Five ways to move on after an adult child’s rejection

adult child's rejectionby Sheri McGregor

When an adult child abandons parents, or in some cases the entire family, the what-ifs and how-coulds can limit recovery. What if my child returns to reconcile? How can I move on now yet still hold onto hope?

After an adult child’s rejection, the idea of moving on can feel like giving up, so trying to move forward brings guilt. You might question your character. What kind of a parent just gets on with life as if nothing has happened? Few parents move on with such abandon. Most, on some level, hold out hope for reconciliation. But staring at the silent telephone, desperately waiting for the uncertain return of your adult child can lead to despair. Getting on with life despite what’s happened connects you to other people and activities, helps fill the void of loss, and can help you to heal. In my book, Done With The Crying, tools, the latest research, and insight from more than 9,000 parents of estranged adults can help you move forward and heal.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you are betrayed by someone you love, perhaps particularly an estranged adult child who you nurtured and helped to shape, it’s as if the bottom falls out. You may question everything you thought about your child, your relationship, and how your life will continue in relation to your son or daughter, and perhaps in relation to your prior expectations. Getting to a point where you feel you’ve moved on may take time, so be kind to yourself. Expecting that you can go to sleep one night determined to leave the pain of an adult child’s rejection behind, and wake up over it, isn’t realistic. Recovering from deep emotional wounds takes time. I’ve gleaned a few tips from my own experience with my estranged adult child as well as from studies, books, and articles that can help.

An adult child’s rejection hurts.

One: Don’t pretend you’re not hurting.

Fearing judgment, you may be embarrassed to share your painful truth.  And you may be right to hold back with people at work, or certain friends you feel won’t understand or will judge you. It’s helpful to reach out to a trusted, empathetic friend or two, but whether you can or can’t confide in others, don’t deny your feelings exist. Accept your emotions as normal in the situation.

Some common feelings of rejected parents include:

*Guilt: I must not have raised my child right. An adult child’s rejection may cause parents to look back critically at their parenting skills, even magnifying some incidents or interactions during the child’s growing up years as proof they did a poor job.

*Anger: I raised my child better than this. What happened to honoring one’s parents?

*Helplessness: How can he/she refuse to take my call? Parents realize they have no control over their adult child’s actions.

*Fear: What if my other adult children leave me too?

*Denial: This can’t be happening. Surely it won’t last.

*Uncertainty: Am I crazy? Is this all my fault? Am I that insufferable? Will this ever end?

*Failure: I feel powerless. Parents may have a sense of failure at having tried everything, but nothing has worked to restore the relationship.

These are just a few of the feelings you may encounter in response to an adult child’s rejection, betrayal or neglect. Keeping a journal or simply free-writing about your feelings may provide a safe way to offload them. Some find an online group designed as support for parents of estranged adult children useful. We host an online group to help. Acknowledging your feelings, whether in a journal or by sharing with others you trust can be healthy, but not to excess or in a negative way.

Two: Don’t Ruminate

Listen to your thoughts. Do you catch yourself saying aloud or thinking, “I’ll never get over this..” Are you continually asking questions, such as, “Why do these sorts of things always happen to me?” Called “ruminating,” this sort of negative thinking spurs more negative thought, perhaps even calling to mind the other things that “always happen.” Clinical studies have linked ruminating to high blood pressure and to unhealthy behaviors such as binge drinking and overeating, so steer clear.

How do you avoid ruminating? Turn your statements and questions around with positive thoughts. I am moving past this. Good things happen in my life. This suggestion may sound trite, but if negative thoughts can produce more negative thoughts, positive thoughts can be as fruitful.

When you catch yourself thinking negatively about your adult child or the situation, notice your physical body as well. Are you holding your breath? Clenching your jaw? Tightening your fists? You may be experiencing a stress response that isn’t good for you.

As reported in the Harvard Health Newsletter, researchers at Hope College in Michigan found that changing one’s thoughts about a stressful situation, perhaps by considering the parts you handled well or imagining offering forgiveness, changes the body’s responses. In short, the way we think about things can reduce our physical stress response

Take a few deep breaths, loosen up or even get up and move around. Drink a glass of water. Do something to aid your physical body and health as well as positively altering your thoughts.

Three: Focus on the Good

Take time out each day to consider the positive situations and good people in your life. A journal of good thoughts written down at the end of each day is a healthy habit, and a formal record is fun to re-read later. However, a more casual approach can be effective.

Keeping a positive focus after an adult child’s rejection.

Here are a few suggestions:

Instead of joining everyone in the lunch break room each day, take a short stroll outdoors instead, or perhaps before you join the others. The benefits of nature to the psyche are well-documented. Be sure to experience your surroundings to the fullest, by taking notice. The dappled sunlight beneath this tree is pretty. The breeze feels good as it goes through my hair.

If getting outdoors isn’t an option, you can still focus your thoughts in a positive direction. Perhaps recall moments from your morning that went well.  I’m glad I was able to make that telephone connection and cross the task off my list. I arrived at the office earlier than my boss this morning. I’m lucky my co-workers are helpful.

Looking to the future with a positive focus promotes the well-known attitude of gratitude that’s so helpful. My dog will be waiting for me with a wagging tail. I look forward to my favorite television show tonight. I’m so thankful my aging mother is well.

Four: Forgive.

Parents have known and loved their children for so long that forgiveness may be second nature – – or not. Perhaps you blame other people who are involved with your adult children. Or maybe you blame yourself. We all make mistakes, so work to forgive. Because of the personal benefits, forgiveness is a gift you can give yourself. Forgive for the sake of your own happiness.

In a study published by National Institute of Health in 2011, researchers found that older adults (median age 66) who forgive others report higher levels of life satisfaction. Forgiving freely, without requiring an act of contrition, (such as an apology or admission), was particularly beneficial. Holding one’s forgiveness hostage to some act or condition was associated with psychological distress and symptoms of depression.

Five: Accept.

Accepting the reality of an adult child’s abandonment, and your helplessness to change it, may feel like letting go of hope. Reconciliation may eventually take place, but in the present, accepting what’s happened allows you to make the most of your life now.

Most of us have had to accept other disappointing realities during our lives: a loved one’s death, the inability to finish college due to other responsibilities, or an unrealized professional goal. We all have disappointments, but the vast majority of us accept reality and move forward, perhaps in more fulfilling directions. Even after an adult child’s rejection, you have the right to enjoy your life. Dwelling on the past or struggling with pursuits that, at least for the moment, are futile, rob you of precious time.

Acceptance may take determination, but is worth the effort. Acceptance has allowed me the freedom to be who I truly am: A strong woman blessed with many people, including four other adult children, to love and share my life with. By accepting the sad reality of one adult child’s rejection, I can better spend my time and energy on people that want my company, on interests that are meaningful and fulfilling to me, and where I can make a difference.

Recently, a parent told me she had reconciled with an estranged adult child after nearly two decades of estrangement. Her story illustrates the fulfillment of hope. Like she did, you can live your life now—-in a way that’s meaningful, fulfilling, and happy—-and still hold out hope for a future reconciliation.
parents of estranged adult childrenDone With The Crying is available through popular booksellers. Ask your local bookstore to order this book for parents of estranged adult children for you. Or order online. And fathers–this book can help you, too.

Take the confidential, 8-question survey to help parents of estranged adult children.

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Forgiveness by God, Forgiveness of Others, and Psychological Well-Being in Late Life

Five Reasons to Forgive

 

 

 

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238 thoughts on “Five ways to move on after an adult child’s rejection

  1. Mary Jo

    It has been 3 years of off and on little attempts by daughter. After all the hateful things she has done to me, I don’t want a relationship with her. I no longer want her in my life and I feel numb for saying that. I feel guilty but I will not open my heart to be stabbed again. How can I go on without feeling like a failure as a mother?

    Reply
    1. joy

      I feel the same way- My daughter called the cops on me when I went to her house to talk to her. that was 3 years ago, and I can still see the smirk on her face; saying Ha Ha!. she did not invite me to wedding, or now not allowed me to see 2 grand children.
      even after her hateful actions, I still wonder what I did as a mother to make her hate me so.

    2. Kristin

      I feel the same way . Out if the blue if my daughter & I spent time together she would jump on me because of something I said & I started being so careful & cautious of everything before I said it I know longer enjoy spending time with her . I will miss my grandson & I am very depressed about it but I feel I can no longer be subjected to such abuse .

    3. Christi

      Feel compelled to reply. It occurs to me that sometimes if the adult child is doing hateful things, maybe the best thing is to make sure there is no payoff for the action. Make sure you dust yourself off and move right on after the hateful event, and maybe if she sees you doing nurturing things for her, yourself and others in general she can stop focusing on the hate and remember the good? Praying your loved one is able to come back in your life someday – Hugs, C

    4. Macrina

      Dear Annie,
      I feel your pain and go through the same soul searching questions. I too have a 7 year old granddaughter
      whom I would very much like to spend time with. But because I am last in my daughter’s list of priorities,
      scheduling is impossible.
      I just take my mind away from the situation by focusing on specific activities that give me a feeling of
      self worth. I volunteer at a retirement home visiting those who are lonely like me. I also volunteer at the
      at a hospital at the library and at the chaplaincy, giving communion to the patients.
      I realize that these are activities that you may not be physically able to do. I watch the news on television
      and connect myself to those who are suffering. I internalize my compassion with them and pray for
      them. This gives me the feeling that I am not alone. It gives me strength when the thought of the grim
      future of further physical deterioration creeps into my imagination.

      My best wishes,
      Macrina

    5. Macrina

      Dear Mary Jo,

      I had to rescue my estranged daughter from an impending financial disaster. She did not come to me for
      help but I stumbled upon the situation and confronted her with it. In tears she revealed a two year problem.
      I saw another side of her for the first time. I saw weaknesses and lack of business acumen and qualities
      that I assumed she had.

      Over the month during which we dealt with the situation, I started to look more deeply into her personality. When things came into place, our relationship improved in that the hostility seem to have disappeared. But that was as far as it went. I still do not have a loving relationship with her. No tex messages to see if I was still alive.

      I suddenly realized she has no feeling of a sense of gratitude. Not only to me but to anyone else…my sister and son from whom she has received countless help.

      My point is that our estranged children may not have the emotional capacity to respond to how we are feeling. How this has come about is a discussion for another day. But at least that is a possibility that
      liberates us from this feeling of guilt of not having been a good mother.

      Macrina

    6. Keefe

      IT IS A HARD DECISION BUT SOMETIMES WHEN WE CAN’T HANDLE A SITUATION OR PERSON (BE IT SON OR DAUGHTER) .. BEST IS TO “WALK AWAY” FROM ANY MEMORIES AT ALL (GOOD ONES & BAD ONES).
      AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS OURSELVES WHO WILL “ANSWER” TO HOW WE FEEL ABT THE WHOLE OUTCOME AND WE LIVE WITH IT. ALWAYS MAINTAIN “OWN” SELF-COMPOSURE & DIGNITY (WHATEVER’S LEFT AFTER ALL THE HURT) BUT “LETTING GO” OF BAD FEELING IS A MUST IF WE ARE TO BE “FREE” OF FEELING HURT.
      JUST KNOW THT YOU ARE NOT ALONE ..
      THERE IS ALWAYS FAMILY OR FRIENDS YOU CAN TURN TO OR PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLING CENTRES IF NECESSARY. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “BAD” MOTHERS – LIKE IT OR NOT .. WITHOUT “MOTHERS” TO STAND FOR IN THIS WORLD, THERE WILL BE NO CONSCIENCE & NO LOVE AT ALL.
      DO NOT LET THAT “HURT” RULE YR HEART & RUIN ANY POSSIBILITY OF A RECONCILLIATION ONE DAY. LET THE YEARS ROLL ON .. BE “GOOD” TO YRSELF FOR OTHERS WHO LOVE YOU.

    7. Darlene

      MaryJo, I also do not want a relationship with my daughter (she’s been estranged from my husband and I for 7 years now, and got married almost 2 years ago without inviting us to the wedding). I know that I don’t want to reconcile with her for one simple reason: If say “a friend” rejected me in the same manner that my daughter has done, I wouldn’t want to reconcile with that “friend”; I would cross to the other side of the street to get where I’m going so I wouldn’t even have to brush her shoulder. I wouldn’t want to reconcile with “a friend” like that, so I certainly don’t feel ‘guilty’ for not wanting to reconcile with a daughter who has done worse to me than “a friend”. We are NOT failures as mothers! It’s the sign of the times–their generation is one of entitlement, which means they’ve puffed themselves up so much that they think they’ll be better at parenting than we were. Well, they’ll have to be perfect and THAT in my book means that during their era of being adults they’ll have better children than we did and, get this, by their being better parents and having better children because they’ll be better parents than we were, THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY WARS ANYWHERE ON THIS PLANET EARTH!!! Think about THAT!!! Yup! This next generation will be “entitled” to worldwide peace…. YET, they can’t even be at peace with their OWN parents (US!), but oh boy, they are going to build a better world for themselves and their children. The fact is, however, the world IS fallen and isn’t going to get better, but rather worse–as it’s showing us today–because estrangements from our adult children is a rampant epidemic. What do you think will happen to them when THEIR children become adults…. God help them, because THEY’RE going to feel even MORE pain of rejection than we do…it will be amplified. Yes. What goes around comes around and their rejection of us will bite them back. Many psychologists guarantee it! What an utterly hateful, unloving, unforgiving generation of offspring we’ve birthed–AND not of our doing. I think they’ve learned it in colleges: I spoke with my daughter’s college guidance counselor about her having thrown me under the bus and the counselor said that I wasn’t alone, that it was rampant on their campus, and that parents of their college students had formed a support group because of their students rejection of them. AND this was only in college! What about after these students have graduated and move onto their careers and kept us parents at arms-length?! …Well…it doesn’t stop with us. Their children, I guarantee, will reject them! They won’t be able to stop it from happening to themselves, BECAUSE THEY’LL BE MODELING THEIR REJECTION OF US TO THEIR OWN CHILDREN WHO IN TURN WILL REJECT THEM. I hope I live long enough to see The Day! Then, I’ll say, “Thank you, Jesus!” Amen! Thank you, MaryJo for listening. Please, you are NOT a failure at being a mom…your child is a failure at being a grateful child!!

    8. LanternofHope

      Sorry you had to live through this Mary Jo. One thing you can do to ease the pain is to remember:
      not every parent journeys for years with their child. ie. if a parent dies early then the time is cut short OR if the child has a disease and passes on, same thing. Hence you do not need to hold yourself up to a model of being a parent 78 years or longer. No. Perhaps your task was to birth her, raise her, and
      then she is free…..the hurt comes when you lock yourself into ‘coulda-woulda-shoulda’ patterns.
      You get to keep the good memories of earlier times and then just let-go of what is no longer actively relevant or even there. You too are then released from pretending all is ok when it is not & trying to make the entire situation ‘fit’ into patterns that it never shall be comfortable in. Good for you for realizing that you’ve done your bit and it is okay to move on into new experiences. There are many others in this hurting world who could benefit from you kind Mothering energy…..neighbours…people you meet in daily life…so what you learned is never wasted. Also you now know what an abusive personality (ie. your former daughter) is all about and would spot the early signs of ‘it’ sooner in others. Experience, empathy, and strength: Mary Jo — you have that to keep.

    9. Debbie

      I never knew this was even possible to happen to someone else, much less to me. My husband & I have been happily married for 36 years. Our life revolved around our son & daughter. Six months ago our daughter left. At the age of 22 she had tried college, had a baby, got married, had another baby. The last words she said to me was “I don’t want to talk to you.” She seemed like such a good mother to our 2 grandson’s. The oldest was not quite 2 years & the other was 6 months old. She left the state with a woman. She gave up total custody. I think she is bi-polar. Maybe multiple personalities. I look forward to the day when I don’t cry a hundred tears. Thanks to those of you who have shared your experiences.

    10. D

      It is hard with grandchildren ,especially when the child alienates you from grandchildren.Guess what ,its not going to get better only worse .If an adult child is abusive that is what they are teaching their children.Its a vicious cycle .Stop subjecting yourself to the abuse ,do not allow them to blame and pick away all your strength by tearing you down with any the parenting mistakes you may have made.Guess what ,if the adult child has children pay back is not far away. Stop suffering your grown child’s hatefulness ,break free enjoy being free to live a life of your own without the adult child finding you good enough a parent to babysit and so on .You know when they want your help your the best type of crap they pull on you .Been there done it .I am not to blame for what a grown child is doing now if I’m good enough to call when need help with something .So stop being abused /taken advantage of.Adult children will emotionally ,physically and financilly bankrupt you!! They are grown let them make some mistakes too.

    11. Mammarose11

      Mary Jo, I too have been alienated from my oldest daughter, reason 29 yrs ago she and her daughter needed financial help., I had a cd that was getting a good interest rate, gave it to her, when she repaid , she kept interest, told next daughter and her husband and asked them not to say anything Weeeell,guess what big mouth soninlaw ask her about it, she handed me in envelope with interest , (was,not right) but never spoke to me again,….will be 4 yrs coming June…very hurt for so long, I,m getting numb to it…money is the root of all evil for sure!!

    12. Valerie

      Hi Mary Jo,
      It has been 10 years since my two youngest daughters decided that they no longer wanted a relationship with me (or their older sister). I certainly understand your feelings concerning your daughter. I have gone through the gamut of feelings related to them. It has taken a very long time to come to acceptance of the way things are (even not meeting two of my grandchildren).

      I believe most mothers do the best that they can with what they knew at the time of mothering their children and that there is no reason to live with feeling like a failure as a mother. I had four children (my son died 7 years ago). He and my eldest daughter didn’t understand the estrangement (the two girls have never made it clear what their problems with us were – I guess we were supposed “to know’. ) So half of my children were supportive of me. Does that make me a ‘half good’ mother? It can drive you crazy to keep examining what you might have done right or wrong with your daughter. If you can come to ‘acceptance’ I believe it will help to bring you peace.

    13. Janet

      I have read the article /blog post and all the comments. I want to say sorry to all the ladies that are experiencing this situation. I don’t know what can make a child do such horrible things to their parents. I’m forgiving and try my best to be more like Christ everyday, but that is my character not those of your children. My parents live an ocean away and l call them almost daily. Send videos and photos of their grandson. My sister does the same with my niece. I do have a friend from church that l love dearly her daughter in law restrictions visits with the grandkids. Yet, her mother has full access. So, when my son was born l let her dote over him and let her take care of him. Children can not get enough love and my friend is a wonderful help and l consider her a second mom. I pray that your children stir with forgiveness and love. I pray that reconciliation is not far away for each of you.

    14. Celticbird

      We humans are very complicated. While a parent who has lived and looked out for the best interests of their child to the best of their ability, it is no insurance against the unthinkable result of being rejected. You did good. I did good. Something is wrong and there is a high probability that you never had any control over this outcome. We may reach a conclusion or explanation or not. You can’t pick your parents and you can’t pick your birth children. She could lack the emotional tools necessary to be a loving compassionate daughter. It’s the worst betrayal of my life but it also brought me to the realization that I was still engaging in magical thinking at my age. It was a wake up call, an enlightenment. It also freed me from a protracted one-way relationship.

    15. RL.

      My reply is that you have healed and you two have become strangers. The wounds are too deep to reopen in a cavalier manner. Walking on egg shells
      is pathological. Do you want to return to the unrepentant abuse? I am choosing to embrace the
      healthy relationships I have developed outside of her pathology. I deserve mutual recipricocity in a relationship with any person I allow into my sphere
      of relationships. I am not a toy on a shelf.

    16. Carolann

      The problem is that many adult children love themselves more than they love their parents. By this I mean, they love what they want more than they care about our needs. They are selfish… And only God will change that.

    17. Gayle

      I know how you feel. My only daughter left me so many years ago. I have never met her children. Three boys. She accused me of things that never happened. I cried this morning. It has been awhile since I cried. I use to cry everyday. I really don’t know how she lives with herself. I have prayed for so long. I don’t even know how I would act if she did come back. She has been nice a few times and then just dumped me again. I thought we were so close when she was younger. We never fought. She told me she loved me all day everyday. I wonder sometimes if she is a sociopath. I know that sounds terrible but how she can she do this to her own mother. I have questioned my parenting so many times. I am tired. I loved her with all my heart. When she first did this I wanted to die. I was in shock. I had hope for so many years. Everyone said when she has her own children she will see what she has done. Well she has three boys now I don’t know them. So sad for all of us. I just keep praying but now I pray for God to get me through this. I don’t make new friends anymore in fear they will ask me questions. I want to live again and be happy. I don’t want anything bad to happen to her but I pray God will show her. I could say she has ruined my life but I won’t because I know God wants me to have joy in my life again. I hope things are better for you now. God bless you

    18. Phyllis D

      Our son who we loved dearly has been estranged from us for many years. It was very hurtful in the early years expecially for his father. But there comes a point you must move on for your own emotional and physcial health. Besides anyone who would hurt another in such a sadiscal pattern has major emtional issues and needs professional help. Get over it move on and forget the spoiled brat.

    19. Bea

      Two Words: MIND BLOWING!!!!!!! After helping to raise and take care of my oldest Grandson, age 18, he suddenly without a warning…….decided to REJECT ME, HIS LOVING MOTHER AND HIS YOUNGER SIBLINGS!!!!!! He lied to us 2 months ago by saying he was going to visit his father and grandparents for two weeks and he would return home ( all are DEAD BEATS!!!) . Well, he stopped speaking to his Mother. He texted me the next day saying ” he wouldn’t be back!!!” He no longer speaks to his Mother, he’s only contacted me twice because he needed something and when he called me…..he is very cold and detached. He no longer cares about any of us. Period. For 18 years, his Dead Beat Father has not provided for him whatsoever. His Dead Beat Grandparents are a poor excuse also. Yet, he’s has relocated and living with them. After all the sacrificing and care of my Grandson….it is literally a slap in the face!!! His Mother has discovered that my Grandson is delusional in that he has been lying for years about his life and lying about the kind of mother and grandmother he truly has!!!!! Totally misrepresenting us!!! My Grandson had a life of A Prince!!!! Apparently, he has psychological issues and needs professional help!!!! We never saw this coming. We thought he and his mother were very close. I thought he and I were very close. It appears my Grandson is a very manipulative person, who ONLY used us. He graduated from highschool in June. Shipped Off to US MARINE CORPS 4 days later. Then he was Injured at Parris Island two weeks later, sent back home. After being home for 2 weeks, The Dead Beats drove and picked him up without ANY CONVERSATION with anyone!!!!! It’s been HEART WRENCHING for his mother, as well as for me and my younger grandchildren!!!!! His cold hearted rejection is UNREAL, APPALLING AND SHOCKING!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone who has watched my Grandson grow up and knows us as a family…..IS IN TOTAL SHOCK!!!!!! My Grandson has truly played a game!! Multiple personalities, manipulates quite well, etc. Suffice it to say….. WE DON’T KNOW HIM AT ALL. I wish him well with his life and endeavors. It’s all very sad!!!!!!!!

    20. debra

      My son who is now 34 decided 9 yrs ago to stop talking to me ..i did nothing but give him monies to get him out of his financial binds and court hearing of drunk driving..the year he stopped talking to me he was living at my house and i wasnt home at the time he moved out and he had stolen several things from my home. he got married one year ago has my only two grandchildren whom i have never seen. i dont know his wife. i hear about his life thru others.. my other two kids 36 and 27 have nothing to do with him which saddens me more..i have txt and emailed and left voice messages all these year with the only one response it is obvious he said i dont want you in my life or my family life. ok i have moved on after several years of crying and hurt and my oldest grand son is 3 and two year ago i decided to take him to court for visitation and just recently the judge has granted me the day in court to prove i can be an asset to my grandson. Not fair he wont discuss why he is so hateful to me but i have moved on from it and my focus is now on visitation with grandkids.. i understand all of you pain and not easy..it would have been easier if i was a bad mom or alcoholic drug user or just mean but none of those are true…tired of trying to find the reason now i just pray for his soul and pray for my visitation with my grandkids….

    21. Jamie

      Wow this is a HUGE issue . So sad to know this happens so much . My middle daughter is upset at us and won’t talk with us . She lives with her fiance and his parents . Talk about manipulative and cold hearted people. She pleases them and does whatever they tell her , she doesn’t let us see our granddaughter because her fiance’s mom doesn’t like us . She does everything with them and posts pictures on FB. It hurts so bad , I will never be the same , I don’t know anything about my granddaughter. Sad How your life can be turned upside down and people hurt others intentionally . 🙁

    22. Kim

      March 24, 2016 is the last time I was able to see my only granddaughter. My 28 year old daughter has decided she no longer wants me in her life. I have tried everything I could think of to “fix” something and I don’t even know what it is that is broken. My daughter and granddaughter are no longer in my life. I hurt so bad I can’t even function like a normal person!! I have no drive, no ambition and no determination. I am lost. Who else in my life will leave? Why bother having any relationship if someone just decides one day to not want to see you again.
      The last 3 months have been hell. My granddaughters 1st birthday-not allowed/invited. Thanksgiving-no contact. Christmas-I left my granddaughters presents on the front porch. No reply, no thank you, no acknowledgement. I can’t seem to get my life in order any more.
      I don’t know where to turn. I don’t know how to fix it. I find myself more and more isolated from the world. What did I ever do to deserve this? How can she just throw me away like a piece of trash? Can this ever be fixed and at this point, do I want it to be?

    23. Lee

      I’m sixty years old and I have yet spent a whole year with my children they’re all grown now but they have been brainwashed by their mother I pay child support $1,200 a month for several years dating from 2000 from 1989 to 2004 was my last payment and I’m still being attacked I have done all I could I feel hopeless but I must move on

    24. Beaner

      You are not obligated to sustain a relationship with her… everyone says ,don’t give up communication,don’t stop trying…..I stopped everything!!!
      I’m not a puppet,you can’t pull my strings anymore!
      I’m not giving my sons a dime anymore,let them figure out what it takes to achieve financial freedom,I was getting tired of serving as “their ATM”

    25. Beaner

      MaryJo,
      It’s completely Okay!!! After a few years of not having my sons in my life,it’s like”I can breathe again” no drama,it’s like a huge weight lifting”…. my life is so much better!I no longer have to support them…it’s very liberating!!!
      You can now get massages,manicures and pedicures!!!

