Gransnet forums

Relationships

Not Part of My Family

(38 Posts)
Allsorts Tue 09-Aug-22 05:08:32

Estranged from my d, many years. She has estranged whole family. One son and lovely Dil and two grown up grandchildren. Good terms with them and I know they love me. I'm not part if their lives really. Never see any of them weekends when they have time, not in the picture. If I needed anything, which I don't, they would come. I did once tell my son, I felt very lonely not seeing them but he was deflensive and warning shots sounded not mentioned it again. I see them Christmas and birthdays for the day. All around me my friends are a part of their families lives, I was a big part of both my children's lives, baby sitting every week, hosting BBQ and family meals with my late husband, but once children grown, obsolete. My son rings me regularly. My Dil if she has a few hours, rings and we meet for lunch or a walk, say every two months and we get on. I am feeling it more as I can't see my friends as they spend most weekends with theirs. Feeling a bit envious deep down and I just need to cope.

CShotnik Tue 09-Aug-22 06:11:34

From first hand experience -

Have you tried reaching out to your daughter? Something happened -

DIL ‘s often times care, but are not as close to their MIL narturally.

Your son does call you regularly, he checks in, you’re lucky, so you must need a face to face with him more often.

I have two sons, and I see that as they get older their concerns are with their wives and families. They are needed there.

You must enjoy your friends and invite your son/DIL to come over for a meal not just talk on the telephone.

Make your life interesting not needy until you really do NEED them, as you mentioned that they would respond.

Are you single? Go to dinner with a male friend. You can do it, just for some male conversation, no more than that!

Who is your Executor? Get it set up now, you’ll NEED help and your son will NEED to be there. Especially if his sister is estranged from him also.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 09-Aug-22 07:07:01

You are leading a life with your family similar to me but I don’t mind as it leaves me time to do the things I want. I know my family love me and in a crisis they have been there. Maybe you find some friends who aren’t so involved with their family at weekends

Allsorts Tue 09-Aug-22 07:08:29

My will, everything is set up, all in order. Every invitation to a meal is refused, he would rather see his friends. He said if I lived near him it would change, it wouldn't, I would just lose my friends here. That conversation I had I told him phone calls are not enough, but he said he works hard and that's his way if relaxing. I feel trapped, how on earth I will cope in a few years I don't know. His sister is estranged from all family, she wants to travel the worl topping up her tan, she didn't want any responsibility of family. I've done well! I should gave moved when my husband died I've left it too late. Nothing can change now.

karmalady Tue 09-Aug-22 07:23:11

I don`t mind either, they all have busy stressful working lives and their weekends are so precious to them. Travelling to see me would take too much out of their weekend. I have a lot of empathy and understanding for them. I never demand anything, am always independent and because of that they love me even more.

Like barmeyoldbat, mine would drop everything in a crisis.

We should not forget that it is their time now. Have or get hobbies op, go on courses to learn some hobbies. If able, spend some time outdoors on a short walk in the countryside and say good morning to everyone you meet. People stop and talk many a time when I say good morning to and fro the shops

It is a very different life now, different from when we were younger. We do best to go with the flow

DerbyshireLass Tue 09-Aug-22 08:13:16

Allsorts

My will, everything is set up, all in order. Every invitation to a meal is refused, he would rather see his friends. He said if I lived near him it would change, it wouldn't, I would just lose my friends here. That conversation I had I told him phone calls are not enough, but he said he works hard and that's his way if relaxing. I feel trapped, how on earth I will cope in a few years I don't know. His sister is estranged from all family, she wants to travel the worl topping up her tan, she didn't want any responsibility of family. I've done well! I should gave moved when my husband died I've left it too late. Nothing can change now.

Gosh you sound so low.

You say "nothing can change now". It can, YOU can change. It's never too late to make changes to improve the quality of your life.

Are you mobile. If you are still mobile and in reasonable physical health then there is still so much you can do.

Would counselling help. Or maybe a few sessions with a life coach. My friend who is also a widow, did this, she was in a black pit of despair and had some counselling sessions with a life coach, mainly by phone. She felt she didn't need psychotherapy but she need help and guidance. She said it really helped through a bad patch. . And she's not wealthy, she said the sessions are actually very affordable.

I hope you don't think what I say next is harsh......it's said with love ❤️💐. The truth is NO ONE IS COMING. There is no one to rescue us, we simply HAVE to do it ourselves.

When we are "in the doldrums" we have to be the ones to get ourselves going again. And yes it's hard, but the truth is sometimes we just have to make a fresh start, and yes that will mean getting out of our comfort zone.

We have to push ourselves, find new friends, join clubs, take up new hobbies, volunteer, join an exercise class - whatever it takes.

Each year I chose a word or phrase as a way of "gee-ing myself up". Last Christmas was just awful, thanks to my DIL and her shameful behaviour and treatment not just of me but our entire family. I swore that was it, no more.

