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SUPPORT for all living with estrangement

(1001 Posts)
Smileless2012 Sun 16-May-21 09:08:16

Another thread for the friends we have made and for those we've yet to make.

Allsorts Wed 10-Nov-21 15:52:16

Derbyshire, I do agree with that statement, leave the last where it is or it will spoil the future. Nice to think back to happy times but no point dwelling it’s gone. Trouble with being estranged our today and the future we were looking forward to has radically changed. Sorry you are down but it is really early days to get used to your new normal. I get awful wobbles and can feel a bit scared, however I am sure there’s no going back and am resigned to it. I too would like to move but no idea what to and where, probably stay in this area as I know lots of people and have friends here, not quite ready to downsize too much.
Whiff, people do and say awful things but don’t always mean it, I think a lot of estranged parents do reunite within about 4 years so I’ve read, when the dust has settled. I have been so long now it’s impossible, I’m very different to how I was, over more than 10 years the possibility has gone I know. I just hope she’s happy and well.

Smileless2012 Wed 10-Nov-21 17:42:43

DSL flowers better out than in as the saying goes. When you're feeling weepy it's because that part of you is full and needs to make space.

It's good to cry, it shows you're emotionally healthy and mature so let the tears come, don't fight it xx

CafeAuLait Thu 11-Nov-21 07:46:31

Allsorts, there is always hope. I'm not saying it is easy or even wanted by all involved, but if the person who cut us off wanted to repair the bridge, I would have to give them a hearing before saying no. Maybe I'm gullible with that, I don't know. Hearing them would say if there is any chance at all, but there could never be full healing. They would have to say a lot of the right things to even have me willing to tentatively dip my toe in. That's after 15+ years. I do believe people can change and gain insight. I don't think it would happen for us but I'm always ready to begin to listen.

Yoginimeisje Thu 11-Nov-21 07:55:07

Thank you Smiles It is good to know that we both did the opposite but came out of it just the same!

Whiff Hope you're feeling a little more upbeat today, hard time for you with your 40th ann. looming. Hope your son takes you out for the day to help with your mood.

DSL Hang in there, you are doing well, once you are estranged that's it, you'll never see them again, so if I was you I'd keep jogging along as you are, so as to stay seeing you S&GC, as difficult as it is and just try to stay clear of your Dil.

Elless Same here, I could never forget or forgive what my once cherished daughter has done. She used to brag that she could wrap me round her little finger, and she could, because I loved her so.

Whiff Thu 11-Nov-21 11:46:28

Yogin my would have been 40th wedding anniversary would have been in May. And my son decided last year he never wants anything to do with me. Last time I spoke and saw him was April 30th 2020 my birthday . 4 days later his email arrived. Apart from the returned presents and letter in August 2020. I haven't contacted him or him me in any way. He wants zero contact he's got it. He has cut all our side of the family out of their lives. Sorry if I confused you. I know I ramble on.

Going to my exercise class did me the power of good. There are 9 of us now. When I started in June there was only 2 of us. Learnt some new exercises which was fun. We have a full hour of workout and laughter then hot drink , biscuits and chat. Just what I needed. I am still the youngest at 63 . Love hearing about other people's lives . Ok I am plain nosey ☺️. There is a Christmas party on 9th December for all active aging classes in my area. So will get to meet people from other classes. Emily ( instructor) has promised food ,hot drinks ,party games ,quiz and fun. So will give my craft group a miss that day. Not missing a party.

Had an email to book my Covid booster so having it on the 26th and also booked a hair cut for Tuesday. I don't know when my life got so busy but I love it.

Last green bin of the year on Monday so hopefully it will be dry the weekend so I can get up the leaves and weed then the garden is definitely finished for the year.

