Two years and two kids later

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35andnewlife

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Two years and two kids later
« on: March 12, 2019, 04:16:42 PM »
I last posted on here about two years ago, before my first child. I had gone no contact but I lost my nerve when my daughter was born, and I let them back into our lives. I now have two amazingly sweet children.

My parents were on their best behavior for quite awhile and made a big deal about being grandparents. Little things bothered me here and there, but I tried to ignore them. I got guilt trips for not allowing them to visit enough or not thanking them for all the gifts they gave my kids. Every decision I made was greeted with silence or subtle criticism. I got anxious when they called and worried I would be in trouble if I did not meet their every need. I watched them interact with my children like a hawk. I recoiled inside every time my daughter said "grandma." I felt guilty, tense and ashamed and was prone to surges of anger inside, but I had no idea why. And I stopped believing that I could make any decisions without consulting them first.

Then over the holidays my mother mocked my toddler for crying on Christmas Eve. I felt this huge surge of anger and I confronted them the following day. As I should have expected, they dismissed everything I said, called me selfish, said they had done a good job as parents. At the end of the conversation, they said they would not visit but would leave the remaining Christmas presents for my kids on the doorstep.

The presents never showed up. At that moment I realized my children would be punished any time I displeased my parents and had become new pawns in the game of manipulation. Since the holidays, we have not seen my parents, and it has been really great. I have really spread my wings both personally and professionally. I am so happy, feel immense sadness, because I am happier without my parents. They just don't care how I feel or how my children feel and I cannot ignore it any longer.

So, here I am again. About to go no contact and scared out of my mind. Won't I be killing my parents if they don't get to see their grandchildren? What if I need them one day financially ? Am I selfish like they say?

I missed this forum. I am so glad it is still here two years later.

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Kiki81

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 07:50:39 PM »
Your parents will either never give you some #1, or if they did it'll come with the privilege of continuing to abuse you and to consume your children.

Man up!  ;D You don't *need* them although you may want them   8-)

Children learn from what the adults around them model. Don't let your kids see you act like a fearful victim. Do not allow your children to believe they too must be sacrificed in any way.

You can do this. You really can

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 11:44:31 PM »
Welcome. Oh my goodness this sounds awful and oh-so-familiar. I too realized my children would suffer because of my parents’ abuse.

Quote from: 35andnewlife link=topic=78846.msg685525#msg685525
So, here I am again. About to go no contact and scared out of my mind. Won't I be killing my parents if they don't get to see their grandchildren? What if I need them one day financially ? Am I selfish like they say?

I completely relate to your fear/obligation/guilt here. It goes against every script we’ve ever known to choose our own family’s well-being over our abusers.

That said... will it kill them? Absolutely not. They’ve already demonstrated loud and clear they don’t give two figs about their relationship with their grandchildren.

What if you need them financially? Really? Forgive me if this is too blunt, but keeping people around in case they prove useful to you is a pretty crappy way to treat people. I wonder where you learned that...

Are you selfish like they say? If your parents are anything like most of ours, “selfish” means “not doing what I want.” So consider the source there. If you are choosing based on your honest belief in what is in the best interests of your children, then that is the opposite of selfish. Peace to you as you move forward.

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Juniperberry

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 01:02:38 AM »
I’m right there with you and I’m cheering you on.

Our number one job as parents is to keep our kids healthy and safe.  When our parents make us choose between their happiness and our kids’ safety and well-being, there is only one respectable option.  It’s a painful choice, but it’s our job to endure that discomfort for the sake of our kids.

There are worse things than feeling guilty, namely knowingly exposing my own children to emotional abuse as making them suffer because I was too chicken to stand up to my parents.  I absolutely refuse to allow that to happen, and that gets me through the majority of the guilt pangs. 




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35andnewlife

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 11:38:09 PM »
Thank you all for your responses! I want to explain the financial part and hopefully make it sound less like I'm in it for some kind of money from them.


What if you need them financially? Really? Forgive me if this is too blunt, but keeping people around in case they prove useful to you is a pretty crappy way to treat people. I wonder where you learned that...


