Moving on. Detaching. Letting go. Damn the Torpedos!

Support Groups for those coping with a family estrangement. Part I

Morning Meditation in Panera Bread

Panerasouffle_2I took myself out to Panera Bread this morning for a soufflé. I like their charming little soufflés with the browned top and the creamy inside, hot and a bit richer than what I should eat but oh so delicious! I needed a treat. Their coffee is passable but too acidic for my taste. I drank it anyway. Must have coffee!

When I left the house this morning, the first thing I heard was the beautiful full throated song of a bird. It was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining. The grass and the leaves were a brilliant green. I felt happy to be alive and out in the air, away from my computer and far away from someone who doesn't like me.

The interaction last week with my daughter was exhausting. Who knows what, if anything, was accomplished for her by the experience. That is a rhetorical question and I don't need an answer. For me, I feel as though I have a crystal clear idea of her viewpoints on me. Which isn't the same thing as saying that I have the same viewpoints. I am a different person and we have different viewpoints. I have agreed that those are her viewpoints and have said that I will not try to talk her out of them. Nor will I attempt to continue to discuss those things with her on my blog.

Paneracoffee450 If , after stating her viewpoints, she had wanted to talk about a neutral subject I might have done that. Something like who will win the Democratic party nomination or the tragedies on the other side of the world or what goals she hoped to achieve in her business would have been fine topics of conversation. Being threatened with punishment if I didn't write appropriately according to her ideas of appropriateness isn't the sort of thing that I take lying down. That's objectionable! Thus talking with her further on my blog is something I won't do.

Yesterday for dinner I had those little fingerling potatoes that take only a half hour in the oven to bake. They are fun to eat. I was munching on my little potatoes and then noticed that I was chewing on one that tasted moldy. I continued chewing and was, for some weird reason, actually thinking of swallowing it when I realized how absurd that was. I spit it out in a napkin and threw it away. It reminded me of how I do that in life sometimes: continue to tolerate something that is so absurdly unpleasant and bad for me and I put up with it for a bit too long before I realize that I have a choice in the matter and put an end to it. Like my first marriage or a conversation with someone who is demeaning me. A metaphor for lots of things that go a little too far past the point where they need to be quit.

Years ago I went to Al anon because of the behavior of my alcoholic relatives. There I learned a lot of important lessons.Such as not tolerating unacceptable behavior. Lessons such as "You didn't cause it. You can't control it. You can't cure it." Also known as the Three C's. Lessons such as "letting go and letting God." Leaving people up to a Higher Power, whatever that may be for them.

I have believed for a long time that everyone has the ability to grow over time and that the general tendency for most people is to grow in better and better ways, to become healthier and healthier. I do believe that is mostly true. Although sometimes people disappoint us and hurt us. But we all grow in our own time frames and at our own rate and when we are ready. I do believe that.

Paneracoffeeempty I have followed the story of Roseanne Barr for many years. Roseanne Barr is an intelligent and talented and funny woman with many accomplishments to her credit. She estranged herself from her family. She said that her parents had abused her in satanic rituals. They took lie detector tests which they passed. Fourteen years later from the start of the estrangement she reconciled with them. Now she says that they are wonderful. She hasn't talked much publicly that I have seen about the reconciliation. I know that she became involved in the Kabballah and that involvement was apparently a catalyst for reconciliation. Funny how things work out.

I am at the bottom of my coffee cup. That's all for now.

Ginny

Comments

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Elle

Dear ginny,
I stumbled upon your website due to the fact that my husbands mother has "cut us out" of the family photo album so to say.
Why? Because she manipulated to have my husband "not invited' to his sisters wedding because the groom was "uncomfortable" around my husband.
Can you say rooster fight?
Anyways my Mother in law decided if the groom wasnt comfortable then the whole family will keep the wedding a secret from my DH and make a complete fool of him in front of extended family and friends because his lack of "not knowing".
So to cover her tracks my Mother in law took it upon herself to tell many extended family and friends how "bad" her son is and trashed his reputation to all that would hear.
I personally think you DO owe your daughter an apology.
Just like my mother in law owes my husband one.
If you cant apologize it DOES mean you have extreme narcissistic issues, everyone does, some have more than others.

Ginny

Hi Elle,

Your MIL's behavior was outrageous. I am sure that she looked much more the fool than anyone else did through her actions. I guess your husband's sister and her fiancé must have been complicit in this too for it to work or they were easily duped. That sounds just about unforgiveable to me. Does your MIL actually try to have a relationship with your husband after doing that?

