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Old 08-13-2018, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,867 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokinouta View Post
I know right! I'm trying to think of what the hobby of cosplaying has to do with disturbing? Tons of people are into it, and it's fun. It's like anything people do as entertainment or hobbies. She could actually make a living making cosplay outfits from home and selling them if she was interested. If she has some mental issues it's probably really good for her to have something to relieve anxiety.


Kathryn O.P.
That said, I think it's just PC BS. She's probably into those extreme left twitter feeds or something. A lot of the young adults are "choosing their families now", and kicking out the ones who don't see eye to eye on everything they feel. I've had friends recently that got rid of their friends who weren't on the same political track as them and feel completely justified. It's stupid. I have black republican friends who are told they are uncle toms, etc. It's just getting ridiculous.

You might just have to let it go and spend your time enjoying the other grandchildren until she gets into something new down the road. She's obviously obsessive compulsive. There is nothing you can do about it, she'll need to see a therapist when she's ready.

The grandkid hitting herself might have some autism and she's self-harming to handle extreme emotions. Autistics aren't good at handling emotions. They get overloaded and hit themselves. While it's disturbing to see, it's not usually a sign of bad parenting, and they can just as likely hit themselves when they do bad at a video game, or someone tells them their homework is done wrong. Your daughter has her hands full if this is the case, and I can see why she chose to homeschool as a lot of schools provide a difficult social time for autistics. She's probably a pretty good mom, as good as humans can be.

My advice, get a hobby, visit your other grandkids and keep your door open. Let her know you'll always be there for her if she decides a relationship with you is something she would like in the future. Stop beating yourself from head to toe, we aren't perfect, and that is a lesson she'll have to learn through her own parenting and trust me, she will. If I were you, I'd concentrate on enjoying the rest of your life, and live on a day to day basis. No what if's, no visiting the past or planning the future. Just enjoy today. You have my sympathy.
Thanks, and I do have hobbies and I do visit my other grandkids and I do keep my door open. I just sent her (another) text message (I send one a couple of times a year) saying "I will always love you and your family." (No response - that's how it always is.)

I appreciate you trying to think through why my granddaughter might be hitting herself in the head. She is not autistic. She was an honor student and LOVED going to school with her classmates, which she did till she was about 10 years old or maybe even older. She has no friends. She has no outside activities with anyone but her mom and dad. She has no neighbors, no schoolmates, and now no grandparents or cousins in her life. So yes, I do think her screaming "Why does this always happen?" (when it hadn't ever happened before at my house so it must have been happening somewhere else) and hitting herself in the head was the reaction of a totally stressed out and frustrated child who feels she has no options. This out of the whole situation is what breaks my heart the most. And when my other daughter saw this and went running out to try to comfort this precious child, my angry daughter stopped screaming in my face, ran outside, and got between her daughter and my other daughter and began screaming at her (her older sister). "STAY AWAY FROM HER, DON'T TOUCH MY KIDS!" as if my other daughter (who is a very good, loving, attentive mother, and aunt) would ever harm a child in her life. My gosh, this poor little girl - she was devastated and hysterical. It was a horrible scene.

Now when the cousins have tried to contact their cousins who are isolated, their letters and phone calls are never acknowledged or returned. Dead silence, which is what I get too. It's hard not to let it get to me, it's super hard not to be worried about those precious kids.

Thanks for your encouraging words. I am so so so grateful that I quit focusing on the bad relationships (just a couple) in my life and instead turned my energy to the good ones - and my life is full of good ones - with my husband, my other kids, my mom, my brothers, my other grandkids, my friends. But I think there will always be a very sad spot in my heart because I do feel like I have lost my daughter and her children - even if they do show back up in my life one day (and I have a feeling that will happen), we've lost all these years together. And I believe her kids are being emotionally hurt in this.

