DD26 update

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
DD26 update
9
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 1:45pm

  It's been a while since I've posted, mostly because I've taken all of your advice and have continued to contact my daughter and have expected nothing in return which is what I've gotten.  My 2 older daughters who live out of state were both home for Christmas, so DD26 DID actually come to my house with 2 of her sisters to frost cookies on the 23rd and stopped by for pictures on Christmas Eve with my other 3 daughters.  She didn't stay for dinner, however, as she and her boyfriend were having dinner and playing cards at his father's house.  I had not seen DD26 since January of last year (she lives here in town), but did contact her a few times throughout last year.  When I saw her, I hugged her and said, "Let's just move on from this." She just smiled and said nothing. I had appealed to her before Christmas as she accused me of only contacting her now that "the holidays were here".  I reminded her how untrue that was and stated the several times I had texted or called her last year.  She had nothing to reply about that because she knew it was true.  I HAVE apologized to her for any pain I inflicted upon her in the past (unintentionally, of course) and did let her know that she has hurt me as well and needs to take ownership of that as I have MY part, then we can move on.  I know now she is simply too immature to do that.  Therefore, I will continue to distance myself from her and only contact her when I feel like it.  I gave her $100 at Christmas as usual and heard nothing.  I texted her New Year's Eve thanking her for coming over and if she ever wanted to get together sometime to just let me know the time and the place and I'd be there.  I've heard nothing.  My birthday was Saturday and I heard from my other 3 daughters, but not her.  I have decided to just let it go and the ball is simply in her court.  She knows I love her and want a relationship, but one that does NOT include her hurting me intentionally and being disrespectful (she's done both).  Her birthday is in June and I have already decided she will get a card from me, but no money.  If someone doesn't want a relationship with me, then I don't feel any great need to hand out money.  Sometimes I feel the only reason she came over at Christmas WAS to get her gift. 

I have discussed all this with my counselor who agrees that until she matures, this probably is not going to change.  So, I will continue to enjoy the GOOD relationships I have with my other 3 daughters and just continue to pray for DD26. She is my one daughter who has made poor choices in her life and I worry about her the most. 

On a positive note, DD28 is getting married in October of this year, so something to look forward to!  :)  If any of you have an advice as to what I could give her for her bridal shower, it would be greatly appreciated.  She is getting married out east (PA), so it will be costly for me and dh (who is currently unemployed).  I live in the midwest, so have to buy 2 airline tickets (bridal shower and wedding) plus other expenses...like a dress.  DD28 knows it's a hardship, but she and her fiancee live in NYC, so wanted to get married out there.

  

Avatar for shirley_v
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Registered: 04-29-2000
In reply to: shirley_v
Sat, 02-01-2014 - 2:06pm

Startingover, I understand how much you have tried to mend the relationship with your DD.  I don't think you have to really 'try harder' in any way...A does not always = B as far as your actions necessarily resulting in your DD's change of heart.  That is to say, I think if you just keep in touch here and there with texts or however you communicate, to express your concern or care for her in small increments, that it mainly shows that you still have her in your heart.  But I don't think you can quite expect that because you do this or that for her - that she will then necessarily respond in the loving manner you hope for.  Surely it will be in her own time that she may choose to do so, when she's ready.  And so while you can hope...perhaps you just cannot really expect.  (I think there's a distinction to be made there). In a way, you can keep her at arm's length so to speak, but not entirely 'let go' of the small thread you may still have between you. One thing, you can't change another person - it's up to them...as I'm sure you already know.  

Perhaps you are tired of our comments or advice, here on the board.  Well, I do want to say that I really do hope that in time this situation will resolve so you can have a good relationship wih your DD.  If you mean you will let it go and wait for  her to come around...well, I can see that  if you yourself allow yourself to let go of your own expectations in that respect...as I said, - to not  hope too much that it will change soon.  It may take more time than you'd wish, but I think if you just keep that love in your heart as I know you will, and if you on occasion just send out small expressions of your concern and care and love to your DD (i.e. with not strings attached - no expectations!)  that is not a bad thing.  As you say, the ball is in her court, but maybe it's not such a bad thing to lob little expressions of care over to her side every so often and then just leave it at that. 