So when contemplating the future instead of the usual same old new year resolutions to lose weight, get fit I chose the phrase "radical transformation". And that's what I'm doing, slowly but surely transforming my life.

It's a slow process but I'm getting there.

Allsorts.....you can do it, you HAVE to. No one can do it for you. And certainly not your family. Dig deep, find the courage and take a leap of faith.

If your current friendship circle isn't meeting your needs, then widen it. Don't drop your friends just because they see families at weekends, look for new friends to add to your circle. Look for people who are in a similar position to you. Maybe a widows support group or something like Meet Up. It will be trial and error but just keep at it.

Don't give up......

Allsorts Tue 09-Aug-22 08:15:42

Thank you. I don’t as i said, demand or ask for anything, just every now and then I do feel a bit of a failure, neighbours here constantly have family there and all go on holiday together. I could not stand it every day as I have a life too, go on holiday etc. they have their own lives I understand that, bought them up to be self sufficient, however it would be nice now and then..

Bakingmad0203 Tue 09-Aug-22 08:45:37

Excellent post DerbyshireLass
Very constructive and positive.

Allsorts Maybe you are seeing your friends involvement with their families with rose coloured glasses? There are lots of advantages to being able to do your own thing and not have to be at the beck and call of your family.
Try and accept that this is how it is and make a life of your own, and not expecting them to visit you. Many of my friends have families that live abroad and they only get to see them once every 2 years or so.
Have you tried FaceTiming or Zooming them? That way you can catch up on their news and also let them know all the exciting things you have been doing too.🤣

Don’t make them feel guilty for not seeing you, as that will make them resentful.
I hope this helps. Please keep us updated on your progress.

Juliet27 Tue 09-Aug-22 09:02:51

I agree
Excellent post DerbyshireLass
Very constructive and positive.

As has often been suggested on here, owning a dog can really help to ease loneliness. They can give unconditional love while providing you with something to care for and it’s certainly a way of meeting other people while out walking.

Smileless2012 Tue 09-Aug-22 09:12:53

Allsorts flowers.

Some good suggestions from DSL and Bakingmad about FaceTime or Zoom. It does make a big difference when you can see the person/people you're talking too in real time. We'd be lost without FaceTime with our DS living in Aus.

Being estranged by your D will make the lack of physical contact with your son and his family harder. Those of us who have been estranged by an AC are often more sensitive when it comes to the amount of time we get to spend with our children, which is perfectly understandable, as is having a sense of failure as a parent.

I'm sure we find the physical distance between us and our DS harder than it would have been had we not lost his brother. Where you thought there'd always two children in whose lives you'd share, there's only one.

tickingbird Tue 09-Aug-22 09:31:52

I have 3 sons and apart from the one who’s a widower, I don’t see much of them. If I need them they come but they have their own lives. I believe your problem is you don’t have much of a life yourself. I have a life, with friends and hobbies. You have to make a life for yourself so that your family are only part of it and not the all of it.

It’s a shame about your daughter as daughters are usually closer to their mums but try to find some interests and get out there. Good luck.

Lathyrus Tue 09-Aug-22 10:02:15

I think one of the problems is living near neighbours who do mix with their family at weekends. It’s rubbing your face in it. The other problem a lot of us have is assuming that everyone is busy with their families at weekends.

We’re not honestly. There are a lot of us out there at weekends doing stuff on our own.

You haven’t said how active or fit you are. Charity shops are crying out for weekend staff. Look out for local events like concerts or open gardens. Become a National Trust or Historic Houses volunteer for weekends.

Or have a little project for the weekends. Mine at the moment is to visit and photograph the sculptures of Kathleen Scott. It’s giving me such pleasure.

Think about a mini allotment if there’s some near you. Plenty of people up there on their own at weekends 🙂

Above all get out of the house and away from what the neighbours are doing. It’s making you sad 💐

Kate1949 Tue 09-Aug-22 10:39:32

Sorry about your plight. I think this is a reality for a lot of us. I only have a daughter and I thought we were close. She has her own life and friends and I have moved down the pecking order. Sad but that's how it is.

Hithere Tue 09-Aug-22 12:27:31

So sorry you are in such pain

I see however many positives in your OP.
You have contact with your son and dil, you see them in important events, he calls you, your dil engaged with you individually, etc

How often do you see them?
How often does your son call you?
How often would you ideally want that to happen?

Please do not compare yourself to others - you only see what's in the surface and it might not be as sweet as you think it is

It is like a child - " mom, dad, all my friends have a bike/tablet/cellphone/etc, I want one too"
Parents' answer - your friend X doesnt have it, so your statement is not correct.
You have X toy your friends want and they dont have, you cannot have everything you want
Child - whatever! This is not fair
Parents - you are right, life is not fair.

