Cold and Distant Adult Children

Question: Dear Luise: Why and how can my adult children be so cold and distant? M.

Answer: Dear M.: I have had so many people write to me about this, that I have created a separate Web-forum for issues concerning adult children and extended families. Go to  www.WiseWomenUnite.com . You will find support and understanding there.

You also might want to read “When Parents Hurt” by Coleman. For many, the “why” doesn’t help much because it doesn’t change anything…and for others there is no why. It seems to be a cultural-social shift that is almost becoming the norm.

One school of thought suggests that children are growing up with a sense of entitlement that seems to overshadow loyalty and respect. Parents try too hard and sacrifice too much and then are kicked to the curb by ungrateful offspring who don’t need them any longer. Such behavior seems to be justified by a long list of real or imagined imperfections in the parents, the rationalization thus circumventing guilt.

Of course each situation is different and I am writing in generalities. You deserve so much better. We all do. Blessings, Luise

29 Responses to Cold and Distant Adult Children

  1. L. February 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I have two daughters 27, and 24. If I ask questions about their lives, I’m butting in. If I don’t ask questions, I’m seen as uncaring. I alway envisioned having a good relationship with my grown daughters. I don’t but into their personal lives. Is there a way of having a happy medium. If I wait for them to ask me to do something or ask them something about my life, I’ll probably die first. I don’t want to sulk with them or fight with them, theis is just not the adult relationship I’d hoped we would have. I wanted to be their mom who shared an adult friendship. I lost my own mom as a young girl and I’d hoped we’d share a close family relationship. Maybe I just want to much, but I don’t understand what I want that is too much. L.

    • Luise March 6, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      What you want is not too much. They just aren’t going to give it to you. Your dreams and expectations are what most of us hope for and are totally reasonable. However, our adult children do whatever they do. One of my adult sons is a great friend and the other wasn’t remotely interested. I have no explanation for that but it is their choice. Please consider coming over to my Web-forum: http://www.WiseWomenUnite com where a lot of support and understanding is available from others experiencing the same disappointment. Blessings, Lise

    • S.. December 2, 2011 at 1:13 am #

      I don’t speak with my parents very often because my father was emotionally and mentally abusive when I grew up and my mother was very weak and allowed it to happen. The odd thing is, outside of the home, he would have this nice guy facade

      Abusive parents tend to be either not self aware or in denial of their behavior. I tried discussing this with my abusive father before and he always acted like he doesn’t remember anything or implied I made it all up. When he did finally admit to something, he tried to downplay it by talking about how he worked hard to support us. For me, money doesn’t justify abuse.

      He even still puts me down and criticizes me when we talk so I can’t get past any resentment over the emotional damage he has caused me. Since talking to him only opens old wounds, I keep contact at a minimum.

      So I hope this helps some understand why some adult children do not speak with their parents very often. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s because we are tired of the emotional abuse and want to move away from it.S.

    • L. December 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      I sure feel your pain,when you can’t let go an open up to your children you feel as though the world as rejected you.I was a single mother of three,worked full time as a hairdresser,they were involved in every school event,they have all gratuated college,an I am so proud of them, an for them I love them dearly but I don’t like them because they won’t let me into their life. L.

  2. T. March 21, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    I have a 21 year old son that I feel hates me and I don’t know why. We always loved our kids but, maybe we gave them to much material things and spoiled them.He is cold and distant. I here from him maybe twice a year.Never calls. He moved out 2 years ago and moved in with another family with 7 kids. He calls them his mom an dad and it upsets me so much.We had a christian home and went to church and all that. I have 2 other children son 24 and daughter 21 which is his twin.Do I call him or just leave him alone to work it out himself? T.

    Answer: Dear T.: Young adults have to make their own choices and we have to accept them. It’s not always easy…but he needs to work it out. He may return or he may never want to. Calling probably isn’t going to help and may create greater distance. If you would like to, please come over to my Web-forum that deals with issues with adult children and extended families. You may find support there, if not solutions. We are at: http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com Blessings, Luise

  3. L. July 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    The more I try to reach out to my son (age 19) and my daughter (age 21), the more they do not respond. Now they have set up their phones so that they block my calls…I can’t even leave a message!

