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Old 12-27-2016, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,653 posts, read 3,235,973 times
Reputation: 11907

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I am one of the many parents who does not have a relationship with her kids (both of them, adults 52 & 54). It has been going on for years. I have had the benefit of much counseling, etc., and will say I'm glad I did. It has helped me a lot, tho not necessarily the relationships.

Many people here are telling the OP and others to hang in there, don't give up, keep sending letters, emails, cards, gifts. Of all those people who are advising this, how many of you have actually gone through this problem? If your life is hunky dory and you have never had problems such as described in this thread, please forgive me for saying this but a lot of you have no idea what you are talking about. You cannot understand the pain the parents are going through, coming to terms with what is instead of what they want it to be.

I was thinking about all of this last night as I am recovering from a lousy stretch of Noro-virus.

In my particular instance, I came from an alcoholic home, grew up only learning the tools I needed to live in that situation which was often times violent. I married a man I didn't love, had a couple of kids, realized what a huge mistake it was. He was a cheater from the get-go, no better liar was ever born.

So yes, considering all that, I am sure I have contributed to the dysfunction of relationships with my kids. I did divorce my husband after 21+ years (should have so much sooner, but didn't have courage). My kids also went through abuse from their father I was not aware of as I was in hospital with a breakdown.

So the point I am trying to make here is if there have been major life events in the family unit, the kids are the biggest victims. They choose sides. No matter how unfair it may seem to you or anyone else, it's a fact of life. My son still suffers from lack of fatherly attention. My daughter was on the receiving end of inappropriate despicable fatherly attention. When I finally was aware of what was happening, I did what I was able to help, but it very apparently was not enough. It was too late.

So for the grieving parents who are struggling, if you have made every effort you can to correct the problems, you need to accept things as they are. You need to start living your life. If you need it get some counseling. Join al-anon if that is part of your story. Or AA if that is it. Get help for yourself. You are entitled to your own life, as happy as you are able to make it.

While this has not happened to me, I think sometimes if the kids see you backing off from them, doing things for yourself, letting them see you in this new independent life..... they might want to come around.

But remember, life has NO guarantees.

 
Old 12-27-2016, 08:34 AM
 
6,306 posts, read 5,042,575 times
Reputation: 12805
I live with a person that does not want to see his kids.

He will see his daughter on Christmas and birthdays, but other than that he just wants to be left alone.

He did come from a chaotic home. His father was nuts and his mother probably not much better, though he puts her on a pedestal.

Maybe it was the environment of the neighborhood he grew up in. His best friend doesn't speak to his kids either. Another alcoholic father. Maybe that is how they coped. He is always looking for a material way to make himself feel good about himself. He is 70. Kind of sad.

Hopefully the cycle is being broken.

I just stick around because I have other responsibilities here. I do find myself understanding him more each day. Not liking him, just understanding - lol.
 
Old 12-27-2016, 09:45 AM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,681,103 times
Reputation: 41119
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post

My daughter doesn't speak to me 99% of the time now. We haven't spoken in person or even on the phone now for about 3 years.
...
I texted my daughter on Thanksgiving wishing her a nice day, and shock of shocks she actually texted me back saying happy Thanksgiving.
...
So, I sent her a card and small gift for X-mas.
You should have left it alone, and not responded back. She was tentatively allowing you in, and now you're pushing back too hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I could see by the tracking info that it was delivered, but I haven't heard anything from my daughter. Checked my mail today, and no card from her, and no response to my text asking if she got my gift.
Stop sending her gifts that make her feel trapped. She doesn't want you to know she got the gift, because then you're holding her hostage for contact.

She doesn't want contact. So stop texting.

When she is ready, she will come to you. Otherwise, every time you push, she is running further away.
 
Old 12-27-2016, 09:50 AM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,681,103 times
Reputation: 41119
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
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.
Jeez. You get what you wanted, and you're still unhappy. Do you not see how your daughter feels? It's probably just as exhausting to her.
 
Old 12-27-2016, 09:52 AM
 
5,128 posts, read 5,839,163 times
Reputation: 8396
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post

In my particular instance, I came from an alcoholic home, grew up only learning the tools I needed to live in that situation which was often times violent. I married a man I didn't love, had a couple of kids, realized what a huge mistake it was. He was a cheater from the get-go, no better liar was ever born.

So yes, considering all that, I am sure I have contributed to the dysfunction of relationships with my kids. I did divorce my husband after 21+ years (should have so much sooner, but didn't have courage). My kids also went through abuse from their father I was not aware of as I was in hospital with a breakdown.

So the point I am trying to make here is if there have been major life events in the family unit, the kids are the biggest victims. They choose sides. No matter how unfair it may seem to you or anyone else, it's a fact of life. My son still suffers from lack of fatherly attention. My daughter was on the receiving end of inappropriate despicable fatherly attention. When I finally was aware of what was happening, I did what I was able to help, but it very apparently was not enough. It was too late.
I'm sorry about your childhood. My abusive father also came from an abusive home. My mother met him when they were teens and he hated the way his father was. Yet, he became his father. He was both neglectful and abusive and cruel.

My mother told me there were a couple of times in their marriage when he broke down after being abusive and admitted he needed help. But he never followed through on getting any help. He could have fixed it when we were still young.

I was aware of his bad childhood. During the times when I wasn't speaking to him, I felt sorry for him and I loved him. But I didn't like him and he wasn't changing. My anxiety levels rose in his company and I had to think of my health. One time, I got off the phone with him and had a migraine headache, and I don't get migraines!

