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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?

Empowering Parents Podcast:
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About

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 (1116)
  • Babs

    I’ve learned something about my estrangement with my older 3 children I would like to share. My ex-husband trashed me, spoke disrespectfully about me in front of the children after our divorce.

    His mother did the same to his father, he saw this as he was growing up. I’ve had estrangement and other issues with those 3 children. My ex-husband was rarely involved with them as they grew up, I was the one who raised and cared for them.

    I remarried and had 3 more children with my current husband. Same mother different fathers. I do not see the same problems in my younger 3 children whose father was respectful towards me. They are all adults at this point as well.

    I have 2 friends who had ex-husbands who made fun of, and spoke disparagingly about them in front of the children. They’ve bith have had estrangement and various other problems with those adult children from the bashing fathers and both were good mothers.

    I thought this was curious, that the amount of respect that was shown to the mother was the one big factor.

    The children are the real victims here since half of the child is the father and the other half the mother. When you bash either one of the parents harm is caused to the child.

    I heard they tend to go with the louder voice. I believe I would be a perfect case study in this situation. If this helps anyone in understanding their situation I’m glad I shared. My hearts been broken, I’ve suffered severe pain and grief from estrangement and it’s the worst thing a parent can experience.

  • Moss
    I, like so many others here have become recently cut off by my 33-year-old daughter and while I'm sad about it and I empathise with everyone here I believe that if our estranged children sat down and read some of the posts here they would have to have another lookMore at themselves and their lack of accountability. responsibility and respect for those of us who have given so much for so little. My daughter has like so many others discussed here had a pretty good childhood, has never gone without, has always lived in decent houses with parents who would have done anything for her. We have supported her physically and financially and have spent time with and looked after her two children whenever she has asked us to, all of this done gladly. There are so many commonalities described here that it feels like we are in the midst of an epidemic of self-pitying adult children. I do admit that I feel changed towards my daughter, I believe the level of trust I had in her and in our relationship has been diminished and may never be the same and because of this I think it will be hard for me to fully let her in to my life again - if that happens. I realise there are aspects of our relationship that I don't miss and won't allow to happen again but, in all probability, she will say she feels the same. How we have come to this point has been a topic of conversation between myself and my husband of 35yrs but thankfully he remains the voice of reason believes she will eventually come around. Likely to be when she needs help but what we do from here on in as a couple has completely changed because of her irrational behaviour. My thoughts and love go out to you all, stay strong if only for yourselves.
  • Justaana
    My spouse has been seperated/divorced for more than 3 years. We met through his cousin. From what I’ve been told/seen he’s been a victim of parental alienation. His two older kids 17,16 don’t speak to him at all and blocked him. 17 yo son told him he hated him, andMore 16 daughter made him feel guilty about starting over after 3 years, meanwhile she brags about moms bf of 9 months on social media, getting her Starbucks etc..Mom is often leaving kids home alone over weekend, kids grades are poor, constant truancy from school, etc…He often feels sad with the youngest two 15,10 because he feels he is only contacted by them when they want something. He was a very involved dad prior to his divorce. He doesn’t realize I see his depression, anxiety, and sadness. I feel like now that we have a baby on the way it’s increased. I want to help him before this affects our relationship more. How can I help? As for the two that come around still, I’m conflicted with his parenting style I know he doesn’t want to push them away but at the same time he needs to have boundaries. I have two teen girls of my own and I wouldn’t consider myself strict parents but I have rules.
  • Kat

    Our daughter cuts off contact with each new boyfriend.

    She is in her 30s, has 2 children. With aga g member who is now in prison.

    I go from upwards of 20 calls a day to blocked from everything, phone, text, email.

    She has lied since she was a toddler. Consequences do not affect her. She had no limits as to who she lied to.

    The pain of losing our only grandchildren is so painful. We were part of t

    Their daily lives.

    She seems to fit the criteria of a Borderline Personality. She has been in counseling, but leaves quickly. She says she doesn't need it.

    When all of her friend finally abandoned her, I was still there. Both her dad and I. She is addicted to "high drama". Everyday, there must be drama, from driving to work, to workplace, to her children. I'm sick and tired of being told we did something to make her walk away. These are her choices.

  • Trying to Understand & Navigate

    In March we received a hysterical call & please for help from our youngest son's gf. To be fair he went to college out of state & remains in that state & a similar thing happened when they first began dating while he was still in college, & one very breif incident when they came to visit us & we were all at my parents (his grandparents) house. All 3 times the common denominador as anyone could see, was alcohol. He seemed to be triggered by something & flew into a rage. His anger seems to be feirce during these episodes & he engages in negative self-talk. This last time in Spring she called crying telling us he was talking about moving home to FL & wanting to hurt himself. I got scared & none of what his gf was saying was making sense, so I thought it best to tell her I would book a flight & come see them. I'd had her call the police but they couldn't do anything, he was intoxicated but not harming himself or anyone else & not driving. I spent a week there, where he refused to talk to me, refused my suggestion to get help, belittled me, cursed me out, & ultimately told us to stay out of his life. I noticed his gf was taking everything she & I had talked about & telling him despite seeing how it was making things worse, & nothing she was saying to me made any sense & I couldn't figure out what had triggered him at all. She insisted they did not fight, & there was no other trigger. Their apt was a complete mess which is not really like him, although he isn't the neatest person, neither of them offered me any clean towels or sheets for my stay & she did agree to pick me up from the airport, so she knew I was coming. She spent several days at her parents & I offered to all get together to speak with him but she told me, basically that her parents did not want to meet me. It's been 9 long months he has not spoken to me, my husband, my parents, or my siblings. He has only spoken sporadically to his 2 cousins & his brother. I honestly thought if I gave him what he wanted he would come around. We did send his birthday gift, but heard nothing. I completely understand not cutting him back off but he demanded no contact & blocked us (he stated it, we have not actually tried to call). Something just doesn't sit right about the whole thing & honestly, my gut screams that they had a fight of some sort & she used my showing up against us in some way & spent it to isolate him...as if to say, see even your parents think you're a baby & need taking care of. She told me her parents knew of his first incident/mental break or whatever this was, & that they told her to break up with him...when I spoke to him about that he told her while they were in the next room, & (the apt is not that big I was able to hear) she told him she didn't know why I would say that. My concern was him, so no I didn't confront her...besides, at the moment I wasn't thinking clearly about this all & also didn't want to alienate the only potential connection I had with my son! Her bday is soon & I am planning to send a gift, my husband disagree, but is ok if I send it. And we recently heard from his brother they recently got engagement & had text his 2 cousins & told his brother, but no one else. I was also planning on sending a Christmas gift. There are times when reaching out is not very possible, but I do feel like sending a gift is reaching out but neither of them reach back out & his gf had said she would keep us posted but never did. In a way I get it...that could put her in a position where he could be upset with her, but at the same time I can't help but think how difficult is it to send a quick text or email giving an update or saying things are fine, then deleting it. Or even something saying, things are fine, but, I'm not comfortable going behind his back.

    So, I'm really lost & we are all upset...my family members are angry, & it truly hurts because we didn't do anything ever to him, except always support him & try to help him. So, some advice would be great to help us navigate or even understand this all a bit better! Thanks in advance!!

  • Kristin
    I'm struggling tonight. Things changed a little over a year ago. She moved out with the boyfriend and didn't tell anyone where she went. She wouldn't talk to anyone. She eventually started asking for money from random family members. Her and I briefly reconnected here and there but she stillMore wouldn't talk to other family. It's been a few months now since anyone has seen or heard from her. Then today...I get a congratulations message from an old family friend. When I ask why the congratulations I am told because I saw your daughter had a baby girl last week. None of us ever even knew she was pregnant. Everyone is looking to me to help them process the news and I can't even process it myself. I feel so many different emotions that I can't even pinpoint one word to sum it up. I go to therapy and will be addressing this in there on Monday but tonight I'm...struggling.
  • Kat

    It's been a long 13 years.

    I'm not angry. I'm not ranting.

    I'm managing the "Rollercoaster of Emotions" by distracting myself: I've professional support, friends, and some family support. I play an instrument attended jam sessions, folk festivals, play bocce ball, walk, swim, volunteer with an organization (I'm retired), camp out,

    and kayak. I'm an environmental activist. I do what I can to keep busy, but it never seems enough- especially in the morning when I can't control or stop my dreaming, thoughts and their effect...(I eat too much, and my health is declining- self sabotage). I'm too hard to live with or is have a) a roommate, or b) a significant other.

    I'm recently divorced from her father. She's in LA, he's in SFO with his gf.

    Signed,

    I'm So Lonely In So FL...

    Thank you for the article. It helped...

  • Boojum

    So glad to have found this forum.

    My youngest child (f30) has been less and less communicative over the last few months. My oldest child told my husband that it may be due to my “political leanings.” I haven’t been able to confirm this one way or another.

    I’m trying to focus on the good, leave the lines of communication open, and concentrate on improving myself as a person.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Monica
    I feel hopeless. My only child , 21M has gone no contact for 3 years. He has been loved, supported, and cherished. But still here we are. I have read many of the stories and followed the steps listed in the article but still nothing. I have noMore idea what I may have done to make a mends or to improve on. Only rumblings is that I left my severely abusive husband, his bio father, when he was 3. In his eyes, and words, it would have been better if we stayed married. That cut to my core, woke up decades old wounds and ptsd. It absolutely wouldn’t have been the best idea, I likely would be dead if that was the case. I feel that he blames me for his bio dad’s addictions and failures. And puts all that resentment and hate on to me. I spiral when I see on social media all these young people also going no contact with parents over different values or other items and then blaming the parents for anything and every single challenge or problem they may have to fade as adult humans. At the end of day how do you not have a broken heart, a broken soul when the person you love the most doesn’t want anything to do with you. How do you move on? How do you keep on breathing and moving every day when a piece of your hearts hates you.
  • Sad

    I have been cut off by not one, but both my adult daughter's. My first daughter cut me off over 12 months ago after she moved in with her first boyfriend. I expressed my concerns with her about rushing in to this relationship given it was her first and she had not known him that long. I thought I was being a caring parent, but it seemed to be the catalyst for her cutting me off. Up until that point, our relationship seemed like a normal parent/child relationship.

    She since split with her boyfriend and now she lives with her grandmother.

    My second daughter cut me off a few months ago and I am not entirely sure why. She is also living with her grandmother.

    I'm told I don't listen; I want everything my way and I have anger issues. I could argue that they don't listen and they want everything their way, but I don't because I accept that this behaviour is relatively normal for a child so it's water of a ducks back for me. On the anger issue, I'll put my hands up and admit that I don't have a lot of patience, but there is a reason for that and there needs to be a little understanding. I have a third child who is profoundly disabled. From birth he could not communicate in any way; he is 16 years old but his development won't exceed 6 months; he can't walk; he is fed through a tube; he has multiple seizures daily etc etc. The last 16 years have been very challenging for me and I'm sorry, but I'm not perfect.

    Despite this difficult environment, I have made sure, to the best of my ability, that the girls did not miss out on anything through their childhood, including their father. I have always been there for them, supported them, told them I loved them and that I was proud of them. I honestly don't know what more I could have done.

    But it's not enough is it? There seems to be some standard of parenting that I have failed to meet. I love my children and I can appreciate that their childhood may not have met their expectations, but why has it been necessary to cut me off completely? I could understand if they needed space and moved out to get it, but I am at a complete loss as to why they have cut me off completely. It's difficult for me to not resent them for their behaviour, but I try. I send a message from time to time but I get no response. It's good and well to say give them time, but for the last 16 years all I have done is give my time to other people and I am just a little tired of giving. I feel that if this continues much longer I will have reached a point where I won't take them back, and that's not what I want.

  • Kim

    Unfortunately, I am a new member to this group - and reading these comments there are many noticeable patterns - the majority of the children we have been "cut off" from are our adult daughters - the daughters all tell us we don't respect their "boundaries" - we have never been abusive to them or starved them, but yet they don't seem to appreciate the years of love and support we gave them. When we try to talk to them, we are either being manipulative or passive aggressive and we don't want to "listen" to them. We are only thinking of ourselves (which is rich, cause I recall 35 years of mainly only thinking of her). I can only attribute much of this behavior to social media and the "ME" generation, my daughter is 35 and can't understand why she never seems to get what she wants out of life, despite not working too hard for it and smoking pot way too much. Now she's pregnant, and albeit - it was planned - and things have not worked out with her partner and she's hastily going to get an abortion. It has been extremely ugly as I've tried to tell her she has options, she can have the baby - we will love the baby - but she won't listen - I'm not respecting her "boundaries".

    I did lose it with her, maybe not the best thing to do at such a vulnerable time, but just as with everything else, she'll just give up then smoke another doobbie and wonder why she doesn't get what she wants out of life.

    This forum has been a godsend and I thank you for sharing your very painful stories, to which now I add mine.

  • Caroline Gilbert
    I struggle with PTSD, rejection anxiety and depression. My son knows this and uses his son to punish me. His part blames me for her anxiety. Some days I am really sad. I would like to say it’s getting easier but I have learned to cope a little better. IMore miss and love them so much
  • MLCMRACHEL
    My scenario, is different I’ve had to deal with a lot of death (2 years), physically mental, and soul draining, plus cancer! At the end of the when they ask I wasn’t I there. They could careless
  • August 2023

    I really absorbed the '5 things' article. I think it's the best thing I've read among dozens of things I'm reading to try to make sense of the insanity . . .

    I also read a lot of the comments here - about 100 - but I got really depressed -

    These stories are utterly devastating. And I identify with so many & certainly all the general themes here which seem to be:

    As parents (fallible humans) we make mistakes.

    We often apologize to our kids for things that happened in their childhood. As well as open the door to objectively address & discuss any other issues.

    We ask forgiveness.

    We 'do' the basic parent stuff with & for our adult kids, eat out, help out financially if we can, visit but not overstep, seem to get along normally as adults in spite of past childhood things (which we discuss) like divorce or being poor financially as they grew up/but doing our best to make good homes

    . . .

    And - it seems like the more average, normal, fallible, and loving we are -

    the more we are bitterly & hatefully resented & cut off. . . ????

    My biggest question is just born of utter incredulity ... YET it's also a somewhat expected pattern of drama ...

    My daughter is almost 29. She had a horrible dead-beat dad. He died 2 years ago. She has told me many times she resented never getting to be a 'daddy's girl.'

    She's been on drugs/volatile/rebellious as a teen/got clean with my help and family. (She has mostly always worked) is a very skilled, brilliant person.

    Shes lived a lesbian lifestyle since a teen. She's lived with 4 partners since she was 17, 1 male (the drug scene) and 3 women.

    1 of those women was way older than her & they literally nearly killed one another drinking & fighting.

    My daughter is an alcoholic (she admits this)

    When she finally got ready to get out of that very abusive situation with the older woman, & my oldest daughter & I helped her financially and were emotionally supportive for a year as she managed to live on her own for that year in an apartment near her sister 1300 miles away

    She has been doing reasonably well for the last 18 months.

    She moved back to our hometown 8 months ago. She almost immediately started a new relationship with another woman (age 31) with the woman's family (not an ideal situation) But they finally got a cute apartment recently.

    But in this 8 months, my daughter has had 3 extremely over-top, instantaneous unwarranted level of outbursts of rage towards me cussing and spewing extreme anger. (Several milder but still always unecessary outbursts) She typically apologizes with lame excuses (my period, stressed out, etc) or I apologize for being insensitive.

    Either way - things get another over - until . . . the next outburst/offense/no apparent reason. Land mines.

    A month ago she went to the ER -was having a heart attack w/BP over 280! (didn't tell me about it for 2 days)

    7 days ago was the 3rd out-of-the-blue unwarranted rage behavior & she left the job we were working on.

    That is now the longest I've ever gone not communicating with my daughter at all.

    I mean we might not talk for 2 weeks - but I get a text-pic of her cat or something she cooked - or see a response on a group text with her sister.

    So how can my daughter - or our kids here - just unilaterally fly off the handle, in an extreme, totally out-of-proportion fit of rage, drive away mad, and then say -

    YOU! It's YOU! YOU are my problem!! Do not contact me!

    And then THEY decide they simply aren't going to communicate, discuss??

    My daughter has demanded and acted entitled her whole life emotionally. Very over sensitive.

    Nothing I say is right. Everything I say - no matter how benign is taken as a personal attack. I'm walking on land mines around her.

    I've also witnessed my daughter say many, many things that indicate she thinks in very manipulative ways - as one example:

    She will get highly obsessed with a friend and talk about the friend ad-nauseum - then the friend will offend her and she cuts them off. When the friend tries to reach out my daughter says,

    'SEE. I ignored the --- out of her, now she's sucking up/wants my attention.'

    So it seems like thats what my daughter is doing to me now ...? Ignoring me to make me suck up???

    I've contacted her twice since the day to tell her I signed up/made an appt for phone therapy, and then the day of the appt I asked if she would join the conversation.

    No response.

    ???

    Aside from the infallible perfect love of God, WHO loves your kid unconditionally like you do??

    It's really - yes - gut-wrenching how swiftly your own kid can seem to literally hate you . . .

    How deeply resentful they are.

    How incredibly unthankful they are for so many things to be thankful for.

    How unaware of reality they CHOOSE to be.

    How easily they create a false narrative.

    How they blame.

    How overly insecure they are.

    It's also really scary that it seems there's such an exponential increase in this kind of 'vulnerable' narcissist behaviour and all the alphabets created trying to describe these patterns ADD, ADHD, IED, etc etc etc

    omg.

    • Kim

      Everything you state is true to my situation as well - We ignored their bad behavior of entitlement when they were children - thinking that they'd grow out of it - but BAD on us - they didn't - and we overcompensated and took the brunt of it then are are doing it now. I think there is a problem with this generation of 80's and 90's kids/adults - they have high expectations because "every kid is a winner and gets a medal" - but they lack the motivation to actually and truly "win" - and when they don't get what they feel they should get - they get angry - at us it seems.

      I think because we did so much for them, as many of us thought we were helping them, that they could not stand on their own - and they constantly feel that we should be propping them up on every decision in their life, whether we agree or not. Should we disagree, then that's when the stuff hits the fan - and we're "banned" - "cut off" - "distanced" - because those Boundaries have not been respected. I shake my head at the absurdity of it all.

      Before this latest incident happened with my daughter, I'd have been beyond upset - but oddly enough I feel calm, as I've let go - I've decided that she's right, this is her life and she'll need to live it on her terms, without me, or my help.

      My own mother was a raging alcoholic - and of course I tried to Save her - and I guess this is what I've been trying to do with my own daughter, Save her - but I can't - as only people can help themselves.

      This is all very unfortunate that this is all coming to light at a very difficult time in her life - but if she's acted this way to me and her sister, perhaps she's acted in this way to her partner or her employer, thus they no longer have the tolerance to deal with this either - I don't know because I only hear the one side of the story.

      Maybe this is her WAKE UP call, and mine too - to let go - to truly let her grow up - it may take weeks and it may take years - I will never stop loving her nor ever give up on her - but she clearly wants to make her own decisions, and it'll need to be all or nothing, because Mommy isn't going to pick up the pieces anymore.

  • Mourning Mom

    Being estranged from my only daughter leaves me feeling as if I'm mourning the loss of a child that is still alive.

    The not knowing if she'll ever reconsider and reach out,is so excruciatingly painful. She was living with me when she had my grandson. I had lost my mom a year earlier and he filled a much needed void in my life.

    I sold my mom's property, the 3 of us lived in my motorhome until 9/22. Each day seemed to add pressure to our existence together.

    I know living in such tight quarters caused tempers to fly on both parts. I know we both said some hateful things to each other, in which I have apologized numerous times.

    She bought a house and the plan was for me to stay in my RV on her property, the months I wasn't traveling.

    The day she moved in, she left me stranded with a note telling me, until I got therapy, she needed her space.Not once was there mention her getting therapy for her anger issues.

    I haven't seen or talked to her in 10 months. She has completely cut me out, changed her number and told her brother's not to give it to me.

    I am in group therapy and am so much better for the past 6 months. I turned the situation over to God and know whatever the outcome is, it will be in my best interest. I've accepted that some people are placed in our lives only for a season. I've also accepted, if it's meant for us to have a mother/daughter relationship, it will happen. If not, I'll survive loving her the rest of my life. I hope each one reading this gets something they can use, to make their hurt a little less painful.

    We have to learn, there is life beyond estrangement. Our child may never return to us but it was their decision and not ours. God bless each of you.

  • 47days
    On May 13, 2023 I was invited to lunch with my husband and mother-in-law by our oldest daughter who recently went through a divorce. This was our Mother’s Day lunch, the day before. Our daughter was going to have to work on Mother’s Day the next day so she offeredMore to take us out. During the lunch we discovered she was going to take her new boy friend, of a couple of months, on a trip she was planning to see her brother. I questioned the plan and soon discovered she was also planning on living with him. It was a huge surprise. We are not for living together even though many are. She was raised that marriage is special and pretend marriage is sinful. (Please, no comments on this part. Please respect our religious belief and I will respect yours. Thank you). To talk about this new situation at the restaurant was not appropriate. I wanted to talk to our daughter but she was taking her Grandmother to a play after lunch. It was her Christmas gift to her grandmother and happened to be that day. I then called her brother, the one she was going to go visit and asked if he knew about this set up? He reluctantly said yes and he knew that we would not be too excited about the arrangements. The next day, my husband and I called our daughter, on Mother’s Day. She answered and said she has yet to decide to live with him or not. We shared our, including her belief, that living together before marriage was a sin. We shared that doing so was wrong. The next day she text us not to visit, not to call, no contact whatsoever for awhile while she thought things out. She needed space and time. We did as she asked. She went on her vacation with the boyfriend to her brother’s house for a visit. She returned a week later. She again text us for more space and time. We agreed again and kept our distance. It’s been 47 days. I’m broken. My heath, sleep, eating and work are definitely affected. I can’t stop crying inside and out. I’m sad, mad, angry, devastated, traumatized, suspicious, bewildered, confused, hurt, and more. She is 30. I miss her. I can see that she is trying to recover from her recent divorce. I see how she handled the situation and remember the tears and the sadness at night when she moved back home for support. We were there for her. We still are. She has turned and dropped all that she believed and valued. I have not shared any of this with her siblings other than the son she went to visit and I only did it once. I was calling for him for help to understand. Our daughter has since iced us. Nothing. I shared that my autoimmune symptoms have flared up. My hands are itchy inside and my swelling of my face is happening again. These things happen when I am stressed. I shared them with her and she has ignored all of it. I have apologized for calling her brother and begged for her to talk to me. 12 years ago I went through my husband cheating on me. It was devastating. My daughter not talking to me is WORSE. I can’t believe how incredibly sad and miserable I am. Why can’t she talk to me? Tomorrow will be 48 days…
  • Accountable

    Wow - I didn't realise so many others were suffering. I thought finding others out here in the vastness of cyberspace would bring me comfort but I feel even more saddened that there are so many of us. I am on both sides of mother estrangement.

    My life if written in a book would not be believed and honestly I am super proud of myself for be accountable for my life, relationships and goals. We are all dealt a hand that we have no control over, we can only be responsible for our actions and reactions and to err is to be human. Search the BILL OF PERONSAL RIGHTS.

    My father died by suicide when I was a toddler and my mother married 8 separate times. I have 2 siblings and we all have different fathers. and had to endure my mothers life choices until I left at 17. Even after beginning my own life I desperately craved a loving mother daughter relationship with her and turned myself inside out trying to be good enough for her to put me first. She never did. She never showed any interest in me. I finally gave up trying at 37. That was a decade ago and she never once reached out - not even when her granddaughter (my daughter) was in hospital after attempting to take her own life.

    My daughter who is now 22 has taken to blame me for all her troubles. I saw her Instagram story recently regarding mother trauma (which she hid from me) and that instigated that she has been abandoned by her mother and that her mother doesn't believe she has ever done anything wrong. This couldn't be further from the truth - I have always validated her feelings and I have been following the steps above in this article and the coping strategies that I have been learning in therapy for some years now. Validation, love and support is everything I have given and continue to give but it like she just doesn't 'see me'. I have good days and bad days with dealing with this rejection and on those bad days she makes me feel like a monster. I have looked in the mirror to address any codedependacy traits that I might have, I have looked in the mirror to address everything and anything I can do to get to a place that I would love to be with her. I have looked in the mirror and taken accountability for my life and my future. I have now accepted that it is not in my power to fix her or this situation and have begun grieving the loss of this relationship. I never blamed my mother and I completely understand that everyone operates from their own level of healing but I do choose to not have her or her drama in my life, the door however is always open for my mother for a conversation, but maybe that is just too painful for her - apparently she doesn't 'chase' anyone. Those are my boundaries. The Bill of personal rights has been a gift for me whilst peeling back my life and examining my childhood through adult eyes - this is something I had spoken to my daughter about and I had a hope she might understand a little and we could build a better more honest open relationship. I feel it is easier for her just to blame her mental health issues on my dysfunctional family and not address them to improve her life, if and when she is ready I will be there to support her. For now I sit in the shadows hoping that she is working on her joy. She has concocted many lies over the past decade which are horrendous and unfathomable not just about me but also her father (we divorced when she was 4). I have a wonderful husband and a step daughter which I am very close to. This also makes me feel guilty and sad as I would love it to be the 3 of us and feel my daughter misses out on so much. My step daughter and I have found something in each other and a mutual respect for unconditional love. I have always tried my very best to the person for others that I needed and I continue to work on my inner child and on being the mother I never had. There are so many things to smile about, even when your heart feels broken don't stop your life. It will come round or it wont but you have to keep living and being the example of love whilst operating in your own lane and holding your values strong.

    Love to all that experience this and wish that it was different xx

  • Juli
    I was 15 when I had my son. His dad and I were runaways living on the streets of Hollywood, CA. I got pregnant and he disappeared. I got off the streets, went into the foster care system where I received a ton of support. I graduated high school, gotMore our own place and worked while continuing my education. I wanted to give him a better life than what I had and believed money was the way to do this. I worked a day job, went to college and worked as a dancer at night. I put my son through private school, we always had a place to live, food, etc. I was proud of this. But I ended up developing a drug addiction which I did my best to hide from him, but I know still affected him. I battled with it for several years and made a series of bad choices. I quit for good 15 years ago. I took ownership over my behavior and apologized for the pain I caused him..the best thing I could do was to show him this by making a living amends. We developed a very close relationship over this time period and I was there to help him though some tough battles of his own. We both graduated college and got married. But, My son completely changed when he got married. His husbands family had alot of money and he began comparing me to his mother in law, criticizing any little mistake I made, belittling me, creating false accusations, and treating me like I was this low life person not worthy of respect. This went on for some time and I would become upset, then quickly forgive him and try to forget about what had happened. I finally just had it..and broke down and lashed out at him. He cut me out of his life for the next 9 months despite my apologies and attempts to talk to him. This caused me the worst pain and grief I have ever experienced in my life. I found a support group and tried to move forward. Then he called me after 9 months crying and upset because his husband wanted a divorce. I put all my hurt aside and was there for him and we began to talk again. I apologized for my part in it. I listened to him and really tried to understand what happened between us from his point of view. I thought maybe this was the start of some healing…but then he immediately returned to treating me bad again . I love my son but his behavior has become emotionally and psychologically abusive. My heart is broken and I feel completely powerless. I am so confused. There is this hole in my heart that just won’t go away. How do I move on?
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      Thank you for reaching out to Empowering Parents. I can understand your distress. It's heartbreaking when the people we love treat us badly, especially when that person is the child you raised and nurtured. It can be hard to know what the best course of action is because many parents fear damaging the relationship they have with their adult child. I encourage you to go back to the support group you found so helpful in the past. If that's not an option, I would seek out other local groups that can help support you through this difficult time.

      We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community and wich you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Connie

    My son disowned us for his wife after we took care of his 2 children- 4.5 year old and 6 month old while they vacationed for a week out of the country. The 6 month old baby was only sleeping 1-2 hours a night. We sleep trained him while they were gone and she blew up on us when we got back. Have to say my son wasn’t able to sleep at night because of panic attack due to what we now know is Lyme and his wife was severely anemic from childbirth and exhausted from being up with the baby for the last 6 months multiple times during the night.

    We knew they all needed to get sleep at night and so did we. The blow up the started being a personal attack on us that we hated her and had since they got married. That there was a long list of disrespectful things we had done- none of which were ever said. His wife has a history of patterns of estranged relationships with her mother and stepfather, multiple roommates, and people at church who have made comments about her parenting. The estrangement lasts several years but eventually they speak again but there isn’t a close relationship anymore. So I suppose in the back of my mind I knew this was eventually coming for us as well.

    We were uninvited to my son’s birthday. He then called my husband and told him everything he didn’t like about him and the way he raised him- ending with “I could hate you, but I still love you.” And “Thanks for all the opportunities you gave me, I don’t need you anymore!” WTH! This isn’t quitting a job!!!

    They ignored us at Christmas but invited us to on grandsons first birthday. Before the party his wife send this big long email how she doesn’t like us and won’t be forced to be with us for events. My husband didn’t go he said it was way too much drama. I went and was ignored by his wife. My son talked with me briefly as I left. I did notice that not one of the people who was present a year before for the baby’s shower were at the first birthday- they all wised up and cut ties!!! So it’s been almost a year. We did continue to send Christmas gifts and birthday gifts until we go a nasty gram text saying to stop- they weren’t sending us present and they didn’t want to get them from us- we weren’t allowed to send gift to our grand kids nor even FaceTime with them. We have had no contact since the birthday then out of the blue we got a text saying they were moving out of state and an update on his health condition. He then said He had more to share with us but that we weren’t ready to hear it! My husband said if it another $hit session about all the horrible things about us as parents like the one my son did to him before -he would rather not be in his life than to have to keep enduring these “shit on us sessions” about us as parents and attacking us personally every 6 months to a year- FORGET IT.

    It is frustrating because we have helped with so many things in the past and that was some how twisted into us manipulating them??? No, we did it because they are family and we wanted to help them- and most times it was them asking to help not us imposing ourselves. We have decided as long as he stays with his wife who is driving a wedge of hate between us as she has to so many other people in her life we are not going to kiss her behind. If they don’t want to be around us- stop contacting us to dump shot on us and move onto your next victim that you are going to turn against and lambaste! She had blocked me on Facebook and Instagram and has posted that the “worst week of her life would be a week vacation with the in-laws!”

    Karma is real and they will have a ton coming their way after all they have dished out to us. I love the kid I used to know but feel I don’t even know who he is anymore. As long as he stays married to his wife- I don’t want To continue to be bashed by them. The silence is easier than being crapped on!!! It is such a sad situation! If you don’t like us - leave us alone!!! I get it - you don’t like us- stop with the “sharing” of how crappy we are!!! I don’t need it!!!

  • Perry D

    Both daughters estranged and going off in directions from bad decision-making/stupidity despite top-tier his and college educations. Ex-wife, their mom has no concerns.

    I should have stayed single. Family is just a joke/illusory promise today. Dead inside.

  • Miserable
    I have read many of the comments on here and have become even more devastated than I was before. So many of you have suffered months and years of separation and I'm not so sure I can endure that much of this agony. I am the mother ofMore two children, a daughter and a son. My husband told our 21 year old son to get out of his house and within 3 days our son left. Our daughter had already moved out (they are 21 months apart, she being the oldest). My husband filed for divorce almost 22 years ago - our children would have been about 23 and 21 at the time. I met a woman I fell in love with and we have been together for about 20 years now. Both of my children continued to love both me and their father and split holidays between us. My daughter married a woman and they were together for 14 years, then they divorced because my daughter cheated during their marriage. Since my daughter was alone after the divorce she joined my wife and I on vacation every year, with us paying for the majority of everything. My daughter is again married, one year ago. None of the family was told of the marriage, nor were any of us invited to celebrate. My wife and I planned a trip to Alaska last October and my daughter and her new wife invited themselves to go along. That quickly changed, however, and they uninvited us to our own trip. After that my daughter refused to speak to me or have contact in any way. In fact, she told me not to call her, message her, or try to reach out in any way. If I did she would report me to authorities. I have had no contact with her since June 14, 2022. My son still comes for Christmas, birthdays, and was just here for Mother's Day. I have no idea what I did to cause the separation. My daughter still is in contact with her Father, her Brother, and her Grandmother, but not me. I hurt every minute of every day. I miss her. I love her. I just don't know how long I can live this way!
  • Elephants1964

    We have a 32 year old son who is married & also has a 2 year old daughter. Our daughter-in-law has a germaphobe issue. She was pregnant during the hiatus of Covid which made her issues even worse. We had no idea that she had this issue until afterwards. Our son had asked us on a group text including his sister when we were going to get the shot for Covid. My daughter & I just questioned the shot which I think everyone has a right to do. Not long after that text he cut our daughter out of his life. She cried & struggled through it. She's never met her niece. Mind you my daughter has done a lot for both of them. My husband & I & my mother all got the shot. Then we were allowed to meet our granddaughter which they requested that we wear masks which we did. We also found out that our son had gone to a concert with his father-in-law during all of this Covid. Also when my husband & son went to pick up some pizzas to bring back to his house the day that we were visiting I found out later that our son didn't wear a mask when they went inside to pick the pizzas up. Every time we would visit & his wife was upstairs with the baby he would say little things to us like I didn't want to make you guys wear the masks & he would point upstairs to where his wife was. I think she has a strong hold on him & controls him. He started working from home a little while after the Covid so it was just him & his wife & then the baby came along. We've only seen our granddaughter a few times in her first year of life. I'll be honest that I did send my son a video with Dr. Malone about giving the vaccine to children. I did not force it down his throat. I just said please don't get mad at me for sending this and left it up to him on whether he would listen to it or not. My husband had also sent him a podcast video of Joe Rogan interviewing two brilliant scientists Bret Weinstein & his wife Heather Heying. We never discussed politics. The last time my husband & I spoke with our son was on his birthday January 22, 2021. Then when our granddaughter's first birthday came around in February I had sent her a keepsake gift. I was texting my son & daughter-in-law that our granddaughter should be receiving a package on such & such date. I never got a response. I called both of them and neither one responded. Then in the first week of February I tried to call his number & it was no longer a good number. I was devestated & went through a lot of depression which I still struggle with. Our daughter & son had a very normal childhood. I never would've thought that our son would cut his whole entire family out. Our daughter has a 10 year old daughter that our son hasn't seen in over 2 years. Him & his wife would take our other granddaughter & do things with her. Now nothing. I'm pretty sure that after we sent those interviews/videos that is why he know longer speaks to us which is very sad. We weren't given an explanation as to why we were all cut out. To be honest if that's what it was he could've just said hey mom & dad I don't agree with what you sent & either spoke to us about it or not. But to totally cut your whole entire family out is so wrong. He has hurt so many of us. I'm not blaming it all on him though. I think his wife has a lot more to do with this than he does. I think he's just trying to keep the peace. The sad thing is when their daughter gets older & starts to ask questions about her dad's family she'll eventually find out that she has a whole other family that would've loved to be around while she was growing up.

    The other thing that bothers us is that she has contact with her family. My son & her even sold their townhome & moved back in with her parents so they could save up to buy a single home. Well that didn't last too long because the father has tried to get our son to contact us but our son just blows it off. Also with our daughter-in-laws germaphobe issue apparently before Covid hit she was seeking counseling for it but I guess after Covid hit that stopped altogether. Then they were living back with her parents & her & her father were getting into little tiffs with each other. The mother would side with the daughter. She more or less was telling them what they could & couldn't do in their own house. This didn't end up good. They only lived with her parents probably less than six months & had to look for something soon. Now they live in a single home that's in walking distance of her parents. So now it's s**t on his family. My family is more important than yours. I'm just hoping that eventually our son will come back around. I've had friends tell us to go just knock on their door. What more can you lose, their already not talking to you all. I'm very hesitant to do that though.

    • Janine
      I’m sorry for all the dissension and can only imagine how difficult this is for you. It might be time to think about yourself at thus point. Grandparents have rights; seek them!
      • Marsha L.
        Tell me more about grandparents rights. Thanks v
  • Paul
    My daughter suggested she needed some space to decide how she felt about me. That was 6 months ago. She’s 34. I thought we had been in a close nurturing place for a few years, after some turbulent times. The same curve ball always returned. Especially the last wrecking ball.More I can’t undo my youth and past mistakes, but I genuinely feel I have tried. The best I have done is make a successful life and done my best to make her part of it and I don’t know how we went from being on the phone for hours everyday to this situation. I am 57 and don’t want conflict in my life. I said I would never close the door and she knows where I am and I will respect her decision even if I don’t agree with them. It’s a sad situation and I miss her hugely but I don’t know what else to do to be honest. I am just tired at this point. As is my partner of over ten years. They feel very let down also and have always been incredibly supportive even in times of high drama with her relationships and behaviors when she’s visited over the years.
  • Raven
    I’ve read most comments, and can relate. I’m feeling alone, estranged, and heartbroken because I sense that my daughter despises me. Everything I say and do irritates her and her fiancé. I’m clearly the running joke in their conversations or a point of disdain in their conversations. They were recentlyMore moving to a new house. My daughter asked if I would come and help setup the new place. I said I would, but that I needed it to be fine with her fiancé because he has seemed resentful in the past when I was around. He completely ignored me, not even saying hello when I arrived, and later stated that I stressed my daughter. She said that it would all be fine and that he “likes” me. I went and helped clean the new place for three days, mostly solo. He couldn’t break away from daily disk golf to be bothered, which she complained about. The home is quaint but was filthy and is an older home. I also helped her with her job at stables to finish quickly to get back to the house. I did freakout about the actual move because they have too much of everything to fit in the smaller home. I encouraged her to get rid of some junk. (Since the landlords were neither cleaning nor painting, as they had first promised, the first month of rent was to be free; the cleaning was a major ordeal and a dirty job.) After all the cleaning was done, and it was time to actually move, my daughter told me that she didn’t want me back at the new house. Also, between her job and cleaning the house, her fiancé came on the phone. She warned him twice that he was on speaker phone. That creeped me out, confirming that they bash me. I told her it was all hurtful. I went and stayed with my son a few days before returning to my home; his was the house they were moving out of. Long story short, I feel pain at their tactics. I also two years ago bought and care for two horses for my daughter on the promise that she would help every weekend . She shows up help to every two months, if that, usually not spending the night and arriving a day later than promised. When I worked overseas, my daughter and her fiancé visited, and I paid all of her expenses and most of his. Now they vacation in Mexico with his father. I’m not invited, but they asked for a loan on their last visit. I understand that I’m older, boring, and redundant; all I have to do is make a comment about birds in the sky to get an eye roll or sarcastic comment, if not outright laughter in my face from him. It’s painful, and I feel alone and suffer. My son is supportive and tells me to say NO! Both children have their own lives; I try not to be a pest or ask for help. However, I take exception to being asked for help or used by my daughter and then discarded. She has helped like I’ve helped. I put both through university and arranged for their first vehicles, as I think any parent should. I thought helping was reciprocal, but obviously, it’s not. I feel guilty when I do have to ask for help on my property. At this point, after the move, we are at a standstill, not visiting and not communicating. It helps to vent and realize that I am not going through this alone. Many are experiencing the same; it is painful and absolutely confusing. I feel like the worst person on the planet. Thanks.
  • NomoreNZ

    To Ceit and Tatty. Thank you both for acknowledging my outpouring of pain and sharing your own.