Okay, enough from me.  I will not continue to share my thoughts (or advice) your way unless you ask for this.  Just wanted to mention in ending that I do hope things do work out well in time. 

Hugs, Shirley

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Fri, 01-31-2014 - 9:16am

  I hear everything you have said and done my best to fix things.  I have apologized and continually tried to get together with her, but to no avail. In the last 2 weeks, I have invited her to meet me somewhere...whatever is convenient for her.  I invited her to go with me to see her sister last weekend, told her I'd love to see her.  She always has some excuse, so I get it.  She told me last summer she doesn't see us having a relationship any time soon and believe she is holding onto that.  I have accepted my mistakes, apologized for them, but I guess it doesn't matter.  So, I'm just gonna let it go and wait for her to come around. 

Avatar for shirley_v
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Registered: 04-29-2000
In reply to: shirley_v
Mon, 01-27-2014 - 5:30pm

Startingover, I too have been thinking quite a lot about your last two posts.  I too am in agreement with Nora's position (in the post above this thread) about not giving up on your daughter, so to speak - to wait for her to mature and become forgiving and all that that entails or so you hope. 

The way I have come to see it is that both you and your DD are both hurting a lot about certain perceptions you are both nursing.  Both of you are feeling hurt by the actions of the other, and though the reasons be different, nevertheless you are both feeling hurt.  Despite your DD's anger or uncaring attitude - I think it's fuelled by deep hurt but then again, that is HER PERCEPTION, not a God-given truth about you and what you've done or not done.  The bottom line, as I see it, is that she perceives she's been hurt by her perception or belief that you abandoned her, or you chose your present Dh over her (and her sisters) - and whatever else she's heaped on the pile of 'sins' she thinks you are guilty of.  This is not a revelatory statement, I realise.  What I'm pointing out is that I sense both of you are feeling very much the 'victim' in all of this and this is a concept, a perception, a thought process and so if you both hang on to this perception then you both  contribute to the stalemate or the continuation of both of you holding out for whatever it is that the other person will do to change the situation.  Well, I can't say about what your DD is hoping for ultimately, but I see, or shall I assume that you are hoping and waiting for her to reach out, to change her attitude, to forgive and ask forgiveness or whatever to restore the good relationship between you.

What I mean to underline is that perceptions come from thoughts we hold about people, ourselves, our belief system about the world, what we perceive is happening is a certain way.  So, if we think we are a victim or being victimised, ("Look what he or she has done to ME !") then we feel like a victim.  If we choose to examine our feelings and then our thoughts maybe we can see things in a different way or light.  If we see the other person (as in this situation) as having THEIR OWN SET OF BELIEFS, HANG UPS, whatever you want to call them,  and that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OTHER PERSON IN THE SITUATION (i.e. you), then we can divorce our thoughts of feeling like we are being hard done by the other person.

I have had this experience myself, and so too my friend, who I have quoted here and there and whom I have learned a good deal from about such things.  If you can put aside your feeling hurt, then you may be able to look at your DD in a different light.  Yes, you can label her as being immature but she's just a human being like all of us are, and she is your DD, who is hurting deep down inside from her own, if even mistaken concept of why she is feeling hurt (by blaming you, that is). That is why I am promoting a sense of compassion for your daughter just as Nora is by what she advocates.