  2. Annie

    I would love to hear suggestions/opinions. I have the same feelings, MaryJo. I’m exhausted by all the drama that is never ending, I’m dealing with severe medical issues, I don’t have the energy nor do I want to deal with always drama. I have a granddaughter who has been always been extremely close, always cried never wanted to leave my house, I supported both her parents and granddaughter, never missed anything in their lives, bite my tongue, handle all legal issues when they separated, handled any school issues (daughter always called begging me at all times for help). I was always available and participate in all actives just as I was the only parent who raised my children alone. I volunteer to give up my life to raise my children, alone, only focus and I succeeded giving them a great foundation and childhood (that was never used as an insult against me in their dramas). I’m heartbroken and very Ill.. What is even more heartbreaking is the emotional abuse my granddaughter has endured. What my granddaughter believes or feels as she is used as a weapon. I’ve never ever said anything negative or even talked about anything with my granddaughter. Just told her “every night when she hugs her bear to know that I’m thinking about her too! That I love her every minute, all the time. She’s 6 years old. She feels abandoned and cannot cry or tell anyone she misses me or she’s yelled at. After years of flights, up/down; I’ve been cut off completely from both my children and granddaughter. Years before, I was used when they needed anything. My grandson when getting near the age that I could care for both of them for the weekend a month; is when I was diagnosed with cancer. So there was little time for me to develop the closeness like my older granddaughter, although he always excited to see me, play. Writing/saying it out loud; what my grandchildren feel, believe or what has been said to them; like I abandoned her—then all the precious years, events that I been cut off, leaves me sobbing. I would love to hear any response from your situation and my own! How do you cope? Move on?

    Reply
    1. Kristin

      I feel like I was a very good mother.
      I was a single mom with little to no child support from my daughter’s dad. I gave her everything she wanted and thought we had a great relationship but that all changed when she met her boyfriend and had a baby , I helped them out and gave them a place to live bought food helped with their baby, and
      when they got on their own. Then when they were self sufficient my daughter picked a fight with me and now no contact. I have not tried to contact her because I am afraid of the response I’ll get. I feel like I have been thrown out like a used piece of garbage .

    2. kalani

      Your story sounds exactly like mine. My daughter has been with this loser of a man for about a decade. They got married a year ago last August. My daughter became pregnant shortly after marriage, she will be 33 years old this month. Her and I were like two peas in a pod. We shopped for her wedding dress. I made all of her wedding decorations we did everything together. When she became pregnant, her loser of a husband was attending Law school, and living off student loans. He didn’t work while going to school, but she sure did. She has always worked while he has always been living on the gravy train. During her last trimester I drove to help her every weekend so that her husband could study. She needed support and he couldn’t give her support during that time. She had the baby and I was the happiest person in the entire world. My face just glowed and I couldn’t believe how happy I was. I spent the first week with my daughter and her husband after the baby was born. After my daughter would nurse the baby I would let her go to sleep and I would burp, change and put the baby back to sleep. When departed after that visit, my daughter was crying because she didn’t want to see me go. I was out of town for a week. My daughter and I had planned upon my return they would come to my house over the weekend and stay with me. His mother lives fairly close but very rarely would they ever stay at her house. My daughters husband did not appear to be very close to her. Prior to the wedding I was having my home remolded but fired the contractor due to his poor work and he was ripping me off. At the same time I let my contractor go was when the started planning the wedding. I think we only had about 2 months. It was very hard. My daughter and husband had told me I would have to get the house fixed up for the baby. Logically thinking, I figured this would be in a year since that is how long it would be before the baby could walk. Upon my return from my out of town trip, I called my daughter and told her I was at the airport and would be home soon. She told me they had left my dog at my home and if I wanted to see the baby I could go over to “his mothers” to see it. I told her what? I thought you were staying with me. She said, we can’t go over there until you get your home fixed. I replied, that didn’t make sense. How could I have got my home fixed when I was planning her wedding and shortly after helping her with her pregnancy. I told her I was going to have my house completed but didn’t think they meant prior to the birth of the baby. To make a long story short, when I finally got my daughter on the phone to speak with me she gave me this speech on how everything has changed now that “they” have a baby, and nothing was going to be the same anymore. She said they have their own family and it would not be the same between us. I was shocked. I told her people have babies everyday and it doesn’t interfere with the mother daughter relationship. After that speech, they would make weekly trips to her mother in laws home, spend the night and I was only given permission to see the baby if I met them at a park or in an eating place. I kept getting worse and worse. I finally cleared up my home and there was the babies first birthday party. After the party, she stopped talking to me saying I was telling all of her guests about our problems regarding me visiting the baby. This was not true and was a made up lie from whom I am guessing her lazy husband. It changed the day I left her after watching the baby. It all changed. It is as if he “brainwashed her” somehow. I don’t understand this. His entire family has alinaited me. The few times I have seen the baby, his mother grabs her from me or follows me around trying to take the baby from my arms. I don’t know my grandchild, nor my daughter, but I certainty know her good for nothing husband. He is obviously threatened by me due to his low self esteem. He has never held a real job is 35 years old. Finally passed the bar but has decided to be a house mommy. He works as a paralegal 20 hours a week which pays a little above minimum. My daughter is a nurse Practioner who makes near 100,000 a year . She is a sugar mamma and I can’t believe what I am seeing. I can’t believe this nightmare and I am actually feeling chest pains. The story gets worse and worse. It is too much to write. I also raised my daughters alone. I did get child support but was taken to court by their father every year until they reached legal age. The court appointed me sole physical and legal custody of my daughters and he could only see them with supervision. He decided not to. I had no family here, no help. I did it alone. I chose not to date because I didn’t want my children to go through anymore heartache and put them first. They were sent to the best schools, involved in all sports, etc. I am now here alone. Never remarried. I am in so much pain I have considered suicide I need to get my life in order, make a will. There is no way I would leave her or her husband one cent after what they have put me through. My other daughter has had several of her own issues. She was raped as a child by a friends son. I was never as close to daughter two as daughter one. So, here I am. Me, myself and I. If I could do it all over again I would never have worried so much about their well being because it got me nowhere. I should have dated and maybe I would be married. I was too worried about them.

      .

    3. Karen

      Annie, I know it’s hard to comprehend why these children don’t want anything to do with parents. I do know and realize that there comes a time when you have to take care of your heart and mental state with all the pain we endure from estrangement from our children. I have issues with two sons with little contact from one of them. My daughters’ husband moved them to a different state and I didn’t hear from them for over 5 yrs then in and out of my grandsons and daughters life the last 10 yrs. I have very little contact through emails with grandsons as they don’t know what to say as their father controls (reads) them. They are grown teens and who knows anymore other than take care and move on to be happy and live your life to the fullest. We are in our last phase of life and we deserve peace, love and a happy ending. I wish you well and Happy Holiday!

    4. Lyn

      I so feel your pain but it is so much more. Being a single parent working 7 days a week to provide everything she wanted and needed and provided with praise each and every day with so much love, she reconnected with me 4 years ago, apologising for all of the hurtful things she had said and done for more than 20 years. After 8 months of her reconnecting with me, and myself and my dear granddaughter being reconnected and we have a great rapport, my 30 year oId daughter has once more disappeared from my Iife. When she reconnected with me she was so contrite, with loving words that I aIways wanted to hear

  3. justjudy

    I heard the same thing from my son when his son was born-I have my own family now. What the heck does that mean? I know he has been persuaded by his wife that we are terrible people and has been encouraged to cut us out of his life totally. what kind of man does that make him? the most ironic part-his wife is a licensed family therapist. I wish I could talk to her clients and tell them what a great job she does with her own family relations.

    Reply
    1. LilyTaylor

      Your comment was posted about 8 months ago. i am wondering if anything has changed since then. I too wonder what “I have my own family now” is meant to imply. What does “own family” mean anyway? Having been raised in a family situation where three generations lived together peacefully , I just cannot understand the division of “ownership” that my children and grandchildren live by. Some explanations say that from the 60’s on the social norms were increasingly narcissistic/self-centered. I guess this is as good an explanation as any. It comforts me to know that, for once, I am not the target of blame for every hurtful action on the part of my children.

  4. Peggy

    Sheri – thank you for this essay – just about the time I think I have reached acceptance, I find out that I have not. Since my estranged daughter’s husband died, my son has been encouraging me to mend the breach. My gut tells me to jump on a plane and just go see her, but my husband, wise man that he is, wants me to be sure I would be welcome because he has seen me crushed so many times in the past. It was when my son mentioned that he thought his sister was okay with the way things are that I realized that nothing is going to change and I must completely let go in order to fully move on with my life. I wish it were otherwise, but it is not. I did not sever the relationship – she did and I guess she is the one who must make the first move.

    As for whys and wherefores of relationships – we all want to think we were good mothers and that may be true, but if we are honest with ourselves, we have to realize that we have said and done hurtful things to our children. Does that justify terminating the relationship – I don’t think so, but if the other party to that relationship wants to end it, that is their prerogative. I did my best, I will always love her, I wish it was different, but I have to accept the way things are.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Hi Peggy,

      You’re welcome. What you say here so wonderfully illustrates how our feelings interfere with our “recovery,” and acceptance of our adult children’s rejection. You are a mother. You know your estranged daughter must be hurting since her husband died, and so you want to do what mothers do: comfort our children!

      Hugs to you.

      By sharing here, you will help some other moms of estranged adult children who come upon your note and read it.

      Sheri

    2. Janet

      Thank you for sharing.

      Letting go of anger, disappointment and hurt is essential. Embracing love, peace and forgiveness moves you forward. Pray and hope for a reconciliation; However, this cannot be forced.

      I too had a divorce and custody situation. My son and I were devastated. We never got the help we needed. It was like a war, I have taken over two decades to heal. I pray daily that we would find healing for a broken relationship, I write letters and send cards. I get no response. I tried to visit him, he lives far away, I got there on a shoestring budget and after we had spent three months planning this visit, upon my arrival, he decides he can’t handle the visit because it reminds him of the difficulties of the custody arrangement when he was younger.

    3. Sian

      Hi Peggy,
      You make crucial points. Whether we have been good parents or not in our children’s eyes, I’m sure we have all tried our best.
      Our estranged children demand our forgiveness for their mistakes and shortcomings and yet expect us as parents to be perfect!
      The fact is that we, like them are imperfect. We never make a decision KNOWING it is going to be detrimental, but hindsight is a tragic thing because it allows us to be judged harshly (often over and over again) and yet we have no opportunity to set it right.
      Our children expect us to be everything they want, when they want it.
      Just because we bore them doesn’t mean we are compelled to like them!
      Just because we bore them doesn’t mean they are automatically going to be like us or even compatible with us.
      They make their own decisions and must stand by the consequences as we can attest.
      My daughter (and only child), is a narcissist and was always ‘apart’ from the family unit; it seemed effortless for her to separate herself from me and yet she was the centre of my universe.
      I was in total denial at all those little red flags along the way.
      It has been 9 long years since I saw her and my beautiful grandson – who has since been joined by 2 more gorgeous little boys. I have to satisfy myself with seeing photos of them on her public facebook page; isn’t that sad?
      But when all is said and done, we ALL have a responsibility to ourselves to make the most of every precious day that is granted to us – with or without our children.
      Let go of hatred, confusion, bitterness and questions that have no answer; ACCEPT AND LET GO.
      There is still love, joy, hope and happiness out there for each one of us if we have the strength and courage to invite it into our lives.

  5. kalani

    I have found numerous websites regarding adult children who estrange their parents. From the many things I have read, over and over. I tend to believe that adult children seem to estrange “single mothers” who raised their children alone. I may be wrong but would be extremely interested to see what the percentages are regarding adult children estranging mother only; father only; both parents. If this, is in fact true, I would guess the reason is because with whatever they are unhappy about their lives, who else can they blame if not the “single mother” who was the only parent in the picture? Yes, I as a parent made many, many mistakes while raising my daughters. My justification for this is 1) I was abused as a child and until I left home at 17 years old to attend collage 2) When raising my children I knew I didn’t want to raise them anything like my mother raised me so I always reminded myself of this. I did find myself yelling at them at time, but after all, I had a full plate. I raised my daughters totally alone from the time they were 6 and 9 years old. Their Father (by title only) refused to visit with them and never did. I had to work full time and had no relatives in the area. I took my daughters to church every Wed and Sun. I had so much on my plate I don’t know how I could have always been even temper. Especially during the time they were teenagers. During that stage of our lives I believe is when they realized it was a “one against one” battle. Since I had no husband, no family members to back me up, it became a battle between the two of us. Unlike a married couple who together can enforce the rules. In that case it is two against one, therefore the child would have two people teaching her instead the battle being one against one. Face it, we are all human and no parent is perfect. Not to mention, in the day and age I raised my children, starting in the early 80’s. I didn’t have the resources as they do today. They didn’t have parenting classes and internet to look everything up. The children today have all the answers on their fingertips. All they have to do is google in their question and “BINGO”. I believe this is why my grown children think they know everything, because they read everything on line. If I had the resources then, as they do now, it would have been a cake walk. I can google anything online and find different ways and approaches to deal with my children. Yes, many, many mistakes but is there such a thing as a perfect parent? I believe we all did our best with what we had to work with. I did my best and will never take the blame for not being a good parent because I know as a fact that I was an exceptionally good parent. I have also found that more and more young people do not believe in God. Therefore, who do they have to answer to? Nobody but themselves. They have lost social skills, respect, empathy, etc. The only thing they focus on is “self”. Our country is becoming a narcissist nation to where everybody only worries about themselves. As for myself, even though my mother was abusive both verbally and physically, I could never imagine not loving her. In those days they were even “less” educated on how to raise children. How could I possibly ever estrange the person who gave me birth, nurtured and raised me? I could never do such a thing. My Mother is my Mother. I am so totally confused. I have also seen parents who shunned their children and focused on themselves more than their children, and their children grow up being the most respectful children towards their parents. The bottom line is there is not an ingredient or formula. It is like the roll of dice. I raise two children together, under the same roof, the same mother, the same rules. I have no idea how they could be such complete opposites. So different. As for this new journey. I still find this so hard to accept. I don’t want to believe this is happening to me.

    Reply
    1. Annie

      Kalani, I so identify with you. Being a single parent myself with no support whatsoever from their father, financially or otherwise, I struggled trying to make ends meet. I was so proud of my two girls and they gave me so much joy for years. Last year out of the blue my daughter began blaming me after her own life took a terrible turn. My Grandaughter tried to take her life and my daughter who considered herself the perfect parent couldn’t accept it and cope so she proceeded to rake me over the coals. I was shocked and no matter how I’ve tried to resolve our issues; it only made it worse. I became the scapegoat and have been unjustifiably blamed for her controlling, helicopter parenting. The pain has been more than I can bear at times. I don’t recognize my daughter anymore and it’s tough moving on but I know in my heart I was a great mom; not perfect by any means but I know how hard I tried. I wonder sometimes; my God did I sleep walk one night and beat her or something? I’m struggling as now they’ve infected my grandchildren with all their poison and it breaks my heart. So now I have no contact with them. This is a new upset just this past week. I love them more than anything and they love me but heartlessly they’ve been yanked from me. Logically I know I must move on with my life. I do have a very loving, supportive family so I’m blessed in that way. And I have a wonderful man in my life. As difficult as it is, we all need to come to that place of acceptance and realize we’ve done nothing to deserve this. To be attacked personally is as horrific as all the terrorist attacks going on in my world. Don’t give up Kalani. You keep your head held high and know you are not alone! Blessings to you. Annie

    2. Donna

      Kalani,
      You are living my life. I did everything for my daughter without any help from her father. He swore she was not his until she was 25. I did have help from my grandmother in respect to child care while I was at work a good bit of the time. I had to work 2 jobs for us to live in a single wide mobile home. I never dated because I did work so much that every minute I had available I wanted to spend with her. As she grew into her teens her wants a.needs grew so I worked more. She always had her friends over or she was at their homes. She didn’t want to spend time with me. For the past 15 years she has blamed me for everything wrong in her life. Her husband passed away 4 years ago and things are even worse now. She says that I lov.work more than her. I abandoned her and didn’t raise her that my grandmother did. Because I was unmarried and never married her father she says I always blamed her for taking my life away. I have never blamed her. I thought I had a good life. I made my choice to not date therefore I have never considered that there was an issue to be blamed for. I truly don’t believe that she had a bad childhood. I have even talked to her friends during the teen years (they are still very close to me now ) and asked their opinion on this from memories of that time. They have all said they don’t know how she can fe.that way because she had it better than they ever did. It was the reason they were always at my house. I had to move my grandmother in with us when my daughter was 17 because she needed me to help care for her. I am so thankful that I had that privilege and all the girls loved her and were happy to stay with her until I got home. My daughter was fortunate enough to have that time with her. She doesn’t blame me for having her stay there with her and that is the only thing that I can think of that I may have done wrong. I’m not saying that I never yelled or argued with my child during her teen years because there were many trying times but she doesn’t give me any examples of specific times. I am blamed for her not having a grandmother. My mom passed away when I was 16. Again, not my fault. I am so tired of the blame game because I did the best that I could under those circumstances. I do feel that I gave to much. I bought her what she said was to help her fit in with the families of her 2 parent friends. Now she has been married for over 17 years when her husband unexpectedly passed away. They owned a company that did very well. Her house and vehicles were paid in full when he passed. She immediately sold the business and became involved with a younger man who quickly went through every dime she had then left. For the past 2 years she brought her son to live with me because she couldn’t keep food or utilities. She received social security for both of them for 2 years then only for him. During the time he has been living with me she has not paid for or offered to e.help with any of his expenses. When I ask she says that she is making him go back with her. I am now disabled and live on a very low fixed income and she is living on his check that is double what mine is. Yet she takes money out of my bank account and leaves me overdrawn with outstanding checks and never pays it back or even apologizes. She has no food unless she takes it from my freezer and her utilities get disconnected every other month and she wants to make him go live with her. She keeps telling people that I have taken him from her and that she has to give me the check every month. I am hurt by her lies, her blame a,her wanting people to think I am terrible to her. I don’t understand it either. It was happening before her husband passed away so that isn’t it, though it’s worse now. Most of the replies on here are about adult children that have lost contact with. I am contacted by mine every time she wants or needs something but once she gets it we don’t hear from her again until she needs something else. When I say no she does the blame and threatening then steals it from, me. I don’t know what to do anymore so I just try to keep my wonderful grandson from being upset about it because he is truly the innocent.

    3. Eve

      I feel as if I could have written this. I just don’t understand my oldest child. Yes I made mistakes but I overcame sooo much adversity FOR them. Because of them. I KNOW I put them before everything.. Even she says there was no abuse …I have tried to explain myself only to be told I was making excuses and invalidating her. So I have simply listened and agreed. I DO agree. As the oldest child of a young, insecure single mother with zero support financial or otherwise and zero example of ” healthy parenting . – her early years were hard.. She often had to be responsible looking out for her 2 younger siblings.. We had babysitters and nanny’s but still. Ishe had to help a lot. I worked ALOT to keep us sometimes barely in a middle class area.. We moved multiple times ( always up) until she was in first grade..after that always the same school.. Although I continued to move up the financial ladder, flip homes and move into a better one about very 2 years.. Wut never more than a mile or two from the first ..I was gone. A lot. I made a lot of games and practices for my situation but I missed a lot compared to other Moms. I lost my patience and yelled.. And worst of the worst.. I had relationships that didn’t always work out. Not short term..years long..with years in between where I had none. They were never allowed to discipline my kids.. Or be called Dad..but still ..this seems to be the worst thing for her. My other two children are fine …although from time to time they ask questions and parrot things that ” they don’t remember that she tells them.. There is a 3 and half year age difference… I have validated. Apologized. Allowed her to say horribly hurtful things and listened to her vent with out saying a word beyond I’m sorry and I know multiple times. I can’t change it.. I truly thought I did a good job. I always told them . how much I loved them and how proud I was of them.. I feel in despair. Seems the only way to help her heal..is to go back in time and be a different person.. I feel like I have failed at the only thing in life that mattered to me to do well… Even worse I remarried a wonderful man who passed away when the kids were in their teens…and I have a ten year old that because of the situation with my daughter I am often second guessing my parenting decisions.. ..

    4. rparentsrparents Post author

      Eve, I’m so sorry. The one part of your message, about your ten-year-old … I just want to say that this is one of the most difficult things. Not to look at the child and perhaps feel as if all the energy may end up being for nothing (based on another child, now an adult, who’s behavior is so cruel). It would not be fair to him or her to act on that very natural response. As best you can, be strong and make a safe place for him or her. All you can do is your best, and the vast majority of children grow up to realize their parents are human, sometimes put in a position where only superhuman strength would do. Give yourself credit for the good you did.
      hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

    5. Deb

      Kalani, I understand completely. I knew I’d eventually be a single Mom and I divorced their father when they were 9 and 12. I wasn’t perfect, I came from a very dysfunctional and negative family, I was constantly picked on and told about my shortcomings and my ex got enjoyment out of pushing my buttons. BUT, my kids were not mentally, physically or emotionally abused. They never went without food, clothing our shelter and they were always loved. We did the best we knew how to do and they would be shocked to see how a lot of unfortunate children are treated today!

    6. penny c.

      my jaw has hit the floor! My parenting, raising children and estranged adult children and other things you mentioned are near same as my own, even the era. Hoping you see this and tell me what is happening now?

    7. Mary C.

      Kalina — I feel your pain. I am a single mother of 2 children whose daughter blames me for everything and is currently estranged from me. We have been very close in various periods but since her marriage, her husband controls her, blaming everything on me. Last year he stole $20,000 from me by forging my name on loans against a life insurance policy I bought from him to support his career. He has somehow blamed the entire situation on me. Unbelievable. He has a drinking and gambling problem that my daughter denys. Makes me ill as I am not allowed to see my grandchildren.

  6. vincent

    I m a father, who just got estranged by my daughter after her first semester in college overseas. We were talking on the phone, at one point she said she wanted to share a flat with both boys and girls next year and when I strongly opposed that choice, she said she never wanted to see me again. This is very recent and your blog calmed me down a bit. Thanks. My son hasn’t estranged me yet but he hasnt called in 4 years. I was the nicest most loving father ever and Im devastated. I find it hard to forgive as I am in the hospital and she doesnt care, nor does he. But i understand it would help.me to forgive. I ll try. Cant bring myself to call her since she s the one who rejected me and i fear further rejection. God help me please.

    Reply
    1. Liz

      you poor man. I’m so sorry. Just know you are not alone.

      I’ve only one child, a daughter. Her hatefulness to me knows no bounds. I’ve been taught by a Life Coach to ask ‘what is good about not having …XYZ…in your life. I’m astounded by the relief the cessation of grief can bring.

      Best

      Liz

    2. Shirley

      Hi Vincent,

      I can relate only too well. I raised my 2 daughters as a single parent. When I was in ICU a few years ago, I heard the doctors say they didn’t expect me to make it through the night. My 2 daughters were sitting at my bedside and I heard them laughing. Now I am on chemotherapy, and made the mistake of telling my daughter, hoping she would care but her only response was to text back a smile. I am so sorry for the pain you feel in your heart. You don’t deserve it. I have decided I would rather die alone than hear my daughter celebrate it.

  7. Maryjo

    Vincent
    I am so sorry! You know estrangement is a cruel animal. My one, youngest daughter has said a few hurtful things and it blows over and apologies are easy and we mend our riff. My oldest daughter, who has estranged herself, will say cruel, I hate you statements and we can never get past that.,
    The point is, estrangement doesn’t happen in most cases I would believe, over one incident. It happens, as in my case, over many conflicts that have a resolution but the estranged child doesn’t want to fix it. They seem to relish the misery that occurs.

    Reply
    1. EggShell Smasher

      It happens, as in my case, over many conflicts that have a resolution but the estranged child doesn’t want to fix it. They seem to relish the misery that occurs.

      You hit the nail on the head.

    2. Deb

      My youngest, the one not estranged child, likes to remind me of all my short comings and that her father hates me. It’s like she gets her jollies from hurting me…

  8. Robi

    My ex was eventually fired for inappropriate sexual behavior with patients in his care, but I was the one (shockingly) estranged and scorned on social media by our adult children after I exposed his history/behavior to my adult children and family, divorced and remarried. I spent many months asking “Why?” It has taken 2 years of counseling and the support of my new extended family and my loving spouse to CELEBRATE the years of having had the joy of being a really great mom, accepting the estrangement as their CHOICE not my fault, and the confidence to live my life with JOY guilt-free. It takes a lot of hugs and encouragement to get there, but as a survivor of PTSD….it CAN be done. Hugs.

    Reply
    1. Deborah

      Inspiring. I think I will keep your story in my heart as I try to move forward. I’m new at this and feeling unbearable pain. I am devastated that my daughter is behaving this way, but the worst loss is my grandchildren. Life without them will be painful.

    2. Deb

      I too was the parent scorned even though I was the parent that did everything and cared about their well being and future. Three years after the nasty divorce my son decided to move with his father who had no rules. Two years later his father abandoned him amd moved cross country to live in a tunnel in las Vegas. I stayed in our home, hoping that my son would come back. He praised the father that abandoned him, as my daughter does pin occasion, he abandoned her too, but I’m the psycho bitch who ruined their lives. Sometimes I want to give up.

  9. lou

    This week I just found help on the internet for this problem. I’m sad to say it doesn’t make me feel any better to know many are suffering the same hurt. The only thing I can derive from this is that it is a present day phenomena. My Dad had died by the time I became a parent but I made sure my Mom was very much a part of our lives and especially my children’s lives. Ironically my Mom wasn’t the kindest person in the world, but I was able to figure out why she treated me the way she did and forgive her. She turned out to be the best of grandmothers’. This is what puzzles me so much. I brought up my children to respect their grandmother and they did, and we had very fond times together. I became much closer to my mom, as a result.
    Maybe through some of these sad stories we can help each other I don’t know. Prior to seeing these web sites I had reached the stage where I would just go on with my life and try and make myself happy.
    My heart goes out to all who are experiencing this pain.

    Reply
  10. CHRISTINA

    Hi
    Today my only son gets married and because of my condition I cannot get there and he knew that when he booked the wedding. The last time I saw him was about 14months ago. I have had to change my will so that when I die he and his partner do not force my daughter out of her home and take over this house.
    I too am a single parent and I have suffered horrendous abuse. The truth is that my son has become robotic – he has no heart anymore – I am irrelevant to him – that is the awful truth.
    I have been forced to take a good long look at our relationship over the past 20 years and all along I have been treated as an irrelevance despite everything I have done for him and more importantly despite the love I have given him.
    After today he is no longer my son – a mother is there at the birth and should be there at the wedding, especially the first wedding. I have been suicidal several times over the past 14 months – but am determined now that I will never give him the opportunity to break my precious big heart again.
    I am not even allowed to see my 2yr old grand daughter – I am a stranger to her.
    Today is the very last time he hurts me.
    Last night I even felt sad for him – not for long – but I have so much love inside me and he does not want it any longer and after today we are no longer mother and son.
    I do not hope for a reconciliation any longer – he has been doing this to me for 20yrs – I am turning away from him and living my life now and finding some happiness without him pulling down all the time now.
    There are no winners in these situations – only loss especially for grandchildren.

