April 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm #47238
Just wanted to say hello and that I am happy to be on board. Not ready to explore the pain, but am grateful that when the time comes, you all will be there. Right now it is still like being on a see-saw. Up and down, over and over. Take Care Everyone.
April 7, 2018 at 1:56 pm #47269
Hello Nesbit, welcome here.
April 8, 2018 at 8:17 am #47285
Welcome, Nesbit, feel free to write on other people’s posts if you want. You are welcome here. There is no judgement or right or wrong in how we feel.
April 8, 2018 at 8:21 am #47290
Hi Nesbit, Welcome to the community Kindest Regards Linda.
April 8, 2018 at 8:35 am #47292
Hello, recently estranged and found this group. I am in the new, crying stage. Heartbroken knowing my grandbabies will be kept from me.
April 10, 2018 at 7:28 am #47438
I know the feeling well. I’m so glad that I found this forum today.
September 7, 2018 at 3:51 am #58708
Hi , I am in the same busy ! My eldest daughter turned her back on me and is keeping my grand children from me … crying for months !
June 5, 2018 at 3:31 am #51002
Me too just joined I feel broken x
April 8, 2018 at 8:38 am #47314
Welcome Nesbit and Faith1,
You’re very welcome here!
November 25, 2018 at 9:50 pm #63898
Hello all, I just started reading Sheri’s Book! My youngest daughter got it for me, Is very supportive of this ongoing saga with my oldest daughter. Just the few chapters I have read have lifted me up from so much pain and guilty feelings. Even with conseling, which was thought to be taboo somewhat; could not reach me as reading these pages in Done with the crying!
I’m praying that time continue to heal all of us and we keep believing that we are good people that God made. I say like the saying goes, make lemonade from the lemons in our life.
April 8, 2018 at 9:17 am #47320
Welcome here nesbit and faith 1 glad you found this good place xxx
April 9, 2018 at 2:19 am #47350
I don’t even know what to say yet to others, including those of you who can relate. Just trying to find language.
My youngest of three and only daughter is only 16, but we are into our 18 month of all the things. She was able to forge an emancipation, which everyone told me was impossible, and moved out eight months ago. Last night she accused her father (my husband of 25 years) that he had sexually abused her. There is no. way. this is true.
Do we get a lawyer? Do we need to spend energy fearing this? Do we mortgage the house to pay for a lawyer? We finally have solid proof about her drug use and sexual involvement with a much older man. Do we go to the police? Statutory rape is still the case, even for emancipated minors. Will she retaliate? And most of all, who do we talk to? We are lost.
She has completely cut us off. We no longer have a phone number for her. We do know where she lives and works, but it will very quickly escalate if we show up either place.
Last night I realized this is way more than teenage rebellion. I don’t think this is a wait it out thing anymore.
Thanks for listening. I am open to advice.
April 16, 2018 at 1:39 pm #47945
Welcome. I don’t know if this is the correct forum for you since your daughter is sixteen. If this was me, I would figure out all the relevant law. It seems clear that this older person is influencing her (although I’m sure she would say this is not true). Sexual abuse allegations are very serious, of course, and it would be prudent to explore all that may entail with legal counsel who knows.
Please take care. I hope you are able to come to peace with this situation in some way. I don’t mean to exclude you from the forum here. You’re welcome to ask for more support….There may be someone here who has been in a similar situation who could help. I just wonder if there might be a place better suited for you to find help for your situation.
May 18, 2018 at 5:38 am #50255
My 19 year old daughter has accused my husband of the same abomination. I know he is not her father but was more present and took care of her when her real father was nowhere to be found. She has also accused me of abusing her, i guess physically but not really sure what she means. The shock of all of this after raising my only daughter and giving her everything i possibly could has me broken as a person. I feel betrayed by my only child. How could this happen. I won’t nor can i defend myself or my husband from these lies. I think my daughter may have some true mental issues. I do hope someday these children realize what devastation they have caused. Dont bother getting an attorney. I told my daughter the burden of proof was on her and to know dates and times and be ready to take a lie dector test. I also added if need be i would take her to court for defimation of character against my husband. HER RESPONE WAS “I KNOW HE DID NOT RAPE ME, BUT IT SURE IS A GOOD STORY”. Like i said, she is messed up in her own mind. I will stand back til she gets her head on straight. Time will fix. Until that time, take care of yourself.
June 12, 2018 at 3:07 pm #51569
This resonates with me so strongly!
My eldest daughter accused ME of abusing her about a year ago and disowned me. She can not elaborate on how I abused her, only saying I shouted a lot.
A little more about me. From the age of 40, when she was 10 my body started falling apart. I laughingly thought life was supposed to start at 40… It started with iritis, and culminated with me being diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis like my mum and having bilateral total knee replacement at the age of 46. Being stressed and in pain, and coping with a gambling verging on alcoholic husband might have been a factor in my shouting… Anyway, she says I am self-pitying. Let’s see how she copes when she hits 40?
When she was 14 she started self harming…just scratches really and we pulled her out of the top boarding school she had begged to go to. She started sleeping around. At 15 at Christmas when my husband was serving in Afghanistan, she went missing twice. The second time all night Long when she was sleeping with a 28 year old corporal. We only found this out years later.
When the police brought her home she told them that I had assaulted her by scratching her with my finger nails. My fingernails were and are bitten down to the knuckle. I showe the policeman, “What? With these nails?”
At 16 she got pregnant by her sister’s boyfriend. She insisted on keeping the baby. We supported her. Even though I was struggling to walk upstairs, I would go and get the baby when he was screaming and she was too hung over to do the mum thing.
Fast forward ten years. We moved to sunnier climes for my health and so we could enjoy early retirement in a beautiful place with a much cheaper cost of living. Only two and half hours away by plane. If we had stayed in our homeland we would have lived in a village at least three hours drive away from them. She waited a year, then wrote an awful email quoting the bible and psychology saying I was an abusive and violent mother, and that we had abandoned them…her and her brother and sister. 25,23and 20 years of age. She said I was incapable of love or empathy.
In fact we had moved into a place way too big for us so they could all come for cheap and easy holidays. Oh how silly were we to think that!
My son too now, the youngest has been swayed by her rhetoric and has pulled away. She has replaced us as parents in his eyes. They see me as selfish, but my husband who was with me in making any decisions is untarnished. I am feeling so isolated. My own parents who would have been horrified at this disrespectful treatment, died years ago.
I feel red raw and just don’t know how I am going to get past this.
April 9, 2018 at 2:24 am #47355
Hello! It’s nice to to know I am far from alone, but it saddens me that so many are having this problem of Estranged Children, at this time. This is my first time writing. I have two sons, 41 and 31 . My 41 year old is ES. He is from my first marriage,that ended quickly in divorce, because of severe alcohol abuse and cheating, along with complete abandonment of myself and 10 month old son. I was 21 and alone with son, with no family back up at all. My 2nd son is from my husband of 34 years, whom I am still married. My second son is very loving and wants everyone to be happy and is a good son, always has been.
I do have a problem, that I am yet to see too much written on in this forum, about what to do about the OTHER CHILDREN, in the family. Other Daughter In Laws, etc.
I am not at ease with my younger son and his wife having too much contact, via social media or elsewhere, with my ES and his wife. My younger son and his wife of 2 years just had twins 6 months ago, and ES is causing much distress and odd feelings, in an already very small family. I am unable to see my 2 grandchildren from ES and his wife…they are 12 and 9 years old. My husband and I had been very close to our grandchildren…VERY.We have been cut off from them completely as of Easter.
My new DIL insists the twins need cousins and its important to do what they feel is right to do. Her opinion is outweighing my younger sons, as he is very close to his father and I ,and does not like what his stepbrother has done at all, but at a time of joy…..he of course doesn’t want to have friction with wife and just plainly does not want these problems to hover over he and his family. This was completely out of the blue, at the end of May last year. I know this will come across as controlling, but how can I put ES behind me, after so many attempts at everything, when younger sons wife is promoting family time with just them, and thinking that should be just fine, as long as their time with ES does not overlap? How is it possible to not be upset that this new DIL is injecting herself into the subject of My ES….not her ES….which I hope she never feels with twin boys. My younger son is being caught in the middle. I do know that my ES is using this as a tactic to get back at me for something, as his stepbrother is a very forgiving loving person. HELP!
April 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm #47944
I think someone else mentioned that there is a chapter in the book that talks about dealing with others. It fit in as much as I could in a chapter—and I’m currently working on more information about this subject. I have another daughter-in-law and other children and extended family, and am interviewing people on the subject too.
Meanwhile, feel free to talk about it here at the support community, in the other threads or start your own topic.
Thank you for sharing here, and many hugs,
April 9, 2018 at 2:25 am #47356
Hello Nesbit and Faith….I hope I wrote my intro in the correct place….there is a lot of articles and places to write here! xo Augusta
April 9, 2018 at 2:26 am #47357
Hi. Looking forward to continuing to move forward and hopefully learn along the way. Just started the book and hear great things about this group too. Nervous though.
April 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm #47943
Welcome to Dootbiscuit!
It’s natural to feel nervous… Nobody here bites, and there is lots of support. I hope you find my book helpful as you continue to reclaim your life, peace, and joy. You’re among friends here.
April 10, 2018 at 7:34 am #47443
Hello all. Ok i just finished reading Sheri’s book. What a validation of my feelings! I wish I had found it sooner, it may have saved me from horrible depression and loneliness. I have navigated this new life and am currently on the road to recovery. I am happy to say that I had already followed much of her advice, maybe because after allowing myself to wallow for a year, I finally have kicked into survivor mode. Yes I went through all the stages and believe me, made ALL the mistakes, ie, unfriending on facebook, etc. but I am now in the ‘excepting’ stage and moving on. I didn’t know that there were books, chat rooms and support groups and I spent an emotional amount of time dealing with this hidden epidemic frustrated and alone, while still trying to meet the needs of what I had left of my family.
You see i still have a child at home. Yes not only have i had to deal with the rejection of two of my adult children, I’ve had to go through it while meeting the needs of my Autistic 25 year old daughter that I have guardianship of. It’s been rough. i can’t tell you what a load off my shoulders just to know that I don’t have to deal with this by myself any longer.
I hope to be an active participant in this forum.
April 16, 2018 at 1:16 pm #47941
I’m sure you’ve done a terrific job caring for the needs of your autistic adult child—despite all the upheaval of emotion. No…you are not alone! In fact, there have been others who are in similar situations as yours, with another adult child to care for with disability or conditions that make it even more difficult.
Please take care, and know that you are welcome here!
April 12, 2018 at 6:11 am #47582
Hi to everyone here. Thank you so much Sheri, for this site and everyone for sharing. Since finding this a week or so ago I come here and have a read every time I am struggling – which is often at the moment. My story is that my two daughters suddenly decided that they have always hated their step-father of 30 years, that he has always made them miserable, and that I have stood by him and let them be hurt. They admit he has never actually abused them but they don’t want anything more to do with him and now one of them wants nothing to do with me either because I told her I couldn’t really understand – even though I accepted her position. It seems to me they think it is OK to simply discard us because they’ve been a bit unhappy. They don’t seem to have any compassion or forgiveness and I am ashamed of their behaviour. But I am also badly hurt, hate myself, doubt myself, wondered if maybe a good mother would leave her husband, wondered if maybe I had been a dreadful mother all these years, and so on. Some days I scream with the pain. The self-hatred is the worst. But the confusion is also terrible. You see, I really believe deep down they are overreacting and being selfish. But I love them too and what if I am wrong? What if I really have let them suffer too much? I have four grandchildren and am allowed to see two of them, but he is not allowed to see them so I have to take them out on my own for the day.
I really appreciate hearing other people’s stories here because it makes me realise things are not so bad, and maybe I am not crazy after all. I send massive hugs to anyone reading this because you deserve it.
April 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm #47942
Hello downbutnotout, and welcome to the forum (sorry you find the need to be here, of course).
I’m sure it was shocking to discover that your daughters have always hated their stepfather.
You wondered if a good mother would have left her husband. . . . Well, I don’t know the ages of your daughters, but you said he was their stepfather of 30 years and that this feeling about him from them is sudden. That implies maybe they are at least IN their thirties. To suddenly expect you to leave the man you’ve been married to for decades doesn’t seem reasonable, does it? Do you feel as they did? That he made them miserable and you stood by?
I am not asking the questions to put you on the spot, or even to answer publicly. It’s just that sometimes we can get wrapped up in a reality someone we care a lot about has presented. It is their perspective now, but was it always their perspective? How could you know how they felt if they never shared? What has changed in their lives suddenly to bring this revelation out?
These are just things to consider. You are not the first person to say that a sudden change in their adult child’s perspective blindsided them. And the fact that you are willing to even consider their perspective and ask whether you were a good mom says a lot about what sort of person you are, and how much you love them.
I hope you will join some of the other threads The introduction thread sometimes gets ignored or missed by others here who have lots of support to share.
September 25, 2018 at 4:26 am #60008
I’m glad i found this page, I adopted my daughter when she was 12, she has always showed me disrespect, she respects everyone around her but me, when she turned 17 year old she met this boy, seemed like a very nice young man, 6 months into the relationship him and his grandfather got into a arguement and he was made to leave his house they both had graduated highschool they ask me if he could stay with me my daughter had chose to live with my aunt so I allowed him to be lived with me for 4 months and when I told them he had to start paying rent I had left and when i returned he had moved out without a thank you or anything now my 18 yr old daughter tells me I have never done anything for her and still does nothing for her and tells me I treat my youngest daughter better than her she is 10 I lost a child before her, my oldest daughter told me that’s why she hates my youngest do i keep trying or do I say enough is enough!! I’m heartbroken and lost
April 12, 2018 at 12:47 pm #47619
it’s so easy to miss the introductions posts on here, and i see i missed many, so saying “hello” and welcome to Swellmom, Augusta, Doostibiscuit, Newattitude and downbutnotout, and anyone else who joined recently. I’m not a long time member here fairly new myself, but have found so much support here and hope you find the same
April 14, 2018 at 1:41 am #47736
I missed this as well. Hello all. This site has been a life line for me too. The book was an eye opener too. You will find support here. You will find strength here and most of all you will find understanding here. It is so hard to explain what this is to those who have never experienced it before. We are good mothers who for whatever reason have been rejected by our offspring. We didn’t do it, they did. You have to remember that. THIS IS THEIR CHOICE.
You will find so much wisdom from so many wonderful women here daily. Visit early, get your strength and check in throughout the day if you need to. Go back and read stories from the veterans who have been there done that for years. They have so much to offer you to get through this.
The stages are real, so is your grief, anger, disappointment and all the other rush of emotions that hit you when least expected. You will get through this I promise. You will have ups and downs. You will feel like you are on a roller coaster. You will learn to live with this and most importantly you will learn to love yourself, forgive yourself and move forward with a meaningful life.
April 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm #47817
Hello Sad Saturday….I’m still trying to find someone with advice about, how to act with other children in ones family, that are not estranged from their sibling/siblings? I have found this harder than the ES Estrangement, at times! I have gotten to the point, with my husbands help, to just “Let It Be”, with my one ES son, making all out effort to communicate with his stepbrother, who just had twins with his wife. I’m very challenged in this area and I don’t see anyone writing about this. Am I the only one that feels sad that my younger son and wife are still in contact, and being very upbeat etc., with ES and EDIL. My younger son does certainly make an effort to bring babies over, meet us for dinners and celebrate Easter, with just the 4 of us. and the the twins, 6 But it feels so weird, it feels like the giant elephant in the room, it’s better, but still there. I cannot mention ES to my younger son and DIL, even though they text and talk to them….they just don’t want to hear about it. They do not like ES behavior, but they will not cut him off….and really I shouldn’t want them to cut off? It’s so strange though, all of a sudden they are only invited to events, that my 9 and 12 year old grandchildren will be! It’s like ES is designing his own little family.
Can anyone relate to this, I’m sure I have not explained this well, it’s kinda complicated on so many levels! I shouldn’t want to harm others relationships and I have reeled myself in completely, but I still feel like a 5 year old saying, don’t talk to him, he’s being naughty to me!
I have ordered my book, thank you Sheri! I also want others to know I am reading their stories and they are all similar and sad and I’m in shock and I will try soon to be of some comfort to others!
April 15, 2018 at 3:53 am #47827
Welcome, Augusta, your question is a common one. Most of us experience this where some family members still have “good” relationships with the EC. It’s isnt easy but we can move forward. I don’t know the answer but Sheri’s book helped me change how I thought about things.
April 16, 2018 at 1:26 am #47901
I just joined although I’m not sure it’s the right place I’m a mum I have three children and my youngest is 13today and I haven’t seen him for 3 months he moved in with his dad and has cut all ties with me
I’m struggling and there’s very little support out there for parents of children who choose not to see you
April 17, 2018 at 2:14 am #47974
I am a mother of three adult children. My eldest son decided to cut the ties over the last few months with me slowly as he used to call me every week the last few years but this has now stopped altogether. What makes it so hard is that I do not have any contact with my two year old granddaughter either anymore and at the end of April my second grandchild will be born by caesarean birth with no access.
My youngest son used to get in touch only when he needed money usually but I did stop giving him any last year needless to say the contact has since come to the point that I received one message since via Facebook.
My daughter is still calling me on a weekly basis and provides me with updates about her two brothers but also cannot understand why both do not want contact with me anymore.
It saddens me very much especially as I had to safeguard my own children from my parents due to their abuse and thought that I had done the right thing but my eldest son told me that he had to break the cycle and would make sure that his children will grow up not knowing what evil parents I had, also he wanted to change his surname so no association would be traceable. I asked him if he ever had an abusive encounter with them but he told me not that he knows of, then when I asked him if he ever felt that I was abusive, he said no Ma!, you did everything right but you have to understand I have to break the cycle! To this day I am trying to figure out what he meant by that.
I am glad I came across this site knowing that there are other parents going through the same every day like myself and I am hoping that I can understand more why and when, etc it all happened so I can come up with a coping mechanism which will eventually work.
April 17, 2018 at 7:35 pm #48000
HI Mum232005 and MiaToto, Welcome to this forum. There is a variety of rejected and ostracized parents on this forum. Some have children under age 18 who reject and some have adult children in their 40’s or older who reject. You are both welcome. Please read Sheri’s book, it is the best one out there on estrangement and learning to cope and move forward. Sometimes our EC do tell us odd things that sound great on paper, like break the cycle. We have to probably not take it personally. It may not be about us, it may be because of something inside of themselves. Anyway, there is healing and there is hope. Feel free to write something in the main forum if you’d like support and encouragement or even advice. Welcome again.
April 18, 2018 at 5:18 am #48050
Hello, I’m new to the forum. First of all, many thanks to Sheri for her sharing her ec story and wisdom to help many suffering parents of the unspeakable pain of this journey we walk. Thank you to all the brave, strong women who support and nurture each other. I have been reading posts for a few days and still I find it so difficult to find the words and put a voice of a mother of an ed out there. I’m in my third month of estrangement from my oldest daughter, although there have been warning signs the past few years of what was coming. I have also been cut off my 4 yr old granddaughter. I have another adult daughter who I have a healthy, good relationship with. I saw this coming with ed spouse as both my husband and I had serious reservations on their marriage. He is extremely controlling, came from an abusive home and his mother abandoned him when he was a toddler. I know he has always despised me. I have tried my level best to be a loving mother in law, in spite of his rude behavior. My ed has said I cause her great anxiety. She said I was horrible to her from the time she was a child, critized her constantly and favored her younger sister. I’ll admit I made mistakes and have apologized many times over the years for criticizing but I always loved her and did what ever I could for her. I grew up in a highly negative and critical home with perfectionist parents. Looking back I know I was harsh, but I always told her how proud I was of her accomplishments, and thought I gave my all to raising my daughters. I am heartbroken. All I wanted was to have a close family, with grandchildren and loving memories. My husband has been battling serious illness for 4 years, I’ve been dealing with my own elderly parents with dementia and under extreme stress. I’ve done the best I can but it’s never been good enough for her. She told her sister I am now dead to her. The emotions are grief, anger, betrayal, bewilderment…I thought I was strong, and have been through a lot in my life. Nothing like this.
April 18, 2018 at 5:43 am #48048
I am not even sure if I am doing this right. If not please let me know. I have never joined anything on the internet but decided to after reading Sheri’s book. I am a mother of two grown children in their 30’s, a son and a daughter. A year and a half ago my daughter sent an email saying that she didn’t think we were good for each other and that her and her husband didn’t want to have anything to do with us anymore. We are both crushed and have spent many days talking about how we got here. I have always had a very close relationship with my daughter right up until about 6 months before her email. We still saw each other but she seemed to be distancing herself from us. She was feeling down and blue and I spoke to her husband about keeping an eye on her and they both seemed to take offence to that. I have always been able to speak about anyone or anything with my daughter and I am at a loss to figure out what happened. I am the sole caregiver for my husband who has progressive MS and it was agreed on about two years ago that my husband and I would move from our home and look for a house that we all could share ( house with a basement suit) as we all were dealing with financial stress. This never transpired as there was little interest on my daughters side for sharing anything once we sold our house. My daughter and her husband started asking for money as neither had a job. They had borrowed money even before we sold our home but it continued until just before she sent the email. My husband and I told both of them that we could not help them out with money anymore but we would be there to help with anything else. I will never know if this is what caused the break or not but because of my son (who doesn’t understand why his sister did this) I have to learn to live again and even more so to be able to help my husband. The book was wonderful and we have begun to look at things differently but some days are just worse than others. Look forwarding to learning more by talking to other people who have been dealing with the same pain. Thank you
April 18, 2018 at 5:14 pm #48082
Hi everybody. I’m new here, this is my first post. I have 5 awesome kids, and a happy marriage of over 25 years.
Back in January, my second-oldest child informed us she was divorcing her husband, because she wanted to be a man instead of a woman – and planned to get hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgery.
This was a shocker, and a big blow to us (all) – and totally out-of-the-blue. After my wife and I spoke to her (we didn’t encourage her, we tried to discourage her, and present some other options) she decided to completely cut us out of her life.
I’m a tough (enough) guy, and have had my share of tragedy and pain – and I’m coping okay with all this (I think), but this is crushing my wife. She cries every day. We’ve both been on a whirlwind of emotions since we found out all this, and the estrangement is rough. We always had an excellent relationship with our daughter, all throughout her life.
She got married a little over 3 years ago, and moved out-of-State. she didn’t communicate much with us during those 3 years, but we had no idea she was going through this kind of thing. She’s like a totally different person than when she left home, and has deep bitterness and resentment toward us (and our traditional values) – though as I mentioned earlier, there was zero indication of any this resentment (or gender dysphoria) before she left. It makes no sense.
We’re sad, we’re worried, we’re angry, we’re hurt… it’s just not something I’d ever have imagined happening, and it’s rough.
We still have 3 kids at home, it’s hard on them too. They don’t get it (none of us do). Plus it’s especially hard on them because my wife is so moody and depressed by it all. I’m as worried about her as I am for my daughter.
April 19, 2018 at 1:24 am #48099
First let me say welcome but sorry that you had to search out this forum. It is not something anyone should ever have to research let alone endure.
Your wife is like most moms on here when the estrangement happens. I was very much like her too. I too have another child at home and when my oldest son estranged I thought I was going to lose my mind. Please please get Sheri’s book, Done with the crying. It is essential to moving forward. This forum as well is a huge comfort and I visit daily. There are a lot of people on here (mostly mom’s but dads are always welcome) who have been doing this for years, decades even. All the situations are different but the same if you know what I mean. Whatever causes the estrangements matters not, it’s the toll it takes on the parents who are left grieving the loss of their child. That pain is like nothing you can explain and no one understands the emotions involved unless they have gone through it and all of us on here have. Please have her visit here as well.
The book is available in audio book which is what I got because of driving 2 hours a day for work but the exercises included in the book are better if you have the hard copy version. But you can still do them with the audio just have to pause and play a lot. I am in month 3 and feeling so much better and stronger. This is my second bout with estrangement from my son so maybe it was just easier to get through the initial shock, but I don’t know if I would be as far as I am right now if it wasn’t for her book and this forum. God’s honest truth.
April 19, 2018 at 1:25 am #48100
Hello Dadof5, and welcome here.
This is a huge thing for her and your family to deal with.
This happened to a friend of mine, with three daughters, one of whom embarked on this. It was a bereavement really, from having the daughter change her name to a mans, and be dressing as a man, taking hormones etc.
It must have taken a lot of courage for your daughter to tell you about this, and I can understand it was out of left-field for you.
Just wondering, if you feel able to accept her sex change decision, whether you could consider writing to her jointly, to say that you have had time to think about it, and love her, accept her decision and are here if she wants to re connect and to support her?
I realise it’s a big ask, and maybe you both (or whole family?) need to talk to someone to help come to terms with this. It seems you have had a good relationship up to now, and maybe, about to go through such a big thing, it’s too difficult for her to deal with the rest of the family emotions about it?
Just my thoughts, and a big hug to you and your wife.
April 19, 2018 at 5:32 am #48142
Obviously, this is one of those touchy subjects because of political correctness and just the sensitivity of the subject of gender dysphoria and reassignment surgery. I’m sorry you were blindsided by this, as you say, shocker.
I don’t have a lot of knowledge about this, but there have been a few parents who either entered the forum or communicated with me privately in the last year. All of you have been worried, and that is understandable. One physician told me she was just baffled at the way it is accepted so quickly by the medical community when someone makes this decision about themselves. She believes that there are many who are emotionally disturbed or mentally ill, and fall into this belief about themselves and then are met with green lights all the way—and that there’s a danger because that can be seductive, to be accepted as a member of a club that’s considered cool or special (an emotionally vulnerable or mentally ill person might feel this way). And if reassignment surgery is done, it’s too late to change your mind.
Again, this is what she said, from her experience. I’m sharing because maybe it helps you to hear, although what you can do about it, I’m not sure. I know you must be looking back and wondering, looking for signs of this earlier in her childhood, and wondering if she’s okay or being influenced somehow.
Right now, she cut you off, and it seems that perhaps she has been estranged anyway for several years, but just not saying so (from what you wrote). I don’t know what I can say other than to take care, and know that there are people here who care. Their sons/daughters maybe have not expressed what yours has, but they have done and said other shocking things. There’s understanding on that level.
From what you say, it sounds as if there is a value clash that may have been festering for some time on the part of your daughter. And that probably makes it even more complicated, even for the younger children maybe worried she is a sinner or going to He** or whatever. I’m not trying to pry, and am not making judgments either. Just want to convey that I “get” that this is complex on a lot of levels. Probably far more levels than I’ve considered.
I also want to just say that it’s okay to be confused, and to admit it, strong even to do so. Your younger children can accept a little confusion, as long as you’re strong for them, and assure them they’re fine, Mom will be okay, too. You all still love each other, and all will be okay. And your younger children need you that way. Can you please tell your wife there are others (here) who care and although we have not experienced this particular angle of estrangement, we understand the feeling of shock and estrangement. Your not alone.
I’m sure you’ve looked for resources..And there are a few out there with information for the families. I don’t know what area you are in, but you might add your location to any web search for resources. Doing so might help you find assistance, or perhaps other families to talk to about the subject. There are also some online support forums for the families of transgender persons. I hesitate to post links, but they’re easily found. I’m not kicking you out of this group! Just want to help.
April 19, 2018 at 2:44 pm #48168
Hello! I am new to this site, first time joining a community online. I recently read Done With the Crying and found it to be so incredibly helpful that I felt compelled to join the community. Our oldest daughter 24yrs, married for a year, gave birth to a little boy in January, recently made it VERY clear that all the “in between the lines” attempts she has made over the past year were “nice” ways to say that she does not want to be in any sort of relationship with us, extended family – grandparents/aunts/uncles/, nor her siblings. Honestly, it is like I have lost a child.
Once she started dating her now husband, 3 years ago, I watched a transformation. The person I knew to be empathetic, thoughtful and respectful of others, became cynical and uncompassionate. I literally brushed it off as the attempt to become an adult before marriage and that she was becoming more independent. Now, after LOTS of thinking this through, analyzing at nauseam every detail, situation and comment, I believe she meshed into her husbands way of thinking and for whatever reason could not stand on her own two feet.
Her husband is not kind. He changed his attitude toward family once he had the blessing to marry. He stopped visiting, stopped saying thoughtful words, stopped the acting. My daughter actually told us he was just pretending…which is SO odd that she thought that was okay.
The wedding was all planned and prepared by him. We respectfully stepped aside since we felt he was wanting to “share in the joy of planning”, which was also a farce. We did pay for it, however.
We received a “boundary email” 2 weeks prior to the wedding, stating all the boundaries once they were married. Seriously, my daughter was living on her own, was financially independent, was not hovered over by us (we took this to heart when she moved to an apartment), was not infringed upon by her mom and dad nor ANY family for that matter, but they still felt compelled to write a boundary email.
We were told to not email, call, text, come visit, ask for visits, hope for visits, etc. We were told that they would see us maybe once a year (they live 1 hour away) 2 at most. That they do not want any relationship with extended family and she only wants a close relationship with her husband and children. We were told to not call her any sweet word like “Honey”, “Precious”, etc – but to only use her name when talking/communicating. She is our DAUGHTER! Parents use kind words when addressing their kids.
We have consistently respected their boundaries. But- I sent an anniversary card. That was the end of her “being nice”. We respected their wishes to not come see the baby that was born on January 3. We respected the request of no gifts, no special items, no handmade items, only money. No baby showers as they don’t want people living vicariously through their child. Whatever that means… I truly think they are sick. I was told because I have been “competing with (name) and driving a wedge” since she met him, that I have caused irreparable damage and she needs to keep her child safe from our family/me since we/me are “manipulative, controlling” people. When asked if she was just mad at me, she stated that since my daughter and husband “behave like you” that she doesn’t want anything to do with them. This makes NO SENSE! You don’t know me, but I have respected her relationship from day one, have not put myself between them, and have honestly supported her desire to marry him- which today I wish I DID stick myself between them because I don’t like that guy at all.
At this point, I am so sad, hurt, confused, guilt ridden, angry, yet I wake up each day with a joy not because of a hope that she will call (I know she won’t), but that there are so many beautiful parts of my life. I have strong support from family, my sweet husband, my sweet other 3 children, and I am so thankful. BUT- I still have this hole in my heart, as if I have lost a child in a death. I do feel like she has died – mostly because she isn’t anything like I knew her to be. I understand people grow and change, but to be so ugly, hateful and lack empathy is very disturbing to me. I worry for my parents and how they feel, I worry for my daughter who needs her sister – but her sister said she can’t be a “buddy” any more, I worry for my husband who is a great dad, and I worry for my mother in law who adored this daughter now gone.
Lastly – I chose Puppies3 to be my user name because I love dogs and they make me happy!
Much love to each of you.
April 20, 2018 at 4:57 am #48188
Wow…what you describe reminds me right away of those abusive men that latch on to a woman, then proceed to brainwash her and isolate her completely from family and anyone else so they have total control of her life. He sounds like a horrible person, I can’t understand how your ED (or any woman) would go along with this insanity. I wonder if she has one of those personalities that can be easily manipulated, or she has poor self-esteem issues. I am sorry for your plight but she is an adult and there isn’t much you can do about her decisions. I find it interesting that she accuses you of being manipulative and controlling, while she is married to someone who is just that. Talk about projection.
But lucky you to have such a wonderful rest of the family, and people who love you and support you. Wish I did. Sometimes I think I should have had more children, maybe one of them would talk to me!
I am so happy that you can still find joys in your life, in spite of the pain of the estrangement.
And yes, dogs are awesome!
Love back to you,
April 21, 2018 at 4:52 am #48247
Thank you for your reply! I do think she has lower self esteem, which is so sad. She is actually an very unique person. She is on the autism spectrum as very high functioning. Others do not recognize her as on the spectrum since she is so high functioning. She is incredibly gifted athletically, which you would think she would celebrate. But, because she struggles somewhat, she seeks a leader for structure. I think that was the link right there. She followed her now husband easily and blindly adapted to his way of thinking/plans. She is very pretty, athletically accomplished but does not have a higher education, which I think will keep her stuck – but right now she wants to be in the place she is and believes we are terrible and her choices are totally justified and good. Ugh.
April 19, 2018 at 11:20 pm #48194
Your story is so much like many on here. I hate to say welcome but welcome. Flip you ED to my ES and you have my story. GF who he will marry in Oct. did the exact same thing. Faked her way with us to get the ring then the crazy switch flipped. He didn’t go to the extreme as your ED did but we were so close before the GF was in the picture and now he is a different person.
You will find support here. And you are spot on, it is like you’ve lost a child to death but if you explain it that way to people they think you are crazy or being overly dramatic. But that is exactly how it feels. And, you go through the same grief and bereavement as if they died.
April 19, 2018 at 11:28 pm #48213
My “festering” comment was addressing what you said about not seeing a lot of her because she was away the last couple of years. I didn’t mean to imply that you might know it notice.
Maybe start a new topic for further discussion.. The introduction threads get so long!
April 19, 2018 at 11:36 pm #48207
Thanks to everyone for your replies and kind words – they are much appreciated! I do plan to buy the book for my wife, and I’ll read it too.
“Just wondering, if you feel able to accept her sex change decision, whether you could consider writing to her jointly, to say that you have had time to think about it, and love her, accept her decision and are here if she wants to re connect and to support her?”
I’m not sure what you mean by “accept.” We have no problem writing jointly to her, but we *don’t* “accept” her decision; we think it is a bad decision, unsound, unhinged from reality, and very rash. The consequences/ramifications, if she follows through, could be very difficult, long-term, irreversible, and destructive (to her). We would never cut her out of our lives – even if she goes through with all of it, and grows a beard down to her knees. Our love for her is unconditional… but we’re not going to pretend to be ‘OK’ with her decision. She will always be our daughter – she can never be our son. That’s just reality, and I have a birth certificate, 20+ years of photographs, and her own DNA to prove it. I won’t ever call her by a man’s name – it’s just not happening. She is clearly under the impression that she can redefine her reality to accommodate this, but I don’t view reality that way (as re-definable), and I refuse to enter into her… well, “craziness” is all I can come up with.
“From what you say, it sounds as if there is a value clash that may have been festering for some time on the part of your daughter. And that probably makes it even more complicated, even for the younger children maybe worried she is a sinner or going to He** or whatever. I’m not trying to pry, and am not making judgments either. Just want to convey that I “get” that this is complex on a lot of levels. Probably far more levels than I’ve considered.”
Yes, a value clash is definitely a very integral part of it.
If it was festering, there was never any indication that she wasn’t “on-board” with the values we raised her with. That part of this whole thing came out-of-the-blue too. She genuinely seemed happy, relatively involved in our Church life, and mentally/spiritually on the same page as we were. Maybe it was all an act, or maybe she hadn’t been too exposed to alternative or diametrically-opposed views.
I totally ‘get’ that she may have just been going through the motions religiously (to please us?) or hesitant to say anything if she had qualms or doubts about our religion. Certainly we recognize she’s an adult and we *want* her to think critically and make up her own mind about things, and not just blindly accept the beliefs of others (or us) – we want her to be her own person, well-adjusted, a clear thinker, and all that. Obviously we’d hope that our children would grow into adults that also agree with our worldview, but we know that doesn’t always happen.
I think the values clash side of this is bigger than my wife and I first thought or expected… but a values clash doesn’t require cutting us out of her life! For example, our eldest daughter also abandoned the Church (we are Eastern Orthodox Christians), told us she was an atheist, and then later, told us she was gay. That was difficult for all of us too – we didn’t “accept” those new changes of atheism and homosexuality either – and my eldest understood that we wouldn’t, yet we still have a great relationship with her.
Our Orthodox Christian worldview is certainly very traditional and conservative, and not “in-step” with the culture – we understand that – but we’re not changing our fundamental worldview to appease my estranged daughter (or anyone else). If my faith meant less to me than it does, I might capitulate, but my faith is rock solid and unwavering. That said, the estrangement, the “cutting us out of her life” portion of all this, is the most difficult of all. Even if the whole gender thing wasn’t the driver, or if we were not religious at all, we’d still be heartbroken. We feel like we’ve lost our daughter, like she doesn’t love us anymore. And we love her and don’t want her to be hurting, or unhappy, or unforgiving, or resentful, or bitter – but right now she’s all of those things – and blames us for all of it.
