HO HO HO... yeah right!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by rejectedmom, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hi al it has been a while since I've posted but many of you might remember me. difficult child 2 is out of prison and in a Group home and program that he is supposed to work for two years. Yep here we go again but maybe 3's the charm. We had a nice TG and a new grandbaby which is now why I am writing.
    difficult child 1 my 33 year old daughter just had her first baby. She was a pregzilla and it hasn't ended. She finds fault with everyone and has her inlaws cleaning her house and buying her expensive gifts etc. She is in full narcissistic mode and had been for about ten months. But that is just background here is the issue.

    difficult child 1 never sent out Thank you notes for her wedding gifts and many people were hurt by that. These family and friends made a point of letting me know their feelings. She is married three years now. Her response to my telling her that people had hurt felling from the lack of appropriate acknowlegement of their gifts and good wishes was. "They need to just get over it." difficult child quit her therapist in what was apparently a nasty to do saying that the therapist was just stringing her along for the money. difficult child 1 wanted to have a baby and therapist didn't feel she was ready. Yes folks this is the same therapist that she took difficult child 2 to without my permission. The same one she found because therapist was willing to remove the bipolar diagnosis that the DR had put on her in HS.

    Recently easy child 1 and I hosted a baby shower for difficult child 1. It was a large party with relatives coming from all over the country to attend and several of the guests stayed overnight in my home.

    To make it easy for my daughter to send Thank you notes I printed up mailing lables and kept a list of all the names and the gifts. This was given to her the day of the shower. Two and a half weeks later she delivered her baby earlier than expected. After six weeks she had still not sent out the Thank you's for the shower gifts and had moved on to the birth announcements. I asked her if she was going to include a thank you with the announcement which is something that she had mentioned to me when she ordered the announcements. She told me that she was not and all indications were that she was not going to send the Thank you notes at all.

    I was hurt and upset that she would do this to my family and friends again, I didn't want the same people who were so generous to her on both occasions to once again go un-acknowledged . I decided to send out a formal thank you on her behalf which I had imprinted with her name. I purposely kept it very simple so she could easily send a personal note at a future date if she was so inclined.

    When my daughter found out that I had mailed this formal Thank you note she was furious. I apologized but she is now forbidding me from seeing my new grandson. I am at a loss as to what more I can do.

    I also do not really know what I should have done in this situation knowing that her inaction was going to really hurt friends and family again. While I understand why she is angry, I think she is over the top and horrible to punish me by not allowing me to see my grandson. Those of you who remember me know how cruel and abusive she can be and quite frankly I am concerned that if she doesnt' get herself back into therapy things could get really bad. What should I now do to make this better?
  2. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I do remember you and congrats on the new grandbaby. Now on to your situation. Looking at it from an outsider's viewpoint I think you have sort of put yourself in the middle between difficult child and your relatives and friends. When they told you how they felt about not getting thank yous for the wedding presents I think you should have placed it squarely on difficult child--you certainly raised her better than that but it was up to her to respond. I probably would not have thrown a big baby shower after seeing her response to the wedding gifts. With the printed Thank yous you were only trying to be helpful but again I think you somehow are seeing your dtr's behavior as a reflection on you. I would not own that. If people are hurt and tell you so you need to put it right back on dtr. You don't need to be defensive, just say something like, "I'm sorry she is acting rude and ungrateful, she wasn't raised that way."

    But, on to the really important thing! And I have a new grandson too but my difficult child lives 3000 miles away so she can't really use him that way. I think as hard as it is, you can't allow her to manipulate you this way. If she can control you through her son she will have you at her mercy forever. Surely she is going to need something from you at some point, maybe babysitting even? I think you have to be very firm and make it clear that you will not be used this way.

    I know others will be along with their ideas soon--as you already know, we have some very smart people in this group and also people who express themselves really well so hang on!

  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hi Jane and thanks for your input. When the relatives and friends told me that they were upset, I did try to put it back on difficult child. Some of them accepted that she was an adult and I had little control over her. Others thought I should have done more to get her to "do the right thing" The issue was still being commented on by certain family members (in-laws of course LOL) right up to the months before the baby shower. I admit I didn't want to deal with it again and that was part of the reason I sent the formal notes. But it was only PART of the reason, mostly I really didn't want any more hurt feelings.

    You can be very certain that I will never throw a party for her or hers again!

    by the way her husband's family gave her a small shower prior to mine and she got those notes out within two days. so it isn't that she doesn't know the right thing to do. RM
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE


    Here's your answer. It seems she knows you will bail her out with her/your side of the family...and unfortunately, you proved her right with your thank yous.

    Jane nailed it, RM. I don't have anything to add, other than a hug. It's so good to see you.

  5. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hi Suz. Yeah I did breach ediquette also but for better reasons than just lack of concern for others. But, if she knew I would or possibly even wanted me to bail her out... why is this such an issue that she is forbidding contact wih my grandson? I apologized and that is all I can or will do.
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I have no idea. I do know that when Rob digs in his heels about something there usually isn't a rational thought behind it, it's sheer emotion. Unfortunately, I think your only recourse is to withdraw and go about your business. Maybe the "fun" of holding that over your head will dissolve when she doesn't think it's important to you.

  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I guess you are right she is very emotional has always been and quick to jump to conclusions. She has been awful for ten months picking fights with the in-laws and refusing to go to the shower they were having for her until three days prior because she was angry that her Sister-in-law got pregnant possibly on the day that they announced the
    comming of my grandson. She has made life so difficult for her sister in law and her mother in law and father in law I guess it was just a matter of time before she found a reason to be mad at me. BUT I am the only one she has refused access to the grandchild. I actually had been amazed that I hadn't been on the S-list for such a long time.

    Anyway I have been very sick for almost a month but am starting to feel better and am going to go to a holiday party in DE tonight. Not looking foward to the drive (3+ hours) but am thinking that this is probably the only holiday celebration I will be attending so I will give it a try. I think being around caring friends will help me feel better. At any rate it will be a diversion and the cottage needs to be checked on for storm damage. I want to get back home early enough tomorrow to maybe do a little decorating. Life goes on, difficult child crisis or not. You ladies did a great job teaching me that!!!!!

  8. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi RM,
    sounds like you are doing okay in spite of everything. Did you get to the party? Hope you had fun and lots of TLC from your friends. Hope your dtr gets over her funk and lets you see your grandson soon. She does sound like everything is all about her!
  9. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Unless she renounces her use of manipulation and spite, I unfortunately predict a lot of denying access to the grandchild. I was a child that missed a great deal of time with my paternal (and very loving) grandparents because of my Dad (a difficult child) getting angry with my grandmother. Of course, I didn't know what was happening. Plus, I had a pretty nutty childhood with lot of adult drama and it didn't occur to me to question their absense.

    How is your relationship with your sister in law? That might be key to get around her
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I wouldn't be too concerned. It is just a matter of time before she will "need" you again and you will be back in her good graces. It's too bad the child has to suffer because of her issues. And this child will definitely need you to be a safe haven in his life.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hi RM. Congrats on the new grandbaby! :)

    Don't have any wise advice better than what you've already gotten. Just wanted to say hi!

  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I just wanted to say I missed you!!! I have not seen you in a long time. I have changed my screen name so you possibly may not remember me - but it is good to see you back.

    I wish I had something to wise to offer, but I don't. Sorry,
    But I do want to let you know I am thinking about you, and sending prayers your way.
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hi all!

    Jane, The party was wonderful and I made some new friends this weekend. I also made plans to go to dinner with some of my old friends after Christmas.

    No word from daughter yet even though I sent flowers and a note apologizing for crossing a boundry which I openly admit I did. (Teach by example). She will stew and expect me to beg but that won't happen. Ball's in her court.

    I am going ahead with my Christmas Eve plans with the rest of the family I will not call her
    and plead for her to come. I'll have husband call and let just her know what time dinner is and if she shows up great if not we will do fine without her.

    According to husband, difficult child 1 says her husband is behind her 100% on this. I told husband that of course sister in law is OK with this because he has relatives comming to the US from Spain this holiday and he already told us months ago that he wanted to spend both Christmas day and Christmas Eve with them. Back then Daughter wanted to come here on Christmas eve so now that she doesn't I am sure is is going to allow her to boycott us because he then gets what he wanted all along. In addition difficult child 1 has been all over sister in law for all his "shortcommings" (he is actually very good to her and very patient and helps more than most husbands I know but she finds fault with everything and everyone)

    Personally, I think she is horrid to use her baby as a weapon and I am furious that she is so inclined. If she keeps him from me for his first Christmas she will do it knowing that she will change our relationship forever. She is fully aware of my feelings on using a child as a pawn. husband says that if she excludes me from Baby's life then she excludes him. He says he will not have a relationship if I can't. I don't approve and told him so but he is adamant.

