Adult child’s rejection: Emotional and social fallout

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

Things aren’t always as they seem. Neither are people. In the throes of disbelief, shocked by an adult child’s rejection, a parent may feel all alone among their peers. How can any mother feel like herself when her whole world seems to have fallen apart? How can a father feel secure when everything he’s ever worked for is trashed?

When we’re emotiadult child's rejectiononally exhausted—and even physically fatigued from the loss of sleep that can go with an adult child’s rejection—we can start to doubt ourselves. And how much more so when the son or daughter we love puts the blame on us, maybe even saying that we’re crazy? Or telling others we are.

Alone among our peers

When we’re feeling so low over something as devastating and embarrassing as an adult child’s rejection, we tend to isolate ourselves. Confused, perhaps even doubting ourselves, we may not have the energy to try and explain what’s going on in our lives. But we also know people might notice that we’re not our usual selves. Afraid of questions, we might start to avoid social situations. We might also fear judgment. How can we share something so awful?

Esther—one of the dozens of mothers whose stories I relate in my book, Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children, felt like this:  If I still wondered what I did wrong, how could I expect other people not to wonder?

When we’re feeling uncertain and uneasy, socializing can be difficult (after an adult child’s rejection, that may be putting it mildly).

When your own son or daughter doesn’t believe you’re a good parent, tells you you’re crazy, or accuses you with memories that don’t match your own, even telling friends you trust and feel close to can feel scary.

Isolating the abused is a tactic out of a very old playbook. So is pinning the fault on the victim. That’s what abusers do. They excuse their own behavior by blaming another.


Whether or not you consider your adult child’s rejection a form of abuse, it’s important to recognize that at a time when you’re emotionally wrought, feeling as if your whole world and everything you’ve ever worked for has disintegrated, you’re at risk. Isolation, self-doubt, and self-blame, are common among parents of estranged adult children. But you need to know—you’re not alone.

Talking about your adult child’s estrangement takes a plan.

When we’re feeling out of sorts, in shock, and embarrassed, it’s difficult to believe we’re not the only ones enduring such devastation. But the truth is, we don’t always hear about adult children who come from caring families rejecting them. Just as you may feel like the freak show among your peers, others might also be keeping quiet about their personal pain.

In the book, I share my own story of shedding the shame of my son’s estrangement. In doing so, I regained a sense of freedom, and reclaimed a strong identity. Being open about the situation also paved the way for me to help other parents of estranged of adult children.

If you tell others about your adult child’s rejection, you may very well be judged. Faces tighten. Arms fold. Emotional walls go up. The expected reaction often does happen. But as is explained in Done With The Crying, you can also steer the response, just as you might with some other sort of tragedy you choose to share.

Whether you borrow from other parents’ “ready responses” in the book, or use them as jumping off points for your own, it’s always easier to socialize when you feel prepared.

You might be also be surprised how many people can relate. As one mother discusses, until she opened up, she didn’t know that some parents who were a little standoffish also had estranged children.Turns out, those parents who were hard to get to know were suffering their own private despair—just as she once was. “I ended up helping them get something horrible off their chests,” she says, “which made me feel better too.”

Even though socializing may be difficult, the general advice after trauma is to mix among people, keep commitments, and get on with life. You may very well need to protect yourself, get your bearings, and regain some self-esteem. My experience, and that of other mothers shared in the book, can help you take small steps forward, steer others’ reactions to your own benefit. Remember, there’s no need to make big scary leaps. Even the tiniest of steps help you build confidence, and move you forward—in new directions, or simply back to your old self and life.

Available through popular booksellers. Ask your local bookstore to order this book for help for mothers of estranged adult childrenparents of estranged adult children for you. Or order online. Kindle lovers, your version will be available soon.

Not in the U.S?  — you can still get the book. Ask your local bookstore, or order at or


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50 thoughts on “Adult child’s rejection: Emotional and social fallout

  1. Jane

    This is the second essay I have read and it was just as good, or better, than the first. Though my daughter chose to estrange herself form me 14 years ago, it is still very painful, despite having come a long way from the overwhelming devastation of the first years. None of the numerous losses I have experienced have been as devastating, probably because this is a new loss everyday, one that my daughter choses to renew each day. It is hard to admit that this is abuse, and that she was abusive before the estrangement. Seeing your words of description allows me to acknowledge my own experience, and breathe a little deeper. Thanks. I will be calling the bookstore momentarily.

