I Fear Being Hurt Again

Question: Dear Luise: I have three adult children who haven’t talked to me for 13 years.  If they see me in a store, etc. they just walk past me like I didn’t exist.  They blame me for divorce which my ex has brainwashed them into believing.  My oldest daughter married 4 years ago.  I wasn’t invited to the wedding.  Now she has adopted a child and sent me a picture.  I don’t know how to deal with this as I feel I don’t know her anymore and whether I want to re-establish a relationship for fear of being hurt all over again.  What do you suggest? J.

Answer: Dear J.: I suggest that you bring this issue over to my Web-forum: www.WiseWomenUnite.com for feedback. It is a community of women who are committed to understanding and supporting each other and it is for anyone dealing with problems revolving around adult children and extended families. Sharing and caring has brought much healing there.

My take is that you might consider moving forward very carefully. It seems to me that a response is in order. Congratulations. Thanks for the lovely picture. Then see what happens. She may be regretting her behavior and missing you…and even wanting you in her child’s life or she may have sent the picture from an unkind place. See what you are missing? There’s no way of knowing.

I think I would set aside my fears of further hurt but I wouldn’t set aside caution. Most of all, it is important that you stay in the present and don’t re-enter the past. That was then and this is now. You have every right to feel victimized but focusing there will prevent progress. Blessings, Luise

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