Why Estrangement Doesn’t Mean “The End”

thinking-2681494_960_720While growing up, I had a huge tortuous game of tug o’ war over the idea that I was creative as well as having been and wanting to be a “helper”.  It’s something like wanting to help others while creating a space for myself in a world where helping others means you’re poorer unless you’re out to market yourself like crazy or you’re what’s referred to as a “Starving Artist” because art or creative endeavours don’t pay your bills.  My father discouraged me from being one.  Thank the man.  He deserves the glory because he was right.  Yet, what am I doing?  I’m out to help others while doing art pieces to distract myself from the idea that no monies are coming in from any of my pursuits.

Don’t misinterpret the above statements.  I’ve had plenty of experiences in Life and I’ve learned a lot from them.  Rich, wealthy or whatever, I’m not.  I have even less now that I’m past my prime in earning capacity because I’ve helped so many people for free and once they’ve gotten all that they can or want out of me, they’re gone. Worse than that, at my age, I never will be because I’m always trying to help someone out and being ripped off at the same time.  A lot of time, energy, effort and yes, even money, gets tossed into the mix with no return on it, not even people or family.

This all brings me to the point where I’m so busy helping others or hoping that I am or have with little or no money coming in.  Anything that I did have, is actually going out more than it’s coming in and frankly, I have no one who will even care if I’m infirm or in a nursing home.  One thing comes to mind though and that’s that I have worn many hats throughout my lifetime, including motherhood.


 

Like everyone else who has been through this phase of life, it’s just one part of who we are, were and have been as people.  it’s simply one of the many headpieces that we’ve put on.  Much like a job that eventually comes to an end, it also comes to an end except in our heads and minds.  Why sit and lament over it all?  That’s a question that I’ve been asking myself of late.  Why bother to fret, worry and wonder what our remaining time on this planet will be like if we don’t have our adult children around us?

Frankly, I don’t care if anything that I’ve written in this piece makes an ounce of sense to anyone else.  With fewer views than I’d fork over in a grocery store for a few items of necessity, I am doing this for me, not everyone else.  If you get something out of it, great.  If not, oh well, move along.  Nothing to see here for you then this time.

Moving right along, Motherhood was one aspect of my life.  It used to be rammed full of other things, mostly volunteer or helping wise but, it was active.  Now, not so much but, the biggest part of that puzzle is because I’ve spent way too much time, connecting with what I think I should have or could have been doing had my only child (not through any choice of mine and certainly, with a lot of thought, energy and effort for her not to take on, “Only Child Syndrome” by constantly having other children over and even doing Home Daycare so that she’d learn to share or not be the centre of attention).

I’ve done some YouTube videos on this topic but, as I sat with a hot cup of tea, watching squirrels tight-rope walk their way across tiny, thin branches with the seeming ease of acrobats, birds flying by that window, I realized that they’d all had mothers who had given them up once able to be self-sufficient.  There were no babysitting efforts for many, many grandbabies but, they didn’t expect their offspring to be part of their lives forever.

Yes, I know, animals are “instinctive” whereas, humans tend to think differently and with purpose.  What’s interesting though is that humans don’t take into account that their own offspring will move about, move away, start their own lives (as we want them to do for the most part) and we, as parents, won’t necessarily be a part of them unless they need something from us (aka money, babysitting, dinners, holiday meals or whatever).  Most adult children will have little if anything to do with their ageing parent(s).  Even having Grandchildren doesn’t guarantee a parent that they will be part of their lives either.

I had a friend who wanted to take a year’s leave of absence to take care of her first grandchild.  At about the half-way mark of that time frame, she declared that she was exhausted and couldn’t wait to go back to work where she’d get a couple of breaks and lunchtime to herself again.  She also admitted openly that she wasn’t at all interested or able to be a “mom” again to her grandchild.  That year ended and she went back to work, happy not to have to look after her grandchildren, swearing off of having to look after the second one on its way.  No more for her.  She wasn’t the only one who has said this to me, either.  Others have done the same type of thing in differing ways and admitted fully that they were “too old for this sh*t now”.  I agree.  Even taking care of nephews and nieces for me was tiring enough.  I couldn’t wait for their parents to re-emerge so that my life could be peaceful again and I could actually sit down somewhere and sigh, relax and sleep.

The bottom line to this is that are we less fortunate than those who have their now-adult children as part of their lives or, are we stuck in an endless vortex of self-pity and imagination about what it could or should be like?

