What Did I Do Wrong??

By Katherine Smith
Katherine Smith
Katherine Smith
is a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as a gifted divorce mediator in NYC. She is a former high school English teacher and college counselor with a passion for enhancing the lives of others. Additionally, Katherine has extensive training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, family systems, and group therapy. Readers can contact her at AskKathyMFT@gmail.com.
October 27, 2013 Updated: April 24, 2016

Dear Kathy,

     I’m all alone in the world and I don’t understand why. I have no one. What did I do wrong to end up like this?

     I’m widowed and my son died many years ago. My daughter and I are estranged. She had her first two children when she was very young and she neglected them.

     My husband and I fought her for custody when our grandchildren were preschoolers and we won. It was a lot of work but we loved raising them. Unfortunately, it cost us our relationship with our daughter.

     She eventually married and had more children but we weren’t included in their lives. I don’t even know what my other grandchildren look like.

     After my husband died, the grandchildren we raised together decided to move in with their mother, step-father, and siblings. They blame me for not  growing up with their mother, brother, and sister.

     It’s been months and they don’t even call me anymore. I’m heart-broken and all alone. I can’t figure out what I did wrong. All I did was love them. Why are they treating me this way?

Broken-hearted

 

Dear Friend,

     I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I suggest that you create a strong support system around you as you weather this painful emotional storm.

    Do you attend a house of worship? If so, get more involved. If not, consider joining one. Do you belong to a senior organization? If you do, get more involved. If not, consider joining one.

    Go to your local library and check out the bulletin board. Do any of the upcoming events pique your interest? Join a book discussion group, attend a jewelry making class, see a movie.

    Get together with friends and acquaintances. Re-connect with friends and acquaintances whom you’ve lost touch with. Go through your address book and make those phone calls!

    Make an appointment with a licensed counselor who is trained in family systems and develop a plan to re-connect with your daughter and her children. Reach out and get your emotional needs met. Don’t settle for being alone in the world!

    Make an appointment with your primary care physician and get a complete physical, including blood work. Make sure that you have your thyroid, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D levels checked, as well as anything else that could contribute to depression.  

    Turn this situation around quickly. You can’t afford to stay stuck in this negative emotional space. It could become dangerous.

    Please send us an update and let us know how you’re doing!

Blessings,

Kathy

Readers, can you relate to this woman’s feelings of isolation and rejection? Please give her some encouraging feedback by commenting on this post. Send your letters to AskKathyMFT@gmail.com. Thank you!

is a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as a gifted divorce mediator in NYC. She is a former high school English teacher and college counselor with a passion for enhancing the lives of others. Additionally, Katherine has extensive training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, family systems, and group therapy. Readers can contact her at AskKathyMFT@gmail.com.