    None of us deserves the punishment that has been delivered to us. We’re human and in robust relationships we speak our minds and sometimes lose the plot. I would say that my ex and my oldest daughter brought out the very worst in me, my insanity!!

    With my oldest it was a constant battle over everything. Teaching her to drive was a nightmare and probably a good example of the craziest interactions. I attempted to assert my authority as the teacher and for all the safety reasons!! She agreed to this while we were stationary but as soon as the driving started and she was behind the wheel the challenging started, culminating in me screaming hysterically and her, as a learner driver yelling at me as we hurtled down the highway!!

    Then the constant demands for her own car and the usual comparisons to other mothers, who were much more accommodating than I was.

    It is now when I look back I realise how stressed I was with no support and trying to manage this bizarre situation that was continuous and ongoing.

    We were stressed to the max and yes lashed out out at times, but just as we forgive others who genuinely express regret and remorse we have to find a way to demonstrate compassion and understanding for ourselves. For others to refuse our apologies and refuse to let us off the hook is unacceptable and demonstrates a sick need to punish and blame. To make them right and you wrong.

    When I look around the world and read history and see monstrous acts perpetrated on others I think our crimes are really small potatoes.

    How we recover is hard to define but I’m experiencing some now. The grief lifts and the mental obsessions and ruminations become less frequent.

    Letting go of our expectations, disappointments and coming to terms with the bizarre turn our lives have taken is a huge challenge. The confusion, the questioning, the injustice all have to be processed.

    I have now adopted a philosophy that strangely is helping me.

    That is, I am insignificant in this world as we all are. So I don’t matter in the grand scheme of things and therefore it doesn’t matter what’s happened to me. Along with the other billions of people in the world who I don’t know anything about my daughters are now two more that I know nothing about. Their lives and what I do know now will become less over time and they will become invisible with no power to reach or touch me anymore.

    I pity them that they don’t have ability to resolve conflict and that this pattern of discarding will inevitably lead to very lonely and unsatisfying lives. I was devastated when my own mother died and it took a long time to recover. To reject your mother is beyond my comprehension.

    I can’t help them as much as I would if I could but I have been rendered powerless.

    My oldest daughter has over the years expressed a knowledge that she reacts differently to others, but she’s locked in and I could cry for her.

    She once said that her father and I should never had had children and I was shocked at the time as was the younger daughter.

    Sadly now I agree with her and this will be my ongoing regret and sadness. I have to forgive myself for having chosen the wrong man as their father and that is a hard one to reconcile.

    We can but walk away, put our energy into the path ahead and value what’s left to rebuild into the huge space their departure has left. 18.04.23

  • NomoreNZ

    To Ceit and Tatty. Thank you both for acknowledging my outpouring of pain and sharing your own.

    None of us deserves the punishment that has been delivered to us. We’re human and in robust relationships we speak our minds and sometimes lose the plot. I would say that my ex and my oldest daughter brought out the very worst in me, my insanity!!

    With my oldest it was a constant battle over everything. Teaching her to drive was a nightmare and probably a good example of the craziest interactions. I attempted to assert my authority as the teacher and for all the safety reasons!! She agreed to this while we were stationary but as soon as the driving started and she was behind the wheel the challenging started, culminating in me screaming hysterically and her, as a learner driver yelling at me as we hurtled down the highway!!

    Then the constant demands for her own car and the usual comparisons to other mothers, who were much more accommodating than I was.

    It is now when I look back I realise how stressed I was with no support and trying to manage this bizarre situation that was continuous and ongoing.

    We were stressed to the max and yes lashed out out at times, but just as we forgive others who genuinely express regret and remorse we have to find a way to demonstrate compassion and understanding for ourselves. For others to refuse our apologies and refuse to let us off the hook is unacceptable and demonstrates a sick need to punish and blame. To make them right and you wrong.

    When I look around the world and read history and see monstrous acts perpetrated on others I think our crimes are really small potatoes.

    How we recover is hard to define but I’m experiencing some now. The grief lifts and the mental obsessions and ruminations become less frequent.

    Letting go of our expectations, disappointments and coming to terms with the bizarre turn our lives have taken is a huge challenge. The confusion, the questioning, the injustice all have to be processed.

    I have now adopted a philosophy that strangely is helping me.

    That is, I am insignificant in this world as we all are. So I don’t matter in the grand scheme of things and therefore it doesn’t matter what’s happened to me. Along with the other billions of people in the world who I don’t know anything about my daughters are now two more that I know nothing about. Their lives and what I do know now will become less over time and they will become invisible with no power to reach or touch me anymore.

    I pity them that they don’t have ability to resolve conflict and that this pattern of discarding will inevitably lead to very lonely and unsatisfying lives. I was devastated when my own mother died and it took a long time to recover. To reject your mother is beyond my comprehension.

    I can’t help them as much as I would if I could but I have been rendered powerless.

    My oldest daughter has over the years expressed a knowledge that she reacts differently to others, but she’s locked in and I could cry for her.

    She once said that her father and I should never had had children and I was shocked at the time as was the younger daughter.

    Sadly now I agree with her and this will be my ongoing regret and sadness. I have to forgive myself for having chosen the wrong man as their father and that is a hard one to reconcile.

    We can but walk away, put our energy into the path ahead and value what’s left to rebuild into the huge space their departure has left. 18.04.23

  • Dez
    I was shocked to stumble upon this site. I had no idea so many parents are going through the trauma of having their adult child turn from them. My daughter lives overseas with her wonderful husband and two children. We were very close in spite of the distance butMore were aware we have very different views on life at times. A recent holiday with her triggered some past resentments I suspect but which she hasn’t told me. She treated me with polite indifference and lack of compassion when I became ill. This amazing daughter who I raised as a single parent to her and her sister, suddenly treated my like a nanny and a cleaner. Hardly spoke to me or included me socially. I did everything I could to help with the kids and the house. I returned exhausted and traumatised from what should have been a joyous reunion. I don’t know what happened but she won’t call me or text. We used to talk for hours now silence. She said some aspects of our relationship don’t work for her. I have no idea what she means and too afraid to find out. I am devastated gave my children everything I could love support encouragement education. This new woke generation think they are superior to the older generation. It is so painful I wanted to die. Although I’m sad for you all it helps to know I am not alone. I will do the best I can to live without her because I cannot compromise myself by accepting abuse from her.
    • Accountable
      see the Personal Bill of rights
  • Diana
    One week ago today, my 18 yr old son wanted to hang out with friends. Schoolnight curfew is 10pm. (Hes very difficult to wake in the morning for school). Hes a senior in high school. He notifies me about 9pm asking to stay out til midnight. The answerMore was no. He wrote me a text at 9:56 pm telling me they got a speeding ticket on the way home. My husband said if he breaks curfew he will need to turn in his phone. (We pay the phone bill). He then said “Im not coming home then.” And has not been home. We have talked to him since then to try to work this out. He has a history of being rude and belligerent when he is reminded of house rules. This conversation was no different. He refused to turn in the phone and refuses to come home. He has now blocked me from texting etc so I can no longer reach him. Im so worried about him. He has no job and isnt attending school. I keep asking myself what we did wrong. He refuses to accept responsibility meanwhile my heart feels ripped out of my chest.
    • Girlie
      When you make a treat such as take his phone, make good on it, if he is hiding out, just pause the phone subscription, so he knows you are for real, don’t threaten with punishments if you can’t keep them
    • Kriii
      He is an adult. Treat him as such.
  • Nomore NZ

    This forum is so valuable for parents who have been discarded by their adult children and I appreciate the opportunity to have some voice in the void of silence which often surrounds this subject.

    Estranged sounds more like 2 equal parties not having contact anymore but the reality for us is that our sons and daughters have rejected and discarded us and made it clear that it’s over. The simple truth is they no longer want us in their lives. No explanation, no opportunity to work through problems or issues, no closure! That’s too much hard work. That would demonstrate respect, maturity and a willingness to resolve the conflict and more importantly improve the relationship. They don’t want that, the message is I’m done with you!!

    So parents are left bewildered, traumatised, confused and heartbroken, and repeatedly asking the question, Why?? Makes no sense.

    We ruminate, question ourselves, regret our actions and words. Blame ourselves, or them or the ex or the DIL.

    I have done so much searching, so much examination of myself, the family, their childhoods and read about so many others experiences on this forum and many others. I’ve reached some conclusions and would love to get your feedback.

    I believe it starts with the changed relationship parents now have with their children and vice versa and a loss of communities and families that held us together.

    Parents like myself devote themselves to their child’s well being. We are very concerned about their education, their well-being, their health, their talents and abilities. We’re involved in everything, their sports, their interests, we know their friends, their friends families. We are continually cheering them on, supporting them, soothing their hurts, making sure they have everything we can provide and then some. We give into the demands and pestering, we want to be popular and acceptable to our children’s live.

    They cost us huge amounts of money, time and effort and for the most part we give willingly.

    Our children on the other hand experience from day one, receiving a never ending supply of love and resources. They absorb and shine with an A grade supply of admiration, applause at their every effort and achievement. This is the contract, we give, they receive. No chopping wood or hard labour for our precious ones, no it’s new ballet shoes, sleepovers and holidays.

    Of course with the best will in the world reality intervenes and we deal with divorces and conflict and trying to balance earning money and being the best we can be. Painful and difficult decisions have to be made and life is certainly not always comfortable but we honour our responsibilities.

    Our children grow up and become adults and we start pushing them into responsibilities and our expectations change. Children often react badly to this, what do you mean NO!!????

    The giving now has limits and we start adapting to changes, they go to college, have jobs and partners and their own plans. We start dreaming of our future lives of course with the expectation that we have life long relationships with our children. We will continue to support them, careers, marriages and welcome grandchildren.

    But they don’t always see it like that.

    The contract is over, we’ve changed the terms. They look at us and see irrelevance, neediness and liability, as we age and decline.

    So they look elsewhere for their A grade supply. They look at the trusty family car getting older, needing work, possible breakdowns, best get rid of it. But not until a replacement has been found, not until the new car has been acquired, enter new partnerships, new families and allegiances. They want new and different and that’s not you!!!

    Of course this pattern of discarding is not what most families experience, it’s a sign of dysfunction. Discarding is justified of course when there has been abuse and neglect but on this forum we are saying we have loved and cared for our children.

    Most personality disorders and mental health problems commonly emerge in early adulthood and we sometimes see behaviour in our offspring that we have never witnessed before around this time. Or we have had challenging behaviour through childhood or adolescence.

    Walking out on long relationships has always happened, the sudden departure of a spouse, it seems sudden but the quiet planning has been there, the other party just didn’t know it.

    I have experienced and observed the discarding behaviour from another angle as well. My ex husband and father of my now estranged 2 daughters, discarded his own family before I met him. He told me all sorts of fabricated accounts of his childhood and omitted to mention the ex wife and young son.

    I could never understand his lack of contact with his very large and from what I could see absolutely lovely family. We went to his mother’s funeral in Fiji and I met the loveliest and most welcoming family. Having conversations with them I started to realise that his accounts of his childhood were grandiose and lies. Later on I discovered the existence of a young son. I pleaded with him to see him and include him but he had no interest. Later in life I found letters from a sister begging him to have contact with his family and berating him for his failure to do so. What was his reaction to all this? Rage if pushed, so you avoid that, otherwise couldn’t care less. I never once saw distress or upset about his family.

    He only thought about himself, I was his money supply, looked after the kids, worked and paid the bills and he carried on with his secret life, cheating, lying and stealing.

    He was a narcissist, no guilt, no remorse, no empathy for the pain and heartache he inflicted on others.

    Your adult children who have turned their backs on you have a totally different experience of the situation. You are heartbroken, they don’t care. You long for a kind word, a smile some love and appreciation, they just want you to leave them alone, you no longer exist. If you push them you get rage and abuse. They keep the grandchildren away because they don’t want any attachment to form, never mind how valuable it would be for the children and you. You know too much about them and you could tell the inconvenient truth to their new families. They actually don’t and can’t love. They may seem happy with their new life but this is not the behaviour of healthy adults and I am very concerned about my daughter’s partner’s well being and shudder at the thought of them being mothers. Money trumps all of course and I notice many parents losing children to better money supplies.

    7 months discarded and I’m less fragile, don’t burst into tears at the slightest remark. Try not to hurt when listening to my friends and family talking about their sons and daughters, try to stay interested and connected. I sense their awkwardness and silence.

    So thanks, even if no one else reads this I’m better for getting my thoughts out there. I have read hundreds of your stories and feel so much compassion for you all, in turn it helps me hold compassion for myself and my partner.

    Only one answer really. Take care of yourself, that part of your life is over.

    • Sadmom

      Thank you for your thoughts! Came here looking for …. help to make sense of the unexplained drama that has now become my life. I read ao many stories of other mothers who are estranged from their daughters, and while I feel for these mothers, and understand their pain, our situations not being the same, they don’t help me with the understanding I am so desperately needing to move forward, to go on with a life - without my daughter in it.

      Your comment is very helpful in helping me make some sense of this possibly! Thank you!!

    • Flicker
      I hear you! I feel your pain! My son married and they have a child. I have done everything to support them, money, visits, gifts. Not a thank you. Really bizarre and irrational behavior especially the daughter-in-law. I actually feel sorry for her. I know my son is devastated atMore who his wife has turned into: "Crazy" is a kind way to describe it. My son has not talked to me for weeks. I send him lots of loving emails. His father died when he was a child. I am the only parent he has. I worry about my son and grandchild but my son says I am being offensive with my texts and threatened to block me. So now I just send him emails. Praying hard!!!
  • Gobsmacked
    My daughter and I were super close...I raised her on my own since she was 3 and gave it my absolute all, she is now 33...I dont live in the same town as her anymore, and moved back to town where I grew up...I would go and see daughter everyMore 3 months, and we would keep in touch daily by text or phone (Im on my own & retired)...She met this guy who is the worse possible person she could ever be with...I would go visit her for a few days, and he was working at pushing me out...He is super manipulating and controlling, and he does it with buying peoples reguard...He has had my daughter in tears for saying No to him...(she says, "oh its just a misunderstanding") I saw another time she spoke her mind and said, "I have to go"...so he put on the tears to make her feel bad...And she did! She came back to her place where i was waiting, all in tears...He is 45 year old man...This dude doesnt work...but he seems to have mega magic money ...He has more boy toys than my Dad did who worked for 30 years at a steady job! Big boat, new truck, electronic music gear,restored Jaguar car he paid someone to restore,trips, restaurants daily, buys whatever he wants...He does have a rock shop in the middle of no where, but he pays a woman to run it...pays the rent too there, and stocks it with crystals from far away places...He also thinks he is a wizard/elf...ya he has done lots of drugs, and i think still does...Daughter was straight and didnt even like booze, so who knows what goes now...She was beautiful and sweet...super responsible...This dude knows i dont like motorcycles and have lost family members that way, so what does he do...buys daughter a motorcycle!!!! He comes from a terrible background...His mother didnt want him...Dad not in the picture...Mom walked out on him at age 10 he said, so then he had to find the Dad that didnt want him, and i think lived with him and step mom 5 normal years, but then ran off...super opposite to how my daughter was raised!!!! So anyways its a horrible long story...Fast forward March 2022 my daughter and i were planning to travel a wee bit, and she wanted me to come visit earlier so we could go to travel agent etc...Also I was going to have a hospital procedure done, and needed someone to get me from hospital...She wanted to help me, but i told her it would be too awkward to get here in time...she was still going to try...About 5 days passed, and she did a complete 360 on me..."Mom Im going low contact for a while"...So i panicked and said "why", which lead to "Im going no contact"...I tried to ask what happened, which got me cut off and blocked from everything...no explanation...Super hurtful!!! Her Dude has been saying he is her family, but thats also my family and my only child!!!(he has a 14 year old son too)...I have no contact..nothing...just awful! I sent cards and things and one parcel got sent back, and i had to pay to recieve it back too..No mom day cards..no birthday cards, nothing...and she always sent me nice cards and things...Fast forward a bit to recent...I took a leap of faith and called her at work (last time i did that, she was nasty), I didnt get her at first and asked a call back..SHE CALLED ME...WOW!!!! I kept it kinda light, and asked she send me a thing of mine she had...she was nice to me...I told her i loved her and missed her...she told me she loved me too...BUT, Im still cut off and blocked :( I dont understand any of it...She deserves so much better than that clown....He is also very rude...She has had boyfriends before, they were not like that...I really miss her...Sorry for the rant, but it all helps...So does aquafit help, and the gym etc...Love and hugs to all of you hurting out there..its heart breaking :(
  • Ceit

    Dear NomoreNZ,

    I don't know if you'll ever read this but sadly I have reached the same conclusion as you. I've done all the writing,the reaching out, the crying, the beating myself up, feeling the pain of being judged,found wanting and just abandoned. You wouldn't treat a dog the way I have been treated after too many years of running after (okay, willingly), solving financial problems, providing shelter for both of my kids. I have literally been taken for a ride. That's not cynical, those days are past, but just factual. First my oldest child cut me out and took the two grandkids with them, sending me an awful letter some months later describing me as an abuser, emotionally, physically the lot. Neglect, ridicule and chiding me for'getting bolder' and being an evil & manipulative person who needs psychiatric help. I don't need to describe to anyone on here how that feels, the physical and mental anguish you experience. Disbelief that someone you love so much who you raised would gaslight you in this way. Then months later my second child kicks off apparently they have problems with me too (so it must be true...). Counselling doesn't help and the situation implodes as my heart explodes. No proper contact for 6 months and the last 7 weeks none at all at their request. I don't know this adult child who was my pride and joy. Who I never had a bad word with until now. Apparently they don't feel they have anything in common with me, I'm a source of stress and anxiety to them and I have no idea what it's been like for them as a child of divorced parents (it was 17yrs ago and silly me thought I'd got out scotfree). They'll get in touch when they feel ready.

    I have travelled a long journey. Getting out of an emotionally abusive and exploitative marriage of 22yrs with a narcissist.My oldest child is a version if him and I was led a merry dance for nearly 38yrs and now I discover 17yrs and a new loving partner later, that my younger child is also self centred and totally lacking in empathy. They say love is blind.

    So I too have finally decided to save myself and only have people in my life who have kindness and care as the basis for who they are. I cannot see any other way for me to move forward in peace and dignity. I am 64yrs of age and I deserve better than they are willing or able to give me. Do I love them? With all my heart but that's just not enough to save the situation.I an sad because I have to admit to myself that I have lost that unconditional love devotion & loyalty to them that was always just there. I didn't mean for it to go and I don't know exactly when it happened. They won't even notice.

  • Tatty
    New on here and want to say that the estrangement between my youngest daughter and I is of my doing, I pushed her into it with a despicable and unforgivable barrage of messages, since then she has refused my heartfelt apologies, returned letters unopened and refused an invitation to ChristmasMore dinner. She hates me. I hate me. I take responsibility but find living with the heartbreak so very, very difficult. We are all in unimaginable pain for vastly different reasons and I admire each and everyone of you out there for bearing it.
    • Flicker
      In true love, we never kill the other. Please forgive yourself. If someone truly loves you, even if they don't trust you and guard against further injury from you, they don't abandon you. I feel your pain!
  • NomoreNZ

    Today I feel lighter somehow different from the past 7 months when things blew up with my 2 daughters 25 and 31

    The occasion was their fathers death. I had supported them with his care for 3 years of his declining health and memory, even though I had left him 15 years ago. I used to joke to friends that with his memory loss he forgot how much he hated me but being a taker till till the end lapped up my nursing care.

    I sat with my younger daughter and kept vigil during his end of life care, I was there to support her.