April 20, 2018 at 12:19 am #48193
Hi i am new here dont really know what to write, our daughter 29 recently estranged from her entire family. 6 months now, trying tou understand what’s happening , and feeling helpless.
April 21, 2018 at 4:53 am #48254
Hi. I am so glad to have found this site, as I have really been struggling, particularly in the past year.
Married to their mutual father for 32 years, I am the mother of 3 – two intermittently EDs (for several years, mostly cut off, but they occasionally swoop back in to use us and then CO yet again), as well as one formerly “good” daughter who has been acting progressively more dissmissive towards me since her marriage 2 years ago. The situation got drastic last year with her first pregnancy.
I also have a family history of my own mother cutting me off (with no real explanation why, although I have my own ideas) for 25 years. I honestly tried to be the best parent I could, but am struggling with doubt, self-loathing, huge anger for my children, feeling like a fool and idiot to think I could properly raise children, immense regret, praying daily to forgive them, trying not to be bitter (failing at that, too!) and a hundred other things.
I home-taught these children from birth to 18, while part-timing jobs and night school when their father got home from day shift. I tried hard to show them the affection I completely lacked from my own parents, but maybe that is why they hate me?
Sisters are semi estranged from each other, and youngest ED is a destructive train wreck. Walking on eggshells with middle ED to maintain access to grandbabies, but it is exhausting, and I am so tempted to throw in the towel and give up on the last dwindling relationship. So bloody painful, it is really hard not to despair. I understand that posting all this makes me really easy to spot by my children, but I am not sure I care at this juncture.
April 21, 2018 at 4:38 pm #48314
Dear MaraDolores Probably the last thing you need to worry about is your children spotting you here. I think you can put that one out of your mind.
Other than that, you certainly sound like you are in a lot of pain. Of course you are. Everything you are feeling is quite normal. I feel confident in saying that at one time all of us here felt exactly what you articulated. Give yourself permission to “put it all out there.” You will find it very therapeutic to converse with other people who share this problem. We are here for you.
From everything you’ve posted, it’s clear to me that you were a very attentive, loving parent. It’s very possible that your EDs learned this awful behavior from observing your mother. One of the things I have learned since this horrible trauma started with my ES eight months ago (he had a newborn at the time–I have lost all contact with my only GC) is that estrangement seems to run in families. My ES refused to forgive one of my brothers who did something awful to our family in spite of the fact that I forgave him.
I am sorry you need to be here. I am sorry that in this difficult world there is a need for it. It seems to me that we all have enough trouble just “keeping our heads above water” these days. But at least you know that you are among people who fully understand what you are going through and genuinely care.
I know you are exhausted, but take some comfort in your grandchildren. Many of us here wish we had that option.
Hugs and prayers…
April 21, 2018 at 4:56 pm #48319
Welcome Lourdes and MaraDelores, I am so sorry to hear your pain. Theres a lot of good information on this forum for healing and moving forward. It can be very hard to accept that our beloved adult children choose to walk away from us. Sometimes our dreams of what the future will be as a loving family get shattered. Feel free to reply to posts on the main forum or write your own. Again, Welcome!
April 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm #48364
I an new here. Our ES is 24. We have 4 other adult children and 11 grandchildren. I am still in disbelief I guess.
I am glad I found this forum.
April 22, 2018 at 10:15 pm #48382
New and wish I wasn’t here. Our daughter, she 31, has estranged herself from us- mostly me. She has replaced me with my husband’s sister. The sister is the one in his large family who is the last person anyone would want assuming my role. She was horruble, vindictive and bullied me when I met my husband. When our son died 11 years ago, she was the only one who didn’t even send a card. Her brothers and sisters talk about her as if she was the biggest nutcase in their family and now I see why. We don’t even know how this nutcase woman became friends with our daughter because shortly after we got married, she left the area and we never had anything to do with the woman. Somehow, she got our daughter to move in with her. Then took her on expensive vacations. Our daughter finally got a job far away from her and we were overjoyed that she would be far away from her. Now, our daughter intends to leave a very good job to move back! She has convinced our daughter that her father is a liar and trouble maker. How does this happen? This woman has two grown daughters of her own. How could someone poison our daughter like this? We lost our son in a car accident now we lost our only remaining child to a nutcase bully who never had a thing to do with us. I am angry and I feel as though I lost both my children. Karma, please visit that evil woman. That’s all I can think of besides my grief and the anguish our daughter and this evil woman have put on us.
April 23, 2018 at 9:14 am #48400
I am struggling with how to move forward after the estrangement of my daughter and husband.both have washed their hands of the other and i am stuck in the middle trying to maintain an unbiased relationship with both of them.
All this stems from a relationship and then marriage that she started years ago with a person who was in a trusted position whilst my husband was away often with his job and during a struggle with depression that i was having.
Both have done their fair share of he said she said and it has now affecting how they mix at family gatherings and very possibly our relationship with our son. Both arepiheaded and stubborn.
She has children who i love dearly but hubby doesnt have a relationship with them due to whats happened.
Neither of them want to discuss the miriad of things that they accuse each other of.
How do i move forward as a wife and mother, without jeopardising / abandoning my relationship with each of them?
April 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm #48490
Mummamuggin, what a tough spot to be in. But if I could make a suggestion, do not let them drag you in the middle of this. I understand how you are trying to maintain a relationship with both of them , but their issues are ultimately their problem, not yours – even though in a way it is, because you are affected and confused as to how you should proceed. It is important though to set limits and boundaries. They need to work out their issues between themselves, you did not cause them and as much as you want to fix them it’s not your job. They are adults and both need to take responsibility for their actions. You should not have to jeopardize one relationship or the other. I would make it clear to each one that I love them very much, and treasure my relationship with each, but I cannot and will not be dragged into their mess or be forced to choose. That’s not right, you should not be put in that position. I know it’s a difficult situation. It is easy to become enmeshed in our families and their squabbles but be careful about assuming the “Fixer” or “Rescuer” role. It get even messier, sometimes people even resent you for it.. As far as you relationship with your son being affected, he is also an adult and will have to deal with things as he sees fit. Let’s hope he is more mature. There isn’t much you can do to control all these people. All you can do is reassure them you love them and be there for them if they need help in honestly solving the conflicts, but don’t come to me if you wanna be pig-headed. I know all of this is uncomfortable, but if you decide on this course of action just hang tough and don’t budge.
April 23, 2018 at 9:25 pm #48450
Welcome, Mummamuggins. This sounds like a really uncomfortable spot to be in. May I suggest you repost this in the main forum so you get more answers? Look under where you found this thread at the bottom of the page. I am not sure how one walks a tightrope like this. I don’t really understand what the problem is. You will probably have to have separate relationships with each of them, see them separately, etc. Go see those GC at her house, etc. Don’t know if this is helpful but welcome to the forum.
April 25, 2018 at 6:50 am #48515
I am new to this forum and happy to have found it. I have two children and have been estranged from my 32 year old son for the past 8 years. He made a short appearance for two months two years ago. I divorced his father when he was 7 due to physical abuse towards us both. 8 years ago he chose to be with his father and step mom who he now calls his mom.
I have gone through ups and downs with my emotions but just learnt that he is engaged and will be getting married. I am trying hard to cope with the pain. Reading various posts I feel comforted that I am not alone.
My 26 year old daughter surfaces in and out of my life. There is no relationship except that I have a granddaughter through her who I get to care for. I re-married a wonderful man five years ago. My husband and I adore this grand child but also feel like we are being held hostages by my daughter who constantly threatens to disappear with the grand child if I have to comment on the life that she is leading with men in and out of her life continuously.
For now I just need to cope with the pain of an upcoming wedding that I will not be part of.
December 13, 2018 at 2:26 am #65114
Amy. I can imagine your pain of feeling completely left out of your sons and daughter’s lives. Your grandbaby sounds wonderful and what a pity she is being used for ransom!. Being left out of a wedding is a total slap in the face. It is one of those big moments in life that you want to be included in and have all of these big dreams of. I’m so sorry. My daughter and son in law eloped, just for that reason: to keep me away. It hurts so I share in your feelings. I’m so sorry for your pain at the same time: YAY for you in finding the love of your life! Your kids are grown now. I’m sure you were a great mom and now it’s time for YOU and your hubby to give each other the love you both deserve.
April 26, 2018 at 1:31 pm #48628
I am new here. My daughter has been estranged from me for 10 years. My story is a little bizarre but here goes. My daughter went to a chiropractor because she thought she had fibromyalgia. The chiropractor told her that fibromyalgia is usually consistent with early childhood abuse (really) . The next day she started having memories of my fiance abusing her as a child, she blamed me for not protecting her. The truth is that it never happened. The wild tales she spun could not be collaborated. I have done everything in the world to get her to reconcile but I’m done now. I’M tired and want to enjoy the rest of my life.
April 27, 2018 at 4:48 am #48675
Amy, I always hate to say welcome, but welcome. My son is getting married in Oct. and we are not going to be apart of his wedding either. The pain of it was shocking at first as we were apart of it until we estranged in February. My advise to you is 1) order Sheri’s book and read it. It will give you so much encouragement and strength. 2) Visit this forum daily and read posts from the veterans here who have dealt with it and learned to live life again. Even if you never post anything, visit and read and try to find the wisdom presented. After almost 4 months I have moved to acceptance and decided I am not going to let this bring me down. I am going to move forward. I am going to plan a marvelous vacation for Christmas this year to be away and start new traditions with my loving daughter and husband. I am going to probably plan a special day for the day of his wedding so my daughter, husband and I are occupied that day and not feeling depressed.
The throws of depression is so hard to break. As things come up or simply life happens we can find ourselves spiraling back to “the dark side” even after we have seemingly moved forward. Please take care not to go to far down. Pick yourself up, realize the choice to estrange was theirs, and find a peaceful place to reboot. Then kick those depressive thoughts to the curb.
May 21, 2018 at 9:53 pm #50514
Mine is likely one of the more extreme rejections anyone may read. Here goes: I married the boys’ father in 1971. The marriage was difficult from the start, it went downhill from here..I ended up with 29 years of abuse, before I finally had what was left of me, to crawl away and file for divorce. To my horror (not a surprise when I thought about it), our 3 sons cut me off. I’m sure they have absorbed their dad’s abuses towards me all those years, and I know its Parental Alienation Syndrome in full blown glory. They’ve been estranged from me, all these years since my divorce in 2000. Nothing much changes. I finally quit trying to text, e-mail, phone any of them, except on rare occasions..I see the oldest son (phd in education).maybe 3-4 times a year for lunch. The youngest 2 (twins)..are out there.no contact with any unless its a 1 or 2 word reply for a text from them to me. My questions/comments to them on Facebook go mostly unanswered. I do see their kids’ pictures on Facebook, maybe a brief video. I’m NOT invited to any of the grandkids’ doings; but their grandpa (my ex) is usually there, so I get to see HIM in the pictures of the grandkids. In their presence, when I do see somebody, its cold, often rude and not much said. I finally came to the place, where I gave up..no notifications about my doings or my family either. My mother is 96..she is their last gramma, but she hasn’t seen or talked to any of them in several years. So, they’ve cut off my family as well. All those years of abusive marriage, and now estrangements from the boys. It makes me wonder why or how I keep on going. The book will help; but skimming through it brings back painful memories. I’m 66 now. Still single., divorced.
April 27, 2018 at 5:02 am #48685
Peace1002, your story is not so bizarre. (except for the chiropractor, he’s so out of line). My ED in the past has also come up with “memories” of things that never happened, at least a couple of times that I know of – once when she was a teenager, and she and her BFF had watched on TV stories of abused girls who mentally blacked out the abuse for years. So she concluded that because she didn’t remember anything happening, it meant that something must have happened – in our house. That time I took her to see a therapist, and everyone agreed, including my daughter, that NOTHING whatsoever had taken place. She almost destroyed our family over a delusion and a lie.
The second time was a little over 3 years ago, at a backyard barbecue. She told a friend, right in front of us, that I used to force feed her disgusting foods just so that I could watch her throw up. We were stunned. I pointed out that I never did that, that it would be sadistic, but she was adamant. Her friend was looking at us as if we were all crazy. And these stories are just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know why they make up this stuff but I am tired of the ugliness and the lies – and at this point I don’t care to continue speculating about the reasons. I just want some peace and go on with my life. Enough.
April 27, 2018 at 4:50 am #48679
To those who are new here I would like to say a very sad welcome. The stories may vary, but I believe I can say with confidence that we’ve all been treated in a manner we don’t deserve.
There is lots of wisdom and compassion here. We try to help each other. I’m glad you find this site.
Hugs to all…
April 27, 2018 at 10:38 pm #48712
Dear friends across the pond,
I received an email this morning accepting my membership, so here I am for the first time. I am a Mum who has been estranged from my 29-year-old son for nearly a year now. After the early weeks and months of shock, hurt and confusion, I started to come to terms with things, accept the situation and move on. Or so I thought. At the beginning of this week I suddenly felt the raw, unbearable pain of those early times. I decided to search for information on the internet and found Sheri’s book and your support group. I’ve started Sheri’s book (currently on Chapter 2) and read many of the posts on the website. I’m actually feeling worse as a result but I say that without criticism. I recognise that the reading I’ve done so far is forcing me, like an alcoholic or other addict, to face up to the fact that I’m not coping and need help. Thank you Sheri and all members of this group for being there. I’m confident that with your help I will be able to truly heal and come to terms with the loss of a child.
April 28, 2018 at 6:27 pm #48825
Welcome Patchypoos. I’m also fairly new here, I found this website purely by accident. I didn’t even know this kind of support group existed. I wish I’d found it sooner because it has helped a lot. I’m not surprised you’re feeling worse by reading these stories and the book, but you hit the nail on the head by recognizing that you aren’t coping and need help. There are so many kind and wise people posting here, I am not the most articulate person, but some here really have a gift for putting things into a perspective I can understand, and led me to make progress through the ups and downs and emotional turmoil of my situation. I just want to say that my heart goes out to you, I know the pain you are going through, but you may find some peace and healing here, because you are not alone anymore. Love and hugs, Dragonfly.
April 29, 2018 at 9:53 pm #48880
Thank you Dragonfly for your kind message. Your message conveyed such warmth and sincerity that I certainly wouldn’t describe you as “not the most articulate person” – quite the opposite! I too found the website and Sheri’s book by sort of accident and am so pleased I did. I’m now half way through Sheri’s book and it’s proving challenging and thought-provoking but most importantly, comforting. Feeling alone is awful/isolating. Brits are known for their stiff upper lip, a ‘just get on with it’ mentality. I’m 63 and I’ve seen that approach waning over the years but it’s still there. I so admire how my friends across the pond are more prepared to recognise the intense emotion that underlies situations such as ours. Thank you and I send you love and hugs too.
April 30, 2018 at 5:48 am #48913
Hello Patcypoos, welcome, very glad you are here. Like Dragonfly, I am fairly new here. Glad you came here. It was hard for me too, to admit I need help to deal with all this. I hope as and when, you feel able to post. The support is invaluable I find.
April 28, 2018 at 3:19 am #48620
I honestly never thought in a million years that I would be a mom who be in so much pain because her child has cut her from his life.
It has been 2 1/2 years since I have had any contact with the son that I was once so close to. I feel like such a failure. I don’t sleep well and cry at the drop of a hat. I am so broken. I just wish the pain would end! I miss him so much! At the same time, now I feel angry that he has so selfishly put me through this anguish! I have always believed that there is a reason for everything but, I just don’t understand
what good this could possibly do.
April 30, 2018 at 5:49 am #48914
InDisbeliefMom, glad you came here. Feeling a failure is one of the worst things about all this. Everything you say you are feeling, I am unfortunately familiar with. This forum has helped me, continues to help me with all the different emotions and stages that come up. Like you, I never thought this would happen to me. Sheri’s book, and this forum have helped me start moving through it, and I wish the same for you. Visit often!
April 29, 2018 at 3:39 am #48833
Hi everyone. Just found this site yesterday. I’m the mother of 3 adult children. I am deaf but wear a cochlear implant. I worked as a nurse before going on disability. I was married for 25 years when 20 years ago my ex told me as far as he was concerned I was dead to him. He had every confidence in making a new life for himself and he suggested I do the same. Within a few days I found he left me for another man. It devastated me to the point I never had a relationship with another man after that. My mother who was widowed moved in with me and I spent the rest of her life taking care of her. When she died my oldest daughter wanted me to move in with her and her family to help with the 3 grandchildren while she and her husband worked. I did everything for her and the kids. School, doctors appointment, skating lessons for the girls, making meals, housework, babysitting while she and her husband would take trips, etc etc. about 2 years ago I noticed her attitude towards me changed. She was more critical of me, ridiculing the way I talked or pronounce words, criticizing my parenting of her, making me feel I couldn’t survive without her taking care of me financially. She had started back to school for her master’s so I thought she was overwhelmed. We lived in a gated community. Down the street was a neighbor single dad with 2 boys her son’s age. They felt sorry for this man and befriended him. I didn’t like him from day one but kept quiet. He would be eating at our house most every single day and with his boys when he had them. I was the one doing the meals. He drank a lot of SIL booze and liquor. He was invited on family vacations. Several times I and her oldest daughter asked what was going on with him. She insisted he was just a friend. SIL traveled for his job and this guy was still coming over. Right after Christmas she tells me her and husband are divorcing. She is moving us down to the friends house since he had the room and the kids would still be in the same school. She would worry about getting another house after she gets her degree. Again insisting they’re just friends. Ten days after moving into the house I finally got the truth out of her. They had been having an affair for 2 years. I left and moved out what I could 2 days later. From that point on she bad mouthed me in front of the kids and said I was crazy. I sent her a text telling her how disgusted and revolted I was by her and this guy’s behavior and the sight of them made me physically ill so I had to leave. She has done nothing but attack me and try to hurt me since. She has blocked me, unfriended me, changed her phone number and denied me access to my grandchildren. She told me she hopes I die (and soon) penniless and friendless. Due to my circumstances I was forced to move back to my home state where my son is. I’ve been struggling due to my financial means. I have a son who has been helping me as much as he can. My youngest daughter will also be estranged since she feels I’m to blame for the situation I’m in and I brought it all on myself. I’m hoping joining this group will help me through this pain. It’s as if your child has died. I’m at the point I realize my ED is a narcissist and blaming me or making me look bad is what they do.
April 30, 2018 at 5:49 am #48915
welcome Angel1931, I’m glad you made it here. I am fairly new, but this is a warm, kind and supportive place for “battered mums”. I think many of us here have been big “givers” and are really wrung out and exhausted by the time we get here. It’s good to read your story here. Lots of support here, and, I really value the kindness here esp when we are “up against it” with those we always imagined would be kind, who turn out not to be
May 1, 2018 at 3:20 pm #48987
My, oh my!!! Reading several of these sad, sad stories, makes me realize something is very wrong in our world. Is it just me that feels it? The world seems to be upside down and backward, wrong side out and right side in…heartbreaking, no matter how one looks at it!
I am new to this forum. Like many of you…I cannot believe the estrangement, (gleefully provided) by our oldest daughter, which has led us down this unwanted, unplanned journey. Seven (7) years now. Seven long hurtful, unbelievable years. To be absolutely honest, I cannot recall how or why it even started…a culmination of events, I suppose. Is it even important this many years into it? My ED has my one and only grandson…she used this little fellow as a means to manipulate and a pawn to hurt. We (my husband and I) have not been allowed to see him since he was 4 years of age. He will turn 11 soon. Heartbreaking, as we loved the little guy so very much.
When all of this started 7+ years ago, I begged, I pleaded, I apologized repeatedly for forgiveness for whatever it was that I did wrong. I believe my daughter and I had a very close relationship while she was growing up. She is now 40 years of age. In the beginning, I tried reaching out, begging for us to mend our broken fence…let’s do what we can to fix this, life is too short, etc, etc.
I suppose the final straw came (2+ years ago) when my husband and I were moving across town and I wanted to make sure my daughter had our new address in case she ever needed us for anything. (Could not reach her by way of FB…blocked. Text…blocked. E-mail…blocked.) It was close to Christmas, so we bought gifts for her family and our grandson. I attached a note in the Christmas card giving her our new address. We drove across town after dark and my husband put/left the gifts on their front porch. He didn’t knock at their door…nor, did he throw rocks at their windows, lol…just quietly left the wrapped boxes and we left. About two in the morning we received a text from her and husband telling us if we ever stepped foot on their property again they would call the police. Wow, so much for trying to stay in touch. Unbelievable.
We only have two daughters…our youngest daughter, age 37, actually, she would be allowed by her older sister to have a relationship with her. But, our youngest has stated that she knows her sister is full of drama and is actually a very toxic person. She has called her “out” on her behavior toward us. My youngest referred me to Sherri McGregor’s book to which I am so thankful. For several years, I thought I was the only one going through this nightmare. Surprise, surprise…I am not alone. I know I was a good Mama. I realize I wasn’t perfect. I made mistakes along the way, but…I was nonetheless a good Mama. I loved both of my girls with every fiber of my being. My husband and I made sacrifices and did the best we could. We certainly didn’t see this coming…but, here we are.
I will press-on. With the Lord’s help, I will put one foot in front of another and keep walking. I will make it. Is all of this hurtful? Oh, my goodness, yes! Rollercoaster ride? I hate it! Something like Mother’s Day can trigger all sorts of pain and negative emotions. But, I will press-on…as, what else can I do? I cannot change hearts…only God can do that. I cannot make my daughter care nor love me. This is her choice…!!! I do believe we have raised a generation of selfish, narcissistic children…now, “adults” themselves. I just wonder how their children are gonna turn out. The poison, the bitterness, the blame these “adult” children cloak around themselves is gonna return and bite them in the butt. I’m so sick and tired of their selfishness. They truly believe life is about them…and, ONLY them!!! Well, it’s not!!! After 7 long years, I could go on and on about the nonsense that I’ve received from my daughter…I absolutely love my daughter, but I don’t like her anymore. She is mean spirited and full of toxic poison. I don’t know her anymore.
Thanks for allowing me to join the group. Thank you for allowing me to vent. It’s helpful to know I’m not the only one living this nightmare…this unplanned, uncharted journey.
May 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm #49046
We’re new here too. Like many of you have stated, we find both and sadness in reading the posts. It has been too challenging to share our story. Pressing-on we would like to thank you for pretty much writing it for us. Just change the children to twin daughters age 29 and there you have it.
May 2, 2018 at 8:24 pm #49069
@2moms…I am sorry that your story echos my story, as I know it’s very heartbreaking. Indeed, it is challenging to write and share about such heart wrenching pain. The abandonment and the rejection from a child is beyond description. Words don’t adequately describe the pain and the hurt. Sometimes, I feel like a knife is stuck in my back…I’m bleeding out and I can’t help myself, nor can anyone else. Finally, I realize, I must press-on, as I have too many blessings from my Creator to let this painful situation get the best of me. Oh, but it sure does hurt!!!
2moms…Isn’t it comforting to know we are not alone? I feel like a life-line has been tossed to me by way of finding this forum…to know that other Mama’s and Dad’s are going through the same thing…well, it helps! I feel your heart…I understand your pain…hang in there… Press on!!!!
May 1, 2018 at 3:21 pm #48989
I am the Mother of an only son with whom my husband and I have been estranged for 19 months, the pain is overwhelming to me, I struggle to get through the day. A few months ago I put on a pair of trainers and started running to see if it would make the gut wrenching pain in my heart go away, I found that it did make a very small difference, I could barely run to the next lamp post but after 4 weeks of training I managed to run 3 miles, I cried when I reached that milestone, pretending to my husband that I was crying because of that but I was crying for my child.
I call my new hobby “running for my life” because I know it is the only thing that makes me feel slightly better each day, I literally run the pain away.
I visited a church the other day for the first time in years and prayed to God to make the pain stop.
I know I need to buy the book Done with the Crying as I know I desperately need help so that I can cope with my new life now. I am looking forward to reading the advice from people on this forum.
Thankyou in advance.
May 1, 2018 at 10:16 pm #49011
Dear Prettylittlerose, A very sad welcome to our community. You didn’t say how the estrangement came about, and I am not suggesting that you need to do that. But there are many women here who have lost their sons (me included) because of a toxic daughter-in-law or soon to be DIL. It is heart breaking.
It’s a very good thing that you are healthy enough and young enough to run. I think it’s an excellent way to deal with the pain. I will tell you this, though–don’t expect the pain to go away. It only changes. You will probably find one day that you feel better, then you will not. I myself have been estranged now since last July. I had a few really good days lately, then last night I cried very hard in my husband’s arms.
Just give yourself a break. Pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments as a runner. And let yourself feel what you feel. I would advise you, however, to be cautious in who you confide in. That’s why this website is so wonderful–everyone here will empathize and understand. There is no judgment here. Keep coming back and take the words of the wise women here to heart. You will find tremendous wisdom and compassion here.
Good luck to you.
May 2, 2018 at 6:10 am #49031
I discovered Sheri on a Facebook post about estranged parents when I hadn’t put that word to my situation yet. It made me uncomfortable to read her story because I was still a bit in denial that estrangement was what was happening to me but the words of her story rang familiar.
I have been married for over 30 years and we have two daughters. The eldest is 29 years old, married for 8 years to a man I can only nicely describe as unpleasant. They have our two grandchildren, a 6 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. Three years ago they moved quite far away from us. While this made me sad, I thought we would make the best of the situation by us visiting them every few months and them visiting us every few months. Every time I was at their home I felt uncomfortable. My daughter’s husband seems to be like many of you have expressed, perhaps a catalyst to this estrangement. He was fine with our visiting as long as we did not stay at their house. He liked having the free babysitting so he could go out. When they visited us, even though we have plenty of room, he would not stay at our home. His mother lives close by also and he would not stay with her either. He had to stay in a hotel. Did I mention he has taken arrogance to an art form?
My daughter has always struggled with expressing herself and has always been extremely uncomfortable talking on the phone. Knowing this, I tried to do whatever I could to stay in touch with her in ways that were most comfortable for her. This day and age of technology, that should be easy but I realize now that there is more to communication difficulties than just trying to pick a mode. In hindsight, I see that she rarely reached out to any of us and she no longer even responds when we reach out to her.
About three months after she stopped communicating with me, I felt such utter sadness. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for several years and finally see the blessing in that as I have access to a wonderful counselor/therapist. It took me several years to find him and I wasn’t seeing him at the time my daughter disconnected from me. But after realizing that I was sobbing every day; hiding at home, too sad, embarrassed, ashamed and angry to chance running into a family friend who might innocently ask “How are the girls?’, I called and set up an appointment to see him. To be blunt, I was considering suicide. I had lost both of my parents, but losing a living child and grandchildren was grief so profound that I didn’t think I was up to continuing in this life. The fact that I reached out for counseling though proved to me that I was still fighting to find some joy. I told my therapist straight up where my thoughts were and we made a plan to keep me alive that he made me sign. After all, we wouldn’t have a chance to resolve this situation if I wasn’t there! I knew it was going to be a process but I was willing to give this a try.
Several weeks into therapy we had an uncomfortable, but mind changing conversation. He wanted to know why I was considering suicide. I told him that sometimes this pain was more than I could take and that I just wanted the pain to end. He said what if it doesn’t. No matter what you believe for the afterlife, what if by choosing suicide, you take away any chance of finding some relief from the pain. Yikes! I hadn’t considered that. Well, that pretty much took the option of suicide off the table. There is no way I am spending eternity in this kind of pain!
I apologize if this is inappropriate for this forum and will certainly remove my post if asked to do so. I just think that suicide still continues to be a taboo subject to discuss. I think that a lot of people who experience such profound pain, consider suicide as an option to end the pain. For me, this was life changing to speak about the actual reasons I was considering ending my life and realizing that the only chance of relief from the pain was staying alive and working through the process.
The first and most important thing I had to do was stop beating myself up. My internal dialogue was worse than anything my daughter could have said to me. I berated myself for everything! In truth, I think I’m a pretty good human being, not the best on the planet but certainly not the worst. I am a good mother in spite of my daughter’s treatment of me. I wasn’t the perfect mother but nobody gets a perfect Mom. That being said, I was a pretty good Mom and I am still being a good Mom by not allowing my daughter to treat me poorly without consequences for her bad behavior! If she treated any other human being as she is treating me, they would likely not tolerate it either!
So when the waves of sadness or anger hit, that is where I start. By stepping back from the emotion for just a moment and stating, out loud sometimes, that I am a good human being and I am a good mother. On my birthday, I waited anxiously all day for a simple little text message from my girl wishing me Happy Birthday. Of course it never came. At midnight, I screamed over and over, I am a good person! I am a good Mom! It took awhile but once the sadness subsides, I can get myself to believe. Once I get that out on the table then I deal with the emotions. It is normal and right that I am utterly heart broken! It is healthy and correct that I am angry and frustrated that this has happened. I acknowledge and validate that what I think and feel is right and true and I am normal and entitled to those feelings. If I need to cry and grieve I allow myself to do that and I acknowledge the relief that the weeping can temporarily bring me. But then I try to mentally tuck those intense emotions into a little box and I bring out my calm and reasonable “wise mind” and I allow myself to gnaw on the situation for just a little while. This is something that is happening in my life. This is not my life!
Expectations of how I had hoped our relationship would be have to be released. I also have to make myself stay in right now. If I let my mind wander to what if we never reconcile, well that is just too much for me to consider. So right now, no harsh words have been exchanged. For that I am grateful. However, silence is just as painful. As a Mom, I feel like it is up to me to fix this but I have to remind myself to not refer to my daughter as my child. She is not a child. I have had good, healthy relationships with my parents, and continue to have good and healthy relationships with my husband, younger daughter, brother and mother-in-law. My daughter does not have those things. The part of our relationship that needs repairing has to do with her and it is up to her to fix. I cannot do it for her. What I do have control of is taking care that the pain of this situation doesn’t fester and become toxic to me so that if there is a reconciliation, she has a sane and healthy mother with whom to reconcile.
I have yet to read Sheri’s book. When I first found her, I was too raw and wasn’t ready. It has been in my Amazon cart for sometime and I’m thinking it’s time to get it on it’s way to me. I’m ready to keep working on making this the best life this can be.
I’m sorry for such a lengthy story. There is so much more but I think I’ll start writing that down for me to explore. I thank you for support and courage to stand together in this inexplicable horror. It is both easier and sadder knowing that there are others going through this. I wish you all peace as we navigate this wildly unexpected season of our lives!
May 2, 2018 at 6:16 am #49038
You’re a wise woman! You’re in the right place!
Maybe I am biased but this community is wisdom strong….you fit right in.
Writing this down is definitely a positive way to explore. Giving words to this stuff can be freeing. And this site has always been about giving people who have been hurt (that puts it mildly) a voice
May 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm #49045
Wow! Lots of new voices, too many to list. All the same feelings of total bewilderment. Please know that the very fact you are all here shows that you are good people, otherwise you wouldn’t care, would you? Read Sheri’s book, its great therapy, and get involved in the main forum, on the home page click on ‘Community ‘ .
Augusta, you are fearful. That is understandable. I can relate, and there is no easy answer. I think maybe you will have to trust your younger son, perhaps you could tell him your fear, but assure him of your confidence in him to make his own choices, to see his brother but not be influenced by him? Trying to stop communication between them will only make you look paranoid and prove their case. Yes, it’s a risk, but you cannot control them, this is all part of the nightmare. Be calm, be trusting of your younger son, smile with confidence I know you don’t feel and let him make up his own mind. Frustrating, yes, don’t I know it.
May 10, 2018 at 12:11 am #49529
I’m new here. Happy to have found this place…though sad that there are so many of us. This is a hard week with Mother’s Day coming up. I’ve read the post concerning Mother’s day and it was very helpful. It still hurts. All holidays do. And special events like birthdays, and particularly the upcoming HS graduation of my oldest GS. I have 7 GC and am only allowed to be with two. The youngest of my four ED’s broke ranks and brought along her twin, reluctantly. The oldest two have no use for me. And along with them 5 of my GC. The hardest part is figuring out who I am and how to act now that years of family traditions have been stripped from me, going on without me. Sorry to go on. As I said, hard week. But I’ll get through it. Holidays are just days to me now.
Anyhow…I’m glad to be here and to have found you all. Peace, love and healing to you all.
May 10, 2018 at 2:57 pm #49568
Faeriewpoet, I always hate to say welcome. This is not a club any of us wish we were in but here we are. What you will find here is support. Understanding. Comfort. Coping ideas. A place to vent when you want to lose your mind. This place is my go to every morning. I vent out my frustration with this horrible situation we all find ourselves in. Hopefully give support to those who post issues, and in turn face my day with clarity and strength instead of doom and gloom. I hope you find the same.
May 10, 2018 at 9:55 pm #49597
Brand new member, shall I introduce myself here? Right now, just reading the echoes of my own voice in so many of yours. My only child, my grown son, has not spoken to me for six months, refuses to answer emails, letters, or call. I am broken. Glad to find your support here.
May 10, 2018 at 10:57 pm #49619
Dear Dita and Mintjulep,
Welcome to the forum. You will receive lots of understanding and support here…so go ahead and join in the discussions.
Mintjulep, I moderate the forum so posts do not immediately appear. That’s why your first post didn’t immediaely show (it’s there now). This keeps spammers and haters out.
If you’d like to make a new topic or reply to the other threads, you can do so by clicking on “community” in the navigation bar, which takes you to the front page of threads in the forum. A new topic box appears at the bottom of that page. If you want to reply, just click on individual threads and each thread’s page will have space at the bottom for a reply.
Anyone who joins the forum gets a series of emails that explains all about this…You might not have received the particular ones yet.
See you in the main forum.
May 10, 2018 at 10:05 pm #49599
Hi, I have a daughter and a grandson. I have not spoken to her in almost a year. This has been really hard almost to the extent of being in a state of mourning. There have been times when I felt suicidal because I live for them. Both my parents are deceased and my family is not close. But I am appreciative to know that my story is not unique.
May 10, 2018 at 10:52 pm #49600
Here to introduce myself….Mintjulep. Mostly just reading echoes of my own thoughts here.
I found the forum to be difficult to navigate. Maybe I will improve. I introduced myself before and clicked “Submit” but my intro does not appear.
May 10, 2018 at 11:13 pm #49613
Welcome Minjulep and Dita. You are both very welcome here and this is a safe place. Feel free to add a thread to the main forum if you’d like to ask questions about your own situation and please do write responses to anyone else’s thread. This is a place of healing and finding our peace of mind again, and learning to love ourselves after rejection by our beloved children.
May 12, 2018 at 5:06 am #49699
I have been estranged from 2 of my 3 adult children for 5 years They consider me dead. Mother’s day is torture . Can’t bear this
May 12, 2018 at 12:58 pm #49717
Tomorrow I face my first Mother’ Day when I won’t hear from my youngest son – now in his 40’s. parenting him has had so many joys and so many heartaches. He has the loveliest soul which must still be there somewhere. Over the years I have always been there through so many situations as he has for me.
He married 2.5 years ago. They have had many challenges with custody issues related to his stepson, our grandson being born quite premature, financial issues, housing issues etc. My husband and I recently helped them financially and physically to renovate a home they purchased which was in quite a state.
Our daughter-in-law was a good friend of my daughter. My daughter was only able to go to their wedding reception, not the ceremony, as she was conducting a ceremony as a wedding celebrant which she had committed to prior to my son’s choice of wedding date. He was deeply hurt by this and cut all contact with her and her family after the wedding. He holds us responsible for this also as he feels we should have made her attend. He loved his little niece so much and her memory of him even though she was so young is a testament to this.
His marriage has been a rocky path and my husband and I were very concerned and tried to support both him and our daughter-in-law however we could. A few months ago things seemed to be very precarious and we spoke to them about our concerns and suggested they consider some professional counselling. They took offence at this. There had also been actions of mine he was upset with for which I apologised but the apology was not accepted. He feels we favour our daughter with emotional support over him.
