When is it OK for a mother to STOP trying?

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    • #17590
      AvatarHealingheart
      Participant

      Greetings new friends,

      My daughter and I have become increasingly more estranged over the past 4 years. My husband and I moved away 5 years ago and since then, my relationship with my daughter has deteriorated. At first it seemed like she was just being immature by ignoring my calls, texts, and my invitations to come visit and explore our new home and community with us. But over time she became increasingly angry, detached, disinterested in visiting and it even spiraled downward into ignoring my visits to see HER, ignoring birthdays and holidays, and being passively aggressive with me on social media. All the while this was happening she became increasingly more connected with her dad and his new wife, to the point where I have become accustomed to feeling as though I have been replaced. Now she is 25 years old and married. still living in close proximity to her father and his wife, to the groom’s parents, and a very long drive away from me.

      MY QUESTION IS THIS: When is it OK to stop trying? I feel so awful not sending cards or texting well wishes to her. And yet, every time I try reaching out to her I am completely ignored. It hurts so badly. But whenever I feel ready to STOP…..the little voice in my head tells me that “mothers never stop trying”.

      My therapist and husband remind me that texting and calling and writing letters over and over again has only yielded the same results. And you know what they say…..doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results is insanity.

      Call me insane. Insanely and desperately heartbroken.

      I would love your advice, your opinion, your experiences. Thank you.

    • #17605
      Avatartiredmom
      Participant

      Hi Healingheart-
      I too, am estranged from my daughter. I have not spoken to her in almost 2 years. Although it has been hard, especially at this time of the year, I have decided that I will resist attempting to contact her.
      I tried calling, texting my daughter. I finally sent a letter, reminding her that she was the one who chose to stop all interactions/communications-but if she decided to reconnect, the door is open/I will be there.
      Maybe this would work for you.

    • #17616
      AvatarLessonsLearned
      Participant

      Healingheart
      I think it is probably different for each one of us as to when to STOP. It took
      me a long time to realize that I was the only one interested in reconciliation.
      One day I was sitting outside all alone and thinking about my life. In the last
      three years I lost my Father followed by my Mother and 2 months later my
      Husband. Eight months later my daughter walked out of my life. I made three
      different attempts to reconnect with my ED. I was not successful. While I was
      sitting under my favorite tree in my yard enjoying the weather and my lovely
      landscaping it for some reason just came to me that I need to stop Obsessing
      about my ED. I thought about the times I had reached out to her with no response
      back to me. I REMEMBERED HOW HURT I WAS each time I did not hear back
      from her. I just knew it was time for the sake of my health that if I kept going
      down the path I was going I would be in serious trouble. My stress was off the
      charts I wasn’t eating and not sleeping. The biggest reason I had to quit was I
      have an adult Son with disabilities who I love. I want to be on this earth as long
      as possible for my Son. My ED hates her brother and wants nothing to do with
      him. She is embarrassed by him and showed it whenever she was around him.
      That’s why maybe better ED is not in my life anymore I don’t have to worry
      about her hateful attitude towards him. My daughter is a RN I always say
      she must have missed any classes on Empathy while away at College.
      Sorry for such a long post I just wanted to explain my situation to you.
      As I said earlier I just knew it was time to STOP. I HOPE you will also know
      when it’s time.
      PS As I was sitting under my tree on that beautiful summer day I was thinking
      of my Husband (ED’S Father) how he would be so disappointed in our Daughter.
      Maybe in that moment deep in thought is what moved me along to Stop.

    • #17624
      AvatarSunflowersDay
      Participant

      Dear Healingheart,

      I’ve wondered the very same as I have been reading here about the suffering we mothers are going through.

      I feel that just stopping it completely may cause you the most struggle. It’s okay to send fewer messages, cards and then maybe just one or two. Maybe taper off……

      I was pretty regular with texting photos of pretty things which I always did before the silence fell between my daughter and myself. Then I sent fewer. After all, she was hearing from me and knew just how I was doing. I never heard from her!!! Now I haven’t sent anything in awhile. Maybe she will begin to reconsider or maybe this is the time for me to stop?

