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Messages - Bamboo2

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Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Heading toward estrangement?
« on: October 31, 2015, 08:26:59 PM »
You've got that right, Pen.  And I have a page filled with "Penisms"...most notably something you wrote a few years ago about detachment and what that might look like in practice with a loved one.  (Those examples are so useful). I'm going to practice that dance of detachment over the holidays if needed.  I'm going to be okay, with support from my WWU friends as needed.

Thanks for being here  ;D

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: I am new. Glad I found you
« on: October 30, 2015, 12:56:30 PM »
Hi QuietSong,
Don't we all feel crazy sometimes over our AC!?!  Take comfort in knowing we have all been there, and still go back there from time to time.  You are not alone.  Also you are not alone in being sensitive regarding loved ones' words and actions.  What I have gleaned from the women here is that they have chosen to turn their focus away from their ACs hurtful words and actions and toward the only thing they/we have control over...ourselves.  We still do have a choice in our own joy.  Sadly for you, the dreams you might have had about your relationship with your new granddaughter are not coming to pass.  Right now that is their choice and it is so painful.  The more you dwell on that, and the other people who get to have a relationship with her, the harder it is on you emotionally.  You deserve to have a joyful life, regardless of their decisions.  That is your choice.  If you stay quiet like you have been with ES and DIL, things could change.  Either way, you will be okay, as you will be working on caring for yourself and those who value you.  Find ways to nurture yourself and/or someone special who needs nurturing, mentoring, tutoring, or just a friendly presence.  Hugs to you  :)

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Heading toward estrangement?
« on: October 30, 2015, 12:27:08 PM »
Hello, all, just an update.  DD came over today to bring us a big cream pie. Yum! She also said that her BF says hi and happy Halloween to me.  (I found out later he was out in her car waiting for relieved she didn't bring him in the house).  As we ate some pie, I told her that I really don't want to hear any more about BF since he has continued to hurt someone I love and I can't give him a free pass when he has continually made her life so that choice of wording from Pooh.....thanks, Pooh.  And I said that she is an adult and makes her own choices, and so do DH and I. Got that from Luise....thanks, Luise!  She had tears in her eyes as I told her all that, but she didn't say anything in reply. She said she will be moving back to our area soon, and BFs mom is helping them find them an affordable place.  I said NOTHING...thanks to you all for that great advice!  I'm not going to ask any questions either.  The less I know, the better.  The less I say, the better.  Ignorance really IS bliss  :D. You rock, ladies!  I have made some great strides in a relatively short time, and I give so much credit to you all.  I constantly sing the praises of WWU!

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: I am new. Glad I found you
« on: October 28, 2015, 02:57:23 PM »
Welcome, QuietSong, and I am glad you felt comfortable to post today.  I'm a newbie, too, and though my situation is different from yours, I do have a few questions and wonderings about your issue.  First of all, do you think the backlash regarding your brother has anything to do with worry that ES and DIL will eventually end up caring for him?  Could that be why they won't even let him into their house?  Did this happen after they had the baby or before?  Would a calm reassurance from you to ES that you are getting this issue of guardianship resolved help matters?  Regarding you visiting them to see your grandchild, would you consider going alone?  Would they invite you if you came alone?  I know how hard it must be to see your son now turning his back on family, and especially your dear brother, who probably wouldn't hurt a flea, and likely had to deal with a lot of intolerance in his life. (I used to be a special education teacher, and I know how hurtful some people can be). When my daughter turned her back on her family it felt like such a betrayal, a knife to the heart.  In your case it sounds as though DILs unaccepting and intolerant attitude is probably influencing your son now.  There is nothing you can do about that. Consider that she may be very forceful and he may feel pulled in two directions on this, but feels he must be loyal to his wife. I will be interested in hearing other WW weigh in.  I wish you well, QuietSong.  BTW, love your name.

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Some happy news today
« on: October 28, 2015, 02:14:34 PM »
I just wanted to share some happy news!  My daughter, who had given me the silent treatment after DH and I didn't give her what she wanted, posted something loving on FB "To Mom", and signed it "Your stubborn child". The funny thing is I don't use FB, but DH does.