    1. eddiesgal

      Hi there, I’m new to the comunnity and don’t know how to begin a new post, so please excuse me for that. I’ve been estranged from my daughter since October 13th of this year. She found out I was seeing my grandson through her ex who we still have a good relationship with. Her new man is extremely controlling and was looking for a way to get us out of the picture. They are both living with his mother and father until a new house is finished that they just invested in. He wanted to sell the old one because of memories of her ex. She’s been married twice and we have 3 other grandchildren that we helped her raise and aren’t able to have contact with. She is currently paying over 800 dollars a month to her ex because they share custody and she makes much more that he does. I also believe that she was cheating on him as she has a history of that in prior marriages and I think that’s one of the reasons her ex even went for support. Well, there you have it. Her last text to me was that I am a backstabbing piece of S### and I am dead to her and I no longer have a daughter. I’ve started therapy however, I cry each time I go anywhere that remind me of the holidays.

    2. Squiffy

      I actually don’t know what to click on to respond to the article, so I am leaving a reply with Jane who wrote three years ago.
      I am a pastor’s wife. I have no idea if other pastor’s wives are among us, but does anyone know what THAT implies in light of how to respond to things within the Church?! We are the ones who are expected to be PERFECT! So I have to field the questions, “Is your daughter coming to the event?” ” Is your daughter coming for Christmas?” “You must have been the perfect mother!” ( This on Mother’s Day and as they assess the other visible children.) “How are the grandchildren? Do you see them often? Aren’t grandchildren wonderful?!” and then I listen quietly to them talk about their own. I want to thank Sheri again and again for her transparency and book and this group. I thank you for touching upon each sore spot accurately- like being called crazy! Our son in light of this said, ” I didn’t think you needed a psychiatrist before, but I do now!” because of the effect it had. But I am learning. I am learning so much about this issue and myself. In my case, I do not speak for anyone else, but I feel this has happened to cure me, once and for all, like a chemo for the soul- RADICAL!- of any vestiges or residue of co-dependency- where I look for my validation from other people- even a child! Until now, my obstacle to healing was the thought, “No one knows me better than my child. We spent the most time together! They must be right in their low opinion of me!” But no one knows anyone completely. We don’t even know ourselves. “Why on earth did I say THAT?” They remember a freeze framed moment, but they do not have the whole movie. And don’t we do the same? But we remember the baby, the child. We remember with love. They remember with resentment. And then we wonder at the incongruence? And we are not that person anymore and neither are they. Coming into this group has been the catalyst for change. I can NEVER be grateful enough to Sheri and every single person on this site! All of you are in my prayers. I mean that.

  2. Eileen W

    It’s been almost two years since my daughter threw me away; that is the way it feels like being thrown away because I’ve outgrown my usefulness. I try to keep myself from isolating but I realize theat even when I’m in a crowd I’m guarded. When the conversation stirs toward grown children I still acknowledge my daughter but relate past events like they were recent. Beside not wanting to be judged it still hurts to the point of tears to admit she no longer wants to hear my voice or see my face…..or love me.

    1. Cherise

      Hi I do exactly the same when the conversation turns to children and refer to past events when things were good.It hurts so much some days I feel I’m getting over it then I crash again .

    2. Celticbird

      I get that, totally. I was thrown away 8 years ago, right when I was diagnosed the second time with breast cancer. It was less painful than my daughter throwing me away.

    3. todie

      Hi Eileen. Being in a crowd and feeling lonely. I feel a lot of pain. I separated and divorced my very abusive husband manyvyears ago.I have four children now but then five. They hung around him cause he was “fun”. So he died Five years ago and I don’t hear from them or see them unless I go there. They left me out of the obituary for their Dad .. I’m so relieved to find other people who feel the very same. I don’t talk about it because people will wonder what I did to deserve this. So I really do understand those feelings.

