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Happy Thanksgiving from the UK!
So sorry Sheri that it’s been tough for you and yours lately… my thoughts are with you and I hope your husband is recovering well. Your puppy is adorable.
I’m so thankful for all of you and for this site which has been such a source of good counsel and advice when I’ve needed it. I’ve had the blessing of sharing some of your advice, as well as Sheri’s book, with some other estranged parents in my area.
I’m very thankful for my ED and ES as well as my 4 estranged grandkids and that in the past year two of them in particular have made great progress in their lives.
Since 11/2 years one of my granddaughter’s (17), despite my ED’s disapproval, has reunited with me and it’s been such a source of joy and encouragement. I’m so thankful for this. She now lives alone and fully supports herself and we are in touch often.
I also had the opportunity to walk some of the Camino de Santiago this year and it changed my life. Walking in nature is my de-stresser so clearing my head as well as the beautiful camaraderie on this pilgrimage was exhilarating. I learnt so much and am still digesting it all. I highly recommend it.
For those of your across the pond- enjoy the rest of your celebration!
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and wonderful counsel. It helped me make it through the weekend. I now have a few days before going to my parents and am busy doing some home improvements- just had my room measured for a new carpet. It feels good to be doing something again after a weekend of a lot of pain and soul searching.
What spoke to me most was the fact that I am not to blame and it really has nothing to do with me. I repeated that to myself numerous times and will keep doing so when I get hit with thoughts of blaming myself.
I have presents that I was going to give to my granddaughter and today I will hand them to a homeless lady. I hope she can make use of them. I was about to send the card and then read your advice, kittylvr, and agree with you- she needs to learn respect for her elders and sending it will signal I accept her terrrible behaviour. I also need to let her be. Thanks so much for your advice.
Wishing you all a wonderful day with much joy and peace. I’m going out of the house today after 2 days of moping around – I’m going to dress up and treat myself and sing carols and be happy.
God bless and keep you all my dear friends.
thanks soo much Linda for this beautiful poem- reading it and also your little message at the end has really helped me today. I have been crying almost non-stop for the past 2 days.
I have 2 children an ED and ES and am estranged from all of the 5 grandkids except for one. She is 16 and came to stay a couple of days ago which I was so looking forward to. We had made lots of plans and it was to be our special Christmas time together.
However, after less than 24 hours she got upset, packed her bags and went back to her flat in a rage. She said some very hurtful things and wrote me an email saying she understands why I don’t see my grandkids and that I am partly to blame. She also said she wants no more contact.
I have been racking my brain thinking about what I must have done wrong to make her do this and I know she had started her period that morning but we had just been to see the new Star Wars and were about to go out for a nice Christmas meal. The next day we were buying each other presents and going to see Princess Diana’s dresses- it all fell in the water by her leaving.
I am devastated. Thankfully I am going to my parents for Christmas on the 23rd so won’t be alone.
She was so angry that when I told her she was ruining my Christmas by leaving she just laughed in my face and said I was being melodramatic.
I realise her hormones were going wild and she has been through a lot but this incident is the final straw. I can’t take the pain any longer. She lived with me for 4 months this year after having a major blow up with her Mum and was well taken care of.
I am having no contact with this granddaughter for a while. I love her to pieces and feel sorry for her as she has had a tough life but I am alone in all this being single for 28 years and can’t take the disappointments and abuse anymore. It takes me a while to bounce back these days and I can’t handle these upsets anymore.
If any of you have any advice I would appreciate it. I had written her a Christmas card with a heartfelt message telling her how proud I was of her but had no chance to give it to her. Should I send it?
Anyway, thanks so much Linda for your words- they helped a lot- as did the poem.
Have a wonderful Christmas.
Muppet- I can totally relate. After years of sending my grands gifts and then money I stopped a couple of years ago. I never heard anything from them and hence was never sure they got them, so to save myself the wondering and frustration I stopped. i don’t send for birthdays either as it justs upsets me when they don’t reciprocate.
This year they won’t even be getting a card for birthdays or Christmas. It’s tough and seems very hard hearted but I know I still love them and pray I will reconnect when they leave my ES’s and ED’s home. One of the 5 already is for which I am very thankful.
I am putting away some money for them when they get older should they reconnect. I think that’s easiest on my heart. Could be a solution for you? I hope this helps- be easy on yourself and remember you still love them regardless.
I am in the same situation, IrishWitch, and I’m thinking of not hoping too much anymore for contact with the granddaughter(mentioned above) who I know does want contact with me. Like simplifyplease mentioned regarding your situation, I have a special relationship with her and her older sister and my ED is definitely jealous of this and so resentful towards me. These 2 girls have lived with me on and off during the past 6 years as they were taken away from their mum a few times by social services. Mum is scared of them coming back to me so discourages contact.
I am so happy for you that you got to see this grandson and that the school let you meet him. Wonderful.
I am realising more and more lately that pining for my grandchildren and hoping for reconciliation has taken up waaay too much of my mind and energy. I need to concentrate much more on the here and now and keep my mind and myself busy with the present. Don’t always succeed though but am trying!
I totally understand, Irishwitch, that you can’t wait until your grandson is 18 but turning up at your ED’s house unwanted … I’m not so sure I would want that confrontational situation. Would stress me out.
Soo sad that they are put in this position of having to choose between us and their parents. It has really affected my 2 grandaughters in a negative way which is why I am now ‘backing off’ and not contacting them at all unless they make contact with me.
Thanks sooo much for your kind and insightful reply. Such words of wisdom and such good advice.
