That's how I feel these days.

I wonder if sailors in the time of the Flat Earth felt that, too. Okay, I know that at one time there were people who realized that the probable shape of the Earth was an orb, and at the same time those who couldn't fathom any shape other than a plane. Contention between them may have existed, but really, does that matter? The reality is that Earth is the shape that it is, no matter what anyone may believe about it.

Regardless. My world has gone from safe and round to flat with an unforeseeable abyss at the edge. I'm not just talking about the world of politics and society, which has become unfathomable in its own way but the bottom has fallen out of my life as well.

I wasn't going to write abut this, and I'm still not going to do it in any detail, but the thing that has me so completely lost is that my three adult children- yes, all three of them- have decided, en masse, that they no longer wish to be a part of my life.
Listen. I know I am not the perfect parent but I have loved them well and done the best I could with the rest, and I can't feel guilty for that. Their decision comes without any explanation to me. One child offered two vitriolic, hurtful, delusional emails that only tell me of unreasonable anger and hatred and gave me no way of responding, though I tried, and got one more terrible answer. Then, to add insult to injury, he "unfriended" me on FB- which, oddly, seemed patently absurd.
They are not explaining themselves to anyone else, either. At least no one who speaks to me.
No- the ex is no help, either. Well he never has been, but that's another story, and apparently he is still in their good graces.

This all happened almost 3 months ago. There are other parts of my life that are wonderful and important. The process since has been about grieving and healing. I am doing pretty well. People who care about me have been supportive and loving, and I am not alone. I am capable of living my life with joy and appreciation for those who are in it with me.

I am telling you this because it will come out in my artwork- it already has- and I want to keep writing and posting here, and not just sitting on sidelines commenting on other people's posts.

I think the painting speaks for itself. I don't even like it, because of what it represents. It's a cliché and I know it. But it's what I feel. The BLP does like it, though, so when it is finished drying and I find a frame for it (one of the many, many Goodwill stores will eventually come through) he can hang it in his room.

                             Red Sails; oils on canvas 12" x 24"   (c) Rose Guastella 2016

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Comment by Rosigami on November 30, 2016 at 12:44pm

It's not really about politics, though that is NOT HELPING.

Comment by Dharmabummer on November 30, 2016 at 1:23pm

My heart hurts for you, Rosi. I am so very sorry for what you're going through. And I know it took a lot of courage to write this and I'm so glad you did. This is why we're all here-- to connect to each other. 

I don't know why your children have frozen you out but it does happen to really terrific people, all the time. One of our closest friends has been persona non grata to two of his three daughters for the past six years and it's completely inexplicable. He is the loveliest person. So are you. The comment you made on my last post actually made me cry and I thought, "Jesus, why can't my mom say comforting things like that to me..." (Well, she can't because she has a narcissistically organized personality and everything is about her...but I still talk to her.)

In therapy we often say, "If it's not one thing, it's your mother" and part of the reason for that is this: we pin EVERYTHING on mom.....And now I've typed and deleted a bunch of dumb psychological theories that are of no help. I'll save that b.s. for my own blog.

Hugs to you, Rosi. I think you are a light in this world and I love the painting, too. 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on November 30, 2016 at 1:25pm

first, this is a beautiful painting.  i feel it's a start to saying what you need to say...there are unresolved areas but the idea is strong.

second = kids - they can be harsh.  depends on age.  I've never had BOTH my kids give me hell, but one at a time - yes.  

a few months back I disowned THEM.  not really - but I told them I needed a break from their assholeishness and selfish ways.  

families Rosi, are push and pull.  they're bullying you though and I sure as hell don't like that.  no explanation is wrong.  you DESERVE an explanation.  however, you can't force it.

what you can do is perhaps suggest to them - email, snail, FB, whatever - that you're hurt, you'd like to take a break and think about this but they should, at the very least, tell you why.  no arguments, no discussions yet.  JUST TELL ME WHY and let us all think about this.

tell them you love them, and remind them that they love you. acknowledge they're angry about SOMEthing but in order to take the next step or end it or whatever - come to some place where everyone understands everyone else, even if they don't agree.   tell them that as adults they have to be honest with you.

