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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 - Begonia

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / The bigger picture
December 22, 2012, 06:51:56 pm
Things have been ragged but hopeful with DD; no contact since May with DS.   I mailed off these books of my adventure in Antarctica to my grands (2 from each AC).  My DGD who has ADHD and has had a lot of struggles was so impressed with the book!!! My oldest GD called to say thanks. Warmed my heart.  I also got a lovely present from DD and family.   I have no idea if DS two little ones got the books or not.  When I asked my DD if I should send them to DS she said, wisely, "Mom, it's the intention of love in your heart, not what happens on the other end."  So true. 

So my XH (DD and DS dad) has been very ill.  I think for the first time DD and DS have had to face the fact that we are not spring chickens any more.  DD has become attentive.  She wanted to do a surprise for her dad who is in the hospital.  She has emailed and texted about it until I really was tired of it.  I started to feel resentful about all my cheerleading for DD, and her never once asking about me, or my life or how I will spend the holidays.  But then I realized that she never had a chance to bond with her dad (we divorced when she was 7 and he was not the best at being in their lives).  So after days of corresponding with me about this surprise, which is a good one and the newspaper has even gotten involved because it is a great story, my DD told me yesterday that "you know, I never even really knew  my dad  until I was 26 years old." 

And then we talked about how DS has never had a chance to bond with his dad and that may be a lot of his problems.  "I told him he has to grow up now," my DD told me she told DS, who had (amazingly) driven a long way to see his dad.  And DD said she told her dad that he had work to do to get well.  Then DD told me her dad told her, "you know, you could do some work on things yourself."  Meaning how she has treated me.  I told him I'm trying, my DD told me. 

So I would never have believed that my XH would facilitate better communication between me and DD from his ICU hospital bed.  Both DD and DS have always known I would lay my life down for them but they probably have never known that their dad loved them.  DD said, "Dad says he loves me now for every 5 times I say I love him, and he even looks at me when he says it."  All these things as a mother that come so easy for me with my AC have been unattainable with their dad until now. (I think this is one reason why as moms we are so mad at our X, for this pain they have caused to our kids) I am so glad that I have looked at the bigger picture instead of feeling this resentment.  Such hard work but I think I can see now a bit of the pain through my DD eyes, wanting so the love of her father.  I am glad I have listened to her and glad she has included me in her journey.   It was a great Christmas present to feel my DD new awareness.

My birthday is coming up.  It is tradition for years and years that AC and I call each other on our BD to sing Happy BD; they sometimes say, "Am I the first one to call?"   It is a fun competition.  This year, after being estranged from DS since May, and DD has just stopped contacting me (for no reason, it seemed things were friendly after our split a year ago and we had been exchanging a few texts, photos, etc.). Now nothing for weeks. And I no longer keep trying to connect.

I don't want to hope for their calls, because it makes me sad to think of it not happening, but how do I stop?  It makes it worse because my BD is on Thanksgiving.  My sis has invited me to be with their family, but it requires a lot of travel and frankly I am not into the whole chaos of Black Friday traffic.  I know this sounds like I am being a martyr, but I don't want to spend my BD snarled in traffic. I do have friends here who I could spend the day with, and I could volunteer at the free dinner like I have in the past, which is very satisfying. I guess I just want the whole day to be over.

Arrrgh, this is difficult, it's like waiting for a tornado.  These are the things that cause me to relapse into feeling down. Can you offer some reflections?  Appreciate all of you!!
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Up to my old tricks
September 05, 2012, 03:15:42 pm
Just when you think you are on solid ground, then you have to reevaluate.  This is like trying to figure skate in snowshoes...

Most of you know that DD and I have S  L  O  W  L  Y begun to repair our relationship.  Mainly it means I have given her space and have learned to be content even when I don't hear from her for weeks.  I have always had the feeling that behind the scenes there must be some kind of other stuff going on because my DD loves me and we have always been close with a few normal ups and downs. 

But it really hit home a few days ago when I reverted to my old tricks.  DD and family are doing one of those walks for charity...SIL has been diagnosed with something, I will leave it at that.  But it explains a lot of the bizarre behavior over the last few years. So I felt so BAD--ugh...why do I always take it on? Feel so bad?  Want to HELP them?  Oh that mother instinct is so strong.   

