May 10, 2020 at 7:52 pm #104509rparentsKeymaster
This is the fifth INTRODUCTION thread, and the one to use. Introduce Yourself #1, #2, #3 and #4 are closed and are now READ ONLY. They became unwieldy, and for that reason, difficult to use. Please feel free to introduce yourself to the group, tell a bit about who you are and your situation.
Note: If you do not get welcomes and notes of reply here, please don’t take it personally. The bulk of the conversations take place in the other threads or topics you start.
May 10, 2020 at 9:07 pm #104514MaryMarieParticipant
Hi. I am trying to post and this is the only way I am able to get on I have started no contact with my 46-year-old daughter Who is in PD, sociopath, and bipolar, alcoholic and drug user and a former stripper. she has contacted me twice in eight weeks during the quarantine and I’m trying to completely ignore her now she’s posting public comments on Facebook about how much she loves me and misses me but yet she treats me like crap privately. Should I block her to carry out the no contact I want to do whatever it takes to stay away from her. This is been a long long long time coming and I want to stick with this and I’m hoping this website can help me as far as support. Please someone help me with this. I don’t want to be antagonistic because of my grandsons But I am determined to maintain the no contact!!!!!
August 13, 2020 at 1:49 am #107527KathleenMacParticipant
Thanks for accepting me to the group Sheri. I wish I had found this forum years ago. Since 2014, I’ve spent years grieving a lost son. Sleepless nights, drinking too much, soul searching to try to know “why”. It really feels like he has died.
I don’t want to make my story too long. A very common story for many – my darling boy who we love dearly, met and eventually marriec a girl who simply doesn’t like myself, my husband or my daughter. She appears to want to tear him away and keep him all to herself. My ison s a “pleaser”. He scurries around her doing everything he can for her as well as ensuring he shores her with gifts and attention. She completely controls him.
Matters were not helped as they live in a different (very distant) country. We’ve visited them costing thousands $ and each visit has failed to improve relations. I’ve now tried to let him go as my own mental health was suffering. No more tears over him and I am learning to put him “ in a box” outside of my heart and mind and accept that he’s gone.
I just hope he is happy. I know it has hurt him terribly to have lost his family but he’s been consumed into her family now.
May 11, 2020 at 10:36 am #104557MusicLifeParticipant
I am a mother of a 19 year old son. Mother’s Day has been particularly devastating for me this year. I have come to the conclusion that my son REALLY IS shutting me out of his life. This awareness started dawning on me about 3 weeks ago and came to full fruition today. I have been stuck in grief and depression for the past 3 weeks. The quarantine exacerbates the depression for me.
Below is the gist of the story about my son Johnathon (made up name) and me.
The cause of the estrangement and alienation is complex. My son was 3 1/2 years old when I initiated divorce from his alcoholic, irresponsible, passive aggressive father with narcissistic tendencies. The divorce became high conflict, of course. Due to my ex’s lack of insight, refusal to seek mandated treatment for his mental health, and retaliatory spirit, I was awarded primary custody. Every year after that, my ex dragged me to court to take my son away. To top it all off, my ex married a highly educated “sugar momma”, who is an experienced educator and school principal. (I am a speech language pathologist and also just got my B.A. in Music). So she and I are very educated. My ex has a high school diploma. He has a spotty work history in carpentry, but prefers to spend the majority of his time on the golf course. That is where he is happiest.
The years between 2004 and 2013 were a constant parade of guardian ad leitems, motions for change in placement and motions for payment of child support. (The ex ran into arrears on child support to the tune of $6000). These years of litigation made co-parenting impossible. Co parenting is impossible with my ex anyway, due to his personality disorders (diagnosed by a legitimate court appointed forensic psychologist).
During the times my son had physical placement with me, his behavior was a challenge. He was prone to tantrums (violent kind), and oppositional defiant type behaviors. It took all my skills , plus much counseling for ME, to handle the craziness of the litigation and my son’s behaviors. AND work full time at a job one hour away from my home. I commuted. It was the job I could get, so….what else could I do? Johnathon had to spend time before and after school in day care. I did not have supportive family members in town to help me out. I did my best to be a well balanced parent. I wasn’t perfect. But I never ever abused my son. My son, from the earliest days onward seemed to be abusive to ME. He had textbook characteristics of Parental Alienation. His father would deny this vehemently. However his father is very good at being covertly passive aggressive, then covering up his tracks. My son often said negative things to me that his father would say.
My son’s behavior became so severely oppositional, hostile and disrespectful that it deteriorated to destroying property in my home, and kicking/slapping me. He was age 11/12. His father was no help. Neither was the new step mom. They blamed me for being a “toxic mother”. They excused his misbehavior by blaming me, the only adult in my home, for being too strict, (or too lenient, too annoying) to Johnathon. They excused his misbehavior at school and at daycare (ages 7-10) by saying: “Well of course he will misbehave at those locations–he’s not happy there.”
In the fall of 2012, my 11 year old son assaulted me in my car, in the driveway of his father’s home. He wanted to get in my purse and was trying to get the keys to the trunk, where it was locked. He ran out of the car behind the house as I explained what had happened to his step mother. I was very shook up and upset. I said I was going to the Crisis Center to get help for myself (as his father and step mom were doing nothing to support me). The police officer at the Center offered me some counsel. I asked if he would go to my ex’s address and simply TALK to my son, and emphasize the seriousness of breaking property and assaulting me. Well…..the nerve of me to do THAT! My ex and his wife shielded my son from the officer. They express the idea that any shred of relationship I had with my son went further south when I “over-reacted” and called the police on him. They say I lost all trust from my son. She says that, during Johnathon’s sensitive and formative years developmentally—I lost my son’s trust. It doesn’t matter that I pursued counseling immediately after this event. It doesn’t matter that I attempted reconciliation for 5 sessions with my son. They excuse my son, saying: “Counseling doesn’t work for Johnathon, it isn’t his thing”. Like his father before him, Johnathon dropped counseling. Because we didn’t establish a safety plan for his return to living in my house, and no reconciliation was made, Johnathon began living with his father full time. It was under the condition that when and if Johnathon was ready to sit and reconcile, address the anger issues, and work out a plan to handle conflict in the future, he could come back to live in my home. Even 2 guardian ad leitems stated that my son’s behavior was a danger to me, and the conflict from litigation was taking it’s toll on myself and my son. Johnathon wanted to move in with his father full time, so that was what happened. I started paying $500 in monthly child support.
Junior High went by. Johnathon lived with his father and stepmother. They had the fancy house and supplied him with all the comforts and gadgets and screen time he could ever want. I fell on hard times financially, poor health, and loss of a job–all due to the stress of unending litigation. Despite it all, I worked hard on nurturing a loving rapport with my son during grades 6-8. I attended all his functions, I took him on a trip to CA which he loved. I did everything I could to bond with him, even though he didn’t live with me. But he seemed to love me for what I could GIVE him, mostly. Otherwise, he treated me with residual disdain, inattentiveness, disrespect, put downs.
Then, in Johnathon’s freshman year of high school, the ex moved to a town 75 miles away. The stepmom took a job as a building principal. I could do nothing about it. Despite the distance for the last 4 years, I thought I had nurtured somewhat of a loving relationship and connection with my son. I always included him on family events, I traveled down to see him and took him to lunch. We had times when we laughed together and parted with a hug and a kiss. I thought our relationship was improving. But his life got more complicated. He came out as gay. (Fine by me). He had a social life of his own, a job at a grocery store. He hated school and his grades were miserable. He started smoking and drinking (underage), but his dad said Johnathon was mostly a good kid and staying out of trouble. Hmmmm…
As his high school years went by, my son desired to see less and less of me. Unless: if he needed money to buy a new car, or if it was Christmas and he could see his cousins and hang with them. Or if he neede help getting into technical college because his father/step mom wouldn’t help him with the forms. Otherwise, he didn’t have time for me. I tried to keep in touch with weekly texts, occasional phone calls etc. More often than not, no response. I even investigated the apps that kids his age are into these days. But SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, and TickTok were not things he wanted to share with me. Can’t say I didn’t try.
What put us into the dumper was an exchange 3 weeks ago. I asked Johnathon via text about his financial situation regarding college. He reacted very defensively, like I didn’t have the right to ask this kind of question. The short exchange culminated in him saying: “Well, it’s not like you every financially supported me growing up anyway.” This shocked and angered me. I put him in his placed and told him about the $55,000 + I had shelled over in child support. I reminded him of all the money I gave him for college ( his father didn’t contribute a dime), etc. For the first time in 5 years, I really stood up for myself and put my son in his place. No abusive language, but put him in his place. When my ex and the stepmom found out about this, they encouraged my son to apologize. But, like their typical pattern, partly blamed me for the skirmish. They reminded me that I’ve had a toxic relationship with my son since FOREVER, and that when I called the police on him in 2012–that put my relationship with him in the dumper, over which he has not recovered.
I lost it. An email went out to the step mom (who is more literate and able to communicate via email) in the form of a “Listen-Here-Lady-You-Don’t-Know-Shit-About-What-I’ve-Been-Through” rant. Tons of ugly incidents in which I have suffered unfairly were thrown at her, and as a result, my ex. It was not an abusive e-mail. But it was a thorough list, and an invitation for her to recognize the abusive, narcissistic, passive aggressive treatment my ex (and she) have done to sabatoge me over the years. I got no response. But it is possible my ex and the stepmom shared the contents of my email with my son. I’ll never know for sure.
All I got for Mother’s Day was a generic “Happy Mother’s Day” text. That’s it. I asked if he could make my day and drive up to see me. He replied: “Unfortunately, I cannot”. And that’s it. I did not pursure him any further. After being depressed and crying all day, I got a Kindle Book: “Done with the Crying~~ support and recovery for estranged and alienated parents”. It is helping me.
May 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm #104564SunshineandRosesParticipant
Hi, I’m SunshineandRoses. My daughter estranged herself from me about 3 months ago. She blocked me on all social media and email. She will still answer my husband’s text with short, rude answers though. She moved in with a boyfriend and his mother and step-father about 3 months ago. They are better off financially than we are, and they helped her get a newer, better car than the one we got her. We don’t know where she lives.
I started noticing that she seemed to hate everything about me during her teenage years. She started being very critical of me. She basically started hating everything I liked for no specific reason. I chalked it up to being a teenager and coming to her own. She then started to hate my cooking, so I tried to only cook for her foods she liked. Then she became an on again/off again vegetarian. So I once again tried to appease her by buying her vegetarian foods and supporting her decision. During this time, I noticed she was spending a lot of time online watching YouTube videos and chatting with strangers online. At the time, I figured it was probably good for her to talk to people and get support since she wasn’t really talking to me about her life. In hindsight, I believe that was a big mistake.
Before she blocked me on email, she sent me a long email basically saying she hates my politics. I was dumbfounded. I’ve never cared if she had the same politics as me. She is her own person, and I love her the way she is. I wrote her back apologizing, pleading, begging, and groveling for her forgiveness for anything I done. None of that mattered, and I ended up feeling like a fool for begging her to forgive me and for us to work it out.
I will try to write more about it later. But right now, I feel as if this fog is just now lifting a little. I’ve cried for months. I’ve tried to keep myself busy by painting and updating my home. That helps keep my mind busy. After 3 months, I feel like I go between grief and anger. I miss and love my daughter who I grieve. Then I feel anger that she could just throw me away so easily for no good justifiable reason. I still have hope that she’ll come back though.
I’ve been scared to post my story, but after reading other parent’s stories and knowing how much the stories help me, I decided to post mine, and hopefully, it will help someone too. Big hugs to all!
May 11, 2020 at 10:15 pm #104576BirdyLoveParticipant
Hello, I’m here because I am struggling in the wake of my oldest daughters choice to leave the nest in the most disruptive way possible. We asked her to move out summer of last year, because she was making choices that continued to affect the family. Things were strained, at best, from then on, and after an argument in Aug, she decided that she needed “space”. Months passed and in Nov we received a letter that was essentially a list of our wrongdoings and ways we had harmed her, and the gracious offer to reconcile… if we didn’t challenge, speak truth in her life, or ask her to change in any way. We responded with questions and lack of understanding, and were ignored. In looking back on the past few years we have realized that this didn’t start this year, rather, she has been distancing and pulling away for some time. My husband (her adopted father) and I have been married for 14 years this month, and have a younger daughter together. It’s been a very sad and stressful time, and I am looking for support as I choose to move forward rather than letting the grief and stress consume me.
May 11, 2020 at 10:17 pm #104577MishmashParticipant
I’d like to start by saying a huge thanks to Sheri for starting this group and for writing her book “Done with Crying.”
Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day without my 19-year-old daughter, and it hurt like hell! She left our home two months ago at the outset of the pandemic. A significant argument between her and my hubby was the final straw. As usual, I found myself caught between the two of them.
I am trying to adjust to life without her; it is bittersweet. For the first time in years, the conflict in our home is minimal. My relationship with my other two teenagers has grown in leaps and bounds. Now I never realize how much of her drama swallowed up my time. Even so, I miss her desperately, she was more than a daughter, she was my friend and sadly sometimes my confidant, yes I have made many mistakes!
I have never experienced pain like this! Life has dealt me many fierce blows over the years, but this one takes the cake! It’s not just the pain of longing for my girl, its the shame of losing her, the
confusion, the embarrassment, the comparison to other mom’s, the questions, the self-blame.
Worst of all is bedtime, my head hits the pillow, my eyes close, and my brain attacks me, memories bombard me, the room is dark and silent, but inside my head are a myriad of thoughts that just won’t stop.
My precious daughter has moved in with another family whom we barely know. They live 15 minutes down the road. My car slows down every time I drive past their house. I’m hoping to get a glimpse of my girl! In the few interactions we’ve had, she feels somewhat like a stranger. Life with her “adopted family” has opened up a side of her goes against everything we stand for. It is a life with no rules, no boundaries, live as you please, sleep when you want, wake up as late as you want, no responsibility, and best of all, it’s quite ok to waste your entire life away on your phone. For my 19-year-old, this is heaven! It seems that my daughter and her “new mom” get on very well, over this pandemic time, they have enjoyed many fun excursions, drives in the country, making TikTok videos together and the list goes on. I know all this because they both avidly display their lives on social media.
Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories. I find a bit of healing in knowing that I am not alone. Writing this was more than an introduction, pouring my feelings out in words, I feel a sense of relief! It feels so good to let the pain out!
Thank you again, Sheri, for making this possible!
With love and empathy,
May 11, 2020 at 10:17 pm #104579MinxParticipant
This is my first day to log on to the rejected parents forum. I am wishing everyone wellness during this challenging time. I am the mother of an estranged daughter who is 37 years old. We became estranged 6 years ago on Mother’s Day so needless to say that “holiday’ is a tough one for me. I am grateful for my 2 cats Max and Minx who love me unconditionally. 🙂
May 12, 2020 at 9:03 pm #104609HappyhikerParticipant
Hi! I’m a new member. I have been estranged from my 40 year old son on and off for the past 4 years and the last time I had contact with him was November 2018 just after his dad died. He had always been indifferent. Only contacting us when he needed money. My husband was ill with early onset dementia for years and thankfully my younger son helped me with the 24 hour care he required until his death. He met a woman in 2013 who at first seemed very nice. They both knew I would love a grandchild and they did end up having a little boy. He spent a lot of time at my house and we were very close. They would constantly ask for large amounts if money which at first I would lend but when it became apparent it wasn’t a loan I told them not to ask for anymore as I just didn’t. My husbands illness was draining my accounts. This is when the “ ghosting” started. I would text phone etc. Even phoned when I knew my husband didn’t have long to live to inform him if he wanted to see his father before he died he should do so now. He didn’t but when my husband passed he was all tears. My husband was an amazing dad to both his boys. His childhood friends envied him for the relationship he had with his dad. I too was an amazing mom if I should say so myself. Loved to read to him, play with him etc. I have not heard from him since a week after his father died in 2018. I texted, phoned, he said he’d visit one day, didn’t show up. I don’t try anymore. I find comfort knowing I am not the only one and have to say I feel his partner is actually quite gleeful at the estrangement. I do wonder if she gaslights him but he does have a mind if his own.
May 14, 2020 at 5:14 am #104704OctoberWinnParticipant
I’ve been in this estrangement club for almost 5 years. Prior to my firstborn slamming the door on me she slammed it on 95% of all her social circle and loving friends about 2 years before rejecting me as well. It appears she only kept the unhealthy members of her circle: Her lying and deranged father, her bipolar husband and his equally bipolar mother, and another bipolar friend in California…. and her brother who is also known to not tell the truth. She removed my only grandchildren (twin boys who are 12) from my life. I was very close to the Boys… deeply bonded before this chaos evolved. My life has changed forever. I am learning to live without her and her sons. At this point the trust is gone. I don’t think I want her back.
May 14, 2020 at 5:16 am #104705Mermaid57Participant
Hello everyone, I signed up a few weeks ago but didn’t post until today. I have two adult sons, 29 and 21. There are so many layers to my story, but basically, we found out that they are both using marijuana to excess, and perhaps other substances. Our oldest had been hiding it for years. We suspected it as we watched his slow fade from doing all the things he loved and squandering his education to work at a pizza and beer joint. He denied it several times, saying he was just suffering from anxiety and depression, and we believed him. We offered every type of help imaginable. His younger brother was the one that told us about the lying after several years of living together in a rental home we own in a nearby college town. He also told us he tried drugs with his older brother but would never use them again. Marijuana is illegal in my state. We offered help one last time to our oldest son, and he declined, so we had him leave our rental property to protect his younger brother and ourselves. Before he left, our oldest said he knew he had squandered all the help and opportunities we had given him, wanted to get help on his own, and wanted to begin repairing our relationships. He said he had a friend to stay with who would be a good influence (we knew the friend) and that he would let us know he arrived and keep us informed of how he was doing. It has now been over four months of basically no communication.
We then found out our youngest was just lying too and still using drugs in our rental home. He declined help and said he wanted to be on his own. He agreed to some conditions to stay in the house until the end of May when his college classes were over. We also took back our car that we had allowed him to use, which he didn’t like, but we explained part of being on your own is taking care of all your own needs and expenses. He then dropped his college classes and has been unemployed and making other poor choices. He still communicates, but only to answer questions. I expect his communication with us to stop as soon as he leaves in two weeks.
