I'm the oldest daughter, the firstborn. I'm 50 years old. My relationship with my mother has always been difficult. I have two younger sisters and two younger brothers. DM favours the boys.
When my children were born, I had to make a decision to involve my parents. It wasn't automatic. I made the decision to involve them based on my feeling that I didn't have the right to deny my children their grandparents.
DC are now 27, 26 and 22. Their DF died 15 years ago and whilst I managed the grandparents/grandchild relationship whilst they lived at home, I've now stepped away from it due to the stress I felt.
DF became seriously ill when youngest DS was 20. This was the first opportunity I had had to begin separating myself from my parents. Whilst DF had a serious operation I phoned DM daily, to let her know I was 'there'. Once DF was back home, I phoned less frequently.
I didn't visit because I was a long way away and couldn't afford the trip.
It's two years now, since the big op. My two sisters live abroad, my two brothers at home with my parents. I've phoned but the 'taking turnabout' phone system that we have previously had seems not to be working anymore. I don't think they have phoned more than two times since April. I find it very stressful, because somehow it feels that I'm the 'bad daughter'. I would have visited if I'd had the money. I last phoned two months ago. They haven't phoned me once. I'm in a black hole myself - I find it hard to make calls that are supposed to be supportive and nice but which leave me feeling like a bad person.
My son visits and he does more for them than I could ever do. He also does more than my brothers do.
Tonight I'm feeling lonely and would love to ring DM for a chat. She doesn't know how to do chats (74). Am I really so bad?