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Missing My Family

Started by Gram321, November 05, 2014, 08:45:03 pm

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I am a newbie looking for a little support. Not sure where to turn. Only know I'm heartbroken and my DS is so self absorbed he has no clue. My son married 6 years ago and I thought I had a pretty good relationship with my DIL so was happy to welcome her and her family into ours. Well, like many of you have shared here, that Changed after my grandson was born. He is now almost 3 yrs old and I have not been given the opportunity to develop a relationship with him and do not understand the reason why.  They told me I had an open door to see him but just make sure they are around first. So I would reach out to see if I could stop by (always a few days in advance) and sometimes my request would be ignored or they would give me every excuse in the book that it wasn't a good time. Finally after about a year, I confronted him so we could get things out in the open and try to work something out. My DS told me the issue was with his wife so I needed to discuss with her. Sounded OK to me so we did talk and thought we had some solutions on how to move forward but it was just lip service. Nothing really changed even though I tried to play by their rules. They wanted me to give them about a months notice (I know a little ridiculous and I only lived 15 mins away) but I still got the excuses. I could go months in between visits and then when we were there, they made my dH and I feel so uncomfortable. My DS would hardly to talk to us and my DIL would be texting the whole time and give me 1 word answers when I would try to start a conversation. Whenever I would try to see them, my DS would tell me they just had too much going on but would not offer any further explanation. I tried not to pry but let him know I was always there for him if he wanted to talk. But of course, they always had time for her family and their friends. My family was just pushed aside. My DD has similar issues and does not get to see my GS either.  I invite them to family get togethers but they don't come but if they have something, It's expected I go (which of course I do so I can see them and my GS) but they are not quality visits. I told my DS that I would love to take my GS out for lunch or to the park but I can't because he doesn't really know me. My DS tells me he would never keep him away from me but that's what he is doing. It's been almost 5 months since I have seen my GS right now. I'm so frustrated that my DS does not realize his actions send a different message. I am so sad about this situation that it's hard for me to enjoy my life anymore. I just feel so empty.


Welcome Gram.  We ask all new members to read the posts under "Open Me First" to make sure you know how the forum works.  Nothing wrong with your post, we ask all new members to do this.

I'm so sorry.  It's so frustrating and hurtful when something so simple turns into something so complicated and we don't know why.  I know it's not fair and it is painful.  I did learn through my long months of being hurt, mad, etc. that I had to refocus my attention back on my own life and what made me happy.  The only way to fill that emptiness is to start stuffing it with things that make us happy, that are within our control.  I went back to painting class, I joined a charitable group, I started back into photography and I focused my love and attention on those that appreciated it.

It's baby steps but you deserve it.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


G - I, too, got stuck in 'why'. I didn't want to see 'what is'. My son and his wife started a new family unit and for whatever reason (or lack thereof), I was not included. It took a long time for me to get that wasn't about me and I couldn't fix it. As Pooh described, I finally found more to myself than my parenting role but it was a difficult transition. I stopped trying to change anything when I saw clearly that what my son did and didn't do, said it all. At that juncture I stopped listening to what he said. I, too, have blossomed and have a full and rewarding life. There is no abuse in it because I said so. Hugs to you...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Gram, I found out that the more often I wrenched my thoughts away from worrying about my DS/DIL/GC the easier it became, so like Pooh says, take baby steps.  When you find your mind circling the drain and sinking into the quagmire throw yourself a lifeline.  Think of something you really enjoy for a few minutes.  Take a walk.  Cook a cake.  Play your favorite music.  Just breathe deeply and remind yourself how lucky you are to be alive.  After a while you will find it easier to separate your wonderful life from your DS's life.  He is an adult and he gets to choose how his life plays out.  You are an adult and you get to choose how much you let his choices affect your life.  It is not over yet.  Things may change......or not.  Make your time happy regardless.
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Welcome Gram321..  So many of us have been in your position.  It's totally unfair.. it's totally senseless.. but it's totally their call.  So it boils down to changing OUR attitudes and most importantly OUR expectations.  We have to accept that our adult children are in no way obligated to meet our expectations and once we do that, we can begin heal.  I have accepted the fact that I will never be an important force in my grandkids lives.  I will never be the "real" grandma.. as they have referred to my DILs mother as.  BUT I keep my door open and if my son wants to come by with his children.. they are welcome.  That goes for the Holidays.  I have decided to cook my BIG Thanksgiving feast!  WHY?  Because my husband and I and my oldest son deserve to have it.  WE deserve to enjoy our special meal and the day.   I have let my younger son know that I am fixing dinner and that he is welcome.  I have not heard back.  So I'm not asking again.   It's his call..   He can show up with the kids or not.  That is not going to affect how or what I cook. 

The point I am making is that we have to live our lives in a way that makes us happy and gives us peace.  We have to surround ourselves with people that want to be in our company.. not those that feel obligated to be.   It's no fun trying to have a nice day with someone that is sleeping on the sofa, or giving one word answers to attempted conversation...or picking fights.   Believe me.. I've experienced that too.  WHY would you even want your day ruined like that?  For the kids?  I suppose, but is that even worth the hurt?   I had to finally accept the fact that NO it wasn't.. and go on.  It took time, but is is possible. 


This is so sad, Gram, and my heart goes out to you.

What others have said is true -- it's not fair, it's senseless, and, in a nutshell, cruel.
But they are adults and get to make their own choices -- wise or unwise.

My AC have made, and continue to make, choices that deeply hurt others in the family.
And they seem to turn a blind eye towards how others are affected.

We raised our kids better than that. Taught them kindness, unconditional love, family values, consideration for others, etc.
Apparently that training did not take root.

We're still learning -- because it's a process -- to not let their choices dictate whether we have a good day or not.
Personally, I've had enough misery, sadness and all the rest, based on how they treat us.

Luise is right -- we deserve better.

Some of us have been thru these hurtful periods longer than you, and it is a grieving process.
Give yourself time, like any other significant loss, it will heal and be better.
For me, it won't ever go away, but I can move on towards happier days.

This too shall pass ...


Gram, welcome. I think I can relate to your pain, sadness,confusion and feeling of loss. It can be almost unbearable @ times, and so unfair.

I'm glad you're here. This site has been a life raft for me & I hope you too find comfort & support. (((hugs)))

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb