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

Posted October 11, 2012 by

Photo of tina-wakefield

“You can live with a broken heart, and you can die with one, but it’s terrible to have to do both.”

–Quote from an estranged parent

I’ve witnessed and have been affected by a parent-child relationship dissolving within my own family. There have also been many stories shared with our 1-on-1 Coaching Team by parents going through either complete estrangement from a child, or dealing with a child who is distancing themselves from the family.  If you’re in this situation now, whether or not you were aware of or suspected problems in the relationship, when cut off you were probably faced with a tremendous amount of pain, shame, and guilt.  Unfortunately, like many other parenting scenarios, parents are often under fierce scrutiny and are the target of judgment by the general public when this happens.  Let’s be honest, some people might assume that parental estrangement has happened as a result of neglect or abuse by the parent.  There is no denying that this accounts for some of these situations, but I know from my own experiences that it doesn’t cover all of them.

Why would an adult child sever ties with his or her parents? There are different events and situations that can create conflict in families, some subtle and some more obvious, that serve as a strong undercurrent in the family dynamic—reasons like  substance abuse, divorce, disagreements about boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses, and personality differences are all common struggles in the parent-child relationship. There are many different events and situations that can trigger this devastating decision.  Even though it may seem unfathomable, an adult child has clear reasons in their mind why they may choose to discontinue communication with a parent.  Whatever the cause may be, it’s normal to feel a deep sense of loss and to evaluate all the possible reasons where you could have gone wrong.  The excruciating part for many parents is the not knowing; they are often left completely in the dark as to why their child has chosen to end the relationship.  Ultimately, the child may feel that the relationship carries more hardship than benefit.

It’s important to recognize that each member of the family will have a very different perspective on what’s it’s like to be part of that family.  James Lehman talks a lot about how certain parenting styles work with some kids and not others; what makes parenting so tricky is that you may have the perspective that you acted out of love and respect, but the way your child experienced it may be a very different reality. Simply said, even though you can do something with good intentions, it may not be seen that way by the person on the receiving end of the action.

Parents are left to their own devices to figure out how to cope with and accept a child’s decision to break off the relationship, because it’s not easy to openly discuss the fact that you have no contact with your child.  One of the most significant issues you may be confronted with is the powerlessness and feeling of permanency concerning your child’s decision.  Parents in this position struggle with whether or not to keep trying to reach out, and if so, what to say — or how long to try.

Here are three steps I would recommend you take:

1. Be consistent in your message. There are many questions that surface for parents who are trying to figure out what comes next.  It takes courage to keep trying to reach out to a child when there doesn’t seem to be any opening to mend the relationship.  Pain and anger are powerful emotions and it takes a lot of persistence and hard work to repair and rebuild relationships that are steeped in these emotions.  Sending a consistent message that you wish to heal the relationship can convey a strong sense of commitment to moving forward. Depending on the situation, you might email or leave a voice mail message every so often and say, “I love you and I’m always here for you. I want to talk when you’re ready.” Another option that may feel less invasive for the adult child is to receive an “amends letter” from the parent—this is something that you can ask for help with from a therapist or support group.

2. Be prepared to own your mistakes. On your end, I think it’s important to be prepared to listen and make an effort to not only understand what your child has experienced, but to own instances where you may have been in the wrong.  You may not be able to identify with everything your child decides to share, but try to find something that you can agree with that does reflect something that you see in yourself.  There are two sides involved in the relationship bringing their own resistance to change. You may struggle with hearing how you have disappointed or hurt your grown child, while your child may get overly invested in hanging onto the anger they have because it feels good to keep blaming someone when you feel wronged by them.

3. Get support for you.  I want to urge any parent who may be going through this right now to get support for themselves—seeking out counseling or a grief therapy group can be a great avenue for a parent to work through the devastation of being cut off. The first step toward healing is recognizing how troubling and painful it is when a child walks out of your life.  Through talking with others, you’ll find people who are in the same shoes, find ways to cope and even enjoy your life — and you might even arrive at a point of genuine hope that there’s a possibility of reconnection with your adult child.


As a 1-on-1 Coach, Tina Wakefield coached parents on techniques from the Total Transformation, as well as Empowering Parents' other programs, for over 8 years. Tina is also a mother and stepmother.

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  1. Tina A Report

    Looking for clarity in this estrangement? Been 5 yrs. Missed her wedding and the birth of my first grandchild!!! Doesn’t make sense to me. Never will

  2. Amy Report

    My 34 yr old daughter has suddenly decided I’m a narcissist because my ex who wants and can’t get me back has used this label out of disappointment and anger. I go to therapy and my therapist agrees I am in no way narcissistic. My daughter rants at me if I reach out or if I say I love her because it all gets twisted back as narcissistic manipulating. I’m so heart broken. What can I do?

  3. Stephanie Report

    I am going through this with my 13 year old daughter and my 16 year old son and I am a train wreck and my family just doesn’t know how to help me . I am divorced and my ex is remarried and and and has custody of my kids . And I haven’t heard from them in 7 months . Please help me please

    • Empowering Parents Coach Rebecca Wolfenden, 1-on-1 Coach Report

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss of contact with your children. I can only imagine how painful this must be for you, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support from others who have been through similar situations. You might also consider using some local support, such as legal assistance who might be able to review your rights under the current custody arrangement, or a counselor or support group to help you emotionally. For assistance locating this type of support in your community, try contacting the 211 Helpline at 1-800-273-6222. I wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  4. Healing Heart Report

    That sounds like a very dangerous situation and with you being a recovering addict that may hinder your progress? Good luck with that, nobody should have to live in fear…lay your ground rules, it’s your home and your way. If he can’t respect that then he needs to get a plan to get his own place. If he can afford drugs he can get his own place.

  5. Simonstuart576 Report

    My son is twenty he can be aggressive and he can be violent , and especially now he is older and much bigger he has physically got the better than me so it took a long time for me to forgive him , I’m not sure I should but I’m a big softie so I couldn’t see him sleeping outdoors .
    Now we are both getting on but it’s not a father , son relationship
    I am a recovering addict and doing well but now he is using weed and I feel responsible obviously , living in fear S.

  6. Healing Heart Report

    By the way I’m reading a book Mothers with Difficult Daughters…may help with the Talk when it rolls around.

    • Broken2017 Report

      Healing Heart thank you so much again!  Your words have really given me a lot to think about.    I have reached out to her so many times and even apologized for things I don’t even know why or what I am apologizing for!   But you’re right….I have two other kids that love and appreciate me and at this point I will devote my energy towards them and myself.  I don’t ask them what her issues are because I don’t want them to get in the middle of their sisters’ stuff.  But I suppose as mothers we are the ‘safest’ to ‘dump’ on because our kids know we will never abandon them.  Life is finite. And hopefully someday she will realize that.  Again thank you for your kind messages.  

      I’m also going to order the book!

      • Heartbrokenparent Report

        Broken2017 Healing Heart Like you, Broken2017…I have apologized without knowing what I’ve allegedly done wrong.  I’ve apologized for everything/anything that may have caused her upset/stress throughout her entire life as a blanket statement because even in directly asking for her to TELL me what we (her father and I) have done that was wrong so that we could try to fix it, she couldn’t even tell us that.  I don’t think even SHE knows.  I think that’s the real problem.  I don’t think her boyfriend can fill her in on what we’ve allegedly done wrong so, she can’t tell us???  Unfortunately, she is my only child so, I have no other children to concentrate on.  I’m just lost and there’s nothing more for me to say, do or apologize for.  I can’t even tell her that I love her anymore as I’ve said it thousands of times throughout her life and especially, since she’s pulled this crap with us for over a year now.  I’m more angry than I am hurt now.  It just makes NO sense.  None of it.

        • Broken2017 Report

          @healing heart
          I understand your feelings of anger. I seem to vascillate between hurt and anger as well. I’m trying to learn to let go and just hope that someday she’ll come around. Perhaps it’s best if we give them their ‘space’. I’ve stopped contacting her and trying to reach out because like you, I have nothing left to say that I haven’t already said many times. I’m hoping that my absence will perhaps spark a desire for her to return but if not then I have to accept that. That will never be easy but there’s nothing left to do.
          The book Mothers with difficult Daughters has been helpful. At least we know we are not alone.

          • Healing Heart Report

            @broken 2017 I think your post about feelings of anger were intended for heartbroken parent? (Hence her last post, sentence) 😊At this point my anger has subsided and in its place is acceptance. I have alot in life to look forward to and just need to move on.

        • Healing Heart Report

          @heartbroken parent
          Sometimes things our adult children do makes no sense, we can’t control them or force them to be in our lives. The more we beg, the more they push away and the smaller we feel. It’s best to just step back, and with every time of not texting and carrying on with your own life, the easier it will get. I love my daughter, my only daughter but the buttons she used to push by playing cat and mouse is now deactivated. You have help father on your side it seems? Your husband who share the same sorrow, focus on each other…i look at it this way, if I get sick from holding on, obesseing over her, neglecting my marriage then what. If my spouse or I go because of this…take care of yourself that’s needs to be done and best revenge is to live well..

        • Shattered heart Report

          @heartbrokenparent: I know exactly how you feel and the frustration the severed tie between you and your daughter your only child feels. The pain doesn’t seem to dull as time passes, I’ve even had people tell me to snap out of this funk and move on! I’ve tried to do that and even tried to just not think about her but how do you do that as a mom and I too have apologized and said and wrote so many I love you’s to her I’ve lost count. Now I’ve had people tell me to just stop altogether trying to reach out to her as that’s obviously not what she wants me to be doing. But I guess I’m afraid if I stop trying then that will be admitting the relationship between my only child my little girl is in fact a dead relationship. Not sure I’m ready to do that just yet. Not sure any of this helped you other than to know I feel your pain and know where you’re coming from. Hang in there.

  7. Healing Heart Report

    I never did find out why and when I tried to breach the subject she flew off the handle. I have kept my distance and slowly she sends a text of acknowledgement but I don’t obsess over it and keep busy with my own life. I did hear thru other sources that it has nothing to do with me and it’s her unhappiness on how her life is going. Remember that daughters need their mothers as much as we do them, they just don’t value or realize how short life is and think they have all the time in the world so take us for granted. In other words they park the relationship and comfortable with that…while we are so enamored with the fantasy that we will be best of friends as we once were.
    Give it some time, money is not everything…give that love to yourself and others that appreciate you and when she’s ready to talk then you will be able to decide at what level you want to be in her life vs versa. Good luck.

  8. Broken2017 Report

    My heart is broken for the last time.  My just turned 30 year old daughter is slowly excommunicating me from her life and I don’t know why. When I ask her what is going on she just tells me that the doesn’t want to go into depth at the moment but that ‘we are not in a good place right now”.  I have made several attempts to get to the bottom of her issues with me and she refuses to discuss them. At one point when I was unexpectedly uninvited to her boyfriends bday dinner with no explanation she just screamed at me on the phone until I couldn’t take it anymore.  Nothing she said made sense.  And nothing I say or do is right.  I am always the bad guy.  And boy does she project her own behavior on me!  She accuses me of the very things she is doing or saying even at that very moment.   I have offered to go to therapy with her and she agrees but is never available to do so.  I returned three  months ago back to our home town and she has clearly become very close to her father (we have been divorced for some time) as well as her young stepmother.  Her father is also a multi millionaire and I am merely middle class.  He has funded a restaurant for her chef boyfriend as well.  
    The last straw of hurt from her  was two days ago when I wasn’t even invited to her birthday dinner which happened with her father ( he and I are very civilized and have shared many bday dinners with our children, so the issue is not his) So, I as the mother of the bday girl was not included to celebrate her milestone birthday!  This hurts so much that i cannot bear it.    Especially since I don’t know what Ive done to deserve this.  I have sent her so many messages telling her that no matter what I still and will always love her and sent her a happiest of bday wishes.  This is killing me and I don’t know what to do.  I was so excited to be moving back and finally being close again to one of my kids but all she does is shun me away.  It’s almost as though she is mad because I came back and now my presence is somehow interfering with her wonderful relationship with her father (who is now her best friend she told me) and stepmother.  The ones with all of the money.  Its hard for me to just let it go and hope that she comes around.  All I ever wanted is a close respectful and loving relationship with my kids which I have with my other daughter and son.  But not her for some reason, my middle child.  She also tries to pit us all against each other .   I spent so may years prior to my divorce basically raising those kids on my own because dad was never around.  And this is how she treats me.  I am heart broken.  There is nothing worse than ‘not knowing why’.

    • Broken2017 Report

      Healing Heart   
      Thank you for your words of reassurance.  If I only knew what it was that was upsetting her so much it would help me to figure things out a little better I think.  The hardest part is that she praises her father and stepmother on social media, which just adds insult to injury.  I almost feel like she is doing it on purpose to hurt me yet I don’t know for what.  Very passive-aggressive.  Did you ever find out why your daughter did that?

  9. Healing Heart Report

    Take a deep breath and focus on your life and well being. Know your not alone and that taking one day at a time, she will have time to think it through. My daughter did that at one time, its rough I ain’t gonna lie but it gets easier. As for the grandkids, I still mailed things from time to time and slowly it gets better.

  10. Avenger1 Report

    What I had meant to type is that it’s been 5 years of silence from my daughter. She literally moved to another state a year ago. My heart is broken! This situation has made me feel less of a person. She’s robbed me of so much. Our family isn’t the same. We don’t understand. There were no arguments, I have no idea why this happened. I tried phoning, emailing and writing letters years ago to her. No response. I can’t believe she doesn’t care about us. I did notice a few changes with her when she first married which was 14 years ago. Her husband didn’t do anything to resolve the odd situation. He would just tell me it’s between her and I. His family don’t seem to care. I’m sure they have been lied to. I’m completely lost. I cope the best that I can but I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago. This has changed me. I don’t know what to do. We miss our grandsons.

    • Heartbrokenparent Report

      Avenger1 It’s sounding like there’s a possibility that your son-in-law has some influence over your daughter’s thinking and perhaps, even influencing her reaction/lack of them to your reach-outs to her????  It *may* be his influence that’s causing this so, expecting him to help you with her, is like asking a pyromaniac to put out a fire????  His family is likely lost in being able to help you with this too because *if* it is him who is controlling the situation and your daughter, he’s also manipulated his own family as well.  
      I’ve even tried to ask our daughter (via email) to explain to us what it is that she wants us to do,  No response from her and I recognize that it’s because she has NO idea what that might be.  Her boyfriend hasn’t told her that much as he doesn’t want her to be part of anyone else except him (he’s isolated her from everyone, including all of her former friends and she has no current friends).  
      Perhaps, this is a similar situation????  
      If that is the case, then there really isn’t anything that you can do.  This isn’t in your control….as sad as that sounds and is.  
      Someone recently told me a very wise piece of advice…”stop waiting and get on with Life”.  
      Easier said than done though.  This much I know.  HUGS

  11. Avenger1 Report

    I hope this group can help me to find peace. My 37 year old daughter stopped speaking to me, her entire family and has kept my grandsons from us. No rhyme or reason!

    • EmpoweredParent Report

      Avenger1 @Heartbrokenparent I have lived with a situation of Child who wants to break off with me due to her differences with her father. There were undue expectations from both ends and pointing fingers and excessive anger. I have lived through a situation where I could see that both were right at times and both had their own faults but I could never question my husband/my daughter’s father’s love towards her. Yes, things were said in anger from both sides. And both of them thought and complained that I was supporting the other person. Now my child has stopped communicating with me since I can not just leave my husband. What does she want me to do, get up leave my husband and destroy a family life for my younger child? She refuses to communicate with me and has been extremely rude and wants to cut off all ties. 
      I have noticed that in this younger generation, the moment they are angry; they start texting and calling their friends who are equally immature and inapt in handling relationships/hardships (not to say we are experts). The response they act out does not come from love or trying to understand or mend the situation but from the verbal sympathy and support they get from their friends who are just yea sayers, not the people who ask them to think it out but just add fuel to fire.
      This is not to say that the blame is completely on the friend or social circle. I believe that how a person acts has to come from within. A spouse or friend may say something to you to behave a certain way for that moment but a person always has time to sit and reflect (unless they are doing drugs and are not thinking sane most of the time). 
      I also completely denied her weed smoking at home. It is absolutely not welcome in any case specially with my younger child watching her and thinking that it is ok to do !!!!!
      As per my last communication, when I sent a gentle loving New Year wish I got a curt reply to respect her wishes to not to stay in touch.
      Everyone’s situation is different but I have only one solution that I have applied to myself and would like others to try. You can reach out if it feels good to your heart or not reach out if it gives you peace of mind. As a parent we all have done the best we could for our kids (most people do). But as an adult when they want to walk away, let them. Live your life. If your friends are judgmental, make new friends. Family will always understand, since they have seen all that you have done and what the child is doing. 
      I am Taking My Life Back. I have things to do for my younger child and my family. I do not have time to sit and sulk and find reasons for her estrangement, specially since she does not want to discuss them or mend the relationship. I am sure all she discusses with her friends is how she has been wronged. She went to a psychologist for therapy and I offered that we should go together but she does not want to do that, because she is afraid that we may tell the psychologist our point of view of it and then be told her share of the blame. It is so much easier to have a make believe cocoon where you are the victim and everything you do can be easily justified.
      So, live your life and be at peace with yourself. You have one life (whether you believe in reincarnation or not), at least this one and you can not just throw it away. When they are ready and willing they will come back and if they don’t, don’t fret. This is what is making them happy…. and don’t you want them to be happy ! They are just not in front of you and that is all. 
      I can understand the pain when you know that they are not in safe environment but that is their choice and has nothing to do with you and no reflection on you. They know that you are always there and will love them always. Maybe send one Last communication saying that you will always be there for them when they need you and then install a screen door on your mind and heart. Let only Love and Peace flow through…. no pain. Visualize it and pray for these kids everyday for few minutes and then go on with your lives. Be happy for your deserve it.

