hours for that nap. 

What I observed is that my DIL does not interact with either of my GC alone if she can avoid it.  The 4 year old goes to daycare every weekday but the 1 year old only goes on Wed. and Fri.  The 4 year old does not want to come home from the daycare center.  The workers in the one year old room noted how attached to me she was and when I mentioned to my DIL that of course she cried when I left her my DIL said "she does not cry when I leave her".  All of this has me very concerned about the welfare of my GC and I am considering talking to my DS about those concerns. 

I have already offered (and they accepted) to keep the one year old every Monday, Monday night and Tuesday.  That leaves my DIL only Thursday alone with her since on Wed and Fri she brings her home and lets her nap until my DS comes home.  I am unsure if this will be enough or if there should be more done to help my GC.  So.....

The question is whether I should talk to my DS about my concerns or not.  I am thinking that I should get him to talk to her psychiatrist  and ask his/her opinion or perhaps I should get him to check with the day care workers to see if they have any concerns or not.   What do you think?  And by the way my DS has already said that he could not live with himself if he left her while she is so sick but it is obvious that his is considering leaving when he can. 

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / request for your calming tips
« on: June 13, 2016, 05:55:53 AM »
Things have definitely improved as far as my relationship with my DIL.  I am not sure where to lay the credit for the improvement since I quit trying and she got counseling at around the same time.  She currently has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and she is on meds for that.  Her insurance company will not pay for ADHD meds for adults so she is no longer on those.  The ADHD meds helped her to talk at a normal pace instead of having her over stimulated voice outpace her racing mind.  I have not seen her in a while so yesterday was my first exposure to her sans those meds and it was an eye opener.  For the most part I enjoyed seeing her and the kids but after a 5 hour visit I found myself exhausted.  Just trying to keep up with what she was talking about was difficult but from time to time she would say uncomplimentary things about my DS.  It is all I can do to not defend him and honestly it makes me hurt for him.  I know that this is his battle and he needs to fight it himself (or not) but it is so difficult to listen to her disrespect him.  Do any of you have any ways of hinting to her that I do not like hearing such things?  I tried telling her I could not help her but she evidently took that as an affirmation of her negative opinion.  She always follows these cutting remarks with "I love him to death but..." kind of like southern ladies say "well bless her heart".  You know ......"well bless her heart, she is as ugly as a possum but I just love her to death".  Yeah, like that.   

Last week I obligated myself to a five hour trip with her to visit my siblings who are all going to be together tomorrow night in Atlanta.   Then yesterday I found out just how trying this trip is going to be.  I made the same trip with her last year and it worked out fine but this time, without the ADHD meds and with her driving and she is afraid of driving, especially in Atlanta........ oh boy did I bite off more than I can chew!!!!  So I need your mantras for staying calm or your tips for handling my own inner strife without letting it flow out into the situation and make things worse.  I cannot really decide not to go without a good reason but right now I wish I had never said I would!  Anyone know where I can go to get a quick case of food poisoning?? 

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / back to square one?
« on: September 23, 2015, 08:05:34 AM »
When my DS got married 5 years ago the tension between my DS's FOO and my DIL's FOO was palpable.  Once my DS/DIL had their first child things eased off a little.  Now they are having their second child.  I offered to keep my GD during the birth .  My DIL was due in mid October. 

This weekend is a really rare astronomical event.  On Sunday 9/27 we are having a supermoon followed by a lunar eclipse.  The last time this happened was some 30 years ago.  My DH got Monday and Tuesday off so that we could camp on a deserted island not far from here and see this event away from all the city lights.  We have been planning this for a couple of months and we told my DIL about it a couple of week ago.  I was mentioning it in case she went into labor early because I would not be able to drop everything and paddle back to help her. 

Well she talked her OB into inducing labor this Sunday night and Monday morning, before her due date.  So here I am stuck between my DH who wants to go camping and my DS.  It so stinks to be here!!  My DIL won't change her plans and by golly I don't think I will either!  When I was trying to work things out with her she said that if I kept my GD that I would have to make the 45 minute trip (one way) to take my GD to her day care for 5 hours every day.  Lets see, that is 3 hours on the road for me and 5 hours in day care for her.  To me this is just unreasonable and I won't do it.

I am sure tensions will be high again. I guess I just need to accept that I will not be involved. At least I am not all torn up about it anymore.  I have this site to thank for that. Your thoughts????

