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20 years of pain
May 4, 2012
3:40 pm
Nancy
Guest

Jackie said

First, most abused children don't wind up in the ER or catch the attention of CPS. Second--well, take a look at Judge William Adams. He was caught on tape savagely beating and verbally abusing his daughter, and a huge outcry told him that to most people, this was abuse. His reply: "She's mad because I've ordered her to bring the car back, in a nutshell, but yeah, that's me. I lost my temper. Her mother was there, she wasn't hurt ... it was a long time ago ... I really don't want to get into this right now because as you can see my life's been made very difficult over this child."

"In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I've apologized. It looks worse than it is."

Outlier? Lunatic? No, a perfectly normal abuser giving a perfectly normal abuser's response. The only difference between him and most abusers is that we can see what he actually did. We don't have to take his word for it that his daughter was blowing the incident out of proportion.

I'm not singling you out. You're one of the most prolific posters on what's normally a moribund forum, so of course I'm going to take notice. And yes, I do have an issue with your views on abuse; so here we are on a forum about abuse, discussing abuse.

It's possible to disagree without being angry at each other, which is what I'm doing--but people who aren't used to the Internet often have difficulty picking up on how discussions are conducted online. It's not like face-to-face conversation, where expressing open disagreement is rude and aggressive. People tend to be more direct, without the softening phrases that we use face-to-face; in fact, using softening phrases and indirection tends to read as passive-aggressiveness. It's a completely different style.

Apologies for seeming harsh about typing in caps and about the name misunderstanding. It seemed to me that you thought that I thought you were Jackie, and were mad that I got the person wrong. This forum is difficult to read, isn't it? Between the reverse order of the posts and the weird quotation style, it's hard to carry on a conversation. I wish they'd remake the forum in a more normal format.

After 35 years of Knife and Gun Club I am going to have to disagree with you. We wrote report after report and while we did not get them all we nailed a good many. I think they deserve to be punished and worked my butt off to make sure they did. Abuse involves broken bones and open wounds if it is physical and can be spotted by a teacher, neighbor or a friend. These people do have a day in court and most are not in the least bit bothered and will do it again. What I do not think they will do is pick upa book called Why Parents Hurt, read it and then come on to post. You have to work with the profile long enough to know they could care less and do not need validation from a forum like this. The purpose of the forum is to support each other. We are in no position nor do I believe it is our place to judge. One thing I do know about the net is you can't read body langualge, tone of voice or general appearance to be in a position to accuse any individual of being abusive. We were not there and it is not the purpose or our job to lecture the other. If a thread bothers you than move on. If you can offer support or insight in a kind thougthful manner then jump in. If chewing me out is what floats your boat then it will be lost on me. There is nothing you can say that will effect me in the least. Again, 35 years of Kife and Gun gives you thick skin quick or you do not last.

As far as my posting I am on the mend from ovarian cancer and late stage lupus complication plus a forced early retirement. I have been through a great deal with my son and tried every avenue known to man including some of the best doctors and the results simply did not happen. He is cut off from the world with an inability to feel empathy and deal with reality.He has two brothers who are just fine and doing great. I returned from a month and half vacation to Asia, Year of the Dragon in China, and a nice long stay in Indonesia. I lurked form months before actually posting and have found some wonderful women who I found I can be of some help to so I post when I can. It takes minutes to hit the tab and just a few to type words of encouragement or thank a poster for posting a inspirational poem which I encourage you to do, at minium read it, or give a two thimbs up for a person in distress a week ago who was having a good day today. I have severe arthritis which is part of the lupus so there are many typos and some days which I can not even type so I try and make up on the good days. These parents here have given me insight and tuaght me much. I am further along since I have had years to deal with it plus understand it from a clinical point of view but that does not mean the pain ever goes away. I can assure you my child was given the best as were my other two. I can't take responsibility for the behavior of one adult child. He is an adult and must take care of himself and make is own decisions and frankly his own mistakes. I also think by the time you reach adulthood you need to concentrate on your own life and stop blaming your parents or trying to get even through passsive aggressive behavior which you will find on many posts. You are young and have your own life so live it and enjoy it. Blaming us not really than useful. Even if you get that apology most parents on here are still locked out and estranged. I can't control my child's genetics, his father was late onset bipolar at age 51, and beating myself up does not help my other two children or my emotional or physical health.

If I write too much than just ignore. I am well enough to be up but limited to how much work I can do. I still have my hands in the non profits and other activities even though I am retired. I promise to look into those senior computer classes:-) Have a good day and for your own sake please do not connect beating a spouse and busting her lip with a boundary violation such as sending cards, e-mails or cash. One is done out of love, the other anger. I hope you are able to see the difference. Darling, at my age and physical condition I could be taken down by a second grader. What is it you fear so much with receiving a card, e-mail or phone call? I am 100% sure you can defend yourself if one of us was to show up in person. Respect yourself to know that you can handle any situation that comes your way even if it is old geriatric parents. The anger is very much there and the connections drawn to physical abuse a bit frightening. Decompress at the gym or get some therapy but concentrate on your own life and less on your past. JMHO, yep that I do know:-) I think I have said all that needs to be said. I wish you the best but prefer to focus on the good supportive nature of this forum rather than the disagreements. That's just me and where I feel I can perhaps do some good.