Thanks WW....this belongs to all of us moms :)

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Heading toward estrangement?
« on: October 28, 2015, 01:59:11 PM »
Hi Green Thumb,
Thank you for your reply and book recommendation.  I will check it out.  In our situation, I think we created our own monster, so to speak, esp my husband, by giving her so much.  She is very pushy when she wants something.  We have had to anticipate every possible desire of hers so we wouldn't let her walk all over us, and it is exhausting.  She has softened up with the latest boundary I initiated, and I think we are done caving in to her.  I think she will fall in line.  She does have a heart of gold, and that is the truth, which I forget sometimes.  She made me lunches for an entire year when she lived at home.  She did a lot of cooking for us. She is really caring with the disabled people she takes care of, and advocates for them something fierce!  As for the drinking, she is taking care of the boyfriend and monitoring his access to alcohol.  She is a caregiver....has been doing it for years before joining our family at age 9.  She drinks, or at least has done it, which she told me.  But now since she is parenting the BF she probably is trying to provide a good example.  He is abusive when he drinks, and that has scared her.  But she is not ready to leave him at this time and I have stopped holding my breath and just let it go and live my own life, which is the only thing I have any control over.  I'm so thankful to the WWU website, which has given me a blueprint for living my life regardless of what happens with my adult child (soon to be two adult children!). Thanks again, Green Thumb, and I am sending warm thoughts your way.   :)

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Need some advice
« on: October 27, 2015, 06:33:56 PM »
Yes, you can close it.  I'm sure I'll be back.  ;)

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Need some advice
« on: October 27, 2015, 06:15:45 PM »
Pen, sounds like you can relate to my dilemma.  I think I will say as little as possible and let her do the talking.  If it gets to be too much, I can try to change the subject...."How about those ________?"  (insert name of lousy local sports team here). Ha ha....that is what we say in our family when the tensions get high as we are so conflict averse.  I don't know if there is a polite way of saying that we don't want to hear about significant other's FOOs, Pen, without it being taken wrong. (If you come up with one, let me know!)  Be busy, change the subject, don't seem interested or ask follow up questions, like you said, is perhaps the best we can do.  After a year of me crying over DD leaving home while still in HS and ostensibly choosing another mother over me, she is now considerate enough to be sensitive about what she mentions about his family to me.  Hope I one day get to the point where I just feel nothing about BFs mother and the whole family in general, but I'm not there yet. 

Luise, your words that our AC's "going for the gold" in whatever form (for my daughter it had to do with no rules at BF's mom's house, while we still had rules and expectations) has nothing to with us is so important for me to remember.  It feels so personal, and it is so hard to let go.  Ironically, I feel DD will be even stricter with her own children someday when she chooses to have them (please, no time soon  ???), and then who will have the last laugh?

Still Learning, your questions merit some consideration.  It's not a given that she will ask about baking cookies, but she loves Christmas and all the decorating and preparations.  Shortly after she abruptly moved out of our house at the start of her senior year of HS to live with her BF and his mom, she asked if we would still be baking cookies and decorating the house together for Christmas, which was still three months away.  I know she treasures those experiences of home.  It's possible she will have to work this year and not even have enough time in town to bake or decorate.  I also need to weigh my discomfort about sharing cookies with BFs family against the desire to continue a cherished tradition with my daughter.  As you can see, I am getting ahead of myself with concerns about the holidays, but I will try to focus on the present moment and keep positive thoughts.  I liked your advice to not even bring up the call she made or ask about any problems in their relationship.  Good call!

Thanks, everyone, for your kind and thoughtful posts.  As Shiny said, I think I have enough pearls for a beautiful necklace.  Precious!

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Need some advice
« on: October 24, 2015, 11:11:21 AM »
Shiny, thanks for your great ideas about steps I can take.  I seem to do well when there is little to no contact with DD.  And I probably should not obsess about the holidays, but they loom large and I just want to get some possible scenarios figured out because they might threaten to undo the good work I am doing now.

