Heartbroken and Beyond DepressedGrandparents Visitation
Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:18 AM
I'm seeking a group with an on line message board where I may find answers, hope, and even someone who cares.
I'm in the South Orange County area and I see there are no groups even close to me. I'm not interested in starting a group in my area, as I'm currently passed the point of being merely sadden over the fact my grandchildren are being held from me. I'm completely devastated and can't even drag myself from bed to do daily chores or take care of myself. There's no way I'm hosting a group.
Four months ago my daughter and I got into a screaming match, where nasty comments were thrown at each other. My daughter had arrived at our home just 2 weeks prior, after having left her abusive boyfriend. Events happened and she declared she was going back to him. Of course, I lost my temper. This had been the 7-8th time we rescued her from this man. Each time brought major upheaval to our lives, great emotion, physical labor and precious time, not to mention Thousands upon thousand of dollars. Now to hear she was returning to him again caused me to lose my temper. She also had a lot of cruel, hateful comments she threw at me before loading the grandchildren up and taking them away.
This has nothing to do with the babies! My husband and I love those kids more than life. Since our daughter worked for us we saw the babies every day of their lives and each summer they came to live in our home for months. They have their own bedroom here, bikes, scooters, clothes, books, toys, and even pets. My husband is the one who taught our grandson to read.
We have not seen our grandkids nor even heard their voices for 4 months. We don't know where they are living or under what conditions. I only have email to contact my daughter. 99% of my emails go unanswered. When she does respond her only comments are "Never contact me again". My family (sisters) will offer NO help at all. They all have contact with her and even yesterday they saw our grandkids at a family party. Even though I asked they call me if my grandkids show up, so I could run over to see them, not one family member bothered to let me know. I found pictures of the babies on Facebook showing they were at the party with my family. No one bothered to let me know.
Needless to say, I'm devastated over this. I search my heart and soul everyday to see where I went wrong to deserve what is happening to me. If I'm at fault I'm willing to apologize, but if its the argument with my daughter over her choices in her abusive relationship that had nothing to do with the babies and she is using them as weapons to hurt and destroy me.
I'm terribly, terribly depressed. I'm very hurt by the actions and lack of action by my sisters. I feel abandoned by the world. My heart breaks to see the photos of the kids at the party. They have changed even over the last few months. Can you help me?
Thank you for listening.
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:20 PM
From what you've typed, you had a very close relationship with your daughter and her children. And your current situation is complicated by the fact that she's gone back to an abusive man.
First. There is the relationship with your daughter. If you want a relationship with your grandchildren, you MUST have a relationship with her.
Four months ago my daughter and I got into a screaming match, where nasty comments were thrown at each other.
And then followed that up with:
This has nothing to do with the babies!
Respectfully, it has everything to do with the babies. Generally, a person cannot have a relationship with the parent of a child if there is no respect for that parent. Again, I can understand how you may not respect the mother. How you may actually think she's a terrible mother, especially if she puts her children in abusive situations. By any chance, did you tell her that? Did you tell her she's a terrible mother? Did you hint that she's a terrible mother? Did you threaten her with her children, maybe, if she left the "safety and sanctity" of your home with them? Let's assume all of that is true.
I'm going to tell you, stranger that I am, that you're RIGHT, if you said all those things. If your daughter is being abused and she took her kids back into an abusive situation, then IMO your daughter is terrible and awful and all the things you probably said to her. But guess what? If I said those things to her face, I wouldn't be seeing her kids ever again either. And I'm just an internet stranger. Why do you think that because you're her mother you don't have to apologize for the hurtful things you said? Because you were right? "Right" makes you lonely, doesn't it? "Right" hasn't brought your grandchildren by, has it? "Right" doesn't even get your own sisters behind you helping you, instead, they don't help you so they can monitor the babies PROBABLY because they realize that your daughter is a person with low self esteem. Especially so if she's putting her babies in harm's way. Your family probably sees their niece as a person who doesn't think she is worth much. A person who doesn't realize the strength she has to do what's best for her kids. She already was a puppy who'd been bruised and beaten, and since you said you hurled nasty comments too, do you think SHE SEES what you did as any different than what her abuser does to her? I'm not calling you an abuser. I don't know you. But you've got an abused daughter who does not have the coping skills or self esteem to remove herself from a BAD situation, she's dragging two babies into it, and you spend your time yelling at her? Guess what? You're not safe either, anymore, so of course she's not going to come to you or talk to you.
