Hi Hetty, I think what you feel is quite normal for most parents. We keep being shown on tv and the media all these very happy together families, but most of us have problems. As Smileless has said, the Estrangement thread might be the best for you as lots are in your position, except that a certain percentage of grown up children completely block you out of their lives, so no communication possible., that on a different level, you can communicate with yours although tricky at times. As far as them having a broken home for years, that too is almost commonplace, we all have to live with quite major challenges at times, but we get through it and have to let the past go. Yours are all in stable relationships and I’m afraid we go back quite a lot in the pecking order. You get busy raising a family and grandparent sometimes have to take a very back seat, really lower our expectations. When I look back I think how did I cope with juggling everything. You did a good job sending them all on their way in life so you did it right.
Have been blindsided by the fall out of this relationship(7 Posts)
Yes, following on from what Smileless said. We had some experience of estrangement from one of our children for about 18 months, but resolved it. In that time....we left her to her own devices, and prayed time would heal. It did for us, but we also put our energies into our other three children. I’m thinking this maybe what you need. Could you look at visiting your children overseas? You could go for months at a time. Who knows...you could potentially end up emigrating yourself. My MIL did this. She couldn’t get on with us, or one of my husband’s brothers, so moved abroad for a while with her other two children. She needed to return for medical treatment on the NHS, but I’m sure....overall....she was happier for it.
You sound like you’ve done all you can, and that’s all any of us can do. You were dealt a rough hand with your husband leaving you. That has to have affected how you’ve done things, and I’m so sorry about that.
All you can do is carry on carrying on, but I would definitely look to either visiting abroad, or moving there permanently if you can. A new lease of life might be the making of you.
All the best💐
Hi Hetty can I suggest that you post on the estrangement forum, in particular the thread 'Support for those living with estrangement' where, as the title suggests you'll find other parents/GP's in the same situation.
As you say, anyone living with this is not alone and there is some comfort knowing that.
Your description of your children's childhoods mirrors the one our boys had. Happy times which they still talk about to one another, despite us being estranged from our youngest and only GC for approaching 9 years.
Take comfort and joy in the relationships you have with your other children. Nothing can replace the one we've lost but life goes on and we owe it to ourselves and those we love, who love us in return to live our lives to the full.
I feel for you too. It is the unkindest cut and it reeks of unfairness. Perhaps it’s something in the human condition that can reject goodness. Perhaps for many to become separate they have to turn away. I don’t know but I know that whenever I have felt it is the deepest cut of all. As you say it’s bootstrap time again. Lift your eyes to the trees take deep breath and carry on doing your best. In the caring profession you will already be helping many worse off than yourself pat yourself on your back and forgive your heartless child. I’m not surprised it is a son as his wife will dictate family life no doubt and he will go along with it thinking that is all he has to do to be emotionally successful. He won’t understand your needs and it sometimes seems the better job you did bringing them up the easier they will find it to walk away. So it’s kind of a flattery that they all have flown. But no it’s not fair. I think it’s always been common. Melanie Klein the early psychotherapist called it the ‘tragic destiny of motherhood’ the better you do it the worse it is. The only recourse she could think of was to have about ten, or accept it and neither you nor the planet could afford that!
Sad too that your husband strayed but many face that or worse. My daughter says I look at couples with an unrealistic romantic eye of what might have been and I know she is right. It would be far worse having to live with someone you didn’t really like or even loathe .. imagine!
So I’m afraid it is time to count your blessings again and readjust somehow as you have done before. I have a very distant weird relationship with my only grandchildren but I pretend it’s great and they pretend, and really how much did you think of your granny’s feelings when you were young? You just expected them to be there for you. It’s a one way trip. There’s that curious old saying that a good deed is never forgiven, (But it won’t be forgotten) I think we just have to keep acting up that everything is fine and they are great. And just hope they treat you as you really deserve, but I think that is quite rare
I feel for you.
Everything you say I understand, as do many others on here.
If you read any threads under 'Estrangement' (as soozikinzi
pointed out) you may find some support.
Thank you for thinking of those of us in the same situation, and take your own advice, and be kind to yourself also.
Take comfort in the fact that by your standards at least you have done your best.
Wish I could help more.