I am confused as to why you are commenting. Did you write in order to share the story about your husband's mother's outrageous actions which I agree were outrageous? Or did you write because you know about something for which I should apologize? Perhaps you could be more specific? Are you positive that I never apologized for whatever it is that you think I should apologize for? Are you 100% sure of whatever information that you have that it is indeed accurate information?

As for my or anyone's narcissism, I agree that we all have some narcissistic traits. I am curious about your diagnostic abilities in this area. You are entitled to your opinion although I don't consider it to be a fully formed opinion. But you are still entitled to it.

Anyway, as far as your MIL is concerned, if I were your husband or you, I would have a very hard time accepting an apology from her. I doubt that anyone who would do what she did would ever apologize. She sounds nuts.

Ginny

Ginny

Elle,

Ah! I see the link in my site statistics that brought you to my site. So you have decided to take a side. Without knowing me and with your own very justified anger at your MIL. So you can take out your anger at her on me.

I see a lot of this online. People bashing others because they are mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, in-laws who aren't their own mothers, daughters, sons, fathers, in-laws but they are convenient to bash and faceless.

Well, I hope that you have had fun with your target du jour and that it makes you feel better.

The one who deserves your anger is your MIL.

Ginny

Elle

I believe after reading your last 41 entry argument with your daughter that yes you do need to apologize with her.
I read your post on her mental illness..if she was in a wheel chair instead would you blame her legs for the way she feels hurt by you? You essentially told her that her feelings didnt count because of her condition.
As to my sister in law and her husband, she is very much like her mother and does everything she says. She would never be estranged from her mother for she cant move her lips with out her mothers hand up her butt. Dear hubby's family is afraid of her, after all, she trashes peoples reputations.
Just like your interviewing everyone did.
You crossed a serious boundary talking to her husband..how embarassing for her!
Did you think he would tell you things that she didnt want you to know? That is undermining their relationship. Tch Tch.
I truly think your estrandgement has gone on too long and you need to admit your place in all of this and move past it.
BTW my mother in law is NEVER wrong either.
My husband has apologized for anything he did wrong.
Just like kindergarten you both need to apologize.

Elle

Statistics whatever.
You dont seem to understand that you are in a public forum.
You can rant and rave but then others can comment.
My coming here was to find a way to heal and your posts are just about the ever widening gap between you and her.
Yet you dont see you do anything wrong.

So you can rant on how bad your daughter is and still you think it is okay?
I believe you come from the false belief that everyone should resect you because of your station in life.
Not so. Respect is a two way street.
As I see you already are getting defensive with me and starting to act disrespectful too.

Ginny

Elle,

You just called me, a stranger you've never met, a narcissist, a kindergartner, a ranter and a raver? And then you tell me that I am being disrespectful to you?

Yes, this is a public place where you are commenting because I am allowing you to comment. Yes, I am fully aware this is a public place. I've been aware of that for seven years now. Thank you for pointing that out to me. I provide this public space.

I never interviewed "everybody". You are talking about things that my daughter references from back in about 1997. You are talking about things that you know nothing about. Even if you have read it somewhere, you still don't know anything about it. You can believe that you do. But you don't.

I never ever ever said that my daughter was a bad person. Nor have I ever meant that in anything that I've ever said. On the other hand my daughter has said that I am a bad person, an evil person, a narcissistic person. She has even called me some four letter names that I won't repeat here. One begins with the letter c and ends with the letter t. An opinion that you share in your extremely brief knowledge of me.

So I am a narcissistic bad person who has some sort of "station in life" and I am not able to apologize. I guess it wouldn't matter to you if I showed you in writing an apology from me written in 1995? No, I guess it wouldn't matter. And then you tell me that I am acting disrespectful?

I assume that you are aware that my mother has had a lifelong mental illness when you attempt to educate me about the mentally ill?

There is no widening gap between my daughter and me. There is a gap, a big one. It is neither more nor less wide. I do not, and never have, thought of my daughter as "bad". Some people read between lines that do not exist.

Ginny

Ginny

How very interesting. You are both online on my blog at the same time. You could almost shake hands if it weren't for geography and the computer screens.

Elle meet Robin. Robin meet Elle,

Well, I've got stuff to do. I'll be back later to see what additional education you have for me. I can hardly wait!

