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RoseRed135

Estrangement - Has it affected you physically or mentally, as well as emotionally? - Part 2

26 posts in this topic

Just closed the first thread on this topic b/c it was old. But the question is the same...

If you're CO (cut off) from family/ILs, no doubt it has affected you emotionally, Either you have been deeply hurt and saddened over it or you're relieved - maybe even happy to be free of the stress of a difficult relationship. But do you feel it has also impacted you physically and/or mentally? Do you believe your physical or mental health has deteriorated as a result of the CO? Or do you find that your mind is sharper and/or able to focus more on other matters now?  Or do you believe you're more physically active/healthy, due to lowered stress? Or ??

ETA: Please realize there may be some triggers for some people in some of these posts.

Edited by RoseRed135

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Note from RoseRed: This post has been moved here from an older thread in this same forum...

Texasgal1970

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On 3/29/2017 at 6:19 AM, RoseRed135 said:

If you're CO (cut off) from family/ILs, no doubt it has affected you emotionally, Either you have been deeply hurt and saddened over it or you're relieved - maybe even happy to be free of the stress of a difficult relationship. But do you feel it has also impacted you physically and/or mentally? Do you believe your physical or mental health has deteriorated as a result of the CO? Or do you find that your mind is sharper and/or able to focus more on other matters now?  Or do you believe you're more physically active/healthy, due to lowered stress? Or ??

I’m new to the forum, at the advice of my therapist I sought support from people who are going thru what I am. The short version? 5 years ago my son dated a girl that was much younger than him, he was 26 and she was 18. That was his first mistake. His second mistake dating a girl that secretly wants to play house. Within 8 weeks she was pregnant with the first child, she miscarried . Within 7 weeks she was pregnant with the second child. And here we go. I let them stay in my home because my son was finishing up his degree and she was going to start college. I think that’s where I made my first mistake. My mistake was treating her as an adult , she was still in a teenager frame of mind. My request from them was simple, in Lew of rent as every penny my son made went to preparing for a baby I asked them to help with chores. I requested my son help with lawn care and her to keep the kitchen clean as I would be doing all the cooking for the family. Big mistake as most teenagers hate chores. She demanded they move in with her mother as I was too demanding as far as the kitchen being cleaned every night. Fast forward nearly 4 1/2 years and 2 1/2 kids later ... I have never kept my grandkids over night... I can’t take my grandkids anywhere unless she is there to supervise... which has not happened. My requests to take them for ice cream or anything else are completely ignored. With the birth of each child it gets worse. She is pregnant with child number four and is due in March. They made this announcement on thanksgiving day .... the entire family in shock that she is 5 months pregnant and they’ve been too busy to tell anyone... per my son. The alienation that has been happening isn’t directed just at me.. it’s the entire family. The entire family is hurting because of this, his brothers, his best friend are all hurting because we are all alienated from his life. We were all very very close before she showed up. She actually stated early on that the moment he married her she is is family now and hanging out with his brothers, best friend and family needs to stop. I don’t even know how to react to that? I’ve kept my mouth shut and walked around on eggshells for years as to not cause problems for my son or make things worse but after the latest baby news I have lost my mind. I’m devastated... in shock... mad... a crying lunatic ... I had to start seeing a therapist.. just to process this. The therapist says it’s about control with her and my son is just trying to keep the peace because he needs to be in his kids lives.  I’m mad at my son for not standing his ground and mad at her for using the kids as a weapon. I’m so depressed about this I cry at the drop of a hat... I’ve been experiencing chest pain. Which I have heart failure from a major heart attack I had last year that resulted in 5 bypasses... so any time I get stressed I get chest pain ... I’m only 46! The only reason I have ever been given as to why I can’t take my grandkids anywhere from her is she doesn’t feel comfortable with it and from him is that’s the way her family does things. What???? I need to make my intentions clear ... I only wish to take them twice a month for the day to do grandma things..like bake cookies.. go to the park..the zoo... they are 4 1/2 and 2 years old. This is so heart breaking.

 
 

 

Edited by RoseRed135
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Welcome Texasgal.  I am sorry you are upset with your DIL and encouraged that you do realize that at least part of the blame goes to your son.  My understanding is that there are quite a few young parents who don't feel comfortable with their children out of their sight until they are at least old enough to go to school.  I wouldn't take this personal.