      If you think this would make you feel better and you might be on your way to letting go then stop.
      This might be the time to stop for you. I know, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity. I’ve been guilty of this.

      Tiredmom, I do agree. Maybe it is time.

    • #17631
      Avatarrosegarden
      Participant

      Oh, Healingheart, I truly understand your experience and your question as to when is it OK to stop trying. I’m there right now. I have knocked myself out for at least four years trying to stay connected to my ED. She drifts in and out of our lives, but when she is in contact, it’s all surface when it’s good, or it’s hostile when it’s not. We are just a necessary obligation they have to deal with occasionally. It’s been three years since we visited them – they live 3,000 miles away. I just went through a particularly rough couple of years with her/them capped off by being uninvited to travel back for the birth of their first child – my first grandchild and stay to help afterwards. I thought impending motherhood had softened her heart, but I was wrong.
      Like you, I heard that same little voice in my head telling me that a mother never gives up. I gave the relationship all I had, and every time I was either ignored or shot down. So after this last fiasco, I decided to take a break. I had to admit that she just doesn’t care. Since I was the only one trying to reestablish a relationship, and I was the only one doing the work, I decided to just stop. Not forever, just for a while and see how I did. The effect of this estrangement has taken a heavy toll on both my mental and physical health. In going through the hoops to try to please them, walking on eggshells so as not to upset them, and allowing them to treat me with such disregard, I became obsessed with not giving up.
      Then I realized that I don’t like the person I have become. I liked the person I was, and I needed for the sake of my well being to get back to that person. It’s only been two days, but already I feel an overwhelming relief in that I have given myself the freedom of not making her the focus of my life…it’s time to focus on myself, my husband, son and the people that do care about me. Those are the people my thoughts will go to over the holiday season and those are the people that I think will help me find myself again. I’ll just have to see how the next few months go, and if this letting go seems to be working for me, I’ll continue to extend and I think I will know that it’s time to come to a complete stop…or maybe it will just happen naturally.
      So my suggestion is to just give yourself permission to stop trying for now, set a date for yourself to revisit your decision – mine is the new year, and if it’s working for you, extend the date another few months. I hope your decision will bring you peace.
      I also have decided that I will still do what I feel comfortable doing for my daughter and my grandchild, I only do what I want to and what will make me happy. I’m just finishing up a Christmas stocking to send to my grandson, I’ve made stockings for every new little one in my family through the years and I think he should have one too. It brought me joy to make it. If they use it, great, if I get a thank you, even better…but I do this for me with no expectations from them.
      I will always love my daughter, and I’ve fallen in love with my grandson (from a photo) even though I haven’t met him yet. I will never stop hoping that they will someday find their way back into my life, but I also will not let myself waste away to a sad old woman waiting for that day to come.

    • #17632
      AnnAnn
      Participant

      It’s been just over two years of complete silence for me. For the first year I regularly sent emails (every couple of months) telling her I was thinking of her and sent cards. Now I just send a birthday card and today I will post a first wedding anniversary card to say I’m sending her genuine best wishes. I will not send anything else other than a birthday card in future.

      I have got to the stage where I expect NOTHING from her – I knew for many, many years it would end this way. A huge part of me just wants to annoy her by sending her this anniversary card today! (I wasn’t invited and she and her dad/my husband didn’t tell me)

      But if I stop even a birthday card there really will be no way back for her and, since I feel nothing anymore when posting it I might just as well carry on posting once a year.

    • #17634
      AvatarHurtingMum
      Participant

      “MY QUESTION IS THIS: When is it OK to stop trying? I feel so awful not sending cards or texting well wishes to her. And yet, every time I try reaching out to her I am completely ignored. It hurts so badly. But whenever I feel ready to STOP…..the little voice in my head tells me that “mothers never stop trying”.”

      Which hurts you more, the trying to keep contact and being ignored or the “thought” of not keeping contact?

