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"Yes. I’m talking to you EC." -- Well, I am an Estranged Child and I'm willing to listen...

(159 Posts)
HolyHannah Fri 31-Jan-20 07:03:12

Here's the message:

I went over and visited a few other sites that are dedicated to the children of estrangement. I noticed a whole lot of finger pointing and accusations of Narcissism especially among mothers. Some brought up this website as if a narcissistic parent would spend time looking to resolve their grief online. No kiddos. Let me tell you what a narcissistic parent looks like. A mother that neglects her children to go out to bars, feeds her kids the same meals day in and day out to buy cigarettes and beer for her man. A mother that tells you that you should have died instead of your sister. That’s just the very teeny tip of the iceberg of my relationship with my mother. I could post things here that would make most people’s heads explode. The point is that as screwed up as my mother was all my life, as immature as she still is, I stand by her and help her when she is sick today. I don’t turn my back on her because I came to realize as I got older that we all tend to reflect our own upbringing. My mother was raised by an undiagnosed paranoid bipolar parent. She was physically abused herself and emotionally terrorized. Perhaps that kept her in a perpetual state of adolescence. I don’t know for sure but what I do know is that there was nothing I did as a child to deserve maltreatment. I could walk away from my mother but I do the right thing by letting both of my parents off the hook. I don’t wish for them to die knowing that they were hated by me. Now if I can forgive my parents who I promise you were absolute monsters to me growing up, maybe you can stop feeling sorry for yourselves and do the same. When they are gone you will never have the chance to clear that up. Now I don’t recommend reconciliation in the case of sexual abuse but if you are keeping yourself away for things such as your mom was too nosy or she embarrassed you a few times, get over it. It happens to all children and guess what, if you have kids you’re bound to screw up without even intending to. Lord knows I had that first time my daughter told me I was stupid and that she hated me for being mean. It will happen to you! Furthermore, you say that you have gone no contact but what have you done in return that is actually quite dangerous. You’re putting the strangers online own personal biases as support for your complaints about parents. You’re relegating yourselves to impersonal support chats instead of trying to mend the relationships with the people that kept you alive and kept your tushies clean for the first few years of your existence. Children, adult children and parents will always have friction. Lower your expectations and see your parents as the people they are and not just as solely your parents. It is disappointing when you first realize your parents are not the idealized versions we see on television but you owe it to yourself to at least try to have compassion and understanding for them just as you would any other person on the internet.

rosecarmel Sun 02-Feb-20 23:15:42

I understand, Yennifer- What my mother did express that she saw, when asked, wasn't motherly- At all- But it taught me to see my children differently than she saw me-

I'd share a story to make a comparison, her description of me vs her description of a relative- But I couldn't share it responsibly, even with a trigger warning-

I think you can read between the lines tho ..

OutsideDave Mon 03-Feb-20 01:59:37

I can’t edit <grr> but meant all my love and respect for EAC who walk away from toxic parents. It’s an expression- perhaps an American ‘ism’- but just a saying of solidarity for EAC who have cut ties. It takes strength and a sense of self that’s hard to come by after a lifetime of toxicity. I’m not saying anything at all about those who chose differently, simply that I have immense respect for those brave enough to walk away from their toxic families of origin.

OutsideDave Mon 03-Feb-20 02:02:17

And again, it’s not about scorn for those who chose differently- it’s scorn for those who insist their way is the only way, and insist on shaming those who don’t hang around for more abuse like these martyrs did.

rosecarmel Mon 03-Feb-20 03:18:33

OutsideDave, how is your specific insistence upon your perception different than another's insistence of their perception?

I sound like a broken record every time I type that people that establish healthy boundaries are not only clear about what they will and will not allow but are being compassionate to all involved-

While I consider my repetition persistence .. another could perceive it as insistance! Which is it? I don't know!

Currently, my family dynamic can look like the X Games on crack, depending on what angle being looked at, every contender up at the same time, blindfolded- There's ongoing communication, scrapes and occasionally scorn, but when there is we make efforts to consider the source- We're a multi-generational trainwreck playing out in reverse .. doing our best to make the best out of our collective family history ..

The list of what I'm accountable for is .. long ..

