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Feeling just so mentally drained from it all….

(84 Posts)

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Adviceplease Wed 10-May-23 15:38:07

Long story but unfortunately I have a very difficult relationship with my AD who is early 30’s.
We always had a difficult relationship since she was a teenager and I found it very hard to parent her after GCSE’s she went to live with her Father. I missed her terribly, but it was the best for her at the time. Roll on a few years and our relationship has been a rollercoaster. I’ve suffered really badly from her behaviour towards me over the years and always retreat to protect myself. We had a good relationship for a few years, up until a couple of years ago when I was very hurt by the way she treats me…(no consideration, birthdays, Mother’s Day etc etc, doesn’t keep in touch. Only when she wants something).
I thought we were getting closer but she’s literally just cut off from contacting me or keeping in touch when she promised she’d be more consistent. I know she’s very busy, job, friends, partner, getting married etc. I just feel so hurt. A few weeks ago I made effort to visit her to try and clear the air see her new home etc. birthday etc. Everything seemed fine and then she disappeared again. When I reached out to her, I was told she’s very busy. Which I can accept, but I always keep in touch with my Mum I just don’t understand why she doesn’t make the effort towards me. I daren’t reach out again as the last email I sent I got told I was too intense, too much! Trying to make an arrangement. I just feel so at a loss and very hurt. I won’t chase her as think it will do more damage. It’s absolutely horrid to feel so unloved and not wanted to be part of your adult daughter’s life. I guess I have to accept maybe we will never get through this.

Mollyplop Wed 10-May-23 15:57:11

I am estranged from my adult son and haven't seen him for 10 years. Like you I tried and constantly questioned myself. Eventually I had to accept that there was nothing that I could do and I've had to move on. It's a bit like a death eventually it hurts less, but his birthday is still hard. Try and concentrate on the good things in your life instead and I'd consider some counselling. It helped me.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 10-May-23 16:16:12

Maybe it’s difficult for you to understand how busy your daughter is. You probably have far more time to devote to your mother so you shouldn’t make that comparison. Young people have such busy lives these days. Don’t chase her or get intense, it will only make things worse. You’ll just have to be patient.

welbeck Wed 10-May-23 16:19:50

agree with GSM.
if you lower your expectations, you will be less upset.
you do sound a bit intense.

crazyH Wed 10-May-23 16:22:30

It’s so sad - I have been on the brink a couple of times. I have learned not to push it and not to expect too much. The days of wanting to see the GC every week/ fortnight are long gone. I now go with the flow. When they can spare the time, I get an invitation, to ‘pop in’. Don’t expect too much Adviceplease.
I can’t begin to imagine Mollyplop, how you have managed these past 10 years. What can be so bad ? It really is unbelievable that AC can do this to their mothers. flowers

JaneJudge Wed 10-May-23 16:22:33

Working people in their 30s are busy flowers

AGAA4 Wed 10-May-23 16:29:01

I also agree with GSM. Get on with your own life and give your DD some space. She is more likely to want to be in contact with you if you don't want too much from her.

Grammaretto Wed 10-May-23 16:32:05

I agree that you are sounding a bit too intense.
I am widowed with 4 AC. I'm not part of any of their day to day lives.
They are at a different stage and I am glad of that
They would come like a shot if I needed them but I try not to be needy.

Your situation is probably complicated by your relationship with her DF and all that's gone before but it certainly doesn't mean you won't see her again.
Cheer up!
Weddings are an intensely anxious time so once that's over I'm sure things will improve.

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 16:42:33

You are on the estrangement forum but this doesn't sound like estrangement, why do you feel that is the case?

I think you really have mismatched expectations and values and are not communicating well.

Of course it is upsetting to have your child ignore your special days but this has been a strained relationship for a long time. You said you have pulled back from her, she went to live with her father, that has become this, it's cause and effect, by not addressing issues then, you have issues now.

Instead of being in the mindset of, estrangement is your future, perhaps you need to change your expectations. Love your daughter for who she is right now and what she is capable of giving you right now. Ask to make plans when she is available without pressure. I think if you want a closer relationship you have to work for it and be a person your daughter wants and needs in her life.

Smileless2012 Wed 10-May-23 16:43:30

It's hurtful and difficult to understand Adviceplease especially when our relationship with our own mother's is so different flowers.

It wont be easy but try not to contact her because as you say chasing her may do more harm than good. Wait for her to contact you and when she does perhaps be a little less available for example, if she suggests time and date for you to meet up, say you'd love too but aren't free then, and suggest a different day and time.

Doing so would be a gentle reminder that your life doesn't revolve around her and could help her to be a bit more appreciative.

Mollyplopflowers it's been more than 10 years or us too since we saw our ES and only GC. It's called a living bereavement for very good reason.

Time does take the edge off the pain but it never goes away completely and can suddenly hit for no apparent reason.

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 16:45:09

That sounds very much like manipulation Smileless and I'm sorry but I really don't think we should play mind games with these important relationships

Smileless2012 Wed 10-May-23 16:52:19

Of course it isn't manipulation VS. It does no harm sometimes for someone to know that someone isn't at their beck and all and goes hand in hand with not being too needy.