    The day after my older daughter arrived from overseas they made a phone call to me which changed everything. My partner, of 15 years, they requested that she not attend our planned family gathering. The girls and their partners would be there but I was to leave her out. Very upset, emotional and overly reactive I said no and refused to attend.

    From my point of view they lobbed a grenade and I pulled the pin and the whole thing exploded, injuries all round. I was blindsided to say the least and from that point I refused to help them anymore. They had everything they needed, inherited a house, had partners with good jobs and I told them to now get on with it. To me it was a reaction and I was outraged on the basis of having helped and supported them so much. I thought it was family conflict, a huge upset but repairable in time when all parties would own their part in it. This is how my family relationships have worked for my 67 years My younger daughter refused all contact with me from that moment on.

    We had been so close and harmonious, she was already independent and living away from home.

    When I attempted to work it out she sent me a vile text making absurd accusations about my mothering and its deficits. No neglect or abuse but incidents that clearly she and her sister had been offended by.

    I was shattered and stunned by her vitriol and her declaration that she never wanted to see me again.

    My older daughter has been a very difficult personality, demanding, attacking and I hadn’t realised how much damage she had been doing in the background, smearing and poisoning people against my partner of whom she had always been jealous.

    I called my daughter out on her accusations and behaviour which brought forth further abuse, saying I was insane and psychotic and once again ending our relationship and punishing me forever.

    I have been devastated and in emotional agony. Days in bed crying, loss and hurt like no other. I have also tried to understand and make sense of it all. Been educating myself on narcissism and all its manifestations. Their father was one and my older daughter also, but I thought the younger one was different and “saved” from this horror. I now realise I was wrong and she has behaved in text book descriptions of covert narcissism from an injury to her ego, ie. me saying NO.

    Now I am estranged from my daughters and their partners who I loved. There now is now not the future I anticipated and the loss has been profound.

    I have attempted to sooth the situation but my daughter has rebuffed all attempts, I too have done the apologising and gift giving with no response.

    I have read so many heartbreaking accounts from parents on this forum that has both assisted my healing by realising I’m not alone but also has made me so angry. I am sorry to see so many parents desperately trying to reestablish the relationships with their adult children and being on the receiving end of so much calculated cruelty. The adult children know you’re heartbroken and yet they continue to treat their parents with contempt, abuse and assert their power to be mean.

    I now want to say to my fellow suffering parents, your relationships are on life support and you are maintaining your vigil of hope of reconciliation. Even if the relationship revived it is so badly damaged that it will never fully recover and you leave yourself more vulnerable in the process. Turn off the machine and walk away. Accept the death and grieve. It will never return. I am not there yet but my goal is not to reconcile and try to make everything better as we parents always do but to achieve a state of absolute indifference to them. How dare they or anyone else treat me or you so badly. They don’t deserve my love and care and I no longer give it. I resign from the most thankless job I have ever had and hence my lightness of being today.

    • Tatty
      Just joined today as I am desperate.I don't know when you wrote this or if you still log in or even if things have changed for you.What I do know is that your words about calculated cruelty and being on life support tore into me and when you said 'turnMore off the machine and walk away'it was what I wanted to hear. But how do you do that if you deserve the calculated cruelty, contempt and abuse? because you see I do deserve it and I take responsibility for having to wear the badge of 'UNFIT MOTHER'. I need help to continue living with that though.
  • Ashley
    My daughter quit talking to me about the day before mothers days 2022. She was only 17 then and was living with my grandmother 1 state away bc me, my husband(her stepdad) and her brother who is 15 moved and she wanted to stay there with her boyfriend and graduateMore together and all that. Which we were visiting regularly, and she would come home for holidays and all. However, when I would leave my grandmothers after visiting my daughter would come up with excuses to stay at her boyfriends house overnight. Anything to get her withy him 24/7. So, after a while I caught on and told the boyfriends mom she needed to go to my grandmothers bc that was our deal, she was to be home by 8 to 9 pm with my grandmother. But, it got to where the boyfriends mom would let her stay and take her to get clothes and such to spend the night. Then next thing I know she is basically moved in and was having very little to do with me and the family. So, I decided after I had put on 100s of dollars and my daughter was also getting money from the boyfriends mom, because they are wealthy that I was done. I felt used! So when I don’t that she just completely cut ties with me and now doesn’t want us at her graduation or anything. Y’all I do not know what else to do bc anyway I have to contact her she has me blocked and everyone thinks I abandoned her when really she pushed all of her family away😢 Y’all please give your input and let me know. Does it seem like it it was all my fault? Am I wrong? Idk what to do anymore but it’s killing me. She was my first love and y’all I am dying without her! Help
    • Raven
      Ashley, I am sorry about what you and others, including myself, are suffering through. It is absolutely gut wrenching and heartbreaking. Our experiences have different twists but are essentially the same. We are all human and imperfect, but we all did the best we could under the circumstances. I’m feelingMore the same as you. It’s difficult to get through the days and nights. Strength your way. It does help having found this platform.
  • Lost mom
    My 26 yr old daughter cut me off Sept 2022. I have been depressed, grieving, praying, ashamed and at a loss. I miss her. I miss my grandchildren. I just do not see reconcilliation. She has created a tiktok to heal from me being a horrible mother. She flips theMore bird, screams FU, smokes pot and laughs about how terrible I was to her. I just don’t know how we got here. I was not a perfect mom but I tries. I have apologized so many times for my failures. She has me blocked on everything. I have recently been asking God to help me to be able to live life. I miss her.
  • Mickey
    Our 44 yr old daughter never has time for us doesn’t work has 2 children with her husband she never has time for us. I always must initiate a text or phone call n hear back in a day or never. This is very agonizing sheMore is an only child and has narcissistic behaviors. Currently it’s gotten worse Need tips on dealing with this very sad.
  • Petfriendly
    We adopted a 4yr old female child from Korea in 1986. She was the most important person in our lives. Her dad and me did all we could to provide a great life for our daughter. Unfortunately, she caused problems from the beginning. I put out fires all the time.More As a therapist, I resisted thinking of her as problem, just create the best for our family. We had a lovely horse farm and she had a pony and went to good schools. We tried to keep her involved with other Korean adoptees through the adoption agency in the beginning but she resisted. She divided and conquered and almost achieved causing my husband and I to divorce. We made it and eventually he saw how manipulative she was. I never gave up helping her, the last being in 2007 when she left her 1st husband and needed to come back east to the farm. It was merely a con. My family, friends, teachers and anyone who would listen believed I was horrible. I was confronted with questions I did not understand as was my husband. She married again and left and refused to ever speak to me again. That happened when we were out with friends and family for Easter dinner. The last words I heard from her were how much she hated my last name which she had until she married. The whole thing was about her needing her passport and I suggested she keep her maiden name. She left the restaurant and I knew I might not ever see her again. Sometime later she contacted her father and told him she wanted to have relationship with him but never with me again. Thankfully, he told her we were a package deal and she stopped speaking to him. A few years ago he was diagnosed with melanoma and he wrote to her. She responded but never said anything about cancer just how her friends grandparent were very sick with COVID. It was cold and he was hurt but very angry as she stated she did not want anymore drama in her life. That occurred about 4 years ago. Recently, she moved with her husband to a remote area to a huge home with lost of acreage and winter temperatures common below zero. I know she is running as she did before from police questioning her for some events. Why do I care so much? I want more than anything to hear her voice, say, Hi Mom, how are you? Most of my family is gone now. I am 74, still a therapist to keep me from thinking about how I can fix a narcissist. Thirteen years this April and I do not want to give up. Thankfully, I found this place to vent.
  • HealingMomof5

    I was brought up by a narcissistic mother (who I cut ties with 5 years ago) and then married a narcissist for 20 years, divorced 9 years ago. Needless to say I was a mess for most of my life and have spent the last 11+ years in weekly therapy, sometimes even twice per week. I survived my emotionally, psychologically and verbally abusive marriage by focusing ALL my efforts on trying to love my children enough to get through our lives. Looking back I now see all the things I did wrong but you can't blame yourself for what you didnt know.

    My two oldest daughters, who were the first to cheer when I told them I was divorcing their father, no longer speak to me. The younger of the two is at least civil when we see each other at her younger siblings school functions but I haven't see or spoken to the oldest in over 5 years. It's been very difficult trying to figure out what went wrong and why they won't speak to me. At least if there had been a big fight or something then at least it would make sense. I think the not knowing is the hardest part. I suspect that their father who they still speak to now, may have a hand in this. But there is no way to know for sure.

    After finding this article and reading others I am going to try to emotionally disconnect from the situation. Because like many have said when we try to make an attempt and it's met with nothing but silence the injury becomes brand new again and it's agonizing. So my hope is that if I send birthday and Christmas cards in the same mind set as paying bills that maybe I can save myself some heartache while continuing to show that I do still care and hope to one day reconcile.

  • Diva7

    My oldest of 2 children, my only daughter stopped talking to me March 2022, but sent me a birthday greeting the month before. She has blocked me from calling her too. I don’t really know what I d it d to deserve this treatment. She told her aunt ( my sister) that I did not respect her “ boundaries “ . I’m confused and really hurt. I drive her to private school everyday, took her to prom after shopping with her. I even raised her in the church. She had the same boyfriend of 13 years and has no intentions of marrying or having babies.

    What should I be doing?

    • Raven
      Regarding “boundaries,” my daughter constantly referenced that fact that she’s setting boundaries in her life. In other words, her boundaries eliminate me from her life. Heartbreaking.
  • Leslie
    Yesterday I came across a group text message from a decade ago in which my youngest announced to his siblings he wanted nothing to do with me. He said because I wasn't there for him in childhood I didn't deserve to be in his adult life and no longer wantedMore to "lead me on". At the time of my 2nd divorce in 1999 my children were ages 2,3,5,and 7. The youngest is now 25. The eldest, now 31 had been estranged for 14 years but in the last several months we have begun casual communication online for which I am most grateful. I lost the bonds with all 4 of my children through parental alienation. I was the non-custodial parent and had I realized then the irreparable damage my decision to divorce would cause us all I would have just endured a unloving marriage for their sake. I was never abusive. In fact I was a very loving, creative, and involved parent. It was the marital relationship that was the issue. I lacked the maturity required to stay committed in marriage when things went south. I just didn't consider how divorce and the subsequent separation between myself and my children would effect them or myself. I suppose I went into a deep denial in order to manage? I was focused on building from square one as I had been a "stay at home" mom. I had to enter the workforce, working 2 jobs to support myself and to pay child support. I had to recreate a home life for my children to visit. Being the non-custodial parent seems to automatically paint you as the 'bad one'. I certainly contributed to the failure of the marriage. But the abusive tactic of parental alienation was wielded against me which planted the seeds in these estrangements. The two middle adult children never succumbed to the pressures from my exes to distance themselves from me and I am so grateful those relationships have remained intact and that my eldest has reached out to me. It's a very big deal. But the continued estrangement with my youngest keeps me in deep sorrow. It is difficult to get out from the weight of all of the blame, especially when the grief of loss has rendered you vulnerable in just agreeing it is all your fault. I wish I could go back and alter my decisions.
  • Rob

    I haven’t been able to see my daughter or her family for 18 months now, following a argument at a family gathering,

    I have tried and have done everything I’ve been asked to, but to no end,

    I miss them all desperately, and it’s now destroying our marriage, after 45 years of being together 🥲

  • Traveling Mom

    My daughter is 29 and one year ago we found out she was addicted to meth. Over 5 years ago she moved out to Colorado to follow her dreams of hiking and living in the mountains. I supported her in these dreams as I have always wanted to travel but never felt like I could leave our home town because of family and work. I visited her twice a year and noticed from time to time she was losing weight but she always said she was busy started her new company and never had time to sit and eat.

    Back up 18 years ago her father and I went through I pretty nasty divorce and I always felt like he wasn’t very supportive of my relationship with my daughter but I always pushed her to have a relationship with her father. I remarried shortly after our divorce and my daughter lived with us for 5 years at which time she moved in with her dad because in our state at the age of 15 a child can decide where they want to live. She lived with him a a short period of time then moved back in with us and the switching back and forth began. I finally put a stop to it because I felt like she would not do good in school by always switching schools. All this begin said she’s never been a fan of her step father even though it was not justified other than she felt like he got all my attention and she said she got none.

    After we found out she was on drugs my ex and I were able to move her back home which was my exes house. I had retired over 6 months earlier and began selling off assets in order to start living a nomad lifestyle so I really had no place for her to stay. After she was sober she began counseling and an addiction program. After 4 months in the program and she and I had a heart to heart about my plans of traveling and she told me she wanted me to follow my dreams and travel like I always wanted. She told me she wasn’t going to stay long but did want to continue her programs for now. I made sure we were going to stay in contact with one another no matter where I was. She was in complete agreement or so I thought. Two months into my traveling and nomad lifestyle she told me she was upset that I left and she needed time to come to terms with it. I have texted her everyday for the past 7 months and she does not respond. Finally on Christmas Day she sent me a blistering text about how I have always only thought about myself and always put my husband above her and she needed time to heal and she needed for me to give her time and space to heal. I did send another text stating I would leave her alone for now but it wasn’t what I wanted but I would give her some space.

    I’m so worried that she’ll never talk to me again. She’s so angry with me. I love my daughter more than she’ll ever know. All I want is for her to be ok and not revert back to the drugs so I’m now walking on egg shells. I think I really need help some days it’s almost too much to handle.

  • Rose
    Sometimes I just don’t want to wake up. So low
    • Janet
      Me too 💔
      • Elephants1964
        Me too :(
  • Joe Kirk
    I have been estranged from my 14 year old daughter for over two years and do not know what to do.
  • Kiddo
    It’s a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone
    • Marsha
      It’s devastating. This is the 2nd time she has stopped communicating with me. I’m so afraid she’s not going to reinstate our relationship, which I thought was good. I just don’t know what to do. I’m tired of crying. Thanks for listening.
  • I am nothing

    It is of some comfort to read such different, yet similar stories. For me it is almost three years since my son and daughter moving out of state with their cruel, petty, vindictive mother...never even saying goodbye. They are now 19 and almost 20. I was their custodial single dad from when they were 8 and 10 years old, when their mother skipped town to live with a new boyfriend (who later abused her).

    My kids were the most wonderful anyone could imagine from birth to about ages 14-15. I read to them every night, we went on great vacations, hiked, skied, went canoeing and camping, picked fruit and made pies together, and enjoyed board games, going to the movies, theater, etc., etc. They were top students and did sports and ballet. It truly was a dream come true.

    The one consistent theme is that my ex-wife always offered a way to flee to her if they were having troubles with me or with each other. She implicitly reinforced not working out problems, and encouraged just walking away from anyone that bothers you. Just like she did with me. One of the last times we spoke before the split, I apologized to her for some of the things that I know had upset her, and said that I regret those things. She thanked me for that, so I asked her if she had anything of a similar nature to say? She shook her head in thought and then finally said that she regretted that she wasn't tougher on me. In fourteen years of marriage, she was faultless and perfect.

    My children are likely forever out of my life because of a handful of times where everyone involved got angry and raised their voices. That's it. No abuse, alcoholism, poverty, none of that stuff. They grew up in a scholarly home full of books, no TV blaring, music of all types playing all the time. They had excellent schools and a safe college town environment.

    All three of them have contempt for me, the kids learning it from their mom. They used to get astonishingly angry at my sincere attempts to talk things through, to go to counseling...all the normal reality checks that someone does when they love and want to heal a relationship. Everything I said was viewed as an attempt to manipulate, therefore my sincere efforts were always be greeted with suspicion. Talking to either or both of them was a foray into a world of madness.

    I lost everyone that mattered to me. Every day is still survival, but I begin to recognize that there is maybe a life for me still at age 59. My current plan is to finish up some of the very fulfilling work I still have as a college professor, sell my home full of memories that torment me as much as they still make me smile, and within 5 years start a completely new life, and virtually a new identity.

    My kids are still be in my will but that's all. I have decided that rather than torture myself with hope, I will work hard to compartmentalize and forget. I have seen the comments here from people who haven't had contact in decades and are still trapped in sorrow.

    I am practicing Buddhism, meditation, and a form of self-hypnosis to put all of the memories of their childhood and all the incredible love we all had for each other into a 'place' that I visit, happily, on occasion. I will visit my kids, my REAL kids...have a wonderful time with them, and then say goodbye...until the next time. I refuse to allow the two of them, whatever they are now, to take their former selves away from me.

    In Buddhism it is said that to be nothing is enlightened and through extraordinary suffering I finally understand it. To recognize this means that you can no longer be harmed in this way. It is true humility. Only the eternal present exists, although occasional (healthy) visits to the past and future are permitted.

    • Flicker
      You write beautifully and thank you so much for your wisdom. My children's father died when they were young and my life for those beautiful spirits until they faded away was as much the greatest joy as the hardest work. Fortunately, thanks to their father, who had the soul ofMore an angel, one of my children has not abandoned me. As for my will, I will leave it all to my grandkids, split equally among my children. They'll still get lots of money UNLESS they have children. Then the grandchildren get their entire share!
    • Kiddo
      Thank you
    • stump
      I am in a similar situation as you I have not seen my adult daughter in three years and was not invited to her graduation from college this week. I have not seen my son in two years. This was as the result of a bad divorce with theirMore extremely controlling mother who immediately attacked the two most important things in my life, my two kids. She lied to them at every turn to alienate them but there was little I could do to set the record straight. I spent every waking moment with them as kids and adored them both. But here I am stuck loving them with no contact. Every time I see some light where they may reach out to me there mother immediately is there shutting the door. I don't wish this kind of hopeless pain on anyone. I wish I could let go, but I have trouble giving up.
      • I am nothing

        Many (most?) loving parents feel sorrow when their kids are grown and gone, missing all those fun, warm, loving years. But no parent gets to have all that back. This is what I look at as 'normal' sorrow, the inevitable result of loss of love...and we will all lose our loved ones eventually, unless you believe in an eternal afterlife. What is not normal is what has happened to you and I, but it is important to not confuse the sorrow of missing your young kids and and the sorrow of what has happened since. I often catch myself confusing or, worse, combining the two. So there's that.

        I mentioned Buddhism, but full disclosure, it is correctly termed a 'practice.' Like anything of that type, if I slack off the practice, things get worse easily.

        It sounds like your ex and mine are similar, although yours sounds more explicit, while mine is implicit, and it took me a long time to realize the effect of her vindictiveness on what use to be our family.

        One counselor advised me to stop trying to contact them because it both renews my/your trauma and satisfies their misguided attitudes. You may want to consider that, but I suppose you have to be prepared to accept the consequences. I have been moving closer to accepting those consequences and rather than placing my fate at their whim, I am hoping for a new life for myself in the years that remain. We get one shot at all this, and as you well know, it goes by quickly enough...

