I Finally Had Enough And It Has Been Like I Thought It Would Be

I have two grown children who are 38 and 36.. My daughter is still on the "You abused me when I was a kid" campaign.  My son is a drug abuser and so is his wife.  Me, I was a single mother dealing with depression and having to work and provide for my children the best I could.  It was hard on me.

In the past, I would be on the phone with my daughter for hours while she told me everything I did wrong when she was growing up.  I mean HOURS.  All I could do was say I was sorry and that I wish I could go back in time and fix things, but I can't.  The past is gone.  I apologized and apologized until I got tired.  She told me that she wanted to go to a counselor with me and tell the counselor all the things I had done when she was a kid and have me acknowledge everything, even the things I do not remember.  She basically told me that I was lying when I said I did not remember some things.  How many of us, in a stressed out state, say things that we don't remember in the future?  Anyway, her entire adult life I have trying to be the best parent I can be.  I have helped with bills, things they needed, groceries, braces for her daughter's teeth.  Her paternal grandmother, with whom she is close, told me that my daughter has never show any kind of appreciation for anything that I have done for her.  It's like I have been trying to buy her love and respect but she does not want to acknowledge that I am not the horrible person she makes me out to be. 

I tried to tell my daughter once that she had hurt my feelings.  Her response to me was "I don't have time for hurt feelings" and hung up on me.  Since then I just kept my mouth shut because I was afraid she would keep my grandchildren from me.  I hated to think my daughter would be that kind of person but I found out that I was right.  Last year, after she haranged me for two days to do something for her that I was not able to do on her timetable, I called her a name I had been wanting to call her forever, and told her that I couldn't deal with her anymore.  You can only take so much beating up from someone you have helped for years.  We are talking trips, concerts, light bills, car insurance payments, rent, school clothes,children's braces.. You name it, I have helped!!!  I miss her but I really miss my grandchildren.  I have asked to see them and she told me that she didn't want to deal with me.  At least my granddaugher, who is 13 was able to talk to me on the phone and email me.  But obviously I said something to her that my daughter didn't like and my granddaughter no longer will communicate with me.

I am the one who caused this estrangement.  I take responsibiltiy for intiating it.  However, she told me that I would have to apologize to her.  For one, I am not sorry I called her a name and secondly, I am not sorry that I finally decided I had enough of her disrespect.  I had a bad moment yesterday and my husband talked to me and made me feel better.  I can't change this child.  She views me in a bad light.  I have tried for years to make up for the things that she blames me for to no avail.  I allowed myself to be her whipping post for years and at 55 I just got tired of it.   I am a good person who did the best I could raising two children on my own with no help from my parents, no college education, and dealing with my own emotional problems and stresses.  I am a compassionate, caring person.   I have many other friends who are like daughters.  They respect and love me and accept me for who I am.  I miss my granddaughters who are 13 and 4.  Maybe some day I will get to see them again.

It is always hard for people to step away from family members who cause them pain.  We do not pick our family.  We are thrown together by nature and sometimes we don't get along.  You can't beat yourself up forever for things you can't change.  You have to go on and figure out what makes you happy and adjust your life even if it means cutting out people you love. It takes two to have a relationship.  One person can't make it work on their own.  I got tired and now I have to live with it.  To be honest, I am happier than I have ever been.  I do not have people in my life making me feel bad about myself and that's how I intend to keep it.

My son and his wife are prescription drug addicts.  She lost her nursing license because she would not go to rehab and instead chose to give up her license.  I love my son.  We always got along well but after they stayed with me for a couple of months and I saw what was going on, we had a parting of the ways.  His wife is controlling, whiny, and basically won't get up off her butt and do anything for anyone else but herself.  They deny they have a problem and lash out at anyone who suggests otherwise.  The family is showing them tough love.  I hope they get their lives straightened out before something bad happens to them. 

