Author Topic: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?  (Read 2471 times)

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Offline freespirit

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Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« on: June 16, 2014, 12:23:09 AM »
I need to vent.
Lately our relationship to our two sons has gotten better. However, when I ask myself whythe answer is simple. It's because we tolerate, accept, and swallow a lot of rudeness that our sons, without giving a second thought, dish out. They happen to think it is funny, cracking jokes at our cost, laughing raucously, and discarding any sign of respect, interest in our lives, kindness, gentleness or love.

My husband and I have worked very hard all our lives, often two shifts. We are now blessed in that we have a comfortable retirement. We travel a lot, and allow ourselves many things, that our sons can't yet allow in their own lives. We made it financially possible for our boys to buy their own homes. Now we feel it's our turn to do good for us. But it truly seems that our way of life has caused resentment and jealousies. We have no other explanation as to why they treat us the way they do. For reasons, beyond me, my sons insult me much more than they insult their father. The strange thing is, though, I believe they love me in some weird bizarre way. I know some of you might say I allow their behavior.  But I don't. I get angry, tell them to stop, but it's like I'm air to them when I speak.

Today, for example, we played golf with my son and his pregnant girlfriend. During the golf game he repeatedly insulted me. He kept saying what a lousy player I am, that I have Alzheimers,… I should just forget it, - it's hopeless.  And all this in an angry demeaning manner. Of course I'm not nearly as good a player as my son. However that's beside the point.… His insults and lies were hurtful, and I felt a deep shame - especially being put down like that in front of his girl.

After the game, we went to our house, where our other son joined us with his family for a barbeque. Our six year old grandson suffers under various kinds of ticks. I simply and innocently asked if they have ever consulted a doctor. Well my older son turned on me. He told me to keep out of it, it's none of my business, they have everything under control. He was like a hissing snake. If he could, he would have lashed out at me. I saw it in his eyes.  … All I could see was an arrogant hateful person, putting me down in front of the family. Once again my stomach knotted, my heart ached, not from son 1, this time, but from son 2.

I have a close relationship with all my grandchildren. But at this point, if someone would ask me, what is more important,.. being with my grandchildren, or discarding the verbal abuse, and not allowing  it in my life anymore. I would forfeit the time with my grandchildren,  -  to finally have peace in my life. Our grandchildren will grow older with or without us. They will go their own ways… Who knows how my loving grandchildren will turn out to be. ….  My sons were once like my grandchildren.  My sons had the priveldge of experiencing a secure and loving  upbringing. I would never have, in my wildest dreams, expected such an outcome.

Meanwhile we grow older too. And the good quality time left on this earth is limited. I don't believe God gave us life so that we hurt over and over again. I believe we need to take command of our lives and steer it in the direction of love and respect.  And if that means we need to steer away from family that hurt us…so be it.

I pray I have the strength to do it. I suppose it's like deciding to get a divorce…but this time from my children. Has anyone here ever turned their back on their family on your own accord? How was it? Did you ever regret taking such a step? Do you spend your time yearning for them, or do you breathe through and think, - free at last? …I love the sound of those words…free at last.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline jdtm

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 05:28:55 AM »
Quote
Has anyone here ever turned their back on their family on your own accord?


No, I haven't but I do find any time with our sons and their families to be very stressful.  It is not fun even though I so desperately want spend time with them.  I think it is because I am a "people pleaser" and at this stage in my life, I am not able to do what they "think" I can.  I find large numbers of people very tiring, entertaining extremely stressful and babysitting almost impossible.  I wonder if this is where the resentment is - our sons and families see me as 40 - able to do and be all; instead, I am close to 70 with exhaustion, health issues and emotional troubles (human, in other words).  I keep trying - and when I try to explain, I only waste more energy and get pooh-poohed.  So, I suffer in silence.  Like you, I don't know what else to do.  And I long for "peace at last".

Offline freespirit

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 06:01:17 AM »
Yes, you said it in a nutshell jdtm. Being with the family is stressfull. I'm constantly walking on eggshells,..and it's interesting how you said our adult children still see us at the age of 40.
The family has the greatest time, while I'm crawling on the floor building lego houses and playmobile cowboy ranches. The grandchildren are all over me, and won't let me go. Of course I love that the children want me as their playmate, but it is exhausting, and not one member of our family ever comes to help me out. I'm 65, have back problems, and sometimes would like to just watch the family from a far. Then I drag myself off the floor, pull some grandchild off my leg, and get a coffee cup thrust in my face, "fill it up". When I say get it yourself, I'm exhausted, my son has the audacity to say. "I'm the guest here".

