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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.

      • #73347

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

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

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


      • #71700

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

      • #71712

        Hello Freya,

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

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

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

        HUGS again.

        Sheri McGregor

      • #75120

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

      • #73193

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

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

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

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

      • #77467

        I can relate to extremely verbally abusive part and feeling guilty part. It does not matter whether they are successful or unemployed , I have come to reconcile with the fact that it is the nature of this person and we sometimes become their enabler.
        I have to take some blame for my action, I feel my wiring is faulty, it keeps going to them , whereas, I should be saying: ‘ it is my time, I have served them selflessly, now, I will treat myself with Love and Respect that I deserve’, but I don’t do that.

        Huge Thanks to Sheri McGregor for her courage to come forward and open this discussion, it is past time.

      • #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.

      • #71698

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

      • #86518


        Thank you for sharing your experiences. You have lived with this for much longer than most of us. I have experienced the same self-blame and shame though. I heard second-hand recently from my daughter that my efforts at apology are not sufficient. I’m beginning to come to terms with the idea that they will never be. I need to stop playing the begging game and move on with my life. We all did the best we could raising our children. If they can’t see fit to treat us with respect and kindness then we need to live our own lives. I love her so much but have to stop hurting over this.

    • #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.

      • #72120

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

    • #66422

      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,

      • #70585

        Dear CharlesAtlas,

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

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

        Join the other threads when you feel ready.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #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.

    • #69705

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

    • #69747

      Welcome Bumblebee and Nancylynn,

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

      Sheri McGregor

      • #69790

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

    • #69899

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

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


    • #69942

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

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

      I have felt blindsided for sure.

    • #69968

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

    • #70063

      Welcome Lookingforanswers

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

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

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

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



      • #70108

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Hugs to you my friend and to everyone out there!

    • #70067

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

    • #70244

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

    • #70268

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

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

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

      So sorry for how your daughter treated you, Bumblebee.

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

    • #70425

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

    • #70426

      Hello Everyone,

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

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

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

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

    • #70432

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

    • #70519

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #70524


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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #70552

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

    • #70530

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

      • #70584


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

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


    • #70532

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

      • #70583

        Dear Shatteredsoul,

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

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

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

        Sheri McGregor

    • #70582

      To welcome the new members!

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

      Hugs to you,
      Sheri McGregor

    • #70649

      Dear ShatteredSoul,

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

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


    • #70651

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

    • #70725

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

    • #70795

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

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

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

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

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

    • #70808

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

    • #70895

      Hi everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #70915

      Dear PhoebeHarriet,

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

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

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

      Hugs to you,
      Sheri McGregor

    • #70898

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

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

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

    • #70982

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #71023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Keep sharing, and peace to you.


    • #71074

      Thank you for that post, Emily38.

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

    • #71122

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

    • #71125

      Hello Tallulah,

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

      Sheri McGregor

    • #71218

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

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

      I highly recommend it.

    • #71280

      Hi , Bumblebee,

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

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

      Something to literally, hold on to.

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

    • #71406

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

    • #71423

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

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

    • #71515

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

    • #71560

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

    • #71798

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

    • #71854

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

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

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

      Hugs to all new and old members of this forum.

    • #72044

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

    • #72094

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

    • #72117

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

    • #72124

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

    • #72137

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

    • #72336

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

    • #72373


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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #72357

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

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

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

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


    • #72358

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Emily 38

      • #72593

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

    • #72406

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

    • #72430

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

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

      • #72594

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

    • #72434

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

    • #72453


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

      Hugs to you and your dear husband!

      Sheri McGregor

    • #72635

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #72753

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

    • #72755

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

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

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

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

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

    • #72756

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

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

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

    • #72797

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

    • #72846

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • #73024

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

        I sincerely hope you can find some peace.


    • #72980

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

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



    • #72983

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

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

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

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

    • #73023

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

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

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

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

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

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

      A New Day is offered with every sunrise 🙂


    • #73080

      Thank you so much BeeHere!

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

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

      Thank you again

    • #73167


      (I love that username you chose)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #73202

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

    • #73261

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

    • #73288

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

    • #73380

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

    • #73415

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #73427

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

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

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

      Welcome, Xrubicon and Oceanspace, everyone!

      • #73497


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

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

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

    • #73496

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

    • #73520

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

    • #73537

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

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

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

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

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

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

      I hope to see you, here and there!!

      • #73615

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

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

    • #73539

      Welcome, Respect.

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

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

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

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


    • #73624

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #73680

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

      Thank you for listening.

    • #73681

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

    • #73683

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      That’s my intro.

    • #73695

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

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

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

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

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

      Sound easy? It isn’t.

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

      I’m grateful you’ve found us.

      Please keep letting us know how you are.


    • #73775

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

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

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

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


    • #73886

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

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

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

    • #73898

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

    • #73963

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

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

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

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

    • #74150

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

      • #74572

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

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

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

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

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

        How do we not become bitter?

    • #74174

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

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

      With love and hugs


      • #74207

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

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

        Thanks again for the kind words.

    • #74678

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

    • #74712

      Welcome and hello, to Brokenheartedmother,

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

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

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

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


    • #74748

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

    • #74759

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Again, Welcome to the Forum!

    • #74789

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

    • #74790

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

    • #74803

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


    • #74837

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • #74844

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

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

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

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

      Welcome to Deanne, also.

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

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

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

    • #74849

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

    • #74861

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

    • #74860

      Dear quiltinghelps,

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

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

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

      Have as good day.

      A fellow Canadian

    • #74887

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    • #74890

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

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


    • #75122

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

    • #75124

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

    • #75141

      Dear Always,

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


    • #75226

      Hi we have a blended family and have all been together for over 13 years. All kids have known each other all their lifes. Well our fourth eldest aged 21 left 8 months ago and cut us all off. Im not her biological mum but have raised her since she was young. She got a new boyfriend began to distance herself from the rest of the family then left and has cut us off. Said she wants nothing to do with her dad and me. Ignores her siblings but is in contact wirh one daughter inlaw. Its so hard to know what we all did that was so wrong…her whole world is now the boyfriend and his family. We all got replaced. Trying to move forward but something always seems to bring her back linking to our lives but not in it. We live in a small town. And she hasnt moved far and still is involved in community events

    • #75314

      I have been searching for support. My daughter cut me out of her and her family’s life in March 2016. The pain is so hard, and unquenchable. It hits me at the wildest moments unexpectedly. I cannot understand why she has chosen to reject me. I have learned that this is an epidemic across our nation. Now my daughter-in-law is following suite. Crushing!

    • #75379

      Hello everyone.

      I have been reading and reading. I am also a mother of 2 estranged sons who decided to divorce me when I divorced their father after 25 years of marriage and his abuse. They say I ruined their family and their fathers life. Well no one told him to strangle me or try to shoot me so he lost his job and everything else his irresponsible decision has caused. My sons thought that I could have the charges dropped but it was not me it was the state who was prosecuting. This was in 2011 and honestly as a mother I miss the little boys I had not the men they have become. I also have learned through CODA that I was very codependent and now that I am in recovery I do not wish to be around them. I actually feel guilty because my life has peace in it. I have more money because they aren’t asking me for something all the time. I was always on edge because they would treat the way their father treated me with verbal abuse and no respect at all. I know they are alive and healthy because family members always let me know. They both have a child each. One is 4 and the other is 9 months. I have not met them and do not ever think I will. I have two daughters who both have 4 kids each so I am involved in their lives and the lives of their children. I love being a grandma and that is the only reason my heart hurts is for those babies. My sons were so horrible to me that one told me the only time he will be in my presence is when I die just so he can make sure I am really dead. It shocked me at first but I think now I am just numb to the pain them 3 have caused me because I actually don’t even care. They can’t hurt me anymore but I still hurt for those babies. I know that I am in a better place right now without them but can’t help but feel horrible about my feelings. When I feel like we might cross paths my anxiety level is sky high. I avoid any place they might be because I can’t handle the thought of their abusive behavior. So here I come to just share my story. Sending hugs to everyone.

    • #75431
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome LivingLife4me. Thank you for sharing your story. That old blame game, that old manipulation and control game gets so tiring and when we wake up and realize that we have more peace when these nefarious ones are not in our everyday life, well that is when healing starts. Sheri’s book can help with those feelings you feel horrible about. I always highly recommend it. Again, welcome to you and I am sorry to hear your pain.

    • #75452

      mother of 3, 2 sons, 1 daughter. oldest son is from first marriage. his stepdad fell in love with my son at first sight. we waited to have children to spend time alone with him. he was treated with special care to make up for having a different father. his bio father and relatives didn’t come into his life until the last year of college. since then he started to disrespect us and finding fault in everything we do. after we put our foot down his aunt showed up and moved him out and he lives with her. we got an email saying that i am toxic and have a narcissist disorder. his sister and brother are blocked and cannot talk to him. he won’t talk to me or his stepfather and we are blocked to.

      i found this website months ago when i was at the end of my rope. i read alot of the articles and they are good. i read the posts everyday and they helped me and i know i am not the only mother who is in my position. he ignored his brother and sisters birthday and stepfathers birthday. he ignored my birthday 2 weeks ago and now i am angry.

    • #75500

      Hello Everyone,
      I joined this site after Christmas but couldnt bring myself to write anything. Some of the stories here make me so very sad and it was just too much for me to handle. I still have trouble reading posts on here because it is like PTSD for my mind and its like reliving a horrible nightmare over and over but I figured the sadness and fear I feel reading some of these posts has prevented me in maybe moving forward in my own healing by remaining silent and not getting things off my chest that are bothering me. It has been just about a year since I stopped talking to my son/he stopped talking to me. We had a wonderful relationship (I was a single mother) until he met his girlfriend/wife now. I believe she changed him in a negative way and that was the demise of our relationship. On one hand I see my life clearer than before if that makes sense?? but I struggle with things I should have said over the years and blame myself for not standing up for myself more with what I believed was happening. Her mother is a narcissist and I believe due to her mommy issues she started a wedge between him and I that just grew and grew. The worst day for him and I was a fight the night before his wedding and I stormed off angry and he said things he shouldnt have and later apologized for. He was extremely embarrassed for himself that he made up some excuse to me as to why I shouldnt come to the rehearsal dinner after he called me when I left. I blamed myself for not controlling my emotions better and feel guilty for that but what’s done is done. I feel so betrayed by him and I am completely alone in life other than him and my dog. No family, no “real” friends. I feel like I totally wasted 30 years of my life and should never had even had the idea I should have become a mother. I am 50 years old and now feel so lost in the world that even now a year later things dont seem any better for me. My question lately is when I see my new doctor in May can I put down “none” in the part where you fill out in case of emergency notiify this person……….. I dont even want him to know if i’m sick or dying in the if i’m in the hospital one day. (I due have a chronic blood cancer) I feel for everyone here who has been rejected. I know I feel like I have no purpose in life really and dont know what to do. Thank you for listening.

      • #75568

        AnnTSocial – Your post touched me. I am so sorry for what you’ve been through. I lost my son to a woman who entered his life. We were close for 30 years, though looking back I realize that I always had to agree with him to keep things running smooth. You’re right – you see things more clearly once you have some distance.

        In December my daughter suddenly left home. Again under the influence of another individual. That entire story is beyond horrendous and a pain I know will never go away.

        I know the depths of despair. I know being alone. I have been single since her father walked out because I wouldn’t have an abortion. I devoted my life to her (my other children were much older, so it was her and I). I too have a dog – also a cat, rabbit, and parrots… LOL. My personal zoo. There were times that they were the reason for getting up in the morning.

        Less than a week after my daughter left I found Sheri’s book, this community, and a great therapist. But I also decided that I am much more than someone’s mother. Though I continue to be on a roller coaster ride and know that will continue for a very long time, I am slowly moving forward.

        I recently finished repainting the bedroom that was hers during her younger years. Even painted over the growth marks we’d made on the wall. It took me several weeks to get it done – baby steps, but it was personal growth for me.

        I recently bought another house – starting a new life, and will be putting my current home of almost 24 years up for sale this summer. I told my therapist that I hear myself tell people about the furniture I have for sale and I sound positive, but at the same time there is a pain in my gut. This horrible thing that these children have done to us is painful. But how we move forward is up to us.

        I wish you all the best in this journey. You will be okay… one baby step at a time. And remember, there are a LOT of people here pulling for you! The door here is always open 😀


    • #75518

      Sorry to all for my spelling errors 🙂

    • #75632

      I thought I had introduced myself,but does not seam to have happened,I have 2 boys and three grandsons.
      2013 my youngest son started going out with this girl she barley spoke to me and when she came to the house she would go straight to his room.after a year the wanted to move in together still the same with her anyway my first grandson came along which I was over the moon obviously I wanted to share this news with all my friends home and abroad I posted a picture of myself holding the GS when he was hours old and you could hardly see him, then on mother’s day I got a call from my son shouting at me down the phone saying that I had posted a photo on Facebook and they did not want that,I told him I would take it off. Things went from then on just got worse,I was told I had to make an appointment to see GS,nd they did not want photos on media due to pedos, then birthday, Christmas, cards stopped and I did not have visits from my son,the last time I made an appointment I arrived at there house but unknown to me he had txt me when I was driving to say I was not to go as his GF had said I was not out to see GS in over 4 weeks,but I went to the door as I had things for GS told my son this was a ridiculous situation and he need to get it sorted since then they have had another son I was not told by my son that she was pregnant or when he was born he will be 2 next month and I have never seen him.
      Older son his GF I got on really well with we went shopping together got nails done,they moved into there own house we helped them out with all that and financially for the deposit for house .she got pregnant all was fine till last Christmas she was very quite,baby was 3 mths old
      Got to January 2018 and they were round at ours she hardly spoke,so they went away,and my son contacted me to ask why I had unfriend her on Facebook I hadn’t she had I asked why the excuse I got was I don’t talk to her,cut a long story,I was told I could not see GS till we had sorted things out I went round and she said she has no time to talk I tried again and she started shouting at me for no reason at the door. In both cases I don’t understand in youngest son why could not put the photo behind us I apologised for god sake.older son I just don’t understand what I have done,we even had to go to a lawyer to try and get the money back as it’s quite substantial

      Any way this time of year is hard for me as I am sure it is for all the mothers on here.xx

    • #75635

      Thank you healing heart for all of the kind words and the inspiration. I’m so sorry for your hurt and pain. Just letting things out (typing them out) has been very helpful to me. I hope to draw on everyones energy here. I know if I didnt have my dog I wouldnt have the care to even bother to get up every morning so he is a godsend to me. Thank you again so much!!!!!

    • #76007

      I have been an estranged mom since 2012 (my youngest son). It turns out that this “estrangement” coincided with his father’s affair, so, needless to say my then husband did nothing to heal the rift. I have been through hell and back… estrangement, betrayal, adultery and divorce (and learning that I was married to a Sociopath for 36 years). Just when I thought it could not get worse, it has. Turns out that as of last Monday, I am a grandmother (a boy). I was never told of the pregnancy nor the birth. I was also excluded from the baby shower. I am hurt beyond measure.

    • #76026


      First of all, THANK YOU Sheri McGregor, for your book, “Done with Crying”. I don’t know why it took me so long to get here. I am about halfway through the book – I’m STUDYING it, not just reading it – and already I can feel a load being lifted off of my soul. You are showing me a way that I couldn’t find by myself. Again, thank you for the book and thank you for this community and for your courageous insights into the heartaches of rejected parents.

      We adopted our son as a baby and he is our only child. For the longest time I thought his estrangement was somehow due to his being adopted. I read all the books about the separation trauma of adopted babies. I was digging myself deeper into what-did-we-do-wrong, what-can-I-do-to-fix-this guilt trip.

      My own pain and heartache intensified. I went to Al Anon meetings to try to get some relief, but no one seemed to quite get it, and I was too shy and inhibited to share much. In retrospect, I think that might have been a good self protective measure. The advice I was getting was not doing me much good.

      My husband and I were wonderful parents. We gave our son the best of who we are. We were devoted to him and somehow thought that we were his family as he was ours.

      The estrangement began when he met his wife to be, the first girl he ever really dated. She did not like us from the beginning, and was determined that she would marry him. She did, and we gave our blessing, but it has been downhill ever since (about 8 or more years). They did not visit us, all holidays centered around her family, the calls got less and less frequent, until it finally become clear that we had no relationship with our son, and were not part of his life. His wife has become openly hostile toward us (especially me) and declared that when they have children (they are trying), she wants us to have no part of them. He sides with her.

      So … I’ve been struggling with the estrangement and heartache for awhile. I think I’ve been in an ongoing depression. But with reading Sheri’s book, something is lifting for me, and I can see the way forward. I look forward to learning more as I find my way.

    • #76046

      I want to welcome you, Libbie, to our site and our group.

      I am so sorry that your son is not wanting you to be included in his adult life, and his wife even more hurtful in actions and words, (including closing yo uout of grandchildren, which many of us experience too)
      though he is the one you loved and took care of, and he is and was, your son.

      The heartache and searching for answers, could cause depression, in my opinion.
      I am glad you found Sheri’s book and this site.

      You will find many understanding and supportive people, with very good ideas, that do help inch us toward realizing we did do our best, and that is all we can do.
      Some of us are faced with this shocking and upsetting outcome, like yours.

      Welcome to each one of the newcomers.

    • #76071

      Greetings all!

      I don’t really know quite where to start. My heart aches for your stories, yet mine is eerily similar. My daughter, oldest of 2 kids, kicked us (her parents) out of her life over 11 years ago. Over the next couple years she proceeded to estrange from herself from entire family. Including cousins, grandparents and her brother. Her and her brother had always been quite close.

      Our sin, in her eyes, was being abusive parents. It came as quite a shock and we cried for weeks. Like most of you (if not all of you) I searched my heart and memory banks for what she could possibly be referring to. Turns out, we were imperfect parents (shame on us!) Oh, yes, there is much more to this story, but I won’t get into it. But, no, there was no abuse. It seems our biggest problem was not being wealthy enough. or perfect enough. Gawd, if only I could have been the one person in all humanity that was perfect.

      She has been living overseas, eventually becoming a citizen of her new home, for over 20 years.

      The one thing that I finally realized was that all I, as a parent, needed to know was that she’s ok. I’ve been able to keep up with her somewhat on social media, but no one has heard a word from her for years.

      It came down to us as parents understanding that she has some sort of mental illness or personality disorder or ??? She can’t seem to keep any type of relationship healthy.

