I really admire your post, you've said everything I wanted to say myself about the disgusting treatment of parents (apparently we're not human beings) by their adult offspring (I think perhaps that word should be brought back into fashion as it's a more appropriate description).
Too many parents in our position are AFRAID of our own children. Afraid of speaking out HONESTLY, afraid of burning our bridges, afraid of losing the only children and grandchildren we'll ever have, for good. And our children KNOW THAT. But you know what? I've had enough of that. I really have.
My children are 36 and 33 now. Neither of them like me or want me in their lives. The oldest has four children to three different women. Yay! How proud I am of that. The youngest one tolerates me once a year at Christmas and that's only because he'd be on his own too if we didn't meet up then. That's his duty done for the year.
My crime as far as I know is that I suffered a nervous breakdown trying to protect my sons and myself from their bully of a father over 20 years ago, and as a result I became weak and vulnerable in their eyes and that's when they took advantage too.
At the age of 16 my oldest son announced "I'm the man of the house now." when my divorce came through. And that's really what he expected to be. He began bringing home friends, drinking, taking drugs which I really could have done without while I was trying to regain sanity and keep the roof over our heads. My ex husband's advice to our sons has always been "Never get married, you'll never have a penny to call your own. Just s*** em and leave em." He never paid any maintenance after our divorce and he didn't care if I lived or died so long as his 'image' was intact.
He came across as the strong parent and I came across as the weak one, which I admit, I certainly was. But when someone is constantly kicking you to the ground when no-one is looking, it's hard to get up and pretend all is well.
I was who my sons came to when they needed money, or when their relationships failed and they needed a bolthole, free food, free lodgings, free everything - for absolutely nothing in return. That's what Mum's are for isn't it? Nurturing, caring, helping, loving, martyring themselves?
It seems to me that Mum's are here to be punished whether they've done wrong or not. Because we're the easier of two targets and we just accept it.
My first grandchild was born and no-one told me. Everyone else knew but me. Eventually, my son brought him to meet me when he was two years old and I think I was supposed to turn into SuperGran in an instant and get my head around my son's casual, careless attitude towards women, contraception, pregnancy, fatherhood etc.
I had no idea he'd even met anyone because he didn't share his life with me from the day I told him that no, he wasn't the man of the house now I'd divorced his father.
I watched him go from one relationship to another with a string of unsuitable women, some of whom just wanted 'babies' and nothing more. And I watched him on his ego trips with the patience of a saint, hoping he'd come to his senses. If I spoke out I was told he was old enough to know what he was doing.
He disappeared from my life, but not from his father's or his younger brothers, for over a decade, during which time, he married twice and had 3 more children. Each time a grandchild was born, the news was kept from me by the 3 of them. If that's not designed to humiliate, hurt and harm, then I don't know what is. If that's not ridiculous immaturity, I don't know what is. And if that's not spitefulness, I don't know what is either.
And if that's not my ex husband using his own children and grandchildren to get back at me - I don't know what is. But it certainly won't be the 'victory' he's hoping for.
Two years ago whilst at work, I received a telephone call out of the blue from a man describing himself as 'The Prodigal Son'. I didn't recognise his voice, that's how long it had been since I'd heard from him. Yet obviously he knew I was alive and how to get hold of me. So why now? And obviously he knew I wouldn't reject his call. He was my son and how well he knew how to use the Bible story to weaken my defences. Same modus operandii as his father. I forgot to tell him that I'm no longer religious. But how well he knew how to press those emotional buttons.
I GENUINELY welcomed him and his wife and children back into my life with open arms. I housed them all for over a month because they were homeless, I searched and found a rented house for them, I ferried my DIL everywhere in my old banger of a car which they openly laughed at. I was very ill also at the time and still am, but I was overjoyed to have my son and his family back.