So he has cut all contact with us and his older brother – why his brother just flummoxes us. We were not included in our grandson’s first birthday. We miss them all terribly including his stepson who we have loved having as part of the family. We have sent gifts for birthdays etc and he has sent an email today to say he does not want gifts and will send them back.
This is some of the story. I like so many other parents am devastated. I feel so abandoned and the feeling of rejection is overwhelming. This is now the third generation on my side of the family where estrangement has occurred. I have a sibling who has cut off contact with his siblings and my mother cut ties with one of her siblings many years ago.
I have found a good psychologist and I have a wonderful friend who has been great support but the ache is unbearable some days.
Life now seems like a jigsaw with crucial pictures missing – just so fragmented. My head is constantly overloaded with regrets and what ifs. I know this is unproductive as the past cannot be changed. I crave some mental peace. I have much in my life to give thanks for – but I am feeling the loss terribly and tomorrow will be a bittersweet day.
My heart goes out to all who have experienced this and all for whom Mother’s Day will be tough. Take care. ✨
May 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm #49739
Welcome, Sunnyside. I am sorry to hear your story and know your pain. As I read your post, I can’t help but think of how you have tried and tried and given and given. Perhaps now is the time to turn that trying and giving back to yourself. Let go of being the mom role and instead pamper yourself and your husband. Focus on having a break from all this stress. Do something special for yourself tomorrow. We don’t have to wait for someone else to celebrate us. Let go of those regret’s and what if’s. Sheri’s book is excellent and I highly recommend it.
May 12, 2018 at 11:59 pm #49782
Thank you Yellow Rose. Your words are comforting. We will be spending time with our other 2 children and family and will have loads of fun with our other 2 grandchildren.
You are right – I have to learn to live and enjoy and somehow find peace.
May 12, 2018 at 3:01 pm #49744
I used to post or at least read here daily. I have more or less reconciled with my older estranged daughter, who is actually more like a birthdaughter. She does not want a relationship with me but she is somebody I can be very proud of: a full time stay at home (step-) auntie to two children who will never be torn from their own mother the way she was torn from me.
I believe that my younger estranged daughter also did the best that she was capable of to try to reconcile, but that there are mental health issues involved.
My daughters are 29 and 30. I realized on my younger daughter’s birthday that, since I let her try living with grandparents when she was fifteen, she has been out of my life for as long as she has been in it. She is a complete stranger to me. She did not invite me to her graduation. I thought she was getting her PhD but it turned out to be just an undergraduate degree, which she then said she wasn’t going to get after all because I had the nerve to send her an email telling her that her grandfather’s heart condition was terminal and *made* her miss a deadline.
Normal people don’t act like that.
I also have two wonderful sons. One is a fifth grader and the other is a recently returned combat veteran who lives with us and helps out with the bills. I need to protect this little family and, hopefully, move on from this experience enough to someday be able to love my sons’ loves as if they were my own daughters and my grandchildren enough not to care that they aren’t matrilinear.
May 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm #49823
Hello, I am new here, but not new to estrangement. My daughter has been having a rough go since I left her Dad about fifteen years ago. She has not spoken with me, nor let me know her address, for eighteen months. Mother’s Day is painful, but I have learned to express my feelings–sadness, anger, disappointment–and then move back into the joyful (and not so joyful) parts of my life. I believe that she is doing what she feels she needs to do to take care of herself, and that helps. To me, the most important thing is that she is doing well, not that WE–she and I–are doing well together. We had lots of fun together when she was young, and I keep that in my heart. I am not “done with crying”, but it occupies very little of my life. I AM done with shame, self-blame, and beating myself up for what is just another force of nature. May all the mothers in this group care for yourselves today the best you know how, and thank you for sharing.
May 13, 2018 at 4:59 pm #49880
Hi you guys . I never started this blog yet until today (Mother’s Day). I always feel very bad on these days and just want to know that there are other like me, makes me not so alone. I have a ES in the Marines a captain, which I am very proud of but not his actions to me. I’m also very proud of my X who is in the FBI and has made a career there for himself. Bomb squad and all such things. We were only married 5 years. I’ve never married again, no partner there and my only son is astranged, very lonely these days
May 17, 2018 at 4:47 pm #50182
Hi Lilypad, welcome. I just saw your post, I try to read all the new ones but there are so many. I am very sorry about your predicament but I can totally relate. I also have only one child (daughter), and no contact with her bio-dad, which is just as well. She dumped us 3 yrs. ago, for the first 2 yrs. there was some sporadic but nasty contact, then one year ago by accident I found out she had been saying horrible things about me on Instagram. I let her have it, and since then nothing. I have been very sad. I have no family except for my husband – her stepdad – a few in laws who live out of State, and a couple of friends who are very busy and I don’t see much. I have been lonely too. My husband is a good man, but he works a lot and he is not, how shall I say this, the most sensitive introspective guy in the world. He is supportive up to a point but he has been hurt as well and dealt with the situation by throwing his hands up in the air and moving on. He’s p****d off. I am the one who goes back and forth and struggling.
When you have only one child something like this is devastating. Not to minimize the suffering of others, but if I had more family or other children with whom I had a good relationship, it would go a long way for me to cope. This way is really hard. So I understand. This forum has helped me a lot though. It’s a safe place to express your thoughts, vent, be mad, sad depending on the day. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. There will always be someone who is going to answer you and maybe something they say will make you think
and give you perspective. At the very least you will get support from people who know first hand how painful this is. Talking to relatives or friends goes just so far, especially if they haven’t been in the same boat. I am reluctant to do that, you don’t know if they judge you or get sick of you crying all the time. So this is a good place to be, for me it has been a positive helpful experience. It eases the pain when you have a bad day.
You can also start your own topics, people here are very responsive when one starts a new thread because it stands out and they can see it right away.
I wish you well, please try to take care of yourself.
August 17, 2018 at 5:17 am #56902
Hi, Lillypad, I feel your pain. I’m so sorry.
May 13, 2018 at 4:59 pm #49881
Hi out there. Anyone out there with the same story I have. Married short time. X not close being part of my life. No family except one son who is astranged
May 13, 2018 at 10:12 pm #49909
Hello want to introduce myself. I am a mother of a 21 yr old estranged son. I found this website yesterday, a day before Mother’s Day. To all the Mothers here, Happy Mother’s Day 🙂 It’s not an easy day, but I am getting through it and hope you all are too. Hugs to you all!!
I am happy to be here, and am grateful that there is a place like this for support.
Thank you 🙂
May 14, 2018 at 1:15 am #49930
Welcome, Seeking Solace, you will find solace and support here. You deserve to be treated with respect and love and kindness. Our ES started the estrangement a few years younger than your son. My girls started it about the age of your son now. Happy Mother’s Day to you, a good mother.
May 14, 2018 at 5:05 am #49943
Hello I am new here and I have 2 estranged daughters. One is married at the age of 36 and the other is 41 unmarried. It will be 2 years this July and I finally have accepted it and I am moving on with my husband and my best doggie, Fluffy. I hope to hear your stories and learn more about living my life to the fullest.
May 15, 2018 at 1:23 am #49989
Hello: New to this site, glad to have some way to get the trauma out. I have an 18 year old daughter that left 2 months after she turned 18 and did not speak to me for a year. She unfriended me on FB, and encouraged her younger sister to pull away from me and my husband. I am completely broken…can’t seem to pull myself together. I want to cry all the time. All I can think about is that sweet little girl that filled my heart. I feel so alone now. My youngest daughter is graduating high school this year and I am struggling to get through, seems like every time I feel better it comes back. She called me the other day and told me she is engaged. We chatted..I thought “Oh, maybe we are turning a corner….she refriended me on FB and I started to write little notes via text to her, sent her presents, letters, etc. Then she called me up and said that we were not okay, that she only called to let me know she was engaged because it was the “human thing to do.” She went on to say that she thinks that I messed her up, and that she believes that I am at fault for all of her issues. She went on to say that I have a problem and need counseling. She told me that she will not have a relationship with me until I do. She said she was not my possession and that I don’t own her??? I don’t even know what to say. She says that I am an alcoholic and that I don’t understand her…mind you I do have a cocktail occasionally but do not overdo it…but my ex-husband and her Dad has quite a bit of an issue with alcohol and has been pulled over with her in the car and has shown up drunk to pick her up at a friend’s house….so she is really sensitive…I
May 15, 2018 at 1:28 am #49992
I’m here. I’ve been here, on the edges of comments receiving help and yes, learning how to walk forward. We have been going through the dance of estrangement for years. Some years found all of us dancing together and others all alone to a sad slow song. I found Sheri ‘s book about two years ago and it was a life jacket thrown to this drowning swimmer. I read and reread it, and clung to the comments posted by so many of you. Thanks. I finally mustered the courage to say no more. I didn’t actually say that but my actions vividly painted that picture. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we would be estranged from our 2D. But here I am. My husband has gone through cancer treatments, a stroke, and other health issues. I was the caretaker and ate my way through the stress. Now, I’m reclaiming life. It is what it is, but im back standing up. If they want me, they know where we will be. It still hurts,and yes, nights and holidays can be like ptss but I’m better. Come on, ladies. Life is waiting for us. It has taken me years, but I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be.
May 15, 2018 at 1:30 am #50012
This posts proves … you’re doing it. You’re really walking forward. Wise words: “Life is waiting for us.”
It won’t wait forever, but it’s there now—-take it and enjoy!
May 16, 2018 at 11:52 am #50094
Hi, New here. I have (had?) one and only one daughter. Late twenties, new mom. Grandchild just turned one. Not there to hold her like I was the day she was born. We were closer than close. Two years ago she left to live across the country with a man 10 years older… educated and employed. Now they are homeless and not working. He is on a crusade to sever ties. He displays sociopathic behavior. Thought I could rescue her. Tired of getting turned down. Tired of crying. Tired of not understanding. Took hold of all available resources to help find peace. Don’t want to let go of my baby, but must to preserve my well-being. Would like her to want to text, talk, visit on her own accord. Tired of walking on eggshells. Can’t wait to read this book! Reading through some of these posts that sound like they are coming straight from my heart. There is some solace in that. Thank you, Sheri McGregor! Hoping that peace will come to all of us!
May 18, 2018 at 2:52 pm #50287
Augusta, I don’t really know what to say but I’m in somewhat the same spot. My ED was never close to her half sister until we had the final falling out. I’m just letting it go because I’m sure in time the ED will get tired of the game she is playing. Two years ago she was inviting her everywhere but it has already fallen to a phone call now and again. Do fall into the trap would be my best advice. The EC often will want to isolate you from the family so be careful.
May 20, 2018 at 10:04 pm #50453
Hello Everyone, I have been trying to jump on board…having a hard time getting connected. I looked this group up the night of mother’s day. I had two sons. I lost one to suicide eight years ago. My other son and I have always had a stormy relationship, but now that his life has settled down and he doesn’t need me anymore, he has cut me out of my life. I tried last year to make a number of gestures to mend fences, and he did speak to me at a family party. But I worked so hard my whole life for my family, wound up divorced because my husband couldn’t handle my other sons mental health problems, when I had my own house tried to help my son every way I could but he was too ill, and then had my other son’s family living with me whenever he needed it. We all separated when I moved in with my fiancé who passed last year. So this is the first time in my adult life I have lived alone. I am a survivor, but my son’s attitude cuts deep. I finally decided when I had myself sick on mother’s day that whether he knows it or not I am done with him. He has never treated me well and often used me. I have taken my own oath to myself that I am not going to allow him to ruin one more day of my life. However, right now because I feel so determined I guess I am sort of mourning the end of that relationship. It is so difficult not to go back over the what ifs so that’s what I work on now. I’m 68 years old…don’t know how many years I have to try and be happy. I have a good primary family and wonderful friends, but too much loss it feels like right now. Have a wonderful counselor and am working on moving forward, an apartment, part time job, etc. But I really feel like I wonder if it’s worth it to be here. I can enjoy myself at times, but feel little joy with life. Sorry this is long…but this much aloneness takes a long time to explain. It did immediately help me to see that there are so many other people in this situation, and it validated for me how much it really does hurt. So I thank everyone for that.
May 21, 2018 at 6:02 am #50476
@ smookymom…I understand!!! I feel the pain in your post. You are in good company here. We all have felt the way you so eloquently put into words…yes, it really does hurt. You are not alone. As you read many of the post on here, you will see that there are such heartbreaking stories of hurting people on this forum. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and press on. My faith in God is what sustains me. If I didn’t have Him to help me through this nightmare, I don’t know how I would make it. You came to the right place…we completely understand how you feel.
Hang in there…xo Hugs to you dearest Mama!
May 23, 2018 at 4:05 am #50587
I am new to this group and this is my first post. I have been trying to “deal” with the heartache of my estrangement for years. It’s been off and on for the past 8 years but continuous now for nearly 1 full year. Today, for unknown reasons, I reached out to my son and told him I would be in his area for a veterinary appointment and would he like to meet me for coffee afterwards. He did reply stating he wasn’t working today. Sent message back that was OK but could we still meet? Replied Not today we’re busy. Let it go then.
I don’t understand why I do this to myself? Why do I open myself up for rejection and heartache? Do I really believe it’s going to be different this time? I keep hoping he’ll miss me or want to be part of my life again.
I should be grateful for the family and friends that I do have good relationships with, but I want my other son back.
May 23, 2018 at 1:25 pm #50635
Moe56…you are a Mom…you love your son…you miss your son. This is why you continue reaching out to him…it’s a normal, natural thing to do. It’s understandable. In my situation, repeatedly reaching out to my estranged daughter and then having her threaten to call the police on me…well, after years of trying, I finally had enough. No more. I will love her from a distance. I realized no matter what I did in trying to reach out to her…well, it was as though I was throwing fuel on a fire. Only you can decide when you’ve reached the point of loving from a distance…letting them go…living with the heartache and accepting it as their choice. It’s not an easy road…but, you cannot make them love and care about you.
I know it hurts. Welcome to the group…in reading these post, you will see you are not alone.
May 23, 2018 at 1:33 pm #50643
Hi Moe 56 and welcome.
I’m new to the forum too, but your story could be mine, exactly. Your question, “Why I do this to myself?” is one many of the posters here identify with.
My first step towards “letting go” was when I got Sheri’s book, Done With the Crying. I keep it on my kitchen table and when I have situations like yours I read a chapter or two and feel centered again. I think it’s human mother nature to reach out to our loved ones. Be kind to yourself about that. It’s his problem that he is not available, not yours. I always remind myself that there are a zillion reasons (beyond dislike for me) why my son is not available.
When you read through posts here, you can see the strength of women who are taking their power back. Like Sheri says in the book, (we) have a right to peace and to be respected.
Good wishes to you and keep posting. I have found this site to be a great comfort and source of steadiness when I am feeling wobbly.
May 23, 2018 at 2:06 pm #50670
Welcome, Moe56…but at the same time, sorry that you have to be part of this group. I cannot tell you how much Sheri’s book “Done With the Crying” can help you. Before I discovered this Website for mothers and Sheri’s book, I tried everything over the years–unending apologies (oftentimes for things that didn’t even happen or where the truth was twisted to be something ugly), letters, texts, gifts, more apologies, e-mails, all the time thinking I’d find the “magic words” to reach my ES. At times, I thought it did help because he’d let us back in for a little while but before we knew it, we’d made a “mistake” again and were again banished. After 2 decades of this craziness, I found the help I needed with Sheri’s book and it changed EVERYTHING! I don’t miss the fault-finding, the blame, the hateful words both in person and in e-mails, and the constant walking on eggshells. I tried everything everyone ever suggested but there is no “fix” for this brokenness these adult kids of ours have. But, oh my…is there ever help in that book of Sheri’s! Get it, read it, and make the rest of your life look completely different than it looks to you right now. Hugs to your hurting heart. I get it. All of us here do.
May 25, 2018 at 5:40 am #50834
I’m new to the site and like so many others extremely grateful that I came across it. A couple of days ago I felt like my story was unique because it wasn’t just one of my kids that i’m estranged from until I read a few more posts. I was married for nearly 18yrs, both of us had a child from a previous relationship (I had a daughter he had a son) and together we had daughter. My step son was going thru some issues when he was 12 so he came to live with us. He and I were extremely close up until he turned 16. He no longer wanted to follow the rules and thought threatening people was perfectly ok. His dad, my husband, didn’t want to be the bad guy so he was useless..my step son ended up moving back to his mom’s house. From that point on he totally cut me out of his life. My oldest and I have gone thru so many ups and downs its ridiculous. The worst of it was when she was 20 and I found out she was pregnant from a friend of hers. I knew she had been using several drugs and drinking on top of it…so I made the comment that if the baby ends up being born with drugs in its system I would do whatever I could to get custody. That comment set my daughter off and in turn gets my mother to take her downtown to get a protective order against me… Judge grants it to her for 1yr and since she was living with my mom at the time…that also meant I couldn’t have any contact with my mother. Eventually my daughter and I work thru it…not so much with my mother tho due some highly inappropriate questions and comments her husband made to me over the years. But when he started asking things about my kids..his grandchildren..sex life..NOPE theres no coming back from that. Fast forward to 2013…I’m now divorced, moved to a different city and my youngest daughter is living with me. Things were a little bit tough at times but we were doing great..she had been modeling for about a year and was loving it..my oldest and grandson would come and visit every couple of months. My youngest’s boyfriend ended up living with us and things started going downhill..she became pregnant and they decided to move across country to be with his dad…I was told she needed space and to just let things cool down. Well things didn’t work out with his dad so they moved to her dads..then it was to my mom’s house for a while..eventually they got their own apt. She worked while the boyfriend stayed home with their son. I got a call from her one day saying that something happened to their son and he was removed from their custody. I did my best to remain calm but inside I was freaking out. My 8mo grandson had a hairline fracture on his femur, they both pleaded no contest which to me is the same as saying your guilty. I tried over and over to be there for her, offered to move back to the same city as she was in just so my grandson wouldn’t go into the system. She not only shot me down on every offer I made but had me removed from the court room during one of the proceedings and eventually told me if I contacted her again she’d file a protective order against me as well. That was almost 5 yrs ago. I finally saw her and her son at my mom’s place just before she passed away..my grandson doesn’t know who I am and I heard him ask his mom who was I..her response was to give him a new toy to play with. I catch myself almost on a daily basis still trying to figure out where exactly things fell apart and why in the hell can their dad do all kinds of messed up things on a repeated basis and yet they still talk to him. I just don’t understand and it’s slowly killing me..
May 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm #50886
Why, I always hate to say welcome. None of us can understand why and if you let it, it will slowly kill you. Don’t let it.
There is a thread on here started by Aussie mom that discussed basically shedding the mothers skin and it is basically about acceptance. You have to allow yourself to accept a few key things.
1) you cannot control your children and what they do. You cannot make them want or love you.
2) you were a good loving mother. Their choice to estrange is not your fault. They abandoned you not the other way around. IT IS ON THEM.
3) You are worth more than their opinion of you. What they say or think cannot dictate how you see yourself.
Done With The Crying saved my life. I thank God I found this site and that book when I did because for 3 years I was wondering what in the heck was going on with my son, why he was on again off again and why I always felt like I was tiptoeing around him and GF. I thought it was just me who was dealing with this semi-estrangement. I thought I was alone. Then I found this forum and realized this is actually quite common and it is not because we are bad parents, it’s because we have adult children that are selfish and have no empathy for others.
Work through the book and read here daily and you will find yourself learning a lot and getting the strength you need to let her go.
June 6, 2018 at 4:54 am #51107
Hello everyone. A few months ago I didn’t have a clue any of this turmoil existed. I had no idea one’s adult child could just decide they no longer want contact with you. No idea it was “a thing”.
My story is as long as the next so I won’t get into it. I will say it’s only been about 2 months since my ED told me I am her “trigger” (for all her emotional issues) and 4 therapists told her maybe she should distance herself from me. So, here I am.
Honestly, I can accept she is an adult with free will and can make this decision. But like many others, I am furious she has taken my soon to be 9 year old granddaughter from me. We were very close. This is where my struggle lies. She will be 9 in 4 days. The heartache is torture.
June 6, 2018 at 4:55 am #51109
Hello, I’m new to this site and want to introduce myself and say I’m glad To find this forum.
I have one estranged daughter. All of her life, we were extremely close had a very loving relationship, until she married ESIL at age 23. Shortly after they married, her attitude became increasingly cold and distant. I did the egg shell walk and bent over backward to please her for two years before I came right out and asked if I had done something to offend her. I don’t know what I expected, but what I got was a laundry list of complaints about the way her dad and I raised her and generally disrespectful and insulting remarks and accusations. She was asked several times by both DH and me to sit down with me/us and hash it out, but she said, “I don’t want to talk about it” and “I’m done”. The status quo (cold and indifferent) continued for a few months, then round two of the verbal assault happened. DH was very angry when he found out, and emailed her demanding an apology. This was 2.5 years ago and we’ve heard nothing. During this time, ED and ESIL had a baby – and made our DD promise to not tell us. We found out by accident while doing on-line shopping at a favorite store, when her baby registration appeared.
During all of this, I’ve been through the gamut of emotions. Despite the fact Its been over two years, the grief really doesn’t seem to be easing up. In some ways, it feels like its getting worse. Last week though, I did buy Sheri’s book and I’m hoping I’ll find some nuggets there as well as here at the forum to help me manage.
June 7, 2018 at 4:59 pm #51212
I am newly (or officially) estranged from my son. Stunned by the reality and my need for understanding and way to cope, led me to the book, “Done With the Crying”, this site and the gold mine of this forum. Support from ones who know the same pain is often the strongest and comes without judgement.
The estrangement from my son is “unraveling”. My son is a thread of joy woven into my daily existence. Fond memories of the past, good thoughts of today, and hopes for tomorrow – with the pull of one thread, my life is now unraveled.
The past is now null, today void, and tomorrow begins with this painful reality that I am estranged from my son. I do not know how to live without this joy in my life. Today this is my truth.
Chapter one explained the benefits of writing and following each exercise. Already it is obvious that I need to find another or other sources of joy in my life.
I am hopeful that my participation in this forum will be a part of my recovery as well.
June 9, 2018 at 3:16 am #51333
Hello. I am new to all of this and thankful there is a group like this around. My ex-wife divorced me back in November 2016 after 3 1/2 years of her cheating online and probably physically as well. Yes, she was the one cheating but I was determined not to be the one to file for divorce. I was committed to the end. During that time, she disengaged from our two daughters so I was the one there for them and taking care of everything around the house. When my ex moved out, my oldest daughter went with her. I was hurt at that time as I couldn’t believe it after how my ex had treated her the last few years. The divorce was somewhat of a relief and through intense counseling I moved on as the marriage ending was kind of like a slow death and I had already cried my tears of pain over the last few years. I saw that I was really better off without her. I would see my oldest daughter on Sundays over the next several months. She was 17 turning 18 at the time and getting ready to graduate high school. Over that time as well I found out that my ex had told my oldest daughter that she was going to divorce me about a year before she actually filed. So my daughter held on to that knowledge for a year. In April 2017 I did start dating, just expecting to go on a few dates but not really expecting for anything to come out of it. I was wrong. I met who I believe I was really supposed to be with and live forever with. Around May, my ex also “started” dating this guy. I say started in quotes because they actually were dating since early 2015 but she told my daughters that she didn’t even really know she was dating someone when they asked about it in July of 2017. my oldest daughter was mad that I didn’t tell her I was going to start dating because her mom talked to her before she started dating. Outright lie. my daughter was mad that I got married this past October and said it was too soon even though her mom got re-married 3 months later. Also, during these past several months, my ex father-in-law has told many lies about me to my daughter such as I stole money from retirement accounts, I was going to steal money from her college account, etc. etc. My ex-wife also joined in on the lies. So now, my oldest daughter wants nothing to do with me, doesn’t trust me, doesn’t respect me (her words). It is very frustrating because I don’t know what I have done. I have never lied to her, I was there for her when her mom disengaged from the family to have affairs with other men, I don’t get it. The double standard is very hurtful and very frustrating to say the least.
June 12, 2018 at 3:13 pm #51580
Hi Lovetotravel, welcome to this forum no one dreamed to be on, but here we are.
Where to begin. First of all, congratulations on your new marriage, I wish you much happiness. As for your daughter: I understand your bewilderment and frustration, you took care of her when her mother was pursuing her own selfish interests yet she chose her over you and now she is downright hostile and cut you off. It could be that she always felt closer to her mom, or maybe you were more strict with her, or her personality and character. She is very young and therefore easily influenced, it seems like your ex and her father have worked to separate her from you by whatever means, and it’s working at least for the present. It never ceases to amaze me how some people need to stick it to another person and cause pain. They are not just hurting you, they are hurting your daughter by manipulating her and undermining the relationship she could have with you. By demonizing you they are robbing her of her father. But I bet her best interest never even entered their minds. Your daughter is angry, about who knows what – sometimes children displace their anger on the wrong person, often on the one who has done the most for them. She is too young to have perspective, the maturity to understand that nothing is totally black or white. So she is taking “sides”. Sometimes anger is a way of masking sadness as well. It’s easier to be mad than sad, anger is a more active emotion. I don’t know what the answer is. I muddle through like the rest of us here. I would probably make another attempt at reaching out to her, maybe even a letter, explaining my side of thing as honestly as possible, being very clear that what was said about you is not true, that you love her and always will, and the door is always open. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, just be careful not to bash mom and grandpa because that will be used against you. It takes some b**ls to initiate these interactions because the potential for rejection and more pain is so great, but whatever the outcome at least you will have done everything possible to repair the rift. There is a kind of peace that comes with knowing that. You will have to decide what works for you, But don’t lose hope, she is young and as time goes on she may come to see things differently.
Wish you the best,
June 9, 2018 at 3:22 am #51340
Hi Everyone! I’m a newbie. I wrote about myself as a new topic, but it did not post. Are all posts moderated first?
June 10, 2018 at 3:04 am #51408
I’m here for support d/t having an ED. I am so frustrated. My ED is 25yrs old. Everything started to get bad when she was a senior in high school. She started hanging with families who had significantly more money than I have. I am a single mother of two. I am middle class. My daughters NEVER wanted for much. They always had a roof over their head, good food to eat, use of the family car, nice clothes, a few extracurricular activities that I supported not only financially, but in person by coming to watch.
However, it wasn’t enough. These other families would go shopping incessantly, coming home with fancy shopping bags full. These other families paid entirely for their kids education, to include dorms/apartments/cars. My daughter had to work to afford college and all the trimmings. I did pay for things like a car to use, cell phone, clothing, etc. However, I constantly heard how she was the only one of her circle that had to work. That being said, she was one of ONLY THREE in her circle to land a substantial job upon graduation. She is a success story. I credit myself for some of that. I taught her to be successful by demonstrating hard work myself.
However, she gradually grew more and more distant. She would go on vacations with these rich friends and tell me how the parents were “so nice”. I am a professional myself and am very successful myself. However, my daughter sees me as “less than”. It is truly heartbreaking. I spent my life raising my daughters, going to all their activities, ALWAYS being there. I don’t deserve this. I could go on and on and on about the gradual demise of our relationship, but I’d need a novel’s length. I can tell you that it is about money and status. After fighting and arguing for years….now she sees me as way too emotional, even alluding to mental issues!!!! I am respected in all my circles, but seen by my daughter as overly emotional and mentally unbalanced!!!! YES, can you believe that! I am emotional where she is concerned. She is my flesh and blood and she sees no value in her family. She is estranged from her sister also. I feel like the example in Sheri’s book. The one where the woman confronts her daughter in front of her husband’s family and walks away feeling like the crazy person. That’s me.
June 11, 2018 at 5:22 pm #51492
Until today I didn’t realise how many people were effected by this. I have 3 children, 17(daughter) 26 (daughter) and 29 (son) . The middle child, daughter, hasn’t spoken to me in 5 years. We had a good relationship, although she had middle child syndrome, and I must admit I gave her more attention etc than the other two. I loved counties and agreed her and her boyfriend could move with us. She wanted to stay at uni up there so i agreed and tried to find her shared housing. To cut a very long story short, she moved out to stay with a friend and I took her things round to her, as requested. She told her friends, my friends I’d neglected her, abused her and threw her out.. All complete lies! Recently, for some reason my mother (who I don’t get on with much) has started to contact her.. My mother likes nothing more but to make people unhappy. And said she wouldn’t tell me anything about my daughter.. They both disliked each other. I do wonder what I’ve done to deserve this
June 13, 2018 at 5:17 am #51642
Hi, All. So good to find this site. In reviewing previous posts, it was like having a mirror held up to the last 10 years of my life. This most recent estrangement from our ES is likely the last. Too much water and too little bridge.
I look forward to developing more coping skills and stopping this continuing cycle.
June 15, 2018 at 8:12 pm #51861
I’ve been a subscriber for a few months, but haven’t really taken the time to get the lay of the land. I have to confess that a recent incident is what finally sparked my participation. So, put your seat belts on, put your seat backs and tray tables in their full upright position because this is going to be a really bumpy road.
I have two adult daughters – one is 42, one is 39. They each have kids (3 daughters for the oldest, 2 sons for the younger). I have a son who is 35 and unmarried.
First, the oldest daughter – she was 11 when her father and I split, so there was some acting out around that whole divorce situation. We were in the military and, when I got out, I moved with the kids back to NY, with his permission. When he got out, he went back home to Colorado. So, absentee father. Single mother. I had a LOT of problems with her with regard to her refusal to follow simple household rules, do her chores, do her school work, and be accountable for her own actions. She ran away at 16, ended up with some guy who knocked her up and beat her regularly. She had a second kid, then left the scumbag. She later met and married another guy, had a third child with him, then left him after 7 years of marriage when he had a second affair. She was BARELY not homeless after that, and I paid bills for her, helped her out with the kids, did whatever I could for her. She was ALWAYS fiercely loyal to me and to her family. Family has always been EVERYTHING to her. She hooked up with a guy who played in a band and, we found out later, used heroin a lot. She left him and he committed suicide shortly after that. She then hooked up with, and recently married another guy who plays in a band. It was just after she announced her marriage to him that things started to happen. She avoided any conversation about getting together for the holidays, which we ALWAYS did. I sent her texts and messages and voice mails and emails for weeks leading up to Christmas – and they all went unanswered. I need to note here that NOTHING happened between us, to my knowledge. One day she was there and laughing with me, and the next day, avoiding me like the plague. The next thing I know, I hear she moved out to Las Vegas, had a wedding with her ABSENTEE FATHER in attendance, along with his wife and my younger daughter. Well, clearly that handwriting was on the wall.
Now, the younger daughter – ever since we moved into our house when she was 12 she started pushing away. I was a single mother, struggling financially, desperately trying to keep my head above water. That embarrassed her. The fact that she (they) had to do chores both angered her and embarrassed her. I am not pretty, I have no sense of style or color, and I wear pretty plain clothes with no flair for anything other than keeping my body covered in ways that make me not feel self-conscious. So, yeah, I have some body image issues. You see, when I was a young adult, I was always underweight and, with each child I had, I retained more and more “bulk” and am always quite sensitive about it. I quit smoking about 20 years ago and have gained a whole ‘nother me in weight since then as well. Anyway, back to the kid. She was ALWAYS snarking at me about how I wore my socks or the sneakers I bought or just ANYTHING negative. I always said she was a master at making me feel bad about me. She was never home if she didn’t have to be. I probably should have gotten better control of that situation. The summer between her junior and senior year of high school, her best friend was killed in a car accident when her car was t-boned by a drunk driver in a tow truck. I stayed home for a week and just held her as she cried and cried and cried. You see, she’d pushed her friend away too, and hadn’t spoken to her for a couple of weeks because she was mad that her friend wasn’t home on my daughter’s birthday. She’d been with another friend of hers. My daughter felt she’d been crapped on, and treated her best friend horribly for having “done that to me.” After high school, I paid for her to attend a local community college where I was working. We had to pull our belts tight so that I could pay that tuition, and my son and I sacrificed so my daughter could get that college education. Rather than focus on her school work, try to get decent grades and *maybe* get some financial help in the form of scholarship money, she worked three part-time jobs, and went out with her friends a lot. She worked 3 jobs to support her expensive taste in clothing. After she graduated community college, I told her I wasn’t paying anymore tuition because she wasn’t taking college seriously, so she moved out to Colorado to live with her ABSENTEE FATHER, who promptly told her upon her arrival that she’d have to get a job and pay her own way through college.
A year after that, she became pregnant. Because she was still under age 22, I still had her on my health insurance so I scrambled around did a ton of paperwork and her prenatal care as well as 2 months of postnatal care and care for the baby were covered 100%. She and her boyfriend were planning a wedding in August of that year, so we were all geared up to go out there. Then, on Easter Sunday, I was talking to her on the phone, and mentioned something about my son (whom she tormented every.single.day of his life), and she launched into a tirade about “That kid is as dumb as a box of rocks – I mean, look at the way he wears his belt!” ANY time I mentioned her brother to her, she’s launch into some verbal attack of him. On that day, I finally said “That is MY SON you are talking about and if you can’t be civil about him, then don’t talk about him at all.” It was at that point that the small scratch on our relationship became a fatal gouge. She shrieked at me that “I hate you! I never want to see or talk to you again! Don’t come to my wedding because you haven’t earned the right to be there.” And then she hung up. Over the past 15 years since that happened, there have been a LOT of these outbursts by her but, most recently, someone sent me a screen shot of one of her Facebook posts where she says she was raised by a narcissistic parent who made her always question herself. I was floored. I said and did nothing. My ex sister-in-law was hospitalized, comatose, and I sent my daughter a message asking how her aunt was doing. Her response was “the family prefers that you stay out of our business. We don’t need you. So move on.”
My son is just a really decent guy. He’s always been really easy going, laid back, easy to talk to, and well-respected by his peers. Not “popular” like jock-popular or face-man popular, just well-respected. He never once retaliated against his sister when she smacked him on the back of the head every time she walked by him, or told him what a dork he was and that’s why girls didn’t like him, or taunted him because he was a straight A student. I think that, being the youngest, he saw the crap the girls did and just decided that the repercussions of their actions were not something he wanted to experience himself. He wasn’t a suck-up (as they now claim), he was just an easy kid to raise.
To recap, I’m perplexed by my oldest daughter’s rejection of me. I actually expect the nastiness that comes out of my younger daughter and have accepted that it’s probably never going to change.
But what I absolutely CANNOT get a handle on is how I’m supposed to sit here, two thousand miles away from my oldest daughter, as she begins to battle a very aggressive form of breast cancer with lymph node involvement (I learned about it because my granddaughter shared a gofundme link for her). How does a mother hear the word “cancer” in reference to her child and be forced to be kept in the dark, not knowing ANYTHING? I’m terrified FOR her, but I’m terrified I’m going to lose her and sit here helplessly hoping that SOMEONE will keep me in the loop on what’s going on. And then, if the unthinkable happens, not knowing?
How am I supposed to just accept this, unquestioningly? I’m at such a loss…
June 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm #51955
Hi, I am new and very heartbroken.I can’t write more now.
August 17, 2018 at 5:17 am #56901
Hanako, I understand. I hope you’re doing OK.
June 17, 2018 at 5:52 pm #52018
Hi all you newbies too many to mention individually but so glad you found sheris site welcome you will find much support love and understanding here xxx
June 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm #52095
I’m so relieved and happy to be here in the company of others who are experiencing the same thing I am. I have felt so alone and ashamed that my oldest son has cut off all communication with me with no explanation. I am unable at this time to put my emotions into words as the hurt is still fresh. I hope with Sheri’s book and this site that I can heal and be happy again
June 18, 2018 at 6:28 pm #52125
I have joined because I am hurting and I thought I had got past all that. Twenty years ago my son was angry with me and treated me in a horrible way. Eventually he just stopped calling. The silence went on for several years, maybe about 10 years, I can’t really remember. I was very hurt, but also very scared that he would phone out of the blue and hurt me by being nasty to me again. I decided not to answer any calls from him. I just put him out of my mind and got on with my own life. For a while, I found this worked for me. He didn’t call. When he finally did call I thought I was over it all, so I did answer the phone. I kept telling myself not to go back into a loving trusting relationship with him as he might at any time start treating me the same way again. Over the following years he did stay in touch but with a lot of boundaries in place. Unfortunately, as it has turned out, I became too complacent and now he has been hurting me very badly over my grandchildren, his children.
