Feeling so resentful

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    There are days when everything just feels so vain.

    Of course our kids do not owe us anything. They didn't ask to be born, in fact other of mine has many times stated he wishes he wouldn't had. But still somehow, on emotional level, one expects some rewards from all the sleepless nights, all the diapers changed, all the homework fought through, all the sacrifices, all the time, attention and money. And all you get is more sleepless nights and worry. Why did we bother at all?

    Ache has lately been in good enough shape to play and one night we were watching him play from the tv. He was having a great game, some highlight reel plays, commentator shouting how good he is, even the crowd chanting his name a short bit. While watching it, I wasn't feeling even the smallest bit of joy or excitement and when I looked my hubby next to me, and he has always been very much involved and dedicated to our kids sports, I could see he wasn't feeling any either. We were anxiously looking for Ache's body language, body language of his team mates and coaches, trying to figure out how he was really doing.

    One of Ache's team mates was having a great game too and they showed his parents on the crowd, looking so happy and proud and celebrating. You could even hear it through the tv broadcast that they were shortly interviewed in the arena about how happy they were to be able to see their son play live and how proud they are of him and how well worth it all the effort they put to their son's sport now feel and how they always try to catch all of their son's games even though there is quite a time difference. They are foreign and were apparently spending a week there to visit him and his wife.

    I of course do not know those people at all and I'm happy they are having a great son and good time watching him play. But I can't help but feel cheated. It is of course not like we would had put all the time and money we used to Ache's sport in hopes of him being a pro one day and us there happy and proud watching. We did it to help him develop and all the great memories we hoped he and us would gain through those junior years. Well, guess what, that didn't pan out either. Instead of great time it was struggle after struggle after struggle. And it hasn't changed from that nor does it show any signs it would.

    I feel resentful over whole thing, I have to admit. And even more so I resent myself feeling resentful over it, because I do know I have no right. Ache does not owe us anything and it is not his job to make us proud or happy. This is also not about Ache shutting us out and not talking to us, though he is now talking with Joy again and according to him it seems Ache is trying to work out some solution to start contact with us while saving his face too, just a vain cry to the universe: "Why me?!?"
     
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Resentment -- boy do I know about that. Resentment and I are well acquainted. I used to seethe with it at times. It's hard not to feel that way when looking at seemingly "normal" families celebrating "normal" milestones and events. When you're dealing with yet another crisis and just want to run away and start over, with no kids. And the guilt over feeling resentment, and then resenting myself -- vicious cycle!

    It took me years to push through that, to get to the point where I finally learned to just accept things as they are. I don't like the way they are, not one bit, but I've learned to accept and live with it. I honestly can't even tell you how I did it, other than working very hard with a wonderful therapist. Part of it was learning to be grateful for whatever I could find to be graeful for on any particular day. When I started to feel resentful, I tried to shift focus to something positive (well, at least she's not living with me any more!) When I did that enough, it became a habit, and then gradually I let the resentment go. It still rears its ugly head now and again (just this week, in fact) -- but it doesn't consume me like it did at one time.

    For today, maybe just try and think of one positive thing to cling to, to push that resentment to the side. Do something fun with your husband and don't talk about your son - talk about anything BUT your son. Enjoy life, for yourself.
     
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  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    :hugs:

    Right there with you.

    I think it's really more basic. You want to be proud of him. You want to look at him and feel happiness and love and satisfaction of a job well done...to feel like you raised him well - that he turned out well.

    I never feel that.

    I WANT IT! With every fiber of my being, I want it. I had a vision of how my family would be. I had imagined my son going to school and making friends and getting a job and being a typical kid. I didn't get that and I feel cheated.

    I didn't get to go to the science fair. I didn't get to have a bunch of boys hanging around calling me "mom". I didn't get to rent him a tux for prom. I didn't get to see him graduate (he wouldn't go to the ceremony). I got to take him to college and settle him in...but only because I did all the work... and then he failed.

    I have a brother who's son is just a year older than mine. He's so proud of him. My cousin who's kids are just younger are always putting their accomplishments on Facebook. I have one cousin who's son is the same age as mine...he's had issues...but every once in a while I see her post they went to a ballgame or watched a movie or whatever...and he and she look so happy together. I don't get any of that and it's NOT FAIR!

    Today he has a job interview. I should be happy. I'm sitting here with a sense of dread...wondering if he'll call in a panic because his ride fell through. I don't even get to enjoy positive news.

    None of it is fair SuZir. Not any of it.
     
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  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    This is something we have tried to do. We try to do something together once or twice a week, no talk about kids allowed and that works rather well. I also have my personal projects going on, rather big ones in fact and I'm busy enough that I do not have much time worry about Ache. But when that stops, when there is minute of room in my brains, worry is all back there again. And usually it is worry, resentment is more a sharp, but oh, how sharp, twinge out of the blue.

    In fact me and hubby are again close to the situation, that the sound coming from us not talking about Ache starts to be so loud, we can't hear each other. I guess we are to afraid that what ever would be said would somehow magically make it more real. That if we say those things we are both fearing and thinking aloud, that will somehow make them true and final.

