This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
I have been cut off by my daughter and family and my eldest son and family. I am now an active mum of one and grandma to none, instead of mum to three, mum in law to two and grandma to three. This horrible situation is now into its fifth year and I've tried everything I can to get us all back together again. I'm 70 next year and feel I have nothing to celebrate. Every day is painful and I long for and miss them all so much. Any advice would be much appreciated.
What is the background and the reasons given by your son and daughter?
They must have a reason to have cut contact. If it's not related to an incident 5 years ago, it's likely related to something historic and I expect there's a good chance there's no remedy if they've taken that step. There's an organisation that helps people with estranged families. It might be called Stand Alone.
How was your relationship with them while growing up?
What happened that your dd stopped talking to you?
Any misunderstandings? Comments taken the bad way? Fights?
We had some difficulties when their dad and I divorced but we got past them long ago. Everything was good until 2015 my second husband and I were facing bad financial troubles and as we had a place in Cyprus we decided to go there as cost of living etc is much less. It was meant for a new adventure too in our retirement and for return to UK after about five years. I told each of my 3 children individually, the two boys were fine, my daughter shut me off there and then. Then later my eldest son decided to support her view. Before we left I broke down and told my SIL I didnt think I could go on with it but he was adamant that we should still go and that my daughter would come round. She was expecting her second baby that summer and I purposely arranged the move for four weeks after that so I could be around to help her but she wouldn't let me. I had a strong bond with her first child, a gorgeous little boy, and I wanted to tell him myself, gently and lovingly, but they wouldn't let me and waited until I'd gone. So he was distraught and it was unbearable. But after 3.5 years we had to come back as I was ill with no contact from my daughter or eldest son and grandchildren. Until we decided to return to UK my SIL was brilliant, kept contact going and updates with the gc, but as soon as I told them we were returning they cut us off. I came back as I thought it would be helpful to resolving things with me living back here but it's got worse.
Sounds to me as if your adult children are punishing you for going to Cyprus. And you are punishing yourself for having expectations that are proving to be unrealistic.
The more you beg, cry, hurt, the more you are stuck in this loop of pain and unresolved hurt. The kindest thing you can do for yourself is to just let it be. Change your mindset, focus on what is good in your life and let what is negative and hurtful go.
It is hard, of course it is but there is a saying that whatever you focus on expands and carries on expanding until it fills your life.
It's time to focus on you, your husband, your life now. It is time to step back OP otherwise, you will make yourself ill.
@I agree with pallas. I don't see you have any other choice. Do they get on with your second husband? Is that the issue?
It really is about the Cyprus thing. I often wish I'd never gone although we had been going to this particular village on hols for last 15 or so years and it was already like our second home. My twin brother and his wife lived next door and it was wonderful to see more of him as we always lived opposite sides of the country (UK). I adore the village and loved living by the sea. The beautiful climate was also very helpful with aching joints etc and just gave us a really good outdoor way of life. We had space for the kids and GC to come and stay and my youngest son did come for a week and said he could understand why we had done this. We spent a big chunk of our savings on regular visits back to UK but nothing changed. I suspected that the general response would be to move on and I really have tried. I've had intensive counselling as I felt suicidal for a while. It did help to a point but I struggle daily to 'put my face on' and still don't go out much. I just feel the remainder of my life is pointless with such a big gap in it. I appreciate that my daughter must have felt deeply hurt by my moving away and if she had cut me off temporarily I would have understood. What I cannot understand is what looks likely to be a permanent block and at the age of 70 I have no idea what's around the corner health-wise and timewise. The thought of never seeing any of them again makes me just want to curl up and die. People who I see daily or weekly or whatever probably think, oh thank God she's getting better we don't have to talk about it anymore, we can talk about our kids and GC again , life's back to normal. But I'm not better, I'm screaming and crying inside, it's just I've become a very good actor. I don't understand why my daughter won't relinquish this barrier between us. If it's for punishment then the last 5 years have definitely been so, for both of us. I just wish we could put this behind us now and get back to our loving relationship.
Moving abroad is related but I feel there has to be more.
They didn't want you to move to Cyprus but your sil cut you off when you told him you were returning to the UK. It makes no sense.
If they wanted you to stay in the UK, they would be happy for you to return.
You said you moved to Cyprus due to financial reasons but had to come back after 3.5 years because you got ill.
Couldn't your condition be treated in Cyprus? Did your financial situation improve so you could go back to the uk?
There is something else in the background.
What were the divorce conditions like and did they really got over them?
Of course, you do not have to reply to me and give me more background.
It doesn't have to be more if you consider that some people don't like change, some people can't cope with a change in family dynamics, some people enjoy expressing the power and control they have over others and some people are just plain mean, judgemental and nasty.