I just thought I'd put out this way of seeing things as an alternative to blaming and feeling badly.
Shirley  

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Registered: 01-13-2010
Tue, 01-21-2014 - 1:54pm

You remember my story well.  Yes...I married a man who has defended me in regards to the pain my DDs have inflicted on me DUE to the fact they don't care for him and fully favor their father and his family over us.  He never has said anything directly to them, but they have overheard once or twice. As for DD26, she lived with me until age 24 when I sold my condo and she had to go live with her father.  I made the mistake of buying a condo with dh that didn't have room for her, but knew her father was more than happy to have her come live with him in the big house which had plenty of bedrooms, so I didn't think she'd mind.   I guess at age 24, I felt I could move on and she'd be ok over at her father's.  She obviously felt I abandoned her and now, yes...I feel guilt and have apologized for that.  DD22 however, who also lived with me never held it against me.  Shows the difference in maturity, but also DD22 was going off to college, so had her own place.  DD24 did not.

 However, I have come to accept it all and forgiven my DDs although NEVER has an apology come from any of them.  I know they all  just did what THEY wanted to do with no regards to my feelings whatsoever, but now that my older 2 have matured, this has changed.  I was brutally honest 2 years ago and told them if, when they came home, they did not give me equal time that our relationship would suffer.  I believe it was THAT that finally got through to them.  I found it sad that they couldn't figure out for themselves how their actions were making me feel, but I guess they were just too young at that time. This year,when they were home for Christmas they made sure and gave me much of their time.  I could tell we'd turned a corner.  It's what I'd waited for and no apology was needed.  Their actions spoke louder than words.  Even dh noticed and was impressed. DD22 is even more mature than DD26 and has never held any of this against me.  She's my joy and, although, she refuses (like the others) to stay overnight at my house when dh is there, I just continue to meet with her outside my home and we have fun together.  She does still come over when dh is there, but never spends the night.

As for DD26, she said last year that yes...I chose dh over my children and she will never forgive that.  Well...I certainly can't make her, so it is what it is.  My older 2 both called me on my birthday last Saturday and I could tell were feeling their sister out as they asked me if I'd heard from their other 2 sisters.  I said that yes...DD22 had texted me both Friday and Saturday and left it at that.  We ALL know DD26 and know how immature she is.   As for what she did to hurt me?  Last Christmas never came to my house at all, then ASKED me for her Christmas present afterwards.  When I asked her if she wanted to "exchange" gifts, she said, "What do you mean exchange?"  She had told me before Christmas that she had gotten a Christmas bonus at work which she was going to use to buy presents.  So, I asked her who she bought for and she replied, "Grandma, my friends..." and then I said, "Did you buy your father something?" and she said, "Yes...I bought him a little something."  THAT was IT for me.  I shut down.  It was like a stab to my heart.  I could not believe she could be so cruel.  We talked about it 2 months ago and she said it was just a gift, to which I replied, "It has nothing to do with the gift, but the message it sent." and I left it at that.  She told me I get hurt too easily.  Really??  Who wouldn't.  Her actions said it all...that her father is more important than her mother.  I got it and disengaged.  Have I forgiven her?  Of course.  I will always forgive my children...apology or no apology, so thank you for saying that you understand how difficult it can be to allow a child to continue to snub, disrespect, and walk all over you and just continue to take it. 

My counselor knows everything and just tells me that I've done all I can.  Truly, the ball is in DD26's court.  She knows I love her and am here for her, but, until SHE decides to come around, that's it.  I accept it and have decided to just enjoy the relationships I have with my other 3 and focus on dh these days since he lost his job and our future is uncertain.

As for the wedding and shower gift...I can't spend alot and have not been able to offer DD28 any help due to our current financial situation.  It's going to be difficult enough just attending the shower and the wedding since they are getting married out east and it will require airfare and hotel rooms.  We may end up having to charge it all if dh doesn't get a job.  :(  We are NOT people of means, so this IS a hardship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Tue, 01-21-2014 - 9:20am

  Thank you all for your replies.  I never asked her for an apology...just to think about the things she did that have hurt me and was specific about them.  I have forgiven my other DDs for things they have done that have hurt me and have never received an apology from any of them either, but we've been able to move on and have good relationships.  (It has probably helped that they have greatly matured in the last couple years.)  Since they are all young, they simply don't see that they've done anything wrong, so nothing to apologize for.  I understand that that is immaturity and youth, so just let it go and moved on.  DD26, however, is hanging onto her bad feelings toward me which is her right.