  12. ladymccoy Report

    I just found this group today. I am so lost right now,  My son is 24 and dating a woman who is 44 they have been together 3 years and I think they are getting closer and closer.  Not that she is a 44 year old woman but she has taken my son to the lowest of lows.  No job, no ambition but to take care of her and she claims she is so hurt she can’t work.   How about working from home as a customer service tech?  She claims my dog who is 23 lbs caused her pre existing condition to progress where she can hardly walk.  She can walk so her claims she is paralyzed, which she isn’t I have first hand knowledge that she walked when he wasn’t around but wish it would have been on a video ( not that he would have even believed that even with proof.  she is a free spirit and a hippy and he is too thanks to her messed up brain messing up his brain.  

    She wants me to love her and open my home to her again as does he and I don’t trust a thing she does.  Every time we talk I end up fighting and crying for days after the fight.   He wanted to block me because he grandmother said something to her / him on FB as they share an account and mostly it is her hiding behind his name.  He has no will to do anything without her.  Tries to tell me her kids are my grandkids and they are older than my son, as well as her grandchildren are his and they are my great grandchildren , they are in NO WAY MY GRANDCHILDREN!  

    I want nothing to do with this family and try to avoid my son as I hurt so bad and we fight so I want to cut ties with him , my husband still talks to him , I feel so helpless as he is her one person cult.  I don’ t know what to do.

    • tctiptop Report

      ladymccoy You have choices to make, just as I did. (I had some background on what brought me to this site, but it vanished because of the way this site is set up, it has too short a time out before it kicks you off, then all is lost. They need to fix that, so I don’t post often as a result). I read your post and thought it was worth it. 
      One, you can keep on being upset about your sons choices, and neglect your own life, and health. Two, you can decide to step back, and let him learn what the consequences of his choices are, for him! Three, you can contact CPS. If you can provide them with any evidence that her behavior is abusive, drug related, or violent toward the children. If not, you have no rights of involvement, only detachment from their situation. 

      If you did a good job raising him, he will eventually come around. It may take a month, it may take a decade. As I had to, you will have to get to that place where you find calm and peace in the realization that you are only able to change how you react to the situation. For me, that was a three year journey, and still holding on. Knowing my daughter is alive, happy and healthy is good enough for me, because it has to be. No one promised me a rose garden. I walk through the thorns, holding my head up high, anyway. I am still doing it.

      If this woman is mentally unstable, -more serious than being a hippy, the worst thing you can do, is interfere, for your son’s sake. You can check into her background at any public records department, since there is a father somewhere. Unless redacted, information may reveal helpful resources for you. 
      My opinion is that you stop giving away your power to live a happy life with your husband, -a real treasure in these trying times, if he supports you, and take back your power, before you lose everything dear to you. I learned that by going about my own situation, all wrong, I was adding gas to an already out-of-control fire. I often think it was/is a test of my own ability to live a balanced life of my own. I could have gone off the deep end, sure. I wanted to at times. If I didn’t step back and look at my own behavior, I would have found myself in some seriously bad trouble, I just know it! BTW: I didn’t have a husband to help me through it, at all. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

    • Heartbrokenparent Report

      ladymccoy About the ONLY thing that I can say right now is that it’s sounding like your son is young enough at 24 years of age that sooner or later, this 20 year age difference is going to catch up to this woman.  The fact that her children are older than your son, is likely going to end up a sore spot eventually for your son in one way or another.  It’s sounding as though this woman wants a caregiver and in all honesty…what can your 24 year old son be getting from a “disabled woman”????  
      Perhaps, she’s laid the guilt onto him and he’s feeling the need to banish his guilt somehow.  Hmmm…wondering if perhaps, offering up suggestions as to professionals who can help her (to your son) might be the way to go?  Perhaps, he will feel that YOU are trying to help him to help her and might be a bond between the 2 of you???  
      I can only say that cutting ties with your son may not be the wisest of things to do.  Perhaps, just letting this woman feed your son her ropes and letting her hang herself with him, is the only way to deal with this???  I know it’s hard to bite your tongue but, perhaps….the only way to deal with this may be to speak to your son but, perhaps, not have this woman around you (if at all possible) and ask him to come visit you (without her)???  
      The moment that we show dislike in any way for our children’s significant others, it seems to PUSH them towards these people more and drives them away from us.

    • EmpoweredParent Report

      ladymccoy You have made your child into a compassionate human being. Who he chooses to love in his life is completely his choice and may not coincide with yours. Believe me, I can completely understand your reservations with it, when I put myself into your shoes. Send periodic texts and emails to your son just reinforcing your love for him and not to have him estrange for this person. Whether he chooses to stay with her or not should be his decision (at least at this point in his life) and yours otherwise you will be blamed for it later on. IF he asks you for your point of view then you can provide him.
      This boundary will help your relationship to stay strong.. You may tell him, that you are not making decisions for him and he should not make decisions for you (for who to accept in your life). In due course of time, things may get sorted out- which ever way it goes. Your peace of mind and happiness should not depend on who he cohabits with. Just find Happiness in your own life and be there for him when he needs you.

  13. Shattered heart Report

    I am sad and cry daily feels like my life has ended it’s been 19 mos since my daughter my only child decided she no longer wanted me in her life she still communicated with her dad my husband until now I’ve missed 2 birthdays with her and now this is the 2nd Christmas without her. I tried to be adult about it and encouraged my husband to continue seeing her on the holidays and taking her and her husband gifts and out to dinner but this year I said enough she has TWO parents not one so my husband shipped their small Christmas gifts to them and hasn’t called her since dec 16 and as of today the 29th she hasn’t called or text him thank you Merry Christmas nothing. She has told him she thinks I’m crazy and that I need help then she told him it wasn’t right for her to have to overlook my behavior or how I treated her?? Then as recent as last month she told her dad my gambling her whole life really affected her? She never was homeless naked hungry and wanted for nothing growing up. We never had a lot of money and never thought to save for the future so her college she earned scholarships and her wedding we only gave $1000 toward it. All that she evidently felt she was entitled to us paying. I had no idea she had such animosity toward me as up until Mother’s Day weekend 2015 she would text me daily throughout the day and invited her dad & I over to their home every weekend. I cautioned her I didn’t want her husband Turing of our presence she said not at all he really liked us! They at that time were together for 4 yrs they have no children just 2 dogs that I love as they ar my grandpups. This severance of communication blindsided me to say the least and my husband kept telling me give her space it’ll blow over well it hasn’t and after the first few months of me calling texting and emailing and then even calling my son in law and leaving an angry msg I finally drive to their home 45 minutes away only to be greeted by him with the latch in the door and my daughter refused to even see or speak to me, I wanted only to make right whatever was wrong but she informed him to tell me I need treatment for “personality disorder” and once treated “IF” she spoke to me then a mediator would need to be present! Well after 7 mos I decided I’d get counseling and see if they could help reconcile this relationship. When the therapist contacted my daughter about coming to a family therapy session my daughter did not reply to the therapists text. She instead informed her dad that her phone number should not be handed out and that she would not participate in therapy as she isn’t the one with the problem!? I’ve even tried letters over all this time and tried to contact my son in laws mother who is suppose to be a Christian and asked if she could please just let me know my girl was ok but that woman obviously doesn’t see fit to communicate with me either. My only child I loved her more than life itself and now am so alone and sad it’s awful. Her dad and I have never had a great marriage so it’s not like I have comfort there she even said once that she grew up with two parents that hated each other and told me I was a terrible mother and had horrible parenting skills. I go to bed crying I wake up sobbing and yes I have those terrible dreams where she is right there and when I reach out to hold her in my arms she throws her hands up and says I can’t be near you! 😢

    • Kc316 Report

      I’m very sorry for the terrible pain your family is suffering. I know it’s very painful to be cut out of your child’s life. It’s a huge temptation to try to put other family members in the middle but unfair to everybody when we do it.
      The negative results aren’t worth it. Have you considered giving your blessing to your husband re-establishing contact with your daughter? It sounds like making a stand that she must interact with both of her two parents resulted poorly for everybody. Now, you don’t get any news of her and on top of that, you get blamed for keeping her father from her.
      My heart is very gentle towards you. I’m asking these questions, not because we have to know the answers, but for you to answer for yourself. If you answer to yourself truthfully, you help yourself a great deal. All of us need truth to ourselves or we are stuck in a victim mentality that only increases our pain and helplessness. I ask myself hard questions, too, and work at giving truthful answers because evading the truth and deceiving myself only increases my problems. We made some terrible mistakes as parents in our household, had some years where our marriage was a battleground and I spent years not telling myself the truth about and blaming others for our problems. No more. Because that only hurts us all more. I have to honest about my part in how we ended up estranged from our daughter because it’s the only way to help myself. I don’t know if my relationship with our daughter will ever be healed or if the damage done to her can be undone. But my goal has to be, first, healing for me. Only then may it be possible for other relationships’ healing to follow.
      I realize that might be hard to accept. What most of us want is to be accepted exactly as we are. But when our lives and relationships get so messed up that our children shut us out completely, we can’t blame it all on them, can we? I mean, we can try, but it’s not truthful.
      I’d like to say my daughter has a mental illness, it’s not my fault, any of it and she needs treatment and then we will all be okay. But that’s not being truthful and anything less than the truth will not help. The truth is that I didn’t accept responsibility for my part of our problems at all. I was sure I was a victim and I lied to myself consistently for years. And that ended with estrangement with our only daughter and me miserable and unsure I wanted to go on living. The only help is being truthful with myself. I say these things because I hope to help others who struggle with inability to accept the truth about their relationships. In the deep pain, we can still learn to see truth, stop skimming over it and make changes that help us.
      Have you continued with the counseling and are you still working on the issues that you can work on? You mention your daughter said your gambling was a problem all of her life. it sounds like she considers this a big issue, but you don’t? It sounds like she believes her parents should have been able to help more with college and her wedding but your gambling made that impossible. Perhaps there were also other things where gambling losses impacted the family? Does she have a point?
      Or is it that she exaggerated the gambling impact on your family? Or are you perhaps not really acknowledging it? If the gambling hasn’t changed and she believes that gambling losses negatively impacted her entire life, this could be an area you could address through counseling and making changes. This might be a demonstration of change that your daughter can’t ignore.
      Yes, if she could have come to counseling with you, that might help. I’m very sorry she refused. But you shouldn’t stop working at the parts you can work at. Perhaps you and your husband could work at your marriage and that would benefit all of you.
      I don’t say these things to beat you up, dear heart. I’m just saying that living in this much pain is horrible. And if you can work towards bettering yourself and bettering your life while you are in the midst of so much pain, you will be stronger and more able to bear whatever else is happening.

      • Shattered heart Report

        Thank you for your concern and words of encouragement. No more therapy for me and gambling just doesn’t have the thrill for me that it used to do that’s not a big issue any more for me either. My husband and I still go to the casino but once every couple of months not every weekend like we used to and yes I say “we” cause he always went too once our daughter was grown and even sometimes when she was younger we would get a sitter or let her stay with family while we went out “gambling” I’ve got to just somehow come to terms with the fact my only child hates me and if I didn’t gamble she’d find some other flaw to crucify me over. I love her with all my heart and would lay my life down for her but from where I’m sitting she’d be happier if my life just ended period. On a side note the last therapist I had told me my daughter was selfish and will one day regret this but I don’t want her to live with regret I know how painful that All family avoids even bringing up her nsne when I’m around, I just feel like family and “Christians” especially would be looking to help my relationship get reconciled not forge against me as her ally but again that’s just how I feel. 😢

        • Heartbrokenparent Report

          Shattered heart When a child wants to find something wrong with their parent(s) they will.  It won’t matter what was done or not done when they are looking for a way out.  If, as you’ve said, your daughter didn’t suffer, then she has no grounds for her actions of estrangement except what she’s built up in her own mind.  
          Perhaps, I am missing something but, there was something that must have happened when you went to visit on Mother’s Day 2015.  Was that a conversation about her feeling let down because of the lack of money?  It sounds as though she was receptive towards you up until that point.  What happened that day?  Can you fill us in on what went on?

          • Shattered heart Report

            @ heartbrokenparentThat last time I saw my daughter we all had a nice visit. I got to play with my grand puppies then we ate dinner during which somehow I brought up Facebook and that I had friended a man I used to babysit for his children when I was a teen. My daughter thought that was weird I said nonot really they were a young couple and I used to be able to talk with his wife about home troubles. I always liked them both and am now in touch with He and his wife and will maybe one day get together. I then added “I’m friends with one of your dad’s old girlfriends from high school” I probably shouldn’t have sadid that as she said and you don’t think that’s a little “crazy” I said not really since I can’t trust dad I need to keep my friends close and my enemies closer. This old girlfriend is one my husband said he wished he would’ve married he said that to me when he and I first met in response to me asking why he at 29 was still available as I felt he was my knight in shining armor . I can’t trust my husband because he has had online affairs two that I know of and my daughter made clear that day st her home I needed to either “get over it” or “move on” that was the only “sordid” thing that happened when we were leaving I hugged and kissed her as always told her how much I loved her and the next day was Mother’s Day but I never expected her to recognize a “Hallmark holiday” as I told her so many years ago for me everyday was Mother’s Day because I was blessed to be her mom ❤ she laughed as we left and said well hope you have a happy Hallmark holiday tomorrow. She may be very happy to find out I may leave her father, as I can’t seem to “get over it” and the loss of her too. Hope that helps some maybe she’s right maybe I am crazy but that doesn’t change how much I have always and still do love her.

            • Heartbrokenparent Report

              Shattered heart In reading and re-reading all of your responses now, I’m seeing a few possible puzzle pieces that I didn’t see before and putting them together.  I may not have a full picture to put together but, a few things might be the case here for your daughter and you.  

              First of all, it seems like your daughter may have been holding in a lot of resentment over her life and perhaps, manufactured a larger story than needed or was real in order to paint herself a full picture of her childhood and your marriage etc..  

              You mentioned 2 things that may or may not be party to the pieces that I’m looking at here.  

              First, you mentioned that she had a lot of angry feelings towards the gambling as Kc316 has already picked up on.  She seems to be blaming you for this state but, seems to have shoved it down inside.  
              Secondly, it also appears as though you mentioning her father’s ex girlfriend and the baby sitter etc., may have opened up “Pandora’s Box” in terms of perhaps, repressed or simply squashed feelings towards your relationship with your husband.  

              In putting those 2 together, it’s sounding more like she sided with your husband rather than you and has put 2 and 2 together to come up with a 5 that she can justify as seeing you as the “problem” in everything or, at the least, the catalyst for a lot of things that went wrong or that she thought of as going wrongly.  

              When she mentioned during that mother’s day visit that you should either “get over it” or “move on”, it’s sounding to me (I could be misinterpreting it all as I can only hear one side of things) as though she was saying that it’s “old hat now” and got fed up.  Perhaps, she was even seeing the idea that you’re still trying to hang onto your husband in spite of how you feel and yet…still trying to control the situation by friending an old girlfriend of your husband’s.  In other words, it seems that she got fed up with what she has seen as the last straw on the camel’s back so to speak and simply decided after the fact that she didn’t want or need what she may consider as “drama” anymore.  

              I could be wrong but, perhaps…if you got your life in order (i.e.: either decided that your husband isn’t for you or…learned to live with his past indiscretions with peace) and showed her that you were getting help for gambling (even if only a session or 2 with someone professional) and really wanted to work things out with her…she *might* be receptive to talking things through???  

              I don’t think it’s going to be easy to undo the damage that she’s imagined you doing to her and her life and her father, the marriage, etc..  True or not, SHE sees it as real and she’s likely seeing it as a “hurt”.  Again, I could be wrong but, I think that perhaps, she’s simply seen this all as time to back out of things that make her feel in a knot.  That’s NOT defending her at all….but rather, simply trying to figure out what went wrong and how to deal with her.  

              I’m wondering if perhaps, sending her a letter of apology (whether she’s right or wrong…it’s her vision of how things went) might do something????  Maybe, by saying that you recognize that you can see that she sees the gambling as having been an issue in her childhood (right or wrong…doesn’t matter as it’s her interpretation of things) and that you have come to a conclusion (whether you decide to stay or leave your husband…doesn’t matter…just choose one and don’t make her your confidante on anything further to do with your marriage???)  Perhaps, you could even suggest that she and you go for some counselling sessions together and see what she says?? Maybe, if you show her that you’re TRYING to make things better both for yourself and your relationship with her, she will see that there’s hope and perhaps, she will be wiling to get together and at least talk to you???  I don’t think “I love you” type statements is enough for her.  I think that she wants/needs both an apology as well as to SEE a change and decision on your marriage one way or another as she’s said.  It seems that she either wants you to get over it or move on.  If you’re not going to move on…let her feel/think that you’ve gotten over it and don’t bring it up again with her.  It may be that she feels that she’s between a rock and a hard place with both you and your husband.  Maybe, that little bit of info that you gave her that day, opened up old wounds and she can’t deal with the past anymore???  

              But, more importantly, no matter what your daughter does or doesn’t do (you can’t force her one way or another), it seems that you, yourself are still harbouring some deep hurts from your husband’s issues that you’re not over yet and *may* need some counselling for that factor for yourself in order to feel whole again???  If the gambling has stopped, then perhaps, that’s not something that you need to deal with in and of itself anymore BUT…talking to a professional as to how your daughter might have seen it, might help as well???  I go for counselling to learn how to deal with my daughter’s estrangement within myself, even though I can’t do anything further right now.  I still need to help myself and I think a lot of us do need that extra help.  

              Just think about it and don’t dismiss it all right away.  Again, no matter what it really was like or not like, your daughter saw it through young eyes and how it seemingly appeared to her.  That’s what really sets them off…how they saw things within themselves, through their own eyes.  