but don't expect anything fair or loving.  you're asking why they want to end their relationship with you.  this is deep.

keep in mind, shit like this doesn't come from nothing.  there's something brewing but what's terrible about this - is they're colluding, which is kind of unfair and rather mean.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on November 30, 2016 at 1:30pm

ps.  with families NOTHING is forever.

if they choose to follow through and give you no explanation whatsoever, there isn't much you can do except tell them you love them and the door is always open.  one will break.

my guess is, the one who wrote you is the one who's very hurt.  kids have strong bonds with one another...my sons are best buds, which surprises me sometimes, because they're so different.  but they care for one another in such a way that I know, when I'm dead, they'll take care of each other.  and that is a source of great relief and joy.   your kids are taking care of one another.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on November 30, 2016 at 1:34pm

The reason I moved to Texas was driven largely by the lack of contact with "friends and family" living in California.  Nothing personal but it had been over a year without an email or phone call.  Everyone seems busy with the day to day of their own lives.

Comment by Rosigami on November 30, 2016 at 2:15pm

Dharma, I have one of those mothers!  Like yours, she "has a narcissistically organized personality and everything is about her...but I still talk to her." Her relationships with her grandkids is good, though. They love and respect her. She has even tried to speak to them about their recent behavior with me, and they all listened politely, said they would think about what she said, and then they changed the subject without offering any elucidation.

We're all flummoxed.

Hearing from you and others who tell me about families they know where this kind of thing has happened is actually very comforting, and I appreciate it. Thank you for being so supportive.

Comment by koshersalaami on November 30, 2016 at 2:21pm

I love the painting. 

I have no idea what to tell you about the kids. 

I might as well ask:

What age were they when you and their father split, and who do they hold responsible for that split? 

I have other questions, but knowing nothing else, I'd start there. You not only have a blowup, you have a sort of mystery. Not a fun one, but one it would presumably help to solve. 

Is there any chance that their reaction is as a result of their getting new information? Perhaps a slant on something from your ex, intentionally or not. 

Comment by Rosigami on November 30, 2016 at 2:37pm

Monkey- the painting started as just two planes of blue-gray, the upper moving to light, pretty much as you see it, but without any definition as to what they might be.
I had it up on the easel like that for weeks.  While most of the kids who come to my art studio for classes didn't even notice it, some did and asked me what it was supposed to be. 
I always asked them, What do you see?
The answers were:
1. the surface of the moon
2. looking out into space
3. alien landscape
4. big water
5. desert
6. I don't know

It took me a while to move to defining sky and water, even minimally. The boat started out smaller and closer to the horizon. A touch of the same red as the sails is on the horizon, too.
I am not sure it's finished, but I have no plans to do anything else to it, unless something hits me, of course.

Funny that you should mention writing to the kids- I did that, snail mail, a few weeks ago, saying everything you just said to me, almost verbatim. Every single point you mentioned.
I wasn't sure what they would do- send them back unopened, accept them and not read them, read them and toss them out- whatever. According to Mom, though, they did receive and read them. And that's all they would say.
Yes I think you are right about them taking care of each other. the two boys share an apartment about an hour away from me. The elder son is the angry letter writer. The younger son has a twin sister who still lives with Dad in NY. They are all close with each other regardless of the physical distance.
If this is something they need to do in order to make their lives go forward, then so be it.
I've let them know that I'm here and that I love them, and that's all I can do.

I am hoping you are right about one of them breaking first, and I would bet my eye teeth that at least the younger boy is following the elder's lead. As for my daughter,  I am really not sure.

Comment by Rosigami on November 30, 2016 at 2:39pm

 JMac, I get it. When no one else makes an effort to stay in touch, it is hard to be the only one doing it.

Comment by Rosigami on November 30, 2016 at 2:43pm

Terry, I'm sorry to hear that you've been through estrangements in your family. You're right about families being opportunities for disappointment.  I have many family members who are loving and supportive and just plain nice to be around, so I feel good about that.

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