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Grab Bag / When I am down in the dumps I........
« on: March 23, 2015, 04:04:28 AM »
I wanted to start a thread with ideas on getting out of the dumps when you are down.  So what do you do to pull yourself up by the seat of the pants?  I am lucky, I live near the ocean so I can always go to the beach and sit and wonder at the beauty and power of the sea.  What do you do?????

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Train wrecks
« on: February 10, 2015, 06:04:32 AM »
I have posted here before about how much I love my MIL.  She is the most incredibly wonderful and tolerant person!  She has been such a blessing in my life and now her mind is failing.  She has dementia and her short term memory is down to around 5 minutes.  It is disheartening to go visit her because we spend 4 1/2 hours on the road one way to see her and 5 minutes after we leave she has forgotten that we visited.  Anyway the facility where she was living did not have a memory care unit so my SIL (DH's sister) who has control of her finances hired round the clock sitters and paid them out of my MIL's estate.  I guess she would have paid them until MIL was completely broke until my DH and I found out about it and made her move MIL to a memory care unit saving approximately 5 thousand dollars a month.  MIL is not wealthy and was only about a year away from being broke when we found out. 

In addition to this My SIL let her older sister move into my MIL's house and bring a slew of cats.  She only pays the mortgage plus a little, no taxes and no insurance and the house would rent out for approximately $1000 more than she pays per month.  The cats have ruined the house and my SIL's both seem to be perfectly happy with things until we found out. 

So now we have found a memory care unit in my town that would fit her monthly income and my SIL won't move her!  Evidently she is happy to let my MIL run completely out of money which will happen in about 6 years (now because of the move) if there are no added expenses and the fees for the memory care unit she is in do not go up (yea, right!).  I had to let the opening go this morning and we do not know when another will come open.  They had three openings this year but before that it was 3 years since they had a vacancy.  Of course the doctor says my MIL is as healthy as an ox and could live 30 more years.  I really hate watching this happen!!!

Anyway, I was wondering if any of you wonderful women have any clue about possibly my DH suing my SIL for control of my MIL's affairs?  It seems to me that she has mishandled them in the past and is continuing to do so.  Any thoughts??? 


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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Breaking the downward spiral
« on: August 18, 2014, 06:50:58 AM »
I have found that the more time I spend thinking about my problems with my DS and DIL the worse the problem gets.  Over time I have developed ways of shifting my thoughts to other things, things I enjoy and love thinking about.  Now I have a new good thought in my arsenal.  I actually cannot believe that my DH and I actually did this but ever since we did I have hardly even thought about my problems (outside of my achy muscles, that is).  Last Friday (8/15/2014) we went on a whitewater raft ride!  We chose the 'carnage' trip....the most likely one to get you wet.  We turned over at least 5 times but we lost count of how many times...LOL!  At 60 and 57 we were the oldest people on the ride but we figured if they take 12 year olds then we would probably make it!  We had a blast!  Surfed the rapids!  Got wet and lived through it!!  Here is a link that shows a lot of what we did.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24AYyd1HbH8

So now when I tell someone on this forum to go out and have some fun and enjoy life you can all know that I take my own advice.  I don't think whitewater rafting is for everyone but everyone has something besides family that makes them feel alive.  We are not getting any younger, let's do it while we can!  I found out it feels kinda nice to be the oldest ones doing something.......

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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / not sure how I should handle this
« on: March 15, 2014, 06:02:53 AM »
A little background first, I will try to make it short.  My eldest DS went to college and found his DW there.  She has ADHD, multiple allergies, asthma,migraines, pre-diabetes because of her weight, and her body loves to make kidney stones.  When my son at age 20 told me he was going to marry her I asked him to wait, sighting her multiple health issues and the fact that he had not yet finished school. I can hear you all groaning and yes that went horribly wrong and she, having heard what I said from my DS, proceeded to tell all of her family and friends what an ogre I was.   Everything I said from that point on was taken in the worst possible light to the point of it being ridiculous.  I pulled away entirely and eventually (after the first GC) things got somewhat better.  Now they call me when they need something which is fortunately not often.  My DIL inherited evidently quite a bit of money and they are both driving new cars and they bought a house (cash).  I am very happy that they are doing so well and I hope they got enough to keep them in the lap of luxury for life.  But this forum is about our adult children so let me get to that part.

