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Old 08-09-2018, 09:08 AM
 
1,141 posts, read 1,326,570 times
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Based on the info provided, it seems your daughter definitely knows which buttons to push. Perhaps she needed to prove to herself just how open minded you really are, and the whole black lives matter thing and subsequent behavior was the bait she used. You seem to place a lot of emphasis on your kids'/grandkids' multiracial, multicultural identities. Is that the ideal in your opinion? If so, that's a problem for you. One race, multiracial, who cares? At the end of the day, racists care. The true measure of open mindedness lies in our not judging anyone as more worthy than another, regardless of how they identify. >> I am not saying you are a racist, but perhaps your daughter has suspicions and is testing you?

"and her oldest daughter was standing out in the yard, hitting herself in the head over and over again - it was a terrible scene, and the idea of trying to work through all that is exhausting to me." <<< That’s not good. Did you and your daughter have a conversation about your grandchild's behavior at the time? Or since then?


You absolutely must be more concerned about your daughter and grandchildren than your feelings. As a churchgoer, you may be familiar with the Apostle Paul's words to Christians that you sometimes benefit by allowing yourself to be wronged in order to gain your brother. There are many ways you can take the humble road without allowing abuse. It may be the catalyst you need to turn this thing around.

Last edited by winterbird; 08-09-2018 at 09:27 AM.. Reason: to clarify

 
Old 08-09-2018, 10:56 PM
 
11,612 posts, read 5,457,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
Your mom sounds like mine. Oblivious to anyone elseís feelings and how her words and actions effect them. If confronted, sheíd deny, deny, deny. I never felt a moment of acceptance from her. Just judgement. Cutting her out of my life was the best thing I ever did for myself.

And I agree with you, Iím unconvinced that all the events were imaginary. Memory is a funny thing and what is unmemorable for one may be a privotal event for another. Insisting your memories are the right ones while someone elseís are 100% wrong doesnít seem like the way to mend a troubled relationship.
Something along the lines of 'I don't remember it that way, but I want to hear and understand your POV' I think is how I would approach that.
 
Old 08-10-2018, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
Sorry: Can't edit now - it's Ho'Oponopono. Very powerful.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqrssdH6ET4
Thank you - about to check it out!
 
Old 08-10-2018, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
Based on the info provided, it seems your daughter definitely knows which buttons to push. Perhaps she needed to prove to herself just how open minded you really are, and the whole black lives matter thing and subsequent behavior was the bait she used. You seem to place a lot of emphasis on your kids'/grandkids' multiracial, multicultural identities. Is that the ideal in your opinion? If so, that's a problem for you. One race, multiracial, who cares? At the end of the day, racists care. The true measure of open mindedness lies in our not judging anyone as more worthy than another, regardless of how they identify. >> I am not saying you are a racist, but perhaps your daughter has suspicions and is testing you?

"and her oldest daughter was standing out in the yard, hitting herself in the head over and over again - it was a terrible scene, and the idea of trying to work through all that is exhausting to me." <<< Thatís not good. Did you and your daughter have a conversation about your grandchild's behavior at the time? Or since then?


You absolutely must be more concerned about your daughter and grandchildren than your feelings. As a churchgoer, you may be familiar with the Apostle Paul's words to Christians that you sometimes benefit by allowing yourself to be wronged in order to gain your brother. There are many ways you can take the humble road without allowing abuse. It may be the catalyst you need to turn this thing around.
Thank you - I am looking for those ways. It's a very tough balance. The thing is, it's rarely just me that's negatively impacted by my daughter's actions -- for instance, the big scene at my house on Thanksgiving - ALL the little cousins, my mom, etc. were impacted and put thru the mill that day. Now she's totally ignoring my mother, who NEEDS her attention and yearns for it.

Prior to the meltdown, she was doing things like being consistently 2 hours late to my house for a meal, which often involved extended family. She did this on a regular basis. And suddenly, we were back to 1950s style communication, where her cell phone didn't work, no home phone - we had no idea, have they been in a wreck, is something wrong? Nope - she's just moseying on over here, not returning anyone's calls or texts wondering where she is...that sort of thing.

So with it not being just me being "wronged," it really complicates things. I do believe I need to insist on healthy boundaries, and considering she gets furious with me over imaginary slights, I can only imagine how furious she will be if she gets to my house, and everyone has already eaten!

I am prepared to have some gnarly conversations, and have her say some things that will hurt me, but I do draw the line at blatantly rude behavior. Maybe that's wrong? I don't know. I just can't wrap my head around putting myself in such a situation and modeling that sort of enabling, weak behavior for my grandkids. Deep down in my heart, I do not believe it does children any good - in fact I think it does them great harm - to see an adult put up with, excuse, enable, allow emotional or physical abuse or blatant, flat out rude behavior. So there's that. Maybe I'm just stubborn, I don't know, but I grew up in an emotionally abusive, enabling situation (mentally ill mother and brother, enabling dad -my other brother was "the whipping boy," and I was emotionally manipulated when I wasn't being ignored - I was rarely hit but I watched my brother be singled out for some pretty bad abuse and when I tried to intervene, it was all denied or minimized). I went to years of counseling to move past that and to learn how to live a life with healthy boundaries.

Anyway, no, I don't make as big a deal about the whole multiracial thing "in real life." I've only gone into the details here because it's the back story. But the thing is, I have always encouraged learning about and embracing ALL of one's ancestry and the family history. As my kids have grown up, they've married people from other ethnicities than just "black or white." Panamanian, Korean, Czech, etc. So there's been more cultural diversity to delve into, and they have and I have with them. They encourage their kids to embrace their fathers' background and ethnicity as well as their own - for instance, we had a Panamanian style Thanksgiving together one year (my daughter's idea which I happily joined in on).

As for me being a racist, all I can say is this - I'm one of the least racist people I know, and if I'm intolerant of anyone, it's someone being a racist. I think that's one reason why I'm so appalled by my youngest daughter's behavior and accusations - it seems to me that SHE is racist to me.

Day before yesterday, I sent my daughter a text saying "I will always love you and your family." Got nothing back, didn't expect to really. Oh well. Basically I'm just trying to keep that door open.
 
Old 08-10-2018, 08:21 AM
 
1,141 posts, read 1,326,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
It's a very tough balance. << Believe me, I do know this.

...but I do draw the line at blatantly rude behavior. Maybe that's wrong? << Not at all. I don't know. I just can't wrap my head around putting myself in such a situation and modeling that sort of enabling, weak behavior for my grandkids. << I would be firm and clear about being treated badly, but it's important for the kids to see you smiling and warm. Don't take her bait in front of the kids. This will ensure that she can't say, "see how she is!".



Deep down in my heart, I do not believe it does children any good - in fact I think it does them great harm - to see an adult put up with, excuse, enable, allow emotional or physical abuse or blatant, flat out rude behavior. << I agree it does harm them to see this, but you want them to come to the realization that their experiences with you are far different than the picture their mom has painted.



So there's that. Maybe I'm just stubborn, << Eh, stubborn, schmubborn! When I was going through a similar situation and I saw that the abuse wasn't letting up, I decided I'd rather commit harikari than be treated worse than a dog.



I don't know, but I grew up in an emotionally abusive, enabling situation. << ditto. I truly get where you're coming from.

Anyway, no, I don't make as big a deal about the whole multiracial thing "in real life." I've only gone into the details here because it's the back story. Thank you for answering this. I was sincere in my inquiry. There are benefits to embracing various cultures and experiences, whether one has a genetic reason or not. But really, in our time, there isn't a great need to do so. There's the novelty of romanticizing one's "culture". The clothing, recipes, maybe some unique dances. We can romanticize our cultures and "race" all day long, but mostly our shared culture today is standing in line at Starbucks. Know what I mean? It all gets so silly after a while. It's not popular to say, but these identity issues are largely ego driven and blown way out of proportion.



As for me being a racist, all I can say is this - I'm one of the least racist people I know, and if I'm intolerant of anyone, it's someone being a racist. I think that's one reason why I'm so appalled by my youngest daughter's behavior and accusations - it seems to me that SHE is racist to me. << I would downplay the identity angle as much as possible. Nothing changes the fact that you are her mother, even if you were purple. It's actually racist that in her pursuing her "black identity" she's using it to act out so badly. That's not being/acting "black".



Day before yesterday, I sent my daughter a text saying "I will always love you and your family." Got nothing back, didn't expect to really. Oh well. Basically I'm just trying to keep that door open. I wish there was a way you could get her alone, hug her tightly til she breaks, and then talk. Don't give up, KA, she's in there.

I do think the extreme cosplay along with the isolation are very concerning. And I believe that she's using the race baiting as a smokescreen. Time will tell.



Last edited by winterbird; 08-10-2018 at 09:11 AM.. Reason: to clarify thought
 
Old 08-10-2018, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
I do think the extreme cosplay along with the isolation are very concerning. And I believe that she's using the race baiting as a smokescreen. Time will tell.


Thank you so, so much for your thoughtful and thought provoking responses.

I wish I COULD get her alone, or allow her kids to spend time with my husband and me, or whatever - I haven't seen her or the kids in well over a year and she won't respond to any of my communication. It really does break my heart.

Besides missing her, and most of all missing those precious kids, I am very concerned about her and her family.

And her cosplay has definitely taken a macabre bent. I mean, actually gory and horrible. She has to be studying this, and doing it around the kids - there aren't enough hours in the day for her to do this when they're in bed. So they are seeing their mom in all this blood and gore and it's ongoing. Now, in her defense, I think she's been studying special effects to mimic injuries and blood and gore, but still...for many months now she's been showing more and more of a dark side (and i don't mean skin tone) in her cosplay stuff. Lots of sadness too. I don't see much evidence of joy in any of her creations.

It all makes me feel so sad.

I send a letter about once a month, and a text and/or email a few times a year - the letters fill in the kids with all the family news (I doubt very seriously that she reads them to the kids and she may not even read them herself - for all I know she just chunks them in the trash). The emails and texts are always just one line, just to her - I always just tell her that I love her and love her family. I am just hoping that a letter or note or whatever will hit her at exactly the right time, and that she will respond.

I quit sending any money or gift cards to anyone though because I never got any response and I wasn't even sure if the kids were receiving the gifts, and if so, I'm sorry but I don't continue to send gifts with no response from the recipient. But I still do send the kids birthday cards. If there's no response by December, this will be the first year that I send them nothing but a Christmas card at Christmas.

I do know that my mom was sending her checks regularly - not a whole lot, but what my mom liked to call "mad money," and my daughter would cash those checks every time and would never - not ONCE since she "broke things off" - even send my mother a thank you note, let alone pick up the phone and call her, and she certainly wouldn't drive 50 minutes to come see her, in spite of promising her the last time she saw her (over a year ago, when she was getting stuff my mom was giving her), that she would "come see her every week." No she wouldn't, and no she didn't. I really didn't expect it every week, but my mother would LOVE to see her and those kids even once a month. This has been one of the most egregious - maybe THE most egregious - actions from my daughter. I mean, be mad at me, whatever. But her grandmother, who never did one cruel thing to her and who loves her and those great grandkids, and who is sick and alone now - wow.

I can't imagine how hardened her heart has become.

What I think is this - that she has drifted so far from her former life and frankly, her responsibilities, that she doesn't want to share her current lifestyle choices with anyone really - she has no real life, local friends that I know of, no real life community, and she's not accountable to anyone. The state doesn't even know her kids exist! She "homeschools" them but I can't imagine how that's working out since she isn't involved in any support group that I know of, and she was always very closed mouthed about her curriculum. I do know that right as things were falling apart, she was having some significant trouble with her two oldest kids (now ages 13 and 11) saying they were doing their assignments but simply not - and they were WEEKS behind and she was furious - but my question is this - how could they get so far behind if she was actually monitoring them and actually, well, homeschooling them? She does NOT want me "interfering" or even asking questions about the homeschooling. She does not want to be accountable to anyone - and honestly, I think she's got things worked out pretty well in that regard - a husband gone 6 days in a row and at a time, who last time I was involved was assuming that the kids did their work when he was gone so they were free when he was home so he wasn't supervising any schooling, no outside school for her or the kids, no job, no church, and she herself is very introverted and prefers a fantasy life. I am not exaggerating any of this.

It's very, very disturbing and concerning to me.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 08-10-2018 at 12:37 PM..
 
Old 08-10-2018, 01:54 PM
 
3,029 posts, read 1,208,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
I do think the extreme cosplay along with the isolation are very concerning. And I believe that she's using the race baiting as a smokescreen. Time will tell.


Agreed. I think there are two issues here. I think there probably are some issues that can be worked out between mother and daughter, but the cosplay issue is a separate one that speaks to some psychological issues.

I really think that if there is some communication, this should be the focus and not any of the other issues. What happened to the pictures of the kids? Why is there this sudden focus on morbid/macabre cosplay all of a sudden? Is she so wrapped up in this that she isnít properly caring for her children? It is fine to have a hobby, but with the home schooling and the cosplay, it doesnít sound like she has a real social life.
 
Old 08-10-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
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Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
And her cosplay has definitely taken a macabre bent. I mean, actually gory and horrible.
What, like zombies?
 
Old 08-10-2018, 06:51 PM
 
1,141 posts, read 1,326,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Thank you so, so much for your thoughtful and thought provoking responses. >> You are most welcome

I wish I COULD get her alone, or allow her kids to spend time with my husband and me, or whatever - I haven't seen her or the kids in well over a year and she won't respond to any of my communication. It really does break my heart. >> Isolation is her biggest tool and advantage right now. As you're up to it, break down the wall incrementally. She's really not as tough as she's putting on. She really needs help, but getting her to accept that is probably a long shot.



Besides missing her, and most of all missing those precious kids, I am very concerned about her and her family. >> If there is anyone you trust to check on them and report back as to how they're doing, don't be afraid or ashamed to enlist that person. Just knowing they're physically ok will ease some of your anxiety and grief.

(I doubt very seriously that she reads them to the kids and she may not even read them herself - foo her - I always just tell her that I love her and love her family. I am just hoping that a letter or note or whatever will hit her at exactly the right time, and that she will respond. >> It doesn't matter if she's reading them to herself or the kids (although, I'd bet she is reading them herself), it's a loving thing to do and the energy is sent out there. That means something. One suggestion, in the letters (and in person) say all of your grandkids names specifically. "I love you Sarah. And be sure to tell, Jane, Johnny, Sally, and Bobby that Grannie KA loves them very much." Keep everything very personal. This reminds her that you're all family and you know and love them all individually and as a group.

I quit sending any money or gift cards to anyone though because I never got any response and I wasn't even sure if the kids were receiving the gifts, and if so, I'm sorry but I don't continue to send gifts with no response from the recipient. But I still do send the kids birthday cards. If there's no response by December, this will be the first year that I send them nothing but a Christmas card at Christmas. >> Absolutely agree with all of this. I found out many years later that one of my aunts regularly sent me gifts/money that my mother never passed on to me. So I continued to feel I had no one else but my mother.

I can't imagine how hardened her heart has become. >> The sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude is maddening, I know.

What I think is this - that she has drifted so far from her former life and frankly, her responsibilities, that she doesn't want to share her current lifestyle choices with anyone really - she has no real life, local friends that I know of, no real life community, and she's not accountable to anyone. >> This is why you can't give up. Those kids are hanging out to dry without someone who truly knows their mother being involved in their lives. My mother drove her siblings and my grandparents (who were definitely not blameless) away and I had no one to assist me as my dad was an enabler and narcissist in his own right.