In all reality, I’ve tried to help so many other people out that there’s really little energy left in me with which to hustle my rear to giving out money (which I don’t have at all and never really did), cooking and creating dinners for an adult child who seem to take advantage of all that’s offered as though expected, as well as energy in which to do it all or even take care of grandchildren now.  It’s not that the mind isn’t able to but, the physical abilities have worn out.  Is it little wonder why women aren’t able to have children beyond a certain age?

For those of us who are sitting back, feeling as though our lives are over because we don’t have our adult children around us or, anyone else for that matter, take heed.  There are people out there who never had children and therefore, will never have grandchildren.  In spite of the fact that I did have a child (not easily wrought though), I will never (to the best of my knowledge anyway), have grandchildren but, that’s a story of a different colour and trust me, I can even feel badly about that fact even were my daughter to be speaking to me.

Suffice it to say that there are a lot of people in this world who are infirm, alone, deaf, blind, amputees, disabled, quadriplegic and so much more and yet, they enjoy their lives anyway.  I remember even taking a blind, highschool friend of mine bowling.  Yes, you’ve heard me right.  BOWLING.  What a trooper she was and, guess what?  She loved it.  I’d line her up at the end of an alley and she’d let the ball go with a two-handed, underswing motion.  She’d get excited whenever she’d hear the ball hitting the pins and ask me how many she’d knocked down.  I hated to tell her but, I did, she’d won more games than I did, sighted.

I digress from talking about the past though because it serves no purpose except as a reminder of what we did do, try and were. The past does serve a reason for this rambling that I’m doing.  It’s telling me that I wasn’t a “nobody”.  Even if my present isn’t going the way that I’d expected, it’s going the way that it should have given that I am not letting it go.  However, it’s time to let the idea of being a mother go.  Like helping others netted me nothing except experience, motherhood was temporary too.  Now it’s time for me to find new meanings and ways of enjoying Life.

Isn’t it the same for you?  Simply having an egg or sperm out there in this world that means life was put into it, doesn’t mean that any of us are guaranteed companionship forever.  It’s our minds that are playing with us and keeping us stuck on one single thought pattern and one tiny question of “why”?

You know what?  Who cares “why” they’ve done what they’ve done.  It’s simply time to put on another hat and carry on with our lives for as long or whatever as they may be, however they may be right now.  It’s never too late to take up a new hobby or learn something new even if we do it from a wheelchair or through the Braille method.  If we’re alone, it’s not too late to meet others, is it?  If we’re infirm, it’s not like there’s absolutely no one to take care of us in our older age.  What about those who never married or had children?  Are they considered useless people?  NO!  Not by a long-shot.

Though I expect no comments or even “likes” for this piece, I have written a lot and honestly, I’m fed up with helping others for no reason and being paid with words only but, without actions, if I get that much.

Come on, how much energy does it take anyone to hit “like” or put in their email addresses to get that ability?  If no one does, I’m a monkey’s uncle.  After this many years of writing, with few readers, I think it’s high time that I put on a different hat and stopped being a sap.

Best of wishes.

Love and Light always!

Now, think about my words here.  What are you taking from it all?  Did you get anything out of it?  Does something I’ve said, somewhere, strike a chord within you?  Leave a comment, PLEASE!

 

 

 

Published by ponderinglifetoo

I'm a wife, mother, artist, photographer and bookkeeper. I love writing out my thoughts in journals but, am finding my way to sharing these with others now.

7 thoughts on “Why Estrangement Doesn’t Mean “The End”

  1. I loved this post and it made complete sense to me and in fact, it resonated with me strongly. The first post I read of yours was “Post Estrangement: When the shame ends and self worth returns” and it has become a meditation I read periodically. It seems that the first part of my life was about outer life: expansion..it has been about acquiring, getting..degrees, married, children, titles, degrees, jobs. But none of it fed the inner man. As my mother was dying in 2003, as my 2nd marriage was ending, as I was losing a job I loved but one that had not served me for a long time. I suffered a precipitous, life threatening breakdown. That was the beginning of my inner life: contraction..loss…loss of relationships, loss of titles, jobs..even children. SO when I was in the deep throes of the breakdown, I asked a psychiatric case worker how many people she thought had had a breakdown…she said “Not enough”…those two words turned it around for me….it has taken me a long time to get where I am today. I am in the process of becoming independent from that which I thought I needed…I am in the process of breaking the bonds of codependence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you very much for your posts, your blogs!! I eagerly anticipate the emails! I especially enjoyed this one bc it gave me a different perspective. Just like I once was a data entry operator and a soldier and an EMT and no longer am any of those, I suppose I could look at being a mom as something I once did and now apparently no longer am. Although it does still reeeeaaaallllyyy hurt that I lost my grandchildren… However, I will not only survive but move forward with the life God has blessed me with. Thank you again, and till we meet again. Joan Haines

