September 30, 2020, 04:37:30 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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Messages - Stilllearning

1
Personally I think it is a good time to reach out to them both.  We are, after all, living through a very stressful time because of the pandemic and talking to or communicating with loved ones is usually welcome.  I would not mention the facebook post to either one of them.  If I had posted something like that and my Mom called me and mentioned it I would feel embarrassed.  Save them the uncomfortable feelings and just call and talk about the things happening in your life and ask how they are handling things.  If they want to confide in you they will.

Hopefully you will hear from others.  What do y'all think?

Hugs!!
2
L, I am so sorry that this happened to you!  If I have one piece of advice it would be to never go the the therapist with her!  I went with my DIL and the two of them spent the entire time making excuses for her and blaming me for things.  It was awful!  It was the straw that broke the camel's back.  When I walked out of the therapists office I swore I wouldn't call my DS again.  At least my reaction to the visit was absolute rage instead of feeling hurt.  Oh the crocodile tears my DIL wept that day.  I was completely and utterly done.  Come to think of it I might really owe that therapist a favor.  Without her I might still be trying to placate my DIL.  Not any more.  She can get over what I say or not.  It is all up to her.

Letting it rest sounds like a good idea.  It may take a while for your DD to realize that you are not calling her but eventually she will.  I hope she will continue to get the help she needs.  Often therapy starts out with the patient complaining about their parents or their siblings.  The patient has to work through the full gambit of their emotional baggage before he/she realizes that although they remember an incident in a certain way their memories are from a child's point of view.  When your DD is ready I think she will get back in touch with you and you will have an opportunity to get to know the adult your DD has become.  In the meantime it is your job to enjoy life.  You deserve to have fun! 

Hugs!!!!
3
Welcome L!  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.

Sorry but computer problems had me out of touch for a while.  I certainly remember being where you are!  The decision to turn my attentions to other things was less of a decision and more of a desperate act.  The harder I tried to "fix" things the worse things got.  I was totally miserable and so was everyone around me.  I had turned into the person nobody wanted to sit next to.  I couldn't talk about anything else and talking about my situation brought no relief, no comfort and no solution. 

It was the wonderful women on here that told me that I deserved better.  I really hadn't considered that I could have a life even if my DS was not in it.  It was beyond my comprehension that I could be happy if I didn't hear from him.  Then one day I realized that when I did not contact him, I had a better day.  I stopped calling him.  I stopped texting him.  I stopped chasing after him trying to fix things.  Life improved.

Over time relations have gotten much better between my DS and myself but when I stopped contacting him I had no idea how things would end up.  I really had to give him up to get him back.  I look at it like this (now).  It was like I was always knocking on his door, always, always.  Occasionally he would open that door and I would say something about how I hadn't heard from him or seen him in days/weeks.  He would get disgusted and close the door.  I would return to knocking, knocking, knocking.  Eventually he would gird himself for another confrontation and open the door and I would again say something about how I hadn't seen/heard from him in days/ weeks.  No wonder he didn't want to open the door!  So when I stopped knocking he didn't notice for a while but eventually (months later) he opened the door and found me out enjoying life.  I had fun things to talk to him about.  I didn't even bring up how long it had been because I was too busy telling him about my camping and canoeing trips.  It was a real difference!

I know you read my post that has my mantras on it:
https://www.wisewomenunite.com/index.php/topic,7915.0/topicseen.html

I won't go through the work of rewriting those :) !

I do want to say that if you decide to pull away like I did you should be aware that once you climb out of "the abyss" it is really easy to get sucked back in.  It will happen almost before you know it.  I would start thinking about something and it would lead to my DS and down the rabbit hole I would go.  For me the only way to stay out of "the abyss" was to use my mantras.  I still pull them out and use them when needed.  I just found out that my DIL thinks she is a man.  WOW!  Talk about "not my circus, not my monkeys"!!

Anyway your DD has her own lessons to learn now.  You did your best raising her but your job is done.  It is up to her from here.  Take your life back.  Have some fun.  You deserve to enjoy your life.