I also know a delightful couple who has three children, the oldest will be five in the spring and she just had her second miscarriage this winter.  They are following in both sets of parents footsteps.  I also don't think it is that unusual to delay announcing a new birth after a miscarriage.  My own DIL waited until 12 weeks and miscarried the next week.   The last time, she waited until nearly 20 weeks.  I understood.

I have an 3rd grade GD with a toddler brother who had never spent a night with me until this past summer.  Mother brought them and came back the next day and picked them up.  I have never driven with them my car, and GD isn't interested in baking cookies.  She does like to play hide n seek and we do that where ever I see her.

Try to look at this as being about her wishes instead of being against you.

If you are experiencing chest pains, maybe it is time for a trip to the doctor.  I had a stroke in the summer and have been making many more trips than I ever had before.  Take care of yourself.  You have many more years to get to spent with grandchildren.

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@Texasgal1970 - I feel so deeply for you! (((Hugs!)))  And again, I'm glad you came here for support. No doubt, you'll get it. Trust me, you're not the only GM (grandmother) who has faced/is facing these issues, as you'll see if you read around a bit. Some of the support may come in the form of poster's trying to show you what DS (dear son) and DIL might be thinking, so as to ease your feelings of personal pain. I hope that's ok w/ you. I also hope our comments help.

I'm no psychologist, so don't have the expertise your therapist has, obviously. If they say this is about "control," I'm sure it is. IMO (in my opinion), DS and DIL may feel they have the right to control over their children's lives, even if it means dashing other family members' hopes and expectations. I'm so sorry this has happened. As Sue says, however, it's not unusual for young parents to keep their LOs (little ones) close by. In fact, if it's any comfort, we hear about this issue often on these boards. Also, if DIL's relatives have always tended to be this protective, as DS suggests, then all the more reason why she might feel she needs to be this way. Nothing to do w/ you.

True, it looks as if your relationship w/ DIL took a bad turn when she lived w/ you. That's not unusual either, if it helps to hear that. I don't think you made a "mistake" when you took in DS and family. IMO (in my opinion), that was a kind, loving thing to do. Nor do I think you were wrong to try to treat DIL as an adult. If you approached her as a teenager, maybe giving her chores and making rules for her, etc., do you think that would have gone over any better? Probably not. Please don't beat yourself up about what happened - it's not generally easy for ILs to live together. Sure, maybe some of DIL's resistance to you stems from that period, if that's what you're thinking. But, mostly, IMO, it's about DS & DIL doing what they agree they need to do as parents and probably not about you or any of your family members.

Meanwhile, I'm so sorry about your health problems and how the issues w/ DS & DIL have affected this. As Sue suggests, please take care of yourself, first and foremost. Like Sue, also, I hope you see the doctor soon, if you haven't already... Peace...

Edited by RoseRed135

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Texasgirl 1970,

I am a MIL.  I use to think of what you want as normal GP expectations.  Until I joined here. Then I learned it's best not to have any expectations.   It's general consensus that the family is always on the same page (BS IMO)) and has the right to do whatever they want , and the son is always (or at least should always be) on her side. Whatever decisions "they" make about GP visitation is their right.   It's "their"  pregnancy, they can announce it when they want to.  While I balk on that sometimes, you can't fight it.  I  think we have to change our expectations based on the DIL God deals us.  Definitely don't make this situation cause you health problems.  Chest pains are a sign of stress.  It's not worth it.  This whole situation is out of your control.  It's good that you sought therapy.

My advice.  Read here.  If your going to post you need to have tough skin or learn how to block people. Your difficult DIL sounds (almost) normal after you've read on here.  It helped me drop my expectations.  It's interesting to see both sides of the story. And  All I can say is it helped me because after a while, my DIL started starting better and better. 

Edited by skipped
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skipped and Texasgirl, I'm not saying that having expectations isn't normal and or is wrong.  What I'm saying is for the grandparents who are frequenting boards likes ours, who do have issues with their expectations are only able to change ourselves and no one else, therefore we have no other choice than to let go of our expectations.  I used to balk with my own MIL that is why she finally wound up disconnected or CO from me and the kids and finally hubby when she told him she told him she could cause our divorce whenever she chose.

