Do others feel this way with other children too?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by louise2350, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    I am just curious to know if any other members have this happen in their families with this disconnected adult.

    My middle child is the one who disconnected four years ago over something minor.This middle adult is the type to start doing the latest if she's read about it by eliminating me from her life. There was never any abuse or neglect. This adult child was the type that always thought the other two children got more attention, love and just everything more than her. None of this is true. I even enrolled this child in a private school costing me a lot and didn't allow the other child to go to a private school which she indicated to me that she wanted to upon entering high school.

    Since the disconnect when the disconnected adult has some parties for her child my two other children and their families are invited but not me. The two other grown children don't want to hurt my feelings so don't really talk about it to me but they have slipped and told me a few times about these events and then apologized if they hurt me.. I sometimes wish they'd speak to this disconnected adult over what its done to me by her not speaking to me anymore.. It hurts me that these two others don't say anything to this disconnected adult child. I'm mixed up over this because I don't want them to be alienated from this daughter which I wouldn't put it past her to do if these two other children speak to her and tell her how hurtful she is being and how wrong her behavior is. I would like to know if anyone else is in this predicament. I don't know if the disconnected adult has said something to one of my other grown children as to why she has stopped having me in her life. I think they wouldn't tell me as they don't want to get involved or hurt me further, which I understand .

    Any input would be appreciated. Sometimes I feel that I don't have any right to feel this way regarding my two other adult children to defend me or speak up for me to this disconnected adult and am wondering if others are or have been through this. I haven's said anything to the other two as I don't want to make them feel guilty over this but it's always in my head.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Louise

    Welcome. I am sorry you are suffering but glad you found us here.

    I have no direct experience with being rejected by a child who embraces her siblings. But I was the outsider in my family of origin. My mother and sister had the relationship, and I was peripheral. I have felt a similar pain. And still do, even 6 years after my mother's death.

    First, I want to say that I recognize (by personal experience) how cruel are the effects of being rejected by a close family member, even though the rejecting party may or may not intend this as cruel.

    I think you are between a rock and a hard place which makes your situation impossibly hard, as long as you keep looking for solutions outside of yourself.

    First, you don't know that your other kids have not spoken to your daughter. Why would they tell you? This would be a private matter between them and their sibling.

    As long as you search for a "why" I think you will continue to suffer. People do things for all kinds of reasons and most of the time for reasons they don't know. They may tell themselves this or that, but not really understand what truly motivates them. In fact, people will oftentimes reject somebody in order to not know something about themselves that they deeply fear or do not like.

    So to focus upon what is true or not is to miss the point. It is your truth that your estranged daughter received "more." But her feeling is that she received "less." There are infinite lists each of us can make of what we gave, or what we lacked, what we were not given. As long as we keep playing on this field, there is no healing that can be found. It's just more division and pain. Death through a thousands lists.

    For me the healing has come within myself. Recognizing the (false) beliefs I have about life and myself. And recognizing that within me, and how I think and what I do, is the source of healing. This can involve spirituality, art, friendship, movement, community, service, work, etc.

    Your healing is NOT related to anything to do with your daughter, I believe. She is not the missing piece, though it feels this way. Just as my own son will not heal me, although it feels that this is so.

    I recognize that what I write here is not what you may want to hear. I write here to know and heal myself, as well as to provide support if I can.

    Other people will come soon and they will provide you other ways to see your situation, perhaps more useful and appropriate than is my own experience. I wish you well and I hope you keep posting. Take care.
    • Winner Winner x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I have two normal kids and Kay who was adopted at birth from overseas, beautiful, capable and charming when she chooses to be.

    If my two normal nice kids wanted to be in Kay's life, even though she has shunned my husband and me because we will no longer hand her money, we would let it be. If your daughter is anything like Kay, her main reason for including her brother and sister into their lives would be to further hurt us.

    If my two kids wanted to have a relationship with Kay anyway, we would not ask questions. This is not our business. I learned in Al Anon that my business ends at the tip of my nose and I agree with this one hundred percent. This for me even includes if I desperately wish to impose myself on somebody else. I don't do it and am happier for it. Kay can hurt us much less now. We don't even do FB anymore to check on Kay. No gain to anyone doing that.

    To be fair, my other kids, for their own reasons, want nothing to do with Kay. She has messed when both in very bad ways. But if they still saw her it would not be my business nor are my adult kids required to shield my feelings. I am the only person who can do this. We had to change US.