        • Flicker
          Your wisdom is so greatly appreciated! Please believe it it because the truth echoes in another soul here.
  • Simon in Ireland
    Just adding my voice to the huge sad outpouring here. I got divorced from my daughters Mother some 12 years ago and have been trying to rebuild my relationship with my 22 year old daughter ever since. I've tried throwing money, I've tried not throwing money, I've tried being veryMore communicative, and I've tried not communicating for months at a a time. Tried funny cat photos (some response), tried everything. It feels like I have this one impossibly thin thread of connection with her, that I am in constant danger of snapping. It has worn me out over the years. I can't afford to maintain the hope any longer that she will come around, that things will improve, that I can be her Father again. Yesterday I asked her to explain to me what went wrong, why she doesn't want a relationship with me. Even if it's just a word or two or a short sentence then I will have something and I can have some closure. I don't understand why a daughter would let her Father just hang on this thin thread of hope with no explanation or reason or some sort of adult conversation, for a decade. So I asked her yesterday. I'll give it a month for a response, then I have to just move on and forget her, push her memory away as someone I used to know. I can't carry on like this.
    • Kiddo
      I’m sorry. I hope things get better for all of us.
  • Ali
    I am looking for answers as to why my 21 year old daughter chose to cut ties with the entire family. I could blame the divorce yet her father and I parented and did our best to respect each household’s rules. I thought maybe the rules were too much forMore her to follow, yet she did follow the rules until she met her boyfriend. For this man-child to encourage her to not follow the rules, come home in the wee hours without sending a message that she would be late is one thing, yet he encouraged her to voice her opinion (“I’m an adult and don’t need to tell you my business) and the final act of allowing her to move in with he and his parents is just too much to handle. I should be relieved that she is “safe” yet I’m not for she has blocked all communication and in her words “is not ready to talk”. At one time she was independent and did her own thinking yet this individual and his enabling parents have brainwashed her.
  • Heartbroken

    Still as sad as I was when they cut me off 7 years ago.. both my daughters sided with their father during a difficult divorce. He made it clear the breakdown was all my fault, maybe it was. To punish me he convinced the girls I was truly evil

    Everyday I think of them and only hope they are happy and safe. Struggling to think of another Christmas with no contact

  • So sad

    I don't know where to start. My daughter and I started to have issues when she was 14. After she got hormonal, and the first covid lock down. She was nasty and sullen. Wanted to stay in her room all the time. I was struggling, but thought it was normal mom daughter stuff that would pass. Then, all of the sudden,she went to her dad's and never came back. 16 months ago. Her dad has allowed her to be in charge, see me or not, speak to me or not. He runs interference for her. She now refuses to go to therapy and acts totally indifferent about me.

    I did everything for her she ever wanted and more, but because I wouldn't allow her to be nasty to me, she cut me off.

    • umbar
      I have also been in this situation. My daughters father has poisoned her mind against me and I haven’t seen her now for 2 years. I miss her everyday and it hurts so much. I feel it will now always be the same her dad doesn’t want herMore to see me and she thinks he is amazing. I hope maybe when she’s older it may change, she is now 17.
  • Broken-hearted mom
    Me and my now 29 year old son were so close and I have to admit I did go through a hard time whenever he moved out. But then he get engaged and married now he never calls to check on me or his step-dad we got to the pointMore we quit inviting him and his wife to anything that way they don't have to make up excuses. My heart literally is so broken I cry in my car I cry at home. I feel like a failure or something. I just wish one day my phone would ring and it would be him just to say hey I love you mom
  • Zak

    My son left me yesterday. He’s 17 and lived with my wife and I’m absolutely heartbroken, we just thought he was going through a phase but was starting to isolate himself more and more . I tried to talk to him but couldn’t get through to him. He was doing well at school with his A levels .

    We noticed he was staying online for up to 16 hours chatting to friend , social

    Medial and gaming .

    We asked him to try and find a balance as it started affecting our relationship and his education but instead it just made things worse.

    Then yesterday said he wanted to leave and go to his biological mum who has not been part of his like for many many years . I couldn’t believe he would leave us .

    I’m a mess right now and in all honestly I’m grieving his not being here . I’m just a mess … I’ve just received and email from him

    Saying can he have his Snapchat verification code. For him he’s just moved on as if nothing has happened and as well as being

    Upset I’m angry .

    I’m just in a daze and feel totally empty . His

    Biological mother lives 15 miles away and I worry that he will leave the school he’s at here and go to one local there .

    The school he goes to where I live is

    One of the best ones in Yorkshire and where his Biological mother is it’s not a very nice place. I’m just so numb right now .

    I don’t know what’s going to happen all I know is that he’s gone and we are left here.

    • Marsha
      My sadness has turned to anger. I feel your pain too. I just don’t know what to do. I guess all we can do is try to keep busy and hope for a better tomorrow.
  • Unicite99

    I was in a puddle of tears when I got on the internet to distract myself and wrote my issue to find this site. Reading all the comments, all parents here devoted their lives to their kids which proves I’m right coming to the realization that the main reason to cutting ties is to prove to themselves they’re adult and can make it on their own without needing our help, and I have to mentioned getting used to taking and not giving of course. I’m new to all this . My 24 yr old son moved out only several months ago and the shock came right after, it didn’t come gradually. We were very close as his dad was never involved in his upbringing. We were one and had only each other. Cutting ties was never something I would even imagine. And although I reached that realization and figured out he might come around when he proves himself by himself in the real world, it never made me feel better. Then reading comments about the cutting ties for years is really scaring me. I already feel I’ve lost my son as I know him, and living on the hope he’ll come back around when it’s the right time. Why do rejected kids always try to get in touch with their parents, to prove themselves to them and earn their love. Always yearning for parents care, when ours are rejecting ours and hating it is beyond me and boggling my mind. Did we all make a mistake when we gave too much, when we gave ourselves and our lives?? Is that why now when they turned around and closed the door, we feel empty and that our life is completely meaningless?? Don’t they share our love because it was always there, granted, never missed, like a filthy rich person who has always had money that he doesn’t know what to do with so for him, money is worthless?? Did we do it wrong all along? I’ve always thought you receive only love when you give love!!! Will I do it any differently if I go back in time? No, but at least I’ll be a little bit prepared. He was my only friend, my only family, my world, and thought I’m his!!! I was the mother who thought that with such great communication and unconditional love, I would never be one of the mothers estranged by their own kids. We’ll always be special to each other an unbeatable team!!

    I know it’s not the place to ask questions and I’m not asking, I’m just simply thinking out loud.

  • Excluded

    I have been excluded from my sons life for over 2 years. Prior to his engagement to my (now) DIL, we got along excellent. I was a teenage mom. My parents helped and raised him, but we have always had an excellent, open, honest relationship. We have talked about everything and anything and he has never had any resentment, hard feelings. I have been a fixture in his life through all of this. We may not be your typical mother/son, but we were SOLID! Once my DIL came into the picture, well, once they got engaged, that COMPLETELY changed. It isn’t so much the WHAT I did. It’s that she doesn’t approve of my choices early on. Regardless, I do feel she has influenced him. They more or less haven’t spoken to me in over two years, this time. Prior to that it was over a year. They did start speaking to me again before my first grandson was born, but my DIL wanted a meeting to set some ground rules. She did all the talking. My son just sat there. I suffer from depression and anxiety, something I never told my DIL. At the “meeting” she told me I would never be allowed to spend time alone with my grandson. I was devastated!

    I’ve tried to do things their way, but feel as if I’m playing some type of game where I don’t know the rules. I care for my aging mother and anytime they come to pick her up my DIL comes to the door. I believe it is because she doesn’t want my son and I to talk. Unfortunately, I have to see them at family gatherings. It’s not unfortunate, but it is very painful. They speak to every other member of my family except for me. I have only held my grandson 3 times. He’s 2 and a half. I don’t know what to do or how to cope. My son says hello at the most. My DIL won’t speak to me or look at me.

    Today my granddaughter was born. Every family member of mine was kept informed of the preGnancy and sent pictures and texts when she was born. My mother lives with me, so when my son called to tell her, I was rigHt there. It’s another level of pain haVing to hear that conversation. My mother asked him if he wanted to talk to me. He said no. More rejection. I know I will be excluded from seeing her or going to her baptism, visiting or anything. I don’t get much support from my family as they don’t really know what to do and there is quite a bit of dysfunction when it comes to communication. Im in therapy, but it doesn’t erase the pain and rejection. Sorry for the book, but I’m glad I found this site.

    • Flicker
      Your story is just as important as anyone else's. I have a daughter-in-law like that. I explained to her that she is NOT a part of my relationship with my son. In my son's presence. Since then she has treated both of us like crap. Now my son is madMore at me. I understand. He has to live with her. My son will decide my future relationship with him and his children which might be none. As for that daughter-in-law, I will not give her an atom of control over my life. My mom always told me that in life, if you do not have your self-respect, you have nothing! And that we come into the world and leave it alone. I read the sad stories here and prepare to become one of them. I am in good company. Most of you sound like much better people than me.
  • Mike
    I got divorced in 1990 my daughter was 2 at the time. My first mistake other than having a child with someone who shouldn’t have kids was to think my daughter would be ok having divorced parents. Boy! was I wrong about that. I didn’t count on her seeing otherMore kids families. It also didn’t help that her mom was not stable. Although I was more stable I was not in a position to be a full time dad. So I tried to be the best weekend dad I could. Although I know I could have been a better dad. I was up against more than I could handle. Twice her mom took her and left the state. I had gotten custody after the second time permanently but before that I had to take custody temporarily not less than 4 times while her mother went from one disaster to the next. I married again and got divorced all the while trying to build a relationship with my daughter. See I went through a horrific childhood soo had no guidance. So I wanted to have a good relationship with her. I dated a lot after my divorce and somehow this put a huge wedge in between us. It also affected my ability to have a stable relationship because I was questioned about my parents skills by women I dated. They wondered why my daughter wouldn’t talk to them. I fought hard for custody to the point I went deeply in debt for it. With almost zero family support. So now my daughter doesn’t talk to me. This is recent. Last several months. I am at the end of my rope. By heart is broken. I also have a grand daughter I can’t see. I text and call and get nothing.
  • 20 years

    It’s 20 years since I have have had proper contact with my daughter. I hear about what she is up to from time to time from others and send a Christmas and birthday card every year. I never get a response.

    It’s hard when I really sit and think about it. I think about her complicated teenage years and all that went on. I think about my feelings towards her now. I love her, she is my child who I brought up until she was in her mid teens, but I don’t know her now. I am not sure I would recognise her if I saw her in the street and I don’t know how I would react, she has started to feel less real somehow.

    It’s devastating to realise things have got like this. It feels like it’s happened open another life or to someone else. I get on with life but her loss sits on my shoulder, creating a gap. A gap that is evident when I realise a friend doesn’t know I have a daughter or I am asked how many children I have.

    • Flicker
      Much love for you!
  • Angelag

    I don’t know where to begin,so much chaos in my life for the past 20 years. I will try to summarize. Was married in 87’, had my 1st daughter in 88’ and 13 mos later my second daughter. In 2000 separated however he moved in to a second home I had bought only 3 doors down! 2007, divorced which was a war of the roses type. During this period, my 13 yo daughter decided she did not like the discipline in my home so she went to her fathers. He had parties galore with all the biker types vacationing there, mostly men. In the meantime my youngest daughter, was my prayers answered, dual enrolled , she graduated with honors and attending a very affluent college with acquiring a full 4 yr scholarship. My oldest daughter in the meantime got married to her h.s sweetheart and he joined the military. Had my grandson and was stationed in Hawaii. My youngest daughter graduated college with 2 bachelor degrees, as she interned on Capital Hill and was also a published member of our countries Minerva think tank for our nation at 18 yrs old. BUT THEN: she got involved with a boy from our town who got her into drugs, she had a baby who ended up in my x’s custody but was also with me in my home 3 doors down. She was in and out of jail and eventually due to no grandparents rights, was handed to the father even though he was unfit and all that? Back to my eldest daughter, while in Hawaii for 3 yrs I did visit her 3x. I thought we were getting close but she always seemed to be blaming me somehow for her upbringing? In 2014 my ex passes and his mother was able to get everything he owned and gave nothing to either of our children. Mind you there was never a day in my kids lives that I ever was without them and gave them everything, I bought 2 of everything as well but somehow I was not a good mother?? Well the time came for her to move back to her home state and her husband after 13 yrs in the military was not reinlisting so she came home and of course so did her pets and her home stuff as well as my grandson and I had them and all their things in my home for a yr or so , until she found a home to buy and her husband took a contracting job in Afghanistan for a yr. I helped her clean and paint and gut the kitchen as well as any thing else she needed, even put the tiles in the kitchen for her . Now it came the time I insisted she take her 3 cats, her rabbit and her dog as well as he belongings to her home. Xmas 2020, I had found myself shopping for presents for weeks alone, no joy! Gave them all the gifts and they all left for their home. They came back with a uhaul 2 days later got all their stuff and I haven’t heard from them since, mind you , the house they bought is in the same town about 10 minutes away. My youngest actually sent me a birthday card this yr , first time I heard from her in 7 yrs. Still issues though.

    I find in the past 2 yrs and 10 mos. , I have been painting my home, in and out, getting a new roof, pressure washer washing,throwing, selling JUST LOSING MY MIND because when I stop I breakdown with such depression. So much heartache!

  • Brokenhearted Mom
    My 18 year old daughter has spent less and less time with me over the last 7 years. She still lives at home and I had custody of her but my ex husband is a manipulator and her best friend and for pretty much all her life since we divorcedMore when she was 3, has never disciplined her. Now mine and my daughters' relationship is broken, I'm afraid I will lose her forever. She's barely ever home but when she is, she stays in her room away from me and does not contribute to household chores. Her room is a mess and she says I nitpick too much so she is gone the majority of the time and doesn't come home until curfew. She makes me feel guilty and makes me feel like a bad Mom but I feel a lot of what she says to me is her Dad talking. For my birthday weekend, she spent time with her Dad and her boyfriends' family and made no time for me. It hurt so much. She also has no respect for my husband who has raised her since was little and now I'm not to the point I just want her to move out so I can have some peace. She does have 2 jobs and we said if she's going to live here, she's going to pay rent and we were told we didn't deserve her money. She says the most hurtful things....I feel like I failed as a Mom even though I have always been there for her and done my very best. I guess I couldn't compete with her "best friend" when I am her parent.
  • Forgotten dad
    I was looking through this and I don't see any dads. Maybe my fault for not looking through far enough. But I'm a separated dad with long court battles that my son wanted me to fight to get custody of him. The 2 times under 6 months (so mom wouldn'tMore loose childsupport) my son was A&B student. Did well. No trouble and didn't miss school. With mom never passed school any year (was pushed up) missed school average of 8+ days a month. Was expelled, suspended, and more. With mother being arrested for several things one of them being abuse of at the time my 15 year old son. What they held against me was I worked a lot. But had to because childsupport, court cost, my family that was with me then with two kids not mine that their dad wasn't paying child support. Anyhow during my son being 15 and mother was arrested he lived with me and she took him back from me. Since I was able to talk to him here and their but soon I couldn't talk to him and even I was blocked from the ps4 communications. He is now about to be 18 and no word anything about him. I have followed up where I can like his school. He still is failing and missing school a lot. His mother is ruining his future and I can't do anything about it. He doesn't want anything to do with me but the childsupport I pay. Dads does not have the help lines, financial assistance, support systems in place, or anything to help us. On top that only words we get is "man up, go back to court, get over it, he will come around, God has a plan, you will get use to it, or some other worthless saying or something that is of no help. I please beg for any help. I am forgotten and want to be found!
    • Flicker
      These days make it very hard to father a child. I say that as a widow of a wonderful man. As a person of faith, there are many traditions of faith that respect a man's role as a father and in the community more than our current environment. There mustMore be one of those faiths that you can lean into and find hope!
    • Tim T
      Bro I get ya, had him @ 24 spent my everything for him. Called one day (Im making about 15k A mo) step dad put his mom in hospital, he calls begs for my help I quit my job move to Fl its THAT sever. Fought and lost 2 custodyMore cases about 200-500k after he begged us to fight for him. Did all we could. EVERYONE who worked with or under me has their dreams n financial success. AGAIN IU went back into biz to make everyones life great. Long story short Stopped talking tome on his bday 2018, wont respond to My wife his step mom who gave up her life to help raise him. Alll My life people have pushed me away its 4 years later he hasnt responded to anything but a inheritance notice after my mom died. His life is Wonderful Mine is Hell and I feel your pain cause Im confused and sick of it all. Hoestly if it werent for my current wife theres no point in my existence at all. Your not alone. NO That doesnt make it suck any less
      • Flicker
        These days make it very hard to father a child. I say that as a widow of a wonderful man. As a person of faith, there are many traditions of faith that respect a man's role as a father and in the community more than our current environment. There mustMore be one of those faiths that you can lean into and find hope!
  • Ana
    Today is my daughter's 26th birthday. My daughter has not contacted me for neatly 2 years now. I don't know why? It hurts. From the age of about 15 it's been difficult when things really started to change. I havnt given up and never will. I leave messages, phone andMore little stories of occasions. Wish her the best and that I love her. I've reached out. No responses ever. I just pray one day we have a chance to reconnect. I've done counselling and try to continue to be positive. I have never understood why these things happened but after reading this I will never give up to reconnecting one day in a more mature calm way.
  • I’m Whisson
    I have 14 year old daughter I had problems with addiction I the past my daughter told me before that she didn’t want to get hurt/disappointed anymore she don’t respond to my messages phone call anything next week her birthday don’t know what to write on greeting card
  • Sad Mom

    My 22 year old told me he never wants to see me again. I confronted him after he lied to me. It was my birthday I was driving to see my parents and asked hiim to come with. He said he was going to help move my youngest son to school instead. The next day I went to see my youngest at school to find out that my oldest never did go.