      Right now, my pain is resurging because she’s having a medical crisis and I can’t be there to help her or even talk to her. Either her dad or I would gladly jump on a plane ASAP if she wanted us to. But, we have absolutely no contact info. It’s really killing me, knowing she had no one there to help her out. At least she never refers to even a friend on social media.

      thanks for listening

    • #76136

      Welcome, Maximus,
      I am so sorry for what you went through with your daughter, in those past years,

      and now, the present worries you have about her.

      I have no contact info for mine, either. It does feel awful.

      And, I did worry for years, but the worry part has decreased for me. I still feel the grief, but less of the worry. They are adults now. And,
      If they don’t let us have any contact, we cannot help.

      There is even a chance that
      Perhaps your daughter DOES actually have people that she hides from view, and doesn’t want others, especially you, to know she does have help.
      I had a different family member who did that. It was very disturbing.

      But, you did do everything the best you could for your daughter. As did I.

      Btw, even if we had been able to be the ” only perfect people in the world”
      as you said 😉
      I feel certain my daughter (and yours, probably too) would have had a different definition of what perfect is.

      I am sure I wasn’t wealthy enough for mine, too. As you said. Even though, mine had everything she needed and more.

      It definitely adds worry for you, that your daughter is in a foreign country and has some medical problem.
      I am Sorry you and her dad, find yourselves in this situation.


    • #76178

      I’d like to introduce myself.

      My story started when my daughter was 11 or 12. She became anorexic. There was no triggering event. All I can think was there was a huge push for kids,parent,schools and organizations to be more health conscious and that everything she was involved with were counting steps and calories and weighing them. Also her first friend at high school was a model and weight loss was an issue.

      We sought professional help. We had years of in an out of hospitals and therapy.

      She was in “in-house” care at about the age of 16 or 17 when she decided to leave to live with her girlfriend. At this point she did have a diagnosis of borderline-personality disorder. Her girlfriend,who also had anorexia had a diagnosis of folie a deaux with my daughter being the dominating personality.

      She told her therapist that her father had raped her and her siblings while I had watched. There were a whole swathe of slanderous tales being spread around that it was a relief when the police told my husband and I what had been said, even though it was all so terrible, there was some relief to know what was going on. The police brought in cadavre dogs to “look for the bodies of her dead babies”

      She got into prostitution, And got pregnant

      We would have stood by her and her children.(there are 2 now)

      Then s few years ago she went to another city for training in the Health Industry where she said she had met someone else, and they were in love and that she was going through donor insemination so that her and the new girlfriend could have a baby that was “theirs’ as her girlfriend “had cancer” and couldn’t conceive. This actually was the same girlfriend as before so I am not sure why such an elaborate story

      She changed her name and that of her first daughter because she said someone was stalking her.

      I believe that she wasn’t anywhere else, I think she was doing a trial separation. She did get in touch with me last year and I did see her a bit. But really not so much her children. And then suddenly I heard no more , my emails and phone calls were un-returned. I have heard nothing from her in nearly a year.
      The other thing was we hadn’t fought, there was nothing leading up to this estrangement.Regardless of what had gone on I would have said we “clicked” I think while in hospital she received positive reinforcement regarding the stories she told and they were a way to insinuate herself into the family of her girlfriend. I think part of the reason she doesn’t want contact is that she may be caught out on those stories.
      I have good friends and have been able to talk to them about things and who have been truly very supportive. I have tried to be honest with people when I am asked about my daughter, even though it does hurt and I refuse to feel guilty. I am not a perfect parent and I have made mistakes along the way .

    • #76204

      Hello Angus,

      A big Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story.

      I am sorry that you are suffering, but glad that you found your way to this forum. The members have various backgrounds as well as estrangement stories. But despite the differences, there is a common bond which is grieving the loss of child to a situation that you have no control.

      I highly recommend that you read Sheri’s book and complete all of the exercises. Doing so, will move you forward and onto enjoying a new life. The site offers various resources, and the articles are part of Sheri’s ongoing work to support parents of estranged children.

      I encourage you to post a new thread to the forum so you will receive responses from forum members. You are not alone and will receive understanding and support.

      Again, welcome to the forum!


    • #76249

      Welcome , angus,
      I am so sorry for all you have been through, over your daughter.

    • #76260

      Hello, I am new to this site. I recently lost my relationship with my 35 year old daughter because of a cluster B man who is married. The sad thing is about 3 years ago my daughter was involved with a sociopath and as able to escape and heal from his control but now she has ended up in a similar situation. She has also ruined her relationship with her twin sister over this man, they used to be the closest of friends so it is very sad to witness. I hope that she one day realizes that this man is toxic and that her family loves her, I hope she is guided back to us.

    • #76453

      Hi Calmlittlebuddha – Welcome to this wonderfully supportive site. Thanks for your introduction – it’s so sad when our children decide that they don’t want us in their lives, and the pain is dreadful for the siblings too. I hope you can find some solace here on this site, and do join in the conversations when you feel able.


    • #76524

      I am new to the group. Sheri’s insightful book helped me and shocked me. The length of the estrangements and the legal issues that come with EAC are startling. I have been estranged from my 31 yr old twins sons for 6-7 months. They both married mean girls. Little by little these third party influencers started their work. Secrets, lies about me and about each other started. I noticed it but thought my sons love me and nothing was ever going to change that. Wrong! When I realized it was too late and they believed the lies, I went into a deep dark hole of depression. Terrible mom X 2. No one loved me. How did I let this happen? I had failed at the one job I thought I was good at. I felt like my heart had been “shredded by a bear”. Thru the months and holiday months, I retreated, I hid in that dark hole, waited to die and wondered why was I still alive? My sweet sister found Sheri’s book for me. So many truths in Sheri’s book that I learned to live again. I haven’t stopped crying and I haven’t healed yet but I am willing to live now as revenge. They will not win! I have given them too much power over my emotional health but not anymore. Sheri tells us it’s easier to have Mom mad at you rather than your wife so that was their choice. They are grown men, they chose. If people ask me about my sons, I tell them they’re a**holes. People usually laugh and say no they’re not but tell them they haven’t called their mom (who lives alone) for 6 months and they will agree and end the conversation! Stay strong!

    • #76577

      Welcome, calmlittlebuddha,
      I am so sorry for what you have been through with your daughter. Sad for her sister as well.

      Also welcome to Hellandback,

      I am so sorry for the heartache, and falling into that terribly dark hole, I know so well.

      That is poignant, and seems striking to me, that you asked YOURSELF, how did I let this happen.

      It does FEEL that way to us, but we didn’t do it! They did. Even making mistakes and NOT being the perfect parent (which is impossible) should not have this outcome. Many adults accept the imperfections or the perceived errors, of their parents. Ours don’t. We cannot influence it.

      I hope you both find some needed ideas and support, here at this site, as I do.

      I was very generous with my adult child. She is not. She just did not turn out that way.


    • #76655

      I am new to this site and still find it difficult to admit that my Ed rejected me. I stopped working 10 years ago to be there to look after my gc in school holidays. She lives about 100km from us. And it was what I wanted to do. We always had a strained relationship as he never close to my husband . Her biological left as when she was 5yrs old and never contacted her again. I never discussed her biological father with her.She blames me for this now. She cut us out of her life after my husband retired 3 years ago. Told me that she does not need me as I was never there for emotionally when she needed me. She answers my calls only when she feels like it , very short and only answers my questions. Also never returns my messages. They have not come to visit us in 3 years. My heart is breaking, and I miss my Gc. I still try and phone her every week, and if she does not answer it hurts so much. She won’t discuss the with me. She says she has enough problems herself.

    • #76745

      Hello to you all.

      Like everyone, I am so sorry you’re feeling so much pain due to estrangement. What I’ve learned is that estrangement and the brutal cutting off of parents is largely due to the ‘self’ coming first in everything. Our children have been taught that no one is more important than them. Just look at how social media promotes self idolisation and how the culture is to look up to celebrities as gods. It’s all about them. My son looked down his nose at me after I’d helped him buy his first home and said that as I wasn’t contributing to his bank of personal happiness at that time, I wasn’t being included in his wedding.The major influence behind this hardness was his fiance and her mother but he was as much to blame for such arrogance. It’s been this way ever since.

      Truly? I turned to God. It’s the only thing that brought me out of despair. I now have a Church family and honestly, if you’re alone struggling, find a healthy Church where the people are loving and welcoming. It will help you find your way forwards. As for our children, don’t waste your life waiting for change. My experience has been that if they do come back, they are not prodigals. They continue to treat you badly and if you fail to meet their high handed expectation, they dump you again. You need to build a life outside of your family and create watertight boundaries.

    • #76749

      HI, I’m so grateful to have found you all. It’s unbelievable to me that there are so many of us, thank you for sharing. My son has “estranged” himself again. It started about 8 years ago where he cuts me and his father off for some made up reason. This time its because he “knows” I am talking to his sister about “something”. And he says “you know”. Really I dont. But it doesnt matter does it? Its this never ending cycle of abuse. All of a sudden I will wake up and he will have blocked me from facebook, instagram, turned his phone off and nothing. My crazy worry, anxiety goes to the worst place(maybe he suicidal) thought he might be dead and went to check on him and he says if I do it again he will put a restraining order on me. As all of you, the story is long and unbelievable. Filled with him beating on my husband, streaking naked through the back yard in a tropical storm, severe verbal abuse, walking on egg shells, trying to be perfect, apology letters with snarky replies… He will then have some situation, some tragedy, someone has wronged him and he will come back. This last time he asked me to co-sign on an apartment because he has no credit, like an idiot I did. He was playing “loving son” and claimed he would never dump me again-LIE.
      I comb through the past-where did I go wrong? what did I do? ruminating, crying, mourning letting go of the dream. Then he will throw me a bone and I am looped back in to start the process all over. I want to be done. I want this pain to end. I just dont know how.
      2 years ago I ended up in the psych ward of the hospital, have put on 50 pounds, neglected my husband and daughter who deserve my love and energy. I want to change, get back in shape, love again, regain my joy. My friends and family have been telling me for years to let him go. But as a mom I think “I will help him, support and love unconditionally”. Its as though he despises me for it. I am broken and he seems to get invigorated like a predator who smells blood. I hate writing this.
      I have read the book through and now I think I will read it through a second time and do the exercises. I have decided to go “no contact” for 90 days and focus on healing, putting things in perspective, and getting my health back. Day 1!

    • #76785

      Ladybugs, when I read your story, parts of it resonated with me–one of them being when the estranged child flips a switch and becomes “nice son” again, saying and doing all the right things. I fell for that THOUSANDS of times over the past 3 decades. When I read Sheri’s book AND did the exercises, that changed everything for me. I hope it will do the same for you. When I used to tell my family and friends, “but he apologized and said he wants everything to be different and he seems SO sincere!” it was a lightbulb moment for me when my other son (non-estranged) said, “Oh, he definitely means it at the time–it’s just that it won’t last. It never does.” Simple words but that was a huge lightbulb moment for me. I think I was hung up on trying to prove his sincerity and it kept me on the hamster wheel, repeating the same scenario over and over again. In my case, if my son were to try to apologize again and make more promises to me, I wouldn’t fall for it. Because I would know that he really meant it all those other times AT THE MOMENT IT WAS HAPPENING but it never, ever lasts. Sheri’s book (and the exercises) will help you find your way back to your real self. I wish you all the best.

    • #76848

      I am also new to this site and every thankful I came across it by reading Sheri’s book. I didn’t know so parents went through this. My son has gradually become estranged from me and my husband. We were so close. I support him in every way of his life and we had a great mother son relationship. It was about 2 years ago his girlfriend of 4 years ripped the rug out from under him and broke up with him because she met someone at her new job. They were going to move in together. I don’t think he really ever got over the breakup. Started dating someone about a year and half ago and this girl slowly began to put a wedge in between me and my son. HE said that she said our mother son relationship was not normal and that he needed to distance himself from me. this is coming from a girl with emotional bagged, anxiety issues and does not have a healthy relationship with her own mother. I was at first angry, asking my son, why didn’t you stick up for yourself and me! What we had was a healthy relationship. People would comment on how respectful he was and what a great young man he turned into. Now almost 24 years old, he told me there were going to be boundaries and he would let me know when he was ready to talk. That was 3 weeks ago when I had him move his remaining belongings that have been at our house for the last 6 months. He moved in with his dad and just left his room. I asked him to please pack it up and he never did. So I wrote him a letter saying that we would be out of town on said weekend and to clean out his remaining things. I ran into him as we he leaving with the last bit of his things. Asked if we can get together and talk and he said he would let me know. Mind you this was my birthday and he didn’t acknowledge it. I know this is all her doing and my family said, “Don’t worry, he’ll come back to you” I’m not so sure. I think he is willing to stay in an unhealthy relationship with this girl so he wont have to suffer from another break up. .
      I know this is all new and recent for me. Sheri’s book is giving me the tools to help get through this. In Sheri’s book it suggested to maybe go back to church which I did this past weekend. My Pastor saw me in the crowd and reached out to me. It has been probably 7 years since I had been to my church. My Pastor sent me a text yesterday and asked to meet me for coffee. I will reach out to him. But I still can’t seem to get through talking about this without crying. My heart is broken. He is my only son. With Mother’s Day on the horizon, I am dreading what will become of that day.
      Thank you all for sharing. Reading your posts let me know I am not alone.

    • #76860

      Ladybugs, I am so sorry you are in this cycle. I sincerely hope you read Done with the Crying again and do the exercises. This time read it with with the mindset that you can only change and control you. The “mother” in you still wants to “fix it”. We as parents cannot fix it for our grown children. If we could fix it, we would have done so a long time ago. The cycle will continue as long as nothing changes. Take your time and focus on your needs and desire to change in a way that will stop the cycle. I was a total mess and as low as you can get until I read Done with the Crying. I did the exercises and when Sheri ask you to list how you are feeling about something I went all out. I filled a notebook. I love how encouraged and renewed I felt and still feel. I my self esteem was so low I had to make a list of positive things about me and even carried them with me. I went from worthless to worthy. I really want you to feel good about you and know you do not deserve this behavior.

      I read that your son was beating on your husband. My concern is the physical abuse. The mental abuse is bad enough but your life seems to be in danger. A young man is much stronger and next time your husband could suffer serious harm. I hope you and your family will take all precautions to protect yourself from the dangers that could be projected on you in the future. Please consider calling the police if you ever even think the abuse will be physical.

      We are hear for you!

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #76932

      I feel so much relief after reading various posts because I used to think I was the only mother facing an estranged child situation. I still don’t understand why my daughter has turned away from me even tho she’s an only child and was lavished with all the love money AMD attention. I’m not perfect but I thought I was being a role model to my child when I realised I raised such a selfish human being. To say that I was heartbroken is an understatement

    • #76971

      I am so sorry. I too had a daughter who was given everything, including me. In the end, all it took was someone coming in to her life and turning her away from her family and all her dreams. You are right… “heartbroken is an understatement”….

      You are in the right place here. There are many kind souls who will help you along your journey. And if you haven’t yet, you should read Sheri’s book. Can’t tell you how much that helped me.


    • #76947

      Thank you Sadlostbroken&Kindsoul and all of you for sharing your strength with me. My family is so happy I have some place to go, this site. I think they have all not known how to help me or what to say. The relief I feel just not being alone in this journey is unbelievable. Truly, others cannot know the pain this causes. I never in my life would have guessed that trying to be the best parent you could be would result in abandonment. I am reading everything here and learning from the wisdom. Day 3 NC

    • #77061

      hello, my name is aka Margaret. I am very happy to be alive and I love life, my heart is broken because I haven’t talked to my son in almost two years. We had a great relationship. I love his wife and kids but for some reason after my husband died, he changed. He is very happily married good job and beautiful home. I had to have surgery and was in the hospital for almost 6 weeks, when I got home my sister who has stage 4 cancer came to stay with me, for a month. she lives in another state. He lives about 3 miles from me. the day I got out of the hospital I asked if he could come drive my sister and I home, about a two hour drive, he couldn’t because he had a hockey tournament to go to. He dropped the car off and my sister drove home. She wasn’t used to driving in a big city, that’s why I asked him to come. Well I got over that disappointment and said “oh that’s life” we arrived home with no problems . I never heard from my son till 6 weeks later when he called and said “mom, haven’t talked to you in awhile, what’s new ” I asked to see him. He came over and I asked why he didn’t even bother to call my sister or me and ask if he could do something for us. ie chores, etc. What came next was shocking to me, his reply” everything has to be about you doesn’t it” You ask me to do to much for you” and further more you are not a good grandmother.” I lost it then and told him to get out. I haven’t talked to him in two yrs. I have asked him in the past to do things but not a lot, I paid him for it. My husband said about 6 months before he died ” I don’t think ….. likes me much I said why would you say that his response was” because he doesn’t want to spend much time with me” I understand what my husband meant now. When my grandson died at 7 yrs he wasn’t very supportive of my daughter either. so here I am wondering and waiting to see if we will ever get back to where we were. How can you apologize for something you they don’t know what they did

      • #77466

        My heart goes out to all of us, specially you at this time, I know how hard it is to go through this by yourself, I also lost my husband few years back. I believe there are lot more of us who are shy to come forward and say “yes, we are rejected parents and do not deserve this abuse”. I have friends who I know have similar issues but still pleading kids to stay connected. I am done with all that. I am going forward with new normal and trying to detach myself and the wiring of my brain, not easy. Wish you a better journey forward!

    • #77062

      How to start? 15 years ago come June, we my husband and received a call from CPS informing us that our 4 grandchildren had been removed from their mother (my eldest daughter) = C#1. We had 2 options 1 to take the children or 2 they would be placed in the foster care system (a grandma’s worst nightmare) and if we refused to take them immediately it would be our only opportunity. We made arrangements to pick them up and started a long 2 1/2 year process for C#1 to get her self together starting with detox, parenting classes, job training classes. She did complete all that she had to do only to go back to her old ways with the drugs and promiscuity. She voluntarily gave up the children and adoption was started. In order to protect the children from her hurting them with false promises I cut all ties with her. To me she was like a cancer that had to be removed in order to save the children.

    • #77068

      I think my story is a little different than most here although it does include a new girlfriend which seems to be a familiar thread.

      My 24 year old son has already had one bad marriage which resulted in divorce in less than a year. We tried to warn him about her but obviously it was his decision and we had to accept it. With this new girlfriend I told him that I would be much stronger with my warnings than I was the first time because I blame myself partly for not helping him make the right decision about the first wife.