    I have been so generous to them over the years, but their father (we’re divorced) is the money giver.

    How do I let go and move on without this hole in my heart? I am considering a long distance move just to create a new beginning. Thanks, L.

    • Luise August 7, 2011 at 8:34 am #

      Please come over to my Web-forum at http://www.WiseWomenUnite;com where women with these issues support each other in healing and moving on. I hope to see you there. Blessings, Luise

  4. Luise August 7, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    We can have expectations about how things should be with our adult children and extended families, but for many of us who really desserve what we envisioned, it doesn’t turn out that way. Before becoming mothers we were whole people and we can be whole again but not by changing any of them, or their choices or their rewrtig of history. We can only change ourselves. Please ocme over to my Web-forum where women help each other with these issues in a supportive ocmmunity: http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com Blessings, Luise

  5. K. August 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    WOW, I didnt know other familys had the same problem, always wondered what I did wrong, now atleast I know others are in the same boat, though I still cry and hurt it does some good to know its not that all uncomon. K.

  6. J. August 23, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I am in nearly the same boat as many of you. I have two teen daughters, 16 and 17. Mom ‘loves’ them I guess, but was always at her convenience. We married young, had kids young, and her parents never were that involved either. Her financial, physical, and emotional neglect have obviously hurt my girls, and put them in a position at a very young age where they were molested (I was deployed overseas when this happened).

    I vowed never to leave their side again…and for the past 12+ years never did. It was me raising two girls, going to college, not dating, and everything I did was with them. The handful of dates I went on over 12 years had me home before midnight, usually before 10:30! Always at counseling, always at school functions, doing homework every night, supper, at every ball game and/or gym class. Wore torn jeans and ratty shirt so they could be styling (withing a budget of course).

    Yet I have always been blamed for taking them away from their momma, disrespected, and consistantely being manipulated. Everything I did right was just me doing what I was suppose to…everything I did wrong was blow up and held under a microscope, regardless of the magnitude, or if it was my fault, or through them setting up things for me to fail (pushing my buttons intentional, then saying I have an anger problem when I finally blow for example).

    This year they coneived with their mother to trump up abuse charges (for the second time) to get moved out. They did this during spring break, where at the same time I was back home burying my mother who had died. Granted, afterwards they felt bad…but only as much guilt as a teen can/will feel who is more concerned about their selfish wants.

    It has been about 6 months…and what I have noticed is that I am staying with my exercise routine (lost 25 lbs so far) for a change. I have started making friends and don’t feel so alone. I have went out with them, and also out on a few dates. I have actually started to relearn what it’s like to live my life for me.

    But the biggest change is that while I am still angry and bitter…at them and the ‘world’ in general…I have noticed my attitude improving. Being attacked and brought down every day, tag teamed at home, for 12+ years takes a toll…even on the most strong willed and assured person. I have noticed that slights, or perceived slights, that I get from co-workers or my sup at work don’t get to me as much. I guess not being beat down the time at the homefront is helping me be a little more thick skinned, more tolerant of critisism, and not taking an off comment as an intentional attack on my performance or character.

    My family has always been there for my girls, cards on holidays, babysitting, etc. Yet they want very little to do with me or them. Mom and her side have always been more selfish when it comes to them, but that is who they ‘like’ and want to be around.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t make any sense..and hurts like hell, but I am finally starting to move past it. Their coldness and desire to distance me is not because I neglected them. It’s not because I wasn’t there. I hope many of you can feel that way about yourself…proud of what you did as a parent, confident in how deeply you loved, and not blame yourself for the distance in your relationship with your children. And if there is blame, ask forgiveness, ask to be allowed to help heal any wounds, learn from it, and allow yourself some grace. J.

