“You can live with a broken heart, and you can die with one, but it’s terrible to have to do both.”
–Quote from an estranged parent
I’ve witnessed and have been affected by a parent-child relationship dissolving within my own family. There have also been many stories shared with our parent coaching team by parents going through either complete estrangement from a child, or dealing with a child who is distancing themselves from the family. If you’re in this situation now, whether or not you were aware of or suspected problems in the relationship, when cut off you were probably faced with a tremendous amount of pain, shame, and guilt. Unfortunately, like many other parenting scenarios, parents are often under fierce scrutiny and are the target of judgment by the general public when this happens. Let’s be honest, some people might assume that parental estrangement has happened as a result of neglect or abuse by the parent. There is no denying that this accounts for some of these situations, but I know from my own experiences that it doesn’t cover all of them.
Why would an adult child sever ties with his or her parents? There are different events and situations that can create conflict in families, some subtle and some more obvious, that serve as a strong undercurrent in the family dynamic—reasons like substance abuse, divorce, disagreements about boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses, and personality differences are all common struggles in the parent-child relationship. There are many different events and situations that can trigger this devastating decision. Even though it may seem unfathomable, an adult child has clear reasons in their mind why they may choose to discontinue communication with a parent. Whatever the cause may be, it’s normal to feel a deep sense of loss and to evaluate all the possible reasons where you could have gone wrong. The excruciating part for many parents is the not knowing; they are often left completely in the dark as to why their child has chosen to end the relationship. Ultimately, the child may feel that the relationship carries more hardship than benefit.
It’s important to recognize that each member of the family will have a very different perspective on what’s it’s like to be part of that family. James Lehman talks a lot about how certain parenting styles work with some kids and not others; what makes parenting so tricky is that you may have the perspective that you acted out of love and respect, but the way your child experienced it may be a very different reality. Simply said, even though you can do something with good intentions, it may not be seen that way by the person on the receiving end of the action.
Parents are left to their own devices to figure out how to cope with and accept a child’s decision to break off the relationship, because it’s not easy to openly discuss the fact that you have no contact with your child. One of the most significant issues you may be confronted with is the powerlessness and feeling of permanency concerning your child’s decision. Parents in this position struggle with whether or not to keep trying to reach out, and if so, what to say — or how long to try.
Here are three steps I would recommend you take:
1. Be consistent in your message. There are many questions that surface for parents who are trying to figure out what comes next. It takes courage to keep trying to reach out to a child when there doesn’t seem to be any opening to mend the relationship. Pain and anger are powerful emotions and it takes a lot of persistence and hard work to repair and rebuild relationships that are steeped in these emotions. Sending a consistent message that you wish to heal the relationship can convey a strong sense of commitment to moving forward. Depending on the situation, you might email or leave a voice mail message every so often and say, “I love you and I’m always here for you. I want to talk when you’re ready.” Another option that may feel less invasive for the adult child is to receive an “amends letter” from the parent—this is something that you can ask for help with from a therapist or support group.
2. Be prepared to own your mistakes. On your end, I think it’s important to be prepared to listen and make an effort to not only understand what your child has experienced, but to own instances where you may have been in the wrong. You may not be able to identify with everything your child decides to share, but try to find something that you can agree with that does reflect something that you see in yourself. There are two sides involved in the relationship bringing their own resistance to change. You may struggle with hearing how you have disappointed or hurt your grown child, while your child may get overly invested in hanging onto the anger they have because it feels good to keep blaming someone when you feel wronged by them.
3. Get support for you. I want to urge any parent who may be going through this right now to get support for themselves—seeking out counseling or a grief therapy group can be a great avenue for a parent to work through the devastation of being cut off. The first step toward healing is recognizing how troubling and painful it is when a child walks out of your life. Through talking with others, you’ll find people who are in the same shoes, find ways to cope and even enjoy your life — and you might even arrive at a point of genuine hope that there’s a possibility of reconnection with your adult child.
Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do
Sandwich Generation Stress: 6 Ways to Cope While Raising Kids and Caring for Elderly Parents
Empowering Parents Podcast: Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher
As a parent coach, Tina Wakefield coached parents on techniques from the Total Transformation, as well as Empowering Parents' other programs, for over 8 years. Tina is also a mother and stepmother.
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My youngest daughter kept moving and changing jobs. We were close, talking frequently and seemed to agree on so many things. I would visit her in her new State...but she stopped visiting me (where she grew up)...Then she moved to another state and that's when things started becoming strange.
She had good jobs, made more money than I did when I was working but now she was always broke and borrowing small amounts of money for one thing or the other. Car repairs, she needed new carpet, etc. I'd give in and loan her a couple of thousand here and there. She would promise to pay me but never did.
Then she lost her job during Covid. I didn't have enough cash to help her pay her car payments, pay for her prescriptions, or what she needed. So I gave her a credit card that I was responsible for in case she didn't make a payment. In a very short time she maxed out the card to over $15,000.
I finally paid off the card and locked her out....
After that she slowly stopped calling or answering me calls. I never made the conversation about money...but I did let her know that my nest egg is all but gone.
I'm 77 and on SS. She has a good job and is single earning 6 figures. Right now I just want to hear her voice. I realize I'll never see her again before I die, and I cannot bare going without some resolve.
Firstly, to all those Parents out there going through this, stay strong and always keep hope.
My ex wife and I divorced 10 years ago, our Sons took this extremely hard (13 & 16 at the time)
Unfortunately both boys took their parents separation as their own and have held onto the resentment ever since.
I would always reach out through multiple forms of communication with absolutely no reply.
I would always make sure that our separation would not impact theirs and their younger sister’s schooling or financial lifestyles by sending my ex wife half my salary until the youngest was 18.
Thankfully for me, my Daughter stays in touch and I get to see her once a year as they live overseas.
For the first 5 years I really struggled and turned to alcohol to numb the pain, I became a functioning alcoholic with serious mental health issues.
With the support of my new wife and AA, I have remained sober now for almost 5 years but still struggle with my mental health.
Again unfortunately, I have no contact detail for either son and I refuse to put my daughter in the middle by pressuring her to give me these details, that wouldn’t be fair, considering she apparently gets a hard time from her brothers for simply having a relationship with me.
I only recently found out that the mobile number I had been sending the odd text to was not my sons when a stranger replied back thanking me for the heart felt messages over the years but that they were not him.
This incident almost broke me because initially reading it I thought it was him.
Every so often I find photos of them on social media and screen shot them, so I know what they look like, handsome young men.
I remember when both boys lived in this country I would sneak along to their rugby games, hide in the bushes or sideline incognito.
I was so proud watching them play but couldn’t call out in support in fear of being noticed.
Although I’m doing better nowadays, I still experience hard days where I have no motivation or will to keep going, thanks to all the support in my life I know this feeling is temporary so I battle through waiting for the next wave of good.
One thing I have maintained is always to hold onto hope that one day they may soften and reach out. Since it’s now out of my hands this is all I can do.
One of my concerns is will they ever ask me “where were you”
Thank you. I don’t feel so confused or alone.
At 66, My heart still hurts for my adult son has no contact with me for 5 years.
I had 4 kids in 5 years, 3 girls and a boy who is 2nd in line. Mate was gone working, unavailable in many ways. Son married and wife along with X-husband are Narcissistic.
Just went to youngest daughters wedding.
My adult girls are so loving toward me and I remain baffled that my son and wife still ignore me. My girls see him on occasion.
No one talks about the shunning. I have had years of ‘help’. Knowing the adult child at times sides with the absent parent does not
Lessen my heart’s anguish. I never thought this would happen to me. I gave my all to bring up my kids with love, honesty, care and support. I doubt I will ever get over this and try to accept and move on. I have done nothing wrong and have tried already to mend things. Thank You for the web site.
Memories I try not to go there. Life is cruel at times. I chose to hold my head high and cling to my values, and not cheat my girls out of the Love they deserve by focusing on my Son.
Hello, Brand new to this group...........There is a National Reconciliation Day April 2,,, If you Google NATIONAL RECONCILIATION DAY – April 2 you will find more helpful information
Here is part of a post.............
HOW TO OBSERVE #National Reconciliation Day
Take that step and make amends.
It’s not too late. Reach out to that friend or loved one and make a fresh start.
Accept the olive branch when it is offered.
Share your experiences of reconciliation.
Use #Reconciliation Day to post on social media.
First, I am grateful for finding this website and all the contributors- it helps immensely to know I don’t grieve or struggle alone. I’ll share a bit about me, my parents, my marriages, children, step children, grand children and my coping with three of 8 adult children that are in various phases of adult child parental alienation.
Tina, your site is very valuable. Thank you for providing this forum. I found it so helpful just to know there are others like me - we aren’t alone. It is such a painful plight to be cast off by someone we had such a close and intimate bond with, someone we care so much about and dreamed of a future with... Just some company on “alienation island”, even if not for other reasons, helps so much. I’m learning a lot and I’m grateful for finding this site.
I’ve been in various forms of therapy for 35 years and have had my kids in therapy many times during their childhood. I had a toxic parent and had to heal. I did not want to pass on the bad behaviors of my angry abusive father and my invisible mother to my blooming family. I wanted to be a loving accountable parent, I wanted to heal from my childhood wounds, I felt they needed to have an advocate when conflicts arose. I feel it is helpful for kids and parents to have a professional advocate. I have four adult daughter’s, one is a step. All have now or have had therapists. And yet, One of my daughters has alienated me - no contact for almost three years, and another, her sister - has alienated me, returned, and has again recently threatened to alienate me in the future.
The man I have lived with for almost a decade, whom I am marrying later this year, also has four adult daughters - only one of which is his biologically. This one daughter has alienated him (bare minimum contact) since we became a couple (at the behest of his 2nd ex wife). But I’m actually dear friends with her biological mother (his first ex wife) and close to her half sister - keep up, it gets complicated!
All of the children are legal adults - we are empty nesters. All of us (me, him, all the ex’s and all the children) are well educated (in college or graduates, or advanced degrees). No one is or has ever been in rehab for substance abuse, only my ex has ever been arrested for any reason.
Everyone who isn’t in school full time is gainfully employed in a career (except one of his daughters who hasn’t seemed to launch, and is still just working “get along” jobs). Only two of the 8 daughters are under 20 (still in college), only 1 under 30, all the rest older than 30. Two of his daughters have one child each, one of my daughters has three children. So there are 5 grand children.
Two (one for each of us, both single/never married) are alienated. One more of mine and two more of his fluctuate their alienation. All of the alienated children have a bitter parent/step-parent in their lives.
I believe acceptance and therapy have been incredibly helpful to me for coping with the alienation. Both in acceptance of the child’s choice to cleve from the family (dealing with disappointments and missed moments), and with my acceptance of the child and choices she/they make that I don’t think are helpful to their future options. And - I hate that I can’t control contact - I have been forced to accept her boundaries even when I don’t understand or agree with them. I get angry (thanks dad) but I learn to sort through it and move on.
I also believe now is not forever - lifecycles create change. Don’t convince yourself the alienation will go on forever, or that it will end some day soon (leading to more disappointment). I try with much effort and focus to take one day at a time, remember the good times we did have, and focus on acceptance - me of them, and me of the whole current situation. I try to let go of dreams that may never come.
I believe the circumstance improved for me when I allowed myself to grieve - same process for any unimaginable loss of a dream or control. I have felt this is an important step for me to cope and let go.
I have to remind myself, our children are people - now adults. They don’t have to share their lives and they certainly don’t have to negotiate control. Just as I was once a child who did not or could not agree with my parents and/or the way i may have been treated - my children may not understand me, and may not care enough to be able to try, or accept us in their lives now. Maybe they need to heal, maybe we have to let go. I feel both sides likely need to find forgiveness and acceptance. If I can’t (forgive or accept), there’s likely no there there for us. Maybe I want it, but maybe not at any price.
I do not believe all alienation is for the same reasons.
So listening to different stories and reflecting on my own family - as me the child and me the adult, or me the step-spouse, or step-mom - helps me a lot in forums like this. Thank you for the time you’ve taken to share with strangers of a common pain.
A great deal can be about mental health issues (young adults don’t have a frontal lobe until they are late 20’s - a lot can change after that shows up!). Also, I looked to my family tree - there’s mental health issues in our tree, why wouldn’t they show up in the kids? and grand kids? Not a solution, but maybe a symptom that helps me find something I can do to help or understand our issues.
I’ve noticed a great many of us have a bitter non-cooperative ex parent in the mix. Our plight should be part of the justice systems’ counseling program for divorcing parents - we are “the ghosts of ‘Christmas’ future”. Those parents in the court room right now fighting for custody should hear from us what happens to the families that play a hand in the “bitter ex alienation wars”. It’s heartbreaking for everyone (but so is staying in a toxic relationship - so you don’t have easy choices - choose your battles carefully). But we should educate those who follow in our footsteps.
Siblings and the spouses of our children also show up in these discussions on contributing factors of alienation. I don’t personally have that in my mix. Three of our eight daughters are married, only one is divorced (civilly so, thank goodness), four are still single and three of those four are very young. The married ones all seem to have supportive-spouse behaviors towards the family blend and have navigated the barbs with impressive diplomacy or are unaware of other family issues and have no turf.
Thanks for reading my thread - if you’ve gotten this far - you are certainly entitled to a merit badge of some sort. I do hope for all of us that we can heal and find compassion for our children who choose to live without the imperfect love of their family. And that we can all learn to better understand and navigate the role change - from authority figure to equitable adult - something I’ve struggled with but work to improve on every day.
As one of my daughters (the one who comes and goes, and lives with the sister who hasn’t spoken to me in almost 3 years) said to me recently - after we broke off a date and were trying to find middle ground
“I want to choose to be in your life, I love you - but I don’t need you. Be nice, be worth choosing.”
We rescheduled to have dinner tomorrow. 🤞
I am going through this with both of my 30 yr old kids.
It's hard for me to grasp because I would never have dreamed of doing this to my parents. I am so baffled by why they are both angry, and don't understand people not just reaching out to discuss a problem and work things out. It makes life so much easier. And how can I fix the problem if I don't specifically know what I've done? (I often feel that they just don't care for me and are glad to be away from me) I miss my kids so much that it aches so deep.
One of my biggest regrets is not cutting off complete ties with my biological parents from a very early age when I left home at 18. I allowed myself to be bullied and coerced to go and see them. They were the shame and humiliation of my life. Sorry if my post offends anyone, it’s just you do not know me and what were my circumstances back then. They did not deliberately set out to harm me but of course they did. My biological mother had very severe learning disabilities and being Ill equipped for life and unsocialised I was abused over and over outside the home and at school. I was terrified of leaving my impoverished and grotty surroundings because I would be attacked on the streets if I bumped into any kids from school. At 11 I was removed from home by the local authority childrens services and placed in what would have been known as an orphanage. There the abuse continued. I was not a strong child and was forced to live with other children whos parents were mostly in prison. I went back to my parents some weekends and while back there an older man sexually abused me. I did not understand what was happening. When I finally left home at 18 I went through more abuse, physically and emotionally from various partners. I had three children in one marriage who are now adults and two more from another relationship. When my older ones were little their father abandoned us and I did not cope well. I was still very immature and quite young. I consider that I was a bad parent and did not put my own children before my own emotionally broken needs I have since told them I am sorry, but the damage is done. You can forgive but you cannot turn back the clock and undo the damage. My middle two have suddenly cut ties with me. I had major surgery this year and they did not enquire about my health. They have cancelled visits on failed to show up without explanation. I will let them go.
I am broken and hurting and understand what other parents are facing when estranged from a child, however the logic is that for centuries society has been conditioned to expect parents and children to be family forever. If it happens and you have a relationship with your adult children, thank your lucky stars, it’s not to be taken for granted. Fact; our children owe us absolutely nothing and should not be made to feel or be forced to love us and keep in contact. There is often a personality clash. We cannot have a relationship with everyone family or not. This is what I am going to have to accept……eventually. It’s going to be very hard and I am grieving right now. I am forced to believe that my two youngest will also cut ties with me when they too leave home. I am seeing the signs now, even though I am a different parent. I have a partner, he is not the childrens father, and he has poor health. We are not young. I can clearly imagine that I will die very much alone. Even so, I did not have children to take care of me in old age, but I did hope for love and friendship. Unfortunately for all of us it is not a right, painful as it is for me.
I’m in the very same situation as you 😢
My situation as been going on for many years now, of & on.
My son as been so ruthless and cruel & many things aren’t true at all. His mind gets messed with the influence of drink. Hard working son. But drink only a couple changes his thoughts & personality. Bless you Flo, I do agree we gave to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. We have to have HOPE 👍
My 2 daughters have distanced themselves off and on for the past 2 years . People who knew my family are shocked to hear this news. The “triggering event” happened when their father passed away 4 years ago after a long illness ( For the previous 15 years he was disabled. I worked to support us. I moved us 4 times during that period to new towns to be near my daughters ( mostly at their request) I was very involved with my grandchildren and cared for them during this time . I now see that I have too much of myself and enabled my daughters to expect all of my life to be dedicated to them .
15 months after my husband’s death I decided to date. I met Tom online and we had an instant connection. This alarmed my daughters and they set out to discredit him as a worthy suiter. They searched for persons on Facebook for anyone connected to Tom. They found the daughter of his previous girlfriend of 7 years. They called her and got what they were looking for : a man with a past and submitted the info during a counseling session. They said I should break up with him and the therapist concurred. Mind you , she was only going on hearsay, she had not met him.
So, feeling confused and pressured, I did break it off . This started a roller coaster pattern of me grieving over losing him and the threat of losing my family. Tom hung in there and waited for me to decide what to do. At no time did he put an ultimatum on choosing him over family.
Ultimately, all I wanted was to have a relationship with Tom while keeping a relationship with my family. They were the ones who created an ultimatum and cut off communication with me .
We got married a year ago . I invited them to the wedding but they refused. I haven’t had a relationship with my family for over a year .
I ‘ve kept the door open . They say it’s just too hard to be with him. It’s not that he behaves badly or anything like that. He has been warm and welcoming to them.
I should add my second daughter ( whom I have been closest to ) has come to our house a handful of times and brings my 11 year old grandson. She has a mental illness - anxiety and bipolar disorder. She says it’s just too upsetting for her to be in a relationship with me. The oldest daughter and granddaughter want nothing to do with me. I have a therapist- she is shocked by their behavior. As she says - I’m an emancipated adult who can run my own life . She says “if they only knew what awful things parents have done to their children they would think differently. “
I’m heartbroken, of course, but know in my heart I was a very good mother and grandmother who deserved a good life after devoting 52 years to my daughters’ lives .
Nancy, similar situation is happening to us, to my husband and I. Most of the sour issues became evident when let his girlfriend to decide when and where to expend the vacations. He met his girlfriend during college, start living together as soon he graduated. At first they will take turn to visit the family specially in holidays. Then, because he is too busy and work is too demanding, he would rather stay either a his place or to his girlfriend's parents. It was understandable we were isolated by the recent pandemic, but then he started to distance from us. Because, our daughter, his younger sister, would not like the girlfriend (there are good reasons why), he would prefer not to come to visit us. Even when we tried to solve in our terms the distancing and lack of clear communication with him, he had proposed to have a family therapy, and this has to included his future fiancee. I said to him really?, that is a long distance therapy, and with your girlfriend?. Why don't you make the time to come to talk to us?, he said, no, it is too much travel for him and yes, his girlfriend is part of his family, why excluding her?.
As you might say, there was not trauma when children are growing up, but apparently we wouldn't really know. We are immigrants and my son already mentioned he had been affected by our cultural differences and the way we handed out our family roles. While there is some true in all those complex situations, we know for sure, he and his sister, were given the best of our lives, trying to present on the most important aspect of their lives, gave them the best education...and now we are so disappointed, sad and hurt. Should we just accept that this is part of life?, maybe some day our children become parents, and then they would understand how difficult is this task.
Good luck Nancy with your counseling, I hope you get your questions answered.
Emotional Pain...apparently it's real. Estrangement is a bullet that's hard to recover from... Reading Tia Wakefield's "...three step..." recommendations I was compelled to write a short comment. Never seen such bad (cheap) advice... not so much about seeking some assistance in processing the estrangement...more so that her perspective leans heavily in favor of the child's decision to cut ties with a parent. She takes this Elysian approach that you need to be self-deprecating and "..be prepared to own your mistakes..."
Nonsense... If the child wants to lash out and dump the parent(s) under the bus, it does not mean automatically the parent(s) did one thing(mistakes) wrong. Decades ago I was involved in "rescuing" minor children, teens, from a cult group in Ojai California. The parents didn't do anything wrong. The individual child was brainwashed. There was no validation for an "amends" letter in this scenario.
Notice how Ms. Wakefield denies any description or explanation or parameters of what an "amends letter" comprises or entails. There is a reason she skips over this Folks.
For the most part, this quote from her "recommendations"...
"You may struggle with hearing how you have disappointed or hurt your grown child, while your child may get overly invested in hanging onto the anger they have because it feels good to keep blaming someone when you feel wronged by them."
Sorry... You are not responsible for what someone else, "thinks" no matter how they arrived at their "thinking decision" to be estranged from their parent. Obviously, there are instances of behaviors from both parent and child and even just from a parent(s) that leads to estrangement.
But given Ms. Wakefield is predisposed to automatically assign responsibility, some or all of the responsibility, to the parent, is just a way to suggest her notions of "wisdom" equates to a "let's create a comprise" so the child and parent can accept and maybe agree to or on an amicable solution.
Sort of like a cheap lazy lawyer when you ask to get justice and the lawyer tries to get you to compromise and share some guilt, making his job much easier and more profitable for him/her with the least amount of work.
This will not erase or cure whatever caused the estrangement in the first place and I could give a list of conditions that would not assign blame to a parent(s). I do agree, people have been programmed to "hope" which may or may not be healthy depending on the facts and terms of the estrangement.
Which, in this article, the child, for the most part, has initiated the estrangement and set the terms.
What I can say, is the circumstance of a child's estrangement can split you, your heart and your mind, your sense of reality, into two or more pieces and it is more than just tuff to hold it together, at times or what feels like all the time.
Many estrangements will not end well as the beginning of this article points out in its lead-in quotation. Acceptance and this quote below may be the only solace from a child/parent estrangement.
"Love seeks one thing only, the good of the loved one. It leaves all the secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward."
— Thomas Merton
I’m a single mother of a 37 year old daughter, who since puberty has showed signs of discontent with me. She didn’t come to me as a teenager and as a young adult she left home and moved in with a boyfriend. She has always been smart and way ahead of the class, and able to handle many accomplishments at once. She always had a great job and now she owns a house.
She is not happy with me. I find her bossy and always ready to tell me what I’m doing wrong. I feel like I have to think twice before I say anything to her for fear of being criticized or cold in her communication.
I had her when I was 33 . Her dad was a one night stand and I have never had any kind of relationship with him and now I feel like I am spending my life apologizing for having a child without a marriage. I don’t know if she holds that against me but I don’t seem to be someone that she wants to spend any good amount of time with.
The way she talks to me and the things she says hurt very deeply. I have been told to go on with my life and try not to be so obsessed over the situation, and I do for awhile but it’s hard to be treated that way by your only child. I get depressed and I feel a huge fear of losing her in my life. I have tried to communicate with her in loving, gentle, understanding ways and I put up with her verbal abuse. I live with this huge pain in my heart.
Hello, I'm a single mother of three, and grandmother of six.
My two oldest Adult children are thirty-four, thirty-two, they have not only cut me out, my eldest and his current wife have purposely and vindictively set out to cause me physically and mentally abuse. Why? I really have no idea? SERIOYSLY. I raused all my children from day one alone, well with my mother mostly. Very young i did not get the degree, or education i should have to earn the income to comfortably be on our own. However they always had all they needed, that the law required. No suport from their biological father ever. However i made them spend time with him and his family as they grew up, to know both sides. The struggle was and is real. We where very close until their teen years when. They realized certain family members had money, they choose to move away from me. Our relationship became less abd less comunacation with no visits, until they graduated. Then they started having children and broought me back around. I was needed. I cherished every second i spoke or saw them. Til one day their significant other shared their true feelings for me. It was so brutal, so cut throat, that i had not seen this comming. Now three years pass. And i get gossip from friends that i have said something ir did something badly towards them? That is not true. I dont understand why they continue to lie and pull me in when they obviously want nothing to do with my broke drama life. My youngest child is still with me and has a small part in there lives, by their choice. I encourage a stronger better relationship to her big brother and sister always, but they seldomly include her or communicate with her for reasons i can only guess? They are materialistic and self-centered adult children. They cant benefit through her right now, so she is put on the back burner til further notice. My youngest says she sees them as distant friends of mine, not as her brother and sister, always has felt that way. My adult children i raised, are excellent hard working, committed to their partners, children, friends, pay their bills on time, respectful to all others, and pets. Their relationship has gotten strong with their biological father even tho he never was or wanted to be around. I devoted my time my life to my children, and grandchildren, and now im the one person cast out and none of my family members will step up to help with mending this estranged tragedy with a broken mother and her children. Everyone knows i am and have been a devoted parent. Schools, doctors, friends, family.. But seem to think this is what i deserve. I am trying to live everyday with this, and move it behind my tears i hold back. Holidays are much much harder. Where im the only one not included. I spend alone. I do pray for them that they are healthy, happy and suffer not. But to show them that alienating me for whatever reasons? Judgging me holding grudges for whatever ive done or not done? They will see im not perfect. Were all sinners but to see the error in their decessions, before its to late. Is my prayers. Thanks for any advise, or comment's in my broken family life. My prayers for everyones family that you just love them all unconditionally.
I would like to give hope to the people on here. I was estranged from my dad for awhile after some hurtful comments he made to me when I introduced my newborn son to him as a single mother. I tried to keep lines open and invite him over or go to dinner with my dad, his wife and my son as he grew up over the years.
I finally got a letter around the time of the shut down with Covid and in it my dad apologized and took responsibility for that time when he made hurtful comments. I now talk to him regularly and went down to visit with him and his wife, staying in their home for a few days.
There is hope. I always had wanted this but it did take a changing of his heart towards me and acknowledging some hard truths to allow the trust to be rebuilt.
Now my son has turned against me with his father who always had it in for me throughout his life and I am so sad but I am trying to hold on to the hope that one day he will see me in the light that I saw my father.
I’ve been estranged from my daughter for about 5 years,she texts me every 2 months but I haven’t seen her or my 5 year old granddaughter in 4 years.My granddaughter&I were very close and I miss her a lot.My daughter isn’t talking to me because we bought a house together 6 years ago and sold it 2 years later.She couldn’t buy me out.I wanted the house sold because of her husband,my son-in-law.If he wasn’t around we would be talking today.We had to sell the house because of him.I had to go to rehab because I started to drink more living with him.I didn’t know how to cope with him.He has a temper,he’s vindictive and not well liked.He controls my daughter,I told her that one day and so has my mom.
When I was in rehab,they got married,they didn’t tell me.I found out from my sister,I was heartbroken.I know it was my son-in-laws idea.They were mad when I told them I was selling the house,that’s why they did it.I was in rehab for a couple months and I had an apartment lined up when I left there.I told my daughter that I was going to come and get my stuff when I got out.When I got there with the movers,my son-in-law blocked the driveway so the truck couldn’t get in,he decided to paint the wooded floor of the mud room that is at the front door so the movers couldn’t move things from the front door.I went around to the back and he had the locks changed because my key wouldn’t work,I banged on the door to let me in.He told the movers that he was going to make this move difficult for me.I had to call the police because of him.My daughter wouldn’t do anything.I left with my clothes,tv,dresser,bed and other small
things.I left all my furniture there,dishes,microwave.Most of the stuff in the house was mine.I texted my family about what he was doing and they told me to just leave.I was in tears that he did this,and It was on the advice of my doctor that I needed my own place.I would of stayed if my son-in-law wasn’t around.He asked the movers my new address but they wouldn’t give it to him.They knew he was a problem,I was so glad they helped me move.That is why I don’t see my daughter&grandaughter.I know it’s not her,it’s my son-in-law.I just wish she would open her eyes to see what he’s doing.I don’t know why adults use their kids as a pawn of control against grandparents,they are just hurting the kids by not having a relationship with grandparents.He ruins relationships with people around him.He doesn’t talk to his parents.My ex-husband doesn’t say anything,he knows if he did he wouldn’t be seeing her either.I don’t know why they can’t put this behind them.Why dwell on the past?I would be talking to my daughter if the shoe was on the other foot.
My siblings have talked to her but she won’t listen to them.She was close to them.
This is awful what he has done,and he won’t change.
I'm so sorry you are going through this with your son. I can only imagine how heartbreaking this must be. We have an article that may offer you a bit of help through this difficult time: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/grieving-your-child-whos-gone-wrong/
We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Take care.
My 29 year old daughter started ghosting me about 8 mos. ago. We were planning a big wedding for October and navigating the covid situation. We were also very close at her persistence. She called me daily until she lost her job. She even said she wished I could be her maid of Honor. She gave no explanation for shutting me out. I handled it very poorly. I'm sure it could have been fixed with a conversation, but was never given the opportunity to make whatever amends needed to made. I have also apologized for anything/everything I can think of. My husband and I were left out of all wedding plans, but were able to attend. She was cordial while in front of everyone.
I almost never sleep well. I typically go over and over everything in my head at night with her- arguing, explaining, apologizing, yelling, crying. It's getting better, but it still can come back after the lights go off.
I am reconciled to this being the new norm, but she has a great deal of stuff in our garage. She gets mail at our house. Her car has my name on it. Do I take it all to her? Ignore her mail that arrives? Let my son take her mail or stuff to her?
I'm just not sure what to do. I don't want to make it worse, but the anger is fighting with the "you need to be the adult" feeling. Hoping she would have some epiphany about what she's given up, but after reading what others have been going thru, I'm not going to hold my breath.
