INTRODUCE YOURSELF #3

This topic contains 225 replies, has 121 voices, and was last updated by rparents rparents 10 hours, 32 minutes ago.

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  • #65797
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    This is the third INTRODUCTION thread, and the one to use. Introduce Yourself #1 and #2 are closed. They became unweildy and difficult to use. Please feel free to introduce yourself to the group, tell a bit about who you are and your situation.

    Hugs,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #65810
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    I wonder if any of the recent or last few days of posts could be moved over to this new one, so more people would read and see them. I agree there should be a new one, #3. I had considered asking for it, before I wrote my intro, but I didn’t, and now it feels sad for me, that mine and others are left there, at the end of that long, unwieldy, difficult one to use.

    I feel like my intro and others intro’s at/near, the end of that one, and the replies, will not be viewed, now, and will not be of as much value to myself and to others, as they would be here on this one.
    I wrote my intro and replies to others intro’s, there, which felt good, the first good feeling I have had in a while, but now I feel a loss, of some of the value I had felt, when I read and wrote them.

    Thank you for considering this.

    • #66335
      Avatar
      Maggie64
      Participant

      Hello, my son walked out on the whole family four years ago, including his twin brother. He married an older, very manipulative woman when he was just 18 and she was 23. He barely knew her. He joined the army and she saw him as a meal ticket. They just had a baby. I’ve heard one thing from him in 4 years and that was a voice mail saying he’ll only be happy when I’m dead. I feel dead inside.

    • #66815
      Avatar
      IolaGG
      Participant

      Hi. I’ve been crying all day. I finally decided to remove my daughter from my life today. She is extremely verbally abusive and daily tries to attack my most vulnerable areas until I’m in tears. Then ridiculed me for crying. This last 10 months she has been physically abusive among other things once resulting in me having a black eye and another time taken to the hospital by ambulance for 6 stitches in my forehead. She is nearly 21, no diploma or GED (either myself or her grandpa have paid for her to go to classes 3 times and she never finishes), no job, no motivation to do anything but live off me and my father. I know she is toxic to me. People have mentioned to me they can tell when she has been around and when she hasn’t. I’m taking medication for major depressive disorder, anxiety/panic attacks, I have had insomnia for 3 weeks, and after my last conversation with my daughter I considered going to the ER because I felt so bad I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t hurt myself. But I feel guilty, I feel like the worst mother on the planet. I feel like maybe she’s right. Maybe I am worthless. But I also feel hopeful for just a little peace in my life.

    • #67071
      Avatar
      Kindmumma
      Participant

      Lola, I am so sorry you are going through this. From what you have written, you have absolutely done the most loving thing you can do for yourself.

    • #67239
      Avatar
      Anewday4us
      Participant

      I have been there. I know how you feel and can relate to the other posts as well. Through such gut renching pain, I have grown further. At this time, I truly know and feel that I did my very best then and now. I no longer ravaged in the pain I once felt simply because I know the truth. We each have our own journey in life and I know what I can do to best free myself of the pain and to see the true bright side of myself and what I have actually done versus the way I’ve been treated, I can actually move ahead knowing the facts. That does not mean I’m not open to reconciliation of the future, I’m just allowing myself to enjoy this precious life that was given and allow the happiness and I truly deserve to fulfill my life. I sincerely hope that all of us can come to a place a true understanding and knowing you are enough. When looking at the whole picture when you’ve done your best, release the bondage of the pain to understanding and positivity of who you are and all the wonderful things you have done. Let that shine through, gratitude and love will supersede the pain to true forgiveness for each of us to move forward! God bless all of you and I wish each of us true peace in our journey ahead!

    • #67256
      Avatar
      Anewday4us
      Participant

      I have been there. I know how you feel and can relate to the other posts as well. Through such gut renching pain, I have grown further. At this time, I truly know and feel that I did my very best then and now. I no longer ravaged in the pain I once felt simply because I know the truth. We each have our own journey in life and I know what I can do to best free myself of the pain and to see the true bright side of myself and what I have actually done versus the way I’ve been treated, I can actually move ahead knowing the facts. That does not mean I’m not open to reconciliation of the future, I’m just allowing myself to enjoy this precious life that was given and allow the happiness and I truly deserve to fulfill my life. I sincerely hope that all of us can come to a place a true understanding and knowing you are enough. When looking at the whole picture when you’ve done your best, release the bondage of the pain to understanding and positivity of who you are and all the wonderful things you have done. Let that shine through, gratitude and love will supersede the pain to true forgiveness for each of us to move forward! God bless all of you and I wish each of us true peace in our journey ahead!

    • #69164
      Avatar
      CharlesAtlas
      Participant

      I called the crisis support line yesterday although I was not suicidal. Strangers are nicer to talk to than our own children. Put the number in your phone and use it. If you read my intro our situations bear some similarity. My daughter (24 yo, highly educated, beautiful- it doesn’t matter where they are in life there is something wrong with them) is verbally and has been physically abusive to me in the past and I promise you she will never ever hit me again.

    • #73347

      Hi. I’m a survivor. It’s nice to be here. i’m a bit overwhelmed by the numbers, but grateful in a way that doesn’t feel so good- YIKES!- so many of us. This is a SILENT EPIDEMIC. Are any of you in local face to face support groups, have any of you started one? I’m feeling compelled. This is absurd.

      I recently visited Costa Rica for 3 weeks, lucky me, I’m free 😉 Upon entry through customs, an ex pat told me how children are raised to care for aging adults, he told me to watch for the ways, the love, the simplicity in the relationships. I saw it. It was beautiful, without plastic, gifts, money, achievement in anything other than the community and local environment sustenance.

      This American life. Gheez. It’s not working on so many levels. We do the best we can. And then we let go and LIVE. xo to all of you mates

      Namaste

    • #71700
      Avatar
      Freya
      Participant

      Hi there. I can absolutely relate to your situation. My own daughter estranged me after I raised her by myself, put her through college and spent upwards of over 100,000.00 on her. She walked into the loving arms of her daddy and step mother who never lifted a finger to raise her, he only sent his child support payments which I saved for her. At the end of it all she took me to court for a restraining order after I called and asked her to come home for xmas. The judge dismissed everything so I could keep my job as an investigator for the state. My daughter tried to ruin my life in every respect, even asked me if I was a citizen yet probably so she could have me deported for inviting her home. I had spent years and years blaming myself for everything but the problem became apparent when I went to a therapist who said I was a wonderful parent, it was me who was continuing to abuse myself by returning to revisit the incidents over and over in my mind. The day came when my lovely daughter told me I was dead to her. I cried so hard I ended up with a heart attack of sorts, went to the ER and the kindly doctor had a serious talk with me after stabilizing me. He told me that I had the option to end my own life by continuing to live in the pain I was experiencing or I could simply admit that I had not raised the perfect child and I was not the perfect parent. He truly made me realize that I felt guilt, shame and fear of judgement from others by my daughters actions, you see my daughter is an actress who likes to post things on social media that are not kind about me as well. I have lived with no contact with her for 12 years and I have continued to blame myself in different ways for things periodically. Good days and bad days. But what I have learned is this….I am not perfect and never met anyone who is, I forgive myself for my weak moments when I think of her and am gentle with my own heart these days. Everything in life is temporary and God is all seeing and all knowing. What happens in the future is for the future, I live in the present, in the moment. And these days my moments are getting better and better because I am worthy of love…and there are plenty who love me for who I am. Sorry I have been so long winded…..hugs….Freya

    • #71712
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Hello Freya,

      Welcome to my support forum. I created this for parents who need the support of others, and need to say a few things. It’s okay to be long-winded, and actually, I don’t think your post was.

      I think that doctor was very wise to inform you that you had a choice. We all do. To be strong and stop participating in our own stress and sadness, or to continue on. I call that second choice joining the team of the son or daughter who is hurting you. Don’t do it. No need to wear their team jersey.

      HUGS to you. I hope you will join some of the other threads now. It will be easier for people to find your posts if, in any thread, you scroll to the bottom and use the box which replies to the entire thread rather than hitting the “reply” function for an individual post. Those can be difficult for some people to locate and respond to.

      HUGS again.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #75120
      Avatar
      Always
      Participant

      Hi. I’m reading all these messages and I have to thank you for saying what you said about the self-abuse. And also “I’m not perfect and I never met anyone who was.” My daughter has been married to a man who has almost no relationship with his own family. Looking back, I see my quiet fears that someday he would talk her out of me….out of us. And, although we can only guess, we suspect that she finally made a decision. She left quietly with a matter-of-Fact e-mail about seeing a new counselor and growing closer to her husband than she thought ever possible. She said “I love you Mama” and that was that. She has sent a thanksgiving text and a Christmas card. It’s been six months and 18 days. A few weeks ago I purchased “Done with the Crying”. It has helped me greatly in that it has confirmed for me that I have luckily handled things in a way that is. It regretful. It also gives me things to look for in the future and what to prepare for should she ever want to come back into the family. As a family we are stronger now than we were 6 months and 18 days ago and we are mourning and healing together. Some days are good. Busy days are better. Some days, like yesterday….not so good. But I take action like signing up for this forum. I’m also writing about this. Songs and poetry. I miss my daughter. She was always so sweet and kind to me. I miss her because she was a bright light in my life. I can literally count one one hand the times we had cross words. I miss her laugh, her hands, her hair, her house, her talks, her life…..her. I miss her.

    • #73193
      meditatingmum
      meditatingmum
      Participant

      This is my first post. My heart is breaking for all of you as I am reading all of your posts. I can’t believe some of us, as loving, caring & compassionate as we appear to be, raised such monstrous, hateful children! How can that be?

      The theme of ‘narcissist’ and/or ‘borderline’ personality disorders both come to mind, as I pore through some of these heart-wrenching stories. So unbelievable, and yet, things like this have happened to me, too.

      I’m still reading your stories and navigating this site and trying it on for size, so to speak, before I post anything more. But I wanted to check in, say hello and let you all know I’m here, perusing & getting to know you through your posts.

      Thank you! Be strong & Keep the Faith.
      Peace & Love

    • #68370
      Avatar
      Deyi
      Participant

      Hello,
      I’m really glad I found this group.
      My only son walked away from the family
      4 years ago, when I was diagnosed with a serious
      Illness. It has not been no contact at all. Just silence.
      Deyi.

    • #71698
      Avatar
      Freya
      Participant

      Hi there. I can absolutely relate to your situation. My own daughter estranged me after I raised her by myself, put her through college and spent upwards of over 100,000.00 on her. She walked into the loving arms of her daddy and step mother who never lifted a finger to raise her, he only sent his child support payments which I saved for her. At the end of it all she took me to court for a restraining order after I called and asked her to come home for xmas. The judge dismissed everything so I could keep my job as an investigator for the state. My daughter tried to ruin my life in every respect, even asked me if I was a citizen yet probably so she could have me deported for inviting her home. I had spent years and years blaming myself for everything but the problem became apparent when I went to a therapist who said I was a wonderful parent, it was me who was continuing to abuse myself by returning to revisit the incidents over and over in my mind. The day came when my lovely daughter told me I was dead to her. I cried so hard I ended up with a heart attack of sorts, went to the ER and the kindly doctor had a serious talk with me after stabilizing me. He told me that I had the option to end my own life by continuing to live in the pain I was experiencing or I could simply admit that I had not raised the perfect child and I was not the perfect parent. He truly made me realize that I felt guilt, shame and fear of judgement from others by my daughters actions, you see my daughter is an actress who likes to post things on social media that are not kind about me as well. I have lived with no contact with her for 12 years and I have continued to blame myself in different ways for things periodically. Good days and bad days. But what I have learned is this….I am not perfect and never met anyone who is, I forgive myself for my weak moments when I think of her and am gentle with my own heart these days. Everything in life is temporary and God is all seeing and all knowing. What happens in the future is for the future, I live in the present, in the moment. And these days my moments are getting better and better because I am worthy of love…and there are plenty who love me for who I am. Sorry I have been so long winded…..hugs….Freya

  • #65826
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear Needothers, I am always amazed at how many parents come on here and read EVERYTHING. I don’t think your posts would be forgotten or unread. However, below are the last few from the Introduce Yourself #2 thread. Hugs, Sheri McGregor

    From Hope2 on December 17, 2018:

    Hi I realize I am not the only person to go through this but to actually be able to read others stories is a little comforting but also a little saddening to know it happens so very often.
    I have a son an only child, who just recently got married. His wife and I have not seen eye to eye almost right from the start. 2& a half years later my son is on the edge ready to cut me from his life. I don’t really know what to say here or how much to say . Maybe further along I will share more but for now I’ll try and keep it short. I am having trouble dealing with this , I get a thought in my head about what’s happening or what I’m going to miss in his life and just start crying. I am a mess of emotions.
    Reading some of the advice replies have eased my mind some what. I haven’t given much info on my situation so I don’t expect the advice to come pouring in.
    Thanks for reading ,

    From BlueViolet on December 17, 2018:

    It is so hard to see how many of us are going through estrangement, but it helps me to know that I am not alone. My youngest daughter, 18, began getting angry with us -myself, husband (her dad), and older sister, gradually over past months. A happy personality, always responsible and kind, well-liked, successful academically, 3-sport athlete. I don’t want to place blame on any one person, but I feel that her attitude and personality began to shift when she started dating her current BF (just turned 19) a year ago. She began to withdraw from friendships, co-workers from her summer job noticed her mood shift, and she spent little time engaged with us as a family despite efforts. She left for her first semester at college, and has not returned. She has not responded to any texts, calls, or emails from anyone in the family- grandparents, aunts, cousins. She did not come home for Thanksgiving break, and I can only assume that she stayed with the BF. She has not come home or communicated since the fall semester ended at school, and again I assume she is with the BF. As many of you, I am in shock that she would walk away without a word. My husband says that we will never see her again, but I can’t accept that just yet. The revolving door of emotions is overwhelming at times- I feel like a Jack-in-the-Box….cranking slowly and never knowing when the POP will happen! I have been reading the book and its insight is tremendous. Right now I am just putting one foot in front of the other and taking each day, hour, minute, as it comes. I look forward to finding some peace within this group.

    From AllHopeIsLost on December 17, 2018:

    Hello All ~ I’ve been an estranged mother for over three years now and still find myself struggling with the holidays. I sat down to find a few articles about this topic and was shocked to find online support groups! Oh my, what a treat! I can’t say how thankful I am to be in a safe space with others who understand the pain.
    Thank you for having me.

    From Funky136 on December 18, 2018:

    Hi All,
    I’m 3 years post estrangement with my 32 yr old daughter & 2 granddaughters. Ive realized that by bottling it up its making me quite ill.
    Ive just started reading the book (which led me here) and I must say its starting to turn my life around. Christmas is the hardest time of the year for me knowing im missing out on the three of them, but Im determined to take baby steps towards my own happiness this year.

    I wish you all peace and grace on your own journeys xxx

    From JessieJo on December 19, 2018:

    My heart is breaking

    From Freshstart on December 19, 2018:

    Jessiejo, your few words pack a wallop. It neatly sums up the whole thing, doesn’t it? I had a plan for my life and it didn’t include losing all my children. I’m sure we all feel similarly on that! You will find comfort here in this forum, you and all the others who have joined. So many have the same experiences and are in the same heart-breaking shock of how this could possibly have come about. Know that you are not alone. When you read the posts you will find some venting, lots of encouragement and support as well as very practical ideas to help you both understand your feelings and to go forward. Life will be good again. Hang in there.

    From Undergroundrainbow on December 19, 2018:

    My daughter is not an adult, but this is the only place I can find a community who understands, as I am the targeted parent currently experiencing parental alienation. My ex is remarried and chose to try and delete me 8 years ago. Any type of contact that I would attempt must come in the form of a court action as I have no contact information for my ex or my daughter.

    It’s incredibly exhausting and expensive…

    I am just so tired. I never fathomed that people could be this evil. Why would anyone steal someone’s mother from them? As a result, I haven’t been able to “mother” my daughter in 8 years. (Although I pay exorbitant child support every month)

    I am a mother also, so…it’s just so hard to deal with the shame and judgement…

    From Needothers on December 20, 2018:

    Thank you all for being here, and any who are able, for reading this.

    My daughter left years ago, but I still have such enormous times of grief, that I know honestly ,
    that I have not healed.
    I did some things in between, but I now feel worse emotionally than ever before.

    It becomes increasingly likely that I will never see her face or hear her voice, again.
    Or have any way to send her 2 sentences every few years, that I still love her.

    She is still alive, so I have a difficult time telling anyone that I have a beloved daughter at all, and that she rejected me to this extreme.
    I miss her so much. Evenmore, I miss my life when she was young and I was her mommy. I spend too much time, rerunning the past, in my troubled mind and heartache.

    Each year seems to be much harder , rather than becoming easier.
    I realize that needs to change yet I have not found any way to change that.

    I get older and sick, myself, so I cannot do the actions and activities that might have helped me to heal, or that might help me to cope better in the present and future.

    I do not know if she has children or not. My guess is she likely does. That upsets me a lot. I was not told anything, I found out on the internet she is married, but I don’t know for how long.

    I have no contact info.

    She chose this route, when young, but each day, in my view, she rechooses it again. It is difficult to comprehend, and more difficult to accept.
    I didn’t do anything to cause this extreme of rejection or unforgiveness.

    So far, I have ordered the book, but have not yet gotten it.

    SO far, I have NOT seen posts from others, whose child left years ago, but as a parent, has been unable to heal, and still suffers the extreme grief that I do.
    I feel stuck. NO healing. Don’t know how to carry this burden. Tried counselling and self-rationalizing, but still unable to lessen my own suffering.

    Plus, as I said, I have an illness and disability, so I am unable to switch myself to focus on activities that I would value doing. I think that would have helped me , and would help me now, if only I was able, but I haven’t imagined how, with my limitations.

    I feel lost and isolated. Suffering so much. I made her my priority , for all the years she lived with me, and always loved her very much. I took good care of her.
    Gave her a much better childhood than my own.

    The holiday season makes it worse for sure, but I cycle thru this, many times yearly. Cant get myself out of the pattern of suffering and missing the person I loved most in my life. WHo chooses complete 100% separation…

    jessiejo, my heart goes out to you.

    Others, whose children have not severed contact as long ago, I hope for you, that yours comes back, someday in the future.

    From AwaitingFather December 21, 2018:

    Needothers,
    I read your post and it made me cry. I understand and feel your pain. I have an ES that I havent seen or heard from in a year. This is my first cycle in 32 years of missing out on birthdays, holidays, etc…and the grief and sorrow is hard to bear. I cry for my ES every day until I run out of tears. I also have a grandson who I don’t see. I sometimes wonder if he thinks I’ve forgotten about him. It is such a sad situation to be in. I hope you find some peace in your life.

    From NeedOthers December 21, 2018:
    Thank you so much for your reply, AWaitingFather, and I am so sorry for your grief and sorrow and your missing of your son and grandson, in your life. I find the birthdays and the holidays and many days, extremely difficult to bear. I anticipate how hard they will be, beforehand, I try to reframe them or to focus on some substitute, to attemot to cope better, but often, I just fall into the very deep grieving.
    Try to accept the huge waves of feelings you may have, on these firsts for you. I hope that your son will make a different decision, and change his viewpoint enough to let you back into their lives.
    Meanwhile, I am glad to meet you.
    I think it happens to many, some degree of reconciliation at some point, even though it doesn’t happen for all of us.
    Thankyou. Lets look for some small amount of peace, however much is possible for each of us, lets search for it together, here. I tried for too long, to do it alone, and I tried with counselors a few times, and that didn’t work for me.
    I think it might help, for us to try to do some of it together.
    Take care. You deserve now, the care you gave to him.

    From NeedOthers December 21, 2018:

    UndergroundRainbow,

    My heart goes out to you. You are right, you ARE a mother too.
    Despite everything. And you have a mother’s feelings.

    And yet we cannot see that one we love so much.
    And we dare not tell others, who might cast blame on us, instead of compassion. It hurts so much. I am sorry for what you have to endure.
    I hope that your situation will change, someday. Or that you can find a path to go forward and to cope.

    • #66345
      Avatar
      Defamed5
      Participant

      Dear Undergroundrainbow,
      My heart is broken for you because my heart is broken for me………I so understand you……I am a mother too…….and my ex husband not only turned all of my children against me but he managed to turn my entire family against me. He had threatened to do it and he did! Now I am all alone in the world!!

  • #65866
    Avatar
    Ophelia
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I have 2 sons and the eldest has turned against us. We did the most for him and his girlfriend.. Now wife… But we are least thought of. They won’t let us see our first grandson. They have also caused a rift between us and my husbands parents. It is such a mess. They use the baby as a weapon. They are supposed to be Christian but are both unforgiving hypocrites.
    I would advise anyone to send a card for birthdays and Christmas but not send money, instead open an account for each of your grandchildren for money to go in, so it will show you thought of them and they can have the money in future if they contact you. This is my first year without my son and it is very difficult.
    It is heartbreaking.
    We have to get on with our lives though as they certainly are.
    You must say.. I was a good mother or Father and if they didn’t appreciate that, then shame on them.
    The best revenge is moving on and being happy with people who appreciate you.
    I am trying to see it that he has flown the nest and we did such a good job he doesn’t need us anymore.. Daft I know but I have to try. We can’t let foolish young people ruin the rest of our lives.
    Our children are oblivious to our pain and suffering., so we will get no sympathy from them…
    I hope you all and indeed my husband and I can do this. I will pray we all have the strength to forgive these foolish children and the others that are aiding them to hurt us.
    It is so unnecessary.

    Take care sending hugs xxx

  • #65874
    Avatar
    Nicenin
    Participant

    Dear Sheri and everyone, I am posting from Ireland where I can let you know this bewildering phenomenon is in full grip here also, with no explanation for its root cause.

    In my case it was my younger sister’s behaviour; there are only two of us. We had a great childhood growing up.

    When she was 25, 13 years ago, she met a man and underwent a complete personality change. She cut off my parents and stopped socializing with us. My mother ended up getting breast cancer and then a stroke and is now disabled and in a wheelchair but this changed nothing. I managed to arrange a 50th wedding anniversary party for my parents. I managed to contact her to ask her to do one thing for it which on the day I found out was not done.

    My father’s health is now failing also and I have been left with sole responsibility.

    Everytime my parents’ health declines – Mum almost died twice in the last year – she goes on holidays with this man.

    She refused to go my cousin’s wedding last year but pretended to my aunt that the invitation got lost in the post.

    She will not speak to me at all now and calls and texts go in returned.

    This situation has changed my view of life completely. I’m thrilled I have no children myself after going through this experience and reading the stories on here. I also know personally know four other families where this stuff has been going on.

    Healing and moving forward is all well and good but at this point we are entitled to an explanation.

    My heart goes out to all of you.

    • #69165
      Avatar
      CharlesAtlas
      Participant

      I am not sure if I am doing this correctly. I am trying to respond to the woman in Ireland. I am an American with dual citizenship. My daughter was acting crazy and I encouraged her to go for a study abroad program to Ireland thinking the warmth of the Irish people would be healing. Almost immediately she began acting like a stranger. I visited her 11 months later to see what the heck was going on and she had completely replaced me with another mother and a bizarre family. Everyone she introduced me to looked at me with hatred so I knew she was telling some horrible fabricated tales about me to justify the estrangement. I cried every day for about a year. Now, I am mad. I feel like the daughter i knew, who I lived with for 22 years died in Ireland. Not blaming the country, obviously this is going on everywhere. It would be nice to have an Irish friend to share this pain with. Sorry about your sister, seems to be an epidemic. I have certainly had the thought that I wish I had never had children. Tragic. I am sick of being lied about and of having unjustified rage directed at me.

  • #65914
    Avatar
    Stargazer
    Participant

    Hello. I’m a divorced mom of two daughters. I’m glad to find this support community!
    Three years ago my youngest (36 years old at the time) abruptly and without explanation or confrontation, “ghosted” us. She blocked me, her sister, and father, and some of her friends from her phone (both calls and texts) and email. She also unfriended those of us on Face Book. Next, she and her husband of eight years, along with my three very young grandchildren, bought a house and moved to another state – very close to where her in-laws live.
    I went kind of crazy not knowing where on earth they were. I used my Nancy Drew skills to track them down on the internet – it wasn’t fast or easy to do. I shared that information with my other daughter and my ex-husband.
    My ED has not responded to snail mail or gifts we have sent to them.
    At this point I have stopped trying to contact them. I’m in a state of acceptance (I think) but miss her terribly. I also miss my grandchildren. It’s hard to handle not being part of their lives and spending time with them as they are growing older. She and I were very close as she was growing up, and as an adult. I was her “wailing wall”, though, and most of our conversations were her unloading her misery on me. In a way, I was a bit relieved when she stopped calling to dump her frustrations on me. I felt she was toxic, and I had not set up any boundaries. Her pain became mine. She was always a difficult child, and very unhappy with her life, until she got married and had her own family. We all like her husband very much. Both daughters grew up in a chaotic family, surrounded by loud voices arguing, shouting, anger, door slamming,and tires squealing,
    My ED was jealous of her older sister, and tried unsuccessfully to be part of her life (there is five years difference in their ages).
    Her MIL has inserted herself into their marriage, and I suspect she is a huge part of the reason for our estrangement. My daughter told me she was “testing” both me and my ex around the grandchildren and made it clear we were not meeting her standards. However, the MIL has been the ideal grandma! The estrangement occurred when my ED and her family returned from a beach vacation with her in-laws. ‘Nuf said.
    I look forward to learning your stories and what coping mechanisms you have. I’m afraid to confront my grief and my unshed tears.

  • #65911
    Avatar
    cakmom81
    Participant

    I finally found this forum! It is unfortunate and I am heartbroken to learn that I am not alone. for a good while I questioned whether it was my doing. It almost seems like some type of social virus has beset the Millennial population. I have spent the last bit of time reading the posts, so I will be brief as my energy level has dropped, but I wanted to officially introduce myself.

    I am a parent of 2 adult children, my daughter is 36 and my son is 28. I have had a wonderful relationship with her 3 daughters, she It is she who is not communicating with me since just a few days after Mother’s day this year. I have sought therapy in order to gain an understanding of how I may have contributed to this, how to remedy it and now realize that I am not the primary cause.

    What I do take responsibility for is the 2-3 times over the past 10 years when I spoke up quite strongly, when telling my daughter that my grand daughters needed more (medical) attention. Once was after placement of PE tubes in the 3 y/o.

    I am just mentally exhausted and when I start to consider what the future holds (or doesn’t), I cry. I miss my daughter, worked diligently while she was a child to legally protect her from her abusive father (deceased-self-inflicted fatal injury), but am totally sickened by not being able to speak to my (3) grand daughters. They live out of state, so previously it took a plane ride to visit them the 2-3 times a year.

    She needs professional help, but won’t seek it as it is costly. I try not to spend much time thinking about this. She has only made confusing accusations and never offered explained.

    I have good days where there is much more compassion and understanding, but for today, I feel hurt and somewhat numb. Maybe it because Christmas is in 3 days. I miss my grand daughters terribly.

    That’s all for now. Thanks for this forum.

  • #65932
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Thank you to Sheri, for moving those important writings of mine and other people, to this newer Introductory thread.

    I wanted to say to BlueViolet, and Funky, and AllHopeIsLost, and to Hope2,
    that I read all of your posts, and I am thinking of you, and I understand what you each wrote,
    and I send my caring to you.

    This is an extremely emotionally painful week for me, yet I have found some solace and some good feelings,
    from having found this site, and from reading and writing, here.

    I look forward to reading the more recent posts, above, when I am able to.

    It is a very hard time, to be missing loved ones. We share that feeling. I am glad for the others who have found us, here. Welcome.

  • #65937
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Ophelia,
    That is a very interesting post of yours, full of good insights and ideas. Thank you for sharing them with us. And welcome to you. I am new here, too.

    And my heart goes out to you, you are right that it is so hurtful, and so unnecessary, and what a mess that
    one person, who was loved and cared for, can create for others, they even make a hurting, sad mess for us with our relationships with our other family members and long-time friends, etc.
    some of whom we are shocked could be so manipulated by them.

    I am sorry for your hurt, yet I appreciate your suggestions and ideas. Your writing gives me a different point of view, than my own which has not been helping me to cope on my own, with my emotional distress.

    Nicenin,
    welcome to you also. I am so sorry for the extreme of self-centeredness your sister took on. Yes, I agree, it would be nice to have some explanation from them, for this kind of unexpected and unwarranted extreme neglect.
    Then again, I ask myself, in my own case, with my adult daughter, what explanation could possibly account for, or warrant, this extreme and long-term lack of any and all connection, with basically good people who tried their best?

    That is a heavy load for you, to care alone, for both of your parents, in addition to missing a relationship with your sibling, who was someone you thought would be a lifelong friend, but she obviously does not have that capacity.
    I strive to accept that fact about my daughter, but it doesn’t come easy for me.

    I feel for your mom, as well as for you.
    Interesting info you mentioned, that it is happening in your country as well. And in different religions, different cultures, I see from this website.
    Very sad and unfortunate modern trend, perhaps. There were always some who left their family members without helping, but many people used to think it was a moral responsibility to stay involved, whether they wanted to, and loved doing it for loved parents and siblings, or whether they didn’t, most had a sense of having values anyway, I thought.

    Perhaps that was a fantasy, I don’t know. But I know the hurt and loss, and devastation and difficulties, it leaves behind.
    Take the best care of yourself too, as you do the best you can for your parents.

  • #65986
    Avatar
    heartbrokengrammy
    Participant

    Hello, I’m so happy to have found this website. I know that other parents have gone through what I’m going through and it’s nice to have others who have the same feelings and thoughts that I do. My oldest daughter has removed herself from the family a little over 3 years ago, over a stupid misunderstanding with her younger sister. What hurts the most is she also “removed” 3 grandsons, who were an everyday part of my life. The first few months were shock and disbelief, then anger, then sadness. To help in my healing, I removed all things from my home that were a reminder of my daughter and my grandsons. A piece of me has “died”. I have found myself struggling more with emotions especially with the holidays upon us.

  • #66008
    Avatar
    StifledBloom
    Participant

    Hello to Everyone. It has been a long time since I have been on a Forum although I once knew them. I find this very title an absolute Godsend. I have been estranged from my daughter coming up on eight years, but it was my son’s sudden estrangement a week or so ago that sent me over the edge. Dtr’s estrangement sent me crying into the pillow two years straight until I gradually began to ‘accept’ – sort – of – this horrible treatment: loss of grandchildren all in the same vicinity. But now the son? that occurred through his blaming and judgmental spirit, all in error. He is beginning to sound like his once abusive father, emotionally abusive, and, at times, physically abusive. The rage went out of control. I drew a line with the son a few weeks ago on his blasting me and profane language. I knew I deserve higher respect than that. Losing both my children is about more than I can bear. I have cried every day for all this time, and did not eat for three days in the beginning. Church can be near impossible with judgmental people. I was able to find one pastor who understands – but I am not rooted in a place with understanding and compassion… so I am tremendously isolated – just before Christmas Day. That is my story. I will receive the main book – is it Done with Crying (?) in order to read on Christmas Day. What a gift to myself. Thank you for reading and welcoming me into this community. I am very grateful for this site and this community.

  • #66019
    AWaitingFather
    AWaitingFather
    Participant

    Hi StifledBloom, I am very sorry about your feelings of isolation. This is indeed a difficult situation we are in. I have the same feelings even though I am surrounded by a wife and son who love me. I feel so alone in my pain over my ES and grandson. The hard part is not know why my ES is so angry and chooses not to have a relationship. But somehow we have to find the strength to go on without them. It is not easy and it will take time.

    I hope you find peace and comfort here.

  • #66030
    Avatar
    StifledBloom
    Participant

    Thank you, AWaitingFather for your encouragement. Deeply needed. ~ I went out on a limb this afternoon and called newly estranged son, left no message, but he DID call me back just now. We had a lengthy conversation and tried to air the difficulties. Nevertheless, he has great ‘entitlement’ senses – so much like his generation, and very little tendency to bend and be flexible. I am the one who made the phone call despite being called every name in the book. If I can manage to save this one relationship, it will be easier to bear the other eight years old estranged daughter with all the grandchildren. He goes to see her regularly – and the father over there, too. I’m shaking my head. How did it ever get to be like this? At least this site is showing me the faultiness of the guilt trip. I’ve suffered that many times at religious institutions. It makes me scared to go there, too.

  • #66037
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Hi, StifledBloom, it is surely a very difficult time to have all of these challenges with our emotions, resulting from being so cruelly treated , by the ones we loved most.

    And it does make it doubly difficult, to feel that others , if you turn to for any support or comfort, they might assume something untrue and bad, about us. That plagues me, also.

    I too, have ordered the book. I don’t know when I will get it.

    Welcome also to heartbrokengrammy. We understand what you said.
    It does feel like a big important part of ourselves, has died. And it makes every day harder, especially the holidays of all types. The birthdays, too. It is very isolating. I have done a lot of crying, also.

    I don’t comprehend how people throw us away, when we have so much caring and love for them.

    But I must find a way to accept this unwanted reality.

    It is good to see you too, AFatherWaiting.
    Let’s just try to get through this week, and then, go from there, step by step…. difficult step by difficult step. I hope it becomes a little bit easier at some point.

