Disenfranchised Grief…..

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    • #108810
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      I read recently of a person’s experience in another area of her life where the effort she had put into supporting another person, was in the end not recognized and in fact, she was set up to take the blame for others, when their relationship dissolved. Her words of feeling grief, of not being acknowledged for her work, for being blamed, resonated with me completely. It is how I’d felt at the end of a ten year remarriage after my first husband died at the age of thirty-nine. I had spent ten years in a marriage in which I was disrespected by my stepchildren, though I understood why, for they had suffered the loss of their own mother, through a divorce and were suffering this loss which reflected on the next person in the place of a mother to them. What I did not accept or understand was the disrespect coming from their father, the man whom I had married. His disrespect was always in the form of jocular comments, made in front of the children and others, which, in his mind, I guess, I was supposed to roll with, accept, smiling, I was being teased. I don’t mind being teased, but kindly so. Putting me down in the eyes of my children and his, in the end, caused me to reach the decision I did, to terminate the marriage. Unfortunately, it also meant the loss of my own daughter eventually in the process.

      Until I found Sheri’s website I did not have a word to put to what I was suffering from with the termination by my daughter of her relationship with me for ten years. Estrangement was a word I had not really applied to my own situation. Thus, in reading the words that I did in a book recently about the feelings of another person, disenfranchised was a term I felt applied to how I’d felt too. Now there is something recognized, a term coined by a researcher/professor, in 1985. It is disenfranchised grief.

      In looking up the term on the internet, it is defined as a loss not seen worthy of grief, a loss socially negated by society/community. It is a relative and subjective experience and ranges dramatically from person to person. In a list of over sixty reasons for this type of grief, estrangement is listed as #25; estrangement from family. #60, lists it as not having a ‘good’ relationship with a parent, sibling or another family member. Disenfranchised Grief. Language and words help in being able to understand how we feel and how others feel.

      Some may be aware that I have had a reconnection with my daughter after ten or more years of estrangement when I was completely cut off from any contact or knowledge of her and her family. That it was a partial reconnection in that I was not given information on her personally, shared information that would pass from a family connection, and in the end, when I confronted her as to why she had reconnected and if she could explain what it was she hoped to have from me, I realized that a partial reconnection was just too painful for me. I feel very unsettled by my decision insofar as I don’t doubt my own decision for me, but again, I feel the loss of a child I loved and raised and had not expected to be treated in the manner I was eventually. while I understand and understood a good part of her reasoning, it wasn’t all of it, acceptable to me. We are two different people and I respect that but I also respect myself in knowing what I can and cannot accept now in my life. There is a disparity there that is like a bridge which I do not wish to cross. It is too painful for me still to be remotely connected to my daughter and to my former stepdaughter both of whom I loved and raised. There is too much hurt there for me at my age to cope with.

      But I thought it might help others to have a name to put to the grief they experienced and are experiencing with estrangement.
      Aussiemom
      Forgive me for not rereading this, something pressing has come up just now.

    • #108818
      Avatarhappy
      Participant

      My 2nd husband does not have any children. I always thought it would be nice if he did but I might have had the same crap so it is probably just as well he didn’t.

      I separated from my first husband twice and the second time I knew there would be no going back. I just could not take any more pain. You probably feel the same way with this daughter. I can forgive my exhusb but I knew I could not take any more pain, I could not trust him. So we just stayed civil, hardly ever seen him so it was fine.

      I think everyone’s situation is different and we know what we can handle. I think we get to the point we cannot take any more. I am just trying to mind my own business and enjoy these last years of my life. I tell you a lot of these situations are sad but it is much sadder dealing with them if sadder is a word, oh well you know what I mean. Oh yes, I was so afraid my ES might lose his job and he is not living here! I could not take that pain.

    • #108824
      walkingforwardwalkingforward
      Participant

      I believe a parent can reach the point of no return. The years of hurt, trama, leaves open wounds, which take years to heal.Time goes by, lives ebb and flow. Love remains for the child raised, but self protection,age, and a loss of trust insulate the parent from venturing once again into something that ripped the soul into pieces.

