If you are estranged from your adult child, if your child has cut you out of his or her life—whether for a long or short time—it is a gut-wrenching experience. When your child cuts you out of her life it provokes deep feelings of shame, guilt, bewilderment, and hurt, all of which can easily turn to anger. On top of that, it can also arouse people’s worst suspicions (surely, the Smiths must be terrible parents for their daughter to cut them off like that!) and leave you feeling judged, even by friends and family.

Sometimes, of course, there are circumstances in which cutting off from a parent is the only viable option for an adult child (age 18 and older), for instance, in the case of past or present physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a parent.

While it’s common to pin the reason for the estrangement on everything from money issues, to personality conflicts, to divorce or difficult family dynamics, many times, though, estranged parents are left in the dark trying to figure out what went wrong.

And when you are in the dark, the easiest thing to blame is yourself—to believe that you failed as a parent.

But here’s the reality: it was not your choice to sever the relationship. Although you may have contributed to the tensions between you, you are not responsible for your child’s choice to cut you off.

Many adult children struggle with their parents, or with money issues, etc., but not all of them cut ties with their parents. Why do some cut off while others go through similar struggles and stay connected?

Why Some Kids Distance Themselves

We humans manage stress in pretty predictable ways. We have a fight or flight response just like other species. And some people are more prone to distancing (flight) when emotional intensity gets high.

Let’s take Joe, for example. Joe was living at home after college, and his parents felt he was aimless. He would sleep in late, not help around the house, wouldn’t get a steady job, and was rude and disrespectful.

Joe’s parents were understandably concerned and anxious about his lack of direction. They would nag, yell, and question him daily as to his game plan. He would be vague or get nasty, which caused his parents to get on his back even more.

Eventually, Joe moved out. He didn’t tell his parents where he moved and didn’t contact them for over a year.

To understand Joe’s response, we have to recognize that when some people feel anxious, tired of conflict or pressure, or too much of the sticky family togetherness, their response is to distance themselves, be it emotionally, physically or both. When a person distances from others, they feel a sense of relief because the distance seemingly brings the conflict to an end. Of course, nothing is actually resolved; instead, more stress is generated.

On the outside, it looks as though Joe and his parents are disconnected. But on the inside, they are actually thinking about each other all the time and remain overly focused on one another. They are, in fact, still extremely involved with one another: they are emotionally bound up together, even though all communication has ceased. Neither is free from the original problem; nor are they free from each other.

Extreme Distancing: Cutting Off

Distancing, at its extreme, turns to cutting off. It can occur after long periods of conflict or as a sudden reaction to a difficult encounter. Whatever the issue, the person doing the cutting off has difficulty addressing and resolving the problem directly and maturely. Instead, like Joe, they stop communicating. Continuing the relationship seems unmanageable to them.

When a parent and child are too emotionally bound up with each other, they are more susceptible to cutting off when anxiety is high.

Joe and his parents, for instance, were overly involved and entangled with each other. He was not taking responsibility for himself, nor were his parents taking responsibility for themselves.

His parents did not stand up and let him know what they would and wouldn’t accept. Instead they nagged, begged and hoped he would change. He dug his heels in deeper, did less when pushed, and refused to address his part of the problem.

They were living in reaction to one another, rather than each taking responsibility for their part of the family conflict. The only way that Joe could see to solve the problem was to distance himself and eventually cut-off from his parents; Joe didn’t have the skills necessary to untie the knots, to grow up and face himself.

Parents feel powerless when no contact is possible, when they can’t negotiate or even talk with their child. Should you contact your child or not? How long should you try? What should you say?

Five Tips When Estranged and Cut Off From Your Child

1. Get Support

Being cut off by your child, with no ability to understand, communicate and resolve things, is difficult enough. That’s why being connected to others who love and understand you is particularly important. In addition to reaching out to friends and family, consider joining a support group. If you are not able to function at your best, get some professional help.

2. Don’t Cut off in Response

You are not the one cutting ties; your child is. Don’t cut off your child in response. Continue to reach out to him, letting him know that you love him and that you want to mend whatever has broken. Send birthday and holiday messages as well as occasional brief notes or emails. Simply say that you are thinking about him and hope to have the opportunity to reconnect. Send your warmth, love and compassion—as you get on with your life.

3. Don’t Feed the Anger

It’s understandable to feel angry. And in their attempt to be supportive, friends and family may fuel your feelings of betrayal, inadvertently increasing your anger. Anger is natural, but not helpful. Step back and try to understand what led to this estrangement. What patterns were operating in your family dance? If you can look at your family from a more factual vantage point, it may feel less personal. No one is to blame. Now if the door opens, you will be in a much better position to reconcile.

4. Listen to Your Child Without Defending Yourself

If the door opens with your child, listen with an open heart. Listen to her perceptions of what wrongs took place. Even if you disagree with her, look for the grains of truth. Be willing to look at yourself. It’s hard to hear these criticisms, especially if your intentions were misunderstood. So prepare yourself to handle this. Your adult child may need to hold on to blame as a way to manage her own anxiety. Just letting her know that you hear her will go a long way. Keep in mind that she, too, had to be in tremendous pain to reach the point of shutting you out. Try to empathize with her pain rather than get caught up in the hurt and anger.

5. Focus on Yourself, Not Your Child

If you do begin communicating again, you will be in a position to learn from the mistakes of the past and work toward an improved relationship. Put your efforts into changing yourself, not your child. Let go of your resentments regarding the estrangement. Understand his need to flee—and forgive him.

Understanding and Hope

Get to know the adult child you have, not the child you think he should have been. Allow him to get to know you. If your child still has made no contact, grieve the loss and know there is still hope. Try to manage your anxiety, and do the right thing by staying in touch with him in a non-intrusive way: occasionally and lovingly. Things may change.

Rather than blame yourself or your child for this pain, use your energy to learn about yourself, your own family history and patterns in your other relationships. Look for other patterns of cutting off in your family tree.

Remember that shutting a person out is a response to anxiety and a family that is overly entangled with one another. Your actions or lack of action didn’t cause this. Cutting off is a way people manage anxiety when they don’t know a better way. The love and caring is there; the ability to solve differences is not. You did not make your child to turn away. That was her decision. It may have been a poor one, but it was the best she could do at the time. Try to get your focus off of her at least 50 percent of the day, which will make a difference.

Your pain is real. Be mindful and compassionate of it, but don’t allow it to define or overwhelm you. Put the focus on what you have control of: your own life.

Related content: Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child?


For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.

Comments (907)
  • Elizabeth
    My 25 year old daughter cut me off. We have not spoken since December of 2020. Prior to cutting me off she told me she did not want me to call but just to text only. Then she cut off her brother and told him that she did notMore want to speak to him again. Then Thanksgiving went by and then so did Christmas without hearing a word from her (not even Merry Christmas). I sent her a Christmas card with money but never heard a peep. Then I sent her a message asking her to help me understand what is happening as I am feeling distance between us. She writes me back and said things she never said to me before like I was a narcissist, manipulator, toxic parent, and bad for her mental health. My ex-husband and I got divorced over 10 years ago and he walked away from all of his children because they did not like his new girlfriend who he eventually married. I was both mother and father to my kids and did the best I could to raise them as a single parent. I always told my kids that I love them and always made sure they had what they needed. There is no instruction book on how to raise my kids but I was always there for them when they needed me growning up. Prior to cutting me off, she was having panic attacks and was trying to help her get on back on health insurance so she could get back on her medication for her anxiety. Her boyfriend messages me and tells that they do not want me to come. She had him message me instead of her messaging me. I felt very hurt. I feel very sad and depressed. Keep asking what I could have done different and blame myself for not knowing what I did wrong. I am very heart broken. It was especially hard on her birthday in August. Hearing other stories makes me feel like I am not alone. Sometimes it is so hard because I have no one to talk to.
  • Sad Mom
    Thank you for this article. I never thought one of my children would not want to talk to me again and I am so heart broken. I gave everything to my children even at my own expense, because all I ever wanted was the best for them. This article reallyMore helps me understand what my daughter is going through and how to handle it when and if she does deicide to return to our lives. In the meantime I am going to miss her!
  • AnnaKate
    What a great article! Finally, one that makes sense.
  • Twyla
    I never thought this would happen to me. My 40-something daughter had estranged on and off, but this time might be for good. I tried to be the parent that I wished I had had; apparently, I failed. I go from feeling bad to wanting to just give up onMore our relationship.
  • Mum sad
    I’m so sad to read there are so many broken hearted parents who feel such loss as I do. I was not a perfect parent and I got things wrong sometimes. I relied too heavily on my children when my marriage ended. But I have said I am sorrry overMore and over. Yet my kids seem unable to forgive and feel such deep resentment and anger. They have cut me out. I love them so dearly, they are my family but they have no interest in me or my life. I try to stop myself from calling because it hurts when they don’t return my calls. I send little messages of to say hi but they don’t often reply. This is the most painful experience. I’m trying to find a support group to help me through this. I live in New Zealand.
    • Polly

      I'm so sorry. It is awful, but you are not alone. There is a book "Sidelined by your adult children?"

      It saved my sanity. Keep reading, keep loving yourself.

  • Kiwi

    Since my 26-year-old daughter has met her boyfriend almost one year ago, she has been distant towards me. She has only connected with me on special occasions. She had surgery one month ago and when I call her she does not pick up. Only replies when I text. Says she has not been feeling well but will not always reply to my texts. Could someone give me advice?

    I can not sleep nights and feel very down about her distancing herself from me.

    • Kiwi2
      Hi there, my heart goes out to you. I am in a similar situation. I have two daughters and since my marriage ended they has slowly pulled away. I used to be very close to them but I think the sadness of loss got to them. They rarely talkMore or communicate. Sometimes it feels so deliberate. Refusing to reply to my calls, being just ‘polite’ but never expressing affection or love. It’s heart breaking.
  • noras
    My husband and I have been married 27 years and our 22 year old son (our only child) told us 8 months ago that he was dealing with extreme anxiety and he did not want us to call anymore, only text him. The only time we have seen himMore (3 times) is if he had no other option but to see us (IE, needed help moving, needed a ride etc.) He always texts me that he loves me when we text. He recently said that he needs to work through everything before he can talk to us. He has said that it is something that his father and I have done. We have always been a close family. We have supported him in all his decisions in life. We always had so much fun up until 8 months ago. We have been shocked. He does have a girlfriend that has a very unhealthy relationship with her parents and we often wonder if she is one of the reasons for this situation, but I will never ask or say that to him for fear that it will just be another strike against us. He told me as recently as a year ago that he was so thankful for his upbringing because he had no trauma or drama to deal with. Now we have this. He goes out of his way NOT to see us. It has been hurtful beyond belief. I have told him that I am heartbroken because we cannot fix what we don't know and that we are willing to sit at the table and listen and do whatever is necessary to work through this. There are times that I get so extremely low. I get scary low. I hate that anyone else is feeling this same pain, but I am comforted as I read all the comments to know I am not alone. We just cannot figure out what this is all about. He is in his senior year in college, has a guaranteed job upon graduation in computer science (his summer internship led to the job). My worst fear is that this will go on until graduation, he will move (his job is remote) and we will never get the opportunity to work this out. It feels like death, honestly. My husband and my relationship is strong and I don't think I'd make it without him and my mother in law to get through this. Without them I don't think I could make it, really. I pray all the time and I have tried to just give it to God because I can do nothing beyond reaching out. My heart breaks for him that he feels something so bad that he cannot face us. I also get so angry and hurt at times that I can't sleep, eat or function. I don't know if I should continue to hope or prepare to mourn the loss of our son. This is the worst thing to have ever happened to me in my life. I have not lost anyone close to me even in death at this point in my life. This pain is horrible. I am so sorry for everyone feeling this pain.
    • Delia
      Your story sounds exactly like mine. My son hasn’t spoken to me in almost 3 years. I don’t understand at all. His dad and I are divorced and I’m still single so that really doesn’t help when I start feeling down. I do have another son that I am veryMore close to. He is struggling with his brother as well. And my mom. My son doesn’t talk to her anymore either. That makes me so angry. She sends him money for holidays and he doesn’t even say thank you. I struggle so much between crippling grief, sadness, and anger. It’s so horrible. I wish you the best.
  • Sadmom
    It’s good to read the other comments here - I don’t feel so alone in my misery. My young adult son has completely rejected me. We had a close relationship when he was growing up and there’s never been a cross word between us. It’s inexplicable and very painful. DespiteMore what this article says my gut tells me it would be a mistake to continue reaching out. He had a birthday last month and has never l acknowledged the gifts I sent but surprisingly he agreed to meet for lunch only to deliberately stand me up. I cried for days. I haven’t seen him in 3 years and I’m beginning to realize that I’m permanently out of his life despite my having been a good and loving mother to him. My daughter (his sister) has seen him infrequently after he cut off contact with me but he seems to now be rejecting her as well. My head tells me to let him go and move on but my heart is broken into a thousand pieces. I have no idea why he’s rejecting me as he’s never once said anything the least bit negative about any aspect of his childhood - but his actions speak louder than his words ever could. I tell myself where there’s life there’s hope but I also think it would be better to give up hope because it prevents me from accepting the loss and letting go him go. It’s an open wound that doesn’t seem to heal.
  • Sandra Sangwin
    I have an only son. He is 43. I am 73. He has stopped contacting me because I am finding it hard to accept the woman he left his wife and 2 children for. It is breaking my heart
  • Inpaintothecore

    I am so thankful to find this site. My story :

    I have a 30 year old daughter who has slowly become estranged. In my opinion I’ve been and loving and supportive throughout her life and I’ve been searching for answers as to why this is occurring. She admitted several years ago that she was gay. I thought that caused the prior distancing on her part. Maybe I tried to hard to keep us close . She slowly drifted. Then most recently she admitted to a drinking problem. I again was supportive and tried to remain close. She rarely opens up as much as I try. I’ve cried, yelled hugged her sat in on meetings, nothing appears to work. She says she needs boundaries from me, but yet won’t explain what I’ve done. I am so heartbroken by this. She was my gift ,I was told that my chances of getting pregnant from my (2nd) husband were slim to none. I was thrilled beyond belief when I had a daughter. I cannot understand her behavior at all. I come from a very close knit Italian family and she has become a stranger to them. It appears she cares more about her friends and coworkers.

  • cesannbut
    My feelings don't even compute here. I am so hurt and offended by the estrangement of my son it isn't even funny. He calls his father, gives him birthday presents. He and his wife are trying to get my granddaughter to just say grandpa and not beMore interested in grandma. Hurt. Nah. That emotion doesn't even come close. Nice article, but I am not relating whatsoever. Anger doesn't even cut it anymore. I have given up and am not ever going to pursue a relationship further with my son. I am done.
  • lasting trauma

    2021-07-19 is there anyway to know if I am posting comments on a page with recent visitors or 5 years old? I see Shelley, Hope and Carole… or anybody else. There is a Mrs Grace who says « Hurting souls with broken hearts need validation and comfort coming from others who have been down the same path… » I would love to exchange with.

    I do agree with many who mention that the subject is taboo and that support groups are rare. I am here even though English is a second language for me because I have not seen a single page in French where mothers can say what is being said here.

    I am estranged from my 52 years old daughter for the last 10 years. For 43 years, we were in the best of terms, vacationing together, I helped her in all her important steps in life including college, buying a house when she was in her thirties etc. Having been motherless at 7, with a childhood of total neglect, I did care not to repeat the pattern. I thought, and a few others too, that I had done a pretty good job, until :

    I am the one who flee the verbal abuse, agressivity, the roller coaster of a toxic relation she clang to. She would call sounding like on the verge of suicide, make me run day or night, until I was sick with worry, frustration, powerlessness, rejection. She would be out partying with the man 3 days later. I got the feeling that I was the crutch helping her to say with a man that any decent family would be ashamed or terrified to have in the family. But, she insisted on calling him « the one love of my life » . A few months after I had announced that I didn’t want to be called for help in those couple dramas, if she chose to stay (not even married) with him, she started being very rude, very money minded, very abusive verbally. « Mind your own business » had become her usual answer to « how do you do? ». Trying to tell her that she needed serious professionnal help was the worst insult I could utter. She did throw him out quite a few times to take him back a few weeks later and keep the damage deepening.

    I openly told my daughter that I did not want to see her anymore unless she came with a version of the crisis that didn’t paint me as the source of all her woes and that there has been some events and words that ask for another kind of treatment than « sweeping under the carpet ». So, I am openly the abuser, the one who closed the door, and she the victim who doesn’t understand why. It hurts a lot, everyday, but the few times she calls, once every 2 years, at midnight and for 3 hours, it’s to tell me she doesn’t read what I write to her and that she doesn’t understand… what I have made more than clear. If at 52 she doesn’t have the maturity, the emotional intelligence, the minimal dose of respect or gratitude for a mother who gave all she could, it is hopeless and I know it too well. Some notions of love and freedom that include the right to abuse, to hurt, would need serious examination. This is a very short version of the events, the clearest I can spell about the essential of the situation. I have little family left, one sister I love, almost 80, in good health, and sitting on a type of neutrality that is a bit challenging for my nerves. She definitely prefers not to hear about the story.

  • Shelley
    How does a mother do when both of her children have cut her off? (Due to partial truths distorted by another family member). It has been over 6 years now since I last spoke and saw my children. I was not perfect but I was totally devotedMore to both of my children - until I also most died from a surgery that left me in chronic pain. I was the best mom until I wasn't. I realize there is more to this story - I own parts that are mine to own - but what do I do when other family members (grandparents (my parents), aunts and uncles (my sisters) tell my adult children untruths and encourage the distancing? My husband (father) and I do not even know where my children live. Except for 1 hurtful email from each child over the past 6 1/2 yrs we have had zero contact. I can't breathe I am in so much emotional pain. It is crippling. I can't go on with this. I don't want to. How are you coping - anyone? My son is now 30 and daughter 28. They are both in relationships (that I know of) next engagements; marriage and babies. I am going to miss it all - most of all any type of relationship with 2 of the most important people in my life. I dedicated my life to my children. How can they believe so many lies?
  • Hope
    Alli, thank you for your comment, it’s made me look at things a little differently. It’s difficult to see or find a life without my son and grand-daughter in it. My whole life has been focused on being a wife and mother. I failed at marriage, myMore husband had an affair and left, still not sure what I did or didn’t do exactly and now this is the 3rd time my son has decided to cut me out of his life. I’m fairly certain he won’t be back this time and I think that’s ok, as long as he’s happy I guess. I’ve been thinking a lot about parents who have had a child die, how the pain of it all must stay with them forever. The difference here is the pain of knowing that a child you brought into the world who you loved and cared for unconditionally has decided to reject you. I’m not sure that I take comfort in knowing there are so many parents struggling. What a world! What a life! Keep moving forward and thank you
  • Carole
    I’m a single Mum and Grandma who divorced my two children’s father 20 years ago. My son came back into my life 2 years ago after being out of my life for 5 years. My daughter and he have been estranged for 10 years and she refuses toMore have anything to do with her brother. In her words “he is dead to me”. She has since married 7 years ago and they have my 2 beautiful grandchildren whom I moved 200 miles to be closer to. I was very close to my little granddaughter who is now 4 and my little grandson of 1 year old. For 2 years now I have suffered emotional abuse and blackmail from my daughter and her husband because I see my son once a week. I tried to avoid going to their home because it very quickly “turned ugly” and they would start on me again. For the sake of my health I didn’t want to visit their home as I wanted to avoid the stress. I have been suffering anxiety attacks, headaches and physical aches & pains as well as chronic insomnia throughout this whole period. I have no-one to talk to regarding this and am too ashamed of my daughter to talk to my friends or family about it. My daughter’s latest strategy is the silent treatment and I have not seen my grandchildren for several weeks now. I attempted to contact my daughter and asked if we could talk alone (her husband seems to join in with her when I’m being criticised by my daughter). She said she would come over but has not. Instead, she has barred me from seeing any photos of my grandchildren which means she is cutting me out of their lives. I’m utterly bereft and heartbroken. My son and daughter used to be incredibly close and supportive of each other. It makes me incredibly sad. Her husband’s family is huge but my two are all I have. I have told her we love her and will always be there for her but that’s all I can do. It’s very hard but I will need to look to my future now and try to enjoy the years I have left. I have spent 40 years loving, caring for, supporting, financing my children. What was it all about?
  • Lisa
    My daughter is almost 32 and recently cut me out of her life saying she was tired of our roller coaster relationship. Basically, she is blaming me for our problems. I know I have been critical and judgmental due to what I perceive as poor and irresponsible decisions she hasMore made. But, she lies to me and ignores me until she needs money. Then, she acts so sweet and caring. I, in turn, respond in anger. Our relationship has been toxic for me for a very long time and I hate to admit it, but she is right, we do need a break from each other. The thought of not seeing her breaks my heart and I pray we can have a better relationship some day.
  • Momof3
    I came across this site after my middle child and only daughter with my only grandchild has now cut me off for the second time. It’s heartbreaking to read these comments and I read all of them. My grandson’s birthday is in early July. He’ll be two. I knew someMore months ago she was getting ready to shut me out again. I’m not sure what I have done for this child to just erase me from her and her sons life. My boys and I have great relationships. While I am dealing with a great deal of depression this time, I’m not angry with her and am prepared for this time to be the long haul. It’s all so insanely trivial frankly and I know there’s no way I’m a bad mom to my middle child when my oldest and youngest have great relationships with me. It’s absolutely dumbfounding what this child is going through since she doesn’t really function at an adult level. Although I’ve spent the past couple weeks sleeping too much and dealing with some depressive issues, it’s not me. I’m quite sure her marriage is a disaster and I’m just the punching bag. However I will own the fact that staying for 26 years in a marriage with her emotionally, physically and verbally abusive father did nothing to show her how a woman should be treated in a relationship. I wish things were different but it’s out of my control. I have no voice with her and have no choice. I chased her last time and had to do it through her father whom I cannot tolerate. I will not do it again. I’m no one’s doormat. I gave everything for my children so they could be worthwhile adults. This is not about me, it’s about her inability to take control of her life.
  • Corn Pops
    I am confused too by this article. I was helping my son buy his first house, he was doing well then did t get a promotion he’d hoped for. Then he fell out with a brother and said he didn’t want to speak to him. I told him as adults,More I would respect his opinion and asked how I could help. He basically told me to tell his brother off. I felt I could mediate and support but that wasn’t enough for him. He’s gone and I’m worried about his state of mind. He wants no contact. I sent a message on his 30th birthday just a week later and N now prepared totally to stay away as long as he feels that’s best for him, sad as that makes me. My worry is that I believe he may have had thoughts about seif-harm. I hear what the adult children here are saying and their feelings are more important than mine (it’s agony btw) But please advise how I balance that with him being safe.
  • Sad dad
    My wife is bipolar, we have been married 49 years. Our daughter came out of the closet after divorcing and her 2 sons our grandchildren moved in with their father after our daughter got married to a drunk who abused them. My daughter for whom I gave up my careerMore so that she could be head girl of her senior school and who has a Bsc(Hon) degree has cut her mother and I completely out of her life. Our daughter is in Africa we have moved to the UK in our senior years.I fear i will die without being reconciled with my daughter. My grandson's want nothing to do with their mother but stay in contact with us.One at varsity and the other hoping to go next year. I guess we must be grateful that our grandson's love us but when I think back to the happy times my wife and I shared with our daughter, in spite of the bipolar,I am a very sad old man!
    • Polly
      I'm so sorry, Sad Dad. Read everything you can on estrangement. Forgive yourself. Hold on to the good. Let the bad go and pain go with it. You're not alone.
  • Ms G

    Often, if your child is empathetic he/she may be in a relationship with a very controlling, manipulative and lying person. This type of person often turns their partner against families and friends to isolate and continue to abuse them. They basically brainwash them and weaken their ability to fight for themself through tactics such as gaslighting.

    This appears to be the situation with my daughter, my only child. She met her husband at college and hasn't been the same since. She used to be kind and very encouraging to friends and family. She would light up a room. She and I got along well and she would call me a tell me what's going on in her life. More and more overtime she would complain about everyone, stop visiting friends, and snap at me about little things. This increased more and more over about 5 years, and the whole time I could see her boyfriend stirring the pot and planting seeds. He said he was a terror as a child, he stated he doesn't like people, he "can't" cry, and I can tell he has a lot of rage inside. (You know what this all describes.) I've witnessed the gaslighting and the lying. He lies to me with no conscience. I think my daughter walks on eggshells around him and so does their 3-year-old son. I hate it for them. He seems to have her confused and afraid, and I can't get to her to just give her a hug. She rarely calls and she doesn't visit.

    I guess it's true that the best thing to do is to pray for their peace and safety, and take care of yourself. If you believe in a higher power, then you should trust your prayers. (I keep telling myself that.)

    • J Hitz
      This sounds like a mirror of my current situation. My son and I had a great relationship until he met his current wife. She did all the things you said your daughters SO did, and now my son is completely no contact. They even went so far as to tryMore to get a restraining order on me. Thankfully the judge realized they were trying to use the court system as a means of punishment and denied the order, but it still hurts and I don't contact them anyway because it's what they want. I don't know how to deal with the loss. It's like I'm in mourning. It's hard to read the nasty smear campaign and lies they are spreading, and know there's just nothing I can do to either defend myself or more to the point, reconcile and understand why they're doing all this in the first place. It's only been a few months for me since going no contact, and it's a miracle if I go a day without crying over not having him in my life anymore.
  • Jodi

    I was estranged of and on from my abusive and alcoholic mother up until her death. I raised two wonderful sons with no issues in sight - never imagining I would one day be here, looking for advice. My eldest is now 22 and think we are also now estranged. This article is probably dead on, regarding entanglement and his inability to deal with his emotions. I am very angry and hurt by his behavior and my own upbringing makes me want to push back and keep that door shut all while crying on the other side. I sacrificed everything for him, especially him, and he takes and takes and takes. Having a partner that helped me see that clearly helps, but it certainly doesn’t help with the pain of not hearing from your first born.

    As for giving gifts or small notes, if you visit the subreddit for children who have cut off their parents, they despise their parents for continuing to reach out. So, either they are lying in their posts and secretly like it, or it’s not a good move.

    I haven’t showered in 7 straight days and I have terrible dreams that all have to do with him being in peril. I think it’s time for me to get some therapy. Not to mention my partner has no idea what to say or how to help me.

  • Rick Z

    For some parents of estranged adult children, trying to have some kind of connection with the estranged child, is the right thing. But there are others like my wife and I who have been issued an ultimatum to not under any circumstances, try to contact our son and his wife. They have threatened to sue us for harassment if we ever try to make contact. My son in his teenage years was nothing but trouble. We spent a fortune on lawyers, counselors, psychiatrists, but to no avail. I had to kick him out of the house because he posed a threat. At some point he came to his senses in his 20’s and married a woman twice his age with 2 grown children.

    At one point they were destitute and we took them in to help them. They wound up staying for 2 years. We basically paid for everything.

    We went through our entire savings and were wiped out financially. After they got a place of their own, both of them started to accuse my wife of doing all kinds of awful things to them and spoke to her in a disgusting manner.

    My son said that he still wanted a relationship with me. I told him that his Mom and I are a team. If they were going to disconnect from her, then they’ll have to disconnect from me. That was 5 years ago. There was one nasty phone call attacking my wife again and I hung up. His behavior did not surprise me in the least. There are just some people who are bad seeds. Some people are hateful people. Some people are evil. I knew since my son was a teenager that he was an evil person. It took Mom a lot longer to cut the apron strings. After what they put my wife through, I have absolutely no affection for my son. I have nothing but disdain and contempt for him and his wife. Since they don’t want any contact, We are abiding by their demands.Thankfully my wife has recovered from the trauma.

    I know this might sound awful to some people. But I have ZERO love for my child.

    I wish him no harm. I am practicing compassion meditation in order to mitigate resent on my part. At the very least I have learned to not have any guilt or remorse.

    But I don’t respect him, I don’t like him and I certainly don’t love him. And I’m perfectly okay with that. And I feel that if there is no chance of reconciling, it’s okay to stop trying and get on with ones Life. It’s okay to reject the societal expectation to never give up. Not every child is worth it. If it’s done, it’s done. Do not feel any shame or guilt if you don’t love your kid. It’s more important to love oneself and ones spouse.

    • Polly
      Thank you. Big, deep breath.
  • Jacob
    After going down a worm hole looking for possible reasons our 19yr old son left home and makes no effort to stay in contact i was relived somewhat to the story about Joe. Its so clear every child handles life differently. I was talking to my wife about the timeMore his grades were slipping below passing at high school and we sat down had a chat with him and reaffirmed all he needed to do was pass. something he was very capable of doing. i remember him loosing it one night about all the pressure he was under and i was surprised. we didn't think asking him to pass basic high school grades was a massive ask. he went on to finish high school passing and we were happy for him. then the next issue came up! what was he going to do with his life. we tried to encourage him to get motivated in high school to get a part time job but that was really difficult. Same as getting his license. we didn't want him sitting in his room playing video games all day... He eventually got an apprenticeship as chef, and at my wife's push left home to gain some independence. We see him on birthdays and Christmas but apart from that he doesn't make any effort at all. He did come out at 16 years saying he was gay, we are progressive and fairly accepting of this. doing research it almost always pointed to some form of abuse, well this is not the case at all. was the pressure of contributing to the norms of society (job, being independent etc) to much in this case? i asked him quitely to please call his mum but he couldn't be bothered doing this and that hurts me.
  • Cyndy
    So many comments resonate. Just don’t know how to “think less” about my daughter and her family and still find support. I’m still so hurt and sometimes angry. My daughter is 40...many years of her cutting off and on. I’m tired and this last time I just want to giveMore up. Tired of jumping thru hoops only to fail at some point with no warning. I believe our problem is made much worse by her alcoholism. She has been drinking excessively for years. Tries to hide it.
  • Marg
    I haven’t seen my daughter or granddaughter for13 months. My daughter began to shut me out three years ago. And now she can’t respond - she doesn’t answer the phone, messages etc - time is precious- you get one chance. I feel devastated and so sad.
  • Jeannie

    As I read everybody’s stories my heart aches because I know the pain too well.

    My son is 24 and was an amazing kid growing up. We never had to punish him. He was a great student with tons of friends and a fantastic home life, we were very close to him.

    When he met his girlfriend (only and current girlfriend) and they started dating we excepted her and fell in love with her too. She was having what seemed like maybe some issues with school in another town and so we decided to let her move into our home to help her out. Things were fine at first until I discovered she came into my personal space on several occasions while I was away at work and stole some makeup from me. If she would have asked me for them I would have just given them to her or bought her some. We did everything for her, let her stay in our home rent free, she didn’t work, my husband replaced all four tires on her vehicle, worked on her car etc.

    I confronted her about the makeup and she lied about it. I was hoping so badly that she would just apologize and we could get past it, but it only got worse from there. She left that night and went to a friends house. She called from the friends house and told me that she took the makeup. When I told my son she admitted to taking the makeup he got very upset, I could see it hurt him that she lied to him, and that hurt me. I let her come back to our home because in a way I felt sorry for her and I loved her because my son loved her.

    The next day she was so happy and cheerful and acted like nothing happened. I thought, boy she gets over things fast. After that things stayed very, very awkward in the home up until my son moved away to college which is when he decides to tell me that she really didn’t take the makeup and the only reason she said she did was to try and calm the situation. I was in shock!! I had proof she took it. I know it’s just makeup, that’s not the problem. The problem is, that she came into our home and stole and then lied about it, said she took it, and then lied again. She was deceiving my son and he couldn’t see it.

    My son has been gone since August 2019 and I haven’t seen him since. We barely talk on the phone. I found out several times he was back in our town visiting his sisters and her family and never came by to see us. When I asked him why he said we aren’t ready for that. I feel I’ve lost him. It hurts so bad. I sit and cry a lot. I’ve become depressed over this. I know this seems childish, but I feel she is deliberately pulling him away from us, encouraging him not to speak to us. I just want to scream because I now believe he believes I was lying about the whole stealing incident.

    I am literally driving myself insane. Every time the phone rings I think it might be him, every text I hear I jump, every knock at the door. It’s no fun living your life hanging by a thread waiting just waiting to see if every little noise you hear might be them trying to contact you.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

    I wish you all the best.

  • Lyssa

    My Daughter turned 22and decided to move out of state with her Aunt & Uncle.

    The more time that passed, the more distant she was. Now she has cut her Dad and I off completely. I have emailed, send letters, cards... With no response. She changed her phone number and we are not allowed to have it.

    She wants nothing to do with us.

    The family members she lives with support her in her decision to stop all communication with us. I believe they are partly to blame for her distancing herself.

    I hear she has eloped recently and my husband and I are terribly upset. She is two months from graduating nursing school. We hope she doesn't throw all her hard work and effort away.

    We are so lost about what led to her leaving in the first place. It has been a year now since we have spoken to her.

    I will continue to reach out. I will never give up. I'm hoping one day she will want to see us again. I still cry most days, in & off.

    I just can't help it. She is my only daughter and my youngest child of three.

    She dosent talk to my younger son and only speaks to my oldest son every know and then.

    She has cut the rest of the family off also.

    She has offered her phone number to my husband but only under the conditions that he not share it with me. He refused to that agreement so she cut him out. I don't know what else to do. I'm so sad that she has to be this way and not give us any reason why.

    Our relationship was rocky in her late teens but since moving away, it had gotten extremely aweful.

    I only hope she will reach out sometime.

  • Addict Son
    My son is an addict and I am the one usually cutting him off and we won’t take for months and we’ll talk and then it’s cut off again either by him or me. Cutting him off is how I protect myself from dealing with an addict. I think IMore might be the best thing so I don’t get hurt of his toxic behavior.
  • Upset Mom
    I have a 32 yr daughter that has turned very disrespectful use profanity and also now she has blocked my phone calls and said I’m fake and jealous of her. I’m like what. She has issues
  • Kate

    I am here hurting with you.

    I have an adult daughter who I miss so much. Our relationship changed when she was in her teens. Was up and down for awhile. But at a certain point, I told how her how I feel when she does things and says things that hurt me. We argued terribly. And I even said things I should not have said. I see her and my grandchildren once or twice year. She doesn't respond to texts or calls. I keep wondering if I should just give up and stay out of her life. Maybe that would help her and make her happy. I have apologized for the things I've said & done but it doesn't seem to matter. I pray about it everyday. I give gifts And cards but she doesn't say anything. And hopefully one day her heart will feel different. I go to God for advice. He told me "love never fails" love holds no records of wrong" love is patient" love is kind". Its easy to love someone when they love you back. But it takes genuine love to love the unlovable because it is painful.. It is hard and it is painful. Just like when Jesus went to the cross for all of us when He was being torchered, mocked, laughed at & spit on. Don't give up. God sees all. In order to be forgiven, we have to forgive. That is something we can teach our adult child by our example.

    I know it hurts. Believe me I know. Keep praying and never lose hope. Xo

  • Becky
    Thank you for writing an article that is not one sided toward the adult children. When a person googled estrangement and adult child very little comes up that represents the true reality of what is going on eith many of the parents of this awful epidemic that is attacking ourMore families. I am one year into my nightmare and am still existing in total shock. I do know I have hurt my children in my life as they have hurt me, but I do not understand we can not communicate our hurts and find grace for each other as we move through this world! This is so very Biblical! God be with us all
  • CookieMonster
    AYD,your situation sounds similar to mine. I still cry a lot. To add to my frustration, my oldest son is extremely rude to my husband (I am divorced from their dad), while my younger son is not. I rarely hear fro either of them. Very sad..
  • AYD

    My word, 856 comments. How sad is this, that so many parents are going through this. My eldest Son hasn’t spoken to me, called, nor texted for four years now. To say my heart is broken doesn’t even describe my pain. Some days it takes everything I have to get out of bed.

    Me and his Dad divorced after 30 years of marriage. I was miserable! My son was very angry that I left. He said he was blindsided by it and how did he not know anything about it. Well, he rarely came around!!!!! He got angry that I was “honest” with him.

    I know we are not supposed to get angry at our adult children. But let me tell you. The first years, I cried every day. The third I reached out constantly to him. Still nothing. He got married. That killed me. Now, well.....I’m angry. I’m tired of begging and pleading. I’m not asking forgiveness for moving on with my life! I deserve to be happy too.

    I’m sorry but we’ve raised a bunch of spoiled rotten brats that only think about themselves! Unless they were abused, physically or mentally they need to put on their grown panties and talk to us parents and work it out. EVERYTHING can be negotiated and EVERYTHING can be worked out if talked about sensibly and calmly. But it takes BOTH parties to be adults!!!!

    Sorry for the rant. But I sure feel better now! ☺️😂😅

  • lostinspace
    Not quite estranged yet but can see things going that way with my 21 year old daughter. She constantly tells me she hates me and is very disrespectful calling me names and insulting me. When I ask her why she hates me she tells me that I should know why.More I am the kind of Dad who has always been there but maybe in retrospect I may have been there physically but not emotionally. I am lost and have no idea how to reach her anymore. It has reached the point where I don't even know why she hates me anymore. I don't assume being forced to live at home due to her University being remote has helped things. The only good thing right now is that we have a large house and can retreat to separate corners of the house when things get bad. I swear I wake up everyday with the best of intentions to make things right with her but it usually devolves into something twisted and painful as she greets me with same f*** you attitude she gives me every day.
  • sewnewseeds
    Thankyou. I know I am not alone. It is a powerful hurt to experience. I finally stood up for myself and took a stand against the ongoing abuse. I think I let it go on too long. The silence is very painful. Some days easier than others. Dealing with birthdays,More and the pending birth of gr children you may never see is brutal.
  • clueless
    My 28 year old daughter suddenly stopped talking to me. no drugs, no divorce, no abuse. We had always been very close and she was planning her wedding. I reacted very badly out of hurt and frustration, but ultimately tried apologizing for anything/everything I could think of.More It's been almost 9 mos now. I did attend the wedding and she was polite to me while I was there, but it was not the amazing experience I had been looking forward to. I am so blown away by her ability to treat me with such cruelty. There is no explanation for whatever I might have done and no way to make amends. All this during Covid isolation does not help. Therapy, antidepressants, wine are getting me thru, plus a loving husband, sister and parents. Daughter has also stopped talking with her dad, aunt and grandparents. She was always the most empathetic of my kids, but she seems to be clueless as to how this affecting all of us. can't stop crying even after all this time, (but I am a cryer). I honestly feel like its something that could have been solved with a conversation.
    • shattered
      Wow, so similar to our situation. My daughter, my only child, who I was so close to just cut me and her father out of her life. This behavior has been getting worse for the past nine years. At first it was just a cold distancing from us.More She is now keeping from us, our two grandchildren who we were so close to. She Has just acted hateful and cruel with NO prior provocation. We have asked her why and what did we do. She has no real answer. We now have very little contact with her or the kids, or our son in law that we loved so so much. He seems to be a victim of her control and manipulation too. She had the best childhood, the very best of everything in a loving caring home.
  • Fiona
    Thank you for this article, in the dark days its good to understand you are not alone.
  • Foreverhurting
    My adult kids are shutting the door on me, my emotions are so raw and i dont know what to do fir the best
  • SadMom
    My 19 yr old left right after high school to move in with her biological dad who let her boyfriend live there too. He charged them a ridiculous amount of rent to live in a tiny garage. When she couldn't take it anymore she moved home. I tried to helpMore her get on track and paid her to help with her younger sisters. She was verbally disrespectful, refused to help around the house, said we didn't pay her enough but refused to get a job. She constantly talked to us with such disrespect that I couldn't take it anymore and I asked her to leave because the verbal abuse had begun to take a toll on me anf the younger kids. I reacted out of anger. She moved in with her boyfriend and has since tried to turn her sisters against me. She has obviously blocked me from the phone I continue to pay for and may even be pregnant. Im so depressed, I cry every day.
  • Hurtingbadly
    I am hurting so bad, I don’t know what to do. I feel like I have tried everything. My daughter and I were SO close until she got her 1st boyfriend and spent time with his family, who were better off than us financially, liked to trash us and encouragedMore our daughter to do the same which she did willingly. She is 20 years old , newly married and just had our first grandchild, who is the love of my life. My daughter uses the baby as a weapon and takes her away anytime she gets mad about something. This last time she took her away about 2 weeks ago because when I was babysitting for her, I couldn’t get the baby to nap, who is 9 months old and she said I need to just leave her in the crib and cry even if it’s 4 hours, which I refused to do. The baby is young enough that she will forget us and I have this anger towards my daughter because of that. Why would you take love away from your own baby? I will never understand or agree with that. I have tried everything, walking in egg shells, staying away, not being so available. She gets mad when I say “ If you and your husband want to go out for dinner or a movie I will watch the baby so you can have some alone time” That’s something I was never offered so I want to offer things but she sees that as me being annoying. She has a hate for me that runs deep. No abuse in our family, she never did drugs or got in trouble , I’m pretty sure there is mental health issues but she refuses to get help.
    • Sewnewseeds I had this happen to mean for years. I had to wait it out until she was old enough to go live with her father where I have all the access I want. It was a long wait, I would sneak over at the school to have a peek at her. Its nothing short of abuse. I feel for you
      I have suffered many heartbreaks and losses, none so painful as the silence of an estranged child. If you read the threads here and on other sites, it is practically an epidemic. I am surrounded by self help books on the topic, podcasts, friend support and a loving husbandMore yet somedays I have lead shoes on and cannot move... IF I allow that to happen. One of the best books on this topic and how to move forward and other considerations regarding illness, death, inheritance and all the stuff running through your mind all day as we age come from a book called "Done with Crying" by Sheri McGregor. Our perception of our time with this child is likely in direct contrast with theirs. They believe their truth and we believe ours. Stop torturing yourself. The small child with the puffy cute cheeks may no longer be the child you remember. Doesn't mean YOU did not do a good job as a parent. You are in love with a memory. This book will help you to understand. You have to live in the present, be grateful for all you have at this time. I get it! the birthdays, holidays, birth of a grand child you may never see, or a grandchild ripped from your world. It is up to YOU to stop the pain. Welcome the silence, Stop punishing yourselves. We are human, we cannot undo what has happened and stop apologizing for something you did not do. With the pandemic, it compounds the situation of loneliness. It is hard to understand the death of a relationship without the actual physical death. As Parents, we are fixer's, we are getting older, want peace and harmony, love and family. We see time slipping away with no resolve in sight. You did not abandon your post as a parent. Some think as parents, is is is our job to exhaust every possible effort for reconciliation. Think through your texts, letters or forms of contact. Let time pass. write the letter but do not mail it. If you are being disrespected, abused verbally, abused financially or grand babies are being used as a bargaining tool. THIS is not OK. Help yourself. Stay strong. Read the threads.. YOU are NOT alone.. Get the book.
      • Hurtingbadly
        Oh my God, thank you!! The book you mentioned is on the way! I am getting stronger every day.
  • Tiredmom
    My two adult daughters , 25 & 27, have shut me out. Oldest daughter put her dad and I through hell during her teenage years...drinking, drugging, promiscuity, stealing, disappearing, lying, etc. Her dad and I did everything we could to try to get her on the right path, to noMore avail. Younger daughter followed with much of the same behaviors. My daughters' dad passed away suddenly 1 month after my mom died, then both of my in-laws within the next two years. I suffered from ptsd after witnessing the death of my husband. Throughout these difficult times I supported my children emotionally and financially. A few months ago I told my daughters that my long term fiancé and I were eloping. I told them that I will always love their father, and that he would want me to be happy. They responded terribly, with disgusting evil comments that my therapist was even shocked by.Their words were directed at me, not my new husband. Their dad and I had a good, strong marriage for almost 26 years. I loved him more than I know how to say. We were college sweethearts and faithful. I responded to their awful comments calmly and told them that their words were unkind, rude, completely unacceptable. I told them that our problems are too big to handle on our own,that unless they agreed to family therapy, I didn't want to hear from them. Of course, I haven't heard from them, but this Thanksgiving was the first drama free holiday in years! I hope my daughters will agree to counseling, but in the meantime I am at peace.
  • mp

    Very interesting comments. I am struggling with the two extremes:

    1) Send the child who has cut you off occasional text messages, holiday gifts etc.


    2) Do not initiate any contact. They have chosen to cut you out. Leave them alone.

    Not sure which is best way to work on getting contact again.

  • Be careful and try to heal
    This article contradicts itself in some of the advice provided, but I am glad it seemed to have started a discussion. There are online support groups for estranged parents if you seek them out. Also, be careful what therapist you go to - not all are good, some can makeMore it worse. Why is this such a huge problem? Is it due to people being so self-absorbed and individualistic in our current society? - My daughter suddenly left home one day right after turning 18, no explanation and cut me off. Then she got close with my estranged mother and sister who whe had very little to do with, but now they share the same drink and be merry live in the moment lifestyle. I look her up online just to see her, because I miss her so much, but I don;t know that person. I have no idea who my daughter is. It is like she died, and I am grieving. The response from most people/my pastor was well she's an adult now, so you just have to leave her alone." Wow. Until it happens to you people have no idea.
  • Jim
    Me and my wife are in the process of separating. I have two daughters that for the last year don’t even acknowledge my existence the 19 year old asks her mother to ask me if I will sign another college loan. She won’t even talk to me. Well in myMore eyes she’s an adult. No I am not going to sign my name on a loan for a person that does not even acknowledge my existence. I’m going to give them a couple of years to sort themselves out. After that I will reciprocate the same to them they gave me. As far as I am concerned I am not going to let them hurt me anymore.
  • Betty
    My life is accumulation of a little bit of all of the comments here. I was a young mother wit two children at 21. I loved my husband and children in the only way I knew how with all my heart. As time went on we divorced andMore kids stayed with me. Long story short. My son 50 has been estranged from me for 6 years. He confronted me about being ashamed of his upbringing and where he gre up and rather put it all behind him. Apparently seeing me was a bitter memory of what he wanted to forget. We live a country apart. He chopped a chunk out of my heart that day and I have lived with the heartache ever since. Now my daughter divorced her husband and her children are estranged from her. Her children are quite close to me 22 and 26. She I think is jealous of our relationships and now won’t take to me accusing me of getting the kids on my side. I’m so sick of all this toxic communication.
  • Terry
    My wife and I had to kick our daughter out at the age of 17. Drug abuse, stealing and lying to use. Disrespect and even a physical altercation that caused us to call the cops. That has been about 2 years ago. We are saddened that sheMore refuses to speak to us but our life is better without her living here. My wife and I have grown closer and have enjoyed life. There is no more stress and tension in our house. We continue to pray for her and that's about all we can do.
  • Sadbutnothingtodo
    My adult son estranged himself at age 28 in 2017. Before this , it was a tumultuous 10 years of drug and alcohol use, car accidents and college drop outs . Towards the end, he brought home a girl ( who I found out later was a heroin addict) thatMore humiliated me using lies on FB. I was devastated that my son would allow this. He defended her saying I was stalking her online when I told him that I found out she posted and reposted to her friends ( asking to share). All this was because he asked for money and I said no more- to become responsible and get a job. We had a fallout because of this before the FB incident and he moved out and miraculously found a place and job. All this came with a consequence to me - total estrangement. I was devastated . It’s been a hard three years because he is my only child. I’m on therapy and meds to try and handle this situation ; but the hurt comes and goes ( this is how I ended on this site). Does it get better? Not for me. Not yet. But, I do my daily routines etc. I’ve tried to contact him via email and his response is always : “Working.” Even when he’s not. I know this because I know someone close to me who works with him and tells me when I question myself if he’s actually working. He tells me that it seems that my son is happy. We had our differences and yes I was strict at times, but never a bad parent. On the contrary, I overcompensated because of raising him as a single parent. His father was never in the picture. Too busy having kids with multiple women. I am embarrassed that this is happening. I feel Im being judged behind my back by family members; especially since they would call him my “golden child”. Bottom line, I’m sad even if to the world I’m smiling and joking.
  • Mandi
    Have just read this article and am both amazed and Sad at how common this is ! Have also just read “Diana’s” comments about her Son, and it was almost like text book as to what happened with both my Sons! Love 💕 and hugs sent to all you ParentsMore of Estranged Children and Thankyou for helping me understand, that it wasn’t because I was a bad Mum, (totally the opposite) but a Mum that was too entangled with my Children through love (I never had a mother that cared, so I poured all my love into my Children) 🌈❤️ Xx
  • Diana
    I'm so glad I found this page and I feel so much better already. My eldest son began to "cut me off" as young as 16 years old, pretending he didn't know me at a bus stop once, unfriending me on FB, changing his mobile number and giving it toMore everyone but me. Although I was extremely hurt by this, I put it down to the "terrible teens" (even though my youngest has never demonstrated any similar behaviour). Time went on and while I was upset and bewildered by his exclusion of me, I continued to offer love and support in the hope that maturity would prevail and he would "snap" out of it. Seven years later however, he still shows what I can only describe as apathy towards me. I continually asked myself what on earth could I have done to deserve his obvious indifference. In the end my feelings of sadness and rejection turned into anger culminating in an argument between the two of us resulting in my ordering him out of my house. Although I feel hurt and frustrated I truly believe the removal of toxic/negative family members, children included, can only be beneficial in the grand scheme of things. I have to keep reminding myself that I did my utmost for us to have a loving relationship, but the realist in me says it's not happening and I too, have a life to lead and if that means detaching myself from my son who obviously no longer wants or values my presence, then so be it. Love and peace to all.
    • Mandi
      I feel your pain Diana, and please don’t feel your alone in all this, I too made the conscious decision to shut the door after continuous Upset and hurt, I was also not allowed to my first Grandchild’s Birthday parties as it would have meant bumping into my Ex andMore other Son (My Ex was a terrible father after the separation and never cared about the children) And so I had to see her either before the party or after! I decided in the end that my Granddaughter would pick up on this and history would repeat, so I got my self esteem and respect and walked away, and thought I would rather be alone than watch my Sons walk in and then out of my life as and when they felt the need ! Hurtful doesn’t even cover it ! But there is life after, we just have to look and find it ❤️ Love sent to you XX
  • Colleen
    I’m heart broken my daughter has had her first baby, I was so excited but now feel like I’m a burden and the hired help more than a loving grandma 😢 it’s emotionally tearing me up
  • Royann
    I have only read a fraction of the comments left on this article and already feel better. 16 months ago my son quit talking to me because at almost 30 years old I was finally going to say enough and stop giving him money every time he asked I didMore handle it poorly and quickly apologized for handling it poorly but the intent was good the execution was poor. In spite of my profuse and repeated apology my son has cut me off from his life and refuses to have contact. I should add to this though that he has a good job makes more money than his father we’re still borrowing hundreds of dollars from us on a regular basis, that he He claims to be a Christian attends church several times a week and is studying to be a minister. Yet he has no forgiveness in his heart and it breaks mine! Every single day I struggle with why and feeling so very alone and while it completely and totally sucks that there any of us have to deal with this I feel a little less alone after reading some of your comments.
    • Black Ice
      @Royann I share your pain and despair. In almost identical circumstances to yours, my son has cut me and my partner off. The incident occurred 14 months ago, and like you, I apologised if we didn't handle it well, only to be snubbed. From what used to be an almostMore weekly family Sunday dinner where we would share belly laughs and good times, we are now reduced to a stony silence and the occasional visit by him and his wife. They now have a child that I see once a fortnight if he is in a generous mood. No text messages, phone calls, or any other form of communication in the interim. When this incident occurred he was 32 years old. Looking back, and now that the pain has somewhat dulled, and with prayer and meditation, I have come to the realisation that, we were just a convenience and a material resource to him, and the thought of that convenience being no longer available to him, hurt his pride, and brought out the worst in him. But I thank God that I was able to see the real, true side to him. To everyone else he is the perfect human being. Kind, decent, helpful and supportive. But to us, who nurtured and supported every dream and aspiration of his, we are now useless and therefore, worthless. We were just being used. So, chin up, don't waste the rest of your life mulling over an ungrateful child. You will always love him and be there for him if and when he falls, but stop beating yourself up about it and get on with your life. It has taken me 14 months to arrive at this mindset and I thank God and my friends for their kind words and support advising me to forgive, forget and move on. I wish you love, peace and happiness.
  • justwanthappy

    First, thank you to the author who generously shares her insights and to all the parents and adult children who comment here to support each other and allow others to read. Came across this article as so many have, just turning to the internet for some answers to fill in the sad and confusing wait time until my 24 year old daughter checks back in. You may laugh but it has only been a day and a half. And yet of course it is not the first time and is a sad pattern since she was 16 that I have always thought she would grow out of with a combination of maturity and from feeling more stability in her life. This time it was the way she left back to the city where she lives just two hours away that scares me.

    It was what she said.

    We had had a visit at home for a day and a half and we had just had a fun day together with lots of laughs and conversation. I know I slipped and made some poorly articulated responses to a couple things but I would explain I hadn’t expressed my thought well right away when she would be sensitive to it and I do sometimes speak too fast and come out with the wrong words. I walk on egg shells on the topic of her career. What happened was that suddenly in the car on the way to go home to collect her things for her bus ride back to her apartment which is just two hours from home, I innocently started asking if she wanted to stop for coffee. But I tend to tip toe because I knew she as in an anxious mood as she was headed back so I acted goofy and introduced my question with “may I ask you something?” She snapped at me and said “NO! I’m not answering any questions!” And I quickly told her it was about coffee and made light of it but she remained angry. Then we arrived home and as we were getting ready to drive to the bus I pressed her as to why she was so mad. She suddenly shouted that she had had her limit with the time she could spend with me also listening to the “little dumb remarks” I make and how she couldn’t take it anymore. And then said she had had enough of our trying to be like we are “best friends” and that I am her mom. This came completely out of the blue. I was so shocked and sad. We hadn’t had any bad feelings during our happy day. I’m very attuned to our relationship and this wasn’t a day that seems like it was in decline at all. I know she was having her period. I know she can be moody She can turn on a dime sometimes but these remarks to me this time really really hurt. It’s so confusing to me and I feel like I don’t know when she started just putting up with me that day. It made me wonder if I was being patronized for the last hour or maybe two? I feel like a fool. I have enough low level self esteem issues that her acceptance means a lot to me I will admit. I admire her for many reasons based on her hard work growing up and adore her and she knows it. I don’t understand how she doesn’t realize how hurtful what she said was. She can be very cold when she is angry. Yet she is an empathetic thoughtful girl. I feel like I can’t trust the next time we have our fun outings. I hadn’t even asked her or begged her to be with me as I try not to be annoying. Even though “annoying” is a word she calls me often. At the same time she is grateful I know and shows me love and says in touch very regularly.

    It was a mutual decision to go out together and do a little shopping. I bought her a lipstick she needed. I just feel horrible because we do share a similar outlook on the world when we’re together and have the same tastes and laugh so much, have such a history of understanding as a mother does... I should give a background here as I already partly know how this will be explained. Yet despite our history it is wrenching to me to wonder if she sees me as an old weird pest now and if I am actually so blind to it, despite all the fun times we have together. It’s scary and makes me so sad.

    We see each other often and many would probably say that I am entangled with her emotionally/enmeshed because of the intense career she chose to train for beginning at the age of three and with her own drive continued through young adulthood, a similar training to what an Olympian athlete goes through. Because of the difficult and unforgiving training and ultimately controlled and ultimately cruel professional context that is this career where the student lands once the low percentage who do succeed in achieving their dream, parents have become pretty enmeshed in trying to be the emotional and financial support and they have taken this journey parallel running alongside with their child for years. There have been physical injuries requiring support as well as emotional roller coasters and her natural resilience tested. There were gaps where she was recovering from injury and sat in a dark place with depression for a few months but came out each time and holds her head high. She has travelled the world during her brief professional career and lives as a product of its inevitable tiny niche of specialized experience. And because the niche is small her true emotional support is very limited with many peers having no concept of what her life has been like She is trying to make a transition to a new field and return to school and has been accepted to a wonderful program, though still can’t see if the outcome from it will give her stability. She is financially still mostly dependent on my husband and I and we do not resent it and are supportive as she tries to do what she can with the skills she has for jobs while pursuing school. Therefore I’m sure her lack of self esteem continues and with that comes resentment and wanting to not be reminded of her dependence by being with me.

    Nevertheless whether obvious reasons or not as to why this has happened, I love her and want to feel loved back and I also worry that I have because of concerns for her me tal health and regular forgiveness somehow enabled and normalized her behavior. There have been many instances over the years where she turns on me this way. I am worried she will think it’s fine to treat others the same and it will backfire and she won’t know why they don’t trust her. I am so confused. Sorry for rambling. Ultimately we just want to know we didn’t screw up our own kids.

  • Disrespected Mom

    To all the estranged children on here, you'll never understand all of estrangement until YOU are the parent and your adult child is disconnecting or cut ties completely with you. I get a lot of bad stuff happened with your parents. I saw my grandmother move in and out of our house and cuss out my mother each time she did. My grandmother would then run off with my uncle who would spend every dime my grandmother saved by living on my parents. When my grandmother was broke again, my uncle would pack her up and send her broke butt back to my mother and father to build up her bank account again.

    My mother in turn had her children cuss her, deny her seeing the grandchildren and trashed her verbally in our small town. They sure didn't hate or crap on her when they needed money or drugs. When they got their way, be it financially or emotionally, they let her see the grandkids, visited and acted like mature adults.

    I am going through estrangement with my daughter. She gave me the silent treatment and disrespected me until I exploded with anger. She lived with me until she was 24 RENT, UTILITIES AND FOOD FREE for 4.5 years. I paid for her 3 cell phones and she would still tell me to give her mine. I paid for her and my granddaughter's gas for school also.

    I made the mistake of letting her boyfriend move in, who btw got kicked out for not paying rent with his roommate. He brought a gun in my house WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE OR PERMISSION. He refused to lock the doors on my house (one of my 3 rules I gave them) but locked his car up in my yard. My granddaughter, who I have supported from birth, has autism and I specifically said I never wanted guns in my house due to her issues. I told them to move out when I found out they were making 1500 dollars more than me a month...letting me foot all their bills and needs so they could buy whatever they want. Pretty nice of me, huh? After all the silent treatment and financial abuse, I exploded. She hasn't talked to me since the 1st of August and I haven't seen her or my granddaughter since the 1st of October. I miss them both but I definitely feel relief both emotionally and financially since they left. I didn't realize how much my daughter was abusing my wallet until I, on average, had about 800 dollars more a month. I have very poor boundaries with money and people I love.

    So, don't demand that the author, who is more qualified in understanding estrangement than any of us on here, change what she stated just because it doesn't apply to your situation. No one's story is the same. And you'll more than likely experience the other side estrangement, no matter how good of a parent you are.