My daughter and I have always been extremely close. We are so alike it's scary sometimes. She is brilliant graduated from high school a year early to walk with her brother and her boyfriend. Little did I know she was pregnant at this time. Her bf was going into the military and I know she got pregnant put of fear of losing him. We had our battles during this time but I supported her while he was away at basic training and a school. When I got upset that he was not helping her with anything she decided to move into his parents house. This is right before my grandson was born. I was there for the delivery, we stayed close throughout the issues she had with her in-laws and her husband. She had another child. Then suddenly she blows up and says she wants a divorce(this wasn't new...she had been stalling) He moved out immediately. I start hearing rumors pretty quickly that she is seeing her brothers old best friend. Her brother(who she is obviously close with..or was) and this guy hate each other. So she is now not speaking to her brother. Says she is an adult and doesn't have to have people in her life if she doesn't want to. She has cut the grandparents out of the boys lives completely. Their dad is a pos but his parents have always been really good to the kids! His mom is a lot to deal with but I know she loves and misses the kids. So I have voiced my opinion over her choices. I don't have to agree with everything she does. But she didn't come to my mother's for Thanksgiving and now plans to miss Christmas as well because it will be uncomfortable for her bf to be around her brother. I got upset about this and told her. She has basically cut me off(even more now) I wasn't invited to my grandsons birthday party. She had it at her bf's mom's house. Nothing big she said...it wasn't a big deal. I had presents for him at my house from my mother and I since Thanksgiving. She never came to get them until I put them on the back porch so she could grab them while I was gone. I am so upset over this . I always wanted a daughter. We did everything together. We used to talk 3 or 4 times a week at least. She stopped taking my calls even before this argument. I am worried what is going on over there. Her bf is super controlling. He flipped out on the parent of her childhood best friend on Facebook because he was drunk and didn't realize who he was. I miss my daughter and my grandsons. I don't know what to do to fix this. I have apologized. She just said okay, when can I pick up the presents.
Sorry this is so long :(
I thank you all for sharing your stories, I found some similarities and comfort to my story.
In hopes that someone finds some comfort reading my story, here's mine:
I married young, (at 18) and had my children really early on as well. Unfortunately, after 15 yrs of marriage we divorced. My children were 15 &(twins)12. After the divorce, their dad became absent and the seldom times he saw them, he would end up hurting them much more. It was hard to see their dad un-love his own children, that I over-compensated by over-protecting them. After almost 2 yrs of heartaches, I found someone I could make a life with and decided to give myself a new chance. Saw an opportunity to move to a different state and took it. Perhaps, that was the beginning of the downfall. By this time, my oldest was 18, and the twins 15, I figured the move would bring us new experiences, new beginnings. It would only benefit us all, so I thought. As much as I wanted to blend my family, and even though we all lived together, I never let that be. My own experience with my step-dad wasn't the greatest, so I didn't want my children to experience a step-parent. Needless to say the dynamic of the new family was strenuous. Despite all, things were okay between my children and I. I figured, the disagreements we'd have were normal adolescence tantrums and they would grow out of that behavior sooner or later.
My oldest is 23 now, and last year she moved back to our home state, but after only 6 months, had to move come back due to COVID19. She moved in with friends, and hardly visits me. About 2 months after she moved back, we had an argument out of the blue. I tried to ask her why she was so upset, and all I got was "I don't want to talk to you. You're overbearing". It's been a little over a month that we have talked. I've only tried a couple of times to reach out to her, since I want to respect her boundaries, but this is killing me slowly. Her and her sister (20, who still lives at home) are extremely close. They work together and even spend the weekends together. I noticed my younger daughter turning on me after a weekend with her. I try not to ask her about her older sister, because I know that would only put stress on her. She is extra-sensitive these days, because my son, her twin brother, is on deployment in the Mediterranean sea, and we recently got word, we may not see him right after his return due to the virus.
At this time, I'm trying to focus on other things in my life and really try to stay happy and positive. I'm trying to give her the space she wants, however it's heart wrenching not to be able to reconcile with her. I feel, that if I don't try to mend things, she will not try to reach out to me. Mainly because I think she's emotionally immature. I'm considering counseling to help me cope with the pain and help me understand this transition of parenting young adults. Your comments are much appreciated.
I wrote my daughter an apology letter and dropped it off at her work. I apologized for being "overbearing" I reminded her I am only human and make mistakes. I started reading a couple books on parenting "young adults" This has helped me understand where she's coming from, to realize that she wants me to let her be an adult, allow her to make her own mistakes. And just be there for her, if/when she asks for my help. One line I read, that helped my broken heart was "remember their expression of resentment or anger don't equal lack of love"
Best wishes to all ~ Young-mom
Please find a therapist for yourself. I was drowning with sadness about my daughter and the ongoing estrangement. Physically I was hurting - rapid heartrate, not eating property, no exercise, drinking too much. I've gone back to gym coz I only have this one old body (70 yo), seeing a wonderful therapist, having at least some fruit in a.m. and have cut back on alcohol tremendously. My daughter rejects me, then calls me, then wants to see me, then rejects me, etc. it is a continuing cycle and I have to find solace but it won't be from her. At all. I do believe the light at end of tunnel is dimming and that is horrible. But I have to live and take care of myself.
If no one in your orbit, join a service group near you like Rotary, or find a non-profit that could use volunteer hours. Seriously, by giving, you can receive other people's good vibes, good humor, good giving.
Get on with Living. You Have To for your own sanity. And for your own success. Your own happiness. You are allowed to be happy.
Here’s the thing, our family has always been very close, our son and daughter are 5 years apart. Both of our kids are treated equally we try our best as parents to help them with everything they need which includes medical needs, financial support, emotionally, mentally and have just been mom and dad with all kinds of ups and downs they have gone through. Anytime there was a problem we either talked it out or cried it out and even yelled it out, and the problem was solved. Now that our kids have grown up, our daughter has been married and divorced twice and our son has been married twice and divorced once. Welp our son has gone through cancer and has been doing great, he has met his 5 year cancer free. We are so very blessed and humble. Welp now our son has remarried and during the time he was dating her things were good, then they got engaged, well his lie moved pretty fast with so many changes,during this time of it all, our son was living in his memas house and was offered to buy part of the house, here’s the thing mema put the house into both of her boys names, and in the will she requested for the house to stay in the family. My husband’s brother wanted to sell his part, and my husband wanted to keep his part and let our son buy his uncles part of the house. Ok my husbands brother was written a check for his part from the realtor, then my husband brothers name was off the house and now the house was in my husband’s name and our sons name which meant our son took over the payment for his uncles half of the mortgage. Well our son lived there for 2 years and paid the payment and was working on some remodeling and then folks were giving him offers to sell it, my husband said no, this created a problem then our son stopped working on the house, and my husband had to pay for a contracted to finish it up and he himself had to complete the flip of the house. During this time our daughter put her house on the market it sold in a week she was not expecting that, it passed all inspections she had 3 weeks to move out. She had a baby and a house full of furniture and no where to live. She offered a large amount of money to our son, and asked him if she could live in the house and take up payments,her and her daddy agreed on it, and our son said he would move into his fiancé’s grandmas house until he got married so his daddy and I helped our son pack while he was out of town, when he came back we visited with him about his sister moving in and he was real quite about it and said ok. Welp the next day we went by to check on him, all of his stuff was moved out,a few weeks went by, and we thought everything was ok then things changed his fiancés grandma had sold the house he was living in and her family gave her all the money and then he asked money for the wedding we gave it to him, he did not introduce us to anyone as his family at the rehearsal or wedding we were so hurt. Then months went by and one day his daddy took him too lunch and our son told him he did not want anything else to do with us. Time has gone by and off and on we do talk to him but only at his job, other than that he we do not communicate with him unless there is a death or something major. He hadn’t been to our home in 3 years, he is still married to this women and he does not have anything th do with us outside of work and had asked us not to text him. I continue to leave messages and voicemails to let him know we love him and miss him. We’re heart broken, frustrated and just not sure what else to do♥️
Turtle Dove 🕊
I'm the estranged adult child.
I know this is about our kids not speaking to us.. I, however,am the adult daughter who nobody speaks to.. Why? They couldn't handle me expressing my feelings, and, they didn't like being pointed to the mirror!
This is more common than people would admit.. Personally, I don't know many families without these issues!
I know this won't be much in the way of consolation but in this situation there really isn't much to be had. I will tell you that I am (I really dislike this term) an "adult child" who had to do just as you described. The individual is saying clearly, and in no uncertain terms that they do not wish to be contacted. I understand it might be painful, but, if that is their wish, it is best to respect it if you want to have any chance of possible communication in the future. They may soften in their position over time. If you show that you respect their wishes, maybe it will show that you will respect their feelings as well, and give them some urging to reach out to you.
It would have worked with me.
Good luck to you
Hi, since I am a parent who is fresh to being estranged, (no abuse, loving) have a question -from your point of view, do the children not feel any sense of respect towards their parents, and for all of their parents’ kindnesses and sacrifices? I know generationally speaking, despite my mom‘s flaws and wrongdoings in parenting us kids, for the rest of our lives, I always respected her and did not hold a grudge toward her for her mistakes in raising us. I understood why she did the things she did, and focused on all of the positive things she did in raising us. The parenting styles of the 50s and 60s could absolutely be classified as “traumatizing“ for sure by today’s standards, but back then, that’s just how it was. But now, it seems the children in their 20s are all traumatized and are putting up boundaries which we did not have or even think about when we parents were growing up. It just seems that the adult child is now demanding all types of boundaries and respect, without reciprocating any type of respect whatsoever in the form of courtesy, kindness or common decency. Just wondering. Thank you.
I don't know. I think that I am at the point that I might not even love my son anymore.
Its been 2 years of about 15 visits - his mom did the Paternal Alienation Thing - married a very successful guy and they have used tons of $ to lure my 16 year old. He calls the other guy dad, doesn't see me (I am recovering from prostrate cancer), stole $ from me, and just doesn't want to see me.
I was a great dad.
Now, I am on meds to help me cope - thank God. I am a Christian and have given it to Jesus Christ - but in my heart I know this is a lifetime break and I had my son late in life - I am now 65 (very fit, active, working). But it is like a cloud lifted and I am moving on,,,, not moving fast, but starting to move on...
anybody else feel this way?
My son is twenty he can be aggressive and he can be violent , and especially now he is older and much bigger he has physically got the better than me so it took a long time for me to forgive him , I'm not sure I should but I'm a big softie so I couldn't see him sleeping outdoors .
Now we are both getting on but it's not a father , son relationship
I am a recovering addict and doing well but now he is using weed and I feel responsible obviously , living in fear S.
Healing Heart thank you so much again! Your words have really given me a lot to think about. I have reached out to her so many times and even apologized for things I don't even know why or what I am apologizing for! But you're right....I have two other kids that love and appreciate me and at this point I will devote my energy towards them and myself. I don't ask them what her issues are because I don't want them to get in the middle of their sisters' stuff. But I suppose as mothers we are the 'safest' to 'dump' on because our kids know we will never abandon them. Life is finite. And hopefully someday she will realize that. Again thank you for your kind messages.
I'm also going to order the book!
Sometimes things our adult children do makes no sense, we can't control them or force them to be in our lives. The more we beg, the more they push away and the smaller we feel. It's best to just step back, and with every time of not texting and carrying on with your own life, the easier it will get. I love my daughter, my only daughter but the buttons she used to push by playing cat and mouse is now deactivated. You have help father on your side it seems? Your husband who share the same sorrow, focus on each other...i look at it this way, if I get sick from holding on, obesseing over her, neglecting my marriage then what. If my spouse or I go because of this...take care of yourself that's needs to be done and best revenge is to live well..
I understand your feelings of anger. I seem to vascillate between hurt and anger as well. I'm trying to learn to let go and just hope that someday she'll come around. Perhaps it's best if we give them their 'space'. I've stopped contacting her and trying to reach out because like you, I have nothing left to say that I haven't already said many times. I'm hoping that my absence will perhaps spark a desire for her to return but if not then I have to accept that. That will never be easy but there's nothing left to do.
The book Mothers with difficult Daughters has been helpful. At least we know we are not alone.
I never did find out why and when I tried to breach the subject she flew off the handle. I have kept my distance and slowly she sends a text of acknowledgement but I don't obsess over it and keep busy with my own life. I did hear thru other sources that it has nothing to do with me and it's her unhappiness on how her life is going. Remember that daughters need their mothers as much as we do them, they just don't value or realize how short life is and think they have all the time in the world so take us for granted. In other words they park the relationship and comfortable with that...while we are so enamored with the fantasy that we will be best of friends as we once were.
Give it some time, money is not everything...give that love to yourself and others that appreciate you and when she's ready to talk then you will be able to decide at what level you want to be in her life vs versa. Good luck.
My heart is broken for the last time. My just turned 30 year old daughter is slowly excommunicating me from her life and I don't know why. When I ask her what is going on she just tells me that the doesn't want to go into depth at the moment but that 'we are not in a good place right now". I have made several attempts to get to the bottom of her issues with me and she refuses to discuss them. At one point when I was unexpectedly uninvited to her boyfriends bday dinner with no explanation she just screamed at me on the phone until I couldn't take it anymore. Nothing she said made sense. And nothing I say or do is right. I am always the bad guy. And boy does she project her own behavior on me! She accuses me of the very things she is doing or saying even at that very moment. I have offered to go to therapy with her and she agrees but is never available to do so. I returned three months ago back to our home town and she has clearly become very close to her father (we have been divorced for some time) as well as her young stepmother. Her father is also a multi millionaire and I am merely middle class. He has funded a restaurant for her chef boyfriend as well.
The last straw of hurt from her was two days ago when I wasn't even invited to her birthday dinner which happened with her father ( he and I are very civilized and have shared many bday dinners with our children, so the issue is not his) So, I as the mother of the bday girl was not included to celebrate her milestone birthday! This hurts so much that i cannot bear it. Especially since I don't know what Ive done to deserve this. I have sent her so many messages telling her that no matter what I still and will always love her and sent her a happiest of bday wishes. This is killing me and I don't know what to do. I was so excited to be moving back and finally being close again to one of my kids but all she does is shun me away. It's almost as though she is mad because I came back and now my presence is somehow interfering with her wonderful relationship with her father (who is now her best friend she told me) and stepmother. The ones with all of the money. Its hard for me to just let it go and hope that she comes around. All I ever wanted is a close respectful and loving relationship with my kids which I have with my other daughter and son. But not her for some reason, my middle child. She also tries to pit us all against each other . I spent so may years prior to my divorce basically raising those kids on my own because dad was never around. And this is how she treats me. I am heart broken. There is nothing worse than 'not knowing why'.
Thank you for your words of reassurance. If I only knew what it was that was upsetting her so much it would help me to figure things out a little better I think. The hardest part is that she praises her father and stepmother on social media, which just adds insult to injury. I almost feel like she is doing it on purpose to hurt me yet I don't know for what. Very passive-aggressive. Did you ever find out why your daughter did that?
Avenger1 It's sounding like there's a possibility that your son-in-law has some influence over your daughter's thinking and perhaps, even influencing her reaction/lack of them to your reach-outs to her???? It *may* be his influence that's causing this so, expecting him to help you with her, is like asking a pyromaniac to put out a fire???? His family is likely lost in being able to help you with this too because *if* it is him who is controlling the situation and your daughter, he's also manipulated his own family as well.
I've even tried to ask our daughter (via email) to explain to us what it is that she wants us to do, No response from her and I recognize that it's because she has NO idea what that might be. Her boyfriend hasn't told her that much as he doesn't want her to be part of anyone else except him (he's isolated her from everyone, including all of her former friends and she has no current friends).
Perhaps, this is a similar situation????
If that is the case, then there really isn't anything that you can do. This isn't in your control....as sad as that sounds and is.
Someone recently told me a very wise piece of advice..."stop waiting and get on with Life".
Easier said than done though. This much I know. HUGS
Avenger1 @Heartbrokenparent I have lived with a situation of Child who wants to break off with me due to her differences with her father. There were undue expectations from both ends and pointing fingers and excessive anger. I have lived through a situation where I could see that both were right at times and both had their own faults but I could never question my husband/my daughter's father's love towards her. Yes, things were said in anger from both sides. And both of them thought and complained that I was supporting the other person. Now my child has stopped communicating with me since I can not just leave my husband. What does she want me to do, get up leave my husband and destroy a family life for my younger child? She refuses to communicate with me and has been extremely rude and wants to cut off all ties.
I have noticed that in this younger generation, the moment they are angry; they start texting and calling their friends who are equally immature and inapt in handling relationships/hardships (not to say we are experts). The response they act out does not come from love or trying to understand or mend the situation but from the verbal sympathy and support they get from their friends who are just yea sayers, not the people who ask them to think it out but just add fuel to fire.
This is not to say that the blame is completely on the friend or social circle. I believe that how a person acts has to come from within. A spouse or friend may say something to you to behave a certain way for that moment but a person always has time to sit and reflect (unless they are doing drugs and are not thinking sane most of the time).
I also completely denied her weed smoking at home. It is absolutely not welcome in any case specially with my younger child watching her and thinking that it is ok to do !!!!!
As per my last communication, when I sent a gentle loving New Year wish I got a curt reply to respect her wishes to not to stay in touch.
Everyone's situation is different but I have only one solution that I have applied to myself and would like others to try. You can reach out if it feels good to your heart or not reach out if it gives you peace of mind. As a parent we all have done the best we could for our kids (most people do). But as an adult when they want to walk away, let them. Live your life. If your friends are judgmental, make new friends. Family will always understand, since they have seen all that you have done and what the child is doing.
I am Taking My Life Back. I have things to do for my younger child and my family. I do not have time to sit and sulk and find reasons for her estrangement, specially since she does not want to discuss them or mend the relationship. I am sure all she discusses with her friends is how she has been wronged. She went to a psychologist for therapy and I offered that we should go together but she does not want to do that, because she is afraid that we may tell the psychologist our point of view of it and then be told her share of the blame. It is so much easier to have a make believe cocoon where you are the victim and everything you do can be easily justified.
So, live your life and be at peace with yourself. You have one life (whether you believe in reincarnation or not), at least this one and you can not just throw it away. When they are ready and willing they will come back and if they don't, don't fret. This is what is making them happy.... and don't you want them to be happy ! They are just not in front of you and that is all.
I can understand the pain when you know that they are not in safe environment but that is their choice and has nothing to do with you and no reflection on you. They know that you are always there and will love them always. Maybe send one Last communication saying that you will always be there for them when they need you and then install a screen door on your mind and heart. Let only Love and Peace flow through.... no pain. Visualize it and pray for these kids everyday for few minutes and then go on with your lives. Be happy for your deserve it.
I just found this group today. I am so lost right now, My son is 24 and dating a woman who is 44 they have been together 3 years and I think they are getting closer and closer. Not that she is a 44 year old woman but she has taken my son to the lowest of lows. No job, no ambition but to take care of her and she claims she is so hurt she can't work. How about working from home as a customer service tech? She claims my dog who is 23 lbs caused her pre existing condition to progress where she can hardly walk. She can walk so her claims she is paralyzed, which she isn't I have first hand knowledge that she walked when he wasn't around but wish it would have been on a video ( not that he would have even believed that even with proof. she is a free spirit and a hippy and he is too thanks to her messed up brain messing up his brain.
She wants me to love her and open my home to her again as does he and I don't trust a thing she does. Every time we talk I end up fighting and crying for days after the fight. He wanted to block me because he grandmother said something to her / him on FB as they share an account and mostly it is her hiding behind his name. He has no will to do anything without her. Tries to tell me her kids are my grandkids and they are older than my son, as well as her grandchildren are his and they are my great grandchildren , they are in NO WAY MY GRANDCHILDREN!
I want nothing to do with this family and try to avoid my son as I hurt so bad and we fight so I want to cut ties with him , my husband still talks to him , I feel so helpless as he is her one person cult. I don' t know what to do.
ladymccoy You have made your child into a compassionate human being. Who he chooses to love in his life is completely his choice and may not coincide with yours. Believe me, I can completely understand your reservations with it, when I put myself into your shoes. Send periodic texts and emails to your son just reinforcing your love for him and not to have him estrange for this person. Whether he chooses to stay with her or not should be his decision (at least at this point in his life) and yours otherwise you will be blamed for it later on. IF he asks you for your point of view then you can provide him.
This boundary will help your relationship to stay strong.. You may tell him, that you are not making decisions for him and he should not make decisions for you (for who to accept in your life). In due course of time, things may get sorted out- which ever way it goes. Your peace of mind and happiness should not depend on who he cohabits with. Just find Happiness in your own life and be there for him when he needs you.
ladymccoy About the ONLY thing that I can say right now is that it's sounding like your son is young enough at 24 years of age that sooner or later, this 20 year age difference is going to catch up to this woman. The fact that her children are older than your son, is likely going to end up a sore spot eventually for your son in one way or another. It's sounding as though this woman wants a caregiver and in all honesty...what can your 24 year old son be getting from a "disabled woman"????
Perhaps, she's laid the guilt onto him and he's feeling the need to banish his guilt somehow. Hmmm...wondering if perhaps, offering up suggestions as to professionals who can help her (to your son) might be the way to go? Perhaps, he will feel that YOU are trying to help him to help her and might be a bond between the 2 of you???
I can only say that cutting ties with your son may not be the wisest of things to do. Perhaps, just letting this woman feed your son her ropes and letting her hang herself with him, is the only way to deal with this??? I know it's hard to bite your tongue but, perhaps....the only way to deal with this may be to speak to your son but, perhaps, not have this woman around you (if at all possible) and ask him to come visit you (without her)???
The moment that we show dislike in any way for our children's significant others, it seems to PUSH them towards these people more and drives them away from us.
ladymccoy You have choices to make, just as I did. (I had some background on what brought me to this site, but it vanished because of the way this site is set up, it has too short a time out before it kicks you off, then all is lost. They need to fix that, so I don't post often as a result). I read your post and thought it was worth it.
One, you can keep on being upset about your sons choices, and neglect your own life, and health. Two, you can decide to step back, and let him learn what the consequences of his choices are, for him! Three, you can contact CPS. If you can provide them with any evidence that her behavior is abusive, drug related, or violent toward the children. If not, you have no rights of involvement, only detachment from their situation.
If you did a good job raising him, he will eventually come around. It may take a month, it may take a decade. As I had to, you will have to get to that place where you find calm and peace in the realization that you are only able to change how you react to the situation. For me, that was a three year journey, and still holding on. Knowing my daughter is alive, happy and healthy is good enough for me, because it has to be. No one promised me a rose garden. I walk through the thorns, holding my head up high, anyway. I am still doing it.
If this woman is mentally unstable, -more serious than being a hippy, the worst thing you can do, is interfere, for your son's sake. You can check into her background at any public records department, since there is a father somewhere. Unless redacted, information may reveal helpful resources for you.
My opinion is that you stop giving away your power to live a happy life with your husband, -a real treasure in these trying times, if he supports you, and take back your power, before you lose everything dear to you. I learned that by going about my own situation, all wrong, I was adding gas to an already out-of-control fire. I often think it was/is a test of my own ability to live a balanced life of my own. I could have gone off the deep end, sure. I wanted to at times. If I didn't step back and look at my own behavior, I would have found myself in some seriously bad trouble, I just know it! BTW: I didn't have a husband to help me through it, at all. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Shattered heart As you say you did the best you could. I am no one to judge anyone's gambling habits and whatever they were, like you said, you never left your child wanting for anything. This generation seems to have a notion that they "deserve" to be taken care of. Even if there were problems in relationship they could have been worked out by talking but kids need to sometime be given the space they need (speaking from experience of having an estranged child). Sometimes, they do it to spite you deriving pleasure out of the misery it brings you. So, YOU need to pull yourself together. Get and get going in your life. If your gambling habit is a handicap for you and your family budget or relationship with your husband, seek counselling for that.
You rest of the life will be spent with your husband not with your daughter, even if she comes back in your life. So, mending relationship with your hubby-- make that your first priority. Sometimes it is possible to do it and sometimes not. So, if relationship with hubby does not mend even after efforts, do not fret. At least you are there for each other.
Your daughter, if she does not want you in her life- let her be. Just let her know periodically that you are there for her. If she chooses to not communicate at all, LIVE YOUR LIFE. Live Healthy do something for others. And start by changing your user name identity.. not ShatteredHeart but MendingHeart.. We are all here because we are dealing with our losses but they don't have to bring us down.
I'm very sorry for the terrible pain your family is suffering. I know it's very painful to be cut out of your child's life. It's a huge temptation to try to put other family members in the middle but unfair to everybody when we do it.
The negative results aren't worth it. Have you considered giving your blessing to your husband re-establishing contact with your daughter? It sounds like making a stand that she must interact with both of her two parents resulted poorly for everybody. Now, you don't get any news of her and on top of that, you get blamed for keeping her father from her.
My heart is very gentle towards you. I'm asking these questions, not because we have to know the answers, but for you to answer for yourself. If you answer to yourself truthfully, you help yourself a great deal. All of us need truth to ourselves or we are stuck in a victim mentality that only increases our pain and helplessness. I ask myself hard questions, too, and work at giving truthful answers because evading the truth and deceiving myself only increases my problems. We made some terrible mistakes as parents in our household, had some years where our marriage was a battleground and I spent years not telling myself the truth about and blaming others for our problems. No more. Because that only hurts us all more. I have to honest about my part in how we ended up estranged from our daughter because it's the only way to help myself. I don't know if my relationship with our daughter will ever be healed or if the damage done to her can be undone. But my goal has to be, first, healing for me. Only then may it be possible for other relationships' healing to follow.
I realize that might be hard to accept. What most of us want is to be accepted exactly as we are. But when our lives and relationships get so messed up that our children shut us out completely, we can't blame it all on them, can we? I mean, we can try, but it's not truthful.
I'd like to say my daughter has a mental illness, it's not my fault, any of it and she needs treatment and then we will all be okay. But that's not being truthful and anything less than the truth will not help. The truth is that I didn't accept responsibility for my part of our problems at all. I was sure I was a victim and I lied to myself consistently for years. And that ended with estrangement with our only daughter and me miserable and unsure I wanted to go on living. The only help is being truthful with myself. I say these things because I hope to help others who struggle with inability to accept the truth about their relationships. In the deep pain, we can still learn to see truth, stop skimming over it and make changes that help us.
Have you continued with the counseling and are you still working on the issues that you can work on? You mention your daughter said your gambling was a problem all of her life. it sounds like she considers this a big issue, but you don't? It sounds like she believes her parents should have been able to help more with college and her wedding but your gambling made that impossible. Perhaps there were also other things where gambling losses impacted the family? Does she have a point?
Or is it that she exaggerated the gambling impact on your family? Or are you perhaps not really acknowledging it? If the gambling hasn't changed and she believes that gambling losses negatively impacted her entire life, this could be an area you could address through counseling and making changes. This might be a demonstration of change that your daughter can't ignore.
Yes, if she could have come to counseling with you, that might help. I'm very sorry she refused. But you shouldn't stop working at the parts you can work at. Perhaps you and your husband could work at your marriage and that would benefit all of you.
I don't say these things to beat you up, dear heart. I'm just saying that living in this much pain is horrible. And if you can work towards bettering yourself and bettering your life while you are in the midst of so much pain, you will be stronger and more able to bear whatever else is happening.
Shattered heart When a child wants to find something wrong with their parent(s) they will. It won't matter what was done or not done when they are looking for a way out. If, as you've said, your daughter didn't suffer, then she has no grounds for her actions of estrangement except what she's built up in her own mind.
Perhaps, I am missing something but, there was something that must have happened when you went to visit on Mother's Day 2015. Was that a conversation about her feeling let down because of the lack of money? It sounds as though she was receptive towards you up until that point. What happened that day? Can you fill us in on what went on?
Shattered heart In reading and re-reading all of your responses now, I'm seeing a few possible puzzle pieces that I didn't see before and putting them together. I may not have a full picture to put together but, a few things might be the case here for your daughter and you.
First of all, it seems like your daughter may have been holding in a lot of resentment over her life and perhaps, manufactured a larger story than needed or was real in order to paint herself a full picture of her childhood and your marriage etc..
You mentioned 2 things that may or may not be party to the pieces that I'm looking at here.
First, you mentioned that she had a lot of angry feelings towards the gambling as Kc316 has already picked up on. She seems to be blaming you for this state but, seems to have shoved it down inside.
Secondly, it also appears as though you mentioning her father's ex girlfriend and the baby sitter etc., may have opened up "Pandora's Box" in terms of perhaps, repressed or simply squashed feelings towards your relationship with your husband.
In putting those 2 together, it's sounding more like she sided with your husband rather than you and has put 2 and 2 together to come up with a 5 that she can justify as seeing you as the "problem" in everything or, at the least, the catalyst for a lot of things that went wrong or that she thought of as going wrongly.
When she mentioned during that mother's day visit that you should either "get over it" or "move on", it's sounding to me (I could be misinterpreting it all as I can only hear one side of things) as though she was saying that it's "old hat now" and got fed up. Perhaps, she was even seeing the idea that you're still trying to hang onto your husband in spite of how you feel and yet...still trying to control the situation by friending an old girlfriend of your husband's. In other words, it seems that she got fed up with what she has seen as the last straw on the camel's back so to speak and simply decided after the fact that she didn't want or need what she may consider as "drama" anymore.
I could be wrong but, perhaps...if you got your life in order (i.e.: either decided that your husband isn't for you or...learned to live with his past indiscretions with peace) and showed her that you were getting help for gambling (even if only a session or 2 with someone professional) and really wanted to work things out with her...she *might* be receptive to talking things through???
I don't think it's going to be easy to undo the damage that she's imagined you doing to her and her life and her father, the marriage, etc.. True or not, SHE sees it as real and she's likely seeing it as a "hurt". Again, I could be wrong but, I think that perhaps, she's simply seen this all as time to back out of things that make her feel in a knot. That's NOT defending her at all....but rather, simply trying to figure out what went wrong and how to deal with her.
I'm wondering if perhaps, sending her a letter of apology (whether she's right or wrong...it's her vision of how things went) might do something???? Maybe, by saying that you recognize that you can see that she sees the gambling as having been an issue in her childhood (right or wrong...doesn't matter as it's her interpretation of things) and that you have come to a conclusion (whether you decide to stay or leave your husband...doesn't matter...just choose one and don't make her your confidante on anything further to do with your marriage???) Perhaps, you could even suggest that she and you go for some counselling sessions together and see what she says?? Maybe, if you show her that you're TRYING to make things better both for yourself and your relationship with her, she will see that there's hope and perhaps, she will be wiling to get together and at least talk to you??? I don't think "I love you" type statements is enough for her. I think that she wants/needs both an apology as well as to SEE a change and decision on your marriage one way or another as she's said. It seems that she either wants you to get over it or move on. If you're not going to move on...let her feel/think that you've gotten over it and don't bring it up again with her. It may be that she feels that she's between a rock and a hard place with both you and your husband. Maybe, that little bit of info that you gave her that day, opened up old wounds and she can't deal with the past anymore???
But, more importantly, no matter what your daughter does or doesn't do (you can't force her one way or another), it seems that you, yourself are still harbouring some deep hurts from your husband's issues that you're not over yet and *may* need some counselling for that factor for yourself in order to feel whole again??? If the gambling has stopped, then perhaps, that's not something that you need to deal with in and of itself anymore BUT...talking to a professional as to how your daughter might have seen it, might help as well??? I go for counselling to learn how to deal with my daughter's estrangement within myself, even though I can't do anything further right now. I still need to help myself and I think a lot of us do need that extra help.