For most intents and purposes, my DIL is a jewel then she does something that is so off the wall it takes my breath away, but when I find out the rest of the story "I'm well, yeah I can see that."  I just try not to fret and stew over what someone else is doing.

Edited by SueSTx
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She is pregnant with child number four and is due in March. They made this announcement on thanksgiving day .... the entire family in shock that she is 5 months pregnant and they’ve been too busy to tell anyone... per my son...  I have lost my mind. I’m devastated... in shock... mad... a crying lunatic .

More (((hugs!))) I'm not sure why the shock & crying, but I suspect it's b/c this apparently "late" announcement is confirming fears that DIL is trying/planning to push your family away? Is that it?

Regardless, if it's any comfort, I know lots of couples who wait at least 3 months to announce a pregnancy. Especially if there has been a miscarriage in their history (and yes, even if that was a few pregnancies ago). Is 5 months really that much longer? It's easy to see, IMO, how the time could have slipped by w/o their even realizing it. Also, in the end, they might have decided that T'giving was the perfect time to make the announcement - a family occasion, a time to be thankful, etc. I'm not trying to dismiss or diminish your feelings - I just think if you look at this incident from another perspective, you might come to feel better about it.

She actually stated early on that the moment he married her she is is family now and hanging out with his brothers, best friend and family needs to stop. I don’t even know how to react to that?

Ugh! I hate the way some people act as if their spouse' FOO (family of origin) and friends "don't count" (my words) anymore, now that they're wed. It might be her clumsy, immature way, though, of saying - as many posters here often point out - that she and DS are now a family unit of their own and all other relatives are now "extended family" to them. IOWs, she might have simply been asserting the fact that DS is now her DH (dear husband)/herself as his DW, etc. - and not rejecting his friends and relatives.

Was his "hanging out" w/ his DBs, etc. taking a lot of time away from his relationship w/ her? Interfering w/ their own couple/family time? If not, then, IMO, she was just being selfish and controlling. However, if it was, then, again, she may have expressed it in a bad way, but, IMO, she was defending herself/their marriage, not trying to hurt anyone else. Once more, I hope that helps you breathe a sigh of relief.

If you're not one of the family members she felt this way about, IMO, you don't have to "react" at all (I know this might have been a rhetorical question). The issue is between them and her. If you are, I hope you've adjusted your expectations and accepted that you see DS less often now. If you haven't - easier said than done, I know - I hope you begin to try. In fact, I'm no doctor, but I'm guessing that letting go some of your anger & frustration (if you can) may ease your chest pain, etc. (I would still see the doctor though)

I need to make my intentions clear ... I only wish to take them twice a month for the day to do grandma things..like bake cookies.. go to the park..the zoo...

Sounds lovely! What a delightful GM you are, IMO! (But I'm a GM, too, so maybe I'm biased towards our ilk. :) )

I don't think it will change DIL's mind, however. If she believes her kids are "too young" to go off w/ someone else - even a GM - alone, it's not likely to matter to her where they're going or what activities are involved. In fact, your bringing it up again may just irritate her. Good, IMO, that you laid your intentions out here and got that off your chest. But I wouldn't say anymore about this to DIL or DS for the time being. Up to you, of course.

TG (Thank goodness), it's not as if you're CO (cut off). They still come to T'giving, and I hope share other occasions w/ you. As difficult as it might be, please be patient and respect their wishes for their children, etc. If you avoid pushing now, I bet you'll get to take your GC places - and maybe even have them for overnights - when they're a little bit older. :)

Edited by RoseRed135
to add a thought

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Yes yes and yes. Since 11 year old DGS has made the decision not to talk to us I am devestated. Crying at certain songs on the radio we sang together, crying when I see kids his age in the same snowsuit, crying with joy at the memories we have made, crying for the sadness that there may not be any more memories to make. I put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Overeating, not going to the gym as I used to. My “bubbly”, as DGS would say, has fizzled. It will come back I know. Right now just not great.

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1 minute ago, annierobyn said:

Yes yes and yes. Since 11 year old DGS has made the decision not to talk to us I am devestated. Crying at certain songs on the radio we sang together, crying when I see kids his age in the same snowsuit, crying with joy at the memories we have made, crying for the sadness that there may not be any more memories to make. I put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Overeating, not going to the gym as I used to. My “bubbly”, as DGS would say, has fizzled. It will come back I know. Right now just not great.