    Dazed, I fear the same kind of life for my grandson. Fortunately I have learned that I have to be true to myself and I will not walk on eggshells kertowing and waiting for my daughter to smile upon me.

    Daisy, Thanks he is so cute and a very good baby. difficult child 1 is very lucky

    Steely, I Thanks for the welcome back. I see That you are living in TX so I will have to look for other clues as to who you are :)
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    RM, I'm so pleased that you went to the party and that you had a good time and made plans to get together with friends later. Good for you! :thumbsup:

    I don't know why our kids have to make their lives so contrary.

  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Thanks Suz. I became a Reiki Master and an ordained minister this last year. Reikie is my ministry and it really helps me stay centered and positive. Life is a journey and some of us have very hard lessons to learn along the way. I never took care of myself never put me first as I was taught that this was selfish. I have learned that we can help others more effectively when we are well cared for and refreshed and whole. By taking care of ourselves Body Mind and Spirit we can maintain that wholeness and groundedness that allows us insight to new realities.

    This board helped me find my way when I was lost and so depleted I wanted to just crawl into a corner and fade away.
    I was shown that there was another way to live that it was OK to indulge myself and my own desires and needs.

    I continued on the path looking for my joy and my peace in things other than the idylic family. I am now strong and true to myself and my needs. And I am also humble enough to know that I am not perfect and that I need to come back here when I have new family challenges. -RM
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Maybe you should send HER a thank you note. Thank her for not sending the notes to your side of the family for the lovely wedding gifts and explain that not everyone "gets over" not being thanked. Thank her for not sending out the baby shower thank you notes - because once again it stuck YOU smack in the middle of what she was raised to do and what she didn't do and you didn't want a repeat of those family members who didn't "get over" not getting thanked for the wedding presents to come to YOU again with their complaints about her not being appreciative.

    Explain to here that there will be NO MORE invitations sent to your side of the family for any more of her "accomplishments" and that should solve the problem alltogether AND since she is refusing you visitation to your grandchild - you won't know about anything else in her life because in order to see her, you'd be seeing the grandchild and she's denied you that so you don't know how you'd see her either. Which actually works out fine for the sake of thank you notes because if you aren't around her or the baby you won't have any reason to invite your side of the family to any of her gatherings as you won't know about them.

    Then thank her for that too. Tell her she's been a little more than hard to deal with and whenever she's ready to stop being a serf-centered, bitter person - you'd love to sit and talk with her and share time with her and your grandchild.

    Congrats on being a grandma - sorry it had to be like this.


    Oh and you can bet I would send a thank you card.....4 sure.
  17. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hopefully none of the relatives will send her another gift.
    Once they become adults, if they do not send a thank you, I don't send any more gifts. This goes for any adult extended family. At the very least a phone call saying they received it.

    I would push back a bit and let her start to yearn for the familiarity of home and family. If husband doesn't want to socialize with difficult child because she is exhibiting offensive behavior to you and isolating the infant from his/her family I say good for him. The more family members that hold her accountable for difficult child's behavior the more real it becomes. If this is all it takes for her to hold the baby as a pawn, trust me you aren't going to see this infant much. She will use manipulation everytime it suits her.

    I wouldn't send her a gift. You threw her a lovely shower. If she can't see what boorish behavior she is exhibiting, then no matter what you do you will be seen as wrong by her.

    Keep enjoying your life and move forward. I refuse to let difficult child make the whole family suffer. We will have a life and a good holiday regardless of difficult child's and their behavior.

    Hang in there. I'm sure it hurts.
  18. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hi Fran good to hear your right on advice once again.

    I was hoping she would love her son enough not to do this. We will see...

    Oh you are so right there. I have Christmas gifts for all of them but they will have to come here with the baby for dinner as planned to get them.

    First I was so angry I could have spit. Right now I have a calm wait and see thing going on. If she follows through it is really too bad but I will enjoy my other grandchildren and my other children. It will still be a full house without her.
  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    What will you do with the gifts if they don't come?

  20. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I will either keep them for myself (not the baby's but theirs which is something I love) or I'll return them. I could also put them away in my gift closet and give them to somone else. There are plenty of babies being born around me. There is actually a boy expected in March. So the baby gifts are something I can apply elswhere also. -RM