    Reply
    1. Ruth B

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

  11. CHRISTINA

    Maureen
    That one statement says it all. I too had a broken heart – I almost had a nervous breakdown during the last 14months. How I have hung onto my sanity is beyond me. I know we are encouraged to let go of our children but all this grief and anger is so unnecessary.
    I don’t know the solution – I never thought my son would place me in a position where I really cannot now even see him – if I did he would break my heart again and I have truly had enough of him and his wife. My cruel mother had a saying “you have made your bed and now you will lie in it” – that is how I feel about him and his wife – I want nothing to do with them now. I am walking away whilst I have my sanity.
    I choose life – I refuse to suffer at their hands any longer. I have been a brilliant mum and right now I wish he had been born to someone else.
    I should think that in time I will feel more sorry for him because he will have to go through life now without my motherly love. I really cannot risk my heart with him again. I have never in my life encountered such coldness.
    I truly never want to see him or his wife again after what they have put me and my daughter through – its insane.

    Reply
    1. Barbara

      I have 4 children. 3 sons 1 daughter. It is time for a will. My daughter has been astranged from me and 1 other brother for 4 1/2 years. When we have seen her she is very snarky. What do you leave to them? Should I forgive in death or leave her $1.00. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  12. Candy

    Dear Maureen and Christina,
    I am so grateful for your comments. I too have a broken heart. As my birthday draws near the anger, abandonment, resentment etal. arise in my mind. There are days that I feel put together and believe that I really did the best I could, but then there are days that my heart is broken. I have met and have been allowed into the lives of a young couple from Kosovo. They just had a baby three days ago and called me the baby’s grandmother. This couple escaped from the wars in the Balkans and I was lucky enough to meet them. As I held that little boy in my arms, my thoughts flew back to my son’s birth. As suggested by Sheri, I really had to work at thinking about something else that was positive, such as the new lovely little boy in the world. I am lucky to have met these young people and I hope they feel the same. BUT, there is really no replacement is there. Thanks to all of you.

    Reply
  13. angela

    I had no ideal there were so many problems with children being estranged from their parents. The grief and pain I feel is something I just cannot put into words.
    I have thought about my children. One who I have not seen since he was 14 years old and is now 28. Numerous times I have reached out to him and no response.
    My daughter just graduated from college and she wished me a happy mother’s day. She lied to me and said she was not goint to her graduation when I asked her about coming.
    Later on fb I see all these pictures and posting of her graduating.
    I would be lying if I did not say that I am hurt.
    A big part of me wants to lash out at her. I have decided not to. I am her mom and have unconditional love. She is free to reach out to me when she wants.
    But I will withdraw from her life. I do not want to force myself on a child or anyone that does not want me there.
    I have learned there are times you just don’t have control over our adult children and what they choose to do.
    Meanwhile, I have my own life to live and will do so.
    With time I am hoping I will start to heal and feel better.

    Reply
  14. Mac

    There is only one way to move on and that is to forgive them, carry no hate, recrimination or anger in your heart. Love is not about weakness, it is about strength. When your child was naughty when younger you would of had no problem correcting this behavior, why? because you knew it was best for their growth even if they carried on a treat, so at the end of the day there is only behavior, good or bad, young or old.

    Strength in love is standing firm against poor behavior no matter the threat. If there is any decency in them they will only see it because of your stance….this at the very least will earn you respect. I also suspect that many parents have given so much of themselves over the years that they have forgotten who they are as an individual, one needs to find this in their own life and not through their child’s.

    As for unconditional love people often confuse what this means. It is in essence the very love itself that never ceases….not an open invitation to abuse using that very love as a weapon. So you do what you what you did when they were kids and stand firm to what is right and never waiver.

    Blessings,

    Reply
    1. Janet

      These stories are heart breaking many stories just like mine.

      Make a peace with what has been and try to move on.
      I myself have adopted a new to me daughter to replace the ungrateful one that I raised.

    2. Danny

      I have a broken heart. Any help or suggestions I would be so. Very much greatful. I have been totally ignored by both of my older children . My youngest has 2 17 month old twin boys that I can’t be around. Please help me.l

  15. Bella

    Blessings to all of you, I hope you all find some comfort in other people and activities or hobbies that bring you joy.

    Reply
  16. rparentsrparents Post author

    Thank you, Bella. I appreciate your comment – – as I’m sure all who read here will.

    I hope that you, too, will seek comfort in the things you enjoy, and in people who reciprocate your love.
    🙂

    Sheri McGregor

    Reply
  17. DeBee

    Thank you for this article, and all the comments that have followed – they are so helpful. My wife, our other kids and I have broken hearts right now, and I identify with so many of the comments above. After less than two years’ marriage, our daughter-in-law convinced our son to reject us – the whole family – and they broke off all communication a few months ago. We did nothing to them – no controlling or patronizing behavior. They rejected my attempts to find out why they were offended and to be reconciled, even though they profess to be Christians as we are; no answers to calls, text messages, or a letter.

    She is pregnant with our first grandchild, and today we learned they just moved out of town without telling us. The 5 steps above are what we’re trying to do now.

    I believe many of the people who cause estrangement are either a) narcissists, b) sociopaths, or c) have Borderline Personality Disorder. If you read about these conditions, you’ll probably recognize a lot of behaviors familiar to you, from what you’ve suffered with your adult child or their spouse. This helps tremendously with the temptation to suffer guilt or indulge in rumination.

    Reply
    1. Lynne

      I went to a counselor about my estranged children who told me my children are sick. Narcissism, borderline personality disorder !!

  18. Diane

    I know no parent is perfect. I know that I said some harsh things to my daughter, but there were good times. I feel like the person above. There are worse parents than me and their kids act like they adore them. No parent is perfect. I have written my daughter and told her I am sorry, but right now she does not want me in her life. I will move on and hope one day she wants me back in her life. It helps to know other people have the same problem

    Reply
    1. Sally

      It seems that when we say, “sorry”, that it will patch things up. Well, why wouldn’t it? After all.. we came from a different era where the parents were much more harsh…borderline abusive, and we did try to love them and if they said sorry…we would jump at that and all would be forgotten. But now? I didn’t even do a 1/16 of what my abusive alcoholic parents did and I get the royal treatment of things that she is gathering from liars.

      My daughter and i were best friends just a year ago…after she hooked up with her step sister…she hates me and tells me it has not started because of her step sister but we have “deep routed issues” ..and I’m thinking “WTF?!” what deep routed issues?! Just last year we were best friends?!

      so……who the f*** knows what is going on in this world

  19. Lundy

    I appreciate this website. I truly have no idea why my daughter has chosen not to be part of our lives. I sent her a letter and email saying I would pay for counseling for both of us – together or individually – to help resolve what ever it is. No response. I made a mistake in reading another website – emerging from broken – which states unquestionably that it is always the mother’s/parent’s fault. Sent me into a deep depression because I simply don’t know what I have done. This website has lifted my spirits.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Hi Lundy,
      I created this website for people like you. Am also very glad you’ve found it and that it’s lifted your spirits. For a great many parents who come to this website and comment or send emails, they feel as if they are revictimized when they seek answers and support and find just the sort of material you found. Welcome!
      🙂
      Sheri McGregor
      http://www.rejectedparents.net

    2. Susan

      I am grateful to find this website, for those of us who have been shunned by the people who we gave life to. I did much searching on the matter, and find it disgusting that parents who have been ousted are judged by the world, by the snots who decided that we were not deserving to be their parents. I’ve gone through this, off and on, for 6 1/2 years now. I was a single mom of one little boy that I prayed hard to have, but it was just the two of us as well as with my family often, a single mom for 8 years. I struggled and did without for him to even eat–so many, many times. I ended up skin and bones, but it was all I could do to keep a roof over his head and the utilities on, without much furnishings. Luckily, I worked for a company who paid for his daycare for a while, and I went to school to try to better our living situation. I found it impossible, so I settled for cleaning toilets after hours of my regular work job, taking my little boy with me since I could not afford childcare. My mother, bless her heart, helped out as much as she could… I remarried after 8 years, my son loving his step-father. I had two more children, siblings for my oldest. He then became a teenager, then at 17, a girl came knocking on our front door. I let her in–she had the resemblance of a sweet face, harmless, but she ended up being the most harmful device that has truly undone my family. So much has happened, and my son ran away with her. She and her family hid them out for a year. He then turned 18. There was nothing that the Law could do to bring him back home. She got pregnant, locked us out of that baby’s life. Then surprisingly, our son contacted us and arranged for us to see the baby, to be in their lives. Two days before we were to go visit, the baby died. He was 4 1/2 months… They had another baby. His girlfriend has done the very same thing to this little grandson of 2 years–lock us out, including every relative and sibling, every grandparent kin to my son. It’s been extremely hurtful. We find his GF to be a sociopath, and we believe that she smothered the first baby to keep us from seeing him and being a part of their lives. We have our evidence without a physical evidence, unfortunately. We would love for the case to be investigated again. It’s so wicked, and we’ve walked on eggshells and kept our mouths shut just to be present in our son’s life. It’s truly insane that a grown child can do this, allow someone who he’s sleeping with to do this, and side in with an evil person all for lack of intelligence when it comes to really knowing people and how they tick.

    3. Anna

      Lundy, I agree with you. I found this website this am, after many years of feeling alone with this common problem. I’ve even had a chuckle or two. I think humor and lifting each other up, will make us stronger.

    4. Wendy

      I too really appreciate this website! I raised my only child on my own and we were very close until she reached that 16 year mark and got pregnant at 17 to the same man she is with now. At 24 she now has 2 children and is pregnant with her third. Her and her partner (he is much older) have rejected me more off than on over the past 3.5 years. I think this time it may be permanent which is devastating because I am not allowed contact with my 2 granddaughters whom I love dearly. The trouble is, I believe the only thing we have for sure in life is time. And how much of that we ever have we don’t know. I have written to both girls and put it in with my will so they know it was never my decision to be estranged from their lives and how much I do love them. The fact they will know this gives me some solace. Thanks for this website and may peace come to all who have been “thrown” on here.

  20. Epiphanie

    I was feeling really down and suicidal before I found this website – It is a God-sent and Thank You Google for finding it for me when I typed “how to handle rejection from children”. I poured my whole life, energy and money into my sons. My husband of 35 years is a good provider but narcissistic and emotionally absent from all of us. My sons were my life. Now the oldest 25, got married 6 weeks ago to his girlfriend of 7 years, whom I loved as a daughter. I gave her real gold jewelry for the wedding and even gave $25,000 for down payment for their condo as a gift. Suddenly from the next day after the wedding they have distanced themselves from me. I have been going over and over in my mind, what did I do wrong? They don’t reply to emails and occasionally he replies to a text. Two of my sons still live at home. My youngest 22, also has been criticizing and putting me down over the slightest thing and forgotten all the love and sacrifices I have made for him. My middle one 24, is a person of few words when it comes to family and ignores me most of the time. They expect me to do all the chores and cooking and won’t pick a pin. They used to be so helpful as kids. I thought this was a phase but it is becoming a lifestyle. They have such an attitude of entitlement and rudeness. I don’t know how to handle their meanness and kept blaming myself for being a failure. All your letters have really calmed my spirit, that I am not alone. As I read each letter, I empathized and could relate to some points. I feel your pain. I realize that I have to grow in a new direction now and expand my world. If my sons ever come to their senses and realize the goodness they have received from me, in their lives, I will rejoice. In the meantime, I am going to focus for the first time, on what I want to do or eat or where I want to go. Thank you to all who poured their hearts out and helped a hurting mother. May God fill our lives with Peace and Purpose.

    Reply
    1. Linda

      Epiphanie, It sounds like you are on the verge of an epiphany! Your two stay at home sons might or might not respond positively to your taking a new direction in your life but perhaps you need to do it for yourself regardless.

      You describe your husband as narcissistic and emotionally absent; have you considered that he may have some sort of personality disorder which your sons have inherited (based on their behaviour which you describe here? It could be beneficial to discuss this with a professional.

      Your two stay at home sons are adults who should in reality be living independent lives and it could be time to start making subtle moves towards encouraging that. You might perhaps fear that you will become estranged from them too if you start to live a more personally-fulfilling life. However, I guess you have to weigh how you feel at the moment with the coldness and rudeness you endure against that risk.

      Ceasing to provide for their every daily need and living your life around them might be a starting point; it might also be an idea to try to get your husband on board with regard to the situation. If this is not possible, it sounds like you need to put yourself first and start having a good time.

      I speak from experience of an estranged parent and grandparent though my circumstances are very different from yours. I do sympathise deeply with all the posters here. I also believe the blogger is correct in her suggestions and also agree with many posters that they are sometimes hard to implement in reality. Bitterness gets in the way.

      Enjoying life is the best tonic and I wish you much enjoyment in the future. It may take a while to get there and the hurdles involved may be deeply painful. But there is help and a joyful life out there. Joy can be found in the smallest things.

  21. Lundy

    Dear Sheri, thank you again for your website.

    Epiphanie, it’s odd you mention your son and his treatment after your wedding. This was basically our situation. The estrangement happened immediately after her wedding of less than a year ago. My husband and I gave her and her new husband several hundreds of dollars in gifts and contributed to the wedding costs. We were not included in any wedding preparations which hurt but accepted it. After the wedding, I got and email stating she needed a break. I called and emailed to no avail. Break? I had such little interaction in the previous months so I don’t know what the break is.

    This other website said I was trying to portray myself as the perfect mother and not taking responsibility.
    I was told that “I should know!” what the problem is. That no child just ups and throws their mother away. I have a good relationship with another daughter. I was told it was obvious she was the “favorite”. So not true.

    I could micro-analyze everything I have ever done and try to find something. The problem is, I have never had an argument with my daughter. Never in her adult life. Never been confronted with any issue. And she is not a quiet meek sort.

    My youngest daughter has not heard from her.

    Funny thing is, my youngest daughter and I have differences, every once in a while. (Like any family.) We always end up talking it out. Never goes past a few hours before it’s resolved. She makes me laugh. She’ll not like something and end the conversation. Few hours later I’ll get a call “So, how are you doing, Mom?” Or I just simply call her back. It normal interaction.

    No one is perfect and I certainly don’t claim to be. I am truly not trying to sugarcoat or absolve myself of anything. I would gladly say I’m sorry or take any responsibility or make any amends.

    It’s been almost a year. Bottom line, it simply hurts.

    Reply
    1. Deb

      My son and I were super close too until puberty. I know I wasn’t a perfect mom, but I never abused them in any way, helped them with school and personal problems, I didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs or drag men home, but I ended up being labeled the bad mom. While the dad was a cheater, liar, conartist and eventually abandoned both kids with no explanation. The pastor said you can’t mate a rabbit with a rattlesnake and expect fuzzy bunnies. Both my children have bit me with their poison over and over!

  22. Lundy

    I think children, who choose a path of estrangement, are wasting time. Parents are not on this Earth forever. And by the time they figure it out (if they figure it out), it can be too late. Is a conversation, letter or any effort so arduous that it is far more desirable to choose banishing one’s parent. If a parent is not worth your time of day, especially a parent grieving their loss of you, who is the true persecutor?

    Reply
    1. Peggy

      Hi To Everyone.
      I was so relieved to read that I wasn’t the only mother out there who was estranged from her children. My three daughters have treated me like rubbish for many years. Used my elder Grandchildren as a way to get money from me. I have two grandchildren I have never met. Two of my daughters married without inviting me. One as recent as this year. My eldest daughter is an alcoholic and only contacts me when something breaks down. I have finally put a stop to that behavior. If she can buy alcohol she can pay her own bills. My youngest daughter and I were the best of friends until her elder sister got in her head and poisoned her. I decided to get off the merry go round but it has been hard. Xmas is a hard time and birthdays but I mostly am ok. My son drowned at 11 and that was such a dreadful time for us. They knew that but decided to take my grandsons as they knew that would hurt me. My elder Grandsons loved me and spent alot of time with me. I think of them everyday like my son. To all you mothers who are hurting because of hurtful nasty children my heart goes to you. God bless you all.

    2. rparentsrparents Post author

      Peggy,

      Thank you for adding your voice here, and your kind words for other mothers. Your encouragement will surely help.

      Sheri McGregor

  23. Gerry

    I too am estranged parent. I live in a small cul de sac in Australia. I am one of three in this street who have experienced this. One has been vaguely resolved, myself and the other one has not. It is a growing concern in the community and it seems that parents are doing much more for their kids than ever before in history, due to having access to cars, being more financially viable, mobile phones, social networking etc. In chatting to my friends it seems that as parents we have to tippy toe around our kids and largely endure a lack of respect in order to have a relationship with them. My mother certainly did not have to act like this to maintain a relationship with me. When my mum could no longer look after herself I cut down my working week in order to care for her, my friends are all well aware that this experience will not happen with their kids. I miss my son the way he was good sense of humour, and actually showed some concern for me and my partner, not now. Are we now expected to tippy toe round our kids to get the respect we need, and why do they use grandchildren as pawns. There are thousands of people out there experiencing this and I hope that in the future we go full circle.

    Reply
    1. EggShell Smasher

      Hi Gerry, your post could have been written by me, or you took the words right out of my mouth. I just recently stated the very thing; that my daughter uses my grandchild like a pawn and rips him away if things aren’t exactly to her liking (even if she just gets in a snit or has a bad mood) and that we must tippy-toe around her or face the loss of connection to him and to her as well, and this includes overlooking some pretty horrible behavior on her part. We also were just talking about how our generation rarely was disrespectful toward parents. No longer is the child to be seen and not heard; it’s the parent. Just keep your lips together no matter what they do or lose your grandchild and maybe any kindness going forward…

      Then recently, I reached a new, more serious point with things as I discovered some dangerous behaviors going on, and I could no longer walk on eggshells and, in fact, be more or less an enabler. How could I ever look myself in the mirror if I didn’t try something to reach her and, more importantly, to protect my grandchild? I also am, quite honestly, really tired of being treated horribly, stabbed in the back, falsely accused of things, and so on. So, I broke some eggshells and, as pretty much expected, she more permanently cut me off. I guess I had hoped she was finally mature enough that she would take strides to improve things–that maybe some part of her would yearn enough for my approval that she’d work to correct things; however, that’s not the case. Instead, she seems to have an ease at discarding me altogether.

      One good thing, though, I no longer have to walk on eggshells, and I have my own conditions if she ever does reach out — I want an honest relationship or none at all. Sadly, though, she’s incredibly stubborn, so I have this feeling I may go to my grave never speaking to her again. It’s not what I wanted as there are so many things I love about her, too, but her terms are basically, in a nutshell, say nothing to her that is disagreeable, even if she is placing herself in harm’s way, even if she’s just plain rude, even if she just treated everyone else in the family in a really crappy manner, even if she had a really weird outburst that shocked everyone else, even if she lied to our faces, even if she’s completely hypocritical, even if she stabbed me in the back for the 100th time–say something and lose contact. Well, those aren’t terms I’m willing to accept any longer.

    2. Anna

      Gerry, its time that more attention be brought to this topic of “abused parents”. We have been silenced by society. We too have human rights.

  24. cheryl

    It is so sad to hear that many other parents are struggling with the “whys” and pain of our adult kids rejecting us. My oldest told me she wanted me out of her life 3 years ago. I have respected her wishes since. My middle daughter, (the one I’ve helped the most) just told me not to contact her or my grandchildren. When my husband and I have invested so much love and time and resources into helping her and my grand-kids, this really hurts. I think I need to talk about this and I may need counseling to sort it all out. Suggestions? advice? None of us should have this pain.

    Reply
    1. shirin

      I understand how you feel.It is .unfortunately it is becoming more common among parents+adult children.have only one son who is 35 years old now.After Hi father and I,diverced,He lived with me,but,e had joint custody and had right to have frequent visits+vacation with him.We had never did arguments after divere,We had quite civilized relationship when celebrating his school events,his birthdays,mother days,fathers day to gether.Money was not issue,we were highly professionals,earned,lived well.He died when my son was close to 17,He did well in school and is a PH.D now.Even since teen,s(whe dad was alive to),I have been noticing sign of narcissism,and telling lies despite the Charm.Yet till He broke with first Steady girl friend after 10 years
      (high school sweethearts),aside from Occasions of Extreme selfishness,and Some inconsideration about having Empathy for me(for the girl friend too,who left him eventually,I found out that She was subject of frequent emotional abuse),He met a woman,whose so called standard face values is lower than my son,in any respect.She is average considering attraction,not too intelligent but is manipulative and is able to say yes all the time.they married shortly after engagement.She was already pregnant. The moment they engaged ,She started to act hostile toward me,yet in a passive aggressive manner with smile.My photos,including those that was taken as family,was gradually removed.She would not eat with us,if I was visiting,with excuse of being on phone,or,caring for baby.Baby is 10 months now. My son started to lie to me more and more.He display abusive behaviors mostly subtle alike her.I think they are collaborating with each other.They use Child as a Pawn,and provide me with very little chance to be with her..Unlike most abusive adult children,my Son Inflict his,via neglet such declining promise of visits,episodes of cold shoulder-aloofness without cause!alternating with nice words!.They do not demand money,But,my Son,is draining my Soul.I am not explaining How,because almost all,is in an indirect way,rather Strange too.Sort of Mind Game,Gaslighting. They know I hate mice.And,despite unlikelihood of Mice living there,(they have cat too)last time I went to be their house guest(long weekend),I saw a clean mouse trap on kitchen table.It was there,the same way(not open,or,ready till I left.On one occasion,before my departure(night before),I noticed cat,s dry stool,on stairway to guest,s bedroom.My son apologized,but,Not only cat ever did such mistake(befor,or,after)but as a medical dctor,I could easily see that the stool was dry,stained with sands from cat box,so,could be implanted(I love cats-but they know about my perfect cleanliness!.
      Anyhow,without going o details,recently my son,declined some promie that He made to me.Something that wife knew and not objected to either.It has nothing to do with Money or,Material,it was connected to a plan,when such decline caused embarrassment to me also(socially).
      He acts as if nothing happened,But,I really feel being exposed to enough messages by him(or,them),not,to be close to them.They are not telling me :get Lost:neither use deragatory words,but,are so aloof and non generos r/e the little grand daughter,That I decided to detach me completely without declaration.Should I cut the tie,Or,just remain distant.I am a very warm,affectionate person.Could my transformation to a detached mom,grand mom,protect me not being more HURT?.I know it does not make any different to them.I am not acting like a teenage girl to get attention,by acting aloof,but,I assume,this may let me to make myself less sensitive to my Son,s unpredictable,inconsistent behavior,and wife,s subtle rudeness and,aloofness.I suggest that other parents having mean children do the same thing,and despite undeniable suffering,continue their life,as it is. No doubt if adult child continue insult,abuse, in any way,the only solution is cutting the tie.
      Thank you

  25. michelle

    My 30 year old daughter just had her fourth child last weekend. The baby has down syndrome and heart problems. Here is my heartbreak… I took 40 of vacation time to stay at my daughters house and take care of my three grandkids. Ages are 11,6 and 20 months. I have done everything I can so when they come home there is nothing to do but relax.
    I have watched the babies since last weekend. The babys heart is fine , she is gaining weight but the parents won’t come see their three kids; who cry for them .
    Anyway,I wanted to leave today three hours early and go home. My daughter will not speak to me. I have done nothing wrong. We live within miles of each other.
    I am at a loss at how I am being treated. I feel used and am so hurt

    I

    Reply
  26. margot

    I lost a son in a car accident 23 years ago. My other son split up with his wife last year and he is now living off the grid. He called me yesterday and said he wants to be left alone. He was out of control as a teenager and I had him admitted for treatment against his will. That was 25 years ago and he now wants nothing to do with me.
    I don’t know what to do. I have offered financial help, a place to live, etc

    Reply
  27. Louise

    Another estranged parent. I take some (limited) comfort in the fact that I obviously do not suffer alone. I have read a lot of comforting words and good advice, but putting it into action is not easy. My adult daughter has spurned me for over ten years now, and has recently reduced my association with my grandson to virtually nothing (he is 7). He and I share a loving bond but he is not allowed to stay with me or even just go out with me any more. Nothing sinister has transpired. I have never hit him or placed him in moral or physical danger. I don’t smoke and my house is safe and clean. I don’t drink when I’m going to be driving with him. We’re always happy together. I am guilty of allowing him to get away with things like too much electronics and staying up too late but I was mending that. He told me he keeps asking his mum if he can come over and she keeps saying no. When I approach her, she erupts. It’s degrading and nasty. It’s like she only needed the slightest ‘excuse’ to withhold him. When he’s not with her, she is totally disinterested in me. She generally does not answer her phone when I call (has caller ID). In a family/friends gathering she pretends that everything is all cool and leads others to believe she’s my loving daughter. .She lives a busy life, and so do I. I would make time if I were permitted. I cannot just drop by and visit as I feel that I’m imposing. I can’t call first because the call is unanswered. I’m happy to make whatever effort is required, to do the driving, pay to get in to whatever etc. but it’s very clearly not wanted. I have decided that the advice to let go is right, but my heart is breaking. I am very tearful a bit too often. I’m not moving forward at this stage. I want to, but I’m unenthusiastic. I live alone and have some limited moral support from family. I don’t want to involve them. I feel that I’m being scapegoated and for what reason(s) I don’t know. There’s no physical or financial dependency or abuse or anything going on, past or present. I am divorced, and that’s amicable. The married years were awful and that’s why they’re over. I feel that I am beyond uncool, not good enough to associate with her. I am aware of her struggles and offer nothing but love and support, neither of which is wanted. I admire her integrity and hard work and everything about her that doesn’t involve me. I am really hurting and my efforts to get to the bottom of things end up with her arcing up at me. I love her dearly and always will, but I don’t love having my love rejected no matter what I do. I have kept away from her but that means keeping away from my grandson. I hope that he will grow up understanding that none of this is my choice. I have taken a giant step back. This really hurts in every way, and I wonder how long this phase will last and how to survive it. How do I handle birthdays and Christmas? for example. A clean cut would also cut out other family members, which I don’t want to do. But if we’re forced together, that hurt needs to be shelved. Nobody wants a ‘scene’, but the tension will be there.

    Reply
  28. Jennifer T.