Call Me Cordelia, I totally agree with what you say and I do not want to keep them around just for financial reasons. What I mean more is...I tend to doubt that I can stand on my own two feet, financially and emotionally. When I am around my parents, I feel like I need them to fall back upon for approval, decision making and yes, help when money gets tight. I worry that I cannot stand on my own two feet financially, without them there as a safety net.

BUT...when I am not around them I notice that I am more confident in myself and realize that I am currently doing fine without their assistance, financial or otherwise. I am fully aware that I was probably be disinherited eventually (if not already - I am the SG) and I find that to be a relief. Money = obligation in my family and I am happy to get nothing.

Hopefully that made sense! Thanks guys for reading this. :)

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 07:49:59 AM »
Well said, Juniper! :applause:

Newlife, I was rather harsh. Thank you for responding graciously. My intention was to help speak back to your fears, hope that came through.

The programming to believe you need them can be really strong. My mother in particular needs to be needed, to the point where she was disappointed when I no longer had a certain chronic debilitating health condition! Being told implicitly or explicitly that you need them is a projection I believe. It’s they who have such low self-esteem that they are deliberately hindering their daughter’s healthy development, that they would ASPIRE to being kept around for mercenary reasons!

Congratulations on your disinheritance. You deserve it lol.  :phoot:

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 01:59:23 PM »
First of all, mocking a toddler for crying? Rude and heartless, not good grandma material! Then not dropping off presents, they really showed you, huh?  :roll:

As far as you killing your parents by not letting them see your children, in the past I would have said yes but now I'm not too sure. In my case my mom only saw my kids when I arranged something. She never initiated any outings with them and we lived very close to each other. She was a grandma who talked about the latest political tv shows and elections to my children. She wasn't interested in them, it was all about her. She expected them to be an audience.

There were many times they didn't run up to her with glee at seeing grandma and she'd make them feel bad. They were little kids and they weren't giving her the proper Grandma greeting. It got so they weren't happy when I'd invite her over. They had to play act or we'd all feel the wrath. God forbid, if they didn't send a thank you card in the proper time frame for a gift, she'd blow her top. I did that to my children, I put my mother above them because of my fear, obligation and guilt. Don't be me!!

Looking back I wish I had seen what a selfish woman my mother is, we were so enmeshed it was ridiculous. My marriage suffered because of her, my relationships with extended family suffered too. Good for you seeing that your parents don't deserve contact. They aren't worth it.

As far as the financial worry, don't depend on them for anything. Even if they say you'll be getting everything when they pass, don't count on it. My mom changes her will frequently and has cut people from the will for not calling her back in a timely manner. Get yourself in a good financial situation so you never, ever consider going to them for help.  :yes:


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Starboard Song

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 03:19:05 PM »
I cut off correspondence between my DS12 and his grandparents. After years of the behavior you describe, we had a crisis. They rejected us and then could not even refrain from extended verbal abuse.

It has caused them tremendous pain, but it is pain beyond my control. They've been told reasonable steps they could take to resume contact, and we've kept open a line of communications (they used it once in all this time). So it is all on them.

The financial concerns are real: we cost ourselves a boatload of inheritance on the day we declared relationship death. So sure, take that into consideration. And there are options between obedience and NC. VLC, with controlled, supervised visits once a quarter, could possibly reduce the extraordinary pressure of NC, if they live neither too close nor too far. But it sounds like that would be a perpetual battle.

Loving, kind grandparents are a treasure. Harmful, manipulative people are not. And harmful, manipulative people are bad timber with which to construct loving, kind grandparents. Those toddlers, whom they already mock, will soon be (1) too big to cuddle, and (2) big enough to indulge with open violations of your parenting guidance.

For us, if we could go back in time to where my DS didn't remember them, I'd do it. My own grandfather died before I was born. I'd safely bet a thousand dollars that his premature death and absence in my life did less damage to me than these people have done to my family by their presence.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
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35andnewlife

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 03:44:24 PM »
You guys are awesome!! This is so helpful because my mother just asked to visit us in a few weeks and I am feeling the FOG come over me.

It is interesting how money gets wrapped up into these PD relationships. I grew up thinking that money was earned through gifts and inheritance for the price of compliance. I knew that I always had to please my family or there were consequences. I never learned that I could EARN it myself.

