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Old 12-26-2016, 06:33 AM
2,744 posts, read 732,184 times
Reputation: 7111


OP, I feel for you. It's got to be frustrating and heartbreaking. You know your daughter is being immature, vindictive, unwilling to let go of a grudge, and self-centered...but she is still your daughter.

The only thing I think you did wrong in the incident that led to this estrangement was getting so angry at her that you told her off---I think you even wrote that you swore at her. While I could understand that you felt used and unappreciated (like your raison d'etre was just to serve her needs), your responsibility in this is that you either agreed to deal with the tenants when asked or you offered. So you did agree that you would do this. There didn't seem to be any discussion about when and how your daughter would take over this task. You both understood that it was going to be your job. But then when she wasn't more excited/appreciative about your successfully handling it, you blew up. Sure, it would have been nice for her to express appreciation (I would have taken my mom out for a meal or sent flowers!), but if she didn't, then all you should have done is maybe not be so quick to jump at helping her the next time.

So the question is why you did blow up. If this was just an isolated incident of taking you for granted and using you, then you need to do some soul searching as to why your fuse was so short. If it is part of an established pattern (which I suspect it may be), then why would you have expected this time to be any different? If you resent her using you and not appreciating you, then you have set to some boundaries so it doesn't keep happening.

I don't think gifts are the way to re-establish your relationship. Did you apologize to her after the incident from blowing up, swearing, and telling her how self-centered she is? If not, then that would be the way to start.

Old 12-26-2016, 07:02 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,711 posts, read 4,442,787 times
Reputation: 11736
Just a few points to add from the "Been there done that" side of the aisle. Went thru a tremendously painful period with my adult kid just like this. Same demographic -- child of divorce and me doing everything I could to shelter my kid from the pain -- very indulged. When the big event that caused our break in communications occured, I did a lot of Dr.Google reasearch to try and analyze my kid and our relationship and also drew up the label "narcissist" and lived in that belief mode for a long time.

That was six years ago and the thaw started after about 3 years. All the time walking around with that stone in my heart. All the nights waking up staring at the wall thinking about the situation. Every day weary with the weight of carrying the pain. Eventually we started taking small steps. The occasional text, a brief phone call. Finally we had lunch. We are now pretty good again. I did change my opinion of both myself and my kid. I did understand my adult kid harbors unfair resentment toward me and I just have to accept and release on that. I have kind of taken the approach that I want him in my life but now -- as an adult -- I will make no demands and have no expectations. I think it helps to try and consider one's adult kid as a "niece" or "nephew" or another family member one loves dearly but doesn't place a burden on for attention.

Some advice: Don't send gifts; they absolutely require a response and set yourself up for disappointment because there you sit in the waiting mode. Stop initiating. A birthday text, a holiday text. That's it. If you once or twice a year see a hysterical joke that has nothing edgy about it -- go ahead and text it over. Don't set yourself up for waiting beause its painful. Just keep the lines open and be responsive and appreciative if your kid initiates. If she does reach out, be cheerful and undemanding.

Another thing: if she texts and writes something nice, respond in kind. Never write "I wish you would have phoned.....". Once again you are telling her that anything she does to build a bridge is not enough.

I wrote this to help you move forward. Not to throw darts. Your goal should be to rebuild that relationship to heal your soul. Those heart stones are deadly. And labeling your kid with pseudo psycho terms is destructive in too many ways.

Wishing you a peaceful year ahead.
Old 12-26-2016, 07:48 AM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
Reputation: 15649
I'm truly surprised by the number of people going through this. Just last eve my daughter told of her in-laws who had a falling out with another DIL a few years back, over something minor having to do with food I think. Their son, the DIL's husband, took up the offense with his wife and did not communicate with his parents for four or five years. The parents missed an enormous part of the grandchildren's childhoods, only now just tentatively starting to make amends.

This makes me think that something was perceived on the part of estranged adult child, from childhood or later on. When my sisters and I, just within the past few years, aired our longstanding gripes against each other in an attempt to have a better relationship, I was astounded (to put it mildly), as were they, at what was said. Like, you took offense at THAT? Why didn't you say something? or, I had no idea, you've carried that with you all this time? Some things were legitimate, I thought, but at least half seemed ridiculous, in retrospect.

There is a reason, whether it's inaccurate perception, accurate perception, or self-embarrassment as I said, above. There is a reason. And never understimate the sympathetic influence of a Son-IL or DIL. When the "offended" adult kid hashes over the offense with his/her partner, he/she fortifies his/her stance against the parent(s), making the situation all the more complicated.