    • #108827
      Rose PetalsRose Petals
      Participant

      Sometimes Happy, the only way to cope with all of this is to remove ourselves from it. There are people and situations that cause so much pain, it’s just not worth it. I gained control of my life around me many years ago. The alternative to all the painful chaos was to create a lifestyle and circle of friends/family that only enrich your well-being. It takes time and growing pains but it is possible. Lot of Love, Rose Petals 💕

    • #108852
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose
      Participant

      Thank you for this good post, Aussiemom. I do think we estranged parents suffer disenfranchised grief. You write eloquently about your struggle to reconnect or not reconnect. I can relate to this, I feel both a small pull to keep trying and a larger pull to let go. The pandemic has made it impossible to ‘keep trying’ to visit my GC. In a way, that has been a relief. But a day or so ago, I realized my nicer ED had not made any effort to contact me in a long time. We texted in the summer once that I initiated. My other ED, well silence is golden with her, the less mean I allow her to do to me then the better off I am. But I think this shows a certain lack of caring on the EC’s part when we hear nothing from them. I say this not to blame but to be reality based. And the pandemic brings up a whole ‘nother can of worms as you found with your husband’s pilot friend. We are still having cases where I live and where my EC live, not the huge numbers but not small numbers either. It is also an isolating thing, we humans long for human contact and friendship/love as naturally as we breathe. But I realized my 2EDs don’t seem to long for contact with me, which I accept. I also have noticed that the now former ES goes to visit his partner’s parents, we have figured out some of his secrets. So I am watching this one to see what happens over the holidays. I bet the ES is on his best behavior with them (for now) as things he has said indicate a certain level of “using them” for awhile. So he will probably have big holiday plans with them – at least until he falls out with them! All we can do is what you are doing which is what is best for our lives and our emotional wellness. I get why you made this choice.

    • #108853
      AvatarDelores
      Participant

      This phrase of disenfranchised grief really drives home the fact of double pain – that is, on top of the blow in the first place, many have no support or understanding to help deal with it. I am so grateful for this forum.

      Delores

    • #108873
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      To all, I find if I have a name to put to something, then I begin to understand it better. Disenfranchised grief spoke to me, as did the words of another person describing how she felt after basically being ‘shafted’ by former friend. But I could also see in this description that she was an enabler, as well, so I don’t know if that would apply here or not. I would say that yes, I have been an enabler, not intentionally, but in the end, it seemed to come out that way, enabling behaviour that was detrimental to my own wellbeing. I guess also, I have to say that I negated myself in all this, maybe mothers do this, maybe parents do this, I don’t know…I know I didn’t take myself or my self-respect into consideration until it overwhelmed me. When I did something about it, I disturbed the sh*tpile I guess, and it all came back in my face. Sometimes, you just can’t win.
      Aussiemom

    • #108875
      SimplifyPleaseSimplifyPlease
      Participant

      Such a thought-provoking thread … Good title for a book, too

    • #108885
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      You’re right, SP, I didn’t think about that, but grief is something we all experience at times in our lives and the grief associated with estrangement…. well, first of all, if your kids accuse you of things, blame you, bring it into public awareness, there surely must be something wrong with the parent, never the grown child. Society looks upon this action as the poor children, they must have been suffering for so long at the parent’s hands that finally, when they’re grown up and out of the house, they can now talk about it. And then when the parent disputes it, claims that the accusations are not true, that this or that didn’t happen, they are further subjugated to scrutiny. I lost my husband when I was thirty-four years old, under questionable circumstances and the gossip around his death was not easy to live with nor protect my children from, but it was nothing compared to the feelings of grief I’ve felt towards the behaviour and estrangement of my daughter and former stepdaughter and the accusations. It is being accused of behaviour that is another person’s interpretation and not being able to defend oneself against accusations that are often unfounded.

      Yes, it would make a good title for a book. It could apply not only to estrangement but to other aspects of life.
      Aussiemom

    • #108908
      movingonwithmylifemovingonwithmylife
      Participant

      I live in a near constant state of grief. Despite my best attempts to deal with this, it is always there, except when I am sound asleep.

      So I follow my own advise, just to cope.

      I do not want to be around must people these days.

