Saturday, December 12, 2020

Once Upon a Time


My estranged daughter's birthday was on December 9th. I did something a little different this year. I wrote a little poem about how I felt and sent it to a sibling who had lost his son on December 10th (a crib death). And in that act, which was spontaneous, there was the recognition that reaching out and sharing pain can be so healing.

I didn't feel as broken as I normally do on her birthday. And I know her birthday is long forgotten many birthdays in my family. Obliterated. I feel she is erased. Which doesn't help my solitary pain. Apart from her sister - we remember and commiserate and share and overanalyze her distance and cautiously explore the one media outlet we are not blocked from. We have become professional lurkers as one false click or move will set her off again and we will have no updates. By updates I mean that we know she's alive and hasn't killed herself or been killed. And I don't say that in high drama mode. She has attempted it before. So we tread lightly, as we always have with her. The eggshell dance.

And another thing, a friend reached out to me and shared that her son had estranged himself and she was in such pain. She is one of quite a few who have done this now, mainly because I am open with my sharing of it. There is no shame or blame as some people think. It just is.

So here's a pic of my glorious girlie in absentia and the poem I wrote.

For JJ December 9, 2020.
Another trip around the sun is completed.
And I reflect on the day of your birth
Again. And again. And again.
And how my reality
Didn't match your reality.
I thought there was
Unconditional love
I thought there was joy
And recognition
And humour
And connection.
I was alone.
My memories are
Crystal clear.
For now.

41 comments:

  1. No matter if you do all things right.
    A thing, a happening, a word , a memory, for the other, on the wrong day, can explode into a thing not meant to be, or not meant the way taken.
    Love the best you can, know you are open, let them know you are open to understanding each other.
    Miscommunication along the way makes confusion and hurt.

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    1. I think if it were one incident that tipped her over the edge (and I remember the day well) it just was the icing on the cake of unspoken resentment on her part. She lived with me until she was 28. And I suppose her rage (based on jealousy) was there to be tapped into. I can only speculate. The fact that there is absolutely no one from her past life in Canada and a past life in Ireland is in touch with her now says a whole pile.

      I think she needed to reinvent herself and I respect that.
      She seems to have found a home in the UK.

      XO
      WWW

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  2. Thank you for reaching out with your story and your pain. So much.

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  3. My situation, as well. Two sons choosing to believe their father's lies about not having abused me, a kitten, and our dog - even though they both recall his having thrown the kitten up hitting the ceiling. The pain is worse than any other physical or mental pain I've experienced. As someone once wrote: "Those who don't value your presence in their life, past, present or future, don't deserve your anguish over what isn't." But, that is so very difficult to achieve. Hugs.

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    1. Impossible to achieve, I'd say, especially when a child. Easier with friends.

      So very sorry Regina, several of my friends have told me about their exes turning their children against them. Unbelievable pain.

      XO
      WWW

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  4. So many families have estranged family members. It can be very painful. As you say, it helps to share that pain with others in the same situation.

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    1. I truly does, Nick, I have heard far worse stories than mine. It's heartbreaking.

      XO
      WWW

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  5. How sweetly beautiful she was. What a dolly.

    I have a son, only 28, who rejects all that I am and all that I believe. Or so he says. Indifference, he claims, to me. I never really believe it, I think he hasn't matured enough to realize how wonderful I am (hee!), and I remember that I wasn't so much different toward my parents when I wasn't much younger than he is now. I remind him from time to time that if I die suddenly, he is to remember that I knew how much he loved me, even if he himself wasn't aware of it, and that he's not to regret being a dinkeye, as I understand how it is for him right now, when all his energy goes into repressing his tenderness and vulnerability. I hope I live long enough for him to have a chance to come around! He was the sweetest, most affectionate and sensitive of little boys, and I can't believe that these lovely attributes are really gone. They have to be there somewhere.

    I get to see him, however, and spend a bit of time with him, even though I'm the only one who instigates it, and I've felt the sting of rejection and sat in my car, crying, at least once outside his house when he made sure I knew I wasn't welcome.

