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Old 08-08-2018, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020

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Well, I had an epiphany moment of a sort in church Sunday.

I had gone on my daughter's public Instagram site, because she occasionally posts pictures of the kids and that's my only link (she has blocked me so I can only see them if I don't log in).

Her feed was FULL of horrible cosplay photos. I have noticed a more and more macabre theme in her cosplay costumes but now they are ALL horrible, gory, scary, etc. No pictures of the kids. Anyway, so the whole thing was upsetting.

So I was at church, and I realized that I have not been praying for or even truly hoping for reconciliation. It's like I've just set the whole thing aside emotionally - like a big hole of grief that I always walk the long way around rather than getting down to business and fixing it - out of sight, out of mind. And I know why - because it would be very difficult at this point, and as sad as all this is, for me emotionally, it's easier NOT to reconcile - unless I think about the kids, so I just try not to. Now this is terrible, I know. I mean, I have this grief, but the very idea of trying to work things out, trying to trust her again, putting myself out there with the fear of having her take those kids away from me again - it just seems like too much. I don't know if I've put much information out there, but the last time she was at my house, she was screaming in my face, her husband had to physically hold her back from running at me, 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.

I had to admit that it is easier for me to consider life without her than to consider how to reconcile with her. That was a huge eye opener for me about myself. I can't imagine trusting her or incorporating her into my life at this point because she seems WORSE mentally and emotionally now, not better. And she has the trump card - she wins everything - whatever that is - because she has shown me that she can and will just yank herself and those precious children out of my life if I step out of line according to her dysfunctional imaginary world, which I can't see but which is apparently very real to her. (When she FINALLY screamed at me what she was so angry with me about, I swear to God that it was a long list of TOTALLY IMAGINARY EVENTS, which tells me that she is not living in the real world. As long as she is imagining slights and insults and strange behavior from me - stuff that truly has never happened in any way, shape or form, I can't "behave" enough.)

So I've decided to start simply praying for her well being and happiness every day. Not praying for reconciliation, not praying for her to "behave" the way I wish she would - just simply praying for her health and joy every day. Because if she's a more joyful, emotionally and mentally healthy person, which she is not and never has been, then everything in her life will get better, with or without me. And what I REALLY want - and this is the truth - is for her to be a happy, healthy person. Period. Maybe she will find a place for me and maybe she won't, if she really focuses on regaining her health and joy, but at least she and the kids will benefit.

 
Old 08-08-2018, 07:02 AM
 
11,612 posts, read 5,457,812 times
Reputation: 10981
Quote:
I don't know if I've put much information out there, but the last time she was at my house, she was screaming in my face, her husband had to physically hold her back from running at me, 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.

You have. More than once. And this is a totally exaggerated version than before, and the mixing of two separate events.

ETA: imo, the reason you are doing that is to justify your decision to us, which is not needed. You don't want to deal with her problems. As a mother, I find that incredulous, but do what you want to do. It's perfectly common for people with MI or even just emotional problems to be thrown away by family due to the inconvenience.

Last edited by jencam; 08-08-2018 at 07:11 AM..
 
Old 08-08-2018, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
I'm going to suggest a reading list to you for three reasons. One, I hope it will help you see your daughter's perspective on race, and to get more understanding of the experience of people of color in the US. (I understand that you're hurt by the impression that your daughter has rejected her "white half," but to be fair, white America rejected mixed race people as being white long before your daughter came along. Despite her white European heritage and upbringing she now must navigate the world as a person of color because that's what America sees.) Two, by familiarizing yourself with the language and concepts, I hope you'll be able to communicate more effectively with your daughter. And three, just doing the reading itself, putting in the time, I think shows willing and may contribute to healing.

I'm not saying every page of every book in this list should be taken for Gospel, but they're all interesting and food for thought. I hope you will read some, and will do so with an open mind rather than a debating one. I stuck just to non-fiction, but hey, if you like novels or poetry that's another place you could dive into.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Colorblind by Tim Wise
White Like Me by Tim Wise
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
Young, Gifted and Black by Perry, Steele and Hilliard
Racism Without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Waking Up White by Debby Iriving
Ain't I a Woman by bell hooks
Race Matters by Cornel West
White Rage by Carol Anderson
Choke Hole by Paul Butler
The Invention of the White Race by Theodore Allen (two volumes)

And then after I typed that all up, I found this long list, so I'll just drop the link. I don't recognize all the titles, but the ones that I do are quality:
https://www.left-bank.com/sites/left...g%20List_0.pdf
Going to check out some of the reviews on some books on this list now.