May 4, 2012
2:58 pm
LH
Guest

First, most abused children don't wind up in the ER or catch the attention of CPS. Second--well, take a look at Judge William Adams. He was caught on tape savagely beating and verbally abusing his daughter, and a huge outcry told him that to most people, this was abuse. His reply: "She's mad because I've ordered her to bring the car back, in a nutshell, but yeah, that's me. I lost my temper. Her mother was there, she wasn't hurt ... it was a long time ago ... I really don't want to get into this right now because as you can see my life's been made very difficult over this child."

"In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I've apologized. It looks worse than it is."

Outlier? Lunatic? No, a perfectly normal abuser giving a perfectly normal abuser's response. The only difference between him and most abusers is that we can see what he actually did. We don't have to take his word for it that his daughter was blowing the incident out of proportion.

I'm not singling you out. You're one of the most prolific posters on what's normally a moribund forum, so of course I'm going to take notice. And yes, I do have an issue with your views on abuse; so here we are on a forum about abuse, discussing abuse.

It's possible to disagree without being angry at each other, which is what I'm doing--but people who aren't used to the Internet often have difficulty picking up on how discussions are conducted online. It's not like face-to-face conversation, where expressing open disagreement is rude and aggressive. People tend to be more direct, without the softening phrases that we use face-to-face; in fact, using softening phrases and indirection tends to read as passive-aggressiveness. It's a completely different style.

Apologies for seeming harsh about typing in caps and about the name misunderstanding. It seemed to me that you thought that I thought you were Jackie, and were mad that I got the person wrong. This forum is difficult to read, isn't it? Between the reverse order of the posts and the weird quotation style, it's hard to carry on a conversation. I wish they'd remake the forum in a more normal format.

May 4, 2012
2:16 pm
Nancy
Guest

Jackie said
Having worked as a trauma surgeon and ER doc for 35 years I know abused parents know they are abusive. The police tell them after we call them or CPS. Those kids eventually end up in ER or tell another if it is servere and regular. Again at no point did I say it was tolerated but I also understand the frustration of parents.

As far as putting in caps it was very confusing to figure out where my comments end and your begin. It also showed up under the name of another poster and you seem to have a serious problem with me and I did not want her taking the heat. I also saw your comment on another thread where estranged children post and you made a point of saying you are not that person but LH. I also cleared the air when you posted there. If you took my comments as yelling even though they were not I am sorry. Again, perhaps communication could be an issue as I have no other way to seperate. I am older and this computer age left me in the dust so I am doing the best I can. My apologogies if you were offended. I would. think you would find it useful.

If you have a problem with me and you seem to have SINGLED me out than how about reaching me at my addy since I have a feeling I know who you are???? I still will side with your parents if you are that young individual.

Even if you are not that person you have much anger to deal with. I am not sure taking it out on me is going to make you better or more content in the long run. If it does you can go for it but I am not your mother, or I sure hope not. If you read Dr. Coleman's book than I am not sure this attack dog behavior was what he recommended as a way of handling conflicts was it?

Again, my apology for my computer/forum errors. I promise to sign up for the seniors computer class as soon as I have time:-)

Oh, come now. Do you sincerely believe that abusive parents think they're abusive? That abusive spouses think they're abusive? Abusers say that they did what they had to do because they were driven to it, that they lost control for a minute, that they did it without thinking, that they were just disciplining their kids, that they just shoved their wife (who fell down the stairs of her own accord--they didn't mean to push her down the stairs, just to shove her!), that they had to take a firm stand, that they were defending their rights, that they were strict but not unreasonable, that their kids/wife earned it, that none of it happened and their kids are making it up. That it couldn't have happened because they love their kids/wife so much. That they are not abusive people, they are good people who had a bad moment or two.

If you'll look at the string of comments, I never said you were Jackie. That's a forum glitch that showed up in your post.

Writing in all caps is still going to be interpreted as yelling, regardless of how you intend it. It's just how web forums work. If you want to make the conversation clearer, edit out the parts of my comments that you're not responding to.

May 4, 2012
1:59 pm
LH
Guest

Oh, come now. Do you sincerely believe that abusive parents think they're abusive? That abusive spouses think they're abusive? Abusers say that they did what they had to do because they were driven to it, that they lost control for a minute, that they did it without thinking, that they were just disciplining their kids, that they just shoved their wife (who fell down the stairs of her own accord--they didn't mean to push her down the stairs, just to shove her!), that they had to take a firm stand, that they were defending their rights, that they were strict but not unreasonable, that their kids/wife earned it, that none of it happened and their kids are making it up. That it couldn't have happened because they love their kids/wife so much. That they are not abusive people, they are good people who had a bad moment or two.

If you'll look at the string of comments, I never said you were Jackie. That's a forum glitch that showed up in your post.

Writing in all caps is still going to be interpreted as yelling, regardless of how you intend it. It's just how web forums work. If you want to make the conversation clearer, edit out the parts of my comments that you're not responding to.

