Why are my family putting pressure on me?
I'm looking for some advice with regards to my grandparents. Ten years ago I cut contact with my parents and never looked back. I moved away from my hometown to a new area and started from scratch. I got a new job, made new friends and got together with partner, who my parents had previously disappoved of for silly supertisious reasons. None of it was easy but I've always believed I did the right thing. I am very content with my life and what I have achieved, and now with four children I have never been busier! I have learnt to accept the childhood I had and the type of people my parents are.
What I did shocked my whole family, as a result no one on my mothers side talks to me. In the ten years my parents have never reached out to me not even when I had my children. I believe they never really cared. I have a sister who is a lot younger then me and she does seem to care. When she started university she made contact with me, but she doesn't seem to have any issues with our parents or none that she has told me about.
My paternal grandparents do talk to me, they dont live near me but they have given me support when |'ve needed it in the past. They take interest in my partner and children, we talk often and exchange emails, photos. In the beginning they used to talk about my parents a lot, it got too much, so I respectfully asked them to stop. They did for a number of years. Recently they have started again, informing me with what my parents have been doing or on their health. They've also drop one liners such as, "I hope you talk to your parents soon" or "This has gone on for long enough now". They don't wait for my response and change the topic of conversation very quickly.
At the start of this week my grandpa wanted to send me a photo of my parents dog in a party hat, he thought it was funny and asked if he could e mail it to me. I said politely no thank you I didn't want to see the photo. His response was a big sigh and he said "Please talk to them, I'm getting old and I worry". Before he could change the topic I told him I am happy, I would be unhappy if i got in contact with them and I would appreciate if he and my grandma would stop talking about them. The call ended very quickly after that..
In the last few days my grandma has told me my parents do love me despite their faults, pleading with me to talk to them. My fathers brother has been in contact to say my grandpa is deeply concerned about this the situation. My cousin has emailed me concerned for my welfare. I am starting to feel a mixture of emotions really guilt, doubt, anger.
I appreciate this is not easy for my grandparents but its been ten years why are they are over reacting now?
Today I would call them but I don't feel enclined to. What can I do? What do you do when people turn on you like this?
Thanks so much if you have read this far and if you can shed some light that might help me move forward I'd be so grateful.
What was the reason why you turned your back on your hometown and parents and moved?
Was it because of your husband? Are you still married to this person?
After this much time you’ve shown you are resilient , so basically you can consider yourself as having proven your “point.” whatever that was.
Send a card to your parents with a picture of your family and a nice greeting. The ball will be in their court to respond.
[Today I would call them but I don't feel enclined to. What can I do? What do you do when people turn on you like this?]
Your parents haven't turned on you!! You've turned on them. Show more respect to them &,very soon,really make the effort to tell
(and show them!!) how glad you are to have them in your life. Trust me,you'll be sorry when they're gone.
Next time your grandparents pressure you to call your folks, tell them "the phone works both ways". Your parents can contact you too.
"Your parents can contact you too."
No they couldn´t, they´re not healthy-brained thus adult enough. I expect that's why she excised them in the first place. But anyway - I agree, AKA. Well observed. (Albeit, saying that, we don´t actually know for a fact that their dialling fingers haven´t fallen off...ha ha.)
Pinkberry, these feelings of guilt have been manipulated in you. They´re not real. HENCE YOU FELT BETTER AND QUOTE, DIDN´T LOOK BACK! I think you´ll find that´s all the proof of the pudding you need, don´t you? And if you think that's easy for ME to say - I ditched my entire family including relatives (we´re talking 50-odd) almost a decade ago (and likewise, didn´t look back...felt the weight lifted, actually, and it was a long time coming to realise that blood is only thicker than water when it´s not toxic).
I expect some of this is down the fact that, with you having long been out of the crosshairs, the (er) parents have been shooting at someone else(s)...or they just want "a quiet life" so prefer to sweep issues under the carpet - HENCE they probably let your (er) father get away with everything cos it was faster and easier ("Not now, Bernard!").... Whatever. They sound like a total bunch of issue-ridden kids.
It´s called Coercive Control and Emotional Manipulation (provocation, agitation, guilt-tripping).
When you´re a parent you´re a parent for life, supposing to always set the example. DAMN right they can ring you! I wouldn´t sit here waiting for the mountain to come to Mohammad if it were me and my child - no way... of course I´d take the lead and make the first move, understanding that I am older and wiser with better self-control AND self-assurance over my ego, etc., etc. It´s called parenting...AAAAND we're back to what AKA said.
Feel free to ask me any questions. I´m not exactly regimental in my posting attendance but I´ll do my best. Meanwhile, check out Lily´s thread (from about third the way down) about her parents splitting up. You´ll see her father (dud, we call him) is a mean, egotitistical child who´s thereby given her no choice but to ditch the Dud. You might find it eye-opening.
Sorry you didn´t get born into a healthy family. It sucks, doesn´t it? But, ultimately, considering the evidence shows their behaviour hasn´t changed in any noticeable way - what possible basis do you have (other than your rellies - the ones who won´t listen to you or take No for an answer - because ywhat you want matters not, remember?) thinking their wants, needs and agendas override "mere yours") - added to which, there´s the didn´t look back comment, plus the fact the proof is IN MOTION that you did the right thing (having subsequently met a healthy man and co-created a healthy, bouncy, proactive, productive family)... well - what more proof do you need that you did the right thing which remains the right thing UNTIL FRESH, POSITIVE EVIDENCE THAT OVERPOWERS THE EXISTING PLETHORA OF DAMNING EVIDENCE, LANDS ON THE EVIDENCE TABLE (logical?, fairenoughski?).
That's my very opinionated opinion, anyway.
My son and I have made our own family - out of diamond friends in the same boat (there are a surprising number of us self-honouring ostracisers, believe you, me - you´d be surprised!).
PS Stay strong. Remember - neither you nor I took our decision lightly or as a knee-jerk, right?
PPS - Tip: next time, say to the Grands, - 'Okay, you can tell them they´re welcome to call me´. And watch that space (without watching).
I personally wouldn´t, though. After all, I´m sure they´re old enough to know what a phone is and how it works already. So another tip is: if you ever feel you have to explain how the world and human relationships should work to another supposed adult (whose court the ball most definitely is in) - RUN.
...Oh, wait - you already did run!
(New Mantra: only fresh evidence can overturn a verdict or warrant parole.)
Thank you for the replies. I appricaite all advise given, I have got used to people, whom I confine in, saying give my parents a call, send them a letter or pictureqe. In moments of doubt, I have contemplated sending a letter but i know, it would be unacknowledge and disguarded. I am very protective of my life, partner and children. I don't see where my parents would fit in without them being disruptive in some way.
My parents are wealthy people who only care about themselves. I had multiple live-in childminders from when I was a baby, they often left after a short time due to my parents high demands. My father had his own successful business, his baby, that he put all his engery into, when he was home he was too exshauted to do anything. My mother shopped all day every day spending money on her self. At weekends they entertained their rich friends or went to parties. If I approched them, they were uninterested, short tempered and often I was swatted away without being listened to. I learnt early on not to be an irritant. When I played up to gain their attention I was punished.
There was no family quality time, they went around in their own self obsessed worlds. When my sister was born I was kept away, there was no bonding as a family of four and a new live in childminder was employed to look after my sister. Our lives were separate and to this day I don't understand why. Both parents when experts in portraying that we were a close nit family when extended family or guests were round. They would both lie and tell them about family outings and brag about my school and how well i was doing. It loved having it, because they gave me the attention I so needed and wanted.
There was control, more so when I teens, I wasnt allowed out with friends out side of school, I was expected to do extra study instead. There was no freedom. I was lonely, went through a stint of self harm but when my parents failed to notice, or if they did they question it, I stopped. I was allowed a job but only in high end retails stores that my mother shopped in so she could get a discount! Anything I did outside of the house or school had to bennfit them in some way.
No my partner didn't have anything to do with me leaving, we were not serious to begin with. His only crime was that he drove a beaten up old greet car, therefore he was no good. Green, according to my mother is bad luck! She was, and still likely to be very supertious. When I made the decision to leave I didnt tell him, I thought he had been put off through just one encounter with my parents, and my mother's disgust over the colour of his car!
I do have questions/ My grandpa has gone sulky, and he's not engaging with me. my grandma talk, i know she puts me on speaker phone so they can both hear me. She' has been informing me of his moods saying he is very much troubled by this situation. Its starting to grate on me, i find is very childish, do I start keeping them at arms length?