Madgran77 Mon 03-Feb-20 05:23:22

Which posts go better? I haven't been here all that long. The ones where people give you the details or the ones that don't? I can see both having pitfalls honestly Madgran77 x

Both type of posts vary in my view. But I do find it interesting that even when posters give details of their faults, their perceived mistakes, they still quite often get told endlessly about their faults, to open their eyes, to be honest, to give a fuller picture, etc etc .....and so it goes on.

Smileless2012 Mon 03-Feb-20 09:23:00

The problem being with the responses you've referred too is that they can and do, put posters off Madgran.

There's nothing wrong with asking questions to get more information but there are times especially when in response to an EP that the 'there must be more to this than we're being told' comes across as an accusation. That the poster is withholding information because to disclose it would make them look bad.

We share what we are comfortable with, sometimes not wanting to say too much in case we can be identified. Some posters need time to build up trust with others on the threads, to feel safe and comfortable to give more.

Sadly in some cases there isn't the opportunity for any level of trust to be built because a vulnerable poster is out off by harsh responses.

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 09:39:58

Rosecarmel, I wonder if abusive people all know they are abusive. I'd say yes with mine because a lot of it seemed planned but maybe not all abusers. Either way, not being in that relationship or distancing it must bring both some peace? x

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 09:41:03

Madgran77 and Smileless2012 I totally get what you are saying. I've also seen people told off for writing essays so finding the middle ground can't be easy x

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 11:37:17

For the first time it has happened here and someone has said all the unhelpful things we talked about to me. I am sure they meant well but it is sad that some don't accept abusive mothers x

rosecarmel Mon 03-Feb-20 13:30:41

Yennifer, to answer your question about people knowing if they are abusive, I don't know- There's tons I didn't realize about dysfunction until mid-life, not a clue- And that includes issues I'd been steadily working at understanding since young adulthood-

What I have noticed about online discussions is that when an estranged grandparent shares their version of a story they're usually freaked out, their emotions tumbling out of control and don't know up from down- They want it to stop- When asked if they heard the roar of the waterfall as their skiff drifted towards it, sometimes they say yes, sometimes no-

But here's the rub .. The responses the grandparent receives from supposedly "woke" members can be aggressive and abusive in tone- But time and again their tone is described as harsh, straightforward, but not what it actually is- Do they know they're being abusive? Some might, some may not-

I think it would be fair to say everyone still has a lot to learn and unlearn ..

3nanny6 Mon 03-Feb-20 13:39:59

Rosecarmel that was a lovely post and explained everything so much better. I still have a lot of sadness when I hear of how a mother who has those responsibilities to care for her children somehow cannot do it

You certainly had the love for her and because you did not bare a grudge and had no bitterness you have added to your own healing in everything that had happened which indeed gave you a peaceful ending of her life which is what you deserved to have.

rosecarmel Mon 03-Feb-20 13:42:15

I didn't do my best as a parent - I followed a pattern- Did I know I was? No- Do I know now? Yes- No excuses -

rosecarmel Mon 03-Feb-20 13:43:51

Thank you, 3nanny6, for understanding- I appreciate it-

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 13:46:07

Always good to keep trying to be better x

3nanny6 Mon 03-Feb-20 14:37:20

I wanted to just put my recent post to Rosecarmel and did not want to make it an essay as sometimes that is so off putting.

I am on the other side of the coin and am an estranged grand-mother and often people think then there must be more to the story than we know. I can only put my side and not my daughters although I totally hold my hands up and I am sure she would give her account of things very differently.
I just know in our family dynamics I always had to be the bonding glue that held the family together as the family surviving particularly after the death of my mother and father was top priority.
That was not only my family but the family of my brother as my brother was separated from his partner and children were involved. To cut along story short what happened in my brothers dysfunctional household would have put Jeremy Kyle show to shame (hoping you know who he is)
I cannot go into all details as it is long however my brother had a mild heart attack over it and I was supporting him. The ex partner of his after leaving him went right off the rails and several children she had by someone else are now in care system. My brother had one child with her and I helped my brother get the custody of him surprisingly he is quite adjusted in life considering the horrors of what he had seen and knew for several years his mother was just missing gone off with a man somewhere and then she had the cheek to want to see him. My nephew refused and there was nothing she could do about it. It is so sad but my brother passed away two years ago as the stress of it all broke him. I
was the one that had to pick up the pieces of my nephews life. I sorted out his own accommodation and he is housed and managing his life. His a lovely young man but the effects of his mother were damaging to say the least not so much physical but emotional and will never leave him.
To the EAC of abusive parents on here I can tell you now I know quite a lot about that and am in no denial at all it happens.

