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My estranged daughter turns 21 today

Jstar49
Community Member

Hi everyone, I'm completely new here so Hello and thanks for being here.

It's my eldest daughter's 21st birthday today and I'm feeling pretty emotional about it. She hasn't spoken to me in 4 years, and refuses to have any contact with me, my husband or our 10 yr old daughter. I was a single mum with her, stayed around her dad's town in order for her to have a relationship with him but finally left when she was 8, to return up north and be closer to family. That's a whole other story.

She was impacted by my PND, for sure, and things have always been intense between us. Chaotic too. Interesting, but not exactly stable. My marriage when she was 10 was the start of some kind of normal, and now I've never been so content or mentally/emotionally stable, even tho I still need to take care of myself, not get overwhelmed, and watch myself re: taking on others opinions/judgements.

I worry about her but I tell myself maybe it's for the best, maybe she just needs time and space to discover who she is, and learn to forgive the mistakes of the past and accept herself and myself for who we are.

It's hard tho. Today I just would love to see her, see her smile at me, hug her and tell her how proud of her I am. And hear whatever she has to say.

Anyhow, thanks for listening. I know there's others out there with similar stories. It seems like the world just needs a course in family harmony! It's so sad for the kids that get caught up in it.

Cheers,

Jstar

312 Replies 312

ecomama
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Jstar

What a sad thing it is that your eldest daughter isn't speaking to you and hasn't for FOUR YEARS! omg that's so sad.

I'm so sorry. That's horrible.

I really don't know how the relationship between you both / all can heal but we're here to listen and comfort you if and when we can. Hugs!

I had a very high risk situation happen a number of years ago with my eldest daughter and eldest children.
It lasted for YEARS.
I truly thought it would never heal.

It broke my heart in 2, so I'm really feeling for you about this.

My Counsellor's advice was VERY difficult to hear and to do.
I asked her questions ALL the time about it and cried my heart out.

Cs advice was "Be consistently and persistently YOURSELF".

For me it was more about AVOIDING doing some things and just being consistently and persistently myself.

I had to ask myself what kind of mother I AM firstly!
It was SO HARD....

Then I came up with answers which directed my own actions (and inactions).

I consistently sent pleasant texts asking her questions. I have grandchildren to her also so I asked about them and her partner (who was a huge part of the problem).

I ALWAYS used pet names to her and sent LOTS of πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ§‘ hearts lol.

I knew her / their interests so selected ONE present that was very thoughtful for every celebration.
I had them mailed, gift wrapped etc.

I avoided...
* over explaining things about the situation
* blaming her or anyone in her sphere
* crying
* texting too often
* calling too often.

I apologised for anything she accused me of.
I expressed HOPE for our future relationship.

She was VERY ANGRY in fact FURIOUS.... it's taken YEARS to begin to heal our relationship and I STILL have to be consistent in my mood, reactions, LOVE - everything.

The thing was that SHE betrayed me many times over multiple levels.

I will never trust anyone 100% again. No one.
I am far more comfortable this way as no one can promise life long devotion and probably shouldn't! (See Brene Brown's work esp her Netflix special "The Call to Courage". She agrees).

My own mother is another story.
I've been NC for decades with her.
She was taken away by Police which could have happened hundreds of times during my life.
I'm NC bec she's violent in all ways.

You're in my Prayers
Love EM

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Jstar

welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your experience and exposing your story.
I was going to reply and noticed EM had replied with helpful suggestions from her own experience.

I won’t repeat her post . I do know people who have not heard from their children for up to ten years. I have hope that things can change as I have seen it happen. It takes time and patience.

You know your daughter more than anyone you will decide what you want to do. I can feel your pain and not sharing her 21st birthday with her.

A friend wrote to her daughter for all the years in a journal .
When her daughter came back she told her of the journal but the daughter didn’t want to see it at that time. Years later when her mum was ill, she asked for the journal and cried.

Thanks Q,

There's some really sad stories in your reply.

