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Old 07-21-2018, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
"Crunk" is widely used to mean drunk and stoned, by the way. "Getting crunk" is consuming marijuana while drinking alcohol.

It can also mean "generally difficult" too. Or this:

Quote:
TOP DEFINITION
Get Crunk
An African American colliqusim for taking the art of dance; and, in general, partying to another level. This experience supplemented with unique dance forms often includes: "gangsta walking", "jookin', "choppin", "buckin", "tickin" and a myriad of dance forms becoming popular in the mainstream. Getting Crunk is often viewed as a form of self-expression and relief from the hardships of living within the inner city during parties and events in the South.
https://urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Get%20Crunk

And for the record, she never lived in the inner city, and I never abused or neglected her. She self identified with a different culture from early on - why, I have no idea.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 07-21-2018 at 10:00 PM..

 
Old 07-21-2018, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
This paragraph jumps out at me, because it sounds familiar to other family dramas I've personally encountered. The parent goes through difficulties during the son or daughter's childhood, and the child feels the fallout acutely. Then the parent moves on and straightens out their life, and expects the now grown son or daughter to do so as well, not bearing in mind that things that happen during one's formative years loom much larger and have a much bigger impact. The phrase "I was not a perfect mother" itself is a bit of a red flag here, because no one is perfect, so it's a way of glossing over and minimizing one's errors.

Another thing that jumped out at me about the OP was that you didn't have one nice word to say about this daughter. I'm sure she can tell you don't like her much.

I suspect that even if you feel you've transitioned to "adult/adult relationships" with your kids, you're still interacting with her in ways that remind her of bad old times, and it's triggering what would be an overreaction if it were based only in current events, because it carries the weight of previously unresolved pains too. Could be something as innocuous and innocent as just certain turns of phrases or tones that call up bad old memories, or could be that you honestly are coming off as unkind, demeaning or the like - no way for a reader here to know, really.

I'm not saying she's right - part of maturing is accepting that one's parents as imperfect human beings - but the only person in this scenario who you have control over is yourself, so if you want it to change, you can't focus on what SHE should be doing differently.

You might reflect on whether you've ever just apologized to her for past hurts. Not apologized and explained why you did what you did, or apologized and expected an apology or acceptance in return, or apologized and glossed over the details, but simply identified what you did and said that was hurtful and said you were sorry for it, no rationalizations or strings attached. That sort of white flag can be very powerful as a step toward healing.
Thanks for the thoughtful response.

Actually I have apologized over and over to her regarding ways I may have hurt her in the past. I can't hang on that cross any longer.

And yes, while I may have said (and meant) many positive things about her in the past, I'm angry with her now, because after TWO YEARS OF ESTRANGEMENT FROM MY GRANDKIDS, I'm pretty put out with her. For the record, I admire lots of her attributes - I'm just sort of overcome with grief and anger at this point.

I have good relationships with the rest of my family, my other kids, etc, my friends, etc. so honestly, though I would not say I'm a perfect person, I'm just not that hard to get along with, let alone LIKE. It's the personal rejection of me, as a person - my personality, my values, my being - that's so hard. Like she finds me so repulsive - and why? Honestly, I just don't get it. I don't get this response from other people in my life, and I know deep down inside that I am a decent, forgiving person with a good sense of humor and a pretty engaging personality. Yet my daughter finds me so repulsive that she cuts me off from herself and her kids - it's really gut wrenching.

I don't want to change HER. I didn't ask for feedback on how to change her - I asked for suggestions for what I can do - how I can possibly make this situation better for my grandkids, my relationship with my daughter, and myself - or just one of those, if it has to be. I just want to spend some time with my grandkids - I don't demand that my daughter like me. I do, however, insist on a polite relationship - I don't think that's too much to ask, but apparently that's not acceptable.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 07-21-2018 at 10:15 PM..
 
Old 07-21-2018, 10:58 PM
 
11,610 posts, read 5,449,768 times
Reputation: 10980
Oh Kathryn. You're not in a position to insist on anything at all. Almost two years of no contact hasn't taught you that, which is pretty astonishing. She is mentally ill. The relationship will always be unequal due to that. She is always going to be more drag than lift, as you like to say.

Also, God only knows how deep the divide runs between y'all, you said you could write a whole book about that, but one glaring thing is she is uber sensitive to anything resembling criticism and you love to criticize. Or 'help' as you see it. You still can't leave your mother's hair alone, and she is literally demented.

How can you ever refrain from 'helping' your daughter? And you have to, if you want anything to do with your grandkids. How can you help your relationship? Stop helping in the ways you think are helpful, but come across as criticism.

