My background: single mom for 24 years, teacher, age 53, midwest suburb, practicing Catholic.
I am experiencing much emotional trauma over the loss of a relationship with both of my grown daughters. They are 24 and 26 years old. Both are college graduates, gainfully employed and living on their own. The impetus for this rift is because both have chosen to live with their boyfriends without marriage, which has put me in a difficult position in regards to my religious beliefs. (Note: I like both the boyfriends and have always treated them with warmth and hospitality, so that is not part of the issue from my perspective.)
We have not argued about this issue or even had the opportunity for any discussion to air our perspectives and feelings. However, when my older daughter announced her decision a year ago (via email) I responded with the plea, "Please don't do this." Soon after, the younger daughter moved out of the state with her boyfriend without telling me, which I found out about quite by accident from a relative's email that was inadvertantly forwarded to me.
I raised my children alone from their ages of 2, and 6 months and did my best to be a good example for them in all ways. They mean everything to me. I gave 110% of my heart and soul to the girls, and have always been there for them and supported them, through thick and thin. They are wonderful people - caring and compassionate, extremely intelligent, friendly and outgoing, goal oriented, articulate, and beautiful. Although I accept their freedom to make their own decisions as adults, I have not come to terms with their total rejection of me. I do not want to live their lives for them! However, I do expect some level of respect. I'm their mom!
They are rejecting me in the way that they "thought" I would reject them. In truth, we have not even had a discussion about all this! My emails and phone messages have been largely ignored by my elder daughter and completely ignored and unanswered by the younger. If I had yelled at them or called them names or belittled them, I would expect such treatment. I think they know that I cannot, in good conscience, tell them, "Your choice is OK and it's fine with me." But without at least some kind of discussion, how can we come to any common ground?
How can I get them to talk to me? In the absence of serious abuse, who walks away from their own mother? Does that mean that I have abused them in their upbringing? I know I'm not perfect and accept all my mistakes without trying to push the blame off on anyone else. I am really trying hard to figure out what I have done that is so reprehensible that it would merit such treatment from these two people that I love most in the universe.
I need some tools to figure out how I can face the prospect of no longer being part of my children's lives. They have always meant the world to me and have always been my #1 priority. As my depression deepens, it is getting more and more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. I am so lonely. I feel as lost as a concert pianist who just lost her right arm....
Your daughters feel that you are not accepting their way of life. Rather than arguing they prefer to live their own lives the way they like it. You appearently need them more than they need you. People in power set the rules. If you want them back, you will have to accept their lifestyle.
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Today's date: Tue, 17 Oct 2017 22:32:59 +0200