June 23, 2019 at 12:55 pm #84134
Yesterday GC called and asked if Grandpa could come and get her. Sure, he said. I miss you! After the trip in heavy traffic, the poor guy arrived home with kids in tow. He was so happy. After a few hours, ED shows up. Girls must go home now. They were crying, and wanting their Grandpa. He was feeling like someone kicked him in the gut. The man that was used 10 hours a day for over 3 years for babysitting convenience, was now treated like a stranger. I was afraid he was going to have a stroke. He never said a word to ED. The crying of those little girls put a tear in his eyes. My heart broke for him. I distance myself from any feelings other than his. I wrote of hate in another thread. Questioned myself for the feelings. Guess I have my answer. And it isn’t a “I don’t like , but….. “ scenario.Mjmom
June 23, 2019 at 1:03 pm #84142
Your feelings. It’s ok to acknowledge them. In fact, it’s compassionate to yourself. They’re yours and valid.
I hope your husband will be able to deal with this in a way that is healthy for him (I know he’s been ill and you worry for him).
Hugs to you.
June 23, 2019 at 2:55 pm #84152Yellow RoseParticipant
I can understand how this really breaks your heart, MJMom. You are a loving and good wife. And loving and good mother. I used to watch my husband interacting with his ES with both fear and sorrow for my husband that his kid was so hateful. I felt fear for me because if husband got weak and invited ES back into our lives, then the drama, chaos, and emotional pain starts up again. Not that we can stop ES from trying but I mean it starts up in my house, my safe place. My husband had to experience the “joy” of the ES behavior over and over until he finally realized that the problem was the ES. Of course, good counseling helped my husband see that behavior as damaging to himself. I think we often want to protect our spouses and/or younger children from the fall out of the EC nefarious behavior. No one enjoys dealing with a cruel and unkind person like this so I suspect its natural to want different or try to pretend for a while that what is happening isn’t happening. It can also make us madder to watch the EC doing this to someone we love vs. when they do it to us personally. My husband has been “closer” to the ES lately due to some family stuff and I have been waiting for the crap to start. Husband is “woke” to the nefarious behavior but he carries hope, even just a little bit. Right before Father’s Day, ES started back in the blame game. Husband didn’t bite and thus got ignored on FD. I have to confess feeling differently than you do, the sorrow for my husband is overridden by relief because when the ES bites, it keeps my husband from getting weak minded in his love for the ES. Every time husband gets weak minded, the ES brings chaos and pain into our household. I can’t try to protect my husband any longer because my own pain is too great when husband makes poor decisions regarding the ES. It is always lose/lose, never win/win. There are no GC, and I think this makes a huge difference. Hugs to you, dear MJMom.
June 23, 2019 at 4:29 pm #84153
Mjmom, your feelings are valid, they are yours. You’ve witnessed too much to not feel. I’m not going to say I’m sorry that your husband is experiencing this. Painful as it is for him, he may now be able to ‘see’ himself what you’ve been experiencing yourself. I have a feeling that the end of this situation is not written yet. There will be more.
I am assured now that you are able to acknowledge what is happening and can take a step back from absorbing it yourself. You will be of more support and help to your husband going through this now because of this. But what a process you’ve been through.
I’m glad you’re here.
June 23, 2019 at 4:46 pm #84155
Aussiemom and MjMom,
The idea that he may be able to “see” now what’s going on is good. There is also the potential for downsides. I think it’s hard to be right … and see our spouse come to those conclusions, too. Not only do we see them hurt (and yes be able to help–great point!) but there might be hurt feelings in a husband who may recognize:
* his behavior and participation has prolonged his wife’s hurt or made it worse (or, even if this isn’t actually true, he may feel this way)
* that he’s been blinded by love or hope or wishing or manipulation (and that can be such a thing to get over for any of us)
There may also be feelings of failure as a dad (and husband), the embarrassment that goes with those, the pain of grief….
Add in a frailty of the physical body, and a man can feel pretty low. All of this can be tough on the spouse. The last thing I ever want to be in a position of saying to my husband is “I told you so.” And I won’t, but I might feel it from time to time (speaking in general terms). One thing I have learned over the years, and especially as we age together, is that although we are together, we are also on separate journeys. That means accepting faults and showing honor and compassion (duh), and not letting my stuff (fears, worries, ego, etc. ) get in the way of his stuff. And also not always trying to talk it through. Sometimes just being kind without talking about it is a form of kindness.