Just think about it and don't dismiss it all right away. Again, no matter what it really was like or not like, your daughter saw it through young eyes and how it seemingly appeared to her. That's what really sets them off...how they saw things within themselves, through their own eyes.
HUGS and hoping this jogs something. Keep on talking. We're all in the same boat...just different lives.
Shattered heart Sorry, for some reason, your 2nd response didn't show up until I'd submitted my response to your first response.
Let me address something here. Did you ever stop to think that in knowing what your weaknesses were (i.e.: your dysfunctional family and fear that she'd do that to you) that perhaps, just perhaps, she found a "weakness" in you that she could "get back at you with" and use to her advantage? The ONE thing that she knows you were afraid of, was that she was going to walk out of your life and not have a relationship with you and she did it. She knew it would get to you and she...well...consciously or unconsciously, did it to you. Not responding is also a form of punishment. She knew it would get to you and it has. In other words, maybe, just maybe...she's found a way of hurting you and she's not ready to give up on that "punishment" yet? Hmmmm...you've made ME think about this with my own daughter now because I also came from a dysfunctional family and expressed something similar to her as well about fearing her walking out of my life. She did. I don't know why she would be "punishing me" so to speak but, it's a weapon that she knew would hurt.
I think I'm done with the "I love you's" right now. I have more thinking to do now too.
Shattered heart I don't think that there's a parent alive who can't say that their child/children didn't tell them something horrible about their parenting skills or that they hate their mother/father. The ironic part of that is...if we DON'T hear it (at least once or twice), we're not doing our jobs as parents. I can remember "hating" my mother and thinking that she was a lousy mother. I remember thinking that about my dad too and at that point in time...neither were into the drinking and were, pretty good parents, really. (Later...in my tweens and mid-teens...not so much). I also remember thinking that my dad was "perfect" or close to it and by comparison to my mother, I put him on a pedestal. You know why? Because it appeared to me, that my mother was the bigger of the evils. My dad was the lesser. More to the point, my dad said very little while my mother, did all of the parenting and the "hard stuff" with us. I also saw my mother (once she began drinking) as the one with the problem and causing the issues. I felt sorry for my dad because he was the one who was hurting in my eyes. Now, in hindsight, I can see that it was my MOTHER who pushed my father to be somewhat of a father otherwise, he wouldn't have been part of our lives at all. I also saw that my father had his own flaws, warts and issues but, by comparison to my mother's, they seemed inconsequential. I see it all very differently now.
Sadly, agoraphobia is a horrid way to live. No one who hasn't been through it, can understand just how terrifying and crippling it can be. Have you talked to your daughter about that and let her know that it wasn't your choice for her or yourself but, really....a "mental disorder"???? It wasn't your fault. You couldn't have helped that part of things so, please don't go blaming yourself for that. You tried to make things up to her by having her father take her places that you couldn't take her or even go with them. Does she know this about you? Have you explained that all to her?
I don't think that there's one of us, both with children all around us, or estranged like this group is dealing with, who hasn't had regrets of some sort or another about their children, their mothering skills....etc.. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? And, no...there are no "do-overs" unfortunately. We all make mistakes and learn from them. We, as parents, are only people who are always learning...sometimes, through our mistakes. But, as for you not being worthy of being part of her life now...NO! That's incorrect, wrong and just plain beating yourself up. She's doing a good enough job for you with that already. She doesn't need the help. ;) And, I hope I'm terribly wrong but, you may want to talk to your husband to see if there's anything that he thinks he may inadvertently have said to your daughter (out of anger/frustration or unconsciously/whatever the case may have been) that aided her cause in calling you down or thinking you "crazy"??? I'm not blaming your husband by any means but, rather thinking that we all say things in the heat of moments of upset that we get past but, others take to heart.
Unfriend your husband's 40 year ago girlfriend. Do yourself a favour and stop putting yourself through this. If there were to be anything that was to go on between them, you wouldn't know it through Facebook friendship anyway. She's not about to let you know it/slip up about it even if it were happening. Don't do this to yourself. Get rid of her. It's an unneeded sore spot that is doing you no good. It's rather unhealthy to do this to yourself and everyone else. Get rid of this stress of watching her or having her as a constant reminder of your husband's past which she likely isn't much a part of anymore, if at all.
Most of all, perhaps, this is all doing you some good? Maybe, as you've said, by talking this all out online with complete strangers who are not only in the same boat for differing reasons but, none of us will likely ever meet you. We are the "safe zone" so to speak who understand those feelings in one way or another. Having said that, perhaps, the fact that you're re-thinking your mothering and your daughter's words etc., might be bringing you some much needed and perhaps, buried memories that just might click in to form a picture of where your daughter is coming from and why. While there are no going back to the past and re-doing things, there are ways to express your understanding of why she is doing what she's doing and apologizing then, trying to move forward. Maybe, your husband needs to let her know (for now) that he's heard what you've had to say and how you're seeing where you might have done things differently? It seems that your husband is the parent that she's still allowing into her life...though not seemingly chasing him as evidenced by these 3 weeks of radio silence between the 2 of them right now. Maybe, it's your husband who needs to break this silence between all of you?
Don't give up. We've all made mistakes. We've all been told we're hated or horrible parents or whatever. Kids do that even with the best of relationships between them and their parents. Don't take it to heart. Take it as an angry child who lashed out for whatever her reasons. And, if you do have things that you're sorry for....express that to her. Maybe, she just needs to hear that YOU see where things went wrong and that you're sorry for them now??? Maybe, that's all that she needs/wants? You won't know unless you give it a try, right? (Even if you've done it 30 times before this already). It sounds like there's "new" things that you're coming to see within yourself, her and her childhood. Maybe, she needs to hear that expressed. It's easier to forgive someone and give them another chance when you know that they are truly sorry and the reasons for certain things having happened, right? And for heaven's sake, let her know that you've dropped the ex girlfriend and do it! LOL I think everyone needs to hear that much for healthy reasons. :)
HUGS XO XO XO
Dyingwithabrokenheart I was in pain myself and a word that I never understood how people get afflicted with - "depression" . I never said it to my husband who speaks against my child all the time (there are issues between them) and I almost cut myself off from other people since I would cry for no reason at all sometimes. I know the pain when the child does not want to stay in touch.
BUT, YOU need to realize that YOU have a LIFE apart from your family. You as a person, as an entity will survive. Your soul is not dependent or connected to anything else but nature. What if you did not have any kids? What if you did not get married? Would you have stopped living your life? Yes, do reach out to your child and tell her that you love her and you are always there for her when she needs you. But also, show it to her that life needs to be lived. Show her that you are a strong person.
My heart was first broken when my dog died and then when my daughter stopped communicating. I do feel the hollowness and pain inside my chest that I have not shared with anyone- not in so many words.
You need to pick up the pieces, put them together. Do what you like to do best. Keep few minutes aside everyday to think of your children and people you want to remember and pray for them. And then, lock up those emotions and go about your day happily. You would have done the best you can under the circumstances. You can not help your child (if and when she needs you) if you let yourself break down.
Cry when you want to but make sure to do something to make yourself happy. There is no need to die for anyone who does not understand you, no matter who that is. Get a pet.. they are a source of immense happiness. They give you unconditional love. I hope you recover soon.
Is your therapist the one who told you not to go into details and keep it short and sweet? Do heed that good advice. Perhaps just a simple message that you still love her, care about her and miss her, that you would welcome contact, even if it's only on social media for now.
There's no way to predict her response, so if you can look at it being in God's hands and be willing to accept whatever comes as His will for now, this will help you. Ask Him to give His strength, so that you can bear the suspense.
After a two year estrangement, our daughter (thirty-nine-years-old) E recently contacted us because she was having a severe health crisis. We are providing emotional support for her as she battles the health crisis, but encouraging her to be the moving force in making decisions and reaching out for medical help. We have only intervened when her physical condition was too poor to drive, then we provided transportation.
We've assured her that we are willing to do anything for her but know her own best interest is to do as much for herself as she is able.
This isn't restoration and we know it. As soon as she doesn't need us, she could banish us again. Because none of the problems that drove her to cut us out of her life are being addressed or resolved. I believe she has simply laid them aside because of her need. E is still fighting her health battles and not allowing us completely into her life.
I pray for God's strength to do what is best and right for E, demonstrate unselfish love in action and forgiveness, though that hasn't be requested. He is giving me the needed comfort and strength to do these.
I share this because, even if your daughter is willing to begin having some contact, it might be a very slow process and past problems may cast shadows that prevent the warmest, closest relationship that we mothers deeply desire.
joyce0763 I just joined this group and saw your msg. You have done your best for your child up till now. She is her own master and will live the way she wants to. Thankfully you have a son who is by your side. But even if you were alone, you still should just let it go.
One day the children grow up and make their own decisions. What you have done, consider it a debt paid to past to bring your "karmic" balance to zero. Tell your mother that she should just give your telephone number to your daughter's son, to contact you only in case of an emergency ( or contact your son in case of emergency, if your son is open to his number being given)... and then just let it go like a river flowing.. just because you give birth to someone does not mean that you are connected to them for life. That connection has to be maintained from both sides.
Pay attention to your son's family now and most importantly to YOURSELF.
@Sally No we have to refuse to live with a broken heart. I break down all the time. But I remind myself what my daughter did and her refusal to give an explanation for it. Who does that?She is who she is and I have no more control over anything in her life. I can control only what I do and setting limits with her. She was "trained" in a Christian group at the university by one of the younger peer for a year. The result was she became someone we never knew. Believes lies now. The assignment was to get intimate with peer's lives , well, my daughter let this young woman listen to our phone conversations behind my back. I never even saw this woman let alone met with her ! Maybe they even record my phone conversation with my own daughter. Now 2.5 years later, my daughter met a young man and guess who is his friend on Facebook? This trainer form the university. We can never get rid of this person, she is invading all aspects of my daughter's life. I talk to my child weekly, (she calls, I don't after her betrayal with a stranger on the phone behind my back) but talk about only superficial things. Very painful. Sometimes I want to cut every communication with her because this fake connection is more troubling for me. My other daughter suffers also seeing my depression, sudden anger and struggling with every day problems. Losing one child changes everything ! And my other baby no matter how fantastic she is, does not fulfill the void in our heart. I work with troubles teens and they have more decency than my own beloved daughter . My clients say:"I would never call the police on my mom, she changed my diaper."I did not even get this after 25 years of financial, emotional investment and self sacrificing adoration of this child. I am glad you have a man who support you. It is hard for men to understand this. My husband already gave up on our child. He does not associate with evil intents. But I need his presence and love and you too are lucky to have him. We need these guys and not an abusive child in our lives. We just want the best for our kids, and the need there is giving. I learned to give to others now. My clients, my friends, myself, my husband. I pray to the lord to help me through this and I don't get more harmed. I found this by Charles Spugeon, even if you are not a believer, this might help. Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 Morning "Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods."
Jeremiah 16:20. Look through the whole meditation, it talks about parents' love for their child.
justlikeyesterday It almost sounds as though your daughter has a "cult-like mentality" with this peer "trainer". It's sounding like my own daughter and her nasty, mentally unsound, drug addicted boyfriend and the influence that he has over her. He has to hear everything that is said by us. Now, he's worked it so that she has NO contact with us. and hasn't had for nearly a year now in spite of us reaching out and asking what she wishes us to do or be (no answer from her).
You seem to be fairly well versed in Biblical doctrine and troubled youth. Is there any way that you can request an alone meeting with this "trainer" (purely you and her) and have a chat with her over coffee or something to figure out where she is coming from and why? Maybe once she has met you (play the game if necessary), she might encourage your daughter to have more contact with you?
But, there's one thing that we have to keep in mind, I think. Our children are prone to other's directions and that's a "flaw/insecurity" in them...not us or our parenting. The old saying, "if you can't beat them, join them" might come into play here? Perhaps, winning this young woman's "confidence" over with your ability to deal with troubled youth, might be a way for her to like you and lift her influence from the bad to the good with your daughter, over you?
Just remember though...your daughter has CHOSEN to believe this young woman for a reason that is a flaw/void within herself. They often seek out in others what they lack within themselves and let that person become that part of them, for themselves to survive. Eventually, that young woman will have to form a life of her own and separate from your daughter either quite a bit or wholly. Let's hope that her boyfriend sees what this young woman has done and the influence she has over your daughter. I'm sure that if this woman is having influence over your relationship with your daughter, she's also directing your daughter's relationship with her boyfriend as well. Any way that you can talk to him to see if he's finding this young woman "meddling" in their relationship as well? Perhaps, a Facebook message to him????
Dear Heartbrokenparent, Thank you for your advise, I really appreciatre it. You are so right, my daughter caught up in a cult. My husband calls it a "one person cult" with this woman. My whole being wanted to talk to this woman at first but later as I saw clearly the devastating effect on my child and on ur lives, I became very angry and resentful of this person. I met with her once at our daughter's fake graduation from grad school (she did not get her diploma for being unable to complete her thesis) and I barely talked to her more than 5 sentences. The break came after the graduation, with police called on us and when my husband tried to reason with our daughter after the police left and we chose to stay in the apartmenty, my daughter ignored my husband's attempt to talk. She was on the phone over an hour with the "trainer". After we moved back her 13 hours away to our home, two days later she deserted our family with a note denouncing us. A week later she ended up at the town of her grad school, and her friends gave me a call in the middle of the night asking me to buy a ticket bc she does not know what to do anymore. (she was mentally very unstable). Her "trainer" certainly was nowhere, and lied to my daughetr saying that she did not know that my child went back to her university town. My daughter let me read an email form her trainer later and this woman was scorning my child why she went back to her "prison". As much as prison concerned, my daughter moved out at 18 to go to fancy school that we paid for, so she did not live with us for over 9 years !!! Currently I have lots of anger and hatred for this woman. She broke up our family, brain washed my child and honestly destroyed my life for over 2.5 years. The young man in my child's life is 7 years older than she is, squeeky clean, very nice person as far as I can tell from reading his Facebook. If he does not want to connect with us, I know for sure that my daughter fills his head with lies about us. My daughter talks about him in super relatives, (just like about this other woman) and I have a therapist instinct that again that she does not see him in realistic way. Thinking about this woman created serious anxiety attacks for me. I found that setting limits with my child was probably the only useful step I could take in weakening the control she has over us. My daughter invited this trainer to her new place, (hours away) and after the visit, she posted picures of them together as tourists. I felt such sharp pain in my heart I dropped my child from my friend list. She sent an email after she discovered my actions and complained that it hurt her. I told her that I do not wish to see this woman ever. After couple of hours of deleting her facebook, she went back again, and blocked me from seeing anything that is related to this person. Good for me. I found that my begging just gave control to my daughter and no matter what, I am still her mother. I gained some power after I made adjustments to our communication and her access to my social media site. I know that they had hundrends of texts (I paid for her phone while she was home) between them all day, every day. Pathological. The most amusing fact is that this "trainer" is challenged cognitively as a student, ugly inside/out and accomplished nothing so far in life. She came from a broken family and kept home in her whole life. Guess who was in prison ? We are decent people and wanted reconciliation first. However, I think we would not want to reconcile with evil. I pray for this woman to find somebody and let my child go. The damage that was done and since our begging, asking was unanswered made more harm. We will never be the same. Sorrow was never this real and happiness never this unreachable. We were thrown into an impossibble hardship and I think we must get back our power maybe in different areas than our core identity which is parenthood. Thank you again for your suggestions, I am open to them, and who knows I might be ready to try them one day?
I’m sorry to hear about the fight you had with your daughter, and how much
you want to repair the damage done to your relationship.Taking some time for things to calm down
between you and your daughter is a great step right now.During this time, I encourage you to also
think through what happened, and create a plan to address it.Debbie Pincus outlines additional steps you
can take in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/fighting-with-your-teen-what-to-do-after-the-blowout-7-steps-to-defuse-the-tension/.I recognize what a challenging situation this
must be for you right now, and I wish you all the best moving forward.Take care.
Besides being roped into this lawsuit stuff with your ex husband , what issues are actually between just the 2 of you?
Her step mother will never be her mom.. she can be called mom but things eventually prove Mom to be The only mom.
Do they have any children together?
Is your daughter basically mad at you bc of things between you and your ex that really don't involve her over than being pulled into it?
if these are things her judgements are based on , know that taking the high road at all times is the only thing that will bring you together again eventually. write her a letter saying you really hate what has become of your relationship. that you will always have an open door to her , no matter what happens, ever.
That you don't agree with everything but you don't have to agree to still be her Mother.
You would like to one day have a mother daughter relationship just between the 2 of you , regardless of her other family relationships. She is allowed to have a mother , a father, a stepmother.. and one should not cost the other.
Tell her it's ok that she is upset with you , she is allowed to be upset.. if and when she would ever like to discuss issues with you , you will be more than willing to work together on re establishing any type of communication.
you do not blame her for anything , but feel you are losing your daughter who you love and to you , that is the only loss you are concerned with. you never wanted her to be at odds with you and you are here , nown. you are here later. You will always be here for her and you are not her enemy. you want her to be happy, you can mutually respect boundaries and have guidelines if that is what she needs from you. You would like to give her what she needs from you , to be in her life, but you need her to clarify those needs or unresolved issues.
you can even tell her you would be willing to go to a family therapist to work through problems with her so there is level ground, but you know she needs some time and that is ok.
put your email, your cell phone number, your work number if you have one, your home number if you have a land line. your home address even if she knows it and say all avenues to reach you are open to her if she decides she would like to .
stay away from the subject of your ex husband, his wife, how your daughter participated in this law suit, how she blocks you from her life. keep the point the same which is you love her and are always here but also make sure you don't come off like you are painting your self perfect which is why the boundaries or discussion topics are important..just save the things to be discussed, for an actual future discussion, not in this letter. try to keep it one to one and a half pages long ..no longer.
do not set time limits , do not demand anything just a message of love and as a possibility to form a future bridge .
Have a non partial family member give her the letter or ask your lawyer if they can give her the envelope by the end of trial. find out what you can do and do it then bc trial will be excluded as an aim for your words. it will already be the outcome it's going to be so your words will have no over shadowing ulterior motives for others to invent.
that's what I would do. seems like your one opportunity to give her a message from mom and even if it takes yrs to get a response, the likelihood of hearing anything from her with no letter is not looking very prominent.
My ex-husband filed a frivolous lawsuit against me. He talked my 21 year old daughter into joining him in the case and she has signed an a 3 page affidavit full of exaggerations and lies about me hoping her father will win the lawsuit. She has blocked me from her cell phone and won't tell me where she's living. I have always been a loving Mother and she considers her step mother her Mom now. I am going through the stages of grief.
I know the only time I'll see her again will be at the trial, and that will be the last time. Any advice?
NancyLynne I am so very sorry that you're going through this. It sounds as though you're not battling your daughter as much as you're battling your ex and his wife and some vendetta that he has against you. Your daughter seems to be collateral damage in his fight against you, more than anything else. It's sounding as though your real issue is with your ex because he has the power to "call off the dogs" so to speak.
It's hard to say what exactly to do because only you know what your ex had filed against you. Was there any merit to his claims? Was he right in any of it? You say "exaggerations". Does that mean that there was some foundation to his claims? Did you perhaps, have some sort of misconduct that has some merit...even if exaggerated? The reason that I'm asking that is only because *IF* there were to be some foundation to his claims (even if exaggerated), you have something to perhaps, work things out with. I'm sure it's far more complicated than can be explained on a board/open forum but, suffice it to say that perhaps, if you were to satisfy your ex via mediation before trial, one of the terms might be that he tell your daughter the truth about your mothering of her and that you were a good mother? Perhaps, if there were some foundation to his claims against you, apologizing and attempting to rectify anything that might be involved (even if impossible to do) might be something that would go a long way with your daughter and get him to drop the lies?
Is there any way that you could meet separately with your ex and try to talk things through before trial comes up? Even if that has to be under mediation with lawyers and a mediator? If your daughter sees you earnestly trying (addressing your ex), she might have a change of thought towards you?
I'm so very sorry for the pain you are suffering. There's nothing quite like having the baby and child you loved and nurtured turn away and take beloved grandkids with her. You are certainly correct that none of this is in your control. Your daughter is in charge, however wrong she is.
I get why you don't want to sign up to give her the power to deliver that sort of hurt again.
That sort of emotional pain and grief can be overwhelming. I'm not certain there's any response that's the right one when someone shoves you out of their life, but keeping yourself emotionally and spiritually healthy is a good goal.
Then you will be equipped to travel this road you are on or turn to a new road if your daughter gains grace and wisdom in the future.
Today marks the second anniversary, since my only son emailed me to say he disowned me, granted I made a terrible error of judgement, and interfered in a horrid way with his relationship, since his email, I've left approximately 6 voicemails, spacing them apart so as not to harass or trouble him, I keep my tone upbeat, telling I'm well, wish him and his girlfriend well, signing off with a love you, I told him every day, by text or end of phone call, for 28 years that I love you, as a single mum, I never went to bed sleep even after an argument without, saying I love you. I've emailed, almost monthly for the first six months again, being upbeat, apologies with no response. Two months ago I composed an email to his dad, asking him to advise my son to think about forgiving me, his dad lives in America, never paid child support, and we do not communicate, nonetheless I actively encouraged my son and his dad's relationship, and they have a strong bond, I had no one else to step in, as my child has great relationship with my family, but he is a strong minded independant man, with confidence a fantastic career, so apart from the fact he wouldn't listen, I don't want him to think I'm talking negatively to brothers, sisters, my mum, as I want him to separate his anger with me, and keep family bonds strong, especially as an only child, he has no sibling to confide in. He only ever sought advise or was challenged on behaviour by his girlfriend, me and his friends, his confidence, almost borders on an argorance, as he headed into his early twenties, the email to his dad, was not an emotional plea, but asking him as the only male in his sons life, I could turn to, in fact I explained to him that I had not asked anyone else, to suggest to Sean to think about making contact with me, I was kind to him, in my email, I asked him to consider the benefits to his son, the possible long term damage should my mum, or a family member fall ill, and his son and I, are still in no mans lands, the email back was a resounding no way, and get lost. My brothers sisters mum, welcomed this man into our family, though he deserted my son at 4 months, and didn't appear again until he was a teenager, I made it clear, that as Sean's dad, I had a duty, to show him respect, I stayed single through most of my sons life, and never let another man take the role of a dad. Expecting assistance from him, was not a mistake of mine, it is his mistake for not putting his son on a road that might benefit his only child, my family, me, I feel that he actually may be influencing Sean against me. His family live close to my family, they've attended 21st birthday party for Sean, again, I could have said no, they are not welcome, as throughout his childhood, his dad's mother sent a Christmas card, with only my sons name, and not mine, I hope I find that when or if I have to be in his dad or his family's company, again, I continue to hold my sons welfare , as to have to ask their sons help, swallowing my pride, and giving him an insight into my hurt, his dismal, curt horrid response, means he has also fractured any goodwill, I haven't told my mum, or family , so they will bear no ill feelings, but I do...
A month or so ago I composed a final email addressed to my son and girlfriend, I posted a copy here, I showed two very good friends who've know me and my son, for many years, to help me, I've had no reply, I actually didn't expect one, I'm not contacting my son again, he is almost 30, a grown man, he lived with me rent free, Bill free up till 4 years ago, I supported him with help from my family, through very challenging teenage years, I helped give him the skills to be the successful, independant, confident person he is, this is what friends say to make me feel that I wasn't a bad mum, bad person, I never critise my son, to these friends who were close to us both, of course they ask me has he been in touch, and seek to console even though, since my final email, I'm more accepting, I see the long term, rather than beating my own mind up, i throw some of the responsibity back on him, not out of anger, but because he is an adult, a grown man, our good and bad memories will come back, he will learn to smile at my stupidity and mistake, I'm 100 per cent sure of that, until then I surround myself with my blessings, my super family, friends, using the skill I thought my son, to be happy, so when he returns, he is proud of his mum, who tries to face all life's challenges with courage, integrity and a sense of fun
God bless, be strong everyone x
mollymolly1 I'm assuming that you've earnestly owned up to and apologized for your part in meddling into his relationship? You are only human and you made a mistake and I also assume that you've made that kind of a statement as well to him?
IF you have done that much and sincerely apologized, it may be that he sees you as "controlling" and wants his space from you. Even your attempts at trying to get others to intervene on your behalf (even if they refused to do so) is seemingly a form of "control" to him. That also includes your emails monthly of "I love you" which he may be looking upon now as another attempt at you trying to get back into his life to "control" it? He may be trying to keep you out because he sees you as possibly manipulating him and his emotions, even though you are simply trying hard to pull your relationship back together.
It sounds as though you had your hands full with him while growing up and into his 20's and perhaps, you had the need to take control over him and his life at that point but, now....well, whatever mistakes he's made or is going to make, it's going to be his consequences to deal with in one way or another. If he falls, he's going to have to dust himself off and get back onto his own 2 feet. He really doesn't need anyone at this point of his life to dust him off or prevent his falls and it *could be* that he's seeing you as still trying to do that for him. It sounds like he was coddled quite a bit and perhaps, even sheltered by you? (Perhaps, understandably so as that is what parents want to do naturally.)
Perhaps, it's time to give him some space? Maybe it's time to give him one more of your "I love you" emails as usual but, this time...perhaps, it's time to let him know that you are giving him his space, hope that he will somehow see it in his heart to forgive you for your mistakes and realize that you are only human however, you also recognize that perhaps, he needs for you to let go and you hope that eventually, he will come to forgive you because you cannot go back in time? Maybe, he just needs to feel that you're "letting go" of that "control"?
Just a thought.
Heartbrokenparent mollymolly1 thank you so much, your response means a great deal to me, I have apologised, asked for him and his girlfriend to forgive me, he hasn't responded, I haven't emailed or text for over two months, as his 30 birthday is next month, I'm confused, should I send a card, money, a milestone birthday, your advise on allowing him space, perhaps I did control situations.
I appreciate your insights, particularly my need to control, two years has given me time to reflect, friends and family are not honest as you, they just see my virtues, as a single mum, however they also know I'm direct, headstrong, independent, qualities which stood us well, in difficult times, when my son ran into trouble, as a youngster, but as a man, you are correct, in saying taking control, I needed to develop a different relationship when he left home, the love we had for one another, changed.
I just found this group today. As I read your posts, tears are falling for the pain we are all experiencing. My heart hurts for each of you and I pray God will comfort you in your grief.
Our daughter will be forty next spring, I'd single, childless and has never married, can't seem to sustain a longterm relationship. She was diagnosed as bipolar about eight years ago, dove into treatment and therapy. I believe she gave it all she had, but there were repeated medicine failures, unbearable side effects, titering up and down on new psychotropic meds rapidly that left her in an almost zombie-like mental state much of the time and finally, nothing left to try.
Finally she lost faith in her doctor and told us she isn't bipolar but has PTSD from her childhood.
There was no sexual or physical abuse in our home but she treats us as if there had been. About the time she lost faith in her psychiatrist, she sent me an email cutting off all contact. About two years ago. She included her brother and his family in the estrangement.
She was always a very sensitive child and her emotional reactions to anything at all seemed much stronger than the norm. This has carried into her adult life, it appears.
We know she is alive because she has a public social media account in which she makes untrue and hurtful statements about us, telling the world how horrible we are. Yes I go and read about once a month, just so I know she is alive. She's anorexic. We had more than ten years of her teens and early twenties where every day I expected to get a phone call telling me she had dropped dead of heart arrhythmia.
There was no quarrel, no fuss, no explanation when she broke off contact. She doesn't want to talk, email or do anything to work towards even just civility. Her father is certain she will some day want restoration to the family. I'm not so certain and as the time passes and I see what she is writing about us, my heart is growing hard towards her. That's not what I want to feel. I feel like a horrible person for not being sure I want reconciliation. As she is now, I'm no longer sure I want her in my life. How does a mother who has loved her child through all of these tough times come to this? What sort of mother thinks this way?
I appreciate hearing from you. Not surprisingly, there are parents here who can't imagine feeling as I do. I don't blame them at all. I'd really rather feel the pain of missing her and long for restoration with all of my heart than be uncertain I want reconciliation.
Feeling both pain and relief from the estrangement seems very odd and confusing. I'm grieving for our relationship failure and for what might have been if things were normal, but I'm not missing the frequent crises, illogical reactions and upsets. I grieve more for the relationship that I used to think we would have some day if she were more balanced but I can't grieve for what we actually had. It was too painful to always be braced for the next crisis and constantly trying to find ways to help her. The emotional toll was huge and the financial toll of rescuing her wasn't small either. I would never have banished our daughter from us; she did that herself.
I wouldn't turn her away if she wanted or needed us. But the ending of estrangement couldn't be celebrated if her mindset remains the same. That would only mean she needed something from us, not that she wants loving relationship. That might sound bitter and I honestly am not sure if I am. I have been taken in before by just taking her at face value so I think I might just be realistic finally.
I'm sorry to go on and on about it. I'm surrounded by folks who don't have all of the info and can't understand what happened. I can't be open about my lack of desire to restore our relationship to what it was. It was not good.
I hate feeling relief that I'm not part of and up to date on the frequent crises.
All of that said, I'm so sorry that you also have suffered and know what I'm talking about. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone.
It is so hard when we are surrounded by images of perfect mother - child relationships. I don't like to talk much about the estrangement - In fact I avoid telling anyone that doesn't know me very well , such as work colleagues because I feel they would judge what would seem very hard hearted. However, daughter or not, no one should be so unkind to their mum. I have not done everything right but I have spent the last 10 years listening to daily crises which involve hours of boosting her, or getting her out of the latest financial crisis, or moving her to a new place - the list goes on. I jump out of my skin when the phone rings and dread what it could be next. She has taken overdoses, become homeless, lost her job etc. I have supported her to get a diagnosis which is now border line personality disorder but she has become worse since then. I have picked up the pieces every time but now that she has become so nasty to me about my parenting, I can take no more. Her father left me when I was pregnant with her and my boys were 3 and 5. I did the best I could and loved her so much. In some ways , the last time she was abusive to me was when I was taking her out for afternoon tea and bringing her lots of new stuff for her flat, so it made it easy for me to leave and not speak to her again . I emailed to tell her I would always be there but I would not have her unpleasant behaviour anymore. She responded by telling me I was destructive and bad for her mental health.
I truly feel better for not having the constant grief and it was her that decided I was bad for her. Never I did how bad she has made me feel! We don't support our children to get a payback but some love needs to come our way at some time, surely. I feel so sad that she has pushed all her family and friends away . She could have me as her biggest support and friend but she has lost me now, for the time being , at least. No one expects this when we have those beautiful babies but it helps to know that it happens to others ,too.