    Understood he didn't want to go to see his grandparents it can be a little unbearable but they are elderly and need to keep in touch. So I confronted him that he lied and he could of just said he didn't want to go and maybe we meet for dinner at a later time. But He lied and blew off my bday. After I confronted him he said he didn't want to ever see me again. Im on a verge of a panic attack. My kids are everything to me. Its day one and I will give him his space but I can't imagine never seeing my son again. He is a bit angry guy but hes a good kid. Finishing school and works hard. I raised them well. I have been divorced from their father for 9 years. I know my son has alot of anxiety and I want to be there for him. We have been close until now. I feel like a failure

  • Sai
    My 20 year old son cut me out after my birthday when he last asked me for money. We had a very stressful move out of state and a lot of things were happening. He decided to not come with us and find a place with his girlfriend.More He finally contacted me via text this week. He told me everything he feels I do wrong. I want to make things better. I don't know how to respond back without giving him power to walk all over me (I have a habit of letting my kids do that). I am willing to take all the blame, get all the help, everything. Is that OK? Can I just say I'm sorry and I messed up and I made bad choices and now I'm getting help? Do I have to explain anything or stand my ground on decisions (like having chores (I know.))?
  • Lisa
    My 25 year old has seemingly disowned me. So many things I maybe could have done differently. No abuse at home. She had difficulty being told no or being grounded for not doing school work and getting bad grades. Ran away from home around 15. Didn't find her untilMore next day 4 hours away. I thought she was dead in a ditch as she had taken a bus overnight and we found out by luck the next day. A stranger called me. I sent her to live with her father a week later who lives halfway across the country. I was terrified she'd run away again. I told her she had to live with her father if she didn't want to live with me because she was a minor and living on the streets wasn't an option. My child wasn't born a girl. She has legally changed her name and taking hormone blocking medication. She didn't live as a female when I had her. I believe she struggled with this which led to depression and anxiety. I tried taking her for a makeover when she came home to visit once. She said she didn't like makeup and didn't want to clothes shop with me. She did let me pay to have a haircut and nails done. She is in college and working. I still pay for her phone. I've tried calling, texting. I send birthday cards with money. My texts and calls go unanswered. She doesn't seem to respond if her grandmother or uncle if they call either. I've apologized for mistakes on my part. No parent is perfect. I'm thinking about stopping paying for her phone. Last time she responded, she said I'm difficult to talk to. I simply asked what I did to deserve being disowned? I cry every mother's day as I get no call or text. No calls on my birthday. I have never stopped trying. I ven put money in her PayPal to make it easier than cashing a check. I'm terrified of not having a way to reach her, but seriously considering stopping paying for her phone line since our calls go unanswered. I feel having a relationship is a 2 way street. It doesn't cost us much for the extra line. I don't want to seem like I'm being vindictive or acting out of anger, but she's 25 and seems to not appreciate me paying for the phone. No thank yous for birthday money. Christmas calls go unanswered as well. She has a decent relationship with her father. I don't know what to do. Pain never goes away.
  • Connie
    My son and I have always been very close. Then he started dating a woman who in my opinion is obviously unstable. There was an episode where she became very violent with him. He had never seen her this way before and was shocked. He broke up with her neverMore to see her again. But 3 days later he found out she was pregnant. He did the right thing and has stuck by her. They now have a baby that is 6 months old. She has decided from the very beginning that I am her whipping post. She sends me rude, disrespectful texts accusing me of things I've never done and that she has apparently manufactured and made as true in her mind. She's done this three or four times. At first I said nothing to my son because I felt it was the wrong thing to do. But the last one was so upsetting and brought me to tears, so I spoke with him about it. Her last text to me was extremely rude. She told me to keep my distance and don't text her. That was two months ago and in that 2 months, my daughter and I have seen my son and their baby for a total of about five or six hours. After her last text, my son came to me and said, "Don't worry about her putting a wedge between us mom. That will never happen," which tells me that he thought she was capable of trying that. Here we are though, and he definitely does seem to be avoiding me. We make plans and I get reasons that sounds like excuses not to follow through with our plans for lunch or whatever it is. He says he'll call and doesn't. I'm getting the most unbelievable reasons why he can't respond. For instance, last night after he blew me off two days in a row for plans we had, with no text or phone call, I texted him and asked if anything was wrong. I received a text from the girlfriend (who hasn't sent me one text, photo of the baby, or phone call in 2 months) saying that my son lost his phone somewhere around the apartment. The baby's sleeping so we can't really dig around for it right now. Obviously that makes no sense whatsoever. He could have called me from her phone, not to mention the obvious--that there's no logical reason why a person can't look for their phone because their baby is asleep. I have no idea what is going on and just don't know what to say or do. I've been nothing but kind and inviting even after her violent episode. I didn't want to judge her at her worst moment so I put it past me and never gave it a thought. I've tried calling her after her "mean girl" texts to try to straighten things out, but she won't answer. I tried once to talk directly to her, but she became very angry, almost threatening, and said she was done, leaving the room in a huff. Please help. At first I questioned if I was being overly sensitive but my daughter is very heartbroken and upset also. I do know my place as far as my son's relationship with his girlfriend, but this has gone way too far. Thank you.
    • Flicker
      The contemporary culture encourages exactly the type of behavior you describe. Agree with website that professional therapy is advisable. Until then, just old fashioned advice: Nothing is worth sacrificing your self-respect, not a child, or a grandchild. And as Shakespeare once said, always be kind, trust only a few, andMore hurt no one. You have no obligation to any adult human being—even your flesh and blood— more than that. Again and again, I see how we trust our children and those strangers that they bring into our lives. Why? Because we love our children. We have unrealistic expectations, repeat unrealistic expectations of our children!! I did too! ONLY one of my children loves me back. Like Shakespeare's King Lear. And I'm no king. For now. I'll take it gratefully!
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      We appreciate you reaching out and sharing your story. I can hear how distressed you are with how things have been going. Your situation is a bit outside the scope of what we are able to offer coaching or advice on. I encourage you to see what types of local supports are available for you and your family.

      We wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • SM
    Is it possible to be hurt so much by your children that you feel numb & don’t think you can love them again
  • Bewildered.
    I adopted my daughte a birth and I am so in love with her, she was so affectionate, then she went through puberty and became a normal brat for a while. When her boyfriend and her broke up for a while she sat on my lap and cried. IMore was so brokenhearted over her pain that I was depressed. She had come to me for comfort. They reconciled and later married and were truly in love.11 years later the marriage ended and she moved in with me. But even though I didn't understand why, she refused to share any of her feelings or anything with me and treated me coldly. I wanted to be a comforting mom but she resented any questions and shut out. I was a mess and ended up losing 30 pounds. Any reference to things I would say to let her know my sympathy and understanding was met with a one word comment. It was total hell for me. I seemed to be a nothing for her. I loved her but also pitied myself for needing her to need me. Now 4 years later and with a men she loves I don't feel as more than a relative who helps out when I can and she's always said she loves me and hugs me as she has always done but I don't her thoughs, feelings.she 34.I would just love to hold her hand and have her look at me and have some time. I still live with the ache inside.
  • Tiff
    So happy that I found this at a time when I am dealing with so many emotions. I feel hopeful.
  • Hard times
    Last year I was in the hospital for 3 months. My esophagus burst bringing on alot of other problems, doctors told my husband and son I might not live. Well before all this happened my son and I were very close. Now he barelyMore talks to me and when we are together he gets so mad at me. He is in AA and I am trying to support him. It has been so hard because instead of calling me he is calling my friend. Im so hurt because last year I went through extensive therapy to learn to walk and talk again and thats when he distanced himself from me.
    • Flicker
      Read an old novel about a son who abandons his mother because she was no longer the young and beautiful young mom he remembered. I'm getting old too. That was a good warning about the fact that in real life, many sons are probably like that. Especially after they marry,More have their own families, and transfer the "MomFace" to their wives.
  • Sad Times

    Our only child has been in mental health counseling for 15 years. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and takes daily medication for the condition. In December of last year, she cut off all contact with us for the second time.

    The first time she was visiting us from out of state to introduce us to our granddaughter. She'd been here a couple of days and we were having a great time. She suddenly, without any discernable provocation, became furious, would not say why, snatched up her daughter and stormed out. We did not see her or hear from her for a year. When she did make contact, she acted as though nothing had happened and never mentioned it. We have walked on eggs for years to keep her from going off, so we just let it lie, too.

    Fast forward four years ago. She returned to our state and divorced her husband. She lives 45 minutes away. I drove over often to visit her and our two grandkids. My husband even bought me a little SUV so I'd have room for our grandchildren. Our daughter went back to college, so I would go over to babysit when she had things to do. Then came Covid. My husband is nearly 80 and very fragile. I'm in my early 70s. We simply would not put ourselves at risk for an illness that had the potential to kill either one of us. The Pandemic was a game changer for us. I did still go over from time to time, but not as often as I had before, especially after the kids went back to school and were exposed to Covid more than once.

    Our daughter and I talked on the phone and texted constantly. She was completely supportive and understanding of our self-imposed isolation. We got our shots and our boosters. I went over and stayed a few times.

    Last December, I called just to talk, as was our habit. I could tell from her tone that something was wrong and asked if everything was OK. She said she'd been having a time with the kids because they wouldn't leave her alone to study for finals, and that she needed to apologize to them because she'd really let them have it verbally. I told her to call me when things settled down.

    She called a few minutes later and immediately went on the attack, screaming at me, telling me I'd used Covid as an excuse to keep from babysitting the kids, that I'd promised I would be there for her and I wasn't. She went on and on, with me trying to get her to calm down. I finally hung up on her, gave her a few minutes and called her back. She immediately went after me again. I ended up hanging up three more times. In the end, still screaming, she said she might as well cut her losses and hung up.

    I tried to rationally engage with her via text messages later on. She was horrible. Told me to f%$^ off, which was mild compared to the truly awful things she said. She sent me a long text, so full of hate I deleted it. For several months, I have continued to send her kind, loving texts. They've all gone unanswered. A month ago, her dad was diagnosed with two types of skin cancer. Hes scheduled for his first surgery next week.I texted her, asking her to respond because I had health info for her regarding her dad. Nothing. Crickets.

    Her dad and I had a long talk. I told him I simply had to move on. He agreed. We've both been eaten alive with worry, not only for her, but for the kids. In addition to her mental health challenges, our daughter is also an alcoholic and has been a devoted AA member and sober for over 3 years. So our concern for her is compounded by that worry, too.

    Anyway, I sent her a long text, telling her that we do and will always love her, no matter what, and that her decision to end contact with us was absolutely her prerogative and business. But I also told her that I would not be sending any further texts. I probably shouldn't have said that, but my own mental health is suffering from this so severely that I've developed a couple of serious health problems, myself. The texts I send just pull me back into the situation. I have to find a way to move on. I just don't know what to do.

    Still nothing from her.

  • Julie
    my 20 year old daughter left in the middle of the night. She took a suitcase full of clothes and that was it. She met a couple from Seattle and got a plane ticket. This happened 5 weeks ago, and I am completely broken.
    • CK
      It is heartbreaking to hear you. I feel your pain and sense of loss. Having been through a similar situation, I can tell you that time does heal you. Show yourself some compassion and don’t take the blame. Go to a therapist if necessary for help with your emotions. HopeMore and prayers for a happy reconnection. Hugs❤️
  • Rubberband
    I have a 55 yr old son, whom I raised alone without support from my abusive ex-husband, whom I have stayed away from all these years. I always have been close to my son and I have financially supported him through his bad times in addition to giving him overMore $200,000 over his adult years. He is currently in his second marriage with an 8 yr old son, whom I babysat continuously since birth. His father married several times, had several girlfriends, and had a live-in girlfriend who has Alzheimers. His father never had a close relationship with his only child and was always verbally abusive to our son during his life. I was always close to my son. When his father died four days ago and named our son as his sole beneficiary, my son called everyone to let them know to visit before he died. I received a text message from my daughter in law, while I was babysitting my grandson to let me know he had died. My son sat alone at Hospice while they prepared his father so my son could sit with him until he passed. I could not believe my son did not call me to come be with him and allow me to have a peaceful end to the relationship I had with his father. Not once did my son or his wife ask about my well-being. When they came to pick up their son, I let them know how hurt I was. My grandson and I are the only blood relatives he has left. Now, I find my ex's obituary posted on facebook advising that a memorial service will be held, no mention that the mother of his only son is a survivor, no call from my son asking that I stand with him at the service. I guess his father's girlfriend will stand with my son at the service. I do not know if I should attend and sit in the back row to just let everyone know that I am still living or just stay away and suggest that I have no feelings about the death of the father of my son. I can only think that since my son no longer will need my financial support, he no longer needs his mother. I cannot express the pain I feel in my very soul.
    • Monse
      Rubberband when my ex-husband passed away I had always stayed friends with the family. My ex and I stayed good friends. My adult son and his wife went to the funeral. They traveled from California to Arizona. They didn't ask me if I want to go and I would ofMore said no anyways. You have to understand you are his ex. I didn't feel obligated to go because I was his ex. And my son and his wife wouldn't of sat with his wife if he had one. So I don't understand your reasoning with all those expectations you put on your son.
  • Rachel Conyers ga
    I came across this article looking up something about how to discipline a 6-year-old I have an estranged 13-year-old due to my alcoholism. I am in recovery and have custody of my 6-year-old which I'm doing my best to try to raise. My 13-year-old is estranged from me. Due toMore a bad situation that happened the last time I saw him before I got sober. just reading this article really helped. the part about understanding and hope hit me really hard although he's not an adult he is developing adult emotions and I do pray that with time he will forgive me and we are able to mend our relationship a little bit at the time. Also the part about understanding your own family history and dynamic really touched me because that is what I've learned in my program of AA. This is a great article really helped me get up and get my day going today. Thank you!
  • Not Angry
    I wonder if those who write about consequences of children turning away from their parents realize that anger is not a consequence. A majority of parents are not angry or resentful or vindictive. I do not like what the post implies...
  • Boy Mom
    My 46 yr old son has a history of drug abuse. He has been clean and doing very well for 3 yrs. He has had several crises recently and I had reason to believe he may have done a drug. I did not accuse, I asked and he saidMore he said no but he has isolated himself. I don’t know where he is staying but I do know he is working. He wants us to leave him alone. I am so afraid for him. Every time I reach out he is very short with me. I don't know what to, I am heartbroken
  • Mother
    My 28 yr old kid graduated, joined the military, married, and had his first child all without me in his life. Serves no point to do the blame game trying to figure out what I ever did or didn't do that caused him to alienate me but the older IMore get the more I do. I go from OMG I hope he doesn't feel like I've abandoned him to F IT! I'm so over it. Decided that this will be the year when I stop sending cards & emails, which have gone unanswered. I had him until age 14, that's when he stopped loving me. 💔
    • Amy
      My heart breaks for you.
    • Mom in grief
      Send him love from afar but don’t take the abuse. Take good care of yourself. Love and prayers.♥️
  • Mom in grief
    My daughter, 18 yo, left home when she was on a college break. She sent an email a day later saying she is safe with friends and she has left home for good. She also mentioned in that email that she has made arrangements for college expenses and she doesMore not need our support financially or materially. All our emails have gone unanswered. She has changed her phone number and there is no way to reach her. Her social media posts are the only way for us to know she is okay. We have contacted a few of her friends and we are being given the silent treatment. She seems to be telling them that she has been abused which is totally untrue. Ours is a very stable educated family with no issues; drugs or alcohol. I cannot imagine that she did not have the courage or communication skills to talk it through. I think social media enables narcissistic behavior. It is very difficult to move past the grief as we do not know the real reasons. The worry and the hurt has crippled our family. My younger child who is still a teen is unable to understand her. We think there is a lot of brainwashing from college friends who are older.
    • Confused
      I feel you. My son did exactly the same in his early twenties. He was like 'Joe' in this article. We moved in the hope of giving him a fresh start and a new perspective on life but he moved out saying we were being abusive. He didn't go no-contactMore immediately and did stay in touch with me for a couple of years. And then, literally overnight, stopped speaking or contacting me. When I try to get in touch with him, he refuses to communicate. At first he said he was 'trying to figure things out' and then... Nothing. I've seen other articles where we mothers are blamed for this reaction but that's a cop out. But it's like you say, there are other influences on our older kids and no one really knows what is going on in their minds. Sending you good wishes for a happy resolution with your daughter.
      • Mom in grief
        Thank you so much! I agree with you that parents are very much blamed for anything that happens with the kids even when they choose to do things their way! Love and prayers for a reconnection with your son!
    • 99%Pure
      Note: There should be dates on these posts. What you write is such a classic behavior that, all sources I have read, and all I have experienced say your daughter will "reappear" in a few years. That doesn't ease the grief or anger, but, on the "bright"More side, the chances of her coming back are high. Meanwhile, devoting time and talent to other pursuits is the best thing that can be done.
      • Mom in grief ( 6/2/22)
        Thank you so much for your comment! I am holding on to hope lightly and praying hard for a change of mind on her side! As you said so wisely, devoting time and talent to other pursuits is the best! It takes a lot of work to get to thatMore but slowly getting there.
  • DeeplyHurt

    I was a teen mom and single parent. I was physically and emotionally abused by my father, and my mom did nothing, she was controlled and emotionally abused herself. I vowed to take the good from them and not use the bad and be a better parent. I thought I had succeedee when my oldest dayghter told me she had told a friend of mine that I was like a "best friend, older sister, and a mom all in one". We had a solid mother-daughter relationship, we played cideo games together, watched anime together, and I was always there for her. She was a good older sister (i married when she was 7) to her siblings.

    The trouble started when I found her a job, and because she is hardworker she dedicated herself to it. She was talked down to by her boss which caused her to come hime drunk one night and basically cried on my shoulder i was devestated and told her that she could wuit her job and we would pay her bills while she looked for work or even took a break first, at this point she was 25. She refused. Then she was offered to become a manager and asked us what we thought. We told her to go for it if that was what she wanted and if it gave her less work as she could now delegate taks to others. However, she ended up not doing this and shouldering others work to make sure it all got done. We did not see this this as a possibility. Soon she wanted to move out and asked me if i needed her to stay to help with the kids as my husband was traveling for work a lot. I told her i wanted her to stay because I loved her and she was my baby, but I did not want to hinder her life and she needed to do what made her happy. She moved out on good terms.

    At first she texted and called every week. So it wasn't horrible for me, plus I had another baby on the way in addition to my 3 kids with my husband so I was keeping busy. Then aalmost a year after she moved out she stopped contact. We were frightened thinking she had died or something as she wasn't returning texts or calls from us or from my mother. After texting her that her father was going to drive to her work to see if she was ok is when she sent a long text. She basically said she was stressed and in therapy and that she knew she should have responded but it was "too difficult" and she ended the text with "I would appreciate if you don't give me any grief" like what is she even talking about? I felt like that was passive attack. We had a legitimate reason to worry. She contacted us every 2 weeks and then went 3 months without a word. But I wasn't ancry I was terrified and told her that. I commended her for getting help Nd let her know I respected her being an adult and loved her and was there for her whenever she needed. Radio silence for a few months. Then my mom had an emergency i texted her she was grateful told us she loved us and contacted my mom finally.

    It has now been 7 months since then and she is no longer and once again not responding to any texts or calls from me or my husband, her little 8 year old brother pleading on her answering machine, my mom, my brother, or any of her friends! My mom had anither emergency and had to have surgery and she didn't even respond to that and she always used to worry and look out for my mom! She never called her to see if she was ok or if she even died! My husbands mother had a stroke and had to be hospotalized and she didn't respond to that either. Didn't try to see the outcome of any grandparent or how we were coping! I am beyond shocked, I am mortified. This is my firstborn and I was with her almost my whole life we grew up together since ai had her at 16. I really thought she was reliable.

    My mother questions if my daughter loves her now. I am ashamed, sad, and broken hearted. I have cried myself to sleep. I really balme the therapy as she was fine until she started it.

    I have no idea what happened. Unlike some of the adult children who come on here, I was never accused of anything by her. I always owned my mistakes as a parent and apologized for them. So there is nothing from that end. The only thing left is 2 things she really is overworked and stressed and cant deal with anything or anyone and her therapist might have told her not to as she said she had a hard time balancing work and life(she worked like 15 hour shifts in retail). OR she is living her life in a way way she thinks we might not approve and would rather not tell us about it. And you know what? There are aome things I would not approve of, but it is her life and all I want to know is that she is alive, safe, and happy. I am not asking for anymore other than a text saying "im ok mom dont worry." And she can't even do that.

    How did we get here?

  • Desperate Mom

    May 2022

    Thank you for the article. Now, I know I not alone. My 26 year old moved across the country in 2016 and everything was fine until a year ago.

    I’ve not heard anything in months. I know all stories have two sides and nothing is cut and dry. But what I want to know is how do I stop this grief that I fell. My youngest is 24 and talks to me almost daily and visits several times a month, says I was the best mom.

    The worst is not knowing why you were cut off, how long it will last and the worry…..I wouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone. I am in a near constant state of sadness, grief, anger and despair.

    I don’t feel like I can continue with this pain, I’ve got to learn how to cope.

    • Marsha
      I feel like you. Sadness, then grief, then anger. I texted her and my son-in-law this morning that they won’t be hearing from me anymore. I’m tired of reaching out to them and hearing nothing. I’m in the sad/angry mode right now. Blessings to you!
    • Heart broken mom

      May 2022

      Im so grateful i found this article. Im so ashamed to say tht i found comfort now i knw tht im not alone, with all you fellow travelers through this hard time .

      Few days ago my teen son moved to his dad . I ve said things tht i ve shd not said in the 1st place which lead him to move .

      We talked on phone , i said im sorry , he wants me to respect his decision and i did.

      When i passed through his empty room i cant help but cry. I feel so broken and sad .

      Im single, family arent close and i dont have anyone that i cant talk to . i push myself to function so i cant at least have a little moment to pull myself out of my sadness and grieve . The pain is real , the loss is real .

      I live in Taiwan . Im sorry for my english since its not my 1st language.

