What part of Go to Hell do you not understand? (estranged parent stuff)

I haven’t had any contact with my mother for 15 years. She pulled some unnecessary vindictive crap during my parents’ divorce, moved to another country, and I got tired of her passive-aggressive bullshit and wrote her a very pointed FOAD letter about 15 years ago. No regrets, weight lifted, all that jazz.

She’s e-mailed me at work a few times over the years, just brief “Hi” with her address in it. I never replied. I figured she’d get the hint.

Well, she e-mailed me again. The e-mail is:

There’s so many :smack: about this I can’t even begin. First off, it’s 15 years, not 13, but whatever. Second, don’t you think the fact I haven’t contacted her in all that time would have been a clue? Third, what is up with the ultimatum? “There is no going back?” Lady, I knew there was no going back when I dropped that letter in the mailbox 15 years ago, and I’ve been fine with it.

I am leaning strongly to ignoring this last e-mail along with the few others she’s sent, but I did word a reply just to get it out of my system. It’s currently sitting in my “draft” e-mail at work, and I will probably delete it once I get to work on Tue.

Estranged parents without a clue…whatcha going to do?

Lots of people do ugly, vindictive things during a divorce.

If she’s one of those toxic people who disrupt people’s lives and cause pain, I’d ignore the e-mail.

But if she’s just less than perfect, has made some mistakes and used bad judgment, what could it hurt to respond? Could she bring anything positive into your life?

Have her other e-mails had this same tone? Did she ever say “I love you and miss you and I’m sorry for what I did”?

She’s in another country, and has made no effort to have a relationship with my sister’s son (my sister still speaks to her.) My nephew is going on 11 and she hasn’t seen him since he was four months old. She always has one excuse or another why she can’t visit.

She’s never apologized for what she did to my dad, and when I was going through some stuff she wasn’t there for me either.

I hate that she’s dredging up all this crap again…I’d put it far behind me.

I think part of it is her parents…she doesn’t know what family truly is. I didn’t know how incredibly tight a family could be until I met Ivylad.

Her other e-mails were more like “pings,” just her mailing address, nothing else.

I truly haven’t missed her or felt the lack of her in my life, and my children have more than enough Grandma love between my dad’s SO and my MIL. I don’t want to confuse them with some woman they’ve never seen.

Ignore it. Or, if you like, print it out and set fire to it. Just do that somewhere away from the smoke detectors.

She’s trying to get a response from you. Any response will do, and even if you say “Fuck off and die in a fire, cunt,” she will have an in.

Don’t give her that.

Ivylass, I have never had to deal with anything even remotely similar to this, but IMHO I think continued silence is the best option (mind you, I have always been extremely non-confrontational). The draft email was a good thing - I imagine it allowed you to vent your feelings, but I wouldn’t recommend sending it. If you feel you need to send her a reply, just reply with a one word answer: NO.

Without a reply back all these times she still doesn’t know for positive that you received those emails. I think you need to email something to the effect of this, so she knows for sure you don’t want to reconcile.

I received the emails from you and this is to let you know I don’t want to have anything to do with you.

Ignore further emails if you like, but she will know that the silence is not because the other emails didn’t reach you.

That’s a thought, Harmonius, but I’m sure she’s getting some sort of insight via my sister. I’m on good terms with my sister, so is my mother, so I’m sure she could always ask her, “Is ivylass ever going to speak to me again?”

What I will not do is put my sister in the middle by telling her to tell my mother to back the hell off.

On the plus side, however, Ivyboy is home from college for the weekend. :slight_smile:

Personally, I’d reply. It would be one word, “No” and that would be it. Just so she would know the email was received by you, and nothing had changed. I mean, is it possible she thinks she isn’t getting through to you (sometimes people get new email addresses)? If that’s the case, she may continue to try and contact you, which I don’t think you want. If you just reply with “no” then she’ll no you got the email, and there’s nothing more to say. But, you know better than we do if this is what’s happening, of course.

I hope it all works for the best. It’s difficult to cut off contact like that (I just went through it myself), but if you must, you must. Poisonous people are best left behind, no matter what their relationship to you might be. Good luck.

I think it better to be sure she gets the message, and have done with it.

If it were me, based on my ex-family*, I wouldn’t reply at all. Sure, this means that she won’t KNOW you are getting her emails and ignoring them, but really, what other explanation is there? It’s not like you couldn’t find her, if you wanted to, if you hadn’t received her emails.

She has enough information already to know that you are done with her. If she’s not able to come to that conclusion, will telling her again help?