Sooooo many hugs!!
4
Guess what ladies!  My DIL has decided that she is a man.:o  Talk about out of the blue.  WOW!  And my poor DS has decided to stand by 'him' until my DS cannot stand it anymore.  I suspect that 'he' will threaten suicide when my DS decides he cannot take anymore.  'He' is not attracted to females, 'he' just feels like a male.  My DS is a saint and I am totally blown away.  Unbelievable. ::)
5
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: DIL
September 22, 2020, 09:19:24 am
Greeting G!  Sorry your post fell through the gaps!   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.

I have also been caught in the "trying to help"trap.  It really stinks when we start out with such good intentions and we end up in so much trouble!!  When it happened to me I just backed off.  I haven't offered any help since.  There have been a couple of times when they have requested help but I don't ever offer it anymore.  The harder thing is to stop offering advice.  I want so much to guide them away from making mistakes but they bristle anytime I offer any words of wisdom.  Oh well.  Hugs!
6
Snowb.....thank you so much for your kind reply.  I have made an appointment with my doctor and will discuss it with her.  I can only hope that it will help but my DIL has started taking my grandchild to a bigger city 5 hours away because she is not getting the responses she craves locally.  I am not positive that my doctor has any pull in that city but we shall see.

As for this website, it saved my life and my marriage.  This was the first place I ever felt supported in my plight and the first place where I heard that I was not helpless.  I really thought that since I had no control over what was happening in my DS's life I was just doomed to stand by and be tortured by the choices he was making.  It never occurred to me that he had his own lessons to learn and I was no longer responsible for saving him from making mistakes.  It was here that I learned that my work as a parent was done.  I now stand on the sidelines and only help when asked (and if I can).

It has been a tough year for all of us.  We are dealing not only with the pandemic but also the loneliness caused by isolating ourselves.  I quit my job in childcare because it was like working in a petri dish and I have been home with my DH since April.  I cannot imagine how lonely people who do not have a significant other are.  I know of one separated father who committed suicide when he was denied the possibility of seeing his children.  This is a horrible time and it makes it all the more important that we spend some time enjoying ourselves and actively trying to make ourselves happy.  When we are happy we make the people around us happy.  It grows!

I can't change your font for you.  You must have composed in another program and the cut and pasted your first post.  It is OK.  I don't feel like you were yelling, I promise!!  LOL

Keep reading and feel free to post anytime.  Luise has some wonderfully calming advice!  Ask me how I know!!

(Hugs!)
7
Oh MC......I feel for you!  It hurts so bad when they pull away and every bone in my body shouted that I needed to do something to fix it.  I called and texted all the time.  I knew if I could just talk to my son the right way he would stop pulling away.  Fortunately my DH did not buy into my thoughts that it was my or my DH's fault.  I just about lost my marriage over running after my DS trying to make things "right".  At this point I really don't remember what it was that made me realize that the problem was me, and not him.  I expected him to react differently than he did.  I expected him to want me to be involved in his life.  He didn't.  I couldn't change the fact that he was evidently happier when he did not hear from me than he was when he did hear from me.  It broke my heart.  I fell into what I now call "the abyss".  I thought about the problem all the time.  I talked about it all the time.  I made everyone around me miserable because all I could talk about was how miserable I was.  It was a mess.  Sometime during this horrible descent I discovered my three mantras:

1).  What you focus on expands
2).  No news is good news
3).  Not my circus, not my monkeys

Let me explain.  The first step was to focus my thoughts and my hopes on things that made ME happy.  Yep, you got it!  I suddenly realized that I could not make other people happy if I did not manage to make myself happy first.  I started planning things for me.  Really!  My DH and I skipped cooking Thanksgiving dinner one year and instead we went canoeing because the weather was wonderful that Thursday.  We cooked the turkey on Friday while it was raining.  Had to call the kids and tell them what was going on.  Their reaction was fine, mainly puzzled but fine.  Holidays were especially difficult for me because the absence of my DS was so obvious and impossible for me to ignore.  My way around that was to start planning other things to do for the holiday.  So for Mother's day I would plan a camping trip.  It made a huge difference in my attitude.

Next I started saying "No news is good news" to myself every time I thought about the fact that my DS had not contacted me.  I would say it to my friends and relatives whenever they asked about my DS/DIL.  I still pull it out when I am asked about them and I don't know what is happening in their life.  Over time people have learned not to ask.

