Not getting to see ONLY kid on HOLIDAYS : (

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by confused_n_tx, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. confused_n_tx

    confused_n_tx New Member

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    Letting go just gets harder.

    I spoke to my only kid, 17, and found out she is not coming home for any of the upcoming holidays, nor does she want to. It's just that she is making other plans. This was the first Sept. where we did not spend our birthdays together, they are one day apart, and now to find out she doesn't even care that she is not coming home at Thanksgiving or Christmas. She is working at thanksgiving and going to her cousins at Christmas. Yes they are close, but I am her mom & Santa! I just can't imagine why she still does not want to come home.
    Because I said I did not want her moving back unless she takes her medications? Is this yet another way of hurting me because I don't do exactly what she wants me to do? I am not good at these guessing games she plays. But I just don't understand how she could want to spend time with her cousin instead of me.
    I sent her Birthday present - I will not send her Christmas. She knows where it is and can come get it anytime she wants.
    Do I keep calling?
    Do I just let her break all contact?

    I can not write in words how much this hurts!!!! My body is aiching all over. I love being a mom! I love being a santa! Even to a child who ungreateful and manipulating - she is is still my daughter and nothing can make me stop missing her or loving her.

    What do I do? I have no family or friends to go to for the holidays. Just me and my dog.

    Sorry for the pitty party but I break down ever so often then I'm over it.

    I just want to be a mom - her mom.

  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Dear {{{confused}}}

    I haven't any real answers for you but I do know how much your mommy heart is hurting right now and I'm so sorry for your pain and anger, hurt and agony. She's still so young and self centered and in time *hopefully* she will see what she's been missing and come home to her mom. In the meantime, you have no choice but to let it, and her, be.

    I strongly advise you to lean on your friends and any family that you can during the next few months - let them be there for you. Cry to them, call them, invite them to you, meet them for coffee or a lite dinner, go for walks, watch a sunrise or sunset...find whatever is out there that you can enjoy about life and drink it up. Nurture yourself as much as you possibly can to fill the hole in healthy ways. Create or maintain your regular holiday traditions the best that you can and press on.

    It's okay to break down and cry and it's okay to allow yourself to feel the pain of missing your baby, just remember that she may come home and so you need to keep going.

    My God, I feel your sorrow in your post and I will keep you in my prayers tonight. Hugs~
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Hun...the more I read your post the more I kept thinking...borderline..then I got to the signature and sure enough...there it was. She IS manipulating you and punishing you. Take it from a fellow borderline ok? You just cant be held captive to her demands. Also see...she has this little problem with emotional regulation because of the disorders and there is this thing with once people are out of her line of sight...she tends to forget the emotional impact of them.

    There are some really good resources on that link for parents who have kids with borderline. Check it out.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with Janet. I was thinking borderline too as I read your post.

    I know it's really hurting your Mommy heart, but don't let her get away with manipulating you. It just makes it worse. Believe me, I have one of my own.

    Don't break off contact. She's your daughter and you love her. It's a long way til xmas and she just might change her mind by then anyway. (mine would)

    When Nichole does stuff like this I don't let her see that it bothers me. I just say things like "Sure dear, ok. Let me know what your plans are.."

    If she decides not to spend xmas with you, then by gory I'd be spoiling my faithful doggie to the hilt! lol (I'm serious) I'm sure the dog would enjoy it.

  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member


    Have you ever read the book entitled "I hate you. Don't leave me"? Amazon has it used for under 10 bucks. It is a remarkable book about those who suffer with borderline personalities. It really helped me understand the disorder better. I highly recommend it.

    I don't recall ... who is your daughter living with?

    I'm sorry about her decision to spend the holidays elsewhere. That would be extremely difficult. It would be hard to spend the holidays alone.

    When my daughter was in her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) one Christmas, I really changed things up. I served dinners in a homeless shelter. It helped me to cope with having her gone. Consider doing something totally different this year.

  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Make a reservation for a Christmas Cruise or go somewhere you always wanted to go. She has a right to choose where she goes but so do you.

    I think as long as you are wounded(and I would be too) she will go for doing that behavior.

    When she does things to hurt you, you should tell her how you feel and what you are going to do to soothe your hurt.

    Disengaging a bit may be a good thing. Her mental illness interferes with clear thinking and she is wrapped in self absorption.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    been there done that, wrote the book. My daughter is truly an "out of sight, out of mind" person. When she was 18 and decided she didn't need to go to school nor work. I decided she needed to do one or the other or live elsewhere. She opted to live elsewhere. Each time she has moved out (3 times so far) I did not hear from her. She was fine with me calling her (she would answer her phone if it was convenient to her), but she did not call me unless something was wrong.

    When she was in Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), she called when she was scheduled to call (kids were allowed to call home whenever they liked but had to call once a week). Sometimes she even missed these calls because she'd be busy and "forgot."

    She's been gone on holidays and, like you, it killed me to think she'd rather be elsewhere. She did offer to drop by and pick up her Xmas gifts. I said I'd be busy and we could have our Xmas later. By the time she called to come get them, her gifts were seriously pared down. I even returned her big ticket item.

    She once moved out once 2 days before my birthday. Didn't hear a thing until 6 weeks later when she was broke and homeless.

    She stayed with a friend of mine one summer while I was traveling on business. I would call her, she would barely speak to me -- she was busy watching television.

    To say these incidents devastated me would be putting it mildly. I missed her terribly and was so hurt that she cared so little about me and the family we were that I pretty much cried for days on end. However, there was no way I was going to let her know how much pain I was in.

    Part of me understood that she was being passive-aggressive -- she couldn't live with me and have her rules, so she was going to SHOW ME. Part of it truly was that there is something missing and she sees no need to call unless there is a need.

    When she did return home, the rules stood as they were previously. While I was sad and lonely while she was gone, I refused to let her know it. I did things with friends. I volunteered to serve food on the holidays. I went to a spa on my birthday. Quite honestly, I was afraid to give her such a powerful weapon. If she knew how much she had hurt me, I could guaranty she would leave every time she was mad just to punish me.

    So, find things to do. Start new traditions. Rather than playing Santa for your daughter, play Santa for a family or a special child. Local churches and organizations always have lists of families in dire need. Adopt one of them! Have an activity you always wanted to do or learn but didn't because that time was your daughter's? Well, it isn't now, so use it for you. If your child is like mine (and it sure sounds like it), you can't let her know how much you are hurting. You can let her know you're disappointed but that you'll find ways to keep occupied and enjoy yourself even if she's not around.

    She may change her mind and spend Xmas with you, but, if she's like mine, I wouldn't count on it. Either way, I would start planning things to do without her (and let her know what your plans are). If she decides to come home for Xmas, I wouldn't change any plans I had made while she was gone. I would simply include her as much as I could with whatever I was going to do.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. It is not a pain any loving parent deserves.
  8. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    meowbunny hit the nail on the head.....she is exerting the only control she has over you. Follow the advice meowbunny gives and you may be able to gain peace in your life.....thinking of you and you are not alone in feeling the loss of closeness with your child.....
  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I feel for you. Our difficult child has a long history of going missing the day of significant family events like easy child 1's (her daughter's) birthday or preschool Xmas pageant. Last year on Christmas Day she said she had a ride to an NA meeting and ditched her mother, her brother (home on leave from the Navy), me, and her daughter. That was the last we knew of her until her arrest five weeks later.
  10. Skylark Matrix

    Skylark Matrix New Member

    When I was reading your post I was thinking "this child must be ODD and sure enough at the end there it is. One thing about odd is that they will naturally do the opposite, it comes just as easy as doing right for the rest of us. Mine has missed Christmas and birthdays and holidays too since she has "grown up". It is not easy for the MOM. I don't have any advice - other that what the others have given you. Make plans to enjoy the holidays on your own, through friends, church, other relatives, etc. Don't elaborate to difficult child how much this hurts you, instead, tell her about what a good time you had, mention things that you know she likes and has missed, but mention this in a fun positive way for your enjoyment. Mine had to miss thanksgiving this year for the 3 yr in a row, and guess what, because she absolutely could not get a way to come home she is remorseful and I expect she will be home for Christmas and be quite appreciative for a change. Partly because she is maturing a little bit and mostly because she is realizing it is not bothering anyone except herself.
    These type of children area a permanent heartache, and even though the saying is that it makes us stronger, most of us would be quite happy being a little less strong!
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I remember when L did that one year. M still does that, but is never in contact for any reason. I think that in my heart I know that it would be best if we just did not celebrate Christmas. I give L gifts, and she spends limited amount of time with us. One year I'll reserve the Christmas Cruise or something.

    It's heartbreaking, I know. But, it's awful early to be torturing you about Christmas. I think that all you can do is let it go. If she isn't coming you can't change her mind, if she might change her mind, showing her how much she cut you to the bone will only make her want to prolong your agony.
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I think meowbunny has an awesome idea about how to make your holidays brighter. Maybe you could volunteer somewhere to serve dinner for the needy. I belong to the Elks and I know they serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. See if there is anywhere around that is doing something like that and go spend the day making someone elses Thanksgiving and Xmas brighter. Spend time with people who are less fortunate then you and maybe that will help you focus on other things in your life that you can be thankful for instead of your manipulating daughter.

    The holidays are a ways away also, so she may even change her mind. Just don't let her do it to easily. I think I would make plans if she does change her mind, let her know it's not an option anymore, you have something else to do.
  13. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Just a quick cavaet -- do start making plans now. If you're going to volunteer feeding others, find out where it is and get on the list of volunteers. They frequently get overwhelmed when the holidays actually approach.

    Whatever you do, don't cut off your nose to spite your face. If your daughter decides she does want to spend Christmas with you, explain you made plans to do X and invite her to join you. Don't cancel whatever plans you make, just try to include her. If you cancel your plans, she will get the message that you were just doing something to fill her void. Again, it will be a weapon she will ultimately use against you. She'll say she's not going to do something, wait until she thinks you've set up something and then say she will come (nothing like making sure you are alone and she caused it). Odds are that she will then ultimately not come. Sadly, kids like ours do find the best ways to hurt us and will maximize the pain whenever possible (and saying no, yes, no is a great way).

    Sadly, our love for our children gives them tremendous power over us if we let them.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Borderlines are masters of manipulation and will use that to the full extent possible.

    If she cant have her way then it wont happen at all. Then she may try to manipulate you by changing her mind at the last minute to see what you high you will jump. If you jump, she has you. She will keep making you jump as long as she can. She will up the ante every time she wants something.

    Trust me, I have done this. Im telling you the way a borderline thinks from the perspective of a borderline and it isnt easy to say these things. I can only do this because I have been in therapy for awhile and Im recognizing some behaviors in myself that Im not happy with. Im still working on them and learning new ways to act.
  15. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    the first year I was divorced ( and I had been married since age 18 and was yrs old then...) I spent Christmas alone. it just sort of happened that my two sons could not be there. I did not get dressed all day. I sat and watched TV since I never watch it and lounged til 3pm. my neighbor called and wished me a merry christmas. when she realized I was home alone she invited me over for a coffee with her and her mom.

    I will never forget that Christmas. I wasnt sad but I know it was a turning point for a kid like me who was one of 7 and had never been in a house alone on a holiday with nothing cooking.

    I would continue to send her an occasional card to let her know you care. call maybe once in a while. keep the lines open. let her stretch her wings and maybe she will realize it isnt much of a holiday without you. send her a christmas card and invite her to lunch and tell her you can exchange gifts then.
  16. confused_n_tx

    confused_n_tx New Member

    ALL of your advise really, REALLY helps!!

    How did moms make it before there was a site like this one?

    The thing is I have absolutely NO friends or family, except for my grandparants who are in their 90's. The rest of the family is under my mom's influence and spells. Why I don't know. They all talk like they can't stand her but then they keep doing things to "please" her. Like taking my child to her house behind my back and telling her to lie to me for over two years.

    As far as friends - if you are treated this way by "family" you don't exactly trust anyone enough to be close to as a friend. I trusted my family, I trusted her father, and here I am.

    I don't want to sound sour. I am really feeling so much better. I am just much happier when people are not in my life. Animals and small children - yes. They are wonderful, simple and happy.

    I am on disability for a blood disorder and I work P/T as a nanny for a family that has a 4 yr old. I have been there 1 1/2 years. I also do web design for the dad -
    The dad races cars and we just got back from Las Vegas. They paid for me to go to watch their son. He is amazing! SOOO much fun! The family is wonderful - real. No mental disorders. Sure they disagree and have spats, but they don't get blown out of proportion. I think he is helping me just being a four year old. So every other day my life is filled with Thomas the train and Mickey Mouse and life is simple again.

    I also watch the nursery at a church and there is about 3-7 2-5 yr olds every sunday.

    I am also taking college corses for fun. So I stay busy & these all make me happy. But I think I will volunteer at Christmas.

    I wish I could find people like y'all to be my friends in REAL life. But just coming to this site helps me get through.


    And I hope all of you find peace with your own children.
  17. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    How about visiting a nursing home for Christmas. My dear grandma lives in one and we are still able to bring her to our home for Christmas ... but, I am always saddened by those who don't/can't get out for various reasons.

    Take a deck of cards or a Scrabble board and a thermos of spiced tea and share the day with a lonely elderly person.

    It is true that it is more blessed to give than to receive. The holidays are no exception.
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Come visit the Water Cooler board. That is where we "let our hair down" and talk about non-difficult child issues.

    You certainly can make some real friends on this board. :wink:
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Its hard when you are on disability and are in a rural area AND you are somewhat estranged from family and friends. I can certainly empathize with that situation.

    I dont have any local friends to go visit with either. My only family is my kids and my elderly father. Well...I do have extended family who live up in Massachusetts but that is way too far to contemplate visiting.

    It does sound like you are blessed with this family you work with. Also your church sounds nice. Maybe see about what is going on in your area for the holidays. I know that even in my small town they do dinners and such for the people who dont have families locally. Then there is always the church services with the holiday music. Also schools do holiday concerts. Just keep looking for stuff.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dear Tex,

    Don't you wish this was like Christmas with the Kranks? Where the kids aren't going to show up and the parents book a cruise only to give the tickets to an elderly couple when they realize their kid IS coming home for Christmas after all?

    -That's a movie. Keep telling yourself that.

    Here's a little test that my psychologist gave me when I was having trouble letting go. And I've been letting go since he was 7 years old. He's been away more than he has home. That's just very sad to me. I felt like I got gypped as a Mom. What I was doing in actuality was preparing my son to be on his own and be a decent person.

    It seems that when your kids are difficult child it's harder to let go because you DO feel like you go ripped off in the Mom department. What I know now is that I did the best I could to raise him to be independent and live on his own and be a decent member of society. What I wanted would have been that too, but I wanted all the Mom "perks". I think you know what I mean. Sports, school plays, pictures, - I have none. I can't get them back now.

    So what I was asked was this. How old are you? How long do you think you'll live to? Does this make your life 1/2 over or just beginning? What would you do if you could do anything? Why is that impossible/ how would it be possible?

    There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. No one is ever going to make you stop feeling lonely but yourself. You can be lonely in a crowded room. So getting out of this funk is up to ....who? Right! YOU

    Keep in mind to, you can have Christmas On ANY DAY of the year. One time we had Christmas on Valentines day. I left the tree up till then, and we exchanged gifts when difficult child could come home. Now it didn't make the Christmas blues go away, and I was alone, but on Valentines day I had something extra to celebrate and it was a good time.

    Just tell yourself it's just a day like any other. And keep your chin up. (I have it on Good authority that Jesus was NOT born on 12-25 so if it's celebrating HIS birth that's getting to you, just pick another day.) I don't think that rabbit on Easter knows what he's doing either - coming all different times of the month every other year it's a different day. The holidays from here on out will be WHAT YOU make them.

    Oh = and there is NO WAY that I would let my kid know that I was upset or hurt. i would throw a party at your house and forget to invite her. When she calls you assuming she will, she's going to hope you are miserable...I would have the stereo going, plates clanging....and tell her you'll have to call her back so much going on...then a quick LOVE YOU, and hang up. I did this to my son when he had a choice to come home and chose not to because he figured the "group home" would give better presents - and when he called I cranked the stereo up - had DF beating pans and pots in the kitchen turned the tv up so it sounded like we were having a blast. The next year - he called me early to say he wanted to come home for Christmas - were we having a party? HAHAHA.

    Hugs for your pain. Most of us know it all too well.