Anyway, DD showed me the website and I donated to the charity.  Then I thought, "Oh, I could WALK WITH THEM."  (Nevermind I had not been invited).  So I told DD I was going to drive over (this is the old trickster me). Silence on the other end.  No Happy Happy mom, to see you...So I tossed around until I got up at 11;30 and sent her a note saying "Second Thoughts."  And I apologized for inviting myself.  I said I just didn't think that they might not want company and that I had put my foot in it.  She immediately thanked me and then she opened up about all the other problems with DH, GK, etc.  She has been keeping this stuff secret from me because she was embarrassed.  I am glad I raised a strong woman because I probably would have been long gone from the whole mess if I had to have all she has on her plate.  I had to refrain from saying anything, even though some of the report was very distressing. 

I just said I loved her, I understood, and I told her to remember that no flood lasts forever.  She sent a nice email back and liked the flood analogy.  I told her to lean on her brother (DS) and to my surprise she said they have been emailing a couple times a week.  So that is great news. A mother loves to know that your AC stick up for each other... No doubt DS has told DD that I drew the line with him. 

I had to recognize that I was up to my old mothering, smothering tricks.  My agenda.  I can smile about how fast I realized I had overstepped my bounds.  And the repair was easy for a change.  Maybe because I was responsible and honest.  I was going there for ME, so I could see them, not thinking that even that would be one more thing my DD had to stress about---(and what if I asked the wrong question or upset DH, etc. etc...who knows what our AC have anxiety about).

Not sure how the rest of you feel about this, but even though I won't be seeing family, I am at peace with that.  DD was honest and so was I.  I realize I can be manipulative and I want that to stop. 
Many of you know that I cut off communication with my AS in May after he and his wife were very rude (200th time).  All of you know how hard it is to miss those GC.  They are 7 & 10. 

Yesterday started out really heavy.  No real reason to feel depressed but boy it was difficult to rise above it. So finally I forced myself to go for a hike.  We have lots of lovely trails close by.  As I was driving to the park, there was a detour so I took a different street from usual.  At the four-way stop I started turning left and in the car right next to me, waiting for me to turn sat my son in the driver's seat of this car I didn't recognize.  They live 5 hours away from me, but I live in a tourist town and they love to vacation here (not unusual for them not to even let me know they are in town).  I thought I was seeing things as it was not their usual van, so I looked closely and it was him.  The car was full of people (DIL's family I am sure).  I know he saw me but stared straight ahead.  I didn't wave.  My heart sank worse than it was already.  How can this happen?  It seemed like a cruel joke from the universe.  Here I was trying to feel less depressed and this happens.  I wanted to just go home and cry.

The questions flew in my head.  How can he blah blah?? and on and on like a racing train.  It was so hurtful to think that I am not a part of that family that I love so much. 

So I hiked hard, up and down, until some of the angst left and I turned my hurt into something better.  It is what it is.  And I said to myself, "You got to see him, and he is healthy and happy with his family," that is my gift.  And I tried to focus on that and be grateful and not do stupid stuff like try to understand it or call my AD or my sister to rally them around.  Nope, I just walked it off.  I am proud of myself today and feel lighter for making good progress.  And today I have had so many "out of the blue" emails from friends who are touching base, and invites to do things.  Love is free to give and today I only have love in my heart.  And I send both my AC and GC love from my heart. Like they say, you cannot hold anger and love at the same time.  I even sent my AD a short little note wishing her a good week and signed it Love, Mom.

The moral of the story is that even if a person feels bad and then something happens that makes you feel even "badder," a person can rise above it and carry on.   
Hello WW Community.  The situation with my DD has slowly gone to being loving again after a year of me holding back and being reserved, not nasty, not angry, just reserved.  Last week I had lunch with her (She treated!!!) and she let some more light on the subject of her erratic behavior a year ago.  Keep in mind I have asked nothing in a whole year, have sent very friendly but short replies to general texts...a photo of her garden flowers, etc.).  This has been some of the hardest work I have done, as indicated by my frantic posts a year ago.  Not to expect anything, to give her her space. To know that she did not hate me.  She let it be known that her DH has some severe health problems.  I said nothing, just listened.  I did not say, "Oh, are you doing OK, do you need me to HELP?"  Ugh, that was the me before.  So we are finding our way.  I realize she has a lot on her plate but I do not get into it at all.  It feels really good to have come this far.  And I do thank the continuing support of this site for helping me to realize that I was doing a lot of enabling and was playing the victim too.  Nobody told me this, but I could see it through my own posts and reading the posts of others.

