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Cutting my parents off is killing me - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 

My dad called tonight. I know I need to stop answering his calls....I have caller id so there is no reason to answer when it's my parents.

 

He asked if the kids were ok and if we needed anything, etc. I was poliet but I just gave one word answers, "no we're fine." When he asked if they needed clothes or toys I said, "we really don't want anything from you guys." He sounded hurt and thn he said, "well if anything happens to them or they get sick real bad would you please let us know." Which I said yes to that, and then we hung up.

 

The thing that bothers me about the call other than the fact that I konw he is hurt and upset by me refusing to let them have contact with him, is that he just wants to brush over it. I have had a a habit of this in the past, getting into big arguments with my mom and then just going on as if not9hing had happened, the next time we talked. But this is different and I can't believe he didn't so much as offer an apology or something.

 

So I know I did the right thing. I guess each time I do it it will get a little easier.

post #22 of 35
Isn't it confusing when they do that? My bioparents are the same way. There is never any mention of why we're estranged or the reasons I don't talk to them. They act like nothing happened, nothing is wrong. It's a form of invalidation. He's hoping he can silently pressure you into going along with his charade and just let it blow over, like he always does with your mother. Know also that when you remove yourself from an abuser's grasp, they often turn on the next closest person to them. In this case, your father might be getting the brunt of her abuse now that you refuse to take it anymore. Not your problem, but a common explanation for the enabler's persistent attempts to suck you back in.

Stay strong, mama. And yeah, if you can, I'd avoid answering the phone. If it's important, he can leave a message.

hug.gifhug.gifhug.gif
post #23 of 35


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post

Isn't it confusing when they do that? My bioparents are the same way. There is never any mention of why we're estranged or the reasons I don't talk to them. They act like nothing happened, nothing is wrong. It's a form of invalidation.

I so relate to this.  The conclusion I've come to is my parents/family truly do not comprehend the impact of their actions.  And when I've made effort to express their effect on me, they act as though I've gone crazy...they simply do not/cannot relate to what I'm telling them.  It's not real to them.  So they act like it doesn't exist, because in their world, it does not.  I've finally come the realization they don't intend further harm by their callousness.  They are simply blind to the reality of the situation.  It's their choice to turn a blind eye...they don't want to deal with it, and most likely don't have the tools to effectively deal with it.  You know, the whole being in denial thing. 

 

As sorry as your father feels, he lacks the tools or desire to fix it right now.  Who knows, maybe in later years your parents will mature enough to understand compassion and empathy better, and understand what it takes to have a loving, or at least civil and polite, relationship.  But for now, as long as things are still tense and difficult in the relationship, I would back off and not answer the calls.  If you feel the need, you can always make the direct statement "I am upset due to past actions, and prefer not to interact with you at this time.  I won't be answering your calls, if there is a true emergency you can leave a voicemail."  And then don't answer the calls.  The time away from you and their grandchildren will give them something to think about, and if they so desire, an opportunity to re-evaluate their actions and attitude towards you.  And it will give you time and distance to become more stable and authentic in who you really are, rather than identifying so much with the trauma they've put you through. 

 

I think you'll do awesome!!  It's tough and challenging to break from difficult parents and finally stand on your own, but I know you can do it!

post #24 of 35

I don't really know the details of your situation but it seems your mother, for some reason, was concerned for your children. It was wrong of her to make false allegations, but perhaps it is wrong to deny your children the right to see their grandparent. Is it possible for you to forgive your mother and reconcile? It may bring peace to your spirit to put the past behind and resolve the situation. The suffering caused by the disconnection must be painful for you and your children, and your mother. Hopefully one day you will change your mind about having a relationship with your mom. We all make mistakes, but that is how we learn and grow. I wish you the best on your journey!

post #25 of 35
Mother4peace- if only it were as simple as you suggest. The op's mom did not make a mistake and forget a birthday or broke a dish. She called in the authorities as a way to get back at her daughter. With family like that who needs enemies?

Since you have such a low post count, your contribution is purely suspect. Best to you on your journey.
post #26 of 35

Sorry I didn't read every post, but have you seen the book "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward?  It is very helpful.

 

You know, it was hard for me to break with my parents too.  Despite everything, I love them.  But I had to keep telling myself, I love my children *more* and this is about my children's well-being (keeping them safe from all three kinds of abuse), and NOT my parents feelings about a terrible situation they were causing themselves.