I don't say any of this it to be mean. I say it to offer you a different viewpoint. I hope that this helps you. What I suggest you do now is, for the sake of the children, don't be RIGHT. Apologize for what was said. And wait. Unfortunately, I suspect you have a LOT of waiting in front of you to do, especially if you said anything along the lines of your daughter being a bad mother.
I understand that in the heat of the moment, yes, you were so focused on being RIGHT that you forgot about them. You thought you could reason with an unreasonable person. And if you stay on these boards long enough you'll realize that there isn't anybody who can reason with an unreasonable person. I would say your daughter is unreasonable for putting her kids in an abusive situation. BUT. She is not unreasonable to not want to talk to you.
If you really care about the kids, you'll stop also caring about being RIGHT and you'll apologize and wait. I'm not saying you need to be used again by your daughter, but you need to make yourself a safe person so you can help her HELP HERSELF get out of this situation, like letting her know about women's shelters in the area and services that are provided for abused women. Apparently, hiding out at your house isn't helping. And I can see why because it's a band-aid on a gusher--it's not fixing the problem that's within her that makes her want to go back.
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:24 PM
I'm not surprised that you're feeling so depressed - or "beyond depressed," as you say. Actually, I think it's a very normal reaction. Even though, thank goodness, your GSs are alive and well, I imagine you're experiencing a sense of loss/ a kind of grief. I'm sure there will be many people here who sympathize with you, as I do. And several who empathize, as well, b/c, believe me, there are many GPs on these boards who are going through the same thing. I hope you don't mind if I also suggest that you seek counseling to help you cope with this situation, as well. I'm also wondering if DH is taking it as hard as you. But either way, I hope he is being supportive.
S & D, I don't blame you for being outraged that your DD (dear daughter - if you don't feel like calling her that, please feel free to say so) was returning to her abusive BF, yet again. Especially after what you've all been through! I'm certain I would have felt the same way. I have almost no doubt, however, that, unfortunately, she's keeping the GC away from you b/c of that last argument, as you, yourself, suggest. And yes, she might be "using them as weapons." If so, I think that is terribly cruel and I'm even more deeply sorry that this is happening to you.
If it's any comfort, though, she might not be thinking of it like that. It just may be that the strain between you, right now, is so great that, I'm sorry but perhaps, she cant' imagine seeing you, even long enough to bring over the GC or for you to pick them up. And while I'm sure you wouldn't say anything aganst her or her BF (boyfriend) to the GC, she might be afraid you would. (If, in the heat of argument you found yourself saying bad things about him in front of the boys, this may be a reason why she would think that. Even though I'm sure she said nasty things to you, too.) So even though in your mind, this fight had "nothing to do with the babies," in her mind, perhaps, it does.
Please understand that I'm not defending her or blaming you in any way. And I know that nothing I said about her, just now, makes it any easier for you not to have access to you GSs. I'm just hoping it may help a little to realize that her motives may not be as malicious they might seem.
Regardless of her motives, it's possible that she's holding out for an apology. Or that a sincere apology would soften her heart, even if she's not looking for one. I think I know a way that you could do that w/o saying "sorry" for your objections to her return to the BF. If you're interested, please let me know.
... To be continued...
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:43 PM
I see that GoogleEarth and I answered you, at the same time. I haven't read her post yet, so I hope that nothing in mine was reptitive and that nothing in this one will be either...
I wanted to add something about your sisters... Please try not to see it as if they have "abandoned" you. I know you wanted them to let you know if your GSs' "showed up" at the party so you could "run over to see them." But I think they were very wise not to do that. After all, what do you think would have happened if they had called you and you had come over? B/c I think there would have been a terrible scene... Your DD would very likely have chased you out or, if she couldn't (I get the impression this wasn't her party), she and BF would have packed up the kids and left if it was someone else'. It would not have helped your situation one bit - and, what's worse, DD would probably have cut your sisters - the children's great aunts - out of their lives, too. Would you want that? I don't think so. Honey, I know it may be hard for you to see, right now - but that's just it - your sisters, IMO, are seeing clearer than you are, at the moment - they acted in your best interests, I believe, and, no doubt, in their own and that of the kids.
Besides, this situation isn't their fault nor is it their problem to solve. Please don't hold any of it against them. It is only hurting you more.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers (if that's ok)... Peace...
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:14 PM
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:04 PM
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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:43 PM
In the meantime, do get some help for your depression. You won't be able to be there for her when she needs you if you have fallen apart.
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:06 AM
But then I read WWU's post and was struck by the info she gave you about abusive relationships. I hope it gives you some hope.
Her comment about the party also caught my attention. If it was a "family party," ordinarily, I imagine you'd be there. If, unfortunately, you weren't invited, coming even to see your GSs would be "crashing" and perhaps not very welcome by the hosts. If you were invited but decided you'd only show if your GSs appeared, I have to agree with WWU that this may have seemed offenstive, even though I know you didn't intend it that way. Especially if one of your sisters, themselves, was hosting the party, but even if not. It was. no doubt, an awkard situation for them so they decided to take a "hands off" policy. No harm intended, I'm certain.
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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:12 AM
Thank you so much for your advice, suggestions, sympathy, and kindness. I have read every word you have posted, twice over. There is so much wisdom in those words and I plan to take a lot of the advice given. Thank you all for taking the time to care about me, although I'm a total stranger.
It's hard for me to put together a sensible reply right now. I've spent the last days in bed, crying so much I have a sore under my nose from wiping. There are just a couple of things I'd like to post tonight before I go back to sleep to escape.
During the big blow up between my D and I there were a lot of horrible things we screamed at each, but I'd like you to know I have never thought of my D as a bad mother and never accused her of being so. Even in moments of extreme anger I have never said a word about her being a bad mom. In fact, she is a very good mother. It's her circumstance, not her that is what is bad. What I was screaming that afternoon was that she was an ungrateful, spoiled brat. At the time I meant it, and I still feel the same today. I could go on for 20 pages detailing all my husband and I have done for her and have given her. But, I'm sure many of you have similar stories of all you have given your kids, so I will spare you the details. There is just one thing that would make a difference in this story by you knowing this......at the time of the blow up argument we were in the parking lot of her apartment in a different state and the moving van we had hired to move her out of the place she was living with the BF had just driven off down the street. My D and I were to follow, each in separate cars to her new home (in a completely new state). See, my husband and I are retired with no income, except our life's investment for our nest egg. We own a small business where at one time we employed our D and her BF. (A year ago she became angry over a business decision we made and minutes before we were to open she ripped her apron off, yelled I quit, and stormed out. Leaving us with one employee for the next week until we could hire someone. Her BF came in the next day and quit, too). That was a year ago and now she was asking us to rescue her again.
Although we have no income, and due to the economy we lose money every month at the business, we cashed in an investment and went to Nevada (where we could afford) and bought her a 3 bedroom condo! We paid cash for it, so she would not need to worry about rent. We already had our GS registered into a charter school (he has ADHD and does not do well in large public schools). It was under these circumstances when the argument broke out, where she was telling me she was going back to the BF and when she took the grandkids and left. We are now left holding this condo that we used our nest egg to pay for. In addition, she has abandoned all her possessions that were in the moving van, including all the GC clothes, toys, and beds. She called me a few days later and told me to take all her things to the dump. That was the reason I was screaming that she was an ungrateful spoiled brat.
I hope this new information sheds some light on this situation. I promise to post more over the next couple days when I'm in a better frame of mind. Thank you again for all your much need advice.
- dnadya likes this
Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:50 AM
I know some people may feel you "rescued" D one too many times. But I understand how you felt as loving parents and GPs. And how willing and happy you must have been to help D get away from what you describe as an abusive situation.
Clearly, somthing happened between the time D asked you to help her and the day she decided to go back to her BF. Maybe it was even a tearful convo with him the night b4. (Abusers, if that's what he is, are known for being able to turn on the charm and make all kinds of promises to "do better" when they want to get their family back.) But if nothing else, she should have acknowledged the sacrifices you and DH made and offered to pay you back, financially, over time.
Then again, I suppose it's possible that she felt as if you and DH were doing too much - you bought the condo for her, enrolled her child in school, etc. I'm just feeling around for possibilities here, trying to help you make some sense of what happened, but I think she might have taken your very well-intended efforts as a sign that you didn't trust her judgment or her ability to do for herself or her kids. You may not have called her a "bad mother" but if she felt as if you see her as "immature" or 'incompetent" (I know you didn't say that, either), then she may have decided, "The heck with it - I'm going back to BF!" I totally understand why you flipped put - I probably would have, too - who wouldn't have? But the very fact that you called her a "spoiled brat," (italics mine) suggests that you still see her as a kid. That may not be how you, generally, feel about her - but that may be what she "heard."