And just not to make a scene in front of the grandchildren I take it silently in.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I know alot of grandmothers here  would want more contact to their grandchildren, but families come in packages. It's not just about the grandchildren.

Maybe those grandparents that move away to Florida or where ever are on to something…I find myself mulling over an 'escape' more frequently. In fact that was my first topic here at WW. I was in conflict then, but the way my sons treat me;..the thought of moving away gets more  and more appealing.  8)
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Pooh

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 06:26:22 AM »
Yes I did FS.  I finally decided the stress that the relationship, or what I call the non-relationship, was taking it's toll on me.  I was tired of always being the one to try and "fix" everything...tired of being the person that always was trying to compromise and playing not just second fiddle, but 42nd fiddle because we were not on their priority list.  I was tired of begging, pleading, sucking it up when they constantly didn't show up to things or have anything to do with anyone, and even when they did, we were walking on egg-shells trying not to make them upset so they would come again.

Technically, I was the one that finally said "enough" and ended the relationship.  Reality was there was no relationship to end. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 06:39:35 AM »
With most things... we take and take.. and let things go unchallenged until we erupt.  THEN people look at us as being unreasonable.  Right?    From your  post, it appears you are at that point.  The discomfort and hurt are becoming far greather than the pleasures and you will make your point known.   Don't be surprised it they are shocked and wonder what the heck has suddenly put a bee in your bonnet.  Their verbal abuse of you has become the norm and I would venture to say they don't see anything wrong or unusual about it.  So getting angry now is going to strike them as crazy.  They are going to try to turn it around and make you the bad guy. 

If it truely has reached the point of you wanting change, they you have to make that happen.  I would make my feelings known.. and let them know in no uncertain terms if they want to have you in their lives, their treatment of you must change.  BUT you must be firm.  The next time you are treated badly, call them on it.   THEN get up and leave wherever you are.  If they are in your home.. ask them to leave.  Let them know you will no longer be in their company, nor do you want them in your home  if it continues.  You can't make a stand and then go back on your threat.   Idol threats become a laughing stock.   Refuse to see them or the GKs for a while.   You must be prepared though to make the break if they do not change their treatment of you.   No one wants to be a whipping post.


Offline freespirit

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 07:43:54 AM »
Pooh, even if there wasn't a relationship between you and your family,..I think it probably feels better to be the one ending whatever it was. How did your family react, - if at all?

Lilly, I have done what you suggested. And it worked for a while…the longest was three months. They will never change.
I don't want to make a scene in front of the children. The parents are so hyper-hysterical anyway. I believe their mania is why one of my grandsons is developing one tick after the other.

And I think,  because I play quietly  and calmly with the grandchildren that they are so attached to me. I hate the thought of leaving them to their fate,…It truly breaks my heart to the core….but I  don't have any influence on their parents anyway. They told me that quite clearly again,..to butt out of their lives. Asking if they brought my grandchild to a doctor was way over stepping their line.
 
Ugh. Honestly I have had it.

I'm really venting here…I love this site. I would explode if I didn't have an outlet. Thank you for replying so fast. I find true comfort in your words. Sending you all a hug from a very sad grandma.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 10:05:48 AM »
FS - I was just reading the quotation at the end of your post. We decide about abuse, in our own way, and when we do. We get to identify it here and be heard. Sending hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pooh

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 11:16:00 AM »
They reacted by not speaking to me in the last two years FS.  And I have a granddaughter I have never met.  It was my OS I told that I was done chasing, begging and trying to figure out what the problem was because all I got from him was, "Nothing...you haven't done anything."  Told him I loved him, he knew where we lived and what my number was but I was done trying to figure it out.

So yes, I gave up my Son and now a granddaughter.  But my life has been happier and less stressful not having to deal with all the drama and feeling bad constantly.  I have a great relationship with the rest of my family.  It was Son/DIL that haven't spoken to anyone on my side since then.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline freespirit

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2014, 01:02:23 AM »
Pooh, thanks for answering my question.  I think my sons would withdraw too. And although I did say I think my sons love me in their own bizarre way,..they love themselves way far more. Their pride would stand in the way.

I'm so glad that your life is happier since you have taken that step. I believe, after a mourning period, especially for my grandchildren, my life would be happier too. It's taking that first step, which is at the same time the final step …that has to be thought through, with all its consequences.