    4. Eileen

      Wow eileen I feel remarkably like u do. I’m so sorry and wish I could offer hope. I have been here for ten long years. My es has four children and they barely know me. Why is the question I long to answer. Much love to you my lovely friend.

    5. Mia A.

      I believe I am suffering this exact pain. I have only recently reached out as I am too ashamed to talk to my friends about this. I would really appreciate any suggestions to help me get through the days ahead? M

    6. Tammy B

      This change in parenting vs my prior upbringing where u respected ur elders has left me feeling guilt n intense anger that is left displaced!
      Bless you all for reaching out to form this support group! Thank you, thank you❣❣

  3. vdc

    Oh my. Thank you. This excerpt about the book is perfect timing. I have followed this website intermittently and written before, but had not been on in a while. After 4 years of no contact at all, I had actually started to doubt my memories and wonder if my daughter was right. I wrote previously that after 3 years of estrangement, my daughter informed my mother that I was “abusive” while she was growing up. I knew at the time I was not in any way abusive to a daughter who always had difficulty with authority and friends. Although I felt certain of my memories and hopeful she would return, I basically gave up once I heard her acusations. I actually scared me, as I am a respected health care professional and I did not want her to escalate with all of this. This past month, I had started to doubt myself and my memories. I thought maybe she was right and I just did not remember. Her father divorced me after 25 years of marriage, and had told everyone I was “crazy” and he involved her in the messy divorce. This all has taken a toll on me, but after reading the above, I know I should not doubt myself. As mothers, we always want a relationship with our children as it is a natural instinct for a lot of us. Mother’s day brings all of this out as there are many innocent questions about hearing from our children or getting together. I so appreciate having this site to come to and knowing I am not alone. Aisha Sultan published an article in the Sunday St. Louis Post Dispatch on mother’s day with “Toxic and abusive Mothers” from a child’s perspective. It made me feel sad, as I think there are many things that plant ideas into peoples heads and continues the ugliness.
    Thanks Sheri for being there. I look forward to reading your book.

    1. mrc

      It has been six years since I’ve heard from my daughter. My daughter was the light of my life. She was caring, loving and the sweetest little girl you could imagine. She was beautiful and smart. She was very close to her father, but due to his many extra marital affairs and lack of work ethic I divorced him when she was only 5. We never heard from him again. She took it very hard and, although I didn’t know it for many years, she blamed me. Then she married a man who was, in many ways, just like her father….very loud, a bully and he didn’t work for the first 8 years of their marriage. She would hint that she needed money and I would ‘lend’ it to her. In all fairness, she did pay me back several thousand when they sold the home they bought, I didn’t really expect it. I was polite to her husband, but that was as far as I could go. As a single mom I took the whole family (including three grandchildren) on vacation twice. I used to ‘hire’ my daughter remotely (we lived across the country from each other), but would pay her way above what I would have paid someone else to do the work. It was my way of giving her money without making it seem like charity. Six years ago my mother and I took a long road trip all across the country stopping at different relatives homes visiting and reconnecting. I was on my way to my daughter’s home at Christmas when two days before I got there she basically told me “Thanks for the $500, but it is a drop in the bucket to what you owe me (she was referring to the money I sent for Christmas)”. I asked her what she meant, and how much did I ‘owe’ her. She became very angry and told me not to come to her home, that I was never welcomed to visit, call or connect with her…that if I did she would take out a restraining order. I thought she was going through an angry phase. For the ten years before this incident I found myself walking on eggshells each time I talked to her because of her anger over twisted words and meanings. My daughter was studying to be a psychiatrist and going through the required therapy. During the years leading up to this break she would diagnose me with every mental illness that she happened to be studying that semester. My family called it the “flavor of the month”. She also started insinuating that I was abusive but could not articulate exactly what I had done to make her think that. I had the same reaction that one of the bloggers had, I thought I was going crazy and that maybe I was a bad mother. It felt like a death in the family. I realize that this is something that my daughter is going through and that even if the memories are false, she feels them just as painfully as if they were real. Now when I hear an adult child going on about their abusive parent — I think twice. Thank you so much for your article! I read the book “Done with the Crying” and found it immensely helpful. I had no idea that my daughter’s rejection was so common for medical professionals that it has a name “Medical Student Syndrome”.