Now I am on this same journey with DS.  And because DD has slowly started reaching out to me after I set the rule last year of "I need you to promise to never speak to me like that again." and she agreed), I know that in due time DS may reach out too.I do have good kids, but I have allowed myself to be diminished over the years.   And I will never allow either of my AC to talk or act disrespectfully to me again.  And for now, that means that I am being reserved toward my DS and DD.  Not mad, not vindictive, just reserved.  My life is good. 

It feels so nice not to have that drama and uncertainty.  And as I have said before, eliminating my FB account has helped me get rid of the angst about who is doing what with whom. 

Just my little update on SLOWLY....(gads it's so hard to be patient, it's like dieting...ugh!!)
Grab Bag / Happy Independence Day!!
July 04, 2012, 06:28:45 am

It's Independence Day here in the USA. 
Here's a wish for all of us to find our independence from family members who do not treat us kindly. 
Bravo to all the Wise Women here for making my path towards independence so much easier!  Thanks to all!!
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Changes
June 21, 2012, 08:36:29 am
It's been close to a year now since I stepped away from a relationship with DD and family. I have written about this in other posts.  It was hard--like quitting smoking...I wanted to call, I wanted to buy things, I wanted to visit.  But WWU helped me get stable every time I wanted to "buy" love.  In May I visited my DD for the first time in a year (GD graduation).  I only stayed a short while and left on a peaceful note.  The next day my DD called me (I was at a hotel) inviting me for breakfast/coffee at their place)  For the first time I can remember, I said something like "Oh, I am going to go shopping, sorry."  DD did not know what to say...I NEVER say no...until now.  She was polite to me.  I felt, maybe for the first time, that I honestly did not care if she was mad at me or not.  It was very freeing.  Wow, that has taken a long time.  Just want to say thanks WW for helping to keep me centered and strong.

This week my city has gone through some horrific flooding.  My DD has texted and emailed and called to make sure I was ok.  It has been very nice to have that connection during a scary time.  But I know now that if she didn't call or text that I would be ok with that too.  My DS has not done any of this stuff and I am completely fine without him connecting.  Not to say there won't be more bumps in the road, there always are, but I feel, with the help of WWU, I am no longer guilting myself about being everything to everyone.  I feel so much more in control of my own self-esteem now. And over this last year I can also see that my DD has changed in how she talks to me.   
Hello WW:  I have been out of the loop for several months so needed to have a "tune up" in this great support network. 

I have been pretty successful in distancing myself from the toxic behaviors of DD and DS and it has helped.  DD has had a lot on her plate with her own family issues.  DGD graduated from college and I was there with family without incident (a bit of a stomach ache).  DD and I were able to have a nice lunch together.  DS was up to his old tricks and cancelled at the last minute after saying he would meet me for breakfast.

This past weekend I was traveling with my D sister and BIL and sis had made arrangements for my DS and family to meet us for dinner, which they did.  It was so awful.  DIL spoke to no one, DS barely acknowledged me, but I got to see the GK so that was special.  A few weeks ago DS had emailed me and said "We are coming to a resort near you for the 4th and would like you to spend a day with us."  OK, I said yes and cancelled my other 4th plans for a class reunion.  (How hopeful I still get)  Then at the dinner I said to my GD, "I will be so excited to see you in a couple of weeks when you come to the resort."   My son said, "Oh, we aren't coming because blah blah...."   I kept my cool in front of the kids but when I got back to my hotel room I sent an email to DS.  I was so mad and so hurt. It wasn't a bad email but I let him know I have had enough of his lies. I refrained from any bad words with DIL, although her behavior was totally rude to all of us. I have swept her out of my life.   

But I am calm about it now and my GD was excited because I told her we could be pen pals.  I just am not sure if the letters will get to her, but I will try.  As for my DS and DIL I have learned my lesson again, hopefully for the last time...sigh.  And it is so sad that my dear grandson, who is 6, does not even know me.  Breaks my heart. 