One of the traditions that DD and I have is to make holiday cookies for ourselves and our extended family, and we always make extra batches so she can share them with her BFs large extended family with tons of kids (She loooooooves children).  And she gets proprietal about the cookies so there are enough for his family, not thinking about OUR family.  OK, so in the past two years I have just agreed to this.  THIS year, however, I am not even sure I want to go down this cookie baking path, knowing this will again be the case.  It will just upset me and cause friction between us.  I could try to talk to her about it, but I am afraid it wouldn't go well and she would say, "Well, I thought it was something we always do together that is special, but if that's how you feel, whatever. My mistake." (Dripping with guilt trip).  So what to do about that?  Perhaps you will think this is a silly, trite thing, but it is symbolic of the main hurts I've had over the last two and a half years, which is her choosing his family over ours time and again.  I know that I should extend the invitations for her to join us for the holidays (which means a four or five hour road trip and overnight stay for each holiday for all of us, as both DHs and my family are out of state), and let go of any expectation as to whether she comes or not.  The hard part will be interacting with her and avoiding the subject of her BF and his family.  I will not bring up his name at all.  If she does, I am not sure how to handle it.  Lots of things to consider.  Any advice?

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Need some advice
« on: October 21, 2015, 09:56:12 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for weighing in and giving me that unequivocal advice to not contact her.  (I didn't) It was the way I wanted to handle it anyway, but it was a big change from my previous behavior so it didn't feel right.  I do feel somewhat guilty letting go, like you said, Shiny. But it is so freeing, I can't believe it!  And the truth is, I don't need to know the details, circumstances or outcome.  It doesn't serve me well.  It leads me to all sorts of frustrations and negative feelings about both of them and their relationship, and then I journal all the details and get no rest. It's a nasty downward spiral. I remember reading over and over in this forum the advice to take baby steps, and that's what I feel I'm doing here, thanks to you supportive women who have given me such sage advice.  BTW, I have a quote from Still Learning in my journal that really struck me, and I gave it its own page...

I still sometimes visit the abyss, but I no longer dwell there.  Love it!  :D

Wise women, I have been in therapy off and on since my daughter met this BF, and I spent a long time in the abyss. I'd have to say that the pearls that I have gathered on this website are equally valuable, if not more so, and just what I need at this time in my life.  What a serendipitous find!

Welcome, M! I think that it was really sweet that your son cared so much about you, even knowing it would upset his wife.  Like the others, I think this is for your son and DIL to work out.  He will learn the most if you stay out of it.  This is his path to travel with the woman he chose to be with, and he has some learning to do, or not.  It is his choice to deal with her in whatever way he chooses, and there is nothing you can do that won't make it worse or create stress for yourself.  Let it go.  It hurts so much to see our adult kids suffer, but they have made their choices and have to deal with the consequences.  Like Luise just told me in a recent post, turn away from worry about DS and turn toward yourself and DH and your peaceful life.  You and your husband did the hard work to learn how to communicate and compromise in your relationship, and now it is your son's turn.  You can comfort yourself in knowing that you have modeled a strong, healthy relationship. 

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Need some advice
« on: October 20, 2015, 06:07:30 AM »
Hello WW  :)  I wrote about my 20 year old daughter last month, who is in a controlling relationship with a BF.  Since I established a boundary of how I wanted to be treated, she hadn't been in contact.  However, last night she called, crying and saying she was sorry for not having kept in touch with me. I said it was okay, since it really was (I have been enjoying the equilibrium of loving detachment).  She told me she was driving him back home to his mom's house, a four hour round trip, and wanted to stop by our house to talk with me after she dropped him off (we live in the same metro area as BF's mom).  I said that I had to work till 9, so she decided against stopping by, as she had to work early this morning, and apparently preferred talking to me about her problems  and not her dad.  I suggested she could call me after I was off work, but hoped she wouldn't since I have a hard time sleeping after she sobs and shares her BF troubles with me. 