My husband and I gave our boys the best life that we knew how. My husband worked from home. We homeschooled both of them for a time, allowing them to develop their interests and creativity. My husband did outdoor things and woodworking and encouraged their talents. I cooked healthy meals and was the nurturer and primary teacher. We shared our beliefs in God and good moral values. Of course, we weren’t perfect, but we did the best we could with the knowledge and resources we had at the time. We wanted a better upbringing than we both had.
I’ve been reading “Done with the Crying,” but I’m not done yet. I hope to find some additional support and help here. No one truly “gets it” until they’ve had to experience it.
June 18, 2020 at 3:38 am #105739Flamingo61Participant
Hi Mermaid 57.
I am new in this group, too. I am so sorry for your heartache. I am estranged from my son, but my youngest daughter was on the path of your boys. You are completely on point that there is mental health issues as my daughter was finally diagnosed with bipolar. Once she got help and on meds her life has turned around and we have a very good relationship now.
It seems like no sooner do we get my daughter on the right track that my son decides he no longer wants a relationship with us. I feel like if its not one, its the other breaking my heart. I have an older daughter too and she is fine, but what is going on with my son is a heartache. I always ask myself where did I go wrong.
I hope your sons get the help that they need on their own and come back to you someday. You sound like a wonderful mother and those boys were very lucky to have you.
May 14, 2020 at 5:18 am #104709MuffinAlexParticipant
MaryMarie, MusicLife, SunshineandRoses, BirdyLove, Mishmash, Minx, and Happyhiker, welcome to this group.
Each of you has such different estrangement details, but the overall picture is the same: a son or daughter treated you like dirt before and/or after walking out of your life. If anyone other than your child had treated you so badly, most likely you would have been the one to break ties, possibly without giving it much thought. But because it is your child, you put up with the horrible treatment for far too long then, after they estranged, you suffered terrible grief.
Like most of us, you found your way to this group in an effort to ease the pain and work through the grief. I think you’ll find that was a big step in the right direction. Other steps you may want to consider are: finding a therapist who has experience dealing with parents who’ve been abandoned by their children, getting a physical and addressing any issues that may be stress-induced, reading Sheri’s book and working through the exercises, and scrolling through the thousands of posts to learn more specific tips for dealing with many of the issues other parents have raised.
You will find support, warmth and strength on this site, all of which I hope will ease your suffering and bring you some peace.
All the best,
May 15, 2020 at 4:15 pm #104790TeamEdwardParticipant
Just like all of your, I am heartbroken over the loss of my daughter and two year old grandson. I won’t share a whole lot today, I have to go to work soon, and I know I will cry, and once I start, it will be a long and ugly cry.
It hurt and made me angry and I am sure that this will ebb and flow as time goes on.
Unlike some of the posts I have read thus far, I am not a typical parent. (or maybe I am?) I was a “functioning alcoholic” for about 5 of the 16 years of my kids’ lives. I worked, I engaged with life and them, but as my sickness got worse, I was only able to drag myself to work then home to cook dinner and got to my room to drink. I am married and husband was tolerant. Sobriety has been mine for almost a decade. All of the family was encouraged to attend therapy and meetings, but it was in my sobriety that my kids both manipulated my guilt into an ugly codependant relationship of adults.
At any rate, I don’t feel I was a bad mother and as time goes on, I will share more details. But right now, today, I am in a lot of pain.
My son has only ever contacted me when he wants something, he is in his mid twenties now. My daughter is early twenties and has told me that I can “have a nice life”
F*$K, I am so glad to have found this site.
May 16, 2020 at 11:09 pm #104830beachlifeParticipant
Hello. My now 25 year old daughter estranged herself from me over two years ago. As others have shared, it is the hardest thing I have ever faced and I have seriously wondered if I would be able to have the full life I want for my husband and myself. I appreciate all for sharing their stories. And I hope the best for us all in our efforts to move forward . It took me over a year, but I just finished reading “Done with the Crying” and found it comforting. Sheri was very thorough in her work and research.
I have used this time at home during the pandemic to write about what has happened in our situation. While my daughter was always higher maintenance, once she turned 18 the chaos kicked into high gear. And at 22, she went off the deep end with drug and alcohol use accompanied by high risk sexual behavior. These circumstances put our relationship under severe strain, especially since I wanted her to get help. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18 and her symptoms and behavior by 22 were out of control. She finally just quit communicating with me and I have not known where or how she is.
I was stunned to learn from Sheri’s book that estrangement stories like ours are on the rise. While it comforts me to know I am not alone, it’s sad that so many parents are hurting. But it’s good medicine to connect with others who know what it’s like to be abandoned by the children we love. Keep it up, I know everyone is doing their best to deal with very difficult times!
May 22, 2020 at 3:20 am #104968BonzerooParticipant
I have an estranged 44 year old daughter and 39 year old son, for 12 years and one year respectively (and 4 grandkids also). This site and Sheri’s book “Done With the Crying” have been more help to me than anywhere, anything, or anyone else, so thank you once again Sheri for helping us! We all have friends here. We are uniquely qualified to understand and feel each other’s pain, but in my experience, others outside this group do not understand it at all and don’t even want to hear about it. I have found additional help in books and podcasts and webinars about loving ourselves, and being kind to ourselves. REALLY IMPORTANT for folks like us. I am a father and as Father’s Day approaches it will be difficult for me, as it is for all you mothers out there who are experiencing this and I think estranged children has to be even harder for mothers, the ones who gave birth to them. I am working hard to accept and move on and know that my life is simpler and happier and way less stressful without my children it in, and my mind knows this and understands why it is, but my heart still has a problem with it and feels like something is wrong. Just want to wish all of you the best of luck and much strength in your respective journeys, finding your way to peace and happiness. Don’t forget to love yourself. You did your best. You deserve to be happy.
June 17, 2020 at 3:56 am #105694skinnybodParticipant
Hi Bonzerro, Your situation came the closest to mine. I have a son who is 38 and we have been estranged since he was 15. Thru the years I have left no olive branch tree unturned to try to reach him to no avail. I now have a granddaughter who I of course have never seen not even a picture as requested. I.also have a 35 yr. old who we have been estranged for 3/12 yrs. We. were once so close I never would have believed this could have ever happened. But it did. I have 2 beautiful grandsons of which I do have pictures. Tried to reach out to her also to no avail. My firat journey was very long, painful, depressing, sad,unbearable etc. But I did come out the other end scarred but still standing. When both my parents died I had to continue my journey on my own but I made it thru because I had a life to live and these were not my choices. The second time hurt a d and made me angry just like the first time.but I had been down this road before and I’m much older and know feel I am not going to waste any more time on reconciliation. I don’t want or need the drama. Have had more than my share of drama. What I want is to know my gr-kids. I will never give up on them. I identify as the Parent of 2 Estranged Adult Children because that is what I am. Not ever what I wanted to be. I am a strong believer in things have a habit of turning out the way they are meant to be, it might not necessarily be the way you want, but it;s the way it was meant to be and you cannot change meant to be. I once had 2 beautiful babies. I talk about my children when other people talk about theirs as well as my gr-kids. Of course I have my memories. I still get sad, but not often. My motto used to be ‘I Will Survive’ now it’s I’m Still Standing’. It has been the worst most heartbreaking ordeal I have ever had to go thru. But in the final analysis I have to come first. Best Wishes,Still Standing
May 22, 2020 at 3:22 am #104971Plum37Participant
I’m not even sure where to start. A bit of background info.
My daughter (25) split with her ex about 6 months ago, they have 2 boys 3 years and 11 months old.
My daughter found out her ex. Was dating someone. And got very angry. She called me screaming where I couldn’t understand her. She hung up and messaged me telling me she was freaking out and asked if I would go to her place.by the time I got there she didn’t want me there anymore (I live 5 minutes away).
I tried to explain to her that both of them were allowed to move on and told me I was siding with him.
She had also asked me to get the boys dropped at my place which I did. She yelled at me to leave so I told her I was going to keep the boys for the night as she was Not in a good place to deal with them.
I then messaged her older sister (28) and asked her to message her cuz she really needed someone to talk to and she didn’t want me.
The next day after work she picked them up and I thought everything was ok.
Now all of a sudden I am told I was manipulating her and using her kids against her and that I have abused all of my kids all their lives. I was a horrible mother and I should take parenting classes. I was told I never validate their feelings.
They both tell me I was the reason she acted out the way she did because I didn’t validate her feelings.
I have tried to explain over and over again and I’m trying to explain even if I don’t use the words (which I admit I did not do) my actions would validate. I believe actions are better than words.
They have tried using the validating on me , telling me what a wonderful mother I am yet things like this happen and it really bothers me that they say those things when I’m told in the next breath I am not what they had said earlier.
Now when and if I ever hear them say those things it upsets me because I know it’s not how they really feel and it becomes a lie and I have a big issue about being lied to.
I would rather someone tell me the truth than lie to me. I think that is because of my past and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want to know the truth.
My last message to my oldest daughter I have told her that I have always understood how they have felt in any issue that has arise and I will now communicate that with words and I will not give my opinion. I have no idea how that is going to go over.
They seem to think that having this argument is going to bring us closer yet, I feel it will do the opposite. Anyone else have any similar issues with their children with not validating them with words ?
May 22, 2020 at 3:23 am #104975Sparkle93Participant
Good evening, what a tremendous blessing this forum is! I’m in the same boat..widow, youngest boy, drugs, mental health etc… today I woke up and asked myself . Why did I have kids.. never thought I would say that. But on the other hand no one asked my to sacrifice my life and identity to be a mom. I did that all by myself…but I’m waking ùp. Yay!
May 22, 2020 at 3:08 pm #105000LostWolfParticipant
It’s been almost 4 years since I have seen my only daughter. She just recently had a baby and not being able to be apart of my grand daughters life is killing me. She recently let my parents into her life so I at least get to see pictures. Through my parents I have sent her presents and money to her and her husband out since he is in the army. The rejection is killing me. I’m here to maybe find a way through this and maybe find a little bit of peace. I can barely hold it together to get through a day of work. Thanks for reading.
May 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm #105003hopeandgraceParticipant
Lostwolf…i am hungry for interaction from those who are hurting from estrangement of our adult child. The thought of not hugging my grandkids kills my heart. I have a deep faith in Our Lord Jesus one moment at a time. I am trying to stay around activity and not to much alone time. I truly feel your sorrow. I will pray for you. I am experiencing panic attacks and anxiety as this is the second time after years of things being good. So I am suffering from rebound PTSD. Getting out and walking …listening to the ocean is soothing. Some love the mountains to bring them a sense of wellbeing. Family that love you is a way to receive love. It’s one min..one hour…one day at a time. It’s debilating and God knows the depth. I’m looking for a counselor/therapist that deals with trauma as I know healthy talk can’t hurt.
Be blessed .
May 27, 2020 at 6:58 am #105152hopeandgraceParticipant
I’m hope and grace. I am grieving…and trying hard to manage the projections. This is my second round with my son. Nearly a decade of things being great they decided they wanted to bring up the sludge that I apologized for and they received . Twice! I refused to go down a very horrific path as this brought on a PTSD attack from the one almost a decade ago. . Just the mention of it and to bring up sludge that was a long time ago and we all have enjoyed so much of our lives in fun happy memorable times since. They never apologized or even looked at their part at that time. But I didnt even bring it into play..I acknowledge that I was wrong. Having now extreme anxiety..fear so much I needed to leave the house for a wk. I have flashbacks when I feel fear that he may come to the house and verbally whip me when my husband is away at work. I’ve returned home. I guess all the “enjoying memories” all this time was fake. I love walking the beach ..the sound of the waves..washes over the stress. I have to seek counseling once again. Comments are welcome.
May 30, 2020 at 4:14 am #105236Rose21Participant
Hello everyone. I feel so very grateful to be part of a group who understands my pain. My 19 year old daughter moved out 3 months ago. She has blocked my husband and I from her phone – which we pay for LOL. Shout out to MishMash. It was eerie reading your post. With the exception of the paragraph about your daughter’s current living situation your entire post could of been written by me. I have no idea where my daughter is current living. The pain is unimaginable. She recently contacted me asking if I would pay for therapy which I know she desperately needs. If, of course, said yes. I know she has not gone yet. I hope she does. Anyway, again thank you for sharing your stories. It helps more than you know.
August 30, 2020 at 11:23 pm #108145SommerdayzeParticipant
It’s been about 3 months for me, too. My daughter just turned 18 and was living in an apartment, above where she worked, but now moved in with her mom, I think. All of my information is second hand. It is devastating having no contact, not knowing where she is, if she is keeping herself safe. I’m glad I found you all. I need someone who understands what I am going through
May 30, 2020 at 4:55 am #105249VintageParticipant
Hello everyone , Our only child estranged herself from
us and all the family decades ago . She was very
to raise but we hoped with each passing milestone
and with an abundance of love and guidance she would
see the error of her ways . That did not happen .
We have grandchildren that don’t know us nor
do we know them , except
for a very few brief times when ED briefly popped back
into our life again and would “allow” us to see or talk
to them only when she wanted until in a short while she got angry about something . I always felt like I had to walk on egg shells on egg shells . Among other
non -amicable personality traits ,
she was always very controlling . Dh and I have
been on an emotional roller coaster with her
as far back as we can remember. I’ve learned all about
nature vs. nurture and studies that opposed schools
of thought years ago, but my hearts aches every day .
I will never be the same .
Thank you and stay well .
September 28, 2020 at 7:03 pm #108927ALTCnanaParticipant
This is a reply too vintage. your story stuck a cord with me. My daughter was such a challenge to raise. When you said walking on egg shells you described how i have felt forbears when she is around. She has decided about 4 months ago to remove herself from our family. Has not told us that in words but has created a series of reasons why we cannot see our 2 granddaughters. she has accused us of traumatizing her, of not being supportive ,of interfering with her marriage. and on and on. She has seemed to have forgotten how we paid for her education, wedding,babyshower. How I drop over 2 hours often babysit, help her clean her house or take care of my granddaughters so they could go away. I am beside myself at the thought of not getting to see my granddaughter. Now that we have moved 15 minutes away. We spend so much time with them when they were babies. They must think we have abandoned them. I text may daughter to see if we could drop a BD gift of for my youngest granddaughter and the insults began again. She never answered me if I could or not. This is all new to me and I am so sad and angry. Discovering this sight has helped me not to feel so alone and ashamed
May 31, 2020 at 9:08 pm #105311MouseMinnieParticipant
Hello, I’m a 63 year old mom, I have two sons. My youngest son and I have a wonderful, loving relationship together along with his wife and my grandson.
My oldest son and I are estranged. I virtually have no relationship with he or his wife. We have been this way for 20 years on & off.
The kids’ dad and I are divorced, and have been for years. It actually started when he was 18, out of the house, and my younger son living with me. He wanted his brother to come for Thanksgiving at his dads home, and my son said he didn’t want to. He then told me, he would never speak to me again, unless he came. He went for 8 years with absolutely no contact with me, even though I tried and tried. After the 8 year silence, we had a lovely visit at his home in Hawaii, and even talked about what had happened in the past, and I thought we had put all the negativity behind us, and we were starting fresh. I was wrong. This is now a continued pattern of, insults, and negative and hurtful words towards me. We go for years with no contact at all, or a barrage of pain directed at me.
Just when I think things are okay, he turns on a dime, and brings up some imagined trauma from his childhood, telling me how I was an inadequate mother.
My son is toxic & most conversations with him always leave me feeling like a horrible mother.
He sees the loving relationship with my other son as an insult to him. He feels he doesn’t get any positive attention or love from me. It is so far from the truth. I try and try so hard to be a positive force in his life, to be a good mom to him, to be a good mother-in-law to his wife.
We can go for a couple of years, and I think things are okay, or pretty much okay, to realize he has been lying to me, and lying about me to others. He takes these things to social media, to belittle me, and hurt me.
The final straw for me, or turning point was this past Christmas. I have always lived quite a distance from both of my kids, and I recently moved across the country to be closer to both of them. I was ecstatic to say the least, that I would be able to see both of them, and their families. I invited my older son to our home for the holidays. I had to do this in text, he will not actually speak to me most of the time. He waited a few days to answer me, and when he did, he hit me with both barrels. He let me know that he didn’t ask me to move closer, and that because of his lack of relationship with his brother, he didn’t feel comfortable coming. I tried to reassure him, and he came back with, he would not come if I spoke about my other son, his wife and my new grand baby. In addition, He posted all of this on social media, I guess to try and embarrass me.
Recently, we had a conversation, on the phone, I thought things were going well, and he insulted me, my niece and my deceased mother. I told him, he crossed the line, he needed boundaries. That’s where he left it.
I also want to say, that I feel this toxicity with the older son, may damage my relationship with my younger son. I have to be careful not to talk about it, because it’s like the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and I want my younger son to know he’s important to me,
I am so glad to have found this site, I see so many stories on here like mine, and I don’t feel so alone.
June 5, 2020 at 7:03 pm #105409HealingWaterParticipant
Thank you for adding me to this group.
I am a 61-year-old mother of two mid to late 30-year-old sons, and countless grandchildren. One son has 2 daughters and the other son’s story about who is (and is not) his children has changed several times. He claims 9.
My back story: My ex-husband was a narcissist. I did not know there was name for his syndrome at the time our 20-year marriage ended. I just knew that he had cheated, lied, and abused me for far too long. I had to shut that door.
After we divorced, he spoke to all of my family members, those that had been both close and even those further away from me.
Several years after our divorce I got remarried. Family talk and rumors started flying and things turned ugly. It seemed like there was no way to win the battle, except to put up with the lies and manipulation that was taking place, but we eventually decided to move away to my husband’s home state to protect our marriage and sanity.
I am estranged from both of my sons. One texts occasionally. He doesn’t call or speak with me but he will text that he loves me and wants me to be happy. The other is now an abusive narcissist. When he does make contact, he does everything in his power to make my life miserable (both online and off). He attacks. He screams, yells, accuses me of things that I do not do or have never done, and he has threatened me a few times as well. He and his family attack me online – they try to destroy my business (i.e. message clients and comment to them so they’ll “know the truth about her”). It has been to the point I believe I need to bring legal orders into our lives. I am now recording phone calls (which has been silent for a few months) and copying any other attacks online (screenshots).
I feel that I had healed (from my narcissistic ex husband – now deceased), but then sometimes it comes back (like a boomerang) through what my child is doing.
I recently realized that I need a community that I can connect with, people that have experienced similar circumstances in life. 20 years of an abusive marriage, and now 18 years in this one (happily, I might add, to my best friend), and I am still struggling when the attacks come out! It becomes real again!!
