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Monday, March 19, 2018

Grieving. I am a hot mess at the moment. I was hesitant to blog about this, but blogging is my way of releasing my feelings. Please be patient with me.

At the end October, my daughter called and asked me to help her. I took a great leap of faith, got rid of all my belongings except what I could get into my car, and drove the 1500 miles to Omaha Nebraska. I moved in with her and her five children, became the Uber Grandma, and made sure the kids got to their schools and activities. I tried to bring a sense of order into the house, and worked with the kids on becoming responsible for their rooms, helping with basic chores. While it was hard work, it was very rewarding. I loved how the kids would gather in my room at the end of the day.

By the end of February, my daughter had entered into a relationship with a man, and they began making plans to merge their lives. She is going to sell her home and they were moving forward. I moved into an apartment on the 28th of February.

Since that day, I have not heard from my daughter. I have sent her emails, called and sent texts and nothing. My heart is broken. I cannot begin to tell you how much this hurts. I have been grieving. I have certainly gone through the steps of grieving ( shock, anger, blaming, indignation)- right now I am working on the steps of acceptance. There was no communication about why she is doing this, so of course I blamed myself. There is a sense of shame attached to your child cutting you out of their life. It makes you question whether you were a good parent.

Once I was through blaming myself, I turned to a counselor for advice. The counselor said that parent estrangement is becoming more prevalent. He recommended moving forward in a proactive mode and reading a book Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children Now, in retrospect, I wish I had done that first, as I didn't handle this as graciously as I could have. I have finally accepted that I have no control over the situation. I can only move forward, at this point, it is perhaps one minute at a time. I have to feel the feelings. Oh how many times have I thought I wish I had a big tub of ice cream, or sweets in the house, it would make me feel better. Really? I am pleased that I am not eating my feelings. They are intense and I am struggling. But I am making it without giving into emotional eating.

At the moment, I feel like I am a stranger in a strange land. I know I am strong and resilient, but I don't think I have ever had a lower point in my life. All I can do is move forward. Of course I am praying that this situation will resolve itself. But I am also realistic and know that it isn't up to me. I am glad I signed a year's lease on the apartment, as I know that being reactive when you are distraught is not a good thing. But moving forward, and taking care of myself and being happy? I am certainly not there yet. I feel like I am going through the motions, when all I really want to do is stay in bed and cover my head. The recommendation to fake it until you make it seems ridiculous.

When I moved in, my daughter said not to buy anything for the apartment, between her and Dan they could furnish 10 houses. At day 3 when I hadn't heard from her, didn't have a coffee pot, or silverware or life's essentials, I was talking to my sister about how angry I was- basically like I was thrown from the train. Bless her soul, she sent me dishes, silverware, mixing bowls, pots and pans and cooking utensils. For a week everyday was like Christmas! I told her I would gladly repay her, and she said consider it a gift of love. This is my sister whose husband died a year ago. Needless to say we have talked at least twice a week most of our adult life. She reminded me that I had watched her 3 children for a year when she was accepted into the Federal Law enforcement program and had to go to Glynco for training. She reminded me that this is who we are- FAMILY- I cried, was humbled and very grateful.

Then I went through the would have, could have, should have's. I should have just put my stuff in storage for a few months, to see if this would work out. Before taking the leap of faith and jumping in without a back up plan. This is my daughter, and it never crossed my mind that I couldn't trust her. She has always been loving and caring, and we have always been there for each other.

Well that is water under the bridge. I have got my financial house in order, have gotten a bit of furniture , have a full working kitchen. I may not stay in Nebraska, but that won't be determined for a year. If there is any hope for reconciliation, I would like to stay close. But if this is going to be a permanent situation, I will be looking at a warmer climate.

In the meantime, I am doing the journaling recommended by the counselor and writing up the good memories I have in a Joy journal. I may not have a future in my daughter or grandchildren's lives, but I do have wonderful memories and those may have to be enough.