              HUGS and hoping this jogs something. Keep on talking.  We’re all in the same boat…just different lives.

            • Shattered heart Report

              @heartbrokenparent everyday that goes by in reminded of something she said to me not long before she married, she said I was a terrible mother and I had horrible parenting skills. The more time passes the more hurtful things I remember her saying to me. So I am convinced she hasn’t liked/loved me for many many years. She knew I started counseling as I had stated in an earlier post the therapist text her to come to a session as a “family” my daughter replied to my husband never to the therapist saying she would NOT go as she was NOT the one with a problem. No more therapy for me only went to try and have our relationship restored and that didn’t work. As for her taking her dad’s side she always has he can do no wrong. That’s my fault as I never had a dad/daughter relationship as a child not a healthy one when I got older either. So I always pushed my husband to take her to the park the library the pool for bike rides. I also by the time she was 3 began having panic attacks that kept me from going out anywhere for a very long time. Although I was with her every minute while she was home when she and dad did things I usually wasn’t with. I live daily with a lot of regret and the more I write on here back and forth the more I see how right she is I’m not worth having in her life I could’ve done a lot better, but there’s no going back. It’s now been 3 weeks since her dad has called her, unfortunately I told him if he didn’t call her he wouldn’t hear from her now he’s seeing that reality. I’ve asked how it doesn’t bother him to not be in touch he just shrugs his shoulders. As for friending his girlfriend from 40 yrs ago yes he thinks that’s crazy too

            • Heartbrokenparent Report

              Shattered heart I don’t think that there’s a parent alive who can’t say that their child/children didn’t tell them something horrible about their parenting skills or that they hate their mother/father.  The ironic part of that is…if we DON’T hear it (at least once or twice), we’re not doing our jobs as parents.  I can remember “hating” my mother and thinking that she was a lousy mother.  I remember thinking that about my dad too and at that point in time…neither were into the drinking and were, pretty good parents, really.  (Later…in my tweens and mid-teens…not so much).  I also remember thinking that my dad was “perfect” or close to it and by comparison to my mother, I put him on a pedestal.  You know why?  Because it appeared to me, that my mother was the bigger of the evils.  My dad was the lesser.  More to the point, my dad said very little while my mother, did all of the parenting and the “hard stuff” with us.  I also saw my mother (once she began drinking) as the one with the problem and causing the issues.  I felt sorry for my dad because he was the one who was hurting in my eyes.  Now, in hindsight, I can see that it was my MOTHER who pushed my father to be somewhat of a father otherwise, he wouldn’t have been part of our lives at all.  I also saw that my father had his own flaws, warts and issues but, by comparison to  my mother’s, they seemed inconsequential.  I see it all very differently now.  

              Sadly, agoraphobia is a horrid way to live.  No one who hasn’t been through it, can understand just how terrifying and crippling it can be.  Have you talked to your daughter about that and let her know that it wasn’t your choice for her or yourself but, really….a “mental disorder”????  It wasn’t your fault.  You couldn’t have helped that part of things so, please don’t go blaming yourself for that.  You tried to make things up to her by having her father take her places that you couldn’t take her or even go with them.  Does she know this about you?  Have you explained that all to her?  

              I don’t think that there’s one of us, both with children all around us, or estranged like this group is dealing with, who hasn’t had regrets of some sort or another about their children, their mothering skills….etc..  Hindsight is always 20/20, isn’t it?  And, no…there are no “do-overs” unfortunately.  We all make mistakes and learn from them.  We, as parents, are only people who are always learning…sometimes, through our mistakes.  But, as for you not being worthy of being part of her life now…NO!  That’s incorrect, wrong and just plain beating yourself up.  She’s doing a good enough job for you with that already.  She doesn’t need the help.  😉  And, I hope I’m terribly wrong but, you may want to talk to your husband to see if there’s anything that he thinks he may inadvertently have said to your daughter (out of anger/frustration or unconsciously/whatever the case may have been) that aided her cause in calling you down or thinking you “crazy”???  I’m not blaming your husband by any means but, rather thinking that we all say things in the heat of moments of upset that we get past but, others take to heart.  

              Unfriend your husband’s 40 year ago girlfriend.  Do yourself a favour and stop putting yourself through this.  If there were to be anything that was to go on between them, you wouldn’t know it through Facebook friendship anyway.  She’s not about to let you know it/slip up about it even if it were happening.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Get rid of her.  It’s an unneeded sore spot that is doing you no good. It’s rather unhealthy to do this to yourself and everyone else.  Get rid of this stress of watching her or having her as a constant reminder of your husband’s past which she likely isn’t much a part of anymore, if at all.  

              Most of all, perhaps, this is all doing you some good?  Maybe, as you’ve said, by talking this all out online with complete strangers who are not only in the same boat for differing reasons but, none of us will likely ever meet you.  We are the “safe zone” so to speak who understand those feelings in one way or another.  Having said that, perhaps, the fact that you’re re-thinking your mothering and your daughter’s words etc., might be bringing you some much needed and perhaps, buried memories that just might click in to form a picture of where your daughter is coming from and why.  While there are no going back to the past and re-doing things, there are ways to express your understanding of why she is doing what she’s doing and apologizing then, trying to move forward.  Maybe, your husband needs to let her know (for now) that he’s heard what you’ve had to say and how you’re seeing where you might have done things differently?  It seems that your husband is the parent that she’s still allowing into her life…though not seemingly chasing him as evidenced by these 3 weeks of radio silence between the 2 of them right now.  Maybe, it’s your husband who needs to break this silence between all of you?  

              Don’t give up.  We’ve all made mistakes.  We’ve all been told we’re hated or horrible parents or whatever.  Kids do that even with the best of relationships between them and their parents.  Don’t take it to heart.  Take it as an angry child who lashed out for whatever her reasons.  And, if you do have things that you’re sorry for….express that to her.  Maybe, she just needs to hear that YOU see where things went wrong and that you’re sorry for them now???  Maybe, that’s all that she needs/wants?  You won’t know unless you give it a try, right?  (Even if you’ve done it 30 times before this already).  It sounds like there’s “new” things that you’re coming to see within yourself, her and her childhood.  Maybe, she needs to hear that expressed.  It’s easier to forgive someone and give them another chance when you know that they are truly sorry and the reasons for certain things having happened, right?  And for heaven’s sake, let her know that you’ve dropped the ex girlfriend and do it! LOL  I think everyone needs to hear that much for healthy reasons.  🙂  

              HUGS XO XO XO

            • Shattered heart Report

              @brokenheartedpatent. This is the rest of my post that didn’t “take” not sure why half went and the remainder did not.So much of my post didn’t save 😩 I know I’ve not been as good a mom as I could’ve been I can undo what’s done I’ve called and written apologizing asking for forgiveness but no response at all if I had to guess she has probably deleted/thrown away anything I send her. I know I have no control over how much she hates me and no control over the fact I’m outta her life it kills me daily. To think she can go in in life and be perfectly fine without me in her life is also such a shock to me. As for drama my family is dysfunctional to the hilt my daughter has watched me always turn the other cheek to all my family while they still weren’t so nice to me. So I’m surprised with seeing the hurt they caused me she has gone right along and done the same thing. She even said to me maybe 8 yrs ago that if I ever treated her the way my mother treated me she would NEVER speak to me again! I told her please promise me if you ever see us heading in that direction you say something to me because I wouldn’t ever want to have her not in my life as I loved her more than she could ever imagine and she means the world to me. Well evidently me saying that to her meant nothing either. What I know from all this is she does NOT want me in her life, she does NOT want to ever see or speak to me again and she does NOT miss me for a second. I guess I should be happy I raised such a strong individual but it’s also made me realize how very weak I am.

            • Heartbrokenparent Report

              Shattered heart Sorry, for some reason, your 2nd response didn’t show up until I’d submitted my response to your first response.  

              Let me address something here.  Did you ever stop to think that in knowing what your weaknesses were (i.e.: your dysfunctional family and fear that she’d do that to you) that perhaps, just perhaps, she found a “weakness” in you that she could “get back at you with” and use to her advantage?  The ONE thing that she knows you were afraid of, was that she was going to walk out of your life and not have a relationship with you and she did it.  She knew it would get to you and she…well…consciously or unconsciously, did it to you.  Not responding is also a form of punishment.  She knew it would get to you and it has.  In other words, maybe, just maybe…she’s found a way of hurting you and she’s not ready to give up on that “punishment” yet?  Hmmmm…you’ve made ME think about this with my own daughter now because I also came from a dysfunctional family and expressed something similar to her as well about fearing her walking out of my life.  She did.  I don’t know why she would be “punishing me” so to speak but, it’s a weapon that she knew would hurt.  

              I think I’m done with the “I love you’s” right now.  I have more thinking to do now too.

            • Shattered heart Report

              @brokenheartedparent, I’ve been really thinking a lot about your last reply and my husband is so very passive and non-confrontational so he isn’t able to “bridge the gap” so to say. He did call her after I had a terrible nightmare days ago about her being physically hurt. She simply said she and her husband were fine and she was surprised to hear from him (her dad) as he hadn’t text or called her on Christmas or New Years? I asked him if he told her communication was a 2-way street he said no they didn’t even talk a minute! He said he could tell it wasn’t going in a good direction and just so ok wanted to be sure you were alright.?? He and I are so different but like I said he is very passive. I usually would write her a letter or send a text or a “miss you” card but my heart can’t take the rejection, isolation etc any more. I have already apologized for what I don’t even know I’ve written her a letter telling her I’m trying to get a closer relationship with God so that I may one day become a better mom for her a mom she will one day want to share her life with. But I tell you when I sit and write anything to her the tears flow from me like Niagara Falls! She has robbed me (and yes I’ve allowed it due to not knowing what else to do) of 20 months now. I’ll never get that time back and all the memories I’ve missed out on with her and even in my own life and marriage. I have just shut down completely and now having a miserable time trying to come up out of a very deep dark pit of hell hurt and despair. Not a single friend has even tried to keep in contact with me to help pull me out and my husband works (which I’m grateful for) but seems if I just sleep the days away life does indeed go on without me. Im just amazed as I’ve had people over the years in need of help moral emotional etc I’ve always been one to reach out daily so they knew somebody cared! My daughter witnessed that several times through her teen years so she knows I do in fact have a “heart” but all that matters not I now have to make a decision do I keep on trying with her even though she refers to my contacting her as harassment or do I just stop just quit just give up? I believe she is very happy with her decision and I see no reconciliation in our relationship ever. That’s not what I want it’s just what I see as truth. I often lay in bed and wonder if she got a call that I was dead and gone and would never be available to her again… would she care would she miss me would she have a single happy memory of me? I pray she never doubts I’ve loved her with all my heart always and pray she never has guilt or regret to deal with. As I know firsthand those are awful things to try and live with. Thank you again for letting me vent.

            • Shattered heart Report

              Heartbrokenparent Shattered heart I am having a hard time just going on even though I know now I am better off without my daughter in my life as she is better off without me as well. I never dreamed my relationship with my only child (daughter) would end so sour and destructive I dont even think she realizes the depth of hurt she has caused me. While yes she believes her childhood was awful and that I am to blame for that (because of my gambling) what she has done to me with this “excommunication” from me is beyond words. I am now moving from just feeling terribly sad about it all to now feeling very angry that she had so little regard for me not only as her mother but as a person with feelings.I cannot even bring myself to write what I now am feeling about and toward her. So very sad a day as when you come to this point in life, that you just want it all to be over with, nobody is perfect in this world but evidently her inlaws are filling the “void” of mom & dad” for her well good for them I hope they enjoy the daughter I brought into this world and raised with her dad. Even though our daughter feels she practically raised herself haha. I have to let her believe what she wants I have no control over anything any more

      • Shattered heart Report

        You mentioned giving my husband my blessing to continue a relationship with our daughter. Well he is back talkingveith her since the holidays and he tells me nothing about her or what they talk about but assures me she doesn’t mention me or ask if I’m even still among the living and he says nothing to her about me as that always seemed to just make her question if that was his only reason for calling her. She said that to him directly over a year and a half ago… “if your only calling to tell me about mom and how sad she is then you don’t care anything about me and shouldn’t bother calling” she at that point was crying and hung up on her father. So my name is “taboo” if they are to continue being in touch 😢 Really makes me feel like an evil wicked person quite the leper you might say.

    • EmpoweredParent Report

      Shattered heart As you say you did the best you could. I am no one to judge anyone’s gambling habits and whatever they were, like you said, you never left your child wanting for anything. This generation seems to have a notion that they “deserve” to be taken care of. Even if there were problems in relationship they could have been worked out by talking but kids need to sometime be given the space they need (speaking from experience of having an estranged child). Sometimes, they do it to spite you deriving pleasure out of the misery it brings you. So, YOU need to pull yourself together. Get and get going in your life. If your gambling habit is a handicap for you and your family budget or relationship with your husband, seek counselling for that. 
      You rest of the life will be spent with your husband not with your daughter, even if she comes back in your life.  So, mending relationship with your hubby– make that your first priority. Sometimes it is possible to do it and sometimes not. So, if relationship with hubby does not mend even after efforts, do not fret. At least you are there for each other.
      Your daughter, if she does not want you in her life- let her be. Just let her know periodically that you are there for her. If she chooses to not communicate at all, LIVE YOUR LIFE. Live Healthy do something for others. And start by changing your user name identity.. not ShatteredHeart but MendingHeart.. We are all here because we are dealing with our losses but they don’t have to bring us down.

      • Shattered heart Report

        EmpoweredParent I have had a world of hurt the past few years and my daughter cutting me out of her life was like pulling the plug on my life support. I HEAR what everyone is saying “get on with your life” but she was a very BIG part of my life and now I am finding it hard to be happy or even just existing. How can this have happened I dont know how to get back on the train of life so to say. been going to a thing called “CR” (Celebrate Recovery) it helps some as its for people from all walks of life who is experiencing or has healed from lifes, hurt habits or hang ups.Hardest part there is getting myself up and out of bed to go. Just so sad hence my user name is exactly how I’m feeling “shattered heart”  hope and pray it is healed one day. Some of us on here although hurting are strong and able to just go on with their lives and hey thats great for them. I’m not there yet dont know if I’ll ever get there.

        • Heartbrokenparent Report

          Shattered heart I know what you’re feeling and why.  I’m like you.  I can’t just “get on with my life” as I’m like my user name, “heart broken” as well.  My daughter is my only child and there isn’t another one to concentrate on either.  I do recognize one thing though…I’ve done all that I can do right now.  I’ve had 3 therapists tell me that much.  The only thing is…I’m still not seeing her or knowing anything about her or hearing from her.  I made her my life for her young life and perhaps, that was wrong of me to have done as it placed her on a pedestal in my eyes.  “Getting over her” isn’t happening for me either.  As time goes on though, I am still hurting but, sadly, she is becoming more of a “memory” than someone “real”.  I hate saying that because she is my child however, the child I raised and knew, would NEVER have done this to me or her father.  This is not someone I know and I’m not sure that I really WANT to know this person as she is right now.  I feel guilty saying that but, as bad as I had it growing up, abused, parenting my parents due to alcoholism, I never did this to my parents.  I hated what they did but, I loved them and would never have left their sides.  They have both passed away long ago now but, I was there for them no matter what as they were my parents…marriage troubles, alcoholism and all.  And, I’ve been for counselling (still go) to help deal with these issues within myself about my daughter’s actions or lack of them.  I know what you’re feeling and why.  I feel the same way and I’m sure that as “brave” as a lot of parents in here seem to be, they’re not quite over it either or they wouldn’t be here.  Remember that.  HUGS

  14. Dyingwithabrokenheart Report

    It has been almost 4 years ago that my daughter left me. I am not going to go into major details because its a long story. She was 15 and my son was 17 some painful things had happened to them as their stepmom had a baby and the baby passed away. It really devastated my daughter. I thought I was being there for her but she was slowly pushing me away more and more. It finally came to a head one day and she told me that she didnt want me to be her mother anymore and wanted her stepmom to adopt her. My son wanted to come live with me and his father would not allow it even tho he would be turning 18 that year. After a huge battle within myself I geanted my daughters wish. All I wanted was her to be happy. It was the hardest thing in my entire life that I’ve had to do. Since then I  have been so mentally unstable that i see a therapist on a weekly basis. I have also been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and they believe that it has a lot to do with the stress I have put on my heart. So I am literally dieing from a broken heart. My son was able to finally come live with me when the adoption happened. His father did some mean thingsand did not keep in contact with him. He did not even attend his graduation. I have been through everything with my son over the past 4 years. In recent events my son has quit his very good job with a plumbing company that was sending him to school to be a master plumber to go work with his dad at his dads HVAC company. Needless to say I was devastated yet again. I then find oit that last weekend he lied to me about where he was going for christmas and found out he went to his dads. He tells me that he did it to.protect me because I always think the worse. But to me I would have just rather him told me the truth instead of finding out on my own because that hurt more than anything. The only thing getting me through this is a little voice came to me one night while I was cooking dinner and told me that this would be how I was getting my daughter back. Now in this 4 years she has only contacted me one time and it was not nice at all. I have no phone number no.address nothing. She has blocked me on facebook also. I am starting to feel a strong sensation to write her. I’ve made a new fb account to send her a message I just do not know what to write. Ive been told to not get into details on anythimg just keep it short and sweet and go from there. I have not tried to contact her at all in the 4 years because I have not veen mentally stable enough for the rejection. I kind of think I am ready now. I just do not know what to write. I am in fear of her rejecting me and in fear of loosing my son to his dad also. @sad2016 it is the most painful thing in the world. To me it is worse than experiencing a death because you know that out there somewhere you have a child.that hates you and you can not do anything about it. With the death of a child you can at least visit a grave. It helps me to know that I am not the only one that has lost a child through estrangement. I just hope I can find the words and strenght to send her a message and get something positive back from it.