    While watching that game neither of us commented it in any way and only afterwards hubby commented that he can't believe that in some years we put money worth of luxury two week Thailand vacation for the family to that and this is there we are. Being a positive outlook guy he is, he did add that of course if we would had done that instead, kid would had likely found a lethal box jellyfish and got killed there, so he guesses it wasn't that bad choice to use the money in his sport instead.

    Things could be worse, it is just that lack of much positive outlook for his future is starting to wear us down.

    As Lil, we too didn't get High School graduations, prom equivalents etc. either. In some ways we did have impressive memories and there was some excitement over his achieves in sports when he was a kid, but there was always also that shadow of threat. It is difficult to feel happy and proud when your kids is selected to some prestigious team, camp or tournament, when you after that are all the time waiting for call, that he has been kicked out from there for reason x. And you know it beforehand. Or when things seem to be going well for a while, you are just waiting for next thing to go wrong and next huge crisis.
     
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think having some feelings of resentment is normal when you have a Difficult Child.
    I know I had my share of feeling that way and it took time to let those feelings go. On occasion those feelings have tried to resurface but I am better equipped now to let them go.
    I work with a group of women who all have grown children and they go on and on about how great they are and all the things they do together. Then there are times they will complain about there adult kids for really some really petty things. One of the ladies can't stand that her son sends her a text to wish her a happy birthday. It's been at least 15 years since my son acknowledged my birthday, mother's day, Christmas, or any other kind of day, the only communication I've had with him is in the form of him wanting something. The other day one of the ladies received flowers from both of her kids "just to brighten her day" and she complained that they can't afford it. (I know they can because they are both successful and have really good jobs)
    I think there will always be a sadness but I no longer have feelings of resentment. I'm happy for the women I work with but also I feel sad for them too as they truly do know how blessed they are to have adult kids that are not difficult.
    It reminds me of the saying "you don't know what you have until it's gone"
    It's not an easy thing we Warrior Mom's have to endure. You are not alone in how you feel.
    :group-hug:
     
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  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No graduation ceremonies here, either. Nor did I get to be excited in a "normal" way about becoming a grandparent, because both my daughter's kids were unplanned with two different horrible young men. Oldest had a church wedding that I knew was doomed (and as I suspected, the marriage lasted less than 6 months) but I put on a brave face and pretended o be happy for her. I definitely know that feeling of being "ripped off."

    And, I totally hear you, Tanya, about birthdays etc. With no family around to encourage them to do something for my birthday or Mother's Day, I grew to resent those days as well -- especially Mother's Day. I hated being at home and watching the neighbors' kids and grandkids come over to celebrate, while my kids asked what was for dinner and fought like it was any other day. I'm still not a fan of Mother's Day -- it's a harsh reminder for me of lots of bad memories and is just a tough day - BUT I celebrate my birthday with my friends now. I make it all about me that day, a celebration of my own survival of another year :)

    Yeah, I think a lot of us can definitely relate here-- it just hoovers. I know how it wears you down .. it's exhausting! Hang in there, SuZir.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  7. Tired and Hopeful

    Tired and Hopeful New Member

    I needed to read this today to know that others are where I am, and where I will always be. My most difficult daughter chose yesterday, our wedding anniversary. to send a series of petty and demeaning e-mails to me quibbling over stupid things for stupid reasons. My little Miss High and Mighty is about to enter her third marriage (we just hit 48 years) and I get so weary of her worldly view of relationships. She just knows it all, you know . And like all of you there were no proud graduation ceremonies or prom festivities, just anger and bitterness. So big hugs to all.
     
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I will add my voice here too, Suzir, Lil and others.

    There were always problems in our case, but there was love, joy and cohesion.

    First to go was the cohesion. Of course, looking back I can understand that. He had to grow up.

    Then the joy.

    While he is doing better, I do not see how he will ever be truly independent. He complains he wishes he was not alive. He bemoans what he lacks in his life.

    I do not regret adopting him or loving him. The love is still there as strong as it ever was. I believe on both of our parts.

    But there is little joy. There is fear and there is responsibility.

    I can see he is trying to rebuild our relationship. He thinks before he says things that he knows will hurt me. But tells me anyway.

    He seems to be trying to restore the cohesion. While I want it and need it, I would want him to be happy and content. I would want him to have goals and hope. What I want, I know, matters not at all.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  9. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    and, i relate with each and every one of you. This may not make you feel any better, but after 15+ years, the resentment has long dissipated. I used to feel that resentment. This most likely sounds silly, but I dreamed of husband and I driving to his college town and visiting, perhaps going to a football game and out to eat....and just laughing and smiling. Of course, this fantasy disappeared long before he went to college......and even longer before he dropped out.

    These days, no feelings of resentment exist. I am just grateful he is alive. That is perhaps a perk of having a 34yo Difficult Child? o_O

    Years ago, a friend told me this - when he announced to his mom that he never asked to be born:

    Her answer: Welllllll, whoooooo did?

    I found that to be such a grounding response, lol.

    Ashamedly, i remember telling my mom that same thing when I was about 14 and in much angst.