Can't remember if I said my brother and sister in law where moving house. Her younger son lived with them but as soon as they put the house on the market he went to live with his dad. He's 26 or 27 and has Asperger's. This way about 3 months ago. She only gets the odd text message from him and hasn't seen him since. Her elder son lives in the south and is lucky if she sees him once a year . He may text or phone but only every few months . Once they do move to the north east I don't think she will hear from them again. Like us she hasn't done anything wrong. He ex husband is a piece of work and the elder son lived with his dad when they spilt. Her son hurt her very badly by referring to his father's new wife as his mom. He knew better he was 17 at the time.

What makes our estranged children so cruel and cowardly? Do they do it to make themselves feel better about what they do so they can justify their actions ???.

Socksandsocks01 Thu 11-Nov-21 14:08:47

I'm trying not to think of things as it's do incredibly hurtful to think of the things my son and his daughter said. I thought I was close to my granddaughter. I still haven't put their photos away yet.

Allsorts Thu 11-Nov-21 15:42:19

Cafe, Of course there’s always hope, but after fifteen years, you are different people. I hope very much you get answers and the chance to reconnect with your family.
Yoga, I remember how heartbroken you were, you did your best by going to court, it wasn’t a route I took as even if I had won, they would have left the area and not let me know, also it would have been a trauma for my beautiful When their mind is made up hell and high water won’t let them give an inch. You might have had regrets if you hadn’t gone to court, one day you grandchild will realise that you must have loved her very much to go through the ordeal.

CafeAuLait Thu 11-Nov-21 21:28:10

Allsorts, I think the biggest hindrance would be the lack of shared experiences that you would normally share with family members. That's a gap that can't be bridged. But life is strange and you never know what the future brings. I don't believe it's possible for the relationship with MIL to heal now but have learned, in life, one should never say never. :-)

Yoginimeisje Fri 12-Nov-21 09:08:05

Sorry Whiff I should have said your daughter not your son re taking you out.

Allsorts Yes I realise that now, but at the time I wasn't thinking straight. They say to someone who's just lost their husband not to make any decisions for a year and that applied to me too, but I knew you had to move quickly if going to court otherwise they'd say the GC don't know you any more, they said that anyway after just 9mnths [that's how long it took to get there]

The children aren't involved in any of the court proceedings, they wouldn't have known anything about it.

Whiff Fri 12-Nov-21 11:06:26

Yogin that's ok. Like I said I ramble on. I spend the day by myself. And remember all the things that wrong and it made me laugh. We had rain ,sunshine and hail at the time we where getting married. My husband and brother who was best man were soaked as it was raining heavily and the wedding party before us wouldn't leave the church . The vicar had to make them. We had photos with women on tip toes so heels didn't sink into the grass. Everyone just got into the church hall as it hailed. Before all that both my dad and husband got stuck in traffic jams doing last minute errands. I got locked out of the house luckily a window was wide open and my cousin climbed in and got the keys. Mom only arrived to get changed 10 mins before the car came to take her and bridesmaids to church.

But it was a brilliant day. Lots of love ,laugher and dancing. Happy memories .

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Nov-21 12:42:13

"That's a gap that can't be bridged" I think you're right CafeAuLait and the longer the estrangement lasts, the bigger the gap becomes. 'Never say never'hmm TBH my head tells my heart that would never be an option for mesad.

Would we know them? Would they know us? Mr. S. and I have changed over the last 9 years and not just because we're older physically, I think our emotional approach has changed too.

I said would we know them but I already know I no longer know our ES. The person I knew, or thought I knew would never have done such a cruel and calculated thing.

Your exercise class sounds great Whiff and not just for the physical benefits but the social ones too. I'm really enjoying going to the choir I joined two weeks ago, and almost talked myself out of it. I couldn't be bothered but so glad I made the effort.

It does seem in many cases Allsorts that the more you try, the more they dig themselves in and there's no thought whatsoever for who they hurt and how much.

That's the problem Yogin as you say you have to act quickly because if you don't act quick enough that can go against you in terms of you can't be that bothered as you've waited so long' and as you say, the children aren't involved in the court proceedings.