  7. S.. September 14, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    To all you mums out there who have teenage children that you call adults, they are not adults they are more than likely are still just being THE TEENAGER, mumbled voice, doesn’t tell you anything, shrugged shoulders etc you know what I mean.
    I got on with my mum at that age. Now I can’t even look at her and I’m 40. What happened, well I grew up and realized after having my kids that she wasn’t a nice lady at all, cruel, manipulating, the list goes on….. There are always two sides to a relationship and yes sometimes it can breakdown over silly stuff but sometimes mums out there that say they they dont know why, ask yourself honestly what you think the reason might be and then if you think you can stomach the pain when you hear your child’s version, go for it, ask, I think it would help your relationship. I would love to tell me mum exactly what my issue is with her, I’ve told her loads already and had many a row. But the one thing that really needs to be delt with cant be :( All I want is my mum to be my mum, be the adult even though I’m 40 and sort it all out. But because I know what she is like then I know that this will never happen. Oh well life goes on……S.

  8. L. September 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I googled why do grown up kids hate their parents and it came to this site. My son was wonderful until he met this woman…he was our youngest..he was fun loving…we accepted this woman into our home…she was going to university and couldn’t afford the rent on her place…couldn’t afford the parking for her car…she was wonderful at first…she moved in…use to give us sob stories about her parents…they weren’t mean to her…just not interested in her…I fell for it…we shared our world with her…she didn’t like certain food so I would make two meals so she would be happy…we let her park her car in the garage while one of ours was parked in the driveway all winter (she didn’t drive her car…just didn’t want it out in the cold…in the spring…she sold her car!)…suddenly we found ourselves doing lots of things to spoil her and keep her happy…then they went away on a course and walla she got pregnant…she was 30…never got pregnant before and hasn’t since…alot of family thought she got pregnant on purpose as she knew my son would marry her. Planning the wedding…well she planned everything…best hotel hosted it..best of everything…only problem was her parents ‘had no money to pay for it’…both whom are working professionals…so we footed the bill…except her wedding dress which was 500. and the bridal suite in the hotel…we wanted to rent a suite as we had to drive to the city her parents lived in for the wedding…she had a fit as she didn’t want us on the same floor…so family visited in a room with a queen size bed! We paid for the photographer and developing of the pictures (never received one…only had one picture with our son and her..)…and from the moment she got the ring on her finger…she changed…she called all the shots…when we visited…and we always paid for the dinners…she never cooked…we went to expensive restaurants…we bought them anything they needed and wanted…I guess to make them like us…I lived with them after the baby was born to help them out as they were both in med school…after awhile…she decided she didn’t want me to stay in their house…so I had to stay at my brothers family in the same city…opposite side of the city and be there by 7a.m….I was to drop off the baby at a daycare in the afternoon and precede home…but before I left…I often made them supper and cleaned their home…never a thank you…then she one day at a blow up…decided I was evil…and we didn’t see our son or grandchile for a year…well xmas we could come over to their home for an hour or special occasions…very restricted by her…she would often meet us at the door and say it wasn’t a good time could we come back when baby was awake after we drove 3 hours to see them…it goes on and on and on…now i am at their beckon call and I do it because I want to see our grandchild…I have alot of resentment towards her and often wonder why he doesn’t stand up for us…we have only ever been good to them…I find it heartbreaking and find myself wondering where I went wrong…I didn’t realize that this happens to so many parents…he was the youngest…and by the time we had him we had a bit more money to spoil him…he never even got a spanking growing up…it boggles my mind…it breaks my heart! Why does this happen? They don’t treat her parents like that at all…once the baby was born…well all of a sudden they came back into her life but they do nothing for them…give them nothing and yet they respect them…I don’t get it! L.

  9. S. September 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I feel your pain! My son is 21 and I can’t get him to understand anything, it’s like I didn’t raise him. His whole outlook on life is HIMSELF! He has a 1 yr. old daughter who I fought to keep out of the system after the mother shook her causing serious injury, he started out acting like he cared, then tossed her and the rest of his to the curb. I have gone out on a limb for him. I sent him texts, phone calls, and a facebook message. he ignored the calls and text and deleted the facebook message. I don’t think he wants his kid, but worst all I see his him working a dead end job, partying, and chasin any girl who will tak to him. I raised him better than this, I understand the whole let him be his own person but when you see destructive behavior and a lack of concern for others well …anyways just wanted to see if anyone has any input. I have decided to not have him involved, he took $20 dollars and lied to his 8 yr old sister and child. I feel all this emotion and know there is nothing I can do to help, but coming in the house using his daughter as a gate way when he needs something or has nothing, is bullcrap. He works a decent job for no college. I don’t want his daughter wondering where daddy is , she has already put it together , just enough bonding to do damage. I love him, he is my forst born but y ohhh y is he doing all this?…………S.

