April 16, 2024, 10:05:33 PM


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Messages - Susan E.

I haven't posted on WWU for awhile.  I have 2 adult daughters in their 40's.  Relationship with oldest is hot/cold on/off - currently off - haven't had any communication since July 2019.  Relationship with youngest went south about 6 years ago, took me by surprise. She accused me of mistreating her - actually - projecting her own nasty behavior on me.  About 4 years ago I reached out to her through email, and received a very nasty cruel reply from her, basically telling me to eff off and drop dead. The purpose of my post today is regarding my youngest AD.  I received an email from her yesterday, I haven't responded or called her.  Her email was brief but the gist of it is she's in trouble of some kind (I'm assuming financial) and terrified that she "may" have to move next week to a homeless shelter. She said she "doesn't know what the right thing to say is". (?)  She left her phone number and said she hopes I'm doing ok through all this Covid mess. 
I'm trying not to go off the deep end with this (I'm prone to anxiety - so its a challenge).  Bottom line is - assuming she's looking for a bail-out - I live alone and like it that way and I am definitely NOT in the lending business (bank).   I'm not responsible to fixing anyone or bailing anyone out.  This sounds cold and uncaring - but I'm not.  I love both girls, but I need to protect myself.  I'm 70 years old with very few friends, living on a pension.  I don't know what she's been involved in (drugs?) to get into this "situation".  I guess things would be a little easier now if the past 4 years were not a total mystery.  Right now - I need encouragement to be strong.  Giving in and offering my couch, food and money will not do any good for either one of us.  Help, please?
Greetings Ladies --- Its been several months since I last posted here, although I have looked in often to read others' posts.  I'm sure very few, if any, remember me - due to my relatively short time online and infrequent posts.  That's ok.  Basically, I have had a roller-coaster relationship with my oldest daughter for many years; she is now 43 y.o..  Her father and I divorced when she was 6 or 7 years old, and without going into all the gory details, let me just say that he was verbally, physically and emotionally abusive to me - frequently displaying his hatred of me in front of our two daughters.  He was never abusive to the kids, and I'm sure that if I had claimed his abuse toward me back in those days, I would have been laughed out of the courtroom. What I'm trying to get across here, is that my daughter has taken similar behaviors as her father, primarily passive aggressive tactics, manipulation, and false accusations against me.  Months will go by without a word from her, and then suddenly, when she feels its to her advantage, she pops up again and acts like nothing is wrong.  I feel like I'm a squirrel running on one of those wheels.  We just keep going around and around, and come right back in the same spot every time.  She has always been insecure, needy, and clingy - which drives me nuts.  I'm independent and feisty.  I've learned the hard way to stop being the door mat.  I'm sure she's spent years listening to her father reinforce her beliefs that I don't love her, I'm a terrible mom, I'm a loser, I'm incompetent; yep all that same crap he would throw at me when she was little.  Took me YEARS to get to this point where I KNOW I am not like ANY of those things he claims.
To get to the point - I invited her and her 18 y.o. daughter over to my house for lunch to celebrate AD's birthday.  I planned a nice meal, and spent yesterday afternoon baking a cheesecake for her.  --- All the while, knowing, just feeling, that she will cancel.  AGAIN.  Like she does EVERY TIME. Cancels, or wants me to drop everything and reschedule to the next day or next weekend, always with some flaky excuse.  Sure enough, this morning at 8:00 a.m. she texted me.  "Freezing Rain.  Can we make this tomorrow?".   This is Michigan in early March.  She lives 40 minutes away off of a state highway.  The forecast was for light snow, temps rising in the mid-30's by noon.  We had agreed that she would be here at 1:00.  She's calling me FOUR HOURS before she would need to leave.  I called her back and explained that the weather will warm up, and by the time she needs to leave the roads will be salted and blah blah blah.  She didn't offer to come later, which would have been fine by me, but she insisted that today wasn't going to happen.  I have plans for tomorrow, and my doormat days ARE OVER.  I said, sorry, I have plans for tomorrow - I won't be here.  Then she says that I don't care about their safety.  Good Grief.  Believe me, if I thought they were risking their safety driving here I would have happily canceled and rescheduled, but she was overreacting and I told her so.  One thing led to another and I finally ripped into her and said, you know everytime I invite you over here 90 percent of the time you cancel.  No defense from her, but "you don't give a dam......"  Click.  I hung up.  DONE. FINISHED.  I'm eating the damned cheesecake this afternoon.  NEEDED TO RANT.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS, IF ANY.
Dear FL:  So happy to hear that your visit was pleasant and now things are as you want them to be!  :-*