      So I have told him in no uncertain terms that I disapprove of the current girlfriend. Firstly, this is a bad time for him to be in another serious relationship. He is only just divorced, still in debt because of the first wife’s spending habits and just starting at least six years of schooling. She is also ultra-religous and has turned him from an atheist to a Mel Gibson type Catholic. Now I’m atheist but my wife is Catholic and I’m fine with that. But my wife’s version of Catholicism is all heaven and angels and being nice. His version is fire and brimstone and being a judgmental asshole. According to “his” (read his girlfriend’s) beliefs, all of his family are going to hell. Me and one daughter because we’re atheist, another daughter because she’s gay and his mother because she’s the wrong sort of Catholic. He was so close to his sisters, when the youngest came out as gay she told him before she told us because she was sure that he would be supportive. He now thinks her “choice” is WRONG, that she should not have any rights to marriage, adoption etc and that she will burn in hell for eternity. I can’t believe one of my children could be so judgmental.

      Keep in mind, these are the girlfriends beliefs and he is not allowed to disagree with her on any single point of doctrine otherwise she will stop dating him. They also have to have an unlimited number of kids which I do not think is a good idea.

      He’s currently living at home, going to school a few miles away but next year I’m sure he will transfer to her school in Ohio. After that I don’t expect to ever see him again. I certainly won’t make an effort. I can’t stand the sight of him. I don’t like him. He has become the sort of religous zealot that I have always disliked. He’s also lost his own identity. I raised him to be a free-thinker, to make his own choices and decisions – that’s why I didn’t shove my atheism down his throat – but I didn’t raise him to blindly follow whatever garbage somebody else might shovel into his brain. I told him what I believed and also had him baptised and took him to CCD classes. I thought I was teaching him to think for himself.

      He acknowledges these problems with this relationship, with his philosophy, with his lack of independence and critical thinking and yet still comes to the same conclusion but doesn’t know why. And that may be the most hurtful part, he knows what he is doing is problematic and causing irreperable harm to our relationship but he keeps on doing it without even knowing why. His slavish devotion to every utterance of this 19 year old “baby” he’s planning to marry is almost cultish.

      I miss my son terribly but that is not the person that is currently living with us. We sent a really good, nice young man off to the Navy five years ago and what we got back is an obnoxious, stupid asshole. I want my son back.

      • #77848

        Mingle, I hear your confusion, sadness, and anger. One of the hardest parts of all of this – for me – is coming to terms with seeing a child become someone we no longer recognize, for whatever reason they choose to reject us, and feeling the frustration of not being able to reach the person we used to know. People I didn’t know used to come up to me and my ED when she was younger and say, you two are so attuned to each other, and now she won’t acknowledge me. If this was a fairy tale, I would say she seems to be under a spell, and maybe someday that will be broken. But this is real life, who knows if there will be a happy ending, and the wait and see is agonizing. I frame it this way: for whatever reason, she needed to break from that closeness. It’s not right, but it is where we are. I try to live every day with my own purpose now, with a wish that ED is okay and without dwelling on what I can’t understand. I hope you and your wife can feel more at peace soon.

    • #77093

      Hello I am brand new here. I had no idea that anything like this existed. I lost all of my children and several grandchildren over a 6 month period about 6 years ago. I don’t talk about my kids or any of that history much so I have been quite alone in this. The kids have each told me that I was a terrible parent and that they feel that it is unhealthy for them to have me in their lives. I believed them completely, although I found it confusing because they were not abused in any way and we had been quite close. It wasn’t until I talked with my younger sister about it that this changed. She pointed out that I could dismiss the assurances of friends because they never witnessed my parenting however she was there while I was raising my children and did know what kind of parent I was. She assured me that she saw me as a loving, giving parent and my children had no cause to treat me like this. It is still very difficult. I have recently remarried and my partner has two adult children. Their relationship is positive and future grandchildren are likely. I am uneasy with this possibility because I may find that really hard when I miss my own grandchildren. I am resigned to not ever seeing them again.

    • #77160

      My thanks to you Sheri McGregor for accepting my membership. Through your struggle a door has opened. A place, perhaps a portal to repair who I am, as a result of many years of estrangement which began when my daughter was a mere 6 years old. We were alienated from one another by her father. She has been an adult making her own adult decisions for years now, and continues on the estrangement path. It has been very strenuous for me to find my way into this website and through these pages unexpectedly. I hope this is enough introduction for the time being, and that it will be fine to return to the IY#3 area to continue my introduction in segments. Thank you to other participants whose posts are honest, open and uplifting, that I’ve had a bit of time to read. Smoother Journey to all.

      • #77534

        Hello everyone I’m Kittykat20. I am also a rejected mother of my second son. He loves older women and is easily manipulated by his girlfriends and this is why he estranged us. First time it was for 4 1/2 years. He came back after he broke up with his girlfriend. Now again he has estranged us with his new older girlfriend. He of course blames me for all his bad decisions. I have had it with him and his psychological abuse. He of course won’t let me see his son from his second girlfriend. I am able to see my granddaughter from his first girlfriend only because her mom lets me. I was deprived of not seeing my son or my granddaughter for 4 1/2 years and now that I get to see her, he says I’m a bad mother because I am in touch with my granddaughter’s mother. Nothing I do is right in his eyes. Please can someone tell me why mothers are blamed for everything?

    • #77279

      I’m new to anything after2011, but manage to self-learn. I knew life before cell phones, need I say more. I seen my son 2009 and even got a huggin picture. It has been longer then I was willing to expect as punishment if I had been told, but you see my son is clearly hiding behind the skirt of the military, and living in that world. I never got to be a military mom and I now believe it for the best interest of all. I can’t offer details, but still can’t believe how he is able to detach from me and his two older brothers, but he communicates with was deadbeat father. I ask self why do I want this type of person in my inner circle if ever, and I don’t thing I choose to keep company with the likes of my son. I only trust in my prayers to reunite with him. At least he is still living and that means hope to me. I will never ever stop glancing out the window wondering what it would be like if he ever come back.

    • #77349

      Hello this is my first posting, i am ashamed and heartbroken of the way my son and grown grandchildren treat me and my hubby, we never see them ,although they are only 20mins away by car and both teenage grandsons have cars , and have always been told to call in any time we never see them, Except on boxing day when they turn up for Christmas lunch and tea , then play with their phones while hubby and i clear up, take there Christmas presents and money , no personel gift from the grandchildren even though they are working and earning good money, not even a card, then when they leave and we tell them to come and see us anytime, we never see them, the problem being their mum who does not speak to us and won’t let us go to the house, its a long story which i will tell later, but i was betrayed by my son who had an affair one of many, when found out made a story up with the woman so that they could both go back to their partners, this woman met up with my sons wife and during the conversation blamed me and said i had introduced my son to her, i did not know her and the story is unbelievable and basically i was thrown under a bus by my own son. he refuses to talk to me about it and just walks out if i tried to talk,he has never told his wife to apologise to me for phoning and telling me to never go to their home again, i have been betrayed to save my sons neck, i have now told him i will no longer be doing christmas as we will go away , his wife never came and went to her own parents which they all do on Christmas day anyway

    • #77755

      I want to thank Sheri for admitting me to the group. It was a tough week and I’m glad I reached out. My daughter (now ED) cut off contact with us last year just after her birthday a little over a year ago. She’s 31. ED was diagnosed with Asperger’s back when she was in elementary school, a condition my husband and I helped her navigate all through school years and beyond. I found services, therapists, social skills groups, and demanded an IEP at her school, and had all this to keep on top of. It was a full time job, and she just didn’t thrive in school. I often got calls to pick her up because she was so anxious she couldn’t make it through the day. This meant I couldn’t work outside the home, and my husband worked extra hard to keep all this afloat and at times our marriage was very strained due to ED and her care. We made it through, but it wasn’t always clear we would.

      Four years ago, my husband’s job took us overseas. We thought things were on an even keel, kids were grown and out on their own and in relationships. It seemed a good time to do something we had always wanted to do. We had a friend move into our home to housesit. We had no idea if the job would be one year, five years or indefinite, but the friend was happy for the arrangement. Almost a year to the day after we moved, ED had a depressive episode due to losing a job. Her girlfriend (now partner) contacted us and said ED needed to move to be closer to her. My husband and I discussed and, because of the distance, the only thing we knew we could offer was our home, rent free, for however long we had left overseas. We thought it would help them get on their feet and find work. We told them to consider carefully as they would be expected to do some caretaking just like our current house sitter did, and also because we would return and they would have to move at some point; however, we couldn’t say when. They seemed to give it a lot of thought and accepted. I had to ask my friend to move out and fortunately it worked out that she was happy to do so. ED and partner moved in.

      A few plumbing things happened during their residence there and both were put out by having to call plumbers and schedule work. The rift came when we found out, two years into their house sitting, that we would be coming back to the US. We gave them 6 months notice to find new living space, but they moved out after 45 days, leaving the house empty. I didn’t make a fuss, hired a caretaker to come in. I was peeved but also happy to know they were settled.

      The day before I was scheduled to fly home, I got “the letter.” ED had no interest in speaking to us for the foreseeable future. She then told other relatives we had “kicked them out” of the house. I was, and remain, so confused. Part of this must be about 31 years of constantly feeling like a problem that needed fixing, but to us, the parents, every single day for so many years did feel like we were going into battle: getting help, getting teachers to listen, getting ED to try and work to finish HS, spending so much money for this program and that program and never seeing results, and then watching her cycle into depression when we she made forays into independence.

      I can only hope that she and the partner are happy. That’s all I hold onto. I would like to have the chance to go to therapy with her, and have offered, but I get no reply. Maybe someday. I worry about her, but I’m starting to worry about myself a little more. I do not wish this pain and horrible situation on anybody, but it is comforting to know we are not alone. It was the year anniversary this week, a low point, and I am so glad I found this community. I look forward to helping myself heal some with the support of people who understand what we all go through. Thanks, all, for listening. Wishing you peace.

    • #77814

      It is overwhelming to read all the stories and realize how many are suffering from this vicious and evil trend of estranged adult children. Our estrangement is only a few months old. My daughter (age 20) wrote us a letter telling us she wanted no contact. She is the youngest of my four kids, and not only is she separated from us, but she has begun to drop contact with her siblings and her school friends and longtime family friends. We believe that her boyfriend is the negative influence. Can’t prove it, but we learned that his previous girl friend also rejected her family while in relationship with him.
      We are Christians. So the first thing I did was of course apologize for my part in the difficult communications we had prior to this, and to assure her that I would no longer call her out on anything. I would treat her like an adult, and assume that she was doing what she thought was best in God’s sight. I wanted to apologize in person and privately, but that was deemed manipulative to ask for that. So I apologized in front of her boyfriend, and my husband, and other family members. I asked her to forgive me, and assured her that I forgave her for the way in which she communicated her wishes to be left alone. I gave her a peace lily to take with her. Since this time I have been told by other family members who were still in contact with her that she doesn’t like me because I don’t take responsibility for my poor actions. There is a short list of “abusive” actions that go all the way back to when she was nine , when I switched which room would be her bedroom after her older sibling left for school. Another “abusive” thing I did was say no to a sleep over with her friends when she was 13, because we were in the middle of a move from one house to another and I wanted her to be home to help.
      She of course continues to ask for funds for her education and housing, which we have assured her we will support until she turns 21.
      She has always been a good student, and a hard worker holding down several part time jobs, and involved in sports and drama. My husband and I are both teachers and we did our best to encourage her to peruse her talents and to develop a relationship with God. She was actually the one child that I felt had the best relationship with us. It is just crazy making and a shock to see it all unravel in a short amount of time.
      I have been praying for light for this situation since it began and I have actually fasted on just water for up to 9 days looking for answers. The Lord showed me 2Timothy 3:1-7 as an explanation.
      Just recently I have cut up a picture of my daughter and her boyfriend, putting him on one side of the cross, and her on the other, and posting a prayer that if this relationship is meant to be that Jesus be at the center of it, and if it is not meant to be then to separate them. I am also praying for her boyfriend, who also professes to be a Christian, that he will have a change of heart and bring her back to us.
      So I go between this sense of hope that my prayers are heard and will be answered, and a sense of dread that free will and a hardened heart will keep her where she is in the land of unforgiving judgment.
      I am in the process of reading Sheri’s book and am finding it helpful. Life it too short, and I cannot lose any more sleep over this and ruin my health. Blessing and Grace of all of us in this rotten mess.

    • #77828

      Hello 👋 I am Sandra and I have a daughter with a borderline
      personally disorder, she’s bipolar 1 and I’ve learned
      a Narcissist. I’ve been dealing with her for a very long
      time. She discarded me about 3 months ago
      at which time I blocked her from contacting me.
      I’m most sad about the fact I have two grandchildren
      in the mess. I go to their school to see them.
      I’m very sad and depressed. My grandchildren are
      asking why they never see me. One is 11 and the
      other is 7. Now my husband, her stepdad, wants to
      move away and we moved to be close to her. It’s
      been 3 years since we moved. I really understood
      the personality disorder when we moved near her.
      I am torn about moving away again. I have seen two
      therapists and they both think I should move.

    • #78333

      I’m happy to be here. My daughter lives in my downstairs appartment and it’s gotten quite uncomfortable. She split with her husband and my grandchildren stay here with her 2 to 3 nights a week. She sees me as always judging and it’s honestly not who I am. She’s got so many issues and has gotten stuck emotionally at five when I left her father. I’m grateful I take care of my grandson once weekly but do need to plan sometimes months in advance to see my 6 yr old granddaughter who lives downstairs in my house part time. She over uses alcohol food etc. and constantly runs from her self. She cut me off for a whole year and never told me why and came back toward me when leaving her husband last year. now four months since she has been ignoring me again . It is horrible. Glad to be here.

    • #78347

      I am so grateful to Sheri for approving me to the group. I wish I found this group yrs ago as I have been estranged from my 2 children for about six yrs. it has been so painful in that interim. I have already found many of the threads helpful. Amazing how could not find any support or discussion of these topics outside of this group. Glad I have a friend who was able to navigate online resources and direct me here. Look forward to communication with the group

    • #78635

      i am new and grateful for this group Mothers day is coming i feel sad angry and guilty , i am half way thru the book done with the crying and feeling better the guilt is fading away but the anger is strong at my son . i am disappointed that my son is doing this i never thought this would happen he is 42 and married to a woman who has 2 children and they had my granddaughter. before i read these stories i thought i was crazy imagining that he was in control of when we would communicate which was by text only for 7 years i allowed this being invited then not being invited after the occasion was over; the day after thanksgiving because my ex was invited and he didnt want me there a day after my granddaughter birthday it goes on and on and i jumped to do it . well he sent me a text saying i wasnt available enough for my granddaughter so they were taking a break from me i have texted im sorry and dont event know what for no reply ,can we talk no reply i love and miss you no reply . this is just half the story but iv decided to stop stuffing my face hit the gym and go on with my life this is not my fault and i am done with crying over what he does or says

    • #78732

      Hello everyone,
      Let me start by saying, though I am pleased to make your (cyber) acquaintance, I wish we didn’t have to be here and that our children weren’t estranged. But we are here thanks to abusive, entitled, ungrateful and self-centred estranged sons, daughters or both.
      After years of episodes of “silent treatment” or as I like to refer to them as adult version of temper tantrums, I discovered what I was experiencing was periodic estrangements, on again off again, round and round, with each time leaving me more damaged than the last. To the point now, that I actually don’t care if I never see my ED again, I wouldn’t miss her outburst of rage, screaming profanities at me, humiliating me in public and tearing me down to the point that I was had contemplated suicide. She has been a pathological liar since the day she could speak, manipulative, controlling and entitled.
      She and her beloved husband (my SIL) live rent-free in our planned retirement property, and though we had only offered it for whilst she was pregnant to help them out whilst she wasn’t working, we were threatened with denied access to visiting the baby unless we extended their occupancy until our beautiful granddaughter starts pre-school. We were reluctant as it meant it was a huge financial burden to us to forego the rental income, even though my husband and I are both still employed (for a few more years at least) as long as it meant we got to see the baby that we love and adore so much.
      But after signing an agreement to allow them to stay, the excuses started. Suddenly each time we asked to visit, it wasn’t convenient, they had plans. We would ask them to visit us when they could, but they never did. Yet trips to their friends, SILs family, my sister (ED’s aunt) and my adult son (her brother) was never an issue, but stopping by our place was too much trouble! It progressively got worse, and each time I asked (begged more like) I was yelled at and accused of being “needy” and “jealous” of them going to visit others (and often). It was all or nothing, everyone got the all, we got the nothing.
      My beautiful baby GD is 11 months old, and although I have her gifts all laid out, we’ve been uninvited to her first birthday party, so will have to send them with her uncle (my adult son) who my ED is still on speaking terms with. Though I am sure given time, my ED will poison him against me as she has done with my sister and some of my own friends.
      I don’t miss my ED or that horrible, lazy, good-for-nothing husband of hers, but the baby…..IT IS KILLING ME not seeing her. 🙁
      I have listened to the audio book version of “Done with the Crying” and intend to listen to it over and over, until I can squash the pain (the memory of her little arms about my neck) of my darling little GD that I fear will be poisoned by her mother against us, and only ever know SILs family. So much love that she will never know from my husband and I. How could life me so cruel? I’m not an overly religious person, but there must be a God seeing all of this, and if there is, he/she must be in tears.

    • #79002

      Where do I begin.
      Our adult daughter has some mental issues and decided we were trying to kill her so she left and abandoned her son.
      We know what town she’s in, but we and our grandson have not heard from her for 18 months.
      We don’t have any contact information for her.
      From what we’ve heard, she’s giving people where she’s at grief as well.

      We thank God for the love and strength he’s given us concerning this.


    • #79020

      I am so very grateful to you Sheri, you are a blessing to us all.
      Thank you for giving me a place to come to vent, where people know what I am going through . I am new a few days, when I feel more comfortable , I will share, as soon as I can put it into words that make sense.
      Bye for now

    • #79022

      You’re welcome, SurferMom,
      Jump into the threads as you feel comfortable. No hurry or pressure. This is a place to move at your own pace.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #79209

      My daughter unexpectedly cut off contact with me nearly 3 months ago. A bit of background her dad (my husband) sadly took his own life last year. Since then my daughter, on reflection has become more distant towards me. It would appear she is happy not to have a father or mother now.