  10. M. September 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I never knew til now that there are so many parents out there with this same problem. The sense of entitlement and lack of loyalty is the same thing that I was told. I have never hurt so much in my life. I breathed life into their every function and they had a disneyland childhood. I am not allowed to have an opinion and I feel like they hate me now. I adore them and my grandchildren whom I feel they are depriving not only me but their children of a relationship with a grandmother that can NEVER be replaced, as was mine with my nana. I empathize with all of you parents who have felt this hurt by their own flesh and blood whom u did your best for….Give it up to God and HE will decide when…….M.

  11. C. October 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I am happy to have found this site where I can express my emotional pain. I have had a very difficult 10 years with my daughter who is now 22. I could not connect with her and she does not connect with anyone in the family. When she was 16 she started exhibiting negative behavior and experimenting with drugs etc.. Causing alot of embarrassment to me.. She ran away from home, we placed her in a ” wideness program” which was suggested my therapist and then a therapy center for girls with emotional problems.. She ran away from there and was
    Issuing for a week.. She came back alive but put her life in such danger that I did not cope with it we. I started to cope by drinking which was the worst thing to do. Things hot so bad that I left my husband and daughter to start another life..
    I have happier.. But there is a hole in my heart and I am broken hearted. My daughter has cut me off completely.. I do send her cards to tell her I love her which I do.. I am in such pain.. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one going thru a difficult situation. No one I know really understands what it is like to not have your child in your life it truly is the worst pain. C.

  12. J. October 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    There are two sides to every story. My parents provided the physical essentials while I was growing, however, they also provided an abusive home where I was constantly told I would never amount to anything. I grew up with feelings of guilt and hated myself. Too many things happened to mention in this forum, however, I will say that it took many many years to get over the hurt, and I’m still not completely over it. I have a beautiful wife and family and was absolutely thrilled when both parents died a few months apart just three years ago. Those were two happy days in my life! J.

    • Luise October 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      J. Sad but totally honest. There a lot of people who should never become parents and wreck havoc that is very hard and sometimes imposible to overcome.

  13. A. November 7, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    It’s amazing to see so many people have similar problems. I think the earlier comment was right about kids now a days feeling entitled to everything and not caring about others or their feelings. As long as they are happy that is all they care about.

    My trouble started one year ago, when my 17 year old started dating a friend from school. Over that year he has become a totally different person. Now that he has gone to college he rarely returns out text messages or phone calls. Only when he needs something. He doesn’t even speak to his siblings or friends. I once asked my “who are you and what have you done with my son?”. It is so heartbreaking because we once had such a wonderful, loving and fun relationship. His girlfriend was jealous because her family life was not good at all. We all enjoyed each others company and my husband and I have always done everything for our children.

    The only good part about this story is that my other two children have seen the pain this has caused our family and I believe will never let a significant other change their feelings towards their family. I keep hoping some day he will snap out of it, but I just don’t think it is going to happen.

    My son goes to a very prestigious college and I would like to be proud and supportive but it is so hard when he treats his family like dirt. I don’t know what to say when people ask how he is doing? I just hope for better days, but they never seem to come. I’m not looking forward to the holidays this year. A.

    • Luise November 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      A. – Please consider coming over to the Web-forum I have created for women facing similar issues. We are at http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com
      You will find a loving community there who listen, understand, care and share. A lot of healing is taking place, as well.

