difficult child 1 and Christmas

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cubsgirl, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    As some of you may recall, our daughter, difficult child 1, stopped speaking to us at Christmas time last year (but not before she cashed a $350 check we sent her for Christmas). She has since moved and refused to provide us her address. Prior to her moving, we did send her a $50 check for her birthday in March which she also cashed.

    Her main problem is with me. She has this vision of what a perfect mother is and I have fallen short of that vision (as any mother would - her vision is so far out there it's almost delusional). She has had several email conversations with husband telling him how awful I am.

    So my husband and I have a dilemma. We have her email address. Do we send her an email trying to get her address to send Christmas presents-and other communication-or do we let it go. We are certainly not going to send her $350 again. I'm going to discuss this with my therapist but I thought you wise warriors would have some advice.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Whenever I have these kinds of questions, I tell myself to check my motives. If my motivations revolve around someone else's behavior, I'm setting myself up for disappointment. If they're about me, I tend to go with it but prepare myself for the outcome -- depending on the circumstances. If the outcome may cause me additional harm/emotional anguish, it's sometimes not worth it.

    What is the motivation for wanting to send her a gift? If you truly are sending it for YOU, because you want to continue to show her you love her, then it may be worth a try for the address. I'd keep the gift minimal and not too personal though -- perhaps a gift card. If you're hoping that a gift may cause a shift in her behavior, then I'd let it go.
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  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I would ask her for her address and if she does provide it, then I would send her a card, just a card, expressing my sadness at her departure from my life, but still wishing her a good holiday season. I would not tend to reward angry and hurtful behavior with any gifts. If she refuses to give her address, then I would simply send an email expressing the same sentiment.

    I also believe, if she were so angry at you, then she would have returned your checks, that would be in the realm of a somewhat "normal" reaction. But, she will take what you give her and then refuse to acknowledge you. I don't know, that sounds so immature, childish, selfish and entitled to me. A rational adult would handle that quite differently I think.

    But, of course, that is simply my 2 cents, I think we all have to act in ways that are in alignment with our beliefs, our ethics and our hearts.
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  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I do not give gifts to my difficult children. I have 0 contact with the 37 year old. That was his choice. I send text messages on special days. I do not expect them to be returned. I stopped buying the 18 year old anything when I found out he was either selling or giving away everything I gave him.

    Do what you feel is right. You are the only one who can answer that.
  5. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Sorry but I am in the opinion that if someone treats you so badly, they do not deserve to be rewarded for that behavior with gifts or money. What it sounds like is she has frozen you out as a family member and is trying to drive a wedge between you and your husband which again, I think should not be rewarded. Whatever you decide, it would help if you and your husband are on the same page.
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  6. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    May I say that giving a gift seems ridiculous to me? I would definitley send love and try to develop a relationship, but not a gift. Christmas is about family & love, not money. Your difficult child has removed you from her life, so the most important thing is to create an open door for her to come back, time will tell, but it could happen. Don't be too hard on yourself, it shows that you care.
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  7. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    My advice would be to let difficult child 1 know that you would like to send her a Holiday card. If she wants to provide her address she can. I wouldn't send cash/check or a gift unless you and your husband want to. My thought would be if you do send her something make sure it is small and possibly something she can't sell.

    It seems you husband may have some type of relationship with her. In this case I can understand him wanting to send her something to show his love. I can even understand you wanting to send something showing your love. However I wouldn't feel bad about making husband get the address and possibly even sending the gift in only his name if things are so contentious between you and difficult child.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have an ex-son. I call him an ex-son because I haven't heard from him in so long that I can no longer think of him as my son anymore. Going on eight years or so. At the beginning I sent cards and a gift certificate. After three years of his not contacting me, I sent a card. Two years ago I stop even sending a card since he never sent me one. My son has created a false sense of his childhood that never existed. The things he says happened did not happen. He WAS adopted at age six from an orphanage in another country so I'm sure that has something to do with this, so I cut him more slack than I'd have cut a child who had come to us as an infant and always lived with us. But nothing improved, no matter what I tried. His wife is controlling him now and he is letting her. He has two children I have never met. At this point I feel that, it is pretty useless for me to keep trying. I'm not feeling "it" right now. I still love him in my heart, but it's been so long that he is more like somebody I raised for a while before he took off forever.

    Sometimes I think if we try too hard they lose even more respect for us and develop even more delusions about us. I would definitely send a card. I would not send a gift. I would get into therapy with husband too so you can confront her in a united way. I would be very hurt if I were still married to my ex and my son told him horrible stuff about me and he didn't tell my son to either respect me as well as him or contact him when he was ready to do so. I don't know if this is an issue between you two or not, but I just wondered.

    I'm sorry you have to go through this. It is very painful. I needed lots of therapy to be able to deal with it. But it helped me a lot.

    Hugs for your hurting heart and for having to make this sort of a terribly hard decision. To me, if you hate me so much, why is my money ok? Seems hypocritical so no money goes that direction.
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I too would likely go with a card and maybe (just maybe and mostly depending if your husband wants to give her something) some token, small gift, if she gives an address. And email/eCard if she doesn't. Nothing big, just something short and sweet to let her know that your side of the bridge is not in flames. Being subjected to no-contact is hard, but they are not always permanent, especially when it is someone as young as your daughter going for that route.
  10. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    What a nerve!
    Cashing your checks but refusing to speak to you and telling husband how awful you are at the same time.
    Let her apologise to you and send you a card.

    Send a card if it makes you feel better, but do it for yourself, not her.

    I definitely wouldn't send anything more than a card. That would make me feel cross and resentful, and I don't do 'cross and resentful' any more.
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  11. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I was thinking about this again last night and had this thought: she doesn't get to be "daddy's little girl" when she treats mom like crap. Both of you need to show her that the relationship between you and your husband is the most important relationship in the family. Although I recognize that someone in a situation like this has to be the communicator, once the difficult child in anyway attacks mom, dad needs to tell the difficult child the behavior will not be tolerated, period!
  12. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all your thoughtful replies. I examined my motives and I really just want her to know that we are here for her when she is ready to talk. However, I think I will just send a card if she even gives us her address. Those of you who commented on husband's role in all of this are correct - he needs to step up and tell her he won't tolerate this behavior. He doesn't stand up for me when difficult child 2 gets disrespectful either so this is definitely something in our relationship to examine.
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Sending a card with your thoughts of letting her know you love her is all you need to do. I would not send any money.
    Yes, your husband needs to stand up for you.

    Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.