Author Topic: Sad and feeling sorry for myself  (Read 742 times)

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Offline Bookworm

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Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« on: June 13, 2018, 03:51:53 PM »
Please forgive me for posting this again, I found I had posted this in the wrong forum, I am new and not very savvy about this site.

Hello, I found this site when looking up distant adult children. I hope you can help me. I am feeling oh so sorry for myself. I have 2 adult children, a son and daughter both in their 30's. I have been married to their stepfather for over 20 years and they have a good relationship with him. The divorce from their bio dad was due to marital infidelity over many years among other things and was very, very bad. Despite this, I think I managed to hold myself together and raise them well, although I feel very guilty about the divorce (which was not my fault) but the suffered a lot of neglect and indifference from their father as a result.
Fast forward to the present, my son is single, a college graduate, living with his girlfriend who is very nice ad working in his chosen field and is very successful. He lives over 2000 miles from DH and I.
My daughter married her HS sweetheart just out of HS and despite my entreaties to think it over due to her age, her marriage is a success. He is a lovely person and a wonderful husband and father and they have been together for over 15 years (dating and married). She has a Masters degree and works at a high level administrative position.They are the parents of my only grandchildren, ages 8 and 5. DD and her family live about 30 minutes from us.

I am writing because I am confused. Neither of my children are affectionate people yet they have demonstrated that they love me in other ways, for example, last year, my DD went to a great deal of trouble to throw me a surprise retirement party and DS flew in for just that one night to be present. Another example is that my son was awarded a big prize in his industry and chose to take me as his "date" and paid for the entire thing, including my flight. This was several years ago.

So really I should be thrilled but I guess I am at a loss because they are so inconsistent. Both are not one to call just to chat, or check in. This year I did not get a card, or a gift from either for Mother's Day or my birthday (just a few days ago). As it happens, over Mother's Day DH and I babysat our grandkids for 4 days while DD and her hubby were on vacation for their anniversary. Upon their return, she gave me a chocolate bar. My son called me Mother's Day and asked if I had a wish list on Amazon (I had but I took it down when I realized that it was already Mother's Day and the moment had passed). Call me proud but I did not want to be an afterthought. Of course, I did not tell him that, I just told him I was so happy to hear his voice and that was good enough.

This year for my birthday (last week), DH took me on a trip. DD and DS called to wish me happy birthday and upon our return my DD asked if I could babysit the grands until summer camp started, which I did. No happy birthday, no card, no gift. I returned this Sunday and have yet to see her, all this was done via text.

Anyway, I am very hurt primarily because I have expectations which I know I shouldn't but its still a work in progress. I feel like I have done so much for them and they have taken me for granted. Financially I have given them thousands of dollars to help out, am constantly buying the grandkids clothing and shoes, babysitting on a regular basis, ect.

 I remember a few years ago I took DD shopping to purchase baby clothes for DGD. DD was in a mood and after a few stores and lots of money spent I suggested we have lunch. I had so been looking forward to doing a girls type outing with her to buy things for my as yet born granddaughter and had planned to make a day of it. She basically walked out the mall and kept going, in the car I began to cry and I will never forget what DD said to me "Mom, your problem is that you have an idea of how things should be and build it up in your mind like a fairy tale and when it doesn't go that way you start to cry". I thought that was kind of cruel but accurate.

At any rate, I am in a quandary. I want to close the purse strings (by the way, they  have NEVER asked me for money, I've always been the one throwing everything at them anticipating their needs). I don't want to seem petty but I am kind of done. Just this week, on impulse I went with DH and purchased DGS everything he still needed for baseball (DD and DSIL were grateful) and then yesterday bought DGD a bike for our house because the one she had here she had outgrown.

Again, I realize this is all me, I am giving stuff constantly without being asked. I don't know if I am trying to buy affection or love, or compensate my adult kids for their childhood. Any ideas? They are good people truly but it is not in them to be effusive or affectionate or even show much interest in DH and I on a day to day basis and my feelings get hurt. Thanks so much in advance.
Bookworm

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 03:12:23 AM »
Welcome Bookworm!  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 are a monitored Website.

When I "closed the purse strings" I found that my relationship with my DS changed.  Once I affirmed that he could do it on his own and did not need for me to buy all that stuff he felt like the adult he was and not like my DS when he was around me.  I now have an adult to adult relationship that I would not have if I had continues to step in and buy things because I was implying that he could not manage on his own without even knowing.  I had a need for him to need me and I was feeding that need by buying things I knew he needed.  Sounds strange but it was true.

When I started living for me, doing things I enjoy, planning trips for special days (Mother's Day/ Birthday)and sharing my plans with my DS things changed too.  I think my DS felt relieved that he was no longer responsible for making me happy.  I was (and am) happy anyway.  Funny thing is that happy people attract happy people and since that change in me I find more happy people around me.  Life overall has improved in ways I did not even imagine and it all started with deciding that I had done my parenting job and now it is time for me to enjoy my life regardless of whether my DS/DIL were a part of it or not.