    SS
     
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you SeekingStrenth. That helps.

    If all of what happened, hadn't (the conflict, the manipulation, the opposition, gossiping about me, lack of motivation, drama, etc., etc., the statement alone
    "I wish I had never been born," or "my life is not worth living," or the like would be laughable.

    But we are so worn out.

    I will speak for myself: guilt, responsibility, regret, helplessness, fear.

    There is no levity left.

    Hope, I am afraid to have. Faith wears thin.
    I think we are just plain afraid of what is next.

    COPA
     
  11. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I recently saw a post on Facebook. It was posted by some woman I do not know. She posted pictures of her wedding as it was her wedding anniversary. She bragged about her wonderful life and and her two "wonderful, successful children". I promptly hit the little tiny button on the right side of the post which says, "don't show any more posts by xxx". :mad:

    And those sappy platitudes about how wonderful grandchildren are. When I'm dying for a grandchild. Ugh.

    I guess I should stay off Facebook....
     
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  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yep. Me too. There is nothing that makes you feel quite so bad about your child as Facebook. From the friends who's sons are going to church camp or just became Eagle Scouts to the ones who brag on their kids' grades or jobs or colleges (one of my old classmate's daughters just graduated from Yale :( - with honors) to the generic "I held this little boy and now he's a man. Repost if you have a wonderful son." sappiness - I hate them all.
     
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  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member


    I guess I luck out here. I had Ache young at local standards so most of my Fb friends still post about school or pre school photo shoots, elementary school plays, first music school matinees, junior tournaments of sports and movie nights with families. We did those things too, they tended to be more or less suffering, but we did them. And others are posting about irritating puberty etc. which I do not miss at all.

    I guess, those days i can't read my friend's fb posts are still ahead of me. I'm sure they will come though.
     
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I had ours old actually, in my 30's, but most of my friends and coworker's are younger than me and the cousin who's son is my son's age is actually 6 years or so older than me, so she had her boy even older! But yeah...I have lots of FB friends/family with kid's my kid's age or within 4 years of it.
     
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Around here 30 is average first time mother. Many, if not most, of my friends had their later. I was 23, really young compared to peer group. Many were horrified how could I ruin my life like that and have a baby when still at Uni. The standard was masters and at least five years of work experiment before even thinking about it. I only finished my masters at the same time Ache graduated from potty training.


    EDIT: We actually had joined masters degree/potty trained party and that was hoot. So I have to take it back. There has been really great days and awesome memories. There just are days when those are more difficult to remember...
     
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I can so relate to this!
    I don't like that it's easier to remember the "bad" and not the good. Perhaps it's because if I put it on a scale I think the bad would outweigh the good.
    When my son was little, those are the memories that make me smile. When he hit pre-teen he started to act out and get into trouble. I do have some happier memories when he was married but those are tarnished because he later told me that all his "good" behavior then was an act because he knew that's what I wanted to see.
    :faint:
     
  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Last Sunday I went to a party. I saw the mother of my Difficult Child's best friend from middle school and high school. She has been very compassionate over the years about Difficult Child, but I asked her about her son, who is my son's age.

    He has graduated from Clemson and is in a management training program for a large company in South Carolina.

    He is 26, and has done what we are actually thought our sons and daughters were going to do...I also imagined going to visit my son at college, going to football games, meeting his girlfriend...all of that...

    I had all kinds of dreams. They were my dreams, clearly, not his.

    Back to the party. While I was glad to hear---I am glad for her and for him---my stomach sank a little bit hearing that. It is a reminder of how far behind my son is, compared with others his age.

    I know he has to walk his own path, and that is how it has to be. It just won't work any other way.

    I guess it is hard to let go of our dreams for our kids. I think we are all in the same boat in this regard.

    Just trying to accept reality is one of the hardest things to learn how to do.
     
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  18. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    It just hit me that one of the most compassionate, understanding folks i know is the lady who cuts my hair (and has cut it for 20 years and used to cut Difficult Child's hair). This is secondary to our CD forum understanding folks; that goes without saying!

    I feel certain it is because she hears so many stories of mothers' dreams for their kids not working out as planned. I never share much. She will ask about Difficult Child and I will vaguely fill her in and she says things that make me feel better. There is always a comment that alludes to the idea that his behavior is just part of the journey and many men go through it....and she hears this kind of thing all the time and it is just kinda like normal-kind-of-stuff for many guys, really.

    Truth or not, i have no idea, but I walk out feeling fine.

    (And, she is not expensive at all).
     
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  19. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

     
  20. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Thanks for this post..Appreciate the honest and real comments...I am grateful my son is alive but like yourselves, we are disappointed to see time passing him by and he hasn't developed the potential that he had...very sad..even sadder to hear how, disappointed he is in himself, discouraged, etc.. I never felt jealous of other people's successful kids until this year...think it's because as my son has reached his late thirty's, it seems more unlikely that he will ever be what the world deems, as successful..maybe he is making small changes that we cannot see or would appear small and insignificant when comparing to the Harvard grads, but relative to his life, are hopeful..
     
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