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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Conflicted
« Last post by Bamboo2 on Today at 02:23:42 PM »
Hi Oma,
As I was thinking about your post yesterday, I ran across this post from a member named Pooh, a former moderator who touched a lot of people on this site over the several years she was active here.  She came to a point of acceptance of her situation.  She has lots of great posts, and this last one was very meaningful to me.  It shows me that there is a good life beyond adult children who turn away.  Maybe this will be of some comfort to you, too. 

((Hugs))

https://www.wisewomenunite.com/index.php/topic,7634.msg78194.html#msg78194
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That brings up a P.S. for me, SL. My younger DS designed and manages this Website for us for free. He thinks I hung the moon, which I was really too busy as a young mom to attempt. (Lucky for both of us!) At 91, he has my back! :)
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Let me start this by stating that I am totally unqualified to analyze this, but I have never let that stop me before!  With that said I believe that we set ourselves up for this from the time our children are very small.  We don't want to raise "Mommy's Boys" so we raise independent young men whose very identities rely on strength, resilience and self sufficiency.  We teach them how to use tools and how to do things for themselves.  Meanwhile we are busy raising young women, many of whom are taught that they cannot do things on their own like change a tire or fix a washing machine.  When they marry the boys feel like they are weak if they rely on their families and the girls cannot buy a cut of meat without their Mother's opinion so the new independent family unit naturally aligns itself with the female partner's FOO. 

With that said I want to add that it really stinks that as a parent of two male children (and no females) I have come to realize that my part in my son's lives will be smaller than I really wanted but I can deal with that.  After all I know many grandparents whose children have messed up their lives so badly that the grandparents are left raising the grandchildren and I definitely do not want that!  So between the "rearing the grands" extreme and the "completely ostracized" extreme of the spectrum there is a perfect medium.  I missed it by a little to the ostracized side but that is better than missing it to the other side of the spectrum!!  I am finished raising children!  I did my best and I truly do not believe that I could do it better if I tried again. 

And now my final point.  I believe that if you raised a child who is so independent that he/she does not feel the need to rely on you then you did a great job of raising them!!  You should take a bow!  You raised an independent, self reliant human which is actually the goal of parenting.  It hurts when they leave but I believe that when I need them my boys will be there for me.  For now my job is to enjoy this life to the fullest for as long as I am able and to enjoy my grands when I am allowed to visit with them.  My grands will remember how happy their Dad's Mom and Dad were and how much their Dad enjoyed visiting them (when he got to).

Just my inexpert opinion.

None of this applies to the children who seem to hate their parents for some real or imagined slight during their childhood.  I have been a sibling to one like that and watched as adulthood corrected their childhood memories with real life experience.  I cannot imagine how much angst my Mom and Dad experienced because of my sibling's memories from a child's point of view.

Good luck to us all!!
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Interesting, AF. My 'ex' was a Behavioral Psychologist. One day I remarked that the bird outside our door was singing 'Good morning' to me and was told he was probably singing, 'This is my territory. Enter at your own risk!'




Here at Warm Beach we all avidly watched the eagle's nest on our campus where a young bird was being lovingly fed.  He eventually teetered dangerously on the edge. Then one day we all held our breaths as he was pushed off the side of it into the world he was to survive in, if he flapped his wings hard enough. (He did...whew!)


Then there are those videos of a mother bear batting at her crying yearlings before she turns her back and lumbers off.


I look back on generations of family continuity in our specie and wonder how much of it was tradition, obligation, and survival. Where and when did preference become a factor? Entitlement? Why and how? If this is a pendulum, where might it settle?


And yes, when in pain, who gives a rip? My personal expectations weren't interested in esoteric meanderings. The pain was real and my loss unbearable until it finally wasn't.


We know where you are and we're here for you as you heal. You will!


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Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Conflicted
« Last post by Frustrated Oma on Today at 11:20:27 AM »
Bamboo2, thank you for your response and kind words, they are much appreciated.  I applaud your success in finding peace with your situation.  I have a lot of struggles to overcome with this situation, the biggest is even the thought of having a life without my DS and GC just tears me apart.  I don't even know where to begin to put the idea that my DS doesn't want a life with us into my realm of thinking.  My husband keeps telling me that I am trying to make sense of something that doesn't make any sense.  To think that one human being can be so selfish to keep someone they supposedly love from the ones  they love is beyond my thought capabilities.  Can someone be that selfish?  We have walked on eggshells, were as kind and friendly as any human could be, since the day we met her.  I can honestly say that there was never any altercation, disagreement nothing until after they closed us out and I told my DS that my feelings were hurt.  I have a lot of work to do on myself to stop this from obsessing my life.  Just don't know where to even start.
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I wonder if we are asking Mother Nature for something that is not possible.  I thought about this when I was taken on safari in Africa.  Teenage males are kicked out of the home group.  They bond with other young males and form roving groups that make mischief, fight among themselves, etc.  When they finally mate - if they are lucky enough to mate - they join the clan of the female.  The mother of a male elephant does not have a long term bond with her son.