    • Peacemom Report

      Dyingwithabrokenheart I am struck by your congestive heart failure.  I too was diagnosed with congestive heart failure after a stress-induced “heart attack” (in my 50’s, with none of the “risk factors” associated with heart disease) brought on by the unrelenting stress of dealing with our daughter’s issues over a period of many years.  Yes, the stress we women so often internalize in our role as caretakers can wreck havoc with our bodies.  This is when we must listen to what our hearts are telling us:  it’s time to take care of our own emotional, physical, and spiritual health.  If we do not, there will be nothing left.  Nothing left for our children and grandchildren (and other loved ones) to come back to one day.  We are very hard on ourselves and, sadly, sometimes we have a child that, even as an adult, is intentionally very hard on us.  It is not wrong to protect ourselves from this.  We must practice self-care and try to love ourselves as much as we love our children . . . even though that seems a very tall order sometimes.

    • Kc316 Report

      Is your therapist the one who told you not to go into details and keep it short and sweet? Do heed that good advice. Perhaps just a simple message that you still love her, care about her and miss her, that you would welcome contact, even if it’s only on social media for now.
      There’s no way to predict her response, so if you can look at it being in God’s hands and be willing to accept whatever comes as His will for now, this will help you. Ask Him to give His strength, so that you can bear the suspense.
      After a two year estrangement, our daughter (thirty-nine-years-old) E recently contacted us because she was having a severe health crisis. We are providing emotional support for her as she battles the health crisis, but encouraging her to be the moving force in making decisions and reaching out for medical help. We have only intervened when her physical condition was too poor to drive, then we provided transportation.
      We’ve assured her that we are willing to do anything for her but know her own best interest is to do as much for herself as she is able.
      This isn’t restoration and we know it. As soon as she doesn’t need us, she could banish us again. Because none of the problems that drove her to cut us out of her life are being addressed or resolved. I believe she has simply laid them aside because of her need. E is still fighting her health battles and not allowing us completely into her life.
      I pray for God’s strength to do what is best and right for E, demonstrate unselfish love in action and forgiveness, though that hasn’t be requested. He is giving me the needed comfort and strength to do these.
      I share this because, even if your daughter is willing to begin having some contact, it might be a very slow process and past problems may cast shadows that prevent the warmest, closest relationship that we mothers deeply desire.

    • EmpoweredParent Report

      Dyingwithabrokenheart I was in pain myself and a word that I never understood how people get afflicted with – “depression” . I never said it to my husband who speaks against my child all the time (there are issues between them) and I almost cut myself off from other people since I would cry for no reason at all sometimes. I know the pain when the child does not want to stay in touch. 
      BUT, YOU need to realize that YOU have a LIFE apart from your family. You as a person, as an entity will survive. Your soul is not dependent or connected to anything else but nature. What if you did not have any kids? What if you did not get married? Would you have stopped living your life? Yes, do reach out to your child and tell her that you love her and you are always there for her when she needs you. But also, show it to her that life needs to be lived. Show her that you are a strong person. 
      My heart was first broken when my dog died and then when my daughter stopped communicating. I do feel the hollowness and pain inside my chest that I have not shared with anyone- not in so many words. 
      You need to pick up the pieces, put them together. Do what you like to do best. Keep few minutes aside everyday to think of your children and people you want to remember and pray for them. And then, lock up those emotions and go about your day happily. You would have done the best you can under the circumstances. You can not help your child (if and when she needs you) if you let yourself break down. 
      Cry when you want to but make sure to do something to make yourself happy. There is no need to die for anyone who does not understand you, no matter who that is. Get a pet.. they are a source of immense happiness. They give you unconditional love. I hope you recover soon.

    • Girlgonefishing2000 Report

      I have lived them the estrangement and the death of my daughter both just as painful . If it werent for this group and support . I dont believe i would be here today .

    • Shattered heart Report

      @sad2016 you’re exactly right nobody knows what to say or do and I think some don’t want to get involved so instead of getting support from family and friends they too withdraw from us leaving an even more empty feeling than we initially had. I understand I hope you can find something positive how or what I don’t know because I’m hurting right along with you in this

  15. rwolfenden Report

    CorinnaSteffen Thank you for writing in and sharing your experiences.  I can only imagine how much pain and heartache you and your family have experienced as a result of your daughter’s actions.  I hope that in addition to reaching out online, you are getting some support for yourself and your family locally as well.  If you are not working with anyone, you might consider checking out  This is a website which offers advice and provides links to local resources to parents and families in your area.  I recognize how hard this must be for all of you, and I wish you and your family the best moving forward.  Take care.

  16. joyce0763 Report

    I too thought I was alone in this estrangement. My daughter got pregnant at 16, had her son at 17. They continued to live with me, including the baby’s father while my daughter finished high school and he attended his first year of college. She cheated on him and he moved out and she moved her new boyfriend into my home even though I strongly objected and told him he had to leave. My grandson was 2 when she moved in with the second boyfriend. They drank heavily and did drugs, there was abuse by both of them, I was called to their residence after a horrific fight and found my grandson wandering around with no clothes near a smoldering fire pit. CPS got involved and temporary custody was given to me and the father. Eventually she left the abusive boyfriend and moved back home. I continued to raise my grandson. She got  back with the baby’s father and they were planning a wedding. The dress, veil and tiara set me back a couple thousand dollars as she opened a credit account in my name. She cheated on the baby’s dad again, this time with a girl. I did not like this girl from the first time I met her. She is very over bearing and controlling. She slowly moved her into my home also. I constantly told her that they had to get their own place. After a year I became adamant that they move. When they moved out my daughter spit in my face, called me a worthless piece of shit, poor excuse for a mom. I was a single mom for years and both of my children had everything they ever wanted or needed. I kept her and raised my grandson for 4 1/2 years. This girl she is with, was constantly pulling us apart, keeping my grandson away from me. The first time was a year, I didn’t see him. He was told I had died and went to heaven. When he saw me after a year he was terrified. We have a bond that neither his mother or his dad has with him. I was the one who did the 2am, 6 am feedings, rocked him when he was sick and she lived rent free. After she moved out I paid numerous utilities, her girlfreinds fine so she didn’t go to jail, rent, phone cards. All I was, was an ATM. She would let me see my grandson when she needed money and only when she needed money. I paid for his school pictures, and it cost me over $375 for him to play baseball and I couldn’t even get a schedule to watch him play. I also payed for his baseball pictures, I got none. She totally cut me off the day after Mother’s day because I did not get her girlfriend a Mother’s day card. She sent me several nasty text messages telling me I was dead to her, delete her number, and take my grandson’s pics off of my Facebook or she would report me and have them taken down. I did as she asked and blocked her number. Her girlfriend controls her and my grandson and he is terrified of her. My heart breaks for him. I reached out to my daughter in Sept. and all I got in return was nasty text messages back, once again I blocked her number. I told her I was sorry for whatever it was I did wrong. I told her I loved her and my grandson but I will not have a relationship with her girlfriend, who she has also cheated on several times. Supposedly they are just living together now as friends and splitting bills because my daughter is seeing the person she cheated with. She says she can’t pull her son away from her girlfriend and her girlfriends family.. She has done it with me twice. The one person who paid for everything for her and my grandson for almost 5 years. Christmases, Birthdays, Easters, food. clothing, a roof over their head, spending money and even access to my vehicle. I continued to pay their unpaid utility bills, phone bills, phone cards and rent. They have been evicted from every place they have lived. She has lied about everything since she was a child. My mother says if her lips are moving she’s lying. She also has no relationship with her brother, his wife and their 8 month old son. My grandson called me from my mom’s the day before his 7th birthday to thank me for the gifts I left at my mom’s. He cried on the phone telling me he wanted to move back home and be with me. My heart was breaking. My daughter found out my mom let him talk to me now my mom doesn’t talk to me and I am not allowed to take any more gifts for him to my mom’s. I have done everything for her and all she has done is talk bad about me to everyone. The people who know me, know I am a good person and have helped many people along the road. I have kept her friends, some for weeks, some for months, kept all her boyfriends/girlfriend. Paid for everything. Never a thanks, it’s like I owed it to her. My son says let go, she is an adult and makes her own choices, that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with her. I love and miss her and my grandson so much. My heart is in a million pieces and I don’t know how to put it back together again. The fact that they live just 3 blocks from me, kills me, knowing I cannot have any contact with her or my grandson. My mother has taken her side and does not have a relationship with me since I contacted my daughter in Sept. It has been a very long 5 months and I do not see us getting our relationship back as long as this girl is still in her life. I don’t know where to turn. I’m so lost.

    • EmpoweredParent Report

      joyce0763 I just joined this group and saw your msg. You have done your best for your child up till now. She is her own master and will live the way she wants to. Thankfully you have a son who is by your side. But even if you were alone, you still should just let it go. 
      One day the children grow up and make their own decisions. What you have done, consider it a debt paid to past to bring your “karmic” balance to zero. Tell your mother that she should just give your telephone number to your daughter’s son, to contact you only in case of an emergency ( or contact your son in case of emergency, if your son is open to his number being given)… and then just let it go like a river flowing.. just because you give birth to someone does not mean that you are connected to them for life. That connection has to be maintained from both sides. 
      Pay attention to your son’s family now and most importantly to YOURSELF.

  17. justlikeyesterday Report

    I thought I was alone with this. Cops called on us, she told the police that I am mental, left with a note to deny us and stayed for a week somewhere we did not know where. We endured 7 months and 20 days of hell while she did not work and kept being abusive. Now that she is working, far away, I get sporadic communication. My trust is completely gone, and I don’t even know if I love her. She never apologized and pretends as we are cool. Everything gained a new meaning for me: my future, who she is, after life decisions and relations to people in general. A new me was born and grief became my constant companion. I never saw this coming. When your baby is born, you think this is the best day of your life. No one prepares you what is ahead after 25 years of sacrifices and deep love that would even give your own life for this child. There are questions that will stay unanswered forever and we have to be content with that. It is in God’s hand who is the ultimate judge.

  18. Sally Report

    It has been a year and a half since my separation. My daughter lived with me for the first two week and then after spending a weekend away (mothers Day) she moved out to her fathers. No word as to why and no contact since. She refuses to talk to me or see me and my husband enables this by saying he does not want to upset her. I have no idea of what I have done? I have met a new man who has been a God sent and helps lift my spirits of my future however I have dark days at least once a fortnight where I break down and think the tear will never stop following. I thought I was tough and could cope with anything the majority of the time all I feel is loneliness, self doubt, hurt, pain and this hole inside that never quite fills. I have found over time that you can live with a broken heart, however painful, I just hope I don’t die with one.

    • justlikeyesterday Report

      @Sally No we have to refuse to live with a broken heart. I break down all the time. But I remind myself what my daughter did and her refusal to give an explanation for it. Who does that?She is who she is and I have no more control over anything in her life. I can control only what I do and setting limits with her. She was “trained” in a Christian group at the university by one of the younger peer for a year. The result was she became someone we never knew. Believes lies now. The assignment was to get intimate with peer’s lives , well, my daughter let this young woman listen to our phone conversations behind my back. I never even saw this woman let alone met with her ! Maybe they even record my phone conversation with my own daughter. Now 2.5 years later, my daughter met a young man and guess who is his friend on Facebook? This trainer form the university. We can never get rid of this person, she is invading all aspects of my daughter’s life. I talk to my child weekly, (she calls, I don’t after her betrayal with a stranger on the phone behind my back) but talk about only superficial things. Very painful. Sometimes I want to cut every communication with her because this fake connection is more troubling for me. My other daughter suffers also seeing my depression, sudden anger and struggling with every day problems. Losing one child changes everything ! And my other baby no matter how fantastic she is, does not fulfill the void in our heart. I work with troubles teens and they have more decency than my own beloved daughter . My clients say:”I would never call the police on my mom, she changed my diaper.”I did not even get this after 25 years of financial, emotional investment and self sacrificing adoration of this child. I am glad you have a man who support you. It is hard for men to understand this. My husband already gave up on our child. He does not associate with evil intents. But I need his presence and love and you too are lucky to have him. We need these guys and not an abusive child in our lives. We just want the best for our kids, and the need there is giving. I learned to give to others now. My clients, my friends, myself, my husband. I pray to the lord to help me through this and I don’t get more harmed. I found this by Charles Spugeon, even if you are not a believer, this might help. Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening – Wednesday, May 4, 2016 Morning  “Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods.”
      Jeremiah 16:20. Look through the whole meditation, it talks about parents’ love for their child.

      • Heartbrokenparent Report

        justlikeyesterday It almost sounds as though your daughter has a “cult-like mentality” with this peer “trainer”.  It’s sounding like my own daughter and her nasty, mentally unsound, drug addicted boyfriend and the influence that he has over her.  He has to hear everything that is said by us.  Now, he’s worked it so that she has NO contact with us. and hasn’t had for nearly a year now in spite of us reaching out and asking what she wishes us to do or be (no answer from her).  

        You seem to be fairly well versed in Biblical doctrine and troubled youth.  Is there any way that you can request an alone meeting with this “trainer” (purely you and her) and have a chat with her over coffee or something to figure out where she is coming from and why?  Maybe once she has met you (play the game if necessary), she might encourage your daughter to have more contact with you?  

        But, there’s one thing that we have to keep in mind, I think.  Our children are prone to other’s directions and that’s a “flaw/insecurity” in them…not us or our parenting.  The old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them” might come into play here?  Perhaps, winning this young woman’s “confidence” over with your ability to deal with troubled youth, might be a way for her to like you and lift her influence from the bad to the good with your daughter, over you?  

        Just remember though…your daughter has CHOSEN to believe this young woman for a reason that is a flaw/void within herself.  They often seek out in others what they lack within themselves and let that person become that part of them, for themselves to survive.  Eventually, that young woman will have to form a life of her own and separate from your daughter either quite a bit or wholly.  Let’s hope that her boyfriend sees what this young woman has done and the influence she has over your daughter.  I’m sure that if this woman is having influence over your relationship with your daughter, she’s also directing your daughter’s relationship with her boyfriend as well.  Any way that you can talk to him to see if he’s finding this young woman “meddling” in their relationship as well?  Perhaps, a Facebook message to him????

        • justlikeyesterday Report

          Heartbrokenparent justlikeyesterday 
          Dear Heartbrokenparent, Thank you for your advise, I really appreciatre it. You are so right, my daughter caught up in a cult. My husband calls it a “one person cult” with this woman. My whole being wanted to talk to this woman at first but later as I saw clearly the devastating effect on my child and on ur lives, I became very angry and resentful of this person. I met with her once at our daughter’s fake graduation from grad school (she did not get her diploma for being unable to complete her thesis) and I barely talked to her more than 5 sentences. The break came after the graduation, with police called on us and when my husband tried to reason with our daughter after the police left and we chose to stay in the apartmenty, my daughter ignored my husband’s attempt to talk. She was on the phone over an hour with the “trainer”. After we moved back her 13 hours away to our home, two days later she deserted our family with a note denouncing us. A week later she ended up at the town of her grad school, and her friends gave me a call in the middle of the night asking me to buy a ticket bc she does not know what to do anymore. (she was mentally very unstable). Her “trainer” certainly was nowhere, and lied to my daughetr saying that she did not know that my child went back to her university town. My daughter let me read an email form her trainer later and this woman was scorning my child why she went back to her “prison”. As much as prison concerned, my daughter moved out at 18 to go to fancy school that we paid for, so she did not live with us for over 9 years !!! Currently I have lots of anger and hatred for this woman. She broke up our family, brain washed my child and honestly destroyed my life for over 2.5 years. The young man in my child’s life is 7 years older than she is, squeeky clean, very nice person as far as I can tell from reading his Facebook. If he does not want to connect with us, I know for sure that my daughter fills his head with lies about us. My daughter talks about him in super relatives, (just like about this other woman) and I have a therapist instinct that again that she does not see him in realistic way. Thinking about this woman created serious anxiety attacks for me. I found that setting limits with my child was probably the only useful step I could take in weakening the control she has over us. My daughter invited this trainer to her new place, (hours away) and after the visit, she posted picures of them together as tourists. I felt such sharp pain in my heart I dropped my child from my friend list. She sent an email after she discovered my actions and complained that it hurt her. I told her that I do not wish to see this woman ever. After couple of hours of deleting her facebook, she went back again, and blocked me from seeing anything that is related to this person. Good for me. I found that my begging just gave control to my daughter and no matter what, I am still her mother. I gained some power after I made adjustments to our communication and her access to my social media site. I know that they had hundrends of texts (I paid for her phone while she was home) between them all day, every day. Pathological. The most amusing fact is that this “trainer” is challenged cognitively as a student, ugly inside/out and accomplished nothing so far in life. She came from a  broken family and kept home in her whole life. Guess who was in prison ? We are decent people and wanted reconciliation first.  However, I think we would not want to reconcile with evil. I pray for this woman to find somebody and let my child go. The damage that was done and since our begging, asking was unanswered made more harm. We will never be the same. Sorrow was never this real and happiness never this unreachable. We were thrown into an impossibble hardship and I think we must get back our power maybe in different areas than our core identity which is parenthood. Thank you again for your suggestions, I am open to them, and who knows I might be ready to try them one day?

