Author Topic: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children  (Read 6343 times)

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Offline luise.volta

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2011, 03:23:22 PM »
Welcome - I want to say "Hi"...I am away from home and using a computer and internet service that are new to me. So I am just going to say...love sending...
Remember, Stressed is Desserts spelled backward.

nina mary

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2011, 03:27:21 PM »
You can still love your children, you haven't changed. As a mother you have all the normal instincts and behavourial responses. You know in your heart you'd still jump over the moon if you had to. The only difference is you no longer have to be your child's slave ready to jump at the click of their fingers.
Be the person they can count on in dire circumstances but don't let them hold you to ransom and most definitely don't define yourself by who your children let you think you are. You're a beating heart that gave them a life and a right to experience their life in all the glory that has been offered. I came from humble beginnings but I grew into everything I wanted to be often against a tide of criticism and small minded thinking from my own family. Part of the reason I am excluded is because I outgrew them. It's not about their rejection of me, it's about how big I can be in forgiving them, moving on without them and living life on a set of terms in which I can function as an adult. It's far from easy, we're all conditioned to function as a family. If only! But we can be our own family, loving and nurturing ourselves and those who we meet in our daily lives. I truly have found that the best way to be is to let go, stop trying so hard to be all things to all people and to just help those who ask me for help. It's very uncomfortable to leave a painful situation where you feel you have to hang on because you're responsible. Yet if I look back to my own life, I was forced to become independant at a very young age. Yet in doing so, it's taught me to be strong, loyal, forgiving and responsible for myself. It's a good feeling. It's only now that I realise that in my desire to be a perfect mother, I didn't teach my children how to live their own lives. I did it for them. Now I have to let them go so they can work things out for themselves and grow into mature adults themselves. All I see at the moment is adult children stamping their feet when I don't do it for them. I believe that if I can find the strength to walk away now, my children will learn to become adults I can be proud of and one day, we will be reunited. It's painful and it leaves a huge gap but you can fill the void with loving friends and new ways to live. Don't be frightened to break free of the ties that bind you to the wrong situation. xxxx

nina mary

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2011, 03:58:27 PM »
PS Something else that I'm happy to share. Walking away from my adult children isn't forever. It's a decision I have made because I can see that I am part of the problem. I need to go away and fix myself. It's a time out situation. I recognise that I succeed on every level in life except family relationships. I function perfectly in day to day life with friends, clients and colleagues with no dramas at all. But in my inner self, I have a huge black hole, a weakness, a doorway into my inner vulnerable inner child and she bleeds every time my children take a swing. It's her I am now protecting. I need to realise how to erect a loving barrier to keep her safe. When I've done this, I will behave differently towards my children. They will find that they will need to learn to respect me in a different way.  The days when I feel dread and fear at being rejected and abandoned will have gone. I won't cling to my children, neither will I feel guilty for their mistakes and life crises. They can come to me knowing there are new boundaries. We will reunite as a family under a new set of rules.
The pain we all go through isn't because we are meant to suffer and beat ourselves up. It's there to teach us new ways of being. I really believe this. I so wish you all well in dealing with your situation but I urge you to be strong and trust that your pain is there to help you make new and better choices.

Offline Begonia

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2011, 05:55:06 PM »
Hi NM:  I have just had a chance to read through your posts.  I am sorry about all the pain with your family and especially your mum.  But, I just want to interject something as gentle as I can.  When all those other siblings got together it would seem to me as adults any one of them could have reached out as well.  Them blaming your mum (it might be right to do so) seems just plain cowardly. How awful. Like you say, we do learn all the bad and all the good from our role models.   

It reminds me of my GM funeral.  I was very close to my GM, she nearly raised me.  At the funeral afterwards in the hall for lunch all the family sat together and as I went towards the table with my plate I saw my mother make room right next to her for my XH!!.There was no other room at the table. Nobody made any attempt to welcome me, I was completely devastated. So I know what it's like to be on the "outside."  My mother would have not known how to say no to my pushy XH, who would do something like this out of spite. My mother was abused by my dad, and I have grown into this women's rights advocate because of it, so in retrospect it was difficult for me to see my passive mom, then for me to marry an alcoholic and then an emotionally abusive man.  I made excuses and tried to make life perfect.  Imagine my surprise, like you say, to have my kids grow up to be emotionally abusive and to marry into crazy dysfunctional families. (Both my DS and DD are rocks, wanting to make things perfect, jut not with me--go figure).  I do know that both DS and DD love me deeply--maybe too much in their spouses' eyes.