(((Hugs!)))

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Thanks Rosered! My note will simply tell him how much he is loved, how much I look back on our special memories and hope one day we can make more special memories. DS probably will throw it out but I have to try.

 

wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

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Attached is the note I will send to DGS. DS, I suspect, will not give it to him. Is there any way of construing anything in the note that could be labelled “guilt tripping”? I was sure not to put in “I miss you, I havent seen you in such a long time, anything like that. Thank you all. Oops can’t download so I will write it...

The very first time I held you in my arms I whispered in your ear I will love you always. I have always loved you and you will always be held close to my heart.

Life is not always as easy and perfect as we would like it to be. Not everything go smoothly but we have to hope that there are more good times than bad.  We have made many happy memories that I love thinking about. Hopefully, one day, we will fill our memory box with more special memories

Ethan you are my sunshine. I will love you forever and for always.

Love,

Bubbee

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33 minutes ago, annierobyn said:

Attached is the note I will send to DGS. DS, I suspect, will not give it to him. Is there any way of construing anything in the note that could be labelled “guilt tripping”? I was sure not to put in “I miss you, I havent seen you in such a long time, anything like that. Thank you all. Oops can’t download so I will write it...

The very first time I held you in my arms I whispered in your ear I will love you always. I have always loved you and you will always be held close to my heart.

Life is not always as easy and perfect as we would like it to be. Not everything go smoothly but we have to hope that there are more good times than bad.  We have made many happy memories that I love thinking about. Hopefully, one day, we will fill our memory box with more special memories

Ethan you are my sunshine. I will love you forever and for always.

Love,

Bubbee

Oh, this brought tears to my eyes, Annie! How DS  or DGS (if DS gives it to him) will react to it, IDK. Will give it some thought, but can't necessarily predict. But it definitely made an impact on me.

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Thanks Rosered. I write what my heart feels....

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8 hours ago, annierobyn said:

Yes yes and yes. Since 11 year old DGS has made the decision not to talk to us I am devestated. Crying at certain songs on the radio we sang together, crying when I see kids his age in the same snowsuit, crying with joy at the memories we have made, crying for the sadness that there may not be any more memories to make. I put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Overeating, not going to the gym as I used to. My “bubbly”, as DGS would say, has fizzled. It will come back I know. Right now just not great.

I know how it is when there's a shift in a relationship, especially one that you didn't see coming -- good / bad, doesn't matter- It can sometimes feel almost like an out of body experience, so many questions come to mind, making it difficult to focus on tasks at hand- A friend once described it as having to call herself back- She felt so not like what she thought was herself- I don't think anyone goes forward without being reshaped by such experiences, perhaps never being who we thought were again but for the better- Take care of you, Annie- ::hugs:: 

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Komorebi - thank you for your kind words. My heart is broken. I will never get over it but I do know I have to move forward. Like I said one day at a time. I’m still in shock that this has happened.

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Currently I am angrier , and more prune to weeping

I am getting stronger daily, only because I now recognise my triggers and try to avoid them.

TBH I am probably about 95% outwardly fine, and 100% inwardly a blubbering mess.

I am still not sleeping well at all

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Estrangement, I think, has so many facets- There's how we think we are, how we actually are and all the many ways we're seen by others- Sometimes we think we look like we're not suffering inside but the eyes give us away -- sadness, dark circles, gazes of preoccupation- One would have to have practiced their best poker face for others not to notice- There's the taking of personal inventory, retracing steps, remembering what happened, looking at it from different angles, the justification, the rationalizing, the guilt, the pointing of the finger inward, the pointing of the finger outward, eventually getting a bit of a clearer picture, acceptance-  

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8 hours ago, annierobyn said:

Komorebi - thank you for your kind words. My heart is broken. I will never get over it but I do know I have to move forward. Like I said one day at a time. I’m still in shock that this has happened.

For both of you, the wounds are still quite fresh. If you can't be happy this holiday season, I hope that, at least, you find some peace.

5 hours ago, AlfieG said:

Currently I am angrier , and more prune to weeping

I am getting stronger daily, only because I now recognise my triggers and try to avoid them.

