Gransnet forums


SUPPORT for all living with the pain of estrangement

(1001 Posts)
Smileless2012 Sun 26-Apr-20 14:05:51

Come on ladies, get postingsmile

3nanny6 Tue 28-Apr-20 12:49:45

Morning ladies hope you are well.
I managed to get to the shop yesterday although just for bread and milk. It is time to get to the supermarket so I will go later.
The book that the new poster StellaStreet suggested sounds interesting I may order that one.

Just a catch up on 2nd Instalment of my cousin who I told you about yesterday but did not finish. He was happily being brought up unaware of his early days where he had been cared for in an orphanage for a while. Perhaps only being a baby he had forgotten all about it. Around about the age of 10 years he was sat down by mum and dad and had something explained to him about adoption and I certainly know he still did not have a clue what that was.
We had a big family and all of us close. All the family would meet up for someones wedding anniversary, birthdays, Easter, Christmas there was always something going on. The children of the family would be given plates of sandwiches, crisps, cakes and we would be in one room all chatting and playing while the grown-ups were in another room having a drink and some of them smoked.
One particular visit my cousin told us kids that he was an adopted child. Most of us did not even know what that meant, I was about 12 at the time and I told him to stop telling lies as I vaguely knew what it was but I did not believe him. So that was it his "status" of being adopted was out in the open although it did not make much difference to any of us and most of the time it never got mentioned too much.
I will leave all the ins and out of family life out of it now and forward to when my cousin was about 21 and I was 23-24. The whole family had a terrible shock as my aunt had a stroke one morning and sadly she was not strong enough to recover and died. She was 45 years old and the youngest sister in the family. The entire family were grieving for her.
About six months after this happened my cousin confided to my eldest brother that he had been curious about his birth mother for along time but throughout his life he would not
speak to his mum or dad about her. In particular he said he would never have hurt his mum or upset her to ask about his birth mother and I think he was closer to her than his father who in fact was a blood relative. My cousin set about getting the address from his dad who indeed was not pleased about it. There had been almost estrangement between my uncle and his sister and he had never forgiven her for abandoning her child. So I think there had been the barest minimal contact over the years. The birth mother
was still in America with the husband she married and she had four daughters. My cousin contacted her and asked if he could meet her. She invited him over and told him she would be more than happy to see him. My own mother told me that her husband was not impressed about that but this time she put her foot down and said he should come out to America and meet the family.
The visit went well for him and I suppose it was something he needed to do as to have a mother but not know her for 22 years must have been something that was often on his mind.
There is lots more but like I said these stories are long, in fact I have always said I will write a book about my family however I just have not got the patience as it takes so long.
I can fill you all in on the last bits another day and the sad bit I spoke of was the death of my aunt.

The supermarket is calling (are we still in lockdown) only joking.
All have a good day.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Apr-20 13:08:57

Yep, we're still in lock down 3nannygrin.

Thanks for the second instalmentsmile. Your cousin sounds thoughtful and loving, not wanting to upset his mum by asking about his birth mother. Tragic that she died so youngsad.

It's a lovely story especially as his meeting with this birth mother went well. Did he visit again? Are they still in contact?
I'd love to know when you get the time.

Well you certainly did better than Yogagirl and I with your shopping trip. Maybe we should send you out with our lists in the futuregrin.

I'll go out again tomorrow; are you off out again today?

StellaStreet Tue 28-Apr-20 16:51:41

Thank you for the warm welcome and your posts. I do find that being cut off by my brother means I'm less able to trust.

It's unlikely my sons would do the same because they saw how their much loved grandparents were affected - as well as me, and the wider family and they are wholly sympathetic to me.

But I do feel a germ of anxiety that history could repeat itself, which @Smileless2012 picked up on. It's probably irrational, so I'll try to relax and not let it become a thing. I've already spent far too much energy on the past โ€“ it really depletes you, doesn't it? โ€“ without worrying about the future.

Glad you liked the Dunk book @PetitFromage

Starblaze Tue 28-Apr-20 17:02:50

3nanny6 I am sorry for the loss of your aunt. I think it is lovely he was taken in by his family though and wish that had happened for my sister. I remember my mum telling me I was her second chance at a daughter. Like I was a replacement and I was told often I was a defective compared to beautiful daughter number 1. I often wonder if giving up her daughter, coupled with her own abusive upbringing was what made her not bond with me and choose me as scapegoat. Not that figuring out the reasons why is always very helpful when there is so much abuse in the past covered by lies that she cannot undo it. That means my mum can't ever heal. That makes me sad really.

PetitFromage Tue 28-Apr-20 20:17:00

@Starblaze, your posts throb with anger and pain. I am so sorry. You are a lovely, caring, sensitive soul. You must be, or you would not hurt so much. Sending big hugs flowers

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Apr-20 20:24:06

Your fears are not irrational StellaStreet they are perfectly understandable.

Our most basic human instinct is survival; fight or flight. It is fear that alerts us to the decision we then have to make. Does our fear make us want to flee or does our fear we need to fight for our very survival, make us determined to fight.