Sorry to read this - it may be better in the estrangement section? Sadly it’s something that has happened to many of us but I can see that it has been very difficult for you especially as a single parent working in the care sector. It must’ve been such a struggle for you bringing the four of them up . Now you must just feel the lack of appreciation. It’s so common sadly it has its own section on here ! I’m sure others will be along with good advice shortly but I just wanted you to realise you’re not alone . As Shakespeare wrote ‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is have a thankless child ‘ so it must’ve been around since then ! . All you can do is make yourself available and make it clear you want to be involved as a parent and grandparent. Wishing you happier times ahead .
To say im totally bereft , is an understatement , another night of crying myself to sleep , and also feeling angry with myself of how could this have got this bad ... like many parents of adult children, that for whatever reason breakdown , its like its a dirty secret , like somehow you have failed , .. going back to my children , from children to adulthood , they recall lovely times growing up , they where on the cusp of all things computer ,latest games ect.. but i was fortunate enough to have outdoorsey children , who enjoyed their bikes , meeting to have games , football , rounders catch , even climbing trees , one fell out of one 20 foot high , thankfully nothing broken , and all ended well , on summer afternoons it was hard to get them in for lunch , they were enjoying their play so much , they are great memories all round .. I had 4 children , 3 boys and a girl ,, when the boys were in their late teens and my daughter 11 , their dad lets say left me for the old clichet ..a younger model , there is a lot I could write about this , but with house moves school moves ect , exams , from 11+, GCSE< and Alevels we got through it , they didn"t see thier dad for a while , he had a new life , so iIbattened down the hatches to build a somewhat new life as best I could , we jollied along , had the usual teenage angst , I always said if I got away with a few slamming doors I got off easily .. and I only ever had the slamming doors and some shouting .. which was short lived , .. in that time all that mattered was their happiness , I had no support but managed ok , in my alone moments i was bereft to the point of , lying in the fetal position, in excruciating pain , with the loss of what could have been .. but again I dusted myself off and carried on , as us parents do , because we want the best for our children , in lots of ways im very blessed , my 3 sons are now married , been with their now wives a long while , and my daughter in in a lovely relationship , she met on her travels now living the other side of the world and happy , and that is what I would want , its her life she must live it how she wants , one of my sons lives accross the pond with his wife and new baby son , which leaves 2 sons here , one of which , our relationship has broken completely down , in some ways if it was just him it would be a little easier , I would happily give him the space , but there are 2 grandchildren involved, and I am only going to get hurt further by asking him to see them , ... I live a 5 minute drive away , I rarely pop in as its about giving them their space they both work hard , but my home as grandparents are is always open , throw into that iI work 50 hours plus a week to just survive , if I get a day off im recharging my energy ,I work in the care sector , so apart what has gone on in the last 18 months , you feel you need time out to gather yourself ... im not the fortunate grandparent I hoped I would be , circumstances has dealt
that blow , but everything else birthdays seeing them at christmas ect i totally am there, but there is a responsibility on both sides and from the get go I have been left out of special mile stones , and that"s where the problem has laid , for im damned if I do and damned if I dont .. heres the list "got a text message to say my new grandaughter was born , in days after found myself alone when going up to the hospital no communication fo times ect , they cut off for 7 months came round to my home on run up to christmas , very hard when trying to get time to spend , always an excuse , going to other families home ect , wasnt told my granddaughter had started nursery , never been told about nativity plays school sports , going back to school , i get the odd invite round , they dont come here , , 8 christmases i have never had them round here, or should i say they havent came round for christamas lunch .. , as the rountine for them is to go to my sons motherinlaws home , i have had christmas on my own as my only other remaining son had plans with his inlaws last christmas , he did insist on staying with me , but its not about him , he has given his time , .. I messaged my other son two nights ago to come have dinner next week with his other brother and wife , and to say iI got a message that things wont be better for a while in this relationship is an understatement ... yes i know there is 3 sides to a story , but what im guilty of is pointing out is that i miss my son , i want to spend some time with him , iIwant fairness in our relationships , and if that makes me a bad person .. then I will take that .. im heartbroken , because for all my children I only wanted the best , im not the be all and end all , ive always insisted their wives must come first as do their children, how this mess has happened I will never understand , for now im about to have to pick myself up again , dust myself off and soldier on ... theres not much else I can do .. anyone else going through something similar , this is just to say you are not alone , and although not easy and im sure we will have some trying times ahead .. just to say ...BE KIND TO YOURSELF XX