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Estrangement

Never dreamt this could happen

(116 Posts)
velaine Thu 15-Apr-21 12:44:01

Hello all my first post i have been reading a lot of your stories and how sad they all truly are.

My son has cut us off we could actually see this coming years ago when he first got together with his partner which was his first girlfriend they went onto marry we went along with it all but wasnt 100% happy as there seemed to be a lot of lying by her and also controlling behaviour. Anyway, after walking on eggshells it has now come to this 😏.

My husband believes its a form of brainwashing but I would never have believed it , he was a good son caring and happy. He used to be a proper family person but now doesn’t have anything to do with any of them.

There is a poor gc involved now and we arent allowed contact with him either and can honestly say hand on heart we have done nothing to deserve this treatment.

Is it likely that things will change or do we need to just concentrate on us now and try to harden our hearts to have a normal future without whys? and tears and heartache. Thankyou so much for listening

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 13:37:16

Madgran
Sorry, I was talking more generally.
I also accept that I can’t blame everything on my mother, I too have faults!
But i think she plays the martyr, can’t imagine what she has done to warrant such treatment, and I think a lot of people believe her.

Madgran77 Wed 21-Apr-21 15:17:57

I think a lot of people believe her.

I think that can so easily happen in such situations can't it. Difficult for you.

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:04:21

Madgran
Thankyou, but I’m not really bothered.
I’ve grown a thick skin over the years.

freedomfromthepast Wed 21-Apr-21 16:09:53

Sara1954

Freedomfromthepast
I understand .
You just need to accept that not many people will.

Oh I am aware. But I am ok if people don't understand. Because at the end of the day it is my life, which isn't anyone else's business. I don't need anyone to validate the fact that I made this decision. Nor do I feel guilty about making it. She made her choices after being given multiple chances.

I very clearly laid it out, in writing, what behavior I needed to stop (talking badly to my kids about me and involving them in our relationship) and what the consequence would be (limited or no contact) This is the consequence of her decisions. The responsibility falls on her alone. But she still to this day says she has no idea the reason why and says she never did anything to deserve this.

I am not responsible for her feelings. I am not responsible for her choices. I am not responsible for her happiness. Nor are my children.

I started reading on GN to learn more from the EP point of view. I post my experience in hopes that maybe it would help just one EP look at things with a different viewpoint and that helps their estrangement.

I think, though, that type of introspection is rare. Hopefully that the more the topic of Estrangement is discussed with input from both sides, the less stigmatized it becomes. The more we hear from both sides, the better understanding we have of the topic, the more likely it is that people have better outcomes.

One can only hope.

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 16:34:04

Freedomfromthepast
I feel the same, I like your attitude.
I make no apologies, I accept that because of who I am, which is not the child she wanted, that I’m not blameless in the situation, but my choice, and the sense of freedom is wonderful.

freedomfromthepast Wed 21-Apr-21 18:42:54

I don't necessarily categorize myself as not blameless. The way I look at it is that I did not choose to be born. I did not change my personality to deliberately challenge her and I am not responsible for the expectations she had. I spent a life time trying to live up to her expectations and couldn't. One usually cant when the bar is raised any time you get close.

Am I to be blamed because I didn't change who I am to make her happy? Why doesn't she have any responsibility to accept who I am and make adjustments to her behavior when needed to keep the peace for family events, etc.

I see this as an extension of the "mismatched expectations causes many estrangement" theme of my earlier posts. It is also a good example of adult children who estrange after having children. The relationship WE had with our parents may have been fine for US. But we want better for our children.

Until she takes responsibility in her part of our relationship downfall and continues to believe that she has no idea why this happened, no reconciliation WITH ME can be attempted. I will not force my children to have a relationship with her at any point. That would mean I am complicit in her abuse.

So here we are. Me asking her to think about her actions and she insisting she has no idea what happened to break down our relationship. An impasse.

TinFoilTiara Wed 21-Apr-21 18:49:12

From a grandchild of a grandmother that couldn't hold her tongue about my father, even in "harmless" comments like "why does he have to be so loud?" (my father had a booming voice) it made me not like to spend time with my grandmother. So when I was a teenager I refused or made other plans (especially after I had access to a car) because I am half my mother and half my father, so I figured she didn't like at least half of me.

