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A Survey on Family Estrangement

A small piece of the past revisited

It's been a long time since I wrote a post that talked about estrangement. It is almost a year since the dialogue begun on May 12, 2008 that I had with my estranged daughter in the comment section of a post on here. One point of contention for her was whether I would mention certain things or not in my blog. I would not agree to what she wanted from me but I knew it was a sensitive point so in my own heart and mind I had decided not to write about those issues unless I had a good reason to do so. Since May of 2008 I have not mentioned those issues here.

I have posted on other sites where family estrangement is discussed and had mentioned some of those points prior to May 2008. Some were in March of 2008. As I said in the first paragraph, I made an effort not to mention those points or to say much about my daughter specifically in public boards after our dialogue in May 2008.

Recently my daughter found some of my posts and reacted with anger. As a result she did a number of things to express that anger. Unfortunately the way that she did those things did not make me want to have any direct contact with her. I don't respond well to being called names or being threatened. It is the reason why I cut off the dialogue with her last year and why I do not try to have a relationship with her.

However, I would have liked to respond directly. I am uncomfortable doing so under those circumstances. I would have liked to respond directly because I can understand anyone including my daughter being angry if something was stated in a way that is different from what she remembered. Thus I really would like to respond in this less direct manner which might be helpful to her and perhaps to others who find themselves in similar situations with their estranger/estrangee. Or maybe this will be helpful to her to know the facts of certain things that perhaps were never explained to her when she was a teenager and her father and I split up over twenty years ago.

First of all I will say that my daughter paid for college that she attended when she went back to college. That was paid for entirely by her. Prior to going to the college that she paid for herself, she had gone to a different college right out of high school. This was in the period when her father and I were separating and divorcing. I left in 1984 which was the same year that she graduated from high school and then went to college in the fall. Her father and I had to make a division of our assets between us. We both agreed to split the costs of her going to college for four years.

After the marital assets were figured out, he was unable to pay me what he owed me. Some of the owed money was sent to me in payments spread out over several years. I agreed to allow him to hold the money that I agreed to pay for her college. He wrote the checks out for her college but half of each check represented my share of the cost of her college.

Subsequently she decided not to go to college after two years and she went to work, going back to another college a few years later on her own and paying for that later college attendance herself. The unused balance of my money that my ex was holding for college was never paid to me by him nor did I ask him for the money, If I had asked, I am certain that I would not have received it. I paid for my share of four years of college although two of those years were never used at that time. My ex was the beneficiary of the unpaid balance.

Since the separation and divorce was a painful subject and I was not comfortable having to explain the details of our legal agreements, it may be that I never explained to her how we were paying for the college expenses in the first  years after she graduated high school. So to give her the benefit of the doubt in her current anger at me for my having mentioned something in early 2008  about paying for her college, she may have thought that her father paid for her first college years all out of his own pocket with nothing contributed from me. Yes, he wrote the checks but the checks represented money from us both. He may have not mentioned that to her himself.

As for my posts online prior to May of 2008, they were already online at the time that we had a dialogue in May 2008. They were part of discussions with others who are experiencing estrangement, very much like what I have posted here although with a little more detail since I was responding to the personal circumstances of other people and responding with some experiences that were similar to theirs. However, I say this as a general description of what I have done online as I do not know what the exact text of the specific posts were. In the last year I have not mentioned much about my daughter in public discussions online as you can see from this blog and elsewhere if you want to take a look.

I would be angry too if someone tries to debase me. In fact the debasement of me by my daughter has become the reason why I do not want to have a relationship with her. I have no interest in debasing her at all and I think that it is sad that she takes almost anything that I have to say about her as being debasing. It is very sad when someone can only see bad and never good. Not only sad, it is tragic for all concerned.

I will say that at any time that my daughter wants to ask me a specific question, she is welcome to call me on the phone. If I am not home and she leaves a message, I will call her back. Even though we are estranged. It is okay to ask me a question on the phone.

If people find this strange that I do not respond directly to my daughter in answer to this question, I agree that this may look strange to a lot of people. In this case it is due to my wanting to have as little contact as possible due to her behavior and attitude towards me. However, I do care about her feelings and hope that the information that I am providing will answer a question. Sometimes when you know all the facts, the conclusions might be different than what you think at first.

Ginny

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