Author Topic: Have learned some things, but questions remain.  (Read 3524 times)

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Offline CLGH

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Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« on: April 15, 2015, 04:00:42 AM »
Firstly, thank you so much for all the wisdom shared here.  This site and all I've learned from it has been a Godsend, and helped me further along path to my own peace and well-being after being blind-sided by my DD and SIL's behaviours in the past few years.  I'm reading "Abandoned Parents: The Devil's Dilemma" and cannot recommend it enough.  I know it will be my go-to book for insights and I'll be re-reading it many times.  There are few things I've learned in dealing with my DD, especially in the past year--learned both the hard way through painful lessons, and through my own insights and work on myself. 

This is what I know: I cannot look for rational "reasons" for irrational behaviour and faulty actions.  For peace of mind, I cannot expect anything from them.  I must work on detaching from any outcome. I must use this time to work on myself, nurture my own growth, and keep peace in my life as the priority.  I am not the problem.

But my questions then are:  How much do I still try to engage with my DD?? ( I live thousands of miles from her.)  In the past year, anything I've sent for birthdays, Christmas, holidays, just-because, has remained unacknowledged and certainly no thanks or appreciation has been given.  Just silence. Do I stop sending things--even birthday cards?  I'm also not allowed to visit any longer and the only connection to my two GD (2 and 5yrs)  in the past year has been through FaceTime, but even that has diminished to nearly nothing--but do I keep trying?   I've stopped asking to visit--even for an afternoon, when I was told they were "too busy"--and will wait until I'm invited to their home, but how much contact should I keep up on my end?  In other words--do I just let go completely?  Is it OK to remind her once in awhile that I love her and that I'm still here?  Mother's Day is coming up and I've always sent her a card and a gift--but do I just let that go?  Do I just completely stop reaching out to her?

Thank you again for the time and effort you all spend sharing your wisdom here.  This is a kind of pain I've never experienced before, but if we all grow from what we're experiencing, then it won't have been for nothing.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 06:07:06 AM »
I was having the same dilemma. My ad did not acknowledge cards or gifts. I even made a baby blanket for her unborn child which she ignored. I finally decided not to send anything, not even cards. She says she finally has complete peace of mind without us. I think that is rather a sociopathic attitude but that's her problem. We cut her out of the will (well left her a small tidbit as recommended by our attorney) and that has allowed me a step toward some type of finality. I guess that sounds a little selfish to some but I don't care. She put a knife in my heart and she twists it whenever she can.

Offline Stilllearning

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 06:27:57 AM »
C, I know the feeling when you finally find this site and realize you are not alone!!  I read for hours and each bit of advice I found soothed my overly raw nerves.  Relations with my now DIL have improved but I guess they will never be as good as I had hoped they would be. The relationship with my DS has changed forever and I guess that is just what happens when they grow up and decide they do not want or need your input in their lives.  At least I do not have to feel responsible for any errors they make (of course they won't tell me if they make any mistakes! LOL). 

In my opinion Mother's day is a day when you give your mother a gift.  I do not give the mother of my GC a gift, they should get their gifts and cards from their children and spouse.  I send something to my MIL and if my mother were alive I would send something to her.  That said I would definitely not send her anything for Mother's Day not out of meanness but because she did not birth me or my DH.  As for other contact I think of it like this:

Our children and their families are in a room with many doors.  When someone knocks on a door they go over and open it up.  If the person who is knocking is a welcome intrusion on their time they let them in for a visit.  I knocked on my DS's door all the time!  It finally got to the point where when I knocked they rolled their eyes and ignored me.  It was my fault for knocking so much but at that time they were not married and I had no idea how much my role had changed.  When I finally figured it out I quit knocking.  It took a while but eventually they noticed that the door I was behind was silent.  The key is to make it silent but not gone so you have to call them sometimes but not very often.

The next step is what you talk about when they do open the door.  It is better if you have wonderful things to tell them that have been happening in your life when they call.  This means that during the time while you are not calling them you should go out and do fun things!!  That way when you talk the bulk of the conversation is not questions from you and answers from them.  Take trips and tell them about them.  Make your life interesting and not just about what is happening in their life.  Fortunately for me they got pregnant a few months after that and suddenly my DS wanted me in his life.  Now he calls me to babysit every once in a while.

As for the non acknowledgement for gifts I struggle with that also.  I told them once that when they did not let me know anything it made me feel like they did not want a gift at all or at least they did not care one way or the other.  I thought about just giving checks so that if they did not get them the money would not be lost.  It seems so impersonal....  so I just send it to them, wait a few days and then ask.  The asking seems to embarrass them but I figure it is their fault, not mine.   

Good luck!!
 