I want to add – because yes, I expericne the typical guilt feelings from time to time (the common wordly perception that parents/mothers are supposed to be the one that fixes everything), when my children were growing up I was their main support. I didn’t tell them that I was living with abuse. It was hidden. I wanted to protect them from all of it. I still to this day believe I had a good relationship with both of my sons, even the abusive one has openly told me that. He is angry at what has taken place in his adulthood. He does not believe I had to move further away to get away from things (to gain sanity, protect my life and happiness/marriage). When I moved away, I did not go no contact. My abusive son claims that he had to track me down, and he is angry about that, but somehow he doesn’t remember me texting him over and over again for grandchildren pictures and to ask how he was doing. He is a mess, and a long story … and there is NO winning with him. I either I am abused and do what he wants me to do in life, or I am hated for being a human individual that chooses to NOT be abused or manipulated.
I feel that I had healed (from my narcissistic ex husband – now deceased), but then sometimes it comes back (like a boomerang) through what my child is doing. 20 years of in a very abusive marriage, and now 18 years into this one (happily, I might add, to my best friend), and I still struggle when the abusive attacks happen! It becomes real again!!
I recently realized that I need a community that I can connect with, people that have experienced similar circumstances in life and are non-judgmental of my situation.
(P.S. It is very difficult to write this in a short space, and with so much to say. 🙂 I hope you can make sense of my writing this morning — and I am a writer. Ha.)
June 6, 2020 at 2:57 am #105433LindaMParticipant
Hi All, my story is so long so I don’t want to bore anyone with all the details right out of the gate. To summarize my Son in his late twenties has slowly over the last four to five years distanced himself from me. I get that that is somewhat normal but it was a complete disinterest in my life, health or anything. I was helping him and his new wife financially so they could established themselves. They are both hard workers so I didn’t mind offering them assistance as they never asked for it. His wife appeared to want to be close with me with daily texts and a general interest in my weekend plans and how I was doing and such. In actuality the closer we got the more she started tearing me apart. You see my ex and I divorced when my Son was young. It was a terrible 17ish years or so in that my ex and I didn’t get along. It really was so awful on our Son. Anyway, she started saying I wasn’t a Mother, his Dad was horrible too, they didn’t really want us in their lives. They were trying to decide if we were worthy. If I called my son he wouldn’t answer and I would soon get a text from my DIL saying why did you call him is there a problem? Then they got pregnant last year and things got so much worse. What was such a joyuous blessing turned into unrelenting ruthlessness. Let’s just say I was treated like I had Covid before Covid was a thing. I was told I couldn’t hold the baby when she was born, they didn’t want us to come to the hospital, She said they weren’t sure since we weren’t really parents that we would be allowed to be grandparents. Meanwhile she and I continued to text every day and this is the tone of almost all of our conversations. My Granddaughter was born late last year and I have only been allowed to look at her twice. 3 months ago when the pandemic started I didn’t call after hearing they had had some really bad news. My Son had text saying they needed space and wanted to be away from their phones so I tried to be respectful. I text a few times asking if they were ok. I told him to let me know if they needed anything. Anyway after a few days my DIL text and said my coldness was just sad! I had been so sad for them and tried so hard to give them space and then I was told I was heartless for not calling. Truth is I WOULD have called BUT I seemed to always do everything wrong. If I zigged they said I should have zagged, if they told me to zag and I did I would have been told I should have zigged. My Son has never not talked to me and he certainly has never withheld an I love you. He is doing this to me now. He said we will not be talking anytime soon. Needless to say I am beyond broken. I don’t have my son, I don’t have the relationship I so desperately wanted with my DIL and, on top of it all, I have a granddaughter that doesn’t even know who I am!
I love them so much and I have such a hole in my heart. My thoughts are with you all going through this horrible pain.
Thank You for listening
June 7, 2020 at 11:54 pm #105452littlesunshineParticipant
Hello and thank you for letting me join.
Like all of you, I am here for possible clarification and/or understanding how something so right can go so wrong.
To say I am heartbroken is easy, but I am 100% baffled by my sons behavior.
My Husband, Son and myself have always had a great relationship. More so, my son and I. We were pals, confidants, support for each other and best of friends. He was actually a perfect son. Never gave any trouble, easy child and smart. A lot of friends were envious that we had such a good kid and then he got a girlfriend! Not just any girlfriend, but he started dating my co-worker/friends daughter (we all work together) I have known this family for many many years and know their family’s history, etc. Never judged them as they are decent people, but the daughter (gives off bad vibes).
Fast forward, as soon as they started dating, EVERYTHING changed…my son and I started fighting with one another over little things…he wouldn’t come home, we asked him to please send us a text letting us know he wasn’t coming home so we wouldn’t worry…nothing…he completely started having no regard for respect for me anymore. In fact, he would start fights saying how I hated his GF. When in fact, I over-tried to be her friend. I would take her to get her nails done, take her to dinner, cruise, disney, etc. and all I kept hearing is how much I hated her….While I will admit, I wasn’t a fan, it wasn’t my life or my relationship so it really didn’t matter to me who he dates, but I wanted to be friends so we can all be together as a family. (we have a small family so the more the merrier)
They have been dating for approximately 8 months and the level of disrespect and disregard as been unbelievable. Long story short and after many attempts to try to make amends with both my son and his GF (not that I have done anything wrong, but I tried to apologize for my behavior (whatever that was) I kicked him out of my home. He now lives with his GF and her family. Her mother was my “friend” which obviously we are no longer friends. I didn’t want to go on and on and on over all the details as to how this could have happened, but has this happened to any of you?
Everyone says he will come around, but I don’t think he ever will. He told his Dad, he wants nothing to do with me.
This is my take….I think his GF knows that I see what kind of person she really is and has manipulated him to think that I do not like her (when in reality she doesn’t like me) and he believes her. Its easier to hate me than fight with her because he knows I will always love him, but this is so wrong on so many levels. The GF has taken him away from his family, he has deleted and blocked me on all social media including his cell phone (which we pay for) and his grandparents (who had nothing to do with anything)…
Thanks for listening…If I could post on a thread, I’d probably have a lot more to say LOL and looking for feedback.
Feeling crushed but attempting to build a life without my only son
June 9, 2020 at 12:07 pm #105500tired_of_itParticipant
Good evening. I am a mother of 4 girls – ages 14, 22, 32, and 36. I have spent years with the two oldest trying to make amends for their perceived “bad childhood”. They both use my grandkids as manipulation tools. I’m just tired. Tired of being made to feel like I don’t matter in their lives, that I am only a “good” mom when I spend a lot of money, that my opinions don’t matter. My 22yo and I have such different perspectives on life, but when we start discussing, I am always the one in the wrong. It is just exhausting. I wanted to find a group I could vent to that would understand and maybe offer some solutions to stop being a doormat for them. My new saying is “don’t make someone a priority who only makes you an option”. That is how I feel with my 3 oldest. I am there when it is convenient for them.
Glad to have found this group.
June 10, 2020 at 12:23 am #105512Kpcups3Participant
I have one son who is 25 he will soon be 26 in August. He graduated top of his class and went to Boston University. His 4th year he left and came home. I tried to encourage him to go back or to transfer his classes without any luck. He didn’t like our rules either he went to school or he had to work. So he moved out and moved in with a bunch of drug addicts. He eventually moved into an apartment with his girlfriend that he lived with previously. Two weeks ago she called me saying that they were fighting and she was honest and said that her legs hurt so she was going to take a Percocet that she received off of her aunt. As they were arguing while I was on the phone she screamed at him saying that he was doing them too! Her father killed himself, her 2 brothers are drug addicts and the mother is in a nursing home because of a severe stroke. Which she never goes to see her mother. I’ve even offered since she doesn’t have a car. I knew something was going on when we were helping them constantly, thinking they were saving and they weren’t saving any money. Since then, my son has been avoiding us. Not sure if it is because he doesn’t want to have the conversation about the drugs or not. My son since he has been with her, doesn’t get a haircut, doesn’t excersize, doesn’t do anything that he use to do. He keeps telling us through texts to leave him alone, we are better off without him and to just let him self destruct. I Told him no that i wouldn’t leave him alone and that he needed to seek therapy or talk to someone. He has said to me that he has always been alone and that he has always had anxiety. This is new to me. This isn’t the same kid I had seen growing up. I have to admire I did everything for him and did enable him. He was very active in high school and in college however he is saying he has had these problems all the time. Not sure how I missed that since I always talked to him about those types of things and always told him that he could tell me anything. He is going to get fired as he is taken off of work all the time. He seems to be getting Worse and not better. He keeps pushing us away and I’m so afraid he will do something to himself. This isn’t the son I know. Is it drugs? He constantly lies as well. The weird thing is he is talking to the girlfriend but not us. He said he broke up with her. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
June 10, 2020 at 2:18 pm #105525Kpcups3Participant
Hello! I am dealing with the same thing. I only have one son. When he left college he didn’t like my rules so he moved in with his girlfriend (who has her own issues). I keep in contact with her because that is my only way to know what is happening. I also took her under my wing as she has no one.
My son too was a great kid! Never ever in any trouble what so ever. I’m thinking that boys don’t grow up until their 40’s because I can’t figure anything else out of why he don’t speaking to us. I asked him to go get help but he has blocked us all from everything. I’m so scared of what he is going to do and if he is emotionally unstable because he keeps telling us to leave him alone and that we are better off without him. I’m sick over this. My son is so smart that he manipulates counselors etc You are not alone as I am dealing with the same issues. I wish this girlfriend would just leave him alone. She has done nothing but start trouble.
June 11, 2020 at 1:20 am #105537badger99Participant
I am a divorced father of three, boy boy girl, and the relationship with my eldest, who is married and 26, has been strained the last few years. Recently he sent me a pretty harsh email telling me he wants no contact and sort of “demanding” that I get counseling (I am already seeing someone). My relationship with my other two children is pretty good. Not perfect but fairly solid. In his email he also threw out the time frame of one year would be needed; the seemed sort of arbitrary. He talked about his “stipulations” if we can ever reconnect. I responded briefly and kindly mostly just acknowledging his feelings and left it at that. I think it is important I acknowledge his feelings but in reality the email hit me very, very hard.
I have been divorced 6 years and had a few short term failed relationships but have been seeing someone for about 10 months and generally feel more at peace personally and in the relationship that I can ever remember (all my kids have met her and all really like her). I did a lot of work on myself in the last few years. As I said he is married. His wife has really not connected well with me or my ex wife, who is remarried and I get along well with.
I am at a loss. Feel very very dejected.
June 11, 2020 at 2:38 pm #105552
I have posted in the general comments before but have not posted in the introduction, mostly because this is not a private forum and my tech savvy ED could find it if she wanted to, and lurk. So I don’t get very specific about details. And I want to assure those who do post here that they are not ignored if not responded to, and just to post in the general comments.
Basically I have two daughters that grew up in the same environment. Despite mistakes I made, we were very close. Until one daughter got engaged to her now husband (of many years). Despite the fact that he grew up in a loving, stable environment, he really had nothing but contempt for his own family. My daughter has now – I believe – been brainwashed to think the way he does. She is shallow, only concerned with appearances. She has treated me with increasing disrespect, dislike, and disdain. Gradually over the years she has increasingly been worse, answering me with one word texts if at all, and finally blowing up, telling me I was a horrible mother, and cutting me off completely. Her excuse is irrational.
I have had many painful experiences in my life but this has been the absolute worst. I was almost suicidal for awhile. It changes everything I thought about the world and the way my life would be. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. It is a blow like nothing else and few people can really understand how devastating it is unless they have been there themselves. A big fear is that she will influence her sister to do the same thing.
Even though I blame her husband’s influence, my daughter’s behavior is strictly on her. She has a mind of her own. And looking to the future, I can’t see any reconciliation at this point. Not sure I WANT one at this point.
I have found many helpful ( and understanding) comments on this forum and am grateful for its existence. I am thankful to have a loving, supportive husband and dear friends throughout this ordeal. Without these things I don’t know where I would be. This is a heartbreaking experience for all of us, none of whom ever thought we would be here. And if you are feeling guilty, just remember that if you were a truly uncaring parent you would not be here at all.
I have no control over my daughter’s feelings or behavior. I just have to get through this to a point where life can be good again, with or without her.
June 12, 2020 at 3:35 am #105578VerbenaParticipant
My daughter is 45. I was naive to think that maybe we had turned a corner. I can’t tell you how many family dinners, holidays, and birthday dinners have been stressful because they usually end up with my daughter getting upset about something. And its always someone elses fault. Things had been going fairly well until a month or so ago. We had a situation, and I said she was being a bit dramatic. She got angry and didn’t speak to me for three weeks. I broke down and called her, and she went across the list of things I had evidently done to make her angry. They all seemed so minor. Then recently her son was graduating from high school, she had 4 tickets and 3 people in her family that needed to attend. Well, there’s myself, my husband, and we were watching 2 of our grandkids because of Covid 19. So that means we needed 4 tickets and she only had one extra ticket. I told her I would talk to her father and see what we could work out. Needless to say, with 5 and 7 year old grandkids my evening was pretty hectic and I wasnt able to get back to her until later in the evening. She had one extra ticket, and there were 4 of us. We were able to live stream the graduation, and probably had the best seats. Anyway, after graduation, she called in a rage because I had wasted one ticket that someone else could have used. Told me I wanted to be a martyr so everyone would feel sorry for me. After graduation, my grandson came over so we could give him his graduation present. It was money. He called our daughter and told her, and she made him give it back, sent me a text and said , today is about my son, lets leave it that way! I’m so confused I don’t really know what to do at this point. I really did nothing wrong. This is heartbreaking for me. Also, after a few days passed, she called my husband to ask if he was mad at her. I haven’t spoken with her since the incident
June 13, 2020 at 7:53 pm #105591ColdCaseSolver12345678Participant
Hi, I’m XX (my first name is OK, right?). I am divorced with 3 kids. The oldest, almost 24, has not had a relationship with us for about 4 years. The other two kids 21 and 16 have a great family relationship with me, and we are close.
I have been divorced since the oldest was 11, and he took it the hardest. His teenage years were fraught with rebellion. I did everything I could think of to get him on the right path. Therapists, he even was inpatient in a psychiatric facility twice during high school. His dad and I had a high conflict divorce, but we seemed to coparent ok, and we both tried to get this kid on the straight and narrow. We both went with him to therapy etc.
After he graduated, he tried to go to college for one semester, but skipped class, slept until noon and flunked out. He moved out one day after he became tired of me having rules for my household. His marijuana use was and is still pretty heavy. He stopped speaking to me. No texts, no calls. Nothing. I was able to keep tabs on him because he was given a job at a restaurant, and I go to church with the manager, and she sent me a message telling me he was employed there, so I knew he was at least physically OK.
About 6-8 months ago, his dad attempted to speak to him. It did not go well. He unleashed a diatribe of blame on his dad for a lot of things then stopped speaking to him again. I guess this week was my turn because he asked to come over. We sat on the front porch because I was fearful of having him in my house. My daughter (21) wanted nothing to do with it, and she left the house and went to her boyfriend’s. She says her brother is sick, and unless he gets help, she isn’t dealing with it. I can’t really blame her. He accused me of caring more for the other two than him. I raised them all the same. The other two are great kids. I don’t GET IT.
So he came over, and he blamed me for a variety of things which was mostly holding him accountable for his behavior. He blamed me for listening to a therapist and following his advice to hold him accountable. He yelled at me, called me vile names and left in a huff after 20 minutes or so. After he left, he sent me a facebook message reiterating all the horrible things he said, and then he blocked me.
I called his dad, and we talked about it. There just isn’t anything either of us can do at this point. We are heartbroken, worried, but we are also both pretty fed up with his lack of responsibility. He heavily uses marijuana and in that twenty minute conversation admitted to me he has sold it in the past too. Neither his dad or I have any criminal records and are pretty boring, frankly.
I have been to therapy to deal with my feelings, and my therapist is satisfied because I’m not blaming myself (but sometimes I do, but I don’t know what I did!) and I am adhering to healthy boundaries.
Anyhow, it’s nice to meet y’all. 🙁
June 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm #105597rparentsKeymaster
You’ll note that I removed your first name and replaced it with XX.
No. First names are not allowed in the forum by members (user names only).
Welcome to the peer support forum, and I think you will find much support here.
To you and others who have recently joined, please feel free to join the other threads. Sometimes the introduction threads get ignored.
Sheri McGregor (site owner)
June 14, 2020 at 1:46 am #105604Birdy17Participant
Hello. I am glad to have found you. I am a divorced for 16 yrs single 59 year old mother of two beautiful adult daughters with their own families. My youngest daughter exploded just before Mother’s Day this year with a long list of the most horrible things she has been experiencing since her childhood, and now wants to have nothing to do with me. I was shocked to say the least. I am still in the tears constantly running down my face phase. While my marriage was horrible (psychological abuse and infidelity), I always believed and until what she said in an email still believed that my relationship with my daughters were the most beautiful, loving and caring ever. I was floored. I am not able to even breathe and find it hard to swallow (literally) sometimes. She seems to judge and blame me for the unharmonious home when she was little. Yes, it was difficult and I wore my feelings on my sleeve, but our bond was strong. So I thought. She won’t even allow me to discuss it with her. She ranted and told me things that broke my heart and I listened and agonized for not knowing she felt ‘this way. I thought she was going to get it all out and then we could talk. But no. She got it out and then said she never wanted to see me again. Without trying to justify anything, but just to recognize her pain, I sent a short heartfelt apology for what she must be going through. I didn’t say much because she had told me to shut up and listen when I tried to interject previously. She called that apology lame and then cut it off. I could write a very detailed description but will leave it at that for now. It’s too difficult to go over again right now. I’m sure we all have different circumstances and stories, but the fact that we are here speaks to our common pain and the search to find healing. I look forward to hearing and sharing, learning and growing. From what I see already, it never goes away. I can’t imagine how it would. This grief is overwhelming.
June 14, 2020 at 3:52 am #105619
Welcome. My heart goes out to you experiencing this. I felt/still feel sometimes exactly the same way. Shock, disbelief, like the reality that I knew suddenly dissolved. I really like this forum. There are many posts by thoughtful, articulate people who have experienced exactly the same pain that you are going through. I have not seen anyone judge or condemn anyone else. It seems to be ok to vent, to express your pain here, surrounded by those who understand. Sometimes trying to get help in the “real world” is not easy, as this is a grieving but not experienced or understood by others.