I have been hoping that the whole amygdala thing maturing was going to be the answer to my prayers- maybe not! Thing is, I can imagine this sort of scenario with my daughter. She's quite strong willed. I wrote her a letter and popped it in with a basket of presents, along with a photo album-family tradition in our family- but i really don't know if she will read it. A journal is a good idea, maybe.

Thankyou.

Jstar49
Community Member

Hey Em,

Thanks so much. I knew i wasn't alone, but it's not something anyone really wants to talk about I guess.

Theres been a lot of blame shifting in our (FoO) family for years. It's a tough one. What can one do? Only learn from it, pick yourself up when you get knocked down, and find lovely people wherever you can.

I have learnt that I need to get by without other people's approval. That recognising you've made mistakes isn't the same thing as shouldering all the blame, for everyone else/their choices and actions.

I try and be consistent with my d. Funny that, cos when she was little someone told me that consistency is what kids need, and I really struggled with it. I like the description tag of being consistently me, and examining what sort of mother I am. An interesting mental exercise anyway-should help distract me from my self-flagellation! haha lol.

My youngest d is an absolute gem, and tells me all the time that I'm the best mum. She is so good for my soul and I love her to bits. I love my eldest too, in such a different way. I don't think she knows that, really, from what my mum said once. I am reminded of the Peter Carey novel, Oscar and Lucinda, where the guy grows the girl a forest for her bees to prove his love. I wonder if I will need that much patience??!

Em, it sounds like you have your own sad story around mothering. It's a good thing you are on a healing journey, both for yourself and your bloodline. I truly believe that nothing we do is wasted, especially not our healing work.

Thankyou for your words- and hugs

J*

Jstar49
Community Member

Hey, so I don't know if anyone will read this, but....

Yesterday I had it confirmed that my d doesn't intend to invite us to her wedding. I don't know when it will be, it could be soon.

I'm beyond tears now, maybe. For the moment.

All I can do is hope and pray that she changes her mind. That even if she doesn't want to acknowledge me as her mum, that she will allow me and my H to be there, and won't be nasty.

She's been shutting me out of her life for a long time. There was stuff which went on too, and lots of misunderstandings and miscommunications.I don't blame her exactly, even tho I know I don't deserve this. She's very strong, I'm very strong. She has to find her own way of being in this world.

MH is pretty bad in our family. Lots of depression, on her dads side as well. She used to SH, which when she finally revealed it really shocked me. We got help, and I think she's better, but I don't really know for sure.

I'm figuring she must be ok if she's got a steady job and is buying a house with her partner. At 21!!! It's hard to believe!

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to be ok with it if she does exclude me from her wedding.

Sad.

J*

ecomama
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dearest J*

Huge hugs. This is very sad and must be so shocking for you. I'm so sorry.

And I wish it wasn't this way.

Yes I'm reading. If you want to share anything anytime, I'll listen and be present.

Love EM

Jstar49
Community Member

Ohhh thanks lovely Em! You're so kind!

Tears and hugs

J*

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Jstar I am here reading as are many others who read but dont reply. You are not alone.

That is so sad about your daughter and her not inviting you the wedding. She is hurting and takes it out on you. As you say things are complicated but it is frustrating you cant even explain things to her. I do know of someone not invited to her daughters wedding but a few years later that did get back together when daughter had a child.

Sending a comforting hug. Take care

ecomama
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dearest J*

As quirky said, so many people read other's posts and don't know how to respond or can't due to what they're going through atm too.

We are ALWAYS here for you!

You are never alone in this struggle and painful journey.

It's NOT EASY!

You know I've been through similar and I was so distressed for years over it all.
My Counsellor said for me to be "persistently and consistently MYSELF".

Tbh I didn't even know or remember who I was at the time she said that to me!!
I had been in such a DV / FV filled life for decades.

It made me think and REMEMBER who I was!
Cultivate that!

But I know some of who you are and you know yourself better than anyone in the whole world.

Acknowledging all the emotions coming to you, maybe through journalling here even, will help you process them.

Grounding yourself in your ever growing sweet garden is a VERY healing thing to do also.

Just know you're never alone.
Keep that 10 ft thick wet blanket of depression at bay!

Cultivate yourself.

Love always EM