I remember that once, years ago, as a young woman, when I was having some issues with my mom, I overheard her telling someone that I was "rebelling." That infuriated me b/c it suggested that she was looking at me as if I were a teenager-rebelling-against- parental-authority when, in fact, I was an adult and a wife-and-mom, assering my own rightful authority over my home, children, etc. That's a different story, I realize, than your D going back-and-forth, regarding BF, etc. But, for different reasons, she might be feeling the same way I did, back then. Or not... Just a thought...
I'm going to have to take back what I said b4 about having some ideas about an apology though. I don't see how you can apologize for having spoken to her like a kid w/o her thinking that you're also ok with her rather erratic and impetuous behavior. Even though, right now, she says "never" to contact her "again," judging by her past behavior, I imagine, she'll reach out to you again, in time. As hard as I know it may be, I agree with those who say to give her some "space" and wait until she's ready. I know you wont' hesitate to help her again if she asks for it. But pehaps next time, you'll be more cautious about how much you do.
Hope you really do feel better in a couple of days and talk to us some more then, if not b4. Till then... Hugs!
Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:05 AM
Whatever is going on between them, it may not always be such a good environment for the kids. But if the children looked happy in the FB pics that you saw, then perhaps that means that, for the most part, things are ok. So please take heart in that.... Meanwhile, please take care of yourself... and be patient...
Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:19 PM
Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:35 AM
And I hope your D agrees to the mediator. Please realize (and I think you do) that she might tale a long time to respond to your request, though, if at all. After all, at least for now, she doesn't seem to want any contact. So even though you proposed a lovely and reasonable idea, she may choose not to answer, at the moment.
I'm a big believer in mediation, overall. But, IMO, in order for it to work, both parties have to be in an a positiong of equal power and/or have roughly equal needs. Often that's not the case with parents and GPs but in your situation, I think it might be. DD and BF, like most parents, have control over who the kids spend their time with and, usually, GPs have nothing to immediately match that. But you and DH might b/c you have control (for want of a better expression) over whether or not you help DD when she needs it and how much. By the same token, you have the greater need, IMO - to visit with your beloved GC - but DD, sometimes, needs you help. And even if she's determined never to reach out to you again, at some point, she's almost bound to miss you and to want a relationship with you again. Especially since, as PPs have said, it seems that in the past you were very close. Also she may decide she'd like a chance to work out a relationship with you where you approach her as a competent adult, etc. It may take a while b4 she gets to the point where she's ready to deal with this but I truly think there's hope here!
Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:00 PM
I think it's time to start focusing on you. Not on DD, not on your grands, but you. Because that's the only person you can control and help right now. Talk to your doctor about your depression. Talk to a real estate expert or three and an accountant or two about the best way to handle the condo. Whether selling it or getting a vetted and reliable tenant is most beneficial for you. If I may be very honest, in the interest of helping you find relief, it doesn't make any sense that you have no income, are strapped for cash and losing it to keep your business afloat, yet you decided to buy a condo paid in full (!!) for someone who wavers on decisions (6 or 7 times), someone you knew commits to nothing and is prone to impulsive changes. I can see covering a deposit and a couple months rent on an apt, or helping with some rent on a month to month basis after that when asked to. But I see cashing out your own future in one lump sum to buy a place far away you can never use yourself as extremely self-destructive behavior on your part. I think that is a part of you that is truly worth exploring with your doctor. Why do you hurt you? There is caring about your grown children, there is helping them in a bind, then there is something else that is way too much sacrafice. This goes beyond helping out. Some people might use the word codependent to describe the behavior. That's when it becomes important to someone that someone else depends on them for stuff when both people know deep down that the someone else should be doing more to take care of themselves. Its a bad habit that can sneak up on good people, especially as a loving parent and involved grandparent (and maybe a business owner?) who's used to always taking care of everyone else before taking care of herself. Of course I don't know if that's what's going on here or not, but there's definitely some unhealthy habits for you going on, and that's what the doctor can help you figure out. I don't know if you're ready to see it this way yet, but I don't think your daughter put you in a bad way with the condo, I think you put yourself in a bad way. I see how its tempting to blame her for your own poor decision, because you had her in your mind when you did it. Its not something she did to you, it's a choice you made to do to yourself. It's your money you spent, it's your name on the dotted line. And it's not clear thinking. That's why I urge you to talk to a doctor. Something is way off here and I'm worried for you. I hope you work on you to find out what is going on within yourself. So you can begin healing from within. Where it counts.