      When her first child was born three years ago I cared for him while she worked. I was unable to continue to care for him last year due to my grief. She recently gave birth to a daughter, she asked all family members to be revaccinated however some chose not to, including me as mine was current for another seven years this seems to have tipped her over the edge, even though she said she was fine if I chose not to be revaccinated.

      After the six week time frame she imposed on visiting the baby, she has completely cut me out of her life, blocked the phone Facebook etc and not replied to emails, yet other family members who also chose not to be revaccinated are now allowed to see the baby.

      My grandson asks my other daughter where I am, this makes me sad. I spoke with my ED’s husband and asked he if he would bring the children to visit, he is clearly too scared to ask, if he can bring them around. He said she has told him I can’t see the children without her! He told me ED said I made her anxious and she doesn’t want to see or speak with me. My counsellor pointed out that ED uses her children as “currency” which is such a perfect explanation. We (any family members) only get to see the children if they look after them for her. I don’t want to play that game anymore. She is lucky her in-laws and siblings are happy to continue to play that game.

      I have had enough to deal with the last twelve months and really don’t want this to now consume my life. I am concerned for her mental health but everyone tells me she is doing ok. I am getting on with my life. I will ring her husband next week as he said I can call anytime (I think he wants me to fix it) but I am inclined to just let go and continue with my life. I have two other children who I see regularly that is enough for me. Life is too short, I can’t allow myself to go through more grief as it’s too exhausting.

      Thanks for listening as I know you will all understand the pain this has caused.

    • #79318

      Hello. Thank you for adding me to this group. I know that it will help knowing others have lived through similar horrors. I raised my daughter as a single parent- no help from absent dad.difficult, sullen, unhappy, aggressive child who continued to insult, mock, manipulate & put down as an adult. Physical abuse twice. She cut off all contact 3 years ago. No contact with 2 small grandchildren.
      I have survived this but sharing and hearing your stories is going to do me a world of good.🙏

    • #79537

      Hello everyone! I’ve been partially estranged from my son for roughly 10 years now. I refer to it as “partial estrangement,” as we are still included in my grandkids birthdays, dance recitals, and in rare instances, babysitting. Most of my contacts are with my son’s wife, as she facilitates pretty much everything. They lived with us prior to the birth of their first child, and abruptly moved out when the baby was 6 mo/old. My D-I-L and I had a disagreement over something, and within a month, they were gone. Since then, the dynamic in our family has profoundly changed. My daughter, who is the eldest of the two, has been completely cut out of his life. It’s sad, as they live within a couple of miles of each other, and both have small children. My husband and I are currently in counseling, as this has from time to time, been a strain on our relationship. I’ve become increasingly depressed, and am now on a antidepressant regiment. It’s helping, but the therapist isn’t. We’re giving her one more chance, then I will resume my search. I have the book Done With Crying, and I am very grateful for that. There are so many more pieces to this puzzle, but I can only write so much. I’m so grateful I discovered ., however, this common thread that connects us is truly heartbreaking. Thank you for letting me share, and I will do my best to stay connected with you all. Love to you all…

    • #79663

      Hi, It’s hard for me to write this, it still feels like I’ll wake up and it’ll just be a really horrible dream that is over now. I wish it was over, for myself and all of you too. My husband and I moved out of state nine years ago and our son was over the top angry with us. He lived with us and we asked him to come along but he refused. It (the disconnect) gradually got worse over time and came to a head 2 days ago when I asked all the questions that I needed answers to and got answers that I never thought I’d hear. Why can’t I have his address to send him a birthday card and gift? Why doesn’t he reply to my texts anymore? Why do my calls go directly to voicemail now and doesn’t he want to talk to me anymore? Have I done or said something to upset him? Can we talk about it? He (my son and only child) was abrupt and very cruel to me and basically said he had nothing to talk about and no time for me or my husband. When I hung up the phone I knew in my heart that I would never hear from him again. I sobbed like I have never done before and felt as if I was truly dyeing inside, my heart aches an unbelievable ache. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up because the hurt and pain is more than I have ever experienced and I don’t want to feel it for one more second. I was forever changed. I’m functioning okay now but feel as if I’m stuck in some weird haze of depression. Will this subside in time? I fear that I’ll be in this funk forever. I’m not suicidal but have thoughts that I can’t conceive of and that scares me. I’m grateful for the add to this group Sheri and thank you for reading my post.

      • #79671

        I have now been through this several times as I have 8 children of my own and 2 stepchildren. I feel your pain, I carry it daily myself. At times with prayer it is lifted and I feel peace until something happens with one of the kids then I fight for that peace again. I dont know why God has allowed our situations but I trust that he is aware and working either on us or them(or both). I hope you can find some peace in the midst of your situation.

      • #80301

        Thank you, I pray for inner peace for all of you. God bless!!

    • #79672

      Hello, I have been dealing with the pain estranged son for 10 years now. At first I still had contact with him and would wish him happy birthdays and holidays and such but eventually I had to stop because he got very ugly and hostile and my heart couldn’t take it. So I just prayed for him regularly, a couple of years ago my second oldest son decided he didn’t want anything to do with us because of our belief system as Christians was just too narrow and ugly for him. Even though he’s never seen me treat anybody ugly or unloving to anyone. This really affected me because I just don’t understand. I laid down my life daily to raise my children, sacrificing what I might want to do for their better. I miss them terribly and carry the pain daily sometimes getting a little peace for a while until something happens. My third child a daughter about a year ago also took issue with me because of my belief system and went through a time where she didn’t want to talk to me, this really shook me because she had previously shared my faith. Well eventually she got over that and our relationship has been restored and I’m getting ready to go for a visit to see her and my grandchildren but it shook me to my core. And presently we’re dealing with issues with my two step daughters that are grown. One of them has chosen a lifestyle that even though she is married with Children, has added a sister wife. Her dad does not approve it is very disappointed in her. And it affected the relationship. And it’s just gotten ugly so constant reminders of estrangement. Not what my husband and I had envisioned period, we had always envisioned that holidays would get bigger and noisier because of all the kids and grandkids and the opposite has happened. At the present time we are both suffering greatly and just to seek the Lord in prayer. I’m hoping this group is in some way helpful, I guess just that other people are going through it too.

    • #80079

      Hi everyone

      My son is 21 and since he was 17 became more and more narcissistic and aggressive. We have a few months where he gets on with us but we tread on eggshells and try to say yes to demands and never disagree with anything. Then a simple ‘no I can’t help’ sets it off and we are disowned again. The verbal abuse I get is so bad I end up uncontrollably crying, physically shaking and my anxiety symptoms are so severe they make me ill. My son won’t stop unless he feels he’s broken me, he needs me to think I’m worthless and pointless and when he achieves that he walks away and cuts me off. He will return at some point if he wants money or help. I’m really struggling this time, after months of no abuse, it’s like losing him all over again every time. Then the guilt and fear overwhelm me and take over my life. I know I need to find a way to stop this affecting me as severely as it does. I have 2 younger children who need me.

    • #80100

      Hello everyone. I am the mother of a 25 year old son. I raised him alone since he was 5. He has been my whole world and we were always so close. He has been with his girlfriend for a little over 3 years now. I really liked her but she has always taken things I say very personal and my son feels he needs to reprimand me. I didn’t really care because I don’t see them very much. They got engaged last September and everything really changed. They tried to say that I wasn’t happy about it because she is taking my son away. I never said that and I don’t care if they get married. I am happy for them. She made excuses all last year why we couldn’t get together. He came for Thanksgiving alone and we had a wonderful time together. I asked him about Christmas and he said he wanted to spend the day with her but would come for 3 days right before. I called him 2 weeks before Christmas to ask if she was coming with him. He told me she doesn’t want to be around me. I was shocked. I thought things were fine between us. I had explained that I was fine about them getting married and I even apologized to her. I cried and cried when I hung up. A week later I received a 5 page letter from her telling me all the things I ever said or did that bothered her. It was like she kept track of everything. It was all petty things and of course she twisted alot of it around. The letter was very belittling and hurtful. I didn’t respond but my son called a few days later to ask if I got it. The conversation did not go well. He hung up on me and hasn’t spoken to me since. He won’t respond to any of my messages and has blocked me on Facebook. My mother tried call him and it seems that he may have changed his number or blocked her. I was a mess for months but I am starting to feel a little better. Finding these support groups is so comforting knowing I am not alone. I never would have thought my son would act like this. To me there is never anything that would make me disown my mother.

    • #80117

      Our stories are so similar. I have one child as well who is 25 and engaged. At this point they’re probably married but I wasn’t invited the the wedding. I look at my own mom and feel her pain with what’s going on. There is nothing she can do that would make turn my back on her either. I feel so disposable. So many years of dedication, love, laughter, encouragement… She literally was my life. She has left such a hole in my heart that could never been filled. Mother’s Day was always an extra special day for us. She would come up with the most unique little gifts. It was never about the money; it was the thought she put into them. I’ve spent all day in bed reminiscing on all the things I miss. How everything went south and wondering when things took such a drastic turn. My life will never be the same. I fear my marriage is very much in trouble too but for some reason nothing but her matters. I wish I could see a happy life without her. I hope someday I do.

    • #80145

      Hello and welcome to all you new folk – Kym, Mutterfly, Prof, Googong, Momof8, Faith123, Momof1 and LitTunnel. I have read all of your stories, and all are very sad. We are all here because of that same reason – our children or child has decided they are better off without us in their lives.

      If you haven’t already, please purchase Sheri’s book Done with the Crying, which you can get in some libraries now, or from Amazon. It is such an amazing self-help book, and although the pain doesn’t go, (it can’t – we loved our kids!), you will learn to deal with it, and not let it rule your life. It helped me, and although there are still triggers, and painful times, they do not consume me, or take over my life.

      My son has chosen to live his life without me in it, and I have to accept that. I have to make a new life without him, and although painful at the moment as I have heard he and his partner are going to have a baby which will be my first grandchild, I just have to let that go. There are some fantastic exercises in the book which will help you get through that heavy pain that just drags on like a fog over you. The fog will clear; it will return, but it will clear again.

      Please join into the forums when you are ready.


      Dotty . (Mum of three – one estranged son & two loving daughters)

    • #80182

      Hello to all the new names and stories here, and welcome to a place none of us ever dreamt we’d be or wanted to find ourselves.

      The richness of this site, with the addition of Sheri’s book, Done With the Crying, will provide more help than you can imagine for the hard work ahead of you. And the work of rethinking your past, refocusing your future, reevaluating your parenting and mostly, changing yourself, will be helped by the help (and helpers) here. None of it will happen overnight, but it can and must happen for your own peace of mind. Being here is about you, not them, your children no matter their ages.

      Sounds hard and harsh, I know, but it’s about saving yourself in the face of a life-threatening blow. You WILL change. Let (make) the changes help you grow.

      You will read about parents new to this horror, and you will (hopefully) be encouraged by those of us who have walked this path for 10, 15 years and some for even more.

      Yesterday was Mother’s Day in the US and one of my two mid-life ESons called to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. I was genuinely pleased and grateful, not because he called. I felt NOTHING about the call. But, the gratitude I felt that I could feel so sorry FOR HIM, a conflicted and wanting man. I knew deep inside that I was OK, would be OK, and that my job was to pay it forward……here.

      Time, lots of time, maybe more years than you know, work, committment to wellness, baby steps, falling back and getting up again……you can do it too. One day at a time, maybe one hour.

      You’ve started with coming here. Welcome!


    • #80236

      A warm hello to everyone and many,many thanks to Sheri for creating this safe place. So, I have been estranged from my daughter for 6years now, no contact whatsoever, it’s strange I feel as though I’m in a time warp as it all still feels so raw and unimaginably painful. I’m not to sure what to say about my ED, I always believed that we had an amazingly close , loving relationship, but I think that was something I wanted, no needed so much that I conjured it up in my mind. Nothing feels real any more, I am a recluse as I can’t bear the shame and embarrassment of what my life now is. Coming to this place reminds me that I am not alone or some evil freak, why my daughter has done what she has done I cannot explain, I think this why I cannot find a way to move on from my cage of misery and pain. I was always an optimist, I always bounced back from adversity, I no longer recognise myself and I wonder if this is it, after 6years things should have eased, Maybe I’ll wake up one bright, sunny morning and I will know how to find my way forward again. I will not give up hope that the day may come. I thank anyone who has read this and send love and hope for healing from the bottom of my heart. X

    • #80302

      I’m so sorry we are all in this club of abandonment. I have no clue why my ES has made his decision to cut me out of his life. He won’t open up and talk about anything and is so angry towards me all the time (has been since he was a teen). My husband tells me I didn’t do anything to deserve this and that our son has ‘issues he needs to deal with’. I believe he is right and I’ve made up my mind to get on with it (my life) and be happy. I can’t force him or anyone else to care about or love me but I can do that for myself and so can you. I got through Mother’s day, it wasn’t easy but today came and I was proud of myself, yea! The pain is real but I’m staying busy doing things around the house, fixing things, making things, painting this and that, going for walks and playing with my fur baby, etc. Keeping busy is helping me to not focus on the hurt that’s buried deep in my gut and makes me feel more accomplished than not doing anything at all. I hope you can find some things to do for yourself, even little things can add up to something meaningful in our lives. We deserve to live happy, productive and meaningful lives like we did before the estrangement occurred so this is where I am starting a new. I wish my son the best in life as I always have and will pursue the best for mine as I am a good person, a good mom, a good wife and a good friend. Dear God, bless all the hurting parents and children and heal our hurts with your everlasting love. Amen.

    • #80399

      Dear Growing,
      welcome and I am so sorry for the continuing grief and shame and sadness, that you feel.
      I too have had these difficult feelings for many years, and found this site, when I just felt like I could not go on, alone in my deep misery, any longer.

      It has helped me. Reading others experiences and learning, from what they write, I can see things more clearly than I could see my own.
      And reading Sheri’s book , too.

      And writing down, clear statements to focus my mind on, instead of the circling thoughts I had been suffering from, so often.

      I am sorry that this terrible and inexplicable thing happened to you.

      I hope you can slowly find ways to feel better about yourself, to realize you are not to blame, and that you deserve to feel loved even from yourself, And others like us, who care about you.

      You are not some evil freak. I do know I have hidden in shame, as well, even though I made no huge mistakes that I know of, and I have finally realized that if I made errors, they could be forgiven by my adult daughter, if she was a forgiving, caring person.
      It helps to be accepted by others, here, and to notice they are not freaks either!!!!

      I think we can only heal by making step by step, and you have made the step of coming here.

      And welcome and thank you, to mutterfly.
      That was an unusual and caring and supportive post, you wrote.

      I hope that you too, will find the help and ideas and caring and understanding here, that will move you forward, more easily than alone, though I can see you are taking many good steps.


    • #80400

      Dear emily38,
      I smiled with shock, when I read your post here, AFTER I had just written one for Growing and mutterfly, and I found that the ending of your post, is VERY similar to something in mine. 😉

      That many of those who come here, are making that first big step, of the many that we will take, to find a new path, that will be a better one.

      I also loved this phrase of yours:
      “it’s about saving yourself in the face of a life-threatening blow. ”

      Yes, that’s what it is.

      I join you and others, in tossing out some small round life preservers, in the directions of those who need it today.
      Together, and with Sheri’s site and her help, we can look for each of our next steps.

      We do not deserve to stay in that “cage of misery and pain ” as Growing described the all too familiar hole, I was in for so long.

      Today, I climb out, to say hello to all of you. To welcome and encourage newcomers. You are not alone.

      And to reconnect with others like you that I have known somewhat in the past winter, emily38.

      As you said welcome, to the place none of us dreamed we would be, or wanted to find ourselves.

      There are nice good people here, who were discarded by someone who didn’t see what was in front of them, and didn’t realize the value we have, we truly do.

      THANK YOU for being here, each one of you!


    • #80626

      “it’s about saving yourself in the face of a life-threatening blow. ”

      “We do not deserve to stay in that “cage of misery and pain ”

      I’ve been on this site for a few years but only joined ‘the community’ a few months ago. I have not read everything here but I do come and visit now and again. I’ve read part of Sherri’s book; it is at my local library and I will undoubtedly check it out again. I have also been on some FaceBook Support groups but find that I am sometimes worn down and other times I don’t fit as I do not have other grandchildren to share life with. My husband and two adult sons are on the aspergers spectrum, each in varying ways. Life has been super hard for me the only neurotypical in our home. My older son is the estranged one and we saw it coming when he met the gal he married. I cannot blame it all on her for he “he” had choices and obviously followed along. I do believe that his aspergers plays a part in his choice to estrange as does the control he gives to his wife and her family. He is also very gullible, believes what he is told by some people. He is in a different religion that is very biblical, and it excludes us who were in a more typical religion. I have tried many ways of reinventing and embroidering my life thru volunteer work, Foster Forward – mentoring a youth, befriend international college students via a cultural companion program and I am on a surrogate grandparent group hoping someday to find a young family nearby to share time with. I don’t have much other family and the gap is large. I find it hard to fit in with friends that do have their adult children in their lives and yes do have grandchildren to love. I feel it is hard to share my position with them and I also feel I must share their daily joys,, but it is not easy to do all the time. Those that are not aware of the profound amount of people dealing with family estrangement find it hard to fathom that this is true, some want to know what I did wrong, some tell me to apologize for what I have not done and others just turn away. Outer family is lost as they don’t know what to say to me so they avoid me. We loose our adult child, our grandchildren, and then the relatives and friends – just because they either don’t believe us, feel we are bad, or don’t know how to accept our heartache and nurture us somewhat. It seems to not end at times.

      I have become fearful of my adult son as he has aspergers rages still. He lives on the other side of the country so we only saw him a couple of times a year once he moved west. I believe his wife instructs him to act in certain ways to diminish me, to set me up for failure and to make sure I will get sick on a visit. The last time I saw him was three years ago this July. I asked him if he would like a lunch for the three of them for their flight home. He started out in regular conversation but it quickly went into a massive rage and I left my own home in fear. He feels it was all my fault. His wife has told him he does not have aspergers and he believes her. I cannot nor will I compete with her for what I know to be the truth and that this son was medically treated from age 2.5 through 18 for aspergers..and varying conditions along with it. Due to my husband’s aspergers, he is not able to speak up to our son and try to help him see reality. Husband dislikes confrontation.