  14. C. November 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Dear Louise,
    I am that child. I am in my 50′s. My mother was never a really loving person and did not receive very much attention. I always believed my sister was prettier than me because she received all the attention. Later in life, when I married and lived away from her, life began to fall into perspective. My mother had a vision for me, but never shared it with me until it was too late. I was very independent and she thought I didn’t need her. She was very critical of me, because she thought I could take it and it would make me a stronger person. Everything she did, pushed me away. She started to repeat this behavior when my oldest daughter was 11. She was attrocious to my daughter. I finally spoke to my mother and told her that I did not approve of her discipline and wanter kind words and actions to be used. She yelled and cried and once again told me I was selfish, unkind and my kids would grow up to be rude to me and then I will understand how she feels. All she did was push me away. My mother stop any contact with my kids for over 10 years. Yes the had pain. But we as mom’s need to be forgiving. Saying I am sorry first, we reconcile mountains of baggage very quickly. I do not have a relationship with my mom now. I don’t even feel like I have a mom. She still pushes me away when I try to visit. The only thing that works for her is gifts, and I no longer have the desired to send gifts. I hope this helps. C.

    • Luise November 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

      C. You are an amazingly strong woman and a wise one. Your own children are being given what you have never known. That is beautiful.

  15. J. November 19, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I’m heartbroken. I worked really hard in the LDS church to get to be able to finally go to the temple to see my son (my last child to be married). I had already missed seeing my 2 daughter’s married because I was not worthy or allowed to go to the temple then. Since I did not want to miss my son’s wedding (missing all 3) I got busy and prepared so I could go. His wife to be had talked about her parents being upset and just wanting them to elope. My son would reassure me that they wouldn’t because they knew it would kill me after all I had been thru. Well the morning of the wedding in the temple I get a text while I am sleeping saying they had eloped to the temple and were married. I was devastated to say the least and now have not seen any of my children get married. Many people were supprised he could do that to me or rather she could since her parents did not help with reception costs like I had and I gave her a large shower her own mother did not attend and only one sibling of 8 of her’s came. Her father is a patent lawyer. I even paid for the dinner to meet the parents paying for her parents, my ex, and the couple, with not even an offer from her well to do parents to help with the tip. My son is 23 and has not been raised to act like that and she is 31 (had already been married once and I’m told by a friend that knew her and her ex that she was used to getting her way). It’s a hard thing to get over. Any advice. I’ve been divorced for 4 years now. Stayed with my ex for 20 years just for my son even after my ex left us for a lady in Alaska and came back only because my son voiced he would not ever talk to his Dad again. His dad does not even care about his children. He does not support them in the things he should like graduations etc… because he’s too married to his job which he doesn’t have to be. My ex never apologized for anything and so far my son has not either. Still heart broken how he could treat his mother this way after I have done so much for him. J.

    • Luise November 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      J. – Oh, what a mess! I can’t imagine what calling everyone and telling them the wedding was off must have been like. I have never of anyone trashing their own wedding. Why would the bride give up walking down the isle and the pictues? All the family and fun? For what? I makes no sense to me. No wonder it doesn’t to you!

      Your job, and it’s big one, is to get that they are adults and get to make their own choices. We all have expectations regarding out adult children. I hope what you did for preparation so you could attend has contributed to your own happiness and well-being.

      However, that was then and this is now. You have the choice to work through your own heartbreak and disappointment and give yourself the life you deserve or get stuck in self-pity. It is justified. I’m not saying it isn’t. I just don’t think it’s worth it…the price is too high. You were a whole person before you started a family and focused there. You can be whole again. Much of your life is still ahead of you. I am 84 years old. My children have been grown and on their own more than half of my life. I know you can’t see it now…but the best is still ahead. Blessings, Luise

  16. B. November 20, 2011 at 12:30 am #

    For two years my husband and I have had to live with the ongoing perpetuation of life of abuse from our college-age daughter. She has publicized them to many, and her “friends” that choose to believe her have addressed these unsubstantiated (and neither can be substantiated claims–b/c they didn’t occur) on the Internet.

    I can’t figure out if she has developed some kind of personality disorder or what. I was a victim of sexual molestation as a child. I can tell you w/o a doubt I would never stay with or allow it for any of my children. Mostly, however, she is claiming physical abuse, which is extreme nonsense, and God, her father, brothers, and I all know it.

