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RE: mothers estranged from adult children (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: betsygirl on 10.27.2008 at 10:54 pm in Parents Forum

Silversword

Your comment demonstrated what a minefield it is for we parents when we try to communicate with our estranged kids. Given the circumstances, no matter what we write to them there will be a nuance, a connotation given to it that we had NEVER considered when we wrote it. If one side does not want to communicate than I wrestle with the idea of how much I should even try to communicate. If my son never responds to a birthday card or a picture or a small note, then I probably need to say no more because everything I do say will either dig me into some unknown hole or just perpetuate the notion that he can treat me however he wants and good old mom will still be there. I am trying to live with the idea now that I should only send birthday cards and Xmas cards with maybe a one line note and our signatures.

And from my experience NEVER mention that you want a relationship with the grandkids (Major Minefield topic) Imagine the connotations on writing that you would still like a relationship with your grandkids even if you can't have a relationship with your child. Immediately I can imagine the thoughts ....they never really loved me only that grandchild.

We had a very close relationship with our granddaughter. We helped our son get custody of his daughter. We did her daycare, etc. If our son honestly wants no relationship with us, why would he want it for his daughter?

It would be interesting if you posted a note that you had written to your mother to see what interpretations the "mothers" on this thread had to your note....It might be helpful to you since I cannot believe that you are not in pain over your estrangement because otherwise why would you even be here methodically pulling apart another mom's note?? You would be out doing your own thing and moving on completely.

I don't personally believe that in most(NOT all) cases estrangement is a mentally healthy solution. It is a short term bandaid to a solution and maybe gives a timeout but the problem is still there and at some point there will be some sort of reckoning.

NOTES:

Betsygirl,
I am new on the site and was looking through all of the responses regarding "mothers estranged from adult children". I felt as though you were in the same "place" that I am. This is definitely a lose/lose situation. I have 2 grown sons (in their 30s) and 3 grandchildren between them. They have now both had the opportunity to rake me over the coals and blame me for their poor lifestyles, relationships, addiction, etc. I am not Mother Teresa, but I have never smoked, drank, done any illegal drugs, have not abused prescription drugs, never slept around, etc. All I have EVER done is work, work, work and be there for my "boys".

It took me until now to realize that it will NEVER matter what I do, say, how I treat them, how much I buy them, stay out of their business, etc., my sons do not respect me and that is the bottom line. Their father had extremely negative behavior towards me and basically ignored his children. Even though they are really angry with him, everything is my fault. (Dad lives in another state and is partially disabled.) Neither of the kids have anything to do with their dad at all.

I think the bottomm line is: "Mom, save yourself. Be good to yourself and only be around positive people--people that truly care about you. They may not even be relatives. You can't help who you are related to, but you can choose to make a better life for yourself. We have to let the negative forces leave our lives. Don't dwell on the whole 'giving birth' thing. We CHOSE to have these children and now they are making a CHOICE to abuse us. They have no right." My children don't owe me anything--I brought them into this world; but I also don't deserve to be abused. I never abused them and made the best decisions that my experience provided me at the various junctures of their lives. Fly away little birds and make your own nest.

clipped on: 01.15.2009 at 11:52 am    last updated on: 01.15.2009 at 12:06 pm