So I'll move forward with my own wellness.  These incidents are not as difficult as they used to be because I know that I can be happy without contact with DS and DD.  And this situation was set up by my sister so it was really out of my control as I was riding with them.  My sis said my son knew I would be along, but I wonder about that now because they looked very surprised to see me (I waited outside the restaurant to see them I was so excited).  My sis is the kind of woman who pretends that everything is fine, even if there is a tornado or a death or the house is on fire. Queen of denial, that's sis.  In fact, everyone in my family except me lives that way so it is very difficult for me because I always want things out on the table and the rest of them are always pretending nothing happened.  It's how they are--there is never, ever a discussion of anything remotely to do with feelings.   But I don't have to go along with it. And my niece (25) kept 9 of us waiting for one hour and dear sis says, "that's just how she is."  This was the second time she has done that in a couple of months, so later over a beer I spoke my mind to her (we have a good relationship).  I thought my sis and BIL might have a stroke.  But my niece apologized to me and to them...which was just great.  No more dinners for me!!!  ACK.  (Of course I won't be invited anyway...lol)

I see a lot of new folks here and I will be interested in catching up on the topics.  Peace to all.   
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Christmas Report
December 25, 2011, 07:49:43 pm
Hello WW: Well, DD called yesterday but she did not hand the phone to anyone else--they were all busy, she said. I didn't ask.  Haven't heard anything from DS since he dropped the bomb about cancelling our family gathering.  Today he wrote Merry Christmas on my FB wall. I didn't reply or call.  I kept very busy and today went to a gathering that ended up being four single women for dinner at a wonderful house and we laughed our way through the hours.  In the middle of dinner a huge white-tail buck with 8 points came right to the window to eat sunflower seeds. The dog didn't even bark!!  So no conflicts, no expectations, no disappointments.  Only a little hurt in my heart about not talking to any GC, but I feel content that I made the right decisions this year.  Thanks to all of you for your help and support.  I hope your holiday was equally peaceful and that it is filled with love. 
Hello Strong Women:  Here it is Christmas Eve morning and I woke up with that dull foreboding feeling.  Yesterday I got a package in the mail from my DD (from a mail order book store). I was really happy to get a "present." But, I had been thinking back (bad activity) and this just felt so empty to me.  Then I reminded myself that my DD usually is 2 weeks late with things, if at all, and my heart warmed up.  I knew I was dwelling on those old ghosts of Christmas past where family was together and the house was all bustling. Today I am up early to chase away the blues and go shopping. I have lots of activities for the next two days and then I will see DD and D sis families on NY.  I have absolutely nothing to feel blue about.  Then this floats into my mind.

There is a memory that I have chased away for all these years (20 years) and that is of our last family Christmas together when my then abusive H said some horrific things to my son as we were opening packages. It wasn't a surprise that he did this--he was emotionally abusive to all of us, but I had it in my head that Christmas was a holy time and he would be kind and loving toward us for that night.  That event was so horrible that it gave me the push to move to the guest room and move out a few months later followed by a divorce. We had been together 18 years.  It fractured our little family (me, DD and DS).   My DD and I have spoken about this but DS, DD and I have never talked together. It seems as if it is a wound that won't heal.  I know it is a shameful event for my son because of the horribleness of XH comments, which I don't need to share--all of you WW know about bad comments.

Any suggestions from my WW friends?  Getting this out here helps me to acknowledge it and read it over.  I had this feeling that "Oh for goodness sake, get over it, nobody died."  Perhaps this is why it doesn't heal because I have not fully acknowledged how damaging this was and I down play it.  But it signifies the end of my belief in Christmas, the end of my family as I knew it, the end of decorating my lovely home, and the end of the relationship I thought I would have forever. Time sort of stopped for me while my life went along with much success.  It's just now, these days, that the ghosts come around. I am not one to complain about things to others (except to you WW  bless your hearts) so this is something I have never shared until now.  Maybe this year I will make progress toward closing that wound. Thanks, all.
Well, after all my posts about how DS was reaching out to make plans for our family (DD, DS, my D sister and our families) today he sends a note saying he "forgot" he had another commitment of tickets to somewhere as a surprise for his family so there will be no plans as planned.  I feel so kicked in the gut.  But the redeeming thing is that I never got one bit excited so anyone would know and I never planned one thing.  Still, I am sad, angry, upset that I "fell" for his stories again.  This has always been how he does things.  I will admit I had some hope he had changed.  And he sent the note to DD, me and my sis and never even said he was sorry for cancelling. 
Hello WW:  My DD has been slowly making attempts to smooth the waters since her blow-up at me last summer.  My DS is also reaching out with a request to get together. 