So now we make our own new paths in 2012.  The best revenge is to live a great life.  Keep staying strong and on your path.  My therapist has a saying when I get all stressed about something.  "This is just how things are right now, this does not have to be a forever thing."  Another thing she says that is helpful is to practice saying STOP.  It's funny how my mind listens to that and changes direction.  Makes me smile to see how quickly it works. 
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Offline Ruth

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 08:12:04 PM »
Nina,  I just had to go back and reread all your posts, before retiring for the night.  I can't really explain it, something is just there for me that I needed to know.  You have helped me through a very difficult day.  I believe the things you've said in your posts have been key to taking me up to the next level, not only involving ds but foo as well.
 ( I was not as overtly rejected in foo as you were, precious one, but my o/s was very very nasty and callous to me as long as I can remember, without any reason.  She just never liked my personality and liked to humiliate me.)  I grew up as an outsider or oddity in that family, and I also left at a young age to escape the abuse of my father and the loneliness I felt from my siblings.  I also worked very hard to build a business and career on my own, with a deep resolve to make a better life for children, one with security and without shame.   But many of the tools and materials I needed to accomplish that goal were not available to me at the time.  I've kept this all to myself all these years, and just tried to avoid crossing paths with o/s, and this is why I was so upset when y/s changed the plans for this w/e and the birthday. 

I think all this has erupted at the opportune time for me.  Your story and your direction have really inspired me Nina.  I'm going to follow your lead.  Thank you. 

nina mary

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2011, 02:25:16 AM »
Hello Ruth & Begonia, thankyou for your kind words. I hope what I've shared helps anyone to look forward with optimism and a new found kindness towards themselves.
For what it's worth, I am the only one in my own family that seems to have escaped reasonably unscathed. On the rare occasion I have dared to take a peek back in that direction, none of them have changed or moved on. Two of my sisters have been anorexic, one brother is on medication and the other brother is a violent bully. Thinking positively about my own situation, by being forced out, I was able to grow mentally and repair a lot of the damage away from them all. I think I'm the lucky one. I don't see myself as the abandoned victim anymore.
Obviously I failed to see my own two children repeating the cycle but I am aware of this now and am taking firm steps to change myself.
I keep a diary and every morning when I wake up, I purposely stop myself from sinking into painful thoughts of loss by getting up and getting moving. I find if I can train my thoughts so that I keep focused on positive things, I think less and less about the hurtful things. This is helping me grow and heal. Creating distractions also help. I don't sit alone wondering or hoping, I go out and meet up with friends and actively get involved in doing things that have purpose. I find surrounding myself with happy people and good friends creates a very good support network. I am a work in progress and actually, I am enjoying the situation far more than I thought I would. I still love my kids, I just don't like them at the moment. :-) This forum is a wonderful place for learning so much about ourselves especially knowing that we're not alone and that we're not total failures. I am very grateful to have found it and again I thank you for such a lovely welcome. xx

Offline JaneF

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2011, 03:22:38 AM »
I too want to thank you for your posts Nina Mary!  Several parts of your story were like reading about my own life actually.  My mother also has always resented me, and has told me that she was jealous because my father would pay attention to me more than her as an infant...what mother does that?  She resented being tied down by having four kids, but like you I finally came to realize it isn't MY fault, it was their own!  When reading your posts I felt  so much better knowing someone else totally understands the things I have gone through with mother and other family members. I too was out on my own at age 16 to sink or swim.  I have 3 adult children, and I too had to decide to "walk away" from the two younger ones.  Like your kids they would get mad if I did not give to them or do for them, and they also use my grandkids as pawns...I understand that pain well. I had to finally just stop allowing this to go on.  I am taking down the Christmas tree today, and I was saddened by the fact that I no longer get to have a relationship with the four grandchildren of these adult kids of mine.  Then I decided to take a break and get a cup of coffee and get on my computer for a bit.  That is when I cam across your post!  Just what I needed at this time!  I too have a wonderful supportive husband, great friends, and a job I love...so life is good.  I feel like you as far as saying my kids can contact me if they choose, but I will not allow their treatment of me to be less than respectful, nor will I be taking care of them or their needs, they are adults and they need to be responsible for their own lives!  If they choose to have no contact with me, I accept that.  I choose to have no contact unless they accept my limitations on how they treat me!  I feel so uplifted right now, thank you.  I had already cut contact with my emotionally abusive mother, and that has made my life much better too.  I am glad to be able to communicate on this site with such wise wonderful women.  Blessings to all of you.  This next few days are always difficult for me because I had a son who passed away in infancy, and his birthday is January 2...I never forget that date.  I dealt with those grief issues a long time ago, but a mother never "forgets" ( or at least most mothers).

Offline pam1

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Re: Time To Walk Away From Hurtful Adult Children
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2011, 12:15:47 PM »
Welcome Nina Mary :)

Please read the Forum Agreement and WWU History (both threads located in Open Me First.)  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.  Also, just FYI -- WWU gets hit by a lot of spam at times, don't worry about it and please just ignore.  We do our best to remove it as fast as we can.

Sorry it took me so long to get on and welcome you!  I'm glad you've already found support from our posters, we're a good bunch.
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