And also there are posts about being able to move on a little, finding a new interest, or coming to terms with the situation. I know that you are still very raw from this and not ready, but you can always go back to those posts if/when it might be appropriate for you.
I urge you to read “Done With the Crying” if you have not already. I am currently working through the workbook, slowly and thoroughly. It is very helpful and reminds me that I am not the horrible mother that my ED thinks I am. (My reaction to this estrangement was a deep feeling of self-blame and shame.)
Your post struck me and I wanted to reach out to you – as you can see here, you are not alone. Hugs
June 17, 2020 at 3:55 am #105693WhattheheyParticipant
I am a 55 year old mom with three adult children. It has been a year since I left my 32 year emotional, financial and physically abusive marriage. At first my oldest children were shocked and refused to see the abuse. My youngest (18 and still in HS) understood and stood by me. I worked hard for the following year to be open, honest and not create problems with my x (who has a personality disorder.) Recently during the covid closures, my youngest went off on me and left to live with his father. We have spoken rarely and he has requested that I not contact him. Understand that in February, I suffered a broken leg and after a month stint in the hospital – was home just before lock down. I am just now starting to walk again unassisted. My middle child holds great resentment against me although she begged me to leave him years ago. She is the only one to acknowledge there was abuse. I very good at hiding it and shielding their father from them. Then suddenly last fall – she said no contact and even refused to let me see my grandchild – who I helped deliver and raise for the first four years.
I am gutted. Absolutely gutted. My therapist advises that honor their request for silence and no contact. She says they are adults and that if that is their wish – so be it. Take the time to work on myself and they will come around.
It has been difficult to say the least. I have given my life to these children – given up my career, everything to give them an opportunity in life. I sacrificed my health and happiness to only be treated as the villain in this story.
I don’t know what my x is doing and I suspect he is gaslighting them like he did me for all those decades.
All is I know is this totally and absolutely sucks.
June 17, 2020 at 3:57 am #105698Flamingo61Participant
I am a married Mother of 3 children including a 29 year old son who rejected us about 7 months ago. He lives at home and there was a fight that started over laundry and it got ugly. He hasn’t spoken to us in the 7 months. It’s bizarre because he remains living here. With COVID it was hard to find a place, I realize, but I recently gave him an ultimatum for 3 months to be in his own place. I hurt so badly. I just wanted to raise good people and I think he might not be a good person. We were good parents, not perfect of course, by maybe we were too good to him in some ways. I am worried about his mental health too. He doesn’t look good and he’s not taking care of himself or his environment. I am glad to be here in this group. I have never done online support before. Thank you!
June 18, 2020 at 7:58 pm #105752DumpedParticipant
Hi. I’m a 74 year old mom of a 49 yr old transgendered son. Our relationship has been on and off for years. I’ve supported him in many ways through everything he’s been through. Unfortunately, when things are are going well for him, he dumps me. I dont hear from him for years. I feel like I have a permanent case of whiplash. My friends who never had children dont understand how I feel. My family doesn’t want to get involved. I feel old, abandoned, alone, angry and that I will never never smile again. Is it too late to try to build a meaningful life?
June 20, 2020 at 5:27 am #105782trulysweetParticipant
I am a 50 year old mom of ONE 15 year old daughter.
I have been married to her stepfather since she was 3 and he has been her “dad” since 10 months.
Her biological father is a sociopath, possible narc. and is out of the picture since 2016.
Recently, I had an affair and my daughter is the one who discovered it (through errant undeleted data on her computer which used to be mine). She flipped out and now my husband and I are divorcing.
She has trashed my room now 4 times (any time she thinks I have had or knows I have had contact with my affair partner/boyfriend). As a result I no longer communicate with him which makes me terribly sad.
We are in therapy individually and together but she is still so raw and hurt and angry. (This has been going on for 2 months).
She says she wants nothing to do with me (unless she needs me to driver her somewhere or buy her something) and wants to stay with my soon to be ex-husband. She claims that the minute she turns 18 she will “leave and never come back”. She also has said that when I am elderly she will “leave me to rot. Alone.”
She has threatened to make my life a living hell until I get rid of “that man”.
How can I lessen her anger and pain?
This is a mess of my own making.
June 23, 2020 at 5:00 am #105872sunflowerkissesParticipant
I shared my story last week. I don’t see it and I just want to confirm that i have been added to the group.
June 26, 2020 at 3:45 am #105881TlynnParticipant
Hi everyone- I am working my way closer to 50 than I want to, LOL. I have been the proud mother of 2 angels for almost 22 years now. I was told by more than 1 doctor in my early 20s when I got sober in AA that I probably wouldn’t be able to have children because of severe infertility problems via endometriosis/adenomyosis. 2 years later, I met who I thought I would grow old with and he knew everything about my entire life including my jaded past which I won’t go into here, but this guy seemed to love me unconditionally. I was very convinced of his pledge of love for me and our common ideas about love, family, and life so I completely surrendered to him and gave up my happy sober, single life and married him. I am mentioning this part of my story to give you an idea of the fact that I really did not feel up to this point in my life that a person could know everything about me and still love me so it was huge for me to marry somebody who I believed would be satisfied with just being married to me, without being able to have children. After we were married for a very short time, he confessed to me that he felt like he had made a mistake by marrying me but that he was not ever going to leave me because of his feelings about divorce. See, I have been struggling most of my life with depression and anxiety and it was more than he could handle. Fast forward a couple of years into our marriage my doctor tried a newer approach to my infertility and literally within one week of this experimental procedure I was pregnant with my son.
This changed everything in my mind and heart. My faith in God was restored and suddenly I had everything I ever wanted. Literally, pregnancy and shortly after, I was on top of the world. I was pregnant again within a few months and then things started to go south. I began having trouble with pregnancy and my husband was traveling for work a lot. My only joy was my son. This set the ball rolling for my overdependence on my children to be the source of my happiness. Little did I know that I was still very much a child myself because of my past. Suddenly, it was all too much and I asked for help but nothing seemed to help.
I relapsed when my daughter was still an infant and I confessed it to her dad who immediately sent me away, got a restraining order and filed for divorce. Over the years, I did all I could to stay sober (with only 2 brief relapses in 20 years) and made a few attempts to fight for custody of my children but I didn’t have the backing he did when it came to legal and financial support.
After 10 years of being sober in the same town that he lived with his second wife and my 2 kids and their 2 kids together I couldn’t take another day of not being allowed to be involved in my kid’s life with having very limited visits in spite of my sobriety and all that I knew about how close my kids and I were I moved to be close to my parents. There were so many lies that their father told them over the years and my only regrets are that I endorsed his lies out of fear of him withholding visits. It took a lot longer to get my own place than I planned because of having a nervous breakdown just a short time after moving away from my kids. I became disabled and my panic attacks became very severe.
The ENTIRE TIME I was going through the 4 years of rehabilitation (because it was a lifetime of pain I had been avoiding) my kids and I believe it or not, were closer than ever. Even though we were a few hours away, we were very close. When they graduated from high school, I believed our lives were finally going to be the way we always dreamed and talked about. I was so excited, had been in my own apartment that I set up for the 3 of us, and for 1 year it was great.
Now, because of outside influence of friends and family of their father they are being discouraged from having a close relationship with me because of my mental health. Both of my kids are amazing, successful, and thriving in their lives and I am not included in their lives still. I am still always the last to know about events coming up or if things have changed. They are both afraid if they go against their father or his family, they will be disowned.
My son is active duty military officer thousands of miles away from me who won’t speak to me on the phone at all. Well, actually Christmas 6 months ago he actually spoke to me because my mother begged him to. Mother’s day I got a “Happy mother’s day ” from him and that was it. My daughter just came to visit me and my parents after not speaking to me for 5 months. This is the second time she has done this. I was so happy to see her I cried. Then, we had a serious talk which was all about what I have done wrong.
I literally finally stopped allowing my kids not talking to me make me feel like I have to give up living because things just aren’t going the way I imagined they would. One day they will really want to sit down and talk and I will always listen. I know it’s not my fault anymore. I have done a fearless and moral inventory about my life. While yes, I was a part of the family problem I didn’t cause the entire problem. I am not playing the blame game anymore. Not sure if I will cry about this again or not. But I am healing- slowly but surely and not because my kids need me to. It’s now because I want to.
I think that the details of each parent’s experience isn’t going to help us understand each other. It’s the fact that none of us ever imagined that one day those amazing people that we had a part in bringing into this world and then raising them, however limited our part was, would not really want to have much to do with us or no contact at all. I have been through A LOT with my parents over the years and I can’t imagine not wanting to talk to them at all. All parents make mistakes. My hope is that I will begin to live for me now. It’s not easy but I am gonna do it. God knows I have come too far to go back to any of that old stuff. Thanks for making this place available to us. And thank you everyone for what you have shared here. I have read a lot of your stories in the last couple of days. You are all awesome for your honesty and wanting to help someone else like me. God bless
June 26, 2020 at 5:56 am #105964TeslinRiverParticipant
Thank you for adding me to this group. I haven’t posted my story because I think I am still in denial . I can’t believe this is really happening I am reading the posts and i see my story repeated again and again. I just want to tell everyone that what you write is so important. Especially to parents like me who know something is terribly wrong but can’t quite believe it’s real. So thank you. I’m going to go cry some more then start to write my story…
June 27, 2020 at 8:22 pm #106005DeaconDadParticipant
My wife and I read Sheri’s book and it made such a change in our relationship with each other and in our a attitude towards our son. We each read it separately and did the workbook and shared answers together. Many tears. Much pain. We were in our third year of estrangement at that time.
We are better now. Thank you Sheri. And now we look for opportunities to help others. When you share your story more and more people open up to you.
I am a deacon in the Catholic Church. We have readings assigned for each weekend. Sunday’s readings provided a perfect opportunity to share my story with my parish. I posted the sermon on the forum.
Know that your are all in my prayers as we carry this cross together.
June 29, 2020 at 7:40 pm #106085zigmund_voidParticipant
Hello everyone. Getting to the point where I can write anything about this has been difficult. I have a daughter that I have not spoken with in 3 1/2 years. We stopped talking because I had suicide attempts 2 years in a row, which I was hospitalized for. After the first one I promised that I would not do it again. The second one was more of a cry for help and misuse of medications, but it didn’t matter at all. She stopped all attempts at communicating with me after she turned 18 and stopped seeing a therapist who was facilitating attempts to reconcile.
I’ve recently gotten to the point where I decided to give up on my daughter. Hoping that things will get better just feels like I am trying to convince myself of a lie. Every day I go through this cycle of sadness/depression and anger about her. Never in my life before was I ever one to cry very much about anything, but now I find myself crying all the time.
At around the same time all this happened, I got divorced from my wife. We have a son that I love very much who I see as often as I can. I feel this strong urge to move away from the area so I no longer have to see things that remind me of my daughter, which ends up making me feel bad because I can’t stand the idea of not seeing my son regularly anymore.
I’m not sure if writing any of this is going to help, but at least now I can see that so many others feel similarly to me. It is so hard to find anyone who understands.
June 29, 2020 at 7:41 pm #106088Buttercup61Participant
I am a divorced mum of three grown up independent children. My divorce had a massive impact on two of my children who were 9 and 14 at the time. My other child went to university. My ex husband disowned all children for 8 years. No visits. No birthday cards. No Christmas cards. My in-laws also disowned their grandchildren and again no contact including no birthday cards or Christmas cards. This was very hard for me. My mother refused to talk to me too saying you’ve made your bed so you lie in it. I lost my house and home. I have to admit I was a strict mother. If my children were rude or naughty I sent them to their rooms. I was of a generation that did smack their children but I never did anything I regretted. I’m not well educated and wanted my children to get their education and not be like me in a dead end job. As my ex left I’d just qualified for a job that would have been amazing. I didn’t have a choice but to change my career path. I don’t regret this as my children have always come first. I thought my relationship with my daughters were solid. After my daughter finished uni things changed she had a fiancé and all was ok. I’m not sure what happened but she then starting accusing me of being a bad mother who always shouted at her and made her eat dinners she didn’t like. This has got progressively worse over the last few years things have got worse. She refuses to let me visit my grandchild and is having another baby any day and says she isn’t even going to tell me when he’s born. She is being very rude and disrespectful. She is calling me names. She says I’m a miserable f***king cow, a pleb, an idiot, a liar, a bitch, a dick to name but a few. As parents I think we will always love them but don’t always like them. I’m heartbroken she won’t talk to me. I’ve apologised to her but she doesn’t want to move forwards. It takes me 4hrs to drive to her house but she won’t let me stay. She treats her in-laws differently but the. They did give her and their £30000 deposit for a house. I don’t have that money to give. I’m heartbroken and so stressed. I’m tearful, don’t sleep great and feel I would be better off closing the door. She advised my other daughter that she is fed up of me and if I don’t behave she will tell me to f*** off. I never criticise her or give a view or opinion. I’m not allowed. When I visit I do t say much, it’s like treading on eggshells. I’m physically sick during a after a visit when my last visit was Christmas Day but wasn’t allowed to stay the night and had a 4hr drive back home. My other daughter does t tell him to stop saying these things about me. I’ve had a hard life and try my best to be a good person and mother. I work full time but hopefully will retire in just over a year. Your help and comments would be appreciated.
June 30, 2020 at 1:06 am #106101sadlostbrokenParticipant
Hi Buttercup61 and welcome to the forum. I am so sorry that you have experienced such disrespect and verbal abuse. Sometimes when our children are treating us so poorly we don’t recognize that is it abuse and look beyond the verbal attacks because we so desperately want a relationship with them. Perhaps taking a break from your daughter for a month or two will allow for a cooling off period. I do know the more you continue to take this treatment the more it will continue.
I’m sure you are devastated and would do anything to get the relationship back on track. I would like to suggest reading Sheri’s book “Done with the Crying “. This book will help you with all the emotions you are feeling and help you get your life back. Please don’t lose sight of your value and know you are worth more than how you are being treated. Your daughter would not accept this treatment from you and has set boundaries. Set boundaries for yourself with not allowing unacceptable behavior from her. Done with the Crying will help you with setting your boundaries.
Sending prayers for you.
July 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm #106168
Hi, I’m new here. Thank you for the add. Sheri , I love your book and went back to it last night. The pain is unbearable and this time I will be working on taking care of me throught this nightmare.
It’s the same story or similiar. My 35 year old Daughter has been with a severely pyschologically abusive Man for years and he estranged us from our Daughter through our Daughter. We have a 29 Year old Son who is not estranged from us and an extended family who are Daughter cut off too. That’s it in a nutshell and I can go on and on of the horror stories on what this man our Daughter is with has done and directed my Daughter to do to keep us away from not only her but our beautiful first Grandchild a girl who by the way we had a relationship with until he finally finished the job as he totured our Daughter and us pyscholgically for years to remove herself and our Grandchild from our lives. By the way, we really never had words with our Daughter. She just blocked us through him of course and I feel she’s going to be so so sorry for all of this in Years to come that she would even allow this. I have been stuck in pain for years. We are blocked from every type of possible communication to reach our Daughter by this Man and he makes a career out of doing this if we have by any chance in the past got in touch with her. He controls everything. He has changed my Daughter’s phone number numerous amounts of times. He’s called phone companies to block us. He scribbles pictures of my Grandchild out of the photo so we can’t see her in that photo. Do you want me to keep going on? He does not work but our Daughter does and has a college education and job until he stopped that and had another marriage that he destroyed but was as charming as anything we he first met our Daughter and ours and we welcomed him with open arms and with love, oh and babysat and took care of his Son , showered him with gifts for years. I could go on and on and on and on. He has destroyed my life. Thats it in a nutshell. Thanks for listening.
July 2, 2020 at 5:08 pm #106169
and I will apologize to them???????? When ? freezes over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
again, thanks for listening and thanks for the Book. Please write many more books for my healing and healing for others and I will even volunteer for any information you need to tell us our story. Anything you need.
July 4, 2020 at 4:47 am #106201
Welcome, NYFiremanmom. Your daughters husband sounds like a nefarious person, trying to stay polite. You’ll find many of us can relate. I am sorry you’ve been stuck in pain for years, I can see why, and I hope this forum gives you support and healing. Feel free to start a new thread if you wish more responses. You’ve been through the wringer. What is wrong with some people?
July 5, 2020 at 1:51 pm #106214
Hi Yellow Rose , Thank you for the welcome and yes he’s beyond wicked and I am very sure he planned it but I was not well read and equipped about an individual like this that destroyed every fiber of my being. If I was educated on a person like this maybe my Daughter and Grandchild would still be in our lives . It’s a cat and mouse game with predators like this and they have to be handled with great skill. I am just a regular Mom who loves my Child. This person my Daughter has no love for anybody. He destroyed my life. He’s beyond evil has no feelings and just needs to conquer by whatever means necessary to thrive for himself.
July 5, 2020 at 1:51 pm #106215
I don’t know where my post went. I have been severely depressed where it has altered my life for over five years and it just keeps getting worse while this man thrives. He had no choice but to remove me by any means necessary to get his empty sick needs met.
July 7, 2020 at 3:55 pm #106310RedRose77Participant
I’m new here. My mum recommended the book which has been brilliant and then I found the website. I’m estranged from my 22 year old daughter who disapproved of me dating again. I had been single for a while after coming out of a 5 year relationship. She is still in contact with my EX. He’s not my children’s dad but they have a good relationship with him. She also feels that i have not been a proper mum to her. I had my twins at the age of 19 (one boy and one girl). My daughter is one of the twins. They were both really horrible towards me and the man i was dating. The relationship didn’t last due to a knock on effect on the hostility received from the twins. They treated me with so much entitlement and disrespect. My son has returned home to rebuild his relationship with me. We have not yet addressed what happen as i can see he is still not in a place to listen. My daughter travelled overseas last year and ignores my attempts to reach out to her. It’s been really hard. I have one more child a girl who lives at home with me and informed me that her sister doesn’t want to talk to me. Apparently my older daughter doesn’t care and purposely ignores my messages. It broke my heart at first but now i’m giving up. I don’t deserve to be treated like this. It does hurt. My daughter is due back in the country next month. She didn’t want me to know but i found out through my ex. I’m just bracing myself for more hurt and disappointment.
