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Some of you have known my problem for years now. She really hasn't spoken to her two adult sons in years. I am being accused of manipulating, coercing, and they say I am responsible for all our family problems. It was tolerable in my mind about my two brothers until I recently found out that the next generation, my 5 nieces and nephews, feel like their Dads feel about me. They are all over 21 years old. This new info absolutely kills me. It hurts my mother to the core. She tries so hard to get the whole mess out of her mind, but mentally can't do it. She has tried medicine, counseling, and keeping herself busy. I hate that her last few years on earth are going to be filled with anger, resentment, and such sadness. She is always asking me where she went wrong and my words mean nothing to her to try to explain it isn't her fault. If only there were apologies to her. I am long gone about any possible relationship with either one of them. Mom feels differently. She wants to "get this family straightened out before she kicks the bucket". I tell her it can't be done. She says there is always hope. Can anyone write directly to her and I will read your responses to her?

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You're welcome, Kate. I hope it will be helpful to her. I hear from mothers like her every day (fathers too!), who have been hurting for many years.... I also have a website to support parents of estranged adults: rejectedparents

Author of, Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children
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so nothing's changed? just wondered; may look for the book, too, for hub's aunt; wish we had exact dates for these posts
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Hi Sheri,
Thank you for writing such an important book. I am going to go look for it RIGHT NOW to see where I can buy it for her.
Kate
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I feel for your mom. As a mother estranged from one of my five, I know the pain--and can relate to the obsession. But there is a good life ahead. My book is helping many to move beyond the pain of this shocking loss, and live happy lives. I hope it might help your mom, too.

Sincerely, Sheri McGregor
Author of Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children
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Hello Again, Indy,
Thank you again for taking more of your time to give me support and understanding. It obviously helps to know I am not alone and neither is my mom with her problems. My best to you and your husband as you navigate through the tough times.
Kate
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Kate, your siblings are out of state, so that is an excuse for not visiting your mom, for 2 years my in laws actually drove right by my house everyday that they worked, (they have new jobs now)and never once stopped in. They live 30 minutes north of us and will actually drive 5 minutes away from our house to have dinner, or go to a movie, but can't be bothered to stop in and say hi. MIL has advanced dementia, and is not allowed to be left alone, and even though both of my BIL make 2-3Xs the amount of money my husband makes, they won't send the ADC $40 a month, so that I can have a day off from being her caregiver. I have finally accepted that his family can kiss my tukkas. My husband wants to take some of the $10K life insurance policy( I made her get) we get when she dies to have a viewing and memorial service so his brothers and sister can say their goodbyes to her... I told him over my dead body, will I allow money to be wasted on his family, if they want it, they can pay for it... My children have had to give up a lot of things, and I have had to be her caregiver and miss out on taking my kids places, having a vacation with my kids, so when she passes away, we will finally be able to afford a down payment on a house, and pay off debts that are building up. Money is very tight at our house, because she needs 24/7 care, and doesn't qualify for ALF because we can't afford it, and even though Medicaid will help, they all still want $2-3K a month, and because she is ambulatory and has no incontinence issues, she doesn't qualify for NH. It might be easier to forgive someone that has a legitimate excuse( living out of state), and understand that it is probably not completely your siblings fault( my husbands sister n laws are royal B**CHES, and do not let their husbands off the short leashes) and intention to abandon your mom, and their might even be jealous feelings, because you are able to spend time with her, and you have a great relationship with her. I personally have a great relationship with my mom, but am starting to resent my MIL, the more I am taking care of her (she made a lot of bad decisions in how she chose to live her life) and having to fix the bad decisions. I hope your mom can find peace, and know that she has tried to make amends( even if she didn't do anything) and that it is unfortunate that her children and grandchildren will never know her because of choices they are making in their lives. Live for the moment, and make her happy.
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Dear Indy,
Thank you for taking the time to write to my mom. I have read it to her and we talked about different parts of your letter. She is doing a little better knowing that others are in the same position with their children. Since they both live out of state, there really isn't "time" to make up about so many issues she thinks were handled wrong through the past years. It is very sad to say the least. On the other hand, over the last 30 years they really haven't gone out of their way to make themselves or their children part of their life. I personally spent a lot of my time here in our state trying to get them to visit or call her. No such luck.
As mentioned, I have had to take myself out of the whole situation for my own mental health. I wish I had done it sooner since I am doing much better personally. My mom is much worse, but the truth of finding about someone's true colors is very painful to accept. She just can't believe it is her own children not respecting her or listening to her own wishes. Their loss since she truly is a wonderful, funny, kind and loving person.
Warm thoughts,
Kate
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indy, my mil, in many ways, was the same way and she's somewhat reaping for it now herself, even as she, too, now wants her family together
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Fox... I get you completely... my MIL has 3 children that do not see her or talk to her. My husband and I are the only ones that do, even before she moved in with us. Her daughter actually told her that because of who she was and how she behaves (hippie/free spirit/heavy metal lover/ alcoholic) that she wanted nothing to do with her, and MIL, said so be it... but MIL has never been a doting parent, choosing to have fun over her children... I personally wouldn't know what to do if my kids didn't want to spend time with me. Because her children won't see her, her grandsons don't see her, and the one used to bribe her to come over, he used her great grandson as a way to get money out of her. I am the evil one because I called out her sons and their wives on Facebook for being selfish and uncaring when it came to their mom/MIL.... As much as your mom wants to get the family together, she is going to have to accept that when her children are ready to be adults, they might reach out, but she has you and she needs to be grateful that you are there for her....My husband hurts so much because his brothers and sister wrote us and his mom out of their lives, but to listen to him talk, it is their choice, you can't make someone love you, and you can't make someone visit you, and you should learn to live with that. It is hard for me to live like that, as I am like your mom, I want the family together.
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Thank you so much, Jeanne. I can't possibly get across to you how much this letter meant to me and how I hope it can bring my mom a little bit of peace.
Your words are so true and direct. I am thankful for people like you that reach out to a stranger in their time of need.
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very nice, Jeanne - foxmolder, hub's aunt's going through this with her daughter - she in many ways has just let it go but it occasionally does still hurt but she doesn't dwell on it
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Jeannegibbs, that letter to Foxxmloder's Mom was so perfect, So insightful and respectful, that even I learned from it! I hope that when she reads it to her Mom, that it does indeed have an impact that is helpful! It was very kind of you to have written such a well thought out reply! Thanks! SB😇
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Dear Foxxmolder's Mother,