Hi FL ---  In this situation, I personally could not stay in their home for 10 days.  I would make the backup plan THE plan - stay in a hotel, rent a car.  After two years, it would be difficult for me to act like the rift between us was only a bad dream.  But while visiting, I would try to be cordial and pleasant toward the adults, and focus my attention on the GCs.   I just think that spending too much time together, tensions could lead to an odd look or a testy comment from DS or DIL.  At that point - I would want to run for the hills. During the holidays it will be difficult if not impossible to find lodging on the spur of the moment.  I definitely would reserve a room in a nearby hotel, and not have to "burden" the adults in any way.   LP
QuoteI hold the opinion that if I'm not good enough for you in life, then my money and possessions aren't good enough for you in death - Pooh   

My thoughts exactly, Pooh! 
Quoteshe willed everything to her grandchildren
Thanks jdtm.  I have one granddaughter, who is my oldest daughter's child.  She is 17.  She hasn't attempted to contact me in the past 8 months that her mother and I have stopped communicating.  I have thought about willing everything to her - but only if I was certain her mother wouldn't try to claim she has rights to some or all of it as her own.  So because of that, my thoughts then head to my brother (he's 9 years younger than me).   He has struggled to get by financially in the last 5 years or so, having to quit his job/sell his business to care for our parents, now deceased.  He has a 1 year old granddaughter - who I hope to meet next summer (I'm planning on flying out there to visit).  So I suppose I could have the will alternate to her if my brother passes on before I do.  Guess I should bite the bullet and contact an attorney about this, since it could be complicated.     :-\
Thanks to all for your concern about online dating, and your valued advice!   :-*  I joined OurTime.com and they sync their Match.com members to the prospect pool.  I think, perhaps, I saw the same "contractor" that one of you mentioned.  He had sent me a "flirt", and favored one of my photos, and his messages were the default blurbs that the site sets up.  He was also out of state.  His profile was over the top - everything a woman could want in a man - and he was very attractive for an older man.  What set my alarm off were his photos - the type that a photo studio would produce. Also, in his profile he said that his subscription would be running out within the week, and could he have an alternate mode of contact - like personal email, phone, etc - OFFSITE.  So I ignored all the messages.  Within a day, his profile disappeared from the site.  Another one popped up a few days later, different guy, same type of photo, out of state, and his profile was exactly the same as the first guy - word for word.  Yep, so there are a lot of scams and toads out there.  I'm being careful, and have been chatting/messaging with a couple of guys through the site, and I plan to keep it that way for awhile before I agree to a "meet and greet" - in a very public place and a good distance from my community.  I'm in no hurry to hook up with anyone.  Been married twice, and don't have any desire to go there again.  Been divorced now for almost 9 years, and I'm not really lonely. 
I've also been wanting to ask - as I mentioned, I live alone and have a brother who lives out of state (a 4.5 hour flight).  I've been thinking about having a will drawn up, and have had thoughts about removing my daughters as beneficiaries.  I don't have a lot to leave behind, but what I do have I really don't want to leave it to them.  Maybe this is another separate topic.  But I'm just curious how you have handled this in your situations.
I love this site Luise!  ;D  So glad you made it available to us!    LP
Hi Shiny and Luise ----  thanks for sharing your concerns about the online dating site.  I haven't revealed my full name or any other identifying facts that someone could use to track me down, and I have not yet actually met anyone in-person or had a date.  So I'm being very cautious, and  letting my intuition "do the driving".  I bought a membership for just one month -  doubtful that I'll be renewing.  It's been a learning experience, for sure.  At least it's entertaining, and for the most part I'm finding out that being single isn't all that bad - there's a lot of bad apples out there!   :o
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I survived it by not allowing disappointing expectations to get in the way and ruin it.  Being divorced, I have lived alone with my 3 cats in my own little house for nearly nine years - it's all mine and I love it.  I have a few good friends, not many.  All of those friends are women I've worked with over the years and we've kept in touch after we went our separate ways with retirement, etc.  They are all married with families.  So I'm the odd duck in the group.  And I'm ok with that.  I don't date anyone and I rarely get lonely anymore, I'm actually comfortable in my solitude.  I've responded in the past to posts here, and so a few of you might recall that my 2 adult daughters have black listed me - the youngest one for 4 years now, and the oldest for 8 months this second time around. 

Something in my attitude changed this past week.