 

It gets easier.  I shudder to think what my DC would be like now if the situation had continued. 

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother4peace82 View Post

I don't really know the details of your situation but it seems your mother, for some reason, was concerned for your children. It was wrong of her to make false allegations, but perhaps it is wrong to deny your children the right to see their grandparent. Is it possible for you to forgive your mother and reconcile? It may bring peace to your spirit to put the past behind and resolve the situation. The suffering caused by the disconnection must be painful for you and your children, and your mother. Hopefully one day you will change your mind about having a relationship with your mom. We all make mistakes, but that is how we learn and grow. I wish you the best on your journey!



OP's mother is similar, in some ways, to my late grandmother. The biggest mistake my mom made as a parent was to avoid "denying us the right" to see our grandparent. She felt as you seem to - that the relationship with grandparents is very important, and her own issues with her mother should take a backseat. What she didn't realize was that her issues with her mother were rooted in her mother's personality, and were going to carry to the next generation. My grandmother almost destroyed one of my siblings and one of my cousins, and did serious damage to all the rest of us. She was the epitome of toxic, and we'd all have been far, far better off if my mom had realized that she really could "deny us that right". I've been reading the OP's posts for a long time, and she absolutely made the best move.

 

 

ETA: I just re-read this and realized that I missed something important. My mom completely agrees with me that it was a mistake, and has said more than once, when discussing our family's past that the only thing she wishes she could change is keeping contact with grandmother. If she had it all to do over again, she'd cut her off in a heartbeat, because that would have been best for us. She made other mistakes, and she knows it...but this is the only one that had such serious negative repercussions that she would actually change it if she could. Everything else falls into "these things helped make us the people and family we are" territory, yk? Contact with grandma? Not so much.


Edited by Storm Bride - 3/11/11 at 11:18am
post #28 of 35

what about you sending a brief note by the post every other month or so with just news of your children, nothing too personal, but real news

 

so that you do feel that you didn't totally prevent your parents from knowing about your children

but at the same time they don't intrude in your everyday life if you leave the answerphone on so that they leave a message rather than talk with you directly

that way you can control when, what and how much you answer (or not at all if you don't feel like it)on every point they raise

 

that way communication is not totally broken but it gives you more control about how the interactions go

 

it might not be what they like, or wish for (but you don't have to do everything they wish for either)

but it could be a good compromise for your guilt about cutting off completely

 

if it's hard not to take their calls, what about making a calendar with precise dates and prepare the first 2 enveloppes and decide by which day you will send them a short update about the grandchildren (and just communicate a few sentences about the grandchildre, nothing about anything else)

at the same time, if you feel upset about it all, you can write down how you feel in a separate sheet of paper and keep all that file "aside" somewhere so that there's a physical place where this problem is thought about and PUT ASIDE so that you can get on with the rest of your live, and every now and then you can take out the file and write a bit more or think about it, and put it away again and try to stop thinking about it ...

 

just a suggestion ... every one is different, what would work for me might have little appeal to you ...

 

post #29 of 35
Just my .02, but a lot of this boils down to boundaries and the fact that the grandparents here have no inclination to respect boundaries. I had toxic inlays who could not even abide by the simplest, most minute boundary because they had to control every situation. For example, if they were coming to visit I'd ask that they come at five. Societal convention suggests that you avoid coming earlier and you come at the invited time. My inlays would then respond well can we be there at 4:55, to which I'd reply no, please come at five. They would then arrive at five complaining how they actually arrived at 4:59 but had to circle the block for a minute because it wasn't yet 5:00 and how ridiculous that was. Now, if they were normal people and could respect a boundary in most instance ( though they chose to confront, argue, try to persuade, ignore every boundary not imposed by them), I'd agree it was unreasonable to have to do that, but the problem was every boundary was ignored, argued with, tried to persuade, whatever, they could never say sure, fine. So for me the expression give an inch and they take a mile ( or ten, every time) would come to mind in trying to find a compromise. With some people there is no such thing as compromise it is their way or the highway, and we chose the highway ( which was extremely difficult at first, but the rewards have been much more than we ever could have expected).
post #30 of 35


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post





OP's mother is similar, in some ways, to my late grandmother. The biggest mistake my mom made as a parent was to avoid "denying us the right" to see our grandparent. She felt as you seem to - that the relationship with grandparents is very important, and her own issues with her mother should take a backseat. What she didn't realize was that her issues with her mother were rooted in her mother's personality, and were going to carry to the next generation. My grandmother almost destroyed one of my siblings and one of my cousins, and did serious damage to all the rest of us. She was the epitome of toxic, and we'd all have been far, far better off if my mom had realized that she really could "deny us that right". I've been reading the OP's posts for a long time, and she absolutely made the best move.