  4. Dale

    Just received the book
    And carefully reading and turning the pages
    To help me heal and move past this awful situation

  5. Judy

    I sent a comment about a year ago,but never seen it on here. If I know that somebody is reading this,then I will tell my story….the “BIG” hurt. I would love to read the book and make friends with others that “KNOW” and get’s it.
    I feel like an oddity among other women….

    1. rparents Post author

      Hi Judy,
      I’m sorry your comment didn’t make it to the site. At times, I do have to moderate comments because of content, for a variety of reasons. I can’t say that was why it didn’t show up (it might have just been a technological glitch of some sort). In any event, thank you for your comment now. Parents that read through the comments here DO “get it” as you say. I hope it will remain a place of solace for many.

      Sheri McGregor

  6. Justtosad

    It’s been almost 12 years. (Now 27 yrs) It been an emotional roller coaster. My daughter will text with me on occasion. I don’t get excited any longer as it stops abruptly in a short time any way. She’s 7 months pregnant.
    I can relate to each of you. Yes, it’s like a new loss everyday just another sting of the knife twisting.
    I don’t feel shame anymore. I realize it’s her issue not mine. I have a foster son now 28, and we still have a healthy relationship.
    Thank you for sharing your stories!
    My thoughts are with you all.

  7. Kelly

    I also feel the same as a previous post the horrible feelings of questioning your own memories and wondering what other must think of you. It is heartbreaking to have my adult daughter assassinate my character. Scared to even go out in public for fear of wispers about that horrible woman. (Me) being accused of so many things I’ve never done. Thank you for listening and understanding. As I also understand your pain as well.

  8. Carol

    I’ve lost all hope of seeing my daughter again. Two years ago she chose drugs and an abusive boyfriend over her family and friends. Just disappeared …no contact. I tried to keep strong for all this time for my husband and son but I’m tired. I’ve lost all joy and peace and I’m exhausted. I rarely leave the house and just don’t seek out friends anymore. I thought time would ease the heartache but it only grows worse unfortunately. Life is very hard. Very hard.

    1. rparents Post author

      Hi Carol,

      I’m sorry you’re feeling low. It does take a toll to try and be strong for everybody else–it’s also a natural occurrence for a lot of us (and part of my story). I did get through it and past it with effort and focus. As I say in the book, you may need to protect yourself like you might protect another you love who has been through a trauma. And then eventually, take yourself by the hand and cautiously lead yourself. This can be so devastating, Carol. Wishing you some peace in it all.

  9. Annie

    Waiting for my book to come. Thank you Sheri for creating what I’m sure will
    help all of us to cope better. I am done crying two years later. The hurt continues on certain days but I know as I gain momentum my self esteem will improve. The isolation thing is real and only natural but as I realize in my heart I never deserved this abuse; it gives me strength. I never expect to go through anything this painful again. As I read everyone’s posts, I realize too there are hundreds more that haven’t discovered this site and hundreds if not thousands who have suffered the same loss. So little has been written on the subject and many are suffering alone. So thanks again Sheri for your passion in helping others. It’s important to raise awareness and I hope your book reaches nationally and beyond. God bless you.

  10. Adrienne

    I certainly understand your frustration. I cringe when people ask how my daughters teaching job is going. How would I know. She won’t speak to me. It’s embarrassing yes. Painful for sure. Above all so unnecessary. I’m willing to get along. She won’t speak or acknowledge me. I’m wondering if it gets easier

  11. Brooke

    When in history were children so narcissistic and demanding? When in history did children tell their parents “you didnt consult with me about coming to (town) about how I would feel about an extended stay (not in their home) . I need to consult? You really feel I am stalking you? Pluheeze- the world does not revolve around you! Maybe where you live is centrally located to my husbands family and I need to get out of the cold in the winter. This generation (in general) believes the sun rises and sets on their lives alone- They will be the ones alone and without others as they age. Very very sad…..

    1. Melissa

      So true. I think all the attention we gave them backfired on us. At least I can say I did my best to give him the love and attention that I never received from my self-absorbed mother.

    2. Celia F.

      Yes, so much narcissism, and arrogance, underlies a lot of this. But why the terror at the thought of being invaded by your own mother? So puzzling. And heartbreaking.