I gave my son several thousand pounds to start a business and get him back on his feet. I was buying their food for months, glad to be of help in whatever way, anything to get them all some stability. My DIL kept inviting me round while my son was away working, usually to mind the children or to clean up the house after some disaster or other that she 'didn't know how to cope with' and then suddenly my son asked me to 'give her some space', which puzzled me because it was she who was doing the inviting every day.
I didn't tell him that I'd recently mopped up gallons of water from his flooded kitchen while his wife sunbathed in the garden and his children paddled in it with electrical items plugged into socket extensions lying in the water, and they were inches away from death.
Nor did I tell him I'd been asked what kind of coffin I wanted when I die and nor did I tell him quite a few things that I knew he'd turn around and tell me I was either imagining or making up to cause trouble. I chose to step back and say nothing for fear of losing my grandkids AGAIN.
So what was my DIL up to? Well she was up to having a husband who was working away and bringing money home once a month, she was up to having a MIL to do her donkey work for her and she was up to having 'drinks' with one of her young neighbours who she then began getting to babysit instead of asking me. She was up to cultivating USEFUL PEOPLE into her life. And I stress they have to be USEFUL because they're dispensed with as soon as they see through her and are of no more use.
Once I'd served my purpose, given them the money they wanted, done the initial babysitting, posed for the family photos (image is very important to them) I was dispensed with in about half an hour. How did that happen?
Well, after handing over £100 worth of food shopping to them for the umpteenth time, because they told me they were penniless, I discovered they had the money to buy a heap of alcohol for the weekend party they had planned for their 'guests' coming to stay. I also discovered that while they apparently didn't have the money to pay their Council Tax which I paid for them, and their gas bill which I also paid for them, they DID have the money to pay the local pub for a room for a birthday party for their 7 year old son whom they dote on to the point of making me vomit.
Yep, appearances seem to be EVERYTHING to them.
After discovering all that, I decided to wait with my DIL for my son and his business partner to come home from their day's work, because quite simply I smelled a rat and I was running out of money and patience to support their hedonistic lifestyle.
They arrived late and drunk and ready for an argument - with me - because I was still there and I'm an easy target. No doubt they were annoyed I had the audacity to wait in THEIR house for them, TWO ADULT MEN, to come home from work.
But you see, I don't class them as grown up yet. They might have had sex with numerous women, they might have children to numerous women, they might have travelled the world and had numerous encounters and experiences - but they're far from grown up, far from being adult, far from being responsible and far from being nice people - and I'm now far from being the stupid woman I've been for longer than I care to remember.
I asked my son if he'd driven his van in the drunken state he was in and he gave me a load of BS and said something about 'The Alpha Female here trying to rule my life ...'
At which point I stood up and told him I'd be back in the morning when he was sober and if he had anything to say to me, 'The so called Alpha Woman' he could say it then and get it over with.
I returned the following morning and asked if he had anything to say. He became aggressive, yelled that I was mentally unstable and that he didn't need his MOTHER in his life. Believe me, he had never needed a Mother more! And he still needs one. Maybe his wife will stand in for me, but that's not the ideal scenario in a marriage. But many wives seem to be prepared to become their husband's mothers, which is why so many DILSs want their MILs out of the way. They'll learn it was the wrong thing to do one day.
You see I don't care how 'old' my son is, if he's drink driving and he has a wife and 4 children to care for, if he and his wife go out for a night out leaving me to babysit, then I don't expect to wake up in the morning to find the front door of the house has been wide open with the key in the lock all night while we were sleeping, or the patio doors wide open and all the lights on, the TV on. You see I brought my children up better than that and I provided safety for them.
I realised that this is how my son and his wife operate. They're fakes. It's how they live. Fake smiles, fake words, fake lives, fake friends, fake smiles, fake emotions, fake relationships. It's how they get what they want from people before moving on to the next victim. They charm, they impress, they cajole - and then they callously DUMP whoever they've befriended for whatever they've needed. And they get a kick out of doing it. To them it's being clever. It's being ingenious.
It's clever getting one over on your own Mother. It's clever to laugh about it afterwards. It's clever to feel no remorse. It gives them street cred. It gets them respect from their peers. To me it's really sad and very, very boring and a total waste of my life.