      Time to turn on One Night In Vegas: The Bee Gees

    • #108916
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      I suspect you’re right on this one, Movin’On, the grief never completely leaves.
      But with this virus, many are living in self-isolation, so you’re not alone there either.
      I do live with my husband, but he has his nose in a book all the time and when it’s not, he’s on the computer looking at glider and aeroplane stuff. I’m in my studio. So we don’t have much communication as day ends, days upon days, nights upon nights. it is nice to know there is a live person in the house but the isolation is necessary medically with this horrible virus standing over humans right now.
      You’re got a lot of strength, Movin’On, I can hear that in your postings.
      Aussiemom

    • #108928
      MorganaMorgana
      Participant

      Morning all,

      I’ve just started counselling because my feelings after 6 years of this nightmare, were overwhelming me. First session, my counsellor told me what I was feeling was grief associated with bereavement. There are many ways to lose someone, and mourn the loss. Just because there is no body, that does not negate the loss. We have said before, on this forum, that in some ways, this is worse, because there is no closure, all the time they live, we live in hope. When someone dies, they have no choice, in estrangement, our AC have chosen to leave.
      This is grief, for me. 💐

    • #108929
      DottyDotty
      Participant

      Aussiemom, Sheri mentioned disenfranchised grief in a post she wrote to me a wee while ago, and it spoke volumes to me. I received more sympathy from people when my dog died than I did when my son rejected me. People could actually register the pain and understand why I cried after our beautiful dog died, but the idea that ‘he’ll come around, you’ll see’ about my son just didn’t cut it.

      Those two words disenfranchised grief make so much sense to me. There is always that tug of pain; that things will never ever be 100% in my life, where my best friends are all becoming grandmothers over and over, and showing photos to each other every time we meet. I have a grandson that I have never met. It hurts beyond words. I have a daughter with whom I have a great relationship, but she is having terrible fertility issues. Terrible. Going through awful invasive tests and taking horrible drugs, and has been for the last three years. I long to be a grandmother. THere is a wee family down the road, and the parents have no family in our city. I love these kids, and have kind of been adopted by them as a granny, but I find it hard to tell my daughter about the cute things they do and say about me. They tell me they love me, and draw me pictures. I make them clothes and give them presents, and go to their birthdays. But I find it hard to tell my daughter, because we both realise that there is an elephant in the room. I have a grandson I can not see, she wants a baby, I want her to have a baby so I can be a granny, but her body won’t let her become pregnant.

      All this pain. All this angst and being careful what I say so as my daughter doesn’t get even more hurt than she is already. I see that infertility is on the list of 64 examples of disenfranchised grief, so she is experiencing it too. Every single month.

      Thanks for posting Aussiemom xx

      Love,
      Dotty

    • #108930
      Rose PetalsRose Petals
      Participant

      Aussiemom, I have carried your posting in my thoughts for the last few days. I believe your former husband’s treatment of you has much to do with your estrangement from your daughters. For it is the same for me. From a very young age, my daughter experienced over and over demeaning and taunting comments of me by my former husband. It became ingrained in her as normal. She learned to look down on me and developed a total lack of respect. It developed further to unfounded accusations of things that never happened or didn’t happen in the way she described.

      Disenfranchised grief is such a good way to put it. I realized after reading and thinking about your post that it goes a step further. I found the word is, I feel persecuted. Years and years dealing with her and the fallout with others she has affected with her untruths. I have lost family and friends and have developed a barrier around me that is near impenetrable. I have lived half my lifetime in this state of distrust of others because of one man’s effect on my daughter. He may have started with my daughter but it has been a snowball effect on my life.

      More concerning is how much of our lives we all have wasted on this. Took a long time for me to see the blue sky through the trees. Lots of love to you, Rose Petals 💕

    • #108952
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Oh my. Rose Petals for all the time I’ve been here on this forum and for all that I can offer support to others here, I am now taken back into myself with your posting. I’ve travelled back in years because of it. It is as though you are inside me and what happened to me years ago. My daughter claims I can never let the past go. She has, she said this to others, on any number of occasions when I have been accused of ‘not letting the past go’. Of being negative, apparently. This is why she estranged from me, she said. Why she ever bothered contacting me awhile ago asking if I was open to a relationship I’ll never know because the same issues are there now that were there years ago between us. It is simply too painful for me now to have a partial relationship with a child I raised and loved. I, like you, have built a impenetrable barrier around me too after all the years of being hurt. You are right in your assessment that this was the fall-out from my former husband’s disrespectful behaviour towards me, always in a jocular manner, which I accepted as ‘being a good sport’ until one day I could no longer do so. Ten years. Until that man and his two children moved into my home, my children were respectful towards me. My son still is. It was something that was unspoken. It was something we did in our family, even with the loss of their father in it. It was what was in my family growing up. And then it all changed. And yes, you nailed it, I felt persecuted. For ten years I felt persecuted and misunderstood by his children who acted out, and then, by my daughter who acted out worse than my stepchildren, whom I’d come to love. You wonder where disrespect comes from. I believe my former husband had little self-respect although he gave every indication of his own self-importance; maybe it was the way he was raised, who knows…it fell on me and destroyed my self-worth in the eyes of his children and my daughter.