I am so sorry to learn how much pain you are in because of being estranged from your sons. I don't imagine that will ever go away or that you will ever be able to just let it go. You cared so much for them as children, and had such hopes for them.

You did the best you could for them in very trying circumstances. They had less than ideal childhoods, but not because of the lack of your love. Many times when the early years were especially tumultuous or chaotic or unstable there can be healing in the later years. So there is hope. But often all parties cannot put the past aside and grow beyond it, at least without professional help. I am sorry that that seems to be your family situation right now.

Aside from the very unfortunate estrangement, have your sons grown into decent men? Have they raised their own children well? Do they have good steady relationships with their wives? Have they had reasonably stable work lives? That they are very wrong-headed about their sister is highly regrettable, but in other ways have they overcome the difficult start they had in life? If so, be grateful for that.

Be grateful too for your daughter, who wants the best for you and who would like to see family wounds healed. She does not have the power to change your son's attitudes, but if she did she would want them to see that they have a loving mother.

You know that the only person whose role you can write in this drama is you. Continue to reach out to your sons, perhaps by sending occasional letters and notes. But know that you cannot control their reactions.

Rejoice in what you have. Try not to obsess on what you wish you had but do not.

Sincerely,
A cyber friend
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The grandchildren have never visited mom on their own. No calls to her or letters, notes, gifts, etc. Just taking after their Dads, I guess.

Yes. My brothers think that Mom only thinks what I tell her to think. It is BS. Ask her lawyer, doctor, cousins, friends, etc. But they will never do this since they would learn the truth about me and her. Also, they have never had a sit down with just her to discuss the issues and get feedback from HER. Brainwashing has been a term used against me. I have let them go years ago. But a mom is very different then a sibling. That is why I am looking for other parents who have parted ways with their children for whatever reason. My mom needs some ideas on how not to ruminate about them and how they have treated her the past 3 years. Mom is a very quiet lady and if she disagrees with someone,, she doesn't speak up, so that makes the other person think she agrees with them. She has learned (through counseling) that is why she is in this position with them. Lawyers have been involved and huge amounts of money has been spent. Yes. Our childhood was dysfunctional as shown by how my dad died when I was 15....suicide.
One brother said to mom over a year ago...."MOM. Did you KNOW that what happens to you as a kid, has an influence on how you are as an adult????" this statement from a 55 year old man. The other one yelling.........."DAD COULDN'T HAVE BEEN GAY, HE HAD CHILDREN!!!" This stupidity coming from a 53 year old man. Welcome to my world.
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What do your brothers think you are manipulating and coercing someone to do? And is the someone your mother?

Would you say your childhood was in a dysfunctional household?
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I was wondering if that might be an issue in the grandchildren coming to see her but if she does have her own entrance, then that shouldn't be; I would think that being grown they'd want to know what she actually thinks
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yes. The addition has its own outdoor entrance. It aslo has its own bathroom with a walk in tub, sink, toilet. I divided up the large room into a sleeping area, a living area with chair, tv and then a third area with a table, microwave, college fridge and cupboards. The addtion does NOT have a "kitchen sink" so it does not qualify for being its own "apartment". Mom uses her bathroom sink to wash dishes, clean hands, etc.
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Does the addition have its own entrance?
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Thank you Cwillie, for taking the time to write. It helps to understand that the next generation only has one side to the story.
It is not an option for my brothers to take over mom's care. I have stayed in CT my whole life and that is where she is from and plans to live out the rest of her life. (both of them moved away in 1980 and have never really been part of her life....or the grandchildren). We built an addition on the back of my house for her to live. The situation now is that I have my own life in my house, but very close by when she needs help. The man I have been seeing for about a year now is very understanding that most of our time together is here since I feel guilty to leave for long periods. I am also able to do part time work out of my home which is a blessing. One minute she is saying "I want to let my boys go." and the next minute she is saying, "I have to figure out how to get my boys to understand me." Quite a problem day in and day out.
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Sorry Foxx, I don't know your story. I want to comment that it is hardly surprising that your nieces and nephews feel the same way as their parents, if the estrangement has been going on for years they have not really had any opportunity to see what you see and will have only heard one side of the story, the one that paints you and your mother in a negative light.
Since they all seem to feel that you are the root of the family discord perhaps you should offer to step aside so that they can jump back in ;)
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