July 9, 2020 at 8:59 pm #106368betterdaysParticipant
I am new to this site. My youngest daughter stopped talking to me 1 1/2 years ago, for something that happened over 25 years ago when she was 13. It’s been a rough 25 years with her and I just put up with it for fear of loosing her. On my last visit to her home we had quite a falling out because I just could not take the way she was treating me one more minute. She lives 1800 miles from me and so I had to wait it out at her house until I could get back on the plane home. This trip broke my heart.
When I got home, I decided, with the help of a psychologist, to write her a letter to tell her how I felt. It was not very well received and she stopped talking to me. What really breaks my heart is the disconnection with my 5 grandchildren. For 9 months, I thought I would not be able to get past it. I reached out to her several time only to be rejected at every turn, so I stopped.
Finally, I bought the book “Done With The Crying,”, and it really helped me. Especially the chapter about remembering all the good I did for that child. I started making a list and I read it every day to remind myself that I am a good mother and little by little, I found myself again, not the version that my daughter wants me to believe. I still have my moments, like when it’s the kids birthdays, or holidays, but I just go back to my list and it helps. My daughters cold indifference is painful and hard to take, but there is not one single thing I can do about it. She holds all the cards.
Most parents do the very best they can with what they’ve got and that’s all we can ask of ourselves. My daughter will just not let me love her, nor does she have any love to give back. She is long on punishment and short on forgiveness. Again, not much I can do. I decided that my 25 year sentence was long enough and I refuse to be punished anymore. I really feel for all you parents who are suffering this kind of loss and my heart goes out to you.
July 10, 2020 at 1:54 am #106376PrometheusParticipant
Hello, I’m glad to join this forum and hope that it can benefit me in dealing with a difficult dynamic that I have endured for almost 2 decades concerning my relationship with my daughter.
July 11, 2020 at 2:17 am #106407MacFranParticipant
Hello Group of sad people,
I am 63 years old and have had a tumultuous relationship with my 41 year old son. It doesn’t matter what I do or say, he looks at me with disgust. I am the blame for all that goes wrong in his life. My heart was quite broken for the longest time, but now I barely cry. Sometimes it hits me hard, so sure, I’ll cry on the way to work. He has a 10 year old daughter that he purposely doesn’t let me see too often and when I do, he reminds me that I was a terrible mom (single mom). I honestly believe that their anger DOES come from some kernel of truth. I told my son I would be happy to meet with him and a professional to talk about the things that make him angry about me and as a way for me to understand what I did wrong and truly appreciate, but honestly, I think he prefers to verbally and emotionally abuse me. Now, this has been going on and off for almost 20 years. I read Ms. McGregor’s book “Done with Crying”, and since then have read other authors that have helped me understand “tough love”.
I hope to someday have a decent relationship with my son. I hope that at some point of his life he “forgives” me for what he truly believes I’ve done to him. But, realistically, I may not live long enough to see that happen. Our love for our children is UNCONDITIONAL but our children’s love for us is CONDITIONAL and just like that ! they can throw you aside. So, guess what? I’m going forward and enjoy what years I have left. I joined this group because it feels good to know that I am not alone. So many things contribute to this estrangement, their fault, your fault, environment, mental heath, drugs and alcohol. I cannot control his feelings for him, but I am capable of still feeling love for him (from afar) and if my granddaughter chooses to have a relationship with me when she can follow her own heart, I will be thrilled. If my son chooses to stop the hating and wants a respectful relationship, I will be there with open arms (but I’m not going to hold my breath).
Guys, these young adults do not define us. Surround yourself with those who truly love you because you deserve to be loved. The rest is in God’s hands.
July 13, 2020 at 2:29 pm #106508ComingToGripsParticipant
I am so thankful to Sheri for this website, forum and I think it’s time I got Sheri’s book. We so need to reach out to each other and support each other. Our friends who knew us as we were raising our kids can reassure us that we were good parents, but only other people who are travelling this road can truly understand our pain, our anger, our disillusionment with the whole social contract of how things are supposed to be.
I am the mother of 3 adult children–all have moved across the country. All have completed college. My relationship is good with the oldest son. My second oldest son was very much on my side during the divorce over 10 years ago, but as he struggled with post college work and his ADHD (perhaps bipolar) gradually I lost him apparently to his father who can now do no wrong. Calls, emails, texts went unanswered for more than two years now. He completely ignored his grandma the last 3 years she was going downhill even though she was an incredible grandma to all 3 of my kids. (Who goes tent camping with their grandchildren in their 90s and tries to learn video games in their 80s?) I have “come to grips” with the loss of him. But now my only daughter has been behaving coldly ever since she went off to college and she goes for weeks not returning phone calls or texts. I’m so disappointed that I may be losing her too. I never dreamed I would end up like this!
All my friends who knew me as my kids were growing up tell me I was a good mother and don’t deserve this. Although as you all know–it you haven’t experienced this– you can tell that friends wonder what you did to cause this.
So at this point my heart has scarred over for my second son., I want to have the warm, loving close relationship with my daughter that I had with my mother but alas it may never be like that. And that is what I’m struggling to come to grips with. . . .
July 16, 2020 at 1:08 am #106557lonelylolaParticipant
Hello. I am 62 with two children, a daughter, 36 and son 32. I have an excellent relationship with my daughter, her husband and their three kids. All good there.
My son is another story. He has always been a strong willed, determined, selfish person. From his first days. But as he’s gotten older, he’s become almost viscous. Not physically but verbally – everyone is stupid except him. He’s very smart and doesn’t have any patience for anyone not as smart as he is.
I divorced his father when he was 4, and I am certain he is still angry about this. He told me he had no control over his life. His father and I had a friendly divorce (relatively) but I unfortunately then married someone who was not good. He treated the kids nicely but was abusive to me. My son saw that and has been angry about it, ashamed of me for taking it.I divorced the second husband after two years.
I also think his real father did a lot of talking to him in his younger days about what a crazy woman I was, stupid, etc. He and his father, step mother and my son’s wife now spend all their time together – doing lots of fun things. I cannot seem to find a way into their lives, at least very rarely, maybe a dinner together every six months. His vacations are with his father and step mom. I went to their house a few months ago and the step mom was there – she knew where everything was in their kitchen. A sure sign to me that they are very close. It tore me up because I can’t seem to find a way to be close to them.
My daughter in law threw a birthday party for my son and she made an announcement there of how much they thought of his dad, what a good dad he was, great man, etc. Not a single mention of me.
My son picks arguments with me constantly and the final straw came a few months ago when he called me a “jerk” in a text. I just couldn’t stop crying. We had it out and he told me he didn’t care one ounce about my feelings, how things hurt me, how it made me feel about anything. He told me that his kids are never going to have to choose what family to have Christmas with (yes a big clue on where his anger comes from) because he is always going to host family dinners at his house. This means his dad and step mom will always be there, always be involved holiday planning. If I get invited at all, I’ll be like a distant relative.
These things seem kind of petty after I read a lot of the other postings here with so much serious drama going on but they are real to me and they hurt. I’ve tried as best I can to be a good mother, to always be there. But with my son, I think I am constantly compared to his saintly father. And my daughter in law is very close to the step mom which is weird since they seem like very different people. I should add too, that the two of them didn’t mind at all during their wedding time when I spent a fortune on their rehearsal dinner and did most of the work myself. And his father got to give the toast at that – not me. There’s a lot of sexism involved in all of this, stemming from his dad’s beliefs on women, I think. Anyway, I’m grateful to have found this site with people going through similar things. Thank you.
July 17, 2020 at 8:26 pm #106615AnonymousInactive
Hello, my only child is almost 40, he doesn’t want anything to do with me or our family since he divorced his wife, left her for another women. I’m 57, recently married in which my son was invited to the wedding and didn’t attend. My ex-husband/son’s father left us when he was 2 and I remained single until 3 yrs ago. I was a young single mom with enormous support from my family, I worked hard and provided for my son alone, I believed we had a unique and beautifully close relationship. Of course there were a few troubled teenage years where we both messed up but I thought we got through it OK. My son has 2 boys, ages 2 an 5 when he left his wife. They are 6 and 9 now. I think its because I maintain a relationship with my DIL, don’t get me wrong, we’re not best buds or anything its just that she is the mother of my only grandchildren and she respected me regardless of how inappropriate my son and his girlfriend treated her. My son and DIL have shared custody, alternating weeks. They have a horrible relationship from what I know. Since my grandsons were born I was their primary sitter, I am a nurse and worked odd hours so I was always available. When my son moved in with his girlfriend he started limited my time with my grandsons so they could spend more time with their “stepmom and step sister”. He was still married and the boys were so young! I know I made my concerns re his behavior and timing very apparent. I know I showed his girlfriend a lack of respect, she hooked up with a man who was unemployed, living with his mom, recently out of rehab, which he blames his addiction on his wife, and probably me for all I know. What decent woman and mother does that is all I can say about that. So here I am, missing my son and grandchildren terribly. My DIL does let me see the boys on occasion, but she needs to use her week allowing them to see her side of the family. We are still friendly with her family and they are kind enough to invite us over for holidays, which I am extremely grateful and embarrassed at the same time.
So that’s it in a nutshell. What I don’t understand is that I had always thought, how can anyone remain estranged from a loved one? You have one life and you should do everything in your power to reconcile, nothing can be that awful and worth losing someone you love. I cant get pass the anger! How dare she take my son away from me? How dare he take my grandsons away from me? How dare they spend holidays at her family’s house and not mine? How dare he let the boys call them grandmom and grandpop?
So here I sit one minute I want to beg forgiveness and the next tell him to go to h***. I know that all of you have felt the same way. I have seen 2 therapists, one currently, I have read the books, done the exercises, I don’t want to take drugs so I can feel happy, I want to be happy. Will that ever happen?
Thank you for the opportunity to share, it felt good to write it out.
July 19, 2020 at 2:22 am #106691Momof4ATAJParticipant
Hello. I am 60-years-old, mother to four and grandmother to 10. My oldest daughter told me last year, on my birthday, that she does not want any further contact, but said she might change her mind in the future. My second oldest also has very minimal contact with us. I sometimes get one word texts, like today I texted her “happy anniversary” because it is her anniversary and the response was “thanks.” These two daughters are the moms of my 10 grandkids, so I haven’t seen any of my grandchildren for over a year. My husband and I feel that oldest daughter’s husband has had a lot to do with her estrangement and also my husband’s mother and sister have meddled in relationships with our children.
My oldest son became really hostile toward us when he was in college. We were not invited to his wedding, but now, since my husband had a stroke and almost died, my oldest son has softened somewhat and we have been to see him twice (he lives i another state) and we exchange texts on occasion but not real frequently. My youngest son is still in college and lives at home.
I feel like my family is such a mess. This was never, ever what I envisioned. Things seemed to get much worse with my daughters when my husband got sick almost 3 years ago.That is when things really went downhill with my daughters, but my oldest son started to warm back up towards us. I have apologized repeatedly to my children for any and everything I can think of. I consider myself to have been a good, supportive and loving mom and grandmother, although I am the first to admit to human mistakes and failings. I beat myself a lot and have internalized guilt and shame to the point that I sometimes lose all hope and don’t want to continue. I have been seeing a therapist for almost 3 years and that has helped somewhat. I have been reading the book “Done with the Crying” and it has helped to know that other parents are in this situation, but it also depressing to realize that these situations can go on for many years without being resolved.
July 23, 2020 at 5:08 pm #106850TexMex2Participant
Hello. I am a mom of 3 daughters . The estrangement of one of my daughters is not necessarily new. She has come and gone from our lives for several years now. What is new is that she no longer wants to have a relationship with me. Typically, she doesn’t want to speak to her father or her sisters but will stay connected with me. Right now she is speaking to one of her sisters and will somewhat respond to texts from her father but this past week has decided she no longer wants a relationship with me. I believe it is due to me no longer playing by her rules. I have always allowed her to manipulate me and have done my best to bend over backwards for her so that I can remain connected in some way to her however unhealthy. Recently, I decided I couldn’t do that any longer. No matter what we or I do, it’s never right in her eyes and she constantly has a running list of our/my faults. There is no personal responsibility on her part and she has a very skewed sense of reality. Because of that, I have stopped responding to her list of complaints and have only responded by saying how much I love her and am thinking of her. This only angered her more and
ultimately she decided since I wouldn’t address her complaints, she was done with our relationship. I do have hope that this is temporary, as it usually is for her. If history is any indicator, she will burn what few bridges she has and we’ll eventually hear from her again when she has no other options. It is heartbreaking as she is pregnant and therefore we/I won’t have a part in this baby’s life until she comes around. It makes me sad, but I also know I can’t do what I’ve been doing for the past few years. It isn’t healthy and I have to live in a better place rather than agonizing every day over her latest text. I’m hopeful for reconciliation and will always have open arms for her, but right now I need to let go. Part of that is connecting with other mother’s and people who understand what this separation feels like. There is wisdom in what other’s have been through. Thanks for having me here and I look forward to being a part of this community.
July 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm #106855KMmom2Participant
I’ve been reading everyone’s stories and I have to say that it is really nice to have a group like this. I’m sorry for everything that y’all are experiencing and I see my own situation threaded throughout your posts.
For my story. I have two daughters, 25 and 19. My oldest daughter moved to another state the day after she graduated from college. My youngest is still at home.
My oldest daughter was born during my second marriage. My husband at the time was narcissistic and suffered from depression and other mental health issues. We split up and divorced when she was very young. I would have divorced him earlier, but he had been diagnosed with cancer when she was just 8 months old. After the divorce, I noticed some issues that made me concerned about neglect and possible sexual abuse. My current spouse and I took my ex to court when she was four years old to try to reduce his visitation time. We spent a lot of money, borrowed money and did everything we could to help her. He was really good at playing the victim and had a better lawyer. The judge ruled in his favor and we were left with trying to help my daughter who didn’t want to go to his house every other week. It was horrible. I had nightmares every time she left us. I would always say that we sent her to his house as a bright blooming little rose and would get back a droopy, depressed, anxious wilted flower. It happened every single time. She would have night terrors. I contemplated just moving as far away as possible to get her away from him. Then, things seemed to get better, for a short amount of time when he got into a relationship with someone else.
But, when she got into middle school, my ex was diagnosed with another type of cancer. He capitalized on being sick. He had remarried and his wife was horrible. She would make comments about my daughters physical appearance (to which we called and had a very stern conversation about how she couldn’t comment on my daughters appearance) and we knew she was saying bad things about us to my daughter. I had vowed not to say bad things about her father in front of my daughter. I was trying to take the high road. He ended up dying right before she went to highschool. He became her hero and she seemed to think he was the best thing ever.
Her highschool years were okay except she constantly fought (not physically) with my current spouse. It seemed like I couldn’t take a shower without them getting into a fight about something. We never told her about the court case as I thought it wouldn’t be helpful. She was so young at the time. She was a straight “A” student in elementary school. But once her dad was diagnosed with the second cancer, her grades plummeted. We had to push her in high school to finish and turn in her assignments. She would complete an assignment and just not turn it in. She is so smart, it was shocking to us when we would see an “F” or get a call from a teacher. We had no idea that she was depressed (hindsight being 20/20, we now realize that she was).
She graduated from HS and because of her test scores, she was awarded scholarships to a prominant private school. We paid for her to go to this college because we knew it would be a great education. The fighting with my spouse continued. I noticed in HS that when she had a boyfriend, she would spend all her time at his house. We didn’t get to know him very well or do anything with him. When she went to college, she found the boyfriend she has now (who is now her fiance). The same thing happened with him. We didn’t really know him but what we knew of him, we didn’t like.
There was a final blowup between her and my current spouse. I was so upset by it that I separated from my spouse for almost a month. I nearly decided to get another divorce but we tried to work it out. My daughters boyfriend said that I told him I would not get back together with my current spouse and so he could no longer trust me. My daughter graduated college and then moved to another state the day after she graduated. I could feel her moving further and further away. She was slow to responding to texts and then irritated when I would call her.
In the Fall, she started having some questions about when she was younger (around the time of the court case when she was so little). We decided it was time to tell her about the court case. It was then that I found out that everything I suspected was true. She had been neglected at her dads house (terribly) and had experienced some sort of sexual abuse but she can’t fully recall it. I was horrified beyond words and I cried for days. I tried so hard to save my baby from my ex. I did all the right things. We had her in therapy, everything. NONE of the therapists thought she had been abused, but my daughter remembered differently, and I believe her.
The final straw was when her sister was getting ready to graduate from high school. Her graduation was delayed until later in the summer. My oldest was going to come for the graduation. I sent a few texts asking when she would be coming and where she wanted to sleep (we have a tiny house). She kept moving further and further away. She was going to stay with friends. Then, she could only stay for the day. Finally, I got a text saying how much we had hurt her over the years and that she needed “space” from us. I was shocked. Even though she had a poor relationship with my spouse, she and I seemed to be okay. We enjoyed each others company (or so I thought).
That “space” has almost been a year. At first, she would respond to emails, but now she doesn’t even do that. She will talk to my family (my parents, sister, her sister, my niece) but she won’t acknowledge me, my emails, or care packages I send her. Since the pandemic began, I made masks for our family. I sent her and her fiance some and she posted a picture on social media. My youngest saw it and sent the picture to me. I cried for days.
I was so terrified of her getting sick with the virus. She has asthma. I am friends on social media with her fiance’s parents. I sent a message to her soon to be MIL, begging to know if my daughter was okay and telling her that she had a family that loved her and wanted her in their lives. The soon to be MIL responded with three words: ‘She (her name) is fine.’ I was devastated. How can a mother respond to another mother, who is sick with worry, about their child in just three words?
Yesterday, I finally started looking for a group like this. I have been sick with grief for so long. There have been times when I have wanted to stop living. I’m thankful that I have a good therapist and good medications to help me.
I have a great relationship with my youngest daughter. My therapist is constantly pointing this out. My therapist also says that I raised my youngest without the influence of my ex. I have since discovered that my ex was an addict – adding another layer of understanding but also sadness for what my daughter must have experienced in his house.
I started this introduction trying not to pour out my entire heart here, but I did anyway. I hope that someday, I will no longer be ashamed, feel guilty, and beat myself up over my relationship with my daughter. I will never get over “losing” her and there is always some tiny shred of hope that she will find her way back to me. But, I think she wants me to leave my current spouse and I won’t. My spouse isn’t perfect, neither am I. But we never abused her and we tried to provide her with everything she needed.
Thanks for reading my story. I have the book Done with the Crying and started reading it last night. I really hope it helps because I am desperate to feel better and love my life again. Right now, I am just heartbroken.