This morning my DD sent me a FB chat and we had a nice and pleasant conversation and she issued an invite for the Sat after Thanksgiving..."we'd love to have you here."  Last summer in a conversation I suggested driving over (5 hours) like I always have, and she told me my visiting wouldn't work and all this other bad stuff that floored me.  You all know the conversation.  I really wondered if she was drunk.

That is when I stopped any communication, and found this site. Weeks later she called me for something and I drew the boundary, telling her we could talk but she had to agree to never talk to me that way again.  She agreed.  I have instigated no contact. 

I found out today that DD life has been very dramatic with taking in her troubled DH 19 yr old son last summer, and now her DD best friend is living there too because she was getting in lots of trouble at home.  My DD and her hubby are really good parents (different from me of course, but they can connect with kids very well).  The 19 yr old has stopped drinking, etc. and has a full time job.  He was homeless.  My DG (14) has ADHD and if you know about that it can consume your entire life.  DD and hubby (not GD dad) have really been admirable in dealing with GD behavior. OGD is doing wonderful in her last year of college.  I would love to see them all. My sister and her family will be at a hotel in the same town. We all get along fine.

I told DD "it might work," but depending on weather, etc.  It's a long drive alone and I wonder about how my stomach will be and how uncomfortable it will be...after all, DD has this entire support system for her and I am by myself.  I am still wounded from her outburst at me last summer.  And I really don't want to drive all that way, be in knots, and then exhausted to go back to work Mon after dancing on hot coals in case I say the "wrong" thing, whatever in the world that might be.   

Need help on this, please. 
Thought I would post some alternatives to spending the holidays with family.  One thing that has been fun for me is to go on some holiday trips with Road Scholar.  Look on their website for dozens of trips--some expensive and some not.  One year I went to Prescott, AZ where we listened to cowboy poetry, ate some great meals and sat on Santa's lap.  A lot of fun people.

Another year I was in Cuba where it was only recently that they had been allowed to even have a Christmas tree, so that was very interesting.

I have looked at trips to Iceland where they have great fireworks on Christmas. 

Anyway, there is no reason we have to stay home and wait for a call that may or may not arrive.  The world awaits.  Anybody have suggestions for interesting things to do without family?
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Update
October 25, 2011, 01:30:59 pm
Hello WW near and far.  I have not been spending much time on the forum because of work and also because I am no longer in that very raw stage about what to do about DS and DD.  It feels really good to not be expecting connections from them.  Like I have really gotten a bad disease under control and things are healthier.  And I controlled the treatment.  I know now that I was a needy person and that stemmed from my guilt about not having done this or that when I was a single mom and thereafter.  These forums have helped me more than years of counseling....I want to thank each of you, even those newbies who have found your way here...your stories are SO important.  Get it out, start healing.  Claim your dignity and your respect.  Your life will be better. 

Both DS and DD reach out to me on FB with little tidbits of this and that.  And I have only done little tidbits back. No calls at all except for calling my daughter on her BD two months ago and we talked for an hour.  Friendly, loving, and no expectations.  I am not groveling, waiting for Sunday phone calls or news of the GC; I am not calling out of my own neediness.  I have gotten past that; I have LET GO and it feels very good.  I continue to live a good life--in fact I feel free to plan what I want to plan.  It's like I have left the mothering and grandmothering role and embarked on a new journey. 

I wonder what we should name this stage in our lives, there are so many of us in this stage...we are young at heart, have so much to offer and care so much about doing the right thing .What would be a good acronym?  LAFF (Life after fussing and feuding). WWMO?  (Wise Women Moving On).