I bought the birthday card for my grandson yesterday and I managed to get home in one piece but I haven’t sent it and after reading your post and praying about it I don’t think I will. My son, who I’ve been estranged from for 12 years, is heavily infuenced by his wife and has basically cut himself off from all his relatives. Seems like none of us are good enough. I think I will write a similar letter as you to him about not sending cards etc anymore.
I was expecting a granddaughter(16)of my ED (who is seeing me behind her Mum’s back) to visit me this weekend. She just called to cancel- her Mum threatens her that if she sees me she can’t see her siblings. She lives in her own flat and has social services checking on her. It’s more important that she sees her siblings than me, as she is helping her older sister who has mental health problems, so I just told her she doesn’t have to see me for Christmas if it makes it hard for her. I’m pretty cut up about it but God knows what’s best for both her and me. I often say to myself that I need to care for me now and maybe it’s better for my well- being not to have contact as the situation is very volatile etc. My daughter has been so mean over the years.
I too have found peace and joy in solitude. I am single and have found I like my own company and I avoid events where there are a lot of ‘happy families’ as it just depresses me. I’ve had counselling a couple of times and it’s helped a bit but I find imbibing God’s creation and staying busy helps the most.
I live in the UK in a beautiful city and visit museums and galleries, go to concerts, and parks a lot. I love walking in nature and find it de-stresses me immensely. I’ve even gone on a few holidays alone to beautiful places and had a lot of fun.
Thanks so much for your good advice- it made me cry as it was just what I need. I think you are right about not depending on friends to fill the void. They have their own families after all. Your idea of helping the homeless is a good one. I’ll look into it.
Gotta go to bed now. Christmas party tomorrow. I’ll dress up and enjoy myself!
Have a wonderful and blessed day.
Thanks, Linda74! What you wrote was right on. I have been miserable for 10 years since my ES cut me off and it’s only lately that I’ve come to the realisation that I won’t have the closeness we had back by being so. I am only 61 and still have a lot of life in me and I need to get my life back.
I also can’t comprehend how mean our adult children can be- not how they were raised and certainly not the sample they’ve learnt from me with my dear parents.
Very encouraging what you wrote about your adult grandchildren – gives me hope for the future.
Big hugs to you and your husband.
Ann – thanks so much for your kind reply and advice. I also looked into this and am now aware that I would have to take it to court and get a Contact Order- the advice from social services is not always correct, sad to say! I won’t do this but will wait until she is older and can do as she wishes without Mum’s interference. As long as she is living under Mum’s roof, I don’t want to cause problems or have to deal with the repurcussions to myself from my manipulative and nasty daughter (sad to say).
This granddaughter texted me yesterday and this morning as I sent her( and not Mum or the other 2 grandkids) a Christmas card and said she has to be careful with contact as Mum and her older sister( who lived with me for over 3 years) get upset when she contacts me. So I will be happy and warmed with texting and the occasional phone call for now. It’s better than nothing and I am grateful! It means so much to hear from one of my (grand)kids that they love me. (although I know deep down the other estranged ones do but hearing it is very heart warming).
If you have any other pertinent advice, Ann, as we both live in the UK, I’d really appreciate it. Nice to be in touch.
Do you know of any meetings in the UK for parents in our situation? I’ve googled it and not found any in my area…
Have a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Christmas!
Thanks everyone for all the posts and all your wise words on this tricky subject. I had been wanting to pose this very question. This forum is such a godsend and blessing.
As well as it being Christmas, my oldest grandson turned 18 this week, and it was really difficult to know what to do. His Dad, my ES( and only son), has been estranged for 11 years and I have not received a thank you for all my cards and money sent for many years now. Last year I decided to stop sending the money to the 2 grandkids, as I have no idea whether they receive it or not so i just sent cards for birthdays. As my grandson was turning 18 and I so much wanted to be a part of that big celebration in some way, I sent a card but almost had a meltdown in the post office yesterday. The envelope wouldn’t glue properly and then when I was given selotape by the PO worker I couldn’t get it to work on the envelope so someone had to help me. I was an emotional wreck! I haven’t seen this grandson in 5 years although my ES visited my parents recently with the rest of his family .
After this incident yesterday I vowed to stop sending cards altogether. Why should I put myself through this time and again, when they possibly don’t even give the cards/money to my grandkids and my son never acknowledges and possibly doesn’t even open his birthday/Christmas cards either? I don’t need or deserve this pain and torment anymore. I deserve better!
My only daughter is also estranged since a year, but has acknowledged my cards and gifts and said thank you so I will keep sending to her. Her youngest daughter(15) recently contacted me and said she was sorry for the lack of contact and that social services has told her that it is unlawful(in the UK) for my ED to not let her see me and that she has a right to. She wants to meet but for me it’s very delicate as there has been a lot of manipulation, anger and malice and calling of police etc on my daughter’s part and I don’t need this anymore. Hard to know what to do. Does anyone have any advice?
Wishing all of you wonderful estranged parents out there a merry, blessed and love-filled Christmas. You are amazing and awesome and don’t ever forget that!
Beautiful, Aussiemom! Thanks for sharing…
Joyful, I am so happy for you! Your story of healing and how Jesus and your faith helped you overcome your past and all the tremendous hurt you must have had is truly beautiful. It touched me so much. The fact that you are so positive after going through all that is a testimony of your faith and the love of the Lord. Blesssings come through suffering and we have all suffered so will all be greatly blessed even if we don’t see it now.
I read something today by Pete Wilson during my devotions and it reminded me of all of us:
Don’t allow your pain, as deep as it might be, keep you from fully embracing the gift of community.
When reading this I got that you are my community as only you can fully understand what I’m going through.
Joyful, you will be missed but forge on ahead girl and glad you feel ready to leave the site and go on to greater heights!