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Joanhaines57…being a grandparent is a “role” much like being a parent. If one can be dealt with in some fashion or another (though never completely and I can attest to that fact personally), one can decide that grandparent status is another of those hats that we all wear.

      Sadly, grandparents are innocent “pawns” who are caught up in this scenario and unfortunately, no one can get them out of it except for the parent who made the decidion to estrange in the first place.

      I hate to say it but, one day, there WILL come a day when that parent will have to pay the pricetag with their children (your grandchildren) and it’s not going to be pretty to say the least.

      Hey, I do know of plenty of grandparents who at the least, win their grandparent roles back again BEFORE they are too infirm to enjoy putting on that hat. I wonder if perhaps, doing what some have done for their “distanced” grandchildren, by keeping a type of “journal” and gluing in cards etc. on special occassions, may help?

      Pathetically, when these adult’s who have estranged (our grown children), they don’t just hurt us or themselves. Everyone becomes a “victim” to their moves/choices/decisions, including their own children. :(.

      HUGE HUGS XO XO XO

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for all your hard work writing, and insightfulness of adult estrangement of our children. I have learned from your articles and have shared some with my husband, and friends who also have estranged children. Please move on for a happier self-fulfilled life, but don’t quit writing because that in itself is a wonderful accomplishment. You have educated all of us dealing with our sad situations immensely! Thank you over and over.

    Not to talk about myself, but 3 mos. ago I barely survived a heart attack. My son did’nt even call or care after he was told by my sister. Well, of course realizing he doesn’t care about me has made me realize he is the one with a problem. I need to live my life for me now and for those who accept my love. Yes, love and especially light. Alison

    On Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 1:42 PM My Little Corner of Life wrote:

    > ponderinglifetoo posted: “While growing up, I had a huge tortuous game of > tug o’ war over the idea that I was creative as well as having been and > wanting to be a “helper”. It’s something like wanting to help others while > creating a space for myself in a world where helping others” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Allison. I really appreciate it. I have been writing for nearly 8 years now on this blog (though differing topics) and have many in drafts. I’ve been hesitant to write more because I’ve feared what has happened. After this many years or writing, I have relatively very few people who will even comment. I have never done anything for money here or on YouTube because I don’t make any at anything that I do as that is not the point but, rather because I want to help those who need it most by something that I say, somewhere, somehow. Not everything that I say or think will be taken by others as every circumstance and every person/parent is different in theory but, it’s my hope that at the least, something that I say may strike a bell within someone’s own reasoning, somehow, even if only to say, “bull”! LOL. Unfortunately, it’s had me wondering if perhaps, with the lack of comments, I’ve been barking up a wrong tree in trying to/wanting to help in some way. Your comment means the world to me! Thank you!!! (And, I do try to vary things according to moods since not everyone wants to concentrate on this topic. Even I don’t want to! LOL)

      As for your son not contacting you after a heart attack, please know that it’s not likely that he didn’t “care” as much as it was likely something along the lines of “she didn’t contact me” OR, “if I get involved now, I’ll have to stay involved and I don’t want to acknowledge that I even care.” Trust me, he cares. If he doesn’t now, he WILL! (Hopefully, before we’re all 6′ under LOL)

      Never make the mistake of thinking that someone doesn’t “care” because there’s no contact during times of great hardship in which we’d hope that they’d do so. It may be a matter of, “I hate what I’ve done” or, “I don’t want responsibility for…” type of thing.

      However, that being said, go on with your own life now and enjoy it. You’ve done your job as a parent, now live your life as a person again. What are your likes, wants etc.? I know that it’s easier said than done but, the reality is that as parents, we’ve done what we were expected to do and now, they’ve got their own lives so, it’s time to move forward for all of us.

      HUGE HUGS XO XO XO

      Like

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