      I posted the two quotes above from other conversations as I feel they are so very insightful for me and yes I assume for others as well. No one deserves any bad that comes their way, but when it does and that is part of life – tough times,, we must remember we are to honor our own life as much as we did our children’s lives when they were younger. There are constant reminders of what I cannot have all around me and I must work at it each day realizing that there is still life to life with joy and wonder. We need to create it. I do look forward to reading posts here more often..

      thanks much


    • #80785

      I’m glad to have found this group. I am estranged from one child. That child had been loving but when they made friends at college pulled away. I miss my child and am trying to figure out how to be happy. I’m consumed with missing the adult child. The last time we spoke she accused me of the most bizarre things, twisting my words. I would not even be capable of saying the things she claimed I said, because I don’t even think or feel that way toward her. I was very proud of her and loved her deeply. I’m hoping she is just trying to become her own woman and thinks she needs to do it alone, and when she finds herself she will come back. Our son did that and now we have a good relationship with him. He had to get beat up by the world to realize his parents weren’t bad or against him. We have younger children that see what she is doing and I am afraid they will follow her example, even though their older brother embedded his estrangement after a couple odd years. Thank you for reading.

    • #80809

      Dear Susanna

      I am new here too. I can relate to everything you said, it can consume me too every day. My loving son did the same thing after he married 3 years ago. They have twisted my words and said awful things to me (only through texts) that I could not believe. I truly don’t think my son actually thought those things but it was her thoughts and he let her hurt me. I would constantly go over the events that happened, what I did wrong, how was I a bad mother, wake up at 3 a.m. crying, etc. etc. but in the end I know that it is him that is making the bad choices and I haven’t done anything wrong. It still hurts that he won’t show love to us and he prefers his wife’s family over ours. We also have 3 daughters, 2 older than him and one younger. Our 2nd daughter was rebellious and left for college right after high school and didn’t talk to us very much and made bad choices. We watched her mess up her life for years and not involve us in her life, however, through a series of events that showed her the error of her ways she finally wised up and now is a wonderful (private) daughter. We hope the same for our son but now we are getting up there in years (that daughter and our son are 9 years apart) so we fear that something could happen to us while we are waiting for him to mature. Our youngest daughter is 18 and lives with us and has watched us go through this whole horrible ordeal. Thank God that she is so different and mature and close to us, she knows better than to do this to us. Our oldest daughter has been very hurt by our son too because she thought he loved her family and he doesn’t talk to them either. I don’t understand any of this and why other people have such a hold over our children. I am wanting to read Sheri’s book to help me find happiness again, to stop dwelling on it every day and move forward. I never thought of moving forward till I read her articles. Moving forward seemed like I would forget him but I don’t think it means that at all. It’s just taking care of ourselves. We need to let go of them and go on even though it is so hard! I am praying for all of us on here to be reconciled.

      • #80819

        Hello sunshine

        It’s like you read my heart. Everything you said is what my family is going through. My son abandoned his siblings as well. There is a small amount of contact with 2 siblings but it is minuscule. None of us know what we did. They said we all did things we did not do but of course they don’t believe that. I too was dwelling on my son daily but am learning to love the children that love me and try to let him go. I’m so tired of the daily crying.

    • #80860

      I’m a single parent and have been estranged from my son for about a year. We have not talked or seen each other in that time. He got married a few years ago and bit by bit he has turned away from all of his previous friends and all of his family. I could understand if we had had a fight or disagreement of some sort before he became estranged but that is not the case. Before he got married we were as close as two people could be. I really don’t understand what happened and I guess that is part of the problem for me. I haven’t had a single night in this past year that I didn’t cry myself to sleep. I catch myself thinking about the situation on and off all day. It just seems to creep in whenever I have a moment to myself and I feel this overwhelming sadness. My kids think I need to talk to someone but I didn’t know where to go so thats why I’m here.

    • #80907

      Prayerful, you have come to the right place. You have friends here. We have walked in your shoes and we feel your pain. This estrangement causes a mother or father to self blame, it consumes you life, you can’t sleep or focus on anything, you carry shame and avoid friends. The list goes on and on and I’m sure you are experiencing all the emotions that comes from being estranged from you child. There are plenty of parents on this forum that you will identify with. Read all the post and you will see you are not alone. Sheri wrote a book called Done with the Crying unfortunately I did read it until I was in my 4th year of estrangement. I wish I know about it earlier. I joined first then found out about her book. Notice my name sad, lost and broken. I was in the deepest and darkest place and at least now I am accepting what I cannot change and starting to live my life again. Try ordering from amazon and please do the exercises. I may have went overboard with the exercises and put a great deal of time changing my focus to what I can control.

      Try not to self blame and wonder what you could have done differently because the answer is nothing. You are a good mother and did your best by your child. This was his decision not yours. It’s terrible that we cannot control this situation and we cannot change it. The hurt is almost unbearable but you have friends now that truly understand. Sometimes just posting here let’s you get it off your chest and gives you a few minutes of relief. We are here for you.

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #80925

      Hi Everyone, I’m new here… Been estranged from my only child since Dec 24, 2017… She’s 22 now, and it’s so hard to just get through each day… She moved away, and within 4-5 days of moving she met this guy who slept in his car… At the time, I was 2000 miles away when she met him… She knew we were moving to where she was within a month. We planned the move together, as a family. Once he was in the picture, everything changed very rapidly. She ended up moving with him after knowing him for less than 2 months.

      Now she’s been with him for almost 2 years… I did get upset with her, and apologized, and thought she accepted the apology. Then one day, she just stopped contacting me. Wrote horrible things about me on social media (some true, some exaggerated, and some made-up)… Last year was so hard for me, as I felt she died, our cat died, my uncle died (was my father figure), and my aunt was placed into care. Just feel so alone :'(


    • #81005

      Hello. I have been going through this sudden separation from my son for almost 4 months. I have been to counselors, psychiatrist and therapist. I believed it was just me going through this difficult time until I found this support group and I thank you Sheri.

      I am hoping to learn how parents like me cope up with the pain and sorrow of losing a child for reasons we will never know or comprehend. I wonder how long this pain will last. Will there be hope of us reuniting again.

      I am a parent of a young adult. Prior to being estranged, we were separated for years and we were reunited when he was in his late teenage years. His other parent took him away from me and I had no way to find them. Fast forward, we reunited and he stayed with me in less than 4 years. We were happy and shared some family bonding time. Until one day, he decided to date this older girl with no ambition in life. My son was at the age of exploring. I knew now that I should just let him experience hurt to learn from that mistake. However, I tried to protect him and in doing so we had a lot of fights. It was mostly with his poor choices in women. Until one day he decided to be with this girl whose mother pushed her daughter to sleep with my son. I was shocked and hurt when my son admitted to it and he stood his ground to fight for this girl. He left that day after we had a fight and he refused to answer my calls, text or emails. Its been 4 months and I find it hard to let go. Friends and family said to let him go because he will find his way back to me again. But my gut feeling said it will never happen.

      I have some good days but mostly bad days. I try to keep myself busy to not think of him. When thoughts of him start creeping in, I cant help but try to reach out to him by text. Almost begging him to reply back. Its humiliating to beg a child to communicate with a parent. But, I begged him to forgive me and asked if we could go past this together. I asked for forgiveness for something I am not even sure of what I had done. If it is such a crime to protect your child from predatory people then what is the definition of a good parent? Should I allowed him to experience what he wanted to happen? Should I have acted like the other parent without a moral compass?

      I tried to find out why he hates me or why he is angry. Is his reason to hate me more than the good memories we shared in a brief time? He probably hate me for “controlling” his life. But I will never find the why. This hurt the most because I dont know how to fix this relationship if we dont talk. Its painful to not hear anything from him. I cant even hear his voice anymore. I miss hugging my child. I miss spending free time with my son. I wonder how he look like now. I always pray he is safe, healthy and happy. Also, I pray that he will not harden his heart to forgive me. I wanted to see him but he refused. How do I move forward from this.

    • #81012


      This estrangement is new to me…this time! First and formost I know I was not a good mom. I left an abusive husband, worked 2 jobs and was going to school while raising my kids. To add to the scenerio I suffered from deep depression. Sometimes I could not take care of my kids because of the depression so they had to go live with their dad (yes the one that abused me).

      About 11 years ago my son stopped talking to me and took me out of his life including 2 grandchildren. He told me I was dispicable for the way I raised him amongst other things. I did not meet my one and only granddaughter until she was over 1 yr old. Then out of the blue he decided to let me back into their lives. I was leary of this but I said I was sorry for his childhood and he said it was all in the past and he realized I had issues that I don’t have now.

      For 8 years after that I took them on family vacations every year until I couldn’t afford it anymore. I was there when my youngest grandson was born, for all the children’s holidays and birthdays and first communions until April of this year. I wasn’t invited to my youngest’s 1st communion. My son said he and his wife didnt realize they hadn’t invited me until the next day when it was over. When I didn’t hear from him on mothers day and he canceled our dinner date for his birthday I knew something was up.

      He texted me that he was in counseling and getting rid of anyone that was not a positive influence on his life and that included me. He told me that I had not done anything wrong in the 8 years since being allowed to be in his and his children and wife’s life again. He said he had been faking having a relationship with me. He didn’t trust me with his kids. Everytime he saw me it takes days to get back to feeling normal. He says this is all about how I raised him.

      I’ve been devastated. It feels like he ripped my chest opened and reached in and ripped my heart out. My daughter has been working hard to make sure I’m OK and my two grandchildren (her kids) keep trying to make me laugh. They are my saving grace. I’m going to be OK but I can’t stop ruminating on what the heck just happened? I’m walking around in a daze most of the time and I feel so confused. The tears come at the most inopportune times.

      I’m glad I found this community. I hope to find answers and support here. Maybe even help someone else in the process I know it is going to take to heal.

      Thanks for reading this long introduction post. Can you believe this is the short version??

    • #81200

      Hello everyone, I’m fairly new to estrangement, my only son, who is now 40, has been high maintenance since he was born and our relationship has been somewhat strained for the last 20 years. In fact, if I’m honest, I’ve just been a cash cow and someone to call on when he’s been in trouble. His father and I divorced when my son was 8 and, whilst I had sole custody, he has always had unlimited contact with his father.

      My story is so similar to those I have read on this site and my heart goes out to you all. I’m afraid I have been guilty of ‘lurking’ for a few weeks now, so my apologies for that but I am a very private person and don’t talk about myself easily. I would just like to let you all know how much strength and comfort I have found through reading your posts. My son sent me an obligatory birthday text at 2030 on my birthday a few weeks ago and because I didn’t respond immediately he sent me the most abusive texts during the night and even tried to video call me at 0230 in the morning. I’ve experienced this kind of thing before with him so my phone goes onto do not disturb during the night. However, in these texts he told me, in not very nice terms, he wants nothing more to do with me, he doesn’t want any inheritance and to send him a bill for all the money he owes me. He also added that my grandson didn’t want to speak to me.

      I was devastated. I had sent him a very nice text a few days before, one of the ‘walking on eggshells’ ones, asking how he was doing and if he was still working for the same company. In his text he told me that he had lost his job and was working nights stacking shelves in a local supermarket. I have since discovered that he hasn’t lost his job and is doing very well. He has a history of alcohol problems and I think there are drugs involved as well.

      I’m tired of it all, I’m weary of the drama and bailing him out of trouble both financially and emotionally, it’s been 20 years of this emotional roller coaster and I have to admit that I get nothing positive from the relationship. I was diagnosed with breast cancer some years ago but neither my son nor his then partner wanted to know.

      I’m afraid he’s broken something this time and I emailed him this morning to tell him that. I have also told him not to send any more abusive messages or I will take appropriate action. He was in court a couple of years ago for harrassing his girlfriend and was given a 2 year restraining order. Guess who went to court with him?

      But for taking strength from this community, and Sheri’s book, I would never have been able to see a way forward and begin to heal myself. So thank you, each and everyone whose accounts I have read.

      I have been in touch with my grandson, by the way, and we are the same as ever.

    • #81227

      I am a Mother of 5. I’ve been estranged from my daughter for 8 years now. We had a disagreement on her 19th birthday because she was being bossy and bullying her younger sister. She had also been very bossy, and rude to the family for a while. Her dad was dieing of cancer and I empathized with her even though her dad was abusive with me and talked bad about me to her. That night of her 19th birthday was the last time she spoke with me. About that time she was coming into a money settlement from a car accident at age 6 years also. She has since turned Family and Friends against me and told them lies about me. You get the picture.

    • #81360

      Hello, My husband and I were suddenly shut out of our only adult child’s life early winter 2018. We have two incredible grandchildren who we can no longer see as well. We have no idea why this has happened although many hours have been spent agonizing over what we might of done only to realize we are good parents. Although we continually beat ourselves up as to why this has happened out of the blue. If our child wants nothing to do with us, it’s a tragedy but it’s a decision that was made. Our grandchildren, however, are a different story. We have been an integral part of this lives since birth, the oldest is 13. Seeing them several times a week, sleepovers, suppers, picking them up after school, sports, vacations, fun, everything, they were our world. And now, they are gone. We cannot see the talk to them, nothing. We are heartbroken, devastated beyond words as many of you know. We want to keep some contact going but I’m afraid the cards, etc we have sent are trashed. How do we cope? What are these loving kids thinking? Did we fall from the face of the earth. Any words of wisdom would be so welcome. Thanks for listening

      • #81407

        Lunabee, your story is a familiar one here and I am sad to welcome you to the forum. All I can tell you is to read, read, read what is here, from Sheri’s homepage articles (where there is a search function), to posts, to Sheri’s book with exercises. You won’t fix/change the estrangement or its effects (GC) but you will change yourself. Because you must. To survive this devastating blow.

        My five GC are lost to me, the oldest one 12. There aren’t words to describe the brutality of this separation. I can say that with some authority as I buried my husband 35 yrs ago. I am sorry for what you’ve been stunned with. It IS heartbreaking.

        So, words of wisdom? Again, read, read and read some more. Everyone’s experiences will bring you to your own particular answers. It seems impossible now, I understand, but it will. So you will learn to live with what ‘is’ while never shutting out hope that you will experience what should be.


      • #81690


        I feel for you, I hurt myself so badly. I wanted nothing more than to be in my grandson’s life. My daughter made it impossible for me to maintain the relationship. She was abusive, harsh, and only got in touch with me when she wanted something. I even had to schedule times to come over to her house. It was so frustrating, I just couldn’t take it anymore and terminated the relationship. Some might believe I’ve done this to myself but the pain of knowing I’m only there to spend money and nothing else was crushing me. I talked with my dad and told him about it and he got upset. He and some others don’t know the terrible treatment I endured from her like the snotty tone, the manipulation, the hurtful words. I am so hurt on the inside but I have to pull myself up, dust myself off, and be determined that I will only have relationships with people who love me and want me to be in their lives without conditions. Thanks for sharing!

    • #81411

      This is my first post. I am new to this website . And so relieved to have found a place where I learn that many , many others suffer estrangement as I do and are living with the emotional and psychological devastation it causes .
      I live alone now . My husband died two years ago and my adult children are 46 and 49 . I have been estranged from my oldest child since February 14. This estrangement has been the pattern since that child’s, teen years. It has been cyclical and has occurred several times and at first i could not stand the pain of losing this child and would reach out and basically blame myself for it and then the child would “forgive” me and the cycle would begin again. I wanted to have a relationship with that child and always felt if something went wrong it had to have been something that I did wrong so I perpetuated their lack of respect . I had such low self esteem, enmeshment and co dependency issues with the child that I was not able to have healthy boundaries. This last time, I had been working on my boundaries in general and my honesty and once again this child got in a bind and this time it was financial assistance the child demanded of me , did not ask for , an exhorbitant amount of money to pay their partner they broke up with and get the partner off my child’s back . I was shocked and distressed at their remarks.
      There was no asking me , this was “you have to” and I replied by saying no and asked them if they could consider future requests in the form of a question, That really shocked them , and they were not happy. I had changed the dynamic and was making boundaries and being honest.
      This happened two more times and the last time i said no, that child unleashed such hatred and fury on me as i have never experienced in my life from another human being. Needless to say there has been no communication on this child’s part towards me since. There are two grandchildren involved also. I was not invited to my grandsons graduation and Mother’s Day was devastating for me. I had a Hypertension crisis and feared i might have a stroke. I then developed shingles. I believe this was all related I had not found this website at the time.
      I am very grateful now to have found a place where I can talk about this experience in an anonymous manner. I am working on reading the book and also implementing the tools to move forward and focus on taking actions and engaging in meaningful activities. I journal about my painful emotions also which helps along with this forum.
      Thank you so much it is a great gift to be here!

    • #81563

      Hello Moonlight this is Sunshine ha ha,

      I’m so glad you have set boundaries to protect yourself. I am fairly new here too. My son hasn’t talked to me for 3 years. I was sending birthday cards, anniversary, and a Christmas card with no response and I would let my feelings be so hurt that this year I said no more cards, no more reaching out just to be hurt. I love him and it’s hard for me not to send my love but I have to take care of myself since I get so depressed about it. These problems they are creating are not our problems, they are their problems, they cannot grow up and take responsibility for their actions. I hope you can find some peace in your situation and feel good about yourself again. That is where I am at too, I have lost self confidence and sometimes feel I can’t breathe. I want to feel good again all the time and be at peace no matter what happens. I’m sorry about your health problems from this; we need to take care of ourselves, it is hard for me to do sometimes. Glad you are here and take care.