Some say that the pressure the parents are put under passes on to the children but IMO it's their responsibility to shield them as much as possible. Also, what about the children like your GD? You were an intrinsic part of her life and there never appeared to be any consideration of her feelings when your D and s.i.l. did what they did.

Your memories made mesmile*Whiff*. We were married at 11.30 am and at 9.30 Mr. S. got a call from the vicar telling him he banns hadn't been read in my parish so unless a special licence was obtained, the wedding wouldn't be legal?

The pair of them dashed through to the registrars office 20 miles away to get one. Needless to say, I knew nothing about it until later that day.

Good job, I was incredibly nervous as it was!!

Allsorts Fri 12-Nov-21 19:46:08

I’m so glad Yoga that you are happy after all the pain. You definitely can’t take it in for some time as it’s such a shock, even now it’s hard to believe.

agnurse Fri 12-Nov-21 20:40:28

It would be nearly impossible to shield the children from the stress and potential financial impact of the court case. Children are incredibly perceptive. Even if they don't know the details, they'll pick up on the emotional stress and atmosphere. If the proceedings are expensive (as they may well be), they'll notice that there's less money for other things.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Nov-21 23:09:51

They may well have their own emotional stress caused by no longer being able to see the GP's they know and love taken away from them agnurse.

Depending on the reason for estrangement, let's not put all of this on to GP's who are desperate to maintain the relationship they have with their GC.

The parents have equal responsibility for refusing to allow their children to see the GP's they know and love.

Yoginimeisje Sat 13-Nov-21 08:19:37

agnurse My GC knew nothing about the court case. As I took them to court I paid for everything, they paid nothing, I also paid for the mediation and if my estD had attended the second meeting I would have paid for that to and any subsequent meetings. My GC were 3 & 2, so no way would they have 'picked up' on anything. My GD stepdad was always high on cocaine [at the very minimum], so slow reactions. Where do you get your incorrect information from agnures ?

Thank you Smileless xx

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Nov-21 09:53:19

You're welcome dear friendsmile.

It does annoy me when the burden of responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the heart broken GP's when if not for the behaviour of their GC's parents, no one would be in this situation would they.

What thought is given to those children who love and miss their GP's and don't understand why they can't see them anymore, perhaps concluding that they no longer love them?

We and our GC were spared that because we never knew one another but for those of you who did, how much harder for you, not just having to deal with your own pain and loss but wondering how your GC are coping with theirs.

Nanalouise Sat 13-Nov-21 13:23:36

Hi it’s good to read all your comments especially for and against whether to take DD to court to see GD both me and my husband talked about it but decided it would probably cause more trouble and there’s still no guarantee that we would see our GD as it seems our DD would enjoy the drama of it.

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Nov-21 13:56:17

I'm glad you and your H have made a decision Nanalouise. You're right that there wouldn't be any guarantees, even if you were to succeed in court, your D could refuse and that would mean going back to court again.

It's a terrible situation for you both and your GDsad.

DerbyshireLass Sat 13-Nov-21 14:48:37

Hello everyone.....

Very interesting reading about whether or not to go to court. I know I'm technically not estranged (yet) but I don't think I would go to court when it happens. Like Nanalouise said........I wouldn't give my DIL the satisfaction of being at the centre of the drama. It would be playing right into her hands, she would revel in all the attention.

For the moment it looks as if both my son and DIL will try to continue to pick me up and discard me as they see fit.....or shall I say that's what they think will happen. I have other plans. ?. I'm happy enough to play along whilst it suits me if it means I get to see the GC now and again. As far as I am concerned I am quite content with just occasional visits, just enough so my grandchildren and I (sort of) get to know each other. The children can then make their own minds up when they are older.

Despite living just 20 mins away its been 3 weeks again since I've seen them, And no communication from DIL. I have texted my son a couple of times and he's been pleasant enough but he never asks me anything about me or my life. He's clearly not interested in me at all. He hasn't deigned to reply to my other son either who texted him and suggested a cinema trip......something they used to do now and again. Feel sorry for my second son but he's philosophical - as he so succinctly put it "you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink".

