damned if I do, damned if I don’t…

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    • #108750
      ToughCookieToughCookie
      Participant

      I have yet to hear from my ED. It’s only been over a month, but I have this nagging feeling, if this isn’t solved soon, it will snowball into NEVER hearing from her again in my life. She refuses to apologize for her nasty letter to me, and she even states that in her letter. She is mentally ill (personality disorder/depressive disorder) and I don’t know whether to just stay quiet and hope she comes around (which may never happen) or reach out and try (not sure even how) to get along with her. She is so toxic to me, i am very opposite to her emotionally, and I am an emotional punching bag to her. I don’t want to hate myself for reaching out to her, I don’t know if I can ever trust her again! Trust is a huge issue to me, and turning on me really pushed the wrong button in me. I just know that I am not sleeping, having nightmares and generally feeling anxious about the whole thing. I am SO conflicted. I don’t have anything to apologize for, and if I did it would be insincere. In a perfect world, she would figure out with time, this was a huge mistake to treat me like this…but she is stubborn and feels she is always right.

    • #108776
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose
      Participant

      TC, You are in a Catch 22, faced with wanting contact with a difficult person and not wanting contact with a difficult person. I can understand this constant desire for something different than what is. Our now former ES has been diagnosed with a personality disorder and a mood disorder. He’s in contact with husband due to being given money but the lies and obfuscation continue, I can see him going back to no contact when his wishes aren’t granted in the future. You don’t mention what personality disorder your ED was diagnosed with but speaking in general terms, we do have to sometimes decide do we want off the roller coaster. Many parents feel guilty about this. And sometimes, we have devoted our lives to managing this person, trying to make them love us, trying to appease them, and when we stop there is a void in our lives. I think of it almost like when someone stops drinking. Now what do we do to fill our time?

      If you can accept that your ED is someone you love but can’t be in relationship with, it might help. How we want our beloved children to act and be like is not always how they turn out and in my opinion, we can only accept what is our and their reality. Read up on the personality disorder she was diagnosed with. When we did this for our ES, our eyes were opened. For example, our ES lies and lives a double life and is secretive. I am learning detachment and more about my codependency which urges me to try to fix everyone and everything so life is perfect.

      Here is one of my favorite quotes: “Detachment is not the absence of love but the ability to take care of yourself in the midst of someone else’s choices.” I got this from someone else on here and have it written on a sticky note on my computer monitor. Maybe now is the time to turn your focus onto healing yourself and creating a fun, good, new life. Done with the Crying helped me gain a new perspective and drop most of that parent guilt and shame. We can’t fix other people, you can’t fix the daughter so she is a pleasant companion unfortunately. So now what do we want to do with our lives and our future happiness?

    • #108782
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      ToughCookie, A mental health disorder puts a different slant on estrangement but you seem very clear on how you’ve handled yourself and are handling yourself. I’ve lived with mental illness and a mental health disorder more latterly. I agree, no apologizing, for you may be accused in relation to the disorder and thus, the judgement at your daughter’s end may be clouded. I would, myself, allow her to approach you, not you, her. And then, I trust you have a very clear picture of what you’re dealing with and setting boundaries that will keep you in a safer position mentally, taking into consideration the condition with which you are dealing in your daughter.
      I trust you will handle things well,
      Aussiemom

    • #108791
      AvatarMamaHope
      Participant

      Oh ToughCookie, our situation is so simular. Mental illness and depressed and l fear suicidal ES just shut the door on me a month or so ago. He took with him my beloved grandchildren (not the first time but it has never gone on this long) l told him what l thought…that l was sick of being treated like garbage etc. Of course l have aplogized for that and several bizarre accusations he made that never happened. I have left him alone. I have begged my ex who alienated my children to help ( now thats how desperate l feel)…my grandkids who love me so. I am feeling deep grief and have nightmares etc. Dear mother you are not alone. I know we have done our best w our messed up adult kids. I have no choice but to simply…go quiet. No calls or texts or begging have helped. You are in my prayers

    • #108790
      ToughCookieToughCookie
      Participant

      She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder/ and Depressive Disorder, which means she is always in a depressed state with dips that are severe. She refuses to take any meds, and all her suicide attempts were with her prescribed meds. She is impulsive, moody, erratic, for example: has decided that sexual escorting is a great income? I really agree that I have placated her moods, ignored her verbal stabs and tried hard to keep this relationship alive just so I didn’t lose her. But you are both so right, it can’t be all just me. I thought with age, she would mellow even a little, but the more stress she has in her life (when she purchased a family sized house) by herself, with only the escort money as her source of income) has caused her to be worse than ever to be around. I will sit back and see what happens. My pride has been hurt, and I really feel I might hate myself for giving in AGAIN and contacting her. Thanks to you both for taking the time to help me. ((hugs))

    • #108807
      AvatarMamaHope
      Participant

      ToughCookie l have walked on eggshells to keep mygrandkids in my life. Both my kids have mental illness and on and off adiction issues. Son has severe depression anxiety and chronic pain. But they turn on me who has always been there for them. Helped w finances and medical emergencies and bought diapers and formula…l could go on but that gives you the idea. They simply hate me. I dont know where to go from here. I know your pain. I pray for you