      There comes a time when you have to start thinking of you, your feelings, your needs, constantly bringing yourself down is not healthy and sometimes we have to do what is right for “us” not for others. It is not selfish, it is self preservation.

    • #17642
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Healing Heart, this is a very important question to many of us who are going or have been through estrangement. I do believe much of what has happened with my daughter was the result of choosing not to live with her stepfather and his family at a time when I felt very disrespected and the butt of that family’s emotional issues which they’d brought into the marriage ten years before. But in Lessons Learned case, divorce was not an issue. I think what is also being asked is ‘why’, why has this estrangement happened, how could a child whom you’ve given birth to, or as in my case, adopted, whom you’ve loved and raised through all the years of a child’s growing up, to end up being shunned and disconnected from their lives. And again, I will say, that for whatever reason, it is often the mother who takes the brunt of this decision by their grown children. There is good advice here in when to stop, but only you will know when that time comes. You’ve made a decision for personal reasons to disengage from your daughter’s former life and a former husband who is now remarried and giving her the semblance of what you left behind, a family to her. I made a decision after ten years of marriage to another man, following the death of my husband and I paid a heavy price for that decision. My daughter did not like having her life disturbed, the home in which she grew up, sold, when I could no longer afford to keep it, when I moved on with my life, I was judged, not the former stepfather, who drank copious amounts of liquor, who whined and complained about his first wife, then, me, his second wife, who didn’t support me in trying to deal with his son who had become aggressive physically and emotionally with me and whose anger disrupted our household greatly. So, a decision made on my part cost me my daughter, my step-daughter whom I was close to, although both did not disengage for many years but all those years I knew I was on the edge of severance and continually judged for my behaviour. I was patronized by both girls and treated marginally as to my own self. I honestly don’t know how to move on without feeling loss and depression and pain. But for your own sake, and for my own sake, it has and has had to happen. There are days when I get up still, after all these years, and feel a heaviness in my heart. And there are many days of acceptance when that heavy feeling is not present. Holidays are the worst times to bring back memories of what was. I think Lessons Learned has explained it well as have others here. Maybe just acknowledging to ourselves that we’ve been very badly treated by our grown children and just stop there without looking for answers. I have been poorly treated by my daughter and stepdaughter. And who cares, not them, they feel justified in their actions. So me is who I have to deal with. And me who I have to care about…and frankly there are days when I don’t know how to do this. I’ve been so busy looking after others that to look after me doesn’t come easy to me.
      Aussiemom

    • #17646
      rparentsrparents
      Keymaster

      Dear Healingheart,

      As mothers, we are conditioned to love unconditionally and never give up on our children. That’s a beneficial thing for mothers … until things get all haywire and it ends up hurting us. Then we’re left trying to break away from the feelings that are so natural to us. I’ll add in fathers, too, because there are many I hear from who feel similarly (although they are less vocal publicly as a whole about it).

      In my book, there are some tools to help with this. Letting go in full may seem so final … and there are tools to help you figure out what it is your reaching out is really trying to do. In the book, a mother named Geneva decides what her goal is: to let her EAC know she’s open to reconcile, and still cares. Then she reaches out in a sensible way, on a sensible timetable to achieve that goal–without getting caught up in the emotions when her EAC does not reply. There is some information about changing the goal as needed, or giving in entirely and not reaching out anymore. It might be helpful to you in its practical format.

      Just this morning, a woman commented about this very thing. It’s the 10th comment on this article that I published here last month. She mentions some later parts of the book, which offer the adult children’s perspective (which I drew from, among other things, research that offered the EAC’s perspective). At the bottom, I’ll post a link to that article with the woman’s comment. Betsy, who commented, has decided no more reaching out for her … but after weighing all factors, you may be where Geneva and many other mothers are. There is no single answer, but many examples and experiences to help you figure out what is best for you at this moment.