I honestly do not think you can do that, based on how challenging that is with your mother. I hope to be wrong. But you're not going to get any help with this at all if your focus is going to remain on being right and defending yourself. We could all agree for pages that your daughter is unreasonable and you are totally right to be put out with her, but where will that get you in your endeavor? Nowhere.

Quote:
She self identified with a different culture from early on - why, I have no idea.
How can you not know that? I have an idea. You are too busy feeling offended (which is natural to) to HEAR her. To understand her viewpoint. For some reason you seem to refuse (from what you have written here) to just understand her, it always has to be an argument.

The BLM thing really sticks out to me. From the dang internet I understand you don't say to black activists 'All Lives Matter'. To them this is an affront. You are denying their entire premise that blacks are disproportionate affected by police brutality. And that is undeniable. Why would you argue that with your bi-racial activist daughter of all people? As if anything could be less important than politics between a mother and daughter, who happens to be mentally ill.

You don't have to agree with her to say that you totally understand where she is coming from. Or do you really not? Can you not?
 
Old 07-22-2018, 12:41 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
3,977 posts, read 2,963,042 times
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Did she have a relationship with her father's family?
 
Old 07-22-2018, 04:01 AM
 
3,634 posts, read 9,229,895 times
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No one can completely walk in someone else's shoes, see everything they see, hear everything they see. The total experience inside and outside the family has created the person who is your daughter.

Your daughter comes from a family that has a known family history of mental illness. Add to that a biracial identity, military training, broken family, high expectations (whether ever verbalized), today's world stresses, and all she has experienced has created who she is today.

Until she is willing to come halfway or deteriorates so much that outside intervention is involved, you pretty much can only accept the reality of the present. Your daughter has chosen to live apart from her whole biological family. Your daughter is access point to the grandkids.
 
Old 07-22-2018, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
Did she have a relationship with her father's family?
Only what I fostered and it went one way. I tried to keep her grandparents and aunts and cousins in her life but I think they felt like if they came to my house or let me visit with the kids, then they were being disloyal somehow to the kids' dad. I would include them in invitations and that sort of thing though and occasionally they would show up or we'd coordinate something.

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. Once she was an adult, I even offered to show her the divorce decree, because her dad had been telling her for years that I had "taken all his money and all of his earthly goods" and that I had "barred him from seeing the kids" - also two huge lies. Maybe I SHOULD have done that but I knew that he wouldn't do the visitation thing and he rarely did - if he couldn't have me, he didn't want the kids either and certainly didn't want the responsibility for them for a weekend or even an evening. Anyway, he was telling her that he'd paid all this child support for so many years, I kept the kids away, I didn't leave him a pot to pee in, etc etc etc so finally after hearing her accuse me of this and make excuses for his behavior for so long, I said, "This is all just absolutely untrue. I want to show you the divorce decree so you can see the amount of child support he paid ($480 for FOUR KIDS was the most he ever paid, and he didn't pay anything for the first two years), the items that he kept, the fact that we weren't in debt when we got divorced so he wasn't loaded down with any debt at all, and I'd like for you to see the visitation schedule the court gave him." Her answer: "Nope. I don't want to see it." She would rather cling to a bunch of lies and misrepresentations about me than face the truth that her dad was and still is an abusive, cruel person.

I said earlier "I'm not a perfect mom and never was" and you said that raised a red flag for you because it's a sort of catch phrase sometimes and used by people to sort of minimize their faults. I'll expand on that. I was never abusive to my kids. They were always clean, well fed, their physical needs met, the house was well kept and they always had food on the table, BUT: My kids grew up as latchkey kids. I worked all the time, long hours, because their dad, who had three college degrees, wasn't paying much if any child support, and I - with no college degree and no work history since I'd been a stay at home mom - suddenly had to support four kids. So I was not always there for my kids emotionally. I also freely admit to being overwhelmed by the whole experience myself. I wish I had been there more for my kids as they were growing up. BUT I did move to the same town my parents and my grandmother lived in, so there would be a good support system in place for them and for me, and they did pretty much step up to the plate, and they all absolutely adored the kids. (That's another reason why my daughter's rejection of my mom is so hurtful - I know how my mom loved and supported those kids.) Also, we lived only about 30 minutes from their dad's family, which as I've said, I tried to include but that was difficult. I never cut them out though and to this day I correspond regularly with my nieces from his side of the family though they live far away now.

I also included and stayed in touch with his second wife (their stepmom) and his FOUR OTHER KIDS FROM HIS SECOND MARRIAGE, even though she also divorced him and eventually remarried too. She was a good stepmom to my kids and I really appreciate that. He always did have good taste in women - LOL. Anyway, just for some perspective, she's biracial and from Jamaica, but hey, she's darker than me so I guess she qualifies in his book.