I did want to point out something else. I have three other adult children who are also biracial. They have integrated this and the color of their skin into their lives very well from what I can tell. Without exception, they seem to LOVE being biracial - they self identify as biracial, not "black" or "white." They are all over the political and social spectrum too - one is very conservative and also very devout (moreso than me) in her faith and she is also very happily married, a devoted and involved mother, etc. One is definitely apolitical and if I had to pigeon hole him I'd say he's an independent, though I doubt he's ever even voted. He is my risk taker, my adventurer. He's been happily married for five years to an Asian girl that he dated for four years before marrying, but though they want kids, they haven't had any. He's a spiritual person and seems to place a lot of importance on prayer and the study of religious topics but he and his wife don't attend church often. And my youngest is single, super good looking, very outgoing personality and until about a year ago, he was sort of a Casanova - he lives in Austin and he has been living the single scene with great gusto for several years now. He's definitely liberal politically and he self identifies as agnostic. He has been dating a young woman from South America (I can't recall the country right now) for about a year now, though and I think they are getting pretty serious.

None of them live a life that revolves around or even focuses much on ANY one race. In fact, they all live lives that are distinctly NOT "either or." It's like my other three kids have intentionally built lives that actively embrace a multicultural vibe and frankly, I like that and that's how I tried to raise them. So this whole emphasis on African American identity only, rejecting - and I do mean actively and blatantly rejecting - every white relative and influence - yes, that does surprise me a lot.

And it surprises and has alienated my youngest daughter from her siblings as well. I mean, they rarely even communicate with her, though she hasn't cut the two boys off (she has cut her older sister completely off - but then she's married to a white guy so that's part of the problem). When we talk about it, which isn't all that often, both of my sons express their concern for their sister and her kids, and they consider her beliefs to be extreme, but they don't argue with her - heck they hardly ever talk to her and certainly don't see her often even though one lives just a few hours from her. I don't think they've seen her or the kids for over a year and they only talk with her a couple of times a year, and that's always them calling her, not the other way around. They generally have to call her or text her repeatedly before she will finally talk with them too.

So I don't know why she took off in this direction but it's not only affecting our relationship, and it's also baffling to me because it's such a different mindset from any of my other kids.
 
Old 08-08-2018, 09:06 AM
 
6,013 posts, read 2,697,304 times
Reputation: 5215
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Well, I had an epiphany moment of a sort in church Sunday.

So I was at church, and I realized that I have not been praying for or even truly hoping for reconciliation. It's like I've just set the whole thing aside emotionally - like a big hole of grief that I always walk the long way around rather than getting down to business and fixing it - out of sight, out of mind. And I know why - because it would be very difficult at this point, and as sad as all this is, for me emotionally, it's easier NOT to reconcile - unless I think about the kids, so I just try not to. Now this is terrible, I know. I mean, I have this grief, but the very idea of trying to work things out, trying to trust her again, putting myself out there with the fear of having her take those kids away from me again - it just seems like too much. I don't know if I've put much information out there, but the last time she was at my house, she was screaming in my face, her husband had to physically hold her back from running at me, 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.
This is a perfectly normal way to feel about the situation imo.

When you are part of a dysfunctional family, dealing with them can be exhausting if you are the only one who has had any sort of counseling. Usually, the more rational you act the crazier they get trying to make you be crazy with them again.

Until your daughter gets the help she needs to work through her varied issues, she will not imo be able to have a meaningful relationship with you.

The most I can see her capable of is some sort of truce where you go to lunch/shop and hang out with the kids without discussing anything that could be problematic.

And even that could blow up depending who/what is influencing her....sounds likely to be the black father she craves attention from and/or online influences since otherwise it sounds like she has isolated herself in her home.

So a black or biracial counselor might be useful in helping you better understand what your daughter is going through and may help you craft a way to approach her with some sort of truce that allows you to see the grandkids.
 
Old 08-08-2018, 10:50 AM
 
11,612 posts, read 5,457,812 times
Reputation: 10981
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Going to check out some of the reviews on some books on this list now.

I did want to point out something else. I have three other adult children who are also biracial. They have integrated this and the color of their skin into their lives very well from what I can tell. Without exception, they seem to LOVE being biracial - they self identify as biracial, not "black" or "white." They are all over the political and social spectrum too - one is very conservative and also very devout (moreso than me) in her faith and she is also very happily married, a devoted and involved mother, etc. One is definitely apolitical and if I had to pigeon hole him I'd say he's an independent, though I doubt he's ever even voted. He is my risk taker, my adventurer. He's been happily married for five years to an Asian girl that he dated for four years before marrying, but though they want kids, they haven't had any. He's a spiritual person and seems to place a lot of importance on prayer and the study of religious topics but he and his wife don't attend church often. And my youngest is single, super good looking, very outgoing personality and until about a year ago, he was sort of a Casanova - he lives in Austin and he has been living the single scene with great gusto for several years now. He's definitely liberal politically and he self identifies as agnostic. He has been dating a young woman from South America (I can't recall the country right now) for about a year now, though and I think they are getting pretty serious.

None of them live a life that revolves around or even focuses much on ANY one race. In fact, they all live lives that are distinctly NOT "either or." It's like my other three kids have intentionally built lives that actively embrace a multicultural vibe and frankly, I like that and that's how I tried to raise them. So this whole emphasis on African American identity only, rejecting - and I do mean actively and blatantly rejecting - every white relative and influence - yes, that does surprise me a lot.