      Hugs, Sheri McGregor
      Here’s the link to the article where Betsy commented (Sunflowers Day is there too):

      Thanksgiving for parents of estranged adult children

    • #17653
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose
      Participant

      HealingHeart, your story touched me because my story is much like yours. Divorced and moved to another city for better job opportunities and to get away from people telling me they had seen my ex at such and such place and he was acting weirdly or drunk or worse. I believe our AC very possibly feel that if WE move away, it must be because we don’t love them enough or don’t want to be in their lives. Especially if the other parent does estrangement tactics like saying things like “your mom moved away because she doesn’t really love you” or whatever. We think our AC are not vulnerable to such tactics and we think they should be more rational and mature. But often they are not.

      And if I may speak frankly, our new place of residence is not something they are interested in exploring. This is something I have realized only recently and see that I will have to go to them rather than hope or expect them to come to visit me. Young people are naturally interested in their own lives and what has meaning to them. Just as we were at their age.

      I think it also helps to look at our AC personalities before the estrangement. Were they always moody, needy, demanding, entitled? Often, we see that this pattern of mean or selfish behavior has always been there. It is just now directed at us.

      Only you can decide when to stop, cut back, or let it go. I do believe that it helps to focus on ourselves and building a new life by volunteering, going back to school, joining groups, etc. I used the tactic of setting a date two or three months ahead and deciding I would not think about my estrangement until that date. I wrote stuff in a journal if I could not stop myself from thinking about it. Mostly I said to myself, “stop thinking about it until Feb. 1” and as time passed, I was able to let it go more and more. When Feb. 1 came, I no longer felt locked into the grief. What I also did during this time was to really think about my own personal goals in life, what did I want for ME at this point in my life. Going after my own personal goals and focusing on me for once in my life, helped me to cope and rebuild my self esteem. Because I was always the good, loving, nurturing mother and put my kids first all their lives and then having them estrange themselves, well my self talk was negative against myself.

      Best wishes to you.

    • #17659
      AvatarHealingheart
      Participant

      Thank you all so very much for your heartfelt opinions and descriptions of your decisions. I am feeling so much support here and am so thankful that there ARE other mothers out there who understand. I would love to hear more of your opinions on the matter and will continue to soak up your words of wisdom. I will also continue to read and re-read the book. Thank you again so much.

    • #17683
      AvatarRainbow
      Participant

      Healingheart, although we are all on the road of estrangement when to stop trying will be a individually decision made and each of our timing will be different. For me it happened after 24 years of trying and almost begging to be in my ES world. My grandchildren were taken away from us twice. This last estrangement which is now over 2 years was the only time I was able to sit back and look at the picture clearly. We were good parents. Yes, we made mistakes but nothing that warranted estrangement. I realized we were the only ones trying to keep the peace. My husband and I made every effort to have a successful reconciliation. Our last reconciliation lasted 6 years, but I can tell you it wasn’t easy being in their world. We had to watch every word we said, walked on eggshells and literally we subjected and accepted the abuse because we just wanted peace and we didn’t want to lose our grandchildren again. All our efforts failed. The problem was, we were the only ones trying. My ES from his early twenties was starting to put a wedge between us. When he met his wife and the wedding plans were under way, we were pushed aside. It was obvious he now had his “new family.” I was always his punching bag and he was verbally abusive most especially to me. This last estrangement nearly destroyed my husband and I emotionally as well as physically. We knew we would no longer hold out the olive branch only to have our hands bitten. With a clear conscience we both knew we tried our best, but you can’t make someone love you and want you in their world. This time around we put up our hands and just knew we had enough. In previous estrangements, we were always the ones calling him to try and reconcile. This time around we decided to grant our ES what he wants and that is a life without his parents. You will know in the very depths of your heart and soul when to stop trying. Love, Rainbow

    • #17698
      AvatarHealingheart
      Participant

      To all my new friends! Thank you.

      Yellow Rose, you are so right! You are right about the move, right about my ex planting thoughts into her head, right about her always being moody, needy, demanding, entitled. You are right about her not wanting to come visit….And I am going to take your suggestion (as others have offered) and set a date and try to quit thinking about it until then. (You’ve been living the same life as me, haven’t you?)

