A letter to my family

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by upallnight, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I understand what you're trying to say. I think you can killl more flies with honey. I would eliminate the first paragraph entirely.(After reading that,they may not read any further.) In the last paragraph, get rid of that one line that starts with, " I have asked...". Good luck to you-Alyssa
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    While overall it sounds pretty matter of fact, there is an underlying bitterness. If ths is the message you want to send to your family, go for it. If you want to really give them the pluses (the school working to help Beaner, the generosity from R&D, you getting your AA), I'd change the tone of the letter. You can still leave the door open to asking for help but in a way that it is positive.
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I know if I received a letter like that, I probably wouldn't be very willing to help. Like upallnight said, you can kill more flies with honey. You can let them know that you have tried to keep in contact and that you arent' sure why, but haven't really heard back from anyone in a long time. That you are having some financial difficulties and though you don't like to, you are swallowing your pride and asking for help, from anyone who is willing to give it.
    If you are truley looking for help, I would change the letter. If the purpose is more to let them know how you feel, and you really don't want their help, then send it as is.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Wow is the only thing I can think to say.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: meowbunny</div><div class="ubbcode-body">While overall it sounds pretty matter of fact, there is an underlying bitterness. </div></div>

    I have to agree with meowbunny. I hear quite a bit of blaming of others.

    Depending on what you want the outcome to be - I might tweak a few things.

    I would stress the things YOU are doing to make YOUR situation better.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think that your feelings come across very clearly and that it's a good letter. However, I agree that a few lines need to be tweaked just a little so you don't come across as casting blame or bitter.

    It's a fine line you're walking in this letter and I think you can highlight the positives and the amazing accomplishments you've both made while also asking for help from your family.

    Blessings to you and Beaner. I hope someone reaches out to you.
  7. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    <span style='font-family: Courier New'> Ilovemyson ...

    First of all, a hug for all the hurt you are feeling.

    I share the perspective outlined by others who posted to this issue. It is understandable that you would harbor bitterness, but how you express it and to whom is key.

    These people in your life have brought you pain, but casting it back upon them will only clear the air for a really brief time. You will have vented and then things will go back to that painful place all over again.

    Re-read your letter and make edits. Accentuate the positive. Don't fall into the trap of sounding like a martyr. Words are not going to reel anyone in who wasn't on your side before.

    While you have shouldered a fair share of setbacks, hoping that one of these folks will step up to the plate is probably unrealistic.

    Be strong and send out the Christmas card, with a note inside; keep it brief. I may be n the minority here - but I would leave the asking for help part out completely. <span style="color: #FF6666"> Think of this as a chance to simply stay connected; sometimes a simple expectation leads to positive future interaction.</span>

    By the way, congratulations on your graduation from college, what a fabulous accomplishment...stand up and be proud!</span>

  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I must say, that while not knowing the whole story, were I to get this email/letter, I would not be sending any help your way. Sorry if you feel that is harsh, but you asked for opinions.

    If I were a member of your family reading this letter this is what I see - you begin the letter by assuming that I don't care to know what is going on in your life or that I don't bother to respond. You don't know what my life is like at home. I may be dealing with issues that you have no idea about. On the other hand, you are accussing me of not caring. Immediately I am offended.

    Then you go on about your degree, and I agree it is an accomplishment to be proud of.

    Then you go on to explain why you moved and how R and D are the only family members that care, etc. Then you say your are moving out in March and that we may find it harsh that R and D gave you that ultimatum - but I thought we were the heartless ones?

    Then, after all the accussations, you ask for money!! I am offended! So you are asking me for money and help with a car, but you open your letter with this is my last year of sending you a Christmas card because you don't care.

    Ok, that's my look at it. If you would like my opinion I believe you could do this in a much less needy/offensive way. While you have accomplished much and been through much, perhaps you should just highlight the accomplishments and then ask for help.

    In other words, don't go into the blame game. I send out cards every year to folks who have never sent me one back - who cares. If I don't want to do it anymore, I won't. I do it because I want to and I would never send them a card saying "this is your last card since you don't send one back or ever call me".

    I would begin by just letting folks know about the year of hurdles you have had:

    "Dear Family,
    This has been a year of great change for Beaner and me. Finally, after years of hard work, I am three weeks away from my college diploma!!!!! It took a little longer than expected but, you know what they say, good things come to those who wait!

    Our housing situation was a little hairy this summer. We were evicted from our apartment in June and didn't know what we were going to do. R&D lovingly stepped in and offered us a place to stay until I finished school and got back on my feet. We have set March as our "moving on" date. We were all able to move into a large place in a more secure neighborhood in September. God has surely blessed us!

    So, I will be "hitting the streets" in January to finally look for a position in my field. But a car is one neccessity I am lacking. A car would certainly make it easier to look for a job, get to work, and get Beaner to and from school and the sitter. Here is where I appeal to my family for their help. If any of you are thinking about gifting us this holiday season, help with my goal of purchasing a car would be the greatest gift ever! Or, if any of you know anyone who is selling a dependable car for a reasonable price (I know, my expectations are high lol) or knows someone who works at a used car dealership, a kind word about my situation would also be a welcome gift.

    Beaner continues to grow "like a weed" and has struggled some in school this year. But with hard work, he and I have a bright future ahead.

    I send the blessings of this holiday season to all of you and ask that you keep us in your prayers. Merry Christmas."

    Ok, that is just a suggestion. But if you truly want help, you have to be respectful and eat a little crow!

    I hope you are not offended by my words, I really felt the honest feedback would be the most appreciated.

    Good luck - you will get everything on track!

  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LittleDudesMom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You don't know what my life is like at home. I may be dealing with issues that you have no idea about.</div></div>

    I think this is an excellent point. We are often quick to assume that only our situation warrants attention and that everyone is ignoring our desperation. But really, how do we know that everyone else isn't dealing with their own difficulties and strife? We just never know. It's important to keep this in mind always. I have often been in a situation where I wanted to help a friend or family member, but I simply could not see through my own "stuff" to do so.
  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member


    Sometimes it helps to look at things in a different way. I think that this might help you understand what we are hearing.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Some of you are so busy and never return phone calls;

    Others may just not care to know what is going on.

    I never hear from some of you unless I call.

    I sent pictures to everyone in the family last May, and no one called or sent me a note to let me know you got them.

    R***** and D***** allowed us to move in so that I could complete school. That is the only reason.

    Who else would have let us stay with them? No one is the answer!

    I have asked one particular person in my family, and was told that I should ask everyone in my family, so I am. </div></div>

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I know it is hard for some to think this way, but if you want them to be there for you, honestly to be there for you, I would just keep contacting them. Send the photos, send the updates, let them know in a non-groveling way you are struggling.
    Remain confident, say, I know something positive will happen for us, we are trying to get a car if any one has any suggestions for us please let us know, we are trying to get one? Be open...

    Be the bigger person. Just because they are blood doesn't make them follow the path of how you see the role of a family.

    I know we would all like to have a wonderful warm caring tight family... but for most of us that is not the reality, don't let it eat up your soul.
    Things like someone thinking you should have an abortion, that is their opinion, their right to freedom to freedom of thought. Whatever your beliefs, you can't make others believe what you do. You say you want people to take you as you are? You have to do the same.
    Let it go, you have a beautiful son and you have accomplished something wonderful!!!
    You will do something wonderful with your life!!! Please don't hold on to the anger... I don't have a close family and that is their choice and their loss... so be it!

    Hugs to you my friend
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I totally understand!!!
    Hang in there Warrior Mom
  13. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I am glad you rewrote the original. While I completely (we probably all) relate to your anger/hurt/pain/disappointment at lack of effort on the part of your family members, I agree with the honey approach. The first letter is always a good start (so long as you don't send it! lol). Getting out your frustration and hurt here on the board in the world of online anonymity can help you express your true hurt in a safe way, be validated in your pain, then help you see the forest for the trees and come up with letter #2 :smile: .
    Congratulations on juggling all of this that is on your plate on top of getting a degree. We here all know how hard juggling a difficult child can be WITHOUT housing/finance etc issues, let alone while being a student.
    I hope that your remaining barriers to your goals are solved. From the sounds of things, I really do believe that with or without outside help, you are a resourceful and determined woman. You will find/make your own solutions. You have managed to do it thus far!!
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with Beaner. Celebrate yourself this year! We often wish we had recognition of others that fails to show up. You are there, you showed up in your own life and followed through and made great things happen to improve yourself via education to open doors etc. Celebrate THAT because in the end, the failures in this world are not those without a family cheering them on (sadly so many of us here are in the same boat as you re: family). The failures are those that don't cheer themselves on or celebrate their accomplishments. What a heck of a strong and determined woman you are. Don't allow yourself to forget that.
  14. Star*

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

    I am writing this to you for a number of reasons. Some of you are so busy and never return phone calls; while others may just not care to know what is going on.

    At that point LMS I would go "Oh - okay" and toss it in the trash can.

    While I get the point you are trying to make - A Christmas card is not the time to tell your family what jerks they are. THAT should be saved for ....family reunions (laughing to myself and thinking of our last family reunion)

    Seriously - I get it. You have a great little kid - and they don't know Bean. That is their loss. Telling them it is their loss won't help, and your letter isn't going to 'scare' them into loving him or you as much as you wish they did even with the sentiment of a simple card once a year. Believe me, I know.

    I think it would be a better testament to your kindness and thoughtfulness to either send a card to them and sign it - Love me & Bean
    ps - here's my email - I'd love to keep in touch more than we do!

    Or to just forget it all together and take the money you would spend on wasted cards and postage and buy a gift in beaners name from a giving tree at the mall. Let him be in on picking it out and tell him that this is to a less fortunate kid from HIM.

    Each year out of what pains you? You both may find something to give at Christmas to someone less fortunate that you don't even know. When you sit back years from now talking with Bean and he says "How did this get started?" think about what your answer will be - (We started this because I thought it would be a good thing for a child instead of us sending Christmas cards to my family because they didn't have the Christmas Spirit)

    How will THAT impact him as opposed to what you wrote?

    The letter is GREAT therapy. Don't toss it. Fold it up and put it in a christmas card that you keep for yourself, pack it away with the decorations and next year take it out as a reminder to go do something nice for a child - instead of something damaging to your family -

    Words are like a nail in a fence - you can pull them out, but they still leave a hole. Dont be a nail.

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    sorry I missed the original, but it looks like you've gotten some good advice. I, too, and glad you did the rewrite. Good luck! I hope you get some help and sympathy from your extended family.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Instead of a letter, how about a nice Holiday card with a small photo of you and Bean?

    You can then add a PS:

    "We are in desperate need of a car, used or otherwise, as long as it runs. If you know of anyone who needs to get rid of their car or sell it really cheaply, please let me know. Thanks!"

    The bottom line for me is to go with my gut. If you put together something that makes sense to you and you can live with whatever responses you receive, then go with it. We're talking about comfort level.
  17. Star*

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

    I can't think of a better group to HELP you write another letter to difficult child family - We're here if you need us.

    There are a number of ways to get your feelings across without putting so much emotion into it. As a matter of fact when you write a professional letter to a company you are supposed to do exactly what you did (write from your gut and get out all the emotional do do). Put the letter away and then a day or so later take that same letter out and CROSS OUT everything that says things like I think, I feel, YOU ARE....(all emotion) and you can usually end up with a pretty direct and to the point letter to send. Emotion really has no place in a letter except maybe a love letter.

    Also if you are asking them for help of any kind - don't. You can put things in the letter like : I am thankful I have my health because I those 10 miles I walk to work give me time to reflect on how much I'll appreciate a car if I ever get one.

    You can say: I was trying to explain to Bean how big our family is and he wasn't able to understand whom I was talking about because we don't see you as much as I wish we could, it sure would be nice if we started corresponding after the first of the year - I'd love for Bean to get to know our family and for you to know Bean - he's an AWESOME kid.

    Stuff like that.

    Just a thought - and the lecture won't come if it's worded properly.