There are no guarantees but we have to look after ourselves and be good role models . Our intentions are loving ones and one day they might know that. Take care and stay strong.
Thank you, Karlen. One of the worst parts is just feeling so ashamed that I don't want to step back into the relationship as it was. How can I express that idea to folks who have no clue that it's a relief to pick up the phone and not hear silence -- and then sobs, indicating another self-made crisis that I can't fix? Years of these moments are draining, discouraging and defeating.
I can tell you "get" this. But most don't.
Yes I understand about seeing the loving mother/daughter images being painful. I'm on Facebook and have friends who frequently post the cute and pretty pix and sayings about how proud, etc., they are of their daughters and of course, the message always urges others to repost it if they have a daughter they love with all their hearts. I truly rejoice for my friends that these sayings are true for them, I wouldn't want any of them to be where I and my daughter are.
But these things hurt. Mother's Day hurts. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries. All of them are painful, to some degree. I don't camp out there in those thoughts and feelings because my life would be a wreck if I did so. Instead I do Bible studies, volunteer work, I read books I enjoy and I journal and write prayers. I knit and crochet for a pro-life clinic. I play in the dirt, as able, in my flowerbeds. I enjoy two grandkids, our son's children. I do arthritis water classes at the Y. And in the midst of those, I still grieve that our daughter continues to make destructive choices and doesn't have a happy life.
I agree that nobody should be hateful to a mom who truly tried to do her best. My mom perished from breast cancer when I was fifteen and spent her last two years fighting the surgeries and symptoms of spread. If she had lived, I'd never have thought about being so cruel as to spew out hatred. I know what it's like to not have a mom. A daughter who has a mom who loves her and is willing to help and yet rejects her mom or verbally buses her mom is out of my understanding.
But it happened for you and I'm very sorry. It happened for me too. I choose to go on loving my daughter without making excuses for her. I choose to wait without pursuing her because she has made it plain that nothing I can say or do makes her want me in her life.
I'm working on keeping myself as mentally and spiritually healthy as I'm able. If she some day wants to reunite, I want to be able to do that w/o carrying extra burdens of anger and fbitterness.
Kc316 I think social media such as Facebook, makes it very hard on parents like us who have no or little or abusive contact with our children. It's extremely hard to see others with their children and grandchildren, happy, smiling and looking like they have Life by the tail. Unfortunately, for many, these stories are part of social media personas where nothing is as golden as is portrayed on their walls. Everyone's lives seem charmed and no one seems to have problems. I have been staying away from those as well because, well...frankly...it hurts.
I grew up with an alcoholic mother and a co-dependent father (something I learned through a lot of therapy for myself once I left the house). The abuse was horrific. However, I did NOT abandon my parents. Both died young. My mother died when she was 54 from brain cancer. My father died at 65 from advanced bladder cancer. I nursed both of them until their dying days and NEVER walked away from either of them....though my mother walked away from her father for being an alcoholic and tried to get my father to distance himself from his mother (his father died young too) in spite of their being no issues between my father and his mother. Thankfully, he didn't.
That said, I cannot believe these kids who have had nothing done wrongly to them, been supported, given everything we could afford to give them, being there for them and them pulling this with us??? I don't understand why but, perhaps it has more to do with a generation of children who grew up as The Me Generation with forms of narcissism and entitlement? I don't know for certain but, I do know that what they are doing to us is not acceptable.
I have my good days and then I have my very bad days. At no time, even if my mind is occupied with something else, am I ever free of the hurt and pain. Sadly, it will come out in my dreams even if I consciously avoid thinking about it during my waking hours. That hurt is deep. However, I also recognize that I don't want my daughter back if she's still the same, spiteful, cold-hearted, careless young woman that she's been over the past few years. She's hurt me more than I care to think about and I don't want that abuse back into my life. Heaven knows, I've had enough abuse to last a life-time already from my younger years through to my daughter's abuse. I keep having to remind myself of that when I'm having one of my "bad days". It doesn't always do the trick but, it's helpful to keep reminding myself of that much and telling myself that I'm worthy of better than this type of treatment from others, especially a daughter that I have sacrificed so very much for to give to her. Maybe, I did too much? I don't know but, I do know that even abusive parents have had more respect, loyalty and consideration than my "spoiled" daughter has given to me.
So, I understand that feeling of not wanting that kind of anger, bitterness and abuse back into your life. As one therapist tried to say to me...a child is a child to us no matter what their age BUT...if they were anyone else, treating us this way...would we really want them in our lives? My answer has now turned to a "no...I don't deserve this but, it still hurts badly." Then, I try to work on other things in my life. Sadly, my daughter is my only child so, I cannot concentrate on another child or grandchildren. I may have to rent some. ;)
I agree the hurt never goes away. It is quiet at times, manageable some of the time and at other moments it's wildly out of control. I get what you say about entitled grown up children. It's painful to be on the receiving end of the ridiculously high expectations and selfi-centered anger. Yes, as parents, we probably did too much for them and gave too much.
I much admire that you cared for your parents, despite that they didn't earn that devotion. I don't know, of course, what ails your daughter, if she has medical issues that are compounding other problems. I'm so sorry this is your only child. I hope you have some friends who support and encourage you through this. I pray you will find things in life that bring you joy, even in the midst of your pain.
Our daughter has real problems that are painful to her and she sought professional answers and help for years. She rejected our faith while still in her teens. Tragically, some professionals direct therapy more to finding blame in parents, whether the parents have done their best or not. The psychiatrists had no real solutions for the misery in her life and their psychotropic drugs were disastrous to her wellbeing. Once our daughter came to the end of what was supposed to "fix" her, it appears there seemed to be no place else to go except to blame us. So, to her, cutting us out of her life, seems like her only answer. She has even given false names and contact info for emergency contacts so we won't know if she is killed or injured in an accident. She is miserable, angry and bitter.
These things I know, because she has a public Twitter account that I visit every few months just to know if she's alive. She is anorexic, amongst other problems, and that, of course, is dangerous.
I don't go read often, as it's very distressing that she is in such terrible shape emotionally and physically. And she is still writing weird and hateful comments about us off and on.
We aren't the only ones she left. She left her fiancé of eight years very soon after announcing she wanted no contact with us. We suspect he is staying in touch and continues helping her, as she accuses him of stalking her occasionally. He is one of the good guys so we know he isn't stalking her. We think he may still be supporting her financially and trying to get her to eat enough to stay alive. She gets angry with anybody who says something she doesn't want to hear.
Anyhow I've written way too much here so I will stop.
Kc316 That is so extremely hard a situation to deal with because you're not dealing with a "healthy person" and therefore, reason and rationale cannot get through to her the way that it might were she to be well mentally and emotionally. I am so very, very sorry.
Equally unfortunate is the idea that therapy is often geared as "one sided". In other words, the therapist can only hear one side of the story...their client's side. They cannot hear anything else so, whatever comes out of their client's mouths, ends up as "the truth" and they work from there. In this case, you are going to take that blame, likely because the beginning of therapy was her relationship with you and delving into that. I'm fairly certain that her therapist came to the conclusion that if she feels "better" in not seeing you or having contact with you, that's the route to take...oh yes...and meds...which often do make someone worse in many ways.
Thankfully, she seems to have her fiancé in her life, trying his best to help her in whatever ways he is allowed to help her. I'm so sorry but, it sounds like she's rejecting anyone who loves her. Maybe, she doesn't love herself? If we don't love ourselves, we can't accept love from anyone else either.
Do you want to know the ironic part? I have this feeling that if she become severely ill from the anorexia and is hospitalized, there will be more therapy given. If you're keeping an eye on her Twitter account, then perhaps you can spot something that will give you cause to check into where she might be and get in on that therapy???? If a doctor can meet you and know your side of things, perhaps they can incorporate you into her healing process??? Just my distanced thinking. Nothing more.
As for my daughter, she is with a complete jerk, total pothead and psychedelic drug user. No doubt, she is into it as well now. How much or how far....I have no idea either. Like you, I have to guess if she's still ok, alive or whatever. He worked on her to get rid of all of her friends, one by one. We were the last to go as he had the hardest time in getting her to drop us...but, he did it. Equally, no doubt, she is "ill" as well from his influence (could also be battered women syndrome for all that I know) and the drugs. She holds NO public social media accounts so, I can only guess. She is on Facebook but, she's blocked me and all of my friends and posts nothing public so, I have no way of knowing where she is or how she is with no contacts to figure that out.
I recently had dicey surgery on myself where they were concerned that I might not make it out of anesthesia. I tried reaching out to her when I came out of hospital. This wasn't my only time in trying. I've said all of the "I love you's" I can say now. I told her that I thought of her before they put me out and wondered if I'd ever see her again...how short life is...how we never know what will happen...how I love her and miss her and wish her part of my life...blah, blah, blah. (Again, not my first time doing this as the article above states to keep trying). It took her 3 weeks to respond but, she did respond. It was a nicely worded email, telling me where to go and how to get there. That's it for me. I'm not about to try anymore. There are only so many cheeks one can offer up to kick before one realizes that it's doing no good for anyone. Every time I get slugged like this, my husband (her father) also hurts. He's begged me to not continue trying because it takes me weeks to get past it....especially, if there's NO response. It hurts him to see me hurting like this on top of his own hurt over her thoughtlessness as we also were caregivers for his parents up until they both passed more recently as well.
Honestly, in both of our cases, it's seemingly that we cannot get through "illness" with reason or rational thinking. If this were anyone else, we'd likely stop trying and not bother. My daughter also gets angry at anything she doesn't want to hear. No one can live like that....always saying what they want to hear and being condemned if you do say it anyway. There's no winning, it seems.
Just know that I feel for you and am sending you huge hugs. From one broken-hearted parent to another.
I've been honoring our daughter's request to leave her alone ever since she told me. I don't contact her in any form. A year ago, out of the blue, she emailed me, saying she wasn't sure if I'd want to hear from her or not, asking for contact info for my sisters. I responded saying, yes, I was glad to hear from her and gave her the info for which she asked and some updates on pets that she had left in our care when she moved out. Then silence. A few weeks later, I sent her a short email and got back an ugly reply. I concluded I had something she wanted (contact info) and once she got it, she was back to "leave me alone" mode. She also posted an online rant about family stalking her and other ugly things.
She is in touch with my two sisters, friended them to her private by invitation only Facebook page. I can only imagine what she's saying about us. A few months ago, one of my sisters asked me about something she had posted, primarily because my sister was worried that E was actually being stalked by her former fiancé. So it appears E is accepting help from him but badmouthing him online at the same time. If E ever lands in the hospital, we probably won't know. E knows I occasionally read her Twitter. So she wouldn't post anything she doesn't want me to know. Sometimes I see a nasty comment about me there which I assume is put there for me to see.
I don't ask my sisters for any info about E because I believe putting them in the middle is unfair to them. I've encouraged them to be as kind and loving to this ungrateful unhappy woman (she's 39) as they are willing to be. I'm glad if they can love her even in the midst of her being hard to love.
E no longer trusts the mental health care community after so many treatment failures and is now convinced her original dx of bipolar is wrong. This puts her with few treatment options. But they don't seem to care about truth or accurate details. They yak about "her reality" as if lies are okay. The whole situation is confusing and I've stopped thinking I will understand it.
I'm so sorry your surgery experience was so dicey and then when you reached out, that your child was still angry and resentful. That's heartwrenching to see that she is still way out there emotionally and not interested at all in reconciliation.
Our child isn't either. She claims that contact drives her into PTSD episodes. At first I felt so guilty, as if we had been terrible parents somehow and this misery and ugliness is really all our fault, as E says. That's wearing off. I think most of the problem is in her head.
I'm working at staying in that hard-to-find zone where I choose to still love this wayward grown up child w/o agonizing over the estrangement and all that goes with it. I don't want to write her off but I don't want my life to revolve around the grief and pain of what she's doing with her life and relationships. If I write her off, I can block a lot of the pain, but I think this way of dealing with my grief is not healthy. For me, the pain would hover in the background of my mind, grow and spawn a bitter ugliness in me that I don't want.
I'm instead choosing to feel the feelings that go with my thoughts and reactions w/o allowing them to continually overwhelm me. And ouch, yes, that hurts. Anger will make me bitter, if I allow it to fester. And yes, I feel the anger, too, at times.
But I've decided not to camp out there.
Most days I'm doing better with this. Faith in God has helped tremendously. I'm not going to excuse bad behavior in E or in myself.
I'm deeply hurt. I'm angry. I'm devastated. I'm up and down. I'm depressed. I'm hopeless. I'm defeated. I'm guilty because somehow I should have been a better mother so my daughter didn't become this person she is,
All of that and more. But not all of the time. I understand my reactions and emotions don't have to control me. They are not always reliable. They reflect the upheaval and hurt of being completely rejected by a beloved, though grown up, child.
If I weren't feeling all of these feelings and more, I wouldn't think I was normal.
After all, how could this not hurt?
Perhaps what I'm saying doesn't make sense to some here. I know grieving varies. I'm writing those thoughts that are in my heart as a part of my grieving, as a part of my finding ways to cope. This is a place I feel safe expressing the wide crazy range of emotions and thoughts in my head.
It does hurt Kc316 - but I think I am numb to it for most of the time- how could we function otherwise. When I think of all the bad stuff I gave had to deal with , I now am more blasé. That's today's crisis. Most of the mothers I know would be torn apart by even one of the incidents or situations that have been almost daily up until recently. I have been eaten up by grief, despair and guilt for so long now , as I am sure you have. But I have found that she can survive without my constant support - may be even better without it. I have enabled her thinking I was supporting her. She has told me it is my job to look after her and I am not doing it well. Maybe it is no longer my total responsibility to help her out of every crisis she creates. I think about her all the time and hope she is not lonely or upset but she isn't 5 anymore. She is capable of making up her own mind when she wants to - such as letting people down at the last minute .
I am glad I have found this space which I feel is safe. I need to be the strong and nice person that I believe I am - because if I believed the messages I get from my daughter I would not like myself at all. The truth is that sadly she has alienated herself from everyone and yet when I check Facebook to see if she is alive , my heart breaks when no one 'likes' her comments. I can't bear to think that she literally has no one.
I too am trying hard not to feel guilty. The first 13 years of my daughters life were as happy as I could make them as a single mum of 3.
Whatever went wrong after that , I do not know , but now she is 27 and I have done all I can. I would never put the energy and love into someone who continually created chaos around them, but I have kept on trying to put the latest incident behind me , every time. No amount of time spent on listening, sorting out accommodation, lending/ giving money, knowing that she is lying but still supporting her, the list goes on and on, has helped. When I am now being called a rubbish mother it is time to quit trying. She told me I was destructive so I have respected that. After 6 weeks , because I sent her birthday presents , she calls as though nothing has happened.
She is getting therapy but like other parents, I feel she will only present her side. No one is there to listen to the abused parent's side of the story. She looks like a normal person and somewhere in there is the beautiful girl I loved but she is only interested in herself and how tough life is for her. No one else would believe the pain she has put me through. I know she has her own pain but she could have a real friend and ally in me if only she wasnt so selfish and unable to see how much she really hurts me.
This break from her has made me realise how abnormal our interactions are- a relationship that is broken but has become normalised. It is normal for me to jump out of my skin when the phone rings. It is normal for me to dread what she has to tell me because it is never ' hi mum, I just called to see how you are'. Whatever sort of mum I have been, I know she could have had a much worse deal. I know she is mentally ill but all I could do is try to help her. Clearly nothing I have done has helped and I seem to be the bad guy.
I can see I am not the only one to experience this pain. Time for us all to accept we did our best. When our children become adults they must take responsibility for what is to come. Not blaming us. We deserve better.
I'm not sure anybody in therapy ever presents the other person's side of the story. Being able to see there IS another side takes some skills and empathy and E currently doesn't have those. She hasn't ever exhibited those qualities.
I offered to come to therapy with her any time, not to present my side of things, but to participate, to learn, to better understand. And to discuss, if possible, how to better our relationship. E wasn't willing. No therapist will talk about or share if their primary patient is unwilling, of course. Even during E's teens, when we were driving her and paying the bills, we had little or no information on what went on in her therapy sessions. (Anorexia)
I would go with her now, if it were possible, in the hopes that E could receive clarity or help. And that's knowing that it'd probably be a list of accusations, both real and imagined. I think E seems to have "recovered memories" that never happened, from the little she shared immediately previous to her cutting us off. She was very vague and confused but some of what she said couldn't possibly have happened. Timeline was impossible in most of it. And her statements quarreled with things she herself had told me previously. I've read of therapists who unintentially plant ideas and the brain can embrace those enough to think they are true memories. I didn't believe this until I heard E telling me things she is certain happened that I know didn't happen. It's impossible to get the truth when a therapist only speaks of "her reality", as if truth doesn't matter.
I still have those dreams once in a while. You may be over analyzing where you think you went wrong. When I had dreams of my daughter being in danger, I would google her, etc. After 20 minutes or so, I would snap out of it and stop myself. I would tell myself that I was being obsessive, and not doing myself any good. I was not enjoying my own present or hers. So I got busy about other aspects of living my life. During the days I became stronger and it helped remove the bad nights. My dreams were strange at times, nonsensical. I don't think it matters if she is coming, going or disappearing. Your natural instinct is to worry in the worst way. You just have to take control over those nights. Wear yourself out so you are too tired to dream at all. Don't eat close to sleep time or drink coffee/tea. In time it really does get easier to become very much alive as, yes, a singular person on the planet. When you do see your daughter again, it will be good.
Look forward to that! Be Strong and patient with yourself. All the best to you.
Even though I'm daily choosing not to allow the estrangement to ruin my life, there are still some very tough moments. I have to mindfully work at it. I truly understand awakening after the dreams that express the fears and grief for the lost adult child, no matter how badly they've behaved.
This grownup stranger was once my little child.
We've had to make some very painful choices, including remaking our wills to exclude this beloved daughter because her hateful actions and words include her brother and his young family. Our son will be executor of our will some day and we are not subjecting him to dealing with his sister as she now is. This was traumatic for me, to be carrying out the complete estrangement to its legal conclusion.
We aren't wealthy but we expect to have some legacy for our son and grandchildren. Please look to what you can do to care for yourself while you grieve.
I'm feeling as if I've coming to a breaking point where my heart is so hurt and angry that it will be too hardened to ever welcome our daughter back, should she ever desire to reconcile.
Yes, I have vivid dreams of her, usually with her in some dire peril where I can't help her. I awaken so distressed that the first half of the day, if not all, feels ruined.
We are getting close to two years since she excommunicated us from her life. She's 39 years old, never married, no children, diagnosed as bipolar but now claims that was a misdiagnosis. She hasn't been able to sustain any relationship over time. So I can't figure out how I was so blindsided when she announced via email she was cutting off all contact.
I too have dreams that are unsettling about my daughter. I dream often that we are talking again - then I wake up :( You are not alone.
It's too soon to know if there will be an estrangement. But my daughter, I'm not even sure I want there to be a reconciliation if this is the treatment I can expect. She told me to "Eff Off", (but used the terminology), told me I'm psychotic and need help, told everyone else in my orbit the same, about me.
Why? What prompted this? I have a friend I vent to online (emails). Daughter is in a marriage with a guy who, while he does love her and is not abusive, .. he isn't capable of holding a steady job, other than being coddled (employed by my husband, who tucks him up under his wing and coddles him). He has, her husband, been a source of a lot of frustration. They have landed under my roof 3 x's to live as he and she can't make it financially (why doesn't someone get another job, to increase their dollars coming in?, good question, one I get slammed for asking, along with other questions one might ask if one is of sound logic). He undermines and stirs the pot .. lies and says things that I did or said that hurt his feelings, untrue and embellishing, causing my daughter to then come at me (daughter is 28 yo).
I vent, privately, in email to a friend.
Daughter and her family living here, again .. unable to sustain themselves ... and needing to regain their footing, so they can move along again. Her husband, complained to my husband (the father of this daughter, we've been married 30 + years) .. that I was bragging on the telephone about my soon to be empty-nest. Indeed I was. I was happy to see an empty nest upcoming. Been a long time coming, and I was celebrating same. I wasn't aiming this at him specifically for having landing here, . nor her (she wasn't here, she was at work) but he complained to my husband and my husband an dI fought ( a pattern this husband of her's is so very famous for ).
This and so much more, just too much to name.
Suffice it to say, I vent my frustrations to a friend online, in emails, and mostly about this husband of her's .. who has caused so much hurt/frustration/anger, etc.
Daughter snooped. Read the emails while living here. And behind that, I am to "eff off", I am "psychotic" and need help, I am "mentally ill", .. and any other of a number of choice words she's had for me, and hasn't spoken to me since, this has been 2 weeks ago.
From what I hear, she expects that I aplogize for remarks made in those emails (not meant for her eyes, by the way). And absent any apology from me, .. she wants nothing to do with me.
Suffice it to say, her husband, has some issues .. and I seem to be his target. This all stems from the fact (they were high school sweethearts) .. and they began planning to marry soon out of high school, neither of them equipped to support themselves, and I stood firm they shouldn't marry until they could support themselves financially. I, alone, stood that ground. My husband (her father, .. his stance was really one of *they are going to marry* may as well get on board .... that or don't be a part of it and regret it the rest of your life). So I did get on board .. but it was with much reservation and consternation on my part (his parents, he only has his mother .. and stepfather, his mother stuck her head in the sand, in those days and went into denial that her only child, her precious baby boy was marrying and she disengaged from the whole process) So it was me alone standing in that gap, that they shouldn't marry. I believe that I have been despised since. They have been married for 7+ years now, and one beautiful little 3 you girl.
Her husband, .. had 2 jobs, when they first married, both of which were lost mysteriously (as was the case prior to them marrying, see above, .. my stance they shouldn't marry). She had just finished hair school and hadn't yet built a client base from which to earn any decent living. Ultimately her husband was hired by my husband, where he has been for approximately 6 years and my husband does admit, he is lacking, he will never be a skilled tradesman .... he just is ill equipped to do so, but my husband is too soft hearted to cut him loose and watch his grand daughter and his daughter suffer in the process, so he coddles him.
This, .. and the fact they don't make it financially and constantly have their hands out .. enough to cause me a lot of frustration, which I vent to a friend about via emails. Only for her and her family to have landed here a 3rd time now, unable to sustain and stand on their own two feet ... and she snooped, at night, when I would go to bed. She didn't tell me this while living here, of course. Only once they got on their feet and moved out. Then, is when I was blasted for the words I'd imparted to a friend in emails that she read, and that I'm psychotic and that I need help, I am mentally ill and that I can "eff off", etc etc etc.
Wow this sounds similar to my situation. My daughter says I'm psychotic and her guy is a great guy! Meanwhile there is an innocent infant being used a weapon.Not seeing that child is breaking me!
I too have a daughter and son that I raised as a single parent.
Times were tough and I too was not the best parent in the world. My son
and I are communicating as two adults and we are honest with each other.
My daughter has not passed beyond that threshold of adulthood
emotionally. It was dumbfounding at first,when she cut me out of her
life. I thought at first, it was a phase, it's normal, she will outgrow
it and we will once again pick up our relationship and see it grow
again, as two adults, that being harder for me than either of my
children, also normal, I figured. It's been since 2009 with my daughter.
I haven't seen her since. At least not the person I once knew. She is
gone forever, but always in my heart. My son keeps me informed on her
well being, For that I am eternally grateful. I have learned to live as a
single adult myself. I actually am finding out what things I like, such
as my favorite colors, foods, clothing, etc. It is good. I stopped
looking behind me when I kept running into brick walls. Now I realize
that it was never about me, but her. It was her way of branching out. I
no longer feel her growing pains now. I am feeling my own! It is a great
feeling once it becomes comfortable again to just be me. You are so
fortunate to have a husband to help you go through all of this. One
warning, don't build a shrine to the daughter you once had in your life.
That will only bring you sorrow. Mementos, photos, they will drag you
back into the past, not allowing you to see what's ahead. Talk about
brick walls! Live in the now. That is what your daughter is doing
as well. That really is how it should be. Getting all wrapped up in the
memories will possibly cause you to lose what you have in the present. You
are better than even you yourself know or realize right now. That will
come in time. And down the road, so will your daughter. Be ready for who
she will become, not who she's been. I truly hope this helps.
tammielpowell Shattered I am in the same boat as both of you. I gave my daughter everything I could afford and more, materialistically. I also gave her everything of myself and quit good jobs to work from home or work evenings and weekends to be home for her. I allowed friends in to be with her day and night as she is an only child. I did everything I knew how to do for her in every sense of the word and in every way. Then, along came a total loser jerk of a boyfriend who lied to her and continues to lie to this day. He hates my husband and myself and isn't speaking to his own parents. Once that happened, that's when our daughter dumped us because we told them to take their weed out of our home to smoke it. Seriously. We haven't seen her for nearly a year now and she (as far as we know), lives 20 minutes away from us.
Long story cut short is that I completely understand what you're going though. I've been for therapy with a few different therapists on how to deal with this. I tried all of their suggestions and nothing worked. My daughter rejected every single attempt with trying to work things out with us.
The bottom line is that NO ONE has any real answers to this. There's nothing on the net even that I've found that can help us. Even professionals are unable to help much.
As to how to deal with this within ourselves or why this all happened...it seems no one has the answers to that either...short of "apologize" and keep chasing them. Done all of that and nothing works. Frankly, I can't even figure out WHAT I'm supposed to be apologizing for???? I did apologize though. I told her that we are sorry for whatever it is that has gotten her this upset with us and to please tell us what it might be so that we can work it out. More distancing and no contact whatsoever. I have to give up because there's nothing left to do. The therapists have all thrown their arms in the air and said "give up..." too.
How to live with this? I don't know. I wish someone would come up with something to help us all in how to deal with this. About the only thing that one therapist I've seen said that made any sense whatsoever was....
"If your daughter wasn't your daughter and was anyone else...would you be putting up with this treatment or would you move forward and onward?"
Of course....my answer would be, "if she were anyone else...I'd be telling her where to go and not looking back."
Unfortunately...she IS my child. I can't do that no matter how hard I've tried.
I am in a state of grief, sadness, shock and total embarrassment. I was traveling to my 26 year old son's hometown for a couple of days and I asked if I could stay at his place. He said no. His reason was that he was going to be away for a few days and that he "was not comfortable with "people" staying at his apt when he wasn't there". I gasped for air when he said that. I am his mother, I am not "people". Did he think that I was going to rummage through his things or steal from him? I am a law abiding citizen. I have never broken the law or stolen anything in my life. Besides, I brought most of the furnishings in his apartment, why would I want to steal that? He has his own room in my home, furnished in his favorite color and he never needs an invitation to come here and to stay as long as he likes, as a matter of fact, I would always encourage him to stay longer!
He is my only child. I have loved, respected, admired and doted on him from the moment of birth. I never cursed, let alone abused my child in any way, shape or form. His mental, emotional. physical and spiritual health were of the utmost importance to me. I would take a bullet without hesitation for that child. There was nothing that I would not do for him and he was always first in my life. I gave him a good life, I made sure that he had everything that he needed and many of the things he wanted. I loved and nurtured him (I am a social worker) and I supported him 1,000%. I never denied him, I stood beside him every step out the way.
How he could turn away his own mother is absolutely out of my realm of comprehension. I would be more likely to accept and understand this if he were on drugs, alcohol or had mental health problems but he doesn't. He is in excelling in a masters' program at an Ivy League university. I feel like I am dying inside, spiraling into this big black hole, I cannot imagine my life without him being a part of it.
heartbrokenso sad My situation is almost opposite yours. My daughter is biological, my mom was a stay at home but I was a working mom -- out of necessity but maybe I would have worked anyhow. My daughter is a stay at home. We never had a falling out, but she seems to want little to do with us, lives with her husband's father and near his mother. She claims they are dysfunctional, the mother is a recovered meth addict -- she hates her father-in-law's live-in girlfriend -- but lives with them all the same.
So -- it just comes down to -- there's really no one factor to explain why they want to cut themselves off. You can wrack your brain wondering, thinking if only this had been different or that was -- but who knows. Some people just do what they want to do.
Our son abandoned us about four years ago , we have been denied access to their child , even though he was introduced to us as an infant . The inlaws of course have it all .
His hatred for us as foreigners , is typical of first generation Americans . My wife was born in Germany and I in England. The contempt they show us is odd enough for me to wonder if they are mentally ill , he and his wife .
He was raised liberally , no violence . And we were really easy with him. The only things denied to him were drugs , booze and a party life. We are conservative , liberal and not religious.
In this group are two Doctorates and one medical degree.
The pain is blinding .
I am 65 and my wife two years older.
Everything is lost.
It really is killing me.
Alas we see no future as parents.
We were alienated from our parents , they were violent , dishonest and abusive . So he had no grandparents.
Perhaps this was the cause.
The meanness I see in this man , my son , astounds me.
Angus2 Angus, I feel for you and your wife very much. I have a dear friend, who is from England, her daughter was born here. She is the reason I came to this website. My poor friend was cut off from her daughter over 5 years ago, and then learned through the grapevine she has a granddaughter. She did not even know her estranged daughter gave birth to a daughter until 18 months after the baby girl was born. She is suffering daily from the knowledge that she has not even been allowed a photograph of the girl. She has no idea what she has done. Her daughter will not communicate with her to give her any reason. And like your child, this is an accomplished and successful daughter, with a Ph.D. in, of all things psychology! The daughter is a therapist, which makes it even more perplexing.
I want to say, do not kill yourself over this! Live your life! Give your pain to God (or the infinite intelligence that exists in the universe and your heart.). Free yourself and allow God to take your burden, pray with humility and ask to be freed from this pain. Serve others, find joy in your life as best you can. Who knows what is going on in your son's head, you cannot control that and if he is not willing to tell you, you should let it go. I cannot help but think that your own split with your parents is important here, there is a lesson here, karmic relationship. That said, do not blame yourself, just be open to healing and understanding. Serve others, live your life, enjoy what you can. I know it is hard not to be defeated or angry, but you must not. As best as you can do not harbor resentment, anger, or sadness. My friend in typical English "stiff upper lip" fashion is carrying on and I am very proud of her, although I know there is not a day she does not bear this pain and think about her daughter and now the granddaughter she will never know. Blessings and good luck!
I am a new member. Our 21 year old son is spoiled, disrespectful, and breaking us. Our soon to be 26 year old daughter broke my heart 2 years age when she shut me out of her wedding plans, but not her dad (we are still married-30 years.)
When she and her husband bought a house a couple months ago, my husband was there for inspection. I was passing through today, day of closing, thinking I could get a walk-through tour, but was met at the car and told real fast that I was not welcome. My heart sank, especially when my daughter said surely I would not come on the first day. All she had to do was be honest. What happened to honesty?