      Funny how all these years have passed and I can still feel the feelings I felt back then forty and more years ago. Letting the past go? Not when it’s left unacknowledged as to the hurt it has caused me. I’ve lived my life since, reasonably well, accomplished things I’m proud of having done so. But it doesn’t wipe away the feelings of being persecuted, does it.
      Thank you Rose Petals, your words worked their way into my heart.

      And to Dotty and Morgana, thanks for coming onto this posting as well, I guess when you recover, not all of you recovers.
      Aussiemom

    • #108992
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose
      Participant

      Aussiemom and Rose Petals, I also agree that the disrespect and criticism of one parent to another does tend to set the stage for the children to learn this same mannerism. I also see some of this as genetic possibly, genetic ways that the brain works perhaps. My ex treated me terribly and I kept my head buried in the sand in between times of challenging him. But he encourage my meaner ED to disrespect and disdain me. She is so much like him, same mental health issues, same focus on themselves to the detriment of others they are in relationship with. The now former ES learned to disdain and disrespect my husband from his own natural personality disorder and from his grandparents treatment of their children. (The disdain and disrespect ingrained in the ES surely has not been cured even though there is contact, this would be too much of a miracle.)

      My meaner ED is moving to another state far away, she texted me last week. The other in-laws are going to have lots of fun walking on eggshells with her living nearby! I have not seen her in almost two years. No mention of can we get together to say goodbye. So I get a text, which really shocked me because I would not have expected anything from her. This pattern of disdain is so ingrained in her that she feels totally justified. I did respond, asked a question but there was no reply. It is in my face again the disdain and the lack of respect. I won’t grovel, I can’t beg, for a short visit before she moves. I won’t be going to see her where she is moving because its far and she isn’t nice and I am way too smart to go visit someone who disdains and disrespects me! Yet, having this in my face is still a bit painful. One can’t escape the poor treatment, the mean treatment.

      And so, Aussiemom, I think these situations become another push into reality for us. Contact that turns out to be unfavorable, for want of a better word. It doesn’t feel happy. And maybe there is also that other feeling of “good” or maybe “relief” in that contact has ended or our questions get answered as to what is our reality with this person. For me, I have some relief this meaner ED is moving away from the emotional grasp of her father and that now I can visit the nicer ED and not have to deal with what trick or ugly words will come from the meaner ED. On the other hand, it is like the real end of our relationship because I am done. Like you, it has to be right for me.

    • #108997
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Yellow Rose & Rose Petals, RP, first, I couldn’t believe that I still had feelings that upset me about this remarriage two years after my husband passed away as it happened in my life forty some years ago. But when Rose Petals mentioned the word “persecuted’ it was like a balm rolling over my soul. A wave rolling up on a beach and cleansing the sand beneath them, smoothing it out. Yes, that is exactly how I felt. I simply didn’t recognize it nor put a name to it. You did. And like Yellow Rose, I had and kept my head in the sand as to the behaviour I was experiencing back then.

      I was still reeling from the manner of death in which my husband died, it was horrible. The aftermath was horrible, due to the enormous business debt he left behind, due to the fraudulent mortgage he’d tried to place on our home which was in my name. I was dealing with a possible suicide, with the guilt and pain that goes with that in not being able to save him, that in so doing, how could he leave two young children behind, four and six years old. And all of this, while in remarrying and having to care for two stepchildren, these feelings, these needs, still remained. But what those children did for me, all four of them, was to allow me to heal in caring for them. And this remarriage brought more stability into my life. But all that said, I was dealing with another set of problems that have had a lasting lifetime affect on me given how my daughter and step-daughter turned on me. I love them both but I can’t allow myself to be exposed to them. It’s all on me, it’s just too painful, there is too much water under the bridge, the hurt too great for me. They are both living their own lives, in touch and close to one another I hope, for they may be a support to one another, but for me, like Yellow Rose, I just can’t go there. I thought I could try it, but it wasn’t to be, not for me.

      I can’t thank you both enough for putting into words, feelings that help me. Feelings I didn’t know I still had, feelings that do connect with feeling disenfranchised and feelings of being persecuted. I tried so hard to be a good mother to my stepchildren, not their mother, whom I kept in touch with once a year, sending her pictures and report cards of her children, which she later thanked me for being where she could not be. But I put my heart and soul into raising those kids and in the end, I knew I didn’t deserve the disrespect given to me by their father, by them. And then, came my daughter. Worst of all.