So, when your children won't talk to you, it doesn't mean they don't care about you. If they are a normal functioning human being, then they've made the decision out of survival. Your biggest hope for contact is to get counseling, show remorse, and that you have changed for the better. Without real change, they aren't going to subject themselves to further chaos.

Even now that we are talking again and he sees clearly what a bad husband and father he was (his words), he will never truly know the toll it took on his children. It affected our lives in so many different directions. Most children are forgiving of minor parental foibles because nobody's perfect. It was the feeling that all parental responsibility was completely abdicated, along with ongoing verbal abuse of his adult children that destroyed our relationship.

If it was your husband and not you that was guilty of the abuse, your chances are better. It sounds like they feel you neglected them and left them to their father's abuse. They need to hear and feel that you are really genuinely sorry. I wish I could tell you it will work out, but I have no idea.
 
Old 12-27-2016, 09:55 AM
 
4,477 posts, read 4,737,152 times
Reputation: 9940
Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
You should have left it alone, and not responded back. She was tentatively allowing you in, and now you're pushing back too hard.



Stop sending her gifts that make her feel trapped. She doesn't want you to know she got the gift, because then you're holding her hostage for contact.

She doesn't want contact. So stop texting.

When she is ready, she will come to you. Otherwise, every time you push, she is running further away.


Yes, yes, and yes. So correct.
 
Old 12-27-2016, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,653 posts, read 3,235,973 times
Reputation: 11907
Shooting Stars

If this paragraph is directed at me, you must not have read my whole post. I have been to counseling. For years. My daughter's father molested her, yet he is the one who has her attention. Yes, I have learned about that...... and I did apologize to her for which she appeared to accept. Now what? Jump through a hoop with fire? When does it end? I'm not crazy and I'm not stupid.

"So, when your children won't talk to you, it doesn't mean they don't care about you. If they are a normal functioning human being, then they've made the decision out of survival. Your biggest hope for contact is to get counseling, show remorse, and that you have changed for the better. Without real change, they aren't going to subject themselves to further chaos."
 
Old 12-27-2016, 10:01 AM
 
5,128 posts, read 5,839,163 times
Reputation: 8396
Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post

Jeez. You get what you wanted, and you're still unhappy. Do you not see how your daughter feels? It's probably just as exhausting to her.
Yep. Daughter is being cautious as hell. She doesn't trust that she won't be attacked again, so she's not sticking her neck out.
 
Old 12-27-2016, 10:02 AM
 
5,128 posts, read 5,839,163 times
Reputation: 8396
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post

Shooting Stars


If this paragraph is directed at me, you must not have read my whole post. I have been to counseling. For years. My daughter's father molested her, yet he is the one who has her attention. Yes, I have learned about that...... and I did apologize to her for which she appeared to accept. Now what? Jump through a hoop with fire? When does it end? I'm not crazy and I'm not stupid.

"So, when your children won't talk to you, it doesn't mean they don't care about you. If they are a normal functioning human being, then they've made the decision out of survival. Your biggest hope for contact is to get counseling, show remorse, and that you have changed for the better. Without real change, they aren't going to subject themselves to further chaos."
That paragraph is directed at estranged parents in general.

About your daughter . . . if she accepted your apology, then why do you think she's not talking to you?
 
Old 12-27-2016, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Bakersfield, Ca
1,842 posts, read 1,368,911 times
Reputation: 3914
First I am very sorry , I wouldnt want anyone to go through what I have gone through ever . Even though I talk about and am proud of my kids . I have been estranged from 3 of them over 13 years. They pretty much left years before that on a court ordered visit when they were 12 and or close to it and never came back . In Texas and alot of other places you can leave when you are 12 to live with the other parent no matter what they have done unless they are sex offenders .

This was a classic case of divorced parent poisoning kids minds against the other for no more than spite . It worked.
For awhile in their very late teens they would come visit me or I would be silly and surprise my oldest son who worked as a butcher for a major 24 hour grocery chain by coming up at midnight and knocking on the window of the meat locker and hiding under it when he would come to look out several times before he would open the door to find me and he would laugh ( I was always silly )

...but my ex husband found out I had become friendly with them and he could not have this so he really poured all kinds of absolutely CRAZY stuff on ....

and I haven't seen them in 14 years now. I tried like you for a very long time and looking at their baby pictures really hurts , specially the ones of us together . Finally I realized I had only one life to live, I'd given it my all and it has affected my health and the way I see people and situations and yes sometimes I can be very bitter even with alot of therapy concerning this .Now their wives dislike me the same and I have never met them .

A few years ago I reluctantly let go. Probably 7 years now - I was tired of groveling to people who just didn't like me nor refused to hear anyone else's side of whatever stories they were being told . Slowly I am beginning to feel better and realize there is life out there and I am living it . They are now 29,30 and almost 34. It helps that I moved 2500 miles away but the ones on social media can see I am living a usually fun and sometimes exciting life ( my page stays open to the public , I have nothing to hide ) and they are stuck sadly in a hole of a town back in Texas living various lives from upper middle class to abject poverty/prison.
I will never stop thinking about my little boys but it's less and less now just like with any other person that comes and goes through your life .

However- they are no longer in my will and I have instructions not to let them know I have died until a month later . I cannot stand the thought of being humiliated while I am dead they way I was in life . It's just too painful.
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