When on safari, I told myself that I should not grieve that my son had gone over to the other side.  (He even moved to their town and built a big house there. I am sure the purpose is to impress his FIL!)

Maybe this is the way Nature works?  Maybe we humans are trying to accomplish something that is not built in?  What possible survival advantage do we derive by keeping our sons close?
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I wonder, when I consider the path many of us know all too well, how this happens. Our DS son brings home someone really special and we like her and she likes us. We expand our clan to include her. It's almost as though DS's love for her is magnified by his loving family and she glories in it. At that stage she is still part of her clan and he is part of his whether they live at home or not.


Then for many of us, something starts to shift as the wedding approaches. We begin to experience exclusion. We're confused by it and rationalize it to the best of our ability. As a new family unit is established through marriage, it feels like our DIL no longer experiences us in a positive way. Our support is seen as interference. Our history too exclusive. Our influence is feared. At the same time, the newness of her role is shared with her family and she begins to lean on them for emotional, physical and sometimes financial support. She is challenged and they are there for her. Familiar, safe.


My guess is this is not experienced with any depth of understanding.
She starts to see DH's family of origin as competition and his love for them and loyalty to them as threatening.


While she is going through all of the above, DS is blinded by novelty and infatuation...early love. He wants to please her, support her, be seen by her as her hero and be rewarded in the best way imaginable. If she demands he distance himself and he has to choose...he has made his vows. His family of origin has to deal and heal...or not.


I know the above is abstract, grossly oversimplified, and generalized. I have not studied it formally.


It's just an...'I wonder.'

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DD says the book was Stanley and Rhoda, not Ramona the Pest.
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It was Ramona the Pest, not Rhoda.  A favorite book when DS and DD were young.  "Don't touch it, don't look at it".  That's how I'm traveling these days.
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Dear Stilllearning,  Your post is really helpful.  "Abyss", yes it's what happens to me every time DH or DD ask about my mental state. "How are you doing?" dumps me into the abyss and I get so angry about 11 years of abuse that I can't even be civil to my dearest family members.  I'm trying to wall this off inside me, trying to enclose it in a big bubble that I will make grow smaller and smaller.  Your advice the What we focus on EXPANDS is a helpful way to think.  I'm focusing on work right now.  I was trying to think about a time in the future when DS would come to see me, maybe bring the grandchildren, but I realize that for right now, I just need to wall it all off and give myself time to heal.  For this week, I'm going to do the mundane - focus on just putting a little cream on my face and on the puckery skin on my arms and legs.  Small steps.

Dear Bamboo2, I'm still in the grieving stage, but thankfully I don't wake up several times a night with a wet pillow.  I got through that stage pretty fast.  I am ANGRY!  But right now I'm angry at DS for his part in all this.  He has been an enabler, and I knew that, but at last I am angry about it - angry at him - although not so much angry at myself because I still tell myself the fiction that I am a loving forgiving person - and because I was always willing to be the "bigger person" and apologize apologize apologize even when it wasn't my fault.  Nuf of that I can now say!  I have my own DD who cares a lot about me, and I need to get over this ANGER because it is affecting my relationship with DD whenever she brings it up.

Dear Luise,  I have valued your advice, your pithy sayings for so long!  I understand when you say "for me to continue to stay in the climate of abuse meant that on some level I agreed with it."  I wish I had extricated myself sooner.  I too believed that a mother never gives up, but I can't go on with that way of doing things.  I have been grieving over the loss of my special relationship with DS for 11 years, and thus willing to fit into his need for me to be the bad person, his wife the angel.  HA! It never was so.  I have a long way to go to build my new self, and form my changed terms of what now constitutes integrity.  So much to learn, so much potential happiness ahead!  Right now I am working on letting go of the wish that they would see me differently.  I have to get to the point where it's my definition of myself that counts. I know I have it in me to do this, to build respect for me.

Ha! Fake it until you make it. 

As Rhoda the Pest used to say to her family when she had a booboo anywhere on her body, "Don't look at it.  Don't talk about it!"  That's sort of how I am living right now. 

Still every day gets a little better.  I think.

Thank you everyone.  You are helping me work towards dignity.
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