Because of what I have seen in families, I am VERY careful around my DIL. Praise, sweetness. I never want to lose contact with my granddaughters, and I would never want to put my son in the middle.
Old 12-26-2016, 09:02 AM
676 posts, read 336,092 times
Reputation: 1221
Well .... I just received an email from my estranged daughter. The first one in over a year. She apparently sent it Christmas morning, but I just checked my emails today (Boxing Day). She use some flattering language, told me she loves and accepts me unconditionally, and that she is willing to change in order that we can talk.

I left a phone message and email letting her know that I did not receive the message until today so that she would not think I was ignoring her on Christmas Day.

I am waiting to hear back. To be honest, this actually puts me in a bad mood. I'm not sure how our relationship can be salvaged since I just don't trust her. I'm the sort of person who only wants relationships with people that I can trust. I have thought long and hard about our personalities and relationship. It was always a challenge for both of us, but now the challenge is even greater.
Old 12-26-2016, 09:21 AM
Location: Dallas TX
15,038 posts, read 21,785,319 times
Reputation: 22262
There are always two sides to every story. Looking from the outside in I don't understand your reaction. You said you were managing the properties for her. You said you didn't ask her to accompany you. She said she was getting ready for a date and you got very angry. If it was my mom, or even a friend who reacted that way I wouldn't understand.

That said, three years later she is still shutting you out is a disproportionate reaction to this one incident. There must be more history between the two of you to create such a rift.

I am very sorry you are going through this. My mom and I had a huge fight a few years ago and getting back to a good place took a long time. Keep the door open.
Old 12-26-2016, 09:35 AM
Location: Henderson, NV
893 posts, read 589,750 times
Reputation: 2353
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Jeez, just writing this makes me realize I just need to let it go. It's really a mess of my own making.
Have you apologized to your daughter?
Old 12-26-2016, 10:57 AM
Location: The sleepy part of New York City
1,980 posts, read 1,218,624 times
Reputation: 4378
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think our kids are the only ones who truly have the power to break our hearts. They don't realize that until they have their own though.

If that the only reason she's cut you out of her life then she sounds very immature and very aware of what she's doing. She's punishing you and what's worse is you're punishing yourself even more. She knows you're not going to stop communicating with her. You're her mom.
I think a little 'time out' for daughter would be a good thing. Send a card for her birthday and Christmas just to keep the door for reconciliation open, but stop chasing her. Don't ask if she received your card or contact her. Maybe if you back off a little she'll come around.
Old 12-26-2016, 11:09 AM
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,517,388 times
Reputation: 9889
OP, I hope you got what you needed in these answers. Best regards and a peaceful new year for you!
Old 12-26-2016, 12:07 PM
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,179 posts, read 45,735,086 times
Reputation: 61902
We have two kids who make an effort to stay in touch, one kid who does not call us ever, but when we get together he is very enjoyable, and another son who is going through some bad times and seems to have written us off. Neither of the uncommunicative ones are mad at us, but they are just that way.
What my husband and I do is, we are open and welcoming when we hear from them, but we have developed a sort of insulation around ourselves. We have learned to have low expectations.
My feeling is that I am not willing to do all the effort....only half the effort. DH and I are the ones who deserve to be chased after, not the other way around.
Old 12-26-2016, 01:23 PM
16,023 posts, read 19,731,087 times
Reputation: 26210
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I kind of see what you're saying. But, really, what's the point in sending gifts and cards into the void? Of course, I'm sending them hoping to rebuild a relationship.

This is kind of like advice on learning how to beg in the "right" way.

I guess I'm ready to give up. It's just so humiliating.
You are ultimately sending them to your daughter, because you love her and you are clinging to the hope that some day she will mature enough to understand that a mother is a child's best friend......No one else will ever love or suffer more for their child then a loving parent.

In response to whether it is time to give up for the sake of your dignity. It is not a measure of your dignity that your daughter does not willing let you know that your gifts have arrived, or that in some way they do touch her. Look at it this way....She is not refusing delivery, and evidently she is not returning your mailed cards.....so in my mind, that is hopeful.

Personally for me, I would give up anything, including my dignity to have any form of connection to my children.....at the end of the day for me to stop would nearly kill me emotionally if it were me.

I do think the suggestion that you do not follow up, that you send those cards, and gifts with the spirit of love, as you have been and without the expectation.....that is what is hurting you the most....checking and hoping for a reply and being hurt when none comes. Let that part of this go.....Simply give from your heart.

Hang in there dear Lady.
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