Monthly Archives: July 2015

Parents of estranged adult children: A broken heart?

parents of estranged adults broken heartby Sheri McGregor

At one point, when the loss of my son felt utterly final, the air rushed from my lungs. My vision narrowed. I couldn’t breathe. My chest was tight, my throat so dry it closed in on itself. My heart clenched into a fist of pain.

I believed I would die.

Years have passed since that fall afternoon, and I’m still here—alive and thriving.

If you’re like me, and many other parents of estranged adults who have experienced moments where they felt as if they couldn’t breathe, and suffered chest pain, you understand what it feels like to have a broken heart. The emotional upheaval can affect us physically.

I hear from parents often who describe themselves as heartbroken.

There really is such a thing as a broken heart.

“Broken heart syndrome,” or “stress cardiomyopathy,” occurs more often in women than men. It’s believed to happen because of stress hormones from a sudden shock, loss, or acute anger. Those feelings are common to parents of estranged adult children. The temporary condition disrupts normal heart functioning. Most people recover well, and don’t suffer the condition again, but it’s wise to seek medical care for any symptoms that could be indicative of heart trouble.

Listed below are a few articles to read more thoroughly about broken heart syndrome.

Frequently Asked Questions About Broken Heart Syndrome

Broken Heart Syndrome

Can You Die Of A Broken Heart

Declaring Independence

parents accepting adult child is estrangedHappy Fourth of July

I first posted this on July 4, 2014. Here it is again for 2015, with this addition–

What does it mean to be independent? It means you are not controlled. For parents of estranged adult children, can you declare independence? That means not allowing someone else to control your thoughts, your behavior, your outlook or your future. 

Here are three ideas to become more independent:

1) take control, 2) accept, 3) help yourself to de-stress

I’ll write more specifically about these in a future article. For now, consider what these things mean to you. And now…here’s the article from 2014, which has a few links to help.

Holidays are always busy with traffic for this website, as parents saddened by the loss of connection with an estranged adult child look for help. For some of us, the estrangement of an adult child makes other family relations complex and difficult. We may avoid holiday gatherings because of this, or in some cases, be excluded.

I know how lonely it can be, wishing things were different. Perhaps you’re longing for a grown daughter who is estranged, or feeling the deep sorrow of missing an adult son who won’t talk to you. It’s tough for parents who never expected things would turn out this way with the sons and daughters we raised and love.

As the website grows, I will continually update the pages to help parents struggling with the loneliness, the anger, the mix of emotions that can occur. I know the sorrow and the pain. Please know that you are not alone, and there are many parents out there who feel for and support you.

In the spirit of Independence Day, here are a couple of articles written for this and for my balance and joy website that might be helpful in declaring your independence from the pain, taking good care of yourself, and moving on as best you can:

Getting Free of the Pain of Betrayal

Five Ways to Move on After an Adult Child’s Rejection

Be Kind to Yourself

Mother’s Day When an Adult Child is Estranged

Holidays: How to Manage Them

You might also consider joining the community forum support group for parents of estranged adult children, or leaving a comment to this post. Often, another parent of an estranged adult will reply with some very wise and kind words.

Copyright Notice: All content of any post or page found on any page at this site is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. To share with others, provide a link to the page where the content is found. Reposting of any content is not permitted without express permission. Please see Copyright Notice/Restrictions in the right-hand sidebar for complete copyright notice