Another question is with regards to my sister. When she first contacted me I was hesitant because I thought my parents were be behind i i put some boundaries in places, we have met a few times, hallways between my own and her university campus, before the pandemic. She's a lovely girl, seems genuine and trustworthy. We have kept in touch, she has even called me when she had down days because of these strange covid times. Future steps, I would like to meet my partner and she has told me a number of times she's looking forward to meeting my children. I'd also like to talk to her about our parents, but if i tell her my story I dont know how she will react or if I should even tell her. Is it worth the risk?
It would seem that your grandparents have earned some kind of your commitment, but they need to respect your determined “boundaries” .
You will have to explain that you want a relationship with them as long as they respect your decision not to start up anything with your parents.
How about: “ This has gone on long enough” - yes, gramps, and that’s how it will stay. It has nothing to do with you and I. Is that something we can agree upon?”
I must say that you are very brave, and now forget All what people said when your Grand parents says !!!! your grand parents said all in one line that "I'm getting old and I worry" they know they have no time left and they are worried about your self, now for your question`s answer Take some time to put yourself in the place of your parents and put your children in your place and think !!! What will you expect from your children? i am sure you got your answer ....just You and your husband sit and talk and decide what to do .... Bless you
Susiedqq thank you, that sounds like just the right kind of thing to say! I shall say that to them when we next speak. Lets see if we can meet compromise and we can go back to normal.
My grandpa does sound an awful lot like my father, that's why the way he was behaving is starting to make me cross. Like father like son. He will pipe up in the back ground on speaker phone if he feels strongly about something, funnily enough he can't bring himself to talk to me propperly. I don't fool for it completely when my grandma says he's concerned.
786. Thank you for your reply. Of course, I understand my grandpa and grandma don't want to leave this world with my parents and I not in contact. He is cross because I haven't done what he want me to do. He's possibly assumed I would have caved in.
You are correct my husband and I are the ones to decide what we do. My children are too young to ask about my parents, I am one of those mad women who had 4 under the age of 5. They are not missing out, my partners parents, his siblings, more then make up for my parents absence. They are wonderful. There is guilt attached to it but would my parents be good grandparents? After my up bringing, I don't believe so.
now we all can feel the energy from your reply keep it up dude stay blessed
Hello everyone, looking for some advice again,
I'm upset this morning. I tried to compromise with my grandparents with regards to my parents. I'm sad to say they or my grandpa, did not respond well, I half expected this. He blew up at me telling me exactly what he thought of me. Selfish, disrespectful and immature. I am stupid too, in his view, because if I allowed my parents to be in my life they would pay for my childrens' education and other luxuries and I'm throwing it away. Could it be he's always thought this of me, and he's be friendly because of my children? I didnt get much of a word in.
My children are upset because they witnessed his anger. I did remove them from the room, however my eldest suffered nightmares for the last two nights.
My partner was furious when I told him about my encounter with my grandparents and I had to stop him from calling them. He knows being aggressive back will only make things worse.
I don't see a relationship going forward if they can;t accept my decision.. Is this my grandpas own anxieties or is pressure being put on him?
What does it matter? ( if these are his own anxieties or if he is being pressured from the outside? )
The point is that your family got stressed out because of this interaction and your reaction to it.
So you know what you have to do. You need to step back from all of this and regroup. Detach from the conversation when the subject matter comes up.
Also recognize that you are being bribed (when anyone dangles free education and things for your family in exchange for you to compromise yourself.)
There is always the BLOCK option too. That means that you would block off your grandparents , which I don’t think that you really want to do but it seems that they are unable or unwilling to respect your request that certain subjects not be discussed. Be firm on this or let them know that THEY will also lose connection with you.
PS This is a good time for your children to witness how are you handle stress and how you can stand firm on your beliefs. Do it calmly and politely but firmly. It’s a good model to show your children.
Thank you Susiedqq,
Absolutely! I firmly believe in being a good role model for my children and for them to learn how to cope with difficult situations like this.
I have spoken to my grandma only once this week and it doesnt look like i will be talking to her again anytime soon, it wasn't pleasant . I told her, she and my grandpa needed to respect my deciision with regards to my parents or I couldnt see a relatioship going forward. She ignored me and asked to speak to the children. I firmly repeated what I said. She replied then there will be no relationship, they are both fed up with the situation and hung up!
I was devastated . I had been preparing myself for this to happen, and hurts. It's taken all this week of talking this through over and over with my husband and best friend. Them reassuring me I'm not an awful person, figuring out if there is a solution to this. It doesn't look like there is one.
Next step is for me to seek therapy, it's long overdue and the time has come.