  19. mrsdixon07 Report

    Hello, today i had a fight with my daughter.. it seem like the biggest on ever. I totally disrespected her by calling her names. She is only 16. She has  always being disrespectful, i guess going thru the teenage years, today i just had it. . I know that i said hurtful things to her as well, and now i feel so bad and so wont talk to me. also I’m tired and so stressed out.  I love my daughter and i want to have a good relationship with her but i don’t know if she could ever forgive me  and i her. I really don’t know what to do. I am giving her her space but right now my feeling are so hurt that i don’t want to talk to her. She said i was a bad parent but doesn’t say why. I always work to provide for them and as my sons says i didn’t raise them cause i was always working now i’m here trying to be with her and she pushes me away. anyone have advice… Help

  20. Laurenc686 Report

    Besides being roped into this lawsuit stuff with your ex husband , what issues are actually between just the 2 of you?
    Her step mother will never be her mom.. she can be called mom but things eventually prove Mom to be The only mom.
    Do they have any children together?
    Is your daughter basically mad at you bc of things between you and your ex that really don’t involve her over than being pulled into it?
    if these are things her judgements are based on , know that taking the high road at all times is the only thing that will bring you together again eventually. write her a letter saying you really hate what has become of your relationship. that you will always have an open door to her , no matter what happens, ever.
    That you don’t agree with everything but you don’t have to agree to still be her Mother.
    You would like to one day have a mother daughter relationship just between the 2 of you , regardless of her other family relationships. She is allowed to have a mother , a father, a stepmother.. and one should not cost the other.
    Tell her it’s ok that she is upset with you , she is allowed to be upset.. if and when she would ever like to discuss issues with you , you will be more than willing to work together on re establishing any type of communication.
    you do not blame her for anything , but feel you are losing your daughter who you love and to you , that is the only loss you are concerned with. you never wanted her to be at odds with you and you are here , nown. you are here later. You will always be here for her and you are not her enemy. you want her to be happy, you can mutually respect boundaries and have guidelines if that is what she needs from you. You would like to give her what she needs from you , to be in her life, but you need her to clarify those needs or unresolved issues.
    you can even tell her you would be willing to go to a family therapist to work through problems with her so there is level ground, but you know she needs some time and that is ok.
    put your email, your cell phone number, your work number if you have one, your home number if you have a land line. your home address even if she knows it and say all avenues to reach you are open to her if she decides she would like to .
    stay away from the subject of your ex husband, his wife, how your daughter participated in this law suit, how she blocks you from her life. keep the point the same which is you love her and are always here but also make sure you don’t come off like you are painting your self perfect which is why the boundaries or discussion topics are important..just save the things to be discussed, for an actual future discussion, not in this letter. try to keep it one to one and a half pages long longer.
    do not set time limits , do not demand anything just a message of love and as a possibility to form a future bridge .
    Have a non partial family member give her the letter or ask your lawyer if they can give her the envelope by the end of trial. find out what you can do and do it then bc trial will be excluded as an aim for your words. it will already be the outcome it’s going to be so your words will have no over shadowing ulterior motives for others to invent.
    that’s what I would do. seems like your one opportunity to give her a message from mom and even if it takes yrs to get a response, the likelihood of hearing anything from her with no letter is not looking very prominent.

  21. NancyLynne Report

    My ex-husband filed a frivolous lawsuit against me. He talked my 21 year old daughter into joining him in the case and she has signed an a 3 page affidavit full of exaggerations and lies about me hoping her father will win the lawsuit. She has blocked me from her cell phone and won’t tell me where she’s living. I have always been a loving Mother and she considers her step mother her Mom now. I am going through the stages of grief.
    I know the only time I’ll see her again will be at the trial, and that will be the last time. Any advice?

    • Healing Heart Report

      So sorry to hear that, do you have kids he is trying to take custody of? I’d get a good lawyer for starters and as for your daughter, that is sad if it’s all fabricated

    • Heartbrokenparent Report

      NancyLynne I am so very sorry that you’re going through this.  It sounds as though you’re not battling your daughter as much as you’re battling your ex and his wife and some vendetta that he has against you.  Your daughter seems to be collateral damage in his fight against you, more than anything else.  It’s sounding as though your real issue is with your ex because he has the power to “call off the dogs” so to speak.  

      It’s hard to say what exactly to do because only you know what your ex had filed against you.  Was there any merit to his claims?  Was he right in any of it?  You say “exaggerations”.  Does that mean that there was some foundation to his claims?  Did you perhaps, have some sort of misconduct that has some merit…even if exaggerated?  The reason that I’m asking that is only because *IF* there were to be some foundation to his claims (even if exaggerated), you have something to perhaps, work things out with. I’m sure it’s far more complicated than can be explained on a board/open forum but, suffice it to say that perhaps, if you were to satisfy your ex via mediation before trial, one of the terms might be that he tell your daughter the truth about your mothering of her and that you were a good mother?  Perhaps, if there were some foundation to his claims against you, apologizing and attempting to rectify anything that might be involved (even if impossible to do) might be something that would go a long way with your daughter and get him to drop the lies?  

      Is there any way that you could meet separately with your ex and try to talk things through before trial comes up?  Even if that has to be under mediation with lawyers and a mediator?  If your daughter sees you earnestly trying (addressing your ex), she might have a change of thought towards you?

  22. Deelow Report

    It’s been 2 years since my daughter has literally blocked us out of her life. Taking our precious grandsons with her. We are beyond heartbroken. There is nothing I have done to warrant this punishment. I have given up on the fact that I will ever see her again. I have tried everything suggested. I have come so far emotionally in the past year that I cannot allow her the opportunity to do it not real sure I would survive. I could care less if I see her. She is a mean evil person that I don’t even know. She’s a narcissist and I just can’t deal with her verbal abuse. I miss those boys with all my heart but I can’t give her the power over my happiness one more day. She thinks she can wreck my life, slander my name and have power over me by using her children. She doesn’t realize how she has hurt her children. She just exterminated me. I think she feels some type of sick thrill out of it. That she has ALL the control.

    • Kc316 Report

      I’m so very sorry for the pain you are suffering. There’s nothing quite like having the baby and child you loved and nurtured turn away and take beloved grandkids with her. You are certainly correct that none of this is in your control. Your daughter is in charge, however wrong she is.
      I get why you don’t want to sign up to give her the power to deliver that sort of hurt again.
      That sort of emotional pain and grief can be overwhelming. I’m not certain there’s any response that’s the right one when someone shoves you out of their life, but keeping yourself emotionally and spiritually healthy is a good goal.
      Then you will be equipped to travel this road you are on or turn to a new road if your daughter gains grace and wisdom in the future.

    • Healing Heart Report

      She only has power if you don’t live your life to the fullest, your grandkids will be adults one day and will hopefully see the strong woman you’ve become rather than giving up.

  23. maryswitzer2 Report

    Today marks the second anniversary, since my only son emailed me to say he disowned me, granted I made a terrible error of judgement, and interfered in a horrid way with his relationship, since his email, I’ve left approximately 6 voicemails, spacing them apart so as not to harass or trouble him, I keep my tone upbeat, telling I’m well, wish him and his girlfriend well, signing off with a love you, I told him every day, by text or end of phone call, for 28 years that I love you, as a single mum, I never went to bed sleep even after an argument without, saying I love you. I’ve emailed, almost monthly for the first six months again, being upbeat, apologies with no response. Two months ago I composed an email to his dad, asking him to advise my son to think about forgiving me, his dad lives in America, never paid child support, and we do not communicate, nonetheless I actively encouraged my son and his dad’s relationship, and they have a strong bond, I had no one else to step in, as my child has great relationship with my family, but he is a strong minded independant man, with confidence a fantastic career, so apart from the fact he wouldn’t listen, I don’t want him to think I’m talking negatively to brothers, sisters, my mum, as I want him to separate his anger with me, and keep family bonds strong, especially as an only child, he has no sibling to confide in. He only ever sought advise or was challenged on behaviour by his girlfriend, me and his friends, his confidence, almost borders on an argorance, as he headed into his early twenties, the email to his dad, was not an emotional plea, but asking him as the only male in his sons life, I could turn to, in fact I explained to him that I had not asked anyone else, to suggest to Sean to think about making contact with me, I was kind to him, in my email, I asked him to consider the benefits to his son, the possible long term damage should my mum, or a family member fall ill, and his son and I, are still in no mans lands, the email back was a resounding no way, and get lost. My brothers sisters mum, welcomed this man into our family, though he deserted my son at 4 months, and didn’t appear again until he was a teenager, I made it clear, that as Sean’s dad, I had a duty, to show him respect, I stayed single through most of my sons life, and never let another man take the role of a dad. Expecting assistance from him, was not a mistake of mine, it is his mistake for not putting his son on a road that might benefit his only child, my family, me, I feel that he actually may be influencing Sean against me. His family live close to my family, they’ve attended 21st birthday party for Sean, again, I could have said no, they are not welcome, as throughout his childhood, his dad’s mother sent a Christmas card, with only my sons name, and not mine, I hope I find that when or if I have to be in his dad or his family’s company, again, I continue to hold my sons welfare , as to have to ask their sons help, swallowing my pride, and giving him an insight into my hurt, his dismal, curt horrid response, means he has also fractured any goodwill, I haven’t told my mum, or family , so they will bear no ill feelings, but I do…
    A month or so ago I composed a final email addressed to my son and girlfriend, I posted a copy here, I showed two very good friends who’ve know me and my son, for many years, to help me, I’ve had no reply, I actually didn’t expect one, I’m not contacting my son again, he is almost 30, a grown man, he lived with me rent free, Bill free up till 4 years ago, I supported him with help from my family, through very challenging teenage years, I helped give him the skills to be the successful, independant, confident person he is, this is what friends say to make me feel that I wasn’t a bad mum, bad person, I never critise my son, to these friends who were close to us both, of course they ask me has he been in touch, and seek to console even though, since my final email, I’m more accepting, I see the long term, rather than beating my own mind up, i throw some of the responsibity back on him, not out of anger, but because he is an adult, a grown man, our good and bad memories will come back, he will learn to smile at my stupidity and mistake, I’m 100 per cent sure of that, until then I surround myself with my blessings, my super family, friends, using the skill I thought my son, to be happy, so when he returns, he is proud of his mum, who tries to face all life’s challenges with courage, integrity and a sense of fun
    God bless, be strong everyone x

    • Heartbrokenparent Report

      mollymolly1 I’m assuming that you’ve earnestly owned up to and apologized for your part in meddling into his relationship?  You are only human and you made a mistake and I also assume that you’ve made that kind of a statement as well to him?  

      IF you have done that much and sincerely apologized, it may be that he sees you as “controlling” and wants his space from you.  Even your attempts at trying to get others to intervene on your behalf (even if they refused to do so) is seemingly a form of “control” to him.  That also includes your emails monthly of “I love you” which he may be looking upon now as another attempt at you trying to get back into his life to “control” it?  He may be trying to keep you out because he sees you as possibly manipulating him and his emotions, even though you are simply trying hard to pull your relationship back together.  

      It sounds as though you had your hands full with him while growing up and into his 20’s and perhaps, you had the need to take control over him and his life at that point but, now….well, whatever mistakes he’s made or is going to make, it’s going to be his consequences to deal with in one way or another.  If he falls, he’s going to have to dust himself off and get back onto his own 2 feet.  He really doesn’t need anyone at this point of his life to dust him off or prevent his falls and it *could be* that he’s seeing you as still trying to do that for him.  It sounds like he was coddled quite a bit and perhaps, even sheltered by you?  (Perhaps, understandably so as that is what parents want to do naturally.)  

      Perhaps, it’s time to give him some space?  Maybe it’s time to give him one more of your “I love you” emails as usual but, this time…perhaps, it’s time to let him know that you are giving him his space, hope that he will somehow see it in his heart to forgive you for your mistakes and realize that you are only human  however, you also recognize that perhaps, he needs for you to let go and you hope that eventually, he will come to forgive you because you cannot go back in time?  Maybe, he just needs to feel that you’re “letting go” of that “control”?  

      Just a thought.

      • maryswitzer2 Report

        Heartbrokenparent mollymolly1
        Heartbrokenparent mollymolly1  thank you so much, your response means a great deal to me, I have apologised, asked for him and his girlfriend to forgive me, he hasn’t responded, I haven’t emailed or text for over two months, as his 30 birthday is next month, I’m confused, should I send a card, money, a milestone birthday, your advise on allowing him space, perhaps I did control situations.

        I appreciate your insights, particularly my need to control, two years has given me time to reflect, friends and family are not honest as you, they just see my virtues, as a single mum, however they also know I’m direct, headstrong, independent, qualities which stood us well, in difficult times, when my son ran into trouble, as a youngster, but as a man, you are correct, in saying taking control, I needed to develop a different relationship when he left home, the love we had for one another, changed.

  24. How To Be Estranged From A Parent | cambodiastar Report

    […] Are you Estranged from your Child? Parent-Child … – Home / Communication / Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child? Living with a Broken Heart: Are You Estranged from Your Child? […]

  25. Kc316 Report

    I just found this group today. As I read your posts, tears are falling for the pain we are all experiencing. My heart hurts for each of you and I pray God will comfort you in your grief.
    Our daughter will be forty next spring, I’d single, childless and has never married, can’t seem to sustain a longterm relationship. She was diagnosed as bipolar about eight years ago, dove into treatment and therapy. I believe she gave it all she had, but there were repeated medicine failures, unbearable side effects, titering up and down on new psychotropic meds rapidly that left her in an almost zombie-like mental state much of the time and finally, nothing left to try.
    Finally she lost faith in her doctor and told us she isn’t bipolar but has PTSD from her childhood.
    There was no sexual or physical abuse in our home but she treats us as if there had been. About the time she lost faith in her psychiatrist, she sent me an email cutting off all contact. About two years ago. She included her brother and his family in the estrangement.
    She was always a very sensitive child and her emotional reactions to anything at all seemed much stronger than the norm. This has carried into her adult life, it appears.
    We know she is alive because she has a public social media account in which she makes untrue and hurtful statements about us, telling the world how horrible we are. Yes I go and read about once a month, just so I know she is alive. She’s anorexic. We had more than ten years of her teens and early twenties where every day I expected to get a phone call telling me she had dropped dead of heart arrhythmia.
    There was no quarrel, no fuss, no explanation when she broke off contact. She doesn’t want to talk, email or do anything to work towards even just civility. Her father is certain she will some day want restoration to the family. I’m not so certain and as the time passes and I see what she is writing about us, my heart is growing hard towards her. That’s not what I want to feel. I feel like a horrible person for not being sure I want reconciliation. As she is now, I’m no longer sure I want her in my life. How does a mother who has loved her child through all of these tough times come to this? What sort of mother thinks this way?

    • Karlen Report

      I can totally understand how you feel. I thought I was the only mother who is getting used to no contact from my daughter. For me it is more peaceful as every interaction for more than 10 years has been difficult and I have been treading on egg shells for so long. I miss the daughter she used to be but I don’t miss the verbal abuse. My sons and I have a lovely relationship but my daughter has chosen to live her life without us even though we have all tried to help and support her. We can only do so much. I will always want her to be happy but it seems that we don’t make each other happy sadly. You are not alone .

      • Kc316 Report

        I appreciate hearing from you. Not surprisingly, there are parents here who can’t imagine feeling as I do. I don’t blame them at all. I’d really rather feel the pain of missing her and long for restoration with all of my heart than be uncertain I want reconciliation.
        Feeling both pain and relief from the estrangement seems very odd and confusing. I’m grieving for our relationship failure and for what might have been if things were normal, but I’m not missing the frequent crises, illogical reactions and upsets. I grieve more for the relationship that I used to think we would have some day if she were more balanced but I can’t grieve for what we actually had. It was too painful to always be braced for the next crisis and constantly trying to find ways to help her. The emotional toll was huge and the financial toll of rescuing her wasn’t small either. I would never have banished our daughter from us; she did that herself.
        I wouldn’t turn her away if she wanted or needed us. But the ending of estrangement couldn’t be celebrated if her mindset remains the same. That would only mean she needed something from us, not that she wants loving relationship. That might sound bitter and I honestly am not sure if I am. I have been taken in before by just taking her at face value so I think I might just be realistic finally.
        I’m sorry to go on and on about it. I’m surrounded by folks who don’t have all of the info and can’t understand what happened. I can’t be open about my lack of desire to restore our relationship to what it was. It was not good.
        I hate feeling relief that I’m not part of and up to date on the frequent crises.
        All of that said, I’m so sorry that you also have suffered and know what I’m talking about. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

        • Karlen Report

          It is so hard when we are surrounded by images of perfect mother – child relationships. I don’t like to talk much about the estrangement – In fact I avoid telling anyone that doesn’t know me very well , such as work colleagues because I feel they would judge what would seem very hard hearted. However, daughter or not, no one should be so unkind to their mum. I have not done everything right but I have spent the last 10 years listening to daily crises which involve hours of boosting her, or getting her out of the latest financial crisis, or moving her to a new place – the list goes on. I jump out of my skin when the phone rings and dread what it could be next. She has taken overdoses, become homeless, lost her job etc. I have supported her to get a diagnosis which is now border line personality disorder but she has become worse since then. I have picked up the pieces every time but now that she has become so nasty to me about my parenting, I can take no more. Her father left me when I was pregnant with her and my boys were 3 and 5. I did the best I could and loved her so much. In some ways , the last time she was abusive to me was when I was taking her out for afternoon tea and bringing her lots of new stuff for her flat, so it made it easy for me to leave and not speak to her again . I emailed to tell her I would always be there but I would not have her unpleasant behaviour anymore. She responded by telling me I was destructive and bad for her mental health.
          I truly feel better for not having the constant grief and it was her that decided I was bad for her. Never I did how bad she has made me feel! We don’t support our children to get a payback but some love needs to come our way at some time, surely. I feel so sad that she has pushed all her family and friends away . She could have me as her biggest support and friend but she has lost me now, for the time being , at least. No one expects this when we have those beautiful babies but it helps to know that it happens to others ,too.
          There are no guarantees but we have to look after ourselves and be good role models . Our intentions are loving ones and one day they might know that. Take care and stay strong.