      The pain never leaves. It does ease, my life is not how I thought it to be at my age, 83, but I’m good with it. I finally stood up for myself and said what I needed to say in support of myself. I am flying freer, now.

      You’ve both have helped me, a lot of people here have helped me. I can only return the support I’ve had here on Sheri’s site and thus I remain, to some extent.
      Aussiemom

    • #109066
      Rose PetalsRose Petals
      Participant

      Aussiemom, I have read your postings several times with your heartbreaking decision to not continue a relationship with your daughter. I felt you shed light on it and gave it credence and understanding on why a parent would make a decision like that. Whereas my daughter has not contacted me, I know it would be my same decision. Years of battering and bruising takes a toll on your mental and physical health.

      You said you were accused of living in or bringing up the past. But it is a past of deep personal pain and of things never resolved. Coming to an understanding on why or what happened in the past is part of healing. Wouldn’t it be nice if our children made an effort to understand our background and why we are who we are? One gets tired of trying to understand their point of view with little or no effort on their part to understand or share with us.

      At their age, I don’t think our children really grasp that life in finite. We aren’t going to be here in the near future. So what real good does it do to hold on to their misguided grievances? And when we’re gone, was it worth it? Where did it get them? At 83 I think you deserve to be catered to. You have earned it. We have the right to hold our heads up high and expect to be respected.

      Aussiemom, it’s so apparent how much you loved and cared for your children. I’m sorry your daughters couldn’t see that in you. I’m sorry for all our children who can’t see that in us. It is their loss and mistake.
      Lots of love to you, Rose Petals 💕

    • #109067
      AnnAnn
      Participant

      Disenfranchised Grief

      Today I’m struggling to push it all down again. It’s my own fault I guess. through trawling the internet I finally found out if my daughter (alienated from me by her dad) still rode/had a horse. She does and this summer she’s been competing.

      It was me who went along with her desire to learn to ride from age 7 onwards and it my husband who declared it was all too boring so, as he kept on saying, ‘I’m not going to waste my time standing around a field all day. I’ve got better things to do’. So it was me who stood around and encouraged her and transported her in all weathers and at times when most sensible people were still in bed. By the time she was 16 and beginning to win, he finally started going with us.

      What’s set me off today? (other than that I have no one else to tell) I found lots of professional photos of her competing last Sunday and on several of the photos he (her dad) is captured in the background, watching and obviously spending the day with her.

      She’s 39 now and married, no sign of hubby in the background, just her beloved, perfect, no faults, dad. And it hurts. They couldn’t go off on holiday abroad together (racing – his hobby that they both share) this year so he’s with her while she competes.

      I go round and round again when it comes to the pair of them but uppermost is the overwhelming frustration of seeing him with her and wanting to scream at him about what he did to my relationship with her. I want to ask if he ever thinks it’s just WRONG but deep down I know he doesn’t think or care at all. Before I left him (and before she got married – I wasn’t invited, he was) I tried to ask him what he thought it was like for me being cut off completely while he continued to enjoy his blissful relationship with her. He made me feel like a surrogate mother and I still feel like that almost six years later.

      I cannot even think of my daughter without thinking what he did.

    • #109082
      AvatarEldersend
      Participant

      Oh Ann, it’s heartbreaking to read how your daughter has treated you.

      It hurts so much to get reminders of the cruel rejection of our mothering.

      I know that the long-standing members here are adamant about not looking for snippets of information about the lives that our estranged adult children are leading. It always seems to lead to more pain. But who can blame us for slipping from time to time? Maybe with each slip we stand up and become more resolute in our determination to create strong new lives for ourselves.

      My thoughts when I read your post (and earlier ones) were that your daughter might be a person that needs a lot of attention and adulation. And your husband as well. Her winning performances might reflect back on him, get him the glory that is so important to him. That mutual feeding of the need to be admired and revered could be the glue that keeps their relationship going. Anything less is boring, or worse, to people like this.

      You kind of describe yourself as more of the work horse in the system, the steady, self sacrificing one, who is used, taken for granted, and discarded when the bright lights are shining for the flashy winners.

      People like your ex husband and daughter probably treat others just as badly. It is certainly a very familiar dynamic, to many of us parents here, and in other kinds of relationships as well.