Basically it all comes down to love. If you love someone, you just don't hurt the one you love.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Pooh

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2014, 06:26:09 AM »
It wasn't easy, hardest thing I have ever had to do, but it was to the point that it was affecting my health, my happiness and my life.  And yes, I did weigh out the consequences of what could happen before I did it.  I knew that more than likely, he would withdraw.  But my thought process also included that if you care about a relationship and want it, you would try to fix it and work on it.  To me, his immediate withdrawal was the confirmation that I needed that our relationship wasn't important to him.  If it was, he would have sent back, "No Mom, let's work this out."  I got no response so I actually knew I did the right thing in the end for myself.

Not only do you not try to hurt the people you love, you have to love yourself enough to let it go.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Pooh

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 06:30:46 AM »
And please don't think I'm trying to get you to do what I did.  I can tell from your post, you are at the end of your rope with them.  I just wanted you to know that someone had done this and things have turned out fine.  I hit that point with mine and I think it takes everyone coming to that place, in their own time.  I just know I struggled with the "Oh, he will never speak to me again...oh he will do this..."  Well, he wasn't really speaking to me anyway and our time together was not enjoyable because of the tension.  So, I truly put the ball in his court and let him play his own game with it.   There is now no more tension at family get-togethers because no one walks around trying not to tick off DIL or dealing with her poutiness, and my life has moved on without all the drama.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 09:22:02 AM »
FS I can certainly understand why you are ready to cut the ties but do you have to make it official?  Why not just back out without telling them why or if you do tell them something tell them that it hurts you too much to be around them right now.  Try to avoid a position that comes from anger or conditions that may seem like ultimatums to your DSs.  Then just stop calling, writing, inviting and thinking about them.  Turn your focus to things that you enjoy.  It sounds easy but believe me it isn't.  Every time your minds wanders back to the things that make you unhappy you have to force it back to things that you enjoy. 

It is like mourning for a lost one but what you have lost is the future you thought you would have and you deserve.  Even though you deserve that happy life if you get too hung up in the unfairness of it you will be letting it suck all the happiness out of the rest of your life.  Spend your time counting the wonderful things you have instead of the two things you do not have. It will get easier....or at least it got easier for me.  My DH commented last night that if I had continued down the path I was on a couple of years ago we would be divorced.  I have this website to thank for my change of focus.  This site and all of the wonderful women on it!  My YS (17 years old) said that we are the happiest married couple he knows.  Imagine that....
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline freespirit

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2014, 10:47:41 AM »
Pooh, Yes, I've been learning  this past year about loving myself. It's a new strange road, but - I really like it. The people around me don't like me so much,though, because this little worn door mat over here, just won't tolerate anything anymore.

It's about time…at 65. Jeez. And yes, Pooh, like you, it's affecting my health too. Our bodies are telling us something. In my case, it's my heart. And even my husband said, we have to stay away from them, or they will be  responsible for something awful.

Still learning, you have written the exact same thoughts I had today. Why make an official ending?  I'll just do the withdrawing, and slowly the visits will come to a halt, like sand in an hour glass. Maybe one of the children will get wise, sense what's happening, and turn the hour glass around. But I'm sure not holding my breath for that to happen. And yes, it's a definite burden on our marriage too. I often think my husband should intervene,-  put his fist down on the table and tell our sons to grow up and stop acting like vindictive teenagers. But my husband never was like that, and never will be like that. And to this day I think that's terrible, because if the same thing was happening to him, my first instinct would be to help him, support him, and show our children we are a strong front. ….but that is another topic… Yes, if we didn't have this stress, our marriage would be better.

Thank you again for  being so supportive. It's wonderful to know that we can run to this place and find comfort and understanding.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2014, 05:51:35 PM »
FS....why make it slow?  Are you hoping that they will not notice?  Why would you do that?  I would think that if they noticed maybe a light bulb would go off.......
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline freespirit

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Re: Have you been there? Done that? And are now free at last?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2014, 12:18:17 AM »
Did I say slow? Oh yes I did!  That was habit of expression.

You are right, Stilllearning… . Infact I have a very good opportunity next week. We are supposed to spend a vacation day with my older son at a farm with his family. Guess who is not going. ..  and while writing that, a feeling of relief fills my heart. So it is the right decision. Of course they will ask why,…I'm not sure what I should say…the truth? Or let them guess by my cancellations.
My poor grandchildren…they won't understand why. And I can imagine my DIL having them call me and having them beg me to come. It won't be easy. Am I showing weakness?  Good Lord, I am!
 
I have to be strong. I will pull this through. I have forgiven and ignored his behavior too often. I don't want to continue this way. Thank you for your reminder, Stilllearning.
The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
            -- Michel de Montaigne