July 24, 2020 at 5:03 pm #106891Gypsisoul1111Participant
My adult daughter will not acknowledge me. She has 2 children. It is 99% my fault. I was not mother material. that was 25 years ago. I am completely different now, I have learned – the hard way. I do not want to or expect a relationship. Someone else raised her. I do want to be able to handle how I feel. she said I can watch the kids on social media only. which I had to stop because it is very painful. She says she is also working on herself, I wonder why my 15 years of working on myself doesn’t count but. I am not mad. I am not sad. I just need to be able to handle my feelings on not being in her life and the grand kids lives.
July 24, 2020 at 11:58 pm #106902
Gysisoul1111, welcome to the forum. You might feel that you are different from other parents on here as you say you did not raise her and you were not mother material. I still would suggest you read Done with the Crying if you haven’t. Do the exercises. I try to handle how I feel by journaling my feelings on paper using a pen. It helps me release and let go of these ruminating thoughts. I also think that sometimes we have to learn to forgive ourselves. Most of the time, we can’t go backwards. Acceptance is one way I have learned to be okay with how things are now. Feel free to write something in the main forum. There is much healing here, and I think that healing is learning to accept how today is for how today is. I don’t think we can make other people change. And sometimes that means we can’t get what we want but we can move forward. Sheri’s book and this forum helped me accept and move forward (plus a lot of counseling). Hugs to you.
July 26, 2020 at 12:04 am #106933Jenilyn0222Participant
First, I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have found this group and Sheri’s book. It cannot arrive at my doorstep quick enough. I have spent the last day or so reading through the stories here about how we have all lost our children. While it is comforting to know I am not alone, it saddens me that we are all suffering over something so unnecessary.
I am a 48 year old single mom with a 24 year old son who I haven’t seen in over a year. When he was 17 he started dating a young girl, 16 at the time, who was very controlling and insecure. What I thought was going to be a quick romance for him turned into more of an obsession and as the years passed, it just kept getting worse and more bizarre. To witness the dramatic transformation of what was once my loving, kind and respectful child that I raised to the cold, angry and broken man she created has been the most difficult challenge of my life. It was like watching your child drown before your eyes and every time you went to throw him a life ring or try to save him from the water, he would push you away farther and farther.
She is a classic textbook narcissist with a penchant for playing a victim to get attention. She needs the ability to control the people around her and those people must embrace what she wants or is feeling or there is trouble. “Opinionated” had a whole new meaning. Dealing with her delusions of grandeur, expectations of others to lavish her with attention and her “know it all” attitude was exhausting. Nothing more difficult then having to bite your tongue when a teeny-bopper 17 year old is sitting on your couch, cross legged and arms folded, telling you how your living your life all wrong.
I could fill 100 pages with my story of how I lost my son and the disturbing events that took place which led up to the last nail in the coffin, but it will not change the outcome. At this point, he has painted himself into a corner. He has no friends anymore. He has written off all of his family. She controls every aspect of his life. I have never seen anything quite like it. His father and I compare it to a cult where she dictates to him what to feel, think, how to act, what to say, where to go. It is my belief he has something wrong with him to allow himself to be controlled to this degree. He is so enthralled in her fantasy world and narcissistic thought processes where he tells lies to people to justify his behavior and actions. He truly believes that we are all these horrible people that has wronged him in some way and eliminating us all from his life is the only way. Watching him transform into the man he is today has been the most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced.
The last year I was in denial about losing him. I tried to reach out many times to tell him I loved him and I was here for him, etc. only to be met with silence. A few weeks ago, I called him from a work phone and he picked up. Sadly, he is worse than before. Completely isolated from any voice of reason (which is exactly what she wanted) he has fallen deeper into her way of thinking. He is gone. At least for the foreseeable future. I don’t believe I will ever see the son I raised back again. He is too damaged. He is gone. And I have to go from trying to figure out how to fix it to how to move on with my life and find peace.
There is a unique set of coping skills needed to handle this kind of pain. There is a death, but no body. There is a loss, but no funeral. There is no sympathy from friends or family removed from the situation, as they just think we had a fight. Or it will pass. And then there is the shame factor. “Where did I go wrong?” The guilt factor. “I should have never had children.” The anger. “How could he do this to me?” And then we have the grieving. When someone dies, there is peace to be found sometimes… we tell ourselves, they are no longer suffering… they are in a better place… we can pray or talk to them to feel close… I have none of that in my coping toolbox with this.
So, I start this journey of healing, I hope with new friends here. I am done crying.
July 28, 2020 at 4:28 am #106980TomorrowIsANewDayParticipant
It has been three months since my son has shut me out of his life. I have been reading other posts and find my situation is a combination of many. I am still trying to process it all and find myself in a club, that I am sure that all of you feel the same, I never wanted to belong to.
I don’t know if its good or bad, but I have been the one singled out. My son still talks to his brother and my husband, his father. It is good because the communication remains open so my son has not shut everyone out. It is bad for me because I have no one to really talk to about the pain this has caused me. Sometimes I am totally fine, and other times I can hardly breathe.
I get angry because my other son and my husband will not share with me so I can understand what exactly it is I did. It is so confusing because just the day before, my son (the one that has shut me out of his life) was with us all day. At his initiation, he came to our house and we spend all day together, ate lunch and watched movies and had a wonderful time. He brought his dog with him and the dog and one of our two cats got in a tussle…the dog went back to where the cats were hiding and he must have cornered them. His dog ended up with a cat scratch on his nose which we didn’t know about until the next day when we did a five-way text between my husband and I, my other son and his wife, and him.
Background on the cats because it is relevant — the two cats that we have were originally my married son’s, who got them when he went into the military because he was homesick. He soon found out that he could not take care of them so he asked us to. We fell in love with them and they are now ours permanently.
Back to the text. My single son (the one who has rejected me) sent a text to my married son that his cat is a douche bag. I defended the cat saying that he was just scared and defending himself. Later in the text he referred me and my husband as “the Oldies”. I have said many times that I really find that reference to us as “old people” disrespectful as when it is used it is in a condescending tone, not one that is teasing. In the text I said, please do not refer to us as that and to please respect us. That resulted in a text….edited to keep out language I will not repeat…that he does not care what I think, that I have phoned in my parenting for the past 17 years, and that I can go to hell.
That is the last direct conversation that I had with my son…this is where he has left it. He told my husband that he wants nothing to do with me and that if I come on his property, he will contact the authorities. Through my husband I apologized for what I did or didn’t do while raising him, but that it throws me off balance when I don’t know what I did.
We had a stable home life. My husband and I have been married for 35 years. We did not fight a lot around them and we were very active in their lives. I stayed home while the boys were little. My other son, who has a child, thinks we were wonderful parents.
A very major side note. My husband has had episodes right out of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”. This only started when the boys were away at college, so they were not directly impacted. There have been three major episodes in his life. The first one was the worst, where he fought me to get help, in the meantime, he was afraid for his life and didn’t want to go back to work and just quit. This would have meant hardly any income and no health insurance while we had two boys in college. I had to be really tough. Anyone who has not gone through this has no idea how frightening it is to go through it. Anyway, he got help and the medication made all the difference in the world. A month ago he had another, and I am not sure if the stress of what happened with my single son triggered it. I got my husband to the psychiatrist stat, and the medication has kicked in again. My husband is being very cooperative, which helps.
So you see, I am battling two fronts on issues that are taboo. I can’t talk to anyone about either because people are afraid of mental illness and parents who have been rejected by their child. I have reached out to my siblings and the silence is deafening. My parents are too old (in their 90s). I do not want to burden them with this (and that is a whole other subject…which I could go on a lot about what my childhood was like.
I am a very strong person and can handle a lot, but I am being so stretched right now and feel so incredibly alone. The pain runs so deep I ache. Sometimes I get so angry. Sometimes I feel nothing.
What I want to say to my son is, that perception is reality. That whatever he feels is real to him. But, based on what I went through as a child myself, the only way to be free of pain is to forgive. I went through a lot with them. Today we would call what my mom went through as post traumatic stress syndrome. She lived through WWII as a child in Europe and came to the US when she married my dad. As an adult, I was able to forgive because I put myself in her shoes. I never had to worry about being killed, nor did I see my classmates killed as she did. What would that have done to me? So that enabled me to forgive…but I never rejected her. I think it is the cruelest thing a child can do to a parent. I was lucky, my four siblings had each other to talk to. We could never talk to my parents, even though I tried. I would not make the same mistake with him, if only I had the opportunity to hear what it is that he had to say, and how I hurt him, I would try to make it right. It just seems to irrational, and I can’t rule out that he may have some kind of mental illness as well (like my husband). I just don’t know.
One day at a time is all that I can do. But the idea of this going on forever is unbearable to me.
I will still hope, I just have to keep hoping. This can’t be final, it just can’t be. Thanks for listening (or I should say reading).
July 29, 2020 at 1:32 am #107026
Dear Tomorrow, welcome to this forum. Gosh, I admire you so much for your honesty and willingness to join this forum to seek better for yourself. You deserve it. Your situation sounds very difficult and you are a remarkable woman to endure all of this and still hope. Sheri’s book, Done with the Crying, helped me a lot and I always recommend it first and foremost. From what you describe, your mean son sounds like a mean, cruel, spiteful person. There is much more I can say. I believe the problem is not you, it lies within this son. Good parents seem to always take the blame, the self blame. Apologizing, etc. But what if your son is abusive and what he is doing is abusive. He is blaming you by saying hateful horrible things, he is irrational about the cats. Who brings their dog to a house with cats anyway – and then doesn’t supervise the dog? Then blames YOU and the cat who was only doing the normal cat thing in trying to defend itself against the dog that was too close or bothering them or whatever. See where I am going here? I think maybe you would benefit from attending a support group for people who love people with a mental health disorder, which is sometimes called a brain health disorder. Look into your local resources for families with brain health disorder issues. In the USA, maybe NAMI or Mental Health America. Maybe even get counseling for yourself as an outlet and a way to cope. In this introduction part of the forum, there usually aren’t a lot of responses because of the nature of the intro thread. If you would like more support or suggestions or ideas, please feel free to make a post in the main section (see at the bottom of the page under the various listings of topics or threads. You are welcome here and valued. Hugs to you. PS: I also love people with brain health disorders, and totally get the roller coaster ride it can sometimes be. You are not alone in this on here, either.
July 29, 2020 at 1:32 am #107032lucy2013Participant
Team Edward your story sounds exactly like mine . I don’t know how this works but can we chat?
July 30, 2020 at 5:39 pm #107056TomorrowIsANewDayParticipant
Thank you Yellow Rose for your kind words. I have been reading the “Done with Crying” book and it helps a lot. I sometimes am still in disbelief….did this rely happen? Thank you for your virtual hugs too. I will check out the main section. I was a bit confused on how to navigate through this website.
August 1, 2020 at 12:07 pm #107101SilentPainParticipant
Hi Im SP. I’ve lived in SP for so long and after managing my temper around my daughters narcistic girlfrind – I recently exploded – which has lead to me being here and my daughter being in places unknown to me. I want to thank Jenilyn whos description of her sons gf is exactly the way I think about my daughters GF…(she is a classic textbook narcissist with a penchant for playing a victim to get attention. She needs the ability to control the people around her and those people must embrace what she wants or is feeling or there is trouble. “Opinionated” had a whole new meaning. Dealing with her delusions of grandeur, expectations of others to lavish her with attention and her “know it all” attitude was exhausting.)
My daughters note to me as she left for places unknown with her aggressive partner in tow says shes afraid of me and that she was afraid of me as a child…..god lord……what do you do with that? I realised that all my “support” was for her challenging. Pushing her to get a drivers licence, to study hard for school, to focus on getting to University, suggesting methods to manager her asthma…all of the standard mum things were too much for her. At 25 she doesnt drive, works casual jobs in bar, hasnt gone to higher education – even when the government is offering free courses, and smokes…..
and yet i scare her………..to say the least, I’m done, I’m toast. Take me out of the oven, I’m done.
August 11, 2020 at 12:52 am #107462LetlightshineParticipant
My very naïve 18 year old son’s first relationship is with a girl with serious issues. This girl is very toxic and controlling and has isolated our son from every friend he has ever had and is now isolating him from his family. We have witnessed first hand some very troubling behavior including violence toward our son. Her family is afraid of what she will do if they try to intervene or provide her with any guidance, so she has always been allowed to do whatever she wants and because of that matured at a very young age; thereby, losing any and all innocence of youth. About 5 months ago, my son decided he was going to move out of our house and live with her and her family. We are a very close family and have been absolutely blindsided by this situation. He has also rejected his 2 siblings. I am trying to do all the right things to take care of myself, move on with my life and cope but I am struggling. We do have a small amount of contact with my son and he tells us that he loves us, but his actions and avoidance of spending time with us tells the real story of him choosing this very unstable situation over a loving, supportive family.
August 13, 2020 at 7:25 pm #107557lola2020Participant
Today is my son’s 26th birthday and we have not had any meaningful contact in nearly 2 years. I was a single mother, and he was born when I was 19. Needless to say I wasn’t perfect, but I worked hard and thought that we had a pretty decent relationship. I was always pretty involved in his life – went to all of his events and performances, supported his dreams/aspirations, we would go to dinners/movies/vacations together. Then about 2 years ago he started to distance himself and not return calls or texts. At first I took it as pretty normal self-actualization/growing up, but as time went on it became obvious that something else was going on. I made a few unannounced appearances at his apartment because that was the only way I could get him to speak with me. He always said that “nothing” was wrong or that I simply “stress him out” and that he didn’t mean to cause any hurt. There is obviously more to our background story, but that’s too much to go into here. And there is clearly something more to his reasons for cutting off contact, but I can only speculate at this time.
The really hard part is that I had a very difficult relationship with my own mother. Hence the reasons I ran away from home at 17 and had a baby at 19. But I always strove to have a cordial/respectful relationship with her. I worked hard on forgiving her for her own mistakes, as I understand we are all human and have our own baggage to carry. But it seems pretty obvious to me and to some other people close to this situation that she has taken part in somehow driving this wedge between me and my son – that she has encouraged his estrangement from me. Indeed, as of one month ago he and his girlfriend have moved into her home which is now 14 hours away from me. I feel like this is the final insult/injury/abuse from her that I can not forgive. So his estrangement from me has led to a complete lack of any family in my life, and I am totally alone.
It’s been hard. If it weren’t for the pets I have who rely on me, I am not sure I would have lived through these past few months. I’m trying to learn to accept this and to move on. I’m glad to have found some people who can understand and just vent to. Thanks for being here.
August 16, 2020 at 6:04 pm #107709
Welcome to the forum, Lola. I hope you will find much healing here. Like you, I tried to parent in a way that kept my kids close and allowed them to express their own emotional needs. My own parents estranged from their parents and so to see my 2EDs allow their father’s parental alienation tactics to work astounded me. I thought my love and nurturing and “good parenting” would create something wonderful. My husband’s parents and his siblings all enabled and enmeshed with his ES to encourage and allow him to estrange, including giving money. They paid for his college expenses that could actually pay for about 5-6 students to go four years at one of my state’s universities. The blame game is real but their can be healing for us, learning to live a good life. Done with the Crying is a great help and the exercises (there is a workbook) help a lot also. Please feel free to chime in at the main pages or even if you want more support write something on the main page, under all these listings of topics or threads. I am glad you have found this forum because it has helped me tremendously. There is a good life waiting for us and sometimes we just need a little help moving forward. At least, I did. Welcome again.
August 25, 2020 at 10:15 pm #108046Flower_NJParticipant
My daughter and I had an argument 2 months ago and now I’m cut off from her life and my grandkids. My daughter suffers from depression. She is on medication and seeing a therapist. She was always moody but as long as I was doing stuff for her or paying for things – she was okay with me. When her moodiness finally pushed me over the edge and I said that’s enough and I told her I was no longer paying her student loan which I had been paying for 8 years (she is 32 years old) and did so without complaint. Before the incident she sent me a picture of a pay yard for the kids and said “your grandkids want this for Christmas” – I replied “no”. I’m sure if I said yes she would be very happy with me. She told me that I was a toxic person and that her therapist suggested that she break ties. But for the life of me I don’t know how I am toxic. I’ve talked to a therapist and asked family and friends if they thought I was a mean person and everyone says no. Thank god I have two other children who are also adults and I have a good relationship with them. It gives me some hope that’s it’s not me. My husband also has depression and this situation is also wearing on him and he then has been taking it out on me. For years I was my husbands scapegoat for anytime he got depressed. My daughter has contacted my husband and other children and is allowing them to see the grandkids but not me. When I was a young mother my own mother or my in-laws would sometimes do or say things I wasn’t happy with but I let it go and always said it’s best for the kids to have grandparents in their life. I’ve also realized that parents are humans and always do everything perfectly. I’m looking forward to hearing other stories and connecting with other people who are in the same situation and I am happy that I found this website. Most friends and family members don’t understand, don’t want to say anything and don’t want to get involved.
August 28, 2020 at 2:02 am #108075
Sorry you find yourself here among us. It is interesting how once they decide we are “toxic” they will give any excuse. Your ED is angry because she suggested you buy something expensive for the grandkids and you said no; my son is angry because I have been too generous at Christmas with his kids!
I’m very fortunate that I get along well with his ex-wife and it is because of her that I will always be able to see my grandchildren. My grandson (age 12) made a comment yesterday about “Daddy won’t come here because he is still mad at you.” I am very curious about what my grandkids think or know about this but I don’t ask them because I don’t want to explain, defend myself, or put their father down either so I don’t bring it up. But obviously they are old enough to know something is up with the situation since I used to go to Daddy’s house frequently and he came to mine as well before he married his second wife.
So when my grandson said Daddy was still mad at me, I could not resist and said, “Why?” My gs said, “because of the thing, you know…buying us too many presents.”
Actually that is not the current “thing” going on but I guess Christmas of 2017 made quite an impact on him since he remembers how they were told they could only pick one thing (from my husband and I) and the rest had to go to charity and they dragged the kids out the door with them crying their little eyes out, before dinner or any festivities. And that woman was not even engaged to him yet but she sure was calling the shots. (She had sent me suggestions for what to get the kids: a lamp for my then 9 year old grandson and a print for my granddaughter’s bedroom wall (age 8 at the time). We really didn’t go overboard but were told we could only get them one thing each for Christmas.