  • Munimula
    My 20 year old daughter (who lives at home) has shunned me for over two years now. She barely speaks to me, pretends she doesn’t hear me, avoids me by only entering a room when I leave it, and keeps her back to me. I have tried to “comeMore clean” and accept my own behavior (overreacting, emotional outbursts), apologizing, not reacting, yet, she continues to shun me. My husband (to whim she speaks) has tried talking and reasoning with no avail. My other daughter (23) doesn’t want to talk about/deal with it. I am basically shunned and left out. It feels like a daily nightmare. She lives at home, going to college, and her dad (my husband) pays for her school and car. I am alone and just despondent. I am at the point where I feel driven insane with grief. This article is helpful.
  • Estranged Child
    Speaking from the estranged perspective, this article is giving false hope in all aspects to those that absolutely have no intentions of ever including their previous family in their life again. I agree with several commenters stating that the gifts and messages only make the estranged feel uncomfortable and inMore a situation where the estranged parent(s) have the opportunity to bait with photos, words in cards and or sentimental gifts in order to get back in their life. It is a horrible feeling to see on your doorstep on special holidays or even your birthday. You are reminded of the past you chose to leave behind for the greater good of yourself most of the time with that intense decision being made with sound mind. It was incredibly insulting to read that distancing behavior is the "only way these estranged persons deal with anxiety because they know no other way". Disgusting and obviously biased view especially discussing amongst a vulnerable audience. Author should revise.
  • Slowly Healing
    I have stopped speaking with both of my parents in my 40's. They are both terrible people. Why? My father has an explosive temper and I never knew how he would be from one minute to the next. He would say anything he could to break you down emotionally andMore hurt you to your core...imagine telling a child that they are no good (that wasn't even the worst, far from it). I was terrified of him as a child. My mother took a lot of physical abuse from him that I had witnessed as well...one time I thought he was going to kill her and saw it happen. They spilt up soon after that and my mother left me with him, fully knowing how abusive he could be. Well, she got custody of my sister and met a drunken child molester that would go on to molest my sister. The worst thing about this is when my sister tried to tell my mother what was happening, my mother beat her and wouldn't believe her, even though she knew...she didn't want to accept it. So the abuse went on for a few more years until my sister just couldn't cope with it anymore and told someone else. My mother still tried to keep her relationship with the drunken child molester going even when he was sentenced to serve weekends in jail and with my sister still living there. I had inner turmoil about this for many years and it was never spoken of...I just can't wrap my head around it. Both of my parents are abusive and toxic people that I would have never wanted to be born to if I had been given the chance. Yes, they are broken people. Do you know who else is broken? All three of their adult children. My sister is not doing well, my brother is doing alright, but there is a lot for him to get through before he will be where he want's to be. I am doing the best I can with the cards that life has dealt me...I need to for my children and wife because they do not deserve to relive what I had been through. I will stop the cycle of abuse.
  • T&T
    The advice given in this article re: to keep sending cards, letters and reaching out is terrible. By continuing to do that, you are demonstrating your clear lack of boundaries when it comes to your child. It is horrible advice. Any card or letter that you send has no meaningMore as long as you ignore the root causes of the relationship breakdown. Adult children who estranged themselves from parents usually have no other way to break the dysfunctional dynamic. Estrangement is a last resort. If your adult child no longer wants contact with you, think about what boundaries you have crossed. I am willing to bet that the adult children have said many times what the issues are. The parents either refuse to think there is a problem or don't think the child's problem is serious enough. Maybe the reaction you have is, "I didn't mean it that way" or "You are being dramatic," or "That's not what happened." By being dismissive you are lacking empathy. If you continually do that, it is too exhausting to continue the charade and the relationship breaks down.
    • Pam Constable
      Well that being the case, but when what my daughter telling me never happened. Then she makes lies about her childhood to others and they hate me too. How do I deal with lies?
    • LAMS
      So in other words you have no communication with the ensteanged adult child. As your told you are dead. But the mother although may have overstepped her boundries but realized it should not so much as send a birthday card or holiday card of any kind. How is that childMore supposed to know how sorry you are for what was said. Their is no book out there that tells you how to be a good parent, when that parent had no real good up bringing and had to wing it. I was a over protective mother who was every kind of abuse there was from their father that gave that chance for the child to go with us when we were throwed out of the house. After he demanded a divorce after his liver transplant. The once life I gave to their dad all those years and to end in take your retarted daughter with you and get out. I hugged my son and said me and his sister wouldn't be there when he got home from school. I didn't have the choice to move around the corner that my only family I had to take my daughter and I in was across country. We have been living in hell on earth ever since. Their dad never took the money I sent and used it on that child. The child was told I abandoned them. I'm not making to much sense as after almost twenty years I still am devastated that I could not get across to this child that after they married and had their first child to hurt me let me know my grandchild every bit of nine months then nothing. Four years later I'm told I did it to myself. So much has gone on and a lot of miscommunication that my health is bad, the sister is ill and have no one left that all my siblings are passed now that's four siblings of mine that took us in that they all are gone. No contact nothing. This isn't a lack of empaty on our part but a lack on theres. Today's children have a lack of empaty that as a protective parent against violence towards the spouses is wrong. No way was my child ever abused nor disrespected in any way. The only thing that this child experienced is a lack of love from their dad, who by the way has five children, two before our two, then one after. The only one he talks to are my one child and his child after my children, after he said he no longer wanted any more children met a lady got her pregnant and had asked me should I think he tell her to get rid of it. I told him he needed to accept the responsibility for his actions. At fifty three he had his last child. This is after he made sure I never would have children again because he didn't want anymore. My child was misguided by their dad. I never ever told my child I was dead that since his dads dad passed away at a early age that he did okay with just his mother. I'm not dead. I'm very much alive. There is no charade. There is no covering up what has happened read what empathy means, how its used in a sentence. Apply that to your situation. Your not the only one suffering. What your going through so is the absent parent that held you in her stomach for nine months and raised you the best she knew how to when no one taught her how to grow up and be responsible adult that parents to make mistakes and do pay for that every day. I've got a Olympic size pool of tears I own a kleenex company for the past almost twenty years all she ever wanted was for the family to come together as one unit not as four across the country. My condolences to you 🙏✝️❤️
  • Nightnurse


    I am so grateful to have found this site. For a moment, I began to question my status as a mother. I have a 31 year old daughter from a previous marriage. I’m shaking my head as I write this. I still can’t believe I’m here.

    In as much of a nutshell as possible, I was active duty in the Navy when her father and I divorced. Because I was on sea duty, physical custody was given to him. I was deploying. It wasn’t long before she realized she can play one parent against the other. He would give her anything in the beginning so she would want to stay with him.

    I recall my visitation, driving two hours from San Diego to an empty house. I’d wait for hours. Call, only to get his voicemail. He’d finally show up with her late in the evening. After a two hour drive back, you could say my first day of visitation was shot. This keep away game went on for years until finally I requested the court mandate a neutral pick up and drop off point. They did. It was the Sheriff station, blocks from the house.

    There was finally a third party that could document if she was not there when I was to pick her up. To document when I dropped her off and he wasn’t there. One of his favorite things to do was hand me wait until he finished a swing shift at 11:30 pm. Sitting in my car or Denny’s with our daughter for hours. I still had to commute two hours back to San Diego.

    Due to the intervention of the Sheriff Dept, things got old. The immediate thrill of abusing my time was no longer. He began placing boundaries on this child who was spoiled and out of control. She would call, crying, begging to live with me. Please mommy, please. Three times, in total, I would have the attorney file papers requesting a change of physical custody. Each time she would appear in court and say, I want to stay with my dad. Each time stung more than the last.

    I met someone, remarried and had two amazing sons. They filled that painful void in my soul with a joy o haven’t felt in years. Fast forward to today. December 2018, she was arrested for a DUI. Her bond was $220,000. I thought she hit and injured someone.

    No! Turns out it was her second DUI at 30 years of age. Unpaid traffic tickets up and down Los Angeles county. She spent two weeks in jail, being transferred from one to the next. After a year of fines, community service, I had the bright idea thinking a change of venue would help her get her act together. She was living with her father all her adult life.

    She enrolled in college part-time. Found a part-time job. Things appeared great. Not three weeks after moving in, she began coming home between 2-3 am pissy drunk. Lying, giving the silent treatment to her two brothers and myself. I didn’t notice at first but she began a passive aggressive behavior of gaslighting.

    It was little things. Knocking over my toothbrush in its holder, knocking over personal things on my dresser, putting her soaking wet wash cloth on top my dry towel after her shower. I’d call her on every event. The tension was building. I began to see she was doing these things deliberately to push my buttons. It continued over a month. During the summer in Las Vegas, I have the thermostat set to cool at 73•, to return home after a 12 hour night shift to find the patio doors wide open. The unit running all night.

    I was so on edge. Dreading the moment I’d hear her key in the lock. I was at my wits end. The harmony in the house was now tension. This past Tuesday I returned from work to find she placed a dirty pair of her panties on top of my scrubs I keep in the bathroom to wear again.

    I can’t remember if I was still breathing. I stood unable to move for a moment. I put the panties in the trash, washed my scrubs and decided that was it. She returned early that evening looking for the confrontation that became the norm. She was met with silence. She went to the bathroom to find the basket empty. She thought, she must have seen my panties? She casually walked around my presence as if to look for something provoking the opportunity for me to attack. No, not tonight.

    I was unable to sleep I was so angry and disgusted. The next morning I went to the Constables office at the court house. I paid and filed for a 5 day eviction notice. It was served the next day. She saw the notice when she came in after 2am. She said nothing. I had every light on on this house and was wide awake, I was ready for whatever scene she wanted to cause. She did nothing.

    The next morning she called friends and others to cry in despair that I served her a eviction notice. I began receiving phone calls and pleas to try and work with her. My foot! She is out. If she violates the 5 days, I won’t hesitate to pay for them to physically remove her. Thanks to articles like this one, I know I deserve better. We all deserve better. At the very least I deserve her respect, I am her mother! I wish her well but she will never be welcomed in my home again.


    • Polly
      @Nightnurse. You're an amazing woman. You have helped me today more than you'll ever know. Keep being your bad ass self! Love, respect and light to you. 💜
  • Linda
    I’m so grateful I found this site with all you amazing parents sharing your pain. I have never felt so alone and discarded in my life and and in such agonizing pain and I’m quite sure the few friends I have left are tired of hearing about my estrangedMore son. I was a divorced mom since my two angel is coming back from iiijjiiiiijboys were 5 and 7 niadtee the father of my 2
  • Cinders

    It's been 7 years since my daughters cut me off. I left my husband in 2012 after 26 years of marriage. He was a 'functioning' alcoholic who had added secretive gambling to the mix. Embezzled money from his business and the very last straw was cheating. Both my daughters were living with their partners and did not know their dad was coming home at 3am in the mornings. One work day he went off to work and did not return until the following evening. That is when I decided to leave.

    I explained why and they seemed to understand. They were 22 and 25 at the time.

    I was an emotional mess at the time. Had no support at all from my older brothers. No other relatives. Had some wonderful friends who helped me.

    My husband kept saying he wanted to work on the marriage... but nothing changed.

    6 months after I left I received a nasty email from my eldest daughter saying she wanted nothing to do with me because I had told her things about her father such as the embezzlement, gambling and cheating to help her understand why I was leaving him even though I loved him, but she said I was trying to turn her against her father and then started harking back to things she did as a teenager and my "rules". Never heard another word from her and she blocked me on all social media. Changed her mobile # immediately as well.

    My youngest daughter just stopped all contact 3 months after her sister. Absolutely no idea why.

    I have tried reaching out numerous times to both over the years. Letters, cards etc... I send to their Nan's address.

    Silence for 7 years. No response or acknowledgment whatsoever.

    It is tortuous, a living hell. A large part of my heart has died.

    I am living my life and am with a lovely man for 4 years now. He has 2 daughters 25 & 28 that he is close to... but there is a part of me that feels such grief, loss and sadness when I see all the text msgs and chats and coffee catchups, lunches 'in jokes' they share between them... its like salt into a wound, but I could never tell him that!!!

    And of course that under current of 'she MUST have done something dreadful for both her daughters to have cut her off like that'

    Even my brother asked me once, saying 'you can tell me, you must have done something!'

    That is what everyone thinks!!

    Its such a cruel punishment.

    My eldest got married last week. Found out from my nephew who went to the wedding. She's 33 now, do guess a baby will be next.

    Can't recapture those precious moments that have been missed. Just adds fire to the pain.

    I have no answers 😭

    • Cookie Monster
      I really feel for you. My ex had a bad case of narcissistic personality disorder and lied and turned my son's against me. All you can do is work on getting better for you. I am now married to a wonderful man. Life can go on. Adult children have noMore idea, it seems, that they will answer for disrespectful behavior to God. We reap what we sow, and one day they will be experiencing the same thing.I pray daily for my sons' souls.
  • JJ

    I haven't seen my daughter in a year now, and I don't know when or if I ever will again. This is heartbreaking--I think about her constantly and I don't know how to get past it. Life has moved on for everyone else, but I am stuck here in pain. I would say that we are 50/50 at fault--she knew how to cut me to the core and get a response out of me. I allowed myself to get so emotional when I was the parent and should have controlled it better. Now she doesn't even talk to her little sister. I never thought this would happen--we were so close before she hit 14, then mental health became an issue and she fought our help every step of the way. She was doing great for a while as an adult, but then her "friend" convinced her to get off of her medication and within a year, she cut off almost the whole family. I was first, though. She said she doesn't want me in her life ever again.

    I know I am rambling, but it is hard to make sense of any of it.

    • Barbie

      Your situation is very similar to my own. The trouble with my estranged daughter began when she was 14. That was when her father was cheating on me and left to be with that woman. My daughter blamed me for not being able to keep him from leaving.

      She, too, began to suffer from mental illness and began beating me up on a regular basis. I had our entire family in counseling at the time, but it wasn't doing much good.

      Our doctor said that my daughter needed to be on physciatric medication and she did take the medicine for about a year, starting at 16. Then, she, too, decided she no longer needed the medicine. Things were worse than ever. She was not only hitting me, but hitting her older and younger siblings as well. She also started calling me all kinds of terrible names. Next, the accusations began.

      She would tell me I loved my three other children more than I loved her and that I allowed them to "pick" on her mentally and did nothing to stop them.

      This behavior has continued up to this very day, and she is now 43 years old. She is estranged from all of her siblings, having said such horrible things to each one of them that one by one, they stopped speaking to her.

      She has stopped speaking to me more times than I can count, but now, there is more of a finality in her saying she doesn't want to speak to me. This time, she used the words, "for good."

      In the past, I'd always continue to text her on occasion, telling her how much I love her each time. This time, I'm going to leave her alone for a while. It hurts my heart more than I can bear, but she has asked me to"respect her wishes," so I will.

      I don't know exactly how I'm going to handle the future with her, but I know that only intense counseling and medication on her part are the only things that can truly bring about a change.

      I'm sorry that you are hurting, too, and I find it so sad that there are so many of us out there.

  • MR
    Hi everyone ... I'm relatively new this. It's the sense of rejection and betrayal that is most devastating for me. My daughter and I have had a close relationship when she was growing up. I think we may have spoiled her too much... I don't know. We provided her withMore everything that she needed or wanted, and, until she hit puberty, was a happy, well-adjusted, gifted child. Then her teenage years hit, and she became moody and troubled and resentful of a lot of things in her life. She didn't really have close friends. Then, during her college years, she realized she was gay. I was supportive to her the entire time, but when she came out to the rest of the family a couple of years ago, they decided that her partner was not welcome at our house. She now blames me for staying with her dad and "supporting his homophobia." She first asked for a "few months" of silence to deal with her anxiety around this, but, when I sent her a couple of emails during that time told me that she felt I wasn't respecting her request, and has now asked for six months of silence. I feel like I can't bear it, at times. I've taken on a full time position at a new school - and this busyness has helped me to not be obsessed with not hearing or seeing my daughter, but I find the silence horrible to bear whenever I'm not super busy. Weekends are the worst. I'm afraid that her partner has influenced her to make this separation, and I'm afraid that at six months, she may say that the separation has helped her anxiety and may want a permanent one. That terrifies me. I don't know if others here have the same feelings of utter betrayal and stupefied disbelief.... that this child whom I have loved and nurtured and supported and encouraged since the moment I knew she existed, would choose to just cut that off and reject me is devastating.
    • Han

      Child estrangement is epidemic. Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying, "When your children are little they love you, but when they grow up they judge you."

      This is what has occurred with you and many other parents. Leave her alone. Do not burden her with calls, courtesies or overtures.

      I know it's a shame, but it's common, and you must realize she doesn't see you because she doesn't want to. Then you must realize you don't want to see someone who doesn't want to see you.

      Remember, if you never hear from her again, she's the one with the problem, not you.

    • JJ

      I feel you. I too am devastated about being cut off from my daughter because we were so close at one time. Like you, the teen years are when everything went downhill. I feel ashamed that this has happened--like I am a broken parent. The worst thing is that I know everyone automatically assumes I did awful things as a parent for this to happen.

      Peace to you <3

  • so blue
    I am in so much pain right now with my daughter, I am just glad I found a place to be,and I am sitting here reading every comment. God bless.
  • Aimee
    Thank goodness I found this group. I’ve been going through this alone for so many years. My daughter is 38. She’s walked away three times in 22 years, resulting in a loss of 16 years. At this point I don’t really want a relationship with her. She killed that. However,More my two granddaughters are being deprived of a wonderful grandmother. Sometimes the heart ache is more than I can handle. She’s a very strong and dominant personality and has even persuaded my other weaker daughter to do the same thing. She’s pure evil. There. I said it. No respect, no love, no consideration for anyone but herself. It would have never even occurred to me do that to my mother, no matter how much we disagreed. It’s a new, sick and evil world.
  • I did the majority of the parenting of my two children, ages 25 and 29. My daughter began "ghosting" me when she turned 18 and it has continued to this day 11 years later. I do have a grandson but I am not allowed to see him and even though he was a huge part of my life up until the age of 5, he now does not know if he still love and care for him because she has abruptly ended all communication with her and him. I know I should move on and continue to live my life and I have tried counseling and treating it as grief, but I am also ridden with anxiety and think I "see" him when I am in public places but he is not really there, just a boy that looks like him or is the same age or height. Is this normal? How can children that have received so many actions of love, help, and support turn away and try to hurt parents? No explanations, no conversations, no understanding and forgiveness on their part. My son has now decided that he would like to join this no contact club and has asked me not to communicate with him either. I thought the first one hurt, but this one has numbed me.
  • smb
    My daughter has said she does not want to hear from me: no texts, no emails, calls from me have always gone directly to her voice mail where she scans them and may or may not respond. She may or may not have blocked me so I have no ideaMore if she has even seen the couple texts I've sent or not. If not blocked already, going against her stated desire that I not contact her might prompt her to block me closing the only portal between us other than us mail - which she might simply refuse to open. Do I risk contacting her occasionally and prompting her to formally block me? On the other hand, does it matter?
    • Lost
      I find it easier to just let it be because when I reach out, the reply is normally mean and hurtful. She wants to be in control of the "when" we communicate so I accepted that.
  • CM

    Someone said a book called Mothers with difficult daughters?

    That made me laugh!

    I could write my own book about that.. Only nine would be Daughters with Difficult Mothers!

  • Deborah
    Our son has not had anything to do with us going on four years now and we have two grandchildren that we rarely talk to or see all due to his wife that has never cared for us
  • WhatHappened
    4 years ago in a matter of months, I found out my husband of 26 years was a high-functioning alcoholic and left me, my son graduated high school and left for college and now barely speaks to me and my daughter graduated college and moved across the country and stoppedMore speaking to me. In one fell swoop my entire nuclear family left (that same year, my mother, grandmother and stepfather and my dog died). I have been healing and in therapy and working through the pain of my marriage ending. Grieving all the death that occurred. But worse than all of that combined, is my daughter never speaking to me again and me having no idea why. All she ever said was she needs space from me. Both kids speak to their alcoholic father who left me for another woman because he pays all of their bills. I am now taking him to court as he is not paying me what he owes me. I have tried texting my daughter, emailing, calling. I've tried leaving her alone. I get nowhere. She was my baby girl. I miss her terribly. I saw her from afar at my son's graduation and she looked so different. I thought how I don't even know who she is any more. Some people tell me this is "normal" for twentysomethings. I don't see anybody else in my life, friends and family, having this issue with their twentysomethings. I am so heartbroken over this. I am trying very hard to get on with my life as a single woman after 26 years of marriage. That alone is very painful. But my kids cutting me off makes it very hard to go on each day.
    • Mother in mourning
      Ur story is very similar to mine.. It's freaking agonizing!! I'm so sorry! Reading all these comments makes me sad yet I also feel a lil relief knowing I'm not alone.. People prepare u for the Terrible Twos and the Teen years but no one ever tells u about adultMore children and how mean they can be.. This Sucks!! I'm so lost and broken without my kids and grand babies..
    • Golightly
      I am sorry you are going through so Much! It is a terribly draining emotional burden for you. You are not alone, you have tools to overcome this. Have you tried Alanon? It helped/helps me tremendously, I get to focus on me and take care of me. The burnout ofMore caring for others all these years is too much and I need to finally and at last, take care of me. I too am estranged from my daughter and no solid idea of why. It is a choice they make and we can choose to engage with all this pain or find a way out. It's all temporary anyway... Good luck! I am sorry.
      • Lori
        After living with a alcoholic for the past ten years and struggling with the constant lies I am divorcing after 28 years. We had five children of which two were together. Our oldest daughter who is 27 who I’ve always been the closest to began rejecting me in December. SheMore blocked me on phone and social media platforms. I have went to her house and knocked and hear the grandkids saying mamaw is here and she won’t answer the door. She has a new baby I have never seen. All this because after her dad I separated in October I began talking to another man. She is supportive of her dad and communicates with him and her siblings. This is tearing me apart, it breaks my heart. She gave me a choice before she stopped communicating with me, it was to choose her or the other man. I would not make a choice although she would have been the obvious one, I did not want to give her that type of control on my life and I now I lost a daughter, son in law and three precious grandkids.
    • Tonya
      I understand your pain sister
  • PatientNoMore

    My child is not yet an adult, and has cut me off (for a variety of reasons I suppose, though none were life threatening, just minor misunderstandings and such) - but the main reason is she’s transgender (or at the very least, a lesbian, which doesn’t bother me, as you don’t need to change sex as a lesbian). She hasn’t had hormones or medical treatments as far as I know. She’s what I would term ROGD (rapid onset gender dysphoria), as this started much later than other kids.

    She moved in with her dad 3 years ago, only because I had financial issues, but still maintained some contact with me, up until last year, when slowly but surely our relationship was reduced to nothing (her choice, not mine). This separation is worse than when my ex and I split, and that was because of his infidelity. She’s my only child, and I can’t bear this estrangement. I’m tired of being patient, so I’m planning on making a gentle reconciliation request very soon.

    Life is too short, and because I am dealing with major health problems I really need to try.

  • Wen

    My daughter is 27 and moved to her fathers state. She went. Ack and forth as an adult living between us running up bills. I said no more as her father did. She kept her relationship with her father and shut me out. Would not say why to anyone anywhere. She attempted suicide and I trie to help. It’s been 3 years and I finally sent her a text, I found her number on an old phone. She asked two days ago to leave her alone and that her life is perfect without me.

    I’m at a loss.

    Dying in Texas.

    • Disrespected Mom
      I would give her what she wants. Let go and take care of yourself. She is saying things because she is hurt and doesn't have the coping skills to deal with it. Those skills come with maturity. Until she grows up, be good to yourself. Much love...
  • Sassy
    I need to find a way to let go the pain of her games has become debilitating. How do any of you get on with your lives.
    • Disrespected Mom
      Occupy yourself with things you love to do. Distraction is the only way to survive at some points in this life, even more so when dealing with an estranged AC. I had plenty of hobbies before, but now they aren't just hobbies. They are my life! I'd love to seeMore my granddaughter but since I can't, I do things for myself that she loved to do with me. Much love...
  • TS
    So how does a parent stay in contact with an adult child when the child closes all known email accounts, doesn't provide a phone number, doesn't provide an address, and blocks the parent (me) on every known social media account? All of this applies to the parent's family andMore friends too. Any ideas?
    • LAMS
      Not a clue. Same happened here.
  • Hurting
    I never thought this could happen to me, i was always there for all my children. I noticed a change in our daughter around junior high, drama set in. She would get upset, bring it to me, when i empathized with her, gave her my opinion, she wouldMore get mad at me, maybe that was where it started. She picked crappy guys to date, but we were always the bad ones when we tried to get her to see she could do better. When she was dating her husband, we tried to tell her she could do better, she got engaged, and because they didnt get our blessing, she moved out. The guys a jerk, but his mom was so supportive, of course she would be, she was getting a gem, we were getting crap! He was a screw up, he and his Dad werent close, but his mom eas his enabler, she stuck to them like glue, went so far as getting a job where my daughter worked. Funny thinf was, i always felt she stayed so close so she could stop him from messing up. They married, we put our feelings aside and accepted him, after a few years thinking, well at least hes treating her well. Then a year ago he got caught cheating!! She and the kids moved home with us,he wanted a divorce! After two weeks, they suddenly got back together. (His mom had something to do with that) She has been mean to us since, saying you didnt like him before, i should have known better to come to you, you arent going to be supportive! Duh, of course not, but the worst thing is, she doesnt even give us the respect to listen to us. I wasnt sure at first what i thought or felt, until i heard how cruel he was and it was more than one woman. Now she minimizes it, i cant for the life of me understand how she can take back a lying cheating husband and dump her parents who were right about him all along!! This hurts so much. She expects us to just take him back and never discuss it, or our feelings or thoughts or what we know. Shes being blind and naive and expects us to do the same. I dont trust him at all, yet we are being forced and bullied into accepting him in order to see her or the grandkids. She cant see how arrogant he is. In fact a coworker told someone he made the comment, "wow, this turned out pretty good, i got some on the side and got rid of her parents in the process, win-win!" Ive never told her this, cause it was told to me in confindence, and she doesnt want to hear what we have to say anyway, so it wouldnt matter. This is horrible and is effecting my health, i dont know what to do??
  • mastik8
    Interesting to me that some religious parents will reject a child when they marry outside the faith and sometimes even grieve as though a death has occurred. Other parents will throw a child on the street when they find out they're gay. Yet I would imagine that both those groupsMore view that as different from what these children are doing to their parents and I think therein lies a very big problem.
  • Rey Lopez
    I Was A Single Dad From When My Daughter was 8 Months Old till the age of 13 She Walked Out Of My Life And Decided To Go Live With Her Mother As soon as that happened I lost my daughter her mom brainwashed her severely and our relationship wentMore down the tubes I tried reaching out to her all I get is blocked it’s going two years that I haven’t heard or seen her I’m too a point I no longer want her in my life the betrayal and the false accusations Shattered my heart even in the future if she comes around I don’t think I Could Handle her being by side the trust is gone and she never gave me a chance to tell my Side Of The Story But it hurts because she’s my one and only Daughter.
  • Woobee

    Hello all, thank you for sharing your stories. Those of you who have relationships with some children and not others, do they have relationships with each other? How do you do holidays?

    I find myself pulling back standing invitations to big family events. I don’t won’t the one estranged child to feel left out when everyone else is here. I don’t want to feel the the absence of the one, so I just avoid the day. I’m pulling away from my other kids too. I don’t want to put them between. I don’t want divided loyalties, guilt or obligation. I want to put a condemned sign on my mothering experience and walk away.

    • Sharayah
      Wooboo I feel you! Holidays are the most painful of all. My sons have a relationship with me and and with her. They have one Christmas with her and one Christmas with me. I know it's shameful but I don't feel like she deserves to have a special Christmas withMore them when she is the one who rejected me. She is always invited here but she doesn't come. This will be my fourth Christmas without her. I dread Christmas and we don't bother with Thanksgiving anymore. I have a wonderful relationship with my sons and I don't understand why she distances herself. She always was a difficult child but I did my very best. It's so painful to watch other parents make way worse mistakes than I ever did and their children still love them. Why, why why?
    • Icantsurfgood
      I do the very same thing, and I know it's not healthy.
  • Heartbroken VA Mom

    I have found that the past 3 years of estrangement, mixed in with angry, accusatory, wrong & hurtful accusations from my oldest daughter, that I no longer want her in my life. It all started when she failed out of college. Somehow it was my fault she didn’t bother attend class.

    I love my daughter, don’t get me wrong. But when she isn’t accusing me of being the worst mother in the world, she uses me as her own personal ATM. She is not the girl I raised. The entitled person she has become makes me not want to be around her. As a mother, that makes me feel like a terrible person.

    As parents, we teach our kids that they are not required to continue to remain open and affectionate to those who continue to mistreat or reject us. I have continued to try to ensure no stone unturned, but at some point for my own sanity I know I have to stop trying.

    • Disrespected Mom
      I think we have the same daughter 😳
    • Margaret
      My daughter is 32, and similarly, accuses me of being a terrible mother; abusive behavior when she was in high school, etc. etc. It is absolutely gut wrenching. I have been in therapy for a while now. I take medication. And so, yes, I came to the same conclusionMore -- that I have to stop trying to regain a relationship with her for my own sanity. Every time I try to reach out, I have my heart pulled out of my chest. My saving grace is that her two younger brothers love me, and reassure me about being a good mom, etc. etc.
      • shattered
        My 33 year old daughter is the same as yours Margaret. She has memories of abusive parenting by me that never happened. She just turned on us viciously. Further, she claims I am not fit as a grandparent and wont let me see my two young grands.More My husband and I are very loving, caring, gentle parents. None of her cruelty is warranted. Unfortunately, I am retired at 63 and have no health insurance. I can't afford to get help. And sadly...she is our only child. Sorry, I am not trying to out do anyone's circumstances. Everyone in this chat seems to be hurting parents that don't deserve this treatment.
      • Sharayah
        Wow, I feel like you just told my story. In fact I had to check the name wondering if I had written it and forgotten. The only difference is my daughter is 30. My heart goes out to you.
    • Laurie
      Thank you for sharing your post. I am now going thru this with my daughter.
      • Golightly
        I have been estranged for years now and the hurt does not abate. I know my 29 y/o has unresolved feeling of anger over 1 event. I know she got the stubborn "blame others" gene from me. I do take it on and feel responsible. I do want to letMore her go and move on but it is impossible as the connection is always so strong to your kids. Thankfully my son is kind to me and shows me a great deal of love and compassion. When it first happen it felt like a death, my own...
    What a pleasure to explore a new insight to a persuasive as well as expansive moment in time for parents. Unfortunately I have been estranged from my adult daughter for over 22 years. These insights have restored my intentions as well as my hopes to once again know THE MOSTMore PRECIOUS GIFT I HAVE EVER KNOWN.I feel inspired by your work. Thank you
    • Icantsurfgood
      It has been well over 10 years for me and some days I have completely lost hope of reconciliation.
  • May
    THis cutting me off is a pattern of my daughter whenever there is any form of disagreement or even a discussion; it truly is heart wrenching and at times, I feel so overwhelmed that I am sick to my stomach. I feel unable to persevere. Just when I think theMore pattern is broken...she does it again. It is hurtful when she ignores events like birthdays, Christmas and possibility now her wedding in June....I bought her the wedding dress when " things were good "....she promised me that she would find other ways to deal with her anxiety instead of cutting me off. I trusted that as I had no other choice. I am at the point where I don't know if I can ever trust her again ; or just forget the concept of trust and if she again opens up, just receive her in love. She is going on 30 years of age....this distance dance is taking its toll on me...I am going on 65...I have no spouse , I work in an isolated area and I see my son from time to time...He is very reserved so there is no support there, aside from the fact that he sees me and we keep in contact via FB messenger. Deep down I feel that if I asked him about his sister, that he would also cut the cord....living with this conditional love is affecting me.
    • Brenda
      I’m in the same boat. Heart wrenching. I did the best I could raising my children alone.
  • Alli
    In my great grandparents time, people often left home to seek better jobs or get married in another place. It was assumed they wouldn't see their parents again, because of the travel expense and shorter lifespans. People wrote letters. Maybe we should just lower our expectations and be happyMore we have time left to do our own thing. I am still working through it, but I am pretty happy because I choose to accept the situation rather than wait for permission to live. And no, I don't want to talk to a voicemail and send unanswered messages for the rest of my life just so what? they don't have to feel bad feelings?
  • Nel
    I am an estranged mother of 3 out of 4 children for now 16 plus years. I telephoned the one at Christmas 2002 to wish them happy Christmas and the telephone was slammed down. I still have no idea why. I can guess at this and that but nothing actuallyMore makes sense. I divorced their father many years ago and at the time he said that he would make sure they would never have anything to do with me once they grew up. I found out he told my oldest son's girlfriend that I hated her. I certainly didn't. This young lady eventually deserted my son on one Christmas eve but not before telling me that I was not my son's mother and that I would grow old with all my children's hatred. So that is two of them predicting this and then comes number 3. My brother. That was so bad that on my own mother's death who I cared for during her last illness arranged a separate after funeral gathering that everyone went to except a few neighbors and my cousins. The neighbors were truly shocked as I had carried out my mother's wishes to hold the after gathering at her chosen venue which was printed on the funeral order of service. I assume whatever has been said about me by all three is absolutely nothing I can do about. I tried keeping in touch at birthdays and Christmas but after all these years there no longer seems any point, it just punishes me further. One person here commented that it is like a death and that is how I have come to view it. I have one grandchild I have never seen only heard about and I am pretty sure my son's father has said I am dead I don't know that for sure but in the absence of any information its more than plausible. Or maybe I have been made out to be some mythical ogre. I have come to accept that I will never see any of them again and so view them as dead and just get on with my own life. Animals and birds are the children I don't have they don't hurt anybody. I certainly don't blame myself, I have tried to leave the door open but the door is now closed. At some point you have to stop beating yourself up over what you have no control over. I look at it this way, it is their loss.
    • Icantsurfgood
      I'm where you're at. It was like a death. My door is shut-I don't try anymore. I just focus on trying to create a good future for myself.
    • Cheistine
      It sounds we have the same ex-husband. He always said, “I’ll take those boys away from you”. He couldn’t get custody in court but he surely did poison the well. It’s heartbreaking. I’m not having much luck getting over it.
  • Roxella

    I read an article that said some estrangement comes when the daughter/son gets married. Here is my story. My 32 year old daughter and I were I thought close until she met her now husband. We would speak on the phone a couple times a day and things were good.

    She met this man who I instantly in my gut did not like, but pretended for her sake. One night he butt dialed me with her phone and he not realizing i was listening was calling her a bitch.slut, whore, liar, cheater, stupid etc. She was just sobbing and i was screaming on the phone to him but he didn't hear me. She came over afterwards and said she was going back to him. I just walked away after begging her not to go back to this abuser.

    Time goes on...3 kids later. Now she has quit her high paying job because he told her to. He has had 18 jobs in the last 3 years and its always someone elses fault that he leaves.

    She has to go to beg dhs and everybody else for money for the kids.

    He held a gun to her head. She put him in jail and 2 weeks later she bails him out.

    He has introduced heroine into the family and now they both steal to get money. She has several charges as well as him for theft. No decent car, no insurance, child protective services were called and said it is ok to have a generator to have electricity as long as there is food in the cupboards.

    stupidely, I gave her 2K to get a lawyer and fix her charges after I took her to clean up and detox and now...she didn't go to the lawyer, blew the 2K on who knows what.

    Today I found out that her daughter had a Christmas pagent at school of which his mom, dad were invited but not me.

    We were to go shopping for the kids for Christmas today and once the husband found out threw a fit to her and said no....we are going....not your mom.

    She either is so abused and scared to argue.

    Or doesn't care how I feel. I have decided I am done. Lies, gossip, cannot hold my head up in the small town we live in because of the thefts.

    Not completely blaming the guy she is married to because she has her own mind, but things in her life were fine before this man who has banned everyone but his family from the house and lets his wife beg the state or other people for money because someone else should support the family. Working is just something he is not fond of and with her record now not a soul would hire her. If the cops stopped the car she would end up in jail and has 3 small kids.

    I am done. She is old enough. Never this unthoughtful and hurtful. Abused, no self esteem. But I cannot fathom having a relationship with a man who does this to my daughter and she loves him.

    Just hurt and venting. Thanks for listening.

    • Peace seeker
      Roxella - My husband and I also have a daughter who continually enters into relationships with highly abusive men. She is currently on her fourth such relationship. We entirely (and probably stupidly) spent down our retirement accounts to pay her legal fees (and other expenses) when she wasMore escaping her prior abusive husband. We did it to protect her and her child, and to help her get back on her feet. We thought perhaps she was turning a corner, but then she abruptly entered another abusive relationship and has, once again, cut us off completely. There has been nothing but silence from her for the last five years. I worry about her and, especially, about the safety (both physical and emotional) of the children. But, there is nothing more we can do. Now we need to focus on recovering financially from all that we gave to her so that we can retire -- we are both in our 60's. We also need to focus on our four other wonderful children and three other grandchildren. Still, the grief does not go away, especially for me.
  • Joanette
    Just found this site. Thank God I am not alone in going through the heartache of being estranged from my children.
  • Heidi
    My 27 year old daughter moved home 2.5 years ago to go to college. Her dad was not in her life as a child but he and I have been reunited for 8 years now much to our daughter's dismay. She recently revealed that she has onlyMore been "going along with it" for my sake - I've always known that she would never truly open up to him but had hopes that they could at least get a long. Nope. She has recently caused so much tension in our home and her presence alone hinders him and I from being our true loving selves in our relationship knowing how she dislikes him so - I tend to distance myself from him when she is around. I've been balancing the two of them for so long I'm exhausted and have made the decision to not let her control my life anymore. I've let her know she does not get to dictate to me who I love or who I allow in my own home. She'll be moving in with my parents (who support me in not letting her run roughshod over my life). But as a result she has told me "Mom if you let him stay you will never see me again". We have yet to have a face to face conversation at this point as this has all just fallen apart in the last 5 days - but I will be seeing her tomorrow to talk things out - that's if she will even talk with me. But I will be making it clear how much I love her and that I will always be there for her - but that it is time for her to go live her life and let me live mine. That my hope is to not have this schism take place... but she needs to separate her life from mine. My heart breaks. Her dad - although went through some problems with addiction during her childhood years... has been on the right track and doing well for over 10 years. He and I are happy as a couple. But our family dynamic between the 3 of us is in the gutter. She just refuses to open herself to him. She's been through counseling over the years. I thought it had helped cuz she seemed ok with him and I being together for a while... turns out she had just figured out how to fake it.
  • JusHero
    If you treat estrangement like a death, you will eventually heal. In a death, it can be sudden, hard to deal with and can not be undone. You still love the person, but you know you can never see them again, hold them again, hear them talk to you again.More Which all means, life must go on. Any 2 adults should realize that there is NO guarantee in life as adult minded people goes. You can not make someone change, love you or want to be in your life. This also works both ways. If we get caught up in the things we can not change, then we allow circumstances to control us, in which we will hinder our own way of living. For me, I have closed the door, but once in a while I see the estrange'r peak back in. It gets old and opens the wounds from time to time, but then I end up shutting that cracked door again, so she can not peak in.
    • Peace seeker
      JusHero, I too need to treat the estranger with great caution. I've had two heart attacks, both diagnosed as "broken heart syndrome." There is nothing physiologically wrong with my heart, but it is susceptible to failing when I'm exposed to extreme grief. I love this "child"More with all my heart and soul, which is why she is able to exact such a toll on me. Unfortunately, she has become dangerous to me. If I want to stay alive for the rest of my loving family - and for myself - I must be very, very cautious.
  • 2 adult kids @ home w/1spouse
    Hi im married 35 years and my husband has cheated many times and the last major time blamed me. things are better with him and I but he has helped to lay a poor foundation for our adult kids (society already pushes them to hate parents). I haveMore had enough and have threatened to leave. I'm tired of being on eggshells. I also want a divorce even though our relationship is better than its ever been. but I have to explain to him that the kids are ignoring me and he says he doesn't see it. so its abusive all around for me. not sure how I will leave, looking for a room to rent.
  • Heartbroken and alive
    My 30yr old daughter has been almost estranged from me for over 8 years. I say almost, because she does respond to a text once in awhile. My son and I are close. They were raised the same. I loved and love both of them, I raised them alone. MyMore family was not involved, children were a bother to them. Now that my daughter is older, she has chosen, in her words, to build a close relationship with my mom and sister, and not me. She has made up things about me to purposefully hurt me, and the three of them now make plans without me. We all live in separate states. This puts even more months between the time we do get to see each other, which is typically when she announces when she will be at my mothers, and i can plan to see her then. My ex, her dad, completed suicide in 2010. It was horrible, we were divorced when she was 4, he was a drug addict, loved us, and saw her annually until she lived with him for 6 months at 17. My daughter became more estranged with me after this. She is 30 now and is getting married next July. She told her fiance's family a year ago, without my knowledge, that i could not afford her wedding. This is not true, and i have yet to even meet them. They then gave a huge sum of money to the kids, to pay for their wedding and then some. This year was the 2nd year in a row my daughter did not acknowledge me on mothers day. She has been in a lot of therapy over the years, I have been as well. I agree that no amount of therapy today can help with estrangement. I have been told to cut her off, etc. I do not bother her, i do text every week, to say i love her, and hope all is well with her. Sometimes she responds, sometimes she doesnt. I grieve our loss of closeness almost daily. More months go by. I then turn to the reasons i have to live, and try not to project this grief on my son, who is very close to me, and has lived in the middle of this for a long time, it hurts him very much too. I try to focus on the fact that i did the best i could, and that my daughter is doing pretty well, getting ready to graduate and get married. I am invited to her wedding, and am not sure whether or not to go. I feel she thinks she has to invite me, not that she even likes me or wants me there. I have 2 young women on my team at work who are getting married too. They are so excited to share everthing with me, and are both including their moms in the planning, etc. I feel like an outsider with my daughter. I know i will regret not going, and will go and try to just hold it together, and not make it at all about me and the estrangement, so that my daughter can enjoy her day, and be thankful i was even invited. Im sorry this is so long. For parents who have tried so hard, worked hard to support their kids, actually love kids, especially their own, and are later treated by the person they raised like she doesnt even know them, my heart breaks for you. It will never heal. And there is no relief. Just one day at a time existing, and trying to push the sadness aside when you have the opportunity to spend time with your other child/children. For now, i am choosing to be thankful for having my daughter in my life as long as i did, and try to be happy knowing i did the best i could to raise her into a strong, independent, woman, and that she seems to be doing well. I hope the best for all parents going through this, and that you find some comfort in knowing you are not alone. My dream was to marry, have a bunch of children, and be a close, loving family. I cant even make up the reality that became my actual young life. 30 years later, it is my choice how to continue to live without my daughter in my life. And it is very much, one slow day at a time. Best to all.
    • MimiDee
      I’m sorry for your pain and the confusion that accompanies being cutoff with no explanation. As your mama heart is breaking I too am feeling the same pain. My only answer and peace come when I seek comfort from my husband and when I share my grief with other women.More Lastly and moreover I know my daughter is a Christian and eventually God will fix this. This is my hope and prayer for you.
    • JusHero
      Heartbroken, your story sounds like mine, except my daughter cut me off after the marriage. She got her Masters, got married and had a child. She threw me through the loop when my dad was on his death bed. Talk about kicking me when we were all down. Grandpa endedMore up surviving, but the relationship has been on the outs for almost 2 years now. My grandchild is now 1.5 years old and I have seen him less that 1 handful of times. I gave up about a year ago and out of the blue she calls me and we saw each other a couple times and then it started again, but more like walking on eggshells situation. Had a sense of do as I say or I will do it again. So, I decided to just go ahead and punish myself again and I stay very distant. When and if, and that is a big fat if she decides to come back into our lives, she will have to come back very apologetic and there will be some reserve until she proves herself. Am I missing out on being a grandparent? To me, NO! Can not be a grandparent when the child does not want you to be. I do not wrap up my mind on the what if's. Life must go on and it will! Do not focus on what you lost, but what you have and try to forget the things you do not have. I am still somewhat hurt, but I despise it to define who I am and what life I have left to live.
      • Icantsurfgood
        Jushero, I completely agree with you. Though painful, I've also moved on. Im focusing on joy and wonderful friends now!
  • firehart
    I was the one who cut my daughter out. She is addicted to drugs. She has ripped me off enough. I told her not to come back until she gets help. It's been years now. I know she is often homeless. I pray for her, but she is 40, soMore until she wants help, not much I can actually do.
  • Lori
    OMG the fact that there are 758 comments to this article says it all. The first time ever I’ve ever seen support for my situation and understanding. I’ve been living in guilt, shame and confusion accepting all the blame for my 18 year old daughters complaints about me.More I have been enmeshed, trying to “fix” and “rescue” my daughter from emotional pain, support her, tried to take responsibility for helping her manage her emotions, given her so much, tried to do so many mother-daughter things, trips, massage, pedicures etc, accepted the blame for her pain and short comings, fought her battles, didn’t argue her complaints against me knowing that they were her reality, understood the underdeveloped ability to cope in the adolescent brain, unfortuanately gave in when chores weren’t done etc, offered much praise for things not well done, always told her how much I loved her and how amazing she was, and I’ve been reported for child abuse! While I’ve tried to re-examine what I did wrong, I see I’ve raised a child who I tried to make happy and who is angry at me for not making her happy. I can’t handle any more blame, shame, and criticism and have completely shut down - this is not like me and it’s not voluntary. I’ve been told by a counsellor to “get over it”. Maybe this site can help me to get through this and manage in a way that my heart is not bleeding all over the place. I’ve sucked it up and turned the other cheek so many times that there’s none left.
    • Morgan12
      I am glad that I have found people who have a estranged or messed up relationship with a child I will later talk about mine relationship wit my daughter but it is so good to have a place to let it all out
    • Icantsurfgood
      It is so sad that this messageboard exists-but I am so glad it does! I am reading every message and it is helping me to deal with the pain and the shame. My heart goes out to every person here, wish I could give each and everyone on here aMore big hug!
  • findingmeaning

    I too am a parent who has experienced cut off from an adult child. I have a very close relationship with my two other children, my parents, and extended family and in-laws. My family did not understand the cut-off and so my son cut them off as well. He currently does not speak to anyone in our family or to many of his friends. The cut off happened after he married his current wife when he was 31 years old. Prior to that, we had a very close relationship. His wife appears to be fairly insecure and accused me of doing things that I did not do. She accused me of doing things at the wedding that were not true and I did get angry and told my son to stay out of my life if he and she were going to be disrespectful. He did that, even though I did not mean it and said it out of anger and have apologized many times since. There were problems with the dynamic with his new wife and that blew up at the wedding. We loved her and accepted her but she assumed negative things that were not true.

    This situation has been very painful for me and disruptive as well. Probably one of the most challenging things I have ever dealt with. So, I have been trying to use it to learn and to grow as a person. One thing I have been thinking about is the fact that I really did not want to have children. However, when it happened, I really made my children everything in my life. I did everything for them and was always there for them. They had everything they ever needed, bought them cars, paid for college, helped them buy houses and always gave money when needed. But, I wonder about my feelings of not wanting children and a resentment that my son does not appreciate all that I have done for him. He and his new wife were very disrespectful to me at their wedding but I should not have reacted in such an angry manner. Could my deep resentment have come out? I hate to think of that because me relationship with my two other children and my grandson are the most important in my life other than with my husband. These feelings are so conflicting and confusing.

    After thinking a long time on this and then after I read the comments by Jake on this thread, I do think that the selfish entitlement of some young adults is aggravating to many baby boomers who lavished so much on their children. We spoiled them, lets' face it. We were going to be the very best of parents, giving them everything, a trophy for every game mentality. I do resent my son for not appreciating all that I did. Also, I resent him because I could have had my own life but I chose to raise him instead and sacrifice all I could have done with my life to give him everything.

    I write this because I wonder if all the hurt and devastation we feel when our adult, entitled, self absorbed, millennial children cut us off is really a favor to us? We are old but we still have some years to have our own lives without dealing with all of their drama and needs. There is still time for us to enjoy what we want and to focus on ourselves for a change. Perhaps the emphasis on having your children in your life is constructed by our society. It is really to their benefit if you think about it. I don't need him to take care of me and there are so many other people in the world who would be thankful for what I might offer to them.

    I have decided to change the narrative of our society. We need to let our children go and live their own lives. We created them as selfish and entitled and now we have to live with that. They will never be there for us in the way we have been for our own parents. But, that is okay because their demands are through the roof and their lack of respect soul draining. We take responsibility for it and live to enjoy what we missed by having and raising them. Maybe that is a rationalization but I wonder more and more if it is not a more reasonable way to deal with this type of behavior.

    The narrative of parents needing to have adult children in their lives desperately puts our adult children in a position of power. Since they are entitle, self absorbed, arrogant individuals they take full advantage of the power and punish us if we don't conform to what they want. This power differential is ridiculous! What are we thinking?? This is just more of the same of what we did by pampering them so much as children. We all need to break this cycle of co-dependence. I for one am working to re-focus my brain on my own life. I admit it is tough after 35 years of focusing solely on the well-being of my children but I have faith in myself that I can do it and get back to that idealistic person who was 22 and had so many plans for her life!

    • racecar

      What is a more constructive way to say this? I've reached out in early June and July about visiting my daughter. She had never responded. I know she checks email and other social media hourly! These are my RAW feelings:

      Unless you have changed your email, which I doubt, I get it; I’m not stupid.

      As much as it pains me to say this, from now on out, why don’t I let you initiate any visits and conversations. If you want us to come, let us know; I won’t ask to come. We won’t bother you as this is what I feel I am to you.. a bother. I would really like to be involved as I can in X, Y and Z’s lives and yours as well. You don’t stop loving and wanting the best for your kids when they reach a certain age. Try to imagine yourself in 20 years. Try to imagine the relationship you have with me as the relationship you have with one of your children…. YEAH… it sucks.

      I can no longer handle the pain of your rejection or indifference. So… I’m no longer going to try. If you want this relationship, you need to reach out for it yourself.

      I love you and want to be in your life. The door has always been open… just walk through it.


      NOTE to community; I have no clue what I did to make my daughter not want to be with us. I don't get it. She was given everything she wanted (maybe that was it). As far as I know, there were no negative influences from my husband or myself (no abuse, no alcoholism, no other junk -- just loving, supportive parents who had their own flaws -- NORMAL)

    • Margaret

      This is an interesting perspective. My 32-yr-old daughter turned on me, hates me, etc. The thing is I am def not a codependent type. I have two other sons. I don't need to be in constant touch or know everything they're doing. But to have my daughter speak real hate to me (from California; I'm in CT) is devastating.

      I've done a lot of soul searching about what I expected of my kids. I want them to be happy. That's it. I want them to live their own lives. They all are. But my daughter reaches back from time to time with all kinds of twisted accusations. My own therapist suspects she has developed a personality disorder.

      It just hurts. But I take your point. The only thing we can do -- is to move on. Thanks.

    • Nickyboy130
      I too feel exactly as you described I lived my life through them my son now feels that entitlement, I feel I have no power to change this it hurts like hell being cut off, he called me a soul sucker, for loving him and doing what was best forMore him I feel so mentally drained trying to do right I feel what you said changing narrative is best option now.
    • Nicole
      This is probably the best advise I have heard from the same situation that I have. I am copying and pasting it. These kids are out of co control and I am not feeding into their narcissistic behavior.
  • JusHero

    After dealing with some time of an estranged daughter, I come to realize, its all in the situation of the child what matters most. If your child is self sustaining their life and have their life in order, then let them be. Live and let live. Most of the pain is in your head, meaning you are creating the pain. You had a life before them and you should have a life after them, when it comes to estrangement. You can't do anything about it and trying, will most likely make things worse. Leaving them alone and time will tell. It hurts (as I know and am still going through it. Daughter comes back in at times and then distances herself. Seems to rinse and repeat.), but it is an adult life you are dealing with. They have final say, just as you do for your life only. It takes some time to get use to it, but if you realize anything, life continues on, No Matter What.

    For my ongoing situation. I do not walk on eggshells, nor will I beg to be in my daughters (grandson's) life. I leave her alone and at times do not think about her, until someone brings her up. I keep on living my life and focus on my wife and son. For this, at times she wants back into my life. Each time I am reluctant, but I still let her in (its my child and now also grandson), then for some out of the blue reason, she distances herself again and keeps herself and the grandson away. I just continue to live my life and let her be. It took awhile, but I (at most times) do not let it bother me anymore and come to accept it. Its hard to get close to my grandchild, when she decides that she wants me in her life, because I know she will make it where we do not see each other for long periods of time. Like I said, I learned to not let it consume my life, as my life has much more importance than someone who does not want to be in it. I have another child (who gives me the love that is lost from the other), a wife, a job, which all leads to "A Life", outside of an estrangement. Keep your head up and don't make your adult child your only thing in your life worth living for.

    • Morgan12
      Thank you for what you had to say I am in the same situation in and out with my daughter and my new 8 month old grand daughter that after 8 months of see and helping take care of she quits job and movies back in with her grand parentsMore this has been her pattern since she was 16
  • Twilight Zone Mom

    Keep reaching out on holidays and letting them know you care got me an order of protection! I am in total shock over all of this.

    To begin my son is married and his wife hates me. I have tried to do things to let her know I feel welcome her into our family but she comes from total dysfunction. A mom who overdosed on cocaine twice and a nut job father who created his own religion. My son along with his 2 brothers and I were really close and had a wonderful relationship. The relationships with my other 2 are still wonderful. But the oldest married a highly insecure and controlling woman who said she would cut me out of their lives and followed through. She told that to a mutual Friend a couple of years ago.

    So he stopped communicator with us before thanksgiving. I left them a voice mail a invited them to at least have dessert with us. Not response. Christmas came, I left a voice mail asking if we could get together and talk, nothing. I left him and her Christmas presents and cookies on their door stoop. No response. His birthday, I sent a card and called. Again nothing. Then in April, while walking my dog I stopped at their gate as their dogs were out. They had moved into my neighborhood, where I have lived f or almost 10 years. I said hi to the dogs and went home. The wife then started texting me telling me to stay away and if I ever came by again, she would call the cops. I did not go by their house again. A week later, I got served with an order of protection. One of the allegations was that I left Christmas presents and cookies! This is so absurd even I acne believe it. The worst part was the stupid judge granted him the order of protection. I am now appealing it. But am left bewildered at this turn of events. I feel that my son has been brainwashed or is mentally ill. I am so confused how this happened. So telling someone to stay in contact may backfire on you

  • stickaforkinme

    My relationship with my daughter has always been a struggle. She has betrayed me many times since she was a young adult. During an awful custody battle, she served as a mole for my ex and wrote a letter full of lies to help my ex get full custody of my 10 year old son. He did get custody and the letter she wrote told of how miserable my child was in the home and how poorly he was treated. (Mind you, she lived in my home and so did my oldest son; but they were almost grown, I made good money, and he wanted to go after the youngest one, so he could get child support). The letter was the item that made the judges mind. And my ex was awarded full custody and $1000 a month in child support. I was devastated. She did this because he promised to send her half of what he collected in child support. She resented my new husband, who had NOTHING to do with the breakup. I didn't remarry for six years after I divorced my first husband. She got angry for being put on restriction for sneaking out of the house and accused my new husband of staring at her in a sexual way, when actually he went in the room to see if she was actually asleep, as she would go to bed fully dressed and slip out when we fell asleep. I asked my husband if any of this was true and he said no. I believed him, because she was trying to stir issues with us. I almost cut her off for good when she worked with her father to savage my family.

    Years passed and their were so many times, for no apparent reason, she would get angry with me and just stop talking to me. She was cheating on her husband and she knew I didn't approve. I told her she should leave if she wasn't happy, as her husband was a great guy. He ended up keeping their daughter for a few months when he finally told her to leave. But that is another story.

    Now, she has made up some bs story about my youngest son, her half brother, who helped her and my other son constantly with their children. It's so disgusting and of course, none of it is true. If she isn't lashing out at me or trying to ruin her brothers lives, she isn't happy. My oldest son cut her off years ago.

    The advice to reach out and always keep lines of communication open won't work for me. I am done with this. It has affected my ability to even want to socialize and frankly, she almost broke my spirit this time. I gave my all. I helped her with her daughter, I even paid for private school for my grand daughter. I still have great relationships with my oldest and youngest sons. I will be thankful for them and never look back. I can't do this anymore and frankly, we only get so many spins around the sun. The energy I am giving isn't matching on the other side, it's time to let go.

    • Icantsurfgood
      I'm with you, I've shut the door. Reaching out backfired for me too.
  • Alienatedmommy
    My kids chose to leave me 4.5 years ago. It was exceptionally cruel and demeaning, they lied for their dad to get custody, court did nothing to prevent this tragedy and their narcissistic father has blocked them from me this entire time. But 2 of themMore are 18 now and although my oldest suddenly claims I am just a hideous person, when she was originally the one who wanted to see me in therapy, my middle daughter has flat out said she would see me but she would lose her dad and she knows that is wrong, but it is how it is and she doesnt want to be abandoned by him like I was, regardless. They wanted to be free and it caused them to have to grow up really fast in a home where they are neglected. Everything they lied about and accused me of became their reality. But they are so wrapped up in their twisted fathers control they are basically displaying stockholm syndrome. My youngest wants to come home, I know it with our last secret contact having now been a year ago, but I know my daughter and I feel her sadness even at a distance. New attorney, but he is slowly playing the courtroom game and it would be alot easier if one of my older daughters would even talk to me and give me more current information, and I have had no luck. I am tired of waiting. I miss them so much. Their little sister misses them so much.
  • naturewoman

    HELLO. New here to this site. I am estranged from both my son and daughter. Although, I occasionally have contact. From what I read here by the author/Dr., I realize it was great advice. But, I'm having an issue, with being able to do it. Keeping that door open, keep on trying. It is very stressful, and it keeps me from living my life. I'm in knots all the time. I have panic attacks, all the time. Especially, when I'm trying to fall asleep. Lack of good sleep and healthy eating, makes me so tired all day. So, tired I can't accomplish anything. Can't exercise, work, or have fun.

    When speaking to my kids, about issues in the relationship or how I feel deeply disrespected, I make sure to be calm and not attack them. I just tell how what they did hurt me. But, it is always is turned around on me. Or they say they DON'T remember. They have also yelled back at me. Here's just an example. Mother's day. I'm not into gifts, but like to hear from them, and say 'Happy Mother's Day MOM'. Once, I DIDN'T hear from my son. (at least I thought that). It was later in the day, so my husband and I just went out. 4:30pm he calls. I just felt bad, that he forgot. I DIDN'T get mad. Just wanted to express myself. He yelled at me and said, 'well, I guess I need to call first thing In the morning'. This is just 1 example of how it is with him. It's very hurtful. An example of my daughter. We planned a trip TOGETHER. I was going to fly up to her, rent a car. I was going to meet her boyfriend. I suggested to my daughter, making dinner for him. This trip was planned by us both. We had no issues at that time. I was so excited. No sooner did I get there, my daughter ask if she could swing by TO see her boyfriend. ?? I thought that was strange. But, I said SURE...I wanted to be easy going, to get along. Then she called me to ask if she can borrow my rental to take her boyfriend's MOM OUT to dinner?????? Not even inviting me....that was our first day together. This is what I deal with my kids. THRY are n o w 32 & 28. Same things like THat happens. So, naturally it's something THat is so painful, I DON't know how to have them in my life.

    • stickaforkinme

      Your daughter sounds as heartless as my daughter. The only reason I was ever invited to do anything with her or my middle son was so I could foot the bill. The didn't talk to me or interact with me. They left me with the kids while they would go outside and smoke. When dinner was over, the kids were dumped on me so they could go out and see a movie, shop or have drinks at a bar.

      I don't need it in my life. I am over it. You don't need it. I don't need it.