    Lying is such a ways has caused her to “win friends and influence people” so to speak. She is quite insecure, and I can’ fathom why, since she was often praised and shown love at home.

    As a nurse, I realize that many children are in fact abused. Not every claim is true, and in a court of law, she would be hard-pressed to even come close to proving it.

    Her toxicity has become so bad that have two years of enduring it, without even a hint of repentance or honestly–and given the fact that it is still coming out of her and her friends, when we have graciously continued to provide her with phone service, recently bought her yet another new phone $200–after she has broken a number of them, maintain her health insurance contributions, provided other niceties and sundries, as well as were preparing to further help her with her college education and procuring a car–since you lost the new car her grandmother provided for her, as well as tuition support after she repeatedly lied to her.

    So much has been given to this child, w/o any sense of appreciation, honor, or respect. At this point I am not sure she is capable of true love.

    By heart breaks for her and our whole family, but the straw on the camel’s back is here, and I just had to cut off relationships with her. Mind you, she is still covered by insurance, and if she is seriously ill or starving, yes I would do whatever to help her.

    It is just that I finally had to come to the conclusion that regardless of whatever has caused and is causing her to behavior in such an egregious manner, I have no choice but to limit support and interaction issues of illness or starvation.

    It has really come down to that, and for no minor reasons. The bizarre drama goes on and on with this child, and all that happens to her is always (no exaggeration, always) someone else’s fault—a professor, a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a boss, a random person on the street; it doesn’t matter. She refuses to take ownership.

    I honestly am at the end of my rope, and it’s killing me to take such a strong stance; but I feel she has no opportunity to grow if consequences aren’t given. Even then, so long as she surrounds herself with her so called “friends” that help bail her out or go to ill-based defense for her, she still may never learn and grow.

    In the meantime, I feel I have lost my only beautiful daughter, which I went through so much to have, and for whom I have given up a good part of my life.

    I guess those are my feelings that I must work out. I am just saying that it’s very difficult, and frankly, I haven’t found a lot of support groups or support media out there for this kind of thing. I mean it is still a kind of grieving, isn’t it?

    Thanks for “listening.” B.

    • Luise November 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      You did the right thing from my point of view. She is of age, turn her loose and let her grow up. Otherwise you ae enabling her and offering a poor role model to the rest of your family. And there is a support group for you. I started one for women who have issues with adult children and extended families after I realized how prevelent this kind of thing is. Please come over to: http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com

  17. D. August 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Im in my early 50′s. I thought i understood life and my part in it reasonably well only to have that notion completely taken away. Respect and loyalty were and are a part of my vocabulary.

    I grew up in a family with 2 working parents and 4 brothers. My brothers and i were a year apart. I was outgoing and did well in school. My parents made it clear to me that they could not pay for college for me. They did for my oldest brother, while 2 of my other brothers went in the service. I have no idea if they “helped” my youngest brother although he has done very well. At 17 I took this news and set out to set a stake in my future.

    I was told by my father he would not help out with college as someday I would meet a man who would care for me. I wasn’t very impressed with that statement as I saw very tenuous relationship in my parents marriage for years. They stayed together only because I believe it would have been far too expensive and messy for them to divorce. I believe the element of the unknown kept them together when they might better have been apart. At one point in one of the many arguements my mom accused me of sleeping with my father. I will never forget that day. My dad went pale and I thought I would puke on the spot. I have tried to let it go over the years but i never never forget. Back then my dad told me he felt he had to make a “choice” between keeping a relationship with his daughter or his wife. And for what its worth I NEVER slept with my dad. I will NEVER know where that came from. Over the next 17 years I would never receive one phone call from my dad. His call would come to notify me of my grandmoms death. She was everything to me. She was my one true friend.