  • #66039
    Avatar
    Koalagirl
    Participant

    Hi all. I am happy to have found this community but also saddened that there is such a need for it. Since separating from my ex-husband 10 years ago, my relationship with my oldest son had been strained. We reconnected through his now wife 3 years ago and everything was fine. Suddenly, 2 weeks after the birth of their first child, he cut all ties with me. I have no idea what caused the sudden cut off! There has never been any explanation from him nor any contact.

    I have never met my grandson. I still send birthday cards and Christmas presents to the three of them. I found out in November that last summer, the three of them visited my parents. So my mother has held my grandbaby and I never have. That was devastating to find out.

    The holidays are very difficult. I have no idea what their child is like or what’s it like to be a grandma.

    When people ask if I have grandchildren yet, what do I say? Yes – but I’m not allowed to see him? No – which would be not true? So confusing.

    I feel like I am rambling a bit but this whole situation has me befuddled. It doesn’t make any sense at all. I don’t know what I did to deserve this treatment from him.

  • #66053
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Koalagirl
    That is very sad and upsetting to be treated the ways you have been.
    I too, don’t know what to tell myself or other people, to answer questions that should be simple and pleasant, that are heartwrenching and incomprehensible and disturbing.

    I am new here too, and don’t have suggestions. I hope that we can all help each other to figure out the answers, and some path forward, that doesn’t hurt quite as much as it does, today.
    I get absolutely no contact either. NO info, either. Nothing.

    I think we need to try to treat ourselves, better than we are treated. I know I treated her as well as I possibly could.

    I am looking forward to getting and reading Sheri’s book.

    • #66069
      Avatar
      Nicenin
      Participant

      Needothers thank you for the warm welcome and kind words. It means a lot, genuinely.

      Koalagirl you have hit the nail on the head when you raise the issue of do you tell others you are a grandmother. I feel the same when I am asked am I an only child. I respond no, that I am not an only child, but my sister has chosen to play no role in either mine or my parents’ life. It is a shameful answer to have to give but a truthful one. I would answer honestly and say that yes you are a grandmother but your adult son has failed to respond to your attempts to contact him and you are not sure why. Usually I have found that such an answer causes the listener not to blame you but to blame the spouse or partner of the EC for the estrangement.

      I find it fascinating that none of us get any answers. There is an answer, there must be, but no EC seems to possess the moral courage and fortitude to tell us. I for one will not be accepting this amoral fog for much longer.

  • #66118
    Avatar
    J
    Participant

    Hello to all: I have been around for quite awhile, but have not posted much and there have been long periods in between, when things have been going better in my family. I am a single senior and my two AC have been absent periodically and most of the time it is very difficult work to stay in touch with them. I always feel better when I come to the forum because I feel included rather than excluded, like I do with my AC. This is a great place to get support and feel loved. I refer to the rocky times as times when I feel wobbly instead of grounded. The holidays are very wobbly times for me. My BD was on Thanksgiving this year and not a word from my ES. Yet I still feel sad enough on the holidays to want to send him a “little something.” But yesterday I sort of came to my senses and the envelope has NOT been mailed. I realized I was doing it to try make things better, and this is my dysfunctional behavior as a mom. It does not work. I think that is where the sadness comes in–a mom can always make things better, can’t we? Well, not when your AC are in their 50s! Writing this down brought a smile to me, as it is just purely ridiculous on my part. So I came here to come completely to my senses and it works. Thank you Sheri for your words of wisdom, and a peaceful holiday to all.

  • #66227
    Avatar
    DrRachel
    Participant

    Hello! My two adult daughters have ostracized me since I divorced their father three years ago. Neither has spoken to me in more than a year. One lives out of the country and was here visiting last summer for 6 weeks, never saw or heard from her. Neither will tell me why they are so angry. I have asked repeatedly, only to be told my “requests add to their animosity”. I admit I did far too much for them and asked far too little (of everyone in my life). The biggest change in my life was realizing I was worthy of respect as a person, not merely for meeting the needs of others. I have struggled to hold my head up and to maintain and to relinquish.

    My biggest worry is that if, by some miracle, there ever is a reconciliation, how could I ever trust them again now that I know the depth of cruel behavior they’ve shown they are capable of? I will always love them, but I did NOT raise children who were verbally abusive or emotionally with-holding and cruel.. Thoughts?
    I would be grateful.

  • #66248
    Avatar
    Trying4Zen
    Participant

    Hello-
    I have three daughters, two of which will not have any communication with me. In fact, I just found the Christmas gifts I purchased for them on my front porch. This estrangement has been going on for the past 10 months, after their father and I battled in cfamily court. In all honesty, they have been annoyed at me since I left him 6 1/2 years ago and then when I remarried. It only came to a head this past year when they decided it is easier to not have me in their life. Their dad and I settled out of court (I am paying way more than I should have to in order to put this behind us and to try to reconnect with my girls.) but that hasn’t helped. My oldest daughter, who is no longer in need of finacial support is still in my life. (I feel this is more about their father controling them with money.) This has also had an effect on my relationship with my mother, as she has decided my daughters are more worthy of her support than I am. She lashed out at me about 3 months back and blamed me for everything. Needless to say, this is an extremely rough time for me. I am trying to stay strong but it is hard, especially theses days.
    My heart goes out to you all!
    -Zen-ish

  • #66276
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    zen-ish, Welcome.
    That is surely a very miserable and difficult situation, and sad years you have been going through. I hope you have some good things in your life too, though I know it doesn’t take away the hole in our hearts.
    It is true and so additionally emotional and hurtful for us, that our ES’s and ED’s, harm our other family and friend relationships, in the process, also.

  • #66311
    Avatar
    EnoughAlready
    Participant

    My 37 yr old daughter has become more and more estranged over the last 3 years. The worst of it seemed to start when she moved in with her boyfriend 2+ yrs ago. It’s not a complete estrangement in terms of communication. We do talk, primarily if I call her. But there’s no feeling of family or relationship. She will likely call today — late in the day — with a 2-5 minute ‘Merry Christmas’ call. It’s just become so hollow that I wonder why she bothers at all. I have a 12 yr old granddaughter who seems to have been taught that there’s no reason to communicate with Grandma. She may text a “thank you” today for the Christmas gift, and she may not. If she does, it will likely be just that — “thank you” — absolutely nothing more.

    It’s so hard to know what to say or do in this situation. I know many people would be thrilled to have the little connection I do have, but it is .005% of what we’re culturally conditioned to expect from a familial tie with our children and grandchildren. I’m ready to cut that final thread that binds us if this is all I will ever get. I would rather have nothing at all from them than to have this constant disappointment and grieving.

  • #66343
    healingheart
    healingheart
    Participant

    Enough Already – welcome to the group.

    My 42 year old daughter hasn’t spoken to me in over six years. The ups and downs with her and all the drama got me to a point that one day I told her that I needed a break from the drama – she never called me again. And this time, I didn’t call her either.

    Over the years, I always had to initiate contact. And as far as my GC, they learned from her that I was only good for what they could get from me. Christmas meant… in the house – open gifts – and quickly leave. I don’t miss that at all. I wasn’t included in any of their activities and only invited to a birthday party if none of their friends, or her friends, would be there. And that was rare.

    I bailed her out of every tough time in her life including keeping her out of jail by paying off bad checks. And I just got tired of it all. One of the last times I saw her she had been whining about not having food so I brought over several bags full – only to see a refrigerator and freezer full. Of course she still took everything.

    They don’t live that far away. I ran into one of my adult GC a few months ago and she was so uncomfortable. I hugged her and chatted for a few minutes, but she really didn’t know what to do.

    They aren’t my family any more. Family doesn’t behave that way.

    I really don’t ever want a relationship with that daughter again. It’s so not worth it!

    I hope you find an answer – and peace in whatever happens with your daughter. Just know that there are many people here that feel your pain and will help you through it. Oh, and get Sheri’s book. You won’t be sorry! Amazing how it made me feel like I was normal and definitely not alone.

  • #66364
    Avatar
    Trying4Zen
    Participant

    Needothers,
    Thank you so very much. It has been painful. I am glad I found a forum that understands. I appreciate your kind words.

    All my best,
    Zen-ish

  • #66396
    NJMom
    NJMom
    Participant

    I have been estranged from my son for about a year. While searching for answers I found this forum and Sheri’s book. I ordered the book today, and should have it in a week or so. It is comforting to know that I am not alone. I guess we all have questions as to why this happened and how we can change things. I see a common thread in some of the posts that estranged sons or daughters seem to have been influenced by a significant other. I believe that is the case with my son. We were always close and all of a sudden things changed. As long as he with this woman I don’t see any hope for reconciliation. I cried for months when this first happened and went through all of the guilt and sadness; What did I do? How can I change things? Any attempt to communicate has only led to insulting and nasty emails claiming my husband and I don’t offer “unconditional love.” There is no answer for that comment. So people this year right before Christmas I gave myself a gift. The gift of joy! I will not let my son destroy the joy of this holiday or any other family celebration. As I sat in church on Christmas Eve I felt complete peace in my heart and I believe that God has shown me a path to happiness. I have a beautiful daughter, she has a wonderful husband and son and we had a very Merry Christmas together. I have let my son know on many occasions that he is loved and we are always here for him and if he chooses not to reach out, I can’t do anything about it. I hope that we can all find peace in our hearts, go on with our lives and enjoy every minute of every day. My father-in-law used to say “Every day is a gift” and that is so true. God bless you all.

  • #66399
    Avatar
    Swinkie
    Participant

    Both sad and glad to have found this group. We have only been estranged from our middle son for 4 months when we refused to follow what he wanted us to do knowing more than likely the end result would be estrangement. We have walked on egg shells with him for many, many years fearing he would not let us see our 4 GC but we finally decided it was time to stop letting him verbally berate us and bully us.
    Even though he did not attempt to contact us when his Dad had a stroke 3 months ago (I did let him know as well his younger brother also informed him) we did send him a birthday card and Christmas card only to have them refused for delivery and returned. He returned the Christmas gifts for him and his wife by hanging them on the back fence (he knows we have a camera on the front door) but he did keep the gifts for the GC but I suspected he rewrapped them and gave them to the GC from himself. In many ways I am feeling relief not having to deal with him, hurt not being able to see the GC, and fear it is going to spill over to our other 2 sons.

    At this point in time I am letting him go as it is the only way I feel I can cope right now.

  • #66402
    Avatar
    cattydoll
    Participant

    Hello to all. My son left the family 4 years ago he didnt just leave me he left his sister, his grandmother, his father (we where divorced when he was very young) and every other person that touched his life when he was young. I still do not know why. I read briefly (as I only found the group last night) some of things that Sheri has on her page. I was so glad to find the page I have looked (not hard) for information about this (phenomenon-this is what I have decided to call it) and as I browsed Sheri’s site yesterday I saw that my son exhibited signs of what I guess I classic withdrawal. I knew that he was angry but didnt know why. The couple times that he exploded on me prior to his complete withdrawl I still did not get it. I would try to have calm conversations with him and he could not answer the questions that I posed and would just shut down. Sometimes I feel like I did too much for him and created a bratty monster who is totally self-centered and probably is a narcissist but i dont know much about that so I cant say for sure. So yes I have done it all blamed myself, wished i did things different, reached out to him on social media till he blocked me, then finally spoofed him recently (used an app to change my phone number so I could leave him a message on his voicemail) I told him short message “I love you, i hope you are doing well and I hope that we can reconnect and talk to each other” that was it and he had a friend of his (lawyer) call me and write me a letter asking to stop all communication with him because it upset him and he felt harassed (I once heard Judge Judy say its a parents job to harass their children lol-but thats not what i did) and threatened by my contact. Just for the record, he went to private school, we went to church on Sunday, he received the best education, he lived in a nice neighborhood in a nice house, he got lots of toys, video games, vacations to nice places, loving grandparents, he had friends and I was always generous about letting them come to my house. When he moved out of state I helped him moved, I furnished his first apartment, I gave him money lots of money over the course of 4 years and he would call me a couple days before thanksgiving or christmas and because he was lonely and I would drop everything and come to stay with him so he wouldnt be alone. i did almost everything right maybe i over did it and turned him into what he is today (selfcentered and ungrateful) I dont know what to do from here. I have been seeing a therapist about it . My son is a writer and he has written and published on Amazon he has wrote some not so nice things refering to me and I fear that he will write something very untrue and hurtful to my reputation and I will have to sue him. I thought about having an attorney respond back to the letter from his attorney with a warning that he needs to be very careful what he writes and asking him to specifically not write about me. i guess i will create a thread with some advice for this issue. thanks for reading if you got to the bottom of this. My heart goes from breaking one day to being pissed off the next to I will leave him alone to I need to keep trying to on and on and on i would like some peace. I have thought about telling people i only have a one child instead of two because then i dont have to think about him and lie like year I talk to him hes doing great.

    • #72120
      Avatar
      Sasparilla
      Participant

      Hi catty doll.
      I am sorry to hear about your painful experience with your son. I totally empathise with your situation as I have an ES of 45yr old who I vet contact with after over 10 years of abuse and manipulative behaviour not to mention outright lies. It seems that when she could no longer torture me in person she started to write “her story” she has self published and it is selling on amazon…she has promoted it in the press and on live podcasts. I have not and will not add credence to it with any response at all. Seeing for libel would cost thousands so I have ignored it . I will never have her back in.my life and although I am.saddened by these events I am also relieved. I never thought I would be in this position and I’m reeling from the hurt and anguish.

  • #66422
    Avatar
    Inrecovery
    Participant

    Hello all. First post but been reading since I finished the book by Sheri. My oldest daughter has always been tough, she was born one month after my own mother died. We were very close for a long time, or so I thought. At 19 she married and that’s when the turning started. I one point she said out of the blue, you can’t make me talk to you”. The E comes and goes over the years. She has been married twice, divorced twice and is currently with another man. Both very successful and living a big life of travel, nice home and HIS family. She has turned her back on us except for a a text or flowers on mother’s day or my birthday. She has really nothing to do with her siblings but is it seems involved with her mans family a lot. I asked her once why she doesn’t want anything to do with us and she said “mom, ever think it has nothing to do with you? I’m on anti depressants”. Funny, she seems pretty good in pics with him, his family, and her travels. I tried to talk to her for this Christmas as she told me she couldn’t make it. I asked her for a phone call, a short visit if not for anything but her 90 year old grandfather. Silence. I then said if that’s what you want then fine and she said “ok”. Nothing on Xmas, no text no call. I texted her today and simply asked if she wanted her grandfathers gift mailed and once again silence. I have no clue. But here we are yet again…silence. On again off again. It’s driving me nuts!

  • #66429
    LilyoftheValley
    LilyoftheValley
    Participant

    I discovered this forum a few weeks ago, and have taken a lot of time reading through as many messages as possible and Sheri’s book as well. I work in a mental health field, which complicates things in some ways, but I am extremely grateful to have found this safe and anonymous place.

    After reading hundreds of stories on this site, I am amazed at how much we all (sadly) have in common. My husband and I have three adult children—two daughters and a son. It is our son who is estranged—not 100%, but on and off, so that we find ourselves reeled in and then cast aside over and over. The estrangement began when he married his wife, who is estranged from her own family, and who has drawn the boundaries of contact with us (including with our adult daughters) increasingly narrowly as time as gone on. I saw problems on the horizon before my son and daughter-in-law were even engaged and suggested to him that she would not tolerate a relationship with his family if she is estranged from her own. At that time, he assured us he would handle things and that she could never cause him to abandon his family . . .

    I don’t like to label people with personality disorders without considerable reflection; I can say after several years that our DIL is the very definition of a narcissist, and a highly destructive one. Our son is an adult over 40, so he bears the responsibility for his own behavior, though. He allows his wife to deny us access to their home and/or our grandchild. He refuses to respond to phone calls, texts or emails for months at a time; then he calls or FaceTimes for a few minutes with his child as a prop so that no meaningful conversation is possible. He has lucid moments every year or two when he reveals the craziness of their relationship, but he snaps right back to pretending that things are great and ignoring us within 24 hours. He doesn’t respond to invitations that he knows his wife won’t allow him to accept, such as a trip (to be paid for by us!) to celebrate his father’s milestone birthday. He won’t acknowledge that he hasn’t responded, even more than a year later. The same scenario played out again with my birthday. No response, no explanation. When I asked early on what I could do differently to make things better, he said there was nothing. That his wife “just gets like that.” He accepts it. This is his choice.

    They are expecting their second child in less than a month. They have shared as little as possible with us. They may or may not invite us to meet the child. We live on opposite sides of the US, Last time we nearly forced our way in to meet their first baby, but we won’t do that again. We were made to feel like we had to justify our visit, as though it were a special privilege for us and a burden for them. Our offers to babysit for the first child are never acknowledged.

    Long ago my husband and I acknowledged to each other that we were being very tentative about forming emotional bonds with our son’s children. This is simple self-protection because they could be removed from our lives at any time without explanation. We are very fortunate to have a close relationship with our other grandchild (from our daughter) and this keeps us (relatively) sane and gives us hope.

    This is not to say I don’t feel sad. I feel sad and angry and confused–a lot. But I’m grateful to have this group where everyone understands the situation we are in. And I’m coming to the point where I am ready to grapple with the possibility that things will not change with my ES, so it’s time for me to move on in another direction.

  • #66452
    Avatar
    Solitaire
    Participant

    I have been estranged from my son for eight years now. In my wildest imagination I did not think that so much time would pass without him finding those early childhood values instilled in him emerging to his consciousness urging him to reach out to me. I had problems with my own mother. But time passed and despite whatever issues I had with her, I love her. I reached out to her. I accepted her, faults and all, because I wanted a relationship. I “grew up” and began to realize she is human with faults of her own and that I needed to take her down from my childhood “pedestal” and grant some acceptance and forgiveness. But then that was in a different era, before the Internet. Sometimes I wonder if there was no Internet if things would be different between us. If those feelings of longing for a connection would emerge naturally without the outside influence that this constant chatter on the Internet most likely has squelched. And there lies the key, I am thinking.

    I do not know what else to do but to touch base with him once a year. I sent him childhood pictures this year. I have two grandsons I have never met. It is all such a mess. It shouldn’t of ended up this way. This has affected the whole family. All I know to do is maintain my perspective, be open for whatever perceived “wrongs” and “faults” that are so grievous as to warrant this long-term rejection and address them if the occasion arises, and let him know I do care, whether I think it is really valid or not. It is hard to have a conversation, however, when the ES says all he wants is validation of his feelings and, at the same time, will not engage in any form of communication, (sigh). It doesn’t work like that way, HELLO, lol. Geez. Then I have to hear this from the other relatives that “if I would just “acknowledge” his point of view and feelings… ” and I say, I have reached out to him to begin this process but it is not going too far right now because he will not acknowledge anything I have sent him over the years and has gone so far as to be in town, invite my mother to dinner when there is a family gathering all of us here at the house, and him insisting he can’t come over because, of all things, the big, bad mother will be there, ME! My mother finally put her foot down and told him to stop playing games. He can either come over and be with everyone or not. Well, he decided NOT. And this riff now trickles down into other family relationships. And I do not want that at all. This makes me sad, but he has choices, and I have choices. We all have choices.

    It has taken me years to come to an acceptance of this betrayal from my son. That is what it feels like, a betrayal. Rejection just doesn’t seem to totally define the reality of my situation. It is a betrayal. We were very close. Used to call me once a week, always ending with “I love you, mom”. Now this.

    I feel your pain. I found this website and was interested in joining because this is a tough subject. I wouldn’t of been able to engage in conversation on this years ago, I was in so much pain. And the advice I receive from those close to me has not been very encouraging or helpful to say the least.
    When I see women who I know have drug their children thru very difficult situations, yet they have relationships with their children, I think of how my own son never had to deal with any of those issues, yet here I am! On the end of the pity stick. Better just to tell everyone I never had any children so as not to have to deal with the stigma that comes with estrangement from your own child.

  • #66454
    BeeHere4Me
    BeeHere4Me
    Participant

    Hello Cattydoll, and welcome to the forum.

    I am sorry that you have a reason to find yourself here, but since you are, I am glad that you found your way. This forum has a bouquet of wise, caring, understanding, and experienced members that can offer the support that you need.

    With that said, I agree that creating a thread will create an opportunity for you to receive valuable insight on what appears to be a complex and painful situation. You do not have to endure this alone.

    I cannot express enough about the value of using Sheri’s book, “Done With the Crying” as a guide to navigate yourself through the estrangement and reclaim your life. The exercises provide a solid ground to place your feet upon, so I encourage you to complete them.

    We are here for you,

    🐝

  • #66517
    Avatar
    Min
    Participant

    I divorced my children’s farther in 1995, my eldest was 18 then and so remained in the family home whilst I moved to be closer to my parents with the three younger children then 12, 10 and 8. My ex was caught up with his own life with his then girlfriend (why I divorced him) and was not interested in seeing the children. A few years on he telephoned to say he wanted the children every weekend as he had now remarried. I said perhaps every other weekend would be best as they would not get to see their friends etc. This ended up in court over contact rights My suggestion was upheld and as we left court the children’s father said, ” When they grew up I will make sure they hate you.” 16 years on three of the children appear to do exactly that, only the youngest is not estranged. December 2002 was the last time I had contact with the second child, I phoned to wish her a happy Christmas and the phone was put down she did not say a word. So it was with the other two. I have tried to ask the youngest what it was I had done but he never gave me a reply and I guess he prefers not to speak about the estrangement. I no longer broach the subject. He fills me in about the lives of his siblings and I find it hard not to be upset.
    The only clue I have is that I was told that their father had said to my oldest son’s girlfriend that I hated her which was absolutely not true. At some point this young lady told me I was not the mother of any of my children and that I would end up a lonely old bag.
    I haven’t as it happens, I have remarried and have my own life. However it feels now 16 years on like 3 deaths. Christmas is always a low point. I have ceased sending cards because it reopens the wound, same with birthday cards.
    All 4 children have done well for themselves so I got something right. I can have pride in that.
    My oldest son has a son of his own, I have never met him. I am not likely too either as his father divorced again and is now living with my oldest son’s ex girlfriend!s mother who is the other grandmother. Very confusing!
    Writing my story and reading other posts here is very therapeutic, especially knowing I am not alone.
    The pain never really goes away but letting go, particularly of asking why has helped me no end. I think I did 11 or 12 years of grieving, of crying before deciding enough was enough. Don’t leave it that long would be my advice.

  • #66521
    Avatar
    Distancia
    Participant

    I’m a father of two kids (18 and 23), divorced for 12 years, single, and for the most part, getting along okay.

    My youngest is fine. She is the kind of kid I see in so many other families. She is independent, has a strong sense of family but doesn’t put up with the BS that so often surfaces in divorced families, and has recently moved out of town to study dance. I am very proud of her in so many ways. In fact, “proud” isn’t quite the right word, more like “in awe.” She is a wonderful person who is growing into a strong adult.

    It’s my oldest that is why I am here. I am equally in awe of him…he is trans, and has made it through some seriously difficult times. He is independent as well, has a strong sense of who he is, incredibly thoughtful and self-aware, and because of the deep valleys he’s had to come through, he’s further a long than most adults I know.

    It is a very long story, but I’ll keep it brief. For the record, my ex and I parted on “amicable” terms in order to “protect” the children, I having left because I finally came out as gay. Which, turns out, was not exactly the reason, per se. But that’s for another time…anyway, here’s my situation:

    From the time he was 16 until I moved out of our city when he was 20, my son and I lived together. We spent a great deal of time together. At the time, he was cutting and in a very dark place. In that time we had long talks that ran late into the night. I learned at that time that my ex (with whom the kids lived after the divorce) had been “coloring” our divorce and me, in particular, in a pretty bad light. I would never have known this was going on if it weren’t for those conversations with my son. So we spent quite a bit of time talking about our relationship, finding out who we both were, and we started to re-build from what had become a pretty messy divorce.

    During this time he was also struggling mightily with himself…and long story short, about 2 years later, came to realize he was trans. As a gay man myself, I completely accepted his decision and we talked at length about coming out, self identity, etc. His mother believed (for a time) it was a fad. I helped him get on T, and we continued to have conversations about life and just generally being supportive of his journey.

    I decided to move away to try life in a different city…10 years after the divorce…and after much talking with both my kids. My son then decided, at 21, that it was time for him to fly the nest too…so he moved to a different city. He was there for about 3 months before he was hit by a car and broke his leg. It was pretty traumatic and I heard about it via a text that he’d made a 911 call. His mother was able to fly to his city and be with him immediately. I stayed because of work.

    He then went back to our home city to convalesce. It was then, when he and my youngest were both in our home town, when I saw my move to my new home as being not nearly as important as being there for my kids. So I decided to move back. In the time it took me to move back, my son was basically back on his feet again and had moved back to his new place. And it’s here that things broke. Literally, stopped.

    He wrote me an email that outlined all of the terrible things I’d done as his dad over his entire life. Much of the complaints, btw, were standard complaints that my ex had…so I suspected from the beginning that she used his convalescence as a time to re-kindle the old narrative. His email was a laundry list of complaints that were basically half-truths and often misunderstood moments of my “not being there.” Since I was self-employed, and the only one working (my wife wanted to stay home and home school/raise the kids), I left often to go to work. I’m pretty sure my ex painted those as abandonment…or worse, that somehow I was having flings. This had long been debunked and talked about when we were living together, but there they were again in this email.

    At first I was utterly stunned. I cried. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what had happened. One day we were talking on the phone about his injury and his getting better, and a couple of days later, done. I haven’t talked with him (heard his voice) since. It’s been a year and a half.

    I have emailed. I sent him an angry email, debunking all of his sub points…that didn’t work, obviously. So I retracked and told him he could have the space that he wanted. Nothing. In the intervening time I’ve sent him B-day money via Venmo (it’s the only way I know he’ll get it), texted him randomly telling him how much I miss him and love him, and just this Christmas, since he was in town, I got him some Christmas presents and offered that he come open them…I mean, what kind of person would turn that down? Him, it turns out.

    The difficulty here is that I am trapped. If I reach out to him in any way at all, it is seen as disingenuous and (in the words of his mother) not being able to “let it go.” I’ve been labeled (not so inaccurately) as a narcissist, and so this “not letting it go” is a function of making everything about me. So everything from my Christmas gifts to my texts to my emails is seen as me trying to make things better for me. But, OTOH, if I do indeed “give him his space” and don’t reach out, or define boundaries, then I’m that aloof father that my ex has portrayed me to be and the “of course dad won’t talk with you anymore” BS.

    Do I reach out? Do I give him his space?

    I’m lost. There are times when I’m better than others. I get on with my life quite well…but this situation lurks in the background always. I am able to see some of what he’s doing on social media and from the little I hear through my daughter, and I’m very proud of him. I kind of laugh to myself because ultimately, this is the kind of person I’ve tried to raise him as. Independent, principled, etc., and he has ALWAYS been a strong-willed person. It’s what got him through some of the darkest times a person could go through.

    He’s building a life of his own…and as much as I would love to share in it, I can only see it from a distance and be glad he is making a life for himself. Things could have been so much different in that, almost 5 years ago, he might have ended it all. But he didn’t. He’s still very much alive…and I’m very grateful for that as a father.

    True to my narcissistic tendencies, I can’t help but put a LOT of blame on my ex. She’s always had serious issues (part of the reason I came out and left was that I thought I was the cause of all of her messiness…but it didn’t fix that at all haha) and even after having lived with an alcoholic now for the last 6 years or so, she’s never forgiven me and is actively doing what she can to win the kids over to her side. I blame her almost entirely.

    I did have a rough time as a dad early on…but after the divorce, I made a renewed effort to forge relationships with my kids that would make up for the time lost. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of it…and with my youngest, I think we’ve grown into a very healthy “empty nest” relationship…but my son, not talking with me, has created a strawman of me and has decided to hate that idea of me rather than talking with me directly.

    One day, maybe. I’ve read some stuff on here about hope which was helpful. Optimism, expectancy, hope…all similar, but very different. I feel very alone…since the severity of my son’s estrangement must look to others like there’s more to the story here. But alas, there isn’t…at least not that I know of. Clearly something huge made a huge shift in his understanding of our relationship.

    Oh well, I am looking forward to hearing other stories. Just reading some of your stories has been helpful. Also the idea that this is becoming more common is also weirdly heartening. I’ve just watched the series The Runaways…and estrangement abounds in that show…and is, in many ways, something you cheer for in the end. Family is a big theme of the show…and evidently, the nuclear 1950s family is long gone. Maybe that’s my problem…my expectations of the way I thought my family would be is completely outdated and obsolete.

    At least it’s real. Messy, but real. I’m glad that it is. But of course some days I’d be happy with good old fashioned denial.

    Sorry this was so long.

  • #66564
    NewLife2018
    NewLife2018
    Participant

    Hello – as I have read with others here, I found this site searching for help when adult children make their parents the scapegoat for their problems or addictions.

    My son in law has done this, twisting everything I’ve said and done the last 12 years, convincing my daughter, who I used to be very close with, and my grand children that I am a terrible person. Anything I’ve done for them over the years he now says I did with ulterior motives, wanting to use money or gifts to control them. Everything I’ve said or done he’s blown up and twisted to be some kind of insult. He is very convincing, he has a very good job, makes good money and to all appearances is the model father and husband. But it’s all surface. Beneath it all he’s an addict, hoping from one addiction to another – porn, drugs, alcohol – even twisting some good things like exercise into addictions.

    He had me believing I was a really horrible person, until they finally cut me off totally, and I had a chance to sort things out, and started remembering how the past several years really have worked out. For 2 years their kids lived with us for most of the time, during which they were on a drunk – but still he managed to work and make it look all OK to outsiders.

    I finally put it all together and figured out he started his campaign to destroy my relationship with my daughter and her kids after she caught him using porn and Rx drugs. I know now it isn’t me, and that he’s doing what addicts do – making me his scapegoat so he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his actions. But the hurt of losing the grand kids is so sharp and painful. We have been so close for so many years – I dedicated everything in my life to serving them, out of love. They were the light in my eyes, so sweet and caring and loving they were. That’s the part that’s so hard. Well meaning “friends” tell me I shouldn’t have done so much for them – but I couldn’t let the kids be homeless!! Well, as you can tell, the whole thing is very emotional for me, and even knowing the cause it still hurts so much.

    We know we need to move forward, and we’re trying to get things together mentally to do just that for 2019.

  • #66678
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Dstancia,
    Welcome to you, and I am so sorry for what you have been through. You asked, so I will give my impression, though of course I cannot know what is best for you, but it seems that you have done all you can do, and that it is his decision now, if he wants to initiate or resume contact in the future or not. It looks like , what else could you do now, in addition, to things you tried? It would require him to take part, in order for you to rebuild any relationship for the future with him.

    SO I suggest you give a try at what most of the rest of us are, trying to accept and adjust to a new normal that we didn’t want, but are in. Pat yourself on the back, for the countless ways you showed him love and acceptance. You did your best at being a good parent. That’s all we can do.

    Min said :
    “All 4 children have done well for themselves so I got something right. I can have pride in that.
    My oldest son has a son of his own, I have never met him. I am not likely too either as his father divorced again and is now living with my oldest son’s ex girlfriend!s mother who is the other grandmother. Very confusing!
    Writing my story and reading other posts here is very therapeutic, especially knowing I am not alone.
    The pain never really goes away but letting go, particularly of asking why has helped me no end. I think I did 11 or 12 years of grieving, of crying before deciding enough was enough. Don’t leave it that long would be my advice.”

    I think for me, this is very good advice. Thank you for these ideas. And for sharing your story which overlaps with mine, which I had not met anyone else, who would say it. Never met a grandchild. Asking why, and grieving for years, has not improved anything for anyone.

    I hope I can heed your advice. Not spend more years doing that.
    There must be a way to stop, and I am here, to try to find out how to do it.
    Thank you, all of you, for sharing!

  • #66679
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    NewLife2018

    I hope that you can find comfort in knowing that you DID do everything you possibly could, and you DID help your grandchildren. That is all you can ask of yourself.
    You deserve some peace with that, now. I hope, you can discover an increasing amount of it, which I too, hope to be able to do, myself also, with the help of this group of people, this site, and Sheri’s book.

    Perhaps sometime in the future, one or more of those grandchildren of yours, will want to come to see you.
    Either way, you did the best you could, so you don’t have to wonder if you could or should, have done more.
    Let’s hope for a better 2019.

  • #66791
    Avatar
    Seabees8388
    Participant

    Good afternoon. I just joined the group today, but have been estranged from my son for 5 years and my daughter 1. Special occasions are the worst times, and I’d like to make the last Christmas the last holiday of feeling so empty. I look forward to talking with all of you.

  • #66830
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    lolaGG,

    You have absolutely nothing to feel badly about in making a decision that puts this bully out.

    You count, and she has become an abuser. It’s just wrong to treat another human in such a way…and it worries me. It sounds as if her behavior has escalated. Violence cannot be tolerated. Emotional or physical.

    There are domestic abuse hotlines and elder abuse organizations. Utilize them as well as law enforcement.

    I’m glad you reached out here. There are local resources to you that may support you more directly.

    Hugs,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #66859
    Avatar
    StarAnne
    Participant

    My daughter stopped talking to me in August. I called my narcissistic parents for help with a financial situation but didn’t call her because I thought she had enough things going on with her new spouse and I didn’t want to bother her about it. It was a mistake to go to my parents, they used it against me. The last thing she said before she cut off all contact with myself and my husband was that she wanted to talk to me about it, and everything would be okay. The next morning I had been blocked on everything and neither she nor my parents would contact me. I keep hoping that the anger, fear, sadness, and shame will stop, but they don’t, and it’s affecting the relationship with the daughter I do have at home and with my husband. I don’t really know what to do anymore.