          • Kc316 Report

            Thank you, Karlen. One of the worst parts is just feeling so ashamed that I don’t want to step back into the relationship as it was. How can I express that idea to folks who have no clue that it’s a relief to pick up the phone and not hear silence — and then sobs, indicating another self-made crisis that I can’t fix? Years of these moments are draining, discouraging and defeating.
            I can tell you “get” this. But most don’t.
            Yes I understand about seeing the loving mother/daughter images being painful. I’m on Facebook and have friends who frequently post the cute and pretty pix and sayings about how proud, etc., they are of their daughters and of course, the message always urges others to repost it if they have a daughter they love with all their hearts. I truly rejoice for my friends that these sayings are true for them, I wouldn’t want any of them to be where I and my daughter are.
            But these things hurt. Mother’s Day hurts. Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries. All of them are painful, to some degree. I don’t camp out there in those thoughts and feelings because my life would be a wreck if I did so. Instead I do Bible studies, volunteer work, I read books I enjoy and I journal and write prayers. I knit and crochet for a pro-life clinic. I play in the dirt, as able, in my flowerbeds. I enjoy two grandkids, our son’s children. I do arthritis water classes at the Y. And in the midst of those, I still grieve that our daughter continues to make destructive choices and doesn’t have a happy life.
            I agree that nobody should be hateful to a mom who truly tried to do her best. My mom perished from breast cancer when I was fifteen and spent her last two years fighting the surgeries and symptoms of spread. If she had lived, I’d never have thought about being so cruel as to spew out hatred. I know what it’s like to not have a mom. A daughter who has a mom who loves her and is willing to help and yet rejects her mom or verbally buses her mom is out of my understanding.
            But it happened for you and I’m very sorry. It happened for me too. I choose to go on loving my daughter without making excuses for her. I choose to wait without pursuing her because she has made it plain that nothing I can say or do makes her want me in her life.
            I’m working on keeping myself as mentally and spiritually healthy as I’m able. If she some day wants to reunite, I want to be able to do that w/o carrying extra burdens of anger and fbitterness.

            • Heartbrokenparent Report

              Kc316 I think social media such as Facebook, makes it very hard on parents like us who have no or little or abusive contact with our children.  It’s extremely hard to see others with their children and grandchildren, happy, smiling and looking like they have Life by the tail.  Unfortunately, for many, these stories are part of social media personas where nothing is as golden as is portrayed on their walls.  Everyone’s lives seem charmed and no one seems to have problems.  I have been staying away from those as well because, well…frankly…it hurts.  

              I grew up with an alcoholic mother and a co-dependent father (something I learned through a lot of therapy for myself once I left the house).  The abuse was horrific.  However, I did NOT abandon my parents.  Both died young.  My mother died when she was 54 from brain cancer.  My father died at 65 from advanced bladder cancer.  I nursed both of them until their dying days and NEVER walked away from either of them….though my mother walked away from her father for being an alcoholic and tried to get my father to distance himself from his mother (his father died young too) in spite of their being no issues between my father and his mother.  Thankfully, he didn’t.  

              That said, I cannot believe these kids who have had nothing done wrongly to them, been supported, given everything we could afford to give them, being there for them and them pulling this with us???  I don’t understand why but, perhaps it has more to do with a generation of children who grew up as The Me Generation with forms of narcissism and entitlement?  I don’t know for certain but, I do know that what they are doing to us is not acceptable.  

              I have my good days and then I have my very bad days.  At no time, even if my mind is occupied with something else, am I ever free of the hurt and pain.  Sadly, it will come out in my dreams even if I consciously avoid thinking about it during my waking hours.  That hurt is deep.  However, I also recognize that I don’t want my daughter back if she’s still the same, spiteful, cold-hearted, careless young woman that she’s been over the past few years.  She’s hurt me more than I care to think about and I don’t want that abuse back into my life.  Heaven knows, I’ve had enough abuse to last a life-time already from my younger years through to my daughter’s abuse.  I keep having to remind myself of that when I’m having one of my “bad days”.  It doesn’t always do the trick but, it’s helpful to keep reminding myself of that much and telling myself that I’m worthy of better than this type of treatment from others, especially a daughter that I have sacrificed so very much for to give to her.  Maybe, I did too much?  I don’t know but, I do know that even abusive parents have had more respect, loyalty and consideration than my “spoiled” daughter has given to me.  

              So, I understand that feeling of not wanting that kind of anger, bitterness and abuse back into your life.  As one therapist tried to say to me…a child is a child to us no matter what their age BUT…if they were anyone else, treating us this way…would we really want them in our lives?  My answer has now turned to a “no…I don’t deserve this but, it still hurts badly.”  Then, I try to work on other things in my life.  Sadly, my daughter is my only child so, I cannot concentrate on another child or grandchildren.  I may have to rent some. 😉

            • Kc316 Report

              I agree the hurt never goes away. It is quiet at times, manageable some of the time and at other moments it’s wildly out of control. I get what you say about entitled grown up children. It’s painful to be on the receiving end of the ridiculously high expectations and selfi-centered anger. Yes, as parents, we probably did too much for them and gave too much.
              I much admire that you cared for your parents, despite that they didn’t earn that devotion. I don’t know, of course, what ails your daughter, if she has medical issues that are compounding other problems. I’m so sorry this is your only child. I hope you have some friends who support and encourage you through this. I pray you will find things in life that bring you joy, even in the midst of your pain.
              Our daughter has real problems that are painful to her and she sought professional answers and help for years. She rejected our faith while still in her teens. Tragically, some professionals direct therapy more to finding blame in parents, whether the parents have done their best or not. The psychiatrists had no real solutions for the misery in her life and their psychotropic drugs were disastrous to her wellbeing. Once our daughter came to the end of what was supposed to “fix” her, it appears there seemed to be no place else to go except to blame us. So, to her, cutting us out of her life, seems like her only answer. She has even given false names and contact info for emergency contacts so we won’t know if she is killed or injured in an accident. She is miserable, angry and bitter.
              These things I know, because she has a public Twitter account that I visit every few months just to know if she’s alive. She is anorexic, amongst other problems, and that, of course, is dangerous.
              I don’t go read often, as it’s very distressing that she is in such terrible shape emotionally and physically. And she is still writing weird and hateful comments about us off and on.
              We aren’t the only ones she left. She left her fiancé of eight years very soon after announcing she wanted no contact with us. We suspect he is staying in touch and continues helping her, as she accuses him of stalking her occasionally. He is one of the good guys so we know he isn’t stalking her. We think he may still be supporting her financially and trying to get her to eat enough to stay alive. She gets angry with anybody who says something she doesn’t want to hear.
              Anyhow I’ve written way too much here so I will stop.

            • Heartbrokenparent Report

              Kc316 That is so extremely hard a situation to deal with because you’re not dealing with a “healthy person” and therefore, reason and rationale cannot get through to her the way that it might were she to be well mentally and emotionally.  I am so very, very sorry.  

              Equally unfortunate is the idea that therapy is often geared as “one sided”.  In other words, the therapist can only hear one side of the story…their client’s side.  They cannot hear anything else so, whatever comes out of their client’s mouths, ends up as “the truth” and they work from there.  In this case, you are going to take that blame, likely because the beginning of therapy was her relationship with you and delving into that.  I’m fairly certain that her therapist came to the conclusion that if she feels “better” in not seeing you or having contact with you, that’s the route to take…oh yes…and meds…which often do make someone worse in many ways.  

              Thankfully, she seems to have her fiancé in her life, trying his best to help her in whatever ways he is allowed to help her.  I’m so sorry but, it sounds like she’s rejecting anyone who loves her.  Maybe, she doesn’t love herself?  If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t accept love from anyone else either.  

              Do you want to know the ironic part?  I have this feeling that if she become severely ill from the anorexia and is hospitalized, there will be more therapy given.  If you’re keeping an eye on her Twitter account, then perhaps you can spot something that will give you cause to check into where she might be and get in on that therapy????  If a doctor can meet you and know your side of things, perhaps they can incorporate you into her healing process???  Just my distanced thinking.  Nothing more.  

              As for my daughter, she is with a complete jerk, total pothead and psychedelic drug user.  No doubt, she is into it as well now.  How much or how far….I have no idea either.  Like you, I have to guess if she’s still ok, alive or whatever.  He worked on her to get rid of all of her friends, one by one.  We were the last to go as he had the hardest time in getting her to drop us…but, he did it.  Equally, no doubt, she is “ill” as well from his influence (could also be battered women syndrome for all that I know) and the drugs.  She holds NO public social media accounts so, I can only guess.  She is on Facebook but, she’s blocked me and all of my friends and posts nothing public so, I have no way of knowing where she is or how she is with no contacts to figure that out.  

              I recently had dicey surgery on myself where they were concerned that I might not make it out of anesthesia.  I tried reaching out to her when I came out of hospital.  This wasn’t my only time in trying.  I’ve said all of the “I love you’s” I can say now.  I told her that I thought of her before they put me out and wondered if I’d ever see her again…how short life is…how we never know what will happen…how I love her and miss her and wish her part of my life…blah, blah, blah.  (Again, not my first time doing this as the article above states to keep trying).  It took her 3 weeks to respond but, she did respond.  It was a nicely worded email, telling me where to go and how to get there.  That’s it for me.  I’m not about to try anymore.  There are only so many cheeks one can offer up to kick before one realizes that it’s doing no good for anyone.  Every time I get slugged like this, my husband (her father) also hurts.  He’s begged me to not continue trying because it takes me weeks to get past it….especially, if there’s NO response.  It hurts him to see me hurting like this on top of his own hurt over her thoughtlessness as we also were caregivers for his parents up until they both passed more recently as well.  

              Honestly, in both of our cases, it’s seemingly that we cannot get through “illness” with reason or rational thinking.  If this were anyone else, we’d likely stop trying and not bother.  My daughter also gets angry at anything she doesn’t want to hear.  No one can live like that….always saying what they want to hear and being condemned if you do say it anyway.  There’s no winning, it seems.  

              Just know that I feel for you and am sending you huge hugs.  From one broken-hearted parent to another.

            • Kc316 Report

              I’ve been honoring our daughter’s request to leave her alone ever since she told me. I don’t contact her in any form. A year ago, out of the blue, she emailed me, saying she wasn’t sure if I’d want to hear from her or not, asking for contact info for my sisters. I responded saying, yes, I was glad to hear from her and gave her the info for which she asked and some updates on pets that she had left in our care when she moved out. Then silence. A few weeks later, I sent her a short email and got back an ugly reply. I concluded I had something she wanted (contact info) and once she got it, she was back to “leave me alone” mode. She also posted an online rant about family stalking her and other ugly things.
              She is in touch with my two sisters, friended them to her private by invitation only Facebook page. I can only imagine what she’s saying about us. A few months ago, one of my sisters asked me about something she had posted, primarily because my sister was worried that E was actually being stalked by her former fiancé. So it appears E is accepting help from him but badmouthing him online at the same time. If E ever lands in the hospital, we probably won’t know. E knows I occasionally read her Twitter. So she wouldn’t post anything she doesn’t want me to know. Sometimes I see a nasty comment about me there which I assume is put there for me to see.
              I don’t ask my sisters for any info about E because I believe putting them in the middle is unfair to them. I’ve encouraged them to be as kind and loving to this ungrateful unhappy woman (she’s 39) as they are willing to be. I’m glad if they can love her even in the midst of her being hard to love.
              E no longer trusts the mental health care community after so many treatment failures and is now convinced her original dx of bipolar is wrong. This puts her with few treatment options. But they don’t seem to care about truth or accurate details. They yak about “her reality” as if lies are okay. The whole situation is confusing and I’ve stopped thinking I will understand it.
              I’m so sorry your surgery experience was so dicey and then when you reached out, that your child was still angry and resentful. That’s heartwrenching to see that she is still way out there emotionally and not interested at all in reconciliation.
              Our child isn’t either. She claims that contact drives her into PTSD episodes. At first I felt so guilty, as if we had been terrible parents somehow and this misery and ugliness is really all our fault, as E says. That’s wearing off. I think most of the problem is in her head.

            • justlikeyesterday Report

              Kc316 i am done with the guilt trips. You did nothing wrong. Adult children do whatever they want or feel however they want. When you had the moment of asking what is it exactly I am apologizing for? Staying home for 7 years and raising them, or not letting her playing football, oh no, it because we paid for all college bills for 7 years, all loans ? No, it must be that 25 years of my life she was our lives !! That’s it ! When you reach this point, it is time to quit searching for any mistakes. Her punishment is anyway so over done, that I can not let her abuse me more with her manipulations. The problem is in their head. If Last Wills and Testaments would be clarified early, we would not face this atrocity from a new generation of receivers and spoiled humans.

            • Karlen Report

              I too am trying hard not to feel guilty. The first 13 years of my daughters life were as happy as I could make them as a single mum of 3.
              Whatever went wrong after that , I do not know , but now she is 27 and I have done all I can. I would never put the energy and love into someone who continually created chaos around them, but I have kept on trying to put the latest incident behind me , every time. No amount of time spent on listening, sorting out accommodation, lending/ giving money, knowing that she is lying but still supporting her, the list goes on and on, has helped. When I am now being called a rubbish mother it is time to quit trying. She told me I was destructive so I have respected that. After 6 weeks , because I sent her birthday presents , she calls as though nothing has happened.
              She is getting therapy but like other parents, I feel she will only present her side. No one is there to listen to the abused parent’s side of the story. She looks like a normal person and somewhere in there is the beautiful girl I loved but she is only interested in herself and how tough life is for her. No one else would believe the pain she has put me through. I know she has her own pain but she could have a real friend and ally in me if only she wasnt so selfish and unable to see how much she really hurts me.
              This break from her has made me realise how abnormal our interactions are- a relationship that is broken but has become normalised. It is normal for me to jump out of my skin when the phone rings. It is normal for me to dread what she has to tell me because it is never ‘ hi mum, I just called to see how you are’. Whatever sort of mum I have been, I know she could have had a much worse deal. I know she is mentally ill but all I could do is try to help her. Clearly nothing I have done has helped and I seem to be the bad guy.
              I can see I am not the only one to experience this pain. Time for us all to accept we did our best. When our children become adults they must take responsibility for what is to come. Not blaming us. We deserve better.

            • Kc316 Report

              I’m not sure anybody in therapy ever presents the other person’s side of the story. Being able to see there IS another side takes some skills and empathy and E currently doesn’t have those. She hasn’t ever exhibited those qualities.
              I offered to come to therapy with her any time, not to present my side of things, but to participate, to learn, to better understand. And to discuss, if possible, how to better our relationship. E wasn’t willing. No therapist will talk about or share if their primary patient is unwilling, of course. Even during E’s teens, when we were driving her and paying the bills, we had little or no information on what went on in her therapy sessions. (Anorexia)
              I would go with her now, if it were possible, in the hopes that E could receive clarity or help. And that’s knowing that it’d probably be a list of accusations, both real and imagined. I think E seems to have “recovered memories” that never happened, from the little she shared immediately previous to her cutting us off. She was very vague and confused but some of what she said couldn’t possibly have happened. Timeline was impossible in most of it. And her statements quarreled with things she herself had told me previously. I’ve read of therapists who unintentially plant ideas and the brain can embrace those enough to think they are true memories. I didn’t believe this until I heard E telling me things she is certain happened that I know didn’t happen. It’s impossible to get the truth when a therapist only speaks of “her reality”, as if truth doesn’t matter.

            • Kc316 Report

              I’m working at staying in that hard-to-find zone where I choose to still love this wayward grown up child w/o agonizing over the estrangement and all that goes with it. I don’t want to write her off but I don’t want my life to revolve around the grief and pain of what she’s doing with her life and relationships. If I write her off, I can block a lot of the pain, but I think this way of dealing with my grief is not healthy. For me, the pain would hover in the background of my mind, grow and spawn a bitter ugliness in me that I don’t want.
              I’m instead choosing to feel the feelings that go with my thoughts and reactions w/o allowing them to continually overwhelm me. And ouch, yes, that hurts. Anger will make me bitter, if I allow it to fester. And yes, I feel the anger, too, at times.
              But I’ve decided not to camp out there.
              Most days I’m doing better with this. Faith in God has helped tremendously. I’m not going to excuse bad behavior in E or in myself.
              I’m deeply hurt. I’m angry. I’m devastated. I’m up and down. I’m depressed. I’m hopeless. I’m defeated. I’m guilty because somehow I should have been a better mother so my daughter didn’t become this person she is,
              All of that and more. But not all of the time. I understand my reactions and emotions don’t have to control me. They are not always reliable. They reflect the upheaval and hurt of being completely rejected by a beloved, though grown up, child.
              If I weren’t feeling all of these feelings and more, I wouldn’t think I was normal.
              After all, how could this not hurt?
              Perhaps what I’m saying doesn’t make sense to some here. I know grieving varies. I’m writing those thoughts that are in my heart as a part of my grieving, as a part of my finding ways to cope. This is a place I feel safe expressing the wide crazy range of emotions and thoughts in my head.

            • Karlen Report

              It does hurt Kc316 – but I think I am numb to it for most of the time- how could we function otherwise. When I think of all the bad stuff I gave had to deal with , I now am more blasé. That’s today’s crisis. Most of the mothers I know would be torn apart by even one of the incidents or situations that have been almost daily up until recently. I have been eaten up by grief, despair and guilt for so long now , as I am sure you have. But I have found that she can survive without my constant support – may be even better without it. I have enabled her thinking I was supporting her. She has told me it is my job to look after her and I am not doing it well. Maybe it is no longer my total responsibility to help her out of every crisis she creates. I think about her all the time and hope she is not lonely or upset but she isn’t 5 anymore. She is capable of making up her own mind when she wants to – such as letting people down at the last minute .
              I am glad I have found this space which I feel is safe. I need to be the strong and nice person that I believe I am – because if I believed the messages I get from my daughter I would not like myself at all. The truth is that sadly she has alienated herself from everyone and yet when I check Facebook to see if she is alive , my heart breaks when no one ‘likes’ her comments. I can’t bear to think that she literally has no one.