I completely agree.

 

Children have a right to grow up free from toxic people, even if those people happen to be on the family tree.

 

Sometimes the abuse is bad enough the only way to break the cycle, is to break with the person creating the cycle.

 

It's not something anyone would just gladly choose lightly, but sometimes it's the only option left- and the best one.

 

 

 

post #31 of 35


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mother4peace82 View Post

I don't really know the details of your situation but it seems your mother, for some reason, was concerned for your children. It was wrong of her to make false allegations, but perhaps it is wrong to deny your children the right to see their grandparent. Is it possible for you to forgive your mother and reconcile? It may bring peace to your spirit to put the past behind and resolve the situation. The suffering caused by the disconnection must be painful for you and your children, and your mother. Hopefully one day you will change your mind about having a relationship with your mom. We all make mistakes, but that is how we learn and grow. I wish you the best on your journey!


 

Without knowing everything about the OPs situation, I just wanted to respond to this post generally.

 

1) It's a possibility that the grandma was not concerned for the children.  My parents also tried to intervene legally in my family's/children's life, *not* because they were concerned, but because they didn't like our reasonable decisions as parents- simply because they were different from their own.  Sometimes it is about control, not concern. 

 

2) It is NOT wrong to stop seeing a person (any person) who made "false allegations" that could have led to the children wrongly being taken from their own home and their own parents.  This is a basic safety issue.  Children have a right to be free from that kind of trauma, to live in safety without fear of being removed from their mother and strangers invading their lives for absolutely no valid reason.

 

3) Of course it is possible to forgive, but that does NOT mean that reconciliation is in the best interest of the family at all.  What is grandma does it again?  And again?  Or something else?  The children need to be the priority, not the other party that created the problem in the first place.

 

4) I'm sure it would bring peace to a mom's spirit to "put the past behind and resolve the situation" but the way you say that makes me think you have never dealt with an actual toxic person out to harm your family/children.  Believe me, peace is something we need to come to on our own, and you can NOT resolve a situation with a person who is toxic and harmful and does not want truly resolve the situation.  If the other person were reasonable, the situation would not exist in the first place.

 

5) Sure, everyone makes mistakes.  But if it is at the expense of a child, my child is more important than your chance to "learn and grow."  Learn and grow somewhere else, by getting counseling or with other adults or something, not by harming my child and my family by lying about us to authorities that could take the children out of the home for no cause. 

 

------

 

Sigh.  I just get this tired of this same old situation that other families have to go thru.  I had one person tell me years and years ago to just put up with my mom and her actions, like they did, because we all know how she is and just have to accept it.  (They didn't have children yet, and I did.)  It's so easy to say, isn't it?  But what they were really saying was, "Leave you children alone with a person who physically and emotionally abuses them and left them alone with a sex offender, so you don't rock the boat for the rest of the family by getting this person mad."  Interestingly, this same person who said this to me moved 2000 miles away pretty fast once they had a child of their own.  It is very different when it is YOUR children in harms way, and not some random child you know about. 

post #32 of 35

In my experience, people who encourage others to tolerate and enable abusers either have no experience with truly abusive people and so can't believe it's actually "that bad", or they're in their own enmeshed or abusive cycle and can't stand to see others breaking away because it forces them to have to face certain unpleasant realities about themselves.
 

Regardless of the motive behind it, someone who encourages you to stay with an abuser doesn't have your best interests in mind. In fact they probably aren't thinking of your interests at all. We don't tell battered women to stay with their abusers or to "be the bigger person" or to "give him a chance to grow and learn". We shouldn't ever tell adult children of abusers to stay with their abusive parents--or worse, subject the grandchildren to the same abuse!

 

Abuse is abuse is abuse regardless of whether the survivor shares DNA with the abuser. Breaking free takes immense courage and strength, especially when so many in society helpfully tell you that blood is always thicker than water and that family should always come first, even if family treats you like dirt.

post #33 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother4peace82 View Post

I don't really know the details of your situation but it seems your mother, for some reason, was concerned for your children. It was wrong of her to make false allegations, but perhaps it is wrong to deny your children the right to see their grandparent. Is it possible for you to forgive your mother and reconcile? It may bring peace to your spirit to put the past behind and resolve the situation. The suffering caused by the disconnection must be painful for you and your children, and your mother. Hopefully one day you will change your mind about having a relationship with your mom. We all make mistakes, but that is how we learn and grow. I wish you the best on your journey!