      It is so hard to accept that the child we loved grew up to be an ungrateful, demeaning person. I am struggling with this too, as are so many of the mothers here. The stories are different in the details but the theme always seems to be the same.

      Thank you for sharing how it feels, in this and your other posts.

      Eldersend

    • #109094
      AnnAnn
      Participant

      Eldersend thank you for your post. As always today is another day to fight on.

    • #109096
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Ann, of the many ‘stories’ told here, shared real-life experiences, yours is one of the most courageous and also one of the most blatant narcissistic behaviour in a husband and father. And Eldersend has a point. Your former husband’s remark about having better things to do with his life than standing around on a field watching horses and children compete, sounded self-centered to me and when your daughter began winning ribbons, yes, a narcissist would turn up to bask in second-hand attention. I don’t know how you completely recover from a relationship like this. Do as you’ve done, escape finally, it was too much. I would have done the same thing given how your daughter turned on you. What was left but to take yourself out of the equation. I don’t know how you’ve stayed sane and survived, it says a lot for your inner strength, Ann.

      And it is interesting how words jump out at me when reading postings. Eldersend mentioned the word ‘adamant’ in relation to estrangement with some of us here. Yes, I guess this is how our decisions could come across and yes, it is a realistic word to put to how some of us have experienced the pain of estrangement. But I wouldn’t say adamant to the point of influencing others here in their walk through estrangement. I would hope people would not be influenced if this isn’t right for them. It has been for me. It’s interesting the words we choose. I would say that I have a long rope of patience but when I reach the end of the rope, it’s over for me. I have nothing left to give. Another word I might use would be ‘firm’ in my decisions once made. I don’t say it’s right for everyone, though. But yes, adamant is another way of looking at it. This forum allows for many POVs and this is what I like about it here. No-one is ever unkind.

      I do take responsibility for my own decisions. I grew up with an overbearing mother who stood by me her whole life but she had come from a very harsh father experience herself and she could be harsh herself. This led me to becoming submissive. And it’s part of what underlies some of the issues I’ve had in life. My mother’s treatment of me to some degree has affected who I’ve become or who I was in allowing behaviours towards me in my life which have had a negative impact upon me. Too late, smart.
      Aussiemom

    • #109127
      SimplifyPleaseSimplifyPlease
      Participant

      Dear AussieMom

      There’s so much sadness in this thread I just had send you a virtual hug. I wasn’t visiting the forum when your daughter contacted you, but I did notice a few references to your decision in other posts.

      This is such a thought-provoking thread. Thank you, AussieMom, for baring your soul so that others may learn from what you experienced and take another step forward in their own healing processes.

      Keep strong … Which you are. Being persecuted didn’t break you. It hasn’t broken other contributors to this thread. But the isolation forced on so many of us during this pandemic has made fighting those feelings so much harder. Which is why this forum and this thread, AussieMom, are so important. YOU are important.

      SP

    • #109143
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      SP, thank you for your kindness but the reality for many of us here is that we have been marginalized, disenfranchised. I think of the courage so many here have displayed in coming onto this forum, broken down and how they have risen through the ashes of despondency, grief, pain and great sadness to climb back up again in their own self-esteem. They come beaten down and they rise again. For a very private person, I was embarrassed at first to divulge any personal information. I was raised to do otherwise. Smile, carry on, don’t talk about issues, sweep them under the rug, leave them in the closet. And yet, here I found others sharing experiences and issues I’d experienced and it was then that a release came in sharing mine, as well. Were my issues observed by others who may have been involved personally, yes I believe so, but I decided that in being more open, others might feel empowered, as I’ve felt in hearing and reading of others experiences here. What has always felt important to me is that we all share different experiences which have resulted in very common feelings, mostly grief, not being understood, not being heard, being accused, being blamed. We each walk our own path and how I’ve handled my experience through estrangement may not be how others would handle it. I don’t want to impose my feelings on others to the point where this is cast in stone, this is right. Not being able to handle a reconnection fell onto me to decide over time that I am not up to a partial relationship with a child I’d raised, loved, cared for and about. It was bringing back hurtful memories that at my age, I am not willing to handle. Growing older in itself is enough to handle for me now. But I don’t want to influence others in how they should feel and act. I sometimes feel that when we climb out of the morass of sadness, we’re still not measuring up to what we should be doing….and shoulds are what I was dealing with before. Shoulds don’t always consider the person most involved. Or their feelings. Shoulds are society’s expectations of roles mothers play. Should play. Not so for me now.
      Aussiemom

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