I finally decided to go no contact with my three older children
I have four children but you’d never know it because only one maintains a relationship with me. It’s been like this since my husband died 13 years ago. My eldest son, left for university about 20 years ago and never returned. The only time he ever called was once when he was out in the wilderness planting trees and someone wrote on a billboard, “[NAME] is a faggot and he better get out of town!” He called us that night because he needed money which we happily sent him. No questions about his sexual identity. He didn’t come to see his father when he was sick and dying of lung cancer. He DID come to his funeral though, with lots of tears in his eyes and roughness in his voice.
My husband would have never let this happen
My husband left each of his children a bit of money which I distributed to them but the majority of it was left to me, something which I suspect they harbor resentment over.
The child who loves herself more than anything else can never share a photo with me
My next child, a daughter is married and lives about 120 miles from me. She has a child of her own who will be 7 in August. When she was pregnant, I asked her to please call me when she had her baby. I didn’t think that would be much of a problem because I did see her once while she was pregnant. The morning the baby was born, though, I received an email from my youngest son, the one who DOES maintain contact with me. When I asked her about it, she was vague and she said, “But you did get told, didn’t you?” Yes, that’s true. So, I decided not to go see her or the baby for quite a while because I remembered how tired I was after having my babies. I didn’t want anyone to come to see me or the baby. I guess that was the wrong move. As her little girl grew up, I was kept at arm’s length by my daughter and even though she has a professional photographer sort of on “retainer” and posts hundreds of photos of herself and the child on her Instagram page, I only received two photos of the child in these 7 years. My daughter never calls me and never comes to visit. I know she’s busy but I guess I feel like it’s not so hard to sit down and send a quick email. Right? When I complained to her about this once she said to me, “Mom, do you remember how crazy things were in the house when you went back to work? That’s what it’s like for me. Things move on a different time scale here where I live than they do where you live. I’m really, really, really busy!” I told her that, yes I remembered those days but I said, “You probably don’t remember but I used to call your grandmother (my mom) once a week no matter what. And that was back in the days when long distance calls were very expensive.” It didn’t matter. Nothing changed.
Reaching out to my third child resulted in more dead air
My third youngest child, a boy I call David, well, I posted about him about a month ago. A very long, long letter I had written to him telling him about the multiple traumas I had suffered in my life, not as a way to excuse my BPD but as a way to explain it. I put it in the mail with a zip drive so he could look at the links I included. I never heard from him.
After thinking about it for many months, last Thursday I finally took action . It was also an enormous relief for me because I had to make many different changes… Big pain. But I did. I also gave it to about 5 people I know with instructions that if anyone asked them for my contact information to tell them to contact me by email.
Radical Acceptance is what finally allowed me to get to this point
Why am I writing about this? I guess it’s because after spending several years of practicing Radical Acceptance with these children, it just wasn’t working any more. I found myself going out of Radical Acceptance multiple times a day. So, even though none of them choose to maintain contact with me, this is my way of setting a boundary, protecting my emotional space, and making it impossible for them to get in touch with me in the future. I blocked their email addressed in my email account and so any messages they send me will go directly to the trash. I do check my trash every day and so I would see it there but I would have the option to just delete it if I so choose.
I am preserving my dignity and self-respect
I don’t feel guilty about this. In fact, it comes as a bit of a relief to me. I have decided that I am not going to suffer over any of this any more. I am putting up a boundary around me and that helps me feel better, freer of this constant suffering. I only wonder why it took me so long to finally come to this decision. I guess the answer to that question is because I kept hoping against hope that things would change with these children. I often wondered how I would respond if they ever came calling again but, of course, none of them ever did. So, now I can finally put an end to this constant waiting in vain for something that will never happen. Maybe this is just the way I shut them out. I don’t know. I just know that I have to do this for my own sanity. I can’t let this hurt me anymore. It’s been too many years of what feels like endless hurt. Since none of them seem to be able to forgive me, I have to choose to forgive myself and lay this burden down. I can’t carry it any longer.