    Husband and I have now been in Al Anon and therapy many years to get to this place of relative peace. Kay was once a hard drug user and drinker and now she smokes pot several times every single day and is still never sober. Pot overuse daily IS an addiction and DOES affect her behavior. Her husband is a big pothead who quits his fast food jobs at will and is very rude to everyone else. My grandson is being raised by these damaged adults. So far we have not been able to get him out of there.

    I understand your pain. I felt it once. But I found that there are alternate, less hurtful ways of coping with dysfunctional and even mean kids. This may have saved our lives. Our reaction to her behavior was contributing to our health challenges and we are in our 60s. We all deserve peace, love and happiness.

    The only person who can get us there is us.

    God bless you. I am so sorry.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    Thank you for, Busy for your input. I'm not against my daughters seeing the disconnected daughter. My only thought was that they never mention anything to her regarding her not being involved with me and that causes hurt in me which I can't help but feel.

    I'm in agreement with you that this disconnected daughter is probably seeing the other two out of spite as she never in the past got along with them either. However, I've come to the conclusion that it's not for me to say anything to the two other daughters over all of this. I was just posting and wondering if others have gone through a similar situation as I have here. Thanks for your advice.
  5. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    I do understand. My middle aged adult daughter was once a beautiful young women, damaged by abusive rich men. She now is an alcoholic that lives from couch to couch and has been horribly abusive towards me (before, during, and after pouring out a lot of money to "help"). It didn't. My son has a very limited relationship with his sister because of this and her outlandish behavior toward me and her living in victim hood. Her step-sister tried to take her in and it did not go well at all. She refused to come stay with us, all she wanted from us was money so she could keep gambling, drinking, partying, etc. No job. So, I see things from a different perspective, though I think the desire to have our honor defended as a matter of respect transcends all situations. The only advice I can offer is to try to see things objectively. We have no control over what any of our adult children do and I find the best thing to do is to stay emotionally detached from my daughter and try not to put our other children in a predicament, especially if they are able to maintain some kind of contact, that gives me some ease. We defend, protect and love our children and all we ask is to be treated the same, unfortunately, some are just not able to do that and that is their issue, not ours.

    Love and light
  6. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Louise, I would want to defend me too. But some just don't want to rock the boat or take sides. It would hurt me, but I could get past it. It has nothing to do with me. Your kids love you. They don't want to confront this difficult sister.

    There are many good people who love us that fear confrontation. They don't do it at all costs. Sticking up for you would cause confrontation with a difficult sister. I am certain that she was a problem in the family before she cut you off. It may have seemed sudden but my guess is this was a process for her and that she was hard to deal with all along. Always has been. Your other kids may want a relationship with her child more than with her. Can you openly talk to them about it?

    The healing does have to come from you, but therapy can help you do this. A lot. Please consider it!!!

    Be well and try to change how you see this. Or do things differently and please be good to you and seek outside help.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    This post by Copa was so on point for me .We do think that it will be easier when we "understand" , and it is important to realize that we cannot understand everyone, especially when we are dealing with people with mental health issues. We look at the other person through our own eyes and to us their behavior doesnt make sense . It is futile to try to understand, and instead, it is more helpful to come to accept . My serenity is exactly proportionate to my level of acceptance.

    Having a child reject you has got to be the most excrutiatingly painful experience. I am so terribly sorry you are going through this .

    In Al-Anon I have heard that I speak with child A about child A, and with child B about child B. I am not perfect with this, but I do try to not get information out of my daughter about my son and vice versa. My daughter has often betrayed her brother's confidences and when she does, I do want to know (because he keeps a lot from me) but I do not prey. I don't ask leading questions . I trust my Higher Power, God , will reveal to me what I need to know.

    Therefore, I would not ask my other kids to defend me or say anything about me. I would leave it alone .

    What I would do is to send my daughter love and light every time I think of her. I would pray for her. I would make sure that I pray for forgiveness and to have my resentments released (you do that by praying for the person who has hurt us to be blessed with everything you want for yourself every day until you feel neutral about them) - not for them, but so I can be free. I would also , in prayer, lay my relationship with my daughter on God's altar .

    This is hard , spiritual work. And the rewards are vast. I have learned that if I want to feel better, I have to work on me. I have to get comfortable with getting uncomfortable if I want to grow .

    Sending love to you and your family!
  9. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Wise, we are on the same page!!!

    Nothing can explain why. It doesn't help to ruminate over why. I think often it is about the rejecting or angry child, not us. We may be a stomping ground for their anger. This is unhealthy for us, for us to allow abuse, and for them to be given a pass for doing it. To me not accepting this is more important than why. Boundaries. Unwillingness to put our feet down on any abuse for any reason. Abuse and Serenity can not coexist.