HEARBROKEN ON SPECIAL EVENTS!!!
Hello, I am age 66 and a father that recently became estranged and alienated from both of my sons. I went through a divorce in 1991 at age 40 and I was awarded sole custody of my two sons that were then ages 6 and 8 years of age.
My two sons are currently ages 31 and 33. One week ago I became alienated and estranged from my 31 year old son who seems to be very narcissistic. He was diagnosed as having a learning disability all through grade school, junior high, and high school. My other son who is 33 years old took his brothers side in this and he made some snide remarks to me on Facebook and then stopped all contact with me. This is not the first time that I have been alienated from both of my two sons, they have done this to me at least 3 to 4 times in the last decade.
After this recent estrangement and alienation took place I did some research on the internet and I found several websites that said children in the age bracket from 18 to 34 are called the "millennial generation" are becoming alienated and estranged from their parents and it is becoming an epidemic.
I tried to be the best father I could be with no instruction manual on how to raise children, I just used common sense and got advice from my own parents when I needed help. I feel that the reason this "epidemic" is happening is because my generation "the baby boomers", wanted their own children to have a better childhood than they did. I know that was true for myself. I tried to get my children most anything that they asked for in the way of "toys" when they were young and now I see that this "spoiled them rotten". Throughout their 20's and now into their 30's when I don't do what they want me to do, I get talked to with disrespect and if I don't cave in to their demands they reject me and stop talking to me months at a time. I am sick of this cycle and I don't know how to break it. I am thinking about not contacting either son for a least a period of six months to see if they try to reach out to me for a reconciliation. Why am I doing that you might ask, it is because this alienation and estrangement by them seems to be very manipulative on their part because they both know that I love them.
I recently joined a support group on Facebook called "Parents of estranged and alienated adult children" which is helping me deal with this. That support group's page is flooded with stories just like this website.
Thank you for your post. I too have often thought the same
thing that you stated. I have parents that have and still to this day make MANY mistakes. Mistakes
that I believe in my heart were/are worse than I ever did/do as a parent. Still I
have chosen to maintain a relationship with both of them. They are my parents.
They are human. ALL humans make mistakes from time to time.
I have 3 biological children and 2 nieces that my husband
and I have raised since ages 3 and 4. Our oldest daughter, now 27, was adopted by my
husband at the age of 5 after being dis-guarded by her biological father. Although my husband is not her biological father, she was raised as is she was, just as my nieces are. He is a wonderful man.
course, hindsight is always 20/20. We now realize our daughter had a lot of
emotional and possibly even, mental issues. In high school she once told a teacher
that a relative of ours had committed suicide while on the phone with her the
night before. Right then and there we should have gotten professional help. It
turns out that was just the tip of an iceberg we were dealing with. Long story
sort of short, 10 years later she has cut off all ties with our entire family,
including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc...We honestly believe that
she has told so many lies and done so much wrong to our family that she believes her own lies and has justified her actions in her mind. The worst part is she has started a family and
now has a relationship with her father who abandoned her. He now has the
privilege of having our beloved grandson in his life and a granddaughter that
we have never met.
I have read many posts on this blog that talk about
personality disorders. With no substance, physical or emotional abuse in the
home and 4 other children that seem to be well adjusted and loving, we can't
help but think that must be the problem with our oldest daughter. She is a phenomemal liar and manipulator as was her biological father. The ability to intentionally
inflict so much pain on your entire family is simply mind boggling.
@Jackie Very good advice.
I came from a close family and we all loved our parents. My husband's family was fine, his sisters and brother remained close to their mother, but he had the narcissistic personality, I don't think it's how he was raised because he was close in age with his siblings, raised together.
Same with my kids, my estranged daughter doesn't contact her own twin brother except rarely. She seems to just not care about family. Not pets she once cared about either, she never asks about them, doesn't seem to care if they exist. Not her siblings, not parents.
I also need to ask alls advice. This June will be one year my daughter hasnt spoken to me.
Ive been hesitant about changing my phone number in hopes she might call. But as the days ware on, i grow more and more unhopeful.
Do i change my number and move on?
Simplyseminole Probably move on. A year is long enough to know she doesn't care about birthdays, holidays --- it's best to just try to make a new life.
Accept that you did your job as a parent and she's got her life but she just plain doesn't care. I have limited contact with 2 of my kids but a normal relationship with the others. Luck of the draw --- but it hurts. I'm in the process of moving on -- just accepting what is and that I cannot change.
I think every parent is dysfunctional and theydont give you a owners manual on how to raise children. Parents and kids are not perfect.
Im still in the dark on why daughter stopped talking to me. May never know but I know I did the best I could without emotional support from my own family. I blame my parents and my kids will blame me and their kids will blame them.
I´m not one to comment or post on the internet but reading all these comments from parents diagnosing their estranged adult child as NPD or personality disordered is saddening. Even if the diagnosis was done by a professional - there are plenty of personality disordered therapists who blame the victim.
I believe these parents need to question how a child grows up to be personality disordered if they grew up in a healthy environment. Of course parents who are not capable of self reflection nor have the ability to take responsibility have no interest in looking at themselves as projecting on to a child is indeed an easier way of avoiding responsibility and seeing reality.
Why would any adult child raised by a healthy parent (or at least a genuinely remorseful parent) have the desire or need to estrange themselves from the parent? There is possibly some exceptional cases but the vast majority of these children are not disordered but infact healthy individuals who see the sad reality of who their parents are.
I think most adult children would agree that to be estranged from their family is painful and is only done out of necessity.
because they were indulged and thus became selfish - some children requre a lot more attention and effort - because that is their need - as a parent with this particular child others were not treated the same - but no joy he moved on with not a look over his shoulder at what his parents did and provided for - no contact with his brothers or parents in over years .. so sad as I love him so much and miss him
@louise Genetics. People are born with certain traits. In the same family, you can find tea totalers and alcoholics and normal social drinkers. The same goes for emotions. Some kids are just cold and uncaring, others are sweet. Estrangement is more common with divorced parents and like it or not, kids can be born with the traits of the dysfunctional parent. There isn't much that you can do about that.
In my case I stayed close to my parents and always cared about them. My ex had a good mother and she was close with the 3 other kids but he didn't care, didn't call her, but when he lost a job and needed a free place to live, he moved in with her but was still not a nice guy. I think that explains 2 of my kids. The others are fine, seem to want a normal relationship. Mental illness is inherited and also so are other personality traits and dysfunctional personalities.
@louise Well, in fact you are one to comment. You seem to be a child with parents that you don't particularly like or appreciate. Being so judgemental has its drawbacks. You may be
caught in a loop of un-forgiveness. You assume that healthy individuals
are the norm. Since when are people so perfect? What standards are you
judging people by? You may have unrealistic expectations, -another
drawback. Labels abound and it seems you have latched onto some, 'disordered?' One person's reality is different from another person's. Not everyone is sitting in your universe. Perhaps your parents were not there for you the way they should have been, in your opinion. They were there, in the way they saw 'being there for you.'
(You may not have children so this is foreign to you). The stab in the heart that this estrangement does to most parents (that loved their children), is indescribable. It is like torture, the pulling-off-your-fingernails kind of torture. It doesn't matter if the parents were not tip-top-number-one-perfect, they deserve to be informed. That is what humans do, communicate! To not do so is childish! Even if there is a valid reason for such cut off of all ties, to not inform a parent only proves that their job may not have gone as planned. More work to do... . Parents that pose a risk or danger of some type are another blog entirely.
Most adult children are too busy living their lives to think about their parents one way or the other. Some parents were extremely accustomed to being the person a son or daughter went to for everything, so this estrangement may hit hard. They may also have not yet figured out that they probably did this to their parents too.
It may be what I will label 'the independent gene' that kicks in just when parents don't see it coming. That happened to me. Try not being so angry and forgive life for not being perfect. Then it will feel like a better place for you to be happy living in.
Not one us came with an instruction manual. If we did, it would probably be in the wrong language for any of us to read, anyway.
tctiptop kali_kitten yucca13
yep a lot of dust - i got my kid 1K and he walked - didnt give dam about his kids knowing his family ...
You are kidding really !!
I disagree! How could estranged family member be done out of necessity? How could anyone with one ounce of empathy hurt another human being so horribly. I have had to sit through many classes on TBI and my only hope is that a chemical imbalance or brain injury in the past is the case. I hope all estranged children come to realize the hurt and pain they are causing their parents before they loose them from this earth.
Sharon15 It can be done out of necessity because when all they cause is pain, why put yourself through that anymore? As @louise stated, it is painful for the adult children, but reading all these boards, parents think there is no way it is their fault and they can't believe how poorly their children would treat them. It is amazing how many horrible things parents are saying about their children, and they wonder what could have possibly happened when it is so easy for them to talk so bad about them. Hmmmm....tough one.
And to say it is "childish" to not communicate - it takes someone to listen to be able to communicate.
It is also crazy how and adult child can come into these message boards and immediately just be told how wrong they are about what they went through because there is no way, unless the parent was straight abusive, that it wasn't a perfectly loving relationship. Reading these explains a lot - truly.
I am convinced that estrangement is in part inherited like a defective gene, or that you can become infected by it by being exposed to it.
I wonder how many parents of estranged children have their own parental estrangements? Estrangement can be defined as moving away and having minimal contact with family, right through to no contact at all.
My father estranged me when I was 33, after we had an argument about him continuing to put my mother down to me and then to my children. They had been divorced for 28 years by then and I'd had enough of it as a child. It's been 9 years and we have not spoken since. I haven't tried to contact him and he hasn't tried to contact me. But I had already been estranged from him for most of my life leading up to the argument. I'd lived overseas for 17 years, and had always lived in another state growing up after the divorce.
Now my adult daughter has estranged me. I'm not one of those parents who claims to not know why this has happened. I believe in many ways she has been taught how to do this, by me and by my parents, who learned it from their parents....
Miscommunication, a lack of self reflection and an inability to take true responsibility for things imagined or real are all part of estrangements.
Curious if anyone has estrangement running through their family too?
I am 40 with a son who will be 18 in August, whom I have not spoken to in eight days, and apparently he never wants to speak to me again.Last week, he became very abusive towards my 12 year old daughter, he threw her down on the floor, kicked her,smashed her iPhone and threatened to kill her.I called the police and he was brought to a juvenile detention facility.
I know I haven't been the best mother, when he was small I had depression/anxiety that was untreated and although I took care of him well physically,I wasn't the best parent emotionally.That said, I love him dearly and I'm sick with worry and the fear that we will never see him again.What can I do? He will not be able to come back to live with myself, my daughter and my 10 year old son, as he was charged with assaulting my daughter, so he will be in a group home until he is 18.I know he hates me and I feel so, so guilty, He has a substance abuse problem as well, and he's lost a lot of weight.I just want him to get well, but I'm scared that he won't and he will die.
How can I face life without 1/3 of my heart?
I agree with Faith. I ended relationship with family 20+ yrs ago only to have sister and brother cont to say it is my responsibility to be involved with them and then hear endless complaints about how parents criticize them and compare them to cousins and somehow this is all my fault. 29yrs I was told I was too tall, too ugly,not smart enough, the ungrateful recipient of glasses and braces who took food from the other 3 kids by being alive. Yet the siblings were still being told I continued to damage the family after 15yr absence with only contact of siblings being initiated by siblings .I called mother and told her I can forgive her for all the pain she caused and would resume limited contact if they had counselling but was told she needed no forgiveness for she was a perfect mother. I ended all relationship with all biological family for another decade then ran into a second cousin who is also the black sheep in his family. Seems the rants of parents have continued against me to any who will listen and they have only heard my voice once for 3 minutes in nearly 30 yrs.
If believing I have a right to be alive without ever hearing"I only stayed with you for the children" shrieked by mother who then would hit me screaming I was the reason which ever sibling started crying that minute, is NPD in your book go for it. Several mental health providers have said I have PTSD and toxic family must be avoided.
For every parent who is blaming an adult child for not allowing access to their children, give it up. Focus on making a good relationship with your adult child and know that they are seeking to break the cycle of pain and dysfunction. The grandchildren are watching their parents who are role models, anchors, providers, you cannot live long enough to make amends with another generation. Stick to the generation you were responsible to raise.
Mamahurts After reading every word of your post from quite some time ago, I feel like I wrote this!!! —Every single emotion: anger, hurt and they vacillate a million times in a day! Furious, sad, guilty (??), yet I know what I did was no different than any other typical Mother. I’m a wreck. I’ll never get over this! You expressed my feelings better than I ever could. As I said, I feel like I authored it!
My best wishes and luck to you & your husband,
Mamahurts Unfortunately, I totally agree with you! I’m in exactly the same position. I’m hurt to the core of my being! SO SO HURT. When you said “it will never be right again”, I feel the same way — even if we ever do see or speak again. It can never be the same. I’ve had a lot of emotional pain in my life and by far, this is the worst pain, an open wound that can’t form a scar. I’m not even asking for him to HONOR me, just show some caring & interest! No parent deserves this unless they were really physically or unbelievably abusive and I do not believe that the majority of us have been.This may sound sick, but at least with death there is some closure and the steps to grieving can be attained. In our case, we don’t even have that closure. An open wound that can’t form a scar as I said.
I can’t speak for anyone else on this site, but I for one, completely support you and sincerely feel your pain. Your pain IS my pain!
I feel the exactly the same way as you do...I never expected this from my daughter as she and I have always been so close. Wish there were therapist that specialist in this matter in my area to help us get past this. I am moving to Richmond, VA which is where she lives too...so if anyone knows anyone there please send me an email. Thanks
I wish I knew of one but I don't UNFORTUNATELY! I don't want to AGAIN say I feel your pain, which I absolutely do in everyway bc that's all I read & hear. I as do you & everyone else want & need real help!! Not just to repair my relationship with my son but bc I'm not functioning! I have the teeniest shred of hope that things will improve yet sadly I feel it will never but never be what I think is a normal relationship. My sin has rewritten history. I can go on & ON!!!! By the way, I'm having so much trouble navigating on this site! I cant find your message on my laptop. I was forced to reply from my phone. What am I missing or doing wrong?
Thank you & feel free to contact me at ant time. If I should hear of any professional that can help, without question, I'll let you know.
I came across your posting while searching for a support/bereavement group. There aren’t any that I can find except in England!
While reading your post, I absolutely couldn’t believe what you were & are experiencing. My situation is almost identical for the exception that I’m not part of a “solid unit”. I am a single Mother, divorced & a non-present Father since my son was 3 years old. I too, am quite sure my adult child (30+years) has NPD. So as I’m sure you have done, I’ve read everything available regarding this disorder & it isn’t a pretty picture not that I needed to read about it because I’ve been living this for years but didn’t know what the cause & reason was. My heart goes out to you & for me, I don’t ever think I’ll recover from this estrangement. I can go on & on with a million examples & things I’ve done including psychiatric help when he was a child. As you probably know, many personality disorders aren’t diagnosed when they are so young. So now, in the 20’s & 30’s….. the cake is baked!
I too want to SCREAM when I read that most of the time it’s the parents, especially the Mother’s fault! What compounds this “open” wound, that is slowly killing me, is that this situation is stigmatized! I find no relief being around my contemporaries because all they do is talk about their children & grandchildren- so where is the relief & chance to get this off my mind for even 5 minutes? As a result & predictably, I’ve become isolated, heartbroken & a totally broken person declining every single day.
I 100% relate & feel for you. Thank you for reading the betrayal abandonment that I’m living with.
Sometimes it is the case that your child has a personality disorder. We are 99% sure our son has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. We loved and supported him all through childhood, then through 6 years (and $90,000) of college, then when we let him know he would have to take out student loans for grad school, he started bullying us to get us to change our mind. When we finally set our boundaries and refused to respond to his emails, he disappeared. Our hearts are broken. We always had the feeling that it was a "pay to play" relationship. So when we were no longer of any use to him, he dropped us. As he is our only, we are grieving the picture of how we thought it would be having him in our life as an adult child. We are a solid unit and moving on with our lives, but it is a kind of grief for which there is no support group (except perhaps here?). This past weekend was his 26th birthday, and it felt so wrong that we weren't celebrating with him.
Also, when I read on this forum that most of the time the parents are to blame, I feel SO sad and want to scream. Lots of time it IS the child, and there are reasons, like mental illness or personality disorders, and the parents are not to blame.
@Chance2013 Dear Chance2013
I came across your posting while searching for a support/bereavement group. There aren’t any that I can find except in England!
While reading your post, I absolutely couldn’t believe what you were & are experiencing. My situation is almost identical for the exception that I’m not part of a “solid unit”. I am a single Mother, divorced & a non-present Father since my son was 3 years old. I too, am quite sure my adult child (30+years) has NPD. So as I’m sure you have done, I’ve read everything available regarding this disorder & it isn’t a pretty picture not that I needed to read about it because I’ve been living this for years but didn’t know what the cause & reason was. My heart goes out to you & for me, I don’t ever think I’ll recover from this estrangement. I can go on & on with a million examples & things I’ve done including psychiatric help when he was a child. As you probably know, many personality disorders aren’t diagnosed when they are so young. So now, in the 20’s & 30’s….. the cake is baked!
I too want to SCREAM when I read that most of the time it’s the parents, especially the Mother’s fault! What compounds this “open” wound, that is slowly killing me, is that this situation is stigmatized! I find no relief being around my contemporaries because all they do is talk about their children & grandchildren- so where is the relief & chance to get this off my mind for even 5 minutes? As a result & predictably, I’ve become isolated, heartbroken & a totally broken person declining every single day.
I 100% relate & feel for you. Thank you for reading the betrayal abandonment that I’m living with.
heartbroken1 If you see this and have not gotten support, please know that in addition to therapy there is online support. Google parents of estranged children. You should come up with a lot.
It is not always the parent's fault. Many things other than bad parenting can be the cause. We now know that children are also a result of their environment (other people) and there are genetic factors at times.
I have two children who, treated with same love, same home, parents, are polar opposites. Good luck.
A change in therapist is definitely a good idea! Not all of them are
great at their job, like any other profession. I wanted to go to one
with my daughter once, years back, 2009. It didn't work out because when
I tried to make an appointment, the therapist on the phone was very
negative, demanding that I change my schedule to fit hers for the
appointment. It wasn't like I could just take off work, as a single mom
of a high school student. During this call, my daughter was present and
immediately took the therapist's side. When that happened, I knew this
therapist was not the one for us. To be subjected to such abuse by a
therapist, on the phone, before she even knew anything about me, was a
HUGE red flag. I didn't appreciate my daughter having a strange, warped
reason to be mad at me some more. It didn't help our situation, when we
were still under the same roof. I figured getting a therapist wasn't
meant to be, at that moment. I thought that anyone's mind is not
something to 'offer up' to just anyone else. That could be more
dangerous, devastating than the issues needing attention.
don't know how the therapist kept her job. I didn't want to either. Of
course, I never called her again and made sure the number and her name
were wiped from all sources my daughter could get her hands on. I let my
daughter know I would keep looking for a therapist, but not make an
appointment until I was able to check them out. I wanted someone without
bias and with integrity. She was not happy with me at all about that.
My daughter was very demanding, wanting me to hurry up and get another
appointment with someone. Such desperation worried me greatly, but I
knew I was the adult in the room and had to step back and think. I'll
back off when someone wants to pressure me into anything because I like
to analyze the pros and cons, then decide a thing. In hopes of modeling
calm for my daughter, I held to my decision. Later, as usual, it blew up
into the opposite in her eyes, as if I was trying to stop her from
getting help. I feel guilty about a lot of things in our lives. They
cause me great pain. This was one of them.
I implore you
to stay focused. I am sure my daughter would have been harmed more, had I
given in to her demands. She is alive, and happy, even if it is without
me in her life. That is a gift from God. I know my situation will be
healed in His time, not my own. I have to learn REAL patience. That is
one tough lesson! It's okay. I have been learning how to 'be' in my own
skin. How to be my own person, thinking about life in singular terms.
It's a new concept, but some days I feel like I am my own best
therapist. I hope this helps.
What a tough situation. I can only imagine how upsetting it
must be to be separated from all of your children. It’s going to be important
to be sure you’re taking steps to take care of yourself through what may be a
very challenging time. Self care is an often overlooked aspect of effectively
dealing with tough circumstances. A self care plan can include anything you’d
like – spending time with friends, going for a walk, doing other activities you
enjoy. Other parents I have spoken to who are in similar situations have
also found much comfort in support groups and speaking with a counselor. The
211 Helpline can give you information on community resources like support
groups, counselors, and therapists. You can find the Helpline online at http://www.211.org/. You can also call them 24 hours a day
at 1-800-273-6222. Best of luck to you as you work through these challenging
circumstances. Take care.
I have been estranged from my only son for ten years and my two granddaughters. He and I were extremely close his entire life. However when he got married at 27 years old, the new woman in his life was extremely jealous and insecure of our close relationship. Therefore she basically told him its me or your mother. Him being like me in the fact he doesn't like confrontation, obviously chose his wife and daughter. I don't blame him for that decision at the time bring newlyweds and new parents. However, it's been ten years and surely she still can't believe I'm any kind of a threat to her. After all, I'm not his ex-wife or an ex-girlfriend, I'm his Mother!! I am an only child and had recently lost my own father, then 7 months to the day, lost my only uncle, and a short 11 days later, my
Mother. All of this loss was too much for me to bear unable to cope with my grief and heartache on a daily basis. I spent time in a mental hospital and upon my return home, my husband of 40 years informed me he had been in another relationship for the past 25 years and wanted a divorce. I thought my life was over having to deal with another loss. Thank God, I met a wonderful man online 6 years ago and we were married in May. My only daughter who was married a year ago and had a baby girl in June, hates him and sent me a nasty text telling me I chose my husband over her and my granddaughter. So now we too are estranged since she wants nothing to do with us. I'm more depressed than ever, with no family left, I'm unable to function at my job and have had to file for pension disability. I'm currently seeing a therapist and attend group therapy on a regular basis to no avail however. My heart is shattered in pieces and the void is unbearable. I need help with trying to cope especially with the holidays approaching. I miss my new baby granddaughter terribly as well as my other two granddaughters that don't even know who I am. I've got stage three kidney disease and I pray every day for some kind of answer. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. Thank you marian
I am so sorry to hear your adult children have chosen not to
interact with you over the past few years. It can be heartbreaking when someone
you love makes this choice. The holidays can be a tough time for many people.
We all have this idealized image in our heads about what the holidays are
supposed to be. When our reality doesn’t live up to our idealized version, it
can cause a lot of disappointment and anxiety. Try to focus on what you can do
to take care of yourself. What are things that have helped you deal with tough
times in the past? A few things you might consider is finding a support group
for estranged parents, volunteering in your community, or do another activity
that you find fulfilling. Unfortunately, when you need something from another
person in order to feel complete, you put yourself in a precarious positon
because they don’t have to give it to you. You can’t make your adult children
interact with you nor can you make them let you spend time with your grandchildren.
The only person you have control of in this situation is you, as Debbie Pincus
explains in her article Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do. I’m glad to hear you have
supports in place with your therapist and group therapy. Even if it doesn’t
feel like it’s making a lot of difference right now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t
helping. Hang in there. We appreciate you writing in and sharing your story.
Good luck moving forward through this challenging time. Take care.
tammielpowell DeniseR_ParentalSupport Prayingforamiracle
I hear you. It can be tough for a parent to support choices
s/he doesn’t agree with. Truthfully, it’s not so much about supporting the
choices your adult child makes. You don’t have to support any choice you don’t
agree with. It is important, though, to recognize your child has the right to
make his/her own choices, regardless of whether or not you agree with those
choices. When your dependent child becomes an adult, your role changes and the
focus switches to establishing your own limits and boundaries, which includes
deciding how much support you’re willing to give your adult child. I hope this
helps to answer your question. Take care.
I am an estranged parent of almost 3 years from my son, and my grandchildren. And while the whole experience is difficult and I suffer from a broken heart I pause to remember that it takes two in any relationship to make it work. Relationships are an investment in which we all have to work at. We are all imperfect and will agree to disagree but we need to respect each other unconditionally and value each other without judgement.
We all make mistakes, trip up, and fall short of what another perceives we should be or should do. But we are to love, forgive and have kindness. If we all could be patient and see the best in everyone maybe we would All be spared of estrangement. Someone told me I have a lot of love to give and to give it to those who want it. I try to follow that as advise.
I love my son no matter what and I hold onto all the good memories and hope and pray we will embrace each other again one day. If you love someone you have to let them go and respect their wishes.
Loose yourself in service Volunteer by serving others and you will find your way of positive healing over time. You will learn much about yourself through the process and find joy in helping others.
I hope this helps someone out there who suffers from a broken heart especially during the holiday seasons like I do.
May god bless you and help you though this difficult experience. And I hope you find peace.
Signed mother who has faith Gods love and in prayer.
Is not a proper apology & doesn't do anything but show your adult child how right they were to cut you out of their lives.
I also want to say that those of you who think your adult children are suffering because of their choice to cut you off are most likely incorrect. I went thru a period of grieving the end of my relationship with my parents, but I'm so much happier with them out of my life than I was with them in it. I know they are hurting & I am sorry for that but I can only love them from far away, having contact with them is just too painful & damaging because of how they act
I just want to comment on the parents here who say they "have no idea why" their adult children have ended their relationship, or say the adult children "refuse to explain why" they have cut their parents off. My experience is that if you're really honest with yourself and think back to conversations with your adult children over the years, chances are they asked you again & again to please stop doing some hurtful behavior (example: being unkind to their partner or spouse, constantly criticizing them or their spouse or their children, saying unkind things about their other parent directly to them, putting them in the middle of your fights with someone they care about, saying negative things about someone they Care about, blaming them for your own unhappiness). And chances are good that you didn't really hear them because you may Have disagreed with what they said or felt defensive because you knew deep down its true, or you maybe you just can't see your adult child as an adult who is entitled to have their own feelings.
I almost cut my parents off 20 years ago, but decided to go back & Keep trying to transform our relationship into one that was not one-sided. For 20 years I asked for their respect & kindness, the same respect & kindness they demanded from me & I gave. But in the end I realized that they are just not capable, so yes I cut them off (and gave them clear written reasons why, and still they tell people they are "confused & have no idea why") and I don't respond to their attempts to communicate because after 20 years they have nothing new to say & I have no desire to get back on their merry go round.
Here's another bit of advice for cut off parents about making an apology. Many of you claim to have apologized over & over & say that your "bratty/entitled/narcissistic/ungrateful" etc adult children didn't accept your apology. But there are authentic apologies and there are the other kind. A proper apology requires one to look honestly at oneself & take responsibility for ones actions that have caused pain to another person. Saying "I'm sorry for what happened" or "I'm sorry You see it that way"
@Faith Thank you Faith - oh my goodness!! I am the adult child in the merry-go-round of estrangement and I tried to find somewhere, someone that understood it from the child's perspective and I come here and all I hear is how horrible the children are for, what it seems to boil down to, going out and living their life how it suits them. For a very long time, after I left home, every time I talked to my mom again, it was her telling me how much I owed her and that is just what it became after I was an adult. I won't even go through all the things that happened before I was able to be out on my own and still I always tried to come back. And you're right, the "I'm sorry that it happened", "I'm sorry for you how you feel", "I'm sorry for how you see it" isn't an apology, it's essentially saying well too bad you see it that way but just move on. How about "I'm sorry for what I did", "I'm sorry for what I said", "I'm sorry for how I treated you (or your spouse, kid, etc.)". That would go a lot farther in someone actually wanting to listen to what you have to say after they've been hurt.
I was in disbelief when I came to this site at how many parents think so negatively about their children. Through everything, I never once said anything that negative about my mother (except maybe to my husband when I was upset). Just because people grow apart, doesn't make them bad people. Just because a kid grows up and wants to live their life somewhere else, doesn't make them bad people. People need to grow, experience, live and do what is right for them. It's so hard to see so many parents who think their kids need to live within 5 minutes forever. I went to the Army when I left home and so many people wanted to disown me for leaving the town I grew up in. Living your life isn't deserting people - it's doing what is right for you.
I think I just ranted myself off topic. But anyways - I completely agree, Faith.
@Faith Some of what you say has a ring of logic to it, but it seems you have no trust in the spoken word unless it / they are spoken to you on your terms only. You are either controlling, like your parents, or you are afraid of dealing with something inside yourself, and blame them instead because that is easier. I had to understand this before I could move on.
Parents are not capable of many things. For most, when the day comes that their child is an adult, that is painful for any parent(s). Some parents will never be able to understand the whys and the wherefores. Blinders work that way. So does time. So does the nature of being a parent.
In their defense, even the "I'm sorry you see it that way" is also often taken the wrong way. Every spoken word can be twisted to the wishes of the one so desirous to do so. How would you really know your parents have nothing new after 20 years? Have you made your scars your best friend instead of letting them go? Your two brokenhearted parents have had to learn how to let go and control no one but themselves. Getting on with their lives, mustn't have been easy. It rarely is. But we all do it.
In your defense, I must tell you that there are some parents that have a disorder of sorts. Such as mine have, an anti-social disorder. Everything is negative or bad in their eyes. They find fault with everyone around them. They don't see the error of their ways. They cannot change. That isn't part of their mindset. They are hardwired that way. To call them on their own double standards of doing that which they claim is wrong, is to defy them, in their eyes. They have no sense of right, wrong or responsibility. They don't know this. In their mind they think all is right with the world. The disorder lives on, their entire lives.
You can't fix them. Only yourself. I am in the middle of both these worlds. I had such a parent and have such children. I am sorry you had to endure so much for all of your life, with this negative take on things. It makes it hard to be happy, but that is what you must do..Be happy. If being around them makes you sad, stay away from them. Let them know you are alive every once in a while. You don't have to be unkind, just because they were. I tried not to be the way my parents were. It saved me. My children have the ability to be happy in spite of the cards they too were dealt. I am thankful for that.
Not hearing from her since 2010, every year I email my daughter to say happy birthday on her day. This past year, when I emailed her, still just saying only "Happy Birthday," my daughter's first reply ever, was filled with her desire to control how I speak to her if I want to have a conversation.
Well, after thinking it through, I couldn't let that take place, then I would be disrespecting myself.
You see, I had two divorced parents that were never kind to me. Ironically, kindness was seen as a weakness in my family. In spite of them all, I am kindhearted. I have the utmost respect for my daughter as an adult. She refuses to see it, accept it, or reciprocate, seeing the negative in anything I say, devaluing it, especially when I praise her. She was around my own mother way too much. That is my biggest mistake.