And finally the last one reminds me to keep my advice and opinions to my self.  I finished raising my children and now they have their own lives to live and their own mistakes to make. 

It is a really difficult road with many potholes but I know you can make it!  The idea about the counselor sounds good to me.  He/She may have some more helpful ideas.  Good luck!
8
Thanks Luise!
9
It has been a long time since I posted (other than a reply) but I am really in a quandary right now.  A little background is in order.  My granddaughter has been ( according to her mother) having seizures.  No one in my family has actually witnessed them although my DS has stated that they are "very hard to recognize unless you are looking for them",  I have been looking for them but so far I have not seen anything, but admittedly I am not around her that often.  Last week she (according to her mother) had a series of seizures that caused her to loose her memory of recent events (ie. going to the grocery store) and "change her personality" to the point where my DIL took her to the ER.  Now things get convoluted.  The ER physician ordered an EEG, but when they called the residing pediatric neurologist he/she said not to do it.  They waited until the next day to do the EEG.  My DIL has been so exasperated with the local pediatric neurologist that she has taken my granddaughter to the state capitol to see a pediatric neurologist there.  Since there was no EEG run on admission for my granddaughter the pediatric neurologist in the state capitol  has told my DS/DIL that the one the hospital ran here (12 hours later) is worthless.  Now my DS is considering moving to the state capital so that they can get help faster than driving 5 hours and leaving his business which is just starting to take off.

I really think my DIL has Munchausen by proxy but I cannot call anyone to report it because I risk losing my son forever.  I am going to make an appointment with my primary care physician (who has known me and my DH for a long time) and explain my delima.  Other than calling the Department of Family and Children Services do you have any advice?  I can't see letting my grandchildren die because I did nothing but I really don't want to lose my DS.  Help!! 

Please reply if you have any insights!
10
Aging Wisely / Re: Corona, How is everyone doing?
March 27, 2020, 04:53:55 am
I am so glad to hear that you are both doing well!  Please stay healthy!!

As for me, I decided that working in the daycare was unnecessarily exposing my DH to a dangerous vector.  All those times of saying "it is like getting paid to be a Grandmother" are all true but it is still like working in a petri dish,  There is no way to maintain a six foot separation when you have to change diapers and wipe noses, and with both of us being in the "at risk" age range it just didn't seem to be worth the risk.  So now I am at home painting the exterior of my house.  It needs it sooooo badly and since I now have the time and can certainly stay away from everyone in the process I am turning these lemons into lemon aide! 

What are you doing to fill the empty times?  Hopefully you haven't glued yourself to the TV with its endless supply of bad news!
11
Hi V!!  It is my lunch break so this will be short also.  Sorry!!  I have thought about you and your dilemma this morning.  It is truly sad when we are put in your situation.  You deserve to enjoy your life. You spent 30 years doing everything you could for him. 

I had to pretty much turn my back on my eldest.  It really hurt but it was not until then that he really understood all that we had done for him over the years.  It took a while but the gap left by my pulling away from him has filled.  We will never be the way we were before he married my DIL but things are worlds better now that he does not have the power to control my emotions.  He is an adult.  He makes adult decisions.  He has to pay for the bad ones, but I give him full credit for the good decisions he makes.  Good luck!

Hopefully someone else will chime in with their own feelings!

Hugs!
12
Welcome V!!  We are glad you found us!  I am unfortunately on my way to work but I will post a more thoughtful reply in a few hours.  Be sure to check out our forum agreement under "open me first" to be sure we are a good fit for you.  We are a monitored website.  See you later today!  So sorry you are in this unfortunate circumstance.  We all want our children to fledge from the nest on their own instead of having to kick them out.  Hugs!
13
Helpful Resources / Re: lost
January 27, 2020, 03:12:11 am
Hello N!  We are glad you found us.  We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the posts we have placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We are a monitored Website.

There is a wealth of information in our archives for you to read.  Also if you find a particular post that resonates with you, you can go to that person's profile and read their other posts.  You will find some really good suggestions here.  Things that brought me back from a place of complete hopelessness.  I cannot tell you how much the wise women here have helped me.  Some have moved on but some stay to help others.  When you feel comfortable to share your situation I feel certain there will be some wonderfully wise thoughts shared with you.