*When it finally sunk in to my parents that I no longer wanted to have anything to do with them, their last position was to still want updates :smack: and to communicate weekly so we could make sure we didn’t accidentally run into each other :smack: :smack:

I’d reply with a one word response of “No” if I were you.

Are you sure she hasn’t changed in 15 years? If you are certain that if you start talking to her she will be her old passive-aggressive vindictive self again, then keep her out.

Though I would hate to choose that option. Has she really done nothing good for you in all the years that you’ve known her? Can she really hurt you if you just allow her to talk to you through e-mails? I don’t know her of course, so I could be wrong and she might not have any redeemable qualities.

The best way to get someone to leave you alone is to make sure your intentions are clear. Don’t give them any room for doubt or false hope. What Harmonious Discord suggested will work best. Don’t send an angry letter because some people enjoy the fact that they can push buttons. Calmly and succinctly state your position at least twice and then ignore her if she still keeps writing back.

If that doesn’t work you need to seek a restraining order.

That’s the way we keep annoying customers out of my store. It works really well. The most important thing to remember is not to give a hint of emotion and be very clear that you want them out.

My familial stalkers actually showed up at my door this week. I always ignore the buzzer since anybody that I actually want to allow into the building knows to call me first. They buzzed every buzzer until someone let them in. Then they proceeded to bang on my door. I had to tell them they were trespassing and I was calling the cops to get them to leave.

It’s been ten years of silence from my end. These assholes just don’t want to believe they are unable to inflict their drama on us anymore. It’s always some lame ass lie about needing to give ‘important information’ or some other vague excuse. The only thing I need to know is that they have fucked off and will stay fucked off! So, I feel your pain Ivylass. On the plus side I got invited for turkey dinner at a co-workers this weekend :slight_smile:

I’m of two minds about this.

On the one hand, I could once again disabuse her of any notion of reconciliation.

On the other, if she hasn’t gotten the hint by now, I owe her no further explanation.

Lakai, it doesn’t matter if she’s changed or not. I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship with her just because she’s my mother. The stunts she pulled were unforgivable, IMHO, and that’s that.

Just keep silent. Don’t give her an in. Don’t reward her behaviour. Give nothing.

The last contact I had with my father was 15 years ago when I was in my early 20s. Circumstances sound similar, coupled with an event that left me ashamed to have come from the same gene pool as this man.

He’s never attempted to contact me since then. Through the grapevine, I’ve heard of a couple of heart attacks. The survivability of the first one was questionable. I do not wish him poorly, but one day I will learn of his death and that will be that. I do not anticipate any grief on my part.

I do not dwell on the past, nor have I ever doubted that the severing of ties was the right thing to do. It was the best course of action (or inaction) for me and my family.

After this much time, the estrangement is obviously permanent. I would not consider it any other way if he did attempt to establish contact.

He also demonstrated a passive aggressive streak. Unfortunately, I’ve inherited a propensity for this kind of behaviour too. I cringe whenever I see myself acting similarly because I don’t want to provide any basis of comparison between my actions and his.

I would view any attempt at contact from him the same way that phouka and Priceguy described - that it is an attempt to elicit a reaction. Doesn’t matter what the reaction is; anything will do. If I was in your situation (and take this for what it’s worth - this may not be the best course of action for you) I would not respond.

She has gotten the message, she knows where you stand. The email, as another poster eloquently said, is about trying to continue to inflict her drama on you. If you respond, I guarantee it will not be the last that you hear of her. Set up your email to trash anything from her. You deserve better.

This is exactly the way I feel. My sister said once, “She knows you hate her.” I told her, “I don’t hate her. I’d have to care to hate her.”

There comes a point, where so much time has passed, that attempts at reconciliation are pointless. Whatever she may have done for me (and I will always be thankful that she taught me to read before kindergarten, and so installed in me a lifelong passion for reading) it doesn’t mitigate the bad stuff. I don’t miss her, I don’t long for a relationship with her, and I don’t feel the lack of her in my life. So why complicate things?

It’s for you to decide if you don’t want contact. However, everybody gets to put their cards on the table, in my opinion. She wants to try to contact you. That’s her prerogative as much as it is yours to refuse. Ignore her overture if you want to, but I don’t think there’s any utility to letting it bug you when she tries to contact you, nor is there some dictum to suggest that she should do what you want just because you want it. You are behaving consistently; so is she. That requires no change from the status quo.

ETA: I’m not intending this to sound harsh, though I fear it does. I’m trying to say that by attempting to contact you, she’s doing what she wants to do, not what you would wish she’d do, and that you can’t make her adhere to what you want if she wants something different.