My 2 adult daughters did not acknowledge or contact me at all in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.  I did NOT expect them to contact me; in fact, I'm glad they didn't call me and invite me over for dinner or inquire what I would be doing.  It would have been the same old song and dance as the years before.  Scenario: I would make an effort to wear a clean pair of jeans and a nice sweater and scarf.  I would make an effort to arrive on time with a dish to pass, or at least phone on the way if something unexpected would delay me.  I would make an effort to smile and be pleasant, and offer to help in the kitchen.  And I would make an effort to not engage in a discussion with my AD that typically develops into intense bickering.  Even though I would arrive and find my ADs apartment looking like it had been turned upside down, and her dressed in last week's dirty sweatpants and a tshirt, no makeup, hair a snarly mass - I would keep my comments to myself.  Dinner would be delayed an hour or more because she stayed up too late the night before and then slept in.  After a 4 or 5 hour visit with her, she would ask if we can to get together again the next day and just "hang out" - an invitation that I would decline.  My stomach would be tied up in knots on my drive home, and for several days afterward.  Those are now my expectations in dealing with her - based on fact and what has occurred before.  Odds are that my daughter will not change.  Some people would consider this negative thinking, but to me its realistic.  This is my reality, I'm done fooling myself into believing that she will mature some day, and that I will finally see the kind of daughter I thought I raised. 

Christmas and New Years are fast approaching, and I have something to look forward to.  Last week I joined an online dating site (I thought I never would) and I feel like I'm in high school again.  I've made a few new friends who live within 30 minutes of me.  I'm excited about life again.  I'm doing what I want without feeling guilt or remorse.  I'll be 65 in February but I feel like I've shed 10 years! I've crawled out of the rut, and I have something positive to look forward to.  Anticipation, not expectation.  There's a real difference! :D 
Quote from: Boudica on November 08, 2014, 02:13:38 AM

At times, I still struggle with it.  Some days my mind loves to drag me back to the swirling, whirling "why? and how?"  but then I will literally say out loud, "Look at the source.  Look at the person he actually is and not who your heart THINKS he is and tell me what you've lost."  Things quiet down after that.   


Wow, B. ---  so wise and valuable.  As I read it, I applied it to my oldest AD; and yes, she is obviously not the child I thought I raised anymore, but has "matured" (ha) into someone who, if I had just met her, I would want to avoid.  I see a needy, manipulating, lying woman who feels the need to punish and hurt me for mistakes I made when she was young.   ----  I REFUSE to accept total and sole responsibility for how she lives her life now as an adult.

As for the approaching holidays ---- I, too, will not be shopping for my two ADs or expecting anything, including contact, from them.  I will put up and decorate my little Christmas tree, bake some cookies, cook myself a nice dinner with a glass of wine and enjoy the moment for what it is --- peaceful.   
Hi F, and welcome to the group.  There are quite a few of us here with similar stories, but the pain we feel is none the less shocking and deep.  It ebbs and flows as the days pass.  Just when you think you're handling it, it sneaks back up on you.  Take care of yourself - that's priority number one.  There's a section of this site, Helpful Resources, and if I may, I highly recommend a good read recommended there, and there are other good books on the subject as well:  Free Mother to Good Home.   Here's the link to Amazon, where you can also read more about the book, readers' comments, etc.  http://www.amazon.com/Free-Mother-Good-Home-Underappreciated/dp/1452540039  This book really opened my eyes, and I believe the author is right:  there are young adults who feel "entitled" and who compete with their parents for power and control.  My 2 ADs (in their 40's) are both estranged from me.  I'm finding that I'm past the pain and tears, still dealing with the anger, but for the most part my life is lighter and more peaceful.  Even with the holidays approaching, I expect nothing from them.  I will enjoy the holidays without them, stress-free.  Peace to you.  Remember that love is not just for sharing - it's also meant to be kept for yourself.
Helpful Resources / Re: Free Mother to Good Home
October 30, 2014, 04:34:58 PM
I have read this book (Amazon Kindle format), and I also highly recommend it.  The title is a little odd and misleading, so I'm taking the liberty here to post the description from Amazon: 
"Have you heard the words, "I never dared to treat my parents the way kids do today? If you are a baby boomer or the parent of a tween, teen, or adult child, not only have you heard those words, you may have uttered them yourself. If, in this new age of child-parent relations, you've ever felt like a helpless puppy or kitten inside a box marked "Free to Good Home"-if, in spite of all your love and the care with which you embraced parenting, your child has grown into an entitled and thoughtless power broker in your relationship-read on. Author Kay Taylor has studied sociology, parenting, blended families and personal growth for years; in this bold, groundbreaking book she explores the changes in our culture that she believes have given birth to what she describes as the E-generation-a generation of teens and young adults that feel so empowered and entitled that they often clash with their parents, creating a palpable power struggle within the family. This often leaves good parents alone, depressed, and completely befuddled as to what they did wrong. Free Mother to Good Home comes from the heart and experiences of an everyday parent in the trenches. Taylor offers a mother's perspective, as well as a remedy for parental blues, helping parents know what they can do to get their houses and their lives back in order.

