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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Helpful hints/suggestions, please
« Last post by luise.volta on April 24, 2014, 09:11:59 PM »
Good to hear from you, B, but sorry you are up against such a difficult situation. I agree with Nik. Whatever you do or don't do is probably going to be misinterpreted. I would continue to support ODD in every way possible and would not bend to YDD's bid to make this about her. Sending hugs...
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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Helpful hints/suggestions, please
« Last post by nikncon on April 24, 2014, 08:33:14 PM »
Dear Blue Eyes.So sorry for all the pain that your family is going through.There are many women wiser than me on this website but I would say do what makes you feel comfortable.If you feel like it just send a very simple greeting card.If you don't feel like it don't send one.Your ODD needs your support.You need to be healthy too for all of them.YDD will hopefully grow up and see how badly she has behaved.Prayers your way.
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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Helpful hints/suggestions, please
« Last post by BlueEyes on April 24, 2014, 08:00:10 PM »
I read here frequently but have not written for a long time. I've have two DDs one 36 and one 33. Recent circumstances with truly made me look at myself with renewed insight and also needing other perspectives.
The circumstances are:
1) ODD was diagnosed about one and a half months ago with breast cancer. She had a double mastecomy two weeks ago and faces the likely hood of chemo and hormone therapy for next 5-7 years.
2)YDD spent much of the month and a half after the diagnosis in conversations with ODD that were very distressing to ODD. The conversations from YDD were centered on how the diagnosis affected YDD.  YDD showed no or little compassion, understanding, or concern for the impact of how the cancer was impacting and affecting her sister.
3) ODD was so emotionally hurt and upset with the lack of concern and understanding from her sister that her DH text YDD to stop any further communication with ODD.
4) another part of this saga.  I spent a week with ODD right after her diagnosis just to be with her for moral support. I text YDD during that visit and followed with a card that day after I arrived home just to let her know that I was thinking about her. The day after I sent the card snail mail I receive a text from YDD. The text told me in no uncertain terms that I need to remember that I have two daughters. That I always make her feel that she comes last and that she is choosing to turn her back and have nothing to do with me.  This was written to me before she was asked to stop communicating with ODD by her DH.
5) So...ODD and her DH did not want YDD to know surgery date or any information regarding the surgery . So we honored their requests. We have been with ODD and  her DH and GSs since day before ODDs surgery to help as caretakers. YDD learned about surgery date from other family members. Sent me an ugly text day following surgery of how inconsiderate we were to not have said anything to her about her sister's surgery and how demented I was. 
6) I felt she told me she wanted nothing to do with me and that I have done nothing but make her feel unimportant. My take on this was to give her space and leave her alone. Her older sister wants nothing to do with her. She feels her sister has been unfeeling and showed no compassion or concern for what she is going through following her diagnosis of breast cancer.

I have not heard from YDD since the day after surgery. A close friend says to maintain my "break In any form of communication " with her. YDD pattern and history has been one of seeming to want to be with us and then from no where I will receive mean and nasty texts of how cruel I am and that I need to say something different, do something different ...the list goes on forever. I feel like no matter how much I do or what I do, it is never enough. I am never enough.

While helping ODD and knowing that we are going to be helping for some time, I and my DH would need all our energy and focus to be on the task at hand with ODD. I decided I had enough of the nasty texts from YDD. I just wanted the nastiness to stop. I decided the one way to stop it was to stop communicating period. So I did.

Her birthday is in May. Birthdays are important in our family. I don't know if I should send a card at least or just keep the break in communication.  To make a break to stop the abuse should I maintain break in communication. So perplexed..please any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The whole situation has been surreal for sure. To watch my ODD go through such radical surgery, change her dressings, the complexities of cancer, the unknowns yet to come and know the YDDs lack of compassion being so boldly displayed is just beyond understanding .   

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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Defining love
« Last post by luise.volta on April 24, 2014, 01:30:20 PM »
M., my take is that everyone and everything isn't loveable. And that which was does not always remain so. I also think there are as many definitions of love as there are individuals and perhaps even loving moments experienced by each individual.

There poisonous plants, insects, reptiles and animals that we may love esoterically but not want to get too close to. I find there are people of that ilk, as well. Even some who once were lovable but are no longer. We can love them without getting too close...or if closeness is required, love from a sense of self-protection on some level.

The love of tolerance, the love of remembering 'when', the love from obligation is still love but for most of us it may not nurture. Most of us need nurturing and when it is missing, we feel it. It isn't an exchang and it can be a drain.