I am allowed to see my grandchildren for four hours a year. They are no longer allowed to come to my home, we have to meet in public. When they were smaller he did bring them to my home a few times, on his own with out his wife, which I so enjoyed and so did they. But then he stopped, without telling me he was stopping and I have only just really taken it on board after 18 months or so without a visit that these visits have stopped. I only know because I asked him about it, and he said they only came the last time because I made a fuss about it. This was a shock. I remember pinning him down to a date and saying how seeing them in public was not the same as a home visit. I did not consider this a fuss and in fact during that visit he said the children loved coming. I am now very confused and hurting badly.
I feel the whole thing is starting up again. I don’t know if he was lying about the children enjoying it (he has lied to me before in a similar way). I am also angry as I think he is treating his children badly by stopping them seeing me. I am also scared about whether they will decide for themselves when they are grown up whether I am an alright person. When we have met in public, one of the children asks if they can come to my flat and is always told no. I hope the grandchildren might have some memories of nice times with me when they are grown up. But I am missing out on all their growing up. It feels like a bereavement.
As many of you have said, my son was a lovely person who suddenly turned into this nightmare. I am not strictly estranged at present as far as I know (it may turn out I am but don’t yet know it). But I have very little contact, walk on eggshells, am scared, and hurt all the time, never know if he is telling the truth, and I feel estranged, like I am in a strange landscape which I can’t see clearly and where there are tricks that I fall into because I don’t know they are there. If only I knew what this is all about, perhaps I could deal with it better, but it is clear he will never tell me, and actually if he did, would I be able to believe him anyway?
June 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm #52150
Ivy, welcome to the forum. Here you will find support without judgement. Also, there are pages and pages of posts that offer a wealth of information.
I recommend buying Sheri’s book and completing all of the exercises. In a short amount of time, you will gain strength, the fog will clear and you will take control of yourself in the situation.
June 18, 2018 at 10:56 pm #52162
June 20, 2018 at 2:59 am #52332
My daughter was verbally/mentally abused by the guy she’s with 3 years ago. Hes also my granddaughters dad. He had to do supervised visits for 2 years when she was younger. I supported my daughter and she always wanted to do things with me and we talked often. Once the supervised visits were over, she moved him in. I started gettingbpushed out of the picture. She didn’t come over, we stopped doing things, and she treated me different. She is having problems with him and kicked him out 2 weeks ago. For the last month she has confided in me on what’s going on and has once again needed and wanted me in her and my grandbabies lives. Dajavu! She’s planning a road trip with him this weekend and wants him back again. I’m angry, have cried more than I want to, can’t sleep, look at my phone to see if she’s txted, because I’m being pushed out again! I feel extremely foolish. Shes turned on me again! My husband thinks I should just ignore her and get over it.thank you for allowing me to get this out
June 21, 2018 at 1:16 am #52390
I’ll try to make this short. Perhaps later will be the time to go into more detail. End result is I’m estranged from my daughter and only grandchild. It began Sept 2011. Her behavior towards me got so bad I ended up moving to another state. I couldn’t take the pain and denial of seeing her and then my 3 yr old grand daughter. Off and on for 5 years she’d come around. Twice we vowed to talk and not let anything come in between us. She’s had a pattern of exaggerating situations. And then Dec 2016 while I went back to see them for Christmas after our reuniting again it ended several months later after her texting was limited and she wouldn’t call me. She actually was holding onto a story in her head that I sent her a bad text during that visit. I never did and never would. I had come to the conclusion that I would do anything possible to keep our relationship. I forgot to tell you. Her and I had always been close. When she moved out she’d call me daily. And days I was off work sometimes several. But, it’s all gone. We took each other off of facebook. I blocked a couple of her accounts because I just didn’t want to see her and have it bring up the pain. Then last month out of the blue I see her name come up in another facebook screen name. It was an open facebook. Did she do this on purpose. Who knows? But, she had a recent post from some lady that wrote an article about cutting the chair with bolt cutters on toxic people in your life. In the past she called our relationship toxic. I was shocked and it has rehashed a lot of old wounds. So, today I began to look for a support group. Found out first about the book which I’ve ordered, and now here I am. I have my husband and a son that lives near by. My son has always been quiet and it’s hard to talk to him. But, he loves me and is upset how she’s treating me. I’ve got to find purpose in my life. I hope coming to this group and reading the book will help.
June 21, 2018 at 5:48 pm #52466
You are in the right place. I always hate to say welcome because to be a part of this group you are in much pain.
The book Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children will help. The experience of other here will too. There are a lot of mother on here who share your story and pain and the years of on again off again estrangement.
You have found a great place to vent and learn. Keep visiting and work through Sheri’s book. You can get past this.
June 22, 2018 at 2:07 am #52510
I have 2 children. I have a normal adult child-parent with my son; however, I have a daughter who acts like she hates both her father and me. She’s always been an independent kid, and we’ve admired that in her and supported her.
About a year ago, we really noticed that she had started to act like she had developed a great disdain or dislike for us. She acted like she could barely stand to be in the same room as we were. She makes sure to keep every little bit of her life from us so that we don’t feel welcome to be a part of her life in any way. The only way we know anything about what’s going on in her life is if she’s talking to someone else in front of us (she is nice to everyone but us) or if someone says to one of us, “So, I hear XX is working at the hospital now.” When we try to have a simple conversation with her (Ex: “How is work going?”), she grunts at as or gives some smart ass answer dripping with disdain, treating us as if we are not worthy of her time and attention.
I thought she was going through a stage (about 10 years past the time most kids treat their parents like this). But it hasn’t gotten any better. Soon after all of this behavior started, she went on a trip overseas by herself for several months. I really thought things would improve after she got back (kind of like when you grow up and learn to appreciate what you have and the people who care for you). She even sent us a long text while she was gone thanking us for understanding how important it was for her to go on the trip and expressing thanks for our support. The couple of times we talked to her on the phone, she was pleasant and said, “Love you” when she hung up. I thought we were in the clear. Well, since she got back several months ago, it’s been the same old same old.
Recently I talked to her about how hurtful her treatment of us is and asked her to help me understand why she acts this way. She shrugged her shoulders and basically didn’t respond.
That’s where it sits right now. I’ve expressed to her how hurtful her actions are to her dad and me. I’m not letting it go anymore. I’m going to call her out every time she does it from now on. I’ll do it without emotion or argument. I’m not trying to convince her of anything. I’m just pointing out when she’s being a jerk. I’m done holding my tongue and hoping it will get better. It almost feels like I’m coming out of an abusive relationship and finally finding my voice again (I know that sounds like I’m exaggerating and I apologize to anyone who has REALLY been in an abusive relationship), but that’s how it kind of feels.
Thanks for listening. I’m looking forward to learning from all of you.
June 22, 2018 at 4:45 am #52524
I wish I would have done what you plan to do ….. the day my son moved out on his own.
You will be teaching her how to treat you, now that she is on her own.
June 22, 2018 at 5:10 pm #52569
Hi, glad to be a part of this group and hear the different stories of pain. On the positive side, there is always those whose story is worse than mine. That makes me thankful knowing it could be worse.
June 23, 2018 at 6:24 am #52590
Tell her you’ll talk again when she makes a permanent move overseas. 🙂
Please know I’m not making light of your situation because I’m in it as well and it’s the absolute worst. Estrangement brings up a parents worst fear and magnifies it ten thousand times. Could a local friend or relative be encouraging her behavior? My “independent thinker” thrives on drama, so that’s always an angle.
Good for you on calling her out on the disrespect. It’s the only way I’ve found to pick myself up and reclaim portions of my heart from the abyss. It’s been several years for me and I’m working up the nerve to introduce myself…but I’m not quite there yet.
It’s mind-blowing and incredibly sad that there are so many of us experiencing the tragedy of this “silent epidemic”. I don’t understand how it’s become so widespread, or has it always been around? I know exactly what happened in my case, but knowing doesn’t change it.
Sending love and peace to all….
June 23, 2018 at 6:24 am #52591
Maybe I should elaborate. The stories I have heard worse than mine are of false sexual abuse. Fathers put in prison because of no statute of limitations, and whole family savings spent on defense lawyers, but later the daughter recants. That hasn’t happened to me. But I know of that happening to someone I know here in my town who told me she did that because her friend, whose mother worked for DCF, told her what to say to the authorities. The daughter was really mad/ jelous at her step-mother.
BTW, so there is no confusion with my handle, the Forth Commandment is: Honor your Mother and Father.
June 23, 2018 at 6:26 am #52592
It may feel like you’re being pushed out, but it’s likely there is no room for you in your daughter’s relationship with an abusive man. She may go back and forth many times, so please find a way to understand that her behavior has nothing to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with him. Studies show that a woman will leave her abuser an average of seven times before she leaves for good.
Your love ensures she and your granddaughter have a safe place to land when she needs it. Abusers are so toxic that a victim doesn’t know she’s been infected and how shaky the ground is under her feet. Fortunately, you are not his victim so you can stand on solid ground. May I suggest during this time that you contacted local resources, learn more about domestic abuse, gather as much information as you can. Maybe your purpose, for now, is to become strong and wise so you are ready when she calls.
I believe your daughter will come back to you, and I hope one day soon she finds the inner strength and courage to come back for good.
Much love to you.
June 25, 2018 at 3:35 pm #52837
I new to the community, but, not new to the situation. Estranged from adult son six years in July. Have never been given a reason. Also, he is not estranged from father nor brother (only me). I am convinced that while I was asking my husband (at the time) for help in talking to son, my ex saw a perfect opportunity for Sociopathic slander about me as I have now discovered ex was having an affair the entire time. Divorced in 2016. So, am now realizing that I have suffered compounded trauma, parental alienation, betrayal, estrangement and abandonment since 2012. Like most within this community, I was always known as a great mother.
June 25, 2018 at 3:36 pm #52806
Hello all –
I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, but as I’m sure most of you already know, these stories are often long and convoluted.
I have 3 adult children and have been divorced for many years. I raised my kids pretty much alone for their later teen years, except for my youngest, who moved in with his dad when he was 10 – his choice, not mine.
My oldest son is estranged from me. He has voluntarily estranged himself once before, for a year, and then reconciled with me over the birth of his 2nd child. He then abandoned that child and the mother (as he did with his first child) and disappeared again. This time, it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve heard from him at all or have seen him. I know there are drugs and alcohol involved.
He’s been to rehab once (got kicked out for lying and stealing), been in a sober living house (got kicked out for lying and stealing), and has had multiple jobs over the past few years. The first time he estranged himself from me was because – guess what – he was lying to me again. I insisted that if he wasn’t going to be involved in his child’s life, he needed to at least pay child support. He told me he was paying, and that’s why he had no money for food, rent, etc. So I’d drive 2.5 hours to see him, take him out to eat, spend time with him and buy him groceries. I wouldn’t give him cash for rent, but I figured the groceries would help. All I asked is that he prove to me that he was paying the child support – I told him it was because of his past actions, and he said he would, and that he understood. I truly thought he was turning a corner in his life and getting straightened out. After 3 different occasions of helping him with groceries, paying to do laundry and gas for his car, which should have left him able to pay his rent, I finally insisted on proof of the child support payments. He sent me photos of 5 money orders with the “reason” line scratched out and “child support” written above what he’d crossed out. I felt truly stupid at that point for having been taken in again. I confronted him about it and he admitted he was lying and hadn’t been paying child support at all. I refused to help him financially after that – he asked twice and I said no – then he stopped talking to me. I tried to reach out, and he ignored me. He wouldn’t take my calls, answer my messages or respond on Facebook. Then he shut his Facebook account down and changed his phone number, so I couldn’t reach him at all.
The next time we spoke was a year later – and he’d had another child. I reached out to him and we reconciled so I could see my grandchild, and I even got to spend a couple of holidays with my son and his girlfriend and the baby. My mother passed away that year and he came to the funeral. Shortly after that, he said he was going to work on a hurricane cleanup crew in another state for a while and would contact me when he got there. Then …silence. He broke up with his girlfriend and abandoned both her and the baby – again. So now there are 2 children he’s abandoned with no support. After about a month of trying to reach him, I found out he never left the state – he just stopped talking to me again. No idea why, other than drugs and alcohol again. Now it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve seen or heard from him.
There’s always been something “off” about my son, from the time he was a very small child. He would throw incredibly violent temper tantrums – I used to work with young children on a daily basis in a large daycare and preschool – I’ve seen tantrums of all kinds – but never ones like this. They were so violent that he would hurt himself or someone else if he wasn’t restrained. I used to have to do a full-body hug on him to keep him from hurting himself, and he head-butted me more than once, until I learned I had to restrain his whole body. When he entered school, I requested evaluations be done to gauge his learning ability and to see if there were any problems. The only thing they diagnosed him with was ADD – as to the rest, well, that was just “age appropriate” and he’d “outgrow it”. By the time he was 6 or 7, the lying started – and before he was 10 years old, he’d started stealing. It just spiralled from there.
He’s been to counselors, therapists, psychologists, pastors, mentors – nothing has helped. No one seems to be able to pinpoint what’s wrong with him and why he has always acted this way. He was raised to understand right from wrong and to work for what he wants – but he has never seemed to get those concepts. He knows right from wrong, but seems unable to control his impulses – he acts first and thinks later. I worry that one of these days, he’s going to seriously injure or kill someone because of his lack of impulse control.
I know he was jailed for non-payment of child support earlier this year for 3 months – and since he’s been out, no one has seen or heard anything from him. I have no idea if he’s in the same area he was in before or has left the state. Someone found a Facebook profile he had created last summer and shared it with me – it was so hard to see his face and know I can’t reach out to him. I contemplated messaging him, but I figured he would just ignore me again. My youngest son reached out to him that way – and as suspected, he locked the account down so no one could find out where he was, who was on his friends’ list or anything else. He didn’t respond to his brother’s message. I guess I should be thankful that I at least know he’s alive since he did that.
This year has marked kind of a turning point for me. I’ve started packing away his childhood mementos – Christmas ornaments, school pictures and papers, art projects, etc. It’s just too painful to keep looking at these things. I do have a few photos of him up on the walls, but they’re not where I see them every second of the day. I guess I’m hoping that one day he’ll just show up, and at least he won’t think I’ve forgotten him if there are some photos up….
When I put his things away, I wrote him a letter, telling him how much I love him and that I hope one day he’ll realize how much he’s hurt everyone in the family with his actions. I realize addiction is a terrible thing, and that he’s probably ashamed of his actions and that’s a large part of why he stays estranged – I just wish it wasn’t this way.
June 25, 2018 at 9:56 pm #52850
Thank you for sharing your story and Welcome to the forum.
My first thought about you was, “This mom is an amazing woman”! I applaud your efforts to push your son to acknowledge his responsibility to provide for his children. If there is one, there is too many mothers who help their deadbeat sons evade paying child support.
Regarding the money order, either he is stupid or he believes you are. In the future, do not let him know you found his facebook.
Your efforts will be better served directing them to your grandchildren. A relative of mine has a son who is a deadbeat drug addict. She gave up on him and focused on her grandchild. The child’s mother appreciates her and includes her the child’s life. To her, that is all that matters.
If you start a thread of your own, you will receive support from members far wiser than I.
June 26, 2018 at 11:56 pm #52956
Hello to all. I guess there is no point in dragging out the details of my own personal betrayal by my youngest son.
In short, the child with which I felt the deepest bond and reciprocal affection met a woman, fell in love, married her and became increasing critical of me. Over eight years we tread that familiar thin ice in order to keep things right for her and right for this new him.
A very unbalanced, polite, controlled and measured relationship was what evolved. We gave, they took and we were always on guard against doing, saying the wrong thing. Over the years it was mostly me in the “hot seat” and under a magnifying glass. In the end it was my husband that said something that was “wrong” and apparently unforgivably insulting to her. My son backed her up as was the pattern and I found myself unable to triangulate against my dear husband who had apologized and was way within his rights to say what he did. The light hearted son I knew had become humorless and defensive and completely unreasonable and actually abusive with his words and behavior.
Limping along to salvage contact with them became impossible anymore. Sadly, there are two precious granddaughters in the mix and one on the way.
After hitting my head against every possible wall to make this not be my family’s truth, it may finally be sinking in that there is nothing more that I can try. My husband and I have exhausted every strategy and are out of “angles” to fix this. I may finally be ready to help someone else.
Sheri! thank you for writing this intelligent book, Done With the Crying, which I am just now able to work through. It is smart, comforting and incredibly helpful.
June 28, 2018 at 5:24 am #53070
I hear your pain and your hurt.
Welcome to this forum.
There are many wise people here who can offer help and suggestions about how to live with the pain estrangement causes. If you haven’t already, please purchase and read Sheri’s book Done With The Crying. It is invaluable.
Although I’m not exactly done with the Crying (can we ever be?) I am certainly in a place where my son’s decision, no doubt supported by his partner, to cut contact with me, is no longer defining who I am.
I wish you all the best, and am sending so many hugs.
June 29, 2018 at 1:07 am #53212
New to this forum. What I find remarkable about this group is even though our personal stories about estrangement are different, they are the same. After over three years of having less and less contact with a grown, married daughter, she recently totally cut my husband and I out of her life and the lives of our two grandchildren. The background of the last three years is complicated and too much to go in to here. It was devastating to be told that we were not to call, text, email, have any communication with our two grandchildren and be cut off on social media. But after the initial shock and hurt dissipated, both my husband and I feel some kind of closure. We now know that she has no interest in a reconciling or any kind of relationship with us. We can stop wishing and hoping for her to change her mind. We can stop hoping that someday it will be different. We have stopped talking about the situation weekly and having it on our minds constantly. We will miss the relationship we’ve had with two grandchildren have been an important part of our lives since they were born. This daughter and her husband actually lived with us when the oldest was a baby and until the time the second child was born two years later. I read the essay about The Boat. We’ve decided to swim to shore and make a life for ourselves with out this daughter and grandchildren. Thankfully, we have three other children and 3 other grandchildren, soon to be 4, that want us in their lives.
June 30, 2018 at 3:00 am #53307
Welcome to the forum.
It sounds like you have made a good decision regarding your daughter, although such a very hard one to make. Good for you for deciding to swim ashore, and it sounds as though you and your husband have love and support from other family members to help you through this.
July 2, 2018 at 2:25 pm #53477
I am new to the forum. I loved Sheri’s book and will continue to read it.
My story is that one month after my 30 year old sons wedding he sent me a letter telling me what a horrible mother I was growing up and “good bye”. This was preceded by a change in him when I had a cancer diagnosis 6 months prior to the wedding, wasn’t able to give them enough money – because I was out of work- he deleted and blocked me from everywhere. I wrote him a letter saying how hurt I had been by his behavior and that is when he sent the letter saying goodbye.
Its been 7 months and I have not heard a word from him. Nor has his father or sister. Complete ghosting.
DIL will rarely respond to my texts- sometimes just one word answers; “Can you tell him I’m thinking of him?” “Sure”. “Please tell me if he is ok. Is he doing good?” “Yes, he’s ok”. Sometimes she doesn’t repond at all. She hasn’t deleted me on social media but never interacts. I LOVED this girl. I gave her my moms engagement ring because they couldn’t afford one!
I made some mistakes when he was younger. He says I was verbally abusive. I did yell a lot and take accountability for that. He was genuinely a difficult child. But my love was always there. And past adolescence things were good. We would have lunches together, I gave him my moms ring, even had it sized to fit her, we were in sports pools together, we talked…..now complete silence.
I’m losing my mind and I’m losing hope.
I have sent cards, texts, letters, begging, groveling, apologizing for things that occurred 20 plus years ago – he said I would yell at him to cut the grass. It was his only job in the house. He says I am the reason he can’t get into graduate school – that he keeps hearing me yell at him. (But he got into undergraduate school okay).
His sister is beside herself. My husband (his stepfather who raised him) is devastated.
I can’t imagine it ever ever getting better from this.
July 11, 2018 at 5:15 am #54234
Welcome to the forum where you will find support. In my efforts to understand your situation, there is something that raises a concern.
“He says I am the reason he can’t get into graduate school – that he keeps hearing me yell at him. (But he got into undergraduate school okay).”
By any chance, did your son discuss this with his physician?
Warminghope, yelling at your son for not upholding his only responsibility is NOT abusive. Given that all was fine and you enjoyed doing things and spending time together, elevates my concern. Also, he and DIL accepted to wear a ring that will be a reminder of you? Finally, what kind of a man wants money from his mother when she is ill and out of work?
I will await your response to the question, did your son discuss this with his physician?
Until then, I hope you have Sheri’s book and read through previous posts. There is a wealth of information. And please that when we help each other, we help ourselves.
July 2, 2018 at 2:26 pm #53500
Hello! My husband and I were rejected by our eldest daughter and her husband nearly a year ago. We knew something was very wrong at their house, but we were totally broad sided by the estrangement. I am so grateful I found Sheri’s book. It has helped a lot as I work through the hurt.
July 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm #53533
Hi there everyone and I too am here because of my estranged daughter.
Most of the time I am nearly ok, or as close to ok as I am ever likely to be again, but this week is going to be awfully hard. My daughter gets married on Saturday. She hasn’t invited me or any of my side of her family. It’s bad for me, but I can’t believe her cruelty to my beloved parents who have never done anything but love and care for her.
And we still haven’t got a clue why
July 3, 2018 at 1:36 pm #53601
This is my first time posting. I linger in the background of this important support group from time to time and have read Sheri’s book. Her insight saved me during some pretty dark times. My husband and I have gone through all the stages of grieving. He doesn’t talk much about it, but it hits both parents equally. It’s like a death, only worse, because there’s no final moment like at a funeral where you can experience with others that SHE’S GONE. I still cry when I’m alone with my thoughts, especially driving in the car. I guess it’s my safe place, where my husband doesn’t see my emotions. In a few weeks it will be 18 months since our 32 year old ED, new boyfriend and their baby that we have met only once, basically checked out from our family. She had suffered from anxiety and depression on and off for years, and had actually been living with us before the estrangement. Add to that many years of struggles to hold down a job and maintain independence. We tried for years to get her counseling, but she wouldn’t participate for any length of time to make a difference. Anyways, she wrote me a letter a few months after leaving and of course I am to blame for all her problems in life. I was a horrible mother, blah blah blah. Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries of any sort are still so hard. I stupidly emailed ED pictures of her and I that popped up on my Google photos from 4 years ago. She hasn’t answered a single phone call, text or email so why did I expect her to reply. Duh! I do stupid stuff like this, but the stupid stuff is getting farther and farther apart. I dearly miss my only daughter and still have a lot of crazy and unrealistic thoughts about someday having a half way normal relationship with ED. I haven’t reached the point of totally accepting that I may never see her or our grandchild ever again, but I started a small memory box for the grandchild with a few pictures of ED and our family in the younger years and cards and such. Though I struggle with the loss almost daily, the book and this forum have helped me to accept that I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s her choice and she has to own it. I do wish her happiness, so if she’s happy, I did my job as a mom.
July 6, 2018 at 10:04 am #53822
Hi Windyday. Thank you for sharing. Your post sounds a lot like me. Having an estranged son has been about 3 months for me. I often thought about sending pictures of him and I when he was young and the movie Brave Little Toaster to him. He also had a liking too Johnny 5 alive in which I almost bought a t-shirt and sent it to him. I don’t think when your heart is aching and your is racing with confusion that you were being stupid. At least in my case, I was desperate. Desperate to resolve a conflict I was completely sideswiped in. I would have resorted to anything as I have also read in these posts so are many other women. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself. I don’t even know you, but I do know the pain and I do know the desperation. It’s called being a good mom.
July 3, 2018 at 2:44 pm #53619
I too am new to this forum as the step mother to two ED’s. When the girls were little their mother often would refuse visitation for long periods of time. Eventually as they grew old, they both just stopped coming around. Several years later the youngest ED sent a letter to my husband wanting to reconnect. That began a wonderful/amazing relationship between all of us. So much so when the younger one got married, she did not want her mother in the receiving line, she wanted only me (I did pull her mom into the line however). The older one came around shortly after. Then about 3 years ago, a huge blow up occurred at the youngest ED’s home the day she was released from the hospital from having her 2nd baby. It resulted in us leaving after being sworn and screamed at. (We were there with dinner and to help clean up the house since no one had been their to tidy up for about a week)
We left and the next day my husband got a text from his SIL saying we just didn’t understand. We played the texting/guilt game for a few days then nothing.
My husband’s ex-wife’s family still keeps in touch with us & provides us with updates regularly. They all agree that the girls are behaving ridiculously & that they need their Dad.
Last week I got a text image of the youngest’s 3 baby expecting announcement. Sadly my husband said that it didn’t spur anything in him to reach out to her. He was an amazing Grandpa!!
In a month my son, from a previous relationship, is getting married and neither of the girls are invited.
I’m sad but still pretty upset about this whole thing. Knowing that as adults the girls expressed that they did not appreciate their mom playing with their emotions by refusing visitation and yet they are doing the same thing.
Finding this group has helped me to not feel as if we are all alone in this. Too many people are shocked when I say we don’t speak to the girls. It’s sad/nice to know this isn’t that uncommon.
July 3, 2018 at 2:47 pm #53622
WindyDay, I hear your growing strength and welcome you to writing on this forum. Your story is one so many of us share. Trying, trying, appeasing, hoping. You haven’t done anything wrong. She has to take responsibility for her own problems and her life. Nobody has a happy life 100% of the time and its been a good thing for me to realize this for my own life. You did your job as a mom, you helped her above and beyond. Please write in the main forums any time you feel like it. Your wisdom and strength will help many people.
July 4, 2018 at 10:53 pm #53713
Hello, I am new to the site, but my son has been estranged for 16 years. It has been an emotional journey of the unforeseen kind. ES moved to another country 10 years ago, and has just returned with a wife and their first child. It dislodged my previous resolution to stop attempting contact. My husband (not ES’ father) encouraged me to send a baby gift, and I did. No thank-you has come my way. I’m working to “release” any new expectations of contact. I sent the gift, it was my choice, and that is the extent of my reality. Guess I will be thankful not to get reamed out for sending a gift to the baby.
I’m thankful to find this community. And I’m getting a lot out of the book. Thank you.
July 5, 2018 at 3:15 am #53760
I have a reluctance to speak my mind to my two non-estranged children. They have assured me they will not turn on me as their brother has, but I am “once burned, twice shy. ” I find myself feeling negated as a mother…now afraid to alienate another of my children. Do others feel this kind of dread? (If it could happen once, could it happen again?)
Also, my sister and I endured all manner of narcissistic nonsense from our mother, but we would never have dreamed of cutting her out of our lives. Is it something about this generation, perhaps a sense of entitlement, which allows them to give themselves permission to end cordiality or civility with a parent?
Feeling frustrated tonight. Thank you for reading.
July 5, 2018 at 4:26 pm #53772
I feel exactly the same ! I am terrified to say anything to my children in case they turn against me and cut me off like my ED has done. I know exactly what you mean about being negated as a mother it is so very hard.
I am having a very bad day today as I received my granddaughter ‘s Birthday card returned to me . So cruel so vindictive it just takes away all ones self confidence doesn’t it?
Love and hugs
July 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm #53787
It is a feeling so many express! I know it very well. It is best to strengthen the relationships. Fear is not a place that generates wise behavior! I so get it… For so many of us, it wasn’t something we did or said that caused the estrangement anyway though.
Don’t let this individual ruin your other relationships!
If we act out of fear, the relationship that’s built may not be the one we’re happy with.
I know… it’s very difficult. With four adult children besides the estranged one, this is all very familiar.
July 6, 2018 at 4:47 am #53827
I can so understand those feelings of fear in relating to NonEC. I have 1 ES and 2 NonESons. The 2 NonE son’s have reassured me that I have done nothing wrong in this E with their brother and his wife and that I was a good mother to all of them growing up. They know of Edil’s big part in this E.
However, I still at times hold back when interacting with them. I can sit back and listen to normal conversation exchange between a sil and her adult daughter and grand-daughter. Just ordinary kinds of comments back and forth. I will think that if I ever made a similar comment to dil it would be looked on as criticism. So, when those kinds of conversations occur with the 2 NonE son’s my conversation stays pretty neutral, no opinions or comments that could be construed as criticism.
YS and his lovely wife of 1 year live 1000 miles away. We will text, have phone conversations that are always very loving. But, when time has gone by when I haven’t heard from them I tend to think about our last conversation, what did I say, did I offend them in some way. Then I get a great phone call from YS and all is well. We just spent a lovely week visiting them, staying at there home. We always feel so welcomed and they are so excited to see us and spend time with us. Then I get home and think about our time there, hoping that there was nothing I did or said to offend or cause trouble.
This insecurity just hangs there, right in the background. What can we do to get past that fear and worry?
July 7, 2018 at 1:50 pm #53950
I am amazed and sad that there are so many out there like myself. I have felt so very alone watching my friends and their family groups in apparent closeness, get-together on holidays,camping, potlucks etc.. . I already lost one son to Afghanistan in 2006… the other 3 are all combat veterans and two of my surviving sons battle anger and impatience related to their service time . That anger and impatience has slowly crept between me and them. One son I rarely see, another son is very critical, and thankful that I have one son who remains kind and supportive. I have spent years now trying to figure out what I have done wrong so I can apologize for my mistakes in some specific way but the answer eludes me as my memories only contain great love, effort, sacrifice and “mother bear” moments and enjoyment in raising my sons. They were great kids. I have 8 grandchildren now…3 of which I can not see because of their father. It breaks my heart.
July 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm #54000
Please accept my condolences for the loss of your son in combat! I thank you and your sons for their service. I can’t imagine sending 1 son to combat let alone having 4 in the military!
We mothers can wrack our brains in futile attempts looking back wondering what we did wrong, what could we have done differently, what can we apologize for. But I’ve got to think from what you said that this is more PTSD from their time in the service. That doesn’t make it any less devastating no matter what the impetus, or no impetus.
I do relate to the pain you feel in not seeing those precious gc! I have 2 that I miss dearly!
You did nothing wrong in raising those sons. Love on that kind son and take care of yourself!
July 10, 2018 at 5:29 am #54177
Hi all. I am a nearly 59 year old, single mom to one son, age 23. His father decided he did not want any more children (2 from a previous relationship) and walked away when I was 11 weeks pregnant. I decided then that I would dedicate myself to raising my boy to the best of my ability and remain single to protect him from my bad instincts concerning men. I had a wonderful time raising him. He was intelligent, funny and loving, until he turned 16. We argued about something, I don’t even remember what, and he bowed up with a closed fist, screaming in my face. The first and only time I ever hit my son was on that occasion. I had a dish towel in my hand and smacked him in the face with it. He was stunned, but not apologetic, nor was I. I was frightened of him at that moment (previously abused by my father and ex husband) and began walking on eggshells from that day forward. Fast forward to almost 4 months ago. He moved out, again, but this time with a woman of 28 years of age. She cannot support herself on her meager pay and met my son on a dating site, glommed on to him immediately and insisted she needed to move out of her parent’s home due to their moving (her parents are still in the same house) Meanwhile, my son was sleeping there every night. They had dated a month before I was able to set a time to meet her. I was at the designated spot on time, my son came 15 mins later to tell me she was still sleeping. I was not pleased, but let it go. Then they rented a house. Prior to their moving in, they went to check it out again and saw a massive amount of roaches, the place smelled of vomit and urine and was disgustingly dirty. My son called me, I am the fix it person. When I arrived the gf was gone, she needed to be alone and think about things…ugh. I was there over an hour, she called my son to see if I was gone and never returned while I was there. Strike 2. I told my son that I would help get the place in order and started cleaning the following day. I found out his gf was off from work while I was cleaning that nasty place and she never came over to help. I lost it. I’m a 3 strikes kind of person so I messaged her and let her know she had no excuse for not helping clean her place and she came back at me, rude and insolent. I can’t help but think this is what she wanted. I suspect that she wants to isolate my son from his only family. My parents are gone and I have no relationship with my brothers after the estate settled. All we have is each other. I have heard from him once since he moved out 3 months ago. I am a cosigner on his car, which he is to have paid off in the next month, making it so I have to see him. I am not sure I want to. When he came to pick up some more of his things he was yelling at me, telling me he was tired of being under my thumb.
I was dumbfounded and stated those are his gf words. The look on his face told me I was right. This has shredded my very soul. But I am so angry, too. I can’t wrap my head around all these wild feelings. I really just want it over with. I know it’s only 3 months, he may come around, but I can’t trust him anymore and I’m not sure I want to make the effort to fix all of this. He knows I’m not well. He knows that I have fallen down the stairs several times. He knows I can barely push the lawnmower and that I need help bringing in the dog food, yet he has abandoned ship. He has yet to return my key to the house. I’m not worried about him coming in, I have a dog that hates him and will shred him on sight, but I asked for my key months ago and he has disregarded the request to just mail it. I am pondering who I will leave my home and insurance to and will be changing my will. I don’t know if I’m jumping the gun on all this, but I can always change it back if repairs are made. I’m sorry this is so long and wonky, I’m all over the map. I tried to do this yesterday, but ended up sobbing instead. Lord! I so hate this! But I am so thankful to know that I am not alone. I makes me feel a bit better knowing that you all are sharing my boat.
July 16, 2018 at 2:20 pm #54561
After reading your story, I have a better understanding of your situation.
You did a wonderful job raising your son on your own and considering his behavior, we know better than to look to him as capable of validating that fact.
I recalled with joy the two occasions my son picked out an apartment. I moved his belongings, purchased household necessities, thoroughly cleaned and even filled his frig. Mine was a labor of love and a gift in celebration of my son having his own place.
Good for you having your 3 strike rule. Removing yourself from that situation will save you a lot of time, effort and money that is best spent on yourself. One would hope that he would be embarrassed of his GF’s rude behavior and as a result, you would see a change. It is strange that a young woman is without motivation to clean and setup her new home.
Your response to his behavior is most appropriate. It does not stop your heart from aching, but please know that you are not alone and we are here for you.
July 10, 2018 at 8:14 am #54203
Dear SimonSays – I am so sorry to hear your tragic story. You certainly have been through hell. We are all here because of the same reason – our children have decided their lives would be better off without us. We have loved, cherished and adored our children. We have put our own lives on hold, bowed and scraped, and jumped to their every whim.
Good on you for making your expectations heard. You don’t deserve to be treated in this way by either your son or his girlfriend. It’s time to reclaim your life.
If you haven’t already purchased a copy of Sheri’s book Done with the Crying, I recommend it as the very next thing you do. Some of your questions about wills etc will be answered, as well as the feelings we undergo in the immediate aftermath of estrangement.
There are some amazing people on this site who will give you wise and learned counsel, and as you say, just knowing you are not alone helps in itself.
Sending you heaps of hugs and love
July 11, 2018 at 8:04 pm #54272
Good morning everyone. While I am not a mother, I am a father who loves his children very much.
I hate to admit this, but it is nice to know I am not alone in the struggle and pain of estrangement from an adult child. I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect and have made some mistakes along the way. However, I have done, and continue to do my very best for all 4 of my children.
My oldest son just turned 18 in April of 2018. He was a great kid growing up. Very responsible and cared for others. His mother and I divorced when he was 10 years old. He has vivid memories of things that transpired during this difficult time. The kids’ mother stayed in our city for a few months after the divorce. Their mother decided to move out of state. She was gone for 4 1/2 years. She got remarried out of state. She moved back when I filed for a modification to the child support as she was making very good money and her support would have doubled up to $1300 per month for 4 children. My son was 15 at the time and had just completed his freshman year of high school. Up until his sophomore year, he had straight A’s in school. He began asking more adult type questions about the divorce and I foolishly answered them truthfully, some even in text format. What I didn’t know at the time, was that I was being set up and his mother used those text messages to say I was bad-mouthing her, turning my son against me.