It isn't just about our physical survival, it's also about our mental and emotional survival. Being less able to trust is your instinct to survive mentally and emotionally, kicking in.

It's lovely to have you here StellaStreetsmile.

Starblaze Tue 28-Apr-20 20:26:27

Thank you PetitFromage I had a taken aback moment there for a second over anger but anger is a healthy emotion too and I feel angry for the little girl I was. I'm almost at a place of forgiveness now I think (without reconsiliation) . Hope you are doing OK with everything? You have been going through a lot.

hugshelp Tue 28-Apr-20 22:05:59

Evening ladies. Sorry having a big CFS crash atm, all I seem to be able to do is snooze. Too much brain fog to take anything in when I'm reading but thinking of you all in between snoozes. Hope to be back, and a bit more alert soon. xxx

Namsnanny Tue 28-Apr-20 23:14:14

Hugshelp ...I do hope you'll be feeling a bit better soon flowers

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Apr-20 23:51:58

Look forward to chatting to you soon hugshelp, take careflowers.

Smileless2012 Wed 29-Apr-20 09:55:50

Morning ladies. Not bad here weather wise, hope you're all OK.

Well it's only taken me 3.5 years to get around to letting down a pair of curtains that aren't quite long enough, which I started doing yesterday.

They're from our bedroom and match a bed cover and drapes for our 4 poster bed which I had made, gosh it must be 10 years ago.

One of those jobs you keep putting off because you know it's going to take a while and I must admit I was rather nervous when I started because they were very expensive.

It's going well and at least I have plenty to get on with today to get the job finished.

Hope you're a little better today hugshelpflowers.

PetitFromage Wed 29-Apr-20 12:50:40

@Starblaze - I am sending a big hug to that helpless little girl. It must be terrible when the person who should love and protect you more than anybody lets you down. I am so sorry and pleased that you are on the road to healing. flowers

@hugshelp - thinking of you and hope you feel better soon. flowers

Smileless2012 Wed 29-Apr-20 13:15:26

Hi there PF how are you and your DH doing? OK I hope.

I forgot to say in my earlier post that Mr. S. and I had a Chinese takeaway last night and it was really yummy. A set meal for 2, one of the best takeaways we've had. Of course I ate far too muchblush.

Starblaze Wed 29-Apr-20 14:38:02

Thank you so much PetitFromage she really needed that hug. This is why I know you and your daughter are ultimately going to be OK ?

3nanny6 Wed 29-Apr-20 15:15:04

Good Afternoon All and I do hope you are all well. The weather here has turned cold and even today it is wet and miserable. In a while I shall take the dogs out as wind ,rain or sunshine it does not matter to them, they only want the walk and it has to be provided for them still it keeps me fit and I should not complain.

Smileless2012 how are you doing with the curtains? that has not taken too long to get around to doing as 3.5 years is not that long. My late father was a builder and my mum was always nagging him to build in a posh brick fireplace for her.
He was always working and had work on the go, and it only took him 15 years! to finally get it built for her. No word of a lie that is how long it took although when finished everyone who came in the house admired it. (I do smile when thinking of family memories sometimes)

I left you with the news that my cousin made the visit to America to see his birth mother. Once back in the U.K he seemed alright but the following year he made his decision that he was heading off to America to give it ago, get a job and make a life in new surroundings. He was not going to live with his birth mother but was getting a place near her so he could get to know more about her. His dad was not happy but could not stop him going.
To make this as short as possible he went over there. He had been given a good education and he established a good job for himself. He eventually bought a lovely big home only for himself as one thing that never happened for him he never married. He had several girl-friends over the years but the relationships came to nothing. In the first ten years of being in America my cousin came back every year for 3 weeks to see his dad and then he came back about every two years.
My cousin put down his roots over there and has been there for 39 years and that is now his home.
My cousin came over for a week to my eldest brothers funeral and we caught up on old times. I never liked to ask him about his birth mother as I felt that my aunt was the only real mother he ever had. He told me that for about five years he was only visiting the birth mother about once a year as he had moved and was not as close to her as he used to be also she was in her eighties and could not get about so much. His step-sisters were all married and had families and they often phoned him although he did not see them so much either. He was happy though and had many friends and enjoyed a good lifestyle. I think the only reason he went to America was because my aunt died if that had not been the case he would never have gone. I will get my eldest daughter to contact him on Facebook as she knows how to do it as the other cousins have had no contact with him for about two years and they are all busy with their families.

Glad you enjoyed your Chinese I still have not had one, but I
felt a craving for a large burger yesterday and when on my supermarket trip I bought some fresh thick burgers and large brown rolls and will do a burger tonight with fresh salad.

All take care.

