November 26, 2020, 09:13:30 pm

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"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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Topics - Susan E.

1
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?
2
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.
3
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 
4
Quote from: luise.volta on June 30, 2014, 12:14:23 pm
What changed for me, and it took time, was realizing it was abuse and I deserved better.


I often wonder how long the silence will continue.  My youngest AD stopped communicating about 3 years ago.  That was totally unexpected, and it made it all the more painful.   With my oldest AD, the silent treatment this year has now lasted 4 months so far - nearly the same time frame as last year's silent treatment.  The oldest AD and I have always had a difficult relationship - seems like from the moment she figured out, as a little girl, how she could run to her father and get his approval for anything she wanted.  Her father and I divorced when the girls were little.  He quickly remarried and started another family.

Sometimes I wonder how I would respond, if either one should suddenly contact me and want to reconnect.  I realized it all depends on which one contacts me.  The youngest one - I would welcome back into my life with open arms.  She is sweet and lovable, feisty and determined.  She has never asked for anything, and when I offered to help she turned it down, preferring to take care of the matter herself.   I like her. The oldest one - I don't think so.  She has asked for money, and the "forgot" to pay me back the first time.  The second, and last time, I loaned her money she got really nasty with me when I insisted on her repaying me (I was in between jobs and needed the money back).  She is needy/demanding, a liar, and lazy.  She only gives for the sole purpose of getting something in return.  I don't trust her.  She has caused me the most pain and sleepless nights.  I loved her as a baby and little girl, but I'll admit that I honestly do NOT like what she has become.  And I realize now after reading Luise's quote, that what she has been doing to me is a form of abuse.

Last summer, after a brief visit that ended on a sour note because I refused to loan her money again (and I asked her to return my house key that I had given to her while I visited my brother out of state) she sent me an email and accused me of pushing her away every time she tried to get "close" to me; and then she turned around in the next sentence and said that if I ever decide I want to be a part of her life, I know where I can find her. 

I've tried the friendly, hospitable M/D relationship with her, and it doesn't work.  We've made plans - I'll invite her and GD over to my house for dinner the following weekend, she agrees to be here, say at 2:00 pm Saturday.  So Thurs/Fri night i go shopping and spend extra $$ for a nice dinner and dessert.   2:00 pm Saturday - she calls me.  They're not going to make it.  Something has come up.  A couple of times it's because her father has suddenly invited her over and it conflicts with what WE had planned, so she says to me, "I didn't think our plans were definite", and asks what am I doing tomorrow?  or next weekend?  This has happened REPEATEDLY, so many times now that I believe it's deliberate, passive/aggressive abuse.

During a visit or phone conversation, I'm walking on eggshells because she's easily offended and takes everything personally.  We can't have a regular conversation or discussion without her taking something I said that was totally unrelated to her directly, twisting it around and accusing me of offending her. 

I've decided that enough is enough.  It takes days or even weeks for me to calm down and relax after being around her.  So --- I've decided that reaching out to her is not in my best interest.  And if she should contact  me, I will hold her at arm's length and tell her SHE needs to make an effort to treat me with courtesy, honesty and respect before I agree to reconnect with her.  I don't think that conversation will end well - she'll accuse me of not being courteous, respectful to her, etc. etc. etc. and around and around we'll go.  So, what's the point.  The silence is comforting.