I had a God Breeze- trying to remember that if he brings me to it, He will bring me through it. I was browsing for part time work ( paid or volunteer) in this area, and the first one was for a part time receptionist for an RV dealership. I submitted my application at 10 am and by noon had a call asking me to come in for an interview. That is the first time I had applied for work since retiring in 2012. It is very doable. Every other weekend, only 5 minutes from my apartment (maybe some day I can say "home"), and the people are wonderful. It will also help me fill a big gap for now. I don't have a start date yet, the background checks are still in progress. No worries on that matter, just takes time.

I don't have a plan. I have always been so thoughtful about what I bring into my home. Right now I am being extremely frugal. I got an chair side table for $2.97 at a Goodwill Ware house, where they charge by the pound. It has good bones, but desperately needs refinished. For now, it is polished a bit and working fine. I decided to just have 2 chairs in the living room. I have a lovely bay window that I will put cushions on for additional seating. Creating home takes some time.

I am very tired, yes I recognize that this is a bit of depression. I am not normally a depressed person so this is a relatively new experience. I will get through this. I do believe I will learn something from this experience.

I am planning on going to a family reunion in June. This is held every other year. My Mom, 2 sisters and my eldest son are going. I am so looking forward to it. My sister is driving up from Oklahoma, and we will caravan to the reunion. This is usually attended by at least 100 people. I was hoping to take the grandchildren, but have set that aside. I did rent a large cabin, and am keeping that in place.

Today I am putting away my paperwork and setting up my vision board. It may seem like a small thing, but just for today I am staying on plan. I planned my meals for the week, ordered the groceries. Now I will spend some time doing laundry, dishes and spiffing the house. And of course do the Dog In/Dog Out Dance. At least that is something. Ringo likes exploring his new territory. He is particularly interested in the squirrels. Now if he will stop barking at them!! I have yet to find an off leash park for him to run in, but as it warms up we will do some exploring.

Thank you for your prayers and concerns.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sunny, I'm very late to find your blog, and I'm heartbroken about this story. What a sad turn of events. In the midst of your sorrow, however, I can sense that you have a strong core of faith, strength, and integrity, and it is clear that you will come through this, even though it must still be terribly painful to face what has happened. Not to know why this happened, to be suddenly deprived of the presence of your grandchildren who had happily gathered in your room at the end of the day, to be so rudely sort of thrown off the train--it's unfathomable. I pray for this situation to improve. Being surrounded by your supportive relatives at the upcoming family reunion will surely lift your spirits and help you hold your head high as you wait for your daughter's heart to heal. Stay strong, dear Sunny. God will indeed bring you through this.
    1057 days ago
    I feel so sad---- I thought that you had the perfect solution--- living and helping your daughter--- I admired you so much!--
    It is very sad that she turfed you out--- could you live close to her, but on yer own?--for the children?
    It sounds like you are getting yer life back together--- building your own world--not depending on her or others--It must be so hard tho--
    You know--I have 5 grown children --- but------ not all of them are close to me--or my husband--- and my own family of brothers and sisters are estranged--
    In time, I know that daughter of yers will turn to you again--- Hopefully you will stay near for the Grandkids--but-on yer own--- You must have yer own life and in time, you will create that---
    I wish I could help yu---
    We are all so vulnerable aren't we---
    1064 days ago
    💞I am sorry for your pain. I will pray.
    1066 days ago
    Sunny, I am so sorry to hear about this!! Sorry also that I didn't read your blog sooner.

    I have a "what doesn't kill you...." statement too. It is becoming one of my mantras with the health issues I have had this year.

    "What doesn't kill you just doesn't kill you.....whatever happens after that is up to you!"

    I think that your relationship with your daughter will heal over time although it may not be the same again. There is no way for me to know whether the man in her life is playing a part in your estrangement and I certainly would not jump to the thought that he is an abuser. This will play out in what ever way it is meant to be and I hope that means that your daughter will work through her issue and reach out to you. I know the children must miss you...and I know that hurts.