Take care of you. DD taking a Time Out is not your main problem. This unhealthy behavior was going on while DD and the children were still in your life, when you cashed in your future for a condo in Nevada. As long as you look over at DD, what she's doing, what you think she should be doing to make you feel better, you're not looking at yourself and what you can do for yourself to begin to feel better. DD is taking care of herself and her children. That's all she's supposed to do. You need someone to take care of you, and that someone has to be you. I urge you to seek professional care to help you through this growth process. Take care. And big hugs.
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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:23 AM
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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:13 PM
I don't have a quick fix for you, but please, please take the time to read this:
The title is Letting Go of Our Adult Children. It will help you so much. And it's completely free. I just stumbled across it while searching for SOMETHING that might help my Mom.
Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:24 PM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:06 PM
Four months ago my daughter and I got into a screaming match, where nasty comments were thrown at each other. My daughter had arrived at our home just 2 weeks prior, after having left her abusive boyfriend. Events happened and she declared she was going back to him. Of course, I lost my temper.
Why "of course" I lost my temper?
There's no 'of course' about it. How did you think losing your temper and screaming that she was a spoiled brat going to help? Do you really think this was the best way to handle the situation? Screaming and name calling in the middle of a parking lot?
It looks as though your daughter, whatever her faults and shortcomings, is between an abusive boyfriend and an abusive mother. And if indeed she is a 'spoiled brat', how did she get that way? There's a certain irony about mothers calling their own offspring 'spoiled brat'.
There are very few situations that can be improved by screaming in public and name calling. I strongly suggest you seek out counseling to learn better communication and coping methods.
This had been the 7-8th time we rescued her from this man. Each time brought major upheaval to our lives, great emotion, physical labor and precious time, not to mention Thousands upon thousand of dollars. Now to hear she was returning to him again caused me to lose my temper.
Why 7-8th times? Why didn't you stop at, say 3? She didn't cause all the expense and upheaval to your lives, you did. There seems to be boundary, codenpendency and enmeshment issues at play.
She did not 'cause' you to lose your temper; you chose to.
She also had a lot of cruel, hateful comments she threw at me before loading the grandchildren up and taking them away.
Do not be dismissive of 'cruel and hateful' comments because you did not like her delivery method. Those comments tell you what the problem is, and you ignore them at your own peril.
You also 'threw cruel and hateful comments' at her. But you meant a lot of what you said, you do think she's foolish and entitled and whatever, a spoiled brat. Your delivery method was horrible, but your meaning was real.
Her delivery method was no different than yours; she likely learned it from you. The dynamics of family life growing up for women who choose abusive relationships are very interesting. And it's worth you taking yourself to therapy and learn about yourself and your relationship with your daughter.
And it's important that you look beyond your daughter's delivery method and take the meaning of her complaints about you seriously--just as you wish she would do for you.
This has nothing to do with the babies! My husband and I love those kids more than life. Since our daughter worked for us we saw the babies every day of their lives and each summer they came to live in our home for months. They have their own bedroom here, bikes, scooters, clothes, books, toys, and even pets. My husband is the one who taught our grandson to read. We have not seen our grandkids nor even heard their voices for 4 months. We don't know where they are living or under what conditions.
Of course it has everything to do with 'the babies'! If not seeing your grandchildren for 4 months has you so devastated you can't stop crying or get out of the bed, then clearly it has everything to do with 'the babies'.
They aren't your 'babies'; you are not their parents. And they are not prozac for grandma. There are clearly boundary issues, enmeshment, and role blurring going on here--and it's hurting everyone. Again--counseling.
Loving someone else's children 'more than life' is one of those things that sounds so noble, generous and big hearted but in reality is a big red flag for therapists. It's a major violation of boundary crossing, not against the real parents of the children (altho that too), but against the children. It's hyperbole of feeling, and it's an attempt to cover deep insecurity and emptiness in the professor of such larger than life statements.
Children are not comfortable being 'more than life' to adults. You are doing your grandchildren no favors investing all your emotion into them.