  12. Marylu

    In response to: Adult child’s rejection: Emotional and social fallout

    Have you been sentenced?

    Dear Sheri and fellow moms and dads 🙂

    What’s your sentence?

    Hello fellow moms and dads,

    I am new to this community of ‘rejected parents’. My husband and I were abruptly abandoned 6 months ago; first by our daughter (ED), and then our son (ES), our only two children. We devoted nearly 30 years of our lives, our love and nurture and generous support like so many other good moms and dads. We were a very close and stable family who lovingly stayed in touch daily; received constant praise and affirmation for having been the “best” parents. Even some of their friends whished we had been their parents, and their friend’s parents praised us on having done such a great job in raising our kids to be successful, charming, respectful and caring adults – and then suddenly, one day, seemingly out of nowhere, a bomb went off —–“BHAMM!!!”

    Without warning, our cherished and beloved children slammed the door on us and then threw away the key to our parent/child relationship. In complete shock and disbelief – we asked ourselves day and night – WHY? We cried out to the heavens; deeply wounded, feeling completely blindsided, nauseously confused, depressed, angry and betrayed.

    What in the world happened? What had suddenly changed so drastically to alter their feelings and attitude towards us? What did we do that was so wrong, so egregious, so horrible and so unjust to warrant such harsh and inhumane punishment of sudden parental abandonment? And now that we have been punished – how long will our sentences be?

    I suppose buying them 7 brand new cars over a 7 year period wasn’t enough; I suppose the hundreds of thousands of dollars we spent from ages 0 to 30 wasn’t enough; all the fun vacations, all the fun toys, all the love, the laughing, singing and dancing, all the nurture, all their friends coming to our home for food and fun. As countless other loving and kind parents, we gave it our all- – our best efforts, expecting nothing in return except for a lasting, loving and respectful relationship that would endure and flourish through generations. Instead, in the aftermath, what we have left now are only fond and priceless memories forever treasured in our minds and hearts; time capsules of a bygone era filled with bliss and happiness – frozen in time in the many family photo albums and scrap books.

    As rejected parents, and unbeknownst to us, it felt as if there had been some secret trial held behind our backs. We have been tried and condemned by our adult children. There must have been a list of parental crimes we have committed over the years and were never made aware of. There were charges filed against us, under seal…then one day, the indictment was unsealed. The deafening sound of the gavel of justice came down so hard leaving us in a state of complete shock and total despair!!! The verdict was “GUILTY!” Justice was swift! But how could we have ever possibly prepared ourselves for some secret, clandestine trial and defend ourselves against fabricated allegations or mysterious secret evidence they used to convict and punish us?

    Nothing is more frustrating, completely unfair and unjust not knowing exactly what allegations, what reasons or mysterious evidence they used to reach a unanimous verdict of “GUILTY!” – With the harsh punishment of sudden “abandonment” followed by a lengthy sentence – a sentence we have no idea how long it’s going to last. Will this abandonment sentence last one year, two years, five years, a decade, maybe a lifetime – or worse we’ve been given the death penalty? Will we ever have a chance to be paroled? How can we even being to rebut and appeal any mysterious accusations, and an unknown sentence, when we don’t even know what alleged parental crimes were committed to warrant such harsh penalty?

    The burning question of “WHY?” was eating us alive day and night. We had to look for answers far and wide. We needed to study and learn as much as possible about this mysterious phenomenon. Why are good, loving parents being punished, sentenced, exiled and orphaned by their very own adult children? Is “parental abandonment or estrangement by adult children” a common, silent, or even epidemic occurrence, or is it more of an isolated exception in human behavior in this modern-day society? How many other decent and good parents have suffered and continue to suffer from this cruel punishment handed down by their own flesh and blood –given a harsh and inhumane sentence they simply did not and do not deserve?

    As mothers and fathers once cherished and perhaps even advertised as the “best” parents to suddenly being labeled as evil, resented, despised and hated – treated like social outcasts – just like criminals – is indeed one of the most shocking and highly-traumatic experiences in one’s lifetime.
    But isn’t it true that so many of us, in our devoted role as caring parents, tried our best, gave it our all, sacrificed so much, and would have even given up own lives, much the same as good, honorable, and loyal soldiers would do in the battlefield – for the love of country – fighting selflessly for a noble cause – a greater cause and better future we believe in?