Ginny

Elle

I didnt call you a kindergartener.
I said in kindergarten we both say I'm sorry.
You apologized in a letter in 1995?
Not online like your mentioning her mental illness?
You apologized then yet you continue to try to undermine her reputation.
I know you must not have read my post on your mother's day blog. I am a mother and a grandmother, so you you would think I am the expert on parenting?
Far from it. You are attacking me just like you banter with your daughter.
You need to step back and decide to just stop fighting. Apologize. Strive to to better this time with her before you Never see her again.

Elle

Oh and I did notice you said my Mother in law's behavior...I said you rant and rave..that is also behavior..

Elle

It is so nice that you allow me to see your true colors.
Robin..she has no empathy.
She probably surrounds herself by yes men.
She probably block me because I disagree with her.
Honey you already seem educated to me.
You may be so educated that you were a child prodigy and you could do no wrong.
You probably were getting the milk as teacher's pet when she taught the class on" how to say you're sorry".

Ginny

Elle,

My husband awaits me but I will give you a bit more time before I leave.

How have I attacked you, Elle?

Thank you for offering your opinions. You are entitled to your opinions. I am serious when I say that. I am not being sarcastic.

I have made my own decisions regarding what I say and what I do. I have listened to your opinion and respect your opinion. My decisions are my own.

I am sorry that you do not agree with my decisions. Sometimes people do not agree with each other. I am sorry also that you have been afflicted with the MIL that you have. That is quite awful.

It isn't a crime to mention a mental illness. I waited a long time, over two and a half years, before I mentioned it. I said nothing disrespectful about it. I will not apologize for mentioning it. I did nothing insulting by mentioning it. It is unfortunate that anyone, including you and my daughter, see it that way. It is also interesting that you continue to bring it up when my daughter has asked that it not be mentioned. So you are doing what she doesn't want to be done.

Now perhaps you could explain how I am attacking you as I am mystified by that accusation.

Ginny

Ginny

Elle,

And now I have no empathy? And I was a child prodigy who missed out on a class where I should have learned how to say I am sorry?

Wow! Double wow! Amazing powers of deduction you have there, Elle! I am almost speechless!

Well, congratulations! You have made Robin's day. She is ecstatic, I am sure. She's probably dancing a jig.

If you had a clue, Elle, you'd be embarrassed by your behavior. But you obviously don't have a clue.

Ginny

Elle

It wasnt that you mentioned her illness that I believe she took offense to.
It was because you inferred that her feelings were invalid because of it.
You may not be attacking, lets rephrase it as verbally aggressive.
You are always right and everyone else is wrong.
I'm wrong, so wrong, in fact Im going home to my oldest daughter, my youngest daughter and son in law and hug my grandbaby.
After all, I am so human I cry, I apologize and no one or nothing will ever break the bonds between me and my 2 girls.
Sorry for trying to help you.

Elle

Im never embarassed of my devotion to my family.
I am sorry for you seem the need to call me clueless.
I dont think so.
I am however saddened that you have estrangement.com because you dont help..you hinder.

Ginny

Elle,

Well, thank you for trying to help.

You have misunderstood what I was saying in the "dialogue" between me and Robin. I said that I agree that she had those perceptions. I AGREED that those were her perceptions, thoughts, feelings. I agree.

I have my own perceptions, thoughts, feelings. If someone tells you that they think you robbed a bank and you love the person, would you agree with them that you robbed a bank when you were quite sure that you did not rob a bank? Do you think that if you did agree with them that you robbed the bank that you would be helping them?

My personal opinion is that it is not helpful to agree that I robbed a bank when I did not rob a bank.

Whether Robin and I ever reconcile will not be contingent on my agreeing that I robbed a bank. It also will not be due to my following or not following your advice.

But thank you anyway for having good intentions as I am sure you do.

And congratulations on your nice grandbaby and kids.

Best,
Ginny

Ginny

Elle,

If you are looking for support groups or books or other references regarding estrangement, you could look at my main website, www.estrangements.com. Currently you are on my blog which is a bit different than the website.

I don't know what you are looking for when you say that you want help as you seem to think that you already know all the answers.

If you want some online group in which you could participate, you might try the ones on Gardenweb. The url is:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/parents/

My site and my blog are not to provide the answers as I do not know the answers and I am entirely willing to admit that I do not know the answers. I'm not sure that there is an answer.