As for the cosplay - yes, sorry, but it's nearly all gory, dark, fantasy and/or injury stuff. It's very disturbing. It didn't start out that way. All of us have always had a love for costumes, makeup, etc. and I encouraged that in my kids. Halloween and ANY excuse to dress up in a costume has always been a big big deal to all of us. In fact, my husband and I are going to a costume party (80s party for a friend's birthday) in a couple of weeks and I'm going as Boy George! But I digress. Anyway, my point is that I am all in favor of creativity, costumes, special effects, artistry, all that stuff. But hers has gotten progressively darker and more macabre. I can't see how researching what acid burns do and then recreating them is good for anyone who is struggling with their mental health. But oh well, that's her thing and I'd be fine with that as long as she wasn't going stark raving mad with it - I just want to see my grandkids.

 
Old 08-15-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,685 posts, read 6,125,301 times
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Every time you describe her isolated living situation I get visions of that family starving their kids and keeping them chained up-and they had neighbors.

Have you considered calling CPS? The picture you paint goes way beyond BLM issues and seems ripe for extreme living conditions. Has anyone seen the kids recently?

You mentioned your husband got SIL a job. Does DH work with him? Is there any way to contact him through his work? You don't want to ambush him but OTOH it could just provide some measure of consolation that the kids are OK.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 10:55 AM
 
13,004 posts, read 12,434,284 times
Reputation: 37231
KA, I have really valued your advice and support on the caregiving board, but you're too in the midst of this situation to take a step back. You're trying to reason with someone who is falling apart. You've got a history of mental illness in your family. You know better. Stop it. You keep referring to what your other children do and comparing her. She's not your other children. She may have chosen you as her whipping boy, but you're making it easy for her. You can't expect to have a rational conversation over hot-button issues with someone who is in a debilitated mental state.

You gotta stop clutching your pearls over her "hating white people" and identifying as black. You gotta put all your ego and all the butthurt aside. Stop being offended. Stop being invested in being right. There's no point as her reality and your reality do not align at the moment. Contact her husband and see if he has any concerns about his wife's mental health. You can offer to support his efforts but he's really the one who's responsible for her situation now as they are a married couple.

I'm sorry but you kind of unknowingly blew it in a way. You posted on here prior to the election about how awful Hillary was and how Trump was the better choice, so I'm sure your children know your views - you basically chose the side that is favored by white supremacists even if you don't hold their views. That's how she sees it. You told your daughter "all lives matter," which just dismisses the whole point of the BLM movement in a pretty clueless way. That's like looking at a house on fire and saying "All houses matter" then pouring water on one that isn't burning. The end result is that you've positioned yourself with views that your daughter sees as an existential threat to her brown children. There's no room for "agree to disagree" there. She went and circled the wagons, and she doesn't care about nuance or whether you regret it. She is not rational, but you've given her just enough tidbits for her to turn you into the enemy who holds views that are a threat to those she loves.

I don't know how you walk it back from this situation, frankly. She's probably not capable of it. I think any intervention has to come from her husband. And any interaction between the two of you should be guided by a mental health expert.

I don't believe for a moment that you're toxic. I just think you're invested in what you see as rational. She's not rational. (I suspect there is some element of your fear for your daughter's mental health that makes you so invested in rationality.) The home schooling, the remote house, the isolation from family members... She's deliberately isolating herself. I suspect she sees the news every day and she is terrified for her children. They're not in a good situation, but you're not in a position to help them. The bank account idea is a good one if you want to help their future.

But right now, without her husband agreeing that there's a problem there's not much you can do. She's not going to respond well to surprise visits or unexpected get-togethers arranged by family. My mother is indeed toxic, and every time mail arrives from her, I just get a knot in my stomach. Even when it turns out to just be a mostly blank birthday card. I told the woman I was nearly suicidal and she told me I was angry and full of hate - I made the decision to cut ties with her for my own welfare. Even though you are not toxic, she sees you the way I see my mother, if not worse. I see my mother as a rabid animal that lashes out simply because that's what rabid animals do - she sees you as a very calculating threat. She's mentally ill. She doesn't see it. But she needs a reason as to why she feels so out of sorts. You've been chosen to be that person. Because of that, there's not much you can do until she gets some kind of help. Work on the husband and building a relationship and communication channels with him and leave her alone.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 11:19 AM
 
11,605 posts, read 5,449,768 times
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The daughter would FREAK OUT if KA called the husband. I disagree with that entirely. He has her number if he wanted help from her. Probably the last person he'd look to for help given the history.

