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So I Found Out My Kids Can't Stand me

Started by JustSomeGuy, Jun 01, 2016, 08:20:35 PM

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I'm a divorcee of over ten years.  When we moved, my ex took the kids 500 miles away where it was very difficult to visit them.  I reduced the distance as much as possible, and every month (sometimes more) I would drive five hours to visit them.  Until they entered college, I called them every single night.

My children are now grown with one in college and the other days from graduating.

During the trip to see one child's graduation, it became painfully apparent that I am now something my kids simply tolerate.  They believe me to be sexist, bigoted, and a host of other things.

Due to family law, I have never had much money to give them beyond child support.  I have been destitute.  I live in a shithole that my kids can't stand.

After a private dinner with with my ex at graduation, I became aware that there is likely nothing I can do that will cause them to want me around.  I'd add that this stands in stark contrast to my ex.

I am a big, fat zero to my children, and at this point I always will be.

They have been my entire life, despite the distance.  If they ever called, I dropped what I was doing.  I would make mad-dash trips to see them.  I always put them first.

But that no longer matters.

My ex tells me that anything I say to them sounds like I'm talking about myself, but the examples she gives make no sense to me in that respect.  In any case, it's difficult to put too much faith in her because we divorced because she was abusive.  She was always messing with my head, and I'm not clear that she isn't now.  Indeed, she tried to convince me to go off one of my prescribed medications on the basis that it was altering my personality.

(Gee, you think?  I have an anxiety disorder she caused.  I'm finally on meds that keep it in check, and she wants me to quit one.  Head games, anyone?)

Nevertheless, my kids can't stand me.  Texts go unanswered, even if they're full of praise (my ex's texts are answered).  Our phone calls are perfunctory, usually ending because they stop speaking.  My ex's phone calls are lengthy because she regails them with her imagined financial problems (she earns $90K) and full of details about her difficulty dealing with co-workers.

(And I'm the one that sounds like I'm talking about myself, apparently.  I never mention such details.  They're my problems, not my kids'.)

They really, honestly can't stand me any more.

I'm certain that if I had money to spend on them, it would turn things around -- but the reality is that I will die indigent in a charity bed.

I don't know what to do.

Frankly, suicide seems my natural option.  I've done what nature intended and successfully raised children to adulthood.  Nature is done with me, now.  I have no particular future other than the one I mentioned: an indigent death in a charity bed.

Now, before you go telling me that suicide isn't the right option, I can't for the life of me think of why not.  The only things I ever cared about are gone, by their own doing.  I will never be able to contribute to them financially (something my ex is only too eager to point out at every opportunity).

Furthermore, my mother is well-to-do.  When she dies, her heirs will receive about $250K each.  If I check out now, then her will adjusts, and my children will get some portion of my $250K -- which is more than they'll ever see from me otherwise.

My children, obviously, wouldn't care less.  It would be a relief to never have to worry about hearing from a racist misogynist that they can't stand.

As for myself, it will finally bring a close to the anxiety disorder left as a result of my ex's abuse over 13+ years.

So where's the downside, here?

I will never be anything other than a useless part of my children's lives.  I'm doing myself no favors continuing to live in poverty.

I'd mention I don't feel depressed.  I'm on medications that utterly prevent it.  I'm as clear-headed now as I've ever been.  I've just been re-evaluating the situation based on this information.

I keep coming back to the idea that it's time to check out, for everyone's sake.

No doubt my blood family would be hurt, but what do you do?

Any suggestions on winning back my children's affection (other than via money) is welcome.

Telling me that suicide is off the table -- for whatever reason -- is not welcome.

I am not depressed.  I know what that feels like, and I'm not.  Honestly, my medications make it impossible.

So again, suggestions as to winning back my children's affection are welcome.  If something seems reasonable, I will heed it.

But the reality is that they are estranged from me and probably always will be.  I cannot think of any possibility outside of winning the lottery as a solution.



It sounds like your ex knows how to get to you. First, stop talking to her. Sounds like ex has been manipulating you and the kids all these years. Both kids are adults, no need to deal with her at all. Is child support over now or soon to be? If so, then very shortly you will have money for YOURSELF and to get yourself into a better spot.

Kids/Teens- They communicate by texting not talking. They grew up with devices and many kids do not talk on the phone. You supported them and sounds like you visited them as often as you could. Maybe write each child an email or ask by text how you can send them a letter/email/long text. Maybe something like this:
As you are now an adult I wanted to let you know how proud I am to be your father. I tried as best as I could to support you by giving mom xx per month. I know you may have needed more at times, but it is all I had. I tried to visit you as much as I could and attended your xyz (graduations? baseball game? school stuff? whatever). Now that you are over 18, I would like to start an adult relationship with the you. I am not looking to force you into coming to my town or me going there all the time but meeting someplace for lunch/dinner would be great. Just wanted to let you know that I love you and still want to be apart of your life.