      • Andrew - 6.6.2022
        I can relate to your situation. I've had two of my three kids eventually move out to live with their (toxic) mother when they turned 14 and 15. The pain and loss that you feel is real so you should not feel guilty for feeling that way. Grieving is healthy.More Also, if I could offer advice I would highly recommend that you prioritize your health - prioritize sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mental stimulation (reading, intellectually stimulating podcasts, challenging work, social interaction). You will be much more capable to deal with lifes challenges if you are a healthy version of yourself!!! These times will be tough but I hope you get better with time!
  • Broken
    I am so glad I found this page my son told me he no longer wanted a relationship with me or his father, my heart is so broken and knowing there are other people dealing with the same situation gives me a little bit of understanding
  • Hurt Mum
    15 years ago my now ex husband had an affair and left me. I was devastated at the time my kids were in the early teens and I struggled with depression. I was so mortally wounded by the betrayal I felt from husband. I took me many years to recoverMore and I finally met someone and remarried. My daughter never like my new husband and the clashed a quite a bit. My daughter went to live with her father and his girlfriend (the women he left me for) when she was she was around 20 years old and refused to see or speak to my new husband. She has always sided with her father and has been living with him for the past 8 years. Today she told me she thinks I’m bitter and twisted. Am I not happy with my new life? I’m always going on about how happy I am with my now husband so why can’t I forget what her father has done and move on. She right in a way but she will never understand or acknowledge the betrayal of her father to me. He seems to never do any wrong in her eyes. I feel so hurt. It wasn’t just that he left me after an affair. He blamed me, he stole money from me, he swindled $100,000 from me, he arranged the divorce settlement so he would be financially better off. He took advantage of my devastation to gain financially and emotionally with the children. I’m not sure if my daughter will ever understand the devastation I went through. When I remarried she didn’t approve. I feel the distance between us. I feel I not only lost my first husband but my daughter as well. It hurts so much xxxx
    • Jenn

      01/16/2024

      It DOES hurt so much… SO MUCH!

      Thank you for sharing your story. I relate and empathize completely. You are not alone, my friend ❤️

  • SaDinTexas

    My 24-year-old son has cut off all communication for the past 2 months. He and his wife had a beautiful baby girl in December.  Then Just a few days before my son's birthday at the end of February, he cut off all communication with me and blocked me from all social media platforms and his phone numbers.

     And all I know is that he sent me a long text explaining how I ignore his boundaries, his wife tells me that it was sent and she will get me a copy of it.  All I know is that I did not receive this text that he is talking about.  

    I need your help on this, please, because::

    I made the biggest mistake I told him that he and his wife having a child, a beautiful baby girl, gives me a chance to have a "re-do" or "do-over" so I can show him that I am not, nor was I ever, that bad mother everyone makes me out to be.  

    These two words:  "re-do" or "do-over"

    is not what I meant to say. because of several medications that I take, I do have a hard time expressing what I want to say without having time to think it all the way out first.

    So what I really wanted to say is that "I would get to travel back in time, "rewind time" with all the sentimental loving, singing, rocking, feeding, and playing with her that I did with my son, so that I could re-live all the good parts of my son, good memories, the sentimental memories, all the great parts of my son and learn about all the great parts of his wife and her daughter.

    My daughter-in-law had mentioned in a text yesterday that my granddaughter is not a novelty to be passed around.  I am not sure what that means.

    Except maybe she means for me to not just come and go and never come back??

    • Flicker
      Contemporary culture encourages daughter-in-laws to not vest in a relationship with their mother-in-law. This is typical. I am so sorry! I personally value my self-respect over anything else and I will not tolerate disrespectful behavior from anyone, even a daughter-in-law who thinks that her status gives her the power toMore sever the relationship between a mother and son. That is unethical and Karma will get her.
  • Ruth
    I am 77. My youngest son has not spoken to me in almost 30 years (except for an hour at his uncle’s funeral five years ago). I haven’t a clue why and that hurts terribly because I also haven’t a clue to fixing what is wrong. You’d think after allMore these years I would stop crying. It hurts as much today as it did at the time but you learn to function without really living. He’s 45, married with three boys I’ve never seen ages 9 and twins who are 6. I live in the deep South and they are as far north east as you can get. I can’t email or text because I am blocked. God bless Amazon…I send presents for birthdays and holidays. I’m still hoping that before I die I get to see my grandsons. If I can hang around till they are grown, maybe they will be curious and find me. It won’t be difficult since I’m in the house their father left when he was 12 to go live with his dad. Thank you for your article. It’s hard for me not to be angry when it is so painful but I try. I tell myself that as a father he now understands how I must feel and that he simply doesn’t know how to come back into my life. P.S. He is one of five.
  • N
    I'm 60 and last year I experienced this enormous pain. Its the worst pain ever.
  • JEBA
    My 20 year old just decided to cut us off. I am heartbroken but her boyfriend is a controlling and mentally disturbed person, that insists that she leaves us. It has been a year of struggle but she just finally decided to do it. WeMore have gone thru many therapists and psychiatrists, individually and as a family, and i have to say heartbroken does not begin to describe how we feel. will follow the guidance provided
  • JJ
    I am so heartbroken as a father because I don't have good relationship with my son, 25 years old still in the house and my married daughter staying another province about 12hours drive. My wife use to humiliate me infront of then since they were 5 years. We have alwaysMore been a dysfunctional family, I for one came from a broken home where there were a lot of fights. I am chronic major depressive, having high BP diabetes and. trypass heart operation. I got treatment vfor depression since 2004. My wife was never interested as the problem is mine. I did everything to get my children tertiary education and my daughter does not speak to me...son is very rude and for more than 30 years I've been verbally and emotionally abused by my wife. No coparenting and my children are siding with her. Many a times I just feel like dying. Am I that much of a coward?
  • Vicki
    It’s been 3 years and my first born 23 years old has shut me out and feels hurt over the past. She struggles with mental health issues. I’ve done all I can I can’t just focus on myself. I won’t give up I am there for her, this isMore so painful. At least she’s with my husband and her sister as support I’m very happy for this. But I am shut out as the three of them spend time together segregating me. All I have is hope and prayers. I want to apologise so much I support her I don’t blame her at all.
  • Alison Rodriguez
    This article was helpful for me to gain a better understanding on how to cope with why my 20 year old daughter shut me and the family out from her life. Eleven months of refusing to acknowledge the family all because of asking her to stop being on her cellMore phone 24/7 with her needy cling boyfriend who has been a negative influence on her, it hurts to see that she chooses to listen to him. My first instinct is to cut her off yet I need to keep that door open for her.
  • Debbie Kocian
    Thank you for this article. My 38 year old son has cut me out of his life for the last six years. He has severe depression, and I am worried about him. He only communicates with his half brother. I send cards, notes, gifts and foodMore delivery. I will do anything to reach him.
  • Margot
    My daughter is 38 yrs old. She has created a false narrative about me and her stepfather to her new husband, his family and her friends. My other children embrace me. I should say that I left her and her sister’s father when they were 2 and 3 and haveMore been married to their stepdad for over 34 years. We had two sons together. The post divorce relationship has always been terrible. I’ve taken responsibility for anything I’ve done to hurt her. Since she met her husband about 5 years ago and married , I’ve been made to look like an abusive, neglectful , mentally unstable mother. I’m shut out. I feel like a fool . My heart is broken. I don’t know why we can’t talk with a therapist about things. I feel like no matter what I do it would be proof of my bad mothering or instability. I get to the point where I just want to stop trying. Then I feel hope from somewhere. Today I sent a heart emoji for Valentine’s Day and got back ‘happy vday’. Any communication is clinical and pat. My 3 other children embrace me. I really do not know what to do. She wouldn’t even send me a link to her wedding pics 3 years ago because her husband says mine is a coward. The drama feels manipulated but this is my child and I’d like to be a part of her life. She visits the city I live in and does not call-I’ll see it on Facebook. I got off FB because I realized she wants nothing to do with me. Yet there’s this superficial response if any. After today , realizing that her response could be for a random stranger , I’m wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel and just concentrate on my other adult children. I am willing to do anything but am growing weary. I haven’t seen her for 2 1/2 years. Is there anywhere to start? Or is the best thing just to walk away? There’s a meanness I don’t understand.
    • Andrew 6.2.2022
      I'm in a similar situation with my 18 year old. It seems like all the professional advice says to keep the communication open and try to stay positive because "one day" they might come around. I can relate to growing weary, though it's only been 4 years of only bitterMore text messages for me, it's hard to try to stay positive.
  • Bemar
    My son, his wife & twin granddaughters have been estranged from me for 7 years. I don't know what to do I am always sad.
  • Mary
    My daughter openly tells everyone she has BPD and is a recovering drug addiction, we share a large house with her children both of which have autism. She has recently met someone who in the beginning I liked moved him in as we are renters, and a falling out cameMore between my landlord and her boyfriend which in turn had us all evicted. With all said I have had issues with him now and she has chosen to move out with him, I saw that coming but what's hurting is the fact she is denying my 2 grandchildren from having anything to do with us. It hurts as I will hear my non verbal 3 yr. old granddaughter scream to come up and see us and my 10 yr. old grandson which I brought him up till he was 7 will try to make a little way or love you grandma if he can. I've tried to talk to my daughter due laughed in my face as I cried asking her not to put the kids in the middle, and I do worry as she has come so far she now works in addictions in shelters has built such a beautiful life for her and the kids. Which now I see her losing everything even her sobriety in the short 5 months of being with him oh I forgot to say she's pregnant and it was planned. In the beginning of her relationship after he moved in she found that he owed money after his new truck was repossed and she paid to get it back then not long after he drove his truck and dump trailer into the ditch and police impounded the truck and gave him a 3 month suspension from driving for DUI she would talk to me often about how stressful it was and how she's so close to breaking her sobriety...I was very empathetic to her worries of how she felt she was being used but did not put myself in the middle as I knew it had to be her choice, but when we got evicted I couldn't but blame him and now a home that the grandchildren love out in the country with a pool is now being taken away from us myself being disabled after back surgery having a adult DS daughter 1 yr. younger then her sister, now has disrupted our lives and cost us the home we have come to love. Sorry for rambling on but you had to understand all the circumstances around our falling out. I totally understand her feelings of being in love but she is missing all the red flags... I keep telling her I love her and always will be here for her ... I'm hoping that he doesn't break her sobriety because if she loses the children 1 more time she won't get them back, and I'm afraid of what that'll do to her. Help please how can I get her to allow the children to still be in our lives without me having to except the boyfriend?
  • RS

    My 27 year old son just recently cut us off. It was so sudden we didn’t see it coming. I was a single mother till my son was 14 yrs old. I left India with a 3 yr old , surviving domestic violence from mentally ill ex and family. Let everything go and started all over from zero in Australia. My family ostracized me for my decisions as it was a shame as per my culture. I met my husband in Australia 13 yrs ago. My son & him got along so well. We had a perfect family. My son left to do University in 2013, we supported him, after 30k out of pocket he dropped out. We accepted his decisions, worked in a club, met a girlfriend who was with him for 4 yrs. She warmed towards us. My son went back to do engineering, started a business, was slowly picking up his life when she broke up with him in 2020. Our son took it so hard almost had a nervous breakdown we brought him home. He was a changed man. He was disrespectful to us , everything was business transaction and he wanted to me to leave my husband. One day he became agresssive in Nov & we asked him to leave. He had completely cut us off. All venues to contact him, reach out to him has failed.

    27 years this child was my priority. Each time he messed up i held him close & helped him out, later my husband was a perfect father figure to him. We are so much at loss that he had nothing to do with us.

    I am so unable to handle the grief & pain. Struggling to cope with it. It is the first time I felt comfortable to express the feelings on a public forum. I am thankful for finding this page and sad but empowering that we are fellow travelers in these difficult times. Thankyou for your kindness and support

    • Flicker
      So sad! I get your heritage and your pain. I share it. My children's father died. I did not remarry because I was afraid of losing my children when they became adults due to having a stepparent. I had a stepmother who I felt was Evil and I did notMore want to do that to my children. As an adult, I don't believe the stepmother is Evil. But stepparents are competition for children. My stepmother back then was competition. My biological father is dead so I have left all that behind. Except to attend half-sibling events like weddings here and there, I have no contact with my father's second wife or his children with her. So yes, I did not remarry. Despite that sacrifice, only one of my children cares about me. The others either hate me or married someone who forces them to choose between their spouse and me. I understand that they choose their spouse and respect that choice. Best wishes.
  • Winnie
    My two adult children are estranged and it hurts me deeply as they are both headstrong.
  • Jen

    I have a daughter that’s 29,married with a child 5 years old.I miss them both so much.I haven’t seen my daughter&grandaughter in about a year.I’m new to this,and how do parents cope with not seeing their children?This is heart breaking,this is all because they wanted to move in with me and I said no.I would of said yes if it was just my daughter&grandaughter.Its a very long story,so she won’t talk to me because of this.I don’t know why she can’t move on and stop dwelling about this.It’s not her though,it’s my son-in-law,he won’t let her see me because of this.He wrecks relationships around him,he did this to his family.He’s very vindictive& controlling,not a nice person at all.

    My mom has tried to talk to her but she won’t listen to her,she misses them too.

    It’s very hard to live with this day by day,how do you cope with this.

  • Mel
    I have a daughter of 23 I haven't seen in 3 years, my 1st born. I feelbroken as she says she had an awful upbringing but my other 3 children disagree, however her feelings are valid and I tried to talk to her and understand where I went wrong butMore she won't entertain me. Where do u go for help? I'm in the UK
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      THank you for reaching out to Empowering Parents. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be. There is a resource in the UK that may be able to help: https://www.familylives.org.uk/

      I hope this helps. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. Take care.

  • Leslie
    I am estranged from my 28 yo son who decided my marriage to someone younger was upsetting to him so we have-not spoken in about a year now, he has a 3 yo son so my relationship with him is now challenging. We were incredibly close until this happened soMore the loss has been staggering. He has also stopped speaking to other family members for no reason so I suspect some mental illness may be an issue here :(
    • Victoria

      Dear Leslie,

      The first thing I can say thst your son is perfectly ok. His behaviour is not due to a mental problem as a physical desease, rather it is a desease or disorder of his internal and external world.

      In group dynamics we learn that when the group is joined or left by a member, the dynamics of the whole group changes immediately. So it dif in the worlds of your son.

      Your new wife is natural to yoyr workds and alien to the worlds of your son, especially if you wanted your son to taje these important changes for granted, or even expected your son to lime your new wife.

      8f you care for your son write him a letter where you can explain his importance to you, that he is irreplacable, and thst you want everyone to win in the new group. Listen to your son's feelings. Do not take him for granted.

      The change in the group also forced yor son to fall out of extended family as well, because his entire picture of tbe family has changed. Yoy with your new wife is a new element to tbe group, which is painful for your son.

      Tell him he is important. Tell him you love him. Tell him he can be your first priority as the case may be, that your new wife is not your first priority all the time. Also please invite your grandchild to spend time with you. Spend some time with your son without your new wife. Good luck!

  • McRufus
    Personally, I'm tired of the pain. There comes a point when you simply need to stop trying. To stop hoping. To stop waiting for a call on Christmas. There comes a time when you simply need to close the door and move on. I have my handle on the doorknob.
    • Marsha
      I hear ya!
  • Darlene

    I have always had a great relationship with my oldest son.things started to change after he got out 9r the army.

    He has PTSD and got counseling and help. However he doesn't want anything to do with menow. We have different ideas about life.

    I hope and pray someday he will come around. All I can do iss get on with my life. I am very close with my other kids and family.

  • Haily
    I am so depressed. My son has disappointed me time and time again. Refusing to go to school, get a real job etc... moved out about a year ago in anger due to me catching him in another lie... Now, He doesn't answer any of my calls or texts andMore only reaches out if he needs money or a favor. Basically to use me. I have fallen for it time and time again, he promises to pay me back and never does. He recently moved in with his girlfriend and I learned that she is the breadwinner and he can barely afford his share of the bills. I just dont know what did I do wrong in raising him to have him turn out this way. I also don't understand why he is so angry at me. I raised him as a single mom because his father was deported and not around due to criminal activity. I did everything I could for him; raising him alone. But now he could care less about me. I am really taking this hard. I need advice or help please.
  • Bean
    I have a daughter who is 28 and has recently cut off all contact with me. She has two children which means she has cut off my relationship with my grandchildren. Her father and I are having struggles in our marriage and it has been going down hill for theMore past 3 years. He has thrown himself into his work and was a stay at home mom then a stay at home grandma. I unfortunately turned to medication to help myself cope with my world that was falling apart. This lead to me turning to buying drugs from anybody that would sell them to me. My other granddaughter had started school last year so I was staying at home by myself most of the time. Would keep my grandkids occasionally on the weekends over the past 2 years. I ended up overdosing more than once. The daughter whom has cut off ties with me had came to spend the weekend with the kids and I couldn’t keep my eyes open from taking to many pills. I guess my daughter had seen enough and wrote me a cruel cruel letter and sent it to me through email. It’s been months since I have seen her or talked to her or my grandchildren. She only allows my husband to see the kids and will not come to my house if I am here. I have to leave for the weekend about once a month so she can come and spend the weekend with her dad. I’ve completed 45 days at an out of state rehab and I’m doing much better. But she still refuses to have anything to do with me. I was a stay at home mom for my kids all of their life’s. My husband traveled for business and would be gone for 2 weeks at a time the whole time my kids where growing up. It was always just me and my 3 girls. I did everything for them. She is my youngest and her and I were always so close but until about 7 months ago. I have cried and prayed and cried and prayed some more. What do I do and how can I repair our relationship? She acts as though she absolutely hates me know. She as well as my other two girls were always so close to me. Now since my husband and I are divorcing it’s like they just look for anything that I do that they can sit and just degrade me to each other. My other daughter said she doesn’t like being around them when they are together cause they just bad mouth me to each other constantly. I’m so lost and so heart broken.
  • confused
    Where can you find a group to deal with the pain of losing your adult child? My daughter moved to another state years ago, but kept the family in her life via phone and text. Until she lost her job and was needing help. Unfortunately I give herMore some money.. but eventually she kept asking for more and more. When I couldn't give anymore and finally said no... she cut me out of her life. I'm on a fixed income, and she now has a good paying job.
  • David
    After reading many of these articles, I am convinced that most of us here were really good parents. I think a lot of the offspring in our lives are mentally ill in some way.
    • Flicker
      Yes! And so we love them but like with fire, have to be careful to NOT get burnt!
  • Neciebugs

    Two of my adult children have me 100% on block. One is my daughter who abandoned my grandson with his dad during the pandemic... at first not intentionally, just so she could financially get back on her feet. She did. And he wouldn't let my grandson go back with her. She was intimidated, but apparently her new boyfriend didn't want him. Ultimately, she wanted to move home at 25. I said, fine, but she had to respect house rules. New boyfriend guilted her to move back out of state. I haven't heard from her since. Nor has my grandson's father. I have no contact with her. I send her a text weekly. My ex- husband, abusive - angry man, whom I reached out to in desperation gas lighted me, saying yes, she keeps in touch with him because she loves him and doesn't trust me. At least I know she is ok.

    My other child left because I wouldn't allow politics to be discussed in my home. He was very radical in his beliefs to the point of it scaring me. He left without a trace last October. Again, my ex-husband says the same thing... you won't hear from him.

    My youngest (22) is stymied. I am not abusive. I basically raised them with my significant other. During the separation and divorce from my ex YEARS ago, he would forget to pick them up, pay support, etc... they witnessed him smack me around, etc.. They had their needs more than met. I created a successful career, stable home, best that I could...

    I was tough on my daughter when she had my grandson because there were a slew of lies, and she made some really bad decisions. When I found her working at a house of ill repute, I forbade her from doing so, but allowed her to live with me freely... but she packed up and left to her dads. (He has since moved to another state also). Every time I tried to enforce house rules, she would run to daddy. This was always a pattern with her.

    My son... no clue, he was fine. No arguments other than not wanting to discuss politics so that we could have a mutual respect without confrontation.

    I suspect my ex husband has a part of this... but it still hurts me very deeply. I miss my children. I am ultimately alone now other than my significant other and my youngest son. My parents are gone. I have no extended family nearby.

    They clearly hate me for some reason. If i knew why, perhaps I could understand. But I do not.