May 4, 2012
1:37 pm
Nancy
Guest

NO JACKIE DID NOT SAY THESE THINGS, NANCY DID SO PLEASE REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE REPLYING TO. IT IS ME YOU ARE MAD AT NOT JACKIE. SHE DOES NOT DESERVE YOUR ANGER. I WILL BE HAPPY TO TAKE IT IF IT MAKES IT BETTER FOR YOU. NANCY

Jackie said

Jackie said

"Respect is a two way street. Perhaps if a child would give some time, attention and appreciation for the parent's efforts in time, energy and money in raising that child parents would not need to cross boundaries."

Or, as the husband said, "If my wife didn't give me so much lip, I wouldn't have to hit her."

I THINK THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN HITTING A SPOUSE AS OPPOSED TO SENDING AN E-MAIL OR GIFT. JUST A THOUGHT! I ALSO SAID I HAD NOT REACHED THAT POINT OF FRUSTRATION BUT UNDERSTAND PARENTS WHO DO.

Respect for boundaries isn't a reward you give someone for obeying you, meeting your expectations, or giving you the type and amount of respect you want from them. It's what you do because you're a good and decent person. If you're willing to respect boundaries only when the other person is giving you what you want, then you're in the same situation as an woman who steals from her mother's wallet only if her mother doesn't freely give her as much money as she wants, or a man who refrains from abusing his wife only when she's obedient.

PARENTS CAN BE IN INCREDIBLE PAIN AND DO THINGS W/O THINKING. BOUNDARIES TOO ARE NOT A SET IN STONE CONCEPT AND WHAT IS A BOUNDARY TO A PARENT AY NOT BE TO A CHILD. AGAIN IF THE CHILD WOULD COMMUNICATE WHAT THE ISSUE IS THAN THE PARENT MIGHT UNDERSTAND. MANY PARENTS ARE CUT OFF WITH NO EXPLANATION AND ARE SEEKING REASONS. STEALING FROM A WALLET OR ABUSING A WIFE IS A BIT EXTREME PERHPAS? WE WERE DISCUSSING PARENTS WHO MAKE CONTACT IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER NOT PUUT A HIT OUT ON THEIR CHILD:-)

"As far as kids who are abused or neglected I really do not think they are the parents who post on this forum. Dr. Coleman's book deals with hurting parents. Those parents are glad to see their kids leave and are not going to take the time and effort to read the book much less seek and write on a forum."

That's like saying that men who abuse their wives are glad to see their wives leave, and aren't going to take any time and effort to get them back. Certainly, not all parents who post here were abusive, but any site for parents whose children have cut them off is going to dredge up a fair proportion of abusive parents.

WHY WOULD AN ABUSIVE PARENT SEEK OUT REASONS FOR THE ABUSE? IF THEY ABUSED THEY ALREADY KNOW THE ISSUE. IF THEY ABUSED THE CHILD IT WAS WRONG AND THEY MOST LIKELY DO NOT WANT TO RAISE MORE AWARENESS TO THAT FACT SINCE IT IS AN ILLEGAL ACT. I AM ANSWERING YOU IN ALL CAPS NOT TO YELL BUT TO BREAK UP THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU ASK SO THEY ARE NOT ALL BLENDED IN TO ONE BIG MESS SO THOSE WHO READ CAN UNDERSTAND.

If you want to make it clear that you're not one of the parents who was cut off with cause, then upholding a parent's rights to stomp her children's boundaries and engage in other abusive behavior is not a persuasive argument.

AT NO POINT DID I EVER SAY IT WAS OK BUT THAT I UNDERSTOOD WHY PARENTS MAKE MISTAKES AND CROSS BOUNDARIES. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THEIR DESPERATION. I WAS CUT OFF DUE TO A CHILD WHO IS BIPOLAR. HE WAS NEVER ABUSED, NEGLECTED OR MISTREAATED. HE IS SIMPLY OFF ON HIS OWN VERY HAPPY HIGH AND DOES NOT LIKE REALITY. IF YOU HAVE READ MY POSTS THAN YOU KNOW I AM WELL OVER THE SITUATION WITH MY SON EVEN THOUGH THE ESTRANGEMENT STILL HURTS. IN SOME ODD WAYS YOU REMIND ME OF HIM, ALWAYS AGNGRY AND DEFENSIVE. I HOPE YOU ARE NOT HIM AND THIS SOME GAME, IS IT?????? IF IT IS IT NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM THE FORUM AND TAKEN UP DIRECTLY WITH ME.

AGAIN I USED CAPS SINCE NO COLOR OPTION WAS AVAILABLE. THIS IS NOT, REPEAT NOT YELLING!

May 4, 2012
1:31 pm
Nancy
Guest

Jackie said

"Respect is a two way street. Perhaps if a child would give some time, attention and appreciation for the parent's efforts in time, energy and money in raising that child parents would not need to cross boundaries."

Or, as the husband said, "If my wife didn't give me so much lip, I wouldn't have to hit her."

I THINK THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN HITTING A SPOUSE AS OPPOSED TO SENDING AN E-MAIL OR GIFT. JUST A THOUGHT! I ALSO SAID I HAD NOT REACHED THAT POINT OF FRUSTRATION BUT UNDERSTAND PARENTS WHO DO.

