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Friendship, advice and support if estrangement has affected your life.

(1001 Posts)
Smileless2012 Mon 12-Dec-22 08:52:03

Here we are again dear friends, with the next support thread to help anyone whose life has been forever blighted by estrangement.

The tenth anniversary of our estrangement is fast approaching and for me, the care and friendship the support thread has given has been priceless, so as 2023 approaches let's keep doing all we can to be there for one another, and for the friends we've yet to meet.

Smileless2012 Fri 16-Dec-22 16:07:22

Normandygirlflowers you are coping with estrangement love, as well as any of us can do. Bless your hearts, you and DH for making such an effort for your other AC, GC and your neighbours and friends.

Of course this is going to make you think about the ones who are missing, but I hope you'll both be able to enjoy the fruits of your labours and get some happiness from the joy you'll bring to everyone who will be joining you later.

Normandygirl Fri 16-Dec-22 16:20:21

Thankyou so much Smileless2012 for your kind reply. I don't know why I suddenly had a meltdown today, one minute I was busily baking mince pies and the next I was in floods of tears. I think it was all the effort DH was putting into it, as he did when our children were small. Although he is battling cancer, he always puts a brave face on everything and does his best for everyone, but I know that he would give anything to hear from our AC's as would I. I still have no idea why we went from loving, supportive parents and grandparents to "toxic untouchables". It just seems so hard at this time of the year.

Smileless2012 Fri 16-Dec-22 16:27:43

We all experience those melt downs from time to time Normandygirl and often for no apparent reason, but this time of year is reason enough. It's harder than their birthdays, our GC's birthdays, our birthdays and mothers and fathers day.

Christmas is a time for family so this is when we miss them the mostflowers.

Allsorts Fri 16-Dec-22 17:11:29

Normandy girl, I echo what Smileless has said. You paint such a beautiful picture of all those other people in your life sharing your day. I can’t believe your estranged child isn’t thinking of it to. Your husband sounds so much fun.
I haven’t had a meltdown yet this Christmas but it’s early days, I did a few months ago, it took me weeks to feel ok. Made a determined effort since to put my energy into those that do care. We will always be their mom though, you can’t switch that off.

Whiff Fri 16-Dec-22 18:11:58

Normandygirl we all have melt downs. Even though our children don't want us . We are still their parents and still grandparents. It's hard especially at Christmas when we are bombard with adverts of happy united families.

What you and your husband are doing sounds lovely. Oh to be a child again 😁.

Purplepixie Fri 16-Dec-22 18:38:24

I agree - we all have meltdowns - we are only human even though our AC think otherwise. The TV is full of the happy families sitting around tables laden with food. Reality for many is something very different. I just knit, knit and knit some more to try and bomb away the feelings of hurt and estrangement.

Sending you all love and hugs. Back to knitting my dog blanket for Battersea cats/dogs home. flowers

Normandygirl Fri 16-Dec-22 20:09:02

Well, they have all gone home now and a good time was had by all, just a huge mess to clear up now but that can wait till tomorrow. Thankyou for helping me through my little wobble earlier. I think that I was overwhelmed by the ghosts of past Christmas memories. My DH said that he thought maybe this would be his last appearance as Santa and he wanted to make it extra special this year and that set the memories flowing along with the tears. Once people arrived and the house was filled with laughter and lots of noise, it all seemed to be worth the work involved. You are right that we have to be thankful for the good friends that we have and all the privileges we enjoy that so many are deprived of. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that and not let the things that I don't have overwhelm me.

Allsorts Sat 17-Dec-22 07:04:22

It's hard and nigh impossible not to look back on what we once had. A constant work in progress.

Toetoe Sat 17-Dec-22 09:21:54

Hello , it's a long time since I posted , I do often read your posts and feel deeply for you all . Over this last year I have had counselling and am taking anti depressants which has helped . My daughter has chosen to see me as her enemy , and I know has said unkind things about me to my granchildren and I rarely see the girls 17 and 11 now . My daughter doesn't include me in her family now the girls are older and I am of no use anymore . Its coming closer to Christmas and daughter wants to show either to her self , friends that she is a loving daughter and sends the odd text or pics of the family dog or picture of them on days out , or recently a text showing a gift she's bought me for Christmas, yet I never get a nice phone call and she doesn't show any intention to visit as the last time she was very rude to me in front of the girls causing a very difficult atmosphere . I'm being played , she pretends to care but the truth is she's disinterested now she doesn't need me . It's complicated

A year and a half ago she decided to verbally attack me and I never saw or heard from the family for 8 months , I wrote letters asking to see the girls and got verbally abused twice . Ignored all over last Christmas which nearly killed me . There is now very limited contact because I have stepped back for my health sake . If daughter sends a text usually telling me what they are doing as a family I always reply so she can't lay any more blame on me , but I don't make contact to her. I do send the odd text to the girls but they don't reply , I do it to let them know I love them and am here always .