    My youngest is flying to see his dad in a couple of months and i fear more than anything that he won't return either.

  • Kim
    I stumbled upon this article as I was searching for ideas for what to do for estranged daughters for Christmas.. While I am so sorry that many people are going through the same thing that I am, I would be lying if I didn't say that I took comfort inMore the fact that I'm not alone. Are there any reputable online support groups. I remarried 2 years ago after divorcing their father 13 years ago. I need to talk to people who are dealing with issue.
    • Miamella
      Kim - I am so sorry you are experiencing this, it's truly heartbreaking as I am also dealing with it. Have you been able to find any reputable online support groups? I think I am in need of one too.
  • Cmichie
    I lost my husband of 55 years in April 2021 have two sons that don’t speak to me and have treated me horrible and it breaks my heart I’m not sure how to handle all this
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how devastating this must be. especially not having the support of your children. It may be helpful to see what types of local supports are available. If you are located within the US or Canada, the 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org (211.ca in Canada).

      We appreciate you reaching out and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Hurt
    So my daughter and I were close until she saw a therapist. Then on my birthday, after having dinner she started on me. Told me she felt like I never cared about her feelings in 24 yrs. I was in shock. I put her before everyone. Her step-dad and IMore used to fight over the fact I did too much for her and wouldn't let him discipline her. I got defensive and asked what I could do to fix things. She told me I can't. She had some facts wrong and I tried to tell her that. She said she didn't remember those conversations so therefore they didn't happen. But they did. I got defensive when she said I was gaslighting her, a narcissist and passive aggressive. She kicked me out of her house and hasn't spoken to me since. 4 months ago. I've tried saying I'm sorry for everything and what can I do to help, but she won't answer my calls or texts. She's 32 and married. I still store all her childhood things and pay her cellphone bill which is $100 a month. I barely have food in the house but I pay that. I have serious surgery coming up and I'd like to see her beforehand. How do I just stop being a mom. I have no other family and she was my world. This hurts worse than losing my mom, my husband, my dad, 3 friends in a car accident, losing my house and my job. It's devastating. What do I do?
    • Donna

      I stumbled on this site while searching for anything about why children cut (let’s be honest -abandon) their parents out of their live & I feel so fortunate. My 70 yr old husband (I’m 65) & I are distraught after getting her first text since June. It’s difficult to describe how this happened because it’s so unbelievable. Sara is 39. Her Dad & I married w/3 little boys between us (me-1, him-3). We couldn’t wait to have Sara. Because she’s a girl & 7 yrs after the last child, she got a lot of special “everything”. As she grew so did our financial stability & prosperity. She benefited from that 80% more than her 3 half brothers in almost every way. She was our baby girl. We really tried hard to compensate by being very doting grandparents to all our grandchildren. So there’s that.

      In June, my husband had a small stroke. It was time to move closer to one of the kids. #1’s mother told him this wasn’t his dad 🙄, so we finally cut ties 10 yrs ago. #2 (same mom as ⬆️) said come here, I have a whole tribe ready & wanting to help “ya’ll 💕. #3 my son disowned us last Mother’s Day. I have ZERO clue why. 🙁#4 Sara said you need to come here & buy a condo. 😑.

      When we told Sara we were moving to her brother’s area (1/2 the distance to visit her), she got so angry. So ugly. I blocked her. Her dad didn’t. Today we get the text in which she calls me by my first name & said she was cutting ties because we were so toxic to her, her entire life. Devastating. But final. I guess.

    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      I am so sorry you are experiencing estrangement from your daughter. I can only imagine how difficult that must be. It may be helpful to see what types of local supports are available to help you through this very difficult time. If you are in the US or Canada, the 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org (211.ca in Canada.).

      We appreciate you sharing your story and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Terry

    my ED talks about her therapist and how she is learning about "boundaries....and why I need to respect them.

    Interesting.

    Where were those boundaries when she announced she and BoyFriend were moving in with us? where were the boundaries when they needed money, or to borrow our car constantly?

  • Twyla
    Our daughter has been estranged for several years. I sent her emails several times. She finally answered and told us she wants nothing more to do with us. We are not to acknowledge her if we see her, even at family events, or she will involve the authorities! I knowMore I made mistakes as a parent and I blame myself. I am destroyed by this.
  • Karrie
    Just finding where my adult son is now living after him leaving town over 5 years ago. I have sent him a short apology letter, although am not sure if i hit the mark on it. But he did accept the Amazon egift card for his birthday that i sentMore which made me feel he’s not ignoring me at least. I also sent him a short i hope you’re doing good and love him always. Not sure if he opened it. What next?
  • 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.
    • denise
      Elizabeth; I feel your pain because I as well have the same pain. My son Michael cut me off last dec 2020. He is 30 yrs old. I have been thinking ahead about the holidays with much sadness; yet am trying to cope that they will not be the same.More I am depressed also regarding this. I have never had these kind of feelings before , & never been in this type of situation. My son has removed me on all platforms. I can go on & on. This is extremely painful , & as far as I’m concerned toxic. The article I just read here is Very helpful. I will reread it again. & again.
  • 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.
    • Denise
      I agree AnnaKate.
  • 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.
    • Donna
      My last child (39) & only daughter cut us off on Mother’s Day. We did the very best we could but somehow it wasn’t enough. I go from sad to mad, mostly mad.
    • denise
      Twyla; I have felt like giving up also; it is so painful to live with this on my mind ; it’s something that never leaves my mind. My son instructed me he wants no communication from me. The article I just read here makes me understand more aboutMore what is happening. It’s even hard for me to write about this.
      • Twyla
        I hear you. I think about my daughter all day, every day, and wish I could fix this situation. I wrote her a heartfelt email but she claims not to have read it. She has since closed down her email, so I'm cut off. Now, she says she'll involve theMore authorities if I approach her, even at family events! I don't know who she is any more. Take care of yourself.
  • 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.
    • nomoreNZ
      I’m also in NZ and love to talk with you. Not sure how this can happen.
    • Heartbroken mum
      Mum sad,I'm live in nz and trying to find a support group,as I'm going through what everyone on here is experiencing.
    • Broken
      I'm also sad to hear these stories so similar to mine. My daughter, who was so close to me once, has shut me out of her life is appears permanently. She gradually drew away when she met a girl who convinced her she was a psychotherapy expert and after myMore daughter started to get some therapy. She began to talk about boundaries, that meant not to call or text her. I too have felt and said if I have done anything to hurt her, I am so sorry. No matter how many times I try to make ammends (for what I do not know), she says she will not talk to me. I too went through a very hard divorce when she was in high school. I am broken hearted that she can't understand the depth of a mother's love. I too, gave her everything she needed and much more than my other older 2 children. I was there for her through college, her first job, all of her hard times. I helped her decide where and how to get into grad school, helped to keep her spirits up when she wanted to quit. And now since she's met this person, she has pushed me away. I think of her every day, some days all day. I would feed her when I would go hungry after her father left. How could my sweet child change so much and not acknowledge my love. I faithfully stood by my father when he broke his neck at age 55 and helped my mom to get by and still help my mom to this day. My whole family is broken and I don't know where to turn, what to say or what to try to do anymore. This started 2018 and I haven't seen her in 2 and 1/2 years. The stories are all so sad. I am near Boston, MA.
      • Raven
        Broken, I understand. I’m heartbroken too. My daughter goes to therapy. She constantly goes on about boundaries. During any discussion that arises, she says, “Boundaries!” That’s my cue not to comment about the color of the sky or the birds that fly. I can’t be myself without a warning aboutMore boundaries. My comments earn an eye roll, sarcasm, or hurtful remark. She asks for help and sends me on my way once help is given. Since last weekend, I called her out undiplomatically. Since then she won’t respond. So very hurtful.
        • Kim
          Dear Raven, I hear what you're saying about the "Boundaries" word - it's the clue that I will be shut out if I don't respect her boundaries - which means I can't say anything that displeases her. Unfortunately this time, I can't look the other way and lieMore to myself or pretend that this is some phase she is going through and it will go away... my daughter is 35 years old, when do these "kids" grow up?
      • Donna
        Your story is exactly like mine. We couldn’t have all been “bad” parents.
    • denise
      Dear mum sad; reading your comment ; I am now crying. I wish we lived closer , we could be in support group together . I’m in San Francisco, California, USA • as far as I’m concerned, not forgiving is not ok. I have a mum who has beenMore so toxic to me; I’ve never cut her off. She’s family.. even though May be I should have. Listen to that; what I just said; this makes me understand more , how difficult these issues can be• I just always think there is a way to make things better; rather than stopping talking. I have apologized to my kids; but may be not enough to this son.
    • 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.

      • Donna
        I saw this & im going to get it for my husband & I. Thank you.
      • denise
        Sidelined by your adult children. Ok I’m looking it up on Amazon right now.
  • 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.
    • Denise
      Noras, I feel exactly like you just described here. This is the worst thing that has happened to me, & I have not lost anyone close to me even in death. This does feel like a death• it’s so draining it’s difficult to even talk about it. You areMore not alone. I need a support group, just don’t know where the relief can come from in a situation like this-
    • 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.
    • Denise
      Open wound . If I think about this all the time I will become a vegetable, so down & depressed. I’m not busy in my life now; so it’s hard to not think about it. It’s just the most messed up thing I can think of .More There is nothing like your family. I am so hurt/ & so hurt for his hurt. HELP me, someone, help!
      • Twyla
        I agree with you. I have a daughter and I am "hurt for her hurt". I tried to be a loving, supportive mom and it's killing me that she feels let down by me to the point she chooses to stay away. I want her to be happy, but she'sMore angry instead.
  • 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
    • Andrew - June 2022

      I would say that you are right to not be accepting of his choice to leave his family. I was told once that infidelity is similar to death - meaning once your son chose infidelity over his wife and 2 children he chose to end that relationship which in turn forces you to have to chose how you will carry on your relationship with your son and his ex wife and two children (your grand children).

      I would set strong boundaries for your relationship with your son while trying to maintain a healthy supporting relationship with your grandchildren and their mother.

  • 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.

    • Broken
      This is a very similar story to mine with my daughter. I am and have always been a very catholic Irish family. Several years ago she told me she was gay and has slowly drifted further and further away. To the point now where she will not talk to meMore at all. Her birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas's for 2 1/2 years not. My hear bleeds every dayl
    • David
      I was looking for a comment like this one. Your story is so similar to mine. I had a daughter who transititioned to a male. The whole process started at around 12 years of age. At first I thought she was a lesbian but things progressed from that pointMore on. I feel like I was extremely understanding throughout the whole process. Obviously it definitely wasn't easy but I tried my best to understand. I feel I was always a very understanding parent and very encouraging. If I have a fault it is that I feel like I was too soft on my children with regards to discipline. I just wanted them to be happy all the time and their childhood was filled with fun times, vacations and me always by their sides. My friends and family tell me that I was the best father they ever knew. Even when my then daughter was confused about her gender and taking every drug known to man and drinking heavily I still tried to be supportive and I wanted to be a safe place for her to fall. Just last year he decided to cut me out of his life. It was sudden and I really don't know the reason why. I have heard more than one reason from him from family members, and they keep changing. I also feel like he is dating someone who is very damaged and they might have a very negative influence on him. I have dealt with this in what I believe to be the healthiest way possible. I wanted to share this with you because it seems to be working. First and foremost I relinquish any guilt whatsoever. No parent is perfect and as I said I think I was just too soft with my children, but outside of that I sincerely don't think I did anything wrong. I lived for my children. I spent all my free time with them and loved them unconditionally. So I am at peace with that. Secondly, I decided not long ago that he is an adult now and is free to fly on his own. I have my own life and I am living it to the hilt. I take solace in the joy I had with all my children when they were growing up. The times we went to parks, the sports we played in the backyard, watching their dance recitals and sports games, the wonderful vacations, and just the fun we had in and around the home for years. No one can take that away from me or them. I also believe that time will heal these wounds and he will reach out to me at some point. One thing I will never do is burn any bridges. I will always be supportive and not play the blame game. He is still young and is entitled to play that game if he wants, but I won't go there. I will be ready for the prodigal son when he is ready to come back. I am at peace with all of this.
      • Broken
        I too was very understanding when she told me she was gay. She definitely seems to be trying to find her true self and with this person she may be happy. Although she told me she didn't know if they had enough in common to be married. My daughter isMore so healthy, and athletic and active. And this person, none of those things, had estrangement with her biological mother for years and she is inactive and into her psychotherapy/mental health stuff. She has changed my daughter and I don't even know her anymore. It scares me to the bone.
  • 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.
    • denise
      I understand how you feel -. This is not ok. This is not the way things are handled. the healthy way is to TALK , it through.. seems like this is a new trend? & being accepted ?
      • Broken
        So true.
  • 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?
    • Broken
      I think kids have their own perceptions and memories, that however distorted, they are their own and there is nothing we can do. I just don't understand, when I say I am sorry (for what I am not sure) they can't accept your sincere apology and move on like adults.More If I held a grudge for everything my parents did/did not do I'd have been crushed under that weight. I always forgave and moved on. This anger/hate... they carry I think will do much damage over time.
    • Love to all
      I am so sorry...im suffering also as Christmas approaches and one of mine lives far away and the other acts like we dont exist. We devoted our lives and get this.... its shameful...
  • 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?
    • Broken
      I feel the same way and have the same insanity between my children. So stressful I had to quit work and retire earlier than I had planned. My health has deteriorated and I have trouble sleeping. Learning to take care of yourself after putting your children first for so manyMore years is so hard.
      • Flicker
        I put my children first for 20 years! Now they have to fly on their own, estranged or not. I'm grateful, like King Lear, for at least one child who always always loved me back. That is enough.
  • 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.)

    • Broken
      Yes I do. I pray and trust that miracles do happen every day! Keep the faith!
    • 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.

    • flicker
      In my life journey, I feel more like the son in the story of the Prodigal Father. Except that my son now has a child with his spouse which complicates his return.
    • David
      Thank you for your story. I can relate to some degree. Some people really are "bad seeds." I had an incredible relationship with my daughter until she was 12 years old and then she turned into a demon. She is now 25 years old and cut me out of herMore life last year. As far as I am concerned she did me a favor. The turbulence she caused in our home in her teenage years I wouldn't wish on anyone. I am completely at peace myself today while she tells everybody horrible lies that I was a bad father and so on. She had the best father in the world. My friends and family know that. I have no guilt at all. I just realize, like you do, that I had a "bad seed" child.
    • 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.

    • Flicker
      Any time a friend's son gets married, I now feel like I want to express condolences over their future daughter-in-law. Like a funeral for losing her son. A funeral for a young man who even once the fog of love clears and he sees what he has married and hadMore children with, he might see that he is forever trapped. What can we do for our trapped children? Not much really! Even when they hate us and want nothing to do with us? Or they beg us to help and free them? Fact is that as adult kids it is THEIR life and they have to figure it out. Our love alone is not enough to rescue them.
  • 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

    • Broken
      I agree completely. OX You are all in my prayers too.
  • 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.

    OR

    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.

    • DN
      I absolutely agree..it's impossible to know what to do, and trying stop aching for a response..
  • 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.
    • DN
      I read what you wrote and I think I get it from your perspective. Not everyone would see those gestures as "bait", a term I found disturbing. What happened you, I have no idea of course. There will be many reasons why you and others similar have made the choiceMore you have. I think what this vulnerable audience, (at least me) would like is to reach a plateau of understanding, being able to truly understand why this has happened, and accepting it, maybe gradually changing it. Learning to let go of hope, is painful. I am old enough to know and own my mistakes, to believe communication is key, and somehow gain some peace, peace before anything else.
  • 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.
    • Broken

      You may be right that the cards are not being accepted. But when one has apologized and then sends their love, there is no wrong there. The love is there for the taking. That is all.

      The other does not forgive. And so does not feel that wonderful weight lifted off of them. Love is freeing. Love heals all.

      By giving loving, you can do no wrong.

    • 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

    Hello,

    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.

    Nightnurse

    • 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 😭

    • David
      Sorry for your situation. I can relate to some degree. What has helped me more than anything is to remember the great times when they were young and no one can take those times away from me. Kids move on anyway in adulthood even in the best of situations. JustMore cling on to those incredible loving happy memories. It is what I do and it makes all the difference in the world.
    • 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.
    Lost
  • 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.
    • Broken
      I have had similar series of events in my life. You are not alone. Be strong, it will get better.
    • 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...
      • DN
        I get that..some things we cannot change, and I have almost lost hope...distraction is key, although it sounds a bit naff...the time passes with some creativity, and you realize that helps..
  • 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...
  • TAMMY
    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.

      Mom

      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.

    • 99%Pure
      Good for you. Heh. An interesting twice would be to sue them for defamation of character, and libel if one had endless legal resources - but that's a "respite" fantasy, and you don't need it. Good for you.
    • 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?
    • 99%Pure

      Posted May 27, 2022. Not so good that your husbands wanted nothing more to do with her. ALWAYS back on the mother. Depending on whether or not the situation has changed since you wrote, if you are certain about the quack doctor, you could report him or her to your State Board of Licensure.

      I think your daughter's behavior parallel's mine, (minus the drugs), at that age. One thing would have helped: being hired by the company that had employed my father, instead of being told to go to college first - (not necessary for a beginning job there) - yes - that's a big one; and even one person having faith in me and that I could do something with my life - at that point, someone unrelated - not a therapist. Therapy came later, too late, and of course it never helped replace many lost years - actually a full life lost that needn't have been lost. I feel for you both.

  • 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.

  • LINDA
    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.
  • LINDA
    GETTING CUT OUT OF THEIR LIFE IS TOUGH, MY OLDEST ACCUSED US OF STEALING HER COLLEGE MONEY AND THEN LIED ABOUT BEING ABUSED SO SHE COULD GET MORE STUDENT LOAN MONEY, THEY DIDNT EVEN CHECK TO SEE IF SHE HAD BEEN ABUSED THEY JUST UPPED THE AMOUNT SHE WAS GETTING.More IF OVER SPOILING IS ABUSE THEN I GUESS WE ARE GUILTY. THE SECOND DAUGHTER, I HAVE NO CLUE, I GUESS SHE IS JUST AFRAID TO STAND UP TO HER HUSBAND WHO IS ABUSIVE TO THE KIDS, NOT SEVERELY, HE JUST GRABS THEM AROUND THE NECK AND HEAD.IF HE WAS MY HUSBAND HIS BUTT WOULD HAVE BEEN GONE! I DO EVERYTHING FOR HER, TAKE KIDS TO SCHOOL, PICK THEM UP, CLEAN HER HOUSE TOP TO BOTTOM EVERY WEEK AND NEVER GET OFFERED ANY MONEY FOR GAS, OR HELP WHEN I NEED IT.
  • 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.
    • DN
      I love what you've said...Not just USA...maybe all western countries...here in NZ we have those issues too...
    • 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.

    Thanks.

    • 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

    @Jake

    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

    @Jake

    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

      Roadtohappiness

      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

      @TracyStrick

      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 

          YOU NEVER VISIT                                     SAY I MISS YOU AND THE KIDS AND I WONDER IF WE CAN SCHEDULE SOME DATES - ITS GREAT LOOKING FORWARD

          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

      violetlace

      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.

      Patty

  • 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

            Robert,

            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

    @Dannedifido

    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

      Dannedifudo

      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

      Dannedifudo

      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

      @LK

      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

      @Rachael

      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

      @mojo

      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

        Live2bnana

        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

      Violetlace,

      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

            @nverwillgetit

            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

      TX_Ang

      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

      TX_Ang

      "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

        numberfiveminusone

        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

      @misdy9

      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

      @Missingbill

      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.  

    I

    • 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

      @Moni

      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

      RobertStrankman

      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

            RobertStrankman

            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.