Respect for boundaries isn't a reward you give someone for obeying you, meeting your expectations, or giving you the type and amount of respect you want from them. It's what you do because you're a good and decent person. If you're willing to respect boundaries only when the other person is giving you what you want, then you're in the same situation as an woman who steals from her mother's wallet only if her mother doesn't freely give her as much money as she wants, or a man who refrains from abusing his wife only when she's obedient.

PARENTS CAN BE IN INCREDIBLE PAIN AND DO THINGS W/O THINKING. BOUNDARIES TOO ARE NOT A SET IN STONE CONCEPT AND WHAT IS A BOUNDARY TO A PARENT AY NOT BE TO A CHILD. AGAIN IF THE CHILD WOULD COMMUNICATE WHAT THE ISSUE IS THAN THE PARENT MIGHT UNDERSTAND. MANY PARENTS ARE CUT OFF WITH NO EXPLANATION AND ARE SEEKING REASONS. STEALING FROM A WALLET OR ABUSING A WIFE IS A BIT EXTREME PERHPAS? WE WERE DISCUSSING PARENTS WHO MAKE CONTACT IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER NOT PUUT A HIT OUT ON THEIR CHILD:-)

"As far as kids who are abused or neglected I really do not think they are the parents who post on this forum. Dr. Coleman's book deals with hurting parents. Those parents are glad to see their kids leave and are not going to take the time and effort to read the book much less seek and write on a forum."

That's like saying that men who abuse their wives are glad to see their wives leave, and aren't going to take any time and effort to get them back. Certainly, not all parents who post here were abusive, but any site for parents whose children have cut them off is going to dredge up a fair proportion of abusive parents.

WHY WOULD AN ABUSIVE PARENT SEEK OUT REASONS FOR THE ABUSE? IF THEY ABUSED THEY ALREADY KNOW THE ISSUE. IF THEY ABUSED THE CHILD IT WAS WRONG AND THEY MOST LIKELY DO NOT WANT TO RAISE MORE AWARENESS TO THAT FACT SINCE IT IS AN ILLEGAL ACT. I AM ANSWERING YOU IN ALL CAPS NOT TO YELL BUT TO BREAK UP THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU ASK SO THEY ARE NOT ALL BLENDED IN TO ONE BIG MESS SO THOSE WHO READ CAN UNDERSTAND.

If you want to make it clear that you're not one of the parents who was cut off with cause, then upholding a parent's rights to stomp her children's boundaries and engage in other abusive behavior is not a persuasive argument.

AT NO POINT DID I EVER SAY IT WAS OK BUT THAT I UNDERSTOOD WHY PARENTS MAKE MISTAKES AND CROSS BOUNDARIES. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THEIR DESPERATION. I WAS CUT OFF DUE TO A CHILD WHO IS BIPOLAR. HE WAS NEVER ABUSED, NEGLECTED OR MISTREAATED. HE IS SIMPLY OFF ON HIS OWN VERY HAPPY HIGH AND DOES NOT LIKE REALITY. IF YOU HAVE READ MY POSTS THAN YOU KNOW I AM WELL OVER THE SITUATION WITH MY SON EVEN THOUGH THE ESTRANGEMENT STILL HURTS. IN SOME ODD WAYS YOU REMIND ME OF HIM, ALWAYS AGNGRY AND DEFENSIVE. I HOPE YOU ARE NOT HIM AND THIS SOME GAME, IS IT?????? IF IT IS IT NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM THE FORUM AND TAKEN UP DIRECTLY WITH ME.

AGAIN I USED CAPS SINCE NO COLOR OPTION WAS AVAILABLE. THIS IS NOT, REPEAT NOT YELLING!

May 4, 2012
1:05 pm
LH
Guest

"Respect is a two way street. Perhaps if a child would give some time, attention and appreciation for the parent's efforts in time, energy and money in raising that child parents would not need to cross boundaries."

Or, as the husband said, "If my wife didn't give me so much lip, I wouldn't have to hit her."

Respect for boundaries isn't a reward you give someone for obeying you, meeting your expectations, or giving you the type and amount of respect you want from them. It's what you do because you're a good and decent person. If you're willing to respect boundaries only when the other person is giving you what you want, then you're in the same situation as an woman who steals from her mother's wallet only if her mother doesn't freely give her as much money as she wants, or a man who refrains from abusing his wife only when she's obedient.

"As far as kids who are abused or neglected I really do not think they are the parents who post on this forum. Dr. Coleman's book deals with hurting parents. Those parents are glad to see their kids leave and are not going to take the time and effort to read the book much less seek and write on a forum."

That's like saying that men who abuse their wives are glad to see their wives leave, and aren't going to take any time and effort to get them back. Certainly, not all parents who post here were abusive, but any site for parents whose children have cut them off is going to dredge up a fair proportion of abusive parents.

If you want to make it clear that you're not one of the parents who was cut off with cause, then upholding a parent's rights to stomp her children's boundaries and engage in other abusive behavior is not a persuasive argument.

April 30, 2012
10:42 am
Nancy
Guest

Never giving up said

Carolyn, the unconditional love of family is wonderful, but not every parent can offer it. (Neither can every child, as you know too well.)