Venting helps.  I live alone with 3 cats, and so I vent out loud and can count on feedback from at least one of them!  ;D  The silent treatment from my youngest AD is going on over 3 years now.  For some reason, her silence/estrangement is easier to accept than the ST I'm getting from my oldest AD, which is now heading toward 7 months.  I have days that it doesn't even cross my mind, and then I hit a string of days where I wake up every morning with the thought of "what the heck did I do to deserve this", feeling like she's condemning me for something she doesn't have the guts to explain; then anticipating and dreading a phone call from her before the holidays, one of those "we need to talk" calls, and imagining the outcome - getting nowhere with her but more angry and stressed over HER unreasonable and needy expectations of me, and how I should do, or should have done, this or that.  Then I finally stop the tape in my head, and realize that my life at the moment is less stressful without her in it and all her drama, lies and expectations.   I have no desire to reconnect, because I know, even if it would start out looking like "well maybe, finally, this will work", I know it won't last.  She wants to pick everything apart, and then twist around what I've said so it sounds like I've insulted her. I think she feels she is justified in hurting me in whatever way she can - with passive aggressive junk - for something she thinks I failed to do years ago.  I just wish I could convince my mind to let it go forever.  I'm not quite there yet.  So here I am, venting.  >:(
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: iPhone Rescue
August 31, 2014, 05:09:27 PM
Hi Carol, sending (((hugs))) your way.  I'm still a newbie, and have two ADs in their 40s - youngest has been incommunicado for over three years, oldest comes and goes - 6 months "gone" so far this year.  I can definitely relate to what you are experiencing with your daughter.  I still haven't figured out exactly what I did to deserve this, and even if my ADs gave me a face-to-face explanation, I don't know that it would make any sense.  They're in their 40s - not young adults anymore, so there's been at least a 20-year period that they've been out on their own, and not directly under my influence.  So I give up.  I've spent hours trying to analyze conversations, confrontations, telephone calls, the silent treatment, the passive-aggressive behavior, manipulative ploys, etc. etc. until I'm blue in the face.  Don't care much anymore.  And every day I find that I don't care as much as I did the day before. 
This site is wonderful - women with very similar situations gather here and let off steam, compare stories and strategies to cope.  That in itself is, to me, what keeps me sane.  Knowing that we're not the only ones going through this craziness really helps. 
QuoteWould like to cross to the other side, like some of you wise women have, and be free from all the negative feelings that tend to follow me lately. (regarding him and DIL and her wonderful FOO)

Hi Silly Me ---- The "other side" is not necessarily all bluebirds and roses, in my experience, but it IS better than forever expecting or hoping for something from the AC that you know in your heart will never materialize.  I don't know if it's related to estrangement or not, but I've noticed something interesting during the past six months while the lines of communication between me and my AD have been cut:  old memories that have been buried for years, have resurfaced.  They're mostly memories of painful events during my first marriage, which was with my ACs father.  Re-examining these memories/events now, 30 years after the fact - I can look at them without much of the pain - but oh boy, the anger that I STILL feel now for how I was treated way back then - the mean things he did to me or said to me WHILE THE KIDS WATCHED.  Amazing how, since I have stepped back from all the nonsense,  I can see it all coming together now.  And I can see now how my ex's behavior/abuse left an impression on my oldest AD - her seeing how I was not a very strong person, and afraid to speak my mind, or ask for what I wanted.  That part of me changed many years later after finally realizing that I didn't have to live like that anymore (and interesting how my relationship with AD seemed to deteriorate when I changed).  So, I let it (the memory) flow for a little while, and then I chuckle to myself and look around me, and see HOW MUCH BETTER OFF I AM NOW without all of that.  How much better off I am, happier, healthier - choosing not to jump through her hoops or endure her mind games, or having to "de-tox" for nearly 2 weeks after spending a few hours with my her.  I am not willing to give up my peace for HER expectations anymore, or to spend weeks being angry over something she said or did, or didn't do - IOW, MY expectations being stomped on.  We don't have the same values.  Its that simple.
So --- just sharing a bit of info about my version of the "other side".  It's a process of reminding yourself of your worth, and loving yourself and having the courage to say NO when you really WANT TO SAY NO.  We all have our own stories to tell - similar, yet different.  (((HUGS)))  :-\