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Old 12-26-2016, 02:34 PM
Location: Florida -
8,767 posts, read 10,854,190 times
Reputation: 16640


Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Thank you so much to everyone for your responses.

As far as there being previous older threads - I know. I just wanted some personal responses, to connect to others for myself.

After drinking too much wine last night - a really nice Riesling I splurged on lol - watching a movie and going to bed to cry myself to sleep - I woke up and heard my phone ding. I had several text messages. One was from my daughter that she actually sent last night (but I didn't hear my phone ding) saying she'd just opened up the gift I sent her, thank you, and merry christmas.

That was it. Just a few words and an emoticon of a snowman.

But, no card no phone call, no email, no gift. I guess it's something, but it's just too much work. I was almost disappointed to get it. I know some will think that's awful, but this is just so exhausting. Begging for crumbs.

The next "event" will be my birthday in March. I guess I'll see if she puts out any effort. Otherwise, her birthday isn't until August after that.

Who knows what's going on with her. She's not saying. I'm tired of guessing.

So, at least I know she's alive.

And for anyone wondering, I have not peppered her with contact attempts. It's just been an email or text or a card here and there. Maybe 6 times a year.

The last year or so we were still in touch, she was so critical of me all of the time. It had become much less fun to be around her anyway. She's the only person on the planet who makes me feel completely inept.

I guess I miss the years before that, when we were close and talked often and she actually asked me for my advice, etc.

Thanks for being there, my city-data buds. It helps to be able to reach out to you - even if we all have fake names LOL.

You have not said what the problem between you and your daughter was, but, I wouldn't be surprised if she believes she could write a similar OP - feeling that she was not being critical, but only standing-up for herself as an adult. The fact that you haven't spoken to each other in 3-years suggests that neither is willing to swallow their pride and reconcile with the other. Sometimes when this type of alienation occurs, people forget why and simply "institutionalize" the separation through false pride.

Why not simply pick-up the phone and call your daughter? (Tell her you are sorry you missed her call .... if it seems too difficult to be the first to actually speak. What if you had picked-up the phone when she called/texted to thank you for the gift? -- She may be trying to reach out to you). Apologize for whatever part you have had in your separation and tell her it is painful for you and not what you want. Ask if there is some way you can stop this self-imposed separation, overcome your differences and simply be 'friends with boundaries," but, on speaking terms.

Maybe I missed something in your posts that would make this "impossible" or maybe time has just made it seem more impossible than it really is. I've known people who were so criticized and controlled when they were children, that they take even the smallest thing as a personal criticism. I don't know you or your situation, so let me give you an independent perception I picked-up from reading between the lines of your OP and follow-up: It sounds like you "enjoy" playing the persecuted mother role ... and that "you have standards which (if she wasn't so lazy and thoughtless), she would work harder to meet ... instead of simply criticizing you all the time."

("Enjoy" is probably the wrong word, but - something in this one-sided lament just doesn't feel like you are objectively telling the whole story).

Last edited by jghorton; 12-26-2016 at 02:56 PM..

Old 12-26-2016, 02:38 PM
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,697 posts, read 1,875,095 times
Reputation: 11339
I did receive a response to my light-hearted holiday email to my son. It was filled with viterol and was quite painful to read. Neither one of us are perfect and of course he blames me for things beyond my control. I suppose it was a stress reliever for him.

I don't feel comfortable even responding as there was nothing but negativity directed at me and who needs that?
Old 12-26-2016, 03:05 PM
16,019 posts, read 19,698,244 times
Reputation: 26200
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
I did receive a response to my light-hearted holiday email to my son. It was filled with viterol and was quite painful to read. Neither one of us are perfect and of course he blames me for things beyond my control. I suppose it was a stress reliever for him.

I don't feel comfortable even responding as there was nothing but negativity directed at me and who needs that?
Just a thought. Sometimes we only have to acknowledge another persons hurt to begin the healing process.
Sometimes it is healing just to know that you have been heard.
Old 12-26-2016, 03:23 PM
4,348 posts, read 6,061,197 times
Reputation: 10443
I don't see sending gifts as begging. I see it as keeping the door open. I don't care who did what to who, or if your adult child is 60 years old, you're the parent so take a big gulp of pride and be parental. I swallowed a lot on the way back to reconciliation but now when I hug him, when we end a telephone conversation with 'I love you', it was worth it. Yesterday, Christmas, we found ourselves falling into old habits, wondering if he'd call, and then we caught ourselves. We picked up the phone and called him. He answered with 'Merry Christmas', he took time to talk to us both individually, and told us separately that he loved us. We know he's busy, we honor his time so we kept it short, and we ended up with a warm fuzzy, as I hope did he. Looking back, one of the things I resented about my mother was that the onus was on me to call her, and when I did, it was either too long a time had gone by or something else she complained about.
Old 12-26-2016, 03:27 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,206 posts, read 1,350,381 times
Reputation: 6344
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
I did receive a response to my light-hearted holiday email to my son. It was filled with viterol and was quite painful to read. Neither one of us are perfect and of course he blames me for things beyond my control. I suppose it was a stress reliever for him.