3nanny6 Wed 29-Apr-20 15:34:18

Starblaze ; your post 17.02, thank-you for the message about my aunt. It was so tragic for her to die so young. The comfort was that she met my uncle and he adored her and gave her a loving life. She also was able to hold a child in her arms and bring him up as her son something she thought would never happen. Many people have suffered lives that were abusive and cruel and they had to endure that, to me that is sad.
I cannot begin to have understanding of living with an abusive mother and what it must be like. If your mother was brought up by an abusive parent then she probably had learned behavior and to get out of an abusive cycle cannot be easy particularly if the help is not there. Take care.

Starblaze Wed 29-Apr-20 15:50:40

Your story is an interesting one 3nanny6 I also understand how it feels to have a close family member a large distance away. Growing up there are so many adult things going on that children pick up on but don't understand. It must have been really strange to you when you were little.

It's really hard to not have a mum even when you feel like you didn't have one. It's hard to explain but I feel like the need was built in from birth. The amount of times I went to her and made my own life so much worse when I could have asked someone who is supportive.

I'm actually starting to get to the stage where I don't need to talk about it as much though. I think talking to some of the mums here has really helped me understand how bad it was even though gransnet is a bit of a mixed bag at times lol. I've had some really lovely inbox messages (you know who you are).

Happy hump day all.

Madgran77 Wed 29-Apr-20 17:55:54

PMs/Inbox messages can be a mixed bag too can't they. Most people don't use them to have a go, just a few do. It is good to hear when people have received supportive PMs/Inbox messages.

Starblaze Wed 29-Apr-20 18:01:46

I'm sensing you have a problem with me Madgran which I thought was resolved as you know why I was upset. You are welcome to inbox me if you want to talk it over but I'm totally done with arguing with people who are trying to wind me up because I don't want to keep giving them what they want. If not, let's just leave it

Starblaze Wed 29-Apr-20 18:09:38

Madgran confusion resolved. Please disregard that. Or just inbox me pictures of kittens

Starblaze Wed 29-Apr-20 18:09:46

Long day

Smileless2012 Wed 29-Apr-20 18:21:39

I'm cockahoop 3nanny, really pleased with myself as the curtains are finished, have been re hung and look fabgrin. I just need Mr. S. to put some hooks in for the tie backs which I haven't been able to use as the curtains weren't long enough.

I'm having a celebrationwineas I type this and wait for our dinner to cooksmile.

What a lovely ending to your cousins story. It's strange how things turn out isn't it. If not for the early death of his mother, your aunt, he'd never have emigrated to America and made a life for himself there.

If not for our estrangement, we'd never have moved here 3.5 years ago to the best house we've ever had and found the peace and happiness we never thought we'd have againsmile.

I remember, about 5 years ago I think it was, getting a really nasty pm Madgran. I re posted it on the open forum for all to see. Needless to say it was eventually deleted by GNHQ who said if I ever got an abusive pm to contact them.

I've not had one since but if I ever did, I'd do the same thing. It's bad enough when people hide behind their key boards and post things under a false identity to people they don't know, but to not even be brave enough to do it where everyone can see, is worse in my opinion.

Madgran77 Wed 29-Apr-20 19:10:26

I'm sensing you have a problem with me Madgran which I thought was resolved as you know why I was upset. You are welcome to inbox me if you want to talk it over but I'm totally done with arguing with people who are trying to wind me up because I don't want to keep giving them what they want. If not, let's just leave it

It was a general comment about PMs! I am not trying to wind anyone up! confused

Starblaze Wed 29-Apr-20 19:19:09

I'm sorry Madgran I misunderstood, I thought you were cross with me. I need more sleep and more baths and more laughter because that's the best stress relief

Ironflower Thu 30-Apr-20 03:12:29

Hi Stella,
I have a great relationship with my MIL (not so great with my parents). I've also been around parents forums alot and there are many repetitive stories on why estrangement happens. After the birth of a child is common, as the parents become protective of their child and so things that were allowed before, may be stopped.

Firstly, the fact that you are here asking advice is a huge and positive sign.
Here's some advice coming from DILs:
- If they ask you to do/not do something, don't refuse (within reason). One lady right now in my due date group is complaining that her MIL keeps saying she'll give the baby solids at 4 months instead of waiting 6 months like she wants. She's now considering refusing to allow her MIL to watch the baby because she won't listen.

- Avoid the phrase 'I did this with my kids and they turned out fine.' The ones who didn't turn out fine can't speak for themselves. Recommendations change all the time.

- Don't constantly tell them what to do. Ie put rice cereal in baby's bottle, lay baby on their stomach. Infant mortality rate is at its lowest and its because things are constantly updated.

-Don't make things about you. My parents stormed out of my first baby's christening because they weren't given enough attention. I talked to them at different times and made sure to show them around, but I attend 50+ people to host and food to serve. They do this all the time, ruin celebrations and so they are no longer invited.

-Oh and never call in unannounced. It isn't the same as making an appointment. Its courteous, especially with a baby. Check if they're home and give them time to get ready. Some women do not like people seeing their house messy or if she's breastfeeding, she might not even be wearing a shirt.

Most of it is just about respecting boundaries and being pleasant. Of course you could do everything right and still estrange because there are toxic children out there.

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