Since that time, my son has gradually distanced himself more and more from me stating that I lied to him. I have apologized to my son for telling him things he didn’t need to know, even though they are not lies and are facts. He refuses to see that there are two sides to the divorce and I have done my best to not dwell on the past and have tried time and time again to move forward with our relationship in the most positive way I know how. I have given encouragement, stayed up late to help him study for tests and projects, I have never missed a doctor’s appointment, athletic games, or school functions. His grades have proceeded to get worse over the past three years. His attitude towards me has escalated in the past year and once he turned 18, he chose to move out and live with his mother and step-father. I have tried to put in place rules and boundaries in our home and he regularly breaks the rules, boundaries, and respect of others in our home. He has been verbally abusive towards me saying I am cheap and stating that I should have been a better father. I know that I have been a great father, there isn’t a doubt in my mind about this. I know that I do not deserve to be treated this way. I have accepted responsibility for my past actions, but that still doesn’t seem good enough for him. He refuses to move forward in a direction that would foster reconciliation. He routinely speaks badly about me towards other people who we know. It has even gotten to the point where other teenagers who know about our family situation ask me about my son and why he acts the way he does.
He recently told me I have no place in his personal life and will not return text messages, phone calls, or emails. He only reaches out to me when he needs something, and I am hesitant to assist when I have been treated this way. I also found out that he quit his job as he was being investigated for sexual harassment for a second time at his place of employment. I know that I know that I know, his choices do not reflect the kind of man I am and are his to own.
However, this is where I am struggling. While my mind knows I am doing the right things, my heart yearns for the relationship with my adult son. As a father, you want your children to look up to you. My son hates me and it’s tearing me apart inside.
I have read through some of the posts and articles on this site and know I am in good company. Thank you to all of those who have gone before me. Braving the lonely and emotionally crushing road of having one of your own children turn their back on you. I will not turn my back on my son. I love him even if I do disagree with his choices and won’t bend to his will. I will continue to reach out periodically while giving him space to make his own choices and run his own life. Thank you for all of the great advice given on this site and the encouragement, prayers, grace, and strength to continue to put one foot in front of the other!
July 11, 2018 at 10:55 pm #54296
Welcome, fish. It’s certainly very disheartening to have a child that we love so much go down a bad path in life. Many of us on this forum can relate even if our EC have different stories. Please feel welcome to share your thoughts on the main forum in response to other posts or if you want ideas, advice, or information on your own story. It’s certainly no fun to have an errant child- just today someone was asking me about my kids who knows my financial background. At some point it is what it is but it’s also something that many can relate to. As this person today could.
July 15, 2018 at 3:18 am #54475
Hello. I am the mother of 4 sons. We lost our first at birth,so when the next one came along…..well, he was my whole world. 2 brothers quickly followed and life got crazy for awhile. I had always hoped for daughter in laws that I could get close to. My now oldest, who I’ll call Ted went off to college, then moved out of state and met the woman he would marry. We had a great time at his wedding and they went off for an all inclusive honeymoon we papaid for. That is the last time I saw it spoke to him. When he returned from the honeymoon i got accused of not loving ior accepting his wife. He texted a few times to me or his dad always accusing. Fyi, we had only met his wife 3 times before the wedding, so not much time to establish a relationship. Anyway, I can’t add all the details here but we were in shock. He would text this awful stuff then block is so we never had an opportunity to work this out. This was 3 years ago last month. 3 years since I spoke to my son. I can’t believe I lived this long. That a broken heart continues to beat. He has moved across the country. It seems as far away from us as possible. He has abandoned both his brothers and all his extended family as well.. It’s like we never existed to him. I swear he was never abused. 3 weeks ago I found out we have a beautiful grandson. I know I’ll never get to hold him but one day when he’s old enough i plan to tell him if another family who lives him. My heart is so broken. And now all I can do is call my son filthy names in my heart for what he is doing to us. Thanks for listening. I’m so sorry you all are going through this he’ll too
July 16, 2018 at 12:50 am #54539
I am so sorry you are experiencing this abuse, Jarofclay, that is what I would call it as it seems abusive to me. You’ll find much support and healing here on this forum. I found great comfort in Sheri’s book, Done with the Crying, and we did counseling, together as a couple or family with the ES and alone. Please know you are not alone and there is no answer to the “Why?” we so often ask. Reasonable, good, kind people do not estrange or treat others this shabbily. For many of us, there was not working things out — the EC did not have a goal of working it out. All of us walk a different path but you will find your path here and also support and encouragement. There is hope for a good life as time marches ahead. We can heal, we can move forward. Welcome to you.
July 20, 2018 at 3:46 am #54641
Thank you Yellowstone for your kind words. I’m still to dazed inside help others get but I hope one day I can. I am flabbergasted that there are so many people who are dealing with this. And you are correct. It is abuse. Unfortunately it has negatively affected my relationship with friends and my husband as we are dealing with the pain in different ways. I can’t look at pictures of the boys when they were young as they just make me sob. And I avoid people who knew us then., So I’ve stopped going to church. It’s just to hard to explain or to dodge questions. And it’s worse with the people that do know. I can’t stand the looks of pity. Oh well, another day. Thanks again
July 22, 2018 at 5:11 am #54889
I’m very sorry to read of all the heartache of other estranged parents. I hope everyones’ situation will be healed and relationships mended.
Until I found this forum I believed my situation was abnormal, that everyone else had close and loving relationships with their children and their childrens’ spouse/partner. So this has been an eye opener for me, and helps me to keep my problems in perspective. The positive in all this is knowing I am not alone and judging by the posts here it sadly is a pretty common thing.
I was until recently estranged from one child for over 6 years but we are now reconciled though the relationship is still distant. I accept that due to these 6 years both of us have grown and changed and our relationship can never be what it was before. I also know I have to accept whatever type and amount of contact my child wants and is prepared to give as I don’t have any control over that. I have moved on from the point I was in all those years ago and have my own life independant of my children, which is a big help.
Sadly, it appears that I’m losing my other child to their spouse and the spouses family and even in part to my childs other parent who is willing to splash thousands around on my child and their spouse.
So currently I am conflicted and pulled in different directions as I do not know what this childs’ spouse wants from me, where I fit in – if anywhere. I believe I am being kept at arms length not only in contact but also knowing anything about this spouse – sort of like the spouse doesn’t want me getting close or getting to know them, though I hope I am wrong about this. I’m totally confused about this relationship.
While I am glad to have found this forum, I am the type to just read and think rather than post a lot. I hope and wish everyones’ situation will be resolved peacefully and happily. Thank you everyone for reading my post and thankyou to those who have shared their stories and pain.
July 23, 2018 at 4:40 am #54943
Welcome, Conflicted. I am in the same position as you. My ex-husband does his best to have me ostracized and kept at arms length. You could be very right about the spouse wanting his privacy and having you know little about himself or herself. And we can’t change our ex spouses who decide to lavish money on our EC. So much of this stuff is out of our control and fretting about it hasn’t helped me. It can become a kernel of hurt when I think about it. My good son recently told me about going to an event at his dads (my ex) and who all was there (myself excluded but that is okay) and good son asking his aunt if his grandmother is willing to see me again. Grandmother ostracized me when I told her the divorce was because her son drank and used drugs and stayed out all night. She blamed me. What can one do? Truly nothing but go on and live a happy life. I am not interested in seeing these relatives again but my son asked this because it bothers him that I am ostracized. Personally, I no longer care but… the idea that he asked his aunt who said she will ask her mother, just galls me. Its kind of embarrassing, frankly. Whenever you are ready, feel free to write in or not. We are all here just to support and help each other and we welcome you.
July 23, 2018 at 2:26 pm #55001
I signed up for this site a little while back and have been reluctant to introduce myself—but I’ll try.
I’ve been estranged from my two sons for a long, long time. I wish I could place the blame on them for somehow being unfair or unreasonable, but I can’t. I have to be honest–my parenting was lacking when they were kids in the 70’s and 80’s, and a bitter divorce didn’t help. I’ve tried for decades to redeem myself in their eyes, to no avail. Their mother escaped all blame for her role over the years and poisoned me the best she could—she got custody and, I know, that’s what often happens with the other partner, male or female. Even so, I wish it could have been better.
I’ve given up, knowing I’ll never see or hear from them. It’s depressing, but I’ve tried my best to move on. I’ve been in and out of therapy to discuss it, and that has helped, but there will always be regret that, in their eyes, I didn’t live up to their expectation of a model parent.
I’ve taken a bit of comfort in your posts and comments. Before coming here, I searched the internet for anything related to parental estrangement, and could find nothing but stories of joyful reunions and gushy articles on the joys of parenting. I’m glad I finally came across this.
I’ll try to say more but, for now, this is the best I can do. Thanks for listening.
July 23, 2018 at 5:47 pm #55016
Welcome Sadness. Sheri’s book is really excellent for learning to forgive ourselves. What you are describing is parental alienation, where one parent does their best to wreck the relationship between the kids and the other parent. Many of us on this forum have been victims of this. Myself included. Feel free to answer posts or not. We do have some fathers who read or write in. Your input is valuable to everyone on this forum. And you know what, you could have been a model parent and still suffered this estrangement and parental alienation. I was “a model parent” and still I have negative or difficult relationships with 3 EC. No parent escapes this life without making mistakes. Its called being human and we have to find self worth and self love and self forgiveness. You do deserve this. Welcome again.
July 23, 2018 at 5:56 pm #55027
All of us have regrets, and if we’re honest, I don’t think any of us are truly model parents in all ways and at all times. Some are better than others, but we’re all human and each of us has a regret or two (or more). We may be models in some ways but we all fail somewhere along the way.
70s and 80s dads had a lot on their plates, and I have this feeling that you were probably doing your best at the time…given the bitter divorce, etc. Maybe you could or even should have done better. I hope you can forgive yourself.
I’m sorry that your co-parent has chosen to paint you in such an ugly light and make herself glistening like freshly fallen snow. Surely you did something right along the way, or would have if given the chance.
Please take good care of yourself. Post whenever you please. There are quite a few men who write to me off list and read along here. They just don’t post that much. By speaking here, you have helped another man who will read your words. BTW, I think your avatar speaks volumes!
July 23, 2018 at 11:16 pm #55030
I am sad to find myself back here again. I have been through this with my son 2 years ago after he got out of rehab and has in a bad relationship. He realized that the relationship was toxic and ended it. He remained sober and we began to heal and move forward. Then enters another relationship with another insecure girl. Grateful that he is not drinking (that I am aware of) but sad he is staying away from us again. He needs to mature and we have to give him the space and time to do that- its hard to handle. I lost my Dad 4 months ago and my Mom is struggling, she is 85 and lives at home alone now. Tough time…. 🙁
July 24, 2018 at 12:53 pm #55095
Welcome back, growingstronger (sorry you need to be here again).
I’m sorry about your dad too. I’m sure it’s tough for you and your mom. She’s fortunate to have your kind care and presence.
July 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm #55347
I believe that I need this time to heal myself and any unforgiveness that I have toward my son and his girlfriend. I also know that his heart needs to change for there to be any healing in his life, with us and others. Just looking for encouraging words to carry me through today…. Thanks!
July 27, 2018 at 3:56 pm #55350
How about a virtual hug, growingstronger? It’s my best this morning.
July 24, 2018 at 2:14 am #55051
I very much appreciate the supportive comments from you both, Sheri and Yellow Rose. I do know I could have done better, and I think about that often. Sadly, I think some of us tend to be focused on our shortcomings, though, and forget about all the good we did. Yes, there was much of that–there were the camping trips, Disneyland and all the other places, Little League, scouting, Christmases, school conferences (I was even on the school board for a while), helping with newspaper routes, and so much more. Never was I abusive, I never struck anyone, and never raged. It’s hard to clear your mind and remember the good things when the pain sets in, though.
I hope you’re right as far as encouraging other men to post more. I want to hear from them, too. And I suspect there’s more I will be sharing–but I have to build myself up to that 🙂
Thanks again for the support–I’m glad I found this.
July 27, 2018 at 5:44 pm #55365
Hi – Just joined the forum. I have a daughter who is at he moment choosing not communicate with me. I don’t know if you would call if an estrangement or a temper tantrum at this point.
It’s a long story that starts back when I divorced when she was in the 8th grade. She is now 32. It cycled through changes in behavior, truancy, stealing from the house, stealing her brothers car and joy riding when I was at work, eventually she developed a full blown meth addiction, went to jail, rehab, had great turn around, marriage, a child, a relapse involving both her and her husband, a rebound from that but things haven’t been the same since that last relapse.
In the course of that I tried to do what I was supposed to do as a parent including actually having her taken to juvenile hall when she was caught stealing from the house, I tried multiple modes of counseling because she certainly wasn’t interested in talking to me, I tried moving three times, I tried changing her school. Eventually she became an adult and with her drugs she eventually ended up in jail and fortunately got sent to a rehab program out of the area.
I will never claim to be a perfect parent but I did absolutely stick by her through all of this even though I had to try to discipline her. I was at every court date every visit day not to mention all the times we were there in the madness of her addiction. and we actually became very close. Or so I thought.
Lately there has been frequent mention about how badly she thought I handled things with her like locking her out of the house after she stole (and wrecked) her brothers car. Or making her change schools etc etc. she has said things like at least she knows what not to do with XX, her son, learning from what a terrible parent I was.
Since her and her husband started to indulge in pot and alcohol again 3 years ago – and their life imploded, I have felt underlying animosity. It’s never been the same.
Lately her mood swings I guess you would call them – have gotten worse to the point to where I can’t say or do anything right – she has been going through periods of being uncharacteristically nice and then viscous. Which usually results in a phone call that ends with her turning to tears and then cutting off communication.
Last couple times I was always the one who offered the olive branch but this time I’m not so willing.
Usually of late most of the anger comes from something related to drugs or that lifestyle and my either calling her in it or refusing to endorse one of her friends who is still in the lifestyle. She gets particularly angry about the latter.
But I have still been very supportive and congratulatory of all their successes.
The last convo we had she got mad at me because I wouldn’t support her husbands ex – with whom he had a child – and the fact that it appears they are doing drugs again. That was two months ago and she eventually told me I’m toxic and to have a nice life and hung up on me.
I don’t get this sudden regression and anger toward me after everything she has put everyone through – including herself – it’s like everything has gone completely backwards.
And yes I have considered they are doing drugs again. Though They are still going to work and seem to be doing what they are supposed to. I can’t and won’t go through that with her again. I know there is a grandchild involved but I have had enough.
I still struggle though with being the more mature person and just pick up the phone but I don’t trust her to not attack me again and I just am not up to the drama of it.
I’m trying to be a healthy and happy person and am trying to focus on my marriage and getting myself in a better place.
Of note all this has been going on while at one point my son was in Iraq, my having to move my mom out here to help take care of her, my Moms passing away, and now I have my Dad who had to move here to get help and live close as he ages.
I feel drained and pulled in too many directions.
I guess I don’t know what the answer is.
Feeling pretty bitter at this point.
July 28, 2018 at 3:21 am #55384
Welcome to the forum. Boy, haven’t you been through the wringer? I salute your loyalty and support of your daughter through everything for all these years. That in itself shows you are a good parent, so accept you are. Life is not simple and as a lawyer once said to a family member – LIFE isn’t fair (this was at the time of this persons divorce and they basically got really shortchanged).
Whilst reading through your post the first thought that occurred to me is that your daughter is confused and hurt because as far as she understood how things were supposed to be, hers simply wasn’t that. Perhaps she in her own way has tried to achieve what she thought life was supposed to be and not having achieved that is lashing out at the world and sadly you represent “that”, as well as being in striking range. So sad.
I do wonder if for perhaps the decade after your divorce she was subconsciously seeking a father figure and wanting to be loved. Yes you did love her and was going through a really tough time of it yourself at that time, but if she was particularly close to her dad, then the divorce may have been subconsciously seen as a rejection of HER and not the end of the marriage. A child of that age doesn’t really understand that when a marriage fails, why can’t the parent just leave the other parent and not leave them. The issues you had with her behaviour at that time seems to be her way of rebelling against your divorce and that she had no say in what happened to her life and whether she wanted her parents to split or not – things happened to her and which she had no control over. I’m hoping the above will help you to understand the possible whys of her behaviour and that quite possibly it didn’t stem from your parenting of her.
I understand the moving to remove her from bad influences perhaps, but from my understanding of people like this, the problem isn’t necessarily in their environment, it’s within themselves, so the “problems” go with them and the behaviour continues. Perhaps she herself not knowing how to handle her different situations and issues in any other way contributed to this acting out and so was the only way she ‘knew” or felt was the only thing she could do about any of it. Needless to say the stress, worry and anxiety these years caused you must have taken a high toll on your own health and how you view/viewed your own parenting skills. These are choices she has made and hopefully one day she will truly realise all you did and sacrificed for her, but this may not come until she is a lot older.
Fear and anxiety make people react in strange ways. Drugs magnify and distort their thinking and these issues. As you’d be aware they’re not really living in reality when under these influences, but at a guess I’d say in part the drugs were used to blot out the pain, hurt, anger and disappointment of life. But as you’d be aware drugs then rule the person and not the other way around. You mentioned mood swings – I wonder if perhaps one effect of these drugs is bipolar disorder or some other mental issue. I truly hope she gets the right medical and psychological help she needs. But you can only lead a horse to water – you can’t make it drink.
This sudden anger and regression directed towards you may be because she is hurt, frightened and lashing out as a consequence maybe because she sees her life is what it is and doesn’t know how to extricate herself from it – how to turn it all around. Sadly, we seem to hurt those closest to us, possibly because we feel vulnerable around them for whatever reason, or maybe because we blame them for how our lives turned out because since it was the parents who chose to divorce – their life has been miserable and they never got a choice in this matter, and so it’s all the parents fault. Whilst this attitude may be lingering over from a 13 year old child perhaps it is still underlying matters as it’s never been dealt with, and so emotionally they’ll still stuck at age 13. And yes, on one level they do know it’s their choices that have lead to their life being what it is today.
Age is not necessarily an indication of maturity. Some never grow up.
I honestly can’t see what more you could have done from what you’ve written. Being human means we are not perfect and we do make mistakes, but learning from them and adjusting your behaviour/attitude etc is what helps us to grow and mature, and is what life is all about. It is hard trying to deal with a divorce and all that entails – settlement of property, finances, custody, access/visitation, schooling, discipline and the emotional struggles surrounding that time. On top of this you also have to work and be a team person, smile and carry on as normal when your life is in disarray and the future is full of uncertainties and difficulties from various directions. Such a lot of stress and a lot to cope with for such a long time. Hold your head up and give yourself a pat on the back for all the good you did, you parented her to the best of your ability under the circumstances you were in.
As a parent we continue to love our children and want them to be happy and to be successful and to have all that we did not have ourselves. So it can be difficult to step back but sometimes we need to do so not only for our own sakes but sometimes even for the future sake of the relationship with the child.
We all have our limits and I don’t blame you for being wary of being hurt again. It sounds to me like you need time out. How long will be up to you. It also seems to me that you need to set boundaries with your daughter of how she speaks to you and treats you. It sounds to me like you are overburdened and perhaps a break will also help you to see things and any decisions to be made more clearly. When rested a person is better able to make good decisions.
Drugs and the life that goes with it is pretty hard on a child and sadly usually there is more than one “innocent victim” as the result of the fallout from these types of lifestyles. I hope for your childs’ sake and the sake of your grandchild that they’ll turn their lives around. It is hard, but only they can do it. You can try and help and offer support and advice but only they can face the facts, take responsibility and take steps to turn matters around.
How wonderful that you’ve been supportive and acknowledged and applauded her/their successes – no more is required.
And you’ve also been the carer for your mom, had to deal with her passing and also be there for your Dad who now needs your support and care! Did anyone ever tell you you are wonderful? Well guess what? YOU ARE!!
For yourself, I hope you realize you are a good person, you did the best you could under very trying circumstances and have given all you could and placed others before yourself. Considering you daughter is 32, I think you are entitled to be treated with respect and common courtesy. You are not a doormat and should not be treated as such. Hopefully this is just a storm in a teacup for all concerned. Perhaps you need to take a breather until you feel better able to deal with your daughter and the situation she’s got herself in.
Take her advice and create a nice life for yourself! Don’t live in limbo. You are entitled to be happy and healthy. At 32 she has well and truly flown the coop. So now is the time to focus on yourself, your life, what you want to do in your life and with whom, where and when you wish to holiday and with whom and for how long. Was there something you’ve always wanted to do or learn? Even something basic such as knitting or embroidery or even learn another language. This is your time in life now. Your daughter is an adult and has her own life. You’re an adult with your own life too – so start living it the way you want to!
Please don’t continue to look back and look for what you may have done or didn’t do or perhaps could have done differently. In a way none of that matters because you can’t go back in time and change any of it. The only thing you can control is what you do and say and can only influence what happens today. You don’t have a crystal ball so can’t see what’ll happen in the future, so start living today. Each day get up, look for little things to be grateful for, for what you do have (forget what you don’t have or what could have been or what may be lost), focus on the here and now. Choose to be happy and not bitter. Live each day to the full. Get out in the sunshine and go and smell the roses, look up at the night sky and marvel at the beautiful stars, take each day as it comes and don’t borrow tomorrows trouble because trouble there may not be!
Sending you hugs!
Sending you hugs!
July 30, 2018 at 2:50 pm #55500
Hi I would like introduce myself as bern estranged 9 years from my only daughter.
I have reached some sort of acceptance as situation seems unlikely to change however it’s never easy.
My closest friend has just been presented with 3rd grandchild and I am happy for her but it brings back bittersweet memories.
We were cut off when our beloved first Grandaughter was just 9 months.
Recently seen lot of photos of her on twitter (school goes on there) it hurts me so much we never been allowed even photos.
It is my only daughter and only grandkids 2 born never seen.
We do have lovely son who is marrying in seotember he has 2 stepsons they would love a baby but are both 40 we shall see.
I have made lot friends and support since estrangement.
Not sure if have posted this in correct place as seem have trouble logging in!
Came across old letter yesterday from my son while in army and he mentioned his sister and asked for her new address. It hurt so much to realise how things have gone now!
I am blessed with being able to,share my twin brothers grandchildren and that’s lovely,
It’s still very hard to accept I may never see my daughter of grandchildren again or even meet them we have tried everything.
We sent presents and cards up to last year now just cards, I even wonder it that’s worthwhile now?
Be interested get any feedback.
July 30, 2018 at 4:42 pm #55539
Hello all. My first post. I’m grateful for the chance to be with others who are experiencing the same heartbreak. I hope to find my way thru this nightmare. There is so much info here.
I have been single for 22 years. My parents passed 6 years ago. I have no one to talk to about this. I do not have a close friend to confide in. My church has not been a source of support for me, not their fault, it’s a difficult topic that few seem to be willing to talk about. Now I am being shunned. I’ve started going to therapy but not found that to be very helpful, hollow, only given self-help info to read. Maybe I expected too much.
My oldest daughter lives nearby. She became rebellious at an early age. Our relationship has been strained for many years although I e tried to maintain a close relationship. This has been ongoing for years. My other two children are married and live out of town. We’ve always had great relationships. But I’ve realized that they’ve been distancing themselves from me over the past couple of years. I have grandchildren that I love dearly and want to be part of their lives.My physical and mental health are not good. I think mostly due to the emotional pain. I’ve seen many doctors but all comes back to my mental state. Yes, I am lonely, depressed and anxious.
I always had and continue to have their best interests at heart. After divorce I never remarried because I never made time to pursue a relationship. I only wanted to tend to my children thru childhood, adolescence to adulthood, support them. These two children are successful in their chosen work, which I fully supported at a time the rest of the family did not. I want them to be happy with their lives and they are. I am happy about that. Only, I want to be a part of their lives. I am not bossy or overbearing. But they don’t share things with me. I feel like I’ve been kicked to the curb. Our week or two phone conversations are as if I’m a casual acquaintance. How do I keep the relationships from further deteriorating? Do I continue to be the one reaching out or do I wait for them to contact me? How do I start a conversation with each of them to find out what they think?
July 31, 2018 at 12:25 am #55556
My daughter and I have been struggling since she was a teenager. Her disrespect and behavior towards me forced me to send her to live with her father (we were divorced when she was a toddler) who I hoped could discipline her. Instead, he used his anger toward me to poison her and to convince her that I was a bad mother. She has been abusive and disrespectful to me ever since. Most of her anger toward me (that she vocalized) was regarding money or my lack of giving it to her when she wanted it. For a great deal of her life, I was a single parent working in jobs that did not pay well. When I married my second husband, we could afford a better lifestyle and amenities and from this experience, I believe she felt entitled. Until about 6 years ago, we agreed to try and work out our differences, but when both of my parents (whom she was quite close to) became ill with dementia, she has been distant and partially estranged. She even criticized my brother and my handling of their health and property (taking the car away from my father who did not remember where he was going), and told me I was being disrespectful. I chalked this up to denial over his illness. During this same “conversation,” she told me that she would not have any sort of relationship with me until I “took ownership of all terrible things I did to her as a child.” I was shocked. It is one thing for your child to say she is angry at me or that she perceives I have treated her badly or made poor parental choices, but it is another to emotionally blackmail someone. Essentially, what she was saying was that she would withhold her love for me until I validated her claim that I was a bad mother. I was a good mother and worked hard and had to overcome challenges with an ex-husband who I had to sue for child support and who ignored her when she was young. What has caused me to enter this forum is this: Both of my parents died within the last 6 months and my daughter feels that the set of my mother’s wedding china I inherited from them and took possession of 6 years ago belongs to her. She has not mentioned this in the past 6 years, but she sent me a text last weekend asking for the items. I called her and told her that she would eventually inherit them, but that they were handed down to me first by my mother who has only been deceased 6 months. She threatened to sue me and told me I was a horrible person. She also blamed me for not notifying her when my dad was near his end, although we had been in touch for the several months of his hospice care, and I repeatedly told her of his progress. I am struggling with anger, pain, guilt at not handling her original ultimatum better (since then, I have discovered that a lot of the literature states that the parent should apologize for no matter what). I hope I can get some closure here.
July 31, 2018 at 12:26 am #55557
I also wanted to add that I have reached out to my daughter via phone. I told her I loved her, I was sorry we had an argument, and that if she was willing, I would arrange for a counselor or mediator to help us express our pain, anger, and hopefully find a solution. She has not responded.
July 31, 2018 at 4:12 am #55561
Welcome, withjoyandsadnbess. Thank you for sharing your story. We have several moms who have written lately about their daughters going to live with the fathers during turbulent teen age years and the fathers fanning the flames of estrangement. I have also had parental alienation but my daughters were young adults already. I think you have done a lot to try to mend things and I am not sure this is something you can fix by yourself. Sheri’s book is truly excellent for gaining new perspective on the estrangement and working through our own situations. This forum is also helpful. Its like a support and encouragement and wisdom group all rolled into one. Feel free to post on the main forum to other people’s posts or add your own if you would like advice, suggestions, encouragement or whatever. I’d also like to say that lately we’ve heard so many stories of angry adult children claiming a bad childhood or an abusive childhood that never was and expecting their demands to be met by the parent they have rejected. You are truly not alone. We are here for you. Stay strong, its obvious you are a loving and thoughtful mother.
July 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm #55571
Hi, I’m new to this site and I hope I know how to use it correctly. I have to say I had no idea that there are so many parents who are going through what I have been going through. It has been 13 months since my daughters estrangement and I have been desperate. I have spent a lot of time and money seeing therapists and I believe now that the Pychologist and Psychiatrist I am working with are the right fit for me. I also was searching the internet on adult children estrangement and that’s how I found Sheri’s book and it is my life to a “T”. Unbelievable. I am so happy to have finally found people I can really talk too who truly know what I’m going through and how it feels (not that I’m happy you all are going through it too). I have heard so many times “Bury it and get on with your lives). They don’t have a clue. My daughter has been a Bully to me since High School and she’s 37 yrs old, married and has 2 daughters 8 and 5 yrs old. I became tired of her abuse and took up for myself and we have pretty much been estranged ever since. She refused to let me see or be anywhere near the girls for 6 months after babysitting them ever since they were born (7 years). She just took any contact from me the very day we had words. She told me I was crazy and needed help. I have been crying for 13 months. Anyway, I hope to get some advice and encouragement. Thank You, Sidnie
July 31, 2018 at 3:56 pm #55601
Welcome to the forum and thank you for providing an introduction. I encourage you to post any issues, concerns or questions under the general posts. That way you will receive replies from other members. Also, there are many benefits of offering your insight on other’s posts.
You are very welcome here Sidnie
July 31, 2018 at 9:27 pm #55605
Thank you Yellow Rose. I keep upbraiding myself for not listening to my daughter’s complaints all those years ago, but after her disrespect for my relationship with my own parents, my anger at her was in control. Now, with her anger at me over my father’s death and my refusal to give her my mother’s china, she is beyond reaching through regular communication. As I mentioned, I left her a message indicating I would be open to using a therapist as a mediator, but she has not responded. Do I let it go? Do I keep pursuing it? My brother’s daughter is getting married at the end of the month and both of us are invited to the wedding and even staying at the same hotel. I’m on eggshells that she will reject me again. I thought about giving her the dishes, but I believe I have to have boundaries. They were my mother’s and she has only been dead 6 months and they bring me closer to her. Even if my daughter legitimately believed they were hers, how could a daughter demand that her mother give up something so personal and then threaten to sue her if she didn’t? Why can’t she respect that? Thank you again for listening.
August 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm #55660
HI thanks for the letting me into your group I really need this.I don’t understand why people act like they do.
August 2, 2018 at 11:22 pm #55821
I can relate to your post and while the last thing anyone wants is to be here because of this heartbreak we all face, the greatest comfort for me is knowing I’m not alone in my sorrow… Like you, I was there for all the important events and day to day things his dad couldn’t be bothered with…my son had learning issues, then health issues and it was an uphill battle but I never thought twice about giving him my all… What struck a chord with me were your words “his choices don’t reflect the kind of man I am” and “as a father, you want your children look to to you… My son hates me”
It helped me to realize that my son’s treatment of me, including verbal and physical attacks, don’t reflect the love, blood, sweat and tears I put into him… As a mom, I envisioned my grown son to love and protect me from harm as I did for him… Not cause me the worst kind if pain I’ve ever endured.
I hope we all find peace and happiness at the end of this unwanted but unavoidable journey
Thanks for your post.
August 3, 2018 at 2:26 pm #55897
I am in the same boat as Nesbit, but long story short, my youngest of 4 daughters favors her father and his wife. We divorced 10 years ago and she refuses to stay at my house as she is “uncomfortable”. This hurts me greatly. There’s more to it. She lives in another state and has spent a month in the last 2 years with her father and his wife and me, one day…and that was in another city. She, through her actions has showed me how little I mean to her…being part of THEIR family and not mine. I have let her go. She knows how I feel, but doesn’t care, so, until she turns this around, I am walking away. Don’t need this hurt in my life.
August 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm #55907
Dear Momof4 girls, welcome to this forum. I think you will find much healing and emotional support. You sound very rational and accepting of the situation, which is often all we can do. I also have 2ED that act like they prefer their father and step mother, who are both fairly dysfunctional and they appease their dad doing parental alienation against me. Same BS as you get, I am not important enough to be invited for holidays or they appease their father who says they can’t invite me or they come to my city and don’t call me. Its not about me or my lack, its about something damaged or broken inside of these people who chose to be mean. Many parents on this forum are in similar circumstances and your insight will be very helpful to others. Welcome again.
August 6, 2018 at 12:40 am #56104
Not a club I want to be a member of but am grateful to find support.
Estranged from mentally ill son. It’s been a roller coaster for about 5 years now.
Now daughter is siding with son an believing his horrid lies.
Now she has left us.
Still in grief but doing ok I guess.
This feels worse than death.
I’m getting much comfort from others stories.
Right now as a person I feel such a deep loss I just can’t imagine being whole again but I believe I will.
Thanks for this group and the book.
August 10, 2018 at 5:10 pm #56515
Hi, thank you for adding me to your forum. I want to start off by saying I was and still am an amazing mom to my 3 kids that are now 26, 24, and 21. I was a stay at home mom that sent my kids to a private christian school and was always active in their school and sports. My 24 yr old daughter was always a bubbly person and we were very close, she was my best friend, until she met her boyfriend 2 years ago. She was in a 6 year relationship and broke it off with him to be with this guy. Ever since she has been with this guy she has turned into a compulsive liar and has no emotions or remorse for anything she does wrong. She has 1 more year left of nursing school and has high expectations in life. However the guy she is seeing is 30 yrs old, has 2 kids by 2 different girls, is a cars salesman that goes from job to job and also is constantly moving to different homes. We have never met this guy nor knows where she is living. I have told my daughter over and over if this is the guy you want to be with it’s your life I just want to be a part of your life and have a relationship with her. With the roller coaster that myself and my ex husband has gone through with her we both finally told her we are done with her lies and her being in and out of our family. My daughter has turned into a totally different person, we don’t know her anymore and she is like a stranger to us. It hurts so much, but my daughter doesn’t want anything to do with us.
August 10, 2018 at 10:33 pm #56561
It’s sad in one way to welcome you to this forum because it means you too are experiencing such gut wrenching heartbreak: but it is great you have found the forum. You will find wisdom, care, understanding and support here.
We just shake our head at the actions of our beloved estranged children. It’s like they are Imposters or some being has invaded their body. It plays havoc with our emotions and we are fearful for their wellbeing.
My ES changed after he met his now wife. I watched him try to deal with the complexities of the relationship and saw the person I knew disappear. He was always so caring towards us and now we are treated with disdain. They have isolated themselves from both sets of parents and the grandchildren from both sets of grandparents. I struggle constantly to come to grips with what has happened – such a sense of grief and loss.
How can someone change so much or did we really not know them???? Have they chosen partners who just do not want to share them and are threatened by the close relationships they had with their parents? The thoughts just roll around in my head.
You are loving caring parents who are feeling powerless as you watch the child you know disappear. It is so hard to accept that it is what it is.
It is awful pain 3kidsminus1. The sadness is always there. This trauma takes a toll on our physical and mental wellbeing. Take care to look after yourself so you are ok and can enjoy the love and friendship of those in your life who value their relationship with you.
I am so sorry you are going through this.
August 16, 2018 at 4:02 am #56866
Hello, I am new to this group and am relieved, though saddened, to see that I am not the only one whose child has turned on them. I am too embarrassed to let people know how bad it is because I do not want to deal with others judgements when they don’t know the whole situation or make my daughter look bad. I need some advice for next month though. No one can understand estrangement until it happens to them. A brief summary of my situation (and yes, I have not made the smartest choices and I take full responsibility for it, but I am still in this situation: Met my husband in our mid twenties. I had low self esteem but was so in love with him, he was controlling and liked to drink. That says it all. In our 33 years together, I have married and divorced him twice and we are still together and I now live in his house with him. We both work, but he makes way more money than I. We have two kids together. Our daughter graduated college and lives away. She is 30. Our son, 27, is currently attending the local college and his dad helps with his finances. My daughter was having anxiety issues and turned on me about three years ago, telling me I was a horrible mother and never gave her much attention and that I’m selfish and that her father is a wonderful parent. My mother helped me with my kids when they were young so I could get through college. My kids and I were so close. However, their father has always tried to turn them against me and he has somehow gotten to my daughter. I don’t think he does it on purpose, I think it is his competitive nature, but I have tried to speak to him about this to no avail. He told them how I was bad with charge cards (though I am great now), and used up my retirement paying off debt. It’s like a competition with him to make himself look better in their eyes. For example, I gave my daughter my old car when she was in high school for her first car and he got her a better one. He always tried/tries to make me look bad to the children, but my son sees through him. He seems to have succeeded with my daughter though, as she seems to despise me, though I know I was a good loving mother to her. She is a little abusive towards me, calling me ugly names and such when she is having her monthly melt down. Her father never tells her not to treat me with such disrespect, and that bothers me from the both of them. He doesn’t want to stress her out since she has anxiety problems. She is coming for a three week visit next month and I am sort of scared of her possible abuse again and I know I will not get support from her father. I don’t want to rock the boat while my son is living at home trying to get through college. I don’t want him to end up with a bunch of student loans. I just don’t know how to handle my daughter if she yells and screams and calls me names again next month, and I’ll have no support. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.