Also, think about what love entails. Affection, commitment, sacrifice... and respect. Respect means accepting the other person's decisions and boundaries. Without respect, you're guaranteed to hurt the person you love over and over, because you're not paying attention to what they want and need. Think about all the times a child ignored what you needed or didn't have, and just demanded what they wanted. Or think about the time someone you cared for made fun of you because you made a decision they thought was foolish. Was that respectful? Was that loving? Can you see how the two are entwined?

Now imagine being in a relationship with someone who says they love you, but who doesn't respect you. You're tired and don't want them to come over, but they come over anyway. You ask them to stop calling after your bedtime, but they keep doing it. You tell them not to bring gifts to your workplace, but they do it anyway. Why? ...Because they love you so much that they need to talk to you. THEY need. What do YOU need? Rest, quiet, and a space away from them, but they find that request inexplicable. They love you so much that they need to be with you all the time, so if you love them, you must need to be with them all the time. You do love them, right? Then you want to be with them. What do you mean, you want space? But you love them! So you must need to be with them. Being with them should be excellent rest.

Do you see how opening a door to someone who loves without respect can be hurtful to the person behind that door, no matter how unconditional the knocker's love can be?

Respect is a two way street. Perhaps if a child would give some time, attention and appreciation for the parent's efforts in time, energy and money in raising that child parents would not need to cross boundaries. I never got to that point but I can understand parents who have tried everything else and their kids continues to blow them off. It is not the right thing to do I agree but at times you reach a point of total frustration and act before thinking. I have known a few kids in my time who have acted w/o thinking or impulsively. That also is a two way street.

Is it really that hard to return an e-mail or pick up the phone to say hello and I am thinking of you? Are the words thanks for your help and all the cost that was involved in getting me to where I am today reallly that difficult? I think that is what 99% of us on this forum who are parents are asking for. I can also be fairly certain that 99% of us DO NOT want you moving back in with us:-) We want to feel appreciated, loved and know that the kids we gave up all of our time and energy for still remeber we exist.

As far as kids who are abused or neglected I really do not think they are the parents who post on this forum. Dr. Coleman's book deals with hurting parents. Those parents are glad to see their kids leave and are not going to take the time and effort to read the book much less seek and write on a forum. They, including me are looking for peace and in many cases answers. Many of us can't understand why such little things seem to tick kids off. Did you really expect perfect parents? Mine has mental illness so I am ahead of that game but I read these posts from other parents still looking to have an asnswer to that question. For them it may drive them to cross boundaries. Have kids of your own and have them turn on you and spend years trying ot figure out why and see how you react. I have real respect for these parents. While not happy for the reason I am one of the lucky ones who knows. I have no real idea what the issue is with your parents but as an adult seek help if you can't deal with it. As an adult it is your responsibility to move on and create your own reality. My best to you.

April 29, 2012
6:10 pm
Debby
Guest

To Never Giving Up:

All of your story is heartwrenching and to many parents who keep beating themselves against the flame like a moth, it is so familiar--in it's seeming endless futility.
Just be mindful that the efforts and regime to establish communication or to effect a reconciliation doesn't in itself become a RITUAL. There is to my belief, a certain Ritual to the estrangement to begin with. It becomes a ritual, a precribed pattern, for the estranged adult child, for instance, to return the gifts, return the cards, maybe with rejections ripe with more hurt. It becomes a Ritual to ignore the emails, the knocks at the door, the cards, etc. It MUST be done. No deviations. It's satisfying SOMETHING in them, or as Dr. Phil would say--there's a PAY-OFF for them.
If you should happen to fall into your counter-Ritual, you could end up just peforming because it's TIME to perform the next or recurring sequence of events. (attemps at contact triggered by a date on the calendar, or some other trigger). Then both sides get entwined in this endless cycle and it sort of moves in and REPLACES the estrangement. It takes on a life of its own.
Try to reflect more and more on what would be meaningful as far as future contact is concerned, and maybe put some research behind it, try to discover different ways to analyze what happened, and what has been said, and done--by both sides. We sometimes think we have all the facts we need, we diagnose the symptoms, and we think we have the solution--or at least, a treatment plan. There are probably a million things done and said that you don't have knowledge of--and maybe will never have.
Don't get lost in repetition and ritual. They (your sons) need time to reflect and think and analyze as well. It can't happen, in my opinion, if every party is consumed by participating in their part of what has become only a Ritual of Estrangement.