Ginny

Ginny

Elle,

BTW you're not the only one who cries. I cry too. I hurt. I am human. I am imperfect. I certainly have been wrong many times. I have said I'm sorry. And I've been told that it wasn't enough, it was too late, it was insufficient, and I must not have really said it.

It is like when Lucy put the football out there for Charlie Brown to kick. she didn't want him to kick the ball. She wanted to see him fall on his back.

That eventually gets old. I am not like Charlie Brown.

What I find sad on top of all of the other sadnesses is that you think I think of myself as perfect and you think that I don't cry. How awful! You must think I am some kind of monster! That is really sad.

I am not the person whom you think I am. But defending myself is useless sometimes. A waste of my breath and time. You see what you want to see.

Ginny

Elle

If you are writing a blog..what is it for?

Her perceptions are her feelings..you are saying "I'm sorry you feel that way"?
That is condescending and not a valid apology.
I have seen your garden whatever website.

I do think that since you are so agressive and dominant you in fact should be the hero in your family and make amends be bold enough to apologize even when you arent wrong.
Dont you watch Dr. Phil?

Ginny

Elle,

Dr. Phil! No, I don't watch Dr. Phil. Is he your reference point?

As I said, I respect your opinion and thank you for offering it.

Gardenweb is not my site. Apparently you didn't find anything of help to you there. I wish I could help you but obviously I can't.

As for being aggressive and dominant, I have struggled throughout my life with shyness and it has been a major accomplishment for me to manage to do some of the things that I have done. No one has ever thought to tell me that the good things that I have done were bad before. That's an interesting way to look at it. No, you didn't use the word "bad." I just get that feeling from you. That I am bad.

I am happy to say that I get many more messages from people who thank me for my blog and site than anything like you have said. If you don't understand the blog, then it obviously is not for you and I am sorry that I have not been of help.

Life is a journey. We each find our own path as we move towards a destination. The journey is sometimes far more important than the destination. My blog is more about the journey than the destination.

Best,
Ginny

Elle

So you take your shy issues out online.

Are you making fun of Dr. Phil?
he is right..be a man...be the mom and love your child now as a beautiful adult that she is.
Embrace what she has become..not what you thought she should be.
Be glad she even bothers to care what you write on your blog...because hon, my DH doesnt give a rats ass what his mother does.
I care.
I worry about the old man dying and trying to go to his freaking funeral and having to look at her mean old puss and gossiping yet again about us.
You shold get down on your knees and thank God you even have a daughter.
I think you website is leading other mean spoiled people to actually search for help to get grandparent rights and just be a bunch of retired vindictive mean lonely people.
Tell me are your friends few and far between?
Do they stand you up once in awhile?
Mine dont.
Your negativity could be the problem.


Ginny

Elle,

I don't know why you are coming here as you don't like me and you have said that I am of no help to you.

My daughter has been very clear about the fact that she does not love me, does not want to have anything to do with me, does not like me, and does not want to communicate with me. In the post of mine that you mention where all the comments are, the reason I wrote it was to ask about whether she was visiting my blog because she wanted to communicate with me. I asked because I was beginning to wonder if I should read her blog. She was very clear about why she visits my blog. She said that she came to read my BS. She said that she would prefer that I not read her blog. She said nothing about changing her mind about her feelings about me and she said that she did not come here to communicate with me. If you read her comments again, you will see that is what she said,

She does NOT love me, like me or want to communicate with me. So I found the answer that I needed to know. I did not go and read her blog as she prefers that I not do so. Where in the world do you think that she actually misses me, likes me or loves me????? If that were the case, then my actions would be different than what they are. She does not.

Fortunately I do have friends who do love me.

I was not referring to the shy issues as being in reference to the online writing. I was referring to work that I do offline.

You seem to be a very troubled soul and I am beginning to feel sorry for you.

So if I understand what you are saying about your own family, your big worry is that your husband will die and you will have to see his mother at the funeral? That will be a major concern when your husband dies?

When and if my husband dies before I do, the LAST thing on my mind will be if someone I dislike is at the funeral.

Ginny

Laurel

Ginny,

I really think you're wasting air space on this blog by continuing to respond to Elle. It's clear she's just mimicking what's she's read on "familysucks". Why don't you just block her?

BIU

Ginny

Laurel,

You're right, of course.

I wonder how much someone gets paid to browse the internet and give out Dr. Phil's advice to whomever they decide is in need of it for up to three hours in an afternoon as they sit in a law firm? The job must be darned boring! And not particularly demanding.

Ginny

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