Author Topic: First time here  (Read 1874 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline camt69

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
First time here
« on: November 02, 2016, 09:31:59 AM »
Having just found this forum I am not sure where to start.  So I'll post my story (hope it isn't too long!) and trust the moderator will move it to the appropriate place.
I am a divorced 61 year old mother of two grown successful children.  I was a very good mother and we were very close.  After their father and I divorced I took pains to include him with family dinners and vacations and generally did the best I could to keep them close to their dad.  I believe that my daughter has some sort of mental disorder (likely narcissistic or borderline) and I took her for counseling through her childhood and teen years.  She admits to having OCD but is undiagnosed, and in any event refuses to take any medications. She married and moved away five years ago.  Three years ago, my mother died and I was in a very low place having been her caretaker.  A couple of months later, my daughter graduated from college and I travelled to be at her ceremony.  She seemed agitated and irritated with me, and I thought she was just overwrought about her graduation and ensuing move.  She lost her temper with me over a minor disagreement in a hotel room (I picked up her iphone thinking it was mine and she blew up over the fact that I invaded her privacy; never mind that I didn't even have her password to see anything private.) She slapped me.  Twice.  I went to the desk clerk and since I was in an unfamiliar area asked where I might find another hotel room.  I had paid for a two room suite on the beach for her, her husband, and my ex-her father.  I didn't feel safe staying with them so I wanted to get out until I could fly home.)  When I was in the hotel office the desk clerk asked me why I was leaving since I had two more nights paid for and I explained that I was having family problems and wanted to lodge away from them. She sympathized by saying she understood family dysfunction; she had just given social services custody of her daughter. Having no one else to talk to and feeling very alone, I was happy to have an impartial understanding ear and confided in her that my daughter had slapped me and that I needed to make other lodging arrangements.  The clerk gave me a room in the same hotel but away from my family.  Unbeknownst to me, my SIL apparently damaged the room keys before leaving them on the table in the room for which I had paid.  They all left to go to their nearby home.  Later, the desk clerk called to tell me she saw my SIL drive back into the hotel parking lot, enter the rooms I paid for, and drive out.  She informed me that she checked the rooms and found the damaged keys and because hotel property was damaged she had to inform the owner.  The owner told her that since it was in Florida, domestic abuse of any type must be reported.  They called the police, who showed up, shined a flashlight on my face where I had been slapped, and took my story.  While I didn't deny being slapped  (the mark was evident and I am not good at lying to authorities) I did beg the office to let the incident go.  I told him my daughter was under stress and that I did NOT want her to have any legal troubles as she was just getting ready to embark on her professional career.  I was made to sign a statement that the officers gave me a domestic abuse flyer giving me contact numbers if I needed help.  I didn't contact anyone else and went to bed to wait for a flight out the next day.  The next thing I knew my phone was blowing up with texts.  The police officer had notified his sergeant, who instructed him to go pick up my daughter.  I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.  I spent the better part of the night and the next morning trying to get a bail bondsmen, to call the police officer who had visited me, the sergeant who had her arrested...ANYONE that might help me get her out of legal trouble which I never wanted to have started. I refused to press charges. I called the secretary of state to try to have her record expunged.  I paid my own attorney to consult with to see if I could do anything to help her. To try to shorten this, she and her husband blame me for her arrest. They said I should have lied to the police.  When you are traumatized and have a flashlight shining in your face it is hard to think of a cover story.  In any event, things have never been the same.  I am writing because I am so so very sad that she doesn't even like to be around me now.  We see each other occasionally and I have been lucky enough to have been included somewhat with my new grandchild, but as I feared she is beginning to use the child as a weapon, saying that she only tries to keep me involved for my sake.  What can I do when my daughter, to whom I was so very close, doesn't even like me now?  I cannot stop grieving.  My life is ruined.  I don't know how to get over it.  I don't think she is aware that she started the whole debacle by hitting me.  I have forgiven everything but try as I may I can't get back into her good graces.  It helps a little to know that with her personality disorder she doesn't like anyone very much (she won't even let her father know that he has a grandchild; he found out through my son.) She is a very vindictive and jealous person and can't keep friends.  She talks to her husband like he is her property.  In spite of all this, I want her to LIKE ME.  Isn't that pitiful?  Can someone please tell me how to reclaim my dignity?  We now live in the same city and I wish to God I could move so that there wouldn't be any discomfort over holiday get-togethers, or hoping that I'm asked to babysit, etc.   For the last couple of years it has been civil yet distant between us, but now she has blown up again over a conflict in Halloween plans and reamed me out, telling me I wasn't a good grandparent.  She is totally disrespectful and she keeps my guts in a knot.  Can anyone relate?  How can I stop letting it bother me?  Thanks.