    What a wonderful sister you have. She is definitely one of the blessings in your life. Look forward to the family reunion and the time you will have to be with your mother and sisters.

    Enjoy Bingo; I'm so glad he is still with you. What a good companion he is! Take very good care of yourself and stay active. Is there a Senior center anywhere near you? That is a great place to make friends, find new interests, or get back into other ones you enjoy.

    Take care, emoticon

    1066 days ago
    I am so so sorry!
    Hang in there and be good to yourself.
    1069 days ago
  • EILEEN828
    Sunny, I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a falling out with your daughter. Sometimes things like this just get that intense. Hopefully things will mend over time. I’m glad to hear that you’re putting yourself to rights in setting up your new home. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the would’ve, could’ve, should’ves because they don’t matter that much any more they’re part of the past and all a person can do is move forward. Your home is a new beginning, and new chapters and new beginnings happen all the time during your life, and so you might as well look at it as a new opportunity. I hope you enjoy all your family reunion in June. emoticon
    1072 days ago
    I don't have any advice except that I think you are doing all the right things for yourself. I had an abusive first marriage and I watch a lot of crime shows. Not knowing your daughter, I would say that something happened when the man came into the picture. I pray for her safety. When an abuser comes along, he separates the ones he is abusing from those that love them, so the loved ones won't know what might be going on behind closed doors. I hope you will keep this is mind.

    It is not easy for a woman with children to get away from an abuser. I hope I am wrong.

    You are resilient and though you are working through many emotions, I believe you will do well and are doing what is necessary to work through this. When I was being beaten by my first husband, my mother wanted me to move all of my possessions back to Maryland. I didn't work and didn't have an income to pay for moving my stuff. My first husband would beat me for trying to leave and if I did get out and came back, he would beat me when I came back. I was supposed to see his love for me even when this was how he behaved.

    If she is in an abusive behavior, she may come back to live with you, accepting that anything is better than the abuse. I pray that I am wrong about this, but know that I will pray for you as you try to make sense of all of this, for her and your grandchildren.
    1073 days ago
    I am so sorry you are dealing with this!! My first thought, as someone else mentioned, is make sure she is safe. Can your son verify that all is fine so you don't have to leave her a message that she may think is just manipulating her into calling? How well does she know this guy who is moving in with her? You said this is out of character.

    If she is indeed OK and is taking a break from interacting with you, I agree with the advice not to keep calling or emailing as much as it is heartbreaking. It may push her away more and she may just need time to cool off. I agree with others that things can absolutely change with time. I would not try to maintain a relationship with the grandchildren separate from her, unless one of them reaches out to you. Otherwise, it may make her angry. Has she done this to anyone else in her life before?

    If you talk to anyone close to her-your son or anyone who contacts you, if the subject comes up just convey how much you love her and hope to resolve any misunderstanding when she is ready.

    Again, so sorry about this. I know how hard you worked as super nanny extraordinaire (and I was exhausted reading it all). You really went above and beyond.

    Hoping things improve very soon! Thinking of you! Major kudos for getting therapy and working to move forward!
    1073 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/20/2018 6:30:07 PM
  • LSIG14
    You know you are in my thoughts and prayers. My only advice is "Don't Close the Door!" Whatever issue is separating you cannot be fixed without communication. It may never be resolved satisfactorily but maybe someday your daughter will want to get in touch and you need to be ready for reconciliation. In the meantime, you have my hugs, tears, and prayers that you will be fine no matter what.
    1073 days ago
  • 1958TMC
    Hi dear, maybe you can just concentrate on you, for now, but know that when this man is finished with your family, it will be YOU, HER MOMMA who she will need the most. And you will be there, ready and strong. HUGS TO YOU💖
    1074 days ago
    Sunny, I would I could be there to give you a big hug. I'm so sorry for what is happening with your daughter and how she has cut you out of her life. I hope and pray that it is temporary. Are you able to stay in touch with the kids? I am concerned that this new man may have something to do with the situation, that he is controlling her and forcing her to sever ties. That would not be good. I'm praying for you and for her. I hope there's a bright reunion in the future! BIG HUGS and lots of love...
    1074 days ago
    With God all things are possible
    1074 days ago
  • no profile photo VALERRIE
    Wowwww! Oh my gosh, I am so sorry! How horrible!
    Yes, it's upsetting beyond words! When you rehash the last few months, can you now see what might be red flags along the way that might indicate how things evolved?