  • LBH
    My 20-year old daughter is living with her boyfriend and his toxic low life family. She has been mocking and ridiculing her family for 3 years. We took it and took it and took it, and finally we could not take it anymore. We were a normal family of 4,More where she had everything handed to her on a silver platter. She moved out at 18 1/2, saying her childhood was so awful. The worst thing that we did was sat her down at 17 years old when she got into pot and a toxic crowd and warned her that she was destroying her life, which according to her, was awful since experimenting with drugs was "normal". Well, we were right. She has completely destroyed her life due to her disastrous decisions and is now estranged from her family because of her constant mocking. She has just said that she wants no part of this "psycho" family. She has no job, no college, living in a toxic environment, lies in bed all day. She blames us because she has no car - which we had bought her one year ago - (which her boyfriend totaled due to being under the influence). She says we have the means to help her and won't although I have offered to give her rides until her and her boyfriend earn enough for a car but she said she does not want to be treated like a 15-year old. She has also made awful and untrue accusations against her father and which she's never apologized although she admitted to her brother and myself they were a lie. She calls me up and half the time she is nice and half the time she is cruel. I'm being bullied by my own daughter, yet I still love her deeply because I know she is troubled. She refuses therapy, although she is going to a quack doctor who graduated from a 2nd rate Caribbean university and who is prescribing her all this medication - whatever she wants. I told her to get a second opinion from a real professional but she refuses that also. This is affecting me physically as I have lost a lot of weight and my head is spinning with anxiety everyday. I cry everyday that she will see the light and get help. The holidays are coming up and that is stressing me out even more as my husband wants nothing to do with her. He just wants her to get therapy and then when she is better, he will accept her back in the family. Can anyone offer any advice on this situation?
  • DaytonaNative
    After 10 years of the estrangement game, her coming and going in my life, I have finally said, "Enough" when she turned 30 and at the lowest point in my life, estranged herself again. I have finally decided that she is mature enough to now have to bear theMore consequences of her choices. I also cannot handle the repeated heartache and living death grieving that I go through every time she has done this. It still hurts, but I have chosen to finally start to move forward in my life without her, I have finally resigned that she will no longer know about me until the day she receives news of my death and then I won't be there to hurt anymore. I gotten a book that is helping me, called "Done With The Crying", Help and Healing for Mothers (and for fathers) of Adult Estranged Children, by Sheri McGregor, as well as being on several online support groups. I have begged my child for forgiveness several times in the times that were good and we were talking and asked for her to never estrange again, yet again, it happens. I openly admit that there might have been times that in discipline, I spoke to her too harshly and spanked her too much, but there have been many more times I have loved her, indulged her, encouraged her and told her that no matter what she did (she could be a serial killer) that I would always love her. She chooses to only remember what bad parts and the only explanation I have ever gotten from her is that I cause her anxiety, which falls in line with some of the points in your article. I have decided that if there is ever a reconciling, that it will have to be her to come and make the steps...after several years of trying and behaviors repeating on me in spite of all that I have tried to listen, be accountable and affirm how I made her feel, it has made no difference. I am not a controlling mom, the first time she told me to butt out of her life, I did, because I had a controlling mother and I remembered how I felt when she tried to micromanage my life and I vowed then, that I would never do that to my daughters. I am not a dramatic person who wants attention 24/7 or anything near a narcissist, but I have gone through a lot of personal struggles as I was abused growing up and never loved by my own father, so I looked for love in relationships so it was always chaos in that manner. She was loved by her father and always had him an active part of her life as I made sure of that, knowing what it feels like to not have a father who loved me. It still did not matter. Life has no instruction manual, you don't get a say in the family you are born into and you deal the best with the hand you have been given and sometimes hurt people, hurt other people. My mother hurt me, yet I never estranged myself from her, I respected her and loved her and was able to forgive her over years of my own struggle as an adult figuring out that not everything is black and white and she was also a recipient of abuse on many levels, so she also did not have an idealic training to which she could pass onto me. But I must be expected to be the June Cleaver of parents or else all the year of love, sacrifice and dreams get taken from me by an entitled child who feels that I owed her June Cleaver, even though I never got June Cleaver for a mom and was able to be something that I was not taught, groomed or trained to be! I am imperfect, I have made mistakes but I never have abused my daughter, if anything, I stood up for her, gave her things that I never got and loved her with my deepest ability to love, only to have to face growing old alone and shunned and not to be able to know my grandson. This is something that does need to come out and be spoken about, just like the other injustices and things that happen in our society, in hopes that we can maybe one day make this epidemic something that is history and not current reality for most of us. I am thankful for blogs like this, groups like this.....Thank you for letting me share!
    • T-town Mum

      My experiences were similar. She was always very attached and had overpowering separation anxiety from the day of her birth. Consequently we did everything together. I tried my best to help her be brave... sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I felt I was always neglecting her older brother because she was intensely attached. While she was in elementary school she hung out with her brother. Bless him. As an adult man we have a strong respectful relationship. He is 31 and she is 29.

      I tried my best to be June Cleaver but June didn't have a full time job outside the home, nor a husband with bi-polar issues and with an obsessive disorder so my time was more limited but I still managed to be on her sports committees, drive her everywhere and make her childhood and teenhood as smooth as possible. I even switched school districts to be closer to home in hopes this would bring down her anxiety. She was in grade 6. And it did.

      Her father had an affair and consequently we split up after 27 years together - she was 22 and living with her husband. Five years ago I met a lovely man and we got married 2 years ago. I am very happy. She is not happy with my re-marriage. My son has embraced my husband because he sees how good he is to me. She has not and cringes everytime I try to make her understand that this relationship is "God sent" for me. One of my husband's sons also treats me the way my daughter treats my husband... distant, tolerant, restraint and suspicious. Most people say it is about inheritance and having a “step parent” means "everything is split one more time" - it goes much deeper than that though. It seems this is also quite "normal" among my friends who have remarried after a long former marriage but that is a whole other conversation.

      She is very controlling. I am only allowed to text. I cannot have Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with her husband’s family but I am allowed to go to ball games or go out for a casual lunch with them. Sometimes I think it is about her mom in law – mom in law is frustrated with ‘lack of grandchildren”. Other times I think it is her embarrassment about me. I really don’t know why I am embarrassing though. I am educated, pretty, kind, friendly, and happy. I love deeply and cry easily. I love her and her husband. My heart hurts knowing she doesn’t like me. When she left home, I told her that as an adult woman I met my mum once a week for dinner and we talked all the time. I enjoyed being a friend with her and knowing her as a woman not just in the role of my mum. She replied, “we will never be friends”. I truly don’t know why.

  • H Mum
    Hello it's our ED 21st Birthday very soon and her first one since we became estranged (her choice, not ours) we have bought birthday cards from us and he younger Brother which was really hard due to the verses in them but I'm wondering whether to sends them as sheMore sent a text to bet Brother this week refering to us (her parents) as your Mum and Dad, any advice would be appreciated please, just to add it's only been seven months
  • Trina
    Candace-you have posted a response in relation to this article. comment back in March. As a sponsor in a support group (for estranged parents) what advice would you give to an estranged parent, since you disagree with this authors advice? I am estranged from both of my adult children andMore would like to hear some affective and alternative solutions. Each situation is different, I know, but all of here are estranged. You don't believe in these specific techniques. Then what is it that you would incorporate with your group? Shall we leave them alone forever?
    • Candace
      I recommend in my support group that estranged parents focus on themselves, and those family members and friends that have stuck by them. Work on self-awareness (knowing who you are). Doing that will remove the stigma of estrangement that society puts on you....other parents are afraid it will happen toMore them, and so they judge you or evade the subject. As I have said before, do not "chase" adult children who refuse to communicate. If you do receive any intermittent communication, do not accept any conversation that does not show mutual respect. Tell them you will be happy to talk to them when they can be respectful. If the estrangement is caused by a daughter-in-law/son-in-law, it is a sign your adult child is in a bad marriage. That will be your adult child's problem to solve. It is a pathological dance between your adult child and his/her spouse. If you know (and you do know) if you have been a good parent over-all, (all parents make mistakes) then it is not necessary to accept blame from an errant child. It is mature to admit to mistakes, but it is not productive in any relationship to be the fall guy. This only leads to the accusing person having more power over you, and you will be walking on eggshells all over again...leading into episodic estrangement that can be more heartbreaking than no contact estrangement. And I will tell you this, the mental health field is still in the dark ages when it comes to family estrangement and parental alienation. They often give more bad advice than good. I don't recommend therapy for understanding estrangement. I recommend peer support from others who have lived through estrangement.
      • where is your support group
        im in california south county
  • JusHero

    I read a lot of your stories and share the pain and sorrow you all have. As each circumstances are a little different, most have the same outcome. Never the less, raising a child you loved and cared for, will always hurt when they selfishly disown a parent or parents. Is it me, is it you? I say no, it is society and it is a sign of the times. It does seem that it generally is the daughter (but not always) who is doing the disowning.

    As a dad, I deal with it every day and I come to realize, there is not a lot I can do, except live my life and care for the one's who are in it and want to be in it.

    For me, it is my daughter. I have been in her life, from the day she was born. Her mom and I divorced when she was 5 years old (my fault = cheating), but her mom and I have been in her life equally ever since. I went to all school function, church functions (1st baptism and such), had her couple nights a week and every other weekend, paid for college for her to get her masters, paid for her wedding and then 2 years later, she outed me out of her life.

    A few things came out, that she holds onto = Her junior and senior year, I might of missed 2-3 swim meets, out of close to 100 throughout her swimming life. I did miss a 2nd baptism when she got out of college and met her husband and decided to get baptized in a different religion. Over a year ago Grandpa was on his deathbed from heart failure and I was called to come see him and my daughter went too. On that day, my daughter decided to have it out with me and from there the disowning started. Most stems from $ (when she got married at 25, I told her now her husband is financially responsible for her and them) and the other is my personality is what she has told me. She also mentions the few things I missed and then tells me that I did not go to nothing of hers, all but a few things. When I say I was there for my daughter, I was there for her on most everything and deep down inside she knows this.

    Fast forward to now. She since has had a baby and we have only seen him once. She also has disengaged from most of my family on my side, as they were there for her, while she was growing up. Her brother who is 16, she has nothing to do with and we all question what her motives are.

    I tried and tried and since then I have stepped back and I give her, her space. I decided that I still have a life and a child who needs my love. I do not think of the grandchild much, as it is my way of coping with it. Kind of like, out of sight, out of mind.

    She does still see and talk to her mom, but she has been known to turn on her before, so she walks on eggshells around her.

    Life is too short and I call her the spoiled apple and I do not want her to spoil the whole orchard, so I let be, what it is. I love her and will be here for her, if she ever gets past this, but for me, I Moved On and I am still living life.

    P.S. I am not an alcoholic, drug user and I did not molest her in any way, so we are unsure what has made her this way. We speculate her mom might be the one or the husband and his family, that has pushed her into this, but my daughter is real head strong and no one can make her do anything she didn't want to do.

  • ginger

    I was a shy kid so did not make friends easily. My mother was always very outgoing. When I was inside the house instead of playing outside with other kids, my mother repeatedly told me I was "a zero", I just "sat in the house all day and did nothing", and it was "no wonder nobody likes you". I knew my quiet nature got on her nerves. I used to avoid her. One day when I was 12, I yelled back at her that I thought her constantly saying those things to me was terrible and she just made me feel bad. It stopped her at that moment, but her negative view of me remained at showed in other ways.

    My sister was more outgoing like our mom. As I got older, I saw how my mom deferred to her opinions over mine. If we were ordering a pizza to share and my sister liked olives and I didn't, my mom would just tell me "you can eat around them" instead of choosing a topping we all liked. Even recently I was late to my mom's house when we were all going to a movie so my sister and our mom left without me. When I arrived, my dad drove me over to the theater and I met them inside. I was only 7 minutes late. My point in all this is that my mom was dismissive of me from an early age and still is. My dad never made any effort to correct her. It just became our family dynamic.

    I am in my 40's now but several years ago I asked my mother if she remembers telling me I was "a zero, and that nobody would ever like me." She said she has no memory of it.

    In my experience, my mom never thought she did anything wrong or hurtful to me. She still doesn't see how her actions are wrong. I've told her, but she just shrugs like I'm being too sensitive.

    Through all of my hurt, I will not cut her off. I could, but I won't. It's partly love, but partly out of guilt that I remain in her life. The irony is it seems all the parents who have kids that don't speak to them anymore never think they've done anything wrong. All the kids who cut parents off say they indeed have told their parents why. Where is the disconnect?

  • Freta
    Your article is skewed in favor of the adult child.
  • Freta
    Don't know why mine didn't post, but I do think your article is skewed in favor of the child.
  • Freta

    My 35 year old daughter abandoned me, her daddy and her baby brother, who is now 31. I find your article, though repeatedly claiming to be neutral, is very skewed in favor of the adult child who has left. We nurtured, loved and cared for our children the best way we knew how, without the aid of computers and chat rooms. We were good parents. More than anything, we loved unconditionally. Now that we are getting older and closer to a time where we may need our children to return some of that back to us, they use their computers and chat rooms to help them decide if being in a relationship with their parent is best for them or not.

    We raised them to be responsible adults. They need to act like it and honor and show unconditional love to their parents as we've done to them.

    support groups? what support groups? being with held from your grand children is hard and they need support groups for parents who gave their children the world, even went into debt for, my oldest as soon as she went to college she turned into a monster, we were notMore invited to her graduation, her wedding, we have not seen any of her 4 children, she has lied and accused us of abuse, she has never been spanked in her life, i guess thats why she is like this now. she was even contemplating on getting an attorney and suing us because she said we stole her college money because we got refunds in our name from a loan we took out, she moved out of her dorm and into an apartment with her boyfriend so we got money back because she didnt have a dorm expense anymore. i say if your going to play grown up, own it and pay your own way like adults do.
  • Not Relevant

    What about situations with a toxic parent who has been given numerous opportunities and conversations to stop a damaging pattern of behaviour e.g. manipulating, always focused on the negative and willing to fight, arguing over minute things, physically abusing the other parent and emotionally abusing their son's wife, stirring things to cause frequent discord and harassing their son's wife parents for having a different lifestyle?

    All of which is impossible to fix because of a reluctance to change their attitude after being made very aware of their actions on their family, seeing a therapist to no avail and even being arrested for their actions?

    You address the only one extreme of the spectrum, whereby the adult child is the horrible person. What about those children who are literally left with no option, and still care so much that they spend time researching how being cutoff from contact will affect them.

    Parents need to have a hightened level of self-awareness to know where they may have gone wrong. Yes, there are adult children out there who can't be helped, but they are a minority. Most people want to remain as connected to their parents as they can - this becomes impossible when the relationship is untenable despite countless attempts to rectify the situation and give more to them than is equitable is any healthy relationship.

    A parents actions have consequences just as an adult child's actions have consequences. I don't believe parents should be able to think they are completely innocent and absolved of responsibility.

    • Zelda
      I cannot agree with this comment more! I am an adult child that had to sever a relationship with a narcissistic parent who is unable to take ANY responsibility for their own actions. If your adult child tells you to back off, for God's sake, LISTEN TO THEM! Adult childrenMore are ADULTS capable of making their own decisions, even if parents don't agree with them. I, for one, felt like my toxic parent was trying to force/bully me into relationships through continued contact, AFTER I clearly stated that I would reach out to THEM when I was ready to talk. I had to file for a protection order and be dragged into court when the toxic parent contested it. Even though you will always be their parent, you are no longer the sole person that dictates the terms of the parent/adult child relationship.
  • Elizabeth
    My son and his family separated themselves after they stopped payments on the home I was selling to them. Six months of free housing, while he was in an academy for Corrections, caused enough debt for the foreclosure of my home. They didn't tell me they changed theirMore plans. Then they lied to family and friends, making me the bad guy. For six years, my grandchildren learned to fear me. I never said anything all that time, until we were all at a family function. My granddaughter was not just cold, she was flat out rude. Her parents emotionally abused her. Next day, I texted them and laid it out. No more was I going to not only be estranged, and vilified, too! I have had enough. Running from their responsibilities for their actions is hurting everyone, not just me. I will probably not hear from them again. But I will not alter reality. A Corrections Officer needs reality. So do children. Tough love bites. But it doesn't live on lies. I finally had enough courage to face up to their bullying. They wielded estrangement like bullies. Being nice only gave them more to trash. My home was not important enough for six months of free housing. That's messed up. The living of lies to cover their fraudulent actions is so much worse. They let their children bear the cost of their convenient lies. That is all I can stand. It sure feels good to clear the air and stand up and say, "STOP".
  • Carlo Licchi
    There really is no support out there, especially for thrown away fathers. In many cases we've simply been replaced with a stepdad or another father like figure, who's allowed daily access to your child. Also there is literally no care oriented support for men, unlike the plethora of women's supportMore groups, that are sponsored and funded. If you're willing to pay, you can find someone willing to sell you a book or their professional time. There are seemingly no answers though. The 800 pound gorilla in the room answer that will cut to the heart of the matter will NEVER be openly discussed or acted upon. A thrown away former noncustodial father (or sometimes a mother too) is torn apart, your heartache never stops, your rejection is there every day, you've been reduced to an open checkbook by the government/state/family court system, and then the child learns from the mother to treat you with the same entitled disrespect, without the honor or return of love you give them. Even your own family will get on with their own lives, their children/grandchildren, spouses family, whatever. They expect you to get over it, move on, as if you've lost a pet dog, and not the child you helped and hoped for all their life. Is there some real pointed guidance about how to get through your days and nights after having lost a child to this living death? If so, it's like trying to find truffles in the dark with a tablespoon. Where is the support for the long rejected and yet still grieving?
    • Icantsurfgood
      Carlo Licchi, I also wish there was a magic pill. If I ever discover one, I will share it with you.
  • Barbara
    This site seems to excuse childlike behavior and shows the disrespect they exhibit today with any type authority, even though parents no longer show authority and allow children to grow up. So in my humble opinion, I feel this results in the snowflake effect and sites such as thisMore encourage and enables the continual disrespect such as we see on the streets marching today. Go back to the drawing board people.
  • ACoNJosh

    Or maybe the parent was horrible to the child and they cut the parent out to get rid of a toxic human being.

    How can you say that it has nothing to do with the parent? That is ridiculous.

  • Chantalle

    Wow reading this has given me the confirmation I was kind of on the right track. Thanks so much for writing this for those that seek help.

    I'm estranged from my teenage boys and as a Mum it's been a heart breaking road to travel. I myself distanced from my father as a young child for his physical abuse to my mother who he had left as a 7 month pregnant solo mother. And then I also shut him out of my life again as a teen girl, I have since tried to reconnect and have my say as to why I did those things. But I also have been rejected by him 22 years later.

    I have struggled with having been in their shoes but for very different reasons.

    They chose to live full time with their father and his then wife to be and their twin girls. The struggle for me started here, on the parent side. I gave in to what was the easiest way without any aggression. I know realise this was not the way to go. No not a physical aggression a mental aggression as to what was best for us all as a blended family, not was convenient way for them. I sacrificed my own voice and wants. Thanks again for writing this and sorry for the novel.

  • Candace

    The more you send cards and letters, and the more you "chase" them, it simply empowers them to feel their punishment is working, and they have you under their control. It is manipulation. It also is not respecting their boundaries to have a chance to work out their problems. They want to be left along, then leave them alone.

    And as far as them coming through your door and you not defending yourself, everyone has a right to their personal boundaries including parents of adult children. Most estrangers have made accusations that are not true or exaggerated, so I don't recommend any parent agree to false accusations. I run a support group for estranged parents and many times a third party has caused the estrangement like an ex-spouse, a new son-in-law, daughter-in-law who is insecure and jealous. Your advice is centered on the young adult child and not in consideration of the parents who spent much sacrifice to raise children who grew up with the media, education, and government influencing them against family values and encouraging them to disrespect their parents. I would not recommend some of your advice to anyone.

    • Karen
      Candace, I would like to discuss your support group with you. How can we get in touch with one another?
      • Candace
        Here is a link to my Facebook. You can ask that I add you as a friend and I can tell you more about my support group. https://www.facebook.com/candace.orr?fref=gm&dti=1591772914446569&hc_location=group
        • Kecia
          Candace, Not sure how long ago this was posted but I can't find your support group on FB.
  • Sue
    I am not sure I agree with this article. My eldest daughter aged 32 psychologically abused me the more she knew I 'would always be there'. I was the one who had to say no more for my sanity and completely cut ties. I have 4 adult children. The youngestMore at 19 has been showing copycat behaviour of his elder sister. For two years he has made me feel like something under his shoe, but has expected I would still be there for him. These two are extremely manipulative and both have caused me to become severely depressed to the point of contemplating suicide. I have now just cut this son off. There are exceptions when for your own health and sanity you must draw a line.
  • Tammy Phillips
    May I add, I've been to several therapists, and I got the same answer! Forgive myself. But that has not brought my children any closer to me!!!
  • Tammy Phillips
    I got into drugs 18 yrs ago, and my ex-husband was doing them also. He decided to quit immediately, and I wasn't ready. He kicked me out of our home, and had two small children. Our son was 6, and daughter was 4. He was granted custody. In the meantime,More I got myself clean. But, unfortunately he, and his mother, and other family members poisoned our children, telling them, that I was a crack head! Mind you, my ex never took responsibility for his addiction. Now my children are 18, and 21. I've been in a relationship for 13yrs with a wonderful man. The ONLY time I hear from my children is when they want money! That's it! No Happy Birthday Mom, no Merry Christmas Mom, etc. If they aren't satisfied with the amount of money I can afford to give them, I don't hear from them for maybe, another 6 months. I'm 55 yrs old, and tired of beating myself up! Idk what to do anymore!!! Please help! Tammy.
  • maryswitzer2
    I have posted here as a devastated mum to a adult son of 30, and I post today to offer you all hope, my only child cut off all contact two and a half years ago, but last week he text to say hi how are you, we'veMore exchanged four text, I'm nervous overjoyed there is a glimpse of hope, the past couple of years have taught me how delicate bonds are to respect the different world of my son it's small steps to ensure that I can show him love without strings or obligation please all keep the door open to let them walk home im so happy x
  • JIm

    Interesting article - but where does that leave a 'deserted dad' wife kidnapped daughter at 3 and took her 450 miles away contrary to agreement. nasty divorce where mother wanted 80% of everything plus me to pay the legal bills in top. I sent daughter stamped addressed envelopes and paper - she never got them... now she is 35 just had my first and only grandson she is my only child. ( I could never risk loosing another child ) when I last saw her, she lives 150 plus miles away - half way between her mother and I - I asked her straight out do you want me in your life? (I've seen her less than 500 days throughout her whole life - circumstance and distance -. she answered 'don't know. At her wedding her step Aunt made the comment - if anyone in the world brought up your daughter other than that woman she would have not suffered so - Apparently every time she went to her mother with a problem she made it worse!.

    The divorce was not of my doing and my daughter has suffered at the 'mental hands' of my ex wife - with distances I had little option to even know of the school play was on let alone if my daughter was in the play.

    Now some three months since the birth of My grandson - I have still not been permitted to visit, (nor has her mother) she has 'mementoes' of me in her home (but not from her mother) suggesting she does want to be reminded of me but, the refusal to commit to a visit is simply grinding me down to 'total severance' while all around me say don't give up... after 30 plus years of trying and mostly 'clicking' when we are together - I am at a loss to know and am in tears ....where do I go from here...

  • Pamela
    Thank you for writing this! I SO appreciate feeling understood, and understanding!! But, what to do about the grandkids?! I feel that I am needed by them, especially while my daughter just divorced their dad. My daughter has asked for space.
  • Kelley
    What about the parents doing it to the adult kids ????
  • Let them say goodbye
    Much of all of this seems to relate to "instant gratification" and a sense of "power over another" where there is lack of self esteem. Successful adult children who are comfortable in their life path do not abuse others for self gratification.
  • Lori
    I have a now 26 year old daughter that i havent talked or seen in a year. Her sister broke her arms she never even called her. My son is 24 and says that she will only talk to my 10 year old which is her sister if and whenMore i die
  • Let them say goodbye
    You cannot give love to those who are not willing to receive it.
    • stickaforkinme
      You can love from a safe distance without having any involvement at all. I love my estranged children but I don't like their behavior. They are too old to parent, so I keep my distance and my life now has peace. You only have so many spinsMore around the sun. Love yourself and accept what you can't change.
    • maryswitzer2
      You can
  • Let them say goodbye
    When your adult children cut off ties with you accept it and move on. Do not expect them to spend time with you or care for you in your old age because we live in a narcissistic society where everyone blames everyone else for their own failings and areMore spoiled from being given so much. Look around at other countries where multiple generations care for each other. What a sorry state families in the United States find themselves in when adult children estrange themselves from parents who love them and have willingly given up so much for them. Take your children out of your will and donate to a wonderful charity of your choice instead. Give your time and attention to strangers who are kind and loving in return. Self centered adult children can come from wonderful parents and vice versa. Stop begging and indulging your immature children. Therapists attempt to figure out reasons for behaviors but perhaps it's more the "luck of the draw" than we realize.
    • AListener
      It is not a switch to be turned off and on. I suppose if everyone affected by estrangement could simply and easily do as you suggest, articles like this would not be written, and comments would not be posted. Just looking at the numerous comments to this article, itMore appears there are a large number of folks feeling the emotional burdens of estrangement, and struggling to come to terms with it.
    • Candace
      It is not just in the United States. Estrangement is an epidemic in all western countries. I run an international support group for parents of estranged adult children and alienated grandchildren, as I am one of them, and worked in behavioral health as well. The media, government, and educational systemsMore have empowered children to the point that they reject and throw away family at alarming rates.
  • Luv thy self
    As with any emotional event that occurs in one's life there are stages to process, learn, and move forward. I use sayings to empower myself, such as, "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything". Im aware that I'm dealing with adults who are making choices/decisions whether theirMore right or wrong, whether I like them or not it's their journey. I've been told that God has no grandchildren...and that if I'm in fear/worry, than I'm not in faith. My mom use to tell me, "I know what it is to be young, you don't know what it is to be old"... which brings me to the saying, "do not judge your neighbor until you have walked two moons in his moccasins". My parents were here long before me, my parents had parents. Some good things get passed down, some not so good. My belief is that this generation of childrens morals & values (if any) are not of love, respect, compassion, etc. It is materialistic, selfish, greedy, rude, inconsiderate, disrespectful, etc.etc.etc. No more taking your hat off at the table, no more getting up for the elderly or a woman to sit down, always talking back, always "i know" when your getting the lecture, and ,"I dunno" when being scolded...which is it? I heard a story once where a young man always complained of what his father wasn't and one day the father addressed him, "your always saying g what kind of father I was, what kind of son were you?" I cannot spend the rest of my years living in regret, and sorrow, I will not carry my children's resentments and punishments. I will listen, and I will always love them. My mom taught me you can live with a broken heart, "live and let live", and "let go, and let God".
    • New to this
      Your words really helped me with getting through a really rough time dealing with the situation with my 28 y o daughter. Thank you.
  • arlene fazio
    what type of support group would be useful for such issues - can you recommend
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      Thank you for your question. Many of our readers have found helpful forms of support online, whether here in our commenting forum, or elsewhere. If you are looking for in-person support in your community, you can try contacting the 211 Helpline at 1-800-273-6222. 211 isMore a service which connects people with resources available in their community. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Take care.
  • Neverwillgetit
    I have done all I can and I will never understand how the bond I had has been so badly destroyed. My daughter was the one person I thought would always be there. No one understands her now and so many people adored her! When I hear people statingMore their disappointment in her I feel so bad. Everyone says it's her husband but I can buy that completely. It's the biggest disappointment of my life because I always wanted her to have the best especially in life. She does just without her need for me being in her life.
    • The Scribe
      Neverwillgetit You will not feel so shattered if you can accept that marriage can either make "bad" children good and vice-versa. A very rebellious child could suddenly become an angel after marriage or he/she might turn into a monster overnight LOL so it all depends on your luck. Who he/sheMore marries makes all the difference. I've observed many such cases. The spouse could either be a positive or negative influence. The in-laws do play a role too. If your child is foolish enough to listen to devilish in-laws that's it. Feel so sorry for you but it's best you look after your health etc.
  • Neverwillgetit
    So sad as I too had great times and laughs with my only child, my cherished daughter. Over 2 1/2 years of no response from her and my gradson is is 2 1/2. I have begged, pleaded, apologized a zillion times, cried and think of her throughout the day everyMore day. I am a widow who has struggled since my husband passed away when I was 46 and 13 years ago. My daughter was my life! I have lost them both and struggle to get through life as I never ever dreamed this is how life would turn out. How can your only child who has been cherished ( and yes we didn't always agree but my love and the hurt from her was deep) turn their back on her mom. I prided myself on being a great mom however after my husband died and my daughter left for college I was treading water and yet I don't think she understood how scary my world became. I have a heavy heart for all the times missed with her and my grandson ( who from pictures through family, he's adorable) I am not acknowledged or given any pictures, correspondence, understanding of forgiveness. Yet I have begged her to come back in my life. I will never be whole again with out her. She has never checked on me once. Knows I have no holidays, sometimes little food in the house, recently assulted by a family member and have concussion and have been in other medical concerns or without a job. My best time of my life was bringing her up and now nothing. Just so hurt and disappointed. Yes, her husband doesn't like me. And has been disrespectful to me yet I apologized for my part but he hates me. But I stand by this. if he loved her he would at least encourage my daughter to see me. Just don't know if I will ever get to be in her life again or see my grandson ever. It hurts me to the core. Missed so much with my grandson of the fun things I did with my daughter. She is intelligent and is a high school guidance counselor so I don't understand or ever get it as long as I am alive. I miss her so much it's aged me I am sure. But Ivan die knowing I tried so hard to reunite with her but unfortunately it doesn't take my daily pain away. I love and miss her desperately. I pray all the time. Sorry so long but heartbroken in so many ways.
  • Pj3b

    My 20yr old daughter resents me cos I spent slot of time in hospital or working wen she was growing up and she stayed I am only her mother cos I gave birth to her

    I asked her to be my friend and she don't want that either

    I am hurt and angry

  • tseats
    Where would one find a support group for this?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      tseats Thank you for your question.  It can be difficult at times to find support for issues like estrangement, and I’m glad that you are reaching out here to our online community.  In addition to talking with other readers here in our comments section, some have found additional internet-based supportMore groups which address these issues.  You can read through the comments here to find more information on helpful resources, and perhaps some of the other readers will also share resources which have been helpful for them.  If you are interested in a local support group, or talking with others face-to-face, I encourage you to contact the http://www.211.org at 1-800-273-6222.  211 is a service which connects people with resources available in their community.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions; take care.
  • lcjantzi

    I haven't been on this website for awhile do to illness.

    I read some responses to adult child "Jake" that really helped me. It will be three years in March that my adult children estranged me; " Do not contact us. We will contact you when we are ready." A lot of the replies to "Jake" were cathartic for me because they verbalized a lot of my questioning thoughts, i.e. 'It seems the 10000 good things done for a child are wiped out by one mistake, wrong or misunderstanding.'

    Also, I've fight guilt from time to time because I'm enjoying my life without them. I had let them tear me down to the point of deteriorating my physical health. I have a better life now and I'm happier without their drama interfering in my marriage and other relationships.

    I hope and pray that they are happy and wie can put this behind us.


    • Pj3b
      Wish I had your courage and strength but I hurt and feel guilty every minute of the day
      • lcjantzi

        Dear Pj3b,

        Give yourself some time. Being rejected by our child(ren) is a hurtful experience. It takes time to get some objectivity. How would you comfort a friend if they came to you with the same situation? Be your own best friend and be kind. Your daughter has much to learn about life if she doesn't see how your job provided for her needs growing up. It may take some time or she may not choose to acknowledge this. Meanwhile, it's time to let her follow her own journey in this life and focus on being good to yourself; healing and becoming all you can be. I'm sure this isn't the first hard thing in life that you have experienced. You came through other tough circumstances and you will get through this one too.

        Like most of us on this website, you were a good and caring parent. This thing our children have done blindsides us and we're confused for a bit. Take your time, be patient with yourself. Read through the stories here that others have experienced and you will find comfort, hope for yourself and strength. I stand with you...lcjantzi

        • Neverwillgetit
          Thank you for your kind words. What bothers me the most is I will never get this time back with my daughter and my grandson. Even though I have done everything possible to get our relationship back I worry more for her if anything happens to me. Guilt andMore regrets could make her a dysfunctional adult and I truly worry about this especially if she had to make a choice me or her husband. I always told her growing up your husband comes first but I didn't mean to cut her own family out. She is the only grandchild and my dad who is 92 adores her and she doesn't even make much time for him. I brought her up that family was very important and my husband and I provided a very loving and stable life for her. Her husband's mom died when he was 5. He was an oops but did very well and is very intelligent but is a grudge holder which my daughter and one of his friends have told me. I just hope my daughter doesn't fall victim to this someday especially after I am gone. Thank u again for your kindness. It's so appreciated.
  • SheriM

    Or the parents did not nag and yell. They were patient and kind. with "Joe." And he chose to leave despite their caring patience. When faced with that, they have no control over their adult child. And to remain forever stuck, waiting for his return, does nobody good.

    Sheri McGregor

    Author of Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children

  • AbusedandConfused

    My 22 year old who had some emotional difficulties beginning at around age 16 did a semester abroad to finish college and reluctantly came home to help me after a life threatening removal of a tumor from my ear. (i had no one else to drive me home from the hospital.) She was already done with all of her academic requirements. 

    From the moment she arrived she was emotionally abusive, would not even help me move my head bandage or ever got me a cup of tea or something to eat. Immediately after the surgery, when I was exhausted and barely able to walk she was verbally abusive and cruel. By the fourth day she physically attacked me in public and I had to run away from her. I did go to the police but did not press charges. 

    I sought out her FB friends (she was never active on FB before) and met with them. they were two nasty young women who  made it clear they wanted her to get rid of me and were very rude and disrespectful to me. One (she has only known my daughter 3 months) acted like she owned my daughter and  and controlled her completely. My daughter is leaving for Europe in 2 days. (I have not seen her since she attacked me when of course I asked her to leave my home). She has been communicating by e-mail and blames me for ?????  She has refused all mental health treatment although i did get her to go see a therapist with me the day before the attack and the therapist witnessed some very strange behaviors and statements made by my daughter. She is preparing a thorough written report.  My daughter has told me she hates me, told me I pushed her away, etc. 

    I am wondering if anyone has had a child come under some kind of strange control by other people. The two women acted like cult leaders and it was creepy sitting with them. They had no emotion, were very physically obese for young ladies, their eyes were vacant and cold. My daughter had a suicide attempt in Ireland and in trying to get information about what happened everyone is treating me like i am the enemy: these creepy girls, her international coordinator at her university, a semi-boyfriend in Ireland. Everyone has either lied to me or refused to answer my questions.  Again has anyone had a complete change of personality in their child after getting involved with a new group of people?

    I am feeling very sad. My daughter was once my closest friend and while she was showing some signs of deterioration before she went abroad, nothing like this.

  • Healing Heart

    @ Jake

    In response to your post: My last point is: Good, they should be in pain and they will remain in pain until they shape up. I have one life, and I will not be controlled, manipulated, or told what to do.

    They may have used the same EXACt words about you and you shaped up and got your crap together boot camp style, the way many of us had to! They also have one life to live and shouldn't be controlled or manipulated hence you cutting them off with intent of pain.

    I hope you're happy, healthy, and living well indeed as that would be their happiness, I'm sure they will let go of any pain and not hang on to the past, they deserve to be enjoying life just as much as you do. Understand when you're a parent and then grandparent, that full circle of life will give you Better vision...you'll see more clearly.

    When they are gone you'll really know how justified or not you were for distancing yourself. My husband didn't talk to his dad for ten years, he parked it and kept saying I'll call him but one day he got the call that he was gone....regrets! And me, my mom used to let me down but the balance of her good didn't make me cut her off thank God because she is now gone and I miss her everyday but less regret!

    Good luck on your journey, live well and make amends if possible, it doesn't mean daily talks but just words of I am okay and know I love you can be so healing to all involved. Just do what you can live with and look in the mirror to say I'm not pride driven but living with a heart of love. Take care!

  • Acer Xpress


    To each its own, reading your two post it sounds so entitled- your parents had No obligation to pay your way through college and that's that even if they were millionaires..

    Then the one about hoping they are suffering, sounds like bitterness and very cold.

    I hope they are late living well and have accepted who you are and your choice.

    This site is more intended for those parents as yours to lean against each other, you may want to move along to a site more geared towards your peer group Of similar emotions. best of luck with your stand...share the "payed your own way" bit to potential employers but save the "cut off hoping they're hurting " because that will demo only that you can't handle rules, and go to extreme with conflict.

    In all..,be happy ? and live well.

    • mastik8
      Acer Xpress His parents said, My way or the highway, which is their right. Correct? He chose the highway. That's his right, correct? He handles the rules just fine thank you very much. It sounds like his parents cannot handle it when their bluff is called.
      • Healing Heart
        It sounds like that was the problem, he didn't want to follow the rules. It sounds like he can't handle their bluff because he's the one that cut them off. But anyway he sounds well grounded respectively and is living well so with that his parents probably happy just toMore know that and are happy too.
    • RobertStrankman

      Acer Xpress No progress can be made on this awful subject if all we have are people patting our backs and telling us that we were in the right.  There are groups for that, they can be very helpful, but they only get one side of this cultural phenomenon.  The fact that Jake would put explain his reasoning in a place where there is an overwhelming opposition to the very subject is not a bad thing.  Even if you disagree with him, give him some credit for at least trying to have an opposing view and opening himself up to antagonism.

      Of course he is bitter.  He's hurt.  He was abandoned by his parents -remember they threatened to cut him out of their lives first.  I agree with you that his parents can do whatever they want with their stuff and put whatever strings upon him they please.  It's the golden rule, right?  He who has the gold makes the rules?  But expecting him to not be furious about that means you must be possessed of a purity of kindness and spirit that exists once in a generation.

      • Healing Heart

        @ Robert

        every me is entitled to their own opinion, mine was that just as he can heal so can his parents. That even though he denies his suffering and because he wishes them agony, even more that he may be hurting...hence being on this site. There is nothing wrong with patting people on the back to make progress...in home and at work for trying to improve "a pat on back" does make people feel good, provides support. After all this is why we are on this site. Not all our kids are jake, mine has other issues and I see my part in it because of the distance. But yes, she is no jake and I wasn't at that age either in our culture we paid our own way and it was not expected of our parents so if it was about money then that's superficial.

        But to humanize Jake and his parents and everyone on this site, I praise all that try to find meaning from this challenge of separation. It's only an opinion and I don't go with that golden rule about money but the real one that's "treat others as you yourself would like to be treated"

        For these type of things I never meant to convey anyone was right or wrong just that this site is for aching parents and some with fresh wounds. Hence I wouldn't go to an AA meeting with a case of beer ?

      • AListener
        RobertStrankman Acer Xpress "abandoned by his parents"--no, in Mr. Jake did not say that.  His parents set conditions as a prerequisite to providing needed (apparently) funds for Mr. Jake's education.  Conditions that Mr. Jake apparently could not accept.  And then Mr. Jake cut his parents loose. Mr. Jake does not stateMore that his parents threatened to cut him out of his life--he said they threatened to "kick him out"--which sounds in requiring Mr. Jake to move out and start supporting himself.  Big difference.
      • oldhagggg
        RobertStrankman He said they told him they'd kick him out of their house, not cut him out of their lives.  He was an adult living in their home, eating their food, using their utilities, and wanted them to also give him money under his terms (not theirs).  He was not "abandonedMore by his parents" he was unwilling to take their money under their terms and decided to punish them for setting those terms.  No, he should not be "furious" for their reasoning.  He's under no obligation to take their money or live in their house but reasonable adults don't go to these lengths to punish their parents for not handing them cash when they want it and how they want it.
  • debimon
    My son is almost 30 and most of his life he's been into drugs and alcohol. I have been in pain much of his life, ans it continued to get worse. Now he's living with a girl that hates her mom, has abandoned herMore own children and her mom is raising them. They are doing drugs but my son lies to me about it and blames me for not trusting him that he's not doing drugs anymore even tho is painfully obvious they are. He maX out my credit cards. They won't work. Now, because I told him how angry I am because of all this and because he has nothing to do worth his family anymore he won't soak to me at all. He lives in a house in my name but we've been paying the mortgage worth a disability settlement he got. Nite it's almost gone and I don't know what to do because I can't afford to pay his mortgage and they refuse to work. It's tearing my marriage apart and I cry every day to see my son slowly dying. It's worse now that he won't even speak to me. Everyone says to kick him out of the house but I can't, I've lost 3 people I lived to drugs once I didn't help them any more. I feel I'm drowning along with him. .
    • RobertStrankman
      debimon You are better than this.  In one paragraph I can tell because you are willing to sacrifice your own life for him.  You did your part though.  You actually went well and beyond doing your part.  Not only did you raise him, but you've spent a decade since tryingMore to give him opportunities and resources to get out of the situation he's in.  I'm painfully jealous of him because he had a mother like you. But you can't let him take you down with him, not emotionally, financially...or legally.  If they are doing drugs in a home in your name in America police can seize your property, even potentially charging you with some sort of supporting crime if there's a prosecutor willing to go that far.  If there is a line to be drawn somewhere, it has to be somewhere near an unrepentant willingness to risk putting a family member in jail for one's own behavior.  Kicking him out would be an act of love towards someone who has shown themselves to be infinitely deserving of it: you.
  • Acer Xpress


    Most parents want their kids to succeed and sometimes the approach can seem controlling. It's great that you paid your own way, that's probably the best way as it teaches us to grow up faster and own up to the independent lives we're meant to live. I'm sure your parents have an underlined sense of pride that you did it after all they did their part by not giving you up and encouraging higher education in the first place.

    It all worked out, they have a little extra for their retirement and you've done well and probably have a better appreciation which is bragging right in interviews.

    If they didn't threaten your life, then cutting them off may be extreme. At the end of the day I'm sure they have a pain of not having you around just as much as you also be suffering???

    But I'm sure they are just content knowing you're well, financially and independent and out of harms way. Good luck, live well

  • Acer Xpress
    That's extreme, reminds me of my mother in law but not quite drastic. Sometimes distance is the only thing you can do if both both of you are on board..,that is justified
  • Acer Xpress

    It's admirable that you paid your way through college, got a full time job, and expedited your independent life, that's the way it should . You've got a better prideful story to tell during job interviews and will appreciate it more because you paid your own way. Entitlement seems to be a thing going around these days. I'm sure they are proud of your choice today.

    They did their job of raising you. If they threatened your life that's one thing but most of the time everything is a threat from child-parent But then everything is rebellion as a parent. Once grandparents we understand the whole reasoning....there's always two sides to a story, hopefully they are happy living their lives and enjoying their years after raising their son. It seems it all worked out for you all but I'm sure they hurt as much as you, to deny that would be robotic ?

  • Roadtohappiness
    I permanently cut my parents out after my mother sent an email about me to my husbands work (due to his line of work, was accessible to everyone...especially since it mentioned the word, gun). After everything else & all the trouble my mother had caused leading up to this, itMore was the last straw. Some people are so consumed in themselves and self centred they just can't see beyond their own stupid actions. I'm happy, living a successfully life with my husband, children & friends...without my parents and that's my entitlement.
    • The Scribe


      Good for you too. Perhaps you could ask yourself WHY your mom did what she did. She could have done it out of desperation. Many young people do stuff to their parents yet are ashamed to let their relatives and frens know they did such terrible things to their parents. There are those children who get married and then compare their in-laws to their parents. 

      Of course,their in-laws are a novelty bcs they treat the young son-in-law/daughter-in-law differently from the way their parents treat them. The parents take things for granted. So do the children.

      • Roadtohappiness

        Why, did my mother do what she did ( send that email specifically)? Because she could. Was she desperate? I believe she was angry...tring to hurt me, my family. Will she be able to do it again? No, as she is now blocked from sending us any emails or messages.

        What terrible things did I do to my parents? As a teenager I had some boyfriends my parents didn't like ?, I enjoyed going to parties with friends, when I was 18... I went night clubbing with friends ( drunk sometimes). I'm sure there are allot of other terrible things I did to them ( that my mother has told the rest of my relatives and all her friends). The thing is, I use to care about what she said or told others about me, but I now no longer care what she says about me.

        As for my in-laws...I get along with them well, along with the rest of my husbands side of the family who I love just as much.

        People cut off others for many reasons. I tried very hard to get along with my mother, as I would have loved to have a close relationship with her...but we just never got along. We never had that close mother and daughter relationship, where we spent time together or did things together. On a positive note, I have learnt allot from her (what, not to do) when raising a family. I now have a teenage myself who, goes to parties, has girlfriends ( ones I like, others not so much), get angry at me sometimes, slams doors sometimes, swears occasionally, gets fantastic school marks ( with my support)... Whom I get along fantastically with and I love very much. I have allot of time for my children, my priority!!!

        Home is where my husband is....& we have have a great one. Anyone that comes into my life that causes allot of trouble within the things that matter to me the most..doesn't have a place in my life.

      • Roadtohappiness

        I actually get along fantastically with my in-laws. They are top people, whom I love very much...along with all my husbands side of the family.

        Why, did my mother send that email? Because she could. The email wasn't specifically about me, but also my father (whom she divorced many years ago). Personal family stuff. Will she ever be able to do it again? No, because she is now blocked from all our emails. If she wasn't DESPERATE before, I'm sure she is even more desperate now!!

        What terrible things did I do to my parents? I had a boyfriend/s ....a few... while I was a teenager ( whom my parents didn't like)?...I went to parties with friends, I moved out and lived with my Nana & Pop during my teenage years (who basically raised my sister and me anyway)...while she was dating, going to university, doing what's important to her. I'm sure there are plenty of other terrible things my mother could tell you about and have already told all my other relatives and all her friends. The thing is- I use to care about what she said, but now I don't.

        On a positive note, I'v learnt ALLOT from my mother (on what...not to do). I now have a teenage son, & daughter....who go to parties with friends, have girlfriends, get angry at times with me, slam doors sometimes, get fantastic school marks & best off all, has a great relationship with me. My husband and I have raised our children ourselves. Where my husband is ( is where my home is)...and people that cause trouble within my immediate family...do not have a place in my life.

        • The Scribe

          Roadtohappiness Hmmm good for you. Wish you all the best. I'm sure you won't make the same mistakes your mom made. Good luck that all will turn out well and that history does not repeat itself bcs for no good reason your own children might simply turn on you one day and cut you off the way you did your mom. 

          Kids say and do the darnest things LOL. Have you ever heard this chinese folk tale? Being chinese kindly allow me to tell you this story. A man carried his very old and feeble father up the mountain in a basket tied to his back. His young son went along. The man left his father on the mountain. As they were about to leave his young son said to the man, 

          "Father,do not forget to bring the basket home so that I can use it to carry you up here when you grow old like grandpa".

          • Roadtohappiness

            @The Scribe

            And if I do still stay in contact with my mother....yes, My own children could one day STILL cut off me also...

            It was actually a joint decision to cut off my mother ( my husband and I made). Yes, it was a big decision and a hard one, but we decided the best decision was to put our relationship and children first. Both my husband, and I could write a long list of reasons to back that decision (which we did). My own mother once rang my husband and chat to him (degrading me) then saying....please don't tell my daughter (me), I rang you!!!! My mother had no boundaries.

            As for my mother growing old and being looked after, she has plenty of money/ superannuation to pay my sister to do that. My sister is her beneficiary. She has already sorted that. ? How do I know that? Because she told me.

            It's a win/ win situation in my circumstance. As I wrote before, I tried, would have loved a great relationship with my mother...but unfortunately thats not how society works anymore.

            On a positive note, I now have a great and close relationship with my father (whom my mother divorced many years ago).

  • JakeGoodale
    Personally I cut my parents off when they kept threatening to "stop paying for college" or "kick me out" if I did not conform exactly to what they wanted. When it came right down to it, they were threatening me and I have zero patience for that. I transferred toMore a state school after a year, picked up a full time job, paid for everything myself, and moved out. Then completely severed contact upon graduating.
    • mastik8
      JakeGoodale I cut my parents off for a short while. Biggest mistake I ever made was re-connecting then being drawn back into their orbit. Stay the course. Be strong. Out of curiosity have they ever apologized? Assumed any responsibility at all? Sounds very, My way or the highway. Which isMore fine until you call their bluff and disconnect.
      • The Scribe

        mastik8 JakeGoodale

        Wow mastika8 Wow indeed!  It looks like parents these days  have to apologise for their service to their children.

        • mastik8
          Scribe - Not sure how you got from what I wrote to what you wrote. Can you flesh it out a bit?
    • moving on
      JakeGoodale Your profile shows a different aspect of you to your words.  Is there more to your background - say very conservative parents who lived their dreams through their son? Perhaps they had your life mapped out for you without asking you what you wanted?  If that is the caseMore then I understand your rebellion and decision to cut loose from them.  I admire your determination to get ahead by finishing your schooling and college.  However I do hope that down the track you will have the confidence in your ability to handle them without cutting them off. In the meantime - all the best.
    • deedee2652
      What about everything they did for your from the day you were born.
    • dlaharris
      Sound like great parents wanting to raise their child into an independent functioning adult in society.
      • mastik8
        dlaharris ...and they got what they wanted, just not how they wanted.
    • RobertStrankman

      JakeGoodale If you haven't gathered yet, there are a large number of people very against going no contact here.  In that respect thank you for posting another contrary opinion.

      To your parents' credit, they can do whatever they want with the resources at their disposal.  You didn't say what they wanted.  It doesn't matter though.  They can say "if you're going to live in our house you have to kiss our life sized statue of Steven Seagal after every word you use that has a silent E."  It's their stuff, that's their right.  You are an adult and they do not have to allow another adult in their home if that adult does not obey the conditions of being there.

      Let's be clear though: threatening to kick you out IS a threat to your personal safety.  I'll entirely ignore the threat to your future, future happiness, and future income (though the fact that they would ignore that is pretty messed up).  What threatening to kick someone out means is "If you do not do what we are asking you to do, we are going to deny you the resources upon which you have been relying to live.  We don't care where you go as long as it isn't here."  It is in fact a roundabout way of saying "We don't care if you live or die."  Rooted in love or not, that is how you show someone you love them.  It is one step away from putting a gun to your head.  It may be their right to say that -again, their resources- but expecting to be trusted again after repeatedly saying that is just not going to happen.  If you really think about it, you only did what they asked of you.  They told you "we are going to cut off contact via taking the obvious risk of your demise if you do not do what we say."  Your response was "sure, that sounds reasonable."

      Was it mean to go as far as you did?  A little... maybe.  We all make mistakes and your parents obviously didn't know how far they were pushing you.   Emotional awareness is always difficult and it gets harder the older you get, to say little of the added difficulty of a change in power dynamic as a child sets off on his own.  You obviously let them know via your actions such as switching schools, getting a job, and moving out.  I mean, I would qualify that sort of behavior -indications that you were pushing your life ahead without the resources they were counting on you needing- as a major sign that maybe they needed to make some sort of acknowledgement of the effect their words and behaviors had on you.  Making a mistake is one thing.  Refusing to fix or even acknowledge a mistake despite being informed of it sends a sign of a lack of remorse and a bigger sign that the behavior will likely repeat in the future.

      For all that I've said here and before, I want to point out that I hope you let them back into your life in your own time.  It's been eight years and although I am grateful every day that my mother is not in my life, I won't lie that there are times that it sucks.  It's like a huge chunk of my life is gone.  My wedding had my wife's family telling stories and recounting about how proud they are to have seen this little girl grow into a beautiful woman and the longest relationship from my side was a best friend I had met as a teenager.  Even though some of my only positive memories of my mother in the few years before it all went south was of the dog we both raised, my mother will never see what I've done with the dogs I have now.   Or when I'm sick in bed and all I want is for my mommy to bring me a cup of chicken soup, put on cartoons, kiss my forehead, and tell me that everything is going to be okay.  Knowing that having her in my life would result in a constant danger to me doesn't change the lack of an emotional comfort that lucky people get to experience until their parents die.  Doing it for the right reasons -as I think you have- only makes it hurt more.

      It's all your prerogative though.  Do you trust them?  Can you trust them?  Does that even matter?  Is the 'juice worth the squeeze' so to speak?  Questions only you can answer.   This is your story, not your parents'.  Getting to be a part of it is a privilege, not a right.

    • AListener

      JakeGoodale So Jake.  I am not going to defend your parents for threatening to cut you off unless you conformed. Nor will I criticize them. I will commend you for not prostituting yourself.  Seems to me if you do not want to do things the parents' way, the right move is to do it your own way, but also pay your own way to do it your own way.  So good for you.

      But severing contact?  Perhaps there is more to this story, but that seems a bit overboard. Make that way overboard.  My sense of this is that your parents were expecting you to conform a certain way because of their subjective,  good faith, albeit imperfect, vision of what was in your best interests for your life--and let's just assume they had it 100% wrong. Even if they are "wrong" about what is best for Jake, that hardly warrants the extreme of cutting off. Usually, when parents want a certain thing for a child the desire is rooted in love.

      And what about all the good things they did for you?  They gave you this life you now have.  Doesn't that count for something?  I don't get it. It is as if a person can do 10000 good things for another, but if the person does 1 bad thing in the eyes of the recipient, it is as if none of those other good things ever took place. Fair? Balanced? Objective? I don't see it.

      Now let's just say you think your parents are terrible people and have done a long list of bad things--not just one bad thing.  OK.  I get it. But last I checked, 2 wrongs do not make a right.  Adult children who cut off their parents in response to claims of wrongdoing by the parents become total hypocrites.  You are responding to what you contend is dysfunctional conduct with yet more dysfunctional misconduct.  And when that happens, wrong and right become quite skewed.  Who is wrong and who is right no longer matters.  And again, what about the love?

      And lest you think that cutting off is not dysfunctional, I assure you that all of us are hard wired, as human beings in the 21st Century, to have our inner selves, our self image, our self esteem, our capacity for love and compassion, and our harmony with nature, to be rooted in family and parental approval.  Deny it if you want, but that is your mind in denial, and you are denying something that you have no control over. We are all here from our ancient selves from centuries past. We have evolved and survived to get to this moment in time. You were once a Neanderthal Jake.  That is you.  That is me. That is all of us.  Part of the basic nature of human beings is family.  It's just the way it is.  And it is bigger than you.  All of this was decided long ago by our ancestors--those Neanderthal people that we evolved from.  To survive, to get to this moment in time, they figured out, and passed along to us, that we have to be a family to survive.

      My last point Jake is about this funny little equalizer that sits inside most of us called compassion. What about that? Jake, right now my guess is your folks are absolutely beside themselves. In emotional agony. They have lost their son. They feel as if their heart has been ripped out of their body through their throats.  They are just sick with grief. Reconciliation brother.  You must seek a path of peace with your parents. You absolutely have some say in that. You have some control over that. You can have a relationship with your parents that you contribute to defining regarding how close or how frequent you are in contact.  But give them that. They indisputably deserve it.  And when you do, you will have truly grown up. Then you will be truly independent.  Until then, you are still in the process of growing up.

      • JakeGoodale

        AListener JakeGoodale They definitely tried to force me to live the way they wanted out of love. However that is not what I wanted and it's my life, I will not be told what to do. 

        Love isn't enough. My parents showed they were unwilling to support me or be there for me when I needed them. I responded to dysfunction by shutting it down. It is not my job to fix my parents. If they wish to be in my life they can get their behavior under control and fall in line. If not then oh well. I agree family is important for survival which is why I cut them off. I need people that are going to support me if I ever run into trouble. My parents showed they wouldn't unless things were done exactly their way. By cutting them off, I was able to cultivate relationships with people that have proven records in helping me in the way I need when I have a problem.

        My last point is: Good, they should be in pain and they will remain in pain until they shape up. I have one life, and I will not be controlled, manipulated, or told what to do.

        • Brokenmom

          So, have you given any support or comfort to your parents or is it just about what you think YOU are entitled to?

          ‘ You are able to cultivate relationships with those who have PROVEN themselves to you.’

          Sounds conditional to me; you expect from others that which you are unwilling( or unable ) to give.

          Life is give and take- not just about what is in store for YOU!

          Parents are obligated to take care of children NOT to take care of ADULTS acting like children.

        • oldhagggg
          JakeGoodale If what you're saying is true (though I find it hard to believe), you cut off your parents for not doing what you want them to.  It's their money and they offer it to you as long as certain conditions are met.  You don't agree to those conditions and insteadMore of just turning the money down you "punish" them for not giving you their money the way you want it (unconditionally).  And you punish them in the most extreme way you can think of doing.  That's all about control - you say you don't want to be controlled yet you are attempting to control them.  "Get their behavior under control and fall in line"????  Are you kidding me?  You're saying your parents have to do what you say, give you their money the way you want or you abandon them?  I for one hope your parents are doing well and living happy lives without any pain, whatsoever.  The responsibility parents endure for the entire lifetime of their children is beyond your understanding (or caring, obviously).   Parents make thousands of sacrifices every single day in order to raise children and if they have done the best they knew how, they have earned their happiness.  By the way, you speak of not getting "support" from your parents when what you really mean is "money".  If you wanted their support, you wouldn't have abandoned them.  What it sounds like you wanted was their money, on your own terms.
        • AListener

          JakeGoodale AListener Where is the compassion in that attitude of yours Jake?  Your response reflects a lack of basic human empathy.  Very troubling.  You state that it is "good" that your parents are in pain. Actually, it is never a good thing when anyone is in pain. Parents or not. Human beings should not think it is good that others are in pain, especially our family. Especially the people that gave us life and took care of us so that we could emerge from childhood and call ourselves "adults". 

          Parenting is complex.  I have yet to meet someone who set out to be "the worst parent ever". It's just the opposite. Everyone deciding to have kids sets out with with the best of intentions. To be as good a parent or better than the parent he or she had. And then the kids come along....

          Every parent makes mistakes. There is no perfect parent, and no child receives a perfect upbringing.  Every parent has a vision of what his or her role should be, and how that role should be carried out. Every parent has a vision of what the child or children should be, and how that should be carried out.  Then you add to those visions the "stuff" of life. Imperfections.  Unresolved psychological issues.  Maybe a thing with the bottle, or with porn, or save none of those off centered problems, maybe mom or dad or both are "too anal", too perfectionist, too this, too that.  And we all bring that "too this too that" to our children, and the result is imperfections. And somedays we are in bad moods, not feeling well, and we have to make split second decisions that are not going to be correct 100% of the time.

          And kids test.  Kids test boundaries.  Instinctively.  Young children hear "no" and part of growing up is exploring the boundaries of "no". Etc.

          All of this, and more, makes parenting a complex mine field for imperfect young parents to navigate their way through with the best of intentions.

          You don't report a crime committed against you Jake. I won't defend sexual abuse by a parent upon a child. If your parents sexually abused you, even once, then by all means, cut them loose. If they physically abused you with beatings or whatever, I would not fault you for cutting them loose.

          But here, according to what you report, their "high crime" is nothing more than trying to force you to live the way they wanted.  Is that it?

          If so, I find your response astonishing. It reflects a disturbed mind.   Your response is excessive. Punitive.  It is truly off center.  It triggers thoughts of "crying over spilled milk" (and you are the one crying), "making a mountain out of a mole hill", and "sweating the small stuff".

          Don't get me wrong here--I readily concede that parents who expect their young adult children to "live the way they want" have their heads up their backsides, unless we are talking about things like crime, drugs, reckless sexual behavior, or life endangering activity.  If it is nothing more serious than parents wanting the young adult to be an athlete, but the young adult wants to be an artist--the parents are just plain wrong, and they are trying to stop a locomotive and it will never happen.   I don't know the exact particulars of this "live the way they want" to which you refer, but if it is nothing more serious than you wanted to major in X and they wanted you to major in Y, contrary to anything or anyone else you read here, this is not a sufficiently large enough "wrong" to justify cutting your parents off.

          Please consider this.  I would also encourage you to talk to a therapist about your apparent lack of empathy.

    • The Scribe

      JakeGoodale Good for you. Be your own man. Hope you're happy and feel like a hero. Show them they are nothing you can't handle. So you've put them in their places you should feel pretty good about yourself. Life should be wonderful for you. Such parents can be such a pain and a nuisance LOL. 

      Perhaps you could do all the above yet not cut them off? Was cutting them off necessary? If you've no regrets then I guess you did the right thing. By the way,why not get rid of that surname too in order for a clean cut? If I sound sarcastic do allow me to apologise.

      • JakeGoodale

        The Scribe JakeGoodale I expect support from family and friends. That being said, I don't frequently need support or help for anything so when I do, I expect people to come up to bat for me. I needed money for college even after doing extremely well in high school, getting very good financial aid, and working 15+ hours a week during school. The money my parents offered me came with too many strings and frankly wasn't enough given their socioeconomic status and education. 

        That effectively showed where they stood when it came supporting me if I needed help now and in the future. So I cut them off. Life is hard and I can't be sinking resources into people that aren't going to be there for me when I need it. Cutting them off was first and foremost to punish them and secondarily to ensure I was giving people who genuinely care about me enough time.

        • The Scribe

          JakeGoodale The Scribe

          "So I cut them off. Life is hard and I can't be sinking resources into people that aren't going to be there for me when I need it. Cutting them off was first and foremost to punish them..."

          All I can say is WOW. It looks like these days parents have to be PUNISHED if they don't meet their kids' expectations. The parent-child relationship is NOT a business deal. If life is hard for you do you think it was easy for them?