April 28, 2012
10:20 am
Jackie
Guest

{ never giving up} My deepest Empathy to your situation of Estrangement.
believe me, I hear you and understand as your description allows. But, I will admit, that I don't truly know the pain you are in. And while in my own pain of Estrangement, can only offer Empathy and support.
My only Child (Son) estranged from me beginning 3 years ago (completely now for almost a year) . I too had been offered [a time to disclose what his ill is against me-"when I'm done with school" [approx 2 months]. That was over 2 years ago now. I can only be left with introspection of my own ill doing toward him, poor choices of parental modeling, poor choices of control, poor choices of allowing others to abuse me ( including him), which taught him well how to abuse.
My current conclusion is that, The tenacity I see in him- was fostered through Me. The Stubbornness I see in him -was fostered through Me.
Who can I change? Only ME.
I too have tried the route of 'keeping up communication' / the return, abusive txts and requests to leave him alone.
I have told him that I am here for him, " NO MATTER WHAT" ,many many times. I can only trust that he believes this. But I cannot MAKE him believe this.( I can only keep my word)
If I want him to stop abusing Me, I have to stop abusing Him- by refusing to Honor his respect for Silence. Otherwise- I just get more abuse and pain.
( again, I can only change Me)
I can make a long list of how he and his wife have hurt me( and I have)
I can make a long list of how I have hurt them (and I have)
Neither list is solving this.
The only list that will solve this is:
1.Where much grace is required- much grace will be given
2. Love at all times Unceasingly
3. Hope endures
4. Respecting myself breeds others to respect me.
and many others.....try making a list of positives of your own. for You to endure this.
Type A=action, my stumbling block as well my friend.
But the only action I can control is to change Me, Keep My word, and Treat Him how I want to be Treated.
My son is my gift , born to me on My Birthday(as I thought I was barren)
but, I do not own him, anymore than He owns Me.
I was not guaranteed a lifelong relationship at his birth, only a lifelong bloodline. I am daily Blessed at the thought of what Joy he brought me in the past, and focus away from the painful comparison.
I see ( from google- as he is highly newsworthy) that He appears happy, healthy, productive and giving to society.
May my list of Blessings always include my Success in bringing him up to be this man. Not my failure in the ability to hold onto him for Me.
And if I allow his confusion,bitterness,rejection,anger,hatred to destroy ME.
Then, I ponder WHO he will find...When HE returns ( not IF- but when)
He needs to find A good example of what I taught him to be- not the product of what his learning stage Did to me.
Pray,wait Patiently,Live life, Appreciate,Pray,Pray,Pray. Never give up HOPE. Hope endures !!
Our Hearts don't stop beating because they hurt. They stop beating when they quit. and . Bitterness is like drinking Poison every Day wishing for the Other person to Die.
Bless you friend,hurting heart. God sees all and is a God of both compassion, restoration,grace,mercy , forgiveness, and Love.
When nothing else works, give it to God. ( has anything else worked?)

March 12, 2012
6:50 am
LH
Guest

Never giving up, please note that your sons DID change their phone number and move to an undisclosed location. Did this enable them to avoid you? Did this send a clear message that you were able and willing to respect?

As for my description of wanting quiet and rest, that wasn't drawn from any issues of my own. It was an empathic reconstruction of your sons' experience, based on your own description of your and their histories and behavior. That you didn't recognize that is revealing, but more than a little alarming.

In any case, please listen to the other parents on this forum and to your sons' own request, and give them space by ceasing to try to contact them. It is, paradoxically, your best chance for having a relationship with them in the future.

March 11, 2012
8:30 pm
Mike
Guest

Dear never giving up...I feel for you at this moment. You are trying really hard to understand your children and have admitted many faults..one thing also might consider is that your sons need this break from you to establish their own self being and find out who they really are. If they grew up in a housenthat was very authoritative then they may have never developed their own self being. Maybe one day they will want a relationship with you..let them come to these terms on their own and you might see where that leads

March 10, 2012
8:27 am
Never giving up
Guest

Carolyn, no LH is NOT my son, but he has a little better ability to spout his reasons for not communicating with his parents, maybe because this forum is anonymous. He wants to have respect from his parents and for them not to call at his work, not call after hours because he needs his rest and quiet. Why does he not just change his phone to unlisted? There is always a restraining order against his parents.
I never intruded at my son's place of work, but only to send birthday and Christmas cards there because I did not know where one of my sons lived at the time. I never knew if the cards where ever opened, so PFLAG suggested I put a check in the envelope, I did, one of my sons cashed the check the other did not. Never a response.

At this juncture I went to the house I knew one was living in and started to knock on the door; it took 6 trips on a Saturday or Sunday during daylight hours before the door was opened for me, it was at this juncture I asked for a meeting, they said they would let me know.

I met with them two weeks later, I apologized for what I had done to them in their youth, I let them pound away at me with their issues and apologized each time trying only to figure out what the real issues were, I respected the fact that they refused to tell me anything about their life, and at the end of the 2 hour plus meeting they said there were no guarantees if they would want to pursue a relationship with me. I remarked, there were three avenues we could take, 1) lay all your cards on the table and discuss them honestly with me, 2) let it all go, not discuss it and move forward learning to trust again, 3) they were not interested in having me in their life.

I gave them a month to figure out what "they wanted" then I sent an email inviting them to dinner my treat. After no response after a week to the e-mail (6 weeks after our meeting) I again knocked on their door and my oldest son answered and said that they had all ready given me their answer and to leave them alone. I told him I would never give up trying and hoping, he asked if I could not control myself, I bit my tongue.

So now I am writing a letter to the youngest son, and in short, "I respect your wishes, you know where I live, if you ever change your mind I am here and accept whatever lifestyle you choose unconditionally"; Dr. Coleman has a letter that he recommended in his book, I am using that style. As far as them seeing a therapist with me, they would not even consider it.