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: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 10:54:47 AM »
Wonderful to hear that you are moving. Getting stuck was the hardest thing for me. I think it gets pretty individualistic regarding what we choose to change. For most of us it came down to why we were sending gifts and cards ( and sometimes emails and texts). I thought for a long time that I was reminding DIL that I loved her but eventually got that it was my way to try to remain visible. Some of us have continued with cards and gifts because it brings us joy, whether responded to or not. Others, knowing they would end up in the trash, have stopped. Eventually, my own rule of thumb was to do my best to ask myself what my motivation was, however painful it turned out to be at times...but not always. I think what we do is about us. Sending more hugs!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline Pooh

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2015, 11:30:09 AM »
Welcome C.  Glad you found us.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline CLGH

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 11:46:16 AM »
Thank you so much for the very, very helpful replies. They've helped me zero in on the things I need to look at in myself.  Looking at my motives for trying to stay connected, communicating, or sending gifts and cards seems an especially healthy thing to do--so thank you for that insight.  I'm so grateful to have found a safe place like this and I pray everyday we can all find the grace to grow from our painful experiences. xxxooo

Offline Green Thumb

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 05:52:17 PM »
I looked at my motivation for why I kept sending cards, gifts, that were barely acknowledged and that I never received anything on Mother's Day or birthday. I thought about how I felt and decided I would rather do just a card for their birthdays because just doing a card keeps me detached. Sending a gift keeps me hopeful and it is hard since I really don't know these kids any more. My SIL gets nothing and has for several years as he has never acknowledged a thank you and he prefers his parents very obviously. So last year, my AC just got cards. Surprise surprise they all remembered my birthday. Part of my story is a mean AD but also an ex that still tries to alienate them from me and now his new wife who wants them to be her kids, as her kids are MIA.

Offline Pen

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 02:10:52 PM »
It has been very liberating for me to quit trying to please the unpleasable (not a word, I know.) Enough got to be enough and one day I let it all go (thanks, WWU!) After many years I finally realized that no amount of money, gifts, phone calls, cards, favors, etc. would make "them" like me & reciprocate. Now I wish I had the hours and dollars back, lol.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2015, 02:30:54 PM »
Pen - I agree. Wish I had all the time and money back too. I spent hours and hours shopping for great things for dd and her kids. I loved it - don't get me wrong. But it was not appreciated. In fact, I think it made dd jealous that I spent so much on her kids. I think she wanted ALL the attention and the gifts. Ironic the things I did get her she never appreciated. Doesn't make sense to me. She doesn't make sense. I never saw anyone with such deep hate and anger. Anyway, I'm done with the cards and gifts for her and her family.

It's been a difficult day. She is  constantly on my mind. Can these people live happy lives when they have been so hateful to loving parents? I just don't get it. Aren't they miserable if they know they are inflicting such horrible degrees of happiness on their parents? Don't they feel lonely?  My DD seems to be enjoying it.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 04:48:00 PM »
oops. i meant unhappiness  ::)

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2015, 05:59:45 PM »
Fixed it.  ;)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2015, 06:03:23 PM »
I want to officially welcome you, C. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First, to read the five posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit for you. We're a monitored Website. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Offline CLGH

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2015, 01:25:24 AM »
Thank you! :)

Offline CLGH

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2015, 01:37:05 AM »
Pen - I agree. Wish I had all the time and money back too. I spent hours and hours shopping for great things for dd and her kids. I loved it - don't get me wrong. But it was not appreciated. In fact, I think it made dd jealous that I spent so much on her kids. I think she wanted ALL the attention and the gifts. Ironic the things I did get her she never appreciated. Doesn't make sense to me. She doesn't make sense. I never saw anyone with such deep hate and anger. Anyway, I'm done with the cards and gifts for her and her family.

It's been a difficult day. She is  constantly on my mind. Can these people live happy lives when they have been so hateful to loving parents? I just don't get it. Aren't they miserable if they know they are inflicting such horrible degrees of happiness on their parents? Don't they feel lonely?  My DD seems to be enjoying it.

Pen and dogmusic it is so true--it was like the more I did, the worse her behaviour toward me became.  And I do feel like they find some degree of twisted "happiness" in making us miserable (especially the SIL), feeling like they can control the situation and us.  For me, and for the rest of the family, moving on with happy lives took the power away from them and gave it back to us.  They're now still spiralling into more chaos while the rest of the family flourishes and our bond has grown.  The remaining pain is that my two GDs are living in that chaos and not part of a loving, extended family.

Offline dogmusic

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Re: Have learned some things, but questions remain.
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2015, 03:44:43 AM »
 "They're now still spiralling into more chaos while the rest of the family flourishes and our bond has grown.  The remaining pain is that my two GDs are living in that chaos and not part of a loving, extended family."

CLGH - My DH were talking and predicting that this is probably what will happen to us in the future. We will eventually get stronger and the void left by our DD will be filled with better relationships.  I do feel so badly for her children though. I don't know what they are experiencing.