          • Healing Heart Report

            That sounds like my story and felt the same empowerment, good for you…they tend to forget that relationship are two way. Can’t just take and not give. I too am not so crushed by my daughter sudden distance after all the verbal abuse.

  26. tctiptop Report

    I still have those dreams once in a while. You may be over analyzing where you think you went wrong. When I had dreams of my daughter being in danger, I would google her, etc. After 20 minutes or so, I would snap out of it and stop myself.  I would tell myself that I was being obsessive, and not doing myself any good. I was not enjoying my own present or hers. So I got busy about other aspects of living my life. During the days I became stronger and it helped remove the bad nights. My dreams were strange at times, nonsensical. I don’t think it matters if she is coming, going or disappearing. Your natural instinct is to worry in the worst way. You just have to take control over those nights. Wear yourself out so you are too tired to dream at all. Don’t eat close to sleep time or drink coffee/tea. In time it really does get easier to become very much alive as, yes, a singular person on the planet. When you do see your daughter again, it will be good.
    Look forward to that! Be Strong and patient with yourself. All the best to you.

    • Shattered Report

      tctiptop Thanks for your reply. yes, I google too just to see she is alive, somewhere. I just pray that this too shall come to pass.

  27. Shattered Report

    I have vivid dreams of my estranged daughter. In one dream I watch her turn her back on me and walk away. In another she has gone missing and I am frantically trying to find her. can anyone else relate?

    • GenaGaddis Report

      I too have dreams that are unsettling about my daughter. I dream often that we are talking again – then I wake up 🙁  You are not alone.

    • Kc316 Report

      I’m feeling as if I’ve coming to a breaking point where my heart is so hurt and angry that it will be too hardened to ever welcome our daughter back, should she ever desire to reconcile.
      Yes, I have vivid dreams of her, usually with her in some dire peril where I can’t help her. I awaken so distressed that the first half of the day, if not all, feels ruined.
      We are getting close to two years since she excommunicated us from her life. She’s 39 years old, never married, no children, diagnosed as bipolar but now claims that was a misdiagnosis. She hasn’t been able to sustain any relationship over time. So I can’t figure out how I was so blindsided when she announced via email she was cutting off all contact.

      • MichelleLDickerson Report

        Kc316  It’s been over 3 years without my now 34 YO son (with whom I always had such a wonderful relationship, no problems).  I can’t begin to imagine not wanting him to come back to me and always welcoming him with open arms.  God bless you.

        • elizabethkelly899 Report

          MichelleLDickerson Kc316  You have so much love for your son,  and he feels your love of course. Adult children are so much into themseles sometimes, and concentrating on finding their path, they rationalize their parents are fine without them, feeling that the parent understands they love them even though they are not in contact, they go abou their self-absorbed life until life throws them painful curve balls, and it will, unfortunately. I did this myself when I was 26 went up to New York to live for two years, and rarely contacted my parents in my self absorbtion trying to find myself.  It was only after life was very unkind to me that my thoughts got off myself and through my own suffering inflicted by others, did I realize and appreciate the love my parents gave to me.  Years later, when I had my own daughter I was a single parent and not the best in the world.  Our relationship has always been rocky and not close. I read Haim Ginott’s book Between Parent and Child, and realized many of my words, were like knives.  I now consider what she is feeling when we speak, before I answer, and apply what I have learned in the book, and other parenting books, and our relationship is improving.  I know that you and your son had a wonderful relationship, and that will happen again. He is very self absorbed right now, but I believe because of your previous relationship, he carries only love for you in his heart. When he matures he will become the same loving son.  Keep praying, and I will pray for you also.

          • MichelleLDickerson Report

            elizabethkelly899 Kc316   Thank you so much, Elizabeth.  I do believe he will be back eventually – I just pray he doesn’t wait until I’m on my death bed.  There are also 2 wonderful grand daughters involved – both of whom I had a wonderful relationship.  It breaks my heart even further, thinking of what he might have told them about whatever is going on.  Thank you for your prayers – I really, really appreciate it.  It means a lot to me!  God bless you!

    • justlikeyesterday Report

      Shattered My 25 yo daughter rejected us in a letter that she left behind before she disappeared. For ten months I had the same dream with different circumstances: I am losing my purse with all of my identification and valuables in it. Same dream 2-3 times a week for 10 months. Desperate search follows and I wake up from my nightmare.

      • Shattered Report

        justlikeyesterday Shattered Ah these dreams! Two nights ago I dream my son (with whom she is also estranged) and I were going to her wedding – she is 40 and unmarried. In my dream we are standing alone, off to one side just waiting and waiting. A stranger tells us she is pregnant with my first grandchild. I awake sobbing.

        • justlikeyesterday Report

          Shattered justlikeyesterday There is hope! 10 months later I had a dream, the last one when I am looking for the purse again, and suddenly I realize that it was with me all the time, but hidden under a sweater in front of me. My identity is still complex and not evolve only around my daughter, I am still a therapist, a mother to another wonderful daughter and a wife, and a human. You are also more than the mother of your son. You wait and the healing dream will come. It had such a reliving quality to it ! The dreams tell us a meaning, keep searching for the meaning and keep healing in new ways! I fulfilled my lifelong dream to go to Egypt with my husband and found wonderful new friends in a different world. I don’t let anything pass by saying “tomorrow”. Today is the day for YOU!!!! I feel your pain in this heart broken reality.

        • Kc316 Report

          Even though I’m daily choosing not to allow the estrangement to ruin my life, there are still some very tough moments. I have to mindfully work at it. I truly understand awakening after the dreams that express the fears and grief for the lost adult child, no matter how badly they’ve behaved.
          This grownup stranger was once my little child.
          We’ve had to make some very painful choices, including remaking our wills to exclude this beloved daughter because her hateful actions and words include her brother and his young family. Our son will be executor of our will some day and we are not subjecting him to dealing with his sister as she now is. This was traumatic for me, to be carrying out the complete estrangement to its legal conclusion.
          We aren’t wealthy but we expect to have some legacy for our son and grandchildren. Please look to what you can do to care for yourself while you grieve.

          • MichelleLDickerson Report

            Kc316 Shattered justlikeyesterday  – and anyone else.  I read these and they completely break my heart.  But the posts also make me look at my estranged relationship with my son (nearly 4 years now) and wonder what on earth happened.  There had been nothing during his childhood, teenage or young adult years (he’s 34 now)  that would have caused this to happen or prepare me for it (that I know about and I have wracked my brain repeatedly and nearly constantly trying to think of something).  We were always extremely close – always – for his entire life.  We rarely even had cross words between us.  Everything was fine until all of a sudden it wasn’t.  He won’t talk to me or tell me what happened – I don’t even have a phone number for him anymore.  I have his home address and have continued to send cards, letters and gifts for Christmas, birthdays, etc to him, his wife and his 2 beautiful daughters which all go unacknowledged.  Everyone I know says that his wife is behind it and I think that may be true but I’m not able to prove it.  She was always very demanding, high maintenance (even bragged about being) and selfish. I’ve also seen her verbally and emotionally abusive toward him – Her way or the highway.  I’ve often wondered if she was jealous somehow of how close my son and I had always been but I keep telling myself that’s ridiculous.  They were living in Italy when this all first happened (he’s military) and they’re living back in the US now, less than a 5 hour drive from me.  I often think about just showing up at his door but can’t get a peace about doing it.  Maybe I’m just terrified of what might happen – I don’t know.  I continue to pray for him and his family and for him to come back to me, for restoration of our relationship and family.  I don’t cry about it as much as I did but I’m definitely not past it and don’t think I ever will be.  I’ve done all I know to do to make a life for myself (I’m single and have been almost 8 years) but have some health issues that make it hard for me to get out and do anything except go to work.  That’s pretty much all of the ‘socialization’ I have.  God bless you all – God bless every one of us.

            • justlikeyesterday Report

              MichelleLDickerson Kc316 Shattered justlikeyesterday For us also, everything was fine until suddenly, it wasn’t. I realized that we loved her so much, we missed the warning signs. And there were many. Drama with friendships before graduations, never saying thank you for anything, entitlement. We realized that we raised a monster! Personality is big part of this. Because she is our precious child, we were blind. I strongly discourage you to show up at your son’s house. He might call the police or files a restraining order. You don’t need more heart break.

  28. Dorker Report

    It’s too soon to know if there will be an estrangement.  But my daughter, I’m not even sure I want there to be a reconciliation if this is the treatment I can expect.   She told me to “Eff Off”, (but used the terminology), told me I’m psychotic and need help, told everyone else in my orbit the same, about me.
    Why?  What prompted this?    I have a friend I vent to online (emails).    Daughter is in a marriage with a guy who, while he does love her and is not abusive, .. he isn’t capable of holding a steady job, other than being coddled (employed by my husband, who tucks him up under his wing and coddles him).   He has, her husband, been a source of a lot of frustration.  They have landed under my roof 3 x’s to live as he and she can’t make it financially (why doesn’t someone get another job, to increase their dollars coming in?, good question, one I get slammed for asking, along with other questions one might ask if one is of sound logic).    He undermines and stirs the pot .. lies and says things that I did or said that hurt his feelings, untrue and embellishing, causing my daughter to then come at me (daughter is 28 yo).   

    I vent, privately, in email to a friend.   

    Daughter and her family living here, again .. unable to sustain themselves … and needing to regain their footing, so they can move along again.    Her husband, complained to my husband (the father of this daughter, we’ve been married 30 + years) .. that I was bragging on the telephone about my soon to be empty-nest.  Indeed I was.   I was happy to see an empty nest upcoming.   Been a long time coming, and I was celebrating same.  I wasn’t aiming this at him specifically for having landing here, . nor her (she wasn’t here, she was at work) but he complained to my husband and my husband an dI fought ( a pattern this husband of her’s is so very famous for ).    

    This and so much more, just too much to name.
    Suffice it to say, I vent my frustrations to a friend online, in emails, and mostly about this husband of her’s .. who has caused so much hurt/frustration/anger, etc.   

    Daughter snooped.  Read the emails while living here.   And behind that, I am to “eff off”, I am “psychotic” and need help, I am “mentally ill”, .. and any other of a number of choice words she’s had for me, and hasn’t spoken to me since, this has been 2 weeks ago.
    From what I hear, she expects that I aplogize for remarks made in those emails (not meant for her eyes, by the way).    And absent any apology from me, .. she wants nothing to do with me.   

    Incredibly painful.   

    Suffice it to say, her husband, has some issues .. and I seem to be his target.  This all stems from the fact (they were high school sweethearts) .. and they began planning to marry soon out of high school, neither of them equipped to support themselves, and I stood firm they shouldn’t marry until they could support themselves financially.   I, alone, stood that ground.    My husband (her father, .. his stance was really one of *they are going to marry* may as well get on board  …. that or don’t be a part of it and regret it the rest of your life).  So I did get on board .. but it was with much reservation and consternation on my part (his parents, he only has his mother .. and stepfather, his mother stuck her head in the sand, in those days and went into denial that her only child, her precious baby boy was marrying and she disengaged from the whole process)   So it was me alone standing in that gap, that they shouldn’t marry.  I believe that I have been despised since.   They have been married for 7+ years now, and one beautiful little 3 you girl.   

    Her husband, .. had 2 jobs, when they first married, both of which were lost mysteriously (as was the case prior to them marrying, see above, .. my stance they shouldn’t marry).  She had just finished hair school and hadn’t yet built a client base from which to earn any decent living.   Ultimately her husband was hired by my husband, where he has been for approximately 6 years and my husband does admit, he is lacking, he will never be a skilled tradesman …. he just is ill equipped to do so, but my husband is too soft hearted to cut him loose and watch his grand daughter and his daughter suffer in the process, so he coddles him.
    This, .. and the fact they don’t make it financially and constantly have their hands out .. enough to cause me a lot of frustration, which I vent to a friend about via emails.   Only for her and her family to have landed here a 3rd time now, unable to sustain and stand on their own two feet … and she snooped, at night, when I would go to bed.   She didn’t tell me this while living here, of course.  Only once they got on their feet and moved out.  Then, is when I was blasted for the words I’d imparted to a friend in emails that she read, and that I’m psychotic and that I need help, I am mentally ill and that I can “eff off”, etc etc etc.

    • GenaGaddis Report

      Wow this sounds similar to my situation. My daughter says I’m psychotic and her guy is a great guy! Meanwhile there is an innocent infant being used a weapon.Not seeing that child is breaking me!

  29. barbaradubovsky Report

    Dear Shattered, you did your best and that’s all anyone can do. The over privileged spoiled children that are now becoming adults are impossible to reason with. They will never see themselves for what they really are. Therefore, it is pointless to beat yourself up over it. I’m not saying that this generation is all rotten – there are still many wonderful young adults out there. How your children turn out is sometimes the luck of the draw. Sure, good parenting is important but it’s no guarantee that it will result in gracious, loving children. You are far from alone in this. Sometimes I wonder if maybe us moms set our expectations too high. If I had a do over, I would make sure my kids saw how the less fortunate third world children grow up. Perspective is everything.

    • Shattered Report

      Missmydaughter Thanks for taking the time to respond. It helps to know that I am not the only one bobbing alone in the ocean! My Minister this week gave me wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement and although its still painful and real, I am learning to dump the guilt. Bless everone suffering at this time.

  30. Shattered Report

    Finally I have found a forum where hopefully I can chat and share with mothers like myself. My single estranged daughter (40) told me two days ago to never contact here again, she will not open or respond to any mail. She said our relationship was “intrinsically dysfunctional” I am not here to bad mouth and blame her. I had to single handedly raise her and her brother (35) from when they were 10 and 5 respectively. No outside help at all. In the past the three of us have sat down and talked about tough times and where they found me lacking and I apologized over and over. My son and I have a wonderful relationship. She has “diagnosed” me as ” narcissistic” and that her “abused” childhood/ me is the reason she has migraines and health issues. I know I am not narcissistic (professional opinion) and that I honestly always did the best I could with the often limited resources I had. I never willingly caused harm or pain to either of my children. Yes, I worked long hours, yes I was often absent physically and emotionally working 2 – 3 jobs so they could have a home, food and tertiary education – no student loans to burden them. I saved and scraped to give them one good holiday a year away from home and we visited shows  and museums as money allowed. As money problems eased I tried to take the three of us out for a weekly meal. For her, it was not enough. There is nothing I can do. I was far from a perfect parent, God in heaven knows that. This kind of estrangement puts one into a total head spin of embarrassment, guilt, pain, anger, sorrow and devastation that knows no depths. I have to accept and move on. Easier said than done. My home is full of photos, cards, loving letters postcards and other memento’s of her. I came across a box of her childhood dolls and favorite books. The sorrow strangles and chokes. How on earth does one keep sane? I am a Christian and my faith will help, I know. I still have a loving son (she has cut him off as well) I have an incredible loving husband of 5 years and sisters etc. I am blessed. My heart goes out to you all.

    • tammielpowell Report

      Shattered  , Just wanted to offer a kind word.  Bless you for sharing your story and I hope you will find a measure the measure  of peace you are seeking.  I walk in similar shoes w/a 20-year old daughter and know it is a difficult journey.   Like you, I feel doomed to never understand why estrangement seems to be the only answer for children who were and are, so deeply loved and well-cared for.  Wish I had words of wisdom but all I can offer is compassion from someone who understands what it’s like.

      • Shattered Report

        tammielpowell Shattered And by just responding you have helped me – because you know what it is about. Thank you.

      • Heartbrokenparent Report

        tammielpowell Shattered I am in the same boat as both of you.  I gave my daughter everything I could afford and more, materialistically.  I also gave her everything of myself and quit good jobs to work from home or work evenings and weekends to be home for her.  I allowed friends in to be with her day and night as she is an only child.  I did everything I knew how to do for her in every sense of the word and in every way.  Then, along came a total loser jerk of a boyfriend who lied to her and continues to lie to this day.  He hates my husband and myself and isn’t speaking to his own parents.  Once that happened, that’s when our daughter dumped us because we told them to take their weed out of our home to smoke it.  Seriously.  We haven’t seen her for nearly a year now and she (as far as we know), lives 20 minutes away from us.  

        Long story cut short is that I completely understand what you’re going though.  I’ve been for therapy with a few different therapists on how to deal with this.  I tried all of their suggestions and nothing worked.  My daughter rejected every single attempt with trying to work things out with us.  

        The bottom line is that NO ONE has any real answers to this.  There’s nothing on the net even that I’ve found that can help us.  Even professionals are unable to help much.  

        As to how to deal with this within ourselves or why this all happened…it seems no one has the answers to that either…short of “apologize” and keep chasing them.  Done all of that and nothing works.  Frankly, I can’t even figure out WHAT I’m supposed to be apologizing for????  I did apologize though. I told her that we are sorry for whatever it is that has gotten her this upset with us and to please tell us what it might be so that we can work it out.  More distancing and no contact whatsoever.  I have to give up because there’s nothing left to do.  The therapists have all thrown their arms in the air and said “give up…” too.  

        How to live with this?  I don’t know.  I wish someone would come up with something to help us all in how to deal with this.  About the only thing that one therapist I’ve seen said that made any sense whatsoever was….
        “If your daughter wasn’t your daughter and was anyone else…would you be putting up with this treatment or would you move forward and onward?”  
        Of course….my answer would be, “if she were anyone else…I’d be telling her where to go and not looking back.”  
        Unfortunately…she IS my child.  I can’t do that no matter how hard I’ve tried.

        • tammielpowell Report

          Heartbrokenparent tammielpowell Shattered, Dear Heartbrokenparent, Just wanted to respond with a sincere thank you for your words and story.  It is definitely comforting to experience the comradery and support on this site, though I wish we didn’t need to interact due to such sad circumstances.  Hope we all find peace, value and love in other places.  Kindest regards to all reading.