Anyway, once I accepted that my life was going to be different--that my dreams of vacations and being invited to my DS and DD, and for them to call me and send me gifts or plan a birthday surprise for me were just that--my dreams.  And I had to let them go and be satisfied that we have reached a truce, of sorts.  And that means they live their lives and I live mine.  It still gives me a bit of a pang to write that, but now I don't feel guilty or like a horrible mother or GM.  I know this life right now is just the way it is and I am content to accept it that way. 

As all of you know, this takes hard work...omygoodness the hard work.....all those days of anger and crying and why me? 

I will still hang around here because it gives me such a great sense of belonging and of being ok the way I am.  When ever I feel a bit wobbly (why me, boo hoo), I check in here and feel grounded again.  I love all of you WW.  This forum is the best medicine for breaking hearts that there is.  Peace to all and thank you again, especially to you senior and hero members who gave me such great guidance in those early days of mine!  And love and blessings to Luise tenfold. 
It seems like fixing a broken bridge...when I get one thing sort of repaired then another thing is broken.  Hope WW can help on this as always. 

As I have written, DD and DS are keeping in touch--barely--through FB mainly with little messages that are positive.  And I respond back with a little positive message if I feel so inclined, otherwise I just leave things.   still have not reached out to either of them in my old pattern of calling at least once a week.  They each live a distance away in opposite directions so do not see them often. 

About now I get this stomach ache about the holidays.  Part of me longs to have the "old days" back where I had all the usual preparations for days and days.  Then I quickly come to my senses.

I thought I was always  welcome at my DD (she always has said, "Mom, you can stay here anytime." ) But in August I wanted to go over to see the GC before school started and that is when DD blew up at me out of the blue and said that wouldn't work because of something I said to her husband in May just as conversation when we were out for a fancy dinner in a fancy place that I thought they would enjoy after driving the long way to see me--which I had orchestrated by asking my SIL for help building a small deck, which I paid him nicely for. I recall saying something about life is hard work and those of us who are strong can handle more, etc (they are both strong people, like me) It was nothing out of the ordinary and there had been no hint of argument as they ate their $30 steaks. I am sarcastic about it now when I think how I used to "buy" their attention and see how pathetic it was. 

I question whether they have ever liked me at all when I think back on things.

So now the holidays.  I don't know how to handle things this year.  My thinking is that I will just send a nice wreath to DS and DD houses for all to enjoy.  I hate not giving something, but much of what I have done is not appreciated. I have done everything from gift cards to weekends at a resort--you name it.  Last year I thought I had a good idea.  I told DS and DD to look through the Lands End catalog and pick out a winter coat.  4 AC and 4 GC.  They had to send the order to me and then I had it shipped to them.  My DD and OGC loved their coats, and DS did point out that GC had their coats on in a pic he showed me in June.  But that was the extent of any thank yous.   And, mostly I get some little thing from them a week after Christmas or sometimes nothing at all.  How did I raise such cold-hearted AC?  They lavish hundreds of dollars on their kids.  Sigh. 

I think the whole thing is about my family totally forgetting about me.  That is why I so dislike this time of year.  I don't want to be cruel and I am a very generous person (probably why I raised such selfish AC).  I know this is rambling because many of you face the same situations, but can you offer some guidance?...I am feeling wobbly about this..parental duty stuff and all.....Aaaarghhhh! 
In other threads I have talked about the problems with DD and some about DS.  I drew the boundary with DD and things have improved.  She did ask me "Why can't I post on your wall?  She was referring to my FB account.  Since she has been very respectful in three phone calls I took the block off and she has been nice on FB as well.  I am still leery and cautious and have not called her (except on her birthday, which was great) or done my usual breezy posts to her on FB. 

Yesterday on FB I noticed my DS had left me a message about my GC, that they had gotten the magazine subscriptions I sent for their birthdays and thanked me.  (Hold on to my chair--this is a first). 

So, although these things feel good to me I still have times when I feel that I have lost my family.  I don't feel as if I can just call, I feel this is how things will be now, just an occasional communication.  I know I have to feel ok with that and have moved ahead with my life, but it does feel lonely and as strong as I am I feel really week because this disengagement has taken a lot of my energy. 