I actually have been quite poorly with a virus this last week or so (had to cancel my flu and covid jabs) but I never bothered telling them. I have come to the sad conclusion that the pair of them are just completely self absorbed, totally disinterested in either me or my youngest son. Oh well it's their loss.

It occurred to me that their eldest child starts school next September. They clearly havent realised it yet but they are going to have childcare issues. They will probably suddenly decide that having "Granny on tap" might be a good idea. Well they've blown it. I was looking forward to helping out but frankly they can now forget it. Too late. I wont be used for their convenience. Let's face it they would only discard me again when I cease to be useful. They can sort themselves out because I am going to be unavailable,

Despite being under the weather I am really pleased with my progress this week. I have really cracked on with decluttering and have now sorted out the loft and top bedroom. It is now ready for my builder. I wasn't expecting to be this far ahead so I'm going to ring him on Monday and see if he can start work sooner rather than waiting until next spring.

I've got the bit between my teeth now, the sooner I can get the house market ready, the sooner I can move and start living my new life.

It's quite sobering to think that my once loving son now sees me as irrelevant. He has no time for me, is dismissive and when he does bother to engage with me, he has become increasingly more patronising and condescending.

Well I'm done with all that. I may be 70 but I'm hardly in my dotage just yet. They think I am done, that I have nothing left to offer, that I am just a dull and boring old woman who has lived her life and has nothing going for her.

Ha!!! are they in for a surprise.......

I have plans, lots of them and they don't include waiting around for them to throw me a few crumbs of attention. I will offload this house and most of the contents and then I will be as free as a bird to start a new and more interesting life.

My son won't approve but he can whistle.......he has forfeited any right to make any judgements. I say this because a few years ago, about 4 years after my husbands death, I met a nice man. I wasn't interested in a romantic liaison so didn't pursue it but the way my son reacted you would have thought I was a Scarlett woman.

I have no intention of seeking out a new partner - no one can ever fill my husbands shoes but that doesn't mean to say I can't have male friends or go on solo holidays or just generally start living a bit more. I don't need my sons permission or approval and I'm done trying to please and/or appease them.

A glorious day here. Got up early and did a supermarket shop. I have just cleaned and treated the patio, driveway and paths. Going to do a bit more tidying, cook a nice steak for dinner and then settle down with Netflix.

Hope you all have a good weekend.

DerbyshireLass Sat 13-Nov-21 14:59:39

My thought for the day....

"If you have to force it, just leave it".

I am not going to try and force my son to have a relationship with me. If he's not interested then so be it.

I will enjoy my relationship with myself.

Elless Sat 13-Nov-21 15:36:44

Wow Derbyshire wish I had a bit of your get up and go, good on you.

DerbyshireLass Sat 13-Nov-21 16:42:57

Well I give it my best shot. If Joan Collins can still wow them at 88 then there's hope for me yet. ?.

Tbh I do feel somewhat rejuvenated already.

Clearing all the clutter seems to have lifted a weight off my shoulders, including some emotional baggage I was carrying around with me.

Grief and stress changes us.

My husband got sick in 2006, dying in 2014. I lost myself somewhere along the way but I think at last I've come out of that long dark tunnel.

I do actually think the way I have been treated by my son and DIL has somehow given me that impetus to change. I was so shocked at first but then when I really stopped to think about it all it made me realise that I had been existing not living.

My son seems to have forgotten I was once vibrant and full of joire de vie and my DIL has only known me as a widow. They both seem to see me as somehow pathetic and irrelevant, someone weak who they can just trample on and ride roughshod over.

I think DIL was actually quite shaken when I stood up to her. I don't think she expected me to take her quite so literally when she asked for "space". Lol. She even had the audacity to ask me to "reflect".

Well I have reflected ?? and the conclusions I have reached are probably not at all what she expected. I certainly don't think she expected me to adopt my red velvet rope policy. She probably thought I would beg and grovel, try to appease and curry her favour. It ain't happening. ?.