      Rainbow, you are correct: We cannot make them love us. We cannot make them do anything. And as I’ve said, I have “turned the other cheek so many times, my jaw is broken”.

      Sheri- I am soaking up the contents of the book. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into such a worthy project. You’ve made your loss and sorrow into something helpful and beautiful for other people. Your experience, sadness, and healing are helping me in ways I never imagined. Hopefully by being a part of this forum, I will be able to help someone in the future as well.

      Aussie mom- you are right- when we left our previous lives, we were judged. Nobody judged the ex. You and I had good reasons to leave. Abuse is never OK. The bruises healed but my heart never did.

      Hurting Mum- you are right- “which hurts more”? I still can’t decide! Oh dear.

      Ann- I’m glad you sent that card!!!!! LOL. I hope it annoyed her:)

      SunflowersDay- I too am reaching out less and less…..it feels good not being rejected. Even my husband told me this morning that I seem much happier even though I continue to be sad. I guess that makes me “sappy”!

      Tired mom- Believe it or not, I’ve drafted a letter! But I’m having a really hard time finding a balance between being firm and being loving. Truth is, it doesn’t matter……I put so much work into choosing the right words and then she misinterprets them anyway! Ug!

      Lessons Learned- Oh my. I am so glad you are focusing on your son. I too have a son- a normal, healthy, loving son who does want to be a part of my life. Shame on me for spending so much energy on the ED and not the loving son. Isn’t that the truth?

      All of this sharing has been really good for me. I feel ready to make some changes now in the way I move forward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • #17699
      AvatarLessonsLearned
      Participant

      Rainbowi
      AMEN I believe that each one of us will know in our hearts when to Stop trying. I
      knew in my heart of hearts it was time to Stop trying. It was actually a relief to
      finally accept it. I believe that I am a good honest and caring person who should
      not have to beg someone esp my own Daughter to be in my life. A relationship
      should involve both parties willingness to participate in a loving and giving manner.
      When there Is just one willing to do all the work to keep the relationship together
      and it becomes one sided it will not survive. I will always miss my ED but don’t
      miss the disrespect or the conflict. Being blamed for everything gone wrong in
      my ED’s life was hard to deal with.

    • #17719
      AvatarSunflowersDay
      Participant

      Stopping the trying is okay and the right thing to do when all of your energy for the Why and How have run out. Then you move on. When it doesn’t work both ways and you suffer alone then we stop what you are doing. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is insanity.
      That’s why I divorced my X husband. Interesting thought.

      You will know, I believe, when it is okay and time to stop trying. The soul just moves on and you Don’t care anymore. I know that feeling and once you have been there you will know when it comes again. I wonder if it will happen between my ED and myself. Who will stop caring? Wait and see.

    • #17754
      AvatarAlexandra
      Participant

      I think it’s okay to stop trying when the thought of our ECs brings nothing but fear, anxiety and pain. I’d say that’s a good place to stop trying. In our hearts and minds we may never stop longing for that connection to the children we bore or adopted and fell in love with at first sight. Estrangement is a long, mystifying, any dyd heartbreaking process. It didn’t happen overnight and won’t be resolved overnight. But when anxiety and fear are your first reactions to thoughts of your EC then I definitely say it’s time to physically stop caring. No more texts, emails, gifts, planned gatherings. When we stop banging our heads against the wall, our heads start to heal.

      Alexandra

    • #17765
      AvatarCarolina
      Participant

      Alexandrea;

      My God, sometimes wisdom comes from pain and now I really believe it. I consider your words of wisdom the greatest gift of all this Thanksgiving and I thank you for writing.

      As I prepare for Thanksgiving dinner (have been shopping, cooking and clearning for days now) it will be a smaller group and I will miss my grandchildren but honestly, for the first holiday in years I guess I really have stopped banging my head against the wall. I’m not experiencing the anxiety and longing to make it all OK. They won’t be here and it’s OK and I wil be able to really engage with those who want to be here at my table. I know a resolution won’t happen overnight but I’m on my way. Soon I will be able to respond to friends and relatives asking about her that she chooses not to be involved. It’s that simple.