Good luck!  More later, right now I am running late for work!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline Bookworm

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 09:40:39 AM »
Stilllearning thank you! You have no idea how much what you said resonated with me! I think you’re right in that I need to feel needed. It was a light bulb moment for me to read that and my goodness you’ve no idea how realizing that made me begin a turn around! Still a work in progress but thank you so very much for your wise words!
Bookworm

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2018, 12:16:53 PM »
Bookworm I am so glad that some of what I said made sense to you!  There have been times when I sat where you do now and cried because it felt so good to know someone else understood how I felt.  That is what this site is about!  Now if I could share some sayings that I have used to help me continue to improve.......

1) For things to change first I must change
2) No news is good news
3) What you focus on expands

It has been a long journey for me and I still sometimes travel to the edge of what I now call "The Abyss".  The longer I work on it the easier it is for me to turn away from that quagmire of self pity.  Life is good and way too short for me to waste it worrying about things I cannot change.  Good Luck!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline gettingoldandcranky

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 06:14:26 AM »
Hi Bookworm.  Sorry you are going through this.  You will find others here with very similar situations.  Lots of support here also.  The expectations are something i struggle with also.  Not just with my DS and DIL, but in other relationships too.  I am working on just doing what makes me happy and not expecting anything from others.  I like to buy for my grands, they love it.  I buy for my DIL and don't hear a thank you - ever.  Sometimes holidays are ignored. We are never contacted on our anniversary - I always send them a card and gift.  I try to do what I feel is right.  If they don't reciprocate, I am working on letting it go.  As time passes, it doesn't hurt as much. This year I am making my own plans for special occasions and if they participate it's a nice surprise.  A few times it was said that we wouldn't see them on special days and then their plans changed and we had a visit.
I had lent money a few times and really am gearing up to say no if asked again. I am not looking forward to that - hoping that it never happens. But will be ready when/if the time comes.
Will keep you in my thoughts.  Come here when you feel down.  It always helps me.

Offline Bookworm

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 07:06:15 AM »
Thank you so much gettingoldandcranky, I am feeling so much better since I posted. I think I needed to realized that I was not the only one, and that I was contributing to my own distress by focusing on it so much. As stilllearning posted, I need to feel needed. So at this point I am working on myself because I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this type of thing.
 
Case in point, I am always second guessing myself, worried about and trying to compensate my adult kids for the abandonment they suffered at the hands of bio dad, despite the fact that I myself did (I think) a pretty good job raising them. I made sure they knew they were loved and during their childhood were involved in many, many activities of their choice, went on many happy family vacations with us and were loved and nurtured by my extended family as well.

DD gave me a particularly hard time during adolescence, she was a moody, strong willed individual (still is). At any rate, at the time I suffered tremendously on her behalf because her bio dad had neglected her time and again. In fact, she didn't invite him to her own wedding, and when I asked her why she told me she had spent her entire life "waiting for him to show up" and she didn't want to go through that stress on her wedding day. She now sees him once or twice a year and they appear to have a distant but amicable relationship. However, it is DH that our grandkids consider grandpa and they don't yet seem to realize that "mommy's daddy" whom they see once a year is related to them LOL.

At any rate, I have started to detach, I took care of the grands all day Friday and it was the first time I had seen her in abou 2 weeks. I usually try to engage her in conversation and put myself out to have a nice visit but yesterday felt different. I greeted her happily but did not ask about her new job, or anything else. SHE was the one that began to talk about things when I did not pry and thus encouraged, I just smiled and laughed during our conversation but did not pressure her for more.

I usually try to kiss her several times before she leaves and this time I didn't, I let her give me one kiss and that was it.

So I think it is all me wanting to be loved and needed and being too smothering perhaps, which turns them totally off and I think if I can rein myself in, it may all go better.

I will continue to read everyones experiences and posts as they are very helpful and participate as often as possible. This site is a godsend.
Bookworm

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2018, 07:17:19 AM »
Woohoo Bookworm!!  Sounds like you have really turned a corner.  Keep up the good work and by all means post if you need to feel the support of our wonderful community but remember that we are all boosted by your success stories!  You have made my day!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2018, 05:40:17 PM »
What a lift this thread has given me! Wow! Thanks so much B! I was so impressed when you started out with a title that  described taking responsibility for how you felt! So often, there can be a long period of blaming others before reaching that point. There was for me. Good on 'ya!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Bookworm

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2018, 05:31:27 AM »
Thank you Luise ! I have been, since I posted this thread been repeating no news is good news and trying to detach as much as possible when I feel negative! It is working ! This weekend we had DGD ballet recital and DSIL family planned an entire outing after to which we were not included, and I was on the verge of feeling so upset, when I reminded myself that I was too tired to go anywhere anyway. That is not to say that I did not feel sad not to be invited, I just did not dwell on it and was aware of other reasons that they might be doing so as the following day was fathers day and DSIL father could not attend as he had to work and all his other kids from out of town where there. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and told myself they may be having a family celebration.

Additionally DGD other grandmother purchased her balloons, flowers and gifts for the ballet recital and for the first time ever I thought, "I'm not in a competition", and after that I felt pretty good! Thanks so much for all the support!
Bookworm

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Sad and feeling sorry for myself
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2018, 08:48:18 AM »
Progress of great magnitude! You matter and you deserve peace and fulfillment. Many of us here have found there is life beyond parenting and have accepted that we can't 'make sense of the senseless'. Putting our well-being into the hands of those who have no respect is something we can reverse! Good for you!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama