Takes two to fight.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Heather52, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    I'm so frustrated, hurt and feel a little betrayed by one sister who spoke out and said and I quote" I do t know what I woukd do without my girls in my life, I woukd do anything to fix it , it takes two to fight. Not long ago her statements were different. She loves my daughter, she stated that what she knows about my daughter is that she was always difficult, always challenging to deal with and after hearing about our estrangement said he behavior was sick and im better off without her in my life while she's behaving this way. Now her position has changed . She knows how devastated we were, how we lived in dispair nd raw desperation for a little over a year..

    I know it takes two to fight. But when those who are not emotionally vested, can easily say that. Who would not fight when you were told , not asked told that her father would have to go to therapy and no visitations with her and our only grandchild until he does because she could not tolerate him. She is the classic text book injustice collector. Who wouldn't fight when I was given an ultimatum. She wanted A relationship with me only and have nothing to do do with her father which would drive a wedge but she didn't care. Who wouldn't fight when your only grandchild is used to punish me when whatever I have to say is considered to be trying to start a fight but in reality I was guilty of only trying to get her to see things from my point of view , my perspective only to ry to fix her, to fix this nightmare .

    I never wanted to fight but that's what it. Always came down to. I failed miserably. My way wasn't working. That's where I'm to blame. But when I'm told I'm equably to blame for our estrangement , I'm hurt even more . We didn't start this, we reached out three times to fix it but unless we jumped to our daughters and her husbands hoops , our attempts were rejected. How can I be equably to blame when I refused to be controlled , disrespected , yelled at , cursed at and demeaned? My sister knows that but she had dismissed and somewhat trivialized our living nightmare just by saying It takes Two to Fight.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your sister doesnt know what she is talking about. Obviously she has not had this situation in her life. i doubt she would talk so pious if this were the way her own middle-aged child were acting. Groveling only makes these types of adult kids meaner. Dont fo it.

    This is my advice. Take it or leave it. Firstly, Id never go along woth my kids treating their dad like that. Ever. Its cruel.

    I refuse to get into arguments with other people about my family. They are free to have any opinion they like, but I will refuse to listen to anyone tell me about it. This is none of sister's business.

    Try this next time she brings if up. "I love you, but I have decided we can not talk about Daughter. That subject is off limits or regretfully I will have to leave or get off the phone. So how was your day?"

    "I have every right to talk about it. You cant tell me what to say..."

    "You're right, I can't. But I can choose which subject to listen to. I will talk to you later if you feel need to talk about Daughter to me. Anything else is fine."

    If she keeps up or gets huffy, she is not respecting your boundaries. Let her be mad. Protect yourself. This is not a family affair open to blast at you about. Refuse to listen to anyone's opinion on this. It is between you and your daughter. Period. I do this. It is effective in my life.

    Good luck and remember that your daughter is probsbly all sweetness to your sister to gain her on her side. Disregard sister's advice. With some people, one person is mean and uncompromising sll the time no matter what the other does. It takes two to have a kind mother/daughter friendship and your daughter is not holding up her end of the bargain. You cant do it alone so your sister is right, however she does not understand that you are not the one causing the trouble. Unless she doesnt love her husband and would allow this treatment.

    Big hugs.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  3. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    For the most part it's not safe for me to share emotionally with my family members about my Difficult Child for the very reason you stated above. If the words aren't spoken to my face I know my sister's and mother talk behind my back. That is why I come here, because I don't get the judgement and blame. I have an ex sister-in-law who always makes me feel better because she will just listen and pray. I understand your frustration and and pain when dealing with a sister.
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  4. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    My sister is a very caring and loving sister. She means well and wants nothing more than for us to reunite. I want nothing more in the world than to do as well. But she doesn't understand. How can she ? You can only understand only if you lived it.

    I I believe my daughter wants the same. But reunite to What? My daughter is not going to change, not at 43 , I'm not going to accept disrespect, the control and demands.

    I keep asking myself what hurts most , estrangement or going back to a dysfunctional relationship. If I go back , I would have to accept You get what you see and manage it. But I'm too afraid , my trust is gone.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thats the question. Reunite where you and husband are both included? Reunite under a list if controlling and demeaning rules for you or husband or both? is that really a normal relationship? One you can live with?

    Only you can answers those questions. Not us or sister.I might have given up on a small amount of time my estranged son and his wife proposed by refusing to follow a list of demeaning rules, including not being allowed in their home, only seeing them at thrir church or a restaurant (in which the words "you pay for your own meal" were added for further humiliation). It was quite a list. It was given to me. I threw it into the trash and decided I did not want a relationship on those terms.

    Every day I wake up and have to have self respect. If I can't because I allow abuse of myself, my life is not good. I would not respect myself nor would my husband and children respect me if I allowed this. I never had regrets.

    Do what is best for yourself. We are all different. You must feel good about what you are doing or this can rent a lot of space in your mind. And nobody should have so much power over ypur life.
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Heather, I have been following along here.

    I think you are so correct that nobody can understand the He__ we have been through here with our DCs, and the tremendous torment we all suffer through years and years of trying to figure out what to do, and making a mix of good and bad decisions in an impossible situation.

    I understand your sister can have the best of intentions and still not get it. At all. It's kind of like people at a funeral who, in their desire to comfort, say EXACTLY the wrong thing over and over again, causing us even more pain.

    A couple of points: Your sister doesn't get to decide what you do or the timing of doing it. Just because she is now raising this, right now, doesn't mean you need to do anything different, now or ever.

    You are the only one who can determine what you do. I know that, of course, you desire a relationship with your daughter. But you also have to trust your own experience here. Has anything changed with your daughter? If not, why now?

    On the other hand, it can be good to re-evaluate things from time to time and perhaps your sister's comments have stimulated that. That doesn't again, mean it's time for a change.

    If you decide to try again with your daughter, do it, and move forward slowly and carefully, protecting yourself with boundaries. If it goes south, well, you will have tried again.

    We can't control what other people say or do, but we also don't have to react to any of it. We can determine what we are willing to do and to endure.

    Hang in there. We understand here, the agony of loving an adult child who is off the rails. We're here for you.
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  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Over and over again I have been judged by others with respect to my child and with respect to who I am. Because I am in a profession that diagnoses people. I can be diagnosed, and I am. I had always believed my mother to be circumspect in the sense she seldom gossiped and did not lie. Ever. When she began to fail in her last illness, she would forget that she was talking to me, not my sister. And with respect to my son, my mother said: "She lets him run her."
    Heather, you cannot change the disrespect and mistreatment by your daughter, towards you and your husband. You can only change yourself, if you choose. Perhaps this is to what your sister is referring. You call her kind and good-hearted. Maybe she wishes that you would let go of your sense of injury and injustice towards your daughter, knowing that such is one more barrier to reconciling. How does stoking those wounds help you or her. It may feel as if that anger protects you--the sense of injustice. Everybody has their own story and if each of us holds to it and insists upon seeing from our own point of view only there will be endless conflict and war. It would mean there would never be any chance for reconciliation or renewed trust, or trust between enemies where there never was before.

    With your daughter, there was once only love, unity and peace. Can you not envision a time where both of you put down arms and embrace? She had her reasons--even if they are wrong ones. If you insist she give up 100 percent, how is it different that her imposing her own terms 100 percent.

    Your hurt and anger are yours. But there is the choice to define our relationships by the thousands and thousands of things that bind us together. Or not. And then, recognize that the choice is yours, not hers. You are insisting, it seems, upon terms for her that she cannot accept. Right now. You cannot force her to accept your terms, no matter how right are yours. No matter how much you insist upon them, you cannot force her to accept your vision of things, unless she chooses. Maybe that is what your sister sees. That two wrongs will not make a right.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  8. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    Don't look at it as "fighting" look at it as "loving from a distance."

    It is possible to love someone but recognize, for a variety of reasons, that it may not be healthy to have them actively involved in your life.

    Maybe it's all your fault, maybe it's all your daughter's fault, maybe it a some percentage of each, but still it doesn't matter. The relationship isn't healthy for either of you, so, maybe it is just better to say, "I love you" from a distance and not interact.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Regardless of what anyone suggests, your sister or us, do nothing that makes you feel uneasy. We bring our own issues and life experiences into our advice.

    Take what works the best for you...and leave the rest. And if you make your decision without malice, you have nothing to regret.
  10. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    I know I have to let go of my anger ,my hurt and betrayal. If I don't , any Hope of a successful reconciliation woukd be doomed to fail. I know that to be the case because we have tried twice , unsuccessfully. That's where. I was to blame.

    I bought up certain things about our estrangement that was obvious that she didn't want to hear. My words were truthful, and words I thought were wise. She made it clear that she's not interested in my point of view. All she's interested in is moving forward and drop everything that's happened in the past and forget about it. This is where my challange lay. I need to learn to get past my anger and pain and cast away all the words, phrases, unsolicited advice.

    With the help of my councillor , she has shown me a way that instead of using words, I use actions to deal with unacceptable behavior

    My huge obstacle is to trust her and trust that I will never have to deal with this again. I know I will not survive a reoccurance. And this is my quandary.
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  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I was reading about non violent communication. The originator of it, Marshall Rosenberg died last year. He was a psychologist. I was looking up books on anger and found his work. He set up centers all over the work to teach people who were actually in wars with each other to communicate and stop fighting. They started out despising each other and wanting each other to die. They called each other murderers. They had killed each others' children.

    When he taught them this system of communication they could lay down arms and work and talk to each other.

    His approach was first to see that everybody has their own story in which we are invested 100 percent. And if we we try to communicate each of us based upon our own story, with all of its hurts and biases and history--we will all fight--because each of us look at things in a highly self-interested way. His approach was based upon language, not on stories. Why not look at amazon.com and see if any of us books interest you.

    Even if you were not interested in his approach you would see that the world is full of people who lay down their arms, and they do not die if they do.
    I can think of worse things. That your child die, or you, or your grandchild before you reach out and try.

    Had I not made a kind of peace with my mother before she died, I surely would not have survived her death. I would not have wanted to. That I know with all my heart.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You know, I have no vested interest one way another what decision you make. Many times I have felt the pain of my son's situation to be more than I can bear. And i have insisted he leave my home and I have not wanted him to come back for a long while.

    And now, I am at a time where I do not anymore have it in me to bear the pain of it.

    My son has a chronic illness for which he does not accept treatment. You die from it. A painful death.

    How is your situation different than my own? Each of us love children that are doing something the fear of which is killing us slowly. In my own case, my heart will break if I have to nurse my only child as he dies. At this point it looks like I will not be a grandmother.

    You are a grandmother and you have a grandchild you choose to not see, for reasons I doubt that you really know. It seems like the main reasons are your feelings. Feelings can lie.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sometimes the price is too high. The grandchild will know that the relationship is abnormal. Also often these malicious adult kids take the grands away from you.
    There is never a good reason to be demeaned. It doesn't foster normal grandparent relationships.
    I have learned to not trust these adult kids who put demeaning conditions on our contact with them or grands.
    It is soul destroying.
    Your relationship with your mother was not like this. It is different. Feelings can also lead us to the truth. Mine did. There is no reason to put up with abuse. None. It can literally destroy our health and kill us.
    Remember, we are all different. Let her decide.
  14. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Heather, I do not write, nobody writes to make others feel their pain is insignificant. On the contrary, I know you are suffering terribly. My aim is to help you find a way through this to find your dignity and your power. Your heart is broken. Only you can fix it. Not your daughter. You.

    You keep believing that the solutions are in her. Or at least it seems so to me. When they are in you. As long as you believe that she must do or say something different, or accept something different--you will keep suffering. This is what I do not want. That I may suffer more than you or less than you is not the point.

    You are the adult in the room here. Imagine she is a toddler. You do not ask a toddler to apologize or to take responsibility for the mess she made. What you do is you look at the situation and go forward. You make a plan to deal with the mess and to avoid big messes in the future. You accept that there will be some messes--but because you are prepared to make changes that you have identified--you gain confidence because you know that it will get better.

    This kind of thinking might help. You have heard of the strategy of thinking about people who are persistently mean to you, as naked?I have a young male boss at work who interrogated me in front of other people for 15 minutes. He is pushed out of shape because I will not go along with his way of thinking. He wants me to say I agree with him and will do as he says, when I do not. I will never, ever agree. It involves treating aggressively a prisoner who is a sex offender--a horrible crime, yes--but I have responsibility to this sex offender. I will not abrogate that responsibility for anybody.

    So I decided that what is motivating this young male boss, is fear that he is at heart a sex offender, that that is what he is covering up and that is why he has to be so harsh and controlling. He is trying to control and punish the part of himself that he fears. And he is trying to dominate me in order to dominate himself.

    I am hoping that by thinking this I will gain more compassion and tolerance for him--so that I can work another month or two, and then quit, on my terms.

    So with this mental game, I hope I can gain strength and self-control and patience to deal with his bullying, to just hold on to meet my own goals.

    You see, (and you know this) the wrong thing, and bad things, happen all of the time and we have to deal with them as adults. We can work with our own minds to be able to get through life so that we are not bitter people or people who feel victimized by others.

    In your case your dispute is with somebody who is tremendously precious to you. Somebody that matters more than all of the jobs or gold or silver in the world.

    Think of it: She has made a dreadful mistake. Acted horribly. She went into your kitchen and she spilled all of the sugar and flour on the flour and she said, Mommy, I am baking too. Just like you Mommy. I love you Mommy.

    This is the situation you are in 25 or 30 years later. You know more about life 10 times than she does. You can take the high road. You think it will cost you too much. Will it really? Think about it!!
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I find it horrible and horrifying that a daughter would say such words to her mother who bore her--that she will punish her--by withholding the baby. I just hate the idea of it. Hate it.

    But I do not hate her, because you do not. You love her.

    My sister did this to my mother. It was years and years of agony. The way my mother learned to lessen the agony was to give up control. She took what she could get. Why? Because she had no choice. She wanted my sister and her children in her life. She accepted my sister's terms.

    I feel enraged writing this, but for what? My sister ended up rejecting completely my mother as she died, would not speak to her or see her. And then my mother died, my sister blamed me for what she herself had done.

    Wrong things, bad things happen all of the time. My SO is rejected by half of his kids because their mother told them that he abandoned them and never sent money which was completely opposite the truth. The wife took all of the money, investments, property, business and sold them--plus all of the money M sent to her and misused it.

    For a while he felt hurt by the kids. And angry. And misused. And then he realized that who was being hurt was him--and the kids--that his role as a father was to humble himself. Not grovel. But forgive. And forgive. And forgive some more. Because he is the parent and the only one who is responsible to teach his children, besides their mother, if she indeed is taking this responsibility. And his kids are between 25 and 40. And he is trying to teach me this kind of responsibility. My son is 27.

    I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that I do not judge you. I hurt for you. I know you suffer because your heart is huge. It feels broken but your heart can mend. You can do this.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT. I am writing based upon who I am and what I have seen in my life. I can be no other. You, too, are writing based upon who you are in your life and what you have seen and experienced.

    You continue to suffer even with all you do to put goneboy behind you. My mother continued to suffer even though she made the choice that she did.

    I do not know this mother and daughter, nor do you. But I will stop posting here on her thread if you feel my responses are hurtful. My intention was not to cause hurt. But sometimes in life to avoid hurt, we end up hurting more.

    Heather, I hope you find what you need.
  18. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Basically yeah why would you want to stay argued with your daughter she did not have a issue with you but your husband that I might add is willing to accept her conditions because its a start. Someone has to let it go just go along things will change in time this way you just put fuel on fire let the fire die off. We can say you are right and its okay to be so angry and it is but it will just bring more anger and pain. Take the way of not fighting its not healthy for any of you.
    Also I do not believe in just listen and agree to me argument as those just make things worse.
  19. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    I have a similar situation with my sister. We have always been vey close and she has had my Difficult Child live with her on and off over the years.
    What I don't understand is that she has seen the damage his behaviour and drug use has done. She has seen me on the floor emotionally, beside myself with anxiety yet has made comments to my son like, ' oh, you're both as bad as each other' !!!!!
    Really, because I don't do drugs, I haven't stolen from my family or threatened them every day that I lived with them. I haven't screwed my mother over for £3500.00 so actually, no, we're not as bad as each other!!!! And her making comments like that and many many more aren't helpful.
    About 2 years ago he moved in with her again. It was a time when my partner and I were very close to her and her partner. We spent a lot of time together socially. He moved in, we talked about it, I thought things were OK, then we were cut out of her life. Ignored. She has said to my daughter that it was because it was too hard for them to come to our house if he wasn't welcome ! My son was making no attempt to make amends or apologise ( this was immediately after the £3500.00 situation) and I was p****d off and justifiably so.
    This was 2 years ago and we speak if we see each other but I have lost my sister. I could never trust her again. Another piece of collateral damage to the hell that is cannabis !
    Sorry to rant my stuff. I wanted you to know I feel your pain. Stand strong in your convictions. You know you are not wrong !!!! People let us down sometimes. It's sad. X
  20. Heather52

    Heather52 Member

    I do not find your respins s hurtful. On the contrary , I find your responses quite helpful. Nyour responses gave me more insight and a whole bewperspective. People who are familiar with my situation , who has lived it are painfully aware of the collateral damage but are not a motion ally vested in my situation. So they such as yourself draw upon your experience which in turn helps me make smarter decisions on how I move forward.

    I allowed myself to be the victim way too long. I allowed my anger to rule my decisions. There comes a time and with the help of the members of this forum, I have learnt that there comes a time when you decided to stop. It took awhile but vim in unchartered territortv where I have to decide to be right or to be happy. I have to find a balance of being happy with what I can accept from my daughter , and deal with the unacceptable without negative emotions.
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