August 16, 2018 at 8:26 pm #56889
Welcome, BrokenMum, I think you’ll find support and healing at this forum. So much of what you write seems like how my life used to be. I walked on those eggshells and had a (former) spouse who always wanted to be top dog, one up me, and I allowed the ED and the ex to be disrespectful to me because I didn’t know better and didn’t value myself at the time. Many of us on this forum have experienced parental alienation (when one parent tries to make the kids dislike or disrespect the other parent to put a wedge between them all) and a disrespectful adult child. Three weeks is a long time to be walking on eggshells and trying to appease and keep the peace. I might suggest you put your question into the main forum if you’d like responses. So many of us have walked a similar path or are walking a similar path with the disrespect and put downs of us. Welcome again, you will find help, support, encouragement, and healing. I highly recommend Sheri’s book as it really helped me find a new perspective and begin to love myself.
August 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm #56913
Another new one here…..it’s so sad that so many of us have similar problems, yet in a way it is also comforting, to know that someone somewhere understands. I am still reading Sheri’s book, I pick it up and read it when I am really feeling down, which is usually when my denial exits and reality sets in.
I have three adult daughters but the youngest is my problem. She is late 20s. Her boyfriend of 4 years (they live together) seems to want only his family in their lives and not hers.
Reading some of these stories, it is good to know I am not alone but I still feel shell shocked by the rejection, although in reality it was happening a while ago, I just didn’t want to accept it.
I text my daughter weekly wishing her a happy weekend and that I love her. I don’t hear back.
I miss my child so much. I keep blaming myself and have found I have lost a lot of confidence. If my child can reject me, surely there must be something really wrong with me. I know Sheri deals with that in her book but I find I can’t really get past it.
Anyway thank you for letting me get this off my chest. I haven’t discussed this with anyone. Thank you.
August 19, 2018 at 11:23 pm #57118
Hi everyone. It’s sad that there are so many of us in this same situation but misery loves company right? I love it that I have found others in the same boat. I’ve read a lot of the threads already and wow – it all rings a bell.
I’m estranged from my 27-year-old son. My only child, whom I loved obsessively and who was the highlight of my entire life. It started about 6 years ago and happened so slowly that I guess I didn’t realize it was truly happening. About five months ago he told me he was “going no contact” because I was bad for his psyche. I feel bad because I know he’s right. I have hurt him.
Six years ago he decided he was going to marry his now wife, who has really severe mental health issues. Severe. Suicidal ideations, homicidal ideations, cutting, probably borderline personality disorder…. unable to work. it’s very bad and while I love her (honestly – she’s loveable!), I knew how bad things would get for my son if his entire life became consumed with trying to take care of her emotional needs and also how bad things might be for their children if she was cutting in front of them or so depressed she couldn’t get out of bed for years on end. Believe me, I know what it’s like to have a mother with those issues.
I made the FATAL mistake of begging him not to marry her. When he responded that he found her mental health issues “fascinating” and that he was going to marry her regardless of my wishes, I begged him to please, please, please not get her pregnant and telling him that if he did she would make his life a living Hell. He responded by immediately getting her pregnant.
At that time I told him that if he ever left her he’d better take the kids and that if he ever left her, and left the children to her, I would disown him and never speak to him again. I meant it. My father left my siblings with my mother who had the same issues. My younger siblings are all so messed up from being left with my mohter – one became addicted to heroine, one is a meth-addicted prostitute, one has a child in a maximum security prison (in the same cell block with a very famous serial killer) and one is severely delusional and almost unable to function. I wanted the cycle to END! I never allowed my mother to spend time with my son (she didn’t want to anyway so it wasn’t a real issue). I did not want my grandchildren to have to suffer the way I watched my baby sisters and brother suffer. I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up as addicts or prostitutes or so mentally ill that they can’t function in society.
Of course my son didn’t listen and now his life IS a living Hell and completely consumed with taking care of his wife’s mental health problems while also trying to take care of my two beautiful sweet grandaughters’ needs and working two full-time jobs.
His life is absolutely miserable and he’s blaming it on ME, the person who moved across the country and carefully protected him from the Hell that he has now voluntarily entered.
August 20, 2018 at 4:09 pm #57154
Hello everyone and thanks for having me. I am an estranged single mum of an adult child and totally heartbroken.
I came across this lovely support group after a desperate internet search trying to figure out what had happened to the relationship between myself and my only, beloved adult son.
It led me to find Sheri’s book and then to here.
I have just started reading the book and hope to find some clarity and emotional understanding in a safe, non judgmental place. I hope to discuss my hopes, fears and progression with others going through this life destroying situation in order to seek some kind of internal acceptance and peace. I am currently being treated for major depression and have been off work since April. Some/most days I can barely function at the moment. I have been referred for round 3 of counselling in past 2 years. The dreadful situation with my son has also unfortunately triggered a lot of pain from my own abusive childhood. I have always tried my best to be the best mum and protect him. I consider myself a good person. I have always worked hard and been supportive of all he does.
Unfortunately he has married a very controlling, manipulative, covert narcissistic type who consistently makes trouble, lies through her teeth and then plays ‘victim’.
Her family enable this dreadful, destructive behaviour and I have effectively been bullied and excluded by them all. I have been on the end of a horrendous smear campaign instigated by her for the past 3 years. My son has become a stranger to me. They got married this year and I was not invited to the wedding. The last time we spoke it was like she was speaking. I feel like he has been brainwashed. I am now broken and see no way forward until he wakes up and sees the true reality.
Thanks for reading,
Love and healing,
August 20, 2018 at 7:41 pm #57152
Hello everyone and thanks for having me. I am an estranged mum of an adult child and totally heartbroken.
I came across this lovely support group after a desperate internet search trying to figure out what had happened to the relationship between myself and my only, beloved adult son.
It led me to find Sheri’s book and then to here.
I have just started reading the book and hope to find some clarity and emotional understanding in a safe, non judgmental place. I hope to discuss my hopes, fears and ideas with others going through this life destroying situation in order to seek some kind of internal acceptance, validation and healing.
Thanks for reading.
Love and healing,
August 20, 2018 at 7:41 pm #57153
Hello everyone and thanks for having me. I am an estranged single mum of an adult child and totally heartbroken.
I came across this lovely support group after a desperate internet search trying to figure out what had happened to the relationship between myself and my only, beloved adult son.
It led me to find Sheri’s book and then to here.
I have just started reading the book and hope to find some clarity and emotional understanding in a safe, non judgmental place. I hope to discuss my hopes, fears and progression with others going through this life destroying situation in order to seek some kind of internal acceptance and peace. I am currently being treated for major depression and have been off work since April. Some/most days I can barely function at the moment. I have been referred for round 3 of counselling in past 2 years. The dreadful situation with my son has also unfortunately triggered a lot of pain from my own abusive childhood. I have always tried my best to be the best mum and protect him. I consider myself a good person. I have always worked hard and been supportive of all he does.
Unfortunately he has married a very controlling, manipulative, covert narcissistic type who consistently makes trouble, lies through her teeth and then plays ‘victim’.
Her family enable this dreadful, destructive behaviour and I have effectively been bullied and excluded by them all. I have been on the end of a horrendous smear campaign instigated by her for the past 3 years. My son has become a stranger to me. They got married this year and I was not invited to the wedding. The last time we spoke it was like she was speaking. I feel like he has been brainwashed. I am now broken and see no way forward until he wakes up and sees the true reality.
Thanks for reading,
Love and healing,
August 22, 2018 at 4:04 pm #57314
I guess I should do an intro, seeing how I jumped right into posting. LOL
We have a blended family, and let me tell you, it is probably the hardest thing to do. And apparently we suck at it. LOL His, mine, ours and adopted, with the oldest 3 on their own, and the youngest 3 still at home. His is semi-estranged, we typically only hear from his when they need something and when we say no, then we are the bad guys. Yet, we keep trying to maintain some sort of relationship. Mine, just cut ties with us, and I’m absolutely crushed. Up until the last 3 weeks, I totally didn’t see this coming. And what happened 3 weeks ago, isn’t any of the reasons they are giving for the reason they are requesting NC. Ours, who is very close to the EC, is still in our life. I don’t know if they are aware of what happened, as I haven’t shared that information with them, but I don’t know if the EC did. I’m struggling with do I tell my youngest set of kiddos? There are some mental health issues and I know one of them in-particular is going to take it very hard. Fortunately, they are already in counseling. Unfortunately, they are part of the reason there is to be no contact. Which obviously I would never disclose to them. My EC has children close in age to my youngest, and my youngest loooooves my EC. Constantly talks about them and their children and it breaks my heart that not only have we been rejected, but innocent children have been rejected as well.
If I could sell my house and move, I would in a heartbeat. Being this close is torture. I would give anything right now to live even 30 minutes away. But if I could pull it off, we’d move several states away.
I have ordered the book Sheri wrote and it will be here Friday. I know I’ve already made some mistakes in how to handle an estrangement, but I did it out of self-preservation, and maybe a little passive aggressive behavior on my part. I’m struggling a LOT. Thoughts of my EC consume my every moment, including sleep. I’m tense. I’m sad. I cry. A lot. How did we get here? How do I move on?
Today is my EC birthday. The day I became a mother. The one thing I always wanted in life more than anything. She was my life, my reason for being for so many years. And now, gone. By choice. That’s the worst part. She doesn’t want us in her life, or in her children’s lives. It shattered my world, and I’m left trying to pick up the pieces and trying to figure out how to still be a mom to 3 kids that need me and worrying that I’m not enough, that I can’t be what they need.
August 28, 2018 at 12:16 am #57764
I feel your pain. I live in the same town with my kids and wish I could move, but I just can’t stand the thought of physically doing it. Plus, I like where I live, and don’t know where to go. But though my son is estranged and my ex still lives here, we still have the same interests, and end up seeing each other at various functions, concerts, etc. I always have to worry about avoiding people. Would be nice to be in a totally different place.
I’m so sorry you and others are going through this. It’s just the worst. Sometimes I think even death is better than knowing you can’t even see your own kids and grandkids. Especially when your family is the most important thing in your life.
Best wishes to you (and all of us)
Shocked in Boise
August 23, 2018 at 6:42 am #57360
I’m so sorry you find yourself in this horrible place. A number of people on the forum have expressed that their troubles only started when an -inlaw appeared on the scene. I do hope you will find some solace here, simply by writing and venting to like-minded souls when ever you feel like it can help enormously.
I’m so glad you have found Sheri’s book, and I am sure you will find it helpful. Reading the posts of other parents reassures us that we are not alone; that we are not the only parents in the world that has had this terrible thing happen, and that in itself can be comforting to a degree.
Sending much love
August 25, 2018 at 8:45 pm #57580
Finally figured out where to start posting…clear at the bottom!?
I haven’t seen or heard from my son and his family (2 grandkids) since around Easter. For the past few years, my son has been really angry, and I don’t know why. He’s never been much for words. At the end of March we had an unfortunate group text situation where I said he was mean to his dogs, not intending that for him. That’s the last I’ve heard from him. A few years ago, I was watching my granddaughter, and his loaded gun rolled out from under the seat. I was upset, and told him I put it up in the closet. Rather than apologize to me (like I think he should have), he is blaming me, but I’m not sure what for. His whole personality changed when he got married 12 years ago. I believe his wife is a narcissist. He has always been pretty happy, but now seems to be angry and hold grudges. They both think they are special people, and don’t really give back when others do nice things for them. I am devastated at not being able to see my grandkids, but realize there isn’t anything I can really do. My son is 37, or I would tell him to grow up. He and his wife have written nasty, horrible, unnecessary emails to me, telling me I make fun of ‘fat people’ (not true), my daughter’s ‘housekeeping’ (also not true)…and tell me I’m hypercritical. I have never said anything to criticize them! I have just tried to be there for them to watch kids, dogs, make food, etc. I do not understand why they are criticizing my character. I think it’s all projection. I’m fully aware of the mother-in-law situation, and have tried to mind my own business and stay out of any drama. But my DIL is the drama queen, and it just doesn’t stop. I’m sick to my stomach over all of it, and the biggest losers are the kids. We live in the same town, and the cousins never get to see each other anymore. I can’t see them anymore. I can’t figure out for the life of me how any of this happened. I have ordered Sheri’s book and hoping I can find a way to dig myself out of this hell.
August 25, 2018 at 10:25 pm #57588
Thought I would post a little introduction. I am the mom of four adult children, two sons, two daughters. My children are all from a first marriage. I remarried a fine man with no children, who took mine in as his own.
I am currently estranged from my eldest daughter. She has been diagnosed(about eight years ago) with bi-polar mental illness. She has been on many sorts of medications, some which help, some which have had not. Currently, she is(I hear from my other kids) stable.
We’ve had an on again, off again relationship for those eight years. Right now, it’s been off for about three years. This really feels final, but time will tell. She is engaged to a really nice man, and he and I got along so well together. They’d all come up for the holidays, I’d go visit them, etc.
I deeply miss those times together, and am mourning the fact that I will probably never have all of my children together again under one roof. I am fortunate that my other children are all kind and caring towards us, and visit often(my other daughter lives close right now, but a move is in the future as a job calls them a few hours a way. That will be hard).
I was occasionally sending my estranged daughter texts or emails(just light stuff, conversational things) but never got a response, so decided to stop that. She writes really vicious letters to family members about me, and that really hurts. She tries to pull her sibs into her anger against me(never really found out what it was that set her off, although she rails against my faith quite a bit to others, so maybe that was it).
I miss her…when we were ‘on’, we had the greatest conversations/adventures. Our minds are much alike, and we think a lot alike, although we look at life somewhat differently. She is a very intense woman, however, and I think her medications make her lash out sometimes.
So sad. I really thought this breach would heal before now, but there is nothing I can do to bring that about. She has to want to heal it. Frankly, it’s not sad/difficult to not contact her any longer. It hurt more to do it and not get any sort of response. 🙁
I look forward to reading your stories, and finding comradery in this difficult situation.
August 26, 2018 at 9:43 pm #57650
Hello….I’m not new to estrangement it has been over 4 years. I’ve started reading the posts on here so many similar stories, so sad for all of us.
I hope by joining this forum to gain knowledge, support, and to support others going through this saddest of times…..
August 28, 2018 at 12:14 am #57760
I joined this group a few months ago and have, a few times, scrolled reading the many stories and hurts parents shared. I didn’t feel confident that my story would be helpful to any one since my story is still confusing to me and rather hard to understand for anyone I have ever talked to – including lawyers and judges who have had to form their own opinions and go with their gut instincts not even knowing all the facts. Often we are judged as guilty and deserving of our children’s behaviors toward us before we are heard based on something that happened in the past or rumors from others or simply the social ideas of what is normal or standard or out of mere ignorance or a grievance another person had against us which slanted their opinions one way or the other. I personally have been trying for 30 plus years to figure out why my 4 adult kids have hurt me physically and emotionally at random times and I think I am starting to get some clues on my own without seeing therapists or psychiatrists. Dysfunctional families are everywhere even though they appear perfectly normal on the outside. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors over the years of raising our kids.
Even our insiders, such as sisters or other close family/friends have only hints but no concrete formulations of ” what went wrong”. No one “gets it”. Many think/say they get it when we ourselves do not so how could non professionals think they know what went wrong? I know I have read that narcissistic personalities are the root somewhere in these adult kids , some of which were spoiled and now have a sense of entitlement or perhaps they were spanked more than they think they should’ve been or perhaps they lived a life of poverty and are angry or their parents divorced and they are “parentized” now and bitter. So many reasons we can explore and excuses we can justify but in reality people hurt others and mothers are easy targets, especially if they were the active parent and dished out the punishments and or rewards and gave or with held nurturing. No parent is perfect nor any child but regardless kids turn on their parents and vs vs and relationships end with others getting hurt and bewildered . Family counseling would help so much but sick people do sick things and they are too proud to ask for help or work together to fix the ties that bind a family back together and fix the broken pieces. If my kids weren’t punishing me then they turn on each other. They just have to think they are better than someone else in order to think better of their own pathetic selves. My personal story goes like this : i lost respect within my own household because i got tired of living 22 years with a husband who didn’t seem to notice i existed nor my emotional needs mattered. I wasn’t starving for food but for growth and enjoyment of life. I left home when i was 17 with this man. I loved him but i divorced him and remarried him 15 yrs later. He now has been dead 15 years. In that interim I was able to obtain a nursing degree and was certified in psychiatry. I also was able to find out what life was and wasn’t and who I was and wasn’t. I needed to grow and I needed to fail and fall. I spent 38 years of my life caged by parents and a controlling husband. I raised my 2 boys ad 2 girls till 2 were gone and 2 were adolescents then i left my 2 youngest with my husband and we shared joint custody. He turned those 2 younger ones against me and did what he could to work on the other 2 who were already gone. He never took any responsibility in why our marriage failed. Funny thing though -after we were divorced he bought a travel van with a TV in it, remortgaged the house, lost weight, bought nice clothes, wore cologne and took interest in the very things that would’ve saved our marriage !! He did it with the kids and a few women he dated. I have pondered if our divorce and his parenticising our kids was a trauma that could’ve turned the tide of the kids , especially the younger one , a female, into the beginning of narcissism and abuse towards me. She pushed me down when she was 18 and i had to go to ER and file a police report on this my little girl i loved and adored who never got a spanking so what could’ve turned her into this monster and to this day has nothing to do with me unless she wants something. IN fact when my husband died my 4 kids sued me and accused me falsely of illegal activity which i was found innocent , did a smear campaign against me and abandoned me when their dad died for which we had remarried 3 yrs prior. ( long story) and left me to die in my mourning and grief and took my husband’s car, bank account and broke into the house and stole what they wanted. The house was never put back into both of our names when he and i remarried 15 yrs after we were divorced. So my kids forced it into probate to be controlled for 15 yrs till this year when the judge finally awarded it to me for partial payment for what i have done to pay it off and fix it up etc plus my spousal allowance. These kids were just here in Dec. 24th for xmas eve to celebrate since this house is “home” and clean. I thought we were making head way to peace. But as times in the past one small thing and they will throw me under the bus. So, now since the house is mine they are ticked off and can’t control me or their inheritiance of the house they considered was their “fathers” so now they have told me off on facebook, a disrespectful 33 yr old grand daughter disowned me on facebook and my son in CA has deleted me along with is wife, and my oldest daughter had enough sense to not push me too far since I could disinherit them all now from one cent and she would deserve it since she took the bank account and wouldn’t even give me a cent towards the taxes on this place when her dad died and i had no large amount of money that until his life insurance came through and boy that did not go over! They wanted that too. It wasn’t much but they were coming after me for it via the court. My oldest grandson has never returned to see me since he was 18. He is now about to get married and has graduated college from Trine. I am sure he will send me an invite to his wedding so he doesn’t look like the bad guy and if i don’t show up just to give a gift then i will look like the bad guy…..they work these head games well. All 4 of my kids have college degrees and function in society. Most people find excuses for their behaviors including blaming me for divorcing and remarrying the kid’s dad but there is NO excuse for abuse and I have been abused with slander, 4 letter words constantly, put in ER , a big son coming at me with his fists, police reports filed, you name it but now i am all alone and crippled. Not one of them cares. Should i leave them an inheritance ? the lawyers say no. My heart says yes…they’re dysfunctional and one is bipolar/shizophrenic so how do i disown my blood? i love them and I will go on another 15 years , if i live that long, dodging abuse and praying that love wins in the end. Sorry for the long story and i pray it helped someone. God bless.
August 28, 2018 at 12:15 am #57763
Hello, new here. I’ve been estranged from my 2 daughters for the most part of 5 years. Both of my ED’s pretty much “ghosted” me and my new husband a few years after I divorced their mentally and physically abusive father.
I truly didn’t know what a pathological liar was until it all came out and I was done. The two girls were told I made it all up by their father, regardless of documented proof and witnesses.
I still don’t understand what happened.
I hope to find help and continued healing, as well as to help others by joining this forum.
August 28, 2018 at 12:25 am #57776
Hi I’m new. I”m at a loss with my son and it’s all I can think about all day. I”m beyond sad. I need some support….
August 28, 2018 at 12:27 am #57778
A little more about my situation……
My son moved from the east coast to the west in June. He’s an avid outdoorsman and loved what Oregon has to offer. He got a job and is living with a high school friend and a few other roommates. He would text me often telling me about the things he’s been doing, sending pictures and we’d talk at least once a week. Then just over a month ago he sent me a few texts that sounded like he was very depressed. I won’t go into that detail. I asked him to go see a doctor and maybe a therapist. His answer was no. He then stopped talking to me as much. Fewer texts, fewer responses. I finally talked to his older sister and let her know what was going on as they are close, I asked her to step up her texts and calls to him. Which she did. He now isn’t responding to any of my texts or calls. Please give me some advice on what to do!!!!!!!
August 29, 2018 at 8:16 pm #57978
It’s so difficult when our EC won’t communicate. Leaves us to wonder what and why. It’s heartbreaking!! In some cases it is because they find it difficult to talk about what’s happening with them for whatever reason, or perhaps because they don’t want to worry their mothers. Hang on!! I’m new here myself.
You might consider starting a new thread to get feedback. There are many wise and helpful people who will respond.
August 31, 2018 at 2:45 pm #58155
Hello everyone. I have been reading this site for several months, hoping my situation was different and I wouldn’t need any support. I just joined – realizing this may be forever and I can’t fix it. I have ED and ES both are very young adults. I am divorced, remarried. Son wrote me off more than once, came back when he needed help and when we gave it, he did not appreciate it. We were threatened with physical harm and I had to lock my bedroom door for a month at night until he was legally kicked out. That was last time I saw him. Does not mean I don’t love him and pray for his maturity some day. He lies, misrepresents, manipulates, has a machiavellian outlook on life. We are tools, nothing more.
ED had been keeping secret relationship we did not approve of as she is minor and he is not. She talked a friend’s family into housing her when my parents became too disabled to care for themselves and we needed to physically move to help them. She would not come with us. I offered to pay for car, college, housing at our place, all essentials, but that wasn’t enough to snap her out of a relationship with drug and alcohol addicted man (because he “gets her”). When I had to go, she left the house and cut me off unless she wanted something. Shortly after moving my stepmother abruptly died, leaving us with dad who is physically disabled and middle of dementia. I was responsible for whole funeral arrangement and my husband and I now run the home and all finances. ED uninvited me to graduation, then invited me again 3 weeks before ceremony. All the while has not had conversation with me in months. I did not go. Knew it would be devastating for me to just watch and then be discarded again when I left.
Biological father with mental health problems was not someone to count on for continuity or sound advice. I also keep wondering if there was something I should have done. My husband keeps telling me I was so generous and forgiving and they walked all over me continuously for years and years. He wants me to move on. I bought the book and am working through it. Have been avoiding the pain as much as possible up to this point but I can’t just stuff it anymore.
August 31, 2018 at 4:05 pm #58159
I relate to your pain as do every other mom on this site. We cannot change others but it is so hard to change ourselves. I can’t let go of my ES even though my husband says it’s best. Not really sure he understands the extreme pain that us mom’s go through. I will pray for you. Please hang in there. God is doing good even if we can’t see it right now.
August 31, 2018 at 9:46 pm #58173
Hello Everyone–I am sorry to be on this forum but glad it is here. My 30 year old daughter is estranged from me. I would never have predicted that my daughter and I would be estranged from each other. Her father and I were loving, supportive parents to our only child. We spent tons of family time together and with our extended family. Our daughter came out when she was 17 and we completely supported her and became advocates for LGBTQ rights. We always could talk about things. A couple of years ago she met her current partner, and that is when things started to change. I became concerned when my daughter started to cut people out of her life. The biggest red flag was when she stopped communicating with her best friend from college and did not show up at her wedding without any explanation (and she was in the wedding). I discovered this when the friend contacted me after the wedding to make sure my daughter was okay because she did not show up and was not answering her calls or emails. At this point, I asked my daughter what was going on. She refused to discuss it with me. I made the mistake of pressing her to get together with me for tea to talk. She refused and told me to “back off.” I compounded my error by continuing to press her periodically to get together with me to talk about why she was cutting her friends out of her life. She only would tell me that it was none of my business and that she would not leave her current partner at home alone feeling anxious to get together to talk with me. Our relationship became very superficial because we could not speak about anything meaningful. When we spent time as a family, she and her partner were literally attached at the hip. They had become sort of an island unto themselves. We had a period of time where we were out of touch, but eventually we sat together (the three of us) and I was assured by her partner that she was not trying to interfere with my daughter’s relationship with me. I took that at face value, but in practice, they would only rarely participate in any family events. I began to feel like I was walking on egg shells when I was with them because I might do or say something “wrong.” Of course, there was eventually a misunderstanding where her partner blew up at me. I left the table (we were in a restaurant with my parents who were visiting from out of town and my daughter’s father) and went to the ladies room to compose myself. When I could not compose myself, I left the restaurant. Since that time, my daughter has not responded to my emails, texts or phone calls. In 15 months, I have had no contact with my daughter with the exception of a one line email she sent me to let me know she and her partner had gotten engaged. Shortly after the restaurant incident, I had received an 11 page email from my daughter’s partner about how I had basically made her life hell. Her perceptions seemed grossly unrelated to reality. It was so horrible that I could not read beyond the first couple of paragraphs. After receiving the email, I sought counseling because I was concerned that I was not reading the situation correctly and because I felt I needed to explore my own behavior and to try to understand what was happening with my daughter. I could not read the entire email until I had had a couple of sessions with my therapist. Eventually, I read it. It was as if her partner was in a different world than me. I responded very carefully and apologized for my part of the incident. I never heard directly from my daughter or her partner after that. After many months and many discussions with my therapist, I decided to make one last effort to see my daughter. A couple of days ago, I baked cookies for her and her family and brought them to her home. I was only there to drop off the cookies and to tell her that I love her and that I miss her and that I hoped she would reach out to me soon. (She told my mother in February that she was going to reach out to me–my mom encouraged her to do so, but she never did.) When I arrived and knocked on the door, she answered and became visibly angry. At first she would not come out of the door, but I said to her I was not there for any confrontation at all, that I had baked cookies for her, and I just wanted to see her and tell her that I loved her and missed her. She then stepped out on to the stoop. She started to bring up all the reasons she was angry with me. I told her that I would be happy to talk about those things but that all I was there to do was to tell her I love her and drop off the cookies. I told her that I did not want to have a “discussion” on the front stoop of her home, but I was open to talking another time. I was not invited into the house. She told me that I was not respecting her space and that every time she thinks she might be “ready” to contact me, I send her an email or a text–which is used as evidence of my not respecting her space (how ever many months or weeks in between emails). I reminded her that she had cut me out completely and did not respond to any of my invitations (because I foolishly still send an invitation to all family events–to which she does not even respond), I do not get a response when I send her partner’s daughter birthday gifts or cards with cash in them. I asked her what was I supposed to do? How long was I supposed to wait to hear from her? I let her know that I did not deserve her silence and the way she was treating me. I renewed my offer to just get together to talk about all the things that are bothering her. I renewed my offer to speak in a therapeutic environment with a therapist of her choice. She would not budge. She insisted it was wrong of me to just “show up unannounced” at her house (again more evidence that I do not respect her boundaries). I remained calm and kept my tone even during the exchange (I practiced a lot with my therapist beforehand). I couldn’t help but get tearful–my hopes dashed once again–I finally just set the cookies down on the stoop and told her I loved her. I told her I would no longer try to contact her but that if she decided she wanted to reach out, I would be there. The whole exchange took only a few minutes. I was devastated. Honestly, I do not know the person my daughter has become. I felt like she was out of touch with reality. She was an athletic person, always fit and busy–but she had clearly put on a lot of weight which means she is not doing the things that she always seemed to love–running, biking, playing sports. It was disturbing.
The estrangement has affected my whole family. Her father and his husband, my parents, my sister and her husband, my niece and nephew are all very upset and confounded by my daughter. Although we all do not live in the same state, we have always had family get togethers and have even gone on vacations all together (yes–even her father, my ex-husband, who is remarried–both he and his husband are always part of the family events). We have always welcomed the significant others to family events–even as they come and go. Now we are realizing that we have to move on without her. It took my mom a long time to realize that this was something more than just a mother-daughter disagreement. I think she believed for a some time that I must have done something to cause this. However, after her heart to heart with my daughter and her partner–who both claimed to want me in their life and that they were going to reach out to me soon–after they did not follow through, my mom started to understand that this was something more. It doesn’t matter what I say, how I act or how I apologize–everything is viewed by my daughter and her partner from some kind of tinted lens. They just see me as the enemy. It has taken a lot of time for me to understand that I did nothing to deserve the silence. I have taken responsibility for my mistakes. I have apologized and asked for forgiveness. I have offered to do anything to reconcile. My daughter’s continued silence has been my answer. I now know without a doubt that my daughter is lost to me. I realize there is nothing that I can do to reach her. I suspect that as long as she is in this relationship, there will be no contact. I have been grieving for months, and my recent “last attempt” to contact her showed me in no uncertain terms that she does not want me in her life. But beyond my own hurt feelings, anger and grief, I am truly worried for my daughter’s mental health.
Although I had read Sheri’s Book sometime ago (and it was really, really helpful), and had perused the website, I only decided to join the community after this week’s attempt to reach my kid. I am working to find a way to be okay with letting her go. I have a wonderful life (with the exception of this horrible estrangement) and I deserve to be happy. Remaining estranged is my daughter’s choice over which I have absolutely no control. May we all find peace!
August 31, 2018 at 9:50 pm #58180
I’m so sorry… You’ve done a beautiful job of telling your story.
Welcome, hugs, and peace,
September 3, 2018 at 1:00 am #58378
Sorry to hear about your sorrow. One thing that was told to me when I very similar to you tried and tired to reach out to my daughter. During the times I tried to reach out she was in control of contacting me if and when she wanted too, if she wanted too. I was told that she could reject any of my callings, texting if she wanted too, but that if I tried it, that would send her over the edge, she would not be in control. I tried not to answer her calls asap, sometimes I let them go to voice mail, and with texts I didn’t write back asap also. Funny thing was she would continue to call, text until I would give in and answer. So the theory of her getting upset when I took control of the situation was 100% absolutely what was going on. I am not saying this is the answer for everything, but it sure is a theory that turned out to be true.
September 1, 2018 at 2:03 am #58189
Your story shows a mother who is accepting and loving. Keep coming here and read Sheri’s text again. I used to say I was soul weary, I still am on some days, but I’m so much better. It takes time and work, and you are on the right path
September 4, 2018 at 5:35 am #58533
Hello, my husband and I have been married for 25 years and have 3 children together. We have been abandoned by our 24 yrs old son. He is our oldest child. We have not heard from him or his wife in two years and my husband and I have been suffering in anger and silence for the last two years. Just a few days ago our Adhd, biporlar 20 yr old daughter picked a fight with us and now says she is never speaking to me or her little sister again. ….sigh…. I am so tired of this. My husband and I are good parents, not perfect at all, but we do try to be a good family. I am tired of the abuse from our daughter and tired of my son ignoring us. Thats when I decided to see if there were any other parents out there having the same issues. Misery loves company, so I am glad to find this site but I am also very disturbed to find out that this is happening to so many other families! What is going on in our world? I have one child left at home. She is nothing like the other two and I pray to God that she will stay close with us and not turn her back on us like the other two.
I am very glad to be here and find some sort of support in these difficult times. I am ready to move on but the pain is very deep.
September 4, 2018 at 11:32 pm #58590
Hi my name’s ____ and my older daughter is the one estranged from me (not my husband). This all started about 6 years ago when she went without our knowledge to stay for a week with a guy she met on the internet. By the way, she told us she was camping with her best friend. When we found out that she was actually staying with a guy that she had never met in person, we were very angry with her – it was a very very scary thing to do and we felt that she could have had all kinds of horrible things happen to her. When we just happened to find out about this, I confronted her – although he denies this now my husband did not help deal with the situation. We did not approach it as a team it was me alone confronting her – he stayed silent. So not only am I estranged from my oldest daughter, set my younger daughter and my husband both tell me that the estrangement is all my fault. I feel like everywhere I look there are mothers and daughters enjoying life together and I am so jealous. I think the emotion I feel even more than jealousy is extreme anger towards her.
September 5, 2018 at 3:40 am #58591
I just joined today and I am feeling so much relief to find others going through the same thing I am. It all came to a head last night with me and my daughter and ties have been cut. I will explain later, trying to recover from the evenings dialog.
So glad your all here
September 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm #58771
So sorry to hear your story. My wife and I are in the same boat as you. Not an easy situation…..the feeling of betrayal, disloyalty, disrespect are difficult to deal with. Know that you have friends here to vent and feel free to post.
September 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm #58829
There’s no starting place, but I am new here. My grown children have disowned me because I divorced their cheating father. They know about his transgression, but sided with him, maybe because I initiated the divorce and because he has money.
I come from a very religious family in which divorce is not allowed for any reason. Well, after 25 years of serial indiscretion, I was done. It wasn’t just unfaithfulness, it was emotional cruelty. This behavior WAS NOT A SECRET from ANY family, extended or otherwise. Yet, I am the villain.
My children were my life’s work and love. I was a stay at home mother and doted on them. Support, encouragement, spirituality, fun, EVERYTHING.
My son just became a father and NO ONE TOLD ME. Not even MY MOTHER, who still punishes me and took the side of my EX.
It’s mind-blowing. There are times I wish I wouldn’t wake up. That’s how bad the pain is. Prayer helps. Friends, cousins and my boyfriend help.
Somedays are enjoyable, others I don’t even want to get out of bed.
To compound the pain, my son, who is a very loved educator and coach, always gives honor to his Lord and Savior in newspaper articles, FCA, etc.
But he denies his mother at every turn, the one who adored him … never missed a game or practice.. thought the sun rose and set for him.
It makes no sense. I tell people it’s like I’m in the twilight zone. A bad movie.
I’m broken. I pray one day my son will realize the mother I was to him and that the Lord will speak to his heart.
My daughter is VERY immature… and maybe one day she’ll grow up.
But to be cheated on for 25 years, mistreated, embarrassed, emotionally injured, then to finally be strong enough to rid myself of this abuse after a 5 year divorce battle, I now have lost my ENTIRE FORMER place in this world.
Life isn’t fair. Ever. But one thing is for sure… I was a DEVOTED mother who no longer has the fruit of my labor.
I desire your help, your prayers, your ways of coping, and maybe even a support group in my area. Thank you for being here.
September 8, 2018 at 8:19 pm #58845
What a horrible betrayal you have suffered. I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. These things cut deep and require self-love, self-respect, and work to get over/past/through. I’m so glad you have found my website and support forum where there are some very kind people, who will offer understanding, empathy, wisdom, and a shoulder if needed.
You may be right. One day your son may get a clue. Perhaps your daughter will mature. Maybe they will return and love you, and you will be repaid double or triple or even tenfold for what you have suffered and lost.
Meanwhile, since you speak of telling people it’s like being in a bad movie … what would the actress who plays the lead do to make it a story of victory and triumph? In other words … this is YOUR script. Write it for yourself. Sure, you may have a few characters that have left the movie set, but look who you have left, observe what’s on hand, and build a beautiful moving picture of a life. Do that for yourself.
September 8, 2018 at 7:58 pm #58834
I found this site a few weeks ago. I have posted a little bit about what my story is.
I have been married to her step-dad for 34 plus years; am 66 years old and retired. He retired a year ago and has had some minor health problems. Nothing serious, but it prevents us from doing a lot of things as a couple. My daughter was 10 when I remarried after 7 years of being single (me). Her dad left me for a boat load of reasons; we even went to a divorce lawyer together because he couldn’t file. His life spiraled out of control with alcohol and drug use then loosing a good job after we divorced and eventually moved out of town to the city where his family lived.
I was in counseling when I was married to my first husband (for depression) for a very long time (5 years) and later for 10 years; I finally came to a place where the therapist said she thought I was at a place that I only needed a life coach. That’s when I decided I really couldn’t afford to continue and medication was handled by my regular physician.