For now, I think it is best to stay away and let her live her life. Perhaps when she is older, I will make progress. As long as she is alive and happy, I am happy for her and able to live in peace and harmony.
Let go of the bitterness before it eats you up alive. Set it free so you can be too.I hope this helps.
lost 4 now
hi i am a 47 year old mother who has a 29 year old son who i have a great relationship with granted it has come with some turmoil which im sure is to be expected i am very lucky to be a part of his and my daughter in law and more importantly my grandsons life my dilema lies with my now 21 year old daughter who has chosen to completely cut me out of her life due to a relationship she has with an individual who is vile and has no desire for me to have any relationship with her so much has been done for her and its like i no longer exist in her world and although i have listened to everyone tell me that its time to let go because she just doesnt care enough is so hard i have been threatened messed with in the head and im lost in feeling it will never be resolved i could type for hours i am at my wits end i feel alone and scared that i may never see or talk hug or be able to love my daughter anymore...
Thank you for this article. I have a dear friend whose grown daughter and only child (now 40) cut off all communication with her several years ago, with no explanation. She was not invited to her daughter's wedding or graduation from her Ph.D. program. (the daughter is a therapist if you can believe that). My friend has reached out to her daughter but the daughter told her not to contact her anymore. The worst part is my friend has just learned she is a grandmother. When she reached out and asked her daughter to at least send a photo of her granddaughter, the daughter told her she would think about it, but eventually told her no and again please go away. I don't know what to say to my friend. I wish I could help. I have even been tempted to contact the daughter. But thought better of it, as it would probably just make things worse. Any advice for my friend. Thank you!
I am an estranged son. I am the eldest of six children. 4 boys and 2 girls. All through my life I was never close to my parents. Mum never hugged me but did tell me she loved me occasionally when I was going off the rails. I never lived up to dads expectations so we hardly interacted. We liked different things. I played football for many teams and only once did they come to watch a game.
I married and have 3 children who all through their lives my parents have rarely seen or bothered with, which is quite the opposite of my sisters' children.
I decided to estrange myself from them as I didn't see any point or advantage in having them in my life.
tctiptop Hi, I hope things work out for you. We are strong :)
My wife disagrees with my stance but she would never make me do anything I didn't want to as I wouldn't with her. She is my rock.
I've not been here in a while but wanted to post a brief update on my situation with my son. I'd mentioned previously that I'd written him a letter requesting an opportunity to meet and talk about what is wrong and why he has rejected me but had never mailed it. I finally mailed it a couple weeks ago and it was delivered last Saturday. I used certified return receipt mail so I was able to track it. I've not yet heard back from him but remain ever hopeful. I'm not sure how long I'm willing to wait but considering 2 options as a 'next step.' I thought maybe I might resend the letter (without any special delivery this time) - but also seriously considering just driving down there and showing up at his door. (He's only a little over 4 hours from me now). While I realize this approach could turn out to be traumatic I also think it would be a lot more difficult for him to ignore me if I'm standing on his front porch. If I go this route I would plan to take an overnight bag with me so I could stay in a hotel if necessary - if things turn out badly it would be nearly impossible to drive back in the condition I know I would be in. In any case I would really appreciate anyone's prayers that he might find it in his heart to reply to my letter and agree to meet or at least talk with me, to see if we can't get this resolved. Thank you so much in advance - and God bless us, each and every one!
Hello, I just found this site. I'm a 56 year old mother of 5 and married 31 years. We've had a great marriage, and our family life was near-perfect until I received a terrible diagnosis in 2005. At that time, only 2 kids were still at home; a HS Senior & Freshman. I was put on chemotherapy and given 2-10 years to live. Everyone was devastated, but I vowed to fight. After four years, and two unsuccessful chemo attempts that failed, I was left to die. I was near death for a long time and I don't remember anything from that time except going to sleep every night, knowing I might not wake up. It was awful.
A new form of treatment was approved last year. I'd been bed-bound for nearly four years. I started the treatment and finished in May 2015. Guess what? It worked and I am cured! Unbelievable.
During the chemo and while very ill, I acted inappropriately. My husband told me that I flew into rages several times and said some pretty awful things. I have no recollection of it, but I believe it to be true. My husband and 4 of the kids forgave me; they knew I wasn't myself and it was my illness and chemo taking over. They are thrilled for our family! However, I have one son who refuses to speak to me. He cut me off if Facebook and has told me I ruined his life. I apologized and just listened. He went on to say he's not sure he ever wants to see me again, and when I tell him I love him, he yells at me, "that can't be true or you wouldn't have said those things to me!" I have no idea what things I said, but I'm sure they were bad - I simply do not remember. I admire him so much, am very interested in being in his life, but this is causing so much angst. I'm following his wishes for no contact. I don't know what else to do. It's tearing me apart and I want to do the right thing. Thank you!
I am so sorry for you pain! I have tried to stay as busy as possible ! I pray constantly that the Good Lord will work in their lives. Praying and staying busy and surrounding yourself with peop,e who care about you is all any of us can do! I am here if you just need to talk! Claudia
I have not seen or talked to my oldest son or my granddaughter in 5 years. They were at the funeral of my oldest grandchild ( his oldest child) that day is the last time. I have tried emails , letters , calls( messages) he will not answer . From time to time he will send me a picture of my Grandaughter in a proud moment winning a trophy or award but other than that no contact. He has respond in a message on 3 or 4 occasions with a 2 -5 word text but nothing else. Some days as you know are harder than others ! Without God in my life and my Church family I would not have survived this grief and pain ! Just need to talk today but no one to talk to!
Claudia Cazanas So sorry that no one was around today. My daughter has embraced the idea that her life was something out of a scary movie. I was overprotective, but what things she comes up with are amazing. If I don't text a certain way to her, she wants nothing to do with me. She is such a control freak and she called ME something along those lines? It was 2012 that I last saw her. She moved far away and email is all I can send her. She responded once, and I nearly fell off my chair! I wasn't perfect,and sweet and nice in my words, just real and upfront, so it looks like it will be another three years or more before she responds again. It is amazing how short their messages are. As if we are supposed to read between their lines now. I have learned that no matter what happens, we have to stay on top of things in our own lives. God helps me with that every day. I am able to keep moving forward if I don't let my emotions get the best of me. I would be a crumpled mess if I didn't have my inner strength to keep on keepin' on. That's gotta be God since I am not so good at this all by myself.
I don't remember shutting out my own mom like my daughter did, but I may have been distant, for sure. We grow up, we grow away then we live our lives. I get that. I never thought to be angry at my mom for doing what she could to raise me. It was what it was, ya know? It isn't like I kept score. That would have given me ADD!
All these labels to live up to. I didn't do that to my kids. They act sometimes like I should have. I was just a mom. I didn't go to school for that. I didn't get any degree for it. Yet somehow my daughter thinks I should have been such an expert and is upset that I wasn't. My son is older and knows everyone has something to complain about. He and I are not as estranged, but it is sometimes an eggshell day with him.
Talk whenever you need to. I hope I helped somehow.
Just as an update- we haven't seen our only child, our son in over a month- however if we text him- he answers with a very brief response. We purchased a very old truck that he wants from us, but we are waiting on the title. Not sure if he will ditch us completely or not, once he has the key. We do not have an address for him, but do know the subdivision he is living in. He has broke ties with all friends and older adults from his former life. He is drinking, smoking, and most likely doping excessively, at 18. Pics on social media are horrible, nothing like his former self. Everyone says I have to move on!! So hard!! I know I kicked him out for just not caring at all about us or his future. All my reasons that night seemed acceptable, but now I am still sad that he doesn't need us- and has become someone we don't relate to at all! The loss of hope is the hardest. No hope for holiday get togethers, or grandchildren, or just casual visits . Let it go- is all I hear! I just retired so I have a lot of time on my hands to think if him!! How can someone change in the blink of an eye?
I know there aren't any easy answers, thanks for letting me voice my thoughts!
Thank you! I think of him everyday- but
his personality is so different, so cocky. I am praying for someone to come into his life that might influence it to the good! Right now he's very happy- without me and my husband.
I just want to say, we live in different times now than when we were raised. I think it's hard for many to accept that. Just for example, take 1975 - calling your best friend at night to get the English homework: (1) you had to wait till somebody in your house was off the phone (2) you called your friend, it was busy, you tried 5X more over the next hour when nobody else at your house was on the phone (3) you finally get through to your friend's house, the dad answers (4) you chat for a minute "Hi Mr S, how are you?" and eventually you ask if your friend is there (4) the Dad says no, friend is out, will all you back later (5) maybe you get a call back later, maybe not, cuz nobody called after 9 or 10 pm (6) now your friend calling back has to chat for a minute with one of your parents (6) and maybe you two connect and you get the assignment. The whole process took hours and for many of us here, this was our life. Life taught us patience, warmth, manners.
We learned to be nice, cordial, to our friend's parents and we had to be well mannered or those parents lectured us and hung up. Some of you remember that.
Today ... the text comes in, it bypasses everybody, and the answer is instantaneous. Kid today have learned, they want what they want and they want it right now, this moment. And most get it. And for our kids, the last person they ask for anything is the parents. They are happier with 100 texts from their 'friends.'
They don't learn manners. They don't learn graciousness. They learn that when they want something, they are entitled to get it and right at that moment.
Of course not all kids are like this but many are. Those of us on this thread, we have kids like this. We got 'lucky' wouldn't you say.
Kids like ours, they genuinely believe the world is their oyster. They truly believe that a parent is here to give them what they want and the parent better do it or the kid won't be your friend anymore. Even parents that didn't do the 'friend, not parent' stuff, well just cuz we didn't doesn't mean our kids believed it was our role to be their BFF in life.
So what can you do. Kids like this, with rare exception, they live on Pluto and we live on Earth. It is a very difficult mindset to change. And there are plenty of kids now grown up to be adults and they are like this too. Those of us about 50, 55+ .. we come from a different world. We had to learn patience, goals, etc. NOT THE KIDS TODAY. People wonder if the estrangements are deliberate, if the kids plan to hurt us. I don't think so. These are the way our kids just are. They want what they want when they want it and they never outgrow that stance. They live in a society that rewards them for instant information and moving heaven and earth to get what they want. And few have any compunctions about 'using' us to get what they want. Just listen to what they say to us. I remember my son saying to me "Mom if you don't XXXX then you will never see me again." Who talks like that? And to be honest, at that time not seeing him again was tempting .. and I told him that. And then he shut up when he realized I meant it. But to even think that in the first place. Amazing. So parents, moms here, take a step back and take a deep breath. Some of us here are fighting a losing battle. A few of us will win but many of us will be on this endless mess with these kids for life. You have to stay calm and not be afraid. I get sadness when I read at all my sites about parents apologizing and the kids don't care. Remember they don't see life like we do.
MichelleLDickerson Guest Commentator Another Guest Commentator above believes that children who turn their backs on a parent (or both) do not intend to hurt them. Perhaps not intentionally, but I feel that there may be a subconscious urge to retaliate. It's a kind of passive aggression. Depriving someone of affection is a form of abuse (if a spouse does it it's even mental abuse in legal terms).
So it could be passive aggression and a form of abuse. Some people absolutely cannot talk about the reasons why they cut off a parent because they simply cannot even verbalise it for themselves. When I asked my son why he had not wanted to be in touch with me for one year and eight months all he said was that he had no excuse for why it took so long. But he never described the reason why he did it in the first place, and I did not push (because I knew I was walking on thin ice).
I was fully prepared for a repeat estrangement as I'd read that this often happens, and it did. I did not hit him over the head, I did not point fingers and I had been honest about how sad I'd felt that he had shunned me for so long. He claimed that he missed me, wanted to get back on track and that he would be in touch more often (via Skype or email because we now live on different continents). He understood that I was somewhat wary but promised to do his best.
He didn't pitch for a Skype date and then was silent for almost six months. I quoted him on the missing me stuff and asked why he would say that and then disappear again (third time). He responded six weeks later saying that he was sorry that he'd messed up. It was obvious that he had not even opened my email for six weeks. That's when it dawned on me: He's just not that into me. (ya know, that famous line in a different relational context, but nevertheless it's the same thing).
I don't suffer abuse gladly and certainly not long-term. I'd thought about it for months and months, but when I realised that he's just not that into me, I put his email on my blocked sender list. I don't know if he's written to me at all for the last eight months and I don't know for how long I will keep it up, but a mother dog bites a puppy in the nose to show how much it hurts after the puppy did it to her. I don't know if he will feel hurt like I did, but at least he cannot keep on hurting me with his promises and subsequent welching.
Even if you get a chance to ask your son why he distanced himself from you, you may not get a truthful answer as it may be difficult to be honest. Even if he gets in touch with you, it may not mean that he will stay in touch with you. I am still immensely sad that I've lost my son in a sense, but I keep his abuse at bay which is a little salve on the wound. He is extremely introvert and on his father's side family estrangement is the norm. I've concluded that there may be a form of autism in the family, something like Asperger's. For them it's hard or impossible to realise how it feels to put a parent on hold.
You can always keep on hoping and praying that he may be in touch again, but the question is, for how long, and will he be honest about his reason(s)? Tread with care. In the long run - for your own emotional well-being - it is important that you accept the situation as is. Don't analyse, don't blame either yourself or him, because all you tangle yourself up in is a downward spiral. Sending universal love (such as white light) to him may help without having any specific expectations. And when you feel the pain of the missing, cry and scream, or else it will fester in your body. Mindfulness techniques help a little to stop the fretting, wondering and analysing as you learn how to just let it be. As is.
@Kimimila MichelleLDickerson Guest Commentator Well said Kimimila...I have a 23 yrs old daughter who refuses to speak to me..it's been 3 yrs. It all happened when she request that I lie to immigration so her boyfriend from Italy who I have never met wanted to come back to Canada. I outright told her NO I will not lie. Then with that came a trail of mean, abusive and self-centered emails to me from her...my partner stepped in and told her that he doesn't appreciate how she is treating me. That if she cannot have something nice to say or show gratitude for all that I have done for her, that she is not to contact me. From that day on she's wrote me off.
But it's so true...I raised my children to be polite, respectful, and appreciative....it seems today they "expect" everything handed to them...but I'm to blame for that too...I gave and did everything for them without consequences. It took me 3 yrs of counseling to realize that there is nothing more I can do to make her talk to me....I never gave up on her...wrote her emails once a month to say hi, I love you and let her know what was going on her with younger brothers...until she called me yelling to tell me to stop emailing her and to leave her alone. So I have. She knows I love her. I send her bday notes and Merry Christmas but I refuse for it to consume my life....I have a good man in my life (finally) and good job, friends, family and all is well. So why allow her to continuously abuse me with her words of anger and resentment.
It's not right. It would not be acceptable if it was myself doing it to her.
Goodmom Good for you, Good Mom. I have never felt comfortable when relatives and friends ask me to lie for them. I did it once for my sister and it back fired. As the saying goes, "what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." You are teaching your daughter integrity by refusing to do so, she will eventually thank you for it. Be patient, I guarantee it. May all that is divine give you peace and happiness,
Another Good Mom
Laurenc686 Thanks - but I have tried to 'seek him out.' I have his home address and always send birthday, Christmas gifts and cards, etc. to him and his entire family. All are unacknowledged. I continue to do this because I want to do what I believe is 'right' even though I don't think he's doing that. (I can still hear my mother telling that "just because the other person doesn't do the right thing doesn't mean that you shouldn't") I also want him to know that there isn't anything he can do that will make me not love him - and that I am always here for him. I do have a letter written to send him, asking for an opportunity to meet and talk. It's been written for months and I just can't get a real peace about sending it just yet. (I always seem to make different excuses each month to not send it). Even though I want to mail it to him I believe it's a clear situation of 'don't ask the question if you're not ready to hear the answer." It's not at all that I don't want to hear what he has to say about what he believes I did 'wrong' - and I certainly want a chance to apologize in person (or on the phone) and try to find a way to make it right. I think that he would ignore this letter if I did mail it which wouldn't be any different that anything else I've sent. That would hurt, but it always hurts - but I still have hope that his heart will change. However, if he were to respond in a way like "I don't ever want to see or speak with you again" or "don't ever contact me again," I just don't believe that I would be able to handle that because it would seem, at least, that hope had been destroyed. I've also tracked down (with a great deal of difficulty) what I believe is his work phone number. I am not willing right now to try to call because the last time I tried this was his birthday 2 years ago. I think when he answered I was in shock and the only thing that came into my mind was to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, which I did. When I finished singing I realized that he had hung up on me. I did try to give him the benefit of the doubt thinking - "maybe we were disconnected" (it was an international call). So, I called back and asked for him and was told that he was 'out.' It was immediately after I'd called the first time so I felt strongly that this was just what he said to tell me. Needless to say I was heartbroken. This was not my son - or like anything he would ever, ever do. Everyone who knows him (and us) said the same thing. As I've said previously in this forum we all believe that his wife is behind the whole thing but don't know for sure and have no 'proof' of that. The result is the same, regardless. He will not communicate with me. He is my only child and this has nearly killed me. The only thing that has saved me is a renewed and much stronger relationship with God. Another point of view came recently from a friend of mine when I was talking about the fact that he once again ignored the birthday card and gifts I sent. She said "Maybe the only thing that will get his attention is if you STOP sending him and his family cards and gifts. He/they expect them from you." This is something else I'm just not ready to do - or not do. It feels wrong to me. But I do think that deep down he knows that he is able to do these things and I WILL always love him and be here for him...
God help us all.
Laurenc686 Thanks. I actually have apologized to him - in the beginning. And I can't prove that his wife is behind it - plus, I don't have any way of calling her even if I could prove it. The letter that I have already written but not sent once again apologizes profusely and BEGS his forgiveness. I have not made any demands or placed any blame at all on either of them or anything even remotely like that- and not sure why you would assume that I have. I have only apologized and asked for forgiveness and a chance to make amends - to make things right. I don't know if he is angry or what - he has never told me. I've not had the advantage of knowing what in the world is wrong. All I want right now is a chance to have a conversation with him and to FIND OUT what is wrong - and then make amends if he will give me a chance. I wish I could be braver about sending the letter but right now I feel like hope is all I have. He and my grand daughters were and are my life.
I apologize for seeming to assume you were placing blame or demanding things. I really didn't think you have done anything like that but just was considering that you may have or could eventually. I was not trying to make my comments an attack of your character,just offering a different perspective from an adult with children who is estranged from my parents ( and my at the time )only living grand parent who has been deceased now for 3 years. My mother and step mother both place extreme blame and demands but they both have extreme diagnosed psychiatric disorders. I know my situation isn't common and did not mean for you to have to defend your actions to me. I really did mean well.
I read you sent that letter.. I hope you went to the door.
I found out that being open and honest is not what I should have done with my own daughter. It's as if she has this tape playing over and over in her mind. This tape won't allow for real communication with her, if anything I say does not conform to it. My daughter thinks she is 110% right on every little thought, word or deed. If I address any past events she is upset about in her own mind, even to apologize, I am wrong for doing that. She claims I am only being defensive and she wants none of that.
I was once told that there is no way any two people ever remember the same exact thing. Even three or four! Trying it out, I was surprised to find that my three relatives all remembered one event completely different from the others.This time there were no negative feelings of any kind. We wanted to see if this were true. We were all quite shocked to learn that none of us saw this event the same way at all whatsoever, even down to the time of day! Knowing that has helped me be flexible in positions I take. Having said that, I still had to set my own safe limits.
So now the future conversations have to be her way or no way. I considered just not saying or doing anything that made her upset again, but then I knew deep down that I can't sincerely expose myself to her verbal abuse with her rants and keep my own peace in and about my life.
She can and will continue to claim she was on the receiving end of emotional abuse, but I can't change how she sees things, right or wrong. In fact, I had no idea how extreme her views were until I sent her a friendly, tiny, email as I have done once or twice a year. Usually, I get no reply so I move on.
This time, I got one. It was nice at first. Then it went into this tirade of if you don't answer me a certain way I want nothing to do with you ever. I responded addressing her concerns, that's what you do! I thought! Well, it went from bad to worse, so I guess that did it for me. I don't do eggshells! I let her know I will always love her, but I can't be a door mat either. She hasn't moved on from being a teenager. I want her to be an adult. My trying to change the situation isn't allowing that to happen, so I have to bow out and give her some more oodles of time. I have to practice what I preach. I am letting her go (again). If she comes back, as an adult, later on in life, great! If not, sadly, it was never meant to be. I guess what I am trying to say, is you have to draw a line. Just don't use a permanent marker.
how old is she? Just curious..
treat her words as if they are 13 and forget her friend. Other people are not a reflection of what you are. other people project in denial of themselves, hold the mirror gently and never let words become stones.
@Nothing I am so sorry for what you are going through. You are fortunate. You have his address. It all rings so familiar with me. The key thing you have going for you is that he doesn't send your gifts back. That can be interpreted as this: He is communicating with you. He hasn't shut you out completely. He just needs time. You have to be willing to give him that, along with your gifts and cards. His brother probably knows more than you realize, but you can't pump him for information. He isn't the issue unless you do that. Then you may have two sons incommunicado. My sister's son did this with no address or phone number for five years at the same age. He restarted their relationship when he was ready. It has been excellent ever since, some fifteen years now. As for me, my own son never gave me an address or phone number. Thankfully, there is 'texting.' This has helped me learn how to communicate, period, without the 'mommy me.' We have slowly been reconstructing our relationship. Early on, I had to realize this was two adults, two strangers, getting to know each other. It seems that as his mother, I had to let go of 'my sweetie pie.' It isn't about you, no matter how long you lived for your son. That was you doing what mothers do, extremely well, globally, -your job as his mother.
The hardest thing for me was realizing my job was done. Both my children lived different childhoods than I remember providing them, as a single mother. There were many speed bumps in the road that I will never forget, but to them they were potholes! My daughter is incognito for three years now. For those three years I've emailed every address I ever had, occasionally, to say hi. I didn't get a reply, until my last one. I was hit with such a rant, demanding that I choose her way to reply or else. Needless to say, I didn't reply with her required perfection. (I have thousands of pictures to prove her wrong, and gave her copies long ago). I will have to wait another three to forty years for the next try. In the meantime, I still love her with all my heart. I am happy to finally know she is alive, healthy, and thriving. That email rant was a godsend!
This is a chance for you to not do anymore for him, and focus on valuing the life you must live for yourself now. Kind of like proving to your son that there is an awesome person that he is missing out on getting to know.
It is your time to get to know yourself. That is what I am doing. Sometimes I feel like 17! I realize now I have tastes in clothes, furniture, and colors! It was not something I developed as a mom. When I stopped being a clingy mom, the world opened up to me. I got one child back as an adult, I have one more to go!
Maybe this will help you, maybe not. I hope so, because it really helped me to organize my thoughts, and stay on track. For that I thank you! :)
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like the https://store.empoweringparents.com/product/the-calm-parent-am-pm/. In the meantime, you may find these articles helpful: Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do & Stop Letting Your Child’s Behavior Make You Crazy. We appreciate
you writing in. Take care.
"Mother love is the fuel, that enables a normal human being, to do
the impossible" -C Garretty.
I wanted to post the above quote as I have 2 sons. It
has been over a year and a half since I have seen or heard from my first born.
He is 25 and has a son who is nearly 3. I ache for my son and for the grandson
I bonded with for 9 months. The pain of knowing he wouldn't even recognise me.
My 14 year old son who has lost a brother and nephew, the pain as a mother
knowing her 2 beloved sons are not (for now) living as brothers. I don't know
why this has happened, I just know it has happened and I must get on with it. I
still have my teenager who deserves a healthy and emotionally available mum.
And I do know the fault is in part, mine. The above quote jumped out at me and
I say the words in my head whenever the pain becomes seemingly to much to bear.
Love to you all. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone in this horrid heart
break. Please keep hope in your heart and be ready to hold your arms out to
your child if he or she returns. I will, I have wondered, but I love him and I
would give up almost everything just to be able to see my son, To hug him again
would be simply the best. L :)
"Mother love is the fuel, that enables a normal human being, to do the impossible" -C Garretty.
I wanted to post the above quote as I have 2 sons. It has been over a year and a half since I have seen or heard from my first born. He is 25 and has a son who is nearly 3. I ache for my son and for the grandson I bonded with for 9 months. The pain of knowing he wouldn't even recognise me. My 14 year old son who has lost a brother and nephew, the pain as a mother knowing her 2 beloved sons are not (for now) living as brothers. I don't know why this has happened, I just know it has happened and I must get on with it. I still have my teenager who deserves a healthy and emotionally available mum. And I do know the fault is in part, mine. The above quote jumped out at me and I say the words in my head whenever the pain becomes seemingly to much to bear. Love to you all. Thank you for reminding me I am not alone in this horrid heart break. Please keep hope in your heart and be ready to hold your arms out to your child if he or she returns. I will, I have wondered, but I love him and I would give up almost everything just to be able to see my son, To hug him again would be simply the best. L :)
I'm lost as to what to do next ....
Our son was adopted at 7. Through out his pre- teen years he was very stubborn, detached and aloof. We allowed outings with other children and he seemed to love to leave and be with other kids and their parents. He never really bonded with us. As a teen, he became more aloof, and didn't bother to invite us to any school or church parent -child activities. At 15 he started keeping things from us, omitting info, avoiding us if possible. At 18 he started dating his first girl friend and he became even more aloof, distant and sneaky. We've asked him several times to move out due to the lies, emotion vacuum, avoidance, in the past. Just before HS graduation he told us he was already planning to move out in August . We beat him to the punch and kicked him out in May, due to lies and manipulation. The next day after the anger settled, he came to the house for more items. I apologized. He told me I didn't need to.
But to shorten the story we've seen him about two hours over the last 6 weeks all strained and full of tension. He won't look us in the eye. I texted him last week, and within a few hours he sends pictures of a car he wants us to help him buy. In the same text he says he hasn't forgiven me for kicking him out. We have not taken a call or text for a week. He is living with older friends now and has embraced an all new lifestyle - vapping, drinking, possibly drugging, etc. He is telling neighbors that he 'moved out' and is the happiest he has ever been. He is hurt, but we are too... Have been for years.... What do we do next?
Drained Hey there, don't lose sight of the fact that you adopted this boy when he was 7. People think it is the same as giving birth but it is not. Your boy had an entire life before you and your family made him your son. He had thoughts, feelings, experiences, opinions, etc .. and then along came your family at his age 7.
People are quick to tell you that the mere act of adopting the child makes him your son and you are now his beloved parents.
I am an adoptive parent too .. I can tell you about Attachment Disorders that are severe, and I can tell you about attachments that just aren't deep.
It 'is' what it is. Your son came with so much first-life experiences, that regardless of how wonderful your family was, his head was elsewhere and that has not changed.
People want to argue that kids by adoption are the same, for the most part, as born-to kids, that all kids want to be loved. They are only half right. All humans want to be loved .. but that is not the issue. We live in a fast paced, electronic, phony in many cases (do you really have 4,872 'friends' just cuz your Facebook page says you do?) and kids today, they are all over the map .. even the 'good' ones. Adoption is NOT the same and will never be the same and getting an older kid is extremely different. Some people get a kid at 7, 10, 14, that has a good temperament and it is a nice meld but most do not and that is the reality of adoptive families (and believe it or not, natural born ones too.)
When he tells neighbors and others that he has moved out and is the happiest he has ever been .. he means it. And that is sad for you because being parents, being a mother, has a different meaning to you than to him.
If you love him, then love him! by blessing him and wishing him well. Tell him, if you choose, that you are always here for him, and let it all go. He was aloof, he was a sneak, he lied, and with good reason you kicked him out. And it is done, and it is over.
When my son left our house, I was devastated .. and never thought it would turn around .. but it did. I backed off, I shut up, I was here if he needed me, and I did not tolerate any of his mouth, his abuse, his nonsense. And it took three years, but he came back. He is a kid worth having now. His life is not easy but he figured out, there was a mom (me) that was willing to risk it all to show him I am here for him. He had to hit 21 though for that to happen. So you see sometimes things do work out. And sometimes they don't. Don't have a crystal ball and nobody can predict.
I wish you all the best.
Drained Well being that this is mostly an "estranged" thread, I will keep this brief. RAD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, is a bizarre collection of syndromes/symptoms but the overall consensus seems to be: the child afflicted with it has serious issues or eventually an inability to trust. You mostly see it in kids that have been raised in orphanages or have been bounced from home to home (or placement to placement if in the foster system.) However, there are kids that are born to a couple and don't attach either but it does appear, at least in news/research, more in the foster/adoption community.
(I use the expression 'the kid' so as not to identify my kid's sex, for privacy reasons.)
In a nutshell, kids that don't attach never learn to trust that the world is a good place. And they take that inability to trust with them through life. They don't trust that what they see, right in front of their face, is truthful. In my kid's case (which is not the son above that I wrote about, this is my other child) s/he went through 5 homes and 4 other mothers before coming to me, all before age 1. S/he was strange from Day 1. In hindsight, I can see why. Every 2-3 weeks, s/he woke up to new sounds, new sights, new smells, new textures, new touch, new ways to being talked to and taken care of .. and by the 6th month, had nothing consistent in his/her life. The end result - NO trust for the world. When we picked up the baby, we never knew if we were going to get kissed or spit at. The kid's perception of the world was in left field. Even by one year, if we laughed, the kid cried. If we cried, the kid laughed. When we took the kid in for genetic blood tests, well when doctors stick needles into babies, what do they do -- cry? You would think. Our kid laughed and laughed. It was bizarre. But in hindsight now knowing about the RAD, even touch, textures, taste, can be bizarre. Our kid ate mud and anybody else normal would spit it out but not our kid. Didn't know the difference between mud and chocolate pudding. Even today, s/he prefers to live on noodles with no sauce and soda. Will not eat hardly any other food. S/he doesn't even trust trying new tastes. Strange, one would think.
RAD kids learn, at ANY age, to take care of themselves. They don't trust their milk will come when they cry from hunger even if you hand them a milk cup and it is in their hand. Cuz then they don't trust you won't take it away. They don't trust that you will change their wet diapers to dry comfy cozy ones. They. Don't. Trust. PERIOD.
They don't outgrow it.
And they will test you and you the parent do not realize, you will NEVER pass the test. Cuz they don't trust the test results. Hence many RAD kids have endless meltdowns, tantrums, even up to age 18. Between YOU and THEM, THEY will always do what their emotions tell them to do, at that moment because they are on a quest to get their needs met and only they can meet them. You the parent want to handle situations rationally, logically, like most parenting classes and books encourage us to do. With RAD kids, there is NO rational or logic. So the endless parentlng books and courses, well they don't work for the RAD families.