    Somehow, for whatever reasons, in our generation we have miserable failed. We have come under attack; our parental goodwill and character has been massacred. We have been humiliated and shamed into exile. We feel powerless and helpless; traumatized and most certainly victimized. We did not give them permission to victimize us and be subjected to such cruel treatment. This felt like an ambush – we were corned, trapped and caged like scared helpless animals – now chained and locked up –ready for the slaughter house.

    Like so many other moms and dads, we cannot even try to have a civilized conversation with our children much less engage in a proper and respectful argument where both sides are given an equal and fair chance to speak and be heard based on logic and reason. They have refused all contact. Now what? What can we do? It’s obvious they have punished and sentenced us. But do we want to remain in this victimhood and allow them to inflict us with more pain – to make us suffer through this cruel social experiment called “parental abandonment”?

    We have to take a stand and refuse to be victims any longer! We want to learn and grow from this traumatic and unfair experience. We know based on experience – Life isn’t fair – it never has been. But when our beloved children willfully and maliciously hurt us we cannot allow us to be totally disrespected and treated like criminals.

    All of this makes you wonder who in fact is the real criminal here? In reality, is it the mom or dad or is it the adult daughter and son who became spoiled, selfish, entitled, and narcissistic and, may I dare say, perhaps even “morally deficient” human beings? Did we care too much? Did we do too much – so much so we inadvertently raised a generation who can effortlessly dishonor, discard and dispose of their caring parents? Have we failed ourselves and raised a narcissistic generation aptly titled:
    “Hey – IT’s ALL ABOUT ME!”

    We know as parents we have survival skills made up sacrifice, hard work, self-respect and boundaries to ensure our dignity and self-preservation. We will not suffer indefinitely in this emotional, torturous sentence, sitting in a mental cage, desperately waiting for our beloved children to come back with the magical key that will set as free. Oh no! They do not have power of us! We must reclaim our lives! The sooner the better! We hold the power and we have the key to break ourselves free from this prison – free from the shackles of misery and say “No more suffering”, “We refuse to be treated like criminals and be locked up another day in this prison – feeling helpless and submissive to serve an unjust sentence while they are out having the time of their lives – gloriously spreading their wings – living care-free!” If our children can be free to enjoy and love themselves – well, what the heck – so can we 🙂

    1. Melissa

      Wow! What a relief to read your post! I feel so betrayed by my 29 yr old son. I spent so much time and money on him, but when he met his wife I was thrown to the curb. He even accused me of throwing money at him even though he was the one who asked for $3,000 a year ago to repair his wife’s house. I know she has poisoned him. He even lost his relationship with his best friend of 10 yrs due to her. It sickens me to know that I’m missing out on being a part of my grandchildrens’ life.

    2. Marian

      You have changed my life with this article. My life my husband’s life and our life Sentence. 3 sons leaving one by one. Only the eldest is by our side. He’s all we need.

    3. Nicole

      Perfectly said! MY feelings exactly. My son who I adored moved me to the town he lives in. I was homeless for 5 years after losing our home during the burst. He married owned 3 homes at the same time. Not once was I invited to stay with them, even for a visit. I’ve been through hell! Now I’m in an apt 3 hours from my home. And just 1 mile from his house. Yet I am not allowed over. I only moved here To be by my family and granddaughter. I know no one in this town. He has told me I’m on my own. Don’t ask for any help. My granddaughter is 5 and loves me yet I can’t see her. It hurts more now that I’m just a mile away. I have no one. It seems he gets angry over anything I say. I have started to feel a shadow of who I was. He is in total control. I am ashamed and have tried everything.. I feel so angry. I was a young single mother, he has a good life, yet when you need their love and support they abandon you?? He has done so well, well respected good father, husband etc. How did that happen without the love and support I gave? I feel like I am in prison. And he eased his own guilt by finding an apt I could get into on my fixed income. He is cruel, and I am powerless. He has zapped every ounce of my confidence. I don’t want to get out of bed. I know all the things I should be doing, it seems he lets me in then for any reason pushes me away. Using my granddaughter as a pawn to inflict more pain. I have asked him to just me see her away from your house. He won’t even allow that. I loved him so much..i don’t get it. It is as if he is a clone of my son and aliens abducted him. That is far fetched but how it seems to me. I’m almost 70. There has been too much pain.