  • #66870
    Birdwatcher
    Birdwatcher
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,
    I want to apologize, I’ve written a few posts and got this group mixed up with another I’m in, and thought I’d already introduced myself here. But it was the other group. Sorry!

    Thinking back now, I probably should’ve seen it coming. After 8 months of pouring over their childhood and my mothering, my hindsight has come more into focus by the day! I have 2 children, a son 41 and daughter 37. I can’t really pinpoint when my son stopped wanting anything to do with me, it was more gradual. But right before Mother’s Day back in May was when it happened with my daughter. She invited me over after not talking to me or texting for about 6 weeks. I couldn’t get her to tell me what was the matter. So I left her alone. Gave her time to sort it out for herself I thought. This is now seen as not caring. But when I questioned her about it, that was seen as prying. So, damned if I do and damned if I don’t! So I went over there tentatively to visit that afternoon, and was asked what are you doing here? She seemed annoyed and angry. I said well, I came at 3 like you invited me … do you need me to leave? I was serious, and yes was defensive after being invited, then asked what I was doing there. They’d had a yard sale, so I thought maybe they’d had a bad day or were angry about something before I got there. She said No Mom, I don’t need you to leave, but I can’t visit like I’d planned on. I wasn’t prepared for you and Icm trying to get things put up! So I asked if she’d like me to go on back home. I was thinking I need to leave something’s wrong before I got here! She said You’re just not communicating with me! I replied That goes two ways you know. We weren’t yellingb just talking, but all of a sudden my SIL runs in from their bedroom and starts yelling at me, that I wasnct going to be rude to HIS wife and he didn’t like me bringing “trash” in his house! I didn’t know why he was doing this and was shocked. I tried to ask her if we could go out on the back porch and talk alone but he wouldn’t let us. In fact, she didn’t get to say much else, because he did all the “talking”(yelling) at me! I’d seen him angry before but not like this! He jumped forward and got in my face, then would jump back and forth and I got quieter, because I’ve been in an abusive relationship before and was both scared, and scared of how he was not letting her say anything! He yelled that he was sick of me, and that I was no longer welcome in their home and I was to leave or he’d call the sheriff and have me escorted out! I tried to stay calm and ask her something, but he just kept jumping in my face telling me to get out!!! So I finally said “I give up” and left.
    Usually, when I’m very angry, I cry and it annoys me because it makes me look weak, but I didn’t cry, I tried to lower my voice and stay calm because of how he was behaving. I drove back home in total shock at what had just happened and after I got home, I just fell apart. I’d already been in a severe depression for a while, and hadn’t gone anywhere much, because I was crying unexpectedly at just anything and didn’t want to be embarrassed.
    Two weeks later she called and wanted to talk about things. Mostly listed her complaints about how I was as a Mother and how I should’ve been.
    Then later, came over, with my gd (15) and told me her stipulations for “moving forward”. I had called my son and voiced my concerns that she might be in an abusive situation, because of how he was acting that day. My son used to be 8n law enforcement, so I thought he’d know how to approach the situation. Well, instead, he called them and a0parently said I accused SIL of being an abuser, instead of that I was concerned. So her idea for mov8ng forward was that I could call everyone in my family and tell them he wasn’t! (He’s a pastor btw)
    I tried to explain that I was “concerned” for her welfare and not doing anything in a malicious way, but she was having none of that. So she wrote a letter outlining their version of what happened and sent it to my whole family and me a copy a few days before Christmas!
    I’ve been thru the crying, denial, pouring over our lives in my mind, blaming myself, talking to my counselor, and isolating, having nightmares, insomnia, and all the heartache that goes with this. I’ve bought and read Sheri’s book. I have prayed, and tried apologizing once with a text and once when she was here.
    They’ve apologized for nothing and have told me there’s nothing they need to apologize for!
    I have trouble trusting anyone anymore! I am very angry and don’t want to be around people , but at the same time so lonely I’ve wanted to die. Someone asked me why donct you talk to your pastor? SIL WAS my pastor! I hadn’t gone to church in several weeks because of the depression. My counselor wants me to try going back to church but how do I trust another pastor? I’ve already had the “You must’ve done something horrible for them to throw you out of their house! Like drug use or been abusive yourself or SOMETHING! I divorced their father in 1989 and remarried a man they didn’t like, divorcing him 7 yrs later. 3 yrs later I lived with a guy but we broke up in 2002. I’ve lived alone since then. So I don’t talk to many people about it.
    Thanks for reading and thanks for the informative book Sheri. I’m so very sorry for why we’re all here. But I know yall understand and I thank you for that.
    Birdwatcher

  • #66931
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    My warm Welcome to StarAnne

    That is such a hurtful situation you are in. I am so sorry that happened. It is too confusing to figure out the true reasons they do these types of things, sometimes, when our adult children and other family members do such confusing and unexpected and hurtful actions,
    and it effects us deeply, as well as our other family relationships, at the same time. Dreadful experiences, we do understand.

    Birdwatcher,
    I cannot read more, right now, but I DO intend to come back, and read your post!

  • #66942
    Wildflower
    Wildflower
    Participant

    I’ve been looking at this forum for several months and have decided to introduce myself and tell my story. We’re 5 plus years into estrangement with our daughter. My saga is similar but different. There was no screaming/yelling, vile language/name calling between us, nor abuse, or divorce in her life; we were a “normal” but not a “perfect” family! ED gave us some challenges in high school, straightened out, went off to college, earned a Ph D, married a young man we adored. We were so close to the point they wanted us to be legal guardians for their children should something happen to them. In a nutshell, about 6 years ago she started pulling back, stopped including us as much, became cool and distant, then via email started the negativity (her laundry list I call it), i.e., not loved as a child, how dysfunctional our family was, we didn’t love her children, didn’t play with them the way she wanted us to, other bizarre accusations. Her perceptions are different than reality, my memory, or my perception. She refused to talk, emails became her ONLY form of communication, finally she emailed that her counselor told her to back away from her Dad and me. ED said she wanted to “break the cycle of a dysfunctional family.” We were blindsided. I continually apologized (via email as she wouldn’t talk) for all I had done, not done, real or imagined, that had made her so angry. I begged her to discuss the situation verbally or go to joint counseling; she would not. I finally emailed her she’d beaten me up enough and to stop the negativity. Communication ceased.

    Fast forward, thirteen months ago, ED reached out via text, then we had several long pleasant phone conversations. She asked what expectations I had, I said none, but I would like for us to reconcile, and perhaps one day she’d allow her Dad and me to see the children. She agreed saying that would be good. Then she seemed to back off a bit, communication switched from phone calls to texting, she was hesitant to meet, always saying she was “too busy.” The fact that she continued to be too busy gave me bad vibes, however after three months she gave in, we met for one hour over coffee. It was pleasant/friendly, no hostility. Next morning I texted how good it was to see her, appreciated her taking time to see me, hoped we could do it again, loved her. I heard nothing. Two months later I get a “holiday greeting” text, to which I did not reply. What was the point? I made a decision to stay silent. This is when I found Sheri’s book, Done With The Crying.

    Having ED momentarily pop back into my life, then disappear again was a tremendous emotional set back as I’d learned to accept life without her. Interestingly, my husband, son, and sister said to be weary because they felt she was going to hurt me again. My reply was how could she hurt me any worse than she had five years ago; well, she could and she did! Foolishly I let my guard down and got my hopes up. I will never know why ED reached out or why she backed off again. Perhaps it was out of fear of the unknown or upon seeing me she realized she simply did not want or need me in her or her children’s lives…I will never know. This pain was almost harder than her initial estrangement. I now know to never trust her, to let go of all hope of a reconciliation, accept that she’s gone (again). I can’t change her, but I can and will move forward, again, without her. ED made her choice, it doesn’t include me or her Dad. We will accept it, respect it, but always be sad about it.

    As I look toward the New Year I’m hoping to gather emotional strength and courage to let go of my ED, and grandchildren, and push through the trigger days more easily. A New Year can be a New Beginning, and it’s important I bring to the forefront the positives.

  • #66961
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Birdwatcher,
    Now I have read your entire post, and I am so sorry for that horrid situation you are in.
    Each of our stories seem to have some significant overlaps…. the shifting demands and difficult accusations….no way to resolve or to work anything out…..waves of grief and shock and disappointment….
    and then, some specific differences in each person’s story.
    .
    And then, after all of that, the deep , utter heartache is the same. Wrenching. Hard to bear.
    Along with confusion, and feelings of helplessness over something so important to us.

    We tried our best, we know we were not perfect, we tried to figure out what they did and did not want, within what we are capable of doing, and it ends up too confusing, and they shut the door on us, leaving us in great grief.

    And our options for who to connect with, after that, are diminished, often, due to how these adults who we loved and still love, have widened their negative inaccurate accusations of us, to include others we know.
    And how would we answer simple, normal polite conversation, if we tried to reach out to anyone?

    Which parts would we tell them, and which not?

    What would they then assume?
    It is all too difficult and painful and emotional.

    But I do see, we are not alone. There are actually MANY of us, in hiding, and in personal and emotional turmoil, searching for a way to cope.

    I am still waiting for Sheri’s book to come to the bookstore where I ordered it.
    Meanwhile, I am VERY glad to meet all of you!

  • #66997
    Avatar
    Sorrows
    Participant

    hello all, where to begin. Reading your stories is both humbling and comforting. Humbling, in that it made me realize that my situation is not so bad as so many others – at least my daughter still answers my phone calls, even if she never reaches out to me.

    Comforting, because now I know I am not alone and possibly, given the growing frequency of this situation, there may be people I already know facing this same circumstance, but who like myself maintain the “everything’s ok” public face and do not share their story with people they know.

    The anonymity of the internet can be both a blessing and a curse but without it many of us would know no relief from our quiet desperation.

    Ok, my story is about my now 27 year old daughter. She had always chafed for more independence and when she went off to college I let her have her freedom. She did well, I let go, and as a now empty nester pursued my own interests. Although independent, she was local, and was happy to come home for holidays, family birthdays, and other gatherings.

    All of this changed when she met a man 2 1/2 years ago. A controlling type personality, with some cultural influences that contribute to that. I saw this early on, expressed my concerns, along the lines of did she really understand what she was getting into, but also did not try to intervene directly; I respected her choices.

    Something I now regret, maybe I should have spoken up more vehemently. All hind sight, unfortunately.

    From the get go this man was critical of our family. Almost every time I saw him my ears were filled with our short comings. He became verbally abusive of my daughter but before she could leave him she became pregnant. I truly believe that one of his goals was to separate her completely from her family. A domestic abuse hotline I consulted confirmed that I was not wrong in my thinking.

    I made it a point to stay in regular touch with my daughter despite the verbal abuse I myself received, and after the baby was born, went over almost every weekend to help her out. After about six months he began saying to my daughter that I was no longer allowed to see the baby. The frequency of my visits decreased but continued until about 3 months ago. Then he no longer allowed me to see the baby at all. My daughter, who had previously supported me helping her out, has simply become worn down. Or at least this is what she says to me. She does work full time so I understand working mother fatigue.

    There have been a few weekends where he has relented but we did not get to see them over the Christmas holidays at all. She also was not allowed to accept any gifts for herself or the baby.

    I sense a disturbing change in the situation that I don’t totally understand yet. So am trying to figure the fine line of how to maintain some contact – she still answers the cell phone we pay for – without making the situation worse.

    thanks for listening.

  • #67073
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Lola,
    I am sorry I missed your post. I don’t know why, I hadn’t seen it.

    I agree totally with Sheri.
    I don’t see how your allowing your daughter to continue that behavior
    helps her,
    and you deserve basic human respect, also.
    Tolerating that behavior will not help anyone, in my opinion.

    I am so sorry, because I do know how much it hurts you,
    to have to set such extreme, strict limits for her, and stronger boundaries around yourself,
    to protect yourself, but it seems that is the best for both her and for you.

    You have done all you can do, as a parent, to try to help her.
    Now she is an adult, and needs to face her issues,
    without you being her easy target.

    Sending you my heartfelt compassion.
    It isn’t what we want or hope for.

  • #67107
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Wildflower,
    I read your post, and I am so sorry, for what you have gone through,
    twice.

    It is true in my recent thinking, it seems to me, that we will never know the true reasons, for why our ED’s make these extreme decisions, and take these types of actions, and inactions. And cut us out.

    So I am trying to get myself out of the worn-out rut of asking myself why. Perhaps it just doesn’t matter much any more. The reality of how we are treated, and the results now, is what we have to cope with, it seems.

    It is very hard for us to adjust and accept.
    That is my goal, also.

    I understand it was so very painful for you to go through the hope of reconciliation, and then, have it not work out, but perhaps you needed to know you had tried again, and now, you might be able to accept that you did your best, tried as much as possible, and you do deserve to protect yourself from additional added hurts.

    I hope we can all help each other, to each take whatever our next steps become, in this difficult process.

  • #67196
    Avatar
    toomuchpain
    Participant

    Christmas was awful…My wife, and I have been separated for little more than two years (though she lives right around the corner)…I was completely broadsided when she moved out. But even thereafter she was coming over, doing the laundry, going out for dinner with me, going on walks…We had a marriage counselor and I thought we were going in the right direction and then she stopped…THEN she started going to singles counseling and things spiraled downward thereafter and not sure why….and now she wants a divorce…I have no idea what happened. Now to add to this is my younger daughter, E., doesnot want to see me. My wife thinks it is because of something I did to E. and she has been traumatized..(crap). But I think E. blames me for H. leaving. E. has been in therapy for about a year and her counselor must suck, because there is no way E. andI should have been separated for two days, let alone two years. I so desperately want family counselling but I get nowhere with H.. My other daughter is a junior at PSU and avoidant. I have a good relationship with her, but she has been distant lately. We went to NYC before Christmas, just me and her and it was fun…but I have not seen her since. When she comes “home” she stays with them…I guess I can understand that…The thing is, I know my wife does not want to do this but feels she “has to” because of E., I suspect. The two of them are protective of each other and feeding off each other in this weird impenetrable dyad. My therapist says I should file and move the hell away, just to change the dynamic…So I began the process on Friday. Notice, it has been two years and neither one of us had filed until now…and it’s ME DOING IT. But then I got cold feet. Now I am pushing to have all three counselors talk to each other. No one would have imagined my wife and I splitting up…We have been together for 32 years. So thus Christmas I was alone. My other daughter texted me a Merry Christmas…and that was it. I have no friends or family around here. I have one brother who lives in Germany who is good to talk to…but not here.. Only a couple of people in the church group know about it. I have called the hotline two or three times, but I get tired of having to repeat the drama Now, I want to be clear, I have bee difficult and a jerk at times. I see that now. Two years of Hell makes you really examine yourself. I have beaten up on myself continuously, but even when I take responsibility of everything, this does not make a lot of sense. I swear I am not abusive, sexually, physically, emotionally or verbally. I think this dyad my wife and daughter have going on has a lot to do with it. I do not know. .I take three meds just to get me through the day…but they also make me forgetful. I am just heartbroken and devastated…I just do not get it. More importantly, my wife does not get it. She does not see how she is enabling the alienation. She is convinced I have traumatized E. But have never given examples, nor examples of abuse. When I said to her that E. wouldnot be doing this had H. notmoved out, my wifewife  “that’s probably true.” WTF? But all she doesis defer to E’s counselor…who has no kids of her own btw…So sorry to dump on you. It’s just very complicated and I do not know how to give you the abbreviated version. I really feel like ending it all some days…You know what it’s like? It’s like being sick with uncontrollable bouts of vomiting. All you can do is just weather the storm and and just try to be still until the next bout. And all the while you wonder when it’s going to stop

    I think the worst kind of Cruelty is when people don’t know they’re being cruel. But then is that cruelty? Or is it just obliviousness?…Wish my parents were still alive…

    • #67203
      NewLife2018
      NewLife2018
      Participant

      Toomuchpain –

      I have very little experience with counseling, but my heart breaks for you for the lack of information you’re receiving. That’s similar to my situation. My ED never will tell me what I’ve supposedly done, and the very few things they think I’ve done were things they created in their heads – taking things I’ve said and twisting them to something I never meant.

      Is there any way you could meet with your daughters counselor yourself and get her input? Or perhaps a group session with your wife and ED? It sounds like they aren’t willing do to that. To my untrained thinking that would point to someone making up excuses for their actions, when they know they have no real cause other than selfishness for what they are doing.

      Try to keep your own spirits up, and don’t dwell on the “what if’s” or “Maybe’s” of the situation. Until they can tell you precisely what their problem is, then it’s them, not you. You must focus on your health and well being, and forge a good life without them, as hard as that seems to be at the moment. Strengthen yourself, and move forward.

  • #67201
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Toomuchpain,

    As mentioned in a private email, there is crisis info here at the site. If you have a plan to end it all, please dial 9-1-1. Also call your therapist for emergency assistance. You’ve already talked to the hotline…Is there a pastoral counselor (you mentioned your church group)?

    Meanwhile, I know there are others here who have endured accusations and unjust speculation. I hope they will weigh in because they know how this must feel.

    I’m truly sorry you’re facing this. It’s possible that there is a “divorce” related forum that may be of more help too. I know some of our members here have resource suggestions too.

    Hugs to you.

    Sheri

  • #67323
    Avatar
    Kindmumma
    Participant

    Hello everyone. I am a mother of a 43 year old daughter who is a recovering alcoholic. She no longer speaks to me or my husband, blaming us for not being great parents when she was growing up. I do acknowledge we weren’t always the best parents but we did do the best we could and always loved her, cuddled her, read her stories, all the loving things parents do. We did used to smack our kids for being naughty but it was never the physical abuse she claims. I have heard the stories she’s told others and they’re just not true, they just aren’t. Things she says we did just never happened.

    I do believe she has a mental illness or personality disorder. Nonetheless I have been so supportive of her over the years, during her difficult teenage years, her unwanted pregnancies, her financial difficulties, her broken relationships, and during her alcoholism. Each day seemed to be a new drama, and yet all my help and encouragement and love just seemed to go nowhere. I paid her rent, gave her a large sum when my mom died and I got an inheritence, let her live in one half of a duplex we owned at reduced rent…you get the picture.

    She has been very abusive and argumentative over the years and twice I have been hospitalized after having a breakdown because of her nastiness. I have tried everything I can think of to keep her happy and also to assuage my guilt about her childhood, even though I raised three other girls who are kind and loving young women.

    Finally she told me she has had enough of me and wants nothing more to do with me. What do I feel? Unlike most other moms I feel nothing but relief and an overwhelming sense of peace. I feel finally free after 25 years of anguish and almost daily tears, that I can get on with living a peaceful life. It has brought me and my husband closer together.

    As long as I know she’s alive and safe then I am okay with the estrangement. She has not unfriended me on Facebook and nor I her, instead I have hit the “ignore messages” button in settings and also unfollowed her. If she does reach out, I can see it in my message requests.

    I have no idea what the future holds but I will never again go back to this enabling behaviour that has allowed her to use me like a doormat. We both love each other, but just can’t be close.

    The guilt has gone. I have regrets, sure…but I was a good mom and did the very best I could with being a young mom, having little money, and a big family.

  • #67325
    Petunia
    Petunia
    Participant

    I am the stepmother (hate the label) of my husband’s adult son. Several years ago ESS met and married a woman who is a covert master manipulator and made the move to have us erased. It was subtle and insidious.

    Last April we decided to step away after the upteenth time of being disregarded and devalued. I am relishing the peace. I gave up my emotional investment in him years ago. I had two parents pass away and he couldn’t find a moment in his self-absorbed life to even offer a personal condolence. Typical behavior, and with an excuse that it took two days to notify him so it couldn’t have been that big of a deal. This is a small example. The man is 50!!

    For my husband it was a matter of respect as well. No relationship is worth saving if there is no respect. I by far rather the estrangement than the years of cancelling plans, excuse making, twisting facts and ghosting for no reason. It’s very abusive. There are two other adult children who are the polar opposite of this sullen, miserable man who projects his nastiness onto his father instead of finding out why he is attracted to manipulative women.

    I will no longer dread Father’s Day nor my H’s birthday because we now KNOW he won’t call. Now we can focus on the positive aspects of special occasions instead of the silent treatment that comes out of nowhere.

    I realize I’m the “stepmother” and so my feelings might not be taken the same but I can assure you I loved this man from when he was a young boy. I took him as my own but I also had the objective eye to see how inconsiderate he was. If someone shows you who they really are then believe them the first time. They will not change. Enabling is seen as weakness and they will exploit it to the nth degree. My H and I talk about the estrangement occasionally but I do it to keep tabs on his mind set. He is sad but realistic that his son has made choices to benefit only himself. Compromise is not in these estranged adult children’s vocabulary. We surround ourselves with people who share the ups and downs of life, who are there for us and we for them and truthfully we are happier people around the two other adult children too.

    Thank-you for listening.

  • #67356
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    toomuchpain,
    I am so sorry you are in that difficult and awful situation, and that you cannot bridge the gaps in communication with your wife or daughters.
    Sometimes life is so very difficult.

    DO try to value yourself, and take care, the best you can.

    Perhaps one of those daughters might need you sometime in the future,
    Or, perhaps someone else might.
    Or perhaps you might find another path, at some point, for your life, which will be worth waiting for.

  • #67408
    Avatar
    Brokenheartedmother
    Participant

    Hello to everyone , i have just joined as i have found it exceptionally painful and lonely to not have contact with my 4 adult children .

    • #67863
      Avatar
      Mother-No-More
      Participant

      Thank you for your reply Needothers. I appreciate it. I’ve been browsing down the thread a bit. There’s so much to read!!! I am sorry for your situation with your daughter. I don’t know all the details or how long it’s been but what bit I saw was so sad. I also noticed you and others talking about intros getting lost due to new threads. At one point, I thought, well let me look at someone’s profile and assumed there would be details there but no, no details at all other than how many posts or replies had been made. I suggest our having the option of including a description or intro on our profile. Some people may not want to and that would be fine. I guess I just don’t understand the idea of having an empty profile. Not trying to make waves or complain. Just new here.

  • #67437
    Pixel
    Pixel
    Participant

    I found this site after finding (buying) Sheri’s book. As other mother’s can relate, I am truly heart broken by my estranged daughter (no contact for over 2 years). And I, too, have gone back searching memories for signs that this was happening. If the pain of this was not bad enough, I tell no one due to the blaming placed on me. I’ve tried seeing a counselor who basically said it is what it is.

    My husband has totally closed down and says “he doesn’t know how to talk to me” so he says nothing. He is a great “handy man” around the house but a stranger to my heart. This last year was really hard; I had my second spine fusion surgery and while I was in intense pain, my husband fell apart not knowing what to do (he keeps trying to “fix me”!) He has spent more nights at a local hotel (last night included) because… I can’t talk to him! He argues incessantly that whatever he is “doing” is the right thing… I give up!

    Yes, I feel like running away and if I was physically able, I probably would! This is probably the FIRST true words I’ve written/spoken in the last several years. No one knows what my “real life” is like so I just smile and fake it to everyone I meet/talk to.

    Thanks for the add to the group!

  • #67441
    Avatar
    Livinglife4me
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    I am happy I have found this place and with that also sad that there are so many of us. My story is similar to everyone as I have two sons who I have no contact with. One of my sons I have not spoken to for 5 years since he decided to give me and ultimatum of either you do not speak to my ex who he has 3 children with or you will not have a relationship with me. Well I am here so you all know what I chose to do. He has zero contact with those kids also. My other son it has been since 2016 and he is the one that pops in my life when he needs something only in 2016 I put a stop to that. I will not allow him to do that any longer. It was hard but I can’t enable him any longer or disrespect myself like that. He did contact me this summer but it was not him it was a bail bonds asking if I would post bail for his DUI and I was always the savior and that is why he gave them my number. Well the old me would have went running to save him but the new me said sorry call someone else and I terminated the call . I am really at a good place with the estrangement as I know I must accept the things I cannot change and I have but as with everyone here we all have our days or moments.

    Hugs to you all.

  • #67443
    Lynn
    Lynn
    Participant

    I’m glad that I found this group. My counselor doesn’t understand the depth of my pain.
    The birthdays of my two adult sons is the worst! It’s hard to get out of bed and function.

    They started blocking me after I filed for divorce from their father over a year ago. The 30 year marriage had deteriorated to verbal and emotional abuse so I was falling apart while being anxious and depressed. They did not see the best side of me BUT my daughter stayed with me. Friends tell me that my ex was so angry that he was telling people to pick sides; unfortunately my sons had to choose. I recently spent some quiet time reflecting on why the estrangement bothers me so much. I think it is because I was the one who truly listened to their thoughts and dreams without judgment so we shared our hearts with each other. I know now that I need to be super busy during their birthday week so I don’t think about the possible rejection of my email/text/card. It WILL get better, right?

    • #67476
      Avatar
      Healing1952
      Participant

      I’m so sorry you are hurting I know that pain. Be happy at least one child stands by you. I understand about the counselor I went to one that didn’t get my pain either. The sad truth is this is just going to take time and even then it will still hurt. My son just doesn’t bother with me but my daughter hates me so much she sent a poison pen letter to my husband before we married. We are talking about a 44 year old woman. Her birthday and Christmas hurt and make me again wonder why.
      Possible your kids will come around when they think about this or have children of their own. But please take care of yourself look forward and don’t blame yourself. These are tough times we live in certainly none of these children have read the Bible because that is a direct sin not to honor your parents. But then the moral compass of this world is totally twisted. Short of abusing and stealing from our children there is no reason for these emotions to run away like this. What happened to talking things out and forgiving and loving? Take care and know you are a good mom now it’s time for you. Move forward and be good to yourself.

  • #67519
    Avatar
    Ziggy
    Participant

    Here I am, joining a group I never thought I’d need, but so relieved to find that sadly, I have so much company. I found this all by accident one sad night after too much angry crying and googling estrangement…not even knowing what I was looking for. My story is so similar to some of yours. In my case, ten years ago my youngest daughter met a guy after her divorce from one lousy man, a brief relationship with another somewhat less lousy man, and jumped fully into this relationship with someone NO ONE in the family liked. He’s the very definition of “smarmy”. He has a questionable past, some legal issue that got swept under the rug and sealed off and we were never told what it was. Records are sealed, so who knows.
    Things were ok at first, but my daughter’s child came to spend the night but was coughing so much that I called them to suggest she go to the ER. Poor thing was exhausted and unable to breathe without coughing, and I was worried it was pneumonia. They came to pick her up and refused to take her, saying she’d been to her pediatrician and it was something that would clear up on It’s own. I still insisted. Her man said, “No, we’re not taking her there.” and I piped up that I didn’t see where he got a say in it (as a stepfather), that I wasn’t sure they were even married. Bad choice of words I admit, but to be honest, there’s a lot of questions about him and I still to this day doubt they are really married.
    Anyway, his pride was so badly damaged over that, that he will not to this day accept any apology from me. I tried a few days later, in fact. When they came over that day I tried to make amends, it only got worse. He stood outside on my patio and had a meltdown, pacing and ranting at me while my daughter stood there watching him. It got so bad that my husband came out there and told him, “Don’t talk to my wife like that.” He smugly said, “I’ll talk to her any way I want.” My husband is a very sweet, gentle man…but he stood toe to toe with him, eye to eye and slowly said, “If you do it again, I will kill you.”
    So my daughter screamed my husband’s name in shock (he’s her stepdad), and they both got in the car and left. That all happened about 10 years ago. We did manage to have a relationship that he had no part in. I would travel an hour away to where they’d moved to see them, usually when the gd was in a play in the city’s theater group, or to shop for school clothes. Over time, though, I could sense a change in this gd…and my daughter grew more distant as well.
    I began noticing fewer replies to my emails, she doesn’t answer my calls. When I pressed her about it, I finally received a very detailed response about how her heart is broken because I favored her older sister, how I constantly attack her…things that make no sense. No sense at all, unless you put two and two together and realize that someone else is maneuvering behind the scenes. I still deposited money for her and her daughter’s Christmas and sent a Merry Christmas email. I had sent many emails in the meantime apologizing like we all do for anything and everything they accuse us of, saying that I wished that she could accept my apologies because nothing can get better if that doesn’t happen. She replied that she hopes I understand that she has too much hurt to work on our relationship at this time, but perhaps sometime soon she will.
    She has a birthday in a few short days. I won’t be sending a happy birthday email. I won’t deposit money for her bday in her account. My feelings have finally hit a wall. I’m old, I’m tired, I am done groveling and if she values our relationship so little, then I owe her nothing in return.
    I saw that someone else had expressed the feeling that they were sorry that they had had children. I have expressed they very same sentiment to my husband and he looked sad and horrified…but he understood. I still feel that way. This simplified introduction barely touches on the whole story, but unlike Sheri, I didn’t intend to write a book.
    Thanks for this place. I have come here to read and gather strength a while before finally joining the conversation. I am grateful knowing it exists because before this, we all thought we were the only ones suffering.

  • #67540
    Avatar
    Ziggy
    Participant

    I’d like to add that I was recently diagnosed with some serious health issues and had kept her notified because they might at some point be something that could affect her as they are autoimmune and with genetics, you just don’t know. Her reply was so…unsympathetic. It was kind of, “Sorry to hear about your health problems. Those autoimmune diseases are terrible. I haven’t felt well myself. I have a bad cold…”
    Wow. My diseases will likely contribute to my death at some point. Her dad’s wife (My ex remarried quickly after our divorce) is a nurse and she goes to her about any and all health advice so I’m sure she knows this.
    Like some of you, it’s shocking to feel like a discarded tissue when you can carry sweet memories of happier times when they were young and loving. I’m adjusting to the knowledge that she’s no longer the person I used to know. I made mistakes, spoke thoughtlessly out of fatigue and have owned it, apologized repeatedly, but have come to realize that those apologies are worthless to her and her man. They aren’t looking to make things ok between us. It’s a power play and I’m not willing to go that route, no more eggshells and trying not to trigger someone’s meltdown. I don’t owe them any more than what I’ve already given.
    A lot of this comes from jealousy on her part. Her older sister was a very hard child to raise, hated authority, challenged every rule, needed so much help getting out of messes she made with bad choices. If she had 2 clear choices set before her, she would always pick the one that set off a chain of events requiring the most intervention to set right. Long story short, I’m already raising her daughter, a young teen gd who sees us as parents and views “mom” as a family friend. I think younger daughter resents the “free childcare, etc.” that the other receives…but my position is one where I did what had to be done after older daughter’s ugly divorce and child custody case (the man she divorced was not the gd’s biodad…a fact he decided to tell her at a tender age without her mom’s knowledge). The disclosure impacted gd’s mental health. She suffered tremendous anxiety, wanted nothing to do with her ex stepdad, and she ended up needing counseling to recover. Things are better now for her she’s on the road to healing and sees her ex stepdad a few times a year…but because of the estrangement she doesn’t see her aunt and cousin (My younger daughter and gd).
    Sadly, I have watched this kind of scenario play out before since in my childhood I had two older half brothers, the oldest of which married someone manipulative and caused many a family rift, disowning his own mother more than once. I no longer have a relationship with that older brother, and the only one who has any form of relationship with him is his own brother. My prior experience gave me a window seat to what children can do to their parents…sad.

  • #67568
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome to Brokenheartedmother,
    Yes, it is too painful and lonely a situation, to feel so alone.

    We are here , and we do understand the sad type of inner pain, this causes.

    To have children and not have them in our lives.

    Glad you joined us here!

    Welcome also to Lynn, and to other newcomers.

  • #67591
    Avatar
    daisy62
    Participant

    I am so relieved to have found this forum – it seems so supportive. My daugher and her wife stuck the final stiletto into my heart at my mother’s funeral on Christmas Eve! She told me to get away from her and threatened a scene – at a small family funeral, no less! My other older daughter is unsympathetic and insists it is all my and her father’s fault and sends me those wonderful internet articles that suggest that it is always the parents’ fault when they are rejected by their adult children (often run by therapists saying that if your children hate you then its all your fault ie you are a bad parent). That sort of one-sided attitude makes me pretty angry but it seems very prevalent.
    At least our son and his girlfriend remain supportive, willing to talk to us and see us even though he has gone through difficult times himself in the past.
    Why are daughters more cruel to their mothers than sons? ..Or may be that is just my perception and experience. Yet, I am so ashamed and embarassed that I raised children like my daughters with that sort of attitude but I guess I need to move on from that.
    Anyhow I don’t feel able to share more at this stage – but I am reading others stories with interest – and believe me I really understand the pain you are all going through.
    I have orderd Sheri’s book and hope to read it soon.
    Good luck to all for 2019 – I want to remake my life and be happy but feel there is a long way to go just yet.

  • #67593
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster
    1. daisy62,

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss of your mother…and, of course, the issues with your daughters. I know those articles well ….

    Welcome. I know you will find support and kindness here.

    Hugs,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #67608
    Avatar
    jillian
    Participant

    I am new to this forum and waited until after the holidays to convince myself that we are actually estranged from our son. I really thought that Christmas and my husband’s birthday would cause him to make some contact but now I realize I need to face the reality that estrangement is real. It’s very painful after almost two years and with no legitimate reason why this is happening. I know many of you are dealing with the same issues and it gives some comfort to know that it isn’t something we have done. At least something that was ever in our control. But this was the first Christmas that I had no contact and that I gave to charity in their names instead of giving gifts that were not acknowledged. I will continue to read this forum and hope that some of you have advice or comfort to get on with my life with less pain.

