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    • #159772

      So its been a while since I posted.
      I obtained my divorce, got our flat into my name, changed my job, found new friends and got much fitter…had extensive therapy which is still ongoing. I have really worked hard to understand the reason for my choices and poor decisions but! my adult daughter (who has nothing to do with her father btw) has decided she does’nt want me or the rest of the family, my side anyway not sure about the other! in her life. This is after hours of talking and a year or so of regular and mainly positive contact. There was no major row or anything like that but I did have a blip where I was very low and vulnerable and I think that was a trigger
      We only had the one child so the situation was tough for her growing up with the tension in the house which I understand and feel so guilty about but this has been discussed at length. I have said sorry been accountable over and over again
      This behaviour feels as abusive as his?
      The longer it goes on for the less I can make sense of her callous behaviour – ignoring her family as well, elderly grandfather etc? I mean I thought I raised a kind compassionate person but it seems not
      We found out my ex has cancer and maybe my continued resolve to have nothing to do with him also sparked this? I guess she doesnt know who I am anymore? but then neither do I.
      I am learning and its hard work but what I now feel is I will never be happy – all the work I have done to be strong and stand alone has not made me happy. I feel zero emotions just as I did before because the hurt is so deep I have to lock it all away.
      How do i cope with this? Is anyone going through a similar thing?
      If I keep messaging pleading for contact it feels like harrassment so i am now silent, out of respect for her feelings
      I want to live in the present and grow and be happy as a single independent women but honestly this is getting harder by the day! Here I am gone midnight unable to sleep again

    • #159791
      Twisted Sister

      Hi skyfish

      How sad, that after all that you have suffered, both of you, it has come to this. I am so sorry.

      Actually ‘sorry’ is something to talk about in this context. Sorry can mean so many things, but I believe that for children saying sorry means its your fault, as they don’t work on other complex levels.

      From your post, I see two separate threads of note, sorry is the first, and the seconed is your acceptance of his abuse as in some way implicating you. I did the same, but when you can see abuse and the abuser as making victims of both of you, you can see that you are in no better place to act, with no power and control yourself and likely reacting to his abuse. Its normal behaviour when in such an abnormal situation. The very nature of abuse is that you are not in control, he is, and he is controlling the experiences for you both, but then you have been apologising, not him.

      I believe this is very very common, and conversely vanishingly rare for the man to do any apologising or taking of responsibility when he is in fact causing the harms. Children will mostly take out their angers and hates on the safe one, you, mum.

      Now that you are growing strong in yourself, and presumably, asserting boundaries, that will bring a change in dynamic between you, one that maybe she is struggling to deal with, because you have always been the one to back down, because you’ve been beaten down, and in her eyes, not holding any power. Now that you have more agency, the dynamic has shifted considerably, and it may bring to her some very difficult psychology and emotions to process around who you are. Thats ok, its just hard to stand by and watch her go through that, but all the while you offer yourself to her, your love, and support, but with boundaries, she will see that you are still there, that you still have a connection but that you are both developing new strategies for living. It’s important not to state her age here, but I am also aware that age can often affect the process quite dramatically depending on what point she is at.

      I agree with the issues around his diagnosis, that will likely cause a good deal of conflict in her as she knows how you feel about him. Its ok to feel what you feel, you have your experiences of him and need to keep strong to your boundaries and self protection, however, as her father, her connections are different and she may struggle to deal psychologically with you whilst she holds her compartmentalised relationship with her father.

      I agree also, that you are right to not push, or put further pressure on her, but just to let her know you are there for her, always, love her, etc. but respect her need for space. I wonder if you have considered family counselling around the abuse? something to look to for you both, if at some time in the future either of you, together, feel this could help its worth knowing whats on offer?

      I feel for you very much in this horribly difficult time, and mothers all too often take the blame and get the responsibility misplaced upon them, its a tricky one to manage, but with patience, a long view, and love it can turn around.

      warmest wishes


      • #159795

        TS I really appreciate your considered and measured reply.

        After intensive therapy and research on my part. plus very heavy conversations between us I now understood concepts such as emotional enmeshment and parentification which was very much a thing in our case.

        I acknowledge what you say 100% and it is good to hear it. I was not the violent abusive parent no. I was the solid loving and consistent one but, I have had to accept my part in the damage and what it did to her as it is relevant. To be honest, without such an understanding and the resulting conversations she would of had nothing to do with me a while before she took this decision. She has undergone intensive therapy which as far as I know is ongoing and considers herself something of an expert to be honest.