My DIL would be horrified to know that actually she has done me a favour. They both made me so angry that it jolted me out of my grief and apathy. I am beginning to rediscover the "old me" - the one who was always so decisive, motivated and yes, at times, somewhat driven to succeed.

I've always been a self starter, motivated and committed to always improving myself, working hard, educating myself, improving my lot in life. I just got lost in grief and sorrow, anxious and fearful, too scared to live, not knowing how to live without the love of my life. Grief is a form of paralysis.

But finally I have found myself again. I have come out of the doldrums and am ready to get on with the business of living. I will always cherish my husbands memory, he will always live in my heart but I'm finally ready now to put the sorrow and the bad times behind me.

Some might think that 7 years locked in grief is self indulgent but I believe that we have to be allowed to mourn at our own pace. It is a journey that can't be rushed. My son often seemed exasperated with me, he had no patience with my grief and no understanding of the impact it made on my physical health. My DIL has even accused me of feigning illness. I wish.

I am fortunate in that I have no serious health problems but caring for my husband robbed me of my vitality and left me with a few issues that now require my attention. My goal is to get stronger and fitter. Thats my priority now.

2022 is going to be a big year for me, one of "radical transformation". What a pity my son and his wife won't get to,join in the fun. Their loss.

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Nov-21 17:08:25

"If you have to force it, just leave it" an excellent thought for the day DSL. You're such a busy bee, I feel quite worn out when I read all you've been up toogrin.

I've had a busy day, a bit of house work, washing and ironing which incidentally I hate. Oh and I coloured my hair well I have too on account of the grey that insists on coming through at the templesangry.

I'm glad you're finding a physical clear out is a good emotional one too. I've always found that to be the case.

Mr. S. has always marvelled at how much our ES must have spent on child care when they could have had some of it for free, makes no sense really does it but I suppose if paying for it means keeping the poor little mites away from their evil GP's it was money well spent.

Hope you're feeling better because if you're not, you shouldn't be doing so much (nag, nag, nag)grin.

Smileless2012 Sat 13-Nov-21 17:12:44

This is the 999th post and when we reach 1000 this thread will finish so I'm going to post one more here, then start the next thread.

Whiff Sat 13-Nov-21 17:12:45

DerbyshireLass I lost half myself when my husband died. And have never been whole since. But as hard as it is had to make a new life for myself. He died in 2004.

But I didn't realise until I moved here just over 2 years ago I lost myself. Moving gave me back my identity. People here know me not wife then widow, kids mom and all the other labels I had.

Only people I knew her was my daughter and family and my son in laws family. My son and family and his mother in law.

Lost my son and grandson's. But I do not regret moving here one bit. I love who I am now . I have more confidence than I thought I would ever have . I have done more things by myself and for myself that I have ever done. Only took me from being widowed at 45 until now I am 63.

My daughter says where's my mom and what have you done with her. She loves the new me . And before my son decided to throw me away he said the same thing.

My life before was centered around looking after others. Having the children bringing them up, my illness , my husband's cancer and death then looking after both my parents and mother in law until they died.

I started to change after I had jaundice and was very ill and couldn't do anything for 5 months. Having all that time to think and never been so frightened in my life. I needed someone with me 24/7 but their was no one. That was the first time I have ever been frightened since my husband died. And then to find out I could have died. I decided on what I wanted and it was only 3 things lose weight, move and get fit.

Lost 7st so far was 32 now 16 , fitter than I have ever been and moved to my wonderful bungalow.

But I would give everything up in a heart beat if I could have my husband back fit and healthy but I can't . Grieving gets worse as the years goes by and I cope . My husband was my one and only and I was very lucky to have been so loved for the 29 years we had married for 22 years.

But I still have a lot of living to do and intend to live every minute of it. I promised my husband to live the best life I can and I can not let him down . Still love him as much as ever.

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