    4. Christine


      Thank you for your articulate and heartfelt post. I related to every word you wrote. I am 4 mos into estrangement from my son and have thought everything you wrote.

  13. MARY

    Incredibly well said. What little stinkers our children turned out to be,i like the ending though about reclaiming our lives. Something that weirdly helped me is a website “My parents don’t call me” its about adult children who’s parents are indifferent. It’s like I want to adopt each and every one of them, and knowing that there are adult children who long to continue the family bond brings me comfort. Every thing you said is so true, we’ve been tried in some kind of kangaroo court !

  14. nanci


    Your book is giving me the tools I need to move forward and enjoy my life after loss of my much beloved daughter . I want to thank you for having courage to share your experience.

    My loss of the relationship daughter has kept me stuck hoping and waiting that each day she would see the value in what I offer her as a mother. I realize now that I don’t need to wait for her. The uncertainty of my future with her is not going to limit the quality of my life. I wish her a full life with all that it has to offer. I am now going to move forward to give this gift to myself as well.

    Sheri I truly feel blessed to have read your book, as it has shown me I can set myself free of the invisible prison I have been in.

    Thank you

    1. rparents Post author

      Thank you, Nanci. What an encouragement your words are to me. It makes me feel good to know that my book to help parents of estranged adult children has helped you. I know that stuck feeling–and there are many many more parents in the same boat. Your note will help them too!

      Thank you again for your kindness. Your words at the end make me think of a cage, and you as a beautiful bird flying off and chirping!

      Sheri McGregor

    1. rparents Post author

      Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children was created for the printed form. An E-book won’t provide the same experience. So, although there are tentative plans for a kindle version, workarounds are required—and take time.

      Thank you.

    2. Ros

      Hi Sharon. I feel the same. Can’t speak of the loss just now. I read here and feel great affinity with you all.

      Thank you, Sheri, for providing a safe haven.

  15. traincollision

    I’m sad, I’m depressed, I can’t pull out of my slump. There is no one to talk to that understands. I feel like a failure as a mother. I’ve lost my daughter and my new granddaughter for no reason. I don’t know where to turn or how to begin to move past this. I need to talk to someone that understands…………..please.

    1. TheSheepReport

      I understand, although I am in a slightly different boat. I don’t know how to move past the pain, either, although I find that humor and distractions are the only things that help.

    2. rparents Post author

      There are many here who understand your feelings. Continue to post as you feel the need. You can also post in the community, where there is active discussion.


    3. Sonia

      I understand this pain you feel. I, too, have been rejected by my daughter and know well that feeling of feeling like a failure as a mother, continually going back over things you feel like you did wrong. No parent is perfect, though. We had reasons for the things we did, and we did the best with the knowledge that we had at the time. Plus, we are human beings with things going on in our lives and we do make mistakes. Every single parent does. One of the things you are supposed to learn from being in a family is forgiveness and mercy. That couldn’t happen if you were perfect. You aren’t supposed to be. You were a good mother and one day your daughter is going to figure this out. I think it will help that she now has her own daughter. She is not going to do everything perfectly as a mother, either. It’s impossible. She will see.

    4. Amanda J.

      I will talk to you if you like? I really like your name ‘train collision’ yes that’s exactly how it feels doesn’t it? The shock the trauma the pain the fear the confusion and chaos in your head and heart. My eldest son abandoned me 6 months ago when I needed him the most (found out I have COPD) and am seemingly no use to him anymore. My youngest abandoned me 4 years ago when I wouldn’t swallow their lies and false accusations against their Dad (still my best friend after 23 years). I’ve never known emotional pain like it even though I went through incest as a kid and domestic violence and sexual exploitation as an adult. I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to recover. But thank goodness for Sheri and her book which I will be ordering soon. And this website which helps us all feel less alone and freakish.