    • #81597

      This is my first post too, I am new to the site. I couldn’t believe it when I read an interview with Sheri when I was browsing my home page news. I had no idea anyone else was feeling what I am feeling. I was cut out of my daughter’s life a year ago in March. It has been a difficult year, but even though I think I’m doing OK, I fluctuate between anger, pain, feeling like this is a bad dream, pity party, etc. When I look back, I realize that the good times we’ve had, have been when I was of use to her, she now has a new boyfriend and has decided to adopt his family as hers. I wish I could say I wish her luck, I wish I could say I still love her, but I’m not sure I do. That is something I’m still struggling with. Anyway, I’m so happy to be here and know that finally I found some “friends” who understand because I’ve had no one to talk to about this, even my husband, who has been caught in the fall out but is not “the most negative person on the planet”

    • #81653

      Hi. My only a child and I are estranged at this time. His dad died almost 4 years ago. His dad and we’re divorced but did the right things by our son and had an amazing relationship as friends and parents. His passing was sudden and traumatic for both of us. His dads family took this opportunity to create turmoil in the relationship my son and I had (turmoil that didn’t exist) and unfortunately, their intrusion into our new normal (without his father) resulted in a lot of lying, deception, and my son continually trying to hurt me. About 2 years ago, they (my son and his dads family) began the plotting of moving my son out when he turned 18 (he would still be a senior in high school). Fast-forwarding a bit, my son kept pushing the limits of any boundaries I set within our household. He was still only 16-17 at this time. His major rules were: 1. Where are you going? 2. Who are you going to be with? 3. Please let me know if you change locations. 4 Are parents going to be home if you are hanging at a house? 5. Your curfew is 12:30 am.
      He deceived me over and over again with lies and promises over the course of the last 18 months with this moving out, how great our relationship would be, and with the full financial support of an aunt and uncle in October (beginning of his senior year), the day after his 18th Birthday, I came home to an empty house, Boyd of most of his belongings. He left behind what he felt was I significant, including me. I tried for the next 4 months to get him to keep his promises to me and participate in our relationship, but honestly, the day he moved out was the day he walked away from the relationship. After continually getting heartbroken from his rejection (only included me if there was a benefit to him), I decided I was done participating in this toxicity.

      This has been the hardest, most confusing, embarrassing journey of my life. My own parents are enabling his poor treatment of me by not doing anything to show him it’s not acceptable and they are always trying to tell me how I need to just accept it and let him let me in when he feels like it. I’m setting healthy boundaries with them as well. I/we (at one point my son) have been in counseling to try to fix this… now I’m working on putting my heart back together, setting healthy boundaries for people in my life and trying to realize that this is not/has not been my fault. My son walked away from me, our relationship and has excluded me (while including his enablers) in every event this school year…

      I’m finding small victories in surviving days I thought might break me… Christmas, Mother’s Day, Prom, Graduation. I’m learning I have a strength I didn’t even know existed, let alone inside me. I am grateful for this group, because I’m hoping to find advice, ways, practices, tools to manage my heart, detach with love, and realize my son had a loving, supportive, attentive, involved mom and that I am enough, he is broken in some way that is not mine to fix.

    • #81689

      I posted an introduction but I don’t see it. If it does post at some point it will echo what I am reading in here from other parents. I struggle with the sense of loss daily and although the crying is abating, I still have that emptiness and sorrow in my heart. I just can’t understand what happened or what I did wrong or if in fact I didn’t do anything wrong and my daughter just changed because of her relationship with her husband. I see the reality of things. She has been using me and does not show any love or respect for me. I wish I knew the percentage of my role in this problem. She refuses to talk to me after I tried contacting her and several people are telling me to leave her alone and accept that she either doesn’t love me or doesn’t want anything to do with me. It seems the only reason she was allowing me in her and my grandson’s life was to see what she could get out of me. I see comments in here all the time about “opening the wallet.” I feel so used. I am so hurt. I just can’t understand why stuff like this happens. I’m so miserable and hurt I am rambling. I am so worried this pain will interfere with other relationships. I can’t stand to see grandmothers with their grandchildren, I just want to curl up into a ball and cry myself relentlessly. I feel so bad for the other people in here, why is this such a chronic problem?

    • #81688

      It has helped to read how other parents are dealing with the pain of being rejected and abused by their children. I sit here, eyes tearing, knot in the pit of my stomach, my heart hurting so badly that my daughter has treated me so horribly for so long I finally had to say enough and sent a terrible message to her that has killed the relationship. I tried for so long, years, spent thousands of dollars, ran millions of errands, put up with her abuse and maltreatment just so I could spend a little time with my only grandson. When he was born January 2018 I was on the edge of my seat at work, waiting to hear when I could go to the hospital. Yes, you read that right, I had to get permission to go to the hospital to see my grandson on the day he was born. Anyone reading this will recognize right away the power and control (smacks of domestic violence?) my daughter believed she had over me. I wasn’t a puppy dog, I knew what was going on, but I endured it because I couldn’t live with myself if I never got to see the miracle of this little baby. From that moment on she steered me around by my nose, barking out orders, demanding I purchase things, acting like an entitled princess while I lavished her and that baby with gifts and services galore. It got so bad I had to take out a second on the house to pay for all the credit card debt that no one knew about until now. I knew it was bad. I couldn’t help it. I was so desperate to spend time with that beautiful little boy. It hurts so bad right now knowing I may never see him again. By the way, I had to make appointments to see him, if that isn’t the biggest slap in the face.

      I’ve tried to apologize but she hangs up the phone, she doesn’t respond to text messages, I wouldn’t even try email. I know, I did it to myself, how could anyone blame her? However, I couldn’t take the abuse anymore. I tried many times to let her know how badly she was treating me. I was telling some of the stories to my boyfriend and he got so mad he told me to stop, he didn’t want to hear anymore. I have no one to talk to about this other than him and he hates her passionately for how badly she treated me, he has witnessed it many times. If there is even one example I can give that perfectly illustrates how badly she and her husband (he’s the biggest culprit here but that’s another story) have treated me, oh, wait, two examples, the first being my grandson’s first birthday. While the paternal grandmother was allowed to throw a lavish party for the baby complete with clowns and a DJ, I got to order a cake of my daughter’s choosing, waited to see if she and her husband would even show up that morning, and when they did they were just about as frigid and cold as I’ve seen anyone be. My daughter ordered me to get her special milk to drink with the cake and when they arrived, they maybe said one or two words to me and my boyfriend, boxed up the cake, and took the gifts without even saying thank you. The second example, and the reason I do not talk to her and her husband anymore is the day I went to see my grandson at the paternal grandmother’s home. Interesting how my son-in-law has no problem dropping the baby off at the paternal grandmother’s home yet I am forbidden. The pathetic birthday party was the ONLY time my grandson stepped inside my house. So, I’m there on this Saturday waiting for my grandson to arrive and when my son-in-law got into the house he couldn’t have been colder or more distant. I’m pretty sure he was sneering at me. I didn’t care, let me at my grandson! I pulled my grandson out of his carseat and the first thing he did was try to pull away from me to get to the other grandmother. That moment in time ripped my heart to shreds. At that moment I knew the truth. My daughter and son-in-law don’t want me in their lives. The only reason I was ever allowed to be there was to spend money and cart my daughter wherever she wanted to go. I got to spend thousands of dollars on stuff, for Christmas the only thing I got was a snowglobe with a picture of her and the baby. I never asked for anything, it didn’t even bother me that she never reciprocated. What bothers me is how arrogant of her to believe I’d be thrilled with a gift like this.

      I’m no different than anyone else here, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve mis-stepped many times in my life, trust me I get reminded all the time how much I suck. But I’ve done nothing to my daughter EVER to warrant such treatment. To think I spent my life waiting for beautiful little moments like spending time with a grandchild to have it ripped away from me because of something I cannot define. I don’t know what happened to her. She was a beautiful child, such a delight to raise, and when she met her husband she morphed into this evil, horrible creature. I’ve talked with others little bits here and there, always with pain in my voice, and like anyone, other people feel like they’ve got the answers or their advice is worthy. I’m not close-minded, but this is beyond working a little magic to repair a relationship. My daughter is hateful and hurtful and she punishes me for everything that has gone wrong in her life. The worst part is I’ll never get to see my grandson. I go shopping and see grandmothers with their grandchildren in carts and I just want to curl up and die. I stopped shopping, actually, I only go to stores where I know I won’t see grandmothers and grandchildren or I order online.

      I know others in here have had similar experiences and I grieve for them. I don’t blame any parents in here, like I don’t want to be blamed. I don’t want to be made to feel like I’ve done something wrong. Unfortunately I don’t have good supports in my life and those people who are in my life are judgmental and sometimes unfeeling about my situation. I’m not looking for a pity party, and I don’t believe I’m owed anything. I just wanted to be welcomed in my daughter’s home just to see the baby. Not to come bearing gifts or I’m not welcome, or be sent to fetch her things or she’s too busy for me to come over, unbelievably horrible and wretched treatment. And I’m the one to suffer because of her manipulative and hurtful behavior. And yes, sometimes I blame God for letting this happen. Why me?

    • #81768

      Hi, I am so thankful to this group and being able to see I am not alone in this. After having my first grandchild my daughter has cut me out of her life. She has said little except that when she needed a mother I wasn’t there. I am not sure where this is coming from and have exhausted myself trying to figure out what I could have done wrong. I feel lost and alone and helpless over all this. My heart aches. I find myself wanting to message her or call her like we always did before but know it will just bring me pain as she is cold if she even answers. How does someone change so fast and suddenly? Thanks for being here, it helps it really does.

    • #81830

      Hello everyone,I am so glad that I found this group.I am a mom with two adult children.One of whom is estranged from me.I have been going through many emotions.Feelings of confusion,hopelessness,anxiety,and even anger.Where did I go wrong?How did this happen??There seems to be no solace or peace inside.The strong wife and mom mask is slowly getting cracks.I feel like the only people who can truly understand are other estranged parents.I look forward to talking to other parents going through this.I am in a dark place but it is nice to know I am not alone.I am also so blessed to have a great husband and daughter.This keeps me going~T

    • #81882

      My son has been gone for 5 months, with no contact. Compared to some stories, it doesn’t seem very long, but so far it feels like an eternity. My husband tries so hard to make me happy…sometimes it works for a bit.

    • #81883

      My son has been gone for 5 months, with no contact. It doesn’t seem very long, compared to other stories, but it feels like an eternity. I’m in therapy, so I thought I would try this, too. My husband tries so hard to make me happy…sometimes it works. This really feels impossible.

    • #81978

      I am truly grateful to have found other people with eerily similar stories to mine. My youngest son and I have been estranged for the better part of 8 years after having been very close for the first years of his life. The hurt feelings, the loss, the anger, shame, and desire to isolate myself have all been a part of my life since then. I have finally realized that while I was not a perfect Mom, I did the best I could and do not deserve to be treated the way my son now treats me. His choice to only participate in his wife’s family activities is just that, his choice. I can not change what he chooses to do. My heart breaks as I now have 2 grandchildren that I have only seen very briefly twice. I hope that some day they will choose to find a way to have a relationship with me and am thankful for my other son who still maintains a wonderful relationship with me and the grandchild that he and his wife have. Thank you for letting me be a part of this group and share my experiences.

    • #82026

      Oh SweetCaroline, you have come to the right place. We know the same hurt, anger and shame, we know it all too well. No one is perfect and couldn’t possibly be. We have all made mistakes. Don’t blame yourself for this estrangement. Any mistakes made were not worth estranging from a parent over. I am pretty confident in saying your son will make mistakes with his family as well. Forgive yourself for you mistakes and don’t blame the estrangement on any thing you have done. As you said, you did the best you could do. We are humans and that is all we can offer. I’m so thankful you have one son that shows you your value and appreciates you.

      You have support here and we will always understand. I found comfort and a place to start healing my sad, lost and broken heart from reading Sheri’s book, Done with the Crying. If really helped me move forward with living my life. I was stuck for years in a very dark place with my only child’s estrangement. I would also like to suggest posting here when you need emotional support and just want to get something off your chest. Read everyone’s post and find situations like your and chime in or offer support. This will help you see all different points of view. You will become attached to some people and make new friends with similar stories.

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #82126

      Our estranged son has been in and out of our lives for the last 2 years. The last time has been since Christmas. My husband and I have a 13 year old daughter also who this has affected greatly. My worst fear is she will turn out to hating us too for really no reason at all. My kids have always been like night and day though. She has watched the heartbreak, misery, and pain that my husband and I have been through and continue to go through. The last disconnection before this one he went for 8 months with no contact. It took her a lot longer to forgive than us. We were supposed to go to our grandsons 1st birthday party together at his house and I guess pretend none of the cold, cruel words were never spoken. This situation has also affected my relationship with my parents who think he never did anything wrong to us. My parents were going to be there plus his girlfriend’s family, which hate us too for no reason ever stated. So, my daughter refuses to go, but I did tell her it was her choice, I wasn’t going to force her to forgive her brother for abandoning her. My husband was in a place that he couldn’t attend at the time and begged me to go for us because he desperately wanted to make amends. He forgives and forgets easily but the pain he put my daughter through was enough for me to write off the whole event. I was still beyond upset and a simple I’m sorry with no explanation of any kind was not good enough for me. But, in the end I forced myself to go and was made to feel like an outsider at my only grandchild’s first birthday, while her family snubbed me and my son couldn’t figure out why I was so uncomfortable. I left early after the only question anyone asked me was where was my daughter? I was truthful and said she didn’t want to come here feelings were still hurt. Which led to even bigger looks of disgust towards me as if this explained why my son hates me and his father. It was an awful experience and brought us a couple months of peace for the holidays with my son and grandson before the whole mess started again. My husband was hurt more this time than me or my daughter. We refused to wear our hearts on our sleeves again. So, my estranged son turns 21 tomorrow on June 1st. This should be a milestone in your life to celebrate with friends and loved ones. We will miss out again on yet another time for happiness with my first born. It hurts to the point of wanting to break down and scream with madness all at once. I wish I could understand so I could deal with this situation better but this is not the case. I see others like me on this forum have also written about sons abandoning parents after they find a girlfriend. This is most definitely the case with him too but what truely makes her family so much better than us I will never know. Thank you for reading my story and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I thought I had moved on from these random crying spells and mood swings when thinking of our loss, but his birthday is making this so hard today.

    • #82161

      Tryn2survive I am so sorry for all the pain and hurt that you are going through. I don’t have a son but I have two daughters of which I am recently estranged from one. The pain is unbearable and the questions far too many but I have tried to pick myself up and focus on the people around me which is my younger daughter and partner who need and respect me. It unacceptable for them to treat their parents and siblings in this manner and have realized that our unconditional love and need for wanting to be part of their life enables this behaviour. I also have read Sheri’s book and it has helped me so so much together with chatting to a counsellor who is teaching me to care for myself first.

      Much hugs to you and the pain never goes away but you will get stronger

    • #82199

      Hello dears <3
      I live in Australia. I had two children, and am still very close with my son and his lovely wife, as well as one of their children. My daughter decided to leave me when she was 18, which was 23 years ago. She had gotten pregnant unwed, which I did not think was appropriate (I am a Christian woman and raised her Christian). When I told her I disapproved but still loved her she blew up, called me unsupportive and crazy, and left. She came back to ask me for money, even asked my husband to help her get the father of her baby out of her life, but only contacted me to get things from me, never to ask me how I was doing, even knowing that I was very sick. I never found out that she had a baby girl or her name until the child was 4, when my daughter had my son babysit her and he let me see her. When I got cancer (and had to have my leg amputated because of it) she only visited me twice! She poisoned her beautiful daughter’s mind against me and I barely got to see her when she was growing up! Imagine! I never knew my first granddaughter’s first word, or got to go to her birthday parties.

      My granddaughter started spending time with me when she was 13, saying her mother was abusive (of course she was! poor child!) and begging me to take her in. Then one day she just stopped talking to me! Never told me why except that she thought I didn’t love her or something! Which I never said! Of course I love my baby granddaughter. She told me she didn’t like it when I called her by her name because she wanted to be cool and use a nickname, which I sometimes forgot, because it was very hard to remember that the name I’ve called her by for so much time isnt the right name anymore!

      A little while later my daughter started taking drugs and it was unclear to me what happened to my granddaughter, because when she was 16 suddenly she wasn’t around anymore. My daughter never told me anything! She could have been living with the father, dead, in jail, I had no idea! My granddaughter still hasn’t told me what happened even though I have spoken to her since then.

      Four years later my daughter had another baby girl who, again, I wasn’t allowed to see. When the child was 4 (last year) my daughter sadly died of a drug overdose. Her two children never even went to the funeral, where I was so looking forward to seeing them and finally meeting the little girl. I tried to get custody of her but her big sister took her in instead, which I think is a shame because she is far too busy and too young to raise a child. She’s only 23! I tried to help her out and take the little girl but she found out I took her to church and went crazy and FILED A RESTRAINING ORDER! The 4 year old make a video testimony telling horrible lies about my husband and I that I know her sister put her up to saying. Now I can’t see either of my deceased daughter’s children! I’m distraught and to top it off, my cancer has come back and even knowing this they won’t see me.

      Only a little while later my other granddaughter, my son’s 17 year old daughter, started acting horribly to me, my husband, and her parents. She started drinking, smoking, skipping school, cutting herself, and accusing her father of terrible things and saying we all covered up for him! Which is absurd! Clearly a troubled child who needed help, but instead of helping her psychologically or putting her in a psych ward, child services put her with my oldest granddaughter! Again, this woman is 23 and now raising a 4 year old and 17 year old, both with terrible mental illnesses. Now this granddaughter won’t see me either. I’ll bet the oldest one put her up to it like she did with the little one.

      All three of my dear grandchildren have said awful lies about me and it’s all my daughter’s fault! I miss her so much but I wish she hadn’t lied to her oldest child about me, because now all three of my granddaughters refuse to see me, even though I’m so sick. I don’t think I’ll get to see them again before I die! I’ve been praying to God to let me see them just one more time before I go. I love them so much, despite all they’ve done to hurt me. I’m just glad I have my husband, my son and daughter-in-law, and my grandson. Without them I would be nothing.

    • #82213

      Hi all,

      I finally received the email today that ended my relationship with my son. We have been on and off since my oldest son died (7yrs).

      I’m numb at the finality of this. I have now lost two sons; one to death and the other to walking away forever. It didn’t come out of left field, but the words he used will forever etched into my heart. My husband is absolutely no help whatsoever.

      I’ll post again when I allow myself to feel.

