Am I too detached?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Mom2oddson, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Steph has had nothing to do with me for over a year. She stopped responding to text messages or any type of communication, especially with me. Occassionally she'll answer a text from husband.

    husband & I went to his Aunt's 4th of July party. Steph was there. My emotional response to seeing here was ....whatever. She was just another relative there. When I was walking by, she opened her arms so I gave her a hug. She asked how I was and I said Fine. She goes "Fine. Is that all?" And I said yes. And then I went into the house to talk to the Aunts.

    The hug was just for show in front of the relatives. She could care less. It's all a act with her. So, I just remained detached. There was no emotional tug in me.

    So, on one hand, I feel great today. I have to residual garbage from yesterday. But, on the other hand, I wonder if feeling this way is healthy? Maybe it is "Mom guilt".

    Do you think I've too detached? Or do you think feeling this way and having this response to Steph is healthy?
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi there,
    I do think we have to have some self preservation and our guard up with these difficult child's. They often use any type of affection as a means to an end...mine sure do, or young difficult child that is. Give him a hug and he'll think I've just offered him 20 bucks, lol. Tell him I love him and he'll think I'm letting him move back in with us...NOpe!

    So I do think your response to the situation is healthy. I mean heck, difficult child has been ignoring you for over a year...why should you be excited to see her and more "involved" emotionally or otherwise? Sounds like she owes YOU an apology in my opinion.

  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think your response is healthy, as well. LMS is dead-on about "self-preservation." You've detached in order to protect yourself. The fact she event attempted to hug you after purposely distancing herself from you for so long, is manipulative as heck. I say pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
  4. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Thank you! Sometime I just need a little reassurance.
  5. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    Can I be blunt?

    Because she is your step daughter I would say your reaction was bang on...and probably how I would react too....but if you reacted that way to your own daughter, I would feel differently. My daughter has done her fair share of hurtfull things and I could never react to her that way, on the outside protect myself...but then I would be torn and devestated inside...I couldn't get over not communicating with my daughter for over a would tear me apart....but I might not feel like that about a step child.
  6. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    April, I've been Steph's only mom since she was 3 years old. I've been there day-in, day-out with her from then until she left. I poured my heart and soul into my daughter. It will be 2 years since she left on the 10th. It is only recently, like in the last couple of months that I've gotten to this point. And I'm not totally there. When I was ignored on Mother's day I was fine, but when husband got a call for Father's broke my heart into a 1000 pieces. And it was a reminder that my daughter doesn't want me in her life. And until she changes her mind, there is nothing I can do, but survive. Hopefully, someday in the future, Steph will want me back in her life, but until then.....
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I think you handled things well and I don't think you are too detached. I had to distance myself from my difficult child 1 (bio dtr) at one point in her life. I pretty much felt neutral about her during that time--I hardly ever talked to her and when I did I never knew if she was truthful or not. I basically had to accept that I might have very little contact with her indefinitely and I knew I had to keep my boundaries in place. I wanted to enjoy my life, I wasn't going to allow her to destroy that.

    I feel that by accepting the situation for what it was and moving on with my life I was in a place where I could welcome her back when she did do a turn around. I wasn't bitter or hurt anymore, just neutral. But when she did turn her life around and wanted her family back I was able to reconnect with my feelings of love for her. I didn't honestly think it would ever happen so I wasn't waiting around hoping or being miserable without her--it was a nice surprise.

    Take care,
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    IF ANYTHING? Didn't you give her SOMETHING to think about? LOL.....Like my thoughts of the situation went immediately to.....

    "wow WHERE IS THAT KISS @## MOM that used to just cry all over MEEEEEEEEE?"

    "Boy I sure could use five BUCKS - I know which sucker at this BBQ I can get it off of - I'll throw my arms around MOMMMEEEEEEEE and......HEY......WTH? WHY DIDN"T THAT WORK?" my evil plan is not working..

    "OH I BET EVERYONE HERE AT THIS BBQ WILL BE SO GLAD TO SEE ME, IT WILL BE ALL ABOUT ME, ME ME ME< and when MOM SEES ME - SHE WILL CRY, SHE always cries, AND SHE'll HUG me and I'll kinda blow her off - and then .......WTH? SHE BLEW ME OFF? OH NO WAY......Now I have to think and regroup and HEY GET BACK OVER HERE - I AM BLOWING YOU OFF - COME HERE - DO NOT IGNORE ME "

    yeah see I think your reaction to her was just right - and SHE was the one that didn't know how to react. WHEN POOP comes to hug us........It's rare that we want to give it a BIG squeeze. Know what I mean??


    OH and by the way - When Poop starts behaving like LOVE - You'll want to hug it more -----TRUST me - Right now? I'd hug my pile o Poo - because it' treats me with respect - he might even have moved up to Jr. Turd. Not completely out of the toilet - but he's working on it.
  9. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I don't think you were/are too detached. My family difficult child is my nephew, not my son, but I was very close with him--the favorite uncle, by far--prior to his hideous descent into despicable GFGdom in his teens, and I have cut him out of my life entirely, with absolutely no desire whatsoever to ever see or communicate with him ever again, and I've told him so in very blunt terms. So you're practically a lovefest compared to that. You're doing fine. These difficult children sometimes do such vile stuff to us that it generates what psychologists call "extinction"--i.e., full emotional detachment, as if they were strangers, or worse, as if they were people for whom you feel dislike and nothing more. This even happens to parents, if the abuse and misconduct and hateful treatment is extended and unremitting and sufficiently harsh.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    When katie was gone I was on that level of detachment from her. (it also had nothing to do with her being a stepchild)

    I'm at that point again. I picked her up for Nichole's baby shower. I was hard pressed to just be causally social with her. When we did speak it most certainly wasn't about her. Kayla occupied most of the conversations. I mean I can't even just ask how she is and I get a long drawn out pathetic whine of complaints. Makes me want to slap her. So is best to just stay detached. lol

    In my opinion, it's healthy vs worrying, fretting, doubting yourself which is NOT healthy. It's accepting a situation you can't change and moving on. Doesn't mean you love her any less. Now if she was like 5 instead of an adult.....I might say you should talk to someone about it. But she's an adult with her own life to live at this point.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I think it was a beautiful display of detachment at it's finest and the discovery channel should come in and make a documentary about it or others to learn from.
    I have relatives I haven't seen in a year and if I saw them tomorrow, I'd hug them.
    They are NOT relatives that I have been actively ignoring for that entire time frame.
    I bet she left that party with her head spinning from the WTH factor...
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Another vote for "not too detached" and "you handled it perfectly"