    I feel so so sad for all of us rejected parents! It’s like a nightmare we couldn’t ever have imagined . I thought I had a close, loving family, and we all spent many happy family occasions, even after their marriages we all had a weekly dinner and catch up….. So when my son and my daughter cut us off we were in shock at first, they didn’t and in fact refused to talk it through with us face to face, stating he had depression and wanted space…but within days it very quickly went from his depression to what failures we were as parents and awful abuse . We are broken hearted as we are not allowed to see our lovely grandsons either of course , so we’ve endured the last two years like this …. I can only live in hope of reconciliation but am starting to think it’s not going to happen for us , so we have to try and accept what our lives are now , and glean whatever happiness we can, but it’s so hard . I hope all of you are more successful , as we don’t deserve our latter years to be so sad .

    Reply
    1. Louise

      In my situation, this rejection did not happen suddenly. Looking back over the years since she started high school there has been a widening rift. My other daughter who is older is also becoming increasingly remote. I have been on my own for nine years now and have a good relationship with my ex, and his family treats me well. I have grown into the best version of me and achieved things I never thought were possible. I thought this would draw my girls to me but the reverse is true. I sometimes think if I were a lame duck, that might attract more attention. I have equipped my life for good times but they don’t want to share. The process of letting go is difficult and I catch myself thinking dark thoughts, but soon pull myself up on that. With Christmas coming up, it’s going to be difficult (again) but will keep afloat. The posts on this site do give me some comfort.

    2. Linda

      Wow these comments from people are real. It’s happening with 3 of my children. I feel alittle better to read that. I’m not alone. I hope I can get people to respond to me. Then I can connect to them

  29. Eileen

    It has been almost one year since dear daughter decided that I serve no purpose. In fact I believe she has been mulling that over since she turned fourteen, so many, many years ago. This time has been an exercise in the five stages of grief. Disbelief, anger/hatred, depression, acceptance…can’t remember the fifth. Maybe I haven’t worked through it yet. The afore mentioned stages come in and out as time passes. I have a new and perfect practice that is 1000 times better then the “stages” or regret, or poor me, what did I do wrong? drama. Meditation. It is truly a gift from God.

    Reply
  30. Granny

    My grief was profound. It stunned me. I prayed for comfort, understanding, and acceptance but they eluded me. I didn’t want to live. I talked to sisters and a therapist. My sisters attributed the estrangement to the influence of her angry, arrogant husband. My therapist speculated a chemical imbalance, the influence of her husband, or a personality disorder. She said this is not normal, not how a well-adjusted adult handles relationship issues. She said my daughter’s behavior has been cruel and punitive and has gone on much too long. I have spent more than a year trying to make sense of this. It doesn’t make sense. My daughter now is not the daughter I have loved for 40 years. It’s hard to believe that the daughter I loved would devastate my family but she has so this is a part of her I never knew. I think I may be turning the corner now. I’ve had three or four painless days in a row. Not long ago, I didn’t believe that was possible so maybe I’m finally approaching acceptance. I just want all of you to know that it’s possible to find some peace. Now I just have to pray that it lasts!

    Reply
  31. erika

    thank you.
    I spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out what was wrong with my daughter and me . Then my former husband who she went to live with after he finally got clean and sober passed away suddenly, and twelve hours after he passed I found out that he had through her blog. She didn’t want me to come over because she sad i would just take everything. Now, i had left the marriage with my clothing and my car, I don’t think anyone had to worry about me swooping in and getting the remnants of what was not a happy place for me. We had never divorced or officially separated for whatever reason, so i had to do some things legally like take on his bills etc, while his girlfriend became the beneficiary of his bank account. My daughter said i was lying when I told her there was no money in the bank, so I took her with me to the teller and let them tell her that there was money in the bank, but none that was available to her or me. Then she told me that my husbands best friend, some woman that had done nothing but help keep my husband delusional about making it big in the entertainment world(long long long story, he blamed me for not being able to make it as a porn acotr…i can’t make this crap up. I have his diary) said she would pay for my daughters rent for the next few months so she didn’t have to move in with me. I kept my mouth shut and said well I’m glad to hear that, its nice to know you have such a supportive person in your father’s best friend. A week later I had a knock on my door and there stood my daughter in tears, the money still hadn’t arrived. lI told her that she could stay at my place until she figured out what she wanted to do. I knew there was no sense in pushing, it would just push her away, so I left it at that. She moved in, and it seemed as if we were beginning to rebuild a relationship that he had driven a wedge into, from the diary of his that i had found and was reading. In it i read that he told the world that he had been a single father since she was age seven. Funny, i distinctly remember having to pick him up off the floor several times back then so she wouldn’t find her father passed out again like that, and i spent that entire time of her life working two jobs to make ends meet since he couldn’t keep a job. Yeah, I probably wasn’t the nicest of people back then. I was tired, I was miserable, i snapped at people, but I know i always told my daughter that I loved her and that when she grew up not to make my mistakes and finish school before she settled down etc. To remember how hard life was when you didn’t and you were older. I went back to school to get my nursing degree that year as well, and so she saw me struggle with all of that and helped me study. I thought we were really close, i did theater and brought her with me every rehearsal because I didn’t have the reliable person to watch her, (really there’s a reason i’m talking about this) and when she was twelve she was raped by someone that lived next door. It is only because I worked the emergency dept that I didn’t end up in Jail that evening because I experienced my first blind rage moment and went next door and my 5’2 frame confronted the 6’4 guy with a baseball bat. I told 911 after that they needed to bring an ambulance. So, here i sit today, in the present.the last two years since his death she has written lovely cards about couldn’t have made it without me, she’s posted about it on facebook, I flew her down when she found out her s.o was cheating on her(she moved 2 states away for college which she’s dropped out of”)and made sure she was emotionally ok before she had to fly back up there. I involved her n a support network that included my closest friends.
    Last week she cut my family and me off without warning, with out provocation we thought.
    I found a thread on Reddit about narcissistic mothers and parentless by choice.
    I read a history that I was not part of written by her
    Everything was distorted, everything was projected onto me.
    She talk about having always done theater and me being jealous of her for that
    She talks about me saying bad things about her former s.o. and telling her that she should come down to visit without him more often (written while she was in my house, getting support from everyone during her stay that she begged for).
    I found out that I never tried to help her with getting over a rape and that I stayed friends with the man who did it. I remember driving her to the shrinks office two days a week and patiently waiting for her to come back out
    She said she was forced to stop seeing the shrink because she wouldn’t tell me what was being said and I was flying off the handle??? huh??
    I read so many disparaging things about myself, but then i read the things she had written about my mom and my dad. how my father hated the two of us and only loved her. How my mother was an enabling narcissistic woman herself.
    That’s when the anger began
    I shouldn’t have done it, I know better, but I couldn’ stop myself.
    Her last post on Reddit was bout do they think she needs a restraining order.
    I wrote anonymously, “nope, i think shes’ to busy laughing at the fiction to worry about her much”
    I have such a rage inside me towards her, towards what now turns out to be wasted years of me staying miserable to make things okay, of her being able to manipulate things to get what she needed. To find out every duplicitous thing her father and she worked out amongst themselves to get me to say ok. the list is so long. he promised he would ruin my relationship with her. he won. There is no place in hell that is punishment enough in my view.
    I’ve decided to keep the anger alive because the searing gut wrenching pain is to much for me to deal with. I use the anger to keep at going on and to keep my very patient and loving boyfriend from having to listen to me cry anymore. He is relieved because he watched me deal with survival guilt at being a nurse and not being able to help, and to constantly basically look needy and desperate fo my daughters affections which she was able to use to get what she needed. I guess on the bright side she’s manipulative and cunning and can survive with those talents, but not only did my former husband pass away two years ago, he had already killed my funny, smart, beautiful daughter with poisonous, revenge filled lies.
    My parents don’t deserve this treatment. no matter how much they hated her father, he was her father and they supported the two of them whenever asked because of her. they were there for her without the emotional rollercoaster that I was on to throw extra tension in. they were a safe haven, she crushed them. but what she didn’t count on, is that there were two people in this world that had my back and wouldn’t throw me under the bus, so she cut them off as well as my s.o. when she tried with him.
    I love my daughter, I had her once but her soul is dead and just her physical outwardly appearance lives on. My ex-killed her and for that he should rot in hell.
    thanks for letting me vent. I thought i was alone.

    Reply
    1. Ality

      I am so sorry, I feel your pain through you words. It is my hope that you have been able to move into the positive since you posted. That would likewise give me hope. (((huugggs for you)))

  32. Peter

    Wow, great article, excellent site, hard to do these 5 things but exactly what I have been looking for. I love my sons so much and it is so hard to let go. I miss them. I have to give thanks for all I have had and let go my expectations and accept my reality. I do feel powerless. I guess that is where forgiveness can open the door to freedom from guilt. Thank you so much Sheri McGregor for your article and also to those who have shared their experiences here. My heartfelt best wishes to you all.

    Peter

    Reply
  33. Sofia

    This forum is excellent. I too have seen another forum from the reverse perspective of the adult child. Ther reasons for shutting out their mothers and notice it is 99% mothers who are discarded, are really trivial. I personally believe that we are all connected and this is part of the reason these adult children are behaving like this in such numerous numbers. I am shocked by how many mothers and the occasional father have been subjected to this kind of poor behaviour. My estrangement has been coming for some years now. It start with filthy disrespectful language used on me by my sons wife, then abusive phone calls on my birthday and no acknowledgment on mothers day. Now it is total silence. I was told by my son that I don’t meet his expectations and I am not doing enough for them. Mind you I work full time through the day and teach at nights and live 3 hours away from them. I visit every birthday I send gift every xmas and when I call I am shut down. I have never interfered or offered unwanted opinions, I help when asked. But no more. I refuse to be abused, and insulted any longer. Forgiveness may come eventually although before that happens I have to make peace again with myself. They not only cut me out they have cut out my daughter as well. I think it is disgusting and really selfish, so why do I want selfish uncaring people in my life. Well I don’t, I want my son back and that may never happen. I haven’t finished with them yet though. I will say my piece then walk away and live my life without further pain. We may be baby boomers getting blamed for all the worlds problems, however we are still entitled to be treated with respect as parents.

    Reply
    1. Ality

      Yes you are absolutely correct. It sounds like you might have a better handle on not allowing yourself to be mistreated. I wish I had come to the forum about 6 years ago. I am sorry for your loss and I hope you will find peace :-). For me I feel horribly mistreated and huge sense of loss (of 4 people at once — my sister, niece and her 2 children — I will never know this new baby).

      (((Hugs for You)))

  34. Estranged father

    I am an estranged father of 2 adults, both in their 20’s. I have read this article and the various stories shared by the astonishing number of parents out there who are likewise afflicted by this awful predicament. I have thought a great deal about it all and have read various other articles on the topic of estrangement. And now I have this to say: it seems to me estrangement is rooted in some sort of family dysfunction. The dysfunction varies from situation to situation, but dysfunction is a root cause of estrangement. And from there, I have formulated 2 opinions about it all: 1) there is no perfect parent, or parenting scenario. Every parent starts out with the best of intentions, and in the course of execution of the parenting process, make mistakes for whatever reason. The question then becomes–are those mistakes so egregious that the child is justified to cut off the parent? The answer is one of degree–how bad was the mistake or mistakes? In addition, to give balance and fairness to the choice to cut off, what about all the good things the parent did for the child? Most importantly, what about the love?! This later question is important, because in all of these stories that have been shared by the estranged parents, it is clear that the “record” of parenting includes both good and bad. Many good things the parent did, and yes, mistakes. I would hope the child making the choice to cut off the parent would look at both sides, the good and bad, as well as the love, and then decide if cutting off is an appropriate choice. In other words, to be ‘fair” to the parent in assessing such a harsh remedy. And as for my 2nd opinion–it seems to me estrangement is not the answer to the dysfunction, most of the time. Instead, estrangement gives more life to whatever the underlying dysfunction was. So instead of ending the dysfunction, the child actually furthers the unbroken cycle of dysfunction in the family. Estrangement seems to me to be, most of the time, a form of family dysfunction. No good comes from it, most of the time. I cannot believe that most of these stories involve parents that deserve to be completely cut off. Maybe, but it seems high. Logically, it seems estrangement should be a last resort, and as temporary as possible. Using the tools of love, compassion, understanding and communication, we as a people should be able to bridge these broken relationships and create new boundaries with healthy family interaction at an appropriate, independent distance.

    Reply
  35. na

    i think one reason it is so hard for me to get over my daughter’s rejection is that i have no idea WHY? when i’ve tried to ask, she gets furious and tells me i’m crazy. i can understand her having little contact with me. she has a busy life. But in the contact she does have, she is intentionally cruel or belittles me with a lot of hostility and utter contempt for minor things. she is very close with her in-laws, and tells me how much better her mom-in-law is than i am.
    WHY? I’ve made mistakes, but they dont seem to merit anything like this. we were very close when she was young. people used to remark on what a good relationship we had. i can understand a child just not having time for a parent. i can understand a child being kind of dismissive or rejecting a parent’s values or lifestyle. but i can’t understand the intent to hurt.

    Reply
    1. Kim

      I know exactly how you are feeling.
      I think Narcissism is the reason in our household.
      It is on the rise, worldwide and may have nothing to do with you/me/-or our values.
      If we have been life-long “suppliers” of this “personality disorder” in a child (or anyone), we need understand that once this person gets what they need from us,…we are reviled, condemned, and discarded. Classic Narcissism!
      Apparently, this Mother-In-Law is the next “victim”? What used to cause me an unbelievable amount of pain, with understanding, has become “tolerable” at this point.
      You see?…we have multiple (adult) children acting this way!
      My husband copes by reminding us that we had a great life B.C.(before children) , and we will continue forward as we always have in growing, learning, and loving. We remind ourselves that we know the truth: We were Great parents! Not perfect, but GREAT!
      We could prove it in a court of law, I am sure.
      I think of the good memories, but hold myself to a time limit.
      Those interested in sharing with us are welcome, and they know it.

  36. Julia

    What do you do when your estranged daughter is a councillor? We were always extremely close and spent so much time together laughing, going places, just being happy. I supported her through useless boyfriends and helped her in every way I could and she was always there for me too. Then she decided to go to college to become a councillor. I was so proud. I paid for her last year to make sure she could graduate. How it came back to haunt me. As a result she decided that I had been a bad parent for the last 30 years. I’ve gravelled and demeanor myself so much trying to resolve this with her but all she does is throw counselling terms that I don’t understand back at me. I’m lost. She’s treating me like a client but I’m just her Mum. I can’t make any headway whatsoever with her and she now demands that I see a councillor for my narcissism issues before we can have a relationship again? I feel I’m living in a surreal situation

    Reply
    1. Ality

      OMG, that is really sad. I wish I had the answer to how you resolve this. I understand what you mean by living in a surreal situation — I called it floating through my life in my looooooog message. I hope your daughter comes to her senses asap, As we know Life is short, every DAY is precious especially if it is another missed day of communication.

      I am so sorry, believe me I feel your pain.

      (((Hugs for You)))

    2. Ann

      Julia – your story sounds like mine. My daughter also put herself thru college… oh, how proud I was! She got her degree in psychology and now blames me for everything. I grovel and beg for forgiveness often, cater to her ego, but I’m still nothing to her. She clearly think she’s superior to me. I cannot get mad at her for anything – I don’t dare cross her or all hell breaks loose and the cycle starts all over. I am no angel and have said/done wrong things – haven’t we all? I’m human, and I do apologize and beg for forgiveness. Sorry is not enough – I think she loves making me suffer. She is my only child, and sometimes I think I need to live my life as if I’ve lost my only child.

      Also – I’m actually AFRAID of her because of her hateful words towards me. I’m afraid for my future – that when I retire, she will do me harm. My dog won’t even go near her!!! I’m determined to save enough money to take care of myself when I retire, and try to afford nursing home insurance so hopefully she can’t/won’t be able to make any such decisions regarding my senior care. I’m 50 and have another 17 years before retirement, but her hatred towards me only gets worse over the years.

    3. Grace

      Wow. I’m in a similar situation with Ann and Julia. My daughter became a psychotherapist and now suddenly I’ve been labeled with a disorder and much worse and been cut off from her and her kids in every way. She is very cruel and knows exactly where to put the knife. It’s been four years and I pray that things will get better. What a terrible legacy for her own kids–cause there is karma. But I hope I can then be the one to help her in her pain…after all, I sure know what it’s like. If I live through it. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s so nice to read similar stories!!

    4. Kim

      Ask her for a recommendation, and GO!
      It’s the least you can do for the cause and most therapy usually helps!
      Better yet, if it were my daughter, I might be tempted to ask for her help in “delving into the matter”.
      Pay her (if necessary) for the session, and lay on the couch and talk about it.
      Most of us can’t even have a dialog with our kids about it! It is one of the things that will keep you in a rut if you “dwell on it”.
      Share her interests, and learn some of those terms. Stop taking anything they say personally. When people (even our kids) are vocally judgemental,…I find they are only reflecting to me there own internal struggles. I try not to take it personally. Maybe go to school and study psychology yourself?
      I am over 60, am taking music lessons, dance lessons, learning to write, and remodeling my living room.
      It keeps my mind off of them.

  37. Katy

    It has been 10 years. I don’t know what I have done wrong and nor does she. I made her feel bad when she had a bad haircut when she was seven??????
    She needs her dad, the one who wasn’t there much for her when she was young and so she is polite to me but has nothing to say to me when he is not there.
    Christmas – they are all coming here to me again.
    I just can’t bear it.
    I am trying to get off tranquillisers and sleeping pills but I want to run away.

    Reply
  38. Joanne

    I am a mother of 3 adult children. My first two have the same father. I was in a relationship with someone who I believed I could trust around my children. Everything seemed normal. He tarnished that trust by abusing my son and daughter (emotion/physically and sexually). This went on from the age of 5-8 from what they have told me. We been to child protection services, I threw him out of my house and the plan was to take him to court. My daughter says she cannot go on a stand and live out these things to bring him to justice. Now my grown son (31 yrs. old), hates me but deals with me. Every chance he gets he tells me how I wasn’t a good mother leaving them to go to work with this man. When my son get’s drunk and high on weed, he tells me how bad he hates me and how he would like to kill me, then when he sobers up he will tell me he is sorry. My grown daughter (30 yrs. old) who is terribly strung out on chemical weed and in a very abusive relationship just hates me. She’ll come into my life for short stints and does all she can to hurt me mentally and physically and then it ends in argument, she disappears and then I worry and worry and worry is she safe, is she alive. I’m living day-to-day. I’m torn in pieces. I’m holding it together as much as possible praying, but the feelings comes back. I have been told by many church people to let go and let GOD take over. I don’t know how to do that. I carried them, I nurtured them. What kind of a human being would I be to just live life without care?
    -Lost and Hurt-

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Hi Joanne,

      Of course you care! Of COURSE. I’m sorry that you were betrayed by a man you trusted (who hurt your children…oh, that’s awful). You know, Joanne, I could say a lot of things here. Tell you to see a counselor, try to get your adult children to one, etc and so on. You’ve probably heard all of that, and may have also tried. Instead of that, I just want to say that you are obviously a caring human being…and you are worthy of a happy life. On those days when you’re feeling especially down or worried, I hope you will be your own best friend.

      Sincerely, Sheri McGregor

  39. Margaret

    I have had an on again off again relationship with my son for 20 years. I have tried to help him financially, with the promise that he would pay me back a portion of the money loaned to him. He never paid back one cent. That is not the issue though, I helped him and would have helped him because I thought he needed it. I soon realized the money was for gambling debts, he totally misguided me. Fast forward to the last two years….he told me he wanted nothing to do with me and I have not talked to him. In a weak moment, I guess because of Christmas and he was born on Christmas Eve, I called him. He could not hardly give me the time of day. In conclusion, for my son, he has a heart problem, not physically, but spiritually. He has no love in his heart . Very sad, I loved him and cared for him selflessly. Tonight I am a mother of one son, the child that loves me and shows it. Tired of being rejected!!!!

    Reply
  40. Joan

    These letters are so helpful to keep us all from feeling alone. Our daughter rejected us 7months ago. Thought she needed counseling. Her councilor told her not to have any contact with us sense in made her stressed. I got a birthday card and we got a Christmas card from her. I am hopeful this might lead to more contact,but I will not get my hopes up to have them crushed again.
    I have gotten past the anxiety I was having, but I still have my moments of tearing up and longing for the relationship we had before. We really miss our Grandchildren who used to join,us for a visit every summer. We will carry on because we have another daughter to be strong and happy for and her family of our 2 other grandchildren and her wonderful husband. Hopefully someday
    our prayers will be answered and our family will be whole again.
    Thank you for this site and journaling and prayer do help. Another thing that helps is getting out and doing things like taking walks,visiting with friends,
    And not looking at who is not in your life ,but being there for all those who are.
    God bless and bring smiles back to your faces.

    Reply
  41. Barb

    Hi,I relate to everyones pain and grief.I am heartbroken and it literally aches.I realize we all have different situations and reasons our children have chosen to cut ties.But in my soul searching I sincerely realize I made many mistakes as a parent that hurt my girls so much.Yes there were also good times and moments they dont remember that we had fun,i nursed them thru illness,i helped them logistically.But a child tends to remember 1 upsetting conflict or words or situation when you didnt love them the way they wanted or needed.They have skewed memories.It is said that 1 bad interaction in a childs mind cannot me erased by 10 good ones.In my situation I believe this to be true.I had a bitter divorce when my girls were 1 and 3.This unfortunately wasnt hidden from them.I have also had illness on and off thru the years which left me in bed or irritable or unable to care for them myself (i got help).When my now 23 y.o.was 14 she moved suddenly to her dad’s and stepmoms.Now my 20 y.o.has chosen estrangement as well this past year.My kids are not narcissists or have any other form of mental illness (and i wouldnt blame that anyways..it would make me more compassionate and understanding of their painful actuons)I definitely believe my youngest is being supported by her sister,father and a counsellor.She has a rare chronic illness which is made worse by stress and thats why she said contact with me makes her sick.She has come into town and not contacted me.This is the 1st xmas she didnt see me.And tecently the 1st time she ignored my birthday.It hurts so much and i sob and have counselling.But despite there being some things out of my control,I often didnt do a good job with times i could have been the kind of parent they needed.I take responsibility for that and have remorse.I dont expect reconciliation and I work on compassion for them and me.And especially difficult is to forgive myself for my part of what has led to this complete silence.I truly dont know when or how this will happen.I do believe i failed in my role as a parent.I usually knew better but often didnt do better.I am not seeking empathy or the opposite perspective from any of you,but i wanted to share my feelings and how i experience things.My girls ARE children.I am the adult.They deserved better.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Dear Barb,

      I’m very sorry for your pain. I know you didn’t ask for empathy, but there it is anyway. You’re hurting, and I feel for you (as I know others who come to the site also will).

      Regarding skewed memories you mention, you said that “it is said” that for a child, ten good memories can’t make up for one bad one…. With all due respect, a lot of things are said. That does not necessarily make them true. I don’t know your situation beyond what you have shared, so cannot speak to your specific circumstances. However, this site is for parents who believe themselves to have been kind, caring, and supportive … and who, for the most part, did their best. For those parents, or any parent, to carry burdening guilt for one interaction during their child’s childhood, and believe that it erases/skewed 10 wonderful and happy memories, is not a burden I would wish on any of those parents. It might also not be helpful.

      I believe that most adults have a few “bad” memories from childhood. But they have grown up, and as adults, realize that their parents were humans, dealing with a unique set of circumstances. In the course of life with all its surprises, no person (parent or non-parent) is at their best at all times. Sensible adults from supportive and loving families do remember the ten good times for every one not-so terrific memory.

      You mentioned that you “have counseling.” In that supportive environment, I hope you can work at forgiving yourself. Doing so can help a person make something productive and useful out of the pain (regrets, guilt, etc). I hope you will be kind to yourself, as you move toward healing.

      Along with others who will read your comment here, I’m Wishing you (and your estranged children) many blessings.

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Nancy

      We all deserve better emotionally. We all cause others pain. When we cut off communication we take conscious, deliberate action to either: solve a problem we are having with that other person or to cause pain to the other. It seems to me, unless the other person is so toxic with some form of personality disorder, that this is the child’s ego calling the shots and when that happens, it’s all about making themselves feel better, exacting revenge, manipulating their parent to benefit their ego. Because there is no love or compassion in cutting off communication. Just control. Just manipulation. It’s all ego gratification. And until something happens to shake them out of their ego-run life, there is no reasoning with them. If you try to manipulate the situation, their ego will fight you back. If you apologize and grovel, their ego grows. If you ignore them, their ego gets angrier…where is the reaction they were hoping for? These are just some thoughts I’ve had lately and wonder, is there a back door around the angry, self righteous ego?

  42. Deb

    All three of my adult children abandoned me two months ago, with no end to the estrangement in sight. I am so overwhelmed. The inner pain is so strong, I almost can’t breathe.

    Reply
    1. rose

      I am so sorry. I feel that way, too. All I do is cry. Not even been told there is a grandchild. Found out on the internet.

  43. vanessa

    I hav read everything letter from the begining to the ens. This is sheer madness that all these parents have to go through this with the kids that are here today bcz of the parents. I myself hav 3 grown up kids 28 30 and 33. I’m sorry to say this but I have come to this stages where-by I just don’t care anymore, but to write them off for good. Either God gav me the wrong kids, or God has given the kids the wrong parent. But this type of abuse is tooo tooo much. It leaves a real pain on my heart, and I prayed that one day God forgives me for saying this. 2016 is the year where I will walk away whilst I still hav my sanity. These kids has abused me to the max. No turning back again. Over the years I tried to bond with them after my Mum passed on. Used to hustle for them. The crime for this type of treatment is……I neva raised them. So I say let it be. Let them find a substitute now.

    Reply
  44. Mjmom

    I don’t know if I should be happy for you or help you cry. I have been there done it and it is such a barrel of mixed emotions. After what I have done and been through I can only say good for you. Take your life back. Embrace happiness and know you did your best. These unselfish brats can live within themselves. What an awful legacy they created.

    Reply
  45. Pingback: Survey: To Help Parents of Estranged Adults | Parental Alienation- UNCOVERED

  46. jenny

    I have endured the hateful looks nasty comments and tirades from my daughter for years, I also endured it plus terrible neglect from my mother… I spent the first half of my life trying to come to terms and placate my mother and the second, my daughter… I became extremely depressed. Last Mothers day was horrible as usual, no card etc, and a few days later she screamed at me on the phone for not being more upbeat with her when she phoned me late on Mother’s day, and started her false accusations . I never miss a birthday Christmas for her and her family, paid for her to go to college, paid many times to fly her and my grandson over to see me, took her on long holidays spent a lot of time with her, went without to provide for her so Mothers day is always a hard one but after the tirade the scales dropped from my eyes. Now I don’t feel the need to placate or pander to either daughter or mother.. if they don’t want to be around me that’s fine I tried my best, I don’t live in hope any more of happy families but I live my life and I enjoy my wonderful friends. … funnily enough since I stopped running around worrying about them both my daughter has become much nicer to me, they came for Christmas, spent ten days , never a dirty look cross word. .its as though she had suddenly grown up.. or perhaps she sees I am not vulnerable and needy.. whatever her motivation for the years of anger , she has suddenly calmed down dramatically… perhaps one day we will be able to talk about it. ..