  • #67651
    Avatar
    mommabear
    Participant

    Hello all – I was sent a text message about this site from a friend who knows I have been sad and struggling. I have to admit – reading the posts especially where the root cause is a significant other- wow am I depressed! I think it is pretty clear this is not only common but mostly without resolutions. I am about to go through estrangement # 2. My brother disappeared from my life for 20 years because of his wife – and we only reconnected when he was dying if brain cancer and she did not want to deal with him. I got 2 precious years, but previous to that reconciliation, the rest was hell. We lost so much.
    I have 2 children – less than a year apart from each other – and they always had the same friends, did the same activities – we were a tight family. Both are smart, and successful – and truly due to diligence on the success side from both my husband and I being there for them and helping – and supporting. My son went to the US Naval Academy – and reconnected with my daughter’s former best friend from middle school of all people. She comes from a great family – is beautiful and smart. We adored her – took them on vacations with us – we all got along great. They got engaged – I even paid for the $19,000 ring – because she comes from a wealth family and expected a lot and he as a Naval Midshipman had little – and my husband and I adored her and were very pro their marriage. Then just before graduation he called me saying they were in a fight because he wanted to go out with his friends their last time at the Academy – she was in TX and didn’t like his roommates. I said I thought it was ok if his work was done – they went through 4 years of tough school together after all. That was it – she stated we (his parents) could no longer be trusted. He could never talk to us about them or their relationship again. Then at the graduation I paid for and spent 3 years planning – they treated us like non-persons except to scream at us and be rude – it was mortifying. Then – nothing – and they came to town and refused to see us – it was Father’s Day, and they did not come by or call – then we received a text stating we could meet my son at his friend’s Father’s Day celebration – he was going to their house – to see him we went. She was not there – she wouldn’t go because we were there and was texting him and his friend that they needed to leave. It was depressing. Then they announced their wedding for this March – and though he had promised his sister for years they would be in each other’s wedding – she stated she didn’t want my daughter in the wedding party – and they initially “forgot” to send her an invitation. Then it came out that they actually married in July of last year – her whole family knew but none of them told us. Then she scheduled the wedding in Hawaii (so none of our family can attend – her Dad is a big whig pilot for American and flying 20_ people in on her side) on a work week for me (I work 1 week on and 1 week off, and need 6 mos ahead notice for time off) – and gave us 5 months advance assuming I couldn’t get time off. My husband did talk to our son – and he said that she hates me and will never change her mind – but cannot give a real reason why. She invited us because she had to and because she wanted me to HAVE TO pay for the rehearsal dinner for all her guests (we have none) and designed this as a full reception that is going to cost a lot of money (we had 0 say in this or planning). And my son told my husband she doesn’t want us there. My son spent Christmas with them – he finally called for few minutes – I sent a gift for both of them – he said they never got it – I had sent it well ahead (and it was expensive) – he inquired with the mother-in-law and oh, yeah – they had it but had “forgot” to give it to him. He said, oh thanks I guess” and that was it. We never hear from him.
    I don’t want to go to the wedding – her family and friends – and we were told by her parents to “do our own thing” because everyone would be busy – in other words we are not included except to pay for the rehearsal dinner and show up at the wedding – but they are already married! My son had initially said he wanted us there – but for what purpose? His wife hates us, no one will talk to us – we are completely ostracized – and don’t matter. From what I see here – things just get worse – especially if there are ever grand kids – it was the same with my brother – I was not allowed to meet his son or him to know my children until he was dying. I don’t know if I can go through this all again. Should we go to the wedding – it may be the last time we ever see him. His sister has been cut out – she is not going – they don’t talk anymore.
    There are no right answers – and there is no sanity in all this. And there is no curing the heartbreak. My son and I were unusually close – and she had commented that he spoke of me all the time and we were so much alike – I guess this threatened her. I hate to say it but I am hoping for a divorce! We were so wring about her.
    Should we spend $10,000 trying to go to this wedding we are not wanted at? For a couple that are already married? I guess my concern is that even though we won’t have any contact with him – all he would remember should he ever get free is that we weren’t there.

  • #67656
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Awe, Mommabear, It’s that classic thinking:

    If I don’t do this then they’ll be able to say/think/remember/tell that.

    It’s up to you, and you must do what is best. However, it’s wise to consider all angles. What will they say/think/remember/tell if you DO go?

    And then there is the reality that ultimately, you must do what you can feel okay about later, regardless of what people who do not really care for your well being will do/say/think/remember or tell. What is right for you?

    I know that it sometimes gets all mixed up with ideals of unconditional love, and people’s shoulds like a mother should, a mother would always…. At some point, though, our children are not children.

    It’s for you to decide what is best for you. If you think it’s best to go, have the $10,000. to get there without hardship… Do think of those things, too.

    Please, also decide what is the reason you might go. Is it for an expected outcome, like making a difference? If that’s the case, will you be utterly disappointed and wish you wouldn’t have gone?

    Things to think about.

    HUGS,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #67821
    Avatar
    Mother-No-More
    Participant

    Obviously a complicated long story. I have a son, the youngest of two children. He is now 26 and we think he is bipolar. He was difficult from the beginning. My husband kept explaining things away suggesting he was going through a stage. I suggested my son get help, but my husband disagreed. My son was volatile and abusive to all of us. It had a very bad effect on his older sister. She didn’t want to contribute to our problems, so she retreated into her own world.

    We didn’t know what we were doing and made very bad choices. My daughter went to some college, but never got a job. Then when she was 24, in April, 2014, she had the opportunity to move into my deceased in-laws home 3 hours away. She jumped at it and lived there for 3 years while we financially supported her. All during this time, she never worked. She felt like she could’t, first because she had no experience, no skills, no history, no confidence, no self esteem, nor any opportunities in this tiny country town. She also had a lot of health issues that caused her pain and limited her physical abilities.

    All of a sudden totally unexpected, she left and moved to another state far away. She left a letter telling us that we hurt in and overlooked her in so many ways. In April 2019, it will be two years that she’s been gone. She chooses not to give us her address or phone number. Meanwhile I’d gone through cancer treatment.

    She does chat with me on Facebook Messenger from time to time. But it feels that she wants very little to do with me. We had a recent episode while chatting that I don’t understand, and it has hurt our situation. I will save that for another post.

    I have no contact now with my son. That’s been going on since late September 2018. He now lives with my husband in my husband’s deceased parent’s home. We are officially separated, but friends. For years my son has been horribly volatile,. He has abused me verbally in ways that are hard to fathom. He has hit me and left me on a bridge with my dog at 2:00 in the morning a mile from home – another long story. He needs psychological help and until he gets it, I cannot see him. We had an incident in September where he was so abusive, I told him we would never see each other again.

    Then recently a mutual friend of my separated husband and mine suddenly died. I was planning to go to the funeral, but my husband is taking my son. I feel fear and extreme discomfort at the idea of seeing my son. So even though this was a significant friend, I feel I cannot go. My husband is unwilling to suggest that my son not go even though the death is much more significant to me than my son. Today, I am crying.

  • #67835
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    I am so sorry , that your friend has died, and that your separated husband, under these circumstances, does not suggest strongly to your son, that he should not go, that it is more significant for you to go, and that some space between you and your son is necessary.

    The only other option is if you have someone else very close to you, that could go with you, and be sure to keep distance between you and your son, there. And to be a support person for you, while there, anyway.

    But likely that idea doesn’t work, and I am sorry, you are crying today. There’s a time to feel the grief.

    I hope better days are ahead for you.

  • #67897
    Avatar
    Chinai
    Participant

    I just posted somewhere but not sure where it went? Can someone tell me if they have seen it or do I need to rewrite my novel? Thanks

  • #67915
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear Chinai,
    You put your note under the “welcome” thread. As is mentioned in all the materials that come to you when you register for the forum, posts are moderated. They don’t always show up immediately…. It’s there now though. Welcome to the community, and I’m very sorry to hear of your troubles. You will find support here.

    Sheri McGregor
    site founder;
    author of Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children

  • #67929
    Avatar
    Missy85541
    Participant

    Hello all. First let me say I am sorry I have to be here but so thankful I found you. In ordering the book there was a mention of this site I joined immediately. I am a mother with a beautiful daughter and my gorgeous grandchildren. I am not “allowed” to visit even though I live less than 400 miles away. I always send Christmas and birthday gifts for the kids and up until this past holiday always gifts for my daughter. With never even an acknowledgement that I exist I decided, this year, to do the same. That was very difficult. I don’t even get a Happy Birthday! I decided I should see this situation the way it really is, not how I want it to be. I am distraught, depressed, hurt beyond belief. My daughter and I have always had a wonderful relationship, I have no idea what happened. It is crushing.

  • #67944
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome to you, Missy,
    I am so sorry for the very sad and shocking outcome you have had with your daughter. I too, had a relationship that was better than most, it seemed, but she cut herself and family, completely off from me.

    I have no address to send things to. She knows mine.
    I receive nothing.
    Her birthday and mine are the hardest, for me, and so many other days and nights of extreme sadness.
    SO much grieving, and confusion, hurt, and even shame around others who talk of their adult children, and their grandchildren, and might ask me about mine.

    Distraught, depressed, hurt beyond belief, and crushed, are the words you used, and they fit.
    SO sorry you needed to find us, but very glad you did.

  • #67951
    Avatar
    Joyce
    Participant

    Hello. I am new here and just started reading the book. Long story but I am divorced and have been since my daughter was 16. She is now 33 and a single mom herself with a 5 year old son. I really have had no relationship with her in almost 5 years. I have not seen my grandson since he was 2. My daughter has planned lunches for her and I to get together but she always cancels. She has told me that she will not introduce me to my grandson because she doesn’t trust me and doesn’t have any relationship with me. We were once very close and I have gone thru much counseling with her and by myself. I call what I am going thru as a grieving process with many stages, such as anger, unbelief, mad, sad, and beating myself up. This book and forum is the only thing that has helped me feel that these. Feelings are normal and that I’m not alone. Because I will not open myself up to any more hurt I have pretty much left the ball in my daughters court waiting for her to make the move. She was raised in a Christian home and I feel this is a very strong spiritual battle. Never did I imagine this would ever happen. It has helped me alsoto know that my daughter has not only cut me out of her life but anyone who is related to me and even some of her old friends. Looking forward to meeting others in the group. Hardest thing I have ever gone thru as she is my only child and only grandson.

  • #67979
    Avatar
    Ziggy
    Participant

    Welcome Joyce. I’m also new here. Our feelings are absolutely normal and valid. Like you I think it’s a spiritual battle. I’m adopting the same attitude you have…the ball’s in her court. I’ve done all I can and am too worn down and unwilling to try anymore. Hoping we can all become friends here. My posts kind of made me feel like I’d overshared but it’s not even half of it.

  • #68058
    SummerRain
    SummerRain
    Participant

    I don’t know where to begin as I have so much raw emotions but here it goes…….For years my son and I have had a distant/detached connection. I am not sure why. I am not sure if it’s because it’s who he is or because of all the dysfunction that occurred between me and his father when I left him. I left him when he was almost 2 years old and felt that it was very important for his father to be in his life and always enforced that. Sometimes I feel that was the worst thing I did. He would feed our son lies, undermine anything I ever tried to do, and whenever there were any consequences for misbehavior that my son had to face he’d leave home and go to his dads house (so he wouldn’t have to pay the consequences). His father would sweep it under the rug, tell him he didn’t have to listen to me, and so began the whole toxic dynamic between us.
    I am not trying to blame his father as I’m trying very hard to reflect on myself and trying to see what “I” may have done to contribute to this estrangement. I admit guilt in not being able to effectively co-parent with his father because we could never agree on anything or be on the same page. Since we rarely had communication, I think it was a perfect recipe for my son to take advantage and play us against each other. I do feel for him greatly and wish there was something more I could have done to prevent this for him. I also remarried and have a child with my husband and he helped me a great deal with raising ES.
    I thought I did all I could to love and provide for my son. I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. I am not perfect and I’m sure there were things I could have done differently. I feel like a failure and ashamed. I feel like an awful mother. What did I do that was so bad that he rarely keeps in contact with me? My husband helped him get this great job, we did everything to make him independent and that he had something stable that will help him in life. He is now 22 years old and moved from my place about 2 years ago. We didn’t even have a conversation about it, it just gradually happened where he would stay at his dads for longer extended time and now I’m lucky if I see him a handful of times in a year. He has a younger brother and is not consistent with contact either.
    I just want to know why??? It hurts and I know I have to find a way to learn how to cope. I ordered the book and anxiously looking forward to reading it. I need all the help I can get. Thank you to all and Sheri for this wonderful and caring community.
    Hugs,
    SummerRain

  • #68196
    Mountaintop
    Mountaintop
    Participant

    I am so thankful and grateful for Sheri’s book (Done with the Crying) in which I have read and had found this encouraging website I have been silently reading (keeping my sanity) for the past 3 years. It is sad to know that there are many more of us out there that are suffering and struggling with the rejection and estrangement of our adult children. I have to say after seeing several counsellors and professionals, this is the only place along with the book Done with the Crying that are the true professionals. You all have experienced it, lived with it and moving on with it.
    I am a mother of 2 adult children and both are estranged from me for over 4 years. Many years ago I was in an abusive relationship with my children’s father. We all suffered at the hands of his abuse. During those years I was made to be the child in the relationship by their father and was scolded in front of our children. Their father taught our children to live in fear, not to trust others and had alienated us from my family. I finally gathered enough strength, found the right support I needed and escaped with my children.
    From young children to adulthood I raised them alone teaching them to be loving and kind. We had a very close relationship, we did everything together and I put my adult children above everything else and my own needs. After many years I had left their father and years of counselling, I started to date. They were good about it and supported me. They also dated and I too showed them support and accepted their partners into our family. I worked hard at being a great role model for them, I worked hard to financially support them, put them through school, and took them on family vacations – with their partners!
    Only when I had fallen in love with a man and later in time got engaged, my adult children decided to ostracize me and became estranged. They were verbally abusive, acted as if they were my parents. When this took place they involved my family, siting I have abandoned – they were in their mid to late 20’s! My family took them in and accused me of being selfish.
    I wrote many letters and called them for the first 2 years and initially received verbal abuse and later no responses. Although I was determined to repair our relationship I suggested counseling which we attended (the counsellor was no help) and the sessions ended. My EC had convinced themselves and others I was not in my right mind, to fall in love and I was selfish. They contacted my family, friends and even law enforcements to validate their beliefs. Although I lost friends and family members, the law enforcers told me that my EC used them as ‘puppets’ and were ‘disgusted” by their actions. One would think that I am this crazy out of control person, when I am the polar opposite. I am a kind, generous and loving human being. I am a giver and one that forgives. My EC know this and they took total advantage of me.
    It’s been over 4 years, and no contact from my EC. I am happily married to a loving man. The reason I decided to come forward and share my life story is to THANK all of you for being MY support (besides my husband). This journey we Estranged and Rejected parents are on is rough, no one can fully understand unless they are in our shoes. Unfortunately no matter how well I think I am doing I am still struggling today.
    Thank you for listening and wishing you all peace.

  • #68244
    BeeHere4Me
    BeeHere4Me
    Participant

    Dear Mountaintop,

    Please know that we are sorry that you have a reason to be here. But now that you are, Welcome to the forum.

    No parent ever envisions that their love, thought and efforts to raise their child will result in betrayal. Estrangement of a child is regarded as a traumatic event. Circumstances outside of the parents control, actions of malicious meddlers and parental alienation tactics are used to damage the relationship between a child and their parent.

    Thank you for offering the forum your introduction. From this point, please feel free to post a question, thought, dilemma, or concern on the general message board. Then, you will receive responses from a wonderful and seasoned group of members who won’t judge and understand how you feel.

    Also, you are encouraged to offer your fresh insight to the ongoing threads.

    Often, young adult children fail to realize that law enforcement officials are parents too. Their plight for sympathy is mostly unmet by law enforcement that have a deep respect for their own parents. They are well trained to detect liars and are familiar with their behaviors. It is common knowledge that a perpetrator regards their victim crazy or mentally ill, so do not feel bad about that at all. Its not your fault if your children’s actions resembles a perpetrators.

    There is a plethora of information available in the site. Also, to help you through this journey, I highly recommend Sheri’s book, “Done With the Crying.” The exercises alone, will serve as an excellent guide to reclaim your life.

    Welcome to the forum

    🐝

  • #68318
    Amourie05
    Amourie05
    Participant

    Good morning. I am so thankful I have found this support group and the book Done With Crying. My ES divorced me and my daughter last year in March. He first attacked his sister and her husband by sending a sympathy Christmas card and proceeding to tell them how spiritually lost they were and they had done a terrible job raising their adult children. He told them that he was living a life for Jesus. My ES was diagnosed with a rare cancer in October 2016. His sister was there to help his narcissistic wife and set aside her business travel to watch his daughter. At his and his wife’s request I left my 84 yo mother alone and moved to be near them to help. I sat with my son during chemo treatments and watched his daughter and her boys from a previous marriage every month for a year. My DIL was arrested on spousal abuse and they chose me to communicate between until she went to court. She had a terrible temper getting mad storming out, kicking holes in walls and screaming. She always said terrible things about her own mother and her actions were excused by her supposedly toxic family upbringing. My ES was always very close to me & his sister. His Dad committed suicide 7 years ago. We had been divorced for 20 years because he was an alcoholic. After my ES cancer scan March 2018 the news was great that the liver was healing and we should have been celebrating. Instead he posted on social media that we didn’t care about his cancer and we were never invested in his family. He called us toxic, unhealthy, manipulative, controlling and abusive. My heart was devastated. They both blocked us from communicating. Then before he was considered being in remission they sold their house and moved to another state near my DIL twin sister so she can pursue her passion at cosmetology school. What wife would even push such a decision? My son now has no oncologist and no health insurance. I’m finally able to stop worrying, I’m using the “bookmarks “ and I’m finally at the place that I can say “ I am not any of the labels he gave me and I’m a very good Mom”. At first I prayed for reconciliation but now I’m not so sure although I miss my sweet little granddaughter. I felt guilty for being at this point but now I’m thinking protecting my sanity is the priority.

  • #68342
    Avatar
    Ziggy
    Participant

    Amourie05, try to not allow guilt to creep in. You need to protect and take care of yourself. Our own peace is worth it, even if our EC think otherwise. I have to wonder how it is that they began to feel so empowered as to decide how things should go In our relationships with them? I never saw it coming, was blindsided when it did, but am now feeling the righteous indignation I should’ve felt at the start. Baby steps…

  • #68371
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Amourie,
    Welcome , and I do think your conclusion is correct. Protecting your sanity, IS a very positive and good and appropriate priority, now.
    I am sorry that happened to you. How irrational and unfair, it is.

    Thanks to Ziggy,
    for the good response, and even though it is a serious and painful, emotional issue for me, as well as others, I had to laugh when I read the end of Ziggy’s post,
    “but…am now feeling the righteous indignation I should’ve felt at the start. ”

    I needed that laugh. This stuff is so difficult, inside myself, and that helps me with perspective.
    I need some balance.
    Thanks to everyone here!

  • #68380
    Amourie05
    Amourie05
    Participant

    I love that righteous indignation I should have felt at the start. But when you’re in shock and defending yourself it’s hard to think clearly. And my ES was so fast with his responses. He texted everything. I don’t think he had the courage to say what he said face to face. Or maybe he was afraid I’d deck him lol. No he’s a coward. He watched his Dad verbally, emotionally and occasionally physically abuse me and for years I took it. So he was probably convinced he could bully me and it’d be okay. For awhile I did respond like a mistreated puppy but finally I blocked his texts to stop the abuse. He even texted my Mother trying to convince her I and his sister are terrible people. She was caught in the middle. Now I realize we all deserve better. I pray for his health that he is in remission because I want my granddaughter protected from another loser my DIL might choose to replace him with. I really think a child doing this to a parent is the worst hurt ever. I hope others find their happy through this.

  • #68464
    Avatar
    Whynow
    Participant

    Hello, I don’t know how to handle my oldest daughter (in her 30’s) and as I write this I have anxiety, and hope others can shed light on it. She is not totally estranged, however, we have suffered through different times of not hearing from her. When we do it is always the same, all is fine at first, next comes little things; not answering texts, when visiting showing-up late, than verbal abuse, finally nothing. I wish I could say it was different, but it has been many years.

    She has caused great stress with her younger sister, verbally hurt her and continues to do so no matter what. When she was younger, about 10 yrs ago she purposely drove up the curb while youngest daughter and friend were chalking on the sidewalk. If I hadn’t of seen it I would not have believed it, but she almost ran them over. When confronted about this, she told me I was making to much of a thing out of it. My youngest daughter and her friend were in tears and frightened. This is just one of the many incidents that have happened, and always, always she has an excuse and laughs it off. For the longest time I thought I was losing my mind, because I couldn’t put my finger on the one thing she was doing, and she would do it being nice, friendly, loving.

    The new issue we have, is she is getting married in a few months. My ex-husband will be there, and I have had little to no contact with him in 25 yrs. He was extremely abusive, both physically and mentally. I had to go to counseling for several years to deal with the trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He left, and she didn’t see him for the first 3 yrs of her life, later when he did he was verbally abusive to her. At that point she didn’t want to see him, and he was fine with that. He had remarried and had a new family.

    Now, I am told he has changed, and they are suddenly close. He is paying for most of the wedding and his wife is my daughter’s confidant. We have been left out of the loop on everything, but are expected to come. I didn’t know she had a wedding planner, or what our part was in it till my youngest daughter relayed everything. She was also in the wedding, her maid of honor, at this point she will not go or attend as her sister has once again verbally abused her in front of the other brides maids, shamed her for weight and basically used her as a scape goat.

    I was speechless when I was told about the “toasts” that will be given at her wedding. I asked her if she wanted me to say something, and she told me that her dad was, and a few other people, and that she would check with the wedding planner if there was enough room for me. Everything we have done including the place we are staying is wrong, and she tells me this in subtle ways. Once again, it is done and hard to put a finger on it.

    This whole situation weighs heavily on me, and I really don’t want to go. However, if we don’t attend it will be one more thing I have done wrong, and we paid for the rental, tickets there, ect. Seeing my ex-husband triggers the whole past. My husband of 11 yrs (we’ve been together for just about 17) is really supportive, and I am glad he will be with me. However, she has hinted that family pictures will be taken, and non-family members can have a glass of wine.

    Also I have one other question, I have found and heard her talk with others about her life, and she has taken parts of my childhood, and other thing that have happened in my life and actually states that this was/is her life. The truth is what she is saying, never happened to her. Has anyone had this happen? Is there a name for it?

    Thank you for listening and sorry that it is long

  • #68540
    Avatar
    vsh
    Participant

    Our adult son has been estranged from our happy, loving family for most of his adult life. My husband and I have been sad, confused and angry for twenty years. Since our granddaughter was born two years ago, I have done everything necessary to salvage a superficial relationship, just so I could see her maybe once a month.

    Over the holidays things came to a head, and we made the very difficult decision to move on with our lives without our son. We are doing the hard work this month by reading, talking and listening to podcasts. It has been very helpful to realize how many other families struggle with the same issue.

    I already feel relieved of a huge burden. The stress affected our adult daughters, our marriage and our extended family.

    I have also decided when friends and family ask, I will admit without shame that our son has made the decision to estrange himself from our family. I had an aha moment when my sister told me we cannot change our adult children. We raised them well, but they are now free to make their own choices.

    My husband and I feel energized by our commitment to the future. Thank you for this forum to connect with others in this extremely difficult situation.

  • #68570
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Hello, Whynow,
    That is surely a very difficult situation.

    I myself would probably try to go, but would preplan many details, of how I would deal with each part of it, so I would feel a little bit of control over what happened near me, and regarding me.

    Having your husband, and any others you could get, to surround you, keep actual distance between you and your ex, and plan for them to intervene in planned ways, to deflect anything away and off of you.
    Plan for self-protection, both physically and emotionally. And I would not stay long.

    These are my ideas. Of course you need to do whatever you think, that you will feel okay about, in the future. Not great, but ok. And not what others think is enough or good, what YOU feel is enough for you. SO you know you were there and made your attempt.
    But I wouldn’t go without as much of a preplan I could come up with.

  • #68586
    Avatar
    Genevieve16
    Participant

    Hi. I don’t know what to say. All of you have said it all and have said it better than I can. I have 2 daughters who’ve cut me out of their lives. I’ve ordered the book to hopefully learn how to survive this never ending nightmare.

  • #68609

    I’m so overwhelmed reading these stories here. Up until the moment I found the book, I never realized how many people in this world are experiencing this travesty. When I first began reading the book I wondered if I missed some hidden camera that was in my home. It was spot on. My estrangement from my son is going on 2 years and 5 months. In the first few months I cried and cried and would replay or last telephone conversation in my head. Analyzing the conversation to the point of what sorts I say to trigger the ostracizing behavior. Every text I sent to attempt to reach out to him included looking apologies …..and pleas to forgive whatever I had done. The irony was that I was apologizing for something unknown. In reading other materials I discovered that this type of behavior is indicative of bullying types of behavior. Whatever the case may be, anxiety and prescription pills got me through the fiesty six months until I decided that I was not going to let this have this type of hold on me. I continued to reach out but my messages dramatically shortened to I miss you terribly and I love you. This past year I forced myself to not text for two months at a time. Of course, a new depth of pain ensued. Five months after my son’s estrangement, he and his wife had my second granddaughter. My oldest was 2 1/2 the last time I was able to play or see her. When my 2nd was born I was not notified nor welcome. My granddaughter almost died within a day of her birth due to a metabolic deficiency. The irony of the circumstance of her birth was the night before I vividly dreamt of a situation where my son was on an altar looking like the wind had been knocked out of him. His face was extremely saddened …..and he looked so emotionally beaten. On the left side of the altar was his wife crying uncontrollably. My little granddaughter was running around smiling and playing, oblivious ……to whatever was happening in my dream. I assumed the dream was connected to the fact that my new grandbaby was not going to make it. Through the connection with my other child I would get updates and pictures and was thankful that she survived. Unfortunately this past December, my grandbaby passed away from complications of the metabolic disorder. I feel so broken on so many levels. The obituary excluded any connection to me and my side of the family and it was made known to my ex husband that they requested that my mother and I not go to the funeral. I was barely existing …..and functioning with the intentional loss of my son and no way for closure and then this. Not only did I never see ….or hold or kiss my grandbaby, but I was not allowed to be there to comfort my son who I miss beyond words. I can’t even begin to comprehend such heinous actions. Deliberate and cruel beyond anything I’ve ever heard of. Yesterday the first time I’ve ever been close to my little granddaughter was by her tombstone. I don’t know how to get past the depth of this pain.

  • #68618
    BeeHere4Me
    BeeHere4Me
    Participant

    Welcome Genevieve16,

    Please don’t think that way, each story posted here is valued. Plus, your input lends a fresh and welcomed perspective to the forum. I hope that you consider using the general forum to expand on your situation and to ask for input.

    I like your avatar and feel the same about coffee, lol! Treatment for a medical issue requires the elimination of many foods which I eagerly complied, with the exception of coffee. My guy friend introduced me to Bulletproof coffee which I love and won’t give up. I am not a quitter either, lol!

    Welcome to the forum!

    🐝

  • #68708
    motherheart
    motherheart
    Participant

    Hi everyone. I was glad to find this site– mostly what I pull up on Google is about abusive parents, which does not apply. My father has had to go through estrangement with one of my siblings, and he did nothing wrong– and I can hardly believe it is now happening to me!

    My daughter, my youngest child at 28, has decided to “take a break” from me. There has always been a little trouble in our relationship that I have not known how to fix. I am a calm, affectionate person, a bookworm, and she has always been like fireworks from the very beginning. I really admire her spunk and energy– I think she is marvelous– but she gets bored with me and I have never really pleased her. At the same time– I don’t know if this makes sense– she also clearly loved me. She was often in my lap and loved giving hugs. She loves me but she doesn’t like me.

    During the teen years, I understood this to be natural. She would say things like “do you have to smile like THAT in front of my friends?” It hurt but I thought it was just a stage. Things did get better but I still inadvertently set her off, and I couldn’t predict what it would be. The way I drink my coffee, which is apparently weird looking. She said I talked about money too much, which I didn’t think was true, but in case she was right I completely avoided that topic to accomodate her. No more saying “I got a great deal on this shirt!” She said anything I said about safety was a form of negativity, even though to me it is just routine planning. If she mentioned it was going to snow before, I said “that’s ok, we’ll put the winter emergency kit in the car”– that is apparently fear-mongering to even bring up the idea of an emergency. So that was a topic to avoid too.

    Over the past several years there have been multiple family crises including health crises. I was basically the only one keeping things together, financially and emotionally, and she called me the “rock” of the family. The last crisis was the end of my 30+ year marriage due to her father’s repeated affairs plus a lie he told me way back when we were dating, which if I had known, would have meant never dating him. It turned out my whole marriage was a kind of fraud in a way I won’t go into here.

    She knew none of it was my fault– she knew what he had done– and I did not badmouth her father in front of her– I was very friendly towards him and still am, despite what he did, because I didn’t want things to be hard on my adult kids. At the same time, she became increasingly critical of me.

    She moved several states away. She invited me to visit her and gave me the dates, and I flew to see her last week. She hugged me and was clearly glad to see me, and then proceeded to criticize me several times an hour. Examples– I was too slow getting my hiking pole set but also somehow it was caused by my rushing. I was using a “baby voice” –??? No idea on that one. I was packing my suitcase too fast. In trying to make conversation, I said things like “oh, look at that scupture– I thought that was snow but it isn’t” and she would say “what’s the point of that comment?” It came to a head when she wanted me to search for a podcast on her phone and I wanted to take it out of the holder to do it, so I could read it– progressive lenses can only do so much– and she said “no, you are just pretending you can’t do things– you need to try.”

    I was floored. I have gone through things that would have made many people fold and I not given up. I had just hiked 1000 ft altitude gain in 1.5 miles, unacclimatized to altitude, because she wanted to go on a certain trail. Thought it was going to do me in, but I made it. I am not a person who needs to be told to try!! And I do not whine about things. I did not ever cry in front of her during all those awful times.

    So I said we needed to talk. I said I knew she loved me but this constant criticism was painful, and I didn’t think it was deserved. No person is perfect, but no person needs THAT much criticism. She started crying and admitted that she found me intensely irritating and she didn’t know why. She said she needs to take a break from me and doesn’t know how long. She loves me but can’t stand to be around me.

    She does not have any mental health problems. She gets along with everyone else.

    This was like being gut-punched, but I have been through so many things that I had the strength to tell her that I loved her and wanted her to be happy, and that I didn’t think it was her fault or mine. I said I did not want to go through another weekend like this either, and that I hoped she would figure out what was causing the problem. To let me know if she was ready to see me again.

    I know what it is like to find another person intensely irritating. It is usually inexplicable, and you just kind of put up with it and try to think kind thoughts while maybe gritting your teeth. It doesn’t usually go away, so what if this is permanent? I don’t want to be the source of teeth gritting for my daughter. I love her. I would rather have to be without her than to make her miserable.

    She dropped me off at the airport and hugged me goodbye. I don’t know if I am ever going to see her again. It isn’t as if this is really a new issue– it has been building up for years.

    I really don’t think I caused any of this, rationally. But also in my heart I feel like I have failed her. I wanted so much to be the kind of mother she would want to spend time with as an adult. She is my favorite person in the world, but for her, I am just irritating. I even feel like maybe it is because I love her too much, even though I have been so careful to avoid smothering her or doting on her– I have encouraged her independence. I keep looking for what I have done wrong or for some way I could be different, but my gut feeling is that I can’t fix this.

  • #68798
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome to Genevieve, from me also,

    and I agree with what BeeHere4me, wrote to you.
    Your story and whatever thoughts and feelings you want to share, are important too.

    We are all helping each other.

    And as for “Bulletproof Coffee” hahahah…I think I will want to investigate that suggestion, more too.

    Welcome to other newcomers, also.
    It is such a painfully difficult emotional experience, to be rejected by daughters or sons.
    It is good for us to find this place where there is acceptance and understanding.

    504graciebailey, I understood what you wrote, also.
    All those repetitions in our minds and brains, and poor terrible emotions, and so many notes, including apologies for what we don’t know we did….

    And grandchildren born, without being notified or sharing that experience…so terrible, I know that one, first hand also. SO painful and distressing.

    We don’t deserve it. We did our best and we do love them. But we cannot change them or their actions or their decisions. We cannot do the impossible. Including perfect parenting, perfect childhoods, or changing the past. Especially changing other people and their thoughts.

    Welcome to each one of you.

  • #68799
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    motherheart,
    I am sorry for all the hurt you went through with having to divorce, and now, this situation with your daughter, I understand how upsetting it is, not knowing if or when, you will see her again.

    It is a terrible feeling.

    I don’t see how you could change yourself for her, any more than all the loving things you have already done for her and with her. And you are supportive of her differences from you. I was to mine also, but it didn’t matter to her. It didn’t make her like or accept me, either.
    NOt all the close wonderful times we had shared, or how much I loved and supported her.

    It just didn’t effect her actions or decisions or relationship with me, later.

    Accepting that much criticism from your daughter, isn’t a good option either. It isn’t good for either you or her. She doesn t need to practice that type of behavior and statements, on you or anyone.