TBH I am probably about 95% outwardly fine, and 100% inwardly a blubbering mess.

I am still not sleeping well at all

 

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Rosered - thank you so much. I believe I am slowly coming around to the “acceptance” part as Komorebi mentioned. I’m trying my hand at meditation which couldn’t hurt. In a million years I never thought this would be my life. I must learn to accept or my life will be ruined. We just moved to our forever home, we are travelling. I want to enjoy all this. Sadly there will always be that cloud overhead. If it rains once in a while that’s ok too.

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AlfieG - as much as you’d rather not be in this living nightmare please know it does get easier. Not easy but easier.

life goes on as it should. We really don’t want the alternative do we? Hugs to you.

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On 12/21/2017 at 4:10 AM, RoseRed135 said:

Note from RoseRed: This post has been moved here from an older thread in this same forum...

Texasgal1970

  • Fast forward nearly 4 1/2 years and 2 1/2 kids later ... I have never kept my grandkids over night...  We generally don't keep GK overnight until they are between at least 3-5. We have age 7 yr to newbon GK who have never spent the night. 
     
    I can’t take my grandkids anywhere unless she is there to supervise... which has not happened. We have GK we've never taken anywhere in our cars, their mom likes to be available in case they have needs or get upset. We wouldn't do anything differently if she were not with, so it really doesn't matter.
     
    My requests to take them for ice cream or anything else are completely ignored. The parents aren't ready for that, and may never want to let them go for ice cream. I can't recall ever going alone for ice cream with GK (we have 18 grands - age 14 to newborn).
     
    The only reason I have ever been given as to why I can’t take my grandkids anywhere from her is she doesn’t feel comfortable with it and from him is that’s the way her family does things. What???? I need to make my intentions clear ... I only wish to take them twice a month for the day to do grandma things..like bake cookies.. go to the park..the zoo... they are 4 1/2 and 2 years old   Two whole days a month? When are their parents supposed to have family time? FTR, not all of our GC like to bake, not all like the park/zoo, or skiing.  We try to do what they like, unless time period is all about us, with GK as a fun add-on (Ex: skiing, biking, swimming, gardening, housework).
Our 5 kids don't want a level of GP involvement requiring 2 days a month plus overnights away from their kids. I suspect your expectations are out of line with the parents plans. I suggest pulling back and waiting for your AC invitations.
 
 
Edited by JanelleK
finish thought
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I think that sometimes the one thing about a person that draws some closer to them is the very same thing that others find they simply don't like, so keep their distance -- and neither are wrong- All is also subject to change .. Sometimes grandparents can be so not like themselves in front of their adult children in an effort to maintain that relationship for the sake of seeing their grandchildren, so I sometimes wonder if the missing piece to making that relationship a bit more enjoyable would be love the parents as much as the little ones- My relationship with my adult children comes first, then the grandchildren- I don't love them any less, but whenever I'm thinking about the grandchildren I cannot not think about their parents too who I had a relationship with before the children came along- If I care to know mom and dad, I will likely know the children, too -- at least while they are small- They all eventually fly off ..

Ever since my kids left the nest, they've breezed in and out of my life, sometimes with hurricane force winds, they're ever changing, going through different phases as I did, and still do- It would be wrong of me to not give them the space they've so graciously given me to think things through, to go through whatever the heck I've felt the need to go through to gain greater perspective of anything- I really can't say enough regarding just how important I think it is to truly love your grown kids, to love to see their adult faces no matter what their expression is, just as much as seeing their children- I can't stress it enough ..  

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@Texasgal1970 - Just checking in to see how you're doing. I notice you haven't come back into this conversation. Perhaps it's b/c you're busy w/ the holidays. Or maybe you're just mulling over some of the replies. I realize some of what has been said may not be what you expected. If so, I trust you understand that this doesn't necessarily mean it isn't valuable. Considering some different perspectives may help to ease your frustrations. I hope you come back in and talk w/ us some more.
 

 

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Posted (edited)

I can look at photos of my GS now without it automatically sending me into tears.

Putting together his box is helping heaps, as its going to be an ongoing thing for quite a few year

Edited by AlfieG

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Posted (edited)

Glad you're feeling better,sgmkma!

Edited by RoseRed135

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