    I have been practicing mindful acceptance for a while now. Nothing has positively impacted my life more than this. Nothing. If WE want to stop being half crazy it really helps to accept what is NOW and NOT focus on the past or future.

    Yesterday is history,
    Tomorrow is a mystery.
    All we have is today.

    Those who live in either the past or the future or both are doomed to being unhappy. Yes, our past family life could have been less than great, but that is gone/done/over and we CAN learn to heal and let go. And writing horrific or wildly hopeful stories about the future in our minds is fiction and can keep us from NOW. Helps no one. They are fiction.

    Any twelve step program from Codapendenents Anonamyous to Families Anonamyous to Al Anon or Nar Anon help us focus on what is now. Now. I think everyone benefits from acceptance.

    It is easier to deal with NOW if Past and Future don't cloud your reality.

    I love Radical Acceptance. It is so helpful to my husband and me. You may like it too.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  10. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I am not in the same boat today. But I feel your pain.

    Gosh, yes, trying to figure out the whys can drive you to the brink of madness. Been there! Still there at times.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  11. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    Thank you all for your replies. I'm glad I never mentioned to my two other children the fact that they don't confront this other daughter and defend their mother. However, this problem never goes away. Now my youngest asked me to babysit on a certain date so she and her husband can go to a "wedding" and stay overnight. I thought when I heard the date "that's the birthday of K" (the estranged daughter). I asked my youngest where the "wedding" was going to be held - she gave me the same state as the estranged daughter is living in. I didn't find out until later that my youngest and my oldest are attending a birthday party for the estranged daughter and here my youngest asked me to babysit overnight while she attends it but lied to me saying she's going to a wedding. Well, this is where I draw the line. I won't be made a fool out of by babysitting my other two grandchildren while my two other daughters go off to a party for the estranged daughter. I think I should be given more respect than that - being asked to babysit while this youngest goes off to a birthday party for the estranged daughter. I am planning on telling this daughter that I never want to be asked to babysit again if she's attending a party for this estranged daughter. Well, just wanted to vent. I'm sure some people here won't agree with me and say I should babysit no matter what, but that's OK - I'm going with what I feel.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I would just tell my kids calmly that I won't babysit for them when K has an affair. It's not that you don't want them to go, but it's hurtful and you are going to take a pass on anything related to her right now.

    That is all I would say and I would do it. I would not engage the kids in a discussion. It is what it is. You matter. Your feelings matter.

    I would have done the same but in a calm, quiet way. And then I would stick to my guns.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  13. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    One more thing - this estranged daughter was never slighted by me or my ex while she was growing up. When she states that I gave the two others more attention and was nicer to them than I was to her, it's her problem and not a word is true. This is just this daughter's personality speaking. No matter who her parents were she'd always complain, complain and think of herself as the "ignored" one. A few people here have said that their parents left them out and preferred their siblings over them. I don't know the whole story but in my case, this is not true. Ever since this child was a youngster she'd always look for ways that she thought were unfair to her versus her siblings. Her siblings aren't that way and have better things to do than compare every little thing to see if they're being treated fairly. Some people are just like that - looking for sympathy in stating that they aren't treated as well as their other siblings. This gets to me as I came from a very large family. I never had the time and it wasn't in me to compare to see how this one and that one were treated. My parents did an amazing job and did make mistakes like every parent. They loved all of us and I couldn't for a minute be bothered comparing myself to my siblings to see where I was shortchanged.
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I believe you. My disturbed daughter says the same. The truth is the opposite. We centered our family around HER.

    There is no excuse, other than personal health and safety, for kid to treat a parent like this in my opinion. Most of our kids who bring us here tell lies about us. We are at fault for everything that goes wrong in their lives. I always think it says more about themselves than us. By adulthood, once you have kids, adults ought to realize that parents are human. We make mistakes. But these kids are terrible. They just are. They treat us like dirt.

    We need to reject the abusive, lies.

    Anyway, try to have a peaceful day. God bless you.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think this is horribly hurtful. I think your other children are wrong. I think it's bad both to use you in this way, thoughtlessly, and I think it's worse to lie to you. And I think it's really wrong of your middle daughter to divide her family this way. What she is doing is horrible.

    I am very sorry that my post above missed the mark. I won't justify what I wrote because it was clearly wrong, and did not apply to you. This is one of the weak links in a forum like this. We speak from our own experience, while we try to be helpful. And when we don't know enough about each others circumstances our words can be insensitive, unintentionally.

