Author Topic: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.  (Read 1433 times)

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Offline shiny

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Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« on: August 22, 2014, 11:00:22 AM »
The past few weeks have been hard on my emotional health.

For past few years, my (married) AS has developed a short fuse and lashes out at me if I say something that he doesn't like.

About a half-dozen times, I've attempted to discuss some issues in our 'changing' relationship as two mature adults. All he will say is that what I feel is not true, and hangs up on me. Can't get anywhere.

I'm tired of pity parties. Tired of giving him and DIL my time, treasure and emotional energy with nothing in return.
(Example:  My birthday. They call late in the afternoon to say happy birthday. DIL's mother? It's a four day weekend with them at their lake house.
Here's another: Mother's Day? AS calls me that afternoon to see if I would like to meet him somewhere for dinner, while they were visiting at her FOO's home)

Please be honest. Is it immature of me to take these things so seriously?

I can't stand jealously and realize that it will eat you alive, but it hurts when things are not balanced.
It would grieve me if the situation was reversed, and I got more attention than her family.
People need to be considerate. My AS was raised that way but apparently he hasn't embraced it.

So, that's where I am today -- whether it's wrong or not.

Would like to cross to the other side, like some of you wise women have, and be free from all the negative feelings that tend to follow me lately. (regarding him and DIL and her wonderful FOO)

We still communicate briefly each week by phone and also email. But it's usually light conversation, like how are you, etc. He gives NO details about themselves to me or DH. Very private.

I know, I know ... I need to get a life and not "focus" on him.
(I've been on the forum for several years and have learned lots from all of you.)

Maybe, just maybe, I've reached a turning point.

Any tips on how to move forward?
I'm so thankful for all of you ...




Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 01:05:19 PM »
Shiny, my turning point was when I realized that I was happier when I did not see them as often.  I got tired of walking on eggshells whenever I was around them.  Suddenly the thought of them visiting her FOO for hours on end was a relief!  I have even ducked out on some visits because I knew that I was emotionally not up to it.  I still love my DS and I will do anything for him that I can, but I honestly do not crave his attention because of the emotional price tag attached to it.  It would be nice if he called sometimes for no reason but that has not happened yet and may not ever happen. 

Anyway, once I gave up on my expectations and settled for the reality I found it very easy to stop focusing on my DS and trying to fix things.  He is an adult and he has earned the right to manage his relationships his way.  Yes, I did think that I would remain in his group of cherished relationships, but obviously that did not happen.  I will not waste the rest of my life trying to make him appreciate me.  I deserve to be appreciated and if he won't do it, I will!!

So now I spend my time focusing on my DH and my YS and the things that make us happy.  I have changed from being that crazy woman into being fun to be around.  My family members tell me about how crazy my DIL is and I just say  "really?".  Life is much better! 

Sorry that we all have to go through this, but I sure am happy I found out from the site that I am not alone!!

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline shiny

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 04:05:15 PM »
StillLearning,
Your wise words helped me tremendously -- especially these:

"once I gave up on my expectations and settled for the reality I found it very easy to stop focusing on my DS and trying to fix things.  He is an adult and he has earned the right to manage his relationships his way.  Yes, I did think that I would remain in his group of cherished relationships, but obviously that did not happen.  I will not waste the rest of my life trying to make him appreciate me.  I deserve to be appreciated and if he won't do it, I will!!"

I saw each sentence as a point to consider and apply.

Here's where I get hung up:  'thinking I would remain in his group of cherished relationships' (because it is a shock and I keep denying that this isn't really happening ...)

Want to move on to: not wasting the rest of my life, but actually making it count for someone who appreciates me. The sooner, the better.

Thanks for your insight.


Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 04:42:40 PM »
Shiny, we all get hung up there.  I hope you are strong enough to get past that!   Life can be good again!

Sooooo many hugs!!!