    My gut feeling is the same as yours when I read your post. You cant fix this, it seems to me also.
    She will have to figure it out herself.
    Meanwhile, we do know how sad and distressing it feels for you.

  • #68844
    Avatar
    Want2heal
    Participant

    Hello, I am glad I found a place that makes me realize I am not the only one going through something so sad. I feel very lonely even though ai have a boyfriend and he’s great, however, he can’t possibly know wht I’m going through. Thank you for being here.

  • #68884
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    You are right, Want2heal,
    I hope that he is caring and supportive, patient, and perhaps even empathetic,

    but he cant know what this really feels like.

    It’s awful.
    We do need to know that others do comprehend. And we aren’t the only ones with this problem.

    Welcome, and it’s nice to meet you.

    I like your username. It is a big hurting wound, yet we do want to heal. SO we are here, helping each other, in that direction.

    Thank you to Sheri, for the website and the book, and for giving us a face and a name.
    And a place to share and be heard, and listened to.

    • #68970
      Avatar
      Want2heal
      Participant

      Thank you Needothers. Lots of typos on my first post
      Thank you for your words and thanks Sheri!

  • #69163
    Avatar
    CharlesAtlas
    Participant

    Hello,
    I have my own extensive story but I am just not up to sharing it right now. I have been reading Sheri’s book and dealing with body/physical problems and making decisions about how to manage my two young adult and cruel children (one male/one female) . At this point I am beginning to think I am dealing more with abuse issues than estrangement although estrangement is abuse in my opinion. I am not sure I did the right thing yesterday, but I just can’t take it anymore. I have to detach or I feel I am not going to make it. That’s all for now. Just reading some of the entires I feel they are all (my two morons included) a bunch of brats who should be ashamed of themselves.

    • #69185
      Dotty
      Dotty
      Participant

      Welcome CharlesAtlas – I’m glad that you have found your way to this caring community. I agree that our children are nothing but brats, but brats they are, and no matter how hard we try to stop loving them, we simply can not.

      Some folk find strength in reading others’ posts here, and that’s what we are here for. Please post more if and when you feel you want to – there is no obligation to do anything. Rest assured that this is a place you can feel safe, cherished, nurtured and loved.

      Much love,
      Dotty

    • #70585
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Dear CharlesAtlas,

      When you get the energy, please join the threads of discussion besides this one. Sometimes these just get lost because the intro threads get so long and unweildy!

      You speak for many here when you consider the hurt infected on parents via estrangement as abuse. Additionally, I try not to use mean names and cringe when discussions go there, but I bet quite a few here will nod their heads when they read your intro and that you called your two “morons.”

      Join the other threads when you feel ready.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  • #69125
    Avatar
    Whynow
    Participant

    Needothers, Thank you for your reply. We do plan on going, our other daughter doesn’t want to go at all or be in the wedding. Also, another family member, and dear friend told us she will not be attending, as she feel used and only called upon when it is her birthday, holiday, mainly for gift. I was a little surprised by this and sad that she wouldn’t be there. But, this is what it is like dealing ED.

    We do have a plan, but still do not know what is expected of us, where we sit, are we supposed to be at rehearsal dinner, ect. When I tried asking her, she changes the topic. The problem being if we miss something (by not being told) she will say she did tell us, and we don’t care. My solution (which came to me last night) is to text her, and fiancé together and request to talk with them on speaker phone with husband. He usually responds, and is naïve to ED motive. This way it can be heard by all that we will follow whatever itinerary there might be if we know it. At least I hope. Thank you again for responding.

  • #69197
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Hello,
    Four months ago, my daughter cut me and her step-father of 20 years (who has been more of a father to her than her biological father) out of her life after I expressed concerns over her life, mainly that she and her husband are obsessed with working 12 hrs/day 7 days/week to make money to buy a farm (they already have a house in the country that they can’t look after), and her husband is a recluse – she is the one 100% responsible for taking the kids anywhere and is completely worn out. There are no family outings or as a couple. When she gave me contradicting statements, I said that I would speak to her husband. So, one day she was saying that the kids adore us and can’t wait to see us, then the reply when I said I would talk to her husband was “Do not contact us in any way shape or form or we will cal 911…). So obviously, for some reason, she is afraid that I am on to her lies. I have since found out she lied about so many things…

    Although there have always been issues between us, we were very close until a year ago, when I told her that we would not give her money anymore, since she was giving it to her in-laws to babysit her three children (she had cut out her in-laws too, until she needed them to babysit). And I tried to set boundaries to babysitting because we live 2 hrs away and the weekly “Can you take the kids this weekend?” became too hard to manage. We had not been allowed at their house for over 6 months and had not seen her husband for 9 months. She has also cut out her brother who lives across the country (he wasn’t surprised and said she’s done this before to other people) and everyone else we have in common, and tells everyone that she is in danger from us if they talk to us, so none of my inquiries have been answered. In desperation for knowing if she is/was safe, I contacted her employer, and this was met with a phone call from the police telling me I will be charged with criminal harassment if I try to reach her again.

    I’ve been reading your posts for a while, and I’m reading Sheri’s book. Like you, I go from relief at not having to deal with the s*it-show that is her life, to missing the grand-kids, to being so broken-hearted I can’t breathe, to being angry that she is dealing with her problems this way. She is in her 30s, educated professional, well known in her community, but reverts to a teenager when it comes to me, including the name calling, condescending attitude and right out laughing when the kids wear us out.

    I intellectually know this is a result of Parental Alienation Syndrome and that it was inevitable that it would come to this. A counselor had warned me that she would turn against me when her own daughter reached the age that she was at during my divorce. Her biological father manipulated her and her brother to testify a bunch of lies against me in court – it was awful – and he got custody.

    I blame myself for not dealing with this sooner. She cut me out 5 years ago but apologized a few weeks later and admitted to becoming a “raging defensive bitch” (her words), when she feels criticized. I let it all go at that time. This time too, I thought she would come around if I kept emailing/texting and leaving messages, but Hallowe’en went by, then the youngest’s birthday, then Remembrance Day (my husband is a veteran, she proudly stood by him every year at the ceremony), then the police called. Then Christmas went by, not even a card or photo of the children. I am so, so sad for them. They must wonder why we don’t see them anymore.

    I try to get on with my life. I wear the mask of happiness so well, sometimes I even convince myself that I’m happy. Maybe in time it will become real. Maybe when the kids are older they will reach out to us. Maybe my daughter will come to her senses and realize it’s not me she should be angry at but her biological father who ruined our relationship. Maybe, maybe…

    My only comfort is that we live so far away we won’t run into them. The few people who know about this keep reminding me that she is doing this to her children, not me, that I am not to blame. I have enough pets and hobbies to keep busy, a quiet job where noone really knows me, and strangely, I even laugh at the whole thing sometimes, and keep telling myself “I love my cruel, demented and ungrateful daughter”.

    So now that I feel better, thank you for reading, I don’t feel so alone anymore. I will keep you in my prayers, that we can all be at peace and have a happy life.

  • #69705
    Avatar
    Nancylynn
    Participant

    All I know, with help from Sheri’s book is this: I am grieving the loss of my son and his children that may never know me..and I do not stop praying that his heart will change with the grace of God. I know I can’t change anyone’s mind I have tried ( it’s hard enough to change mine!)
    Narcissistic people are alive and well..my daughter in law.
    My 33 year old son has every right to live his life the way he desires.
    I’m sad that he feels he has to hurt All his family to do so- especially gramma- my mother. All this without any explanation.. I don’t know how he will live with himself if he doesn’t make peace. He was most definitely raised better, surrounded by love. I pity these lost souls. I am definitely Done with crying after 3 years. Mothers always make the sacrifice for their children…ours is Absence. I have a life God has given me to help those that need and want it! Let the children and adults go. Be happy and I will too.

  • #69747
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Welcome Bumblebee and Nancylynn,

    I know you will find the community supportive. You’re very welcome here.

    Hugs,
    Sheri McGregor

    • #69790
      Avatar
      Bumblebee
      Participant

      Thank you Sheri, I’m reading your book, very helpful.
      and Nancylynn, thank you for your comment, I too pray for my daughter and grand-children.
      Everyone on these forums, I do read your stories, thank you for all your help.

  • #69899
    Avatar
    Daddypants
    Participant

    Hey all! Haven’t been on in a while, life gets busy..I try to distract myself with everything I can, but through out my days, it still ends up bring the same…Why? How? I have pretend conversations with my daughter, I think to myself, how would I handle any situation I might be in with her, if I ever get the chance…I feel like I’m going crazy at times…I have all these amazing people in my life, many important things going on, and I have a hole that is just there…I don’t think it’s ever going to go away…I’m ranting 🙂

    I’m reading all the stories on here, and my heart is with you all….Stay strong, much Love!

     

  • #69942
    Avatar
    MomofTwo
    Participant

    Hello, Mother to three, but now just two. I find myself saying mother to two because that’s all I have left. Estranged daughter is now 24. I made her leave my home at age 20 due to doing drugs in my home. Long story short, my sister and brother in law took her in and convinced her im a bad mom and they are now her new parents. Ironically I had come forward to my sister before the whole thing happened and told her that her husband had been making sexual advances towards me for years.

    Anyway, it has been the hardest four years of my life. My entire family took my brother in laws side (even though my brother in law admitted to it in front of me and my sister) so I have no one except my two kids. Its my family and my daughter against me. My estranged daughter and sister even struck up a relationship with my ex-husband (father of my two youngest). Before this happened noone could stand my ex-husband. Now they are all bffs.

    I have felt blindsided for sure.

  • #69968
    Avatar
    Lookingforanswers
    Participant

    Hi. I have three adult children. My youngest and I have a close relationship. My oldest who is my only daughter has always been difficult with me but we manage to make things work. My oldest son who is the middle child has always been negative with me and I just attributed to him being angry at me for divorcing their father. Yesterday he and I sat down to talk. I was prepared to hear his childhood pain and this was not the case. To my surprise this 35 year old came in with a notebook and had a list of items of things he does not like that I do or say. None of it made sense. Last thing he said is we feel you have mental problems and need to see a psychiatrist. Also said he has talked to lots of people but when I asked who they were he said he wouldn’t tell me. I am grateful for this group. I am not sure where this will all go with these two kids but I do know that I won’t let them change who I am. I am a loving grandmother and have always been kind to my children. I am a giving person but two of my children see me differently. I don’t understand

  • #70063
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Welcome Lookingforanswers

    I think all of us here could have the same name! Sadly, I can’t help you with answers – many of us on this forum have been treated in a similar way to how you have been treated. If not ‘you are mental and need to see a psychiatrist’ then ‘you are toxic and a narcissist and all you care about is yourself’. There are many other scenarios, but it just seems that some of our much loved children simply tire of us! They are so used to this throw-away age where nothing is repaired any more, that they include relationships in this category as well.

    So let’s say you see a psychiatrist. What then? For most of us here, that is just the beginning. There is demand after demand until you a whittled away to nothing. Your self-esteem plummets, and you feel completely worthless. Nothing is right with these all about ME kids of ours.

    Sheri McGregor’s book – Done with the Crying, has helped so many people on this site, including me. I am just like you – a loving mother, kind and generous. I asked nothing of my children, but seemed to just give and give. It has been my son who decided that I wasn’t worth the air I breathe, and after years of this we said enough. So that’s where it’s at. I feel very fortunate that my two daughters have supported me, and we are much stronger. But, having said that, I am still careful about what I say around them, and look for cues that indicate that I am annoying them! It’s such a terrible legacy to have been bumped off by our children that we loved so much.

    Please read the forums; purchase the book and read it. I do hope to see you post here again,

    Love,

    Dotty

    • #70108
      Avatar
      Lookingforanswers
      Participant

      Thank you Dotty. I appreciate your post to my introduction. All of this really came to head last Thursday evening and then it dawned on me that my oldest and son and only daughter must have gathered this list of things together and he presented it. Not like a loving son who cares about his mom but more like a businessman and very defensive when I entered the conversation in trying to explain things. It’s so true what you say that this day and age, adult children are surely different and have different mindsets than years ago.

      Today I decided to send the three children a text that next weekend we will not be having our Christmas because this is where we are as a family. Christmas in January because they are so busy otherwise with their other families. My husband and I would not feel comfortable and I surely wouldn’t want the oldest grandchildren to feel any tension. So far, the three adult children have responded nicely to it. I was totally in shock that the oldest son who was rude to me Thursday night when we spoke was respectable. But it’s not enough for me to put my guard down and that is totally sad.

      So, today I decided that I feel some sense of relief. No more worrying about them judging me. I removed myself from facebook. I only have messenger now. I really don’t want them to know what is going on in my life. If they want to know, well, then they will have to call. Texting isn’t going to work for me anymore.

      I feel good today, did a dance workout this morning and getting on with my life. I am grateful for my youngest son. He is so understanding and always tells me he loves me. Unfortunately ,the other two just don’t see me for who I really am. That is all I can say about that.

      I saw a counselor last week before I met my son to talk, and she said it sounded like we needed to sit and have a discussion because he may be harboring ill feelings from long ago. I can’t wait to see her Tuesday to tell her it was never about his childhood, but a list of petty things that all added up to them thinking I have mental issues.

      Again thank you for the support. I am so grateful for this page and all the support I am getting from reading everyone’s posts. Although I am not happy that we all are experiencing many of the same things, I know I am not alone and I have done something wrong for my children to be hateful. It’s a shame..truly a shame, but we have each other and that says tons!

      Hugs to you my friend and to everyone out there!

  • #70067
    Avatar
    Gramma358
    Participant

    It’s taken days but I have been reading intro after intro and updates…and see and feel everyone of the emotions shared hear. I am simi estranged from my youngest and only simi because she and her husband a very charming and dangerous narcissist are still removing all their belongings from my home. I have been defeated for 20 years trying to keep some sort of relationship with her; with them but I am the mouse he loves to torture before going in for the kill. This last time he nearly got physically violent with me. She is so brainwashed and trapped she actually stated “Well mom if you hadn’t________.” In the past we would discuss whatever was going on and I would try to fix me so I wouldn’t be a target or problem but she never blamed me before. There is no fixing. I accept I am powerless in this family dynamic. It has stressed my relationships with my other two children who both live on the other side of the country, friends, work, church, everything and everyone. I have become extremely isolated and lonely. So as they are slowly moving out I am developing my safety exit plan. I am working with my Dr. who for 14 of these 20 years been supportive and watched how the stress has been destroying my health. I have recently found a self help Wellness and Recovery group. People from all walks of life with a general kindness and tolerance I feel safe in and now I have found this sight. I have not yet ordered the book as I need every cent I have and can generate to follow through with my safety plan. I accept my portion of this. I am a co-dependent, depressed, suffer extreme anxiety and debilitating panic, I stress eat oh the list just goes on and on; however by focusing on what I can do and accepting what I can’t I am letting go of the anguish, wish to die and anger by learning to replace it with acceptance, forgiveness and prayer for guidance. This isn’t easy especially in the middle of the night when every scene, attack, worry and entrapment wakes me in panic. I am journaling and using quotes and trying art therapy and it all helps ease my fears and refocuses me on what I can do something about. Most of this, what I pray are steps to recovery, has been developing the last two months so I haven’t got me a whole lot better yet but I have a new found courage surrounded by lots of reminders. Prayers are being answered. So much agony unexpected by all of us. I never dreamed my life could be filled with so much pain.

  • #70244
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Hi Grandma358,
    I’m new here too, like you, I try to take care of myself and to replace the wish to die with acceptance and forgiveness. I thought I was doing better, I even started sewing baby things for my son and his wife’s new baby due in March. It sunk me so fast, I called in sick today at work. All the fabric and patterns from all the things I made for my awful daughter’s babies, all the memories came flooding back, of when I held those babies when they were born and nurtured them and loved, and how they loved me, and my daughter could destroy all that, bam, in one email, right after telling me how much the kids love me and want to see me and that she would never ever cut them from my life.
    There is a lot of comfort here on this forum, and in Sheri’s book. I got on my feet before, I will do it again, and again and again.
    You will too.

  • #70268
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Gramma358,
    I hope for you to hold on to your strength, which I know is the hardest, in the night, and when we feel alone, and when that panic rolls in.
    When we need the strength the most, it is difficult to find, yet I hope for you, to find a thread of that strength to hang onto.
    Perhaps by remembering something that one of us has written, or something that someone in the new circle of supporters you are finding, has said to you.

    We can learn from each other, how to cope, and how to hold on, during the hard moments,
    and we can remember each other telling us…
    YOU ARE worth it, your own life is worth something.

    Bumblebee,
    I also hope for you to have some easier times. And you are right, that even when we just fall apart, again, then after we wade through those terribly sad times, we can then re-start, again. Trying to find our way back onto the road to recovering ourselves.

    So sorry for how your daughter treated you, Bumblebee.

    I come by this site, often, because I so much need to feel less alone.
    Thank you , for being here, each one of you, who are reading this.

  • #70425
    Avatar
    Sunshine69
    Participant

    Hello,
    I’m a mother of two sons, and I just don’t seem to know my oldest anymore. We were once so very very close. He got married and had a baby and things just changed. I always got along with my DIL (they dated 3 years) but then the wedding planning started and I was absolutely left out of everything. We paid for a large portion of the wedding but felt like outsiders with no say. We have also helped them buy a house and other things. I feel like now that they don’t need us, we have been kicked to the curb. Then they had a Baby a few months ago and her Family is always welcome but I feel like we have to jump through hoops to see the baby. Her Mom gets to watch the baby every day and on date nights, but when I asked to have the baby one day, I was told no. My DIL and me have had some issues when I express how hurt I am and they tell me I’m all drama, that I try to start problems and make me feel not worthy and less than. My son stays out of it because he wants no conflict. I just don’t know what to do anymore.
    Do I just quit contacting them? Or keep reaching out even though I feel I’m just bothering them. I’m so confused and devastated.

  • #70426
    Avatar
    BiCoastalMom
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    I just joined. My ED is my only child, and really the one close family that I had left. Her Dad left (after 20 years together) when she was in elementary school. She and I were very close, and talked for hours, about everything. She then became a very difficult teenager who riddled me with verbal insults constantly. She would regularly scream at me that she would get rid of me from her life the minute she could, that I would never know my grandchildren’s names, etc. I wrote it off as teenage ranting because we still had some really good days and good times.

    Her Dad had little to do with her until late high school, when he suddenly decided he wanted to be Dad of the year. He spent a year manipulating her, during which she got colder and colder. He flew in for her high school graduation. (First thing he had bothered to show up for in 10 years.) It was a tickets-only event. She gave MY tickets away to friends to make sure I couldn’t go. He refused to send me any pics. The day after she graduated, she packed her bags, waited for me to get up in the morning, told me never to contact her again in any way, have a nice life, and walked out the door . She tells people how horrible I was, how abusive I was (hardly…). Funny, that never came up before she left. That was almost 3 years ago. I hear she had now dumped her Dad too. I was also informed by a relative who ran into a pic in a search that my daughter got married, well over a year ago. She didn’t tell either of us about it.

    She changed her phone number the day she left. She dropped any social medial where I might find her. I found her on instagram a year ago and sent one very basic message, she instantly blocked me.

    I’m really happy for those of you that have a spouse to understand the pain with you, or other children who are still around. Wish I was so lucky. She was all I had. Now I”m alone. I have friends, but that’s all.

  • #70432
    Avatar
    Learningtoliveagain
    Participant

    Wow…I don’t even know where to start. So sad that so many are basically in the same situation as I am yet almost relieved for the same reason. I am not crazy and what I am going through is not so remote. My sons held an “intervention” for me on September 12, 2018. Have not heard from them since then other than a music video my son sent me on my birthday about a mother who overdoses and dies leaving her children. Now here is the shocking part. I have never done drugs, do not do drugs now and have no intention in the future. Their father (my ex-husband) has convinced them of these things in order to get back at me. He told me once that the only way he could truly get to me was through my sons. I left him because of his abuse, removed him from everything, blocked him, went back to my maiden name and this was the last straw for him to destroy me. He has done just that. My therapist strongly suggested that I stop all contact with him which is what I did. Made my own holidays with my sons and grandkids and apparently this is what caused such a horrendous situation. I cry all the time, I go to work and just go through the motions. I have only seen one grandson and one granddaughter throughout this time because I was told I cannot be trusted. There was a time in my life that I would automatically have judged a mom when her children wanted nothing to do with her. I no longer do that. I now see that this can happen to anyone. I truly am at a loss. Never in my life did I think my sons would do this to me. I bought the book and I am halfway through and trying to figure out how I can possibly go on and have a life. If I didn’t have to go to work I would never leave my house again. My question is how is everyone functioning? I am a total mess, eat constantly and don’t even know what I can possibly do about any of this. I am so very sorry that everyone on here is going through this. The loss of my children through estrangement is devastating. I have probably rambled because those are exactly what my thoughts are every day. I wake up sick to my stomach and go to bed sick to my stomach. Nothing makes sense to me anymore and I don’t know how to do this.

  • #70519
    Avatar
    Lookingforanswers
    Participant

    Welcome Bicoastal mom, Learning to live again and Sunshine 69.

    Each one of us has our own story of the pain and sense of fog because we don’t understand. How could we as parents deserve any of this? I didn’t cause this, why me?

    We all go through our stages of trying to reason why we are in this dilemma and truly, after many years of battling with my oldest who is now 38, I still wonder.

    It’s a horrible horrible place to be in and although it causes so much anguish and pain, sometimes we feel like we ourselves can’t function on a daily basis. I know I have been there many times, not wanting to leave my home, or being at work and can’t focus and just feel hopeless.

    I can tell you that Sheri’s book is helping me. This group is helping me. I am exercising daily and now eating better and I am seeing a weekly counselor for guidance. I have finally come to the realization that I do not deserve this and I will no longer accept it.

    My life at age 60 is when it should be winding down, less stress, looking forward to the final chapter in my life and here I am still battling my daughter and now oldest son with their control tactics. No! Not going to happen! As sad as this sounds, I am better off not having them in my life as opposed to trying to have a relationship where they want things their way only. They have not matured and find ways to pick at me for things that make no sense.

    As you can tell, I have been through many years of the ups and downs. I have finally hit rock bottom just like an abuser of alcohol or drugs does and now its time to pick me up and move on.

    Now don’t think I have it all together and why am I here…cuz I don’t. I am taking each day as it comes and focusing on me now. Focusing and being with supportive people. If I stay focused on why and how could they do this to me, then I am losing ground.

    Take time and find your bearings. We will have good and bad days. Today is good for me but who knows what tomorrow will be like.

    Sheri’s book is informative and will help you tremendously. Stay active in the posts…read and hear others perspectives. This too has been a biggie for me.

    You are not alone! We are here with you and without knowing you all personally, I feel connected.

  • #70524
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Learningtoliveagain,

    I do understand what you wrote, it all makes so much sense to me. This is so very hard to absorb or to accept, that this shocking thing happened to us.
    Try to hang in there, and know that the people here on this site, do understand, that you did the very best you could do, with and for your sons.
    You are not crazy and this situation is not so rare or remote, and yes, it does happen to other loving and very good parents, who struggled to provide everything they possibly could, without help from the other original parent. And in some very difficult situations, with difficult choices we had to make and actions we had to take, to try to protect them and ourselves, as well as we could.

    To answer your question, At this point, I am functioning, sometimes, and not at other times. I am struggling to find a better way than how I am doing .
    The losses are definitely devastating. Life does cease to make any sense. I don’t know how to do it, either.

    But I am here, to try to learn and find a way, and I am glad you wrote so well, about what it is really like, to go through this.
    Many people do not understand. But we do. I guess that is the first step. Noticing that other good people are in this positions too, it isn’t your fault, you did all you could do, and yet this happened to you. We understand that.

    We accept each other, here, which seems to me to be another important first step.

    I welcome you on this road, as we try to be Learningtoliveagain.

    That is a good username, you chose. The old ways mostly don’t work. We need to look for new different ones. Glad you joined.

  • #70552
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    I don’t see the reply I wrote to Bicoastalmom’s Intro post, ON THIS thread, before I wrote my above reply, posted above.
    I hope it didn’t get lost or deleted, somehow.

  • #70530
    forgetmenot1948
    forgetmenot1948
    Participant

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have had a rollercoaster ride with my ED the past 6 years. She is now 50 with 3 grown grands. I suppose she tried her best to make up for all her past verbal abuse to me one day out of the blue but has never been able to apologize or explain to me why our once great mother/daughter, friend relationship went sour. She has now moved out of state with her husband.
    I am sad she is gone but also relieved in some ways. I wrote her a letter before she left about how I was sad she was leaving but glad she was going to a better climate for her health. I also told her honestly that I didn’t understand how she could accept that my once very close grands were silent now and not responding. Also, my SIL treated us so badly at social events that we could not bring ourselves to go to their going away party. We couldn’t subject ourselves to the disrespect and silent treatment he was giving us. I wanted to be honest with her. I wanted her to know that our many lunch get togethers with all the idle chit chat and gossip and dismiss about the estrangement didn’t sit well with me. Well, needless to say, she got angry and I haven’t heard anything from her, not a happy birthday, happy thanksgiving or christmas greeting. I text her a couple of weeks ago that I loved her and she did reply that she loved me too. And that was it. And now since then I am not hearing from my 3 grands period. It’s unusual for 2 of them and I realize they are in college, working, busy but don’t you think it’s rude they don’t respond. I feel my ED and SIL have something to do with this. My heart is broken once again. It wasn’t until I re-read Sheri’s article/testimony in Good Housekeeping again this week reminding me that I count too, that I started to feel better. I too was a great Mom. I love my two girls dearly. My other daughter has also been abandoned when she tried to stick up for me. She doesn’t understand any of this and it breaks her heart as well. So all of our Sisters by Heart. Hang in there. None of you deserve this. I know it’s difficult. It will get better with time. Thanks to our wonderful Sheri for raising the awareness on this issue and giving us a place to vent. Hugs

    • #70584
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Forgetmenot1948,

      Sorry you’re suffering in this new development and missing your grands. Maybe with a bit of patience they will make contact again. Your instincts that your daughter and son in law have something to do with it might be true (and that’s out of your control) but the grands are grown. Maybe you can remind them of the fun memories and say you’d love to hear from them and they are welcome anytime? Maybe nothing will come of it, but my point with them is to keep being you right now.

      So sorry you have needed to come back here. Of course, you’re very welcome.

      Hugs,
      Sheri

  • #70532
    Avatar
    Shatteredsoul
    Participant

    Hi guys, I’m 38 years old and the mother to my only daughter of 18 years old. I brought her up alone, but with the support of my family. I am disabled, my primary condition is EDS, along with many other syndromes. I have a heart condition which stress is a great trigger for, my cardiologist says I have about 8 years left. My wish was to live out my last days making wonderful memories with my daughter. Sadly this is not to be, as with adulthood came hatred for me. Hatred I don’t understand.
    It started with verbal abuse, then telling wild stories about me, hurtful, damaging stories, recently violence has begun. In secret at first, always hidden well, played the prove it game. Since xmas life has been awful, and the violence worse, smashing my things. So my sister came to stay, and has started seeing the way she verbally abused me, and lies about me. This week was the final straw, when she physically attacked me in front of 2 family members. Who had to intervene and protect me from her, she then told officials and others I had hit her and chucked her onto the streets. Despite the witnesses, she is now calling them liars. The final straw literally broke me when she screamed she enjoys seeing me get this stress, her hope is to kill me off, so she and everyone else can have peace without me. My family are so scared I will have heart attack, or she will really hurt me, that they have made her leave the house. I don’t blame them, but I am now all alone, and I don’t know what I have done to deserve all this hatred. I have loved her with all my heart, given her all I can, and she wants me dead. I have lost my career, all i had left was my motherhood, something i was proud of. But i have obviously done a very bad job of bringing her up, and i have nothing left to live for. I am broken in every way, and feel so alone and useless. I have lost all hope

    • #70583
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Dear Shatteredsoul,

      It sounds to me like your daughter has changed. Please don’t blame yourself. To do what you relate here is terribly cruel on her part and sounds like mental illness and/or drugs.

      Your username reminds me of pieces of broken crystal. The light makes them sparkle and cast rainbows. Your soul sounds like a kind and loving one. I can “see” the rainbows and sparkles … I hope you will be able to see them too, and not let your daughter’s cruelty diminish you in your own eyes.

      To all here, please remember the good you did as a parent. Don’t sweep that under the rug..

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  • #70582
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    To welcome the new members!

    Thank you for posting a bit about yourself and your situation. Sometimes the posts in these long intro threads get lost… Don’t feel ignored! We care and want to interact with you. I hope you will jump in and join the other threaded discussions (you can find them on this page or jump to other pages for older discussions).

    Hugs to you,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #70649
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Dear ShatteredSoul,

    it isn’t your fault that your daughter has turned into someone who is unkind and cruel and hurtful, toward you. You seem like a good person who loved her, and tried your best to be sure she got the care she needed.
    We do value our parenting and being a mom, so much, that we forget that we are valuable people too. I think you are, too.

    We understand the extreme sadness, but try to take care of yourself, now. I hope to see you posting elsewhere, on this site too.

    Needothers

  • #70651
    MamaG1957
    MamaG1957
    Participant

    We have two grown sons aged 35 and 31. The oldest has been married for almost 8 years. He is responsible, caring and he and his wife are truly good hearted in taking in shelter dogs and cats. Our younger son is the one who was a happy go lucky, easy to get along with, light hearted but very sensitive to our emotions type child. He and I just got along so well…he actually loved being with us and loved to play games and cards. He had lived away during college but always came home for breaks. He told me several years ago that I was his best friend. He had other guy friends and I knew he dated but so far hadn’t gotten serious with anyone. He met a girl online 3 years ago. We liked her when we met her but didn’t know this was going to be the one. After only 2 months she sent me a mother’s day card that was addressed mom and my last name. She also sent one to my husband the next month on Father’s Day. I thought it a bit presumptuous but thought it was sweet. After 6 months of them dating I could tell it was serious. We live three hours away so we hadn’t spent much time with them together. By Christmas our son was talking about rings and asked her to marry him that next month. Well everything changed after that. She made it clear she was making the decisions. I had planned on doing the rehearsal dinner as I did for our older son, but 15 minutes after she had the ring on she told me they were having a tailgate themed rehearsal dinner. I was a bit shocked to say the least but didn’t make any comments at that time. I offered help with shower plans, wedding plans and my offers went unheeded. The engagement period was a nightmare. It seemed whatever I tried to do was the wrong way. She complained to my son and he complained to me. I luckily had friends I was close with and my husband to discuss these situations with and they always said it didn’t sound at all like our son. It was the first time he had raised his voice to me in discussing these matters. I could tell he just wanted to keep her happy. But nonetheless if I sent a card she complained that it was addressed wrong, if I texted her it wasn’t sweet enough. She never ever confronted me but was constantly complaining to him. Our older son knew what was happening and tried to talk to him. Then he got in trouble for that. It was like a run away train….she ended up uninviting me to her shower, not speaking to any of our family at the rehearsal dinner and refused to take pictures at the wedding. My son was taken out as best man two weeks before the wedding. The last time we saw them was at the wedding. My son called me on Mother’s Day and sent a card, but the texting stopped except wishing us Merry Christmas this year. I have cried more tears over the last year than I ever thought possible. This couldn’t be happening to our close family. He will not take calls from any of our extended family. No one can believe he has done this as everyone, friends and family, knows this is not him. He has lost touch with all his old friends as well. It’s like he has been brainwashed and won’t stand up for his family. The hurt has caused me to barely function some days. For the first six months I could barely eat or sleep. I have longer spells now that I can function, but once few weeks I will have a day that I feel lost and sad and think my life as I knew it was over. I was a stay at home mom, so close to both sons and thought being a grandparent would be the next phase to look forward to. I can’t even think about that now; it takes all my effort to just stay in the moment and some days just concentrate on my breath. I am fortunate that I am familiar with meditation and have read widely on various authors on mindfulness and spiritual practice. That did not help much in the first 6 months. I have some hope left, but I want to feel happy again and even joyful. Working on that will be my goal now. I am overwhelmed at the thousand of parents who are going thru this in one way or another. The wound is deeper, my heart broken and a seeming appendage gone.

  • #70725
    forgetmenot1948
    forgetmenot1948
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri for your kind words and always thoughtful, positive advice. I have no choice but to be still for now and hope and pray my grands will contact me. I know they are not silent on their own accord. And I know they love me. Must be so hard for them to be caught in the middle.
    To all the others here, I know how difficult it is to try and understand estrangement. It’s going on 6 years for me and I still have no answers but take care of you and know your value. Big hugs and prayers to all of you. We are all in this together and are here for one another. Keep sharing as it helps to find peace for all.

  • #70795
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Dear ShatteredSoul,
    I wanted to leave you another note, that I have been thinking of you, and how you don’t deserve to have this terrible hurt, and yet, you do feel it, of course, understandably.

    You said you have nothing to be proud of, so I wanted to suggest you make a list of things you CAN be proud of having done, in your life. Include that you WERE a loving parent, and also other things, perhaps proud of things you did in your career and/or preparing for it, in the past, and probably, how much you have been strong during your time of illness and disability, you have coped with those difficulties, and how you did things for others and were kind toward others, when possible, despite your own difficulties.

    The grief now is huge and real, yet also is the caring that your other family members have for you. Perhaps try to focus on valuable time spent with them, ones who are kind to you and do care about you, and have cared for you before you even had a child, and during those years they helped her and you, and still, they care, now, for you and how your life is.