I'm glad I found this blog.  I never thought about reaching to others that are having problems with their grown children.  I miss my little kids. They loved me so much!!  I even found a notebook where my daughter wrote that I was her favorite person.  I always wonder, what happened to change the way she felt.
leedee55 leedee55
51-55, F
5 Responses Aug 6, 2010

I'm happy to report that while things will never be what I want between my daughter and myself, at least I am able to visit my grandchildren now. My daughter and I text each other, not as often as I would like, but I am happy to have some contact. My daughter still does not answer the phone when I call but that has been going on for years. She still comes to Florida and does not come see me but I am welcome to drive the hour and go visit my grandchildren at their great grandmother's house when they are down here. After years of me having to drive to see my daughter and her children, I have decided if they come to Florida and are that close to me, if they want to see me, they can come to me. After awhile you get tired of being the one to always do all the going. I am no spring chicken and with all my health issues I have limitations these days.<br />
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My daughter has made a few statements to me that show she is coming around a bit. She is 40 now and should be able to figure it all out but I don't think she ever will and that is OK.

I'm happy to report that I have seen my grandchildren since I originally wrote my story. My daughter and I are talking some on the phone. I call her quite often, but as she has done in the past, she never answers her phone when I call. I do get a response when I text. That is better than nothing, I guess.<br />
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My son and his wife hit rock bottom with my son's paternal family and are now living in an old rundown house that my husband owns. My son stopped talking to me for exactly 3 weeks and then he was on the phone calling me to tell me that he loved me. We have been talking ever since.<br />
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My daughter-in-law is starting to admit to some of her problems which is a big step for her. We talked on the phone for 2 hours the other day and she poured her heart out to me about the things she does that others just can't stand to be around. There is hope for this girl yet!!<br />
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My daughter and I are never going to have a close relationship. We are too different. When we did talk on the phone the other day she was very condescending and even was making fun of things that I would say. It does not make for a very comfortable conversation when you know that you are going to be ridiculed. Nothing has changed with her. She is still the same and I am afraid, always will be. I wish her nothing but the best. She has a lot of good qualities and she is very close to her children which I am extremely proud. Hope talked about breaking the cycle and I think my daughter may have a good chance at having a good relationship with her daughters. I don't think we have much of a chance but I love her and will always have hope.