My daughter (ED) was gifted in school, very intelligent and smart. Head strong and defiant growing up. Her lifestyle was similar to her dad’s and covertly acted out against us: doing things she knew we wouldn’t approve. She married a guy she met on the internet and he actually shared the same Christian beliefs we had. My second husband is a minister, very well educated, very accepting individual when it comes to others. Even after she moved away to another state (after she married), we struggled in the relationship, the lies and secrets, refusing to drive the extra two hours to see us or refusing to meet us in the town where her father lives, or only meeting with us in the nearby city an hour away where she now spends her time with a man. (after her divorce) When she did visit, she would leave the two (adopted) kids and either make herself unavailable to drive to see “her friend” and spend the night/weekend.
Two years ago, my parents died. My mother and father were divorced 20 years prior. My mom was bi-polar and we also had an on-again off-again relationship over the last 45 years.. She wouldn’t talk to me, I would always talk with my dad and we were very close. I didn’t ever cut mom out of my life totally, sent cards, if she called I would talk to her; I would even visit her after their divorce.
Right after my father died, my daughter announced she was divorcing her husband of 20 years, didn’t want the kids, was going to try to move back to our state, wanted to move into my dad’s house (in another town where we have a nice renter). We refused and have had to refuse on three or four other occasions. – that was after she lost the job.
There was so much that she did over the next two years, we were confused and befuddled. She had gotten a nice job in the town where her children lived; she moved into a nicer house; changed the visitation on the kids twice until she now has them 1/2 time so she wouldn’t have to pay child support. After she lost her job in January, she said that she was going to take a year off and live on unemployment. She found a part-time job that didn’t require drug testing; said she was an alcoholic and blamed her ex- for not taking care of the kids while she attended meetings and manipulated us quite a bit.
Bottom line, she fell in with some friends that abuse drugs and she just traded one addiction for another. We had given her money to move out of their family home when she got the divorce and I bought a car or her. Not that she owes us anything because we told her we didn’t want the money and that the car was “from her grandpa’s estate.”
So comes the estrangement. She called her step-dad on father’s day to wish him happiness. Maybe I picked a bad time, but we visited and all she could talk about was her ex, couldn’t afford a lawyer to take him to court to “pay” more of something and on-and on. I know she was manipulating me for financial reasons like she has in the past. (Her husband had told me that she said – to him – if you talk about it in front of Mom, she’ll give it to you or buy it). That day, I told her she needed to do the hard thing and get a full time job with health benefits because she does have a serious health condition, get a lawyer, and quit playing around. I suppose, by saying playing around, she went off. Not on me, because she wouldn’t talk to me and demanded to speak to her step-dad.
The next week, after a couple of hateful texts to my husband, she announced on facebook she was cutting us off; the only family she had lived in L— where her dad lives – then unfriended us on face book and proceeded to garner support from her friends. (My brother is a facebook friend of hers and he shared this with me.)
Silence. Gone are three months and I get a nice telephone call from her and the children on my birthday; two weeks later, she calls her step-dad and wishes him a happy birthday, tells us she loves us. I texted three days ago with a question about something for the kids and if I could send it to her house. My husband texted her and asked her to not block me (he’s not blocked on the cell phone). I have agonized for three days, cried.
After a long talk with my husband, that as long as she is in control of us she will call. As long as she continues in her abusive lifestyle, we don’t have to accept it or the verbal abuse and name calling she’s given us. We don’t have to answer her calls, emails (sent none) nor return her texts (if she does). I need to make peace with this and find some release .
Maybe I shortened this a little. Maybe there is too much to this difficult situation and history. I can leave it alone. On one hand, it is a relief. On the other hand, I can barely make it through the day. I really, really don’t want to relive the good memories we had together, because the bad ones seem to cloud out everything else. It is what it is and I need to make peace with this.
September 8, 2018 at 8:10 pm #58844
I’ve seen a few posts from you, and here’s your fuller introduction… Welcome to my site! I’m sorry you have the need to be here, but since you do, I’m glad you’ve found it. I know that you will be made welcome and be offered much kind support.
In response to your thoughts above, I’ll focus on the last few sentences. You’ve done a great job of giving voice to your experience. It so well fits the very first exercise in my book, that I’d suggest you read the examples there, assess your statements, and utilize your words to consider how you can best care for YOU in the present. Listen to yourself … because you’re inner wisdom is evident.
It’s okay to look forward now. Or, for a bit, just stay in the moment. Find something good to love, hug, see, do, think, be…. Peace is most easily found that found. You can work at the long-term peace in a bit.
September 11, 2018 at 9:40 pm #59013
I am aghast at your stories. Actually, everyone’s story effects me too much, which is why I can only come here occasionally. It’s too difficult.
Please forgive me for criticizing your son, but I just don’t understand persons who claim to love the Lord and act like that. Whatever happened to Honor thy Mother?
The disconnect going on here blows my mind.
I’m glad you have your faith to help you. God always has your back, that’s for sure.
September 9, 2018 at 3:16 am #58861
Hi All. I am new to this group as of today, however, I really wish I would’ve found it three years ago after my son left. I also am reading the book, which is excellent! My son was only 17 and in high school when he disappeared. After three weeks of missing he he was spotted in another state and police were contacted by somebody, as he was officially a missing teen.
It is now three years later, we have had no word from him, no contact, no messages, no phone calls, nothing! We have tried to reach out after finding out his address from Police, he would not have anything to do with anyone from his family, community, friends, etc.! Of course, we have tried going to his residence and sending cards, gifts, money to try and figure out what happened and why, but we had no luck. Everything was rejected—even the money! We have not seen him since he walked out the door over 3 years ago and there is nothing more heartbreaking!
He is now 21 years old. He has a loving family and has never been in any trouble. He has a brother who he was very close with growing up. I do suspect he was suffering from depression prior to leaving and we did try to get him help, which she would not accept.
At first I was somewhat hopeful but as time goes on it’s getting harder to believe that I’ll ever have any contact with him again. Of course, I am quite depressed over this situation as we miss him so much. I am very happy to have found this forum and also the book!!!
September 9, 2018 at 9:41 pm #58902
Sheri, Thank you. I have your book and am slowly working through it. I know I am not alone and I have seen so much suffering from the writings of moms and dads who are in the same situation. On the flip side, I see many posts from people who have made wonderful progress and also many who have made positive uplifting statements about their progress and encourage others as well. Thank you again.
September 16, 2018 at 5:09 am #59390
Hello. I am grateful to have found this group. I realize I am not alone, and that in itself, is comforting. I am not crazy! My son basically threw me to the curb and I don’t expect any reconciliation. His wife controls everything he does and says, so I don’t expect anything positive to happen. I miss my grandchildren more than anything in the world but it is all out of my control. They have no power over me anymore and will not dictate my life. I will always carry my baby boy in my soul but I do not know the man he has become. He chose his own life which doesn’t include me. Everyday is a battle and I share the gut wrenching pain that all of you feel but life is still beautiful. Stay strong for those that do love you.
“On Children” by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you…
September 16, 2018 at 11:38 am #59426
Dear Azwioki and Yaicha
Welcome to the forum. I’m so sorry to hear your stories about estrangement, and I’m glad you have found some comfort here on this page already. Just knowing you are not alone is indeed quite comforting. Please scroll through the stories here, and feel free to post in response to others’ posts when you feel ready.
None of us know the man or woman our loved children have become, and it really helps to share this pain with others who know what we are going through.
September 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm #60327
I’m not sure if I’m unusual on here, but my husband, I and our 22 year old son have estranged ourselves from my 25 year old son. I have suffered 10 years of verbal abuse from him and last Christmas it all came to a head, whereby he was removed from the family home. He is now living with my parents, but none of us have had any contact with him since January/February time.
Life is more peaceful. I’m not walking on eggshells anymore, I can relax in my own home. However the pain of living with this decision I’m really struggling with. It’s a no win situation … I feel an immense weight within me, an enormous sadness which brings me to tears most days. I’m simply stuck in this existence. My son doesn’t understand the effect he has had on me over the years, and doesn’t understand why he was removed from his home. He has been seen by a family therapist who suspects he may be Aspergers … hence the lack of understanding.
I need some help in dealing with my emotions, how to move forward with my life with happiness and peace, accepting this situation that I never thought I would find myself in.
September 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm #60323
Hello everyone! I am so blessed to have found this amazing group. This is my first time posting here. My 25yr old ES has not spoken to me in 2 years and I’ll admit that even as I write this I’m filled with pain and tears. We were always so close until he ans his now wife got together. Now, I don’t want to say it is all her fault because my son is an adult and responsible for his own actions. They were married back in April and I was not invited to the wedding. It is so heart-breaking but I’ve come to terms that I will NO longer allow myself to be immobilized by rejection. I don’t necessarily have hope but I do have Faith. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. We get to choose. So for all you moms and pops out there, I’m praying for y’all! We are never alone during this journey.
September 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm #60337
Dear Lynn and Pusscat, WELCOME!
That’s a good decision to come to. Being immobilized doesn’t help anybody! Thank you so much for your kind words toward others. I LOVE your username (and it shows in your post).
You are not alone. There are many parents who suffer years of abuse and then come to the realization they can’t take in anymore. Often their health is suffering because of the stress, and they have to find their self confidence again. I think my book will be of help, but here’s an article about abuse to start:
October 1, 2018 at 4:26 am #60350
I am new to this whole site. I have been erased by my daughter from her life but am coming to accept it. I am looking for support and to give others support. This is one of the most painful things I have ever been through.
October 1, 2018 at 8:39 am #60355
Hi I’m so grateful to find this site ,to know I’m not the only person “,sad to say ” has this pain.I have a large family,15,5 of my children has stopped talking to me .The abuse they have given me has been unbelievable “who is this woman they see its not me”
My children are my life I have always been there for them ,I have had depression for 23 years and a physical abusive husband. I have contemplated suicide but kept living for my children. I have stood up to my husband on their behalf and taken full brunt of his anger for them. They are not children 32,29,29,25and 21. There father,who I still live with is there idol. My other children reassure me that I am and always been a good mother. It has caused division in my family and I tend to not talk about my pain and hurt as it angers my other children and I do not want to be the cause of estrangement between them
This site I did not expect to find and reading some of your story’s I can see I’m a good mother I have gone over again and again what I’ve done wrong,yes I’ve made mistakes but who doesn’t,not ones that would lead to this hatred from them .I’m still on good terms with my daughters in law ,I haven’t seen my son in law,
Thankfully I still see most of my grandkids
October 3, 2018 at 12:08 am #60458
Welcome Aleehee and Sligogirl
I hope you will find some comfort from this site, and if you haven’t already, read Sheri McGregor’s book, ‘Done with the Crying’. It has helped the people on this site move through those dark days and helps to regain the strength to reclaim your life.
Please post when you feel able and comfortable.
October 4, 2018 at 2:14 am #60497
I have been reading Sheri’s book and researching this phenomenon of parental estrangement. I admit I still have a difficult time adjusting to my daughter erasing me from her and my granddaughter’s lives this way.
I cannot understand the cruelty of it, especially when she knows three years ago I lost my eight year old grandson, her nephew, to a sudden death. Her decision to do this over something so petty, because I missed a party because I was in the ER and I missed a few other things she invited me to as I was in the grieving process and depressed. I guess she doesn’t care or just doesn’t understand how people grieve and isolate.
Today I sent her an email asking to see my granddaughters. It has been three months since she shut me out. If I do not get a response I will never send another one. I only did it because it was suggest to send an “olive branch” every once in a while to let them know you still care. But to me, if the love and compassion is gone from my child for me then what is the use in trying?
I have my pride too. I have already apologized, begged and pleaded for forgiveness for the events that I missed due to me grieving. Yet if she really was upset that I missed a pumpkin farm or a carnival why didn’t she say so? She never said anything about it. She asked if I wanted to go and I said I didn’t feel like it and she went with her husband. She never once said she was upset that I did not go.
So here is the thing, I cannot reach out anymore after this. If I do, I am really only hurting myself and opening up a wound I am trying to heal. Right?
October 4, 2018 at 2:14 am #60500
Hi All. So Glad I found this site. My husband and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Our world was turned upside down by our oldest child. It is a very long and sad story but when she turned 19 all hell broke loose. After years of verbal and then finally physical abuse toward my husband, we removed our adult child from our home. That was in 2015. We have been estranged for over 3 years. We have been working hard in family counselling since that time and working with individual therapists as well. The message from them was loud and clear, stop enabling bad behavior and time to set limits. We did and as hard as it has been we never looked back. It seems like we were going through this alone. We have a wonderful relationship with our 22 year old son who still lives with us at home.
October 4, 2018 at 10:25 am #60532
Welcome Peaceful2367 – you’ll find lots of support here but it sounds as though you are through the worst of it. Well done to you and your husband. It’s always helpful to hear from folk such as you who have taken the bull by the horns as it were and stood up for yourselves and regained your lives.
October 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm #60600
Thank you, Dotty! It’s been a tough road and there are so many memories of our daughter growing up that we cannot believe this happened to us. We don’t have any friends or family that are going through this so we do feel alone. Hate to know others are experiencing this pain, as well but I’m really glad I found this group.
October 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm #60703
Hello everyone and thank you for adding me to your group. Yesterday was 9 months that my youngest son, his wife and two grandchildren walked out of my life. It seems that as time goes on, the pain is getting worse rather than better as I had a melt down the day before. Unfortunately, my other son and family were visiting at the time. I’m just lost and alone. and hope to find folks that can lend an ear as I have no one around to talk with. I want to give encouragement to anyone or my ear as much as I can too. I hope that everyone can rectify their problems and find peace. Thanks for listening.
October 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm #60730
I guess it is true -misery loves company. My daughter, who once called my her best friend cut me first me then her entire family out of her life 3 years ago. At first I thought it was a joke, I did not even take her seriously. I am down to only sending card and flowers on her birthday and maybe christmas.
I sure do miss the daughter I thought she was. I don’t really want to move on, but since I don’t seem to be dying despite all the crushing pain, so I guess I will have life after abandonment.
With this many of us we should have local gaterings!
October 7, 2018 at 11:30 pm #60735
Welcome to the forum. It’s always with sadness that we welcome new folk, as it’s not a forum anyone really wants to be on. Your situation sounds so terribly sad, and I feel your pain.
If you haven’t already, please read Sheri McGregor’s book Done With the Crying, as it has helped so many of us here. The pain of estrangement never really goes away, but the book can give you strategies to reclaim your life. Reading posts by other members can help too.
October 11, 2018 at 3:46 pm #60910
Hello Community. Thank you for being here. I just joined and to say I’m on an emotional roller coaster is an understatement. He got involved in drugs in his teen years which I think “stunted” his emotional growth. That addiction just about destroyed our family years ago. Now, at more than 30 years old, he met a woman with a “dubious” history. Our son fell madly in love and all of a sudden, we were “wrong” and she was a “good person who didn’t deserve all the bad stuff that has happened to her.” Her life sounds like a train wreck, which we tried to explain to our son. Nevertheless, he has disappeared from our lives. He told us we are wrong in our opinion of her, he knows in his heart what is right and he’s going for this relationship. He cashed in his retirement savings which is now all gone. My emotions run from A to Z…..shock, disbelief, sorrow, anger, guilt, etc. Sometimes I just can’t believe what he has done to us after all we have sacrificed for him. We don’t know who he has become. It’s like he is brainwashed by this woman. Thank you all for listening to my “vent.” I’m sorry any of us has to go through this but, at the same time, I’m glad we are here for each other.
October 12, 2018 at 5:56 pm #60960
Heartbroken and missing my middle daughter. Its been a roller coaster of emotions. I miss her so much that I.can’t.breathe. Hoping to find some peace and healing here.
October 13, 2018 at 10:13 pm #61011
I am so sorry that you are experiencing this agony. It’s like your heart and lungs are being ripped apart while your head is in freefall.
It is incredulous to be in this situation and to find yourself on this site but thank goodness it is here.
This is a roller coaster like no other. The thoughts that constantly go round and round in your head, the recriminations, the should haves, the should not haves; and the gut wrenching aches that feel like they will tear you apart.
It’s so important to look after your well-being, and to nourish yourself and your soul and to have your mind be a friend not an enemy.
There is so much understanding, wisdom and support here.
Please take care and sending you hugs.
October 22, 2018 at 5:58 pm #61470
Thank you for your kind words and support. As of 2 weeks ago, my daughter decided she wants me in her life again. I am happy but very guarded, as she has done this before. I love her so much and want the best for her as we all do for our kids. I’m taking one day at a time and enjoying our relationship right now. I love the support on here and will continue to reach out to others as well as seek support. Thank you again!
October 15, 2018 at 6:56 pm #61101
Hi All, I hope this is the appropriate spot to do a mini- intro. I found this site while researching and finding the book, “Done With The Crying,” which I am beginning to read. A godsend! I’m so sorry for the need of a group like this but I am so very thankful to find other, fellow travellers who understand the sometimes crazy-making journey we are on. I am happy for my friends who are experiencing wonderful times with their children and grandchildren and I want to unreservedly support them. Still, at times, I really need to hear from and genuinely share with people who understand some of the days when I just scream into my pillow and try to let out the frustration and the absolute pain of estrangement from my child. I’m reading and working out the logistics of how the group works. Thank you for listening.
October 15, 2018 at 9:44 pm #61120
Hi. I have been semi-estranged and at times estranged from my son and his wife for many years and have read everything I can on the subject. It wasn’t until I read Done With the Crying that something “clicked” and I started to be really motivated to let go of the pain, anger, and shame and to start focusing on my own life.
The nights seem to be the hardest time. I am single, and four weeks ago had a back injury and have been suffering from a herniated disc. I cannot work, sit, or stand. If it wasn’t for my caring neighbor, I don’t know how I could survive. He gets me groceries, picks up my medication, etc. I called my son who sound helpful, but then hasn’t reached out to me for four weeks. He lives far away and I didn’t expect him to offer to help, but it would be nice if he just checked in to see how I am doing. I guess I will have to call him. It seems like his rule is that I have to call him, not him ever calling me.
Anyway, one thing that really helps me at night is listening to Jack Kornfield’s podcasts. He is a Buddhist and offers many wise approaches to focus on love rather than anger, forgiveness rather than
resentment. I am not a Buddhist, but his ideas have helped me so much. He has a kind, soothing voice which also relaxes my muscles and helps reduce the back pain.
I tend to get sad around the holidays so I thought it is important to reach out to the group now.
I am grateful for Sheri’s book and this group, especially since many of my friends don’t understand.
October 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm #61138
Welcome to the forum, although it’s sad that you are here. As you have read on the forums, there are many, many parents who no longer have a positive relationship with their children. The sadness and grief we feel can only be understood by parents who have been there.
In spite of your back injuries, it sounds as though you have managed to take control of your spiritual health, and your neighbour sounds like an angel. You must be a lovely person to have such a wonderful friend who takes care of you in that way.
Thank you for your mention of the podcasts that have helped you. They sound like something I would like to listen to, as I would like to turn my resentment into love.
Sending you hugs and love, and a speedy recovery.
October 16, 2018 at 11:16 pm #61148
So many estranged parents finding this wonderful site, that it’s easy to miss some introductions. You will find no judgement here, just support and love. Thank you for sharing your pain – experiencing other families with their loving children and grandchildren just seems to turn the knife in even deeper, and this is a pain we all feel.
I’m sure you will be able to find comfort here from this wonderful group.
October 17, 2018 at 7:34 pm #61179
I’m Jennifer I have 4 grown children and 7 grandchildren. I have one who’s come back home. I have one estranged son and one daughter that I’ve gone through hell with over the years and we still have issues but be it’s better. My story is long and has gone on for years and I’m here to just talk and read and maybe help where I can as I’ve had years of dealing with this and have learned a great deal from it. I’m sorry each of you are going through this it is not easy and can be so painful and cause so much heartbreak and anger. I know I wouldn’t have ever done the things mine have done to me to my own parents and I feel that because of this it’s even harder to deal with and understand. I hope I can do some good here as well as get support when I’m going through my own struggles. It’s been a long bad trip through the years.
October 18, 2018 at 4:28 pm #61202
Hello everyone reading and listening,
I am estranged from my son and three Grandchildren. It happened gradually as his significant other, whom he hasn’t yet married, and who I initially got along with great, turned on me when she was well into her first pregnancy. There was no rhyme or reason for it. My son didn’t know either, why she was so hostile towards me. The hostility grew to a point where it became too much drama for both me and my son. I finally had to draw a boundary and told my son, I felt I shouldn’t visit anymore. But he was already 80 percent estranged.
The poison spread in my immediate family as my sons partner seduced my brother and sister in law and convinced them I was controlling and not welcome in their lives. I was never really close to my brother because he had been so abusive towards me as a child and distant from me as an adult. So he jumped at the chance to demonize me once again. He and his wife are trying to convince the rest of my family that I am too blame for the estrangement. Fortunately my Mom, Sister and Brother in law know the truth but are really unable to offer me any support. My Mom fears being estranged from her own son, my brother. My sister just doesn’t want to get involved. So, I have no support.
The rest of my family is welcomed into my son’s life by his partner, as long as I am not included or involved in any way. Yesterday I got pictures from my brother in law after a visit with my son and Grandchildren. It just opened the whole can of worms for me and I knew I had to find support.
My sons partner seems to have a borderline personality. It seems she gets pleasure having this much control and hurting and punishing me. She also stalks me on social media and on my professional Websites. I know this because I wrote an article about my experiences on one of my blogs and suddenly I got a rash of hate messages from my brother and sister in law who came to her defense. The article I wrote was for my own healing. I was sharing my pain. But my pain was ignored and my article was used as ammunition to hurt me further.
The last conversation I had with my son, over a year ago, I asked him if he saw me the way his partner did and he said “no, not at all.” So I know that he knows who I am, but it is just too much trouble for him. He is a young man with a demanding job and three babies. He just can’t deal, so he pushes me out of his mind and goes on.
I am single and this is my only child. The heartbreak is unbearable at times. To think I may never know my Grandchildren, and I don’t have another chance.
Friends tell me to just keep in touch with him, keep sending him messages and telling him I love him. But it hurts so much to have that cold silence on the other end. I’m wondering if this is really good advice. After all I’m hearing from people who aren’t in this situation.
October 18, 2018 at 7:06 pm #61207
liv – I am so sorry you are going through this, but you have come to the right place. We are all going through this awful terrible thing and we can all relate to what you are going through.
I have been estranged from my youngest son for over 2 years. Family still sees him and has offered me no support. They still think he is awesome even after his vile hurtful rant to his father and I. They even got together not 3 hours from my house, mom and sister traveling from out of state to visit, to my ES and along with my oldest son had a mini family reunion. Guess what, I was not invited, so I know how you feel when family gets together and you are excluded through no fault of your own. I was also subjected to the wonderful family pic they took…..not nice. My oldest is now starting the same thing as his brother and threatening to take the gc away from us.
From your post, I think you need to take a step back and concentrate on you. That doesn’t mean you love them less, it just means that they are not worth the pain. You deserve better and you need to tell yourself that., every day if you have to. If you haven’t gotten Sheri’s book, get and read it. Highlight passages that speak to you and your situation, do the exercises. I have re=read the book several times as a way to get back to seeing my own self worth.
Start a journal, stay way from social media. I get up every morning and write 5 things I am grateful for in a notebook. Some days it is harder than others, but it keep your life in perspective.
Be kind to yourself. Put yourself first. You did not cause this and I suggest NOT continuing to contact your son. I know your friends mean well, but from past experience and what I read on this website, that is not the answer. Go live your life and make the most of it. You deserve better.
hugs from the farm
October 18, 2018 at 10:44 pm #61238
Thank you “From the Farm,” Wise words for sure. I deactivated my personal facebook page today and made the decision to completely let go of unwelcoming and toxic family members.
October 19, 2018 at 12:57 pm #61245
I am new to this community and yet exploring all the posts. I have had a hard three weeks and still am working out my emotions and the gravity of the situation I am faced with. I am still having trouble finding words to what I have been feeling. Thank you for accepting within your circle.
October 21, 2018 at 10:04 pm #61420
I’ve been estranged from my 38 year old daughter for the last five months and I don’t have a clear understanding of why or what I did to deserve this shunning. I feel so sad. I had a stroke last winter and she travelled 4 hours here to help me. She was here a month and she was very stressed while here, upset about leaving her boyfriend, her home and routine. I appreciated her help as when I came home from hospital i couldn’t walk well. I knew I was a burden which added to my own inner stress. She drank too much one night and went to my parents house after midnight long story short she ended up in a argument with my mom. It wouldn’t have happened if she had been sober of course. My daughter declared then to never speak to my mom again. I think I am collateral damage from that night. I love my mom and I guess because I won’t turn away from her my daughter will turn away from me. I think alcohol and mental illness is at the root of it all but when it is your adult child you can’t force them to seek help. She doesn’t understand that we all love her no matter what. I’m heartbroken. She supposedly doesn’t have a phone i can’t just call her. I’m back to work which is my saving grace as it helps keep me busy but she is always on my mind.. I’m a throw-a-way mom i guess.
October 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm #61455
So sorry you’re going through this. It must be really hard to deal with this kind of agony on a daily basis. Love her unconditionally like you have been with healthy boundaries of course.
October 21, 2018 at 10:05 pm #61422
This is really hard. I need to just start accepting this. I’m almost done with Sheris book. Our daughters disrespect ….is some thing we could not accept. She moved in during her divorce, after being out of our house for 7 years, 7 years if a great relationship. After moving in it all went down hill. Poor behavior as a young adult… problem with the law, paying bills and and keeping a job. Had to to tell her to leave (in a very angry way, unfortunately)… …..but tried desperately to apologize for doing it with anger, but apology wont be excepted. She returned to her emotionally abusive husband, She now says she wants nothing to do with me and …i’m not will not allowed my grand daughters to see us. It’s been 10 months. …i’m mostly sad for the girls. They love my husband and I.
October 22, 2018 at 3:44 am #61438
I am going through the same thing as birthdays are coming up…. I am really, really ready to call it quits… They are all making 4 times the money I make and don’t even call on Mothers day… let alone birthdays… I am tired of sending the card/ with gift card and hearing nothing…Tired of life itself some days.. this is a pain that comes and goes… triggers come and go and so does the deep agonizing pain.. I DREAD sending cards… Standing at the box with it tightly in my hand? Should I or shouldn’t I!!!! It doesn’t do any good… Will it make it worse? That’s all I give a rip about right now..
Today I am mad just thinking about it… sorry ladies 🙁
October 22, 2018 at 4:51 am #61441
Hello everyone. I’m happy to be accepted as a member of this group. It gives me a little peace of mind to be able to share my experiences and hopefully gain some insight and much needed support from other members that are in the same situation
October 22, 2018 at 4:52 am #61442
Hi everyone! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be able to share my experiences with you all. I look forward to hearing your stories to hopefully gain some insight on this horrible situation we all find ourselves in.
October 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm #61446
Dear Rissajo, Effie, Memories3, Whispywillow and GentleHeart
Welcome to this wonderful forum. We have all been where you are now, and all at different levels of ‘acceptance’ – if you can call it that, of this new way of living. We did the best we could as parents and nothing prepared us to have it all tipped upside down, with these loved children of ours throwing it all back in our faces.
This forum is a fabulous place to share, rant, confess and to comfort others. The most help some of us have had, is to learn that we are not alone.
Please read others’ posts, and comment if you feel you want to. Tell us your whole story too, when you are ready.
If you haven’t already, do read Sheri McGregor’s book ‘Done with the Crying’. As a rejected mother herself, Sheri knows the truth about how we feel, and how we can start living again.
Hugs to you all and hope to hear from you again soon
October 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm #61454
Hello….I am a newcomer to the discussion. My daughter, 26 years old, has been estranged from my husband and I for 15 months now. She lives in a neighboring town but does not want us to have her phone number and has returned cards and mail sent these past months. After many years of struggles to convince her we support and love her, she has cut us out of her life. I’ve read Sheri’s book back in May and found much comfort that others could relate to what we’d been through. (and continue to struggle with) Thank God there is a place to reach out.
October 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm #61469
Its hard stuff. I am with you on support here. Breaks my heart to see all the pain parents and grandparents have to go through. God Bless.
October 23, 2018 at 11:15 am #61492
Have just joined this site. I will be reading the book soon and look forward to learning about this painful issue. I feel relief, that there is such a place, where we can talk, learn and share with and support one another. I carry a lot of shame about this issue and don’t have many people that I feel comfortable talking to about it.
I am uncertain how I will continue to deal with this situation but am hopeful that someone’s story or parts of it will resonate with mine and we gain new insights and courage to move forward.
I will share my story more fully as I get to know this community. Thank Sheri, for creating it and everyone who is part of the community
October 23, 2018 at 10:10 pm #61557
Hello all, I am Ella. I have explained background information in my profile should my post raise questions. On June 11, 2016 I lost my entire family including my youngest daughter. I shared verified documented facts strictly for information purposes that unknowingly triggered deep family wounds only addressed as blame for me for not letting things go and living in the past. I then witnessed my daughter move in with my sister 25′ from our home while my family of origin turned their backs on me, accusing me of abusing my daughter in ways that simply aren’t true while claiming they were physically afraid of me, and think I have had a mental breakdown. They “are stumped I did what I did” but they could not hear when I said there has been a misunderstanding, I haven’t done what you believe I have done.
All I could do is leave my home, and relocate to a new town. I have been glamping in a 5th wheel camp trailer completely off grid in 0 degree weather and postpone retirement. I get to own that my oldest daughter has lost the family too because she tried to clarify the misunderstanding and stuck up for me, and she is hurting just as much as I am. SURPRISE! My father did to me what he did to my mother and I stuck up for him for 50 years. Talk about repeating family patterns. . . I am not sure if I need to pursue help with abusive families, CPTSD, or estranged adult children.
Done With The Crying has been a god send for me. It comforts me to know I am not alone and that some of my emotions aren’t so neurotic after all. I am starting over, including giving myself a new name. Ella.
I have been estranged from my daughter for years it turns out. Alliances were formed and backbiting was going on before my family ending event and was admitted. I thought we were past that kind of behavior and that my daughters distance was the age or a phase so I did not address it earlier.
I am happy that I recently had my first, yes, my First “real” conversation with her! She is hurt because I no longer want to help with her insurance policies. Hurt because I spoke about courtesy, respect and loyalty in relationships that we lack in ours and others who were helping us. She does not understand me, and doesn’t want to know why I have done what I have done and said and I need to keep my opinions to myself. She just wants to be happy, and work on the lack of communication issues she has with her new husband that I caused because I hurt her feelings. I now know where I stand. I can officially give up fighting for us now. It is ok and sometimes essential to be a quitter. I highly recommend the book called Quitting written by Peg Streep and Alan Bernstein.
Some days I am overcome with paralyzing fear, scary anger and a broken heart. I know my daughter was groomed and indoctrinated into a horrible system when she was young so she doesn’t see many things, and she may outgrow her mindset, but I have seen this never change for 50+ years now in at least 3 generations. I am admitting defeat in overcoming the family dynamic I was born into. I am sad I exposed my child to this lifestyle that disguises itself as family love. Sometimes I wonder if I should just go back with my tale between my legs and lie that I was wrong in speaking because I would have my life back which is also betraying myself and like dying inside. I am trying to reconcile in my mind that I can’t live with the blatant rejection and betrayal by my daughter who has replaced me with my sister. It is not very mom like, but in a way, that mom died. It is time to take care of me now. To learn who Ella is choosing to be! I look forward to being a part of this community.
October 23, 2018 at 11:18 am #61501
Dear Fleeting (and all the others who have recently joined this site),
When I started this site, it was because there was such a need for a safe space for those going through this situation. You’re here now and can let down your proverbial hair a bit, and relax. We all understand!
October 23, 2018 at 11:20 am #61495
Hello, I’m new here. I am so grateful to find this site. I have purchased Sheri’s book and am looking forward to receiving it. I am keeping this short because it’s late but I did want to make a quick introduction. I hope to be posting and interacting soon.
Thank you all for having me. <3
October 23, 2018 at 10:08 pm #61556
Hello all, I am Ella. My biography explains my family situation should my post raise questions. On June 11, 2016, I lost my entire family including my youngest daughter because I spoke verified documented facts meant to inform, that unknowingly triggered deep family wounds no one has addressed except to blame me because I can’t let things go and I live in the past. I then witnessed my daughter move in with my sister 25 feet from our home while my family of origin turned their backs on me, accusing me of abusing my daughter in ways that simply aren’t true while claiming they were physically afraid of me, and think I have had a mental breakdown. They “are stumped I did what I did” but they could not hear when I said there has been a misunderstanding, I haven’t done what you believe I have done.
All I could do is leave my home, and relocate to a new town. I have been glamping in a 5th wheel camp trailer completely off grid in 0 degree weather and postpone retirement. I get to own that my oldest daughter has lost the family too because she tried to clarify the misunderstanding and stuck up for me. She is hurting just as much as I am. SURPRISE! My father did to me what he did to my mother and I stuck up for him for 50 years. Talk about repeating family patterns. . . I am not sure if I need to pursue help with abusive families or estranged adult children.
Done With The Crying has been a god send for me. It comforts me to know I am not alone and that some of my emotions aren’t so neurotic after all. I have done the excercises and I am starting over, including giving myself a new name. Ella
I have been estranged from my daughter for years it turns out. Alliances were formed and backbiting was going on before my family ending event that has been admitted. I thought we, my family of origin, were past that kind of behavior and that my daughters distance was the age or a phase, and chose to ride it out rather than address it earlier.
I am happy to have recently had my first, yes, my FIRST “real” conversation with her! She is hurt because I no longer want to help with her insurance policies. Hurt because I spoke about courtesy, respect and loyalty in relationships that we lack in ours and others who were helping us. She does not understand me, doesn’t want to know why I have done and said what I have and I need to keep my opinions to myself. She just wants to be happy and work on the lack of communication issues she has with her new husband that I caused because I hurt her feelings. I now know where I stand. I can officially give up fighting for us now. I have learned It is ok and sometimes essential to be a quitter. I highly recommend the book called Quitting written by Peg Streep and Alan Bernstein.
Some days I am overcome with paralyzing fear, scary anger and a broken heart. I know my daughter was groomed and indoctrinated into a horrible system when she was young so she doesn’t see many things, and she may outgrow her mindset, but I have seen this never change for 50+ years now in at least 3 generations. I am admitting defeat in overcoming the family dynamic I was born into. I am sad I exposed my child to this lifestyle that disguises itself as family love. Sometimes I wonder if I should just go back with my tale between my legs and lie that I was wrong in speaking because I would have my life back which is also betraying myself and like dying inside. I am also trying to reconcile in my mind that I can’t live with the blatant rejection and betrayal by my daughter who has replaced me with my sister. It is not very mom like, but in a way, that mom died. It is time to take care of me now. To learn who Ella is choosing to be! I look forward to being a part of this community.
October 24, 2018 at 2:15 am #61569
X-Dad here, It’s been 5 years of a total silent treatment from my three children, my ex-wife, and my (one time) in-laws and also all mutual friends have disappeared.
My ex-wife had a code word, I’ll guess most married couples have code words and hers was “the silverback gorilla.” it meant the children were driving her crazy and she needed a break that only the “silverback gorilla” could offer. When I came home, I called the kids to meet me (and I remember they all looked so happy) and I lined them up and asked whose room is a mess and who has schoolwork to do? I said get to it and your mom and I will call you for dinner. Of course, my children objected saying, “but dad,” and I said nope, get up to your rooms and we’ll see you at dinner. This normally ended with a sweet moment between my wife and me, asking how she is doing and hugging.
My wife must have thought I went into the master bedroom to change clothing because I heard some whisper sounds coming from the den. So I listened outside the door (which was a weird behavior for me) and I heard my wife telling our children the following, which I’ll never forget: “do you see how mean your father is? Do you see how he always ruins our fun times? I told your father to leave you alone because we were having fun together but this is what he does.” I entered the den after hearing that, my ex-wife was huddled about the children, with her arms around them while she was nealing down and looking them in the eyes telling them that. When my ex saw me she firmly told the children to go to their rooms while telling me it’s all just a joke and that she was kidding and she quickly changed the subject. It was a total set up, and during a time that our marriage was in trouble and when we had begun to argue often. I did NOT need something else to argue over and I let it go. Our marriage lasted another two years but kept getting worse and worse. It became obvious to me that she hated me and didn’t want to work on our marriage any longer.