I don't want any more feral grandchildren thank you. I don't want any more shallow peace offerings. I don't want to be emotionally blackmailed by having my grandsons dangled in front of me as an enticement to 'do as I'm told'. I don't want any DILs asking me what kind of coffin I'd like. I don't have any respectful relationship with my children because they don't feel they need to give it and I certainly can't respect them for their behaviour. Their 'appearances' are faultless, but their fakeness sickens me to the stomach.
And since I made a few decisions about what I will and will not accept from my ex husband and my sons I have a great deal more respect for myself.
I gave them a good upbringing. I gave them everything I had. I worked hard to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies - and what's more I LOVED MY CHILDREN WITH EVERY FIBRE OF MY BODY. And I now realise how STUPID that was. I gave them far too much of myself.
But I don't any more. And that's a lesson THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN. It works both ways. Love isn't an endless commodity for people to draw on and never give back to. I'm not an 'unconditional love hippie'. I'm all for expecting something back from my children - and what I expect is the respect I damned well deserve.
It's about time some of our young people woke up from their narcissistic pot or alcohol induced haze and realised that PARENTS ARE HUMAN. We can love and we can have our patience stretched to the absolute limits. We can apologise only so much for being human and we can also eventually hate despise and loathe just like everyone else when we're pushed way, way too far. We're also prone to self preservation when the chips are down and we find it's our own kids actually wishing us dead long before we're ready to go.
And we can also tell our own TRUTH. And that's mine. I'm human. Not a Goddess. Not an Earth Mother. Not a Martyr. I'm human and if my sons can't get their heads around that - tough!
Whilst I'm in no doubt at all that there are abused adult children who have every right to cut off from their parents for their own health and safety, I'm also in no doubt that there are many, many adult children jumping on that bandwagon simply because they know their decent, caring parents will respond to their demands, jump through their hoops simply to get a glimpse of the grandchildren they've brought into the world. They actually DON'T DESERVE THE DECENT, CARING PARENTS THEY HAD AND DUMPED.
I have a message for my sons - and that message is -
"You've messed around with my head and my heart one time too many -my emotions are fine now thanks. I gave birth to you long ago, but you've changed so much in your 30 odd years of life, I don't know you any more. You're not the type of adults I'd want as friends because you're not adult enough yet to deserve my friendship.
I don't enjoy drinking to excess or pretending I'm someone I'm not. And I really hope you find the maturity one day to accept that there were things I couldn't share with you about my marital breakdown because you were too young to understand or accept them.
And I also hope you find the maturity one day to realise I've NEVER LIED to you and that if you really want to know the truth, it's here waiting for you. But you'd better really want it. Don't waste any more of my time telling me I'm mentally ill because I tell you something YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR. They're your father's words coming out of YOUR mouth and I've heard them all too often.
Just as life was cruel to you, it was also cruel to me and I didn't understand what was happening any more than you did. Your father had the upper hand, he had his own agenda which he wasn't sharing with me, he was a liar, amongst other things and I couldn't explain to you what I couldn't explain to myself because he wouldn't explain some of his 'mysteries' to me.
But continue treating him as your idol and me as your enemy if you really can't face the truth because I'm now past caring. I don't have the energy to care that much any more. I don't have the energy to give you any more signals that you're screwing your lives up because you don't want to face the truth.
Be the real men you profess to be and go and challenge your FATHER'S BEHAVIOUR even if only in your own mind. Go and challenge your FATHER'S LIES. Go and ask him how he really feels about me and you. For your own good, you need to face up and man up once and for all instead of kicking your mother's shins at every opportunity. Because believe me, you'll find that now, I can and I will, kick you right back. I'm done apologising for things that were NOT MY FAULT, and I'm done apologising for the fact that I'm still breathing and your father doesn't like it."
And I'm also done with caring whether I ever see you or my grandchildren again. I'll live.