So in the last year and a half my life has changed, I feel I no longer have a family and daughter had made it quite clear I am not part of it anymore . Sorry I don't post much as I dont always know what to say . But when I read your posts my heart hurts for you too . I think it's worse this time of year because Christmas should be a time of family togetherness and we are left out in the cold .

My counsellor said the girls are older now and as they grow and become independent they will always remember the nurturing and love I gave them and I time will come visit me again. My best wishes to you all who have this loss and deep pain also

Smileless2012 Sat 17-Dec-22 09:26:50

It's good to know that it went well Normandygirl. It's hard I know but the best thing we can do this time of year is to get involved with Christmas celebrations. Decorate our homes and enjoy the time we get to spend with those we love, who love us in return.

As you say Allsorts, not looking back at how things were is a constant work in progress and we all stumble and occasionally fall, but manage somehow to pick ourselves up and carry on.

Having this thread really helps. The only ones who can truly understand what living with estrangement is like, are the ones who live with it too.

Like you with your knitting Pixie singing for me is therapeutic but not today. I'v started with a cold and sore throat so have had to cancel today's lesson and don't know if I'll be able to sing at tomorrow's concert. Just hope if I can't, that I'll be OK for Tuesday'shmm.

Not a good weekend for us. Yesterday my fridge freezer packed up and can't be repaired until Thursday. At least we managed to pack everything into our second fridge, get quite a bit in our other smaller freezer and our lovely girls made room in theirs for the rest.

If it can't be repaired, the cover provides a replacement but I can't see that happening before Christmas, so fingers crossed a repair will be possible.

Smileless2012 Sat 17-Dec-22 09:37:33

Hello Toetoe, it's lovely to hear from you but so sad that here's been no improvement in your situation.

It's good to know that you keep in touch with us all by reading our news, good and bad, and what we're all getting up too. We're here for one another, including those that don't post very often and for who knows how many that never post at all.

I'm glad that counselling and anti depressants are helping you. I always think that it must be so hard for you, and anyone who gets the occasional 'tit bit' from time to time. You must feel as if you're in no man's land, neither in nor out.

Your counsellor is right, your GD's will never forget that you're their GM and the wonderful memories they'll have of time spent with you.

I hope you'll keep reading and will find some peace and happiness this Christmasflowers x

Yoginimeisje Sat 17-Dec-22 10:10:23

Normandygirl so sorry to hear you're upset and who wouldn't be [tchflowers] the grotto sounds wonderful.

We all seem to have been estranged just before Xmas time confused

Find it absolutely awful listening to M&H, just hearing the clips is more than enough for me!

Spring20 Sat 17-Dec-22 10:22:41

I’m here too and want to say hi to everyone. That dreaded question - what are you doing for Christmas/are you seeing family? So tricky to answer when you’re estranged as it brings all the hurt and loss to the surface. This year we’ve lowered expectations. Will be just the 2 of us on Christmas Day, and we plan to enjoy the simplicity of it. We take comfort in the thought our EC will be having the Christmas they have chosen, and hopefully are happy. We can’t change anything, so to all the new friends here, it does get easier once you can accept what’s happened, although that was a long process for us. The current situation in the RF has shown no one is immune from family breakdown and there are multiple reasons why it can happen. Inevitably we carry guilt/shame from what we got wrong, but if we’ve learnt anything it’s that E really is very complex. And that there’s still good things in life, which I think we try to appreciate all the more because of the E.

Yoginimeisje Sat 17-Dec-22 10:32:19

Toetoe so sorry to read your post. I'm sure when our estAC are our age and GP themselves they will look back in horror and shame at what they did to us, that goes for the older GC who have chosen to follow their P into estrangement. Many of us estranged have young GC who have no idea about us, so not their fault at all. We wonder how my estGD will react when she learns that all her birth family that loved & adored her and she us, was ripped out of her life. Along with the fact that her father & his family have never been in it, even though he did say he wanted to be there for them [said too late though].