Thank you for your comment Hope. Of course, my daughter can keep her children away from me. That is why it took so long for me to say anything to her. I was always afraid if I did not tow the proverbial line that she would keep them from me. I tried on many occasions to discuss these things with her and as I told in my story, she told me that she did not have time for hurt feelings. She never wanted to hear about how I felt, only her feelings were important, and her feelings were important to me too. However, relationships are a two way street and there must be an interchange of feelings to have a healthy relationship. If left up to her we would have gone on with me always being treated like her doormat and me just keeping my place and keeping my mouth shut. The question here is, am I not allowed to have feelings? Is it always the parents fault when their children are unhappy with them? Should I always apologize for things I have not done just to keep peace? I know the answers to these questions. Sometimes the necessary steps we take in life are not what we want to do but are left with little alternative. I knew what was going to happen and I have had to live with the consequences.<br />
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It has been two years now. I have seen my grandchildren once and am texting and sometimes talking to my daughter on the phone. I call her all the time but she never answers the phone (that has been going on for years) but only calls me when she wants something, which is fine. Any interchange is better than none. She is condescending on the phone and makes fun of me, which is how it has always been. She also talks over me and does not give me a chance to speak. When I try to explain how I feel, I get, "I'm not trying to make you angry" to which I reply, "I'm not angry, I'm just trying to tell you how I feel". She still wouldn't let me talk. I do not raise my voice or say anything hateful to her. I have never been anything but loving and compassionate as far as she goes. <br />
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We all are responsible for our own actions. I love my daughter. I am proud of her. I have told her these things. She has denigrated me to my granddaughter who now acts like a stranger. I knew it would happen and I am OK with everything as I made the conscience decision to sever our relationship two years ago. I am not angry with her at all. I have missed my grandchildren who always acted like Grandma hung the moon and stars. My daughter felt that way too until she became a teenager and rebelled by running away when she was asked to wash dishes or whatever did not please her. She would be gone for weeks at a time with me always worried I was going to get a call in the middle of the night to come identify her body. She has never once apologized for anything she has ever done wrong. Everything has been and continues to be my fault. So what can you say to that? Even if it was my fault, where is the forgiveness to someone who has spent more than half her life trying to make up for her "shortcomings". In her eyes, I am the only one to blame for anything. We were in joint counseling when she was a teenager. We went every week. I sat there and blamed myself and was told that I was not a bad mother. I have known worse mothers than me.<br />
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I am glad there are families who can communicate with one another. I am sorry that your stepmother called you a name. I have been a stepmother and it is not an easy job either. I have always been loving and compassionate towards my daughter. Her grownup relationship with me has not always been bad. We had many years where she actually acted like a loving daughter. It's too long of a story to tell. Believe me, I am one to readily admit my mistakes and say I am sorry. I have no problem with that. I have always taken full responsibility for my own actions. There are people who blame everyone else for all the bad that takes place in their lives. My daughter happens to fit that desc<x>ription. Everyone in the family feels the same way about her, not just me. I would love to get into therapy with her. There is nothing I wouldn't do to repair our relationship. It would be up to her. I have done nothing but love this child her entire life and try to help her. She just finally wore me out!!<br />
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I would not keep a friend that treated me like my daughter does. All families are not perfect. I was relating my story. It felt therapeutic to "put it on paper". Maybe I can help someone else to realize that it's OK to step back from people who are not happy with you and take every opportunity to make you feel like you are less than anyone else. My friends love me and tell me what a wonderful person I am. My daughter does not seem to think that way about me. That's her choice. I have other people in my life who are like daughters. They love me and come to me for advice. My daughter and I are missing out. I feel sad about it but it does not consume my life and I have not lost one minute of sleep over something I cannot control. When she decides that I have some value and am not her personal "whipping boy", we can go back to having a relationship that is loving.<br />
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By the way, I have a good relationship with my own mother. We are as different as day and night but we talk to one another and express how we feel. I have never said one ugly thing to my mom in my life and I have never spent one day being angry with her. We both get irritated with one another but we get it out and it is over and done with!!!!

I do not understand how there can be any point to trying to enjoy life at all without my children, this is the first time I have read anything at all on parents estranged from children and after all these years of misery missing them and trying to hold it together I now understand that the pain and crying because I miss them so much will never go away, it has been getting worse, I never gave up hoping every day that I answered the phone it would be them but it never is and never will be, I was sure that the love I felt for all three of my children would be everything to them, all I have done for them and given was not difficult to do I love them, I could not understand why they were not happy with me, now I have to accept that I could not support them in the way they needed me to, I have been on my own too long and I have given money when they have asked but it was never enough and they feel I have let them down, now there is nothing, the shame of telling friends who have shared lovely moments with their grandchildren, that my children no longer speak to me has become to much I am hardly going out now, I am 57 and have always helped anyone I can, it feels like there is nothing left. My son told me before christmas that I would be happier if I sold my house and got something smaller, then his wife beat me up, Then the day I exchanged contracts she threatened me again and I lost contact with him, I have moved away to get away from so much pain and am renting a house I feel very unsettled and lost and miss my children so much, how on earth do people go on with this hurt. I have written letters but they don't want to know me.

I know people who complain about their parents for years and never take responsibility for themselves. They use it as an excuse not to better themselves or their lives. <br />
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However, I think sometimes we think we have apologized when we really have not. I call that the "butt for" apology and it goes something like this: "I am sorry but I would not have done that if it wasn't for you doing that." or " If I had not been so young and naive at the time I would not have done that." (or some other excuse)<br />
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If you are using a "but for" apology instead try apologizing for the things you did and are responsible for without making excuses or giving reasons why you did what you did. Just apologize for what you did. (However, you do not need to apologize or take responsibilty for the other persons behavior or the nasty stuff they did. It is not yours to apologize for. Even if you were not the best parent. That does not excuse your daughters bad behavior.)<br />
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It works to mend relationships and keeps the parties involved from getting defensive.