I only have email to contact my daughter. 99% of my emails go unanswered. When she does respond her only comments are "Never contact me again".
So why do you continue to contact her? She's made herself clear: Leave her alone.
You cannot force your will on another adult--no matter how much you love them. Again this is boundary and enmeshment playing out very dysfunctionally. And you are being very disrespectful. She said, don't contact her again--so don't. You may think it's 'loving' to keep trying and trying and trying to reach out to her: but in reality it's controlling, and that's how she experiences it.
It's the mother version of Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction: "I will not be ignored".
If 99% of your emails go unanswered and the 1% that are answered are answered with "never contact me again", you are being ignored. She has the right to ignore you, and you need to accept that.
My family (sisters) will offer NO help at all. They all have contact with her and even yesterday they saw our grandkids at a family party. Even though I asked they call me if my grandkids show up, so I could run over to see them, not one family member bothered to let me know.
Your sisters are right not to get involved. You are trying to triangulate them into your dysfunctional relationship with your daughter. You are trying to recruit them to put pressure on your daughter to see things your way. This is manipulative and very unhealthy and will not get the results you want even if you are successful in getting your sisters on 'your side'.
It's also possible that your sisters don't agree with you and see her point; they may agree with her.
Your calling your sisters up and trying to arrange a meeting with your grandchildren even though you know your daughter does not want you to see them is downright out of bounds. Of COURSE your sisters said no to that. They are not going to play silly 'ambush' games with your against your daughter; nothing will get them cut off from your daughter and her family faster.
Did you really think ambushing your daughter and grandchildren at another relative's house was going to improve your relationship with your daughter?
Needless to say, I'm devastated over this. I search my heart and soul everyday to see where I went wrong to deserve what is happening to me.
You search your heart and soul every day to see wh ere you went wrong--but you aren't coming up with any answers. That's because you are not objective and way to emotionally involved. A good therapist will help you see where you are going wrong.
Your daughter has told you what her problem with you is (under the screaming you both do). Ignore the delivery method and pay attention to the words. You already know the answer; you are just having trouble accepting it.
If I'm at fault I'm willing to apologize, but if its the argument with my daughter over her choices in her abusive relationship that had nothing to do with the babies and she is using them as weapons to hurt and destroy me.
"If" you are at fault? If? You stand in a parking lot and scream at your adult daughter in front of her children that she is a spoiled brat, and you say, "if" you are at fault?
Also, he choices in her abusive relationship not only have nothing to do with 'the babies', but also have nothing to do with you. You are way emotionally involved in her adult lifestyle choices. She can (and will) be with whom she wants and she will deal with the consequences of her choices. All this involvement in her adult choices is nothing but enabling her and codependency, very, very unhealthy.
And I wonder about his abusiveness. Is it the same as your abusiveness towards her? Yelling, name calling, controlling, drama filled? I understand you think of him as the villain, and who knows maybe he is: but the reality is, YOU have no objectivity to judge. Odd that you hired him and regretted losing him as an employee, but want to separate your daughter from him. I'm sure you have lots of examples of what's wrong with him and he did this and that and you only hired him to help her, blah, blah... but none of that matters: you aren't a participant in your daughter's relationship and however close and enmeshed you are with them both, you really don't know what's going on. It's very important for you to give your daughter and her boyfriend the dignity of space--emotional and physical. She can't figure out her life with you hoovering over her shoulder, telling her what to do and disparaging her if she chooses not to do it.
She's not using her children as 'weapons' to hurt you. She's cut you off so OF COURSE she's cut the children off from you too. And if she does have the ability to 'destroy' you by using her own children as weapons, then it was you who put those weapons in her hands.
But hyperbole aside, it's not about destroying you and using children as weapons. You are likely not the center of her world the way you have made her and her children the center of yours. She's withdrawn and is living her life without you being front and center in it--and your pain at her doing so only indicates how far off base you've gotten. You need to learn to do the same.
Can you help me?
Enmeshed people with boundary and control issues have a LOT of trouble understanding why enmeshment is unhealthy and wrong. It feel so safe to them, so loving. But it's not, it's crippling. It is very hard to see when you are in the middle of it. You need to talk to a therapist, and the solution to your relationship with your daughter is not focusing on her boyfriend or her children, but instead on focusing with those complaints she made ab out you when you and she were screaming at each other in the parking lot.