Sad but semi said "But to me their " no" is either mean or it is just self-protective". I will never know that answer sad but semi. I accept that I will never know or understand their reasons and wish them peace and happiness in their life. I came from a ethnic family and even though all the dysfunction we stayed together no matter how painful. Many times I wanted to pull away but I could not. I guess somewhere in between the way I was raised and my reactions to my parents and the total estrangement that my own children have chosen might be the better healthier approach.

I have never commented one word to either of my sons about the plus $40K they blackmailed me for when they had the opportunity when I tried to regain my property. Understand my son's had no right to my property, she set it up to "protect me from the bimbos" I was dating. (I say that sarcastically) I trusted my mother when I put my property in her name so as it would not be tied up in my divorce, my sons took advantage of that. My mother is dead and there is no reason to hang on to the mistrust and anger, it would only eat me up. Did they justify their blackmail of me because when they came to borrow money from me years earlier I wanted specifics and they did not want to give them, did they justify because they helped me when I was building, did they justify because they wanted to get even with me, did they justify that they figure I will cut them out of my will? I will never know and I have let it go. I have accepted that I will never get the answers I would like to have and I am moving on with the love around me, my wife, my nephew, my wife's older sons. My desire to "try" to understand what is going on with my son's will never be fulfilled.

And to LH, I do not know the issue's and circumstances that is going on with your parents and I will not blog on that other than, if your rest and quiet is so important, why don't you change your phone number, move to a undisclosed location or issue a restraining order; what is your purpose of coming to this blog? Are you trying to understand your parents motives? Do you want to chastise all parents? Banging on me with your misplaced issues with your parents is not something I am going to buy into.

March 10, 2012
6:21 am
Carolyn
Guest

LH, very well said. You are so correct. Without respect, is there really love? The lack of respect from my daughters and granddaughter is what created our estrangements. After years of me saying nothing just to keep peace, I finally had to break my silence and stand up for myself. It was affecting my health and self-respect. That is when they turned on me. They grew up seeing me be a doormat to their father, being manipulated by him and so now they are having a difficult time dealing with the new me. Basically they learned how to treat me and I allowed it. All I want is to set boundaries but all they want is to do whatever is good for them. I have offered to pay for family counseling so we can sit down and set boundaries and open up about our feelings. Neither one is willing. While I respect their autonomy and need for independence, you can have that without hurting those around you. I have given them the space that they want and I have learned to accept what is and live my life for me for a change. Since I have been away I have become stronger and feel better about myself. I no longer have all the negative treatment in my life. But I do love them and miss them reagardless of how they are behaving and will welcome them back in my life, but this time with boundaries.

LH you wrote such a good post explaining how you felt. Why not send it on to your estranged parent if he hasn't read it already. I wish all the best to you and hope that you will someday be able to resolve your issues with your parent so that it will be the best resolution for both of you. It seems so elementary and simple, that if both parties could just sit down like adults and communicate their feelings and respect each other we could avoid all this pain on both sides. Both parties have to be willing though and there needs to be unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness and the willingness to accept each other for who they are and sometimes having to agree to disagree. "Never sacrifice who you are just because someone has a problem with it." "Peace at the cost of one's self is not peace." LH said:

Carolyn, the unconditional love of family is wonderful, but not every parent can offer it. (Neither can every child, as you know too well.)

Also, think about what love entails. Affection, commitment, sacrifice... and respect. Respect means accepting the other person's decisions and boundaries. Without respect, you're guaranteed to hurt the person you love over and over, because you're not paying attention to what they want and need. Think about all the times a child ignored what you needed or didn't have, and just demanded what they wanted. Or think about the time someone you cared for made fun of you because you made a decision they thought was foolish. Was that respectful? Was that loving? Can you see how the two are entwined?

Now imagine being in a relationship with someone who says they love you, but who doesn't respect you. You're tired and don't want them to come over, but they come over anyway. You ask them to stop calling after your bedtime, but they keep doing it. You tell them not to bring gifts to your workplace, but they do it anyway. Why? ...Because they love you so much that they need to talk to you. THEY need. What do YOU need? Rest, quiet, and a space away from them, but they find that request inexplicable. They love you so much that they need to be with you all the time, so if you love them, you must need to be with them all the time. You do love them, right? Then you want to be with them. What do you mean, you want space? But you love them! So you must need to be with them. Being with them should be excellent rest.

Do you see how opening a door to someone who loves without respect can be hurtful to the person behind that door, no matter how unconditional the knocker's love can be?


March 9, 2012
6:15 pm
LH
Guest

Carolyn, the unconditional love of family is wonderful, but not every parent can offer it. (Neither can every child, as you know too well.)

Also, think about what love entails. Affection, commitment, sacrifice... and respect. Respect means accepting the other person's decisions and boundaries. Without respect, you're guaranteed to hurt the person you love over and over, because you're not paying attention to what they want and need. Think about all the times a child ignored what you needed or didn't have, and just demanded what they wanted. Or think about the time someone you cared for made fun of you because you made a decision they thought was foolish. Was that respectful? Was that loving? Can you see how the two are entwined?