    Reply
    1. jenny

      Sorry, just to add to my previous comment … I forgot to mention hat I had been living with the pain of estrangement for a number years before things started to improve…I was utterly heartbroken when my daughter told me she never wanted to see me again and I was uncertain how I could keep going.. but someone advised me to and give her space , get on with my own life.. and also make big genuine effort to apologise for anything I had done to hurt her, keep up the contact on a low key level, a card or text once in a while. I don’t want to give false hope to parents going through this, but things might improve in time..

  47. Lori Jo

    Each word that I have read on this site echoes the pain and emptiness that I feel. For eight years now, I have been treated like a non-person. On holidays, I sit in the home where I raised my child and sob all by myself. It came to the point where even going outside was overwhelming. What was happening to me? Here I was a successful teacher for over 32 years and now sinking deeper and deeper into is my own loneliness. My doctor assured me that I am not crazy and my sadness is consistent with the experience of being estranged. I guess I reached the end of my ability to cope. I emailed friends who live four hours away inquiring about moving to their city. Having felt so rejected for so long, it was even frightening to look at my friends’ response. Their reply was “Yes, come. We’ve been waiting for you.” Tears of joy! I sold my house of 25 years, all of the contents, even my piano, and bought a small place in the new city. A courageous move for someone alone and 63 years old. I did text my child that I was moving away and asked her if she would like my good china. She wanted it, and for the last time, I experienced that “false hope”. Then, in order to “give” my china to her, I had to pay for a dinner out for her, her husband and my two precious little grandchildren. Would this be the last time I would ever see them? Following the dinner out, the two cars were lined up side by side in the parking lot and my carefully packed dishes turfed from my car to theirs. Not a word of thanks or farewell. That was a month ago. My move is about 10 days away. My emotion for my family is numb. My excitement for my new life is growing. The idea of “Adventures Ahead” is actually getting exciting. The unknown has to be better than living what I have experienced. I sure hope so.

    Reply
  48. Robin

    Wow, all these stories just like mine. Thought I was alone on this. Thank you to all of you who are sharing. I’m keeping myself busy with my horses, do, cat, husband and friends. They keep the horrible pain away. You all are amazing and brave. God bless you.

    Reply
  49. Babs

    I’m new to this group, my oldest daughter recently lost her husband to brain cancer. We have always had a wonderful mother daughter relationship. I have other children too, with whom I have a great relationship with. This daughter started to change nine months ago when her husband’s health started to deteriorate. She has five children who have been the love of my life, my grandchildren. She would not let me hold the babies or see the kids. She seems almost like an enemy. I have been shocked at the way she has disrespected and treated me. This is new territory for me, I’ve never experienced this before. One of my other daughters who never really got along with her sister has now been accepted by the rejecting daughter and it seems like both of them are ganging up on me. The second daughter is still friendly to me but won’t allow her daughters to spend the night any more at my home. They have lived with us twice and the girls love spending the night and time with Grandma. Now if I want to see them I have to go to her house. The other daughter won’t let me come by unless I have her approval. At Christmas she said she was too busy to get together with the rest of the family and that she would like to get together maybe a week after Christmas. I made a quilt and had many lovely thoughtful gifts for them. I came by to drop them off after about two weeks after Christmas and she called and told me I was not allowed to hang out at her house. I have been in shock about all of this. My husband and I can’t think of one thing I could have done. My husband said that no one who has done as much as I have for this daughter over the years deserves this kind of abusive treatment. He said it’s shameful. He tells me to move on and start a life with out her? How do you leave five grandchildren behind. The twins are nine months, and there are three little boys ages 8,6 and 3. This daughter has also lived with us twice and I have nurtured and loved these grandchildren. I was the ONLY one she ever trusted to babysit them. I keep sending her texts. She is slow to answer and never answers my calls. I am just devastated. My husband says it makes me look weak and almost like I’m begging to her and says it makes her hate me more. That I need to let go and let her come back to me. Is that the right advice?

    Reply
  50. Barb

    Thank God I have my supportive husband, son, & sister.My daughter has decided once again to cut off communication. It is not how we harmed her but what she is doing to herself.
    When she makes a bad decision or gets found out,she cuts me off. Rather than be honest, she much prefers lying to me. When things go bad, she can’t face me. Her stubborn pride gets in the way.
    I have sent things for my grandson & her to ease their situation. She knew her life would be hard but she got pregnant with my grandson after knowing his dad for only a month.
    I also enclosed a note of encouragement but I know she enjoys that I am heartbroken. No more news gets thru to her, period.
    As for my sweet little grandson, who reminds me so of her late dad, I would move Heaven & Earth just to make sure he has what he needs.
    Our lives have changed profoundly in the last 5 years. She is still stuck in immature & refuses to move on. Legally, I can do nothing. She is considered an adult yet makes teenage decisions.
    Our kids are taking longer to mature because they don’t have to do much. There are exceptions but so many entitled kids are out there. Her late dad caved too much, I was the “hard” parent. Before he died, he apologized for spoiling her. When he was dying, she refused to see him & he cried. This whole thing has been the hardest life event yet.
    I keep thinking she’ll text me or come over. I guess I have to give that thought up.
    Because she was in school & really trying, we made the mistake of paying her car & health insurance .
    We also bought food, diapers , & gave her $$ when she said she was not working much. She never overtly asked for help & repaid us. I would give her the $$ back & tell her how much I loved her & wanted to see her happy. Another mistake.
    As long as the bf’s mom allows us to see the grandchild, I hate to do anything. Of course, his parents see the baby every week-end.
    I never thought my daughter would be so low but I’ve had to accept she is totally fine playing dirty.
    She is 21, maybe she’ll grow up.

    Reply
  51. Marie

    My oldest son (35) has been cutting me out of his life for the last 10 yrs. We might disagree on something, such stupid trivial things, his answer is to cut me off. The estrangements have ranged from 6 mos. to 2 yrs. He would reappear when he needed something, mostly money. My granddaughter is 3 now, he has used her as a pawn with me. We are estranged again and this time is the last for me. As Parents we will do just about anything for our children but I will not allow myself to be abused by him anymore. If you ride the roller coaster of heartbreak long enough, you don’t want to get back on. I will always love him & carry him in my heart but I finally realize it is time to stop the madness. I will miss not being part of my granddaughters life, but this is how it is going to be. We are not alone, God is always with us. May we all find peace in our hearts & move on with our lives. Hope he does not show up at the reading of the will, he is no longer in it.

    Reply
  52. M. C.

    It’s heartbreaking to find out how many Moms are estranged from their children!

    Yesterday was Mother’s Day & it was very difficult, as ALL the holidays have been since my son & I became estranged!

    In the decade+ that we’ve been estranged I’ve survived cancer & stroke! My son has been informed when I’ve been seriously ill, to no avail! He is the only family I have! I do NOT believe that I have done anything to warrant this treatment!

    My son & I used to be very close! The handful of times that I’ve seen him in the last decade, he has been loving, respectful, & affectionate.

    Thankfully, I’ve finally come to a place of some acceptance, but the tears still can come unexpectedly! It has been very difficult NOT to place blame OR point fingers — I know it would be pointless & would just make me bitter!

    One thing I do know — I was a good Mother to my son!

    Reply
  53. Kim

    My only daughter stopped any contact with me a year ago. She didn’t tell me why. She won’t take my calls and has also stopped contact with my 90 year old mother and my sister and her adult children who she grew up with . She just had another child and I was not even told she was pregnant. I am in so much pain I think I want to die daily. Life is not worth living facing the future alone and lonely. The few times I did get to see my grandchildren were the happiest time of my life. The grandchildren really enjoyed playing with me and seeing me. How can my own daughter treat me this way. I would never treat my mother this way, or even my father who may have deserved some of this treatment. I am suffering everyday. Im not asking much from her, just a phone call every once in a while , or a tex . She used to face time me with the kids and that put the biggest smile on my face. This is cruel to do to a parent, I wasn’t perfect but she knew I loved her and I looked after her and cared about her.I see other friends on Facebook with there grandchildren and feel I am being punished , it’s a homesick feeling that never goes away. i don’t know how i can go on living in this much pain. I hope her children don’t ever do this to her someday because i would wish this type of hurtfulness on anyone. I pray everyday she will contact me but my prayers are never answered. I have so much love to give them…………… Why?

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Hi Kim,
      Yes, it is a cruel thing to do, and I feel for you. hope that you have someone close to you that you can talk to about your feelings. When anyone comes on the blog and makes comments about this much pain, it’s necessary for me to direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The website is: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ The phone number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255) — when you call the number, the call is routed more locally. That makes them able to provide local resources and information.

      I know that there are people who read the comments at the site, and they will put you in their prayers (as will I). Please take care of yourself.
      Sheri

  54. Tina

    Even though, I know that I was a good mother, that doesn’t seem to help. It doesn’t seem to matter if I was a good mom or not, if the result is a severed relationship. Many adult children still love their parents regardless if they were a good parent or not. There is something else at play here. There is something else that has occurred (or has not occurred) to cause these adult children to reject their parents. Was it the divorce itself? Or the fact that you are a single parent through no choice of your own? I rarely see adult children reject their parents, if their parents stayed married. I’m sure it does occur. But I rarely see it. Rejection generally occurs after a divorce.
    In my case, my ex was having several affairs that I was unaware of. He came to me one day and said he wanted a divorce so he could marry another woman. I was completely shocked and felt like I had just been kicked in the gut. He proceeded with getting a divorce but didn’t marry the woman he thought he was going to. He ended up marrying someone else.
    Through all of this, I kept my job, paid bills, kept the house and tried to keep things as normal as possible for my kids. I received very little child support and had to take him back to court to get a measly $200 a month. And the big kicker – my ex is a pastor!! He was a pastor then and he is still a pastor (at a different church).
    Now my two older girls are in college and my son is a senior in high school. My son and middle daughter have rejected me and have caused me the most pain. They have called the police on me many times with I founded allegations. My son begged to go live with his father and I finally relented. He now lives with his father and does not have any contact with me. I will very occasionally hear from my oldest daughter (twice a year).
    After much soul searching, counseling , and prayer, I have finally come to the conclusion that I did not cause this situation. I was a good mom. And for whatever reason, my children have decided that I was to blame. I cannot change their minds. Only they can do that. I am still and will always be very heart broken. I will always love them. But I can’t allow them to hurt me any longer. The ball is in their court – so to say. I have to move on with my life and continue to do the best that I can. I will do what I can do, and leave the rest up to God.
    I feel for all of you and understand what you are going through. I wish I had answers. I wish I could determine what went wrong in my children’s minds. The Serentiy Prayer has helped me.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Reply
    1. savannah

      Believe when I say my heart goes out to you. I have known so many pastor situations like you lived and I don’t get WHY the pastor’s are allowed to continue. But what is worse is the treatment of the wife by others and the kids. There seems to be a pattern of them turning on their mom’s. Who didn’t cause the split, who were in most cases the stable parent, the one that held up everything on the homefront. It is all so bizarre. Blessings on you!

    2. Annie

      I know Tina. It is heart breaking. Sometimes unbearable. Good for you for realizing there is more to it. And that you did nothing wrong; only gave it your best. It’s been 2 and a half years for me. Many ups and downs. A little hope thrown at me and then slammed again. I’m done now. I just can’t take anymore abuse. My child wants to sweep it all under the carpet. She doesn’t want to take any responsibility for how she’s hurt me. I can’t do that in order to have an authentic, healthy relationship. So she’s severed the ties and twist all the blame onto me. I know in my heart I do not deserve any of the cruel things she has projected onto me. But it still hurts. These are not friends or acquaintances that are doing this to us but rather our own children. My own mother wasn’t present so much of our lives as she had to work and care for my alcoholic father. I would never ever think of blaming her for the 6 of us having to raise ourselves. Never. My children’s father cheated on me too with several woman and even though a young mother I left him and supported my two girls on my own. He never gave me a dime child support or tried to see them again. I remarried but unfortunately it was a transitional relationship that ended up in divorce. So most of the time I’ve had my girls alone. My older one is very respectful and loving. She too does not understand her sister. I’m so tired of trying to figure it out. I suppose much of it has to do with my Grandaughter suffering depression and wanting to end her life twice now. My daughter couldn’t handle it and looked to me as a scapegoat. Now she’s turned my grandchildren against me too. Just pitiful. I have read Sheri’s book and it makes so much sense. I also believe in prayer. God can heal our hearts. We just have to ask him. Take good care and it certainly helps to have this site. Thank you Sheri. You are amazing.

  55. Michael

    I am the father (I think) of a 22 yr old son. Divorced when he was 12, I did everything possible to maintain a good relationship with him and his mother. From the time of his birth I could not have been a better father. Being a doctor, I actually saved his life by rescuing him away from a hospital that was going to do the wrong surgery on his heart and taking him in severe straits to one of the few places in the world with the capability of correcting his heart defect. I could go on and on. It has been 14 months since he has responded to my communications. SUDDENLY LAST NIGHT IT HIT ME, MAYBE I AM NOT REALLY HIS BIOLOGICAL FATHER!!!!!
    Honestly, it is the only thing that makes sense of his complete rejection of me when he turned 21. His mother really never worked and had everything and had a lot of free time while I was working 24/7 in the early part of my medical career and she could have easily had any relationship she wanted on the side.
    Also, my son does not look like me at all. And my ex is as hard as nails toward me, emphasizing many times, “your son does not need a father”. I am sure she taught him one way or another to reject me, especially convenient because I am not really his father.
    Sorry, but I do not get all of this forgiveness stuff; it would be a repudiation of my goodness toward my supposed son to say it was worth rejecting by any measure.
    So, I am reaching out because I wonder if other men who have been rejected by their grown kids have had this enlightenment????

    Reply
    1. Mr. B

      Many other men have this cross their mind, and often for good reason. The question is, How to get a DNA test ?

  56. Melody

    I’m so relieved to have found this website, but at the same time extremely sad that so many other mothers and fathers have been discarded. I’m so sorry for your pain; it’s an agonizing heartbreak.
    I have five children, and all but one have grown into beautiful, stable and loving adults. The one that has rejected me is almost 35. I had her at the age of 15 and she was conceived by an assault whilst I was still a virgin. I loved her regardless of how she came about, but the feeling was not mutual.

    She has rejected me, come back to me with all her apologies and then soon after done the same thing over and over again. Since the age of 14 she has messed her life up with drugs, drink; whatever she could get her hands on, but still I forgave. I love her.

    In March of this year she did it again, but this time she used social media to publicly call me a narcissistic mother; a mother who loves no one but herself. My heart broke into pieces. Something inside of me shattered at her depth of cruelty. I also became questioning of my own mothering skills and sought the help of a therapist to ‘fix up’ any narcissism I had within me. I was literally terrified of being a narcissist who didn’t know it, despite all my family, friends and my loving husband and children assuring me this was nothing but cruelty on her part. The therapist eventually assured me that narcissistic people don’t seek therapy or fear being a narcissist. After a few months he assured me I was not one and lacked the tendancies due to low self care; even the healthy part of narcissism we are supposed to have. This daughter broke me to the point of feeling I was going insane.

    Adding to all of the above he mentioned that he felt in reading her emails of abuse to me, and my replies, that she was in all probability Borderline with high Narcissistic traits – his question to me stunned me. He said ‘would you put up with a friend doing this to you.’ I replied that I wouldn’t of course. Then he asked why was I putting up with it from a daughter that was now a complete adult individual. I honestly felt stupid that I hadn’t thought of that. Since then, my husband wrote to her and told her ‘no contact no matter how sorry until you get medical help’. Needless to say, she replied back to him with a barrage of abuse.

    The saddest thing is her six year old grandson is the light of my life and I know I gave him something to look forward to at each visit. I miss him so much and know he wouldn’t understand where Nanny has gone. I’ve seen photographs of bruises on this poor child and I’m scared. Scared for him.

    To all you other parents, you have probably been labelled as something too. It’s the in thing to call your parent a narcissist. You will read around the internet that it’s your fault for bad parenting or something you did. Sure, we all make mistakes, but no, we are not to blame even if we have a borderline child or whatever personality disorder they have. I was informed it can be caused by many things and abusive parenting is far from the only cause.

    My daughter was not abused. Out of five children she is the only abusive one, so please do not do as I did and automatically blame yourselves. It’s good to look at ourselves, but not healthy to self diagnose based on abuse we suffer at the hands of grown children.

    At this point in time I’m grieving badly, sad, emotional and depressed, but I don’t want to even see my daughter at the moment. I just can’t take anymore. I still love her, but I know I can never trust her not to abuse. Part of me longs to hug her, part of me never wants to see her again. I feel guilty for feeling this way.

    Bless you all. My heart hurts for each of you.

    Reply
    1. Hilary

      My daughter cut me off 2 months ago and it seems like an eternity. The pain has been so debilitating that I can actually feel myself becoming old and sick. Nothing I do or say works. I miss my grandchildren so much. In the beginning, I called, emailed, texted. Begged, pleaded, groveled, cried. Now, I realize nothing is working. There is NO communication, and it is SO hard to move on. Do I send her a birthday card in a few weeks? Do I call? Or do nothing. My heart says, of course, send a card. My head says, no, this is what she wants. It is so hard to second-guess myself every day. I am at such a loss, in so many ways.

  57. savannah

    For all those suffering here. I want to say forgive yourselves, take care of yourselves and try your best to create a life despite the pain. I can’t relay my own situation because it is so twisted and dark and ugly. I know in my heart I was a good mother, I know in my heart that I made many sacrifices for my child. I know in my heart that I did better than I was parented. I walked away from a child that turned on me in the worst possible ways for NO reason. NO one who knew us, could believe what went down. But to survive, to stay sane, and to preserve myself. I severed the tie. It shattered what was left of my heart. So believe me, I know the pain, the hurt, the agony, represented here, and I know the disillusion that occurs. I almost died bringing that child into this world, but that was nothing compared to being cut out of a future with the child you bore. I was neither cruel or indulgent. Our home was safe, loving, fun. To many this child is beloved, revered, held in high esteem. I don’t matter, don’t count, don’t deserve any acknowledgement whatsoever, and that was made abundantly clear. I was told and shown that I served my purpose and was done, when it was time for college. I refuse to believe those sites, or “professionals” insisting that it was bad or dysfunctional parenting. To that I scream BUNK. My degree is in Human Behavior. Too many parents are suffering this shunning at epidemic levels. And many can attest that are own upbringings were far from perfect but we still maintained good relationships with our parents, despite their mistakes, and shortcomings. No this is a widespread pattern in our kids. My child is not physically dead, but the association is. A long decade, but life goes on, and you try your best to be in the present and seed for the future and not let the past rob you of joy. You forgive, but never forget. You do your best to forge ahead making the remaining time count. You can’t make others like you, include you, or love you. The best you can do is find people who allow you to be part of their lives. Sometimes sharing DNA is not enough for sustaining a relationship or an association. Invest your energy with those who want you around, want you to contribute, and who reciprocate. If home is where you lay your head, then family are those who embrace you. Shalom!

    Reply
    1. Marilyn

      My daughter has been estranged from me for 25 years – some years worse than others. She is 46 and just gave birth to twins – girl and boy- and she does not want to ever talk with me but said it’s OK for us (my husband gets a pass on his parenting) to visit but since my husband mentioned the baby boy should be circumcised she wrote an email saying he should not come between her and me. She declares I made her feel suicidal and I have apologized through the years for not being the kind of parent she needed. I have always tried to leave the door open but now the pain is too much and I don’t want to visit even to see the babies. I keep getting hurt and rejected again and again. I have two other children with whom I have a normal relationship. Is severing a protective thing or is pretending and being very careful a better way to go? I don’t want to keep on this emotional roller coaster and hoping for something that will never be.

  58. Karen W

    I found this while searching for ways to cope. My middle son just got married. Before he married, I told my husband it felt like I was losing the relationship we had and that I felt like him and his new wife would find a way to push me out of his life. Didn’t realize it would barely be a week after the nuptials. He had been with his now wife 3 and a half years before they married. I can count on two hands during that time how many times she actually came to my house. She comes from a pretty well off family and my husband and I struggle. My son called me some pretty horrible things because i addressed some things he had been doing in regards to his brothers (one has a disability) and he didn’t like it. So, I instantly became this horrid person who has no right saying anything. He proceeded to tell me not to come on their property and he had nothing more to say to me. Absolutely crushed me. I have been severely depressed the last week and a half. yes, this is very fresh. I have had a hard time functioning and i sit alone and cry most of the day. I can’t et. My head hurts and my stomach is in knots. My husband is a truck driver, so I have had to cope alone. I don’t want to let my other two boys see Mom like this. So, I try to hide it. I am terrified of losing my other two now. Eggshells don’t feel good on the bottom of the feet, lemme tell you.

    Reply
    1. Karen W

      I would like to add that while we may not have had a lot of money, my children never went hungry, was homeless, or had to wear dirty clothes. My love for my kids was and will always be unconditional. My kids were never abused in any way. I always made it a point to tell my kids every single day, multiple times a day how much i love them and how proud i am of them. I have never turned any of my children away, even if it meant giving them my very last dime til payday. Had they been neglected, abused, or unloved, I could understand. But, i am so confused and terribly hurt.

  59. Ann

    Thank you all for sharing. I did feel alone before I found this site. I can identify with all the personal stories and no longer feel alone. Yes, it is a horrific event when someone you would (will) lay down your life for just walks out of your life. No reason. No explanation. I wrote an article for myself years ago, “Disposable Parents.” I had heard and experienced all of what I have read today and I guess I sensed something was happening but the stories I had heard became reality. After several years, meditation, prayers, I am at peace with myself. For me, the years left to live are short and I intend to enjoy! When I meet my maker, I will exit the same way I entered this world, Alone. I am at peace knowing that I will never stop loving my family. IF they chose not to return the love then it’s on them not me. God bless!

    Reply
  60. Reflecting

    My heart is broken. Another “my mom is my best friend” mother who finds herself on the outs. I really thought we had the perfect relationship for the last 30 years. Then I took the advice of another poster who thought about what he wouldn’t miss about his child being gone.

    When I created my list I realized there were many fractures in the relationship that I had not addressed. I now see that my daughter is not perfect, I am not perfect and there were issues brewing under the surface. Were these issues large enough for an estrangement? I didn’t think so, but since I cannot accept how much my daughter’s values have changed, and how she has treated us has changed, I guess I am agreeing to estrangement. With that said- after the list I can now see how she had been pulling away from us for the last year, but I did not want to admit it. She just stopped being “in to” us and created a new and different life in which she did not want us to play more than a cameo role.

    Being estranged from my mother and sister (not by choice) I realize that I poured all my love in to my daughter and gave her everything, hardly ever said no so that we could have what I believed would be a loving relationship for life. I think I created both insecurity and entitlement issues for her. It is said estrangement is usually multi-generational. So I believe she will be facing this issue with her children later in life as well. But I hope not.

    Reply
  61. Bella

    I notice a recurring thing in many of these stories. Many of these adult children appear to have been spoiled. My youngest daughter was also very spoiled. My youngest had always been quiet and obedient, so she usually got her way and we rarely refused any request she made of us. My older daughter talked back a lot, she was always a loud and demanding child. The older one was more difficult to raise, so I was much firmer with her. After my husband and I paid for my younger daughters two-year failed attempt at a university, we allowed her to move back home. We basically allowed her to save her money while all along she was spending ours, when she had a couple thousand dollars she suddenly left home without a thank you or an explanation. She has refused to speak to us for over a year now. If not for her older sister I wouldn’t know if she was alive or dead. Her older sister has tried to instill a conscience in her by telling her how much I miss her but she couldn’t care less. In fact she hangs up at the mention of me. Ironically, I have a very good relationship with the older one who gave the hard time growing up.
    I believe the problem with the younger one was she stayed off my radar getting excellent grades, hanging out with decent friends, participating in school, and staying away from drugs and alcohol in high school. At the time my older one was demanding my focus by misbehaving. The younger one basically grew up without a lot of drama and went off to college with a 3.4 grade average. Unfortunately, she everything fell apart in college and she was academically dismissed. When she came back from college, she got in a bit of rut and I began nudging her to get a job or help out around the house more, suddenly I began to feel she despised me and totally resented me for expecting her to grow up. When she finally got a job and saved enough money, she immediately moved out and never contacted us again. No thank you Mom and Dad or I love you. I believe my younger daughter is void of a conscience and incapable of attachment of any kind. It seems this transformation happened relatively overnight but it must have evolved during college. She also has a completely different set of values than what we raised her to have. She claims to be bisexual as well as poly-amorous. She seems to be incapable of a commitment to any one person. Her sister agrees with my husband and I that she might have suffered from a mental breakdown in college. I begged her to go into therapy with me but she never responds to my emails. I hear she’s drinking and doing drugs now as well but my hands are tied because she refuses to talk to me. I love my daughter and it feels as if she passed away. I’m finally retired and I’m distressed. My hair falls out and I still cry like a baby for her. My husband takes it much better than me. He has her temperament but I’m a wreck. I thought my daughters would be my friends for life. I wouldn’t wish the pain of this rejection on anyone. It is the deepest and most consistent hurt I have ever experienced. It’s worse then death because there is no closure. It just goes on and on.
    I’ve taken up hobbies, I cook, I exercise and I think I’m even going to go back to work. I know no matter what I do this pain will be with me until the day I die. I wish I could be hypnotized and have the thought of her removed from my mind.

    Reply
    1. Susan

      This too is happening to me but I can’t talk about it yet as it is too painful. Your story spoke to my heart and I want you to know that I will pray for you and your situation. I really don’t know what to do. I’m only on the 3rd week of rejection but it was a severe shock. I’ll get back to you when I can.