He now is one of the most racist people I have ever known and draws that color line constantly. Full of animosity toward "white people" now. My daughter eats all that hatred up. I don't understand it. It's like being a victim is her identity - she's always "fighting da man." "Fight the powers that be!" I guess I represent white privilege and power to her. I hate that - I can't change the color of my skin and I simply refuse to get into racist talk or attitudes.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 07-22-2018 at 06:28 AM..
 
Old 07-22-2018, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
No one can completely walk in someone else's shoes, see everything they see, hear everything they see. The total experience inside and outside the family has created the person who is your daughter.

Your daughter comes from a family that has a known family history of mental illness. Add to that a biracial identity, military training, broken family, high expectations (whether ever verbalized), today's world stresses, and all she has experienced has created who she is today.

Until she is willing to come halfway or deteriorates so much that outside intervention is involved, you pretty much can only accept the reality of the present. Your daughter has chosen to live apart from her whole biological family. Your daughter is access point to the grandkids.
I think you're right. She was born into a cauldron. Plus when she was even a tiny little girl, I knew her mind was not in the same place as mine, so to speak - it was like she had no common sense but was always very, very artistic and imaginative and creative. Like she lived in her own world.

I do think she has mental health problems - and ironically, she admits to "needing some help" too but she told me to my face that she's not "ready to get help yet." This was in response to me telling her how helpful it was for me to get some counseling.

After she broke off all communication with this side of her family, and expressed her total rejection of me and all she thinks I stand for, I got some grief counseling. Basically the counselor told me the same thing you're saying - "You have to let her and her family go."

It's just so sad. Usually I don't sit around mulling it over or dwelling on it but sometimes it really hits me. Her birthday is in a few days and I think that's what's getting to me.

Thanks for your insight.
 
Old 07-22-2018, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 57020
I guess I'm going to follow the professional advice of my counselor and my pastor and just let her and those kids go emotionally. I just want to be sure that I'm doing the right thing and that if any of them ever come back into my life that I respond in a healthy, fair way. I mean, I haven't tried to force anything with them, though I do send letters and cards their way. I'm trying to keep the door open because maybe one day they will come back through it.

To be honest, at this point I DO worry about how to respond if she or any of her kids ever contact me in the future. I guess I should just not hope about that. I don't want to be caught off guard by it but I guess that's how I'd feel if I ever heard from any of them again.

She has proven to me that she has the winning hand and will take the kids away from me - ie, use the cruelest form of vindictiveness - so there you have it. She wins but I'm not sure what the prize is. Maybe it's just a life without me and that's enough for her, but in my heart I know that I don't deserve this level of animosity, and I believe that she is doing her kids an injustice as well, cutting them off from half their family, And don't even get me started on the whole issue of my mom. Wow. I can't believe how incredibly cruel my own daughter is being to my mother and to her own kids.

Two years ago I would have been bragging about my daughter - how beautiful and creative and talented and artistic and smart she is - because she IS all that. But someone said "It doesn't seem like you like her," and frankly, no, I don't like her behavior now. It's not that I don't like HER - I love her. I love those kids. I loved spending time with all of them in the past. But I do not trust her and I am aghast at her behavior, how much she changed, how militant she became, how dismissive of not only me, but of my parents she became - it has shaken my confidence in her and undermined the love and affection and admiration I have for her.

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 07-22-2018 at 07:29 AM..
 
Old 07-22-2018, 07:43 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,531 posts, read 42,694,765 times
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Kathryn, I’m sorry you are going through this.

I have 4 grown children too, 3 mine, and one stepson. Although we are not estranged from any of them, a couple of the boys can go months or years without any communication. They just don’t seem to need it or want it. This is hurtful.

My point is, I know we always did the best we could under the circumstances, and I’m sure you did too. If I had a do over I might have done better, but nobody gets to do that.

Sometimes we just need to accept what we cannot control. I think from reading other posts of yours, that you are a “fixer”, but sometimes it’s best to let things go.

If your grandchildren know that you love them, someday they will seek you out. Keep the door open, keep inviting them for holidays, but go about your life, regardless.
 
Old 07-22-2018, 07:46 AM
 
3,634 posts, read 9,229,895 times
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KA, you wrote this exact same thing about your mother. Repeatedly.

"how beautiful and creative and talented and artistic and smart she is - because she IS all that. But someone said "It doesn't seem like you like her," and frankly, no, I don't like her behavior now."

Being all those things does not prevent significant mental illness. You know that because of your mother. None of those things, being smart,creative,talented,or artistic, means the person is able to connect with other people or live in our world comfortably. If you had said, she is empathetic, kind, thoughtful, interesting, connected, it would create a totally different view of her.
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