opinions about no contact?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Acacia, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member


    I'm right with you. Because we can't change anyone else, the changing if about us. It's been a long hard road, but I am learning to make my welfare and well-being as important as those around me. Finally I can say that this is not selfish; it is important emotional and physical health.

    I also have none of the problems in my work life and social life that I have with my two difficult adult children. It hurts, but I have accepted the way it is.
    Thanks again to everyone for their shares.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I didn't read all of it but this is a beautiful thread.
    I did this too, for a shorter period. At first it was exhilarating and then I fell apart.

    But you know what? I think my son is happier, stronger, and more centered since I pulled back. He had seemed to grow hostile and distant. And I thought harder. And I despaired. But I am seeing that what he is is more self-contained. More confident and stable. Whether he is finally growing up a little, I don't know. But hardball and pulling back seems to be a better approach.

    I think our kids need to know that we can stand alone. And when we do. This reassures them that we won't fall apart if they stand on their own two feet.
    I see this as your growing edge. It could be that the necessity to continually define your boundaries is a good thing for you, to develop the boundary muscle. I have learned that boundaries are not primarily for them, but for us...for us to learn where we stop, our edge, the edge of us. One of our problems (my) is that I seem to define myself in a mental space that includes my son. This is wrong. He's his own person, and so am I. If I see it this way the need to over and over again to make this critical distinction about where I am located, and where are my edges, is a critical learning opportunity so that i can locate myself in me, and define myself by healthy choices.

    This whole forum, for me, is about my growth, our growth. Not theirs.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  3. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    One of the posts I read sparked a thought in me--I grew up with emotional abuse and neglect, and I purposed that when I had children, I would do everything in my power to be the best parent I could. In doing that, I experienced a measure of healing from the past, which is good, but I also expected that the outcome with my children would be that they would be incredibly kind, compassionate, responsible young adults who would respect and appreciate their parents. To some extent, this is true of our youngest son, but our oldest, our Difficult Child, J, is anything but that. It's hard to live with the sense of failure or the lost expectations that giving so much love and care to someone created in me. I feel like I've been cheated or "the rug has been pulled out from under me." Just some thoughts today.
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  4. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Beta, my childhood experience was like yours, being a survivor of neglect and abuse and vowing to do all I could for my children. In retrospect, maybe I protected them too much and neglected myself. So true about thinking that my kindness and compassion would be returned in kind, but instead being treated the opposite. I also wanted to share in the joy of milestones, such as marriage, college, etc., and those seem lost.
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  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Same here on the emotional abuse and promising to never do that to my own kids. My mom's best lesson to me was how not to parent. She made me very leery of any sort of disapline. I watched every word I said. My kids have all told me I was too soft on them.
  6. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I'm working on getting to the place of 1) being grateful for the good times we had; 2) accepting I did everything I could at the time and with the knowledge I had at the time; and 3) accepting that things may never change and I may never see him again or know anything about his life or wellbeing. It seems like a long and insurmountable goal. The last two days I have sent J a text or two, telling him I love him or I miss him, and then immediately blocking him just so he wouldn't be able to respond with abuse. Being able to send those thoughts seems to help me, but I don't know if it's a good idea or not.
  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    At this point I'd say to do what gives you peace. If you want to send him those texts then do it.

    I agree that blocking him is a good idea.

    Hopefully someday soon you will be able to reach out less and less and still be okay.

    Maybe someday he will come around. We can't write the end of the story. No one knows the future.
  8. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I agree that you should do what you can live with in terms of sending messages conveying your love. I have a difficult adult daughter, a difficult adult son, and a third adult son with whom I have a great relationship. Beta, I think it's less about your son knowing you love him than that he cannot receive that love because of his own issues.

    I have no contact with my adult daughter who has, I believe, undiagnosed borderline and substance issues. She cut contact, but I believe it's for the best because I cannot tolerate her explosive unprovoked rages. I keep contact with the son I have written about here when he is respectful and I don't feel manipulated. I back away if that happens - at least for a while.
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  9. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am in same situation and have seen improvement in his independence but not enough. I told him after last reqest i was going no contact for a month then the whole thing with his son happened and i contacted him. I am back to blocking him until i can make a rational decision about what i should or shouldn't do.