It also used to be said that RAD was treatable till the frontal cortex formed, which for most kids was around age 11-12. Now the research and the Probation departments in the juvenile facilities are rethinking age 3-5 and if it isn't turned around by 5 at the latest, these kids, their gooses are cooked. From life experience, I am in the age 5 max camp now.
From a sociological viewpoint, why should they trust when there has been little consistency in their lives so far. And when they don't trust, chances are good they will never trust, even when life goes well.
And that is only half the puzzle. It isn't just sociological factors cuz there are babies born to women that are good, warm mothers and the kids still don't form trusting bonds. So the other half of the 'why RAD?' puzzle seems to be lately that different areas of the brain don't develop at the same pace. Eventually the other parts of the brain, the lower functioning parts, overwhelm the parts that come later, the frontal cortex, the site of higher level 'executive' functioning -- when it is too late. Hence the non-formation of the conscience.
The end result is -- a kid that is a mess. And maybe with good reason I am sad to say.
Kids with RAD also have lots of behavioral and learning disabilities. You will see lists of diagnoses for these kids when the parent finally throws in the towel and gets a complete neuropsych evaluation. In our case, our kid had 11 diagnoses and I remember saying to the doctor, 11? Which one do I pick to start treating? It was ridiculous. And one diagnosis NOT on the list .. was RAD.
Had RAD been THE diagnosis, the other 11 would all have been the after affects of the RAD.
The good news about RAD kids, is that when they refuse to trust the world or parents, they learn to take care of themselves. Many RAD kids are clever, very good at working the world to fill their needs of the moment, and go on to good enough lives. Their worst problems are of the human kind - relationships - so you will usually see unfulfillment and bafflement when it comes to relating, marriages and mostly divorces. They have serial friendships, serial relationships, serial marriages, etc. RAD kids can be educated and financially successful but you will mostly see them in their own offices working at careers where teamwork isn't a priority. And they won't be the teller at your bank, you know those friendly people that are genuinely warm. They won't make it through the interviews for jobs like that.
The bad news about RAD is that it is the seed of sociopathy. Many/most RAD kids end up with no conscience.
It is said that when you interview prison populations, most murderers have RAD diagnoses .. but be aware that a RAD diagnosis does not mean one becomes a sociopath, a criminal or a killer.
Most RAD kids fall in-between somewhere.
I wrote more but the site said the reply was too long and I had to delete it.
You describe a tough situation more than a few parents face
when their child turns 18. A parent’s role changes when their child becomes an
adult. This is true whether the adult child moves out or continues living at
home. There may not be much you can do about the choices your son is making
because, for all intents and purposes, your son is an adult. As the parent of
an adult child, your focus now is more on establishing clear limits and firm
boundaries around what you consider acceptable behavior. It’s also going to be
important to take steps to take care of yourself. The transition between the
teen years and adulthood isn’t always an easy one for parents, especially when
it involves turmoil and animosity. Finding ways of dealing with the stress and
tension you are feeling will help to alleviate some of the overall tension that
is currently present in your interactions with your son. Going for a walk,
doing an activity you enjoy or meeting up with a friend when you start to feel
distressed can be an effective way of dealing with stress. Some parents find
more structured support, in the form of a parenting group or individual
counselor, also to be helpful. The 211 helpline can give you information on
these types of supports within your community. You can reach the Helpline 24
hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by visiting them online at http://www.211.org/. Hang in there. Even though things are
strained now, it doesn’t mean it will always be that way between you and your
son. I wish you the best of luck moving forward. Take care.
Guest Commentator abbegirl
I’m so sorry to hear about what has happened with your son,
and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support. As you can see
from the other comments here, you are not alone in your experiences.
Something that we emphasize to parents in your position is that it can be
helpful to focus on where you have control, which is over yourself and your own
actions. Making sure that you are getting the support you need, and are
taking care of yourself, is going to be very beneficial to you as you continue
to move forward. You can contact the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222 for information about local resources in your
community, such as counselors and support groups. There are also some
online supports noted here in the comments that other parents have found
useful. I recognize how difficult this must be for you right now, and I
wish you all the best. Take care.
Thank you for writing in. Empowering Parents strives to
create a community where parents of any aged children can feel supported, as we
believe it is never too late to become a more empowered parent. We have
articles that focus on http://www.empoweringparents.com/category-Younger-Children.php, http://www.empoweringparents.com/category-Adolescent-And-Teen-Behavior.php,
as well as http://www.empoweringparents.com/category-Adult-Children.php. If you are looking for supports specifically focused on parental
estrangement, you can find some resources listed in previous comments. You may
have to scroll back through more than a few comments as this is a common
challenge parents face. It could also be helpful to contact the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222 to find out if
there are any support groups for estranged parents in your community. Good luck
to you in your search. Take care.
mastik8 Do have your parents contact with the grandchildren at all?
Good for you, you could learn from their mistakes. I recently watched a show on TV. A drug addict, who was abandoned by her father and he came back to her after twenty years, was desperate to be loved by the father who abandoned her when she was a small child. Love and care mean nothing, I assume. Would my daughter respect me if I had abandoned or neglected her?
After months of knowing I needed double lung and double pulmonary artery transplants, today I find out at age of 41 suffering from a trampoline accident, I also need a new heart.
Beginning, I am a child abuse survivor, I thought I had been a survivor since being a teenager, but recently I was forced to open my eyes and realize that All these years, even after two college kids and a set of 14 year old triplets and a diviorce 2 years ago, when the college boys cur off all ties to me due to my addictions and affairs that I realize now I was using as crutches to forget and blame. The triplets live with their father 3 hours away while I am traveling seeking advanced treatment for the transplants. I have apologized almost daily, I have admitted and owned each of my mistakes, sought forgiveness from God and them. However, some strong force is not letting them run back to my open arms. Im in counseling and will stay there. Today after finding out about my heart, my life rushed before my eyes, I seen them from the day of burping them to the day they waljed out of my life. Today as I am faced with medical decisons, Im trying to resort to begging because there's no reason to go on and use precious organs if the new heart they put inside of me will just end up broken again! From a parent with every thing to lose I ask for ur advice! Thank you in advance!
I am so sorry to hear you are facing these hardships. I can
only imagine how heartbreaking it is to be separated from your children at such
a difficult time. As you can see from the number of comments, you are not alone
in your distress. Sometimes a child does make the choice to cut off all contact
with his/her parent and a parent is left wondering what can be done to heal the
rift. There is no magic way of re-establishing your relationship with your
children since no one can make another person do something s/he doesn’t want to
do. From what you have written, it sounds like you have been reaching out to
your children. This is something you can continue to do as it may be useful for
them to know that you are still available to them. You can’t control the
outcome, however, and they may continue to choose not to have any contact with
you. For that reason, it is going to be beneficial to find ways of taking care
of yourself when you start to feel despair over your situation. There may be a
support group in your area that focuses on estranged parents. You could contact
the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222
for information on that. There are also a few online support networks as
well that other parents have found to be very helpful as there are other
parents who can understand exactly what you are going through. At this point,
focusing on taking care of yourself and doing what you need to do is probably
going to be the most important. Hang in there. I can hear how hard all of this
is for you. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going.
I am sorry you are having to deal with such a difficult
issue. As you can see from the number of comments on this article, you’re not
alone in your distress. It can be tough to recognize that, as an adult, your
daughter can make the choice to limit her interactions with you. There really
isn’t anything you can do to change her mind per se. This doesn’t mean you
can’t do anything however. It may be helpful to continue reaching out to your
daughter, by phone, e-mails, social media, what have you. She may make the
choice not to respond but you are still doing what you can to keep the lines of
communication open. It can also be helpful to recognize that your daughter’s
choice to cut ties probably isn’t related to anything you have or haven’t done.
It’s more about her and where she’s at right now, as Debbie Pincus explains in
her article Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do. I realize that may offer little
comfort to you in the present circumstance. It may be helpful to find ways you
can take care of yourself. Self care is an often overlooked part of being an
effective parent. Meeting friends for coffee or doing an activity you enjoy are
some things you can do. You might also consider more structured support in the
form of a support group for estranged parents or a counselor. Many people find
it helpful to have someone they can talk to about the heartache they are
facing. Other members of the Empowering Parents community have suggested online
groups. You can find reference to those groups in previous comments. I hope you
and your family are able to move past this tough situation. I hope you will
continue to check in to let us knowhow
things are going. You’re in our thoughts.
I can understand your heartache. I can only imagine how
distressing it must be for someone you have loved and nurtured to turn her back
on you as an adult. It sounds like it has certainly taken quite a toll on you,
mentally and emotionally. It is concerning that you have times when you’re not
sure whether or not you wish to carry on with your life. We all have times when
life becomes difficult, unbearable even. When a situation becomes so unbearable
that a person is unsure of her ability to go on, it may be an indication that
outside help could be of benefit. Many people in similar circumstances find
having someone they can talk to quite valuable, especially someone who is also
able to help develop ways of working through the hurt and turmoil. I encourage
you to look into community resources, such as support groups, counseling
services, and other types of assistance. The 221 Helpline would be able to give
you information on local supports. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by
calling 1-800-273-6222 or by visiting http://www.211.org/.
I hope you will consider reaching out to others in your community for any needed
support through such a trying time. Be sure to check back and let us know how
things are going. Take care.
I am so sorry you are going thru the same thing I am. I am sure this was conspired as well. I keep re-reading what you wrote and it at least makes me smile. Because I know at some point it will backfire.....Then the question remains..She took the pleasure of her wedding, first grandbaby on the way, I was thrown aside like an old shoe she did not want or need. How will I react when the time does come. All the hurt and sadness she has put me through, for absolutely no reason. Will I accept her?
Thank you again..
Your words are very hopeful and inspiring. Thank you,
A devastated mom
Thank you so much for those words of wisdom. My heart is so broken by this, but I know I must go on. Every time I go to the store, I wind up looking at Girl baby clothes because I just found out she is having a girl. My first grandchild. My health has taken a great effect on this, but I am trying. I just can not even believe she is my daughter anymore. Completely opposite of what I raised. She is totally heartless to only me. I will try to cope with the best I can, but I have never felt such hurt in my whole life....Thank you
sometimes adult children still don't comprehend parenthood until AFTER they have their 1st child, which then they realize my child deserves grandparents.
Hi forgottenmother -
I am sure there are those who have, I did not mean to sound as if none do. My heart was breaking reading a lot of the posts because of how poorly parents were talking about their children and it hit a bit of a nerve with me. I know my mom did say things about me, her best friend who I grew up with would not even speak to me at her funeral.
Kids are easily persuaded by their parents. I know that from my parents divorce as well. My dad tried to brainwash me. He got to my sister but I was able to pull her back in. We ended up losing all contact with him and I know my mom said things about him to make sure we definitely hated him as well, though most he did do for himself.
I can't imagine how hard it must be for you going through all of that. Kids need to feel they can trust someone and they don't understand they are being used to get back at you - it's hard for them to see it that way. All I could say is show them how much you love them any chance you do get and hope that eventually they'll be able to come around and see the truth.
It is painful to read through these. It is painful in a different way for me then most. I am the daughter in the relationship. My mother and I are estranged. I have been searching for blogs and forums for the child in these situations and they are few and far between. Maybe I am the rare breed that I feel I am the one that was hurt in the relationship so I don't understand a lot of these things now.
My sudden need for these forums stems from the fact that my mother has recently passed. All I wanted was reconciliation with her. I tried many times. I was always told I owed her this or that. My sister is who told me the news. My sister and I are estranged as well. She still won't talk to me. I had hoped this tragedy would bring us closer together, at least. No such luck.
I have never been able to figure out how a mother could not care about her child any longer, but I am seeing that it is possible through these forums. I've seen many parents say they have given up because of how their adult children are acting. I wonder now how my mom saw me. I was coming to these forums to know their were people like me out there, but instead I'm feeling like well, I'm in quite a bit of disbelief.
I have my own kids now. They're not quite to the point where they could estrange themselves from me, but I could not imagine them doing anything that would keep me from them, that would keep from trying to have a relationship from them. It is beyond my imagination.
After dealing with my mother's loss and our estrangement and my sister's inability to talk to me still and reading all these posts from parents, I wrote my story. I wrote a book that I think needs to be shared with the world, with people who are estranged from their families. For parents to maybe see it from the child's point of view, for children to know that they're not alone. It is just an e-book on Amazon right now, but I would really like to share my whole story.
For all the parents out there, maybe it is time to talk to your kids and tell them your point of view and hear their point of view so you can try to come to an understanding and reconcile before there is no opportunity left to do so. Living knowing something was left out there, unsaid, is not easy.
JShriver Dear JS,
This is my first post. I read here often but never write anything. All the stories sound the same to me, broken hearts everywhere. I just wanted to tell you that you sound like a wonderful person and I, as a mom, would be so proud to have you for a daughter. I'm sure if your mom could speak to you one more time she would tell you that herself. Sometimes we get so incredibly hurt in life, we shut down. Shut others out, push them away. Of course, I speak from experience. One day I pushed so hard, she just didn't come back. I was so traumatized by her move, over 9 hours away (closer to her Dad), that everything felt so personal. I've since sought out a lot of help, but by the time I realized it was my perspective that was wrong, it was too late. My grandson was born in May. I've only seen a few pictures. He looks as sweet as his Mommy. I had the best daughter in the world. Single mom, we were so close and always had so much fun together. There was no abuse, no name calling, no yelling and screaming, no substance abuse. I didn't even date. I was just so happy being a mom. Then one day, POOF. It was like someone just knocked the stuffing out of me. I went into the deepest, darkest grief/depression and I couldn't get out of it. This also angered my daughter (I just found out) because she feels very burdened that she's an only child, I don't have a partner, etc., so the GUILT she feels, that I put on her, has made her harbor a lot of resentment. Sometimes I think, you're kidding right? You hate me because I love you? Because I miss you? Well, ok....... There is rarely a day, a single day that goes by when I am not completely gutted with tears. I am trying really hard to heal and move on. I've apologized from my heart and soul. I meditate, pray, volunteer with animal places. I don't call or write, but if she writes to me I keep it very positive and stay only on the subject(s) she wrote about. She told me I make everything about me, so I'm careful not to talk about me. It feels like someone died. It feels like being a mom was just a dream...and I woke up. The pain rips through my veins, it's indescribable and I now isolate myself because being around other people just makes me cry and my family is basically on my daughter's side (I'm not asking anyone to take sides, they just are). So I am very quiet in my grief. It's so sad that a wonderful daughter like you only wanted your mom's love and approval and I only want my daughter's love and approval. I think people are too quick to cut other's out of their lives. In the big picture, the reasons all seem ridiculous. Family is everything and I think sometimes being right is more important than healing the relationship. Sorry to ramble so much. I really just wanted to tell you that I think you're a wonderful daughter and I'm sure your mom loved you very much but for some reason, just wasn't able to show it to you.
Thank you KellysMom, I appreciate those words very much. I don't understand anything, it seems. I was struggling when my mom passed because that meant there was no more time. I came looking for groups like this, but the opposite and these are what I came across. I read these and just couldn't understand. I just wanted my mom. Growing up, it was just her, my sister and me. Just the three girls. As I grew up, somehow my mom and I grew apart and my sister and her grew closer together and it seemed I was just taking up extra space. When I got old enough, I finally decided I had to go. I was the one that tried reaching out a handful of times after that just to be pushed aside again. My sister still won't talk to me. She took over everything before I even got home when my mom passed and wouldn't let me in on anything, have a say in any of the decisions, not even let me know what was going on unless I asked. I was asking all the time for her to tell me what she wanted/needed me to do. And all of a sudden, last week she texts me just to yell at me for not helping with anything and how she can't believe she had to do it all on her own and I owe her and this and that. I asked her what I owed her, what she needed from me one last time and she wouldn't even respond to that. I don't know what I did. I guess I'll never figure it out now. It is time to fully just put that part of my life behind me and look forward now. Thank you again for the kind words. I hope you and your daughter are able to find a common ground and reconcile soon. Family is too important to let go so easily.
JulieHorton I understand your feelings about wanting things to be clean and not smelly - and also your frustration with your son's girlfriend. I believe I'm dealing with a similar problem (only it's my son's wife). Everything was fine until he married her. He's not communicated with me at all in almost 2.5 years and my heart has been beyond broken. What I'm not able to understand is your unwillingness to apologize - especially if you realize that you 'overstepped your boundaries.' I want an opportunity to apologize to my son and would give my right arm and leg to have that chance. I don't know of anything I did, but I do want to be able to talk with him and find out what he believes I did - and to find a way to make it right. They live in another state nearly 5 hours away, so it's not like I can just drive over to their house. I am so sorry that you're dealing with this too - but I encourage you to initiate a conversation with your son and find out what he believes the problem is - and to work together to resolve it, if you are able. If I were you and knew that I had overstepped my boundaries I would apologize the first opportunity I had.
For everyone here: I've been much quieter here recently because I'm working hard at not dwelling on what is wrong, but seeking God and His mercy and trusting Him to handle this situation. I believe that this is one of those things that only He can fix - and I do now believe that He's working in my son to bring him back to me. It may not be the timing that I would prefer but in God's timing. He knows me better than anyone else and knows what's best for me. My job is to trust Him with it - and do what is in front of me to do.
I wish you, @JulieHorton, and everyone else here peace in all of this in addition to a speedy resolution. God Bless us, every one.
You’re not alone in your anguish. As you can see from the large
number of comments on this blog, more than a few parents are struggling with
situations very similar to your own. Unfortunately, your daughter doesn’t have
to have any form of interaction with you if she doesn’t choose to. I know this
can be painful to hear. Taking care of yourself is going to be a necessary
aspect of moving forward. Many parents dealing with estrangement find support
groups to be helpful, either in person or online. Other self help activities,
such as taking time out of your day to talk with a close friend or to do an
activity you enjoy, can also be beneficial. You may find the recent article by
Debbie Pincus Estranged from Your Adult Child? 5 Things You Can Do helpful for deciding what your
next steps will be. I am sorry you are having to face such distress and hope
you will be able to find a way to cope with your daughter’s choices. Take care.
Can anyone explain why someone would not only become estranged from their parents but also their sibling as well. I have two daughters who refuse to speak to me or their sister or brother.
I can perhaps understand that people blame their parents for real and /or imagined slights but I do not understand why they would cut off their little sister also.
Anyone have any reasoning behind this?
Chickneychick My son has done the same thing. His 14-year-old brother thought he hung the moon! His grandparents, sister, aunt & cousin live two hours from him (we moved from there, Phx to Missouri in 2013) and he won't go to see them. It will be a year this month that we got the text stating he request we no longer contact him; that it is complicated but certain. No abuse, no divorce, loving and supportive parents who have a wonderful marriage. He often would tell us, " I couldn't ask for better parents." Last May he broke off his two-year engagement and moved out (they were together 5 years), a month later he sent us that text. He now considers us to "t0xic". I frequently text him "I love you and miss you." with no response. Though this pain is unbearable, we realize we have to continue living our lives and raising his brother. What it comes down to is the fact that you cannot rationalize the irrational, which is where he is at right now.
My hope is for reconciliation for all of us and healing of our broken hearts.
I am sorry you and your children are having to face your
daughters’ separations from the family. Know that you are not alone in your
distress. Many parents in your situation question what could have happened to
cause their child to cease all contact and communication. It can be tough to
know what the motivation is behind another person’s choices. Truthfully, only
your daughters would be able to answer the question as to why they have chosen
to distance themselves from you and other family members. Living with an absent
child can be difficult to do. You may find Debbie Pincus’ article (on estranged
children hyperlink) helpful to read. In it she offers some suggestions for ways
parents can take care of themselves when their child ceases communication. Good
luck to you and your family moving forward. Be sure to check back and let us
know how things are going. Take care.
abbegirl Your statement that you are broken resounded in my head like a gong...I have said that to myself over and over again these last 2 months since my eldest daughter went no contact with no explanation and no trigger that I can figure out. I have spent every day for 2 months, morning til night, running the multiple and seemingly very pleasant contacts I had had with her for the proceeding months, trying to figure out what I could have done or said that brought this on. When I realized I had done or said nothing that could have brought this on, my mind was forced to wander back, back, back, trying to look through every one of her 24 years to figure out why the daughter I so love has just walked away and shut the door in my face. Since she has broken off every other form of contact available, I have tried emailing her, tried to discover why, blanket apologizing for whatever I could have done to cause her to do this, but I get no response.
I understand every second of your pain, feel every tear that falls, and mine fall with yours. This is an unimaginable pain that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Jaffy61 abbegirl I'm so sorry you are feeling this pain, it is the worse pain I have ever encountered. I have mourned losing many loved ones, and that pain is unbearable, but in that loss we are able to say a final good-bye; and after time it gets somewhat easier. There is no finality in this kind of loss, there are no final good-byes when our children are still living. But we still grieve this loss day after day, and we hope day after day and we try to find answers day after day. And it hasn't gotten easier with time.
I have written my daughter a letter, and apologized for anything I may or may not have done as her mother. I put everything out there, with the last word being that the rest is up to her whether she chooses to have me in her life or not. But that as her mother I will always love her. I am still waiting for a reply, or some sign of acceptance on her part. I will give her some time. I don't expect miracles, but I am not losing hope, not just yet. But I am 67, and I hope an answer comes soon.
"We never know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have left" This is so true!
God Bless you Jaffy61, and God Bless all the moms going through this! Stay strong, and don't lose hope!
abbegirl Jaffy61 I agree. I have lost many people I loved dearly, and thought I knew the meaning of pain, but I didn't. I think you are right about why this hurts so much, there is no closure. I think the hoping every day I get a response, and the disappointment every night when I haven't are worse than if I knew I would never talk to her again, knew it for sure.
I wrote my daughter an email last week also, saying the same things. I told her I know I must have done something to bring this on, but I wasn't asking for an explanation, just forgiveness for whatever I did to hurt her. I told her I will love her until the end of time, and no amount of time passing, no distance between us, nothing she can ever do will change how much I love her. I had quit checking my text messages, quit looking for a missed call, but now I find myself looking for an answer to the email. But I am forcing myself to not check my email every hour like I want to, forcing myself to try to be patient.
I know that somehow I have to find a way to make even a tiny step toward the light, somehow there has to be a way to reach some kind of peace with myself and this pain. But at the moment the dark tunnel I am in seems so very long.
JulieHorton Jaffy61 abbegirl I am so sorry your son has turned his back on you this way. It is just horrifically shocking how many people I have seen that their children have done this to them, many of them like us, with no explanation. There are days when my anger at her for simply shutting me out without an explanation and with no recourse to discuss it with her almost outweighs the pain, but the pain always wins in the end. At the end of the day I am simply left with a sadness that threatens to steal any other joy I have from my life.
I am fortunate that her two younger sisters still want to be part of my life. I cannot spend physical time with my middle child because she moved to another country last year to marry, but I speak with her almost daily on facebook, and I am happy knowing she is happy with her life there. My youngest still lives close by and I get to see her as often as any mother should expect to see their 19 yr old daughter, hehe. In this time of heartbreak over their older sisters actions, my other two children have helped keep my anguish from overcoming me, and have let me know I am still loved, I am still worth being loved, I can still love, and do so unconditionally.
But the pain of my firstborn shutting me out is a pain that is with me all day, every day, it never eases, it never goes away. At times I am able to push it further to the back of my mind, but it is ever present. And no matter what she has done, no matter why she has done it, I still love my daughter with every ounce of my being, and simply want the chance to try to rebuild a relationship with her. I cannot imagine, even now, after the pain I have been through, that there will come a time I will not be willing to try.
JulieHorton Jaffy61 abbegirl
I am sorry to hear your son’s estrangement is having such a
negative impact on you and your life. You are in a really tough situation. As
upsetting as your son’s choices are, you’re not really going to be able to
motivate him to make different choices. You can take steps, however, to take
care of yourself. It sounds like you are having a difficult time coming to
terms with the current circumstances. I get that. It can be very distressing
when someone you love and care chooses not to have any interaction with you. I
would encourage you to find out what types of local supports are available in
your area. As distressing as your situation is, you don’t have to go it alone.
Having someone who is able to talk with you about the pain your are suffering,
and who can also offer you some guidance around steps you may be able to take
to move past that pain, could be beneficial. The 211 Helpline would be able to
offer you information on support groups and counselors in your area. You can
reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222. You can also find
them online at http://www.211.org/. There are also many
online communities for estranged parents. Quite a few of the parents who have
commented on this blog have found support through those communities. You need
only look down through the previous comments to find some suggestions on where
you can start.I hope you will continue to check in to let the Empowering
Parents community know how things are going for you.
brokenhearted grandma abbegirl I have read your reply and I am so very grateful to have others that can relate! It's very sad to see that there are so many of us out there! It's overwhelming and so unbelievable to me! I can't add any more right now as this is so fresh, all I do is cry. I am sorry for your heartache!
Read more: Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child?
Hi there, I'm in the same situation with my daughter. She hates
me, she told me that frequently. My first reaction was of course to
blame myself for everything. She made me believe that I'm a bad
person and a bad mother. I apologized for everything although deep
inside I felt this is not the right thing to do.
She had nearly everything, a father who worked long hours to send
his only child to the best preschool and schools. She has a mother
whose priority was her daughter, 24/7. I put even my dying dog below
Long story short, I had a LOT of time to think about the
situation. I'm not a bad person and especially not a bad mother. Your
and my children do not want to be grateful, do not want to support
us, we are the used human beings, who get older and need help and
support. We've became the pain in the a... Just like a used, old car. Situations like yours are
especially difficult because mothers think that a child and mother
relationship is sacred, nothing or nobody can ruin this “sanctum”.
This is a break up, you should handle this just like other break
ups in life. You invested a lot of energy and love and your whole
life in something that doesn't work for you. You lost nearly
everything, you may feel, but this is not true. What would you do
when a husband or a friend would do this to you? You have a broken
heart. Do the same, get over it. Start a new life. I'm sure you can
look back and tell yourself I did everything for my children and for
a proper relationship with my children. There is a chance you can
find friends to go through the rest of your life. Good Luck to you.
maren stone abbegirl I have read your reply and I am so very grateful to have others that can relate! It's very sad to see that there are so many of us out there! It's overwhelming and so unbelievable to me! I can't add any more right now as this is so fresh, all I do is cry. I am sorry for your heartache!
Read more: Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child?
I can tell how much you are
hurting right now as a result of your daughter’s actions, and I appreciate your
reaching out to us for support. It’s normal to feel all of the emotions
you are describing, as it sounds like much has changed in a matter of
weeks. This is something which many others have experienced, as you can
see from some of the other comments here. The tough part is that since your
daughter is an adult, she is entitled to make her own decisions (as long as they are legal and non-abusive) regarding her
employment, her relationships and her style of parenting, even those choices
which you might not agree with or find to be in her or your granddaughter’s
best interest. Since you cannot “make” your daughter respond in any way
you choose, it’s usually more effective at this point to focus on taking care
of yourself. Self-care is an extremely important, albeit often ignored,
part of developing an effective response to your child’s actions. For
example, you might call a supportive friend or family member, journal or take a
walk to help you work through some of these strong emotions you are currently
experiencing. If your daughter is willing, it could be useful to meet
with a neutral third-party, such as a family counselor or a mediator, once things
calm down in order to talk through a workable solution moving forward.
Even if your daughter is unwilling to go, it can still be helpful to be able to
talk with someone in person about the situation you are in. For
assistance locating available resources in your community, try contacting the http://www.211.org/ at
1-800-273-6222. I realize that this is a situation which no grandparent
imagines being in, and I want to thank you for writing in. I wish you all
the best as you continue to move forward. Take care.
The Prodigal Lawyer MichelleLDickerson Thank you again for all your thoughts and words. I do have hope and know deep down that God is faithful. I've had no contact at all with my son (who is almost 33, BTW) for nearly 2.5 years except for sending him and his family cards and gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc. I no longer have a phone number for him - unless I tried calling him at work which I think would only tick him off. I've not seen him or my 2 grand daughters or spoken with them since Christmas, 2 years ago. You talk about being estranged for 'decades' and then going back to your
parents, but this thought actually terrifies me. I'll be 62 this year
and feel like the notion of being without him for 'decades' is simply more than I
can bear. Since I don't really even know what's wrong, I've debated and debated about sending him a letter requesting a chance to meet (so maybe I could at least find out the truth?). I finally actually wrote the letter last week but haven't mailed it for a couple of reasons. One is that I'm not even sure he would get it. Since I believe that his wife is largely behind all of this, I fear that she would toss it or otherwise hide it from him. Secondly is that I'm afraid of his response. My gut feeling is that he would ignore it like they do every other piece of communication I send - BUT the real fear is that he might say something like "I never want to see you again" or "Don't ever contact me again" - which I believe would dissolve the hope I have for any reconciliation and might literally be what it would take to kill me. I honestly don't believe that I could withstand that. What has happened so far has nearly done me in until about 6 months ago when I met someone that led me back to my faith. My therapist seems to think I should send it and send it by return receipt, or something like that. She believes that I need to do it to move forward - but if I were to receive either of the responses I mentioned above, I'd certainly not be able to 'move forward' as I've already mentioned. So, I'm still debating within myself and hoping that I can get the same peace about mailing it as I got about writing it after such a long time of writing it over and over in my mind. That was a relief, at least. Thank you again - I really do appreciate it. Also, I was able to find you on Facebook and 'liked' your page. God bless you.
Momma A thank you - although my child is now home - we are still quite separate in how we view the relationship. One of the things that you said has struck a cord with me.
" In my mind that is all I could think of. But what I am learning is that I or we are not all he is thinking about. The relationship or the lack of relationship he has with us is just not a priority in his life right now"
I needed that reminder today.
thanks - wishing you well
Read more: Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child?
I am so thrilled that your child is home now!!! That is great!! I wish you so much peace and happiness. Glad I was able to share today and help you!
It's true what so many people are saying in these posts... From the depression, the nightmares. The PTSD as a result. She a child leaves the home and basically runs away to the other house and then completely disconnect it's brutal. In my case, my daughter, the. 15More 1/2 and a sophomore in huh school, threw fits. She as constantly under pressure from either her father or her step mother to try to resolve my ex's and my custody issue after he tried to force the arrangement back to an absurd back and forth every few day situation that we did when they we're young. She felt it was her place to involve herself and try to negotiate custody between us. Her father fed her our court papers and lawyer emails and exchanges to fuel her. She would say incredibly hurtful things. She would scream and yell and I had it. My son and I we're being bullied by her and her moods and it was horrible. She is much like her father now and refuses to see me or talk to me. It's been 3 years. Missed holidays. Missed birthdays. Homecoming. Family events. So many milestones and sundress of unanswered texts. Handwritten cards. Flowers,on her birthday. Her favorite Homemade cookies shuttled through her brother at Christmas. I get nothing. Not one response. Ever. Her father is completely in the dark about how much he is responsible for this as well. He is a bad father. He is a bad person and it's abusive that he not get her help. She just turned 18 in January. I get an email from my ex and his wife telling me she up has been accepted to 3 school and I need to check out the tuition. Are you effn kidding me?! I hear nothing from either of them about anything having to do with her. NOTHING and when asked they say just concern yourself with our son. Three years and this is the first news I get. I haven't slept well in days. My son -16 now- refuses to talk about anything. He has for a long time so I stopped trying. I made sure he knows how much I love him and I encouraged him to love his sister and that he does not ever need to chose sides. Be a good brother. Be a good son. Be there for her but know you are a different person and you will never and should never have to choose. I said to stay out of it as best he can because she's making poor decisions. He doesn't have to let anyone bully him into doing what he feels differently in his heart. I honestly think he gets it as he has continued to go back and forth between the houses.