    • #82345

      Hi everyone,
      I actually registered a long time ago with the intention to post but I couldn’t until now. I’ve been experiencing bouts of real depression then times of feeling “ok”. I would say it’s never 100% great, more like 80%(maybe less).
      The backstory: married & had a son. Left my abusive, controlling, manipulative husband when baby was 1.5years. After a year or so of contact (arranged through mediation because of his past behaviour) my ex decided to “walk away” (his solicitor’s words) from the situation. We never saw, nor heard from him again.
      Cut to 14years later when I felt I should perhaps try to make contact with the ex, for the sake of our son, as he was becoming grown and asking questions (I never did tell him all that went on, just an abridged version). I also didn’t want to be the one who could have introduced them to each other but chose not to. It didn’t work out & they stopped seeing each other.
      Then a couple of years later very much out of the blue my son went to live with his father. Transpired that they had had a little contact, in which my son played the emotional blackmail “I’ve never had a dad”, “Mum has a new partner/babies”, I’m so hard done by, they make me do homework !” card so my ex offered him a place to stay.
      I have had very little contact since then, other than when he wanted more money. The last I saw him was over a year ago. I asked him to come and visit for his 20th birthday as to me it’s a significant milestone leaving your 20s. He said he would, he arrived a couple of days before saying he would actually go to his father’s as they would make a big deal of it (take him for a meal & get him bigger gifts). I told him how hurt I was, he just shrugged it off.
      After that all contact ceased when I told him, by email, to pay back his grandfather money he had borrowed. He hasn’t ever replied, nor paid the debt (he makes good money in his job so this would not be a problem).
      I feel bad for my parents who had a lot to do with him growing up as he has cut all ties there also. He sends my brother a text every 4-5months but that’s it, we hear nothing else. I feel a little cross that my brother hasn’t challenged his behaviour, sort of just ignoring it.
      The sadness is like a grief that never goes away. He is still out there, living his life, meeting people, doing things, travelling and I never hear any of it. We were on our own for years before I met my partner and I always thought we were close, the severing of all ties is reminiscent of his father too, so I guess another reason it’s hurtful (makes me angry).
      It’s good to have found a group of people in the same boat. My friends don’t quite get it “oh, I went to university and hardly called my parents-he’ll be back” type of comments etc.
      Thanks for reading.

      Ceilidh x

    • #82362

      Hi you all, I am new here, just got approved.

      I have been living with this for several years, and it is not getting easier.

      My son, who had a pretty perfect childhood by all means except for a divorce, of course, started distancing himself from the family in his early 20s, and by the end of that decade he completely disowned us.

      Moreover, he decided, either out of the blue or with the help of some psychologist, that he was abused, “emotionally and maybe physically”. He said he remembers little of his childhood, but is sure I particularly “but maybe my father too”, abused him.

      This was like a stab in the eye. And it still hurts. I may have not been the ideal mother, of course, but I never abused him. Not in any possible way.

      He was a little autistic, early on, so am I, and I did not quite pick up on it in time, but then he compensated. He was extremely normal and successful in school, several varsity letters, very popular, very much admired by friends and girls.

      I don’t know what happened to him. There is history of serious mental illness on his dad’s side.

      Maybe that. I just want him to be well, but I am sad, bitter, depressed, and it is not getting any better.

    • #82365

      I am so very sorry for your grieving, Elle-1957.

      I am glad you found this group and decided to post something. We understand how terrible this is.

      I send my heartfelt caring for your losses, of your oldest son, and now to the younger one, and the awful words he chose.

      I feel for you.


    • #82396

      Ceilidh, I’m so sorry you have been experiencing this emotional abuse. Our children Canberra so selfish and inconsiderate. Our friends don’t understand and I’m not sure I would understand either if I didn’t live this nightmare. The truth is, I’ve been living the same nightmare and I don’t really understand it it. I have been learning to accept it. This selfish decision is your sons and there is nothing you can do but let him grow up and hope he changes himself. The disrespect he has displayed in using you and his grandparents is deplorable.

      Keep moving forward with your partner and other children and accept his decision. Who knows, he may come around with a few more years of life and some hard knocks. Love your son regardless and try to forgive him for his stupid choices. This is not your fault and living in sadness only destroys you and your mental and physical health. Move forward by finding things that make you happy and fill your days with joy.

      You have friends here and we are glad you reached out.

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #82848

      Hi Everyone,
      I am from Australia, and am estranged from both my daughters. ED for 5yrs, and she was influential in YD(3 yrs) blocking me from her life.
      I was the family scapegoat growing up and until I had to strength to say now 8 years ago, and my daughters, as they were growing up, witnessed me be bullied by my eldest and youngest sisters and mother, and when I objected blamed and bullied me further until I submitted to the treatment. My sisters and mother have lied about what has happened (including blaming me for the physical abuse of my ex as I must have deserved it) and pretending not to know why I am estranged from them (although it was demanded by my sister, supported by my mother (she is proficient at gas-lighting me)
      When I was no longer allowed to attend family events, my daughters chose my sisters and mother, saying I chose the situation and it’s my fault
      My daughters have bullied me into oblivion, and after cutting me off altogether, have nominated their partners to communicate with me, but the partners ignore me.
      I have been told I have to ‘improve’ and shoe ‘concrete improvement in my behaviour’ in short accept the way I am treated without question, or objection.
      I bought my daughters up, but my sisters are now taking credit for bringing them up, supporting them through their education and my YD’s mental issues when a teenager. I wasn’t invited to YD’s PHd conferment, nor to ED’s wedding, nor am I allowed to know about them, or how they are.
      My younger childless sister is putting herself in the place of my as ‘mother’.
      I have been blocked completely, and the pain is overwhelming. My daughters are lovely girls, to everyone bar me, and have had it demonstrated they are entitled to treat me with contempt and abuse and then blame me for responding with tears and objection.
      It is a comfort to know I am not alone in this, but comfort in other people’s pain mirroring mine.
      I am so sorry for everyone here that is going through this.

    • #82880

      Good morning. Like many of you surely felt, I can’t believe I am here. I am only 37 and a mother of 3. I had my 1st child, a daughter, when I was 2 months shy of 18. Her father wasn’t much older and although we attempted to make things work, they failed. We just did not care enough about each other. I was a single mother till I meet my husband when my daughter was 5. I had hoped for the perfect father for her but they never hit it off as I hoped. We married when she was 7 and went onto have 2 children of our own (11 and 7) Two years ago in June, my oldest graduated HS and continued to live in our home while working and starting college. In March, we got in a huge fight where she said some terrible things and before the weeks end, she had left ,without even telling me, to go to her biological dad several states away. She’s living there now and tells me what horrible, shitty parents we were(my husband and I) and that she wants nothing to do with me. I have never know this kind of pain and I guess landed here for advice and just to not feel so alone. Thank you.

    • #82890

      Welcome, CeleAnne722,

      I’m so sorry that you have found yourself here, but know that you are welcome and among friends who understand the pain.

      Hugs to you, and welcome again to this place created for healing.
      Sheri McGregor

    • #82892

      Hi CeleAnne, welcome and know you have friends here that have walked in your shoes. We understand the silence, lost and brokenness. I would like to suggest reading Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children as it will help you with so many questions you are having. Your daughter is very young so hang on and give her time to go through whatever she is going through. Try to sit back and just give her time. The more you reach out the more she will probably avoid you. This will just hurt you and anger her so turn your focus to you and your other children while she takes the time she needs.

      We are here for you and understand your hurt and pain.

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #82907

      Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I’ve ordered the book off amazon as of yesterday and anxiously await it’s arrival. In the meantime I am doing just that, focusing on my younger children who are still very dependent upon me due to their age and trying to enjoy the Summer (I’m a teacher). The thing I’m struggling with the most is wanting to reach out to my oldest w million times a day. It is doing just what you said, pushing her further away, but it’s so difficult to have her apart of my life everyday for 20 years and then nothing. Seems to not bother her at all but it’s my current greatest struggle. Thanks

    • #82927

      CeleAnne, I had a difficult time not reaching out as wee. I also made the mistake of taking the blame for things I did do. This made her treat me bad and start to walk all over me while she ignored my calls and text. The communication is really one way. My 25 year old daughter reaches out and we answer or text back. If we initiate communication then it is silence. I also do not jump when she needs a favor because once I did the favor and she and she got what she needed then it’s back to silence. I constantly felt used so now I don’t go out of my way at all.

      There is no cut and dry answers as to why our children cut us off but the way you handle it could determine your future health. You can allow the estrangement to eat you alive or learn to accept it and hope she changes herself. This is not your fault. This is her decision. You cannot change her mind or control her actions. Please don’t ever say you are sorry for something you didn’t do because then there will be even more things you didn’t do that she will require you to apologize for.

      Give her time to miss you and her family. She may never move home and at 20 she probably will not. She is probably wanting to be on her on and living with her dad is the best she can do. She will miss her life and all she has ever known. I have a strong feeling this is not for good, it’s just her working through something that she may or may not blame you for. The mother is an easy target because our kids know we will always love them. Stay strong my friend and do the exercises in the book.

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #82999

      Hello. I’m a mom of two, but am here because my heart is broken over my adult daughter. I guess had this image in my head of how we would be when she was older, but it never happened and now I am grieving the broken dream. I feel the only time she needs to talk to me or needs me is to babysit. Otherwise, most of the communication comes from me. Every time I get my hopes up that we can have a closer relationship, it is short-lived. I have tried before to back off, because it seems like maybe she feels smothered by me, but I always seem to keep trying to make things the way I’ve wished for in my head. When I ask her specific questions and tell her my feelings, she will tell me she is not responsible for how I feel. Yes, she’s right. So why does it hurt so much? I just need some tools to help me detach and find my identity as a person, not just a mother. So much of who I am is tied up in my children. I always wanted to be close to my daughter as she got older, because I can’t think of another way to co-exist. I have read that it isn’t anything I’ve done to create this distance, but somehow I still feel like I’ve tried so hard to stay close that she just doesn’t want the same relationship that I do. My heart is broken. All I have done for the past two hours is cry.

    • #83116

      Dear Searching4me-Now I am so sorry to hear this relationship with your daughter is just one sided and believe me I know how it feels. Its been almost two and a half months since I spoke with my daughter and there is still a day that does not go by that I feel sad and lonely without her as I was always co-dependent on her for my happiness. She controlled my every thought and I felt the need to get validation from her. Nothing ever that I did was ever good enough for her and I was always blamed for everything that happened in her life and I always will. I eventually did not even know who I was and kept asking why am I allowing this abuse and keep going back for more only to have her present in my life. I have kept the distance and respected her wish to not have me in her life and hopefully this space will get her thinking more in a positive way towards her family. As for me everyday I am growing stronger, taking care of myself and the people around me and more importantly giving myself credit and a pat on the back for being a really good mother. There is nothing I can do to change the past or even the future and I am not going allow myself to be in a negative space crying daily thinking how I can change it.
      My girls are my life and like you I never knew of another way to co-exist without them but there is a way as the more they push you away and create distance there is a part of you that just gives up and feel defeated as we are worth so much more than what we receive.
      Done with the Crying has really helped me achieve peace and I pray you get some peace

      Be strong

    • #83124

      hi searching formenow,
      I think your screen name is a great start,reading sheri’s book has really helped me to put the focus back on me ! I am done with the crying, well it gets less and less, I still have my moments holding back from texting my son is hard but not getting a response was harder,i HATE waiting for a response so i read my book and try to keep the focus on how to go on without him and enjoy my life, well to get a life i never imagined one without him and my granddaughter but it is up to him! This is very painful but the cold looks,unanswered texts and being left out of family functions i thought would kill me but here i am slowly getting stronger,he texted me the other day finally out of the blue saying my grandaughter wanted to come to my home she missed me i read thru all my books called everyone then waited for the when! i texted him to say when i was available he texted back OK! its almost a week and nothing , Did he find someone else to watch her because i think thats all that contact was ,HOW ABOUT I AM SORRY MOM I TREATED YOU SO BAD, well those expectations are gone and so is my checking for another text . I am done but i know i can go on he is not my life ,and there are people that do want me in their lives and that is what i will choose now and so can you

    • #83139

      Searching, you have friends here. You have come to the right place. You asked for tools to help you cope. The best tool I can advise is Sheri’s book, Done with the Crying. I learned to accept I cannot change my daughter. I cannot change her mind or her actions. The more I beg the more she pushed away. I even apologized for things I did do then she used that against me. I could not win and I seemed to be getting more and more depressed. I couldn’t sleep, I cried all the time, stayed away from other, I was sad, lost and broken.

      I learned I had to accept my daughters decision and honor her wishes. She would not respond to calls or text so I finally stopped reaching out. I feel like she is a stranger to me. I learned I had to forgive her for all the pain and hurt she has caused me. When I finally accepted this and forgave her I started seeing I could continue to live my life but it just wasn’t going to be the same. My daughter reaches out every four months or so but it’s more like buttering up for something she needs. When she gets what she wants it’s always back to estrangement.

      I will always take her calls or respond to her text because it’s the right thing to do. But she has trained me not to reach out or ask questions (her boundaries). My boundaries are to not let her use me and set myself us to be hurt over and over.

      I say all this because the first thing we as estranged parents need to do is take care of ourselves mentally and physically. You asked for the tools and they right right here. Order Done with the Crying and read this forum. Participate on here by posting how you feel or ask for help. Do the exercises in the book. Please start to journal at night. I really thought the journal thing was a waste of time but it actually proved me wrong. We carry all these emotions with us and are ready to let the tears flow at any moment but writing it down helps release the emotions and actually lets you rest your mind. I could not believe how it helped me.

      Just a thought but start now. Make a list of all the things you did right by your daughter, how you made her feel special like taking her to the movies or driving her to music lessons, just whatever. Then make a list of your feelings right now, sad, isolated, depressed, lost, lonely.. . Knowing you can’t change your daughter because she is who she is, try working on the one you can change, yourself. Make a list of what you can do to focus on you. Make a list of what you can do that is in your power to give you a break for your broken heart. 2 hours at a movie with a friend or a manicure/pedicure. Friends for a night of cards, church functions…. then start doing some of these things to move your mind in a forward thinking motion.

      Sadlostbroken 🌸

    • #83195

      I am so sorry he did that to you….again. We are always trying to figure out what is the “right thing” for us to do, and to do it, when others including those we have been loving toward, don’t give it a thought.

      Sometimes it is good to do that, but we don’t need to spend so much time agonizing over whether something we do is perfect or not.

      Searchingfor me now,
      and other newcomers I have not met yet,

      And DO read Sadlostbroken’s post above, and it will give you many excellent tools to cope, and ideas!

      That last paragraph of that, is something that helped me a lot to do.
      Making a list of all of the very good things that I DID do for my children. It helped me to read my list, and to see them, and to add to it, as things came back to mind. I had actually forgotten many of them. I guess I was NOT such a terrible mom.

      It helped me. Bit by bit, things we try, do help in bits.

      Those children of ours are adults now. They could even just be polite, if not caring and forgiving, but many of ours are not. We cannot change that.

      Welcome to each one of you!

      • #86182

        Thanks again to all of you,
        Sometimes I feel like I need that thump in the head to get back on track of letting go of guilt,rehashing
        what did i do to deserve this,reading these posts reminds me of where i was and how far i have come and to read the posts of people who are going on with their lives ,the compassion from those people who understand to let go of the shame,and take care of ourselves the realization that there is a grieving process that we must go thru for a person who we know is alive and chooses not to share their life with us. This is the hardest and most hurtful thing i have ever gone thru and this takes a lot of work as they say one day at a time but i do know if i can continue to work thru the book done with the
        crying and reading the post helps me to go on each day and to change my thoughts from the pain to the now and how I am important to other people in my life and my life is changing for the good

    • #83352

      Hello, I am not sure where to start, but have four daughters, daughters #1 and 3 are poa of my husband who is in early stages of Alz. They have informed me after 50 years of marriage I will not be involved in any decisions or e entitled to any financial help. I was a stay at home mum so no income of my own.
      I just found out they are also executors and beneficiaries of my husbands (and my) estate…he has left me a token required by law.
      Our 4th daughter has not spoken to me for 4 years reason unknown so have not seen my six year old grandson that long. In order to survive I am now forced to
      divorce my husband and feel betrayed by him and them. We rent the basement in one daughters home
      But she has mot spoken to me since February.

    • #83390

      I’m curious, are you forced to divorce your husband so you can keep half of the estate or something like that? Just the fact that you have been married for 50 years there should be no question that you should get the estate. If your hubby has not been declared incompetent yet, it is not too late to get that changed, if he is willing.

      I’m betting those ungrateful adults already planning on your husband’s demise and telling you that you will get nothing have no intention of caring for him as his conditions worsen nor will they help pay for his care if he has to go to a nursing home.

      What a crazy situation to be in. It also reminds me that I need to change a few things like my ES being a durable power of attorney and the will leaving half to him. I’m giving him until we have to make changes in our benefits at work in November. If he hasn’t attempted to get back into my life by then, I want nothing to do with him, his wife or my 4 grandchildren. (At least till they are 18)

    • #83398

      Hello, I have 3 adult children and their father and I divorced 8 years ago. Our children wanted us to divorce and actually were happy that we were going through with it. But then they suddenly took their father’s side when they found out mom could no longer hand out money to help pay their bills.

      I have not spoken or seen my middle child (son) in 7 years. He was in an accident and in the hospital and also in rehab and no one thought to tell me. My last contact with him was an ugly text message telling me that I am Never to refer to myself as his mother ever again, that I lost that right. Other very hurtful things were spit out at me also.

      My youngest son, I have on and off contact with him. He is in college so I get that he has better things to do than contact mom. But he comes home to his dads and I don’t know about it until months have past. No phone call to say he is in town.

      My oldest child (daughter) causes me the most pain. She did not talk to me for 5 years after the divorce. The last two have been on and off. Only when she needs something. After 2 years of her “speaking” to me, she has now cut me out of her life again. The last words she said to me were “You should be thankful, that I even talk to you, your other children don’t”.

      I remarried 2 years ago and me not being able to cope with the pain I feel from the situation with my children is now affecting my current marriage. This last round with my daughter has sent me over the edge and I find myself crying all the time.

      Hoping for some *Cali Sunshine someday in my life.

    • #83465

      Hi I am a single parent of one adult daughter who has suffered from a relapsing mental illness for the past 20 years. I was the parent who always steered her back to help and for most of those years she trusted me and appreciated my doing that. Unfortunately when she was almost 30 she married someone who did not understand her illness and is now colluding with a serious relapse. For 3 years I tried to have her father unite with me so we could steer her back to help and for him to talk to her husband. They have a toddler and I was helping to babysit one day a week, mostly for my daughter and my precious grandson to have contact with me. Two months ago she cut me off and it appears that her husband is behind part of this. Her father sees her once a month and tried to see if she would contact me She has never cut me off for two months and her birthday is coming up soon. I am part of a support group of parent/s whose child have the same illness and it is one where they become fearful of any intervention with a fight or flight response. I have been advised by those parents to continue sending texts to let her know I am thinking of her, because the worst for her would be isolated as the disease is progressive. After 20 years of helping my daughter, I am feeling so sad that she does not have a husband who is able to help her. And that they have both chosen to keep their toddler son from having time with me. I read the whole book and since I can’t really stop sending her a periodic text or email/card, I have to learn to accept that she is not going to answer. I am doing all I can to just focus on my own health and finding a life without any child or grandchild. Since I am a senior and alone, it is hard to start over. My daughter (right before she met her husband) said she hoped one day to find a husband who was kind and close to me, and that she would have a child so I could be a grandma. What has happened is just the opposite, since she met him while in relapse and they really did not know each other long enough before getting married and having a child. Thank you for your thoughts. I see that many have husband or other children, and not many on here who are alone suddenly as a senior.

