One Year of Estrangement...lessons learnedPosted on 08/26/11, 10:01 am
As for many of us, my estrangement was over a seemingly silly thing...with much deeper overtones (my later discovery). It was a simple comment made to my daughter-in-law's mother about said DIL forgetting to thank my mother, who was 87-years-old at the time, for a birthday check MONTHS before. This after the woman had complained long and loud about how DIL is constantly forgetting to thank HER family members for checks and gifts...I did not just bring up this subject out of the clear, blue sky. One thing led to another and DIL writes a (drunk) vicious email to me, repeating what her mother reported and going even farther into disrespect.
That is all I will report about what began my estrangement, because it is so darn silly. And while unhappy at the time, I never, ever expected that this would be the last time I spoke to my son in my life. I guess we never expect that huh?
I waited until my birthday came and went in October, and knew for sure - that's it. Tried 5 times in 5 different ways to contact my son, even offering to call DIL and discuss the matter...no answer to any text, voicemail, or one email. By now (new members will relate) I am heartbroken and obsessing about my son and loss of relationship with him and two GKs. Oh, and as collateral damage of course is my husband and the 87-year-old grandmother mentioned above.
And then I find PEACE on Daily Strength. We all come here like the walking wounded. I was welcomed graciously and I read all I could. And because of PEACE (for new members again) I learned...
1) Stop trying to contact someone who does not want contact with you. They know where you live!
2) Nope, sometimes you won't understand but can move on anyway.
3) Adult children are hugely influenced by the ones they sleep with (wink)
4) You can live without your grandchildren; they are also sad collateral damage of this stuff
5) Time helps, even tho you don't believe that now.
6) Examined relationship with ES and saw clearly how there had been signs and a disconnect for years.
Biggest lesson learned is to place "blame" where it belongs - with the adult child. A loving adult child would not shun his mom/dad - even with huge pressure from partner - if they had courage. There would be conversation and perhaps an attempt at fixing a family misunderstanding. Blame is placed where it belongs and I can see clearly now.
Second lesson learned is that we can be better and have a calmer, more sane life without our children...if they are toxic. I never, ever believed this and it took a long, long time to come to it. If I occasionally see my ES's avatar on Facebook I sort of turn away and don't even wish to view him.
Another lesson learned is to stop doubting myself. I was a good mom and did a lot, also a good grandma. The fact that they have decided on this path is just that - their choice. I tried, I have that knowledge, and now the onus is on them.
Oh and for the really new members, things to help right away (besides visiting PEACE often)...take down all those family photos! Really! Put them away. Remove all pix from offending family member from scrolling photo frames and your computer screen. Really. You can do it. You will be sad but then - you will be better! Change you Will if you have one and it seems right. You can always change it back later...
Thanks to LJ, Greg/Michele, ArmyMom, Topiary, and many members who have come and gone over the years...for kicking my butt when I needed it and always lending an ear.
Reply #1 08/26/11 10:31am
Mystic, You are my hero! This is one of the best post ever! You have put estrangement in a nutshell, clearly and consisely, and I can only imagine what such a post would have done for me as a newbie! KUDDOS Friend! It so good to see the wisdom payed forward for others to gain from.
Sending you admiration and strength for your E Anniversary.....and many hugs! D.
Reply #2 08/26/11 11:21am
This might be one of the most important posts on this site. It's a blueprint for this journey.
Thank you Mystic. DH and I are to the point where we actually said to each other that we didn't mind having our time to ourselves - we used to drop/cancel everything when ED and her husband would come to town.
Reply #3 08/26/11 11:35am
Wonderful post, Mystic! You expressed estrangement EXACTLY like it is!
Reply #4 08/26/11 12:20pm
Thank you Mystic! This is a very intelligent analysis of heart wrenching emotions. I find the only way I can deal with this well is taking my emotions out of it and using intellect. I will reread this post again and again. Thank you.
Reply #5 08/26/11 12:40pm
I hope I can arrive at the same place as you.....thank you and thank you for the PEACE forum.
Reply #6 08/26/11 12:40pm
Thanks Mystic, I am a new member and this is very hard, your words are very helpful.
Reply #7 08/26/11 1:13pm
Mystic - RESPECT! such an EXCELLENT posting - and well worth the read - To all your newbies - TAKE HEED - these truly are words of wisdom! Again - RESPECT!!!!!!
Reply #8 08/26/11 2:50pm
Mystic - perfectly said!! It is a long, hard road but we can all get through it, as you pointed out. Those are such wonderful words for everyone. We all get down from time to time and need to remember that we can get better.
Hey Daina - it's good to see you. I thought we had lost you and I'm so glad to see you back. I hope all is as well as it cane be, under the circumstances. Your strong words are so helpful around here. Hugs, Lj
Reply #9 08/26/11 3:07pm
Thanks Mystic, your words are exactly like it is and a good reminder to us all.
Reply #10 08/26/11 4:54pm
Amen! If I'd had these words and this place right after the estrangement began it wouldn't have taken me 2 1/2 years of wallowing in pain to begin recovery....but this place keeps me strong, even after 6 years. Thanks!
Do you have adult children, who have blamed you for everything wrong in their childhood, lost contact either through addiction, divorce, or in laws? No phone calls for birthdays, Mother's day, just no communication. How do you cope with the emptiness, the painful loss of not having your children in your life? *WARNING*: Read this note about privacy: http://www.dailystrength.org/people/548/journal/1802327