The problems that caused the break up haven't changed, so even if daughter reaches out, she will get the same that she did before. Her mother cares more about being right and being on time than her, and is never going to just be there or just help her or just anything.

There is an irrational demand for the child to be something that she isn't - mentally healthy. IDK what to say to that. Might as well tell the Mom to stop having dementia too.

Toxic is in the eye of the beholder. The top half of your post demonstrates how the daughter sees her mother as toxic to HER.

There is a lot more dysfunction in the history here that isn't being told. This daughter has been hurting for a long time.

And yet still, the focus is not on her well-being or that of the grandkids, it's on her Mom. The daughter has tried to tell her in the past what she needed from her but all she gets it's follow my rules, respect my boundaries, be how I raised you to be, don't be YOU, in the end. That is not toxic???????????
 
Old 08-15-2018, 12:04 PM
 
1,509 posts, read 2,057,399 times
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I sincerely hope someone reaches out to Child Protective Services to investigate the well being of these poor children. I think professional counseling is in order for all involved.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,867 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
Every time you describe her isolated living situation I get visions of that family starving their kids and keeping them chained up-and they had neighbors.

Have you considered calling CPS? The picture you paint goes way beyond BLM issues and seems ripe for extreme living conditions. Has anyone seen the kids recently?

You mentioned your husband got SIL a job. Does DH work with him? Is there any way to contact him through his work? You don't want to ambush him but OTOH it could just provide some measure of consolation that the kids are OK.
Oh my gosh, I've considered calling CPS but wow, talk about throwing gasoline on a fire.

I don't know if anyone has seen the kids or not.

As for the son in law, no, my husband doesn't work with him in any capacity. I have texted him a couple of times so he knows the door is open. He's a very introverted guy and the two times I've texted him, my daughter has jumped right at me "LEAVE MY HUSBAND ALONE!" with such anger that I thought, "Well, OK, he's a grown man, he knows my number - if he wants to contact me, he can."

I think he WOULD contact me if actual abuse was going on - but I think his "abuse monitor" is off too. He is gone six days and home three. A lot can happen in six days that he doesn't see. However, their oldest daughter is nearly 14 so surely she would tell him SOMETHING.

I just don't know.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 02:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Ironically, she clings to the hope of a relationship with her emotionally (and formerly physically) abusive dad. She plans family vacations that he stands her up on. She plans for him to come visit and he doesn't show up. He has always known how to yank her string in particular, which is one of the things that infuriated me so badly when we were married and one of the main reasons I divorced him - he was so very cruel to her. But he has her under his thumb emotionally. She admires him, yearns for his attention, etc. Out of my four kids, she was always the easy mark for him. He was the most abusive to her and one of her brothers (and that one is such an open book that it's sort of saved his bacon from being made miserable by his dad, if that makes sense - he has worked through the issues, unlike his sister). The oldest and youngest - no relationship at all with their dad. Their dad doesn't "like them" because apparently they are too much like me (his words). So he hasn't had anything to do with them in at least a decade, maybe longer, and when they were kids he never "bonded" with them because he was simply never able to get under their skin. He has no interest in people he can't manipulate or abuse.