Nice to read all went well with your festive evening Normandygirl

Wish you better Smiles flowers

Try to stay strong pixie your DS will be with you soon to celebrate Xmas.

Allsorts we've already spoken xx

Smileless2012 Sat 17-Dec-22 11:31:52

I can't even bring myself to listen to the clips Yogin, it's like listening to our ES and his wifeshock.

What's happening with the RF reinforces to me that we're better off out of it Spring. This will be our 8th Christmas with just the two of us. No tears yet but there's bound to be some at some point, then it's carry on and make the best of what we do have.

Yoginimeisje Sat 17-Dec-22 11:42:55

I jumped in the shower and it popped into my head I hadn't mentioned Whiff sorry Whiff your little knitted pixie is lovely and something to treasure from your friend. I have lots of handmade gifts & cards from my students which I treasure & would never get rid of.

Lovely to see your post Spring you're made of stronger stuff than me.

I agree Smiles re H&M.

Never got my parcel delivery with all my Xmas gifts, will have to shop in store now, but it won't be Sportsdirect! [anger]

Spring20 Sat 17-Dec-22 11:46:02

Agreed Smileless. Miss the EC more than they will ever know, and have also shed tears this week. But at least no new traumas.

Spring20 Sat 17-Dec-22 11:48:24

I absolutely love your pixie Whiff. What kind (and clever!) friends you have!

Toetoe Sat 17-Dec-22 13:27:01

Thankyou all for your lovely replies . I've just written the girls Christmas cards and put in some money , I'll send registerd post tomorrow . My sister is coming to stay Christmas day so we will enjoy each others company . I'll keep popping in when I can . Thankyou once again x

Allsorts Sat 17-Dec-22 15:09:09

Toetoe, I am so very sorry the way things for you, if it’s any comfort you are doing the right thing. Leaving her to make contact and replying then, they know the hurt they cause, but it’s only about them. One day she will be in your shoes, we never thought about estrangement and I would have put money on it that I wouldn’t have been. We have all seen how recollections vary when they want rid, then it’s just them that calls the tune.
In away this H and M fantasy, whinge and wine, has been an eye opener there’s no reasoning with such people.

Purplepixie Sat 17-Dec-22 17:24:43

Whiff - the “Pixie” is fabulous and great choice of name!

Felt quite weak and wobbly today. My husband was shocked at the amount that I cried this morning. I hate this time of year. I want that perfect family and it doesn’t exist in my life and never will. Just spoke to my friend on the phone and she brought me back down to earth. Be happy with what you have is her motto. My eyes are sore with crying - I have got to plod on. More knitting tonight.

Whiff Sat 17-Dec-22 17:28:07

Just a quickie I don't normally cross threads but had a look at Pixie's beautiful painting on Kristie's handmade thread on arts and crafts forum.

My grandson has renamed my pixie ELF on the shelf.

Purplepixie Sat 17-Dec-22 18:57:56

Whiff Thank you for your kind words. I like the name ELF as well but I didn’t fancy being PurpleElf.

Smileless2012 Sat 17-Dec-22 19:05:51

The 'perfect family' doesn't exist Pixie. Family life is tempered with good times and bad, arguments and making up, it's just that for some inexplicable reason with our EAC, there's no making up.

Yes, be happy with what you've got but it's OK to cry for what we've lost.

My cold and being unable to sing has made me feel rather low today and then I made the mistake of watching 'The Snowman' and 'The Snowman and snow dog'.

Note to self for next year; if you don't want to end up in tears, don't watch them. Still, better out then trying to keep it bottled up inside.

Smileless2012 Sun 18-Dec-22 09:49:02

Wont be at our choir's concert this afternoonsad, no point because when I try to sing nothing comes outshock. Just hoping I'll be OK for Tuesday evening as that's 'the big one' and having spent weeks rehearsing, to say I'll be very disappointed if I can't sing, would be an understatement.

I'm glad you've decided not to contact your ES Whiff (re post on other thread). I've had that overwhelming desire to contact our ES from time to time, but have always waited, and then come to the conclusion that doing so would more than likely be opening a can of worms, that would just set me back.

An easy day for me today, slept in this morning and when I've had my shower I'm going to sit and watch the tv while cuddling the dogs.

Had a good night's sleep helped by Mr. S's. honey and lemon, which is even better than what my mum would make for us when we had colds as childrensmile.

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