Also, the one in college, send little things in mail. College kids love that! $5 gift cards, candy, gum, chips, are all great things college kids love!

Get some counseling on how to deal with your ex and she sounds very toxic to you.

Good luck!


and get a copy of "Divorce Poison" from Amazon or Ebay -- old version or new.....it will be the best $10 you ever spent.

Research Parental Alienation...

Move on....start focusing on you mainly and children less so....that would be a natural shift in your life anyways once kids are grown up whether there was a divorce or not.  Find something you love and volunteer....


I'm so sorry you're in this.  The odd thing about some antidepressants is that they increase thoughts of suicide.  So part of what you're feeling may actually be a side effect of the medication.  Something to look into. 

I'll skip the lecture about suicide being a permanent fix to a temporary situation because while true, you feel like the situation is not temporary.  Allow me to provide a different perspective.

You said your kids are in college or about to graduate.  This indicates that they are less than 25.  The frontal lobe does not fully mature until 25 or 26.  Those kids are still all about themselves.  They are still in a "selfish" stage.  They have insufficient life experience to adequately gauge the sacrifices you made for them.  To bail out now would deprive them of the opportunity to grow and develop a truly adult perspective of you and the situation.  (I'll give a real life example below.) 

Another thing you need to wait for is grandkids.  They change the adult child's perspective and they are able to see things as parents.  They realize how hard it is to be a parent, with or without money.  They also know what it is to love your child as a parent and how frustrating it can be not to do everything you want for and/or with your child.  This will have an affect on their relationship with you and they will likely want their children to have a relationship with Grandpa/Papa/Pops - whatever grandparent name you choose. 

Now, for the real life example.  My parents divorced when I was 3.  My BM went to the grocery store and never returned.  I'm told I had visitation with her.  I don't remember any except two incidences.  The first I was taken to her condo and was made to sit quietly on a sofa playing with a stuffed dog (that barked but I wasn't allowed to make him bark) for what felt like a long time.  The other I was dropped off at my grandparents' where my cousin and I played and I sustained a head injury.  I was driven back to my dad's (1.5 hours) on my BM's lap in the front seat of the car while my stepdad fussed about me being in the front seat of his sports car and how I better not get sick in his front seat.  She eventually moved to some western state while her children remained in NC.  Visitation ceased.  I think I was 7 or so.  What I grew up with was knowing that she cared nothing for me.  My dad gave a directive to his family (and my stepmom's family) that no ill word was to be spoken about my BM.  So those thoughts were developed by my experience and child-like thought process, not because anyone turned me against her.  Fast forward 7 years.  It was my 14th birthday and my brother's 17th.  We each received a card with a check for $15.  My brother sent it back.  I sent mine back with a note that said, "Thanks but no thanks.  My love can't be bought."  Another 4 years.  I was 18, my brother was 21.  She asked that we have dinner with her.   We obliged (mostly for the sake of our grandmother).  Dinner didn't go well.  I was angry and hurt.  Move forward another 4 years.  I'm 22 and have had my first child.  Family oo'ed and ah'ed over him.  But I had this nagging feeling in the back of my head that he was missing another family member.  Whether I liked her or not was irrelevant.  She was his grandmother.  I contacted her and asked if she wanted to see him.  We connected a few times and things were going well until one Christmas when she got mad at me because I was celebrating Christmas with her family for a few hours, my siblings at my dad's for an entire morning, my dad's extended family for a few hours, my in-laws for a few hours and a few hours with just my husband and child.  She wanted to know I wouldn't celebrate Christmas with her.  All of those other times I listed were traditions that had been set from my childhood (with the obvious exception of the husband and in-laws which were set the year we got married).  She was atheist and I had never spent Christmas with her.  Get over it.  A few years went by with no contact.  I gave birth to my second child.  There comes that nagging feeling.  So I stopped by her house unannounced one afternoon so she could meet her new grandchild.  My kids are now 27 and 22.  My grandson is 2.  They all have relationships with my BM.  I have a relationship with her.  My perspective changed.  I would never have walked away from my kids but I can see how she could have been overwhelmed and felt like a failure and decided that would be the best option.  It probably wasn't the best option but I can see how she would think that.  I fought for my kids during my divorce.  I encouraged a relationship with their father.  My youngest is now very angry with his dad and barely has a relationship with him.  What has made him give his dad chances lately is the 2 year old.  Grandkids change everything.

All of that longwinded outpouring just to say this:  Hold on.  Things change.  People change.  You'll notice that with the exception of the $15 birthday gift, nothing in the above narration had anything to do with money.  Your financial situation isn't what determines your relationship with your kids.  If that's all your ex has, it will eventually lose its appeal.  There is hope.  There is always hope. 
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!

Kitty C.

Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......