    At least I still have hope, and I hope that someday your daughter will come around, too.

    xoxo
    Kate

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  6. Being a mother is lashed with minefields for some of us Kate. I am remembering my missing daughter's attributes today She could make me laugh like no one else could as her wit was like her paternal grandmother's, laced with a Dorothy Parker edge to it. She was also the most physically affectionate of my girls. I often joked I wore her until she was 9. She was always hanging off some part of me. And when Grandgirl was the same, Daughter couldn't tolerate it but I got a second run at being a "coatrack" and I never minded it at all.

    I feel for you sitting in your car, it's like an open wound and only others so affected can understand.

    XO
    WWW

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  7. No words ... I just think sharing helps.

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    1. It sure does Tom. I have heard far more painful stories than mine.

      XO
      WWW


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  8. Your poem is so clean. It reflects my own most loving response, the hardest, has been to allow the person the choice to see their own view of the events. Just another way to say that it is not about me. I am glad that I have a child whose view is closer to mine, but the pain of being outside is an easy hole to go down. I hear you all.

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    1. Thank you JB. I love her to pieces and always will but respect her journey too, no matter how painful it is to me.

      XO
      WWW

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  9. Replies
    1. Sorry for sounding cryptic, but there are some things I wouldn't want comments/responses being posted on my blog as all the family read it.

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    2. I understand Jackie. I am anonymous for many reasons. And I am aware of other kinds of estrangements too. My family is expert at shunning going back generations and down to the newest.

      XO
      WWW

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss, family pain is the worst.

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    1. It truly is Annie. But sometimes it can be other kinds of estrangements too, like deep friendships and breach of trust.

      XO
      WWW

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  11. I too have an estranged child. It's so painful.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear that Karen. We are a sisterhood of sorrow.

      XO
      WWW

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  12. I have been here half an hour, reading and staring. I need to move on. I just had one ironical thought. All these times I've told my daughter that more old people die daily of loneliness than any other cause probably has succumbed to the global pandemic.

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    1. Loneliness is a terribly thing Joanne for sure. Oddly maybe, I don't feel lonely. I am lonely for my absent daughter of course, but it's not all consuming.

      XO
      WWW

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  13. It is sad that it happened and I hope writing your touching poem was cathartic.

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  14. It's a very sad situation, but not of your making. Hopefully, with time, something may trigger her to reach out even to just say hello.

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    1. Who knows, River? It has been such a long time now.

      XO
      WWW

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  15. There is little that one can convey to a parent in your position other than to say that we are all here to give you the support and encouragement that you need.

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    1. Thank you Ramana. The kind thoughts and sharing ease my pain.

      XO
      WWW

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  16. I thought there was unconditional love. That sentence touched my heart and made me feel your pain. This happened to a friend of mine a long time ago. She will never get over the pain. I so wish that the children who leave would understand that pain.

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    1. They never can unless perhaps, they have a child of their own and she doesn't. The thing is if they do reconcile with parents there is an enormous gap and an underlying fear that ruins what was. A friend shared that with me after her estranged son reunited after 12 years of no contact. It caused her additional pain, both the eggshells and the unwritten rule not to talk of the years he was missing. She cried when she shared that with me.
      XO
      WWW

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  17. What a pretty girl! So tender is your poem. One of my sisters is estranged from her two children. So sad.

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    1. Thank you Gigi, I feel so terrible for your sister. It must be dreadful - and the whole family effect also. You are so kind, I am sure you are supporting her in her "bereavement".

      XO
      WWW

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  18. Your strength and fortitude is admirable. I think this is the ultimate act of parenthood and unconditional love, to let your child "go". As JB said, "the hardest, has been to allow the person the choice to see their own view of the event." I have a sister who has estranged herself from us. And like you said in your response to Inger, what of the reunion should that happen? I try not to dwell on it. It's a daily lesson in letting it be.

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  19. Let it be is one the hardest hurdles of all Mona. I was so grateful to my friend M for sharing with me the pitfalls of reconciliation. And her pain at recognising it would have been better not to have the reunion at all.

    XO
    WWW

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  21. Your poem is beautiful and eloquent, and your post touched me. All I can do for you is send you good thoughts and a hug.

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  22. I don't know you, but your poem was so beautifully written I couldn't help but leave this comment. I wish you the best of luck in rebuilding your relationship with your daughter.

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  23. Beautiful.
    Wonderful.
    Adorable.
    Magnificent.
    Stunning.
    Love you.
    Cya soon.
    be@peace.

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