  • dlaharris
    So I was texting my daughter daily and not gettin responses. I had to stop and get my life back. My husband and I decided to not let our 26 year old spoiled millennial ruin our lives. I don't text her anymore. Didn't even get a thankMore you for her graduation money or Christmas presents we sent. The relationship is there if she wants to communicate with us but we will not beg her since we did nothing wrong but we're probably too kind to her growling up. Time for our adult child to grow up and quit being rude pansy ass.
    • mastik8
      dlaharris Good for you for not giving your power away. I read another thread where the kid disappeared without reason or cause and showed up ten years later on the eve of a sister's wedding. The Dad gave her the money that was left by a grandmother that had diedMore while she was estranged, told her he was sure her reasons were good and true but an explanation would have been appreciated, then told her she wasn't welcome anymore. If your daughter reaches out tell her you want an apology and explanation before she gets your forgiveness. Estrangement and the consequences of it, go both ways.
    • The Scribe
      dlaharris What goes around comes around - the principle of KARMA. Their children will do the same unto them. They will experience the same bitterness.
    • deedee2652
      dlaharris  I agree, I went through a year of trying, We spoke then we fought there was always an excuse to cause a problem.  So I'm done. She had her opportunity to reconnect with her family.  She chose to continue to find wrong with us. You are not alone.
    • moving on
      dlaharris - "didn't even get a thank you for her graduation money or Christmas presents we sent".  That is rude of your daughter at any level.   Pleased to read that you and your husband have decided to quit trying to reach her and are simply getting on with your life. More Some of us hold to manners and respect while others don't .  When my daughter asked me not to contact her I respected her wishes.  It will be up to her to resume a relationship with me.  In the meantime I am enjoying a good relationship with my younger daughter and I have many good friends. All the best dlaharris. .
  • Leighann3
    So glad I found this site!!! When you feel embarrassed,guilty,confussed,mad etc you tend to look for answers but when you feel no one else knows how you feel you search for answers elsewhere. So of course iam googling away and to my surprise I find this. For one it's aMore relief to know IAM not alone, second it saddens me to know there are others out there as sad as me. I use to cry nightly, now it's only when Ian alone or not busy. Therefore I try to stay busy, so busy I've caught myself neglecting my other children. There's grandchildren involved that are being kept from me but the fact that my son had willingly turned his back on me and his father has by far being the most devastating thing to happen to me in my life. Disrespect to the highest level is just the tip of the iceberg. We have done all we know to do for him but nothing was never enough. Ian to the point now where I am mad! My flesh wants to lash out and cause him as much pain as he's caused us. But being a mother I can't possibly do anything except pray each morning and night for the Lord to help him, guide me, protect him and love him. I cry then start a new day all over agin. I pray daily for the Lord to help me deal with all of it and to give me strenght. I know one day he will come back around and I will be there waiting.
    • deedee2652

      Leighann3 Hey Leighann, I don't know how long this has been going on.  But one day you will get up and move on. I'm not saying he will never return,

      But you will realize the energy that you are using for the pain that you are feeling is disrupting your life.  It took me over a year, and just two weeks ago, my daughter had the baby and caused havoc.  And still flew into see my other daughter and grandchildren.  When I think of the disrespect and the upset that I and the rest of the family went through, I decided to move on and accept.  Ever so often I feel the pain and then dismiss it. It's hard work but life s short and if our children can't accept us for whatever reasons they have, then we have to shut the door.  One day he will need his family.  He loses not you.  

      Then one day the door will open.

      Wish you lucky and happiness and strength

    • Party C

      First all my tag line sn't party C. It's Patty C. Don't know how to change it.

      Just want to say I understand and have emphany for you Leighann3.

      My daughter who I haven't seen in 7 months made an appearance at Christmas and I saw her for 2 hrs. She was on her laptop at that time telling me she had some work to do. Left to go to her sister's house and said she'd be back. Never saw her since. She has left town now to go home. I texted her at New Years to say Happy New Year and to wish her happiness. Didn't get a reply. Just texted her a few days ago to tell her of her Grandma's 91st Birthday party and never heard back. The party came and went and the night of the party she texts me ... Sorry I had some work to do and sick with a cold.

      Now i'm not texting back. I hate that this has come to this. That I cannot talk to my daughter but she has disrespected me so many times that I am over it. I'm sorry she's not feeling good and of course I would like to say that to her. But why, she won't even text me back if I say anything. This is all awful that this has come about and I don't know what to do. I have got to save myself, I am under so much stress and crying a lot and my life is worth more than this. I hope we can all be strong go forward and praise God and love God and love everybody and I mostly want to love my child but she won't let me. What a sad world this is. I'm sorry I'm not being very encouraging but right now I have no encouragement.

      • RobertStrankman
        Party C Sounds like what your daughter is doing is known as 'the fade.'  Sort of a way to forcibly make the relationship die without any sort of conflict by simply not responding.  Few people would describe it as a good way to end a relationship, especially with one's parents,More but for some it can be an option of last resort when it's either that or an epic and painful argument.  She made it a point to be cold and distant in the hopes that you would just stop pursuing it.  It sounds like it worked too.  There's a bigger story here, though, and I'm curious to hear your side of it.  You say '...she has disrespected me so many times...' can I ask how?  Is it just this fade out or has something else happened beyond this?  I don't mean to remind you of any hurt, I'm only trying to listen deeper.
        • The Scribe

          RobertStrankman Party C 

          You're correct in mentioning 'the fade' strategy. Many young adults are using this tactic to shake off their parents bcs they see them as a nuisance. They want the relationship to die a natural death but is it really natural? 

          It is terrible for young people to treat their parents this way after having benefited from their efforts.

  • deedee2652

    So, a little over a year ago, the day before my daughter's wedding, The real creature arose.  Never in my life did I ever see someone change like my daughter.

    It's too long of a story, so I will try and run through this quickly.  Just before the wedding, she was moving to Florida to stay in my home. 

    This was the plan.  With that, my Ex their father passes away.  Mind you she hates the man. But was getting money. Ha jackpot, what does a 26 year old know.  Finance, also thinks he hit the lottery.  Anyhow, show the insanity she makes him part of them ceremony and prayer, which is fine.  But then a table next to me with his candle and picture, then dances with her grandfather who is sick and has

    cancer and puts up a video and dedicates it to her father.  Mind you, she abused him when he was alive a make any sense.

    So, after that, the party begins. She starts to accuse me of ruining her wedding, told me she has no respect for, don't care if it hurting

    she feels nothing. And now lives somewhere else.  went into a super large snowball.  She hates her sister, accused her of stealing money from the estate that their dad left, accused the stepfather of the same, I was spared that conflict. Fixed that situation, she found something else. She hates her sister because I gave her everything and she treats her like a baby. LOL really.  My older daughter had twins broke up with the father and needed help if it happened to her it would be the same.  Tried coming past that little by little.

    Stepdad went to talk to her, I spoke with her trying to break the ice.  text her sister Merry Xmas, wanted to speak to nephews.

    seems like we are getting somewhere. With that she goes into labor, yes she got pregnant.  My other daughter goes to the hospital to surprise her and make the fight over.  well, my daughter was treated with the most disrespect from the inlaws and was practically thrown out of the hospital.  With this, I went ballistic.  I gave up and told her to stay away I cannot deal with this pain and hurt any longer

    I still kept to my plans to visit NY, and never saw my new Grandchild.  So, I stayed with my twin grandchildren and my other daughter.

    My other daughter text before I left, that we are a disgusting and sick family, she even called her grandmother yelling and demanding that she straighten us out. 

    Now there is a lot more that actually transpired between what I have written, but I would need many pages.  I gave her a wonderful life

    and this is the thanks as a parent.  Does not even talk to her nephews?  They are always asking for her.

    My opinion, she has been brainwashed from her husband and their family.

    I will not allow myself to get hurt anymore. She needs to be without to maybe see through the dark clouds.

  • jaine80xbee
    I have tried to amend the comment below after reading through it..... I'm sorry I tried to use speech to text but as I have ahuge ulcer in my mouth it hasn't recognised my voice. I will try edit so it makes bit more sense
  • jaine80xbee
    Hello everyone, my daughter was taken for half the summer holidays by her dad in 2013, just as the laws changed giving her father. Equal parental rights as he was on her birth cert, i have been separated from here father. Since 2007. When my daughter Was 4 months old,More hey dad, is 14 years older than me. And was always very manipulative. When will be together? Alienated me from my family I lived in the Bible. And spoke to my parents. When I was allowed to. He chose my clothes my jobs. Anything to do with me. Was decided by him, when we split up. I went to college. I'm started ABA honours in modern language studies. my mum was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. In 2009. And I took care of it. Until she died in August 2011. In April 2012. I gave it to my daughter. Maggie Gabriel. Biot another man. She was stillborn. I have to deliver her and me, and my then partner has its limitation for here on the 11th of May 2012. In 2010. My brother in law. Died of lung cancer. Leaving my oldest sister devastated. She became alcohol dependence. She was my only hope of support. During my mum's fast decline. When they both died my whole family. Just stop talking to each other. And everybody went their own way. My ex partner witness. Everything. That has gone on in my life. And seen this is a perfect opportunity to hurt me even more, the courts were unsympathetic, social services were biased. They did not follow any procedures. What's the weather? My files were lost in translation. Going between local authorities. Everything that could have gone wrong. Did? I just need help. I just want my daughter back. I am phone her everyday if I don't get through I message telling her, how much I love her she is 10 and a half now? She left me when she was 7. And I. Cannot. Face one more year. Without my daughter? In my life. Hey father, does not support? Any sort of interaction between us. If he cud he will keep us from speaking. For as long as possible. This story is just bits and pieces of a big massive picture. So I apologise if it's not making much sense. Is anybody. Able to give me even a smallest piece of information or advice. Backward help me in some way. To get my daughter back in my life i would greatly appreciate itxxxxxx
  • Healing Heart

    Sounds like your love is unconditional and that's admirable. We all love our kids, however once they are adults it is not our job to heal their pain. The relationship is a two way effort so if it's only one person investing it can become unhealthy mentally and physically. But to each its own, more power to you and hope your strategy works for your circumstance.

    We did our jobs, some more than others and some of us exhausted from all the rejection...but once again I'm sure you're speaking of your situation because everyone on this site has a story and can't take the same approach as it's no longer "ego or pride" but "dignity " - and mental well being. Everyone deserves to be happy....adult children and parents who've done their time alike. ?

  • beeceeme
    I've been doing it all wrong.I'm on new course as of today. I love my daughter and I want her to have the best life possible. It's my job to heal her pain. I've nurtured since the day she was born.  Now, more than ever, I have to give itMore my all, because the stakes are high. Time is working against me I want to experience joy with her again. Most of us would give our lives for our kids.  It's time to ditch our egos, suck it up, and make amends. I'm going to look everything through her eyes, not mine. Everyone needs to get over the word abuse.  That word just might be preventing  relationships from moving forward. None of this is our children's fault. It doesn't matter if we disagree.  It's not about us. It's about us, doing our jobs, taking care of our offspring. They are hurting. It is up to the parent.  Fingers crossed I can repair the damage. I'm gonna fight hard. This is the fight of my life. I'll do whatever it takes to change myself. I take full responsibility.
    • The Scribe
      beeceeme Wish you every success but remember always be true to yourself. If you have to swallow every tiny bit of self-worth ask yourself if it's worth it. Good luck.
    • RobertStrankman

      beeceeme You are treading on very dangerous ground even if that ground is paved with good intentions.  It is not your job to heal her pain.  Her pain is her story and sole responsibility for handling it falls on her.  It may not be her fault, but it is her responsibility.  She can ask for help, yes.  You are welcome to offer it.  You raised her though, your job is done.  Hopefully you taught her how to handle her pain, knowing when to handle it alone and when help is needed...and from whom.

      I feel myself wanting to ramble, so I will do my best to keep this brief.  If you go at the attempt to repair the relationship with a mindset of "it is up to the me as the parent to heal my hurting adult daughter" you run a very clear risk of driving her further away by not respecting her right to handle her problems in her own way.  Granted, you didn't articulate what actions you planned on taking nor have you stated much of your story, so maybe I am just indulging my own past there.  Just...it's okay to go at it very intensely from your perspective...maybe start off by letting her own that you're available and letting her make the next move.

  • AbbeyNormal1
    I am so grateful to have found this site. I am going through similar difficulties. I am very touched by everones' comments. Thank you all for helping me realize that I am not alone. I was orphaned at 13 and all I ever wanted was a happy family. After oneMore abusive marriage and another long term relationship with yet another mysoginist, I still hoped to carry on as a single mother. Years went by and now i find myself estranged from both my children. I truly believe my 25 year old daughter is a sociopath. And recently, my 15 year old son has turned against me. He is acting just like his father, belittling, belligerent, and disrespectful. His father has actively sought to turn my son against me for years, and he has succeeded. I feel sad, angry, confused, and betrayed.
  • moving on
    Christian Mom - What are we needing forgiveness for?
  • Christian Mom
    It has been 6 years since my oldest son took my Grandaughter away from my life. We had a difficult relationship after he became an " adult" but I never dreamed after 5 1/2 years he would not let me see her. I was heartbroken for years and criedMore a river of tears ! Went through all the stages of grieve and now I just feel numb. I have turned to God and his word for my strength and he never fails us. Without God and his Son in my life it would be unbearable but" let Go and let God is real" ! This life is hard for lots of people for lots of reasons mostly of our own making and choices. But God forgives and truly forgets! We have a Eternal life that we must strive for , it was so important God sent his only begotten Son to die a cruel death on a cross, so we could be with him. Love and prayers for all of us on this site and in this situation! Gods Child??
  • Loving myself

    Hello, I just found this site so am feeling compelled to write.  It has been 4 years since my daughters removed me from their lives for good.  I was married 24 years, always difficult since he was an alcoholic and manipulator, it has now been 14 years since the divorce.  When my daughters were 3 and 6 I had breast cancer.  My husband did not offer any support and as the girls got older they told me I blew it out of proportion and I needed to get over it.  

    While married my 2 daughters were belligerent and disrespectful to me at times with my husband standing idly by allowing this behavior while I tried to defend myself and understand their anger. I was the bread winner, provided structure and disciplinarian.  At times they were very loving and close. Going though the divorce when they were 17 and 20 drove the wedge into the relationship more. On Mothers Day 2002 they came to my rental home yelling at me they were told by their dad I was not allowing him to buy a house and keeping them from having a place to live.  He had wanted me to sign a legal document allowing him to buy a home while going through the divorce; stating I would not include this as marital property.  Of course I would not since he had not budged on any of my requests. (I could write a book about his actions that created distance between me and my daughters.) My daughters and I did have some communication for several yearsbut then my daughters were told something I said and decided they no longer wanted me in their life.

    I have been in counseling over the 4 years and have been gaining more peace and acceptance.  Having a few good friend to talk with has been extremely helpful. At times it is very difficult and I tear up but now I am able to talk about this with composure at most times.

    I am so glad to have found this group, there is nothing like having others with similar experiences.

    Warm regards

    • lcjantzi

      Dear LovingMyself,

      I had a similar situation and I feel your pain as I read your post. It helped me to know I'm not the only one getting through this set of circumstances. Thanks for posting here. I hope you will continue to post your progress because it is comforting to me and maybe others.

    • chokonoko

      My ex tried to get me to sign off on his pensions (two) and sign off on the house during the divorce. He became livid, his eye bugged out with anger and became threatening but I held my ground. My sister during her divorce signed off on her house and in turn she became homeless. Her ex was fine and remarried but my sister Tina died from weak heart at 53.

      I am so glad you held your ground, that is your investment if and when you need medical assistance.

    • plants

      I just found this site after googling 'estrangement' and read your comment first. It took my breath away, not only because of the cruel 'unfairness' but because it's so strikingly similar to my own experience. My ex was mentally broken, yet a savvy manipulator. Lived far above his means, took money from family members to live (had a Lexus, mercedes, and new flex cars, yet did not pay child support because he was unemployed). I always provided a nice house for my son to live, and paid my bills on a nurse wage without lots of frills but we managed. My son received a lexus from his dad for his birthday, and my son screamed at me because i wouldn't cover the insurance. 

      ... I could go on and on but I know you have the picture. 

      Until I read your post I thought I had gone crazy and that there were things I could have done to prevent this. Now my son will not have anything to do with me because I'm not paying his college (he inherited almost $1 million from his father's estate).

      • Amomof9
        Wow! My ex has managed to buy many many expensive things as well while unemployed and claiming welfare in order to make the system harass me for him. All the times I have had the kids I've asked for nothing, even paying child support while having them with me untilMore I couldn't do it anymore. I just said, "No more!" The worste thing about divorces like this is that the kids become accustomed to getting what they want because they know we're afraid to lose them. But, now I know that nothing I could ever do would be enough. I know that I may have to face the fact that I could never have a strong relationship with them. They've learned not to have relationships, but THINGS to hold on to instead because, to them, things can't hurt you like people can. All we can do is be strong, keep moving on with our lives in a positive way, and pray like crazy that God will work his miracles and they'll one day see how much loving parents matter.
    • Amomof9
      I feel your pain deeply. I have 4 children, 3 girls and 1boy. My ex and I went through a bad divorce starting in September of 2004 which he initiated after I took our kids and moved home with my parents for a short time (not long because my momMore couldn't deal with the kids well.) I spent until Easter of 2006 struggling to raise them alone. The whole time he or his family would drive by my house and yell at me, spread rumors about me around town, leave nasty notes on my car, sneak up on us in public and try to take off with the kids, take me back to court to try to fight for custody. They threatened I'd never see my kids again, etc., etc. All this time, he refused to even speak to the kids on the phone. He said we were all dead to him, that he was going to make a new family, etc. Then one day he was finally coming to visit them and we were stressed out because he was already 2 hours late and the kids wanted to see him so bad. They were fighting over a dress to wear to impress him and I was hanging up clothes at the time. One daughter shoved the other daughter making her fall and hit or head on a door jamb and it immediately swelled and broke the skin surface. I reacted, not thinking, and swung a plastic hanger and hit the older one across the lower buttocks with it leaving welts. I knew I shouldn't have immediately afterward, but I was so angry that she'd hurt her sister that way. To make a long story short, their dad finally showed up after that and he ended up getting me to agree to give him temporary custody in a case that was later dropped. I had no representation as my attorney was in the middle of an end of life crisis at the time, unbeknownst to me prior. So, my ex convinced me I had no rights to see my children, he signed up for welfare and hit me with as much child support as was allowed as often as possible, then spent over 2 years alienating my kids from me until they got to be too much for him and his young girlfriend to handle. Then, he finally let them call me, but by then, the damage was done. They spewed hate at me every time I disagreed with them or wouldn't do what they asked. The girls were the worst, but I kept trying. My son was mistreated by his new stepmom the most as she was too young to cope, he was very close to me, and he was only 5 when he went to live with them. So, he was a handful. My son moved in with me and my husband, now, on his 10th birthday and the girls have moved in and out over the years, some several times. I've tried to help them, show them that I am always here for them, but they just use me and speak horrible about me and my new husband and step kids. They disrespect me and post terribly mean things about me on Facebook for all our old family and friends to see. They have even gone so far as to say things like, "Just do us all a favor and go kill yourself." But I have kept trying to always be here whenever they say they want to work on a relationship again. Yet, it always only until they don't get what they want. It's been hell on my hsband and stepmids as well. They've called them names, stolen from them, taken over every time they come around. Yet, I still miss them and wish things were different. Holidays are always hard and every birthday they have I remember and miss them, yet the pain is too much for me to bare anymore to know what to do. The girls are 18, 19, and 22 now and have all lived with my family for some time over the last year, yet hate me again now because I knives them whatever they want and not act like parent to them. Sometimes I wish they'd just move on a grow up and other times I'm deathly afraid of losing them for good. Our house is always more peaceful when they aren't around. I don't know which is worse. Sometimes I enjoy seeing what they're doing on social media, then they use social media to hurt me on purpose. So, I've decided to unfollow them, now. I want to just move on with life, yet I feel like half of me will be missing forever. Yes, it's tough! Mine say I just like to fight, but I don't. I have just desperately felt a need to try to explain things and want them to hear me out. I always listen to their feelings even when they hurt, but I can't take it anymore. So, maybe the no contact is better until they and you can both work through things a bit on your own. Sometimes it's no fault of anyone's. It's just trying to wade through the mess life's dealt you. Just know you're not alone in your heartache and I believe God sees our sufferings and helps us endure. He has other plans for us that require strength of character which is usually produced by humbling us first. I'll be praying for you and every parent here struggling through this.
    • Roadtohappiness

      It sounds like you have been through allot. It's a great decision that you were not bullied into signing that legal document to allow him to buy a house (using you) and it's awful that they all seem to be ganging up on you.

      It sounds like you have a much bigger purpose in life, then them. Work on yourself, date, travel, volunteer, do some charity work with other children or teenagers..anything to take your mind off your disrespectful family & work on yourself. What do they say...YOLO (you only live once), & life is too short not to be enjoyed!!!

  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    numberfiveminusone I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s health, and I wish you and your family strength and healing as you continue to move forward with this new information and diagnosis.  I wanted to point out that I believe this commenter was responding to an earlier parent in this forumMore who was describing issues with her son’s mental illness, substance abuse and possible homelessness, and not the information you shared about your daughter.  I hope that you will continue to be a part of our community and offer your insight and support to other parents who are in similar situations.  Even if you choose not to, I wish you all the best in your relationship with your daughter.  Take care.
  • Spirited Lady
    numberfiveminusone I am so sorry to hear your bad news about your daughter's health.  This is not the resolution you hoped for.  Please know you and your daughter and all of your family have my deepest sympathy.  It is a lesson to all of us to be grateful for ourMore children even if they are estranged from us.  We pray for their health and happiness and for quick resolution of whatever the breach.  May your family find peace even in this troubling and frightening situation.
  • Acer Xpress
    That's very sad, first I'd talk to a counselor because it's a lot to take in. Next take care of yourself and just pray it out. Just breathe and take one day at a time and find a local alanon group.
  • TracyStrick
    Sadly I have been struggling with not having my daughter in my life for around 4 yrs. I am lost, confused, heart broken and just plain crushed. She is my only child (not sure why that matters ) I miss her so much.
    • Roadtohappiness


      Why is your daughter not speaking to you, what is her reason?

    • Siprendips
      TracyStrick I am so sorry Tracy it must feel hard to have hope, I am finding my hope diminishing with each day.  Its a grieving process you just can't quite reach acceptance on.  Have you ever heard of The Secret, well in there when you want something they say makeMore a vision board.  So I went to my local shop and bought a huge clip frame with perspex (cheap but pretty) very large.   I am going to put  photo of my daughter and what we could do on there from something from childhood.  I put a photo of our local woods where we took the dog and had a hot chocolate at the cafe in the middle a photo of Bella Italia where you get a buy one get one free breakfast where we used to like to go.  Nothing overwhelming.  I don't believe for me that it will never be repaired and I don't think yours will never be repaired.  I know that when she finally comes to me I cannot blame her I cannot leave her defensive.  The things I will need one day to say have to be held for a long time down the line.     I send my love - like me I know what you want for christmas I will pray though I don't much believe.  xxx
      • Tryingandpraying
        I am so sorry to hear about your pain. I am in the same boat with my only child. My ex-husband and I divorced two and a half years ago and I've only seen my son once since then. I am just crushed. I think about it everyday all day.More I miss him so much.
  • Healing Heart
    Yes, you've evolved and need to most importantly realize you're just human and forgive yourself. On her part, one year is a bit excessive and sad to see she can't talk it out, see that it was a maternal instinct to protect her from pain and are admitting your wrongMore doing. One thing I learned is never give advice but heck we all make mistakes. Hopefully someday she'll come to her senses and mature up and talk it out.
  • Healing Heart
    @Siprendips. We all make mistakes, forgive yourself. We all have boundaries, if you cross another's doesn't mean they should go that long without talking....I lost my mom a year ago and glad I didn't have tantrums of distancing myself...we talked it out so in time she would not repeatMore things. Plus if she said something about a guy, I knew it was her maternal instinct of trying to protect me...I have a daughter and one thing I've learned is not to give advice...but we live and learn, heck we shouldn't have to walk on eggshells to have a relationship with anyone.
  • Carol in Kentucky
    I need advice. Long story, I will sum this up best I can. We have a 30 yr old son on and off drugs. In and out of jail. Gave him start after start, gave him cars, apartment, lived with us, jobs, money, clothes,More phones, food and money rehab many times....he keeps leaving....we had to finally STOP.. Now he is acting like he is mentally disturbed- saying he is the son of God, sees dead people..crazy actions. We don't know where he is, probably homeless. How do I handle this? We don't like and don't agree with his lifestyle- so we told him he cannot live with us. Please give me advice - Carol
    • The Scribe
      Carol in Kentucky Could it be you gave him too much?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Carol in Kentucky I’m so sorry to hear about your current situation with your son.  No parent envisions dealing with these issues with their child, and I recognize how difficult this must be for you.  Ultimately, your son is an adult and can make his own choices, even those thatMore are illegal or potentially harmful.  In the end, you can only control how you choose to respond, and the limits you set with your son.  At this point, it might be helpful to look into getting some support for yourself as you work through this time.  Reaching out here in our online community is a great start!  If you might be interested in finding additional support in your community, such as counseling or support groups, try contacting the http://www.211.org at 1-80-273-6222.  211 is a service which connects people with local resources.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Siprendips

    I am a mum who is preparing herself ready for when her 22 year old daughter wants a relationship with me again    Whilst waiting I decided that I would take a good look at myself, my personality, my reactions, my judgements, intact anything and everything that may be a part of my daughters estrangement.    I could sit and say how I raised my kids, always at the party always playing, he, always encouraged but the truth is, all that doesn't matter, what matters is here and now my daughter isn't in my life and hasn't been for almost a year.   I miss her like absolute mad    

    So I took a look at me.   I made judgements about my daughters boyfriend.  I forgot to hold my tongue - I realise now I have unresolved issues of choosing a boy who didn't treat me nice at all.   I wanted to protect my daughter from the scoundrel I felt I saw.  The truth is I forgot I had raised her and that she was a girl of substance and that I should trust her judgement not mine.

    I made a huge mistake of talking about her to her younger sister.  crap I talked to her, about her younger sister.   i am surprised the younger one trusts me at all.   It was disgusting to do that.  I feel so ashamed - worse my mum had done it and it left me without trust.  i cannot believe  I feel so unkind and so stupid.

    I was critical of my daughters clothes, especially the Bowling for Soup  hoody - omg on this one I haven't changed I still feel the same.  I have to work on this one :-)

    I really want to have fully addressed myself when she comes back into my life.   I don't want to ever let her down again. 

    I am sharing this just in case anyone decides that they might benefit from looking inwards like me.    If my daughter decides she won't come back at leat I evolved

    • adultchildofnarcissists

      Siprendips Thank you for posting this. I hope your daughter does feel ready to work on a relationship with you because it seems that you are really trying.

      For years, I tried to repair my relationship with my parents and talk about how the medical neglect (refusing to get me treatment for anxiety and punishing me for anxiety attacks & pulling out my own hair starting in elementary school), emotional abuse, and selfishness over my childhood and young adulthood hurt me. Long story short, I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer a month after my 23rd birthday and my parents refused to visit or offer any kind of financial, emotional, or logistical support. I was a few months into my first job out of college and needed so much help, only to find that the people who I should have been able to rely on in the scariest and most dangerous moments of my life weren't interested. I only lived a short, affordable flight away but rather than see their possibly-dying daughter, they chose to go on a two week vacation abroad during the most dangerous part of my treatment and refused to give me contact info for an emergency because "there's no way the trip will be cut short." And yet still, I tried to maintain a relationship despite being so very hurt by they way they treated me and slowly coming to realize that their actions during my treatment were emblematic of an abusive childhood that I had grown to believe was normal.

      It took 5 years after my treatment to go no contact, and in those 5 years I really tried to have calm conversations talking to both of my parents about how our relationship was strained and the steps that needed to be taken to repair that. During that time, they minimized my emotions, made halfhearted non-apologies ("sorry for not being the parents you think you deserve"), and ignored my boundaries. I made mistakes too, to be sure, but at this point my biggest mistake was not cutting them out of my life the moment they showed no interest in me or my illness when I was sick.

      When I finally had to let them go after another dramatically horrible interaction, they acted as if they had absolutely no idea why I'm upset. Not only have we had that conversation for years, but I also laid it out in my no contact letter, along with steps they could take to repair the relationship. But in their minds, they are the innocent victims. It kills me when I read through these comments because so many parents refuse to acknowledge that they are at least part of the problem.

      I don't think my parents are capable of admitting fault and working on themselves to repair their relationship. Now they have two successful, well-educated, independent adult children who are estranged. It actually hurts me more than anything that they are so unwilling to lift a finger to have me back in their lives, preferring to live as martyrs to anyone who will listen. I of course don't know the backstory with your daughter, but I hope you are able to work toward some kind of understanding. It very much sounds like you are genuinely willing to put in the work that needs to be done. <3

    • Siprendips
      I am really sorry you feel "tired reading" this.     Yes I think it is equally difficult being a young adult and a parent.     My daughter never treated me badly, she was incredibly respectful.  She just kept her feelings inside - I wish now she had shoutedMore at me from he rooftops.   I want my daughter back in my life I love her and I miss her and not a day goes by that I don't have a tear but I am 58 years old and I am the one with all the wisdom and life experience.   I have to address me, look at me, and evolve, otherwise I will blame and when she does come home, and I hold my breath and pray, we will argue and she will go again for perhaps good.    She owes me nothing.  As an adult she has a choice and if I don't accept her feelings with compassion and warmth without defence I WILL NEVER HAVE THE PLEASURE OF SHARING THE REST OF HER LIFE.
    • RobertStrankman
      Siprendips I am almost moved to tears.  If I had read something like this from my mother years ago we could have had a relationship.  This is exactly what I wanted out of my her.  Actually, no, I wanted a willingness to recognize her own behaviors.  You've gone past thatMore and are willing to change them.  You are -and I want to emphasize that this is just about the best terminology I can use in this situation- supremely awesome.
    • The Scribe
      Siprendips My,my. I didn't know it's this tough being today's parents of young adults. I feel tired,just reading.
      • mmof4boyz

        It is that tough because today we are dealing with spoiled, self centered adults. It's all about them and respect has gone by the wayside.

        I would have never spoken to my parents or treated my parents the way my son treats me. I am dealing with so many emotions from shock, disappointment, hurt to just feeling like this just can't be real.

        My family is my life. It's everything to me. Maybe I am fooling myself to think that he has felt the same way all these years. Now that he has two precious little girls I would think he would realize the value of family.

        • Siprendips

          mmof4boyz I think life is really difficult because it has become a blame culture - we trip up and before we are off the coffee shop floor we have googled "make a claim" we just don't want to accept responsibility for looking where we walk.   What I notice is that when something goes wrong in peoples lives, rather than take responsibility and change its easier to blame the parents.   Fred next door earns £120,000 pa. says John having skipped school on £20,000 - thinks to himself "if my mum had got me extra tuition I would ..."       

          In your shoes I would write a letter - just saying feelings, you can find them by googling "list of feeling words"  say no blame just how you feel.   I would then ask for a coffee shop chat putting the envelope on the table at the start saying "just in case this goes terribly wrong I through I would give you this for you to read later"  ask him to put it in his pocket then start - the moment you tell him off, he will become defensive and when we become defensive we stop listening instead of 


          I read "your family is your life" you sound just like me and its damn sad when our world is turned upside down.  With no crystal ball we have no idea when or if it will change.    Good luck

  • dlaharris
    My daughter was given everything growing up. His is probably the problem, she has a grandfather who would buy her anything and not care when we asked him to stop. Now she moved out of our home when we asked her to pay her phone bill and carMore insurance. She now lives at grandma and grandpas at 26 years old and that side of the family acts like iris our fault she won't talk to us. They treat my husband and I like sh-- and don't even know our side of story and I have been married to their son for 29 years and they know we have been good parents.
  • Becki 4131
    My daughter is now home for the holiday break and things are worst than ever. I held my ground and didn't give in I didn't give her the sports car I gave her my car which she hates and my son n law tried to see for a sports car.More So of course we can a blow out, I told him to let me be the parent I took the sports car because of tickets and disrespect and until she can learn how disrespectful is spelled and use it correctly she's not getting a sports car, I'm not signing over a title. So she got mad and went to my sisters for the rest of the week. I feel like I'm walking on glass around her, I'm trying so hard but she told me point blank I'm not her friend I'm her daughter so all she has to talk to me about is her grades and her health. Her grades are failing and her health is bad so that is what I know. Smh
    • RobertStrankman
      Becki 4131 She's an adult.  She has her own life, her own responsibilities, her own resources.  You owe her nothing material, not money, cars, or a fifty cent candy bar (not an intentional rhyme).  You are not free resources and absolutely do not have to give what you've earned toMore people who treat you poorly.  I find it interesting that you call it disrespect.  It would be if you were an authority figure.  You're not.  You're an adult who is trying to be nice to another adult.  You do not have to *give* anything to anyone who is mean to you.  Would she treat a neighbor like that when asking for a cup of sugar?  "I don't have to tell you what I'm baking or share any.  We are neighbors, not friends.  Just give it to me!"
    • Roadtohappiness
      I had a similar issue with my children. Mine are also home for the break ?, and my older daughter kicked the side of my sports BMW because I told her she could only use the Audi? These children have no respect & are grateful of nothing. I went outMore and bought her a ford for her Birthday before Uni started in which she laughed and tried to flush the keys down the toilet... What is wrong with our children?
  • violetlace

    I for one decided that I will no longer be a victim and be disrespected by my son.  I was reminded yesterday by Dr Phil that 'we teach people how to treat us' and that includes are children.  When I look back I realize that I allowed my son and his girlfriend (who are both in their late forties) to disrespect me, I didn't speak up and that made me a door mat. 

    After feeling sad and then angry I have pulled myself up and have got my self respect back.  I try not to think of him at all.  I am going to change my will, leaving all to a charity. 

    We cannot allow our children or anyone else to treat us this way.  I am sure we have all made sacrifices for our children and then this is how they treat us? 

    Yes it is hard to get to the place where I feel comfortable again, happy again, but I cannot allow my son or anyone else to rule my life for one more second.

    • Roadtohappiness


      I totally agree don't be a victim!! You treat others the way you want to be treated. Tell us all; what else have these disrespectful children done to you?

      • violetlace

        Roadtohappiness I am not excusing my son's behavior but his girlfriend cannot keep any friends, rows with her mother and sister.  She criticizes her sister and sometimes they don't speak for weeks.  She wants to control everyone in her life. They were coming for a meal at my house and I cancelled because my husband wasn't well, she took this as an excuse and said it was because we didn't want them there.  Unfortunately my son believes everything she says.  She even convinced him that when he called us  we thought he was a nuisance because we didn't answer the phone quick enough!   My sister lives in another country and my son and his girlfriend went to stay for a vacation and she even rowed and insulted my sister!    I could go on but I am sure you get the picture. 

        I do not see any hope of a reconciliation unless he leaves her and I really don't think that will happen.

        • Roadtohappiness

          To Violetlace, You seem like a nice lady. I have read what you wrote...the thing is you have to let your son go & make his own decisions, suffer his own consequences and experience life, it's a great way to grow up and learn! If you have raised your son right (& honestly the best you could), he will come around eventually if that is whats meant to be.

          In regards to his girlfriend, it's none of your business weather or not she can keep/ make friends, if she gets along with her own mother or dislikes her sister. That is her business and to judge a person ( especially your sons girlfriend) like that or speak about her like that, is wrong. Your son is an adult...and if he chooses to believe all that she says, respect his decisions.

          Ok, so even your sister has had a 'row' with this girl...that is a problem your sister deals with. Not you!.

          Here is some really good advice- if you don't want to lose your son completely, respect his decisions. Don't talk about his girlfriend, or any future girlfriends badly.

          I also have a son, he has had girlfriends (I secretly couldn't stand) and others I have completely adored.

          My son & I have a fantastic relationship, he basically tells me everything, he asks for my advise, and I also tell him my own stories about my past good and not so good relationships. He listens to me & I also listen to him with a positive & respectful, non- judgemental attitude because I also Love my son..

          • violetlace

            Roadtohappiness Of course I have never mentioned any of the above to my son.  I only told you about her actions so that you get the picture of what she is like.  Since day one we have welcomed her and her sister into our home even though she has insulted us and tore away at our core values, which by the way are honorable and never pushed onto anyone. 

            I believe our mistake was always laying down for her to walk all over us.  We did this because our son is super sensitive to any criticism but in spite of all that he has still chosen to ignore us. 

            I am not sure why you are on this forum as you don't seem to have any problems with your son so you do not understand that in spite of us loving our son and being respectful toward him he listens to his girlfriend who criticizes us constantly.

            It is hard to respect his decisions when they are based on lies.

    • The Scribe
      violetlace I agree fully with Dr Phil. People will be treated the way they allow themselves to be so treated. If children etc know we don't take crap from them they won't dare give us crap.
    • Healing Heart

      Yes, we do get to a point where it gets easier to live without them, holding on to our dignity rather than sticking around and getting treated like dirt.

      Hang in there.

      • TracyStrick
        I for one will never find it easier to be without my daughter. I will never stop trying never give up
    • Party C

      I cried through your whole letter. I feel exactly like you. Going through a similar experience. Just know you are not alone. That helps a bit I hope.

      We must enjoy the last days of our lives. With or without our children.


  • discarded mom
    a lot of this is b.s. It is always so great to blame the parents and convince the parents to suck it up and continue to take the abuse without defending themselves.....that way, we can continue to be abused for the rest of our lives.
    • RobertStrankman

      discarded mom You absolutely do not have to tolerate abuse.  Nobody deserves that.  It ain't worth it when the cost of reconciliation is your own continued emotional health.  No way.  Worse if you are at the point where you feel the need to defend yourself.  By that point the entire battle has already been lost because that's not how healthy relationships work.

      But if any parent wants to speak to their estranged kid again, one of the earliest, most important, and painful steps is to suck it up and listen.  Not because there's a 'right' and a 'wrong' but because being right is less important than being happy.  

      That said, I've read your posts and I'm gathering that your tale is a fair bit more complicated than those the article was referring to.

      • The Scribe

        RobertStrankman discarded mom

        I agree with Robert. Kids,even though they are already adults,do not understand that winning the battle is not the same as winning the war. In the first place why go to war with your own parents?

        I notice many kids today push their parents into corners where either they have to eventually turn around to fight or simply face the walls.

        • RobertStrankman

          The Scribe I find your post fascinating.  

          "Kids, even though they are already adults, do not understand..."

          They are adults.  Plain and simple.  As far as law and common society are concerned they are expected to be able to understand everything needed to make it on their own in the world they live in.  In situations of estrangement they clearly do.  Saying anything to the contrary is not only demonstrably wrong, but I would describe as cruel in denying someone the common courtesy of expected social knowledge granted to any stranger just because they happen to be offspring in conflict with their parents.

          "In the first place, why go to war with your own parents?"  

          Why go to war over personal conflict with anyone?  If someone doesn't respect personal boundaries, that's a good reason.  If I tell someone repeatedly 'Please do not discuss my affairs with your friends' and they talk anyway, that's a reason to be more adamant about that boundary and to establish a consequence for crossing it.  'If you do not stop discussing my affairs with your friends, I will stop discussing my affairs with you' for example.  That sort of behavior wouldn't be acceptable in a friend.  Why are adults expected to tolerate it from their parents?

          No, I don't think these issues are unique to the current generation.  I think they only appear unique because social media essentially forces both 24/7 access to virtually anyone we want and gives a larger support circle to people who would otherwise feel beholden to a family that makes them unhappy.  It's easier to act on the desire to cut your parents out of your life when your social circle includes more people who know the person you choose to be, not the person your parents decided you are.

          • The Scribe

            RobertStrankman The Scribe


            I'm sorry. I'm writing from an oriental point of view. Our background are very different. I was brought up in a traditional chinese home (I'm overseas-born/bred chinese). You know confucianism - filial piety,ancestor-worship etc. We must pay homage to our parents/ancestors but our kids today are well,so different from us even though they were also brought up in traditional homes. They don't believe in karma ,fate whatever. I guess it's the mass media,the internet and cross-cultural influences.

          • RobertStrankman

            The Scribe Obviously there's a major difference in thought here and I don't mean cultural.  You seem to look fondly on traditions -there are many cultural traditions in America, though few significant ones are older than maybe six generations- and I look at them as something that we have a choice to embrace.  Many cultures have a form of tight-knit loyalty and honor for family built within them.  The story of Romeo & Juliet wouldn't carry as much weight if there wasn't the 'taboo' nature of disobeying our parents implicitly understood before the story even begins.  If you were to watch the movie starring Johnny Knoxville from last decade (the one whose title is a common term for donkey) there was a particular stunt the infamous Steve-O refused to do because he didn't want his dad to be that disappointed in him.  I'd venture to say that it is a virtually universal cultural trait.

            Several months ago I articulated the reasons I dismissed that tradition; my mother was usually emotionally abusive and we had old-fashioned personality conflicts when she wasn't.  Even in my culture I've encountered many people who expected me to just deal with those issues because 'she's your mother.' At what point within your culture would you consider it acceptable to dissolve that relationship, knowing that at the end of the day my mother's biggest crime was simply being a mean-spirited person who consistently made me miserable?

          • The Scribe

            RobertStrankman The Scribe

            Hi Robert,

            I had never and would never consider cutting off ties with my parents but if my siblings were mean-spirited I would. Today's young adults in my community would nonchalantly cut off their parents for maybe 10% of your mom's meanness. therefore,I do not know who is meaner - the parents or the children.

          • RobertStrankman
            The Scribe I can't speak towards your community.  I can speak of many of the estranged adults whose stories I have had the privilege of hearing.  Many of them sacrifice a awful lot when they cut out their parents.  They lose loved siblings, pets, relics of cherished memories.  If they wantedMore to be mean they'd simply antagonize their parents and still get to see a beloved old toy.
          • AListener

            RobertStrankman The Scribe "dissolve that relationship"?  Your choice of words makes it sound as if the parent child relationship is a business organization.  Or a marriage.  

            I think it is acceptable for people--adult children included, parents included--to pull back from relationships that have become so bumpy with conflict and disagreement that space and time are needed. The choice to pull back from relationships is as much about mutual respect as it is common sense. But after we have given ourselves some space and time, those same barometers of mutual respect and common sense suggest that we circle back around and at least try, anew, to seek a path of mutual understanding, reconciliation and resolution.  

            I understand the picture of reconciliation and resolution will vary from family to family, person to person.  There are some really disturbed people living in our world who simply cannot function within a normal, emotionally healthy adult relationship.  Were I the adult child of such a parent, I would maintain a reasonable level of physical and emotional distance, but I would still have some relationship (and that can be as little as the occasional card at Christmas and birthdays, or whatever), and I would be clear and direct as to my reasons for keeping the distance I chose.  Wish the parent well, put positive energy out towards the parent, but keep a safe distance.

            And yet, for so many grieving parents here, the adult child has chosen to estrange himself or herself from the parents, and the reasons are an absolute mystery, because the adult child declines to explain, believing the parent "should know". For so many of these estrangements, the choice to estrange is as dysfunctional as anything the adult child believes the parent is guilty of, making the whole mess an act of hypocrisy.  Dysfunction meets yet more dysfunction, and "who is right" becomes so skewed that if "apologies" are due, they are so very mutual.  

            In my view, estrangement is a dysfunctional and toxic--most of the time (with very few notable exceptions) as the claims the adult child makes against the parent that lead to the estrangement. It is a dysfunction meets dysfunction scenario. Hypocrisy in full bloom. And really--just what does it accomplish, most of the time?  What I see is a lot of negative energy. A lot. Adult children who are not truly happy because of the path they have chosen for themselves.  And just look at the numbers of grieving parents on this site...at some point, this estrangement thing has "gone viral".   Absurdly so.

            You suggest parents should apologize.  For many, apologies are vastly over rated.  They are just words after all. Some people apologize without ever meaning it. Some of us never apologize for anything, and yet our actions speak to regret in our past choices.  Sure, in theory, every parent should "apologize" for every imperfection in attempting to deliver the perfect childhood to every child who is now an adult that did not receive that illusory "perfect childhood". Every parent makes mistakes in the course of parenting. I have never met an adult aspiring to have children who was planning to be the worst parent ever. It is always just the opposite. Every person starting  a family sets out with the best of intentions, usually to be as good or better than the parenting he or she received.  And then life happens, and as we are all flawed beings, we make mistakes ing life.

            So, using your logic, then every adult child should apologize to the parents for not being the perfect kid.  For occasionally making mistakes, whatever they might have been.

            If the playing field of relationships is to be level, based upon mutual respect, then apologies are owed all around--if apologies are your thing. It takes 2 to tango after all.  Show me a parent that is guilty of this or that, I will show you a kid that is guilty of this or that. We will both be pointing to the same family.  We are, all of us, flawed, imperfect beings, and living a real life is as much about learning to tolerate the imperfections of our lives--which happens to include flawed people, some of whom are in our families, as much as we need to learn to tolerate all other imperfections we encounter.

            Now if the adult child's complaint is physical, sexual or drug abuse by the parents, then I am all for the adult child drawing a line in the sand and saying to the parent, you are on your own.  But again, direct statement of intentions and reasons.  Orally or in writing or both.

          • RobertStrankman

            AListener As I said when I first started commenting on this subject part of my intent was to get into a little healthy debate with people who are predisposed against going no contact rather than the supportive folk I've surrounded myself with (and tried to be).  For participating in this I do have to thank you.

            My language choices on the subject of my own estrangement tend to be cold and distant.  Part of this is the medium.  Given how many estranged parents are on this site, the fact that this is a very easy site to find when googling 'estranged adult children,' and the fact that I'm not trying to blame any strangers I'm doing my best to avoid using emotionally charged language.  The other reason is that I have the advantage of years in reflection to be able to articulate synonyms for the breakdown of the parent-child relationship. For one, we aren't talking about 'parent-child relationships.'  We are talking about 'adult relationships between one person who raised the other.'  That is a very key difference because there is a dynamic that changes significantly when someone starts supporting themselves and is no longer dependent on mama for survival.

            The term "entitled" is bandied about quite frequently from the parents on this site and other sites bemoaning the selfishness of whatever generation is being blamed for the antagonism.  I hate to use it, but it is the only one that seems to apply in a point I want to make: parents are not entitled to a relationship with their adult children.  If there is a healthy relationship it is a gift to be treasured as all healthy relationships are.  But having a relationship with parents is not a requirement for a happy life, nor is making some token attempt at a relationship with someone who causes misery.  Is that the cost of being fed and clothed as a kid?  "So, I'll make sure you don't starve or freeze to death...but in return, I get to be a controlling monster to you when you're 25 and you just have to take it!"

            But why go so far as estrangement then?  The examples on this site don't tell much of a story, mostly because they are from the people who want the relationship and don't get why they don't have one.  Besides, we don't exactly have tons of parents and estranged children discussing things, so we only get one side of the story.  I can only speak towards my own experience and the experience of the small number of self-aware adults I have had the privilege of speaking to with similar stories.  And from that side the reasons are given well in advance, they just aren't listened to.   "Mother, I really don't like it when you talk about my hair.  Please let it go."  "Stop putting down my career.  I'm working hard and making a living doing it."   Who would tolerate a friend who behaves that way even when asked to stop?  Who would tolerate a spouse who is a font of put-downs?  These things seem so small, I know, but they are behavioral warnings that somehow get ignored when adult offspring bring them up.  The mere act of ignoring them is one of the most cruel behaviors at all in denying someone's basic ability to choose how they feel to another's words or actions.  These aren't about flaws or imperfections, that's a matter of systemic emotional cruelty.  To quote Louis CK "If you hurt someone, you don't get to decide that you didn't."

            What is worse is that in the case of emotional abuse there comes a point when even asking someone to change their behavior becomes an opportunity for more abuse, often in the form of old-fashioned gaslighting.  "I really wish you would stop making comments about my weight."  "I never said anything about your weight!"  When there's already a history of that kind of behavior in childhood giving a reason can be actually dangerous.  How do you use words when those words can become the very weapons used against to hurt you?

            That said, recognizing the effects of personal behavior in others is a kind of emotional intelligence that everyone struggles with.  That is okay.  That's where the apology comes in.  You're right in that apologies are often meaningless, either through a lack of sincerity or the presence of deliberate acts of sincerity.  When estrangement has already happened and the reasons are unknown actions aren't available.  Even the right words aren't available, because what is right isn't even clear.  An apology is all that anyone can do in the beginning.  Not an apology for being an imperfect parent and making mistakes, an apology from one adult to another that says "I am willing to own whatever I did that hurt you."

            As for your 'every adult child should apologize for being an imperfect child' line, apologies and acts of contrition are actually a part of growing up.  Mistakes are made, learned from, punished as required, and that in turn creates a person.  Emotionally aware adult already have apologized for being imperfect behaviors in their youth.  They did so by growing up.

            At the point of estrangement, the playing field is not level.  At all.  There's no sense of mutual respect or understanding.  There's no sense of mutuality period.   It is one party that wants a relationship and one party that does not want a relationship.  It's a really cold thing to say.  Embracing it is the only way the party that wants the relationship is going to get one.  This is not about who made mistakes, whose imperfections were worse.  This is about someone saying "I want a relationship and I'm willing to make reasonable concessions and be wrong about important things until I can repair it."  If it takes two to tango, it takes one to turn on the stereo and let the other person lead until they both find the beat.

            Speaking from the heart here: I don't care if my mother thinks I was imperfect.  I don't care if she thinks I was the most selfish person who ever lived.  Her opinion of me carries no weight because she carries no weight in the life I have created without her.  I try to better understand my memory of her as a matter of my own personal growth and as a matter of making myself stronger for those I love and who love me back.  I have no impetus to subject myself to her uncanny ability to find whatever emotional trigger she could and potentially damage all of the progress I have made on myself in the years since.  Indeed I have a stronger moral obligation to protect myself from that situation.  The fact that there are people around me who would pick up the pieces when she inevitably broke me apart means that they deserve to not have to.  Even if she were entitled to any part of me, they are entitled to every part of me.

  • Ellvicfoy

    My daughter and her husband and my granddaughter moved in with us because of financial hardship.  I thought things were fine.  one morning i noticed the space heater was on all night and i asked my daughter not to leave it on.  That lead to an explosion.  My daughter started mouthing off to me.  i listened to her but didn't hear anything except the smart ass teenager i had dealt with in the past.  i responded but don't remember what i said   i know i referred to her youthful mouth.  she got very upset and they left   i thought they were going out for the day to cool off   night came and they didn't return  they didn't come back the next day either.  i started to worry but knowing my daughter she was out to prove a point.   then her husband showed up to move there belongings.  he wouldn't tell me anything   now i am angry   the disagreement wasn't enough to cause such a response   i tried to reach her/no response   i found out they were at her brothers home   that was okay with me

    a week later i heard they moved again    now i am wondering how they are going to afford it, after all they were i my home because they had no funds.  but if this is what they want ok.. 

    i tried and tried and tried to talk to my daughter.  i was missing her and my granddaughter.  then she text me and said as long as we had a bad and unhealthy relationship she would never allow me to see my granddaughter.  she is 2 and i have been with her almost everyday since she was born... i love her with all my heart.  she is my joy.  i was heartbroken  i cried and cried for days.  I ended up at the drs because i couldn't handle the situation.  i tried to talk to my son.. he sided with his sister and refused to talk to me... i honestly do not know what i did to cause this!!!!!!

    to make matters worse a week after she texted i received another text with her telling me she was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma.   nothing more just that!

    i have no contact with her, i don't know where she moved and i have been completely shut out!!!!    my son has also shut me out.   What do I do now?

    • Roadtohappiness

      @Ellvicfoy I completely agree with what RobertStrankman has commented. This argument was not over the space heater. You need to get over her teenager ways. It is normal for teenagers to get angry, gob-off, sometimes disrespect, argue with parents. It's how they learn, grow up, it can be a hormonal growing thing (apart of brain development). And yes, some teenagers are worse then others. The thing is she is not a teenager now, she sounds like a person stressed, with a young child, with financial problems which can also cause marriage problems.

      Learn to let some issues pass, turn a blind eye to things sometimes...some issues just aren't worth the problems. Sometimes the BEST decision a person can make is to do nothing, just agree, or say nothing.

      In regards to talking to your daughter again, you need to apologise. Listen to your daughter, go out for coffee, take her shopping (if you have the money), enjoy her & take time to do all those fun mother and daughter things you were blessed to have. Concentrate on building a relationship with her...and not with the decisions she has made. Focus on "her" as a beautiful, wonderful person, with an awesome future ahead and be positive. It sounds like she really needs you. ?

    • RobertStrankman

      Ellvicfoy This is a rough story to read, no matter how entirely not rare it is nowadays.  But...you asked "what do I do now?" and as someone who cut out his mother in a not entirely dissimilar way, I can at least give you an idea where to start.  

      The issue that caused your daughter to sever a relationship with you wasn't the issue of a space heater.  You said it yourself, you didn't hear anything but a smart ass teenager.  But she isn't a teenager (or if she is, she is adult enough to make it without you).  This small disagreement was very likely the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, a small disagreement that merely exemplified the larger issues you have had with your children for a long time.  There is an unhealthy dynamic there that your daughter just decided wasn't worth it.

      What can you do?  Well, the best place to go from here begins with a sincere apology.  Not for any particular action -you don't know what you did and you can't until she tells you (if she even knows yet)- but for merely hurting her.  If she responds at all, listen to what she has to say calmly and without judgement.  If she sets a boundary, don't cross it.  Whether you think she is right or wrong, her feelings for the relationship she has with you are her's and her's to act on.

      While I am on the subject, your issues with her belong to you as well.  You get to decide how you want to proceed with her.  I only tell you apologize because it appears you're the one who wants the relationship.  If she has something you want then you have to play by her rules to get it.  At least until the relationship is strong enough to bear a disagreement.  What is acceptable behavior from her is for you alone to decide.  Obviously joint and separate counseling would help to speed the process along...or at least give you both some growth and understanding for other relationships should things go south and stay that way.

      I really hope things get better for you and your kids.

      • KtotheARMA
        RobertStrankman Ellvicfoy Nailed it.
  • Becki 4131
    My daughter went to college and her first semester she decided that she wanted me to let her grow up fast. We'll grow up as far as making decisions , but me still pay all her bills, and give her a car to drive. Before she left for college weMore were so close I realize she has to grow up but Letting go doesn't happen over night. I told her she has the rest of her life to be an adult to be a kid for as long as she can be, because she will have to pay bills and have to worry about things soon enough. But she thinks I'm still trying to run her life. But this child has gone from texting me she turned gay after lying and hiding it for months. To telling me that it was a mistake that she was. Never gay. To being very disrespectful to me and hanging up on me when she doesn't like what I say. She has received several speeding tickets, texting while driving tickets and got mad when I took her car when they cancelled my insurance. She always gets my son n law involved and because he's a idiot he takes up for her over his wife and causes a problem with his wife. There is so much tension in this family, that now it has reached the exstended family that now it's Two weeks before Christmas and I don't want to go out of state to my moms house because of it all. It's a mess.
    • dlaharris
      I am in same boat. I don't want to go to my inlaws for Christmas. They barely speak to us because they have taken my daughters side. I know my husband will go. Don't know how he will take it if I refuse to go. I can't have all myMore loved ones mad at me I will go crazy.
    • Healing Heart
      I wouldn't let her mistakes and behavior be rewarded with neglecting your relationship with your mom. Believe me I lost a lot of great bonding moments with other grateful family members over the years for a drama filled daughter. Now my mom is gone and I wish I hadMore cherished my time with her more.
    • Ellvicfoy
      Becki 4131 I am so sorry you are dealing with this at the holidays.  i am a mother of 5 adults now and i have many issues with them.  what i can say is love her and hang on for the ride of your life.  protect yourself.  when she abusesMore a privilege there are consequences.   She's young and will test all boundaries.  hold firm..... love her and let her know it.  but don't give in..tell the son in law to mind his own business..
      • Becki 4131
        Thank you, and I have told him to mind his own business but he threatens me with my grandchildren he tells me if I don't do what they want I can't see the kids any more emotional blackmail
        • Healing Heart
          That is no way to live, I've been there where child is used as a pawn but always say their kids will grow up someday and always remember the way parents behave, and the good people they cut out. Better to hold on to your dignity than hold on toMore agony! Even if it means detachment from grands and living well
        • The Scribe
          Becki 4131 A person who resorts to emotional blackmail is immature. Just ignore him.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    lostOrMom I hear how much you are hurting right now, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  I can only imagine how much pain you must be experiencing right now, and I also want to emphasize that life is still worth living.  I encourage you toMore continue working with a counselor to help you work through your grief, and to develop a plan to keep yourself safe in the face of your despair.  In addition, if you find yourself feeling hopeless, or that you cannot go on, I strongly encourage you to contact the http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/# at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  I also hope that you will continue to write in and share your experiences.  As you can see from the numerous comments on this article, you are not alone in this experience.  I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Brokenmom1

    I found this article helpful today. My 17 year old son has cut me off completely. He's even gone as far as to have me contacted by the police and told not to contact him! I have been totally understanding of him moving out but to be so cold toward me is beyond the comprehension of not only myself but my entire family and all our friends are stunned as well. I've been seriously driving myself crazy with this. I worry that I'm changing into a different person. I have 2 small kids at home still and sometimes I worry they will hate me too one day.

    I'm cutting out friends, I really don't feel like doing anything social anymore and that is not my personality. I went from feeling pretty confident with myself and my parenting skills to now I can't even make a decision about dinner without feeling inadequate! I cry so easily and get angry almost as quickly. I hate this person I feel I'm fighting off inside. The doctor just wants to prescribe pills and this is not going to solve my heartache... Thanks for your article. :)

    • Carolme

      Brokenmom1  I'm so sorry to hear your story.  I have been told so many times that kids brains do not fully mature until @26.  Then add teenage angst and their desire for independence.  It can be a real challenge.  It is very hard to detach yourself from the child you have raised.  For your own peace of mind and (hopefully) just for now, that sounds like what you might need to do.  In these situations, as we all know very well, you do not have many choices.  My teenage son was absolutely miserable and sometimes even dangerous towards me.  I am still somewhat incredulous that my older daughter has cut me off, for the last few years.  She is 28 and moved to Cali, with my 22 y/o son.  He recently decided I treat him like a child and haven't done anything for him in the last 4 years.  Hard to believe, when he lived with me and didn't work or go to school for 2 of those years.  I am sure his sister has a lot of influence.  I was worried that one or both might have been in that horrible fire in Oakland.  With only a phone number for my son, I called yesterday and left a message that was partially cut off.  When, I called back he answered and hung up on me mid-sentence.  At least, I know he's alive.

      I have cried a river of tears and little things set me off.  It's easy to get depressed and I am usually a very happy person.  I try to not isolate myself but that isn't always doable.  One thing I focus on is my health and try to take as good care of myself as possible.  Doing things for other people also really helps.

      The fact that you have two younger children will hopefully be a good distraction for you.  Please remember, YOU have not done anything wrong.  As good parents, we commit from the get go to do the best we can do.  A teens perspective is typically very selfish and all about them.  Try to do little things to make yourself feel better.  And continue to love and care for your two little ones, as best you can.  They need your love.  No one can predict what will happen in the future.  Don't give up hope.  I'm sure your son knows you're there for him and will realize he needs you and his family.

      • discarded mom
        Carolme Brokenmom1  maybe their brains actually mature at 46 --i have two daughters who are estranged and both are in their 30s. they are both extremely immature
  • Spirited Lady
    John Rotten I'm so sorry she has such all or nothing thinking.  That's really painful.  She is cutting herself and her son off from love and support.  Connections are so important for every generation.  There are so many stories like this. Sadly, there are millions of grandparents experiencing this.  IMore hope you'll send notes, cards, small gifts to your grand child.  My strategy is just not to give up, not to complain, not to expect anything from my son, just focus on his kids  My son has not objected to that, although some of my friends are not even allowed to send gifts.
    • Healing Heart

      @Spirited Lady

      Very good advice, feels like my story.

  • Healing Heart


    I'm sorry to hear your story, hang in there and stay strong. As for contacting your mother, a card or quick note may suffice as it's a very delicate situation and is a true sorrow for you mom, losing her younger sister, your aunt. Take care, hope you reconnect and it goes well when the time is right!

  • Dannedifudo

    I am a man with autism, estranged from my family. and my extended family. If i had the choice i would only be estranged from my mother, as my estrangement stems from abuse suffered at her hands. But i cannot be in contact with any member of my family as it is seen as a crack to put a wedge in and force me to reconnect. I have set out my terms for re-connection clearly. Acknowledgement of what she did. An apology for any of what she did. Or an admission of mental illness and a diagnosis process. I have three sisters, i do not speak to. no fault of their own. They just move in the same waters as my mother. so she senses it and dominates the process. I have recently heard my auntie has died. It is a shock. My last interactions with her were bad. She was admonishing me for estranging myself, she refused to accept that my course of action was justified. and refused to see my assertions of abuse as anything other than excuses for my laziness. I stopped checking for any level of communication from any family member following my failure in this interaction and my next true contact was to say she is dead. the funeral was yesterday. Thought you should know.