My mom was not concerned for my children. I don't know if I mentioned this upthread, but she did not call CPS for several days after the supposed "allegation" by ds (which, incidentally, no one else ever heard, because this supposedly happened when he was alone with her). Having been a mandated reporter I can say with 100% certaintly that if a child was left in my care and made clear, unmistakable allegations of sexual abuse, I would call the police, and THEN the parent. No way would I take a chance on sending that child back to that environment. The fact that she stewed over it fo several days,and TOLD ME FIRST and then went ahead and called, tells me that she was weighing the risks to HER of causing such big drama, not the risks to my children. No one in their right mind needs 3 or 4 days to decide about calling CPS if they are so sure that a child is being molested and they definitely don't give a heads up to the potential molester. No, she was trying to decide whether or not I was bluffing or serious when I told her that if she called CPS it would be the last she saw of my children.

 

Yes, my children have th right to see their grandparents, but they also have the right to live in a safe, secure environment with two loving parents. If the former threatens the latter then I have to make the choice that reflects their best interests.

 

I have yet to receiv an apology from either of my parents, and they continue to play games and try to stir the pot. My mother checks in at the consignment stores that I frequent, and asks the owners whetherthey have seen me, and about the children and so on. She calls my aunts and demands that they answer questions about me, and tries to tell them how worried she is about my children not being cared for properly. When my aunt didn't give in to her pestering, she actually called her job, and spoke to her boss.

 

I'm now dealing with the issue of my parents' upcoming anniversary. Part of me says not to worry about it, especially considering what I went through two years ago for their 25th anniversary. I wanted to throw a suprise formal dinner party (mainly for my mom's benefit) and she made it SO difficult. Obviously she didn't know what I was up to, but she was so incredibly controlling, manipulative and just plain mean, that by the day of the party I was so beaten down and discouraged, and feeling so horirble that I wanted to kill myself. That sounds dramatic, but, I actually felt THAT horrible. I tried to go to the friend's house where I was doing it, to set up, I was yelled at, physically prevented from leaving, etc etc because she didn't trust me. And I just wanted to do something nice for her. It just was NO fun, the way it should be when you give someone something. And then whenever I stayed at her house after that, she woud bitterly complain that I had cleaned up the kitchen of the host friend's house after the party, but I couldn't be bothered to clean HER kitchen (insert: to her standards.) Yet, I am still feeling immensely guilty about no acknowldeging their anniversary this year. I mean, if I could just get an apology.

 

I *wish* I could share my children with my mother. They are my pride and joy and I WANT to show them off to her. But I can't trust her.

 

I've come too far in learning about myself and in healing. Much of that is due to this man who stands by me through my worst moments, and really, truly WORKS at our relationship because he values me enough that it is worth it. That is not something I have seen in my mother. It's always my fault, with her. If my mother wants to go around and not only hurt me, but try to ruin the life of the one person who, imperfect as he is, has shown me unconditional love, then it would be a hnuge step backwards for me and a slap in the face to him, to reconcile with her (which would inevitably involve me being the bad guy, the errant child, and her the benevolent mother willing to forgive me once again.)

 

post #34 of 35

hang tough, momma.

post #35 of 35


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
 Yet, I am still feeling immensely guilty about no acknowldeging their anniversary this year. I mean, if I could just get an apology.

 

I *wish* I could share my children with my mother. They are my pride and joy and I WANT to show them off to her. But I can't trust her.

There is a lot written in this thread that I totally relate to.  I cut off my parents too about a year ago.  I feel HUGE guilt, but I never regretted the decision, it had to be made.  I need to protect myself and my kids.  I realized that I can make the choice to only have people in my life that I can trust, people that I don't HAVE to put up emotional barriers against just to deal with them.  Letting untrustworthy people be in my life affects my whole self, way beyond just that one relationship.  My mom's twin brother died several weeks ago, and my sister urged me to call her.  I thought it over for a while, but decided not to.  Yeah, I'm that sure.  It's that permanent.  There is grief to deal with, but I made this decision to improve my life, and I'm working on letting go of the guilt and forgiving myself. 
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