    I had ambitions of becoming a doctor but was too afraid to take the debt on and went into the medical field at a lesser level successfully. I have paid back my loans to the government by age 30. I chose to forgive my parents (thought they never asked) and tried my level best to not hold bitterness. I moved away but always kept in touch (sometimes letting 3 months at a time go by but never letting them leave my heart). The Ten Commandments mattered to me even though we did not attend church. Time and distance helped to heal my wounds but the scar was there. To note my parents attended together only one function in my entire time in high school; I had received a small scholarship for college but none the less a scholarship and there was a dinner for the recipients and their parents. My mom attended one field hockey game when was in high school and at the conclusion of the game told me my thighs were big. Im not really sure how I kept going forward in life. To her credit she worked very hard at her job and kept a clean house and cooked and by all measures had it together. She made it clear at holiday dinners my dad and brothers were to be served first. That was ok. It was what I knew and they were my family in those days.

    I was not allowed to go out much in the high school days. My college days were alot of anxiety because I had just learned how to drive and felt so much angst over loans, 3 jobs and trying to keep my grades up. I did it though. My parents did not come to my graduation. I won’t say that didn’t hurt but life went on.

    Eventually I married. My mom told my dad and brothers not to come as well as other family.
    My grandmother (mom’s mom) was abhorred. She did come as did some of my aunts and uncles and friends. To my mom’s credit my husband to be had been married before but even so …she was my mom and i her daughter. My immediate family did not attend while my dear grandmom and some aunts and uncles and friends came. I went ahead with the marriage which sadly would only last 5 years. My mom fell in love with my daughter. That was kind of exasperating but she was a wonderful grandmother to her for the limited times she saw her. My daughter and I always traveled home to see them once or twice a year. Never did my parents ever come to our home states away. But that was ok.

    I remarried but did not ask or tell my family until after. There would never be opportunity for rejection again. That marriage lasted 10 years with another daughter. My parents never once traveled to our home to visit.

    I braved cancerand did chemo. My mom came to visit for the first time ever. I was in my 40′s. She told me she had some regrets and wanted to discuss them. I told her no for fear there would be an arguement and she was states away from her home. She was wonderful then. I had a mom for a short time. When she left we had had a good time and she wanted to return with my dad and I was looking forward to that. Within a few months she got cancer and would die due to complications. I went to her not knowing in a matter of weeks she would be dead. Of course there had to be issues. I was against her staying out at the casino until 4 am because she was taking chemo and I wanted to protect her immune system. I went to the dr’s with her and was concerned over her not remembering where she had said to meet as well as other discrepancies and voiced these things to her dr. I was concerned over her oxygen levels and the dr. recommended a transfusion which she refused. Sadly she took my concerns and told my brothers I told the dr she had dementia. Not so. In her death I now have 2 brothers who will not speak to me or recognize my daughters!

    This has been for 6 years now. When does it stop? My dad is my friend now and he does not agree with division in our family. We only speak positive of my mom. I have given up on my 2 brothers who do not speak to me. The person who has been most hurt in this mess is my younger daughter. She has become emotionally cold and is nearly always angry at me. I have gotten her to go to a therapist a couple of times but she says she doesn’t need it. I pay for her college and provide a home for her to live in. She rarely helps and feels I have failed her!!!

    My oldest daughter who is a grown woman now see’s so much now that she never could’ve
    as a child. She has married and is doing well.

    As for me when I read others’ entries I am well aware that I could have taken other paths and shut the door to my family years ago. Sometimes I think my youngest who is nearly 20 would’ve thought more of me if I had. She will walk by me in the house and not even speak.

    Life is strange at best. To me I would liken it to a deck of cards. You are dealt a hand and maybe you just dont have a great enough hand to win but you have choices. You can fold and quit or you can play. You can play to your best ability. And true you might win though with a bad hand you will more likely lose. But you have the opportunity to play and make the best of it with what you have.

    I think attitude is extremely important. I think forgiveness is extremely important. And love.
    And smiling and KEEP foraging on. That’s all I know.

    I beat cancer so far. And I miss my mom. Sometimes I am still angry at her. But despite it all i never stopped loving her. She was not my greatest friend but she was my mom. D.

    • Luise Volta August 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      D. – I would like to invite you to join my Web-forum for women with issues with adult children and extended families. You have a story that is filled with strength, endurance and integrity…and there are many members that would relate to you. We are at: http://www.WiseWomenUnite.com . Blessings, Luise

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