My adult daughter does not want to talk to me- missing my grandkids :(

Christine - posted on 09/12/2016 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My daughter and I have had a strained relationship for her whole life. ( she flipped me off at age 3) Her dad and I divorced when she was 9. He was verbally and emotionally abusive, and I made my way out of the relationship, barely making it on my own. She was raging out of control at the time, and she had a 2 year old brother too. I regret asking her dad to have her while I finish college and work. I expected her to come back to me. But the whole process poisoned her against me, and I have never gained her love. She did move in with me once, but her dad always one-upped me with more income, better houses and food. In 2008, she was 17, he and his wife moved away with her to MN (wife's home). I couldn't bare it, so me, my husband and younger son also moved there. Our younger son also felt abandoned) Again, we lived in small, crummier conditions and she rarely visited us there while we stayed 3 years. My husband lost his job, and we both had medical issues, so we moved back to Seattle. Her Dad and step-mom moved on to Fl. She wanted to come to me, but her boyfriend would not leave MN. So she lives there now, but when I visit, she is so nasty to me and treats her dad and step-mom with love and respect. I have given so much, never missed special occasions, birthdays. She returns no gifts to me. I am known as the best gift giver ever. I realized that she was spending every Christmas in FL with her dad, and I began to give up and ran from the pain by taking her off FB.- I didn't want to see any photos. She reacted like a grizzly and said I've been manipulating her her whole life. She refuses to talk to me but when we do communicate she blames me for EVERYTHING. She had been so mean and disrespectful to me I usually leave her house crying. Her upbringing was unfortunate and traumatic, but I have been dumped on with ALL the blame and anger. I miss sending my grand kids and her presents. I'm suffering. How do I stop being a doormat? I know I made mistakes, but all parents do, I've told her I love and miss her, but she is using her children to hurt me. I think this generation is so narcissistic and cold. I would never treat my own mom that way (and she's been far from perfect, but she's my mom.) Should I send birthday/ Christmas gifts? Should I call her on her birthday? Or, should I move on and take care of myself.

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Michelle - posted on 09/13/2016

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My comment about counseling was for you alone, not with your daughter.
You can't change the past but you can decide what your future will be. You also can't force her to have a relationship with you, that why I suggested the counseling. You need to move past the guilt you are feeling for her upbringing and learn ways to change things now.

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2016

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I have teens, a brand new 20, 17, pushing 15 and 12....they are selfish and egocentric. They do not recognize (at least to me) any appreciation for the efforts I and my hubby make on their behalf. I am not shocked at all that you were snubbed. Is it right? No! Is it typical? sure.

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P - posted on 09/13/2016

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Our children have the capacity to give us our greatest joy and our deepest pain. I am so sorry for your pain. All that you have described is in the past, and cannot be undone, but you can affect how you handle the future. You also cannot change how your daughter wants to view you and what type of relationship she wants to have with you. That is her choice to make. It is not productive or helpful for anyone in the situation to try to lay blame at anyone's feet. If it were me, I would send a simple (not elaborate or expensive) reminder at holidays and birthdays of your love for your daughter and her family members with no expectations or strings attached. I would not call or visit unless she reaches out to you with an invitation to do either. Then, I would find activities and friends that I enjoy and create a peaceful, contented life for myself without her. No matter what is in the past, no mother should be treated with the disrespect you have described. Yes, you will miss her and your grandchildren, but you also will no longer be so vulnerable to hurtful attacks.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2016

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That is exactly it, Christine, you have to take care of you.

Christine - posted on 09/12/2016

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Thanks for listening, It's good to get a different perspective. All I can say is when your child is 17, and a junior in high school, they can live wherever they choose. I thought that uprooting and showing that I would be with her no matter what was a huge statement, and even for my husband. I just don't get the you'll never see your grand kids again thing that is actually quite prevalent. You're right though, I can't change her choices, and If she denies my bids for reconciliation, I can't change it. Maybe it's time to take care of me. :)

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2016

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Why do you say: "Why is it the mom is always to blame?"
I disagree, I see far more complaints about absent fathers than moms. You cannot go back in time and redo anything. Asking her to join you in counseling may prove the most effective at this point.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2016

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If you had joint custody, you could have lodged a protest to the move.

Yes she and her kids should show appreciation for what you give them, but you left her to her father during those formative years when socially acceptable behaviour is taught...and if he raised her to expect things to be handed to her, you are seeing that result.

Bottom line is, you did leave her in that vitreous situation with her father.

You can ask that she attend counseling with you, but beyond that, you are pretty much stuck. You either divorce yourself from the situation and her behaviour, or not.

Christine - posted on 09/12/2016

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Michelle, not feeling too supported here. I did try everything in my power to make things right. I did go to counseling, and we had joint custody. I never had a dad, so I went out of my way to see that she did. I made a mistake. Unfortunately, I was taken advantage of. I should have never followed them to Minnesota, but I tried to keep the family together. Why is it the mom is always to blame? What about the dad who gets off scott- free for taking her from me then leaving her. I'm actually not the materialistic one in this scenario, when I visit them I get taken to a toy store, and I don't mind being a giving Grandma. However our relationship has become about me buying them clothes and what they need. I just ask that the blame and anger get shared a bit and I am appreciated just a little for the many things I have sacrificed for and given to my daughter. Wasn't moving to moving to MN a huge statement of love? My husband and I gave up a lot to never get to see her because she was too busy.

Dove - posted on 09/12/2016

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You willingly left her in an abusive environment w/ her father... I'd likely be the same way towards you if you were my mother. You may now regret the way she grew up, but she is the one that has to live w/ the emotional scars forever... or find her own way to heal.

Counseling for you would be an excellent idea. It would be for her as well, but that's up to her to decide.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2016

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I love how everyone who has an adult child who isn't interacting with them automatically calls the "child" narcissistic!

And to then presume to take that further by saying the "whole generation" is similarly narcissistic... wow!!!

I agree with Michelle. Love is not how materialistic you can be, nor is it how "good" your house is compared to your ex's house. You say that her father always made "more money", gave her "better housing", and "better food"...but I'm seeing issues from well prior to your split. You say she was "already out of control". What, at that point, did you do to address her being out of control? Anything? Or did you just, as you stated, "ask her dad to have her"? Was there any counseling in1997/1998, after you and her father divorced? Did she understand why you did not go for primary custody at the time?

What were your visitation arrangements? Were there any? Did you, at that time, keep custody of her younger brother, while rescindingnher custody to her father?

Regardless, actually, I agree with Michelle. You need counseling to address your side of things.

Michelle - posted on 09/12/2016

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I suggest getting yourself into a counselor. You have a lot of issues to work through.

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