For me, I nave to be clear what my role is in relationship to my expectations and needs. I have learned to love from a distance when needed to maintain my own well being because self-love is what fuels most of us. We also have belief systems that nurture us and those are intensely personal and varied.

My heart knows love...the giving and receiving of it. And it knows the lack of love and the need for acceptance and distance....mitigation. That's what it comes down to for me, loving consciously. 
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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Defining love
« Last post by Monroe on April 24, 2014, 12:36:11 PM »
Hi everybody - been gone a while, but still reading.  I would like your help in defining love. 

I always had a good relationship with my mother - who is now a very elderly invalid.  Several years ago (and it was gradual) the personality change began.  For fifty years, she was a wonderful, loving mom.  At first it was isolated incidents - now it is constant complaints, criticisms, etc.   She has become very demanding (we have 24/7 care for her - but she is isolated and still demanding of the adult children's time and attention).  My siblings do their share - I don't bear the majority of the responsibility.  But I am the one in her cross-hairs.  I am exhausted.  Still visit because my sweet father is still living.  But I am exhausted and dread seeing her, since it will be just more complaints. 

Not all complaints are directed at me -- sometimes she just wants to criticize other people and have me join in - which I refuse to do.  I don't like it when grade-schoolers are bullies and pick on other kids.  I'm not about to join in a gossip-fest criticizing this neighbor or that old friend - or even her DIL.  So when she criticizes this or that relative, I just say, "Mom, I think he/she is nice - or trying as hard as he/she can - or I say this is really none of our business.  Like when a cousin got divorced she wanted me to ask around and find out why they got divorced.  No way in  &%$#**  am I ever going to do that!! 

It's driving me nuts.  I want to think that I love her, but I don't feel it.  I don't enjoy her company at all.  I just brace myself for the complaints, the outbursts of temper - the twisting/distorting of what I say or do - so that she can complain about me later.  But I do my duty.  I visit 2-3 times a week.  I take over little treats.  I am all smiles - and never fail to give her a kiss when I leave.  I don't tell her what to do - no suggestions from me - the caregivers can do that, as she resents any suggestions from her children. 

But I am going nuts.  I want to think that I love her.  I know I did.  I know I love the mother she was.  There's just nothing likable about who she is now.  But I do still do my duty.

Does love have to include warm fuzzes?  If I honor her position as my mother - if I do my duty - If I "hum a few bars and fake it" by always smiling, visiting, taking treats, - even tho it is just on the surface - does that count as love? 

Can duty count as love? 

I have to continually battle not to feel guilty - but the only way to please her is to spend hours a day with her, and join in mean gossip about the few people she still knows who aren't dead. 

Please - I want to love her - how can I feel that I do if all I feel is a sense of duty?  Does that count???

Thanks, ladies. 

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Confused,  I totally agree w/ open and honest feedback in a nice way of course!  As a MIL, that's what I wish for because I really can be clueless at times....
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My take is that it is not about you. We can't make sense of the senseless, nor change it. All we can do is stop trying and turn our attention toward our own healing. Until we take that step we just go 'round and 'round the same cicuit of helplessness and being right.

Sending hugs...
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It is almost a month now and we still do not talk a lot. Just very short conversation since she is busy with work and kids. It looks like she wants to show that she does not need me at this point of her life.
They went on vacation for 10 days with kids and she called us only when she needs something, when ussualy she calls me almost every day.

 It so upsetting, especially we used to be so close together. I do not know what is wrong with her. I was trying to reach her few times, she called me back but we still do not communicate as we used to.
Have no idea what to do.
 
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I don't think there is anything wrong with telling your MIL how you feel in an appropriate way.  Would something like this sound too harsh? : "When you tell me how to raise the children, it hurts my feelings and makes me feel angry.  I know you love your grandchildren and you are just trying to help, but it makes me feel like you think I am inadequate as a mother. "
I tried keeping my mouth shut with my MIL and endured and it didn't work out that well for me or my MIL.  I don't think "enduring" works for everyone, unless you have a very strong sense of self and are able to be detached and let comments roll off like water on a duck's back.   
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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: feeling forgotten
« Last post by Footloose on April 21, 2014, 11:38:08 AM »
Raindrops, Sorry to hear of your disappointment.  I spent the day with other big and little people and heard from my DS and his wife a good bit lately.  I let the expectations go a while back and noticed much more contact now that I allow them to make the move.  I dropped the rope and the tugs stopped.  It was very quiet for a long time but out of the blue, he decided he wanted me to continue being his mom. 

Please take TODAY and do something special?  Those yummy Cadbury Eggs and chocolate bunnies are on clearance!  and that's why I never celebrate Valentines day until Feb 15th!  LOL!!!
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