Now imagine being in a relationship with someone who says they love you, but who doesn't respect you. You're tired and don't want them to come over, but they come over anyway. You ask them to stop calling after your bedtime, but they keep doing it. You tell them not to bring gifts to your workplace, but they do it anyway. Why? ...Because they love you so much that they need to talk to you. THEY need. What do YOU need? Rest, quiet, and a space away from them, but they find that request inexplicable. They love you so much that they need to be with you all the time, so if you love them, you must need to be with them all the time. You do love them, right? Then you want to be with them. What do you mean, you want space? But you love them! So you must need to be with them. Being with them should be excellent rest.

Do you see how opening a door to someone who loves without respect can be hurtful to the person behind that door, no matter how unconditional the knocker's love can be?

March 9, 2012
5:30 pm
Sadbutsemi ok
Guest

I hear you saying you really wish you had the answers. Sounds like wanting resolution and to complete things.
Sounds like you are trying not to obsess about it but that it nags at you. I guess I assumed you were beating yourself up, because you seemed willing to go to great lengths to keep letting them know you would like to be there if they want . But to me their " no" is either mean or it is just self-protective. I wonder if they would consider going to therapy with you to try to get to the bottom of everything. I think the gay group telling you to keep being open to them and reminding them of that now and then could be wrong. I would tell them once..that I would like to work it out and really clear the air and understand each other better. But I'd also tell them you have no wish to push that and I'd go my own way and ask them to call you if they decide it could be good for them to talk. Sorry if that's more opinion than you want to hear..maybe you just want to tell it like it is for you. Right now I am more inclined to find out how parents can heal from the pain of estrangement , and I think it is ok for parents to set limits that meet their needs instead of always trying so hard to focus on the kid's needs.
Maybe I'm selfish, but an adult kid needs to consider more than their own needs.

March 9, 2012
5:15 pm
Carolyn
Guest

To Never giving up and LH, I am not a psychic but it appears to me that you are connected in some way - father and son? If so, LH you care enough to respond so why not seek family counseling with a neutral party to resolve your differences. Life is too short to keep battling; estrangement is devastating and traumatic. Let that unconditional love of family shine. If I am wrong, please disregard this post.

March 9, 2012
12:51 pm
LH
Guest

"So if it is the chaos in the family of origin and they want to be away from it, is that so difficult to say?"

I suspect that this question is a large part of the reaon your sons are estranged--not the answer to the question, but the way you formulated the question. I didn't say that "the chaos in the family of origin" was what they were getting away from. I was specific about issues and incidents, and about the central actor in those incidents. You put a very revealing spin on my explanation.

If you're confused, please try printing this entire conversation out, from your first post to the end of the thread, and take it to your therapist to read. Your therapist may be able to help you see some of the things you're missing.

March 9, 2012
6:33 am
Never giving up
Guest

Interesting post LH.
I have an open mind and desperately want to do the right thing, for them as well as myself.
1) My therapist said to write them an apology letter for everything I did, I did that. Never brought up any of their negatives or why they blackmailed me with my property for a tidy cash settlement from me.
2) PFLAG gays (from their perspective wanting their parents to accept them)said knock on their door never quit letting them know you love them.

I just want to do the "right" thing.
You say listen to them and what they are telling me.
20 years ago my younger son said he will tell me why he is angry in 4 months. Was he lying? Is it difficult?
Finally after 20 years he says the reason he took me out of his life was that I took them to court. My question is why was I out of your life for the previous 5 years? No answer from him. So if it is the chaos in the family of origin and they want to be away from it, is that so difficult to say? Or is there is something they are ashamed of.
I guess I will never know the answers.
I can accept the truth.

March 8, 2012
5:55 pm
LH
Guest

Never giving up, your pain and longing come through your writing clearly. You know what you want, and you're willing to do whatever it takes, however much it hurts, to get it.

However, you're not going to get it unless you learn to think about the situation as your sons see it. Think of it from their side, without interjecting the explanations that come naturally to you from your perspective: Their family was crazy. Both their father's parents were abusive. Their parents went through an acrimonious divorce. Their father was intrusive, untrustworthy, self-centered, controlling, and bigoted. They escaped to a place of sanity, but the craziness kept following them--cards, letters, lawsuits that couldn't be ignored. Now their father--their intrusive, untrustworthy, self-centered, controlling father--keeps chasing them down, banging on their door, demanding meetings, refusing to be avoided, refusing to take no for an answer. He says he's changed, but he's still intrusive, he's still too self-centered to accept the boundaries they keep putting up. They've already tried and tried to escape him, even putting their house in a trust, but nothing works. No wonder they cling to each other. They're the only ones who understand how crazy it all is, and the only ones they can trust not to betray each other. They're under siege.

If you know that's not the truth, that they're not under siege, then you need to stop putting them under siege. They have already told you and shown you in a dozen different ways that they want you to back off. You know this--you outlined yourself all the ways they've told you no. So even though you love them and want to know them, the best way you have of showing that love is to accept their boundaries. The best way to show them that you've changed and you're no longer intrusive and controlling is to stop acting intrusive and controlling.

Back off. Hold your love in your heart. Let them come out of the siege. Let them see that it's safe to reach out to you, that you won't trample their boundaries. They know where you are and that you want to know them. Now give them space, and let them decide for themselves that they want to know you.

No letters. No cards. No knocks on the door. Enjoy the family you have, and wait for the family you had to return.

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