I know you know all of this, I’m just speaking from my experience…and from the perspective that it can be trying at times. An adult child’s issues, troubles, manipulation, unkindness, rejection, etc…. Those things add more to the mix.
Well, there’s my marriage sermon for the day. LOL. I sometimes need these reminders for myself.
June 23, 2019 at 4:48 pm #84144PeoniesParticipant
I had a stroke on April 21st, and the stress is difficult to manage. I try very hard to put it in the proper compartment, and for me that is if I let the stress overwhelm my thoughts, I’ll have another stroke and never see my grandchildren again for sure.
Easy to say, almost impossible to do. I try (and sometimes fail) to re-direct my anger, sadness and hurt into something that calms me. I’m improving! I’m at about 50/50 now. What calms your husband? What calms YOU? Don’t forget you need support, too.
My husband focuses his emotions onto me, and how he can help me; how he can simply be there for me to lean on. He can’t fix it, and he doesn’t try to, but he’s just there for me and he tells me that.
It must be so difficult for you and your husband, and I wish with all my heart that you find a way to manage the pain. It’s a long journey.
I wish you and your husband the best. Lots of hugs.
June 23, 2019 at 6:12 pm #84168
Thank you all! When my emotions take over my now, I can count on you. This weekend showed my husband the bitter truth. He was used for convenience. I told him this for years and with health issues I blinded him. It took the sorrow of his granddaughters to remove the fog. Never wanted this to happen. Wanted to keep him oblivious of the undercurrent. Nothing makes me happy but him. My life revolves around this. Sure, some will say I need a life if my own. But after 50 years so difficult!!! Mjmom
June 23, 2019 at 8:05 pm #84172TheblueskyParticipant
Mjmom, I too am very protective of my husband. He works physically hard every day at his job, this time of year in exhausting heat. My ES and my emotionally distant daughter are not his biological children. But he , the last almost twenty years, recognized, supported, and embraced them as his own. When the crap hit the fan five years ago, with my son and daughter, he would fluctuate between anger and sobbing pain along with me. Given that, I have through these years felt just as much pain for him as myself. He opened his heart, our home, and down the road gave up his comfort zone to be near them to what we thought would satisfy my longing, and what we truly believed would be a positive move and undertaking. It fell to pieces in two months. This guy never once held me responsible for uprooting us, throwing our lives into an emotional and financial crisis. We have recovered for the most part. But he still gives my daughter the benefit of the doubt, and I suppose I can only love him more for that. He is a kind, forgiving soul. And makes me pause a little bit now and then. This, I believe is an ongoing journey of discovery of ourselves outside of our EC. Which we may have encountered, faced, regardless of the event of estrangement.
Much love, peace, and healthy well being to you and your husband. We hang tight.
June 23, 2019 at 8:06 pm #84170
Sheri, you’re like a mom to us all, I smiled when I read your posting. I guess what I was trying to say was that when someone has an experience similar to what we’ve had, there may be an allowance for greater understanding, such as we all experience here. We’ve bonded over a common experience (estrangement) even though the circumstances in each case differ.
I’m not without privacy issues, but I will say this, I’ve felt very protective of my husband (thirty-one years) which I’ve frankly never understood or could name. But even as a kid growing up and afterward, as friends, I felt a sense of protectiveness towards him. It’s taken me too many experiences and years to come to the conclusion that we are on separate paths in life, albeit living together. Frankly, looking after him is sometimes like looking after a prickly porcupine. He sees things differently than I do, though, which is often helpful (although the reverse is not overly well accepted and I sometimes, no oftentimes feel like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall…but that is a message to me, stop trying. It’s not going to go anywhere. Now, it’s all I can do to look after myself at this age, he can look after himself, I mean that emotionally. Physically we’re still here to support each other as much as each of us can. For now.
I honestly don’t know how I would cope with what Mjmom has had to cope with. I’m not sure where I would be going with that other than feeling very resentful at the way in which she’s been treated and feeling resentful now for the reality of how her husband is being treated. How do you handle this? What can you do to maintain a balance for yourself, yet still deal with what feels like abusive behaviour? Any suggestions, Sheri, or am I putting you on the spot with this one…and if I am, please just say so…and accept my apologies for doing so.