      Thank you again my friend that I’ll probably never meet in person but has shared her wisdom.

      • #17770
        AvatarAlexandra
        Participant

        You’re very welcome Carolina. I’ve asked myself the same question(s) but it wasn’t until I started reading here and listening to the wise contributors that I’ve been able to answer some of my own questions. I am glad what I said resonated.

        Alexandra

    • #17777
      AvatarCarolina
      Participant

      Alexandra, I guess it was the right time and I was in the right place to hear your message and have it hit me like it did. I think that is what makes this forum so helpful and healing. Estrangement with adult children truly is unchartered waters with little help. The wisdom in Sheri’s book and the posts on this forum from those who are working through so much are gifts that we share with each other. My best to you! Carolina

      • #17859
        AvatarAlexandra
        Participant

        It’s freeing, isn’t it, Caroline? I am feeling better now than I have in 7 years. Once I took my own power back from my ED, she didn’t have hers to hold over me any more. That was a process though; a long one. She will think I am still suffering (and I am, but mostly because of the grandchildren) but her ability to hurt me is greatly diminished.

        Alexandra

    • #17842
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose
      Participant

      As we talk about writing letters or emails trying to reach out to our estranged AC, I want to share something it took me a long time to learn. I used to believe one could just talk to someone and explain things and they would understand and be enlightened and willing to listen and change. Now I don’t believe that everyone thinks rationally and reasonably and when we try to talk rationally or reasonably to our estranged AC, like “trying to talk sense into them” — well, we need to really think this through ahead of time and look at their past pattern of response to us. If someone is not rational or reasonable, they hear what they want to hear. And they usually turn our message back into how we are wrong, not taking any responsibility. As someone said, they twist our words to be something we didn’t mean. So I believe we have to look at who we are trying to reach when we want to speak or write to them. If this person always turns it back to how it is your fault, or they always blame someone else for their mistakes, failings, etc., then likely we won’t get rational and reasonable back.

      So often, we as mothers believe it is us, the problem is us, and if we just say (blank) or do (blank), it will get better. I am just trying to say, with some people, no matter what you do, they aren’t going to be reasonable or rational and it is my opinion for our own happiness and mental health, we have to expect and accept people on the level they are at.

    • #17852
      AnnAnn
      Participant

      Yellow Rose your first paragraph described my husband exactly. He was like that for at least the last 20 years of our marriage. He taught my/our daughter well. In the end she was exactly the same.

      Both of them are brilliant examples of black and white thinking. My daughter even said to me once “I’m not like that with anyone else but you”. Lucky me!

    • #17860
      AvatarAlexandra
      Participant

      Such true words, Yellow Rose! I am at the point now where I don’t want to talk to my ED because I know it will cause pain. It took a long time to get to that point. it was a process, as you imply, of doing X or Y hoping things will change. But with some people, there is no changing the way they think and whatever we do will not be good enough. I now EXPECT such treatment from my ED and when we expect it, we can prepare for it. It doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did because i was so caught up in “what did I do wrong, and how can I fix it?”

      Alexandra

    • #17888
      AvatarSunflowersDay
      Participant

      I understand, Alexandra. I too am at that same point where you are. I need a lot more time to learn more about myself and my daughter’s mental and physical conditions and let go completely of any feelings of guilt which might still be with me. Yes, I was so caught up in that “what did I do wrong and how can I fix it?” thing also. Taking the power back is exactly right! I’m so glad you posted that! When you do this they can’t hurt you like they did before!

      Ann, it is a big relief now isn’t it that you have come to the point where you don’t Expect anything. This takes a huge weight off of our hearts and lets us move on.

      I was, just a few months ago, pleading, apologizing, sending things by text and phone calls which were never answered, Expecting in return something from her until I saw more clearly how her mind was working. What I saw as my “offense” no longer justified the punishment. I saw what she suffered from mentally and gave a lot more thought to her health and what she has to deal with.