  My own mother has NEVER apologized to anyone yet, in her lifetime, has hurt many.  I see this trait in this daughter.  They just can't see how their own actions and words hurt others. My mother and I hurt each other when I was young and didn't speak for 2 years (twice).  I was the one who finally ended up apologizing (as I always seem to be the one who ends up doing it) as I knew my mother never would. It's sad when people can't own up to their own mistakes as I can and feel badly about what they've done.  I feel like I'm being punished and possibly deserve it, but I think a year is enough.  Anyway, again...there is nothing I can do.  I've reached out over and over to her and she obviously is not ready to forgive, talk or anything.  So be it.

I wish we were the family who could just get it out and move on quickly, but we're not.  Many grudges have been held in my family.  I have a 35 year old nephew who holds the record.  He was hurt by his parents (my sister) and didn't speak to them for 3 years.  I have a cousin who was hurt by her own son and DIL and now doesn't see them or their children.  Unfortunately, it's just the way we are. We get hurt...we shut down and disengage.  It gives us time to heal and be at peace. 

 

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
In reply to: suzyk2118
Tue, 01-21-2014 - 8:50am

I agree with Shirley - I sense the same thing.  Any caveats kinda put guilt back on her to needing to apologize.  I'd say if you're really ready to put it behind you, do just that, no strings.  If/when your dd is willing to talk and move on, you may be able to tell her specifics that hurt, but I wouldn't do that til things are very, very solid. 

I dated a guy in college who taught me never to go off and sulk; confront the issues and talk them through RIGHT AWAY (civilly - not when heated) so you can move on and not waste time.  I don't think she's ready for this, though.  But for me I've always lived by that since, and although it's been awkward for the other person at first, I think they've also seen that it helps to get it done and move on.

Gifts - hmm.  Can you get something small that you can send, even like a nice sheet set, and then send a gift card to say it's for new bedding or something like that?  I'd think at that age they'd be pretty set up (I was 29 when I got married) but to me it was nice to be able to go out and get nice, new bedding that I wouldn't have splurged on (when we got gift cards for our wedding I got new pillows - felt great!).  Just my $.02.

Sue

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 01-21-2014 - 12:37am

Hi Startingover, it sounds like your relationship with your other dd's is slowly growing, from what I recall of your story that is an improvement. Sorry I don't know what to give her as a shower gift, except that it typically would be small if you will be giving her a generous wedding gift. Who is hosting the shower? Will there be a theme?

About the apology and forgiveness part of your post: I'm trying to remember in what way you hurt your dd. My recollection is that (by your account) your sin was to marry your current dh and HE said some things that upset your dd. Was the hurt that you defended him, and then she felt that you chose him over her? 

Maybe you aren't really ready to forgive your dd either? I think that she continues to hurt you by her actions, although at this point she may not intend any hurt, she is just doing what she feels like. But part of the hurt is that she doesn't consider your happiness or put your happiness ahead of hers, ever? For instance Xmas Eve when she went to her bf's family instead of going to you? While she is still actively hurting you or even snubbing you I can see that it would be hard to completely forgive her and "let it go". As the adult you're supposed to be the bigger person etc but personally I can see how that might be very difficult.

So maybe think on Sabr and Shirley's comments, and ask your therapist for her thoughts on them too. If your dd never apologizes for how she hurt you or takes ownership of those actions, can and will you still forgive her? Just as you are slowly letting go of the situation so far, eventually you will probably be able to let go of it all and reach a point where you just accept that she will never be the person that you wish she could be. Since your dd doesn't seem to be trying to rekindle a relationship anytime soon you probably have plenty of time to work through this completely.