June 23, 2019 at 8:06 pm #84171ChessieParticipant
I’m so sorry, MJMom, for your pain and that of your husband. As painful as this almost 13 year estrangement has been for me, my heart goes out to my husband. I know he hurts. I know he puts up his bravest front for me. But you see the pain etched in his face, especially when he doesn’t think you’re looking. After all, this is his son who doesn’t want him or me, his mother. His son. His namesake, whom we love with all our hearts, throwing us, his parents, to the trash.
Sending (((hugs))) your way and wishing you strength to navigate the horrific waters of estrangement.
June 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm #84180
You’re not putting me on the spot. But it would be different for everyone.
MjMom’s hands are kind of tied as to protecting her husband. He’s going to go pick them up if they call (I think), even though he can see through the daughter now. How can you protect someone from that situation? Except maybe walk the girls out to the car when the daughter comes to get them? Then she gets the cold stares or whatever instead of him…. She can’t forbid him from seeing them, I don’t think (and probably wouldn’t want to). If she did, how would he feel (mad at her and she’s not his enemy).
What do you mean by balance? If you mean taking care of herself in all of this, then just that … continue to take care of herself. Pet the little doggy, take care of her own needs and health. The feelings are present, and stinky, but she’s too strong and wise to let them rule over her life for more than a few minutes or hours at a time. Oh heck, days maybe…but there’s too much living to do to be down and out and sad and crying and hopeless all the time. Too much living. Like D.A.C. said recently: ALIVE. (I’m pretty sure it was D.A.C.)
It’s possible that now that her husband has seen the behavior, after the shock wears off, the two of them can come up with a plan that serves them both together and also supports the granddaughters they love. But it won’t end the suffering of the situation. They can be joyful despite the suffering though. Maybe not in every minute, but they can cultivate it like a beautiful flower so that it takes root and regenerates.
I have talked to so many grandparents who suffer in these situations, and still have contact with the grandchildren. The relationships are tenuous sometimes, or metered by the abusive adult child, or sporadic. But they try to keep things good for the kids, because it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s never a win-win for anybody … but it doesn’t have to be a lose-lose every minute. If there was ever a time to accept reality, these situations are a time. One mom gave her grandson and granddaughter piano lessons at her own piano in the summertime because music is part of their family history and without her, they would not get this inclusion. Another offered food prep lessons in her kitchen whenever she got the chance to see the kids (sporadic) because she felt like this would help the kids (who live with an addict mother and their grandfather who take them for fast food, her ex).
Accept doesn’t mean approval. It just means recognizing facts. Next step: do what you can to feel best in the situation.
None of this is simple. None of it. I think though that strong women (and men) rise to the occasion. They have past experiences, disappointments, wins, grief, losses, periods of sorrow, rejections …. they have these to draw from. How did they handle things in the past? What can they learn and apply to this? The intellectual side of strength is a history of learning. We’re not youngsters here, and we have lots of history on which to draw. Even if it’s moment to moment sometimes, we’ll get through.
MjMom will put on her gorilla suit if she has to. She might chew gum, sleep with it in her mouth and cut it out of her own hair. She might even slather pee on her face or ask a friend in her 90s for advice. (For anybody who doesn’t know, these are all from MjMom’s posts, and not crazy ramblings.) She’ll manage. She’ll come out smelling like a rose, too … er, I think.
Hugs to all.
June 23, 2019 at 9:05 pm #84179
Again I thank you all. Sheri , your wisdom helps to bring me back. In the moment , the anger and incompetent feelings gets in the way. After almost 50 years of a love story, ED weasels in her hate. She makes me look and see her true self. I not only not see her malicious gain but her true vindictiveness towards any one without money to achieve her goals. Seeing my precious GDs weep at leaving our house, my husband brought to tears, was too much. I would rather have had my throat sliced as it would have been a gentle comfort.Much easier Elevate strain from him. But in reality, Iam glad he was the first hit. Selfish but true. I covered her awful behavior. Buried what made her look bad. Made excuses. My burden. My behavior. Even if done in love, and then regretted is still wrong. I worried so if this would kill him, and and almost did. I felt responsibly. My burden. But it is killing me. I love stories about nature and planting gardens but seriously , great, no bird, tree, or flower can resolve this issue. Again I realize what holds me back. The totally acknowledgement of what a monster I created. The fear and disappointments she gives. The realization she is killing us.And I allowed it to keep peace. The sadness I feel for not protecting my husband for and risking a potential relapse. I am feel like a failure. Aussiemom, I would give a million for one hug…………………Mjmom
June 23, 2019 at 9:07 pm #84182
Our posts (above) crossed in the time zones. I typed mine as you were typing yours. Maybe my reply (above yours) would be different if I’d seen your note first.