Well, every previous year we got them whatever we felt like and we enjoyed their excitement and surprise, I will admit I looked forward to this. We thought we were being cute and funny by putting more than one gift in one box so it was only “one gift.” I never dreamed my son would react the way he did and he and his future wife would ruin Christmas like that (but it was obviously all my fault for disobeying his orders).
The current “thing” started at the beginning of April when his ex-wife arranged for me to watch his kids the first week they had to stay home from school. When my son learned of this, he became very angry and told me I was sick for befriending his ex and she was a terrible person (for endangering me, I guess???) during this first big deal about COVID-19. He said something to imply his reason for anger was due to concern over my health during the pandemic. I said his ex was doing the best she could in her circumstances and he hung up the phone on me and things have went so far down hill after that, that he had a cop call me to tell me that he never wants me to contact him again.
Never mind that I am a teacher and already teach cyber school and would be the one to help out since SOMEBODY was going to have to watch the kids and help with schooling while all parents and step-parents had to work during the day. I was happy to help and felt reasonably safe in spite of everything. And meanwhile, the hypocritical duo (my es and his wife) have 3 foster kids under 3, and they had his ex-step mother watching them during this same time period. She is older than me and has MS! The hypocrisy is real, and I feel for you, Flower because it is the same thing, only different details.
August 29, 2020 at 4:11 pm #108103EyesForwardParticipant
Where to begin? Well, I live in the U.K. and I’m a divorced mother of a son (almost 18) and a daughter (almost 20) both of whom I love beyond words. Until very recently I believed that this feeling was reciprocated wholeheartedly so I’m utterly devastated & honestly bewildered to find myself here.
My ex husband is a man of great wealth (multi millions) & a skill of presenting a persona to the world which beguiles almost everyone he meets. He’s been married 3 times (I was number 2) but he can’t cope with the sacrifices & loss of attention which comes with small children so when they arrive he leaves.
He’s a powerful figure in our community & extraordinarily convincing in the role he plays but behind that facade is a man who abused me emotionally & sometimes physically throughout our 10 year marriage.When we divorced 10 years ago he literally walked in one afternoon, announced that he’d given notice on the house we were renting, told me I had a month to find somewhere to live & went on holiday.
Meanwhile, he insisted that the children went to expensive private schools where the holidays were so long that I couldn’t afford to work. I’d given up a successful career when we married & always wanted to return … but only if it worked for the children.
Financially things were already very tight when, 2 years later, he decided to retire by making himself “redundant” from his business. He then pleaded that he was too poor to pay alimony (he was very good at hiding his money until it no longer mattered) … & got away with it. My payments dropped by 75%. I struggled on until he bought a $1.5M home & cruised round St Lucia at which point I started legal proceedings. His response? … he presented me with my father’s will suggesting that I didn’t need any support at all. My father was a modest retired army officer with a very modest estate but with great integrity. In that moment I broke & decided that I had to walk away for my sanity. Financially that was a very bad decision & one I came to regret but at the time I was just broken.
So, I’ve continued to work & struggle for the last few years. There are no luxuries but we have a roof & food which is more than many.
Meanwhile, his relationship with the children has been sporadic & difficult. I’ve had to rescue both from his house on occasions when he’s verbally/emotionally/physically abused them. My son is a good sportsman but his father rarely if ever attended his events until recently – I always did if I could. My daughter had her pre University exams sabotaged last summer when he organised her older half sister’s wedding on a remote Scottish island literally in the middle of them. When she returned she suffered such severe panic attacks that she was unable to complete the exams & lost her chance of going to university. She subsequently became very unwell (& quite depressed) with a blood condition which left her at home with me from September until shortly before lockdown began. Having had a blood infusion in February she decided to spend a few days with her father … he had one of his “moments” & in a fit of temper threw her out of his house when he found her lying down in the afternoon. She told him she wasn’t feeling well, he told her she was lying. As it turned out, she had COVID 19. It was truly appalling.
Meanwhile our son was sexually harassed on a train on almost exactly the same day & when his father’s only response was to ask him if he was on drugs he became terribly angry – with his father & with the world in general.
So, I started lockdown with 2 traumatised children- neither wanting anything to do with their father. Then, a couple of weeks later, my son sensing that his father was in a weak position summoned him & read him the riot act. Curiously this met no resistance – I think my ex realised that he was on his last chance.
A few days later my son had an angry exchange with his sister (3 stressed people locked in a small house – it was inevitable) & followed it the next night by losing his temper with me. We agreed that he should spend a few days at his father’s house – the only alternative in the circumstances.
The next time I saw him he started verbally abusing me – everything was my fault. So much anger that I just couldn’t fathom it. Having been verbally abused by his father I simply could not endure it from my son so I drew a line & when he wouldn’t stop belittling me I asked him to leave the house until he was calm & we could talk it out. That was in February. I’ve messaged him repeatedly & seen him briefly on 2 occasions (he attended reluctantly). He clearly wants nothing to do with me while his father is lavishing him with everything money can buy. I’ve been through disbelief, shock, anger, desperate sadness & finally, (almost) resignation.
In the meantime it’s been hard for my daughter to see me fall apart … & I have. It’s been a time of so much loss – my job security has gone, my financial security also & I’ve been so isolated from friends. While my ex has a large & supportive family I just have my children & a sister with Aspergers who lives a long way away & doesn’t want to know. I cannot recall a harder time. After spending almost a year together – some of it really hard other parts very special my daughter is about to move to London (tomorrow) to start her new life. She needs a good deal of financial support to do this which I can’t provide but her father can … & he’s making the most of that.
To my utter amazement she’s bought into his obvious strategy of buying her off & has been telling me I’m not generous enough … I’m stunned & appalled – I honestly can not afford a penny more than I’m giving her (which is more than adequate). We’ve had some truly dreadful arguments – mostly I think because I’m so emotional (“toxic” she calls it). I’ve given everything I have to my children – emotionally & financially. To accuse me of anything less is terribly, terribly hurtful. I just feel empty & broken. By leaving while things are so bad I fear we will never really be able to reconcile & I shall be truly alone.
So, here I am. Not sure if my daughter will say a word to me before she leaves tomorrow & resigned to the loss of the son I always described as “the kindest person I know” & who has brought me to my knees with pain. Clearly I’m the cause … I really do think I must be a shockingly bad mother to have reached this place. What do you do when you did your best but it was nowhere near enough? How do I learn to live with the loss & guilt & shame?
I’d welcome any advice (& thank you very much/well done! If you managed to read all that … it was just the edited highlights!) x
August 30, 2020 at 11:22 pm #108144SommerdayzeParticipant
Hi all, I don’t really want to be here, but here I am. If you had told me a year ago that I would be here, I would tell you that you are crazy. A year ago, I was in a wheat field, holding a light diffuser and making my daughter laugh so that the photographer could get the perfect picture of her for her Senior photos. We were making plans for her big Senior year and preparing for college. Not anymore.
I am the stepmom, but I have known and loved my baby since she was 3. Her mother was always turbulent and an alcoholic. However, she had custody until my munchkin was around 11. She lost all rights due to some trouble C (my daughter) was getting into. My husband and I took her into our home and put her through counseling and got her into a great church youth program. She was saved by the grace of God during that time.
After that time, C was the prodigal child. We never had trouble with her, she expressed interest in spending time with myself and my husband. We had the perfect home, she was spoiled and we didn’t have any other children in the home so all of our attention went to her.
C and I were extremely close. I could show you 100 pictures of us together, happy. We did trips together and she often said she was closer to me than her own mom. She had her wisdom teeth removed a few years ago; with anesthesia still keeping her loopy, she asked for me repeatedly, even though her mother was there. She normally wouldn’t do that because she didn’t like to stir trouble.
Anyways, this year, her Senior year in highschool, C had her first serious bf. We had long talks about what this meant (we often had serious and deep conversations between C, myself, and my husband). She seemed to be doing great. Then it all came crashing down.
C was at her moms for the weekend. She went to a party with the bf, got drunk and crashed her car. She told the police she was the driver. When we got her home, we were so upset with her. She told us she had not been drunk, but had refused the breathalyzer. Her sweet face was battered badly. We had no clue that she had started drinking or partying like that (we would have her come say goodnight to us when she got home, but I guess her mom didn’t or didn’t care).
Long story short, we found out that C was not the driver, that the bf asked her to take the blame. This cause more problems and we ended up in court over this, though the bf never said he was the driver. We do know that C was not the driver due to which side her faced was bruised.
This was all in March. We tried to get past it. Covid hit, so school stopped. But we did a small prom here at our home for her (she had supposedly broken up with the bf so he wasn’t here). Suddenly, in early May, C told us she wanted to move out and live in a tourist town and work there for the summer. It was such a surprise and we were still in court; she didn’t even have a license! And wanted to move 60 miles away. And she did. Just like that.
She came back for her graduation and graduation party, but she was off that night, snippy with me, which she never was. She came back home one more time, for court, but left right after that. This was May 26th.
Turns out, she was still seeing the bf, which wasn’t a surprised. A few days after the 26th, she wound up in the ER for a panic attack. She didn’t even talk to me when she walked out of the ER. I sat outside for over 3 hours, wondering what was going on. Her mom pulled up right as C was walking out the ER doors (covid precautions wouldn’t let you in).
And that was it. I tried to talk to C about the panic attack and she got upset with me. Told me that my husband and myself were ‘toxic’ and that she didn’t want us in her life anymore. I was stunned. I mean, you could have tipped me over with a feather.
I told her she had a week to think it over and to contact me if she changed her mind. I didn’t know what else to do. She never called, text, or anything. Since then, her mom has called once, telling me that C wanted her stuff from our home and that they were calling the cops to come out and be here. It was like something out of a movie. It didn’t make any sense.
So my husband and I took them to C, where she was living and working. I can honestly say it didnt’ even look like her. I’ve never seen her look so cold or hateful towards us. I kept asking why, falling into tears. She tried to walk away from me so I reached out to stop her and she snatched away and raised her hand, like she was going to strike me. Never in my life have I felt so broken, and I have felt that way ever since.
I haven’t seen her since that day. I have heard that she has been sick (maybe covid?) but she hasn’t called.
It has been months. I am struggling with depression and loss. It has hurt my marriage. My husband and I are still close, but my withdraw and obsession with C as a subject has been detrimental.
I dream about her nearly every night. I am so hurt and I am so furious. I don’t dare reach out because I don’t think I can take another blow.
I’ve spoken to others around me about this but they can’t seem to understand. Some have even disappeared in my life, like I am contagious.
Thank you for listening
August 31, 2020 at 3:03 am #108148EyesForwardParticipant
Hi Sommerdayze & welcome.
I can hear the pain in your words … & the bewilderment. I think that (like me & so many others here), the fact that we have no idea what we’ve done to provoke this estrangement makes us feel so helpless. I also think that when children go through complicated stages of development (socially, academically & physically) they know they’re out of control but don’t know how to deal with that. They lash out at the people closest mostly because they’re ashamed although they might not recognise that at the time. Pride is also something hard for teenagers (anyone) to swallow.
As a parent or step-parent we want to fix things for them but we can’t – this is a phase they need to work through themselves. My hope is that the “ground work” of love & values I gave my son will bring him back to me although I recognise that might take some time. Meanwhile, the best thing I can do is to try to focus on the other positive things in my life so I’m a strong and safe harbour as & when he needs me again.
It’s clear from your words how wonderful you have been as a step-mother & I do believe that in time C will return to you. Meanwhile, maybe it would be good to find a therapist to work with … it might help to release & unravel some of the intense emotions which otherwise can build up & impact our other relationships. I’ve found that journaling has also been very helpful.
This forum is also a great space to find support so keep posting. X
September 1, 2020 at 2:27 am #108174Snoozie8Participant
I am still in shock from my 18 year old son leaving us-his family for no reason that we can fathom. He was to attend college a few weeks ago, now I don’t know what will/has happened. Most of his belongings are still here because we are his family. It appears that he had planned on leaving us a few weeks ago but never told us. We are left heartbroken and so very confused. He hasn’t even reached out to his siblings who miss him and also don’t understand why. He had been acting distant a few weeks ago but always stated nothing was wrong and that he was just going to miss his girlfriend who was also going to college in another state. This has been a very trying time for our family and we are left with so many questions and are so worried about him.
September 4, 2020 at 7:05 pm #108311TaraUnderhillParticipant
I am still in shock. It’s so new and I’m feeling so vulnerable. As a single mother who overcame so many obstacles I cannot believe my adult son treats me so rudely – even gaslighting. I’ve made many mistakes but am trying to stay grounded in the belief that I do not deserve to be treated so shabbily. I love him so much and it hurts so much. The book is helpful and I look forward to the day I can stop crying.
September 15, 2020 at 3:44 am #108606Heartbroken_mamaParticipant
I don’t know where to begin my life has literally been a roller coaster of a nightmare.
I’m a divorced mom of 2 kids; an 18yr old daughter and 15yr old son. I have been divorced since my kids were 10 and 7. My ex is military and lives in a different state so for most of the kids lives he has not been an active part of their lives until very recently when he remarried. His new wife doesn’t live with him but actually lives 20 minutes away from me so when he comes to visit her he will want to see his kids.
From the moment my daughter was born we have been very very close. She would often say how other girls her age never understood why or how she could be so close to her mom or as she got older girls often told her how lucky she was to have a mom who was always there supporting her. My daughter is this a very shy introverted petite beautiful little blonde cheerleader who has always struggled growing up with making friends. I know it sounds odd a cheerleader who is shy and introverted but she is tiny so they could throw her in the air easily and she loved to tumble which is what got her into cheer. Girls werent exactly very nice towards her and the boys always had crushes on her but she was so shy she had a hard time talking to them and never dated not that the boys didn’t try she just felt too awkward. I know that a lot of her growing up years she felt very alone. I state this cause you have to understand for all 18yrs of her life we have been very close so now to not be is a shock to not only me but anyone who knew us.
When she was 15 I caught her talking in detail to a stranger on a kids game called Roblox that she called her boyfriend. As soon as I found out about it I shut it down talked at length with her the dangers of internet predators. Everything seemed fine and then couple years after that at 16/17 again I caught her inadvertently giving private information her name address where she goes to school to someone on PS4 except this person took it further proceeding to her send sexually explicit pictures and threatening sexual harm what I had read scared the shit out of me so bad I dragged her to the police station to file a police report and let school campus security know in case this person approached her. She was real upset that I did this but after while seemingly understood the concern.
Her senior year in high school for the first time ever things was rough between us we spent a lot of the year arguing with each other which was actually pretty rare for us. I didn’t understand why she was always so moody but figured it was just part of growing up and the dreaded teen years. It got bad to the point at the end of May when she called me a demanding bitch for asking her to go to the store to get more water that we ran out of while I was at work and to clean up her cats mess that I had been asking for her to do for over week. After that I told her I was done her being rude and disrespectful and that she needed to stay with her dads wife for a bit. Things weren’t great while she was there constantly ignoring me I would try to do lunch or dinner with her or text or talk her and I sent her many heartfelt messages to her not understanding what happened between us and that I loved and missed her.
Then in August on a rare occasion she replied back to me that she went to San Diego with her 2 friends to get away before work started up. For 2 weeks she told me she was in San Diego with her friends. For 2 weeks her father confirmed her story. Then a couple weeks ago I get a knock on the door at 10pm at night from the girls that she supposedly went to San Diego with. They came to drop off her cat and tell me the truth. That her dad bought her a secret cell phone and that she had been talking to some 20yr old guy on it for the past year and got on a plane to go stay with this guy. No one knew her address of where she was staying and the guy she was with is an ex druggie fresh out of rehab. I went to the local police station they contacted xx which other side of the coast from me to do welfare check and told me that even though this adult guy was talking to her while she was underage that there could be nothing done as I have no proof he was inappropriate with her during that whole time. I literally went to the airport bought a plane ticket and flew to xx And showed up at the door. She was angry and different when I seen her the way she talked and her dialect all different. She refused to come home with me not that I was surprised I just needed to make sure she was okay. Like I said she’s this beautiful tiny girl weighing in at 95lbs and 5ft shacking up with an ex druggie whose own profile said scum life fo life. I had to leave her behind scared out of my mind for her well being. I have since then kept suggesting for her to get to a doctor to get on birth control and since I have brought up the birth control she has blocked me completely social media and phone from contacting her.
I’m literally heartbroken over the loss of my daughter and scared and confused on why she would do this for the path she has taken. I have since learned that my once sweet daughter has lied about me and my family to her friends and the druggie bf family saying we abandoned her and she had no where to go. I just am so lost and in shock by it all.
September 16, 2020 at 5:26 am #108627ToughCookieParticipant
My 26 yr old daughter decided a month ago that she no longer wanted contact with me. She was diagnosed as Depressive/Personality Disorder at age 11. We have been through several seriously close suicide attempts. Which caused PTSD in myself for a long time. She is highly abrasive, negative, self absorbed and unpredictable. She has been in several hospitals, and psychiatric institutes along the way. She has only brief relationships with others, before finding fault with them and then they are gone. I am the ONLY one relationship she has maintained in her life. A few yrs ago we moved into the country , knowing full well she would not follow with us. She has no problem getting jobs, as she can be very captivating when she wants to be. Again, these jobs last a matter of weeks to months. Two yrs ago she informed me that she was working as an escort/sex worker. We weren’t that stunned as she is that unpredictable. She is gorgeous and makes a crazy amount of money, buying herself a house and a car. We supported her no matter what she did and I was her biggest cheerleader in life. Each week I would make the drive to visit her at her home once a week. She calls my phone upwards of 20 times per day, which exhausts me. Each visit/contact is just solely focussed on her and her life. She treats me like an annoyance to her, but she still comes to us to borrow money routinely. During Covid, things got even more tense between us, as I would have to be fully masked up when around her, and she refused to wear a mask in my presence and actually made fun of how scared I was. Being a 54 yr old asthmatic women, yes I am terrified to get it! This made me realize she did not care about my life, health or well being. She has never tried to even get to know me as a person. I finally started to pull away. After three days, I texted her ( yes I was scared of her wrath) that I no longer welcomed her negativity and criticism towards me and my life. I need to feel good about myself and who I am. She texted my husband later asking if I was ok mentally?? I just said I need space. On the 7th day, I was blindsided by an email attacking my personality, my 20 yr marriage, my parenting skills, and my life decisions. She admitted she didn’t expect to come back from this email. I cried for 3 hrs solid, I was so hurt, and then became enraged. After the hell I have been through for her and with her, to be treated like this. The whole email sounded like she was jealous of me, and she turned everything about her onto me.( projection) I prided myself on being a great parent to her, and supported her when most parents would have walked away. I just don’t now what to do next??? I don’t know if I want her out of my life entirely, but I can’t enter into that again, it’s so toxic. I just don’t think she will ever change though. Need advice, so I can plan my next move. Thanks!!