    Take care. I do know how awful it feels. When our children reject us, don’t care about us, and tell falsehoods about us. You still did the best mothering you could do, and can be proud of all of what you have done and do.

    Thinking about your situation and what you wrote and shared with us, has helped me to see my own situation a bit differently too, so I thank you for that.
    Helping others here, simply by your sharing, is another thing you could be proud of.
    Needothers

  • #70808
    Avatar
    Magnum8733
    Participant

    Dear Needothers, I can’t thank you enough for reaching out to me. My son was almost 35 when we started having issues . He had lived with me until he was 34 as I have been a widow for 13 years . He met a very manipulative young lady . And right after they got engaged things started to change. They just got married in November. I paid for half & was so disrespected at the wedding. There is just so much to tell. I AM a good parent , even though all of a sudden I was told I’m a failure as one . I am so glad I found this place to share our grief. Not realizing just how many of us there are. Magnum8733

  • #70895
    Avatar
    PhoebeHarriet
    Participant

    Hi everyone

    I am in my sixties now and was an only child. My parents cut all ties with me twenty years ago soon after encouraging, helping, and advising me in regards to my divorce.

    Before all this, my very Catholic mother was overpowering, critical, and extremely mentally abusive and she had complete control over my humble Dad. I actually loved her—and tolerated her out of respect.

    She would love me intensely (or so I thought) one minute and hate me the next—it was always so confusing and hurtful.

    My parents told me they had always despised my ex-husband, and would call me more than three times a day to advise and “support.” But then, because I opted not to move in with them or next door to them because I had plans for a new life and career while raising my younger two sons, (I have four sons) they became very hostile.

    And when I met a man they didn’t approve of because he was American—and a Jew, my mother threatened to cut me out of their will and she wouldn’t even “visit my grave to spit on it if I should die” if I continued with the relationship.

    I was harassed with phone calls every hour that went on into the might, and finally, my mother befriended my ex-husband and my father wrote me a letter saying they wanted nothing more to do with me. So, here’s an example of parents estranged from their child rather than the other way around. I grieved like they had died and had a severe mental breakdown.

    I now have a wonderful career, a deeply loving marriage, and my sons are also successful, married, and happy.

    My father died a few years ago, and my mother made it known she didn’t want me at the funeral. My name is on his gravestone. I know that much. For the twenty years I was estranged, my mother turned to my elder son, and it was obvious he was going to be my “replacement.” She was a very clever and cunning woman and was very successful in winning him over. There is much more to all this, but I’ll end up writing a book if I keep going.

    My eldest son was the most loving and attentive guy until he got married—but I am not blaming his wife for his behavior because she seems very sweet and level-headed. My son kept going silent and would ignore my every pathetic attempt to stay in contact. I say pathetic because I turned into a weeping mess way too often. When he would finally respond, he would accuse me of all manner of things, many of which made no sense at all. I was left reeling, shocked, and crying like an idiot.

    It has been a struggle. One minute I’d think we were back on track and I’d be elated, and the next minute I’d be verbally attacked again for all manner of things. I want to blame my mother but can’t believe a middle-aged son would be influenced. He now resents the fact he has to deal with her property and assets which will go towards her care in a home because she now has dementia. Whatever is left is willed to him.

    I have read a lot of the conversations here and it was a help to know I am far from alone. How long do you keep trying and ruminating? The ignored text messages are the worst. I’m sending gifts and cards and love and nothing seems to get to my son’s heart. He seems so callous and hard. I keep trying to find excuses for him because I love him so much and don’t want to believe he could be so cruel. I so want the same easy-going relationship I have with my other sons.

    When do you accept it will never get better? Meanwhile, I am fighting against getting depressed again, but it is beginning to affect my physical health, too. I want to be strong and happy, but all I can think is, “Here we go again.” A repeat of what I had thought was all behind me.

    The very best to all of you. Thanks for sharing your stories—it’s all so supportive. I’m looking for a solution but I wonder if there is one. I want to confront my son without getting upset. I want a serious conversation in the desperate hope I can make things better. The last two “attacks” from him were enough and I can’t keep trying to cope.

    Anewday4us here wrote: “I no longer ravaged in the pain I once felt simply because I know the truth.” I guess I’m wanting the truth and to face reality, no matter how painful. If I know for absolute sure that my son wants nothing more to do with me, then I will force myself to move forward. I need him to tell me.

  • #70915
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear PhoebeHarriet,

    I’m so very sorry for all you have had to bear. You said:

    ” If I know for absolute sure that my son wants nothing more to do with me, then I will force myself to move forward. I need him to tell me.”

    Please don’t limit yourself in that way. Move forward, take care of yourself! It doesn’t help to not allow yourself to live unless and until you know. In fact, you may be uncertain for quite a while. Please take care of yourself during this time. If you don’t, you may find yourself at the end of your life and finally realizing for sure. Please treasure your life.

    Hugs to you,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #70898
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Isn’t it amazing,
    how we can go from successes, years of being loving parents,
    to failures, at that same position/task, in their eyes.

    It is like they have selective amnesia, forgetting who we are and were, how we took care of them, were there for them, in hard times, and when others were not there for them.
    Very sad and disturbing, and shocking.

    I am finding it very helpful to have this place, where we can share.

  • #70982
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    I wrote my above response, specifically to Magnum8733,
    and for others that” became bad parents” according to their adult children, in retrospect, after years of having been accepted as good parents.

    The post I wrote starting “Isn’t it amazing…. ”
    was intended as a reply to her, and for others in that position. Not to PhoebeHarriet.

    PhoebeHarriet, I agree with Sheri, that you deserve to value yourself and try to take good care of your life, now. Regardless of what he does or says, or doesn’t. Which I do fully know is extremely difficult to do, especially since he has not been as clear as would help you to proceed.

    Yet, you ARE valuable, and you have no control over how he communicates to you.

    Also, I wanted to tell you, I read your story and am sorry you have had to go through what you have, with your parents and that son.

    I will share that for me, I myself, have decided to conclude from my daughter’s actions and other past words, and her present age, that I tried enough times, and that she is not going to participate in attempting to have any loving relationship with me. I wish she would have changed her mind and her decisions and actions, or I wish she had said other clarifying things and explained more, but she hasn’t, and I am trying to move on, the same as i would have, if she had.
    That is just my view, for myself.

    You would need to decide for yourself, how many times to re-try, with an adult who is not initiating the attempts, or stating that he wants to try, with you. How many tries is enough for you to know you tried enough. Tried to salvage what it takes two people, to do. Maybe you need more times, maybe not. I can’t know. I found it hard to decide this for myself, as well.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is so sad and disappointing when things turn out so differently from what we feel they could have.

  • #71023
    Avatar
    emily38
    Participant

    Hello PhoebeHarriet,
    Welcome to this loving, kind, understanding and compassionate place. I hope you will give yourself the gift of reading and reading everything here. There is wisdom shared in so many stories and I hope you will find what you need to come through your pain.

    You asked, ” When do you accept it will never get better?”

    I only have my answer. It happens when you know you are finally defeated.

    It happens when you are weary of trying/wishing/hoping for a different outcome to….trying/wishing/hoping.

    It happens when you know you cannot live with the turmoil any longer.

    It happens when you understand that you do have your answer, and you decide to live your life fully in spite of it. Or because of it.

    “How long do you keep trying and ruminating?” you ask. There are as many answers to that as circumstances that brought each of us here.

    I can only tell you that it DOES happen, to each of us in our own time. I’ve written this before that for me, it was a process that happened slowly. For me, it was years and (far too many) years of doing what I could to maintain contact, to forgive, to turn the other cheek as I was taught. And slowly, organically, with help, I began to understand the years I’d wasted without results were just that….wasted. I knew I had to find a different way. It happened.

    As Sheri points out over and over again, the process is one about us, not our sons or daughters. We commit to living differently, to learning how to do so, to heal ugly wounds. The hurt never leaves, but it changes. And you change too.

    I am so sorry for the pain, confusion and hurt that brought you here. I hope you will read Sheri’s book. Go slowly in its pages. This journey takes time, but every day spent reading is worth it.

    I’m older than you are, so also add that each day is a gift, something we know keenly in a different way at our stage in life.

    Keep sharing, and peace to you.

    Emily38

  • #71074
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Thank you for that post, Emily38.

    It helped me too, as I try to work along on this process.

  • #71122
    Avatar
    Tallulah
    Participant

    Hello – I thought I posted something earlier…but I can’t find it. Before I get into my whole “drama”, I wanted to make sure there was somebody out there to hear me.

  • #71125
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Hello Tallulah,

    I just approved your other post in the other thread. Welcome to the forum. All postings are moderated, so there is always a little delay.

    Hugs,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #71218
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Thank you, everyone. It helps to know I’m not alone, and to hear it does get easier. Some minutes, days and weeks go by that I think I’ll never feel happiness again. I thought I was getting better, but nope, I’m right back to “wearing a mask” all the time, to not even wanting my husband to touch me (I can’t explain why that is, I just don’t want to be touched).

    I’m at 88% reading Sheri’s book on Kindle, but I will buy the paper version so I can refer back to certain chapters, paragraphs and references more quickly.

    I highly recommend it.

  • #71280
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Hi , Bumblebee,

    I too, go back and forth, including some very difficult, deep and raw, emotional times. It isn’t a steady uphill walk, at least not for me.

    And I too, prefer most books on an e-book form, but Sheri’s, I prefer to have the paper one that I ordered and now have.
    Even when I am not reading it at the time, I like having it, seeing it on my table, and holding it in my hand. A reminder that I am not as alone on this path, as I often have felt, perhaps?

    Something to literally, hold on to.

    As well as yes, it is good to refer to it, differently, than I do an e-book. It isn’t entertainment. It is something to look at, pause and ponder. For me.

  • #71406
    SerenityP
    SerenityP
    Participant

    I’ve been estranged from my ED for 4 years. Problems started with her first ever BF in high school. Things felt off from the beginning…breaking curfew, non-stop texting him, loss of her girlfriends and activities she enjoyed. She became more and more isolated. BF is controlling, abusive, and blames her for his problems. It was like watching my daughter disappear before my eyes. I sought help that seemed like no help at all. I avoided turning it into “us” vs ‘him”, but that is how it became to her. Whether I tried to set boundaries or let her make her own decisions, it seemed like the wrong thing. ED counted the days til she turned 18 and moved out following BF. She has also cut off her close sibling and extended family. BF family has embraced this IMHO. We do not hear from her, shes not on social media, nor does she respond to texts, emails or snail mail. I decided to come out of the shadows so I can acknowledge your stories as I unfold mine. So often I have just wanted to give many of you a virtual hug and say, I understand.

  • #71423
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    SerenityP,
    Welcome, and thank you for coming out of the shadows.
    I am so sorry about what happened with your ED.

    Thank you , I accept that virtual hug and your understanding, today!

  • #71515
    Avatar
    Zombie
    Participant

    Hello! First of all, I’m so sore for all of the pain you are all going through. I had no idea this kind of thing happened to anyone. Second, please excuse the name I chose. It’s how I was feeling that day and now it sounds ridiculous. My daughter left us. My only girl along with her children whom we were very close to. I am so dead inside. My whole body hurts everyday. I just started counseling and I’m really hoping this doctor can help me. I really want and need to feel better.

  • #71560
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome to you, Zombie, and thanks for your very nice Intro note post.
    I am sorry this very sad and upsetting experience is happening to you, also. We understand how awful it feels and it is.
    I hope you will find ways to feel better, too. I am here at this site, also trying to get there.
    It does help to have others who understand. It is just too painful to bear alone, and you don’t have to.

  • #71798
    Avatar
    painfulmom
    Participant

    Good morning Ladies. I have never been involved in a support group, much less one that is online, but I feel no one understands the gut-wrenching pain. I have a fringe relationship with my children that began 15 years ago when I left their father through divorce. I feel as if I need to beg them to get together; holidays are a nightmare and they do not contact me unless they need something. They are close with their dad who is very controlling and lives close to them. He has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on them buying a house, cars, etc. I am always the last to know anything and I feel very excluded. I have tried to make amends for things I may have done in the past, but I know damn well I do not deserve the isolation. I am not sure if I am ready to cut the cord, but the pain is unbearable. I have to make up stories when talking to co-workers when they talk about their great relationships with their children and grandchildren. On top of it, I have no relationship with my in-laws, as I feel they accept my children’s relationship with me and follow suit. I appreciate reading all of your posts and hope to gain strength from them. May God bless you all (if you believe).

  • #71854
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Hi Serenity, Zombie (it’s how I feel sometimes too) and painfulmom! You have come to the right place. I have never been on an online support group either, I even put it off for months after my daughter cut me out of her life – I was in total denial, thinking it was just another one of her outbursts and that she would apologize if I kept trying, but it only got worse.

    I too make excuse with co-workers, wear a mask that sometimes feel so comfortable, I should get an Emmy award for best actress.

    I had/have to accept the fact that my daughter is someone I don’t like and that, from what I”m learning here, am better off without.

    Hugs to all new and old members of this forum.

  • #72044
    Avatar
    Keko
    Participant

    Thank you for accepting me into the group. I have a painful story and I’m glad to have found others in the same boat. Before I share any details, I just want to say how much pain I’m in every day, and it feels like it will never end. I can’t figure out how to let go and move on. It’s impacting everything. The worst right now is severe insomnia. For over a year! <3

  • #72094
    Avatar
    bigboy123
    Participant

    Hello,
    Thank You so much for accepting me into this group. I am looking forward to our conversations moving forward. I am a mother of two adult children? I have a daughter that is 37 years old lives in my hometown. My Son is 34 years old, married with 3 boys ages 2,4 and 6. My son is the child that has become estranged to me, my husband and his sister. Wants very little to do with our family anymore since in got engaged 8 years ago. This problem started just as the wedding plans started and has gotten worse by the years. I could write a book but there wouldn’t be enough space. I will have to tell my story in sections. Last year in 2018 I saw my son and his family for 5 hours. Once because my daughter planned a 40th wedding anniversary party for us in April 2018 and they were at the party for 3 hours. In September 2018 they drove 6 hours and stopped at our house for 2. After they left they went back towards there home to my daughter in laws parents for the night and a party the next day. Therefore thinking they were coming for the weekend turned out that they were only stopping for a couple of hours and then heading out again. Did know this until it happened. I believe you have an idea as to how we all felt.

  • #72117
    Avatar
    Hopeful310
    Participant

    Hi. I’m grateful for finding this group although very sad I have a need for it. My son is24 and started distancing himself from me a year ago. Declined invitations. Showed up late. Cut visits short. Made excuses. Then he became extremely verbally abusive toward me. Now I have not had any response for about three weeks. So I assume he has cut all ties. I am devastated and have no idea how to move forward with my life.

  • #72124
    Avatar
    Toodlebug
    Participant

    I am new to this page and trying to figure out how to make a post

  • #72137
    sadlostbroken
    sadlostbroken
    Participant

    Bigboy123, you have come to the right place. You will finds lots of encouraging friends here. No judgment, just encouragement. We are all in the same boat, drifting along and learning as we go. As you read some of the other post you will find many that you will identify with. Some of us have sparatic relationships with our EC and some have no relationship at all. The thing we all have in common is we love our child/children and feel your pain. You are not alone and anytime you need someone that understands, you have come to the right place. 🌸 Happy Valentines Day.

  • #72336
    Avatar
    tenacious812
    Participant

    I have been contemplating how/when/why I want to respond and be a part of this community. I chose to walk away from my adult child after a decade of being his scapegoat and never getting “it” right. I could not be the mother he needed no matter how I tried. I held my boundary only after my first grandchild was born because my adult son threatened that “I didn’t have to be a part” of my grandchild’s life. I don’t want my beautiful grandchild to be used as a pawn in this awful dysfunction. My children witnessed domestic violence in their home. My ex was abusive and I was complicit in thinking I was to blame. That felt safer than taking responsibility for myself at the time. A decade of healing and growth has led me to a life that is meaningful and purposeful, yet my son is still hurting… and I am no longer willing to take the blame. So, I am different than most who post on here with children who have rejected their parents. I have had to hold a firm boundary with my son and step out of the victim role and claim my right to be treated with dignity, respect, and kindness. Until then I strive to be my best self, move forward with courage, and love myself through the days I find the pain has brought me to my knees. I have to say that it is difficult to find others who have made the decision to walk away from an abusive adult child.

  • #72373
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    tenacious812,

    You have been through so many very difficult experiences, and daunting challenges, and painful decisions, and choices that did not include the better options you wanted.
    It isn’t your fault, the difficulties you experienced, and I am sorry that things didn’t turn out better with your ES.

    You deserve to not be treated as anyone’s scapegoat. Including his. You did the best you knew, at the time, in a very bad situation.

    You do deserve to be accepted with care and respect.
    The pain of being estranged is real, even when you yourself, had to take the action.
    You were not the actual cause, and you suffered enough, from other people’s actions.
    We have all suffered enough, for any of our own mistakes, whatever they were, and from others.

    I think it doesn’t help your son, either, for you to let him continue to act it out on you.

    It sounds like a very good step you made, and I am sorry, it does hurt so much.
    There is overlap with many of our stories, even though yours seems different at first glance.

    Many of us were treated harshly by a number of people, and had to learn how to stop accepting terrible treatment from others, including those we love. Even our own adult children.

  • #72357
    Petunia
    Petunia
    Participant

    Dear Tenacious812,
    It’s hard to put our thoughts and story on “paper” isn’t it? So much has to be left out or we’d be writing for days.

    Together my husband and I have disengaged from his son. The problem has been years in the making but the last straw was a harboured grudge he chose to use as a manipulative tool. He claims he has been carrying it for years so I guess all those happy memories we shared were a facade?

    There is no compassion or compromise from him the aim is blame. My H and I are processing this differently. I am struggling with not being able to talk to him about it and he has stated emphatically he will not.

    It’s the closure we sufferers seek and although cognitively I know it’s not going to happen it’s the ruminations creating this vicious cycle. I think I will get to peace someday but it’s a long process.
    I hope you find it for yourself someday too.

    Petunia

  • #72358
    Avatar
    emily38
    Participant

    Welcome to this community, Tenacious. I hope that you will feel comfortable here, will learn whatever it is you need to learn to support you on your journey and support others with what you have experienced. I’ve written this before and continue to find it true, that our collective stories on this forum differ in details but not in outcome. We are devastated parents because of decisions our children have made FOR us.

    And, yes, on occasion I’ve read stories like yours, but as you say, yours is the exception. Or perhaps better said, unusual. But I am one who posts and who understands, not the details of your history but the fact that you chose to walk away from a punishing son. I suffered violence and domestic abuse from a child, not partner. A difference of course but soul – murder nonetheless.

    I, too, chose to walk away from a son for whom I could not be the person he wanted or needed me to be. The hell I endured FOR him and BECAUSE of him does not need to be described here, and as I wrote above, the difference (and devil) is in the details that have brought all of us here.

    I tried to understand, to forgive, to overlook, to even forget, but none of that worked. Twelve years on, I realized that the only meaningful gift I could give him was evidently the only one he wanted……I would absent myself from his life. Yes, it meant I would not be in relationship with two GDs but I wasn’t going to be anyway. He’d made sure of that. Like you, my decision was for the GDs as well. I would give all of them up. My last gift.

    My son is still hurting but I no longer take any responsibility for his decisions and certainly do not accept any blame. Again, I’ve written here that this is a personal journey to wellness that takes time, a great deal of time. And perseverance. And total commitment to outcome. In no way does it mean we are not dropped to our knees by the profound pain of our reality. As time goes on, we are able to stand up a little faster, and easier, than before.

    So, yes, there is one other Mother here who can answer your question because she also walked away. It killed something inside of her but didn’t kill her.

    I hope you will find, and give, support here, though I regret circumstances brought you to the Forum. And if you haven’t already, I hope you will read Sheri’s book and many of her essays on the home page. There is also a search function there.

    Emily 38

    • #72593
      Avatar
      tenacious812
      Participant

      Emily,
      Thank you, thank you, thank you for your thoughtful response. Truly, the pain is acute but having someone who understands the pain of our estrangement is why this forum is so important. We walk beside each other in this journey in unity and compassion.

  • #72406
    Avatar
    Breathe47
    Participant

    Hi, I am Breathe47, and I have just joined this website as I begin to learn what resources there are. The estrangement is less than 6 months in age, and it hurts. Mainly because of the toddlers involved. It is not simple, as I have learned most estrangements are not simple. There is an ex-husband involved (decades ago for the divorce); multiple adult male children, extended daughter in law’s family. One of the adult male children seems to have taken on a leadership role. It is still quite confusing as everyone just dropped communication within 24 hours during the holidays. Everyone seems to know the “why” but me. But I have put together my own timeline, am beginning to see a counselor, and I need to learn how to go on even in these early days of unfolding… Thank you all for this website and the support I have begun to see.

  • #72430
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Tenacious812, I understand. When my daughter cut me off, it was because I was trying to set boundaries, first by stopping financial support, then by wanting to be a grandmother, not a babysitter. I wanted mutual respect. I knew I was gambling when I expressed my concerns, and that I would have to put some emotional distance between us if she didn’t make some changes – I was so worn out from the constant demands, the condescending comments, being taken for granted. I had hoped with all my heart that she would understand, but she cut me off instead.

    Welcome, everyone else, Keko, Bigboy123, Hopeful310, Toodlebug, Breathe47 etc This is such a warm, loving, informative place. We’re all in the same boat, so grab a paddle, we’ll make it up this s*it creek together.

    • #72594
      Avatar
      tenacious812
      Participant

      Bumblebee,
      I so appreciate your response and thank you for sharing part of your story. Much love to all of you on this forum who are hurting, but nonetheless strong and resilient.

  • #72434
    Avatar
    ClayMZBridge
    Participant

    Hello there. Five years on from our daughter’s sudden pulling away, research led me to “Done with the Crying” and to this website. For 25 years we thought we’d done everything to make our only child feel loved, supported in all aspects of her life’s interests, and most importantly secure within an extended family. Buckets of tears, endless hours of wondering “why”, counselling and sharing our agony with the closest family members, provided little respite. That all changed when I came across Sheri’s book which has given my dear husband and me the greatest breakthrough in our circular thinking. Just knowing we weren’t the only ones afflicted by this stunning change in our circumstances was a comfort and then to develop an approach to the future that suits our values is such a relief. Of course we wobble from time to time and that’s when I return to THE book to reframe my thinking. Thanks for reading this intro and thank you Sheri for facilitating this wonderfully positive resource.

  • #72453
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    ClayMZBridge,

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I am grateful to be in a position to help, and it feels wonderful to be appreciated.

    Hugs to you and your dear husband!

    Sheri McGregor

  • #72635
    MellowMom
    MellowMom
    Participant

    Wow, where do I start? First off, I’m completely floored to find that this seems to be an epidemic problem and that there are so many of us suffering in varying degrees over this painful issue.

    I have two newly adult sons (20 and 18) out of 5 children (the rest at home). I’m not fully estranged from my sons but there is a lot of tension in the relationship I have with my eldest, who will often cut me off (with painful words) until he really needs something. My second son, shortly after turning 18 and being given some chores one evening, literally packed a duffle and moved out, quitting his final year of high school. It’s a very long story and we’ve been warned about too much detail here but I’ll say that I feel like I sacrificed YEARS of my life with beautiful visions of a full family life only to have it all vanish…. broken. My babies… the ones I can see in old videos of Christmas’ and summer BBQ’s past… sweet and affectionate. No more. Gone.

    It hurts. A lot. To be honest, I cope by pushing it out of my mind and trying to relish in NOT living with the drama and chaos that they bring. I have younger children to focus my attention on… and that gets me through the day.

    I used to love the holidays. Now I hate them. This drama has brought tension even in my extended family as well (that plays a big role in the whole thing). My once bustling family life… tattered to shreds.

    Social media makes all of this worse as friends post the successes of their own kids… successes I had hoped to enjoy as well but won’t be.

    Anyway, as all of you, there’s more to these stories than we could ever fit in an intro. A local, face-to-face group would be great. But it does give me comfort that I’m not alone in this. That there are others suffering the same painful disappointments and unexpected devastation. Thanks for sharing and listening.

  • #72753
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Hello MellowMom, and welcome. You’ve come to the right place.
    I wonder what the statistics are for young adults to “smarten up”. I said in another thread that when they’re young, they sometimes need to go to the school of hard knocks before they realize their parents are pretty good.
    I hope your boys realize that too. That’s right, they’re still “boys”.
    hugs,
    Bumblebee

  • #72755
    Avatar
    Embering
    Participant

    Hello, everyone, I am happy to be here but sad that I am at the same time. Mine is kind of a build up to walking away.

    My daughter who is 24 was a beautiful, smart, empathetic heart of gold when she was younger. When she turned 16 she ran away to her biological father (who had only seen her 4 times from the age of 4) in order to get him to send her to another state to be with a boy she met online. I was shocked and angry when I found out what had happened. She was supposed to be spending 4 weeks with her grandparents for summer vacation. I tried to stop it but was too late. I had no contact with her for months as I was kept in the dark about where she went, who she was with, etc. Finally, she calls and tells me she is in college in a specific town in this state. Any attempts at asking her for more verification ended up with her hanging the phone up and more months of no contact.
    Faster forward 2 1/2 yrs. She shows up back in our lives and starts telling stories of how she had a boyfriend there that kept her hidden, abused her physically and emotionally, etc. We let her come home. Her new boyfriend asked to stay with us while he found a job, we allowed it. She disappears a month into them staying and leaves him here. I find out she’s cheating on him but her boyfriend is locking himself in his room and won’t speak to us. Finally, almost 3 weeks into this new drama, I text her and tell her to come and take care of the situation like an adult or I would tell him the truth. (He became suicidal) She shows up, starts screaming and yelling, convinces him we are all lying (guy she is cheating with is outside in her car) and she leaves. He tells us the accusations she used to stay with him and his parents so they wouldn’t send her back to me. She claims that I abused her physically and emotionally with very elaborate stories that were simply not true. Everyone is shocked. No one can believe she would say such horrible things and lie about her parents. He then tells me he is the boyfriend that she had accused of abusing her. He leaves. I hear nothing for a year. I start receiving mail at my home address to her with his last name from government organizations. I track her down and tell her I have her mail and asked her if she married him. She claims she has not and he just puts that down. Another year of lies and it comes out finally that she did marry him. She stole a credit card from his mother and spent thousands and claimed she was just out to get her because she didn’t want to be with her son anymore. A year later admits that was a lie and she really did use their cc to spend thousands.

    Fast forward another year. I am trying to put the lies behind me. I tell her how it made me feel and how badly it hurt me and her dad (husband that raised her since she was 3). She claims she is sorry and states she did it because his parents found out her age and threatened to call us and have her sent back. She claimed these horrible things happened at my hand because she knew they would try and protect her. I set boundaries of what I would and would not tolerate and I tried to start again with a relationship with her. I was hurt, angry and broken but I was willing to give it chance to mend.

    This most recent one was a pregnancy for the last 42 weeks. She called me 3-6 times a day to tell me about new experiences, doctor appointments, clothing, etc. I really thought our relationship had finally healed but I was horribly wrong. She claimed at first that it was twins. She claimed to be attacked by armed men and robbed and even put makeup on her face (she is trained in profession makeup) showing bruising, etc. The end of january she claims there are 3 babies and she got pregnant at 2 different times and that is why one is so much smaller and it may have developmental issues. She claimed 3 weeks ago that the midwife couldn’t find the heartbeats of the twins. She’s frantic and crying. Refusing to go to the ER even with me begging her. She stated that the doctor told her on the phone to make the decision of continuing the pregnancy or having them removed and hung up. I knew this did not sound right. I gave her the benefit of the doubt. 10 minutes later she claims she felt them kick so all was well again and drama averted. She claimed she was in the hospital being induced this past week… got to a 6 and stalled, 7 stalled, 9 stalled. Claimed her husband gave her a disease and were monitoring her. Claimed she had emergency c-section and sent me pictures of 3 babies. All a lie. Every single bit of it was a lie. She got the photos from websites and sent them to me. Elaborate stories of how sore she was, how her staples hurt and she couldn’t walk, etc. My sister did a reverse search on the pictures and found all of them, including the ultrasounds (most) were from the internet. When confronted she gets defensive and states we have no right to questions her and we crossed a line. Says “I’m sorry” and then gets angry that no one believes her now and still saying she is pregnant. Her husband contacted me after the events last night because he was confused about the situation and started telling me he’s never seen her naked, heard heartbeats, no doc appointments or midwife appointments and no proof ever. Says she locks the doors when she goes to the bathroom and refuses to be intimate with him. States she was never in the hospital at all, not once even though she had everyone believing she was there for 6 days. He is questioning the pregnancy now. When asked to show her tummy or proof she screams, yells and accuses people of being against her and demands they leave or she does. She deleted everyone, including family, from her social media accounts and blocked them including grandparents, aunts, me and her dad, etc.

    I cannot do this any longer. I love my child with all my heart and soul but I cannot keep over-looking this type of behavior. It is destroying my family. I plan to purchase the book. I am hoping it will help me deal with this but I realized last night that as I lay in bed that her constant lies and drama are destroying me. The energy I spent over the last few years is exhausting, heartbreaking and destroy me physically and mentally. I hope I am doing the right thing. I sent her an email (only thing not blocked, I hope) saying I will always love her but I cannot have a relationship like this with her any longer even if she is my child. I don’t know if this is the right thing to do but I have tried talking to her, reasoning with her, getting her help, confronting her, ignoring it and nothing has worked. I don’t understand what happened. Where did it all go so wrong?

  • #72756
    Avatar
    barneyboy
    Participant

    I feel so empty and sad and haven’t known what to do or who I could talk to. I miss my eldest daughter so much, I physically feel the pain. We were so close, and that is what makes it harder to bear. There are so many stories I’ve read on this website that are similar to my situation. She contacted me last August (’18) to say that she no longer wanted me in her life.

    Her dad left me 17 years ago, following another affair. I have remarried the most wonderful man, and we have a daughter together. I also have an older son who has left home and living with his girlfriend, and we have a good relationship. My ED left home when she was 11, just out of the blue. I came home from shopping and she had gone, it was my son who told me when I returned home. It has been a struggle since then, as my ex-husband and his girlfriend just gave everything my daughter wanted. Everything has revolved around money for her and over the years she has become very materialistic. I can’t and wouldn’t keep up with this as there are things which I’ve not approved of but they’ve allowed her to buy.

    She’s living with her boyfriend now, and I’ve heard they’re talking about starting a family. Her step-mum is encouraging her as she ‘wants to be a gran’. My ED idolises her step-mum (she has no children of her own). The thought of her ‘being a gran’ and me not being in my ED life is crucifying me.

  • #72797
    Avatar
    Embering
    Participant

    An update: She was confronted by her husband who demanded she show him paperwork and her tummy. She refused, screamed, cried, etc. Finally, she came clean. It was all a lie! Every bit of it. I am stunned, hurt, angry and even more convinced she has some type of mental health issue.

  • #72846
    Avatar
    FatheroftheYear
    Participant

    Hi. Parent on the verge of estrangement…please God. I have a child who has had much better life and resources than I had by orders of magnitude, yet she acts like she feels more neglected than I was or ever felt I was. She always got nicer clothes, nicer car, better food, nicer phone than I. I went super cheap for myself so she and my wife could have nicer stuff. My sacrifice is just an expectation, that its my duty to go without so my daughter can be pampered. She is almost 21 years old now and she moved out once after we got her a nice car and thousands of dollars of start up money and a PS4 so she could play online games with mom and dad. She moved out of state and happily took the car, money and PS4, then proceeded to mostly ignore us when we were trying to chat. I would see her online on PS4 and she wouldn’t acknowledge my messages. The only time she called is when she needed money, and she never asks me how was my day, how was may anything, because she doesn’t like me in the slightest.

    My daughter begrudgingly kind of loves me, but doesn’t respect me and doesn’t like me. She feels genuinely neglected because she isn’t getting a full ride out of state Ivy League education, and that her car isn’t as nice as she wants it to be, which is a better car than I have ever owned for myself. My daughter feels no guilt at feeling disappointed in her lack of getting everything she wants and she says “just because you had a horrible childhood, why would you want to do that to me?” When I explain that I can’t afford something because I don’t have enough retirement, she gets mad and says I am not supporting her enough and giving money to her would be an investment…in her future, not mine. I took my daughter to loads of counseling to find out why she feels so neglected when really she is closer to being spoiled. Part of her grief was that she thought she was going to be forced to help out me and her mom when we get old, and she literally gagged and had a disgusted look on her face. This is the kid who I cleaned up her puke, diapers, her bed wetting, her legal problems, and she almost vomits thinking that she might have to help her parents in old age. I would have never showed that lack of respect for my parents and I would wipe their behinds in their old age and I would be happy to help and I would move my mom and her husband into my home if they needed to. My mom knows this, and its a source of security for her. My kid probably wants me to die to pick over my carcass for whatever she can find, my gold coins and silver, etc.

    So, I told her that I refuse to accept any of her help and that I would rather commit suicide than to have a child feeling she is forced to help someone she has no respect for. My daughter explains her lack of respect for her parents like this–“just because you are my dad doesn’t mean I owe you respect.” And she is right. Its a free country and she doesn’t owe me respect, and I don’t owe her any financial help or help of any kind. On that part she disagrees. She believes that since she didn’t ask to be born, its the parent’s eternal responsibility to support the child and the child owes NOTHING back to the parent. I feel like a second class citizen, that my only use is as a piggy bank.