My youngest son is 17 and a junior in High School.  He has been recommended for Governor's honors (fingers crossed, still waiting!) and he plans on being an anesthesiologist.  He is doing exceedingly well and we are very proud of him.  He loves his brother and occasionally he goes to visit him and sometimes spends the night.  We are glad that the relationship between the brothers is healing as there was a huge rift and lots of anger there too.  So where is the problem?  The last time he went and spent the night My DS/DIL had her sister over (who hates me because of all the stuff my DIL misinterpreted) and she brought a friend who has been fed the same line.  Is it wrong of me to feel insecure sending my incredible and easily influenced 17 year old into a house full of people who not only don't like me but who by some fluke of fortune have enough money to burn?  I am so worried that they will convince him that he does not need college and that he especially does not need to listen to a word I say. 

Should I try to restrict the contact between my sons?  Should I mention my reservations to my eldest?  Should I just trust that everything will be ok?  I certainly do not trust that my DIL will have my YS's best interests in mind and she has proven to be quite persuasive in the past.  If she manages to derail both of my sons (ES is still not finished with college though DIL finished her degree while he supported her and now she wants her master's, believe it or not, in psychology) I couldn't stand it.  All that potential lost.

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / I just realized....
« on: January 07, 2014, 10:28:29 AM »
I get a ton of help from the times that I do not post!  Sometimes I just sit here for a few minutes and sort out my thoughts.  Sometimes I write half a book and delete it instead of posting it.  Either way just thinking about things helps the healing, and knowing that the women on here will be supportive if I do post (even if it is a rant!) gives me the freedom to have the option to post if I decide to.  Thank you to all those wonderful ears who are willing to listen lovingly, to all the moderators who keep people from being unkind, to our wonderful webmaster Kirk and to dear Luise for seeing the need for this site and filling it.

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / OK Pinch me......but not yet!!
« on: November 26, 2013, 10:04:33 AM »
I cannot believe it!  About a week ago my DS contacted me and said that he, his wife and their new baby would like to spend Thanksgiving Day here!  This will be the first time in years that he has been here for Thanksgiving and the first time ever for the other two.  There followed several text messages offering choices about what I would cook that would fit in with her rather restrictive diet because I do not want to fix a meal and have her not eat (happened once).  I was still trying to let that soak in when my DIL texted me this morning asking for me to babysit tomorrow!  They are going to let me keep the new grand ( 3 months old) overnight!!  They are planning a big day tomorrow with her family.  A separate Thanksgiving celebration to be followed by a movie (during which I would babysit) and when she asked how late they could pick the little darling up I suggested the overnight.  I still don't believe that she said yes!

 I think that lately she has been comparing monster-in-law stories with her married friends.  At the hospital when we visited one of her friends compared me to her MIL and said we were not near as intrusive as her IL's were.  So.....

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  When I was going crazy you calmed me down!  If it were not for this wonderful site and all of you incredible women (especially Louise!) I doubt that this would be happening.  The harder he pulled away the more hurt I felt and the more desperate I got.  Nothing changed until I pulled away and I could not have done that without you!  I will never forget the feeling I had when I found this site.  What a relief to know that I was not alone!  I had never even considered that I had a life to enjoy with or without them!!  I don't call them, text them, email them or accept all of their invitations.  I have a life and I will not stop everything to be a part of their life.  If they call I am happy, if not I am happy.  Thanks so much!!!!!

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / I need to talk it out.....
« on: November 14, 2013, 07:02:47 AM »
Sorry folks but a little background first....

My son married his on again off again girlfriend, the first and only girlfriend he has had.  I made the HUGE mistake of telling him he could do better during the off phase and I am sure that he has told her that I said that.  I still believe it but I digress.  I tried to make up for my mistakes, apologize and get beyond it and when I asked what I could do to make it better she said I if I bought her a wedding ring set she would feel like I wanted her in the family.  Buying love is just not my style at all, ever so..... Long story short is that I don't like her and she does not like me.

We went through all of the angst of the wedding and yes we did host the rehearsal dinner and put on happy faces for the day.  It was all very difficult for us.

For two years we have not gotten a gift or a call or a card for any occasion although we have sent them gifts for their birthdays and Christmas.  We had not gotten any acknowledgement for anything until I sent an email telling them that when they did not let me know they had gotten something I felt like they did not want a present.  I made it clear that an email would do as would a phone call.  Thank you notes were not needed.   I accepted the fact that my DS had chosen a life that would not include his FOO.  Then they got pregnant.