        • justlikeyesterday Report

          Heartbrokenparent tammielpowell Shattered I am in the same boat. Our daughter failed her master program and when we picked her up from her university, she called the cops on us. We reasoned with the police, stayed for the night, moved her back (13 hours drive) , the next day she left a note behind and said we are not her parents anymore. It happened on May 10 2014. Not one day went by that I did not think about it. Not one day. After therapy and being a therapist myself this is what I came up with. My child is a n extreme narcissist, she can not distinguish between guilt and shame. Every failure for her is shameful. i tried everything to reconcile but she is unable to express regrets and unable to apologize. Just left us in horrible pain and unending sorrow. I would never try to be in contact with anyone else like her ! Blood does not excuse her terrible personality that was hidden for 25 years because she was spoiled to rotten. I chose a new philosophy in life: burn your money. I traveled to Egypt and finally spend our hard earned money on us now. I am not letting my daughter to ruin what is left in my life and I try keep her at distance. Her “love” meant nothing. After I read the note, my mind could not register it, I struggled for a year with anxiety attacks, had constant nightmares and after the incident I was unable to work for a week. I was unable to get out of bed and function at all. To this day, she pretends as nothing happened, although her father cut communication with her. The most terrible fact is that her brain washed state formulated in the university while she was participating in a Christian group !

    • tctiptop Report

      I too have a daughter and son that I raised as a single parent.
      Times were tough and I too was not the best parent in the world. My son
      and I are communicating as two adults and we are honest with each other.
      My daughter has not passed beyond that threshold of adulthood
      emotionally. It was dumbfounding at first,when she cut me out of her
      life. I thought at first, it was a phase, it’s normal, she will outgrow
      it and we will once again pick up our relationship and see it grow
      again, as two adults, that being harder for me than either of my
      children, also normal, I figured. It’s been since 2009 with my daughter.
      I haven’t seen her since. At least not the person I once knew. She is
      gone forever, but always in my heart. My son keeps me informed on her
      well being, For that I am eternally grateful. I have learned to live as a
      single adult myself. I actually am finding out what things I like, such
      as my favorite colors, foods, clothing, etc. It is good. I stopped
      looking behind me when I kept running into brick walls. Now I realize
      that it was never about me, but her. It was her way of branching out. I
      no longer feel her growing pains now. I am feeling my own! It is a great
      feeling once it becomes comfortable again to just be me. You are so
      fortunate to have a husband to help you go through all of this. One
      warning, don’t build a shrine to the daughter you once had in your life.
      That will only bring you sorrow. Mementos, photos, they will drag you
      back into the past, not allowing you to see what’s ahead. Talk about
      brick walls! Live in the now. That is what your daughter is doing
      as well. That really is how it should be. Getting all wrapped up in the
      memories will possibly cause you to lose what you have in the present. You
      are better than even you yourself know or realize right now. That will
      come in time. And down the road, so will your daughter. Be ready for who
      she will become, not who she’s been. I truly hope this helps.

      • Shattered Report

        tctiptop Shattered Thank you for your response. I really appreciate you taking the time. My daughter has also cut off from her brother. He has not tried to call her because he is angry. Strange that I found her cutting him off almost more painful than my cut off because they have always been so very close. I had a very fruitful session with my Minister this week I have found some measure of peace.

    • elizabethkelly899 Report

      Shattered No matter how obnoxious our adult children act towards us, we respond only in love without defending ourselves.  They will eventually come around and respond to us in the same way if we do this.

  31. Brokentothecore Report

    I am a divorced mother of 2 adult children. Oldest is 29, youngest is 26. My oldest was raised and adopted by my ex husband at age 9. Could have been earlier, but I wanted to give time to be sure she knew more about it and not to react on my emotions. Since around age 16 my daughter has been so controlling and manipulative. She told lies constantly and has what I call the victim syndrome. When she was caught doing wrong as a teenager, she would immediately flip the story and make herself a victim. That way of thinking has only progressed. She now has a 9 year old and a 3 month old with the same meth addicted donor. Recently he robbed my home taking many valuables of mine. At the time she was pregnant with my granddaughter. He met my grandson at age 6, there is no connection between the two. My grandson loves him of course, but he is okay with rarely seeing him. He is aware of his donors addiction problem, lying and inability to hold employment. Recently my daughter left 3 weeks ago to attempt to retain funds from this person because he cleared her bank account, she hasn’t been home since. She’s texted and called only to put the blame of her life on my plate, I’m now raising her two kids because she claims to need a break. After 10 days of not coming back I called DCF for abandoning the two. They drug tested her and to my surprise she is positive for Meth and confessing her love for the donor of her kids, I agreed to a guardianship instead of temporary custody. I’m not able to get her to bring me their insurance cards and she has only seen her son once and infant twice by her own decision. She has always been taken care of because she struggles with keeping a job or friendships due to the fact people always victimize her. I have been cussed, screamed at, told to suck it up and get over myself by her because this isn’t about me, only her! Problem is when I try to listen to her about the so called problems I don’t understand, she just keeps repeating herself. I’m thinking I need to go ahead for temporary custody, stop paying her bills which my ex husband and I do and close the door for a while and let her see what life is about! I love this girl so much, but these mood swings and problems just get worse and worse each time,

  32. cargra1230 Report

    I am in a state of grief, sadness, shock and total embarrassment.  I was traveling to my 26 year old son’s hometown for a couple of days and I asked if I could stay at his place.  He said no.  His reason was that he was going to be away for a few days and that he “was not comfortable with “people” staying at his apt when he wasn’t there”.  I gasped for air when he said that.  I am his mother, I am not “people”.  Did he think that I was going to rummage through his things or steal from him?  I am a law abiding citizen.  I have never broken the law or stolen anything in my life.  Besides, I brought most of the furnishings in his apartment, why would I want to steal that?  He has his own room in my home, furnished in his favorite color and he never needs an invitation to come here and to stay as long as he likes, as a matter of fact, I would always encourage him to stay longer!

    He is my only child.  I have loved, respected, admired and doted on him from the moment of birth. I never cursed, let alone abused my child in any way, shape or form.  His mental, emotional. physical and spiritual health were of the utmost importance to me.  I would take a bullet without hesitation for that child.   There was nothing that I would not do for him and he was always first in my life.  I gave him a good life, I made sure that he had everything that he needed and many of the things he wanted.  I loved and nurtured him (I am a social worker) and I supported him 1,000%.  I never denied him, I stood beside him every step out the way. 

    How he could turn away his own mother is absolutely out of my realm of comprehension.  I would be more likely to accept and understand this if he were on drugs, alcohol or had mental health problems but he doesn’t.  He is in excelling in a masters’ program at an Ivy League university.  I feel like I am dying inside, spiraling into this big black hole, I cannot imagine my life without him being a part of it.

  33. SheriM Report

    My book, Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children may be helpful to hurting parents of estranged adult children.

  34. Girlgonefishing2000 Report

    Two days ago my children 12 and 21 lost their sister my oldest daughter 27 to cancer . My daugher was the 1% of patients whos cancer went undetected by the drs on her papsmear. My daughter was married to the man of her dreams last october and off to italy she went her new husbands job would keep her there for approx 4yrs. Her fairytale is cut short when she becomes ill and must return to the states in jan this year. Heres the most damaging is that she and i have not talked in several years though i attended her wedding last oct.still. she chose to not speak to me . Our comunications were through my other two children .i am sure that made for much more pain in their lives as well. It was my daughter who made the choice to completely cut me off 4 yrs ago with no explaination . She assumed i knew what i had done to cause this seperation . i have spent the last 4 yrs of her precious life trying to figure out what went wrong,what happened.and how can i as a mother mend our lives back together . The pain she felt had to be great for and action such as this and the pain others endured during this time was infectious it just kept taking in more and more of others in our lives . Hearing the news of her cancer diagnoses was devestating but the most damaging was my families choice to keep the news of here arrival in the states a secret to myself and her youngest sibling whom she was the closest.for over a month .i would like to share more at this time but the pain of her loss at this time stops me at this time just keep in mind the death of a child is a parents worst nightmare Stands TRUE !!!

    • Amiga1 Report

      Girlgonefishing2000 I am so sorry for your loss.   The circumstances make it even more painful and tragic for you.   I hope you will find healing and seek it out.   You are so right, losing a child is one of the worst losses imaginable. It is hard for anyone to understand what you are going through.  Heartfelt prayers to you, your daughter and family!

    • Kc316 Report

      I’m so very sorry for your loss and the estrangement that preceded it. I’m praying for you, for comfort, for strength, for mercies as you grieve.

  35. heartbrokenso sad Report

    My heart broke… I was stunned when my adopted daughter, which I never thought of as adopted, because my love for her was so stinkin deep it went to my very soul, got mad at me for reposting a thing about stay at home moms. I did not even think about her, yes she working and a really good mom, I did not even know she ever looked at my facebook, she never posted or commented.I was a stay at home mom, raised by a stay at home mom, my friends are all stay at home moms… but it hurt her deeply,  I would never hurt her on purpose.  she did not talk to me for a year.   I know this ran deeper then this comment.   Because she has pictures all over the house of her husbands family she has pictures in my grand daughters bed room of his family and not one of our family. even though we gave her pictures.  I have tried to talk to her and ask her what she is feeling, before this happened, but she always says nothing , I love you.   I really felt wshe she would not talk to me I that I would die. my heart broke

    • Terri12345 Report

      heartbrokenso sad My situation is almost opposite yours.  My daughter is biological, my mom was a stay at home but I was a working mom — out of necessity but maybe I would have worked anyhow.  My daughter is a stay at home.  We never had a falling out, but she seems to want little to do with us, lives with her husband’s father and near his mother.  She claims they are dysfunctional, the mother is a recovered meth addict — she hates her father-in-law’s live-in girlfriend — but lives with them all the same.  

      So — it just comes down to — there’s really no one factor to explain why they want to cut themselves off.   You can wrack your brain wondering, thinking if only this had been different or that was — but who knows.   Some people just do what they want to do.

    • epollard Report

      My adopted daughter has stopped talking to me she says I should have told her sooner she was adopted I found a diary in her room from three years ago her senior year of high school it says in there she hates me when she dies she wants her tomb stone to have her birth name on it not her adopted name that hurt me so bad I thought we had a good relationship and all of a sudden the end of January she took off gave no address would text once in a while she decided to join marines then she called me to see her sworn in I thought things were better but she got released from boot camp something about fraud she wrote letters every week and when she was ready to come home called and we picked her up at airport I though everything was OK but she slept on couch that night went to Dr with dad in morning helped me drop two feral cats off at vet to be fixed spent rest of day at grandma’s left that night and haven’t heard from her since it’s killing me she has a twin brother who is still here and does stuff with me I think she hates that she was adopted but is taking it out on me instead of her birth mother anyone have any ideas

  36. Angus2 Report

    Our son abandoned us about four years ago , we have been denied access to their child , even though he was introduced to us as an infant . The inlaws of course have it all .
    His hatred for us as foreigners , is typical of first generation Americans . My wife was born in Germany and I in England. The contempt they show us is odd enough for me to wonder if they are mentally ill , he and his wife .
    He was raised liberally , no violence . And we were really easy with him. The only things denied to him were drugs , booze and a party life. We are conservative , liberal and not religious.
    In this group are two Doctorates and one medical degree.

    The pain is blinding .
    I am 65 and my wife two years older.
    Everything is lost.
    It really is killing me.
    Alas we see no future as parents.
    We were alienated from our parents , they were violent , dishonest and abusive . So he had no grandparents.
    Perhaps this was the cause.
    The meanness I see in this man , my son , astounds me.

    • Amiga1 Report

      Angus2 Angus, I feel for you and your wife very much.  I have a dear friend, who is from England, her daughter was born here.  She is the reason I came to this website.  My poor friend was cut off from her daughter over 5 years ago, and then learned through the grapevine she has a granddaughter. She did not even know her estranged daughter gave birth to a daughter until 18 months after the baby girl was born.  She is suffering daily from the knowledge that she has not even been allowed a photograph of the girl.  She has no idea what she has done.   Her daughter will not communicate with her to give her any reason.  And like your child, this is an accomplished and successful daughter, with a Ph.D.  in, of all things psychology!  The daughter is a therapist, which makes it even more perplexing.    
      I want to say, do not kill yourself over this!  Live your life!  Give your pain to God (or the infinite intelligence that exists in the universe and your heart.).  Free yourself and allow God to take your burden, pray with humility and ask to be freed from this pain.  Serve others, find joy in  your life as best you can.   Who knows what is going on in your son’s head, you cannot control that and if he is not willing to tell you, you should let it go.   I cannot help but think that your own split with your parents is important here, there is a lesson here, karmic relationship.  That said, do not blame yourself, just be open to healing and understanding.   Serve others, live your life, enjoy what you can.  I know it is hard not to be defeated or angry, but you must not.   As best as you can do not harbor resentment, anger, or sadness.  My friend in typical English “stiff upper lip” fashion is carrying on and I am very proud of her, although I know there is not a day she does not bear this pain and think about her daughter and now the granddaughter she will never know.     Blessings and good luck!

  37. Sharon15 Report

    I am so sorry that your daughter told you that you were not welcome to her walk-through.  I can only keep myself busy by beading, working, working nursery at church and praying that God will open my 31 year old sons eyes.  His spouse has manipulated his thoughts with questions about Why this and Why that to the point that he only calls on Mothers Day and Christmas.  Sounding very bored and uninterested.  He has had two jobs since getting his Phd and complains about how bored he is.  Is he grateful?  No.  But am I paying his student loans?  Yes.  I have decided if he does not make an attempt to spend some time with his dad and younger brother at Fathers Day, then he can take over the student loan.  We were a very close family.  The boys were into soccer and baseball, school and travel teams.  I miss him greatly and understand your pain.  Hope you find someone to hug you.

  38. SRBC Report

    I am a new member. Our 21 year old son is spoiled, disrespectful, and breaking us. Our soon to be 26 year old daughter broke my heart 2 years age when she shut me out of her wedding plans, but not her dad (we are still married-30 years.)
    When she and her husband bought a house a couple months ago, my husband was there for inspection. I was passing through today, day of closing, thinking I could get a walk-through tour, but was met at the car and told real fast that I was not welcome. My heart sank, especially when my daughter said surely I would not come on the first day. All she had to do was be honest. What happened to honesty?

  39. Larry Report

    Hello,  I am age 66 and a father that recently became estranged and alienated from both of my sons.  I went through a divorce in 1991 at age 40 and I was awarded sole custody of my two sons that were then ages 6 and 8 years of age.  
    My two sons are currently ages 31 and 33.  One week ago I became alienated and estranged from my 31 year old son who seems to be very narcissistic.  He was diagnosed as having a learning disability all through grade school, junior high, and high school.  My other son who is 33 years old took his brothers side in this and he made some snide remarks to me on Facebook and then stopped all contact with me.  This is not the first time that I have been alienated from both of my two sons, they have done this to me at least 3 to 4 times in the last decade.  
    After this recent estrangement and alienation took place I did some research on the internet and I found several websites that said children in the age bracket from 18 to 34 are called the “millennial generation” are becoming alienated and estranged from their parents and it is becoming an epidemic.  
    I tried to be the best father I could be with no instruction manual on how to raise children, I just used common sense and got advice from my own parents when I needed help.  I feel that the reason this “epidemic” is happening is because my generation “the baby boomers”, wanted their own children to have a better childhood than they did.  I know that was true for myself.  I tried to get my children most anything that they asked for in the way of “toys” when they were young and now I see that this “spoiled them rotten”.  Throughout their 20’s and now into their 30’s when I don’t do what they want me to do, I get talked to with disrespect and if I don’t cave in to their demands they reject me and stop talking to me months at a time.  I am sick of this cycle and I don’t know how to break it.  I am thinking about not contacting either son for a least a period of six months to see if they try to reach out to me for a reconciliation.  Why am I doing that you might ask, it is because this alienation and estrangement by them seems to be very manipulative on their part because they both know that I love them.
    I recently joined a support group on Facebook called “Parents of estranged and alienated adult children” which is helping me deal with this.  That support group’s page is flooded with stories just like this website.

  40. momwhodidherbest Report


    Thank you for your post. I too have often thought the same
    thing that you stated. I have parents that have and still to this day make MANY mistakes. Mistakes
    that I believe in my heart were/are worse than I ever did/do as a parent. Still I
    have chosen to maintain a relationship with both of them. They are my parents.
    They are human. ALL humans make mistakes from time to time.

     I have 3 biological children and 2 nieces that my husband
    and I have raised since ages 3 and 4. Our oldest daughter, now 27, was adopted by my
    husband at the age of 5 after being dis-guarded by her biological father. Although my husband is not her biological father, she was raised as is she was, just as my nieces are.  He is a wonderful man.

    course, hindsight is always 20/20. We now realize our daughter had a lot of
    emotional and possibly even, mental issues. In high school she once told a teacher
    that a relative of ours had committed suicide while on the phone with her the
    night before. Right then and there we should have gotten professional help. It
    turns out that was just the tip of an iceberg we were dealing with. Long story
    sort of short, 10 years later she has cut off all ties with our entire family,
    including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc…We honestly believe that
    she has told so many lies and done so much wrong to our family that she believes her own lies and has justified her actions in her mind. The worst part is she has started a family and
    now has a relationship with her father who abandoned her. He now has the
    privilege of having our beloved grandson in his life and a granddaughter that
    we have never met.

     I have read many posts on this blog that talk about
    personality disorders. With no substance, physical or emotional abuse in the
    home and 4 other children that seem to be well adjusted and loving, we can’t
    help but think that must be the problem with our oldest daughter. She is a phenomemal liar and manipulator as was her biological father. The ability to intentionally
    inflict so much pain on your entire family is simply mind boggling.



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