    I have to speak to my sister or my mother today. and express my sorrows. But i am not feeling sorrow. I am feeling fears. I am terrified of making this call because it is breaking my rules in light of the problems between me and my mother. her youngest sister died three days ago. I wouldn't put it past her to use that to it's fullest advantage as a guilt stick against me. trying to wrap me round her finger. pull me towards melee range again.

    i'm stopping here. otherwise i will write forever.

    • MaryCyrDacus

      Don't call. Don't set yourself up like that. Mail a beautiful card. Or a beautiful arrangement to the house.

      You are in control of who hurts you.

      • discarded mom
        MaryCyrDacus  exactly!
    • numberfiveminusone


      So sorry about your Auntie. My sympathies. I understand why you feel afraid. How sad that we must fear contact with the people in our life who we believed should love us. I hope your contact with your sister and mother went well.

    • The Scribe


      Hi Dan,

      If it's that bad as described in your second paragraph I don't see why you needed to express your "sorrow" when you don't feel any. All you feel is fear. Therefore,do not give in to the social pressure. Simply ignore. Good luck and take care.

  • LK

    What about the situation of an adult son who chooses to distance himself from his father that has been emotionally unavailable since Day One? Here is the specific situation: Father and mother are married, and still are today. Father was emotionally unavailable, Father and Adult Son never related to each other very well (different personalities and interests), and it bothered the adult son deeply during his childhood. As an adult, the adult child has made overtures and tried to form bonds through mutual interests. Recently, out of the blue, Father excoriates Adult Son over a purely trivial matter (eating leftovers). It occurred to Adult Son at that moment that Father's instinct was to be cruel and mean, and not to take a step back before speaking (which is reminiscent of Adult Child's childhood). Adult Son does not want to completely cut off ties to Father, as this would cause heartache for Mother and his younger Adult Sibling, but the Adult Son does want to spare himself any future frustration by attempting to spend time and bond with Father. This event showed the Adult Son that under the surface, Father still does not think of Adult Son as somebody who deserves respect and love. 

    More background information: Adult Son is a successful attorney in his late 20's, and is not a burden on anybody. In this case, is it really Adult Child's anxiety that is causing him to consider this course of action, or have Father's actions alienated Adult Son to a point of critical mass? Why should Adult Son want to continue attempting to foster a Father-Son relationship when Father clearly thinks of his son as somebody who is not worthy of respect and love? Adult Son is not angry about this; rather, Adult Son has no feelings at all toward Father at this point. Adult Son feels that keeping a distance between his Father and himself is the only constructive way of moving forward with his life. Please provide your views about this hypothetical.

    • mastik8
      @LK Is he doing this just to you or to you and your sibling? Is he like this with anyone else? Most important of all - have you told him what you told us? That's your starting point. If he won't or cannot change tell your sibling and mother whatMore you are going to do - then do it.
    • AListener
      @LK I am an estranged parent of 2 adult children of the same general age as you and your brother.  Dismiss my perspective as biased, but in truth I am making every effort to be objective.  The short answer is I do not think you should estrange yourself from yourMore father or parents based on what you describe.  That said, I get it! I don't think you should be a doormat.  You deserve, and are entitled to your respect.  Sometimes, we also need to look beneath the surface of other people's actions to try to understand and come to terms with them within ourselves.  As in--why is your dad behaving this way? Of course I don't know.  But there is an answer, and I would encourage you to ruminate on that. He gives clues--it is just the nature of people.  Is he a happy person?  If not, that is a huge clue right there. My guess is he is not a happy person.  Could he be jealous of you? You sound like a successful person, and he would not be the first parent that reacted negatively to a successful child, feeling "shown up" because he or she sees himself or herself as a failure.  Le't assume I have this right, just for discussion.  Clearly, it is wrong for a parent to have a negative attitude towards a child's successes in life. It's twisted. Irrational.  We should celebrate our children's success in life. But a lot of us are clunky, imperfect beings with our own psychological stuff that we bring to the family table of parenting.  And if you are able to see your father as this imperfect, flawed person, with low self esteem and who is basically unhappy, well, now you know that is  what you have on your hands, and that may lead you to some resigned acceptance (after all, he is unlikely to change).  Leaving such a person isolated from all in society is a punishment for their flaws, but is that what you want to do?  There is a power to compassion, and I hope you find it in you to feel some compassion to understand that you were born to a flawed parent.  Distancing yourself though--I see that as quite a bit different from estrangement, which I interpret as a complete cutting off. I am all for keeping your distance, minimizing your interactions, etc.  You need to live your life and be all that you can be in your own life, full of all the experiences and joys you are entitled to experience. Go!  Do it. Free yourself of the chains of an unpleasant overbearing father who will not celebrate your successes with you because of the stuff going on between his two ears.  But don't estrange.  You can check in now and then, express love from a safe distance, and basically keep in touch, stopping by the family home now and then for visits. And if Dad acts unpleasant towards you, you can always make your visits short, or your phone calls short, and keep your emotions in check.  In this way, you are developing new self habits, and taking control of the relationship in a way that makes you feel comfortable.  It is far, far less than estrangement.  It is kind.  And it is fair.  good luck!!
    • numberfiveminusone


      Hypothetically I think adult son should tell his father how he feels.  Leave the ball in his court.  The father really needs to hear how his words are creating hurt.  If he blows that off then I think creating distance is the best thing. BTW-  I truly am moved that you are considering the feelings of your mother and younger sibling.  You sound like a very caring person.

  • Rachael
    This is a great help. Thank you. After 18 years of what I have believed to have been a very happy relationship with my younger son, he has abruptly informed me that he has hated me for the last 2-3 years because I have continually let him down and neverMore let him have enough freedom to do what he really wants to do. I was totally taken aback because I have spent lots of time with him doing the sports he enjoys - skiing, snowboarding, tennis, badminton, squash, bouldering. I was a football mum. I have helped him get to frisbee tournaments, practices, mountain biking, rock climbing. I've welcomed his friends and girlfriends without question and cooked for them. I've bought him clothes and equipment when he has wanted it, within reason. I occasionally say I can't afford something yet. I have explained that when it comes to university, he will need to get a loan and that that will be his responsibility, not mine. He was initially cross about that but I thought he'd got used to the idea over the last year or so. I left his dad when he was 4 but we live near each other and have remained good friends throughout. There has never been any animosity and both my children have always told me they think they have the best of both worlds. My older son was much more difficult growing up but left home just before he was 18 and keeps in regular contact with me. This new development happened by text messages yesterday as I work away 4 days a week. I will see my son on Thursday night. I couldn't sleep much last night and have been crying. I've read lots of articles to try to prepare myself so that I don't react in the wrong ways. My responses to my sons texts were to simply reinforce that I love him, pointing out some of the things we do and what I do for him, and expressing confusion as I thought we were really happy. I know I will cope with this. I hope it is something that can be forgotten in the future and doesn't impact too much on what is essentially a great relationship. But for the first time in my life I think I know what it means to feel broken-hearted. I felt rejected by my own parents all the time I was growing up and really by my mum until my 40s. I have never found the right man for me - I tend to go for people I feel sorry for or men who are not good for me. I don't think I've ever felt so alone as I do now. My sympathy goes out to all out there who have experienced this.
    • numberfiveminusone


      So sorry Rachael. I hope you visit went well. Your son is very young and I wonder if the thought of paying for college is overwhelming to him.

  • SMC

    We have been estranged from my stepdaughter for five years.

    We have always loved her and have always wanted her in our lives. We tried to

    be there for her, but the relationship was very one-sided. She set the

    boundaries and if you stepped beyond them she erased you from her life. The

    most recent occurrence was because we expressed concern for her and some disturbing

    comments/pictures she was posting on social media. Because of this she became

    very angry and cut off her relationships with everyone on the paternal side of

    her family. My husband tried to make contact, to no avail. His ex-wife even

    reached out to him about 1.5 years into the estrangement to let him know that

    she disagreed with their daughter, but was not willing to defy trust or put her

    relationship with their daughter in jeopardy so the estrangement continued.

    That is up until two weeks ago when my stepdaughter decided to end her life

    because “no one loved her or ever would love her”. So this is it. How does this

    happen? I’ve been through so many emotions, but I keep getting stuck in anger.

    I want to forgive, but I can’t get past the fact that when we were giving her

    what she wanted she would have us in her life. How selfish is that? And now she

    committed the ultimate act of selfishness by hurting everyone with whom she has

    ever developed a relationship. I am really struggling to get past this and the

    endless worry over my husband’s and son’s recovery. I might come off as

    unfeeling, but this is after five years of hurt and pain and now this.

  • mojo

    Thank you so much.

    Reading this has helped a lot.

     My daughter aged 35 has decided to sever contact with me.

     Her brother took his own life at 17 over 14 years ago.

     I separated from my husband 8 years ago, My family has disappeared.

     I'm lucky to have very good friends but I'm missing my daughter and 2 grandchildren.

    • dlaharris
      So sorry for your loss. I can't imagine one of my children dying before me. I am praying for all us parents who are missing contact with our children.
    • Party C


      It doesn't matter why your  daughter has decided to separate herself from you it is still a shame that she is doing this. I have a situation with my 3 children.  One is controlled by a boy friend who has decided from the first couple months that he didn't like us and hasn't spoke to us since or been around us even for Holidays.  My daughter lives a few blocks from me and has my only grandchild that I am allowed to see once a week for babysitting and holidays. This daughter has picked this boyfriend over her family.  She also stays away from extended family too.  This has put such a strain on our family and other siblings.  They love their sister and when they come into town they don't tell us and stay over that daughter's house.  We are left out and we feel like outcasts.  This is such a sad time of our lives and we should be reaping the benefits of bringing up good children and we aren't.  I cry a lot and try to be happy but every day this is confronting me of our fractured relationships.  I am 63 now and want to live my retirement out in peace and happiness and I can't seem to do this.  I do go to therapy and it has helped but I am still deeply sad.  I love my children dearly and want to spend time with them.  I want a relationship with them and know what is going on in their lives.  I pray someday this changes and they realize we won't be here forever.    Before it's too late.

    • Live2bnana

      @mojo I am sorry for loss of your Son and the loss of your current situation. You have suffered many loses over the years and I have empathy for the comment of your family has disappeared. My daughter who is 32 and has lil girl 6 & boy 2 has cut off all ties from me. To the point she cut all ties with anyone who had anything to do with me. My 81 yr old mother was told in a letter that my daughter was unable to communicate with her because I would use my mother to get to her. She change her contact info phone email

      And block all social media & recently quit long term jobs & moved to different state. One of her pet peeves was me not backing off and researching or finding a way to contacting her. She my daughter amI just loose all contact and not even know where she is? So I did my digging and know city and state she in but haven't contacted or let her know I know where she is. I made the decision I going to back off and not contact her as hard as it is. The hardest is as you said I not only miss my daughter but also my grandchildren. It a very empty feeling at family time to not have a family.

      • Party C


        I am so sorry,  You are not alone.  Trying times we are having with families being distant and apart.  No contact.  I didn't have contact with my daughter for 6 months.  Very sad.  Hang in there and pray.

    • Rachael
      @mojo So sorry for you. I hope she comes back to you.
  • FigJam
    Thank you, this was very helpful!
  • violetlace

    I wish I knew the answer why adult children do this to us their parents, but I don't. I haven't seen my son in over a year and I have no idea why he won't answer e mails or letters.  At first I pleaded with him to tell me why and to get in contact.  He never did.  At first I was sad, then angry.  Being angry made me strong and one day I decided I would not beg or plead anymore.  So I have now cut off all contact in the way of birthday cards etc. 

    I decided he was not going to mess up my life, yes of course I think about him sometimes but I am, for the most part staying strong in my resolve to get on with my own life and not let him bring me down.

    He has to be the one to contact me and his Father.

    This may seem harsh but it is the only way I can cope and I have to say it is working.  I think of him less and when I do there is still some anger there but this just spurs me on to tread my own path and enjoy my life.

    He has left me with no other choice.

    • discarded mom
      @violetlace  it is all you can do. I have two estranged daughters and I refuse to continue to be their living doormat. They have spewed lies to others about me. They have written public blogs which also list endless lies and fabricated abuse in order to garner sympathy. There isMore no reason we have to subject ourselves to this garbage another day. I do not believe in writing letters and sending cards every month or so as the author suggests...this is perceived as groveling by the estranged ones and makes us look weak and pathetic. They laugh about it and I am tired of giving them a reason to laugh. No. on the contrary, I am going to care for myself and do the things I was holding back on just in case they came back. Forget it. it isn't worth the trouble. Take good care of you!
    • mastik8
      @violetlace You're doing the right thing. You deserve an explanation. Until you know what's wrong you cannot fix it or try to explain.  Go live your life and live it well. If and when he comes back demand an apology and an explanation for doing what he did before you decideMore to accept him back. Let him know what he did was not acceptable and you're not a doormat. Now go out and experience the hell out of life so when he comes back you can catch him up on what he missed.
    • lcjantzi


      I have done the same as you. For me, it is three adult children. I know the relief it brought me not to continue the contact. I don't know about you but it seemed to me that with each contact(birthday, holiday, etc.) I felt I was just playing into their intentions to make me feel more rejected and maybe confirming that I needed their relationship more than they did mine. I, too, was angry but my anger subsided a lot when I decided to stop contacting them. I think I was angry at myself for letting myself be treated so unlovingly, even disrespectfully. I believe now, what has come to light in me is that, after two and a half years of refusing to communicate with me, they must know the reality of estranging me as their mother. Though it grieves me, they must realize what it is like to really live without your mom. When I think of them, usually first thing in the morning, I pray for them to come to the truth and agai, be loving and respectful. Yes, like you, Violetlace, they will need to contact me.

      • TX_Ang

        lcjantzi  I'm going through the same emotions in regard to being rejected and disrespected as a parent.  I grieve daily for the loss of my daughter that is very much alive and expecting her first child.  One morning I woke up happy because I had dreamt that we were laughing and joking together as we always had, and the happiness quickly turned to sadness and anger. 

        I'm really getting tired of being this pathetic wimp, it's so not in my nature.

        • Neverwillgetit
          So sad as I too had great times and laughs with my only child, my cherished daughter. Over 2 1/2 years of no response from her and my gradson is is 2 1/2. I have begged, pleaded, apologized a zillion times, cried and think of her throughout the day everyMore day. I am a widow who has struggled since my husband passed away when I was 46 and 13 years ago. My daughter was my life! I have lost them both and struggle to get through life as I never ever dreamed this is how life would turn out. How can your only child who has been cherished ( and yes we didn't always agree but my love and the hurt from her was deep) turn their back on her mom. I prided myself on being a great mom however after my husband died and my daughter left for college I was treading water and yet I don't think she understood how scary my world became. I have a heavy heart for all the times missed with her and my grandson ( who from pictures through family, he's adorable) I am not acknowledged or given any pictures, correspondence, understanding of forgiveness. Yet I have begged her to come back in my life. I will never be whole again with out her. She has never checked on me once. Knows I have no holidays, sometimes little food in the house, recently assulted by a family member and have concussion and have been in other medical concerns or without a job. My best time of my life was bringing her up and now nothing. Just so hurt and disappointed. Yes, her husband doesn't like me. And has been disrespectful to me yet I apologized for my part but he hates me. But I stand by this. if he loved her he would at least encourage my daughter to see me. Just don't know if I will ever get to be in her life again or see my grandson ever. It hurts me to the core. Missed so much with my grandson of the fun things I did with my daughter. She is intelligent and is a high school guidance counselor so I don't understand or ever get it as long as I am alive. I miss her so much it's aged me I am sure. But Ivan die knowing I tried so hard to reunite with her but unfortunately it doesn't take my daily pain away. I love and miss her desperately. I pray all the time. Sorry so long but heartbroken in so many ways.
          • Healing Heart


            Hang in there, that is a long time and my heart goes out to you. It's time to wipe yourself ipoff, take different approach and survive this pitfall, don't allow yourself to beg or chase anymore. That is part of the problem, find meaning in life...before her you were you..I'm sure your husband would want you to live...get some help to get you out of that rut. Your daughters loss, your gain to savor what God gave you...give that love you can't give to your grandson to other children who need attention via volunteer work.

        • lcjantzi

          To: TX_Ang

          Thank you for your empathy. It felt good to receive at this time of year. I'll share this: As the holidays roll in, I'm trigger more than usual but it's been nearly 3 yrs. and my sorrow and grief, which changed to anger, depression, sadness and now I seem to see things more objectively. Time, a little therapy, prayer find me less and less enmeshed with them and more becoming my true self.

          As an adult observing three other adults, I am at peace with the fact that they have some things to learn without me and ther's no guarantee that they will. However, that helps me to resist anticipating and making up scenarios in my head. I'm simply accepting their choices, given up defending myself and accept that things might not turn out the way I want them to.

          I live two-days drive away from them and this is somewhat helpful. But I have family that I see from time to time who use my situation to try and hurt me. My oldest stays in contact with them.

          So I thank you again for your empathy, TX_Ang. This is not an easy thing to navigate but I want to be sure to get all the good I can from this heartbreaking situation that I can. I'm trusting and resting in this place...

        • Brokenmom1
          Omg I feel the same way! Sad pathetic wimp ha! How the kids can cripple us from beginning to end?!
    • NL Mom
      @violetlace Very similar to my situation Violtetlace. Big diff is I can't let my son back in, even if he wanted. I can't risk being hurt again.
  • Missingmydaughters
    I have two daughters ages 27 & 25 ... after my divorce they both went to live with their dad and have no contact with me. I have never been given a reason why. I have with all I can tried to contact them but they block andMore ignore me. My older daughter made contact with me last Dec. And did see me twice in two days ... everyrhing went very well I thought and she hugged me and told me she lives me but she has blocked me again and ignores my attempts to contact her. I'm so confused I am so happy to be in this forum for much needed support. I need advice. Thank you.
  • Heartbroken mum

    My son left home 6 years ago and has never returned. A month after he left I received 3 intense emails listing everything I had done wrong. Of course there are kernels of truth in what he said. I now only contact him with essential information as he requested and have seen him only 4 times over these years at his new abode. He's now at college in America, his dream, but there's been problems with health and depression / psychotic episode which meant he took a year off. He has now returned and I just pray his health keeps on an even keel. The doctor has also mentioned autism to him which may account for his continuing infrequent contact. I so pray for a reconciliation with him.

    Signed a heartbroken mum.

    • lcjantzi

      Dear Heartbroken mum,

      It must be painful to be apart from your son when it would seem that he needs you most. I'm am saddened by the way he "critiqued" you in his letters. My goodness, of course there were grains of truth but can't he understand the overall love that you had for him? That seems to be what these adult children can't deduce from their experience with us as their parent. I read this time and again here. I hope his mental health improves and that he will turn to you and realize the love that he has missed , that has been there waiting/longing for his return. . .

  • TX_Ang

    So glad I came across this article as I've been searching the internet for similar situations to mine to find out how to deal with my daughter shutting me out 3 weeks ago via text.  She is 29 and pregnant with her 1st child, and she is my only child, so I am devastated and heartbroken. I am also scared to death of missing out on the birth of my grandchild.  I'm unable to sleep and have random crying fits as I'm fighting falling into a deep depression.

    Her last words to me were "not all people mix well", and that she didn't want the baby shower that my mother and I were planning on having for her.  Her reasoning was based on a party that we had at our home about 10 years ago, when my then boyfriend now husband was still drinking but is sober now, got into a fight with a friend of hers that was also drinking and being aggressive.

    I initially thought she was joking, and when I realized that she wasn't, it was too late to reason with her. Maybe she felt overwhelmed by the shower we were planning because it was going to be more of a party at a venue with friends and family. Her mother-in-law is having a proper shower for her at a friend's home, which is huge and in an exclusive neighborhood.  I was never even sent a "save the date" card like her friends were so I don't think I was going to be invited to it anyway. 

    It seems that she is embarrassed by who we are, as well as our family and friends.  I'm Hispanic and her father is White as is my current husband, and her husband is White too, but comes from a more prominent family with a much higher income than us.  We're just comfortable and live well below our means, so we don't drive brand new fancy cars or have a huge home. Also, another point of contention for her is that my husband is in a motorcycle club which she views in a negative way.

    I've sent her texts letting her know that I love her and that I'm sorry if she's mad at me, and that I hope she is doing well.  I am so sad, and grieving over the grandchild I may never get to meet.

    • Twice hurt


      I'm so sorry your going thru this as well....my daughter of 36 has been estranged from us for the last 13 yrs....she pretty much accused me of being the worst mother on an 14 hrs drive in the middle of winter right after Christmas that one fateful year 13 yrs ago.....during that time I went into a deep depression for 6 years, then I started living again, during those years she finished her University in Psychology, got married, bought a house, had my only grandchild I will ever have, she's 2 now and I haven't even met her....my daughter refuses to talk about what made her say those things, like you we are not well off, we actually struggled, she never brought her friends over at the house, they were all doctor's kids, well to do, so that's where we get the feeling she was ashamed of us. She stayed at her University town and she fashioned herself a life without her parents in it. I had three children, 2 girls and a boy being the baby. My son died tragically 3 years ago in a drowning accident, he went missing for a week before his body was recovered he was only 26. My eldest daughter had also cut herself off from him as well, they were estranged for more than 3 years when he passed. Now here is my middle daughter who absolutely adores her eldest sister, she can't be herself it seems around her older sister, and she has been caught in the middle more than once, so now I try not to allow that to happen, but it's hard as she takes her sister's side in the sense that she is justified in keeping the family apart and that is what I have a problem.......did I mention my estranged daughter's husband (that I have never met) has passed away a month ago of cancer he was 37....now according to my baby girl she has also stopped all contact with the mother in law, the other grandmother....in her will she has left custody of her daughter to friends, and know that we both have huge families, she didn't even give custodial rights to the only family member my daughter, because she knows we would get to know her ..... because of the loss of my son my heart has literally shattered twice.......I'm trying to rebuild my life I'm very lucky to have my husband by my side in which we just celebrated our 30 wedding anniversary......sometimes it's good to just walk away and the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself and keep on living.

      • TX_Ang
        Twice hurt  Thank you for your thoughts, and the struggle you're living with as well, especially the loss of your son, I am so sorry.  I do feel she is deeply ashamed of us and our lifestyle, even though she didn't mind it when she was a part of it. More Now she's just turned her back on us and our friends because we're not good enough to matter to her.  I'm doing my best to live and move on from day to day, but sometimes the emotions just take over and I have go to the bathroom to cry it out.
    • Healing Heart

      @Tx Ang. I feel really bad about your struggle and hope you're coping a lot better than your original post. I too am Hispanic married to white male, have one daughter, however, two grandchildren later. On the opposite side of spectrum strong bond with 9 yr grandson and love one year though didn't get that close. They moved far away and she cut me off. She left with her far from prominent boyfriend and since then she didn't even say I don't want you in my life. She just doesn't reply, she has slowly not let us talk to our grandkids.

      So my point, the relationship can be slow death of great magnitude because with mine I had memories or if she told me nine yrs ago, I wouldn't have to hurt from something I only dreamed would be ((being an involved grandparent). It's a two way street, it will be her loss. You see also my mom passsed away last year so don't have that either.

      How I get through it? Take one day at a time, pray hard, play even harder, surround myself with loved ones, cry it out when needed but not wallow in it and just Gratitude for all I do have. Whatever you or your spouse did that wasn't perfect, if there is change then enjoy and enjoy each other. Life is too short, your daughter will need her space. Most important I learned to look at my own faults and Forgive my shortcomings leaving my daughter to be wbecuse the constant attempts of seeking her is not worth my sanity or health. someday my grandson will be a man, it will be her to answer why he was cut away and the reason won't make sense when it comes to the Love we had for each other! Take care, excercise, pray, and things will get easier with or without that want in your life.

      • TX_Ang

        Healing Heart  Thank you for sharing your story and kind words of encouragement.  I was doing better and refocusing on improving myself with the hope of impressing my daughter enough to accept me.  She recently posted a picture of herself on facebook at 6-1/2 months pregnant and she just looks so radiant and beautiful, and I felt so tortured that I can't see her or hug her or share the experience with her since we've shared almost everything in the past.  There are tears rolling down my face as I'm typing this right now, because the just as I was beginning to heal, the wound has been re-opened.  She also posted a message yesterday that was worded "to the ladies that were invited to my baby shower", regarding a phone number or something.  I felt as if I was slapped in the face.  I just don't get how she can go from texting or talking on the phone with me multiple times every day, to treating me as if I don't even exist.  I feel like I must be the most awful piece of garbage and sorry excuse for a human being.  Even though to this day, there's nothing in the world my husband and I wouldn't do for her. 

        When she first told us the news about her pregnancy, I went out and bought her a $200 blender to make smoothies when she said she wanted to start having smoothies every day but didn't own a blender.  I also got her a nice pregnancy pillow when she said she was having trouble sleeping because she was having difficulty getting comfortable.  I got her some transitional clothing for work and bought some things for the baby too. 

        We even put ourselves into debt and bought a nicer car that would accommodate a car seat even though that may never even happen now.  I have a couple of bins with baby clothes and things for a baby I may never even get to meet.  Last week I mailed her a package with all her mail that comes to our house including 3 issues of the Parenting magazine I ordered for her, since I'm probably no longer welcome at her apartment which is only 5 minutes away from my job.  She sent me a text on Friday to say thank you for sending her mail and that she was going to be moving in November and she would let me know her new address.  I was ecstatic when I got her message, and I pondered on all the things I wanted to say to her but didn't really want to put it in a text, so all I said was, "Wow, that's great! Thanks for letting me know."  I now feel like I missed an opportunity to say anything else, because I hoped that we were going to be back to at least texting.  I haven't heard anything else back from her, but I so want to ask her to please not take away the opportunity for me to be a part of my grandson's birth and his life.

        Like you Healing Heart I cry aloud when I'm alone, and put a smile on my face for everyone else and live my life, while still carrying all this pain and sadness in my heart.  I am grateful to have my own mom, even though our relationship has always been somewhat distant as well, but at least we call each other every week or so.

        • Healing Heart

          @tx ang

          Hang in there, sounds like there is hope based on her giving you her address. Remind yourself that you're a great woman and even better mom than most. Take care and best wishes.

    • The Scribe


      "It seems that she is embarrassed by who we are, as well as our family and friends.  I'm Hispanic and her father is White as is my current husband, and her husband is White too, but comes from a more prominent family with a much higher income than us.  We're just comfortable and live well below our means, so we don't drive brand new fancy cars or have a huge home. Also, another point of contention for her is that my husband is in a motorcycle club which she views in a negative way."

      This seems to be the "disease" that is afflicting gen-y in particular,this need to compare her own family to her spouse's. Why is it that many young adults of gen-y who marry spouses from better-off homes feel ashamed of their parents in most instances? I wonder where they learnt to be so snobbish and to disrespect people who worked hard to bring them up with a good education etc. Or could it be a simple case of inferiority complex? 

      So she also suffers from this white superiority complex. If that's the case she must despise me too LO L bcs I'm Chinese,thus yellow and surely not white haha but it makes no difference to me bcs while I know the language of the white people how many white people know my language? I can come here to speak up but can many white people go to Chinese language sites to say something?

      Looks like your daughter is a snob but is unaware she is so fret not. Give her time and space to grow up. Good luck,grandma-to-be.

      • TX_Ang
        The Scribe TX_Ang  Thank you for your comment, and for pointing out what I was neglecting to see about my daughter being a snob.  All I've ever done was my best as a single parent, although I'm aware that I made some mistakes along the way, and I still live with constant guiltMore that her childhood was far from ideal. She's always been the type to care about what others think, whereas I don't, especially when it comes to trying to keep up with the Joneses.  We've never even met her boyfriend's parents and they've been together 2-1/2 years.  So, yes, she is ashamed of us and it makes me very sad and hurt.  I worry that the time and space she needs to grow up will never come and I'll never see my grandson.
        • The Scribe

          TX_Ang The Scribe

          Hi Ang. Could you be Chinese too besides being Hispanic? Judging by your surname bcs Ang is a Chinese surname. It can also be Wang or Ong etc. Must see the Chinese writing bcs the English ones are all spelt differently but it makes no difference bcs only the Chinese writing is important in a Chinese name. The meaning of your name (not your surname) is very important bcs it can affect your future life according to feng-shui.

          I understand your worries. To be cut off from the grandchildren is an unforgivable action of the children if one looks from the filial piety point of view. A child who is unfilial to his elders will not earn Heaven's blessings. It is sad not to see our own grandchildren grow up. Whatever,which parent has never made a mistake or not done the best they know how? The fault is not entirely yours. All you can do is pray. She may yet be moved to see her own waywardness. All the best.

          • TX_Ang

            The Scribe No Chinese that I'm aware of, my full first name is Angela, which is Angel in Spanish.  However, I am fascinated with the principles of feng-shui.  Thank you for your kind words and understanding, I had a very bad day yesterday and shed a lot of tears for the loss of what is yet to be, meaning my unborn grandson.  I feel as though I am in a grieving process as if someone that has passed away.  Going through so many emotions of just not understanding why I am being punished for being excited for my daughter's 1st pregnancy and wanting to do something special for her.  I'm obviously in some kind of denial that she just doesn't like me, and probably never has. 

            Reading all the other posts here have been helpful at times and also very sad and upsetting too.  Some of the stories describing the years of estrangement in some families really scares me.  My situation has only been 3 weeks and I'm a mess....

          • The Scribe

            TX_Ang The Scribe Oh I see. Ang stands for Angela. 

            No need to worry about having a very bad day. It's normal to feel very down or very happy. It will take time for you to come to terms with such an unhappy life event. It's been 3 weeks only so you're still grieving. Everyone grieves differently. Some life events hurt some people more than others.

            Feng-shui means wind and water. Feng=wind,shui=water. The Chinese believe in the 5 elements which form the basis of the principles of feng-shui - earth,wood,water,fire,metal. There is so much to say about these 5 elements alone. An imbalance in the nature of things could result in many of life's events,including estrangement from children. I don't know. Some people call it superstition LOL but I really believe in the importance of feng-shui bcs man must live in harmony with his environment as he's a part of it.

    • Mel
      TX_Ang It seems she is upset that you didn't take her seriously in the past. If she understands you would like to be part of her family, she will try to accept it. I think she is embarrassed by her family's behavior and would like for her family to embarrassMore her. It seems she is ashamed of her family by the way you are describing it. You can send a message to let her know as a mother you would like to spend time with your daughter because you love her. I think if she is old enough to decide who she wants to be including in her life.
  • vecanto
    I am a mess. My oldest son and his wife are estranged to the point where I am excluded from being invited to my grandsons' birthdays. I have tried to apologize not even knowing why and have asked what their issues are but my attempts get me no where andMore am I left so confused and completely in the dark. I can't believe someone I carried for 9 months and lived under a roof with me until finishing university can want nothing to do with me. This is not the child I raised. My family and I are very close. I am so tired of reaching out in loving and gentle ways. I find their behaviour so disrespectful. I feel them ignoring my hone calls, texts and invitations down right rude. I feel no one understands the pain I carry inside my heart. How can a son feel me not worthy of sharing his life and family with me? How can he or his wife live with themselves or sleep at night. We are all roman catholic and of Italian decent; both placing extreme importance of family, respect, forgiveness and love. I feel so judged and unloved.
    • mmof4boyz
      @vecanto I am in the same boat for four months now. Family is the most important  thing in my life. I have lived my life raising my four sons and now I feel as though the saying "a daughter is a daughter all of her life, a son is aMore son until he takes a wife" is sadly a very accurate statement.. Seems like its always the wives  and the wives families. As a mother-in-law I have felt left out since day 1, but four months ago my son and I had words and he no longer speaks to me, won't answer my texts or phone calls and the part that hurts the most is that he took my two beautiful granddaughters away. I am not allowed to see them. This has broken my heart. I am severely depressed. My life feels like it is over. He actually used the word punishment to me. He said he was punishing me by not allowing me to see the girls. Who does that to a mother who never did anything but support and love her family?
    • Twice hurt
      It seems this is a pattern of today's generation it seems to me.....they can't handle things or don't agree or get hurt and their way of retaliation is cut off the parents, I thought I was alone in my pain but as I read thru everyone's post, it's seems toMore be a generational attitude. We never did that to our parents, would never have giving it a thought even to cutting off our parents...
      • mmof4boyz
        Twice hurt Exactly! They are a generation of entitlement and never, ever would we have thought of disrespecting our parents, let alone cutting them off. It is a sad generation and I feel sorry for their children because they have no heart.
    • SatoriBleu
      My daughter stopped speaking to me two years ago. She has responded very little to my outreach to her. From reading the forums and books on estrangement... I think it is a cruel thing that they choose to do. I hardly ever faught with my daughter and I did supportMore her in many ways. I cried a lot the first year. Then I started to realize it was her choice and that I did not deserve it. I still wish it wasn't like this, but by acknowledging I have no control over her, I have been able to say I did my best, I am a good mother. Do the same. Everyday pray for a reunion and then remind yourself that this is not your choice. Send loving texts here and there. The community of hurting parents is thinking of you. Be strong, and continue with your life in a loving, dignified manner. Keep setting an example of what love looks like. Blessings sent to you.
    • The Scribe
      @vecanto Your son/wife must be y-gen. I've been told gen-y is very ungrateful,take things for granted and have a strong sense of entitlement. Thru' personal observation it seems such a belief is true so no need to feel so aggrieved. Many think the sacrifices of their parents are nothing andMore should come with the status quo. Let us see if they will go the extra thousand miles for their kids.
    • NL Mom
      @vecanto So sorry to hear of your son's behavior Vecanto. I feel the same as you do. I wish there were some words I could say to make you feel better. Ppl do understand though, many, many parent's are going through what your going through.
  • Carolme

    I am thankful to find this post.  Since we are human beings we have feelings and we make mistakes.  I have two children 21 and 28, a boy and girl.  I always wanted kids and knew I wanted two.  We lost my father to cancer when I was 12.  My Mom worked full time and did the best she could.  As a teen, I had very little awareness of what she experienced.  I was not so smart but very emotional and lashed out at Mom.  My younger sister and I are close now but we fought a lot and made my Mom miserable.  I'm not sure how she did it but I think there might have been some little yellow pills in her tool box.  She was far from perfect.  Yelled and screamed a lot and slapped us until we were too old to let her. I never loved her less or broke contact.  As I matured, married and had my own responsibilities, I realized how horrible I was to her.  And fortunately, was able to share all this with her before she passed at 91.  Love was the constant thread.

    If only that was true of my marriage to a verbally and emotionally abusive alcoholic.  I was the one that had to tell my little girl "daddy will be home soon".  And felt that most of the time, I was raising our two single handedly.  It was only when I threatened to divorce that the ex decided he could get the upper hand.  And he did. Of course, our daughter (then a tender 13) longed to be "daddy's girl" and wanted to believe everything he told her.  Brainwashing is a powerful weapon used by a parent to alienate the other parent.  The ex did a very good job.  I barely saw my daughter until she landed on my doorstep, crying her eyes out at 3am in the morning, begging to live w/me.  She told me Dad had made all kinds of promises that he never kept, was crazy and hated her first real boyfriend.  We had a great reconciliation and I thought understood each other pretty well.  However, since it was the holidays and her brother was still at his home, I (very reluctantly) asker her to go back.  @4 months later she asked if she could move in w/her bf.  And I said OK, when I probably should not have.  Things went well until he wasn't working or going to school.  I gave them/him a generous 4 week deadline.  Instead they packed everything up and moved out immediately.  I only have 2 bedrooms so this then gave me a chance to let our son live w/me.  He called at least once or twice a week asking me to rescue him and was in fact being neglected and having to take care of his father.

    Even when paying child support, I did whatever I could for both and they knew I was there for them.  I helped my daughter w/a car, computer and then yoga school.  She became a wonderful yoga teacher.  I was vey proud of her independence, passion and acute business mind.  She opened a studio and was very successful.  I was there, every step of the way and enjoyed attending her classes.  When boyfriend #2 broke up after 4 years, I was there to pick up the pieces (and make sure she ate).  (I'm a Jewish mother!) 

    Meanwhile, the ex was getting sicker and sicker but refused to stop drinking and would hide stuff under his bed.  Due to weird complications our son was living w/him again.  At 2am I got a call from our daughter.  "Daddy just died.  Please get over here right away!"  And so I rushed over there.  They wanted me and needed me, at that point.  A horrible night that didn't end until about 6am.  I was invited to the memorial (at sea) and joined a boat full of family and friends, to scatter his ashes.  And (somewhat reluctantly because they joined and contributed to the alienation) went to my in-laws afterwards for dinner.  Everyone was very civil and nice as could be.

    I know it was because he was very ill.  The ex stopped paying for his life insurance and bought guns and guitars instead.  The mortgage he left was twice as much as the amount we originally bought the house for.  And that is what he left our children.  He never remodeled or threw anything away.  It was quite a sad mess.  My son had to move back in with me.  The plan was to clean up, throw stuff out and put the house up for sale.  Meanwhile, the mortgage had to be paid.  Not something I could help with.  I have my own home and bills.  And son was not working, at the time.  Though, I wasn't especially thrilled w/the idea, I offered to help clean up.

    Meanwhile, years ago (out of the clear blue) my ex told me he was going to give me a part of his pension and asked me to sign some paperwork.  In ten years, that was almost the only nice thing he had done.  I had spent my entire retirement account going to court for the kids, in my effort to spare them from a lot of this heartache.  That sure didn't work out!  After he died, I was having a very hard time making ends meet and supporting my then 18 yo son.  Without telling either child, I went ahead and did the paperwork to receive the (slightly more than $400.00 monthly pension payment).  It truly saved my butt and my sons.  Otherwise, there was a good chance we would have ended up homeless.

    One early Sat. morning, my son and I went to the ex house and started right in.  We made a deal that he would clean the bathrooms and I would clean the horribly cobwebby carport.  He was extremely scared of spiders.  As soon as my daughter arrived, I could tell she was angry at me.  First she wanted to know why I wasn't cleaning the bathroom.  Instead of listening, she went off the rails and started yelling about me going behind her back.  Clearly, she had no intention of listening and started making me very nervous.  I gathered my things and started backing towards my car.  Then she yelled at her brother and said he'd better go with me.  And that is the last time we had a face to face conversation.

    Her Dad told her he wanted her to have the pension and not me (the horrible witch).  Maybe he did but he did nothing to change that when he was alive and he had plenty of years to do that.  So now, even in death, the alienation has reared up and taken it's toll.  It's been over two years.  We had some back and forth attempts to reconcile, mostly started by me.  But I am still a horrible person, who did terrible things and lied all the time.  Now she and new boyfriend (who I have never met) moved across the country.

    While working w/other yoga teachers, my daughter became close to several counselor, social worker women.  A lot of stuff she said didn't sound like her at all.  I am sure they kept telling her how "toxic" I was and that she would be better off not talking to me.  At least, that is the feeling I got.  Not an excuse.  Just part of the deal.

    I am generally a very positive person.  I realized, I needed help when I cried for most of a weekend non-stop.  I found a good counselor and worked on getting a better perspective.  I wish I could say I have "let go" but that is obviously not the case.  I love my daughter and miss her so much.  I hate this!  Talking about it helps, especially when I am talking to people that have gone through something similar or worse.  My heart goes out to each and everyone of you.  Thank you for listening.

    • NL Mom
      Carolme reading your story was heartbreaking. I'm so sorry to hear about your troubles with your daughter. My ex was very good at parental alienation also, now I don't have a relationship with my older son at all. I, like you, did everything I could to try and "fix" thingsMore and bent over backwards to do everything I could for my son, but nothing worked. You're not alone, there are far too many parent's in the same situation as you are. I too sought out a counsellor and things are getting better. The biggest stumbling block for me now is being angry and try as I might it's taking a long time to try and get through this stage. I hope better for you.
  • Daisy
    I really need some advice.  My brother has never really been part of my family since he was about 16. Although when he had a child he continually asked my parents and I to babysit for him.  My parents did this without any hesitation ever and enjoyed being a partMore of my nephews life.  Recently he got married to his long term partner who I feel dislikes me in particular and talked him into cutting all contact with me for the last 25 years of my life.  He has always taken from my parents and never given anything in return.  If I was to write everything he has done to them I would be here all day.  The most recent thing is that he got married in New York seemingly not telling anyone about his plans.  He told my parents a week before he was going to do this.  Giving the impression that no one was invited.  I visited my parents this weekend and they told me that his new wifes parents were in Florida at the same time as the wedding and they were flown up to New York and attended the wedding.  My parents dont talk to me about their feelings but I know they were both devastated.  I have not seen my brother in over 10 years and have no feelings for him whatsoever.  I hate the way he treats my parents and have tried several times to get them to disown him.  This might sound harsh but there is so much hurt he has caused.  I dont know how to support my parents.  I'm distraught when I think about what he does to them.  They do not deserve this.  Please help, any suggestions are greatly received
    • numberfiveminusone
      @Daisy Hi Daisy.  I understand why you want your parents to disown your brother. You are tired of seeing them hurt and might believe that cutting off contact will prevent further hurt for them. But I think it may be more complicated for them. They already know how he isMore and that he will continue to hurt their feelings. They seem to have accepted that.  It may be much worse in their minds to cut him off and never know if he and your nephew are dead or alive. It may create anxiety that is worse than what they are going through. I hope that makes sense. I think your parents are blessed to have you in their lives and it may give them more comfort then you will ever know that you care about them so much.
      • Daisy


        Thankyou for your reply.  I think they have accepted how he is.  I will always be the daughter that gives them enough love and support for both of myself and my brother. Even though I live much further away from them than he does.  Take care Daisy

      • NL Mom

        numberfiveminusone Awesome answer! 

        Daisy, I feel for you and for your parents. I have a brother that went into the navy as a teenager then settled hundreds of miles from my parents. He's had very little contact with my parents over the years, they've accepted it. I just think he's build differently that I or my sister am. He seems to care about himself mostly, and I don't think he even knows or understands how he's hurt anyone. Maybe your brother is the same way?

        • Daisy

          NL Mom numberfiveminusone

          Hi, I think you are right I think he is built differently and does not understand that he has hurt anyone.  I'm not justifying his behaviour though and still wonder how he can do this.

      • The Scribe

        numberfiveminusone Thumbs up for your answer. 

        To Daisy - just ignore this so-called brother of yours but try not to run him down with your parents as it could cause them more pain. A horrible child is still a child. You won't feel it bcs he's not your child. Try to imagine how you would feel if someone tells you to disown your own child. It's like asking you to cut off an arm or a leg. the same goes for them when you ask them to do that.

        Hope what I wrote is not offensive. You did ask for suggestions. All the best.

        • Daisy

          The Scribe numberfiveminusone

          Hi, its really easy for me to ignore him.  I don't even refer to him as my brother when talking to people I call him my parents son.  I just called him my brother in this post to get across that I am biologically related to him unfortunately.

          I don't actually ask my parents to disown him just wish they would.  It's really hard not to run him down in front of them and I know its something I need to work on. Thanks for your answer, it wasn't offensive

  • Misdy9
    Very happy to find I'm not alone with this but sad people are experiencing what I am too. I wonder if my 28yr old daughter has bi polar or similar. We are estranged 7 months now. In between she has married. I went searching, bought her wedding dress and neverMore got to see her wear it. Previously we would communicate every day sometimes several times. I'm sad to lose not just her but my 3 beautiful grandchildren. I wasn't a perfect parent, by far, and she wasn't a perfect daughter. She would taunt and scream abuse in my face as a child. In fact she had the whole family to ransome. Do I feel a bit sorry for myself? Yes I do at the minute. I see many posts saying 'keep the door open, don't give up'. Well I've done this since she was a small child, about 8 when the abuse began. She is a bully. She was also a self harmer and is inclined to eating disorders. How does one, say "no more abuse" and keep the door open? I have always made the move to recover the relationship and as a result, this is clearly observed as a weakness in her world. An invite to further abuse.
    • Healing Heart


      How does one say no more abuse and keep door open? Seems like that's the answer, have that sign with the door closed...open the door and enter as this is a no abuse zone. In other words the relationship should be under terms of mutual respect, no exceptions!

    • awanderingone
      @Misdy9 She would taunt and scream abuse in my face as a child
    • NL Mom
      @Misdy9 It's hard, I stopped trying to have contact with my son eight months ago, and haven't heard anything from him since. I was trying to make contact but he wasn't interested. I had to cut ties and move on, it's been the hardest thing I've ever done, but IMore had to do it for my own peace of mind. He had my heart on a string and tossed it around constantly, my whole life was a mess and nothing I did seemed to make a difference. I had to cut the ties and rebuild my life. It's not perfect, but things get better by the day.
  • Mel

    Although I think you do present some great points, there are certainly some parents that will only use their children as assets. I was one of those children. While growing up I was beat for not getting enough money from my father for the household. He was an alcoholic and spent all this money on beer or cigarettes. I was told I wasn't good enough constantly and made to feel like trash everyday. I was brainwashed into thinking negatively about my own father. My mother told me everyday to hate him and when I grow up I owe her. Any small mistake would set her off in a fit of anger or spew of frustration. You didn't sweep the floor? Well then you are a disgusting person like your father. You understand the point. That was just a small one. 

    It eventually got to the point where I met someone and their kind family in high school. They agreed to take me in because I told them about my living conditions. I had low self esteem, suicidal thoughts (I still do because I replay things from my childhood in my brain, it's less now), self harmed. I was made fun of for crying. I was constantly deceived by my own mom. It was not until high school I noticed my family was off. I started to visit other families and notice how nice they were to one another. My family was always trying to defend themselves from attacks or ready to attack. My brothers stopped talking to each other for 2 years. My mom didn't even try to fix it. SHE DIDN'T CARE. 

    But guess what, after I threatened to leave and tried to pack my things and bring them to my locker at school...she made a scene on the street. She tore open my things, and told everyone nearby I was a bad child for trying to run away with my boyfriend. I tried to explain repeatedly that it was her who constantly threatened to kick me out. I told others that she was being terrible. I was shut down...by another adult. He said I needed to woman up because he believed her. When I went back that day, she faked her suicide attempt. I thought she swallowed a bunch of pills so I called 911. I was in a panic...I cared. I cared so much I cried. But when I found out she faked it, I was done. I didn't want to come back. She ran from the home when I called the police, I was worried and chased her!! She needed medical attention! She called me crazy for calling! I was 17! 

    Although I moved away, I still tried to keep in touch with her. I thought with a distance that maybe she would try to understand me more. Instead she would only call to tell me about how I was making her look bad to others (she didn't have many friends, and family generally thought she was pitiful), would have an unhappy life for leaving family, and asked me for money. 

    The last few times she has called me only for money. 

    I tried to get a mediator to help me with this before but all they could say was that she was my mother and that I should go back. I think she is mentally ill because she was prescribed antidepressants and I don't believe I saw her take them. 

    Sorry for the long rant but sometimes the child becomes estranged for safety reasons too. I love my life now because I understand myself more and I can enjoy things without feeling so guilty anymore. My emotions are better.

    • Healing Heart
      @Mel. It's ironic how sometimes the cards are turned where adult children do try and want that bond but it's the parent who is the dysfunctional one. It will only drive you to be a far better parent than they were. I too grew up in chaos butMore my mom redeemed herself hen I was an adult so was blesses. I did the best I could with mine, no abuse but did yell which I apologized and changed when sh was a teen but now she is enstranged. We can only move on and stay strong.
    • The Scribe
      @Mel Why are some families so dysfunctional? It's bcs some parents are NOT fit to be parents.
      • Mel
        The Scribe I was lucky to be given some chances in the world to see what kinds of families were healthy. They treated other kindly and there wasn't a constant war in each other these households. I am thankful everyday I was able to experience them. To bring children intoMore the world is a great responsibility. Life is inspiring, children should get to experience that. If I have children in the future, I want them to be proud of who they are and feel loved. Their thoughts and feelings are valuable because it is what makes life meaningful. I wished I was at least taught that by my parents. I saw that you were replying to others in the comments and I think you gave some valuable advice. I came to this article because I sought for a reason to go back to my parents and to see if now would be a good time. I will wait until I am emotionally stable enough to handle it because right now, I am at a delicate moment in my life. I just started to begin to understand myself.
        • The Scribe

          @Mel The Scribe

          Mel,thank you for your reply. I'm an observer and I empathise. I'm not personally going thru' this estrangement thingy but my close relatives are and I'm sort of involved with their predicament. 

          I see your sincerity in wanting to go back to your parents. It's good to know that you still love them despite everything. Take your time,calm yourself and make a move when you feel you're ready emotionally and mentally. 

          What you wrote about children - "If I have children in the future, I want them to be proud of who they are and feel loved. Their thoughts and feelings are valuable because it is what makes life meaningful. I wished I was at least taught that by my parents." It's so true. That's so insightful. If I had known this I would not have made my fair share of mistakes. Luckily I've taught my children about filial piety and they were brought up the traditional Chinese way so there's very little worry about estrangement yet one can't be too careful. My close relatives brought up their kids the same way yet two of their daughters are going in that scary direction. One of them is slowly coming back so everyone in my large extended family is hoping that the other daughter will be moved to reconsider her unfilial actions and attitude.

  • Maggie

    This article might actually save my life.

    I am really struggling. My eldest (son, now 31) married a woman that made him break all ties with me and his dad. They have a son who will be 1 yr old in 2 days time. We have never been allowed to even meet him.

    My daughter hates me for being such a terrible parent when she was a teen. I was. 

    I broke my neck in a car accident and was in a wheelchair for 7 yrs and suffered badly from panic attacks.

    She couldn´t cope with that. And still cannot find it in her to forgive me. I know I was very hard to be around, always scared, always in pain, crying a lot, being needy and sometimes angry.

    Her father stuck by me and cared from me, we are still happily married and I am out of my wheelchair and has gotten on with life. 

    I also have PKD cystic kidneys and liver and will soon be needing dialysis and then a transplant.

    She does not allow me to talk about this.

    Every time she adresses me she is snappy, angry or treat me like a child. When I tell her it´s not ok to do so she threatens me to not let me see her 2 boys, never visit again.

    So I walk on egg shells around her.

    Me and my husband also have two younger boys, and with them things are easier. They are 9 and 21.

    Some days I feel like i can do nothing right and that the whole family would be better off without me.

    • numberfiveminusone
      @Maggie Oh Maggie those "some days" are bad days aren't they? Wishing you peace, better health and glad you have your husband and your younger boys. Stay strong Maggie your family is counting on you.
    • The Scribe

      @Maggie Hi my dear Maggie,

      What you wrote made me feel so sad. The callous way your daughter treated you shows she's an unfeeling person. How could she blame you for the accident and your present medical condition? Nobody asks for such health problems. 

      Your family won't be better off without you since you've a 9 year old and a good husband. You will be better off without those unworthy children. All the best and know that the community here are for you.

  • Missingbill

    Hello, I had the funeral for Bill. The people that came gave me lots of attention and these people hugged me. I liked the funeral because I was the centre of attention. Some invites didn't come to the funeral and give me sour face. I tell them, "they haven't walked in my shoes". I had two children, now I only say I have one. I give my other child everything he wants so If Bill ever comes back he will see how happy Burny is and will be jealous of how successful Burny is because of my support and for not having me to care for his rude teenage brat that never said thank you.

    I am on anxiety tablets, and someone say to me; that I need to concentrate on "getting better", so if Bill ever comes back I will be in the position to build a relationship with Bill that was stronger then the previous one we had. I am offended and did not reply.

    • numberfiveminusone


      I am glad you took a step to make yourself feel better even if some people in your life did not understand.  I understand why you are offended by someone saying you need to "get better" so that you and Bill can have a relationship that is stronger if he chooses to have a relationship with you. Unless there has been abuse I do not see how a family member  needs to be in a strong position to be loved by other family members. That is what makes family special- they love us despite our flaws. It's heartbreaking but I see you in (in my mind) in a tux as you greet your family friends who pay homage to the loss of Bill and your grief. I wish you peace my friend.

    • The Scribe

      @Missingbill Wow so you went thru' it. I don't know what to think. I don't think this kind of taboo ritual should be done. 

      You could just keep thinking that you only have one child. Habitual behaviour/thoughts will soon become second nature and one day soon you'll forget about this estranged son. He doesn't deserve you. Anyway,what's done is done so all the best to you.

      • Alicita72
        Wow I know how you must have felt to have had a funeral for your Bill. I HAVE BEEN THERE with my daughter. Recently I said that I must bury her and grieve the loss in order to move on. I was looked at as if I was some morbidMore freak. I know what I feel and how crippling the pain has been. In order to move forward I need to grieve the loss. No one can judge you, you did what you felt you needed to do in order to cope with such a great loss. My only advice is to build your relationship with your remaining child based on your experience with him, and for Bill to be jealous. Doing that just continues to make it about Bill, you are a strong soul and you will have your moment one day with Bill to clear the air or not. After all that has happened you may realize that you don't want to open up old wounds. It requires a lot of work both mentally and physically to work through such a loss. No matter what you decide know that you are a survivor, and that you are needed and loved by your remaining child. I pray that you continue to move forward and remember don't blame yourself. I too struggle with blaming myself or thinking what I could have done differently. Thank you for sharing your story.
        • Missingbill
          Yes, have a funeral. I wore a black dress, not a tux. My other beautiful son and his wife I chose as pallbearer's. They carried a box full of stuff Bill left behind, which they lowered into the ground and buried. I am a good role model for my grandchildren,More it teaches them what to do when people leave.
          • Healing Heart
            Very creative, it is a grieving process to have an estranged child and sometimes best for sanity to do things of these type of rituals if it helps one cope and carry on with their own lives. In time I may do a mental excercise such as this if itMore gets too much to hold on any longer.
  • Debbielg725752016

    My son has bulliede since he was 14.

    He is now 41 and he is still a bully. It is horrifying and way beyond my understanding. He must be extremely troubled. I have absolutely no idea what do to, absolutely none. He is angry with the world and I guess he feels I am the one who deserves the punishment. His father is toxic and has poisoned him. My son says he hates his father but he does not break ties with him. My son was so proud that he did not speak to me for 12 years, then we spent fun times and communication however, he would hold back for months then ignore that fact. We visited and kept in touch about 7 years and he is on another anger binge. I never know what sets him off. If I had an answer from God for this and a resolve, how precious would that be?

  • M155P

    I feel everyone's pain. My daughter and I have had a tumultuous relationship all her life. Times it has been my fault and others hers, yet I am always the one to keep trying to build bridges. She went through years where she didn't work and I financially supported her in her own flat about an hour from my home, I used to clean it, du her laundry and fill the fridge up when I visited as her life was out of control. She did sort her life out after a spell in the priory and we were good for a while.  I found her to be judgmental though as she worked through her 12 steps,  felt that she had become holier than thou in her attitude, and that her path was now the best path and that every view that didn't correspond with hers was wrong, but as we lived a long way away our physical contact was limited but we still spoke on the phone. When I did visit it was because she wanted me to do something, decorate, help with the garden that sort of thing. I was too passive and agreed each time just so that I could have a relationship. I am sometimes of the view that I actually didn't like her as person anymore but felt guilty because she was my daughter

    The final straw came when I was ill in hospital about 3 years ago, I  was being moved from hospital to hospital with no idea what was happening.  During a call to her I explained the frustration I felt at the lack of communication from the staff in hospital about what was happening and when I would be moved back nearer home  ( I was hospitalized with a suspected stroke) she told me she could no longer deal with this it was too much for her. I saw her briefly at my sisters funeral 6 months later and she made no attempt to be civil. We have not spoken since. 

     I have not thought of the estrangement for the past 2 years, whilst hurt, I accepted that she wanted to her own way and I was not part of that. I felt happy that she was now with a good man and was settled, I was also tired of the continuous walking on eggshells when we did speak or meet,  I heard this week that she married at the weekend. I wasn't invited and it did hurt. 

    I am going to write her a letter congratulating her on her wedding , and to wish her joy and happiness, and let her know my door is always open. I will add as a final note that if we never meet again I hope that life treats her kindly  and that I am proud that she is my daughter and that I have and will always love her . 

    if she responds then maybe we can rebuild, if not, I will feel that I will have tried one last time, and will have closure.  


    • Alicita72
      I cried reading this mostly for me. You have incredible inner-strength. I know how difficult and painful it must be. My 22 year old daughter has been estranged for 3 months. I found this site last night seeking help and courage for my own issues and came across your story.More I admire your courage and strength and I wish you peace.
    • NL Mom
      @M155P I hope you find the closure. It's such a difficult thing to find. I tried everything I could to have a relationship with my son and I am working on trying to accept that he's not in my life. Although you still hurt, I admire your ability to pickMore yourself up and move on. Good for you!
    • Leftnlonely

      M155P wow. That is quite the,story. It made me cry for you

      My son did the same thing with a marriage. Hes been married months,now and i havent hea8rf from him since he got married. It all hurts so badly. All you can do is try one more time,as you said. I wont get that chance becausr he,had me blocked at every turn i have no way to contact him. And he lives,3500 mikes away now. We were best friends all his life we traveled together and had great times and lots of laughs . I know h8iw you feel. I cant do anything to help you, but i do understand you and i do know your pain and feel your emptiness. I support you and will be there. Leftnlonely

  • Debbielg725752016
    Thank you NLMom and lefnlonely.
  • Moni

    So when your mother evicts her daughter (that pays part of the mortgage) & grandchildren for being 'disrespectful', AND plasters our business AND my sudden eviction on Facebook and clearly says she will keep posting til she's happy, I'm responding from anxiety? Give me a BREAK!! Separating myself from the person that birthed me is called, healing.

    Someone needs to post from the childs point of view.

    • The Scribe


      I'm sure the parents here at this site can see your p.o.v. as the child. You can still talk things over with her Moni. She's your mom after all so why go on the war path? 

      She's angry for some reason. Get somebody trustworthy and respectful of her to be the mediator. Old people only need respect and kindness. Once these two "ingredients" are available everything falls into place. 

      It's like cooking rice porridge (we Chinese eat a lot of rice porridge even if we don't live in China). All you need is rice and salt or just rice if you're cooking plain porridge but if you want to add in other ingredients then you'll need salt as well. I hope my analogy makes sense to you and not make you angrier than you already are. Do not waste the ONE mother that you have.

      • adultchildofnarcissists

        The Scribe "She's your mom after all."

        Please, stop. Parents can be abusive, and it's shocking that you respond in this manner to someone who is being outright harassed by their parent. 

        Adult children typically do not go no contact for no reason without drugs or mental illness involved. It took me years to finally love and respect myself enough to tell my parents that they were no longer welcome to the privilege of being a part of my life. I have never been happier - and they go around the internet complaining about how they have "no idea why" when that is anything but the truth. 

        The one mother we have might not be a good person. If your parents have treated you poorly, as it is so abundantly clear is true in @Moni's case, then why on earth should we be expected to take the abuse?

  • NL Mom
    There seems to be one common thread among many parents and that is that they presume to know why their children estranged themselves. Unless they come out and tell us, maybe we shouldn't assume, nor should we beat ourselves up trying to figure out why. .
    • Healing Heart

      Sometimes we have to accept that they never will come out with the courage of telling why, maybe it has nothing to do with the parent but more with whatever the adult child is fighting in their own minds. But you're right, we can't go through life beating ourselves up trying to figure it out...and if we are lucky someday they will tell us ...it was this about you that just pushed me away or I was going through this and didn't want you to judge or witness my struggle. Maybe they won't tell us why because a part of them wants us to not give up on them in case they need us or suffer because of what they believe we deserve. Guess it all depends on what childhood they had. Who knows ...so many factors so little time in life, can't shove a relationship down anyone's path.

      It's a struggle to let go of our children now that they are adults, but it's part of the process if it's only one sided efforts.

    • Leftnlonely
      Lefynlonely, i have taken a new attirude myself. I cant change what has happened. Its so much negativity and heart ache, i have decided i did the best i knew how. If i thought i was doing something wrong i would have changed butMore i didnt. Iam h causing myself so much stress its not good. I have to let it go and hope for the best or it will destroy me.
      • The Scribe

        Leftnlonely That is good,Lady. I'm glad to hear you've moved on and decided to make a new life for yourself. Only you can make it positive for yourself. We can only empathise and advise.