    So, I am so eager for her to move out, which is supposed to happen in May, and I know the only time I will hear from her is when she wants money or resources. The problem is my wife will maintain contact with her hoping my daughter will finally show her the respect she deserves, but it won’t happen. I am going to block my daughter’s number and just tell her that we are done with each other. I raised her to adulthood, so my debt to her is paid in full and I don’t owe her a thing. For the most part, she is a decent person and I want her to have a happy life, I just don’t want to hear about it. I guess we are two very different people with entirely different views on the roles and responsibilities of children and parents. I know its partly my fault, and I know that part of the problem is she was spoiled particularly by mom when I was literally starving myself to save money. The message was loud and clear, dad’s role is to suffer and deny himself so the kids can have the latest iPhone, computer, gaming system, clothes. Why would anyone have any respect for a loser who has so little self respect that he starves himself while his child is still angry at not getting the very best of whatever? I deserve the disrespect, but I don’t really enjoy the love of my daughter and its come to the point where I don’t love her.

    I used to love that kid so much, made the mistake of thinking this quiet child was a great person,when really, she just kept her mouth shut. Still, this kid was the apple of our family’s eye,the most adored and well taken care of kid of three kids. Early one she had some manners but as she got older the manners disappeared. In our home, when someone comes in, they announce they are home. When people are set to leave, they announce they are leaving, Its just respect. When someone asks a small talk question, I was raised that it was polite to answer. My daughter comes and leaves without saying a word, and she will walk away without any acknowledgement when you say “have a good day” or “hi, hows your day”. Its not a case of shyness either because my daughter communicates in a normal polite fashion to her friends. When her friends aren’t home, usually my kid is sulking, complaining, making thinly veiled insults are our family pets, my wife and I am sure me too. My daughter usually give me a fathers day present and Christmas card because she says she loves me, but I can tell her love for mom and dad is like the love for a family member who is a criminal, loser, thief, loved technically, but not adored, not respected, not even liked. My kid made such a huge hit, I have an aunt who is going to bequeath her estate to my daughter, and nobody else is getting a thing. So, my daughter feels that she is indeed so much better than us and there is proof. I had no money from education when I was young, but she has 35K dollars. To her its just more evidence that I am a loser and she is a winner stuck with the world’s biggest schmuck as a father.

    At first I was in denial. I thought my kid loves me its just she is going through a tough time now. Then I finally had to admit the truth with the gagging at the thought of helping me when I get old. Then after she moved and didn’t communicate with me other than to ask for money, after ignoring my gaming requests, I started losing my love for her as well. Nowadays I find myself trying to convince myself that I actually love her, that its just that I don’t like her. My kid knows how I feel, so when she wants something, money, favors, she then treats me like I exist, and makes small talk pretending to care about my day, and I know its coming, the “can I have…?” And sure enough, every single time without fail she starts a conversation with me, a request happens at the end and if its yes, all attention to me is dropped, mission accomplished. Every time she begins a conversation with me I know its not because she wants to talk with me or get closer to me, its to butter me up to ask for money. How lame am I to keep falling for that? Every time she speaks with me, I can’t help but think, “OK, now what do you want?” Its a rotten feeling that not only am I not respected, but I am so desperate for some positive attention I allow this manipulation.

    I feel like since I am at the point where I just want her to have a happy life but otherwise disappear from my life means I only love her as much as I love any random human. I know that now she is older, her requests for help are going to get a lot more expensive and every cent I give her is one less cent to pay a mortgage, a doctors bill ,etc. And when I am a homeless 75 year old and tell her about it, she will ask me what I did with all the money I made and how is that my problem is suddenly her problem. I want to cut the ties that bind so she doesn’t beg money off of us with us hoping against all hope that our kid will act like she respects us again. I want to burn the bridge as an act of defense to protect my wife’s and my own feelings.

    I need to know how to break up the relationship with my daughter. I need to know how to explain that its not because she is bad or that I am good,its just that we can’t get along and it would be better for my wife and me if when she moves out, she ceases all contact. She has a nice car, phone paid for by us, and all the furniture she will need, maybe not want, but still, she has been set-up to succeed, but I know she spends money on fine things she can’t afford, and she will call us acting like she misses us then the request for money will come and she will hang up afterward. The only thing preventing her cooperation is that she feels we still owe her for the rest of our lives. I know how frustrating it must be to butter us up to ask for something. Then if we say no, its like we slapped an olive branch from her hand. I would love to just move and change my number after she moves and tell the rest of the family to keep our contact info a secret. Its so bad that the other day I had a pretty bad angina attack, and I refused to tell her anything about it, not like she would care anyway, so long as one parent is alive, she will get money. I don’t trust her with that information either. She and her boyfriend help themselves to my stuff occasionally, usually liquor, but he treats me with much more respect which feels sort of nice, that I have accepted it as acceptable loss. That’s how lame and big of a loser I have become. I am a door mat and there doesn’t feel like a good way out of this situation. Part of me has fallen for society’s opinion that fathers are martyrs for the family so everyone else can live the good life, then dad has to suffer. If I have to live in a dumpster so my daughter can live in a McMansion, society would say, “what, don’t you love your child?” My father the millionaire ripped me off for tens of thousands of dollars and never helped me, just stole from me. He felt no shame, only entitlement to take what was mine for himself and I grew up in a time where that was acceptable, that everyone sacrificed so dad could live the good life while everyone else went without. Now that I am the parent, the situation the pendulum has swung way to the other side. So this is my fault, society’s fault, and my daughter’s fault, but these have become irreconcilable differences. It should be so much easier when she moves out, I hope. Any recommendations would be appreciated, but I can’t afford therapy, or if I do, every cent I spend will be money that won’t pay for rent when I am fully disabled, which is coming very soon. Last thing, most of the people on this site, if they met my daughter, they would go on and on about how nice and a good person she is, so I don’t want people thinking she is a villain. She must feel just as trapped as I do, but she also feels that our help is crucial to her comfort, so she probably feels dirty manipulating us to get money too, that we should just know what she needs without her having to swallow her pride to treat us like she would treat any other human on the planet, because I think she truly believes we deserve zero respect and that she we owe her for any help she desires. I really think that after the initial feeling of abandonment passes for my daughter, we will all be much happier.

    • #73024
      Petunia
      Petunia
      Participant

      Father of the year, I wanted to let you know how sorry I am that you are going through this. My husband and I together have stepped away from his son. He was like my own, in his life for 37 years and he has shown us who he really is. I am sleeping better because we don’t have to endure the silent treatments anymore.

      I sincerely hope you can find some peace.

      Petunia

  • #72980
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Hi there – I have read your post, and I’m truly sorry you are going through this. It sounds like complete and utter torture. I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice for you, as I have not been in that situation. My son cut me off, not the other way round. I’m sure there are other people with more experience who can help you, or maybe a therapist or even a lawyer.

    Sorry not to be able to help, but I just wanted you to know that you have been heard.

    Love,

    Dotty

  • #72983
    A-New-Day
    A-New-Day
    Participant

    I am new on here and I just want to thank everyone for sharing your lives and struggles on here. I have tried several times to share exactly what I am going through but it honestly comes out as an incoherent mess. I guess when I have things sorted out better within myself I can share more. I just know that at one time God put this wonderful little fella in my life, who was my life, and things have changed so slowly and drastically over the years that we no longer speak because I put my foot down. I tried several times to put distance between us so that we could maintain some sort of relationship but it all blew up and when I finally told him exactly what I thought I was mean and hurtful. I now waffle from crying over the memory of what was and what I wanted our relationship to be to extreme anger of what I know to be true about him and our relationship and I have am having a hard time dealing with it all. I let my anger go and that is a scary thing. I have so many hurt feelings. I hope to be able to share this mess at sometime, but I have not sorted through it better before I can really share.

    I do want to thank everyone here for sharing your lives on here. I have read some of your posts and they have giving me hope and strength that I can get through this. This is a hard change in my life and you are all helping me so much.

    Thank you Sheri, not only for your book, but this forum. Thank you for opening up about your life and sharing the strength you found to go on with your life.

    Just….thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

  • #73023
    BeeHere4Me
    BeeHere4Me
    Participant

    “I have tried several times to share exactly what I am going through but it honestly comes out as an incoherent mess. I guess when I have things sorted out better within myself I can share more.” ~A-New-Day

    You are welcome as you are. And please feel free to bring whatever “Incoherent messes” that you have to offer, and we’ll do our best to help you sort it out. Perfection is not a requirement.

    Estrangement from a child who was your life, is a traumatic event/experience for a mother. The pain can be so overwhelming that the grief must be processed in baby steps. Sharing your story is not a requirement to participate on the forum, if that is something of interest to you.

    Offering your insight to others can bring clarity to your own dilemma as well as provide an opportunity to share a piece at a time. Its up to you.

    I am glad that you have Sheri’s book. I regard it is a treatment plan for parents to recover and reclaim their lives. The exercises are valuable tools that will pull you forward, so please do not skip them.

    Your wonderful compliments are appreciated and we hope you will consider participating on the forum.

    A New Day is offered with every sunrise 🙂

    🐝

  • #73080
    A-New-Day
    A-New-Day
    Participant

    Thank you so much BeeHere!

    This is so hard and I have been arrogant enough to think that this would never happen to me, but it has and it has been coming for a long time. Denial is a treacherous thing and in the light of honesty, this has been coming since my ES was a teenager. Our relationship really was not what I made it in my mind. I choose to not see all the red flags. He is 37 now and the last 7 years have been awful, but I always had an excuse for my little prince. I chose to see the person I wanted him to be but the wall of denial has been cracking for quite a while. The dam is now busted.

    This is a lot to sort through and Sheri’s exercises do help till the pages of my journal are so wet from tears that I can’t write anymore. Just writing this is hard, but you are right, baby steps.

    Thank you again

  • #73167
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    A-New-Day,

    (I love that username you chose)

    I am glad you posted, even though you were unsure what exactly to post or whether to. Or when.

    I want to say that it’s normal to have anger, and also to go back and forth with our emotions and our thoughts, confused and hurt and upset and sad. ANd, angry, too. And greif and crying. Which I too, have done plenty of all of those, and continue, doing each one, when it arises.

    It is normal to have all of those, from a relationship which is so very important to us, and which does not go well at all.

    I love your honesty, and I also love the response that ***BeeHere4Me***
    wrote for you. The entire reply of hers. 🙂

    Your 2 posts here, and her reply, have already added positives to help the rest of us, here,
    and I welcome you.

    You are right, this is a very hard change to make, in our lives, in our hearts and minds.
    There’s a lot of hurt and anger and confusion.
    And a lot of tears, too.

    I am hoping to reduce my crying, over the long-term. There’s no quick way to get there.
    Or I would have by now.

    Take some care to remember some of your good points!
    We tend to over-blame ourselves, and over-punish ourselves,
    for something that is only part our fault, IF our fault, at all,
    and for possible errors or mistakes that are something that we could be forgiven for.
    If not by a specific other person, then by ourself.

  • #73202
    Avatar
    Zombie
    Participant

    Hello. First of all excuse the name I chose for this. It’s just how I was feeling at the time. I can’t believe how many people are on this site. I never thought anything like this existed. I have been dying inside. I don’t know how to move on. My daughter stopped talking to us and even blocked my number about 4 months ago now. The grandkids that we had every single week for the past 5 years are also gone. I purchased the book to help myself and it makes me cry to think others are going through the same thing. Our grandkids spent the night at least 1-2 times a week. This was their second home. I can’t even walk into their playroom now. I don’t even like coming home anymore as there are too many memories here. Their clothes, toys,diapers etc are everywhere. Their new car seats in our vehicles. We did it all to help our daughter and because we love them all. The more I think about it the more I see how I never did anything right, according to her. Nothing was ever good enough. I have little hope that we will see them again. Today our grandson turns 5 and he has no idea how proud of him we are. I really need to heal.

  • #73261
    Avatar
    Patricia23
    Participant

    Hello everyone. My son cut off conact with us 18 months ago. Looking back, I see he had been distancing himself since he was eighteen. Reading Sheri’s book gave me so many insights into the “why” of his leaving. “Why” is the reason I picked up the book, but the empathy Sheri shared is the reason I would recommend it to anyone – even those who have not lost a child. So I come to this forum looking to share my grief in a comfortable place and perhaps encourage others. I chose the name Patricia because that was the name I picked at my confirmation. Growing up Catholic we were confirmed in the faith at age 12 and chose a new name to mark the occasion. The name was meant to symbolize a new self, so that seemed an appropriate choice here. We are all forced to be new selves when a child leaves. Now I am working on being my best self.

  • #73288
    XRubicon
    XRubicon
    Participant

    Hello fellow heartbroken parents. I am relieved to have found a place where I can finally find some sort of comfort. For so many years I have felt alone in this. I find it odd to have to say I am estranged from my eldest daughter when she lives 15 minutes from my house, but there you have it. I made some mistakes raising her like any parent. Basically, we spoiled her rotten. The difficulties began when she was 12 and have continued on. She is now an adult with 2 children of her own. I thought becoming a mother would help her realize how difficult parenting can be, but our relationship deteriorated even further. After my grandchildren were born, I became her emotional hostage. I try to remain in her life for the sake of my grandchildren, but I no longer have the strength to keep fighting with her. I want my life back. There is a lot more I want to share about how she has treated me for the last 17 years, but I just wanted to introduce myself first and say that I was deeply affected by some of your posts. I feel you 🙁

  • #73380
    Avatar
    Oceanspeace
    Participant

    I am so glad that I found this group. I have three grown daughters, two are very loving, responsible, and in all ways caring of everyone. The other is self centered, unkind, manipulative, makes up completely untrue stories to earn her way and punish me and others in her life. She has young children now and manipulates them as well. She has rejected me multiple times over the last 15 years, only coming back when she wants or needs something. She has again rejected me and will not allow me any contact with my grandchildren. Even when I am in her life everything must be according to her schedule and her rules. I am always on eggshells and constantly being corrected and ridiculed, cannot do anything right. Everyone is supposed to be at her beck and call. She accuses everyone of not doing anything for her and being inconsiderate of her even if we suggest a different time may work better for someone. She has now stated that we are no longer family and has told my grandchildren that we left herIt’s just so heart wrenching because i fear my grandchildren will grow up thinking we don’t love them. I feel so hopeless. It’s a relief to know through reading these posts that so many other parents are going through the same thing. I just need to get off of this 15 year nightmare roller coaster ride

  • #73415
    Avatar
    emily38
    Participant

    To XRubicon and Ocean’s peace, welcome to both of you with regrets that you find yourselves here. The good news is that this community, Sheri’s book and her home page essays will provide resources for the journey away from the parental punishment of estrangement. I hope you will use all of them to their best advantage.

    When I read both your posts, read how you both wrote of years and years of struggling with this reality, I understood. There are other parents on the Forum who have sustained those same years as have I, and your reading will find them. If I have one regret, it’s that it took the years it did to open my eyes to the futility of trying to ‘fix’ what was broken. If I look back, I have to be gentle and reassure myself that I would have done it differently if I was able. Like both of you, I ‘lost’ 15+ years to this reality.

    My own experience tells me that once a parent is open to self-care, to finding every way possible to heal their child-inflicted wounds, something shifts inside them. Issues are no longer about why an estranged child did this or that, about figuring out who they are or have become, about why they behave as they do. Finding those answers, even if they could be found, won’t undo an alienation or estrangement. We parents cannot ‘fix’ broken relationships.

    Now, every ounce of energy is directed toward oneself ( read Sheri’s essay on Swimming to Shore, https://www.rejectedparents.net/grown-childs-rejection-the-boat/). Yes, we make a decision to retrain our brains this way, then one day while we hardly realized it was happening, we know we’ve reached the shore, or are very close as we swim in the right direction. We know our outlook has changed. In a positive way.

    You will read this over and over here……baby steps. Patience. Self-forgiveness if you dog-paddle for awhile or even find a current taking you out a little farther. Time and more time. Decisions made in our heads slowly lead to healing our hearts, a coming together that happens because of, and in spite of, us. Healing is like a seed planted deeply in the dark. In most cases, it will grow and blossom one day.

    I hope this offers both of you some encouragement and promise. Meanwhile, I hope you will read Sheri’s book in addition to the resources mentioned above. And, welcome.

  • #73427
    Avatar
    Bumblebee
    Participant

    Patricia23, I too grew up Catholic, I don’t remember picking a new name at my confirmation…I wish I could pick a new life, join a convent, never get married and have kids…

    The truth is, as much as I try to build a new life from this point on, I’m constantly one step forward, two back.

    I just posted the subject “I envy you”. Memories and “ah-ha moments” pop in my head when I least expect them, dreams/nightmares. Upcoming special occasions cautiously get my hopes up, only to be disappointed again and again…I’m so tired of it all. After a lifetime of overcoming problem after problem, I thought I finally could look forward to what is supposed to be my best years, instead, I just feel defeated.

    Welcome, Xrubicon and Oceanspace, everyone!

    • #73497
      Avatar
      Patricia23
      Participant

      Bumblebee,

      Since I am 71 years old, my Catholic experience may have been more “medieval” than yours. LOL. I know exactly what you mean by one step forward, two steps back. Earlier this week, I had a day where I just crashed. The son we are close to is in the Navy and I hadn’t heard from him in a few weeks, so I began to fantasize he had abandoned us along with his brother. Then I began to focus on all ways I had felt abandoned in my life. I find that if I reread my notes from Sheri’s book, I tend to get back on track. So that’s what I did.

      And years ago, I made a study of prayer, so I reread my notes there too. I would recommend an old book by Charles Allen, All Things Are Possible Through Prayer. Dr. Allen addresses unanswered prayer. I know many estranged parents must feel like I do – why isn’t God intervening to set this right? Why are my prayers going unanswered? I meditated on several thoughts from Dr. Allen: There are some problems we need to leave with God. There are times when God is our only refuge and help.

      All of that said, I sincerely wish you progress in taking even that one step forward.

  • #73496
    Avatar
    Breeze
    Participant

    Hi everyone!
    I started to write my intro post and I couldn’t finish it. I came back and it was still here, but it vanished in a few secs, maybe for the best! I was reliving the nightmares, and that’s not therapeutic!! We’re all here for the same reasons, and the post I had was long! I would have had to reread and then add to finish. No one wants to read a BOOK, and that’s what it was turning into! Ug. So I’m here for support, willing to give support too. My heart breaks for all, my life now is not what I thought it would be. I am heartbroken, depressed, and have no motivation. I can’t say I’m done with the crying, I would be lying. I don’t understand how adult children can turn their backs on mothers who are and were the best they could be. But I do know I need me back in some form. Its not going to be overnight. Baby steps is the way, I believe. I’m not sure where to go on this forum from here. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  • #73520
    Avatar
    Respect
    Participant

    It is such a relief to know that I am not the only one suffering from being rejected by my children. I am struggling to find reasons to stay alive even though I have many meaningful things in my life. I swim, eat well, meditate, have friends and a boyfriend and a job doing what I love to do. This is all meaningless with out my daughters in my life. I long for the days when they would make a mess and I would be sick of cooking and cleaning and we were a family that would laugh and hang out and get annoyed with each other all within the bond of being a family. I am 46 years old and the mother of two teenage girls ages 12 and 14. Their father and I split up 4 years ago and my oldest was very angry about it and blamed me. Their father told them it was my decision and has let them know whenever his views differ from mine. Historically he had the power in the household and undermined me in front of our daughters. Since we were not married and there is no common law marriage in Massachusetts, I left the relationship with nothing but two oriental rugs while he is sitting on over 2 million dollars. In order to pay the rent I have taken in housemates. This made it possible to give each girl her own room and for me to teach and rehearse at home (I am a flute player)
    The girls lived in both households for 3 years but during that time my oldest daughter frequently ran away to her fathers house and became abusive towards me. She would throw food, swear at me, refuse to follow house rules and eventually became violent. Her father refused to discipline her together and claimed it was my problem. She frequently told me she wishes I were dead or that I should move to another state where my boyfriend lives. She also wanted nothing to do with my family and only related to the people in my life that were also still in her fathers life. She moved out a year ago and has wanted nothing to do with me. Occasionally now she will agree to have dinner with me (if it is a restaurant) or let me take her shopping. This is so far from the values that I wanted to teach them. I have always cooked from scratch and I hardly buy things and if I do they are usually second hand. I take her though because it is my only way to see her. It is very confusing because her father “encourages” her to go with me and at the same time he does very subtle and manipulative parental alienation.
    My youngest daughter switched back and forth between two households for the last year and recently decided she wants to live with her father and she started running away as well. We had arranged to go on vacation to California two weeks ago and the day before she announced that she was not going. She has been really rude and angry although not as aggressive as her older sister. A lot if it is teenage behavior but recently she has also refused to see me. I can see that she is sad when she is with me and it breaks my heart. I don’t know what happened that broke our bond. My oldest and I were very close until the year before I left their Dad. I left because I could not have a relationship with my children. He insisted on always being present and enforcing his way of doing things if we disagreed. My oldest would aggressively side with her father. Since they were about 5 they started to gravitate towards their father and I often felt like the 4th wheel. I know they enjoy being with him more but I can’t understand why they hate being with me so much. The only answer I can come up with is that I struggle with depression and may not have been as present as I could have. I have always been functional and performed household duties, shuttled them around, worked, played games, taught them to knit, bake, cook, hike, dance, bike, hosted birthday parties and taught and performed music in their schools. I can hardly read books or watch movies or walk down the streets since bonded parents and their children are everywhere and it makes me feel so worthless and alone. My daughters are not adults but the estrangement is there and I am looking for ways to keep my self respect and still reach out with all my love. I try not to impose my broken heart on them but I sometimes breakdown and cry in front of them. I was in the habit of tolerating outrageously rude behavior just because I want to be with them. They live a 10 minute walk away and I hardly see them. I would love any insight or advice about how to proceed.

  • #73537
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome to Breeze.
    Everything you wrote in this post of yours above, which DID post, thankfully, made very much sense to me, and I understood totally. I am glad you joined in. I find it does help. It helps to express ourselves, and also, to be less alone in this shocking and upsetting life situation, and the many dilemmas, it brings about.

    All those feelings you mentioned are so difficult to bear, yet they fit this situation we find ourselves in, and like you said, I cannot understand it either.
    And I have tried to stop crying, many times, and move on, but I continue to backslide. I will just have to keep restarting and try again, and I agree, it is baby steps , and slow.

    About using this forum, I am relatively new also, and I find that trying to go back to the thread topics I have been on, then I am able to see more responses, either to my post, like I am doing to you, or more posts on that topic.

    There seems to be a few ways of doing that. If you can find and click on your own username, and then select replies, you can go to those threads you wrote on, like this one,
    OR, you could look at the list of topics to see which ones you read.

    You can also start a thread topic, and then, that is easy for you to find.

    You can also look at any of the newer topics, and write a comment .

    I hope to see you, here and there!!
    Needothers

    • #73615
      Avatar
      Booty
      Participant

      Welcome Respect (and to those recent arrivals)
      I am so sorry you are going through this with your young daughters. It may be their father (being more controlling and manipulative as you describe) having gained control over them. I have had no contact with my son for about 4 years now and having that time to reflect, it is clear that his partner took that same control, has a manipulative manner and a very strong character.
      His friends disappeared one by one and then his family, I don’t see the grandchildren at all.
      I put up with many of the things you describe above in many of your posts over 16 years, then one day it was like the last straw (the reasons aren’t even relevant now,I just gave up the fight-something I thought i would never do)
      Somehow I found some respect for myself and stopped letting them walk all over me and disrespect me, stopped trying so hard to spend some time with them, or try to buy their love.
      It took time but gradually, I realised how peaceful my life was, how all those battles were useless, a waste of all our energies and mean nothing now anyway. I no longer had to tread on eggshells or go over my words and check everything I said and everything I did…..peace
      Over the next year I found this group and read the book, which helped me further knowing I was not alone was the greatest comfort and I stopped feeling so ashamed about it and I am more comfortable admitting that I no longer see him and not concerned how I may be judged.
      I have come to terms with it – it just is what it is. It is of course a struggle and is similar to grieving (with the roller coaster of emotions, from utter devastation to anger to depression)
      All those stages…….and now I am a different person myself and less judgemental of others.
      One of you said above that your only regret was taking so long to come to the conclusion that enough was enough…..I feel the same. You have to look at yourself as an individual (not just a mother) you are an individual who deserves respect and deserves happiness.
      The details dont matter as much as they did, I would still welcome him back with open arms but I dont live my life through that anymore.

      I wish you all the peace and happiness you deserve-you are worth it

  • #73539
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome, Respect.

    I don’t know what to advise at all, but want to say I am so sorry for that horrible situation you were in, and have been in, and are in, now.
    It is so emotionally hurtful. It all makes it Doubly hard to fight depression, too, or to not show them how heartbroken you are, when you feel so terrible about not having the closeness with them.
    I agree that it is sometimes hard to watch others, that do not seem to have this problem.

    The only idea I can think of, is for you to choose one part of your post, and start a new thread on it, so you might get more specific ideas and suggestions, from others.

    And possibly copy part or all of your post , and put it on your Profile page, so others can see it, if they look, when they see you write something someplace else.

    Try to take care of yourself. You deserve some of that loving attention from yourself, that you would like to be giving to them.

    Needothers

  • #73624
    Avatar
    Heretolearn
    Participant

    I am new to this forum, but not newly estranged. I have three adult children; the two older have not spoken to me in two years. Their father and I have been separated for more than a year, after a 30+ year marriage that had many peaks and valleys. I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping the family unit together although I was miserable in my marriage. I understand now that we all would have been better off had my husband and I gone our separate ways many years ago.

    I was extremely close to the two who no longer speak to me. The youngest was/is very close to his dad. He and I are fine. The problem with my daughter started when she met her now husband. She pulled away from the family, as is normal, but I had a hard time accepting it. I saw some behaviors in her husband that troubled me, but I now realize I was projecting my own issues in my marriage. Long story short, we had a huge blow up on Christmas day, 2016. It’s the last time I saw my daughter and older son. My son sent my therapist a laundry list of issues he and his sister had with me including things like I butted into their conversations, I wouldn’t take no for an answer when I invited them to do things with me, I insisted that we all be under one roof Christmas eve. All true and I own it. But I didn’t think it was enough to alienate me. My husband kept telling me there had to be more that I didn’t know to cause the estrangement.

    Boy, was he right. After we separated, family members came forward to tell me that he had borrowed huge sums of money from my parents throughout our marriage. We had a beautiful wedding for my daughter and it turns out my husband borrowed all the money from my sister to pay for it. My sister told me he borrowed money from the two oldest. According to my sister he never repaid anyone. My mom died almost 20 years ago and he was borrowing from her so this issue goes way back. When he borrowed the wedding money from my sister he told her it was a secret she would have to take to her grave and that I would make his life hell if I knew. Damn right I would. I can only imagine what he told my children about me in order for them to keep the secret about his borrowing.

    My husband is very capable of earning a living. He is in a respected profession and has a doctorate in his field. However, he is a con man. He conned me, my family and now my children. I always felt unsettled in our marriage and now I understand why. I hired a private investigator and learned that he took out credit cards in my name, defaulted on several debts and had been sued several times. Just writing this makes me feel sick, and stupid. My children have no idea the extent of his deception. I have no idea what he has told my children about me. I know my family thought they were protecting me by keeping his secrets, but I feel betrayed by them.

    In a way, I am almost grateful for the estrangement if that makes any sense. It has made everything come to light. I now realize that I relied way too much on my children for my happiness. I realize the mistakes I made. I hope when the dust settles they will allow me to apologize and can come to terms with the things their dad has done. My marriage destroyed my health. At the time my children stopped talking to me, I was dealing with depression over the death of my father and recovering from a stage-3 cancer. I am fortunate to have a great job and income (my husband wants alimony) and my health is improving. But it doesn’t make up for the loss of my children.

    I am sorry for all of us here. Thank you for “listening.”

  • #73680
    Avatar
    Thesunrise
    Participant

    Hello to you all, I am new here and I’m thankful to have found this forum. I’m sure like a lot of you I was desperate for help when I googled what ever it was I googled, I don’t remember. But whatever it was it brought me here. Please forgive my punctuation when I share, as I am not that good at it. I have made a few attempts to try and introduce myself a couple of times but I have found it isn’t easy. I allow my feelings to get way ahead of myself and then realize I need to cut it shorter. At which point I start over. It is awfully hard. I’ll try to give just a brief description for now of what is going on with my ED. Actually…I don’t even know? I have been a mess all day because nobody has heard from her since Saturday when she talked to my sister. She had even sent me a text asking me to please tell her daughters (my granddaughters), that she loves them very much. This didn’t alarm me because we are all aware of the retaliation and hatefulness my ex-son-in-law is capable of even to my husband and I even though we supported him financially and emotionally during their divorce and custody. It matters nothing to him on how we’ve embraced him and supported him as well as our daughter through out their relationship, It seems even now as we tried to support our daughter this time around that somehow we always seem to get the kick me I’m stupid sign placed on our backs. And it hurts. Anyway, today I felt pretty close to a break down but here I am still kicking and trying to find out information about my daughter. I’m thinking of calling the police dept., just to do a welfare check on my granddaughters and I’m not sure what I’m going to do after that. Sitting around just waiting is driving me insane but I felt it might do me some good to share at least a little for now. I have so much I need to get out but it’s hard not to get carried away. Once I have a little more control over my emotions I may have a bit more control of my typing. HaHa

    Thank you for listening.

  • #73681
    Avatar
    tears
    Participant

    Hi! I appreciate the feeling of community already – in spite of having a wonderfully supportive husband and two delightful adult children I feel so often alone and confused and betrayed. My husband and I have three kids; we’ve always been a close family. After college my oldest son fell in love with a young woman who at first seemed delightful and who seemed to fit into our family well. She told me how her mom was abusive and she hated to go home to visit; she said she was in awe of my son’s relationships with us – he had told her he missed spending time with his family whenever it went too long between visits. My daughter called her “the sister I always dreamed of having” and they quickly built what my daughter thought was a solid friendship. These attitudes continued until this young woman had an engagement ring on her finger. Almost overnight she and my son cut our whole family out of their life – accusing us of attempting to break up their relationship, of wanting full reign of their apartment to come and go as we pleased, etc. None of these accusations were true in any way and when we attempted to reassure them of this my son accused us of “changing from the parents he knew to monsters who were jealous of his wife’s relationship with him.” My DIL blew up and screamed at me that she’d never wanted a relationship with me and never would. We tried to unsuccessfully to figure out where the hostility came from but got nowhere – we’d never been anything but kind and supportive. From that point onward there has been no real relationship. Attempts to call or text have been mostly rejected over the years; my son has invited himself over for dinner a few times in the past seven years but was formal and distant. There is even less contact with the siblings who he once used to call his best friends. Time marches on and my daughter and her husband have two wonderful little ones whose presence has helped heal much of the hurt of our family and my husband and I are closer than ever to our youngest son. I know I have much to be thankful for but I still silently cry into my pillow almost every night, confused as to the reason for this mess and longing for the relationships I will never have.

  • #73683
    Avatar
    Imamom
    Participant

    I am heartbroken that there are so many heartbroken parents out there. I truly thought what we were experiencing was somewhat unique. My story. Two beautiful children, products of fertility treatments in the 80s. Loved, wanted, well-educated and taken care of. Both are successful professionals. Our daughter gave us a grandson 2 years ago…the apple of our eye. I’m blessed to be able to watch him every day so she can work the long hours she needs to. I apologize for the length of this introduction, but it’s good to get it off my chest…finally.

    Our son became a doctor. While in med school, he was diagnosed with a lethal brain tumor. He took a year off, during which time we became the closest family on earth; his prognosis was 18 months. But he returned to school and met the woman who would become his wife. He was bowled over, fearing no one would ever want to marry him given his diagnosis. Fast forward. They married in 2012; and yes, he has defied the stats and is still cancer-free. So far, sounds like a made-for-tv movie, right? Sadly, all that follows is true.

    Turns out she is from an extremely wealthy family (on the Forbes 100 richest people in the WORLD list). When they decided to marry, he was handed a pre-nup. I should have told him to walk away then when he asked my advice. I did not. All I thought at the time was, well, when the recurrence comes (90% a surety that there will be a recurrence within 10 years), you will have the best there is out there that money can buy in terms of experimental treatments/care, more than we can afford.

    They both settled into their medical careers here. They are the godparents and legal guardians for our adored grandson (daughter’s child). We didn’t see them much as they were busy doctors and he was a hospitalist with weird hours. But we saw them enough and got together often as an extended family. We all vacationed together last July!

    Prior to his cancer, he was a bit unemotional, always believing he was the smartest person in the room. Usually he was. He reminded me a lot of my older brother who also ghosted my dad and me after my mom died. Nature vs. nurture? Post-cancer, an entirely different person: grateful, empathetic, considerate. Probably all those things that attracted his now wife.

    About 4 years ago, he decided he wanted to pursue a graduate degree in business. Okay….then about a year ago, after applying to a number of schools, despite being accepted into a prestigious program in our home city, he decided to accept the CA school, about as far away from us as he could get. He shared his decision about two months before leaving, saying he was “making up his mind” whenever we asked what he was going to do.

    About a month ago, he sent us airfare to visit him in CA (our first since his move in August) this past weekend for their joint birthdays and a baby shower (!) for wife. His sister and I had wanted to have a baby shower here for her when we first found out they were expecting, but she was always too busy to come back for that.