And it surprises and has alienated my youngest daughter from her siblings as well. I mean, they rarely even communicate with her, though she hasn't cut the two boys off (she has cut her older sister completely off - but then she's married to a white guy so that's part of the problem). When we talk about it, which isn't all that often, both of my sons express their concern for their sister and her kids, and they consider her beliefs to be extreme, but they don't argue with her - heck they hardly ever talk to her and certainly don't see her often even though one lives just a few hours from her. I don't think they've seen her or the kids for over a year and they only talk with her a couple of times a year, and that's always them calling her, not the other way around. They generally have to call her or text her repeatedly before she will finally talk with them too.

So I don't know why she took off in this direction but it's not only affecting our relationship, and it's also baffling to me because it's such a different mindset from any of my other kids.
You've already pointed that out. This daughter does not feel the same. You have to accept her for how she is.
 
Old 08-08-2018, 10:55 AM
 
Location: planet earth
2,894 posts, read 1,017,878 times
Reputation: 6563
Sending her loving thoughts and prayers will be healing for both of you.

Check out Ho'opono
 
Old 08-08-2018, 08:31 PM
 
Location: planet earth
2,894 posts, read 1,017,878 times
Reputation: 6563
Sorry: Can't edit now - it's Ho'Oponopono. Very powerful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqrssdH6ET4
 
Old 08-08-2018, 09:26 PM
 
Location: here
24,469 posts, read 28,730,432 times
Reputation: 31039
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Well, I had an epiphany moment of a sort in church Sunday.

I had gone on my daughter's public Instagram site, because she occasionally posts pictures of the kids and that's my only link (she has blocked me so I can only see them if I don't log in).

Her feed was FULL of horrible cosplay photos. I have noticed a more and more macabre theme in her cosplay costumes but now they are ALL horrible, gory, scary, etc. No pictures of the kids. Anyway, so the whole thing was upsetting.

So I was at church, and I realized that I have not been praying for or even truly hoping for reconciliation. It's like I've just set the whole thing aside emotionally - like a big hole of grief that I always walk the long way around rather than getting down to business and fixing it - out of sight, out of mind. And I know why - because it would be very difficult at this point, and as sad as all this is, for me emotionally, it's easier NOT to reconcile - unless I think about the kids, so I just try not to. Now this is terrible, I know. I mean, I have this grief, but the very idea of trying to work things out, trying to trust her again, putting myself out there with the fear of having her take those kids away from me again - it just seems like too much. I don't know if I've put much information out there, but the last time she was at my house, she was screaming in my face, her husband had to physically hold her back from running at me, 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.

I had to admit that it is easier for me to consider life without her than to consider how to reconcile with her. That was a huge eye opener for me about myself. I can't imagine trusting her or incorporating her into my life at this point because she seems WORSE mentally and emotionally now, not better. And she has the trump card - she wins everything - whatever that is - because she has shown me that she can and will just yank herself and those precious children out of my life if I step out of line according to her dysfunctional imaginary world, which I can't see but which is apparently very real to her. (When she FINALLY screamed at me what she was so angry with me about, I swear to God that it was a long list of TOTALLY IMAGINARY EVENTS, which tells me that she is not living in the real world. As long as she is imagining slights and insults and strange behavior from me - stuff that truly has never happened in any way, shape or form, I can't "behave" enough.)

So I've decided to start simply praying for her well being and happiness every day. Not praying for reconciliation, not praying for her to "behave" the way I wish she would - just simply praying for her health and joy every day. Because if she's a more joyful, emotionally and mentally healthy person, which she is not and never has been, then everything in her life will get better, with or without me. And what I REALLY want - and this is the truth - is for her to be a happy, healthy person. Period. Maybe she will find a place for me and maybe she won't, if she really focuses on regaining her health and joy, but at least she and the kids will benefit.
It is possible that these events did actually happened, and affected her in a profound way. Maybe you don't remember because they were meaningless to you. I can still remember mundane moments with my mom that were turning points emotionally for me. My mom is oblivious. She spent most of my life blowing off my feelings instead of trying to understand them. The bolded sounds very familiar to me, and I'm not convinced that she's making it up.
 
Old 08-08-2018, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,847 posts, read 12,473,150 times
Reputation: 24280
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Couldn't rep you but thank you for your insight. That's a good idea about an AA counselor. I will definitely look into that as well as checking out some of the books that another poster suggested.
Please know I wish you well. God bless.
 
Old 08-09-2018, 07:26 AM
 
5,605 posts, read 4,159,335 times
Reputation: 12338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
It is possible that these events did actually happened, and affected her in a profound way. Maybe you don't remember because they were meaningless to you. I can still remember mundane moments with my mom that were turning points emotionally for me. My mom is oblivious. She spent most of my life blowing off my feelings instead of trying to understand them. The bolded sounds very familiar to me, and I'm not convinced that she's making it up.
Your mom sounds like mine. Oblivious to anyone else’s feelings and how her words and actions effect them. If confronted, she’d 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, I’m 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 else’s are 100% wrong doesn’t seem like the way to mend a troubled relationship.

Last edited by UNC4Me; 08-09-2018 at 07:36 AM..
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