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8841
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: First time here
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2016, 10:21:41 AM »
Welcome, C. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First, to read the posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We're a monitored Website.

The hardest thing I had to learn when my eldest son wrote me off to all intents and purposes was that my life was over only if I said it was. It sure felt like it was. It was very hard for me to change direction and focus on what I found nurturing. Abuse is not. There is no excuse for it in my experience. The work I had to do involving my son was to get that my garden variety expectations had been permanently blown to heck and gone. And that if I wanted respect to be part of my relationships, I had to respect myself. I couldn't change my son...but slowly and painfully, I changed myself. I knew I deserved better. That's where I started. I 'lost' my grandson in the process...yes, a very useful pawn...but he s grown man now and we are close! This is just my story. You will hear from others. I hope you find support in the process. You're not alone. Not any more. Hugs...
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4398
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2016, 06:00:24 PM »
Welcome to the site, C. I want to take more time to read your post. In the meantime, keep reading what others here have posted about their situations and solutions. As Luise said, you're not alone.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline camt69

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 09:08:11 AM »
Thank you both for "listening."  I feel very alone and sad.  I am trying to make peace with the fact that my daughter is most likely mentally ill and doesn't like anyone, really (I am not exaggerating here; everyone gets on her "nerves") and therefore I can make allowances and love her anyway without feeling too sad.    Her husband is afraid of her temper and while he actively supports his own parents being involved with my granddaughter's life, my daughter acts as though it is a privilege and a personal inconvenience for me to drop by and visit, ask them out to eat, or attempt any other involvement.  So, the baby is held over my head as a "prize" that I have to earn.  My question is, really, this:  how on God's green earth do I learn to accept that I will never be able to be close to my granddaughter?  And another granddaughter on the way.  My daughter has totally disowned her father; he has never seen his first grandchild and doesn't know she is carrying another.  He has been diagnosed with bipolar and the two of them have had such fearsome fights that she finally washed her hands of her.  They are so much alike.  Anyway, if any of you can help me accept the fact that I will only see my grandbabies when my daughter can't avoid me (such as big holiday meals) I'd be thankful.  Her husband stays at home and keeps the baby while she works.  She belittles him as well, telling him that SHE makes the money and he will do as she says.  It's really a sad situation.  In a way I wish I fit in better but in a way I'm most relieved when she isn't around because she thrives on conflict and anger.  I just want to have a relationship with my granddaughters. By the way, in my own defense, I get along with almost everyone.  I have friends at work.  My son loves me and stays in touch with me.  I just don't know how to handle the granddaughter thing in my heart. Thanks again to you for listening. 

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8841
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: First time here
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 09:14:30 AM »
We can listen, understand and share our own experience but we can't help you beyond that. We had to learn to help ourselves and for me, at least, that was a long and difficult journey. I did, however, make it through to peace and joy, eventually. Hugs!
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline camt69

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2016, 03:45:58 PM »
"We can listen, understand and share our own experience but we can't help you beyond that. We had to learn to help ourselves..."
 

What exactly did you think I was posting here for?  I want to share.  I don't want to be told you can't help.  Sharing helps. Or at least, I hoped it would.  What did I write that deserved this careless response?

Offline luise.volta

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8841
  • Luise Volta
    • View Profile
    • Wise Women Unite
Re: First time here
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2016, 03:54:25 PM »
In your first post you wrote, 'How can I stop letting it bother me?' We can't answer that. We simply don't know. Also, no one on this Website accuses anyone else of anything. We don't call others careless or judge them...we take what we want and leave the rest.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Stilllearning

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 412
  • Life.....never exactly what you expected!
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2016, 04:38:31 PM »
In my opinion most people here have had an "ah hah" moment.  It was the time when we figured out how to be happy even though we were going through all of the trials we had to endure.  For me, my moment happened when I finally realized that I was happier when I did not try to fix things or even think about them.  My DS's life is his own and I do not have to live with the mistakes he makes with his wife and daughters.  He has to find his own happiness and if his wife makes him happy then that makes me happy.  When I finally figured out that MY life was happier when I did not see them......well that is when things fell into place.  It is difficult for us as mothers to let go and let our children run their own lives and yes, some of us watch them run their lives straight into a wall, but we no longer have control of that and the sooner we realize our lack of control the better.