Hugs!
14
Oh M, I soo feel for you!!  As a mother we are all programmed to support our offspring regardless of their mistakes and treatment of us.  I too took more than my fair share of abuse from my DIL.  I (possibly in error?) objected to the marriage.  I only asked my DS to wait, I never said not to marry her.  The answer I got was that the marriage was moved to an earlier date and that was that.  I tried so hard to "fix" my relationship with my DS and honestly to make him see my side.  I called, texted, cried, talked to everyone who would listen until I was blue in the face and they were sick and tired of hearing it.  Some of my relatives thought I was over reacting, I should give her a chance, stop complaining, be happy for my DS.  Really?  I mean, really?  Anyway this went on for months.  Although no one said anything to me ,I am pretty sure that my friends and relatives got to the point of cringing when they saw me coming.  I would have gotten there if I was them!  I drove myself crazy with questions and guilt.  After all you are supposed to pick a spouse that somehow resembles your parent, right?  Was I like her?  How could my DS love her?

I spent way too long on that guilt trip.  It was the wonderfully wise women here who brought me back to reality.  The truth is that they told me that I deserve to enjoy my life.  I have finished teaching my DS his lessons, and now it is life's turn to teach him and he gets to pick the lesson himself.  I have no control over what he picks to learn.  I have no responsibility for the mistakes he makes.  I do, however, have a choice as to whether I go through his lessons with him or not.  I finally decided that my interference was actually hindering him in his learning experience.  He was so bent against doing anything I suggested that he would do the opposite of what I said and thereby made many wrong decisions that he might have avoided if I had just kept my thoughts to myself.  This was my part of the lesson, I had to learn that his life was his to mess up if he wanted to.  There is nothing I can do about it.

That lead to the adoption of my three mantras:

1)  What you focus on expands
2)  No news is good news
3)  Not my circus, not my monkeys

I use #1 to pull myself back from what I now call the abyss.  That downward spiraling circle of thoughts that leads me to the pit of despair.  At first I had to force ably pull my thoughts away from my DS and his wife and focus them on something that made me happy.  I planned camping trips.  I made plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas that not only did not include my DS but also gave me an excuse to not host him and his wife.  My DH and I went on canoe trips or other outings on those days. 

I use #2 whenever anyone asks about my DS/DIL so that I not only tell them I don't know but that there is no reason to ask me.  It has proven valuable in that now my friends may offer information on what my DS/DIL are doing but they no longer ask me what is happening.  In times past just a question would put me on the brink of the abyss and telling them anything would throw me into the pit.

I use #3 when they tell me things about my DS/DIL that make me want to interject an opinion.  It saves me from going to the brink of the abyss.

In closing let me tell you again that you deserve to enjoy your life.  You raised your children and you did the best you could.  It is not your fault that your DS chose the life he is leading.  You are not the one who can 'save' him, he has to save himself.  And one more thing, by accepting the way you are being treated you are teaching your grands that it is okay to treat you this way.  This is not a good lesson to pass on.

Good luck, hugs and let us know what you decide and how it goes!
15
Hi G!  We are glad you found us!  Like Luise my problem doesn't exactly mesh with yours but your situation reminds me of a problem my sister had with her daughter.  Her problem was that her daughter wanted to sleep with her mother every night.  Naturally this put a tremendous strain on my sister's married life but my sister was too soft hearted to put her foot down.  She finally worked out a solution.  She figured that she was making her daughter too comfortable in her bed so she stopped making allowances for her.  She actually deliberately elbowed her or stuck her knee into her back to make sleeping uncomfortable for her.  A few nights later my wonderful niece decided that she would stay in her own bed.  So my question to you is, what are you doing to make your daughter's life more comfortable?  What can you eliminate from your list of job duties to promote more independence in your daughter?  Do you do her laundry?  Cook her meals?  Pay her cell phone bill? Provide her with a car or insurance?  If her counselor has released her you should too.  Do not look on this as punitive, it is life pure and simple.  The more she does on her own the better she will feel about herself.

You deserve to enjoy the life you and your DH have built for yourselves.  I too know of a set of parents who moved out from around their daughter and sold the house.  It was a terrible decision and a long time coming.  Maybe just making your DD's life less cozy will do the trick.  I hope for your sake that it works!  Hugs!!