My life is great otherwise.  Job, friends, etc.  But I realize I haven't completely accepted being on the far outer circle of my DS and DD and GC lives.  Need some guidance.  I fought hard to get this far, but it sometimes feels like an empty victory.  I guess I need encouragement.  Thanks, all.   
Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / The next step?
August 23, 2011, 05:36:36 am
Last night at bedtime my phone showed my DD calling.  I did not answer.  I saw she left a phone message.  Before I could weaken and get back on the insanity horse of forgiveness, or hear another rant from her about something, I deleted the message.  Wrong or right?  It has happened a hundred times before that there will be some crisis she is going through and she will lapse into her "psychology" voice, saying if I just behaved differently---but until I do----.  Then I am upset for days, can't sleep, etc.  I just can't go through that any more.  But I have guilt about it...waaah, waaah, what if they need me? waaah waaaah what if GC are sick? 

I have detailed my conflict with my DD and DS in the Strength in Numbers topic, but now I need some help with the next step.  As I have said DD and DS have been alternating nasty and nice for many years, like a yo-yo and I never know when they will alienate me (not return calls, etc).  I came to this forum because my DD blasted me with another alienating call out of the blue. I have drawn my boundaries and am ok with not having them in my life at the price I have to pay being a doormat to their inconsideration. 

Suggestions for how to proceed from here?  How to stop the "bad mother" tape in my head?  This time will be different but how do I stay strong and loving with an open but a tough heart?  Like that saying, "If the swamp is full of alligators, don't go swimming."   

Thanks WW for your help. 
Hello everyone:  I am brand new here and thank goodness I found this site last night when I was having very bad thoughts.  Yesterday my adult daughter (45) called me out of the blue and said all these hurtful things to me.  This has happened before, repeatedly, over the years, usually when she is in some kind of crisis in her own life.  She hasn't been answering my emails or calls and yesterday I suspected she had had a drink or two. I divorced her dad because of alcoholism when she was 7 and her brother 4.  He was a hopeless father (like so many of you say), and I kept things together and never spoke against him.  Rah, Rah, Rah for your dad, he is a good person he just forgets to pick you up sometimes, or your birthday or or or...you all know the story.  I remarried when the kids were 11 and 7, to a man who provided all the good things in life that I knew we needed: house, picket fence, travel, etc.  I loved him but he was a nasty man in many ways and very emotionally abusive.   When my son moved out for college I divorced him (now TWO divorces in a family of no divorces) and since 1992 I have been living a productive single and professional life.  I am very generous with money, gifts and love to my kids and the four grandkids.  I never ask for a thing and they frequently "forget" about me on holidays, etc.  I am just too darn good to them, like begging for a bone.  My kids and I were always very close, as you are when you are a single parent.  I am a fabulous mom and grandmom and sometimes my daughter is like syrup on pancakes, then the next day she will call and rage against me.  Drugs?  Alcohol?  How do you know when they live 6 hours away? 

I woke up last night  when I read all these posts from GOOD women who have the same story.  Then I got mad.  It is NOT just me.  I am allowing these snotty spoiled kids to be nasty to me and then when they call me I reward them with another present.  It was very clear to me that it has to end.  It is my guilt that has fueled this fire and the kids, learning to be emotionally abusive from their step-father, have screwed my balls to the wall (pardon the expression,,,I don't have balls..lol).  And I am helping them do it because I think, in some sick way that I have to always be a mother, regardless of how nasty they are.  No more.  Thank you posters for saying the things you say to empower me. 

Today I blocked my daughter's FB and tomorrow I change my beneficiaries.  My reasoning is that if they are not respectful enough to call me or think of me or invite me to things, then I am not going to inconvenience them with spending any inheritance money.  I have wonderful grandchildren and I will set up college trusts for them. 

I worked my way up from us being on food stamps for a few months after my first divorce to now having a Ph.D. and a great job.  I have never asked my kids for anything except understanding when I was struggling through my second divorce.  I have a great relationship with my first husband (kids' father) who has turned out to be a great father/grandfather when he quit drinking. 

Anyway, thank you for listening, I am feeling more emotionally centered about this whole deal.  Like someone said here, "you had a life before you had kids and you will have a life if they are not in your life," or something like that.  That was very eye-opening.  If they want me to be miserable they will not succeed.  Bravo wise women,,,there is life out there beyond looking like a ragamuffin and pleading with your  kids to love you.  No more.  Bless you all, if I can say that after such a rant....lol.....