It could be one or all of these reasons.
Regardless, the OP is in a very bad place emotionally and can't see a way out of the deadlock she's in.
She's had counselling but is still grieving for lost relationships that can't, for the foreseeable future, be recovered.
if it was me, I'd try hard to just accept that this is my reality; but I can and I will take back some of the power that remains in my life.
If it was me, I'd look into volunteering with vulnerable families, befriending single parents perhaps, becoming a surrogate granny via one of the voluntary programmes would fill that gnawing gap to be wanted and needed. And I'd make every day count with small acts of care and kindness toward others.
You need to reclaim your power OP. In doing so, you reclaim your life.
Would they agree to meet up and talk about it at a neutral venue do you think?
SunsetBoulevard3 thank you for your suggestion. I had considered that a while ago but never actually tried it. Now that you've raised it, I think I'll look into the whole mediation thing and might give it a go. I think it's definitely worth a try. Thank you for replying with such a helpful message.
It sounds like your SIL was happy to update you and give you limited information when you were in Cyprus as he felt bad of the way things were. But you moving back is perhaps something that he fears will cause emotional problems again for his wife (your daughter).
@maa50 I'm sorry to hear your predicament. It is difficult to advise. I am in the position of being the one that cut my MIL off. I had put up with her awful behaviour and after each blow up myself and DH withdraw a little bit more. Ie we stopped visiting at Xmas, the next time we did less visits. She just didn't seem to get it that each time she was awful to us we just kept going down the process of cutting her off. It culminated in us pretty much cutting her off after one horrendous incident and she just doesn't see her behaviour at all
I can't comment on your own specific situation but clearly there are different views and I guess fundamental. If they do agree to meet, or mediation then perhaps just seek what their issues are and what for them would make it right. It might be things you totally disagree with but perhaps see the bigger picture of getting some contact.
I'm sorry to say that if my MIL tried to reconcile, my attitude is too little too late. She has been the ultimate loser from seeing us and her grandchildren
Op - I am really sorry you are in this situation. My family has some history of child/parent estrangement and I really feel for you. You sound very thoughtful and reflective.
Behind the scenes or between the lines I wondered if your second marriage and financial problems could be relevant? Did your children perhaps ‘blame’ you for risking ‘their’ inheritance and then leaving for ‘the sun’ and/or blame you for putting your second husband before them. I’m not for a member thinking any of this is or might be true or right or reasonable for them to think but it leapt out as a possible family trigger ??
As for sil changing his position I wonder if your Dd has put her foot down now that you are back. So often on mn I read dil/dd saying things like ‘she now needs help but where was she when blah blah’ when discussing support for parents.
I strongly support advice to speak to any support group (mentioned above) for help with this.
My family pretty much sorted out or overcame our problems and both parents have now passed away. I have a huge amount of relief that we did as I can’t imagine how grief would have been had we not. Your post struck a chord.
Really good luck.
It really is about the Cyprus thing
I suspect it's also about money. Your second husband. The circumstances of how you divorced from their father. You keep remarking that 70 is around the corner which seems to be a pretty 'main driver' in your motivation to see them again.
As hithere2 said: Of course, you do not have to reply to me and give me more background.
You're an active mum of one but nearly 70. Is the child yours by birth or adoption ? Or some other circumstance ?
Sorry but you and your circumstances sound like a complication they can do without.
Have you written your will ?
I believe the child she is referring to is her third child who still has her in their life.
Maa50. I was just wondering how you were and whether or not you had made any progress with the suggestion of a meet up to discuss whether or not the relationship can be built. Estrangement is damaging for both the estranging and the estranged individuals, so maybe it might be possible to build some bridges, even if it is just to have some low limited contact for the sake of the DGC. I do hope so.
I agree with previous posters that, sadly, money may be a contributing factor, if the EAC believe that their 'inheritance' has been wasted by your new DH or that he will inherit instead of them. How well does your DH get on with them and do you have any stepchildren? Has the DC you re in touch with shed any light on the matter - not that I suggest that you involve them in any way, as it may cause further damage.
But I just wanted to say that I really feel for you and can only advise that you focus on the relationships which you have and, as a previous poster has already said, take back control of your life and try to fill it with good things. Do not let this define you -you are worth more than this and 69 is not old these days.
Try to really listen to your children too. Something that may have seemed unimportant to you might have been massive to them. My mum would say similar things to you, but the truth is that she has chosen to stay with my abusive stepfather and I won't let my children near either of them because she doesn't see his behaviour as problematic. Thus she doesn't see my problem and the estrangement is mysterious, hurtful, and probably my father's fault. Again, not saying this is your situation, but your viewpoints may be similarly hugely different on past events.