So grandparents, a word from a grandchild with some insight (many many many years old experience, but experience), anything you say about a parent, or any tone, inflection or an expression...kids pick up on it and has nothing to do with their parents but you.

Newatthis Wed 21-Apr-21 18:50:56

Always the DiL's fault it would seem. You said you weren't happy about them getting married - do you think they may have picked up on this? It is up to your son to make sure that the relationship with your GC is maintained not his wife yet you seem to think it is all her fault. If he is too weak to do this (because she might be controlling him) then why? Your son needs to take some responsibility and perhaps you do too. As they say - it takes two to tango!

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 18:57:38

Freedomfromthepast
It sounds like you are still open to negotiation, I’m afraid I’m not, I don’t ever want anymore communication.
I think I see that I had my faults, I could be mouthy, and I think she always found me embarrassing, which in turn made me feel ashamed. Just a viscous circle of mixed expectations.
My children are all in contact with her, as is my husband, two of them were old enough to make their own decisions, and to be fair, she’s been a much better granny than a mother.

Smileless2012 Wed 21-Apr-21 19:45:17

"kids pick up on it" they certainly do and is something that parents and GP's need to be mindful of.

"If he is too weak to do this" it's a mistake to assume that only the weak can be manipulated and controlled.

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 20:21:39

I’ve tried not to let the rift between my mother and I affect the rest of my family, and mostly I don’t think they take any notice. But recently one of my eleven year old granddaughters has taken to asking questions,
How can you not love your own mum?
Why doesn’t she love you, what did you do?
Couldn’t you at least send her a Christmas card?
I love you and mummy, you love me and mummy, what happens to stop a mummy loving their child?
I worry that I’ve made her insecure, that she thinks relationships can just collapse.
So I agree, children certainly pick up on things.

freedomfromthepast Wed 21-Apr-21 21:38:33

Sara: I would love to have a relationship with the mother I deserved to have, not the mother I got. But I know that will never happen.

I oversimplified in my post, but it would take therapy on her part to hold herself accountable and that will never happen. I am at peace with the fact that I will never have a relationship with her again. I cant see a time in the future that my children will forgive her and want a relationship, but that is a decision they have to make when they are adults. They know the truth about her now, because she showed it to them.

I am so sorry your Grandchildren say those things. It is hurtful I know.

Sara1954 Wed 21-Apr-21 22:13:11

Freedomfromthepast
Thankyou, but it’s not really hurtful, I just worry that she thinks a mother and daughter relationship can so easily be broken. My mother is very old now, and she probably appears to be completely harmless to them.

I too tried very hard to make her like me, but I know she didn’t, and gradually I came to realise that it didn’t matter because I didn’t like her either.

I had my ups and downs with my dad, but I have happy childhood memories, and I loved him. He did occasionally intervene when she said things which were really spiteful, but I think he just tried to withdraw from us completely.

GrannyRose15 Wed 21-Apr-21 22:47:42

Hithere

Grannyrose15
Please read the post from freedom in this same page.

My comments were not directed at Freedom, but at the OP. Just because I have sympathy for the OP, doesn't mean I am denigrating Freedom in any way.

What I am saying is that it is sad when estrangement happens as there are many benefits of living in an extended family.

CafeAuLait Wed 21-Apr-21 23:44:52

Every now and then the idea of being able to mend bridges with my MIL creeps in but I quickly dismiss it because I know I can't do anything right there and I am her scapegoat for her poor relationship with her son. So I will always resist the urge to write. If she had contacted me over the years, I would have been her best bridge back, but she's so busy blaming me that I don't think she can even see that. I suspect having to acknowledge that I am open to her might be too difficult. It would mean having to face that her and her son have blocked each other. I can see that can't be easy emotionally.

The thought of MIL did cross my mind again yesterday but I am now reminding myself that she is a lot older and I don't know how her health is. If I think of her own mother at her age, I now think, is it even fair to open this up with a woman who may be in frail old age? She might be quite well and strong but I don't know.

I find it very hard to stay out of. I remind myself it's between them, not me.