What you appear to consider to be mind games I consider to be sound advice, and of course it's up too Adviceplease what she decides to do.

Hetty58 Wed 10-May-23 16:52:27

I do remember avoiding the phone calls from my mother. We were never close and, as she got older, she seemed so selfish and too demanding. She expected far too much from my siblings as well.

If I answered her call, it would be a two hour 'conversation' - well, being quizzed, really, about the children, my plans etc. then told about her many minor health problems - all with a heavy dose of criticism and complaints about everyone, including family members. It was very far from pleasant.

She got wise to my excuses e.g. 'There's somebody at the door' ('I'll hold') 'I have to go' ('No, don't you interrupt, I haven't finished speaking') and so on.

I think it was an 'ownership' thing - or 'control', as she felt entitled to disrupt my day, anytime, for no good reason.

(She had plenty of paid help at home, help from my siblings, I ordered her shopping, others regularly took her out etc. - there was really no good reason for it.)

Yes, I was busy, (very busy, early mornings, midnight marking) teaching and raising four kids, widowed and short of cash. There just wasn't any give and take with her - it was all take - and all so bloody negative and depressing.

So, I'd say, any contact, keep it short and sweet, keep it positive and interesting - maybe text or email rather than phone.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 10-May-23 16:59:20

A salutary lesson to us all Hetty.

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 16:59:51

I know it's up to OP, so wanted to address the way I would view that and possibly the daughter too Smileless

Hetty58 Wed 10-May-23 17:01:51

Thanks, GSM - she made me feel horribly guilty (still do) for not doing more.

Smileless2012 Wed 10-May-23 17:05:21

Which you did VS.

I don't like it being implied that the advice I gave is suggesting that the OP plays mind games.

Adviceplease Wed 10-May-23 17:13:48

Thank you all for your messages...think I'm going to just focus on me and give her space...tbh I don't want to be intense or come across that way, just very worried as she'd seemed so lovely a month ago. Thanked me for a lovely day and gift, and then no more whatsapp, texts, as we had said we'd arrange something with her partner. Then at Easter she sort of disappeared, and it was my birthday too. It just seemed odd, and I did try and find out if I'd done something wrong, but D has said since that she is just very busy. So I'm going to stop worrying and let her be.....BTW it does feel like an estrangement hence me posting here. I thought this would be the best place to get advice on my situation. I do feel very hurt. TBH I can appreciate how busy she is, and relationships can be very delicate when we have gone through so much upset in the past. We've both admitted and that and moved forward. So I guess I must just let it be.

Hetty58 Wed 10-May-23 17:21:50

Adviceplease, it could be that her partner tries to 'protect' her and discourages contact. I know that my children did. They'd answer 'She's out, can I take a message?' as they realised that contact left me feeling upset.

VioletSky Wed 10-May-23 17:27:34

I don't think the best approach is to just let it be and sit back and do nothing

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Would you really be happy with nothing?

I think the best approach is to change your expectations and meet half way, then you can begin strengthening the relationship from there

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 10-May-23 17:32:39

I’m sure you did a lot Hetty. It’s unfortunate that many older people have absolutely no idea what it’s like to have a demanding job, a family to care for perhaps single-handedly on a very tight budget, and rarely a moment to draw breath. And mobile phones make us constantly accessible. Their own experiences would have been so very different.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 10-May-23 17:38:27

We also have to understand that when our children are grown up and have partners and eventually children of their own, we are no longer dependent on us or as important in their lives as we were, whilst they are as important to us as they were on the day they were born . That’s the natural order of things but it’s hard to adjust mentally, though adjust we must.

Adviceplease Wed 10-May-23 17:40:12

VS - I'm not doing nothing...I've done loads of reaching out, email, whatsapp, texts, not all the same week...that would be intense. Just tried different ways, as she seemed to have disappeared and not replying. I just appreciate that maybe she just needs some space as other people have advised. My expectations are changing, I don't expect anything...doesn't mean that I am not hurt or sad or feel disappointed. It's something I need to accept.

Hetty, I think you could be right....she has got upset with me in the past and I think it upsets her partner when she's upset. I intention was never to hurt them or upset them, but sometimes we say things that get misconstrued. Anyway...I've tried to explain and apologise over the past few months and was told to stop apologising. I think I just need to give her space and time, and appreciate that she is very busy. She knows I want to be supportive and the Mum she wants me to be, but if she can't move forward, I can't make her. So I do need to change my expectations. Thank you.

Smileless2012 Wed 10-May-23 17:40:40

That sounds like the right approach Advicepleaseand you did the right thing posting on the estrangement forum.

Whether it's because the number of estrangements is increasing, or people feel more comfortable talking about it, the fear of being estranged can be very real and very upsetting.

I hope the situation resolves itself and you'll feel comfortable posting here whenever you feel the need.

Take care and the very best of luckflowers.

HeavenLeigh Wed 10-May-23 17:45:02

So true gsm above post