Rosecarmel I do like your posts and you have written but here is the rub
"The responses the grand-parent receives from supposedly "woke " members can be aggressive and abusive in tone.
I will put my own take on that and just say as the aunt to my nephew (oh I best not forget I am an estranged grand -mother after all) that fairly recently my nephews mother has been rehoused somewhere nearby to us. I was driving somewhere when I spotted her and lo and behold with yet another man I will say now it took everything within me not to run my car into her and do her damage and if she ever goes near him I will make sure it will be for the last time. Once again I have written an essay so not surprise it may not get read.

Smileless2012 Mon 03-Feb-20 14:47:42

So sorry that you lost your brother 3nannysad. Your nephew is indeed fortunate to have such a loving and caring aunt in you.

"it took everything within me not to run my car into her"; I had a moment like that once myself so I do understandflowers.

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 14:54:05

Very sorry for your loss 3nanny6. I think this post has been very eye opening for me and I will be a lot more patient and understanding with people in future, even if I don't like what they are saying. They say online you see the best and worst of people, I will remember the middle ground x

3nanny6 Mon 03-Feb-20 15:07:15

Thank-you so much for that Smilless2012 I only shared because it seems sometimes on here others do not understand
we also know about others problems and not just our own.

I know saying it took everything within me not to run my car into her is a terrible thing to say and not to do it was even harder but because of her lifestyle and the sort of person she is I did not want to give her the satisfaction of me going to prison on account of her. I know I should not dig an even deeper hole but she would not have known I had gone to prison because I would have made a good job of what I intended for her.
This life is such a learning curve I think I will get the dogs out for a walk and get the calming effects of nature.

Hithere Mon 03-Feb-20 15:10:31

I know where you got the OP from.
Some of those estranged parents have serious mental issues.

3nanny6 Mon 03-Feb-20 15:27:22

Newest post from me just while I was busy on here writing I have had a knock at door and someone with I.D from council offices was looking for my daughter. He would not tell me anything but I just said she has not lived here for years.

I cannot understand why they call at my address as she is in settled housing through the council so they must know her address. Also she is often at council for one thing or another.
I know her address but I said nothing, the man must have thought me strange as he asked was I her mother. I told him yes but said I do not know where she lives. I really need to take that walk.

Madgran77 Mon 03-Feb-20 15:56:07

I think it is a pity that some apparently don't accept that abusive parents exist and some apparently don't accept that abusive ACs exist. And some dont accept that ACs actions are not always the result of their upbringing, other influences are more powerful at points in their life.

It is good when we all can discuss and comment on each others experiences without assumptions and accusations being made even when giving constructive criticism (Starlady you are very good at giving constructive criticism in a way that people can hear, think about and accept!) Long may it last!

Smileless2012 Mon 03-Feb-20 16:18:40

That does sound strange 3nanny. I hope you enjoy your walk, it's good to get out in the fresh air and blow a few cob webs away.

That's so true Madgran. Other's experience of estrangement may differ to our own but that doesn't make them any less valid.

Starlady always great well balanced contributionssmile.

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 16:33:01

3nanny6 I've had numerous letters from courts and bailiffs and people show up at my door looking for the previous tennant. It's been 7 years, I had to prove who I was in person, send proof through the post and by email and they still keep coming! I think rubbish computer systems are responsible or lazy people not updating info properly x

Smileless2012 Mon 03-Feb-20 16:41:22

The problem with the information derived from computers Yennifer is it's only as good as the person who puts the information on there to begin with.

Sounds as if "lazy people not updating info properly" is the cause in your case; how frustrating for you not to mention unsettling to have a bailiff on your door step, even if you're not the person they're looking for.

Yennifer Mon 03-Feb-20 16:44:25

It was petrifying honestly Smileless2012 but I think 3nanny6 was probably knocked for a loop by that x