September 16, 2020 at 5:31 am #108634walkerParticipant
I am the mother of one wonderful daughter, now in her early 30s and engaged to be married to a lovely girl. She became angry when we did not offer to contribute as much for their wedding as she wanted us to, and concluded that any contribution we offered was made with the intent of controlling how they would use it. I acknowledge that our home was not particularly happy during her teenage years due to my husband’s (her father’s) mental illness, and although that has resolved several years ago thanks to his getting on and staying on medication, she is now actively blaming him for emotional abuse, and me for enabling him, and seems to be choosing estrangement over love and acceptance. I, like most of the rest of you, know that I was a good mother — certainly the best I could be under difficult circumstances. She and I were close during the hard times. I understand she is trying to “individuate”, but I don’t see the need to completely separate. I’m sad and hurt and embarrassed to share my pain even other family members, not to mention friends. I can’t comprehend how separation could be helpful to her for own mental health, either in the short or long term. Both my husband and I want her in our lives.
September 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm #108700emelineParticipant
Hello fellow Rejected Parents, I have read this forum for a long, long time (I feel as if I know many of you from your posts) and have Sheri’s book (which I have referred to many times) but have finally decided to post.
My situation is somewhat different from what I’ve read here in that my husband and I have Asperger’s. All our children have estranged from us over the years. We will receive one-line email greetings on our birthdays or Christmas, but nothing more. So many times I see mothers and their grown children out to eat, shopping, traveling, enjoying each other’s company and it never fails to tear me apart.
As I get older, the estrangement is becoming more painful. My husband is more severely impacted by Asperger’s and, on a daily basis, I find myself interceding and helping him negotiate situations. We are completely alone. I never would have imagined my life would be like this. I grew up surrounded by a loving family (they are all gone now, except for me) and worked hard to continue this with my own children. It wasn’t enough.
September 24, 2020 at 12:10 pm #108826JavaLavaParticipant
So glad I found this group. My son decided to “cut ties” and that includes not allowing me to see my granddaughters. They have a third on the way. He has mental health issues so if this is what he needs to to right now then I’m ok with that. But it still hurts.
September 24, 2020 at 2:29 pm #108844HorseygirlParticipant
This is so similar to my son. We had, what we thought, was a happy healthy relationship. Then just before his 18th birthday he met a girl. She made no attempt to interact with us, we have only seen her about 5 times in 4 yeas and barely had a conversation with her. When we asked why she did not come to our house we were told she suffers anxiety and wasn’t able to come. We sent birthday/christmas gifts, invited her around, invited her out to restaurants but nothing. Over the 4 years of their relationship my son has has given up his friends and family and most of his personality, all the things he loved like football and cars he has no interest. We have had periods of up to 3 months where we have been blocked and had no contact. Recently I have received a lengthy letter clearly spelling out all the areas I have failed him and formally asking for no further contact. The main problem is that i do not have a relationship with the GF. He is 22 now and I am trying to accept that the estrangement is his decision and i must let him own it. It is the hardest thing I have ever done
September 24, 2020 at 9:58 pm #108841HorseygirlParticipant
My 22 year old has formalised his desire to cut ties in a rather long letter which sets out all they ways I failed him and being very clear that he has a relationship that he feels is the most important and does not want me to meet that up too. He became involved with a girl at age 17 and over the last 4 years he has become more distant with friends and family, we have had periods of up to 3 months with no contact and being actively blocked.
I am shocked, sad, angry, guilty, heartbroken, tearful, just about every emotion. The sleepless nights are the worst.
I am sorry that you are all going through this too x
September 25, 2020 at 1:31 am #108867teaandbiscuitsParticipant
Hello to everyone, I have been a long time reader here, but finally decided to join.
I had two children, my ED and my son, who passed 9 years ago. I have always had issues with my daughter, she can be very self absorbed and inconsiderate of others, but it was around that time when my son passed and I took custody of his daughter, who is now 14, that she began to isolate me. I occasionally see my ED and her daughter, who is an adult now, at family affairs, as she is still in good contact with my sister’s son. However both her and my older granddaughter seemingly intentionally avoid me and do not wish to talk. On the very rare occasion that I have been able to speak with ED she does not give any insight and is always too busy and says that I “always do this” but I don’t know what “this” is and she will not tell me. Her daughter and I were very close when she was little so it hurts me very much to also have her avoid me.
September 26, 2020 at 11:22 am #108880CastillodomParticipant
Hello everyone…it took me a little time to feel comfortable with sharing my story. Reading the many other stories on this site has been cathartic, and helped me to realize I wasn’t alone. So many of the stories I could relate to. Thank you to so many of you for sharing such personal and painful stories. My heart goes out to you.
I am the father of a two beautiful daughters, 25 & 22. I have a wonderfully strong relationship with my 22 year old.
My oldest, the ED, the one I held on my chest for hours after her birth because her mother couldn’t hold her right away, has had a strained relationship with me for 6 years. It was six years ago that her mother and I divorced. Yes, I asked for the divorce. No, there was no “drama” behind the decision. The process of going through the divorce could not have been more amicable. My Ex and I seemed to be on good terms. For awhile.
I was on my own for many months before I decided it was time to start dating again. That’s when it started. My oldest resented I was dating. My youngest was supportive in wanting to see her parents move on and be happy. Yet my Ex, to my knowledge, and to this day, hasn’t seriously dated anyone since our divorce, and I later learned she resented my dating.
In time I met the one I would marry. She and my youngest have a fun relationship. My oldest, at first, seemed supportive, but then began fading away.
My wife and I, along with both daughters went on vacation two years ago. The first five days were amazing. About the sixth day my oldest stopped talking to us. Even my youngest didn’t understand. When we dropped the two off at the airport, my oldest refused to say goodbye or acknowledge any appreciation for the trip. My wife was devastated because she had planned the trip.
A few days later my ED blocked my wife and I on social media. She sent us a letter saying she no longer wanted contact. This was the third time she’s estranged herself since the divorce. Each time saying the relationship caused her anxiety. Her mom does nothing to try and help, citing our oldest is old enough to make her decisions. Mutual friends comment that they believe her mom passively encourages the estrangement. I didn’t want to believe it, but other things that have happened that cause me to now think it might be true.
My ED graduated from college this last summer and had a milestone birthday the same week. It was crushing not to be part of the celebration. This whole thing has been crushing. My youngest doesn’t like being put in the middle, so I try not to pressure her with questions.
MY QUESTION TO EVERYONE: Since the letter, I have respected her wishes. That said, I have been fighting with myself as to whether I should send my ED a graduation gift. I don’t want to do it to be manipulative, just to recognize her achievements…and then I will move on. My wife thinks if I send a gift it might give my ED a reason to say I’m not respecting her boundaries. I’m sure many of you can understand that inner desire to recognize a major achievement in your child.
Thoughts? Thank you. Ugh
September 26, 2020 at 4:42 pm #108884FailureParticipant
Hello, new here and suffering alot my daughter made a decision of not having a relationship with me anymore
September 28, 2020 at 7:02 pm #108924HappybunnyParticipant
I recently connected with my daughter after almost two years of silence especially as I was losing loved people in my family and wanted to reach out to her and see if she has had a change of heart. She spoke with me but advised me that she could not move forward until we addressed the past and she blamed me for everything that she is now experiencing. The more I tried to ask her to let go of the past and let us start afresh and see where it would lead to and make new memories she just would not let go. I always have to message or call and she never refers to me as mum which really breaks my heart as I was a single mum to two girls who i so dearly love. It feels like she has moved on without me and gives me no thoughts or even any feeling of love and am wondering if it is worth having to keep sending messages sounding so desperate to have her in my life or to perhaps just let go and move on. It really is so hurtful that not a bit of compassion comes through and it makes me feel so low as a mother,
Thank you all for sharing and God bless us all with strength, self respect and wisdom to take a step into the new day with much deserved confidence
September 28, 2020 at 7:07 pm #108933
I’m sorry you find yourself here. I can only tell you what I’d probably do in your shoes and that is send the gift. I also absolutely believe your ex is passively (or maybe not all that passively) at times expecting your daughter to take sides (her side against you).
September 28, 2020 at 7:07 pm #108934
So sorry that you find yourself here, Failure. I hope you find some comfort among us.
September 29, 2020 at 7:44 pm #108981
HappyBunny – I’m so sorry that you are going through all this. I know it is very hurtful. Your situation is what I would imagine mine to be if I were to connect with my ED.
From your post it sounds like your daughter is calling the shots, having you do anything for her love, yet not opening up to you. One question you might ask her – “what exactly do you want from me?”. Is there anything you can do that will satisfy her? Then ask yourself whether or not you can give her what she wants.
Just my thoughts.
October 1, 2020 at 3:42 am #109000OnlychildMomParticipant
Onlychildmom introducing myself today. My husband and I have an Estranged Daughter. She is married and has two children. We see her family occasionally–in summer when we turn over the cottage and on holidays when we host a dinner at our home.
She chose to estrange herself after she got married over 15 years ago, a long time to go through this. My health has been affected by the stress of being rejected by her. My husband feels resentful and hurt too and he often warns me to not keep trying.
Thankful to be here on the site and realize that I am not alone in this weird situation.
October 1, 2020 at 10:49 am #109010
So sorry, OnlychildMom. This has been going on a few years now for me with my ES, and at times I think I’m not letting it take over my life as there are other things in my life that are good. But it takes too much of my life still. I can’t tell you to stop trying because we all have to decide when or if to do that, but I do hope you have other things in your life that are positive.
October 4, 2020 at 5:41 pm #109077ConeflowersParticipant
Hello and thank you for this group! I truly hope this will help me to deal with all of my feelings about our situation. Our 18 year old daughter decided to move to another state 3 years ago. She left home to live with a man much older than her and someone she had only known through the internet. My husband and I woke up one morning to a note that she had left. She stated that she just wanted to start fresh and have a new life. Because of her age, there was nothing we could do. She has not wanted any contact with us and has made that very clear. We have no communication with her at all. This totally makes no sense to us as we thought we did a good job as parents. Her home environment was very good, no issues at all. We do have an address of where she is and her phone number but anytime we try to contact her she won’t respond. She has made up so many lies about how she was abused… all of which is definitely not true. We can’t understand why she did this to us? I just can’t let it go because even after all of of this, we miss her terribly.
October 13, 2020 at 3:31 am #109329HelloVeeParticipant
Hello everyone. I could write a whole long story about me but let me put it this way. Saved myself and my 2 kids from an abusive ex husband. First born took dad’s side. Estranged.
Lost my daughter (who was suicidal as a teenager and had to deal with 12 baker acting and more), she’s now 23 and son, now 24, two years ago and instead of things getting better, I am getting worse. I lost them over a lie my daughter’s best friend told her and instead of coming to me and ask, she stuck with her friend and boyfriend. My son is addicted to drugs and had a manic episode. He doesn’t communicate with anyone. They have all blocked me.
I am an only child, no immediately family. My ex prohibited me from having friends, reasons why I have none. Have 3 small dogs who have saved my life up to now. I go to therapy, pray and meditate. Anxiety and panic attacks have gotten worse.
I don’t see a future for me at all, honestly. I am exhausted.
October 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm #109388BeeHere4MeParticipant
HelloVee and welcome to the the forum 💐
First let me say that I am sorry for the situation that brought you here. I hope you will rely on the wisdom of the forum members as a support for dealing with this estrangement.
Please don’t feel shy as we were all in your shoes at one time. I strongly encourage you to read Sheri’s book, “Done with the Crying”, and most important, do the exercises as they will put you on a path that leads out of the devastation. You DO NOT have to reduce yourself to the devastation of being a rejected mother.
I just returned from a long break from this forum seeking additional support regarding some of the exact things mentioned in your post. I was told disturbing things about my ES, ex-in laws and myself. It’s been almost a week and I remain stunned! I don’t appreciate this disruption in my life. So, please know that you are not alone!!
Until I determine how to proceed, I left a message with the one I know will look out for my ES. But if you are blocked, then the liar is obviously afraid, feigning victim and accusing you of starting trouble.
HelloVee, you might not see it now, but I do see a big gift in this for you, so just hang in there and post your thoughts and concerns on the forum. Sometimes we are better at helping others than we can help ourselves. So welcome to the forum. 💐
October 17, 2020 at 8:32 am #109484SueDNimmParticipant
Hi, I’m sorry you are all here, but I appreciate the fellowship. My story is not that different from those others have posted. My daughter has always been strong willed and defiant. I tried to give her experiences she liked and wanted when she was a child, and rescued her from abusive boyfriends and bad decisions when she was a young adult. I thought we were close; she would tell people I was her best friend.
I have chronic health problems, and my world has shrunk down to my house. I have some people I interact with online, but here’s where it gets tough. My daughter made friends with a whole lot of people I knew, and started telling them things I thought would just be between us. Then she told them that I was a terrible person and that she had no choice but to cut me out of her life. All the time she was doing this behind my back, she would ask me to help her with this or that, or babysit my grandkids, or feed her pets when she was away. I would always let the kids come over even if I was sick, because I love them. She would get mad about one thing or anSother and withhold the grandkids until she needed something again.
She relocated with her family and won’t let me talk to the kids on the phone. I haven’t seen them in over a year after speaking to them or being with them almost daily for their entire lives. She texts me occasionally if she is sick or something, but the minute I respond with anything that is not “her-centered”, the conversation is over.
I felt like no one would believe me if I said she has mental issues and a personality disorder, and that everything she has told about me is actually true of her. I feel too embarrassed to talk to anyone who knows both of us, because I don’t know what she has already told them. It’s easier to just be alone than to risk someone thinking I’m a liar and a horrible person.
If she was anyone besides my daughter, and my grandkids’ mom, I would say goodbye and let it all go. Even just her, I would miss her, but I could be okay with no contact. But it kills me that she has probably been alienating the grandkids from me after all the love I poured into them. If they start to believe her lies, and think I’m a bad person and that I am choosing not to see them or speak to them, I can’t imagine the betrayal they must feel.
It helps somehow to know there are people who understand that it’s not always the mother who is a nacissist, that sometimes it’s the adult child. It’s good to feel like someone will listen without thinking that could never happen to them because they have great kids. I’m sad all the time. I don’t know how to change it.
October 17, 2020 at 5:36 pm #109488EldersendParticipant
Your story hits so many issues of estrangement for me, and I’m sure for many here.
Your daughter’s selfish, defensive, hostile behaviour is all the more dangerous to you if you allow it to drive you underground through helpless embarrassment.
In Sheri’s book and the many helpful posts and articles here, I think there is a wealth of experience about how to fight against being destroyed by shame.
Stand in your own truth, as Aussiemom and so many others have recommended in their writings.
You won’t be helped by trying to counter with others, your daughter’s distorted depictions of you by defending yourself. It will just make you seem weak.
Better is to convey the best version of yourself that you can express, in every interaction and situation. For me, that is the most satisfying way to live a life, estranged or not, and a lesson many have learned by going through this hellfire. And it gives your brain new information about who you are, that wipes out your daughter’s ongoing hateful depiction.
Accepting the loss of your grandchildren, possibly temporary as it may be, is a big challenge that takes time and effort. Like all the many sadnesses we have to face as we go on in life, I believe it can be done without destroying us.
All in all, isolation is our worst enemy. Just put yourself out there, maybe starting by responding to the current threads here, where you offer help to others by your obvious ability to speak your truth about how it feels to be treated badly by a child you have loved.
October 17, 2020 at 11:53 pm #109503NewDirectionParticipant
Hi there everyone. I’m sorry for the pain you are experiencing in your life and/but I am very grateful that you have decided to share your feelings here. I never thought it would come to this in my beautiful blessed life, but indeed it has. My heart is broken I am confused, bewildered and hurt. ADs are estranged and they took the gks with them. Life is not only upside down-it’s also inside out.
This site was found by accident really. Searching for self-help, maybe some comfort … I found THIS place where Each and EVERY post bears some resemblance of my situation in part or in FULL! Again I’m so sorry for your pain-unfortunately I can relate.
The closed door process happened quickly “this time” as the attacks were fierce and hit hard. To see the gorgeous world around me and to enjoy the blessings HE has given me I had to move quickly thoughtfully and prayerfully in a New Direction !
I have strong support at home and many things to occupy my mind, but being here-reading that I’m not crazy-that I’m not alone this support has truly helped a lot
Thank you again God bless with all peace love comfort and hope… always… as you/WE heal Hugs
October 19, 2020 at 12:37 pm #109552ChangingwomanParticipant
So glad to have found this forum. My 30 year old daughter has stopped talking to me over a year ago. Before that, she was very disrespectful and downright mean to me sometimes. I put up with it, thinking she was stressed and lashing out.
But I can no longer tolerate this treatment. But I have been incredibly sad without her around and I’m in a very dark place right now. I am staying busy but it doesn’t always help.
I have read a few of the introductions and I recognize many of the same situations. It helps to know I’m not alone in this nightmare
October 21, 2020 at 4:21 pm #109593mummaduckParticipant
I’m new to the forum. I have lost relationship with my 2 eldest children. Thankfully for my sanity I found Sheri’s book “Done with the Crying” & have been slowly working my way through it. I tried a Psychologist as I wasn’t coping with the overwhelming cycle of grief with this but the best help has come from this book. I brought up my children by myself, working hard to give them the best childhood I had the means to do, always loving & protecting them with all my heart. In adulthood I have done everything I can to help them – babysitting, cleaning, cooking, taking time off work to babysit when daycare ceased, basically anything I’ve been asked to do anytime (practically, I don’t have the means to help financially). I always thought we were a very tight family unit & if we could get through the years after their father left we could get through anything. I never dreamed I would have been rejected by them so totally & the hurt is all consuming at times. From reading the book it’s heartbreaking that this is happening to so many of us that have always done our best for our kids. For now, this is all I can share but so glad I have found the rejected parents website. It’s not a good “club” to be in but not too many people understand the pain. The rejection & abuse is cruel & I’m slowly getting stronger in not accepting it & focussing on going forward. Thank you
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.