    BUT, 2 days before we were to leave (was that just a week ago?), in an innocuous text with his sister about baby’s name, referring to Baby X, he did not respond. I was like, uh oh, something’s up. His sister asked, “Well, the baby is going to be Baby L (our/his last name)?” She thought, at worst, it would be a stupid hyphenated name (her words, not mine).

    And he said, “No, it’s going to be Baby A (wife’s last name).” “And I’m not going to discuss it. It’s our decision and you must respect that.” Downhill from there. Of course, my husband and I were extremely upset. My daughter tried to explain that to her brother. He hung up on her.

    So we get out there. The elephant is in the room. He meets us and ignores the topic and acts like all is fine. Hubby and I figure, well, we’ll talk about this in due time. Then wife gets home from work. By now we’ve up 12 hours and fatigued from 4 hour flight plus airport time. She dawdles up in the foyer; no, “Hi, glad you’re here–how was your flight?”

    So I say “Hi, how was work?” No response. I think she ignored me, but I’m hard of hearing, so maybe not; maybe I just didn’t hear her. Then she plopped down next to my husband, deliberately putting her back to me, pointedly ignored me and talked to him. ????

    After a bit, I just excused myself and went up to our room to think about what was going on here. And yes, I’m madly texting my daughter who’s advising not to read into things. Then my husband comes up and says I must come down…S is upset. He had brought up the name thing and that got her going, apparently.

    As I sat in living room, she pronounces that, unlike our family, she believes in getting things out in the open. Okaaaay….then proceeds to tell me that I did not greet her, run up and hug her (jeez, I’m 70 already and I am definitely not a huggy person, which she should know by now) and I’ve never treated her well. What?!? I have sewn things for her, watched their animals when they were out of town, cooked meals and put in their freezer, etc. NEVERTHELESS, I apologized. At that, she went ballistic and berated me that I wasn’t really sorry, it was not a sincere apology and I “…should think about that.” She went on and on for so long, I was in tears. And I was berated for that!

    Guess what? Neither son nor husband said a word. I think my husband was in shock. Finally, my husband said, “Well, we were upset about the name issue.” Her response? “We’ll talk about that in due time.” And she continued to berate me. By then I was weeping. I would have walked out the front door, but I didn’t know where to go. And I didn’t want to draw that line in the sand with my son. It was awful. I’ve never felt so helpless and I’m not that person.

    The weekend went on. She felt better, having unloaded on me. I tried to rise above and be kind and helpful. Son continued to deny and defend her.

    I’m very good at reading people. There won’t be any more visits. We won’t be invited; they won’t be coming back home to visit. Daughter is heartbroken to lose her brother. I’ll be lucky to ever meet my granddaughter A, not L.

    Thank you if you’ve read this whole missive. Prayers for all of us. So many tears to shed.

    That’s my intro.

  • #73695
    Avatar
    emily38
    Participant

    Welcome Here to Learn, The Sunrise, Tears and Imamom,

    The help each of you is seeking is here. It’s found in caring, understanding, compassionate parents whose stories may differ in details but who carry the shared pain of estrangement, more often than not in situations that leave us asking “why?’ without answers.

    I hope you have found Sheri’s book which is ‘must’ reading. So are her essays on the main page of the Website. The book has exercises that are important tools for reaching whatever healing will be yours. The site’s main page has a search function to comb the archives. There is a wealth of lived-experience here on the Forum. Again, our individual stories are unique to each of us; the suffering as a result is not.

    In addition, the healing will take time, lots of time, patience and openness to understanding that we parents cannot change one thing about our adult estranged offspring but we can change ourselves. You may need to try over and over again to ‘fix’ what’s broken in the relationship, for your own sense of having done ‘something’ to make it ‘right.’ Keep reading here. The collective wisdom of thousands of parents who’ve walked this path will help you on your journey to wellness. It will bring you to a place you never imagined you would be. You will learn and learn and, one day, you will realize that indeed you have changed, you have been changed. It will be OK.

    This is big, big stuff and the only antidote to what has happened to us. Put in the work and you will reap the rewards of clarity, boundaries, ownership and a healthy mindset.

    Sound easy? It isn’t.

    It will be worth every effort you give it……..with baby steps, time, patience, and even more time.

    I’m grateful you’ve found us.

    Please keep letting us know how you are.

    Emily38

  • #73775
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Emily38,
    That is beautifully written, and helpful and informative. I thank you so much for writing it, and posting it here. I want to let you know it helps others, in addition to those you addressed it to.

    I love the clarity and truth to it, and the reminder that we cannot change anything about our adult offspring. I cant get too many reminders from those who understand my pain, of the way to go is….in that direction, there, see it?

    Changing myself has proven to be extremely difficult, but there’s more hope of that possibility than of changing any one thing about my adult ED.

    I add my welcome to all of the newcomers, here. You found a very helpful place, and people who do understand. They don’t replace the ones you loved, but we do help each other through this mess, in a unique and very valuable way.
    I came here because I found I just could not do this, alone, and I am glad I did.
    I think you will be, as well.

    Needothers

  • #73886
    Snowlover51
    Snowlover51
    Participant

    Hi, I am new here. My daughter, my once best friend, has refused to have anything to do with me for almost 3 years. She just turned 27. Much of why she has shut me out is my own fault. That fact haunts me every day. Three years ago, my daughter, her husband, and our baby grandson (our first grandchild) lived 20 minutes away, having moved from 300 miles away to be closer to us. I would pick her and the baby up several times a week for various outings. Every Thursday I picked them up and brought them to our home to do laundry. Our son-in-law was laid off mid summer of 2016. He couldn’t really find another job so they made the decision to move to his relative’s home 600 miles away. I was devastated. I didn’t handle that move well at all. All was still well between us. We visited when we could. But, two and a half years ago life fell apart for all of us. We got a late night call from our son-in-law telling us that our daughter had asked him to go with our grandson to his parents for a few nights because she wasn’t sure she loved him anymore. I was furious. My daughter has never really followed through with anything–she changed high schools 3 times, she changed college majors twice before eventually just dropping out… I finally got a hold of her (she was furious that our son-in-law had even called us). She said she shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place (they had been married 3 years at that time). I nicely told her she should have thought of that before she brought a baby into the world. We visited our son-in-law and our grandson a few months after this. We thought we could see our daughter too, but she refused to see us. Our son-in-law (and his mom who was there) assured us they didn’t intend to keep our grandson from us. I tried a few more times to reach out to my daughter (we only had Facebook as a means of communicating because she changed her phone number and we didn’t know where she was living). I was shut down. Our son-in-law suddenly stopped talking to us and blocked us from sending messages on Facebook. We discovered that our son-in-law had filed for divorce and he had primary custody of our grandson. We decided to file for grandparents’ rights. My husband sent a message to our daughter telling her we were going to do that. She blasted us, telling us we would regret it if we did and to stay away from her son. She eventually sent me a message telling me she knew drug addicts who treated their kids better than I did when she and her husband separated. I wouldn’t go that far, but I do know, and admitted, that I totally screwed up in how I handled it. She also said we were not her family anymore. She has cut her siblings out of her life as well–even her brother who she was super close with (and who did nothing to her). Since then, we have seen pictures of our grandson (who turns 4 in two weeks and has no idea who we are) when our son-in-law posts them on Facebook. Our daughter, if she posts anything, does not allow us to see the posts. The only exception to that was Christmas morning when she posted some pictures that we actually got to see. I don’t know if that was a mistake or a gift.

    I honestly didn’t think a heart could break over and over again and hurt more each time. I don’t know what else to do. I miss my daughter so much. I miss my grandson and my heart hurts to be a part of his life. My heart hurts for him–for the mess his parents have made in his life. The only good aspect of that is I know our grandson is well loved–our former son-in-law is a great daddy. Still, I find myself envious of his parents who get to see him and spend time with him on a regular basis. He only knows them as grandma and grandpa.

    I have acknowledged the mistakes I made when she left her husband. I have apologized and asked for forgiveness. I even admitted to her that I am getting help on how to handle my emotions better. She doesn’t care. I know the longer this goes the less chance there will ever be reconciliation. This is incredibly heartbreaking. I admit that often I have thought about ending my life just to make her feel bad. Thankfully, I have resources to help me through those difficult moments. It still hurts so, SO much.

  • #73898
    Avatar
    Algebrarocks
    Participant

    I’m a mom of 3. My middle child (only daughter) recently got married and had a baby. She’s still very young and had a high-risk pregnancy that we supported them through. I was at the hospital every time she was there (and much more often than her husband). She became angry with me 2 days before the baby was born. I did get to see him three times in his first week of life but haven’t since. It’s been 2 months. My daughter has always had mental health issues and I’m sure those and her husband who is VERY off are driving this. She has only cut out my husband and I so my mother is caught in the middle. She’s taken some extended family with her due to lies and character assassination.

  • #73963
    NYLVTeacherCoach
    NYLVTeacherCoach
    Participant

    It’s so hard to introduce yourself when you don’t even want to admit that this thing is happening in your life.

    But, here goes… My estrangement from my son is less than a week old and I’m not sure how I’m going to live through it. I am a mom of identical twin boys. They are super close and very involved in each other’s lives. I thought I was too…, but one of my boys got so angry with me that he will not return calls, texts, or an email that I sent profusely apologizing for the misunderstanding/ miscommunication that occurred. In fact, I’m somewhat certain that he may have blocked me from being able to contact him. I am still in touch with the other son, who is aware of the conflict that occurred and has talked to his brother about it… According to my son who is still speaking to me, I should just be patient and wait for my estranged son to come around, but the waiting is just about killing me.

    I go between fits of crying and wanting to do ANYTHING to make this better with my son, and rage that someone that I devoted my life to and gave everything that I had to could intentionally reject me so coldly, knowing how much it’s hurting me. I am not/ was not a perfect mother, but I was always kind, supportive, and proud of my children. My ex husband (their dad) was/ is an emotionally abusive alcoholic, yet for all of their dad’s transgressions, they have not cut him off. I make one mistake by asking for some help from my boys and I’m treated like I’ve been an awful parent/ person who doesn’t even deserve the respect of an acknowledgment of my existence.

    So that’s who am I and what I’m feeling right now. I wish that I didn’t need to be part of a community like this, but I’m grateful that it’s here.

  • #74150
    Avatar
    ChocolateCake
    Participant

    As a new member of this community, I’m grateful for the existence of this site. Last summer my 28 year old daughter told me not to contact her. We have had many difficulties over the years and as she was starting graduate school in the Fall, I decided it was best to give her the space she needed to focus on her studies. I recently learned from my sister that she is getting married in June and does not want me at her wedding. I was devasted by this news and I’m struggling to accept it. I’d be interested in learning how others have coped with being excluded from the weddings of their children and would appreciate guidance on how to get through this. In the short term, I’m immersing myself in learning to bake cakes from scratch, especially chocolate cakes. This isn’t a solution, but a helpful distraction. Many thanks in advance for your advice and support!

    • #74572

      Dear friends, a therapist told me support groups help with grief; a book I just read said “find your tribe.” So here I am. Hello, tribe. I am grateful for you, but it sucks to be part of the club (only slightly reassuring that it’s such a LARGE club?!?!).

      I’m the stepmother of two girls, whom I raised and who introduced me as their mom for years. The younger I won’t consider entirely estranged. She’s 21 and enough of a space case that her dad and I seldom hear from her; but she’s always been less interested in relationships and harder to understand, so it hurts less. The older one was my girl — the child of my heart after I failed to conceive and then her mom kicked her out to live with us. She was my world. We did everything together. Our home was where her friends hung out. I was her go-to person through the normalcy of break-ups and horrible teachers, college, and law school, but also through the more extreme of suicide gestures, psych wards, and eventually treatment for substance abuse. Once she was clean and well, I sort of figured we were out of the woods. She got engaged and moved across country, but it was a happy coming-of-age, not an estrangement.

      Until 14 weeks after she moved, and suddenly, things went wrong. There is a story, of course, but it’s not a story that warranted estrangement…and it’s not a story that any logical observer would find horrifying, just normal family dynamics. But her response was to cut us off. All cards and gifts suddenly returned to sender. The wedding moved to her new coast and us not alerted to the date nor invited. She moved again, changed e-mails and cell numbers — we didn’t get any of the new contact info. She blocked us on all social media — Facebook doesn’t even show me that she exists, though I have extended cousins who still see her stuff. She has since had a son and is expecting a daughter in April — again, my husband and I know through other people.

      Yes, her mom “bought” her back, which is part of the story. But we’d been dealing with divorce drama for decades, and it wasn’t a reason to estrange. Yes, she’s probably got borderline personality disorder, but that, too, doesn’t always end this way.

      I am heartbroken and in deep grief. It’s been 4.5 years since I’ve had any contact at all….and I kept thinking she’d come around, this would just be a phase, etc., etc….but it’s not. And now part of my grief is that I don’t think I want her back anymore. I would never trust that this wouldn’t happen again, and I can’t wrap my head around it. Logically, I know I didn’t do (or not do) anything that “should” result in this, and yet, here I am. No children, given the best years of my life (as they say), no grands, and no explanation. I feel like I will never stop crying, but I don’t want to become old and bitter.

      How do we not become bitter?

  • #74174
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Dear NYVTeacherCoach – welcome, and thank you for your introduction. A week, a month, a year or twenty years, estrangement is estrangement and it always hurts. It sounds as though you have done your utmost in as much as doing what you can from your end, so it’s probably just a waiting game now.

    Please do update as you are able. Sheri’s book, Done with the Crying, has helped other people on this forum. It’s available from Amazon.

    With love and hugs

    Dotty

    • #74207
      NYLVTeacherCoach
      NYLVTeacherCoach
      Participant

      Thank you for the welcome, Dotty. I will check out the book. I will be sure to update, as things progress (IF they progress).

      I sent another text this weekend, and, although I can now tell that he did NOT block me (I received a read receipt), he did not answer. I think that actually hurts worse.

      Thanks again for the kind words.
      NYLVTeacherCoach

  • #74678
    Avatar
    Brokenheartedmother
    Participant

    Hello Everyone ,im new to this forum im estranged from three of my four adult children. Trying to just get through each day. Life is v lonely .Dont know what to do next. Finding it difficult to think straight.

  • #74712
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome and hello, to Brokenheartedmother,

    It sure is a very painful , emotional problem to try to cope with. We understand how difficult and awful it is.

    I suggest you read some posts, under other topics, and you will see some that are helpful for you, and learn about others, here.
    And you could start a new topic, and call it, “I don’t know what to do”
    and write a little bit or more.

    You will get some suggestions to consider that might help you.

    I am sorry this happened. You are right, it’s a very lonely feeling.

    Needothers

  • #74748
    Avatar
    Elizabeth2016
    Participant

    I just joined and am learning how to use this medium as a technically challenged senior. This is my introduction and any advice will always be welcome.
    My daughter, who is married with children estranged us almost 3 years ago. It happened a few months after her older brother died suddenly. Now I have lost both my children and it has been very hard emotionally. My daughter and I had been very close (or at least I thought so) up to that point and she lives only a few blocks away from our house. We had also been regular babysitters for her 2 young children but she also cut them off. Despite all her false allegations of my supposed abuse she now lets us see our grandchildren again under certain conditions. She wants no contact with us herself but is polite when dropping off or picking up the grandkids at our house.
    I am slowly recovering but there are still many down days. Your group is helping.
    One question I have is are there others out there who became estranged after a tragic event??

  • #74759
    BeeHere4Me
    BeeHere4Me
    Participant

    Welcome Elizabeth2016, we are glad you found your way here.

    I am so sorry for the loss of your children, one by death and the other by estrangement. I respect and honor your strength, endurance and the wisdom you gained. No one can truly understand this pain until it is experienced.

    This is a forum of compassionate and understanding members that know the difficulty
    of estrangement. Although our circumstances may vary, the pain we share is quite the same.
    Some members are here longer than others, and some are new. Together, the collective wisdom
    is an invaluable resource and arm of support for you.

    I encourage you to have a copy of Sheri McGregor’s “Done With the Crying” and carefully follow
    her instructions at the beginning of the book. And most important for your well-being, is to
    complete each exercise. Doing so will move you forward and pull you from the depths of despair.
    Also, there is access to Sheri’s Articles which reflects her ongoing commitment to support parents experiencing estrangement.

    A quick answer to your question, my own belief is that if your relationship was close prior to the traumatic event, then her change of behavior since, may be an indication of her difficulty processing the grief. It is a whole easier just to dump it all on you. Unfortunately, that option only compounds the problem for her, you, and any one else caught in the ripple effect.

    I encourage you to post this question on the general forum and allow the other members to offer their insight. It is possible to receive various perspectives and each is meaningful. I hope you do, as I am interested in their responses as well.

    Also, please do not hesitate to offer your insight by responding to other posts. That process
    can be a helpful component of your recovery.

    Again, Welcome to the Forum!
    🐝

  • #74789
    Avatar
    Justine57
    Participant

    I joined this forum because my daughter decided she doesn’t want anything to do with me. It was a shock, as I thought our relationship was fine. She is 30 and said that she has felt this way since she was 18. I still see my son fairly regularly so I’m trying to work out what is different about my daughter. I wonder if she is just immature and there is nothing I can do. Or, perhaps do I treat my daughter differently to my son. Or, does my son just react differently to my daughter because he is better at dealing with the general troubles that come with being part of a family. I don’t know if there is anything I can do to change my behaviour because I desperately want to be in her life. Or does she have something against me that I just can’t change so I should just give up on her.

  • #74790
    Avatar
    Sunshine61
    Participant

    Hello Everyone, I am a divorced Woman with two Adult Children, I have been tossed aside for reasons unknown to me. All I know is about 11 years ago my 20-year-old Daughter left with someone she knew briefly at College. eventually, they Married and has a child. I was not invited to the Wedding and Did not invite supposedly anyone for that fact. However, I was crushed. I asked what the problem is and all she told me then was as now, this is not the time. I was in a Bad Marriage where I did lots of yelling……. at him. however, My Daughter believes it was at her and her Brother. I admit I did yell ….Occasionally. I was SO stressed between his ( EX ) lies and his Mother telling me every chance she got how her Son Married beneath them. She did not like me because of my Religion and that My Father was Polish and My Mother Italian. She was not religious, only when she needed to be.
    I did suffer from Postpartum depression but was never officially diagnosed until many years later. I never went to the Dr. over time, I started thinking, I was never good enough. I did what my Ex wanted to do, go where he wanted to go and he ALWAYS was spending money, on himself only. Not my kids or me. I started taking that as we were not worthy. Anyway. After the divorce, I was on my own, rented a house and was working. I had help with Alimony and trust me I just about scraped by. Then he stopped paying me Alimony and I lost everything. I lost my job and was evicted from the house. I ended up living in My car not once but twice. I text My Daughter and she replies but I have not seen my Grandchild in person, now, there is another on the way. I always dreamt of helping my Daughter or going out to lunch etc. I don’t see that happening. Maybe she hates me because I did not financially support her when she left at 20, I didn’t ask her to leave in fact I found out that day! I don’t know. All I hear is how wonderful her inlaws are. They have seen my Grandchild. Me? I have to jump through hoops to post a drawing my Grandchild drew. I’m not like my Friends who get to brag, post pictures etc not me. I’m so embarrassed by how My kids treat me. For G-d sakes, my older Sisters kids treat her like gold! and let me tell you she was never there for her kids, I know because they lived with my Parents and me when I was younger, My Sister could not be without her husband and when he worked she would sit in the car and wait till he finished. She left her oldest on the side of the road when she was 7 because she was crying. anyway, those kids do everything for her. I’ve apologized to my Daughter saying how sorry I was that I was depressed and that she possibly felt loved. I’m so sorry for this If you want to delete my post it’s ok. I wasn’t expecting to ramble on.

  • #74803
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Justine57,
    Welcome to our group. I am sorry for the deep confusion and grief, you feel, due to your daughter who does not want you in her life now. She is 30, and you probably cannot change whatever she has concluded in her mind.
    You probably have tried and tried, the best you can, which is all you can do. She would probably need to change something herself, to make it possibly work.
    Welcome here. We understand the hurt, and hope for the best for you.

    Needothers

  • #74837
    Avatar
    Deanne
    Participant

    Hi. I’m estranged 8 months on Mothers Day. I was always a single parent. My DD was diagnosed with autism at a young age and so the fight with service providers began. Being single had it’s pro’s, no one contradicted me. Besides that, when I did meet someone my DD would find a reason not to like them and encourage me to end the relationship which I did. Not straight away because she said to but I did. Moving on….my fight paid off. DD got a place at Uni but made the brave decision to leave after completing the first term. I was disappointed but also admired her braveness.

    She came home, left home, was asked by landlord to leave shared house due to her behaviour making the others feel unsafe, came home, left home SILENCE.

    I did get a double edged text on Christmas Day, along the lines of, it is not healthy for me to be around you when you are drinking. My FAULT was drinking to excess on occasion. Lets just say that service providers play dirty, real dirty. I have no family close by, I’ve estranged myself from my mother because she was bad to me but started bullying my daughter too. I’ve recently reached out to her, now knowing the pain of estrangement but I will, for the foreseeable, only communicate via email. So I drank too much at times. It was my only vice that my DD used against me. Because of her diagnosis, I was her Carer too and lived on benefits. It’s a soul destroying way of having to live but I applied to charities, jumped through service providers hoops to enable funds for my DD to go on all school trips, attend Theatre Arts class etc etc. She got everything she needed and a bit of what she wanted that I could afford.

    One day she said….we are poor. Get a job. I was aghast. We have a roof over our head. The bills are paid. We have food in the cupboards. In comparison to many, we are rich. I’ve always lived on a tight budget. My DD was my priority. Now she is gone.

    To add to that, prior to her coming in to the world, I was a soldier for 13 years. So, in a way, I have been main stream socially isolated since 1988. I’ve reached out for help. I have good days and not so good days. I may have PTSD, I do have anxiety. I think we’ve found a medication that works without awful side effect, for me. I’ve physical injuries. I have a ‘self destruct’ streak in me.

    I’ve bought the book. I’ll get to it on good days. I wasn’t blameless. From a young age, I recognised that my DD was manipulative. Soooooooo many unanswered questions. Only today I remembered being out in the evening with a veteran. I was driving so wasnt drinking, of course. My DD phoned me and asked if she could stop over at home. I said yes and agreed to pick her up at 10pm. At 9:20, she calls again, saying where are you? Yup, I was always there for her when she needed me but she’s dropped me like a ton of bricks’

    This has made me ill but I’m fighting it but find that I’ve got many years of regular human experience to catch up which I find both annoying and amusing at times. Some people have the strangest idea’s and oh!!! God forbid you challenge their opinion lol,

    So I’m on my own, not claiming benefits, by the way because I didnt have the mental strength to jump through the systems hoops. living off a very recent windfall, which has reduced the pressure massively, trying to find a job in a market that is double dutch to me, with Mothers Day around the corner…… I do wonder if the DD would be keen to reacquaint herself with me, if she knew I had money in the bank??? Just a thought. We are allowed those you know. Good and bad. They’re just thoughts.

    Thanks for reading through all my disjointed waffle. Feel free to ask for clarity. Just had to do this before I persuaded myself otherwise.

    Hugs to you all 🙂 x Tomorrow is another day and will be better 🙂 X

  • #74844
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome Sunshine61,
    Those are a lot of difficult challenges that you had to deal with, for many years, and you did the best you were able to, at the time, and tried to do what you could for your children, while life was sure not easy for you.
    I am sorry that your AD cannot understand the difficulties you faced, and is not supportive in any way to you, and is not forgiving for mistakes you made, while you were under large stresses, and depressions and disappointments and hardships.

    You are right about what you said near the end of your writing, that many parents who were clearly neglectful or worse to their children, gets accepted and loved and catered to, when those children are adults. Those others of us, who made no worse errors, or who even didn’t make any serious errors, can be treated even worse than other parents. There isn’t any sense or reason, to which of us are cast off as unforgivable or useless, or harmful.

    It is a confusing thing. Even some very great parents get abused and disregarded by adult children, while other parents, good or bad, or worse, are treated well.

    All we can do is try. We cant make anyone, even our children, love us, even though we do love them, and did at least some things, well for them.

    Welcome to Deanne, also.

    You are both brave and honest. Parenting is very difficult , even if we were well, and had better situations, than many of us did. ANd it is extra difficult, in both of the lists of life stressors that you two explain.

    We hope that tomorrow will be a bit better, in some way, for each of you, and for each of the rest of the readers, here.

    And oh, Sunshine61,
    many of us have the extra heartache over the grandchildren we are not allowed to know, for unknown reasons, or for lists of varying reasons. It still hurts.
    Needothers

  • #74849
    QuiltingHelps
    QuiltingHelps
    Participant

    Hi everyone! Quilting Helps! I have been alone, estranged from my 31 year old daughter (now aparently referred to as ED), up until Sunday, March 17th, when I found this site, for just over 1 year! March 18th would have been her 31st Birthday, but for some reason, unknown to me, she decided to not accept my conditions and “Estranged” me. I asked her to stop treating me like shit, if she couldn’t do that then I no longer could have her in my life! So, watch what you say, you may nearly die trying to accept the results! I asked why? Since that day I spoke to her once, the day before she went to watch her father die! Then I saw her at her Father’s Funeral and said the same thing, So, so, sorry for your loss!
    I thought I had felt the ultimate pain when I lost my mother 20 years ago. But I have never felt an ache like I do as an Estranged Parent of an Adult Child! My story is different in many ways from most. I was a closetted lesbian until the age of 40. Married, 2 children, house, white picket fence story! 2 teenage daughters, at the age where the affects could go either way? 12 and 17! I run away from home and moved to NFLD to be me! They forgave me!
    I came back! OD gone to New York City to Culinary scchool, and on the road to Success!
    Long story short, I remarried 6 years ago, my childhood love, a woman! OD came with her husband! Nice guy, funny as hell, and Greek. Oh yeah and American! Her sister and I are Canadian. Made all her derogatory remarks about a dyke Canadian wedding with boots and plaid shirts! But we said nothing! I have never said anything! Why? In fear I would be right where I am today!
    Watch what you fear!
    So here I am with OD now ED and YD right here telling me I just need to change my choice! So Mom you know how she is! Just take what she has to give and cater to her every request, demand, want, whim….etc! Just like I always have! I know I’m not perfect, and haven’t done all the right things? But I am human, I have made my amends, if you have something to say then just say it? But Estrangement ?? Really? Right after you give birth and introduce me to my Grandson?
    Anyways! I ordered the book! And thank you so much for being here! I lost hope! Honestly the backness was like no other I have faced! Coming out was not an easy thing for me! I am so afraid she has done this out of shame!
    I have been reading stuff for 3 days now and I am so grateful to be Alone No More! Thank you again! Quilting does help some, unless I think!

  • #74861
    Avatar
    Miamiyou
    Participant

    Hello everyone! I’m new here and can’t tell you how happy I am to have found this site. I’m a mother of four children whose youngest child has separated himself from our family. I was a young mother and wife. Not working, I stayed at home to raise my family. My three older children are 18 months apart and there are five years between my youngest daughter and youngest son. XX was like an only child. The three older children were all in school and it was just he and I. The only child I breastfed and just an overall mommy’s boy; I loved it. Time passed and I began working yet still devoted my time to being a mom. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for mg children; I love them more than life. As fate would have it, they grew and became their own person, even XX. He began dating a girl from a nearby town. We are a welcoming family and brought her in as part of the family. XX triedcollege but it wasn’t for him. He was more of a hands on guy and loved working on cars. My mom passed away March 2015 and shortly after that, my youngest son shocked us all with the news he was going to join the Army. It wasn’t the greatest news but he’s an adult and not going to college so maybe this was a good thing. Soon after joining college, he married the girl he had been dating; and so it started. Once a ring was out on her finger, EVERYTHING changed. It’s been 3 years and 3 months since my son married and of those years, I have no physically seen or talked to my son in 2.5 years. What is so wrong that they feel like they have to alienate themselves from the life we gave my son? We are a close family; carve pumpkins, color eggs, celebrate birthdays and get together when we can. You’d think she would want to be part of that and engage with a warm and loving family. My son seems to be okay with the fact of not being a part of the family he grew up in. I struggle daily with this and it has affected how I interact with people and most importantly, my family. My three older children have voiced their anger about this and it’s painful to hear. My family is not complete, and I fear it never will be. I’m hoping this group will allow me to come to grip with the understanding of what’s happen to my family; my world.

  • #74860
    Avatar
    Niecey
    Participant

    Dear quiltinghelps,

    I am so sorry for pain. I totally agree that this pain in many ways is worse the losing our parents .

    I am reading the book as well hoping to find a way forward. Both my sons have chosen to walk away from us.

    I do find solace here so I hope you do as well. While I do not quilt, knitting quieten my mind.

    Have as good day.

    A fellow Canadian

  • #74887
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Quiltinghelps,
    Giving you a big welcome to our group. I am sorry for all of what you have been through, that has been difficult and challenging , and then to have one of your adult children, marry, have a child, and then decide to leave you totally outside.

    Each one of our stories differs in some ways, I have discovered. So yours is not the only one with differences from the rest.

    At first, when I joined I thought my own story was too different from everyone else’s, but I couldn’t be alone with this emotional pain any longer, so I gave it a try.

    And I am glad I did. Since then, I noticed that most of the stories have their own individual parts, yet, they overlap in the shock and disappointment, hurt, confusion, and difficult thoughts and feelings, and LONG time to look for ways to cope with complete rejection by adult children.

    Another overlap is that each of us is often faced with that question: how much do we attempt to change ourselves to TRY and beg, to be acceptable to them, and to be treated as decent people and caring parents? How many hoops would you like me to jump through, I could ask my loved AD, in order to be okay with you?
    And it often doesn’t work, even if we try that route.

    I have found a lot of understanding and mutual support amongst this group of people.
    I hope you do also! None of us were perfect parents, but we love our children and tried, and would like acceptance and respect from them, and some mutual caring if they have any, and forgiveness, if needed, when they are adults.
    Instead of shame and rigidity and rejection and shunning us. If that is how they are now, we cannot change them.

    You did the best you could, and what your AD decided is her decision. She might have done the same, even if your life story was a lot different. I have learned that it often has more to do with them, than with us, yet we are blamed, when they are taking their actions and making their decisions, that result more from who they became, than with what we did and did not do.

    We also cannot change ourselves completely, to see if they would like us, then.
    And what would it mean to us, if that is what it took?
    We do need to be ourselves, and if they don’t like us at all, it is so very difficult and painful to try to accept, but we are here to work on that.

    Needothers

  • #74890
    Needothers
    Needothers
    Participant

    Welcome to Miamiyou,
    We are sorry for the emotional pain, from what your son and his wife are doing, and we hope you can find more ways to cope with it,
    and to focus on your relationships with those other children and people who do want you in their lives. And on things you would like now too, as an adult yourself.
    It is very difficult to do, but so important, for you, and for the others in your family, who you are blessed to have.
    You are right that things will not be the same, and they will not be how you dreamed and hoped and envisioned and want. They will be something different, but try to find the joys.

    Welcome also to Niecey,
    I agree that this is one of the worst emotional pains of our lives, which is why we are here, trying to help each other, to mend as much as possible.

    Needothers

  • #75122
    Avatar
    Always
    Participant

    Hi. I’m Always. My beloved daughter, oldest of 4, estranged me (all of us) 6 months and 18 days ago. She did it with a matter of fact email stating that she had been I counseling and had never been happier. That she and her husband were closer than ever and that they need to “change their medium of interaction” with their “encumbered past”. She ended the email with “I love you, Mama.” And that was it. I got a “Have the happiest Thanksgiving” and a Christmas card. For all this time I have gone over and over things in my head. All my other children talk to me and their Dad. And their spouses are all very inclusive and encouraging. My daughter married a combative man who has little or no contact with almost his entire biological family. Since his teens he has “adopted” families. Looking back I see that I had repressed fears that one day he would do the same to all of us and take my daughter with him. Now, I see if an outside force would have suggested to my beloved daughter to dump us he would have said “your out of your mind” and walked away. But this is a force that has been slowly instigating and encouraging division between her siblings and her for 11 years until finally I think my daughter saw her life as being easier without all the tug of war between her husband whom she loves and her family from whom he would not be broken if she parted ways. He thinks family is disposable. And now, I think she has kind of been slowly, steadily influenced that we are disposable too. I love my daughter and I have adored him. Now, I just want some kind of contact with my daughter. I am almost finished with “done with the crying” and I am beginning to accept that I may never talk to her again. I have good days, better days and then there are bad days. The book has been very helpful for me. I know that I have actually and luckily done things and not done things that are positive since the estrangement. And questions I have are addressed in the book. I am putting one step in front of the other. I am eating better. I am back on the mountain hiking. I am trying to keep my broken heart beating. I heard a song on the radio called “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”. I listen to it often. It helps me. Anyway, that’s my story. I can’t believe this is happening to so many people. What a devastation to so many lives. But, we have to go on. We have no choice. I have to live and love and thrive. Like the book says, if she ever comes back again I want her to find me stronger and more Iminteresting than when she left me.

  • #75124
    Avatar
    Always
    Participant

    Does anyone know of a good resource for siblings of estranged siblings? My kids are really struggling with my daughter’s estrangement.

  • #75141
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear Always,

    I know a lot of siblings have found Done With The Crying helpful. I am working on more sibling help right now….

    Sheri

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