Hithere Tue 09-Aug-22 12:30:32

Forgot to say, you are very much included in your son's family.
Maybe not as much as you would have wanted, though

VioletSky Tue 09-Aug-22 12:42:08

I don't have a lot of family support either due to estrangement.

There are lots of people in estrangement situations too or who don't have much family.

Are there any groups or activities you could join nearby? If you look for ones at weekends when your other friends are busy maybe you will find some friends to socialise with who would also be alone otherwise?

Cabbie21 Tue 09-Aug-22 13:11:32

It can be hard, can’t it, when it seems that everyone else is busy. I often feel that way, especially at weekends. I am in touch with family but they have their own lives. My son is not in touch much, so it was a lovely surprise when he suggested a meet up one Saturday morning. The housework went by the board!
I agree with those who recommend finding something for yourself. I do voluntary work two days a week, and belong to choirs and church, so I do see other people, even if we don't socialise outside those groups.
I hope you can be brave and find a new interest.

nandad Tue 09-Aug-22 13:40:14

I have a friend, who to neighbours appears to have her family visiting at weekends all the time. She admits that they only come to drop off/collect GC for babysitting, or their wives are away and they can’t be bothered to cook for themselves. She is fed up with it but puts up with it. Her neighbours tell her how wonderful it is that they are so close! The point I’m making is that things aren’t always what they seem and people won’t necessarily own up to that. Don’t try to second guess what friends and neighbours are up to, ask if they are around for a sandwich or a coffee, you may be surprised at how many are.

welbeck Tue 09-Aug-22 14:33:51

this may be an off the wall suggestion, so throw it out if it doesn't suit.
i have known of several older people, mostly women, who have by chance found real companionship through having employed a person to come into their home, as a cleaner or careworker.
in the cases i am thinking of, they started as a cleaner and morphed into doing more carework, over several years.
usually younger women from eastern europe or africa.
they have become a real boon for the older person, sharing recipes from home and often the dishes too, the client is respected as an older person and they help each other, by cultural learnings etc.
obviously it has to be the right person, but i can attest the how valued and valuable they were.

Allsorts Tue 09-Aug-22 15:40:49

Thank you all. I don’t spend my life moping around and am mostly fine, I only had that chat once with my son and demand and ask for nothing. Always been very capable and have looked after my extended family a lot, plus my husbands and sisters. I’m the go too, the sensible one. Now those roles have ceased and I do value my freedom, it’s just the grass is greener and I do get down now a lot at weekends although busy so must break the cycle.
I count my blessing though as well and I appreciate all the lovely people on here that post genuinely from the heart, there’s more good and kind people than the opposite.
If I got a helper in I wouldn’t be letting her do anything I would clean up before she got here, but a man who could do all my jobs in the garden plus diy and decorating then dust up nicely to take me to a nice restaurant would be acceptable.😉

westendgirl Tue 09-Aug-22 15:54:46

I wonder if you have a U3a in your area. Lots of meetings and planned activities,That may help. It is hard but the posters are right what you see with your friends and their families may not be exactly as it is.
I wish you all the very best.

Lathyrus Tue 09-Aug-22 16:03:45

You can have him on Saturdays allsorts if I can have him on Sundays.

Share the cost?😬

DanniRae Tue 09-Aug-22 16:28:05

I agree with the suggestion about a dog. We go to the nearby park every day and always meet up with other dog walkers to chat to.

BlueBelle Tue 09-Aug-22 16:51:37

‘Allsorts* you say you see your son regularly and are on good terms with your daughter in law and really that’s all we can expect
It seems you have become really over sensitivity to other people having weekends with their families but some do, -_many, many_ don’t
How old are you? If you don’t want to answer it’s ok
Are you in reasonable health? can you walk?
Personally I would make sure I had something to do over the weekend Could you volunteer for anything. weekends are the days could be the times hardest to fill ….I so love my volunteering I feel useful, I have fun, I make friends
Save your shopping for Saturdays or Sundays arrange to meet someone who hasn’t got family go for a walk to the park beach whatever you have near and talk to people I ve made friends just from casual conversation Do you go to church I personally don’t but you can make some good friends that way

Although your brain has exaggerated things to believe
everyone is having a wonderful family weekend the fact is most probably aren’t What about all us grans whose children are living in far off lands

There’s only you can change this Please do life gets shorter and shorter don’t waste it

Allsorts Thu 11-Aug-22 07:31:52

That’s a good idea Lathyrus, I would be ok with that arrangement.😬
I do think of Smileless and her husband, with their son in Australia, for others like Bluebell, it must be hard when you have no children in UK and are widowed. Then there’s the people that either chose or couldn't have children. The problem with estrangement, you have had that close relationship but they chose to end it, I just shut it away in a box, that works most of the time but something triggers a memory and that box starts to open. In time no one talks of the estranged one, it’s old news and no one really understands if it hadn’t happened to them. I also know getting depressed makes everything doubly hard and could drive people away. So thank you for your posts tgey hav3 been helpful.