- PhalenMum and msmamallama like this
Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:23 AM
I often tease my kids and say mean things to them, but they have my sense of humor and know I am joking. They do it right back and we laugh our butts off. We don't, however, say these things in sincerity.
Your daughter is in a dangerous situation. She is clinging to a relationship that is abusive and therefore doomed. She senses it is failing and she thinks she can hold it together by focussing on a common enemy. And that is where you came in. All of the resentment and frustration she feels from being his punching bag has now transferred to you, because you lost your temper.
Is it fair? Hell no.
But that sort of thing happens quite often in cases of spousal abuse.
I hope it works out for you. I hope it works out for these Grands of yours.
Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:11 AM
If you and DH have become overly enmeshed with your GSs, it's not hard for me to understand why. When GPs watch their GC every day, while the parents are at work and then, as in your case, have them, on their own, for weeks or months at a time, there's almost bound to be a shift in feeling somewhere - a point where "Gramma" and "Grampa," suddenly being to feel as/almost as responsible for those children as "Mommy" and "Daddy." That almost can't be helped, IMO. A professional nanny, usually, keeps a certain emotional distance from the children she takes care of. Often she has beenadvised or even trained to do that. A GP can't do that - they're not supposed to. They're expected to love those children fully. But when they also have a lot of responsibility for those kids, the lines between parent and GP can become very "blurred," as Ginnie suggests.
The only reason that I, as a GP caregiver, myself, have been able to keep my eye on those boundaries and hold my feelings (and, in some instances, my opinions) in check are these: 1. the example of my very wise parents who raised a cousin of mine for about 5 years but always kept in mind that a parents was planning to take him back, in the end, and that they'd have to let go when that happened (and it did); 2. everything I've learned - and keep learning - on these boards about boundaries, etc. Otherwise, I don't know how I would be.
In fact, I'm tempted to say that if your D didn't want that to happen, she should have found other childcare arrangements. But, to be fair, she probably didn't know what the effect would be. And chances are, neither did you and DH.
None of this means that it's ok to remain so entangled with your D and her kids. In fact, as painful as it may be to deal with, she may be right to try to put some space between you, at least for now. IMO, you both (or perhaps I should say "all" and include your DH) need some distance to begin to see, once again, where one leaves off and the other begins.
I'm not clear on whether you lost your temper in the parking lot or on the phone when D called about the items in the van. But no matter - either way, I know you could have done better (and I'm sure you do, too). I can understand your frustration though - you and DH have put yourselves out so much, and so many times, to help your D and you had everything "good to go" - and then she tells you that she's going back to the very man you're trying to help her get away from! I get the point that it was your choice to do so much., so often and not hers - but I have to respectfully disagree with the idea that you "chose" to lose your temper. I have a feeling that was an "involuntary" reaction, born of your extreme frustration.
Meanwhile, I'm wondering whether a lot of the items in the moving van were provided by you and DH. If so, that might explain further why you were so quick to call D "an ungrateful spoiled brat!" At the same time, it would explain why it was so easy for her to let them go.
I hate to say it but it sounds to me as if she might have planned that. So much easier to say, "Just take the stuff to a dump," if it's already packed up in a van. Her change of heart may have seemed sudden to you but I suspect it had been "coming" for a while.
B/c dear, I imagine your D often gives you and DH cues as to what she's thinking and you're just not picking them up. Just as you keep contacting her, after she has told you not to, I'm going to take a wild guess that she made some noises about maybe going back to BF again and you just brushed them off/blocked them out. (I know I could be totally wrong about that and if so, please forgive me.) If so, that would explain why she might have felt the only thing to do was to pack up that van, send it off and then tell you her decision, last minute. Not the best way to handle the situation, either, of course, anymore than hurling insults at her was the best way for you to deal.
By the same token, I think Ginnie's right that the keys to why D is pushing you away and why she returned to BF are in the words she yelled as your argued. And I love Ginnies; suggestion that you look beyond the unfortunate delivery to the words themselves and see what they are telling you. You may not like it but it may help you understand the situation a whole lot better.
S&D, I still believe your D may reach out to you again, one day. But it may not be till she's establshed a firm sense of herself, which, sadly, I don't think she has, as yet. You may have to wait, pray, if that's your inclination, seek counseling to help you cope, etc. Please also continue to reach out here.... Patience...