    • #108921
      ToughCookieToughCookie
      Participant

      Well…..its only been just over a month without contact and I feel like its eating at me. Selfishly I wanted to relieve myself of some guilt, and made the mistake of emailing my ED. I was short, and to the point, said if I hurt her I am sorry…that I do love her and miss her..and even offered to have a distant relationship…. ( not sure what that would look like). She responded with indifference saying that she feels nothing for me. That she wont change to suit me. Said she didn’t need me anymore. Attacked my husband again…which hurt so badly…he has been her step dad since she was 6…and he has done sooooo much for her, and he really loved her despite the mental illness parts. She says she hasn’t lost any sleep over her decision to cut me off and feels good about it. I knew that this group said, nothing good will come from contacting her….and thank God I joined this group and was prepared for the worst, thanks to you guys. But in the back of my mind I really thought she would want to have a relationship, I am the only person she has, ( to me its like biting the hand that feeds you). I am in shock AGAIN for the second time. She says she is “letting me go”. this feels like a kick in the teeth….I feel sooooo stupid for wasting all these years worrying, and crying so many tears about her. She was my whole world, and I had no idea she didn’t even like me, never mind love me?? It only makes sense that she was using my husband and I as a safety net for money borrowing, She was just USING US all this time. I knew she only had people in her life that were useful to her in someway ( physically/ sexually / monetarily…and then once they weren’t of any use she cut them off. How the hell did I not see this coming. I feel so bad for my husband, he did not deserve to be attacked ever….he couldn’t have been a better father to her! She did say that “ I was a good mother to the best of my abilities”…….why thanks….the wording is still cutting and demeaning. I cannot stop the tears from falling, even tho this is probably for the best. I feel like she just died?
      I removed any and all pictures or reminders of her already ( self-preservation). My husband is pulling out our wills to have them re written, he is so very hurt. I feel terrible that my child hurt him like that. Not sure how I will get thru this…part of me wants to die.

    • #108965
      MorganaMorgana
      Participant

      Well, Tough Cookie, time to live up to your name.
      I am coming to understand that always making excuses, and trying to find alternative reasons for my sons harsh words, is what is keeping me stuck. Sometime I’m going to have to face the fact that whatever relationship my ES deigns to have with me is not enough. I deserve better, and more. He does actually know me better than to believe the spiteful suggestions and judgements put to him by his wife, who has her own agenda. He is at least partly responsible and there’s no avoiding it.

      Yellow Rose always says that people show us who they are, and we should believe them. She’s right.

      It’s hard to accept that your own child is capable of such cruelty, but we must take off these rose tinted glasses and take a more objective look. If anyone else was treating us so, would we tolerate it? I suspect not. If this was happening to a friend, what would you advise? The title of your thread suggests you are in a no win situation, so stop trying. Give your ED what she’s asking for, what valuable alternative do you have? How can you possibly have a mutually loving relationship with someone so cold? So lacking in empathy and compassion?

      I’m sorry if this sounds unkind, but as I said, I’m in the same stuck position, and in writing this I’m telling myself to take my own advice and back off my ES. We can’t win this, dear Tough Cookie, because we care too much and our soft, tender, forgiving hearts are doing us a disservice.
      Time to get out of the boat and swim for the shore, eh, Sheri?? 💐

    • #108967
      rparentsrparents
      Keymaster

      Dear Tough Cookie,

      She has a personality disorder. That doesn’t mean she cannot learn or cannot decide to be kind. However, it will take her wanting to. If you run back to her, she’ll learn that she can treat you like crap and get away with it. I know it’s tough because you want to teach her by example, but if you’re her punching bag then you’ll get more of the same.

      Please take care of yourself right now. Punching bags lose their shape. Give yourself a bit of time to snap back into you … Maybe even more toward the you that existed before your daughter started becoming the puncher. This didn’t happen overnight.

      It doesn’t mean you don’t love her, but you don’t deserve abuse from anyone. If you’re not around to bully with drama and delusions, she’ll find someone else. Or, she’ll learn real quickly that it is HER behavior that needs to change. I know you may be thinking “but she’s mentally ill.” Yes, it’s sad, but it’s still no excuse for abuse. I am often amazed at how nice people with personality disorders are to everyone but the parent(s).

      HUGS to you,
      Sheri McGregor

    • #108974
      Avatarhappy
      Participant

      yes, it is no excuse for abuse. I know I am thinking about my EC being sweet little babies, toddlers and so much fun but this is not who they are now. They definitely changed, they have grown up and made their own choices and have not turned out to be very good people. I have had to accept that and move forward not allowing them to cripple me any more. There are many healthy people to mingle with.

    • #108983
      ToughCookieToughCookie
      Participant

      I have just read all your responses aloud to my husband. We are both amazed how common this estrangement thing is! I cannot express how much these words from you all are helping me put things into the right perspective. I was born into abusive parents, went onto have an abusive husband ( her father)….so I naturally fall into the punching bag role. I managed to get away from all of these people, so I just have to do it one more time. I have been scouring my memories of a time when she was actually nice to be around, and it has been many years now….I have just been hanging onto her for dear life, no matter how she treated me. I have been allowing her to abuse me , all the while giving her a free pass because of the mental illness. Boy……I needed this reality check. I do need to get off this bloody boat and swim for the shore….
      LAND HO for me…..I am beginning to realize this estrangement is exactly what needed to happen.
      THANK YOU ALL for your much needed advice and wisdom. 🤝

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