      Hope we all feel better soon. We didn’t deserve this ABUSE.


      Manda XXX

    5. Andrea

      Hi, I am in pretty much the same situation as you. I wasn’t notified let alone invited to her wedding and she had a baby last year that of course! I’ve not seen nor will I ever see. It hurts beyond any words can describe.
      This cannot possibly be the SAME daughter who took care of me after I came home from the hospital after I was diagnosed with breast cancer???
      My friends (and I) are Nurses too and they taught her after SHE asked them how to take care of her Mom as they do.
      She emptied my drains, cooked for me, went to work and came home during her lunch time to be sure I was okay.
      I can go on & on.
      But? This cannot be the same person who showered me with unconditional Love.

  16. Fran

    Thank you so much for your book. I have read it twice all the way through, now I keep it by me all the time. I never know when something or someone will trigger the memories. Even a simple question can set it all back again. I have 3 children , we made the mistake of inviting them to work with the family business in less then 5 years 1 had already felt he should be paid regardless of lack of work ethic. Underworked overpaid.. he was the first to say goodbye howeve he never said had his wife tell us. 2 grandchildren 1 we spent 3-5 time a week to never was very painful, the second one we have never met. And as sch things go the 2 left one daughter and son just could not do the work expected but expected to be paid. It came to bankruptcy or let them go. The crazy thing is that when our financial advisor said we had to choose I knew what would happen. My daughter has 3 children who I saw almost every day for 8 years for the oldest.. she says she needs space.. I leave alone but it is so painful it was 1 year last Aug 2016… still feels like yesterday. My oldest son has never sent us away but we see them s couple times a year.. unless they desperately need a baby sitter or money. Certain seasons are harder than others and I pray everyday that if I can’t be apart of their lives please help me get on with my own. I feel sorry for my poor husband who has been my partner and best friend through it all. some how he can disconnect from the pain I so wish I could figure out how to do that. I am a work in progress and refer to your book constantly. They say that time heals all wounds so far this has been 5 year sentence,worse the 2 who left saw how much pain their sibling caused and still felt justified in following his foot steps. Even though they said for 3 years “how could he do that to his parents I would never do that… i guess actions truly speak louder than words. For now I work hard, work out hard, love my husband and hope that I can find forgiveness so that I can be free from the innocent guilt that plagues my nights, when I slow down and my brain and heart catches up.

    1. rparents Post author

      I’m so sorry, Fran. Keep at it! You’re moving in the right direction. Even the tiniest of steps are forward momentum. I know that “innocent guilt.” Most of us do, and it proves what a kind and decent human you are. Continue to take good care of yourself, Fran. In time, your husband may feel that as you grow stronger, he can share a little of his own pain. Please forgive me if I am overstepping with that last comment; I’m generalizing based on experience and hearing thousands of others’ stories. It may be helpful to some who read the comments here.

      Sheri McGregor

  17. joanne j.

    Its been about 18 months since 2 of our sons have rejected us. Different situations but similar complaints. Not complaints to us, but to our other 9 children who, by the way, went through trauma over it also. Neither will talk directly to us about their specific problems with us. One has cut off all contact, the other’s wife still trys to maintain contact. Most painful thing in our life and we are getting counselling and trying to dwell on the joyful loving contact we have with the other kids. However, its almost easier with the one who cut off contact. We have to deal with the spouse who wants contact. They were the first married and have 5 children; the first 3 being our first 3 grandchildren. We hear nothing from our son and he didn’t even talk to us at his youngest brothers wedding this past summer. Now the dreaded Christmas is upon us and the spouse has contacted us about christmas and visiting (they live 10 hours away and can only drive) So here’s the thing: they don’t want contact but want the family events. Its really driving me crazy because of course we love our grandkids. They know us the best. Its so hard, but we are probably deciding to say no to them coming to any family events. Its does make us so sad and whats harder, another son married the sister to the one spouse who tries to contact a couple times a year and send pictures. Its so overwhelming to try and decide to not have them and feel terrible or have them knowing they will hardly talk to us, and have a hangover for January. Man, any advice here??? I really want to just to go away for 2 weeks and eliminate the whole thing.


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