Gransnet forums

Estrangement

I feel lost

(19 Posts)
Purplepixie Thu 30-Jul-20 17:49:53

Hello all and I am sorry if this topic has been covered before.
My daughter and myself fell out over 5.5 years ago. It was over something so silly. I hadn’t text or phoned her when I should have because I was in such a stressful job with the NHS. All of which I tried to explain. She was living with a horrible man, not married to him and yet he controlled her. I did hear from her brother that she split with him, thankfully when he attacked her and the police were called. I tried to get in touch with her over the days, months and then years. No word. I dont know what move to make and I would love her back in my life. Why does she not want her mam in her life? I do get to see my 2 beautiful grand daughters through her ex husband. With the lockdown though I have seen them since the beginning of March. They do text 2-3 times per week and I cherish every word that they put. Has anyone got any ideas as to how I get to see or speak to her.

Smileless2012 Thu 30-Jul-20 18:25:54

You could try a hand written letter Purplepixie telling her how much you love and miss her, how much you want her back in your life and how sorry you are that you failed to 'phone or text her.

As you've previously tried to explain why that happened, I wouldn't go into that again at this stage. Then it's a waiting game, as you wait to see if she'll respond.

I'm so sorry that you are estranged from your D. Thank goodness you are able to maintain your relationship with your GD's, thanks to your ex s.i.l.

There's no need to apolgise for starting this thread. Sadly estrangement is a subject constantly being discussed here on GN and I don't think I've ever seen you talk of your own sad situation before.

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for more than 7.5 years now. It's rightly described as a living bereavement and I'm confident that now you've shared your own story, others will offer their support.

You're not aloneflowers

Madgran77 Thu 30-Jul-20 19:52:41

Purplepixie I am sorry that you are struggling with this. I am wondering what your relationship was like with your daughter before the "fall out"? She must have been very stressed living with a controllling violent partner and it must have been stressful for you too, worrying about her and dealing with your stressful job. Was the "fall out" the final straw in a difficult time for you both or was it a one off disagreement? I'm asking this because your answer might I think impact on the best way forward for you with your daughter and for yourself. flowers

Peardrop50 Thu 30-Jul-20 20:05:31

I'm not a psychiatrist or psychologist so I may be wide of the mark but perhaps she felt ashamed of the choices she'd made and thought you might judge her so found it easier to cut contact.
I know I never shared anything bad in my life with my mother, such as my children being naughty, a row with Mr P or money worries. I suppose I just wanted her to be proud of me.
I have seen your lovely foxglove painting so why don't you photograph and print a copy and make her a lovely card telling her how proud you are of her and how much you love her.
Forget the past, wait for her to reply and go forward with her, never back.

Lolo81 Thu 30-Jul-20 21:02:05

If you do reach out via letter, I’d like to offer some advice.
If you are going to apologise, do that, however don’t be tempted to justify your actions. At this point what you’re sorry for is that your actions hurt her. The reasons to justify why you acted the way you did don’t really matter - what matters is that she was hurt.
Please don’t say “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings” or “I’m sorry for everything” - these are blanket apologies and don’t acknowledge what you’ve actually done.
And finally please please please don’t say “I’m sorry, but......” because the “but” cancels out the actual sorry.
If it interests you please google 4 point apology. I discovered this and implemented with my children when they were small and also adopted the method myself and have found that it helps me to communicate far more effectively instead of panicking, blanking, babbling and making things worse (which would have been my MO prior to this method).
I wish you every success in reaching out to your daughter.

MamaBear20 Fri 31-Jul-20 01:49:46

Purplepixie You say the falling out was “over something so silly.” Is it possible your daughter didn’t think it was silly, and that by dismissing it as such pushed her farther away?

Hithere Fri 31-Jul-20 02:01:37

What was the silly incident that created the estrangement?

Please do not contact her again. Your previous attempts have not received the answer you wanted.
Respect her request to be left alone

What you should do is find out how to move on without her in your life.

welbeck Fri 31-Jul-20 02:20:06

if you are in touch with her brother, and he with her, could that be a bridge.
could he test the waters, give you an idea of how any approach by you is likely to be received by her now ?
maybe she did feel that you would take a, i told you so, attitude regarding the abusive man. ?
does she have care of her daughters.

agnurse Fri 31-Jul-20 07:19:36

welbeck

A child should never be put in the position of piggy in the middle. I've been in that position when my sister was estranged from our parents. She subsequently reconnected, estranged again, and has now reconnected again. With the second estrangement I told my parents I was not going to be in the middle. They were okay with that.

Starblaze Fri 31-Jul-20 09:22:20

Hi, I'm going to go with a combination of the above.

Her reason is not silly. You and she are different people, you hinted that she was in a possibly abusive relationship so you not being available at that time may have been a huge issue for her. Not silly at all.

You have contact with your grandchildren through your daughters ex. How does she feel about you being in contact with her ex? Is she OK with that? Could she feel you have taken sides against her?

Also are you being very careful to not discuss your situation with your daughter with your grandchildren? This could also cause ongoing issues.