    2. Gloria

      I feel your pain. My only child has rejected me and I feel as if I want to die as she is all I have and I am all alone now. She also has refused to let me see my only grandchild who loves me and I’m sure misses me, which is so painful to think of, I have to consciously try to change my thoughts and forget about him. (In the state I live in, there are no grandparents rights) I have written apology letters (although I don’t even know what I did) begging and pleading for a way to resolve this, with no reply or acknowledgment. There are so many horrible things she has done, I am embarrassed to share them. I worry constantly and I forgive her everything and just want her and my grandbaby back in my life, and have put any pride I had away and begged her for reconciliation. There really is nothing left for me to do accept continue to pray and my faith has been shaken but I refuse to give up on it completely as it is all I have left. I wish I could forget them and let go of the pain, but that is impossible, and so I just keep hurting and crying. It has helped a little to see that I’m not alone and everyone else’s children love their parents unconditionally, because I very much have blamed myself thinking I must have done something terribly wrong raising her. I wish no parent would ever experience this because there is no worse pain that I can think of, it just goes on and on.

    3. yvonne

      my issue is my daughter only wants a relationship with her father & its cause a lot of division as well as with other siblings some of whom she doesn;t talk too & really causes division in our family she never calls & I’ve spend so much time crying & trying to figure this out as it takes a toil on everyone,its difficult to have family gatherings when theres only some of her siblings that she will talk to.I also don’t get to hear about my 4 grandchildren I know they are growing up feeling the same way about me that there mother does so so much pain

  62. MimiMartin

    My son was born with a rare birth defect that is incurable that makes him look very different. He was highly temperamental from early infancy–before he knew he looked different. However, he was a charming, personable child, very affectionate. Throughout his childhood my husband and I searched, found the only doctor who works with these kids, gave him surgeries (useless), and each new place my son went I called ahead–he never knew this– to let teachers/counselors/moms know ahead what the situation was, how to deal with it, and to pave the way so people who hadn’t seen him wouldn’t look at him in shock, and so that peers would be nice to him. I made sure he had karate to defend himself from bullies. I could have home schooled him but opted not to, because I knew he’d eventually have to fend for himself as an adult. I didn’t show him sympathy even though I cried myself to sleep because I didn’t want him to become a sissy and feel sorry for himself; I felt he needed to be tough. (He is.) He had and still has friends (I called teachers to get names and contact information of other children’s moms) and otherwise a normal childhood, although he always had to put up with shocked looks and comments of strangers. He now puts himself in front of others daily in his job in the health care profession, has a girlfriend, and things are hunky dory–except he wants to have nothing to do with me. He won’t acknowledge my birthday or Mothers Day, not even a one line text. He’s charming in front of others, and I have cause to believe (because he told me awhile back) that his girlfriend’s mother and a woman he used to work with convinced him that his parents “neglected” him growing up by “failing to address his medical condition”, “failing to cure him” and so forth even though he KNOWS there is no cure and there never was a cure for his condition, and, that he did go through several useless surgeries. He won’t have a conversation, so that’s out. He will see me a few times a year, only if I have out of town relatives (his two grandfathers) over for a meal, and then he’s coming to see them, not me or his father. I dread when these relatives will pass away, because there will be nobody to lure him to visit. I have been through recurrent cancer and two bone marrow transplants, but he has no compassion for me. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. Now you know mine.

    Reply
  63. Janet

    It is with such a heavy heart that I should come across this site. One always thinks it’s just them going through very painful experiences with our families (kids). I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone but feel sad that others are experiencing this level of pain and anguish. I’m going through the distance from my 3 daughters. The youngest has decided I am a failed mother and has treated me so horribly since leaving for university 5+years ago. But when she’s in a pickle with her life…she calls …I invest in helping then back to zero contact.
    She suffers from very bad anxiety which developed at uni and has another medical problem. She has kept all of it from me and somehow that makes me the bad mother? I have helped her with getting a physician and offered to pay for her medicine. Went to fight for her with the University heads to beg not to dismiss her from school for medical reasons. Then never heard anything from her. I texted several times – no response.
    Eldest daughter who lives in Europe married someone there who I know is a controller and has a temper as was witnessed by my two other daughters. Since the birth of my first grandchild….things with my daughter have changed. Our past 3hr conversations filled with equal interest of our lives are now down to 15 min 2x a week?. Yes I realize that having a wee one is a big part of that time change having had the three of them but…..when the son-inlaw is out she calls me. The minute he’s home…she let’s me go abruptly. I know he’s the reason she’s changed so much. It hurts to see how cold she’s become. She knows I see what’s happening and that is the threat to her…I see what others don’t. Out of that pain. ..I try to talk to my middle daughter to discuss it and I’m told off very quickly.Our family has totally changed from our closeness. So because the two daughters discuss whats Mom bitching about now….they have turned on me with keeping limited involvement. Just had another bday 2 days ago and the eldest sent me a beautiful card -first time ever no phone call. My middle daughter mailed my card late and just got it today.I woke up feeling excited I would receive 3 bday phone calls to start my day with to know how much I am loved and cared for.The youngest called at 5pm…followed by my middle daughter calling at 7pm to which I never answered because I was in so much pain Two days went by and she knew I was hurting so she avoided me. Sent her a message explaining how hurt I was and to thank her for her card. She responded that she was too busy at work and that she’s not responsible for the post office. Well that’s me being told. I suggested she could have taken 5 mins on her lunch time? No response.
    So I have decided to strive to keep them at a distsnce now. I will never understand how they could treat me the way they do .It appears to me that they’ve received their start in life and now I’m an annoyance .Well for all us hurting Mom’s ….we are killing ourselves with our grieving for these adult kids who dont respect & love us . I thank all of you for sharing your pain. It has inspired me to take control over not allowing to be treated like this by anyone anymore. We will always love our kids and grandkids – however ….we need to be loved back.
    To love ourselves first!
    Best wishes & a big hug of comfort of support.
    Janet

    Reply
  64. Mary Lou

    I read so many accounts here, and there is a measure of comfort. Yet we all know we cry and hurt when this unbelievable hurt comes to surface. Biblically at Matthew 10:36 it talks about the world and what it will be like at armegedon, and who can deny the decline of society; ” Indeed, a mans enemies will be persons of his own household”. Food to try and understand the Unexplainable.

    Reply
  65. Judy D.

    Our story begins a little differently, but now 3 months later, we are trapped by the same empty heartache.
    We always have walked on eggshells with our 35 year old daughter, in fear we would say or do something offensive, which of course, was a guarantee that we would do just that! Our daughter is highly educated with PHD in English and has always been able to out talk and out logic anyone!
    On Father’s Day weekend my husband drove 9 hours to spend the weekend with her and our grandkids. They were at a restaurant when my husband apparently made a politically incorrect comment, which our daughter found offensive. She screamed at him disrespectfully, threw his food in the trash and left him alone at the table, embarrassed, in front of many people. He walked to her home, packed his suitcase and went to a hotel. She has made it clear she no longer wants him in her or our grandkids life. So far, she has not rejected me, but our conversations are brief and strained at best.
    We have often failed in the past and similar rifts have occurred. It has been our responsibility to attempt to maintain the relationship. This time my husband says he’s done, cannot be hurt again, and wants to move on. I want to support my husband, but an intact family is the most important value in my life. If he does not mend this, she will estrange herself until his death. I came from a wonderful, close knit family as a child and I can feel my marriage and my daughter slipping away.
    This site has been a comfort..thank you!

    Reply
  66. Carlyn

    I can’t even stand seeing the figurines or plaques that say “Family” or “Family’s are Forever!” I want to scream. I raised my 4 boys with the idea of “families always stay together” and “families are always there for each other”. I now feel that was nothing but a big LIE. A fantasy – the same fantasy we give our children around the special holidays and all that we do to keep the magic alive.
    I found this site last night. I wish that I had found it years ago. My husband and I gave our sons everything we could with what little money we had on my husbands one income. We had decided that I would be a stay at home mom before we had kids. We dedicated ourselves to our children. We raised them in a Christian home. We were very close-knitted. We taught our children how to garden, home repairs, etc and to be proud of their accomplishments. We instilled in them that life was hard and it took a lot of work. But to always be proud of what was done and to know THEY did it. They caught on and enjoyed it. They started building things on their own and you could see them glow with pride. Life wasn’t all work. We took camping/fishing trips every year and traveled across the country a few times. We wanted to show our kids what was out in the world – the beauty that God and man had created. We would head out for drives and just take different roads to see where it would lead. We never went anywhere that we were not complimented on how intelligent, well mannered and mature our boys were. They understood what these compliments meant and they would just grin!
    Because of my husband’s job and other issues we had to move a lot during their youth. We made it an adventure! New people & places!! We worked together to make each of our new houses a HOME. We started on the West coast, then had to move to the East coast and now we are in the Midwest. Yep- BIG moves! By this time my oldest boy had graduated college with honors at the age of 17 (he skipped high school), my second boy had started college at 15 also, but when we moved to the Midwest he wanted to experience “high school” with their band, drama and sports programs. The 3rd son was in Jr high and my youngest in elementary.
    Well this is when things started going down hill. My second son became Mr. Popular (being from both coasts)We encouraged him to join the drama club, band and even baseball. He went on field trips to Chicago, Colorado and Washington D.C. He did really good and did great in his classes. Then it is like he changed over night. Everything we had instilled in him was gone like a mist. He started treating all of us like we were not “good enough” anymore – he was JOE COOL! We thought that this must be a phase so we went on and dealt with it the best we could. He graduated and went to college – where he became more self-centered and arrogant. Fast forward to today…. He has married a girl from town (who happens to be from one of the wealthiest families) Together they have practically destroyed our family. She causes non-stop arguments between us and he has recently admitted that he has purposely tried to cause my husband and me to divorce by causing us to fight. They have my first grandson who will be two this November that we have only held 4 times in his first two weeks of life. Two weeks before Christmas the year he was born there was a horrible fight. He said things that just blew us away. I couldn’t handle the accusations the next morning and decided that life was not worth living. I thought that if he could turn this bad on us and the heartbreak all of us had endured I knew I couldn’t do it anymore and neither could the others – I tried to commit suicide. Luckily my husband caught me and took me to the hospital. I was completely numb and didn’t care. I couldn’t feel anything. I stayed almost a week. I had a really good nurse (though love kind) that told me to forget the “Leave it to Beaver” ideas and that we are not living in the 50’s anymore. The outside world was mean and arrogant with dysfunctional families and that is what our children are exposed to. She told me I just had to accept it. WHAT????? after all these years my family explodes because of one little girl???? BUT she was right – HE was an adult and had made his choices. He chose her, even though he lost his family.
    My 3rd son stayed in contact with him – hoping someday that he would come back. He also idolized him as they were growing up, even though the 2nd was meaner and more belittling to him during the HS years. He recently started to see him in a clear light now that he is an adult and on his own. He has backed away. BUT………he has just met a girl who has just in the last two weeks turn him against us and his other 2 brothers! They have only dated for 5 months and she convinced him to propose to her and to leave his family. What is really sad is that in the 5 months they have been dating – they fight all the time. We brought this up to him and told him that we were concerned for him. We didn’t like to see him hurt and abused. She has a wild temper and anger issues from her childhood. He thinks that he can help and change her, to make up for what she suffered growing up and give her a good life. We thought the same when we met her. “Oh poor thing!” syndrome. We all fell for it and tried to help her and show her the love of a family. The only problem is – we woke up – he hasn’t.
    SO………..I have lost another son and it is killing me again.
    I know that I have a wonderful husband and 2 more grown boys that I have to live for. I have a new grandchild coming in January!
    BUT I STILL HURT!! The Dr.s have had to up my meds but I hate the fact that it is the only way to make it through the day. Counseling hasn’t helped – yes someone to talk to – but she wants all of us to sit down and talk things out. We tried that. It doesn’t work. I had even contacted the 2nd boys pastor to help us and with the lies they told him – he wouldn’t help us.
    How did this happen???? How can two little girls come in and destroy us? I know it is killing my husband and other 2 boys to see me like this. I try so hard everyday to wake up and start the day fresh, but then the words and accusations come flying back in my head. Sometimes I think we should just move away but we have put our heart and soul into this last house that we have decided to retire in. Its a big house that we all dreamed that all of the families would come back to for holidays and the grand-kids could play and enjoy our little hobby farm and animals.
    There are too many bad memories to stay and too much love built into this house by all of us to leave it.
    My heart breaks for all of us moms who have lost their children to this horrible world. But you have to stay strong for the ones – family or friends – that are always there for you. May God Bless and hold you in His strong arms during these hard times.

    Reply
    1. Janet

      Dear Carlyn. ..Oh my heart was aching for you❤. I was reading about this horrific time you went through and you’re going through and thought they were my exact words & scenario. I am sorry to hear that it took you to trying to end your life.This too I have felt because I felt if I didn’t have my kids I must be the biggest lose EVER-NO ……YOU & I are worthy of the love we gave them. ❤❤
      I totally identify with the pain of seeing anything “family related. …being hard to take esp at Christmas. I raised my 3 kids exactly the same way…stay at home mom…making sure everyone had a loving secure home and never going without- even if I couldn’t afford it. Made sure they did well in school and proud to say they all graduated from university. So now they all have their professional lives making good money. That gives me peace and pride I did a fantastic job.Long story short….3 kids treat me as though I’m old news….don’t care about the family rift that my eldest daughter created by the partner she chose and married- who has changed this family to the point of not wanting any part of them now. This all happened 8 yrs ago at Christmas.They refuse to discuss what’s happened…thinking if they just avoid me…their world is fine. Well…Christmas is coming and they have all decided to come home -a term I can no longer identify with. So stressed & I feel sick to my stomach about telling them not to. I don’t think I can handle the false hurtful walking on eggshells holiday. I cannot stand Christmas now.
      So I feel your pain intensely Carlyn…take some comfort in the fact that you have a great supportive husband. I don’t have that. He runs from any emotional anything. Keeps his distance instead of acknowledging and comfort g me- so I’m all alone in this and the loneliness is too much to bear some days. Found hypnotherapy works for me….keeps me focused on moving forward.
      Sending you hugs of comfort – one day there will be a time when they just might realize how terrible they have behaved – or not.

  67. Webside

    A UK angle on estrangement here looks at a time when the father of the family had a stroke, taken ill. From this moment onwards siblings started to distance themselves from any kind of concern or caring. All three were nurses, one a general or genuine caring nurse and the others are psychiatric nurses. Never expect anyone who is a paid carer to be a family carer, I just hope they didn’t treat their patients the same way they behaved within family.

    Following a recent hospital episode involving the elder surviving family mother, one of the psychiatric nurses talked about mom being old and she’ll die soon, as the other talked about getting her share of the house. The third sat there in silence and didn’t challenge what the others said. Your writer, the youngest sibling listened on in horror and disbelief. Monsters, all of them.

    Now we have conversation and contact from just one of the three and that is changing in it’s content and tone. The other two have estranged themselves completely, no calls, no cards at birthday or Christmas, nothing. The third genuine nurse sibling says “well if you don’t ring them they won’t ring you..” a completely childish and insulting rationale of the situation. Have they forgotten about a mother supposedly holding some respect within a family? Maybe yes, as one walked out on her kids; the other had a hollow marriage for over ten years and the other sits on the fence at all times and can’t decide what to do.

    So, they no longer feel that mother holds sway. The believe it enough to completely alter their regard for their birth mother and even fail to see her as another human but related.

    I call this ‘relative cruelty’ – there seems to be a special kind of dark cruel behaviour that only exists between related people. We wouldn’t dream of behaving like this with a stranger, of course.

    Mom is in her 90’s, coping as well as an estranged mother can do really. Your writer is at home, living with mom, a kind of semi carer overseer really.

    I’m beginning to think that given that 2 of the others are products of the sixties, then maybe this accounts for the free and easiness of their ways and the ease with which some of them have abandoned their own children, partners, have had several weddings, keep marrying unstable partners etc.

    Maybe one plus with estrangement is that if they get up and go, it saves you the hassle of the doing the same.

    Reply
  68. Meri

    My adult daughter had 3 daughters at the time! I saw almost everyday kept them at least 1 weekend a month. She stopped talking to me taking my phone calls. I went to her house she nor her husband would open the door. Her sister my daugther went to her home again she would not open the door answer the phone nor text messages. A few days later I went to her home caught her and the children outside. She refused to talk to me. Her husband then confronted me. Threatened to go inside get his gun and blow my head off if I didn’t leave there home. I told him i was going to call 911 the next time I came over and no one would open the door and I could hear my grand daughter inside crying for me. He then told me to leave or he was calling the law. My daughter grabed all three children went inside. He called the law on me they made me leave the property. My daughter was pregnant at the time with baby number 4 my first grand son. That was a year ago. She will not speak to me nor her sister. Only sees my parents maybe once a month. 84 and 88 they found out at church the baby had been born with an announcement by my son in laws aunt. I hurts so so bad that at times you want to die. You question yourself. Things said things done. How you raised her etc. The pain never goes away. It’s like a death of 5 people yet they are alive. I just try to go day by day and hope one day it will be better. I will not ever let her back into my life as this is the third time she has done this to me. But this time to much said and done to ever trust again or ever love her again like you should love your child.

    Reply
  69. Annie

    Susan,
    It takes time to process it all and it’s understandable that you’re not able to talk about it. Within time; with more clarity, you will be able to share. I was in shock for the longest time. Hungry for understanding which I still don’t have other than I’ve come to realize it’s her problem, not mine. I may be at the brunt of it and the one whose suffering the abuse but it’s not my fault and I pray within time your pain will subside and you’ll figure out a way of moving forward. No one deserves this betrayal and as a mother who loved her daughter with all her heart and did the best I could; there is no excuse for my youngest behavior. I mean she’s 46 now!. As a mother I was so very proud of my girls. My oldest honors me and we have a very special relationship. The younger one, well, let’s just say she’s lost. I hope to find her some day again but in the meantime I’m enjoying my life and feeling good about me. You will too some day. Don’t ever give up that hope. Praying for all who have suffered.

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  70. Janet

    I just had to ad an update from my last post – August 12/16.
    It is so tragic that there has to be a need for this site. Grateful that it’s here though- bittersweet. Thank you for giving us this place to share. So many parents experiencing this level of deep emotional pain. It’s like deep grieving for a death -BUT It never leaves you!
    The pain I was feeling daily was consuming me like a black hole. I suddenly realized that I needed to take back my life .
    My adult children are self absorbed and have proven the most painful conclusion to me: They don’t care about their mother. I know deep down in every cell in my body that I was/AM a great mother. I can only figure that today’s society and all the material importance/and daily pressures young adults are faced with are the reasons I believe are changing our children that we gave birth to . How did we ever get here? Here’s my journey since the 12th of August.
    I decided I was only hurting myself by NOT LIVING.
    So I called a very reputable hypnotist and began to address my pain. It was either ‘Save myself – or die”. I can honestly say to all of you- after 3 sessions of therapy along with honesty, I feel free of that negative mind chatter every waking minute of every day. The very same mind negativity of going over and over every little idea as to WHY? Disecting your parenting -berating yourself over and over-still coming up BLANK. Enter= Zero self esteem.
    Maybe it (hypnotherapy) could help somebody else out there. I thought I had nothing to lose – so I can honestly say how much I feel better about myself knowing : IT’S THEIR STUFF that’s the issue NOT MINE. I will always be here with a loving heart and open arms for them if they need me ,but for now…..
    I’M TAKING BACK MY SELF RESPECT.
    Going to use hypnotherapy as I feel the need because it’s given me back strength and peace to continue in this life.
    WE ARE ALL so worthy of love and being cared for!
    Maybe there will come a time when our ‘children’get what has happened -OR NOT. Let them see how we have lived our lives.DONE WITH THE CRYING
    Much love & peace for all of you ❤❤❤
    Janet

    I

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  71. Cartie

    My son married a girl from China. She felt like she should be given anything she wanted. She stole our credit card, then my daughters credit card. In the end she stole my mother’s phone and accessed her account.
    She turned my son against his family. She likes to leave, without telling anyone that they are leaving or where they are going. There are periods of time that we don’t know where he is, but eventually when they need money they will contact us. Sometimes they are in China, sometimes the US. We never know.
    I will no longer allow her in our house, or around my family, after what she did to my mother I’m done with her thievery, and I’m done with her.
    Two weeks ago my son called from China asking for a flight home. We got him home. We confronted him with what has gone on. He likes to pretend nothing has happened. Everyday if he was gone I’d check his bedroom. I thought he might just leave one day. Sure enough it happened. No goodbye, no explanation of where he was going. His clothes ect gone, he is gone again.

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  72. Cassidy J.

    This has happened to me and it still hurts too much to talk about. I raised my 3 children primarily as a single mom. I worked very hard, with little help to make sure they did not do without anything they needed. They are all three successful, educated, and intelligent adults now. But…2 of the thre 3 have basically turned their backs on me and I have an average of 4 out of 7 nights that I can’t sleep because of intrusive, painful thoughts of “why don’t they remember how loved they are?” I know better….I know how loved they are and I know that although I made mistakes, they were always loved and taken care of. I have always been available for them if they wanted to talk and I’m willing to hear what it is that they feel has turned them away from me. They won’t give me that opportunity.. They have just completely shut me out and if nothing else, I appreciate having found this book because at least I don’t feel so alone now.

    Reply
  73. Christine

    I was raised by my grandparents until I was around 10 because my mom was not mentally equipped and my father was absent because he was an alcoholic. I missed out on his whole family. My mom left me and moved to Canada with her boyfriend leaving me alone at 18 years old. It goes on and on and when at 21 I became a mom- I gave up so much, worked nights delivering pizza to be with her in the day. Well I failed her; evidently, never measuring up to her expectations. And when I started to shy away from her snide comments, constant resistance and putting her dad above me, she amped up her aggression and refused contact with me; holding my grandchildren from me-somehow holding me responsible. And I have long ago forgiven my own mom, accepting her and keeping her close, and choosing to live in love–not hate and fear. I’m devastated.

    Reply
  74. Mary Jo

    Sally
    Please consider joining the community section. There you will find compassion and understanding from a lot of vetrans of this journey. It is a place where you can vent and receive stories of how we’ve coped. Responses are more on going. Join us. Mjmom

    Reply
  75. Brokenlove7

    While I still have very hard days, they are getting better. I have less guilt than I used to. I realize that there are many other parents that have worked really hard to provide for their children and those children have grown up feeling entitled and swear that they will be “better parents” than we have. That may be, however, they live in a world of unrealistic expectations of their own parents and heaven help them when they realize that even if they’ve provide their children with the very best parenting that they can, they still may not be enough for their own children.
    There are a few things that I try to remember.
    1) I have other children who haven’t turned their backs on me. They assure me that I do not deserve the way that EC are treating me. 2) No parents are perfect, everyone fails or falls short of someone’s expectations at some point. Just because my best wasn’t good enough for EC doesn’t mean it wasn’t my best at the time, or wasn’t good. It just means that I fell short of Her expectations. Those expectations were unrealistic, and no matter how hard I tried, She treated me like dirt, therefore, it there was no way for me not to fail in her eyes. 3) I am not the one that walked away. My door is still open, at least to having a civil relationship, if not a close one. I have tried many times, so now it’s time to move on. 4) My EC treat everyone badly, using people, then discarding them when they are no longer of use or some benefit to them. For that reason, it’s not all personally directed at me. This is part of their personality.
    5) I miss the child that they were, not the person that they’ve become.

    Remembering these things helps me when I feel blue, or not good enough. It reminds me that I didn’t choose this. I am not the one that used them and then walked away. But I will not be the one that they continue to walk all over. It may cost me a relationship with them forever, but any future relationship has to be a two way street where there is mutual kindness.

    Reply
    1. Kathleen

      BrokenLove7…. I connect with what you have stated: I miss the child. I LOVED being his mother. I truly thought we had a special bond. He even said so more than once.

      Now, he at age 26, has informed me of my mid-Western, simple thinking, and fact that i have no diploma. This after his father and I sacrificed to put him through school debt-free so he could start out with no burdens. He has not held a job since June of 2014, yet he and all his friends have a knowledgeable world view that I cannot understand. (He is now an open-border socialist – no vetting required “How can I have such lack of compassion”?).

      I’m ready to cut him off completely, but not my husband. He was never around to take the brunt of Son’s abusive talk. Such a strain and such a loss.

  76. Annie

    Good for you Brokenlove! Bravo! I know you are a wonderful, loving person. We simply cannot let their entitlement mentality take our integrity away.
    I love your ‘things to remember’.

    Reply
  77. Elizabeth

    My two children don’t speak to me, or each other. I raised them both by myself. I made sure they had everything they needed. I only worked part time so I could spend more time with them. We had huge Christmas’s, wonderful birthdays… I worked my butt off for those two kids.

    They hate me. My son is a drug addict who blames me. Calls me by my first name, says I’m not worthy of the word mother. My daughter, who I was very close to for many years, recently turned her back on me. I’m very ill. I have a lot of medical problems including migraines. No one understands the pain I’m in and I’m sure it’s hard to be around someone sick all the time but I’m their mother!

    Now my daughter and her husband are moving to another state. They are ripping my 3 yr old grandson from my life. I can’t breathe. I don’t think I can take much more.

    Reply
  78. Brokenlove7

    Annie, thank you. I feel like it’s an entitlement mentality also. I also feel like they will learn the hard way. They are breeding the future, literally & figuratively. They each have kids of their own now and they feel that they are better parents than we were, and they might very well be. But how can they not have some hate visited on them when they are raising their children in an environment where it’s ok to throw away people that you don’t see eye to eye with 100% of the time? This is partially learned behavior. We have some other family members that think it’s ok to act this way and I swear that kids are like sponges. They absorb everything and it shapes them, not always in a good way. Some personalities will allow it to shape them into something negative & bitter, while others allow it to shape them into extremely kind, compassionate people. As I say that, I think of my other kids because so many of the others are extremely empathetic and compassionate people, while the other two turned out to be so self serving and cold.

    Reply
  79. Annie

    You’re welcome Brokenlove7. We are all heartbroken and devastated. It’s nice to be able to help one another. We raise our children the same and when one can seem so loving and compassionate while others have capabilities of hurting a parent the way they have, it’s beyond me how that can happen. I think there are often times others; whether it be spouses, significant others who influence their way of thinking. Controlled behavior that sometimes is so subtle even they don’t see it for what it is. I do think these types of behaviors repeat themselves and perhaps they will never realize the pain they’ve caused until they themselves experience the betrayal with their own children. God help them if that should happen. I have moved on with my life but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it almost daily. The discarding as you mentioned is pitiful. Like an old shoe. Hard to swallow for sure but it’s their loss and perhaps they won’t realize it until after we’re gone. All the lost moments in time are so sad. Meanwhile I hug the love ones I do have a bit tighter and value everyday and the oh so precious friends and family I do have that value me. That’s the key. Many blessings to you. We all have the holidays approaching, triggers for sure. I’m bracing myself. And I’m truly thankful for what I do have. Especially my sanity through this crazy journey;) Annie

    Reply
  80. Brokenlove7

    Annie, you are absolutely right. There are other influences, both people and in the case of my EC hereditary factors also that I can clearly see now. I’m not saying that I’m not at fault to a certain extent, because I was a pushover, enabler, and had my own issues to deal with. However, there was definitely other people that influenced why these two women ended up thinking that cutting off parents is “ok”. I know exactly where that came from. I know exactly where the malicious and narcissistic behavior of my older ED came from. I am so grateful that we have other children that are kind, empathetic, strong adults. Looking at this situation from the grateful side, I can also be grateful that this situation has occurred because, right or wrong, I appreciate the family & friends that have stood by me through this even more than I ever thought I could. I am incredibly thankful for them. I am also thankful that this situation has made me stronger, more independent, and I feel that I am starting to live my life for me and with more mindfulness than I had before.