Independence, as you can probably tell, was not encouraged in my family. I am just now daring to think, "You know what? I can do this. I can be independent." It's so odd how independence feels like I am being a rebellious teenager, like I'm doing something bad!

Regarding the visit, I am going to say no. Just working on the best way to say it without adding justification. I simply don't want to see them.  :no:

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Starboard Song

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 03:50:25 PM »
You are on a good path, wherever it leads.

Do be careful on this point: NC is fighting words. Even your best, healthiest friend may be irreperably hurt if you told them you needed no contact for a while, and PD folks are far less prepared to digest such a challenging message.

So unless or until you are ready for NC, I'd encourage you to dodge around visits and dodge around the reasons, to keep things cool. And fewer words with less explanation, as you suggest, is better.

We too often feel a need to persuade others, when we need only to inform them.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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littlemisssunshine

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 04:22:54 PM »
I'm not sure if this helps but i have no kids, we just financially couldn't afford them with a hefty mortgage and to be honest i feel wistful about it sometimes however i am not very maternal so it is what it is.

I very much was / have been hanging onto having a relationship with my parents until last year when i turned 40 and my husband was made redundant and i nearly had a breakdown.

I asked my parents if we needed could they financially assist us with mortgage, bills etc.. (bearing in mind over the years they have put my sister through university, paid for her wedding and looked after her kids for free - they point blank refused to financially help me with any of that, as a consequence i didn't go to university, i paid for my own wedding (which was great as i didn't have to invite them and their drama yay!!)and they refused to help with childcare if we had kids), sorry for the ramble but my point is when in our hour of need i asked if down the road they could help, not even in that moment down the road. Guess what (you all know whats coming!!) they refused and whilst they are not super wealthy they do have money and could certainly have done a couple of food parcel's or helped with bills if needed, they choose in my hour of need to stick two fingers up and without saying it they said f**k o*f you mean nothing to us and we are not helping.

Maybe we should all ask ourselves:

1. Does this person bring me Love?
2. Does this person genuinely care about me?
3. Will I be there for them in their hour of need?.
4. Will they be their for me in my hour of need?.
5. Are we mutually non judgmental of each others lives?.
6. Does this person bring me drama?
7. Am i fearful of what this persons behaviors is role modelling to my children?

There are probably loads more we could all think of and maybe what we should all do is create pros cons lists of maintaining these relationships. Above all we should feel no guilt in whatever our decision is because safeguarding and looking out for ourselves is not a bad thing and we shouldn't think its a bad thing.

Hugs and Love you beautiful people xoxoxo
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 04:41:22 PM by littlemisssunshine »

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35andnewlife

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 04:56:34 PM »
You are on a good path, wherever it leads.

Do be careful on this point: NC is fighting words. Even your best, healthiest friend may be irreperably hurt if you told them you needed no contact for a while, and PD folks are far less prepared to digest such a challenging message.

So unless or until you are ready for NC, I'd encourage you to dodge around visits and dodge around the reasons, to keep things cool. And fewer words with less explanation, as you suggest, is better.

We too often feel a need to persuade others, when we need only to inform them.

Thank you for your response Starboard Song!

I went NC before, all during my first pregnancy. The cards and gifts came but luckily no confrontations at my door or anything. My parents like to use silent treatment to punish me, so if I go NC again, they will be miffed and act like I don't exist. They don't realize that I find silent treatment to be quite relaxing.  :cool2:

YOU ARE SO RIGHT!! I don't need to persuade them, but inform them. Where have you been all my life??  :applause:

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Starboard Song

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 06:01:56 PM »
*silent treat
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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35andnewlife

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 06:37:38 PM »
Update!!

I said no to a visit. she quickly responded with asking if this was a permanent ban on seeing "their" GC. My husband rolled his eyes but it felt menacing to me. I am trying to avoid a panic attack but I feel the eye contact and the tone of voice and it is SCARY. Sigh. So subtle yet so powerful. Anyone know what I mean?  :'(

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Starboard Song

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 06:58:25 PM »
I know exactly what you mean.

Take deep breaths. Give DH a hug. You got this.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Juniperberry

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Re: Two years and two kids later
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2019, 12:33:27 PM »
 Good for you.   :cheer:

Yes, I know exactly what you mean.