        Since there's nothing you can do you might as well get over the grieving and start to live. To continue grieving is NOT worth the suffering bcs your son is not going to care at all. You'll be wasting your emotional energy and your life. You've done your duty by him so let it be. Many parents can't figure out what wrong they had done bcs there were so many years in between. If adult children decide to be petty parents can't do anything. They think they are entitled to it yet their parents are not entitled to their kindness and respect.

        By the way Lady,where in the world are you? I think I'm the only one in the east. I'm an overseas chinese,meaning I was born outside china. I live in one of the south-east asian countries which is sunny almost everyday except during the monsoon season when we have lots of rain. As we are very near the equator there's only one season throughout the year so it's always summer which is hot and humid. The only respite is when it rains or if we run up to the mountains.

        • Leftnlonely
          Iam in the USA east coast area. Thank you its nice to hear from you. Wow i never figured tbis was so widly based. I enjoy your advise and lusten to things you say to try to make my life better. You are aMore very insiteful person and seem to gave alot of life experiences that have helped me. I always look forward to hearing from you lefynlonely. Not feeling quite,as lonely anymore but i still wonder.
          • The Scribe

            Leftnlonely Wow,east coast of the US. It's very far away from me. I have a sister-in-law and family living in New Jersey but I've never been to the states. When I think of the long flight crossing the Pacific Ocean to visit the US I surrender LOL.

            Thank you for your kind words. I do not know very much but I can imagine how you feel and whatever solace I'm able to offer you I shall and am glad that what I write helps make you feel better. We are all going thru' this journey called life together no matter where we are so if words which don't cost anything can make people feel less lonely then we should offer some as a form of prayer. 

            I'm touched by the last two words in your last sentence "... but I still wonder." You're still looking for the answer,Lady. Just be patient.

          • Leftnlonely
            To the scribe. Iam a couple of miles from new jerseys. Ive only flew,as far as hawaii and thats 13 hours. Thats my limit.. ues we can help from sll over the world' everyone has some kind of a problem and helping if we canMore csnt be bad, no matter how,far away we are. Its nice to have support and be supportive. Your friend. Leftnlonely.
  • RobertStrankman

    These comments are incredibly revealing.  As keithhendrickson pointed out, there are *many* stories of "well, I was the wronged party, so they need to come to me."  A rather disappointing but not unexpected thing to read.  However I'm equally joyed by the fact that there are estranged children and parents talking.  When we spend our time talking to friends and family on our side, even those who disagree with us are hesitant to tell us "so...like you're kind of being a jerk there.  Maybe be less of a jerk?"  Someone with a predisposed opinion to tell us we are wrong might just give us a bit of positive perspective on something so highly charged and emotional.

    As for my own part, I have been estranged from my mother for nearly 8 years.  The disagreement that lead to that final option for me was a rather classic one; I intensely disliked the man she had just recently married and over the course of a day long fight over text and email she had essentially given me a line in the sand "you either get both of us or neither of us."  Being a financially secure adult I told her never to talk to me again and have only exchanged brief emails since, the closest thing to kindness coming from me being pity.

    Now obviously that was only the tipping point at the top of a very tall mountain that had been built up for years.  Along the path we traveled was her own mother's misogyny and emotional abuse, a suspected sexual assault and abortion before I was born, a particularly angry kid of mixed race reacting poorly to the racism in the small community he grew up in, a hobby that included an opera singer frequently singing at full volume regardless of the location, and a host of other extremely complicated issues that I'm not ashamed to bring up but would turn a comment on an article into the first half of a book entitled "The Two Times I Felt Loved: A Son's Journey of Loss and Growth."

    But the real crux of a point I want to make here is directed at the parents who send emails and only receive curt replies or what appear to be accusations that are flat out wrong on their worst day and entirely petty on their best.  I can't speak for everyone of course, but the truth is I don't want to tell my mother the real reasons for cutting her out.  I'm scared of telling her because I'm scared of her.  She was particularly skilled at invalidating my feelings.  Her intent didn't matter, the effect was that I could never speak to her about the words she had said without feeling like somehow I was 'wrong' for having been hurt.  I can't say that I am an amazing person, but I can say I deserve better than to be treated like I don't know what I am feeling.

    I don't want to give her a chance to again invalidate me.  

    So if she sends an email or somehow circumvents the various social media blocks, I keep my physical and emotional distance in my replies lest she find the hook that allows her to tell me that I'm wrong.  There was a time some years ago where I was willing to forgive her if she simply owned that behavior.  I couldn't tell her to own it, partially because our own history told me that another round of emotional invalidation was inevitable and partially because I couldn't take the risk that any resulting change was shallow or insincere.  She had to go through that growth on her own, just as I had to work through the sources of my own bitterness and anger in order to have the healthy relationships I've since formed without her.  As a result, I doubt she knows what happened from my side.  Maybe she cares and is too afraid to ask.  But her attempts to restart a relationship with me since have been entirely about objects she wants to unload on me despite me making it clear multiple times that I would accept no objects from her under any circumstances.  Even if they are sincere -my own story places that in extreme suspicion- that isn't the behavior of someone who has come to an emotional understanding.  And seeing as I have my own life to live I have neither the desire nor the responsibility to help her get there.

    Do I regret cutting her out?  I do in the sense that I'm unhappy that I had to go that far to protect myself.  It was still the best decision I have ever made.  But, noting that the above is merely a very brief overview of a rather complicated tale, I'm willing to have someone tell me "dude, you're kind of being a jerk."  I've grown enough to be comfortable hearing that.

    • Relica

      RobertStrankman I'm not going to respond to the others because I feel like it would waste my time. But I am sorry to see that you came here, bravely spoke your piece and only got invalidated again. The truth is the people responding come from two groups A)people in denial that they ever abused their kids themselves b) people that have had reasonable parents, have been able to fix the problems they had and therefore why shouldn't you?

      The thing is, they might be partially right. Your mom might love you, but love is not enough. Particularly not when it's love like this. I think Neil Gaiman put in quite eloquently:

      “It was true: the other mother loved her. But she loved Coraline as a miser loves money, or a dragon loves its gold. In the other mother's button eyes, Coraline knew that she was a possession, nothing more. A tolerated pet, whose behavior was no longer amusing.”

      ? http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1221698.Neil_Gaiman, http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2834844

      • The Scribe

        Relica RobertStrankman

        Neil Gaiman is INSIGHTFUL.

    • Debbielg725752016
      Do you invalidate her feelings?
    • keithdhendrickson
      RobertStrankman Thank you for sharing your story Robert.  I understand what you are going through, and it's a horrible thing to live with.  For me, forgiveness is easy, kind of like meeting a bully who used to beat you up 20 years before only to realize they are a completelyMore different person and they are sorry for the pain they caused you.  I could forgive in an instant but only if I knew the person was willing to change.  But the reality is, some people never change.
    • The Scribe


      Tempus fugid,Robert. In the blink of an eye it could become 20 years and then you wonder where the time had gone. 

      Your mom would grow old and she would one day pass on. Why bear so much grudge? Why can't you talk things over with somebody you respect as a mediator? Once she passes on you'll never get a chance to talk things over and you'll lose the opportunity to show your care. I hope you will not live to regret your extreme lack of charity.

      • RobertStrankman

        The Scribe RobertStrankman This truly intrigues me.  You run from the assumption that I care enough to talk things over or that I care.  I don't on either count.  Ignoring that her history of emotional abuse would make me extraordinarily hesitant to put myself out there -remember, this woman made it a point to tell me my emotions were 'wrong' at nearly every step- what do I have to gain?  What does she have to offer me as an adult?

        To be clear: one of the reasons estrangement has been so relentlessly easy is that regardless of any emotional damage done, I don't like her.  As a person.  I don't like her hobbies, I don't like the movies or television she watches, I don't like the books she reads.  There is a noted lack of anyone in my life who has more than one or two interests in common with her.  If we were to talk about positive experiences in my life since age 15, the few she was present for and could not be replaced by literally anyone not actively antagonizing me at that instant would number five or six if I am being optimistic, three of which would involve a childhood dog that passed some time ago.  This comes across as a condemnation of her character I know.  That is not my intent.  I despise her as a mother.  My dislike comes from the fact that we are very different people.  Were she not my mother I wouldn't give her a second thought short of looking at some random activity that people enjoy and wondering "why does anyone enjoy that?"

        If I don't need her emotionally as a mother, I have long divested any need for the material support common in my generation due to a very questionable economy, and I find her presence as a person to be an empty experience...where do I benefit changing my life to allow someone otherwise unwelcome in?

        • The Scribe

          RobertStrankman The Scribe Wow Robert! You're talking about your mother here. If you despise her and want to continue with the estrangement who are we to say anything? If so,why bother at all to post here? If your situation does not trouble you why did you bother to tell your story? That was why I assumed you care.

          "If I don't need her emotionally as a mother, I have long divested any need for the material support common in my generation due to a very questionable economy, and I find her presence as a person to be an empty experience...where do I benefit changing my life to allow someone otherwise unwelcome in?" 

          Goodness,do you see your mom as a business venture? From what you wrote it looks like there was too much angst in your mother-son relationship and you have much to unravel. If it's worth it to salvage,why not? All the best and good luck. I hope I did not offend you.

          • RobertStrankman

            The Scribe RobertStrankman You did not offend.  Confuse and intrigue at a different insight perhaps, but no offense.  My hope is to stop this nonsense from happening to anyone else.  Bluntly, being estranged sucks.  It feels like being orphaned or that something is wrong with me. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I did as a child that caused my mother to be so angry at me so often and spend so much time breaking me down.  And I can't ever find out because she's so skilled at emotional abuse that she could drive me into another nervous breakdown.  Maybe that was her goal, "I am so angry at how men have treated me that I'll prove they can be just as weak as my mother told me women were!  HAHA!"  Probably not.  More likely she was just too wrapped up in her own damage to notice.  The end result, however, is the same as I cannot put my family at risk by exposing one of them to a person known to hurt them terribly.

            What does this mean for other estranged parents?  All my mother had to do before it was too late -more on why it was too late in a moment- is simply say "I know that my behavior often upset you very much.  My intent was not to hurt you and as it obviously did, I am genuinely sorry.  If you are willing to talk, I am willing to listen."  Ownership, remorse, and a willingness to listen without anger.  She couldn't undo what was done...but she could have proven she was willing to be a better person in the future.  It wouldn't matter if she thought she was the wronged party or not, it wouldn't matter if she thought I was the biggest most ungrateful jerk who had ever lived (though if so, why bother having me in her life if I was so awful), if she wanted the relationship then she needed to be bigger if only in her own eyes.  Might have blown up in her face...then she could at least say she tried.  She didn't try, so now she'll never get the chance.

            Why will she never get the chance?  The answer ties into my second post about 'what does she bring to the table?'  I bring up finances there (and in the first) as a point of noting that by the time estrangement occurs material concerns are neither the cause nor the cure.  Worse, what if they were?  Is that all a parent is supposed to be?  A bank that charges interest via phone calls with people mildly uninterested in them?  I've yet to meet a person who deserves that kind of useless attachment.  Every person in every person's life must be more than just a money or a bit of impersonal effort.  My mother will never get the chance because she lost the only thing she had that could make me happy, the aforementioned childhood dog had died.  The dog was the only thing my mother and I equally cared about in young adulthood.  She was very literally thing only thing that we never disagreed about.  Without her I had no other positive things to miss about my mother.

            What does this mean for other estranged parents?  What does your child see that you bring to their life?  That's a cold view to hold perhaps, but it matters, because it matters why an adult child would want you in what is probably a happier life (if it wasn't happier, they could have reached out or responded).  It also matters if estrangement ends.  Without a friendship or camaraderie to sustain the relationship it will remain cold and distant since the adult child will have little impetus to pursue it beyond the bare minimum of civility.  Yes, the adult offspring holds most if not all the blame for this...but again, they aren't the ones pursuing a relationship.

            Yes, I despise my mother.  She has earned that.  I despise anyone who hurts or threatens the safety of me or my own, especially if they do so repeatedly and without remorse.  No one owes their abuser love and I am rightfully far too afraid of her words to offer forgiveness.  It didn't have to be this way, though.  And if I can maybe stop or reverse it from happening to another family, maybe that can ease some of my guilt...even if that guilt is based on acting appropriately to something I can't control.

          • The Scribe

            RobertStrankman The Scribe

            Hi Robert,

            Thank you for not taking offence and for your kind reply which helps me understand your particular situation. Indeed I was confused and intrigued as I was thinking with my eastern confucian mind. This reply will surely help a lot of victim-parents who wonder why their adult children are keeping away. Of course,some adult children are doing it out of selfishness or a calculative mind.

            If your mom had realised she should go thru' a reliable mediator  if she cannot say those things to you directly. Your mom must have herself gone thru' much abuse herself to act in the following mode 

            "I am so angry at how men have treated me that I'll prove they can be just as weak as my mother told me women were!" 

            This shows it was all psychological. She was hurt by the male gender when she was younger so she probably took it out on you bcs you're male. After reading your reply I can feel the human in you. I don't think she realised what she had been doing to you all these years. Parents all love their children so they don't realise. They think they are doing the right thing bcs they are seeing things from the other side. If so,and you still think it's worth one last try get someone you trust and whom your mom knows to talk to her bcs she can't initiate the move as she has not realised. You're the enlightened one here Robert so the ball is actually in your court. 

            I wish you all the best. Being estranged from one's parents,children and siblings is the worst thing to happen to anyone.

          • lcjantzi


            From lcjantzi

            I've read all your posts here and the others that responded. For what it's worth, I believe you were truly abused. The part that stopped me cold was after you said you wanted to "stop this nonsense from happening to anyone else" and then you went on to ask , "What does your child see that you bring to their life?" So I asked myself this question. Basically, I believed I brought everything in me to my children's lives up to the point of them growing away from me, which I accepted. Unlike your mother, I was supportive and there were times when I took the brunt of extremely hurtful criticism in order to support and protect my children when we were going through the arrest and "fallout" of their dad's sexual deviancy, when my son acted out, when my one daughter became pregnant and many other occasions that pain me to remember.

            What I have to give now is peace, drama-less peace and stability. I only asked for three visits a year- Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday. I even negotiated on the days and times we could gather for these times. The one time I put my foot down, it became THE issue.

            But none of my story really relates to yours accept "the question". My answer is, I was the kind of mother that never wanted to do anything to hurt my child. I understand that there were times when their feelings were hurt or I said or did something that disappointed them. As you said, these things can't be undone. But I believe we can talk about them and maybe there is understanding to gain. Anyway, from their point of view they were "abused" and want no contact from me for years now. Since they have said this, they probably feel as you do, in that, I would invalidate them, etc. I'm thinking that if they heard or read your story, they might figure out that they had it pretty good and consider the kind and loving words I used when I reached out to them during these years of estrangement. Words that never mentioned the hurtful and disrespectful lthings they said and did to me as their parent.

            So, Robert, thank you for telling your story. It's helped me to realize that what I BROUGHT to the lives of my children was my best and I now deserve their love and respect. Some adult children would have given anything to have a mum like me despite my fumblings as a parent.

    • NL Mom
      RobertStrankman Robert, so sorry to hear of your estrangement from your mom. Unfortunately I've seen many parent child relationships die because of the parent remarrying. Anyway, to get to my point. I have a sister who is always criticizing me, it gets on my last nerve, but I look atMore it from a different perspective. She has a problem, it's not about me, it's just that she's down to her husband and I as the only ppl she gets to criticize. I don't take it to heart, often I laugh at her, which really makes her kind of stand outside and look at the way she behaves, then she gets a puzzled llok on her face. She can't help criticizing, no more that you or can stop breathing.. Could you do that with your mom? Just a suggestion... From the parent perspective, I know how much hurt the estrangement caused me, and I know parents love their children. I don't want to diminish how she has hurt you,I'm just saying that maybe she can't help herself.
  • lcjantzi

    Dear keithhendrickson,

    You seem to be sincerely searching for answers. I am in both worlds, that is, my adult children have estranged me and my parents act,sometimes, like "spoiled, entitled and abusive people; demanding that our relationship be on THEIR terms. A small example, I recently took a plane to visit them (they live in another state, about 2,000 mi. away) at significant cost (I'm on a fixed income) because it had been four months since I was there. they don't get much company, as my sibling, in the same town, has all but enstranged them and my other sibling lives 2 hrs. away and has a job.

    The day before I left, which was day 5, my dad called me a name and I asked him not to because it hurt my feelings. He thought it was funny. Later, he called me the same name again (it is a vile name, depicting sex with an animal). Again, I asked him to please stopping using that name because it was offensive to me. He claimed it was not offensive and called me the name again. I explained to him that I did not feel loved and like daughter when he called me that name and, again, I requested that he not use that name on me. He laughed it off but, though my mother laughed at first, she also told him to stop it.

    I think I understand, at least a little, how you feel. It is difficult to get to the point in a relationship where both parties willing to take responsibility for their part in the "desolution" of the relationship. Most people want the other to speak the "amends" first and then we will/might claim our part. The thing is, that most of these broken relationships are emotionally charged and some are super-senitized to hearing "explanations" as "excuses" because of the elaborate stories we tell ourselves. We sometimes "bathe" ourselves in these stories day after day until we thoroughly believe them to be the whole truth. For example, one of my adult children expressed to me that all of them agreed that I was the cause of their poor body-image and resulting eating disorders. They claim that I hounded their dad about his weight and they were all on a diet because of my obsession with his weight. The truth is, as a baby, my son was often sick with upper respiratory and double ear infections. A friend suggested changes in what I was feeding my family; it was radical (no sugar, white flour or highly processed food-stay as close to natural as possible). I hesitated to do it but I did it after a number of doctor visits and rounds of antibiotics left my toddler son more sick than he had been before the medicines. My son responded well to the new "diet" and I learned how to make things sweet with honey and maple syrup. My children would ask me to make certain food dishes and treats. I raised them on this way of eating. Also, they had no idea that their dad asked my help with keeping his weight down, as his family, were mostly obese and his father died of a massive heart attack. But my adult children seem to need someone to blame.

    I wasn't a perfect mom. I was passive when I should have been assertive. I was wrong about some of my beliefs. I came under fire because my siblings determined that I was too attentive to my children, too dedicated a mother. I guess maybe I made excuses for my teens because their father was arrested for a sex crime and neither they nor I saw it coming. The divorce took 2+ yrs. because I struggled with moving, finding new schools for my teens, finding and working a full-time job, dealing with their dad over child support, dealing with lawyers, psychologists (me & my teens),therapists (me and my teens), psychiatric nurse practitioners (for my daughter) & their pay, my teens acting out with drugs, sex, pregnancies, an abortion, my grandson in the hospital for months and his death, my daughter's suicide attempts and I had two operations and going through menopause.

    Keith, I guess what I want to say is, be sure you know the whole truth. We are made up of the same "fabric" as our parents. Be sure that you are open to understanding beyond what you see and have experienced. There may be better ways to set stronger boundaries with your parents. As for me, I will not let my dad call me that name without letting him know that it hurts our relationship and damages my respect for him as his daughter.

    Family relationships are sacred and we cannot cut one another off without also sustaining some damage to ourselves. I hope you can find a way to get the respect and love you desire because of your obvious desire to give respect and love, also.

    Would you be open to reading a book called, "Nonviolent Communication" by Marshall Rosenberg? It was helpful to me . I wish you all the best on your journey and I hope you never have to navigate the path of estrangement.

    • keithdhendrickson

      lcjantzi Thank you http://www.livefyre.com/profile/109640568/ for your response.  Thank you for sharing your story.  Unfortunately the damage I face myself by cutting off abusive relatives is a compromise I have to make; something I have to live and struggle with daily.  What you are saying is true.  We will never cut off a relationship without hurting ourselves.  But it's the only way to stop the cycle of abuse.  We have to find a way to live with our frustrations, our anger, and insecurities so we do not pass our negativity on to our children.

      The truth is, I don't know the whole story.  One thing I have learned is that, in many ways, I know very little about their lives.  I cannot begin to comprehend what others have gone through; their struggles, failures, their pain.  Honestly, even though I am always willing to listen, those things are none of my business.  But, when a bully hits you on the playground, understanding why they did it will help you to forgive them, but it won't keep it from happening again.  I understand and respect that others have experienced trials that I have not, but unfortunately we are all responsible for our behavior towards others.  Just my opinion.

    • The Scribe

      lcjantzi I agree that adult children sometimes "see" things which are NOT there at all. They form ideas from their experiences/thoughts/ observation while growing up but what they accuse their parents of might not have grounds. The non-truth could be very true to them probably through wrong interpretations of words and actions.

      Hey Keith,you should come to the East and see for yourself how "entitled" the parents here are,especially parents of the x-generation and of the baby-boomers. Parents of young adults who belong to the y and z generations have lost some of the "entitlement" that parents of the older generations take for granted. However,most of our "entitled" parents behave themselves but some do give their young adult children a tough time by being very demanding of their children -  their time and money. We are still traditional and filial piety is still the norm. A non-filial child will be criticised by relatives and close family friends. Thank you.

      • keithdhendrickson
        The Scribe lcjantzi Thanks for your response. There are many cultural and generational differences which cause tension in any child/parent relationship.  Times change and how we are expected culturally to treat our children and parents changes.  With my in-laws in particular, I've tried hard to appreciate this and take it intoMore consideration as they in do not accept me.  They are from a different era and a culture which is completely foreign to the one I was raised in (geographically and culturally).  Even still, I cannot accept abuse in my life.  Abuse will destroy your self worth, your marriage, your relationship with your children and will never end if you don't stand up to it.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that all I expect is to be treated with the same respect you would treat any adult.  Why should family be any different than any other relationship?  You treat them with respect because you know if you don't you will loose a friend very quickly if you don't.  But because we are family, it's ok to treat each other horribly.  After all you only have one family right?  - Just some thoughts.
        • The Scribe

          keithdhendrickson The Scribe lcjantzi

          Hi Keith,

          The problem here in the East is that few people see it as "abuse",especially the way they treat their daughters-in-law a few generations back. Of course,the situation is rapidly changing and soon it's going to be the daughters-in-law who will be doing the "bullying". 

          I agree that respect is of utmost importance. Family should not be any different. If we can treat friends,colleagues and neighbours with respect why can't we do it with family? Kindness and respect will end this estrangement problem that is largely plaguing the western world but has already reared its ugly head and disrupting many families.

          • keithdhendrickson
            The Scribe keithdhendrickson lcjantzi Yes, there is a fine line to walk between being the abused and being the abuser.  I live in the east, or rather the southeast haha, my in-laws are Polynesian, which you probably wouldn't think of as being an abusive culture, but it is what it is.  IMore know that in Asian cultures  especially revere the elderly which could lead to a lot of tension as you mentioned.
          • The Scribe

            keithdhendrickson The Scribe lcjantzi

            Hi Keith,

            You wrote that you live in the southeast. Of which part of the world,if I may ask? Could your in-laws be from Fiji or some Polynesian island? I live among Malays who have Polynesian ancestry. The Polynesians are a very gentle and likeable people yet abuse exists in any culture. 

            Revering the elderly (and people older than us) need not necessarily cause any tension if we simply accept the practice as part of a particular culture. Dissatisfaction arises when we question too much e.g. when you watch a fairy-tale on tv and you keep questioning this and that scene you won't be able to enjoy the story. We orientals are more simple-minded. We simply suspend our disbelief LOL and accept whatever practices bcs it's part of the culture. The young today (teens and adults too) feel that they must go against the norm just to showcase their individualism. We can always exert our individualism in ways that don't disrupt the norm of a society. 

            I mentioned that estrangement is rearing its ugly head here in the east bcs today's young people find it difficult to accept the culture of entitlement etc as a given.

          • keithdhendrickson

            The Scribe keithdhendrickson lcjantzi I am an American, which is where I was born and raised.  I live in Australia currently and my in-laws are New Zealand Polynesian, also living in Australia.  So as you can imagine, it took me a while to sort out what were socially and culturally acceptable differences and what was just abusive behavior.  I know that this is not part of their culture, it's just who they are as individuals.  The Polynesian culture is incredibly accepting and hospitable in most regards.

            As for you being Chinese, I can imagine with some of the recent western influences in China's culture and economy, there would be a lot of tension between the older family/community and "simple" philosophy which prevails with the elderly that you mentioned and the individualistic trends of western influences on youth.  Just some thoughts.

  • keithdhendrickson
    Wow I came here looking for some insight into my parent's perspective as it pertains to our estranged relationship, but everyone seems to be a victim here.  I don't think I've read one post where someone has taken responsibility for their own behavior.  I was NOT an easy kid toMore raise but while there are a lot of spoiled, entitled, and abusive kids there are also spoiled, entitled, and abusive parents.  What happens when a child matures and moves on but the parent is still practicing the same abusive habits; it's much harder for the someone to change who has been acting the way they have their entire life.  Very often relationships are cut off because, as an adult, you can see your parents behavior for what it is, rather than living in ignorance and denial as you did when you were a child.  I'm not perfect, but I'm not going to let any relationship, even if it's my parents, bring drama, insecurity, and abuse into my life, my family, my marriage.
    • NL Mom
      keithdhendrickson Yes Keith, there are a lot of victims here. We've had our hearts taken out of our chests and stepped on and trust me, we've spent months if not years trying to figure out why.If we knew what we were responsible for, we'd gladly carry that burden. And, weMore come here seeking answers and insight into why this is happening to us, so maybe we could learn what we did wrong. Trying to figure out where we went wrong and why consume many estranged parent's and it probably always will. Learning to live with the estrangement is all consuming, everyone here loved their child(ren) and if would gladly trade our limbs and eyes for a relationship with them. I don't see one spoiled, entitled or abusive parent here, I see parent's looking for answers, living with grief and despair, if that seems like something else to you, that's fair, it's hard to see ppl going through what these parent's are going through and understand it unless you've been there. Good luck and take care of yourself. I hope your relationship with your parent's, if not is mended, that you find peace with it.
    • Debbielg725752016
      Sounds like you have conquered not being a victim...
    • Roadtohappiness

      @ keithdhendrickson

      Yes there are allot of adults on this site that don't take responsibility for their actions, allot appear to have absolutely no idea what they did ? and are victims. In life it is not always possible to get along with everyone (weather it be family/ friends etc.). Sometimes relationships are just are not meant to be. There is reason and purpose behind everything (and this can be hard to understand).

      At the end of the day we need to put our own marriage, family, the people that are apart of our lives that help us, support us at the time, our relationship with God first. Stay away/ avoid people that are abusive, bring insecurity, drama into your life. It's the smart thing to do!

      As for you being a "difficult kid/ teenager) to raise...all kids/teenagers can be disobedient towards parents, kids lie, some steal, some kids have tantrums, some swear, some are shocking at school, some experiment. What children don't speak out, they act out!! Maybe not right, but it's apart of growing up, learning consequences and how to make better choices. It is completely normal to make bad decisions in life, especially as a child, teenager. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for things you did as a child or teenager. The healthy thing to do is learn from these bad decisions.

      Take care.

    • Steve Drettler
      How about me as a father who was always loving and caring to his only daughter and after a very contentious divorce my daughter went over to her mother's Sid and hasn't spoken to me in 15 years I communicate thru texts Facebook etc she hasn't unfriended me but won'tMore answer back. My heart breaks everyday
      • keithdhendrickson
        Steve Drettler I'm very sorry Steve.  I don't know much about your relationship.  From personal experience though, I know it is very hard to tell your parents how you feel sometimes, especially when you know it will hurt their feeling.  It's easier to just cut them out and spare theirMore feelings from your anger and resentment, the whole time leaving them in the dark to try to piece together what could have gone wrong.  Maybe she blames you in some way because of the divorce.  Regardless, there is obviously something there that she is holding on to and is not comfortable talking to you about.  Like I said, I don't know your relationship, and it's none of my business, but thank you for your response Steve.  Hope things will get better someday for your daughter and you.
      • lcjantzi

        Steve Drettler from lcjantzi

        It is hard to believe sometimes how children often reject a very loving parent who is willing to talk about things and listen. I was sad to read that your daughter has carried her judgement and punitive behavior as long as 15 years! It's as if she remembers nothing of the loving and good things that you did for her. Or maybe it is because she cannot reconcile her relationship with you and maintain her relationship with her mother. It seems to me that our children's generation has little discernment or strength of character to see that you can love both parents that have divorced. In my case, it was obvious that their dad's sex offense and continued practice of it, was the cause of our divorce but I didn't ask them to not have a relationship with him. I only asked them to be careful around him; I knew that they would need to have some kind of relationship with him.

        I hope that your daughter grows to the point of understanding that you have been waiting for her and how long-suffering you have been. Maybe she takes you for granted because she can read your communiques and continue to punish you by not responding. I can't imagine any loving parent, such as yourself, deserving of such continued punitory action.

        I made a very conscious decision NOT to communicate with my adult children anymore. Here's what I thought: They haven't responded to my continued, loving communication for over two years now. (I don't know how you have carried on for 15 yrs., Steve, but I may find out.)  I have come to accept that they have rejected me as their mom. So be it. I can't change their mind though I've tried everything I know to do. I decided to write them one last time and let them know that I am at peace with the idea that we may never see or speak with each other again. This wasn't easy to write to them or to live with after sending it but I do feel a bit lighter and more peaceful.

        Steve, I've said plenty. I hope you can find your way to peace on this path of estrangement that we have been forced to navigate. As one dedicated parent to another, I'm on your side.

      • Debbielg725752016
        Hi Steve,. My son went a solid 12years without talking with me. We have talked and even spent time together but he continues to be unavailable and angry far too often. I see a counselor. I continue to text him but I believe heMore never reads them. It is a deep despair and I am sorry for you and have great empathy. Wish I had a magic wand! ~ Debbie
        • NL Mom
          Debbielg725752016 Debbie, I have to ask, after so long, how did he approach you to restart the relationship, and did you find that difficult? Can you trust him not to do it again? I haven't seen my son is almost two years, last contact was a FB message eight monthsMore ago. I don't know if I could let my son back into my life. I wouldn't be able to look at him with any respect or warmth.
          • Debbielg725752016
            Thank you for the insight. Very helpful
          • NL Mom
            Debbielg725752016 Hi Debbie, sorry if I am dragging this conversation on. I know it's tough sometimes to even speak or think about our estranged children. Could it be that your son is frustrated with himself? I know of an instance where the son tried to establish communication with him momMore but he didn't know how to do it, he felt like an idiot, and couldn't look his mom in the eye out of guilt. Just a thought.
          • Debbielg725752016

            He didn't approach me

            After a 12 year search I found him

          • The Scribe

            NL Mom Debbielg725752016

            I agree with you NL Mom. Any child who can ignore his parents for months and years are not worth the trouble. How could you feel any respect or warmth for such a child? Not more than 6 months is reasonable. Anything over a year is overstepping the boundary of decency.

      • NL Mom
        Steve Drettler Heartbreaking Steve, I'm so sorry for you. I have a friend in the same situation, he has three daughters. He doesn't talk about them much but when he does you can see the pain in his face. I'm sure you think that your ex wife had something toMore do with it, and even if she didn't (which I doubt) she should have encouraged your daughter to have a relationship with you.
  • JohnDashnerIII

    My father and I have been semi-estranged for about twenty five years now (since I moved out). We really haven't had a good relationship since  my preteens. I can remember physical threats being  made if i were to say the wrong  (at about five or six years old), not to mention getting spanked VERY severely with a wooden racket over bad grades in the third grade. 

    Thing is, even after threatening me as a little child, he thought it was perfectly okay to constantly make remarks about my weight in high school. They even had me sent to a therapist in order to find out why i wasn't relating to other people my age.

        My mother made the  to move me I out after my entry level discharge from the Navy. My father then started using his house as control, and would tell me i was not welcome there unless I did exactly what he wanted, even if he was sticking his nose where it was not wanted. He would view my visits as an opportunity to criticize me about things in my life which he did not agree with, then would act puzzled when i would leave and not come back. 

      Fast forward to two years ago, my mother had a stroke and was put in a nursing home. He talked glibly about how it was going to bring us  'closer  together'. Three phone calls to him the following week lasted no more than five minutes apiece. That hasn't changed in a year and a half, regardless of who calls who. He will call when there is something to tell me about the nursing home, that's about it. I only wish we could have a relationship, but looking  it never seems like it was that way.

    • Leftnlonely
      That is very sad. One day your dad is going to bel a very lonely man. Sounds like you gave i t your best shot. Sounds like he won't let anyone into his world. Try again sometime. Leftnlonely
      • JohnDashnerIII
        Leftnlonely Oh he does, but they are people who cater to his every whim. Some of his old friends have even stopped talking to him, this is on account of his feeling entitled to say anything he likes to anyone, no matter how rude.
      • The Scribe

        Leftnlonely How are things with you,Lady? Move on and make your life worth living. Life is short so make it sweet. 

        Allow me to present an analogy on life. 

        There are 3 types of Chinese tea - bitter,sweet and mild. The sweet tea does not need sugar bcs it's naturally sweet,the bitter tea can never be sweetened no matter how much sugar you add in and the mild tea is to clear your mouth of the bitter/sweet tastes. Many people forget and drink all their sweet tea in their youth,leaving them with only bitter tea in their old age. The Buddha tells us to leave some sweet tea for the later part of our life.

        • Leftnlonely
          Lefynlonely . That was a very good analogy. Very good advise. I even got myself a partime job at a dinner theater as a hostess. Whichnis very flexable. The people all all very happy for a night out for dinner and a show. More So iam around mostly all happy people. Its been fun. So iam trying to help myself but it was a hard push. I still miss my son and think snout him but iam not as upset.
  • Missingbill
    My son Bill stopped talking to me about 7 years ago. It's a long dramatic story. A councillor told me I should have a funeral for him, because their has never been any closure. I'm considering sending out some invites (as support) and buying a new black outfit for theMore day( to help cheer me up). Thoughts & opinions please? Would ordering flowers be "over the top"?
    • NL Mom
      @Missingbill Your councillor needs to find a new line of work. A funeral? Do know of anyone who has a lost a child, had to stand there while they lowered their childs casket into the ground? Unfortunately I too am estranged from my child but I know that as sadMore as our situations are, every single parent how has buried a child would switch places with you or I in a heartbeat. Further to this, imagine if your son found about his "funeral" do you not think he would he hurt, that there is any context he could view that in as ok? I know you're hurt and I have to admit, I've been angry for months and can't get past it but I don't project my anger on anyone else (ok I'll admit the punk who cut me off yesterday got two fingers and some not so choice words). I hope you get past whatever stage you're at now and keep moving through the stages until you are at a point that the hurt is something you can deal with. I hope to forgive my son for the hurt he has caused me but that doesn't mean I am hoping to have a relationship with him. I've hoping to accept the situation and get on with my life. I hope the same for every parent here.
    • The Scribe

      @Missingbill Due to cultural differences I would tell you NOT to do such a thing. Maybe westerners or white people are not superstitious like us in the East. There is a Malay (the language we use here) word called 'pantang' or taboo in English. We believe words and actions can bring good luck or misfortunes. That is the reason why if there's nothing good to say it's best to just keep quiet.

      I am really an "observer" as I'm not directly involved in estrangement from adult children. I like to read the posts here and engage in discussions. 

      Here in the East we are still traditional and our young adults still have much filial piety toward their "entitled" parents but most of the parents here do their duty and behave themselves. 50 years ago the parents here were even more "entitled" but there was no such a thing as estrangement. I think this started with the x-generation in the west or could it have strated with the babay-boomers? here in the East it started with the y-generation but we could see this non-aggressive cancer slowly spreading. Whatever the case may be I'm now observing two young adults (both girls,both well-educated,both married to well-educated men who hold well-paid jobs) in my extended family behaving against the norm,meaning they are becoming unfilial. 

      Kindly let me apologise in advance if what I wrote in paragraph 1 offended you but you did as fo thoughts and opinions. Thank you

      • Missingbill
        Thank you for your honest advice The Scribe.
  • lcjantzi

    Thank all of you who responded to me. It feels so good to be heard by those who can understand. I appreciate that you are here for me and allowing me to be there for you.

    I want to say here that I believe there is a "process" that I've gone through since my experience being estranged. Maybe it is much like processing a loved one's death or any loss like divorce. Though it may be unique to each person and your circumstances. For me, it seemed to follow a pattern of hurt, confusion/ denial, realization, anger and acceptance. The hardest part for me was going through the confusion, getting stuck in the anger and, my many attempts to get to acceptance (one step forward, two steps back). I don't feel any shame for being or staying in any one of these "stages" for the length of time that I needed to, in order to complete the process thoroughly. AND, I reserve the right to "back-slide" when something or someone "triggers" me. Being human, I'm complicated. But it is obvious to all that it is difficult to navigate this painful issue with our children/family that has become a seeming pandemic in the world we live.

    From time to time I remember to "coach" myself with the Grace that I believe that God would give me. I tell myself, "You're angry now, but you will work through this. Give yourself time, rest, some healing balm and tackle it again tomorrow. You're almost there."

    • NL Mom
      lcjantzi Thanks for posting! Your way of dealing with estrangement sounds so much like mine. I've been stuck in the anger stage for about five months now and I am trying to get past it but I seem to be stuck here. I'm trying to get to being indifferent butMore I can't imagine how it would feel.
  • lcjantzi

    I want to say here that I believe there is a "process" that we go through when we experience being estranged. Maybe it is much like processing a loved one's death or any loss like divorce. Though it is unique to each individual and the circumstances. It can follow a pattern of hurt, confusion/ denial, realization, anger and acceptance. The hardest part for me was going through the confusion, getting stuck in the anger and, my many attempts to get to acceptance (one step forward, two steps back). I don't feel any shame for being or staying in any one of these "stages" for the length of time that I needed in order to complete the process thoroughly. AND, I reserve the right to "back-slide" when something or someone "triggers" me. Being human, I'm complicated. But it is obvious to all that it is difficult to navigate this painful issue with our children/family that has become a seeming pandemic.

    From time to time I "coach" myself with the Grace that I believe that God would give me. I want to say, "You're angry now, but you will work through this. Give yourself time, rest, some healing balm and tackle it again tomorrow. You're almost there."

    • Debbielg725752016
      Thank you
  • Leftnlonely
    I have terrible days when I just want this all to stop.  I will apologize or do anything but takes to at least be abke to talk to my son and have a better relationship.  Life is to short.  For this we neec to make amends butbwith no wsy toMore communicate what can you fo.  Iam so heart broken
  • Leftnlonely

    Someone just please tell me how this all happened to begin with. My son and i were best friends forvthe past 8 years traveled together hsd many laughs . He went bsck with an old girlfriend that he told me hurendous stories about why they broke up. Then she comes bsckmin his life. He doesnt tell me at first. But decides to tell me. Iam shocked amd not sure what to say

    He adkse if she can come to the house i dsy well i guess if your going to be together i should get used to it and here she is. 6 weeks later they get married snd i get the dump. I was good to her i thought she liked me and all was mutual. Mow we are all estranged. And u csnt figure any if it out. Any help out there. Please

    • JohnDashnerIII
      Leftnlonely I'm sorry, it sounds like what your son did hurt you terribly. It might have been his girlfriend's doing.
  • Leftnlonely
    To the scribe...i totslly agree. I never thought of it that way before. It all m akes sence. Iam.only b 5vmo into this abomination, and my son got married at the same time he abondon me. I still.miss him and wonder if this will everMore chsnge. Leftnlonely
    • The Scribe

      Leftnlonely Dear Lady,

      Do not feel so bad bcs you had done your duty by your son. He's the one who should search his heart. Almost all parents do their best for their children and worry about them. Many Asian parents still go to the extent of financing the first property for every child. It's crazy but all well-heeled Asian parents do that. I don't believe parents should go to that extent. Giving them a good basic education (up to first degree) is enough. The rest is up to them.  

      Parents have to look out for themselves in old age. Make sure you're financially stable so that you're in control of your life. Enough of grieving. Once you've sorted out your thoughts and feelings start enjoying life. He's not worth wasting away your whole life. Move on and start living for yourself. If my adult child betrays my love and sacrifices I would turn the table on him,leave the ball in his court and make him the guilty one. In the East parents always win hands down. Then I would go out and live life to the fullest. Travel (come to the east),eat,wear comfortable good clothes,go to the casino and play a little for the fun of it hehe generally do whatever you enjoy.

      • Leftnlonely
        Thank-you so much SCRIBE. You put it all in perspective. Thank you.. big help.
        • The Scribe

          Leftnlonely You're welcome. I empathise bcs I feel for someone in my extended family who is experiencing negligent and callous young adult children (they have not dared go to the extent of cutting off the parents). Now that their father is sick they are trying to wriggle their way out of doing their duty. In the east,particularly where I live,this kind of behaviour is still rare bcs the majority of the population are muslims. The teachings of Islam forbid children to wrong their parents. 

          I do not want to have to experience this first hand as to be treated unkindly and unjustly by one's own children after going thru' so much sacrifice and hard work is indeed very painful. 

          May your son come to his senses soon. Meanwhile,take care of yourself,especially your health.

          • Leftnlonely
            Iam sure hes not coming to his sences in my life time. My health is good as far as i know. I just have to accept what has happened not knowing why. Hopeing that karma really is out there. And remembering the More good times. Thats all i can do. Bill still he checking in here fir support. Becsuse ill always need that
  • MumofThree

    Hi Everyone, I'm newly estranged from my eldest son (February). He lives with his fiancee and their 15 month old daughter. Although I haven't been allowed to see them, my youngest son (12) has been visiting as I felt it important for him to sustain a relationship with his brother and neice. However when my youngest has been returning from recent visits he's been complaining that my son's fiancee hasn't been very nice to him and his big brother has not intervened.

    Also, every so often I send my estranged son an email (only communication left open by him) saying that I miss him and love him but recently he's answered twice saying he wishes I was dead.

    I'm now worried about allowing my younger son's visits. I'm worried that they will be a bad influence on him. If my estranged son can message me things like that, if he can use my granddaughter as a pawn then surely he wouldn't think twice about using his little brother?

    Tonight I plan to have a talk with my young son and explain that he cannot visit his brother again. Explain that as a family we're "backing off" until things have cooled down. There's also a part of me hopes that with no family link then my estranged son may just begin to think about the situation.

    Thoughts please....

    From mumofthree xxxc

    • JohnDashnerIII
      MumofThree  No son who loves his mother would EVER say that, he should be ashamed.
    • NeedForPeace

      MumofThree I am so sorry for the difficult and painful situation. If you fear for your youngest son when he visits his oldest brother, then you need to protect your 12 yo. Perhaps instead of visits, the 12 yo can talk on the phone.

      Even though it feels impossible now, perhaps occasional emails or cards will keep a line of communication open and leave open the possibility of a reconcilement when your oldest son works through whatever is causing his need for distance.

    • Healing Heart

      That's a sad thing to hear from our adult kids, kind of feel the daughter in law may be the culprit ti this strife. If your younger son is being mistreated and your older son made that remark, then go with instinct.. Your older son can call him or write emails back and forth. There is a chance your older son may cut you off entirely, but he doesn't seem to be giving you the respect you deserve.

      As for the continued emails from you to him, I've been there but not with such severe response as what you recieved. What I learned after all my kind emails reminding my own how much I loved her because felt it was important for her to know that and not getting acknowledged is that it became more painful, nobody likes rejection...so I stopped altogether because it's just important that I feel loved and if not from her, from myself.

      I only have one, if I had another that's a minor I'd just focus on that one and eventually the other one can live with their words that I'm sure he regrets but will not see if you come back with words of any magnitude. Silent respond do what he said will be something he has to live with....don't be a doormat/victim, take your power back.

      Just my thoughts...go with your intuition and wishing you the best!

      • Missingbill
        Bill stopped talking to me 7 years ago. I only have one also. I focus just on one. How do I take my power back, because I'm not a doormat?
        • Leftnlonely
          To MissingBill. Thatsxa tough one. Arecyou saying you only have 1cchild and its Bill. Do you have,other children's abd hes the only son??
    • The Scribe

      MumofThree Wow. Poor mom. How could he say that of his own mom? All I can say is he's immature. A mature person would wish his mom good health and longevity. 

      We in the east NEVER curse our parents. Islam is the official religion where I live though I'm not muslim. Islam teaches that heaven is at your mother's feet and if your mother curses you 7 times the curse will come true. Being filial to your mother brings you greater blessings than being filial to your father but in Islam (as well as in buddhism) it is a big sin to ill-treat one's parents/elders. We don't dare ill-treat our parents. Even today,young muslim adults treat their parents very very well as compared to young adults of other faiths. I do envy the muslim parents here and respect their adult children.

  • Healing Heart
    Sometimes you can go either way in parenting, tough love or tender hearted but if they cut you off as adults then you can't blame yourself. We are adults here and it's an even playing ground, I used to give my parenting report card an F but then now IMore give the daughter card one too. I'm no longer parenting, that job ended when she became an adult. Live and let live...not worth losing quality of my life to someone that can't play nice!
    • Roadtohappiness

      @Healing Heart

      Allot of angry mothers on this site. "I used to give my parenting report card an F but then now I give the daughter card one too"....then you continue on to write: "not worth losing quality of my life to someone that can't play nice!" Just out of interest, what do you give YOUR DAUGHTER on her "report card"? I hope it's nice.

      • Healing Heart

        Most are just hurt, this ain't a place to pass judgement. Choosing to no longer play victim shouldn't be dictated as anger. Being too hard on oneself compromises health, which I strongly believe nobody is worth that.

        That day her grade would have been poor, but hey my long story, only walking in my shoes would be clear picture. Take care road to happiness, we are all after the same thing, just got different ways of coping

      • Healing Heart
        most are just hurt, choosing to no longer play the victim doesn't dictate anger. not gonna lie, on that day it wasn't a good grade but hey long story, only person in my shoes, my story would understand . But this ain't a place to judge!More Take care Road to happiness we all got our own way of getting there.
  • Leftnlonely

    Leftnlonely. Well like they say karma will get you

    After all my entitled som hasx done to me and how he has shut me out

    His vehicle was stolen last night. Minimal insurance, so no.help there. No way for him snd his wife to get to work. No way y to get groceries and no friends becsuse they have also cut them off becsuse all they need is love and each other. Wonder how thats working now. Sometimes it does come around

    • Spirited Lady
      Leftnlonely Let's hope they learn from this and reach out for help and relationship.  Unfortunately, many don't change.  Many just blame others and excuse themselves, not making the link.
      • The Scribe

        Spirited Lady Leftnlonely

        Looks like many of today's young adults learnt from Robinson Crusoe LOL but even he needed his Man Friday. I've heard that they also cut off all their friends and colleagues (they only communicate while at work) as if they only need each other. Karma indeed!!!

        • Leftnlonely

          Leftnlonely. To the Scribe. Thst is exactlyvwhst he does every friend but 1 has been cut out of his life. He only socializes at work. That's it. He has very few friends he keeps in contact with. His best friends are gone but older friends hes had msny years ago he has contacted once again

          Oh my daughter and i eill NEVER get caught in this agsin. He has run out of luck with the entire family. Thank you for noticing me.

          • The Scribe

            Leftnlonely You're welcome,Lady. 

            Indeed,I'm wondering what's wrong with many young adults today. How come they have become so insular - insular like some americans LOL bcs the US is cut off from the continents of asia,europe and africa by the atlantic ocean. People from the UK or the scandinavian countries or a country in western europe know about south-east asia but few americans do (hopefully I don't offend well-travelled/well-read americans). 

            Minds become insular when people cut themselves off from others.

    • lcjantzi
      Thanks for your post. I am so relieved to hear this. This means you don't have to do anything about the car. I know that would've been a hard step to take, so I'm glad that they will get this chance to learn from their choices. Now, to be strongMore enough not to rescue them, right? Know that I'm cheering for you.
      • Leftnlonely
        Thanks si very much i need that cheer to Icjantri from leftnlonely. Time is helping. Not alot but got to crawl before we can walk. Lefynlonely
      • Leftnlonely
        Its,a different car i still have to pay for the ladt one. That one wasnt stolen it was sold. I didnt sign for the stolen one his sister did.
        • The Scribe
          Leftnlonely Looks like your son made use of both you and your daughter. He lost nothing and still made money from the car he sold bcs you still have to repay the loan. Insurance will deduct a sum of money from the amount they pay out called "caution money" toMore teach us to be careful with our cars. Your daughter would still have to repay the loan. In both instances your son came out unscathed. Do not let him manipulate you/your family again.
          • Leftnlonely
            He will never have or get a chance tobdo tjis again ever.
  • chokonoko

    So far my adult children still do not have any contact.

    Maybe I am fooling myself but I am actually happier than I have ever been.I was a mess when they did have contact with me. I did not see it, I was blind.

    I would work all the time, all my money went to them. I could note even afford underwear, crazy, isn't it!

    I am at peace that I did all I could, that I am a good person and I was a fantastic mom.

    As long as I now know I did my best.

    I was all broken, but my happiness and a fruitful life is now not based on my children. I will leave the door open but no longer a fool.

    If they want contact or not that is their choice.

    I am now in the process of having a wonderful life. I am now able to laugh.

    I truly though in the beginning I was worthless because of their rejection but now I see that they have my ex's personality, they have inherited ugliness and lack of empathy.

    Meanwhile I will travel, sell my house in California, buy a cute little home (paid) and as long as it is near a hospital, senior center I will have plenty to do.

    I am doing good with my beekeeping, selling my honey and won first place/ blue ribbon for my honey at the fair.

    • Spirited Lady
      chokonoko Good for you!  You sound very healthy.  It's a process.  Even in the best of circumstances learning to live independently from ones children and child rearing responsibilities is a process... and learning to relate to our children as adults, accepting their decisions about lifestyle and the amount of contact.More  Bu all of us have more extreme situations to adjust to.  Like i say, it's a process and you seem to have done the work to get to a happy place.  Congratulations!
    • Leftnlonely
      Sounds like uour doing very well. I have noticed iam happier too, but i still do miss my son. We were so close and traveled so much. Iam still at a lose. Alrhough i have to say i dont miss running to the airport More 3 times a week to pick him up and take him back , he works for a major airline and if his flight goes out lster inbthe day he comes to my house so he dont have to dleep in the crew lounge. So.its 1130 pm to get him. Then 530am to take him back. Not much sleep. I want to get to the point you are at. Your doing so well .
    • Lydia Alexandra
      chokonoko Fantastic !!  Take care of the bees as they are not as plentiful as they once were.  Best wishes to you. X
      • The Scribe

        Lydia Alexandra chokonoko

        Take care of them bcs they take care of you by letting you earn from selling the honey. And the blue ribbon too! Congrats.

    • lcjantzi
      I feel happy for you because you've found the freedom that I am just embarking on in my life without contact from my children. Thank you for sharing and giving me a boost to keep living my life guilt-free and still productive.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    The Scribe 

    Thank you for your question.  We appreciate your

    interest in our site and in our articles.  Here at Empowering Parents it

    is our goal to provide a supportive atmosphere in our comments section for

    parents who are struggling with the issues presented in our articles.  We

    publish comments from people of all backgrounds and with varying opinions, but

    since we can’t publish every comment, we do limit comments which are off-topic

    or which are criticizing another parent’s choices.  We really want to

    preserve a supportive atmosphere where parents can learn some new tools and

    receive help.  Thank you for reaching out for clarification.

  • lcjantzi

    attempts, the months of hospital stay for my grand baby where I spent many days and hours while almost losing my job, his death and his dear mom's broken heart and more suicide attempts. Oh, and lest I forget, I'm going through menopause this whole time. Well, maybe I just did the best darn job I could and all my mistakes don't wipe out all the loving things I did.

    But it takes work to sort out the truth and love to cover over mistakes (I'm not talking real abuse, here) and 20 and 30 year olds just don't seem to have the time for it or maybe the brain development, I don't know. What I do know is that my life is more peaceful without these broken relationships and I don't desire to have those relationships. What I continue to hope, pray and believe for, are reconciled relationships with these people, based on mutual respect. I've done all I know to do to for my part. I'm open to learning new was of communicating, different approaches to to problem-solving, and creative ways of connecting to family. God helping me, I will wait and try to maintain a strong and loving place for my adult children.

    What is impossible for people, is possible with God. Between the wrong-doing and the right-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there...

  • lcjantzi

    I'm having one of my angry days when reading to catch up with the new posts on this website. Spirited Lady wrote that we should consider giving our 20-somethings some time for their brains to develop. Well, I did that and then I was estranged. It's been two and a half years and I've wondered many times if it would have been better for me to just ave called-out my oldest on her lying, manipulating and controlling behavior when she was in her twenties. Maybe she would've respected me for requiring that she give me the respect and consideration that she gave to the other people in her life but as her mother. But no, I thought she would grow out of it. I attributed it to the complications of her dad's arrest and the subsequent divorce, her need to make "mistakes" as part of her self-discovery, her need to focus on her boyfriend, then husband and his family, her need to establish her family as she had children, and on and on until she made it clear that MY need(s) didn't matter and I should "just stop feeling that way".

    I use to feel guilty because a big part of me was relieved that I didn't have to persevere any longer. I didn't have to deal with her game playing, lying and interference in my relationship with my other two adult children. But what really tops it off is how these "adult" children go to the extent of putting us in a position of having to be the one to do something that they know will make us look bad. In the case of "Leftnlonely", she will have to stop the payments and/or repossess the car. In my case, it was not giving a large amount of money as cash.

    They are the ones who have damaged the relationship but they play out to make us look unfair, unreasonable, unloving.

    They would be right in saying that I wasn't a good parent because, in hindsight, I should've stood up to them in a strong way during that time and disregarded the fear of risking the loss of my relationship with them. Maybe it had something to do with their dad's sexual deviancy arrest, going through the divorce, starting a new job, a daughter with an unplanned pregnancy, their use of drugs, their suicide

    • Leftnlonely
      You cannot be responsible fir other peoples actions only your iwn. Dont blame yourself. We all had. Stepping stones to jump over. But you jumpeddony blsme yourself. Did you get the instruction booklets at birth? Me neither.
    • Leftnlonely
      We were to good of parent's. Thats the problem wecwete to good to them. Yes i agree you shold have stoodbup to her in her twentys. I should have stood up to ly son then too but also didnt . Hes now 40 and has tossed meMore to the wind. After many years of being so close i died inside. We will remain estranged he set the stage and iam done . This site helped me to be so strong. Yes i will always miss him. I will not alliw him to run my life deplete money and all the drama 10 ppl couldnt stand. Life is much calmer without the drama. I will always miss him we had 8byears of fabulous vacations and a millon laughs. Didnt know i was being set up
    • Spirited Lady

      lcjantzi Sounds like you're still blaming yourself... playing the "what if" game.  When I talked about giving them time I wasn't talking about accepting abuse.  I never experienced that from my son.  During his high school and college years he went through a lot of ups and downs with me but never what my husband or I felt was abuse.  Once in high school he used profanity and my husband told him "We don't talk like that in this house."  He apologized.  Although he was sometimes moody because of other things going on... or not happening ... in his life and he had various issues with me (I tend to be late, we had an exchange student he resented), my son and I had many delightful times together when he was in college and afterwards.  It seemed to depend upon the attitude of his girlfriend at the time, or whether he had one.

      When he got engaged, however, he told me "You are losing a son and you are not gaining a daughter.  You are not to treat her like a friend and you will not be part of our life."  Apparently that was part of their marriage contract.  I thought at the time this was related to his issues with me, with his father's death, etc.  Yes,he said it was "because of my behavior.".  But it's 6 years later and it's become clear to me that It's not about me or my son, it's about his wife and her need for control.  What they meant by my behavior was my taking her to lunch, entertaining her family for Thanksgiving and inviting her to live with us for a few months so she could take a job she wanted in our community.  Last year she informed me that communication from me is unwelcome. (I sent her emails a couple times a year.)  That's rude, but it's not abusive.  I simply don't communicate with her now.  My son has communicated with me less and less as his life moves on.  He sends a 2-word text greeting on my birthday and Christmas and responds to requests for info about gifts.  It must be sad for him as well.  But he'll never leave those kids and I don't want him to.  I just pray the other parts of his life work well.  But I'm concerned about the attitude and the impact on the children.  My son said I could only be "a name on a card."  So I send gifts to his toddlers with loving notes from Grandma.  

      So, you see, there are a lot of different situations.  But, no, I do not advise accepting abuse in any form.  And I do not advise sending gifts the way I do if they are a source of abuse.  

      Your daughter sounds narcissistic.  If so, her relationships with others may not be as respectful as you think.  It's ok to be angry with yourself for accepting years of manipulative, abusive behavior.  You need that anger to stop allowing it.  But you don't need to feel guilty about being loving in spite of abuse when your child was an adult.  If you allowed it when she was a child, then, yes, you taught her that as a way to deal with life.  But you're not responsible for her choices as an adult.

    • The Scribe

      lcjantzi Here in the East it is considered shameful for adult children to neglect/ignore the parents so when parents voice this out to friends (their own and those of their children) or family the young adults feel offended with the parents. If I really hear something unpleasant about the parents I would tell them "if you feel ashamed then don't do it". I read that in the West it is the parents,especially the moms who feel shame about estrangement or being cut off by their adult children. Our cultures seem to be at opposite ends. 

      You wrote -  "in hindsight, I should've stood up to them in a strong way during that time and disregarded the fear of risking the loss of my relationship with them." There are actually two sides to a coin. Being too tough could also bring negative results. However,I notice that always giving in and giving them everything (buying their love) could also end up the same way. That's why I wrote much earlier here that bringing up kids is like kite-flying i.e. how would parents know when to let go the string/how much to let go and when to pull it back/how much to pull back. Kite-flying is a highly skilled sport so one needs to practise but in parenting there is no such thing as perfect,no matter how many kids yo have.

      If your adult child deems it fit to ignore his/her own mom/dad then let it be. Do not hanker after them. Once you stop clamouring for them they will come to you. Once you stop bothering they will get worried. I remember I wanted my parents' approval until the day they passed away so I guess it's the same with all children.

    • violetlace

      lcjantzi I totally agree with you when you say 'they are the ones who have damaged the relationship but they play out to make us look unfair, unreasonable unloving'.  I too have walked on eggshells for so long as I knew one word from me that would even look like criticism would send him running and yet his father and I are the ones that are always in the wrong.  About a year ago we were invited to my son's and his girlfriend's house to see if we could put things right but my son sat in the chair with his head down the whole time and let his girlfriend ridicule us and tear away at our core values.  She spoke for my son apparently when she said we thought Dad (yes she calls us Mum and Dad) should have had a different kind of surgery (he had bladder cancer) so that it would make it easier when we went out together.  (He takes longer in a washroom as he now has to catheterize)!! 

      The girlfriend has been a guest in my sister's home where she pretended to massage my sister's knee (she has arthritis) and told everyone later that she had pressed hard on the knee because she didn't believe my sister had anything wrong with her knee!   She said I did it to test her!!  My son said nothing!

      I too feel angry, I am determined my son or his girlfriend will not disrespect me ever again.  I have cut off all correspondence to him, if he wants to mend this relationship the ball is in his court.  (By the way my son is 50 years old)  I am at the point where I am wanting to change my will to leave all to charity and to people who do respect me.  My husband wants us to hold off but he too feels it is almost hopeless.

      My anger does subside and I am carrying on my life and enjoying it, I see no alternative.  I am determined that they will not ruin my life.

      • lcjantzi

        Violet lace

        I needed your reply. It was so affirming to me when you used the words, "walking on eggshells". Oh, phew, you got it! That's exactly how I felt, increasingly, for almost 10 years.

        I felt sad that your son allowed his girlfriend to talk to his parents about such a grave matter and without any empathy but you've indicated that this is a just one of a series. I wonder if your son's overt posture displayed his inner, silent shame and/or turmoil. In any case, I'm sure you were looking for him to speak up. Even to say he agreed would at least let you know where you stood with HIM. What I mean is, I was able to deal more easily with my middle daughter's out-and-out anger at me rather than when she allowed her older sister to do all the communicating.

        I, too, have seriously contemplated the idea of changing my will but I felt that had to wait until my anger no longer influenced my decision. I'm almost there and I think the time is a factor. It's been 2.5 years and I'll wait another six months and probably make the major changes. What makes it harder is that I'd like to leave it to my grandchildren but have no way to get their SS numbers.

        I'm enjoying my life too. I'm still hopeful and it will not define my life either.

        Thanks again for your reply!

