This topic contains 105 replies, has 63 voices, and was last updated by Dotty Dotty 2 days, 2 hours ago.

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  • #65797

    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.

    Sheri McGregor

  • #65810

    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


      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


      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


      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


      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


      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


      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.

    • #68370


      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.

  • #65826

    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:

    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:


    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


      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


    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


    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


      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


    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


    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

    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

    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.

    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


    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


    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

    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


    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

    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


    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

    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


      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


    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


    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


    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!

  • #66276

    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


    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

    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


    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,

  • #66396


    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


    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


    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.

  • #66422


    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

    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


    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

    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


    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


    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

    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

    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


    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


    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


    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.

    Sheri McGregor

  • #66859


    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


    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.

  • #66931

    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.

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

  • #66942

    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

    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


    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

    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

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

    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


    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

      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


    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.


  • #67323


    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

    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

    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


    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


      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

    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


    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

    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


      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


    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


    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

    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


    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
    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.

    Sheri McGregor

  • #67608


    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


    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

    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.

    Sheri McGregor

  • #67821


    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

    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


    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

    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


    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

    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


    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


    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

    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.

  • #68196

    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

    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

    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


    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

    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

    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


    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


    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

    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


    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

    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

    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

    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

    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


    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

    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


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

  • #69163


    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

      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,

  • #69125


    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


    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.

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