Now they have a baby and it is making my son want to reconnect with us.  He is putting pressure on her to invite us over and it shows.  Every time I see her she remarks on everything her FOO buys her and I congratulate her.  I got an invitation to a baby shower that I avoided because only her family and friends would be there and she has told them all horrible stories about me.  I did get a thank you note for the gift I sent though. 

If it were up to me I would never see her again.  That attitude is hurting my DS though.  I would love to hear ideas on how to adjust my attitude so that my emotions would stop knotting up every time I see her.   How does a really wise woman handle having to deal with a DIL that they really dislike?

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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / So OK....I am not overjoyed
« on: September 27, 2013, 07:20:30 PM »
I know I should be ecstatic.  My DIL has contacted me and asked me over to see the new baby, not once but twice!!  I went and visited the first time and to be honest I enjoyed the visit.  OK, so I did not get the warm and gushy feeling that one would expect from visiting their grandchild but it was not horrible.  The new baby is still just a baby, less than 8 weeks old, and honestly she needs some time to develop her own personality.  I am not 'over the moon' about her and I probably will not be until she gets older.  She is cute.

My problem is that I am finding it very difficult to grow attached to this wonderful child.  I do not trust her parents.  They have treated me (in my opinion) very badly and I cannot believe that they will not revert to their earlier bad behavior in the future.  I feel that they are using this wonderfully innocent child to lure me in and once then once again they will be in a position to chop my heart up and call it my fault.  And then again, I may be entirely wrong......

I resent the fact that my DS and DIL have run ram shod over my feelings for two years and now they expect me to just overlook everything because they have a baby.  I bet they expect me to send Mother's day and Father's day gifts next year in spite of the fact that they have been too busy to even pick up the phone to call us on either occasion for two years.  How do you handle these feelings?  Honestly, I am  mad!!

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They are inducing labor to deliver my first grandchild today.  Of course I would not be here if there were not issues between myself and my DS/DIL.  There has never been any argument or much in the way of explanation, just the silent treatment.  I spent months trying to 'make it better'.  I even went to a session with her  counselor (I did not even know she had one) where it was pointed out to me that I was having empty nest issues....great!  So I pulled back and gave them room.  It was during that time that I discovered that life without the constant drama was really quite nice.  So life goes on.

Last December they stopped by (both of them!) for the first time since before they got married two years ago to let us know that they were pregnant.  I have spent the time since then getting used to the idea that I would now have a grandchild that I would not know.  I let my DS know that I would be there for him as much or as little as he wanted me but that I knew I would make his wife uncomfortable and she has enough on her plate for today already.  I have ordered a gift for my new GC which will be here in a day or two and I was planning on mailing it to them even though they live in town.  Now for the latest development....

I got a message on that horrible site Facebook.  It came from my DIL who unfriended me years ago and it contains, in my opinion, a veiled threat.  My DS disabled his FB account a few weeks ago and now that feels like part of the plan.  So the message says that although my DS has promised to send me pictures by e-mail he will not do a proper job of it.  She sent me a friend request so that I could see pictures of my Granddaughter.  It will effectively make it so that she can pull my strings again....

Evidently she wants me to stop by the hospital today too.  Now that sounds like fun!!  Let me go down there and hang out with her family who all have decided that I ride a broom!  Yipee!! 

Now I am really in a pickle!  If I go then I have to act excited about the grandchild I will most likely never get to know.  If I don't go then I am just adding fodder to the pot she will keep stirring. 

I need a mantra that I can keep saying to myself to help me get through this visit!  Either that or I need to know how to bow out gracefully.  Help!! What should I do???


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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / phone or e-mail?
« on: July 14, 2013, 12:07:42 PM »
My DS and DIL are going to be parents in August.  We all live in the same town although I hardly see my DS and I do not expect that to change just because of the new addition.  I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that my DS has decided his life is happier when I am not involved in it.  Oh well....

With the upcoming birth I have new issues.  I am sure that I will be consulting you wonderful wise women for more advice in the upcoming months.  For now I need help with trying to let my DS know that I am OK with not going to the hospital during the labor and delivery without making him feel abandoned.  If anything goes wrong I want to be there for my DS's support but I so do not want to be there with my DIL's family. 

My sister thinks I should send them an e-mail but I am having a very hard time composing one that says what I want to say.  I think an e-mail can be misread too easily.  Inflections are missing along with a myriad of other things.  The only ones that I think are not ambiguous are too clinical.  Still if I phone him then that conversation will be bandied about and eventually misinterpreted. 

So what do you think?

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