      • Lydia Alexandra

        violetlace lcjantzi I envy people like you who as you say - i am carrying on my life and enjoying it.  Its probably because you have a partner, whereas my partner had trouble keeping his zipper up, was a gambler and cleaned us out.  I therefore worked 2 jobs to put my son through a private education and i purchased a house that on my 60th i finally paid off.  Over the years i lost all contact with people/friends as i was working whilst my son was at school and working whilst he slept with a paid child minder staying in.  

        I think thats why it has hit me so hard, and has totally crushed me.  I now have inflammation of the colon and depression big time.  I am so dead inside that its as if i sleepwalk.  My son also totally abandoned me once he met someone.  What he owns i gave to him all my inheritance as i know he's frugal and clever with money.  I dont regret it nor resent it to be honest, but he has totally wiped me out of his life.  At 68 where do you go and start somewhere again, as i have this incredible desire to pack and leave and live elsewhere, downsize and spend my money on me, pampering myself as thats what i did for others for over 22 years (thus giving me flexibility to see my son in all the things he was performing in at school) .  

        The idea of having a decent hairdresser and not DIY (here in the UK i lost my pension in the recession and solely exist on the state pension) have lovely massages and reflexology, go on nice trips with Saga (holidays for those over 50 and many are single) instead of living in this existence. 

        When your sons girlfriend spoke on his behalf did you not say to him - and what do you thing ?  Why was he so reluctant to talk for himself.  It appears to me that she has earbashed him about it, and wanting her not to leave him he has gone alone with what she says.  If he honestly thought what she is saying was right would he not voice his opinion, after all its his body not hers.  

        Your son behaves like my father, for peace sake goes along with it all, but when there is nobody to blame (in my case everything that was wrong with my mothers life was my fault) because you will passed on - he wont know what hit him.  After i left home my mother totally destroyed my father and he had a complete breakdown.  He was a vicar and the church sacked him.  

        One of the things i learned years ago - though didnt use it with my son is - WE TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT US.  I applaud your strength of character in how you get on with things.  I too have felt like changing my will and leave it to whoever ends up taking care of me in my latter years.  I cant see any change where my son would want to make me part of his life.  

        Best wishes to you all. X

        • Leftnlonely
          I dont have a partner either and yes it is much harder and takes longer to recovery and realize what actually happened to us and what did we do. We dud the bestvwe knew hiw and if wecwould have known how to do it betterMore we would have. I didnt get the instructions at nirth woth my son. How,about you. Stay with us here. They are helping me and its great to feel not alone
        • Spirited Lady
          Lydia Alexandra violetlace lcjantzi Lydia, why don't you follow your dreams?  Just continue imagining where you would move and how you would live.  Focus on that instead of your loss.  Our feelings just happen, but then we get to decide what to do with them, about them.  You choose whether to stayMore depressed and sleepwalking, feeling sorry for yourself and focusing on all you've sacrificed and how mistreated you've been or to start planning a new life.  To me, at 75, 68 doesn't seem all that old.  Look into your options.  I know you have health problems, so take your time, get information about care as you age.  In the US there are apartment complexes for seniors.  They have activities and are close to doctors.  Is there something like that in England?
          • Lydia Alexandra
            Spirited Lady Lydia Alexandra violetlace lcjantzi Thank you, but i would hate to live in a place like that.  My GP told me when i had my pre-op assessment that i should live well into my 90's as apart from arthritis i have no ailments.  The colon inflammation is just recent due toMore stress. If i wanted to live in such a complex best to go back to Australia where the weather is very much in my favour.  I dont think i am ready for anything like that yet but thank you for your imput much appreciated.
      • The Scribe
        violetlace lcjantzi Bravo to you violetlace. Leave the ball in his court. Turn the table around so it becomes his problem,not yours. If he does not see the necessity to reconcile rewrite that will. If tyhey don't respect the parents they don't deserve their hard-earned money. Better still,enjoy yourmoney while you can.More Travel,eat,whatever.
  • moving on
    leftnlonely - Cant you refuse to pay your loan payments on the car and have it repossessed?  Best to take some control over the situation than allow it to control you.
    • Leftnlonely
      I have no choise but ti pay it. Its in my name only. Lesson well learned the gard way. In a year it will be paid
      • Leftnlonely
        Yes i did talk to the lender. And its justvthat my name is on the loan i have to pay the loan will never ever ever happen ahain. Dumb mom. Leftnlonely
      • Spirited Lady
        Leftnlonely Apparently you paid with a loan that did not use the car as collateral.  That seems very odd.  Yes, the lesson learned was yours.  Have you talked to the lender to see whether there's any possibility of reducing the payments?
    • Leftnlonely
      No he sold the car almost a year ago i asked him to pay the loan. He sid the oayment comes right out of my paychecks what are your worried about. No iam not paying it off i need things. Stupid me. As someone onceMore said don't sign any loans for your kids only donate what you can afford to lose because you're not getting it back. Best advise ever
    • Spirited Lady
      moving on I agree.  Talk to the lender and see about a way you can have the car repossessed and still protect your credit, probably through a few payments that would be much less than making the car payments while she drives it.
      • Leftnlonely
        My son sold the car so it cant be repossessed. Thete is no car just the loans is left. O only wish i wouldnt have had so muvh faith on my son s hard lesson learned.
  • Leftnlonely
    My son was free to become whatever he saw for himself.  He has done very well,  iam very proud of his professional choises he makes
  • Leftnlonely
    I forgot to mention we have traveled extensively for 8 year, togeher.  Iam 70 years old,  he is 39.  He also stopoed talking to all family members.   He hasn't talked to his father in 3 years.  He and I are divorced but we remain friends and talk whenever necessary.More  He has 3 sisters  which he does not talk to.  1 just had twins,  his remark to me was.   Well she jyst ruined her life, now I guess I have to pretend I care and come back here to see them.  WHAT.   There is a problem here,   any help  please.
  • Leftnlonely

    My adult son and I were very close, we traveled together,  had great times.  Alwats had plans together.  He got married to a very nice gurl.  I understood our relationship would change.  Her and I got along well.  Then all of a sudden my son became very angry,  he accused me of lying to him, which I did not, he saud I was harrassing him Everytime I tex him, I was very gspoy for him.  Then bam,  he changed his phone number, y

    Tokd me to diconnect thepkan we had together because she would not pay it and also refused to pay a bank loan I took out in my name for his wife's car.  I have nit heard a word in6 montgs iam just sick over this snd dont kniw what to do.  I miss him very very much.  What can I do,  no means of communication except mail.  Iam in Pa he is in Maui

    • GenaGaddis


      Sometimes we will never know why. That is so damn hard for me to accept. Your pain is shared by others.  You are not alone. I have a grandbaby that I can not see and it is breaking me into!

      • Leftnlonely
        Take itceadynon yourself. Yes the baby mskes it harder. But this was not your choise, you have to make it and youbwill. We think to much. Thsts our biggest problems. Go out with friends, go to a mall and people watch. Try toMore keep your mind busy. I know easier said than done i still have bad days and just sit and cry and i dont want to but sometimes it just happens
  • Spirited Lady
    I'm reading messages by mothers of 20 and 22 year old sons.  In today's culture they are still adolescents... really into their 30s.  The judgement part of the brain does not develop until the 30s.  So your sons have not yet figured out who they are, what they want andMore how they fit into society.  It's a huge challenge in today's culture with so many options but fewer real opportunities than we had.  So give these youths some time.  Don't make judgments about them.  Be open to who they turn out to be.  They need time and space to figure it all out.
  • The Real Mom
    Wrong advice. This article assumes all parents are nagging and pushy. The best thing in that case was for the son to grow a pair and make it on his own. But more often these days, with divorce damaging the parental bonds by rewarding the selfish parent, the children areMore weaponized and trauma bonded to a manipulative, controlling, infantising parent. Those unlucky children get great power from abusing all parents, grandparents, teachers, whomever is available. I don't believe anyone can advise good rejected parents how to cope with the pain successfully.
    • Leftnlonely
      But we have to try and be there for each other we are mot going to solve eachnothers problems butvwe are not in this,alone either
    • Leftnlonely
      @The Real Mom then what is the answer.  How can you make amends with that adult child ir children
    • Deela1226
      @The Real Mom, I couldn't agree with you more.  My daughter estranged her father (my ex), and now it's my turn.  She chooses to stay in anger and be a victim.  My only concern is my 11-year-old grandson who both he and I are extremely close, and what effect this mayMore have on him.  I keep the door open only for him.  I have no interest in her due to her abusive behavior towards me, her son, her husband, and so many others.  I will say my prayers for her every day, but I do not hold hope as she sincerely needs psychological help and tools for her life, but is completely incapable of recognizing this.  She was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder years ago, and I was hoping by now, in her mid 30s, she would have believed this diagnosis, and done something to help herself and others in her life.  She chose not to because of her military career, and the consequences of this diagnosis on her record.  Very sad, indeed.  But I will always love her.
      • Spirited Lady
        Deela1226 My understanding is that borderline personality disorder is not treatable.  And it's not going to improve with time.
  • Brenda Alvarado 885

    I have been estranged from my son for 3 years now.. He was 17 at the time and was overly disrespectful and didn't want to follow rules.. I wasn't a perfect mother because no one is but I always supported my son and provided for him.

    When I was finally fed up with his behavior I reacted by telling him to follow my rules or leave my home a choice I regret since he has not returned back home he ended up going to my sisters house whom I am also estranged with and she took him in. My plan was just to have him respect me as a parent.

    My son is 20 now and have recently run into him at a family friends function he was hired as a photographer. Our interaction was limited since he was working I asked him for his number which he did not give to me he gave it to his kid brother my younger son whom he has also abandoned. I tried reaching out to schedule some time to talk but he keeps referring to me by my first name and not Mom! I was so hurt! I told him I dislike that term since I am his mother and he refuses to call me mom and said that I lost that privilege when I put him out.

    My heart is so broken am depressed I have been missing work I can't concentrate all Ido is think about how bad of a mother was I on his eyes to keep hurting me this way! I love my son but I feel that his continuous disrespect and hurtful behavior I must just leave him alone since it is tearing me up inside. I don't even want to talk to anyone about this because i am embarrassed. Every time I see my friends enjoying their time with their adult children i start to envy them.

    I really just need to get it together if not for me but for the son that does want me in his life hopefully I will continue to have a good relationship with him but I just want the hurt to go away

    • Leftnlonely
      I have the same hurt and it sucks. But i can't change it. I have no way to contact him or even go see him. I want it to go away also. Time will help. Staying busy also helps. I know how youMore feel
    • numberfiveminusone

      Brenda Alvarado 885

      So sorry Brenda. Don't be embarrassed. I also felt that question of my identity as a parent.

      My boss and I are very friendly and have known each other for years. She is truly a kind person. So today when she asked me how I was going to spend my vacation, I told her it would be low key and confided in her regarding my daughter.  She started to cry. Tears poured down her face as she confided in me that almost the exact thing happened to her with her son just recently. The common denominator was that our adult children are on the path to wealth and power.  I could not believe how cruel her son had been to her. Our pain is something we left at the door when we went to work. I was amazed to find so many similarities to our situations. 

      In the end you are not the only parent experiencing this. In the end I believe as open as we are to forgiveness we need to ask ourselves what a continued relationship with our adult child entails. Do you accept that he will call you by your first name and consider that having a relationship with him as a privilege? Or do you express that you want a relationship with him but it needs to be based on common courtesy? We teach people how to treat us and they do the same. We only need to be nice to each other in our conversations and time spent together. . If not, the other party should respond with "I would love to talk to you, but you are not being nice, please call me or see me again when you can be nice" We should expect that they would say the same thing if we were cruel. 

      And some days are way worse than others. That depression does creep in as it should. Why wouldn't you be heartbroken? You care. I think the heartless write self help articles on how great it is to lose someone you love so you can "find your passion" and create a wonderful fulfilling life all your own. Such bull IMHO.  We are allowed to grieve because we cared.

      • The Scribe

        numberfiveminusone Brenda Alvarado 885 fiveminusone,

        You make it so clear. It's clear as daylight that these young adults "are on the path to wealth and power."  They make use of their parents as stepping stones. How deceitful! Then they turn around accusing the parents of a hundred and one things. The real reason is to wash their hands off their parents who once were their heroes but are now considered a nuisance,stumbling blocks to their success. I've heard it being said that they are making a sacrifice by cutting their parents off. I wonder who is the sacrificial lamb here. they don't want to share their success and wealth with the only people who will love them,be they a failure or a success.

        If they are still struggling and need your help I bet they will pretend to be loving,at the least nice even though they are impatient with people who are slow and get in the way (and they are slow with the computer except for a handful of computer-savvy old folks). They think old people are stupid,as if they won't ever grow old and as if the computer is God.

        • Relica

          The Scribe numberfiveminusone Brenda Alvarado 885

          What wealth and power? I live on my own and it's harder than ever. It would have been beneficial to both of us if we could have helped support each other but I told her I was not going to stand for her bullying me, treating me like a servant and taking things out on me as an adult like I did has child. Screw that. I'll stay broke. I'd rather live pay check to pay check than ever live like that again. I'd rather work two jobs. I'd rather be homeless.

          By wealth and power did you mean that these resourceful adults found jobs and marriages that enabled them to escape the abusive adults they were no longer forced to be dependent upon? Was that on the day they told themselves: you know what, despite everything mom and dad have said/done to me I AM actually intelligent and lovable and can make my way on my own?

          Cause if this brings wealth and power I missed the memo. Someone forgot to send me the step by step.

          • The Scribe

            Relica The Scribe numberfiveminusone Brenda Alvarado 885

            Right! You missed it LOL.

  • RaeWright

    I love how this article is gearing towards the parents (pure sarcasm), yet what happens when the adult child has tried over and over and over again to have the relationship that was never there to begin with to no avail?

    My mother has told me since birth that I was the result of a failed abortion attempt, she hated me and so on. She beat me as a child severely. At age 18 she held a butcher knife to my throat telling the state police of NJ she was going to kill me. They had to escort me out of the house. My father in turn told me that I was dead to the entire family for not moving with them to Tennessee and taking on the life they wanted me to have. It took him 6 years to find me and contact me. It has been a vicious abusive relationship ever since (1994). I have tried to be the "good" daughter over and over again, only to be dismissed over and over again. This last time I was told I was dead to my mother and then when I tried again she said that I am confused and my mother died at age 93 (my grand-mother). Then just yesterday she puts on Facebook how I am estranged from her. I post their birthdays on Facebook, I send out e-mails to them each and even try to call them. I even planned on moving to where my mother lives to help take care of her if she needed it. 

    She posts on Facebook how I supposedly abused her, yet I wrote her stating how badly I wanted a loving relationship with her as her daughter. I thanked her for giving me birth even. NO abuse whatsoever. Never has been abuse on my end. My heart is broken at this time.

    How the adult child take it? What do we do when all we want is to be loved by the ones who were supposed to raise us, nurture us and give us unconditional love?

    • Healing Heart
      I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible ordeal. Doesn't sound like parents deserving of your big heart. I think most parents on this site are trying to reach out to their adult children that cut them off for small issues or just no reason at all, or to findMore themselves without considering their parents relationship,worry from distance . No one is over needy, just acknowledgment once in a while. Many of these parents sacrificed and gave their kids non violent atmosphere and did best they could...for cases of what you described as your upbringing then your entanglement would be understandable. May you find peace in knowing you're the better person in the truth and live well from no longer being in that world of your childhood. As child you didn't have a choice with the chaos now you do and in truth can be happy.
    • Leftnlonely
      Iam so sorry. I have no other words. And sorry isnt enough
    • tctiptop

      RaeWright Having been a survivor of both situations, I, as  a mother, thank you for having such a good heart. 

      Your mother, like mine, may have been mentally diseased, long before we gave such things labels. 

      My mother was and is pure evil, and I could never really see it. What would I know as her child? We look up to our parents for all things good in the world, never dreaming that they would not or could not deliver. My father was as bad as her. They were both selfish and self-centered, -narcissistic is being kind. Mirrors would have run away in fear of being told they were flawed! 

      My mother developed dementia, now living in her self-made hell. Long ago, my father developed a bad case of deadbeat, and hasn't made any worthy efforts at fatherhood, since. When I was told all those negative things, called names or beat up with belts, I would immediately go into my defense mode of "she really loves me. 

      She has good in her, she loves me, and on and on and on. I felt more like the runt of the litter than the youngest child.

      "I stopped telling myself these lies of love when I felt solid about being me, and finding out it was okay to be me, flaws and all. Then I told myself, she is the sick one. 

      Turns out I was right... .

      So fast forward, I had two children I love forever. My daughter is having issues with me and I am sure I earned them as the adult in the room. Now we are both adults. I know we will communicate in the future. That is good for me. I am learning patience for good reasons, not bad ones anymore.

      Right now she is living her good life, not "Fighting the good fight!" She saw and heard enough of that when my mother and I fought in front of her, only words, but weapons of destruction nevertheless. 

      My mother went beyond the 'being human' excuse long, long ago. My father I just pity. 

      I thank this website for my sanity and new path in life.

      Please don't let broken people break you. 

      Facebook is not your friend. Ignore it. Free up your mind so it won't give your mother any more free rent in it. 

      When my mother's disconnects began, she said mean hurtful things to everyone. They weren't spoken because of disconnections in her brains, they were spoken because all the censorship filters wore away. She really meant what she said, the difference being, she no longer cared who heard what she had to say. She is mean to everyone, accuses everyone of the worst things, has become extremely hard to tolerate and no one wants her negativity to touch their lives.

      We can only live our own life the best way possible. That is all we have to account for. I hope you know that it is not your fault. Give yourself the hugs you so richly deserve. Allow others to be a positive part of your life. This helped me realize that there are so many good people in the world, and, oh, now I'm one of them. And you are too! Thank you for being here!

    • The Scribe

      RaeWright Rae,it's time to move on and leave them alone. If I live in the US I could "adopt" you LOL but I live on the other side of the globe. It's now Wednesday,24 August 2016 9.50am while your time is 9.50pm Tuesday 23 August 2016. 

      Your pain is REAL but give them time to come to their senses. Parents don't know what's eating their children and vice-versa because there's no real communication. Nobody wants to talk about the real reasons why they are behaving this way because they are afraid that they will sound petty and in most cases the reasons are actually petty. That's why the world is at war. People cannot put aside their pettiness.

    • Spirited Lady
      RaeWright Rae, your life story is very sad.  Unfortunately, this type of treatment happens to many children.  You're not alone.  Sadly, your parents are not capable of love.  And their behavior is not even common decency.  No one deserves to be treated this way.  You are a child of GodMore and God loves you.  Please allow yourself to grieve the childhood you never had and move on with your life.  You need to forget about the possibility of a loving relationship with your parents.  It's ok to cry your eyes out.  It's sad.  But you need to live in the reality of who they are.  You need to talk to the little girl inside you and tell her that you're sorry about how she was treated.  Tell her you're a grown up now and you'll take care of her.  Look around for people who are kind and cheerful and spend your time with them.  I love the saying, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."  You can give this to yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Your parents are not worth a second thought.  There are other hurting people all around you who would love to have the warmth and care you've been focusing on your parent.  Look for people who are appreciative.  God will open doors and bless you.
    • Lydia Alexandra

      RaeWright Stop torturing yourself, if things are as they are they will never get better.  My mother constantly told me all through my childhood how she wished i was never born.  She beat me, spat at me, and would pull my by the hair so often i had patches.  My father would then belt me for upsetting my mother.  I came home 20 minutes late from school as i had missed my tram after having to stay back with others to put away the sports equipment - on arrival home she grabbed me and viciously beat me, and called me a prostitute, i had enough and that evening i took all my fathers heart tablets and ended up on the cardiograph machine.  When i recovered i was given a belting for upsetting mother.  It was my mother who put me there.  My father wanted peace at home no matter the cost, and so mother was always right.  When i left at 19 she turned on him, divorced him and the church sacked him. He died a broken man.  

      A lovely friend who is a historian and a retired oxford professor in history offered to find where my family origins were , and where they came from.  He was surprised when i said - and meant it, i am not the least bit interested.  They are both passed on and one would think that would be the end.  I try hard to push childhood memories out of my head, but they come back in my dreams.   Your photo is of a young face so don't waste your years trying to be loved, learn to love yourself and me your own best carer.

      If life at home is so toxic, constantly, you have to break ties and leave.  They will destroy you totally.  I became a mother and gave my son all of me, never hit him nor abused him.  He had a first class private education from 2 all the way through to Uni.  I gave too much of me as i got so little when i was a child. The result is that when my son met someone he now has totally abandoned me and never calls.  I now am trying to crawl out of dark lonely existence and at 68 its not easy, as i am not equipped emotionally to deal with what to me is an enormous loss.  But don't stay where you are, it wont get better so don't expect miracles.  You have to go out and make your own life as best you can.  

      I wish you warmth and love, Lydia

    • numberfiveminusone


      So sorry Rae. This article and most of the posts are geared towards parents. But with that said it IMHO estrangement is about being betrayed regardless if it is the parent or child being betrayed. You describe a horrific childhood and continued abuse to you as an adult. My heart hurts for you. You did not deserve this, you do not deserve this. I want to reach out and give you a hug. So many of us, mothers, daughters, sons, fathers who just don't understand why we are not good enough to be loved. We all are of course, but when family treats you like you are not it just leaves us so hurt and empty. My mother was much the same as your mother. I posted how IMHO opinion the family cycle of abuse continues. A child is raised abused. That child tries to raise his/her children with extra everything to make them feel loved. That child becomes selfish and a narcissist and raises their children in a cold and abusive way. The cycle is then repeated over and over again with each generation almost guaranteeing estrangement for the next generation. 

      Please don't let the article being geared towards parents dissuade you from support. We as mothers and fathers have support to give you. We want you to be happy. We wish we had raised our children to be a kind and loving as you appear to be. We wish you happiness and love and we are down right pissed off that you are not receiving it. Come to my house RaeWright and I will brush your tears away, draw you a bath, and light candles in the bedroom you will sleep in. I will have lit candles and hope you enjoy the high speed internet as you text your friends and catch up on the latest shows.  I will prepare your favorite food and beam from ear to ear if you say you like it. When you tell me you are going out with your friends I will ask you if you need my credit card. I am so happy you are here with me and sharing your life with me.  I as a parent am just like you as an adult child. I just want to be seen and loved. We are kindred spirits. I wish you all the best.

      • The Scribe

        numberfiveminusone RaeWright I am touched by your kind reply to Rae.  

        I especially like this "...IMHO estrangement is about being betrayed regardless if it is the parent or child being betrayed." Indeed,it IS betrayal of the worst kind. 

        They might not have done it yet but threats are just as bad. Long ago children were afraid of getting chased out by strict parents. Today's young adults bully their parents by threatening to cut them off. They have found a weapon to keep their parent "in check" which really means they know that such threats give them control over their parents.

        • Spirited Lady
          The Scribe numberfiveminusone RaeWright What is IMHO?
          • The Scribe
            Spirited Lady The Scribe numberfiveminusone RaeWright LOL it means"in my honest opinion". These days bcs of sms on hp people use a lot of short forms which sometimes only the writer knows. You can google to find out what such short forms and internet slang-words mean. There's the urban dictionary to explain theMore modern meanings of many words that carry new meanings and "new" words coined by today's smart young people who think they are so clever e.g skinship LOL. Such a word doesn't exist in the English language but it means intimacy. There are lots and lots of newly coined words that look funny. Check out urban dictionary.
          • Spirited Lady
            The Scribe Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone RaeWright I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing a key piece of information, because I disagree that an adult child cutting off contact with a parent is a betrayal.  A betrayal involves doing something morally wrong - exposing one to an enemy or breaking a contract.  InMore Western culture there's not a contract that says adult children must take care of their parents.  In fact, we have retirement benefits, social security, health and many other benefits precisely because we realize that many adult children lack the resources and others lack the willingness to care for aging parents.  Abandonment, yes, but betrayal, no.  Young people have many reasons for cutting off from their parents.  In some cases it's a wise decision.  In others it's a concession to a spouse.  In still others the adult child has become involved with drugs and lost all sense of direction.  And there are probably more variations.  The bottom line is that they have a right to make decisions about their own lives.  It's up to us to assess as best we can whether and how to reach out to them.  And at what point we need to back off and simply wait for them to rethink their decisions.  Most do, as a matter of fact, eventually seek out their parents.  What we do have control over is what they find when that happens.
  • violetlace

    I for one would love to have you for my daughter.  My son does not speak to me, will not answer letters, does not send me birthday cards or call me on the phone.  As far as I know I have

    done nothing to deserve this.

    I am so sorry for your situation.  It is puzzling to me the attitude of your parents.  What happens between you and your sister is really your business.  I can't understand your sister either

    for telling your parents what goes on between you and her.  This seems to be a childish thing to do.  I wonder if she is jealous of you for some reason?

    If only families who are in conflict would come together and communicate and try and work something out but most don't want to.

    I do feel your pain Ginger, All any of us can hope for is that one day our loved ones will come around  and things can be worked out.  In the meantime though I think we should carry on with our lives and try not to let this rift in our relationships control our thoughts. 

    I wish you all the very best.

    • GingerMaynor

      violetlace Thank you for saying you would like me as your daughter.  I agree with your last comment about carrying on with our lives and not letting this rift control our thoughts.  I believe at some point we need to just let it be and focus on what we have in our lives that makes us happy.  I assume your comment about my sister being jealous is correct because I can find no other explanation for her continued behavior.  As for my parents, I don't think I'll ever understand their perspective.    

      A ray of sunshine came into my life 4 years ago when a long-time friend of my mother's pulled me aside and told me she believed I had been "overlooked" and that she supported me and I was not alone.  She has been around the family for 30 years and knows the personalities.  She subsequently calls me once or a twice a year just to chat and continues to be a bright light in my life.         

      I also agree with you that families in conflict don't seem to want to work things out.  I am so impressed with the parents on this site because they find it looking for answers and open to resolutions.

    • The Scribe

      violetlace Dear violetlace,

      You do not have to feel guilty. No need to blame yourself. Your son does not want to share his life with you for reasons only he knows best. He wants to live in isolation. Read what *fiveminusone* wrote to me here and you will understand why some young adults behave this way. She explained very clearly,using Erik Erikson's theory about young adults to illustrate her points. This behaviour has become a cancer among young adults today,even in traditional cultures like mine,especially among us overseas Chinese. In mainland China and Chinese Taiwan the situation has not become a scourge as yet compared to what we overseas Chinese are experiencing. 

      Do watch some made-in-China and made-in-Taiwan romance dramas or comedies online (there's a lot available on YouTube f.o.c.) to see how deeply mainland and Taiwanese Chinese value family and their elders (even those not family or blood-related. In most cases they will not be unkind to elders. Art mirrors real life so I won't say such an attitude in modern China/Taiwan is an exaggeration). You will enjoy such dramas which place great importance on the family,on the elders in a family and the relationship between children and parents. The children might leave in a huff because many parents try to exercise complete control over their lives but eventually the parents and children will come to a compromise. The parents will realise that they cannot dictate to their children (and in many cases order their lives for them to the extent of trying to force them to marry partners of their choice) or they will lose them and the children learn that they have to show their parents what we call filial piety. Parents can consider themselves very lucky when their children are filial - care for them,concerned about them,show them kindness,take care of them when they are sick,give them some money even if they are multi-millionaires,and most of all share their lives with their parents. All the best to you.

      • The Scribe
        violetlace I forgot to add that many of these serial dramas (in episodic form but some are full-length movies) have sub-titles in English and many other languages if you do not understand Mandarin Chinese. I understand many Americans dislike subtitles (that's why we see Jacky Chan speaking his Hong KongMore English in his Rush Hour movies) as it's hard to read and look at the screen at the same time but we must be practical. If you don't read you will not be able to appreciate the show fully. I'm used to subtitles because my country will subtitle every American/English,Chinese,Indian whatever language show in Malay (only when Malay is spoken there will not be subtitles) and even if I understand the language being spoken I have already formed the habit of reading the subtitles.
  • GingerMaynor

    I take solace in the postings on this site, but my heart breaks. It seems most of the posts come from parents, but I am an adult daughter with a distanced relationship with my parents.  I want to cut them off entirely so I can have an end to the turmoil, but I won't.  Turmoil has been increasing since I turned 30, and am now in my mid-40"s.   The turmoil mostly starts with my older sister who stirs the pot, and our parents (in their 70's) always jump into it.  My sister and I are different people with differing opinions.  As a result, we have conflicts - but nothing real bad.  She continuously informs our parents of all details of each conflict or disagreement.   Within a few days, they call me and tell me how wrongly I behave with her.  It is minor stuff such as not attending one of my sister's kid's recitals or soccer games.  They think I'm not involved enough in my sister's life or that I don't really love her.  I get only negativity and judgement from them.  I have asked my parents to stay out of conflicts my sister tries to pull them into, but after a quick agreement, they jump back in the next time my sister calls them.  I've asked my sister to keep our parents out of our disagreements because it is hurtful but she just replied, "No, It hasn't been that bad and I'm not changing". I told her that leaves our relationship in a bad place.    

    I think my parents have developed a negative mind-set about me based on years of my sister's negative dialog.  A few years ago my dad said I treated him and my mother very well, but he thought I should be more attentive to my sister.  He further said he didn't care if I never talked to him again as long as I had a good relationship with my sister.  I thought at the time he was exaggerating, but I believe now that he was truthful.  He stopped calling me about a year ago.  He only talks to me on the phone if my mom calls, which is not that often.  My dad used to call me on my birthday, but he stopped doing that about 5 years ago.    

    I always celebrate mother's day, father's day and their birthday's with them.  I have been fortunate enough to have a good job, so I've never asked for money and they never gave me any.  If a week goes by when I haven't spoken to my parents, I usually call them just to say hi.  In June my mother went to visit a friend who lives out of state.  Knowing my dad was alone, I went to his house and took him out to dinner one night.  While at their house I noticed the father's day card I sent him was still out on a coffee table.  My sister does not send cards, so my card was the only one.  I thought it was sad that he so strongly supports my sister who cannot find time to get a card in the mail.   

    I can't help but wonder if any parents on this site would be happy to have a daughter who celebrates their birthdays, sends cards, visits them when they are alone, and still calls them? My parent's biggest complaint is that I don't spend enough time with my sister.  They seem to have no regard for me, and I wonder why I even try to have a relationship with them.

    • numberfiveminusone


      You sound like a perfectly wonderful daughter and I am sure many parents on this site would be so happy to have the time, attention, love and devotion that you show your parents. I hope there are other people in your life you appreciate your kindness. If not, please take time to take care of yourself and give yourself some of the kindness and support that you give to others.

      • GingerMaynor
        numberfiveminusone GingerMaynor Thank you so much for replying.  It lets me know I'm not invisible.  I do not get affirming responses from my parents in much of anything I do.  I know I never will.  When my thoughts start going down the bad road that my parent's criticism takes me, IMore have to be deliberate about re-focusing on happier relationships.  I am grateful for my wonderful husband of 15 years and a friend from childhood who give me acceptance my parents will not.  I do not have many others, and this world is not perfect.  I like your comment about giving myself kindness and support and I try to do a little of that every day.  I hope you do the same for yourself.  You seem like a great mom - I can tell in your responses posted elsewhere on this site.  I wish there was a place we could all meet in-person as a support group and share a warm cup of coffee and some chocolate!
        • Spirited Lady
          GingerMaynor numberfiveminusone It sounds like you're doing fine with your life.  Give yourself a pat on the back for surviving all this... and that goes for all those who have made positive lives for ourselves in spite of unhappy childhoods.  It takes work, but it's worth it.  I agree that itMore would be delightful to all meet.  I'll carry that vision in my head.  I'll be drinking tea and have a scone with it.
  • The Scribe

    I've noticed a funny thing among young adults who have made the choice to cut off their aged parents. After some time of non-communication,out of the blue they decide to visit as if nothing had happened. Maybe their conscience had been eating them. Maybe they wanted to check out what they had lost LOL. I've never asked these young adults. They must have their own reasons to visit.

    They then expect the estranged parents to welcome them like they are the prodigal son or daughter. If the parents don't (perhaps they were still feeling the hurt so at best they could only behave in a civil but friendly manner) they would later be criticised for treating their prodigal son or daughter badly. I've heard criticisms like their parents think they are hard-up for the old folks' love etc. What do these young adults expect from their aged parents after they had neglected and ignored them for months and some even for years? How do you begin to understand them? Could some kind soul please explain such behaviour? TQVM

    • Leftnlonely
      Please explain the same to me @leftnlonley
      • The Scribe

        Leftnlonely  " Hi Leftnlonely,

        Below I copy-pasta the very clear answer by numberfiveminusone which is self-explanatory. If you need further clarification kindly do address me again. I've highlighted whatever I think you should look at closely.

        Here goes :-

        "Scribe you asked a question so I will try to answer from what I believe is true.. During young adulthood psychologist Erik Erikson referred to this stage as intimacy vs. isolation. So from the 20's to late 30's some of our adult children will try to form intimate relationships such as marriage.  They are willing to isolate at this stage. Which means if they feel that their closeness or conflict with a parent may get in the way of forming that intimate relationship- they are willing to distance themselves.  Even estrange themselves from their parents. I believe it goes a step further. If you have raised a narcissist that narcissist may want to portray themselves in a way that is not quite true. Having family around that may differ from the narrative they have created may threaten them.  It seems many of us have been too close to our grown children (and may know their weaknesses)and they may perceive this as a threat in that they need to develop their own identity and family.  This is of course extreme when the need to cut off the parents or other family members arises.  It may be due to selfishness or insecurity. If they are a narcissist they have taken on a character they want to portray.  If they are insecure they may try to be the person they want to be.

        As some young adults navigate this stage they may develop maturity and try to "mend" a relationship. As you mentioned the relationship with the parents may have been extremely damaged.  The young adult may find themselves confused and not take any blame when they come back and expect the relationship to be as they left it. The parent after estrangement most likely has lost trust and is unwilling to trust again.  The parent may also reflect that their life is less complicated and more rewarding with the adult child gone if they placed the needs or their adult child before their own and they trust them no longer. They may find it is good to experience that volunteer work is rewarding and taking care of their self and or their spouse in a more generous way. For example I am still extremely hurt and only about 1 month into estrangement. But I have 1K extra in my bank account (since I am not longer paying for many of my daughter's expenses) and have much more free time since I am not cleaning her house, doing her laundry or being the listening ear to her many thoughts.  I now have time to volunteer, go out to eat, make new friends and travel to places I have always wanted to go. I am learning about myself away from my daughter. My husband and I experience new intimacy as only "we"  get how bad this hurts and we go through this pain together. We have become a stronger unit as partners instead of "mother and father." 

        It is also a time to reflect on other things wrong in the relationship with your adult child that you may not have seen when you were too close. For example my daughter always liked to point out that everyone loved her more than me. This even pertained to the dogs. She would ask that we put them in a different room and then have someone open the door to see who they came to first. She always wanted to be first.  Or that my grandchild (her niece) would love her more because she was "young" and would related to her better than me.  I didn't realize how demeaning this was to myself until we became estranged. 

        I do not believe for one minute that my adult child owes me anything for the sacrifices her father and I have made for her. She did not ask me to bear her and did not ask me to be a good parent to her.  It was my pleasure from the first moment I saw her. But now, I do demand respect, honesty, and  kindness to anyone who wants to have a close relationship with me. Unfortunately she has not engaged in that type of behavior so I will not be up for a visit anytime soon."

        From the explanation above it would seem that the young adults today are mired in self-conflict. It used to be so easy being a young adult when we were young bcs we had no choice. If you in-laws or spouse's siblings annoy/irritate/impose on you you'll simply have to take things in your stride. Cutting off a despicable or nasty relative never entered our mind.

        • Healing Heart
          I love this so positive and move forward type of approach. Especially the last sentence, generation x just lost family values and distance is their only resolve. But the taking care of self, increase closeness and intimacy with spouse, more money in bank....just living our own lives is so trueMore and rewarding vs. being on standby to sacrifice at their beck and call!
          • Leftnlonely
            This is very well put and 100% right on the money. Leftnlonely.
    • NL Mom

      The Scribe

      They appear out of the blue as if nothing has happened because they can't face up to what they have done. It takes a very big person to admit that they are wrong. Or, they hope that whatever drove them away has changed and they are tentatively trying to reconnect without bringing up the issue.

      The parents who are/were estranged would be shocked by any attempt at communication and trying to avoid anything that would drive the child away again. Tiptoeing on eggshells I imagine. I can't imagine how I would react if my son reached out to me.... I"d hope that I could sound positive but not over the top, but in reality, I really don't want anything to do with him anymore. He hurt me and I'm not putting myself back into a situation where I dwell on him constantly and cry constantly. It's taken me a long time to become myself again, and there is some semblance of happiness in my life. I can again function. I'm not going to give him the ability to hurt me anymore.

    • numberfiveminusone

      The Scribe

      Scribe you asked a question so I will try to answer from what I believe is true.. During young adulthood psychologist Erik Erikson referred to this stage as intimacy vs. isolation. So from the 20's to late 30's some of our adult children will try to form intimate relationships such as marriage.  They are willing to isolate at this stage. Which means if they feel that their closeness or conflict with a parent may get in the way of forming that intimate relationship- they are willing to distance themselves.  Even estrange themselves from their parents. I believe it goes a step further. If you have raised a narcissist that narcissist may want to portray themselves in a way that is not quite true. Having family around that may differ from the narrative they have created may threaten them.  It seems many of us have been too close to our grown children (and may know their weaknesses)and they may perceive this as a threat in that they need to develop their own identity and family.  This is of course extreme when the need to cut off the parents or other family members arises.  It may be due to selfishness or insecurity. If they are a narcissist they have taken on a character they want to portray.  If they are insecure they may try to be the person they want to be.

      As some young adults navigate this stage they may develop maturity and try to "mend" a relationship. As you mentioned the relationship with the parents may have been extremely damaged.  The young adult may find themselves confused and not take any blame when they come back and expect the relationship to be as they left it. The parent after estrangement most likely has lost trust and is unwilling to trust again.  The parent may also reflect that their life is less complicated and more rewarding with the adult child gone if they placed the needs or their adult child before their own and they trust them no longer. They may find it is good to experience that volunteer work is rewarding and taking care of their self and or their spouse in a more generous way. For example I am still extremely hurt and only about 1 month into estrangement. But I have 1K extra in my bank account (since I am not longer paying for many of my daughter's expenses) and have much more free time since I am not cleaning her house, doing her laundry or being the listening ear to her many thoughts.  I now have time to volunteer, go out to eat, make new friends and travel to places I have always wanted to go. I am learning about myself away from my daughter. My husband and I experience new intimacy as only "we"  get how bad this hurts and we go through this pain together. We have become a stronger unit as partners instead of "mother and father." 

      It is also a time to reflect on other things wrong in the relationship with your adult child that you may not have seen when you were too close. For example my daughter always liked to point out that everyone loved her more than me. This even pertained to the dogs. She would ask that we put them in a different room and then have someone open the door to see who they came to first. She always wanted to be first.  Or that my grandchild (her niece) would love her more because she was "young" and would related to her better than me.  I didn't realize how demeaning this was to myself until we became estranged. 

      I do not believe for one minute that my adult child owes me anything for the sacrifices her father and I have made for her. She did not ask me to bear her and did not ask me to be a good parent to her.  It was my pleasure from the first moment I saw her. But now, I do demand respect, honesty, and  kindness to anyone who wants to have a close relationship with me. Unfortunately she has not engaged in that type of behavior so I will not be up for a visit anytime soon.

      • The Scribe

        numberfiveminusone The Scribe Thank you so very much for taking the time and the trouble to explain it so clearly to me. I've read Erik Erikson the american psychologist but could not remember what he said about young adulthood. In the olden days one marries a whole family and there was no opportunity to show any intimacy in the open but not today. I'm speaking as an oriental/an easterner but today our young are becoming very westernised and they freely show their affection in the presence of their elders. The influence of the internet has been particularly strong these past 2 decades,more so than the tv. These days we hear youngsters simply mouthing/writing the 4-letter word all over cyberspace. We don't swear this way so indeed times have changed very drastically for us here and we need to re-look our values in order to survive our young.

        I guess as parents one should "know" how to strike a happy balance. There's a saying that bringing up a child is like flying a kite. How much of the string should you let go and when should you pull it back. If you let go too much you could lose the kite. Likewise,if you hold on too tightly the string might snap and you will still lose it too. So flying a kite is a skill which we learn as we go along. This parent-child dichotomy has never been more apparent than today in the east. What started decade ago in the west is slowly but surely becoming a "disease" here today. 

        I agree with your last paragraph when you wrote "I do demand respect, honesty, and  kindness to anyone who wants to have a close relationship with me".  This has always been the way with easterners because we had always believed in filial piety and in treating our elders this way. However,today the social landscape has changed so much it has become unrecognisable. It is sad but looking west is the trend and is embraced wholeheartedly as it is perceived as "progress" LOL. Whatever I think parents and elders should demand nothing less than "respect, honesty, and  kindness to anyone who wants to have a close relationship with" them. Bravo!!! The young should also have a re-look at their values. Even if they don't owe the world anything they should behave within the bounds of decency as far as parents and elders are concerned. TQVM.

        • Spirited Lady
          The Scribe numberfiveminusone I love the kite analogy.  That's exactly right.  And no one does it perfectly.  It takes time and practice.  Yes, relationships are changing, but applying Western behaviors to Eastern culture is devastating.  We have Social Security and Medicare, so we are not dependent upon the younger generation.  InMore the early years parents are still working and often have far more money than the young people.  Our kids can walk away and know we have the resources to live well, plus a satisfying lifestyle.  I know my son is struggling to establish what we already have, plus it's harder for his generation because there are not now the same retirement plans and job securities that our generation had.  In the East I think things are different.  We volunteered in China for 5 weeks in 2008 and I could see many differences in our cultures and also how the traditional culture was breaking down.  In particular, there were not the children to help with the farms.  And no benefits for the elderly.  Also little medical care available.  This is a very difficult situation.
          • The Scribe

            Spirited Lady The Scribe numberfiveminusone Indeed it is a very tough situation in China (I've been there only twice for a total of 25 days only i 1992 and 2008 so you would know better since you lived there for 5 years) now bcs they had the one child policy for many decades. Looks like they are relaxing the rules a little. Farming families had secretly been having more than one child anyway bcs sons are needed to work the farms. These days though young adults leave their rural homes for the city so despite having two or more children the old folks are eventually left to fend for themselves. It seems the Chinese government has legislated laws that a child must not only visit his parents a certain number of times a year but must also give the parents monetary support. 

            In Singapore if a parent reports a child for neglect the law can force the child. Forcing is not good. I am Han Chinese but I live in one of the south-east asian countries. Free good quality medical service is not an issue here but if one does not have a pension or wealth from business then old age could be a huge challenge as many young adults are struggling to set up life. They are finding it difficult to support their parents financially. Both spouses could be graduates with high incomes yet times are very challenging with runaway corruption in government and other types of mismanagement in the public sector.  Even parents who are financially independent are somehow neglected by their busy,struggling children.

            What you wrote about applying western behaviours/attitudes to eastern culture is so true. It is not only devastating. It  is very harmful to the whole social fabric of our societal setup but the young cannot see the havoc and destruction an alien culture will wreak on the long-held traditions and practices of the east. We could only watch helplessly as our young warmly embrace everything western that has swept across Asia as far away as Mongolia. It is only now that we are experiencing parent-child estrangement/shunning and what not which the Y gen have dared to consider. The only country on earth that is not badly affected today could perhaps be Bhutan at the foot of the Himalayas.  It is the only country on earth that uses happiness and not wealth as a barometer to measure the health of the nation.

          • Lydia Alexandra
            The Scribe Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone How incredibly interested that we of many cultures share our situations and circumstances.  I find the information about China etc., incredibly interesting.  I love your last sentence.  Bhutan at the food of the Himalayas is the only country on earth that uses happiness and not wealth asMore a barometer to measure the health of the nation.  Amazing.  Bless you and thank you.
          • The Scribe

            Lydia Alexandra The Scribe Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Dear Lady,

            Thank you for your kind words. Although I am Han Chinese and discussed China with Spirited Lady I live outside China. I am what you call overseas Chinese. I am not a citizen of China. 

            It is only our cultures that are different but we all share the same feelings and concerns. It is good that we can gather here and peacefully discuss an issue that has become a thorn to today's elderly.

            If I have the opportunity and the money Bhutan is one country I would like to see. The country controls the annual number of tourists to protect the environment. The government has already implemented a daily levy on tourists. It is expensive as the levy is in USD. Imagine if you come from say Taiwan where 1USD is equivalent to roughly NT$30. If the levy is 100USD a day a Taiwanese would have to pay the equivalent of NT$3000. You'll have to be a rich Taiwanese to visit Bhutan for a week. Bhutan's young king is American-educated and a benevolent king. He is highly concerned about his people's happiness. If a country is well-managed with corruption at a minimal level then it is easy for the citizens to be happy. Buddhism is the official religion and you can be jailed if you preach/try to convert a Bhutanese to another religion

          • The Scribe
            Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Sorry dear lady. I misread. You were in China for 5 weeks,not 5 years. But during that 5 weeks you sort of lived among the people. The situation all across Asia is getting bad as far as child-parent relationship is concerned. With the current world economic scenario andMore the widespread corruption in Asian and African countries the young are finding it difficult to care for their elders even if they are filial.
          • Spirited Lady
            The Scribe Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Yes, we lived in a wonderful rural village and taught oral English to middle school English teachers.  We had a delightful time with those young teachers.  They were mostly women so they took care of their families and came to classes with us.  A handful invited usMore to their homes or, in some cases, their parent's home for refreshments or a meal.  They were very welcoming and generous to us... lovely people.  One took us out to her family farm to meet her 92 year old grandmother.  She said she wanted her grandmother to know she had lived long enough to meet a foreigner.  In another case the teacher lived in another village and stayed with her parents during the week so she could attend our classes.  In a couple others the parents were visiting.  So we saw close family ties.  For harvest the villagers went out to the farms to help.  But it's all a challenge.  On the other hand, traditional ways had challenges as well.  We must not forget that parents were sometimes abusive and children had no options.  There are no perfect solutions.  All cultures can be abused.  From studies it seems the countries with low corruption and high social benefits produce the greatest sense of happiness and security.  That's Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden. But as a Christian I cling to the notion that God is present in all our challenges, cares about us and is slowly moving us toward greater justice and peace.  The Buddhist notion of peace through detachment seems to provide similar comfort.  The point, I think, is to take a long view and stay hopeful, always looking forward to a better tomorrow but living today in a way that is kind and generous both to ourselves and others.
          • The Scribe

            Spirited Lady The Scribe numberfiveminusone The Chinese in China learn their English from the Americans. They have learnt well and fast. When I first visited in 1992 very few Chinese could speak English but when I went again in 2008 I could communicate with many young Chinese in Englsih. I learnt mine from the Irish. I cannot spell without the "u" - words like behaviour,flavour, harbour, neighbour LOL when I see words that don't have the "u" I feel annoyed. It's my British English heritage. I feel uneasy listening to China's version of Mandarin Chinese. Almost all young Chinese are unable to speak Chinese dialects. The Mandarin Chinese that is spoken by every Chinese,even by very very old people is not a Chinese language while the Chinese dialects are Chinese languages. Mandarin belonged to the Manchus who colonised China from 1644-1911.

            You were perhaps the first white person the 92 year old living in a village in China had ever seen LOL. If you were blonde and have blue eyes and went to China or India say 300 years ago they might think you were a goddess (you might have read the Rudyard Kipling's book The Man Who Would Be King).

            Yes,traditions can be abusive. Man can be a slave to tradition if he blindly clings to tradition as not every practice is good or beneficial. My paternal grandfather grew up in China but migrated to British Malaya when he was about 20. He was verbally abusive toward his wife,daughters,grand-daughters (children of his sons) and even his daughters-in-law. He had no relationship with his daughters' children and sons-in-law as they were considered "outside" family. Sons and the children of sons and the daughters-in-law were considered "inside" family. It is still being practised by the Chinese today,even by overseas Chinese but girls today receive high education and are better off.  Females traditionally received much ill-treatment. Confucius taught about filial piety but he also had a warped attitude toward the female gender so whenever Confucianism was in favour with the ruling emperor women would have a hard time and legalism (harsh rule of law) would be practised. 

            A true episode illustrates very clearly my paternal grandfather's warped attitude toward women. When my father was a child his paternal grandmother from China visited my grandfather in the then British Malaya. A circus came to town. The roads from one town to the next was not yet macadamised in the 1930's so they were simply dirt tracks. Transportation was mostly on foot or by bicycle. The circus troupe walked the animals through the village to get to the next town. My paternal great grandmother had never seen an elephant or a tiger in her life although China has such animals. She was so frightened she fell ill with fever. Instead of being sympathetic my grandfather scolded his aged mother for being foolish. He was "abusive" even to his own mother. The only way we can overcome this kind of abuse is with a western education. On the other hand,it is western education that has wreaked havoc on the traditional life in the east today. We are faced with a dilemma LOL. I had never felt any moral conflict though the education I received was 100% western (my values were traditional + catholic universal values) yet the young adults today are full of conflict despite some of them having received a traditional Chinese education for 6 years of elementary school.

          • Lydia Alexandra
            Spirited Lady The Scribe numberfiveminusone I remember someone telling me many years ago that in Denmark, Norway and Sweden children sleep with parents till around 7 years of age, and those countries had the least juvenile crime in the world.
      • Lydia Alexandra

        numberfiveminusone The Scribe I envy your incredible strength of character.  Are you able to give me any idea as to why my son who is a law graduate from oxford, who has had a private education from two and a half years, primary school, high school and college for 4 years (his choice where he did 5 academic subjects and then chose which one to take as a degree) then a 3 year degree and graduated in Law turning to me with his degree in his hand and said to the amazement of other parents, this is for you Mum because without you i would not be standing here.  He now has a live in lady from a family where Dad had problems keeping his zipper up and left home, and mother turned to the bottle where now she suffers with blindness.  Its his first serious relationship at 32 so a slow starter.  She has no level of conversation, i have no idea what the common denominator is - but i am out of the picture.  His choice not mine.  I am baffled.  I today have been diagnosed with inflammation of the Colon, stress related as i have trouble keeping food down.  

        My son has never asked for money, (though it was my choice to give him my inheritance as i had a toxic and abusive childhood and didn't want the payout) is very together in his position at work and in his private life.  He has many friends, colleagues at work think the world of him and he has had excellent references from school into his area of work when moving from one department to another.   Because i have brought him up on my own, i feel that this is why I feel so incredibly empty.  I prayed daily for him to meet someone as i didn't want him to feel the loss in my passing, so i dearly wanted him to have someone in his life and would often say this to him.  I simply am no longer part of his life as it appears. At 68 its hit me hard.

        • numberfiveminusone

          Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone The Scribe

          Lydia was your question directed at me or the Scribe? If it was not me I apologize for my answer. Every relationship is unique so I can only offer possible answers. It seems that very close relationships between parents and children can become "enmeshed," This is where we are very close with each other, share common personality traits and views on life and "get" each other. We are super close and boundaries may blur for the parent and child together, or one or the other. This IMHO becomes a problem if the parent or child is clingy and needy. Or if the grown child or parent cannot allow distance for the other. For example it is normal for an adult child to take a spouse and create "their" family. But it is not normal to cut close parents or family out of their life or "dump" them when they create that transition to this stage. So why do they do this?  

          Possible reasons include low self esteem, fear of disapproval, immaturity, differences in value systems or control issues.  For example, an adult child who has recently experienced rejection by a romantic partner may choose to prove that partner wrong. They may choose to covet what that former partner held dear and "win" by showing them they have exceeded their goals. More specifically if that former partner valued money, beauty, status, partying, whatever it was they will one up them to gain back their self respect. It's an ego trip and they won't let anyone (even mom or dad) get in the way. The root problem is insecurity or narcissism. They may choose to embrace a value system that is not their norm and will not allow anyone to be a moral compass in achieving a remedy for their ego injury. They may choose a new value system to soothe an ego injury. They may not have developed a healthy identity and are being swayed by their emotions regarding rejection.

          For others- they may fear disapproval by the parent that will get in the way.  They know they love their parent and that parent's opinion will hold great value. If they believe their parent will not approve they remove the parent in their life. They are willing to destroy relationships to achieve intimacy.  This is not a healthy way of going about things and will result in further isolation down the road. 

          Or the parent has an unrealistic view of the relationship they had with their child. For example the narcissistic parent who truly believed all was right in the world while they bowled their child over with their wants or their needs. The adult child truly needs to escape to find themselves.  They were not able to do it in adolescence so they do it as a young adult when they have better tools.

          From what you have described with your son (32 years old and a slow starter) I wonder if he has isolated himself due to feelings or rejection from a female who he fell in love with. Now that he is willing to become intimate again he fears rejection again. He is putting his whole heart and soul into this new relationship and is willing to destroy a close relationship with you so that he may give his "all" to this new relationship in hopes that he achieves true intimacy. Somewhere along the line (please forgive me for saying this) something went wrong with his relationships with females and I suspect previous rejection. If so- you my dear are collateral damage for him to gain intimacy. You need to take care of yourself. Your gut is inflamed due to stress. Now is the time to learn more about yourself and to take care of yourself. 

          And also take a good look at your adult child for substance abuse/alcohol issues. My adult child was by her own words and by her actions was very happy with her life. She fell in love with a man who abused RX drugs. She started to take ADHD drugs (she does not have ADHD) during the day and started to drink alcohol and night to "relax" as he did. She suffered an ego injury (perhaps for the first time in her life) and is taking a drug that acts as an amphetamine. She needs alcohol at night to counter that effect to sleep. With that said she dumped her fiance and had her new love at her house that night. So there are issues with her character that I ignored and possibly contributed to by my unwavering support of my adult child. With that said parents are not the sole influence in their child's life.

          I would like to say that again. Parents are not the sole influence in a child's life. As the child becomes an adult they are influenced by not only their parents but their genetics, their peers, co-workers, corporate culture,  and their experiences.  We as parents always want to reflect on how we failed our adult children.  In the anger stage of grief we want to blame them. But mostly we are looking for an answer in how the heck things got so bad so quick. And we may never know. Our adult children have their secrets just as we have ours. We may never know the why. 

          In the end I hold this true. Love your adult children. Hope and pray they are happy and fulfilled with or without us. But please expect them to treat you with the kindness and respect that they would treat a co-worker, boss, neighbor, or friend. You deserve that much as a parent.

          • Lydia Alexandra

            numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra The Scribe My question was to anyone who wanted to give me an insight into why this suddenly has happened.  I have read your reply  and i marvel at your wide understanding and knowledge.  May i ask if you have studied psychology at any level or are you just incredibly well read on the subject and if so from where can i gain this knowledge as well.  

            You're right, our children have secrets, and there may be a possibility that my son was rejected by a female at some stage though i am not aware.  When he left home and bought an apartment i saw him weekly, and nothing was said nor discussed regarding relationships.  He then sold his apartment and another rental that he let out and bought the house that he now lives in.  Has had the whole place rewired, new windows, re-plastered, and now has extensions going on at the back with builders.  He is busy.  Meanwhile he and partner live in one room with only 10% of his clothing the rest is at my house.  

            Some time back i phoned as his partner at 24 was having her wisdom teeth extracted.  I said that he may consider buying her a mouth wash for that reason (not the normal mouth wash), as when i had mine done at 23 you cannot clean your teeth but you need to keep your mouth free of infection and keep it clean.  I thought with a course he needs to be signed off for by end of year, all the goings on in his house, working long hours, and partner has moved in, that's the last thing he may consider.  I also said as he is considering to rent the upstairs whilst he and partner live downstairs when the building work is done, he must be aware as she does shift work, having male tenants may be a problem.  Imagine he has gone for the day, she is sleeping in the day and some guy decides to create problems.  After all they are not family but complete strangers. He went absolutely nuts shouting at me to "stop organising" anything needed has been addressed.  

            I was shocked at the anger he showered on me.  That was the first time i saw this behaviour and over time he has become totally distant.  My mother on her death bed told me that as a mother she was very poor.  Apart from the mental, physical and emotional abuse i endured almost on a daily basis from my mother with a father a vicar that looked the other day i had no warmth, demonstrative affection, kindness - whatsoever.  I heard my son once say to his friend who stayed over as my location was an easy connection to where they needed to go, my mother is very mothering (when i cooked them a breakfast and packed food for their trip) which i find normal.  My sons friend had lost his mother when young and showed surprise that i bothered.  I always had my sons friends over to visit or for birthdays etc., and i would take each and everyone home as i found this the decent thing to do. I would ask my boy to walk them to their front door.  This was during high school years not when he was working.  

            You can gather from this that i was very involved with anything that needed doing that involved my son.  He has left home, that's fine, though at times when there has been a hick-up he would ask if i could pick them all up from an airport as flight was delayed and they had no way of getting home as public transport had stopped.  No problem.    

            Perhaps i was too involved, though i didn't push ever nor was i nosy.  I would always say - if you want me to help just say and leave it that way.

          • numberfiveminusone

            Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone The Scribe

            I have studied psychology only on a basic level for my profession.  Having my mother and my sister cut ties with me (and most everyone else in the family) led me to search for answers. I have been fortunate to have access to a University library for research articles.  I have poured over thousands of them.  I also have friends (doctors and nurses) who work in psych and addictive medicine. I have been able to bounce ideas off of them. The most valuable resource I have found is my husband who speaks from his "gut." Uncanny how accurate he has been. He is a very observant regarding human nature. 

            I am very sorry your son took your concern for his partner as being "too organizing."  I believe your suggestions were valid and made with love.

          • Spirited Lady
            numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra The Scribe Thank you for your wise and informative postings.  I believe my son fits into your description of having difficulty finding a suitable partner and being willing to cut us out of his life in order to accommodate his wife and their lifestyle.  We're not particularly judgmental, butMore they have a counter-cultural lifestyle that would be hard for us to be very close to.  Seeing them at our family reunion every three years is the only thing we're allowed besides sending gifts.  I don't think my son and I were enmeshed, but we were struggling to stabilize our adult relationship at the time he became engaged.  I believe she thinks she is protecting him from me.  And isolation is a pattern in her family.  She has no contact with her family, which they prefer since they won't accept my son.  I do think her father expected to control their lives.  So isolating themselves seems like a good solution at least to her.  His knee-jerk reactions to suggested plans were always positive, but then the answer was no from her.  He is giving us a LOT to be with her.  But they share the same lifestyle, friends, etc. and now that there are two children he will never leave.  I feel accepting the situation is the only way I can bless him.  And it's the only way I can avoid having my feelings hurt even more.  My son is sensitive and we were close, hence the difficulty on both ends in detaching.  But I'm allowed to send gifts and that's more than is allowed some of my friends, who I know were not enmeshed with their children.  I'm told sizes and wants and occasionally thanked.  But I think as it gets harder for my son to sustain this separation, he becomes less communicative.  And I think that's what's happened with my friends' sons as well.  My son has said, "That's all that will work with my family."  And of course he means his wife, since the children are toddlers.
          • The Scribe

            numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra The Scribe I'm sure Lydia directed her question at you. Thank you for such a comprehensive answer. You seem very clear about this whole complicating issue. My friends used to say that after the age of 20 children are emotionally and mentally more stable and they will be safe. However,looking at/reading about young adults today i think they are still exposed to all kinds of danger until their 30's. This is because there are so many influences all around them.

            I find your paragraphs 2-5 so enlightening. Thank you so much.

        • Spirited Lady
          Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone The Scribe Reading about your son saying his diploma was for you, I think he will be back.  He needs some time.  This young man apparently was academic rather than social and now he'll be learning hard lessons.  Keep praying for him and his life.  He has ventured out,More which is good.  Give him some time to figure things out.
          • Lydia Alexandra
            Spirited Lady Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone The Scribe Thank you for taking the time in answering, very much appreciated. X
  • The Scribe

    After reading through some of the posts here I can't help thinking that this is a worldwide social landscape among young adults today. Why are they treating people who had nurtured them,cared/sacrificed for them for 25-30+ years so callously? I cannot,for the life of me,understand how they could be so selfish,self-focused and unfeeling. How could parents who had given their all to bring them up be called "toxic" once they become financially independent? 