    I think you're exactly right here. You are comparing yourself here, to me, how I felt excluded from my mother's relationship with my sister. And how I created this world of being marginalized and rejected, when I could just as well have been happy that my mother and sister had each other, and done my hardest to be part of the family. I agree with you 1000 percent that that would have been the strongest, kindest and wisest way to have been.

    Please believe that now that my mother has died, I reproach myself with the same words. And my sister since my mother's death won't even allow me to write her an email wishing her happy birthday. I ask myself over and over how I let my life turn out this way. (Crying here.) If I could go back I would be another person with another life.

    You're right. This was my family. What I wouldn't do to have done whatever I could have to make it be whole, so that I could be whole. But I can't go back.

    Yes. I agree with you. There are choice points. How I wish I had seen them, and made these priorities in my life instead of nursing my wounds. Yes. There are attitudes and actions that can help us mend, not break.

    One thing I could have done is to have felt my pain and told the truth to myself. Another thing I could have done is to have tried to push aside my feelings of grievance. I could have acted from strength and love. And told the truth to my sister and mother. I could have made it the priority in my life to mend these relationships and keep them strong and true. I wish I had.

    I am very sorry if I contributed to your pain.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  16. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I am going to throw my opinion into the ring for whatever it is worth.

    While you have been rejected and you are hurting very much, I think I would focus on myself and work on releasing my resentment and find forgiveness, not for daughter, but for me. So I am free of all of that.

    I would tell my daughter who asks me to babysit that I can not only handle but prefer the truth. Babysitting is an opportunity that be with the grands , to be of true help to daughter, and to spread love . To me, it's not a black and white situation: there is lots of grey in there that can be explored if you so chose . I would also ask my daughter why she felt the need to lie to me. Chances are she is not wanting to hurt your feelings and doesn't realize that lying is worse for you.

    I would want to seek to forgive rather than to be forgiven. I would seek to love rather than to be loved. I would not fight fire with fire but come from love. This does not mean I have to have a relationship with the difficult daughter or be a door mat. I would want to free myself from the drama for me, so that the power the difficult daughter is trying to yield over my life and my extended family falls away.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    There is great power in these words. Thank you very much.

    The issue here is whether or not we believe we've done anything that we should be forgiven. I think that the idea of meriting or not forgiveness presents a (false) conundrum. Many of us defend ourselves, from any sense of having erred....We put our focus externally either upon the bad acts of others or when we are forced to examine ourselves, we fall upon ours swords impaled by regret and guilt.

    These are the two poles that seem to be the focus of this thread. But Wise shows us, there is a middle ground, wholeness. Not one or the other. But all together.

    What Wise is saying (to me) applies all around. It centers upon Acceptance. If I can accept how I feel, the totality of it. Rejection. Pain. Shame. Guilt. Powerlessness. Anger. All of this melts away. In this nakedness, there is great power. Because from the honesty of that moment comes real choice.

    That is what Wise advocates here. I want to babysit but I would prefer the truth.

    The power in this. The dignity. I am blown away. If I were to do this, to say this, I would stand with and in my great love and strength. I would be claiming all of this. As my own. In my way I would be building the world instead of running away from pain and shame.

    Thank you very much Wise. You are modeling for us great strength and generosity.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  18. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't do it that way because I matter too and I know myself. No matter my loving intentions I would spent the entire night thinking about my middle daughters shun if this were me. Even the grands could not stop me from the pain..

    This is a situation where you need to do what serves you best, not anyone else. I am sure there are other babysitters. We need to not feel bad for making decisions to spare ourselves hurt. We need to be able to do this without feeling guilty.

  19. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

  20. louise2350

    louise2350 Active Member

    Copa: Don't be hard on yourself. That's the way you felt at the time when you were living at home and you are entitled to your feelings. I was just saying that ever since my middle daughter was young she would always compare herself to her two sisters feeling she was always given the short end of the stick, whereas the other two would never do that . She even claims during an argument that I wasn't her mother. I'd just ignore her but relayed what she'd say to my husband and he couldn't stop laughing. These are the extremes she would go to. Anyway, I didn't mean to make you feel bad with what I said - I guess I wasn't in your shoes and with 7 other siblings in my family, my parents couldn't afford much and didn't hold on "spoiling" back in the old days, so I was taken by surprise when my middle would always complain that she wasn't given as much attention,etc. as her sisters. Since my siblings and I never felt tha,t it was hard for me to hear my middle estranged daughter always saying that. Just be easy on yourself and I'm sorry if I made you feel bad over my post. I did speak to my youngest over the babysitting - she understands and doesn't really expect me to babysit while she goes to a party at the other daughter's house. So, things have been smoothed out there.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List