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
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Offline luise.volta

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 07:12:34 PM »
S - We all have totally reasonable expectations regarding balanced visitation and attention, respect and consideration, it's in our DNA. What's so hard is that they are our expectations and no one is obligated to fulfill them. Until we get to where have it be how it is and focus elsewhere...and it took me years, literally...it's terribly painful. My only advice is to be kind and gentle with our Shiny. They are being very hard on you, don't be hard on youself. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline shiny

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 04:15:14 AM »
SL and Luise, many hugs back to you! You women are precious, and sooo encouraging ...

Offline Lillycache

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2014, 05:41:19 AM »
I don't have much to add to the wise words you have already been given.  Only that it has helped to know that I was not alone.. and that so many mothers of sons are in the same position.  It helped me to realize that it's not a deficiency in ME..  it's not that I am unlovable, or unworthy of respect and love... its the dynamics set up by my  DIL concerning her family and the irradication of her husbands family.  It seems a common thread weaved among all of us.    I did nothing wrong, other than to have given birth to a son apparently.   So like the others, I have accepted those dynamics and moved on with my life.    I have no compulsion or need to see my son OR my grandkids more than I do.   I don't how often my son calls, or that I have no knowledge of his or his childrens' day to day lives.   I see them when I see them.  Like all here,  I had imagined it would be different, and that I would be a close family member... but I'm not.. ant that's just how it is.   I've got the rest of my life to live.. and it's gonna be good!!!   


Offline shiny

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2014, 09:09:54 AM »
Lilly, was hoping you would chime in ... And I'm so sorry for all your pain/disappointment, too.
I know it hasn't been easy to get where you are, as that's what I'm trying to do.
I do hope the rest of your days will be overflowing with blessings!
Hugs to you.

Offline Lucy P

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2014, 04:45:29 PM »
Quote
Would like to cross to the other side, like some of you wise women have, and be free from all the negative feelings that tend to follow me lately. (regarding him and DIL and her wonderful FOO)

Hi Silly Me ---- The "other side" is not necessarily all bluebirds and roses, in my experience, but it IS better than forever expecting or hoping for something from the AC that you know in your heart will never materialize.  I don't know if it's related to estrangement or not, but I've noticed something interesting during the past six months while the lines of communication between me and my AD have been cut:  old memories that have been buried for years, have resurfaced.  They're mostly memories of painful events during my first marriage, which was with my ACs father.  Re-examining these memories/events now, 30 years after the fact - I can look at them without much of the pain - but oh boy, the anger that I STILL feel now for how I was treated way back then - the mean things he did to me or said to me WHILE THE KIDS WATCHED.  Amazing how, since I have stepped back from all the nonsense,  I can see it all coming together now.  And I can see now how my ex's behavior/abuse left an impression on my oldest AD - her seeing how I was not a very strong person, and afraid to speak my mind, or ask for what I wanted.  That part of me changed many years later after finally realizing that I didn't have to live like that anymore (and interesting how my relationship with AD seemed to deteriorate when I changed).  So, I let it (the memory) flow for a little while, and then I chuckle to myself and look around me, and see HOW MUCH BETTER OFF I AM NOW without all of that.  How much better off I am, happier, healthier - choosing not to jump through her hoops or endure her mind games, or having to "de-tox" for nearly 2 weeks after spending a few hours with my her.  I am not willing to give up my peace for HER expectations anymore, or to spend weeks being angry over something she said or did, or didn't do - IOW, MY expectations being stomped on.  We don't have the same values.  Its that simple.
So --- just sharing a bit of info about my version of the "other side".  It's a process of reminding yourself of your worth, and loving yourself and having the courage to say NO when you really WANT TO SAY NO.  We all have our own stories to tell - similar, yet different.  (((HUGS)))  :-\

Offline Pooh

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 11:41:37 AM »
I know, I know ... I need to get a life and not "focus" on him.

This is how you move forward. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline shiny

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Re: Silly me: one step forward, two steps back.
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 11:51:04 AM »
Lucy,

You're right about many of our stories are similar, yet different!

We have to learn how to navigate through the pain, b/c when it involves immediate family, it tears your heart out ...

I can identify about the 'detox' issue.

My semi-estranged (for lack of a better word) DD leaves me in a funk after being with her for even a few hours!
Have to remind myself of this when I start feeling sad because I don't see her often.
(Have several AC with relational issues)