Thanks for the update!

Avatar for shirley_v
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Registered: 04-29-2000
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 10:39pm

I am going to take it at your word that you are sorry, but I do also sense that you are still ticked off with your dd not coming forth with her apology.  I don't know if I have ever mentioned this, but I have a friend who said that if a person has had a falling out or argument with someone and there are a lot of hurt feelings and.or anger, that if a person can do so, be forgiving that is, then that person can treat or act toward that other person "like it (the argument or falling out) never happened".  If you can forgive your Dd then there is no need to ask for her apology.  I do wonder that by asking for it that she feels put into a corner where she feels put upon to say she's sorry.  Of course if she ever does feel sorry and expresses that genuinely that's fine; nevertheless true forgiveness on your part will not demand that she has to say she's sorry too.  She may in time, but I sense YOU are still angry inside even if a tiny bit (?) and are holding out for her to return an apology to you.  Just my sense from what you express and I gather that Sabr senses that too, maybe? 

Shirley

Avatar for sabrtooth
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Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 8:05pm

Just a thought here.  My 2 year old granddaughter is learning how to apologize, with the help of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  She and Daniel learn that ",...saying (a heart felt, specific, and with no strings attached) I'm sorry" is the first step, but it's just as important to ask, "How can I help (fix what I did wrong, make the situation better, not hurt you again)?" as well..."

"An apology, in order to be part of the healing process, must feel heartfelt and sincere.  If it is said with an insincere tone or perfunctory stance, then it is almost humiliating to hear the words and see their face voicing the words.  Much of the healing power that comes with the words, is dependent upon the relationship one has with the apologizer.  If I’m sorry becomes something the person continually says, but doesn’t change their behavior, the sense of hurt and betrayal can become intensified each time “I’m sorry” is heard.  In the public world, I’m sorry is spoken to restore credibility, and in the private world, it is spoken to seek forgiveness or healing, which is expecting a lot from two small words.

Teaching our children to say, “I’m sorry” when they offend another is important because it is the first step in building empathy.  This is a lesson many bullies don’t get, and hence part of bully recovery is teaching empathy. A true apology though is said while looking in the eyes of the person you hurt and feeling their pain before saying, “I’m sorry.” This process can also be done by writing a letter, but an apology is only sincere if the person who says it can feel the pain of another.

Saying a sincere “I’m sorry” when you offend someone, becomes more and more important and difficult when attempting to restore credibility or forgiveness. Below are suggestions for helping your apology to be interpreted as sincere.

  1. Apologize and take responsibility for your actions rather than make an excuse or deny that you’ve made a mistake. Remember, your apology is the first step to healing the hurt…they alone are not enough.
  2. Say an apology because you feel it, not because you are forced into one. Forcing one into saying “I’m sorry” feels insincere and worsens the relationship.
  3. If it’s someone you love that you hurt, focus on taking full responsibility for your actions and focus on a way to make the future look brighter.
  4. With children, teaching them young to say I am sorry when they hurt someone is important. Teaching them to write an apology as well as saying it will help them understand how their words and actions can hurt and heal. Having children brainstorm ideas about how they could have avoided hurting their friends works well for children as they grow older.

Saying I’m sorry is important, but it isn’t enough. Following the apology there must be a plan for what you will do in the future to right your wrong. This plan must be said with sincerity and follow through or it becomes merely words, and harms more than it helps. The reason we often don’t believe those who apologize, is because they are using the apology itself as a means to heal the hurt and move on. Moving on doesn’t happen unless the apology is followed with a plan to ensure the mistake will not be made again."

Therefore, saying "I'm sorry" should not be a generic  "...any pain I have inflicted on you in the past".   It should not include "...unintentionally, of course....",  or "... let(ting) her know that she has hurt me as well and needs to take ownership of that as I have MY part, then we can move on...".   Perhaps you need to rethink your apology strategy.