You have to really think about why your daughter has estranged if you would like reconsiliation. Any reasons you have been given are her real and genuine reasons whether or not you agree or think them silly. How she feels is what you need to accept and respond to.

So if you want to try and make one last contact:

Apologise for hurting her, no ifs buts or maybes. Genuine heartfelt apology.

No guilt trips. No talk about how awful things are or have been for you. That doesn't mean your feelings don't matter, just that it may scare her off replying. How you feel should come later when you are BOTH ready to talk about it. Ideally it should come from her in the form of a genuine apology later without any prompting from you. Then you know its real.

Make it clear this is your last attempt and that in future you will respect her decision for no contact. Then do that, no matter how hard.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you can find a way back to each other.

Purplepixie Fri 31-Jul-20 10:01:26

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful replies.

I do see the point of her not thinking the whole thing was trivial but not to the point of dragging it on this long.

At the time of the fall out she screamed at both me and my husband in her house, in front of my 2 beautiful grand daughters. She accused us both of lying, which we hadn’t done and my husband (not her dad) took it really badly. I used to phone and text her and she said that I didnt. Well, my husband was usually there at the time. But my youngest son thinks that her bullying partner at the time maybe got to her phone first and deleted the text messages off. I dont know but that night at her house was horrendous. We were ordered out of the door and she even slammed the door so close to my back that I felt it. That was 3 weeks before christmas (2014) and I left their presents with my eldest son.

The bit about him being a go between is a non starter as he said he wouldn’t take sides from the beginning, but he has since, and it is hers. I send her birthday and christmas cards each year.

I will try once more but then that is it. Thank you for reading

Hithere Fri 31-Jul-20 13:45:16

Being accused of lying is not a trivial thing. That implies the trust she had in you is damaged.
That seems to be the last straw of other events that took place.

I think the issues with your dd are way bigger than you are acknowledging.

How did your dh react when the lying accusation happened? What happened afterwards?

Smileless2012 Fri 31-Jul-20 18:01:56

I agree that being accused of lying isn't trivial, especially when it isn't true.

I think your decision to try once more and leaving it there is good one Purplepixieflowers

Starblaze Sat 01-Aug-20 13:12:41

Hithere I too feel that we don't think those we trust could lie to us so there is a reason why that trust is gone.

Whatever that reason is or where it comes from, trust is fundamental to relationships and takes time to regain. Its important to react to the reason that has happened rather than how you feel about it, especially if you are the one wanting that relationship back.

MamaBear20 Sun 02-Aug-20 03:22:02

Purplepixie I think you’ll need to back your story up a bit farther to get to the heart of what upset your daughter to to point of cutting you off. What happened before she screamed and threw you out? People don’t just start screaming unprovoked. What happened that she got so upset? That’s what you need to think about, and decide if you owe her an apology for it. Also, I hate when people apologize for another persons “hurt feeling”. It’s much better to apologize for your actions that caused her hurt feelings.

welbeck Sun 02-Aug-20 03:37:46

if the partner was abusive, he was probably gaslighting her too, and she was utterly confused as to what was really happening, and who/ what she could trust.
her perceptions were skewed, and she must have been under a lot of stress if involved with an abusive partner.
i guess you could have offered to shew her yr phone log, but it's all in the past now.
very tricky. maybe just leave it. does she still see her children. if so, maybe eventually that will lead to some kind of link between you and her.
all the best .

Apricity Sun 02-Aug-20 04:39:17

Why not send a simple message saying something along the lines of, that the present coronavirus situation has made you very aware of how precious family relationships are, how much you have missed her, that you regret whatever it is that happened and would love to be in contact again. Don't expect a full bells and whistles happy families reunion, take it slowly and hopefully a door will be opened. 🤞🌺

HolyHannah Sun 02-Aug-20 07:02:16

MamaBear20 -- "I think you’ll need to back your story up a bit farther to get to the heart of what upset your daughter to to point of cutting you off. What happened before she screamed and threw you out? People don’t just start screaming unprovoked."

Too many times have I heard that story... I always say the same thing as an abuse victim... Me -- "Back up for just a minute... What you are describing seems to be her REaction to something that came before. Most people do not just 'go off' for no reason. What was said/done prior to that?"

"Also, I hate when people apologize for another persons “hurt feeling”. It’s much better to apologize for your actions that caused her hurt feelings." -- This is so like the common, "I said 'things' that I later regretted but that shouldn't warrant my child cutting me out of their life."

Me -- "Unfortunately things 'said' cannot be unsaid even IF you came to regret 'those things' later. Part of what you can do is apologize sincerely (research what constitutes a REAL apology before attempting)... which is what I call a 'good start'. And that is only a start."

My 'mom' -- "But I 'apologized' for hurting your feelings..." Me/most victims -- "When? And you think/believe THAT is 'good enough'? The healthy path forward is accepting/acknowledging your own 'unhealthy' and changing your behavior..."

Unfortunately the 'normal' attitude of EP's is, "They are trying to 'control' US by demanding WE 'change'..."

Purplepixie Mon 03-Aug-20 00:45:51

Thank you to everyone for your kind and wise words.