I Never Dreamed This Would Happen

Question: Dear Luise: I felt the pain deeply when I read of the mother’s treatment by her two adult children.  For 18 yrs, I have not seen my two children nor have I met my 3 grandchildren.  After a divorce of an alcholic husband, I was blamed for everything, even though I had the greatest relationship with my children prior to that.  We have had communication a mere few times over the 18 years, but always it is cut off from some silly reason that my ex has found to get them alienated from me.  That, for some reason is easy for him to do.  He is happy when we are alienated.  It is a crazy merry-go-round, and there are other members of the family who seem to get into the scenario, and cause more trouble.  Very recently, my 49 yr. old daughter and I had planned a get-to-gether, and my own sister with whom my daughter had been close to took something wrong that I had written in an e-mail and rather than talking to me, she went to my daughter and told her I had written her (my sister) a mean e-mail.  Daughter won’t answer her phone…..In the e-mail to my sister, I simply told her how hurt I had been about a lot things – only my feelings, etc.  It is as if my sister is trying to control the situation also.  Anytime I have reached out to my children, I get knocked down and go to bed for days.  I am now 77 and have mega letters throughout the years telling me what a wonderful mother I was —–I have died a slow death, and do better at this point to let go……….If there were 2 lifetimes, I might could understand how that a child could do some of these things, but time is running out, and nothing changes.  I have gone to Alnon in the past, but its been a long time.  I feel so hurt at my sister – knowing the fragility of the relationship – to interfere as she has.  This is not the first time.

Is there anything I could say to my sister that would not be hurtful, but for the reason of asking her to not interfere???? And how would I say that.  At any rate, I do not expect to see my adult children or grandchildren in this lifetime.  We are Christians; they are the greatest “kids” one could know…..I never had trouble with them growing up.  It is all insane now, and you can’t make sense out of insanity.  But it hurts, hurts, hurts.  I get going for a while and feel a bit alive and purposeful, but it doesn’t last.  I sink back down, and wait to die.  The last thing I could every have dreamed would happened has.  I love my children so much. C.

Answer: Dear C. I wouldn’t try to make things better with your sister because I think you will be misunderstood. When we tell people “how hurt we have been about a lot of things”…it is going to be taken as criticism no matter how well it is presented. She hit back by contacting your daughter. The family dynamics are well established and everyone is involved.

Your life isn’t over unless you say it is. You have a divorce in your history and your adult children are estranged. If that is your entire life, then you are going to be at the effect of it. They were great kids…you have good memories…but you are letting self-pity and “feeling right about being wronged” take you down. You are doing that to yourself, no one else is.

I am 84. My husband is in a nursing home. I live in a one-room apartment for low-income seniors. My eldest son died at age 52 of a sleep apnea stroke. I could go on and on…and present a long list to you of why I should be miserable and want to die. I choose not to. I see myself as a person of value because I say so. And I lead a useful and fulfilling life. You can, too. Just let it go…instead of being attached to all of it. Have it be the way it is because you can’t change that…and then move on. Blessings, Luise

 

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