So she is in touch with her dad occasionally. He fills her head with how horrible I am (he's never gotten over the shock of me divorcing him and has told the kids their whole lives that he still loves me - errr, nope - and that I was the one who wanted the divorce and if it was up to him we'd still be together in spite of the "fact" (lie) that I was unfaithful, into drugs, etc etc etc - all of which is completely 100 percent untrue). For some reason, it's easier for her to believe that, than to believe me.
It actually isn't ironic. It's very common for kids to seek out the parent that isn't available to them.

And it's relevant that she was the most abused, he was the most cruel to her. She suffered more at a critical part of her life, of course that is part of why she is different.

What he says about you is also relevant to her. Is this part of what she is upset with you over that you say it's imaginary?

It's not imaginary to her. This is part of what rips children in half during contentions divorces. Choosing a side. This is way bigger than the things you are focusing on.

And PS, your mother provided stability? Your mother who is bipolar and you have walls of text about what a monster she was before she got dementia? You think she was a good influence while you were working? I'm not following that at all.

And seriously, please do not go on about the injustice to your mother. YOUR DAUGHTER IS DROWNING. She has been drowning for two years at least. I literally cannot believe it everytime you mention how she should go see her grandmother. Just pouring on how awful she is. SHE IS DROWNING.

When she told you she didn't want to hear about the stress of what was going on with your parents she was telling you that she couldn't handle it. You took it as an affront. Like she is just selfish. SHE IS DROWNING. Drowning people seem selfish, yes. Because they are trying to keep their own head above water and if that is all they can do, they are doing good.

I IMPLORED you two years ago to turn your focus and you refused. You demanded that she grow up, stop acting this way, yadda yadda. I told you then she needs you more than your mother. Your mother was in a care facility.

I get that you were wrapped up fully in that and couldn't shift or didn't see why you needed to. I'm not trying to beat you up for past mistakes. But you need to see now your role in all of this.

It isn't one sided and this didn't start two years ago. This goes way back to awful times where she was abused and you play as much of a role as he does in that. You weren't there for her then, you did not protect her, and you weren't there for her when as an adult, she reached out, however dysfunctional that method was, her meltdown was an opportunity to start understanding her.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,867 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post

Wow, thank you for such a thoughtful response. I do value your insight.

Quote:
KA, I have really valued your advice and support on the caregiving board, but you're too in the midst of this situation to take a step back. You're trying to reason with someone who is falling apart. You've got a history of mental illness in your family. You know better. Stop it. You keep referring to what your other children do and comparing her. She's not your other children. She may have chosen you as her whipping boy, but you're making it easy for her. You can't expect to have a rational conversation over hot-button issues with someone who is in a debilitated mental state.
I agree with all this. Thank you.

Quote:
You gotta stop clutching your pearls over her "hating white people" and identifying as black. You gotta put all your ego and all the butthurt aside. Stop being offended. Stop being invested in being right. There's no point as her reality and your reality do not align at the moment.
I'm sorry, but you have missed the point - with me anyway - over what offends me the most (not saying that some things are hurtful but I have a very high tolerance level for other personalities and opinions and beliefs). My main "offense" with her has nothing to do with politics or BLM or her identifying as black. Those are HER issues, not mine. What offends me absolutely to the core is her total disregard for my mother, her grandmother. My mother misses those kids SO MUCH, it's absolutely pitiful, and she would just love seeing them, even once a month. So that's my biggest "offense."

Right after that comes my concern about her kids and the fact that she has intentionally cut "the white folks" completely out of their lives, total severance. This is heartbreaking to me, but not because of race, because of the loss of the relationships and because I miss those kids TERRIBLY and I believe they miss me, their great grandmother, their cousins, etc. We need each other.

As for her reality and mine not lining up - I hate to say it, but my reality IS reality. The things she has accused me (and others of) simply DID NOT HAPPEN ANYWHERE BUT INSIDE HER HEAD. So there's that - THAT is reality. The motives she assigns to other people are imaginary too, for that matter. I'm sorry, but I'm very much of the opinion that reality is reality. It is what it is. And it's not what it's not.