The last five years have been tuff. On and off I would wonder about stepping in front of a fast-moving train but not seriously. My finances are in the toilet, I’ve always been entrepreneurial and during the marriage, I had built two decent companies, the first one I sold successfully after building it for 18 years and the second company I gave to my ex when leaving the marriage. I let her have the vast majority of all our assets because – hey, I was the guy who started and built up my prior companies and I could do it again.
But it hasn’t gone that well for me. I didn’t anticipate my children’s silence, I didn’t anticipate the confusing feelings about them going silent and the depression that I had never before experienced. I think the worst condition from the estrangement is that I couldn’t concentrate on a thing. I mean concentration was gone, being interested in business (something I always loved) was a struggle. Things just didn’t seem all that interesting anymore. I wondered what is the point when the most important people in my life have all turned away from me. I just really didn’t care about much of anything and I lived off some savings and spent days upon days alone in a little apartment. And the only reason I had any savings is because after my ex was looting our bank accounts, a friend who worked at a law firm insisted that I also take some cash before she whipped out all the assets. (I discovered that spouses taking all the cash and hiding it are common.) (the stuff we don’t want to learn!!)
After five years I’m starting to fight back, I’m starting to fight for my life in reality. I have two buddies now, and while I wish the buddy relationships were closer than they are, I suppose at 58 years of age that is how it will be. I started a business in the blue collar space, and I do the work myself which is not easy considering I had white-collar companies before, but as a benefit physical work keeps my body younger. I don’t own any property nor any assets and S. California is brutally expensive. I am sure I’ll be working for another 20 years at a time period that I see my high school friends announcing retirement. I don’t really belong to any of the social networks I used to belong to, because my ex-wife has bad mouthed me to my community, she went through the other wives who of course talked to their husbands. I suppose it’s also difficult for my old social network to see me in a business with no prestige nor “wow” factor. I suppose I can’t completely blame them. But I had to start something that I could get into with low start-up costs, so that is what I did. It’s just how people are, my situation makes old friends very uncomfortable, from children being silent, to the best marriage ever – ending in such a bad way, to working with my hands. I get it. I really do.
I think I’m now starting to do a pretty good job at healing my pain with my children’s estrangement. A year ago I realized I had better mourn upcoming events, like college graduations, job announcements, engagements, life decisions, and grandchildren. I decided I had better do that now rather than when those things happen in the future. I have no illusions of attending nor being invited to any of these events and I mourned them as if they were happening now. I don’t have any illusions of a reunion with my three children either. I just don’t see it happening. My children would have to deal with the facts that their own mother set them up and brainwashed them into not having a relatiohship with their own father. I just don’t see my children going through that pain, nor rethinking their past. I don’t see my children breaking from the “pack” either. I admit that I have spent hours a day stalking them on Facebook and Instagram and I see them all together as a family, celebrating events, birthdays, holidays etc. All of them, including all the in-laws with my children and my ex-wife. Nope, my children won’t break from the tribe they are a part of. My ex-wife is making sure of that.
I still struggle with one thought above all else – how can I consider myself anything other than a failure. Like a life failure. I have a hard time thinking about it in any other way than a life’s failure. I have hopes that I’ll figure that out. Or maybe it’s just going to be pain all the time and I have to live with it while building a new life.
October 24, 2018 at 1:02 pm #61584
Your story is tragic. I am so, so deeply sorry for your pain. You have been through hell and back, and then back there again. I hope that writing this stuff down might have helped a tiny bit. Some of the parents here find that helps; keeping a journal where you can write your thoughts and struggles for the day.
My first advice is to ditch facebook and instagram. Just don’t go there. It is rubbing salt into the wounds, that compounds the hurt. Of course you want to see your children – we all do, but to be reminded of that pain is just too terrible.
You are heard on this forum, and no one is judged. A book which has helped all of us is Done with the Crying, by Sheri McGregor. There are strategies for helping to make life worth living again. You sound like a really awesome guy, and I wish you all the best.
Please keep posting and reading. And please believe in yourself that life can get better.
October 24, 2018 at 1:22 pm #61582
Hi. I’m new here. Mother of adult son and daughter, and estranged from daughter for about 2 years intermittently since she met and married her partner. They moved out of state after my daughter got pregnant through invitro. I’m angry and hurt because before they left, I was ambushed with an unrealistic demand that would create great upheaval in my life while I was being treated for cancer. Because I refused, I have been essentially ostracizes. I have had intermittent contact with my daughter, but usually when she needs financial assistance, which I also have started to refuse. I’m confused because she seems to try to make contact and share my grandson with me when her spouse is not around. I do not get along with her spouse. I don’t really know her, but feel like she does not have my daughter’s best interest at heart. There was another incident when I traveled to see my grandson and was confronted by her spouse about issues between my daughter and myself that are personal and felt she was overstepping by trying to discuss them with me. I had to leave because she was upsetting the baby and my granddaughter (my son’s teenage daughter) who was with me. I didn’t speak with my daughter after that for almost a year. Then I apologized because I felt like I was the bad mom. Since then we have not spoken; texts have been short and sometimes there is no response at all. I’m beside myself with grief and exhausted trying to figure out how to just communicate. I send gifts for my grandson and get no real thanks or acknowledgement other than she got them. I feel unappreciated and insignificant. I feel guilty and stuck between wanting to give up and holding on to hope that we can be define some boundaries and reach compromise. I just need to know I’m not alone as a parent, and I’m not going crazy. Thanks for including me in the community.
October 25, 2018 at 8:58 pm #61723
Just wanted to introduce myself. I’ve read a lot of your posts, and my heart hurts for all of us.
I am Mariposa. My husband and I have had a really difficult time with our oldest son who is in his late 20’s. He has been a challenge for most of his life, tending to refuse to listen to anyone but himself.
We have had him in counseling, anger management, and have tried desperately to help him find his way. But we are met with resistance and a refusal to acknowledge there is anything wrong. And now that he is an adult, we have no control over trying to get him psychosocial help. It is my belief that he has a mental illness, though he is able to live independently and is now holding down a job. I have encouraged him to get help many times, but he refuses to believe there is anything wrong, and just becomes angry and resentful.
We have spent the better half of the last 10 years trying to help him get his feet on the ground, to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars. He is impulsive in his decisions, and therefore has lost jobs, places he lives, friends, and family. He becomes enraged and abusive when he doesn’t get what he needs or wants from us. He has been very verbally abusive towards me for years – not to my husband because he would not allow it. My husband has been very supportive, allowing me to decide when it’s time to let go. Though I don’t think we are ever ready, he has pretty much cut us off over the past few weeks, and it is helping me to realize that it is time.
I will spare all of you the long story, but suffice it to say we had another falling out a few weeks ago. He became angry, abusive, and stormed off after making a scene at a family event. He texted profanities at me, and we have not heard from him since, with the exception of some angry and abusive text messages.
I have finally come to the realization that it is not healthy to have him in our lives. We have another son in his mid-twenties who is thriving. So, of course, I spend my nights trying to figure out how and where I went wrong with one, yet have another who has done so well. My brain knows I have to stop blaming myself, but my heart seems to be the more stubborn of the two right now.
Anyway, I stumbled upon this website a couple of weeks ago and joined. I now feel that I among others who have had similar experiences. I wish none of us were here, and none of you had gone through anything to lead you to being here, but here we are. So, the best way to heal is to delve in, share, help others, and let others help back. We can’t chose the people in our families, but we can chose to not let others destroy us. That’s what I’m here to learn, and hopefully here to give back as well.
So, thank you.
October 26, 2018 at 9:14 pm #61785
Hi Mariposa. I wish I were welcoming you to a ‘how do I housebreak a puppy’ site instead of one concerning estrangement. Sadly, we are both here.
My son estranged a mere 6 months ago, so I don’t have any advice as I muddle through this quagmire of emotions. I can tell you that it does get a bit easier. You are in the thick of it at this moment, hang on. It will ease, you will breath again and you can walk forward.
I ordered Sheri’s book but took so much time to read it. I have finally finished and will refer to it frequently for encouragement and strength. It is the quintessential how to for estranged parents. You can get a copy on Amazon, it is so worth it.
I hope you find some peaceful moments and restful nights in the near future. It’s hard, but doable.
October 29, 2018 at 3:02 pm #61891
We are married 30 years. We raised his 2 and my one. There were constant conflicts from both step kids, their mother emotionally abandoned them. Steps were cruel abusive to my younger daughter. She was extremely close to us for 33 years.
She married a weak man from an abusive family. We helped them in every way for years. As soon as they were financially secure because of our help we were estranged. He has projected all of his anger and resentment onto us. Daughter finally succumbed to his constant delusional chirping in her ear about us. We tried to help her deal with him by being trystingbof her and respectful of their marriage. Anyway fast forward not only has she succumbed to his basic brainwashing but shockingly she has aligned herself with her abusive step siblings against us. Interestingly most our dissagreemrnts with them in the past 8 years have been about their treatment of her and her family. True example of no good deed…..2 years later, I have been accused of being responsible for all the strife, and cruel behavior between the steps and my daughter.
Actually we have come to realize this whole situation has many blessings. Hard way to learn but in retrospect our situation is much better than the direction we were headed before all of this. Our marriage is stronger, our plans for the future much better for us. In a nutshell we did not know how vulnerable and naive we were. We have new eyes, and much better plans and decisions. We miss our gks dreadfully but realize they are not our children and save danger no matter how much we disagree with the situation and decisions they have made, it is not our call. We pray for all 15 of them by name everyday, the parents and the children. Hang on everyone it’s a rough ride.
October 30, 2018 at 10:02 pm #61963
Not sure how to start. Married 38 years with 2 sons. Oldest has been estranged from both my husband and I for more years than I like to remember. It started 14 years ago when he met his future wife. We were very happy and welcoming to her. But even then we were constantly criticised for things we said or did. It was like we were not good enough. Not much has changed. When he got married 5 years ago, he admitted that he deliberately shut us out. When my grandson was born, there was some hope that maybe we could reconcile. We have to a point. They both are still severely critical. My son can be very passive aggressive. My husband and I put up with this because it allows limited access to our only grandson. First time I actually was allowed to babysit, my son had to review what I did, how I did and when. Criticism ranges from how I hold grandson, my voice us too loud, I make too much noise. This has being going on for 3 years. We never can suggest an outing or family get together. It has to be all on their terms. Now the other grandmother cannot help out, so I am expected. This after years of being told I was not good enough. All my son’s issues apparently stem back to us . Family birthdays, holidays, Christmas celebrations are ignored or we are excluded. They refuse to talk to my other son who now is not communicating with my husband or I.
We gave them a stable home, love, vacations, scouting, at cetera. I was overbearing apparently because I insisted they did homework, helped around house, worked summer jobs when they were older teenagers.
Somewhere along the line, it went wrong. While I do have limit contact with first son. It is really hard. They have power over us because of our grandson. They really seem to relish it.
I do have Sheri ‘s book and I am reading it again. Thanks for reading. I do wish there was no need for this forum. But I am thankful for it.
October 31, 2018 at 7:10 pm #62008
Sorry to hear of everything you are going throuhg with your sons. I too have 2 sons. I have been estranged from my youngest for 2 years and now it is starting with my oldest.
I feel your pain. When my oldest married my husband and I never felt good enough and then with the birth of our first gc we were made to feel even more worthless. We dont know why. For the past 2 years since his birth, we have walked on egg shells around my son and dil and all the joy and excitement of being grandparents has been squashed.
We were recently informed we can only see him under “supervised visitation”.
Like you we gave both boys love, support, help with school and jobs and buying a house only to be made to feel like worthless idiots. It is traumatic.
So you are not alone, but you have come to the right place.
We all wonder why? What happened? What did we do wrong? The answer is nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Working on detachment at least a semi-detachment. I am torn between wanting to see my gc and not wanting to subject myself and my husband to my sons condescending attitude towards us.
This power they feel they have because of the grandson, to me, is pretty disgusting. I am slowing learning that I dont want to play that game. EVER!
So stay strong, you have come to the right place.
Hugs from the farm
November 5, 2018 at 10:59 pm #62265
I have noticed the rejection from all of my children began at the time of remarriage. I was assured I was a “great mom” in the past. My marriage to their father ended in divorce. My new marriage, years later when they were all adults, lasted nearly 11 years. The kids were very angry and sullen with me most of the time since that point, always looking to criticize my words, my actions. I did not do enough for them apparently. He died last year and since then the disintegration of my family became complete. A wall of silence and removal of 6 grandchildren from my life as well followed angry demands for apologies. I suffer every day because I have not only lost the one man in my life that was kind and good to replace the one who was abusive, but I have lost every family member as well.
I have extended family, friends, etc who I am close to, but nothing replaces the children. I am heartbroken and cannot understand their cruelty. I love them all so very much and I forgive them. I pray for them every day and hope they all have good lives.
I reach out to help others to fill the void but it just never fills those spaces that long for my own children and grandchildren. I have given up all hope they will ever want me again and I don’t know exactly how to live with that.
I always feel there is something wrong with me that my own children don’t love me anymore. I think if a person can die of a broken heart, that will be me.
Thank you for reading this. I know all those on this site are here for similar reasons and my heart breaks for each of you because this is a pain that pierces the very soul of a mother. No one else could possibly understand the amount of grief and self-loathing it creates.
I am retiring next month, mostly because I need to retreat, to regroup, to start again. I can’t shake the sadness off.
November 6, 2018 at 11:07 pm #62301
Your story is terribly sad, but it seems that you have made headway in reclaiming your life. You are so right about no one else understanding the pain that is caused when children cut us off, although so many claim to do so. All of us here know that there is nothing, or no one that can replace our children, and grandchildren.
You have come to the right place to read others’ stories, and offer counsel if you feel you want to. IF you haven’t already, read Sheri McGregor’s book, Done with the Crying. It has helped so many parents to rebuild their lives. It doesn’t take away that pain, but we learn that it is possible to still live a good life in spite of it.
November 6, 2018 at 11:12 pm #62305
I am so sorry for your losses…your beloved husband as well as your children. I wish I could just reach through the screen and give you a big hug. Have you and your children ever sat down and discussed WHY they were so angry at your remarriage and why they didn’t like your husband? My daughters and I have done this and it’s helped, but for many years, they were too immature to really see me as a person…just a mom. The older 3 of my 4 daughters are now in their 30’s and things just recently have improved due to time and maturity. How old are your children?
Remarriage is SO hard on children of all ages. Like you, my remarriage has also wreaked havoc on my relationships with my children due to their dislike of my husband. He is opinionated and rough around the edges, so they have distanced themselves from me from time to time and I from them over the course of the last 10 years. This has caused much hurt on my part along with their father (who is the one with the money and the big home) whom they favor. (HE left ME and broke our family.) They claim it’s not true, but their actions have shown me otherwise. Three of my daughters live out of state and, after enough pain, I told my youngest that if she did not divide her time evenly and fairly between her father and myself, then I would not see her. I have seen her one day in the last 2 years to her father’s month and that was out of town. It’s a long story, but I tried to get her to compromise with me and she wouldn’t budge. We’ve basically been estranged since. She’s 27. My daughter #3 told me last night that she her sister is coming home for Thanksgiving, but I have not heard a word. She knows better. I set that boundary and until she’s mature enough to understand that it’s not all about HER, then we are nothing. And, so I wait.
My oldest has always been more fair with her visits, but, this time, she planned on staying 2 nights at my house and SIX at her father’s. I let her know how this made me feel and got one more night. I had told her what I expected during visits and she fully ignored my feelings calling them ridiculous. She tossed them aside and just expected me to be ok with her visitation schedule. I could have done that, but I have learned from the past how much it hurts…visiting at my place then running back to their father’s like it’s a “safe haven” or something. I choose to not see them vs suffering more emotional and physical pain.
My 3rd daughter (31) has finally grown up, but we have had periods of estrangement as well due to her dislike of my husband. We spent a weekend together this summer and had many good talks which included talking frankly about my 2nd husband. I told her he IS who he IS and he’s changed over the years (actually, he just tip toes around my kids now and keeps his opinions to himself as he should), but my youngest still remembers some negative things he said about her and she overheard them. She simply isn’t comfortable around him, but that will need to change in order for our relationship to mend. I told my daughter (31) that until her sister can accept my husband as family and through her actions (meaning splitting her time equally between her father and me), show me, then she and I will remain estranged. I choose this because the pain of her favoritism towards her father and unequal treatment. Personally, I think more highly of myself than that and you should, too. If you used to be a “great mom”, chances are your still ARE. I saw a therapist regarding my daughters a few years ago and she gave me great advice, “Set boundaries with those who hurt you.” That’s exactly what I’ve done with my youngest. Don’t meet me halfway, then you don’t see me. That simple. It keeps the pain away. She’s gone her way and I’ve gone mine and I can live with that easier than putting up with the pain she inflicts on me and doesn’t care.
Maybe you can do this as well. Start your new life and continue to do for others as you are doing which will help. I learned during my divorce 10 years ago to “never say never” as I was NEVER going to get married again and yet I did. So, keep praying for your children’s health and safety and then move on. Love them from a distance I call it. Just because relationships don’t always work out doesn’t mean the love isn’t there. Distance and time can often help or at least keep pain away, but that doesn’t mean that can’t change. It’s taken my 31 one year old 10 years to come around and it makes me very happy, but I had come to accept that we were never going to be close…EVER and it appears we may be on our way.
God bless and keep in touch. I’m here for you.
November 7, 2018 at 6:38 am #62351
Greetings. I am a 62 y/o mother and stepmother. I have 3 bio children. My husband and I have one child from his previous marriage, who is the oldest in the group of 4. Our problem is not with my 3 bio children, but with his 1. She is 42, and has had several mental illness diagnoses (including BPD, bipolar, depression, etc). She is one of those who cherry picks the treatment she will comply with, with varying results. My husband wasn’t a very good father when she was younger, trying to raise a little girl on his own while working and going to school. He chose to marry or involve himself with women who did not treat her well, eventually divorcing the last when she was 15. Needless to say she has never developed good relationships with women. I married her father almost 20 years ago, and have spent these years trying to foster a good relationship with her and help her mend her relationship with her father. Multiple times she has pulled away and estranged herself from us, sometimes for several years at a time. Then she ‘trickles’ back, always needing help, which we have given her (both physically and financially). Now we are in another estrangement cycle, and she has trotted out her childhood and her father’s need to apologize, even though he has already and she has said she forgave him in the past. I am now his ‘wife’ rather than her stepmother, and she uses phrases in her rants that speak of jealousy of our marital relationship and his standing up for me when she says terrible and untrue things about me. Unfortunately, there are 2 grandchildren in the picture, and she stated today that we would have nothing to do with them anymore because we weren’t good grandparents because we didn’t do enough (in her opinion) and that we were toxic. Apparently us having more pictures of my children in the house than of her and her children is what brought this to a head. She states that we favor my 3 children over her and her 2 children, which is not true. We have tried to treat them all the same, and if the truth were told, we have done more for her than the others. Our relationship with our grandchildren has been slow to develop because of all the estrangements she has put us and them through. She owes us a ton of money, and is currently driving a car we own and insure. Needless to say we are enmeshed in this insanity, and are contacting the authorities to see what our legal options are as far as the car, grandparent visitation, etc.
That’s about it, in a nutshell. Things could be worse, I guess, but it is sad that we are once again back seemingly at her mercy and manipulation (which my husband has gotten sick of and does not want to respond to). I am sorry to read so many sad stories, and to see that others are going through this as well. But on the bright side (is there a bright side?), it’s nice to know we aren’t alone. Thank you for listening.
November 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm #62443
Thanks Dotty and momof4girls,
It is helpful to have a network of people who really understand this issue. It is truly the most unexpected, painful thing I could ever have imagined.
My children are 41, 34 and 32. They all have children of their own who they will not let me see. My husband’s personality was really not the issue, I don’t think. He was kind and loving and I would be astonished if there was anything my children could say about him that was negative. In fact, they all said he was a great guy. So WHY? I wondered. After a lot of reading and soul searching, and trying to see through the veiled actions and comments of my children, I have come to the conclusion that it was indeed a deep jealousy. Because their own father was cruel and then they saw me happy with someone else. I think they feel I should love them only and because they did not see evidence of a healthy married relationship growing up – – I believe they resented my relationship with my new husband. Not because of who he was, but because he was someone I loved. I doubt they understand it themselves.
One thing that I keep thinking about is the fact that although we carry genetics to our children and they are raised in our environments, this is a relatively short period of time and influence in their lives. They are influenced by friends and situations apart from us even while growing up and once on their own, especially when they get married, our influence is very little. Each person is uniquely their own self. They make their own choices and go their own paths. Spirituality is a large factor as well. That is another thing where you can only plant the seed and it’s up to them.
So I hold on to the memories that are good. I wrote all my grandchildren a letter explaining family history going back several generations, including anecdotes as I knew them. I put as much about their own parent (my children) as I could. But I included NOTHING NEGATIVE. I plan to send these for Christmas. Grandmas are supposed to carry on family traditions by word of mouth, but since that isn’t possible, I have written it all down. All as happy and loving as I can.
You see, I will choose my own legacy. I know who I am and just because they changed does not mean I have to. I am still who I have always been. I’d like to think I’m improving over time, but I am still me. If that’s not good enough, too bad. I will not mold myself differently in order to win anyone’s approval.
My mom always said, “Always take the high road.” My mom, rest her soul, was awesome!
November 8, 2018 at 3:01 pm #62452
What a beautiful post. You got your mom’s awesome genes!
November 8, 2018 at 8:09 pm #62489
Thanks for your book and helping me to realize I am not alone in the world. It’s painful to be in these circumstances.
November 13, 2018 at 1:05 am #62758
Just reading through the posts gives me some peace. I had close, loving relationships with my two sons now 29 and 31 until the youngest met and married a toxic woman. Her influence has changed my caring family oriented son into a workaholic who doesn’t have time for anyone in his family. The dil is starting to poison my older son and his recent girlfriend. The new addition is making up things that were said that witnesses never heard and I feel that the same estrangement is starting with my older son. I still can’t understand why these women don’t look at a mil as an asset and ally and why they feel they must drive a wedge in between us. My now ex mil was toxic but I never treated her the way these two are treating me. It is heart breaking and I hope someday I will be able to stop trying to make sense of something that is senseless and be happy again.
November 14, 2018 at 1:32 am #62852
Hello, tears are welling up as I introduce myself, so very very sad that I am here, that I belong here, my heart is broken. I have had no contact with my firstborn and her family for over a year now. At first I honored their special days but it was not appreciated and so I had to stop. I believe I am in the depression part of the stages of grief, having been through denial and anger. My heart is breaking and my grief knows no end. I cannot say that I was a good mother, but I know I did the best I could. I was neglected and abused in my own childhood, but I tried so very hard to get it right, but I never could. I made so very many mistakes, was a depressed mother who through it all kept working, a single mom so that I could give my children a better life, and I did succeed in keeping my family together and materially taken care of. My relationship with my daughter has been impossible from the beginning, I have apologized for all my wrongs. I have been in therapy my entire adult life, trying to do better. I have two other adult children whom I have a loving relationship, a work in progress, and it hurts so much that I am not given the same opportunity with my ED and her adult children.
Will I ever be happy again? It doesn’t feel like that is possible.
November 14, 2018 at 2:21 pm #62897
Wow! I just wrote a two page introduction post that was just over the top! I just can’t bring myself to post it as it is just very painful right now to share it’s so complicated and such senseless drama. Just want to say even though this isn’t the club I hoped to belong to it is the one I need, and I’m glad to be here. I can relate to many of your stories and to your pain.
I do want to share my dream though it was so strange and is what got me here. I dreamt my adult son, who is estranged over which I have been heart broken and my little sister (an adult also, who died in May) were my “babies” and that I had forgotten about my “babies” and as a result they were getting smaller and smaller when I found them my sister was so small she was about the size of a small book, and I picked her up and held her in my hands, she wasn’t moving. Then I looked again where I had found my sister, and saw my son, he was also very small, but not as tiny as she. When I looked at him he was on his back, but he quickly flipped over and began crawling away from me, I was so relieved he was moving, then I woke up. It’s really no mystery why I dreamed this. But, it is still upsetting because it is still me trying to do something, anything to change the situation. Me feeling like if, I could only do the right thing, she wouldn’t have died, or he wouldn’t want to run away from me. I’m really sad right now, sorry.
November 14, 2018 at 2:23 pm #62899
Wow, I have read a lot of the stories on this site. We all hurt and I do believe most of us have guilt about what we did or didn’t do or should have done better.
BUT, I don’t think I have read a post from a parent who blames themselves so much. Please remember, you do have a relationship with two wonderful children. You must have done a lot of things right. You worked hard and provided for them. Remember there is only so much time and energy within any one of us. You say you made many mistakes, we all have, BUT you have done a lot of things right.
Focus on the family who gives you love and respect.
STOP APOLOGIZING. It seems you have over and over. My guess is you have apologized for things you haven’t even done. But, given you have, if your apology hasn’t been accepted, what else can you do??? You can’t relive the past. If you continue to apologize it makes you an easy target for more attacks. I know – my therapist told me to stop apologizing or even feeling like I should. Change that focus. Parents on this site echoed that advise. I feel so much better.
Keep sharing and talking to friends and parents on this site. It really helps.
November 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm #63073
Hi Im new here,
November 18, 2018 at 1:10 am #63217
I found this site and group tonight and have sat here reading about 8-9 hours until dawn has come, just soaking it up with a sense not only of surprise but also relief. It is SO GOOD to know that I am one of many normal people and not the only ‘worst and least-wanted mother in the world’!
After all this reading and considering the sun is up now I really need to sleep now, so I will introduce myself properly soon. I just wanted to say that I feel almost overwhelmed by and in awe of the massive amount of courage and strength I have been reading here. The deep pain is so evident too and that’s why this courage and strength is so special, it’s not easy to be brave when things are hurting!
November 18, 2018 at 3:03 pm #63237
I am glad that reading the posts here has helped you.
Looking forward to hearing more of your story when you are ready
November 22, 2018 at 5:10 am #63618
I want to introduce myself as I am new to this site. I am going through a very difficult time being estranged from my three grown children who will not tell me what I have done or what they are angry about. But, the pain, depression and broken heart I am living with every day is becoming unbearable. I haven’t seen or heard from my 2 adult sons for several years and through the grape vine just found out that the one got married and everyone was at the wedding but me. My daughter who has three children, two of whom I bonded with and loved me to the point that they never wanted to leave when they visited I have not seen for 4 years and once again through social media I found out she had another baby in June so I will in all likelihood never get to know my new granddaughter. My other two grandchildren are now 10 (soon to be 11) and 7 and the last time I saw them they were 7 and 4.
My daughter has borderline personality disorder and anytime she got upset with me she would always threaten that I wouldn’t see my grandkids and little by little she did just that. I miss them so much but I refuse to get hurt and rejected any longer as I feel no response is pretty painful and I don’t think I can handle it.
I am hopeful that sharing and hearing from others going through a similar situation will heal the pain somewhat.
November 23, 2018 at 2:58 pm #63763
Good morning. i found this forum yesterday. Holidays can be tough. I also ordered the book of Amazon. I have a 23 ES. I am learning the abbreviations, but believe that means son. He actually lives a mile away. I also have 2 grandkids, 4 and 1. We were estranged at 17, and then saw each other during years between but it has been very sporatic and tense. The more I reach out, the more he pushes back. I walk on egg shells to see my grandkids. When I express that I am hurting over relationship, his responce is it is what is is. I also am recently married and ave a 6 and 8 year old step daughtre and son, who I have a loving relationship with. I am at a point where I feel like I need to let go, so as the protect myself from hitting the wall, he just doesn’t want a relationship. The day before Thanksgiving, he blocked me on SM. I want to learn how to detach while somehow leaving the door open. Happy to fnd this forum. Between 15-17, he was in and out of trouble with Juvie, but has calme down on that since having his own kids.
December 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm #64358
Hello, I have been estranged from my adult daughter for over two years. She has two children which are not 13 and 8. I haven’t seen them since they were 10 and 5. I always thought I had a great relationship with my daughter — we would call each other at least once weekly to catch up on our lives. She lives out of state so it was always a big event when I came to visit. All of a sudden (to me) she accused me of wounding her so badly while she was a child that she almost failed in adulthood, I was a monster, and she didn’t want anything to do with me — I couldn’t believe it!
I have been deeply hurt and understand the pain that other people are going through. I tried and tried to get the relationship back on track — sending birthday cards, Christmas presents, notes of apology — and never getting anything in return. She came to town this passed summer with her husband and children for a celebration of an accomplishment she reached and her birthday. There was a big party in which the entire extended family was invited except me. Well, I decided to show up with a gift and card congratulating her and saying how proud I was. I got to talk to the grandkids for about 10-15 minutes and then my son-in-law asked me to leave. I left my present and left — totally heartbroken and crushed.
Since then, I have set my boundaries. I am not going to put myself in a place that I can get hurt. God and everybody else knows I tried my best to make my amends be compassionate, understanding of her issues, and show love and kindness. I’m done. Of course I hurt everyday with the loss of them but I can’t jeopardize my well-being.
I have been doing a lot of praying, which I hadn’t done much prior to this estrangement. I pray for her because I think she must be a very confused person. I pray for God’s help to keep me strong and remove the anxiety, the fear and resentments I feel. I pray for him to take this burden off my shoulders to put it on my God’s shoulders. I ask to have this heartache removed. I have found that when I let the light of my God into my well-being I feel free from this pain (which maybe only minutes at a time.) . I’ve never have been a religious person but this has been the direction I turned.
That’s enough for today. I am glad I found this website. I’m sure with your strength and courage I can get stronger too.
December 3, 2018 at 11:59 am #64414
Hi, thank you for sharing Mrs.Snow
December 3, 2018 at 6:44 pm #64433
Hello. I am new here. I have a daughter who is 19. She is not estranged yet, but is threatening to cut all ties with me if I do not leave my fiance. There is a lot of backstory to this. No abuse. She just does not like him and has never accepted him. I can explain if there is anyone here who thinks they can help 1. make things better before she cuts all ties or 2. help me understand everything is not my fault.
I know this is vague. Is there anyone else in a similar situation?
December 3, 2018 at 9:35 pm #64459
I have not been in your situation. However, when I split from my daughter’s Dad, my daughter who was in her early 20’s at the time was what I would call, a “brat”. She had much misguided anger (me and not her Dad who had been a less than stellar Father). When I started dating another man she was not rude to him, outright. But her hostility towards me grew. She began to think that she was the parent and I was the child. I had to set her straight on that a few times. Finally, when we had all planned a vacation down south and I paid for her plane ticket, she informed me that she was not going. I asked her if it was my boyfriend (who was so good to her all the time) and she denied that. She then stopped talking to me for a time. I told her before this that I had someone in my life who loved me, who was kind and considerate and I was going to have a life of my own now. I said that she did not have to like him or even me, but I expected her to stop disrespecting me. She did “come back” and we do have a good relationship now. She needs me more now I think since her only sibling is estranged from her too. I would suggest that if you give into your daughter’s demands, she will run your life forever. Perhaps it is time to remind her that you deserve a life too, and that you taught her to walk, eat and potty trained her, so you know how to make your own choices! It is YOUR life, not hers. I don’t know about anyone else here but I don’t know if estranged children threaten to leave before they actually do. If she does leave your life right now, I have a feeling that she won’t be away for long. Perhaps, as with my daughter, your fiance makes her own Father “look bad”, in her mind because he treats you better, or you are happier than she remembers you being with her Father?
December 4, 2018 at 2:52 am #64481
Welcome to the forum! Your post seems to contain information that will benefit our members. I wish you would put them in the general forum so other members can respond.
Take Care and again, welcome the forum!
December 9, 2018 at 7:34 pm #64866
Hello. I just want to thank Sheri for this website. My daughter only left a few days ago, and the pain is so intense! She’s 18 and was a Rockstar student and a super person – until she met someone 5 years older than her. In the past two months it’s gone right downhill. I made the mistake of finally telling her that I was concerned (for many reasons) – she did something terrible to me – and then left. So terrible I could never let her come back to live here. I told her I will be there for her if she needs me, but I won’t live in fear of what she might do next. I tell myself that she would never have done this if it was just her.
Anyway, as others have stated, I’m going to see a therapist as well. What happened opened the floodgates to a lot of pain throughout my whole life.
Right now I’m just trying to get through each day – and the evenings/nights are horrible.
Thank you all for being here!
December 12, 2018 at 1:49 am #65052
She is being influenced…and I’m so sorry.
Welcome to the forum….I think you will find it supportive.
Hugs to you,
December 12, 2018 at 1:40 am #65045
Hello everyone. It has taken me a few days to even want to write. I’ve been in such a funk as I’m sure you all understand. Grief over an ED, the holidays, living 1700 miles away and being reminded of my mother’s passing 4 years ago has taken a big toll. Thank GOD I found this site and Sheri’s thoughtful and insightful book! I’ve been reading many of the posts and although I’m sad there are so many of us out there, it is a strange comfort to know there are others dealing with the same thing: estrangement and disrespect that we do not deserve! I am 58, divorced and remarried to a WONDERFUL caring man for the past 10 years and have only one child: ED, 31 who is married and no children of her own. Her poisoning began with my 1st husband who was a jobless alcoholic whom I divorced because of this. ED was 9 then and went back and forth every other weekend on court ordered visits to her father’s and my ex mother in law. They both poisoned her mind that I was an evil adulteress for leaving him. I remarried a 2nd time 2 years later on the rebound and my 2nd husband and I gave our kids a very comfortable home in a nice neighborhood and good schools. Something that I never could give my ED on a nurse’s salary. Believe me when I say I worked my ars off and on my days off, did the best I could to attend her school events, do things with her and spend as much quality time as I could. I never had any intention of making my daughter feel unloved or abandoned. Her father did that. Hubby #2 had money but after a few years of marriage, I found he was verbally abusive and a couple of times almost physically abusive to me and my daughter. We left when she was 19 and in her first year of college. So, 10 years married to her father and 10 years to husband #2. I met hubby no #3 while my daughter was in college. She was INCENSED that I would even have the audacity to date after 2 ruined marriages. She went from being possessive of me to suddenly judgemental and verbally abusive and disrespectful toward me and my new future husband at that time, sending scathing texts, riddled with curse words and threats. My hubby was patient with her as she slowly cooled off and seemed to accept him. He even offered to pay for some of her tuition, seeing what a hard worker she was in school. She took the money and muttered a ‘thanks” in an almost inaudible voice to him. When she’d come for dinner, she’d talk to me but not to him. It was uncomfortable. I told her we were marrying whether she approved or not. We all even went to a therapist for several sessions. The therapist actually sided with my daughter and said I was the one who was a t fault for her unhappiness and that my divorces are what caused all of her bitterness. That was the final straw. WIth my daughter living on her own and now done with college, I went on with my life. My hubby and I have been together 10 years now and I am more in love than I ever thought I could be. As I write this, I chill thinking that someone out there will judge me, “she’s been married as many times as Zha zha Gabore. No wonder her daughter is a mess!” I think thoughts like that to myself all the time. I guess I don’t need anyone to think them for me, right? I guess it’s needless to say that I wasn’t on drugs or alcohol, never abused my daughter and always tried to build up her self esteem by telling her how much I loved her and how much she was wanted. I did my best. I’m now on Sheri’s chapter where she wants me to write all the good parenting things I did. Maybe it’s too soon. I’m in pain….
December 12, 2018 at 1:46 am #65051
Let’s see, you worked your arse off to feed, clothe, and house her. You tried to attend the events. You loved her. You left a bad second marriage, which could be looked at as setting an example of self love for her (not allowing the husband’s abuse). You went to counseling, you tried to be fair….on and on. I bet you did somefun things together at least a few times, shared a laugh, took care of her when sick, etc.
There. Exercise almost done….
December 13, 2018 at 2:27 am #65115
Thank you for your validation, Sheri! It is an honor to meet the author! Yours is the 3rd book I have read on this gut-wrenching subject and I must say—the BEST and exactly what I was looking for. I’m so glad I found it and your forum.
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