    Reply
  81. Dorlene S.

    Anna you are correct,Time is not the healer God is. Just because time passes by doesn’t mean we are healed. Not talking about our estrangement does not bring healing. I tried to ignore what happened between my and my daughter for about 7 years then around the 8th year, I could no longer live with the dreadful pain that estrangement brings. I use to cry ALL the time about my daughter breaking my heart, until one day I asked God “why am I still crying over this 7 years has gone by ” and God’s reply to me was this, He said “because you are not healed” Not healed I yelled! I thought I was healed,I thought I was over my pain. In the process of time I began to heal. My relationship with my daughter is not as close as I would like it to be but it is getting better. I pray that your estrangement is not permanent.

    Reply
  82. Mary

    Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.
    Its just a matter of time.
    Romans 6-8: Dying to Self.

    When your Adult kids come around show them who you are in Christ,
    tell them what God has done and how great he is.
    Matthew 10:37
    He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    I am preaching to myself here,, I know all to well how our offspring can forget their first love – yeah when they were young they cling and at that time we parents think to ourselves ” one day I won’t be eating, thinking, breathing for 2,3,4,5 how every many, then they grow up become independent just as we taught them to be and we are lonely..

    Be glad they are raising their own kids and learning life the same way we did, hard work, taking care of themselves and their family..

    When they do call or come see you take the time to talk about the blessings of God,
    Don’t drop the ball on your heavenly Father, its not a copout to go into God mode…

    Especially around the holidays we can ” bring it ” show them where you get your strength, show them that no matter what happens that your grounded in faith and yes listen to their stories as if you are concerned, give them all your attention for that short time give them hugs tell them you love them no matter how much hair they lost or how much weight they gained lol… laugh when they laugh cry when they cry.

    Yeah so you hurt their feelings back in the day,, get over it, last time I checked Gods creation wasn’t made for wimps anyway.

    I know yes we were all tricked into thinking we could do a better job than our ancestors,
    well congratulations we are all in the same boat * the earth morns *

    Revelation 18:11 The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore

    The day comes when all of us pay the ultimate price and that is across the board.

    Matthew 24:20 But pray that your flight might not be in winter, nor on a Sabbath.

    Just know things could get a lot worse and you will be thankful for ” time well spent ”

    All out kids will face the same things, so when opportunity knocks show them where your
    strength comes from ( they will need it ) Be the daughter/Son to your Father in heaven and he will lift you up, he will hold you in his arms * O YES HE WILL *

    YES HE WILL

    Reply
  83. valere

    I made my last ditch effort to contact my daughter, the only email I could find was her work one, I simply just informed her off my address and phone number as I had moved, and stated I had not heard from her for so long. Well got a real nasty email back, so yes it hurt, I fell to the floor wept before the LORD and asked forgiveness for anything I did to promote such a hard and cruel heart in her, it took a few days my mind could not process it, I know we had hard times with the marriage ending, and all, but that was not a reason to cut your mother off, I have lived on my own ten years, and I become a healed person in many areas, if she after ten years stil has such hate and anger over what I still have not a clear idea, she just said trauma. Well I recovered and surrendered her to the LORD, I will survive grow better, stronger.

    Reply
  84. sharon

    I have made excuses for my daughter for long enough and I think most parents do that. I have been her listening board for years. She called me when she wanted to rant or to whine. I always tried to find solutions for her and that was a mistake. I was the fix it Mom. Run to Mom if you have a problem because she will fix everything. NO MORE Maybe I have done too much for her who knows but it all stops now. I always thought we had a great relationship but as I see it now it was always on her terms. I don’t call her anymore. If she wants to talk she can call me. I have been the scape goat way too long and I am going to turn this around because I only have one life on this earth and even my daughter I won’t allow to wreck it. You can call me selfish but I have given so much only for her to say I dont love her. Today I call it quits.

    Reply
  85. teresa

    I have not been here for months… my daughter left last winter… I am still broken.. its so very complicated… I have heard so many views… can I run some thoughts by you?

    Reply
  86. Annie

    Hi Teresa. Yes, it’s good to share. I think our situations are all different. We are all here for one another, thanks to Sheri for raising awareness on this phenomenon. We do not judge like our ES have done. Your words and voice are important. Please feel safe to share. Merry Christmas and God bless you.
    Annie

    Reply
  87. Christi

    I’m just glad I found the book, Done With The Crying Help And Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children in time to read it before the holidays. It has helped me so much.

    Reply
  88. Bernie M.

    This sounds so familiar and so I identified with your pain. I also have an ingrateful adult daughter that have nothing to do with me. I have helped her so much throughout all of her life, bought her cars, gave her “loans” which she never re-paid. She has treated me like dirt under her feet, uses profanity and belittles me and talks down to me the very few, few times that she used to talk to me (I have felt so humilliated) I have prayed to God to please reveal to me what it is that I have done. I am retired now and on a fixed income I can’t help her with any money any more. I raised her daughter (my grand daughter) and she never once have said thank you for raising her. Now my grand daughter who is 17 lives with her father and my daughter by example taught her to treat me the same way. So they both avoid every type of contact with me, even over the phone. If I call them (I don’t any more) they don’t answer the phone and they feel “insulted” if I dare called them. I have no family where I live, so they were my only family . But this year 2017, I decided I will not contact them any more. So God help me. I have been abused by my adult daughter for so many years that I decided not to take it any more. We must learn to face the fact that sometimes our adult kids want nothing to do with us. For what reason? I will never know because I always treated my daughter with respect and affection. Good riddance if she doesn’ want to be a part of my life. I can not force her to speak to me much less to like me.

    Reply
  89. Hope747

    I am new to this group. I am thankful to know I am not alone. I was a happy, generous, loving and supportive mother. The rejection started her senior year in high school. It as been down hill from there. I tried to overcompensated with money and gifts. Her hatred and disrespect was a tremendous shock to me. The pain unbearable. I am not suicidal, even though I want this pain to end. I alienated myself from friends family and neighbors. My confidence crushed. She wanted to visit me this Christmas, I was surprised and so excited . Decorated the house, made her favorite meals, and bought many gifts. Nothing changed she has this blank emotional stare when she looks at me, always walks ahead of me , criticizes everything I say. I have multiple sclerosis , very rarely speak about it as she never shows any concern or support. She is in her 2nd year of medical school , she bragged about her knowledge to assist with muscle and joint pain, I dared to ask her if she would try it on me to assist with my MS pain. She said no maybe later. I confronted her to tell me why she hates and disrespects me , she stormed out without saying goodbye or thanks. I could not afford this , but wanted her Christmas to be special She wants me to apologize to her if I ever want a relationship with her. I asked her to reimburse me. Do you think it was wrong of me to ask for reimbursement for the cost of the airfare, car rental, 2 beautiful gowns for a party at her medical school campus, and spa treatments I bought her? I could not afford this , but wanted her Christmas to be special . She has blocked my calls, She regularly post photos of herself having fun at dinner parties, various social events, and on hikes with friends ( she hates hiking with me). I had to cancel my facebook page , as it is to painful to view her posts. I have no hope now in any future relationship with her. I am forcing myself to get dressed today and go for a hike. I love hiking !

    Reply
  90. joan

    I have no one to talk to about this, no relatives or friends. My adult child talked me into moving across country to live in the same city as she. It was OK for a couple of years. Now she calls less often, and I do not see her on weekends very often. She complains about my suggesting, giving advice, saying anything about myself, and looks bored around me. She tells me about the interesting intelligent well-read people she sees during the day. Evidently this does not include me. She resents that her other 2 siblings don’t visit or spend any time or effort toward me. She gets stuck with all of the responsibility, evidently. I am able-bodied, drive. I do not ask for her time or efforts. But now that I am here, I seldom see her, although she has a very active social life. She doesn’t come to my house and I am not invited to come to her house. I am heartbroken. I like where I live. Should I move and relieve her of this burden? There is really no place for me to go. I am very well educated, and I am very self-sufficient, but I miss the good times we used to have. Comments?

    Reply
  91. TheSheepReport

    I don’t think you should make this decision based on what your daughter thinks. If you like where you live, then stay. She clearly cares very little about your welfare, so you should do what you want to do for yourself.

    Reply
    1. urbanmusicgal

      I raised my children as a single parent. I had to divorce their father because his abusive behavior. When I told him to stop, he refused and also refused to get counseling or psychological help. I was the responsible parent, and responsible for their safety so I got us all away from him very quickly, and their lives were never again haunted by any abuse issues. As a parent I poured self esteem and confidence into them every day. I set aside my own professional goals, but worked sometimes 5 jobs at a time, so my hours would coincide with their hours at home and during the weekends. At the time of the divorce my daughter was 10 and my twin sons were 6. They grew up very well. The way I describe their lives is happy, with very successful marriages, professions and financial freedom. That’s because I gave them everything I had, and every resource I had deep down inside of me.

      That is why I am so heartbroken and confused about their rejection of me. Yes, I taught them how to be autonomous, and I set an example of independence, and happy to do so. They were wonderful, loving children. My daughter was a rebellious adolescent, but my sons were wonderful during their teen age years. I feel like I have been bashing my head up against a granite wall ever since they turned 20, to try to just be included in their lives at some level, but I am not. It has been almost twenty years now, and all three of them have abandoned me, with all the actions that all of you have described of rejection.

      Now, I am getting older and i am almost 70. i have tried and tried to connect, to belong, to even have a simple conversation, but there is nothing coming from their end. I know about releasing children to their own independence which I did, but I never was prepared for this. I was raised in a home that respected the elders of the family who were treated with dignity and honor almost every single day. I am at the question of guilt: What did I do that was so wrong to be treated like this? And I have spent a long time on this question. The only answer that I can come up with is that as I poured everything I could into those worthwhile people, they never saw me being treated with respect from their father, or anyone else. So they had nothing to model their treatment of me after. That wasn’t my fault, I was just too busy raising them, and giving them good lives.

      But, no matter what explanation I give myself, there is no excuse for their awful abandonment of me. They have friends who treat their parents well, so they know how it goes. I am just so, so tired, and I am finding this group exactly at the hour I have decided to just give up. It is another hope and dream that didn’t come true. I have no other way of understanding this, because it is un-understandable. Finally after so many years struggling with this I am too tired to struggle any longer. I am close to being seventy, and even though my doctor says I am in excellent health, my heart is breaking and my body is riddled with pain because of it. I just don’t have the strength to go on with it all. I am so done.

  92. urbanmusicgal

    I found this site yesterday as I was giving up. By givng up what I mean is, I give up on my adult children, and I give up on myself trying to have a relationship with them, even a little one. These adults are who they are, and I have no control over their choices whether to include me in an extended family or not. As for being abandoned after how beautifully I “hand raised” them as a stay-at-home-mom with 5 jobs – here’s a phrase a learned a long time ago that applies to my abandonment: I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t control it, when it comes to my children’s behaviors.

    Actually, they are “Adult Children” of an alcoholic because their father is a drunk and has been for their entire lives. He never bothered to make a living for them, and he did everything he could to stay away from them during their childhoods. When he was home, he was violent and threatening to his own little children, and I got him out of the house, and us away from the area and into safety. The judge stipulated that he be given supervised visitation only, until he completes parenting classes and counseling which he never began. Although their father’s behaviors were abandoning and dangerous, their behaviors such as abandoning me, and coldly rejecting me look like the very same actions their father did with them. I am not making excuses, but after discovering this group, suddenly these insights are happening, and I can communicate them, instead of ruminating. I have not experienced the violent part, except in their awful, passive aggresive behaviors There just might be reasons.

    Even though these reasons seem sound to me, it still doesn’t fix my broken heart, and the pain I feel every single day. The reasons just drive this nail of abandonment further into my heart. Unless they all get counseling for being Adult Children, I will never see them, and, I will NEVER be a part of an extended family which only exists in my imagination. The permanence is there.

    I found this group in the depths of my heartache over the many broken hopes and dreams of my life. I’ve been through some very harsh, terrifying times in my life, but this is by far the worst, because it is so hard to walk away. it is harder than walking away from my violent abusive family of origin. It is harder than walking away from a failed marriage. It is much harder than walking away from a job that was mentally and emotionally damaging. It is the hardst thing I have ever walked away from – if I don’t want to be destroyed again, this time I have to walk. I am old and tired, and worn out from being rejected by my children, and the emotional and mental warfare that goes along with it. As I have written before, I am done.

    Now, that I have ruminated for years on this, today, I give myself permission to STOP. This won’t be easy because it will take time and learning. It looks like a process to me. I will think about what I am thinking about them, and I will use the affirmation I read in one of the chapters. To paraphrase a litte: “I am moving on. My life is moving forward. Good things happen in my life” – when I catch myself ruminating.

    At the same time I will acknowledge the tears that seem to fall out of my eyes all day, and the pain I feel in my heart, and I will acknowledge them, treat them with deep and profound respect, and handle them tenderly.

    Today, I feel a little self respect returning, a little dignity. This is a good enough start for me, just for today.

    Thank you for this wonderful sustaining community. Thank you for the great book that is full of respect, honor, and dignity.

    Reply
  93. Monte

    I havent seen my daughter in 14 years and i thought my story was bad.. But after reading some of the stories on here ive come to tears.. Im praying for all of you.. Dont give up.. That all i can say.

    Reply
  94. Carol

    My daughter, 24, has shut me out of her life for the past 6+ months, which has been very painful. My husband and I are divorcing, and he and has told her some things that we’re not fair or completely true. She was always a Daddy’s girl, and I always loved that she and her dad were so close. It has has been so painful not being able to see or to talk with her. She is beautiful, artistic, funny, smart, and is so sure of herself. I’ve finally come to realize that all I ever wanted her to be was happy, find someone worthy of her love – and that she could reciprocate that love back in kind, and to be true to herself. Although I was not a perfect mother, I tried my best and can sleep comfortable knowing that I did what I could. Maybe my journey with her is over, but I will always want the best for her.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Carol, I feel this too. If my estranged son is happy, then so be it. I was never one to hold anyone back. Of course, this is not how I felt in the “early daze,” as described in my book. But there’s a process of sorts, to accepting. (You used the word “finally.” I know you understand.). Your post here will give hope to some who read it. Thank you.

      Sheri McGregor

    2. joyce

      My adult daughter has cut me out of her life since she got married last June. I have been heartbroken ever since. It seems like it has to do with money somewhat. She expected that my husband (her stepfather) and I should have paid for her Wedding because her husband’s sister’s Wedding was paid for by his parents. My daughter and her husband both have good jobs and are in their thirties. I don’t think they should have expected us to pay. I was willing to give as much as I could, but apparently that was not good enough. Her husband said I should have had a fund for her to my daughter. Who is he to say what I should have done? I was a single parent and did the best I could for my daughter. I am still paying on a College loan which I took out for her, which seems ridiculous under the circumstances. My daughter even snubbed her stepfather and me at her Wedding. He was not allowed to walk her down the aisle even though he acted like a father to her, she preferred to walk alone which was sad I thought.
      I tried to contact her after the Wedding but she never spoke to me again. I could not understand why. I sent cards and e-mails which were ignored about how much I missed and wanted to talk to her. Finally I asked my cousin to contact her and tell her I wanted to talk to her. She wrote me a very hurtful e-mail saying that I am a narcissist and it is hopeless for us to have a relationship. My Dr. has told me I am not a narcissist. I think she says this to justify having no contact. My daughter also said any other communication would be sent back which she proved by sending my reply back to me. After this hateful letter, I feel I do not want any further communication with her but it is very heartbreaking. I have to go on with my life and keep saying the Serenity Prayer, thank you for this website!
      Joyce

  95. LW

    In reply to the person named D. Who thinks her daughter may be Bi-Polar. I agree. I worked with someone for about 8 years that knew she was. My daughter has the same personality. Sometimes she lets me in, sometimes not. I always feel like I’m this horrible person. Everything I say or do seems to irritate her. What is really confusing is that she is a Christian and I wonder how you can know the way to treat your parents and not follow it but be a follower of Christ. I pray about it. Do I think it will change? Yes. Prayer works. That’s my answer. I will wait. Things will change.

    Reply
  96. Retta

    Sometimes it is hopeless. My grown married son told me 20 years ago if I remarried, our relationship was over. I’ve only seen him at occasional family events where he has called me deplorable names. In the meantime, I have never been allowed to see my 2 teen age grandchildren. My son only lives 15 miles away and said if he sees me on his street, he will shoot me. He was my favorite, the one child I knew I could count on. My other three are not this hateful but they are mean to me and ignore me. They cling to their poor old dad, the abusive man who beat me up regularly, feeling sorry he is alone.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Dear Retta,
      Just wanted to offer a few caring words. I’m sorry that you have suffered abuse and the burden of such disappointment. I sure hope your son’s threat is not genuine! Please take kind care of you. There are many here who will read your note and send caring thoughts and/or prayers.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  97. Ellie C.

    I have been putting up with this out of 2 adult sons for the past 15 or so years. Their father and I divorced years ago. He walked out of their lives and now they have walked out of mine. I am all done with the abuse of these 2 men (not boys).
    This family had something very tragic happen to us and now my sons are not their for us when we need them the most. I personally have decided to turn on them. If they call or try to contact me I am going to tell them to go away forever.
    I need to get on with my life. I have been a wonderful parent to them and I do not take responsibilty for their bad behavior. I now desired a place of peace in my life.
    I pray for them but I pray for myself more and I am on my way to a better and healthier life style.
    I wish you all the best of luck.

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      Dear Ellie, you have the right to live a peaceful life without abuse. I’m sorry you’ve had such troubles.

      Hugs to you and your loved ones,

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Beaner

      Good for you Ellie!!!! I came to the same conclusion with my two sons….. At some point,it’s just not worth your sanity anymore,just let them go and pamper yourself!

  98. Marilyn

    Darleen you have no idea how you have saved my day wish I would have found this 5 years ago I suffer so bad and it just gets worse the older my my granddaughters get,she’s teaching them to avoid me too I have a long story but,the more I read the more I know as she says I’ve herd the pitty party just wanted to say thank you!!! It crushes me

    Reply
  99. ann

    I have a son who i loved and he was taken from me when five years old. DSS and Dad and step mother took him and grandma . They raised him they treated him badly abused him. Grandma tryed to take him out state and so did grand pa cause they did not want him around dad or step mother. He had go back to dad and step mother who kept on abusing him intil he left moved florida and then he had baby in florida and mother did not give up she went florida and bought him back and tryed to get him straighten up life quit drugs drinking and get good job security guard and he gets with wrong girl and marrys her and she does drugs and drinks he lose his job and get her pregnant and then she has another baby they have domestic abuse and he splits with her and gets another women married and has kids . They start treating little kids bad . mother said enough so she decide not see her son no more cause he never going straighten up he was abuse growing up from dad and step mother he thinks it is ok abuse his kids that little. hitting them not watching them and putting a married women and her kids before his own It is awful. mother did all she could and now she decided to let him go. He does love his mother and he does not appreciate all stuff she done for him given him a car and baby showers and all stuff she bought them and always there help him. He does not care about his own mother that loved him that always good to him. mother realize he not good sweet little boy she had . Her son turned into a heart less no good person that did even care for his own sons. and He did not love his kids either. I could not take no more and i decided enouht is enough and i need let him go. He did not appreciate me trying for years to be good mother . I was throwing my love to my son who did not love me or his self or any one else. He had condition adhd and he had turned into a heart less person . I realized i dont know him no more he not sweet little boy i raised he changed and they ruined him. Now i focus on grandkids hoping that they wont be abused like the way he was by his dad and step mother. Yes it hurts and i cry but i cant keep on hanging on to son that does care about how he hurts me with his conduct and his actions and selfishness he has. He did not care if kids had safe sitter or clothes on there back or winter coat on small kids when cold out side and i buy coats for them and he would not put it on them. They need doctor and he make them wait days week them sick that how he treated them. I had enought and i told him he needed counceling and help and medicine and i hope and pray that i get lawyer and get my grand kids away from him and his actions cause i know he needs help and he not good parent or dad. It hurts me but i have got let go and pray and move on and try to do what i can for my grandbabys . Hope they get out of that mess. some times dss gives kids to wrong parent and that is what happen to me . dss gave my son to abusive dad and step mother and i could not stop it . Now my son is heartless and does not know how treat or show love or be good parent now cause he never taught how to be good parent from dad and step mother. Yes i love him and i care but he is only one can change the way he treats me and his own children. please pray for him.. thank you .

    Reply
  100. Margaret N.

    When my daughter & I catch up=fab. My problem=now with her teenager kids, she is secretive, & I find out after the fact & feel hurt=sort of excluded. I brought her up on my own since she was a couple of weeks old, & inspite of her father told by courts to support us, he didn’t. I not overly upset about this, it did make life a tad difficult, but that’s in the past, I don’t dwell on it=not worth it. He cheated often & I finally found out his latest=my best girlfriend. That hurt=so I moved states & started again. I dont expect her to be at my beck & call & am happy for her doing her “thing” with her lovely family. We still catch up but only when she nominates etc. Since I’m older I don’t want to go out as much, but perhaps it would be nice to be asked etc. Reading “above” situations, makes me feel I’m not alone=& gives me confidence. To all of you out there, Thank you , God Bless.

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  101. Lynne

    I am so thankful for you all. It helps so very much to know I am not alone in my painful life. I have had a very estranged relationship with my daughter for the last 10 years. Her father and I divorced after 35 years of marriage. I never could do anything to please her after this. After all these years of trying I wrote her a letter. I said I was sorry for any pain I caused her and asked for her to forgive me. She didn’t…still no contact from her…but the letter did free me. I knew there was no more for me to do. It is all up to her now. I do believe all these estranged grown children have This in common. It is that they have Chosen their pain or anger as being more important than their love for their estranged parent. For this reason I do pity them. They will never be free people. Forgiveness sets the captive free….these grown children are the true prisoners of their own making. Happy Easter to you all! Thank you Sheri for All you do!!

    Reply
    1. rparentsrparents Post author

      You’re welcome, Lynne. Happy Easter to you, too! Thank you for commenting here where your thoughts will help other parents.

      Sheri McGregor

  102. olivia

    Took many years to say enough is enough and i will have no further attempts to contact my 45 year old son…. saddest thing in my life, but i am in therapy and will put my attention to our other child. plus, i have a young friend who lost both parents when she was young and lived a very difficult life. She has thought of me as her Mom for awhile……, i am opening my life to her, her husband, her two adult kids and two grandchildren……just adding them to my family… they already appreciate my attention and love and i will fill my life with people who add to my happiness and love. guess i will always mourn the disconnect from my son, but he no longer will pull my emotional life into his insanity.

    Reply
  103. Beaner

    My two adult sons no longer speak to me,I used to feel guilty,hurt…. then I woke up to reality,they are manipulating,Children may not “choose” their parents but we don’t “choose” them either,at the end of the day,I decided….
    #1 I no longer have to emotionally or financially support them,I can now focus on me and my dogs.
    #2 I am financially well off,so,I cut them out of any inheritance they would have received.Let them struggle,it builds character.
    #3 I would never put up with their behavior from a friend,so,why was I accepting it from them??
    #4 I didn’t choose them any more than they chose me…
    #5 Life goes on,I was fine before I gave birth to them and I’m fine now after they left.I have come to realize,they’re like animals in the wild,so,I just let them go.
    #6 If they ever contact me again…. well,I closed and locked that door,I’m not a masochist.

    Reply
    1. Eviee

      Hello, I wish I could be this strong again. If I feel like I am a piece of trash. My son is older and he tells people I am dead. My granddaughter is all about money and says I am too poor for her since I don’t freely give. Please help me I have wasted time thinking i could just fix it. I keep wasting my life. Tell me truthfully what to do I am tire and am growing older and sadder from the rejection. Eviee

  104. Beaner

    I also have say,because of an adult child’s “immaturity and lack of self awareness “They are obviously overlooking the real possibility of their own child doing the same thing to them(it’s something,that in their “youthful euphoria ” they don’t seem to grasp)but it can happen(aka karma)

    Reply
  105. Barbara

    I wish to God I had never had children. I can’t stand my grown son and daughter. They are selfish jerks. I was a single mother because their father was a drunkard and physically abusive. The last I saw of him was when I called the police after he punched me in the face because I spent money on formula and he needed the money for beer. I went to nursing school and lived pillar to post until the kids were 4 and I started working full time. No one in my family ever helped me or ever watched them. They were in a very nice community college preschool while was taking nursing classes. When i started working we moved to an apartment in a great area with good schools. The kids father never paid a dime of child support as he was an alcoholic in and out of rehab. My son and daughter were really great kids. Very intelligent, kind and imaginative. Every decision I made while they were kids was for their benefit. Any extra money went to science camps, space camp and interesting cultural and educational experiences. When they were 13 I married a doctor who was supportive and kind to them. We took them to Europe on vacation and a few all inclusives in the Caribbean. We were always close and I always assumed we would be friends when they turned into adults.

    How wrong I was! My daughter turned on me when she went to college. She rarely communicated with me and when she did she started bringing up really petty things about his childhood. Her prom dress was the wrong color or she didn’t get the boots she wanted in the eighth grade. Really ridiculous things. She goes on and on about how wonderful her boyfriends family is compared to ours. I tried to reach out but to no avail.

    My son stayed in my life in order to sponge off of me. He needed things like rent money, a cell phone, help with food and on and on and on. He got married and had two girls. From day one expected me to babysit 5 days a week even though he was chronically unemployed. His wife also has a sense of entitlement and would become peeved and sulk over anything and everything. Since the kids were born her parents have watched them for 6 hours because it would be to “stressful” on her mother. I love my granddaughters but found my bank account hijacked and my free time taken away leaving me drained emotionally. I have also so started recognising manipulative and ungrateful behavior in my oldest granddaughter.
    I am now on the outs with my son because I dared to tell him I was to busy to watch the kids on Sunday because they wanted to out to a concert. Mind you I was already watching them 10 hours a day Monday through Friday.