Quote:
Contact her husband and see if he has any concerns about his wife's mental health. You can offer to support his efforts but he's really the one who's responsible for her situation now as they are a married couple.
See above post. I do contact him occasionally and it totally infuriates my daughter and seems really counter productive. He does know how to reach me though.

Quote:
I'm sorry but you kind of unknowingly blew it in a way. You posted on here prior to the election about how awful Hillary was and how Trump was the better choice, so I'm sure your children know your views - you basically chose the side that is favored by white supremacists even if you don't hold their views. That's how she sees it.
I post a lot of things on C-D that I don't discuss IRL with any or many people. I believe I was very clear on this though - here and IRL - that I thought we had two of the absolute worst candidates we've ever had in this country's history - simultaneously. I have posted and stated IRL repeatedly that I am appalled by many things regarding Trump - and Clinton. I have stated repeatedly that I thought only that Trump was the lesser of two evils. I mean that literally and sincerely.

I also did say "all lives matter" RIGHT AT THE FIRST of the whole BLM thing, and dropped that phrase as soon as it was identified by BLM as divisive and dismissive. Actually, what I believe, and what my kids KNOW I believe, is that all lives DO matter. I also believe and they know it - that there is a level of white privilege as well as systemic racism that many otherwise really nice folks simply do not see.

It is absolutely laughable that anyone would think I am aligned with white supremacists or racists. Absolutely insane. That's right - insane.

Quote:
You told your daughter "all lives matter," which just dismisses the whole point of the BLM movement in a pretty clueless way. That's like looking at a house on fire and saying "All houses matter" then pouring water on one that isn't burning.
See above - and no, that's not what I meant or what my application would be for that matter. And actually I think that analogy is flawed. I wouldn't waste my time on a house that wasn't on fire - why would I do such a silly thing? If two houses were on fire, I'd tackle the fire that was most out of control. Guess what - police officers of every color and creed and gender put their lives on the line every day for our societies - I'm generally supportive of them, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc. Not supportive of racists - of any age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, etc. My kids KNOW THIS. They know this about me. It has been my mantra for decades. To assign other values or imaginary actions or attitudes or offenses to me is deceitful and hurtful and wrong.

Quote:
The end result is that you've positioned yourself with views that your daughter sees as an existential threat to her brown children. There's no room for "agree to disagree" there. She went and circled the wagons, and she doesn't care about nuance or whether you regret it. She is not rational, but you've given her just enough tidbits for her to turn you into the enemy who holds views that are a threat to those she loves.
My daughter knows I am not and have never been a racist, or any sort of threat to my beautiful grandchildren, or children. I'm not sure if you caught this or not - SHE has changed dramatically over the last coupla years, not me. SHE has become a radical, not me. So yes, you're right in a sense - with a radical, there is no room for other opinions, no grace, and often no rational thought process. A radical sees everything and everyone and every situation through a very narrow peephole. In fact, that may be a very good definition of all radicals.

And I'm sorry - I don't really think she believes I am any sort of threat to her children. I think she has her reasons for breaking off all contact, but I don't think they are honorable. I really don't. I wish they were.

Quote:
I don't know how you walk it back from this situation, frankly. She's probably not capable of it. I think any intervention has to come from her husband. And any interaction between the two of you should be guided by a mental health expert.
I totally agree and I do not see this happening. I wish. I offered to pay for counseling for both of us. She blows up if I try to contact her husband (which tells me that he is telling her everything).

I don't know if it's a salvageable situation at all. In fact, I rather doubt it. I don't see her ever being able to be introspective, to put the effort into counseling (which she needs), and I don't see me being able to trust her otherwise. Time will tell, I guess.

