Comment: Dear Luise: We have a large family and my eldest son hates me. Until I read all the comments on your web site, I didn’t even realize what his behavior meant. About 5 years ago he wrote me a very nasty letter outlining all the things I did to make his childhood simply horrible. He never mentioned all the birthday parties, all the soccer games we attended, all the camps etc……that we paid for, just all the “stuff” that we tried to give him over the years. My own childhood was one in which I was not allowed to play or interact with other kids. It was a very rare day that I could just go out and play. My mother had me working all the time. I love her and she’s a very good caring person, but I think she always wanted her kids very close, always keeping an eye on us, but the effect on me was very smothering. Just to get what I needed, I used to sneak out of the house at 5 or 6 am in the summer and go ride our neighbors horses, dreaming of the day I would just ride into the sunset. In any case, he has had “issues” with me and never invites us to his home. He has been blessed with a very lucrative career, married his childhood sweetheart and has a talented 16 year old daughter. Since the nasty letter I apologized for every slight fault and grievance that I was or was not guilty of….but the relationship has been strained for years. Recently I am a professional photographer and took pics at his daughter’s game. Gave the disc to them with pics and an album. Got great shots of goals and told the coach I’d have my grandaughter give her the disc…..Well, as it turns out……It doesn’t matter what I did……the fact that I took time, editing all the photos of three games that last 2 to 3 hours and made extra discs etc…..NO it was taken as an embaressment to my grandaughter. When I tried to let them know I would never embaress her, they just changed the complaint and added other things in to the complaint……Then I found out that my son and his wife have been spreading this vitriolic ranting for years on and off to the rest of my kids. Finally my youngest daughter (24 years old) told him off. She said “I’m sorry you had a different experience than me, but don’t try to ruin my relationship with Mom and Dad. We had a great childhood. They are not perfect. Are you?” My youngest son who is 20 and in college can’t wait to come home and “hang out” with us, the parents……He and my daughter both Hang out with us. Even though my daughter just got married, she wants to go on a vacation with us and our son. The other kids look up to our eldest son because he is the eldest and he is so super succesful. He paid for my eldest daughter’s rehearsal dinner and many of the items for her wedding. My younger daughter who voices her individual opinion was punished for her opinions because they did not even come to her rehearsal dinner. The other 4 boys in the family pretty much do not involve themselves, but love us. They are all adults and we don’t spend time villifying our eldest son and his cruel wife. So even though I was so hurt again by his callous incorrect characterization of my taking my grandaughter’s pictures, I am comforted by all the commentary that you have on your website. When you stated that people create their own realities and they set up dynamics as to why people do what they do it made so much sense. For instance when I went to a game which 2 of my grandkids were playing, I didn’t realize the eldest son’s daughter was playing and was delighted. The mother told her daughter that I didn’t come to see her play. So it was only by accident that I was even there. When my eldest daughter heard that she was so upset she asked her why she would ever do that……and the wife of my son, said that she was honest and wanted her daughter to KNOW what I was REALLY like. My daughter said Well you are so wrong. I would never do or say anything like that knowing that it would hurt my child…..that’s horrible. SO the rest of my family calls them out on stuff when they realize it’s happening. It is so tempting to tell everyone, but it’s not right. I continue to pray. I know that God hears me. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a relationship, but I don’t deserve this treatment. I didn’t intend to ever hurt my son. I love him beyond all words. He continues to hurt me whenever he is able, so I just need to protect myself as best as I can. I am so grateful for the rest of the family. I love them all so much, warts and all. They love me too/ warts and all……so I am richly blessed! I am not going to descend into the hell of depression. That solves nothing and God put me on this earth to do His work. To become the best me I can…..and if I succumb to depression that is NOT the Best me. So all you wonderful gracious giving MOMS, remember to love yourself and do not give in to crippling depression. KNOW YOU are VALUABLE. YOU ARE LOVED BY GOD AND THOSE WHO KNOW YOUR HEART, YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR INNATE GOODNESS. Do not listen and give even one minutes worth of the time God gave you away to unnecessary sadness and depression……GOD made you and He made you a beautiful expression of his handiwork. He loves you and you are worthy of love……Don’t let anyone rob you anymore!!! Thank you for this website…….LOVE, M.