I don't feel comfortable even responding as there was nothing but negativity directed at me and who needs that?
So you have a very clear idea why your son is estranged. You could send an apology (even if you think you have nothing to apologize for)... just to say: I'm sorry you feel so bad about xyz. I never meant to hurt you.

Don't get into the details. Just include the "sorry" and "never meant to hurt you." See where that takes the conversation.
Old 12-26-2016, 03:43 PM
5,469 posts, read 2,928,375 times
Reputation: 24558
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Honestly, I think it's more torture to keep humiliating myself, basically begging for crumbs from her at this point. Is it time to just give up and save my last shred of dignity?
No, don't give up.

I remember watching a Trailer for the movie, "Ricki and the Flash". There was a line in the Trailer that blew me off my seat--"it is your job to love your kids, not their's to love you". I found that line immensely powerful.

I think what you are doing is loving your daughter, that is the best you can do. I hope one day it gets results, but you are doing the correct thing. Feel good about yourself for trying, please don't feel humiliated.
Old 12-26-2016, 04:48 PM
1,191 posts, read 665,070 times
Reputation: 4129
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
Thank you for posting this NMSFM. As sad as it is,I cannot tell you how relieved I am that I am not the only parent on this planet that is dealing with this. I have three grown children who want nothing to do with me as well.

Like you,I have begged,apologized for things I didn't do,and grovelled in order to get them to come around at least for Christmas. All to no avail. I have 5-7(I honestly don't know how many)grandchildren that I never get to enjoy. Up until just a few years ago my wife(step mom to them) would dutifully go out and buy them toys for Christmas,only to have them remain unopened on Christmas. After a few years of that humiliation I decided enough was enough and we stopped buying for them.

I sent my son a Merry Christmas email this year and got no response once again. I have decided that as they have obviously moved on from me,to keep from falling into a pit of depression at this time of the year I will not try to contact them again. I have to do what I have to do to,simple as that.

In all honesty I consider this the great failure of my life,yet I know that I cannot make someone love me,even if they are my own flesh and blood. I would not wish this on anyone else because it has caused me untold grief and heart break.

My advice to you OP is this: if you've done all you can do and then some,it's time to hold your head up and start living for YOU. Sometimes that means you must leave others behind,as sad and as difficult as that may be.
I am sorry for your situation. I see your wife is the step-mother, and I have friends who totally shut down their relationship with their dad because they sided with their mother during a divorce and will always blame their dad, and even the step-mom, for breaking up their family.

I have no idea if that is the case with your children, but I know that type of animosity runs deep and is very difficult to overcome. I even have a friend whose mother died and she will not accept her dad's new wife years later.

Again, sorry for your pain and hopefully the issues can be resolved.
Old 12-26-2016, 05:49 PM
5,347 posts, read 7,225,885 times
Reputation: 5107
Let it go and move on with your life, and maybe someday your ungrateful children will come back to you a little more grateful. But in the mean time, just move on. So what I mean by that is whatever you do for them or don't do, don't expect or hope for any reciprocation. Do it because you want to, without any response/reward, or don't do it. And if you find you make yourself miserable by doing something because of the expectation or hope of a response, then don't do it.
Old 12-26-2016, 06:46 PM
Location: Tennessee
23,613 posts, read 17,589,896 times
Reputation: 27693
Originally Posted by funisart View Post
If he is your Aunt's son, I would think everything would go to her grandson. This estrangement sounds fairly recent. Though the cousin clearly messed up--your mother sending a note, (telling him what he should do-not reaching out to reconcile), has no bearing on any estrangement from your aunt. Your aunt is initiating an estrangement by cutting her son out of her will.
He's actually her stepson. My aunt married his biological father who died in 2010. Since she was the living spouse, the father's estate went to her. The father was himself a beneficiary of his own parents' deaths, as well as those of other family members. My aunt now has all that money plus whatever is "hers."
Old 12-26-2016, 07:39 PM
Location: Fresno, CA
1,071 posts, read 1,058,975 times
Reputation: 1980
Just wondering if anybody has ever discussed or considered seeing a counselor or mediator to try and mend fences? I know someone who has broken off contact is likely beyond being willing to do this. Not a magic bullet to solve all problems. But a good, professional third party could possibly help in some situations. I realize, with many people, this would just be a further emotional land mine. Has anybody had success with this or known anyone who has?
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