      It’s okay to stop trying. Move on with taking care of yourself.

      SunflowersDay

    • #17930
      AvatarRainbow
      Participant

      All, it took me many years to reach the point of total acceptance and this just happening recently. A sigh of relief came with it and even though I still carry the hurt of estrangement in my heart, strangely there is also a feeling of peace existing in my heart was well. Love, Rainbow

    • #17939
      Avatargottomoveon
      Participant

      First post. I wanted to thank the person who started this thread, and those who replied. Every year about this time for 6 years now, I tell myself “Maybe next year we will have a family holiday again” and then Thanksgiving comes, and I am not invited to any celebrations. I went ahead and tried to have a get together some other day, and my daughter would bring my grandsons up and act like it was proof of what a great and kind daughter she is that she allows to see our grandchildren at all. Her husband has gaslighted her, and my son watched… and now he is repeating her behavior. Use the grandkids as weapons, treat me like a doormat, and go all year without ever contacting me, for anything. Mother’s Day, Birthday, Grandparents Day, Parent’s Day, I hear nothing. Well, except the relentless ads telling me how awesome mothers are with videos of fake mothers and children who seem to love each other more than my actual children love me.
      Anyway, it dawned on me that that hope for next year was setting up a pattern of misery over the holidays. I thought maybe I needed to give up hope, that it was hurting me. I mentioned it to a friend and she ripped me a new rectal orifice… “Mothers never give up!”
      It hurt, I am not saying I am slamming the door and will never allow them back in. If they want me in their lives, they know where to find me. Nothing has ever inspired them to try to include me in their lives, and hoping that will change leaves me sad and lonely at the holidays, year after year.
      This thread showed me I am not the only one struggling with this, and gave me the courage to try. It is nothing major, just me telling myself “This is the new normal” instead of telling myself “Maybe next year.” It is not a happy thought, but it feels more like I am dealing with reality. “Maybe next year” I will plan to be out of town, go visit some old friends or something, anything besides sitting and wishing my children would call.

    • #18091
      AUSSIEMOMAUSSIEMOM
      Participant

      Yellow Rose: In the midst of all this, common sense prevails: ” I used to believe one could just talk to someone and explain things and they would understand and be enlightened and willing to listen and change”. Is it naivety on our parts as mothers that we don’t stop to look back and the history of how someone has responded to us in the past and that we would think, as I have all these years, if you are reasonable, if you give the facts as they happened, there would be understanding and then, I guess, hopefully, acceptance. This is something I need to remind myself to consider before speaking to anyone with whom I may have an issue.
      Aussiemom

    • #18103
      AvatarHealingheart
      Participant

      Yellow Rose~ It might be naive……it might just be hopeful. I was talking with my husband about this last night. Yesterday I mentioned to him that I might try and give my ED a call just to, you know, give it a try……..see if she answers…..ask how she is doing……

      He was SO frustrated with me! He kept asking me, “why do you want to put yourself THOUGH this, over and over and over and over again?” And he insinuated there was something “wrong with me” that I kept trying…….

      Sometimes I just feel like if I tried just a little harder……for a little while longer……she would change.

      This is why I try. And I am searching for the universe to tell me it is OK to stop. NOW. But so far, my universe is remaining silent…..and I keep wondering.

      Do any of you keep wondering?

    • #18050
      AvatarSunflowersDay
      Participant

      Dear gottomoveon,

      Maybe next year you do need to plan to be out of town. It sounds like time to do this. That friend who ripped into you, I would try to avoid her. Mother’s do give up. They stop expecting things and try to move on, new friends, new places, new activities until all of these things fit together and make for not avoiding or masking your past but making a new future. The H*ll with these kids. You sound strong enough to do this.
      Oh yeah. Those TV ads with the happy, hugging, kissing families. I am right now turning the channel. Thank God for remotes!! I avoid this junk. Go now and make new memories with good friend who don’t try to rip you a new one without much caring for your own feeling.
      Take care of you!
      Sunflower

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