Hugs!!  Hang in there!  We are all on your side!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2016, 05:53:00 PM by luise.volta »
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown

Offline Bamboo2

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2016, 07:57:27 PM »
I don't have grandchildren...only a new grand furbaby...but I'm sorry about your situation.  I wish there was a shortcut through the pain.  One thing that helped me was reading all the great posts and responses on this fabulous website.  It is full of caring people with wisdom.  Coming here felt to me like Al Anon must feel - people sharing their problems although they can't control the outcome of their loved one's behavior.  All we can control is our own behavior and reactions.  That is such a hard thing, because I wanted to blame my feelings on my daughter's behavior toward me.  My feelings were my own, and I could change them by changing my focus in life.  It was a long, hard process of letting go and turning toward things and people that gave me pleasure and added value. Pain is a great teacher.  Through it, I've learned to create healthy boundaries and my daughter has gradually come around.  It wouldn't have happened if I hadn't drawn a line in the sand about what is and isn't acceptable behavior toward me.  And whether or not she had started to warm up again, I feel like I have created other relationships and activities that are nurturing and fulfilling, so it would not be devastating if she again pulled away in the blaming, rejecting way she did three years ago.

I encourage you to read some previous posts - they can reassure you that you're not alone.  I got so much comfort from them, and it helped to know that so many women came out the other side and were able to support others of us on our journeys. I wish you well.

Having grandchildren has complicated the picture for your relationship with your daughter.  Although it pains you, you might consider that it is worse to be played and manipulated by your daughter, with your grandchildren as the pawns, than to let her know that she can't treat you like that. 

Offline Mtnlady

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2016, 12:53:09 PM »
C, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I am new to this site and found that just having validation from the posts here is helpful to the path to healing. I have had issues with my DS and DIL. They have an 18 month old and one on the way. I know exactly how you feel about not being able to share life with the innocent grandchildren. I know how it feels to feel your guts tied up in knots, to blink back tears while driving/working and to not be able to sleep at night. You can't fix the problem because you aren't the problem. Time will help and so will keeping busy as hard as that sounds. This has been a rough week due to DS and DIL. I don't know if this helps but as I was laying in bed during another sleepless night, I said to myself that I'm going to pretend that this emotional pain I'm feeling is like a virus and a virus has to run its course. So you have to be patient and give it time. Somehow, that thought comforted me. Also, make sure you're taking care of yourself - hope you have a therapist you can talk to, and if necessary, meds. Take good care and sending healing hugs.

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4398
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2016, 09:32:42 PM »
We make progress, then we find ourselves stalled. Sometimes we slip backwards. I am trying to be grateful for the good times, but I'm also realistic.

So, as many of you know, I've been preparing myself for not being an involved GP (that role will go to DIL's parents.) It will be heartbreaking. I might have some bad days and sleepless nights, but I'll also have walks with friends, bike rides with DH, art projects, gardening, reading with my godchild, travel, and maybe a new business to be involved in.

I'm going to give myself permission to grieve and also to be kind to myself.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Bamboo2

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2016, 09:34:33 AM »
I didn't know, but I surmised as much.  It sounds like you have developed a solid plan for a full, enriching life.  You are so right that there will be struggles as this "new normal" evolves.  Since things rarely stay the same over time, we never know what the future really will bring.  Having a plan for keeping your own life active and interesting will make the path less bumpy, I believe.  I'm thinking of you, Pen.  Hugs!   :)

I think that the contact you have with your godchild sounds invaluable!

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4398
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2016, 05:15:32 PM »
Thanks, B! My godchild is moving to a town a bit closer to me, so I'm looking forward to more contact. She's a delight (takes after me, lol.)

DS seems to be growing up (finally!) and realizing how DIL's FOO's pushiness affects his own FOO. Not that things will ever be even-steven, but it's nice to know he's aware. He tries to make us feel important, too. I'm very grateful for that.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Bamboo2

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2016, 08:13:12 PM »
Those are positive signs, Pen.  I'm happy for you.  My daughter is also growing up and wants to spend more time with us, me especially.  And she is doing things for me instead of wanting things done for her.  Talk about her BF is still off limits, and she is respecting that boundary.  That is kind of a wall between us, and it means there are a lot of things I won't get to know about her life. She just uses the generic term "friend(s)" when talking about her activities and I don't ask  :-\  It seems to work and I just have to accept that is how it will be as long as she is involved with that guy.  At least she chose a puppy over a baby ... for now.  Whew!

Offline Bamboo2

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Re: First time here
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2016, 07:11:54 AM »
Great words of wisdom and food for thought, TBG  :)