The state doesn't even know her kids exist! She "homeschools" them but I can't imagine how that's working out since she isn't involved in any support group that I know of, and she was always very closed mouthed about her curriculum. I do know that right as things were falling apart, she was having some significant trouble with her two oldest kids (now ages 13 and 11) saying they were doing their assignments but simply not - and they were WEEKS behind and she was furious - but my question is this - how could they get so far behind if she was actually monitoring them and actually, well, homeschooling them? >> Just, oy vey.



She does NOT want me "interfering" or even asking questions about the homeschooling. She does not want to be accountable to anyone - and honestly, I think she's got things worked out pretty well in that regard - a husband gone 6 days in a row and at a time, who last time I was involved was assuming that the kids did their work when he was gone so they were free when he was home so he wasn't supervising any schooling, no outside school for her or the kids, no job, no church, and she herself is very introverted and prefers a fantasy life. >> No matter what she believes you've done, she knows she's wrong and can't face up to what she's done and how she's used the kids to hurt you (and them). This is the other thing. It is about you, but also this is about controlling those kids. Keeping them in line so that she can continue on without accountability. She's teaching them what happens when someone gets on her $$$$ list. More than likely it will backfire. They are on the cusp of striking out on their own in every way. Make sure they know they can and how to reach you (through their uncles, aunt, other relatives, a neighbor, etc.).



I am not exaggerating any of this. >> I have no doubt about what you've shared. Just remember, she's trying to make this a complex issue. Yet it's really very simple. She is choosing to treat her mother and sibs (most likely those kids and her husband, too), extremely badly because of a disagreement(s). And she's engaging in crazy making to keep everyone off their game. Let her know you're willing to discuss anything that's bothering her, you're willing to listen and work towards a solution. But this alienation is unacceptable and you're praying for the right outcome.


It's very, very disturbing and concerning to me. >> Many share your pain. You're not alone. Continue to take care of yourself. You're going to need your reserves when things start to resolve.

Shakespeare's Viola - "O time, thou must untangle this, not I. It is too hard a knot for me to untie!"

Last edited by winterbird; 08-10-2018 at 07:40 PM..
 
Old 08-10-2018, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,471 posts, read 15,913,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
(snip)

I What I think is this - that she has drifted so far from her former life and frankly, her responsibilities, that she doesn't want to share her current lifestyle choices with anyone really - she has no real life, local friends that I know of, no real life community, and she's not accountable to anyone. The state doesn't even know her kids exist!

She "homeschools" them but I can't imagine how that's working out since she isn't involved in any support group that I know of, and she was always very closed mouthed about her curriculum. I do know that right as things were falling apart, she was having some significant trouble with her two oldest kids (now ages 13 and 11) saying they were doing their assignments but simply not -
and they were WEEKS behind and she was furious - but my question is this -
how could they get so far behind if she was actually monitoring them and actually, well, homeschooling them? She does NOT want me "interfering" or even asking questions about the homeschooling. She does not want to be accountable to anyone - and honestly, I think she's got things worked out pretty well in that regard -
a husband gone 6 days in a row and at a time, who last time I was involved was assuming that the kids did their work when he was gone so they were free when he was home so he wasn't supervising any schooling, no outside school for her or the kids, no job, no church, and she herself is very introverted and prefers a fantasy life. I am not exaggerating any of this.

It's very, very disturbing and concerning to me.
Does your state have any type of accountability for home schooled children?

While I know that some parents provide wonderful home schooling to their children there are some that do not. I personally know two situations where the parents "claimed" to be home schooling their child (both for about two years). They did not even pretend to be following a curriculum as they never even purchased one textbook or any types of learning materials (and did not use online programs/curriculum). It was very sad for the children.
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