    • #83468

      Hey, its me again, I would like to share I have been reading Sheri’s book however every chapter that asked about how to get back to focusing on Me I skipped because there has been no me for so many years my whole life was how to keep him safe and happy now 44 years later I am learning who I am what I enjoy maybe a real relationship with a man that wants to be with me and not think of my child who doesnt. I am going back thru the book and exploring who I am

    • #83533

      Hello All.

      A year ago I would have said that I was close to my 30 year old DS, though we had issues that seemed to be increasing. They all revolve his children, whom I am very close to and have helped raise up to this point. While he encouraged my involvement and help with his kids from the start, he also resented and showed a very immature jealousy of my close relationship with his kids. He was a truck driver very uninvolved with his children while married to their mother and I was close to her and helped her a lot with the kids. She encouraged this as well.

      After 6 years his wife left him and divorced him. I felt very sorry for him, and for the most part took his side, but always recognized both parents needed a lot of help with a lot of things including caring for the kids.

      However during those 4 single years, I became an extreme enabler to his issues, financially and otherwise. I always told him there were strings attached: I didn’t want to be paid back but wanted him to straighten out his life and become responsible. I guess it was silly of me to think he might straighten out his life. At this point, I really do regret all the “help” I gave him.

      Anyway, he remarried a bit over a year ago to a woman who is actually abusive (at the very least emotionally abusive) to his children. Though he can talk the talk about modern day equality, deep down he thinks childcare is women’s work and he has very clearly made his abusive control freak wife in charge of everything to do with his kids, and is very ugly toward his ex wife and I when we rail against her mistreating the kids and even trying to control every aspect of their lives even when they are with their bio mother (weekdays with her and weekends with DS and his wife).

      While I have recognized many issues with my DS all through his life, really, I was that one who always defended him to others, did damage control, bailed him out of some rather extreme situations, defended him to his father, his former teachers and employers, my siblings, his own sisters, just about everybody. He was my son and I loved him. I did not like hearing people putting him down (really most of the time they were just making true observations).

      Now that he is partnered with this woman with even more insecurities and issues than he has, the situation has gotten worse than ever. The thing is I am still close to those kids and will remain as involved as I can in order to protect them, but my involvement and interest in his kids makes the two of them insanely angry. I’m sure they would forbid me from seeing the kids if not for their mother. She said she’d never keep them from me and they know they can’t do anything about that. Last night they were so nasty to the children’s mother and somehow included me in on their group texts and then got angry at me for getting involved. No sense in even trying to summarize this other than to say last night lying awake in bed, that day has finally come where I was saying it to myself: I no longer have a son. I am grieving so badly! I lost a step-daughter and there is really no comparison to that, but yet it is so horrible to know you have a living breathing 30 year old child who is never going to grow up, never going to even begin to understand how to put his kids before himself, even on occasion, and who has decided that when I state things like” lets all work together to solve problems” (for the kids, etc.) he gets angrier, tells me that I am “worse than ever” delusional and paranoid and he is extremely bothered that I have become friendly again with his ex wife.

      • #83616

        We recently returned to our home town when my step father passed away to attend his funeral service. My son barely spoke to me and I found him glaring at me with livid anger more than once. Many of my nieces and nephews were interacting with me and I received lots of hugs and I love you’s from them and I know that didn’t go unnoticed by him. He won’t tell me why he is upset, all I know is he will regret not speaking to me one day and maybe I will be gone to see my maker at that point. There is really absolutely nothing I can do about it, so I relinquish my role as his mother and leave it now in the hands of God. I am thankful that I have gotten to a place where I no longer dwell on the pain he has caused us, with holidays or special occasions being an exception. I still struggle badly on those days and the hurt is unbearable. Hopefully the day will come when he misses us and has a change of heart. I hope you all are finding ways to ease your hurt, as this is a devastating blow to any parent. I try to keep busy at all times for it helps me immensely. God bless. XOXO

    • #83623

      Hi, I used to post here about my estranged daughters. I though one of them was making an attempt at reconciliation in my last post, iirc.

      I was mistaken. I have two EDs and two ESs. ES2 is a minor child, whereabouts unknown. The police are refusing to investigate the abduction and considering it a “family matter”.

      I was a full time homeschooling mother for 31 years and have no husband, property, or employment skills. I am of retirement age.

      My interests are pets, gardening, folk music, nature, and storytelling.

    • #83627

      Hi, I’ve been posting some and replying some but never really introduced myself. 4 years ago our daughter and her two children moved into our home after a bitter divorce. She had a beautiful baby girl by a different father one year later. He doesnt come around much but I think they still have a relationship. My daughter is very moody, bipolar, and PTSD. My husband and I have been nurturers and protectors. Nothing was ever right for her albeit dinners, floor, washing machine/dryer, bathroom, bed….something always to complain about. Two months ago she spanked the baby’s bare thigh and left a welt. The baby ran screaming to me. I held her and hugged her.This was not the first time. My daughter was in her bedroom with the door shut as usual. I prayed about it. We reported to DCFS the next morning. She moved out the following day to the confines of a reservation. She says she will never come back. We haven’t seen our grandkids in two months. We have talked to our counselor and about grandparent rights. We live in a remote community where minimal support can be found. DCFS closed their case a week or so ago. We are struggling to put one foot in front of the other. We read Sheri’s book and try to follow the helps.

    • #83714


      That is so sad. They encourage people to call CPS or whatever they call this when someone is harming a child, but I honestly believe this is probably more harmful in the long run than not calling, especially if you are a person who has some control over the child who is being mistreated, on a regular basis. Calling CPS often takes away what little control and influence you did have. It is supposed to be anonymous, but that is often very unrealistic due to the nature of the report. The parent will know who made the call.

      The parents never forgive or understand why you called, and they have the power to keep the child away from you and will do so. 🙁 I see how people operate. I can imagine the tall tale your daughter tells others about why she keeps her child from you. I’m sure according to her that you made a completely false report against her just because you are a mean person and wanted to hurt her. (And I’m sure she has plenty of followers who believe her). I should have called on my DS throughout the years but I have figured the outcome for the kids would be worse if I called than if I didn’t. Now, some things are coming up where I feel compelled to tell about past events, and tell why my DS is a lousy parent, I am asked, well why did you not report this when it happened?” There are no good answers sometimes.

    • #83874

      Thank you for accepting me into this group – it is a relief to know I am not alone! My son has always been independent, but when he went to college was when he really started disengaging. He would only come home for brief periods of time, got a job on campus and lived there the entire year. When he graduated college he moved home for a few months then got a job about an hour away and got an apartment closer to work. This was when the disengaging began in earnest. He started not showing up for family holidays and events. He would tell me he was coming and we would remind him, but then he just wouldn’t show up. When we told him we just wanted to see him and would come to his apartment he always had an excuse as to why we couldn’t. Then he got a job on the other side of the country. We did go to visit him for a week after he was there about 6 months (yes we confirmed the week was good with him before we booked our trip) but he would only have dinner with us and invited us into his apartment once. The time we did spend with him was somewhat awkward; there was no hostility but it was tense and he acted as if he would rather be doing anything else. Fast forward to the beginning of this year. He contacted me to let me know he was moving back to this side of the country and would no longer be 3000 miles away, but only a few hours from us . I was hopeful this was some sort of breakthrough, but he has not been any more communicative than when he was across the country, and it has been 6 months and we have not seen him nor do we know his address. We recently purchased our next home and will be moving out of the home where he grew up. We asked him to please drive up for the weekend to go through some things that are his so he could let us know if there is anything he would like to keep. He promised he would, but then didn’t show up – no call, no text, no excuses. He has not answered any of our calls or texts. He tells others that he believes he is a disappointment to us, but nothing is farther from the truth. The only disappointment is our lack of a relationship with him.
      I have been reading all of your stories and admit mine pales in comparison, but I do feel your pain and wish you all a turnaround with your your children. Thank you 🙏

      • #84027

        Dear hardtostop12,

        Your son sounds like he is perhaps trying to make his way into adulthood. It’s possible he has an idea in his head for some reason. I don’t know how often you are trying to communicate. I wonder if he needs just a little bit more? I hesitate to offer advice … but if he thinks he is a disappointment, it may be something like low self-esteem or even depression, and perhaps extra reassurance would go a long way. I wonder if he (mistakenly) believes you’re just ready to move to a new phase of life, a new home, etc., and don’t really care about seeing him except to get rid of him? I hesitate to even say that, but if he has told others he believes he’s a disappointment, it may be how he feels. Let me be clear … I AM NOT SAYING THAT THIS FEELING HE HAS CAME FROM ANYTHING YOU DID OR DID NOT DO. Sometimes, people can get an idea in their head and then almost everything leads back to that same thought. Is it possible to talk to him about why he might think that, and reassure him? (Of course, if others have told you his feelings, it might be prickly to say that’s where you heard it…caution and tact needed.)

        If I’m reading this wrong, or have jumped to conclusions, please forgive me. I would not want to overstep in any way. I guess I’m a little bit worried for him (and for you). I wonder if it feels difficult for him that you are leaving the home he grew up in?

        I guess some would jump to think he’s on drugs or has some other issue that he doesn’t want you to know about. I don’t know though. He is not mean to you and keeps a job, etc.

        These are just a few thoughts. Sometimes people’s questions and concerns get lost in these long introduction threads. Feel free to post your own topic, and perhaps get others’ thoughts. In any event, you’re welcome here.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #83877

      Hi, thank you Sheri for starting this community.

      I am a mom of one daughter. She is 17, i know this site is gor estranged adult children but the estrangement part is maybe some other struggles i have faced are similar to others here.

      DD stopped speaking to me a year ago and ran off 2 months ago, she went somewhere safe and she is now with family. I bought her a flight and was just thankful she was safe

      Its been a long time of outbursts from a young age and nothing i did was right. Who i am, everything about me was rejected starting at age 10.

      Its been very hard to say the least.

    • #84022


      I hope you and your daughter will be able to come to terms and be friendly. She is so young, that there is this big bubble of hope! However, it sounds as if there have been issues for some time … Perhaps you will pick up some tidbits here that are helpful as you navigate the situation forward.

      Hugs to you timeforhealing. I love your username!

      Sheri McGregor

    • #84028

      To all, I am closing this thread to replies because of its lengthy nature. PLEASE post to the Introduce yourself #4 thread instead of here.

      Hugs to all the hurting parents.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #86000

      Hello, all! I have been a member for a few days but have spent the time reading your posts. I guess I’m ready to come out of hiding.

      First, thank you to Sheri for her book, which has been a great help to me, and thank you for this community.

      My husband and I have two sons, both of whom are married and gave us beautiful grandchildren. We have always been very loving not only to our sons but also our daughters-in-law–and of course, our grandbabies! It’s very ironic because I was closer to our DIL who lives closer to us. I thought she looked at us as her second set of parents and friends. I could not have been more wrong. She is married to our younger son, with whom, just like his older brother, we have always had a close relationship.

      Over the past few years, our DIL here has become very confrontational. She picks fights over minor things, to the point of exaggeration, and these aren’t just little arguments. They are carried to an extreme, complete with long periods of the silent treatment, not letting us see the grandchildren, treating us like strangers–you get the picture. This has happened quite a few times, but the last time began in May. Basically, if she doesn’t get her way, we, her in-laws, are evil, unloving people. She treated us with outright cruelty, and all because she didn’t get her way. And our son backs her up 100%. In the past, she has “reconciled” with us, but it was always because she needed something from us. We eventually saw the pattern with her. She pretty much controls our ES. Also, she knows that I suffer from anxiety and high blood pressure, but when I told her the argument was making me physically ill, she told me “you can’t blame that on us.” There is NO compassion in her. NONE.

      We have just started to talk again (with our son; she keeps her distance) and spend time with them, though she finds whatever chance to make snide remarks that we have so far just ignored. Our son also said many hurtful things during that argument, including what bad parents we are, that this time have left our relationship damaged. He doesn’t want to talk about what happened, just pretend it all didn’t happen…but it did. And this time feels different than times in the past, like something inside me has broken. I try to be the same as always, but I walk on eggshells. I am depressed and sometimes have moments of both anger and a debilitating sadness. I shut down emotionally at odd times, like yesterday, during a meeting at work.

      Our older son could not be kinder to us. He tried at first to play peacemaker and was also almost burnt, and we told him to stay out of it for his own sake. Yet he has been comforting and hopeful that all is fine. His wife, too, though I wasn’t as close to her, has been gentle and caring and kind to both of us, but especially me. Younger son told him he needs time to get over whatever he supposedly did to him, and that then “all would be fine.” I don’t know if I will be fine when he decides we are no longer “personas non grata.” It’ll be fine until the next time his wife decides to fight with us (and maybe I’m unreasonable, but I really believe she is hellbent in forcing us out of our son’s life and the lives of our grandchildren, which I find devastating because we did nothing to deserve that). He will always, always back her up.

      So even if things are “better”, I am not. I don’t know if I will ever be the same again. I know our son has allowed our relationship, with his father and me, to become damaged, and other than give it to God, I don’t know what to do. We love him dearly, but we would never have done this to our own parents. My father was an absentee dad who divorced my mom and often neglected me, and yet I adored him until the day he died.

      Thank you so much for listening! Even writing about this has been hard for me. I hope to be able to rise above this someday and comfort others who have been through this terrible situation. It really is devastating and like a death, as someone here said.

    • #86041


      I have three estranged children – my eldest son, middle daughter, youngest daughter (with two grandbabies and an expectant one).

      My eldest son has been estranged the longest, although he does contact me if he needs money or sometimes I will order groceries for delivery for him. I never miss Christmas and birthdays and give him money on these occasions. I have no forwarding address for him so I can’t ever send him cards – he moves around a lot for work too. My husband is stepfather to him and my eldest daughter. However, both children are in regular contact with their real father – spending every single Christmas with him and his family, and lots of other times too. They then splash it all over social media, and it’s so painful.

      My son has made it clear that his problem is with my husband – I don’t know what turned their relationship sour, my son was our best man at our wedding, they were always best chums. I’m so confused. We never really talked about it – my son left home when he was twenty to work away. I’ve seen him once in 10 years, and I miss him. My youngest son misses him, he really looks up to his big brother. (Youngest is still at home, he’s 15.)

      My eldest daughter and I were very close until she moved out at 25 to live nearer her birth father. She lived with my husband, me and my son, rent free until then. I supported her through university – we were very close, and I miss her. She is being the most hurtful – constantly sending nasty messages saying she will not see me. I have asked her to meet me so we can talk and she says she is busy. It’s passive-aggressive and it’s killing me. My husband suspects that it is her father and his partner turning them against us – we even had the partner sending us nasty messages, getting involved where it was not requested. I hate to admit it, but he may be right. I do think it’s a very cruel popularity contest. They spend hundreds on them at Christmas and birthdays and we can only manage modest gifts as I’m on disabiltity. I love my girl and boy so much and it’s killing me.

      I have severe fibromyalgia, diabetes, hypertension, postural hypotension…I use a wheelchair and my husband is my carer. My children complain that I change my plans last minute – sometimes that’s the nature of my illnesses – but I always call them to explain. They then say that I am making excuses…I do feel useless and worthless a lot of the time and sometimes I do wonder if they’d all be better off without me.

      I lost my mother in 2010, very suddenly. I lost two of my siblings to cancer (two in the same month), and a third sibling died suddenly in her sleep. Never had a daddy – he died when I was 3. I was also sexually abused as a child (twice) and emotionally abused by my stepfather. My kids think I use my past and my grief for my family as an excuse – it doesn’t define me but it still hurts me. They accuse me of being empty and distant, but oh, it’s the opposite! I can’t get enough of them! They are (were?) my whole world and I’m lost without them. I wish my mum was here…she was the glue that kept our family together – i loved her so deeply and she loved me and I find it so difficult to accept such hate from my own kids…they were brought up amongst so much love and family togetherness….my heart is breaking.

      My youngest daughter, I feel, is being dragged into the conflict. She’s very impressionable, and I feel like they are all turning her against me as she started sending me nasty messages saying I’m useless and a waste of skin. I just want to know what I’ve done. I really do want to fix it but they refuse to talk to me.

      I feel so broken. I’m in so much pain emotionally, physically….I don’t know who to turn to. My husband is in pain too. He’s raised these kids as his own since they were little and loves them (my youngest daughter calls him dad as her dad is dead). Our youngest boy is constantly being exposed to all the drama too. It’s so unhealthy. I’m so scared he’s going to grow up emotionally damaged by it all. I just don’t know where to turn.

      Thank you so much for listening (if you made it this far!) Just writing it all down has helped a little.

    • #86120

      Welcome to all of the new ones who posted here.

      you do not sound unreasonable at all, to me. She (the dil) sounds like a very cold person, who cannot be trusted, and it sounds like a very difficult situation. It certainly can make you sad and upset, but you need to try the best you can, to take care of your own health, too. And the upsets do effect us.

      She does seem that she cannot be ever fully trusted, which is not your fault at all.

      You probably will not ever be the same, again, as you said. Yet, you can find ways to comfort and reassure yourself, you do know you have been a loving good parent, and that you were even accepting and caring toward your father, who was not nearly as attentive as you were to your sons.

      I had that experience too. My parents made far more serious mistakes than I did, in parenting, yet I did love them, and would not have wanted to hurt them, or to see them hurt, as our adult children allow us to be.

      I am sorry you have this difficult challenging situation, that is not of your making.

      Welcome to this group of good people, though.



      I am so sorry for all of the losses you have had in the past, your siblings, the past traumas, and your mom.

      And now you have the difficulties with your painful and difficult illness, and with family members not being understanding and supportive of that, and the estrangements of your children.
      The unkind words from your younger daughter…. that is hard to bear. Your illness is not your fault, and it did not even cause all these challenges.

      It is a very difficult, heavy load.
      I am glad you found this group.
      It really does help.

      I am glad to have each one of you, here in this helpful, accepting group, with us.


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