Quote:
I don't believe for a moment that you're toxic. I just think you're invested in what you see as rational. She's not rational. (I suspect there is some element of your fear for your daughter's mental health that makes you so invested in rationality.)
Thank you. And yes, I guess I'm "invested in rationality." I AM a very rational person. I always have been, and in fact, I've clung to it because my mother and my brother are both seriously mentally ill and SOMEONE had to have some common sense! So with me, what you see is what you get. I tell the truth (not because I'm so superior but because it's just easier that way in my experience). I'm not mean, I don't stay mad long, I'm not vindictive. I'm also not always attune to the emotional needs of people and please don't try to "drop hints" with me because I will often not see them! But you can be very honest with me and I can see that and be like, "Oh, wow, you're right, I never thought of it that way, I'm sorry!" I mean, my thought process has it's limitations for sure, but it really infuriates me to be assigned crazy, weird ulterior motives when I am really, truly not wired together that way.

Quote:
The home schooling, the remote house, the isolation from family members... She's deliberately isolating herself. I suspect she sees the news every day and she is terrified for her children. They're not in a good situation, but you're not in a position to help them. The bank account idea is a good one if you want to help their future.
I agree with all of this and yes, I've already made provisions for her children and will continue to add to their future in whatever way I can.

Quote:
But right now, without her husband agreeing that there's a problem there's not much you can do. She's not going to respond well to surprise visits or unexpected get-togethers arranged by family. My mother is indeed toxic, and every time mail arrives from her, I just get a knot in my stomach. Even when it turns out to just be a mostly blank birthday card. I told the woman I was nearly suicidal and she told me I was angry and full of hate - I made the decision to cut ties with her for my own welfare. Even though you are not toxic, she sees you the way I see my mother, if not worse. I see my mother as a rabid animal that lashes out simply because that's what rabid animals do - she sees you as a very calculating threat. She's mentally ill. She doesn't see it. But she needs a reason as to why she feels so out of sorts. You've been chosen to be that person. Because of that, there's not much you can do until she gets some kind of help. Work on the husband and building a relationship and communication channels with him and leave her alone.
Agree on all statements - I wish I could build some sort of relationship with her husband but so far, no luck.

I know how you feel about your mother. Remember, I have a bipolar mother. If I thought she was bad during my childhood, that was NOTHING compared to what she became when she hit menopause and I was in my young adult years. She was a raving lunatic - sorry, but she was - and I did have to put some distance between us. I did things like not even open her mail (she resorted to sending me crazy, ranting letters after I refused to answer her ranting calls at 5 am - and that made her FURIOUS that I would actually have the gall to screen my calls). So yes, I get the whole knot in the stomach thing.

But my mom really was mentally ill, and I'm really not. I know - I think my daughter is - but trying to help her has gotten me nowhere.

I hope her husband sticks around and maybe can encourage her to get the help she needs.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 02:32 PM
 
11,605 posts, read 5,449,768 times
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Quote:
What offends me absolutely to the core is her total disregard for my mother, her grandmother. My mother misses those kids SO MUCH, it's absolutely pitiful, and she would just love seeing them, even once a month. So that's my biggest "offense."
This does not make a lick of sense. I think my eyes psychically hurt from popping out of my head reading this. This actually sounds very manipulative. Like you are merely championing the plight of your poor mother.

Which one, ? And two, YOUR DAUGHTER IS DROWNING AND THERE ARE 4 CHILDREN IN THE MIX. Your mother missing them is literally the least of all things to be worried about when your mentally ill daughter has fallen apart AND THERE ARE 4 CHILDREN AT STAKE.
 
Old 08-15-2018, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,867 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 56974
Please note that I will and do take quite a bit of time responding to posts from people who seem to truly be trying to help, even if our viewpoints are very different - ESPECIALLY if they are very different, because I do want to see things from different perspectives. But I am not going to spend my time trying to defend myself against misrepresentationa, inaccuracies, half truths, etc. I don't have the time or inclination to do so and that's not what this is about anyway. I have gotten some very good insight and advice over the years on C-D, much of which I've implemented, and that's the sort of advice I'm looking for now.

One more shout out to JRZ by the way - thank you again for insight from a perspective much different from my own.
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