Well, she didn't call me last night, and I slept well.  So my question is, should I check in with her today by phone or text?  I am feeling that I don't want to get in the way of her learning.  Plus, I know her issues with him will be nothing I haven't heard already.  Should I just wait and see if she calls me?  I know chances are good she will get back together with him again.   It feels funny not to reach out, but again I want her to initiate this if she wants.  Plus I feel she gets closer to me after fighting with him, and then forgets about me when everything is fine with him, while continuing to spend her time with BF's large extended family.  Who needs that?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Heading toward estrangement?
« on: October 11, 2015, 07:57:36 PM »
Hi Starfire, and welcome! Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am feeling that distance is really helping me now.  I know DD was in town last weekend and I didn't even spend much time thinking about her.  Also, I am intentionally not looking at her bank account transactions, which my husband still has access to.  I am trying to not do/read/think anything about her that will get myself thinking in a downward spiral.  This is fairly new for me and I'm kind of proud of myself.  (Got the idea from WWU...thanks for that  ;D)  Also it gets my husband and me to refocus on ourselves; that's been so good for us!

As for the BF, I only saw him twice (in public places both times) since he threatened my husband, and not after the police incident...haven't seen her since then either, and that was a couple of months ago.  We may communicate with her about Thxgiving since we travel five hours and she'd have to plan for the time off from work to join us.  But she has not been in contact with us and I don't expect she will. 

Yes, the tough love route is the way to go.  Drawing the boundaries about our choices vs. her choices is good.  And explaining why we won't see him again.  I liked Pooh's phrasing of not giving him a "free pass" when he hurts someone I love. But I can't really say anything more to her about her ending her relationship with the BF...tried that time and time again from as many angles as I could find, believe me! Now she has to figure that out for herself and I will zip my lips and not get in her way. She knows what DH and I think already. When she decided to break up with him a couple of times this past summer, she wanted me to be there with her to comfort and support her, but then changed her mind about breaking up when he cried, pleaded and threatened suicide. (I've given her resources on how to handle someone who threatens suicide, signs of emotional abuse and resources, etc).  Good thing I haven't gone down there when she's asked me, just to have to turn right around and drive two hours back home because she changed her mind! I've learned it can take 7 or more times before she might really leave him for good, as in most abusive relationships.  I wish I would have known that the first time she broke up and moved out, about 18 months ago, instead of having my hopes dashed and my emotions run through the ringer.  Now I'm wiser and calmer, at least in that regard.  Ha ha...I should have used "Getting Wiser" as my user name...or has that been taken already?   :D  Maybe that name describes all of us  ;)

Thanks, again, wise and caring women, for all your support! 

Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Why Can't I Say A Word?
« on: October 09, 2015, 09:45:01 PM »
Luise, how does one make herself scarce while pretending everything is okay?  Didn't your son and DIL notice you backing away?  Also, referring to your son as a wonderful man after years of scapegoating and estrangement shows an amazing level of enlightenment and forgiveness.  Did stepping away help you to see the admirable traits in your son? 

One thing I the DSs, DDs, SILs and DILs who scapegoat their DMs or MILs also do the same with others?  Do they have a problem accepting blame or responsibility as a general rule?  I find that is true of my own DD.  If a friendship hits a snag, it's the other person's fault.  Same with a work confrontation, bad grade in school, financial woes, etc.  So many convenient places to put that blame.  Do scapegoaters attract other scapegoaters? 

Adult Sons and/or Adult Daughters / Re: Heading toward estrangement?
« on: October 02, 2015, 12:59:44 PM »
Thanks for your advice, Pooh and Monroe.  I agree with the idea of waiting till the holidays and extending an invite.  You are right, Monroe, it would be a long wait for an apology.  She would say she already gave me one, and I did hear the words "I'm sorry" couched within a lot of other excuse-like phrases that effectively nullified it.  It wasn't the type of apology that I have modeled to her on numerous occasions, and that she has given me in the past.  She knows.

I have learned here that holding too many expectations around the holidays will just bring me down, and now that she has had some holidays with BFs family, I have gotten past that.  The first year was the hardest, but it is easier each time now.  In fact, sorry to say, it is sometimes more relaxing without her there, knowing the BF drama or memories of past BF drama that sometimes accompany her.

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