Question: Dear Luise: Where should I begin? I have five children and five grandchildren (so far). Two of my daughters, the second and fourth, have been addicted to weed/pills since God knows when. They have stolen thousands of dollars off of me, stolen my identity to put a telephone in my name (and run up a 500.00 telephone bill) when I was out of the country, even though I supported them and their children completely for several years. Now, I am away from them (completely) and they blame me for pretty much everything, saying I ‘abandoned’ them in favor of my husband, etc, etc, ad nauseam. So, why am I writing to you? I should be happy I am out of that mess, right? Part of me is thrilled I am away from them, but the other part of me misses my children and my grandchildren by those children. So…what should I do? Diva
Answer: Dear Diva: What a mess is right! And yet life is pretty messy if it’s lived fully, isn’t it? Good for you for creating a new life of your own that’s working and for still caring about those you left behind.
It must feel wonderful to be away from the chaos, the emotional and financial drain and the heartbreak…and I can also get that it’s lonely. They are your kids and your grandkids…good bad or indifferent.
It looks to me like what you don’t have is boundaries. You never learned how to set them or to hold that line. If you try to re-establish contact without gaining any skills in that area, history will just repeat itself. You were the family victim, the family scapegoat and the family dumping station. Somehow, you helped establish and maintain that concept. You were also the family Rock of Gibraltar, the family solidarity and the family source of unconditional love. Can you see the price and the pay-off?
Find yourself a good counselor and share your background with him/her. Get some serious support regarding how to contact your kids and their kids without setting yourself back up as the handy-dandy, family doormat. You need a wise advocate to steer you through these troubles waters so you can combine your past with your present to have a full future. Blessings, Luise