Hugs as always. You’re a strong woman. You’ve proven it. You will continue to prove it.
June 24, 2019 at 1:33 am #84183
Sheri, balance for me means that I’m not frothing at the mouth privately thinking dire thoughts about a situation or someone in that situation….I like to feel balanced, I guess that might be a design term I use so often, the composition of design must feel balanced visually, to be good. When I’m out of balance, I feel it, feel discomfort, out of sorts, not in control of me. I like your concept of once you accept what is, what happens next, how do we handle a situation together so that we can manage to do this or that with it. Mjmom, it’s going to be a pretty empty life for your daughter if money predicates everything and everyone who doesn’t measure up to her concept of what life is all about…money. Yes, it’s needed to survive, but….
and so, from this end in Ontario, Canada, Mjmom, again, a big cyber hug is coming your way and thanks for chiming in, Sheri,
June 24, 2019 at 6:15 am #84209RainbowParticipant
Mjmom, I am so sorry you are going through this added stress. I know that my husband is hurting just as much as me, but he tries to be strong so I don’t fall apart. He hurts for me and I hurt for him. I am just glad he is by my side through this journey. I don’t think that emotionally I could go it alone. The other day he said “All we have is each other.” Your feeling are your feelings. Even after all these years I too can feel the hate, the anger, ES abusive mouth and at times all of these emotions rear their ugly head and rise to the surface. And when this happens all I can do is I look up and say “God, are you there.” Hugs, Rainbow
June 24, 2019 at 3:56 pm #84239
I didn’t sleep well last night. Hubby was tossing and turning. This rejected feeling he is having is taking a toll. Part of me wants to lie low and let things play out. The other part wants to donn the gorilla suit and have it out once and for all. I tire of the games. I cry for two innocent little girls. We have a cardiologist appointment next month, and if it isn’t positive I will probably go over the deep end. I have now chosen to not be available for any child care or visits. I know how some of you would die for the chance so I feel guilty saying this. But having your heart ripped out on a whim is too much to bear. Being a survivor comes at a huge price. Am I strong enough? I don’t know. Time will tell….. Mjmom
June 24, 2019 at 5:42 pm #84250
Mjmom, there comes a point in our lives when we have to come first.
My husband has a broken kneecap, is recovering well, he has another medical issue still to deal with. My tendonitis is very painful at times and is taking a lot of time devoted to recovery but it is improving slowly as well. I think when it comes down to it, at my age, which is more than yours, you may find that the energy you would normally have is needed to deal with and help support your husband, as well as yourself when it is needed. There will be decisions to be made.
I feel that you are in a good place to do this now, you’ve been able to step aside from the gut-wrenching experiences you’ve had, you’re handling this much better and your priority is your husband’s health and yours. It is what is needed now, for you both. We spent years giving to our children, which was only natural as parents to do. Now we need our energy for ourselves and there is only so much to go around as we get older. You’ll be just fine, come here, vent when you have to, get support here from us, we are all here for one another. I have full confidence you’ll cope with whatever lies ahead.
June 24, 2019 at 8:31 pm #84264FarmgirlParticipant
Rainbow and Mjmom – I can relate to both of your posts above.
Rainbow, I know my husband is hurting, even though both are not his biological kids. He did more than most dads and took these boys under his wing and raised them like his own. For them to do this to him, I know is hurting him, but like your husband he stays strong for me! Arent we lucky to have these men in our lives! My hubby said something very similar to yours. “It’s just you and me now”.
MJmom – We are also dealing with health issues. Husband had 2 cancerous growths removed during surgery and was just recently diagnosed with MS. That really made me adjust my attitude. Stress makes MS worse and his chronic pain worse. Time to walk away from the situation with ES and no family support. We have to take care of ourselves and those still in our lives!!
hugs from the farm
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