    So we have not talked in a month and I LOVE IT.

    I realized that I really can’t stand either of my children as adults. I honestly wish to God I had NEVER had them. If I could go back in time I would give them up for adoption. None of the sacrifice was worth it.

    They were wonderful kids and I put them first 100% of the time but they are absolutely miserable, selfish, petty adults. My daughter can live her life as I will make no more tearful overtures. I decided I don’t want to be in my son’s life except for christmas cards. I will never babysit for him again. To hell with both of them!

    I am now in my late 50s and I feel so light and free for the first time in my adult life. Good riddance to both of them. I am busy reclaiming my life. Good luck to all of you who find yourselves saddled with adult parasites or kids who just want nothing to do with you over things that happened in their childhood, real or imagined.
    Start spending money and time on yourself. Go on a cruise, buy yourself a longed for piece of jewelry, take a yoga class, rekindle a passion for a long forgotten hobby. ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

    Reply
  106. Estella C.

    Im 68 my only son rejected me made accusations against me for all my wrong doings against me which made me feel very hurt and guilty. After asking for forgiveness and suffer a lot of abuse from him I came to the conclusion that I wasnt the perfect mattter and that I am indeed quilty of some accusations but that I was not just bad. His father and I was divorce when he was about 11 years I brought him up put him through university and although I admit to many faults and ask forgiveness never mention the nasty way he treated me and how hurtful he was he just ignores me he very seldom picks his phone up he needed money I with drew a large some of money of my savings not a word of thanks. I feel so shameful dont want to tell anybody but in my heart I feel I have no choice now as to keep my distance as well and try to come to terms with this painful situation

    Reply
  107. Karen

    I, too, have an estranged daughter. I feel for all of you. My daughter is now 44 years old. She’s been doing this since she was about 13. The older she gets, the worse the treatment. There have been so many times she just stopped speaking to me, I truly cannot remember all of them. Some are only for a few months, others have been years. I have felt like I was walking on eggshells with her for way too long. I never know what will set her off, but every single time, when she decides she wants me back in her life, I have just kept my feelings to myself and “pretend” everything is fine. I learned a long time ago that trying to talk about all this with her just causes another period of her not speaking to me.

    About 10 years ago, she left for Germany with her husband and my grandkids, without even saying goodbye, or letting me tell my grandkids goodbye.This was probably as worse as it had gotten. I started out incredibly grieved, but eventually, worked my way through all those horrible feelings and came out the other end seeing things more clearly, realizing I can’t change who she is.

    When she decided she wanted me back in her life again 4 years later, I reluctantly let her back in, mostly because I wanted my grandkids in my life. I have treaded ever so lightly these past 6 years, wondering if the other shoe would fall.. Well, it did! I won’t go into all the details here, but it will suffice to say, this time she not only turned her back on me and my husband, but my sons (her brothers), as well. They are all as confused by this as i’ve been for over 30 years.

    She has always tried to get them to side with her, to see me as this horrible person.. Despite that, I have always had a good relationship with my sons. My daughter is the oldest of 4 children. She seems very jealous of the relationship I have with my sons, and seems to see herself as the princess of our family who should have always been treated better than the rest. I treated all my children the same, and that seems to really eat away at her! She is very full of herself, and looking back, she always has been.

    I love the little girl I raised, and those are the memories i hold on to. Curiously, this last split did not really affect me. I guess one could say, when someone keeps slamming the door in your face, eventually, you turn the lock.

    One thing that has helped me quite a bit over the last several years is writing a journal. I have been writing everything down I can remember about her from the time she was a baby. It has helped me see this pattern of control and manipulations in my daughter that started around the age of 13. It really has helped me to get on with my life. I write things down that bother me, and then they’re gone. Out of my mind, left in my journal.

    Someone mentioned the children that these grown children are raising. My daughter has repeatedly stated that HER children will have the things she didn’t get. Her oldest is now your typical millennial. He wants to do what he wants when he wants to do it. He wants what he wants and expects others to provide it for him. He says hateful things to my daughter and son in law… To me, he is treating them just like he’s seen her treat me all these years.. I don’t wish that on anyone, and honestly, I don’t think my daughter even equates the way he behaves with the way she behaves.

    As everyone is saying, we have to all go on with our lives. We can’t let a grown child destroy the life we live.. I have sons that love me and treat me with respect. I’m sorry that my daughter obviously does not, but I can’t control the way she feels/thinks. I can only control the way it affects me. For me, the next time she wants to reconcile, it will be too late. I’m just too old for this. It is so emotionally draining. I’m afraid my daughter is going to have to find someone else to use at a batting board from here on out.. I’ve retired that position.

    Reply
    1. Julie

      Hi Karen, reading your story it felt as if you were telling mine. I have a 45 year old entitled daughter who started her criticism of me at the age of 14. She is insanely jealous of her 35 year old brother. For the last 30 years she has told everyone she meets that I’m the worst mother in the world but at the same time expects me to treat her with admiration and generosity. She has often stopped talking to me and my husband and we have been the adults and eaten truck loads of humble pie so we can keep the family together. There does come a point at which you are fed up with the roller coaster and you have to get off. At 65 I decided I was getting too old for this constant drama. I’ve left the “door open” but I’m too tired to do any more. After 30 years of on and off talking or rejection, I think that the ball is in my daughter’s court. Maybe she will grow up and see herself in the mirror. Her children are 16, 15 and 13 and they are quite entitled too so who knows what she’s in for in the future.

  108. Lisa

    I am going through this estrangement. My husband died by suicide 10 years ago, I found that he was cheating, going to swinger clubs etc. He became abusive and tried to hit my child in the face, we ran and became homeless. It was a very traumatic experience. I had started working, had an apartment in 2 days and bought a home in 6 months. My children was the my world, i worked 24 hour shifts and many weekends to pay for home, gave each child a car and provided money for college.
    My now 26 year old is transgender, which I have supported with every grain of my soul. I flew to his college and he told me I would have to rent a car as he had no room for me. I went to help him find an apartment. He then tells me he has friends that he stays with and a friend to rent with, and now has found a New father. He has met another student who is retired and has an estranged son, who now calls my kid his son. He has a new group of lgbtq friends, who are hateful of the world and everyone who is not lgbtq. I had given my son, money for the years tuition and living, and still pay car insurance and cell phone. He was rude and mean to me the 5 days that i was in town. He left me 3 of the 5 days to be with friends. On the 5 th day, i asked him to take a shower in the hotel before we were to go to breakfast, as he hadnt taken a shower in 4 days. He complained to me that his friends like him without bathing…and had told me several times he was suicidal. I had asked to take him to a clinic…while I was in the hotel getting ice for the cooler, he took off with his dog. I have not seen him since. He has blocked me from fb and from phone etc. He has also blocked his siblings. We had talked about kids who take off and dont ever see their families again. I told him how bad that must feel for the parents relating to a local kid missing. He said, well he probably never wants to be found or see his family again. I feel so sick. I have as a single mother, provided a nice home, car, insurance, cell phone, food, education 4 years of college money etc..taken him to Hawaii and provided for fun trips etc. I have always told him I love him. I am shocked he has chose to replace his entire family with a ” new father” and new friends. I know in my heart I have always been there for him, financially and emotionally. I am so sad that this treatment of parents happens. I am now moving forward and going new places doing fun things, for myself and my 2 other children. I am sure I will not ever see my kid again. It is very painful, but it is his choice. I am now going to stop payments on his 900 dollar cell phone and cell plan and stopping car insurance and will not pay any monies into his college spending account or food account …he needs to grow up at 26

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I have almost the same scenario, 27 year old gay son moved to San Fran now won’t speak with us , his father and I always supportive of him , my heart is broken , I cry all the time , even contemplated dying , trying to move on , really hard ,

  109. Cindy

    Our 37-yr-old son was a party animal in his teens and early 20s. He would skip school and take off for days. We have 3 younger children, the youngest now 19. During those tumultuous years, Son would verbally abuse me and his (4 year younger) sister more than anyone. He also was occasionally physically abusive to his (nearly 13 year younger) brother (our second son). When I say my husband and I tried just about everything (tough love, soft love, contracts, bribes, sports, having his friends over, letting one friend move in with us temporarily . . . EVERYthing to turn him around as he ran with a rebellious crowd). Hubby and I were on the same page, presenting a united front, if anything, just trying to keep him alive as he was a showoff, always the first to try something ‘adventurous’ to be the Leader of the Pack. It got really bad when he was 16, and after yet another round of Terrorize Mom & the Younger Kids, at Husband’s suggestion, I called the police when Son was packing up his stuff to take off yet again. They ended up taking Son to Juvenile Hall, where he cooled his jets over the Veteran’s (3) Day Weekend, 1996. Fast forward 21 years. Son is now married, has 2 adorable sons, his own business, a beautiful home with a pool, a big boat . . . to the world a huge success. Problem is he’s never stopped his covert verbal attacks on me. He can be nice on occasion, but when I relax and think all is well, he delivers a verbal death blow, comparing me to his wife’s mom (whom he adores in large part due to her financial support and lengthy visits where she enables Son and Wife to vacation without the kids). He puts down my home & me, even to the extent that he telephones my mother (his grandmother) to complain about me. The audacity of Son just blows my mind! The crazy part? My husband is now ‘buddies’ with Son & has moved out of our home as he refuses to support me when I explained on numerous occasions that, for me, the verbal abuse never ended. After a particularly grueling round of hateful words from Son that spanned more than 4 months, I asked my husband to meet with him as I just couldn’t take one more vengeful word. Husband came home from that meeting, packed up his things and walked out on me and our two youngest sons. That was in 2009. Son had convinced Husband/Dad that I was, ‘unforgiving’. Son & Husband formed an unbreakable bond that has taken precedence over Hubby and my relationship to this day. The two of them love to fish together and chum it up even though Son is now preventing me from seeing my grandsons. They live about 2 miles away & my oldest grandson is turning 10 this coming week. You can imagine the anxiety I’m living with. Also, my 24-year-old son now works for his older brother and despite having put up with a ton of abuse in the past, Middle Son practically worships him like some sort of Cult Leader. It’s a never-ending party at Oldest Son’s house and the booze flows freely. Younger brother is being taught a trade that can be lucrative, if and only IF, after 5 years, Older Brother recommends him for testing with the state contractor’s licensing board. A risky endeavor, under the circumstances, yet Younger Brother seems blinded to his past treatment by Older Brother as he is completely loyal to him no matter what. Sister is self-supporting and lives an hour away. She is friendly with me but also likes to head to Big Brother’s house for drinks and laughs as it is truly a party house to this day ~ think WooHOO!, even when the youngest grandson (age 4) came home the day before Christmas after a near-death trachea collapse that had him in the ICU under sedation for days. I kept my mouth shut for years, praising, Praising, PRAISING Oldest Son in hopes that he would have mercy on me and stop the verbal slaying usually out of eye shot and ear range of others. I stayed in the marriage until Youngest Son became a legal adult, graduated high school, could drive, got a job and enrolled in college. It was no way to live and I realized that by allowing Son to put me down (occasionally in front of his children) he was teaching them to be bullies. I quietly stood up for myself at Christmas dinner when Son tried to silence me before I could even complete my sentence (a typical practice of his). My husband sat there and said nothing, even when Son said, “I could ask you to leave my house, Mom!” So, here I am living with our youngest son in our home with Husband about a mile away. Neither Youngest Son nor I have seen Husband/Father in ages (for me it’s been more than 7 months). Husband and I are divorcing as I can’t be with a man who doesn’t have my back. He shows zero interest in our youngest son. I am a Christian and pray fervently for my family ~ even the abusive family members. One thing I’m not sure has been addressed in this forum is that though the Lord God Almighty is on His thrown, Satan is alive and well in this world, having being given reign for the present to lure people in with the usual lures (success, notoriety, pride of life, i.e., having the cool party house where everybody, even dear old Dad wants to hang out). I’m not backing down and refuse to go back into a life where I must wear a constant smile when being abused. Even if I was tempted to step back into that life, I wouldn’t do it now for the sake of my forsaken, sweet, youngest son. Together, the Lord is healing his and my pain, strengthening the two of us daily. I’ve come to realize that narcissistic tendencies seems to run deep in our family so talking things out is virtually impossible. A lot of the choices Husband and the kids out of the house are making, I believe stem from insecurity. Counseling would most certainly help but open communication isn’t something Husband and most of these kids enjoy. They’d rather have a beer and blindly laugh it up, turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the serious state our family is in. I will maintain a nice savings account for each of my grandsons in lieu of the time I’m missing with them so that when they turn 18 I can hopefully, be reunited with them and pick up our relationship where it was cut off. Satan is strong but the power of the Holy Spirit is stronger and I’m claiming victory in Jesus’ powerful name every day. My prayers are with each of you. Remember God has promised to be with us ALWAYS. He’s only a prayer away. Take care and God Bless.

    Reply
  110. Mark

    After 6 months of living in a new house with my wife and trying to process my feelings about our 16 year old choosing to move in with her Grandmother, I stopped being angry for just long enough to type in “what to do when you are estranged from your child” and I was amazed at the rich archives of similar experience. I’ve never been the type of person who draws strength from hearing the similar stories of others but, having been a Dad since my early 20s and having begged, borrowed, gone without and moved mountains to build a family, home and life around my lady and her child from a previous relationship, I’m suddenly an empty nester 10 years later (much earlier than I had anticipted, obviously). I’m a man, so, I did the work of moving us out of our shared family home while all the crying was happening. My wife and I have never lived together without our daughter and it almost feels like there has been a death in the family; there is someone missing and we are trying to make a new life. My wife has reached out over and over again, only to have her heart broken in a new way each time and I can’t fix that hurt, I can only be there and empathise and try to be the opposite of hurt in her life. I have answered the 2 emails I received in 6 months, calmly explained myself and left the insults behind, and expressed a desire to build a positive relationship based around something other than sharing a home but, I’m not the one who left and I can’t think about it without feeling bitter and resentful. There was no big ugly incident, no abuse, no harsh rules or lines in the sand, no chores or after-school jobs in the family business (all of which were features of our childhoods!) we hardly ever even said no! I just don’t understand how, after a decade of going without everything middle-class grownups can afford to go without, she can just move out in the hopes of getting a better deal somewhere else! I know we did right by her, she had a happy home life; we were home every night, we don’t drink, smoke or gamble and we aren’t in the pub after work. For years, our families couldn’t understand why we never had new clothes or went away on holiday but we doubled down on our family; our daughter is gifted and talented and we were willing to go without those things for her to have private lessons in this and that and have room to practise etc but she just saw it all as pressure to succeed and responded by doing nothing. From the first year of high school on, we watched our bright, sassy, cheeky kid collapse in on herself, withdraw from school work and gravitate towards the sad, loner kids who want to hurt themselves and others. Worst of all, she was coached in how to self-harm, alcohol and pills, mostly experimenting but definite and intentional mentoring of behaviours from others; even in eating issues and family dischord. We refused to play into it by making ultimatums or banning troubled friends, we rose above the attempts at conflict (where possible) only to be accused of being aloof and not caring. The more we reached out, the more we were punished for our efforts with lashing out, lying and making us feel like fools for trusting. It was all too easy for our daughter to leave, my in-laws took her in, moved her stuff out for her and now they cherry-pick the experiences parents look forward to, keep them for themselves and send us pictures of themselves enjoying moments we feel we earned by doing the hard yards of being Mum and Dad! We refuse to let the situation sow dischord between the two households; that’s an old game our daughter plays so we have removed the battlefield (as my mother would say). It’s hard to accept, move on and just focus on building our own lives and we realised that almost all of our goals were wrapped up in this other person who rejected us. In the days before she left, she chose moments to tell us that she had no feeling for us, that our home was not HOME and that she hated us. I don’t think those things are true but she wanted to be able to say them to convince herself to leave and to hurt us enough to not stop her. We did everything short of begging or physically forcing her to come home; we didn’t think those sounded like options that would lead to a healthy relationship. So, it’s easy for her to avoid us and there is very little contact; we see my in-laws occasionally but I won’t visit their home. I am waiting it out and hoping my daughter has the emotional maturity to let go of her anger towards us one day; I don’t think it would be helpful to be there constantly professing my undying love and offering forgiveness without any attempt from her to build a relationship, mend fences or even be okay around each other. She isn’t asking, so, I’ve given up offering for now. Time is not healing it but I am trying not to hold on to the hurt.

    Thanks for sharing your stories.

    Reply
  111. Tricia

    My three sons hate me…. I have gone through all of the self doubt, anger, confusion that all of ya’ll have. I have 8 grandchildren that I don’t get to see. Sigh…that is sad.

    I know I was a good mom….but I divorced their father and in my anger at him I let them know exactly what my life with him had been like. So …there is no forgiveness in their mean hearts for me cause wow …their daddy is perfect.

    I am trying very hard to forgive myself. This is on them.

    It’s very had though. This week my youngest had a birthday and his two brothers flew in to help him celebrate….yeah… a friend sent me the info…so that sucked because I live 2 minutes from my youngest and they were together for three days.

    I deserve happiness and I try to let go of all of the bad stuff…but boy, sometimes I just really want to let them have it….but that would be only a momentary feeling of relief and would probably make things even worse if possible.

    So…. I have to let them go and wish them a happy life. And get on with my life… I have a wonderful husband and three dogs and beautiful home….so I have a lot of blessings.

    I try to remember them when they were my babies and I was their world…. and I will leave them there, in my past…with all my love.

    Reply
  112. Anita

    Thank you all for your posts. I am going through a difficult time ( again) with my daughter and now she does not want me in her life at all. I have tried so hard to form a adult bond with her but she just doesn’t get it. I am only a ‘great’ person when my hand goes in my pocket. I am taking blame for this as I have an idealistic view of how a mother and daughter should be ( doing the opposite of my relationship with my mother – non-existent). I am constantly getting pushed away. She lives around the corner and will take her walks past my house and not even bother to stop in. I have kept my mouth shut for so long, but now over the past year I have let her know that the things she does upsets me and then I get yelled at. She started seeing a man and they dated for just over a year before she decided to move in with him ( just around the corner). We got to meet him on the day she moved in ( she needed my trailer). For some reason she couldn’t understand why I was upset that we didn’t meet him sooner. My daughter is very disrespectful to me , but when I speak up, I am the bad guy. Now in a text she has told me that she doesn’t want me in her life, and I can come to her wedding as a guest if I want. I mean, everything is already organised, she doesn’t need me now. I tried so hard to keep our family unit together and to show her so much love, but she wants what she wants and only when she wants it. One day she tells me that I should stop apologizing for the past ( I suffer depression and only have been seeing the doctor for the last 10 years), and then the next day, she is telling me she remembers me getting cranky with her and that I am poison. I cant go on like this anymore, but don’t know how to move on.

    Reply
  113. Alan

    We recently found out that our daughter enrolled in college from a former friend of hers, in fact she pointed to a picture that she’d found on Instagram of our daughter looking happy in her dorm room. Against my better judgement I emailed her to let her know that we had seen the picture of her and that we’re very proud of her.

    She replied twice to call me a liar. The whole thing hurts so much.

    Reply
  114. Sarah

    I too, am a widowed-mother of an adult child, who has forgotten I even exist. A counsellor helped me understand that it all wasn’t my fault. For too long, I had blamed myself. It felt like he died and I was inconsolable and contemplating suicide. People who still were in loving-contact with their own adult children, had no idea the pain I was in. Nor could they understand it. Soon, they forgot me too. People don’t seem to like associating with others who are suffering, I have learned. They want to stay in their “perfect-world” bubble.

    I miss my child every day, but I have learned that it is easier to let him go now, since I know I am no longer wanted. I can only change myself, I have absolutely no power over anyone else. I raised my child with love and a decent home, lots of healthy food, good education, etc. The whole sha-bang.

    On the last day I saw my child, I hugged him, told him I loved him and that I was very proud of him. Even though my heart was literally breaking, I still smiled at him, sincerely. I didn’t want his last vision of me to be a negative one. I never told him how much I miss him, nor did I ever chase him down, after that last meeting. The ball is in his court, he knows how to get a hold of me, if he wants to.

    It all started with him meeting the young woman, that I think he is still with today. She never liked me. She made no bones in telling me that she is now first. She had looked down her nose at me, from the first time she met me. It is true that love is indeed, blind. As since my son was getting sex from her, he idolized her, despite so many people telling him that she was trouble. I only once said one thing about her, at least I did that, then kept my mouth shut. I bought her gifts, which were never good enough, she found flaws in everything I cooked, bought or said to her. The icing on the cake was when I met her parents. I was treated like the “help” and they all made it clear that I was so beneath them all. Afterwards, alone, I was horrified that my own flesh and blood, my son, thought the world of those people. But, they were millionaires. And I can’t compete with millions of dollars.

    It was my counsellor who explained that it was their money, rich status and expensive material items, that romanced my son. I reflected that yes, my old worn-out, vw bug looked forlorn, sitting beside their Mercedes Benz’s and Cadillac’s. They have money, lots of it and I can’t compete with that.

    I am now resigning to a life without him and any offspring they might have. He has cut me out, with her prodding, and they can have each other. Whatever time I have left, I would rather be alone that deal with their horrible treatment of me and my son just being used by them because he is tall and good-looking and looks good on that young woman’s arm.
    Like my counsellor said, one day they will toss him out and maybe, just maybe, the light-bulb will go on in his head, and he might realize that he forgot about me. But, he has to come to that sorry conclusion himself. I can’t control him. Not like they have, that is for darn sure.

    We parents, have to keep telling ourselves that we did the best we could, with what we had. The young generation today has the internet, and we can’t compete, even on our best days, with that technology.
    The internet though, does not teach them respect, dignity, or even what actual common decency is, yet they feel they know it all, that they have all the answers and that people, esoecially parents, are dispensable and easily replaced.

    I would never, in a million years, have treated my parents, like some of the young people do nowadays.
    I am grateful to have found this website. All of your notes help with the pain of loss. I appreciate you all, very much. Please, keep writing.

    Reply
  115. Elizabeth

    I am going through a similar situation with my adult daughter . Everything I say is not enough or “right ” in her eyes . It is very painful . Hugs to you .

    Reply
  116. Sarah

    Hi Elizabeth…and other parents too:
    I appreciated reading your words, I send you hugs too.
    It sounds like you all are going through hell too, I am very sorry.
    I feel time is cruel, time does not heal.

    The more time goes by, I feel my son is farther and farther away from ever contacting me again.
    And there is nothing I can do about it, absolutely nothing.
    It is a painful, helpless feeling, as you all know.

    Holidays, birthdays etc, come and go, without hearing from him, and the years fly by fast.
    I now tell myself: Anything I can’t control in life, is teaching me how to let go.

    I no longer send gifts or cards as I never did hear if they were even received.
    I no longer search the internet for pictures of him, and I have stopped looking for him out in public.
    It is too cruel to keep searching for someone who doesn’t care about their parent.

    We have to let go, they are adults and more than capable of making their own decisions.
    Their lack of contact, shows their decision.

    No matter what I do or don’t do, nothing will bring him back.
    It’s like he is ‘frozen-in-time’ as he will always be the same age he was, the last time I saw him.

    I envy people who have adult children who are in contact.
    But, it is too painful for me to watch, so I close my curtains on holidays as seeing them all walk
    into their parents’ house, laden with gifts and platters of food, all smiling and chatting happily…cuts me to my core. I can’t stand to watch their happy-family scenarios anymore.

    Sadly, they are everywhere though, in the stores, restaurants, parks, beaches, and it all reaffirms that I won’t ever have that, again.
    We have been robbed, totally robbed of our adult children and future visits with them, and any grandchildren.
    Life and time…are very cruel, to us rejected parents.

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  117. SAD

    Three months after my son’s suicide, his older sister took offense to my requesting she and her husband repay the money I loaned them for their first home 13 years earlier. The last phone conversation was her screaming obscenities about her father that she has had no contact with since our divorce 20 years previously. She was upset that he had deleted one of our son’s social media accounts. I told her then, and again in response to an email, that I would no longer listen to her screams and obscenities. The email she sent basically said she didn’t want me in her life. My response was “Done”. My prayer is that someday her two young children will have the courage to renew our relationship. I’ll be waiting!

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  118. Cindy in S D

    After our son met his girlfriend we saw less and less of him until, at this point, we never see or hear from him at all – oh, except when he put us on a general email blast announcing his engagement. Classy. LOL We were super cool parents. Never bossy or intrusive. No hitting or yelling or talking down to our kids. We were always doing something fun every weekend. We always treated the kids with respect and expected the same in return. We are so baffled as to why our son, who we always had a super close relationship with, is allowing his girlfriend to alienate us like this. We were very welcoming and complimentary of her. We were stoked to have her in the family until she turned like a damn piranha for no apparent reason. We are both soooo grateful that our son’s now soon to be wife is too old to have children as we are certain she would just weaponize them against us. I feel so sorry for those of you with grandchildren being held hostage by your ungrateful, thoughtless and selfish children. Grrrr.
    Maybe our reaction will be helpful to you: Our son doesn’t know it yet but we’ve cut him out of our Will. We’re taking our savings and selling our assets and starting a new life in Costa Rica! Won’t our son be surprised to find out that, not only did he lose a life changing half million dollar inheritance plus heirlooms, but that we’re gone and we’re never coming back! Abandonment cuts both ways. Sawry 🙁
    Guess we moved right past forgiveness to vengeance, haha, but neither of us can stomach the idea of our misbehaving son or his divisive wife benefiting from our life’s labor and efforts. Forget that!

    Reply
  119. Diane

    I’m sorry for all these parents. As a child I suffered many abuses from my parents but as an adult I forgave and always made sure I had contact and visits with them. I am now 70 and have a son and a daughter and4 grand children. My daughter has always been bitter and disrespectfull towards me. She struggles with her relationship with me but won’t talk to me about it. She will get upset and cry. She is 44 and a very loving wonderful mother which I have told her that I admire her. The worst seems to have happened when she decided to un school her children. I have had lots of contact with my grand kids, that has never been a problem for me. She actually has told me that I am a great grandma. However my mothering of her was not my fault. She says I did not have a good example rearing. She was never abused by me and I must say she had the best of everything. My son does not share her bitterness. It seems as though she simply tolerates me and does not enjoy being with me. Maybe we are just too different. My grandson has even pointed out to her as to why she becomes mean toward me. I keep wanting to have an adult relationship with her but it’s very un comfortable. Now that my grand daughter is 17 she seems to have picked up the same disrespect toward me. I do have to say her mother will correct her when needed. I took a trip to Italy with my daughter and grand daughter. I may as well have gone alone. So I do have contact but it’s not always pleasant.

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