        But with regard to now enforcing boundries, no – in fact, she triggers much of the same reactions in me now that he did? Does that make sense? She is after all the only person since I took control of my life that I have allowed to shout at and abuse me. She was also constantly taking money from me I couldnt afford and I willingly gave it because I was grateful she was turning to me for support. Looking back this was a huge mistake.

        When I feel positive I do think she is at last standing on her own two feet, this is what she needed to do. Its temporary and she will come back to me stronger and happier.

        But yes if given the opportunity I need to change dynamics and say no – be a parent properly because I did’nt really understand how to do and may still fail at that one to be honest! Unless I am given the chance I will never know.

        On bad days this silence feels like another form of abuse. Now even the thought of sending a text makes me feel anxious as I am just ignored so I have’nt since April. The last message was short and loving and just asked how she was and how I loved and missed her etc., be good to speak? Just tentative and measured.

        I have considered family therapy recently yes which my lovely dad has agreed to but equally I have come to realise I cant arrange this myself, she will feel threatened I think. I will have to ask her to find someone she trusts to give her the power – but right now I don’t have the courage to even put this forward as a suggestion.

        I do feel I have left the guilt and blame behind now but have to acknowledge I was not strong enough to leave him and this did do untold damage to her mental health. But we have to live in the present and not keep looking back dont we? Other wise you are just stuck.

        I now feel just a nagging emptyness – in the darkest times, that I am not a mother anymore, she doesnt love me, he never loved me etc. Its a damaging spiral I take to therapy and will continue to shoulder I guess but thank you, your words have really helped me. I need to take stock keep prospective be brave, its just lacking right now!
        I guess this is going to be a long journey

        Love & Light

      • #159808
        Twisted Sister

        I guess something you must need to know is that you will always be her mother, no matter where she is on the planet, you are her only mother, and not all relationships are great, sometimes it just needs to be enough to maintain the barest of contact.

        You still speak of somehow you were not good enough, that you didn’t leave soon enough, these are things you are holding yourself responsible for, but these are the very same things that hold all of us overly long in abuse. It is also the nature of abuse, and I hope that you haven’t been to someone who has overwritten the abuse with apportioning blame, there are a lot of them about. I don’t think you should be hard on yourself about this, but rather accepting of it being what it was, that you were all abused, all of you, including you, very much including you, and its expecting the victims to have the choices and power that perpetrators have, and you don’t, your choices are limited, and the threats are real. Living in fear is not you being responsible for abuse.

        Yes, family therapy is something you each need to have your own power and space protected in, I was thinking it would be a useful thing to find out about for the future, so that you have some idea of what is around and what kind of service is on offer, in readiness for it at some point maybe.

        However, it does sound that you have come a very long way in recovering, and it may just be that this is her time to do angry, and she can’t be angry at him, or perhaps would feel guilty to be angry at him because of his diagnosis? So due to emotional blackmail/guilt, he is still holding power. As an abuser, he would be wielding that power right now for others to flock to him with sympathies in his plight, and his plight is real, its just he’s able to manipulate it to his advantage.

        You won’t have answers for her all the while you try to hold accountability for his abuse.

        I think that a lot of society still have issue with being able to answer the question ‘why didn’t she leave?’ We all know its just not that simple, if it was, we would. Often it means facing homelessness, let alone the endless pursuit even if you do leave. Anyway, we know its complex. Thats his responsibility, not yours. You did your best, and all of us can only do that, it may not be what others think is ‘good enough’, and children can find that difficult to understand, but over time, and with patience and love, these things can gently be teased out, or just keep it uncomplicated with an enjoyable activity that you’d both love, the cinema or a show, for instance, things that are not intense, but just to be alongside each other.

        warmest wishes


      • #159830

        My therapist is balanced, wise and always emphasises where the blames really lies so yes i am getting good support. I am taking your kind advice to heart and it has really helped. Again thanks TS – your advice is much appreciated

    • #160027

      Hi, I resignate with you massively and understand your pain. My daughters dad’s parents have alienated my daughter against me and its so painful. Shes My only child also. I to failed to leave at an acceptable time for ignorant people who have nothing been abused, but it’s alot deeper then that. As soon as I fell pregnant with my daughter her grandma hated me, as in years after I learnt she was trying to convince but I did first, (detail removed by Moderator).

    • #160028

      Conceive# typo sorry

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