Adult DD constantly talking about wanting to contact my estranged mother.(8 Posts)
a very young 20 years old. We had not had any contact with my mother for almost 4 years now, my siblings for over 6 years.
The NC was due to a very messy long drawn out confrontation about my childhood abuse/scapegoating/bio father, sparked by my mother continuing the cycle with my DCs showing favouritism over one of my twins and calling the other one 'ugly' among other things .
Mother 'disowned' me and my siblings, well due to my role in the family, I was of no importance to them anyway. I told my mother that if she wanted nothing more to do with me, then she would not be seeing my DCs as I would not allow any contact without me being there to make sure she 'behaved'. About a year later I emailed her twice a few months apart saying that she could regain contact, with DH there, as DC were asking about her and I never imagined the NC would go on so long. She did not respond.
DD decided (despite my misgivings) to contact them two years ago (at age 18) via Christmas cards putting her telephone number and email address in them. I warned her that she may be disappointed and I was right. She got no response. In fact a sister ranted via DD's Facebook that it was me trying to contact them not her and that I was 'fucking sick'. They still think of her as a young girl as they have not seen her for so long.
DD still remembers my mother baking with her and the time she took her on holiday to the US, and also the get togethers at Christmas etc. Although she also remembers negative things like my mother pointing a knife in her face while 'jokingly' telling her off and my stepfather smacking her and shouting at her that she was 'just like her mother'.
Despite this she still feels for my mother deeply and still gets very upset when her friends mention things they've done with their grandparents/aunties etc and is now going through another phase of being desperate to see my mother in case she dies before she gets closure by telling her what she think of her, in her words. She is very angry that she didn't care enough about her to want to see her.
I have no idea where my mother is now and no contact details (as I am not allowed to know where she is) but know a sister's number and to shut DD up, I told her to call her and ask for my mother's details so she can speak to her. I am concerned that sister will refuse to give them to her, and be rude to her but I can't think of any other solution. DD was insisting that she would turn up on sister's doorstep (she lives 100 miles away) and ask for my mother's details to show her that she was an adult capable of making her own decisions. I have dissuaded her out of that. I feel sick that my DD has this 'thing' in her life that causes her pain and there is little I can do about it. This also keeps the old guilt and self loathing going that the situation is all my fault.
As harsh as it sounds I think you have to let your daughter make her own decisions and contact the sister to ask for contact details. Let her find out for herself how horrible they all are and she can draw her own conclusions.
It's difficult for her because she has some happy memories (baking and christmas) and some unhappy ones. I had a similar ish situation myself and I know it's best to let her make her own mind up.
I agree with Shoxfordian - it is your DD's decision to make.
At 20yrs old she is more than old enough to know what led to your decision and to realise that just because she wants something, doesn't make it automatic.
All you can do it prepare her as best you can for the outcome to not be what she had hoped for
How much understanding has your DD actually got about how this no contact came about in the first place?. She needs the age appropriate truth.
Your DD has a very idealised version of her nan and like many young people, she wants to see only the best in others. She is wide open to being further manipulated here and she is already being manipulated. I sincerely hope that your mother continues to ignore your DDs approaches because your mother could well manipulate your DD otherwise to get further back at you.
Your writings are a salutary warning to others in a similar situation. The road to hell is really paved with good intentions. Unfortunately there was some level of contact years ago between your mother (I am wondering if she is a narcissist) and your children via yourself and it is this level of contact that has led to this situation now. No contact is and should have remained precisely that.
I agree with pp, you need to let her contact your sister. It's understandable that you want to protect your dd from pain and hurt, but she is correct that she is an adult and responsible for her own decisions.
By all means, express your concerns to her. Tell her you expect your sister to be rude and to refuse her request. Listen to her and support her whatever the outcome.
Not easy, I know, but it's the right thing to do.
Thank you Shox, Queen and aging. I will not stop her from calling my sister. She has said she needs 'closure' to her own relationship that she had with my mother and I understand that (although I rather feel that my mother won't give her that) but I hate the fact that my family will know that she even gives them a moments thought. We have discussed what avenues the conversation with my sister could go down and what outcome she wants and she is clear that too much time has passed for her ever to go back into any kind of relationship with them.
Attila She is aware of most of what happened but does not fully understand the way my mother works which is expected as I didn't myself until I was close to 40!
Unfortunately I did not realise how awful my mother was, despite just having had 12 sessions of CBT with an NHS therapist who asked me why I still had contact with my family after our first session, until I brought up a weekend we had just spent with them at an anxiety workshop and was jolted awake by the horrified silence in the room and questions of how I could let her do that, when I described how my mother/stepfather had belittled one of my twin DSs. I was furious with her but never had the courage till then to confront her as I was so conditioned to be terrified of her.
In glorious hindsight, I would never have looked back when I left home at 18 (with a slap round the face as a parting gift for daring to escape) and my DC would never have known her. I kept going back, proffering my DC as gifts, to try to win her approval/love. Too bad MN was not around back then .
Lost, you are not the first and you won't be the last who has done that...'they fuck you up, your mum and dad' as the poet said.
I think I would reinforce to your DD that she is not in control of whether or not she gets closure via this route, your estranged family are. She can only control her own response to what happens, good bad or indifferent.
She's old enough to know what led to the no contact in all its detail, and then to make her own decision on what to do with the info. Just tell her that you'll be there for her and will support her.
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