There are only a few things that can pull me out of this swirling depression which hits me every morning and that is being able to look back and see I haven't wavered in letting her know the door is open when she's ready. Letting her clueless father know she is an at risk teen who needs help learning how to communicate and not resort to tantrums or running away. Knowing that what she did WAS runaway. That she will have to live with the consequences of her actions. She will have to live with the guiltily cutting off her cousin who felt she was like a sister. Cutting off her grandparents and aunts and uncles. Cutting off her summers at the shore and family vacations and baking with mom and so many many things that she can only have from me. She is too young to understand that life is long and time passes and people just need to move on. After 2 years of her empty bedroom I gutted it and made it a room for my son and his friends. We both had to move on. I did it myself and felt incredible pain realizing she isn't coming back but I had to go through that phase of grieving. You need to both keep trying and you also need to suck it up and move on. Keep in mind, so much damage has been done that if she showed up on my doorstep my first instinct would be to drop to my knees and hug her and be so thankful. But she would not be welcome at this point back in my house to live. She is a different person and we would need to go to therapy. I don't trust her. After hundreds of unanswered but read texts to her, she says nothing. She does nothing. She lives 4 miles away from me and chooses every single day to do nothing. That's what kills me. Worst, is her father who shared the same tears with me when she was born doesn't have the sense of being a father to do anything or guide her or even get a sense of the magnitude of my pain because his current wife is happy to have my daughter to herself after she lost a daughter the same age to cancer years ago. It's brutal. So yes, PTSD flared up when I get a random email asking me for tuition. Depression that instill have to live in this area and not get a fresh start someplace else where I don't have to scan the parking lot for their cars. Thankful I have my son who somehow is getting that I actually do have love for her, that I do love him, and that I am a good mom. He is the only reason I am still here.
Kids.... They twist your best intentions into something so opposite. The ex spouse interprets your every move to see, touch, hold your child again as manipulative on your part. It's abusive.
I am reading a book about "Parental Alienation Syndrome". I have had to photocopy some pages as I begin to assemble my spring meeting notebook of my statement of good as I am going to call it with an attorney to stop my ex from contacting me. That I not be forced to pay for her college education as she has disconnected for over 3 years while I have paid for her child support to her two income father and step mother, and so that I have something to give to my son when he goes to school.
The book was under $15 and I got it from Amazon. It's called "abandoned parents, the devils dilemma: causes and consequences of adult children abandoning their parents."
Chin up people. Be the better person. Be the better parent. Life is long and hopefully, one day, when your kids come full circle, they will swallow that lump in their adult throat and say to you, I am so sorry for the pain I caused. Hopefully, you both will be able to look back, if not them, then you, and see your text and paper trail of love, open heart and that's all that they will have to throw in your face. Who knows.... the alternative is an emotional abyss. Set your boundaries
I can relate to missmygirl. the pain is so unbearable. There is no comparison to any pain when you lose a child to any degree. She was my everything for 15 years.
Be grateful she wants to see you on weekends - I don't mean to sound crass but the slightest thought of only seeing my girl on weekends at one time devastated me. Now I'm lucky if she responds to my texts or answers my calls.
On March 16th, it will be one year since she's walked through my front door.
She, too, was my everything since the very second she was born. I had primary placement since she was eighteen months old (when her dad and I began divorce proceedings). We lived in the same house since she was two years old. It kills me not having her here.
I miss kissing her goodbye before work in the morning, I miss hearing her open the front door after school, I miss making her supper, hearing about her day; I miss helping her with homework, hearing her play the piano and saying prayers at bedtime. I could go on.
I have yet to run out of tears. I even miss constantly reminding her to hang up her towels.
I recently read a book called, "I'm Not Mad, I Just Hate You" - it's about surviving mother/daughter conflict during the teenage years. I highly recommend it for anyone going through turmoil with their teenage daughter. It has helped me go from feeling devastated to slightly okay (which is truly a huge leap).
She didn't even come for Thanksgiving or Christmas. And really, I'd give just about anything just to walk past her room and see her sleeping in her bed.
Things used to feel so safe.
My story is too long to encapsulate right now, but please know, I feel your pain. I've been living it and it's awful. There have been nights where my heart has hurt so badly that I was surprised to wake up only to discover that it was still beating. I can't believe I still have a pulse on some days.
The good news and the bad news is that your heart will not stop beating. What you think should kill you, will not. Hang in there.
Read more: Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child?
she wants to see me on the weekends and live there. I just can't do that. the worst part is I have raised her by myself no family especially not him. He moved to CA 10 years now. She called me yesterday and wants to come home. I still amMore the primary and could go and rescue her but I struggle with this. She texted me this morning telling me her Dad is making her feel sorry for him. I don't know what to do anymore. I've been depressed for so long now and diagnosed with PTSD.
kasiens63 I'm sorry - but if my son was willing to see me on weekends, I would be beyond ecstatic. I say take this gesture - whatever it is - and enjoy your daughter. I can relate to all of the other things you mention - but sounds like you'reMore making progress with her. I say see her whenever you can and be grateful for that.
I have been looking for a support group for 3 months now. My daughter of 15 years went to live with her Father late Oct. 14. I was being undermined by him and his family for a long time and didn't see it coming. Now she called me yesterday after monthsMore of my crying, sleepless night because all I dream about it her
Welcome her back with open arms. If he had her for 3 months and already fell apart and is unable to communicate with her as an adult get her back home. He is ill equipped right now and maybe when she is older and not dependent on either of youMore she will have the freedom to make up her own mind and not have living arrangements be black and white with dramatic life altering stress. My mom used to say, to my relief - Nothing is in concrete. You can always always come home and start over.
Sounds to me like she tried. You tried. He tried. So, get her back. Fix her. She will.be gone again in a few years.... You can have the freedom to have a personal life again and no regret of your time spent now. It's a sacrifice to be a good parent and it's great under appreciated.
Let her know the boundaries and terms of her returning. Have her see a therapist.
Recommend summer visits with dad instead.
Be kind. Open and warm. She will remember that more than what you're probably really feeling on the inside like, you gave got to be F kidding me?!
Don't find fault or blame or you will have a useless fight on your hands. Let actions speak louder than words. Your daughter is choosing you. I would spike a damn football if that were me right now!
Just get her back and love her. It sounds like everyone involved learned a lesson and that's how life works.
Good luck to you and your girl.
I thought I was alone, it looks like I'm not. I left my husband 20 years ago, he was an abusive, controlling bully. I had no life except for my 2 boys. At first we stayed close, just a few miles from their dad, the saw himMore every other weekend. I never told them about the abuse (emotional not physical) I tried to keep their relationship with him good. I met someone else, my nowhusband, we moved 100 miles away after the threats became too much. I thought my boys had a good life, they still saw their dad and we made sure they neve wanted for anything. When my youngest was 16 he went back to stay with his dad, but we still kept in touch and visited him. Now he's 25 and a father to my 9 month old grandson, who I love with all my heart, out of the blue, 2 weeks before Christmas he decided to cut me out of his life. The reason? Punishment for taking him away from his dad 20 years ago. He won't listen to reason and won't allow me to explain why we had to leave. I'm heartbroken, life isn't worth living. Why has he done this? How do I go on?
Brokeheartedmom I am going through this right now. My girl will be fifteen next month. I know your pain. It's horrible. I feel like I don't matter to her at all. I love her and miss her so much. She's my girl. I would give anything just to get a text messageMore from her right now.
I am grateful to have found this site. My heart has never felt so shattered. At times it feels unbearable. It's been almost one year since my teenage daughter left to live with her father.
The friction began when I said 'no' to Facebook and began limiting internet access when she was thirteen (sheMore will be fifteen next month). Her dad and step-mom have always been way less strict when it came to technology and social media which created conflict among all of us.
My daughter left abruptly almost a year ago stating that I abused her emotionally and physically throughout her life. I have never been abusive - if we argued I always came to her within minutes to make things right and I've never had even the slightest inclination to lay a hand on her. I hugged and kissed her a thousand times each night before bed. Most likely I was annoying that way.
It's been an exhausting roller coaster ride (too much to explain in this message).I have seen her only four times since she left.
As of right now, she will not return my phone calls or reply to my texts. It's killing me. There is a continual lump in my throat. I feel like I don't matter to her al all. Not even a little.
missmygirl You found the right place. You'll be okay, and she will be okay. It is hard, and terrible, and not fair. A lot of us have been where you are, sorry to say, and there is nothing to do but surrender and share with people who understand.
As for you and your daughter, could you two maybe do counseling? Would she agree to work through some of the things you mention she accused you of? It is so hard to have that all between you and unresolved....but believe me, you matter MORE than a little to her. You are her Mom. Forever. Hang in there!
missmygirl Hi there, I am in the same situation. my daughter is 15 and I haven't seen or spoken to her in a year and a half. Her father told her all kinds of awful things about me when I moved out and showed her all the court papers and put a spin on everything making it look like I am crazy and dangerous. He told her she wasn't safe at my house because of all the guys that I have there all the time (there is nobody) and all the drugs that I do (I don't do drugs at all) However she continues to not respond to my emails. She changed her cell number too.
I am struggling with this daily, all my friends say she will come around but it's been so long, and she shows no sign of changing her mind. Her father has filled her head with hate, I feel she is lost forever and I grieve like she died.
missmygirl As her Mom, you were concerned about her welfare on the internet. It is easy to be a parent who 'gives' their child everything, including things that the other parent does not agree with. Your ex needs to make decisions WITH you, not decisions AGAINST you. It is unfortunateMore if this is not the case. I was faced with the same situation. My children (when they were 14 and 16) were allowed internet. Then, I found out my 14 year old was on a chat room. I spoke to my daughter, and she did not see the 'big' concern. It was not a big deal "Mom" . I talked with her father (we were still together at the time) and he agreed no internet for her.) Months later, I realized that he had set her up on internet, without discussing it with me. I say SHAME on them for disrespecting the right of a parent. It does alienate the child (ren) involved, from the restrictive parent. I respect you for being a good Mother, instead of the parent keeping their child out of harms way. Bravo to those who protect their children.
missmykids missmygirl Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. It means a lot.
Throughout my life, I have never heard of so many parents being estranged by their children. It has me wondering if our social media life style has something to do with this. It is as if our kids do not have the emotional connection with those who are close toMore them. Do you suppose that the 'sims' lifestyle has affected them in some way? They text, email and facebook. I imagine that it would be more difficult to walk away if they were not involved with social media!
missmykids I read an interesting article this morning that definitely shed some light on this phenomena. http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2015-01/why-some...
SadMama missmykids Very good read! I have always considered my kids to be in that category. I happen to agree that my children were given every tool by me, in order to overcome circumstances, so they would not have to 'deal' with issues that I did as a child. My kidsMore were the center of my life. Now, that I have a solid career going, I happen to think that they believeI put them on the back burner. Very helpful article. Thank you so much for sharing.
missmykids I wonder, too. I do know that in my reading I have learned that it appears to be rampant - nearly epidemic - in this particular generation of adult kids (my son is 32). I also wonder about the effects of divorce on these folks (my son's dad andMore I divorced when he was not quite 3 so he doesn't even remember us living together as a family), though I don't have any figures on just how many of the children are from divorced homes. There are so many things to 'wonder and speculate' about but it doesn't change what is happening and the many, many hearts that are being broken. I keep saying to myself "If I only knew what was really wrong or what is truly at the bottom of this" - but I'm not sure that would honestly help. I think I just want it to be 'fixed' and over with. I look at the years I have ahead of me and wonder if I have it in me to live those years without a relationship with my son - my heart.
MichelleLDickerson missmykids I have found it helpful to do something unusual for my husband and myself. We took an archery class-it was fun and gave me something to focus on. (not too expensive either) I do understand what you are saying Michelle. I have the same thoughts. I loved being aMore Mom and always thought that I would be able to be a hands on grandma. Now, I wonder if I know WHEN I AM a grandma! This is not an easy thing to deal with. There is no easy solution. You might check out the link below the sadmama posted. Very helpful info. (although I am not in agreement with everything!)
I have always been a devoted Mom, in an attempt to better my own experience with my own mom. Being raised in a narcissistic environment, from my Mom to my sisters, I vowed to always be there for my children, when they needed me.
My children are grown adults-and generally speaking,More have had a very healthy, stable home life.
I am a professional Mom, however, when my kids were young, I was a stay at home Mom. (Scout leader, volunteer at school, active with their sports, dance etc)
When my kids reached adulthood, I believed that they were on a good path, and I knew after years of having an alcoholic husband, it was time to get a divorce from their father.
After 22 years of marriage, my ex husband and I mutually agreed to
divorce. The moment we agreed we both decided to have a family meeting,
and let our kids know. My son was 19 and my daughter was 17 at that time. (Son now 25 and daughter now 23) My ex opened
the dialogue with an outlandish accusation-which was not true.
Afterwards, my son approached me and mentioned to me that he KNEW his
father was telling lies, and that he was sorry-he also knew that I was
devoted as a Mom and stood by me.
During the rough economy, we proceeded with the divorce, still living
under the same roof, until it was final. My goal was to try and remain
civilized even though I knew he was trying to bash me.
I had plans of moving to a new place, and my daughter wanted to live with me. While looking for a home, she was non committal to 'look' at any of them, with the exception of the last day. She loved the house I am now living in. She was excited to pick out her room and made plans to move here with me. I moved in and she told me that she wanted to 'stay' at our old home, until it sold. Later, she mentioned that I lived too far, and that she wanted to live closer to her college. She met me for lunch, we went shopping and had an amazing time. I bought her things for her new place, including groceries, towels etc. She hugged me when she left, and that was the last I have seen of her.
I got remarried and she did not attend the wedding. My son, on the other hand, had moved north, an hour away. During that time, he complained about not making enough money etc. I offered to hire him on with the company I work at. He agreed.
He walked me down the aisle, took care of my calls when my husband and I went on our honeymoon and really 'enjoyed' the company of my new husband. My son then moved in with us, which allowed him to save for college. One day, I was talking to a customer, and he informed me that 'one of my drivers was joining the army. He went on to tell me it was the younger driver (i have several) and my heart sank. He also said that the driver had not told his mom yet-I knew that it was my son. Later that evening, I asked my son, and he said he was thinking about it. Eventually, my son did join the Army and is still enlisted.
Through out this time, I was attempting to meet with my daughter, and talk. Her response became increasingly hateful to me. Texting me that I was a 'dark' woman and needed help and that everyone was afraid to mention it to me, because they were too afraid that I would get mad. This was out of the blue, and I could not understand where this was coming from, accept that her dad was possibly tainting her. (I had raised my two stepchildren as my own, and hoped to remain close to them too.) On the very same day, both my daughter and step daughter removed me as 'Mom' on facebook and then blocked me a few days later. I thought I was in High School again!!
When my son graduated from boot camp, he asked me not to attend the graduation ceremony, he wanted me to attend the 'Airborne' graduation-which would be much more exciting. I told him that we would possibly be able to attend both, but really looked forward to visiting with him. As it turned out, his dad, my stepson and another relative all drove there and happened to book the same hotel as my husband and I. My son clearly chose to spend the majority of time with his dad. We were treated very poorly, trying to navigate in a strange town-with an agreement that we would all have lunch at a place and they would follow us. By the time we put the restaurant in the navigation, they had left in his dads car. No communication at all. My husband told me he was tired of playing these games and was not going to participate anymore. We went back to our 'new' hotel, which we had moved to. My son called later on and we met for awhile. He was leaving out the next morning and we spent little time with him. When he came home for leave, (Christmas) he spent very little time with us. For the next year, he called from time to time, and began a new relationship with a special lady. (the one he said-we were so happy for them!) The following year, he wanted to visit for Thanksgiving. He wanted to stay here with us, and his fiance. I let him use my car, and he was very appreciative. He told me that he was not getting Christmas off-and his fiance had to work too. I felt bad for both especially since my son was being deployed in January (right now) One week after our visit, my son starting 'picking fights' Crazy stuff. I let so much go. The final straw was that he accused my husband of taking a knife of his. (my son had given it to him before he joined the military.) My son never asked him direct, he kept asking me. I told him he needed to talk to my husband about it. He chose not to. So after two days, my husband said "when you leave, you need to take all of your stuff with you-we have kept stuff here and we don't want to be accused of taking your things" At that point, he proceeded to pack up, throwing away everything I had ever given him, and left. He did not say good bye. He gave me my car keys and left.
As for my daughter, every time I attempt to write to her, she responds with anger, and hate. Tells me I ruin her day when I write to her!
At first, I tried to rationalize what happened. I happen to think their father was able to find a crack and started his outrageous lies and I think they bought into it. I have also noticed my son started to embellish things towards the end. He is a Medic and we heard three different versions of how they injured a lamb during class, to train the Medics. This happened on several occasions.
I was a single mom of two boys and a girl. My oldest son and I were very close his entire life. He met a girl in 5th grade and they went all through school and college together. She was part of our family since the fifth grade. They gotMore engaged four years ago and then married last year. Since the engagement my son started to not want much to do with me. They would come home from med school and only stay at her house and not see me. After a while I would ask why they never stayed with me. All he said was that his girlfriend wanted to stay with her family. Today I see him 12 hours a year and talk to him even less. I was in a very serious accident and in intensive care for two weeks. He never called or came to see me and he was only an hour away. The months following the accident he never once came to see me or help me. I live alone and can hardly do anything as I lost my right arm. I finally confronted him last night with a text and asked him again why he makes no effort to see me. His response was that "He has to protect himself from me" I cause him so much stress and anger. I was divorced when he was 9 and it hit him hard. The divorce was my fault but we still remained so close through the years. I am devestated and can't even imagine going on. Nothing in life has prepared me this and I absolutely have no support system. His siblings don't want to get involved so I can't rely on them. I am sick and heartbroken. He says to not call him and I will never know what happened. I really need advise on how to even get up and go to work
I can only imagine what you are going through. It must be so
distressing to have a child you have raised and nurtured seemingly turn his
back on you and your relationship. I am sorry you are having to face such
a difficult situation and, while it may feel as if youMore are alone, I can assure
you there are others who are facing similar circumstances. It may be helpful to
seek out resources in your local area, such as parental support groups,
individual counselors, or other support services. Finding someone you can talk
to, who may also be able to relate to your experience, could be beneficial to
you through this difficult time. The 211 Helpline, a nationwide health and
human services referral service, would be able to give you information on
resources in your community. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by
calling 1-800-273-6222. You can also visit them online at http://www.211.org/. I appreciate you
sharing your story with our Empowering Parents community and hope you will
continue to check back to let us know how things are going. Take care.
Kathrynalone I wanted to 'adjust' something that I said in my post. I think I said that working to manage my thoughts has relieved me of all of my 'stinking thinking' - and that is not entirely accurate. While it has helped change and remove much of that kind ofMore thinking it has not completely obliterated it. I wish it would and maybe with time, it will. I'm also not always able to stop myself in my thought process but I'm doing it more and more with practice, I think. Everything about all of this is beyond difficult and I have found it to be so. It's just not always quite as hard any more or all the time like it once was. I still have fleeting moments of 'wouldn't everything just be easier if I were dead?' but they are much, much less frequent than they were at one time. I often think I should stop watching TV because I see lots of things there that trigger pity parties and negative thought processes. I wanted to add this because I didn't want it to sound like I have this knocked because I don't - not by any stretch. Hang in there - you are not alone.
I can hear how painful your daughter’s lack of communication is
for you. You are right that it is normal for interactions between parent and
child to lessen when a child becomes an adult. After all, they are now adults
with their own lives to live. It sounds like your daughter mayMore be feeling
caught between you and your husband. While it’s understandable you would want
your daughter to comprehend why you made the decision you did, the truth of the
matter is, the issues you and your husband have are really between you two.
Involving your children in your disputes is really not going to be of benefit
for anyone involved. As an adult, your daughter is able to choose with whom she
wants to interact or spend time. It can be beneficial to develop ways of taking
care of yourself when you start to feel distress over her choices. Your
counselor can help you develop a plan for this. You might also consider looking
into a support group for estranged parents in your community, or perhaps on
line. Many of the other parents who have commented on this article have found
these groups to be quite helpful. As for your other daughter wanting to move in
with you, you don’t have to allow it if you believe it is going to cause you
distress. If you do decide this is something you wish to do, you may find it
helpful to develop a living agreement with her before she moves in. We have
several articles that address living agreements and adult children living at
home. A couple you may find helpful are Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement & Ground Rules for Living with an Adult Child (plus Free Living Agreement). We appreciate you writing in and sharing your story. Good luck
to you as you move through this very challenging transition. Take care.
MichelleLDickerson hello Michelle..I am in the same position but it is my daughter.We too had a wonderful relationship up until she got married..Three years after that things were starting to change. I have reached out many many times and after 16 months of silence I have had a response fromMore her. I have suggested that we meet up but her response was very cold towards me, but there is hope within it.All this goes back 7 years now, when my one and only comment to him was "you are a bully"..and it was the truth. I have certainly been punished and blamed ever since with the silent treatment and stopped from seeing my beautiful granddaughters all this time. there is hope now I feel, and i always send her loving thoughts as I believe that love will prevail. I have grovelled, wept, apologised time and time again, but she is demanding that i prove to her that i have changed..I was accused of being mentally unstable etc etc..so nasty and untrue..I am desperate to see my granddaughters, but I accept that i cannot change how they think of me. What hurts, like you, is that his family are now well and truly enjoying everything with them that i have been excluded from. I have to trust that it will work out and come to terms with accepting that but it is so difficult. I send you my love and pray that yours too will be resolved. If it feels right then do ask to meet up, after all what have you got to lose..If you dont, you will never know. take care.
@sueloth MichelleLDickerson Hi Sue - I'm so sorry to hear about your estrangement from your daughter. This is so hard! I can't remember anything from my son's childhood - except for loving, cherishing and adoring him, and spoiling him beyond recognition - certainly nothing that would qualify as 'ruining his childhood.' More I do wish he would talk with me about it. I believe my fear about contacting him again is a little of 2 different things. One is that I'm afraid that he would never see the letter if his wife intercepted and disposed of it - and I would never know. The second is that he wouldn't ignore it (like he does everything else) and instead might call or write and say something like "Don't contact me ever again. I never want to see you or hear from you ever again." If he did that I believe it would remove whatever hope I now have for a reconciliation and simply kill me. I don't think I could bear a response like that. Thank you so much for your precious note. I send you love and pray that you can get your relationship with your daughter resolved, too. God bless you, friend.
Thank you for writing in, and reaching out to us for support
during this troubling time. I can hear how much pain you are experiencing
right now as a result of your son’s actions and lack of communication. It
sounds like you have sacrificed a lot for your son and have prioritized hisMore happiness
throughout his life, and he has responded by leaving your home and ignoring
you. It is completely understandable that you would feel hurt by
this. I strongly encourage you to reach out for support during this
time; death is not the answer. There is help available to you, and you do
not have to go through this alone. The http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ is one such resource. You can call them at 1-800-273-8255,
24/7, and be connected to trained crisis counselors. There is also a chat
option, along with other resources, on their website if that feels more
comfortable to you. They can help you to develop a plan to stay safe and
to take care of yourself, even though you are in a lot of pain right now.
I recognize how difficult and painful this situation is for you right now, and
I hope that you will write back and keep us updated on how things are going for
you as you continue to move forward. I wish you all the best; take care.
I'm so glad I found this site!!! I have read some of the stories and it all sounds so familiar! Both of my boys have excluded me from their life! It's like a death! I didn't realize that step-parents and the other parent could be so evil and manipulative! MyMore kids that at one time were momma boys have completely disowned me and look at the step mom as their mother! If I say anything, I'm the bad person and low life that is unworthy to be a part of their life! Not to mention my oldest son wife! The step mom and of course the daughter in law is best friends. I never gotten to be a grandmother to my grandson nor doesn't even know me and I live 15 mins from him. I've cried so many tears and the pain is so deep! I can't win this battle and I fear my kids will never know the truth and how much I love them.
Painfulandalone from a Guest that reads this but rarely comments .. just want to add to the discussion, that estrangements are horrible, but many times they play out different with male children. Something happens when other women come into the lives of a boy whether he is 19, 29, orMore 39 .. he moves toward the new wife, girlfriend, her family, etc. Dynamics can be very hurtful. When you say you never realized how evil this all can be .. omg .. no kidding .... a lot of us here so use another site on Daily Strength and the Lehman site knows we recommend it. There are a few estrangement groups on it .. PEACE which is Parents of Estranged Adult Children Everywhere and PWWA which is Parents Who Walked Away. Both are chockful of other women going through all stages of estrangement, some that started last week up to some that are going on 50 years.
Fifty years .. who would believe it?? I cannot even fathom being 75 and not seeing my kids for the last 50 years, but there are moms on the sites that are there.
Anyway, just put DailyStrengthPEACE or Daily StrengthParentsWhoWalkedAway into your search and they will come up. You will find between this site and those one or two, you will find tremendous support for yourself.
All the best and please try to feel better. Selfish kids, very narrow minded, and the list goes on, as we here all know.
Painfulandalone You're exactly right - it really does almost feel as if your child has died, only we are unable to really, fully grieve because they haven't actually died. While I am certain it would be/feel worse if my son truly died, this feels beyond horrible. My son won't evenMore tell me what I supposedly did wrong so I end up wondering about that all the time. I would love a chance to just talk with him to see if I might be able to learn what it was - but he's not even spoken to me in almost 2 years. So heartbreaking!
Painfulandalone You're right, this is like a death. You have to handle it like a death. Grieve! After a while you'll see that you can win the battle. The children know that you love them but htey don't care. Not yet. Maybe one day.
With all due respect, some of theMore estranged children are very selfish
Everybody hold on!!!!
maren stone Painfulandalone ... in my opinion, almost all of the estranged children are very selfish. very very very selfish.
Guest Commentator maren stone Painfulandalone and cruel and heartless
maren stone Painfulandalone I also had an estranged son for about a year. I went through this grieving period and it was really tough. I gave him space and a few weeks ago, he came back to me. We talked a long time and he said he needed a year toMore himself to figure out life.... he wasn't really thinking of me but he needed that time to himself. He now wants to go back to college and I am going to help him. Some friends are saying that this is why he is coming back to me. I don't really care. I always planned to help him pay for school and want to support him through this. I just want you all to know that there is hope and sometimes our children have their reasons to do what they are doing and I think most of the time, they don't realize how heartbroken we are or they can't imagine. I know my son didn't have any idea until one day when I called him hysterically crying and he just happened to answer the phone. He usually never did. He didn't realize how much he was hurting me. He has made a little effort since that time and then coming to this decision about college is great. Just have hope and don't give up on them.
SadMama maren stone Painfulandalone I wish you a very happy family life with your son.
maren stone SadMama Painfulandalone Thank you. I wouldn't say things are back to normal but I feel we are on a good path. I was in your shoes a year ago so don't give up hope. I felt the same way if you read my earlier posts. This group really helped meMore feel like it wasn't just me.
Painfulandalone You aren't alone. You will find a lot of support here. Some of the members will be able to provide you with even more sites that can help you through this pain. I'm so sorry that you are hurting and that your grandchildren haven't had the opportunity to knowMore you. If there is ONE thing that I have learned from this site - it's that you have to take care of yourself. It's so hard when there isn't a reason for the distance or when you aren't given the opportunity to redeem yourself. Please look after yourself and good luck.
Emotions can easily cloud anyone’s judgment, especially when the
situation concerns your child or another loved one. From what you have written,
it sounds like you are concerned that stepping in would result in things going
back to you taking on a rescuing role. One thing I think is important toMore keep
in mind is his life is the way it is because of the choices he has made, not
because of anything you did or didn’t do. Also, when a parent steps in and saves an adult child from natural
consequences, it reinforces those roles for both parties, the parent and the
adult child. The next time he finds himself in a difficult situation, he still
won't have the skills to figure the problem out for himself and you will be
even more likely to step in and solve the problem for him. This is true whether
or not he realizes it is you who is helping him because someone will
still be rescuing him. It can be hard to see your child suffer, regardless of
how old he is and regardless of whether you are the bio parent or the
stepparent. Finding a way to take care of yourself when you start to feel
anxious or distressed is probably going to be a more beneficial step to take. I
can hear how well you have done over the past year or so at managing your
emotions and coming to terms with the situation as it now stands. I would
continue to implement whatever self care techniques you have been utilizing to
help you deal with this difficult issue. If you feel you may need extra support
at this time, you may find local resources who can be of assistance, such as a
parent support group or counselor. The 211 Helpline, a nationwide health and
human services referral service, can give you information on supports in your
community. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222
or by logging onto 211.org. I know this is a very difficult time for you and
your family. Good luck to you all moving forward. I hope you will continue to
check in and let us know how things are going. Take care.
DeniseR_ParentalSupport Momma A Thank you so much for your reply. It makes so much sense. Helps to re read my post and then your comment once I have settled down and not quite so emotional. I will be sure to check back and update frequently.!! Thank you!!!
What you are describing here is a very common struggle in many families. When an adult child chooses a partner in marriage the task of integrating both families can be excruciating. It can be difficult to try and figure out what to do with the strong emotions that arise for all members involved. First, I want to give you a lot of credit for recognizing that you may have overstepped a line and apologized for that--this is not an easy thing to do! Secondly, even though the relationship is far from what you want it to be, it sounds like your son is still willing to have some communication which means there is room to keep in touch. The great divide that you sense is there and I'm sure that feels overwhelming and scary; it will take time to build a bridge over the divide and to work through this. I agree with you that being in a situation like this is heartbreaking and it carries a lot of sadness and confusion. Do your best right now to take care of yourself and get some support from friends, family, or a counselor to deal with all the emotions that this will bring up for you. I hope that your son will afford you an opportunity to continue the conversation in the near future; I can hear how much you want to make the situation right and how important it is to you to be closer to your son.