difficult child 1 has made it clear she wants nothing to do with us

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cubsgirl, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    On the advice of some here, I decided to send difficult child 1 a Christmas card, *if* she would give me her address. I emailed her a couple of days ago and she is not replying. She is in contact with difficult child 2 and told him that she is not giving us her address.

    I feel bad that so many on here struggle to get their difficult child's out the door, or have to put them out and I have the opposite problem. difficult child 1 left the moment she graduated high school and has never looked back.

    It hurts she wants nothing to do with us. It gives me more fodder for therapy. Sigh.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hey cubsgirl -- lots of hugs for your hurting heart.

    My difficult child was very much the same way. I remember once posting that my frustration that my board "sisters" were trying to detach from their difficult children and it was my difficult child who completely detached from me. I wanted more contact! "Their" difficult children were acting out in all manners to get attention, stay dependent, live at home etc and my difficult child left us and never looked back!

    My therapist told me I needed to give my difficult child the space to miss us. It was really hard. I'd do well for a couple of weeks and then send a nonchalant text like "hi" and then panic when he ignored it which would then turn into another text, followed by a desperate voice mail and all attempts at "giving space" would come undone.

    While our relationship has improved tremendously since then- there's a part of him desperately tries to avoid even an inkling of us having an expectation of knowing where he is. Sometimes, he will volunteer the information. But if I ask him (Where are you headed? Are u in town? etc) I can see him bristle or there is a pause over the phone. I don't get it- never will. That's where my kid has "hung his hat" so to speak- the notion that "where he is is" is none of our business and that notion is where he stakes his independence.

    Of course it's ridiculous because being petulant and not letting your parents know where you live/are is completely the opposite of being mature & capable. It's toddler-like.

    Again- I feel your pain. I pass along the advice that you need to "give her enough space to miss you." I didn't do so great with it myself but I do think
    It helped when I finally suceeded. It was really hard to do. It went against every instinct I have as a mother and I not sure he ever truly missed us. He interpreted any overtures to him as a threat to his independence. He would react accordingly and we would be back to square 1. I had to will myself not chase him and to pretend I was ok with it. It sure took a long time to settle down and I don't think he will ever be completely forthcoming with us.


    PS- I did hurt like heck. Broke my heart, still does- my eyes are tearing up as I write this. Never in a million years did I think my child would reject me.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Cubsgirl,

    I'm sorry you are feeling hurt. My difficult child wants nothing to do with me or my husband either unless of course he's found himself in a desperate situation then he wants help.

    She is still young and maybe just needs some time. Do you think her boyfriend is maybe trying to isolate her from you?

    My difficult child is almost 34 and basically homeless. It has been quite a few years since I was able to send a card to him (other than when he was in jail). One thing I do is adopt a child through my church who's parents are not able to buy Christmas presents and I purchase a present for the child. Since my difficult child wants nothing from me (other than money which I won't give) I have found that adopting a child that is less fortunate really helps. There are also elderly people in nursing homes who have family but the family never visits them. Anyway, just a thought of something you can do for someone who would appreciate it.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
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  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cubsgirl, I am so sorry, that has to hurt your heart so much. As Tanya mentioned, she is still young, she may mature enough some day to open her own heart to you...............I hope that is the case. Sending hugs...............

    And, Sig, gee, I am sorry. I teared up reading your post! Sending a hug to you too.............
  5. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Try to remember, as hard as it is that it is SHE that is doing this to hurt you, not something you are doing to hurt her. You posted you were angry the way things went last year so look at it this way - more money in the budget - maybe some sort of treat for you and your husband. Try not to dwell on it, if I remember she doesn't treat you all that well when you are in contact so maybe this was a blessing in disguise.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    In all honesty now that you know this I would simple send an email saying: You know where we are, if and when you are ready to talk feel free to contact us. Until that time I will respect your wishes and not contact you.

    That leaves the door open but puts no expectations on anyone other than her whenever she is ready.

    I'm so sorry your child is doing this.
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  7. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Hi Cubs girl, from reading your bio, she's 20? Oh yeah, these are the years where they declare their independence and live their own lives, at the same time making you suffer for some of the perceived wrongs you did to them. Be thankful she's ok and doing well, and take this time to ENJOY YOUR LIFE! Trust me, she'll be back , it might not be until she is 30, but she'll be back to want a relationship with you.
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  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am very sorry Cubsgirl that your daughter is choosing not to have a relationship with you. I can't imagine the hurt. I hope and pray your daughter comes around.
  9. Tired Mom

    Tired Mom Member

    I can feel your pain. My son wanted nothing to do with us either. He moved out didn't tell us his address, didn't have a phone, quit the job that we knew where he would be to avoid us at the age of 20 which tore me up. The difference in my son's case is that he didn't do well on his own. He almost died from a heroin overdose. My son is just moved out of my rehab right now into a halfway house. For the last month for the first time ever he is telling us he love's us almost every time we talk to him which is unheard of for our son. Its hard I want to believe that we will have a better relationship in the future but my son is a difficult child and while I see some changes some things are very much the same and I can't but prepare myself for that fact that in the future he might suddenly cut us out again.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I read on a borderline personality disorder website called Borderline Central that a "cut off" is the most cruel sort of abuse somebody can do. Yes, it's abuse. It is done with malice and bad intent to hurt you to the end.

    It is very common for people with personality disorders to do cut offs as they are very good at turning off their feelings (look up splitting in your search engine). They can literally cut you off like they cut a piece of paper and just move on, smugly knowing how they hurt you and not always hurting themselves because of it.

    In my long quest to get healthy, I did a lot of studying on why the people in my life do what they do. It never occurred to me that a cut off was abuse, but can you think of anything more hurtful than that? This helped me understand my parents and my sister who are classically able to do cut offs and not think twice about it. I never understood before as cut offs always hurt me a lot and I could never do them...heck, my sister called the police when I tried to contact her after a cut off (shrug). You have to learn why they do what they do and then you don't feel so bad. It's them, not you, and they are sick. But meanly sick...you have decide how you want to respond to it.
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    So true MWM, very good point.
  12. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I think that this may only apply when it is directed at you by someone with a personality disorder. In a relationship with someone with a personality disorder sometimes a cut-off can be the only saving grace FROM THEM! If someone you are dealing with is continuously abusive in anyway, you have to do what you have to do to distance yourself from that abuse. If that means a cut-off than so be it.
    A cut-off can be necessary to protect yourself first. When a disordered person facilitates a cut-off I feel it is more a condition of manipulation and control. Again, a good reason to be in therapy for yourself to understand the right thing for you to do when dealing with a disordered personality/someone mentally ill.
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  13. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi Cubsgirl,

    Thinking about you and sorry you are hurting. husband and i have a 34yo difficult child. He cut us off months ago. This is not the first time, but we think it may well be the last. Who knows? (but, we are certainly not expecting it). heck, I'd like to move so he canNOT find us. How differently I feel from a year ago.

    Nobody should have to go through it, but it will get easier. husband and I talk about difficult child almost every day. We certainly pray for him daily. difficult child was very mean before this cut off, as he was ten years ago before another one (the first time lasted about a year). As mentioned above, when the person is mean, it makes it easier for us. I also hope you take that extra bit of money in the budget and do something special and fun.

    Please stay close to the board. Checking in every day will help you; I promise.
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  14. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I was a wild teenager. I left home the day after my 18th birthday and didn't see my parents again until I was 20. My parents were very old-fashioned and controlling and couldn't cope with me and my need to be a bit wild and our relationship broke down completely. I remember thinking I never wanted to see them again and just wanted my freedom. But of course I grew up and grew out of my teenage wild ways and we rebuilt our relationship and I married and produced grandchildren and the two years of no-contact became a distant memory.
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  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, of course. I am talking about those who are detaching from us to punish us, not to save themselves.
  16. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your support everyone. I DO think that she has a personality disorder of some kind. The last communication she had was with my husband when she told him what a horrible person I was. However, her actions don't match her words because not only did she cut me off but she cut off all her aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents and cousins. Basically she cut off the whole family. I have a hard time believing that her only problem is with me - she has more psychologically going on. Our family tree is full of psychological disorders so it's not a stretch.
  17. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    She is young. It is possible that by changing your responses, the dynamic of the relationship can change. Even just a little change is a welcome thing, when we are trying to help ourselves and our children.

    Helping others does turn our pain into a different kind of energy. The hurt is still there, but we begin to feel less hopeless.

    There are two great points here. One, that we can choose to push the pain away and two, that the problem may not be of our making. If there is a disorder of some kind at the heart of this, your child may not be able to change her behaviors. Our best response has to be to learn all we can about why this is happening and then, to change our responses.

    I'm sorry this is happening, sorry for the pain of it.

    But you need to be strong, now.

    Again, two great points. Acknowledging the child's right to erect whatever boundaries he or she feels are appropriate, and loving the child and ourselves enough to let go of the need to control the situation.

    With love.

    I like this because we parents need to know, in our deepest hearts, that our children may not be responding to us. They may be fighting an addiction or a personality disorder or a downright mental illness. Our job is to love them and ourselves strong and unshakably enough to get us all through this. A piece of that is to let go of judging either the child or ourselves.

    And that is a very hard thing to do.

    My first step seems to need to be to let go of my defensiveness, to let go of judging myself. It is hard to trust our core selves enough to love us all through it when everything seems so dark and I feel I should have been able to prevent it, somehow. We need to stay present. We need to learn all we can and then, proceed on that basis.

    It's a matter of faith.

    Faith in ourselves.

    A very hard thing, when our worlds are collapsing around us.


    With malice.

    I never got that until this minute.

    "Smugly knowing how they hurt you...."

    This is probably exactly true, MWM. I never thought of it that way before.

    People who do this kind of thing probably know exactly what they are doing.


    I had not thought of it as abuse, either.

    Of course it is.

    "You have to learn why they do what they do...."

    Much of continuing to interact with an abusive person has to do with how responsible we feel when something goes wrong. We become guilty. We begin to explain how that wasn't what we meant and they will not hear us because that is exactly what they want; that is the nature of the game they are playing.

    Man, what a power dynamic.

    This is an excellent thread.

  18. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    It does. But the truth is that her response changes nothing for you. Love her, anyway.

    Maybe that is the thing she needs most.

    Not to win. Not this time, and not this way.

    Hold faith with yourself and with her, and with what you know to be true.

    Here is a quote for you, about faith. There was a time not so long ago when everything in my life seemed to conspire to destroy my faith. I took this quote away from the bottom of my posts when that happened.

    I think I will put it back, now. This thread has been so helpful to me....


    Here it is:

    "Faith is not, contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out right or wrong, like a gambler's bet. It is an act, an intention, a project; something that makes you, in leaping into the future, go so far, far ahead that you shoot clean out of Time and right into Eternity, which is not the end of time or unending Time, but timelessness, that old, Eternal Now."



    "Be old enough and patient enough for kinds of love, seasons of it; be quiet in your soul so that when happiness comes again, if it ever does, you will know."

    Anne Rice


    "Love is not a victory march. It's a cold and it's a broken halleluiah."

    Leonard Cohen

    And the last:

    "Don't give control of your emotions over to anyone or anything outside yourself."

    I don't know who wrote that.

    Wishing you well and strong and happy again. I am glad you are here with us.

    And boy, I'm really glad I am here with us.

    These kinds of cuttings off have been happening to me forever. I thought it was me.

    Who knew?

  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Me too, Cedar.
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It could be her... my GFGbro was close to that until he was, oh, about 25 or so.
    Or... it could be her SO doing the actual cutting off. In which case, it's an even tougher situation.