    Everything is honky-dory until the parents fall sick or are unable to meet their needs. Today's young people make use of their parents,then discard them when the tide turns. Even if they don't love their parents for whatever reason and have an axe to grind with them where is their conscience and gratitude? True,they never asked to be born. However,according to karma whether they like it or not they WILL be reborn,if not by this set of parents by another which could be a thousand times worse. They could be born into some family which is on the brink of starvation or they could be born into a family in a war-torn country. Were the parents not the ones to give them the opportunities to enjoy whatever they have achieved now? If the parents had not given them life they would never have been able to enjoy themselves now. When they taste the sweetness of life they forget their parents but when it comes to bitterness they blame the parents. 

    I'm in the east,south-east asia to be exact and the social climate here is the same. Many young adults today do not practise filial piety anymore. The Buddha said we should NOT drink all our sweet tea at the beginning of life and leave all the bitter tea to the end. We must leave some sweet tea for the end too and drink some bitter tea in our youth. Many of today's youth do not know this precept. Today's youth are so hellbent on enjoying life that they ignore their filial duty toward their parents and elders. Neglected old folks are increasing in number these days,even in the east where filial piety had been practised for thousands of years. This is the phenomenon that began toward the end of the last century. 

    Their children watch how they treat their old folks and when their turn comes they might experience worse. There is an old Chinese story about a son who carried his aged and sick father to the mountain in a basket. He left his father day. His own young son tagged along. When his father deposited his grandfather somewhere on the mountain the young boy said to his father, 

    "Pa.don't forget to take the basket home". The father asked why. 

    The young boy replied, "So that I could bring you up the mountain when you grow old."

  • LLWright
    July 26, 2016 my 26 year old daughter moved out with her BF and took her son.  I don't know where they are and she has quit talking to me.  I have been a part of my grandsons life since he was born.  Now I can't see him or talkMore to him at all.  Her BF is my grandsons father.  They have broken up/got back together repeatedly.  We were all living together but they were not contributing financially to the house and we began to argue.  I do not like this guy, never have.  I simply went with it because I love my daughter.  He is a felon and in my opinion, a complete loser.  My parents are not handling this well and have become obsessed with trying to contact her and see my grandson.  I on the other hand have decided to take a step back and let things cool.  I texted her three times to ask to see my grandson and she responds with simply a NO.  My last text, I let her know that I love her and my grandson, want them in my life and my door is always open.  I received no response.  She has blocked me on all social media and no longer responds in any way.  My daughter and I were always close and I considered her my best friend.  She was the closest person in  my life.  Now, because of this guy, she has abandoned all family and has ceased communication in any way.  I went through all the phases of a death.  Anger, sadness, hopelessness, despair, no reason to live, etc.  I wake every morning and simply try and get through my day as best as I can.  Not sure what else to do.  I have lost two people that mean more than anything to me.  I pray to God every day that this ends.
    • numberfiveminusone
      LLWright So sorry you are going through this.  Yes it is devastating and emotional. It will take time to work through you feelings so take your time. Losing your grandson must be especially hard on you and once again I am so sorry.  My loss was recent just like yours.More Today is the first day I felt like myself again, although a bit sad. I hope you get a  "good day" very soon. I have found that exercise helps and me and hubby have been making ourselves get out even though it's hard. You are not alone here as Lydia, Spirited Lady, myself and others have experienced your pain. Hang in there.
    • Spirited Lady
      LLWright I understand your devastation, but you're causing this to be more emotionally traumatic than it needs to be.  You haven't lost either your daughter or your grandson.  You simply are unable to have contact with them right now.  You don't go through all the stages of grief in lessMore than a month.  Yes, you can feel all the emotions, but stages take a lot longer... years really.  You are very wise to hold off and let things cool down.  This young couple needs some time to get a reality check.  If he's as bad as you and your parents think, your daughter will be back to your home before long.  You will need to let her know, when that happens, that you were fine without her living with you, but it was terrible not having contact with her and your grandson.  Your emotions are not her responsibility.  She has a right to her own life.  And she needs to find out what this young man is all about when he doesn't have to compete with her family.  View this as her wise experiment.  Because if he proves not to be the person she hopes, she will be able to move on with her life without him.  Thankfully, you have been very wise and left the door open.  This may very well be the step in the right direction needed to break the impasse.  My advice is to pray for a good outcome.  God's plans for your daughter are much bigger than any of us can imagine.  Make your prayer ones of trust in God's providence.  And know there are thousands of other mothers out there going through similar experiences... and worse.  Trust that your daughter knows she's loved and help is just a text away.
      • LLWright
        Spirited Lady LLWright Thank you so much.  I agree totally.  It's getting my aging parents to do this.  They just can't seem to stop contacting her.  I will discuss with them more.  I have put it in God's hands because it was too much for me to handle.  Yesterday I criedMore nearly all day and it was a rough day.   Today I wake up with a new power and strength to leave it be.  Let it run it's course and she will see what we see in time.  The hardest part is not seeing my grandson.  I miss him so much.  Thank you again for your words.  I appreciate it and I needed that more than you could ever imagine!
        • The Scribe

          LLWright Spirited Lady

          Indeed it's a good idea to let things run its course. Even your body will recover if you let a cold run its course. Such children do not deserve their parents' fuss etc.One day she will realise she needs you and will come back to you on her own accord. She will realise how much her son loses. Good luck and God bless.

      • Lydia Alexandra
        Spirited Lady LLWright How wise and down-to-earth you are.  Your emotions are not her responsibility.  Thats where i am stuck and will have to deal with.  Thank you x
        • Spirited Lady
          Lydia Alexandra Spirited Lady LLWright Plus, Lydia Alexandra, you have a right to a life of your own.  I love the expression, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."  This is a time for you to identify things that make you feel good.  Healthy things like a walk in aMore park, a long bath, a cup of tea, a good book.  Even if you cry the whole time you're walking or bathing.  Let yourself feel your feelings.  Know that you had a right to loving care as a child.  Talk to that child in you.  Tell her you're sorry for what happened to her and that you''re going to take care of her now.  Be very patient with yourself.  Your feelings are YOUR responsibility and you can decide how you're going to feel.  It takes time and work, but you can come out a stronger, healthier, happier person.
    • Lydia Alexandra
      LLWright I know exactly how you feel.  I wish i could find you an answer, though i think taking a step back is better than constantly trying to contact your daughter.  Last thing you want them to say is that you are a nuisance.  The thing is, though you (asMore was my son) and your daughter were close, she was your best friend, they always choose their partner as my son has and like you getting through the day is a real trial.  There are no easy solutions, but what i have done is not email  nor txt ( but every few weeks i may send an email and just say - hope you are in good health, am thinking of you, take care.  I don't go on about the fact that i feel as if i have died inside, or that i miss him desperately, or that i just want to sit across the table and talk to him, otherwise i feel pathetically needy.  Thing is i am not a needy person in nature, too independent and a bit of a lone ranger (horrid childhood) so i don't clasp onto people in despair.  I simply miss my boy.  There was just the two of us -  i drove myself to hospital and gave birth, and drove home.  There were complications and i could only see him through an incubator but i begged God if he was to leave the hospital healthy i would spend the rest of my life taking excellent care of him,  and i did.  My mothering days were the best and happiest of my life and when you give so much the loss of not seeing that person is simply unbearable.  Some of the lovely people i have communicated with on this site have immersed themselves in volunteer work, bless them and their strong characters, giving of themselves when they feel as they do.  I am simply not strong enough, i find it hard just getting through the day, the emptiness is unbearable.
  • numberfiveminusone

    Right now my daughter is trying to pick fights with me via text and even cussed me out which has never happened before. I think she is trying to make me the bad guy so she can have a reason to totally cut me off.  I think it is hard for her to save face with her friends because they know me so well and are confused at her actions. Even when they call me and ask me why she is acting this way I never say a bad word. I just say "well this is what makes her happy so we need to be happy for her."  I think she wants to give them a reason she dumped us so they don't have sympathy and she isn't embarrassed. I am choosing to not respond in a negative way to her texts. So she continues to push. This makes me not want to respond at all. It is so very hard.

    I was wondering how many of us estranged parents had abusive parents and families? My family and my husband's family were horrible. We went out of our way not to parent as we were raised. We never hit our children, we negotiated the rules as they grew so that they were respected. We gave them every opportunity we were denied and just showered them with love, money and kindness. My heart goes out to those adult children who were raised by narcissists and abusers who read our posts and think we must be lying and the true story resides with our children because they can't believe that this type of parenting results in estrangement. My heart also goes out to us parents who are told we must have been selfish and estrangement must be our fault.

    So I want to warn adult children of abuse to not go overboard in raising your children. Do not give them everything and overly praise them. Do not put them as the center of the universe or you may find yourself estranged one day when your child decides they no longer need you. It seems counter intuitive to believe what I am telling you but read our stories and you will see a pattern. I think that is why estrangement is multi-generational.  I was raised by an abusive narcissistic mother and we became estranged because I would no longer tolerate the abuse. I spoiled my child to the point of making her a narcissist.  She will raise her children as a narcissistic mother. The pattern will probably repeat itself over and over again through the generations.

    • Qiana wirag
      Omg you are so right. My mother was a crackhead who would get high and make me sleep in the park until she was done. She never gave me a birthday party or even cared to talk to me or check my homework or anything. She would leave me ,More I was 8, and my brother who was 4 alone for a week while she went on her crack binges and we had no food so we would eat a loaf of bread and try to make it last. When I was taken into a group home she never came to visit or call or anything. It's funny thou that when I got older I bought a big house and took care of her until she died. My son who is 20 treats me like garbage. When he was growing up I spoiled him and had huge birthday parties and did everything with them. My mother never took me anywhere or done anything with me. But I would of done anything for her if she asked. I can't even get my son to watch his little brother when I had to go to the hospital. I am so hurt and just shocked. I'm a single mother with 4 boys and I spend every second with them and whatever they want they get. I had 1 pair of shoes and they had holes in them and I bought him 6 pairs of sneakers for school and much more for Xmas and then he tells his dad he didn't get much
    • Lydia Alexandra

      numberfiveminusone I am stunned by what you have said, utterly stunned as its so true.  My mother despised me with a passion, everything was my fault, i was told constantly that she wished i was never born, she beat me physically, would pull my hair back and spit at me quite often when she was in one of her rages, for stealing money which she then would find but never apologise, or if late from school (sports practice) she would never greet me with a warm hello , always with rage like a lunatic.  I took all my fathers heart tablets at the age of 12 and ended up in hospital on a cardiograph machine.  I had enough of it all.  I was fed up with spending my lunch hours at school hiding my belt marks on my legs as we wore tunics and short socks.  When i eventually came home, it was my fault that i had put my mother through that embarrassment of ending up in hospital.  My father a vicar looked the other way.  Thats why i dont go to churches - i was brought up by christians?  

      My sister told the vicar at my mothers funeral how i was physically and emotionally abused.  It is why my sister wont have anything to do with me and hasnt spoken to me since my parents passing.  Her reason is that seeing me again would bring back what she as a child (8 years younger) would see.  I wanted to give my boy the kind of upbringing that i would have liked to have.  I always talked to him not at him, my mother only spoke to me to criticise me.  I never hit him and i gave him my time when i wasnt working.  There weren't any relationships, only friendships so that if i was invited i would take my boy as well.  I didn't spoil him, but i gave him a private education and bought a house myself so though bills and fees were paid there wasnt a great deal to splash out on, though everything he needed he got.  I gave him my inheritance as i could not bring myself to use it, and he used it well, flipping it a couple of times with properties he now has a lovely house and he is only 32. 

      My mother was beautiful and knew it, she destroyed all my photo albums before she died - all 5.  The whole house was full of her photos only, there wasnt one of me..  Long stunning dresses that i looked lovely in were cut up and made into short dresses for my mother to wear.  She was blond blue eyed and beautiful and my father did everything to please her, and after i left home she turned on him and everything was his fault.   She eventually left him, divorced him and the church sacked him.  She soon found another man to share her life with, whereas my father had a complete breakdown.

      A narcissist mother most certainly.  I never run my parents down to my son.  I would also be with him on our visits (every 4 years abroad) and his relationship with them was different.  He had a grandma and grandad and wrote and phoned them often.  Now that he has his lovely house and a lady in his life, i am totally forgotten about.  I would honestly like to know why.

      • numberfiveminusone

        Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone

        So sorry Lydia.

      • Spirited Lady

        Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone I am so sorry for how your mother treated you.  It's amazing that you survived that kind of trauma.  It's also amazing that with that history you were able to be a gentle, accepting mother.  Your son is still at a stage in life now referred to as "late adolescence."  In other words, he's still finding out who he is and how he fits into the world.  Our society has become so complex that what acculturation, which at one time was largely accomplished by the late teens or early twenties now requires another decade.  During these stages young people are still quite self-centered.  It doesn't mean he always will be.

        It sounds like you need to focus on your own life and develop friends you do things with.  Your son may never be interested in spending much time with you.  My son got married and moved far away.  His wife dislikes me and they have said I can only be "a name on a card."  My son and I are not estranged.  He's not angry about anything.  But it is far from my idea of family.  I grew up with grandparents I saw most days.  My son was very close to my mother even though we were in different communities.  

        But they get to choose.  And we might as well come to terms with our own emotions.  I do a lot of volunteer work.  What I like best is facilitating a class at the women's prison to help young mothers who are incarcerated come to terms with their addiction and the childhood abuse that led up to it.  

        I suggest you think of something that pulls at your heart and get involved helping.  That's what does the most to comfort me..

        • Lydia Alexandra
          Spirited Lady Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone Thank you for your words of wisdom and suggestion, i am grateful for your contribution, but to be honest i simply dont have the drive, enthusiasm, and energy to deal with what you are so admirably doing.  I wish you well.
        • GenaGaddis

          Spirited Lady Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone

          My daughter and i have always been close. She had a baby a few months ago. I flew 4000 miles to be there. Her BF was a complete jerk. My husband and I had paid their housing deposit, bought furniture, etc., but were treated horribly. I always looked forward to my daughter having a child, it was suppose to be wonderful. Instead, she was cruel, didn't want me at the hospital, would barely let me hold the child, etc. My son and his wife were furious. They too had been kept at a distance by the guy. Nonetheless, it was my daughter that allowed all of this! Heartbroken after she said horrible things to me, after three different melt downs, i left. I stayed with my son and daughter in law for a few days, then flew home. My daughter then said I had abandoned her when she needed me! I can't afford to fly back anytime soon and can not understand why she has made such poor choices. She dropped out of college, met this guy, then got pregnant nearly a year and half later. I

          m so broken! She was my best friend, she said the same of me. She feels she must stand by this guy and be a couple. Meanwhile I have been kept from my only grandchild.

          • Lydia Alexandra
            GenaGaddis Spirited Lady Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone Perhaps because having just had a baby, with months prior him chirping in her ear putting you down, her reaction was to side with him thus abandoning you and your good intentions.  How lucky she was to have you there, and how sad and shocked you mustMore have felt when she reacted that way.  Then to say that you abandoned her when she needed you most, that sounds to me like she is in a bad place, all mixed up, confused, lonely, scared, wants to side with him when perhaps he is the reason why she has changed so much towards you.  You must have returned feeling devastated and really upset.  Something tells me she needs just to be left alone and see how things pan out.  I found when everyone is at me giving me all this advice and i am at my lowest (years ago when living with my parents) it made things worse for me.  But in time, on my own to think and see things for myself you start to see things as they really are and not how they seemed then.  I wish you inner peace some time soon.
    • Spirited Lady
      numberfiveminusone What you're saying makes a lot of sense.  Did your daughter's abuse start when you stopped doing what she wants?  Did you have trouble standing up to her when she was a child?  I've seen this happen... and heard it from other mothers.
      • numberfiveminusone

        Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone

        She only recently became cruel to me.  As a child and young adult I never had troubles with her. But then again we gave her everything she wanted as a child and adult. She just had to say " I want this" and we gave it to her. She always thanked us sweetly. We never had fights or arguments even through the teen years.

        • Spirited Lady
          numberfiveminusone Spirited Lady I don't think you need to blame yourselves.  I have friends (more than one couple) who reared 2 or more children, are wonderful people from wonderful families, and are estranged from one child but not the others.  Often it's the spouse of the child who insists on theMore breach.  I think those of us who had unhappy childhoods are much more impacted by the loss.  It triggers the trauma of our childhood losses.  And it's obviously a greater loss for those of us with only one child.  And even greater if you don't have a spouse, don't have extended family to support you, don't have a faith community to provide a sense of community.  In fact, that isolation probably has a lot to do with the need young adult children feel to escape the pressure of needing to fill all those gaps.  There are several different patterns, I think.
          • Lydia Alexandra
            Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone I understand why you say what you have and i would as well as I/we feel so raw, but things once were different.  I taught Russian to adult students twice a week, was besotted with theatre so went often, i also earned a living and went to theMore gym three times a week.  I had a busy life and enjoyed dining out and cooked and baked at home often especially over the weekends.  Now i do absolutely nothing apart from keep house and garden.  I simply cannot be bothered.
  • Jewel0202
    Hi, I happened upon this blog and wanted to say Im so sorry for the heartache everyone is going through. I am going through the same experience that all you are. I have a 41yo daughter I raised since she was four(stepdaughter) . Her father and I divorced 20years ago.More In 2008 my father passed away and left me an inheritance he told me to use as I wanted.I choose to help all my children. Last month she asked me for money to buy a house and I told her I could afford to give her any money. she will not speak with me except to assist that she see my inheritance paperwork to prove she should have gotten more. She got a B.A.at private college, MBA paid be me, money for her first house, a wedding and I took her in following her divorce. I took her and my two grandkids in for three years and asked her for no money, i paid the bills, except she wanted internet and i could afford it so she paid that. I waited a few weeks and thought id try texting her, she texted back that "she is still in shock and was not ready to forgive" . This is especially hurtful because i live in a modest older home(circa 1910) in neef of paint and repairs, drive an old car 2001 while she just bought herself a brand new 2016 Toyota Highlander with all the tvs in it etc. This blog gave me the courage to send another text to all my children explaining Ihave no more money to give,but have lots of love , care and fun to share. One daughter called to say how much she loved me. One said she was appalled at my text? and my 41 yo chose not to respond. So to all you out there, you are not alone and you are in my thoughts and prayers.?
    • GenaGaddis


      Yes, money seems to be the factor holding many parent/child relationships together. I just do not understand my daughter, cutting me off from her and her baby. I did everything I could. Paid 1000's to help. My son and his wife are thankful and appreciative. They never ask for anything. Maybe we do too much. It becomes expected.

      • Royann
        That seems to be a major factor in the estrangement of my oldest son as well as soon as the money train stopped he stop speaking to me. Absolutely won’t have anything to do with me has totally cut me out of his life only to add insult to injuryMore on mine he claims to be a good Christian and is studying currently to be a minister! How’s that one for a cherry on top! My husband says we did too much but it still hurts like hell every day!
    • numberfiveminusone


      So sorry this is happening to you. Thoughts and prayers to you as well.

      • Jewel0202
        Thank you for your prayers and I am sorry for your loss of your son. Every morning I wake up and it feels like things will never be right again. but as the day goes by I get busy and can forget for awhile. Then the next morning it startsMore all over again. Its just been such a rough couple of years and one of my daughters had a severe stroke. I had to use some money to pay her bills and support her and her son(shes single). My other children understand, but the 41 yo wont listen to reason. Does everthing have to be exactly even??? She should be glad i had the money to help her sister but she says some of it was hers?!? I told her it is my money anyway to use as I see fit and what if she was the one who had the stroke??...wouldnt she want me to help her?? She just isnt ready to forgive???? What have I done that she can't forgive??? Except help her disabled sister as best I can?? It saddens me to think she is so selfish. I pray that God will open her eyes. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers ?
        • Lydia Alexandra
          Jewel0202 I am so sorry that things are so difficult and especially saddened by the fact that your daughter had a severe stroke.  I was wondering are you the only one assisting your disabled daughter and her son?  Would you not feel it appropriate to ask your other children ifMore they could take their turn in helping her whether its taking her shopping, or a visit.  I get to feel that you are doing it all, and yes as mothers we do, but a little help would be so much appreciated.  Take care and thank you for your contribution.  This would also mean that everyone would be seeing more of one another - after all they are all part of the same family.
          • Spirited Lady
            Lydia Alexandra Jewel0202 These are very wise words, Lydia Alexandra.  You speak of yourself as weak, but I see wisdom, compassion and strength to reach out to others who are suffering.
          • Lydia Alexandra
            Spirited Lady Lydia Alexandra Jewel0202 Thank you for your kind words, how very appreciated they are.  x
        • Spirited Lady

          Jewel0202 You need to stop beating yourself up for your daughter's lack of compassion.  There's nothing in this story to forgive and your acting like there is contributes to this daughter's false sense of injustice.  Your responsibility is to do what you think is right.  You made the right choice.  Now just stick to that.  This daughter is not going to change, so your peace of mind can't depend upon that.  You can pray all you want to... and I do believe in prayer... but God works in God's own ways in the world and, sadly, it doesn't usually involve a change of character..

          On the other hand, if's possible this daughter is actually asking whether she is loved and whether you would do the same for her.  Before writing her off, and instead of defending yourself, give her a lot of assurance that you love her too and that you hope you will be able to be there for her when she really needs you.  Identify what's special about her and let her know you appreciate these things about her.

  • NL Mom
    I read so many comments here and my heart breaks. I see anguish, despair, pain and anger. All part of alienation. My son alienated me. He's 22. It started out as parental alienation but it took a few years and we started to rebuild things and things were good, notMore ideal, but good and that was all I had learned to expect. Christmas of 2015 I spent a small fortune on him. When I put all the gifts under the christmas tree my heart broke.Most of the presents were for my older son who had estranged himself from me. There was little for my younger son who was only 13 at the time.  This made me take another long hard look at what I was doing. Nevertheless things were going ok. When my older son when back to his dad's that night he took a photo of all the gifts I had given him and he posted it on FB, with the hashtag #awesomemom. I was sooooo happy, I was on cloud nine. The next day the post was gone. He did get to tell me that his dad got mad at him for posting it. I saw him once more since then, a few weeks later by happenstance and I was so hurt when he hugged me that I couldn't hug him back, I did apologize and we communicated by facebook a few times. That was Jan 2015, since then I got one phone call on mother's day in in 2015 and he said, "I haven't treated you very well." He hung up crying. I haven't heard his voice since. Christmas he messaged me on FB and said he loved me and that he would call, nothing... a week later I messaged him back and said this was a sad situation and I loved him etc, we arranged to meet, he canceled five times. Obviously he doesn't want to see me. I am now trying to move on. I can't insert myself into his life, I"ve tried everything I can think of. I was understanding, never critical, supportive, told him I was proud of him, did everything and still it's been six months since a one sentence fb post. I am now just accepting that I have to move on and live my life. I can't dwell on what could be or hope that we reconcile. Life is short and boy is it hard. For those of you hoping to reconcile, I don't think contacting them is a good thing at all. It makes them take us for granted and it also keeps us clinging to hope that this FB msg, this text, this card will work. Nothing will work until they decide that they want a relationship. I am now trying my hardest to move forward with my life, At least I have another son and stepdaughter who love me and I love them dearly, great friends and a loving mother ans sister, From what I understand my son is happy and healthy, and I'm grateful for that, but it's time I moved on and started liveing a full life again, but that's not so easy. I wish you all the very best and if you do reconcile I hope you post here, I'd love to read your posts. God bless.
    • The Scribe
      NL Mom Do not try to "buy" their love.
    • Brenda Alvarado 885

      NL Mom First off i want to say how truly sorry i am for what you are going through..i understand your pain as I too am estranged from my adult son who is 20 years old. i agree with your advice about backing off and not contacting them for reconciliation after so many failed attempts. i want to say thank you for your inspiring advice and your strength. I have recently made interaction with my son after 3 years of estrangement, he left home when he was 17 (in bad terms of course) and after 3 years of emails (cause he changed his number so email was the only form of contact) i never got a response. i bumped into him months after he left home only to be ignored in the streets! i was humiliated..i followed him only to be ignored i had no choice but to walk away in distress and shame. he was recently hired as a photographer for a family friends sweet 16 where i attempted once again to make contact. He was formal but still cold. I asked him for his phone number but he declined to give it to me himself because he already gave it to his kid brother my 13 year old son he said if i wanted the number i could get it from his little brother. I contacted him a couple of times via text and calls only to get ignored as usual. He was hired to be a photographer at another event which i knew he would be there so i made it my business to attend. he said hello but referred to me as Brenda not mom. I was hurt and for him to disvalue me in front of other people at an event where everyone knows he is my son was another humiliating moment for me. I addressed him and told him I dislike when he refers to me by my first name then he became defensive stating that i lost that privilege since I kicked him out. when he was 17 his disrespect was at an all time high not coming home doing whatever he wanted, he wouldn't even wish me happy mothers day or happy birthday he even refused to participate in family vacations. i was too hurting at this time since i couldn't understand why my son that I love with all my heart would treat me this way. He didn't even invite me to his High School graduation after i paid for all his senior dues which was my duty as a mother but no gratitude was displayed to me and I was treated as if i was a dead beat mom after years of being a single mother working hard to make sure he needed for nothing. When he was 12 i got into a serious relationship and we are still together to this day. at first he got along with my mate but as he got older is total disregard for my boyfriend also caused friction for us. My mate had also contributed to providing for him we were actually living better then when i was a single mom we were able to vacation several times and financially i was able to provide even more lavish gifts and anything he wanted. I even lavished his girlfriend just so that I can be in good graces with him. after several episodes of the disrespect he displayed i put my foot down and told him if he did not obey the rules of my home he will have to leave. He decided to leave and go stay with my estranged sister of course she took advantage of the situation by taking him in instead of trying to mediate and make things right between us. I have no desire to fix things with my sister as i feel she has done the unthinkable to me building a wedge between my son and i and for that I will never forgive her. I emailed my son the other day to address the issue of calling me by my first name i wrote him a respectable letter displaying all my feeling of hurt and shame. I told him in the letter that I will love nothing more then to reconcile but i will have to be acknowledged as a mother not anything less. he writes back again addressing me by my first name stating that he wishes me many great years and that one day i will have to see what I have done as a mother and he wished me the best of luck. This killed me I called out of work 2 days in a row because i have been crying off and on can't concentrate on anything my heart is completely broken but i will not give in and lose my dignity in the process of trying to have a relationship. I feel that us as parents tend to get stepped on and manipulated just for a relationship with children that don't even appreciate us. I am broken but in time I will heal. Luckily I have a 13 year old son that loves me and my boyfriend of 9 years has been more then supportive throughout this ordeal. i really hope that both are sons come to their senses and see that they are blessed to have mothers whom want to be in their lives and provide love and assistance with life which we both know can be seriously hard. there are many people including me who's mother are deceased and don't have the luxury of spending time with their mothers. I will keep you in my prayers. thank you again for your enlightening advice you are solider with the heart of an angel! god bless you!


    • lcjantzi

      NL Mom,

      Thank you for sharing. I'm not sur I can put into words what your post meant to me. I'm very sad but I'm not alone is basically what comes to mind. I'm sorry but I just wish I didn't have this in common with you and others but I'm grateful that the pain of loss seems a little less when I read your's and other's account of estrangement.

      My three grown children decided to demand "no contact" by sending me an email after Christmas of 2013. We'd been through a lot in the prior 15 years: the arrest of their dad for a sex crime, the eventual divorce, their acting out as teenagers involving drug & alcohol abuse, an abortion, one getting married, the births of three grand children, the death of one grand child, etc. I don't want to go on. I did my best and I now understand that they somehow put me under a microscope, as it were, where every good thing I did for them becomes minute in the magnification of my mistakes or faults. My oldest has lied to the other two about something terrible I was suppose to have said about my daughter and her deceased son, my sweet grandson. But she has been telling lies to others about me and lying to me for years and even believes that I had something to do with their dad's sexual deviancy.

      I, too, was told by a therapist that I needed to send special occasion cards and keep in contact. I did this until now, though everything in me said not to. The little return communication that I received from my younger daughter during this time, was abusive and revealed someone suffering from a mental illness. My therapist suggested that my adult children needed time to grow up and learn to take responsibility for their own decisions and stop blaming me. She maintained that I should keep letting them know that I loved them and would be waiting to hear from them when they are ready.

      Since reading the current posts on this website, I have peace about not contacting them anymore. The posts confirmed what I had been thinking a lot about lately, i.e. Not bugging them or being a nuisance, giving them the space they asked for (demanded), hurting myself by waiting on a response and getting nothing, or worse, getting more abusive language.

      All this to say, thank you and all others who share the stories of the heartbreak of estrangement by our adult children.

      Without my relationship with Almighty God, I would despair. . .

      • Spirited Lady
        lcjantzi Unlike Lydia Alexandra, I have a faith community.  It is so very comforting to be with others every Sunday and pray and sing and hear a message of God's love and care.  It also provides me and my husband with a social life and with opportunities to serveMore others.  I'm involved with ministry to women who are in prison.  Listening to their stories and providing them with a recovery program sharing God's love for them keeps me going in the face of my only child's neglect and distancing.  I'm still sad, but I stay busy and know that all is in God's hands.  My daily prayers for my son and his family along with the gifts I send (he does let me know what gifts would be welcome) provide me with a sense of connection and comfort.  Every Sunday I light a candle at church for him and his little ones, and even for his wife, who seems to be the source of the problem.  I refuse to be bitter, but it helps to acknowledge my sadness.
        • Lydia Alexandra
          Spirited Lady lcjantzi I dont wish to offend but am surprised that your son accepts gifts but has distanced himself from you and your husband.  Unlike me you have managed to keep yourself active with others and involved.  I feel completely frozen and simply cant mix.  I communicate with nobody whoMore is close to me apart from exchanging pleasantries and a passing hello to neighbours.  I dont feel bitter to be honest just incredibly empty.  I simply have nothing to say.
      • Lydia Alexandra

        lcjantzi I just got in from shopping, a lonely horrible experience, children are on their hols now and you see them as your children once were, loud and full of life and full of wonderment.  How different it once was and how little did i know as to what can happen one day and there is no reason why.  I am sorry for your incredible pain, and what you have had to go through.  I wish i could put it right for you or at least say - dont worry it will get better - or it will in time go away, but that is not the case because who knows.  I like you have my faith, and believe in the power of prayer though i am not a church goer and hate labels so am not calling myself a christian, but i just hope that things become easier eventually.  What i would do is write a letter to each and every person in your life with whom things are difficult.  Do one every Sunday, as i dont go to church Sunday its when i write my letters.  When you have them all, go out one day and post them all together.  The content would be - your side of the story, keep it short, and end with - i will always love you if and when you want to contact me, i will be there for you.

        You then have said what you wanted to say, perhaps not to the persons face but you have said it.  Things unsaid and not put right eat away at you - let them know your version.

        And that is all you can do.  I wish you well, emotionally, and with tenderness, i know how empty if feels like a deep hollow, almost like a bereavement, a feeling of incredible loss.

        • Lydia Alexandra
          lcjantzi I know about the depression and am grateful some of these people that i have had the pleasure of communicating with are able to get involved doing things and helping others so helping themselves to cope and get through the day.  I write letters, just as i can tellMore all typing here, yet to the outside world i am a closed book, i dont discuss it with anyone else - so we are all different in doing what helps at a time when its simply - difficult.  All i can say is that i am very grateful for this website where i can tell it as it is and not be expected to put on a happy face when at times i feel as if i am dying inside.  Keep well and thank you.
        • lcjantzi

          Thank you, Lydia, for your compassion and kind words. I'm not sure about doing the letter writing. It sounds good but I seem to have to overcome a large wave of depression after writing to these people. Still, I think it might give me a sense of closure. Thanks for the suggestion and for caring enough to respond to me.

          I don't like labels either, Lydia. My husband and I have just found a church but not involved as yet. We meet with several groups to recreate and have neighbors and friends over regularly but my thoughts are never far from my adult children and my young grandchildren.

          I was sorry to read your story. You sound like you are dealing with it in healthy ways, though you still have triggers, i.e. seeing children while shopping brings memories. You are still open and pray but realistic. That was helpful to me.

          It is a struggle we will continue to have, living with this is gaping hole in our life and the wound that is hard to heal but I'm comforted in knowing that good things can come from our suffering, like this website where those hurting comfort one another.

  • guest 40

    Yesterday my husband sent an email to our daughter telling her that the CostCo card had been renewed and that our car was available for her to use while we were away for two weeks.  

              We received a text message written  at 3am that stated:  ' Please try and respect my request that I do not want any contact as much as it hurts, as I have tried to say it in the kindest and most honest way possible.  I know that you do not understand but have done my best to explain it to you.  I hope that I do not have to hurt you again with this request.  I also am angry that you do not seem to get it.  I love you.  I want the best for you and mom but am not wanting to be contacted until I am ready  I am sorry that this is harsh.  I keep feeling so bad.  I am also so angry that I have requested this and have tried to explain that I am needing this.   I wish you both well.  Please let me be as too much happened.  I cannot heal !   Please!            

    My comment to all of you here:   We are told and I have read, keep your love flowing through email, cards, messages.   We have tried as you can see from the above but she does not want it.

    Our hearts are broken.  We younger son passed away 9 years ago and our daughter walked out of our life 3years ago.  We have lost both our children.  We are 'old' and I am afraid I will die with a broken heart.

    • numberfiveminusone

      guest 40

      So very sorry that you received that text. It was a very nice thing to offer your daughter your car and pay for the CostCo card.  I think it would be best to respect your daughter's wishes on no contact even though that feels like a knife to your heart. Not just for her but for you. You don't need heartbreaking texts at 3am. Take care of yourself.

    • Lydia Alexandra
      guest 40 Hi, i am so incredibly sorry that your son has passed away, and now your only other child your daughter has behaved this way.  You as myself are getting on, and its now that we would love to be close to them and be part of their lives.More  I feel your pain enormously, i feel empty and hollow and nothing matters anymore, at least you are not on your own, you have the understanding and comfort of your partner.  As horrid as this sounds, you will have to do as she wishes and simply leave her be.  She for some reason wants to be alone and deal with what is bothering her and you are "bugging" her with YOUR needs.  I too have not contacted my son, either through email or phone - and yes i keep checking to see if there is contact but as he doesnt want it i have had to detach myself from being a nuisance.  I  cant tell you the hell on earth that my existence has become.  x
  • tctiptop
    tctiptop numberfiveminusone I had a similar experience. Dr Phil helped and we are both in a better place as a result.
    • Lydia Alexandra
      tctiptop numberfiveminusone Do you mean Phill McGraw - was it something you watched on TV or was it something you read written by him?
  • Lydia Alexandra
    I brought my son up on my own.  No family backups, just the two of us.  I drove myself to hospital, gave birth and drove us to our modest apartment.   I would take my boy to school and go to work, and in the evening after homework, music practice,More dinner etc., when he went to bed, when the child minder arrived,  i went to work.  This went on for 21 years and he graduated in law and would often say, do you realise what you have achieved, a home you purchased and paid off and a private education for me.  To be honest i felt - if i can i should, and so i did.  I never looked at it as a big deal.  I was healthy and well so why not go for what you can achieve for you and your child.  We have always been close, i gave him my inheritance as a deposit for property which he flipped a couple of times and now has a large house at 32 years of age with a small mortgage.  If he couldn't contact me, he would worry, he always looked out for me, house security, if unwell etc., Now he has a lady in his life and i am totally forgotten about.  I would often say to him, as there is just the two of us, my passing will hit you hard, i would love to think that you have someone lovely to share your life with and have a family, so i was quite elated when he told me that he has met someone and she has moved in - shocked that it happened so fast but happy for him.  He now doesn't phone, nor txt, nor visit.  There are things in the house i cant do as i am badly arthritic having worked physically for so long.  I don't mind admitting that i am devastated and feel an incredible loss, it has hit me hard and i have no idea why he has chosen to cut me off the way he has.
    • numberfiveminusone

      Lydia Alexandra

      I am so sorry this has happened to you. I too feel devastated and grieve the emotional and physical loss of my only child. I have been told I will become numb after awhile. That time cannot come fast enough for me.

      • Lydia Alexandra
        numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra How can we become numb, we carried our child, gave birth and cared for our child through illness, and good times.  The school days, birthdays, its etched inside our hearts.  How wonderful it would be if the pain did go away.  I hope you have someone close toMore you, that you are not alone as i am.  Christmas and birthdays must be hell.
        • numberfiveminusone

          Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone

          Thank you Lydia.  I am so sorry that your son was angry that he was called while you were ill. I wish you would not be angry at yourself for your years of giving as that was a loving thing for your to do. We should not be angry that we loved. Please don't feel pathetic regarding your need for care after surgery. There are rehab facilities that will help you get ready to go back home. I hope your surgery is helpful and alleviates some of your physical pain. Take care of yourself.

          • Spirited Lady
            numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra I want to second the wise words of numberfiveminusone to Lydia.  Please know, Lydia, there are many parents suffering this outcome of their love and card.  On the other hand, there are kids who never leave home and are dependent upon their parents at the same time theyMore abuse them.  That would be even worse.  Your son is on his own and God loves him as much as you do.  I hope you get wonderful medical treatment and recovery care.  I'm so impressed with how your thinking has become clear and you are facing these painful challenges.  God bless you!
          • Lydia Alexandra
            Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra Thank you so much for your time and effort, much valued and appreciated.  I have to snap out of this fog that i have been living in, what has happened to my drive and energy?  One must move on, or simply die.  Thank you x
          • The Scribe

            Lydia Alexandra Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Madame,Spirited Lady is right. It would be worse if the kids sponge on you in your old age. Just move on and enjoy the good years you have left. It's not worth "dying" over such young people. While you grieve these callous kids could be having so much fun. 

            I had the good fortune of learning something new today. It seems young adults see estrangement from their parents as a sacrifice! It seems they have to "sacrifice" in order to achieve their brand of success. It seems Steve Jobs "sacrificed" too to arrive at the top of his career. He did not acknowledge a love child before he achieved his spectacular success. What happened to him in the end? He died of cancer. He did not escape the fate of man despite being a phenomenal success in the world of computers and business. I don't see what these young adults are after to the extent of "sacrificing" their parents and families.

            Just move on. Live well and be happy.

          • Spirited Lady

            The Scribe Lydia Alexandra Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Interesting that we are on three continents having this conversation.  What a privilege!  I want to add that the Chinese women we worked with in the Chinese village were very close to their parents.  Two of the teachers were staying with their parent while taking our classes.  We were in both homes, one for dinner.  Two others had their mother visiting for a summer vacation.  The fifth was the one who took us to her parents' farm to meet her grandmother.  Their weddings had been traditional... being taken off to the husband's family home.  But the women were very loyal and close to their own families.  And that will be very much the case with the one child generation.  The young couples will need to take care of two sets of parents.

            In the US, most of my friends are very much involved with their children and grandchildren.  Many take care of them after school.  They definitely celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas together and many other holidays.  Grandparents attend performances and athletic events.  Even at a distance, my husband's children call him on his birthday, Father's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And they exchange gifts and cards.  Plus there are annual visits, or close to annual... even across the continent.  

            So that's a lot of why it's so painful for me and my friends who are not blessed with all this.  That's why this blog has been a blessing.  I'm just grateful that I'm allowed to send cards, notes and gifts.  It helps me feel connected and, hopefully, it provides the children with at least a little of the connection which you correctly identify as so important for their emotional health.  Plus, I'm hoping it says to my son that the door is still open despite his poor treatment of me, which I'm sure is an embarrassment to him.  But given his wife's hostility, he apparently has to choose.  And I don't want to be a factor in a divorce.

            When we were together at the reunion of my husband's family, which my son is part of because he was only 8 when we were married, he was very relaxed with me and thrilled with all the items from his childhood I brought him.  There was something from every stage of his life and he was delighted that I had kept them. Many were t-shirts and he wore them all.  He and I spent most of the time following his 3 year old around.  I took a lot of videos and photos.  But children grow and change fast.  

            Anyway, I help women in our state prison (most are there because of drugs) express the abuse and abandonment they experienced as children and sort out their lives.  The lack of a deep connection to at least one healthy, loving adult is typically the problem.  I am working on providing mentors for the women, since, as an ongoing volunteer going into the prison, I'm not allowed an ongoing relationship with the women.  But my nonprofit raises money to provide a lay pastor who is in the prison every week.  There are 800 women, so we only work with a few, but it's very rewarding... most of the time.  And we have other programs as well, which I coordinate.  The work keeps me going,.. keeps my mind off my losses.

            And every Sunday I light a candle for my son and his babies.

          • Lydia Alexandra
            The Scribe Lydia Alexandra Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone Thank you for your good wishes, I don't understand that as a "sacrifice" but selfish behaviour.  I grew up seeing families be very much part of the whole family, where Grandad and Grandma shared the opening of presents on Christmas morning together, and everyone shared everyMore birthday with the whole family, (though not in my family)  Grandparents came to schools to watch plays being performed by their grand children, and music concerts etc.,  This kind of detachment that i see now is weird, not healthy, and flawed.  It may be the new vogue way to live, but it is cruel, selfish and to be honest i cant see who gains from it all.  If you have seen a documentary or read a book on any well know criminal, it always shows a detachment of some sort and at times abuse.  I am not suggesting our children are under that umbrella, but detachment is not good for anyone, not for the person who has instigated it nor for those suffering it.  I know there is nothing one can do - apart from just trying to move on and accept it though your heart is breaking and the void is impossible to fill.  Yes i am slowly moving on.
          • The Scribe

            Lydia Alexandra The Scribe Spirited Lady numberfiveminusone The keyword is DETACHMENT. Look at modern housing. Even if the houses share two side walls and the backyard wall neighbours do not interact. The rich live in detached homes,what we call bungalows here (the word bungalow actually originated from India). 

            Detachment from the community is bad enough but if t's from the family it's very unhealthy but like you I observe this trend among young adults today. It gets alarming when a great number of families suffers from this syndrome.

          • Lydia Alexandra
            numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra Thank you for your good wishes. I now am awaiting a letter for a surgery date.  It could be a couple of months who knows, and in a way i am preparing myself to take care of myself whilst i am unable to walk.  It could be worse,More imagine if it was cancer and i had to have chemo not knowing where my tomorrows are.  And so it is, this is it, this is how things are.  Best wishes to all the lovely people i have communicated with, no goodbyes, stay in touch, but thank you.  This is not something one can easily talk about - guess what my son has abandoned me.  Love to all xxx
          • The Scribe

            Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone We can only do our best as parents,then pray and hope for the best. Many young adults are like your son. The parents give them the best education and everything they could afford. Once they make it they turn their backs on their old parents. Some daughters are like this too. Once they meet somebody whom they are obsessed with they will simply abandon their parents. All they care about is the man in their life. It's a vicious cycle because the same thing would happen to them when they grow old.

            It's happening in the East as well. Today's young Chinese adults have all but forgotten about the concept of filial piety put forth by Confucius/Kung Fu Tzhi. The best is not to expect too much from our children so we won't be too disappointed. How many children you have is no longer relevant. If one child cuts you off the others might follow suit because they think in so doing they can escape wasting time,energy and resources on people who have become a nuisance to them. Parents become old and dependent financially,physically and emotionally. 

            Many young adults today make use of their parents then leave them to suffer on their own in their old age. This is the reality of the 21st century. Things will get worse in time to come. This is what the world call progress LOL.  People become more and more impersonal,unfilial,disloyal and uncaring so just accept and move on. There's no point wasting your life. When they need you they will come back. When they don't need you they will cut you off. It's only parents who love unconditionally. children never do.

      • Lydia Alexandra
        numberfiveminusone Lydia Alexandra Hello, thank you for taking the time to reply.  I have just come home from an appointment with the consultant, nothing serious, but the MRI Scan results say i now have to have knee surgery.  I was given 4 sheets of paper to fill in, a pre-op assessment,More and when it came to the next of kin i have deleted my sons details.  A couple of times when taken by ambulance or admitted to hospital (i have degenerative osteoarthritis from neck to toes and sometimes i totally seize up and cant move use the loo etc., ) he was angered at the fact that i called him from his work.   I felt pathetic today saying to the nurse that on my return home i have nobody to take care of things as i have to be off my feet for some time.  Years of working, paying and providing - i am angry with myself for giving so much of myself.
        • GenaGaddis

          Lydia Alexandra numberfiveminusone

          Heartbreaking. I m so sorry

  • Goldendarnit123
    The thing is, my parents would NEVER admit that they were at fault for anything. Suggesting all this advice about realizing your faults and discussing things only works if both sides are willing. My parents would never admit their faults. They would twist my words to put me at fault.More They gave never ever acted as parents to me. In some cases, these relationships really cannot be salvaged. And some of the parents reading this would think that "not me, I'm not that kind of person" without taking a deeper look. I'm not saying that all parents are at fault for their children cutting them out of their lives, I'm saying that so many parents fail to realize their own mistakes. I am only 19, but once I pay my parents back fully for their contributions for college (I don't want to "owe" them anything), I will be cutting them off. I might give them a call on their birthdays, but I do not plan on communicating further with them. I honestly can say that my parents are terrible human beings and I simply can't see myself reconciling with them. I may just be being "immature" or "misguided" but I know that my life will be better without my so-called-parents in it. Thanks for reading.
    • numberfiveminusone


      That is a tough situation to be in.  It is important to listen to your children and I understand why you have become angry and frustrated with your parents. Good luck in school.

  • tctiptop
    I stopped by to help someone else as much as one person is able to do so, and I read on. Then I realized, ... ., we must all be related to each other! We all have the same family!!!!! I had no idea how big my family really is!More We all have to smile once in a while!
  • Missmydaughter
    I agree totally. I personally have given up trying to reach my child. I still love her very much. I think of her everyday. But like a messy divorce, I know I must let it go. It never stops hurting. A counselor advised meMore to have a funeral or memorial service. Because unlike the loss of a child through death, there is no closure. Am I stronger now? No. Will I ever forget her? No. Going through life constantly thinking of what might have been is not really living. I have only one life and it's precious and worth living, after all. If your child stays away as long as mine has, you will no longer really know that person. I remember my daughter as she was in 2006. That's the last time I actually spent time or talked with her. now she's in her late 30's and I don't know who she is or what she's like. Her dad and sister miss her as well. What can we do except live without her?
    • moving on
      Missmydaughter I am truly sorry for your trauma re the silence from your daughter.  Your counselor's advice to have a funeral or memorial service for her, however took me by surprise.  Surely those occasions are for the dead and your daughter is not so.  She is alive and while there isMore life there is hope.  I often wonder where these so called experts get off.  Your daughter has gone away for a while so in the meantime I think it is up to us to push on with our lives so that if and when there is a breakthrough both parties are in the best position to re-form another relationship which hopefully is much stronger than the last.  If there is not a reconciliation then at least we haven't wasted our precious time pining for something that has vanished.
      • runcie

        moving on Missmydaughter 

        Maybe the idea is more along the lines of putting the immediacy and grief to rest - not a funeral, but something kind, gentle and symbolic, to open up the loss, and create acceptance around it, that could then  ease the parent toward the ease to let go and move on.

  • Soi
    I disagree with the Parent continuing to reach out once an adult child has made it clear with both behaviors and words that he/she does not want a relationship with the parent. Reasoning: We raise our children on a path for independence, self reliance and identity. If there was grossMore neglect or generalized abuse by the parent, the child is within their right to seek to break ties. Any Parent who continues to seek contact, is perpetuating the abuse. The child should press harassment charges, if the Parent persists. If the child is severing ties out of a sense of some unmet entitlement; let them go and learn how to earn money. Continue to send Birthday cards;WITHOUT money. Do not extend invites to eat out, or to go on vacation. Do invite them out for walks, dinner AT home and never reinforce any invitation for contact with a material addendum. If the adult child is abusive, the Parent should break ties and inform the Adult child the reasons why. Mutual respect is a basic expectation of any relationship. The adult Parent/child relationship is not exempt. If the abuse is not of a violent nature and there is no risk to safety, offfer to talk about issues, to participate in therapy and to work alongside his/her efforts. Do NOT under any circumstances send a message that abuse will be tolerated because they are your child and you love them unconditionally. Loving unconditionally is not a get away free card for Parental abuse. Loving unconditionally means that you are able and open to forgive and forget and move ahead. It does not mean, keep punching me in the face, heart or bank account; I will love you anyway! That is a very dysfunctional message to send out. While you are no longer in a Parental role with your children; you remain a reference guide to their own adult journey and you have a responsibility to uphold responsible and respectable examples in relationships within your family, because it is to them that the future of your family legacy falls. Ensure the entegrity of your family lineage, values and family culture, and value all of the sacrifices that you made to provide them with a better life. Teach them to respect themselves by modeling how you expect to be treated.
    • AListener

      Soi Agree that once an adult--adult child or otherwise--has made it clear he/she does not want a relationship, then as sad as it is for the parents, it is time to shut it down. Giving the person space is an act of love. If a loved one asks for space isn't that an act of love to give that person the requested space?  "If there was gross neglect or generalized abuse,the child is within their right to seek to break ties." I am not in agreement with this comment.  I do agree that physical abuse, sexual abuse, and certain forms of "emotional abuse" are an appropriate basis for an adult child to cut off his/her relationship with the parent(s).  Of the 3 categories, 1 and 2 are fairly objectively based.  #3, emotional abuse is very subjective.  Reasonable minds might differ on some forms of emotional abuse.  What is "gross neglect"?  Reasonable minds may differ.  What is generalized abuse?  Reasonable minds will differ.  I agree that EVERY adult child has "the right" to "break ties"---for any reason at all. Doesn't make it "right" (as in ethical, moral, compassionate, empathic, kind, considerate, loving etc).  An adult child can do this for any reason at all.  In my opinion that is wrong. In my opinion 2 wrongs do not make a right. And in my opinion, there is far, far too much cutting off taking place at this time in our world by adult children, particularly young adults, who have subjectively deemed their parents "too toxic" whatever that may be.  There are staggering numbers of parents right now in this world who are estranged from their adult children because the adult child has chosen to cut off the parent for this category of perceived "emotional abuse" and when you peel back the layers, it is just not there, objectively. Nothing more serious than a parent being too strict on the child growing up, having rules the child did not like, and junk like that.  These adult children are mostly young adults who are seeking out therapy as they reach adulthood, and are trying, like most everyone does, to come to terms with their childhoods and upbringing and parenting. These young adults encounter inexpensive, inexperienced therapists who seem to be recommending a course of action to young adults to deal with the people in the young adult's life that are "too toxic" for the young adult by cutting off that person. I am not such a fool as to say this approach is never appropriate, but given the numbers by which this is happening, it is equally foolish to believe that in most of these cases, the parent objectively deserves this harsh result. Parents make mistakes.  No child's upbringing is perfect. I have yet to meet a parent who set out to be the worst parent ever.  ALL parents have kids with hopes of being great parents--100% of the time that is the intent going in. And yet, mistakes occur. Imperfections happen. Children are going to test the boundaries that their parents set. Some children test boundaries more than others.  And sometimes this testing becomes a battle of wills, and control issues manifest themselves. And sometimes parents have bad days, are in bad moods, feeling impatient, sick, tired, etc.  There are endless variables that contribute to conflict.  Are we to say that in 100% of these conflicts, it is ALWAYS the parents "fault" and unless the parent acted with "perfection" (whatever that is) the parent was "emotionally abusive" and hence "too toxic, and hence should be cut out of the young adult's life?  

      If people don't talk, nothing gets solved.  Somebody has to be the bigger person.  I suggest these young adults need to reach out to their parents in those instances where the gripe or gripes is nothing more than perceived "emotional abuse" (or as you say "gross neglect").  Take some time to yourself. Get comfortable in your own skin and circle back with your parents and seek peace and love in your family of origin.  Those supposedly "toxic" parents changed your diapers.  Not just once. Every day.

  • JHB

    I have three adult children.  Two are not speaking to me.  They are children of a very early divorce.  i raised them alone, I never remarried.  Their Father is a Narcissist who has berated and belittled me for many years.  He remarried immediately and had two more children (who seem quite screwed up to me also)...My daughter, I believe is BPD...she cuts me and other people off often.  Being with her is like "walking on eggshells" you never know whats coming at you.  I've tried to get her  help, sat with her for hours on the phone through many panic attacks, picked her up and brought her back home when her boyfriend left her in a different city...the list goes on and on...but quickly she finds any reason she can to cut me off and be angry at me.  My older son and I also had a detached, but civil and helpful relationship...I believe he suffers from a mild form of Aspbergers...very very intelligent and successful, just detached.    He lives far away, but comes in often and usually found a meal to share with me...but still

    spent the majority of his time with his Fathers family.  i once asked him why...his response was awesome...he said "its not that I love him more, we just have more in common, like to do the same things, etc.)  That was good enough for me.  At that point i could handle a come here/ go away relationship with my daughter and an OK one with my older son...and then it happened!  I accidentally found out my son had a child out of wedlock (no big deal for me) and i had a grand daughter.  I was thrilled!  I reached out to my son, and he shut me down.  Refused to speak to me about it...ignored my calls, texts and e mails...most of them were just telling him how much I loved him...i later found out that my ex husband had known, although the story my son told everyone about this little girl and her Mother were a lie.  After about 2 months, quite accidentally again, I found the Mother on FBook....i was with a friend and he reached out to her....long story short, she contacted me.  I responded...Before i responded however, I did write to my son asking one more time if he could talk about this...no response.  I decided with the help of a therapist to meet my granddaughter.  I flew 4 hours and spent a weekend with her and her Mother.  They are both amazing.!!..during my visit both my daughter and my ex husband sent me horrific, vile, demeaning texts telling me that I am no longer welcome in "their family" and that everyone has cut me off for life.  One thing and the most important thing I left out is that I do have one other son...he is the only one that is married, a teacher, and him and his wife

    are wonderful people and wonderful to me.  They told me they are proud of me....my 88 year old Father is proud of me...for reaching out to the granddaughter my son refuses to acknowledge or see (he is court ordered to pay child support, and is)   Anyone Thank you for listening...and also today is my Grandaughters Birthday...she's 10...I've only been in her life for a couple of months.

    I gained a Granddaughter and lost a child....Everyday I cry for my lost children...but I do feel we are on some sort of path that we sometimes don't realize until way down the line.

    I wrote this just as a cathartic way of having my story out there.  I wish all of you a less painful day and a Happy Ending!

    • NL Mom
      @JHB Loved you comment "we are on some sort of path that we sometimes don't realize" My son cut me out of his life, I struggle with it daily, trying my hardest to move on and be grateful for everything else that I have. Your words have given me somethingMore to think about. I believe everything happens for a reason.
    • AListener
      @JHB Now that is a wonderful story!  Good for you. Life has its share of heartache, but in the end, there are rewards.  The fact that you are now getting to enjoy a relationship with your granddaughter is so rewarding to you for all you have struggled through.  Way toMore keep your head up.  Seems to me you are a living, beautiful example to your adult children of keeping your dignity and living your life with class.  You know, it is said the measure of a person is not who they respond in the good times, but how they respond when the going gets tough. You've been tested by setbacks in your life, and each moment you spend with your grandchild is a moment of reward for perseverance. I hope you feel happy for how things turned out.
  • citizenmm

    I get breaking contact with an abusive parent.  I have had to break contact with an abusive NPD mother, but I did give her boundaries (which she completely ignores) and went to 3 different therapists with her ( whom she completely ignored) before breaking contact.  And I still send her cards and offered to communicate in writing (she won't be abusive in print as it can't be keep secret.)  She chooses not to write. I grieve the relationship I never had with my mother.

    My own son broke off all contact with me at the badgering of his wife who threatened to take his child away unless he did.  Up until that point we were very close and he told me he did not understand why his wife did not like me, as I had been nothing but kind and accepting to her.   His wife was threatened by anyone he is close to and saw me as the enemy.  She sent me a text once that said  'I am the wife, I will always win."  I didn't realize there was a competition. She has forbidden him to go to therapy as well.  He wanted to earlier on.

    Letting my mother abuse me for years, without enforcing boundaries was a poor role model for my son.  Now, he is a co-dependent enabling his wife's poor behavior and becoming a poor role model for his own son.  The cycle of abuse continues.  And I grieve never having a chance to be grandmother to my grandson.

    • AListener
      citizenmm Given what you have shared, your choice to distance yourself is appropriate.  I especially love that you keep sending your mother cards, etc. That shows compassion on your part.  I am sorry for your losses. It is clearly not your fault. You were born into a family with someMore troubles, and those are the circumstances fate has said you must handle.  You are a wise and beautiful person to be able to see the circle of your life and understand it as you have shared. I hope in time, like right now, you will take what is yours and go out and enjoy it.
      • GingerMaynor
        AListener citizenmm My goodness AListener your reply touches me.  Having seen a cycle of behavior patterns play out in my own family, I too think citizenmm is wise to see a circle in her life and also beautiful to have such perspective.  I like the comment to take what is yoursMore and go out and enjoy it - that is something that is close to my heart and I work on every day.  It is hard when things are not as I would like, but I believe I need to take the good that is here and enjoy it.
        • citizenmm
          GingerMaynor AListener citizenmm Thank you both for the kind words.  The shame of not being loved by  mother, father and child can be unbearable and crushing to my self worth at times.  I am dealing the best I can, as I believe we all are.
  • Jennifer Smith
    I must disagree with the remarks you made about extreme distancing. You claim that 'the person doing the cutting off has difficulty resolving the problem directly and maturely.' In certain situations this is absolutely a false statement. I am a 62 year old woman with three adult children who wereMore seriously contaminated by my parents, an alcoholic NPD father and a mentally ill mother. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and for the past two years I have undergone extensive therapy to help me heal from the trauma. There is not enough space to get into the facts about cellular DNA however my children were greatly affected by my parents, especially my mother who told them from the day they were born that I was nothing but a troublemaker, no good mother and so on. They were programmed from day one to hate me. My biggest mistake was that I didn't keep them away from her and my father. Since getting divorced 26 years ago I have worked so hard to mend my relationship with my children. I went through therapy, learned everything I possibly could about narcissistic personality disorder and co-dependency in toxic families, and have practically turned myself inside out. Did I make mistakes? Sure I did but the physical, mental, and emotional abuse stopped with me. Now that I no longer take part in the toxic behavior that my entire family still takes part in I have been gaslighted, criticized, verbally abused, alienated and the list goes on and on. I have chosen to go "no contact" with all of the members in my family and I made this decision with a very clear mind, wisdom, and maturity. My relationship with my family was extremely unhealthy and if there is to be any healing it can only come from distancing myself. If you truly want to help others heal you should learn more about narcissistic personality disorder and co-dependency. A good place to start is by listening to Lisa A Romano who is a life coach specializing in childhood trauma and abuse. A person can't take control of their own life until they know about Self.
    • AListener
      @Jennifer Smith Thank you for sharing your perspective and views about your individual situation.  It is quite insightful and, I believe, provides appropriate context to this major societal problem.  In reviewing your post, I certainly agree that your choice to seek boundaries for yourself is appropriate. Given what you haveMore shared, I must acknowledge that your situation is an appropriate choice to distance yourself from those that bring you severe emotional harm such as you describe. No rational contrary  argument that you should stay in those family relationships and put up with that could be made.  Having said that, I note that most of the estranged parents visiting this site and sharing comments are grieving estrangements and the underlying roots do not appear to remotely resemble your story.  There are also some young adult children that have made the choice to estrange on this site who have shared their choices, and while it is not always possible to completely assess what is going on in those familial situations, it also does not appear that the underlying roots mirror your situation.  I have written elsewhere here that personality disorders lead to estrangement, and your story is an excellent example.  The trouble with most of the estrangement taking place today is not like this. It appears to be some new psychology for young adults in therapy who are talking to a therapist about their lives and themselves, and quite naturally, at that point in their lives, coming to terms with their families, their upbringing, and yes, their parents. It seems "in vogue" to suggest these young adults should distance themselves from "toxic" parents, or from "toxic relationships".  Whatever the hell that is.  It's all so very subjective. I suspect that many of these therapists are young and inexpensive, and heard about this "theory" in school, and are now making this recommendation in droves to the young adults that are coming to see them and it has had explosive repercussions.
    • citizenmm

      @Jennifer Smith -   My son was groomed by my mother (malignant covert NPD) to disrespect me all of his life, but I thought he was stronger.  He was not.   I have been scapegoated and gaslighted by my family my entire life.  Until i got counseling, I just thought it was me, that I was unlikeable.