    You loved and cared for your grandchildren; what a hole in your heart to endure.
    And how bewildering the behavior of your daughter who when she invited you; said they needed you!

    I take it you haven't heard from the grandkids, either. Strange. At least the oldest one must have a phone.
    Did you meet the new boyfriend...didn't he say he would take over driving duties? Is it possible he is at the root of all this? A controlling manipulator? What was your daughter's ex like? I'm sure you've already considered the possibilities.

    I agree with Maringal's advice. And you're doing the best one can. Edy's would be my new best friend!
    Please keep us posted; I'll be thinking of you!
    1074 days ago
    Good luck with your many changes. You are in my thoughts and prayers. emoticon
    You are a good mother and grandmother. emoticon
    1074 days ago

    It is amazing how quickly children can ditch their parents when they have a new love interest.

    So sorry things haven't worked out twixt you and your daughter & her children...
    Maybe in time ... the bridge that is now closed for repairs will be reopened.
    I wondered if you had other children... grand-children... and noticed there is a son.
    Glad you are still staying with your plans for the family reunion.. who knows by then the lines of communication will have reopened, at least a little, twixt you and your daughter and her family.

    No one likes to feel used or ditched.. but a whole lot of us have been there. Family can be cruel.

    1074 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    1074 days ago
    Thank you for taking the time to share your story. You are doing so very well. It's great that you now have the support of the counsellor, and have your family reunion to look forward to.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1074 days ago
    Sunny, I was estranged with my son for many years....I know the pain. He unfortunately took sides in the Divorce and although it was truly a painful separation, I did understand years later why he chose his father instead of me or both. I was a mess for many years.
    Today, we have a wonderful relationship. I made my amends and through years of growth, he now loves and respects me as a son should to his mother.
    My question to you: What part did you have in this relationship fall out with your daughter. You write all the wonderful things you did for her, but there has to be another side. There always is Sunny. Give it time. But you do need to own up to your part of the breakdown. A daughter wouldn't stop talking to her mom if there weren't some dysfunctional issues happening. Don't push the communication either. Once in awhile, send her a postcard, a note and just tell her you love her and mail it slow mail. Don't email, or call anymore...let it rest. Give it time. And for you, you need to live a life of your choice. You don't need to be swallowed up with emotional abuse which is estrangement by the way......Be strong and hang on tight.
    1074 days ago
    I am so sorry you are going thru this, wish I could just pick up the phone and tell you that you are strong and can get thru this. Do you have any contact with the children's father, and could maybe see the grandchildren when he has them. I feel for those children, and you were giving them stability, and now that is gone again. This is so sad, so hugs to you, STAY STRONG.
    1074 days ago
    So sorry this has happened to you. Did you talk to your son and see if his sister talked to him? Maybe he might know what the issue is with your daughter. I hope it resolves in your favor. emoticon
    1074 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1075 days ago
    I am so very sorry to hear this,Sonny.You are not alone i have
    3 Children and i am being treated the same way as you are!
    Are you sure your Daughter and Grandchildren are okay? emoticon and emoticon Linda
    1075 days ago
    Hugs to you
    1075 days ago
    I am so sorry you are going through this. Hang in there.
    1075 days ago
    OH my gosh, MAJOR hugs, MAJOR MAJOR ((((HUGS)))) No advice, just know you're in my thoughts and prayers. And I am so sorry you're going thru this.
    1075 days ago
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